TOP OF THE TOWN – I get it that MLB is going to lose a ton of money with its television contracts if baseball is not played this year because of Covid-19. It’s a terrible global crisis and thousands of lives will be lost. It’s asinine, however, to think that putting all 30 of its teams in Arizona and play minus fans at various spring training facilities and at Chase Field where the Arizona Diamondbacks play is a good idea. To assembly about 100 people per team down there and put them in quarantine when they are not playing on the field doesn’t work just on the face of it. All it takes is one person getting the virus and the plan falls apart. I do agree that it’s nice to think out of the box and that by playing it probably will lift the spirits of the public, but is the potential lost in life worth it? I say no. Let’s face it we are not going to get back to some normalcy anytime soon. This virus is going to be with us for at least a year, and may come back harder than ever this fall. That is the pattern we see in the history of other viruses. It will take years for us to get over this. We will be leery that the virus is lurking around each corner once we get back to some normalcy. We get the sniffles and a sore throat, we will panic. So, yeah, sit back and realize that you might get back to work but you will for a long time be looking over your shoulder. .. Because there are no live sports on TV there are a lot of reruns being played. I caught a little of the boxing replays and even though I have seen the boxing match between unbeaten Mike Tyson and James “Buster” Douglas a zillion times I concentrated a bit more this time as I tried to figure out how somebody like Douglas could stand up to Iron Mike when 34 boxers before him had failed miserable. The only thing I could detect is that Douglas tried to stay to Tyson’s left to take away some of the thunder from his left hand. That made it more difficult to get hit by one of Tyson’s left hands, which really was his best weapon. Douglas also tied up Tyson whenever they were close and held his arms so Iron Mike could not hit him with those brutal uppercuts that demolished so many other opponents. But even considering those defensive moves, Tyson was so explosive and powerful that I still couldn’t really figure out why Douglas won it. Near the end of the eighth round Tyson unleashed one of his brutal uppercuts and Douglas went down. He got up at the count of nine and the bell rang ending the round. Then in the 10th, Douglas brutalized Iron Mike. The finish came with a right uppercut as brutal as what Tyson unleashed and he finished off Iron Mike with a right and a crushing left. The 42-1 underdog had done the improbable by using quick hands and a determination that he rarely had shown before. Eleven months later Evander Holyfield would show the world how to beat Tyson, winning by knockout in the 10th round while standing up to Iron Mike the whole way. When Holyfield stood his ground in the rematch, Tyson bit off part of Holyfield’s ear and was disqualified. I watched that fight and could see the bully (Tyson) was getting bullied by Holyfield and that is why Tyson decided to get out of there, biting down on the ear. Iron Mike was never the same after that and lost his last two fights. He had imposed his will for nearly 20 years but time catches up with everybody. … It’s tough being quarantined and I’m glad I can write to release some of my pent-up energy. Since Feb. 2, 1970 when I started as a sportswriter for the Bremerton Sun (now Kitsap Sun) I have not since worked a single day. A lot of people work at jobs they dislike but do it to provide for families. I’m lucky because I’m doing what I love and don’t consider it work. I remember telling my fellow Seattle Mariners beat writers that it’s tough to be a baseball player. They have to work at it for 7.5 months (including spring training) and even longer if their team makes the post-season. Day-after-day they have to put on the uniform and play even when they have dings and bruises and other hurts that would normally stop most of us from going to work.  Not these guys. They don’t play they may lose their jobs to some young kid at triple-A just itching to get to the big leagues. My fellow scribes would just roll their eyes at me. They see it in terms of the huge amount of money some players earn. Yeah, that cushions the blows they take, but if they don’t play because of injuries who knows what happens to them. No, I still insist that playing pro sports is a tough gig. Think the NFL where many of the contracts are not guaranteed. Pro football is a brutal sport. Violence should be its second name. I love to watch it, but, man, you wouldn’t get me out on the field. No money is worth the punishment and the complications they might suffer in their retirement years. When I was a young kid I loved playing football. I loved the strategy. I loved trying to figure out what the offense was going to call for its next play and as a linebacker would try to get there before it could be properly executed. But, man, was I scared when the game actually started. It took me taking a few terrible hits before I washed all that aside and told myself, “Okay, if that is the way you are going to play, I’m ready.” I would wipe away my tears and get after it. No way, though, would I ever have played college ball, even if I had the ability. It’s too brutal. Guys are too fast, too quick, too big, too strong these days. No way would I play it. That’s it for today. Be safe.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.