Dreams Blog

April 24, 2015

A Big Night For A-Rod
Wallace Matthews (ESPNNY.com) extolled A-Rod’s performance. “terms that not only did the Yankees have no place for him to play in their field, but he would have to prove he could hit well enough to earn a part-time spot in their lineup.
This same player, who the Yankees seemed to be going out of their way to get rid of just four months ago, is the one player their lineup can not afford to be without.
Back in February, when reporters were staking out the Yankees minor-league complex and the front office was stewing about the nerve of the guy to show up early for work, what were the odds that Rodriguez would be the one and only feel-good story to come out of the Yankees season so far?
And truth be told, through all of it, A-Rod has performed a lot better than his bosses expected him to, and behaved a lot better than his bosses have, too.
Friday night, he enjoyed his first two-home run night since May 2012. He had had 56 of these previously, but none could have been any sweeter than this one, considering the backstory, the current state of the team, the future fallout of what he has done in the first 10 games, and what he is bound to do over the next 150.
He absolutely killed the first home run, a blast over the left-centerfield fence measured at 477 feet. It wasn’t only the longest home run of the season by any player so far, but also the longest home run both at The Trop in 10 years, and by a New York Yankee since Rodriguez hit a 488-foot homer in 2006.
And his second one, coming with a man on in the sixth inning and the Yankees down by two, would have been one to remember had he not hit the first one, a guided missile deep into the lower left-field seats just inside the foul pole. That one gave him 658 lifetime home runs, just two behind Willie Mays for No. 4 on baseball’s all-time home run list, and just two good swings from what promises to be the next big A-Rod drama, the squabble over the payment of his first home run bonus.
“I try not to think about that,” he said. “I’m just really focusing on trying to help the team win.”
But it was his third at-bat that was the revelation, because if Rodriguez has shown anything this season, it is that he retains the ability to hit a fastball, especially if he guesses right. Both the home runs came on fastballs, a 92 MPH heater from starter Nathan Karns and one clocked at 94 by Ernesto Frieri. But, truth be told, he has sometimes looked a little sick against the breaking ball.
Not this time.
But there’s nothing phony about the way he’s hitting right now, and nothing false about the belief that without Rodriguez, the New York Yankees would be nothing right now.
You would’ve thought it would be the other way around.”
I Was Wondering
If MLB was so intent on banning Pete Rose from all baseball activities, why didn’t they erase all of his hitting marks? Maybe they wanted to use them to spur up interest in the Jeter farewell tour.
MLB wouldn’t do that, would they?
TA-NA-KA TA-NA-KA
Wallace Matthews (ESPNNY.com) wrote, “Masahiro Tanaka’s third start of the 2015 season could not have been more different from his first two.
But the biggest difference was this: After two starts in which the majority of the pitches he threw were breaking balls and off-speed pitches, in this one, Tanaka went back to plain, unvarnished heat. For the first time all season, he threw more fastballs and fewer splitters. After throwing just four four-seam fastballs in his first start, a loss to the Blue Jays on Opening Day, and just 16 in his second start, a win against Boston in which he allowed four earned runs in five innings, Tanaka went to the old No. 1 38 times against the Rays.”
Molinaro Marinara
I agreed with Bob Molinaro when he wrote: “It’s little wonder why NFL teams are unsure about risking a high pick on even some of the most prolific college quarterbacks. Take Baylor’s Bryce Petty, who reportedly had never called a play until the Senior Bowl. I’d have to think that Marcus Mariota may be in the same boat. Quarterback is supposed to be a thinking position, but colleges are turning out robots.”
The Dopey Iggles
The Sports Curmudgeon told us how Philly was trying to corner the market in 2nd string QB’s, “Let us just say that the Eagles’ QB position is “crowded”:
Sam Bradford arrived in a trade for Nick Foles
Mark Sanchez re-signed during the off-season.
Matt Barkley is still on the roster – – but should rent not buy.
Tim Tebow is about to join the parade.
Rumors persist that the Eagles want to trade up to draft Marcus Mariota.”
Some Water Hazard
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) told us about, “A golfer who suffered puncture wounds to his right calf after a crocodile twice bit him at the Palmer Sea Reef Golf Course in Port Douglas, Australia.
The duffer is laying up in a hospital bed. The croc was cited for not replacing his divots.”
More Perry Patter
Ex-Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams, to Philadelphia’s WIP Radio, after he and ex-teammate Lenny Dykstra agreed to roast each other: “It will be the first time I feel like a Harvard grad.” Ringing endorsement
Here’s what $10 gets you a ticket to see these days: the Mayweather-Pacquaio weigh-in, or the Ohio State spring football game.
(A record 99,391 chose the latter.)
Dwight’s Brendan Alert
The 76,976 fans at WrestleMania XXXI in San Francisco broke the Levi’s Stadium record for WiFi usage — 4.5 terabytes of data.
On the downside, local doctors report a sudden rash of cauliflower-thumb complaints. You shouldn’t have
And in romantic news, two rasslin’ fans picked the perfect place to get engaged — at Wrestlemania XXXI.
Well, Thelma Lou always said she wanted a big ring.

