Dreams Blog

March 29, 2013

“NCAA M—- M–ness!”

Greg Cote (Miami Herald) sounded like a rabble rouser when he wrote: “The origin of the trademarked phrase actually involves a broadcaster, but not Dick Vitale. It’s Brent Musberger! Yes, long before he lusted on the air over Miss Alabama, Musberger began referring to the NCAA Tournament as “March Madness” in 1982 on a CBS broadcast.                                                                        Why? Because Musberger knew the Illinois High School Association had been referring to its own state basketball tournament as March Madness since the 1940s, when he worked in Chicago.                                                                                                       A trademark infringement suit in 1996 led to a joint venture called the March Madness Athletic Association, which consists only of the NCAA and the IHSA.                                                               Now only they may legally use the phrase, along with the millions more of us scofflaws who routinely do so with no fear of reprisal whatsoever.                                                                                    Do not kowtow to technicality, Bracket-heads. Stand up for your free-speech rights. Fly your anti-establishment flag and stick it The Man! Raise a fist and join my chant:                                                  “MARCH MADNESS! MARCH MADNESS! MARCH MADNESS …!”                                                                         

Stat Of The Day

Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) told us that in a recent game, the Raptors outrebounded the Heat by nearly double (51-26)- enroute to losing by 17 points. “No word how they did on time os possession.”

Two Kings                                                                                      Jim Litke (Boston Herald) compared the kingdoms belonging to LeBron James and Lionel Messi. “Both were hyped as teenagers, both proved to be better than their press, and both have garnered enough individual awards to stock side-by-side mansions. In the meantime, with the next World Cup still a year off, Messi mesmerizes like no other athlete on the planet. There was even a rumor making the rounds Tuesday afternoon that the cardinals in Rome trying to elect a pope conveniently called it a day a half-hour before the Barcelona-Milan game so they could catch the broadcast.                                                                                         “So,” Reynolds asked James at the end of their brief conversation, “he’s the soccer version of LeBron?”                                                        “Is he?” James demurred. “I’ll let you decide.”                                                   If anything, it’s the other way around.”                                                 Elbowing in the hall                                                                       Dr. Frank Jobe and ex-pitcher Tommy John — who introduced “Tommy John surgery” to the sports lexicon in 1974 — will be honored at the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony this season,” said Dwight Perry.                                                                                            “Fittingly, John will throw a speech together and Jobe gets to make the final cuts.”                                                                                 Let’s Go Mets

Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) quoted RJ Currie, SportsDeke.com, as saying that “A New Yorker is selling an ultra-strong coffee called Death Wish, which carries the warning ‘many sleepless nights.’ Hey, it’s cheaper than Mets tickets.”

As I See It                                                                                    That “new” interpretation of the NFL’s tuck rule is as clear as MLB’s explanation of the infield fly rule.                                                  

Quick Thought

There’s about a month to go before the NFL draft and the “draft-info-geeks” are moving around. How much of a difference is there between an athlete running 4.9 and 4.3 in the 40 yard dash? A little more than half a second- linemen are slow at 4.9.

Headlines

Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) gave this interpretation of another NFL rule: “Now there’s a rule prohibiting NFL ball carriers who are outside the tackle box from using their heads to strike tacklers. When you think about it, though, anybody who risks bodily harm in the way pro football players do rarely ever use their heads.

