Is it possible to acquire Attention Deficit Disorder? I think I might have this week flipping channels and logging on and off my computer trying to keep up with everything that is going on.

Amidst the cornucopia of hoops, baseball (Sox and WBC) and off-season football news, a lot of stuff goes through one’s mind. To wit:

• I used to hate conference tournaments. Like a lot of other skeptics, I thought they strip the regular season of most of its significance. Well, that’s obviously not the case in the small conferences, the America Easts of the NCAA landscape. For these schools, the conference tournament is the equivalent of the national championship. Then there are the major conferences, where bubble teams either solidify their NCAA bids (Syracuse) or have their bubble burst by an early upset (George Washington’s loss to Temple knocked someone out of the Big Dance). Between Gonzaga eking out a couple of wins in its conference, the Syracuse upset of UConn (the best game I’ve seen this year) and a Duke-Boston College battle for the ACC title, the conference tournaments are starting to make me gush about college hoops like Dick Vitale.

• That Gerry McNamara’s really overrated, huh?

• Like many of you, I was loathe to embrace the World Baseball Classic in the weeks leading up to it. But once George Steinbrenner started whining about it, I was in its corner. And I’m glad I am. Some quality baseball has been played, and the international rivalries have been fascinating. The Panama-Cuba game was a great beanball war that rivaled anything the Red Sox and Yankees have served up, and the passion in the Venezuela-Dominican Republic back-and-forth battle was akin to any rivalry. Canada’s upset over the USA was eight million more times entertaining than any spring training game, with Sox scrub Adam Stern putting on a one-man show with his glove and bat that would have made Willie Mays proud. And, not to sound like Bud Selig’s PR man, the second round is only going to get better.

Fretting over possible injuries is a waste of time. Contrary to the naysayers’ hype, players aren’t dropping like flies at the WBC. They stand just as much of a chance, if not more, getting hurt during the spring training snoozefests.

If you don’t care, that’s fine, I can’t make you. But a lot of people do, especially in Latin America. And since the WBC is a campaign to market baseball abroad, I dare say Major League Baseball cares a whole heck of a lot more about what they think than what you think.

• The discovery of the WBC has been Cuban second baseman Yulieski Gourriel. Security is pretty tight around the Cubans team, and in order to avoid another bidding war over a Cuban star with the Yankees, I recommend that Theo Epstein hire Gene Hackman to round up the gang from Uncommon Valor again and kidnap Mr. Gourriel from the team hotel. The loss of Randall “Tex” Cobb will make this mission all the more difficult.

• Now that David Wells has said he wants to stay with Boston, I’m moving the over-under on when he’s traded up to June 1st.

• I don’t feel sorry for Barry Bonds, but I’m finding the claims of his defenders that the media has it in for him more and more plausible. Does anybody find the details in the new book about Bonds all that surprising? Haven’t we all assumed for the last five years that these were the types of things he was doing? Does anyone believe for an instant that guys like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Ken Caminiti and who knows who else weren’t doing the exact same things, probably before Bonds was doing them? So why is everyone suddenly calling for Selig to suspend Bonds? On what grounds? Because a couple of writers realized there was money to be made off his name?

• Only eight days until high school baseball and softball pitchers and catchers report. Only 73 days until any of them get to play on a dry diamond with temperatures warmer than football and field hockey season.

• Bowdoin’s Eileen Flaherty has a shot repetoire that would make Kevin McHale jealous. How in the heck can anyone practice those scoops, flings, flips and hooks she shoots?

• Just want the City of Lewiston to know that I’ve heard more raves from out-of-towners about the renovations made to the Colisee over the last couple of months than I can ever remember hearing. And the most thumbs up have been directed at the pavement in the parking lot. I know it’s been awhile since these improvements were made, but not too many people were rushing to get back to the place, you know? Now, I dare say, they will look forward to their next visit.

• If Willie McGinest has indeed played his last game in a Patriot uniform, his loss should not be ignored. To me, he was the Dennis Johnson of the Patriots – a guy who probably won’t make the Hall of Fame and will never get the credit he deserves for his role on the greatest teams in franchise history. He’ll be missed on the field and even more in the locker room, where he was one of the veterans who reinforced the Patriot way of doing things to newcomers and young players.

• I’m firmly in the “In Belichick we trust” cult, but if the Patriots lose Adam Vinatieri to Dallas or Indianapolis over a measly $1 million, that trust will be shaken just a little bit.

Randy Whitehouse is a staff writer. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.