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Daly: No calls, retreads
Question of the Day
After reviewing the tape, the NBA ruled that the Lakers’ Derek Fisher should have been called for a foul against the Spurs’ Brent Barry at the end of Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.
In other news, the league announced that Michael Jordan did indeed push off on Utah’s Bryon Russell before hitting the series-clinching shot in the ‘98 NBA Finals.
Wouldn’t it be cool if they just resumed the game at that point?
I mean, picture this: Jazz ball, up by one, five seconds left. The inbounds pass goes to 46-year-old John Stockton, hounded by 44-year-old Ron Harper …
They’re always talking about the quarterback shortage in the NFL, but how about the coach shortage in the NBA? Thrice-fired Doug Collins is reportedly set to take the Bulls’ job - not long after Larry Brown, three years shy of 70, signed on with the Bobcats.
The only reason Red Auerbach’s phone isn’t ringing right now is that it’s hard to get good cell reception six feet under.
For the sixth time in his illustrious career, Tommy Lasorda sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” last week during the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field.
Hey, give the guy credit. From what I hear, that was his Actual Voice. There was no lip-syncing.
Somebody told me the other day that Lasorda blogs. And I’m thinking: Curt Schilling has a blog he calls “38 Pitches”; what does Tommy call his blog, “38 Stitches”?
Naturally, I had to find it. (The address: tommy.mlblogs.com) One of his more recent posts, on the retirement of Mike Piazza, reminisces about Piazza making the switch from first base to catcher after the Dodgers signed him in 1988.
“We sent him to Campo Las Palmas, our baseball academy in the Dominican Republic,” Lasorda writes. “Ralph Avila, who founded and ran Campo, took him under his wing. Michael was the first American to go to the DR and live and work out there.
“He didn’t know a word of Spanish, and the players he lived and worked with didn’t know a word of English. But they had the common goal of making it to Dodger Stadium. He would work out all day at the academy, and at night he would go warm up pitchers for the Licey club. … Through endless hours of hard work and determination, Michael made it off the island, all the way to Los Angeles. And when he did he made an immediate impact. … There’s a locker in Cooperstown waiting for him.”
Did you see the story about White Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera calling the press box twice during a game to complain about an error that was charged to him?
Boy, it’s a good thing Julio Lugo doesn’t do that. He’d need Unlimited Minutes.
Elias should come up with a new statistic: errors overturned. Cabrera has two this season - the other coming last month in Toronto - which probably leads the majors.
Who knew that one of the criteria for the Gold Glove - along with fielding percentage, range factor, etc. - was Overall Lobbying Ability?
Imagine: Cabrera talked his way out of two of his three errors. The man is the Clarence Darrow of Colombia.
J.D. Drew, the Red Sox’s oft-injured right fielder, misses Friday night’s game against the Orioles with vertigo.
Can’t say I’m surprised. He’s been swinging the bat like Kim Novak lately.
Elsewhere in baseball, an MLB spokesman told the Houston Chronicle that instant replay is inevitable, “but we must do it in a fashion that will not delay the game further.”
Fair enough. But if the owners don’t come up with replay system by next year, they’ll have to deal with something that will delay the game even more - riots in the stands.
The Cubs, meanwhile, say they did not instruct their security people in the left-field bleachers to eject fans who curse or harass Alfonso Soriano, as was reported in the Chicago Tribune.
Poor Alfonso. It’s not just that the Bleacher Bums are booing him for his loose outfield play, it’s that most of them think Steve Bartman has a better glove.
Attorneys for the wannabe agent suing Reggie Bush - who claims to have given the former Heisman Trophy winner nearly $300,000 in cash and goods - say Bush answered only nine of about 70 questions put to him during the discovery process. The others, Reggie’s representatives decided, were either objectionable, too vague or sought confidential information.
Some of the questions Reggie might have refused to answer:
*Who’s the imposter who’s been carrying the ball for the Saints the past two seasons wearing a “BUSH” jersey? (Seeks confidential information.)
*How do you explain - at salary - totaling more fumbles (eight) than touchdowns (six) last year? (Objectionable.)
*Can a player whose longest gain from scrimmage in a regular season game is 25 yards still be referred to as a “home-run back”? (Too vague.)
Word comes from Baghdad of a 479-yard golf course for military personnel inside the walls of the Green Zone - complete with cans for holes and dirt greens. Writes AP’s Bradley Brooks: “I would challenge Tiger Woods to a round … any day. Just to see how his steely concentration would hold up when the mortar alarm blares, ‘Incoming! Incoming! Take cover!’ and shells land nearby.”
Yeah, but what about Woods’ caddie, Steve Williams? He’s a veritable pit bull whenever somebody snaps a picture during Tiger’s backswing. If anybody ever fired a mortar in his boss’ direction, he’d be a One-Man Surge. The war, I’m guessing, would be over in a matter of days.
And finally …
Rick Dutrow Jr., trainer for Big Brown, says it’s a “foregone conclusion” his horse will win the Triple Crown.
Another possible scenario: Big Brown loses the Belmont, the winner is eventually put out to stud, and the first horse he sires is named Foregone Conclusion.
About the Author
Dan Daly has been writing about sports for the Washington Times since 1982. He has won numerous national and local awards, appears regularly in NFL Films’ historical features and is the co-author of “The Pro Football Chronicle,” a decade-by-decade history of the game. Follow Dan on Twitter at @dandalyonsports –- or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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