March 7, 2014
All You Really Need Is Heart
I don’t think the current Knicks situation is all Woodson’s fault. He didn’t put this team together. “Garden Dolan” did it all with his small b-ball mind.
On paper the guys on the Knicks bench should be a lot better than they are. J.R. Smith gave an opinion. “It’s not a mental thing, it’s a heart thing,” Smith said after the Knicks gave up 73 first-half points in the loss to Golden State. “Guys get open shots, [they're] walking through the lane, running around, slapping high-fives, laughing, joking. When you’re supposed to be a team trying to make the playoffs, you ain’t gonna win. It ain’t gonna happen like that. You gotta play with effort, play with heart. I mean, I’m not condoning knocking somebody down and hurting nobody. But we gotta do something. We gotta stick up for ourselves. We’re just letting people do what they want to do.”
Part of the problem is that Dolan hasn’t given these guys any direction at all. You can say- they don’t need direction. They know the way to the bank. But even with all of their money- they’re twenty-year-olds and don’t have the maturity to lead themselves anywhere.
Jason Kidd supplied that leadership last year and the Knicks did really well. Who’s carrying that banner this year? No one, that’s who.
Ian Begley (ESPNY.com) quoted Jeff VanGundy, “The most damning point Van Gundy made was that the Knicks don’t have enough players who have the “hunger” to win. So Van Gundy, the last coach before Mike Woodson to lead the Knicks to a playoff-series win, suggested the Knicks keep Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jeremy Tyler, and blow up the rest of the roster, filling it with players who are “hungry” enough to win in the NBA. (We’d add Toure’ Murry to the list, but we understand Van Gundy’s point.)
“You’ve got to get some hungry guys … some durable, hungry guys to surround Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler, who are the foundation for your team. If you just do that, [get] guys who are hungry, durable and can shoot a little bit, at least when you lose you can feel good about yourself,” Van Gundy said this can be done with a lot of fast talking so teams will pick-up the salaries of Stoudemire, Prignatoni, and Shumpert.
Ian O’Connor (ESPNNY.com) agreed and wrote, “The New York Knicks have so many problems up and down the organization, from Jim Dolan at the top to a D-League reject named Chris Smith at the bottom, that it’s easy to forget they will need a qualified coach to replace Mike Woodson within a few months. That coach will not count against the salary cap. His wage will not come packaged with a luxury-tax bill from hell. The Garden’s policy of muting coaches, of practically subjecting them to lobotomies, could cost its basketball team a shot at the best available candidates. But in the end, there are only so many of these glamour positions to go around. Someone will want the title of head coach of the New York Knicks.
Jeff Van Gundy coached eight 82-game seasons in New York and Houston, and claimed 50 or more victories in half of them. Van Gundy won eight playoff series with the Knicks, or seven more than the franchise has won in the 13 years since his departure.
Van Gundy is the most likely to smooth over Dolan’s rough edges, to sell him on the virtues of glasnost. He was the Garden’s last basketball coach allowed to speak freely from the beginning to the end of his term, the last one to win consistently and the last one ambitious enough to see a second-round playoff exit as a complete failure.
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) wrote:
“I never did find out if the four-man bobsled comes with cup holders.”
“Does anybody know of a curling fantasy league someone could join?”
“Check out these names: Ersan Ilyasova, Zaza Pachula, Miroslav Raduljica,and Giannis Antetkounmpo. Who do they play for? If you guessed the Latvian hockey team, give yourself a couple of points for effort. But actually, they’re members of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks.”
Olympic Cold Sweat
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) told us that he, “Just woke up in a cold sweat from the ultimate Sochi nightmare.
As in tennis scream Queen Maria Sharapova decided to take up curling.”
To counteract the extra time that will be spent on replays, perhaps games can go quicker if those “Nomar Batting Glove Adjustments” can be stopped as well as those between-pitch delays (wasn’t there a rule that pitchers only had so much time between pitches?)
The Sports Curmudgeon told me that when, “My long-suffering wife and I arrived in the Northern Virginia area around 1970, dinner theaters were a big deal in the area. There were lots of them; they put on extensive productions; lots of people went to the shows. Today, dinner theaters around here are difficult to find; the more common dramatic entertainment is dinner at a restaurant near a theater followed by a production in a theater. I mention this because I learned yesterday about a new dinner theater in Kissimmee, FL. What does this have to do with sports (his word, not mine), you ask? Well, this is a professional wrestling dinner theater.” More Marinara
Bob wondered where those “Women hockey players go between Winter Games.”
“The U.S. speed skaters taught me something. From now on, whenever I have a bad day at the laptop, I’m going to blame it on the clothes I was wearing.”
“Conventional wisdom holds that the appearance of NHL stars at the Olympics promotes the league. But NHL executives insist otherwise and will take their time deciding whether to shut down the regular schedule for two weeks in 2018 or turn over the competition to college players and juniors. Doesn’t seem possible that Olympic hockey can go back to the way it was before 1998. I’m guessing that NBC and its money will see to it that it doesn’t happen.”
February 28, 2014
Ian Begley (ESPNNY.com) looked at what might be the next steps in the Anthony sweeps, “Anthony’s pay cut would have a greater impact in the summer of 2015. That summer, the Knicks are expected to be heavy players in free agency because the current deals for Bargnani, Stoudemire and Chandler come off the books.
If Anthony signs a max deal, his salary in the 2015-16 season will be $24,142,789, and the Knicks would have five players under contract at a total salary of $39,492,533. They’d also have a first-round pick.
This assumes that both J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton pick up their respective player options for 2015-16. It also assumes that the Knicks offer Iman Shumpert a qualifying offer, he accepts and the Knicks don’t pick up the team option on Pablo Prigioni’s contract.
If that’s the case, then Anthony’s pay cut would pay dividends in that summer. It would give the Knicks more flexibility to pursue max free agents such as Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo and should leave them with room to add other players on the market.
Anthony said that his “first priority” is to re-sign with the Knicks this summer, but he also made it clear he needs the Knicks to produce a clear plan that will lead to a title. He’s said several times that winning an NBA championship is his top priority.
So it’s on Mills and the rest of the Knicks front office to convince Anthony they can build a championship-caliber team around him.
“If that’s not the plan that they have, then we’ve got to talk about something else,” Anthony told reporters in New Orleans.”
