Dreams Blog

July 27, 2012

Mama, Don’t Let Your Sons Grow Up To Be Catchers
The Yankees signed their top amateur draft pick (30th pick) pitcher Ty Hensley for a $1.2MILLION BONUS- that’s $400k low (you can’t be serious!) because an MRI showed he has an unsound shoulder. Is America great or what?
Davey Johnson has the DC Nats 2 ½ games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the NL-East as of 7/21. This is the deepest into the season that a DC nine was in 1st since WWII.
Johnson doesn’t get that much credit for being a field general but then again, neither does Buck Showalter or Jim Leyland.
Ichiro and Youkilis
The Yankees got Ichiro from Seattle Just as the ChiSox got Youkilis from Boston.
It’s that latest CBA that eliminated draft choice awards. It was supposed to benfit the “have-nots” (money) but- what a surprise- it will help well-to-do teams more often.
Only they can afford 2-month rentals of aging stars.
Dwight’s Plight
Bruce Jenkins (SF Chronicle) talked about the Hoo-haa around Dwight Howard. “Wouldn’t it be great to see Dwight Howard stuck in Orlando? I happen to believe the man is too bright to have created this mess all by himself. Count on a bunch of sycophantic morons steering him the wrong way behind the scenes. But by agreeing in March to play one more season in Orlando, Howard lamely signed away his free agency for another year. And for him to say, “Brooklyn or bust,” that’s just plain crazy. Who wouldn’t want to play in Los Angeles alongside Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol? Very smart of Orlando, by the way, to turn down the Nets’ pile-of-junk trade offer.” Putter Tweeter
Dan Daly (DC Times) sent out a tweet (so I’m told) that said, “The hardest thing for those golfers about using a long putter I that it’s hard to decide which chin to anchor it to.”
Slick Vic
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote about Victor Conte, who now claims to be a law-and-order guy. “If there is a Cheater’s Hall of Fame, Conte’s in it. So who better to give us the inside dope (so to speak) on the upcoming Olympics? People who were around Conte during his 2005 plea bargain for steroid distribution warned me before our interview. Be careful. He’s a con man. He’s slick. I’ll leave that judgment to others. Whether or not Conte truly has left the cheatin’ side of town to work for law and order, as he claims, he does have intimate knowledge of performance enhancing drugs – how to use ’em and how to catch the users. Should we listen to him? As Conte says, “If somebody broke into your office and stole everything, wouldn’t you want to listen to an expert tell you how they got in, so next time you can keep ’em out?”
YEAH, but not from the original burgler
“Stupidest Things in Sports.”
Here are some of the things that Norman Chad gave us: “Football players dumping Gatorade on their coach in the waning moments of a victory. First of all, this celebratory gesture lost its appeal about 2,700 gallons of Gatorade ago. Second of all — and maybe this is just me — but I’d consider it more appropriate to dump Gatorade on a coach after losing a game.
Baseball teams paying millionaire players meal money. Think about it. ‘J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets!’ I mean, how hard is it to spell ‘Jets’? Jets fans act as if they just discovered plutonium. Granted, they’re well-lubricated, but I’d be a lot more impressed if the MetLife Stadium faithful spelled out ‘Neanderthals.’
When you’re thinking of stupid sports stuff, there should always be a Bud Selig inclusion. It’s hard to ignore the glaringly ludicrous fact that, in MLB, whichever league wins the All-Star Game — an exhibition — gets home-field advantage in the World Series.
The flyover. Really? Come on.”
The Latest NCAA Rule-breaker
The Sport Curmudgeon said it was Cal Tech. “That’s right; “Brainiac University”, a school that has been known to go a decade or more between wins in a sport like basketball ran afoul of the NCAA rules for using “academically ineligible players”. Here is what got Cal Tech on the wrong side of the NCAA. Students at Cal Tech – – ALL students and not just ones who might also wish to be on a sports team – – have the opportunity to “shop for courses”. That means they can attend the courses for three weeks before they decide if they want to register to take the course for credit and for a grade. Students are not required to do this shopping, but any student who wants to do so may do so. And therein lies the rub… Because some Cal Tech players were shopping for courses at the beginning of a semester, they did not meet the criteria of the NCAA as full time students at the time when they either began practicing with a team or played in some games. The fact that they eventually signed up for a full academic load at a school with as high a set of academic standards as any in the country does not matter. The NCAA sees these students as academically ineligible and Cal Tech is now on probation. Given that it is the NCAA making the call here, I am not all that surprised…”
As Dean Wormer Said
Dwight Perry quoted Plaschke (LA Times) about this “hollow sanction,” “Said Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times, noting the basketball team’s 310-game conference losing streak that ended last season: “The baseball team will vacate all wins during a period in which it went 0-112. The men’s water polo team will vacate every win achieved while going 0-66. “Caltech (is) the school that couldn’t succeed at sports if it cheated.”
Same guy
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) pointed out that, “Rex Ryan reportedly has lost 106 pounds. The Jets coach could lose another 100 and still be the NFL’s biggest gasbag.”
Mike Bianci (Orlando Sentinel) said, “I got one of these new-fangled smart phones a few days ago and I can’t even figure out how to answer it. I want my old, dumb, stupid phone back.”


