Buck Honored (finally!); Beckkkkkkkkket; Bonds Upset; Grady Jackson Cut?; Ricky Davis Loves the Heat, The Chargers Do Not

 

buck-and-satchel.jpg(Kansas City Monarchs, Satchel Paige far right, Buck O’Neil with cap to the side)

Buck O’Neil was honored by the Hall of Fame for a lifetime achievement award in Boston before Game 1.

It’s about time!

As writers, there’s always some kind of muse that spurs the emotions and drives us to finish any particular piece.

Buck O’Neil, at least for me, was something way more special.

I remember passing out on the couch after writing all night even though I didn’t want to miss the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (July 2006).

Buck was going to be there. I couldn’t miss it. That was my people. I had a connection with Buck that I’ll never understand.

A couple of hours later, I woke..hearing his voice. Buck O’Neil, as he sometimes did, was leading the audience in a sing-a-long.

“The greatest thing in all my life is loving you….”

This isn’t footage of the ceremony, but it’s the same song.

I’m not going to lie. I can be a man and admit that I wept–as I am now. This man affected me. Seeing Buck so happy and singing so peacefully, I knew he didn’t have much time left. It was too special a moment. He was Pop Pop.

I was in constant contact with Bob Kendrick of the Negro League Museum in Kansas City trying to get an interview with Buck with a sense of urgency. I tried for months before and months after the ceremony. Mr. Kendrick tried to get something done (Thanks Mr. Kendrick), but he would just chuckle and say that Buck was a busy man.

It never happened.

Buck was always doing this and doing that. I understood Mr. O’Neil wanted to give the world his last breath and who am I to be so damn selfish.

I miss him like crazy and never even knew him.

Whenever I see a picture of him or hear his voice….

I interviewed pioneer writer, Justice B. Hill of MLB.com and we discuss Buck and all things baseball. It will be up later today.

Something I wrote shortly after Buck’s death. Hard to believe it’s been a year.

Pop Pop died.

America sighed.

The Negro League cried.

Where have you gone Ole Man?

Do come back and smile like only the little boy can.

You were not a “boy” but a man.

Over 36 players you MLB ushered in a seven year span.

Jimmie Armsted, Oscar Charleston, Welday Walker, Jim Zapp to all of you Buck can highlight with a mere tip of his cap.

Frank, Felipe and Dusty remember the pain

It will keep you sane

Until Buck gets voted into the Hall of Fame.

Gone are coaches three. Part of baseball’s soul is sure to flee. For the love of God, America don’t you see!

Baseball’s tarnished history we must continue to attack.

Have your children proudly wear the Kansas City Monarch hat

As America should reminisce of the timeless echo…

That resounds with the historic crack of Buck O’Neil’s bat…

———————–

boston-globe-staff-photo-bill-greene.jpg

World Series Game 1. Boston 13, Colorado 1.

Here’s a stat for you. Boston scored the last 11 runs with 2 out.

What else is there to say. Josh Beckett continued his meteoric rise into the pantheon of all time post season pitchers with another opposition ego crushing performance. In running his post season record to 4-0, Beckett is showing and proving his mettle–this kid is no joke. He struck out the first five en route to sitting down nine total in seven innings. Dustin Pedroia charged Red Sox Nation with a bomb over the Green Monster to start the game in his first ever WS at bat. Meaningless stat, but it was the first time a pitcher led off the game with three K’s, while a teammate hit a lead off home run. As long as Beckett is pitching, there is nothing happening. He’s untouchable right now and the Rockies only chance is to get after the rest of Boston’s rotation. It only gets worse as The Bloody Sock pitches next.

Boston had a record 9 extra base hits and have a presence that shows they will not be denied. Colorado came into the game on a ten game winning streak and were reduced to the expansion team they came into the league as. Manny Ramiriez is a ridiculous machine. He was 3-4, two RBI singles an intentional walk and a double before being lifted late. Pedroia and Youkilis are setting the table for Manny and Ortiz (who is a shell of himself with a banged up knee. It shows at the plate). Mike Lowell was the only starter to not knock in a run. If the Sox win it all, Manny should get major consideration for playoff MVP…I’m sure Beckett’s name is already carved on the award.

—————–

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Barry Bonds is upset.

He’s mad that the Giants basically fired him. I tell you one thing. If it wasn’t for Barry Bonds, there would be no Pac-Bell Field or a resurrection of Willie Mays jersey sales, or packed houses wherever he played.

He was a walking billboard making money for the organization whether he walked, struck out, hit bombs, was booed, dismissed reporters, or the team won or lost.

Fourteen All-Star game selections. A record seven NL MVPs. Eight Gold Glove awards.

