Sunday, March 02, 2014


** Syracuse has too many flaws. For most of the season, they played a team game with a stifling defense. The defense is okay, but a couple of the players are listening to their own press clippings. Earlier in the year, they would announce that CJ Fair had scored his 16th point and I would say to Annie-O, "He gets the quietest 16 points I've ever seen." He never seemed to shoot and when teams would collapse on him, he would pass to the open man, often it was Trevor Cooney for a three. At the end of the game, he had 16 points and 7 or 8 rebounds. Now CJ is always driving to the basket...and getting beat up. Analysts say he is the leader, the driving force behind the team. Now he's just 'behind.'
Point guard Tyler Ennis has begun forcing his shots instead of setting up his teammates. Both of these situations means Cooney no longer has many open shots at a three-point basket.
They might not get out of the sweet sixteen.

** Tanaka overpowers the Phillies. Or so the headline says. You can't just look at the stats (as I always say), it helps to look at the game, too.  I saw a few balls hit pretty hard that were caught, plus he wasn't exactly throwing to an all-star lineup. It was just one game and only two innings and he got his feet wet. Let's see a few more games and some better hitters before we start passing out the awards.

** They have a weak schedule. Mike Lupica doesn't want to hear that. He says Wichita State has what it takes. "Look at what they did last year," he says. That WAS last year, Mike, and they DO have a weak schedule. Michigan is 19-7. I wonder what their record would be if they played in the Missouri Valley Conference.

** "But I hurt, Coach." Shin-Soo Choo, Jake Peavy, Colby Rasmus, Alphonso Soriano and Elvis Andrus are some of the players who aren't playing because of injuries that range from the flu to a badly cut finger. In his book, Jim Bouton told us that players would never admit to having a minor injury because they didn't want to lose their spot on the team. Now, players will sit out a couple of games because of an ingrown hair. Pitcher Jake Peavy's cut finger isn't even on his throwing hand. I guess he didn't want to get blood on his new glove.

** I'm still here. There are a number of free agents still waiting for an offer. Players like Stephen Drew, Miguel Tejada and Joel Hanrahan. Players with something still in the tank but no takers. Many say it's because anyone who signs them has to give up a draft choice and teams are very reluctant to do that. I guess the MLB Players Association screwed up on that one.

** A new Olympic event? Annie-O and I just watched the 2014 College Cheerleading Championships. We saw some moves and tumbling that belongs on a world stage. Athletic, cute girls in short little uniforms. What could be more watchable than that?

"NHL player Ryan Miller reportedly wants out of Buffalo. The reason is unclear, although my hunch is because it’s Buffalo."  -- Brad Dickson
"Richie Incognito has checked himself into a psychiatric facility. Yeah, in the NFL bullying, DUI’s, wife-beating, all of that is normal. But take a bat to a Ferrari and you know you need help."  -- Janice Hough
"I hurt my back last week after I slipped on a patch of ice, flailed my arms trying to get my balance and fell awkwardly. On the bright side, I got 6.0 from the Russian judge."  -- RJ Currie
"I'm confused. If Russia is opposed to gays, why are they fond of biathletes?"  -- RJ Currie
"Kevin Durant told Bill Simmons he wants to be called “The Servant,” presumably partly because it’s short, simple and easy to comprehend. All of which Simmons explained in a 385,000-word column."  -- Brad Dickson
"Russel Wilson told Access Hollywood that he's already turned down two invitations to compete on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." Well, Duh. Who wants to be known as the quarterback with happy feet?"  -- Dwight Perry


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