May 22, 2015
As soon as I saw Mills sit at the Knicks’ desk I knew it was a lost cause.
Ian O’Connor (ESPNNY.com) wrote, “You win 17 games in the NBA, you deserve exactly what you get. And for those who would follow that logic to the conclusion that 16-win Minnesota sure didn’t deserve the No. 1 pick, hey, at least the Timberwolves had their owner, Glen Taylor, sit up there with his dunce cap on.
What a joke. Jackson had an opportunity to prove that he’s not merely a detached consultant who took the job, according to his former GM in Chicago, Jerry Krause, because he wanted to pocket James Dolan’s money. Jackson had a chance to show everyone he isn’t already reviewing future exit strategies as eagerly as he’s scouting future pros.
But he just wouldn’t reduce himself to a prop on that stage. Instead Knicks fans discovered something else Steve Mills isn’t particularly adept at — being a good-luck charm.
“Towns was the prospect who best matches up with those images, and the Knicks scout who trailed him all season at Kentucky, Mark Warkentien, had fallen hard for him. So had every basketball lifer who watched Towns grow from a long-range shooter at a New Jersey high school, St. Joseph of Metuchen, into a defensive anchor with enough developing low-post moves to lead Kentucky to 38 consecutive victories and a place in the Final Four.
“In my mind he’s the No. 1 pick in the draft,” Bob Hurley Sr., the legendary New Jersey high school coach, said during the NCAA tournament. “Okafor is a more polished offensive player, but Towns is a better defender, rebounder, and foul shooter, and is a bit more versatile now. He’s personable, a great interview, plays with passion, and has a more outgoing personality than most big kids do. You can put him on the Knicks and he’s an NBA All-Star.”
Only you can’t put him on the Knicks now. Towns will be long gone, and so will Okafor, when the Knicks step to the plate in the unwelcome role as the draft’s cleanup hitter.”
“I think it’s not a setback at all,” Mills said. (BC- can you say knucklehead? We can still hope for a trade with Minny for #1)
I felt Robert Kraft’s reasons for stopping the “deflate-gate” rhetoric were admirable and showed good sp ortsmanship as well as a desire to move on and stop the negativity being attached to the New England Patriots.
I know, I know that might sound naïve and still might prove to be so, the Pats being the Pats, but for now, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Beantown Pitching Woes
The Sports Curmudgeon told us about Boston’s solution, “Well, so far this year, the Sox pitching staff as a whole – starters and relievers – has been well beneath “questionable”. And what did the Sox do to deal with that situation: Trade for Cole Hamels? No. Bring up their top pitching prospects? No. Lure Roger Clemens out of retirement? Thankfully, no.
What they did was to fire their pitching coach, Juan Nieves, who was the same pitching coach upon whom everyone lavished heaps of praise when he guided the Sox pitching staff that won the World Series. That was in 2013 which means Nieves got really dumb really fast…”
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote about “deflate-gate” by saying, “What do the Vietnam War and Deflategate have in common?
Answer: Both inspired sit-ins.
Four Tom Brady fanatics — angered over the Patriot QB’s four-game suspension for his role in deflating footballs — handcuffed themselves together in the lobby of NFL headquarters for 15 minutes Tuesday before New York’s finest hauled them away.
“Hopefully it goes somewhere,” Chris Spagnuol, a protest organizer, told the New York Post, “but obviously it only went to central booking.”;
Tweeted protester Dave Portnoy in advance: “I don’t want to beg, but a GoFundMe for our bail would be nice.” Sideline Chatter
A baseball fan in Chicago, eschewing the typical player’s jersey, went to last Thursday’s Cubs-Mets game dressed as the Wrigley Field ivy.
So what’s next, the Incredible Hulk showing up in Boston to salute the Green Monster?
At SportsPickle.com: “On this day in history, one day ago: Patriots claim their equipment guys use the term ‘deflation’ to talk about weight loss.”
A woman in Lexington, Ky., being strangled by a burglar with a bra KO’d her female attacker with a ceramic chicken, CNN reported.
The loser immediately claimed a pre-existing shoulder injury, claimed she’d won the fight on points and demanded a rematch.
