Saturday, April 23, 2011

Coombs-McDaniel's crime is disrespect

There seems to be a mob of angry readers over the fact I suggested Jamal Coombs-McDaniel be suspended for the 2011-12 season. All I’ll say is that disrespecting the program is Coombs-McDaniel’s more egregious crime, not the amount of marijuana in his pocket. If that costs him three games, that’s fine. If that costs him the season, that’s fine with me, too. But I love the hypocrisy of all these people who live in a zero tolerance world until the wins and losses of their team are threatened.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Carmelo did the right thing

I've heard more than enough debate over whether Carmelo Anthony should have passed the ball to a wide open Jared Jefferies four feet from the basket instead of forcing a 22-foot shot against the double team. I think you know where I'm going here because his pass to Jefferies is the same reason great quarterbacks pass up their No. 1 receiver who is being double-teamed, to hit their No. 2 or 3 option.
Ideally, if Carmelo can shake the double team and get then get a shot off going to the basket, you absolutely want him taking the last shot. But did you miss the part about Jefferies being wide open, and only needing to go up strong to get fouled or make the 4-footer? If he can't, cut him immediately.
And where's the great Landry Fields these days? He's not on the court because he's horrible.
I don't know who to rail against first, but I'll settle on owner Jim Dolan, who caved like a sand castle to make the Carmelo deal. The Knicks could have gotten Anthony without throwing in Danilo Galinari, and I'll tell you something else. The Knicks would be up two games in the series if Galinari was still in a Knicks uniform.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Boston Marathon governing body tests positive for dumb

The decision by the IAAF to deny Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai the distinction of running the world's fastest marathon (2:03.02) at Monday's Boston Marathon might be the singlemost objectionable ruling I've ever seen by a governing body in sports. You mean it's taken the IAAF 115 years to decree that the most venerable marathon in the world is too easy to be legitimate? And too subject to tailwinds to be legitimate?
Anyone ever hear them say any of that before Monday?
Out of nowhere, the IAAF simply dismisses the record for conditions over 26-plus miles on an internationally famed track. They may as well run it inside Fanueil Hall next year too take the elements out of the equation.
I can understand when a would-be 100-yard dash record is ruled wind aided, because that's run in one direction. But Monday's ruling is as logical as when I walked to grade school 10 miles in the snow uphill ... both ways.
You're telling me that Mutai ran only with the wind at his back?
It's just plain stupid.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

If Bonds gets in Hall, say 'bye to the Steroid Era

As an aside to the Barry Bonds trial and his Hall of Fame chances, the whole notion of keeping steroid users out of Cooperstown breaks down the moment one of the juicers, perhaps Bonds as soon as 2012, gets voted into the Hall. It’ll completely erode any pressure to keep those who used PEDs out, and open the floodgates for the statistically worthy, like Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, etc.
Baseball always talks about trying to put the Steroid Era in the rear view mirror, but that can happen only when the first known user gets in. After that, there'll really be nothing to discuss, except the occasional dope like Ramirez who continues to use steroids in a much more vigilant climate.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The ship be sinking in Metsville

Coming out of spring training, the bravest of Mets fans dared to be optimistic, hoping that the beleaguered team would be better than advertised. Who knew they were going to be worse than advertised ... maybe even a whole lot worse than advertised.
I'm afraid that the only thing left to root for is new owners.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kobe and the use of the English language

I find it a bit strange that there's so much commotion over Kobe Bryant's six-letter, homophobic reference, yet the sports world accepts, with hardly a blink, a whole assortment of nasty words, many of the four letter variety ... one in particular of the 12-letter (hyphenated) variety.
What Kobe Bryant said - and for which he was fined $100,000 large -was clearly offensive to the gay and lesbian community. But that's not the point. A lot of other words are offensive to moms and dads who either bring their six year old to a sporting event, or are watching on TV with their child when the athlete uses offensive language. The problem is, unlike the gay and lesbian community, moms and dads don't represent any particular PC interest.
Why can't the authorities in sports take a higher road? Write a list of words that athletes can't use. If they need help, we volunteer our services. One F-bomb, or other word from the banned list, will get you $10,000. A second will get you  $20,000. A third, $40,000. I know these guys make millions, but a 10th offense will cost you $5.12 million. I'm guessing anytime after five, they've got your attention.
We're not talking practice or non-public swearing. We're talking offensive words overheard in the field of public consumption. Tennis, golf, baseball, basketball, etc.
I suspect that if the athletes stop using these words, so will 10-year-olds.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tiger's back - attitude and all

Let me start by saying that Tiger Woods will eventually be hailed as the greatest golfer who ever lived. By many, he already is, though there's that matter of catching Jack Nicklaus in majors. But why must he always find someone to blame for something that goes amiss? Correct me if I'm wrong, but did you hear any other golfer snap at the gallery Sunday in the final round of the Masters?
And secondly, is he the only person that misses close putts? The way he demonstrably whines over putts that don't drop has become tiresome. The other guys lip-out too, but don't act like they've been personally wronged.
This is supposed to be the new and improved Tiger Woods, yet game aside, I fail to see what's improved.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

