To kick off the baseball season right, do yourself a favor and read one of my favorite books on the sport. The novel is titled, "The Year I Owned the Yankees," and is written by Sparky Lyle and David Fisher. This is a baseball fantasy but draws a lot of real life parallels. It was written in 1990 so you may have some difficulty getting your hands on a copy but if you do, it'll be well worth it.
Here's an interesting baseball stat for you: Roger Clemens is 38-18 since retiring shortly after the 2003 World Series.
No shock in that Eric Gagne will be starting the season for the Rangers on the DL.
My friend Mike has this strange sensation that the Giants are going to win the pennant. Before you dismiss this, let me just say that the last time Mike felt like this the Giants were one rally monkey away from winning the World Series.
Speaking of rally monkeys and the Angels, here's a warning for those heading to a game at the Big A to watch the Anaheim Angels of Southern California in Los Angeles or whatever it is they're calling themselves these days. During the national anthem they set off fireworks at the exact moment the performer sings, "The bombs bursting in air." I'm telling you this because I don't want you to learn this lesson the hard way as the poor gentleman who sat in front of me did a few years ago. When the blasts sounded my "full to the brim" 16-ounce, lidless beer decided to introduce itself to said gentleman's backside and it made for a rather inauspicious start to the evening.
Diamondbacks fans have to be thrilled to have Kirk Gibson as their team's new bench coach. One of the highlights of my life was imitating Gibby's home run trot around the bases at Arizona's Sancet Field one night at about two in the morning. Oops, did I just write that.
My favorite baseball movie line – comedy, "We wear caps and sleeves in this league, Vaughn."
My favorite baseball drama has to be The Natural although I am a sucker for John Cusack movies and I enjoyed his role as Buck in the film Eight Men Out.
Okay. Enough of this. Let's move onto basketball.
My buddy Joe made a great point last weekend. Lorenzo Mata might not be the most athletically gifted basketball player in the country but if you put him in a street fight with any other player the smart money would be on Mata.
It's no coincidence that Arizona won a national championship with Eugene Edgerson.
I made the classic Friday night at 11 PM decision to road trip with Joe from Los Angeles to San Jose for the UCLA/Kansas Regional Final. Thanks to Joe's brother Dave, the trip was worth the effort as we sat in Row 18 at half court.
In regards to the Final Four, if Humphrey continues to shoot lights out from behind the arc I can't see Florida losing to UCLA. However, UCLA is the one defensive-minded team who is stubborn enough to put one man (Josh Shipp) on Humphrey and leave him there all night to limit his looks.
Ohio State seems to be a team of destiny the way they have continually mounted what seemed like impossible comebacks in this year's tournament. Still, I can't help but think that Georgetown might be too much for Oden's bunch to handle on Saturday.
I find it strange that everyone likes to point to Arizona's colossal flop against Illinois in the 2005 Elite Eight when talking about blown losses yet how soon we forget that Tennessee lost a 20-point lead to Ohio State just a week ago. Ah, who am I kidding our loss was pretty bad.
I originally had Kansas beating Georgetown to win it all. Now, let's go with Georgetown over Florida which basically means UCLA will beat Ohio State in this year's title game.
The big talk on L.A. radio these days is Kobe not getting the kind of respect that players like Jordan, Bird and Magic used to receive. Look, here's the deal. Kobe's great. Still, he could score 100 points a night for four straight games and he'll still be known as the guy who folded under questioning and threw his one-time teammate Shaq under the bus. No man will ever respect a person like that. In simpler terms, Kobe is to Shaq as Sammy Gravano is to John Gotti.
The Fizz is short and light this week as I'm still waiting for my Internet service at home, as well as some basic essentials like chairs, ottomans, dining set, sofa, armoire, desk, et al to be delivered by a furniture company who's name I won't defame right now.
The Fizz is also shorter than usual because my alter ego is still trapped in the basement, breaking down game film from this season in preparation for my forthcoming Coach for a Week series. I'd check to see if he were still alive but the constant outbursts of things like, "What! No, no, no," and, "I didn't know a turnover like that was even possible," and my favorite, "That did not just happen?" have been pretty continuous.
Until next time, Bear Down and enjoy the Final Four.