May 13 - Scanning the Transactions
One of my favorite things to read in the sports section is the Transactions List. It never fails to make me
smile at some of the less publicized things going on in the sports world. That said, let’s take a look back
at some of the moves (both big and small) made in the few days……
Thursday, May 12—
New York Yankees - Released pitcher Steve Karsay. Local buy can’t make good because of injuries.
What a shame.
Utah Jazz - Signed coach Jerry Sloan to a contract extension through the 2007-08 season. Why,
Jerry, why? You can still coach, but it is time to move on. The glory days in Utah are over, although
having the chance to coach Andrei Kirilenko (the most underrated player in the NBA today) is certainly
Sacramento Monarchs (WNBA) - Waived guard Ruthie Bolton. When did she drop the Holifield?
Wasn't she a really big star at one point? If I can’t answer those questions (and I used to work for the
NBA) it shows you how little attention NBA fans pay to the WNBA.
Chicago Bears - Signed kicker Doug Brien to a one-year contract. Enjoy him, Bears fans. I know he is
statistically one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history, but he is also a journeyman who missed
the two biggest kicks of his career to end last season. I’ll bet he never bounces back.
Denver Broncos - Signed quarterback Chad Friehauf as a free agent. The Division II Player of the Year,
from nearby Colorado School of Mines (yes, that really is the name of the school). He also has a typical
NFL quarterback’s body….6’6”, 211 pounds. Whoops, maybe not. But those numbers he put up in
school are awfully gaudy (2004 – NCAA single season records with 4,646 passing yards and 384
completions, not to mention 34 passing TDs and over 700 rushing yards).
Calgary Flames - Announced its American Hockey League affiliation will be known as the Omaha Ak-
Sar-Ben Knights. Have fun with all those Omaha to Calgary flights in the middle of January, when the
Flames need to call someone up at the last minute. Oh, wait. That assumes they are actually playing in
January. And by the way, wouldn’t Omaka Knights have been enough for the name, even as boring as
the idea of nights in Omaha sounds? What exactly is an Ak-Sar-Ben Knight, anyway? Why not go all the
way and spell Knight backwards, too? They could be the Thginks.
Duquesne - Named Mike Iuzzolino women's assistant basketball coach. Former fringe NBA player
now coaching Division I women’s hoops. Not a bad hire at all for the Dukes. Of course, he replaces
Trixie Wolf, which should be its own entry into this column.
St. Francis (Pa) - Announced guard Darshan Luckey will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the
NBA draft. Huh? Who? Why? I know he is trying to follow in the footsteps of other grads from St. Francis
to play in the NBA (yes, Mike Iuzzolino), but seriously. He can’t wait a year and get a degree first?
Wednesday, May 11—
New York Yankees - Purchased the contract of infielder Russ Johnson from Columbus of the
International League (AAA). Yo, Jason Giambi. Can you read the writing on the wall? Another infielder
has been called up – as if your at-bats aren’t already limited. He isn’t up to take playing time from any of
the other infielders. Just go to the minors already.
Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA) - Released guard Nicole Kaczmarski. A sad story of a player with tons of
potential falling and never getting up. A Long Island prep legend, Kaczmarski started transferring
schools and never got on track in college. She should have been a big star in the women’s game. Too
Ohio State - Suspended kicker Jonathan Skeete indefinitely for violation of team rules. So let me get
this right. The kicker from the last couple seasons graduates and, even though you have a chance to be
the starter for a national powerhouse, you get kicked off the team instead. Great career move.
Tuesday, May 10—
Baltimore Orioles - Placed outfielder Sammy Sosa on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to
Thursday, with an abscess and staph infection in his left foot. Ah, just stick some cork in the foot and
call it a day. My real question is this: Since we all know Sammy’s English isn’t good, how do you say
“abscess and staph infection” in Spanish.
Houston Astros - Placed first baseman Jeff Bagwell on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to
Wednesday, with a right shoulder sprain. And thus, the debate begins. Hall of Famer, yes or no? The
most dominant first baseman in baseball from 1994 to 2001 might be forced to hang it up from this
injury. It says here he should be in Cooperstown.
San Francisco Giants - Placed pitcher Jason Schmidt on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to
Sunday, with a right shoulder strain. And thousands of Fantasy Baseball teams (including one of
mine) just saw their season end.
Ah, sports. You gotta love it.