Sports Friday

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Friday, March 16, 2007


Well? With March madness going on and baseball about to start in a couple of weeks, what else would you expect…


Duke loses in first round. I am not as much a hater as our friends DIXIE and TURN but it is always nice to see an upset in the first round that screws up quite a few bracket sheets and turns some with guts into geniuses.

We did not do a sheet this year for the first time is about 6,045,867 years…so we will be watching for the enjoyment.

MEMPHIS TIGERS play this morning at 11:30 CST…go Blue!


R.I.P. Bowie Kuhn (10/28/26 – 3/15/07)

The man presided as Commissioner of Major League Baseball longer then anyone except Judge Kennesaw “Mountain” Landis.

After serving as legal council for the owners for 20 years, he was Commissioner for 15 years. During his tenure, he accomplished the following:

  • In 1970, he suspended star Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain due to McLain's involvement in a bookmaking operation.
  • He barred both Willie Mays (in 1979) and Mickey Mantle (in 1983) from the sport due to their involvement in casino promotion; neither was directly involved in gambling, and both were reinstated by Kuhn's successor Peter Ueberroth in 1985.
  • Also in 1970, Kuhn described Jim Bouton's Ball Four as "detrimental to baseball" and demanded that Bouton retract it. The book has been republished several times and is now considered a classic.
  • He pitched the idea to NBC TV to televise Game 4 of the 1971 World Series in primetime, thus changing the practice of day games for the Fall Classic.
  • Mr. Kuhn was Commissioner when Kurt Flood was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and refused to go. He wrote to Mr. Kuhn asking to become a “free agent.” His request was denied and he sued MLB and Bowie Kuhn saying they violated federal antitrust laws. Eventually the case made its way to the Supreme Court where they ruled in favor of MLB, but this was the first step toward players taking control of their careers and not being treated as chattel.
  • Kuhn stopped Oakland Owner Charles O. Finley from selling off a number of players to cut costs claiming the fire-sale would be bad for baseball.
  • When the 52 Iranian hostages were finally released in 1980, Commissioner Kuhn awarded them all with life-time passes to every major league stadium.
  • He was not easy on any ballplayer caught using drugs and suspended many players during his term.
  • He also suspended George Steinbrenner after Steinbrenner was found guilty of making illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon.
Kuhn has been accused of being insensitive on race related matters. From Wikipedia:
  • When the decision was made to induct Negro League players into the Baseball Hall of Fame starting in 1971, Kuhn announced that their plaques would be in a separate wing of the Hall, presumably based on the argument that the Negro Leagues were not true "Major League Baseball" leagues, ignoring the historical fact that Major League Baseball's exclusionary policies had compelled the creation of the Negro Leagues in the first place. (He also ignored the fact that the Hall of Fame is a separate entity from Major League Baseball; it is under no obligation to induct and chronicle only Major League Baseball players and events, as inductees have included figures from the era before the first professional leagues were established. In spite of this, both sides cooperate as it is in their mutual interests.) Whatever the motivation for this idea might have been, the resulting public outcry resulted in the inclusion of Negro Leaguers' plaques with the others.
  • Although Kuhn was personally in attendance in Cincinnati when Atlanta Braves slugger Hank Aaron hit his 714th home run to tie Babe Ruth for the all-time record, the commissioner made himself a target for criticism when he was absent on the historic night that Aaron hit his 715th home run in Atlanta. NBC-TV announcer Tony Kubek specifically commented on that point, on the air. Kuhn argued that he had a prior engagement that he could not break.
  • He was said to have personally added the name of Carl Yastrzemski to the 1983 All-Star roster in Yaz's last season, but had failed to make the same gesture for Willie Stargell in 1982.


Chicago Bears fan Scott Wiese has taken fan-dom to a new height. He vowed that if his Bears lost the Super Bowl, he would change his name.

Say hello to Peyton Scott Manning. He added the middle name to appease his parents who are not too happy with his decision.

The 26 year old has said he would change his name back if his Bears make the Super Bowl again and win…but if they lose, he might be changing his name to the winning quarterback’s…can you say Tom Peyton Scott Manning Brady??????


R.I.P. Eddie (the King) Feigner

Feigner, sitting in the wheelchair, with his team

Feigner barnstormed the country and even the world with his four-person softball team, THE KING AND HIS COURT for 5 decades. They would play anyone brave enough to take the field against them.

It all began in 1946 after his full-man squad routed a team from Oregon. Feigner took the field with a catcher, a first baseman and a shortstop and they won 7-0.

His fastball was clocked at 104-mph, and he would deliver the ball through his legs, from behind his back or from second base... He also pitched blindfolded to celebrities at charity events.

In a 1964 exhibition at Dodger Stadium, he struck out Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Maury Wills, Harmon Killebrew, Roberto Clemente and Brooks Robinson -----IN ORDER!

The King and His Court came to West Windsor a few years back and played a Charity game at our Little League field against our girl’s softball team who were state champions. Eddie was looking old and feeble, but he was still a thrill to watch. His daughter was playing with him at that time.

We are real happy to have gotten to see this treasure. He signed every autograph requested and then he and his entourage joined us at the local pizza place hanging out and telling us story upon story.


Arthur Blank is the owner of the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. He is 64-years old.

When Mr. Blank was recently asked what winning the Super Bowl next year would mean, he replied “It would get my mother off my back.”

Ah mothers. always wanting the best for their children!


You just gotta love sports agents and their creativity… J.D. Drew, the injury-prone Boston Red Sox outfielder has a 5-year contract. If he misses too many games within the time of that contract, his payments will be spread out until the year 2030!


