By Matt McCoy
Ouch! Monday night's Washington Nationals/Los Angeles Dodgers game featured one of the more bizarre outfielder versus wall collisions I've ever seen...mostly because the outfielder, Bryce Harper of the Nats, didn't seem to realize the wall was there.
A.J. Ellis hit a deep drive to right, Harper turned to give chase and ran straight into the wall. He didn't slow down or brace himself--as though he didn't think a wall would be there.
Harper left the game with some cuts to his face, but the good news is he is expected to be OK. He's listed as day to day. If you missed it, check it out.
Hoke Says Notre Dame 'Chickened Out' of Rivalry With Michigan
The best stuff always comes from functions when coaches either forget or don't realize the press is watching. At press conferences, coaches are more guarded but at functions with fans, they sometimes drop their guard. It happened in Columbus in November at Earle Bruce's Beat Michigan Tailgate when an emotional Urban Meyer said, "Let's beat the (blank) out of Michigan."
This time, it's Brady Hoke who spoke with a loose tounge at a non-press conference. Hoke, in front of Michigan fans at the West Michigan Sports Commission Luncheon Monday, talked about the end of the Michigan/Notre Dame rivalry. This September will be the last meeting between the two schools in Ann Arbor for the foreseeable future. They'll meet at Notre Dame in 2014 but the series ends after that. The Irish backed out of the traditional match-up when it made a scheduling alliance with the ACC.
Notre Dame will continue to work Big Ten rivals Michigan State and Purdue into itsschedule, but not Michigan and Hoke obviously doesn't like it.
"We are fortunate to have unbeliveable rivalry games at Michigan. The Notre Dame game, that rivalry which they're chickening out of," Hoke told the crowd which responded with laughter and applause. "They're still gonna play Michigan State, and they're gonna play Purdue, but they don't want to play Michigan...I don't know how they made that decision...I really do...but anyway that's a great national rivalry game."
The two schools have played 40 times and had agreed to games through 2017 until Notre Dame opted out. Here's video of Hoke's 'chickened out' shot at the luncheon in Grand Rapids.
Conley Continues To Shine
Former Buckeye Mike Conley's supurb post-season play continues. He scored 24 points with 5 assists and 4 steals in Memphis' 103-97 overtime win over Oklahoma City Monday night. Conley's Grizzlies lead the series 3-1 and are a win away from the Western Conference Finals.
Conley is averaging 18.1 points per game in the playoffs, 3.5 more points per game than he scored in the regular season. He also has a 3.9 assist to turnover ratio, best among NBA point guards remaining in the playoffs and second only to the LA Clippers Chris Paul, who was eliminated by Memphis in round one.
I also liked his post-game press conference look last night. Conley went with a bow tie. Gordon Gee and former WTVN colleague and Mr. High School Sports Larry Larson would be proud.