- - Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Once again, it’s time to check off some items on my “TIDU List” – Things I Don’t Understand:

*How the Olympic Village is already a dump.

According to the Australian delegation, the athletes’ housing in Rio de Janeiro is swell … aside from “blocked toilets, leaking pipes and exposed wiring.” The Aussies were scheduled to move in Sunday but deemed their accommodations unfit for occupancy. Rio mayor Eduardo Paes wants to assist: “I almost feel like putting a kangaroo to jump up and down in front of their building,” he said.

Not even “Baghdad Bob” could help Brazil’s public relations.

*Why Chris Sale doesn’t open up a tailoring shop.

If you’ve seen the Chicago White Sox’s 1976 throwback jerseys, you understand Sale’s urge to mutilate them. The ace was scratched from Saturday’s start and suspended, reportedly for cutting the spread-collared tops. GM Rick Hahn charged Sale with violating team rules, insubordination and destroying team equipment. “There is a correct and incorrect way to express concerns about team rules and organizational expectations,” Hahn said.

True. You can’t become Edward Scissorhands whenever you like.

*How Hall of Fame voters handle suspected PED users.

Mike Piazza was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, one year after Craig Biggio. Piazza was drafted in the 62nd round with the 1,390th pick, ahead of only five other players. Biggio hit 14 homers between the ages of 24 and 26 but had seven 20-homer campaigns starting at age 27. Both have denied steroids accusations. There is no proof of guilt or innocence.

Sounds like the majority of players from the Steroids Era.

*Why other sports won’t follow the NBA’s lead.

Charlotte’s visitors’ authority said the city will lose an estimated $100 million thanks to the NBA pulling the 2017 All-Star Game because of North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom bill.” The PGA is keeping the 2017 PGA Championship in Charlotte, but is evaluating future events there. The ACC (football championship in Charlotte) and the NCAA (basketball tournament sites in Greensboro and Charlotte) are mulling options, too.

Carolina’s future as a sports host is headed for the toilet.

*Where Derrick Rose goes for his NBA power rankings.

As a child, I always wondered who “they” were when folks said “they (this)” or “they (that).” I came to accept them as “the powers that be.” But I’m unsure whom New York’s new point guard referred to during a recent interview with nba.com. “With these teams right now, they’re saying us and Golden State are the super teams, and they’re trying not to build that many super teams,” Rose said.

Put that man in concussion protocol!

*How the IOC was supposed to banish Russia.

Spy novelists could take a page from Russia’s elaborate, massive doping operation at the 2014 Winter Olympics. From constructing a shadow laboratory next to the official testing facility, to passing clean urine samples through a hole in the wall, the Russians took cheating to another level. They also spent about $50 billion as hosts, which explains the IOC’s reluctance to ban Russia from the Rio Games.

The IOC can’t afford to spurn its main sugar daddy.

*Why the NFL doesn’t have more Dennis Greens and Tony Dungys.

Green, the former Vikings coach died last week. One of his former assistants, Dungy, enters the Hall of Fame next month. Green was just the second African-American coach in the NFL modern era. ESPN reports that 43 percent of minority head coaching hires since 1997 were connected to Dungy. None of this would be noteworthy if Dungy and Green were white.

But they’re not and it is; the NFL needs to do better.

*How Drew Storen and Ben Revere forgot how to play.

The Nationals’ former closer was supposed to benefit from a change of scenery, a chance to escape failures that overshadowed his success. In exchange, Revere was supposed to provide Washington with a much-needed speedy outfielder atop the lineup. No one saw this coming: Storen was 1-3 with a 6.21 ERA before Toronto designated him for assignment Sunday; Revere, a .295 career hitter entering this season, is batting .216.

Both teams whiffed on that trade.

*Why the WNBA thought it could silence players.

League president Lisa Borders picked the wrong fight in penalizing some players for wearing black warm-up shirts. The shirts were meant to show support of citizens and police involved in recent shootings, but teams were fined $5,000 and players $500 each. Border rescinded the penalties Saturday and said the league will “work with our players and their union on ways for the players to make their views known to their fans and the public.”

Great. It matters.

*How Team USA can fail to win gold in hoops.

In 2008 we had the “Redeem Team,” determined to make up for the disappointment four years earlier. In 2012, Kobe Bryant ceded leadership to LeBron James and Team USA won another gold medal. Some of the NBA’s biggest stars (James, Steph Curry, James Harden, Chris Paul, and Blake Griffin) haven’t returned for this Olympiad. The squad is far from a Snooze Team, but there’s only question:

Will it draw attention or yawns?

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