From Dwight Perry: “An item making the Internet rounds, author unknown, on the evolution in sports safety: “The first testicular guard (translation: cup) was used in hockey in 1874 — and the first helmet was used in 1974. It took 100 years for man to realize that the brain was also important and worth protecting.”
All-Star teams are being compiled in several sports and the annual campaigns being made by ticked-off writers are starting.                                                                                       
The campaigns?                                                                                                                  
Why, the writers are the only ones who should have anything to say about who is and who isn’t named to the team. RUBBISH!!!                                                                                       
Voting for All-Star teams is one of the only things that directly connect fans to their favorite teams and players. There are some snarky writers who
sound-off with a “Pecksniffian Sniff” that there might actually be someone out there who knows more about traditions and care more about the rules and
Molinaro wrote: “Baseball’s latest brush with the ridiculous could become a full-blown mock-fest if fans vote Manny Ramirez onto the National League
All-Star team while he is serving a 50-game suspension after testing positive for banned drugs.                         
The possibility arose when the initial All-Star vote was released Tuesday and Ramirez was fourth among National League outfielders. With 442,763 ballots,
he trailed Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun and the Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano by relatively healthy margins, but was only 34,080 votes behind the Mets’ Carlos Beltran.
Surprisingly, MLB has no rule preventing players coming off drug suspension from making an All-Star team. Wouldn’t you think baseball would have a rule
in place to help avoid the potential for this sort of embarrassment?                                                         
But baseball’s drug agreement declares that “the commissioner’s office shall not exclude a player from eligibility for election or selection because he is
suspended under the program. Since All-Star voting began in April, it’s not certain how many votes were cast for Ramirez before his suspension. But the
strong support for Manny hints at what we already know – that fan resentment over performance-enhancing drugs just isn’t as prevalent or intense as the media insist it must be.                                                        
Bud Selig’s office will be on spin cycle should Ramirez grace the NL lineup. But while Fox won’t admit it publicly, the network broadcasting the All-Star
Game would happily shoot a wink at the controversy- anything to increase ratings at a time when viewership for the Saturday afternoon Game of the Week is down 9 percent to date from last year.”  
I say if Manny is elected let it go through and then have “Uncle Bud” Selig remove his name by using the “for the good of baseball” clause. Chance are that Ramirez wouldn’t be attending the game anyway as he has done so many times before.

Danny Shaughnessy talked in the Boston Globe about John Calipari: “John Calipari: more vacancies than a luxury hotel in downtown Detroit. You remember.
UMass’s 1996 trip to the Final Four was erased by the NCAA when it learned that Marcus Camby accepted money and gifts from sports agents. Now
the NCAA may vacate Memphis’s 2007-08 Final Four ride because of new charges against a Calipari program. Naturally, Coach Cal has moved on
(for infinite millions). These days, it’s up to Kentucky’s admissions department to try to stay clean during Cal’s reign. Cal is on track to bring in one of the great recruiting classes, but it’s going to be tough to get some of the student-athletes through the NCAA clearinghouse. He’s also probably going to exceed the 13-scholarship limit, which means he’s running kids out of the program.”



May 30, 2009

Wilbon gave his opinion of the NBA semifinalists: “All four playoff semifinalists are flawed in some obvious and fundamental way. The Lakers get pushed around. The Cavaliers desperately need one more skilled helper for LeBron James. The Nuggets come to play far too often without their thinking caps. And Orlando violates one of basketball’s Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not live by the jump shot.”

