Cronise Surmises — Technical Foul Edition

I don’t know how much attention you’d allocated to sports this past 3-day weekend…  Hopefully you spent part of it with friends and family, enjoying Memorial Day.  I know us upper East Coasters had some nice weather during the daytime.  So for those of you that worked on your tan a little more and your favorite seat’s butt-groove a little less, here’s a few things I surmised.

They call him Bonds.  Barry Bonds.

It’s a very forgiving time for baseball fans.  It wasn’t long ago that Mark McGwire returned to the St. Louis Cardinals.  As a hitting instructor.  Think about that for just a moment: part of the original Bash Brothers… admitted to using steroids in the midst of the Steroid Era… laid low… and came back to help his former team… perform the exact skillset that practically exiled him.  It might not have been the most popular choice when it happened… but it certainly didn’t force people to petition the move.

Then our MVP got busted for PEDs… allegedly.  Think about that as well: one of the today’s great players has a career year… and promptly fails a steroids test… lawyered up and professed his innocence… got the initial ruling overturned… and returned, unscathed, to his team… that desperately needs every stat he can put up.  Both the initial ruling and the overturning caused stirs.  But they both quietly melted away and now it’s almost as if it never happened.

So why not Barry?  I read a few articles that were talking about him attending a recent Giants game.  I think if anyone deserves a welcome return, it’s Barry Bonds.

I don’t know if Barry Bonds did steroids.  I don’t care either.  He still hit 762 homeruns.  And even though he was under insane scrutiny for his ’01 73-homerun season, he still managed to get voters to send him to 4 more All-Star games and 3 straight MVPs.  And he never officially retired.  I heard he’s in great shape.  Shady past or not, I’d still pay to see him in a game.  I think most people would.  Don’t think it’s gonna happen, but why not let him be part of baseball?  It’s not like baseball holds grudges.  Oh crap.  Sorry, Pete Rose.

Not so sunny in Philadelphia.

Doc needs a doc.

What’s going on in Philly?  I’m not talking about bricking foul shots… I’m talking about quality starting pitching.  Philly fans (Dorse included), I’m sorry if it feels like I’m piling it on.  A little.

Starting pitching is supposed to be one of the Phillies strengths.  It’s supposed to be the strongest rotation, one through five.  And instead, you have one guy putting up expected numbers.  One guy going to the DL after an ineffective start and one guy who has been ineffective after spending time on the DL.  One guy just trying to hold it down.  And one guy wasn’t even brought back this season.

Yeah, only Cole Hamels has been worth anything.  It makes you wonder too…  He’s 8-1 with a 2.43 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 70 innings.  On a struggling .500 team.  What would he be on a winning team?

Roy Halladay just got shut down for a few weeks, but he hasn’t been a force anyways.  Cliff Lee hasn’t shown too much of his good stuff either.  Joe Blanton… well, he might be the #2 guy right now.

Better get it together Philly.  Otherwise it’s gonna be a long wait until the Eagles kick off.

Right city; wrong sport.

Just heard that Hard Knocks is gonna feature the Miami Dolphins this year.  Umm… why?  They didn’t get Peyton Manning.  They struck out on Matt Flynn too—no unproven new guy leading a franchise to the future.  I don’t even think there’s a QB situation between Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill.  Probably the most entertaining player would have been Brandon Marshall.  And he’s not on the team anymore.

I know there’s so much to cover with the Heat.  Between performance and locker room events, that’s a hot story.  And I know it’s pretty steamy with the Marlins too.  New everything… winning games… Ozzie Guillen.

It just doesn’t carry over to the football field.  From hot to steamy to… sort of warm?  I don’t think the numbers are gonna be good, HBO.  Just a gut feeling.

The next Blind Side.

Feel-good story of the year candidate.

I just read this story on ESPN’s site.  Never even heard of Brian Banks before.  Clicked the link thinking it was going to be one of those typical stories—some guy, wasting his potential by making poor decisions, somehow getting a chance to make a practice squad because some key player got hurt.

Wrong.  This was the greatest story of redemption I’ve ever read.  Click that link, I promise I’ll wait…

Brian Banks is a true model of hope and conviction.  He was falsely imprisoned and never let up on his faith that one day his name would be cleared.  He had his whole future stolen from him.  And now he’s a free man, as hopeful as ever.

I hope he makes one of those teams.  I hope he gets some playing time.  And when it happens, I hope the TV producers remember his story and give him a quick pre-game/halftime video.  I think this story is better than Michael Oher’s.  Maybe just because this one shouldn’t have ever happened.  And that Brian Banks holds no grudge.

