July 3, 2009

More and more writers are jumping up and down while applying the tar and feathers to players who’ve used PED’s. Well Scott Ostler isn’t one of them and
said in the SF Chronicle: “Thanks to Manny Ramirez, I have seen the light.                                           
When Ramirez becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame, he gets my vote. Same with all the other ‘roid boys.                                                                                                                 
No longer will I try to hijack the game of baseball from its rightful owners – the fans and players.                                                                                                                              
Ramirez has provided the final proof that nobody cares if a player has more needles stuck in his butt than a porcupine. If the fans don’t care, and the players don’t care, who am I to care?                                                                                                                              
What am I? A knucklehead?                                                                                                 
I learned a lesson many years ago when I worked in L.A. and wrote a column critical of Vin Scully for not reporting bad news, such as an impending players strike. I got a ton of mail, exactly 100 percent of it explaining what an idiot I was. Baseball is our escape from the real world, the writers wrote.                                                                                   
 And if Los Angeles celebrities happen to be drugged up or artificially enhanced, hey, the deeper the mystique. If you can perform, all is
forgiven. See: Kobe Bryant. Anyway, if you’re scoring at home, here’s who has benefited from Manny being flim-flammy:                                                                                                                                         
 – The Dodgers. They reacted to the loss of their slugger by rallying together and proving that they’re not a one-man show.                                                                                  
– Juan Pierre. Stepping in for Ramirez, Pierre rediscovered his chops.                                 
 – Manny. He’s well rested, pumped up from the adulation, ready to rip.                             
– Me. I’ve seen the light. Seriously, give me my HOF ballot and get out of my way.”

We, workers in the Toy Department, as Boston Shaughnessy calls our work area, get to report the sports news- not shape opinions.

I’m hoping that Jason Kidd realizes just how much money is enough for his family and his grandchildren when he looks at the offers from the Knicks (3-yrs, $18 million) and Dallas (3-yrs, $25 to 30 million). One thing that I’m sure he knows is that he can either play in NEW YORK or in dallas.
Bruce Jenkins talked about the rumor about Chrissy Mullen, “It seems like a natural fit: Chris Mullin, New York guy and deposed general manager of the
Warriors, going back to his home town for a job in the Knicks’ front office. I just wonder if Mullin, having taken a hard look at the scene, wants to make that move.                                                                                                                                   
The Knicks make no secret of their desire to lure LeBron James out of Cleveland in next year’s free-agent market, but they’ve done nothing to perk LeBron’s interest. They took Arizona’s Jordan Hill with the No. 8 pick in the draft, and while Hill might be a serviceable power forward, he won’t be a difference-maker on that horrendous club. The fans are already down on Hill, quite unfairly, because they were expecting Stephen Curry to fall in their laps.                                                                                                             
A number of Knicks sources are wondering why they didn’t draft a point guard, anyway. They badly need to replace Chris Duhon at that position, and they had some pretty fascinating options in Jrue Holiday, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague and Eric Maynor. They thought they had a chance to sign free agent Jason Kidd, but did you catch Mark Cuban’s reaction to those rumors? Learning that Kidd was in New York to meet with the Knicks, the Mavericks’ owner flew there last night, met with Kidd around midnight and offered him a three-year deal.                                                                 
(That didn’t stop Kidd from meeting with Knicks president Donnie Walsh and coach Mike D’Antoni for some three hours this morning, but this destination
doesn’t make sense for Kidd. He’d gain nothing by joining such a downtrodden team, and he’d be close to retirement if LeBron ever came to New York.)                                                                                                                                                     
As for the rest of the Knicks landscape, it’s discouragingly barren. Toney Douglas, the 6-2 shooting guard taken in the No. 29 slot, isn’t likely to have an impact.
The roster is clogged up with people D’Antoni doesn’t really want, like Al Harrington and Eddy Curry. The team doesn’t have a first-round draft pick next year (thanks to Isiah Thomas’ infatuation with Stephon Marbury), and for some bizarre reason, they just traded for Darko Milicic.                                                                                                                    
To top it off, Madison Square Garden isn’t the basketball palace Mullin so well remembers. The Knicks are run by the incompetent and insufferably arrogant James Dolan, a guy who makes Chris Cohan look like a visionary in comparison. A recent Sports Illustrated poll ranked Dolan second among Worst Owners in the NBA, and it took the legendarily moronic Donald Sterling (Clippers) to beat him out. Dolan has no basketball sense, he treats his employees like dirt, and he has simply run this proud franchise into the ground.                                                                                                
Mullin loves New York, and he’s close to Walsh, dating back their days in Indiana together, but actually pulling the trigger? That’s a load he may not want, and certainly doesn’t deserve.


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