A Day Of Departures…

If today’s rant needed background music, the most appropriate song that comes to mind is Woody Guthrie’s creation, So Long, It’s Been Good To Know Ya.  The final line of that song goes:

“And I got to be driftin’ along.”

Also, for today, it is important to know how to say “Good-bye” in more than one language; today marks a time of multiple departures in the sports world.  So, let me begin by telling you that Theo Epstein has bid adios to the Chicago Cubs.  Epstein has resigned – the official statement says that he “stepped down” – as the Team President for the Cubs.  Epstein has been on the job for 9 years and he accomplished in Chicago the same thing he accomplished in Boston during his time with the Red Sox.  With Epstein at the top of the organization chart, both teams broke the two longest World Series droughts in MLB.  Quo vadis, Theo Epstein?

The NY Giants said auf wiedersehen  to offensive line coach Mark Colombo.  Early reports said that Colombo and head coach Joe Judge had a confrontation that led to fisticuffs between the two men; later reports said it was a “heated verbal exchange” but that no punches where thrown.  That does not really matter in the long run because Colombo is no longer in the employ of the NY Giants this morning.  The official account has it that Colombo did not appreciate the hiring of a “consultant” hired by the Giants related to the offensive line; that sparked the verbal confrontation; Joe Judge believed that Colombo was being insubordinate and so ends the tale.  Quo vadis, Mark Colombo?

MLB bid ciao to  Mets’ second-baseman, Robinson Cano, for the 2021 season.  Cano tested positive for a PED and this is his second PED violation.  [The first PED violation was in 2018 and Cano was suspended 80 games for that incident.]  Secondarily, Robinson Cano will say sayonara to the $24M in salary he was slated to earn for playing in 2021.  For the record, a third positive PED test would result in a lifetime banishment from baseball.  Quo vadis, Robinson Cano?

Wichita State said au revoir to head basketball coach, Gregg Marshall.  After a lengthy internal investigation, the school determined that Marshall’s record of 331-121 (along with a Final Four appearance) was not enough to keep him around in light of charges that he physically and verbally abused some of his players.  Three citations of abuse have been reported:

  1. Marshall allegedly physically struck at least one of his players during a practice session with a closed fist.  If the investigation determined that was an actual event, that should have been enough to have dismissed him; that behavior borders on criminal behavior.
  2. Marshall was allegedly verbally abusive to multiple players and managers.  I know that I would not be able to draw a bright line between “verbal abuse” and “hard coaching” when it comes to verbal interactions; so unless I could hear the verbal interactions in the context of the moment, I can only shrug my shoulders at this finding.
  3. Marshall’s verbal abuse in one specific case cited falls into “political incorrectitude” – – something that is horrific in 2020.  Marshall allegedly told one of his players – – of Native American heritage – – to “get back on his horse” while simulating an “Indian war cry.”  Please excuse me for failing to see the horror in that allegation; I am just not into virtue signaling this morning.

[Aside:  Based on a negotiated buy-out, Wichita State will pay Gregg Marshall $7.75M over the next 6 years not to coach their basketball team.  Quo vadis, Gregg Marshall?]

The University of South Carolina said slán to head football coach Will Muschamp; the Gamecocks are 2-5 in this topsy-turvy 2020 season.  The program trajectory over the past several seasons has not been positive; this year’s results were deemed to be intolerable; in the last three games – all losses – South Carolina has given up 159 points.  The contract buy-out is reported to be $13M; so, do not shed too many crocodile tears for Muschamp and his family today.  Quo vadis, Will Muschamp?

The NBA Draft came and went last night with lots of largely unknown players being selected and with lots of trade action exchanging picks to be used on other largely unknown players.  The more interesting NBA personnel story of the week is the rumor that James Harden might want out of Houston and that Russell Westbrook might want out too.

  • One hot rumor has it that Harden wants to be traded to Brooklyn to play with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving there.  Many folks have suggested that was not likely to be a happy time for those three players because each one needs the ball to be effective and there is only one basketball in use at any given moment.  I do not dispute that analysis at all, but I think there is another issue with such an alignment.  If those three players are on the court together playing defense, it might simulate a layup-line for the opposing team.
  • Another hot rumor is probably most interesting here in the DC area where it dominated sports talk radio yesterday.  That rumor has it that the Wizards and Rockets would make an even-up trade of Russell Westbrook for John Wall.  Wall will return next year after being sidelined with a major foot injury since December 2018.  Wall’s contract runs through the end of the 2022-2023 season and totals $133M over the next 3 seasons.  Given that he was not definitively better than Westbrook prior to that injury, the only reason I can see for the Rockets to make that deal is if they desperately want to say zay gezunt to Russell Westbrook.

Finally, today happens to be World Toilet Day.  Please do not leave a comment explaining how you plan to celebrate this annual event.  Having said that, let me use this occurrence to present a relevant entry from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm which relates to toilets and bidding farewell:

“Goldfish:  A creature specifically bred to provide young children early training in flushing something dead down the toilet.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………