Trade Deadline Dilema
Jonette Howard (ESPNNY.com) gave us her opinion of the Knicks’ inaction at the NBA trade deadline. “When you add up what this trade deadline has reminded us about the Knicks, it’s sobering. They didn’t have enough assets to trade for a player of significance even before Iman Shumpert — their trade bait version of Pau Gasol, a player often dangled but never shipped out — got hurt Wednesday night. They don’t have the draft picks to land a franchise player. They don’t have the salary-cap room to sign a big free agent right now. And there are no guarantees — just hope — Anthony will stay.
But hey, there’s always Summer 2015.
And the hubristic notion that everyone is dying to play in New York.
This sales job isn’t just a familiar storyline for the Knicks.
It’s gotten beyond old.
Andrew Marchand of ESPN.com wrote from Florida (how unfair is that?) about the recovery of Manny Banuelos from Tommy John surgery. “No matter what Banuelos does this spring, the Yankees should not take him on the Opening Day roster. They have thought about it a little.
“Banuelos has got that big arm,” a front office source told ESPNNewYork.com as part of our three-part series. “If it’s still there and the lightning still strikes then you’re going to see people say, ‘Bring him with us [on Opening Day].’”
The Yankees always have a win now attitude. If Banuelos is a better option than Cesar Cabral as a second lefty out of the pen after Matt Thornton, they may really talk about it. But they should not do it.
Banuelos has not pitched in games in nearly two years. He threw 24 innings in 2012, so he needs to put more mileage on his arm to make sure he is ready. He also needs to fine-tune his repertoire so he can be a more complete product when he gets to the majors. He has never dominated in the upper levels of the minors.
Even if Banuelos dominates at Triple-A, the Yankees should wait until around June and let him come up as a starter if he is ready to do that. Banuelos is a young pitcher the Yankees should nurture a little to see if they can maximize his potential.
The idea of rushing him early as a second lefty would only improve the Yankees slightly and could slow Banuelos’ development significantly. He has already lost enough time.
Banuelos sounds like a guy that is determined to make an impact. He is throwing at 93/94 right now, but hopes to let it rip soon to see if he can hit 96/97 again.
The Sports Curmudgeon heard that Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said his Cubs were going to make the playoffs THIS YEAR and said, “I wonder how many more statements like that one before the MLBPA begins to demand random drug testing for club owners.”
So, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that he could see the Mets winning 90 games this season. Yeah- right.
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) told me that I’d be a natural to compete in the Olympic style “Freestyle Chillin’ Out” event.
Early NFL Draft Talk
Ron Cook (Pgh. Post-Gazette) saw all of the Johnny Manziel ink and commented: “I look at Manziel and see another over publicized bust. Manziel already is Tebow’s equal in one sense. I’m completely and totally sick of him. Sick of his many immaturity issues, which appear to be following him to the NFL from Texas A&M. Sick of his endless self-promotion. Sick of him trying to talk his way into being the No. 1 overall pick by the Houston Texans in the May 8 draft.”
The Sports Curmudgeon talked about the coaching woes experienced by the Detroit Lions. “There have been 15 coaches for the Lions since 1970 counting the current incumbent Jim Caldwell.
After each of the previous 14 coaches left the Lions (voluntarily or at the behest of management) not a single one of them ever was the head coach of an NFL team again. Not even for a single game.
In fact, the last head coach of the Lions who did get another head-coaching job in the NFL was Buddy Parker. He was the coach in Detroit from 1951 to 1956.”
Scott Ostler (San Francisco Chronicle) said, “I always like to close with a joke: Russian judges.”
February 21, 2014
And So It Continues
Ron Borges (Boston Globe) threw down the gauntlet: “All Red Sox fans owe Masahiro Tanaka a debt of gratitude. He just gave us another reason to hate the Yankees.
All Red Sox fans owe Masahiro Tanaka a debt of gratitude. He just gave us another reason to hate the Yankees. Asked about Tanaka’s arrival, Dice-K pointed out a significant difference between them and it was not that Tanaka was a remarkable 24-0 record — the most wins by a Japan League pitcher since 1979 — in his final season in Japan. It was that Dice-K flew to Boston on a plane chartered by the Red Sox. “I didn’t pay,” he told a group of Mets beat writers yesterday. But thank goodness for Tanaka, because it takes the edge off the announcement yesterday that Derek Jeter will retire after this season. What will we do with all those obscenity-laden T-shirts we’ve been wearing to Yankee games for the past 20 years when he leaves? To be frank, it’s actually hard to muster up much bile for Jeter. He is a wonderful player, a well-spoken guy who never says the wrong thing (including “I won’t move to third base for A-Rod”) and a tremendous competitor. Even when we holler at the guy, we can’t really hate him. Masahiro Tanaka, on the other hand, just made it easy.”
Yankees View Tanaka
Andrew Marchand (ESPNNY.com) gave us a quick view of Masahiro Tanaka. “Two days before the official start of the team’s spring training workouts, Tanaka breezed through a 25-pitch bullpen session to catcher Francisco Cervelli on Thursday at New York’s minor league complex.
“I could see his face. Looks like he wants to have fun,” Cervelli said.
Tanaka threw two- and four-seam fastballs, splitters and sliders. Cervelli estimated Tanaka threw at about 60 percent strength, and he said pitcher Ivan Nova and coaches were around for the session.
“The fastball travels so well. I think his mechanics are so smooth,” Cervelli said. “Japanese pitchers, they all got five, six pitches. So it’s fun just to be behind the plate and catch it.”
Tanaka was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year in 27 starts and one relief appearance, leading the Rakuten Golden Eagles to their first Japan Series title. Starting pitchers appear just once a week in Japan, so Tanaka will have to adjust to the major league schedule of starting every fifth day.
“You have to retrain the arm a little bit,” Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. “I’m trying right now to moderate his schedule according to what he’s done in the past because he’s stayed healthy pretty much throughout his career.”
As Cervelli correctly pointed out, you can’t tell anything from a bullpen. Still, he is excited to see what’s ahead.