Dreams Blog

July 20, 2012


Anger, Disgust, And Nausea

I find it very difficult to read anything about what went on at Penn St. without yelling at the paper. I find it very difficult to write about it even more. I can’t see why some of the characters didn’t find themselves at the bottom of a flight of stairs.

No matter what is written about Joe Paterno, he’ll always be remembered for heading up this program. Penn St. won’t be called “Linebacker U.” any longer.


One summer I headed up the reading program for the City-Wide Summer Playstreets Program of the PAL. My Director was the legendary, Mike Muzio- the one time NYU-AD. He had few rules for me to follow, but most importantly we were to make sure the youngsters had something to eat, make ourselves available to be mentors, and make sure, make sure to report any evidence of abuse at home OR ANYWHERE!


Tom Robinson (HamptonRoads.com) cut through some tall grass to tell us why Colleges like to have football programs. “Colleges, citadels of learning and knowledge, are tripping over themselves to start football teams despite what we know and continue to learn about football-related brain injuries. You have to appreciate the irony, I suppose.                                                                                A release from the National Football Foundation recently crowed that five college football programs will debut this fall, 28 have launched since 2008 and 17 more plan to in the next three years.                                                                                                          Schools clamor to “embrace” football, according to the foundation, because “college administrators see the value of the sport to a student’s overall educational experience.”                               Omitted was the truth that administrators also are drunk with greed. At least be honest about a money grab with farther-reaching physical threats than we ever knew.                                             And so the “give me some of that” principle has set wheels spinning on potential gravy trains at the expense of potential brain issues among college football’s “amateur” work force, quite the unfortunate trade-off.                                                                               The brew of rampant ego, feverish donors, jacked student fees, licensing, sales and TV cash – or any combination of them – is intoxicating. Especially at higher levels, football fills the vault, puts school names on screen crawls and gets halftime infomercials run.  You know the ones about all the medical research University X performs – on brain injuries, perhaps? – that is rarely performed by anyone actually in the halftime locker room.

Dream Team ’92 vs Dream Team ‘12

Coach K could be the best arbiter of the better team because he was an asst. under Chuck Daly in ’92 and HC this year. “This team, they’re all in their prime or coming into their prime,” he said of the team that played its first exhibition Thursday night against the Dominican Republic in Las Vegas. “In ’92, you had Magic and Bird, who were past their prime. If they were all in their prime together in ’92 we’d never see a team like that again.                          The Dream Team was taller, maybe deeper and had the best player in Jordan. But the 2012 team is younger, faster, more athletic and has at least three players — LeBron, Kobe and Durant — who are better than anyone but Jordan was in ’92.                                                “A bunch of young racehorses,” Bryant called his guys.                    Jordan, the elder, nearly evoked the good-old-days-were-better screed in saying, ‘Remember now, they learned from us, we didn’t learn from them.’                                                                                   But I’d argue that in just about any sport, athletes are generally better than they were 20 years previous. (The same would hold true that 1992 NBA stars were generally superior to stars of 1972. Arguments for and against both teams have their “yeah buts,” of course.                                                                                               Jordan might have won unanimous agreement had Magic and Bird been in their primes then. Bryant might have mentioned that the current U.S. team would have been that much better if Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose weren’t all skipping London while recovering from injuries.  