Dreams Blog

April 17, 2015

A Good Week For A-Rod
Wallace Matthews (ESPNNY.com) told us that, “On Sunday night, April 13th, A-Rod came to bat with the bases loaded and one out in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox. Although he has succeeded in this situation more than any batter in history — he finished the pre-Biogenesis portion of his career on Sept. 20, 2013, with his 24th grand slam and surpassed Lou Gehrig as baseball’s all-time leader — this at-bat could just as easily have ended in a rally-killing double play, and the way the Yankees had hit in their first five games, that might have been the safer bet.
Instead, Rodriguez jumped on a first-pitch cutter from Clay Buchholz, whom he had hit .400 against in 25 career at-bats, including two home runs, and drove it to the gap in left-center field to clear the bases. That jump-started a seven-run first inning and sent the Yankees’ offense rolling to a 14-4 rout of the Red Sox, which helped them avert a disastrous sweep at home and 1-5 start, something not seen around here for 26 years.
Pitchers’ Protection
William Weisbaum (ESPNNY.com) informed us that, “A group of six pitchers that includes Chicago White Sox right-hander Hector Noesi has used a Kevlar padding insert in caps this season or in spring training that Major League Baseball has not approved, the manufacturer told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Sunday.
Rob Vito, CEO of Unequal Technologies, said Noesi and New York Yankees reliever Esmil Rogers have worn the company’s “Dome” insert under official New Era caps in games this season. Four other pitchers he declined to name have also worn them in the last six weeks.
Vito said the padding is a 5½-ounce military-grade composite, with one layer of coated Kevlar and another of a soft proprietary material called airilon.
An MLB executive told “Outside the Lines” on Sunday that it was looking into the use of the Dome inserts and was reserving comment. Pitchers are free to wear protective headgear of their choice, as long as it doesn’t interfere with competition or with MLB licensing agreements.
Redundancy
I agree with Bob Molinaro here: “Many television viewers – and a lot of partisans from losing teams – apparently just discovered during the NCAAs that officials miss calls. For sure, the refs are overmatched. But complaints about officiating started about 10 minutes after James Naismith tacked up his first peach basket. In other words, it’s nothing new and there’s no real solution.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is the latest to take a shot at college hoops, saying that among other things, “the referees couldn’t manage a White Castle.” Pretty good line, but isn’t this the same guy who has been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for blasting NBA officials?
My solution for solving replay controversies is to get rid of replay altogether. Basketball did just fine before replay was introduced as a tedious, often badly used tool that drags out games and only sometimes rectifies mistakes. Why is a missed call in the final two minutes automatically assumed to be more important than a dubious decision earlier in the game?”
The Triangle Offense
Ian Begley (ESPNNY.com) wrote: “Some NBA personnel question whether the triangle fits today’s NBA. The offense produces a significant amount of midrange jump shots — the type of shot top offenses try to avoid.
Donnie Walsh, however, is a fan of the triangle.
“I think it can bring the best out of teams but you have to have some patience with it so teams can get [the hang] of it,” Walsh said.
The Pacers executive left New York due in part to a difference in philosophy with owner James Dolan. But he said Dolan and Jackson can build a winner in New York. He has confidence that Jackson will bring in players in free agency, though Walsh cautioned that New York isn’t the big draw that some believe it to be.
“That’s one of the most misunderstood things in the NBA, to be honest with you, that you can talk a veteran NBA player into coming to a city just by sitting down with him, talking to him and offering him the most money,” Walsh said. “These guys know what they want to do. They have their own agendas, and they know whether they want to go to New York or they don’t want to go to New York. And there are a lot that want to go to New York, so it isn’t like there aren’t people out there. … I don’t think it’s really up to Phil Jackson to talk them into it.”
Fisher expanded on his quotes, when he stated that he thought the Knicks could be a 63-win team next season.
“I think my point was just that whatever it is you need in order to make the jump, we have it. So we just have to make the choices that need to be made and commit to the process of doing so,” he said. “The cap space is there, the draft pick will be there unfortunately yet fortunately, and it’s up to us to do what we need to do with it and continue to work harder and getting better.”
Under-Grad
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote: “There’s an easy way to eliminate the sleazy feel of college basketball’s one-and-done system. Universities like Kentucky should institute a one-year bachelor’s degree program, so those student-athletes can leave with diplomas. Let other students dawdle and dither for four years; these guys will walk off with a bachelor’s in Hooponomics.”
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) told us about Lou Holtz, “Football commentator Lou Holtz, to a Notre Dame website, on why he’s leaving ESPN at age 78: “I’ve been everywhere except to bed. I’ve spoken to everybody except my wife. Somebody said, ‘Do you ever go anywhere where people don’t recognize you?’ I said, ‘Home.”
Age Is Relative
A 32-year old MLB player is just entering his prime earning years while an NBA player, at 32, is considered to be advancing in years. You don’t see that many 40-year old guys in the NBA.

Dreams Blog

April 10, 2015

Opening Day
I’m afraid that we will see many more L’s on the Yankees scoreboard.
Visiting teams used to arrive at the Stadium expecting to lose, but not now. They arrive looking to fatten their stats and records.
If you ask a prize fighter what is the biggest thing he can do in a match, they’ll tell you that if you break the opponent’s will to win the rest is easier.
Tanaka’s performance in the opener left a lot to be desired. He looked as though his elbow was paining him and he wasn’t able throw as well as he once could and Bluejays hitters were waiting on a weak heater.
I know that this was only game one, but Tanaka’s absence from the rotation could be ominous.
A Slightly Broken Egg
Wallace Matthews (ESPNNY.com) discussed Joe Girardi’s take on the Masahiro Tanaka injury, “What he does know is that the UCL tear is still there — they do not heal on their own — and admitted that just getting Tanaka through the spring relatively healthy was a victory in itself.
“It’s better than the alternative,” Girardi said.
When he was asked to describe his reaction the first time he heard Tanaka had suffered a UCL tear, Girardi was quick to interject the word “slight,” as if that would change the fact that the ligament is, indeed, torn. And of course, the only “slight” injuries are those that happen to someone else. Only Tanaka really knows how slightly injured his elbow really is.”
If the Yankees were a Broadway show, they might have closed after an opening as disastrous as this one. Their ace got bombed, their offense never fired, and even the vaunted new infield defense failed them. A day that started out in sunshine, pomp and circumstance ended in disappointed
grumbling from the sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium. It was the fourth straight Opening Day loss for the Yankees, who are now 2-6 in openers during Joe Girardi’s tenure as manager.”
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote, “It’ll be a cold day in hell when the Cubs win the World Series, you say?
Would you settle for a warm day in Antarctica instead?
The South Pole continent registered its highest temperature in recorded history — 63 degrees — last week. And the latest odds on the Cubbies are down to 16-1.
Ottawa Senators fans threw McDonald’s hamburgers onto the ice in honor of Andrew “Hamburglar” Hammond’s heroics in goal.
Just be glad the guy’s nickname isn’t, say, The Hammer.”
Sure-fire sign that your team’s star pitcher arrived at spring training grossly overweight: He just underwent Papa John surgery.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the ex-Mr. Universe and former California governor, got stopped by police in Australia for riding a bike without a helmet.
“If he got a concussion,” asked NBC’s Seth Meyers, “how would you know?”
A record 115 players opened the season on MLB disabled lists — or enough to stock more than 4½ teams.
Wrote Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: “My disabled-list starting rotation: Yu Darvish, Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, Cliff Lee and Jose Fernandez.”
The NFL handed Cleveland GM Ray Farmer a four-game suspension for sending texts to sideline personnel during games.
Banned from watching the Browns play? You call that punishment?”
Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine installed a maize-and blue fire hydrant — rival Michigan’s colors — then let some dogs get a leg up on it.
“Go ahead, hit us with your best shot,” wrote Steve Schrader of the Detroit Free Press. “These colors don’t run.”
Comedy writer Alan Ray, on Twins pitcher Ervin Santana’s 80-game PED suspension: “Teammates suspected something at spring training: It was his 95 mph changeup.”
Molinaro Maranara
Bob Molinaro (Hampton Roads Pilot) wrote, “Judging from his still dark hair (hmm), you might never know that, at 68, Mike Krzyzewski is the oldest of the Final Four coaches – a year north of Wisconsin’s white-haired Bo Ryan. UCLA legend John Wooden retired at a mere 64, though in 1975 that seemed relatively ancient. Different times.
On ESPN radio, Charles Barkley explained why he has no use for Twitter or other social media: “The Internet is where losers go to feel important.” Discuss among yourselves – or on Twitter, if you’d like. (ed: well excu-u-use me)
Like A Rock
The Sports Curmudgeon talked about a potentially high draft pick (ed. like Neb. DE Randy Gregory) on a slippery slope, “If a potential high draft pick tests positive at the Combine when they know months in advance of the date and time of the “sampling”, then that potential high draft pick is dumber than soup.
The SC pointed out that the NFL “Suits” think they can do anything. “Any team that relocates within the US must give up one home game in each of their “transitional years” to play in London – or potentially elsewhere overseas. The “transitional years” are the seasons between the announcement of the relocation and the actual move into the new stadium in the new city. Considering that 3 teams are reportedly interested in moving to LA, that makes a few teams eligible for playing in London in future years.
Any team that gets a Super Bowl game in its stadium will have to give up a home game to a London/international venue during a 5-year window as part of the deal.”
Scott’s Jots
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote, “The Sacramento Kings signed Sim Bhullar to a 10-day contract, and the 7-foot-5, 360-pound center is the first NBA player of Indian descent. So can we call him Mahatma Grande?”
Cote’s Notes
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) wrote, “A major show-jumping competition concluded Saturday on the sands of Miami Beach. I don’t wanna say those horses are pampered, but an “equine psychotherapist” was on hand. Seriously. Am picturing a typical session. Sad horse sighs as it lays on couch. Psychotherapist: “Why the long face?”
By the way, ever wonder how the tradition of cutting down the nets began in basketball? Turns out it was started by the American Association of People Who Sell Basketball Nets.”

