While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:
1. Junior pitcher Corey Knebel had a bittersweet finish to a spectacular career as closer for the Texas baseball team with 37 career saves, second all-time behind Huston Street. But he will soon start anew with a professional career after agreeing to terms with the Detroit Tigers on a contract that pays him a $1.433 million signing bonus. He was drafted 39th overall. “I don’t know where I’ll go yet,” Knebel told me Sunday. “I’m very excited and surprised. I never thought this would happen, and I thought it was just a crazy dream I had when I was younger. But now it’s all coming true.” He said he will take a physical Monday, and if he passes, he will sign Tuesday.
2. Ryan-Sanders Baseball put on a great Rangers-Padres exhibition baseball weekend in the Alamodome, drawing more than 75,000 in two March games to cap spring training, and now the group wants to put on more baseball events there, including a Big 12 baseball tournament. It has told the league it is interested in hosting an upcoming tournament. The Big 12 tabled discussions on future sites of that affair during its spring meetings. Dell Diamond does not appear to be an option for the tourney. Astros President Reid Ryan is trying to arrange an Astros-Rangers exhibition game there next spring.
3. I don’t know how the Biogenesis clinic furor is going to play out, but the only way major league baseball will ever truly quash the steroids era is to beef up penalties and at least double the first-offense penalty from 50 to 100 games or make it a full season’s suspension. I heard one commentator on Sirius Radio suggest an even harsher, more fitting punishment would be the cancellation of a player’s contract and the institution of a minimum-salary contract in its place. Hurting players in the pocketbook is the only way to get their attention.
4. Caught up with North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams, who was on hand at the AT&T Center to check on his former player Danny Green. He told me when the Spurs guard drained seven 3-pointers against the Heat in Game 3 of the Finals, “that was the most fun I’ve ever had watching NBA highlights.” Williams reminisced that he spoke with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich after Green was cut by San Antonio for a second time. “Pop and I talked about why he cut him,” Williams said. “We both knew exactly what the problem was. He was just not working hard enough as he needed to. His head was not on right. He felt he was doing the Spurs a favor rather than the other way around and wouldn’t listen. But he could always shoot. I remember one time (at Carolina) when he hit a shot three feet behind the line. The next time he hit one even farther back and the next one even farther, almost to the midcourt line.”
5. Another college hoops coach, Kansas’ Bill Self, dropped by for Game 4. Many wonder if Self — a close friend of Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford, whose son walked on and played for the Jayhawks — might be in line to follow Popovich as Spurs head coach. I can’t see it. First, who in his right mind would want to follow Pop, and second, who wants to take over a franchise after cornerstone Tim Duncan retires? With Pop assistant Mike Budenholzer headed to Atlanta to coach the Hawks, maybe he could return if he has success as a head coach.
6. Loved reading “The Outsider,” Jimmy Connors’ memoir, and learned more about tennis’ “Bad Boy.” Immediately after he won Wimbledon, his agent picked him up at JFK Airport and took him to a Midtown hospital to visit a children’s cancer ward. Bill Riordan told him, “Enjoy the rewards, work hard, but remember what else is happening in the world.” He writes candidly about his obsessive-compulsive disorder (once bouncing the ball 42 times before a serve) and ill-fated love affair with Chris Evert, drinking with Dean Martin at age 16, playing backgammon with John Wayne and catting around with Ilie Nastase, who apparently was pursuing Wilt Chamberlain’s record when Nasty slept with 2,500 women.
7. Heard from a friend who recently was on a business trip in Guam. He was channel surfing on his hotel television and, voilà, there was the Longhorn Network. “I can’t get it at my house in Kyle,” said David Wiley, a longtime Big 12 baseball umpire, “but I got it in Guam.”
8. While many push to have Cliff Gustafson’s name attached to Disch-Falk Field, some are working to have the name of the late Southwestern baseball coach Jim Mallon added to the title at that school’s ballpark. He’s very deserving.
9. “Superman: Man of Steel” is the best Superman movie ever. Battle scenes were way too long, but great script and great casting of Henry Cavill. Gave it 7 1/2 ducks.
10. Crazy prediction: Mike Scioscia will be fired as Angels manager this summer but resurface as the Rangers’ manager next season.