May 31, 2006

I'll Take the Bullet

  • Came across a fascinating article in the New York Post about Dwight Gooden's incarceration in a Florida institution that confirms for about the ten thousandth time what I already knew to be true: Prison is absolutely terrifying. No, I've never been there myself -- I just know it's scary from television, movies, and nightmares. As Gooden put it, "I'd rather get shot than come back here." Wow. I really, really, really do not ever want to go to jail. One stunning thing about this story is that Doctor K had the choice of spending a year in jail or going on probation with any further trouble leading to a five-year prison sentence, and he elected to go to prison, apparently on his attorneys' advice. Nice work, lawyers. But then again, Gooden must bear some of the blame for this choice also. Because you know what I would not do voluntarily under any circumstances? Go to jail.
  • It takes about five seconds of watching Avery Johnson in action to know that the Mavs' head coach is one feisty bastard, and I suppose it should come as no surprise that the Little General's wife is not opposed to throwing down with fans while seated in the stands. I think the most shocking thing about this story (and by "shocking," I mean "not in the least bit surprising") is that Mark Cuban came into the stands to get Cassandra Johnson's back. Say this for Cuban: He may be kind of a freak, but don't question his loyalty for a second. If anyone affiliated with his team were ever in a brawl, you'd have to think Cuban would be the first one into the fray, scrapping and grabbing onto legs Jeff Van Gundy style. Gotta love Mark Cuban.

  • Speaking of irresistable sports personalities, this week New York is getting its first look at Lastings Milledge, the much-hyped jewel of the Mets' farm system. And let me say, thus far the Milledge experience has been pretty tremendous. Not only does he sport outrageous Lil Jon-style dredlocks (a slight exaggeration), but in his debut he had a positively gigantic cross flapping from a chain around his neck as he trotted around the outfield. In Wednesday night's game, he caught some light boos from the notoriously tough NY fans after he botched a routine fly out in the outfield, then (in the tradition of "Dumb and Dumber") totally redeemed himself by gunning down Craig Counsell at third with an absolute missile from right field. As a Braves fan I'm very solidly anti-Met these days, but mark me down as a fan of Monsieur Milledge, who conjures just the slightest memory of the kind of flare Deion Sanders used to bring to the diamond in his ATL heyday. For the record, The OCC doesn't hand out Deion comparisons every day. Don't disappoint me, Lastings.

  • In closing, my sincerest congratulations to Indians' reliever Scott Sauerbeck, who makes his debut on this page thanks to his delightfully wreckless behavior this week, when he was spotted by police swerving in his vehicle, at which point he darted out of his car (along with his female companion), hurdled a fence and hid in a bush in someone's backyard. Apparently Scotty S. was doing a bit of the drinky-drinky, not to mention cavorting with a woman who was a) not his wife and b) sporting a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit. Oops. To his credit, Sauerbeck owned up, saying, "I'm a big boy and I'm going to have to handle it." Props to Sauerbeck for taking responsibility, but I've gotta debate the "big boy" claim. Taking refuge in the bushes is actually kind of juvenile -- rather "Hide and Go Seek" if you ask me. We big boys actually do something quite different when confronted with trouble: We run away.


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