Sunday, March 29, 2009

Anxiety Over Nats, Dontrelle

I've got to admit, ever since the Nats got rid of Jim Bowden a couple weeks ago, my interest in the upcoming MLB season has taken on some renewed excitement. I'm actually mildly interested in a potential batting order that includes Lastings Milledge (CF), Ryan Zimmerman (3B), a hopefully healthy Nick Johnson (1B), and 40-home run guy Adam Dunn (he'll only get 30ish this season, you heard it here first). Throw in a nice little corner outfield platoon involving Josh Willingham (good for a .270, 20-HR year), Elijah Dukes (and his potential to actually produce monster numbers for more than just a week at a time), the wildly disappointing and yet somehow still intriguing Austin Kearns (hit .294 in spring training).

Now I'm not saying I've got the Nats pegged for a playoff spot. I'm thinking a ceiling of a .500 record with glimpses of a young pitching staff that could become the core in the future. Although things could go horribly wrong as well. Yes, they'll have a better lineup, but c'mon John Lannan is the No. 1 starter. That's not exactly ace material in my book. The average age on the staff is 27 with two rookies who've only played a bit in September last year. The grizzled vet of the group is everyone's favorite 12 cigarette-a-day smoker (and sometimes mediocre starting pitcher), smokin' Scott Olsen.

Obligatory mug shot of Scott Olsen

That's the name of the game in baseball, though. Pitching is such a commodity that a guy like Olsen — owner of a 4.20 ERA, 8-11 record, and decreased velocity last season — is considered a quality starter for a struggling team like the Nationals. People like Olsen are why I always thought Dontrelle Willis would eventually be back in professional baseball. He had control issues, but something told me I was gonna see him in MLB again. He was too good for that one-and-a-half to two-year span. I just refused to accept him as a flash in the pan. And as you can tell, I was a fan of the quirky leg kick/delivery, better than advertised athleticism, and street cred charisma-wise.

Well, now comes news that the Dontrelle Willis saga in Detroit has taken a weird turn. He's now been placed on the DL with an anxiety disorder.

Willis said the diagnosis was made through a blood test. The condition, though, is psychiatric in nature. According to the Web site of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, the disorders “develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality and life events. ...

“I’m never depressed at all -- I’ve always been an amped-up guy,” he said. “This is not something where I’m uncontrollable. … Everybody will tell you in the locker room that I’ve always been upbeat, regardless of what’s going on.

“This is not something where I’m too amped up, I don’t know where I’m at, and I’m running sprints up and down the parking lot. This is not something like that. (The doctors) see something in my blood that they don’t like. I’m not crazy. My teammates might think I’m crazy. But this is not something like that.”

Dombrowski said Willis will undergo treatment but didn’t specify what it would involve. He believes the diagnosis does illuminate what transpired last year, when Willis went 0-2 with a 9.38 ERA.

I dont' know, kind of weird to me. From what Willis said, it either seems like Dontrelle hasn't accepted the diagnosis and this could be a long process or the doctors have him misdiagnosed. If nothing's wrong with him, how the hell does he have an anxiety disorder? I don't know, maybe I'm too pessimistic, but I don't see this ending well. And to that end, the whole second part of the article is about speculation that the Tigers are calling this a "mental illness" so they can try and get insurance money to pay for some of the $29 million damaged-goods Dontrelle is still owed. So I'm assuming Detroit has less than optimistic feelings about this latest development.

It feels like a long time since this press conference.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with the Tigers this season. There's a lot of speculation that attendance figures there will drop dramatically because of the economy. There's even talk of a potential fire sale. I think that's overblown, especially if Detroit can stay in contention much of the year. Stuff like the Dontrelle saga has clouded the fact that this was a team with huge expectations a year ago.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Real Face of the Yankees

Just finished watching a seven-overtime lacrosse game between Virginia and Maryland. Pretty unbelievable. Although I'm not exactly sure how I stumbled on the game. I was only planning to do this post and get out of here, but then I got glued to the tv. It just happens sometimes, sports are awesome that way.

