Monthly Archives: March 2023

World Baseball Classic: Final Thoughts 

Caption: Shohei Ohtani celebrates striking out Mike Trout and winning the WBC

By Ryan Harless

Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.

March 26, 2023

The World Baseball Classic (WBC) has come to a close with Japan taking the crown after a 3-2 win over Team U.S.A. on March 21. If the final game were to be a movie, people would have a hard time believing it.  

With Japan up 3-2 in the top of the ninth inning, Shohei Ohtani emerged from the bullpen to put the final nail in the coffin for Team U.S.A. After getting the first two batters out, his Angels teammate, Mike Trout, stepped to the plate in one of the coolest baseball moments of all time.  

Mike Trout, who is considered to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time since his 2011 debut in MLB. Shohei Ohtani, who could arguably become THE best baseball player of all time faced off with the WBC championship on the line. It was the most poetic end to a baseball game (or other athletic competition) I have ever seen. 

Ohtani fanned Trout on just four pitches. Now that is impressive enough as is, but when you look into it further, it’s even crazier. 

Through Trout’s 6,174 plate appearances, he has only struck out on three swinging strikes 24 times. Yes, I said 24 times.  

And if that wasn’t enough for Ohtani, he also recorded the hardest hit ball (118.7 MPH), the farthest hit homer (448 ft.), and threw the hardest pitch in the entire tournament (102 MPH). 

We got to see Shohei pumped up, playing his hardest, and at the top of his game in one of the most important games of his career. And it was a thing of beauty.  

Pedro Martinez talked to Ohtani and gave him the praise that every baseball fan has thought, saying, “Shohei, I want to say…on behalf of baseball…we want to thank you for the effort, for the discipline, for everything that you have done for baseball and what you represent for baseball. I just want to personally thank him for all you do. All you do. We are really proud and thankful and grateful for what you do. You are a special human being. So we want to thank you and recognize it.” 

I am so happy that someone like Martinez was able to thank Ohtani for being as fun to watch as he is. Baseball is truly in a ‘golden age’ with fans getting to see stars like Trout and Aaron Judge, but Ohtani is the face of baseball and I think it will stay that way for a while.  

The game is now the most watched WBC game of all time in America with 5.2 million viewers. That was up 69% from the 2017 WBC final which was an all-timer itself.  

Ohtani has gained 3 million Instagram followers since the beginning of March, Lars Nootbarr gained almost a million himself after his performance and bromance with Ohtani. These games were huge for the sport of baseball.  

Mike Trout has already declared that he will play in the games again when they return in 2026 and I expect many others to follow suit. Ohtani will only be 31 at the time of the next WBC and could be performing even better than he did this year.  

I cannot wait until the next WBC as it is consistently the most fun professional baseball tournament in the world. It manages to bring the fun of the Little League World Series to the pros, and we get to see the athletes play the game like kids again.  

We will have to see if the popularity of the WBC translates to MLB regular season games as they begin on the 30th. I really am hopeful that MLB will be able to capitalize on some of the excitement and bring some more eyes to the league and start to turn around the game. 

World Baseball Classic: Better than Major League Baseball?

Caption: Trea Turner celebrates with Team USA after hitting go-ahead grand slam HR vs. Venezuela.

By Ryan Harless

Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.

March 21, 2023

With the World Baseball Classic (WBC) fully underway we have gotten to see some of the most exciting baseball available today. More people are watching the WBC games than any World Series game ever.

Team USA vs. Great Britain averaged 1.6 million viewers, South Korea vs. Japan averaged 2.7 million, Chinese Taipei’s viewership in the first round was up 151% from the last WBC in 2017.

As a comparison of popularity between the WBC and MLB moments, Shohei Ohtani’s WBC homer off the scoreboard already had 7.5 million views on Twitter (as of March 19). Aaron Judge’s record-breaking 62nd homer only has 4.5 million views and that is months older. Trea Turner’s crucial go ahead grand slam in the WBC amassed 7 million views on Twitter in just 15 hours.

In terms of TV viewership, the South Korea vs. Japan game was watched by nearly 70 million people. The 2022 MLB World Series got 12 million. 62% of homes in Puerto Rico watched their game against the Dominican Republic.

For years, baseball fans like myself have heard that baseball isn’t marketable or that the kids just don’t like baseball anymore. We have dealt with changes made to the game in attempts to make the game “faster and more marketable”.

The WBC has done a great job of proving all of that wrong. The WBC isn’t adhering to MLB rule changes. The teams can use a defensive shift, there is no pitch clock, and the bases are the usual size. Believe it or not, these games have been incredibly exciting to watch.

As I mentioned in a previous article, we are getting to see these players in rare form. They are all having fun with the game. This very well could be as close as we ever get to seeing Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in playoff baseball and they are getting every bit of excitement out of it.

When watching the games, you might also notice that it isn’t just the players having a blast, but also everyone in the stadium. Fans behind the backstop are imitating the umpire anytime there is a strikeout. Trea Turner said that his grand slam was the biggest home run of his career and that it was the loudest crowd he has ever played before.  

This tournament has only proven that MLB has no clue what they need to do to make baseball a popular mainstream sport again.