I can remember when George “Doc” Medich was on the NY Yankees and was in the dugout when a person seated behind the dugout had a heart attack.
Medich went into the stands and performed CPR on the person until EMT’s could arrive, stabilize the person’s condition, and transport them to a hospital.
Medich was a MLB pitcher for 11 seasons with 7 teams. After winning the AL Rookie Of The Year, with the Yankees, Award in 1973 he went on to post
a 124-105 career record. He was traded to Pittsburgh in 1976 for Willie Randolph and after retiring from baseball Medich went on to become an
orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports injuries.                                                                                         
Scott Ostler wrote about another similar individual, Oakland A’s reliever Craig Breslow, in the SF Chronicle: “You can understand a guy going to Yale and majoring in molecular biophysics. And you can’t blame a guy for majoring in biochemistry. But earning a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry?
That’s just showing off.                                                           
And then putting off his medical career to pitch in the major leagues?                            
In baseball, you’re considered an intellectual if you can read a box score, breaking ball and bunt sign. So Craig Breslow, the A’s new middle reliever, has
kind of raised the bar for baseball smarts. Fortunately, his minor at Yale apparently was “masking your IQ by talking and acting like a normal person.” “I’m at my best when I’m (intellectually) uninvolved,” Breslow said Wednesday. “I’m in trouble when I think too much, start trying to trick people.”                                                                       
Wednesday Breslow left his brain in a pickle jar at his locker, pitched the eighth inning and struck out the side, whiffing the Mariners’ No. 4, 5 and 6 hitters.   
Breslow is 28, pitching for his fourth big-league team, and so far he and the A’s are getting along famously. Guys like having Breslow as a teammate. He
answers all their medical and scientific questions.                                                                                      
“I’m the expert opinion on everything,” he said with a laugh. “They ask me questions about weather, about banned substances and supplements.”
When Breslow pitched for the Red Sox, he helped Josh Beckett win a bet with another teammate by calculating the number of times a baseball spins on
the way to the plate on various pitches.                                                                                         
Breslow was also a good athlete, a fine pitcher, but because of his size he wasn’t in great demand. He went to Yale and pitched well enough to get drafted on the 26th round in ’02. He figured, what the heck, why not play a little more ball?                            
“It wasn’t until I was playing baseball in the big leagues that I thought I could play baseball in the big leagues,” he said.                                                                               
While knocking around the minor leagues, he would pore over his textbooks, keeping his mind fresh. When the Brewers released Breslow in ’04, he applied
for med school at NYU, but they would accept him only if he agreed to stop playing baseball.          
He put the textbooks in mothballs.                                                                                        
“I need to be completely committed to baseball,” he said. “I’m cheating myself if I have one hand in baseball and the other on textbooks.”                                                 
 But he’s got spare time in the off-season, so last year he started the Strike Three Foundation, to raise money for children’s cancer research. His first benefit
raised $100,000.                                                                                                                                 
The future? Breslow doesn’t have it all mapped out, but he’ll consider going back to school and becoming a medical researcher or doctor.                                                    
He likes research but said recently, “I’ve always dealt better with people and personalities than pipettes and balances.” Whatever those are.                                        
There’s a story that Yogi Berra was on a Yankee bus ride, sitting next to infielder Bobby Brown, who was studying to become a cardiologist. Berra was
reading a comic book, Brown a medical textbook. They both closed their books at the same time and Yogi asked Brown, “How’d yours come out?”                                                                 
Who knows how Breslow’s story will come out, but here’s a guess: Through his fundraising, and maybe with help from his brainpower, cancer loses.

