Where spring cleaning meets spring sports

There’s nothing more satisfying than cleaning out the garage. Maybe it’s a guy thing, or perhaps I just lead an incredibly dull, OCD-driven life, but there’s something ever-pleasing that comes with knocking the spiderwebs off the lawnmower and sweeping a winter’s worth of grime down the driveway, especially on a bright day.

Here’s what else I like.

Pete Rose making a formal request for reinstatement. Major League Baseball’s all-time hits king faces long odds (no pun intended) of getting back into the game, but it’s nice to have a glimmer of hope.

Perhaps new commissioner Rob Manfred will realize the marketing upside to allowing Charlie Hustle into a dugout. There’s nothing further to be gained by extending Rose’s ban; but his return would be akin to Bobby Knight marching into Assembly Hall.

Wichita State coach Greg Marshall. His comment Monday that Shockers’ upcoming foe Indiana looks like a “Valley team” will only serve as motivation to the Hoosiers. Maybe Indiana’s shortish roster does compare to that of a Missouri Valley squad, but Wichita State should be fully concerned about facing Indiana on Thursday, not Indiana State.

The Greenfield-Central student body. As remarked by principal Steve Bryant, the Cougars’ young men and women showed great compassion Monday morning, lining up at the school to honor classmate Andrew Hall, who died in a car accident over the weekend. The crowd of 700 or so students gathered and walked quietly into the school on a day that also marked the first official baseball practice. Hall would have been aiming to make the varsity squad as a sophomore. Late Monday night, baseball coach Rob Miller noted on Twitter that it was, “The toughest day of my coaching career.”

Chris Borland. The 24-year-old San Francisco linebacker retired due to concerns over his long-term health. Borland reportedly hadn’t suffered a diagnosed concussion since his high school sophomore season. Still, Borland studied the links between head trauma and neurological issues later in life and decided to be “proactive.”

Leaving millions of dollars on the table in the prime of a career is brave. His future children will be thankful.

Rooting against Kentucky. If for no other reason than not having to endure Ashley Judd’s face plastered all over the television during March Madness, the Wildcats can’t lose soon enough for me. Throw in John Calipari’s proven shadiness, and this is a team only NBA scouts can love.

Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball. Plenty of local student-athletes go on to play college basketball, but few earn a Division I nod. Even fewer find themselves in the NCAA Tournament, which is an opportunity that New Palestine graduate Bethany Murrell is currently enjoying.

A junior guard for the 30-2, 20th-ranked Eagles, Murrell will likely cheer from the sideline when Florida Gulf Coast, a No. 7 seed, takes on Oklahoma State (20-11), a No. 10 seed, Saturday in the first round at Tallahassee, Fla.

Murrell has played in eight games behind an obviously talented roster this season, but enjoying a free education at a school located a few yards from the beach is the real victory. Murrell, a tremendous young lady going back to her time with the Dragons, also has the cleverest Twitter handle: @bt_phonehome.

That’s all for now. There’s a wet-dry vacuum and car floor mats calling my name.