“When you see those kinds of numbers, that is ridiculous,” Cervelli said. “24-0, that is ridiculous. A 1-point something [ERA]? We know this is the big leagues. They all come and show what kind of pitcher they are. Every time we face [Yu] Darvish, it is hard to hit that guy. I think hitters say the same thing about [Hiroki] Kuroda. It is going to be fun. I hope he wins more than 20.”
The thing is, no one is going to know about Tanaka until about June. Spring training will let everyone examine what type of stuff he has, but not how it will play in the season.
By June, when he has 10 or more starts under his belt, we will have a better idea of what type of pitcher Tanaka might be. But we know one thing for sure already — he can draw a crowd.
What Was Expected
The “Suits” managing our speed skating team thought the team would be able to have longer practices by having those practices in the Italian Alps. Good thinking! Except, the games were held in Sochie- at sea level on the Black Sea. How did that work out? Not so hot! The post-race press conferences heard the racers say that their legs felt heavy and they weren’t able to muster the energy necessary for successful final kicks. This was the real cause of the poor showing- not faulty racing suits with back panels.
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) quoted Alex Kaselberg, on Russian figure skater, Evgeni Plushenko withdrawing with a back injury, “As he was coming off the ice, he tripped and fell on the carpet and, out of habit, the Russian judge gave him a perfect score.”
Oshie In Sochie
One thing that T.J. Oshie’s OT marksmanship proves over, and over, and over, and over again is that if a shooter takes his time and aims he can pick his spot and score a goal.
Ian Begley (ESPNNY.com) quoted Clyde Frazier on Melo’s return, “Melo’s a good businessman and when you put all of this together, no one can pay him as much as the Knicks. I don’t think it’s going to happen; I think he’s staying in New York. It makes financial sense for Anthony to remain in New York. With the Knicks, Anthony can sign a max contract of five years and $129 million. If he signs with another team, Anthony would ink a max contract of four years and $96 million.
Anthony said on Friday that he’d consider taking a pay cut to re-sign with the Knicks if it put the team in a better position to sign other free-agents.
He called re-signing with the Knicks is his “top priority.” But he also made it clear that he’d like to see the Knicks’ plan to build a championship contender around him before signing on the dotted line.
“At the end of the season, [that] is the time that everything has to be laid out on the table, from both parties,” he said, according to published reports. “If it’s something that we can grow with, we can build on, we can compete at the highest level, then we’re rolling.”
Send In The Worm
I’m sure that you’ve all heard about the lack of new clowns emerging. Well, Greg Cote (Miami Herald) said, “It was not for a lack of trying by Dennis Rodman.”
February 14, 2014
Random Winter Games Evidence
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) told us that, “The Winter Olympics are not as popular as the summer games, and I think it’s because too many winter sports have bizarre names. Here are a few I’m looking at and what they mean to me.
Curling (which involves a broom): Activity taking place in a women’s hair salon.
Slopestyle: Plastic surgeon jargon for a nose job technique.
Certain other events are not Winter Olympics sports yet but should be. These include synchronized ice fishing, yodeling, avalanche surfing, and rhythmic shivering.”
The Motto for the Olympics has been “Faster, Longer, Higher.” Does this sound like Team Ice Dancing belongs?
Advice To Woody
Ian Begley (ESPNNY.com) wrote about Jeff Van Gundy’s advice to Mike Woodson, “Van Gundy was asked on ESPN Radio’s “The Ian O’Connor Show” if he had any advice for Woodson.
His message was simple: ignore the outside noise.
“Just do your job and don’t feel the need to update the media on your feelings because it doesn’t matter,” Van Gundy said. “Just do your job. You know how to coach and you’ve done it very well there. I wouldn’t apologize to anyone if I was him because I think he’s handled himself very, very well in a difficult situation.”
The Knicks are 20-31 and in tenth place in the Eastern Conference, two games behind Charlotte for the eighth seed. They’ve lost four of five, leading to another round of widespread speculation that Woodson’s job is in jeopardy.
Van Gundy called the constant speculation over Woodson’s job “very, very unfair.”
If Woodson is let go, the Knicks would likely consider a big-name coach such as Van Gundy or John Calipari, among others, to bring in over the summer.
Van Gundy has said that he has no interest in taking over a team in the middle of the season.
I think that Mike Woodson has done an outstanding job coaching the Knicks, give the tools (players) with which he’s had to work. Last season his coaching brought the team to heights that had been only hopes. This MUST be remembered and because there isn’t anyone out there who can do better than Woodson would do.
Possible New Knicks
The Klucks are still trying to trade Shumpert. He might be the only attractive player to a trade partner. Kenneth Faried’s name is coming up a lot. Faried is a 6-8, 225 power forward who shoots a little over 50% from the foul line (I don’t know where he’d fit in the rotation. Jordan Hamilton (6-7, 220 sm. Forward) might come with him in a salary equalization deal. I don’t think either one of these guys are an equal of Shumpert. But I’ve got to remember that it’s the Knicks making this deal and they haven’t had many successes in the market.
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) asked-
“Peyton Bender is:
a) A three-star QB who signed with Washington State
b)The no.1 reason that Broncos fans were unable to get to work on super-Monday.”
Last Look Back
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) commented, “We get it now: Seattle had the better team; the younger, quicker, more aggressive athletes. Still, I don’t think enough has been said about what a poor job John Fox and his staff did getting Denver ready for the Super Bowl. Though it’s always simpler just to blame the quarterback.” Dog Show
Norman Chad compared the Westminster Dog Show to Woodstock; but without Wavy Gravey. The headline act was Hound, Setter, Beagle, and Hound (Arlo Corgi sang Alice’s Dog Treats). “The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is a four-legged Woodstock; better yet, rather than a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it’s a once-a-year ritual. Dogs come from all over the world for the chance at canine fame and getting their mug on CNBC and USA Network. Once again, intrepid Siberian husky Chuchi’s Yuki kept an exclusive journal for Couch Slouch on his week in New York.” He even picked up a painting of dog owners playing poker.
Jack Finarelli (The Sports Curmudgeon) commented about the possibility of an apology by Alex Rodriguez. “There will be a mea culpa eventually once the image handlers have polished the text and have determined that the time is right to present “contrite A-Rod”. The problem they will face at that point is that “contrite A-Rod” makes “belligerent A-Rod” from the last six months look like an even bigger liar.”
