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?”

Dreams Blog

February 13, 2015

Pitchers And Catchers
I can’t wait for this because of the bad seasons our NY teams have had. Maybe baseball will be better.
My main questions for my Yankees are: will A-Rod turn out to be a 40-year old player with deteriorated hips who hasn’t played in 2-years? Will Mark Teixera be healthy? Will Carlos Beltran hit without coaching by Kevin Long? Exactly who are these new hitting coaches, Jeff Pentland and Alan Cochrel? Are the pitchers healthy?
Sir Charles And The Knicks
Ian Begley (ESPNNY.com) talked about Charles Barkley’s reaction to the trade of J.R. Smith’s trade to Cleveland. “Most Knicks observers assume J.R. Smith is playing well in Cleveland because he doesn’t have to run the triangle anymore.
Charles Barkley has a different theory. The TNT analyst and noted Knicks critic believes Smith is playing well because he’s not surrounded by the “idiots” in New York.
“I looked at J.R. Smith like this: I look at him as a follower. And I told coach (David Blatt) that. He’s a guy if you put him around good people, he’s going to play well. If you put him around those idiots in New York, he’s going to be an idiot,” Barkley said last week during TNT’s Cavs-Clippers broadcast. “Every time he played well in New York, they had a good team. And when things go bad, they had him on a team with some boneheads. And he’s a follower. He’s not a bad kid but he’s a follower.”
OK then. Barkley mentioned that Smith has benefited from being around LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Mike Miller, Shawn Marion and others in Cleveland. He didn’t mention any of the Knicks’ “idiots” by name, but that comment doesn’t reflect well on Carmelo Anthony, J.R.’s closest friend on the Knicks.
Cote’s Notes
In Greg Cote’s Random Evidence column, he wrote, “Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong was involved in a hit-and-run and tried to have his girlfriend take the blame after a night of partying in Aspen, Colorado. If you do an image search on Google for “train wreck,” you see a picture of what Armstrong’s life has become.”
“Some facts require no punch line. Example: An LPGA golfer named Brooke Pancake just signed an endorsement deal with Waffle House.”
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) told us, “Dreaming of being a world-class soccer player? It’s certainly a golden goal.
Type in the average U.S. salary — $43,000 — into an interactive calculator at BBC.com, and this is what it spits out, with adjustments for cost of living and the like:
Cristiano Ronaldo earns €18,200,000 ($20.9 million) per year. It would take him 18 minutes to earn your weekly salary. On your current salary ($730), it would take you 551 years to earn Cristiano Ronaldo’s annual wage. If you had started in the year 1464 you’d almost be finished.”
“To air is human
Q: What do the Seahawks and NBC anchor Brian Williams have in common?
A: Both would’ve been better off staying on the ground.”
1,576-step program
Australia’s Suzy Walsham, 41, won the annual race up the Empire State Building’s 86 flights of stairs for a record sixth time.
Just call her Queen Kong.”
Fran The Scram
Bill Daly wrote about Fran Tarkington. “Fran Tarkenton says he’ll present Mick Tingelhoff at this summer’s Hall of Fame induction. This makes sense for several reasons: (1) Tingelhoff was Tarkenton’s center for 12 seasons with the Vikings, (2) they’re the very best of friends and (3) Scramblin’ Fran liked to lateral the ball to him on occasion — as only Scramblin’ Fran could.
But others just shook their heads. Deacon Jones, the Rams’ Hall of Fame defensive end, said, “You can expect anything from Tarkenton. He might lateral the ball to a fan. They say a quarterback can’t scramble in this league, but he’s been in the league five years and he’s still scrambling.
In a game the previous season, Jones recalled, “I chased him three times. Twice I fell down. Finally on the third time I got him. But he threw the ball into the end zone for a touchdown.”
Knucklehead Of The Week
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote, “Bud Selig. As a parting gift to baseball, he freed the Blue Ribbon Three, his long-serving committee investigating the feasibility of an A’s move to San Jose. What did the committee learn? “It’s very complex,” Selig explained. He was referring to his IHOP menu.”
Shirts Off Their Backs
The Sports Curmudgeon talked about a missed marketing opportunity. “During a home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, three Toronto Maple Leaf’s fans took off their Leaf’s jerseys and threw them on the ice. They were arrested (charged with engaging in some prohibited activity that is not clear to me) and banned from the arena for a year. I guess I do not understand the basis for all of this.
The Maple Leafs have not been a championship level team in quite a while; their last Stanley Cup championship happened in 1967. Obviously, if these fans had Maple Leaf’s jerseys to throw on the ice, they were hardcore fans and as hardcore fans if they were still allowed to come to games, they would likely buy themselves a new Leaf’s jersey. Seems to me like a marketing opportunity missed…”
Old Friend
I want to take a look at a semi-pro team in Japan called the Ishikawa Million Stars. This team just signed as a player-manager 56-year old Julio Franco. Yes, that Julio Franco. He is the guy who holds the record in MLB as the oldest player to hit a home run (he was 48 when he did that) and the oldest player to hit a grand slam (he was 47 when he did that). Franco’s careen in MLB started in 1982 and ended in 2007.
The Million Stars play in a six-team league called the Baseball Challenge League. One of the players on the Million Stars is a 23-year old female knuckleball pitcher named Eri Yoshida. It is close, but she is about young enough to be Franco’s grand-daughter in addition to his teammate on the field…”

