Random thoughts while hoping Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s fragile ego (not to mention Sox fans who generally are defensiveb about their team’s rightful place in the world) will be able to survive joining the long list of ballplayers who were snubbed throughout history for the All-Star Game:
* Speaking of the Midsummer’s Classic (well, it once was classic and classy before interleague play and cable television watered things down to the point that commissioner Bud Selig felt compelled — by Fox TV types — to add meaning to the game by having homefield advantage for the World Series go to the contest’s winner), you have to think Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker could find better things to do than feud with former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa about the National League roster. If the fans, players and managers don’t vote in pitcher Johnny Cueto and second baseman Brandon Phillips, that says something.
* Speaking of La Russa (who is managing the NL because he guided the Cardinals to the 2011 World Series championship), he says the fact that Cueto (who is to pitch Sunday, July 8) and Phillips were part of a 2010 brawl between the Cards and Reds did not factor into his selection process for the July 10 game.
* And the Milwaukee Brewers are upset that pitcher Zach Greinke (who is to pitcher over the weekend) wasn’t picked for the NL all-star team. Who knew Kansas City — site of the 2012 All-Star Game — would be such a hot destination.
* Speaking of heat, some folks are trying to take the heat off deceased former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno for his involvement — or lack thereof — regarding Jerry Sandusky, the former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator who recently was found guilty of preying on young boys and taking advantage of them sexually. Paterno backers say he did not use email. And that somehow excuses inexcusable behavior? You have to wonder if Paterno’s lack of action beyond telling his immediate Penn State superiors (well, maybe they were on a flow chart, but Paterno ruled Happy Valley and beyond without question) might have been different if it was Paterno’s progreny that Sandusky selected for sexual abuse.
* For Buzz Bissinger’s take on Paterno, you can click here. Writes the author of Friday Night Lights: “It is an ugly thing to trample on the dead. Just as ugly as using the cloak of his death to perpetuate the image of a man who we now know beyond all doubt never existed. He wasn’t the moral center. He wasn’t the avuncular JoePa. He wasn’t the man who simply didn’t do enough when confronted with a sickening allegation. Add the word ‘liar’ to his legacy.”
* Initial impression of Chicago Bulls draft pick Marquis Teague? He needs to work on his game. Certainly, as far as giving responses to the media. Those one- and two-sentence answers just won’t cut it in the NBA. Don’t they offer media training for credit as a part of the Kentucky basketball curriculum?
* Speaking of the Luvabulls (OK, we weren’t, but does that matter), here is another video of one of the dance team’s members, co-captain Catherine. Not to be confused with another co-captain Catherine, who was featured here. To check out today’s Catherine, you can click here. And a reminder that Luvabulls auditions are Aug. 25. For information, you can click here.
* Speaking of the Bulls, they reportedly are interested in point guard Derek Fisher to fill in for Derrick Rose, who is recovering from anterior cruciate ligament surgery and is expected to miss much — if not all — of the 2012-13 season. Fisher has won five NBA championships, and Chicago is unlikely to be a steppingstone to a sixth for him and a seventh for the Bulls. Fisher, 37, is one of the few players active from the years when the Bulls were winning titles.
* Speaking of age, swimmer Dara Torres failed in her attempt to gain a berth on the U.S. team for the 2012 London Games in the 50-meter freestyle. “Being 45, getting fourth in Olympic trials against girls almost half my age, it’s OK,” she said. “I’m used to winning, but that wasn’t the goal here. The goal was to try to make it. I didn’t quite do it, but I’m really happy with how I did. I was able to hang in there.”
Well, as long as we’re going to have a swimming mention, we might as well have swimsuits. So here we go with some video (non-Olympic):
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