Impressive Wiffling

I came across this and figured that all you baseball types might find it entertaining. It kind of blows my mind since I expect thrown balls to follow normal ballistic trajectories.

  

The Audacity of Hope

Really, I think the above title was stolen from a pre-2004 Red Sox book, but in this case it applies more generally to the improbable odds faced by any youngster with a dream of making it to The Show.

Seemingly every Spring, and certainly every few years, we hear of a Can't-Miss-Prospect who will be the next [fill in the blank Hall of Famer]. And while it's certainly a little early to commission the bust for Cooperstown, I don't think that Jeremy will tell me I'm wrong to implore all of blogland to try to attend an Atlanta Braves game this year. They have a rookie right fielder named Jason Heyward who is quite possibly THE baseball star of the next decade (whatever the heck the 2010's are going to be called, the "teens" I guess?)... seriously, Bobby Cox himself compared Heyward to Willy Mays. Jeremy and I were giggling like schoolboys during each Heyward at-bat last week: he's just that good.

  

A Mile Closer to Heaven

The first round of the NFL draft was this evening, and while I can only imagine how exciting it is for the players and families involved, one of the most surprising results of the night was Denver taking TIm Tebow with the 25th overall pick.

Josh McDaniels just based his job, and given his age, his career as a head coach, on the poor throwing mechanics of the most polarizing college athelete since (perhaps) Lew Alcindor. The Patriots coaching staff takes a lot of fire for arrogance, but in this case, for Nick's sake if nothing else, I sure hope that McDaniels' ego isn't writing checks his coaching can't cash.

Personally, I think that Tebow would be a great teammate, as long as he kept his mouth shut in the locker room about the evilness of gay marriage and the importance of giving-your-life-over-to-the-one-savior-who-is-Jesus-Christ-our-Lord.

  

World Snuggie Record

If you haven't seen this, you need to be aware of the genius of the Cleveland Cavaliers... they may not have won an NBA title with King James, but now they hold the world record for most people (~20,000) wearing snuggies.

An adjudicator from Guinness World Records attended the game to make the record official... Danny Girton Jr., an adjudicator executive with Guinness World Records, said there was no existing record, so the records management team opened a new category for Friday's event... Girton said he was looking for four parameters in order for the record to become official: At least 250 people have to participate, they must all wear their own Snuggie, they need to wear it for five minutes and they all must be the same color.

  

Girls Fight Dirty

A British saying identifies the difference between two popular sports thus: "Football (soccer) is a gentleman's sport played by hooligans, while rugby is a hooligan's sport played by gentlemen."

Certainly there are exceptions, but if you haven't been watching Sportscenter the past week, then check this out.

What's really impressive (and slightly disturbing) is that none of the major offenses even drew a card - she ended up with just one yellow for a "minor" trip.

  

The next Jose Canseco

Two sports predictions:

First, that in the next 10-20 years, the NFL will be dramatically different from the game/institution that we know today, due to (long-overdue) attention to brain trauma. Concussions will be viewed the way we now view asbestos, where the blithe and dangerous attitude of times gone by will be unfathomable.

Secondly, that Tim Donaghy will eventually be viewed in the same light as Jose Canseco, and that's meant very complimentarily. Canseco was once a 'roided-up crackpot who spouted off random and crazy accusations but in the intervening decade or two has been proving correct on pretty much all counts. As for Donaghy, I present you this:

I worked a Knicks game in Madison Square Garden with him on February 26, 2007. New York shot an astounding 39 free throws that night to Miami's paltry eight. It seemed like Stafford was working for the Knicks, calling fouls on Miami like crazy. Isiah Thomas was coaching the Knicks, and after New York's four-point victory, a guy from the Knicks came to our locker room looking for Stafford, who was in the shower. He told us that Thomas sent him to retrieve Stafford's home address; apparently, Stafford had asked the coach before the game for some autographed sneakers and jerseys for his kids. Suddenly, it all made sense.

Okay, no big deal, a ref gave away one game in exchange for some stuff from a Hall-of-Famer, right? Check this out:

In the pregame meeting prior to Game 6, the league office sent down word that certain calls-calls that would have benefitted the Lakers — were being missed by the referees. This was the type of not-so-subtle information that I and other referees were left to interpret. After receiving the dispatch, Bavetta openly talked about the fact that the league wanted a Game 7.

"If we give the benefit of the calls to the team that's down in the series, nobody's going to complain. The series will be even at three apiece, and then the better team can win Game 7," Bavetta stated.

I mean, wow. Not even the Godfather himself (NBA Commish David Stern) will be able to cover this up, even if he sues both Amazon.com and Random House.

P.S. I have spent the last couple hours trying to figure out whether this is an april fools prank or not, given deadspin's spotty history. But I think this is legit, it just makes too much sense.