Bruce Jenkins talked about a possible reason for the slow down in playoff games: “The NBA’s obsession with technical fouls will backfire if Dwight Howard gets another one, because it will be his seventh in the playoffs, drawing an automatic one-game suspension. Maybe two of those technicals have been deserved; the rest have been the kind of ticky-tack nonsense that have befouled this year’s playoffs from the start. It seems a crackdown order came down from NBA executive Stu Jackson, who never did get it: not as a player, not as a coach, not as an executive. Anyone who cracks down on trash-talking has absolutely no sense of NBA reality or the culture of the game.”  Then he turned to the Magic: “That’s one of the most lifeless offenses ever unveiled in the playoffs, just a bunch of guys standing around the perimeter and firing away. I’d rather watch a bunch of blindfolded kids taking hacks at a piñata. But things really changed in the overtime. The ball went inside to Howard, he delivered in devastating fashion, and he showed — at least in this game — that he can be trusted at thee-throw line.” Ray Ratto talked about a possible cause of all those techs- “Bennett Salvatore. As in, “Salvatore missed that foul,” or “Salvatore called a foul that wasn’t
there,” or the ever-popular “Salvatore screwed us.” Your kid can now tank that chemistry final and look cool to his friends by dropping the new rage in
cheap alibis.                                                                                                                                      
Salvatore is one of the uber-veteran NBA officials who has come to represent the shortcomings of the officials during this year’s playoffs. Before that, it was
Joey Crawford, who allegedly offered to throw down with Tim Duncan (it turned out not to be so, but why let a good story be damaged by an explanation?). Before that, well, you all remember Tim Donaghy.                                                                                                                                  Don’t get us wrong, the games have been spottily adjudicated, in large part because three of the four remaining teams seem fine with playing rugby and the fourth, the Lakers, whines incessantly about everyone else playing rugby while trying desperately to avoid having to answer contact with contact.                                                                                                                                  Which brings us back to Salvatore, who keeps getting big games in large part because the league doesn’t have that many officials who are better. He’s become the major target for the ire of fans who like to think they understand officiating way better than they do, and as such is becoming a national “kick-me” sign. One which we believe enterprising children across America will soon be utilizing for all difficult social situations: I didn’t clean my room because Bennett Salvatore missed that three-second call. “I didn’t call you after the prom because Bennett Salvatore doesn’t want the Lakers to win.  Why must you always be in my business? Are you some sort of Bennett Salvatore? And for kids in a hurry, the catch-all, “Oh, Bennett Salvatore.”     
Conlin wrote, in the Philly Daily News, about the evil and demonic existence of Dave Duncan’s pitch counts. “Some revolutions begin quietly, a few
individuals seeking change in a back room as opposed to thousands marching on a palace. A month ago, Nolan Ryan, president of the Texas Rangers, sent
a directive to the entire organization, banning use of pitch counts as a way to regulate how deep starting pitchers went in games.                                                                                                                                                         
And Citizen Ryan, who one season threw 5,684 pitches in 333 innings pitched, is doing something about it. By the way, the season was 1974, when Ryan was 22-16 for the Angels, leading the American League with 202 walks and 367 strikeouts. He averaged 135 pitches for 41 starts. That insane workload ravaged his arm so severely his career only lasted 19 more seasons. Ryan was still throwing in the 90s when he finally retired at age 46.                                                                                                                                            
He will expect Rangers pitchers to become more fit, to make stamina and mechanical correctness the new balance point of their careers, not a half-baked theory based on absolutely zero empiric evidence that throwing fewer pitches on a given day somehow will reduce arm injuries. It is the only athletic endeavor where a pitcher does less to prepare for his event – think the ubiquitous between starts bullpen sessions – than he will do in the game itself.
Imagine Andy Reid pulling Donovan McNabb when he reaches 25 attempts or a boxing trainer throwing in the towel when a fighter absorbs his 50th punch.                                 
Pitching is an activity for the strong and durable of arm, not the weak and fragile. And when you see Brett Myers possibly kiss the bulk of his season
goodbye with the new designer injury – the frayed labrum – Ryan’s push for better conditioning takes on a little more urgency. Put some of the blame on
Brett’s skewed mechanics.                                                                                                                                                       
In case you’re wondering what the emerging new breed of pitching is all about, look no farther than long-striding Giants phenom Tim Lincecum, who at 5-11, 170 can deal 95-98 heat all day, wrapping his fastball around a Brad Lidge slider and Cole Hamels change. It is fashionable to call Lincecum “The Freak” because he can twist himself into a pretzel and do back-flips. But his “momentum” mechanics are attainable by any pitcher who cares to investigate adelivery change that maximizes arm speed and minimizes
strain on the arm. Lidge himself uses a long-striding, less-contorted, version of Lincecum’s, his also built around a long-striding, explosive push off the
rubber and smooth acceleration of the delivery from relatively low-kicking body turn to dynamic finish. But it’s hard to keep in synch with an achy push off and landing knee. Other momentum deliveries to watch include Kansas City’s “Game Over” Zack Greinke, Yankees right hander Joba Chamberlain and, San Diego State’s soon-to-be-No. 1 draftee, Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg has been clocked at 103 mph and has a 17-strikeout no-hitter on his 2009
Nolan Ryan is weary of seeing innings taken away from the best pitchers in the game and handed to guys who in his time would have performed mop-up
Good for Citizen Ryan. Long live the Revolution of the Throwletariat.”

