Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Of 1-and-dones ... and softball Win No. 1

Those who hate the rule that allows -- even encourages -- young basketball hotshots to go to college for one-plus semester and then turn pro shouldn't hate the kids.

Nor should they be hating on Kentucky, coach John Calipari or NBA commissioner David Stern.

You go to college to better your lot in life. It's hard to argue that Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the other Kentucky starters did anything but that when they decided to go pro. They teamed to win the Wildcats the NCAA title, so it's not as if they owe Kentucky anything else. Even if they hadn't won a title, they played hard and represented the school well for the short time they were there (at least as far as we know). That's all any college athlete owes his or her school.

So the kids are all right.

Calipari? He just recruits the best players in the country and abides by the rules as they stand (as the rules pertain to 1-and-dones, anyway). What? You don't think he'd rather have Davis & Co. for another year or three? He didn't write the rule. Get off his case.

Stern has publicly stated that he'd like the rule revised so athletes would have to stay in school for at least two years before declaring for the draft. But league owners have to collectively bargain that stuff with the players' union, so it's not as if Stern can make some kind of unilateral ruling.

I don't fault the union, either. Coming to an agreement that keeps kids from jumping right from preps to the pros was a major concession a few years ago. Why should they give in more unless the owners make a major concession? The sooner a player enters the league and gets through his first relatively modest contract, the sooner that player is going to get the really big bucks, thereby inflating salaries for everybody. The union is in no hurry to give that up.

So who's to "blame"? There is no blame. This simply going to be the way it is for the foreseeable future. Deal with it.


And speaking of Ready for Prime Time Players, our geriatric-ish softball team used a spectacular last-inning comeback to score our first win of the season.

Trailing big early, we eventually rallied to tie it at 17-17. Then we fell behind 19-17 before scoring 9 in the top of the last to go up 26-19. That's the way it ended when our defense put together our only 1-2-3 inning of the game. Clutch! Even more impressive, we had to play without our coach, who arguably is our best player, and two other guys. Don't take this personally, Ed, but you must be overrated!!

Yours truly wasn't exactly the MVP -- a sac fly, a hit, a walk, line-drive out and an embarrassing called third strike (believe me, the ball was 6 inches inside, but I still should have protected the plate). I made a couple of decent plays at second base, scored a couple runs and led the charge to grab a beer after the game. Hey, I'm all about camaraderie.

So now we're 1-2 and gaining a reputation as Komeback Kids (if 50-, 60- and 70-somethings can be called kids). Our previous game, we trailed 9-0, roared back to take a 10-9 lead and then lost in the bottom of the last. This time, we made the comeback stick. Very satisfying.

Look at me, all jacked up about a softball game. Ah, it's grand to be a kid again.

No comments:

Post a Comment