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Thoughts about things

This morning, I wrote a column about the Wichita sports figures – or people important to our city’s sports history – who deserve to have a statue in their likeness erected. I hope people take this to heart. It would be a great thing for Wichita. I came up with 10: Joe Carter, Hap Dumont, Ed Kriwiel, Xavier McDaniel, Satchel Paige, Jim Ryun, Barry Sanders, Dave Stallworth, Gene Stephenson, Lynette Woodard.

I would really like to see something like this happen. So I’m willing to put up the first $150. How would we go about taking up a collection? Any ideas are welcome.

Sad to hear about the passing of Paul Splittorff, the winningest pitcher in Kansas City Royals history. Split, as he was knownPaul Splittorff, who died Wednesday at the age of 64.around the Royals, was nothing close to a dominating pitcher. But he was the epitome of the word “crafty,” a left-hander who figured out how to retire hitters. He didn’t blow them away, but he painted corners and changed speeds and was a true pitcher.

After his baseball career ended, Splittorff became a very fine broadcaster for the Royals who was able to branch out and do college basketball games. Very talented guy who will be missed.

I think Lauren Alaina wins tonight on “American Idol.” It’s not a slam dunk, but she’s a better singer than Scotty McCreary. Both will do just find going forward, I think. It’s been a good year for talent on AI, not such a good year for the judges, whose inability or refusal to offer much in the way of critiques has made their roles almost irrelevant. I really like Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, but they’ve become one-trick ponies over time. Thank goodness for Jimmy Iovine, who has become the most interesting of the non-contestants on the show.

Not sure why I’m liking LeBron James so much. But I am definitely pulling for the Heat and for James, even though I hated the way he chose to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer. I swore then I would never pull for James, yet here I am.

He’s just such a dominant player. So big, so strong and so agile. I mean, the guy was guarding lightning-quick guard Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls during much of Tuesday night’s Eastern Conference finals Game 4, which Miami won to take a big 3-1 lead.

James is a freak and it’s hard to take my eyes off of him. Plus, I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I just think he did a dumb thing with his one hour ESPN special to announce he was taking his talents to South Beach while simultaneously sticking it to adoring Cleveland fans.

Dallas looks like a lock to wrap up the Western Conference championship, probably tonight in Game 5 in Dallas. The Oklahoma City Thunder just doesn’t have the experience or maturity yet, even though I think OKC is a more talented team than Dallas. I’ll be curious to see how Thunder stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant grow from this point forward.

In this series, Westbrook and Durant have not had the kind of chemistry you’d expect from the point guard and star player from an elite team. Westbrook doesn’t look comfortable being a distributor and Durant has to have the ball in his hands on almost every possession if the Thunder is going to be successful.

They’re both such young guys, but it almost looks to me like Westbrook is going to have to make some concessions about his own game if OKC is to be a legitimate championship contender.

I’m really enjoying watching the St. Louis Cardinals play baseball so far this season. It’s been a real over-achieving team, what with Adam Wainwright lost to Tommy John surgery, Albert Pujols struggling through the first two months to find his stroke and Chris Carpenter going into today’s game against San Diego with one victory.

Yet the Cardinals are 10 games over .500 and 3 1/2 games clear of Cincinnati in the National League Central thanks to guys like Daniel Descalso, Kyle McClellan, Allen Craig, Eduardo Sanchez and Fernando Salas.

Fun stuff. I’m a very good front-runner. Catch me when the Cardinals lose four or five in a row.

Thanks for reading. I’ll try and check in with a couple or three blogs a week.