Earlier this week, Hunter S. Thompson committed suicide. I never got Hunter S. Thompson. His style and his message didn't resonate with me. However,
I'm convinced that I am the one who is out of step with the world here because so many people - whose opinions and talents and tastes I respect -
think Hunter S. Thompson was a genius and a great writer.
I'll go back and try to read once again Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; maybe this time I'll "get it". RIP.
Reggie Roby - former All-Pro punter - was found dead in his home at age 43 and the cause of death is not yet known. I wish too for him to rest in
peace but I can't resist the temptation to say that this was his ultimate coffin corner kick...
One of the dominant sports stories today is the interview that Barry Bonds gave to reporters when he arrived at the Giants' spring training facility.
They wanted to talk about steroids and his involvement with steroids; and of course, he wouldn't do that. Remember, there is a Federal investigation
going on there and he was called to testify before a grand jury. His silence/evasiveness yesterday was predictable and understandable. His mantra was
that he was looking to the upcoming season and he wanted to put all the talk of steroids behind him. He was all about "moving on". That is also the
mantra of the politician who gets caught doing something "untoward" but we don't know for sure yet whether or not Bonds did anything "untoward".
Nevertheless, his "let's move on" chorus made me think about some of the standard spring training stories that happen all the time and get reported as
"news" each and every time. Think about it:
A player in the off-season has a "police incident" and/or a "court appearance" for some manner of anti-social behavior. He reports to spring training
and wants to move on.
A player reports to spring training looking bigger or fatter. He says that he added 15 pounds for more strength and/or stamina.
A player reports to spring training looking smaller or thinner. Unless he was fingered by José Canseco or hit 40 HRs last year, he merely says that
he shed the pounds to add to his quickness. If he had been fingered by Canseco, he says it's time to move on.
Managers report to spring training and start to get things organized and then tell reporters that the team will be focused on fundamentals this year.
Does that mean that the team didn't think about things like base running and hitting the cutoff man for the last five years?
The pitcher with the surgically repaired arm/shoulder reports to spring training and goes through the first week of drills before any of the position
players report. Of course, that is the perfect time to report that he is still throwing with no pain - even though he hasn't thrown a single pitch in
anything resembling a game situation yet.
A manager/coach/veteran player thinks it's important to announce that all this team needs to do is to believe in itself. Then there is some reporter
who thinks it's important to tell readers about it.
Denny Neagle was released by the Colorado Rockies and his guaranteed contract was voided on the basis that he violated his "good conduct clause" when
he solicited oral sex from a prostitute in the Denver area. So, instead of starting off 2005 with a hefty monthly deposit to his bank account, he just
signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I'm going eschew some very obvious snarky remarks that I could make here regarding that
activity and I certainly won't suggest that he try to become a product spokesperson for Hummer SUVs. However, I would like to point out that there is
only a marginal difference between a "minor league contract" and a "contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays". Maybe the phrase, "minor league contract
with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays" is redundant.
The Oregon State football program might want to shorten the leash on some of the players just a tad. In the last three months there have been three
"police incidents" involving seven different players. Four players were arrested after an "altercation" with someone from the Oregon National Guard at
a place called the Headline Cafe. Several weeks later, another player was alleged to have assaulted someone at - surprise - the Headline Cafe.
Last week, two other players were riding in a cab and owed the driver $14. They said they had no money, but offered to pay the driver with some
marijuana they had with them. The driver evidently said he preferred to have actual cash money so the players stiffed him for the fare. The police
arrested these two and charged them with assault, robbery, theft of services and "attempted delivery of a controlled substance".
Memo to OSU Coaching Staff: If you are going to recruit desperados like this, you really ought to be better than 7-5 for the season.
Memo to OSU Players:
1. Find another watering hole besides the Headline Cafe.
2. Don't try to pay debts with marijuana; remember, it's all about the benjamins.
The Tampa Bay Bucs need an offensive transfusion. To say that they have the ability to upgrade themselves at the QB position would be a very polite
assessment. But the move that the Bucs just made is not likely to help out on that front. They just signed Akili Smith to a contract and will ship him
off to NFL Europe for some experience/tutelage. I wonder if they would trade a cow for some magical beans?
Finally, here's an item from Brad Rock in the Deseret Morning News on how much he is going to miss hockey now that the NHL has turned itself into the
No Hockey League:
"I watch the NHL as often as I buy a waffle iron."
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon