Yesterday, in addition to being the day when the nation celebrated the life of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., was also National Nothing Day. I don't
make this stuff up; I just report it. So, I decided not to do a rant and to do 'nothing' all day as a way to celebrate National Nothing Day. And now
I'm worried that by 'celebrating', I did 'something' instead of 'nothing'. Damn! I didn't mean to start out here being all metaphysical and
Now that the screaming and cries of angst about who didn't get elected to the baseball Hall of Fame have quieted down to a mere 90 decibels, let me
say that there are some procedures for the election that may need re-examination. I read somewhere that of the 520 ballots received, twelve came back
blank. Those blank ballots counted as votes cast and the successful candidate had to garner 75% of the 520 votes cast. However, some newspapers have
chosen to forbid their writers/columnists to participate in any such voting processes (football polls or Hall of Fame ballots) in some spasm or
hyper-ethicalness on the part of the people who run the papers. It's all part of the mantra that 'we don't make the news, we just report the news'
taken to the level where they see it as a sacred commission directly from the Almighty. Well, consider what will happen if that mindset spreads and
26% of the voters have to return 'blank' ballots in order to keep their jobs. NEWS ITEM: No one elected to HoF this year because newspaper rules
made it impossible. Ooops...
So, in that circumstance, who created the news item if it wasn't the hyper-ethical newspaper editors/publishers? Maybe what has to happen is that
blank ballots need to be acknowledged and subtracted from the total of 'votes cast' and a successful candidate needs to garner 75% of the votes that
actually had some kind of vote contained on the ballot. If you need a name for that, call it Marginalization of the Hyper-Ethical Goofs. Oh, wait a
minute, if the electors for the Hall of Fame chose to change their voting rules because newspaper editors might be affecting the outcomes of the
elections, that would be news too. Damn! I gotta stop this metaphysical stuff...
Bernie Lincicome of the Rocky Mountain News is a voter for the baseball Hall of Fame and takes the responsibility seriously. He says it is a 'sacred
duty' because of the effort writers must expend in order to earn the voting privilege:
'To get the vote, an elector has to hang around dugouts and press boxes and clubhouses for a full 10 years, has to dodge a whole lot of careless spit
and look away from a whole lot of inconsiderate scratching.'
Staying in the Denver area for a moment, the Colorado Rockies signed Byung-Hyun Kim as a free agent in this off-season. At the moment, they also have
Sunny Kim on the roster - although he is arbitration eligible and so he might wind up traded elsewhere. I wonder if this portends a Rockies' decision
to serve kimchee as part of their post game buffets? At the very least, the promotions department should try to arrange to have Kim Novak on hand for
one game to throw out the first pitch, no?
Here in the DC area, there is some speculation that the Nats might sign Sammy Sosa. Why? Last year he hit .221; normally when a team goes out to
find a free agent to sign, they exclude anyone who didn't hit his weight the year before...
Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle has this observation about Sosa's former teammate, Miguel Tejada, and Tejada's antics in the
'Miguel Tejada is issuing a lot of angry demands and ridiculing the Orioles' off-season efforts. Chalk it up to B12 rage.'
In the world of the NBA, the Magic suspended Steve Francis 'indefinitely' but they announced today that he has been reinstated. Lots of folks have
jumped on the Magic for this action since Francis is what the team got when they traded Tracy McGrady to Houston; and by suspending him, they made
that decision a horrible one. Before I get all exercised about something like that, I'd like to see McGrady actually take his team to the second
round of the playoffs. In Orlando, he was the whole show and could not carry a team there; in Houston, he has Yao Ming and a few other serviceable
parts around him and still he hasn't been able to find a way to get past the first round of the playoffs. Oh, and he's missed a bunch of games in
Houston this year with back problems so it's not like the Magic traded away a really good player - - like Shaq.
At the same time, Steve Francis is clearly a player who is not worth the trouble. This is the same player who refused to play for Vancouver when he
was drafted by them and forced a trade to Houston. He did next to nothing of any importance to winning there and wore out his welcome there. Now he
is in Orlando where he is leading a team to nowhere and is wearing out his welcome. At the moment, he is 'Stephon Marbury South'; he's a fine
individual player but when you add him to a team, the team does not improve and eventually gets a lot worse.
Speaking of 'worse' the Atlanta Hawks are a pathetic team and forward Al Harrington said that the team is going through a season like the movie,
Groundhog Day - - 'wake up, go to the arena, get a lead, lose it, and go home wondering what happened.' That's very insightful. It's sad, but
The Detroit Pistons have put together a calendar where the pictures are of their dance team members wearing swimsuits. Let's just say that these
swimsuits did not draw down the fabric inventory of the manufacturer to any great extent. And of course there is a protest - - this time by the
American Decency Association. The Pistons have announced that they have no intention to offend anyone and that the calendar is 'tasteful'.
Memo to American Decency Association:
Who determined that your definition of 'decency' was so perfect that you have a mandate to inflict it on
everyone else? I'll bet that if someone were to dig deep enough, he'd be able to find some behavior(s) on the part of the members of this group that
everyone might not find totally 'decent'.
Memo to Detroit Pistons:
This isn't really a 'dance team'. Whether on the calendar or in the arena, these are scantily clad attractive young
women whose sole purpose is to pose or gyrate in a way that is exciting/titillating to your predominantly male fan base. Why not call them what they
Finally, Mike Bianchi had this comment about the NFL and its player fines in the Orlando Sentinel:
'Earlier this year the NFL fined Clinton Portis $20,000 for wearing illegal socks. Earlier this week, the NFL fined Redskins safety Sean Taylor
$17,000 for spitting in Michael Pittman's face. Moral of the story: The NFL is more worried about pieces of garb than pieces of garbage.'
But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...