The NBA G.O.A.T, France can gloat and U of L’s chances remote

By Mike Ashley



APPLES & ORANGES: The debate about Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James seems silly to me. They’re so physically different. LeBron is the love child of Magic Johnson and Karl Malone. It’s apples and oranges, and either way, you can fill up a basket.

UP, UP & AWAY: You hear so much about ‘launch angle’ in baseball these days, how long before some MLB team hires someone from NASA as a hitting coach? Maybe the Astros?

GOALTENDERS & BARTENDERS REPORT: NHL training camps open in September. Analysts think Alex Ovechkin could be done drinking by then.

OLD SCHOOL: Croatia’s upset Wednesday cost us the renewal of one of the world’s oldest rivalries – England and France. Ohio State and Michigan have been playing for 120 years. Whoop-de-do. England and France have been going at it since the 13th century. Talk about extra time.

RACQUET RACKET: I’ve always loved the brio with which Rafael Nadal plays, but his   in-game grunting sounds more like somebody is hitting him rather than him hitting tennis balls.

TIMEOUT ON TRIVIA: Who hit the first home run in MLB All-Star Game history?

NOT IN THE CARDS: The sneaker is on the other foot as former Louisville players have filed suit against the NCAA over the school being forced to vacate the 2013 NCAA basketball title. If you win, guys, just watch what you do at the party afterward.

HEATED DISCUSSION: Top hitters in baseball say the velocity of today’s pitchers – the thing producing all these strikeouts – is also the reason ‘the shift’ is so effective. The pitch is coming in to hard to try to direct, even for the game’s top batsmen.

WHISTLE-BLOWERS: Four NFL referees retired this spring and there’s a lot of worry in the league about inexperience in the ranks and all the new rules changes, you know, because it’s so hard for a zebra to change his stripes.

MELLOED OUT: Ironically, several NBA teams in need of a scoring forward are going to pass on Carmelo Anthony, probably in part because Anthony never passes.

FAVORITE ONION HEADLINE: ‘Lionel Messi Pissed After Forgetting to Wear Fitbit During Last Game.’

TRIVIA ANSWER: It was 1933 in Comiskey Park, and the Sultan of Swat Babe Ruth clouted a three-run homer in the third inning of the first All-Star Game. In the sixth inning, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Frankie Frisch hit the first homer by a National Leaguer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Ashley has covered college athletics for over 30 years. He has worked in the athletic departments at Virginia Tech, Radford University and Marshall University, in addition to freelance work from his Northern Virginia home. Ashley has also worked as a stand-up comic, and has been a regular on many radio stations throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. His work appears in Terrapin Times (covering the University of Maryland), NCAA programs, Blue Ribbon YearbooksAthlonLindy’s, and on bathroom stalls in major sporting venues. He has also co-authored a book on the golden age of Virginia Military Institute football, “Best Regrets: VMI’s John McKenna and The Lost Age of College Football.” Previously, the Salem, Va., native has helped author books on the New York Yankees, Emmitt Smith, Maryland’s 2002 NCAA basketball championship, and published a book on the history of Radford University.

William Roth