1. Quick Hits
- The non-waiver baseball trade deadline is today at 4pm Eastern. At last check, Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester was still in Boston.
- Miami Heat president Pat Riley says despite the loss of LeBron James, the Heat “will be as competitive as anybody in the Eastern Conference.”
- “Mean” Joe Greene will be the first of the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl era to have his number retired (# 75). Many more are sure to follow. (Only Ernie Stautner’s # 70 is retired in Steelers history.)
- You know you’re a big deal when a former President shows up to surprise you. Check out President Bush and Derek Jeter.
While on break two stories broke simultaneously. Baltimore running back Ray Rice was suspended two games by the NFL under the “personal conduct policy.” He had an altercation in an elevator with his wife before they were married that left her unconscious. Meanwhile, former infielder Chuck Knoblauch was arrested for assaulting his ex-wife. The Minnesota Twins promptly canceled his induction into their Hall of Fame. There’s no shortage of issues in sports. Somehow you get the feeling that abusing women is “on the back burner.” Maybe with the universal condemnation of the NFL for the minimal Rice suspension, it won’t be.
3. Deck the Hall
So the Baseball Hall of Fame trimmed the years a player can be eligible from 15 to 10 years. It doesn’t really change my mind about the system. Either a player is a Hall of Famer or he’s not. That holds true for the first year as well as the 10th or 15th. Why is a player not good enough one year and good enough the next? His stats never changed. And while we’re on the subject, no player has ever been a unanimous choice. Not Babe Ruth, not Cy Young. Obviously that’s a vanity thing among the writers. Maybe Derek Jeter will be the first or even Mariano Rivera. Why not? They’re Hall of Famers period.
4. Route 66
Vin Scully, now 86 years old, will return next season to announce Dodgers games. It’ll be his record 66th season. In case you missed it, here’s how the Dodgers announced it to their fans.
A sportscaster getting a prolonged standing ovation? Probably another record!
5. Shark Delay
I’ve got nothing to say about Sharknado 2: The Second One other than the fact that the Mets game got canceled.
And I hate when that happens.
Happy Birthday: Tennis star Victoria Azarenka. 25.
Bonus Birthday: Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. 49.
Today in Sports: A big ABA trade. The Virginia Squires traded Julius Erving to the New York Nets. 1973.
Bonus Event: President Harry Truman dedicates Idlewild Field (now JFK airport). 1948.
Need a gift for that young sports fan in your life? Check out my books. And if you’d like a personally autographed copy contact the Dolphin Bookshop at 516-767-2650.