Dreams Blog

February 6, 2015

Poor Call
Collingsworth was right. I couldn’t believe the Seahawks passed on the 2 with 3 tries left and Lynch on the bench.
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) said, “The Patriots somehow let the air out of the Seahawks’ heads.”
Pick Plays
NE ran crossing pass plays with routes that had picks on the SH DB’s at the end, without any interference calls. I thought picks were illegal? So I asked the Sports Curmudgeon and he said, “Picks are illegal – and they are only flagged when they are egregious. Consider this the NFL equivalent of the NBA and the travelling call. Travelling is illegal and it only called sometimes – – and NEVER on anyone who ever made it to an All-Star Game.”
Super Ads
Remember that these are MY choices, only:
1- The Indie created Doritos ad – when pigs fly
2- The Mercedes ad- the hare and the tortoise
3- The Fiat ad- “the little blue pill” drops from a window sill and is inhaled by a dented car. The dent expands and the car is admired by “hotties” walking past the scene.
EXTRA- It was poor taste for the Harry Chapin song “Cats In The Cradle” to be used as background music for a Car Insurance ad when he was killed in a drunk driving accident.
Alarming Thoughts
Bill Plaschke (LA Times) wrote a powerful column in which he listed alarming stats and predicted the possibility of the eventual abolishment of tackle football because the rewards aren’t worth the health risks.
He wrote in part, “Perhaps the only thing more alarming than those damaging statistics is that fans haven’t really paid attention to them. The public continues to view the violent collisions as entertaining ignoring the danger it presents. The loudest cheers during any game are usually for the biggest hits. A player’s life can be unalterably damaged in a single moment, yet that moment is routinely met with wild applause.
Speaking to a football academy in 2013, Hall of Fame cornerback Lem Barney said he feels the sport could eventually disappear, saying, “The game is becoming more deadly today. . . . I think it’s the greatest game if you like gladiators. . . . I can see in the next 10 to maybe 20 years, society will [eliminate] football altogether.”
Surprising
Bob Molinaro (PilotOnline.com.) wrote, “Of all people, Mike Ditka, said on HBO’s Real Sorts that if he had an 8-year old son, he wouldn’t allow him to play football. ‘And my whole life is football’, he said. ‘I think the risk is worse than the reward.’ Didka coming out against kids playing football is like the Pope telling Catholics to sleep in on Sundays.”
Pepper
I like the Jets’ hire of Pepper Johnson. I like his attitude, his knowledge, and his experience. He might have been a better choice as the Giants’ DC rather than Steve Spagnuolo. Only time will tell.
The Yankees Might Be Shooting Themselves In The Foot
Wallace Matthews wrote, “But in their seemingly all-consuming desire to “get even” with A-Rod for his foolish and desperate attempts to overturn Major League Baseball’s 162-game suspension last winter, the team that is supposed to be all about winning looks like it is about to compromise its own mission statement for the sake of someone’s revenge.
If the Yankees are really concerned with winning, and improving off the dismal 84-win, 12-games-off-the-pace, Octoberless death march that their 2014 season was, they need Alex Rodriguez to play well.
And yet, this offseason the Yankees have seemed to do everything in their power to insure he will fail.
But the Yankees have always been pretty good at remembering what their business is, the business of winning ballgames, and they generally didn’t hold bad manners or bad behavior against a player if they still believed he could help them.
Clearly, they no longer believe that of A-Rod. But the hard reality is, they are stuck with him for three more seasons and will have to pay him $61 million in salary, whether he plays well, badly, or not at all.
So rather than trying to squash A-Rod’s bonuses, the Yankees should be doing everything in their power to encourage him to earn them, and hope that he does.
Unless, of course, vengeance has now taking priority over victories.
Admittedly, the whole home run bonus idea was a bad one, conceived in greed by both parties.
Big Bucks
The Yankees owe A-Rod $61MILLION.
Gee, how old am I (don’t answer that!) I remember when a well-paid ballplayer had a one-year contract for $50K and that was when electricians were earning $20K.
One And Done
The Sports Curmudgeon talked about the NBA’s drafting problems, “College basketball has become a “one-and-done” proposition with regard to the top draft picks. What that means is that NBA teams with picks in the “Top 5” are selecting kids who may not yet be 20 years old as franchise saviors. Many of these players have never had to play against others with comparable – or even superior – talent and skills. Most of them are not nearly ready physically to turn around a franchise. And that does not even begin to take account of the maturation level to deal with being a professional athlete on a bad team.
Please do not interpret the above as wistful nostalgia for the days when college basketball players went to school and stayed 4 years before going to the NBA. That is not what I am advocating or contemplating. What I am saying is that if a team were going to adopt a “tanking strategy”, it would have had a better chance at success under the “old college basketball environment” than it does under the current conditions.”
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote, “An asteroid passed within 745,000 miles of Earth.
Or in the words of amateur astronomer Bob Uecker, just a bit outside.
“Did a card show with Ernie Banks,” tweeted former Braves star Dale Murphy of the late Mr. Cub. “He drove the promoter crazy! Spent time/talked with every person. After an hour had signed maybe 15.”

