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JONFINEPRODUCTIONS.COM NEWSLETTER       8/6/20
TODAY’S COLUMNS: ….
Scott pays tribute to retiring LSU Gymnastics Coach DD Breaux…Dennis takes issue with an LHSAA manded officials camp….…Jon tries to save major league baseball….Please scroll down below.
OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO ONE AND ALL AS WE TRY TO MAKE OUR WAY SAFELY THROUGH THE PANDEMIC.  WE STAND WITH THOSE THAT ARE PEACEFULLY PROTESTING AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY AND RACISM.
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HULLABALOO HOORAY….A message from the Great Jim Springs:
Dear Friends. . .We are writing to request your kind assistance.  Kathy and I moved back home twelve years ago to be with our aging mothers in the latter years of their lives, Kathy's in Arkansas, mine here in Denham Springs.  They have both passed away now, taking with them the anchors that kept us tethered to our Southern roots.  As much as we love being home, we love Kathy's children and grandchildren more. . .and they live in Washington state where Kathy and I first met.  Our beautiful home, built with Jack Hartman-integrity, is for sale as of today!  We wish to sell it ourselves, and that's where you might assist us by helping spread the word.   The biggest challenge of For Sale by Owner is marketing and visibility--getting the news out. The Address is 650 Pine Street, DSLA, and my cell is (225) 588-0366. Or you can email me at JimSpring53 [at] hotmail [dot] com.  You can also see the house at fsbobr.com (ID# 569639) or at Zillow.com.  Thank you.
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THE WIZARDRY OF OS
By Scott Osborne
Assistant Basketball Coach at Central High School

Say it ain’t so DD Breaux.  The dean of SEC coaches and one of the faces on LSU’s Mount Rushmore of coaches is retiring, and I admit I am more than sad.  I think I am angry.  Dang this epidemic!
I feel bad for everyone that has had to postpone, alter, or cancel a wedding, graduation, senior night or other moment of a lifetime.  I guess this one sticks out to me as a teacher and coach.
43 years!  I turned 44 just three weeks ago. 
DD is one of the greatest of all time for many reasons.  Hopefully, someone will have the time and resources to put her career in perspective relative to SEC coaches.  I think I have the ability to put stack career against LSU coaches, and for my money she is right below Skip Bertman. 
DD has done everything Skip did, but for longer and in a women’s sport, which led to more challenges.  Skip comes out on top though due to the national championships.  Outside of that fact, her accomplishments are above the others because of how complete she has been as a coach.
She built the program and promoted gymnastics in Baton Rouge as well as Skip and Dale Brown did for their sports.  When I was at LSU from 1994-2000, there was a curtain that sectioned off the PMAC.  There were some meets that brought in bigger crowds, and Coach Breaux had worked very hard just to get the program to that point.  LSU was second tier in the SEC and country at that time.
I am sure it is no coincidence that gymnastics took off once Skip became AD.  I know DD had fought for years to get the resources necessary to take the next step in the program’s development.  It had to help to have an AD that shared that kind of radical vision, and had been there as a coach.
In the last decade, gymnastics has been the best sport on LSU’s campus.  The training facility is world class.  From January to March, the PMAC has been the place to be on LSU’s campus on a Friday night.
I am sure others will note the amazing athletes she recruited and coached to All-American status.  The SEC championships and Super Six appearances will be noted.  Even more impressive to me is that she brought the SEC championship meet to New Orleans...AND WON IT!  She has changed the sport of gymnastics beyond Baton Rouge.
I am angry that she doesn’t get to go out in style.  DD Breaux is a Louisiana girl who has style, grit, and leadership that makes a Tiger like me proud when she is representing my state and university.  Stepping aside as she is demonstrates her selflessness in doing what she believes is best for the program.  I can’t wait for LSU to roll out the red carpet and honor DD Breaux’s amazing career.
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HEY REF
BY DENNIS DEARIE
VETERAN HS OFFICIAL

        This has been a “wild” week for me. I finally had a couple officials call and say they’d sit down with me so we could “talk”. I thought we’d all sit together and go over the things we felt needed our attention but neither wanted to sit together. So I met separately with them and for what needed saying it was the only solution that was going to get them to open up.
        They, like many other officials, both said the way in which the LHSAA has treated officials in just the last few years needs addressing. Without saying a word they both are fed up with the mandatory camp attendance. This was some sort of a way to justify a pay raise between the schools and the LHSOA. Without much debate the officials WANTING more money jumped at a chance to get an extra buck or two.
        It was by far the biggest mistake ever made. The question I keep asking other officials is “did anybody do the math”? If you factor in the expenses paid out by the officials it simply is a rotten deal. The camp deal mandates every official will attend a STATE SANCTIONED camp every other year. If the intention was to educate your game officials it failed.
