I hope you’re having a relaxing Memorial Day weekend. In addition to the cookouts, sports, and fun with family and friends this weekend, let’s be sure to remember the fine men and women serving our great country throughout the world.
With this in mind, it was great seeing Hall of Famer Bob Feller on the Orioles-Nationals telecast this afternoon. At 90 years old, Feller has amazingly spent over half his life as a member of the Hall of Fame (inducted in 1962). That’s just hard to comprehend!
In addition to his remarkable career with the Cleveland Indians, which included a no-hitter on Opening Day in 1940, Feller served four years in the U.S. Navy. He put his baseball career on hold immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, enlisting on Dec. 8, 1941. That’s the stuff of a true hero.
Now, it’s time for the 5 Ws and 1 H for the week:
1. Who have you most enjoyed watching in the NBA Playoffs this year?
Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are the obvious headliners, but Orlando’s Dwight Howard has been a man among boys in the paint (averaging 16.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game), and Denver’s Carmelo Anthony (a Baltimore native) is averaging 28.0 points per game and playing his best basketball in quite some time.
Few were talking about the Magic and Nuggets prior to the postseason, but both teams have put together impressive runs. Both series in the conference finals have been packed with excitement and drama, but getting back to my question, King James reigns supreme:
The legendary Marv Albert making the call just adds to this incredible moment in NBA Playoffs history.
2. What was former Terp and Dolphins defensive end Randy Starks thinking early Sunday morning?
Thirteen people in one truck? With an endless number of DUI arrests and traffic-related incidents, I’m convinced there’s a code among professional athletes to never—under ANY circumstances—call a taxicab or limousine service. It is beyond stupid how these athletes put their careers—and more importantly, other people’s lives—in danger on a regular basis. Starks’ arrest is just the latest in a long line of terrible choices among professional athletes.
Starks has had a nice career in the NFL, playing four seasons with the Titans before signing with Miami prior to last season, but his poor decision over the weekend certainly didn’t add to it.
3. Where will Michael Vick end up if and when he is reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell?
Even if they won’t publicly admit it, at least 20 teams in the league would probably like to improve their quarterback situations. I’m just not sure Vick is the guy on which you take a chance.
Vick’s best passing season came in 2002 when he threw for 2,936 yards, 16 touchdowns, and posted an 81.6 quarterback rating. In comparison, Joe Flacco threw for 2,971 yards, 14 touchdowns, and had an 80.3 rating in his rookie season.
The 28-year-old Vick has a career 75.7 quarterback rating, and you have to wonder how much the two-year layoff will affect his development as a passer. One factor to consider in this story is the rise in popularity of the Wildcat offense last season. On the surface, it seems to be the perfect offense for Vick, but defensive coordinators around the league are surely creating defensive schemes to stop the novelty package.
Part of Vick’s past success can be attributed to the fact that no other teams did the things he could do offensively—he was one of a kind. With defenses now trying to stop the Wildcat, these same schemes might be more effective in stopping an athletic quarterback like Vick. If teams are successful in neutralizing his legs, Vick is an average quarterback at best.
When you also consider the enormous amount of media attention and backlash from animal rights groups, is it really even worth it to take a flier on Vick? I’m not so sure.
4. When will the Washington Wizards ever get a break?
After finishing a miserable 19-63 season, the Wizards had the second-best chance to land the No. 1 pick (presumably Blake Griffin) but had to settle for the fifth pick in the NBA Draft Lottery. It’s just another example in the long line of terrible luck for Washington’s basketball team.
Of course, bad decisions have also been a trademark of the franchise. After winning the lottery in 2001, the Wizards chose high school phenom Kwame Brown. He averaged 4.2 points per game this season—for the Detroit Pistons.
5. Why didn’t the Orioles have any interest in Adam Dunn again?
The 29-year-old slugger who hit two home runs and drove in six runs in the Nationals’ 8-5 win over the Orioles on Sunday signed a two-year, $20 million contract with Washington prior to the season. With such an affordable contract, you would think the Orioles would have had more interest, but there was little discussion involving Dunn this offseason.
With Mark Teixeira spurning the Orioles to sign a bigger contract with the Yankees, wouldn’t Dunn have been a nice consolation prize? He’s hit at least 40 home runs in each of the past five seasons. With the impending free agency of Aubrey Huff, the team could have elected to move Huff or Luke Scott after signing Dunn.
It also would’ve been fun to see the left-hander take aim at the Warehouse 81 games a season, but I guess we’ll never know.
6. How ridiculous is the reputation for the new Yankee Stadium becoming? Teixeira hit a broken-bat home run down the left field line this afternoon in the Yankees’ 4-3 loss in 11 innings.
This isn’t the first time a broken-bat swing has resulted in a home run, but with the already growing reputation for the new stadium being a bandbox, it certainly won’t change any opinions.