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Odds & Ends-Volume 172


We begin a special Saturday edition of Odds & Ends with the NHL trade deadline coming up on Wednesday,and one player whose name I’m done hearing about, Kevin Shattenkirk of the St. Louis Blues.NHL: St. Louis Blues at Carolina Hurricanes

The 28-year-old defeseman’s name has been rumoured in trade talks for a while now and a team that’s been involved in those is the Edmonton Oilers. Not once,not twice,but three times. All three times Shattenkirk has said no and that he doesn’t want to play there or sign a $42 million extension with them.

Here’s what I have to say about that: Good!

I absolutely don’t want players on my favorite team that don’t want to be there. For far too long the Oilers had rosters with players who were,either not ready to play in the league, not good enough to get solid ice time on good teams, or with guys who didn’t want to be there. Shattenkirk clearly doesn’t want to be there,and if you have a guy like that on your roster who,as talented as he may be, may disrupt any kind of good chemistry the team has currently is not a player I would want on my roster.

The Oilers have been in a playoff spot all season long and I think I speak for all Oilers fans by saying that we want to keep it that way. It’s been 11 seasons since they’ve been to a playoff berth and that streak needs to end. They’re well on their way to doing that and I think if Shattenkirk was traded from St. Louis to Edmonton, a lot of the good they’ve done may get erased.

javalemcgeeIs there anyone else who thinks the beef between Golden State Warriors forward JaVale McGee and Shaquille O’Neal is fucking stupid?

Sources told ESPN that the Warriors have reached out to Turner Sports regarding their years-long McGee coverage on the “Shaqtin’ a Fool” segment on “Inside the NBA” show, with the team expressing that the ongoing negative portrayal of McGee is doing unnecessary damage to his reputation.

Over the years, McGee has had many gaffes on the court,but TNT took things to a new level when airing a “Doctor Strange” segment devoted entirely to McGee.

On Twitter,McGee asked O’Neal to stop talking about him explicit fashion to which O’Neal replied that he would “smack the shit out yo bum ass.”

McGee’s teammates and even his own coach were quick to defend him.

“He works extremely hard,” Durant said Friday. “He’s come in here and done so much for us as a player. He only wants to be respected, just like anybody else…It’s definitely childish,” Durant said. “But that’s what they want from these stars and these retired players … to feud with the guys playing now. If I was JaVale, I’d feel the same way. It’s childish.”

“JaVale has been fantastic for us, as a player, a teammate, fantastic guy. He’s funny, he’s fun to be around, he does his job. He’s a total pro.I don’t blame him for being frustrated. Shaq’s been picking on him for years and years and years,” said coach Steve Kerr,who worked as a broadcaster for TNT before becoming the head coach of the Warriors, “I think JaVale, and rightfully so, I feel like he’s frustrated. It’s like, ‘It never ends.’ It’s one thing to just have a little fun, but I think you can go a little bit over the top.”

I think O’Neal is being absolutely ridiculous with his beef with McGee. He is,without question,bullying him. I don’t understand why he doesn’t like him,nor why he keeps ridiculing him to as huge of an extent like he has. His beef with McGee is almost as bad as Matt Barnes’ beef with Derek Fisher was. Also,does O’Neal not now that he is a part owner of an NBA team? Shouldn’t the Sacramento Kings be saying something about his constant vendetta against McGee? If I’m Vivek Ranadive,I’d probably do so.

Just like the league has cautioned teams against mocking or ridiculing other teams on social media,I think this needs to be extended to its broadcasters.

I’m fine with commentators offering opinions and even criticisms of players,but when it goes too far as the bullying O’Neal and TNT are doing and have done, that’s when it goes too far and in turn makes the league look silly.

In an interview with Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, current Michigan head harbaughcoach Jim Harbaugh and reminisced about his time in San Francisco coaching the 49ers, a tenure which brought the team to three NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl berth.

“I don’t think that I was there long enough to be compared with Bill Walsh or Coach Seifert,” Harbaugh said. “… Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think we did set a record for coaching there the longest under the present ownership. I take pride in that. Maybe there should be an endurance medal, a courage medal for that.”

Really,Jim? A medal?

I understand that while,yes you did get run out of town by the ownership group of the team,and wrongfully so, you don’t deserve a medal for the time you were there. You instead got over $20 million from the Yorks for your services and your time coaching there. I’d put that in the win column.

intentionalwalkIn an attempt to speed up the game, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has decided to propose a rule change to modify the intentional walk,it would have the pitcher forgo actually throwing four balls to the catcher. Instead, the bench would simply signal to the umpire that the batter will be intentionally walked.

Manfred says that the rule would not change this season,but if he and the players union have their way,it could be implemented in a season in the not too distant future.

Others,like myself,are wondering why this change even needs to be made.

“You’re changing or altering the essence of the sport under the guise of speeding it up minimally,” ESPN host Michael Smith argued. “The object of the game is to pitch to a batter — you should still have to execute those pitches.”

Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin made his point with Sportsnet in Canada: “My thing is, if they really want to speed up the game, then when a guy hits a home run, to speed up the game should a guy, just like in softball, when he hits it, should he just walk to the dugout? It’d be quicker. I’m just wondering, at what point do we just keep the game, the game?”

While I’ve never been a fan of the intentional walk (Be a man,pitch to the guy!), I understand that it does have a strategic place in the game. Not only does it take away a very small part of the game in which very little time is elapsed from a game, but it does take away exciting ways for teams to win a game. Like for instance, if a guy is on third and a wild pitch during an intentional walk gets away from the catcher, that guy from third is coming home. Game over! Why on earth would you want to get rid of that?

Also, chew on this. During the 2016 regular season, there were 932 intentional walks, which equals out to one in every three games. So right there is proof that this is not a very effective way to speed up the game. I do think there are many other ways to do it,but this is not going to help that whatsoever.

That’s it for Odds & Ends this Saturday, have a great weekend everybody,wherever you may be!

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February 2017
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