MINNEAPOLIS, MN – A few things that happened this week deserve attention: the New York Yankees getting back to the business of out-doing the cross-town New York Mets at the Winter Meetings and Kobe Bryant benching Kobe Bryant.
Admittedly, we didn’t like Kobe Bryant up until this week. And no, it wasn’t because he told Lakers’ Head Coach Lord Byron Scott to bench him in the 3rd quarter (oxymoron?) against Angry Ward’s T-Wolves in Minnesota, that precipitated our sudden opinion shift. Nor were we swayed Kobe’s way by the excellent piece by Greg Howard of Deadspin regarding Bryant’s ability to ignore how awful he’s been… and just keep shooting. Instead, it was the Showtime black and white documentary, Kobe Bryant’s Muse, that transformed us – not into Kobe lovers (we stay away from read meat), exactly – but more into Kobe simpaticos, if you will. And we know you will.
The guy, who undoubtedly was an egomaniac and arguable rapist, has had some big things to overcome and, quite frankly, doesn’t seem to be the douche we thought he was. However… we do have a problem with him being in a position to bench himself… unless he’s being paid to coach – which he’s not. That money goes to Byron Scott, who is apparently getting paid handsomely to attend all Lakers‘ games and practices and get the only seat money can’t buy – on the team’s bench. Granted, Kobe has had a tremendous career and simply astonished by carrying the Shaq-less Lakers to back-to-back championships over the Heat and Celtics. That shouldn’t allow him to coach the froggin’ team, though, and sends an awful message to current players, coaches and more importantly, kids. Way to go, Lakers’ Brass and Ball-less Byron.
The New York Yankees are back to the business of baseball, which usually means stealing any temporary thunder the New York Mets might have rattling over the boroughs of NYC. In rather quiet fashion, the Stanks grabbed Starlin Castro, the Cubs shortstop-turned-2nd baseman with a big upside for Adam Warren and Brendan Ryan, two guys that aren’t even good enough to have last names. That move not only made the Yankees better/younger up the middle, it completely undermined what the Mutts were trying to do – overpay for another aging, barely-above-average free agent. Instead, the Mets signed Wilmer Flores’ older, less-talented twin, somebody called Ass Dribble – or something to that effect – and former Pittsburgh Swashbuckler, Neil Walker, who is simply a right-handed Daniel Murphy, possibly with fewer mind-numbing base-running gafs. Argh, Matey!
So in essence, the Yankees saved the Mets temporarily from doing what they do in the off-season – and ultimately did; acquire mediocre, aging players that will likely suck at Shea Field. But at least they didn’t give Ben Zobrist 4 years at $60,000,000.00 to hit .245 with 9 HRs per. That would have sucked.
Finally, how would you like to be Wilmer Flores? He gets completely f’d with on National Television in the Carlos Gomez no-trade fiasco and now has two more older versions of him looming, ready to be inserted in his place the minute he farts in the wrong direction. Hey Mets, didn’t you learn anything from the Ike Davis/Lucas Duda debacle?! Leave the young guys alone.
P.s… No Bridge over troubled Water for the Vikings of this post’s origin!