Dreams Blog

April 3, 2015

2-Seamer 4-Seamer
I asked a pitcher that I know how these pitches behave and he told me. The four-seamer is held at the back of the horseshoe on the cover of the baseball and is thrown hard without any wrist movement. The ball will have a natural rising movement. The 2-seamer is held across the seam with the base of the thumb just touching the second seam. The pressure put on the index finger or middle finger as the ball is released could make the ball to move in or out depending on the hitter. This pitch puts stress on the pitcher’s ulnar ligament
Hitting Coaches
Both the Yankees and the Mets began their Spring camps with new names in these positions. The Yankees have Jeff Pentlind and the Mets have Kevin Long.
I don’t know that much about Pentlind but, as a player, the highest level that he reached was AAA (1-yr). I think he’s a wait-and see project. He has no hitting philosophy, he said.
I was sorry to see Kevin Long go- so were the Yankee hitters. But Curtis Granderson was glad to see him.
Who seems to be doing better- the Mets or the Yankees?
Phew, I’m Glad It’s Over
Bill Plaschke (LA Times) wrote, “The UCLA basketball players gathered in their tiny locker room here Friday afternoon looking like they had just endured a difficult test.
They stretched. They yawned. They rubbed their red eyes.
“Man, I’m glad that’s over with,” Tony Parker said.
“Really stressful, glad to be done with it,” Gyorgy Goloman said.
Turns out, they weren’t talking about the previous day’s dramatic South Regional victory. Stunningly, they were actually talking about real tests.
Shortly after the UCLA players awoke Friday following their 60-59 victory over Southern Methodist, nearly half the team was herded into a converted suite at the nearby Hilton Gardens Inn to take UCLA’s second-quarter final exams.
They were arranged at separate desks. They were monitored by proctor Veronica Rodriguez-Mora, a learning specialist from the school’s athletic department. They were given tests similar to those given their fellow students back in Los Angeles, and allowed the same amount of time to complete them. Then they climbed on the bus and drove to the arena and attended practice in preparation for Saturday’s round-of-32 game against Alabama Birmingham.
“That’s pretty crazy, huh?” Goloman said”
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote, “Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, on scatter-armed QB Tim Tebow’s workout for the Eagles: “I won’t say how the passing drills went, but there are now two cracks in the Liberty Bell.”
Baltimore Ravens behemoth John Urschel co-wrote a paper, published in the Journal of Computational Mathematics, titled “A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fiedler Vector of Graph Laplacians.”;
And to think, some of his O-line brethren can’t even remember the snap count.”
The Minnesota Vikings have signed Babatunde Aiyegbusi, a 6-foot-9, 351-pound lineman from Poland.
Club officials are still deciding whether to put him at tackle, guard — or both at the same time.
At TheOnion.com: “Kentucky cancels practice for NBA draft suit-fitting.”;
Steve Schrader of the Detroit Free Press, on why actress/Kentucky fan Ashley Judd kissed Dick Vitale: “It was the only way she could get him to shut up.”
Kevin Harvick became the first NASCAR driver in 41 years to start the season with four consecutive top-two finishes.
A one and a two, and a one and a two? Just call him the Lawrence Welk of stock-car racing.”
NCAA Hypocrisy
The Sports Curmudgeon knocked it out of the park with this. “Here is a paragraph from the NCAA website:
“Amateur competition is a bedrock principle of college athletics and the NCAA. Maintaining amateurism is crucial to preserving an academic environment in which acquiring a quality education is the first priority. In the collegiate model of sports, the young men and women competing on the field or court are students first, athletes second.”
Let me be clear. I can believe that paragraph in its entirety when it applies to Division III teams such as Linfield College football or Division II teams such as Philadelphia University basketball or even to Division I schools in places like the Ivy League or in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. I cannot swallow the piety of that paragraph when it comes to the big-time schools that are participating in the basketball tournament for real especially in light of the recent revelations of academic shenanigans at Syracuse and UNC. Make no mistake, those were not actions taken by “deranged boosters” or some “rogue recruiter”; the events at Syracuse and UNC were genuine academic fraud perpetrated by or condoned by coaches, players, athletic departments and faculty.
The NCAA cannot maintain that amateurism is a “bedrock principle” and that in the “collegiate model” the athletes are “students first” so long as those kinds of activities are not crushed when they are discovered. The hypocrisy level in that statement is so great that it immediately brings to mind a quote from William F. Buckley, Jr.:
“I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.”
It would seem as if the NCAA continues to live with one abiding hope in terms of continuing to play the smoke-and-mirrors game with the American public. That one abiding hope was expressed by Noel Coward:
“It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.”
Coaches Meet
The Sports Curmudgeon wrote about the spring meeting for NFL coaches, “All 32 NFL coaches showed up for a “photo-shoot” at the Spring Meetings. This is news because more often than not at least one of the coaches does not make an appearance and most often the absentee is Bill Belichick. I did not see any reports if he showed up wearing a hoodie – after all this was in Phoenix and not in Lower Kalskag, Alaska (population 294) – but there was a report that said Andy Reid showed up for the photo wearing shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. If the Hawaiian shirt fit Andy Reid, it might be a map of the Hawaiian Islands with a scale of 1:1…”

