Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. It is amazing that we have already taken a good sized chunk out of June. Thankfully, the days continue to get longer and many we have many more summer days ahead...
My son left Sunday for a week of “baseball boot camp” as he describes it. The BBCOR bat that he used during the spring season apparently has expired, so we tried to send him to camp with a new bat. After searching Austin for the Nike BBCOR that he wanted, I found one online at Baseball Express in San Antonio. I immediately called the store and was happy to hear that the bat was available. I tried to pay for the bat with a credit card, but the young lady said, “you don’t have to do that, I will put it behind the counter for you.” So, we packed up and made a quick 2 hour drive down I 35 to pick up the bat. We got to the store and spent a few minutes checking out all of the new gear. Blake found a wood practice bat and with perfect timing, the manager stopped by to see if he could help. I explained that I had called earlier and we were here to pick up the Nike BBCOR bat. I got a bad feeling when I noticed a puzzled look appear. As he began to look for the bat, he summoned two young ladies over to question them about the missing bat. One said, “ I put it behind the counter, but I guess someone put it back.” Yeah…I am sure. Yep, bat was gone. Of course I was pissed, but I kept my cool. I explained that we had just driven 2 hours to get the bat so that my son could take the bat with him to camp the next day. The manager had one bat left in the warehouse that he offered to ship for free with a $50 discount from the discounted price and took off 20% the wood bat. A good deal, but still did not get the bat to the camp. So, my wife and I drove up the bat after work today. Although I did not really want to make the 60 mile drive north of Austin, my folks don’t live far from the campus where the camp is, so we were able to drop by and grab a quick visit and dinner. As I drove home, I realized how lucky I am to still have my folks around. They are not as spry as they once were, but of course…neither am I.
On our drive out of Austin, we caught a bit of sports radio and I heard a few things that I decdied to include in deep thoughts this week. Apparently, a documentary is out that details the inhumane treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
The documentary is the work of Al Jazeera. Does this name ring a bell? He wrote music for Sesame Street and he is angry that his music was used to torture prisoners while at the prison. Can you imagine hours strapped to a chair with the Barney Song blaring in your ears? Damn, now that is inhumane. For the record, Springstein’s Born in the USA, AC/DC and Eminem’s music was also used as “disincentive”. So, I got to thinking…what would be the most annoying music to have to listen to for two hours? I think I have it…this:
As much as I loved the Ice Cream Man when I was a kid, that damn music drives me crazy now. I get it, you want the obnoxiously loud music to trumpet your approach. But, wow...
Another topic the guys on the radio dug into was the NFL looking for other options to handle next season’s officiating. It is interesting, last year it was the NFL against the player’s union. This year, it is the NFL against the Zebra association. What really puzzles me is the coverage of this spat. I have to admit, I have not read much about what is going on, but just listening to what the talking heads say, I was sure that the ref’s union was wrong. But, as I read into this…there seems to be more to this than just greed on the union’s part. The collective bargaining agreement expired after the 2011 season, but no mention of a strike has been mentioned by the NFLRA (NFL Referees Association). After two negotiating sessions, the NFL announced that they would begin to train new officials. I did not realize this, but BCS referees are also members of the NFLRA and would not be eligible for hire. Where will the NFL find officials to work next year? Arena officials or college officials not affiliated with big time college football.
So…who is right? “Game officials - most of whom hold other jobs - were offered a seven-year deal that included increases of between 5 percent and 11 percent in wages per year. First-year officials who made an average of $78,000 in 2011 would earn more than $165,000 by the end of the new agreement. A 10-year veteran in 2011 who made $139,000 would get more than $200,000 in 2018.”
Anyone out there interested in this “part time” gig? Hell yeah…sign me up. I will start running and get into shape for this kind of money. How do you think I will look in stripes? It appears that the sticking point with the NFL is the pension plan, which the NFL wants to freeze and eliminate. So, here we are again. The NFL has another labor problem. In a time when record money is pouring in, the league cannot seem to keep everyone happy. Let’s see how happy the fan base is next season when we get to enjoy the replacement refs…
But how many has he won?
This time last week, everyone assumed that the Spurs would be matching up against the Heat, for the NBA championship. Obviously, the Celtics and Thunder had other plans. I know that many of you are Celtic fans, or at least fans of anyone but LeBron. I read an article today by Rick Reilly that basically said that it is time to quit piling on LeBron. He mentioned that LeBron was guilty of jilting Cleveland…and nothing more. His basic point is that James has not been a bad citizen. He keeps his nose clean and is a terrific talent. Okay, so LeBron does have that going for him…but Reilly completely misses the point. LeBron James smugly predicted that he would win at least 6 championships. The general population does not dig arrogance. It is perhaps the one trait that disgusts us above all in our sports heroes. I usually like what Rick Reilly has to say, but his message this time completely missed the mark for me. Give LeBron a break because he has been really good and has won three MVPs? So Rick, did you happen to watch Kevin Durant take over the 4th quarter against San Antonio? Quite honestly, no team could have stopped Durant’s finish. I was pulling for the Spurs, but damn it was amazing to see KD dominate the final quarter. Durant is the best player in the NBA today and as much as I hoped the Spurs would get one more…a ring for Durant and crew would not be so bad. Of course, there is the small matter of finishing off the Spurs. My gut tells me there will be a game seven, for both series…
Here is the Reilly article for your viewing: http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/8011587/lebron-being-lebron
Damn, how do we stop Durant?
A few final thoughts…
A friend reminded me today that although we just acknowledged the Vets on Memorial that today is the anniversary of DDay. This is a very important date in our country's history and should not go by without acknowledgment. Here's to those that were there that day so many years ago and thanks for kicking Hitler's ass!
Tom Lasorda suffered a minor heart attack this week. Here is wishing Lasorda a quick recovery.
In case you ever wondered, Banana Boat sunscreen is flammable…
Brett Sigworth said he applied Banana Boat sunscreen to his body before walking over to his grill, not knowing it would still be flammable after it was on his skin. The warnings on the bottle of Banana Boat sunscreen read, "Flammable, don't use near heat, flame or while burning." But nothing about once it's applied. As the judge told Richard Pryor about paying taxes…you will remember next time.
That’s all I have for today, but I will leave you with a few Jack Handey tidbits:
If you are a happy employee does that make you 'gruntled' ?
Why do bunches of people run from a shark when they see one, if there is a bunch of people, and one of that shark, wouldn't it be easy to just attack him and kick his ass?
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own.