Thursday, June 14, 2018

Sports this 'n' that

La Loudmouth (LaVar Ball) is at it again.

Earlier this week, Ball went on record claiming that once the NBA free agent signing season begins July 1, LeBron James will leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2nd time, this time signing with Ball's hometown Los Angeles Lakers.

What works in favor of the Lakers is that James has a home in LA, and his namesake son, LeBron, Jr., will be going to high school in the city next fall. However, would James put up with the traveling media circus that shows up every time LaVar, 50, opens his mouth? I doubt that very seriously. James put up a valiant, brave effort, despite Cleveland being swept in four games by Golden State last week in the NBA Finals, playing with a broken hand in the last couple of games.

What Ball is expecting is James to be a mentor to Lonzo, but there are some online commentators who think Lonzo will be traded instead, perhaps to Cleveland, which could do a sign-&-trade to send James and his endorsement deals (i.e. Sprite) to La-La-Land. I don't see that happening, either. James will stay in the east, and likely land, if not in Cleveland, but in Philadelphia, Boston, or even Chicago.

Unfortunately, Lonzo is drinking his pop's kool-aid, and reportedly said that brother LiAngelo will likely join him with the Lakers after next week's draft. Seriously? LiAngelo, thanks to his father, by-passed college for a pro league in Lithuania, and when things went south there, La Loudmouth brought LiAngelo and LaMelo home with some lame excuses.

Here's the problem. Ball thinks his kids are already good enough, despite the fact that he himself was a bench player in high school and college, and even had a cup of coffee in the World League of American Football in 1995, when the Jets had him on their roster. Ball also was on the practice squad of the then-expansion Carolina Panthers, also in 1995. Remember, this delusional dreamer thinks he could beat Michael Jordan and outplay Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski. Ball never played a down in the NFL with either the Panthers or Jets, and thus you can forget about a football card with his mug on it. Unless there's a WLAF 1995 set floating out there that has one.
Three weeks after acquiring him from the Jests, the Oakland Raiders cut former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg on Tuesday. I guess even Jon Gruden couldn't figure out a way to get him on the field. Next stop for Hackenberg, methinks, is, like, Canada, eh?
The Tri-City Valleycats and Albany Dutchmen played through some raindrops Wednesday morning for their annual Education Day exhibition at Bruno Stadium, with the new-look 'Cats giving new manager Jason Bell his first win right out of the gate, 6-1. While Tri-City opens the NY-Penn League season tomorrow vs. Vermont, the Dutchmen are back in action tonight at Amsterdam after a scheduled Perfect Game Collegiate League game was cancelled due to the advancing rainstorm that hit the region later in the evening. The Dutchmen sit atop their division in the PGCBL at 6-2. Then again, they got off to a good start last year, too, and then fell out of the lead late in the season.
Football fans in the home district have a choice on Saturday. The Troy Fighting Irish (1-0), a semi-pro team, will play their second straight home game at Lansingburgh High, while the Albany Empire (Arena League) will wrap their current homestand at Times-Union Center. The Fighting Irish have lower ticket prices around the same level as the Valleycats, who, oh, by the way, are a 3rd option for local sports fans, with the Dutchmen out of town on Saturday.

Problem is, and I mentioned this before, aside from a season-opening feature piece by El Cheapo Media on opening night, the Irish don't get any coverage, as their opening victory was not reported in the papers. The revamped Northeastern Football Alliance website provided the information. El Cheapo ain't exactly pushing to send a reporter to cover the Empire, either, despite the hometown angle (former Troy High star Jordan Canzeri plays for the Empire). The Empire's game, meanwhile, is likely airing on CBS Sports Network, which would save some budget conscious fans some money.
The Mets are in the desert this weekend, opening a four game series with Arizona after getting swept by Atlanta the last two days, wasting the prosperity of a nationally televised win over the Yankees on Sunday. They didn't need to replace their trainer (Ray Ramirez was let go after last season), they actually need a staff psychologist to help them get over the mental blocks that appear when their star players (i.e. Yoenis Cespedes) are on the DL.

I'm serious. I actually believe most of the team's issues are psychological in nature, something the rabid, scandal-obsessed press and the residents of the Valley of the Stupid (talk radio) don't consider. All these armchair managers who think they've got the answers actually don't. Not saying that I do, because I don't, either, but the psych thing has me puzzled.

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