Dreams Blog

March 27, 2015

Bird Watching
Andrew Marchand (ESPNNY.com) wrote, “Yankees hitting-coach Jeff Pentland added, “He (Bird) has easy power. He doesn’t have to swing hard to hit it hard. That’s a good thing.”
In 2014 in Single-A and Double-A, Bird hit .271 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs in 102 games. His OPS was .848.
Cashman said Bird will start 2015 at Double-A Trenton. Cashman also said Bird will dictate when he is promoted by how he plays.
Bad News For NFL
The Sports Curmudgeon wrote about Chris Borland’s retirement and the news gives another boost to rugby and the possibility of a pro-league. “Does the early retirement of Chris Borland portend the downfall of the NFL as we know it? Not in my lifetime… Take a look at the last year or so in the NFL and try to imagine what else could have happened to the league to make it less popular or less attractive. Yes, I guess there could have been a player who took a hit and died on the field with the cameras focused on him, but other than that… Then take a look at the TV ratings especially for the playoffs. The NFL in the short term is virtually immune to bad news or bad publicity or just about anything bad. Nevertheless, the really long term future for NFL football as we see it today is not a good one.”
Quick Bat
Wallace Matthews quoted Alex Rodriguez answering his critics by saying, “”I laugh when people say, you can’t hit a ball in the mid- 90s anymore,” Rodriguez said after his home run in the fifth inning accounted for one of the runs in the New York Yankees’ 11-2 victory against the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium. “I couldn’t hit it in my prime when I was 28, certainly not consistently. When a guy’s throwing 95, 96, and he’s spotting, maybe Mike Trout or some of those great young superstars can hit it, but not me, so.”
This Rose By Any Other Name
The Sports Curmudgeon talked about Pete Rose’s worth to a MLB, “Pete Rose – despite his betting on baseball and his tax evasion activities – is as much an “Ambassador of Baseball” as just about anyone else. MLB can benefit from his inclusion in various events such as All-Star Games and/or the World Baseball Classic – the next of which is scheduled for 2017. If I were in Rob Manfred’s position I would move to reinstate Pete Rose and reap some of those small benefits that the game can garner from Rose’s inclusion. Just my two cents…”
Bon Mot
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote, “Pete Rose, 73, has applied for official reinstatement to MLB’s good graces, which would make him eligible for the Hall of Fame. Rose last applied in 2002, and met with Bud Selig, who never ruled on Rose’s application. Hey, now that Bud is retired, maybe he’ll have time to do rule on this and other issues he was too busy to decide when he was commissioner.”
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote, “The Sharks and Jets tangled again Tuesday night, with players sent off for holding, slashing, high-sticking, cross-checking, roughing and misconduct in Winnipeg’s 5-2 NHL victory.
“So who was the referee?” wondered Times reader Joel Broudy. “Officer Krupke?”;
As Times reader Bill Littlejohn noted of the 49ers, Gore is out and Bush is in.
But no, this is not a repeat from the year 2000.
Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, on Baylor, Texas, SMU and Texas Southern all losing their NCAA-tournament openers Thursday: “Last time the state of Texas had a day this bad, the Alamo was involved.”;
Kavitha Davidson of Bloomberg News, on the possibility of Tim Tebow signing with the Eagles: “It’s kind of fun to wonder if the fan base that famously booed Santa would also boo Jesus.”
Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, on Harvard players’ trash-talking not up to NCAA tournament standards: “ ‘Your matriarch’s inability to calculate Pi is mortifying’ will not cut it.”
Molinaro Marinara
Bob Molinaro (Hampton Roads Pilot) wrote, “Charity cases: If you’re of a mind, keep track of how many tourney games are won and lost at the free throw line. A team’s success or failure at the stripe doesn’t create headlines or highlight clips, but free throws often have much more impact than the machinations of the sideline rocket scientists.
Futurewatch: In anticipation of feverish tournament finishes, by now every coach knows to foul in the closing seconds when up 3, right? We’ll see about that.”
Cote’s Notes
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) wrote, “SMU coach Larry Brown, 74, said Kentucky would make the NBA playoffs in the Eastern Conference, but coach John Calipari quickly tweeted, “Let me be clear: If we played any NBA team, we would get buried.” (Maybe Brown was off his meds?)
Here’s another example of the change in Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. His players have a new private team jet that includes a massage table. They used to have to make their own bats on a wood lathe.
With the countdown to Opening Day now 15 days, new betting odds now have Marlin Giancarlo Stanton the favorite to win both the MLB home-run title and National League MVP. Hey, no pressure, Mr. $325 Million Man. Just relax and have fun out there!
A bird was killed by a foul ball during a Tigers-Braves spring game. Cannot confirm an outraged PETA is now calling for an end to baseball.
Jameis Winston says he will not attend the NFL Draft. Apparently he was looking to give skeptics yet another reason to question his decision making.
Sentences I Never Imagined Writing (one in a series): “Evander Holyfield will fight Mitt Romney in a May 15 charity boxing match in Salt Lake City.”
Parting thought: Pete Rose has officially petitioned baseball for reinstatement. I wouldn’t bet on his chances. “I would!” said Rose.”
“Concrete Charlie”
The late Chuck Bednaric got that nickname, not because he was the fierce tackler that he was, but for the fact he sold concrete during the off-season.

