Rotations, Quotations, Motivations: Friday Firing Line

ukuoflThe University of Kentucky Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks are in a top of the 1st rain delay, in the Louisville Regional’s opening game.

So far, Cat coach Gary Henderson’s decision to save his ace, southpaw superstar A.J. Reed (11-2, 2.10) for Game #2 and a possible showdown with rival Louisville, is . . . uh . . . well . . . uh . . .  not working out so well.

Kansas has 3 in, a man on third and there’s only one out.

Hurler Kyle Cody (4-0, 2.65) appears not quite ready for prime time.

But, it’s early and weather’s going to be a factor all day. These are pop up storms, so it’s not like there’s a front that’s come through and when it’s gone, that’s it. The start of the game was delayed 25 minutes due to the NCAA’s when-there-is-lightning mandatory 30 minute delay.

Henderson, with a full, healthy staff, made the decision to save his his best pitcher.

Counterpart Cardinal coach Ken McDonnell, his #2 man Jared Ruxer (7-1, 2.27) hurting and unavailable, is playing it straight. Whenever the Cards take the field against Kent State, and it could be awhile, given the inclemency, ace Kyle Funkhouser (12-2, 1.81) will be on the mound.

Rotations. Always a factor in the post season.1

* * * * *

My favorite rain delay ever was sometime in the 70s, when I was listening to a Reds game.

Joe Nuxhall and Happy Chandler filled an hour with one great tale after another.

I had a chance to chat up U of L Asst. AD/ SID Kenny Klein. He mentioned how genuinely welcoming the ACC folks were to U of L during the spring meetings.

He also mentioned that the Maryland vs. ACC legal battle over exit fees has been sent to arbitration. (Again, for those still delusional against U of L, that legal tussle won’t delay Louisville entry into its new conference a bit.

Speaking with several local scribes — Rick Bozich, Jody Demling and the Herald-Leader’s John Clay — it was unanimous how the collegiate springtime sports scene has changed around here.

The words “remarkable” and “stunning” were used to describe the buzz over Louisville and Kentucky baseball.

* * * * *

Lance Stephenson is an idiot.

“Born Ready,” my ass.

Born ready for what?: Stupidity.

He acted the fool the whole evening as the Pacers held off Miami the other night, joining the Heat’s huddle, flopping like a fresh caught bass and — this is not a typo — blowing in LeBron James’ ear.2

Asked if he was bothered by Stephenson’s actions, Pacer exec, Hall of Famer Larry Bird was succinct, to the point, “Yes, I am.”

What possibly could have motivated Lance to act such the adolescent?:

Before the game, after a previous flap over his dunderheaded diss of LeBron James, Stephenson’s response was “I’ve been learning since I got the league. I’ve come a long way and I’m going to keep learning until I get to that point where I’m a real pro.”

Not happening quite enough for his boss, it would appear.

* * * * *

Kyle Cody didn’t survive the rain delay for the Cats.

Andrew Nelson (2-5, 3.80) is now on the mound.

So it goes.

— Seedy K