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Frankly Frankel: June 4, 2016

04 Jun

Former Baylor President Ken Starr is the new poster child for ineptitude, the Cavaliers blow an incredible opportunity in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Mookie Betts goes off, and the Jets’ negotiations with Ryan Fitzpatrick take a turn for the worse.  This is Frankly Frankel on this Saturday, June 4, 2016.

  • Before I get into everything that’s gone on in the world of sports, I have to remember the true legend we lost early this morning in Muhammad Ali, aka the greatest who ever lived.  Ali was one of the most charismatic, influential, and transcendent athletes who ever lived and he will be dearly missed.  Rest in peace.
  • Starr’s initial answer, the most believable one, saw him say, “I honestly may have (seen the email), I’m not denying that I saw it.”  This was just the beginning.
  • Starr then got a redo thanks to his media consultant Merrie Spaeth, so he tried again.  “All I’ve got to say is I honestly have no recollection of that (email),” he said.  Better, but when he was done answering, he looked at Spaeth and asked if his answer was good enough.
  • And then after another coaching session, Starr finally gave the answer he should have given right from the start.  “I honestly have no recollection of seeing such an email and I believe that I would remember seeing such an email (as he begins to smirk while answering).  The president of a university gets lots of emails.  I don’t even see a lot of the emails that come into the office of the president.  I have no recollection of it.  None.”
  • I honestly (pun intended) don’t even know where to begin.  I guess I’ll start with the fact that Spaeth requested to KWTX that the embarrassing answers Starr gave not be released to the public, according to the station’s news director Mikel Lauber, and Lauber said no.
  • As someone who took ethics in Journalism classes in college, I’m not sure I would have done the same thing knowing that releasing Starr’s answers would essentially ruin his reputation forever, at least not now (at age 22) and I would have needed many more years of industry experience to have the guts to make the same call Lauber made.  Saying that, you really can’t argue with his decision.  The station had the answers on tape, and the public has the right to know what Starr said.
  • But since we did get to hear Starr’s answers, I can’t not share how I feel about them, so here it goes.  How in the world does someone seemingly this inept end up serving as president of a university with a student body of nearly 14,000???  It seriously sounded like Starr had never given an interview before and couldn’t have been more clueless about “political correctness.”  I don’t even want to imagine what his speeches as president sounded like if this interview is any indication.
  • And the worst part about the whole thing was that when he finally gave the right answer, he couldn’t keep a straight face and began smirking when talking about a rape that happened at Baylor.  The man just resigned from the school because of his handling of sexual assault claims, and smiled when talking about it.  No words.
  • When the issue of how the football program at Baylor and the university handled the sexual assault claims first arose, my initial thought was that this was just another typical example of the greediness in college athletics and the lengths schools will go to to not constrain any revenue that the football team could potentially bring to the school.  But it wasn’t until I heard Starr’s interview with KWTX that this case had proved to truly be one of a kind.
  • The NBA Finals began Thursday night, and I couldn’t have imagined Game 1 going worse for the Cavaliers.  The only way it could have gone worse was if LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, or Kevin Love got hurt, but no one on Cleveland did.
  • If you would have told me before the game started that Steph Curry and Klay Thompson would combine to score 20 points (their lowest combined point total of the season by the way) and the Warriors would still win, I would have laughed in your face and walked away.
  • Thompson and Curry haven’t played that poorly in a game in the past two seasons, and it was a golden opportunity the Cavaliers let pass by them and something that is highly unlikely we will see again this series.  I originally picked Cleveland to win the Finals in seven games because of the fact LeBron almost single-handedly beat the Warriors in last year’s Finals and he would have Kyrie and Kevin Love back healthy this year, and considering everything LeBron has on the line.
  • LeBron can’t have a 2-5 career record in the Finals and be considered THE greatest player of all-time, losing to Steph Curry two years in a row would change a lot of people’s mind about who the real best player in the world is, and the fact the city of Cleveland has put the weight of the world on LeBron’s shoulders to deliver a championship to a city that hasn’t won squat since 1964 made be believe the Cavs would win.
  • After the opportunity the Cavs couldn’t capitalize on in Game 1, and I know this may be an overreaction, I can’t see Cleveland recovering from that, but we shall see.  What I can say for certain is there’s no chance Cleveland is able to come back from losing Game 2, which would mean the Cavs would be going back to Cleveland for Game 3 down 0-2, to win the series.  That’s not happening.
  • Since Curry and Thompson were basically non-factors in Game 1, Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala ended up stealing the show.  Livingston scored a playoff career-high 20 points, and finished the night shooting an incredible 8/10 from the field, and Iguodala was a game-high +21 and finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.
  • When Livingston left the Nets after the 2013-2014 season, I knew the team was making a mistake and there’s no doubt Brooklyn could certainly use Livingston’s presence right now considering the point guard position is the weakest link on the team.
  • It’s incredibly remarkable to watch the type of defense Iguodala plays and I’ve never seen another player be able to contain LeBron James as much as Iguodala can.  If he’s not the best defensive player in the game, he’s easily top three.
  • As much as this pains me to say, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts went on one of the most unbelievable home run tears I’ve ever seen this week.  Betts, who’s just 23-years-old and is listed at 5’9 and 180 pounds, hit three home runs on Tuesday night against the Orioles and followed that up by hitting two more in his first two at-bats in the first two innings of Wednesday night’s game.
  • In all, Betts hit five home runs in seven at-bats, tying the MLB record for most home runs in a two-game span, and became the first player in MLB history to hit a home run in the first two innings of consecutive games.  Just wow.
  • As unexciting as it is to be a Yankees fan right now, there probably couldn’t be a more exciting time to be a Red Sox fan.  I just finished detailing the run Mookie Betts went on this week, and Jackie Bradley Jr., who couldn’t hit a lick in parts of three previous seasons in the Majors (.189 in 37 games in 2013, .198 in 127 games in 2014, and .249 in 74 games last season) is hitting .331 this season (entering Friday’s action) and who just had a 29-game hitting streak come to an end, has been a renaissance man this season, and Xander Bogaerts has built on his successful 2015 campaign by hitting a scorching .348 entering Friday and is looking exactly like the player Red Sox fans were praying he would become.  The same cannot be said about the Yankees who’s future couldn’t look any more bleaker.
  • After reportedly having a three-year deal worth $24 million and $12 million in the first year on the table since March, Ryan Fitzpatrick seems to be willing to compromise and accept a one-year $12 million deal from the Jets.  Not surprisingly, due to cap constraints, the Jets would have to do a ton on contract maneuvering to accommodate the one-year pact Fitzpatrick is seeking and the two sides agreeing on this deal appears to be extremely unlikely.
  • I’m almost at the point where I’m questioning whether all of this nonsense with Fitzpatrick is really worth it.  If the Jets were dealing with a Pro Bowl player or someone that had a proven track record of success, I could understand it, but Fitzpatrick is just a placeholder at quarterback and it’s not like his return would ensure a trip to the playoffs.
  • If Fitzpatrick is going to threaten the Jets and sign with another team which has been reported as something Fitzpatrick is considering, he can be my guest.  After all, if there really is another team interested, we would have heard from them by now.
  • As sad as it is to be a Jets fan, losing out on Ryan Fitzpatrick, who again has never played in a playoff game to another team in free agency wouldn’t come close to falling in the “same old Jets” category.  Not even close.
  • Be sure to tune in next time for another edition of Frankly Frankel and make sure to follow me on Twitter @lucasfrankel.
 
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