Josh Paul is a catcher for the Tampa Devil Rays. When asked what it meant to take his first drug test for the 2007 season, Paul replied, “The key is to hit the cup.”

Ah baseball players and their sense of humor.


Finally…another sign of how weird law enforcement can be…A 73-year old great-grandmother is facing a year in jail for allegedly running a $50 Monday Night Football pool at a California Elks lodge where she tends bar…



Enjoy your weekend folks….HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!


Music Codes: Best Audio Codes

Bing Crosby
Ernest Ball, Gary Graff & Chauncey Olcott



16 Of Your Sparks

  1. Schmoop Says:
  2. What if I dont want to!?

  3. well then you would miss another brilliant post here on THE COUCH!

  4. Travis Cody Says:
  5. Well, I'm not a genius - but Duke was seeded way too high and I picked VCU. It's not as big an upset as the talking heads are saying.

    Mr Kuhn inspires may emotions, none of which is indifference. He was controversial, to say the least.

    I remember watching The King and His Court on Wide World of Sports. He was always a thrill.

    Happy St Pat's and Happy Madness!

  6. Well, I must admit - I slacked this year, and I didn't put as much thought or effort into filling out my brackets this year. If I had not waited until 15 minutes before the first tip-off (that being 9:15 am out west here!), I probably would've picked Duke to fall in Round One. As it was, I wasn't thinking and automatically chose Duke to advance. Sigh. At least I had them losing in Round Two, so my bracket isn't too trashed.

    That grandma with the football pool is laughable. How many office pools are going on right now with March Madness? Are the authorities gonna arrest everyone with a bracket sheet in their possession?
    And to the penalties rival those handed out for possession of a doob? Oh wait, that was yesterday's post...Sorry - having laryngitis is making me punchy.

    I heard about this kid changing his name to Peyton Manning. Bah. Doesn't he know there's only ONE Peyton Manning?

    Actually went to a spring training game last weekend, Vinny. Even though it was 90 effing degrees outside, I managed to stay through five innings. Hope you're proud of me.

    Have a great weekend, and Happy St. Paddy's Day back at you.

  7. Unknown Says:
  8. Well, March Madness... Upcoming Baseball start... honestly: I expected nothing else =)

    And I enjoyed my seat on THE COUCH - You made possible I have been pretty sportive today although my CD doesn´t allow exercises yet *LOL*

    Thanks for Bing - Happy St. Patrick´s Day!

  9. Twyla Says:
  10. I have to admit, I had no idea what March madness was until a few years aog. I'm illiterate when it comes to sports...except hockey of course. LOL

    Happy St. Patrick's Day to you. It's also my youngest daughter's birthday...and her name is even of Irish origin. I didn't plan it that way I swear. :-) Drink lots of green beer and have a great weekend! :-)

  11. TRAVIS: Butbutbut they ARE the talking heads! LOL So true about Mr. Kuhn... walk the middle was never a skill he perfected. King was even better in person, even when I saw him so near the end of his career.

    SONGBIRD: I am so psyched for baseball--glad you got to go..

    SANNI: Hope you begin to feel totally better soon my friend

  12. Unknown Says:
  13. I understood four words of that - Happy St. Patrick's Day - but I read it just for the Hottie!

  14. well bond my friend i just can't figure out why i keep coming here. i detest sports, never watch american idol, you are a lib, nothing, just nothing, no that's not true, there is YOU!!! i guess i just like YOU honey!

    smiles, bee

    ps, this may be my meds talking, i'm not sure, ha ha ha ha ha.... i am SOOOOO sick!

  15. TopChamp Says:
  16. Hello Bond - pretty sure I'm gonna have a lot of reading to do when I get onto your blog properly. I've not really had a read yet in March.... Looking forward to reading the stories etc but will need to catch up another time as I'm borrowing someones internet briefly.

  17. Liz Hill Says:


    OK--First off I am not a 'hater' --I just detest the Dukies (not YOU Trav)*snarf*

    And yes Duke was seeded way too high--I have been trying to figure out how they were 'ranked' when we were not and we had the exact same record at one point and a much higher RPI-ah must be some vast 'dukies' conspiracy ;-)

    I can't believe that UK won last night --they are just trying to drive the dagger in deeper--cause I'll watch and cheer Sunday --hope springs eternal when you bleed Blue.

    Very interesting stuff about Mr Kuhn and such a nice bit about Mr Feigner--how cool is that?

    Just read an article this morning about Soto wishing Pete would just "shut up". I have to agree.

    Really itching for baseball to start!

    Love the comfy Couch talking sports!


  19. hi bond, sigh. still sick here. meds are not even fun anymore.... maybe i need sports! ha.

    smiles, bee

  20. DANA: I am sure you understood more then four words, just didn't care about any but the four! LOL

    BEE: Feel better and if it is all about ME then i can deal with that bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

    TOPCHAMP: I have also been absent and spent much of today catching up...

    TURN: Ummm Turn.. what about this Soto and Pete??? I am so comfuzzled... what the heck are you talking about??? LOL

    BEE: welcome back for visit two.. I guess it really is about ME! LOL

    Feel better please

  21. AtriaBooks Says:
  22. Thanks, Bond...That was good info about Kuhn, much of which I didn't know. Between primetime world series games and free agency he may have gone a long way to try to screw up baseball!

    I can't believe they may throw Bee in jail for running a football pool!

  23. DOC: Nice to see you again...Yes, he certainly did his best to screw it up... but he did do some good things...

  24. yeah bond it's all about you.....want to go on my cruise?

    smiles, bee


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