HARD TO BELIEVE AN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN IS THE FIRST NFL PICK

     The suspense is gone for the opening pick of Saturday's 3pm NFL draft on ESPN.  Jake Long has already signed a multi year contract with the Miami Dolphins and was introduced at a Monday news conference.  Miami went 1-15 last season and fired Cam Cameron in favor of new head coach Tony Sparano.  He was offensive line coach at Dallas last season and figured the Dolphins needed more offensive line help immediately.  Enter Long.  The St. Louis Rams are now on the clock.  If you ask various so called experts, Michigan State receiver Devin Thomas may not go past number eleven when the Buffalo Bills choose.  At ten minutes per pick instead of the traditional 15 minutes from years past, Thomas could be chosen around 5pm.

     Suggestion to the CAAC high school league.  Start week day softball and baseball games earlier than 4pm.  Most fields do not have lights and most games are part of doubleheaders.  The time between games should be shortened to absolutely no more than 15 minutes and second game pitchers should be warming up immediately.  What happens is that second games can't be completed because of darkness and there is controversy over when it's too dark to continue and teams with the leads tend to slow the pace of play down so as the losing team doesn't get a chance to catch up.  Game times should be no later than 3:45pm.

     Veteran college baseball umpire Mark Ditsworth of Lansing worked all four games of last week end's MSU/Michigan series.  After watching Michigan romp 27-6 on Sunday in Ann Arbor, Ditsworth tells me he believes a mercy rule should be used for division one college play, just as the high schools use.  He believes it's senseless for teams to pummel another when a game is clearly out of reach.  After the exhibition game with the Lugnuts Thursday, the Spartans host Iowa for four games and really need a sweep.  MSU is 4-11 in Big Ten play and the Hawkeyes aren't much better at 5-11, both at the midway point of the league schedule.

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