Unlike the previous two offerings here, today’s rant will not respond to any requests – for a very simple reason. I do not have any requests to respond to – other than the usual ones that tend to go like this:
Hey, you old coot; how about packing it in and stop polluting the Internet with your drivel?
Having ignored those requests for more than a decade, I have no difficulty in ignoring them today. Instead, I choose to begin this morning with a tip of the hat to the recently deceased Jerry Buss, owner of the LA Lakers.
Dr. Jerry Buss bought the Lakers – and the Fabulous Forum where they played at the time – from Jack Kent Cooke in 1979. In the 33 years that Dr. Buss owned the Lakers, the team made it to the NBA Finals 16 times and it won the NBA Championship 10 of those times. That sounds very “dynastic” to me… Jerry Buss made the money it took for him to buy the Lakers through real estate investments but the reason I always felt a sort of kinship with him was that he earned a PhD in Physical Chemistry from USC in 1957. Thirteen years after his accomplishment, I earned the same degree in the same discipline from a different university.
RIP, Dr. Jerry Buss.
I read a report yesterday that the Seattle Mariners traded Mike Carp to the Boston Red Sox for cash and/or a player to be named later. Too bad. The LA Angels missed an opportunity here by not finding a way to get Mike Carp and Jason Bay from the Mariners in a trade. Think about it; that would have allowed the Angels to put Mike Trout, Mike Carp and Jason Bay in the lineup at the same time. If the Angels had then added Braves’ pitcher Robert Fish they would have a lineup that would have no difficulty whatsoever finding a catcher.
My grandmother always used to say that bad things happen in threes. I have no idea where that adage originated, but she believed it categorically. [Aside: I remember wondering as a kid why good things did not also happen in threes but never screwed up the courage to ask.] Well, just in case my grandmother was actually onto something here, the following people ought to feel a tad nervous today:
I am not wishing any evil or bad fortune on all of these folks, but the fact is that all of them are spokespersons for Nike. And, in recent memory, bad things have happened to two of Nike’s spokespersons – namely:
Lance Armstrong – and –
If my grandmother had some tie-in to an as yet not understood cosmic linkage that links to the number, “three”, I think all the folks on the first list need to be very circumspect about what they do in the next several months.
On a much lighter note, Dwight Perry had this observation in a recent Sideline Chatter column in the Seattle Times:
“A 150-foot asteroid passed within 17,000 miles of Earth last week.
“Or to hear Bob Uecker call it, just a bit outside.”
There are only a few redeeming social values associated with Facebook but one of them is the ability to stay current on Dan Daly’s quips now that his columns are no longer appearing in the Washington Times. Consider these two from the past week:
“The ONLY time teams from the same town won the NBA Championship and the NCAA Championship was in 1972. The Heat and the [Miami] Hurricanes aspire to those titles this year.”
“Isiah says LeBron is ‘probably a better athlete than Michael Jordan was.’ Which means, what, he could hit better than .202 in Double-A?”
One of the standard stories that “must” come out of Spring Training for all 30 MLB teams is that the owner of any team is pleased with the way the team looks going into the regular season. He is confident that they have the right mix of youth and experience and that the team can do much better than any pundit might think they can if only they can avoid the plague of injuries that seems to visit – randomly – various MLB teams. Frankly, I would not be the least bit surprised to learn that baseball writers routinely go and wash their hands in lye soap after typing out those bits of drivel every spring.
I mention that because this standard story indeed found its way out of the Cubbies’ Spring Training facility this week. Owner Tom Ricketts expressed his optimism for the team’s future and said that he looked forward to an improved season in 2013. Folks, that is not exactly setting the bar for acceptability very high. Please recall that the Cubbies lost 101 games last year. Should the team finish 66-96 this year, Ricketts could tell everyone that his optimism had been proven to be correct.
Finally, here is a comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald relevant to one of the Nike spokespersons:
“Heat star LeBron James, who makes about $58 million a year in salary and endorsements, told ESPN.com he is underpaid and doesn’t get the credit he deserves for taking less money. Aside to athletes making $58 mil a year: Ix-nay on the oh-poor-me.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………