Things “Ain’t” The Way They Used To Be                                         Scott Ostler (SF  Chronicle) talked about feelings in the league for admitted PED users. “Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera probably owe a debt of gratitude to the earlier juicers, confessed or suspected, like Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire.                                                                                  Partly because many in that first wave of bustees had quirky, prickly personalities, they took a lot of public abuse. They dishonored the game! They corrupted the world’s youth!                   Now? Eh.                                                                                                To forgive is divine, right? Jason Giambi, he was a disgraced Yankee who seemingly ‘roided himself right out of baseball in 2009. But he’s still playing, partly because he’s a likable lug who copped to his misdeeds. Giambi is even talking about eventually coaching or managing, and he would be a hugely popular manager in the Dusty Baker mold.                                                                            The moral, I hope, is not that juicing is OK, even beneficial. Reputations and legacies are still tarnished, bodies are harmed in ways we don’t entirely know yet, team and individual triumphs are cheapened, character is compromised.                                                                      Juicing is not the way to go, kids. But punishment-wise, it beats robbing banks.”                                                                                      Not So Green With Envy

Jets’ GM John Idzik is quickly becoming the latest “ringmaster” of the Jets’ circus.

The latest addition stuffed into the clown car is David Garrard, who hasn’t played in two years but is expected to move Mark Sanchez toward the door or into the unfamiliar land of winning QB’s.                                                                                                  Rich Cimini (ESPNNY.com) gave us his take on the Jets’s gamble. “The big question with Garrard is whether his body can hold up. He underwent back surgery after his surprising release from the Jaguars in 2011 and he needed arthroscopic knee surgery last August, ruining his chance of making the Miami Dolphins‘ roster.

“His knee is a concern,” an AFC personnel executive said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “He’ll look fine in drills, but I don’t know if he can take a hit.” (not if but when)

 

He really impressed the Jets’ brass, which evidently feels he’s a fit for Marty Mornhinweg’s West Coast system. His 62 percent career completion rate suggests he might be.

But they’re in desperation mode, bringing in options in case Mornhinweg can’t be the Quarterback Whisperer for Sanchez.”

Cleat Test

A potential draft choice was asked, at the NFL combine, why he had TGIF inked on the fronts of his cleats. The askers expected to hear “Thank God It’s Friday” but were startled when the young man explained that it meant- “Toes Go In First.”  

Sometimes These Items Just Write Themselves                                         Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote about the , “Word that a woman is suing an Indianapolis church after its cemetery rejected her late husband’s headstone because it had a NASCAR logo on it. The dearly departed’s name: Jason Carr.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Dreams Blog

March 22, 2013

 

Madness Madness

Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) passed this along from Jeff Gordon (STLtoday.com), “Can you tell the difference between Charleston Southern (Big South Conference) and Charleston (Southern)?” wrote Jeff Gordon of STLtoday.com. “Can you distinguish between St. Francis (Northeast) and St. Francis (Northeast)?

“(Hint: One St. Francis is in Pennsylvania, the other New York.)”

Northeast Southwestern State

The Sports Curmudgeon gave us his feelings after viewing the selection show: “How could the cretins on that Selection Committee have put Disco Tech into the tournament and left [you fill in the blank here] on the sidelines?                                                         Personally, I love Vegetative State to “make a run” in the North Bracket; but that’s just me…”

Play-in Surprise

Brad Dickson (Omaha World-Herald) was surprised (that North Carolina A&T won its play-in game), “To learn it was not a phone company.”

This Year’s NBA Draft

The new NBA-CBA with its huge luxury tax on cap excesses has made players earning less worth more.  Look at what the “Cavs” are doing by stockpiling draft picks.”

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Journal explained: “It’s why those polled around the league were shaking their head in amazement the Cavs were able to land what should be a future lottery pick from the Memphis Grizzlies last month for swallowing about $6 million in guaranteed salary. No other team in the league was capable of landing a No. 1 pick during this trade season.                                  The Cavs ideally would like to add one more future pick to their bounty, but that might not be possible. It’s time to start winning, beginning next season. History indicates if rebuilding teams don’t start winning by the fourth year; odds are it won’t happen at all. But as the league enters into this strange new land of punitive tax fines that can quickly soar into the tens of millions, perhaps no team is better positioned with the salary cap than the Cavs.     While other teams walk a tricky line of trying to fling money overboard while holding onto first-round picks, the Cavs have positioned themselves to make a legitimate run at the playoffs next season — and they’re doing it with their core players entrenched on rookie contracts.                                                                           In this upside down salary cap world where less is more, the Cavs have more of less than anyone. It’s the new way of life in the NBA. It has to be.”                                                                      A Disinterested Classic

I wasn’t surprised by the American player disinterest in the WBC. Bruce Jenkins (SF Chronicle) gave some background for this situation- “There was a runaway winner in this week’s competition for the most ridiculous headline, appearing nationwide in various forms: “Time for Serious U.S. Commitment to World Baseball Classic.”

