Wednesday is the most painful day of the week.
Last weekend's hangover has worn off, and the sober reality that you're nowhere near this weekend's party (except for this weekend, of course, since Friday a nationally recognized party; bad timing on my part, I guess) hits you like the triple-shot of caffeine needed to get through the two-hour long mandatory staff meeting. To help you get over the hump for the week, I present "Wacky Wednesday," which I plan on turning into a weekly publication.
As a disclaimer, most of the headlines are false and designed to pick you up at the expense of some multi-million dollar baby. However, there is always the "Comical Reality" of things that occur in the everyday sporting world, and I certainly wouldn't want to overlook the weeks most mockable bloopers. I leave it up to you as a savvy sports fan to make those determinations.
Vujacic Signs Deal With Sparks
With NBA free agency in full swing, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that they are letting restricted free agent Sasha Vujacic jump ship for the WNBA. Vujacic confirmed the news during a press conference in which he was formally recognized by the Los Angeles Sparks as their latest Sixth Woman.
"This is a winning situation for all parties involved," Vujacic stated. "I was never really cut out for the competitiveness of the NBA, and signing with the Sparks will allow me to win a championship without having to compete so hard."
Vujacic, renowned for staying out of the paint on both ends of court and settling for long range three point attempts, should fit in well in the WNBA, where the undefended jump shot is still viewed as the only means of scoring.
After the Lakers were trounced in the NBA Finals, thanks in part to Vujacic's WNBA-esque .391 FG%, Owner Jerry Buss decided allowing Vujacic to help the Sparks, currently 1st in the Western Conference, win a Championship was in the best interest for the recovering process of LA fans.
However, Buss, a former Sparks owner, might overestimate fans' interest in the league.
When asked if he thought Vujacic would help the Sparks win a championship, one Laker fan responded, "Who the hell are the Sparks?"
Another responded, "I don't follow the D-League, but it sounds like a good fit for Vujacic."
A third said, "Actually, our arena football league team is called the Avengers, but I do think Vujacic would make a great kicker for them."
The last respondent, a real Los Angeles fan, said, "I'm a die hard Lakers fan, so I like him. Are the playoffs still going on, by the way?"
Still despite, the lack of recognition for the Sparks, rookie forward Candace Parker says that with Vujacic on the team, she "expects great."
Fans concerned about Vujacic leaving the Lakers shouldn't fret. "I'm going to need to play somewhere during the [WNBA] off-season," Vujacic said. "And, I certainly can't go home. How am I supposed to go back to Yugoslavia!? I can't even find it on a globe."
Fans concerned about Vujacic returning to the Lakers should probably give him a labeled map of Europe.
Dodgers Win No-Hitter
The Los Angeles Dodgers didn't manage to get a hit last Saturday, but did manage to win the game.
After the Los Angeles Angels made two throwing errors in the fifth inning, Blake DeWitt hit a sacrifice fly to score Matt Kemp for the game's only run.
However, because the Dodgers were at home, they didn't bat in the bottom of the ninth inning, and therefore, MLB won't recognize the game as a "no-hitter;" the rule book states a team must pitch at least nine innings to record a "no-hitter."
I find this to be yet another dumb baseball rule. This was a full game (not shortened by weather) and, therefore, I'm still calling it a "no-hitter."
The Dallas Morning News's Tim Cowlishaw agreed with me Monday on ESPN's Around the Horn saying, "The only reason this should have an asterisk next to it is because it came against the Dodgers, and they couldn't hit me or [fellow Around the Horn analyst, Kevin] Blackistone."
For those looking for the Dodgers to repeat this hitless feat, Andruw Jones is expected back in their lineup after the All Star Break.
Floyd Landis Speaks Out, Shuts Up
On Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled, like every other court in the Western Hemisphere (and some in the Eastern), that Landis' positive drug tests were valid.
After which, Landis said, "Their ruling makes sense since I obviously did use performance enhancing drugs. At this point, I feel obligated to admit that." (Wacky Wednesday reporters believe an inspired O.J. Simpson is expected to confess shortly.)
Landis, a former athlete denied using synthetic testosterone after a test taken during the 2006 Tour de France. After Landis questioned the results of the Alpha Test, a Beta Test also turned up positive, but Landis questioned that too. Finally after the Greeks were forced to create three new characters in their alphabet to account for the number of positive drugs tests, Landis, who is banned from cycling for another seven months, decided it was finally time to stop lying to everyone and disappear from the athletic world.
In the press conference, he went on to say, "I came to the realization my name hasn't been used in regards to actual competition in nearly two years, and I started feeling like I was Roger Clemens. I can't change what I've done; I can't give the newspapers back the ink they wasted typing about me; I can't give ESPN back the airwaves they wasted talking about me; I can't give people back the time they wasted hearing about me; I can't give the sport of cycling back the credibility I stripped it from it; but I can retire."
Landis hopes that in ten years people won't talk about him, nor even remember his name.
Manny Ramirez Gets 101 Tickets to All Star Game
After brawling Boston's Traveling Secretary, Jack McCormick, in Houston this past weekend when he was told he couldn't get 16 tickets for his friends, baseball employees have learned their lesson when it comes to Manny Ramirez.
Manny asked for 100 guest tickets to the All Star Game yesterday, and MLB overnighted the tickets to Manny. Coincidentally, McCormick was asked to deliver the tickets to Manny. After counting out the 100 tickets, Manny became incensed and yelled at McCormick for getting one too few, informing him that he needed 100 guest tickets and one for himself.
McCormick explained to him that he was being voted onto the team so he wouldn't need a ticket. To which Manny retorted that just because he was voted into the game didn't require him to participate and that he wanted to sit with his family.
"Obviously, I don't care what people think about me," Manny said, in regards to the issue. "The All Star Break has always been an opportunity to take a three day vacation. I don't feel obligated to be there up, but I want to do the right thing."
Needless to see, McCormick made sure Manny didn't need to tell him twice about the ticket request. "I'm just doing my job," McCormick told a confused MLB employee over the phone in asking for one more ticket.
Rays In First Place In AL East
Three months done, three months left, and the Tampa Bay Rays are in first place in the AL East.
At $43 million, the Rays pay roll is far behind the rest of the division: New York Yankees ($209 million), Boston Red Sox ($133 million), Toronto ($98 million), and Baltimore ($67 million), but their record isn't.
The Rays top all those teams in winning percentage with a 2.5 game lead and are currently in the midst of a series with Boston, in which they've won the first two games.
Updating a previous story, Manny Ramirez has been able to get tickets for this series, although he might not have wanted to (he's 0 for 6 with 3 strikeouts).
Have a Happy Fourth of July!
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