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Heading to Texas Rangers Spring Training - To Play Golf Only

Baseball's lockout derails Opening Day, Mavs lopsided trade, Cowboys sudden shift at key position, Ukraine's best athletes and peering both six million years into the past and 51 million miles into the sky, all in this week's DFW sports notebook

WHITT’S END: 3.4.22

Whether you’re at the end of your coffee, your day, your week or even your rope, welcome to Whitt’s End …

*Baseball hasn't postponed Opening Day or delayed Opening Day. Baseball has canceled Opening Day. Not to be made up. For Texas Rangers fans giddy about March 31 and the opening four-game series against the New York Yankees at Globe Life Field, my sympathies. Worse news for baseball: this time – unlike 1998 – there won’t be a steroid-fueled home-run chase authored by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa to make fans forget about the greed and selfishness on both sides of the lockout.

*Dallas Mavericks 126, Washington Wizards 0. So far, so great. Since the Feb. 10 trade of Kristaps Porzingis for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans, it’s no secret the Mavs have slam-dunked the swap. While Porzingis has yet to suit up in Washington (he hasn’t played since Jan. 29 because of a bone bruise in his knee), Dinwiddie and Bertans are already paying dividends in Dallas. After the Golden State Warriors rallied to tie Thursday night’s game at 104, Dinwiddie produced a nifty three-point play around Steph Curry and then set up Dwight Powell for an easy layup as the Mavs held on for another signature victory. Said Dinwiddie, “They’re telling me to be aggressive and make plays. It’s not rocket science.” While the former Wizards have combined for 126 points in helping Dallas to a 5-1 post-trade record, Porzingis remains sidelined with “no timetable” in D.C. Upon further review, "No Timetable" is a much more fitting nickname for the former Mav than "Unicorn."

*I’m not at all worried about Dak Prescott’s “clean-up” surgery to his left shoulder. But Blake Jarwin’s serious hip surgery is indeed troublesome for the Dallas Cowboys. He won’t be ready for the start of the season, meaning tight end is suddenly a priority in free agency and April’s NFL Draft.

Re-signing Dalton Schultz and his 78 catches and eight touchdowns now feels mandatory.

*Headed to the 10th annual DFW Golf Show at Market Hall this weekend. Friday at 1 p.m. I’ll be on stage leading a discussion between the tournament directors of our three local tournaments: AT&T Byron Nelson (Jon Drago), Charles Schwab Challenge (Michael Tothe) and Veritex Bank Championship (Erin Gasbarro).

Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence will be there Sunday.

Bet that dude can hit it a mile. Wonder if he can break his uniform number?

*Ukraine’s best all-time athletes: 4. Oksana Bayul (16-year-old won gold medal in ice skating in 1994 in Lillehammer, which didn’t even have a recording of newly independent Ukraine’s national anthem); 3. Yana Klochova (nicknamed the “Golden Fish”, no Ukranian won more Olympic gold); 2. Vitaly and Vladimir Klitschko (World heavyweight boxing champions in 2011); 1. Sergey Bubka (considered the all-time greatest pole vaulter, he set 35 world records). Current best: Tennis’ Elina Svitolina, who has been ranked as high as No. 3.

And if you’ve been amazed at the courage and bravery of Ukranians in the face of the Russian invasion, watch Netflix’s Winter on Fire and you’ll understand what those people have endured. Ukraine is more “united” that our states will ever be.

*Hot.

*Not.

*Let’s face it, February sucks. Cold. Dark. Even hard to spell. But Luka Doncic just enjoyed one of the best months ever by a DFW athlete. He averaged 34.7 points per game in February, was named West Player of the Month, even had a technical foul rescinded and got Porzingis traded. That’s a lot of productivity for 28 short days.

*The bald eagles of White Rock Lake are rebuilding their nest. See for yourself.

*NFL schedule won’t be released until May 12, but put me down for Cowboys at Green Bay Packers at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

*First Greggo, then Wally. Weird, wonderful reunions last week. Happy report that Wally Lynn is alive, well and on good terms with friends and family living in San Marcos.