But I just saw this New York Times article about Randy Levine, the team President and resident evil Randy Newman lookalike of the New York Yankees. It hits close to home because back in the summer while I was in New York, I went to a hearing surrounding the financing behind Yankee Stadium. At it was this bullish and boisterous politician Richard Broadsky reaming into the a fellow who worked for the Bloomberg administration's economic arm about how they basically let the big, bad Yankees overstep multiple laws in financing their new stadium opening in the Bronx. To me, Brodsky was a little scary, but in a fake politician way.

Randy Levine is very clown-like, but more like the kind of clown that terrifies little children more often than not.

Really, Brodsky was even more pissed that Levine wasn't there. I think he saw it as a slight. Well, Brodsky and Levine had their public hearing. Here's a little snippet from the Times article to show you how it went:

The brusque Brodsky says he sees Levine as “someone who thinks the world responds to bullying and verbal violence.” After a public hearing at which Levine, 54, turned red while yelling at him, Brodsky said: “He couldn’t have been acting. His face was too purple.

Read the whole thing, it's a fascinating look at a guy, Randy Levine, who has a lot more power within the Yankee empire than people think. Because he's the guy who basically volunteers to look like the bad guy on nearly everything they do, the powers that be give much credence to what he thinks. Things like this make the guy and intriguing figure to me:
It’s tough love with Randy,” said Gerry Cardinale, a friend and managing director at Goldman Sachs, the investment bank that is a partner in YES and Legends. “He is brutally honest, has a very high demand for performance and little tolerance for not getting his way. He respects me because I won’t back down.”

I just kind of wonder what it's like to deal with someone like that on a daily basis.

Creative Ways to Punish Athletes

It has been out of the news for a bit now, but you may remember that after a long day of under performing on the football Kansas City RB Larry Johnson likes to get wasted and spit in women's faces.

Well he has finally been punished with two years probation, but the most interesting part is the extra stuff the judge decided to add on .
Johnson will not be allowed to consume alcohol or be at any Kansas City bars or nightclubs after 9 p.m. while on probation. He also must complete anger control counseling and 40 hours of community service.
Personally, I'm really curious how they're gonna enforce the 9 p.m. thing. And what if Johnson, say, demands a trade and ends somewhere like Seattle or something. Does that mean he can go to the Seattle bars? Or is the bar curfew still in effect or is it even worse because it's 9 p.m. Kansas City time and therefore 7 p.m. Pacific. I'm gonna assume it just pertains to KC, though.

Sorry LJ, I think the lady-lickin' days are behind you for the time being.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Vince Young may not be the starting quarterback of the football team he plays on, but clealy he's relevant enough to have his own brand of hot dogs. And thank goodness he's classy enough to wear a suit unlike other pro athletes I know.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I'm not sure whether this makes me a bad journalist or iit just means my job is awesomely flexible, but I was able to almost completely clear my schedule in order to watch as many NCAA Tournament games as possible. In past years, this was really a no brainer considering the tournament has fallen directly on St. Patty's Day the past few years and all I had to do was skip some class (which really was never an issue even if nothing was going on).

Now if people at work (especially the editors) realized I wasn't out "reporting" today, they might be a little peeved, but I just don't think they read my blog so I think I'm in the clear. And frankly, I'll have the same high school puff material that they love and I'm still gonna watch as much college basketball as possible.

But let's be real here, this is a new tournament. It's the first year since sixth grade that I'm not running a big money bracket pool. Obviously some friends asked me to do it again, but in order to clear off a schedule for almost four days, you have to make some sacrifices before hand and that meant pulling some crazy hours the last week and a half. It's also different, quite frankly, because Michigan is in this bad boy for the first time in 11 years.

