The Angels’ home opener and Final Four Saturday.
The Angels home opener always will be synonymous with Mo Vaughn tumbling into the opposing dugout in 1999. That move started a chain-reaction of events that eventually led to the Angels winning the 2002 World Series. Vaughn did give the Angels a couple of serviceable years, but his trade for Kevin Appier and trashing of closer Troy Percival on the way out the door changed the Angels fortunes forever.
Vaughn was like the culmination of all of the Angels bad free-agent signings over the years, exorcised with one mighty trade.
Of course, that also led to the end of getting free tickets for the Angels. Instead of hanging out around the ticket booths looking forlorn, you have to actually buy a ticket.
The price of success, eh?
THE FINAL FOUR
There are two prevailing storylines for the final four this weekend.
- Can UCLA choke for a third consecutive year?
- How red-assed are the Jayhawks?
Calling UCLA chokers over the past two years is a little unfair because Florida had a more talented team. And despite Ben Howland’s claim that this is his best team at UCLA, you have to feel that Memphis is probably a little bit more talented than the Bruins this year, too. UCLA had some pretty favorable breaks down the stretch during the regular season and struggled against Texas A&M. This team has had too many stretches without scoring this season, and they just won’t be able to do it against Memphis.
The whole Kansas and Roy Williams dynamic is fascinating. Sure, you can’t blame Jayhawks fans for being upset with Williams. He didn’t show the school the same loyalty that long-time Kansas coach Larry Brown exhibited. And Williams had the audacity to lead the Jayhawks through the probation that Brown left and led to a string of NCAA appearances. So they do have a right to be upset.
At the same time, it did have to be a little gut-wrenching to endure all of those Kansas chokes in the tournament, only to have Williams finally reach the ultimate honor with the Tar Heels. That is similar to the St. Louis FC finally winning the Super Bowl after the Rams were contracted in 1995.
The only thing, it seems, that will help Kansas move on will be to beat Williams and North Carolina on Saturday. And like the Angels erasing a lot of ghost by winning the World Series, this could actually be the Jayhawks year.
Either that, or they need to roll with the changes.
FAVRE TO RETURN?
Brett Favre has yet to turn in his retirement papers. Didn’t we go through this with Jake Plummer last year? (Has Plummer even official retired yet?)
Figures that it would be Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times to start this rumor. Favre isn’t coming back people. The sooner you accept this, the easier it will be to move on. Favre has retired and he is not coming back. (Wait time for a quick check of the news wires to make sure he hasn't returned before this is posted.)
Yeah, he's not coming back.
A 13-year-old school girl was attacked while taking a tour of Fenway Park. Normally this wouldn’t be funny, but the name of the girl … Alexa Rodriguez.
If this was a couple of days ago, you would have to swear this was an April Fool’s gag right?