Today in sports: Josh Hamilton burnishes his legend, the NCAA is investigating the country's top basketball recruit, and Shawn Kemp tries his hand at Shakespeare.
Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton tied an MLB single game record with four home runs last night against the Orioles. Hamilton's emergence over the past five years as one of the top hitters in the game after nearly washing-out because of drug and alcohol problems after Tampa Bay made him the first overall selection in the 1998 draft led to somewhat obvious compariosn between the outfielder and Robert Redford's Roy Hobbs character from The Natural. This doesn't work for two reasons: first, Barbra Hershey never took a shot at Hamilton on a train. And Roy Hobbs never hit four home runs in a game. [AP]
The NCAA is somewhat predictably sending investigators to examine the eligibility top prep basketball player Nerlens Noel, who has already committed to Kentucky. Louis Baldi, the principal at Noel's old high school, said the meeting with investigators lasted 15 minutes and that they didn't ask "any investigative-type questions.” Crack work as always, by the NCAA. This naturally raises the question: why is Neriens Noel being investigated? Sources tell Pete Thamel of The New York Times that it has something to do "Noel’s relationship with Chris Driscoll, a former Providence assistant" who was banned from the campus of Noel's New Hampshire boarding school this year because school officials "expressed concern earlier this year that Driscoll did not have Noel’s best interests at heart," possibly because they were worried he might try to sway him towards one school, a spectre The Times raised in a hugely unflattering profile of Driscoll that ran back in March. So there's that. Also, sources say the NCAA wants to look at plane flights he took to visit Kentucky and Louisville, which the schools didn't pay for. It's very murky and might not amount to anything, unless it's one of those things the NCAA arbitrarily decides should amount to something, in which case look out Nerlens Noel. [The New York Times]
Here's something fun: former future NBA legend Shawn Kemp, whose career was derailed by cocaine and becoming the size of a prefabricated toolshed, attempting to perform a scene from The Taming of the Shrew with Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelley. But wait until you see what Petruchio can do in the open court [via Ball Don't Lie]
No more Linsanity until the fall, unless the Knicks somehow manage to defeat the Heat with help from a DARPA shooting guard prototype and maybe Bill Bradley in his prime. Knicks coach Mike Woodson confirmed Lin will miss the rest of the series, leaving him free to speak at any graduations still in need of a briefly inspiring underdog. [SI]