After covering the team for two seasons — including the worst Michigan basketball season in more than 50 years — I'm proud of these guys. I certainly didn't think they'd be dancing this year and this is coming from an unabashed Beilein believer. Let's look at what I wrote just a few months ago:

I think it's going to take eight and more than likely nine more wins to get into the dance. Now you see why losing that Indiana game the other night would and could have been disastrous. Does this team have eight more conference wins and a Big Ten Tournament win or two left in it? I'm not really sure, especially if it continues to play such porous defense.

But hey, they made it. We can officially say John Beilein is a year ahead of schedule. In football terms, I also think he may have bought Rich Rod an extra year after his debacle of a first year this fall.

So how do I see this game against Clemson going tonight? Well, a lot of people, especially friends here on the East Coast have been quick to point out that Michigan is getting one of those typical Clemson teams. You know start the season blazing hot against cream puffs, then falter somewhat in ACC play (with a few big wins thrown in for fun). The bottom line is this is going to be all about tempo.

Michigan probably couldn't have asked for a better first-round opponent than the Tigers, though. Clemson is small and really only has one player who will potentially give Michigan's lack of defensive efficiency (and height) fits in Trevor Booker. I've got Big Blue winning in my bracket, but if they do, I'm also predicting Blake Griffin will put up a 40-point, 25-rebound performance in round two.

As for the rest of my bracket, well, historically I'm pretty good at picking tournament games. I haven't won a pool since senior year of high school, but I haven't finished outside of the top 5 since then. I don't know if you realize this, but if you check out the MIchigan Daily's preseason picks for college basketball last year, I was the guy who correctly forecast Davidson as the biggest bracket buster all the way back in November.

But I had a lot of trouble making picks this year, I've got to be honest. This has been one of the most parity-ridden seasons in recent memory and yet when it came down to making some upset picks in the sweet 16 and elite 8 I couldn't get the thought of last year, when all four No. 1 seeds made the Final Four, out of my mind. Now that we're about an hour from the first tipoff of the tourny I figured I would let you know some unexpected teams I've got on my radar.

Mississippi State: This team got hot at just the right time and they've got Justin Vornado patrolling the paint. No one realizes it but this dude has been averaging more blocks per game than Hasheem Thabeet of late. Throw in a collection of 3-point shooters and I've got the Bulldogs penciled in to the Sweet 16, when they'll finally go down to, of all people, Hasheem Thabeet and UCONN. I've Miss State beating Washington and Purpoo errr Purdue.

Maryland: Call me crazy, but I've got a little bromance thing going for Grievas Vasquez, kind of always have. It all started when I began trying to unfurl the mystery behind the weird pimple-like red stuff that's always on his cheeks (seriously use proactiv or something). But in the process, I fell in love with his game. He's a streaky shooter at best, but he's a big point guard who can take over a game when he puts his mind to it. Throw in the fact that I met him earlier this winter when his old high school, Montrose Chirstian, played T.C. Williams (a game I covered) and you've got a match made in heaven. By the way, not sure how many people realize this but five years ago Montrose had a starting lineup that included Vasquez, Kevin Durant, and Linas Kleiza (Denver Nuggets). SCARY!

But I really think Memphis is vulnerable here. yeah, you can talk about how the Tigers haven't lost since 6-foot-7 freshman Tyreke Evans began playing the point, but they didn't make the move until right before C-USA season, so there weren't really many chances to lose. On my bracket, I've got the Terps in the Sweet 16. Vasquez is the only other point guard in the country with the size to slow down Maybe my vision is just clouded by Grievas love because Memphis is gonna destroy Maryland on the glass.

Wisconsin: Plain and simple, Bo Ryan's style gives coaches fits, especially when they aren't used to playing against him. Add in some long-brewing hatred of Leonard Hamilton (he went 19-63 during his lone season as Wizards head coach) and I'm goin Badger Red all the way to the Sweet 16. Yes, they will also beat Xavier.

