Monday Monday: Andy Being Andy, Mesoraco’s Good Deal, BBN, College Basketball Is Less Popular Than Soccer

Was your monday all you hoped it would be?

1.  Andy Dalton was booed in the Pro Bowl last night and I assume those weren’t all Bengal fans. Dalton was 9-20 for 69 yards and zero touchdowns.  On the final drive, with a chance to win the meaningless game,  Dalton engineered a drive to the 19 yard line.  Once inside the Red Zone, Dalton threw four incompletions with the final pass landing somewhere in Nevada.  Dalton remains winless in January.  Not to put much into a Pro Bowl game, but we would just like to see something out of him on a national stage just once.

2.  The best part of the Pro Bowl was this, and it wasn’t televised:

3.  The Reds signed Devon Mesoraco to a Four Year $28 million Deal.  Mesoraco’s numbers earned 4.8 WARP in 2014; he will turn 27 this coming season.  For comparison sake, the Brewers locked Lucroy in at $11 million over 5 years back in 2012.  Lucroy was a bargain last season when he produced 6 WARP.  The Cubs Miguel Montero in the middle of a 5 year $60 million contract.  Montero has two 4 WARP seasons, the last in 2012.  In 2013, the Cardinals paid Yadier Molina $75 million for 5 years.  In Molina’s long productive career, he has only put up one season that exceeded 4.8 WARP and that was 2012 when he hit 6.6.  Molina was at 4.2 WARP in 2013 and 1.9 in 2014.  Good job by the Reds. Let’s hope Mesoraca doesn’t have catcher type drop-off; if he doesn’t, then he’s a steal.

4.  The University of Kentucky picked up another first place vote and a 6’9 New Zealander today.  But despite Virginia’s struggles in a close win over lowly Virginia Tech on Sunday, the Cavaliers held on to the other in the latest rankings.

5.  College basketball is losing.   The sport is at its lowest level of popularity since 1985, according to results of the Harris Poll published this week. The survey conducted in December measures what sport the general population considers its favorite, and for the third year in a row, college hoops claimed 3 percent of the result. Dating back to the Harris Poll’s beginning, it’s down 3 percentage points.
Notably, men’s soccer for the first time jumped past college basketball in the United States with 6 percent of respondents selecting it. That’s up 3 percent since 1985. Topping the Harris Poll — of course — is pro football at 32 percent, followed by baseball with 16 percent and college football at 10 percent. Then came auto racing (7 percent), men’s pro basketball (6 percent), soccer and ice hockey (6 percent) before college basketball.  College basketball is more popular in Louisville than anywhere else in the country.

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