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Even before it started, Bobby Valentine's tenure as Red Sox manager was an unmitigated disaster. But, with a new crop of hot young prospects, a quarter billion in bad contracts shipped to LA and a top-10 pick in this year's draft, was Bobby V's reign really as bad as we thought? 

Before Chicago ended it, the Miami Heat's winning streak created enough excitement that ESPN picked up an Orlando Magic game. In March. So why does it seem like we weren't particularly impressed, or worse, just don't care? 

La Salle University's basketball program has had its happy moments, but very few over the last two decades. After storming from the play-in game to the Sweet 16, this most family-oriented of March Madness underdogs is having one now, and sharing it widely.

Tracy McGrady and Gilbert Arenas were expected to change Chinese basketball, and both came to the Middle Kingdom with visions of both on-court stardom and off-the-floor mogulhood. They were both good enough to score tons of points, when healthy, but life on China's basketball frontier wasn't easy for either, for reasons both similar and different. Part two of two.

On Sunday, baseball season began in Mexico City with an olympic archery demonstration, a jersey retirement ceremony, and a first pitch thrown out by Trevor Hoffman. The game itself, between Mexico City’s Diablo Rojos and the rival Tigres de Quintana Roo, started an hour behind schedule. It then lasted four and a half hours and featured 42 hits.

Former NBA All-Stars had gone to China before Tracy McGrady and Gilbert Arenas made the trip this year. For a variety of reasons, the arrival of these two was supposed to be different. It didn't quite work out that way.

Virginia Commonwealth left the NCAA Tournament earlier than usual, but has emerged as a miniature dynasty of sorts in recent years, and remains one of the foremost examples of mid-major excellence. But this ascent is both more complicated and more exciting for VCU diehards than you might expect.

In the long list of films about college basketball, only one dares to cast Kadeem Hardison as a ghostly version of J.R. Rider, and it happens to be the only one that understands how wise it is to cast David Paymer as a hard-driving basketball coach. The 6th Man is that film.

David Roth

 et al.

Sim Bhullar is 20 years old, 7-5, 355 pounds and plays with a unique and persistent sleepiness. He is maybe the weirdest and certainly one of the most bizarrely watchable players in the NCAA Tournament. In short, he's someone worth talking about.

For all the things that can divide a father and son, from different personalities to a father's obligations to a military at war, there is something in sports that brings, if not quite understanding, a certain unity. It's a good thing.