Liz Clarke wrote, in the DC Post about Andrea Jaeger and her complete change “It’s a long way from Wimbledon’s Centre Court to southwest Colorado.
For Andrea Jaeger, the spiritual journey has been even longer.                                                                              
At 14, she was a pig-tailed phenom, brandishing every stroke in the tennis repertoire with a swagger that rivaled Jimmy Connors’s.                                                                         
Most times, nothing thrilled her like winning — especially if she felt she had a point to prove. Other times she was so tortured by the cost of success that she
didn’t try — including, she says, intentionally losing the 1983 Wimbledon final.                              
 Now 43, Jaeger rarely picks up a racket or reflects on the era when she toppled legends of the game but had no friends, traveling the world with a
father-turned-coach who believed that discipline, often in the form of a firm whack, was the most effective teacher.     
Today, the teen once ranked No. 2 in the world and on track to unseat Chris Evert atop the sport is an Anglican Dominican nun, ordained in 2006, and
devoted to helping children with cancer.                                                                                       
They are the reason she has given away every dollar she earned, shed her possessions and devotes her days to raising money to bring them to a Colorado
ranch to ride horses, play Ping-Pong, perform in talent shows and, if only for a few days, share a childhood otherwise denied.                                                                                                                 
If Sister Andrea thinks about professional sports at all, it’s of the prodigies like herself — children whose uncommon gifts have thrust them into an adult world.
Whether Michelle Wie, Freddy Adu or a 75-pound Olympic gymnast, today’s phenoms have teams of advisers she never had — agents, business managers,
publicists, trainers and nutritionists.
But who, Sister Andrea wonders, takes care of their souls?
Jaeger wasn’t the first prodigy in women’s tennis; she was preceded by Tracy Austin, the Southern Californian whose pinafores and bows accentuated her
But Jaeger, who turned pro in January 1980, at 14, was different. Daughter of a German bricklayer, bar owner and former boxer, she learned the game on
Chicago’s hard courts and played with bravado. She blasted her forehand, rare among female players at the time. She was a shrewd tactician. And she
delighted in dragging out points to wear down her opponents.                                                                                                                    
To say that her on-court demeanor was impudent would be kind. Nothing riled her like a bad call, and she let linesmen know. Some called her a brat;
others, “the female Ilie Nastase.”                                                                                                                             
In her second tournament as a pro, Jaeger beat a ranked player and then watched her break down in tears and guzzle a bottle of wine in the locker room
afterward to numb the humiliation.                                                                                                                        
“I never tried against her for the rest of my career,” Jaeger said. “I saw what it did to her. I didn’t want to be responsible.”
Most matches, Jaeger was all fight. She crushed Billie Jean King in the 1983 Wimbledon semifinals after hearing her tell the ball boy that she wouldn’t need
a towel, explaining, “I don’t plan on sweating much.”                                                                                         
Jaeger tried, once, to reach out to Martins Navartilova for some advice but was blown off. Jaeger felt the only thing she did wrong, that day, was to disturb
the champion’s preparation routine.                                                                                                           
“If tennis was that important that she couldn’t turn around and help a kid that was in trouble — not to even give them a hug and say: ‘Don’t worry about
tomorrow. Are you all right?’ — if that’s how much tennis meant to her, then, ‘Here, have it!’ “Jaeger says today. Navartilova won, beating Jaeger 6-0, 6-3.                                                                    
And when she blew out her shoulder during the 1985 French Open with a pop as loud as a bullet, Jaeger saw God’s hand at work. The injury was a blessing,
she decided, seven surgeries later — God’s way of telling her she had accomplished enough in tennis. Another calling awaited.                                                                                                   
But in the years that followed, Jaeger realized that her faith in God, however profound, wasn’t enough to help the children she had come to love. She had no
theological response to questions such as, “What happened next?” So she immersed herself in religious studies, earning an associate degree in ministry
training and theology. Joining the Dominican order, she said, was a natural next step once she learned that not all nuns lived in convents but increasingly were
drawn from the laity and lived among those they served.  
Jaeger started her Little Star foundation in 1990 after volunteering in childhood oncology wards for years. The work, she says, brought her closer to her
father, who died in 2003 of a brain tumor. He visited the camp once and told her that it made him more proud than any victory on the tennis court.  
 “I’m not saying I’m a well-balanced human being,” Sister Andrea says with a smile and self-deprecating laugh. “I don’t have the answer to everything. I just
know I love what I do. I have peace with what I do.”
When NBA coaches stand on the sidelines with their arms folded and looking in disbelief at the play of their “millionaires,” you aren’t able to get a sense of
who they really and what they think. Stan Van Gundy was like this until his first post-game press Q&A. That’s when he became a quote machine. Here’s
something that Bruce Jenkins gave us, “Thanks to Stan Van Gundy for this quote about excessive noise in NBA arenas: “If it were up to me, we wouldn’t
turn out the lights (for introductions). We wouldn’t announce starting lineups. We’d do the horn, we’d huddle and we’d go play. There wouldn’t be
cheerleaders. There wouldn’t be people flying off trampolines during the timeouts.”