Lin Must Go—Lin Should Stay

Stephan A. Smith cited two main reasons for Lin’s needed separation, “It was before Lin blurted out that he was “85 percent,” but long after members of the Knicks realized he didn’t want to jeopardize the potential paycheck waiting for him down the line. Fear of injury is one thing. Fear of getting outplayed and exposed in postseason competition is another. And although folks universally recognized Lin’s heart, they also lamented Lin’s inner circle of confidants quick to tell him there was no better position to be in than the one he was in at the end of the season.                    What exactly did 25 games prove?

And when did Jeremy Lin — in Year 3 of this deal — become the second coming of Chris Paul?”

Ian O’Connor quoted Willis Reed and “The Cooz” in rebuttal, “Willis Reed: “Jeremy Lin reminds me so much of Walt Frazier. It’s how Jeremy controls the game, gets the ball to the right people for easy baskets, the lobs he’s throwing to Tyson Chandler — it all reminds me of Clyde.”                                                                       Bob Cousy: “He’s got the physical skills to reach a good, very good, or great level in this league. He’s exactly what the Knicks needed, a leader and someone to distribute the ball as opposed to a bunch of guys just letting it fly.”

That’s pretty good, but I really don’t know- I really don’t know.

Just Say No

That is what the Knicks did when they didn’t choose to match the offer sheet signed by Jeremy Lin, offered by Houston.

I still haven’t made up my mind if that was a good decision or not. I DO know it should’ve been based on playing not money. The money argument doesn’t hold water. Between marketing windfalls and advertising promotions, any Luxury Tax costs ($20-30m chump change for Dolan’s pen) would have been more than balanced out.

The decision was made. Live with it and move on.

Somehow, the player going to the Rockets isn’t the same one who crashed on Landry Fields’ couch.

We had weeks of pre-move “fol-di-rol”. Now we’ll probably see weeks of blame assessment.