Dreams Blog

March 20, 2015

Madness, Indeed
The Sports Curmudgeon is back from Arizona and talked about College basketball, “If one seeks to “increase scoring” by going to the rule book and making changes – other than the trivial way of making field goals worth 5 points each and foul shots worth 3 points – I believe the most effective thing to do would be to devalue dunking the basketball. No, it should not be outlawed as it was for more than a decade. However, if a dunk were only worth 1 point instead of 2 points, there would be a real incentive for players to learn to get open and hit a jump shot. Should that need reinforcing, add to the rule book that any player who hangs on the rim for any reason receives a technical foul and you will have discouraged the alley oop play sufficiently.
I would prefer that they leave the 35-second shot clock alone and leave men’s college basketball as a game that is distinct from the NBA or women’s basketball or high school basketball. If a game winds up 53-51 and neither team ever led by more than 6-points throughout the game, I think that game is plenty exciting and interesting to watch. Just because the final score is 83-81 does not make a game exponentially more interesting to watch.
“Here Come De-Judge!”
Reggie Jackson is impressed by the play of Aaron Judge, “”He’s got power like Stargell, McCovey, “Jackson said. “Opposite-field power, which is the best power you can have. That allows you to wait on the ball. He has power like a guy from the ’60s and ’70s.”
“A gentle giant,” Jackson said. “A sweetheart. A nice young man. He has significant inner strength and confidence. He has a humble presence. Jackson said Judge is “built like a tight end,” and Judge did, in fact, play high school receiver and defensive end well enough to receive letters from major football programs. Judge’s first love was baseball. though, so he went to Fresno State to hit, not be hit.
Judge should start this season at Double-A Trenton. If he masters that level, he could bump up to Triple-A by midseason. If he has a good enough year, Judge could be a big part of the 2016 major league plans.
“He can miss the ball and hit the ball over the fence,” Jackson said. “He hit a homer the other day in Clearwater. It was a fly ball for him. It was a routine fly ball. His routine fly balls are 380. He hit a 400-foot fly ball and missed it. He hit a 400-foot fly ball and missed it for a homer. He can do that if he is swinging late. He can hit the ball out of the ballpark from line to line. All he has to do is square the ball.”
Jets Band Aid
Rich Cimini (ESPNNY.com) wrote, “Ryan Fitzpatrick has been on the Jets’ radar for nearly two months as they monitored the Houston QB situation. Actually, this move is similar to what the previous regime did last year by signing Michael Vick — an over-30 player with experience in the offensive coordinator’s system and a guy who can provide competition for Geno Smith. Presumably, Fitzpatrick will get a fair shot to compete for the starting job, something Vick never was afforded. The basic dynamic doesn’t change, though: It’s a Band-Aid. The Jets continue to hold out hope that Smith can be the answer.”
Molinaro Maranara Bob Molinaro (Hampton Roads Pilot) wrote, “In passing: The amount of money some NFL teams spend to attract free agents is in direct proportion to how badly they scout and draft.
Open door policy: It may be worth wondering if Jim Boeheim’s niche in the Naismith Hall of Fame would be there if the NCAA had come down on him years ago. But don’t assume that the sanctions against Syracuse would have blocked his enshrinement. The innumerable troubles rascally Jerry Tarkanian had with the NCAA didn’t keep the Shark out of the Hall. This recalls a Tarkanian quote: “Nine out of 10 schools are cheating. The other one is in last place.”
Rocky Bridges
Bruce Jenkins remembered him: “A few highlights along the way. On being a bench guy for most of his career:
I’ve been a paid spectator at some pretty interesting events, and I always had a good seat. I guess they figured there was no point in carrying a good thing too far.”
On making that ’58 All-Star team after posting a .307 average at the break:
“That surprised everybody. They were close to launching an investigation. Of course, I never got in the game. But I sat on the bench with Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Yogi Berra. I gave ‘em instructions on how to sit.”
“I prefer fast food.”
“On his physique: “I’m a handsome, debonair, easy goinging six-footer. At least that’s what I told them at the Braille Institute.”
I remember Bridges standing in the batter’s box and taking pitches off his body in an effort to teach his players that getting hit doesn’t hurt. Ron Hunt was one of his all-star pupils.
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote, “The Maple Leafs benched center Nazem Kadri because he overslept and missed a team meeting.
Apparently Nazem just needed a few more Z’s.
Talk about watching an overmatched 16-seed taking on a 1-seed on national TV this week.
But enough about Dick Vitale kissing Ashley Judd.
Golf icon Jack Nicklaus is launching his own line of ice cream.
Just one drawback: It’s tough to top on sundaes.
The Tuskegee and Albany State cheerleading teams were sent home after they brawled at halftime of a basketball game.
Apparently “Two hits … four hits …” wasn’t supposed to be on the cheer list.
Dana O’Neil of ESPN.com, on Jerry Tarkanian, Eddie Sutton, Kelvin Sampson and Bruce Pearl giving Jim Boeheim no cause for worry: “No matter what the NCAA does — suspends a coach for one game, five, or a season — they survive, like cockroaches with a whistle and a whiteboard.”