Dreams Blog

January 30, 2015

Next Week
I’ll list my top 3 Super Bowl TV ads.
Rooting Interest
I asked Dwight Perry if it would be OK to root for his Seahawks and he said, “Go on, go ahead. Explain it this way: Russell Wilson is on his way to becoming the Derek Jeter of the NFL.”
I’m going to ask if you would, only, remember this score 31-27. I’m not saying who’s the top number, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
NE-Gate
I know that there’s a lot of talk saying both teams played with the under-inflated balls but it was no secret that the Colts were going to run with the ball more than pass it and the Pats were going into the air. Brady was 21/28,174 and Luck was 12/33,129.
HMMM, pretty good passing percentage for Brady. A more inflated ball would have cut down on that. Keep that in mind.
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote, “We should have been suspicious when Bill Belichick presented Tom Brady the game ball and he folded it and put it in his wallet.
Upon hearing about the underinflated footballs, 873 present and former NFL quarterbacks slapped their foreheads and said, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
“Quietly, Brady has been replaced as chairman of the Macy’s Parade.
“Richard Sherman may have gone too far, essentially accusing Brady of Eddie Haskell-ing.”
Good Point
Bob Molinaro said, “As college basketball officials crowd around TV monitors searching for in-game overrules – and as I quickly reach for my remote – I grow nostalgic for the days when a missed call was part of the deal. Why should errors be treated differently in the final two minutes? We’re talking about games. Entertainment, in other words. Bad calls happen, then life goes on. If only the games would.”
Here Comes Da Judge
Bob Molinaro (Pilot.com) wrote, “Fans of the NFL and decent sportsmanship have no reason to worry that the Mysterious Case of the Patriots’ Underinflated Footballs won’t be adjudicated quickly and with integrity. As long as Roger Goodell is on the job, what could go wrong?
Richard Sherman couldn’t wait for the Week of Words to talk the talk. ‘I think people get a skewed view of Tom Brady,’ he said. ‘That he’s just a clean-cut guy that does everything right and never says a bad word to anyone. We know him to be otherwise.’”
New Jets
Ian O’Connor (ESPNNY.com) wrote, “Ryan kept faking it with Geno Smith, kept trying to persuade people to ignore the mounting evidence and take his word for it that Smith would someday soon become a big-time pro. Bowles? The best he could do on Smith was a description of him as “a great college quarterback,” and until Smith’s play demands something more, that’s the way it should be.
Like his hopeless predecessor, John Idzik, Maccagnan isn’t a personality that will light up too many rooms. Unlike his predecessor, Maccagnan has a history of evaluating talent, not budget lines. He should have a decent idea of what to do with the $40 million in salary-cap space at his disposal, and with the sixth overall pick in the draft.
Now the negatives. The Jets still don’t have a viable quarterback, or a viable set of cornerbacks to defend against viable quarterbacks. “I have to get in and look at the film and see what the problems were,” Bowles said, “whether they were schematically or whether they were physically.”
Memo to Todd: They were both.
One And Done
The Sports Curmudgeon talked about the NBA’s drafting problems, “College basketball has become a “one-and-done” proposition with regard to the top draft picks. What that means is that NBA teams with picks in the “Top 5” are selecting kids who may not yet be 20 years old as franchise saviors. Many of these players have never had to play against others with comparable – or even superior – talent and skills. Most of them are not nearly ready physically to turn around a franchise. And that does not even begin to take account of the maturation level to deal with being a professional athlete on a bad team.
Please do not interpret the above as wistful nostalgia for the days when college basketball players went to school and stayed 4 years before going to the NBA. That is not what I am advocating or contemplating. What I am saying is that if a team were going to adopt a “tanking strategy”, it would have had a better chance at success under the “old college basketball environment” than it does under the current conditions.
Not So Nice Game
Dan Daly told us about the 1965 Pro-Bowl. “The Pro Bowl 50 years ago certainly caused a stir — the likes of which hasn’t been seen since and may never be again. In the third quarter, Browns quarterback Frank Ryan suffered a dislocated shoulder when he was slammed to the ground by Colts defensive end Gino Marchetti, and Ryan claimed it was retaliation for something that had happened in the NFL title game two weeks earlier.
The backstory: With 26 seconds left in the championship game — and Cleveland leading favored Baltimore 27-0 — Browns fans stormed the field and took down the goal posts. The officials were all for calling it a day at that point, and so were the badly beaten Colts. But Ryan wouldn’t go along. Cleveland had the ball at the Baltimore 16, and he wanted to score one more touchdown.
Naturally, this didn’t set well with Marchetti and his mates. When the Pro Bowl rolled around, Gino was still steaming about it — and was quoted in various newspapers as saying he wanted “one more shot” at Ryan.
Old Habits (Dwight Perry- Seattle Times)
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer was at it again on CBS’s “Late Night with David Letterman,” refusing to use the word “Michigan” when discussing his team’s No. 1 nemesis.
But as Mike Bianchi pointed out in the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel: “Meyer used to do the same thing (during his Florida tenure) when asked about the Gators’ biggest rival — the Gainesville Police Department.”