It’s a nice thought, something every fan would like to see, but there are too many disinterested players on the scene, to say nothing of paranoid agents, fearful executives and stressed-out managers. In fact, fans have come to realize that there are two World Baseball Classics: the one filled with annoying stories about awkward scheduling and the half-baked U.S. team, and the one offering priceless looks into the disparate styles and cultures of the international game.

I don’t want to make a really dumb statement, like, “Throw the U.S. out and we’ll really have something,” but I’m starting to reach that stage. Even if the story line involves one of our prime-time major-leaguers on another roster – such as Sergio Romo’s tedious outing for Mexico against Italy on Thursday – the very concept of the WBC comes under question.                                                          A number of stars from the Dominican Republic bypassed the event, and that’s a sensitive topic for Moises Alou, the ex-Giant who serves as the team’s general manager. “It’s something I’m very careful with,” he told ESPN. “I never tell the Dominican media that a guy didn’t want to play. I say his team didn’t want him to, or ‘blame the agent.’ Because there’s hate. People are going to hate some guys who don’t play for us.”                                           Hopkins-Cloud

Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32KOs) defeated Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19KOs) Saturday 3/9 at the Barkley Center for the IBF light heavyweight title, scoring a unanimous decision (116-112  8rds. to 4, 117-111  9-3, 116-112  8-4). I scored it 117-111  9-3. In prize fighting, the word promoter is a synonym for an unscrupulous person.

“Never shake hands with Don King or Cedric Kushner,” I was warned, “because you don’t know where his hand has been but always count your fingers.” “This promotion was based on hucksterism and hooliganism,” wrote Ron Borges(Boston Herald).

Somehow Cloud suffered a cut on his eyelid in the sixth round just after beginning to turn the tide in the fifth. The Ref ruled it an accidental head butt but Cloud said it was a deliberate elbow. That debilitating cut prevented Cloud from getting off in the following rounds. There was also a lot of hitting after the bell by Hopkins. If Cloud makes it back, I hope he uses this match as a teaching experience from a wily old pro.  

BTW, most promoters behave like graduates of a management school run by “Shyster, Flywheel, and Gypp.”                         

It Seems To Me

That a lot of the Jets’ free agents found employment with new teams at higher salaries pretty quickly. If they are as good as these new teams indicate they are, how come they didn’t they didn’t produce more for the Jets. It must have been the fault of all the offensive/defensive coordinators who spent a year in the “Green Valley”- YEAH, that’s the ticket.

The only consistent presence during this time was Rex Ryan and it couldn’t have been his fault. Could it?  Hmmm, verrry interesting.

There’s Debridement And There’s Debridement

Amar’e Stoudemeyer was diagnosed as needing a debridement, arthroscopic surgery to remove debris in his knee. This might keep him, the Knicks said, out of action for six weeks.

This is all well and good except Stoudemeyer had the same procedure on his left knee to start this season and was out a full eight weeks. That time it was labeled a repair

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams Blog

March 15, 2013

 

3.14

I hope everyone had an interesting “Pi Day.” It was William Jones was the English mathematician who coined the term, pi, in 1706. 

A Man And His Glove

Bruce Jenkins (SF Chronicle) brought back some memories: “Do you remember the first time? Working that brand-new glove until the pocket felt just right? Perhaps you still have it, stashed in a closet somewhere. If a cherished glove ever became part of your life, you have a connection with countless big-leaguers who play a little kid’s game.