Arizona State: This is Herb Sendek's long-awaited return to the Tournament after giving NC State the proverbial middle finger by going west a few years back. Maybe you don't remember, but Sendek was a sweet 16 machine with the Wolfpack, especially when they had Julius Hodge. I've caught a few of their games this season and they look like those teams of the past. They've got a do-everything forward in the mold of Hodge in James Harden plus a couple deadly 3-point shooters. I like them upsetting 'Cuse in the second round and giving Oklahoma (after Blake Griffin's monster game on Michigan) a run for its money as well.

Michigan State: Obviously, a 2 seed can't be a sleeper but for some reason I like Tom Izzo's gang to go all the way to the Finals this year and lose to North Carolina. Maybe I'm crazy, but generally the team with the best guard always does well int the big dance. If you haven't seen Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas play yet, he's the best player to come out of Detroit since Chris Webber and well, catch him soon because he'll be playing the league in the next two years. And a lot of people forget, Michigan State got this 2 seed even with last season's best player, forward Raymar Morgan, saddled with walking pneumonia (I didn't know it could move either). Now he's back healthy and I just don't think there's anything that can stop this squad, especially with one of the best coaches in the land captaining the ship.

Well, nothing that is, except for a relatively healthy Ty Lawson ... the one guard better than Kalin Lucas in this tournament.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

You Might Want to Retire That Donte Stallworth Jersey

I guess because it's NCAA Tournament time this isn't getting played up as big, but I'm don't think we're gonna Donte Stallworth in the NFL for a little while. Donte was in Miami this weekend and along the way ENDED UP RUNNING OVER AND KILLING SOMEONE. I don't mean to be so blunt but that's literally what happened:

Mario Reyes was a family man, a loving husband and father. He came to South Florida from Cuba as a teenager and became an overnight crane operator in Miami. Still, his family said he couldn't afford a car and was forced to take the bus to work. Saturday, police said he was killed when a Bentley driven by Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth collided with him on a causeway linking Miami and Miami Beach.

Reyes was headed to the bus stop. ... His family and co-workers said he had clocked out only minutes before the accident around 7 a.m. "When the time came for him to leave, he grabbed his stuff and headed to the bus stop out front," co-worker Renier Calana told The Miami Herald. She worked with Reyes unloading cargo containers from the Port of Miami. "We could hear the impact," she said. "We all ran out, and he was lying there unconscious in the middle."

Reyes, 59, was near a crosswalk but it's unclear if he was crossing legally. Police said Stallworth has not been charged and was cooperating with the investigation. Officers drew blood to test for drugs or alcohol, which is routine. Results from the test could take anywhere from three days to three weeks, authorities said.

Stallworth has been pretty mum on the situation as I write this. Here's more from Pro Football Talk
As authorities in South Florida wait for the results of a blood draw performed on Browns receiver Donte’ Stallworth, a source with knowledge of the investigation tells us that prosecutors are preparing an indictment for DUI manslaughter, under the assumption that the results will show that Stallworth’s blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit of 0.08 percent when he collided with a pedestrian, who later died.

Per the source, Stallworth admitted to drinking at least four Patrons and two Margaritas. A separate source called that information “basically right,” but added that Stallworth contends he had his last drink at midnight. The incident occurred after 7:00 a.m. local time.

We’re also told that Stallworth claimed in his statement to police that he saw the man crossing the street from a distance, and flashed the high beams and honked the horn of the Bentley he was driving. Apparently, there’s an issue as to whether Stallworth could have taken evasive action because of a barrier along the median.

