Fascinating Times For Local Teams
The Cowboys are the toast of the NFL with five straight wins and doing it in impressive fashion. I don’t know if they will be able to sustain this, but I do know that the way they play gives them a chance every week (because of that dominant running game). Jimmy Johnson said on FOX last Sunday that he wouldn’t worry about running DeMarco Murray too much. He’s right. Murray’s contract may be up after the season, but that’s the point. AFTER THE SEASON. Not now. The NFL is a now league. Every year teams jump up and teams fall back. The Cowboys are in a jump up mode. You hope they’ll be able to sustain this for a long time, but you just don’t know. You play for now. Especially when you’ve been as frustrated as the Cowboys have been over the previous 18 years.
One of the oldest sayings in sports is that your best players need to be your best players. They bounce back when things don’t go well. And things didn’t go well in the two opening season losses to Chicago and Nashville for the Stars. So you’ve got to love the road wins in Columbus and Pittsburgh in which Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn were the best players on the ice, and by a lot. And that they were the guys who scored the goals in the last three minutes including a power play goal with three seconds left last night, speaks volumes for them, and for the leadership by example they provided. The Stars have had a lot of great players, but never have they had two emerging superstars playing together at the same time. It is such an exciting time to be watching the Stars.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks play in Cleveland tonight in what will likely be as electric atmosphere as you can have in a preseason game. The Mavericks plan to play this one pretty close to a real game. They will have their planned starting five on the floor for the first time. The Cavs plan to play the game similarly. LeBron, Love and Irving on the floor together. Dirk and company will get to see their old friend Shawn Marion. All that with the knowledge that we’re ten days away from the most anticipated Mavs season in a decade.
Jon Daniels has, twice, chosen a manager for the Rangers. The first time resulted in Ron Washington, who’s nearly eight year run was the most successful in franchise. The second time, like the first time, has resulted in the selection of a baseball lifer who has never managed a game in the big leagues. Who knows if Jeff Banister, plucked from the Pirates bench will be as successful as Wash? If nothing else, Daniels has show a willingness to roll the dice, especially when he had a strong in-house candidate in Tim Bogar who certainly looked the part after he took over on September 5. The fact Banister had the relationship with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle obviously went a long way. Indeed, one could make the argument that Daniels really wanted to hire Hurdle, but seeing that he couldn’t, went for as close a facsimile as possible. And given the job Hurdle has done in turning the long downtrodden Pirates into something legitimate, it’s something that can’t be ignored. Daniels has taken a lot of heat, much of it justified, over the last couple of years, but it’s impressive how he went about this task. How many coaching/manager searches over the last few years have been not open searches? Even as he knew he had a more than qualified candidate in Bogar, Daniels went through the process, and, in his mind, actually found someone that, in his opinion was even better. The fact that he will allow Banister to hire his own staff is also the correct call. The Rangers have an excellent pitching coach in Mike Maddux, and Banister may feel as the Rangers clearly do about him, but he has to be the one making the call there. He walks into a very good situation. Indeed, with all hands on deck (save likely for Matt Harrison), there is no new manager starting 2015 in a better one.