The 10 Spot: Feb. 22, 2007
1. Some baseball traditionalists are upset that MLB is replacing the traditional wool caps with a new polyester blend. But what's the big deal? Why should the hats be all-natural when the hat sizes aren't?
2. Seinfeld reference of the day: Could any Seinologist read the story about MLB changing hat styles and not think of George Costanza convincing the Yankees to wear cotton uniforms? In Season 6's The Chaperone, George is aghast to discover that the Yanks wear polyester, which he believes makes them too hot. His decision to switch to cotton at first seems brilliant, with even Luis Polonia (?!) declaring that "cotton is king." Alas, the uniforms shrink once they're washed, causing the players to run "like penguins" and Don Mattingly to split his pants. George was apparently unaware of the sophisticated moisture-wicking properties of modern synthetic fabrics.
3. Let's hope for Greg Anderson's sake that the BALCO trainer doesn't read the papers in prison. If he does, the man who is languishing there rather than testify against his friend Barry Bonds might have gotten a rueful chuckle out of the Giants slugger's arrival in camp this week, flanked by not one but two publicists. Bonds all but challenged the feds to keep trying to indict him on perjury charges, saying, "Let them investigate me." Asked if the controversy is getting to him, Bonds said: "It doesn't weigh on me at all -- at all. It's just you guys talking. It's just media conversation." Anderson must be gratified to know that his incarceration isn't "weighing" on his friend's mind. He certainly wouldn't want to be a burden.
4. New Alabama coach Nick Saban has purchased a house in Tuscaloosa for $2.9 million. But he's still going to rent the furniture month-to-month.
5. Heat star Dwyane Wade dislocated his shoulder on Wednesday in coach Pat Riley's first game back behind the bench. Riley immediately handed over the reins to his assistants and left the arena, saying he left the iron on.
6. The University of Arkansas football program has fallen into some disarray these days, but one thing hasn't changed. That's the squad's odd preference for names that are suggestive of the male anatomy. Consider that during the 2005 season, coach Houston Nutt decided to start quarterback Casey Dick over Robert Johnson against South Carolina, (briefly) inspiring this classic headline on a major sports Web site: "Dick to replace Johnson vs. Gamecocks." Then comes this week's story about the embattled Nutt shifting some coaches around. The first sentence is about the quarterbacks coach moving to receivers coach. His name? Alex Wood. We can't make this stuff up, folks, though we'd certainly try.
7. The NBA trade deadline arrives at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday. As usual, many teams are looking to acquire a shooter. It'd be nice to get a guy who can hit from the outside too.
8. Wimbledon has finally bowed to public pressure and will pay the women the same prize money as the men. The old men-play-longer argument just seemed silly since nobody gets past three sets against Roger Federer anyway.
9. The goalie for the University of Southern California hockey team was ticketed for lewdness this week after riding his stick like a horse, dropping his pants to moon the crowd and slapping his buttocks. I think I speak for all of us in saying: USC has a hockey team?
10. Second opinion: One of the truly strange sports stories is unfolding this week as boxer Tommy Morrison, better known as Rocky V's Tommy Gunn, resumes his career on Thursday night in West Virginia. Morrison now says that he never had the HIV virus, which originally ended his boxing days more than a decade ago. Morrison told the AP: "I'm negative and I've always been negative and that should be the end of it." Maybe so, but four years ago I wrote a story for SI detailing Morrison's effort to have a child with his wife through a rare medical procedure that enables HIV-infected fathers to conceive. Morrison and his doctor told me that he spent $20,000 to have sperm retrieved in a testicular biopsy (Morrison had also had a vasectomy), then "washed" to remove traces of the virus, and finally used to fertilize his wife's egg. That seems like an awful lot of hoops to jump through for a guy who insists that he was never HIV-positive in the first place. Of course, most of my medical training comes from watching ER and Grey's Anatomy, so what do I know.