Admittedly, I’ve been distracted from sports lately.

My mind has been occupied by other things. So a continuation to an answer from last month’s column about Jay County High School girls basketball players who went on to compete in college will have to wait.

Still, with the playoffs in full swing and the baseball season off and running, the readers came through with other timely questions.

Let’s get to the answers.


What is your take on the uproar about multiple NBA superstars from the same team sitting out to rest in some regular-season games? I don’t recall Michael Jordan missing games as he was very durable. Have other major sports had to deal with the aforementioned issue?

—Jerry Sullivan,


The uproar is much ado about nothing.

You are correct that Jordan, and players of his era, didn’t miss games. Michael played at least 78 out of 82 every year as long as he wasn’t injured.

That said, do fans really care if a star player sits out a game or two in mid-January if it helps him stay healthy for the playoffs? I certainly don’t.

As for other sports, yes, they certainly do deal with this issue.

NFL teams that have clinched playoff spots often sit down key players in weeks 16 and/or 17 in order to protect them from injury. It happened more than once with Peyton Manning.

Major League Baseball teams will have pitchers skip a start in the rotation late in the season in order to keep their arms fresh.

Bottom line, teams don’t win trophies in the regular season.


What are your thoughts on MLB possibly extending the protective netting in all ballparks?

—Dusty Guggenbiller,


I don’t have a strong opinion on this topic.

Obviously, extending the nets is being considered for safety reasons. Safety is important. No one wants to see a roaring foul ball or out-of-control bat injure a fan.

That said, everyone who goes to a baseball or softball game at any level needs to be paying attention any time the ball is in play. It doesn’t matter if it’s a junior league, high school, college, Portland Rockets or professional game, that rule applies.

Unless we’re going to put nets around the entirety of every field — seems unreasonable — there will always be a chance of a fan being struck.

Besides, when you go to a game, you’re there to watch the game, right?

So, the lesson is simple. Keep your eye on the ball.


Given the Pacers' recent disappointing playoff showing, is it time to make a move? Should this entail letting Paul George leave after next year or rather, should there be change higher up? Is there any credibility in Stephen A. Smith's recent criticism of Larry Bird and his poor performance?

—Joseph Vormohr,



How disappointing was it really?

Yes, the Pacers were swept. Yes, the game-three loss was demoralizing.

But let’s be objective about the situation Indiana was in.

The Pacers weren’t playing just any No. 2 seed. Their opponent was the defending champion. They entered the series having lost all three regular-season match-ups to Cleveland.

So, what did Indiana fans expect?

The Cavaliers are quite simply the better team. Sure, it would have been nice for the Pacers to win at least one game. But every game was close. The average margin was just four points.

As for the rest, I would not let Paul George leave. When you have a player of his level of talent, you don’t let him go.

I also don’t give much credibility to anything Stephen A. says. Larry Bird knows basketball. Just let him do his job.


Who are your picks for the World Series?

—Ami Huffman, Portland

Now that the Chicago north siders have won a World Series, Cubs fans just can’t wait to hear about World Series picks. How times have changed.

Let’s handle first things first. I’m picking Cleveland to go back to the Series. (Who didn’t see that coming?)

The Indians were there last year despite their pitching staff being utterly depleted for the playoffs and not having their best outfielder, Michael Brantley, all season. My only concern this year is that Corey Kluber, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen eventually show the wear and tear from being overworked in October. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.

As for the National League, there’s no good reason to pick anyone but the Cubs. But why give their fans the satisfaction?

Instead, I’m going to pick the Washington Nationals. That outstanding pitching staff could do serious damage to offenses come playoff time.

Of course, I’ll take the Indians to win it all.