whitts end reaper Whitts End: 3.9.12

Whether you’ve reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt’s End:

  • Rangers’ manager Ron Washington stopped by our 105.3 The Fan radio booth after yesterday’s spring training loss to the White Sox here in Surprise. His optimism overfloweth. Asked if this year’s team is better than the last two that went to the World Series, Wash gushed, “Absolutely. No doubt about it.” Earlier in the week we gave general manager Jon Daniels an over/under win total of 94 wins. Said JD, “Gimme the over.”
  • I know it’s still six weeks until the NBA Playoffs and we’re far from panic mode, but the Mavs’ recent late-game failures at least have us uncomfortable, right? Went to Mavs-Suns in Phoenix last night — as did Rangers Derek Holland, Joe Nathan and Elvis Andrus and Angels’ pitchers Jered Weaver and Dan Haren — and watched yet another game lost in the final seconds without a shot being taken by Dirk Nowitzki. In the past week that’s 0-3 courtesy of final-shot misses by Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and, last night, Roddy Beaubois. I know Roddy got into the paint and missed an open, relatively easy floater and I realize the Suns then double-teamed Dirk on the last-second inbounds play — forcing the ball to Beaubois for a missed 18-footer that would’ve prompted overtime at the buzzer. But if teams have learned how to take Dirk out of games late, these Mavs are doomed.
  • Horrible Thursday night for my Mavs. Both of ‘em. Dallas loses in the desert and UT-Arlington, my alma mater, blows its chance to play in the NCAA Tournament with a crushing, 20-point upset loss to McNeese State in the semifinals of the Southland Conference Tournament in Katy. UTA sailed through the regular season 15-1, won its first tournament game by a record 48 points and then… kerplunk. The Movin’ Mavs set a school-record with 24 wins and are headed for the NIT. Not bad, but…
  • Yeah, yeah, I’ve seen the emotional, viral “Kony 2012” video. The African drug lord is a despicable bastard and I hope he gets what’s coming to him. But if folks like Oprah and Warren Buffet are behind the cause, do organizers really need my measly $3? For my money, let’s keep some care and cash here in America. I guarantee you there are thousands of victims from last week’s tornadoes from Kentucky to West Virginia who feel the same way.
  • Went to Alice Cooperstown just next to US Airways Center before the game. Cool restaurant in an old warehouse, with unique memorabilia of Alice himself on the walls and his trademark creepy paint on the faces of the wait staff. And I saw — swear — Armen Williams of 105.3 The Fan ingest a 22-inch “Big Unit” hot dog. And the thing didn’t have just length, but also girth.
  • Hot:
  • Not:
  • Wait until you hear this year’s Greenville Avenue/St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshals. One of them might just look and sound like The Fan’s Mark Elfenbein and the other… stay tuned.
  • And even though he couldn’t beat Thunder power forward Kendrick Perkins off the dribble and get off a decent game-ending shot — twice — in last Monday night’s loss in Oklahoma City, expect to hear some groaning from Terry. He wasn’t even on the floor for the Mavs’ final possessions last night. Ouch.
  • UTA’s loss Thursday night means no local flavor in March Madness. TCU and SMU lost in the first round of their respective conference tournaments and North Texas blew a 13-point second-half lead in the Sun Belt Championship Game. Bummer.
  • Al McCoy is a living legend in the Valley of the Sun. He’s been the radio play-by-play voice of the Suns for 40 years, debuting in 1972. His “Shazam!” after a Phoenix 3-pointer is cool. But, I’m sorry, he sucks. Listened to him on the way home from the arena back to Surprise — yes, Greggo made us leave with the Mavs up 11 in the third quarter — and he kept calling him Dirk “Novinski.” Oh well, maybe one of these days Dirk will win an MVP or win a ring. Maybe then ol’ Al will take a second to get his damn name right. Asking too much?
  • I love Steve Nash. He’s a two-time MVP and a lock Hall-of-Famer. Same with Nowitzki. I also respect Don Nelson, one of the most innovative offensive minds in the history of hoops. Still confounded by one of the great all-time NBA mysteries: How the heck did those three combined in Dallas not even make it to The Finals? The answer might be as simple as Shawn Bradley.
  • On RAGE this week former Cowboys’ quarterback Roger Staubach said he’d take Peyton Manning over Johnny Unitas and that Tony Romo will win a Super Bowl with a star on his helmet. “You don’t have to be too smart to see that it isn’t his fault,” said Captain America. “It’s the defense. Tony’s great. He’s part of the solution, not part of the problem.” Take that, haters.
  • Today on the mound here in Surprise: Rangers’ top prospect Martin Perez vs. Dodgers’ Cy Young winner and Highland Park product Clayton Kershaw. Delicious.
  • At the risk of getting fined for bitchin’ about NBA officiating, how is it that the Mavs go 17 games without a technical foul for a defensive three-second violation and then get four of them — that’s 4 — in the first three quarters in Phoenix? At the time it didn’t seem anything more than a quirk. But when you lose a game by two points, every little thing matters.
  • Poor Shawn Marion. Last night on consecutive possessions he found himself guarding Suns’ center Marcin Gortat, then point guard Nash.
  • After initially being cold and dismissive to the media in Surprise, Josh Hamilton is relaxing and opening up. In the past two days we’ve learned that he dips his French Fries in mayonnaise (vomit) and that he thinks he could run faster around the bases in an astronaut get-up rather than a suit of armor. But, he swears he’d be a great jouster because “I know how to handle a big stick.” I couldn’t make this stuff up.
  • There’s a time and place for baseball, but it ain’t Spring. After sitting through the leisurely boring pace of baseball, it was a shock to the senses at Mavs-Suns last night. Hearing the upbeat music, watching the scantily clad dancers and witnessing more athleticism from basketball players in a quarter than you might get all season from baseball players, it was like a shot of Red Bull right into my sports veins. Thank you, NBA.
  • Speaking of Red Bull, Rangers’ pitcher Yu Darvish drinks the sugar-free version. And, oh yeah, Thursday he wore boxers with old vinyl records printed on them. Yu and Elvis have this weird thing going on. Earlier the shortstop got Yu by taping to his locker an autographed photo with “Maricon” (think British cigarette). Yesterday Yu countered, taping a photo to Elvis’ locker signed “I love gay boyz.” A tad uncomfortable. A lot funny.
  • This weekend? Home sweet home. What with a sojourn to Vegas and a week in Surprise, it’s been 10 days since I was in the good ol’ DeeEffDub. Saturday let’s sift through a pile of mail and get re-acclimated. And then one of my favorite days of the year — Selection Sunday. Let the Madness commence. Don’t be a stranger.

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