We’re told that Stallworth is badly shaken by the news that the pedestrian had died. And, frankly, he should be. Apart from the fact that he was involved in an accident that claimed a man’s life, Stallworth could be facing serious criminal liability, if the pending test reveals an impermissibly high concentration of alcohol in his blood.
So yeah, I don't think we're gonna see Stallworth on the field next season. Pretty sure the whole Roger Goodell suspending people for representing the NFL poorly thing will be in effect when it comes to the possibility of vehicular manslaughter. I wonder how much of the seven-year, $35 million he signed with the Browns, this deceased guy's family will sue for.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Ten Hate-o-Rade

Pretty much everything that the Big Ten wanted to happen in its first-round conference tournament match-ups yesterday happened. Minnesota, Michigan, and Penn State all won their games against lesser competition, seemingly locking up bids come Sunday. Something that has been overlooked amongst most of the college basketball media this season as they swoom over the Big East and ACC (and I think rightfully so) has been the depth of the Big Ten.

When everything is said and done, the Big Ten has a pretty good chance at having as many (or maybe even more) bids than both the ACC and Big East. Seriously, Michigan State, Illinois, and Purdue are locks. Wisco and Ohio State were presumed safe heading into today and now the three bubblicious teams appear headed to the big dance as well. That's eight, count 'em, eight teams extending their seasons.

It doesn't have some basketball "purists", i.e. east coasters, who think the basketball world revolves solely around two leagues, very happy. Here's something that appeared in today's Washington Post, courtesy of their college bball writer Eric Prisbell:

If the Big Ten gets eight bids, the selection committee should be disbanded," The Washington Post's John Feinstein told me yesterday. "The committee should be ashamed of itself if the Big Ten gets eight. The Big Ten deserves two bids. ...

The issue many have with the Big Ten is that most of its teams struggle to pass the eye test, outlasting one another in low-scoring battles that are short on style points. For example, the team that tied for second in the conference, Illinois, lost to Penn State, 38-33, on Feb. 18.

The résumés for several Big Ten teams -- including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Penn State -- are similarly mediocre, a tad stronger than those of other bubble teams. Several, but not all, middle-of-the-pack Big Ten teams also earned quality non-conference victories. Ohio State beat Butler. Minnesota beat Louisville. Michigan beat Duke and UCLA.

Like it or not, more than 70 percent of the league most want to bash likely will be offered invitations to the NCAAs.

You gotta love the Post's journalistic integrity. They use the phrase "Many Basketball People Have Issues With the Big Ten" as the headline, when in actuality it sounds like "Feinstein has issues with the Big Ten." Seriously, how does an editor let something like that appear in print with no proof to back it up. It's absurd. See, now if the Post were smart and actually wanted to try and make an argument with limited page space, they could have simply said "Maryland, a mediocre ACC team, beat both Michigan and Michigan State this season. Or something about how Penn State's best non-conference victory this season came against Georgia Tech, a team that finished dead last in the ACC this year.

And as for this "eye test", how abouit we do an RPI eye test on the bubble teams from the Big Ten and the bubble teams from the ACC ... and for the record RPi is calculated using a team's winning percentage and its strength of schedule. So let's do this, compare Michigan (43), Minnesota (36), Wisconsin (38), Ohio State (37), and Penn State (67) with Maryland (62) and Virginia Tech (56). Throw in the Big East's bubble team, Providence (70), for good measure.

Bash all you want, but you're wrong about the Big Ten. When you have nine teams finish within one game of .500 in league play, close, hard fought games don't show a team's weakness. If anything these Big Ten squads are battle-tested since pretty much all but two teams are either gonna make the Tourny or were perilously close to the bubble (Northwestern). Its the second-highest rated conference in overall RPI behind the Big East, so I'd say they deserve eight teams in the dance. ... And if Michigan gets snubbed .. no let's not talk like that, it would only happen to a Tommy team

They're In, I think

I'm a terrible blogger, I know. Real bloggers update their stuff every day, multiple times. Recently, I've been having once-a-week flings with this blog and I don't like it one bit. It's just that when you get home from a 12-hour day of writing about high school sports, reporting on high school sports, and oftentimes having just watched some mind-numbingly boring high school game, the last thing I want to think about is writing more.

But back to more important things. Obviously, we'll have to wait until Selection Sunday, but I'm pretty sure the 10-year drought is over. With its trouncing of Iowa yesterday, Michigan should be in the NCAA Tournament next Thursday or Friday. Congrats fellas, I really hope you understand how much you put people through (ahem, me) with that 10-22 stinker of a season a year ago.

Right around the time the buzzer sounded yesterday, I got this text from my friend Brad: "Rename that arena after Beilein." That's how long it has been since Michigan sports has had this good of a feeling. Seriously, we needed this after that debacle of a football season. And since it's I told you so season, I figured I'd drop this blast from the past on you. Here's what I wrote on this blog back on March 18, two days after Tommy Amaker got fired:

Personally I think Kruger or Beilein would be great fits here, and I would be happy with either. The next few weeks should be a real exciting time for Michigan basketball, and is probably Bill Martin's last chance to prove himself as an athletic director. All things considered, I WANT BEILEIN.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Bon Voyage Bowden, Hello Team Obliterator

I've been real busy with work lately, so I hadn't been able to commend the Washington Nationals for finally cutting the cord on the Jim Bowden era. I was on this bandwagon way back in August 2006, just a few months after this blog started, so I figured I would give you a timeline of my opinions on the fellow. Here's what I wrote the first time concerning Bowden's insistance on keeping Alfonso Soriano rather than trading him at the trading deadline:
Earlier I said if Nationals GM Jim Bowden didn't get rid of Soriano for some good prospects he should be fired. Well...I'm calling for his head. Reports indicate that his asking price with Soriano was way too high. Two prospects and a major league ready player is just way too much to ask a team to give up for a guy who isn't a superstar.

Then in July 2007, I was again calling for his head, sort of:
Although they've played well, the Nats still sit 15 games under .500 at this moment. They are still a losing team, so why is Bowden committing money to players who aren't part of the solution? He should be actively shopping players like Belliard and Young, just like he should have traded Soriano last year. ... I said it last year at this time and I'll say it again: I hope Bowden knows what he's doing. He's gotten a free pass so far, but if the results don't start showing up soon, his time could very well run out a lot quicker than you would think.

My emotions came to a head in August 2008, as the Nats were stumbling to the worst record in baseball:
To me, the success of this team is dependant on Bowden getting fired. The Washington Nationals franchise has for the most part stayed in neutral since it came into existance, and it is about time things got shook up. This is the perfect confluence of poor on the field personnel decisions combining with shaky off the field mistakes.

Well it took them almost three years, but after accumulating a record of 284-363 and finishing no better than fourth in the NL East over four seasons, the Nationals did what I suggested over three years ago. Now you can say 'Oh well it's always easy to naysay in hindsight, but seriously, the dude gave the Nats more than enough chances to fire him and they didn't.

Tom Boswell has been all over this thing for the Washington Post, and I think he summed the Bowden era up nicely in his latest column:
The three vital qualities in an executive, it's said, are energy, brains and character. The third is most important because, without it, the first two virtues turn into vices. For years, the Nationals, especially the Lerner family, focused on the first two qualities, which Bowden had in spades, and which the team desperately needed. Now, in the wake of Bowden's resignation, the veil may be falling from everybody's eyes. A general manager is supposed to solve problems, not create them; be the adult, not the child; bring people together, not divide them; and focus his energy, not spew it.

So now that the Jim Bowden death march has reached its thrilling (at least for me) end, I turn my attention to the next Washington, D.C. area GM that I want out the door. And frankly, I've got my options here. Ernie Grunfeld just signed a player with three knee surgeries in two years and hasn't played this season to an absurd $113 million contract. Oh yeah, the team he has concocted is also duking it out for the worst record in the NBA. Up until yesterday, I probably wouldn't have mentioned Caps GM George McPhee here, but after forming one helluva young and talented hockey team, he failed to capitalize (no pun intended) and add someone (or more like anyone) who can play defense at the trading deadline so the team could realistically make a Stanley Cup FInals run.

