This news likely means nothing to most reading this post, but longtime Yankee Stadium P/A announcer Bob Sheppard passed away at age 99. From the debut of Mickey Mantle in 1951 through the latter part of the 2007 season he was the voice who welcomed you to the stadium and introduced the players. This past May when my dad, wife, some friends and I attended Yanks/Bosox in the Bronx, it dawned on me it was the 1st time I'd been to a home game without Sheppard as the P/A guy. I got to hear him announce my 4 favorite Yankees of all time from Jeter working back to Mattingly, Reggie and from 1966 until 1968, Mantle. Duck fans know how special our voice is with Don Essig who has been behind the mic since 1967, a sweet 42 going on 43 years. A big chunk of us have never attended a game at Autzen or The Pit without his unique touch.
Gotta put the wraps on the Lebron situation. Look, it was handled poorly. I think he could have let Cleveland in on the decision before he ripped out their hearts on national TV. But how about dealing with some facts. Remove the names and city. A teenager leaps directly to the pros from high school to play for his hometown team. He takes them to unprecedented heights. The franchise is pretty much a joke until his arrival. Now they are a player. He really does all he can but the city is simply not attractive to high level players who have an option as to where to play. It becomes obvious they are not going to win a title. The player leaves as a free agent. It happens. I'm not more embarassed for Cav owner Dan Gilbert using terms like "traitor". Did James ever say he was staying for sure? No! Everyone in C-town needs to grow up and face reality. Boo the hell out of him when he shows in that Miami uni, but to treat him like a pariah who killed dogs or abused women is stupid.
I have a pair of Snoop Dog & Ice Cube tickets to give a way. The show is this Friday at the Cuthbert. E-mail your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org to get into tonight's drawing. It's generally recognized that Snoop was discovered by one of the true pioneers of hip hop/rap or in his case, G-funk. Hint, he does a national ad for a very popular soft drink. Good luck.