Decision time is coming and Ozzie isn't so funny any more
Eight to go and, yes, it’s gone by fast and in many respects we can’t wait for it to be over to get the most important part of the season but, truth be told, gonna miss games when they’re gone, right?
Tough decisions ahead
Dwane knows what’s coming this summer and last night acknowledged it publicly for maybe the first time.
Knowing that Valanciunas is coming, and with a group of bigs already here, he understands that there might be some movement when Bryan and The Henchmen sit down to chat.
The conversation was about the fact he hasn’t had much chance this year to coach his full team – Bargnani’s on the way to perhaps missing half the season with the calf – and that means he hasn’t truly seen how Bargnani and DeRozan truly fit; and, more important, he’s not sure how the whole bigs thing is going to work out.
“I know Bryan’s got some ideas but Andrea and DeMar are really big, huge pieces of our core, with Ed and Amir, we’ve got some good pieces that we have, but we’ve got to determine where they fit it, how they fit and what we want add to that.”
The fit of the bigs is the most interesting thing, by far. I cannot fathom a scenario by which they move Bargnani – and after the way he’s played when he’s played – nor should they.
But I imagine they know what I know: There might not be room for both Davis and Amir Johnson here next fall.
It’s going to make for an intriguing summer indeed.
Speaking of …
No one really knows what Ed Davis is but with the really good seat we had last night – right next to the bench, as close to the court as we are anywhere in the league – got to see some things we don’t often get to see that closely.
Davis may not be physically strong yet but he battled David West impressively in the post on a handful of possessions, so much so that his teammates were up and cheering.
I’m not saying he’s a finished product by any stretch of the imagination – not having a training camp yet and only one summer league and an abbreviated practice-free season has left him woefully behind – but we’re starting to see a bit of promise there.
He had a double-double last against a big front line, was active at both ends and it was perhaps his best game in a month.
Same seat, different view
If there is one thing DeMar still needs to work on, it’s setting his man up when he’s curling off screens.
It’s a subtle move that may come with experience or watching other guys but almost every time, on the second most effective play they run, he simply goes straight line around the big. What he needs to do is perhaps make a jab step to the baseline and then come back, take a stutter step to set up his man and give the big time to set the screen.
It’s a little, tiny thing and it could very well come with age but right now, it’s one of those Learning Opportunities the coaches are talking incessantly about.
How about a wee bit before You Can’t Get There From Here Tour ends.
Ozzie Guillen is in the soup. Big time. Like you cannot believe and I don’t know if the loose cannon Miami Marlins manager can get out of this one.
In case you haven’t heard, Guillen, a Venezuelan who has become the face and voice of the Marlins as they try to recapture the interest of the fan, is quoted in Time magazine as praising Fidel Castro.
Now, maybe it was some flippant remark by a guy with no filter but I don’t know how he gets past this. I’ve heard the well-respected Miami commentator Dan LaBatard, a second-generation Cuban, liken Castro to Hitler in the context of how much hated and loathing – and it is pure, unadulterated hatred – that Cuban-Americans hold for Castro.
It’s so bad that Guillen is flying back to Miami today on a Marlins off-day to hold a news conference to try to explain his remarks and it might be one of the most anticipated sports news conferences I can remember.
Look, there is some love for Guillen when he’s been all goofy and funny and making light of himself and his team and we tend to laugh it off. He’s Ozzie being Ozzie and we giggle and roll our eyes and move on to the next day. He insults gays and people who work for him and people he works for and somehow, we let it slide. Maybe we should have ignored his blathering a long time ago, and hoped he’d just go away.
As always, with all loose cannons, sometimes he’s going to fire in the wrong direction and this seems so incredibly wrong, I’m not sure there’s enough contrition in the Miami world to make this right.
The Marlins are one of the most intriguing teams in baseball this year, new stadium, new look, new team, gigantic payroll and all kinds of expectations and pressure and attention.
And now this?
Good luck to Ozzie; it’ll be interesting to see just how apologetic he can be, and whether the people will accept it.
Note to airport operators all over the world.
Early-morning travellers need coffee, like almost as much as they need their next breath. Trust me on this. We do.
And sure, we get that most restaurants aren’t going to be open at 4:30 or 5 a.m. but if you do what the nice folks at the OKC airport do, I – and hundreds of others – will be eternally grateful.
Bleary-eyed, wandering a concourse at 4:45 a.m. the other morning, desperately hoping something would be open, I stumbled upon an honour cart – fresh hot coffee brewed by the people getting ready to open the restaurant at 6. Drop a couple of bucks in a lock-box on the honour system, pour yourself a big hot cup of coffee and off you toddle, happily, back to the gate.
They did not boo the guy off the mound after the Opening Day blown save, did they?
Like, really loud boos from everyone? Or just boos from the drunken louts who’ll come back next year for the first home game?
If was the latter, I shake my head and sigh.
If it’s the former, that’s cold. Really cold.
I know, two blown saves to start the season is hardly spectacular, even if they won the one game, man, that’s getting on a guy awfully quick, isn’t it?
Too bad I missed seeing it live or on TV, sounds like a heckuva night.
Okay, let me get this straight.
The pucks are having their big lottery tonight except that if you win the lottery you might not actually “win” the lottery because you can only move up four places and if you’re 10th and you “win” you actually kind of lose.
Makes entire sense to me.