The Lon Simmons statue at La Ballparque (and yes, I demand that this be done given that as a Ford Frick Award winner he is sorta kinda in the Hall of Fame) should be more than just him in a chair talking into a microphone. The problem is I’m not sure how you use bronze to capture the notion of a man who changed the way baseball is broadcast, not just here but across the nation. Nobody knew more about the game, had a greater vocabulary, could keep up with the most complicated play and breeze through a rout by making you laugh for three hours.
But let’s put it this way, especially for you kids who missed out on the Simmons gifts at their zenith: Duane Kuiper could not be Duane Kuiper without having heard and known Lon Simmons and his work. And we all know how you feel about Duane Kuiper.
If you can make a statue out of that, then call the Giants. And for that matter call the A’s, too. They are both in need of your imagination and skills.
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In the wreckage of Kentucky’s we-own-the-world-and-then-we-leave narrative, it makes perfect sense that John Calipari would be named to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Then again, in what has been a largely dissatisfying college basketball season (hey, Wisconsin can’t fix everything), there is something perfectly perfect in Calipari, who helped break and benefited from the breaking of the old system, getting honored by the folks who liked the old system way better than the new one.
But then the Basketball HOF is run by a very few folks, and their ways are unknown to many of us on the outside. This is, in short, a way of saying that Dick Bavetta got screwed.
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Meanwhile in Dallas, they’re still talking about Shaun Livingston’s on-purposely-accidental groining of Dirk Nowitzki Saturday night, which cost him one game of sit-in-the-corner, and FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja, who celebrated his team’s 3-1 loss to Portland by offering Timbers coach Caleb Porter a nasally-moistened tissue rather than a handshake.
That is to say, once they’re done parsing the 46th through 53rd paragraphs of Tony Romo’s restructured contract with the Cowboys, that is.
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The little-talked-about but very real (kind of, anyway) $500 million transfer fee awaiting the Rams/Chargers/Raiders may put the brakes on any unauthorized run for Los Angeles, but it won’t necessarily slow anyone’s roll. It certainly won’t slow Mark Davis’ – he is playing ball with whoever wants to play ball with him, and is trying to play very nice with the NFL’s 29 un-L.A.-i-fied owners.
In other words, he might not have to pay but a fraction of the $500M, given that the league’s rulebook on owner behavior is actually written on an accordion, growing and shrinking depending on the player and the song. You know, like always.
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Congratulations to the Atlanta Braves for clinching the We Quit championship earlier than any other team in baseball history. But I guess getting Connor McDavid, Jahlil Okafor and Jameis Winston mattered that much to them that they would tank a season that hasn’t even started yet.
Then again, given that they play in a stadium they intend to abandon within two years, maybe when someone from Liberty Media said “clean house,” general manager Frank Wren misunderstood that it was a call to the janitorial service people.
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Chicago Cubs president/god of baseball operations Theo Epstein, who failed in his own attempt to trade a sixer of Old Styles for Craig Kimbrel, described Wrigley Field’s new video board as “perfect.” Of course, he may just have been looking at the Ernie Banks mural that covers the naked bleachers. Or he may have remembered in a burst of clarity that the same people who put the video board up are the people who pay him.
Now that’s perfection in the modern world.
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And finally, Hockey Night in Canada’s Damien Cox reported Saturday that Todd McLellan has an out in his contract that reads that he can leave his job as head coach of the San Jose Sharks without penalty if Doug Wilson is fired as general manager by the team.
Somehow, I doubt that’s the way it’s going to work.