Friday, June 23, 2017

A sorry state of affairs

They may have once been "sleepless in Seattle", but they're no longer "sweepless". The Mariners just broomed the swooning Detroit Tigers in a 4 game set.

After a semi-decent start to the season, the Tigers now find themselves in last place of the entire American League, and seem to be on a mission to see how low they can go.

When they pitch OK, the Tigers can't hit, and vice-versa. Witness Michael Fullmer throwing a beauty of a game at San Diego, only to lose 1-0. Justin Verlander, once considered an "ace", remains mired at a mediocre 4-4, over 60 games into the season. When JV pitches well, count on the bull-pen to come and pitch batting practice to the opponents in the latter innings. It must drive him crazy.

Color manager Brad Ausmus, a "lame duck" on the final year of his contract -- good-bye. It's not his fault the team has been performing so poorly in most every phase of the game, but he'll take the fall.

I never did much care for Danny Kanell. True, he was quite the jock in college and even made it to the NFL as a starting quarterback for the NY Giants. In other words, he beat out thousands of others to progress that far, so credit where credit is due. But at the highest level, the Peter Principle finally kicked in and Danny didn't last long. A mediocre player at best.

Fast forward a few years and lo, there's Danny as a talking head on ESPN. He had replaced Scott Van Pelt as a partner of Ryen Russillo on the afternoon talk/radio show that was/is still show on TV. Evidently, SVP got his own show. though being bumped to the wee hours of the morning when only drunks staggering home after closing time, and insomniacs are watching didn't seem like much of a promotion.

Nonetheless, Danny was plugged into his place. And oh man, could he yuk it up. A regular Mr. Chucklehead. Thing is, DK always came across as thinking he was the smartest person in the room, and certainly far intellectually superior to any knuckleheads out there in TV or radio land that happened to be tuned in. And then his role was expanded. Danny walked from set to set on ESPN giving his "expert" commentary on a variety of blab-a-geek-a-thons as the afternoon progressed.

Until the axe fell. Kanell got canned from ESPN in their latest purge. Does anybody really miss his smug, holier-than-thou presence? Not me. Good riddance. For that matter, it seems astounding that Ryen Russillo, who has continued with a whozit co-host of the day format, continues to be on the air. For THREE freaking hours every day. The ultimate bore-a-thon. I've tried to watch it, repeatedly, but it doesn't take long to start sounding like the proverbial fingernails scraping on a blackboard. RR has an uppity nature of his own, and loves poking fun at many others while not realizing he's a colossal bore -- or is that boor? --  himself. On and on he'll blather -- about nothing remotely newsworthy. Three hours? Give us a break ESPN. Surely you can do better than that. You lay off a 100 people considered dead-weight, but the viewing/listening public is still stuck with inane gas-bags like Michelle Beadle, Rachel Nichols, Marcellus Wiley, Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, LJ Granderson, and whatever duh ex-jocks they can lure onto their programs for even more idiot-speak? A sorry state of affairs in Bristol indeed.

Speaking of gas-bags, for a minute there yours truly thought he had witnessed an actual miracle. Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated had kept an article to only 5 pages. Glory hallelujah, There was hope, Alas, it was short-lived. Immediately following that article in the latest issue was another one, by the same VV -- Verbose Verducci. Alas, another 5 pages. He may be a fine writer, and SI has never spared any praise exalting his journalistic talents, but the man seems to be unable write anything without going on WAY too long. Anything that starts out with Tom Verducci as the author is a guaranteed 3-4 sit-downer on the throne to finally slog through. I wonder if he's any sort of relation to James Michener or a descendant of Leo Tolstoy? Now THOSE guys could ramble on.

Can that be right? Louisville head coach Rick Pitino got suspended for five games because it was discovered he was complicit in providing an escort service -- see hookers -- to members of the hoop team? Well now. How stupid is that?

To bang Pitino, who has long raked in millions of dollars every year, for five games, is a bit like grounding a delinquent teenager for 5 minutes. Do you really think either serves as a deterrent in the future? They scoff at such a notion, and well they should. It's a joke to them. If you want to get a teenager's attention, take away his smart phone and make him/her sit in their room with no TV for a week or so. Go to school, come home and have dinner, then go sit, alone, with no entertainment. They'll be begging for leniency after a couple days.

If you want to get a major college coach's attention -- fine him 10% of his salary for every game missed (in this case Pitino would forfeit 50% of this year's salary), and make him spend that time with the Amish learning how truly humble people get along in life. After a week or two of that, Pitino would see the light indeed, and likely not re-offend. And there's way worse things than learning how to build a barn or pilot a horse-drawn carriage to get from place to place, including cleaning up the "droppings" enroute. Oh yeah, Tricky Ricky might just straighten right up and fly right, as they say. If he is so incorrigible and arrogant enough to be a repeat offender, give him a full year of the same -- no pay -- while wearing a GPS tether to make sure of his whereabouts at all times. Just the thought of the possibility hanging over his head would be enough to ensure model citizen behavior, which any coach making that sort of obscene money should have been exhibiting all along.

I fail to see the problem with such potential punishments. It's supposed to be hard, not laughable.

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