D-Whistle hurt, takes the excitement off tonight’s big event in Dallas …except for the Dancing Dan McDowell...
With one swift swipe of Dwyane Wade's left arm, Pat Riley's return to the bench became a devastating experience.
Wade left Wednesday's game against the Rockets wincing in severe pain in a wheelchair, his left arm propped up.
The Heat lost the game 112-102, but it has probably lost a whole lot more with Wade likely sustaining what was initially called a dislocated left shoulder, which could keep Wade out for a period of about six weeks.
With about 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of a game the Heat had trailed for almost the entire way, Wade reached in on a driving Shane Battier with his left hand.
Battier's momentum forced Wade's left arm back, and Wade immediately grabbed the arm and walked to the bench hunched over. Wade had bruised his left shoulder during the Heat's home victory against Portland on Feb. 13, the Heat's last game before the All-Star break, and he had told teammates privately that it was bothering him Wednesday. It's unclear, however, whether that made Wade more vulnerable to a dislocation.
After Heat trainer Ron Culp tended to Wade on the bench for several minutes, a Rockets employee emerged from one of the tunnels with a wheelchair for Wade, who needed help even getting into the chair. Wade was in so much pain while on the bench, he was forced to tears.
It was a gruesome ending to what already had been a difficult experience for the Heat and Riley, who returned to the bench after taking a medical leave of absence and missing 22 games.
Revo says cloud is gone; so are the excuses …Kinda funny, given my long belief that Buck used Revo to leak stuff to the media under the user name “Sources inside the front office”, but since I was never able to prove that, let’s just keep it between us.
To be fair to the players, I can honestly say that not one time over the past four seasons did any of them seek me out to complain about Showalter, certainly not after the 2004 season, when he was named American League Manager of the Year. Yet, the reports of a tense, unhappy clubhouse became accepted fact.
Did the players' unhappiness with Showalter contribute to their inability to win? I remain skeptical. Show me the player whose numbers suffered because he didn't like the manager and I'll show you someone looking for an alibi.
Still, there's no question that the players' unhappiness with their manager is essentially the reason why he was fired and why second-year general manager Jon Daniels is focused on a "family atmosphere" in the clubhouse.
"There's not going to be any pointing fingers; up, down, left, right, in, out, we're all on the same page," Daniels said. "Regardless of your role in the organization, we're all pulling on the same end of the rope. That's scouting, development, big leagues, minor leagues, front office, ownership, players.
"Accountability is paramount. I put myself out there first. I've said publicly, I'm not delivering Ron a perfect roster. It's a work in progress, but there's a lot of talent here. We're trying to eliminate obstacles so these guys can just focus on playing baseball."
Trust, or lack of it, was the principal issue with Showalter. It might seem petty -- it did to me at times -- but trust is vitally important between players and manager. Showalter had a tendency to tell players, and even the media, what he thought they wanted to hear, and if that meant shading the truth a little, well... who's counting?
Example: Showalter might tell reporters that he had had a conversation with a player about failing to run out a groundball, when everyone else in the clubhouse knew the conversation never happened. Or he might say he had talked to a player on the phone about giving him a day off when all he had done was leave a message.
Sure, little things, but they added up. Showalter was his own worst enemy. He just couldn't make himself shut up. It wasn't that he had rules or made demands that were any different from any other major league manager. The problem was strictly personality.
Fuzzy takes on Wikipedia …
Kravitz looks at the Pacers defense of Quisy …
Saying goodbye to Chief Illiniwek …
Gramps on the Wade/Norv connections …
From a football standpoint, it'd seem impossible for Wade Phillips not to regret the timing factor of his departure from San Diego as the defensive coordinator, and his arrival at Valley Ranch as the Cowboys' new head coach.
But as a Texan, from Phillips' days as a schoolboy and college player in the state, and then as a high school coach, the "boots and roots" factor are significant and believable.
You can actually believe Wade when he says there are no regrets, and how could there be when Jerry Jones made his lifelong "dream job" a reality?
Then again, what a strange couple of weeks it's been since Phillips was hired.
Just as Wade was settling in here, the Chargers suddenly fired his old boss, Marty Schottenheimer, meaning the leading candidate to replace him would have been, yes, Phillips.