Dreams Blog

January 23, 2015

If You Ain’t Cheatin’ You Ain’t Tryin’
Does anyone else think that the denials from Belichick and Brady sound like those we used to hear from Gaylord Perry?
Affordable Super Bowl
Dan Daly wrote about SBII, “The face value of a Super Bowl ticket runs anywhere from $800 to $1,900 these days, and prices on the secondary market reportedly range between an arm ($2,000) and a leg ($20,000). So I thought you might be amused by what it used to cost to go to the game — from soup to nuts.
An ad appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette before Super Bowl II that offered air transportation (“via United and Eastern Air Lines”), three nights in a Miami hotel, six meals, a cocktail party, transfers and “other features” for — wait for it — the low, low price of $196 (tax included). You flew out the Friday before the game, which pitted the NFL’s Packers against the AFL’s Raiders, and returned the following Monday.
What a deal.
Wonder if Wayne Travel Service is still offering it. (Or is it just the price of gas that’s dropping to nostalgic levels?)
Yankees At First Look
Wallace Matthews quoted Brian Cashman, ““This year will be different, that’s for sure, “General manager Brian Cashman said this week. “This spring will be more important than most because there’s a lot of new guys and a lot of guys we don’t know all that much about. There’s a lot of players we have to get to know. Clearly last year there was a big focus on our captain, who’s no longer here. This year the focus will be on all the new guys.”
“I think ever since they renewed [Cashman, who received a new three-year contract], he’s had some ideas about building the team, getting younger and more versatile, and I think they’ve done that,” said the baseball executive. “Does it work? Who knows? I think the whole season comes down to two questions: The starting pitching and the hitting.”
But Cashman disputes the notion that this year’s offseason represents any sort of philosophy change by an organization that has always operated under the Big Bang Theory of baseball. He said the reason the Yankees built through barter rather than bucks this season was strictly due to circumstances.”
Maccagnan-Speak
Rich Cimini (ESPNNY.com) wrote, “Maccagnan didn’t have too much to say about his quarterback situation. Asked if he likes Geno Smith, he said, ‘I do like Geno in terms of aspects of his play,’ adding that he hasn’t had enough time to form a definitive evaluation. Maccagnan said he’s looking forward to getting acquainted with Smith.”
We have to look at what wasn’t said. He didn’t say what aspects of play, to what he was referring or Smith’s off the field behavior for that matter.
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.”
I like Coughlin’s Spagnuolo hire but I would have liked Pepper Johnson better.
Cote’s Notes
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) said that the Knicks are in danger of being relegated to the D-league and that Curt Schilling said he didn’t get voted into the MLB Hall of Fame because he’s a Republican. Or, there’s also the remote possibility voters just didn’t think he was good enough.
Molinaro Maranara
Bob Molinaro (PilotOnline.com) wrote, “Hit the pause button: Let’s hold off writing Peyton Manning’s career obituary. It’s unlikely that Manning is finished – not when he’s due $19 million in base salary for showing up next season. You’d expect a pizza pitchman of his repute to have an appreciation for that kind of dough.
If you want to win a bar bet, ask if anybody can tell you who coaches the Atlanta Hawks, currently atop the NBA’s Eastern Conference and on a 10-game winning streak. Mike Budenholzer, a former apprentice under the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, is the mystery man – and early leader for Coach of the Year. Full disclosure: I had to Google the Hawks to discover Budenholzer’s identity.
Even taking into account that Rex Ryan usually wins the news conference, it’s amusing how the blustery self-promoter could introduce himself to Bills fans as their savior, seeing as how he left the Jets after a four-win season to join a franchise that finished with nine victories.”
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) Headlines
“This from Darren Rovell (ESPN): “Pizza Hut spokesman- we are not paying QBs who say ‘Hut’ at the line of scrimmage.”
“Scientists can gauge the slightest slowing of Earth’s rotation enough to know that we need to add an extra second in 2015, but what is and what isn’t a completed NFL pass still can’t pass the eyeball test?
“Times columnist Larry Stone, via Twitter, after the Mariners acquired lefty pitcher Mike Kickham: “I’d suspect their plan is to use Kickham when they’re down.”
“Mike Bianchi of the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, after NASCAR driver Kurt Busch claimed his ex-girlfriend is a CIA-trained assassin: “Gentlemen, start your cuckoo clocks.”
“Times desk editor Scott Hanson, on Washington State’s new defensive coordinator, Alex Grinch: “So I’m guessing he’ll make his players practice on Christmas.”
“Tiger Woods, on hand to watch girlfriend Lindsey Vonn ski in Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy, got a front tooth knocked out by a swinging TV camera.
We assume he’ll be replacing that divot.
“Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, on throwing 19-yard TD pass off a fake field goal in the NFC title game: “It was a moment I won’t forget, even though I don’t remember it all right now.”

