For those of you familiar with the comic strip “Garfield”, his owner Jon Arbuckle has a bad luck streak which makes Charlie Brown’s pale in comparison. I am the Jon Arbuckle of sports columnists.
My latest mistake was in not naming a winner for the National League last week, I think it’s going to come down to the Braves and the Dodgers with the latter team winning this time.
Before I turn to baseball this time out, I want to acknowledge and congratulate two Concord University coaches for achieving career milestones.
In November, Concord University women’s basketball head coach Kenny Osborne collected his 300th career win with a victory over Clarion. The 22nd-year head coach is the only active coach in the Mountain East Conference with 300 career victories, and just one of three in the Atlantic Region. At season’s end, he was recognized by the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association’s (WBCA) Victory Club for achieving the milestone.
Additionally, Osborne now has 318 career wins with 306 of those coming at Concord. Osborne has five 20-win seasons in his career at CU with three of those coming over the last four seasons. Osborne has been at Concord since 2000 as the women’s basketball head coach.
On March 28, Concord University baseball head coach and CU Director of Athletics Kevin Garrett joined the prestigious 500-win club with his team’s win over Notre Dame College. Garrett, also a 22-year veteran head coach, is the winningest active coach in the MEC and just one of six coaches in the Atlantic Region with 500 or more wins.
Garrett has totaled five 30-win seasons in his tenure at Concord and his teams have qualified for the conference tournament each year dating back to the 1998 season. Garrett began his coaching career at Concord in 1996. He stepped away from coaching after the 2010 season – to take on the role of AD – before resuming his current role in the summer of 2015.
Both men have coached a number of the best players ever to play their respective sports at CU as they’d be the first to acknowledge. But they deserve their share of the credit.
As for the A.L. East, everyone in the division except the Baltimore Orioles has a realistic shot at winning the division and, if not, getting a wild-card spot.
The Toronto Blue Jays have a formidable offense and should be home for the first time in three years, It’s hard to pick against a team with Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. leading the offense despite a pedestrian pitching staff.
The New York Yankees also have a formidable offense if everyone is healthy. They’re in better shape with rotation anchor Gerritt Cole and the bullpen but they need health.
The Boston Red Sox would be in better shape had they never traded Mookie Betts. They have a good offense, but need a healthy Chris Sale in the rotation
The Tampa Bay Rays are a prediction-defying team. They have young stars such as Maikel Franco and a pitching staff better than it looks, not the resources of the rest of the teams
The Orioles would be better served in another division. They are slowly rebuilding
Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at email@example.com or c/o Jeff’s Sports Corner at P.O. Box 781, Athens WV 24712