I’ve never experienced any undergraduate championships. So Wilbon’s story is about as close as I’m going to get. My alma mater, SUNY- Empire State
doesn’t have ANY athletic department. Congratulations to Michael Wilbon, his cousin/goddaughter Brittany Wilbon, and Northwestern University.                                                                                                                                       
Wilbon wrote, “I’ve seen people hold plates and trophies and medals at the end of competitions for 29 years as a sportswriter, men and women, sports big and small, domestic and international. And it never gets old, watching people who’ve dedicated themselves to unimaginable lengths triumph on the final day of a season and achieve the greatest thing they can in that sporting discipline. I’ve seen the sheer delight on winning, beaming faces for nearly three decades, from high school to the Olympics, and came to know a long, long time ago that it’s something that “winning” some reality show can never approach.                                                                                                                
But there was one thing I’d never experienced until Sunday night. I’d never seen my alma mater, Northwestern University, win a championship in anything . . . not as a student, nor as an alum. Okay, it’s not as if we’re Title Town. The football team was 3-40-1 when I was a student, in the late 1970s. We’ve been to the Rose Bowl just once, January 1996, in the last 69 years. The basketball team, as we’re reminded way too many times, is the only team from a BCS conference never to even make the NCAA men’s tournament.              
Finally, my personal drought ended Sunday at a beautiful little venue, Johnny Unitas Stadium to be exact, when I got to watch Northwestern’s women’s lacrosse team beat North Carolina, 21-7, to win the NCAA championship. It wasn’t the first time the Northwestern women won that title; in fact, it’s the fifth consecutive time we’ve won. We’re the Yankees, if you will, of women’s lacrosse. We’ve got the best coach, Kelly Amonte Hiller, by a million miles and by Thursday night should have the sport’s player of the year for the fourth straight season. It’s a dynasty, by any reasonable measure.     
But because of my schedule, which calls for an overdose of NBA playoff assignments at the same time as the lacrosse final four, I had been able to see a couple of national semifinal victories, but never the championship game. And I nearly didn’t get to see this one because Penn, Northwestern’s most worthy rival in women’s lacrosse, took us to overtime Saturday before we won, 13-12, in sudden death.                                            
The way the NBA games fell, I said I’d come back for the championship game but could only do it if the Cleveland Cavaliers avoided going down 0-2 to
Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals. So, after beating Penn, I raced home and watched Cavs fall behind by a point with one second to go. If LeBron misses that shot, I’d have been at Game 3 in Orlando, not at the championship game. But he did, of course, and I got to see my alma mater win something for the first time in 33 years . . . since my parents paid the first dollar of tuition. And it was made all the sweeter by the fact that my cousin/goddaughter Brittany Wilbon got to play in the final moments and was on the field when the rout ended.                                                                                                                              
And they’re doing it as real students, not recreation majors. The 468 students who are athletes carry a GPA of 3.11, and 15 of the 19 sports check in with
a GPA of 3.0 or above. Northwestern ranks second in the nation in the indicator used by the NCAA to assess graduation success rate, and we’re
consistently battling with Notre Dame, Duke and Stanford to be in the top three.                                                                                       
I suppose the combination of academic and athletic success, overall, should make me happier than anything. But that was secondary to seeing young
women from the school I went to celebrate, especially Hilary Bowen, a senior, who missed the final two months or so of the regular season with a torn ACL.
She decided she wanted to play, despite what the greatest athletes on earth routinely call “a season-ending injury.” It didn’t end Bowen’s. All kinds of folks had to sign off on her coming back one game into the NCAA tournament. “I was extremely nervous,” Jim Phillips, the NU athletic director, told me
yesterday. “I asked the team physician, ‘Can this be even possible, given the injury she suffered?’                                                                                                                          
So Bowen came back to the team two weeks ago and helped beat Princeton. “We all wanted her back,” Brittany told me, “but we figured there’s no way
she could be the same player she is when healthy. The doctors and trainers told her they would only let her try it because she’s a senior and her career was ending.”                                                             
It ended all right, with Bowen being the leading scorer in the title game, with Northwestern defending its title again, with the women having me — the alum, not the reporter — hold the NCAA championship trophy aloft with them surrounding me for a team photo. Turns out to have been worth the wait.”

