Good morning, sweet KSR readers, and welcome to Wednesday, April 7, 2010. On this fine day, we will not pay homage to John Oates, Thurl Bailey, Bill Bellamy or celebrate the official birth of the internet, which occurred in 1969, exactly one day before this site was designed. Instead, we will celebrate the first of many times this summer in which you will get the pleasure of hearing me reference my hometown baseball squad, the Tampa Bay Rays. Tonight marked the Rays’ Opening Day festivities, almost exactly 48 hours after the great American game officially started its season, and some serious Beisnering took place at Tropicana Field as I took in the game with my son and my dad in seats so high, they could have played for Bruce Pearl. On this night, the Rays looked like the team of 2008, rallying to win in the bottom of the ninth on a game-winning hit by Carl Crawford, my son’s favorite player and the name on the back of his jersey. After nine innings of being down and hoping for something to happen, the ending to the game turned out ot be as perfectly scripted as The Blind Side, but without all the apparent racism. Have you ever had the pleasure of seeing a 10-year old’s face light up when his favorite player gets the game-winning hit on Opening Day? Neither have I. It was a school night and I made him leave in the 7th inning so he heard Crawford’s heroics on the fuzziest AM radio station known to mankind. And I had the pleasure of a “Dad, I hate you” stare as it unfolded over the airwaves. But, that’s what baseball with your dad is all about. Life lessons and disappointment. Get used to it, son.
Now onto some UK news…
– Some interesting recruiting news made its rounds Tuesday afternoon as Rivals’ Jerry Meyer said he’s heard that Indianapolis point guard Marquis Teague is leaning toward Kentucky as his college destination in the fall of 2011. Teague, believed to be a Louisville target for pretty much his entire prospect existence, has again pushed his announcement date back. This time, it was from this weekend, when many thought he would pick the Cards. He was also expected to announce last summer for the Cards, but postponed that too. Teague has not commented as to why he has changed the date, most likely out of fear of naming an “escape goat”.
– On Tuesday’s episode of “As the Orton Turns…”, Daniel is in California working out while his recent love interest, Chad Ford, announces to the world that Daniel Orton could go in the top-10 of the NBA Draft and that another love interest, the Oklahoma City Thunder, has emerged. While the world continues to wonder how a guy who averaged 3 ppg coming off the bench could work himself into the draft that high, it’s only fair to remember back on October 27 when Jeff Goodman wrote that an NBA scout said of Orton’s battles with DeMarcus Cousins: “He tore his #$% up”. And, on a somewhat related note, it’s important to remember that any of you who say he’s making the wrong decision by going pro are completely insane if he gets drafted in the first round – especially the top-10. He’d be a moron to stay. And that goes for every underclassman on the team.
– And, just in case “National Basketball Association” is becoming a four-letter word for you, things got a little better on Tuesday as Coach Cal said he has no interest in the NBA. Cal told Alan Cutler’s mustache and Alan Cutler’s ears were within listening distance and reported it. Coach Cal also said that he doesn’t expect the NBA rumors to affect the recruiting efforts of the staff and that he is going to auction off one of the available roster spots in order to raise money for the Calipari Family Foundation. Not really. Just wanted to make sure you’re paying attention.
– Speaking of the NBA, former Cat Jodie Meeks had his best game as a 76er, going for 19 points, 3 assists and 4 rebounds in a loss to the Pistons. I’m sure someone will say in the comments section that they’re glad his choice to go early is working out for him, but I saw a fan site that was calling him the Jodiac Killer, so I’m not too certain that he wouldn’t be better off in Lexington.
– Speaking of the Pistons and the Sixers, those are two teams whose beat writers and fans are openly talking about losing games on purpose to improve chances at John Wall (and DeMarcus Cousins in the Pistons’ case). Heading into their crapfest on Tuesday night, the Pistons had the fifth-worst record and the Sixers had the seventh-worst record. And, apparently, no pride.
– Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News put together a pretty cool recap of the college basketball season and named the SEC Championship Game as the 3rd-best game of the year. However, there will not be a banner ceremony for this.
– In other baseball news, the UK squad looks to be turning a corner in a season that has started out very much unlike what has become the norm. After beating #10 Arkansas on Sunday, the Cats shut out Louisville, 5-0, at Cliff Hagan Stadium on Tuesday. The Cats got a combined shutout from freshman Jordan Cooper and juniors Mike Kaczmarek and Nick Kennedy. The Cats have a weekend series with Alabama at home starting Friday.
– In other news, Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball, Elisha Justice, announced that he would honor his commitment to the Filthy Cards and walk-on for Rick Pitino’s team next year. You can’t knock a kid for keeping his word, especially without a four-year guarantee from Cal, but you can hope that someone at FX is reading this and decides to create a completely stereotypical television show about a rogue US Marshal named Elisha Justice.
– Speaking of…..I watched Justified again Tuesday night. Just kidding.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned throughout the day for all kinds of UK goodness and whatever else we deem appropriate for this little piece of cyberspace. Stick around. We’ll see you in a few…