TOP OF THE TOWN ­– Adam Johnson, wide receiver, and Malcolm DeWalt, considered an –around athlete, both from Olympic High School, made the Seattle Times’ top 100 football  state prospects Chips List as white chippers (Blue Chip is the top ranked prospect, Red Chip is next, and then White Chip). The Times’ annual list was put together by former Kitsap Sun Sports Editor Nathan Joyce with help from high school coaches and recruiting experts. Joyce works for the Times as its high school coordinator. Johnson and DeWalt are the only football players from West Sound to make the top 100. …You know, I’m divided on the latest baseball scandal – sign stealing. Sign stealing has been a part of baseball since day one. It’s as much a part of the game as base stealing. What makes this scandal so stunning is it is wrapped in science, or more proper the advancement of the informational age. Now, if you really want to get good at it, you have all the electronic tools to push sign stealing to the upper edges of legality, which is apparently what the Houston Astros did, and maybe the Boston Red Sox too. In the old days it took more ingenuity, like what the New York Giants did in 1951 in a best-of-three playoff against the Brooklyn Dodgers when they allegedly used a centerfield telescope to steal the catcher’s signs and phone them into the dugout. In today’s world you have so many electronic tools available that it’s not difficult to dream up an elaborate sign stealing scheme. As I have written earlier, its human nature to find the loopholes so I don’t think this is unusual. It’s the way we as humans tick. The question I have to ask myself is it right? No, probably not. They should have used a telescope. What I’m trying to say is, sure the elaborate way the Astros apparently used went to do this is going too far, but Major League baseball will not stop stealing signs. It will just be done more crudely because, well, because that is the way we humans roll. There is a more efficient way to stop sign-stealing. It’s called a high and hard one. That’s the old way of sending a message to the sign-stealer. The pitcher is telling the sign-stealer, “hey, you better knock it off or on the next one I will hit you.” Message received and the sign-stealing is done. At least for the moment because sign-stealing is part of the game just as much as base stealing. Just don’t get caught. … The wonderful thing about sports is over a few drinks at your favorite watering hole you can argue through several pitchers who was the best athlete in any of the sports. And right now I can tell you that there are no correct answers. That’s because it is impossible to rate players from different eras. I’m a great boxing fan and there have been an argument going on for decades who was the best in the four-squared. I’m old-school now because I’m older than the hills and I would argue that Rocky Marciano might have been the best. He is the only heavyweight boxer to retire undefeated, winning all 49 of his fights, 43 of them by knockout. Rocky was not a big guy. He was 5-10.5 inches tall and weighed 188. He would be considered very small in today’s heavyweight fight game. But, man, could he hit, and he could take punishment. Rocky just wore opponents out that he didn’t knock out early. Marciano registered 11 first-round knockouts, seven second-round knockouts and eight third-round knockouts. But the argument continues to go on who is the best. Years ago a computer generated boxing match was staged between Jack Dempsey and Muhammad Ali and Dempsey was declared the winner. Dempsey was tough, and mean. Maybe as tough as anybody, and as meaner than anybody. I have seen a film of one of his fight and, man, he was a prodder.  So I don’t know about beating Ali, who was as fast as they get for a heavyweight. But that is what makes having a few brews with friends and discussing who the best is. No consensus will be reached, but it is fun trying. I have always thought that Jack Johnson should be considered among the best heavyweights. Johnson had quick hands and was an early version of Ali. He could have had a better record (71-11-11 with 35 KOs) but was a black man carrying on and marrying white women at a time of the Jim Crow laws and may not have always been in the best shape. He seemed to delight in agitating the white establishment and because he was pursued by the legal system he boxed overseas for seven years before coming back to this country to serve a year in prison. OK, so much for this. Time to go.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.