Whitt’s End: 5.11.12
Whether you’ve reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt’s End:
*So tonight’s the night some Rangers’ fans have been anticipating for a month: Yu Darvish vs. C.J. Wilson. Revenge!! is somehow the popular rallying cry. Wait, what the what? The Angels’ pitcher Tweeted out Mike Napoli’s phone number in Spring Training and that wasn’t cool. But other than that, remind me again why we hate him? Dude won 31 games with a combined ERA of 3.14 in helping Texas to two World Series appearances. Last year he was an All-Star and finished 6th in the AL Cy Young voting. Never got hurt. Doesn’t drink or do drugs. A little wacky. Very cocky. At times condescending with the media. And I know his playoff record doesn’t sound great – 1-5 – but in four World Series appearances he’s 0-2 despite giving up only six runs in 18.1 innings for an ERA of 2.92. I don’t love C.J. I just don’t hate him. And I don’t get those of you that do.
*There are three active NBA coaches with championship rings: Gregg Popovich, Doc Rivers and Rick Carlisle. The Mavs’ coach’s contract is up after his fourth season in Dallas ended with a first-round loss. I understand owner Mark Cuban’s business strategy is to allow stress through no in-season negotiating, but the season’s over. Re-sign the coach. Before another team swoops in.
*Tell me you’re not one of those screaming that “the price for re-signing Josh just went up!” in the wake of his 4-homer game. Great achievement. Looks good on his resume. But baseball general managers are good businessmen. They don’t judge players like the stock market. Josh is a great player. Whether he hits another four homers or goes into an 0-for-30 slump, that ain’t changing. Here’s my analogy: You’ve been dating a girl for three years and are about to pop the question. You love her, want to spend the rest of your life with her. You’ve been ring shopping, got one picked out. Then one day on a date she looks even prettier than ever. Perfect hair and make-up. Eyes sparkling. Cleavage inviting. Turning heads in the restaurant. But does that one night make you run out the next day and buy a bigger ring and get down on one knee within 24 hours? No. At least it shouldn’t.
*Cowboys, in conjunction with Emmitt Smith’s annual charity golf tournament, are holding a 20-year reunion for the ’92 Super Bowl team today in Frisco. 20 years since Troy Aikman threw four touchdowns and the Cowboys swamped the Bills in Super Bowl XXVII in the Rose Bowl. Makes me feel old. At the time I was a 27-year-old pup of a beat writer covering the ‘Boys every move in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Sad that coach Joe Avezzano won’t be around to see all his old pals.
*So North Park Centre in Dallas has instituted a curfew for kids under 16 – 6 p.m.? Wow – and stricter dress codes. No visible undergarments. I know this is aimed at dudes who somehow think it’s cool to wear saggy britches that display their boxers. But I wonder if it will include girls’ bra straps, which these days we just yawn at when they’re on display?
*See, here’s the thing about women playing sports. They celebrate too dang wildly for mundane achievements. Now that softball is ridiculously being included in ESPN SportsCenter’s “Top Plays” we’re subjected to diving catches by outfielders. And then those outfielders being absolutely mobbed by teammates as if they’ve won the World Series. Problem, the catch came in the first inning.
*Weird, wonderful baseball season already. No-hitter. Perfect game. Cycles. Four-homer game. And Thursday we witnessed more history: Colby Lewis allowing three consecutive homers to start a game, first time in AL history. Also crazy, Josh Hamilton’s last seven homers have been 2-run shots, each with Elvis Andrus on base.
*Blondes > Brunettes.
*One more thing on Josh. Knowing his injury history, I cringed when I saw him sprinting and sliding on the tarp during Wednesday night’s rain delay. No way to stop him from doing it. I just sorta held my breath. Because if … well, you know.
