For those of you who think I’m a bit of a buzzkill (and I am, of course – a crushingly awful murderer of good moods anywhere, simply by the power of my own corrupted mind), I give you Ned Yost.
Yost is the manager of the Kansas City Royals, who celebrated another exciting win by his team and its continued hold on first place in the American League Central by grousing about the 18,847 fans at Royals Stadium and why there weren’t more. Courtesy, if you can call it that, Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star:
“I know it’s a school night,” Mellinger quotes Yost as saying, “but I’ve been through this before in Atlanta (when the Braves first made the playoffs) in ‘91, where it didn’t matter what night it was, that place was packed at the end of August and September. The fans really got into it.
“I know there’s different things you can do. You can watch it on the Internet. You can watch it on TV. But there’s a real need for our fans to be a part of this. We had a great crowd last night, and I was kind of hoping we’d have another great crowd tonight, and we really didn’t.
“They’re a big part of our success, especially at home. Because the electricity they provide, the energy they provide, helps you get through games like this. You know? We’ve been working hard to make our fans happy and make our fans proud for a lot of years, and we’d like them out here to enjoy a night like this with us. Because this was a special night. This was a fun night. I just wish there could’ve been more out here to enjoy it with us.”
Mellinger, that troublemaker, then points out that in 1991, “when the Braves were going from worst to first they played a home game on Aug. 26, a Monday night, with first place potentially in the balance, 12,889 people showed up. The next night, the Braves moved into first place in front of 15,806 people.
And then he said Yost was being kind of an ingrate and poor student of history. Which, frankly, he was.
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He may not have been the first to do it (the Washington secondary did that in pregame introductions last week), but Oakland Raider Maurice Jones-Drew’s decision to put his arms up in the “don’t shoot” pose to help honor Mike Brown and remind those of us who want to forget Ferguson, Mo., last week deserves examination, courtesy Comrade Bair:
“I know what it’s like to get pulled over when you’ve done nothing wrong,” Jones-Drew told Bair. “I’ve been through those things. When you’re raising three young boys, you have to think about those things. When they get older and they go out at night, am I going to have be the one to get that phone call? Those are things you worry about. That’s what I worry about as a father and what my mother worried about when I was growing up.
“Those are things I think we still need to talk about. We need to put it out there. That’s why I did that. I wanted to let the world know that it’s not okay. Right, wrong or indifferent, it’s not okay to do those things.”
“Not okay” is probably too polite a term by a factor of about 15,500, but the sentiment prevails.
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Awkward segue: John Rocker will be on Survivor this fall. To survive or not . . . oh, the agony of choice.
Then again, his departure hissy-fit will put Jeff Kent’s goodbye speech to shame.
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A new awkward segue: St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher came as close as an NFL coach is allowed to come to kicking ESPN off campus over the Michael Sam shower story. Well, if you call talking with Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post Dispatch “coming close.”
“I’m extremely disappointed in her piece. I think it’s unethical, I think it’s very, very unprofessional. Not only the piece itself, the content. The manner in which she did it. Obviously she came in, in all likelihood to see if there was gonna be a roster move at the 75 cutdown as it relates to Mike Sam. That didn’t happen. But she needed to do something, and it’s my understanding that she manufactured this story.
“She was out of line because she went and contacted several players on their personal time. Misled them with questions and then put this piece together.”
Them’s fightin’ words, so let’s see how much fightin’ Fisher has in him. He’s still a little distracted about that Sam Bradford thing, but he’s a feisty little bugger, and he won’t let this one go, not for a while anyway.
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The NBA has changed its crowding beneath the baskets rules, which will also be known as the Paul George Rules. Of course, the NBA denies George had anything to do with it, re: president of league operations Rod Thorn:
“The conversations about this topic preceded Paul's injury by several years. As a matter of fact, at our league meetings in July we informed our teams this was the direction we were going. But of course when an injury occurs like the one to Paul, it reaffirms the changes we have made and the need to continue to evaluate our policies.”
In other words, “We’re doing this because of him, but we don’t his lawyer to think that’s the reason in case he decides to sue.”
So Adam Silver isn’t really that different than David Stern after all.
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Danny Snyder, who owns the Washington Washingtons, holds onto old things (like the nickname, say) longer than most. Of course, stadiums aren’t necessarily those things. In an interview with the boys, girls and undecideds at CSN Mid-Atlantic, he said the team has “started the process” of designing a new stadium.
“Whether it's Washington, D.C., whether it's another stadium in Maryland, whether it's a stadium in Virginia, we've started the process,” Snyder said. “We've started meeting with architectural firms. We are in the process of developing because it is a long term that you do it.”
FedEx Field , the team’s current inadequate dump, is 17 years old, which is essentially Stonehenge. By comparison, Snyder wants something more like RFK Stadium, the team former home and which is essentially Olduvai Gorge.
“We've already seen some preliminary drawings and I'm going to be very retro with it,” he told CSN. “It's gonna feel like RFK. It's gonna move like RFK. I love that, I actually asked architectural firms to do it and they said that they can do it. I said that I think the lower bowl sections are going to want to rock the stadium like the old days.”
In other words, it needs be new and old at the same time. Okay, then. He should probably call Jed York for agronomy tips while he’s at it. That’s some old-school work, too – essentially the Dust Bowl.
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[RELATED: Questions emerge about Shaw's 'heroic' story]
And finally, Josh Shaw, we hardly knew ye. We do know something about you now. You probably liked it the old way.