The 2019 NFL Draft begins tonight with first round choices being unveiled. Rounds two and three are set for Friday with rounds four through seven taking place on Saturday.

Recent statements made by Carolina Panthers officials make it sound like, to me anyway, that Carolina wants to bolster the team’s offensive line and improve the defensive secondary. They are talking about protecting quarterback Cam Newton and improve the defense. Sounds good in theory as more time will enable Newton to make plays to the skill players. And fielding a defense that gives up fewer points means Cam does not have to play from behind again and again.

Photo: Cody Ford

Taking this into account, here are two guys I would like to see the Panthers go after, after offensive lineman, Cody Ford, from Oklahoma. Carolina returns Daryl Williams and Taylor Moton at the tackles positions. Ford would step in and start right away at one of the guard slots. Ford can dominate and was the top lineman at Oklahoma. Do I have to tell you that the last two Heisman Trophy winners came out of Oklahoma. Give Newton some time to throw the ball and you likely will see MVP type numbers again.

Another not so familiar name that would help Carolina immediately is safety Juan Thornhill. Many mock drafts still have him available for the Panthers in the second round. Thornhill actually is a name player for ACC followers. His college stats at Virginia truly stand out. Thornhill compiled 13 interceptions and 26 broken up passes. Drafting a player such as Thornhill and pairing him with Eric Reid suddenly gives Carolina one of the more athletic safety tandems In the NFL.

Triple A Ball  Not Working Out For Tebow

Tim Tebow is struggling at the AAA level within the New York Mets minor league system. AAA is the last level before the majors and it is here that it looks like Tebow is overmatched.

The 31 year old outfielder is 6-for-37 through 11 games and has struck out 15 times. He’s managed only two doubles, three walks, and five RBIs.

Photo: Tim Tebow

Tebow’s goal from the start was to make it up to the Mets major league roster. He spoke openly during spring training of possibly making it in September of this year when rosters are expanded. It was thought that the Mets would call him up to the majors at that time but they may be in playoff contention this fall so doing so, even as a public relations move, could be an issue because it is quite clear Tebow does not have game enough to make the majors.

Does Baseball Really Need Fights?

Interest in baseball is slowly diminishing and it seems like the only national coverage the sport gets is when a controversy arises.

And the lone controversy this season has been the bat flip. Of all things.

It is something that rarely happens and it is something that has no measurable  impact on the actual game. It’s been a topic for the media since Jose Bautista in 2015. It’s been the best way for the sport to get social engagement from both the casual fan and the long time fan.

It seems like a majority of the long time fans do not enjoy the celebratory act. Conversely, the younger fans love it.
Within sports, it is true that conflict sells. Major League Baseball can sit on both sides of the fence. As long as people are talking about the game, that’s good for them.

Speaking of conflict, bat flips often lead to bench-clearing brawls. The pitcher waits until the “flipper” comes to the plate again and, more often than not, throw a pitch (or two) at the “flipper”. Hence, the brawl. Actually, the word brawl does not fit. A typical baseball brawl consists of players leaving the dugout/bullpen and meeting at the pitcher mound to point at each other and bump into each other. Hardly a brawl.

So what is the point? The pitcher and the batter get suspended. All the batter did was hit a home run. That is what he is paid to do. The pitcher gets paid to get the batter out. What gives the pitcher the right to throw a 90+ MPH fastball at a batter just because the batter did his job?

The pitcher will talk of being disrespected by the bat flipper. How about getting respect back by getting the “flipper” out next time?