Scattershots around the Valley Sports Scene

Written by-To Be Named Later

Ray Anderson is right.
Say what you want about Todd Graham and his progress in the classroom, but playing in the Sun Bowl shouldn’t be the aspirations of Sun Devil Nation, should it? Ray Anderson
This is a bowl game that was delayed at the start so CBS could allow viewers to see the conclusion of a nearly 30 point Kentucky Wildcat blowout of Louisville in men’s hoops . That tells you all you need to know about the significance of the Sun Bowl.
Losing badly to the #25 team in the country shouldn’t be acceptable, either.
The decision to try (another) onside kick after cutting North Carolina State’s lead to 14 with near 9 minutes left in the game was a bad one. The missed tackles and special teams deficiencies have become the hallmark of a program that should be contending for Pac 12 titles every year, not every five years.
Looked a lot to me like the same ASU team we’ve been watching for several years now.
Hiring Herm Edwards was a controversial decision that may well backfire.
Doing nothing and staying the course would have been worse.
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The comments made this week by Ryan McDonough regarding the influence Devin Booker has on the Phoenix Suns personnel decisions raised a few eyebrows both inside and outside of Talking Stick Resort Arena this week.
It shouldn’t have.
Most close followers of the team have known for some time that Booker is held in high esteem, the star to which the wagon has been hitched.
The real question, though, is:
Should he be?Devin_Booker_action
Booker’s 70 point game in March came during a ten point loss to the Celtics at TD Garden, but watching the celebratory reaction from the team one might have thought it was a blowout Suns victory. The Celtics were torn between confused and amused as the visitors got excited in a big loss, ignoring the 17 championship banners hanging overhead as if they didn’t matter.
So if Booker’s making the personnel decisions now, let’s hope there are a couple team first guys in the mix, players that won’t be happy in any loss, can’t be happy with losing seasons stacking up like broken pallets in a boneyard.
And pardon me for being jaded, but call me when the Suns are fighting for a playoff berth, not personal bests.
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The Arizona Coyotes are a fun team to watch, as the young stars skate with the best in the NHL, and show moments of speed and talent that seemingly bode well for the future.
There’s one problem, though. The team continues to bleed red ink, and the apathy among Valley sports fans is palpable.
Before criticizing the fan base as fickle, it’s worthy to point out that as we approach the halfway mark of the season, this team has nine wins.
Nine.
Let that sink in a bit. The team that changed coaches because the team wasn’t making enough progress, shed Mike Smith’s salary because they seemingly had a ready backup plan, and thought Shane Doan wasn’t important enough to the community for the ownership to meet with him face to face, now deserves our support because…why again?
Nine.
The other relevant numbers are five and six.
It’s been five straight years that the Coyotes have missed the playoffs.
And it’s soon to be six.
Have they been mathematically eliminated yet?
New arena partner AEG has done a commendable job filling the seats in Gila River Arena on non-hockey nights. The hockey team hasn’t been as successful, placing in the bottom five in the NHL in home attendance so far this season.
Red ink has its limits.
When the team leaves the Valley in a few years, stating the fans didn’t support the team adequately, keep this mind:
Ownership didn’t do much to support hockey here, either.

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Arizona Diamondbacks fans have been having anxiety attacks all off season, worried that if JD Martinez doesn’t return, the Diamondbacks won’t return to the playoffs in 2018, either.
Relax.
Scott Boras and other agents are working through the effects of a new collective bargaining agreement, as the large spenders in Major League Baseball (see: luxury tax) are actively reducing their payroll to avoid the onerous financial penalties added in the current agreement.
Once the New Year begins, and the marketplace is better established, we will see which teams value the best hitters from last year’s juiced ball season.
(Disclaimer: this is not the official position of Major League Baseball, only the opinion of baseball watchers everywhere.)
But rest assured, the best strategy for the Dbacks is to exercise fiscal prudence and add players like Daniel Descalso and Ketel Marte – players that make significant impact, but were virtual unknowns to the fan base before last season’s magical run.
Signing Zach Greinke made fans giddy with excitement.
It also made building a winning team that much harder.
The new regime won’t duplicate that mistake.
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