A Las Vegas musical based on TV’s “Duck Dynasty” is shutting down because of poor ticket sales.
Guess it wasn’t all it was quacked up to be.
Comedian Argus Hamilton, with the latest Deflategate update: “Vladimir Putin just gave back Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl ring, saying if a team can’t play by the rules, it isn’t worth having.”
Bo Jackson, to ESPN, when asked if he misses playing football or baseball: “OK, you’re a CPA. Do you miss doing somebody’s taxes when you’re on vacation?”;
RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, on Prince William and Kate naming their newborn daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Diana: “NHL translation: Charsy.”;
History will be made when the new span connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, is named in honor of hockey great Gordie Howe.
It’s believed to be the first Howe-inspired bridge that wasn’t installed by a dentist.
The most common injuries in the NBA involve:
c) leg muscles
d) a ricochet from a Dwight Howard free throw
Cynics “R” Us
I agree with Bob Molinaro (Hampton Roads Pilot) when he wrote, “The national poll showing that the overwhelming majority of people who identify themselves as NFL fans support Brady’s four-game suspension also reveals that even more people believe every NFL team pushes the envelope – the latest euphemism for cheating. It appears that Roger Goodell’s homilies concerning the “integrity of the game” are not getting through. Not that there’s any reason they should.”
May 15, 2015
Spag’s Not A Nag
Dan Graziano (ESPNNY.com) wrote about the defensive coordinator for the Giants and one of his new ideas, “This is a new initiative this offseason from Spagnuolo, who’s back for a second turn as the Giants’ defensive coordinator. One of the things he decided to do is instill in the current defensive players an appreciation for the history and tradition of the Giants’ defenses of the past. So he adorned the meeting room walls with pictures of Huff, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Strahan, Andy Robustelli, Tom Landry, Emlen Tunnell, Harry Carson and Jessie Armstead, and he instructed his current players to go online and learn everything they can learn about them.
There is, however, also a sense of letting the current players know they’re a part of something larger. The names of those in the Giants’ ring of honor adorn their locker room walls, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows or appreciates the accomplishments of guys like Huff and Tunnell and Robustelli, who played in bygone eras. Taylor might be the greatest player in Giants history, and he retired in 1993 — the year before Giants second-round pick Landon Collins was born.
“The tradition. The passion. The Giant tradition,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “The great defenses that have been played here in the past. The idea that we have to get back to that.”
The message is being delivered at every level, and the players seem to grasp the reasons behind it.”
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote, “Two wrongs don’t make a right — but one certainly did.
Brooklyn’s Asher Conniff, 25, registered for the wrong poker tournament — he misclicked while applying online — then wound up winning the World Poker Tour World Championship in Atlantic City, N.J., to the tune of $973,683.
The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa wouldn’t let him out of the mistake, so he had to back out of a European family vacation.
“(Mom) wasn’t too upset,” Conniff told the New York Daily News. “She was happy I was going to play, and she’s super-ecstatic now.”
Trying to trade up for a shot at drafting QB Marcus Mariota, it appears, proved a bit too pricey.
“We drove into a very nice neighborhood and saw an unbelievable house,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly told the NFL Network, “but when we found out the price of the house we stayed in the car, never even got out of the car.”;
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are no longer an item.
So No. 1 on the list of Golf’s Famous Couples is once again Fred.” Tweets of the Week
From Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy, after undergoing Tommy John surgery: “Thles pani pills are’nt havin any eff=ect at al;/ claer th*inking is me and motoor sskils is very greats.”
Greg Cote of The Miami Herald, after the Dolphins brought in ex-Patriots RB Stevan Ridley for a look-see: “ Stevan is best known for wishing his parents had spell-check.”
The New York Jets fired their director of pro personnel, along with five scouts, just two days after ESPN guru Mel Kiper Jr.’s gave the team his highest grade — an A-minus — for its performance in this year’s draft.
At TheOnion.com: “Roger Goodell vows to punish whoever’s responsible for suspending Tom Brady.”
Two shortstops — the Nationals’ Ian Desmond and the A’s Marcus Semien — are tied for the major-league lead with 11 errors.
Anyone up for Bobble-Grounder Doll Night?