In Search of Phil Hughes' Fastball

The greatest minds in the Yankee Universe are scratching their heads over the conspicuous drop in velocity on his fast ball. This hits a particular nerve because Brian Cashman and the Sabermetric boys think they've reinvented the game when it comes to coddling young pitchers.
See Joba Rules.
Hughes, too, has been brought along with reams of statistical probabilities that are supposed to tell you how the human arm will react. Yet now there's speculation he has dead arm.
Truth is, they don't know any more than the rest of us about why some young pitchers break down at an early age and why others, under similar conditions, escape serious injury for decades.
Some guys can just throw 200 innings when they’re 21, and still be throwing 200-plus innings late in their careers. CC Sabathia is one of many such pitchers.
We get that there are extremes that need to be avoided, but coddling pitchers may not bring anything beneficial to the table at all.
To read the full I Was Thinking column, click here 

Sleeping Yankee Fan - Must View

This video has gone viral so you may have seen it already, but if not, go right to your computer (or phone) to see what happens to this Yankee fan in full ZZZZZZs up in Section 231. The website is: and your laughter will be reward enough.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Manny's last act

Applying reason to the actions of Manny Ramirez is always a mine field, but his actions are that of a man who knew his skills had badly eroded long before he announced his retirement Friday, rather than than serve a 100-game suspension for a second positive drug test.
He thought juicing was the only way to liven up his slow bat, and he didn't care about the consequences.
He's a Hall of Fame talent who will never be in the Hall, and instead of being remembered as one of the most feared sluggers of his generation, his legacy will be that of a cartoon character. We think much of his "Manny being Manny" act was done consciously, and it grew tiresome. Despite his prodigious numbers, he'll drift off the face of baseball, unlikely to find employment in the game.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The cowardly voter

At least Mike Adras, coach at Northern Arizona, had the backbone to say that he didn't vote for UConn (and why) as the No. 1 team in the nation in the final men's coaches poll. Whether you agree or not with his decision to vote for Ohio State, the rules permit him to vote his conscience. Fair enough. It may not be the most gracious move ever, but if he believes the Buckeyes are the No. 1 team, and rules allow, so be it.
But there's one cowardly voter in the women's coaches poll who voted for UConn - we ruled out Pat Summitt - instead of national champion Texas A&M. The same rules apply for that person with one important distinction. The coach who didn't vote for Texas A&M is apparently too ashamed to put his or her name to the vote.
It'll come out eventually, and then we'll know who to think even less of.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Yale sending contingent to funeral

Yale is finalizing plans for a memorial service in conjunction for the Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Drive, which is scheduled for April 21.
The school is also sending many of her teammates, along with coaches and a school administrator to Wilcox, Saskatchewan for the funeral on Friday.
Schwartz, a beloved women's hockey player, passed away Sunday after more than a two-year battle with leukemia.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The legacy of Mandi Schwartz

In her own quiet way, Yale women's hockey player Mandi Schwartz was one of the most galvanizing players in the history of New Haven sports. Tragically, Schwartz lost her 28-month battle with leukemia Sunday.
She touched hearts and elevated people's sense of community simply by caring. Those who knew her at Yale passed the word, and though many in the community never got to meet her, they embraced her goodness by stepping up in charitable efforts to save not only her life, but the lives of so many in need of bone marrow transplant. She made people want to be better.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Did VCU's Shaka Smart really turn down Yale?

I haven’t heard VCU coach Shaka Smart specifically claim he turned down Yale and Harvard to go to Division III Kenyon College in the mid-90s, but he sure as heck was implying that to be the case in national broadcast interviews leading to the Final Four.
So we asked two of the Yale assistant coaches to Dick Kuchen at the time, and neither current coach James Jones, nor current Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell had heard of Shaka Smart before he got into the coaching ranks.
Both Jones and Pikiell asked the same question. What constitutes being recruited by Yale and Harvard? A form letter, or something as preliminary as that?
Not that Wikipedia is any bible of accuracy, but the online site has bought into the exaggeration lock, stock and barrel, claiming in Smart’s bio that “after graduating high school, Smart turned down both Harvard and Yale to attend Kenyon College.”

Nate Miles adds what to the conversation?

The Final Four bombshell about Nate Miles certainly makes you take notice, but in the end, little was changed either in perception or reality by the belatedly outspoken Miles.
Whether you believe Miles has credibility or not, what exactly did he say that we didn’t already know or strongly suspect?
In so many words, the NCAA had already said that Calhoun bore great responsibility for all that transpired and assessed substantial penalties against Calhoun and his program.
At the time of the NCAA verdict, we wrote that “to suggest that (Calhoun), who makes few moves without carefully thought out motive, should be distanced from his assistant coaches and director of operations, is to insult the intelligence of the public.”
So again, other than to re-stir the pot at a time of highest exposure, did Miles change anyone’s opinion on Calhoun, or on the matter of infractions?
Calhoun and his program have already been sentenced for what Miles told the Times. Other than hearing the words from the horse’s mouth – which according to Calhoun’s attorney Scott Tompsett , was in direct contradiction to a signed statement by Miles to the NCAA last year – the NCAA and the court of public opinion had already formed its conclusion long before the Times story.
Those who are agin Calhoun will stay agin. Those who like him will continue to do so.