meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2017-02-19

What my musings are all about...

Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.

The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.

The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Duratnt is right about Shaq

Kevin Durant is right that Shaq is acting childishly for criticizing JaVale McGee, not once, but on a number of different occasion. So, what in the heck is the deal? Did McGee do something to Shaq that we don't know about? It would have to be some form of disrespect for Shaq to be so vindictive.
Because it is vindictive when you question a person's intelligence, when you continue to mock his performances. As Durant, JaVale's Warrior teammate, said, McGee has come to the Warriors and done everything they have asked of him. Durant twittered:"He (JaVale) only wants to be respected just like anybody else," Amen, Kevin.

I thought Shaq was a Ph.D? If that's the case, I guess it proves you don't have to be a sensitive and caring human being to earn one of those.

Let the young man alone, Shaq. Don't be such a bore. And, JaVale, you've answered back, so now leave it alone; let Shaq alone to embarrass himself.

On to a different subject. DeMarcus Cousins has stated for the press that Vlade Divac and owner Ranadive acted in a cowardly manner, first promising him he was not going to be traded, then trading him without any warning. I'm sure DeMarcus felt he was hoodwinked and, at first, I believed him. I have no particular confidence in King's management. But as Vlade explained in the newspaper this morning, he (Divac) and owner had little choice. They had shopped DeMarcus (the kid's agent must have known that) and found little interest. (No surprise, given the emotional instability of DeMarcus). According to Divac, the Pelicans deal came into play at the last minute as the trade deadline was about to expire, and they had to make a decision quickly.

That's the business end of the NBA and these kind of last minute deals have happened since the league began. Unless there is a written clause in a player's contract that states, he (the player) must be informed about being traded, (a la Carmelo) then management has no responsibility to do so. A GM and an owner have only one responsibility and that is to the team as a whole, to put together the best team, to provide the best entertainment for the community, one that is competitive with playoff possibilities.

DeMarcus' hurt feelings comes from his own insecurity, emotional instability, and lack of understanding of the business of sports. 

I was on the Warriors team when our owner Franklin Mieuli traded the single greatest force in NBA history, Wilt Chamberlain, to the Philadelphia 76ers. Did Wilt whine? He packed his bags, left, arrived in Philly and later lead the 76ers to the NBA Championship against, you guessed it, the Golden State Warriors.

The difference between Wilt's reaction and DeMarcus' is that Wilt was an adult, and DeMarcus is not. Not yet, at least. As I've said on numerous blogs: Grow up DeMarcus!

Spring Training. Can hot weather and hotdogs and cold suds be far behind? Lot's of baseball poetry for me to chose from. Here's a wonderful little poem, full of innocence.

How to Play Night Baseball    by  Jonathan Holden

A pasture is best, freshly
mown so that by the time a grounder's
plowed through all that chewed, spit-out
grass to reach you, the ball
will be bruised with green kisses. Start
in the evening. Come
with a bad sunburn and smelling of chlorine,
water still crackling in you ears.
Play until the ball is khaki -
the girls' bare arms in the bleachers are pale,
and heat lightning jumps in the west. Play
until you can only see pop-ups,
and routine grounders get lost in
the sweet grass for extra bases.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Two Bottom Lines in Cousin's Trade & etc

Bottom Line #1: Will DeMarcus Cousins somehow changes his personality when he plays for the Pelicans, not just for this season, but for the foreseeable future? If he doesn't, he will poison the team. That's the bottom line. If he does wake up and grow up, the Pelicans will be a force in the NBA.

Bottom line #2: Will the Kings make the kind of smart basketball decisions that will indeed lead to a competitive NBA team. (That's all the Sacramento fans are yearning for.). I wish I felt a little more confidence in Divac and Ranadive. Still, I remain convinced that trading Boogie for an unnamed draft choice would have been better than trying to build a championship around a young man who is so out of control emotionally.

Lou Williams to the Rockets? How many 3 point shooters is enough? You'd think they'd tried to do something to shore up the paint.

Just a thought, Rose and Carmelo gone from the Knicks. Rose who dominates the ball, for primo point guard Ricky Rubio and a first round draft choice. Carmelo who dominates the ball for a first round draft choice. Carmelo gone clears cap space. Hey, I'm sounding like a GM.