Dreams Blog

July 13, 2012

Expanded Playoffs
Norman Chad looked at the ever expanding MLB playoffs and decided to make this suggestion. “So I am here today to propose an extreme, expanded postseason. It involves shortening the regular season. The 162-game regular season is so 20th century, anyway; who can watch an early spring Padres-Rockies game?
I say let ’em all into the postseason — all 30 teams are playoff-bound! This is how we do it:
We shorten the regular season to 58 games; every team plays every other team twice. Done.
That takes care of April and May.
June 1: Playoffs!
To give the regular season a little meaning, each league champion gets a bye. The other 28 teams, seeded 1 to 28 by record, play a best-of-seven series; winners of that opening round, along with the league champions, move on to the round of 16. And so on.
Each series would last three weeks, which means you play a game every three or four days. This would allow a team like the Yankees to finally cut payroll and set up its rotation so that CC Sabathia pitches every game of the postseason.
Then you would take a week or two off before the World Series, like the NFL does with the Super Bowl.
We’re talking two months for the regular season and four months for the postseason, so you’re done by the end of September. Wa-lah!”
Wimbledon Talk Doesn’t Do It
I’ve never been into tennis- except to watch McEnroe.
What would happen if someone tried to stretch a net across a street-HA!
Tennis was never a city game. Oh, there WERE paddleboard courts but they were always being used by old guys wearing knotted kerchiefs on their heads.
We stuck to softball, basketball, and touch-football where the rule- of-thumb was “No blood, No foul.”
There are so many exceptions that can be used toward an NBA team’s salary cap, you’d have to be a “Wall Street Lawyer” to be able to understand them and properly use them. You have the “Early Bird” that sounds more like dinner time for seniors, the “Larry Bird,” and the “Full Bird”- I’d get in trouble for using that one.
Max Contract Offer
The Sports Curmudgeon was puzzled by some of the financial wastefulness and frivolity being put out by some NBA owners who claim the league is losing money. “When I hear the words “max contract offer”, I usually think of players who are difference makers on the court and who are players that will draw folks to the arenas just to see them in action. I suspect that is a degree of financial prudence that makes me ineligible to ever own or run and NBA team. For the record, I do like Roy Hibbert as a player; he is not a stumblebum or a malingerer. However, he is nowhere near what I would call a player worthy of a “max contract offer”. Eric Gordon is in the same situation. Gordon for his career averages 18 points per game with 3 assists and 3 rebounds per game. He was injured this year so he only got to play in 9 games. He too has a “max contract offer”. Landry Fields reportedly will get $20M from the Raptors over 3 years. Why? Omar Asik is looking at a 4-year contract offer worth $25M from the Rockets. Asik scores 3 points per game and collects 4 rebounds per game as a sub in Chicago. Catching the ball in the low-post, he looks like Edward Scissorhands; making what passes for an offensive move in the low-post, he has all the grace of a bear on stilts. You can count on both hands and feet the number of NBA fans who will buy a ticket they would not have purchased in the first place just to go see Hibbert or Gordon or Fields or Asik play. The owners seem to be bent on digging themselves into a deeper hole than ever under this new CBA.
Time On Your Hands
The Sports Curmudgeon reported that the WBF (World Burping Federation) held their World Championships in June and, “The WBF is also environmentally conscious. When animals belch, they release greenhouse gases but the WBF does not want to be on Al Gore’s black list, so they have come up with something they call the “Green Burp”. [Aside: They really do need a better name here; “green burp” might conjure up images of a “three-dimensional burp” and that would be disgusting.] In WBF events, green burping happens because the contestants ingest warm carbonated beverages resulting in a burp that injects no new greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than would be there without the belching. Doesn’t that make you feel better about these good folks? The winner of the First World Burping Championship produced a bench that lasted for 18.1 seconds. His mother must be awfully proud of him…”
More Time
Norman Chad talked about Floyd Mayweather’s sentence for domestic violence at the Clark County (Nev) Detention Center. Chad said Mayweather was there for about 8.7 minutes before he wanted his lawyer to appeal the stay (the judge rejected the appeal). Mayweather might be writing things like,
“2:48: How much “good behavior” does it take to get out of here? 2:49: Besides, I’m alone all day — who even notices I’m on good behavior?”
New FIFA Reg
Soccer approved new goal-line technology.
FIFA is going to use Hawk-Eye and GoalRef systems at January’s Club World Cup in Japan and decide which system has a 150% success rate for use next season in the English Premier League. This will carry a cost of $250K/Stadium.
MLB will be following this test very closely.
Perry’s Postings
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote that,
“It took three police officers to subdue Vikings running back Adrian Peterson after he allegedly became belligerent when asked to leave a Houston nightclub at closing. Peterson has been charged with resisting arrest and impersonating a Cincinnati Bengal.
“Rufus, Wimbledon’s trained hawk that flies over the courts to keep pesky pigeons away, got kidnapped but was found in time to finish out the tournament. Veteran Wimby watchers reported an immediate decrease in drop shots.”

