Leave No Doubt

Ridge Point's Biggers one game away from dream

Jax Biggers is the starting shortstop for the Razorbacks in the College World Series Vype

Four years ago, Jax Biggers was a senior at Ridge Point High School playing baseball and football. He played integral roles in both teams' success. As one of Ridge Point's best receivers and one of the baseball teams most consistent hitters with .425 average and fielders, Biggers wasn't highly coveted by college scouts.

Despite the lack of offers, Biggers wasn't deterred from his passion for baseball and chose the difficult path of junior college, playing for Cisco Community College. It was his opportunity to show off the skills he'd spent his life honing.

Lead by the mantra of LND or "Leave No Doubt," Biggers is still playing at a high level just like his high school days.

Four years later, Jax Biggers is the starting shortstop for the Arkansas Razorbacks in the College World Series. looking to claim a national championship. His persistence and relentless passion for the game has paid off two fold. Biggers was also drafted during the Super Regional in the 8th round to the Texas Rangers.

"I never needed to be motivated to play baseball," he said. "It’s what I love to do. Being at the juco level just gave me time to get bigger, faster and stronger. When I got to Arkansas, just playing in the SEC and being around guys who have the same goals as you, is enough to be motivated. If you even need to be motivated," said Biggers.

Biggers' first year with the Razorbacks saw him put together one of the best seasons he's ever produced. He had the 7th highest batting average in the SEC as a sophomore and that was just a precursor to the 2018 season for Arkansas. He and his teammates have dominated the postseason, losing only twice. On the way to the College World Series, the Razorbacks defeated the No. 1 team in the country -- the Florida Gators twice, eliminated perennial contender Texas Tech and averaged eight runs per game.

"I knew the guys coming back from last year that we were special," he said. "About three weeks into the fall, the freshmen made themselves known. That’s when I knew we had a legitimate chance to win this thing," Biggers said.

 

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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