That leaves me with Redskins GM Vinny Cerrato, who aside from being Skins owner Dan Snyder's resident bufoon and squash partner, said this back in December:
You're better off getting the young, healthy guys in the draft and continue to grow and build so you have a solid foundation that you can put together for a long time. What you want to do, you want to keep building with young guys, so then you can continue to grow for a long time, not just sign a band-aid, make the playoffs for one year....Let's continue to build so you can be solid for a long time, that's what we want to do, continue to grow, develop, build through the draft, add free agents when you have to. Developing the young guys is the main thing, especially with the salary cap.

Ummm ... well ... a week into free agency, this doesn't seem to be the case. Now I realize Snyder makes most of the ultimate decisions with this franchise and that's likely not going to change for quite some time, but at least we can maybe get someone other than the ultimate yes man in his ear.Seriously, these two are borderline maniacal. I'm shocked Redskins One (you know, the team's private jet) hasn't taken off for Mr. Owens place of residence already. It makes sense, the Skins need a wide receiver and Snyder likes making a splash. I was listening to some sports talk radio this morning, and they were already taking bets on whether Snyder and Cerrato would be holding a press conference this afternoon.

Thank God the Post is reporting this right now:

From what we're hearing, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and Vinny Cerrato, Washington's executive vice president of football operations, quickly decided that signing controversial Pro Bowl wide receiver Terrell Owens simply wasn't worth the risk.

Stay tuned, though, the Fire Vinny Death Brigade has only just begun. This could get fun.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Ryan Mallett is now officially sketchy

The former Michigan quarterback got his butt arrested for public intoxication this past weekend. Apparently, the 20-year-old Mallett was hammered while trying to enter a club in Fayetteville, Arkansas where he's playing for the Razorbacks and coach Bobby Petrino these days.

Here are my favorite parts of the story:

Officers observed Mallett “visibly swaying” when attempting to walk. Mallett, according to the arrest report, smelled of a “heavy odor of intoxicants” and his eyes appeared to be “watery and bloodshot.” The “faint odor of burnt marijuana coming from Mallett” was also detected by officers. When asked if he had been been smoking marijuana, Mallett denied he had, but later admitted to being around people who had.

Mallett, according to the report, was given an opportunity to call for a ride home. He was unable to reach anyone and “appeared to lose focus on making phone calls to get a ride and would begin staring off into the distance.” It was at that point Mallett was placed under arrest for public intoxication. Mallett faces a fine no greater than $100 and if given jail time could be stentenced to no more than 30 days.

Gotta love mugshots.

Now if you knew/saw Mallett during his days in Ann Arbor, I think this incident was just inevitable. I don't know if anyone pulled off the always wearing a black hoodie with the hood up, sulking in the back corner of Skeeps, while smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer routine better than Mallett. And that was when he was a raw freshman from Texas, just 18 years old and up north for the first time.

I did, however, play pick-up basketball at the IM Building with him and to my surprise, he was really, really good.

A Slightly Uncomfortable Obama

Just read a fascinating story on the front page of the Washington Post about President Obama and the daily grind that is his life these days. It's by Eli Saslow and I highly recommend checking it out.

After you read it, it's pretty clear that Obama is a much different man than the Presidents we've had in the recent past. What struck me is just how new this whole life in a microscope thing is for Obama. I get the sense that while he knew he wanted to be President all along, he chafes at some of the necessary evils that you just have to endure. Basically, the guy is giving up a lot of his life and leisure time and I don't think he understood just how difficult that was going to be. He knew he'd eventually have to live differently, but I just don't think he thought it all the way through.

Now, it seems, with a sinking economy, the reality is beginning to sink in. It will be interesting to see if Obama embraces this change and loss of freedom in his life or kind of wallows a bit in his longing for normalcy. I'm not sure if either is such a bad thing, though.