Whitt's End: 5.21.10

Whether you're at the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt's End:

*Where's Greggo? Be here Monday morning for the official announcement. As a bonus, I'll also reveal another familiar local radio voice(s) returning to the air on 105.3 The Fan come June 1. In the biz, we call that a tease.

*Yet another reason to love Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Yes, he sees LeBron James as a real possibility. In an interview with CNNMoney, whatever that is, Cuban taunts the NBA's tampering rules by flirting with the most coveted free agent in the history of sports. "Come July 1, yeah, of course," Cuban said. "You know, anybody would be interested in LeBron James. If he leaves via free agency, then it's going to be tough. If he does like I'm guessing, hoping he will, which is to say, 'I'm not going to leave the Cavs high and dry,' if he decides to leave -- there's still a better chance he stays - then he'll try to force a sign-and-trade and that gives us a chance." While others see LeBron + Mavs = No Way, Cuban looks for a way.

*Your Texas Rangers scored 13 runs Thursday night. Your Texas Rangers' pitching coach Mike Maddux made eight trips to the mound. One of these days when I'm really bored I'm gonna put a stopwatch to a game. Last night's 13-7 win took 214 minutes. Wonder how much of that time the ball was actually "in play"? Off the top of my head, maybe 15 minutes? I'm guessing around 90 percent of baseball is standing around and watching and spitting and scratching and preparing to play, rather than playing. It is, of course, the best and worst part about the game formerly known as our national pastime. (Add edit: The slowest sport may be golf, which takes four hours and your ball "in play" even less than baseball, right?)

*Speaking of fore, your Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks can play the game. Tony Romo shot 69 Thursday to qualify for U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying next month in Houston. And Troy Aikman tweeted this week that he made his first hole-in-one, over at Plano's Gleneagles Country Club. Bastard. Hard to estimate, but I've played hundreds of rounds in my life. As a 10-handicapper, I've had nary an ace. Before I die ... please.

*Jesus saves. But his followers spend. First Baptist Church downtown has raised $115 million to renovate/build, plans of which include a soaring fountain, towering cross and 3,000-seat sanctuary on St. Paul. In these economic times: Excess or necessity?



*Cowboys fans. Texas exes. Highway patrol. Teenagers. Two-bit bloggers/radio show hosts. Add umpires to the list of cockiest people on our planet. Wednesday night was case in point: Second-base umpire Doug Eddings was 100 percent sure Josh Hamilton's homer wasn't, and crew chief Dana DeMuth wasn't about to check him via instant replay. It was, of course, a homer. But the smug stubborness isn't surprising, given the way umps have their own strike zone, don't bother lifting a finger on a routine play and make an exaggerated, look-at-me call on crucial plays. I cherish the day when umps are out, replaced by technology and robots where a strike is a strike and an out is an out. Imagine if tennis linesmen made an exaggerated "Outtttttt!" call on match point. Or an NFL ref who screamed "That's interferenccccccccce!" on a key penalty. Yes baseball, you are ridiculous.

*If you think Lance Armstrong doped his way to seven Tours de France, fine. But don't tell me you think anything Floyd Landis says influences that opinion. Is there anyone on Earth with less credibility than Landis?

*I know I'm very golfy today, but it is the HD Aaych Pea Byron Nelson Classic after all. Thursday I followed around 16-year-old Jesuit junior Jordan Spieth, Dallas' next great golfer. His gallery -- concerned with popped-collar Polos more than etiquette -- was refreshing. And it took Spieth, who played 11 holes at even before darkness, one swing to prove he belongs. His first drive was striped 300-plus down the middle of the fairway, past his pro playing partners.

*You know how I love trying new things. (GayBingo ring a bell?) Well Saturday afternoon Plano's Woodruff Park will host the Texas Tree Climbing Championships. I once climbed trees and cut limbs for a Lawn Doctor spinoff called Tree Medic, so maybe. Just maybe.

*France is on the verge of banning Muslim women from wearing veils over their faces in public. A $185 fine for wearing one and up to $18,555 for anyone forcing a woman to wear one. Citizenship, the French say, should be experienced with an uncovered face. Wow, and we think the Arizona immigration law is racial profiling. But now that I think about it, can we legislate sagging jeans out of fashion?

*Over at ESPN Radio, old pal Nate Newton has dropped 70 pounds in 30 days through a radical surgery in which doctors cut out -- yes, removed -- 75 percent of his stomach. The experimental procedure, which leaves patients with only a stomach "sleeve," has Nate down to 330 pounds.

*The set of Rangers Live is getting outta control. It's become a crazed mosh pit, with fans jumping up and down, screaming and even holding up their babies behind hosts Dana Larson and Steve Busby, all to get ... what? Their 15 seconds of infamy? Sad thing is, the frenzy takes place every night, regardless of the result. Think the Red Sox set at Fenway Park is buzzing after a loss? Me neither.

*Given only one, which do you eradicate from our highways: White pickups or motorcycles? You know which one I'd pick.

*Your weekly feel-good pick-me-up. My pleasure.

*One more golf-note, if you want to play a round/play around with Tiger Woods' mistress Joslyn James, she's hosting the Tiger Tail Tournament next Friday (May 28) at Cedar Crest in south Dallas. I'll be there. Good time for my first hole-in ... never mind.

*Me? This weekend I'll make it out to The Pavilion at some point. Also got another crawfish boil -- this one in Prosper of all places-- on the agenda. Don't be a stranger.

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