I’m on vacation with a pre-historic laptop and a dial up connection that moves like old people screw, but it’ll take more than that to stop me from Rambling.
The Knicks. I don’t know if any of you outside of the state of New Jersey have heard the news, but New Jersey governor Jon Corzine has shut down the state due to the lack of a budget. Rest assured things are fine, as the legendary N.J. rudeness is in full swing and there is still water in the ocean. What does this have to do with the Knicks, you may ask?
If Corzine can shut down the entire state of N.J., can New York governor George Pataki shut down the Knicks? Can’t he send the National Guard into Madison Square Garden and declare martial law over the team? Surely some reservist guardsman couldn’t have done any worse than Isiah Thomas did selecting in the 20th spot in the first round of the NBA draft.
Thomas picked South Carolina Gamecock Renaldo Balkman, a kid that people had pegged as a second round talent. Balkman’s college coach Dave Odom was shocked to hear that Thomas picked Balkman since he had given his former player a less-than-glowing assessment during a pre-draft talk with the Knicks GM/coach, calling him “a work in progress.” But Isiah has an agenda — he’s looking to get fired after this year and escape the Dolan lunacy.
Joe Mauer. Major League Baseball’s newest wunderkind, 23-year -old catcher Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins came into the pre-Fourth of July weekend hitting above .390, thus setting off the clichéd “will he hit .400?” debate. If Mauer does hit .400 it will be even more impressive because he will have done it during the first season in which amphetamines were illegal.
“Walk-off Hits.” For as long as I can remember, esteemed and august — even in July — New York Post sportswriter Phil Mushnick has been railing against the double-standards, silliness, and annoying trends that crop up in the coverage of sports in all forms of media. Since it’s baseball season, Phil has been on point stating the annoying, ad nauseam use of the “walk-off” call.
Mushnick realizes the genie is out of the bottle. Even his paper employs “walk-off” in its sports vernacular and concedes that the term is here to stay in baseball. I just hope some genius doesn’t decide to inject this annoying qualification into other sports. I have nightmares that feature the terms “walk-off field goal,” “walk-off touchdown,” “walk-off free throw,” “walk-off putt,” “walk-off ace,” and “walk-off” – or “skate-off” – goal.
The Tour de France. Gee a doping scandal, hit a cycling event? What a shock! Quite frankly no sport has a more disgraceful history of doping than competitive cycling. Cyclists have been at the forefront of doping for years and lead the pack when it comes to employing drastic and extremely risky doping tactics. Rather than list the details and names of the many culprits over the years, I just want to point out to the masses that cycling is – and has been – the dirtiest sport for years. Track and field has been bad, but cyclists have been doing unbelievable things to their bodies for far longer. Only the most naïve can think that because the anti-doping forces are talking tough that somehow they can prevent cheating.