Now, of course every regular season game isn’t going to command a million fans. But when the culmination of your entire season is getting blown out of the water regularly by a tournament that only happens every four years, you’re doing something wrong.

Going into this tournament, Shohei Ohtani was by far the most popular MLB player in the world. Since the start of the WBC, he has more than doubled his followers on Instagram, gaining over 1.36 million since the beginning of March.

I believe that MLB is going about improving their game the wrong way. Outside of Ohtani, I really doubt that there is any one player that a majority of the population knows.

The NFL has Partick Mahomes, the NBA has LeBron and Curry, even the NHL has Ovechkin. Who does MLB have that is not only marketable but HAS been marketed in a beneficial way for the league?

I feel that MLB is in a very weird period of time. Attendance for MLB is dropping rapidly and is down by around 15 million just since 2007. If the numbers don’t begin to improve in the next few years, I really have no clue how they can turn things around.

The WBC has proven that baseball is still fun, and also that MLB isn’t the only viable option for good professional baseball. I thoroughly enjoy watching Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) games because the crowds are super into it and the games are just fun. Major League Baseball has a problem with fun and the WBC has made that evident.

THE 8 TEAMS THAT COULD WIN IT ALL: 2023 Women’s March Madness

By Sam Morris

Sam Morris is from Madison Heights, Michigan, and is an undergraduate student at BGSU majoring in Sports Management. He has a passion for sports writing and journalism. In his free time, he volunteers in the strategic communications department at BGSU at various sporting events and he also performs, writes, and produces his own raps for the music industry club at BGSU.

March 15, 2023

With selection Sunday complete, the field of 68 is set for the Women’s and Men’s March Madness tournaments. I will be specifically focusing on the women’s tournament in this post. I will be explaining why I believe 8 teams in the field could win it all and ultimately predict which one I believe in the most to cut down the nets in Dallas this year. There are many interesting storylines surrounding women’s basketball this season including that the top overall seed South Carolina will attempt to defend their 2022 championship and that Caitlin Clark is on the verge of setting multiple Iowa Hawkeye records. The women’s tournament will play their Sweet 16 and Elite 8 regional games in either Greenville, SC or Seattle, WA depending on what side of the bracket your team is on.  The final four will be played at American Airlines Stadium in Dallas, TX. The tournament will start on Thursday, March 16.

2. IOWA HAWKEYES (26-6) (15-3) (BIG10)   – Seattle 4 Region

Iowa is the 2 seed in the Seattle 4 region and a big part of that high ranking was their success in the most powerful conference this season in women’s basketball, the Big Ten. Iowa won the Big Ten tournament by beating powerhouse Maryland in the semis and then crushing Ohio State in the championship by a whopping 33 points. Caitlin Clark is the biggest reason why Iowa has a great shot to win the tournament. The 6 foot guard has physical prowess on defense while nearly averaging a triple double on offense averaging 27.0 PPG (3rd in D1), 7.5 RPG, and 8.3 APG (which leads all of D1). Meanwhile, as noted in the intro, Clark has also set multiple records this season at Iowa in number of consecutive 3 pointers made, 3-point shots made in a season, and career assists, while still a Junior. The fact that she can score at such a high average while leading the country in assists speaks to how high-powered this team’s total offense is. Clark’s attention that she receives from opposing defenses has also allowed forward McKenna Warnock to score with ease while creating matchup problems for any opponent in the field. Their biggest challenge will be getting past Stanford who is the top seed in their region and then possibly either a rematch with Maryland or undefeated South Carolina in the final 4.

2. MARYLAND TERAPINS (25-6) (15-3) (BIG 10)   – Greenville 1 Region

Although Maryland lost to Iowa in the Big Ten tournament, they did finish 3rd in the Big Ten and beat Iowa once in the regular season. Maryland will have a difficult schedule in the tournament as they could face top seeded South Carolina in the regional final. However, Maryland has the distinction of being the only team in the tournament to face both South Carolina and Iowa, so they will definitely be prepared for either opponent. Similar to Iowa, Maryland’s strength lies in offense as they average 79.0 PPG as a team which ranks 13th in the country.  They are led by Diamond Miller, who at 6 foot 3 is one of the tallest and most physical point guards in the country. Miller has been able to keep Clark relatively in check in all 3 games that they’ve matched up as Clark has scored under her average in 2 of the 3 games. Miller, meanwhile scored 26, 16, and 27 against Clark in their 3 matchups which included a 96-68 Maryland blowout win in the regular season. Overall, Maryland has been a top 5 team all year and great on both sides of the court. They most likely would have took Stanford’s spot as a 1 seed had it not been for their collapse down the stretch. If Maryland can get past South Carolina they have a real shot to win it all.

1. SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS (32-0) (16-0) (SEC) – Greenville 1 Region

The defending champions led by former coach of the year Dawn Staley are quickly building a dynasty. They are undefeated this season overall and in conference play. They look completely unstoppable and its not hard to see why. Led by 3 time first-team All American 6’5 Center Aaliyah Boston, South Carolina does not let teams score easily. As a team the Gamecocks have led opposing offenses to just 51.1 PPG this season which ironically ranks 4th in the country below their first round matchup 16-seeded Norfolk State. While Norfolk State plays in the MEAC, which has barely any competition, South Carolina is putting up these insane defensive numbers in the SEC with opponents like Tennessee and LSU. When playing then-undefeated LSU and First-team All-American Angel Reese, South Carolina won handedly 88-64, while only giving up 16 points to Reese. Their offense is no joke either, scoring the 7th most PPG in the nation at 81.4. South Carolina has flat out dominated this season by winning 26 out of 32 games this season by over 10 points and should clearly be a favorite to win the tournament.

