Bob Ryan

Playing some midwinter mind games

By Bob Ryan
Globe Columnist / January 16, 2009
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Emptying Out The Desk Drawer Of The Sports Mind:

So what will fill our great Jim Rice Outrage Void now? Oh, that's right: Luis Tiant is still waiting.

Am I being too "back-in-my-day" and fuddy-duddyish when I object to this fuss being made of Jodie Meeks setting a Kentucky scoring record with 54 points on a night when he makes 10 threes while Dan Issel had his record 53 with all twos? I hope not.

Never mind Pete Maravich. I'd like to see what Austin Carr (34.5-point-per-game career average at Notre Dame) would have done with the 3-point shot.

I've been scratching the ol' noggin to come up with an NFL QB career arc as bizarre as Kurt Warner's. Wasn't he on the trash heap after leaving the New York Giants four years ago?

Even if the Bruins game stinks (not much chance of that, actually), the pregame Cam Neely highlights are worth the trip to the Garden.

It'll never, ever happen, of course, but if Dante Scarnecchia (every Patriots regime since Ron Meyer in 1982 and there for all six Super Bowls) decides to write the complete Patriots insider memoirs, I'm buying. Unfortunately for us, Dante's a guy to whom you can safely entrust your secrets.

Item: Starting next year, the Pro Bowl will no longer involve a free trip to Hawaii. They'll be lucky to have enough players for a game of six-man tag.

What Brett Favre needs to do is pull a reverse Roger Clemens. You know, only play the first six weeks.

Speaking of people who've worn out their welcome, the Yankees should tell Andy Pettitte to either take the $10 million for one year by noon today or stay home. They've indulged him enough. Check out his August and September and get back to me.

I can't think of anything the sports world needs less than a new Giants Stadium, which remains a superb place for an actual football fan to watch a game. Bleep the swells and their damnable luxury boxes.

Count me among the many who have been continually charmed by the great wit and candor of Charles Barkley. Count me, as well, among the many who fear we'll be soon writing his obit if he doesn't mend his wild-and-woolly, I-do-whatever-I-want ways.

DH-phobes among the Hall of Fame voting body will next have to explain how they can reject the first-time candidacy of Edgar Martinez, he of the two batting titles, the seven All-Star appearances, the .312 and .515 (slugging) career averages, and, most of all, the staggering .418 career on-base percentage.

This Luke Harangody kid for Notre Dame is not only a very nice college basketball player, but he also possesses a face right out of some 1930s James Cagney movie.

I see this edition of the Boston Celtics morphing into San Antonio; i.e., they will be telling us during the months of February and March they'll be ready when the time comes.

It has become quite clear to me in the past few days that I am the only white male in America between the age 30 and 70 who has never seen a full episode of "24."

Everyone loves Big Papi, but if he does not come to training camp looking more fit than he ever has, let there be no enablers. He will deserve full censure.

Time for Pedro to take his 214-99 career record (.684 winning percentage) back under the mango tree and await the call from the Hall. No one needs to see him labor with another of those 5-6, 5.61, 127 hits in 109 IP, career-worst K/BB split of 87-44 seasons. There's one Theo got 100 percent correct.

Bob Knight working an ESPN game: Uh-uh. Bob Knight sitting in front of the big screen analyzing a player (i.e. Blake Griffith) or a team (i.e. Duke)? Give me more, lots more.

Eighty-three (83) days until Tiger Woods tees it up at the Masters. My man Jim McCabe's probably got it down to the seconds.

Now that the Giants are dead and buried for this season as one-time champs, don't you despise Asante Samuel even more for not catching that pass in the Super Bowl before he skipped off for Philadelphia's riches?

Scott Boras vs. The Recession: So far, it's a standoff (Teixeira and Lowe, yea. Manny and Varitek, nay).

Donovan McNabb's historical niche is: A. good; B. very good; C. great. Discuss among yourselves.

Guess we don't have to ask which hat Jim Rice is going to be wearing on his plaque, do we?

There should be a special place in purgatory for anthem singers who turn the word "wave" into a 15-note extravaganza. Same with those who mess around with the word "free."

When exactly did putting it in the basket become "scoring the ball"?

In the most basketball-centric presidential administration ever, isn't it strange the name of Bill Bradley is never heard?

Oh, if I could only listen to John Kiley rouse the crowd with "The Mexican Hat Dance" one more time.

What's the over/under in words before Rickey Henderson starts complaining in his Hall of Fame induction speech that he was always underpaid?

What's the over/under in words for Jim Rice's speech, period?

Apropos of Phil Kessel's mono: Better now than in April.

Attention, Mr. Gil Santos: Have you ever considered selling that voice? Or at least loaning it out?

Memo to Yankee fans: If your team wins it all, people on the outside will shrug and say, "So what?" And if they don't win, people everywhere in the baseball universe will laugh their you-know-whats off. But do enjoy your season.

Bob Ryan is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at

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