Glover, Tay­lor on dif­fer­ent sched­ules, but both ar­rived

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS -

Once again, it’s time to check off some items on my “TIDU List” – Things I Don’t Un­der­stand:

● How Koda Glover grew into his role so quickly.

Just two years ago he was fin­ish­ing at Oklahoma State. Now the 24-year-old is fin­ish­ing Nationals games like a nat­u­ral-born closer. Glover has ap­peared in 22 games and yielded nary a run in 18 of them. Pre­sented nine save chances, he has con­verted eight. And not just his stuff is nasty. He ex­changed un­pleas­antries – and nearly blows – with Dodgers out­fielder Yasiel Puig af­ter a pres­sur­ized, gameend­ing strike­out Tuesday.

Time to res­ur­rect “Nat­i­tude” just for Glover’s sake.

● Why Thad Matta wasn’t shown more re­spect.

Two Fi­nal Four ap­pear­ances, five Sweet 16 ap­pear­ances and five Big Ten ti­tles ought to buy more than the shabby treat­ment Matta re­ceived Monday from Ohio State. Ath­letic di­rec­tor Gene Smith fired his men’s bas­ket­ball coach two months later than nec­es­sary and com­pounded the in­dig­nity by hav­ing Matta sit with him at the news con­fer­ence. “It’s time,” Smith said re­peat­edly. That very well could be true.

But mis­han­dling the sep­a­ra­tion gave the Buck­eyes a cou­ple of black eyes.

● How Alex Ovechkin can rein­vent him­self.

As they age, some pitch­ers rely more on pre­ci­sion. Some bas­ket­ball play­ers rely more on shoot­ing. Some foot­ball play­ers rely more on tech­nique. The Cap­i­tals’ star winger — 32 years old when next sea­son starts — should take note. “He’s go­ing to have to think of ways he can evolve into a player that still has a ma­jor im­pact on the game,” gen­eral man­ager Brian MacLel­lan told re­porters last month. “The game’s get­ting faster.”

Faster and older usu­ally don’t go to­gether.

● Why English in base­ball is a big deal.

Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt said Phillies cen­ter fielder Odubel Her­rera can’t be a leader or fran­chise cen­ter­piece “be­cause of the lan­guage bar­rier.” (For good mea­sure, Schmidt added Her­rera’s love of bat-flip­ping). Then Red Sox broad­caster Jerry Remy ob­jected to Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka be­ing al­lowed a trans­la­tor dur­ing mound vis­its. “I don’t think that should be le­gal,” Remy said. “Learn base­ball lan­guage.”

Hey, old-timers: You can’t make base­ball white again!

● How De’Aaron Fox won’t be an­other John Wall.

It’s more than the fact that both played point guard for John Cali­pari at Ken­tucky. It’s the speed. The ath­leti­cism. And the shaky shoot­ing. “He re­minds me of my­self a lot, just a lefty,” Wall told Com­cast Sport­sNet re­cently. The Wizards star said Fox even­tu­ally could be­come the best NBA point guard from a class that in­cludes pre­sumed top picks Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball. That’s great.

But more im­por­tantly … can the Wizards find Wall’s backup?

● Why Michael A. Tay­lor took so long.

Adam Ea­ton’s in­jury opened a door and Tay­lor is try­ing to seal it for the rest of the sea­son. Pre­vi­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties to be an ev­ery­day player ended in dis­ap­point­ment but the third-year vet­eran has seized his last shot to be more than a de­fense-ori­ented re­serve. Tay­lor is on pace for ca­reer-highs in bat­ting, slug­ging and on-base per­cent­age while his strike­outs and walks re­main rel­a­tively the same.

The for­mer cen­ter fielder of the fu­ture is fine for now.

● How ogling would be a good pro­mo­tion.

Creative ideas of­ten are found in the mi­nor leagues, where teams de­vise in­no­va­tive ways to draw fans and at­ten­tion. But the Og­den Rap­tors, a Dodgers af­fil­i­ate, went too far by an­nounc­ing plans for “18 hour­glass-shaped com­men­ta­tors” in a video-streamed broad­cast. “Gor­geous women whose curves ri­val that of any stud pitch­ing prospect!” said a re­lease, il­lus­trated with bikini-clad women. The team quickly apol­o­gized and said the pro­mo­tion was never ap­proved or sched­uled. Thank you.

Mi­nor leagues or not, sex­ism is a ma­jor is­sue.

● Why more teams don’t fol­low the Jets’ ex­am­ple.

Tank­ing has reached the NFL and the Philadel­phia 76ers are beam­ing over the New York Jets. They said good­bye to two more solid vet­er­ans Tuesday — wide­out Eric Decker and line­backer David Har­ris. Only four cur­rent play­ers are older than 30. The Jets clearly are shoot­ing for an 0-16 sea­son and USC quar­ter­back Sam Darnold with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft.

Just hope coach Todd Bowles is clued in and not cast out.

● How Josh Nor­man will keep his cool.

Main­tain­ing com­po­sure was hard for Wash­ing­ton’s star cor­ner­back last sea­son. With the Skins’ plan to put him more of­ten on the op­po­nents’ best re­ceiver — Odell Beck­ham Jr. and Dez Bryant to name two — more com­bus­tion looms. “It’s go­ing to be bad blood this year,” he told Bleacher Re­port. “You think the NFC East didn’t like each other be­fore? … There’s go­ing to be a lot of fines and maybe some sus­pen­sions.” Fine him now for pre­med­i­ta­tion.

● Why the scent of weed made news.

Af­ter Game 2 of the NBA Fi­nals, The Un­de­feated’s Mike Wise tweeted: “Cavs locker room has a strong reefer aroma to it tonight.” He wasn’t alone in that ob­ser­va­tion. “I did smell mar­i­juana but I have no idea where it came from,” ESPN’s Brian Wind­horst said Tuesday on First Take. The sub­stance is le­gal in Cal­i­for­nia and the scent could’ve been from any­one.

But fir­ing up af­ter an­other beat­down? That would be to­tally un­der­stand­able.

● Brook­lyn-born and Howard-ed­u­cated, Deron Sny­der writes his award­win­ning col­umn for The Wash­ing­ton Times on Tues­days and Thurs­days. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @DeronSny­der.

DERON SNY­DER

Michael A. Tay­lor

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