Dreams Blog

July 6, 2012

Here is my quadrennial Olympics’ story.
When one athlete was walking on the running track carrying a long pole in his hand, a European reporter approached him and asked, “Are you a pole vaulter?
The athlete answered- “No, I’m a Swede.”
Games Names
There are recognizable names associated with each Olympiad and this year is no different. Along with Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, we have Oscar Pistorius of So. Africa who is the first amputee to compete in track.
He proves that you are disabled only if others’ labels affect you.
Would you believe that there were objections filed that this double-amputee had an unfair advantage.
Good Luck, Oscar!
Watch for, Bronxite, Daryl Homer a 21-yr. old Williamsbridge native and SJU student, who is ranked number one in the USA and 12th in the World. He’s competing in the Saber.
I read that, always a Raider, Ben Davidson and his handlebar mustache passed away and has moved into Al Davis’ owners’ box.
What’s Going On?
Thomas Boswell (DC Post) gave me a little barb by saying that the DC Nats had a record of 47-32 topping the NL-East and the Texas Rangers who were the OLD Senators topped the AL (no more “First in war, first in peace and last in the American League).Two-thirds of the Nats 47 wins came against teams with winning records.
Nats reliever, Tyler Clippard said, “We’re going to be pretty expensive pretty fast.” Bos said “They won’t be staying in the current lowest-in-the-NL East neighborhood very long.”
But remember they HAVEN’T won anything yet.
Pat Riley Back To Work
Big Time players always seem to own at least one more gear they can use. Dan LeBatard (McCatchy News) wrote: “Pat Riley was completely unsurprised that Dwyane Wade decided earlier this season to finally defer to James with uncommon self-awareness for a star. The Van Gundys say that the hardest thing to coach is an aging superstar because the mirror so often lies to them, but Riley says he didn’t even have to nudge Wade out of James’ way. That kind of decision had to be made by Wade himself for it to come without resentment. What Dwyane did was normal for him,” Riley says. “He didn’t have anything to lose. He’s got skin in the game, and he’s had it for a long time. He is one of the most beloved players in the history of this city. He’s invested. He’s gotten all the pats on the back and awards and money and fame. It is easier to serve your teammate who hasn’t gotten the one thing he wants. When you do that, in the end, you are going to be the winner, too. Whatever he gave up, because the team needed it, it is one of the great things that great team players do. Magic (Johnson) did that all the time, gave up his game for someone else. What Dwyane did came very naturally to him. It wasn’t a pain to him. He’s smart enough to know what was needed. Wade and Bosh and James have all admitted that, when they were on that introductory stage prancing, they all thought the championships would come easier. But Riley says he never thought that way. He has won enough to know just how hard it is.”
Lance Armstrong said it was time to play by the rules. I’m sorry; I can’t think of any other rules governing bicycle racing except that bikes must use leg power for propulsion.
Truthfully, I just don’t care about bike racing with all of it’s drama.
No Man Is An Island
Larry Ellison, the founder and CEO of Oracle, isn’t an island, he owns one- the 140 sq. mile, Lanai. I hope he didn’t think he was getting a new sun-room for one of his other homes.
Scott Ostler (SD Chronicle) said that the Lanai residents have to call him “Moondogie” and shop at “Lanai Larry’s Aloha Moolah Gift Shop.”
Scott also called Lanai is a fixer-upper for Ellison, “Because it only has two golf courses and no Costco.”
The Last Word
Phil Rogers (ChiTrib) quoted Goose Gossage), “O.J. Simpson, did you believe he didn’t kill those two people?” — Hall of Famer Rich “Goose” Gossage on the meaning of Clemens’ not-guilty verdict.”
Well, perhaps NOT the last word, because Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) wrote, “Idle thought: The Federal Jury has spoken- Roger Clemens is not guilty of perjury. But he’ll always be guilty of being Roger Clemens.”
What Time Is it?
The Sports Curmudgeon wrote, “After Rafael Nadal won the French Open Tennis Tournament, he reported that someone stole a watch from his hotel room. That watch was not a Timex; that watch was worth $347K. There are plenty of folks who would wish that their 401(k) plan was worth $347K and Greg Cote of the Miami Herald probably summed up the thoughts of many of those folk:“If I’m spending $347,000 for a watch, it had better be able to turn back the hands of time.”
Pop Quiz Question
Here is a question from Bob Molinaro (HamptonBays.com), “If ESPN can bring us European soccer matches without commercial interruption, why can’t American football games be played with fewer artificial breaks?”
Another Question
I saw a comics panel drawn by Mark Anderson that made me ask- how did “Edward Scissorhands” play “Rock, Paper, Scissors”?
Holiday Traffic
R.J. Currie (sportsdeke.com) wrote that a farmer caused traffic chaos by herding 5,000 ducks through a Chinese town. “Frustrated motorists reported dozens of quack-ups.”
History Lesson
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) wrote that tomorrow is the Fourth of July and it marks 236 years since the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. “Coincidently,” he wrote, “that’s also how long it’s been since the Cubs last won a World Series.”
Quick Note
This from Brad Dickson (Omaha World-Herald) wrote, “He was going 35, when star sprinter, Usain Bolt was in a minor accident. No word if he was inside a vehicle or on foot.”
Picture That
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) said that someone tried to extort him once, “But all they had were flattering Photos.”