- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 17, 2008

So I’m reading about Michael Jordan donating $500,000 to build a gym in Slidell, La., and I’m thinking: Why Slidell, La.? Did he get an infield single there once when he was in the minors?

•••

Aw, come on, I’m just jokin’ around. Slidell’s Boys and Girls Club was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, and MJ, being a good guy, wants to help put the pieces back together.

•••

Just wondering: Has a professional athlete ever had a Bobblehead Night earlier in his career than the Sonics’ Kevin Durant?

Durant, all of 19, will be so honored Tuesday night when his team plays host to the Grizzlies. It will be his 51st NBA game — assuming, that is, he escapes All-Star Weekend unscathed.

•••

The bobblehead, I’m told, will come complete with a certificate of attendance from the University of Texas.

•••

Congress’ refusal to renew the expiring Surveillance Law deeply troubles me. I mean, how are we going to be able to monitor all of Kelvin Sampson’s phone calls?

•••

By the way, did you see Indiana has asked athletic director Rick Greenspan, the man who hired Sampson, to investigate the NCAA’s charges against the Hoosiers’ coach? Isn’t that a little like the FBI asking Robert Hanssen to investigate the possibility of a Soviet mole inside the bureau?

•••

Let me get this straight: Nationals infielder Felipe Lopez, who batted .245 last season with nine homers and 50 RBI, lost his arbitration case but will still be paid $4.9 million? What, are they giving players bonuses now for not taking steroids?

•••

News item: A typo in court papers filed last week by federal prosecutors caused a brief fuss, creating the erroneous impression that Barry Bonds had failed a drug test a month after breaking the single-season home run record in ‘01.

Comment: If only the 762 was a typo, too.

•••

It’s hard to say exactly how the mistake occurred. Maybe Greg Anderson, Barry’s former trainer, took some secretarial courses while in prison and is working as a temp now in the U.S. Attorney’s office.

•••

Speaking of performance enhancing drugs, Times staffer Mark Zuckerman, hunkered down in Viera, Fla., with the Nationals, just e-mailed me the following “transcript” of Roger Clemens’ congressional hearing. It’s a takeoff on that famous scene from “A Few Good Men,” with the Rocket playing Jack Nicholson’s part and one of his inquisitors standing in for Tom Cruise.

Clemens: You want answers?

Congressman: I think I’m entitled to them.

Clemens: You want answers?

Congressman: I want the truth!

Clemens: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has baseballs. And those balls have to be hit by men with bats. Who’s gonna do it? You, Congressman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for steroids, and you curse HGH. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: That HGH, while illegal, probably sells tickets. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, sells tickets. You don’t want the truth. Because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that mound. We use words like fastball, slider, split-finger. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent playing a sport. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and falls asleep to the “SportsCenter” clips I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide them. I would rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a bat and dig in. Either way, I don’t give a [darn] what you think you’re entitled to!

Congressman: Did you order the HGH?

Clemens (quietly): I did the job you sent me to do.

Congressman (louder): Did you order the HGH?

Clemens: You’re [darn] right I did!

(Thanks also to erstwhile Timesman Dave Coates, who passed the “transcript” along to Mark.)

•••

How Red Sox-crazed is Boston? This crazed: When pitchers and catchers reported to spring training last week, the Boston Herald ran a huge front-page picture of would-be setup man Craig Hansen, who spent last year in Class AAA and had nothing to do with the Sox’s World Series win. The subject of the accompanying story: Hansen’s problems with — and conquering of — sleep apnea.

•••

Celebrity Sports Fun Fact: Will Ferrell’s major at Southern Cal was sports information. “He even served as an intern in the sports information office,” Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times writes.

“Whatever happened to that guy?” Tim Tessalone, the school’s current SID, asked Foster. “He could have had a nice career in sports information.”

•••

Turning to pro football, the Steelers have issued a statement saying the Patriots’ videosnooping is a “nonissue” with them and had “no impact” on the two AFC title games they lost to Bill Belichick’s team.

The Pats, meanwhile, are expected to issue a statement soon saying the Steelers’ violation of the salary cap — for which they were docked $150,000 and a third-round pick — had no bearing on their loss to Pittsburgh in the ‘97 playoffs.

•••

Look at it this way: James Bond has his SPECTRE, and Roger Goodell has his Specter.

•••

That said, I can’t decide whether this Spygate business has left Goodell shaken or stirred.

•••

Noticed something interesting in the NFL’s final statistics. Eagles back Brian Westbrook led the league in YAC (yards after catch) with 806, yet totaled only 771 receiving yards. What does this mean? It means that whenever Westbrook — who had 90 receptions — caught a pass, he was, on average, 14 inches behind the line of scrimmage.

•••

Another stat that jumped out at me: The Saints’ Devery Henderson tied for the NFC lead among wideouts with 10 drops, even though he caught just 20 balls. In other words, he dropped one out of every three passes he got his mitts on.

Poor Drew Brees.

•••

And finally …

In explaining his racing team’s switch from GM to Toyota the other day, Joe Gibbs said, “[Wife] Pat and I bought Toyota stock when we moved to Florida State in [1967] — 200 shares for 98 cents a share. I don’t want to know what that’s worth today. We had to sell it when we moved to Southern California.”

The Sunday Column just did some checking. Toyota stock has split at least 18 times since then. It closed Friday at $110.99. If each split was 2-for-1, Coach Joe’s 200 shares today would be worth … about $1.5 billion.

But lotsa luck in the Daytona 500, Joe.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide