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Saturday's Dirty Dozen as I head to the airport; Nobody asked me, but........
12) ESPN will be showing the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest from Coney Island again on July 4th. It might be the most bizarre hour of programming on ESPN all year.
11) You watch these NHL games, and they’ve got a sideline reporter down by the benches, Pierre McGuire; he was a scout/assistant coach for the Penguins when they won consecutive Stanley Cups in 1991/1992, and later was coach GM of the Hartford Whalers.
His last coaching job before moving to TV was coaching the Baton Rouge Kingfish of the ECHL; that’s like the coaching job Paul Newman had in Slap Shot. He must have some interesting stories.
10) Given that the Phillies are a combined 5-11 when Halladay/Lee start, and they’re 8-1 when Cole Hamels starts, if they contend later this summer, shouldn’t Hamels get strong MVP consideration?
9) Indiana Pacers’ coach Frankie Vogel played three years of D-III hoop at Juniata College in Pennsylvania, then transferred to Kentucky, where he spent two years as a student manager for Rick Pitino, because he knew he wanted to get into coaching.
Smart move, as the connections he made there got him into the NBA, where he has worked his way up to a head coaching job. Either Vogel is awful smart or he listens to someone who is awful smart.
8) When he was in 8th grade, Vogel appeared on the Stupid Human Tricks on the David Letterman Show, balancing a basketball on a toothbrush while he brushed his teeth. Not sure how someone starts doing that.
7) Georgia football coach Mark Richt got his contract extended three years, a must for recruiting, but he didn’t get a raise, though the money he can earn incentive-wise has risen. Always big expectations for the Dawgs, who have an experienced QB now, which always helps.
6) Why would JR Smith not have a valid driver’s license? How do you let it lapse? You can’t forget it, because you renew it on your birthday every few years. Smith’s given name is Earl, by the way. Coached Earl in baseball when he was a kid and he also played travel basketball with my son when he was in 8th and 9th grades. I knew him when. Nothing has changed.
5) Padres have a relief pitcher named Alex Hinshaw; turns out that his mother's brother was once Afghanistan's ambassador to Italy. Seriously.
4) My kids in a 16-team keeper fantasy league where you can draft guys in the minor leagues, 25 men on a team, 26 if you have someone on the DL. Well, as I type this, he has 16 batters/10 pitchers on his team; of his 16 batters, one is in the minors, seven are injured, eight are healthy. Nine hitters are in the lineup every week. Not good.
3) Think Texas Tech basketball coach Billy Gillispie enjoyed last season? Um, no. Six players transferred (got run out) of Lubbock after the season, with nine new players coming in to replace them. He'll do a good job there, but the Big X is deep water, with lot of big sharks swimming around. Need lot of good players to win in that league, so changes had to be made.
2) When Central Michigan fired coach Ernie Zeigler in March, his son Trey, who was by far the Chippewas' best player, transferred from Central to Pitt, for obvious reasons. The NCAA has shown unusually good sense and allowed young Zeigler to be eligible this coming season, rather than sit out a year. Zeigler is really good and will be a help for the Panthers.
1) Coming into Friday night's play, Milwaukee's Nyjer Morgan had come to bat with 49 men on base, and knocked none of them in. Zero. None. He is an outfielder, outfielders are supposed to produce runs. Yikes.