The biggest power-couple breakup in sports for 2015 is destined to be:
a) Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn
b) Robert Kraft and Roger Goodell
Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, on Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan’s emergency appendectomy: “Considering the toughness of hockey players, he may miss up to half the second period.”
Making An Ace
Andrew Marchand (ESPNNY.com) wrote, “”The times that you go out during the course of the year and you have your ace stuff is probably only 10 times,” manager Joe Girardi said after the 6-3 win over the Blue Jays. “The other 10, you have to find it. The last 10, you just have to battle. I think it was one of the second 10, where he had to find it. It took him a while.”
He has only walked three batters in 39 1/3 innings.
This gives Brian McCann, known as a master game-caller, three options on each pitch, no matter the count. While McCann knows that Pineda can consistently fire his fastball, slider and change for strikes, hitters don’t know what is coming.
“He pounds the zone with three pitches and he knows exactly where they are going,” McCann said. “You can throw the 3-1 sliders. You can do a lot more when you pound the zone. It is impressive with the stuff that he has to have the command that he has.”
That is why he is the best pitcher on the Yankees and very we ll could be if Masahiro Tanaka is healthy or not. Pineda is so talented that he was down a pitch, the slider, the first few innings, but Toronto couldn’t score.”
Sports, Good Sports, Poor Sports
Allow me to say that I am in no way a New England Patriots fan.
Does the entire “Deflate-gate” mess pass the smell test? Did anyone ever tell Brady, Belichick, or Kraft to be a good sport and do they even know what a good sport is supposed to be.
How about Al Davis, John Madden, or Kenny “The Snake” Stabler? They were never suspended because of anything like “Delate-gate”. Of course there weren’t any rules against what THEY did- at the time.
They DID cause a lot of rules to be changed and new rules to be written. While Madden’s antics were viewed to be those of a loveable “Scalawag,” Belichick’s are looked at as being cheating by press ink.an accepted
BTW, what gives the self-important NFL the idea that they can “suspend” an employee of a business’ concern?
I Was Just Wondering (Uh-Oh)
Is Mayor “DeBlaz” running for Veep so he can widen the exposure of his Progressive (read that his Socialist) stance. I don’t know when progressive became an accepted synonym for socialist.
May 8, 2015
Why were all of those “Glitterati-celebs” surprised that the Mayor and his wife did not attend the fund raising ball at the Met? The socialist, that he is, could not have gone to such a capitalist show.
Neither boxer looked to be in their primes. Dan Rafael (ESPNNY.com) reported Curtis landed 148 out of 435 punches (34%) while Manny landed 81 of 429 (19%). Today’s punchers will throw twice as many punches. Both fighters showed their age, however Manny seemed more affected.
Mayweather won the legacy fight, stamping himself as the best fighter of an era he and Pacquiao have shared and dominated. During their great runs, they both won numerous world titles and beat five common opponents, all likely Hall of Famers, in Oscar De La Hoya (already inducted), Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley.
And while the fight took years to make because of the intense squabbling between camps that do not like each other, Mayweather said it was worth the wait.” (Not for the boxing fans, I think)
I gave Manny only 3 rounds.
“Pacquiao also said after the fight that he injured his right shoulder in training, and his camp said Nevada boxing commissioners denied a request for him to take an anti-inflammatory shot in his dressing room before facing off with Mayweather.
“It’s a good fight. I thought I won the fight,” he said. “He didn’t do anything. He moved outside. I got him many more times with a lot of punches, and I thought I won the fight; I was never hurt. I was very surprised at the scores.” It was a tension-filled bout, as Mayweather and Pacquiao sized each other up early. Pacquiao winced from a borderline low blow in the third round and then backed Mayweather into a corner and fired a few shots, causing Mayweather to tie him up.
That appeared to be part of his strategy, to get Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) on the ropes. When he could get Mayweather there, Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) let his hands go and the crowd went wild.
In the fourth round, Pacquiao nailed Mayweather with a hard straight left hand that sent him into the ropes, and he then unloaded numerous punches as the crowd erupted. Mayweather shook his head as if to indicate he was not hurt, but then got caught with a right hook.