“Pud” Galvin was the first 300 game winner near the end on the 19th century. He won a total of 364 games with 646 career complete games. That number
only puts him in 2nd place for CG’s, way behind Cy Young who won 511 with 749 CG’s. To put a modern reference on that- Randy Johnson will most
likely be the next 300 game-winner but only has 100 CG’s over 22 years.

LeBron James had a buzzer-beater in game 2 of the Magic-Cavaliers NBA series. It was a nice shot, but it really wasn’t a difficult one, in the sense of
distance from the hoop. Mike Bianci said in the Orlando Sentinel (I know, I know-he may be a little biased), “But from listening to all the hoopla, you’d
think it was the greatest shot since William Tell split the apple sitting on top of his son’s head.” For the life of me, I don’t know why the youngster had his
computer on his head.

Bruce Jenkins wants to compare LeBron and his band of merry followers to some of the rosters for NBA Championship Teams.
He looked at the ’61 Celtics with Russell, Cousy, Heinsohn, Sam and KC Jones,  Sharman, Ramsey, Sanders, “Jungle Jim” Loscutoff. That’s nine guys
who could’ve been starters.
The ’75 Warriors had 11 such players: Barry, Davis, Dickey, Dudley, Charles and George Johnson, Mullins, Ray, Smith, Wilkes, and Williams.
The ’72-’73 Knicks had nine leading players: Bradley, Frazier, Barnett, DeBusschere, Jackson, Lucas, Meminger, Reed, and Monroe (I remember all of
the criticism that was heaped on GM Dick McGuire for having Pearl Monroe and Clyde Frazier on the same team with only one basketball but they won a


Dwight Perry, of the Seattle Times, asked us to make the call:  “The worst double-whammy of a week was just experienced by:
• The White Sox, who got pounded 20-1 by the Twins and rejected by Padres pitcher Jake Peavy — just hours apart.   
• Or Steelers linebacker James Harrison, whose pit bull bit his 2-year-old son on the heels of his insipid observation — “He would’ve invited Arizona if they
had won” — in snubbing a White House invite from President Obama.”

Then Dwight talked about the father of Serbian tennis player Jelena Dokic, Damir, who has been charged with, “Threatening an Australian ambassador,
and police searching his house in Belgrade found a cache of weapons, including hand grenades.                                            
 (Just in case you were wondering where she learned her lob shots.)”

 Scott Ostler, of the SF Chronicle, asked about the possibility of London hosting a Super Bowl: “What will U.S. fans get in return? The Henley Regatta
and a fox hunt to be named later?”

” Chris Ferrell of the San Antonio Express-News offers two possible interpretations for what Terrell Owens told reporters when he joined the Buffalo Bills for mini-camp training sessions:
“When Terrell Owens said, ‘My focus is really trying to get this offense down and see what ways I can help the team,’ he was talking about:
“a) Learning plays during his first practice with the Buffalo Bills.
“b) Figuring out which plays aren’t designed specifically for him and ordering them removed from the Bills’ playbook.”

