No one would argue that Hall of Fame Baseball player Tony Gwynn died much too young at the age of 54. No one would argue that the cause of his death, which was cancer, needs to die itself. For anyone that was alive during the 1980′s and into the ’90′s, they can tell you that very few players could hit the baseball as well as Tony Gwynn could.
Gwynn’s swing was as smooth as silk and was as identifiable as any stroke in the game. I’ve said numerous times this week that if you ever played whiffle ball with your buddies and failed to mimic Gwynn’s stance and swing then you weren’t doing it right.
While I feel like the San Diego Padres did everything right this week in honoring Gwynn’s career, many in the media have taken the opportunity to go after smokeless tobacco. In my view this is putting one’s agenda ahead of the actual story. ESPN’s Mike and Mike were two of the main culprits in this by spending very little time on the life and career of Gwynn and more on whether Major League Baseball and the Players’ Union should work together to ban tobacco from the game.
In my opinion this is like spending more time discussing the fire that killed a family of four rather than remembering the family.
If a player chooses to use smokeless tobacco than that his choice. He will be inundated with information that will educate him about the dangers and risks involved and should he still choose to use then that his choice! I hate to compare it to this but if fits; this is no different than the government getting involved and telling parents how to parent.
The Minor Leagues have already banned smokeless tobacco and that is their choice and right but MLB should not follow the pattern. Players are old enough and mature enough to make this decision. The point however is that a man’s life and career should have been celebrated rather than the cause of his death.
Will Joel Embiid even be drafted?
If you are an NBA general manager and you take Joel Embiid in this coming week’s draft, then you will officially have put your own career on the line. By trade a GM’s tenure is always on the line but taking Embiid would just must the given situation that much more tenuous.
Embiid is the talented seven-footer who went to Kansas for just one season. Part of that season was spent on the bench as Embiid struggled with a back injury that forced him to miss most of the second half of the college basketball season.
Given a clean bill of health this spring, Embiid has been projected to go in the top three of the NBA Draft. That is no longer the case. Embiid had two screws inserted into his foot this past week to help heal a stress fracture. The doctor who performed the surgery is targeting four to six months until his return.
To put it simply, the NBA Draft has now ascended into chaos. There are rumors that Embiid could still go early in the first round while there is also speculation that he could fall into the second round and maybe out altogether. Someone is going to pull the trigger and take the risk on the guy who is considered the most talented in the draft.
With the recent memory of Greg Oden in everyone’s mind, taking the seven-footer is a huge risk. His injury history is just to scary and I would would go in another direction.