Case in point, a couple years ago THE state camp was being held in New Orleans. As a “reward” for attending that camp officials would not have to take the written rules test. W-H-A-T? You read that right, the LHSAA wanting to educate its game officials allowed them a sort of “get out of jail” card that allowed them to skip of all things THE RULES TEST! Let that soak in for a minute. So, how did that work out for you?
So let’s look at a regular state sanctioned camp. Officials must pay a fee to attend the camp. They are usually held on a Friday and Saturday so many officials must pay for a third day at a local hotel since the camp doesn’t end until late on Saturday afternoon and you miss the normal 11:00 am checkout time. Besides the camp fee and hotel costs there’s gas, meals and a few other things that must be paid for by each individual official. Then you’re away from your family for three days since the Saturday camp includes a FREE SCRIMMAGE for ten schools.
The classroom activities are on par with a root canal. So, I asked both of them how, when and why did this high school official’s association come to pass? Neither could offer much in explaining how all this was put on the backs of individual officials. They couldn’t tell me if they voted for this new venture. Or who pushed it on them. Or do they pay dues for the services of this extra union.
Both seemed to come back from the dead when I mentioned being forced to belong to another union in order to call high school football games under the LHSAA flag. “What you be talking about, joining a union”? Well, you’ve got to pay a registration fee (dues) to join the LHSAA then you pay another fee (dues) to your local association and then you’ve got to join your third union, the LHSOA. And who are its officers? Who voted them into office? Do you get a copy of a constitution for them as you get for your local association?
It was getting late and I had to be somewhere so I asked both of them if we could come back another time but sit together and go over some answers to the questions we were asking each other. But they both repeated they didn’t want another official knowing they’d talked to me about some problems within the LHSAA and their association.
So, I’ll have to finish this edition of “HEY REF” once I can meet with them again and collect their answers about what it is they’d like to see changed. But I just can’t believe these modern day high school officials are that worried somebody will find out they aren’t happy. You won’t change anything by running from the light. Oh, well, I guess that’s how things got as screwed up as they are.
Till next week…..
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FINE IDEAS
BY JON FINE

It is the bottom of the 9th.  The Yankees are in a tied game.  The Bases are loaded.  No one out.  Aaron Judge is at the plate.  The count is 3 and 0. 
The figurative opponent in this hypothetical scenario?  Major League Baseball.
With the Florida Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals both having been sidelined with double-digit Covid positive tests for its players, Baseball is on the precipice of having its 2020 season come to a screeching halt.  I believe that with one more widespread team outbreak, Baseball will either have to try to make another major adjustment to its Game-Plan or call it quits in 2020.
Astonishingly, players at the Ballpark continue to pay only cursory attention to Pandemic protocol.   There is rarely social distancing in the dugouts, with its inhabitants often maskless.  Home Runs are greeted with fist bumps and other celebratory histrionics.  And this is just at the stadium.  Goodness knows what is going on back at the hotel, at home or in the community.
Commissioner Rob Manfred needs to meet, again, with Players Union leader Tony Clark.  There should be 2 purposes to the meeting.
Manfred needs to enlist the support of Clark in imploring players to follow Baseball Covid procedures to a T—both at and away from the park.  Penalize players who might choose to blatantly ignore these critical pandemic mandates.  If Baseball can suspend the Dodgers Joe Kelly for 8 days for throwing behind the Astros Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa, it can mete out harsh penalties to irresponsible Covid policy abusers. 
There are no assurances that this approach will work in warding off another Baseball Team having numerous positive tests.  So, Baseball needs to quickly come up with a viable alternative.  This is the second reason why Manfred and Clark need to visit.  Baseball needs to look, again, at the feasibility of a modified NBA-type Bubble.
Have teams go back to their spring training homes, mostly in Arizona and Florida, and play in their spring training parks.  Revise the schedule, again, to further minimize long-distance travel, having teams play a majority of games in the state of their spring training locales.  Have each team stay in hotels near their home ballparks.  Baseball personnel will then be confined to their hotel rooms, allowed to leave only to decompress with 2 or 3 pandemic-proofed entertainment options or when they are travelling to and from the ballpark.  There are some teams that don’t have spring training homes in Arizona or Florida, so provisions would have to be made to accommodate them.
There are a number of obstacles to overcome in order to make this a reality.
Logistically, it would be extremely difficult to install this plan in a very short period of time.  Whereas it looks like the NBA will accomplish its mission of playing out its season—knock on wood--,they are doing it at one location—Disney World in Orlando.  For Baseball, you’d need to make this work at 30 different locales.  The NBA took months to put together its game plan.  Baseball would have to do this in one or 2 weeks.  The season would have to be suspended, again, this time to give Baseball enough time to make another re-start doable.  And, it would be impossible for Manfred’s office to make this happen by itself.  Each team, operating under a detailed blue print provided by MLB, would be responsible for its own cocoon.
