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For What it's Worth: NBA sweat box, MLB Draft, KC & The Zip

Published On: Jun 06 2014 05:31:53 AM CDT
Bruce Haertl: For What It's Worth...
WICHITA, Kan. -

I thought I was getting ‘cool dad’ points taking my kids to Bruno Mars the other night, until my 11-year-old daughter noticed the binoculars hanging around my neck and said, rolling her eyes: “dad, you look like a bird watcher”.

Only in a final---

So, the lights go out at the Super Bowl and the air conditioning falters in the NBA Finals. I know both teams had to play in 90 degree conditions, but they shouldn’t have. It turns out that the Heat couldn’t handle the heat, especially LeBron who ends up leaving the game with cramps in the final few minutes with the outcome still on the line. Credit the Spurs which finish the game on a 32-9 run despite 23 turnovers, their plight was helped considerably by 14 of 16 shooting, including 6-6 from three point range.

My air conditioning was out upstairs in my house a few days last week; I didn’t even want to go up there to get dressed in 88 degrees, I can’t imagine having played a basketball game in it. By the way, fortunately, for everyone, I did manage to get dressed during my power outage.

At least it wasn’t the Yankees---

I was so happy for Wichita State’s Casey Gillaspie being taken with the 20th pick in the first round of last night’s Major League Draft…that is, until I learned he was taken by the Tampa Bay Rays. I’m a Shocker first, but a Red Sox fan second and there’s no team this side of pinstripes I like less than the Rays. So how can I be gracious about this? I reserve the right to cheer against him 20 times a season—is that ok?

The Valley had two picks in the top twenty with lefty Kyle Freeland of Evansville going to the Rockies. I wasn’t surprised to see Gillaspie go 22 picks ahead of Kentucky’s AJ Reed, who led the country with 23 homers. Reed is a left-handed hitter; Gillaspie is a switch-hitter with power from both sides. But what tips the scale even more towards Gillaspie is the belief that he’s a more mature hitter and, thus, closer to being big league ready. All joking aside, I can’t wait to see how quickly he moves up the ladder.

Royal turnaround?

They’re still two games under .500, but taking three of four from the Cardinals is a great place to start the bounce back. Maybe bigger news than the win was the return of Yordano Ventura to the mound. Showing no ill effects from a sore elbow which caused him to miss a start, Ventura pitched six sharp innings, he didn’t have guys swinging and missing like usual (just one strikeout)l, but he pitched to contact and allowed his team to defend behind him.

The Royals are one of 12 teams in Major League Baseball who are between three games over .500 and three games under .500. Which teams are going to start gaining some traction in a season that’s featured unusual parity, or mediocrity, to this point? The Royals play the first of four at home this weekend against the struggling Yankees---it feels good to say that.

So long Zip---

Don Zimmer, one of the great characters in baseball, a game he loved as much as those in it loved him. Zimmer was part of pro baseball for 66 years; he played alongside Jackie Robinson and was part of Brooklyn’s only championship. He played for Casey Stengel and had met Babe Ruth—he was a rare link to the golden era of baseball and he’ll be missed.

Zimmer was manager of the Red Sox the day in ’78 when Bucky Dent beat them in a playoff with a homer over the Green Monster, he was wearing pinstripes 11 years ago at the age of 72 when he got in the face of Boston pitcher Pedro Martinez and was thrown to the ground in a bench clearing brawl.

He was loved, which is about the most that any of us can hope for, but in his case—he was loved by all. I can’t think of a great legacy.

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