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Van Gundy Making UML Proud

By From the Lowell Sun

By Teddy Panos

A few disharmonious thoughts while hoping Susan Boyle is OK (question for those blaming last week's breakdown on her newfound celebrity: Did it ever occur to you that while the wheel was spinning, the hamster might have been dead all along?):

* Could there be a bigger contrast in styles between NBA Finals coaches Stan Van Gundy and Phil Jackson? At the most tense moments, Van Gundy looks like he could go Fred Sanford on us and have the big one right there on the sidelines.

Jackson, on the other hand, looks like he's about to ask someone to pass the Grey Poupon.

It's great to see Van Gundy succeeding despite criticism from a couple of egomaniacal former co-workers. The former UMass Lowell head coach was all class when slick Pat Riley pulled the rug out from him in the middle of a championship season with the Heat, which is more than you can say about Shaquille O'Neal, who publicly ripped Van Gundy earlier this year.

Van Gundy coached at UMass Lowell for four seasons, from 1988-92.

Win or lose, you've done the Mill City proud, Stan.

* How the heck have the Red Sox had so much success the last three years with the horrific situation at shortstop?

The old baseball adage holds that strength up the middle (catcher, pitcher, shortstop and center field) translates to wins. Well, I don't remember a single team in my lifetime with such a disastrous run of shortstops doing what the Sox have done.

They won a World Series with Julio Lugo, advanced to Game 7 of the League Championship series despite playing an injured rookie, Jed Lowrie, and career utilityman, Alex Cora. Now, they're attempting to do the same with a combination of Lowry, Lugo and the immortal Nick Green. It has to catch up with them at some point, doesn't it?
* After a winter that seemed to last forever, it's comforting to realize the Spinners' season opener is only a week and a half away.

The acrimony of the lease negotiations can finally be put behind us and we can get down to the best summer night in the area: baseball at LeLacheur Park.

* Thinking of buying an authentic, Vince Wilfork Patriots football jersey? You might want to hold off.

They're going to be selling at a huge discount in February 2010. The Pats nose tackle is as good as gone after this year.

* Did I read that correctly: Tiger Woods hit every single fairway during his final round Masterpiece at The Memorial?

I don't even dream that good!