Friday, April 17, 2009

The Best, Worst and In Between of the Week

Zeke Thomas will earn exactly what he should for coaching basketball. Which is absolutely nothing. Thomas, in an unlikely smart PR move from him, will donate his first year (and potentially only year) salary as head coach of Florida International to the school. Of course, he’s still owed $12 million by the New York Knicks, a team he cost hundreds of millions of dollars with amazing idiocy, so it’s not like he’ll be clipping coupons or buying the generic brand sleeping pills (Ohhhhhhh…..that’s right, I went there).

I’m really looking forward to the Isiah Thomas era at FIU. The players he’ll sign (midnight basketball league guys, FIU intramural stars, hobos), the bench coaching (mostly consisting of a blank stare), and, of course, the recruiting violations (calling a recruit 2500 times more than he’s allowed, paying a JUCO guy averaging three points a game in JUCO $47 million over four years) will all be FANTASTIC. And there’s always the chance the FIU crowd begins chanting just 10 games into the season, “Fire Isiah” just like they did in New York. I’m telling you, only good can come out of this situation.

The five-month NBA regular season comes to a close and the two-month long playoff process begins. What better way to reward worn-down teams than a two-month meat grinder that’s even more intense and more physical than the previous five months. When will the stupidity of a five-month season and two-months worth of playoffs finally be acknowledged by those in charge of the NBA? Maybe next season when season ticket sales are at an all-time low and teams come closer to folding, the league will take time to evaluate and not ignore what’s going on. And remember, when they switch to the World Cup playoff format, I want the credit.

Atlanta’s Yunel Escobar takes the lead in the race for the best baseball injury of 2009. Escobar, in yesterday’s game against the Marlins, strained an abdominal muscle while in the ON-DECK CIRCLE and is expected to miss a few games. If you’ve never seen him play, he has this goofy routine right before he goes up to bat. As soon as he’s announced as the next batter, he begins leaping as high as he can, pulling his knees up to his chest. He does this several times and then draws something abstract in the dirt behind home plate before finally getting in the batter’s box. Even he admits he doesn’t know what he draw, he just draws. Are all people from Cuba this weird?

So congratulations Yunel, you’re our early leader with a pretty strong effort. Not many people can injure themselves in the on-deck circle when contact with a ball or another bat is not involved. In order to be overtaken, Yunel will need someone to have a Jeff Kent-like washing-his-truck injury.

Ole Miss baseball avenges previous Governor’s Cup losses with an 8-1 win over Mississippi State. Well, I doubt they really were out for revenge, but I’m sure it was nice to win. To me this is the ultimate “in between” story of the week. The game between the two schools doesn’t count in the SEC standings, but it is a game against your rival, which means you want to win, but eh, oh well if you don’t. Maybe if you’re at the game or care more about college baseball it’s different, but I did and do not fall into either category. In fact, this story is so neutral, I can’t even muster an attempt at humor here. I can almost feel your disappointment.

Enjoy the weekend and watch out for NBA playoffs round one fever. It’ll getcha.

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