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Sports Natterings

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Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 2:24 pm

I’ve decided that in my next life I want to return as Jay Bilas, the 6-foot, 8-inch former Duke star, holder of a law degree from Duke, practicing litigator in Charlotte, North Carolina and ESPN NCAA Men’s Basketball color commentator. Bilas, 55, a graduate of Peninsula High School in Palos Verdes, is far away the best college basketball analyst working currently. Recently he took a well-targeted shot at the governing body of collegiate sports, the NCAA for their most recent public relations misstep, requiring agents in the sport of basketball to have a college education. The edict was perceived by many as racially insensitive and was generally believed to be aimed at Rich Paul, the agent who represents LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, and John Wall among many others. Introduced last week, the concept was on the receiving end of an immediate broadside from Bilas, who isn’t afraid to take a stand. My only wish for the coming College Basketball season is that Bilas is behind the microphone and on ESPN sports coverage even more often than he was last year… I’ve watched the triple-double floor exercise move that Simone Biles accomplished during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships last weekend four or five times and it’s incredible. A similar dismount Biles makes from the balance beam makes two gymnastic moves that only she can accomplish… The NBA knows how to create a schedule and fans will get to see the Lakers vs. the Clippers on Opening Night slated for Tuesday, Oct. 22… For some reason, Major League Baseball and the NBA both released their schedules for next year on Monday, with MLB getting the shorter end of the publicity generated by the respective announcements… The recent protest staged by a male fencer and a female hammer thrower at the Pan American Games hasn’t exactly taken the country by storm. Lima, Peru, where the Pan Am Games were held isn’t exactly a media center; their sports aren’t followed except during the Olympic Games; and it’s all been done before… My reaction to Oakland and soon to be Las Vegas Raider, wide receiver Antonio Brown’s current plight is sadness. Between his feet being damaged in a cryogenic chamber accident resulting in frost bite and not practicing because he can’t wear his 10-year old helmet this season, his focus doesn’t seem to be on the upcoming NFL season. He’s in the process of shortening what could have been a Hall of Fame career… Free Melvin Gordon… It’s going to be an interesting off-season for the San Diego Padres. Ownership and management thought this was going to be a playoff team, but the ballclub is going to fall considerably short of that goal, despite a much larger player payroll than in past years. Though improving from their 2018 record of 66-96 (.407), to 55-63 (.466 through Monday) in 2019, major personnel changes may well be forthcoming… As an aside, Franmil Reyes, who was recently traded from the Padres to the Cleveland Indians, has played in 11 games since arriving in Northeast Ohio. In 36 at-bats he has four hits, three RBIs, is hitting .111 with 14 strikeouts and 1 walk. Moving Reyes and keeping Hunter Renfro who are both right fielders by trade was a smart move. Renfro who doesn’t hit for average either, he’s at .240 through the beginning of the week, has as much power as Reyes and is a superior defender.

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