Jeff's Journal - #5

Jeff's Journal - #5
Just when you thought Major League Baseball had run out of public relations debacles, the gang at MLB strikes again.
The same folks who declared last year's All-Star game a tie.... the same folks whose World Series games end near midnight - long after the bedtime of the next generation of fans.
This time, they're playing an All-Star game without baseball's freshest young star. Dontrelle Willis , Florida's sensational 21-year-old rookie, was somehow left off the National League's 32-man roster.

No excuse for this absurd omission. Even the ridiculous rule requiring every team to be represented (Are there really ANY "All-Stars" playing for the Tigers, Mets, Padres or Devil Rays?) does not excuse Dontrelle's absence.

Willis is a phenom. Like Mark Fidrych, Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden in the '70's and '80's, Dontrelle is capturing the attention of baseball fans, who want to see what he'll do next.
Just 3 years out of high school, Willis could be an ambassador to the Hip Hop generation, attracting a whole new batch of fans - those who deem baseball too slow and boring compared to basketball or PlayStation 2.

But NOOOOOO!!!!!!Dontrelle stays home - and baseball strikes out again. That was the case until today. After Jeff's Journal went to press it was announced Dontrelle Willis will take his place on the All-Star game roster. Willis replaces the Dodgers' Kevin Brown.

All-Star Sports Week will bring hundreds of athletes and thousands of coaches to Montgomery next week.

All of the sports - except football - now feature seniors-to-be rather than those who have already graduated. That's why you'll see college coaches at the basketball games, and major league scouts at the baseball game. It's their chance to evaluate and recruit.

So why not do the same in football? Because no high school coach in his right mind would want to risk injury to his star player six weeks before the season opener.


Dr. Ken Blankenship, executive director of All-Star Sports Week, says he's considering playing the All-Star football game during the Christmas holiday.
Players are closer to being in "football shape" (since their seasons will have just ended). And if a player is injured, he'd hopefully have adequate time to recover before his senior season.
The hold-up?

The Blue-Gray All-Star football classic, should it return, occupies Cramton Bowl, and much of the city's resources and attention during this time.

So why not play the All-Star game a few days before Christmas - before the Blue-Gray stars arrive?

And one more thing while we're talking Blue-Gray. Is it possible Movie Gallery is considering sponsoring the game?

That would explain why the Montgomery Lions Club toured TSU's Movie Gallery Stadium last week.

The Miami marketing guru hired to bring back the game told me it's premature to assume the Blue-Gray will return.

All signs are pointing to a comeback of this great tradition. But it might take a change of venue to seal the deal.
See you next week! God bless - Jeff