- - Wednesday, July 4, 2018


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

*How other NBA teams can emulate Golden State.

The Warriors embrace Gordon Gekko’s philosophy: “Greed is good.” The record for victories in a season and a championship the next year wasn’t enough. Adding a league MVP (Kevin Durant) didn’t suffice, either. Now, after back-to-back titles, the Warriors have bolstered their portfolio with All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins. Here’s a message to envious opponents, amid complaints that Golden State is ruining the league:

Develop three home-grown All-NBA players and then we’ll listen.

*Why the Nationals can’t catch a break.

Considered a virtual lock to win a third consecutive NL East title, the Nationals could miss the second wild card at this rate. Injuries and slumps keep arising at the most inopportune moments. The former caused starter Erick Fedde to exit Wednesday’s game in the second inning; the latter has led to a 6-18 record since the Capitals won the Stanley Cup.

Maybe DC’s sports curse hasn’t given up the ghost yet.

*How Major League Baseball can ignore its doldrums.

Baseball hasn’t been the national pastime since the NFL took over, but its past time for MLB to address nagging issues. The action is slow, hits are sparse, strikeouts are prevalent, and fans are disappearing. Too many key indicators are pointing in the wrong direction, requiring a radical, infield-like shift. Unfortunately, baseball embrace cactuses faster than it embraces change.

There’s no clock in baseball … except the one ticking over its deathbed.

*Why the Capitals are addicted to rookie coaches.

Until you’ve been responsible for making the decisions, not just been a contributor in the decision-making process, we really don’t know if you’re capable. Yet, for the sixth time in 16 seasons, a novice will be behind the Capitals’ bench. Like Bruce Cassidy, Glen Hanlon, Bruce Boudreau, Dale Hunter and Adam Oates before him, Todd Reirden’s NHL coaching debut will be with the Caps.

If nothing else, first-timers’ price is always right.

*How Wayne Rooney won’t help D.C. United.

Aging international soccer stars have treated MLS like the Senior Tour, a place to continue playing while enjoying accolades and paychecks. D.C. United could be merely a comfortable resting spot for England’s once-great icon. Or, Rooney, 32, could energize the franchise as it opens Audi Field next week and makes playoff runs over the next two seasons. It’s a no-lose proposition on the pitch.

At the box office and off the field, it’s a win.

*Why chaos broke out at a FIBA game.

It wasn’t “Malice at the Palace.” But Monday’s World Cup qualifier between Australia and the Philippines deteriorated into “Hysteria at Santa Maria,” a brawl that led to 13 ejections. The melee featured flying kicks by Australia’s Thon Maker, a haymaker by former Wizards forward Andray Blatche, and some airborne chairs. The Philippines was left with just three players when play resumed

Never a good thing when WWE meets the UFC during hoops.

*How being in the Home Run Derby can hurt.

Homers haven’t been Bryce Harper’s issue. His 21 dingers ranked second in the National League entering Wednesday. Walks haven’t been a concern, either, as he led the circuit with 67 free passes. Instead, the problem has been reaching base via singles and doubles. Harper’s .218 batting average is 60 points below his norm. So, let him take his hacks during All-Star festivities.

Swinging for the fences for fun might help him overall for real.

*Why the media continues to interview LaVar Ball.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo invited Ball to discuss LeBron James joining the Lakers. A prep media company, Overtime, asked about James getting along with Lonzo Ball. “Lonzo makes everybody better,” the dad said, “including (LeBron).” Ball said his son and James “are going to fit together like a glove.” What else would he say? Ball might die if the Lakers trade Lonzo.

I’d like to trade the journalists who keep putting mics in LaVar’s face.

*How Dwight Howard could find a better a fit.

Few teams have holes at center and an All-Star backcourt. That made it easy for Howard, who reportedly has a one-year deal with Washington. The Wizards offer minutes, postseason possibilities and a chance to restore his bad-guy image. “All I need is a real chance and a clean slate where it’s not people talking about my past,” Howard told ESPN last month.

But we’ll talk about it until he proves otherwise.

*Why competitive eating contests are a thing.

Gorging covers more than frankfurters, but Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is like the Daytona 500 of NASCAR. The extravaganza draws thousands of spectators and over 1 million viewers on ESPN. It has led to Major League Eating, with contests for everything from ice cream and tacos to chicken wings and strawberry shortcake. Watching champions like Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo is a lot to stomach.

Even worse is watching an eater’s “reversal” during competition.

— Brooklyn-born and Howard-educated, Deron Snyder writes his award-winning column for The Washington Times on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Follow him on Twitter @DeronSnyder.

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