For What it's Worth: May 20

(WICHITA, Kan.)

When I reached the gate for a flight out of Montgomery, Alabama yesterday I was offered the use of a rocking chair. Was it just southern hospitality or a not so subtle insinuation? By the way, why, I wonder, do they have rocking chairs at the gate in Montgomery, Alabama?

Tale of three teams---

I’ve covered three college baseball teams pretty consistently this spring and all three have similar makeups and challenges. Arkansas and Oklahoma are nationally ranked, but both are offensively challenged. The same can be said for Wichita State; in fact all three have very similar lineups. The difference is that the Razorbacks and Sooners have great frontline pitching; the Shockers may get the nod in their bullpen. Of course, OU and Arkansas will be in the NCAA Tournament because of their performances in the Big 12 and SEC, Wichita State’s only way in is to win the Valley Tourney.

Making an impression---

It’s amazing how strong of an impression Wichita State’s run to the Final Four made. Just yesterday in Auburn, Alabama a waitress, noticing WUShock on a bag I was carrying told me that the Shockers were the only reason that she watched the Final Four. Then, at the gate in Atlanta an attendant commented about how much she enjoyed Wichita State fans coming in and out for games. You never know when you’re making an impression.

Does anyone watch?

The Kentucky Derby is always worth a peak. It’s fun to see the hot three year olds and the winner gives us a horse to follow two weeks later in the Preakness. But if that horse losses at Pimlico does anyone bother to watch the Belmont Stakes? On Saturday Orb finished fourth in Baltimore, meaning that we would be without a Triple Crown winner for the 35th straight year. For me it renders the Belmont meaningless.

Thanks for showing Memphis---

The Grizzlies looked like the newbies they are against the championship tested Spurs. San Antonio outscored Memphis by 17 in the opening quarter to effectively put away game one of the Western Conference Final. The Spurs look like they’ve finally shaken the rust that challenged them in the opening two rounds. Can they be a team that can compete with Miami? Sure, they’ve got the type of size you’ve got to have against the Heat and they’re depth is impressive. San Antonio dropped two very close games to Miami this season and has dropped four of five against them over the last three years—but with Duncan, Genobili , Parker and Popovich—the Spurs have a shot. Yes, I’m short changing Indiana, even though threy’ve had some success against the Heat.

Really?

Does anyone else chuckle when ESPN puts the winners for the X-Games Barcelona across the bottom of the screen?

Back to earth—

The Royals are back to .500 after a tough trip out west where they lost four of their last five. It was particularly tough in Oakland where they dropped three straight one run games each of which they lead. Manager Ned Yost has got to stop going to Kelvin Herrera who’s giving up eight homers in his last 14 innings. Maybe some relief comes starting tonight with a three game swing through lowly Houston.

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