Spring Training on. I wonder how many MLB players south of the boarder Trump would label terrorists and rapists. Just wondering.

Here's a baseball poem that I've kept since my days in the Iowa Writers Workshop. Michael Ryan, now one of America's premier poets, submitted it to one of the workshops for comments. I'll not include my marginal notes, which sound after all these years as not very helpful. If you don't know what a fungoe is, you've never lived in a big city.

Hitting Fungoes   by Michael Ryan

Hitting fungoes to a bunch
of kids who asked me
nicely, I'm afraid the hard
ball they gave me might
shatter the stained-glass
window of the church
across this abandoned lot.
I see it all now, in 
the moment the ball leaves
my hand before it smacks
the bat: we scatter
in every possible direction
but the pastor, sensing
a pervert, screams
to the cops to chase
the big one, and there 
I am trapped. I pull
my old Woodrow Wilson
Fellowship Letter out
of my worn suit pocket,
swing it wildly, but they
smell last night's sex
on my breath, condemn
me to jail for failure
itself. I swing without
thinking, the only way,
and the crack is the scream
of a hip-bone ripped
from its socket
on the rack. Not bad.
Not too deep, but nice
arching loft. One kid,
who runs faster than the others,
makes a spectacular 
diving catch & throws it back.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Boogie Trade Dissers Missing the Point

DeMarcus Cousins for Buddy Held plus a first round and second round draft pick? Doesn't look like value for value, does it? Rookie Buddy Held, a good shooting guard with the potential to be a great shooting guard vs the best low post center in the league, a two year All-Star, and an Olympic medal winner. So far this morning I've not read one sports blogger who isn't dissing this trade.

Not this blogger. I welcome the trade as the first step toward sanity and a chance (although a daunting one) to actually start building a cohesive and competitive team.

In New Orleans, Cousins may grow into an adult and that, of course, would be awesome for the Pelicans. However, I would not put money on it. In Sacramento, Cousins had zero chance of growing up. Ownership and management had already treated him with such kid gloves, his ego and emotional instability was out of control.

So, seeing this as a great trade for the Pelicans is missing the point vis-a-vis the Kings. Cousins, in his present state of being, was poisoning the court and the locker-room with his childish antics, his referee baiting, his dominating ego, and his gloomy disposition.

Granted, without The Boogie (a nickname he never lived up to with his lumbering up and down the court), there is not a whole hell of a lot of talent left on the Kings. I have high hopes for Willy Cauly Stein and reasonable expectation for Malachi Richardson's development into a solid NBA player.  Add Held at the two, and Collison at the one. After that, it's all up for grabs and will depend on the two first round draft picks, the talent of Bogdan Bogdonovic, if he is indeed a premier NBA caliber player. Rudy Gay might bring them another low first round or high second round draft choice. The big Greek rookie is a crap shoot, but he's more athletic than I thought in the past and he is 7'2" Labisierre, at this point looks awfully soft. As for the other vets on the Kings, they're up for grabs: to keep or not to keep for bench strength.

Let's not forget that without having to pay Cousins, the Kings have some bucks to go after free agents.

Let's not forget that as this team rebuilds, it does so with the best coach it has had since the team foolishly let Rick Adelman go.

So, let's see how things shake out before deciding if this trade was a loser for the Kings. Losing Cousins might be the start of the Kings wining.

I'm thinking that watching street lights going is more exciting than watching the NBA All Star Game. So, I've come up with a few suggestion for the future that will make the All-Star Game more exciting and more interesting: 1) Create a 4 point shooting line. 2) Create two 4x4, 5 point shooting blocks positioned where the half-court line meets the sideline. 3) Allow players to shoot free-throws from the top of the key for double points. 

Snow is falling on the Sierra. The ponds are frozen. Here's a fine winter poem.

The Skaters   by John Williams

Graceful and sure with youth, the skaters glide
Upon the frozen pond. Unending rings
Expand upon the ice, contract, divide,
Till motion seems the shape that movement brings,

And shape is constant in the moving blade.
Ignorant of the beauty they invent,
Confirmed in their hard strength, the youths evade
Their frail suspension in an element,

This frozen pond that glisters in the cold.
Through all the warming air they turn and spin,
And do not feel that they grow old
Above the fragile ice they scrape and thin.