My first opportunity to write Belt Loops and management makes me start with the bad news. The Mid-American conference lost a legend this week, with the passing of Eastern Michigan great Bob Welch. Teams across Major League Baseball released statements regarding Welch's death.
A's president Michael Crowley called Welch, "a significant part of our franchise's history."
Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten said "He was one of the greatest competitors to wear a Dodgers uniform."
The Los Angeles Angels held a moment of silence prior to Tuesday's game against Oakland. Angels manager Mike Scioscia, "He was a special guy and we lost a really good friend."
Bob Welch was a fantastic ambassador for Eastern Michigan and the Mid-American Conference. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was conquering alcoholism, a journey he outlined in his 1981 book, "Five O'Clock Comes Early: A Ballplayer's Battle With Alcoholism."
"The fact is, I'm crazy when I'm drunk," Welch said in the book. "There's every chance I would have been dead by now if I was drinking." Welch admitted that he never drank before a game, "although, given time, I would have."
Welch was a Cy Young Award winner who at Eastern Michigan, helped lead the most prosperous time in Eagles baseball history. He led a pitching staff that guided EMU towards back to back trips to the College World Series. Bob Welch was 57.
- More bad news, though I suppose it's a step in the right direction. Nick Harney is officially transferring from Akron. Division II Fairmont State is the next stop for Harney. Honoring commitments seems to have been an issue for Harney in the past. Akron coach Keith Dambrot had to suspend Harney last season, "Until we clean up his conduct." It's addition by subtraction for the Zips. Athletically there's no denying Harney's talents. That said, to have him with Akron next season would be a step backwards. Dambrot has stated that it was a "mutual decision." That doesn't necessarily mean amicable. Harney didn't want to be there and Dambrot didn't want him there. The depth the Zips possess at Harney's position certainly makes the "mutual decision" easier.
- Time for some positivity. Maybe June is when MACtion really shines. Kent State will be competing for national championships in track and field, both the men and women. They'll be joined by Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, and Miami.
- The Golden Flashes took time to honor an all-time legend, and you will be shocked to learn what Ohio's Savannah Jo Dorsey did on the softball diamond.
- With new discussion arising nearly daily regarding conference realignment, paying players, and restructuring scholarships, there is plenty of opportunity to be concerned with the future of college athletics outside of the power conferences. Donors like those at Ball State and Western Michigan ensure that our schools will have the resources to compete on the big time level.
- And your reward for keeping up on everything MACtion. Northern Illinois coaches are redefining recruiting by channeling their inner Freddie Mercury.