Dreams Blog

January 16, 2015

Jets News
I’m happy that the Jets didn’t waste any time getting their lined up on the run way. I’m happy with Bowles but I don’t know about Maccagnan. He’s a let’s see how the draft goes guy. On Maccagnan- “Well, at least they didn’t hire a bean counter/paper pusher, a la John Idzik. Maccagnan is all football. He worked the past few years as a front office executive, coordinating the Texans’ college scouting, but he also spent a lot of time on the road in a scouting capacity. This is what the Jets need — a GM whose roots are in player evaluation. Have you seen their roster? It’ll take a sharp personnel guy to fix their many problems. The last time they had a GM with a football background was Terry Bradway (2001-05). The Jets tried to sell Idzik as a “football man,” but he was in over his head. One of the concerns with Maccagnan is that he has no experience with salary-cap management and contract negotiation.”
On Bowles- “The party’s over. Bowles is known for his laid-back demeanor, so no, he won’t be showing up for a news conference in a wig. He’s an even-keeled coach, which Ryan wasn’t. Jets owner Woody Johnson wants to change the environment around the team, and he believes Bowles will bring a steadiness that was lacking and maybe a little tough love. Make no mistake, he’s not a tyrant — his former players in Arizona speak of him reverently — but he’ll tear into the players if necessary. In an October game against the Washington Redskins, he busted up a whiteboard at halftime because he was angry with his players.
Despite losing several starters in Arizona, he was able to adjust with different personnel, and the Cards finished fifth in points allowed.”
Rich Cimini (ESPNNY.com) reported that Bowles was looking for Kacy Rogers to be his DC and Chan Gaily to be his OC. I like Rogers but have doubts about Gaily. Bowles might want to have Gaily act as a tutor for him, being a first time HC. Gaily could also work with Geno Smith to improve at QB.
Triangle, THAT!
Ian Begley (ESPNNY.com) wrote, “The triangle offense may have a credibility problem with younger players in the NBA.
At least, that’s what New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher thinks.
But Jackson’s disciples haven’t had much success. Former assistants Kurt Rambis and Brian Shaw have a combined record of 84-198. Fisher is 5-34 -Rich- the worst in the NBA this season to start their Knicks coaching careers.”
They’re not playing a triangle defense. To be successful the “triangle offense” needs a competent center, an accurate three-point shooter, AND a talented point-guard.
More Trades
Marc Stein (ESPNNY.com) told us, “The New York Knicks are actively trying to trade veterans Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani as part of their ongoing roster clear-out, according to league sources.
Jackson has made it clear that he is committed to building through the draft and free agency and has spoken several times this season about changing the culture of the franchise. The trade of Smith to Cleveland, which required the inclusion of Shumpert, was evidence of that.”
The Report Is In