*In those 1-800-The General TV commercials for the cartoon dork and his cheap car insurance, it says one call will get you instant insurance and that “no personal information is required.” How exactly will that work? You: I want car insurance but I don’t want to tell you my name or driver’s license number or type of car I drive. The General: Done. Really? And, again, wouldn’t his sidekick penguin die in the sweltering heat of a sun-baked basketball court?
*After last night’s second game against the Orioles – in which Hamilton hit a homer – the Fox Sports Southwest Rangers Live show displayed a graphic under the headline: “Hamilton’s Bat Got Swingin’ !!!” Who wrote that, the producer’s 5-year-old son?
*Kobe Bryant wants to be Michael Jordan so bad it’s sickening. Baggy shorts. Walks like him. Tongue wag. Fantastic, title-winning player. But last night was soooo transparent. There was breaking news all day that Bryant missed the Lakers’ shootaround with a “stomach ailment” and was a game-time decision for Game 6 in Denver. Sick? Playoffs? On the road? Obviously Mr. Drama Queen was trying to duplicate Jordan’s famous “Flu Game,” where in 1997 he scored 38 points and willed the Bulls over the Jazz. And the damndest thing, Kobe almost pulled it off. He scored 31, but his Lakers lost. Game 7 Saturday night. Oh, by the way, Ron Artest is eligible to play in that game.
*If you’re offended by Time’s cover photo of a too-old boy on a chair breast-feeding from his mom, we shouldn’t be friends. Then again, I Tweeted a pic of two of my female friends passionately kissing and when it went to my Facebook I had 9 people “unsubscribe” me. So touchy y’all are. Geez.
*If three consecutive home runs are “back-to-back-to-back,” I’m struggling to comprehend how the first one is “back” to anything.
*On July 1 the Mavs will have only these players under contract: Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter, Brendan Haywood, Brandan Wright, Kalenna Azubuike, Roddy Beaubois, Shawn Marion and Dominique Jones. Yikes.
*I understand trends. Not a big follower myself. Once I like something, I usually stick with it until I’m done liking it. Not when somebody else tells me it’s not cool to like it anymore. That’s why I amused at the latest trend in the NBA: players wearing black glasses, with no lenses, for style. Kevin Garnett. LeBron. Dwyane Wade. Kevin Durant. Russell Westbrook. And last night the Sixers’ Andre Iguodala. Kurt Rambis must be so proud. Pretending to have bad vision as a fashion statement? I give up.
*Still don’t understand the outrage at President Obama’s support of same-sex marriage. But I can tell you that – more than any other topic we talk about on 105.3 The Fan – it’s emotionally divisive. I think the reactions are driven by ignorance and fear of change, same emotions a lot of critics of de-segregation emitted. I just don’t understand the desire to curtail how other people live. If you’re screaming about how same-sex marriages are going to somehow ruin this country, ask yourself this: Two men got married today. They had a wedding. And tonight they’re flying off to their honeymoon. When they return next week they’ll go shopping for a new house. One will go back to his job as a bank executive and the other as an architect working in downtown Dallas. Here’s the question: How exactly did this affect you? Be honest. … That’s what I thought.
*Speaking of Iguodala, he hit two free throws last night to help the 8th-seeded Sixers upset the Bulls in the first round. Afterward an emotional Doug Collins talked about family, and karma and everything happening for a reason and how his Sixers were somehow a special team of destiny. He, of course, conveniently left out the part about Chicago playing without injured stars Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah most of the series.
*The more you watch basketball the more you’re reminded of the importance of free throws. They’re not sexy. They don’t show up on SportsCenter or get players shoe contracts. But just last night the Bulls lost because center Omer Asik missed two with five seconds left and then, up in Boston, the Hawks’ Al Horford missed one in the final seconds that would’ve tied the game. Life is all about details.
*This weekend? Today we’re at North Texas Marine in Fort Worth. Tomorrow let’s play some golf. And Sunday, of course, down to JoCoMoFo to hang out with dear ol’ Mom on Mother’s Day. Don’t be a stranger.