I’m in Cincinnati today to watch some high school summer baseball. It’s amazing how many turf fields there are in Reds Country. My only complaint: The pitcher’s mound and the area around home plate isn’t dirt on these fields. If it rains, they do make tarps for that.
So where will LeBron James end up next season? He’s gotta be finished with Cleveland and I hope Cavaliers fans will give him a classy sendoff this time, not the jersey-burning free-for-all that was triggered by LeBron’s rude defection to South Beach eight years ago. LeBron did return to deliver a title to his home region, defeating a dynasty (Golden State) in the process.
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The boys in Vegas will put odds on anything, such as the number of LeBron death stares at officials and teammates, so it’s not surprising that you can place a wager on where he’ll play in a few months. The favorite is Houston, followed by the Lakers, Cavaliers and 76ers. I think the NBA would love to see him in Los Angeles, but Houston and Philly make more sense. LeBron has been to nine NBA Finals with three titles. He’s good enough to win more, especially with an improved supporting cast.
Get ready for the “liftoff” marketing campaign, and taglines such as, “Houston, we have a … Big Guy Who Can Dribble Through A Space Shuttle Heat Shield If He Gets A Good Head Of Steam.”
My dad spent part of his childhood in Missouri and Cardinals legend Red Schoendienst was his favorite player. Schoendienst died last week at age 95, and living that long is almost as impressive as his hall-of-fame baseball career. I loved this quote attributed to Red’s family: “Red was a great ball player, but his legacy is that of a great gentleman who had respect for all. He loved his family, friends, teammates, the community and his country.” I’m betting Red wasn’t on Twitter.
Another sports legend died last week. Dwight Clark, a hero to Cowboys haters everywhere, succumbed to ALS at age 61. Clark caught one of the most memorable touchdown passes in NFL history to help the 49ers beat the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game in 1982. The play is simply known as The Catch. Joe Montana was the guy who threw the pass that signaled a changing of the guard in the NFL. The 49ers went on to defeat the Bengals in the Super Bowl.
I didn’t know anything about T.J. Oshie before Washington won the Stanley Cup, but the winger is my favorite hockey player. His emotional interview after the Caps clinched, in which he talked about his dad, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, was a captivating sports/human moment. And aren’t hockey players polite? After answering questions for two minutes, Oshie apologized and asked if he could go find his dad.
Trending up: Charlie Culberson, Jesse Winker, Casey Mize. The Atlanta Braves are one of the surprise teams in baseball this season and Culberson is turning into one of the summer’s best stories. Culberson, pinch-hitting, hit a walk-off home run last Sunday – his fourth such dinger among his eight career homers. Many players go their entire careers only dreaming of a walk-off homer. Culberson has fewer than 500 at-bats.
Trending down: Kellen Winslow Jr., Terrell Owens, Bryan Colangelo. Winslow, who had a solid 10-year NFL career that included a Pro Bowl season with the Browns in 2007, was arrested on burglary charges last week. Winslow reportedly was busted after leaving a home near a trailer park in San Diego. I know the cost of living in California is ridiculous, but Winslow did make about $40 million as a pro – not counting his college days at The U.
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