Maybe it's just me, but…
April wasn’t very good to my Yankees in recent years. For example, last year they were 15-16 and then fell to 21-29 before finishing 73-33 to take the wild card. In 2005 they were 11-19 before ending 84-48; 2004 saw a 10-11 with a 91-50 ending. HEY JON- How did your Muts wind up doing?
“Buscones” is a word used, in the Dominican Republic, to describe street agents who search out talented youngsters to play baseball. They often take these youngsters out of school and guard them at their own private “baseball academies” so they won’t be scooped up by US agencies. There has been a lot of ink recently saying how good they are for the Dominican economy, but in truth most of them are only looking out for their own welfare.
Last year, the 30 MLB teams signed 511 Dominicans for an average bonus of almost $66K or about 30 times what Miguel Tejada got from the A’s in ’93 but it’s almost impossible to determine how much of this money actually reached the players. “Buscones” have held back as much as 30% of those bonuses and even have been known to hold onto the players’ personal documents until they were paid off from the future earnings of the player. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from this soon.
I find it laughable to hear some writers making light of A-Rod’s one homer in his last 59 postseason AB’s when their home team hasn’t even appeared in one postseason game in years- no make that decades!
NFL PENSION RIGHTS
The AVERAGE NFL career lasts 3 ½-years and to be fully vested in the Pension Plan (including medical benefits) you need THREE FULL YEARS of service. I stressed the word “average” because half the careers last less than the vesting time (for linemen the time is even less) yet these men still pay full dues to the Association
The Sports Curmudgeon posed this hypothetical comparison:
Player A-28.3 ppg, 6.3 rebounds pg, 5.4 assists pg, 45.9% FG ave., .53 blocks pg,1.8 steals pg
Player B-30 ppg, 7.9 rebounds pg, 7.2 assists pg, 48.4% FG ave., 1.1 blocks pg, 1.8 steals pg
“Since player B is ahead in every stat category except steals where the two are tied, one might conclude that player B had a better year than player A did. Nevertheless, the folks covering the NBA dos not think so. Player A is Kobe Bryant- the league MVP. Player B is LeBron James.
BIG NUMBER ONE
Michael Wilbon pointed out that NBA teams win championships win championships with a truly GREAT player at the lead. Offensive all-stars like Gilbert Arenas or terrific No. 2 players like Scotty Pippen still need that number one- 26 of the last 28 NBA titles went to teams with one of these “all-timers” on the team. You have to drafty them, trade for them, or steal them (the way Auerbach got Bird).
The Knicks once had Patrick and Willis but have had no other player of their caliber since them. Let’s hope that Donnie Walsh can use an “underground railroad” similar to the one that Frank McGuire used to get Walsh from NYC to North Carolina.
WALSH DOESN’T DESERVE A TONY FOR THIS ONE
I think the bringing in Mike D’Antoni is going to be a HUGE mistake. D’Antoni had good numbers as the coach of the Phoenix Suns but he also had the players to operate an up tempo offense. D’Antoni has never been a coach who stresses defense, so unless the Knicks can overnight become a team with a 30-point per game increase in their scoring. Lee (if he stays and isn’t traded for a D’Antoni player) along with Robinson and Q-Rich (both of whom were jettisoned by the Suns) could be the only Knicks to be able to run
Dan Daly of the DC Times wrote that “A granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II has been selected for Britain’s Olympic team. Zara Phillips, 26, will compete in a demonstration sport, I’m told- Crumpet Dunking.”
YO-WHO? WHO DAT JON?
Santana won his FIRST HOME GAME by beating the last place Cincinnati Reds on 5/10. Johan went six innings, threw 116 pitches (72 strikes) to 28 batters, and he allowed three earned runs on TEN hits.
Frank Deford said that Boxing is the only major sport where the object is to hurt your opponent. “Boxing has indeed lost favor,” wrote Deford, “Because it’s not violent enough.” It’s being pushed aside by what’s called mixed martial arts (emphasis on martial) which is becoming more popular because of its similarities to a video game only with real flesh and blood humans (emphasis on blood). Pity poor boxing where the object is to NOT get hit. Back in 1995 John McCain called MMA “human cockfighting where after six minutes they often drag out the combatants, mop up the blood, and bring in two new gladiators with huge fanfares.
A HANSON BY ANY OTHER NAME
Nathan Smith, captain of the AHL’s Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins, was arrested after streaking through downtown Wilkes Barre. He was charged with indecent exposure, open lewdness, and disorderly conduct. Chris Foster reported in the LA Times, “That’s a Hanson Brothers hat trick.”
Scott Ostler wants to ask some of our Olympians if they know who the Dalai Lama is. Is he the dude mentioned by Carl Spackler in “Caddyshack?” Is he considered a “splitist” and a big time troublemaker by the Chinese government or is he the spiritual leader of Tibet even though the Chinese forced him out of Tibet in 1959.”
Remises XVIII is the ram that’s the latest mascot for U. of North Carolina athletic teams. He got the job after head butting his predecessor, Remises XVII, knocking off one of his horns, and creating a fatal infection. Ian Hamilton of the Regina (Sask.) Leader-Post said, “Remises XVIII will forever be known as a weapon of mascot destruction.”