Good morning, sweet KSR readers and welcome to your All-Star edition of the Wednesday News and Views. One of the things I learned pretty quickly when I first started blogging is that people love to insult you for no reason baseball is not just the national past-time anymore, it’s also a very polarizing subject. The people at my old blog hated it. The readers here seem to be more receptive. I, myself, unapologetically stand in the baseball lover category and, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that it’s just as much because of nostalgia as it is home runs and strikeouts. When you’re a kid, there’s nothing better than taking in a ball game with your dad and, for me, the highlight of every baseball season was All-Star Tuesday when my dad and I would make a pizza together and sit down and watch the game from start to finish. I was always able to stay up late that night, which made it a highlight. Combining a non-existent bedtime with pizza, Doritos and Kool-Aid made it the event of the summer. I’d ask all kinds of irritating baseball questions and spout off useless facts and he’d fight a mixture of boredom and old man-ness to stay awake and make sure we saw every pitch. To this day, I make a pizza on All-Star Tuesday and watch the game and, tonight, I officially introduced it to my fiancee’s son. We came home, made a pizza and pulled it out of the oven just in time for Stan Musial to drive out on to the field. He (her son, not Musial) sat there, glued to every pitch and asking a million questions and loved every second of it. I fought off boredom and old man-ness, barely managing to stay awake for the whole game. And that is what All-Star Tuesday is all about.
Now, enough of the mushy stuff. Here are a few notes…
(1) One of the notes that I think got completely overlooked today while I was throwing up a steady stream of crappy posts was the series of candid, and somewhat irritated tweets from Coach Calregarding recruiting and the roster – which seemed to be directly aimed at the internet message board world. Calipari didn’t come out with his guns blazing like Tony Montana or anything but it did seem like there are a couple of things bothering him and he let everyone hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Here were the tweets:
If you believe things you are reading, you would think we have dozens of commitments already but we’re still evaluating talent.
It’s gratifying 2 know so many young men want 2 b part of what we’re building. We only pursue studnt-athletes who’ll contribute 2 our goals.
And then later in the day…
For anyone 2 say were taking transfers or have tons of commitments is disingenuous. Our style of play requires a deep and diverse roster.
In regards to the commitments, I think you’d have to assume Coach is referring to a number of offers that are being rumored to have been made over the early part of the summer. The staff has been very vocal about selectively offering kids scholarships, preferring to treat it as a reward to work for rather than a foregone conclusion. Cal even semi-joked last week that if he offers 20 kids a scholarship, he can expect to land 22 because there will be two saying he offered them when he didn’t. But, with what seems to be just shy of 9,854,526,985 websites talking about their sources saying so-and-so has been offered and could, should, might, did, didn’t or won’t commit to UK, maybe Cal just felt he needed to clear the air. Or, maybe that damn dog bit him before he left town and he’s just cranky.
(2) One of the summer camps that seems to be forgotten just a bit due to lack of superstar talent in attendance is the Reebok All-American Camp that was held in Philadelphia last week. Coach Cal made an appearance as a couple of UK targets (Joe Jackson, LaQuinton Ross, Stacey Poole) were participating. SLAM Magazine has a rundown of the entire camp and says that it might not have been full of one-and-done types, but it was loaded with solid 2-4 year players.
(3) Over at UKAthletics.com, the Cats Scratches Blog will have Darius Miller and Ramon Harris on for a live blog at 1pm. While this will obviously lack the sex appeal of the Matt Jones live blog, it should still be fairly interesting.
Ok, lets be honest. I’m sure there is more still out there. But, I’ve been dying to play NCAA Football 2010 and I have a small window to do it before putting together minimal sleep for work. So, stay tuned throughout the day and check back for all kinds of UK goodness. I have SEC titles to win.