Marcus Vick has been invited to the Dolphins' minicamp. He doesn't have a contract, but he's been invited to attend; I guess that means they won't
kick him out if he shows up at the gates. That's one step lower than the undrafted free agents because most of them come to camp with some kind of
agreement in hand that if they perform well they'll make the team. Marcus Vick said that it was only 'off the field stuff' that prevented him from
being a first round pick in the NFL Draft last weekend. I seriously doubt he would have gone that high, but he would surely have been drafted
somewhere had it not been for the panoply of 'character issues' that make him about as attractive as a Superfund site. Marcus Vick is still in some
kind of state of denial; or perhaps he simply lives in a permanent delusion. Let me see if I can help out here:
Memo to Marcus Vick:
Guys with 'character issues' get drafted all the time - even in the first round. Lawrence Phillips and 'Pac Man' Jones come immediately to mind. I
can find others if you insist.
Teams didn't draft you because your talent level isn't nearly high enough to make your baggage worth carrying.
Translation: You're not worth the trouble. Got it?
I read where someone estimated that Matt Leinart's 'senior year' at USC cost him about $12M in guaranteed money on his NFL contract and as much as
$20M in overall contract value. Wow! And to think I complained when I was paying for my sons to go to college...
Speaking of lost money, John Daly has a book coming out about his life. We know he has 'addictive tendencies' in his life regarding smoking and
alcohol. We know that he hasn't always exhibited self-control over his diet and he's been in a series of marriages and had had some legal scrapes of
no great significance. In the book, he says that he also has a gambling problem and that he has lost $50 - 60M gambling. In one incident, he claims
that he lost $1.6M in about 5 hours playing $5000 slot machines in Vegas. Ouch!
Maria Sharapova has been training for an appearance in the Italian Open later this month but her schedule has been disrupted because of an injury.
Someone issued a statement saying that her injury was an 'inflammation in her right metatarsal joint with associated soft tissue swelling of the
posterior tibialis insertion'. I'm not a doctor and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but the press statement could just as well
have said that she injured her foot and there is some swelling there. This is a level of pretense that permeates much of the tennis world and may
contribute to the significant decline in the sport's popularity. To paraphrase Noel Coward:
People are wrong when they say tennis isn't what it used to be. It is what it used to be. That's what's wrong with it.
If you prefer a sportswriter's view on tennis to Noel Coward's, here's a comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
'At Wimbledon this year, the chair umpires, line judges and ballpersons will all wear outfits designed by Ralph Lauren. Analysts see this as another
reason to hate tennis.'
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a lead-pipe cinch to finish below .500 this year; that will give them 14 consecutive seasons without a winning record. But
the Pirate fans shouldn't despair just yet because they are nowhere near the real bottom of the futility barrel of baseball history. The Pirates'
cross-state rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies, had 16 consecutive losing seasons from 1933 to 1948. Now some may look at that datum and think that
the Pirates are merely two seasons behind this horrid record, but you have to look deeper into the Phillies' level of ineptitude. In 1932, the
Phillies had a winning record albeit not by much; they were 78-76 in 1932. Prior to 1932, the Phillies strung together 14 consecutive losing seasons
(1918-1931). That franchise was two games away from having 31 consecutive losing seasons in four different decades. Therefore, here is a note of
consolation for Pittsburgh Pirates fans:
Do not despair. If you are ever tempted to utter the sentence, 'It can't gat any worse than this,' just cast your glance to the east, gaze upon the
Phillies' franchise, and know that it can get a whole lot worse.
Speaking of the Phillies, they are into their third season playing in their new ballpark. I've been there; it is really a very nice place to go and
enjoy a baseball game. But the Phillies have been playing to smaller and smaller crowds as time goes on; the team has set 'low attendance marks' in
the new stadium on five different occasions this year according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The lure of a new stadium used to last longer than
that; now, it seems to have a one or two-year shelf life and then attendance will rise and fall with the competency level of the team on the field. I
hope the folks in Washington poised to buy the Nationals are taking heed...
Another woeful baseball team, the Kansas City Royals, may not be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs just yet, but their chances of making the
playoffs are about as good as the chances of Newt Gingrich and Hillary Clinton getting together for a weekend tryst. The Royals went through the
entire month of April without winning a game on the road. They have continued those losing ways into May; at the moment, they are 0-11 on the road.
The team is making adjustments; they sent their hitting coach down to the minors and promoted the minor league roving hitting instructor to the big
club. Yup, that oughta do it. Perhaps someone might come to realize that the team that has been assembled by the jamokes in the front office is
irredeemably flawed. That might be a starting point for making some corrections...
Finally, here's another line from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
'What South Florida Sports Fans are talking about: Feeling better about Miami's top pick, DB Jason Allen, after hearing Mel Kiper report that his
40-time broke down to an above-average 0.29 seconds between the 30th and 33rd yards.'
But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...