The Just Go Away Club
While the Sports Curmudgeon was creating his A-Rant, it struck him that A-Rod and a few other folks need to be inducted into an elite fraternity about now. No, not the HOF but the Just Go Away Club. I would like to present my 6 charter members in this club. Readers may feel free to add others to this pantheon. But first, two ground rules: 1. I do not wish any harm to befall any of these folks. I just want them to go away and never bother me again. 2. Politicians and political pundits/commentators are not eligible for the club because there are far too many candidates of that ilk to list – let alone to consider for membership.” The SC list: Jon Gruden, Terrell Owens, Danica Patrick, Regis Philbin, Dennis Rodman, and of course the person who was responsible for the need of this list Alex Rodriguez.
From The Are You Kidding File
Rich Cimini (ESPNNY.com) told us that, “Ed Reed, who played last season for the Houston Texans and New York Jets, told police he withdrew $50,000 from one bank and drove to another bank, presumably to make another transaction.
The future Hall of Famer left the money on the passenger seat of his gray 2006 Audi, registered in Florida. When he returned to the car, the passenger window was smashed and the money was gone, according to the police report.
The incident occurred around 3 p.m. The police report said the cash was in a “bag,” although it was described as an “envelope” in another report, a police spokesperson said.
Police believe Reed was followed from one bank to the next. The report didn’t state why he was carrying such a large amount of cash. The investigation is ongoing.
February 7, 2014
The Sun Felt Good
I was happy to read about Derek Jeter taking batting practice. It was a session of 5 rounds totaling 39 pitches and he hit with authority to all fields.
The grass smelled sweet and wonderful but then I remembered I was still in icy NY.
How many of you, also, felt that safety was an omen of bad things to come for Denver on their first offensive play?
Gene Collier (Pgh. Post Gazette) gave us an unbiased look at the Super Bowl. “On the night “Omaha! Omaha!” got changed to “Oh my God! Oh My God!,” a typically furious flock of Seattle Seahawks plastered Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos with one of the most dominating defensive performances in Super Bowl history.
The so-called Legion of Boom, the defense that had more takeaways, more interceptions and the most dramatic turnover ratio of this entire NFL season, laughed off Denver’s record-breaking offense as though it couldn’t possibly be serious.
Your final from the first outdoor, not-so-cold-weather Super Bowl:
Immovable 43, Unstoppable 8. Even with their defense on the sideline, the Seahawks got an unexpected adrenaline boost from wide out Percy Harvin, who had been struggling with concussion issues. Harvin gave ‘em 137 all-purpose yards, 45 on two end-around plays in the first, then 87 on the kickoff that started the second half, a backbreaker that made it 29-0.
‘We had bounce-right, counter-right, something we were calling for all week,’ Harvin said. ‘We knew it was a good chance. We’d put that on film all year so the guys did a heckuva job blocking. As soon as I caught it there was open field.’
Any chance Manning had of bringing his team back methodically vanished at that moment, and the Seahawks seemed to think all of last week that their moment was coming.”
Dan Daly wrote, “Can hardly wait for the Super Bowl to be over so we can begin the Countdown to Curling.”
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) quoted Craig Ferguson saying, “Well done, Seattle, I think they needed this to cement their reputation. Before last night, the meanest guy from Seattle was Frasier.”
Two Words: Keep Carmelo
Ohm Youngmisuk (ESPNNY.com) quoted Michael Wilbon’s position that the Bulls should take a run at Carmelo Anthony and add a few of his own thoughts, with which I agree. “There are scouts in the NBA who believe Anthony will be the same player going forward he’s been the past 11 years, which is to say a professional scorer who has never been committed to defense or the nuances of being a great teammate, which just happen to be the obsessions of the coach Anthony would be playing for in Chicago. But there are others who believe that while the above assessment is undeniable, the Bulls are in desperate need of what Anthony still does as well as anybody in the NBA not named Kevin Durant: score.
My take? The very reasons Wilbon argues the Bulls should go after Melo are the very reasons the Knicks should hold on tight. As Wilbon says, big stars win in the NBA. You can argue all you want about whether Melo is a “superstar.” But any perennial All-Star who can win a scoring title against the likes of Durant, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James is the kind of legitimate star that doesn’t come around often. Melo might not make others around him better the way Michael Jordan did. That’s fine. There have been only a handful of stars like that over the past couple of decades. The Knicks have to understand what Melo is and find a way to put the right pieces around him. He needs a better point guard, a consistent second scorer and an inside presence. Sure, acquiring the right pieces while signing Anthony to a maximum contract worth $129 million over five years will be difficult. But trading Anthony and starting over with draft picks is a risky proposition. Drafting prospects today is the furthest thing from a sure thing. And the Knicks don’t exactly have the best track record in that department. Besides, is there a team willing to give up high-round picks in this upcoming, tantalizing draft?
I’ll take my chances with a guy I know can score 62 on any given night and electrify the Garden like no other Knick has since Bernard King.
The Sports Curmudgeon gave us a warning that the NCAA’s existence might be in danger. “Chaos Theory is a branch of mathematics that considers how the initial conditions of a situation and minute variations in those initial conditions might have immense consequences on the outcome of that situation. The most common example given is that the flap of a butterfly’s wing at just the right moment could lead to the formation of a hurricane hundreds of miles away. I am not going to devote any more time to the math or the physics of such a conjecture but I believe that we may have seen the flap of a butterfly wing yesterday in the sports world.
Athletes at Northwestern University announced their intention to form a union. As is to be expected, the NCAA stands opposed to that idea. Everyone should stand ready to take on a barrage of rhetoric with regard to the righteousness or the iniquity of this idea. I am not prepared to “take sides” on this yet because I have no idea how the positions of each side of this argument will evolve over time. I will choose to reserve judgment to provide a more informed argument at a later date.
If – I said IF – in the end, a union to represent college athletes comes into existence; the NCAA as it exists today will go extinct. The announcement by Northwestern athletes in Evanston, Illinois yesterday was a small time event; it might have a huge effect on an institution in Indianapolis, Indiana about 200 miles away. Chaos Theory at work…”
Browne (9-0,7 KO) won his latest light-heavyweight 6 round match in a unanimous decision with 3 scores of 60-54. He IS the real deal whose progress is being closely watched.
January 24, 2014
The Broncos and the SeaHawks will meet in the Super Bowl, and at first look the Denvers looked a lot better than the Seattles. Denver topped the Patriots, 26-16, but the game wasn’t that close. Manning threw for 400 yds with 107 yds. rushing and was protected like an egg in bubble wrap. As much as players talk about not missing injured teammates, it was pretty obvious that Brady missed Gronkowski and Welker- who played for Denver. Yet his overthrows had nothing to do with their absence.
Seattle topped ‘Frisco 23-17. Kaepernick had 2 ints, was sacked once, while Wilson was sacked 4 times. This was a slug fest that showed Seattle’s ability to overcome. The final quarter had the biggest SeaHawk plays. QB Wilson threw 35yds. for a TD on a 4th and 7 after coach Carroll changed his mind from kicking a field goal. The other big one, in my mind, was when corner Richard Sherman tipped a ‘Niner pass for a INT/TD from the Seattle 18 in the final seconds.
You’ll be reading enough about all of this before the game.
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) Headline
This from Darren Rovell (ESPN): “Pizza Hut spokesman- we are not paying QBs who say ‘Hut’ at the line of scrimmage.”
Yankees At First Look
Andrew Marchand (ESPNNY.com) looked at the Yankees and wrote: “What they have now is closer to 80 wins than 90 wins,” one NL general manager said.
The GM liked what the Yankees did with their checkbook so far, upgrading at catcher with Brian McCann and in the outfield with Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, but the pitching still has question marks, making this GM believe the Yankees will make sure to sign Masahiro Tanaka.
“I’d guess the Yankees,” the GM said when asked who he thinks will win the sweepstakes. And they did- for seven years and $155million.
The Yankees have improved, but their infield — which in recent vintage years has been a major strength — has nothing definite about it. The starting staff is led by three pitchers (CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova) who are not sure things for various reasons. After that, from Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren, the Yankees will need to find some strong innings.
The bullpen is unsettled with David Robertson set to take Mariano Rivera’s place. Grant Balfour is still out there and could be a fit, adding a proven closer and keeping Robertson in the eighth inning. If not, Robertson will be supported by Matt Thornton, Shawn Kelley and Preston Claiborne.
The Yankees are trying to spend their way back to the top — but, at least according to one GM, they need take out their wallet one more time.
Now that the spending limit has been eliminated, let’s see who else they go after.
The Knicks’ Knot Is At The Top
It’s been 17 months since Steve Mills replaced Glen Grunwald as the GM for the Knicks. How has that been working out?
Well, both Mills and “Garden Dolan” know very little about creating a talented basketball team so now we’re seeing the results of their talents and will continue those visions until someone like Rod Thorn replaces Mills.
Kershaw! God Bless You
The Sports Curmudgeon talked about Kershaw’s new Dodgers contract: “Cross Clayton Kershaw’s name off the list of underpaid athletes. The Dodgers signed Kershaw to the largest contract ever for a pitcher – 7 years and $215M. Oh, by the way, if Kershaw continues to dominate hitters the way he has for the past couple of years, he has an “opt out clause” at the end of the fifth year of the contract that would allow him to become a free agent. He can void the contract in 2018 and 2019; if he stays in the contract, he will earn $65M in those two seasons. Shed no tears for his financial future… Last season, Clayton Kershaw pitched 236 innings and struck out 232 batters; that is .98 strikeouts per inning. In those same 236 innings, he gave up 164 hits and walked 52 batters; 216 batters reached base. He struck out more hitters than reached base against him last year. Those are elite numbers.” That weekly pay is more than $500K.
The SC also quoted Greg Cote (Miami Herald). “Baseball’s Carl Crawford and reality TV’s Evelyn Lozada (Chad Ochocinco’s ex) are engaged. A date for their inevitable divorce has not yet been set.”
A New Direction For The Giants
Dan Graziano (ESPNNY.com) wrote: “Ben McAdoo has been hired to run the Giants’ offense, it’s worth taking note that this is the Giants doing something they don’t normally do. They’re taking a chance on a fresh, new face with ideas that differ from theirs. They’re dipping their staid blue toe into new waters, mainly out of an admission that what they were doing for so long had stopped working. It’s a pretty big deal, and however it works out, it speaks to the state of the franchise right now. After 10 years of Manning and Coughlin, they don’t believe their run is coming to an end, but they’re at least admitting to themselves that they’ll need to try something different if they want to be right.”
A Successful Season
Norman Chad gave his opinion of NHL over-times, “The NHL used to award teams two points for a victory and one point for a tie; it eliminated ties in 2005, and now it’s two points for a victory, one point for an overtime/shootout loss and no points for a loss in regulation. Theoretically, you could lose all 82 games in overtime, make the playoffs with 82 points and capture the Stanley Cup after going winless in the regular season.”
Olympic Eye Strain
Norman Chad warned us that the Olympic cameras will rolling from Feb. 6 to 23. The total air time will be 1539 hours over18 days. Don’t get a headache doing the math- that’s 85 hours a day. OK, OK, it will be carried by 6 NBC outlets but that’s still 14 hours a day. How much Rhythmic figure skating and live Curling can you watch?
January 17, 2014
Jerry Coleman- American Hero
Gene Collier (Pgh Post-Gazette) wrote about the Yankees all star 2nd baseman, “Coleman had a couple or three things that were getting pretty hard to find toward the end of the 20th century: time, humility and a life’s story that could pass for American literature.
When Coleman died in San Diego, heaven became a funnier place, a place that had compromised none of its celestial rectitude by admitting a .260s hitting New York Yankees second baseman.
It is Jerry Coleman, who got behind the mic for the Yankees and Angels but mostly for the Padres, to whom we owe unforgettable play-by-play gems as the “sun-blown pop-up,” the alert that “Rich Folkers is throwing up in the bullpen,” that perfectly descriptive pop-up slide call “and Winfield slides into second with a stand-up double,” and the flat-out brilliant, “Eric Show will be 0 for 10 if that pop-up comes down.” The winner of two Distinguished Flying Crosses, Coleman barely gave baseball a thought after Pearl Harbor was attacked soon after his 17th birthday. His country would soon need him, and that, exclusively, became his motivation. As the only baseball player to fly combat missions in two wars (Ted Williams served in two but flew only in Korea), Coleman flew about 120 missions in the Solomon Islands and the Philippines during World War II and later in Korea. “Seeing friends die and families cry,” he said for a long ago magazine piece, “was enough to remind me of the proper place to put baseball.”