1. STANFORD CARDINAL (28-5) (15-3) (PAC 12) – Seattle 4 Region

The only team to take South Carolina to OT this year is Stanford, barely losing 76-71. Stanford won the PAC-12 regular season but has struggled down the stretch losing to Utah in the regular season finale and then UCLA in the Pac 12 Semifinals. Despite this, Stanford still got the top seed in the Seattle 4 region with Maryland’s struggles late in the season as well. Stanford is led by Senior SG Haley Jones who nearly averages a double-double and has performed very well in league play. Stanford’s greatest weapon however could be their incredible coaching from Tara Van Derveer whose extensive tournament experience will surely help the Cardinal be ready to go for the tournament despite their recent struggles. In their region, 4 seeded Texas and 3 seeded Duke have both had inconsistent seasons in the Big 12 and ACC so Stanford’s biggest threat to reach the Final 4 will likely be Iowa. Although they have a tough road, it is never wise to pick against the experience of Stanford especially when they have come the closest to beating South Carolina out of the entire field.

2. UCONN HUSKIES (29-5) (18-2) (BIG EAST) – Seattle 3

Geno Auriemma’s two-seeded Huskies had a down year by their dynastic standards, losing 5 games including 2 Big East losses against 9 seed Marquette and 11 seed St. John’s. Although these league losses were uncharacteristic for UCONN they still won the Big East and finished in the AP Top 10 without All-American Paige Bueckers who is out for the season with an ACL injury. Stepping up with Bueckers out has been a combination of forward Aaliyah Edwards and wing Dorka Juhasz. Edwards has stepped up to be the star of the team averaging 16.6 PPG and over 9 RPG.  With Edwards drawing opposing defenses at ease, this leaves 6’5 Hungarian forward Dorka Juhasz to be just as dominant with her post game. Juhasz has averaged a double-double with points and rebounds this season and her pick and roll game with guard Lou-Lopez Senechal has been phenomenal this year. With Juhasz and Edwards in the post, UCONN should have no problem getting to the Elite 8 out of the Seattle 3 region and could definitely win the entire tournament. Their biggest challenges in the tournament will likely be top seeded Virginia Tech, and in my opinion, eventually divisional rival Villanova.

2. UTAH UTES (25-4) (15-3) (PAC 12) – Greenville 2

The Utah Utes have been counted out as a fluke many times this season after only being picked to finish 5th in the preseason Pac-12 coaches and media poll.  However, the Utes proved doubters wrong as they finished the year as co-PAC-12 regular season champions with Stanford, going 15-3 in the conference. Their regular season record enabled the Utes to gain a 2 seed in March Madness, their best seed in school history. However, Utah ended the season on a sour note losing in the first round of the conference tournament to eventual champion Washington State, who was the 7 seed in the conference tournament and will earn a 5 seed in Utah’s region. Utah could also have to deal with 3 of the 5 first-team All-Americans in their region with the top-seeded Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes, 3 seeded LSU and Angel Reese, and 4-seeded Villanova who is led by Maddy Siegrist. Despite these hardships Utah could face, I still think they could win it all because they have had one of the toughest schedules in terms of S.O.S in all of D1, playing 11 ranked opponents and going 7-4 including a win against Stanford and an astounding 44 point win over 5 seed Oklahoma. Their offense is also ranked 4th in the country, scoring 83.5 PPG, led by forward Alissa Pili who is averaging 20.3 PPG. Utah’s gauntlet of a regular season schedule combined with their ability to play a high-powered offense and tenacious defense are top reasons why I think they could once again prove doubters wrong, and this time instead of winning the conference, win March Madness.

4. VILLANOVA WILDCATS (28-6) (17-3) (BIG EAST) – Greenville 2

Villanova is the lowest seed I have on this list of teams that I believe could win the March Madness, as a 4 seed in the Greenville 2 region. Despite their low ranking, Villanova has had a phenomenal season. Half of their total losses (3) were to fellow powerhouse, UCONN, and Villanova had key victories against tournament teams Creighton and South Florida. Their region will include top seeded Indiana who they could eventually play in the Sweet 16. While Villanova will be an underdog if this game were to take place, I think the Wildcats have the advantage because Indiana has not had an elite defense this season, especially when playing ranked teams. Villanova has the leading scorer in the nation in program career points leader, Maddy Siegrist, as she averages 28.9 PPG which should be a major problem for Indiana and any team Villanova comes across. If Villanova and UCONN were to play each other in the Final 4, it would be very hard for UCONN to win as beating a team 4 times in one season has only been done a few times in college basketball history. Villanova could not only be a bracket buster for people who favor Indiana or UCONN, but I think the Wildcats really have a true shot to win it all and give the University their first Women’s basketball championship in school history.

1. VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (27-4) (14-4) (ACC) – Seattle 3

Virginia Tech went undefeated in their non-conference schedule but 14-4 in the ACC, finishing in third. It seems odd that they were selected as a 1 seed in March Madness with their conference regular season, until you notice how they absolutely dominated teams in the ACC tournament. The Hokies defense swarmed opponents in the conference tournament, giving up just 37 points to 2 seeded Duke, 42 to Miami (FL), and 67 in their championship victory over Louisville. In fact, the Hokies defense hasn’t given up over 70 points since before Valentine’s day, over a month ago. All four of the Hokies losses came before February and they have won 11 straight games including 4 victories over ranked opponents over this streak. There isn’t a team in the field that wants to play against the Hokies defense and particularly against their 6 foot 6 center Elizabeth Kitley who averages a double-double with over 18 PPG and 10 RPG. With Kitley in the frontcourt, the Virginia Tech offense is carried by guard Georgia Amoore who averages over 15 PPG while creating opportunities for Kitley with 5.3 APG, ranking 21st in the country in that stat. Overall, Virginia Tech’s balanced attack on offense and their gritty defense could propel them to an NCAA championship in this tournament.


Caitlin Clark, Iowa, Guard

After reviewing all of the teams on this list, I believe Iowa will win the women’s March Madness tournament. In my opinion, Caitlin Clark is an X-factor because of her ability to play make, defend, and score at will. Clark and Iowa’s offense as a whole ranks first in the nation with 87.5 PPG. With such an explosive offense, I don’t see any of the other defenses on this list being able to handle them except for possibly South Carolina. Stanford, the top seed in Iowa’s region, gave up over 80 points to Utah whose offense is worse statistically than Iowa’s. Overall, Stanford hasn’t been as consistent as they would like and for that reason I think Iowa will beat them in the elite 8 to reach the final 4 against South Carolina. If one of the final 4 matchups is Iowa v South Carolina, to me, that will be like the championship because the Hawkeyes and Gamecocks are better on both sides of the ball than Villanova, UCONN, Virginia Tech, and Utah. While South Carolina’s dynasty has a very impressive defense, they have yet to play a team that can score the 3 and dominate in the paint like Iowa can with their Clark-Warnock duo. On the defensive side, while Boston will surely get her fair share of points in the matchup, Warnock’s ability to get blocks and elitely defend in the paint and arc will put pressure on Boston that she hasn’t seen this entire season in the SEC. I think Iowa has enough firepower and hunger to win to knock off the defending champs in the final 4 and will eventually win the tournament against either UCONN or Villanova.

Kalen Lumpkins’ Guide to 1st Round of the NCAA MBB Tournament  

Kalen is a fourth year BGSU student from Toledo, Ohio. He is a sports management major with a minor in journalism. His primary sport interests include football and tennis, but he also has an interest in a wide variety in other sports, from baseball to hockey. His dream job outside of college is to be a sportswriter for an organization like ESPN or Sports Illustrated.

March 15, 2023

BOWLING GREEN, OHIO — March is a favorite for many. It is when the weather warms up, the flowers start blooming and the snow turns into rain. 

The main reason, however, is because that is when the best competition in sport starts.

March. Madness. 

Those two words are sure to get any person excited whether they are a basketball fan or not. Looking at the brackets this year could get fans even more excited for the tourney to start. 

The first-round matchups could be the best we have ever seen. However, that means that brackets will be harder to predict.  

Well, just like last year, I am here to help. This time around, though, I will take a different approach. 

For this first round, there will be no confirming or denying of anything from me. Instead, I will simply state what I do/do not like and state facts to keep in mind when you are making your first-round picks.  

So, let us not wait any longer, shall we? 

Do keep in mind (All Stats are via ESPN Tournament Challenge): 

  • 9-seeds are 11-5 vs 8-seeds in the past four tourneys
  • At least one 12-seed has beaten a 5-seed in 32 of the last 37 tourneys 
  • 11-seeds are 14-10 vs 6-seeds since 2014 
  • 7-seeds have beaten 10-seeds about 60% of the time 
  • A 15-seed has made the Sweet 16 in the last two tourneys (Oral Roberts and St. Peter’s) 
  • 3-seeds have only lost once in the first round in the past five tourneys 

I like… 

12 Oral Roberts over 5 Duke 

Two tourneys ago, Oral Roberts went on a magical run by making the Sweet 16 as a 15-seed. This time around, they are going for more than a feel-good story. 

The Golden Eagles, led by Max Abmas (22 PPG), are the third highest-scoring offense in the country (84.2 PPG). They also take great care of the ball.

Duke, led by Kyle Filipowski (15 PPG, 9 RPG) could match this with the team’s strong rebounding. The Blue Devils’ problem, though, is that they can go cold from distance, which has hurt them in conference games. 

If Duke struggles to shoot, it could be a long night for the blue bloods. 

13 Kent State over 4 Indiana 

It may have been a shock to MAC fans when Kent State dominated Toledo in the conference title game. KSU is here to show how great they are. 

Kent State was able to make Houston and Gonzaga sweat earlier in the season by holding both teams to some of their lowest point totals. KSU possesses a top-30 adjusted defense efficiency rating. 

