As I continue to catch-up from my mysterious absence (or vacation), I thought the best way to touch on a number of issues at one time is to roll out a Machine Gun Monday on a Tuesday.
On one hand, you would think this is a nice slow time of year where we could merely lock in on the Rangers attempt to battle those Angels on the sports stage all by themselves. But, look around. NBA Free Agency is tonight; NHL Free Agency is tomorrow; Wimbledon is in its Championship week; Longhorns are running into apartment buildings; and much more.
As a wise man once said, "there are no slow sports days, just slow sports people". So let's touch on many items in a short amount of time:
* Word around the league is that Yao Ming's foot situation could cost him all of next season, and the most pessimistic views are wondering if it is career threatening. That seems we are jumping the gun a bit, but it is clear that once again, Yao, who spent his first 3 years in the league healthy, has been injured for about 4 consecutive seasons.
I got an email from Drew, on the topic, which said: "You were right. The Rockets rue the day they drafted Yao Ming." I guess I said that in 2002, but I wasn't right. The 2002 NBA Draft was horrid. Yao was the right pick, and you had to take him. I thought Jay Williams (Motorcycle man) or Drew Gooden was safer, but they were not. Mike Dunleavy, Nikoloz Tskitishvilli, and DeJaun Wagner were all busts, too. Yao put the Rockets in a spot where it looked like McGrady and Yao might dominate the universe for a while, but then the great sports equalizer kicked in: Health and Injuries. Yao's 7'6" frame is awesome, but perhaps it cannot take the 100 games a year pounding that is required of an NBA body. Anyway, cross the Rockets off the list of contenders in 09-10, but consider them strongly for a destination of the 2010 free agent class.
* Great to see my main man, Billy Guerin, re-sign in Pittsburgh for 1-year, $2 million. Hopefully, Guerin has made all the money he will need earlier in his career. Now, he was a free agent-to-be, but wanted to stay with his new team to defend their hard-earned Stanley Cup. If you are following the Guerin career, it looks like this: New Jersey, Edmonton, Boston, Dallas, St Louis, San Jose, New York Islanders, and Pittsburgh. Don't buy a house if you are in professional sports, because your next move is right around the corner - even if you have scored 400 goals and 400 assists.
* Sergio Kindle doesn't seem to understand that he is risking millions with each questionable decision he makes. A guy who is widely expected to be in the top half of the 1st round next April , finds himself in the middle of another mess in Austin. This time, he received a concussion and now the police are probing to figure out why he plowed into an apartment at 2 am. He left the scene, which apparently is not against the law (I had no idea) and despite his DWI from 2 summers ago, this time we are assured it was merely "text messaging" while driving. I hate to be suspicious here, but I can understand why someone with a DWI prior would roll with the text messaging defense even if it was something else. Wink, wink.
Regardless, guys slide in drafts for less, Sergio. Take a look at the difference in contracts between being the 8th pick and the 28th pick. And if there is one thing we have learned about Longhorn football, it is that they win under Mack Brown. If there is another thing, we have learned that making it through the summer with no scrapes with the law is sometimes easier said than done.
* Been asked plenty what I think of Scott Glennie being taken with the 8th pick by the Stars in the NHL Draft last Friday. Honestly, it took my by surprise. They whispered about Glennie before the draft, but it sounded like it would be in a spot where they traded down to grab him if the guys they wanted at #8 were gone. But, then, Oliver Ekman-Larsson went to Phoenix at #6 and Nazim Kardi to Toronto at #7. Both of those players were the top wishes on the Stars board. Then, they had to realize a trade down might have jeopardized them getting someone they loved. So, they took Glennie there and shook hands. I love the idea he is a Right Wing, because they are light on that side. I also like the fact that his best attribute is his speed. The Stars just don't have tons of speed in their line-up, and that will help. The reality is that he is likely not going to be in Dallas until 2011, but anything short of being their top prospect within 12 months would have to be a disappointment from a Top 10 pick. We should all have extremely high hopes for Scott Glennie.
* Statistical Oddity Time: So, the Rangers have been 1-hit twice, and 2-hit twice this year. June 9, Brian Tallett 2-hit the Rangers with Brandon Boggs and Chris Davis getting the two hits. But, May 19 the Tigers 1-hit the Rangers behind Dontrelle Willis. June 6 Jon Lester 2-hit the Rangers at Fenway, and June 28 Chad Gaudin 1-hit the Rangers. What do those 3 putrid offensive days have in common? Michael Young had the ONLY hits for the Rangers. That is right, you could make the case the Young is the only thing standing between the Rangers and being no-hit 3 times already!
* Finally, in a story that may only be interesting to me, Steve Nash had his now-annual Showdown in Chinatown soccer charity game last week. Recaps are all over the net so you should check them out.
Great stars from the NBA (Tony Parker, Chris Bosh, Nash, Grant Hill) and World Soccer greats (Flamini, Kalu, Henry, Davids, Zanetti, Mutu) meet at some park in Chinatown to raise money for some cause. I would love to be there and see it next time.
Here the great Thierry Henry is shown through the chain link fence:
Here ESPN's Mark Stein fouls Nash as he attempts a sweet bicycle kick: