I’m preparing for my annual baseball picks which I will present to you in a couple of weeks. Or maybe next week. I’m trying to figure out how I can’t say that the Angels and Dodgers will be in the World Series. I can’t.
But in the meantime I will play ketchup with the mailbag. The mailbag, these days, consists of my fax, e-mails, texts and yes, some verbal communication about town.
Q: The Ducks are lucky. They always seem to come up with great goalies. How do they do that?
A: Actually, the Ducks are lucky. This year they have first year goalie Vicktor Fasth. His record as of press time is 8-0. The Swedish player was picked up to back up “good to better” rated goalie, Jonas Hiller. He is 4-2 when started and that’s not bad. These days you need two goalies. You never know when one will get “an upper body” injury.
Q: The basketball conference playoffs are coming up. Just the playoff winners all go to the NCAA Tournament even if a team wins the conference, right?
A: Yes, I’m working on this too. Next month starts March Madness. It’s seems stupid to play around 18 games and the only thing it decides is the seeding for the local playoffs. It does give a lowly hot team a chance at the NCAA Madness but I’m for the league games to determine the NCAA qualification.
Q: How does this “seeding” work.”
A: There are still four more games to play in the Pac-12 league play, but if it were seeded today it would be a mess. Arizona, Oregon and UCLA are tied for first but I think it will clear itself out when Arizona plays UCLA and USC this weekend. The two local schools close out against lowly Washington and Washington State.
I feel that UCLA will wind up with the top seed and get a bye for the first round with the last four teams playing to get into the 10 team Pac-12 tournament. So UCLA may play a Washington school, the 10th place club, while Arizona will play the 9th place teams. USC will be right in the middle. Let’s say they wind up in 6th place. They would play the 5thh place team, say Oregon St. or Cal. We’ll all find out in about two weeks.
Q: I heard a rumor the Pac-12 Tournament will be played in Las Vegas, is that true?
A: Yes. After years of playing in Las Angeles the tournament will be played at the MGM Grand Arena starting on March 13. The reasons for the change are many.
First, USC and UCLA and other area schools had an advantage as fans could come cheer their teams on. Second, there was no traveling for the local teams. And the teams that thought they were in NCAA tournament didn’t care if they won or lost because the seeding in the big tournament is based on the season, not just the winner of the local tournament.
I know this all sounds confusing. Really, the Pac-12 tournament is there to earn a lot of money and give some teams a shot at the NCAA’s. I do like the neutral city aspect this year even though it used to be played in USC’s and UCLA’s backyard!
Q: What’s this combine business?
A: Actually my wife asked this one. And she is a football fan! When she was watching, 300-pound linemen were lumbering along trying to run 40 yards. Then a rumor came on that said that Matt Barkley wasn’t going to throw in the combine. What? I hope his arm is okay. Last year Andrew Luck didn’t “throw” and he was one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks in 2012. If I were an NFL team I would check into that arm.
Q: Do you watch UFC Women’s boxing, or whatever that is?
A: I guess I’m biased or something. I just can’t get into the girls “fighting” and beating each other up. I think they should have the right to do so but I’m looking at a picture of Ronda Rousey holding Liz Carmouche in a chokehold and beating on her face. Can’t handle it.
Contact Don Alexander at Journaldon@aol.com.