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*Props to Jason Kidd for doing something his predecessor never would. While Rick Carlisle was a slave to his precious veteran rotation, Kidd on Thursday night stuck with who was hot and closed out the win over Golden State with one of his best closers (Jalen Brunson) on the bench. Kidd loves having two playmakers on the court in the clutch, and against the Warriors those two were Luka and Dinwiddie.

Hey, if it ain’t broke don’t … substitute.

*Gotta be a special place in white-collar Hell for Flower Mound’s Tamara Wallace. While the COO of a company that works closely with DFW non-profit charities, Wallace embezzled $1.3 million for her own luxurious lifestyle that included home improvements, med spa treatments, doggy daycare, designer purses and multiple vacations including a Disney cruise for herself and her family. One-off mistakes happen. They can be excused. But Wallace made the conscious, devious decision to steal from people who needed the money over and over and over again for 10 years. She only got caught - and arrested - when a company executive received a fraud alert about her company credit card as she tried to pay $5,000 for her son’s wedding.

I’ll never understand how – for a decade, no less – someone could muster peace of mind while living on dirty money.

*After all is said and done, the NFL lifted its COVID protocols and in two seasons never canceled a single game. Bravo.

*Another Batman movie?! I was joking to a buddy last week that 10 was more than enough. But then I got to actually listing them and there’s more than 10. Way more. Since Batman movies re-launched in 1989 with Michael Keaton we’ve had – in order – Batman Returns (Keaton), Batman Forever (Val Kilmer), Batman & Robin (George Clooney), Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (Kevin Conroy), Batman Begins (Christian Bale), The Dark Knight (Bale), The Dark Knight Rises (Bale), Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ben Affleck), Suicide Squad (Affleck), Justice League (Affleck), Zack Snyder’s Justice League (Affleck), The Flash (Keaton, Affleck), Batgirl (Keaton), Joker (Dante Pereira-Olson) and The Batman (Robert Pattinson).

Only one man has more movies (27) about him than Batman: Bond, James Bond.

*Granted one came against a Warriors team playing without Klay Thompson and the other sans Draymond Green, but the Mavs beat Golden State in two distinctly different ways in the span of five days. Last weekend in Oakland, Dallas rallied from 19 points down with 10 minutes remaining. Thursday night in Dallas, the Mavs blew a 17-point lead before re-grouping down the stretch for a nine-point win.

Good for the regular-season standings. Better for the playoff psyche.

*The power of perseverance: 10 years ago she could barely walk. Two weeks ago she finished her 18th marathon in Fort Worth.

*Turns out an old dog can learn a "new" trick. I’ve never been a good swimmer, but in 2022 I aim to complete my first triathlon. Problem. Solution? 

Hire “Masters Level Swimmer” Barbara to re-learn and refine my strokes. (And, I know, weird how one eye looks way bigger than the other. Your guess is as good as mine.)

*This made me stop, think and shrink: The Grand Canyon is at least six million years old. Over that unfathomable time, the Colorado River has patiently etched the years into its cliffs. Using that scale, about 100,000 years is equivalent to one foot on the gorge. And the entire recorded history of man takes up only inch. One inch. Try not to feel insignificant.

*Back when they were good and relevant, fans of the Dallas Stars hung on every word uttered by play-by-play voice Ralph Strangis. Then he up and quit and went into theater and who knows what else. He resurfaced this week, signing on as a “broadcast consultant” for the Chicago Blackhawks.

*If you’re up around 5 a.m. these days, you’ve probably noticed that unbelievably bright star in the southeastern sky. Her name is Venus, and she’s that bright despite being 51 million miles from Earth. How’s that? Because Venus has dense clouds of sulfuric acid that form an atmosphere that both traps heat and reflects light. Oh yeah, it’s also a sultry 868 degrees there.

*No Whitt’s End next week, as I’m heading to Scottsdale on our annual guys trip for golf and Spring Training baseball … er, just golf.

*This Weekend? A little DFW Golf Show Friday. A little tennis Saturday. A little swimming Sunday. As always, don’t be a stranger.