Dreams Blog

March 13, 2015

Molinaro Maranara
Good writing, to me, will exhibit a rhythm that will allow the words when they’re aligned correctly to achieve a pleasant musical arrangement. There’s music in the way Bob Molinaro (Hampton Roads Pilot) writes, “Any small emotional investment I make in the many (too many) conference tournaments this week and next will be reserved for the mid-major and small-time rodeos that determine a conference’s lone representative in the NCAA field. Something sort of tangible is at stake in these less-celebrated intramural tournaments, whereas the power conferences hold what are essentially exhibition games that allow for the printing of more money and the over-exercising of Dick Vitale’s vocal chords.
After avoiding a possible strike, Major League Soccer begins its 20th season tonight. That’s quite an accomplishment. Not many leagues could survive while being ignored for so long.”
Mr. Congeniality
Andrew Marchand (ESPNNY.com) wrote: “After Jose Lobaton’s bat flew into the stands and hit a woman in the front row, Mr. October turned into Mr. March. Reggie Jackson left his dugout seat next to Girardi to go into the crowd. Jackson signed autographs for the woman that Lobaton’s bat struck and sat with her for a little bit.
The best:Jackson gave Jose Pirela quite an endorsement Sunday. He told ESPN Deportes’ Marly Rivera that Pirela is the best hitter in the entire organization. That says a lot about Pirela and also something about the rest of the Yankees, considering Pirela has a grand total of 24 major league at-bats.
On Sunday, Pirela went 2-for-3, including a double. He is hitting .455 so far as he fights for the second base job with Stephen Drew and Rob Refsnyder.”
Jackson might have done all of that, on instructions, to avoid a legal action (I know, I know- that’s cynical).
Perry Patter
Dwight wrote, “Ex-NBA center Greg Ostertag, to USA Hockey magazine, on being a 7-foot, 280-pound rec player in Arizona: “I don’t (sic) handle the puck great, but I know how to get into position, and sometimes I get lucky. I try to be a screen as much as I can and get out of the way at the last second.”;
Kobe Bryant, answering critics who say he shoots too much in a GQ interview, compared himself to Wolfgang Mozart.
Hey, don’t laugh: Whose career cranked out the most scores? At Fark.com: “Patriots decline to pick up the option on Vince Wilfork, thus creating two open roster spots.”
Real Madrid soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo sends his hairstylist to Madrid’s Museo de Cera every 45 days to fix the hair on his wax statue there.
The guy certainly ought to know the part by now.
Unnamed reader, to the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, on which quarterback the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will draft with the No. 1 pick: “The wrong one.”
Police in Caldwell, Idaho, nabbed 22-year-old Joey Patterson of Boise — wanted for several months on a felony arrest warrant for violating his probation — after he made the mistake of announcing his upcoming softball schedule on Facebook.
“We keep a close eye on that stuff,” Caldwell Police Sgt. Joey Hoadley told Boise’s KTVB-TV. “Surprisingly, even fugitives can’t keep from updating their Facebook status, and it leads to some great arrests.”
“The Jets traded for receiver Brandon Marshall but still have no decent quarterback,” wrote Greg Cote of the Miami Herald. “That’s like someone who can’t cook buying a great set of pots and pans.”
“2015 has started off as a wild year,” noted comedy writer Alex Kaseberg. “Two llamas escape, nobody can agree on the colors of a dress, and Harrison Ford has hit more fairways than Tiger Wood
Ex-heavyweight Joe Bugner, 65, to the Brisbane (Australia) Courier-Mail, on what it was like to punch Muhammad Ali in the face: “Very difficult.”
Jet Fuel
ESPN was reporting that the Jets were looking at Brian Hoyer, who lost the starting QB job with the Browns. It’s no great loss if they don’t get him. “Hoyer, 29, won the starting job in Cleveland last season in a training camp competition with Johnny Manziel and got off to a fast start.
He brought the Browns back from a 27-3 halftime deficit to tie the season opener in Pittsburgh before the Steelers won on a last-second field goal, and guided the biggest road comeback in NFL history in a 29-28 win over Tennessee.
Hoyer threw three interceptions in Atlanta in November but led a last-minute drive that won the game. At that point, the Browns were 7-4 and in the playoff chase.
But he was yanked the following week in Buffalo, and his season was never the same. Hoyer played tight the next week against the Colts and lost his job as the starter to Manziel the next week. Hoyer returned only when Manziel pulled a hamstring after six woeful quarters on the field.
For the season, Hoyer threw for 3,326 yards with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His season rating was 76.5, which ranked 31st in the league. But Hoyer is the only one of the Browns’ 22 starting quarterbacks since 1999 to have a winning record as a starter (10-6).
Hoyer spent three seasons as Tom Brady’s backup and got his chance with the Browns in 2013. He led the team to wins over Cincinnati and Minnesota before tearing his ACL less than five minutes into a win over Buffalo.”
Daly News
Dan Daly wrote about the last player in the NFL who played without a helmet, “In 1938 Dick Plasman, the last man to go without a helmet in the NFL, a receiver, ran into the wall trying to catch a pass. He suffered a broken wrist, a cut-and-bruised head and who knows what else. (He also met his future wife — one of his nurses — in the hospital, so it wasn’t a total loss for him.) That really wasn’t that long ago.
Brendan Alert
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) said, “MMA champ Ronda Rousey needed just 14 seconds to win on Saturday night.
As for her next bout, it’ll be between pitches at a Yankees-Red Sox game.”