The game plan for Kent should be to contain the phenomenal Trayce Jackson-Davis (20.5 PPG, 11 RPG, 2.8 BPG). He leads a balanced Hoosiers team that is also stout on the defensive end. 

The difference in this game could be Indiana’s lack of second-chance opportunities and Kent taking advantage of them. 

Be careful with picking KSU-IU, this game screams bracket-breaker.

12 VCU over 5 St. Mary’s 

This matchup is between two teams that seem to be tourney mainstays. It is also a matchup between teams that are looking for their first tourney win in a while. 

For VCU, this is the third appearance in the Mike Rhodes’ era, and they look to give the coach his first win. The drought has been longer for St. Mary’s, who have only advanced once since 2002. 

VCU will come into this game with a defense that forced turnovers on almost 20% of A-10 opponent possessions. That is a stat that should terrify opposing teams. 

That holds especially true for the Gaels, who prefer to play at a slower pace. Aidan Mahaney (14.7 PPG, 41% from 3) has done a better job spreading the floor, but it may not be enough. 

If VCU can get a lead early, they could keep St. Mary’s at arm’s length the whole way. 

I don’t like… 

11 Mississippi State/Pittsburgh over 6 Iowa State 

Iowa State has struggled lately (5-10 in the last 15) and is a popular pick to be upset by the winner of the Miss State/Pitt match-up. It is not a good idea to forget that the Cyclones still hold a top-10 adjusted defensive efficiency, though. 

Pair that with the extremely slow pace of Pittsburgh (176 teams play faster) or the abysmal three-point shooting of Mississippi State (27.3%), and that spells trouble for these bubble teams. 

Do not be surprised if the Cyclones find their rhythm again and move to round two. 

10 USC over 7 Michigan State 

Even with a top-50 adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency rating, USC still found itself near the bubble. 

That is because the Trojans rely heavily on their starters, which has caused fatigue in key moments. 

The fatigue could come quicker than usual when they face a Michigan State team that shoots 40.11% from three, the third highest in the country. The Spartans are playing for more than a championship as well after the mass shooting that took the lives of three students. 

USC and MSU match up well, but the Spartans should be able to shoot the ball well enough to advance. 

12 Charleston over 5 San Diego State 

The Cougars have not lost a game in over a month, and the 31-3 team has shown that they are not a fluke. Boasting a top-30 tempo and a top-40 offensive rebounding rate, this team is ready to play in the Big Dance. 

The problem that could arise is Charleston’s dependency on shots beyond the arc. 47% of their shots this season have been three-pointers, and they made 33% of them. 

That would have been fine if they were not playing San Diego State. The Mountain West champs have a top-10 defense in the nation and allow under 30% from behind the arc. 

The Aztecs also have an experienced roster that has played in this tourney before and can create quality shots for their teammates. 

Of course, Charleston can adjust, but why change something that has led them to 31 wins? The Cougars are a good team, but they may have a humbling experience after playing SDSU. 

Other Tourney Notes (via

  • Tennessee has the best defense in the nation, but an injury to Zakai Ziegler has affected the team’s play.
  • Memphis is hot and just beat Houston to win the American conference. 
  • Florida Atlantic has a top-40 offense and defense.
  • Kentucky can outrebound anyone.
  • Providence is 7-8 in their last 15 games.
  • Marquette has a top-5 offense, but poor 2PT defense.
  • Miami’s offense keeps them in games. 
  • Texas A&M has poor shooting, but only allows 40% FG.
  • Will Kansas Head Coach Bill Self be ready for the tourney? 
  • UConn gets 13+ offensive rebounds per game.
  • Northwestern has a top 20 defense. 
  • Boise State has a solid offense and allows just 63.7 PPG.
  • Gonzaga has the highest-scoring offense in the nation (87.5 PPG).

The NCAA Men’s Tournament Round of 64 is set to start on March 16 at 12:40 p.m. Happy bracket-making!

Bauer Back in Baseball?

Caption: Trevor Bauer

By Ryan Harless

Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.

March 14, 2023

Trevor Bauer made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut in 2012 with the Arizona Diamondbacks before being quietly traded to the Cleveland Guardians (then Indians) in December 2012. He became a full time starter in the big leagues in the 2014 season when he started 26 games.

Bauer worked his way toward his first (and only to date) all-star appearance in 2018 when he went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA in 175.1 innings. He was also sixth in Cy Young voting and 22nd in AL MVP voting.

At the trade deadline in 2019, Bauer was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, which proved to be a smart trade as he won the Cy Young in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. He started 11 games, going 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA while leading the league in shutouts and complete games with two each.

That offseason, Bauer inked a three-year, $102 million deal from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Through 17 starts in the 2021 season, Bauer was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA and looked to have another great season.

However, all of that would change on the 29th of June, when sexual assault allegations were brought against Bauer. It was also reported that the accuser had filed for a restraining order against Bauer on the 28th, one day prior.

The story starts around April 18, 2021, when Bauer first had physical contact with the alleged victim. Court documents state that Bauer reached out to the victim over Instagram direct message after she had tagged him in a post about watching his game.

The victim accused Bauer of “assaulting her on two occasions during what began as consensual sex.” Along with her accusations, there are also text messages between the two as well as pictures the accuser took of herself to document the abuse.

