Say What?

Baseball considering 7-inning games?

Buster Olney of quoted a “high-ranking executive” in Major League Baseball saying, “I think they should change the game to seven innings.”  He said that would produce 2 ½-hour games and reduce injuries.

Tony Kornheiser of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption objected that “they haven’t tried any of the alternatives to shortening the game,” such as prohibiting batters from stepping out of the box once they begin their at-bat.


Players should ‘kick’ fans on the field?

Adam Jones, center fielder for the Baltimore Orioles, took umbrage with a fan who ran onto the field during a game.  “I let him know how I felt, obviously a lot of choice words.  I think it’s idiotic for people to run onto the field, and I think the punishment should be a lot harsher.  I think they should let us kick ‘em, with our metal spikes on.”  He also had advice for the security forces:  “Anybody who does it, I wish the cops would tase the living bleep out of him.”

This rant did not please the suits at Major League Baseball, who promised an investigation, the sort that usually leads to a fine.

Editorial comment:  Easy.  Jones is one of the mildest-mannered of ballplayers, not known for violence against anyone.  He just got a little carried away with the rhetoric.


Mixed reviews on Replay-Review

Not surprisingly, Major League Baseball’s new replay-review system has its glitches.  Instead of settling or preventing arguments, it led to a protest that resulted in Boston manager John Farrell being ejected from a game which the New York Yankees won 3-2.

The reviewers in their New York studio appeared to call a key play wrong and later admitted there weren’t enough camera angles to get it right.  Farrell, whose team has made a round-trip journey from worst to first and back to worst, said:  “It’s extremely difficult to have faith in the system being used.”


Napier: Huskies probation made them ‘hungry’

Connecticut point guard Shabazz Napier, who led a 60-54 upset of Kentucky in the NCAA Championship Game, used a postgame interview to swipe at the ruling body that put his team on probation.

“You’re looking at the hungry Huskies.  This is what happens when you ban us last year, two years.  We worked so hard for it for two years.”

At that point, Jim Nantz, of CBS Sports, eased out of the interview.

Dear Shabazz:  If your team had worked a little harder on academics, the probation would not have been as long.

Lacrosse scandal cost Duke ‘$100 million’

The 2006 party that led to rape allegations against three Duke lacrosse players cost the university $100 million, according to William Cohan, author of The Price of Silence:  The Power of the Elite and the Corruption of Our Great Universities. 

The book, published by Scribner, revisits the case that mesmerized the country for months but led to official exoneration of the players.  All charges were dismissed because of the ineptness of DA Mike Nifong (later disbarred) and the contradictory testimony and mental instability of the accuser, Gail Mangum, now in prison for murdering her boyfriend.

Cohan blames basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski for demanding a compliant athletics director and setting up a culture of athletics over academics.  Coach K is criticized for, among other things, taking injured players on road trips instead of letting them attend classes.

Cohan, a Duke alumnus, reports the cost of the scandal included huge attorney’s fees and $20 million to each of the three accused players to buy their silence.  While rape may not have occurred, Cohan contends the players acted inappropriately and issued racial slurs during an all-night off-campus party with two strippers.  A party which was financed by $500 from lacrosse coach Mike Pressler (soon fired) who said the cash was to go for food during spring break.

Click here for the link to Vanity Fair’s “The Duke Lacrosse Player Still Outrunning His Past”


Titans cite Chris Johnson’s ‘questionable work ethic’

There were other factors besides size of contract that led to Chris Johnson’s departure from the Tennessee Titans at an age, 28, when he’s still one of the fastest players in the NFL.

Jim Wyatt, who covers the team for the (Nashville) Tennesseean, wrote:  “Sometimes Johnson rubbed team officials wrong because of what they felt was a questionable work ethic and laid-back approach.  Let’s put it this way, he wasn’t the first guy in the meeting room.  The team is trying to create a different culture.”

Between the Lines:  Johnson would be worth his 8 mil a year if he’d run hard, like he did 3-4 years ago, OR be the sort of veteran leader who inspires teammates to work harder. 


Brandon Spikes on life as a Patriot:  ‘4 years a slave’

Linebacker Brandon Spikes signed a free-agent contract with Buffalo and then delivered some parting tweets to New England.  He called his time there “4 years a slave.”   He also said he wasn’t injured when the Patriots assigned him to Injury Reserve as the postseason was about to begin.  “That’s just the way things go there.” 

Dear Brandon: Before calling yourself a slave, you might want to do some historical research.  

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