Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sports this 'n' that

Y'think maybe WWE regrets their latest attempt at a SportsCenter moment?

With the Monday Night Raw troupe in Los Angeles, CEO/Chairman/head wackjob Vince McMahon thought he saw extra ratings in bringing in America's worst stage parent, LaVar Ball, and sons Lonzo & LaMelo, to appear during the Miz TV portion of the show. Intercontinental champ Mike "The Miz" Mizanin welcomed the Balls, and they teased a throw-down between Miz and the elder Ball. Unfortunately, less than 12 hours later, WWE had to issue a statement regarding LaMelo's use of a racial slur during the segment. You won't find it on WWE's YouTube channel, as they've edited it out, claiming the slur was "unscripted" (DUH!). LaMelo forgot he was in a more public setting than he's accustomed to, less than a week after big brother Lonzo had been drafted by the Lakers.

Here's a thought. While Lonzo is playing in the NBA, LaVar & LaMelo can star in a remake of Sanford & Son. Meantime, we'll send LaMelo a Dunce Cap.
It was news when Georgetown University brought back one of their 80's stars, Patrick Ewing, to be their new coach after axing John Thompson III at the end of the 2016-7 season. Now, Ewing has hired a former Knicks teammate, former Siena & Seton Hall coach Louis Orr, as an assistant coach for next season. Good luck to both as the Hoyas look to return not only to the top of the Big East, but back to the NCAA tournament next spring.
Major League Baseball's pace of play initiatives haven't quite sunk in at the minor league level.

How else to explain the glacial pace of the Tri-City Valleycats' first week of games, including last night's win over Vermont, snapping a 3 game losing streak? This was the longest game to date, clocking in at just under 4 hours for 9 innings, and I can't tell if that includes a 46 minute rain delay that was noted in the box score. To date, they've played just 1 game under 3 hours, and that was over the weekend vs. Vermont, and that just missed the 3 hour plateau. Granted, most of the players are coming in from college, and didn't have enough time to practice together before the season started. By this time next month, the length of games will gradually decrease. Well, at least we're hoping.

I neglected to mention in reporting on Friday's loss to Lowell that 'Cats rookie Connor MacDonald, from Australia, is greeted with---what else?----Men at Work's "Down Under" as his walk-up music. 35 years later, that song still resonates.
A certain local sports anchor has publicly given up on the Mets due to all the injuries, joining the chorus of downstate types who think the team will be sellers instead of buyers at the trade deadline next month. I have to disagree. Think back to 2015, when the Mets netted Yoenis Cespedes at the deadline, and how that turned their season around. One move can still make a difference.

Meanwhile, the Mets finished the California leg of their road trip at 3-4 after sweeping the equally moribound San Francisco Giants. As for the Los Angeles Dodgers, I think a receipt is nigh when Dave Roberts' crew hits New York later this summer. Next stop is Miami, but the Marlins may already be in sell mode themselves, shipping shortstop Adeiny Hechevarria to Tampa Bay for prospects on Monday. Speaking of receipts, the Mets still are looking to collect from the Marlins......!
The College World Series could wrap up tonight or tomorrow, but the NCAA should also think about pace of play. Every game I've seen so far has gone over 3 hours or better. Today's kids have the mentality, or so it'd seem that a flashy play will get them on SportsCenter just as much as a clutch hit or home run. Just play the game.

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