Mickey Callaway, Greg McDermott, and a day to be committed, apparently

Commit to the bit, no matter how awful, eh?

Commit to the bit, no matter how awful, eh?
Illustration: Getty Images

The theme of yesterday was being “committed.” Not actually being committed though, just saying it out loud. The Cleveland baseball team said it, after the story broke about them covering up Mickey Callaway’s behavior while he was their pitching coach. But, as Craig Calcaterra points out, just about everyone is “committed” to something. Except they keep using that word, but I don’t think it means what they think it means.

Calcaterra pointed that out before Creighton head coach Greg McDermott could get in on the fun. Seems McDermott, while addressing his players after a loss on Saturday, twice referenced staying on “the plantation.” This of course drew some curious, if not angered looks. McDermott was on the apology tour on Tuesday, which meant he had to be committed. Don’t miss your cue, Greg!

“Over the last 72 hours, I have engaged in multiple difficult conversations with student-athletes, staff, parents and university administrators and I realize the pain that my words have caused. For that, I sincerely apologize. I am committed to ensure that this will never happen again and am using this as a learning experience.”

If you’re getting really technical, McDermott should have said “I will be committed,” because clearly he wasn’t until having to issue his apologies. He certainly wasn’t on Saturday. The problems run deeper than that obviously, but it would have been a start.

Even if he’d run for the bastion of it being a time of emotions running high, it’s still an awfully gross analogy to be waiting among hismental files. Especially for a long-term basketball coach. Though apt, because college basketball and football are a different form of plantations.

It’s an extension of something we’ve gone over before, which is the “that’s not who I am” that is uttered by individuals after various indiscretions. Even though it clearly is, otherwise they wouldn’t have done whatever it is they’re apologizing for and using that phrase. It’s not really taking responsibility for what you fucked up, as Calcaterra points out. It seems to be the phrase du jour for organizations. “Hey, we’re trying, this one just got through the net. Now look over there!” It’s trying to categorize something as merely a minor slip-up on the path to righteousness, not a structural problem. It’s minimizing, when what everyone really needs is a true appreciation of the size of the fuck up so that the clean-up is thorough.

Tomorrow’s another day. We’ll see who’s committed to whatever it was they didn’t pay attention to before saying they were committed to it today.

Let’s get to actual games. The Pittsburgh Penguins welcomed back fans last night to PPG Arena, though they were without Sidney Crosby who ended up on the COVID list. That didn’t stop them from scoring a couple of the prettiest goals you’ll see in a 5-3 win over the Flyers. First on the power play to take a 2-1 lead:

All five players touch the puck on this power play goal, and the last four are all first-time passes. It’s a coach’s wet dream.

The Pens topped that one by going the full 200-feet with all five touching the puck, and the final insult was Cody Ceci finishing it off. That’s Cody Ceci, who once had all of Ontario using his name to describe what the dog coughed up:

Sure, it might have helped if the Flyers’ forwards backchecked with slightly more passion than waiting to get your ear flushed, but art is art, people.

Staying in the NHL, Andrei Vasilevskiy posted his third-straight shutout, this one over the Dallas Stars. He hasn’t given up a goal in over 200 minutes of play now, and his season SV% is .942. That’s seven points better than the second-best mark amongst goalies. His goals-against is 1.65. For reference, the best goals-against average in the past ten years was Jonathan Quick’s 1.95 in 2011-2012, and the best SV% in that time is TIm Thomas’s .938 the year before that.

While anything that happens this season is going to be viewed through a skewed prism, given the shortened season and limited opponents, Vasilevskiy is on a heater rarely seen in the league in recent history. The Bolts already had probably the best roster of skaters in the league. Doesn’t seem fair that they’re getting historic goaltending now as well.

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