Dreams Blog

March 6, 2015

The 17th
If you’re going out on the 17th remember that the day celebrates Irish culture- its’ writing and music. Don’t dress up like a buffoon or act like an amadan. It IS about what’s in your heart not what you have on your back- and that’s what counts.
Leopards- Their Spots And Olbermann
The Sports Curmudgeon thinks Olbermann has talent as a TV host and I just don’t like him. The SC wrote, “When ESPN re-hired him, they knew what he did on TV and they hired him to do more of that.
It is precisely for that reason that I believe that those folks who called for Olbermann to be fired for what he Tweeted last week – or that he should be boiled in oil before being fired – are way off base. If an organization (ESPN) hires a hit man (Keith Olbermann in the most figurative sense here), then the hiring organization cannot be offended or shocked or moved to righteous indignation when he does something outrageous.”
Eye-Hand Speed
I don’t know how those all-knowing “pundits” can think that any MLB-player who has been out of the game for almost two years would have the same batting success as when he left. I hoped Rodriguez would have it but, in truth, I knew he wouldn’t. Why don’t they wait a little bit, to see if it comes back, before they slam him.
CBA
The SC told us that, “Michele Roberts is the Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association having succeeded Billy Hunter in that job. She has demonstrated her rhetorical prowess already denouncing the concept of a salary cap as “un-American” and saying that there is no such thing as a salary cap in her DNA. She has also correctly – and unoriginally – observed that people pay to see the players and not the owners making the owners “expendable”. The current CBA has a few years to go, so I just consider that she is using this time to gather her momentum for the upcoming negotiations that will surely be contentious.
However, I think she recently took her prep work a bit too far and she may want to “evolve her position” a bit. Michele Roberts said that allowing the media access to locker rooms and practices is:
“…an incredible invasion of privacy.”
Literally, she is correct. In the real world, the media is the means by which the players – her employer – generate and maintain the attention of the fans to the point where the fans shell out money for tickets and take the time to watch NBA games on TV. In the real world, she is going to need some of the media to “push her message” when the negotiations start. I am not sure that the idea of limiting media access to teams has ever been a critical issue and I doubt that it will be one in the next round of NBA labor negotiations. Unless of course, Michele Roberts wants to make it so…”
CBA might also stand for “Complete But Adjustable.”
Much Ado
Bob Molinaro talked about those delays, “David Ortiz made it clear what he thinks of baseball’s speed-up rules, but does anybody seriously believe hitters will be paying through the nose for leaving the batter’s box at the wrong times? The new proposal that threatens a $500 fine, starting May 1, for stepping out of the box between pitches allows plenty of wiggle room. Hitters can step out after swinging at a pitch, after calling timeout, after a wild pitch or passed ball and following a bunt attempt. If monitoring this business is left to the umpires, hitters will get a lot of slack. The umps won’t want to be bothered.”
Alternative Sport
The Sports Curmudgeon told us about an interesting contact sport with few head injuries. “Allow me to let you in on news that a group in Bloomington, MN hopes to organize a rugby match this summer featuring former NFL players against a team from Europe. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, the hope is that this exhibition match will provide the impetus to launch a professional rugby league here in the US in 2016. The proposed league would play in the summertime and the league concept is that rugby in the summer would provide US sports fans with a contact sport during that time of the year when football does not happen.
The exhibition game involving the English team from Leicester is scheduled for August of this year. Obviously, the emergence and ultimate viability of this pro rugby league in the US is a longshot and not something one should take out a second mortgage to invest in. However, it is an interesting idea and if the organizers can find a way to get that exhibition game on TV…”
There’s nothing as interesting as watching the New Zealand All Blacks loosen up before a game- it’s scary.
Scott’s Jots
Scott Ostler (SF Chronical) wrote, “With Stephen Curry inventing new shots almost every game, it would be good to get Darryl Dawkins out of mothballs and have him name Curry’s shots. Dawkins was the NBA’s poet laureate 35 years ago, nicknaming himself (Chocolate Thunder) and naming his dunks.
The all-timer was Dawkins’ 1979 backboard-shattering dunk, “The Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump-Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam, Glass-Breaker-I-Am Jam.”
B.J. Upton now wishes to be called Melvin Upton Jr. The B.J. was also a hand-me-down from his father, who was called Bossman. B.J. stands for Bossman Junior. Why would he pick Melvin over Bossman?
Speaking of nicknames, Moses Malone once told of playing street ball against a tough customer everyone called “Milkman.” How did he get that nickname? Explained Malone: “He killed the Milkman.”
Well, He Is A Pull Hitter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) said that, “According to Delta Dental research, kids in the U.S. received an estimated $255 million from the Tooth Fairy last year.
In a related story, Alex Rodriguez still has $61 million coming from the Yanks.”
Get a whiff of this
Dwight Perry told us that, “Yankees outfielder Chris Young struck out during an intra-squad workout Monday — against a pitching machine. No word on whether he charged the mound.”

Dreams Blog

February 27, 2015

Harbinger
The Sports Curmudgeon gave us some topics for sportsters at Spring training. “Reporters faced with deadlines for daily stories therefore fall back on standard themes:
A player who was injured last year surely hopes to be healthy this year.
A player who shows up 15 pounds heavier says this will allow him to stay stronger during the long season.
A player who shows up 15 pounds lighter says this will give him more speed and will keep him stronger longer in the season because he is carrying around less weight.
A player with a new fat contract from free agency just wants to win and it glad that all the hoopla associated with contract negotiations are behind him.
A player whose contract will expire at the end of this year is intent on getting a new contract and/or using the upcoming season to demonstrate his real worth – by focusing on nothing but winning of course.
At some point this Spring, you will read that “the pitchers are ahead of the hitters at this point…”
So, ask yourself why the teams don’t have the hitters report to Spring Training before the pitchers and catchers.
Then consider that if the hitters reported first, there would be no one to pitch to them…
We have all read all of those stories a hundred times before and will read another 4 or 5 dozen of them again this year because there is nothing else to put in the papers. On most days, nothing of any import happens in Spring Training. It is the price we pay for that particular harbinger of Spring…
Zen Drafter
So now Phil Jackson has removed more salaries from the Knicks’ roster. We’ll be waiting for the NBA draft on June 25th to see how many seats on the game bench will be filled by Jackson,
Jets Draft Board
We’ve always heard that you can’t coach size. These are quick looks: Geno Smith- 6/3, 218; Marcus Mariota- 6/4, 219; Jameis Winston (reported shoulder weakness?)- 6/4, 230;. Josh McCown- 6/4, 230. Gee, none of these guys are Eddie Lebaron sized (5/9, 168).
These Combine choices are only guesses that don’t enter the reality phase until the choices get on the field. “How-evah” if I were choosing a QB, I’d look at arm strength for long passes, passing across the body, and away from the body. I’d also like to know if he had the smarts to call 2 plays in the huddle.
“I Have A Dream”
The Sports Curmudgeon gave a good answer to Jesse Jackson. “Therefore, it is pretty clear to me that there was some skullduggery going on with regard to the roster. And so, I would like to respond to Rev Jackson’s wondering aloud about this being about boundaries and not race. To respond, allow me first to present some words by the Rev Martin Luther King, Jr. from the “I Have A Dream” speech:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
The adults in charge of that Little League team cheated. I do not think that cheating is a race issue but I do think it is a character issue. I choose to judge those people on the basis of their character as evidenced by their behavior. Sadly, those adult cheaters with character flaws all their own behaved in a way that caused a bunch of kids to lose something they obviously treasured.
The Curmudgeon had this to say about Tiger Woods, “Tiger Woods’ announcement that he was taking time off from PGA events simply changed the focus of the “Tiger Woods stories” that golf writers must be compelled to write by editors who have become addicted to Tiger Woods stories. Folks, Tiger Woods was once the best golfer in the world; for the last 5 years he has not been anywhere near that stature. In fact, if you look at the last 5 years alone and consider the amount of coverage in the media for Tiger Woods juxtaposed with his athletic accomplishments here is a sports figure that he has begun to resemble:
Danica Patrick
Think about the amount of coverage per meaningful victory over the past 5 years and those two sports figures are coming closer and closer together.”
Tark The Shark
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote about Jerry Tarkanian’s passing. “Jerry Tarkanian wasn’t called Tark the Shark for nothing.
Seems the late UNLV basketball coach, whose flouting of NCAA regulations was the stuff of legend, once raised a lot of eyebrows at an NCAA reform gathering when he voted in favor of every single proposal — recruiting, financial or academic — put forth to make the rules even stricter.
“Later, at the hotel bar,” wrote Phil Mushnick of the New York Post, “this AD was moved to ask Tarkanian why someone with his rep would favor firmer NCAA compliance legislation. Because, Tarkanian replied, some of the schools ‘actually might follow those rules.’ ”
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote that, “The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Lodge Burger is the NBA’s best arena hamburger, according to a survey cited by the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Apparently the No. 1 hot dog designation went out the door with Dennis Rodman.
“Ian Hamilton of the Regina (Sask.) Leader-Post, after 88-year-old Lew Dunlap started to charge the mound after getting brushed back by a pitch at a Rockies fantasy camp: “He’s expected to arrive there sometime next week.”
Olbermann
I’m not unhappy that he was suspended by ESPN. It’s too bad that it was only for a week instead of a permanent dismissal. I feel that he is snarky-to the max and tries to show how smart he is in a way to put down everybody else.
This time he ranted against students from Penn State, who raised money to assist in the battle against pediatric cancer. He allowed a personal hatred of PSU because of the Sandusky horror, to overshadow correct thinking.

