Jeff Harvey

I have to open this column with a bit of abasement. I have been covering Concord football as a reporter and columnist since 1990. You’d think I could remember a player’s name correctly, but I listed Tywan Pearce as Tywan Pierce. Sorry for the error.

My error was inadvertent. I do, however, wonder what’s going on in certain NFL front offices. Houston, if certain media sources are to be believed, are willing to let DeShawn Watson sit out the year and risk wrecking the organization for years to come. That stance comes after years of trading or releasing the organization’s other marquee players.

Dallas, on the other hand, seems fearful of commitment where their quarterback is concerned. Dak Prescott should have been signed two years ago to a long-term quarterback due to the fact he’s a top 10 quarterback. Now, it’s going to cost them more, whether it’s an one-year franchise tag or, surprise of surprises, they sign him to a deal.

The Doug Flutie Award for most disrespected quarterback by his team(s) has to go to Teddy Bridgewater. Minnesota dumped him for Kirk Cousins. The Jets signed him if I recall correctly, then traded him to New Orleans where he backed up Drew Brees. He’s currently the starting quarterback for Carolina, which is looking to dump him for Watson or a rookie hotshot.

Enough about the NFL for now. Let’s talk baseball, starting with the N.L. West.

The Los Angeles Dodgers do have a big payroll, but are also basically a system-built team, with Mookie Betts and Trevor Bauer as the main outside acquisitions.

If Bauer does as well as Betts did, the Dodgers go from favorites to overwhelming favorites to repeat as World Champions.

The San Diego Padres are one of those teams people have been talking about as a World Series contender. They are certainly a much improved team with Blake Snell and Yu Darvish added to the starting rotation and they have Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis, Jr., heading the lineup, but they don’t have the depth the Dodgers do.

The remaining three teams don’t look to be factors in the playoffs as of now. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants have more questions than answers right now.

Arizona has questions in the rotation, possibly third base and catcher. They’ve traded the likes of Zach Greinke, Paul Goldschmidt and Archie Bradley over the past two years and don’t really have their own versions of Tatis coming into the lineup.

Colorado traded their best player, third baseman Nolan Arenando, this winter. The rotation had a good year despite their home park but that’s always a concern. Basically, they are a second-division team on merit.

San Francisco is miles away from its three World Series titles in six years peak. They are beset with an aging lineup featuring some of the mainstays of those teams and other over-30 players, which is why I’m putting them fifth.

Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at delimartman@yahoo.com

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