Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Big 12 name: TeXas

I'll be heading to Omaha Saturday for my first ever visit to the College World Series. One of the biggest differences between working in Gainesville and Columbia is how much more interest there is in South Carolina baseball than there ever was in Florida. My station 107.5 the Game is sending two of us to cover the event, while neither of the Gainesville all sports stations are planning on doing shows there even though Florida's also in the field. Yesterday UF's first game got easier, as UCLA revealed their starting second baseman and number three hitter is out with a broken wrist suffered in the team's Super Regional victory celebration. Only three teams haven't lost a game in the tournament yet, and the Gamecocks and Gators are two of them. If that holds up, I could be in Omaha the rest of the month. This will be interesting.

Throughout the last week and a half it never seemed likely to me that Tom Izzo would leave Michigan State for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yesterday he made it official that he wouldn't. Some will look at this and conclude Izzo was unsure about LeBron James returning to the Cavs so he stayed. Maybe Izzo has some idea on that topic, but I doubt it was a major factor. This is a guy who almost took the Hawks job a decade ago when they were awful - he believes in his own abilities enough to think he could be successful without James. In the end, Izzo realized MSU is where he belongs and had the good sense to stay there. Too many guys chase the cash rather than doing that.

When you sign bad guys, more often than not you get what you deserve. Last season Washington was thrilled to bring in defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. He's been labeled as an gifted but lazy player with major attitude issues ever since his high school days. Haynesworth also stepped on a helmetless player's head during a game, further demonstrating he's a bad guy. Now, a year into his megadeal with the Skins, Haynesworth is refusing to show up for a mandatory minicamp and wants to be traded. He doesn't like the team's new 3-4 scheme, not that he was in shape or playing well in last year's 4-3 either. With nine million more in guaranteed money alone owed to Haynesworth over the next two years, no one's going to give Washington anything of value for the guy. Every year, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder throws money at someone like this and usually gets burned. I'm delighted to see this turned out every bit as well for him as his Six Flags ownership did. Haynesworth's a turd. A rich one, but still a turd.

The Big 12 drama is over, but the bitter feelings linger on. Some Texas A&M people are livid that they voluntarily chose to allow Texas to become the conference's unquestioned central power when they could have gone to the SEC. One of them decided to send AD Bill Byrne an insulting email. Sports by Brooks has the results of that decision - a voicemail left by Byrne telling the fan he needs his ass kicked. Byrne must have been livid and made a poor choice to leave a message - no matter how ticked off you are, if you're a public figure you have to be savvy enough not to leave angry voicemails.

How whacked out do you have to be to think the search for Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan is a do it yourself job? A construction worker with a rap sheet from California decided to head overseas to take the Al Qaeda overlord down personally. I'm all for believing in yourself, but if the US military hasn't been able to get the guy I'd like a little better rationale why you will than "God is with me". Fortunately they caught this guy before he got himself killed - now someone needs to take away his Rambo DVDs.

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