So that’s where he’d found it, miles above the dark Pacific with no one to talk with, watching the planes of fellow pilots torn apart by enemy assault in the sky all around him.
“I’m only 19,” he said in that same article. “My gunner is 18. God, back home, we couldn’t get the keys to the family car. Now here I’m given my own plane. You grow up fast. “Real fast.”
That’s the kind of information you had to look for on Jerry Coleman. He wasn’t offering it, but it illuminates everything, right? No wonder he was such an important part of those Yankees clubhouses.
It’s ironic now that Jane Leavy entitled the last best Mantle biography “The Last Boy.”
Coleman was no boy. This was a man, gracious, humble, of class and of courage. In baseball’s iconic lineup of great Americans, you just write his name in it at second base every day and don’t think much about it.
He’d have liked it that way.”
Don’t Believe Anything
I watched “60- Minutes” on Sunday night, 1/12, and listened to the piece they broadcasted dealing with Anthony Bosch and his business with Alex Rodriguez. What a waste of time! The only things that were confirmed, to me, were not to believe any of them, “just follow the money,” and remember that “it’s always about the money follow it.”
The A-Rod story should appear on a newspaper’s page 3 with the rest of the crime news. Gene Collier (Pgh. Post-Gazette) said that “A-Rod is dead right that baseball was out to get him, much in the way that cops are out to get robbers.”
I always thought that I could hit 800 home runs until Ronny Murphy threw me a curve ball. And, I was only playing first base kduring an infield warm-up.
Don’t Coddle A Bad Egg
JR Smith, of the Knicks, has a self-inflated value of himself and his latest shoelace antics might be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Ohm Youngmisuk (ESPNNY.com) wrote about Coach Mike Woodson’s reaction. “The NBA can fine Smith all it wants. In fact, the league has docked him a total of $105,000 since he joined the Knicks in 2012. But that’s pocket change for an NBA player who signed a three-year, $18 million contract in July.
If you want to get anything through to a shooter whose mentality is to keep shooting and shooting, you have to take the ball away from him. Make him sit out a marquee game and watch LeBron James and the Heat from the pine.
That’s exactly what Woodson did, even though the coach and the Knicks never officially announced it as a benching or punishment. For the entire game, Smith sat at the end of the Knicks’ bench, not far away from owner James Dolan and actress Katie Holmes. Smith’s benching should have come a long time ago. While Woodson and Dolan should be applauded for finally doing what they had to do with Smith, they are also guilty of enabling Smith’s behavior. They’ve often opted to look away after one of Smith’s episodes.” Woodson said Smith has been “unprofessional about how he’s approached this whole thing. Something’s gotta be done. It has to stop.” Woodson put his foot down on Thursday. There has to be accountability on every team, and Woodson now is finally trying to enforce that with Smith by taking the ball out of his hands for a night. Did it work?” We’ll have to wait and see but based on what Smith said- “His lack of playing time came as a surprise and that Woodson did not talk to him about the move beforehand, leaving him in the dark about the benching and its length.” Why does Woodson have to talk to him? He clearly doesn’t think that he did anything wrong. What a bozo!
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) wrote: “The Sports Names Of The Week Challenge has ‘Thai golfer Pornanong Phathum taking on Swiss bobsledder Beat Hefti.’
‘That reminds me. Marlins radio broadcasts switch from 790 The Ticket to WINZ 940 next year. Fans who listen to Marlins games on radio are split. One said he liked the change, the other isn’t sure.’”
The Sea In Seahawk
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) told us that, “Among this month’s most popular attractions at the Seattle Aquarium: a hermit crab who makes his home inside a tiny Seahawks helmet, named Marshawn Pinch.
What, no Pete Coral?”
Gene Collier discussed injuries to pro basketball players, “Does the WNBA keep track of man-games lost?”
January 10, 2014
If I Had A Vote For The MLB-HOF
I would have checked off Glavine, Maddox, and Morris.
Not So Shallow Hal
Ian O’Connor (ESPNNY.com) wrote about the possible Yankees action looking to sign Masahiro Tanaka. “Masahiro Tanaka will settle it for Hal Steinbrenner and his customers once and for all. If the New York Yankees spend like mad to sign the Japanese star, blowing up their plans for fiscal restraint, the fans will accept Hal as a worthy successor to his old man.
And if the Yanks don’t, their fans won’t. Hal has said he will only approve a payroll below the $189 million luxury-tax threshold — and the tens upon tens of millions in savings such a budget would bring — if he was confident it would still allow him to field a championship-level team.
But as it stands right now, even after laying out $283 million for Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran, Steinbrenner has to know he doesn’t have a roster that can legitimately contend for a title. This isn’t about the loss of his best player, Robinson Cano, who was given everything except a controlling interest in the Seahawks to sign with Seattle.
This is about the starting rotation, as vital in baseball as the quarterback is in football. Five years after he led the Yankees to a parade he kept seeing over and over in his dreams, CC Sabathia no longer qualifies as a credible ace of a team expecting to win it all. He’s in the early hours of his decline, and the left arm that’s logged nearly 3,000 regular-season and postseason innings of work and that managed a career-worst 4.78 ERA last year is screaming out for a demotion to the two-hole.
Of course, this is where Tanaka comes in. He might not turn out to be a major league ace, but among the available arms out there he sure looks like the closest thing to it. He’s a 25-year-old free agent coming off a 24-0 season in Japan, and the highest bidder willing to pay his Rakuten Golden Eagles a $20 million posting fee will get him.” Then O’Connor quoted George Steinbrenner about signing Hideki Irabu- “A lot of this money for Irabu is coming out of my pocket,” he said. “People don’t understand that even when we won the World Series last year, we didn’t make money. But we’re still spending to give New York a great team.”
2013 Trite Trophy Award
“The winner of the 2013 Mixologist Medal (given for beginning one cliché and ending with another) is Bob Errey, who, at one point last spring, described goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury as being “sharp as a cat.”
Umm, yes. Also quick as a tack.
Now — remember No Flash Photography — our 2013 winner, in the tradition of winning clichés whose abuse transcended sports to the language at large like At The End Of The Day, It Is What It Is, and Are You Kidding Me(?), ladies and gentleman:
Going Forward, if you must, remember that no matter what kind of sentence you use that includes the phrase “going forward” would have meant the exact same thing without “going forward.”
What can we expect going forward? is the exact same thing as “What can we expect?” Gene Collier (Pgh. Post-Gazette) gave out this award for the 30th consecutive year.
Thank you all and good night. Be careful exiting Salon B. You may access the exits by merely turning to face the rear doors and going forward.
Dan Graziano (ESPNNY.com) gave us his recommendations, “The Giants need to make lots of changes. We all know about the personnel deficiencies they’re confronting due to free agency and age issues on offense. They need three starting offensive linemen, at least one running back, at least one wide receiver and a new tight end. They need help on defense, too, but we’ll deal with that in a future column. For our purposes here, know that they can’t afford to spend all of their available cap money on offensive solutions even though they have enough needs on that side of the ball to justify it. They have to make them bigger and broader than the one they made. If they don’t, they’re going to be right back here a year from now, looking for scapegoats. And eventually, that search takes you a heck of a lot higher up the ladder than offensive coordinator.”
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote about Mike Tomlin. “Yes, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was at home watching the Chargers-Chiefs game and immediately noticed when officials failed to call an illegal-formation penalty that likely knocked his team out of the playoffs.
So what did he yell at his TV?
‘I’ll leave that between myself, my sons and our basement.’”
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) told us that, “With the proliferation of sports cable networks, it’s only a matter of time before the Geico gecko is sitting behind a desk breaking down NFL game tape.”
More From Bob “Gimmickry sells: It’s hard to make the case that we’re evolving as a species when more than 100,000 pay to sit in frigid Michigan Stadium for a hockey game. Who told the approximately 80,000 who couldn’t see the puck what happened?
Future watch: He doesn’t know where, but Michael Vick says he expects to start at quarterback next season. Maybe so, but probably only for five or six games, at which point, judging by his track record, he’ll get hurt.
Fingers crossed: A wish for 2014 – as every year – is that TV play-by-play announcers will keep in mind that we can see what’s going on and that they will at least consider the possibility that their redundant chatter isn’t welcome or needed.” Can I Be A Good Tennis Player?
The Sports Curmudgeon quoted noted tennis coach/instructor Vic Braden- “My theory is that if you buy an ice-cream cone and make it hit your mouth, you can learn to play tennis. If you stick it on your forehead, your chances aren’t as good.”
January 3, 2014
This past holiday I lost one of my oldest and dearest friends, Capn. Bob Thompson. He was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather. Bob was a master seaman who once commanded the Fort Schuyler ship, Empire State, on its annual cruise. He was a true renaissance man who was a professional musician and world traveler having visited every continent including both poles. I experienced these journeys with him vicariously through his letters, notes, and postcards.
Bob was a caring man who called me regularly to make sure that I was all right. We were friends from our first days together in kindergarten and I relished every second.
I wish him smooth seas and a following wind for his final voyage into heaven. I’ll miss him.
Norman Chad gave us, “This brings to mind a staggering set of numbers that I first heard illuminated by PBS’s Mark Shields: Nearly 1.2 million Americans have died in all the wars in U.S. history since the Revolutionary War began in 1775; by comparison, nearly 1.4 million Americans have died by firearms since Robert F. Kennedy was fatally shot June 5, 1968. In other words, more Americans have died in the past 45 years from domestic gunfire than have died in all the military conflicts since the founding of our nation. That’s got to be the Stat of the Year, no?
Ron Borges (Boston Herald) wrote about the un-taxed NFL, “Former New York Giants general manager and Hall of Fame semifinalist George Young always used to say, “When they tell you it’s not about the money, remember it’s always about the money. But the NFL is nothing if not shameless. It considers itself as privileged as Queen Elizabeth. While the 32 individual teams pay all the taxes accountants and tax attorneys can’t make disappear, the league office at 345 Park Ave. pays nada.Why? Because they say they’re just doing what any good trade organization does. They’re not making money. They’re just trying to further the interests of the industry. That’s funny, I don’t recall them trying to further the interest of the World Football League or the United States Football League or the United Football League before they all croaked. They didn’t try to further them; they tried to bury them. They’re no more a trade organization furthering the pro football industry than Dunkin’ Donuts is trying to further the bakery industry. They’re a for-profit organization that collects and disburses the league’s billions and lobbies Congress not to do things like what Coburn wants to do, which is end a symbolic absurdity in the tax code. If the NFL is a tax-exempt not-for-profit trade organization like your local chamber of commerce, why did it pay commissioner Roger Goodell $29.49 million last year, $22.3 million of it in bonuses? Bonuses for what? For not making a profit?”
I agree that Johnette Howard (ESPN.com) should put the cause of the Giant’s bad season squarely at the feet of GM Jerry Reese. “Mara did express faith in Reese, emphasizing he still thinks Reese is the right man for the job. But once you get past his midseason trade for middle linebacker Jon Beason, some of the GM’s recent calls have been questionable.
The Giants’ drafts haven’t been great for several years now. David Wilson didn’t seem ready to be the starting running back even before he suffered what could be a career-threatening neck injury. Mara said the depth of the offensive line was a concern of his even before the season started — which begs the question, why wasn’t the line more of a concern for Reese? Chris Snee was coming off hip surgery and center David Baas’ durability has been an issue since he joined the Giants.
Worse, Reese’s decision to lavish a five-year deal that could be worth as much as $38.75 million on left tackle Will Beatty didn’t work out very well, either, even before Beatty broke his leg in Sunday’s season finale. “He didn’t play as well as we hoped he’d play,” Reese admitted.
Reese faced all of the harsh realities Monday with straightforwardness. He always does. And it was good to hear both him and Mara call out Manning a little bit. They both said their franchise quarterback needs to play better in 2014. “We turned the ball over this season at an alarming rate,” Reese said. Reese was asked if he is still convinced that Manning, soon to turn 33, has the skill set he did once upon a time. Reese nodded and said, “I think so, I think so. You look at him and see some things and think, ‘Wow. That’s the guy we know and love.’ And then there’s some times it’s not exactly that.” The same could be said of Reese, who took over as the Giants’ GM in 2007 and saw all six of his draft picks stick on the way to the Giants winning the first of the two Super Bowls under his watch. That alone is enough to earn Reese the same benefit of the doubt Coughlin got this year.”Our standards are high around here,” Reese said. “We’re up for the challenge.”
