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A view of the Globe Life Field, the newly-built home of the Texas Rangers, with the roof open from a perspective along the third base line is shown in Arlington, Texas, Wednesday, May 20, 2020. The large video screen at the top of the stadium shows upcoming high school graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020 to be held at the park. The Rangers were supposed to have its home opener on March 31, against the Los Angeles Angels, but have yet to see one game played in it this season amid the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Take that... or don't

And the volley continues.

The MLB owners have taken a step backward and returned to the March agreement with its players for prorated salaries.

Now, as the players presented 114 games at prorated salaries and other details, owners are saying, "OK, prorated is fine if we play 50 games."

Which again flips the point of the sterling spear of public perception, because is a third of your pay worth the risk of injury, Corona, time away from family, especially for guys who are going to be free agents after 2020?

The owners are also looking at deferred salaries, and with the labor negotiations looming (the CBA expires at the end of 2021), the unrest between the sides will be magnified well beyond the time we have a Corona vaccine.

There is even a small group of owners who are fine with no 2020 season, and the longer this bickering continues, you have to wonder if that group will grow — in numbers and in conviction.

And know this — as Buster Olney writes here — the relationship between owners and players and the issues facing everyone involved on all levels — from the Dodgers to the Lookouts and every stop in between — are extremely strained.

 

Another reason we need sports

We all decry the hatred and evil that cost George Floyd his life.

We all need to decry the riots that could lose more lives.

And in no way do I think the sports shutdown is in any way a meaningful angle to the the last eight days of painful realization and reflection on how far we still need to go in terms of relations between citizens, law enforcement, races, and so much more.

We could start with the reactions from so many in the sports world, even from normally very reserved and quiet icons like Tiger and MJ.

(Side note: While we are here, the criticism of some of the iconic college football and basketball coaches who are white and make millions off the efforts and sacrifices made by unpaid players, a majority of whom are black has been a talking point. And the issue is real on a lot of fronts, but in some ways it feels forced into this issue in my opinion. Yes, I've had some issues with Dabo Swinney in the past, but his point that he will be criticized for whatever he says and he'll be criticized if he doesn't say anything is pretty spot on.)  

There have been passionate pleas. There has been a lot of anger. There will be more emotion and hopefully we can reach a calmer place that does not include police officers being shot in St. Louis or peaceful protestors — like Dale Murphy's son — being shot in the face with rubber bullets.

Ham-handed segue aside, I could not help but think about the void sports creates in this time. Again, no one in a million years would suggest that if MLB or the NBA playoffs were in full swing it would have prevented George Floyd's death or the understandable outrage and angst and fear that came with it.

The reason sports came to my mind is not as prevention as much as goal to what we can be.

Yes the Rooney Rule and the need of more diverse hiring practices across all of sports is a much-needed goal.

But sports in the macro sense is a better place in terms of relationships and culture than society is.

In the locker room, goals are shared, vision and focus are unified, bonds are formed, and the color that matters is on the uniform not in it.

In the stands, there may not be a more diverse band of interested Americans. I have always heard that the most segregated hour of anyone's week is spent on a pew on Sunday morning.

I will counter that the most blended America's crock pot gets is in the stadiums, ball parks and arenas around the country, when fans of all walks of life celebrate the successes and bemoans the shortcomings of their favorite players, teams and sports.

 

Tuesday in the kitchen

We did a lot of cooking as the extended family went to the in-laws place on Lake Martin over the weekend.

Saturday morning was pancakes — we offered bacon infused, peach, and regular. Saturday lunch was grilled sandwiches.

Side item: If you are responsible for a meal, don't underestimate the sides. (See what we did here, Spy, calling this a 'side item?' Like for lunch, we made sure we had a couple of dips and peppers to go with the sandwiches. As a late afternoon appetizer, we covered grilled scallions and radishes from our Signal Mountain Farms box.

The main course Saturday night was my chicken tetrazzini.


Here's the Reader's Digest steps to our chicken tetrazini, which our daughter requested for her birthday dinner:  

> I dice and cook four large chicken breasts in Big Blue — or cast iron Dutch oven. I cook the breasts in unsalted chicken stock, add a bay leaf and a tablespoon of Italian seasoning. (It takes about 15 minutes after it gets boiling.)

> Boil a 16-ounce package of linguini in salted water.    

> As for the sauce, we go with a softened stick of butter, a 10.5-ounce can of cream of chicken soup, 16 ounces of sour cream (did we mention this is far from fat free), 1/2 a cup of heavy whipping cream, 2 generous tablespoons of parmesan cheese, a generous handful of grated mozzarella cheese, 1 teaspoon of good salt and a dusting of pepper. Mix this together. Add a cup-plus of the hot broth that cooked the chicken to help the mixing process. I add mushrooms and bacon bits. I also have had success with small broccoli florets too, but that's optional.

Add the chicken to the sauce. Now, drain your noodles and mix all of it back in the pot used for the noodles. Again the heat helps the mixture blend.

Add this connection to a greased casserole dish and top with two cups of shredded Italian cheese mix and another couple of tablespoons of parmesan. Bake it for 30 minutes at 350.

Viola.

 

This and that

— Floyd Mayweather has committed to paying George Floyd's funeral expenses.

— Today's A2 column from some fat-faced white guy who thinks 2020 has blended the worst American moments in the last century into five months. That said, if you are looking for some positivity, as my 12-year-old said Monday when we were discussing the litany of sad events of 2020, "At least the murder hornets weren't a big deal." So there's that.

— Many thanks to UTC basketball coach and friend of Press Row Lamont Paris for pulling up a chair Monday. He was great as always, and gang, you will want to go to the end of the audio here to hear Paris' spot-on Morgan Freeman impersonation. Here's TFP all-around sports wizard David Paschall on our conversation with Coach.

— You know the rules, Paschall writes college football stuff, we read and link Paschall on college football stuff. Here's his report on Pat Dye's death Monday. And while we're here, as Paschall notes, the list of six SEC football coaches who won three consecutive league titles is a variable who's who and is a true testament of Dye's underrated greatness. You may have heard of the other five — Bryant, the General, Dooley, Lord Saban and the Ol' Ball Coach.

 

Today's questions

True or false. It's a Tuesday after all.

True or false, Pat Dye is a top-10 all-time SEC football coach.

True or false, MLB will play before July 4.

True or false, you watched all of Lance.

True or false, you miss sports less and less with each passing week.
As for today, June 2, let's review.

Wow, the Wire debuted on this day in 2002. (True or false, you have watched The Wire.) It's still the best TV show eve in my opinion.

Dead Poets Society premiered on this day in 1989. Dude, Robin Williams was such a talented guy.

What else is on Robin Williams' movie Rushmore?

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