It’s the glove that reveals the innocence. Ask a ballplayer about the opposing team, a controversial incident or even his neighborhood, maybe he backs off a little. Mention the glove and you’ve gone straight to the heart.                                                                  Duane Kuiper, a flashy and acrobatic second baseman when he played for the Cleveland Indians, used the same Wilson 2000 glove throughout his 12-year career. “If somebody told me at 2 o’clock I’d have to use a new glove in the game that night, I wouldn’t have played,” he said. “That glove was like my life. One night around 1977-78, about five minutes before we took the field, somebody on my team hid my glove. I went out there with someone else’s, and as the baseball gods would have it, I kicked the first ball hit to me.

“I was so pissed, nobody had the nerve to tell me who did it. But when I got back to the dugout after that inning, the glove was there waiting for me.”

Kuiper still has that glove, and, like Krukow, he loves everything it represents. “Stays exactly the same,” he said. “My kids, my wife, my car, everything in my life changes – but not the glove. There’s a certain amount of love involved there.”                                           It seems that when the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked Candlestick Park during the 1989 World Series, Gallego and about 15 A’s teammates were in the visitors’ locker room. “The whole place starts shaking, and someone yells, ‘Get the hell out of here! This place might be comin’ down!’ So it’s total chaos. There was only one door and the power went out, so everyone’s scrambling toward that little patch of light. People bumping into chairs, crashing into each other, just panicking. “I got about halfway to that door when I stopped, turned around and headed back to my locker,” Gallego recalled. “People were like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ But it was just a beeline. I got to my locker, started feeling around in the dark … got the glove.

“That’s when I knew it was OK to run out of there. I figured if that glove was going down in the clubhouse, I was going down with it.”

It’s a story of loyalty, of an athlete best friends with a piece of leather, a man feeling quite like a kid with his very first glove. A story that captures the essence of the game.”

Cano Takers

Andrew Marchand (ESPNny.com) had these two suggestions:

“LOS ANGELES DODGERS: The Dodgers have already become Yankees West, supplanting the Bombers with the largest payroll ever. If their blueprint works this season, it seems very reasonable they may just pluck another star into their system. Yankees pride versus Dodgers green is an emotional East Coast-West Coast bidding battle that Boras would love.

 NEW YORK METS: The Wilpons are broke, you say. Well, they only have guaranteed deals with David Wright and Jon Niese for 2014. The Mets could very well be involved, and the Yankees have to take that seriously.

That said, the Wilpons are experts at winning silver and bronze medals in free agency. Sandy Alderson isn’t the type to go eight-to-10 years on a 31-year-old second baseman, but the threat of the Mets is a tool I’m sure Boras would enjoy using.”.

Head Ache

Last season, when he was an Oakland A, pitcher Brandon McCarthy was hit in the right temple by a ball hit by Angle Erick Aybar and suffered brain contusion and hemorrhage as well as a skull fracture.

When he was asked if he would ever wear a protective face mask, he answered- “Not Happening.” I remember, NY Rangers goalie, Gump Worsley said the same thing but wound up wearing one.

All it’s going to take is one big name to start wearing a mask and it’ll become an accepted practice. I think it’ll be a long time if ever before anyone does wear one.

NCAA Madness

Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) talked about game changing moments. “Speaking of moments that decide games, why won’t college refs call a foul a foul? Instead – and we can expect more of this in the tournament – they permit what is euphemistically called ‘physical play,’ otherwise known as fouling. It uglies up the sport as much as the anemic shooting percentages.”                                  The Sports Curmudgeon said, “Reports say that Yankees’ first baseman, Mark Teixeira, will be out for 8-10 weeks with a sprain of the ECU tendon in his right wrist. Who knew that there was a tendon named after East Carolina University?”                                                                         

