Today in sports: MLB's big field problem, a new documentary details the day the Dream Team looked mortal, and the case for Rajon Rondo being the NBA's most watchable player.
Big, fancy new ballparks with spacious dimensions that turn homeruns into lazy fly ball outs are tearing our mediocre baseball teams apart! Or at least that was the case with the 2011 San Diego Padres. Word is fisticuffs broke out following a last year when relief pitcher Mike Adams told outfielders Chase Headley and Ryan Ludwick to quit complaining about the spacious at Petco Field robbing them of homers. It's all part of a mini-phenomenon of teams with big, pitcher-friendly parks moving in the fences to increase home runs, both because people like home runs (they're exciting) and no decent hitter with an ounce of common sense wants to go play in a place that would hurt his numbers and chance for a big extension. The problem is especially acute in San Diego, where the big stadium is partnered with California's coastal marine layer, which rolls in every night just in time for the first pitch. [ESPN]
It seems we all need to make time to watch NBA TV’s The Dream Team, presented by Right Guard -- wordy title be damned -- because it features never-before-seen (never-before-discussed, really) footage of the mighty 1992 Dream Team losing a scrimmage to a team of college all-stars. Granted, the collegiate team featured the likes of Grant Hill, Bobby Hurley, and Chris Webber but the '92 Dream Team had Charles Barkley, Michael Jordan, and Patrick Ewing and beat international competition by an average of 43.8. But one day in La Jolla, California in 1992, they were mortal, and a group of college kids -- college kids who were really good at basketball, but college kids nonetheless -- beat them by eight points. And there's video. The documentary airs June 13 on NBA TV. [The New York Times]
Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo: frequently cranky, offensively ineffectual, but never boring. No, sir. Jason Gay goes so far as to crown him "the least boring player in the NBA," because he's fast, can do things with a basketball none of his more-heralded peers can, but also to taking a "brief sabbatical from common sense," which is really quality if you want to be deemed the least boring person in your particular field. [The Wall Street Journal]
MLB is "poised" to outlaw the oh-so-tricky 1st-to-3rd pickoff move next season, which would make the game more fair for left-handed pitchers and unsuspecting runners on 3rd base, but less exciting for everyone else. [AP]
Longtime Fenway Park PA announcer Carl Beane died last night after suffering a heart attack while driving. He was 59, and joined the team after the 2002 season. [ESPN Boston]