Baseball Talk With Knight

By David Scott - October 17, 2007


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As you'd expect, Bobby Knight was worth the price of admission -- and more. Knight addressed just one basketball-related question in his 15 minutes of pure gold, preferring instead to focus on his other passion, baseball.

Much to the chagrin of moderator Peter Irwin who wanted to get basketball questions asked of the coach, Knight led off with an assessment of the ALCS between Cleveland and Boston and proceeded to take almost all baseball questions.

"The Cardinals [and Knight's good buddy, Tony LaRussa] are out so we've got to root for the Indians as Eric Wedge is my next good friend," said Knight in his opening statement. "Any questions on the ALCS?"

As Irwin tried to steer the questioning to basketball, Knight playfully rebuffed him. "Peter, they think I'm really knowledgeable about baseball."

The baseball questions kept coming, including Knight's thoughts on whether LaRussa could wind up in Kansas City as the Royals manager.

"What LaRussa does will depend on what he think is the best situation for him to compete for a championship," Knight said, allowing for a proper pause. "Which might leave the Royals out.

"Hey, we may get through this whole thing without any basketball questions," Knight smirked.

When a basketball question finally did come to Knight regarding one of his freshmen, Knight said, "We've only practiced four times so it's tough to say. When you sign a kid, you think he can play or else you wouldn't sign him. We didn't sign the sumabitch to be a cheerleader."

The questioners changed gear a bit by asking about another Knight friend, horse trainer D Wayne Lukas. "He's got nothing for the Breeder's Cup for the first time in a long time, so I think he may working on recruiting now."

The questions returned to baseball.

Would you have started Beckett last night and then brought him back for a potential Game 7?

"I don't know enough about it and apparently Beckett wasn't in the best of health last night," Knight said. "But maybe he got enough rest to be able to bring it back to Boston which would be huge. You know, for four innings last night, [Tim] Wakefield was untouchable. You've got to understand that in coaching, you have to make first decisions. It's you guys who make the second decisions."

Can the Indians beat the Colorado Rockies?

"If I knew if the Indians could beat them, George Bush would be asking me how to get out of Iraq," he said before adding. "I appreciate you all realizing my exceptional talent in analyzing baseball."

Finally, as he got up and headed off the dais, Knight put his arm around Irwin and said, "I'm gonna leave here unscathed and these sumabitches are all yours, Peter."

Posted by David Scott at 11:09 AM on October 17, 2007
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