Saturday, August 13, 2005

Hitting Back

-When Mike Cameron dove head first trying for a highlight reel snag Thursday in San Diego and collided head on with Carlos Beltran, it was one of the scariest moments ever in baseball. Cameron suffered a broken nose and two fractured cheekbones, which required surgery Saturday. Beltran had one fractured cheekbone and a concussion. As crazy as it sounds, one of them could have died on that field. Going full speed like that is dangerous, especially when neither called off the other. Most outlets focused on the extent of their injuries, which was good. But let's be honest. That should have never happened. These are major leaguers who both have plenty of outfield experience. One of the most important aspects of going after a fly is communicating with teammates to make certain someone makes the catch and prevent serious injuries. It's taught in little league. Maybe both guys should take a course.

-Alex Rodriguez put an exclamation point on becoming the first right-handed Yankee batter to hit 20 home runs at Yankee Stadium, when he demolished a Juan Dominguez pitch into the old Yankee bullpen Saturday. The ball traveled an estimated 485 feet. The last time someone hit a ball that far in the Bronx, it was Jay Buhner, who drove one next to an ambulance for Seattle several years back. It's safe to say A-rod has earned his stripes this year.

-If the Mets knew Jae Seo was going to pitch this well, don't you think they wouldn't have traded Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano last year?

-Is there a bigger hot dog when it comes to catching fly balls than 'team leader' Gary Sheffield?

-David Wright at 22 is already doing things that most seasoned vets could only dream of.

-Is there a better future at third and short than Wright and Jose Reyes? You remember Reyes. The young shortstop who couldn't stay healthy. Look at the havoc he can create when he's 100 percent. Reminds me of a young Vince Coleman before the fire cracker incident outside Shea.

-2004 AL MVP Vlad Guerrero has 25 homers and 85 RBI's in just 98 games for the Angels. Beltran has 13 homers and 59 RBI's in 107 games for the Mets. Do you think Mets brass wants a do over here?

-Are we supposed to hand the Jets the Lombardi Trophy because Paul Hackett is no longer around? Last time I checked, they still had that great 'clock management' coach Herm Edwards. Doesn't that concern Jets fans or are their recent memories in need of a battery charge?

-So because the Jets defense thinks so highly of itself, it's okay for them to play rough with the Giants during a practice? After seeing what transpired and hearing some of the comments from both sides, that meaningless August 26th preseason game against Gang Green could be worth watching.

-Someone should get a memo out to Terrell Owens and his agent Drew Rosenhaus that their circus act is wearing thin. It's still hard to believe TO found someone as arrogant as him. They deserve each other.

-Even if WFAN's Chris "Mad Dog" Russo didn't get upset when the Giants Tiki Barber called broadcast partner Mike Francesa 'the one with all the knowledge,' you know that had to sting Russo inside. Maybe next time Russo won't mention fumbling and Barber in the same sentence, even if he insists it was a joke. Tell you one thing. It makes for entertaining radio.

-Is it just me or do Joe Benigno and Sid Rosenberg sound a lot better by themselves? Shhh...don't tell FAN. Wouldn't want to hurt their feelings.

-Listening to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith discuss other sports besides basketball is like watching Michael Jordan play baseball.

-I wasn't around when it happened but Pistons owner Bill Davidson calling Larry Brown a bad person was hypocritical and unprofessional. Was Brown such a bad guy when in one year after being hired, he guided Davidson's Pistons to their third NBA title? Davidson talked about how the Pistons became too much Brown and not enough of his players. Please! If he was such a distraction off the court, how come the Pistons were able to comeback against the Heat and force a Game Seven against San Antonio for all the marbles? If he thinks Flip Saunders is such a great replacement, maybe he didn't follow the Timberwolves that closely.

-With that being said, I would like to admit that I was wrong about the Knicks getting Brown. In a previous column over a month ago, I endorsed Herb Williams. Apparently, all the stars were aligned for Knicks President and GM Isiah Thomas. It still doesn't make what he put the classy Williams through right. The only saving grace is that Herb will be Brown's top assistant on the bench. Hopefully, when Brown gets tired of this group, Williams will replace him as coach. We'll put the over/under at two years.

-Is Stephon Marbury offering to play the two under Brown some kind of great unselfish move? I always thought Marbury wanted to be the star point guard and have it all on his shoulders. But apparently, that's not the case. Hey Steph...wake up and smell the coffee!

-So much for the Nets bringing in that 'final piece' Shareef Abdur-Rahim. But they still got that team player Jeff McInnis who cried his way out of Cleveland and traded for Marc Jackson. Are these moves really supposed to put them over the top?

-Where are all these golf experts who had Tiger Woods winning the PGA Championship for his second straight major and third in four this year before he drove a ball? One thing about golf. It is the most unpredictable sport because anything can happen. One bad swing or funny bounce and nothing's certain. Lucky for Woods, Phil Mickelson is living up to his reputation. Hint: Not when he won his only major at last year's Masters.

-It's still a pleasure to watch Andre Agassi strike a tennis ball. He's making a nice comeback at this year's U.S. Open Series. Already captured his first title in a year and might win another this weekend. Hopefully, he can go out the same way at this year's U.S. Open like Pete Sampras did a few years ago.

-And finally, it sure is nice to have hockey back. Missed all the torment of going to Ranger games. Apparently, the Rangers are thinking of renaming themselves Team Jagr. So much for things changing.

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