Another Q&A? Sure!
Apparently, my column last week was a hit.
On Wednesday and Thursday, I got a ton of email questions from people wanting to know things around local and national sports.
Heck, I do a mailbag every month, you guys, but for those who are new to the party, let’s do it again this week just to keep the momentum going.
As always – if you have a question for me, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If Twitter is easier, get it to me there. I can be found @casey_gisclair.
If you guys keep bombarding me, heck, we may have to do this more than once a month. Have to strike while the iron is hot, eh?
Q: What do you think of LSU baseball this year? (Asked by Dean, Houma)
A: The Tigers look an awful lot like a team that made a long College World Series run last year with a roster full of draft-eligible juniors and senior players. LSU is still good this year. There’s no doubt about that. But this year’s team lacks the sizzle that last year’s team did and I think it will be a fairly early exit in the NCAA Tournament this summer for the Tigers. The pitching quality just isn’t there and the team doesn’t play that elite defense like it did last year. I think they can win a Regional, but nothing more.
Q: What do you think of the Nicholls men’s basketball hire? (Asked by Tim, Thibodaux)
A: I knew I was going to get asked this question, and I dreaded answering it, because I refuse to lie to our readers and give the generic company line of positivity. So, with that said, Tim, I will state up front that I think this is an underwhelming hire. Look, I will say up front that I don’t know Austin Claunch and I also thought hiring Richie Riley wouldn’t go well. So I admit that I have been wrong about this situation in the past, and I’ve always quickly admitted my mistakes when truths came to light. But with Claunch, I just think the timeline is a bit rushed. Nicholls got Riley from Clemson. He was one of the top assistant coaches in the ACC. That’s a big-time get. Claunch was an assistant at Nicholls and not even the lead assistant, at that. When Riley left, he was not named the interim head coach. Someone else on staff was. To me, that’s telling. The Colonels are in a tough place with their APR score and they’re putting a lot of pressure on a young coach to fix it and succeed. I wish him well and I will admit if I whiff on this one, but I think tough sledding is ahead.
Q: What do you think of the Saints’ offseason moves? (Asked by Paul, Houma)
A: Their free agent signings are OK. They whiffed on a lot of their big targets, sure. But I think sometimes in the NFL, it’s better to miss out on guys instead of overpaying them. The Saints’ discipline in refusing to break the bank for guys like Jimmy Graham is a good thing. It shows that the team has learned its lesson after being in salary cap hell for the past half-decade. The biggest thing, though, is getting Drew Brees locked up for the future, which the team did in style with a relatively fairly priced deal. I am not sure how much longer Brees can play, but I do know this: Without him, the Saints aren’t a contender. He is the end-all for all of the team’s plans.
Q: Do you think Johnny Manziel will ever play in the NFL again? (Asked by Ron, Gray)
A: I doubt it. The NFL only accepts distractions from players who significantly move the needle on Sundays. That is why guys like Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick are out of the game – because the on-field production does not outweigh the media circus that comes with those players. Even before he struggled mightily with banned substances, Manziel was not a great NFL player. His accuracy wasn’t great and he had problems reading defenses. Sure, maybe he’s better now. He’s still in his prime in terms of age. But he’s been out of the game for quite some time. I have a hard time imagining that he gets a second chance outside of a spot in training camp somewhere – and even that feels like a reach.
Q: Who is the NBA MVP? (Asked by Connor, Houma)
A: Very easy. It’s James Harden. Harden was the MVP last year, too, but was robbed of the title because the national media got hypnotized by Russell Westbrook’s selfish stat trolling late in the season. But this year, he won’t be denied, nor should he. The Rockets are the best team in basketball and Harden will win the scoring title, while finishing Top 5 in the NBA in assists. His field goal percentage is up, his turnovers are down and his partnership with Chris Paul (which you all told me wouldn’t work) has been seamless and magnificent. Harden wins the MVP and LeBron is the runner-up. I think Anthony Davis will finish third, and honestly, that sounds about right. Davis has been great the past two months, but he wasn’t even the best player on his own team for half of the season.
Q: What are your MLB predictions? (Asked by Joe, Houma)
A: I actually watched a little MLB this past week and it brought back memories of my childhood when I was glued to the TV 100+ times a year to watch Atlanta Braves games. Baseball is in a weird place right now. Nationally, interest is down, but regionally, interest and ratings are up, which means that people watch their local team and little else. But to answer your question, I think the divisional winners in the American League will be the Yankees, Indians and Astros with the Red Sox and Rangers getting Wild Cards. In the National League, give me the Nationals, Cubs and Dodgers winning the divisions with the Cardinals and Mets taking the Wild Cards. I will take the Yankees over the Dodgers in the Wild Card.
Q: Do you have an update on the field turf in Lafourche Parish (Asked by Monica, Galliano)
A: Actually, yes, I do. The turf has passed and been approved. It will be here for the 2018 football season. The latest I heard from my sources in Lafourche is that construction on the fields will begin next Monday and that the process will be completed well before the beginning of the football season. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. But I know people in Lafourche are highly excited. This is long overdue. Now, the burden falls on Terrebonne to follow suit.
Q: Non-sports. I know you are a NetFlix junkie. Give me something good to watch. (Asked by Carla, Houma)
A: For comedies, The Office and Parks and Recreation are both amazing. I can watch every episode of each 10 times and find something new about each to make me laugh. If looking to just chill out at night before bed, I watch Bob Ross painting episodes to wind down. If looking for action, Friday Night Lights or Bones are both good. They’re both completely different genres, but are both worth the time.
Q: Who will win the WrestleMania matches? (Asked by Howard, Raceland)
A: This WrestleMania has me as underwhelmed as any I can remember because there is such a lack of drama about how the results will fall. Roman Reigns will win the Raw Championship match. That’s painfully obvious. Angle/Rousey will win the tag match. Taker beats Cena and it sparks a heel run that will end in his winning the championship again. A.J. Styles wins the Smackdown Championship match and for the women’s title matches, give me Alexa Bliss and Charlotte.
Q: A Master’s pick?
A: Tiger Woods.
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