Boston Ryan had a few things to say to the West Coast Snobs who think they’re the authority on everything baseball and we should listen to them because it’s obvious (only to them) they know better.                                                                                                                                         
“The effrontery,” Ryan wrote in The Boston Globe, “The brazenness, the absolute gall of someone in PDT whining about the potential viewing hardship of a
late-afternoon start is beneath contempt. Those people have been living charmed sports viewing lives for their entire existences. It’s time we EDT/ESTers got a break.                                                                                      
Here’s the real, actual, irrefutable honest-to-God truth of the matter: For decades upon decades, people from the East Coast have made all the viewing
sacrifices. Those West Coast dilettantes haven’t been asked to make any.                                                                                                     
 It’s time those pampered PDT/PSTers had to live with World Series, baseball playoffs, NBA Finals, and Final Four starting times that either a) prevent
normal working people from seeing the finish of games or b) preclude the youth of America from watching these games at all. That’s the reality of life on the
East Coast.                                                                                                         
Aren’t they ridiculous? I’m asking you, which is worse: missing the first two innings or first quarter or missing the last three innings or fourth quarter? It’s not
even close.                                              
And this is without even mentioning the plight of the actual EDT paying customers. At least the people at home can turn off the TV and go to bed as soon as
the late-finishing game is over. The people who, as the beleaguered Oregonian Bob Abernathy would put it, actually pay up and go to the games must then
file out, get to wherever they’ve parked, and drive home. All this could easily take two hours, meaning that an extra-inning postseason baseball game might result in some EDTer getting home around 3 a.m.                                                                                         
So we just don’t want to hear about the trials and tribulations of living on the West Coast. Boo bleepin’ hoo.                                                                                                              
The networks are the obvious villains here, but the real enemies of the people are the commissioners and owners, who always, always, always
seek every last penny they can extract from the networks, sacrificing the integrity of the game and the best interests of their fans with their greed. They have
surrendered control of their own events in exchange for the maximum dollars. They tell you when you’ll play, rather than the other way around, so common
sense is abrogated.                                                                                                                                   
Has it ever occurred to the PDTers who are sincerely interested in the baseball playoffs and/or World Series that all games are on this interesting
contraption called radio and that there are far worse things in life than listening to an inning or three on radio whilst driving home before plopping down in
front of the TV? As a lifelong EDTer, I would gladly take that scenario over the one we endure on an annual basis, watching games drag on (another story
for another day) past midnight.                                                                                                                                    
Yeah, I know. Makes too much sense. Yeah, I know, never happen. But I can dream, can’t I?”

There are reasons that Jake Peavy didn’t have MLB-GM’s beating down the door to the Padres management offices. He has a career 3.26 ERA pitching
for the NL-Padres and that could translate to a 4.26 in the AL. The SD ballpark is cavernous and is pitcher-friendly where his ERA is 2.79 as opposed to
3.78 on the road since 2006. Most importantly his career WHIP is 1.182 (he had a 1.04 in 05 and a 1.06 in 07) with a 3.1 K to BB ratio.                                                                                                                       
But the San Diego financial picture is cloudy at best and GMA Kevin Towers will want to get out from under the $50-$60 million of guaranteed money so
SD will be in the trade market

The Sports Curmudgeon took a look at the return of Michael Vick into American society and had a couple of observations: “Surely, you know that Michael Vick is home in Hampton, Virginia.  ESPN has been hammering on that story all week.  The only bit of coverage they missed was to have a helicopter tracking the progress of Vick’s “vehicle convoy” as it made its way down the Interstate.  It is too bad that whoever picked him up in Kansas to drive himback to Virginia did not have the sense of irony to make the drive in a white Bronco.  How cool would that have been?
I have a question related to the Michael Vick case that I have not seen anything about yet – – believe it or not.  Vick may leave his home to go to and from a $10/hour construction job that he will have for at least the duration of his home confinement.  In no way do I begrudge him his $400/week – minus
deductions of course – but riddle me this:
In an economic situation where unemployment is running near 10%, how did Michael Vick get this job? 
Are there really and truly no other people in the Tidewater area who want a $10/hour job?
Was his time in Leavenworth the key entry on the application form that put him on the short list for hiring?”