The players would have to be on board.  You’d be asking many millionaires to be away from their family for 2 or 3 months, while having an isolated existence.  A number of players have already removed themselves from playing in 2020 under less restrictive guidelines—which many if not most of the players who opted to continue playing still have not cared enough to abide by.  A big question is would the mission to complete the season resonate with enough mlb players so that Baseball has a reasonable quorom to allow the game to credibly continue.
So, the count goes to 3-2, and Judge pops out.  Baseball is not out of the woods yet, because up comes Gleyber Torres, with Gioncarlo Stanton on deck.
A big part of whether this plan can happen is if the public buys in.  After all, Baseball would be operating in 2 of the biggest pandemic hotspots in the country—Arizona and Florida.  Yes, the NBA has made it work—so far—in Florida.  But, again, its Bubble is more all-encompassing than what would be practical under the prospective Baseball approach, and the NBA is doing it under one roof—not the 30 roofs in Baseball’s Bubble.  So, what would have to happen is the states of Arizona and Florida would need to Mask Up, substantially reducing their infection rates.
Torres has been retired with no advancement of the runners. 2 outs, Bases still loaded.  Stanton is at the plate.
If all of this can materialize, the big question is will Baseball players act responsibly for a 60-90 day period. Strip-Joint Lou Williams aside, it appears as if the NBA players have bought in.  So far.  Can Baseball players, en masse, follow suit? 
Stanton strikes out!  Baseball is able to finish its season!!  Baseball fans—especially Red Sox fans, who really have enjoyed this analogy—can celebrate (with social distancing and masks.).  We can only hope.
Can all of this happen?  Everybody would need to do a 180 (or a 360 as some of my Louisiana friends might say).  Baseball would have to be extraordinarily competent—with an emphasis on precise detail orientation, players/Baseball personnel would have to vigilantly follow its revised Pandemic procedures , and fans (particularly in Arizona and Florida) would need to strictly follow proper pandemic hygiene.  None of these 3 parties has shown any inclination of being able to/willing to display these types of behavior.  A lot of mindsets would have to be altered.
And, even with all of this can possibly materialize, there is a strong chance that this quasi-Bubble approach is not implementable in such a constrained time period. Perhaps, in retrospect, Baseball should have been taking this approach in March and April, giving it sufficient preparation time to have success.
Plus, with this insidiously confounding disease, there are no guarantees.  In this aforementioned admittedly pollyanish model, even if everybody is completely on point, Covid 19 might still ravage the game and force its season’s cancellation.
And, yet, if this plan is implemented correctly, Baseball has, at least, a fighting chance.  Yes, it could be a David vs Golliath rematch.  But, remember, David did win the first bout!  The NBA has made it work, but, again, they have a much more realistic Bubble, one that MLB could not possibly consider completely duplicating.  But, what is the alternative? 
We will have to take a rewind of this game…..And, Judge is given the Hit sign with a 3-0 count.  He launches one deep into the left field stands at Yankee Stadium.  It is a walk-off-Grand Slam. 
BoSox fans can stop celebrating.  But, so can Yankees fans, because this is only an allegory for what I think is bound to happen sooner or later if Baseball does not quickly revise its strategy….a Baseball walk-off for the 2020 season shortly after the next inevitable teamwide infection.
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I stand corrected on an error in last week’s column.  Since Baseball was using remote announcers for its national telecasts, I incorrectly assumed that the NBA would also have its national announcers away from the game site.  I was wrong.  The NBA announcers are at the game they are broadcasting for a national television audience.
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Is it time for Metta World Peace to come out of retirement?  If he did so, the former Ron Artest could play without having to adjust the name on his jersey for social justice purposes.  World Peace would work real will in present times...And if David Justice were to switch sports and come out of retirement to play in the NBA?  Never mind.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ASK JON
“please remove from your emailing list.  I support the police and not BLM supporters
thanks…….I collect and watch the Dallas Cowboys to get away from politics and fake police brutality BS….its all about get rid of Trump and Democrat lies and so the BLMers can riot rape loot and murder…..I really dont need someone to lecture me on Black Lives Splatter BS I SUPPORT MY COUNTRY AND POLICE
Bobby, Dallas
Jon:  what will you do if some Cowboys players should kneel during the National Anthem and/or are wearing Black Lives Matter shirts in post-game press conferences?
Bobby: Im hoping they will cancel the season so we dont have to listen to a bunch of white guilt (pussy cats)  supporting  Black Lives Splatter and the white trash morons of ANTIFA.  I am already NOT watching the NBA - MLB or Nascar (freaking) idiots
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