Most mornings, I find myself reviewing the prior day's sports news to make sure I didn't miss some obscure story about, as an example, Oksana Baiul puking on the Prime Minister of Japan while they were both attending a launch party for Blackberry in Australia or some other time zone-affected bit of news. I'm not sure why, but between morbid curiosity and my strange thirst for knowledge, ESPN.com pulls me in like a tractor beam.
In any case, over the last 24 hours I hit the jackpot -- I encountered not one but two juicy nuggets which combine the best and worst of non-sports sports news.
The first concerns one of the more entertaining sports figures of our time, pro golfer John Daly. The story, published here, indicates that this past Sunday morning -- as in before noon -- police in Winston-Salem went to the local Hooters on a medical call. Apparently, a male was -- consecutively -- drunk, beligerent, then unconscious. Turns out the aforementioned male was John Daly.
I'm not sure which of these facts is the most entertaining: that his choice of locales was Hooters; that he was drunk in the morning; or that he passed out and was, therefore, not combative with police. Of course, the story has a happy ending: he was carted off to a detox center for a 24-hour stay for the purpose of achieving (drumroll, please) sobriety.
Inasmuch as this story seems, on its surface, humorous and patently entertaining, I can't help but feel badly for Mr. Daly. Here is someone with an obvious talent for the game of golf, yet his notoriety, at least for the past several years, is for his off-the-course exploits and his penchant for alcohol imbibed to excess.
John, if you're reading this -- and even somewhat sober -- get some help, man.
Of course, we all know that won't be the case.
As Henny Youngman once observed, "When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
Another equally bizarre story concerns a minor-league pitching prospect out of the Chicago Cubs organization.
The pitching prospect, 21-year-old Julio Castillo, incited a brawl between his team, the Peoria Chiefs, and the home team, the Dayton Dragons. Apparently, Mr. Castillo decided to throw a baseball into the Dragons' dugout but instead of nailing one of his opponents, he missed the mark and instead clocked a fan in the crowd.
I've been to many an entertaining baseball game. I've been to big-league games, I've been to little-league games, and I've played a load of games (on many levels except for the former). I don't recall -- ever -- seeing a guy get so angry at the opposing team that he attempted to hit someone in the dugout with a ball.
Why this story is so entertaining is that this shitbird was so beyond control he actually opted to try and hit someone with the ball. Sure, pitchers have thrown at guys facing them in the batter's box; but doing what this guy did is downright stupid and he, as a result, should be expelled from the game -- and I mean the game of baseball.
Of course, what is disturbing is that he could have killed someone -- especially a child -- in the stands. That the only injury was a slight concussion to one unlucky fan is fortunate. But personally, knowing that no one was seriously injured, I think the follow-up to this story is not his indictment, but should he be allowed back on a minor-league field, I think that the entire crowd should, armed with baseballs, throw them at him simultaneously. That would probably remind him that he's an asshole who has no business -- and doesn't deserve -- being on a baseball field.
Duck and cover, Juan...duck and cover.
I hope these stories remind any yoots who visit this space with regularity that they should avoid alcohol, never attempt to injure their competitors and should always carry themselves with respect.
Be like Kobe ;-)