Quick Hitters IV — SportsLifer Observations

Before we rush out to canonize Josh Beckett just yet, let’s take a look at the numbers. At age 27, he’s won more than 16 games in a season just once (20-7) last year, and overall is 77-52 with a 3.74 ERA.

Yes he’s been dominant in the post-season (he’s been there twice, in 2003 and last year), but he does have two losses. He’s not Bob Gibson or Sandy Koufax, at least not yet.

At age 27, Doc Gooden had 132 wins and a Cy Young….and look what happened to him. At age 27. Bob Feller had 112 wins, despite missing three full seasons and most of a fourth serving his country in World War II. Roger Clemens had 89 wins, two Cy Young awards and an MVP….and look what happened to him

And now Beckett has back spasms and may miss the Red Sox opener. He’s had injury problems before. Time to put a stop to the Cooperstown campaign — at least temporarily.

With the signing of David Carr to back up Eli Manning, the Giants now have two overall #1 selections on their roster — Carr and Eli. Makes you wonder if any other team has two #1s. Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer and Orlando Pace are among the few members of that elite #1 club still active. Michael Vick is not.

Prediction — the toughest ticket in New York sports history will be for Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium in 2009.

Leigh Montville has written two great baseball bios, on Babe Ruth (The Big Bam) and Ted Williams (The Biography of an American Hero). The trilogy piece should be on Willie Mays, the greatest player many of us have ever seen.

Looking forward to selection Sunday, although I doubt my alma mater, Holy Cross, will make the big dance. Bob Cousy and Tommy Heinsohn are nowhere in sight.

My early picks for the Final Four — North Carolina, Texas, Kansas and Louisville. These are “draft” picks only, and subject to change, esp if two appear in the same bracket.

How do you spell Syracuse? N-I-T

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