Joe Santoro
Special to the Tribune

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June 19, 2014
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Friday Fodder: Time to change Redskins name

Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .

The Washington Redskins need to do the right thing. Sports teams should not be named after the color of someone’s skin. It really isn’t any more complicated than that. Sports teams have changed their names before for political reasons. The Washington Bullets changed to Wizards and the Houston Colt .45s switched to Astros. Miami of Ohio changed from Redskins to RedHawks almost two decades ago. Stanford went from Indians to Cardinal four decades ago and changed its mascot to a tree. Eastern Washington changed from Savages to Eagles in the early 1970s. St. Bonaventure went from Brown Indians (and Brown Squaws) to Bonnies in the late 1970s. Would the NFL approve the nickname of Whiteskins, Blackskins or Yellowskins? Let’s hope not. Then why is it all right for Redskins to be a team name?

. . .

Tony Gwynn never received as much praise and recognition as he deserved in his career. That’s what happens when you play your entire career in relative obscurity in San Diego. Gwynn hit .338 for his career with 3,141 hits. He won eight batting titles, hit .300 or better in the final 19 years of his 20-year career and never struck out more than 40 times in any one season. He never hit lower than .353 for five consecutive years (1993-1997). Pete Rose owns the major league record with 4,256 hits but Rose had 4,765 more at bats than Gwynn. Give Gwynn 4,765 more at-bats and he would have had to hit just .234 (1,115-for-4,765) to equal Rose’s record.

. . .

Colby Blueberg, who signed with the San Diego Padres recently, faces long odds of ever making it to the major leagues. The Carson High graduate is just 6-feet tall, weighs just 185 pounds, is right-handed and doesn’t own a blazing fastball. And he was only drafted in the 24th round. Nothing in professional baseball is ever handed to 6-foot right-handers who were picked in the 24th round. But don’t bet against Blueberg, a young man who has an endless supply of competitiveness, toughness, baseball smarts and confidence. He came out of nowhere this season at Nevada to become one of the top relievers in the nation. Beating the odds is not a problem for Blueberg. He’s done it his entire career.

. . .

Deonte Burton has a very good chance of getting selected in the NBA draft next Thursday (June 26). The day also just happens to be his 23rd birthday. Burton, according to most internet mock drafts, will likely be picked somewhere in the final 15 picks of the second round. The Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks, according to most mock drafts, seem to have the most interest in the Nevada Wolf Pack point guard. All we know is that Burton is better than anything the Hawks, Sixers or Bucks had at point guard last year.

. . .

Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter Wednesday night against the Colorado Rockies is one of the greatest pitching performances in baseball history. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ lefty struck out 15 and didn’t walk a hitter against the National League’s best hitting team. The only Rockies’ base runner came on an error. Kershaw is the first in major league history to fan at least 15 in a no-hitter without walking a batter. Kershaw’s gem is certainly one of the top five pitched games in the last 50 years. Sandy Koufax (1965) and Matt Cain (2012) each fanned 14 in their perfect games and Randy Johnson (2004) struck out 13. Kerry Wood (1998) fanned 20 and didn’t walk a hitter in a one-hitter.

. . .

There are a lot of eerie similarities and connections between Colin Kaepernick and Clayton Kershaw. Both have the same initials. Both make their livings throwing a ball. Both are two of the best in their respective sports at their positions. Both played each other’s sport in high school. Both graduated high school in 2006. They are roughly the same size (Kershaw is 6-foot-3, 225 pounds and Kap is 6-4, 230). They were born just 136 days apart in late 1987 and early 1988. They also have one other thing in common. Neither one has won a championship yet. Who will be the first? Well, Kershaw could do it in October and Kaepernick will have to wait until February.

. . .

If LeBron James wants to win another NBA title in Miami he needs to find some new teammates and a new head coach. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the Miami roster should be ashamed for letting King James down. Wade looked old and beaten up. Bosh looked soft and afraid. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich dominated Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. Ray Allen looked like he was simply in a 3-point shooting contest. Nobody else in a Heat uniform even showed up. James probably should opt out of his Heat contract by the end of this month. Cleveland, which has Kyrie Irving and the top pick in this year’s draft, would be a perfect place for the best player in the game.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jun 19, 2014 06:04PM Published Jun 19, 2014 05:52PM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.