Mashup: MLB Draft, Big-12 Balkinization, Kansas, Wheels

* The MLB Draft is so mocked and poorly rated as a television event that I think it may actually be underrated. Outside of John Hart being unable to come up with a single criticism and Peter Gammons fellating every selection , I don’t think the draft is all that bad.  I realize my interest in minor league baseball is time zones away from the mainstream but I enjoy snarky guys like Keith Law and Jim Callis criticizing the Yankees like Mel Kiper jumps on the Raiders and Chad Ford bashes the Wolves.

* While I was all in favor of breaking up Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, I am not really that supportive of this plan to Balkinize the Big-12 even though it would neuter Kansas as a basketball power. Quite frankly, I don’t really like the idea of “Super Conferences” and this split would basically leave the country with just four behemoths. I have long criticized the sixteen-team Big East as a joke and here comes another joke as the Pac-10 moves to become the Pac-16 with Texas, Texas Tech, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St and Texas A&M. Sorry, but I don’t think a conference road game should take a team from Pullman, Washington to Lubbock, Texas or Stillwater, Oklahoma to Corvallis, Oregon. And as a UCLA guy, I am not that hip to mixing my academic DNA with Ok State, Texas Tech or Texas A&M.

* What the hell is Kansas going to do if they get left out of this conference shuffle? Join in with Conference USA? Ouch. Something tells me that Kansas-UAB or Jayhawks-Golden Hurricanes will not quite have the same kick as Kansas-Missouri. In the event that Kansas gets abandoned, expect Bill Self to call his realtor and be out of Kansas when the first decent opportunity presents itself.   

* I have “negative” interest in auto racing, no matter the flavor, but count me in the camp who actually is interested in this idea to offer $20 Mil to any driver who can win Charlotte and Indy on the same day.  Winning those two races on the same day would be some accomplishment as you would have to go 500 at Indy, win, drink the milk, jump on a plane, and then race 600 miles in Charlotte. I wouldn’t equate that to winning the Ironman but it still seems pretty Herculean and I would be casually interested if someone made the attempt and was alive after Indy.      

* Buster Olney writes this morning that the Yanks may have just found the heir apparent to Derek Jeter. He also illuminates the fact that Keith Law didn’t have the Cubs first round pick on his top-100 list. Well guess what Buster …. Keith didn’t have the Yankees pick, Cito Culver, in his top-100 either. And nor did Baseball America, which had him at #168. In fact, there were chuckles in the room when that pick was announced. CHUCKLES.

* Leave it to the Mets. Major League Baseball has never looked twice when a team warehouses a perfectly healthy but struggling player on the DL. But now, the league seems to have decided to take a stand in the case of Oliver Perez, whose knee “injury” appears as legitimate as the fever that Ferris claimed to get his day off.  I’m waiting with bated breath for the Mets to produce an orthopedist who will vouch for Oli’s tendonitis.  

AND SOME EXTRA INNINGS

* Cliff Lee stuffed the Rangers last night and his K:BB on the year is now 57 to 4. Folks, he isn’t the problem in Seattle.

* He hits for NO power ( ISO .071), but is there anyone hotter right now than the Giants Freddy Sanchez? He’s 18-38 over his last ten games.

* Adrian Gonzalez is heating up and that alone is probably enough to carry the Padres through June. Bullpen+Gonzo+manageable interleague schedule=Padres will be within two games of first at the break.

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