Another chance to respond to imaginary questions from imaginary readers…
Q. Stan Van Gundy is out as Head Coach of the Orlando Magic. Where did it all go wrong?
A. When the Magic didn’t deal Dwight Howard long ago and get him some multiple ammo pieces in return to reload with. Their 86-year-old Owner wants a title. I hope he’s not picky about getting it while he’s alive. Van Gundy’s stat line…five playoffs in five seasons…twice to the Conference Finals and once to the NBA Finals…a .641 winning percentage. Of course you’d get rid of him…not.
Truthfully, Stan didn’t help matters for his retention when he told the media in early April top-ranking team officials informed him Dwight asked for Van Gundy to be axed before he could even consider signing a long-term contract…which we all know he isn’t planning on doing anyway. At least we all know it aside from the Magic themselves. Orlando has obviously decided they’d rather be completely humiliated by Dwight Howard than partially. Dwight finally “got” his Stan. Soon, Dwight will “get” the entire franchise when he leaves. Who’ll be wearing those Mickey Mouse ears then?
Q. David Ortiz and Chris Perez both made comments recently that seemed to indicate they felt disrespect? What really are these beefs about?
A. David Ortiz has obviously been having disrespected issues since he had to settle on a one-year, $14.75 million deal instead of a two-year contract. Myself, I would be devoid of any disrespect feelings whatsoever if I made $14.75 million this year. But David seemed quite upset Monday night that the media found out he apparently called a team meeting back in the midst of the latest Red Sox drama, Josh Beckett’s publicly stubborn stance to play golf while “off.” Ortiz went into a rant about who gets called a leader in their organization…while also simultaneously saying he didn’t give a (expletive) who gets called a leader. This was AFTER a game he hit a home run in…and Boston won. Very confusing timing.
Meanwhile…Chris Perez struck out the side Saturday and earned a big save for his Indians. This result THEN moved him to publicly crush Cleveland fans for not better-attending the team’s games up until now. Again…weird timing. But that’s not the weirdest part…here’s part of his rant:
“Baseball is supposed to be fun. It is like that in Philadelphia every day. It helps you. You draw energy from the fans.”
Chris…have you heard what is going on here in Philly this season? Fun? FUN? No. Truth be told, most Phils would probably first mention the word “pressure” before “fun” in describing any of their prior, more-successful seasons playing in front of their fans. If you need consistent large attendance to have fun playing baseball you’ll have a very small list of teams to choose from when you depart Cleveland someday (soon?). I understand someone once nicknamed you “Pure Rage.” I get that now. I also get that you don’t get fans. Ripping Cleveland in a better economy might get some more Clevelanders out…to boo you. In this economy, they’ll either now do it from the privacy of their own home…or not even follow your team anymore. By the way, if you equate having fans in the stands as how you derive fun from baseball what in God’s name are you doing in Cleveland in the first place?
Q. Next year, the NCAA’s 10-year ban on recognition of the Michigan “Fab Five” basketball scandal will conclude. Do you think the university will then “re-raise the banners” and celebrate their on-court achievements once again?
A. This is the thing with “vacated” achievements. You can strip the trophy case clean but those memories last forever. I saw where one of the infamous stars, Jalen Rose, has said he might pull his academic scholarships offered to Michigan if they refuse to re-embrace the people associated with the teams that played during the tainted years in question.
Jalen, all you’ll be remembered for now is taking such a childish, immature, pathetic stance. Oh wait…you’ll also be remembered for that drive-by you dropped in the documentary you produced on your “Fab Five” experience:
“Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me. I felt that they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms. … I was jealous of Grant Hill. He came from a great black family. Congratulations. Your mom went to college and was roommates with Hillary Clinton. Your dad played in the NFL as a very well-spoken and successful man. I was upset and bitter that my mom had to bust her hump for 20-plus years. I was bitter that I had a professional athlete that was my father that I didn’t know. I resented that, moreso than I resented him. I looked at it as they are who the world accepts and we are who the world hates.”
Q. Always like to hear your current thoughts on the four Philly teams? Whatcha got this time around?
A: See below…
Flyers – They were quite satisfied after beating down the Penguins and before they realized they were in another series, they were out of it. And now, the two stars they traded away last season will play for the Stanley Cup. Oops.
Sixers - Doug Collins keeps screaming at his players like he’s addressing a college team. In many ways, he is. Doug really should be coaching one level down if he still wants to lead a basketball squad. These Sixers should be packaging some of these guys together and trying to get a flat-out star. If you build it…they will come. You can’t get two stars here until you get one. This team has none. That’s a problem. Even the “ultimate team” San Antonio has stars.
Eagles – LeSean McCoy has himself a five-year, $45 million extension. This may be the single greatest pro-active event in the Andy Reid era. Unfortunately, Reid has made comments on more than one occasion this off-season he’s going to be looking to lighten Shady’s load. Andy, the guy is 23. You’re always one play away from the end of your career. Here’s an idea. Feed him the rock all year-long until he waves for a replacement. Don’t over think this, Andy. Try to win it all for a change. I’d say Reid was only one play away from the end of his career…but we already know he’s a lifer here, don’t we?
Phillies – I have seen more than one article about how the team should now be sellers for the trade deadline. Are you kidding me? This whole season was obviously calculated out by management for the squad to limp along until Chase Utley and Ryan Howard limped back into the clubhouse…and then take its chances for the balance of 2012. Until those two have their short and long-term status resolved this is no time to start moving more pieces around. I know the team wants to sign its potential free agents Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino – or hang them out as bait - but first things first. Everyone in the front office has been so bleeping stoic about Utley and Howard. They made this bed. They have to stay in it now…until Utley and Howard can finally get out of theirs.
Q. I understand Cincinnati and Xavier are going to play their annual, highly spirited basketball rivalry next year at a neutral court. Details?
A. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District Of Ohio is located at the corner of Fifth Street between Walnut and Main. 100 East Fifth.
Q. Just saw the NFL is making the wearing of thigh and knee pads mandatory starting next year. Why?
A. Because the “Pandora’s Box” the Commish opened when he started his Tuesday morning film study and decided to read minds as to intent and danger has now served to make all the concussion lawsuits more viable. He now has to do everything – and I mean everything – he can think of to give the appearance the NFL has always been about player safety first and foremost. I’ve worked him over to Death in this space so I’ll try to spare readers another rant of my own. The point I’d just like to make is unless there is a manila folder of papers somewhere which outline in great detail how the NFL secretly tested and subsequently determined permanent brain damage was occurring in their players years ago and they did nothing…these lawsuits were a long shot. Were is the operative word here…because the Commish reacted to these legal challenges by putting a “Bat Signal” in the air football has been “discovered” to be dangerous to one’s health. He blew it…and the game will never be the same from the pros to the pee-wees. That is, if pee-wee football is even in existence a couple years from now. Football players knew – and know - playing football is dangerous. Proving the NFL knew specifically just how much and then kept it from players is quite the legal matter altogether…at least until you start acting like your sport might be illegal in the first place.