Listen up, baseball fans! Yes, both of you. Today’s news and views are brought to you by Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jonny Venters. Venters is the best reliever in all of baseball, and until this past Sunday, many were wondering if the man was even human. Prior to blowing the save against the Padres in San Diego on Sunday (his first blown save of the season), Venters had only given up nine hits in 30.2 innings. He was also on a 22-inning scoreless streak and he’d only given up two runs all season. The left-handed slinger has been handed the ball in every other game for the Braves this season, earning him the nickname “Everyday Jonny”. Unfortunately for Braves fans, the pace he is on is never good on the ol’ cannon for a pitcher, but don’t be surprised if he breaks a few records before that cannon goes out. So keep an eye on that seemingly unknown pitcher down in Atlanta. He’s a great talent who earned a spot on the big stage after five years in the minors and, oh yeah, he’s from Pikeville, Kentucky.
Okay, that’s enough baseball talk for a month or so. Let’s do some news and some views…
— Tuesday was a brand new day and John Vincent Calipari kept on talking. As our resident swim coach Will Lentz pointed out in a post just South of this one, Calipari told Mike Lupica that Mitch Barnhart approached him about the contract extension to reward him for what he’s done at Kentucky so far. To the common fan, you’d think that reward would be for the trip to the Final Four, the SEC Championships, the unbelievable recruiting classes, and basically saving the basketball program. What the common fan doesn’t see are those ‘behind the scenes’ numbers that the basketball team’s success has affected. Calipari told Lupica that the university’s licensing revenue doubled last year to an all-time high and half of that goes back to the general fund on campus. The increase in licensing revenue moved Kentucky up five spots in the top 20 to the eighth highest earning institution. It was the biggest jump amongst the top 20 schools. The university also had its highest number of applicants in history, 14,000 for 4,000 positions for freshmen. See, Coach Cal isn’t just bringing in wins, he’s bringing in money and students!
— Brandon Knight made stops on Jim Rome’s ESPN radio show and in a live blog with The Detroit Free Press Tuesday afternoon. In the interviews he gave the expected “I’ll miss Kentucky” and “Detroit is nice” comments, and he also added a few tidbits we haven’t really heard before. For instance, he likes to bowl, watch movies, and go to theme parks. His celebrity crush is maybe Jessica Alba. He was very close to going to UConn. He hasn’t talked to Tayshaun yet. He owns a winter jacket. He chose the #7 because it’s a divine number and because seven teams passed on him in the draft. He hasn’t talked to Rodney Stuckey. He will probably go back to Lexington if there is a lockout and maybe go to class a little bit. He definitely wants to return to Lexington for a UK game if he gets the chance next season. He needs to work on the pick-and-roll on both ends of the court. He doesn’t have a shoe deal yet. And that’s about it.
— The Orlando Magic will hold a press conference today to introduce DeAndre Liggins and Justin Harper. We will have a link to the live-stream as soon as it becomes available. Also, The Orlando Sentinel confirmed that DeAndre will wear #34 for the Magic. The same number Miles Simon wore in Orlando for his one NBA season. We hate Miles Simon.
— Ask anyone around town the expectations for the UK football team next season and you’ll get pretty mixed responses. But now there’s no question about how good looking the Cats will be. The football team will unveil new uniforms in a press conference Thursday afternoon. The new unis will feature the fanciest of Nike technology, even though no one really knows what that means. The helmets will remain the same but UK will get that Nike makeover like what we’ve seen at schools like Oregon, Boise State, Florida, and Virginia Tech. I don’t know how it’s supposed to improve performance but a purdy new uniform could do positive things for recruiting. If you recall, way back in April, @kmathley released this photo of what he claims is the new look:
Eh. We’ll know for sure Thursday.
— South Carolina won the College World Series by defeating Florida in the first two games of a three-game series. It’s the second consecutive championship for the Gamecocks. I’m sure the student government will write a letter to someone. Congrats. No one cares.
— For you twitterers, Rex Chapman joined the Twitter world. Rex, if you’re reading this, you’re welcome for the plug and I expect a follow-back in return. Thank you. We’re going to be best social network friends!
— Planking is sweeping the nation. Planking has been around for a while now so I don’t know what sparked the recent surge in the movement. In case you’ve been lying on top of a rock somewhere, planking is the art of lying perfectly straight and still on top of something interesting. We had the Planking UK Fans of the Day earlier this month and this week we’ve posted pictures of Brandon Weems, Eric Bledsoe, and our buddy Dave Ulinski. There are many other pictures floating around the internet including Stacey Poole, Twany Beckham, and one of former UK running back Alfonso Smith doing it in the middle of Movie Tavern. If it keeps picking up, I’m going to join in and I’m going all out. Who wants a plank off?
— The sad story of Antoine Walker continues. ‘Toine pleaded guilty to bad check charges in a Las Vegas courtroom Tuesday. The former denim-wearing Wildcat will avoid jail time but he was put on probation and he’ll have a court order to pay off over $750,000 to three different casinos. Note to self: Do not provide financial support for over 70 friends and family members. And don’t write bad checks to casinos.
That’s all for now. I hope this picture of Josh Harrellson and John Starks will hold you over until we get things going again on the site and on the radio at 10:00 AM.