A wacky week in sports in capsule:
Baseball: The Mets agreed to part ways with outfielder Jason Bay, who because of injuries, more than anything, failed to match the All-Star numbers he'd put up in Pittsburgh & Boston over the course of three seasons in Flushing. More than once, Bay fell victim to the unspoken injury curse that has plagued Citi Field since its opening in 2009. Meanwhile, Lucas Duda, likely to end up the starting left fielder next season with Bay gone, injured himself while moving furniture at home. Will this madness ever end?
Worse for the Mets, they don't seem to be in any hurry to re-sign outfielder Scott Hairston, who had a breakout season in 2012. As usual, procrastinating will cost the Mets dearly, especially if Hairston signs with a division rival, like, say for example, the hated Phillies? The Mets look like losers in trading for Andres Torres last offseason, as they have no plans to bring him back. Torres also underachieved in orange & blue, while his former team, the San Francisco Giants, won it all. Go figure.
It probably didn't help that New York Daily News columnist Bill Madden had a brain fart the other day and had Hairston confused with his brother, Jerry, Jr., a utility player who was with the Dodgers this season. That's usually a bad sign.
Basketball: Earlier today, the Los Angeles Lakers, unaccustomed to slow starts, dismissed coach Mike Brown after a 1-4 start. The Lakers haven't started that badly since 1994, and this was the fastest coaching change since Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes resigned after 1 game with Buffalo in 1971.
Oh, you didn't know Buffalo had a basketball team? The Buffalo Braves are now known as the Los Angeles Clippers. 'Nuff said.
New Orleans coach Monty Williams was fined for criticizing officials. Nothing new there, except it had to do with concerns over concussions. Speaking of brain farts, Williams earned himself a Dunce Cap for his ill-advised rant. As was noted on ESPN's Around the Horn earlier this week, basketball players are more at risk of concussions because their heads are exposed. No protection. If they're taking precautions with football players, even at the high school level, for concussions, what do you think the NBA, image conscious as it is, should be doing for their players? In case you wonder, Williams played for the Knicks during his career, but wasn't a big star.
Football: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones earns this week's Weasel of the Week award. How? He was asked what he'd do if anyone other than himself were the GM of the 'Boys. Well, duh! He'd fire the poor schlep. So why doesn't Jonesy take the hint and hire a GM to take some of the burden off his own shoulders? Because he's got an ego bigger than the state of Texas itself. Dallas is 3-5 when they could easily be perhaps leading the NFC East, were it not for late game implosions and foul-ups, like Dez Bryant failing to keep his hand in bounds on a potential game winning TD vs. the Giants 12 days ago. With the NFL voiding the contract extension New Orleans gave to suspended coach Sean Payton, there is speculation that Jonesy, the NFL's heir apparent to the late Al Davis as its most stubborn executive, would covet Payton to replace Jason Garrett. Look, it ain't Garrett's fault that Dallas is 3-5. The players are failing at the wrong times, like in the aforementioned loss to the Giants. If I'm Saints owner Tom Benson, I'm dead set on retaining Payton for 2013........
Don't look now, but the Indianapolis Colts have already erased the stink of their putrid 2011 season. The Colts are The Colts again with rookie Andrew Luck at quarterback, and Luck did his best impression of fellow rookie Robert Griffin III on Thursday, rushing for 2 touchdowns in a win over Jacksonville. The Colts are 6-3, and chasing Houston for the AFC South title. I'd say that they've got a Wild Card in their sights at the very least. Oh, and, yeah, Denver, with newly minted pizza baron Peyton Manning, leads the AFC West (what a shock). I smell a playoff meeting between the Colts & Broncos getting hyped to the moon and back.
The game ain't been played yet, but the New York media (what a shock) is dredging up some old news as the Jets get ready to play Seattle on Sunday, the first meeting of the two clubs since Pete Carroll was hired as Seahawks coach. Carroll, who previously coached the Jets & Patriots in the 90's, had Mark Sanchez at QB at USC, and went public stating that Sanchez was making a mistake in turning pro early. While Sanchez led the Jets to the AFC title game 2 years in a row, he's fallen almost completely off the radar in the last year and a half, and so the media now is hyping how Carroll may be proven right after all, and he's got a rookie QB, Russell Wilson, out of Wisconsin, who can help his case.
Speaking of USC, current coach "Wisteria" Lane Kiffin is in trouble again. It came out the other day that a student manager was fired for---get this---deflating game balls during the blowout loss to Oregon last weekend. Kiffin claims he had nothing to do with it. Yeah, right, and chickens----or should I say, weasels---have lips. The media, skeptical of Kiffin because of his rap sheet, ain't buyin'. Who'dathunk a pristine school like USC would stoop so low as to employ tactics that would make the Three Stooges jealous? Then again, they keep letting boosters wave wads of cash at star basketball & football players, knowing that the whistle'll get blown the second those players turn pro (i.e. Reggie Bush, Joe McKnight, OJ Mayo).
Here's a thought. If Jerry Jones wants to be a coach so bad, why doesn't he sell the Cowboys (yeah, right) and take a job as a college coach? Naaaah. Some schools would send for the guys in the white coats before letting him on the sidelines........