It’s obviously not an easy time in the Twin Cities, and Timberwolves president Gersson Rosas probably had his heart in the right place suggesting that the rescheduled game between the Wolves and Nets Tuesday afternoon could act as a platform for players to protest or convey just how deeply affected everyone in Minnesota is by the murder of Daunte Wright by a police officer.
Except we’ve already done that. The players have done that. They used The Bubble as a giant platform. They kneeled. They didn’t play games. They called for change. And look at the headlines just yesterday. Daunte Wright was shot, Cleveland second baseman Yu Chang was showing everyone the racist abuse he found on Twitter after making an error to lose a baseball game. A high school football player in Moline, Illinois was subject to horrific racist hazing by his teammates, and felt the need to come to their defense. That’s just yesterday. Clearly, racism is still strong in this country, be it overt, systemic, political, however you want to flavor it.
That doesn’t mean the players shouldn’t have voiced their emotions and opinions in the spring and summer. That doesn’t mean they should stop. But why does it fall on them? What if Rosas looked up above him in the organizational ladder instead of down?
Wolves owner Glen Taylor is worth $2.9 billion. He’s about to sell the team to Alex Rodridguez and buddies for $1.4 billion. What would that be worth to get things to change in Minnesota? How many campaigns and movements could that back? That’s where the real change is. How much more can the players do?
But of course, calling out your boss to take action is a little bit different than telling your employees they can speak out if they want. It’s certainly the safer path.
Going to jump around from here today. Back to matters between the lines, and Lucas Giolito and Shane Bieber gave baseball fans some serious old-school dominance last night. Giolito threw seven shutout innings, only to be topped by Bieber’s nine and 11Ks that didn’t see him give up a hit between the 3rd and 9th innings. While baseball has an action problem, there is something still magical about watching two pitchers like this twirl inning after inning with hitters more bewildered in third AB than they were in the first.
Case in point:
Clearly Bieber was feeling it:
Cleveland won it in 10 as it was able to cash in on the free runner, something the Sox could not do in the bottom of the 10th, to roll out 2-0 winners. I could rant about the silliness of the extra-innings rule, which would only make sense if MLB had put a limit on the amount of pitchers teams could carry. But we’ll leave that for another time and soak in this.
Over in the NHL, goalie Chris Dreidger of Florida came up with the highlight of the night to keep Dallas from scoring:
That’s the old Vaudeville hook to keep that puck from finding glory. The Panthers won in OT 3-2, which when you get a save like this you kind of have to.
Feels like a time to end on a bat flip. Willson Contreras, take us home…
That homer actually brought the Cubs into the nosebleed altitude of three runs in a single game, and was enough to beat the Brewers 3-2. If it felt like that flip had a little more verve, it’s because it did. Contreras has been something of a baseball pin cushion for the Brewers while at the plate the past few seasons, something the Cubs Twitter account slyly pointed out to the soundtrack of the Brewers broadcasters wetting themselves over said bat flip.
Check and mate.