Shortly after these accusations were made public, the Dodgers announced that Bauer would be placed on paid administrative leave while the charges were being examined. Then, in April of 2022, MLB announced that they would be suspending Bauer for what was essentially two years.

Bauer would later appeal and have his suspension reduced from two years to one plus what he had already served after it was decided that he would face no criminal charges.

The Dodgers would go on to release Bauer after the opt-out in his contract came up making him available to be signed by any professional team. There were many MLB teams that could have used Bauer’s pitching every fifth day to help them make playoff runs but no team offered a deal.

Most, if not all, MLB front offices declined to even consider signing him due to the PR nightmare that they would have to brave, and rightfully so. Bauer sat idle for a while posting videos to his YouTube channel, sometimes alongside the “King of JUCO” where he would take part in baseball challenges.

I expected Bauer to continue doing YouTube challenges and never to return to the world of professional baseball. But on Monday, March 13, 2023, it was announced that Bauer had signed a deal worth up to $4 million with the Yokohama BayStars.

Bauer is now eligible to pitch on opening day for the BayStars on March 31.

Bauer isn’t the first disgraced baseball player to find a home in Japan. The most recent example being Addison Russell of Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics fame who quietly left MLB after having allegations of domestic assault brought against him. I didn’t anticipate any team picking up Bauer, however, due to the nature of his allegations. Bauer has been out of professional baseball for over a year so we will have to see if he holds up to his former self in Japan or if he even has a place in professional baseball anymore.

AEW: Revolution Review

Caption: MJF clutches the AEW World Heavyweight Championship after his bout with Bryan Danielson

By Ryan Harless

Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.

March 12, 2023

AEW: Revolution has now come and gone, and it was an absolute blast. Over four hours of amazing storytelling and pro wrestling masterclass yet again from an AEW PPV. Pure action from the first bell to the finale of the 60 minute ironman main event, this show had it all.

Revolution Rush Hour (Pre-Show) – Mark Briscoe & Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr. & Ray Fenix) def. Varsity Athletes (Tony Nese & Josh Woods) & Ari Daivari

This match served its purpose as the show opener getting the crowd hot with great ‘lucha style‘ action. The Varsity Athletes & Daivari put up a good showing, but were no match for the quick-paced style of Ray Fenix and Pentagon Jr.

Mark Briscoe helped get the crowd into the match with his redneck kung-fu and insane charisma. I will be very excited to see the direction he takes in AEW in the coming months.

The Varsity Athletes and Daivari were dispatched with relative ease by the baby faces to start the show on a high note for the crowd.

Ricky Starks def. Chris Jericho

Ricky Starks had yet another great showing to open the PPV alongside Jericho. These two had a simple story to tell; Starks needed to get Jericho off his back so that he could finally become the main event star that he is.

Starks fought through a few outside interferences (even though the Jericho Appreciation Society was barred from ringside) and he was still able to get the job done. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Starks has himself a world title match within the coming months.

Jungle Boy Jack Perry def. Christian Cage

There was one main-show match that wasn’t on the card when I wrote my previous article predicting the show.

Jungle Boy and Christian Cage have had a rivalry going back almost an entire calendar year. It has been a little stop and start due to some very unfortunate injuries. These two last stepped in the ring against each other in September, where Christian turned Jungle Boy’s friend (Luchasaurus) against him in a rather bland match.

This time, both wrestlers were at full health and ready to go to war. The stipulation for this match was a burial match, where in order to win, you need to put your opponent in a casket and close the lid. I felt it was a very fitting stipulation for this rivalry as Jungle Boy has been working towards dropping his Tarzan like gimmick and becoming a “more serious” wrestler.

In the days leading up to Revolution, Jack Perry, who is the son of late actor Luke Perry, cut a promo telling Christian that “since he liked to talk about his father so much, he was going to give him a first class ticket to meet him,” which really added heat to the matchup.

Jungle Boy looked to be in a bad spot and had to fight his way out of the casket, just before Christian managed to get the lid shut. Christian ended up bloodied and beaten by the end of the match before he was rolled into the casket.

House of Black def. The Elite – AEW World Trios Championship

These two teams NEVER disappoint when they step into the ring and Sunday was no different. This was absolutely a must-win match for the House of Black as they desperately needed a win on a big stage to stay a legitimate threat. And they got exactly that in this clinic of tag team wrestling.

There was fast-paced action coming from all of The Elite and two of the three House of Black members in this match. The House of Black bring such a great mix of styles with Malakai Black and Buddy Matthews being fast strikers and the 6’5” 285 pound Brody King has the power to decimate anyone in his way.

Nonstop action from bell-to-bell from both teams alongside false-finishes that had the audience on the edge of their seat made this an instant classic. Buddy Matthews perfectly countered The Elite’s “Meltzer Driver” (their signature / match finishing move) with a beautiful knee to the face before the House of Black hit a trio of power moves on The Elite to secure the Trios Titles.

Jamie Hayter def. Ruby Soho and Saraya – AEW Women’s Championship

Jamie Hayter continues to be one of the hottest stars in the company; even as the heel of this match she had the crowd in a 50/50 spilt between her and Ruby Soho.

