What a great game last night- it had everything you could want. I mean, besides good baseball. Personally I loved seeing Juan Samuel show some emotion out there, even if it was likely out of frustration and not genuine fire and passion. We are waiting for this team to show some signs of life, and if they aren’t going to do it on the field at least we know they still care. But again, no runs to show for it. Let’s go ahead and line up for the kick…
Chris Paul Wants Out of New Orleans
Normally I don’t have much sympathy for players who demand a trade, but in this case I understand it. The New Orleans Hornets are an embarrassment to sports franchises everywhere- not for absolute ineptitude on the court, but for having an ownership that has no problem holding onto the worst facilities in the league and squeezing every penny out of its operations. This is a team that eliminated- ELIMINATED- their international scouting department simply to save money. A couple seasons ago in the midst of a playoff run they went on a salary dumping trade only thwarted by a failed physical. If this team has had any success over the past 5 years it is not the result of ownership. In professional sports, players are often criticized for not living up to their contract. In this case, the Hornets aren’t living up to theirs.
All of which is why I have no problem with what Chris Paul is requesting. He wants to move to New York, which while it is just as inept record-wise (even worse in fact), their ownership actually has a mission to improve the roster, work as close to the cap as possible, and form a tandem of players to rival any in the Eastern Conference. That is something to be proud of. Paul doesn’t have much leverage in this discussion with two years remaining on his current deal, but I understand it. Make it happen New Orleans, maybe you can get the Knicks to throw you some cash in the deal.
Alex Rodriguez Hits 599th Home Run…
…and I am not sure how much I am supposed to care. He is a strange character to say the least, one you never rooted for even before the steroid accusations. His icy relationship with teammates, fans, and the press, the odd stories about his vanity and unusual personal habits, and general discomfort just made it uneasy to see anything past his off-field behavior. However, as this legendary player nears history, one has to wonder whether baseball should be celebrating his assent the way it did for other home run greats or whether they ought to ignore it as much as possible. Accomplishments like A-Rod’s highlight the difficulty baseball has tried to sweep under the rug in acknowledging the career achievements of known steroid users. At a certain point they will have to address it, though Selig would rather wait and pretend that his administration hasn’t been complicit in the poisoning of the record books. No matter what Rodriguez does from this point on in his career, it won’t matter to many fans. We have yet to see how much it will matter to the history of the game.
SEC Coaches Backtrack to Save their Own Skin
Not that Nick Saban or Urban Meyer are in any jeopardy of losing their jobs, but I find it hilarious that as soon as these schools find themselves under fire for having payouts to players and inappropriate contact with agents that they all of a sudden go on a crusade to extricate agents from their campuses. These coaches are as sleazy as they come, willing to break or bend any rule to get their players on campus, yet are on some sort of moral high ground? I don’t think so. Perhaps Nick Saban should address the fact that he routinely oversigns more players than he has scholarships for and winds up kicking out veteran players on his own team, pressuring them to transfer rather than sit on the bench and take up space for some hot freshman prospect. Perhaps Urban Meyer should consider his legendary negative recruiting tactics that recruits have admitted involves openly lying about other teams and coaches. Everything out of these coaches is an effort to keep their schools out of trouble by blaming it all on the NFL, the NFLPA, the NCAA, or the agents. They won’t look at the true culprits- their ability to educate their players and their compliance department to enforce the rules- but they will enjoy their time in front of the cameras to get self-righteous to the media.