Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The REAL answers to the week's most burning questions

In a week full of compelling sports stories, Errant Balls is here to give you the definitive inside scoop. After gaining exclusive access to press conferences with some of this week’s biggest names, I was able to ask the questions and get the REAL answers we’ve all been dying to hear.

NBA Commissioner, David Stern

Errant Balls: Mr. Stern, this whole Tim Donaghy fiasco is back at the forefront, and at what some may say is the worst possible time for the NBA. After what has been such a positive season for the league, what do you have to say in regards to the allegations that two past playoff series, including the ’02 Conference Finals between the Lakers and Kings, were fixed for ratings purposes?

Stern: Frankly, these egregious accusations have no base, so I am not worried. The NBA is in a great place and we refuse to let one bad apple spoil everything. Mr. Donaghy has proven himself to be unethical and is clearly just looking to have his impending sentence reduced.
I mean sure ’02 worked out for us. Yes, it was better for TV ratings to have the dynamic duo of Shaq and Kobe in the NBA Finals rather than having Vlade Divac and Hedo Turkoglu out there fugly-ing up the court. But that doesn’t mean we altered any results intentionally. That atrocious 4th quarter in game 6 was a result of horrendously poor officiating, not some supposed “fix”, thank you very much.

Cincinnati Reds Right Fielder, Ken Griffey Jr.

Errant Balls: On Monday night you joined the very exclusive 600 home run club, becoming only the sixth player in Major League history to reach that mark. After enduring a career that has been robbed of much of its potential due to injury, this milestone has to mean a lot. Now we are hearing the news out of Florida that the fan that caught this record ball isn’t sure whether he is willing to give it back to you, or if he wants to sell it. How does this make you feel?

Griffey: To be honest it’s really tough. I mean I see where the guy is coming from. Not everyone is as blessed as us athlete’s are, so it would be unfair for me to forget that this guy isn’t pulling in millions of dollars every year while I demand he give me a piece of memorabilia that I feel is “due” to me.
At the same time though, I have dealt with a lot and I would love to have that ball displayed proudly on my mantle. When I came into this league it was a foregone conclusion that the all-time home run record would one day be mine. But constant issues with injury have taken that chance away from me, and this could very well be the last home run milestone I reach. Who knows, I could get hurt tomorrow and have my career be over. I’m not as durable as I once was you know.
Oh… damn… that answer was way too long winded. Ouch… yeah, I’m pretty sure I just cracked a rib.

Professional Jockey and Rider of Big Brown, Kent Desormeaux

Errant Balls: Big Brown was a horse many thought to be the most likely to take the Triple Crown in quite some time. After dominating the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, Big Brown was a veritable no show in the Belmont Stakes, finishing dead last. Now some of the blame is being pushed your way. How do you explain the horse’s uncharacteristically poor showing?

Desormeaux: It’s never easy to explain something like this, because it’s impossible to say what the animal was thinking and feeling at the time. Any explanation that any of us give will likely be scrutinized because there is no right answer, it is all speculation.
However, I honestly think the horse held back on purpose, to spite his owners for the lackluster moniker they gave him. I have always felt that the horse resented having such an uncreative name. Race horses are normally given striking names like Casino Drive or Barbaro. The past 3 Triple Crown winners were Secretariat, Affirmed, and Seattle Slew… does "Big Brown" really fit in there? I mean what did they do just look at him and be like “yeah, Big Brown seems about right”? Wasn’t that the name of the bodyguard on MTV’s Rob & Big? We can’t be sure if this is the real reason, but I sure as hell would’ve resented my parents had they been as lazy and just named me Tiny Man.

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