IF I HAD A GENIE A few wishes (dreams? fantasies?) from a sports fan who cares:
  • In the wake of Diamondback manager Bob Brenly’s ludicrous selection of six of his own players for the All-Star Game -- including immortals amian Miller, Junior Spivey, and Byung-Hyun Kim --Major League Baseball announces a new format for the mid-summer classic. Following Brenly’s lead (and there have been others like him), the All-Star game will now pit the defending world champions (the entire club, not just six members) against a team selected by fans and -- this is important -- a blind poll of the other 29 managers. Still an exhibition, this is an All-Star format with some bite. The champs will have something to prove,and their star-studded opponent plenty of motivation. Sit back and watch the TV ratings go to the moon.
  • A precocious hoops talent skips college and is drafted in the middle of the first round by an eternally mediocre NBA franchise. After sitting on the pine for two seasons in the overhyped, ego-driven world of professional basketball, the kid tears up his contract, gives his sneakers to the next autograph-seeking 12-year-old he sees, and announces, “I’m going to med school!”
  • Recognizing its men’s field for the faceless, lifeless, talent-starved collection it is, the U.S. Open announces the winner of a Venus-vs.-Serena Williams play-in match will be a part of the men’s draw. (The “loser” would play in the ladies field.) The distaff dynamo will be allowed a pair of handicaps: she can hit into the doubles court and her male opponent is not allowed a second serve. If this were to happen, my money says you’d have two Williams champs in Flushing Meadows. Richard would be king of the world.
  • Led by quarterback Danny Wimprine and tailback Dante Brown, the University of Memphis fields a team with an offense that sets the pace for the defense . . . in other words, pigs are seen flying over the Liberty Bowl during the Tigers’ season-opening whipping of Murray State August 31. After narrow upsets of Ole Miss and Southern Miss, the U of M (3-0) is greeted by a crowd in excess of 50,000 for the Tulane game September 21.
  • The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, announces that a new wing of the museum will be opened in, of all places, the Gran Canyon. Seems that the facility in New York could not find a room big enough to house the plaque needed to fit Barry Bonds’ bronze noggin. Directions to the new facility will be distributed to visitors at the 2010 induction ceremonies. Barry’s speech will be presented on pay-per-view only.
  • NBA commissioner David Stern’s office uncovers a technical error in the paperwork that completed the trade of Mike Bibby from the Grizzlies to Sacramento for Jason Williams. The players are forced to return to their original teams. The Grizzlies send Dick Versace to Sacramento as consolation.
  • On the eve of the union-declared strike date, with baseball commissioner Bud Selig and union rep Don Fehr at loggerheads, the Baseball Hall of Fame presents each party with a video tribute to Ted Williams. The video closes with a reminder to the millionaires and billionaires quarreling over salary caps and franchise contraction that there was once a player -- quite good, actually -- who risked his life for his country, flying combat planes in not one, but two wars instead of camping out in leftfield at Fenway Park. This player’s salary was a fraction of the 2002 Tampa Bay Devil Rays’ backup catcher’s. Thirty major league baseball teams take the field the next day.
  • Tiger Woods finds something besides major golf victories to pump his fist about.
  • In the spring of 2019, the St. Louis Cardinals select Kannon Kile with their first pick in the amateur draft. Having completed a fine college career at UCLA, the 22-year-old Kile makes his big-league debut on June 22nd, and shuts out the Cubs. Wearing number 57, the big righty displays a curveball not seen in eastern Missouri for many a year.
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