Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Yo, Meathead!

So we are getting closer and closer to Opening Day for baseball—is everyone excited? Maybe once the games start, people will be able to concentrate on balls and strikes instead of Deca Durabolin and Winstrol—although the impending federal investigation of Roger Clemens makes that unlikely.

I don’t know about you, but I am starting to have some mixed feelings about all the steroids coverage. On the one hand, I think cheats should be busted as far as they can and never be made available for induction into Cooperstown. If Barry Bonds was a cheat, I hope he gets put in jail. Clemens? Wow, I never saw anyone dig his own grave like Clemens. I wonder who recommended his lawyers to him, Krusty the Clown? If he’s guilty, they should throw the book at him. Imagine what might have happened had the Rocket just humbled himself like Andy Pettitte, admitted he “made a mistake,” and asked for forgiveness.

So here are my thoughts on some other sports issues of the day:

SEASONINGS: It always makes me feel my age when a great player who has been around for years retires and rides off into the sunset. Brett Favre was a class act and one of the great ones. He made the Packers relevant again almost single-handedly, and they were one of the most exciting teams to watch while he was their quarterback. True, he holds the record for INTs, but the great ones always take risks—they know you cannot succeed without risking failure—and if you stay around long enough in any sport, you’re going to garner some negative stats to go with the positives. Reggie Jackson retired as the all-time strikeout leader—would anyone dispute his greatness? As for all these opinion columns ranking Favre among the great NFL quarterbacks, I’m not going to get into that. Different players from different eras can rarely be compared straight up. Let’s just agree that Favre was up there at the top, and the game is losing a star.

Could it really be true that James Dolan wants to keep Isiah Thomas as coach of the New York Knicks next year? That’d be a disheartening rumor for any Knicks fan. The New York tabloids are whispering that just to be perverse, Dolan will keep Zeke as coach and bring in a new GM, relieving Isiah of his VP duties. As I’ve said before, Isiah knows how to coach. It’s just that the pieces he assembled for himself in New York are so bad that NO ONE could coach this bunch. (Eddy Curry went out with a tear in his knee cartilage Monday.) If Isiah can settle himself in one role, and—to borrow Bill Parcells’s metaphor—just do the cooking while someone else buys the ingredients, there may be a chance for a winning season after seven on the minus side. If the someone else is, say, Kiki Vandeweghe or Jerry Colangelo, could there possibly be a sniff of playoff basketball at Madison Square Garden once again? We’ll have to wait until next year to find out.

If Dolan were to finally stop smoking whatever he’s on, wake up, and fire Isiah, is there any chance he could bring back the Big Fella—as coach? With five years’ experience as an assistant coach, Patrick Ewing is waiting to be offered his first head coaching position. After playing under Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy, as well as coaching under Van Gundy and his brother Stan, Ewing probably has a decent grasp of what it takes to be a coach. What better way to begin his coaching career than with the Knicks? After all, even if he stinks, he couldn’t possibly be worse than what the Knicks have right now—can he? (That’s the thing about being a Knicks fan these days. Every time you think this team has sunk as low as it can go, it manages to sink even farther. Yeesh!

Might as well make this a record for the most I’ve written about the NBA in a single post. I just have to point out how low the Miami Heat have fallen in the past season. They’ve won just 11, that’s right, count ’em, e-lev-en games this year, and now Dwayne Wade is being sat down for the rest of the year due to a balky knee. This all makes me so happy, I could just laugh out loud!

Lastly, I just want to comment on how strange it feels to not be going to Opening Day at Oakland Coliseum, though we are planning to go see the Rangers–Mariners game at Safeco. In the last nine years, I missed Opening Day for the A’s just twice, and both times were for travel reasons. To be attending another team’s game on the first day of the season just feels odd—and taking a ferry home after the game will be even more bizarre (though I did take the ferry to one or two San Francisco Giants games before)—but I’m sure once we get a full season of the Mariners under our belts, Opening Day next year will be just like coming home!


Ed Attanasio said...

Once again, Meat -- you're hitting on all cylindres, my man. Good stuff. Seattle must be treating you well.

Star said...

Meat -
So glad you are setting foot in the Mariner's stadium - so I see you agreed with your wife to become a fan? Bye, Bye A's!

It is only a matter of time....