Where’s Waldo?

I didn’t know Waldo was so good at soccer.

Seriously.  Where is he?  He must be on Team USA’s bench somewhere, judging by the men’s national team uniforms.  What the crap are they wearing?

Maybe I’ve completely missed this.  I don’t know how many games/tournaments they’ve been wearing this uniform.  Maybe it’s some sort of limited-appearance throwback designs.  Doesn’t matter.  It’s hideous!

Isn’t soccer the most globally-watched sport?  And we choose to look like that?  Wow…  In addition to linking America to his European soccer roots, maybe Beckham should also give us some lessons on fashion.

Now or later, OKC.

The Spurs are still beating the odds and continuing their unbelievable postseason run.  I said I expected the Spurs to play well for the first two games—I said that OKC would be quick to adapt.  It might take a game or two, but I firmly believe the Thunder can beat the Spurs.

But now it’s two games later and the Spurs are up 2-0.  It’s time for the Thunder to make the move.  They showed in Game 2 that they are capable of playing the game.  But it slipped away, late in the 4th… or did it?

It’s playing out the way I predicted.  Spurs win Game 1 in convincing fashion.  Thunder put up a fight in Game 2, but the Spurs prevail.  Now the Spurs are in a false sense of security.  Not time to change anything because you don’t fix something that isn’t broken.  And that’s what the Thunder want.  They’ve had ample time to study how the Spurs machine works.  Now they can take Game 3 on their home court and show what they’ve learned.  How to beat the Spurs.

PS—anyone else catch the mini-piece ESPN did on why KD wears the number 35?  Here’s the video… makes you like the guy even more.  Glad the Durant Age is just beginning.

Does he still got game?

I’m talking about Ray Allen, of course.  The greatest shooter in NBA history.

He’s looked washed up throughout the playoffs.  Not so much too-much-mileage.  More like… when someone “invincible” shows vulnerability for the first time.  It’s like he has taken so much effort and time to keep his body conditioned—and never accepted the idea that time cannot be defeated.

He’s shooting so poorly.  It’s got to be affecting his confidence… I mean, he shot 3-for-7 from the free throw line in Game 1 against the Heat.  A guy who has made nearly 9 out of every 10 over the course of his career.  And now it’s almost enough to make you cringe every time he gets the ball.

I hope it’s a simple case of bone spurs making things too uncomfortable.  If this is the last run for Boston’s Big 3, I can accept it.  I don’t like it, but I’ll be ok.  As long as they go down swinging.  I don’t want to watch my favorite players hang on too long… burning and crashing the memories they’ve created for me.

It’s almost like that final year that Cal Ripken played.  Once the pressure of “the streak” was over and Cal stopped being an every day player, it’s like he quickly deteriorated before my eyes.  I saw his flaws and, for the first time, found myself thinking maybe it was for the best if he hung them up.

But maybe Denzel Washington can give Ray a visit.  Play some playground hoops.  Bring back Jesus Shuttleworth for a few more weeks.

Might as well bring back ‘Sheed…

“T” Time With ‘Sheed. Coming soon.

One more thing about Boston-Miami Game 1…  Anyone else appalled by the officiating?

Call it bitter grapes if you want… chances are your team was been watching the playoffs from home anyways…  But what was up with the officiating?  I’ve never seen refs so quick to call a technical—Joey Crawford included.

I kinda, sorta get the delay of game T on Kevin Garnett.  I don’t think he was purposely delaying the game.  In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that if a player is under the basket after a basket is scored, they’re gonna touch the ball.  I know the Celtics supposedly got warned prior to the call… but come on.  Delay of game for barely re-directing the ball with your fingertips?  That’s weak.

I sorta understand the 3 in the key T.  I would have liked to see some kind of replay with a clock (game clock, shot clock, whatever) showing that someone stayed in the key for the full 3 seconds… but I think that EVERY time I see 3 in the key called**.

**Same thing with the 5-second inbounds rule.  Can we get a graphic?

But the T on Doc… the T on Ray… the T on Rondo…  GTFOH.  I didn’t know so many people were watching the game to see the guys in stripes.  I thought this was a basketball game.  Between the Celtics and the Heat.  Let them play!

I’ve heard analysts say that the abundance of T’s didn’t change the game…  I’ll agree that the T’s didn’t directly influence the game.  But they did interrupt the rhythm.  It’s hard to get any sort of momentum if you’re walking on needles, worried about T’s.

If we’re gonna get them, we might as well earn them.  Bring back Rasheed Wallace.

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