News and Tribune

November 2, 2012

SPORTS BUZZ: Nov. 2, 2012


> SOUTHERN INDIANA — The News and Tribune staff answers questions about the sports world’s biggest stories.

1. Was the World Series sweep based more on the Giants’ domination or the Tigers’ failure to show up?

Mike Hutsell, Ad Sales: “Purely on the Giants. Justin Verlander gives up three homers a month and Pablo Sandoval hit three in a game. Sergio Romo is the breakout star of postseason. He dominated late innings. San Fran got a roll and history has shown when that happens in the postseason, it’s nearly impossible to stop.”

Matt Koesters, News Reporter: “It’s a little of both. I think it’s fair to say that Verlander didn’t have his best stuff in the first game of the series, but otherwise, you’ve got to tip your cap to the Giants’ pitchers for keeping the Tigers from doing much at the plate. Pablo Sandoval’s huge Game 1 set the tone for the series.”

Michael Reschke, Copy Editor: “It’s hard to say, but I’m leaning toward the Tigers not showing up based on their play leading up to the World Series.”

Greg Mengelt, Sports Editor: “It’s clearly the Tigers folding. The Giants pitching staff was good, but it didn’t suddenly become the 1970 Orioles.”

Joseph Adams, Sports Correspondent: “I feel the Giants had the momentum and the Tigers’ couldn’t recover. After sweeping the Yankees the Tigers had to sit at home while the Giants and Cardinals ended up playing the full series. The Giants never got to rest which meant not only did their bats stay fresh, but their arms were loose. The Tigers pitchers had to sit more days then they are custom to and the break really hurt their chances.”

Will Clark, Sports Correspondent: “Pure Giants domination. The Giants were on a roll starting with their comeback in the NLDS against the Reds and kept the momentum on their side when they forced the Cards to 7 in the NLCS. The Tigers took care of a notably weaker Yankees team in four quick games and then played exhibition games against theur Triple-A prospects. Not really a good representation (no disrespect to the prospects) of a red-hot Giants squad.”

2. The NFL season is at its midway point. Based on what you’ve seen through eight weeks, who is the favorite to win the Super Bowl?

Mike Riley, Sports Correspondent: “Despite the near debacle in Dallas, I like the New York Giants to repeat as Super Bowl champs.”

Koesters: “It’s hard to say that it’s anyone other than Atlanta. The Falcons are undefeated and play in the much tougher conference. Roddy White and Julio Jones are making Matt Ryan look like a sure-fire All Pro.”

Mengelt: “I picked the Broncos before the season and I see no reason to move away from that prediction.”

Adams: “When I look in the NFL, it isn’t just about the passing game anymore. Most teams must have a balance of a rushing attack and also passing game, to go along a decent defense. For this reason alone, I feel it’ll be the 49ers vs. Texans in the Super Bowl. If the Texans can stay healthy, I do believe the Houston Texans will win it all.”

Hutsell: “I’m gonna say Denver. I’d hate to think I gave away the only quarterback capable of carrying a mediocre roster to a Super Bowl right now for nothing, but nobody would do that in their right mind would that? Denver’s not even mediocre though. They are good, really good. Their receivers are two of the best in the AFC and their defense keeps improving. They’ll roll through the second half and potentially have homefield.”

3. Is a Heat-Lakers NBA Finals inevitable? If not, which team or teams can stop the NBA’s dream matchup?

Reschke: “Yes.”

Hutsell: “If anybody can stop it, it’ll be Boston in the East and/or Oklahoma City in the West. But for the sake of this argument, nobody can stop this matchup.”

Koesters: “Inevitable? No. But it’s hard to see anyone challenging in the Heat in the East. If the Bulls had the services of Derrick Rose, this would be a different conversation.”

Mengelt: “The Pacers are winning it all!”

Riley: “I’d say yes, but as a Lakers fan I’m still not sold on Dwight Howard [replacing Andrew Bynum] making the difference. I’m not from Missouri, but you’re going to have to show me.”

Adams: “I do not think the Heat and Lakers will end up in the Finals. Even though they have the star power, I don’t think the Lakers will be able to play the Princeton-style offense they want to run. The Miami Heat in the offseason added key players like Ray Allen and also Rashard Lewis that will be great players to come off the bench. I feel it’ll be Thunder vs. Heat in the finals and the Miami Heat will repeat.”

4. Who is most at fault in the NHL lockout?

Chris Morris, Assistant Editor: “The NHL owners, according to their latest offer, want a 50/50 split in hockey revenue with the players. But the players received 57 percent last year. That is a drastic cut. However, when you enter Donald Fehr, executive director of the players union, into the equation, you can bet the players won’t be playing hockey for a long time. Fehr, you remember, was the long-time director of the Major League Baseball Players Association during the majority of work stoppages the past two decades. Since he left that position, there has been labor harmony among players and MLB owners. He has a history of butting heads with owners and is not a fan of compromise. To put it simply, both parties are to blame in this mess and as we head into the winter without hockey, fans once again suffer the consequences. The sport suffers enough butting up against basketball in this country, the last thing it needs is not to be playing. The majority of sports fans won’t miss it. There is too much basketball to watch over the next six months to worry about hockey.”

Koesters: “Two words: Gary Bettman.”

Riley: “There’s an NHL lockout?”

Mengelt: “The players are the most overpaid players in professional sports considering the revenue the league generates. If they don’t see how lucky they’ve been for the last two decades, they’re blind. Time to take some serious pay cuts.”

Clark: “The Owners. The NHLPA has offered to come back to the table and the owners (and comissioner Gar Bettman) have declined and gone so far as to rescind their previous offers. If there is no 2012-13 NHL season, as it is starting too like like might happen, the players and fans can direct their rage towards the commissioner and the owners. The NHL, more than any other sport, needs its fans, and this is an enormous step in the wrong direction.”

Hutsell: “There’s a hockey lockout? Wow. I guess I’ll do what I always do in these situations, blame Greg Mengelt. It’s Greg Mengelt’s fault.”