Mayweather was not throwing as many punches as Pacquiao at that point, but when he did, he was accurate, especially with his jab as he controlled the distance of the fight. But Pacquiao had bursts, such as in the sixth round, when he fired straight left hands to back Mayweather into the ropes before unleashing multiple flurries.
As aggressive as Pacquiao tried to be, Mayweather was able to blunt him, blocking punches and countering with jabs and straight right hands as he seemed to get into a groove in the seventh round.
Pacquiao let his hands go when Mayweather went to the ropes but didn’t land his shots cleanly enough to truly hurt Mayweather, who also never hurt him.
“I’m fighting in September, yes,” the 38-year-old Mayweather said, although who he will face is a mystery. “I got one more fight with Showtime/CBS. You guys have done a remarkable job. My last fight is in September.”
In another indication Mayweather is nearing the end of his career, he said he would vacate the world titles he currently holds.”
You Just Got Me Flowers
At First look, the NY Giants 1st round pick, Ereck Flowers, seems to be that “Air Craft Carrier” (6-6,329) the team was looking for. He IS a large human being, like a road grader. My concern is that report say his footwork doesn’t allow him to be a left tackle- just yet (pass protection).
2nd Rd, Landon Collins is a prototypical strong safety not unlike the old Colt Johnny Sample. A box safety will creep into the “D” box to stop the rush.
3rd Rd BIG pass rushing DE. 6-3,271 but had 2 hip surgeries
Is the 660hr. mark a milestone or a millstone?
Wallace Matthews (ESPNNY.com) wrote, “So here we have it, a tainted player putting up tainted numbers trying to collect on a contract that the Yankees now say is tainted, too.
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote: “The Orioles beat Boston in a football: 18-7.
Conspiracy theorists immediately pinned the Orioles’ three extra-point misses on underinflated baseballs.
Bad news, NFL miscreants: The league just announced its new head of player discipline — and it’s that kid-pummeling Baltimore mom.
The Orioles and White Sox played inside an empty stadium Wednesday.
To which Miami Marlins players said, “So?”
Tim Hunter, on the Australian jockey whose pants fell down in midrace: “Great news for anyone who bet on him to show.”
Congratulations to Prince William and Kate Middleton on the birth of their second child, a girl.
Mel Kiper Jr., unable to help himself, immediately declared her a second-round sleeper with a lot of upside.”
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) wrote: “Sports lend themselves to hyperbole. Everything seems oversized, over-hyped, over-sold, over-covered. Everything is the biggest, the greatest. Perspective can get trampled.
Right after being drafted No. 1 overall by Tampa Bay, Jameis Winston posted on Instagram a photo of himself enjoying crab legs — before quickly taking it down at the Bucs’ request. To summarize, the guy known for bad decisions in college took about nine seconds to make his first one as a pro.”
Bob Maranaro (Hampton Roads Pilot) wrote, “Idle thought: Why stop at drug testing Josh Hamilton? Baseball should be administering urine tests to the Angels executives who signed Hamilton to a $125 million deal.”
May 1, 2015
Now About Pete Rose
The Sports Curmudgeon wrote about Adam Kilgore’s piece in the DC Post. Adam Kilgore wrote a lengthy article in the Washington Post recently describing the daily sports fantasy websites and internet wagering. “The focus of the article is that the two main players in this arena – FanDuel and DraftKings – are exploiting a loophole in the Federal law that bars Internet gambling.
Consider this paragraph from the article:
“On a typical NFL Sunday, FanDuel’s most popular game awards a $500,000 first prize to the winner of a massive pool with a $25 entry fee. Rather than simply hosting leagues for users, daily fantasy sports serve as an exchange. Players enter contests and win prizes for the best entries, and the Web site keeps a cut.”
Now, can you explain to me how this event is not equivalent to playing online poker or why playing fantasy sports on this different from betting on NFL sporting events?
MLB bought a financial stake in DraftKings two years ago. The NBA has a “partnership” with FanDuel. Since the two sites serve as an exchange in the sense that they take a small cut from every entry fee (call it a wager to be more accurate), that means that two of the major sports enterprises in the US are deriving revenue from wagering on their games along with other games.
