Thursday, June 13, 2013.
Former Boise State star Shea McClellin wants to be a bull in a china shop going into his second NFL season. Instead, he’s been spending some time as a Bear in treatment. McClellin, Chicago’s first round draft pick in 2012, has been working through plantar fasciitis in his right foot during the offseason, although he has been able to participate in OTAs and is active in the Bears’ minicamp this week. In its report on the ailment, the Chicago Tribune has tried to make McClellin sound injury-plagued, pointing out a knee injury and concussion he suffered during his rookie year.
But the rival Chicago Sun-Times took the contrary view, reporting that the plantar faciitis has been “gone for awhile.” Adam Jahn’s story said McClellin stressed that the injury didn’t bother him during his rookie season and it hasn’t been a significant issue this offseason. “It started in February,” the one-time Marsing Husky said. “I went in right away to see what it was and just got treatment, and it hasn’t affected anything. So I’m good.” So there, Tribune.
Jay Adams at AtlantaFalcons.com has an interesting spin on the NFL club’s tight end situation. “It’s rare when tight end coach Chris Scelfo would ever find a positive in Tony Gonzalez’s absence,” writes Adams. “But during a crucial year—when it’s a virtual certainty that Gonzalez’s career will come to an end at the conclusion of the season—Scelfo is enjoying the chance to get a closer look during offseason training activities at some of the players behind the future Hall-of-Fame tight end. Last season, Tommy Gallarda spent more time on the field than any of the three backups. Gallarda (was) referred to on several occasions last year by the coaching staff as the best blocking tight end on the roster.” The former Boise State standout suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last November. Gallarda made his first and only career NFL catch in October.
The mother of Titus Young’s son has been granted a permanent restraining order against Young, who now must stay at least 100 yards away from Titus Jr. for the next three years. Marjani Maldonado, who attended BSU with Young, made the request for a domestic violence restraining order last month after his first two arrests for suspicion of DUI and attempted burglary. The former Bronco wide receiver, whose once promising NFL career has hit the skids, was bonded out of jail last Thursday.
There is an Idahoan in the field as the U.S. Open tees off this morning at Merion in Ardmore, PA. Moscow’s much-decorated Chris Williams earned a spot as the world’s No. 1 amateur. Despite his best-in-the-world status, Williams has his head on straight. “It doesn’t mean I’m better than the guy ranked 50th, or 150th, or 2000th,” he said yesterday on Idaho SportsTalk. Williams says his realistic goal is to finish the Open as the low amateur. He plans to turn pro for the Travelers Championship next week. The Moscow High grad just finished his college career with the Washington Huskies by winning the Ben Hogan Award, college golf’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. Williams also played in the 2011 U.S. Open after winning Sectional Qualifying.
We’ll see how the Boise Hawks’ starting rotation shakes out after James Pugliese gets the call for Opening Night tomorrow night in Eugene. But it’s likely we’ll see the youngest Hawk on the roster, 18-year-old Duane Underwood, get a start over the next five days. The righthander from Marietta, GA, is still largely unknown, having made just five appearances in rookie ball at Mesa last year, going 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA. But Underwood, the Cubs’ second round draft pick in 2012, has a fastball that “can touch the mid-to-upper 90’s.” He turns 19 on July 20.
If he fulfills expectations, we can always say he passed through here—albeit briefly. Just like, say, Francisco Rodriguez. Javier Baez, generally considered the Cubs’ top prospect in the minors, went 4-for-4 with four home runs and seven RBIs Monday night for the Class A Daytona Cubs in a win over Fort Myers. "That was one of the highest performances I have ever seen in my baseball career," Daytona hitting coach Mariano Duncan said. "He has so much potential, he doesn't even know how good he is.” Baez is batting .291 for the season with 13 homers and 44 RBI. He played all of two games for the Hawks at the end of the 2011 season, going 1-for-6 with an RBI. Oh, and Rodriguez pitched in one game for Boise in 1999.
Normally schools grant scholarship releases with exceptions—as in, you can’t transfer to another school in the same conference. Fresno State must not have had that in the small print for star guard Kevin Olekaibe, who got his release in April. But there are extenuating circumstances. Olekaibe has enrolled in summer classes at UNLV and will try to walk on with the Rebels. He’d have to play the upcoming season if he’s to use his one remaining year of eligibility and would need a waiver from the NCAA to do it. But he has a case. Olekaibe told the Las Vegas Sun that he left Fresno State because his ailing father was transferred to a Las Vegas hospice after two strokes left him paralyzed from the waist down and unable to speak.
So what is Gary Stevens up to now that the Triple Crown series is over? The 50-year-old Hall of Fame jockey who got his start at Les Bois Park is back in his comfort zone on Southern California tracks. He’ll be riding a filly, Byrama, Saturday in the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park. Since Stevens’ thrilling wire-to-wire win in the Preakness Stakes, he has been the envy of jockeys half his age.
How about Boise State men’s tennis coach Greg Patton getting the Key to the City yesterday? Mayor Dave Bieter awarded it to the local icon at his State of the City address—only the eighth ceremonial key Bieter has handed out in his 10 years leading City Hall. The mayor called Patton a “force of nature” who deserves more credit than anyone for bringing the Davis Cup to Boise. The inscription on the award reads, “His vision, tenacity, and boundless enthusiasm brought the 2013 Davis Cup Quarterfinals to Boise and have inspired young people to strive for excellence in tennis and in life.” It was those qualities that prompted the Idaho Tennis Association to induct Patton into its Hall of Fame two weeks ago.
This Day In Sports…June 13, 2000:
Steve Young announces his retirement from the San Francisco 49ers. Young successfully emerged from the longest shadow imaginable—that of four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Joe Montana—to become the highest-rated passer in NFL history. Young won one Super Bowl and yearned for another, but four concussions—the final one early in the 1999 season—spelled the end for the former BYU star and future Hall Of Famer.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)