Where Have All the Aces Gone? Gone to Dr. James Andrews, Every One. Source: Michael Baumann, “An Elbow Injury for Jose Fernandez, and Surgery for Baseball Fans’ Broken Hearts”; Grantland (05/13/14); Earlier this week, news broke that the Marlins’ Jose Fernandez would likely undergo Tommy John surgery, and is thus unlikely to return to pitching until 2016. That is so far away that, by that point, flying cars and hover boards will be ubiquitous. Fernandez joins a long list of young, exciting pitchers who have been lost to Tommy John surgery since the start of 2013. What the hell is going on? -TOB
Further Reading: Tom Ley, “Jose Fernandez Is Hurt, And We Aren’t Allowed to Love Anymore,” Deadspin.com (05/13/14); Tom Verducci, “As Fernandez Goes Down, Here’s a Solution to Arm Injury Epidemic” (05/13/14); Tom Verducci, “How Tiny Tim Became a Pitching Giants,” Sports Illustrated (07/07/08).
PAL Note: Grantland needs to pump its breaks on the metaphors – “…[C]omposed variations on the ‘slow, with late break’ theme the way Mozart might have written a suite for a woodwind quartet…” Easy, fellas.
Was Mark Jackson Fired Because of His Race? Yes. And No. Source: Marcus Thompson, “Warriors, Mark Jackson, and the Question of Race”; San Jose Mercury News (05/08/14); The SJ Merc’s Marcus Thompson explores the reasons that the Warriors fired Mark Jackson. Was race involved? Kinda. -TOB
Further Reading: David Aldridge, “Split Between Jackson, Warriors a Complicated, Messy Affair”; NBA.com (05/12/14)
PAL Note: The Tom Thibodeau comp is the most intriguing (Thibs – great defense + suspect offense = great coach; Jackson – great shooters + improved defense = motivator).
Yasiel Puig’s defection from Cuba is way more incredible than his arm. Source: Jesse Katz,“Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig’s Untold Journey to the Dodger”; Los Angeles Magazine (4/13/13); Murder, informants, drug cartels, and a whole lot of dirty money at stake. Defecting from Cuba doesn’t end when someone like Yasiel Puig puts on an MLB uniform. Whether you love him or hate him, his story is extraordinary. – PAL
The World Cup in Brazil could prove to be a really, really bad idea. Source: James Masters, “World Cup 2014: Can the FBI help stop Brazil’s World Cup protesters?”; CNN (5/13/14) For all we know this could be your typical, “there will be some real problems” story like the ones we saw leading up to Sochi or the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. However, there is ongoing unrest throughout Brazil, and large-scale protests have turned violent over the government spending billions of dollars in the midst of a very fragile economic period. The Confederations Cup (essentially a warm-up tournament for the World Cup) was a mess with protests, and let’s not forget where the 2016 Summer Olympics will be held. -PAL
TOB Note: A good roundup of the potential issues in Brazil this summer, with some truly great/haunting images. Also, this terrifying warning from police.
Like the Goonies, The Spurs Will Never Die Source: Louisa Thomas, “Pop Culture: What We Talk About When We Talk About the Spurs”; Grantland (05/12/14) In the early aughts, the Spurs were boring. It seemed like their run had finally ended in 2011, when the #1 seed Spurs were destroyed by the #8 seed Grizzlies in 6 games. But then a funny thing happened: The Spurs kept their core, replaced the spare pieces, and got…better. In 2013, they came about as close as you can to winning a title without doing so. This year, I am rooting for them. They are once again the West’s #1 seed. They just destroyed the Trailblazers, with an average margin of victory of nearly 20 points, and look primed for a return to the Finals. The Spurs will not die. Long live the Spurs. – TOB
QUICK HIT: LeBron Putting Michael Jordan Into Perspective Source: Tim McGarry, USA Today (05/13/14)
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