Sam Fuld & Billy Beane in 'Moneyball II: Worlds Collide'

Sam Fuld & Billy Beane in 'Moneyball II: Worlds Collide'
March 9, 2014, 8:45 pm
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The rumors that Phil Jackson is on the verge of becoming the new mastermind of the New York Knicks has been gathering steam for awhile, but it does beg for an answer to the twin questions – who’s his Jordan, and who’s his Bryant?
Ray Ratto

Rashard Mendenhall should have the NFL Network climbing all over him for one of their hagiographic “A Football Life” episodes, but that won’t happen for one simple reason.

He had the good sense to walk away, and here's the proof.

Mendenhall, the Arizona running back who had once made several names for himself in Pittsburgh, decided after finishing strong in 2013 that he would drop mic and find a better reason to wake up in the morning. Specifically, he told Arizona coach Bruce Arians he wanted to write books and do different things than play football.

That’s a winner, even if it doesn’t get a 22-minute documentary. Even Chris Kluwe, the delightful rogue punter, got shoved out of the game, and he already had a book.


In other publishing news, Oakland outfielder Sam Fuld reviewed “Where Nobody Knows Your Name,” a book on the minor leagues by John Feinstein, in the Wall Street Journal. This may explain in part why he’s in Oakland . . . just in case Billy Beane needs an in-house literary critic for “Moneyball II: Worlds Collide.”

No, we don’t know if such a thing exists, or is even planned. But why the hell not?


Former Dallas Star Mike Modano (pronounced Mo-DAH-no unless you’re Canadian, in which case it is Mo-DANNNNNNNN-no) had his jersey retired Saturday before the Stars’ game with Minnesota, where he grew up and began his career. By all accounts, it was a sensational ceremony. It also lasted 62 minutes. Without knowing what the average for such a thing is, an hour and change seems a tad much.

Of course, when the Sharks retire Joe Thornton’s jersey, that could kill an entire evening . . . and that’s only if we list the off-color teammate nicknames he’s thought up in his near decade here.


North Korea reported perfect turnout at its March 8 parliamentary election. In the last election under Kim Jong-il, the candidates listed on ballots for each of the 687 districts were reported to have received 100% voter support.

And you thought the Dennis Rodman idea was a waste of time.


The rumors that Phil Jackson is on the verge of becoming the new mastermind of the New York Knicks has been gathering steam for awhile, but it does beg for an answer to the twin questions – who’s his Jordan, and who’s his Bryant?

And no, it ain’t Anthony.

More bizarre, though, he is signing on (if he in fact does so) with Jimmy Dolan, who hears no as willingly as hungry lions in the veldt seeing an impala on the hoof hear the words “Sit . . . now stay.”


In other basketball news, Bay Area rapper Lil B, who took after Kevin Durant back in 2012 with a curse based on Durant allegedly calling B a wack rapper. He later lifted the curse, but has recently rallied with the heartwarming Anglican hymn, “F--- KD.” According to those who know such thing, the tune uses the beat from DJ Khaled's “Brown Paper Bag,” but with “F--- Kevin Durant.”

Sorry, that’s all I know, and way more than I care. I am what we call “demographically challenged” on this matter. May they all find happiness in some future collaboration.


The well-documented seven-overtime Ohio high school championship game between Sylvania Northview and Cleveland St. Ignatius that ended in a 1-1 tie when administrators from both schools concluded that the players were too tired to continue featured two quotes from SI coach Pat O’Rourke that both elevate him in our eyes and then make us wonder what the hell he’s thinking.

The first (both are from Mark Monroe of the Toledo Blade): “There is disappointment. But I think five minutes into our bus ride home, we'll pop in Slap Shot and that will pass.” Yes. Very well put.

And then: “There is disappointment for both teams. But we'll get some Burger King and realize we are state champs.” Way no.

And no, this isn’t a statement on the noted royalty-based food chain. All we’ll say is this: If seven overtimes don’t get you a sit-down restaurant, then you may as well just put the damned shootout in and be done with it.


And now, because my boss’ boss hates when I do this but has probably stopped reading well before this, we present today’s soccer note from Chris Wright of Who Ate All The Pies:

“Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi (was) caught on camera charging around in front of a bull, dressed in a Batman costume at a street festival in the Basque region of Spain. According to MARCA, Illarramendi was caught taking part in the Carnival celebrations in the Basque province of Azpeitia when a short clip was circulated on social media, with (manager) Carlo Ancelotti confirming that the midfielder will be fined by the club after admitting his mistake – though the Real coach was visibly struggling to contain a smile during his press conference.

“'There is a disciplinary code like at any club so players avoid doing anything dangerous,” said Ancelotti. “It’s the first time I’ve seen a player run with bulls. He has apologized and I don’t think he’ll do it again.’”

Question: The hell with the bulls. What about the fact that HE WAS DRESSED AS BATMAN?


And finally, it is now officially not too soon to lift this Jason Collins story from The Onion.

Put another way, he’s laughing too, because he’s smart, knows a good joke when he’s told one, and for no better reason than this fabricated quote from teammate Paul Pierce:

“We don’t look at him as the first openly gay player in the NBA — he’s just like any other guy on the team who comes in during garbage time and contributes nothing on either side of the ball. His sexuality isn’t a big deal to us. Understandably the media and fans will concentrate on that, but in our eyes, he’s just another benchwarmer who’ll grab a rebound every once in a while and have no actual impact whatsoever on this team.”