The University of Texas may be happy it dodged the Harbaugh bullet, but it raced back into the fun zone by selling beer at athletic events starting with (irony not intended, I’m sure) Tuesday night’s women’s basketball game with TCU . . . formerly Texas Christian University. I wonder if UT students flocked to the game not realizing that arena beer is marked up about eight times.
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And in another unrelated story we’re going to shoehorn into the overarching Everything-Is-Harbaugh theme, the Miami Dolphins (CEO Dawn Aponte, new GM Dennis Hickey and coach Joe Philbin) met with Jonathan Martin’s agents at the combine to discuss Martin's future with the club. Hickey said the team would like to keep Martin, but Martin’s agents made it clear they thought Martin needed a new start.
According to CBSSports.com’s Jason LaCanfora, “Hickey did most of the talking from Miami's side, according to sources, with Philbin "staring daggers" across the room. At the end of the meeting, however, sources said Philbin expressed his belief that Martin's agents were responsible for Miami's locker room controversy reaching this point, that they were the real problem and alluding that Martin's concerns could have been kept more private and handled differently.”
And the Harbaugh link? Philbin might be keeping the Harbaugh seat warm if the 49ers can’t figure out a way out of their present predicament.
Hey, we’re trying the best we can here.
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In other Miami news, local baseball blogger and part-time anarcho-syndicalist Wendy Thurm has chugged out a fascinating chart on FanGraphs breaking down baseball team salaries by speciality, and has discovered among other things that the A’s are second in bullpen spending by percentage, the Giants are third in starting pitcher spending, and the Miami Marlins are actually spending more on their bench than their rotation.
We already knew the Marlins’ relentless Marlinitude, but this kind of helps explain it.
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Baltimore manager Buck Showalter asked Orioles’ farmhand Josh Hart if he knew who Hall of Famer and Orioles’ great Frank Robinson was, and Hart, who wasn’t even a dirty look in his father’s eye when Robinson stopped playing, of course said no. So Showalter assigned him a one-page paper on Robinson, due Wednesday.
If Hart had been a little more seasoned, he might have said, “But I got into baseball so I wouldn’t have to write essays.”
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FBI reports just unearthed by the Washington Times draw more links to the long-rumored notion that the first Clay-Liston fight 50 years ago Tuesday might have been fixed by a mobster friend of Liston’s. But there was a weird item in the middle of the story that raised without explanation a potential issue about Wilt Chamberlain. From the story by Thom Loverro:
“A May 19, 1972, FBI report from the Los Angeles field office to Hoover stated that (mob-connected gambler Ash) Resnick had ‘major mob ties’ with New Jersey and Brooklyn figures and indicated his reach went beyond the ring. Resnick, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native who had been a basketball player at New York University, was involved in the fixing scandal there in the early 1950s. The 1972 report says Resnick also was involved in Caesars Palace and, according to FBI documents, was close to NBA Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain.
(The report reads) ‘Was deeply involved with Wilt Chamberlain during the 68-69 big year — when Chamberlain performed poorly — Wilt was Ash guest at [Caesars Palace] almost every open weekend when the Lakers were at home or Phoenix.’”
Whatever that thinly supported bit of innuendo is supposed to mean.
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There are already plenty of frowns in the sporting world over the proposed Arizona gay discrimination law sitting on governor Jan Brewer’s desk, but here, from noted citizen and typist Spencer Hall, is an excellent summary, sweetly subtitled “Please, We Want Tacos.”
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And speaking of breakfast food, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, the Phillies’ AAA farm team, have introduced a Saturday cap which features a strip of bacon as the logo. It also has bacon piping down the side of the pants.
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And finally, John Strege of Golf Digest floats the notion that the childhood homes of Ben Hiogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods could be declared national monuments.
As for Steve Elkington, who got crossways with the Internet when he tweeted “ESPN reporting Michael Sam is leading the handbag throw at NFL combine . . . No one else expected to throw today,” he was born in New South Wales, so his birthplace is Australia’s problem.