One voice from out West said Wade would have been named head coach within five minutes of Marty being shown the door. If so, Phillips would have been in charge of the best overall talent in football on a team that has it all, except for a playoff win in the last decade.
Instead, the new head coach in San Diego is Norv Turner, whom Jerry rejected in hiring Phillips.
The weirdness continued when Ron Rivera, whom Turner wanted to bring here as defensive coordinator, was fired by the Bears, then hired by Turner as his linebackers coach.
In Chicago, they are still trying to figure out why Rivera got the Lovie Smith boot. Regardless, it's Turner who benefited by adding a seasoned and respected coach to his staff, even though Norv's new defensive coordinator, Ted Cottrell, was hired by the general manager, A.J. Smith.
Around here, we like to think of the Cowboys as the most unstable organization in the NFL. Once Big Bill left Valley Ranch, what also departed were four years of stability, for better or worse. But mainly it was disappointment. Regardless, there was structure and a dominant football voice.
Now, it will be the predicted Locoville again, and I say this despite having been among the first to suggest it was time for Parcells to leave.
Buyers and Sellers in the NHL …
GM’s vote down the 3 point a victory plan …
The NHL's 30 general managers have given a thumbs down to the idea of awarding teams three points for a win.
"Because it's a terrible idea," Anaheim general manager Brian Burke said Wednesday as three days of GM meetings wrapped up. "That's why it didn't have any support."
The league's GMs liked the idea enough at the February 2004 meetings in Henderson, Nev., to include three-point wins on a list of recommendations for the board of governors. The NHL lockout put everything on hold and when hockey resumed with drastic changes, such as the shootout and the elimination of the centre red line for two-line passes, the three-point win didn't make the cut.
Whatever support that existed for it three years ago is now gone.
"I was actually a proponent of the 3-2-1 points system a few years ago," said Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland, meaning three points for a win in regulation time, two points for an overtime/shootout win and one point for an overtime/shootout loss.
"But since then we've seen these great races and I think it's working just fine the way it is now. Our fans like it."
Colin Campbell, the NHL's director of hockey operations, says the game needs a breather from the constant change.
"It's time to establish continuity, you can't keep making changes," he said. "Let' s not confuse the fans."
The original idea of going to three points came from European soccer, which adopted the three-point win system in the 1980s and credited it with opening up the game. That's a notion Burke, for one, rejected Wednesday.
"They tried this in British soccer and everything I've heard is that it didn't make a difference," Burke argued. "Teams would get ahead and then would shut it down.
NHL GM’s help to put fighting back in …Yes!
Concerned that skilled players, notably Sidney Crosby, are not getting the protection they should, the league's GMs agreed that a player shouldn't receive a two-game suspension until he has accumulated five instigating penalties. Under the current rules, a player receives the suspension after three instigating infractions.
The NHL's competition committee, which comprises players and GMs, and the board of governors need to approve the change this spring.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says he isn't concerned about the optics of the rule change, which would essentially allowing tough guys to drop the gloves more often without fear of suspension.
"Among other things, it means a skilled player doesn't have to fight," Bettman said after Day 2 of the GM meetings wrapped up. "This wouldn't be the first time that we adjusted this. You fine-tune it, and if you need to adjust it again, you do."
Still, the talk comes a week or so after The Globe and Mail ran an editorial asking the NHL to ban fighting.
Ben Eager of the Philadelphia Flyers is the only player to have earned the two-game suspension so far this season for earning three instigators.
While trade talk continued to heat up as GMs spent more time together at a posh resort, other recommendations were also made Tuesday. They also need rubber-stamping from the competition committee and board of governors, who are scheduled to meet in June.
- Video replay: Starting next season referees could have a direct phone line to the war room at the league's head office in Toronto, as well as have TV monitors in the penalty box to watch replays. Currently referees only have direct communication with the video goal review official in the arena;
- Going to a one-minute penalty in overtime instead of traditional two minutes: The GMs agreed it's too soon to try this in the NHL next season but perhaps can be tried out in rookie tournaments next fall and/or possibly in the AHL.
Dirk selling something
Faxing Dwight from the Future