Thursday, May 22, 2008 | 5:46 p.m.
--- USA Basketball and Las Vegas Events have announced that our senior men's basketball team (you know, LeBron and those guys) will hold a mini training camp (June 27-29) and a maxi training camp (July 20-25) in Las Vegas, culminating with an exhibition game against Canada on July 25 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Meanwhile, Greece, the nation that beat us in the last World Championships, announced it would prepare for the Olympics by holding its training camp in Omaha, Neb., where there is nothing to do except work on the pick and roll play.
--- Did you see Albert Pujols take out the entire San Diego Padres' battery during one trip to the plate Wednesday night? First, the Cardinals' slugger hit a line drive off Chris Young's nose, breaking it, and sending blood streaming down the front of the big guy's white uniform top. It was pretty gruesome. Think Jerry Quarry after Ali peppered his mug with left jabs. A couple of batters later Pujols slid into home plate, wiping out Padres catcher Josh Bard and putting him on the disabled list with a sprained ankle. As if the Padres didn't have enough problems (Jake Peavy, 17-31 record) when the game started.
--- The umps missed another home run call at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night when a ball hit by Alex Rodriguez bounded off a staircase and bounced back onto the playing field. Had it been my house there is absolutely no way the umps would have blown the call because the staircase is where my dogs leave their toys, and when A-Rod's ball cleared the wall, it would have landed on a little rolled up plastic newspaper and made a squeaky noise. That was the second blown home run call in three days at The House That Ruth Built which makes you think that when they open the new Yankee Stadium, it should come with instant replay cameras. Or squeaky toys in the bleachers.
--- The other day I wrote an e-mail to an old pal reminiscing about past Indy 500s we had seen and that we should probably go back to the Brickyard one of these days for old time's sake. He agreed, but said he has come up with a way to relive the thrill of being there without paying for airfare or a rental car.
I will stay up until 2 a.m. Sunday morning while getting hammered, wake up at 5, park my car two miles from the house, carry a cooler to my living room and sit on a stool in front of the TV with the heater and sun lamp on me. I will let Haley (his daughter) hit me in the head and step on my feet and block my view when something cool is happening. I will invite the entire neighborhood over to use the bathroom. Then, when the race is over, I will walk back to the car, sit for three hours to let the traffic clear and then go home. Just like being there.
I e-mailed him back to tell him he sounded old and cranky. Like Bobby Unser.