Hayter was flanked to the ring by Britt Baker who helped her out by distracting the referee on multiple occasions. One such occasion allowed her to have a break after being hit by Ruby Soho’s “Destination Unknown” (Soho’s signature move).

Hayter managed to fight back and retain her title which I believe was the right move. After the match, Soho threw Saraya and her friend Toni Storm over the top rope and stood alongside with Hayter and Baker, only to then double cross and attack them before re-aligning with Saraya and Storm.

“Hangman” Adam Page def. Jon Moxley via submission – Texas Deathmatch

In perhaps the best pro wrestling deathmatch on U.S. soil ever, Page and Moxley absolutely tore the house down. This match was everything it should have been in terms of violence and sheer chaos.

In just two minutes, Moxley was bleeding profusely from his forehead, but quickly turned the tides by finding a metal fork and jabbing and slicing into Hangman’s forehead. That of course busted Page himself open and opened the proverbial floodgates for the rest of the match.

Page found himself being sent face first into a chair wrapped with barbed wire and later had his hands curb-stomped between two bricks. Moxley took his fair share of punishment as well, receiving a powerbomb onto steel chairs wrapped in barbed wire, and getting thrown out of the ring onto a board covered in more barbed wire.

The match came to an end with Page wrapping chains around the neck of Moxley who was on the outside of the ring, and pulling him up off the ground until Moxley tapped out.

It was an absolute perfect bloodbath that we might not get to see for a long time again.

Wardlow def. Samoa Joe – TNT Title

These two were fighting an uphill battle from the start as the crowd was clearly knackered after the great deathmatch before them.

The two put on a good performance but the audience just needed a rest as they were relatively silent for the majority of the match. Towards the end of the match, the crowd finally came around and got excited in time for Wardlow to place a rear-naked choke on Joe and scream “DIE!!” as he beat Joe for the TNT Title.

At the conclusion of the match, the commentators mentioned that Wardlow will be facing Powerhouse Hobbes this Wednesday on AEW Dynamite for the TNT Title.

Hobbes won the “Face of The Revolution” ladder match last Wednesday for the right to face the winner.

The Gunn Club def. The Acclaimed, Triple J (Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal), and “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy & Danhausen

This was a very fun match for everyone involved. The Acclaimed got the crowd excited with Max Caster’s freestyle rap, Triple J were both despicable heels who used the giant Satnam Singh to their advantage, and Orange Cassidy and Danhausen showed that they aren’t just comedy characters and can easily hold their own in the ring.

My personal highlight of the match was the square off between Satnam Singh and the nonchalant Orange Cassidy, for whom the crowd went absolutely crazy. Another tag team masterclass took place here making it evident that these teams all have chemistry with one another.

The Gunns managed to retain their titles and gave a post-match interview in the ring with Renee Paquette. They were interrupted by the return of FTR who rushed the ring to a huge ovation from the crowd.

The return of FTR to AEW’s tag team division is huge as this match, albeit fun, showcased how shallow their tag division can be. I would expect FTR to regain the tag titles at the next AEW PPV, if not sooner.

MJF def. Bryan Danielson – 60 Minute Ironman Match for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship

Going into this match, I was expecting that it would be pretty good. I didn’t think there would be any way that it would hold my attention for the whole hour though. This match made me pay for thinking that way by making it go by in what seemed like a flash.

By far, this was my favorite match the AEW has produced in their almost four years of being around. And I should have expected it given that the best character in pro wrestling today (MJF) and the best pro wrestler of all time (in my opinion, Bryan Danielson) would wrestle for an hour straight.

MJF came to the ring in a devil mask accompanied by an orchestra of strings playing him in like a god and he set out to maintain that impression.

The first fall in the match went to Danielson when he hit a busaiku knee at around 25 minutes and pinned MJF. MJF then hit a low blow on Danielson (putting himself down 2 falls to 0) before quickly scoring two pinfalls of his own to even the score.

Danielson scored his last fall in the 60 minutes submitting MJF with an STF but the score remained 3-3 at the end of the hour after MJF hit a second rope pile driver and pinned Danielson. As the 60 minutes wound down, Danielson had MJF locked in a submission, and it seemed that MJF might tap out before the time expired. However, he held on just long enough for time to expire before profusely tapping out.

Both wrestlers were covered in blood and absolutely exhausted – MJF was even laying on the outside of the ring taking in oxygen through a mask and a tank. AEW would not let their PPV end in a draw at the end of an ironman match so it was determined that the match would continue under sudden death rules.

MJF was still taking in oxygen outside of the ring when Danielson came over to pull him into the ring. MJF drilled Danielson in the head with the tank of oxygen and quickly discarded it before the referee scuttled into the ring and covered Danielson to retain his AEW World Heavyweight Championship.

All in all, I think this was a 5/5 PPV. I was also very excited to see that of all the matches I predicted in my last article, I got all of them correct!

All Elite Wrestling Revolution Predictions

Caption: Promotional poster for AEW Revolution showing MJF (L) & Danielson (R)

By Ryan Harless

Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.

March 2, 2023

Coming up this Sunday, March 5, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) “Revolution” will air on PPV and will culminate with some of the best feuds in recent AEW memory. There are currently seven matches on the card. In this article, I will break down each match as well as give my predictions on each winner.

Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Starks (Everyone Banned from Ringside)

This match is the culmination of a feud that has gone on for a while (almost too long, depending on who you ask). Jericho wanted the up and coming star to join his faction, the Jericho Appreciation Society (JAS) for weeks. After Starks finally declared that he wanted nothing to do with Jericho, the JAS terrorized Starks, costing him championship matches and other huge opportunities.

The two have had one singles’ match previously which Starks won and I expect the same outcome for this match. Especially with the added stipulation that the JAS are banned from ringside ensuring no interference. Starks should win so that he can put the JAS behind him and begin looking toward the world title picture.

Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow – (TNT Championship)

This feud was kickstarted with the return of Wardlow a few weeks ago on AEW TV. At the last AEW PPV, Samoa Joe beat both Wardlow and Powerhouse Hobbs to regain the TNT title in a great match that kept Wardlow off TV. Joe is a great wrestler albeit not as quick on his feet as he used to be, but this should be an absolute ‘hoss fight‘ and a super fun match to watch.

I think this would be a great way for Wardlow to get a huge win and a title to carry. Joe already is the Ring of Honor (ROH) Television Champion so with him holding two belts, he can stand to drop one without hurting his status.

Jamie Hayter vs. Ruby Soho vs. Saraya – (AEW Women’s World Championship)

I really want to be excited for this match as all of the competitors are super talented. Hayter is one of the hottest acts in AEW right now and is loved by all of the fans, but it’s the other two competitors in the match that scare me.

Soho’s return has been marred with injuries and poorly received matches, and many of us have been really let down with Saraya’s in-ring-return. To me, a lot of her segments have fallen flat and haven’t shown me that she is on the level of others such as Athena or Emi Sakura in the women’s division.

I hope that this match can live up to the expectations of an AEW PPV match, but either way, I expect Hayter to retain her title and possibly start the inklings of a feud with someone else.

The Gunns (Champions) vs. The Acclaimed vs. Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett vs. TBD – (AEW Tag Team Championship

AEW has one of the best tag team divisions in all of professional wrestling and it will be put on full display this Sunday in this four-way for the tag titles. There are a few storylines going on in this match. The Gunns took the titles from The Acclaimed a few weeks ago on TV. The Acclaimed are managed by Billy Gunn who is the father of The Gunns so there is plenty of tension between those two teams.

Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett are a team that will stop at nothing to get their way as they won a Battle Royal to get into this match with the help of the 7’3” giant Satnam Singh. Jarrett began wrestling in 1986 and Lethal started his career in 2001, so they both have experience and plenty of title reigns to their names.

The TBD is one of the most interesting parts of the match. On March 1, there will be another match on AEW TV to determine the final team in this match. I predict that the Best Friends will win this match and make their attempt at the gold as the fan favorites that they are.

However, I predict that the Gunns will retain their titles as I expect them to hold them until they can drop them the FTR whenever they return to AEW programming.

Jon Moxley vs. “Hangman” Adam Page – (Texas Deathmatch)

I am so stoked for this match! These two have put on amazing matches every time they step in the ring with each other. Except that maybe their match on Dynamite where Page was severely concussed. But that aside, this match should be bloody, violent, and beautiful.

This feud has taken place over many months with Moxley targeting Page and trying to break him both physically and mentally. Page has been aligned with a group called The Dark Order for over a year now and they have helped him get out of many jams but Page has requested they stay away and not get involved.

The last time this happened, Moxley left Page a bloody mess in the ring. However, I anticipate Hangman getting the win here and finally sending Moxley on that vacation he was supposed to take last Fall.

The Elite (Champions) vs. House of Black (AEW World Trios Championships)

In my opinion, this will be the match of the night as far as work rate goes. These two teams leave it all in the ring without fail every chance they get. The Elite are continuing to defend their Trios Titles in amazing matches week after week and it looks like House of Black is finally committed to making their presence felt weekly on AEW programming.

This should be a fast-paced barnburner that finally cements House of Black as the most intimidating and fierce team in all of All Elite Wrestling. If there ever was a “must win” for House of Black, this is it, for sure. I predict House of Black takes the titles from The Elite and holds them for most of 2023.

MJF (Champion) vs. “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson – (60 Minute Ironman Match for AEW World Heavyweight Championship)

Whereas the previous match should be the most intense as far as pace and action, this will be the match of the night as far as storytelling goes. MJF and Danielson are masters of using pacing and visuals to tell stories in the ring. Danielson continues to wrestle after years of being on the sideline with severe head and neck injuries and MJF is the cocky champion that will stoop as low as he needs to stoop, to continue his reign.

This feud has gotten very personal in the past weeks with MJF telling Danielson’s children and wife that he is going to send him home for good and end his wrestling career. Danielson, coming off winning the Wrestling Observer Award for best technical wrestler last year, is looking to carry the title as a respectable champion who will take on all comers.

It should be super fun to watch how MJF handles the longest match of his career by far against a man who can wrestle for an hour at the drop of a hat. I predict that MJF will find a slimy cheap way to retain his titles and continue his reign of terror over the AEW locker room and programming.