Glad to see the kids getting back to school after a summer of fun. Unlike those little tykes, we took little time off here this summer. Here’s this week batch of grades, which WGEM SportsCenter host Josh Houchins and I will break down around 8:20 or so on Wednesday’s edition of the award-winning local sports talk program. If you have a grade, please text it into the show at 217-617-9437 or email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A — Brad Keslowski. The little-known NASCAR driver is starting to make a name for himself lately. While I was on vacation, he won a race at Pocono despite racing with a busted ankle in a horrific accident a few days previous in Atlanta. He followed that win, his second of the season, with a second-place finish Monday on the road course at Watkins Glen. Guess you can drive with one healthy foot in NASCAR. He’s up to 14th in the points chase. Is he the next big thing in NASCAR?
B — Mini Basketball League. I think I’ve found a replacement for noon ball at the Quincy Family YMCA. A group of dunk-loving hoopsters in Vermont started their own league, which is starting to draw some attention. It’s a full-court game played on 30-foot by 60-foot court on 8 1/2-foot rims that’s surrounded by a hockey-rink like boards. Finally, a league where I could dunk. I would LOVE to see something like this spring up around here. Wonder if there’s any room in the new Kroc Center for this. This needs to happen. Don’t believe me? Than take a look at this video of the league’s Week 1 highlights from this season.
C — Logan Morrison. The Florida Marlins second-year outfielder has made a bit of a name for himself thanks to his Twitter account. When the Cardinals were last in town, the team used Morrison to give out tickets to his followers and the team got a ton of extra people to show up to a Thursday night game. Seems that Morrison’s a bit of a rebel and the team isn’t too keen on a lot of his tweets. He was sent down to the minors over the weekend despite being in the middle of the team’s lineup for much of the season. Signs point that he may have been demoted because of Twitter. Seems kind of stupid if that’s the case.
D — Prospect League. The summer wood bat league did the right thing and named a member of the league champion Quincy Gems as the winner of its MVP award — Chris Serritella — and pegged manager Chris Martin as the loop’s top skipper. But the league did little else right in its year-end awards. Pitcher T.J. Kendzora was the only other Gems player on the 12-person All-Star team. Bryan Lippincott, who some could argue was more valuable to the Gems over the course of the season than Serritella was, was nowhere to be found on the list. As a matter of fact, the team had a heavy East Division-bias as eight of the 12 players on the team were on East Division teams. Nevermind that teams in the East struggled to reach .500 and many finished under that mark. The league may be good for the players, but it falls short when it comes to postseason play (a single-elimination tourney isn’t the answer) and its postseason all-star squad.
F — Robert “Sandy” Vietze. Sure, I could have gone with Carlos Zambrano here, but this U.S. ski team hopeful actually did something dumber than Zambrano. The 18-year-old was kicked off the U.S. ski team’s development squad for urinating on an 11-year-old girl during JetBlue flight to New York. He was cited for indecent exposure. Some think that Zambrano has peed away his career with his antics last week. Looks like this kid actually did pee away his career.