King Kaufman's Sports Daily

Me and Roger Clemens' mom. Plus: Michael Jordan's about to make a bad hire, and the Ole Miss mascot's date with ... Destiny?


Salon Staff
June 19, 2003 11:00PM (UTC)

Roger Clemens raised a stink this week when he said that if his Hall of Fame plaque had him wearing a Boston Red Sox cap instead of the New York Yankees cap he wants it to show, he'd boycott the ceremony.

"I'll take my mother and we'll go to Palm Springs and invite y'all, and we'll have our own celebration," he told assembled scribblers.

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They'll probably work this out before 2009, when Clemens will be inducted if he retires at the end of this season as planned. But if not it works out beautifully for me because I'd planned to go to Palm Springs anyway in 2009 -- with Clemens' mother, as it happens. I'd prefer not to say more than that.

Clemens, who allowed no hits through seven and a third innings and just a single in eight in an extra-inning win over the Devil Rays Wednesday night, spent the bulk of his career in Boston, but he won his only two championships in New York. Plus, he has a grudge against the Red Sox because he feels like he was pushed out of town in 1996, which he was, and because of that grudge and the fact that he's spent the last five years in Yankees rompers, and just because he has a knack for making people feel this way, Bostonians hate him right back.

We are squarely into the era of Hall of Fame plaque cap controversies, which has to be one of the dumbest categories of controversy ever, right up there with whether some yutz on a reality show is or is not an actual bachelor. The era started when Wade Boggs took some cash from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, with whom he played out the string, to wear their butt-ugly cap on his plaque. After that the Hall of Fame took the decision away from players, and they'll get it back when they learn to behave and not a minute sooner.

The Hall's view is that it's a museum, and its responsibility is to history, not to the whims of an individual player, unless that player is a sitting Republican president. The obvious solution to this problem is to have no logo on the cap in the future, since in the free agency era even Hall of Fame types bounce from team to team in a way formerly reserved for journeyman relievers.

If Roberto Alomar makes it, what goes on his cap? He's changed teams every few years for his whole career. There could be arguments over the caps of surefire or potential Hall of Famers Mark McGwire, Randy Johnson, Mike Piazza, Rafael Palmeiro, Curt Schilling, Ivan and Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez, just to name a few.

And consider Rickey Henderson, who played for the A's, Yankees, A's, Blue Jays, A's, Padres, Angels, A's, Mets, Mariners, Padres and Red Sox. What hat should he wear?

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It's a trick question. His hat should say "Rickey."

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Michael, save your money [PERMALINK]

Michael Jordan is reportedly in heavy negotiations to buy the Milwaukee Bucks because he wants final say on all basketball decisions for whatever team he goes to work for, and the only way to be guaranteed of that is to own the team. So instead of going to work for new Charlotte owner Robert Johnson, who has essentially said Jordan can have any job in the organization for any salary he names, Jordan is willing to spend at least $50 million of his own money to make sure he has complete control, reports ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

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Jordan is the basketball genius who took Kwame Brown with the first pick, traded Richard Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse and couldn't resist insisting that his aging best player -- himself -- play so much that his aching knees gave out. As great a player as Jordan was, there's simply no evidence that he'll amount to anything as an executive.

If Jordan's smart he'll keep that $50 million in his pocket and go to work in Charlotte. That way Robert Johnson, not Michael Jordan, will be the one saddled with an ineffective, overpaid team president.

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"The hypocrisy is hideous" [PERMALINK]

Matt Hayes of the Sporting News roasts the NCAA for its sanctimonious stand against gambling while it ignores more important issues that are inconvenient to tackle.

"How can [president Myles] Brand and the NCAA legitimately spout a holier-than-thou attitude on gambling when academic fraud is the most glaring ghost in the closet? Gambling undermines sports programs; academic fraud destroys universities," Hayes writes. "The NCAA allows athletes with subpar SATs into universities for one reason: They're cheap labor."

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Ol' hangin' rope also long retired [PERMALINK]

The University of Mississippi, which has moved in recent years to distance itself from racially divisive symbols such as the Confederate battle flag and the song "Dixie," has announced the death of its mascot, "Colonel Rebel." Though wire services have quoted university officials as saying there's been no public outcry against the mascot on sensitivity grounds, a story in the student Daily Mississippian this month pointed out that "critics associate Colonel Reb with plantation times and thus the subjugation of blacks."

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The Associated Press says Ole Miss officials have for years wanted a more intimidating mascot than the goateed Southern gentleman character.

I have a suggestion for a mascot that would at least intimidate Alabama, not to mention selling a few extra tickets: Stripper Reb, an exotic dancer who waves around a credit card bearing the other team's logo.

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