Nike Curse

Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) told us to be careful. “Let’s start worrying about the Nike Curse. Oscar Pistorius was a Nike guy. Also Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Joe Paterno and Alex Rodriguez. Rory McIlroy has struggled since inking to swing Nike clubs and said recently, “It doesn’t make a difference what deal or what clubs I play.” There’s your new slogan, Nike.”m,

No Choice At All                                                                                   The NHL that protective visor use in games is a player’s choice (today 73% of players use a visor). It still seems that a few players won’t wear one, saying it cuts down their range of vision increasing their chance of injury. This is similar to the NFL players who didn’t want to wear a face mask attached to their helmets because they felt that face masks diluted their game. However, the consensus of players felt that not using a mask was crazy. The last NFL not to wear a face mask in a game was “wacky” Tommy McDonald of the Eagles.    

Dreams Blog

March 8, 2013

 Workman’s Comp

Karen Beckwith (McClatchy Group- Cal.) wrote about something that might be seeing more ink shortly. “Terrell Davis, a former Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, signed a $6.8 million, five-year contract at the end of his rookie year in 1995. So it may surprise Californians to find out that in 2011, Davis got a $199,000 injury settlement from a California workers’ compensation court for injuries related to football. This came despite the fact Davis was employed by a Colorado team and played just nine times in California during an 88-game career, according to the NFL.

Davis was compensated for the lifelong effects of multiple injuries to the head, arms, trunk, legs and general body, according to California workers’ compensation records.

He is not alone.                                                                                                                          Major retired stars who scored six-figure California workers’ compensation benefits include Moses Malone, a three-time NBA most valuable player with the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers and other teams. He was awarded $155,000. Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin, formerly with the Dallas Cowboys, received $249,000. The benefits usually are calculated as lump-sum payments but sometimes are accompanied by open-ended agreements to provide lifetime medical services.                        Players, their lawyers and their unions plan to mount a political offensive to protect these payouts.                                                                                                                                               To understand how it works, consider the career of Ernie Conwell. A former tight end for the St. Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints, he was paid $1.6 million for his last season in 2006.                                                                                                                          Hobbled by injuries, he filed for workers’ compensation in Louisiana and got $181,000 in benefits to cover his last, career-ending knee surgery in 2006, according to the Saints. The team said it also provided $195,000 in injury-related benefits as part of a collective-bargaining agreement with the players union.                                                                                But such workers’ compensation benefits paid by Louisiana cover only specific injuries. So, to deal with what he expects to be the costs of ongoing health problems that he said affect his arms, legs, muscles, bones and head, Conwell filed for compensation in California and won.

Molinaro Marinara

Bob Moliaro passed along these items he entitled “Dueling Corruption” and “Go Figure”.  “Miami president Donna Shalala got a lot of mileage out of her feisty response to the NCAA after the organization that purports to uphold ethics conducted an unethical investigation into Hurricanes football. The NCAA has done the impossible by making Miami appear to be a sympathetic victim. Let’s not get carried away, though. The NCAA’s missteps don’t change the fact that the Canes were cheating.”                              “Andy Roddick quit the pro tennis tour in September. But despite not playing a match in six months, this week he moved up from 42 to 40 in the ATP rankings. So much for making sense of the computer point system.”

Thinking Outside The Box 

I enjoy reading the work of Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle). Maybe it’s because we’re both a little off in our thinking.

Any-hoo, Scott was talking about the difficulties that the Warriors were having building a new arena that wouldn’t be a “view blocking eyesore.” “Now, the solution: Build the arena underwater.

Instead of rebuilding rotting piers 30 and 32, remove that junk and build the arena on that site, underwater.

The bridge has two towers. The south tower, on the San Francisco side, was built in 70 feet of water.

Engineers built a massive, four-sided concrete box – a caisson – big enough to box a football field and taller than the highest tide. They dropped the box into the bay, then pumped out the water. Inside this caisson they built the south tower.

