Tim Lincecum is just 25 years old and he is in serious contention to win his second straight Cy Young award. Kids, does that sound like something you would like to accomplish, too? Well, apparently it’s easy, because now we know Lincecum’s secret – pot, and lots of it. Lincecum was apparently pulled over last week for speeding, and the officer discovered that his car reeked of pot. Lincecum ended up handing over a pipe and 3.3 grams of pot. That’s not much, but it’s enough for him to be facing misdemeanor charges. It will only be a slap on the wrist ultimately, but it’s obviously not what a league that has been overcome with drug stories for years now would have hoped from one of its biggest young stars. Kinda funny.
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I am impressed to the point of being shocked by the start that Brandon Jennings has gotten off to. In three games for a reasonably crappy Bucks team the point guard has averaged 22 points, .3 assists, and four boards. I have only seen him play part of one game, but he looked the furthest thing from a rookie point guard. The game I saw them play was against Chicago. I am a huge Derrick Rose guy – couldn’t be a bigger believer. That being said, Jennings flat out outplayed him in the game. I was very skeptical of Jennings ‘ decision to play in Europe instead of college, and the reports coming out of Europe weren’t universally great, but early indications are that he could be a serious draft steal. The downside to his early strong play in my mind is that it further legitimizes his decision to skip college and turn pro in Europe. If it continues to turn out so well for him then other players will surely follow, and that will only hurt college basketball. I’d obviously rather not have that happen.
Wow, was Michael Vick ever bad last night. 7 of 11 sounds good until you hear that it was only for 26 yards, and that he threw a pick. The ball was all over the place and he looked like, well, a guy who hasn’t played football in a couple of years. There’s another factor here, too – it’s going to take a while for Vick to get back to where he was, but remember that where he was wasn’t exactly at the top of the pile n terms of accuracy. The guy has never been much of a passer, so expecting miracles is probably a bit silly. My expectations for his week three return are very low – even if it is against the Chiefs so he will have all the time in the world to pass because that team is seemingly allergic to the pass rush.
Baltimore catcher and prodigy Matt Wieters came into the league with a tremendous amount of hype this spring. It certainly hasn’t taken him long to justify it. His first full month in the league – June – was a bit rocky. By July, though, he had figured things out in a big way. He hit .323 on the month, and he had a decent OPS of .767. More amazing than the numbers, Wieters has quickly started to look comfortable and confident. It’s not at all hard to believe that he’s the real deal.
Carson Palmer is well on his way to wasting even more of his impressive talent. He’s coming off a lost season thanks to elbow problems, and he isn’t exactly setting a positive tone now – he has already missed two days of practices since training camp started. It was only because of the flu, but it’s still a bad omen. I was sure Palmer was going to be a megastar when he came out of college, but he has been frustratingly mediocre in the last few seasons. I put about 98 percent of the blame for that on Marvin Lewis. If you have read this site for while then you have heard this before, and you are certainly going to hear it again – Lewis is the worst coach in football. The Bengals have been pathetic underachievers for much of his tenure, and they will continue to disappoint for as long as the team’s management refuses to come to their senses and get themselves a real coach. Palmer, and the city of Cincinnati, deserves better.
I like old guys in professional sports who can still get the job done. On the other hand, I get peeved with old guys who don’t know when to hang it up. Of course, “old” is a relative term. Late 30s to 40s is old in most sports, whereas in most other aspects of life people in that age group are still considered young. It all has to do with peak physical performance, which for most happens in their late 20s to mid 30s. There have been some old guys in the new lately. Here they are.
Okay, baseball fans, we are just about there—baseball’s midpoint. Actually, the All-Star break comes a bit past the midpoint of the season. Each team has already played over 81 games. It’s been an interesting season (to say the least). Here are a few observations.
Manchester United rules the European soccer world after taking the Champions League final today over Chelsea. If you are North American then chances are pretty good that you don’t care. This was a pretty spectacular game, though, or at least the finish was. They were tied at one after the 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime. That meant that the game and the most prestigious club championship in the world would be decided in the middle of the night in Moscow in the puring rain by penalty kicks. Cristiano Ronaldo, Man U’s top scoring threat and one of the top players in the world, missed his kick and all looked lost. All Chelsea captain John Terry had to do was score and they won. As he approached the ball he slipped and fell, and the ball sailed harmlessly wide of the net. Man U went on to win in extra kicks, and Terry, one of the elder statesmen of English soccer, looked like he was going to hang himself with his consolation medal. You don’t have to like soccer to enjoy this – you just have to like human suffering and pure agony.