Random Thoughts From a Home Run Monday Night

We learned  couple of things from the Home Run Derby tonight – it can incredibly entertaining, and the overall format is flawed. Watching Josh Hamilton’s tour de force was one of the coolest things I have done in a long while. The problem, though, is that no one cared about the result after that all happened. Justin Morneau is a fellow Canadian, and I am proud of him for coming through, but he didn’t deserve to win, and no one cares that he does. Instead of making it a three round contest like it is which just tires out batters and pitchers and rarely builds to a dramatic finish, it is time they tweak it a bit. They should invite a few more guys to participate, give each guy a few more outs, and just have one round. It didn’t matter what happened after Hamilton did his thing, so the format should be such that he didn’t have to do anything. The way it is now, Morneau hit fewer home runs in three rounds than Hamilton did in one, and he still won.

Interesting news out of Indianapolis today – Peyton Manning had knee surgery to remove an inflamed bursa sac. He’s been trying to recover since February, but surgery finally became the best option. He is expected back at his best in four to six weeks, and his consecutive game streak shouldn’t be threatened. It is amazing how some guys operate under the microscope while other mega-stars can totally elude scrutiny. Obviously being in Indianapolis has something to do with it – we know nothing about what Manning does when he isn’t on the field, and we knew nothing about Marvin Harrison until his alleged shooting incident in the spring (which has conveniently seemed to have gone away).

Again, I must qualify this next story by saying that summer league basketball is virtually meaningless. That being said, a couple of interesting performances came out in the first game for Minnesota and Dallas. The T-Wolves cruised to an easy win on the strength of an impressive showing by Kevin Love. The start was rocky, but he ended up with 18 points and 13 rebounds. I have reasonably high hopes that he will exceed expectations as a pro, so this was a good start. The other one to note was Dallas’ Shan Foster. The former Vanderbilt star had 17 points. Foster didn’t get the respect I think he deserved in the draft. He’s a bit one-dimensional, but he just knows how to score. He joins DeAndre Jordan and Chris Douglas-Roberts as guys who could wind up being major steals in the second round.

Strange story from the Islanders’ camp. They fired Ted Nolan today after two years as coach, citing differing philosophies between coach and management. Nolan was out of coaching for about a decade after winning coach of the year in Buffalo. He reportedly feuded with his goalie there, and many say he got his GM fired as well. In New York he got more out of the team than they deserved with the talent they had, but he reportedly feuded with his goaltender, and he obviously couldn’t get along with his GM. It will be very interesting to see if he will get another job, or if the emerging pattern will put him squarely back on the black list. Things must have been pretty bleak if they warranted his firing this long after the season ended, and this close to rookie camps and, as hard as it is to believe, the start of training camp. The new staff will be starting from behind.

Jeff Borris, the agent for Barry Bonds, says his client has not received a single offer from a team looking for his services, and that the prospects look bleak for him to play this year. I hate when bad things happen to good people.

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