Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday 4/25 Wizards! Quickie

*Let's! Go! Wiz! Only the most-anticipated Wizards game I can remember in 30 years of fan consciousness. (And, by the way, I see it as must-win. Do NOT want to be in a position of playing Sunday with the series in the balance.)

*Wrote two things today -- kind of unexpectedly.

(1) Why Mitch McGary was screwed financially by not going pro last year, when his NBA draft stock was in the middle of the Top 10, rather than now, when it is back of the 1st round.

(2) Why Kentucky's Harrison twins didn't "return" to UK -- they were rejected by the NBA. And why John Calipari sold them a bill of goods. (Keep an eye on the formatting.)

Big night tonight. Have a great weekend.

-- D.S.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursday 4/24 NFL Schedule Release Mania Quickie

*I do not get the cynical griping about the event-ification of the release of the NFL schedule. It is massively popular. It is a near-perfect mid-week offseason thing. It embodies everything about that most precious of fan ideas -- possibility. That, and the "cross-flex."

*The most interesting thing I read about it was this deep-dive from Peter King, who went behind the scenes with the crew that creates the schedule -- it's fascinating.

*LaMarcus Aldridge is the king of the first five days of the NBA Playoffs. I liked this from SB Nation's Paul Flannery -- it's a great thing for the NBA when the non-superduperstars emerge with the kinds of performances that resonate with fans across the country (see Bradley Beal).

*As it relates to the NFL this season, I didn't think there was anything I'd want to see more than Tim Tebow making a roster, but the idea of a team bringing 50-year-old Herschel Walker into training camp and watching him play (which he says he still can) is pretty close to toppling it.

*At least Pineda owned it.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

4/23 Wizards! Wrigley! Pujols! Quickie

*Is this what other NBA fans have gotten to experience? The ridiculous thrill ride of a close playoff win on the road, taking the most improbable 2-0 series lead in NBA Playoffs history?

It's surreal for me to process -- my Wiz winning that game last night, my Wiz going up 2-0 after 2 games in Chicago, my Wiz earning national cred -- but wow, do I appreciate it.

Funny: I'm so conditioned for #SoWizards that I still think this is some kind of cruel cosmic joke -- that Chicago will win 4 of the next 5 games and stomp on my soul.

It doesn't matter -- I'll still have the feeling this morning.

*Speaking of feelings, today's 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field has me feeling so nostalgic. When I graduated college, I moved into a classic Wrigleyville apartment with two buddies -- just two blocks from the stadium -- and had one of the great years of my life.

Imagine this: Living so close that when one roommate would come home with freebie game tickets from the office, we would just wander over whenever, take in a few innings, then head home. Or we would sit out on our front porch, offering friendly strangers a beer from a cooler -- sometimes they would give us their extra tickets in return.

In reality, that time for me was a million years ago, but it remains more vivid than anything 20 years ago should be.

*500 HR for Albert Pujols is an awesome milestone, when milestones seem to have lost a little oomph. 26 members of the club, and by the end of the season, he should be passing Ted Williams and be well into the Top 20 all-time.

I always like looking down the list and seeing who -- if anyone -- can join him. Among active players, Adam Dunn is next at 444 (no chance), then Giambi (438) and Ortiz (435) and Konerko (434) and Soriano (410)... no chance for those guys, either, although let's not sniff at the "400 Club." How about Adrian Beltre at 376? Let's keep in mind: That's 25 HR a year for the next 5 years.

The most likely candidates are Ryan Braun, sitting at a distant 217, and Robinson Cano, at 205. They aren't even halfway there, with plenty to get in their way; both are over 30. Maybe Evan Longoria at 164 before he hits age 29?

I'm going to predict that we won't see another addition to the 500 HR Club, full stop -- it will go the way of the "300 Club" in pitching wins, which has a weirdly similar 24 players making the cut.

The one guy with a chance to crack 500 seems to be Giancarlo Stanton (123 HR at age 24).

But if the choice is "anyone" vs. "no one," I'll bet on "no one."

-- D.S.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

4/22 Aereo Durant Moyes Quickie

*Is the most important sports story today the Aereo case in front of the Supreme Court? (Good context of the stakes from Re/code's Peter Kafka and from the NYT's David Carr.)

*I don't care that the Thunder ultimately lost, this Kevin Durant shot is ridiculous -- shot of the year in the NBA:

*It was inevitable: Manchester United fired overmatched first-year manager/replacement-for-legend David Moyes. I know it's a tough gig and probably the hardest seat in sports to fill over the past few years, but still.

-- D.S.

Monday, April 21, 2014

4/21 Back from Vacation Quickie

*Meb Keflezighi. What a result at the Marathon.

*Got back last night just in time to listen to/watch the second half of the first Wizards playoff win in a Game 1 since 1986 -- ponder that for a second. A remarkable win on so many levels.

*The NBA Playoffs are off to a fantastic start, aren't they?

*I don't quite mind the extra few weeks between the old NFL Draft date and the new one -- I can wait. Sure seems like it's Clowney at the top, with the QBs sliding.

*Joakim Noah: NBA Defensive Player of the Year. And should be 1st-team all-NBA this season, too. One of my very favorite NBA players.

*This was fun: While we were in Gainesville, the kids and I huddled over an iPhone watching Florida's women's gymastics team tie for a national title.

*Filed under "It's Early Yet, But So What?" My fantasy baseball team just went over .500 -- it's rare enough that individual weeks where I am over .500 can be counted on two hands. That's over 10 years of playing, by the way, not in a single season.

-- D.S.