“I did, and then I got fired,” Bonds told a group of about 450 people in the audience. “Shame on me, huh?”Bonds, who broke Hank Aaron’s home run record with No. 756 on Aug. 7, was told last month by Giants owner Peter Magowan that he would not be brought back for a 16th season in San Francisco.Bonds, dressed in a dark suit jacket and tie, entered to a roaring standing ovation and repeatedly drew loud applause from an adoring crowd through the nearly 90-minute forum. They chanted, “Barry! Barry!” One person hollered, “We love you.” Others took pictures on cell phone cameras or sported shirts with Bonds’ No. 25.

What are you going to do now San Francisco? Peter Magowan, you’ve dismissed the man who has made you rich (If not Barry, then who?). Barry should have been allowed to leave on his own terms. Funny how these organizations are let off the hook even in greed. If you don’t get ARod, you’re done for long time. Do your fans deserve this?

——————-

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Atlanta Falcon’s run stopper, Grady Jackson was inexplicably cut Wednesday.

Several players refused to comment to inquiring reporters–including recently outspoken Alge Crumpler. DeAngelo Hall did not:

Two-time Pro Bowl selection DeAngelo Hall did not refuse comment. He critically summed up much of what other players would only say off the record.

“If that’s the case, they need to cut about 52 [players], they can cut me, too, they can cut all 53 of us,” Hall said when told that according to Petrino, the release of Jackson was a football decision. “Ain’t nobody playing the way they should be playing right now. Obviously. We’re 1-6.

“To single out Grady is asinine. It’s ridiculous. We got so many players that haven’t made a play around here. It don’t make no sense. We gave a lot of people jobs. To sit there and single Grady out and say that’s the reason why, that’s ludicrous. If you’ve got something else better and more concrete to go off of, I’d love to hear it. I’m not buying that one.”

Petrino said that defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer contacted some defensive players Tuesday to let them know of the decision. Petrino said he was not concerned about player backlash.

“It had absolutely nothing to do with anything but football,” Petrino said. “It was just the way we wanted to go. We felt like for our best opportunity to win games, the next nine games that we played, that this was the right move to make and that’s really all there is to it. We made the move and we’re moving forward.”

Wow! The wheel fell off this franchise a long time ago. Bobby Petrino might not be around to draft a bevy of offensive talent in the upcoming draft. Brian Brohm your draft stock is falling.

Don’t show up to New York on draft day unless you bring a change of clothes.

———————-

toine.jpg

During the teleconference with TNT yesterday I learned of Miami Heat forward Antoine Walker and Minnesota Timberwolve guard Ricky Davis trading places.

The deal gives Miami the third scoring option it wanted in Davis. The Heat will try to fit him in alongside Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade – the 2006 Finals MVP who’ll miss a few more weeks while recovering from knee and shoulder surgeries.

Walker helped the Heat win the 2006 NBA title but hasn’t had the easiest time dealing with Heat coach Pat Riley’s strict conditioning standards. He was briefly suspended last year because his body-fat measurement wasn’t within team limits, and he came to training camp this month not in the shape Riley wanted.

“It’s always difficult to get traded,” said Mark Bartelstein, Walker’s agent. “It’s well-documented there were issues between Pat and Antoine that were out there hanging over everyone’s head.”

Walker did not play in Miami’s final two exhibition games. Riley said he kept him out of Tuesday’s preseason finale because, “I know what he can do.”

So he’ll do it for Minnesota now – or, perhaps, someone else.

Minnesota is looking to replace some of the luster lost by trading Kevin Garnett. ‘Toine is past his prime, but will provide versatility to a young team that will be searching for an identity all season.

Antoine, you’ve always wanted to be a leader, now is your chance. Good luck brotha.

———————

071023_chargers_stadium.jpg

The San Diego wildfires are blazing a devastating path of destruction and helplessness throughout the city. Please keep everyone you know in the region in your thoughts and prayers. A cloud of smoke can be seen 1000 miles off the coast heading to Hawaii by satellite. Qualcomm Stadium is being used as a temporary shelter.

A decision hasn’t been made where the Chargers are going to play Sunday–if at all.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders planned to decide Thursday whether the Chargers will be able to play Houston as scheduled Sunday at their Qualcomm Stadium home.

“We’re waiting as long as we can to assess the need for a shelter as large as Qualcomm,” the mayor’s spokesman Fred Sainz said Wednesday.

“The mayor, when he spoke yesterday, said the concern is really not a football game, the concern was to assure people evacuated from their homes that they have a a safe place to go,” Sainz said. “That remains our priority.”

Please be safe Delinda and stay out of London! ;)

My people, my people. Scroll down after Foxy.

You want some ice cream with your cake?

(Bomani Jones)

16 Responses to “Buck Honored (finally!); Beckkkkkkkkket; Bonds Upset; Grady Jackson Cut?; Ricky Davis Loves the Heat, The Chargers Do Not”

  1. Shaq thought Kobe was selfish and a ball hog? They don’t call him–er he doesn’t call himself “Ricky Buckets” for nothing:) This season is gonna be so entertaining…for all the wrong reasons.

  2. Beckett’s been doing it. In fact, the best in-person sports event of my life was his canvas:

    http://nerditry.com/?p=26

  3. Not to change the subject…………..but Modi got them good ole boys hot…………http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/jack_mccallum/10/18/mvp.race/index.html

  4. Damn it’s gone. What was the story?

  5. The original article “Its Not Steve Nash’s Fault: A Study in White Privilege” and Jack McCallum’s response can be accessed in this “response to the response”:

    http://www.cosellout.com/?p=142

  6. Josh Becekett is the best pitcher I’ve seen in a long time. The control and location of his pitches is cfrazy sick. As a Yankees fan it’s painful to watch knowing we could have had this kid. He’s money.

    Buck rest in peace. Too littlte too late.

    As for the wilf fires.

    This is proff that we as humans aren’t in control of anything. We need to come together and support each other. All races. Celebrate what we bring to this world as individuals together. You never know when you might find yourself in a life threatning situation with a stranger, are you going to stop and ask what color they are if you need help? I doubt it. Stop the madness. We are all important to this world. I wish the mst would stop acting like blacks are insignificant.

  7. HarveyDent Says:

    R.I.P. Mr. O’Neill

    I always loved his class and grace ever since I ‘discovered’ his amazing story during Ken Burns’ ‘Baseball’ and always stopped whatever I was doing whenever I heard his voice on TV or the radio. There’s always a place for people like Mr O’Neill in the human struggle for dignity because even though injustice can make you angry and bitter sometimes it can also make you more determined to be a good person. Mr O’Neill embodied that and for that I appreciate him and don’t need a too-little, too-late plaque posthumously erected after he’s passed on. That’s good, Baseball, real good to dis this man at the end of his life by not electing him into the HOF when he was alive but to do it after he’s stepped off this coil. No thanks, I know his legacy is in Kansas City and not someplace where they would have made him the night janitor fifty years ago.

    Don’t be bitter, Barry, because living well is always the best revenge and you’ll be just fine where ever you end up next year.

  8. Well said HD. I’m covering the Eagles game this weekend in Minny. I’ll let you know how it went up close and personal. Staying in the same hotel, so I should also be able to get some quotes.

  9. HarveyDent Says:

    I’ll keep an eye out for it Miz but the way Peterson runs for the Vikes I’m not expecting too much.

  10. Barry Bonds was a shell of his former self this year. To say that Peter Magowan is greedy because he doesn’t want to sign a 43 year old traveling media circus, who by the way, can’t play the outfield anymore and there’s no DH in the NL is flat out ignorant. I don’t think Bonds should be “fired” as he put it, but if he can’t contribute then why try to re-sign him for what he deems his value is? He wasn’t fired, he just won’t be re-signed. There are more than a handful of baseball players that are informed they aren’t going to be re-signed, where’s the pity party for them?

    Bonds is grown man. He knows how it works in baseball, which is why this whole “they fired me” outlook he has is kind of weird.

  11. That Buck O’Neil was snubbed by those who vote for the HOF once again tells you all you need to know about the white MSM.

    I leave for amonth and find Boney STILL making a fool of himself. The more things change….

  12. If Barry’s play is so foul and irrelevant then why is he number one the league in intentional walks every single season?

    Barry will always be feared…just like R Moss.

    We’ll see who has the cojones to insert Barry 6th in the batting order next season. If Barry has capable protection?

    Goodness…

    Stop hatin’ and Barry will get his ring. Because of raw and sheer hatred of Barry Bonds, major league baseball has made millions. Way more than his salary. Its ridiculous.

    He deserves that respect regardless of how you think of him.

  13. I’m a Barry-Man all the way. Greatest player I’ve ever seen, hands down. His range in the OF is diminished, yes, but his smarts, hands, timing and the rest are still high caliber. DH would be the best for him, but he can still play, make no mistake. Would you rather watch Adam Dunn? (Years ago I watched Dave Kingman play LF–urk!). The SFG’s need to “get youth” as they claim–who better to have around than BLB? Can you imagine being a young player and getting the chance to learn from the best? It could have worked in SF, management responded too much to the “Bonds fatigue” of (some) fans and (all) local media. Our loss. He can’t be “replaced.”

  14. If I were a Giant’s fan there would lie a tremendous hole in my sports soul.

  15. […] Malcolm X and Buck O’Neil are the two people who have affected me the most. Malcolm had a rage that wells up in all of us. The difference is, he let it out. He spoke straight to the point and will an intelligence that left his critics both confused and enlightened. Yeah it was like that. I won’t speak too much on Malcolm because I have a piece I’m working on to be posted Feb 21, the day of his assassination. My goodness I wish I had the opportunity to meet him as much as I wanted to meet Buck. […]

  16. […] out there for me. I never got to see them play or meet them personally. Larry Doby was one and Buck O’Neil was the other. I was hot on Buck O’Neil’s trail before he passed. It was almost set up […]

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