Wednesday, June 22, 2005
  When's Day? Today.
Got my weekly iTunes email today. Each time, they offer the "free download" single of the week, which is usually an up-and-coming band. But this week's single, "Gravity" by Embrace does not fit that mold. Not even a little bit. Embrace has been around for a while, but just not in the States. And "Gravity" is one of the top UK singles of the year. Written by Chris Martin of Coldplay, he loaned it to the Britpop group for their latest release "Out of Nothing." To download the Chris Martin version of the tune, as well as a few live versions by Embrace, click here. I trust it will NOT disappoint.
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I know...I haven't put forth a "Hand" in a while. Been so long that I might have to double-fist to catch up (not the first time that's happened...) So be patient all you good, good people.
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Memo to the rest of the American League: Kevin Millar hits fifth. Walk Manny and Papi. Throw offspeed pitches. Just a friendly hint.
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Saw this when having brekkie (Australian term #1. God I miss that place) and milk almost came out my nose: Texas Ranger RHP John Wasdin has not been scored upon in 12 2/3 innings in four relief appearances since being recalled from the minors June 12.
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In my "opening day blog" section of the limited release "Oz Blog," which chronicled the three-week trip to the aforementioned continent I'd like to return to immediately, I made the bold statement that if the Yankees gave Randy Johnson run support, he'd win 25-30 games. Sure, it was a bit of hyperbole, but I thought it'd be a winning solution with a pitcher of his credentials and an offense with that kind of pop. Nope, wrong. D-E-D wrong.

So far this season, the Big Eunuch has compiled a 7-5 record with a 4.02 ERA. He has almost as many hits (102) as innings pitched (103), less K's (94) than IP, to go along with 16 home runs allowed and 21 walks. All of last season, RJ yielded just 18 taters and 44 walks. Sure, he's had flashes of brilliance this season, but few and far between for most overpaid (18 milly), ugliest 6-10 person in the tri-state area.
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The NBA finals went seven games. Wow, shocker there. Just in time for heralded announcement of the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement, which includes a 19-year old age limit.

Why? There are 19 year olds ready to play in the league just as there are plenty of 21, 22 year olds that aren't. Such is such.

According to the new CBA, players from the United States will now have to wait one year after the date their high school class graduates. So what do these players do in the interim? Because let's be honest, if they're ready for the league - or think they are - there's one place they do not belong: college.

Sure, Carmelo Anthony going one-and-done worked out for the 'Cuse. But there are quite a few others - Tim Thomas, Dujuan Wagner, Eddie Griffin come to mind off the top of my head - that did one year in college and didn't have the greatest result for either constituency...the college or themselves. Sure, all three got in the league and and got a few fat paychecks, but still...

Where do the high school seniors that want to go to "the league" go? To college for a year? Well, then i guess that headache is on the Division I coaches that take a player knowing he's one and done. But how much hassle is that? How much is it worth, short-term and long-term? Again, if you ask Jim Boeheim, then it's not too much hassle because you ended up cutting down the nets.

But ask Ben Braun at cal about Jamal Sampson - a 6-11 kid who you recruit to be there for four years, shows a bit of promise, is legit tall, and bolts after one year. The "5" - the one spot that the Golden Bear staff didn't have to think about for three years? It became a problem. An emergency even.

Do these kids - the "tweeners" - go to prep school, which is the route some h.s. seniors take when they need a bit more "seasoning" before college? To that I say no, as well. Prep school is for kids not ready for primetime, not for the kid who has no plans for college. It would go against everything prep school is for. Plus, and let's be honest here, a kid who is biding his time before his 19th birthday and the Association is going to have a few folks on the side, shall we say, "investing in him."

On top of that, a few years back, the NCAA passed a rule against foreign players who played on the same team with professionals. The foreign recruit had to sit out a game for every game he played with or against pros. Many thought it was a witch hunt. Well, how would a pro prospect playing prep school be any different?

Either develop the D-League, creating a feeder system for the draft and the league, or eliminate the age restriction - it's the least of the NBA's problems.
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Just booked a nice long weekend on the cheap. 200 bucks for r/t flight and two nights hotel in downtown Montreal. All are invited.

One.
 
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