Chris Erskin isn’t a regular sports guy. In fact, he writes a column every Sunday in the home section of the LA Times. However, here he gives us his
thoughts about the funny papers that adorn the bodies of the Denver Nuggets: “The circus doesn’t come around much anymore, but we’ll always have the NBA, the tattooed ladies of Denver currently catching our eye in center ring. Not to be all judgmental, because that’s beneath us, but what’s with those Andy Warhol lips behind Kenyon Martin’s right ear? Either that’s a Hall of Fame hickey or the guy’s really gone off the deep end.
Haven’t we all.
Middle America must be beside itself with this series. Certainly, it can’t root for those pinko, attention-deficit Californians, who don’t seem to always try
their very hardest. The alternative is this circus act from Denver, players who get as much ink for their ink as for their athleticism.
‘By gawd, Martha, one of these young fellas has a big pair of . . . of red lips behind his ear. Get me Rush Limbaugh on the phone.’
Tribal insignias, family crests, spider webs and grocery lists, these Nuggets have it all. Sure, every NBA team is tatted up these days; a reported 70% of
players have tattoos. But the Nuggets have raised the body art bar.
I understand Mr. Martin’s famous neck lips are actually a tribute to his girlfriend, a rapper from Miami by the name of Trina (these things are never simple). As one blogger put it: “It looks stupid now, it will look stupider when they break up.”
One of Martin’s teammates, Carmelo Anthony, has what looks to be a Warner Bros. symbol peeking out of his jersey, though it’s really a tribute to his old stamping grounds of West Baltimore.
Their big white guy — doesn’t every NBA team have one? — has a Woody Woodpecker haircut and arms and legs like a Rand McNally road map. Freaky. Another player appears to have a small archipelago along his neck . . . no wait, that’s Trevor Ariza.
I guess a young man making millions to play basketball has to rebel against something. And rebellion must be so much easier when everyone else is doing it. Now, I’m no hothouse flower when it comes to pop culture mayhem. Back in the ’70s, I practically invented streaking, or at least encouraged it at every turn. Back then, good old-fashioned human skin was all you needed to make a statement. In the ’70s, nudity was enough.
Heck, I even remember when Mick Jagger’s tongue was on every T-shirt in America. Or was that his eyelids?
Point is, boys and girls, there is nothing wrong with plain, unadorned human skin. In the proper light, it can be almost beautiful.
Point is, Part 2: If you’re counting on NBA players to be your role models, you’re fishing in the wacky pond.”

NY is getting ready for the Phillies-Mets rivalry by playing the Red Sox. The Sports Curmudgeon told us that: “According to a website called “letsgomets.”, the NY Mets’ payroll for 2009 is $138.2M.  The team has certainly not skimped on expenses.  Earlier this week, someone on the business side
of things in the Mets’ organization had to be wondering what he had to do in order to get his money’s worth here.  In a single game, the Mets committed five
fielding errors AND they had a runner called out on an appeal play – negating a run scored – because the runner failed to tag third base while coming around
 to score.  Oh, and he did not miss that bag by only an inch either…”
Then Bill Conlin wrote from Philly to say, “Hopefully, the blue-ribbon panel (from The Sporting News) missed the Dodgers’ three-game sweep of manager
Jerry Manuel’s Hollywood revival of the Keystone Kops. The only thing missing from the end game of the second game of the series was calliope music and
a ringmaster. Players were provided by Hertz Rent-a-Clown.”

This sounds like a law suit being typed up: “Ramirez tested positive for significantly elevated levels of testosterone, and the subsequent investigation
uncovered a prescription for another banned substance, HCG.
Ramirez accepted the suspension based on the indisputable evidence of the prescription. Before baseball officials discovered the prescription in his medical
files, Ramirez and his representatives had been prepared to argue that the positive test could have been triggered by DHEA, a substance classified as a
steroid and banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency but not forbidden under baseball’s drug policy or restricted by the federal government.
Selig would not say whether he believed the government should classify DHEA as a controlled substance, the Associated Press reported. Such classification
would result in the immediate addition of DHEA to baseball’s list of banned substances.”
Should the Doctor have known what was banned by baseball before he prescribed the medicine? We won’t know if Manny doesn’t tell why it was
prescribed- and that may be a little too much information.

Mike Penner forwarded this under the title of “Do not adjust your television set.” “It has taken Lakers fans two games to settle in, study the new designs,
get used to the new patterns and accept the new angles for what they are: dazzling examples of multicolored body art marked all over the Denver Nuggets.
As Bob Molinaro of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot recently wrote, “If you’re turned off by the sight of copious body art, don’t watch the multi-tattooed Denver
Nuggets. The typical Nuggets player is more inked up than the Sunday edition of the New York Times.”