- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 19, 2009

Can’t wait to see who wins the ESPY on Sunday for Best Performance in a Rehab Assignment.

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Have you caught any of John Daly’s wardrobe at the British Open? He must be promoting a Jackson Pollock exhibit at a nearby museum or something. It’s the only possible explanation.

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Wait a second. Are those mustard stains?

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Condolences to former New Jersey Nets dancer Kesha Ni’Cole Nichols, who got left at the altar by Spurs-bound Richard Jefferson. I don’t have all the details, but I’m guessing Jefferson had a change of heart because she wouldn’t give him a player option for the fifth year.

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Then again, as my 19-year-old points out, “Maybe she insisted on a no-trade clause.”

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Actually, “left at the altar” is a slight exaggeration. In radio interviews, Jefferson insisted he backed out several days before the wedding - and sent her an e-mail later that detailed his reservations.

It could have been worse, I suppose. I mean, he could have tweeted her.

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Can you believe this financial mess - bankruptcy, millions in debt, name reduced to mud - Lenny Dykstra has gotten himself into?

Or to put it another way: If you’ve got the coffin, Lenny’s got the Nails.

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It always struck me as a bit far-fetched that Dykstra, the erstwhile Mets and Phillies hellion, was an entrepreneurial genius - though he was portrayed that way on Bryant Gumbel’s HBO show.

Lenny Dykstra, investment savant? How about Lenny Dykstra, owner of a Chewing Tobacco Recycling Plant in Hackensack?

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The real reason President Obama was invited to throw out the first pitch at the All-Star Game: So Tim Wakefield, Mr. 68 MPH Knuckleball, would feel better about himself.

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At least Jim Riggleman, the Nationals’ new manager, grasps that Cristian Guzman - he of the seven walks in 327 plate appearances (through Friday) - shouldn’t be hitting at the top of the lineup. (Riggleman had him in the sixth spot in his first game as interim manager.)

Let’s face it, Cristian, who batted first or second 62 times this season under Manny Acta, is the antithesis of the “Moneyball”-type player. The guy walks less often than Harvey Kuenn did, for goodness sakes.

I’m not talking about Harvey, the batting champ for the Tigers in the ‘50s. I’m talking about Harvey, the one-legged manager for the Brewers in the ‘80s.

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Not that Guzman doesn’t have competition in this category. The Blue Jays’ Raul Chavez, for instance, has gone 91 plate appearances this season without a free pass.

I’m trying to decide which is the greater feat - Chavez going walkless in that many ups or Chavez finagling a 91st trip to the plate after not walking in the first 90.

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In other baseball news, the Diamondbacks and Rockies are partnering on a spring training facility to be built on Indian land near Phoenix. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa tribe has agreed to build an 11,000-seat ballpark and a complex that includes practice fields, offices and other amenities - all conveniently located not far from the 700 slot machines, 50 poker tables, 540-seat bingo room, 40-seat keno room and 30-seat racetrack/off-track betting room in the tribe’s two casinos.

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Just wondering: Have they booked Pete Rose yet for opening day?

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Neither of the tribe’s casinos, by the way, is the one former NBAer Antoine Walker was arrested in last week after being charged with failing to pay back over $800,000 worth of markers. But I thought I’d mention it anyway.

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According to one report, Walker was led out of the casino in handcuffs - which, as Antoine’s former teammates will tell you, is about the only way you can get him to stop shooting (whether it’s a basketball or, in this instance apparently, a pair of dice).

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I’m all for women’s equality, I truly am - except when Diana Taurasi climbs behind the wheel of a car with a higher blood-alcohol level than Donte Stallworth’s.

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News item: A federal judge throws out an insider-trading suit brought against Mavericks owner Mark Cuban by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Comment: Who says Cuban can’t win the big one?

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Part of me thinks this supplemental draft pick of the Redskins - former Kentucky defensive end Jeremy Jarmon - is just Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato trying to compensate for passing up ex-Maryland offensive tackle Jared Gaither in the 2007 supplemental draft.

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One of our summer interns, Rachel Orland, did a nice job recently putting together a list of some of the notable supplemental picks over the years. Here’s another to add to the pile:

1989 - The Cowboys, who had just taken Troy Aikman with the first pick of the regular draft, take another quarterback, Steve Walsh, in the first round of the supplemental draft and forfeit their 1990 No. 1.

Dallas had no way of knowing, of course, that its No. 1 the next year would again be the first overall pick (which turned out to be quarterback Jeff George). Still, the Cowboys recovered nicely. When Aikman established himself as the QB of the future, they traded Walsh (who had played under Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson at the University of Miami) to the Saints for first- and third-round selections in ‘91 and a second in ‘92.

Those choices - after Johnson was done trading up, down and sideways - produced offensive tackle Erik Williams (a certain Hall of Famer), receiver Jimmy Smith (five Pro Bowls with the Jaguars) and linebacker Dixon Edwards (a starter on two of the Cowboys’ three title teams in the ‘90s).

Not bad for a single supplemental pick.

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And finally…

After climbing Mount Rainier - all 14,411 feet of it - NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called it the most difficult “physical, emotional and probably mental” challenge he has ever faced.

Memo to Roger: Wait until you have to hammer out your first CBA with the players. You’ll wish you were back on the mountain - life hanging by a rope, icicles dangling from your nose.


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