For the first time in a long time I went to a church service last Sunday afternoon.
It was outdoors on the parking lot of Kirkwood United Methodist Church where I attend and, whew, it was hot. But I felt so much better about the nation, the world and myself as I walked back to my car. I was renewed with the simple thought of “Alvin, there’s hope.”
Less than an hour later I’m sitting at a friend’s house and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is sitting on motorized cart in tears waving goodbye to teammates, fans and the 2020 season.
A few minutes earlier his foot was at a 90-degree angle from his ankle. He suffered a compound fracture and dislocation. If you saw it, you know it was ugly.
Man, you talk about a gut punch after a spiritually rich event.
Yet, by Sunday night my thought was that this wasn’t the complete disaster that so many NFL talking heads were spinning it as.
Prescott’s recovery time is an estimated four-to-six months. He won’t be running anywhere for a while, but he’ll probably be throwing a football before Thanksgiving.
He should be 100 percent good-to-go by mid-summer when training camps are about to kickoff.
Through the first five games of the season, Prescott was on pace to have the best season ever by a quarterback in total passing yards. While his team has floundered, Prescott was smack dab in the middle of the MVP race.
While he was a franchise tag player without a long-term contract, he is making $31.4 million this year. Barring an alarming setback, Prescott will be ready to play next year, even if owner Jerry Jones is not willing to pay him what he wants.
Prescott could get the franchise tag again in 2021, which would raise his salary about 20 percent to almost $38 million. That’s still a lot of dough. He would then get an even larger raise as a free agent following the 2021 season. Given the opportunity, Prescott will test the open market and say goodbye to all the doubters in Dallas – including Jones.
The Cowboys could also trade Prescott, and the team that got him would certainly not balk at delivering him a contract of desired length and financial reward. The Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and even the Detroit Lions could be looking for a special quarterback come 2021.
Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones said Monday the team still considers Prescott the “quarterback of the future.” That and $3 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Prescott’s surgery reportedly went well and he was released from the hospital less than 24 hours after his injury. He’ll get better. He’ll also get his money. Even if it is with another NFL franchise.
A rosy trade for Rays
Minutes after the St. Louis Cardinals dispatched of the Atlanta Braves early last October, outfielder Randy Arozarena live-streamed manager Mike Shildt’s profanity laced tirade against his vanquished opponent. That did not go over well with management.
Three months later, Arozarena was part of a trade that sent him, Jose Martinez and draft pick compensation to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for lefthanded pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore and catcher Edgardo Rodriguez .
We don’t know if Arozarena’s clubhouse antics led to his trade, but we do know that he became a sensation for the Rays in 2020 and is having an MVP-worthy postseason.
After Tuesday night’s game, Arozarena’s Rays led the Houston Astros three games to zero in the best of seven American League Championship Series.
Arozarena was as hot as lava when the postseason began, going 12-for-20 in the Rays' first five postseason games. He hit home runs in each of the first three games against the New York Yankees in the ALDS, a hard-fought series which the Rays won three games to two.
He blasted another home run in the Rays’ 2-1 opening game win against the Astros in ALCS.
His baseball journey began in his native Cuba. He left his nation one night on a boat destined for Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. He would sign with a Mexican League team and the Cardinals wisely signed the prospect for $1.5 million.
He put up solid number during his minor league years for St. Louis. But the Cardinal let him go, keeping the likes of Harrison Bader and Tyler O’Neill. Both had disappointing seasons.
Arozarena missed the first month of the season after dealing with COVID-19, but in 68 at-bats he hit .281 with seven home runs, 11 RBI, scored 15 runs and stole four bases.
In his first nine post season games, he hit an astonishing .429 with four home runs and five RBIs.
"I've always considered myself a pretty good player and also a pretty good hitter," Arozarena said during the Yankees series.
Too bad the Cardinals didn’t feel the same way. Of course, maybe the team did until the live stream.
Tony and Tim together?
The Chicago White Sox and former manager Rick Renteria reportedly mutually decided to part ways on Monday – which means he was fired.
The young, talented White Sox finished the season 35-25 before dropping a best-of-three Wild Card Series against the Oakland A’s.
Reportedly, former Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is a top choice for the job.
La Russa is 76 and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Why would he want to return to managing?
Jerry Reinsdorf, White Sox chairman, remains close friends with La Russa from his day way back as manager of the team. La Russa managed the White Sox from 1979 to mid-season in ‘86 when he was fired. The White Sox won 99 games and the AL West title in 1983 and La Russa was named AL Manager of the Year.
The White Sox also have All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson, who won the AL batting title in 2019 with a .335 batting average. He hit .322 during the 60-game season and got an astonishing nine hits in 14 at-bats (.643) in the ALDS against Oakland.
The roster also includes ace Lucas Giolito (who threw a no-hitter this year) and young, everyday players Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert.
There is a problem. Anderson is a bat-flipping, energetic chatterbox on the field. Many of his teammates play hard, but with a flair and style that might rub the old-school La Russa the wrong way.
It could work out for La Russa and the White Sox if he changes his ways. I doubt he would do that, so this could be a stormy romance.
The Reid Roundup
Another Black baseball superstar has left us. Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, who starred for the Cincinnati Reds and won two World Series titles with them after a trade from Houston, died this week at 74.
Suddenly, there are five Black head coaches in the NFL. Two carry the interim head coach tag, but for now it counts. Romeo Crennel took over for the fired Bill O’Brien last week and led the Houston Texans to a dominant win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team’s first win of the year. After falling to 0-5, the Atlanta Falcons fired Dan Quinn and named defensive coordinator and former Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris as interim head coach. They join Miami’s Brian Flores, L.A. Chargers Anthony Lynn and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin.
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has reportedly made it clear that he wants Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy as his next head coach – and shared his thoughts with owner Cal McNair. Bieniemy’s name is also being linked with the Falcons opening.
If the Chargers fire Lynn, which some Chargers fans want, Bieniemy would be a great fit to work with talented rookie QB Justin Herbert.
If the New York Jets fire Adam Gase, which could happen at any moment, and they have the first pick in the 2021 draft, Bieniemy could select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Hall of Fame former NFL head coach Tony Dungy rarely says the wrong thing, but he blundered when on Sunday night he said, “As tough as this is for Dak Prescott, it might be a blessing in disguise for the Cowboys.” He would clarify on Twitter. “Blessing in disguise was a poor choice of words by me, It’s not a blessing for Dak. What I meant is that for the Cowboys the season is not over.” He noted that Dallas has veteran quarterback Andy Dalton now starting and “this might cause them to get back to their old formula (of being a dominant running team).”
Jimmie Lee Solomon, a Black executive for former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, was found dead at his Houston home last week. He was 64. Solomon helped create youth baseball academies in urban areas and helped launch the annual Futures Game of top prospects.
Alvin A. Reid was honored as the 2017 “Best Sports Columnist – Weeklies” in the Missouri Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest and is a New York Times contributor. He is a panelist on the Nine Network program, Donnybrook, a weekly contributor to “The Charlie Tuna Show” on KFNS and appears monthly on “The Dave Glover Show” on 97.1 Talk.” His Twitter handle is #aareid1.