Hello everyone and welcome to today's "The Stack with me, Nathan Stacken. Today is the last day of May. Yesterday was the last day for Jim Tressel as Ohio State coach. We'll have more on that and plenty more today, so let's get right to "The Stack":
1. Jim Tressel resigns.
What a bombshell that just dropped in Columbus yesterday. Ohio State football head coach Jim Tressel resigned yesterday amidst plenty of allegations of players getting benefits such as cars and selling memoribilia and Tressel knowing about it, but lying to the NCAA. Reportedly, this conclusion had been coming for several weeks. This had to be done, yet somehow, I feel like Tressel is getting off easy. Yes, he suffers the embarrasment of having this fall under his watch at a prestigious university rich with tradition, especially on the football field. This isn't Tressel's first program either that has had issues. Problems similar to the one at Ohio State happened at Youngstown State, where Tressel was before he came to Ohio State. Tressel should have been fired. Resigning means you are quitting before further punishment can happen. Fired carries far more negative connotations than resigning in my opinion. And Tressel resigning will not help Ohio State when it comes to the punishment that the NCAA will hand them. The football program is in some trouble. They will lose scholarships, seasons will be wiped out, they may even be banned from postseason play. Some people have even said that Ohio State should get as close to the death penalty as possible. You have to wonder how Tressel's resignation is going to influence the NCAA in their choice of punishment on Ohio State.
2. Who will replace Tressel?
Assistant coach Luke Fickell will coach the Buckeyes this season, but after this season, it is anyone's guess. ESPN's Jon Gruden has been mentioned as he seemingly is for every college coaching position that opens up at a major school. Doubt he'll go. Former Florida coach Urban Meyer, a native of Ohio, also has had his name mentioned. You wonder if his batteries will be fully charged after only one year away from coaching. He says he loves his job right now at ESPN. The Stoops brothers, Bob and Mark, are also from Ohio and may be candidates. Bottomline, there will be no shortage of big names mentioned for the head coaching position at Ohio State, but everything hinges on the punishment the NCAA hands down to Ohio State. If it is a big penalty, chances are the big name candidates will shy away from the job. This is a very dark day for Ohio State football and football at Ohio State may never be the same for a very long time.
3. Look out for the....Mariners?...Diamondbacks?
What a crazy MLB season we've see so far. Two bottomfeeders in recent years, and two teams that many people thought would be finish last or second to last in their divisions, the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks are on a tear as of late. With each team's win yesterday, the Mariners impoved to 8-2 in their last ten games and a game-and-a-half behind first place Texas in the AL West. The Diamondbacks are 13-1 in their last fourteen games. That is unbelievable! They are leading the NL West. How each team is doing it is really remarkable. The Mariners have a trio of good young pitchers leading the charge in Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard and Michael Pineda. The Diamondbacks are doing it with offense. Will both teams continue this hot streak into the dog days of summer? Unlikely, but it is a good story and it gives their fans hope of success in the near future.
4. Reyes ends impressive winless streak.
It probably seemed like an eternity to Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes last won a game. Monday had to be a really good feeling then as Reyes picked up his first win in 29 starts with a great game as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Cleveland Indians 11-1. The seven run fourth inning by the the Blue Jays certainly helped, but Reyes was in control. He went the distance giving up eight hits and walking four while striking out four. Finally, it happened and good Reyes. I'm sure it felt more and more depressing with every outing that didn't result in a win for Reyes. Good for him. Now can he win two in a row? We'll find out at his next scheduled start, Saturday, versus the Baltimore Orioles.
5. NBA Finals preview game one style.
Did you think we forgot about the NBA Finals which start tonight at 9:00 ET on ABC? Of course not. The Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat will meet for the NBA title tonight in Miami. This is a rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals that the Miami Heat won 4-2. You might remember the Mavericks collapsed in the series after winning the first two games. The Heat had Dwayne Wade and Shaquille O'Neal. The Mavericks had Dirk Nowitzki. The Heat still have Wade. The Mavericks still have Nowtizki. But the Heat now have LeBron James and Chris Bosh. The Mavericks can't come close to matching that with Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd, but this Nowitzki fella is way different than he was the last time these two met in the finals. He is more driven. You've seen it in the playoffs. No question the Mavericks had a more difficult road to the finals than the Heat though it was close. Trying to keep opinions out is tricky Game one is always difficult to pick. I will take Dallas to win game one and hopefully win the series, though it just seems like the stars have alligned for the Heat to win the championship. Should be a great game tonight. Hope you can watch.
That does it for me today. Check back tomorrow for another edition of "The Stack." Until then, have a great day and we'll see you tomorrow.