Fast food for thought . . .
Just back from vacation. Anything happen with the Sabres?
*But seriously. I kept scouring the transaction wire the last two weeks for word of a front-office shake-up. I mean, from Drury to Briere to Vanek, this had to be one of the 10 worst negotiating jobs in the history of pro sports. But at least the sky's not falling. Or so I'm told.
*Of course the Sabres had no time to talk contract with the aforementioned three. The franchise was tending to matters of vital importance, such as the possibility of playing a home game outdoors. Well, at least their priorities are in order. They did get a patent on their reshaped hockey net before moving on to other frivolities.
*Call me old fashioned, but I remember when Bills games didn't sell out until after tickets went on sale.
*I see where Barry Bonds is disgusted with himself over his current batting slump. Took him that long to find a reason, eh?
*Give me Jim Furyk in The Open. Carnoustie rewards accuracy and patience, and Furyk ranks top five in both categories. Plus he's overdue for that second major.
*The 33-49 New York Knicks owe more than $45 million in NBA luxury tax for last season's payroll. Next in line are the Dallas Mavericks, at just over $7 million. Cats should have as many lives as Knicks President/coach Isiah Thomas.
*Saw University at Buffalo football coach Turner Gill rip it 300 off the tee a couple of weeks back. Wouldn't have thought much of it except he was hitting 2-iron. And plays about four times a year.
*Speaking of UB, on the surface I like the idea of basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon tapping former Mid-American Conference Player of the Year Turner Battle to replace departed longtime assistant Chris Hawkins. But I can't help but wonder if Battle, just two years removed from the program, has the recruiting contacts and savvy to quickly excel on the job. Hawkins landed some big fish, including Battle.
*Gotta love this line from Sports Illustrated NFL writer Peter King: "If I had a quarter for every time I heard, 'This is the year the Cardinals finally make that leap to respectability,' I'd be Warren Buffett."
*Where does Jeremy Jacobs get off telling the Sabres they should raise ticket prices? Wasn't the lockout intended to restructure the sport's economics, bring salaries into line, make the games more affordable? So I guess what Jacobs is really saying is the lockout was a waste of time. Not that we haven't figured that out on our own. The Sabres have had a horrendous offseason but give them credit for respecting fan finances.
*It'll be interesting to see if the "no tolerance policy" regarding athletic misbehavior set down by new President Gordon Gee flies at Ohio State. Gee disbanded the athletics department while overseeing Vanderbilt -- Vanderbilt! -- because it seemed to operate as a separate entity detached from campus life. President is a powerful position on any campus. But let's be real. Athletics grease the university gears and boosters supply the fuel. No way Gee gets away with taking a Roger Goodell approach into OSU.
*This just in: The Cleveland Indians have given manager Eric Wedge a three-year contract extension. A contract extension? Negotiated during the season? Is that radical or what?
*Seve Ballesteros announced his retirement from golf Monday. Meanwhile, George Washington made it clear he won't seek a third term.
*The Sabres have gone through seven captains in the last eight seasons. Of those only assistant coach James Patrick is still with the organization. I hear Brian Campbell's changing his name just to get the "C" off his jersey.