The Sports Curmudgeon told us that Greg Cote wrote, “An independent investigation found NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was not aware of the Ray Rice video when meting out his initial punishment. Which sort of means Goodell was both exonerated and called incompetent at the same time.”/
Jets GM
Mike Maccagnan, from the Houston Texans, was Rich Cimini’s (ESPNNY.com) recommendation for the job. He wrote, “Ultimately, the job comes down to finding talent. It’s difficult to say how much input Maccagnan has had into the Texans’ drafts; all we can do is judge the outcome. A recent study of the 2009-2013 drafts, conducted by USA Today, rated them 15th in the league. Obviously, they hit the jackpot with J.J. Watt (2011). Nearly all of their first- and second-rounders from 2009 to 2012 have panned out, but their two most recent drafts haven’t yielded much at all. The last five drafts have produced only one Pro Bowl player — Watt, who could be an all-time great.
The Texans haven’t used a high draft pick on a quarterback since 2002, when they drafted David Carr No. 1 overall in the franchise’s first year. If hired, Maccagnan is the anti-Idzik in that he has no experience with the salary and negotiating contracts.
Too Much Info
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) told us that, “The College Football Playoff crescendo between Oregon and Ohio State was so big it was covered by not only ESPN but also by ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes and ESPN3.com. That’s according to Mort Schmidlap, ESPN Director of Wretched Excess.”
Perry Patter
Scott Ostler (Seattle Times) wrote, “Some news stories come complete with their own punchline:
Bears cornerback Tim Jennings, charged with speeding, reckless driving and DUI in Georgia, told the arresting officer he was going 99 mph on a freeway because he was late — getting to his child’s parent-teacher conference.
And … Dartmouth suspended 64 students for cheating — in a sports-ethics class
RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, after Florida State QB Jameis Winston said his team’s 39-point playoff loss to Oregon “could have went either way”: “Sounds like Winston went the other way heading to math class.”;
ESPN analyst Mark Jackson, fired as Golden State’s coach after last season, on why he deserves some credit for the Warriors’ 29-5 start: “You cannot disrespect the caterpillar and rave about the butterfly.”
Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., after ex-Miami fullback Rob Konrad swam nine miles to shore after falling out of his fishing boat off the South Florida coast: “So much for him being a former Dolphin.”;
Brooklyn Nets officials are denying a Bloomberg report that Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhoro no longer wants to own the team.
So it’s merely coincidence, then, that they’re suddenly calling themselves the Nyets.
Brendan Alert
Dwight told us to, “Hide the knives-
Celebrating his 74th birthday on Sunday: pro rassler Abdullah the Butcher.
Just a guess here, but no one gets in his way when he goes to cut the cake.”

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