SCREAMIN’ FROM THE CHEAP SEATS – AUGUST 13
By Leo Haggerty

Are you ready for some football?  I know I am but still have to wait a few more weeks.  Until then, the NFL exhibition season will have to suffice.

Have a plethora of topics covered below.  I hope you enjoy my screamings.

DOES ANYONE HAVE A CLUE

WHITE HOUSE LEAKS

Ok, let me put it out there before I even tackle this subject.  I am not a big supporter of Donald Trump but I am a huge proponent of the office of the Presidency.  The fact that someone would leak clsssified transcripts of conversations the President, and I don’t care who is elected to that prestigious office, had with leaders of other nations makes you wonder does anyone have a clue?

Now, the leaders of foreign countries, whether friend or foe, have to be concerning whether their candid discussions with the POTUS will remsin confidential.  This could lead to some catastrophic foreign policy mistakes because the the heads of state cannot be totally forthcoming with sensitive information for fear of the transcripts of their conversations leading to embarrassing consequences when they’ve revealed on the next Morning Joe program.

This isn’t the actions of a whistleblower but more a work that borders on treason.  When this person or persons are exposed, they need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

If that means being incarcerated, then so be it.  A message needs to be sent that leaking information that directly exposes the United States to harm, especially with the situation unfolding with North Korea, will not be tolerated.  End of story.

WHAT’S HOT

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

This may be my shortest WHAT HOT of all time.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Los Angeles Dodgers.

LA is an amazing 81-34 and lead the Colorado Rockies by 16 games and the Arizona Diamondbacks by 17 games in the National League West.  Even more astounding is the fact that both Colorado and Arizona are ahead by 5 1/2 and 4 1/2 games respectively in the Wild Card Race.

Couple that with the fact that the West Coasters are 20-5 since the All Star break.  Add to that SP Clayton Kershaw has spent some time on the Disabled List and this is a season to remember for the Dodgers.

The only question unanswered is if the Left Coast Guys will break the all time season wins record of 116 victories.  In my opinion, I don’t think so only because they’ll start to rest players to get ready for the playoffs.

The only hope the rest of the teams that make the playoffs have is that Los Angeles has peaked early and they get light-out pitching performances from their staff.  Remember, good pitching stops good hitting and great pitching does the same.  All I know is it will be fun to watch.

WHAT’S NOT

NBA ONE-AND-DONE RULE

I heard some national pundits pontificating that the National Basketball Association  needs to jettison the one-and-done rule as it pertains to drafting players. They are suggesting that age requirements be eliminated and allow any player who has the skills to be draft eligible immediately.

I’ve also had to listen to the argument that there are 6 or 7 high school players every year that are NBA ready.  Now, I have to join the conversation on the con side of that hypothesis  and here’s why.

Other than LaBron, and I still want to see a birth certificate on him, there has been no player that has walked from high school graduation to immediate NBA stardom. It’s such a quantum leap that almost all of the high school phenoms end up with the best seat in the house, and that’s on the bench as opposed to the hardwood, while they learn the pro game.

l only have to bring up future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant as the prime example.  One of the 10 best players to ever grace the hardwood, and I don’t think you’ll get an argument from anyone on that statement, had a DNP (stands for Did Not Play) next to his name in the scorebook more than half the games his rookie season.  I rest my case.

Hey, NBA. Stay the course.  If anything, get rid of the age requirement for the D (Developmental) League and create two drafts.  One a futures draft of high school players.  The second for players that have reached the age of 21 in that calendar year.

That way the product is improved because players in “The Association” are all ready to play now.  It also provides a pool of talent ready to make the D League jump when they’re seasoned.

The big winner would be, wait for it now, the fans.  What a novel thought that would be.

LOOKING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL

PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME SELECTION PROCESS

The Crystal Ball is seeing, though a wee bit clouded, some changes coming down that pike when it comes to induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  I must admit that I completely concur with the mystical orb on these prognostications.

The all-knowing sphere sees, in the not so distant future, a couple major changes to the voting process for enshrinement.  The first is the that there will be a lot more scrutiny given to perspective candidates in that, instead of having to garner 80% of the votes, it will now take 90% of the votes to receive the Gold Jacket during the August ceremony.  That will insure that only the “Best of the Best” are immortalized and I am in complete agreement with that.

In my humble opinion, the “Hall of Fame” is starting to become the “Hall of Really, Really Good” and that is not the intent.  Plain and simple, it should be difficult to get in because an individual is being recognized as one of the greatest to every play or be involved in pro football.

The deciding factor, in many cases, when it comes to getting a bust in Canton is how well your presenter does in making the case that the individual belongs.  I have no problem with that.  Someone has to explain to voters about players or coaches or other contributors who they rarely saw.

The problem is that, in some cases, it’s been “tit-for-tat” with another voter or voters who are presenting prospective candidates.  It has become a “you vote for mine and I’ll voter for yours” far too often and that’s just not right.

The Crystal Ball sees the second change being that the “eye test” will be more important than statistics.  If you play 10-plus years in the National Football League, you are going to post some “off the chart” numbers.  Voters in the future need to be well-schooled pro football historians because the stats some people put up will be astounding.  The voters are going to have to determine who is worthy not just by records, especially on offense with the NFL  becoming a pass-happy league, but whether they are a complete player.

Look for, as the Crystal Ball predicts, around three or four, which is the minimum number of players that can be honored, to be the rule rather than the exception.  That will make “The Hall” an even greater achievement than it is today.