Dreams Blog

February 20, 2015

Yankees Whoop-De-Do
I wasn’t paying very much attention to all the hoo-ha about A-Rod’s public apologies because I think it was more about the team trying to position themselves in order not to pay those huge bonuses.
Besides, A-Rod could take a big step toward forgiveness by hitting a few of those first pitches over the fence.
MLB Fans
I think as a rule that baseball fans aren’t concerned with a lot of the media’s “Whoop-de-do” that tells us how to feel. There’s a lot of “gas in the air” saying that “ordinary people” don’t believe A-Rod’s apology. That doesn’t matter as much as seeing him play well. That’s what matters most in the end.
Jackie Robinson West Little League
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) weighed in. “There is concern that the mess will cause black youngsters to veer away from baseball, already experiencing a steady decline in participation by African Americans.
Right. African American kids will shift to football and basketball, where there is zero chance they will ever be exploited by greedy, power-crazed adults.”
NBA
The Sports Curmudgeon said, “Reports say that George Karl will take over as the head coach of the Sacramento Kings right after the All-Star break. Karl is a certified basketball lifer and he is a very good coach. He has turned sorry-assed franchises in to respectable franchises in the past; the man knows what he is doing. So this is a prime catch for the Kings, right? (and maybe he can buy, as Greg Cote noted an actual second name)
Unfortunately, I have to answer that with “Maybe”. Consider: The Sacramento Kings franchise has been around since the dawn of the NBA – and even before that truth be told – residing in cities such as Rochester, Cincinnati, KC/Omaha, KC (by itself) and now Sacramento. This peripatetic franchise has won the NBA Championship exactly 1 time and that was in 1951. To give you an idea of how long ago that was, the Rochester Royals were winning the NBA championship about the same time that President Harry Truman was in the process of relieving General Douglass MacArthur of command in the midst of the Korean War. This franchise does not have a winning tradition.
The current – and newly minted – owner of the Kings, Vivek Ranadive, is an impatient man who believes that he has great professional basketball insights. It appears to me that he is a guy who will plant a crop of vegetables and then pull up each plant once a week just to be sure the roots are developing and then put it back in the soil. Months later, he will be surprised when his crop yield is below normal… In short, he seems to be what Danny Boy Snyder would be like if Danny Boy bought and NBA team.”
Pheee-nom
Jerry Crasnek (ESPNNY.com) gave us this alert, “Prized Cuban free agent Yoan Moncada has four or five more private workouts scheduled with Major League Baseball teams in the next week and hopes to decide where he will sign by Feb. 23, his representative told ESPN on Wednesday.
Moncada expects to audition individually for about a dozen teams, according to David Hastings, the Florida-based certified public accountant who is handling the infielder’s negotiations with clubs. Several teams have requested what Hastings called “look-backs” — or second, follow-up workouts.
Multiple media outlets have speculated that Moncada, 19, could command a signing bonus in the $30 million-50 million range.
A switch-hitter, Moncada batted .277 in two seasons with Cienfuegos in Cuba’s Serie Nacional before leaving the country last year with the permission of the Cuban government. He held a workout for a reported 70 to 100 MLB talent evaluators in Guatemala in November. he Yankees, Red Sox and Rays, in contrast, are free to sign Moncada immediately. But their past international spending has placed them in a category where their investment would be subject to a 100 percent tax. That means a $30 million outlay on Moncada would cost them $60 million.
“It’s almost like somebody walks up to you and hands you a $50 million diamond and says, ‘Take care of this for a few months. I’ve got to go. Bye,'” Hastings said.
“I’ve had to become his nutritionist, his [medical adviser], his baseball trainer and his legal and financial adviser. I’m not an expert in nutrition for a 19-year-old potential superstar. I want a team that has all these professionals and experts to take over and say, ‘OK, this is what we need to do with this kid.’ The sooner the better.”
Soccer
The Sports Curmudgeon wrote that, “If you are a student at the University of British Columbia – Okanagan and you are also a soccer fan, you have an interesting course offering available to you. You can take a course – and get credit for it too – in Cristiano Ronaldo Studies. The course examines:
“…Ronaldo’s rise to global iconography and the social and personal repercussions emanating from his rise.”
I could not even come close to making that up…”
Scott’s Knucklehead of the Week
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) gave an award to Jerry Rice for admitting he used illegal stick-um for all of his career and using “everyone does it” as a defense. Scott suggested that Rice should try to use that defense in traffic court.
Cote’s Notes
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) wrote that, “Pete Rose said he’d love to talk to new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred about his gambling ban, then he laid 8-5 odds against that happening.
“Oisk”
Chris Erskine (LA Times) wrote about growing old. “You know, it’s odd the little things you notice as you age. I remember the first time I realized — somewhat fretfully — that airline pilots were younger than I, then doctors, and now a president. There must be, in the corner of our souls, the belief that those making the most important decisions have a tad more experience than we do, a few more summers under their belts.
Meanwhile, perhaps our ardor for mythic figures was always a bit misplaced. Of those we trust, only Santa Claus seems to survive the media scrutiny of the 21st century. What might’ve overzealous bloggers turned up on FDR or Edward R. Murrow?”

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