Quin: In January of 2020, the Houston Astros were hit with a five million dollar fine while also forfeiting their first and second round draft picks for the 2020 and 2021 drafts. Many are asking if this punishment is enough for the stealing of signs or if the Astros should have to forfeit even more rights such as playoff suspension or maybe even forfeiting their 2017 World Series. What do you make of this situation?
Chase: I have seen a ton of news on the Astros from other players. Some players and former greats went to the length of saying that they should be removed from the MLB. I also have seen the Astros players themselves say with or without the signs that they would have won the world series. In my opinion, the commissioner did a horrible job handling the situation and it definitely calls for more action. If there is not more action taken on the matter then cheating will become a natural way of playing the game in the near future.
Quin: First, I think it is important to say that removing the Astros from the league is a bit extreme and comes across as if anger from players are clouding their judgement. I tend to be a fan of the current punishment along with a ban from future playoff contention. I would say approximately three seasons. I have never been a fan of removing past achievements, but instead having clear punishments that have a clear effect on future eligibility.
Chase: Taking away past accolades does not do anything, players still remember who went to the World Series and who won MVP. The problem is the Astros took a World Series away from another team and also Altuve stole an MVP from another player. That is not fair to players and other teams around the league. I would like to see more reprimands in pro sports for cheating.
Quin: I am completely on board with further punishment however removing past achievements does nothing because everyone will always remember that the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers. I agree with you that professional sports need a harder punishment for blatant cheating to prevent it from becoming an everyday aspect of the sport.
Chase: If there are no repercussions, then cheating can become a routine inhabited by many other teams. The sports world can eventually fall due to such actions as the Astros performed.
Quin: Over the past two weeks the UNA softball team has gotten underway on their 2020 season in the ASUN conference. Dominant victories over Tennessee State, Alcorn State, and Howard; close losses to Tulsa and two big losses to Mississippi State, what do you make of the Lion’s ability to make a run for the conference title this season?
Chase: The Lions softball team, in my eyes, are a lock for tournament play in the ASUN. They have repeatedly gotten to their respective conference tournaments and playoffs since 2015. In saying that, so far the Lions played a tough Tulsa and Mississippi State team, however the rest of their schedule so far is not mesmerizing. Tennessee State, Alcorn State and Howard are not the teams that show me North Alabama’s strength and dominance. This softball team is probably one of the best on campus but they will prove more as the season moves along. What do you think of them and their chances?
Quin: While I agree that the teams they have beaten are not very impressive, the way they have beaten them is. The ladies have won all but one of those games by at least four points. Meanwhile they gave Tulsa all they could handle in the two matchups they had with the Hurricanes. Given all of that information I expect a playoff run from the Lions and most likely a third place finish in conference.
Chase: Talking of playoff runs, the men’s basketball team just clinched their spot in the ASUN tournament and the women’s team are looking to clinch soon as well. Last year the women and men’s team BOTH lost to North Florida in the first round. Do you see a similar outcome this year or what do you see for the teams?
Quin: As much as I would love to see both teams do well, I have very little faith in the men’s ability to get out of the first round. They started off conference play on fire but I feel they have started to slip these past few weeks. On the other hand I could see the women’s team going all the way to the conference final before losing to Florida Gulf Coast. Liberty and Jacksonville would pose a serious threat to the Lions ability to go to the conference final, but I would still take Coach Tiber’s team as a solid second place finish in the conference tournament. How do you see the two teams finishing up their respective seasons?
Chase: I agree with the hot start for the men but the women also have dropped a few recently. The women, in which I also agree, will most likely finish as the higher seed between the two teams. I believe the women have a bad taste in their mouth by losing to North Florida last year when they were supposed to win that game. However, I believe the men will at least advance from the first round due to Mervin James elite help in scoring, Manny Littles and his rebounding on the boards and also the duo of Christian Agnew and Jamari Blackmon. Pujol will have his team ready come tournament time.
Quin: While I am hopeful for the guys tournament run, I am doubtful due to their sloppy and aggressive play. I will concede that the women have played sloppy recently as well but I believe they are overall the second most talented and experienced team giving them an edge in reaching the final.
Chase: It all comes down to their focus this year. The girls had a couple of chances to beat North Florida in that game but just had miscues. When they went to the WNIT and focused, they dominated Division-I schools like North Texas and Southern Miss. Coach Pujol and Coach Tiber are strong, powerful coaches that have the right grip on their respective programs. I am curious to watch how the rest of the season unfolds, if they both win more games on this backstretch of the season, look for a hot start in the tournament from the teams.
Quin:They are certainly powerful coaches who are leading their programs in the right direction for Lion Athletics and I am certainly excited to see how the seasons wrap up.
Quin: If you have an opinion you want heard feel free to email the Flor-Ala sports writers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chase: Email us if you have a topic that you would like to see in the next edition of ‘The Talking Heads: Quin and Chase’. We would love to discuss the topics that you are concerned with in the sports world.