Got it, Warriors? You rip out the old pier, build a huge concrete bathtub as big as an arena, drop that caisson into the water, dig down 100 more feet and build your arena.

Then plant grass and trees on the arena roof, just above water level. No need for the vast concrete plaza surrounding the arena, as per current Warrior plans.

Voila! You have replaced a rotting eyesore pier with a beautiful bay front park. Instead of blocking views, you enhance them.”

What’d I tell you.                                                                    

The Flock

Did you see that pix with Dennis Rodman and, North Korean dictator, Kim Jung Un? I did and one phrase popped right into my mind- “Birds of a feather flock together.”                                        Greg Cote (Miami Herald) said that Rodman was a “rebel without a clue” and was practicing “Lunatic Diplomacy.” I can’t disagree with Greg because N. Korea, with whom we still haven’t signed a peace treaty ending the conflict from the 50’s, has such a poor record with regard to human rights and their reported creation of nuclear weaponry despite condemnations from the UN Security Council.                                                                                                How is Rodman’s embrace of Kim different than Ozzie Guillien saying that he admired Fidel Castro? It’s not!                              “So where,” Cote asked, “is that same outrage against Rodman right now? His praise of Kim might almost be seen as a traitor-opposite of U.S. interests. By now I’m not sure at all if Rodman has any capacity whatsoever for embarrassment or shame.”   

Perry’s Parries

Dwight Perry (Seattle Times)wrote “Hot Lead Dept.” and Bonus Baby Dept.”: “A woman in St. Petersburg escaped with only slight injuries when she tried to preheat an oven to cook some waffles — not knowing that a male friend had stashed a box of bullets in it.

On the bright side, it’s the first shooting range in the neighborhood.        And from the “Why, Of Course” File comes word that Twins catcher Joe Mauer and his wife are expecting … twins.             Good thing Joe didn’t catch the daddy bug when he played in Quad Cities.

“Book ‘em Danno”

 Greg Cote (Miami Herald) talked about how the Florida Atlantic Univ. Owls sold the naming rights to their football stadium to the GEO Group, which operates prisons: “Even odds on the place being nicknamed Owlcatraz.” 

Body art

Bob Molinaro told us that, “Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was pulled from the lineup for a spring game this week with an injury for our times: soreness in his left arm due to a new tattoo. The story is odd enough to warrant a little ink”

 

Dreams Blog

March 1, 2013

  

Big East- C Seven

The Big East had its first b-ball tournament in 1984. It was begun primarily as a a b-ball  conference where football powerhouses weren’t that welcome. However in the 1990’s the picture began to change and f-ball’s “big-bucks” began to exert pressure on the conference to change.                                                                             Six schools (SYR,ND,PITT, BC, MIAMI, & VATECH), all big f-ball schools, withdrew to follow the money. Now there’s a big hoo-haa brewing over seven Catholic schools banding together in order to return to the original idea of being a b-ball conference. John Feinstein (DC Post) gave some scenarios,  “In the next few months, the league will formally decide what schools it will invite to join, no doubt after first learning which ones will accept their invitation. It must also resolve two issues with its former conference: who gets to keep the Big East name and who might play their conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. The smart money is on the remaining Big East teams hanging on for dear life to the conference name and MSG preferring the new league, which will have a number of glamour teams, to be its March tenant going forward.                                                                                                                                    Of course, everyone involved will insist that those battles aren’t about money- which is exactly what they are about — period.” “Back in the day” when Catholic High Schools were started, the “Collars” started athletic intramurals as a way of burning off excess teenage energy in order to keep the lads too tired to get into trouble. The next step, of course, was CYO leagues, with players AND exuberant rooters which became the CHSAA. The intramurals were made up of track- especially cross-country (that doesn’t have many fans in attendace) and basketball- both low participant-cost sports.  

When the Big East Conference was started it was as a b-ball conference.   

