Whether you’ve reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt’s End:
*After a week in Surprise with the Rangers, I’m convinced that ownership simply values Jon Daniels and his people more than Nolan Ryan and his people moving forward with the franchise. And I don’t blame them. I know Ryan is an iconic legend, a larger-than-life figure like Big Tex welcoming fans to the State Fair. But Daniels built this Rangers team with shrewd moves, not a 10-gallon reputation. I think Nolan swallows some pride, accepts a diminished role via diluted power and remains the face of the franchise. Nolan won a head-on battle with Chuck Greenberg two springs ago, but he’s going to lose this one to Daniels. And, remember, we rooted against Houston businessman Jim Crane in the auction because he said Ryan wouldn’t be a part of his ownership group. Crane now owns the Astros. Don’t expect Nolan to leave Arlington. But if he does, don’t expect him to end up south. Here is my CBS column.
*This is why we love Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. He’s worth $3 billion, but hangs out at Bar Louie in Little Rock for $5 bucket night.
*This week the stock market closed at an all-time high and unemployment fell to 7.7%, a four-year low. Blame Obama all you want, but I’m pretty sure your 401ks and your stock portfolios are thanking him.
*Further proof that hockey has a small, rabid and totally irrational following: the Chicago Blackhawks’ “streak.” Seems they haven’t lost in regulation in the season’s first 24 games. But, um, they have lost in overtime three times. In other words, they’re not unbeaten. At all. The Miami Heat have won 16 games in a row. Without a loss. In overtime or anywhere else. How in the world does anyone even attempt to equate the streaks?
*Greatest all-time team streak in sports: UCLA’s 88 consecutive college basketball wins from ’71-74. It will never be broken.
*Speaking of hockey, I said on 105.3 The Fan the other day that LeBron James could kick the ass of any NHL player in a fight. Not on skates, but in a back alley. And now I’ve got the proof, via support of hockey players. Two of three Dallas Stars players admitted on 105.3 The Fan last week that LeBron would take them in a fight because of his athleticism and reach. Sorry, truth hurts.
*Rough week for baseball GMs. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman broke his leg and ankle skydiving and Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin spent three hours in the hospital after being stung by a scorpion. See Jon Daniels, what’s a little negative press?
*Talked to a blackjack dealer in Vegas who swore she recently dealt a player 17 consecutive losing hands. Part of me would like to move to Sin City and try my hand at professional gambling for a year, but I’d live off sports betting and not games of “chance.”
*I’m resigned to the fact the Mavs won’t make the playoffs for the first time since ’00. And I understand coach Rick Carlisle is trying anything to salvage the season. But on Wednesday night Brandan Wright made his first start in four months and Mike James made his first start in five years. Desperation is never sexy.
*2013 might be the Metroplex’s first year since 1989 without a pro team in the playoffs. Rangers may be the 3rd-best team in AL West. Cowboys seemingly on their way to another .500-ish season. Mavs out. And Stars bobbing around the bubble. Seems like it was only a couple years ago we had the basketball champs and a baseball team only one strike away.
*Military budget cuts are leading to the discontinuation of flyovers at sporting events like the Daytona 500. Thought it was weird when it didn’t happen when I was there last month. But I don’t need the rumble of an F-16 to make me feel patriotic. Do you? Just having the freedom to choose to be at a game is plenty prideful for me.
*Rip Jerry the GM all you want, but in 2005 he got it right: DeMarcus Ware over Shawn Merriman. And, remember, Bill Parcells coveted Marcus Spears over Ware.
*A year ago today in this space: Kony 2012 was viral … Two dorks named Mark Elfenbein and Richie Whitt were named Grand Marshals of the Greenville Ave./St. Patrick’s Day Parade … Josh Hamilton revealed at Rangers’ spring training that he dipped his French Fries in mayo.
*Spring forward this weekend. Four of the greatest words in our annual vocabulary. Translation: So long, winter.
*There may be hope for Josh Brent yet. I read two stories this week in which Metroplex men charged with intoxication manslaughter were found guilty, but given only probation.
*If you’ve driven 121 through The Colony in the past couple weeks you’ve seen the giant – I mean 30-foot tall – chair in a field. Apparently it’s for something called the Nebraska Furniture Mart, which will soon build a 560,000-square foot showroom filled with furniture … for giants?
*The life-sized, bronze statue of Chris Kyle is cool. But if you’re his family do you want that in or at your house? Weird how we feel about the deceased. Photos on the shelf are okay. But heads mounted on the wall like deer is not acceptable. Statues? We’ll see.
*The Cowboys’ release of safety Gerald Sensabaugh reminded that he had 0 interceptions in 2012 and that Dallas’ secondary managed only 7. Seven! Compare that say, oh, 1981 when they picked off 37. Thirty-seven! Yep, in 1981 the Cowboys – led by Everson Walls’ 11 and Dennis Thurman’s nine – intercepted 37 passes in their opponent’s 511 attempts. And in 2012 it was seven in, yep, 511 attempts. No wonder Danny White’s offense was better than Tony Romo’s.
*So now, instead of the Big East, SMU is going to be part of a conference called the America 12? And there’s also a Catholic 7? What the what is happening to conference alignments?
*Rangers doing right with their exchange of Lowe’s. Gone is Mark Lowe, who gave up multiple runs to Texas this week as a Dodger. And Derek Lowe, signed this week, is one of only three Major League pitchers with 160 wins and 80 saves. The others? John Smoltz and Dennis Eckersley.
*Worst part of this story about a mom who whips her son with an electrical cord after finding him engaged in consensual homosexual sex is that, in these parts, there will be loud voices screaming that she didn’t go far enough in her punishment. Right?
*If you’ve been around more than a minute, you know that this Nolan-JD power struggle is nothing compared to Jimmy-Jerry, or even the Mark Cuban-Don Nelson rift.
*This weekend? After spending 11 of 14 nights in hotels thanks to trips to the Daytona 500, Las Vegas and Rangers’ spring training, it’s good to sleep in my own bed for a change. Saturday morning let’s get back on the tennis court and Saturday night go to an acoustic concert by Toadies’ lead singer Vaden Todd Lewis. Sunday seems like Sybil’s gonna drag me to a private book signing of Brandi Glanville, the Real Houswife of Somewhere whose boob was pleading to make an appearance on the Oscars’ pre-show. It is, after all, Sybil’s birthday weekend. So on Sunday, who knows? On Monday, no kidding, she wants her party at Magic Time Machine. Don’t be a stranger.
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