by Mack Williams
15 August 2014
I hope MLB’s playoffs and World Series wind up with as compelling story lines as does the Little League World Series, beginning with that of Philadelphia’s Mo’ne Davis, believed to be the first African-American girl to compete. The ace pitcher of her team, she has challenged her pitching hero Clayton Kershaw to a “pitch-off,” which Kershaw accepted when she can get out to Los Angeles. Some company could get themselves some nice pr by sending Mo’ne out to Dodger Stadium between the end of the LLWS and the start of the school year.
While all the early talk was of Mo’ne, Chicago’s Pierce Jones grabbed the spotlight yesterday with his three-homer opening game performance and humble nature, making the representatives from the Jackie Robinson West Little League another must-see team.
II. Started At The Bottom…
Should the New York Mets still be offensively-challenged in another nine years, perhaps they might like to look at young Mr. Jones…but I write not to bury the not-so-Amazins, but to praise them. Not that I don’t stand by my statement that the Omar Minaya “Los Mets” were better than the current Sandy Alderson “moneyball” version, but after all of these years of less-than mediocrity and irrelevance, the Mets have assembled a group of young pitchers on their staff and in their farm system – from Matt Harvey to Zack Wheeler to Jacob deGrom to Jenrry Mejia to Noah Syndergaard and others – that have got to be the envy of virtually every organization. They’ve built from the bottom centered around pitching before – see 1969 and 1986 – and seem to be positioned to do so yet again.
III. At The Top
Kudos to the champion San Antonio Spurs on adding Becky Hammon to their coaching staff upon her retirement at the conclusion of the current WNBA season, which will make her the first woman to be an on-bench assistant coach.
While the summer basketball chatter has centered on LeBron and the Cavs and the improved Bulls with the returning Derrick Rose and the incoming Pau Gasol, don’t be surprised if the champs are able to do what they have yet to accomplish during their run of success: repeat as champs.
IV. Just Asking…
The recently-retired David Stern was one of the most impactful commissioners in sports history, helping to usher in an unprecedented era of worldwide NBA success. He is clearly one who is Hall of Fame-worthy, but why was he eligible for admission to the Hall five months after his retirement, unlike a player who would have to wait five years for eligibility?
V. Meet The Host
My wife never liked David Gregory as host of Meet The Press…and the ratings probably reflect the fact that she wasn’t alone. It’s hard to replace an icon such as the late Tim Russert. I expect that the next host, Chuck Todd, will do a good job, as he does with his political reporting…but the best choice from the NBC farm system might have been Rachel Maddow. And the next might have been Chris Hayes.
Finally the name of the policeman who shot and killed Mike Brown is about to be released. It’s interesting that the police chief has been so intent on keeping that information from the public for his “safety,” unlike the lack of concern that officer showed for the safety of Mike Brown.
As Rev. Al Sharpton has worked with Brown’s family since his death and has invited them to participate in an August 23rd march in New York seeking justice for Eric Garner, I’m reminded of a co-worker who asked why Al Sharpton was always there every time there was an incident. The answer then – and seemingly now more than ever – was that if there weren’t so many “incidents,” there would be nowhere for him to go.
VII. Eye of the Tiger
I still gotta believe a bunch of the other PGA golfers would love to see Tiger return to form.