Olympic Wrestling

“The Couch Slouch,” Norman Chad gave his thoughts about the IOC dropping Wrestling as an Olympic sport. “How do you drop wrestling from the Summer Games? Heck, if the International Olympic Committee ran NASA, it might eliminate astronauts from the space program.

Wrestling is about as pure and organic of athletic competition as it gets: You try to outmaneuver your opponent with your mind and your body. It’s like a California gubernatorial race, minus the PAC money.

Wrestling made its first appearance at the ancient Olympics in 708 B.C., or four years before Bob Costas anchored his first Games.

The Olympics without wrestling is like McDonald’s without French fries.                                                                                       Best I can tell, the IOC’s baffling decision to drop wrestling is tied to television; apparently, wrestling’s not a prime draw with the younger TV audience.                                                                                                        Alas, the world revolves around the 18-to-34 demographic; I half-expect the Vatican to name One Direction as the next pope.                                                                                                                                      (Here’s what you need to know about today’s Olympics: It has less to do with “Citius, Altius, Fortius” and more to do with “Cashius, Wealthius, Greedius. (Faster, Higher, Stronger).                                                                                                                                  Another idea: In ancient Greece, wrestlers trained and competed in the nude. That’s right, naked wrestlers — you think that might move the meter? Also, back then, many matches ended in death. Sure, you’d create the problem of having to replace your athletic pool every year, but — and I hate to give the IOC and NBC any ideas — wrestling-to-the-death would produce ginormous ratings, no?”

The Cano Drama                                                                                                                                                            Robinson Cano’s contract is due to expire next year and there are rumblings being heard already about who will back up their cash filled semi- trailer to Cano’s door. Wallace Matthews (ESPNNY.com) pointed out that “Robinson Cano is a great hitter and one of the smoothest-fielding second basemen I have ever seen. His numbers the past four seasons have been outstanding — since 2009, his average season has been 29 HRs, 101 RBIs and a .316 BA — and many in the Yankees organization think he can be even better than that.” The problem for the Yankees, as I see it, will be the new contract’s length. They were deeply wounded by A-Rod’s 10 year $275M deal that still has 6 years left on it. What the Yankees might offer is 5 years at a higher per year rate and easily attainable performance goals and options.                                                                           Hopefully this won’t turn into an A-Rod Curse.    

                                                                                                                                                                                             “Johnny Football”

This year’s Heisman Trophy winner, “Johnny Football” Manziel is a Freshman (the 1st to win the trophy) student-athlete who was redshirted by Texas A&M. This semester he enrolled in four sports management classes all to be taken on-line because he said “He creates a stir whenever he shows up at school.” Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) commented, “To escape Manziel Mania, he said he won’t come to campus for non-football activities more than once a month.                                                                                         That seems a little extreme, though let’s be clear about one thing: Manziel isn’t violating NCAA rules by learning online. He’s careful to say that he and his parents have met with A&M compliance officials to make sure everything is on the up and up.       If this is a case of Elvis leaving the building, the A&M groupies need to get a grip. Or is it possible that Manziel may be exaggerating his impact on fellow students?                                                                                                                                                                               Sure, Johnny Football is a big celebrity. We get that. Texas A&M has never had an athlete this well-known. But Tim Tebow was a god at Florida, yet still walked among the Gator unwashed after winning the Heisman as a sophomore. It was the same, more or less, with Robert Griffin III at Baylor. You didn’t hear stories about them fleeing campus to avoid the crush of fans.”                         

Chance For Yakees

Giancarlo Stanton is a 22-year old outfielder who just finished his third year in the NL- he was an all-star who received some MVP votes. He had 93HRs, 232RBIs in those 3 years and .903 average OPS. The Yanks have two chances- slim and none. 

Dopey Fans

What’s wrong with these people? One day after that horrific display of horsepower mayhem at the Daytona speedway, race-fans were sitting in the same seats where the front of a race car went over the fence and car parts were found as far back as the 45th row.