MLB specifically lobbied in favor of the insert in the bill that created this loophole. The NBA, NFL, NHL and the NCAA all lobbied to pass the bill that created this loophole. In essence, all of these organizations supported a law that specifically makes a form of gambling on sporting events legal.
FanDuel has a “partnership” with the Orlando Magic in addition to its “partnership” with the NBA.
Word From Santana
The Sports Curmudgeon gave us a unique explanation from Ervin Santana, “Twins’ pitcher Ervin Santana is one of several MLB players on lengthy suspension for failing a PED drug test. Santana tested positive for Stanozolol which is the same thing that cost Ben Johnson his Olympic Gold Medals all the way back in 1988. Folks, this is hardly one of those so-called “designer steroids”… The interesting part of this story is that when Santana addressed his suspension, he said that he could not pinpoint how this stuff found its way into his bloodstream.
Memo to Ervin Santana: When discussing the origins of how you wound up being suspended from MLB for failing a steroid test, you might not want to use the word, “pinpoint”. Just saying…”
Bob Molinaro (Hampton Roads Pilot) gave me this info: “A record that will never be broken – Wilt Chamberlain averaged 45.8 minutes a game in 14 NBA seasons. For perspective, the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler led all players this season at 38.7 (unbelievable).
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote: “Bar Brutus in Montreal boasts a 20-pound replica of the Stanley Cup — made entirely of bacon.
Or as the porcine prize is more affectionately known, Lard Stanley (OOF)
The Philadelphia Eagles reworked their home schedule to accommodate the Pope’s September visit.
Alas, no such luck avoiding the Cardinals.
Meteorologist Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W. Va., on a new study claiming Spain boasts the world’s fastest recreational runners: “You would be pretty fast, too, if they let bulls run down your street for a few weeks every year.
The proposed NFL stadium in Carson, Calif., would celebrate Chargers touchdowns by shooting lightning bolts.
So what’s next — the Bills flinging buffalo chips?”
Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, on the 100-year-old Japanese woman who set an age-group record in the 1,500-meter backstroke: “I’m guessing this happened after she fell off a cruise ship.”
Curmudgeon-like Retirement plan
“In my retirement, I could always use a gig that will shore up my IRA but I would really like to still have the time to watch games and write these rants. Therefore, I will announce here that I am available at an amazingly low rate of pay to participate on any Blue Ribbon Committee or investigation of alleged wrongdoing in one of the pro sports leagues so long as the pace of my committee/investigation parallels the ones described here. At the rate they are going, someone will find out what happened to Judge Crater before all the work is done here.”
Ian Begley (ESPNNY.com) told us about Chauncey Billups thoughts about Carmelo Anthony being a loud locker-room guy, “Chauncey Billups, an ESPN analyst who played with Anthony for three seasons in Denver and New York, said recently that vocal leadership isn’t a part of Carmelo’s personality.
“One thing he is, he’s going to come to play every single night, he’s going to practice every single day. He is who he is, He’s not that guy [who leads vocally]. But for who he is, he’s great. You’ve got to find another guy to make speeches, and another guy to do most of the leading. [Carmelo’s] going to most of the time lead by example. He’s not going to be vocal, he’s not going to rock the boat.”
But the Knicks will likely be adding a 19-year-old rookie to the roster next season. They’ll also bring back a few players from this season’s team without much experience. So there may be a built-in void when it comes to leadership.
“Someone’s gotta fill the gap,” Jackson told a group of season-ticket holders last month.
Let’s say Anthony develops into a vocal leader next season and helps fill the gap that Jackson speaks of. The Knicks president would still be wise to spend some of his cap space on veteran locker-room leaders — guys who can fill the leadership role that Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas held in 2013-14 when the Knicks won 54 games.
Some around the league believe noted leader and Indiana Pacers veteran David West may decline his $12.6 million player option for 2015-16 and leave Indiana this summer. West would be a great addition for the Knicks’ culture and would certainly fill any leadership void, so his status is something to monitor.”
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?
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
April 10, 2015
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.”
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.”
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 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?”
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.”
April 3, 2015
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
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”
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.”
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.”
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…”
March 27, 2015
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.”
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…”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
March 20, 2015
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.”
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.
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.”