New ESPN column today — here’s the link.
Meanwhile: Did the Astros sign Carlos Lee to a $100 million contract and then give him someone else’s ill-fitting jersey when introducing him to the media? Kevin Gee thinks so. Here’s why:
Check out Friday’s press conference for Carlos Lee and Woody Williams. Upon accepting his jersey, No. 45, Lee looks at the tag and says something to GM Tim Purpura. IÃ¯ ¿ ½m pretty sure it was something like, Ã¯ ¿ ½This ainÃ¯ ¿ ½t going to fit,Ã¯ ¿ ½ because he couldnÃ¯ ¿ ½t get it to button up all the way. [He tries to keep it closed with the jersey’s Velcro patch, but that pops open about 20 seconds later. — PL] When presented with his cap, he puts it on and says, Ã¯ ¿ ½We got this one right.” Even after sitting back down next to Woody Williams, he still appears to be fussing with the jersey and talking to Woody about it.
My screen grabs don’t do justice to the absurdity of this sequence. For the full effect, you can access the press conference video here (if that link doesn’t work for you, go to this page and click on “Lee/Williams press conference”). Once the video starts playing, fast forward to the 14-minute mark, or drag the progress icon to that point. Lee walks up to the podium at about 14:05.
So why was Lee’s jersey so snug? Again, Kevin Gee: “The last Astros player to wear No. 45 was Mike Gallo. He’s 6’0″, 175 pounds; Lee is 6’2″, 240 pounds.” Did the ‘Stros really just grab a Gallo jersey and swap the name on the back for Lee’s press conference? Are they really paying a guy $100 million but too cheap to spring for a new jersey? Is anyone losing his job over the little snafu? Stay tuned.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Yet another helmet decal snafu yesterday, as Hunter Hillenmeyer was “C”-less. … Good article here about the Bengals’ equipment manager (including a short but informative audio file linked on the same page). … Oh. My. God. … The fight over Wisconsin’s “motion W” logo goes on and on (with thanks to Mike Hughes). … Crystal Falls Forrest Park — a Michigan high school — wears some nifty hoop socks. Further details here (courtesy of Brian Campbell). … On Saturday I mentioned that players on Jeannette High supposedly wore their names in script above their nose bumpers, but the only photo I had was too fuzzy to make out. Now Jason Schiffhauer has provided better pics, here and here. … Remember LeCharles Bentley’s unsuccessful bid to wear double-zero? Patrick Gaughan has an update: “I’m home in Cleveland for Turkey Day, and on the news there was a story about LeCharles Bentley making a Thanksgiving meal for less fortunate people. He was wearing a 00 Browns jersey during the whole interview. Looks like he’s still pursuing the 00 for next season.” … Michael Korczynski notes that Tom Brady Mike Vrabel’s OSU jersey in practice the other day (and note that Vinny Testaverde, kneeling in the background, is wearing the wrong socks). … Hot dogs and baseball: two great tastes that taste great together. … Justin McGrail writes: “I’m watching the Boise State/Nevada game and I noticed that Boise running back Ian Johnson has two number decals on the front of his helmet, a 71 and a 64. Nobody else on the team has them.” Anyone know what this is about? … Pat Tillman jerseys are selling briskly. … Kentucky RB Rafael Little wore one leg sleeve on Saturday. … You probably heard that Ben Wallace was benched for wearing a headband on Saturday. What you may not have noticed is that he was also violating the league’s new anti-armband rules. … High-diddley-ho! Avs goalie Peter Budaj wears Ned Flanders on his mask’s backplate. Why? “According to this page, it was a nickname given to him by one of the Avalanche equipment managers,” says Patrick Lewis. “It’s also worth pointing out that Flanders is holding the flag of Budaj’s native Slovakia, with the country’s coat of arms on his shirt.” … Now that’s right purty. … The Islanders inducted Bob Bourne into their team hall of fame on Saturday, and wore a commemorative patch for the occasion. … Good catch by Jesse Gavin, who writes: “I was at the Vikings/Cardinals game and had good enough seats that I could tell Dwight Smith didn’t have any white socks on during the game.”