Mike Mazzeo (ESPNNY.com) quoted former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy talking about the Nets, “I think with all the injuries it’s been hard to evaluate Jason Kidd. It’s been easy to jump on him not just because of the record, but the things coming out of their locker room, the situation with Lawrence Frank, the incident of spilling the drink on the floor,” Van Gundy told the “Amani and Etyian Show” on NBC Sports Radio. “I mean this has looked like a bush league organization much of the year, they don’t play with much effort at all, a very uninspired team. But at the same time they had so many people hurt you just don’t know. And now they are not they are not going to be healthy all year.”
Garnett and Pierce were brought in for “big bucks” to provide direction and leadership. Pierce has done it but Garnett looks too old.
December 29, 2013
Week 17 Giants (7-9) 20 Washingtons (3-13) 6
Games being played in weather like Sunday’s are always sloppy. The game between DC and NY had nothing at stake except personal stats to be used in contract negotiations. After beginning the season 0-6, the Giants then went 7-3 to end up 7-9. Jenirgan had 57yds. rushing and 90yds. receiving; Hillis carried 17 times for 56 yards. Manning and Painter were 12-32, 156, 1 sack, 1int. The Giants D had 3 sacks and 2int. It was scary when Eli limped off with a sprained ankle.
Jets (8-8) 20 Dolphins (8-8) 7
Geno was 17-27, 190 sloppy yards, but had zero sacks, and zero ints. Powell carried the ball 17 times for 76 of the teams 154 yards. Nelson and Kerley each had 5 catches for 66 and 40 yards respectively. Santonio Holmes had 3 grabs for 41yards. Jets defense held Miami to 91 yards rushing.
Why Should The Yankees Mess With Johan? Wallace Matthews asked. “He has missed two out of the past three seasons due to injury. He will turn 34 a couple of weeks before Opening Day. And you can count the number of pitchers who have successfully returned to the major leagues after having not one, but two surgeries to repair a torn shoulder capsule, on two fingers. Provided those fingers are your thumb and index finger, forming a zero. Still, what do the Yankees have to lose by offering him a minor league deal and a chance to prove himself in spring training? So why not Santana?
Of all the free-agent pitchers still out there on the board, Santana has the best portfolio: the highest winning percentage, the lowest ERA and WHIP, the highest career WAR. He even did something once thought to be impossible, which is pitch a no-hitter for the Mets.
Yes, he would be a risky proposition, and given the nature of his injury and the fact that it happened twice, perhaps doomed to fail.
But for those same reasons, he is likely to be quite affordable, and if he can make it back to being a serviceable pitcher again, could turn out to be a tremendously good investment.”
Jim Bowden (ESPN.com) gave us his most likely posters who would like to ink Masahiro Tanaka. He led off with the Yankees, “1-The Yankees’ top free-agent pitching target has always been Tanaka. Although their goal was to stay under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold, it was more of a goal than a mandate, as GM Brian Cashman explained to me during the winter meetings. Tanaka is a potential top-of-the-rotation starter who can, at the very least, replace the retired Andy Pettitte and, at the very best, anchor the rotation for years to come.” He followed the Yankees with the 2- Angels 3- Rangers, “Having Yu Darvish in their rotation could serve as a recruiting edge, as Tanaka can surely see how well Darvish has thrived in Texas” 4- Dodgers and 5- Braves
Kyle Lowry- Shumpert
I hope Dolan doesn’t bite this apple. Lowry is only 6 foot tall and hasn’t shown that he can light it up.
Giving up Shumpert AND World Peace is too much defensive talent to give up.
I can see Felton and World Peace alone. Giving away Shumpert is a mistake. The “experts” are saying that he’s having a bad year, but that’s not so. The suits are bouncing him around—he’s a defensive expert, he’s a 2 guard, he’s a PG, a small forward, he’s not a leader. Do you know what- he can do all of those things
Ian Begley quoted Metta World Peace as saying after Knicks owner James Dolan addressed his poor playing team, “”I’m not a player, I’m an alien,” he said with a straight face. “I wasn’t actually there. I was in another galaxy with my galactic friends.”
World Peace was also asked about the idea that Mike Woodson deserves a chance to coach a healthy version of this Knicks team.
‘My focus is on winning championships. I don’t focus on anything else. Aliens only want to win championships,’ World Peace said. ‘That’s it. Injuries is not a focus. Trade talk is not a focus. Nothing is a focus. Gluten-free pasta is not a focus, which I would rather have gluten-free pasta. Hey, if I have to have regular pasta. … It is what it is. I’m still going to try to win a championship. Nothing will distract me from my focus, my galactic mind.’
Yes, it’s hard not to like Metta.”
Can You Punt And Run In Golf
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) pointed out, “It has come to my attention there is an LPGA player Sandra Gal. I wonder if she ever met punter Ray Guy?”
Greg Cote told us that, “The Key West World Championship of offshore powerboat racing ended, for those of you who enjoy following a sport not in the least bit conducive to spectators.”
All My ‘Exes
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) told us that it, “Looks like wolves finally got to Mack Brown’s door, forcing his ouster as football coach at Texas. Just call him Mack the Knifed.” OOF!
Bob Molinarro (HamptonRoads.com) wrote that, “Alex Rodriguez couldn’t be phonier if his last name was Kardashian.” “The best name in college football belongs to Navy safety Wave Ryder.”
No Lady Bing
Dwight Perry reminded me that back in January he wrote that Sophie Laboissonnierre lost her crown as Miss Congeniality at the Miss Coastal Vancouver beauty pageant when she pled guilty to rioting during a Stanley Cup Final. “No wonder,” he said, “she kept dropping he gloves duing the evening gown competition.”
On Christmas Eve, I had a sports chat with Santa and his chief elf and they took me to task for not writing more about “wrestling”. I told them that I didn’t write about exhibitions as a rule.
I made a mistake when I said that John Cena was the nephew of the “Wild Samoans” but I should have said that it was “The Rock.”