Thursday, June 11, 2015

Jim Harbaugh's satellite football camps have created much discussion

Harbaugh during his playing days.
Like a lot of boxing fans, I’ll be interested to see how the WBC Heavyweight Championship fight between Deontay Wilder and Eric Molina will turn out on Saturday night at Bartow Arena in Birmingham. Wilder is a native of Tuscaloosa and is one of the best heavyweight fighters in the country.

I got to see him fight several years ago in Mobile when he was still an up-and-coming fighter, and I hope he does well in Saturday night’s fight. The fight’s scheduled for 12 rounds and will be broadcast live on Showtime. (Unfortunately, I don’t have Showtime, so I guess I’ll have to check the results online or read about it in the Sunday paper.)

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If you’re a Major League Baseball fan and would like to have an effect (albeit, a small effect) on what happens on the actual playing field, you might want to cast your annual All-Star ballot if you haven’t done so already. If you haven’t, you’ve got plenty of time because voting doesn’t end until midnight on July 2.

To cast a ballot for your favorite player, visit and click on “Vote” at the top of the page. This will pull up your ballot, and I think you can vote up to 35 times if you want.

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Speaking of Major League Baseball, this year’s MLB Draft began Monday evening, and the Arizona Diamondbacks made Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson the No. 1 overall pick. Interestingly, another SEC player, LSU shortstop Alex Bergman, was picked next as the Houston Astros selected him No. 2 overall. The first high school player selected was Lake Mary High School (Fla.) shortstop Brendan Rodgers, who was selected by the Colorado Rockies.

While watching the draft results I’ve been keeping my eyes open for the name of University of Alabama right-handed pitcher Ray Castillo. As many of you know, Ray, who grew up in Phenix City and starred at Russell County High School, is the son of Conecuh County natives Raymond Castillo and Kelly Baggett Castillo.

Kelly told me on Tuesday morning that Ray, a junior at Alabama who was selected in the 27th round of the 2012 draft, is waiting to see if and where he’ll be drafted this year to determine if he’s going to return to Alabama for his senior season.

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Much has been made during the past week about Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s satellite football camps in places like Prattville. While these camps are within the rules, they’ve rankled a number of coaches in the South, including Alabama’s Nick Saban. If Harbaugh’s smart, he’ll look out because if Saban takes the notion, he’ll not only be doing satellite camps of his own, he’ll also figure out a way to one-up the likes of Harbaugh.

Plus, it’s like I heard an Alabama fan say earlier in the week, “if a kid in Prattville wants to go play for Michigan, to heck with him. Tell him to pack his bags, get on the bus and go play for that bunch of losers.”

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