Morgan: Summer time to let mind wander - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Morgan: Summer time to let mind wander

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Posted: Monday, July 2, 2007 11:54 pm | Updated: 6:53 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

It’s an annual rite of passage. Our full-time columnist goes on vacation after exhausting every available summer idea. That’s where I come in.

I’m the mop-up reliever in a 12-2 yawner against the Devil Rays.

Nothing to read here.

Just an accumulation of trash too shallow to develop into anything meaningful. Which is the same line my first girlfriend used when she dumped me at Barnaby’s Pizza the night before the sixth-grade dance for that neanderthal-faced Mike McDonald.

Yeah, it stuck with me.

Anyway, if you just get up and leave I won’t blame you.

It would relieve the pressure.

But for those of you who stay, I was just wondering …

• Has Danny Ainge supplanted the dynasty that is Isiah Thomas as the worst general manager in the NBA? While Thomas was stunning legions of Knicks fans with the artful acquisition of Zach Randolph on draft day, Ainge was pawning another piece of the Celtics’ future for a soon-to-be 32-year-old shooting guard (Ray Allen) coming off double ankle surgeries.

Hard to envision more than 42 victory cigars in Boston’s 2007-08 season. And Celtics fans thought their lasting memory of Ainge would be that 0-for-10 shooting performance against the Pistons in the 1989 playoffs.

• Anybody notice that former Coyote Daniel Briere signed an eight-year, $52 million deal with the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday (in a related question, anybody care that NFL Europa folded)? That’s the same Briere Coyotes general manager Mike Barnett traded in March 2003 for Chris Gratton and a fourth-round pick (Some guy named Liam Reddox; I’m not making this up).

The reasoning? Phoenix was too small up the middle, and Briere’s game wasn’t a good fit for the clutch-and-grab NHL. A year later, the league shut down, recommitted to speed and finesse and Briere’s career took off.

On the night of the trade outside the Coyotes’ team bus in Denver, Briere broke down in tears. “I never wanted to leave here,” he said. Believe me, Danny. Yes, you did.

• Have you heard Major League Soccer president Mark Abbott will be in the Valley July 11 to field a pitch from PHX Soccer Development on why Phoenix is a perfect expansion site for the beautiful game? That pitch had better be in Spanish because the only way the MLS will succeed in the Valley is if the Mexican national team dons local jerseys, plays on the cheap and builds its “soccer-only” stadium. For nonunion wages, of course.

• Remember a pair of draft picks the Suns had in their grips and gave away over the past four years? In 2004, they shipped Luol Deng to Chicago; in 2006, Sergio Rodriguez to Portland. Now let’s review what the Suns could have done with those picks. Deng, who is virtually untouchable in trade talks, would have allowed the Suns to unload Shawn Marion’s max contract without skipping a beat. Rodriguez would have given them the backup point guard they have needed since Kevin Johnson and Steve Nash were both backing up Jason Kidd. Makes you queasy wondering what Rudy Fernandez will do.

• New York’s tabloids are having fun with a shirt Alex Rodriguez’s wife, Cynthia Rodriguez, wore to a game, emblazoned with that gentle suggestion “(expletive) you” that Holden Caulfield made famous in “The Catcher in the Rye.” Was that directed at fans, the infamous stripper or hubby himself?

• And finally, are the Chicago Bears really that clueless? They didn’t cut Tank Johnson for starting an armory in his suburban home, then they cut him on the assumption he was driving drunk in Gilbert, when it turns out he wasn’t. To recap: Six guns and jail time earns a stern warning. Speeding past Joe’s BBQ is unforgiveable.

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