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This is going to make some heads explode (M and A?), but what the heck?! A wonderful column today in the LA Times by TJ Simers on the Coach. The Coach was at the Angels/Yankees games yesterday, and look what he had to say about some of pinstripers:

Inside the Yankees' clubhouse, Derek Jeter grabs Wooden's hand and wants to know, "Have you been staying out of trouble?" and it's like Mean Joe Greene tossing his jersey to that kid, the kid in this case being the old coach.

"He is my favorite player," Wooden says, "because of his demeanor and because I played shortstop as a youngster."

Demeanor is very important to Wooden, he says, so someone wants to know what he thinks of Brad Penny's recent demeanor.

"I didn't approve of Gen. Patton's style but would want him on my side during time of war," he says. "Someone asked Joe McCarthy what it would be like to manage a [cantankerous] Ted Williams. He said, 'Anyone who can't get along with a .400 hitter shouldn't be managing.' "

JOHNNY DAMON corners Wooden, and Wooden admits later he thought "this was one guy I wouldn't like because of his beard and long hair. It only took me a year," he says, and the Yankees' clean-cut rules, "to change my mind. He's a very nice young man."

Mike Mussina says he read something Bill Walton had to say and wants to know what Wooden thinks of it.

Wooden chuckles. "Bill likes to talk," he says. "His mother tells the story that Bill had a speech impediment and learned to talk by watching different newscasters. But it's like she says, the newscasters forgot to teach him how to stop."

A-Rod takes a seat before Wooden on a piece of Yankees luggage like a youngster at his desk, and listens intently as Wooden begins reciting poetry. When he gets the chance, A-Rod asks for Wooden's autograph and Wooden signs a "Pyramid of Success" placard, "To Alex Rodriguez."

The look on A-Rod's face suggests he has never seen the Pyramid before, but he wants to know more, and so it goes for the next 10 minutes or so because there's nothing that gets Wooden going these days like the chance to teach again.

Awesome read. To be fair the Coach also visited the Halos, but there is really no doubt, when it comes to tradition, which team is the UCLA (Hoops) of MLB:

Now we need someone to put together something like that up celebrating our 11 hoops banners.