Steve Butler, thewest.com.au's man in Melbourne, provides the AFL scuttlebutt being kicked around the national competition.Catch Butler's Bouncedown on Today Tonight, 6.30pm tonight.
IT’S OUTTA THERE
Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson is an unabashed fan of American sports to the point where he is considering a tilt at low-level baseball in South Australia later this year.
But Sanderson may have some problems living out his dreams of smacking a home run if he is as bad at the sport as he says he is.
"I love baseball," Sanderson told WTBH. "I always wanted to go to a Yankees-Red Sox game, which I’ve done. Then next thing I want to do is have the thrill of hitting a home run.
"I’ve been to batting cages but I can’t bat. So this summer I might actually play, like, Div. 5 baseball. So something that I’m not good at and play a really low division to see if I can hit one out of the park.
"I think what I’d actually do is probably lead the league in strike-outs and lead the league in errors in the field. But it’s nice to challenge yourself with something that doesn’t come naturally."
But before then, Sanderson will be hoping his Crows can throw enough fast-balls to blast Fremantle off their diamond at AAMI Stadium tomorrow.PAV LOVER
Adelaide midfielder Bernie Vince is unlikely to spare too much sentiment for Matthew Pavlich when the Dockers skipper returns his home State to play the Crows tomorrow, but he does have a soft spot for his fellow Woodville-West Torrens recruit.
Both Vince and Pavlich were named last year in the Eagles’ AFL team of the past two decades - the latter in the centre and the former at centre-half-forward.
Pavlich, whose dad Steve is a life member of WWT, was also named captain.The star Crow made it clear this week that he had plenty of admiration for the Fremantle captain.
"I’ve always loved the way he goes about it," Vince said. "Fremantle haven’t had the biggest success compared to other clubs, but year in, year out he performs really well and he’s a champion of the game, Pav.
"I’ve got massive respect for him and he’s been on fire, especially the last month or two.
"He’s their key indicator of how well they’re travelling. When he’s going well, they’re generally going pretty well themselves."But the adulation stopped at premiership points. "I was pretty pumped to be in the (WWT) team with him, but it will be more important to knock him off this weekend," he said.
SHOWING THE FINGER
Geelong coach Chris Scott is always refreshing and was especially so this week when asked about his thoughts that in two more games, his former Brisbane teammate Luke Power would reach the magical 300-game milestone.
"I regard anyone who plays 300 games as a champion, based on longevity alone," said the veteran of 215 games for the Brisbane Bears and Lions.
"But Luke’s got a lot more than just longevity. He was a fantastically talented player at the Lions, but a great leader as well in a really good team.
"m sure the influence he’d be having over those young GWS boys would be significant. For a man with nine and a half fingers to play 300 games is amazing."
WTBH has since found that Power, now in what is likely to be his first and final year with Greater Western Sydney before going on to a coaching career, lost part of the said digit in childhood when he inserted it into a pool generator fan.But Power, who also played alongside Scott’s identical brother Brad, was unamused by the cats boss’ jibe. "Which one was Chris again?" Power quizzed. "They were both just thugs to me."
Geelong defender Tom Lonergan was one of the first teammates to jump into the arms of an excited Tom Hawkins' arms after the kick which continued Hawthorn’s hoodoo against the Cats at the MCG last Friday night.
But the moment may never have happened had Tom 2 listened to the advice of Tom 1 to kick it to Jimmy Bartel after taking the now famous mark near siren time.
“Originally when he took the mark, he walked back and wasn't looking forward,” Lonergan told WTBH this week.“I saw Jimmy free in the pocket and I thought, 'Mate, he's done it before, he's the man to kick it'. So I said, 'Jimmy's free' and Hawk just looked at me.
“His eyes said, 'I've got my kicking boots on today, Tomsy'. I knew that he was pretty confident and it was one of those nights that was really good for goal-kicking.“I was just in front of him and you could just hear it come off his boot and it looked pretty nice. Once it was in line, you knew it was going straight through and it was an amazing feeling.
“We had a bit of a dinner and watched it together the next night … Tom's face was priceless.”
Lonergan once rightly wondered whether his No.13 guernsey was a bit too unlucky, but thinks that luck had since proven to have turned when his first premiership medal came calling last year.
The Yarrawonga product this week gave praise to former Carlton and Brisbane badboy Brendan Fevola, who is this year tearing it up for the Pigeons in Victoria’s Ovens & Murray Football League.
Lonergan said his dad was still a proud Pigeon at a club which ironically wears identical blue and white hoops to Geelong.
“The old man gives us reports, he still goes and is really involved in the club up there,” he said.
“Fev's doing wonders for the town and the league, it's great and helped tremendously. He touched me up a couple of times and taught me a few things early in my career."He's a fantastic player and would fit in quite easily in a couple of AFL sides at the moment.”
HE’D LOVE TO HAVE A BEER, DUNCAN
It’s been a big week in the AFL and it’s war on social evils, as Dane Swan and Tom Liberatore have found.
But the AFL’s education message about the over-consumption of alcohol has obviously sunk in with Geelong utility Mitch Duncan as moderation was the theme even when he turned 21 in June.
“I hardly did anything at all, just a couple of quiet beers with the boys and that’s it,” Duncan said.
“That’s all you can do in these times. There will be plenty of time to celebrate later on.”
Duncan, who became a premiership player last year in just his 29th game, also said had not taken his place in a once-in-a-generation team for granted since his 2010 debut.
“It’s a fair while ago, but it’s gone so quick and I’ve learned so much in that space of time,” he said.“But I’m kind of mates with them all now and I pretty much know them inside and out. It’s still a great feeling and I’m proud to be at the club, I’m loving it.“It’s pretty special to be a part of it.”
Staying at Geelong, WTBH now goes back to the well that just keeps on giving in the club’s weekly section titled "Something that may interest only me".Here is this week’s edition ahead of tonight’s clash between the Eagles and Cats at Patersons Stadium:
"Brothers Joel, Adam and Scott Selwood have all lined up against each other a total of four times. In these four matches spanning from 2008-2011, Joel averaged 26 disposals, Adam 15, and Scott 14. The Cats were victorious in all four of these matches by an average of 48 points."
Fancy having legendary coach Mick Malthouse staring at you from your bedroom ceiling or kitchen wall?
Well, Victorian artist Jacqui Grantford is offering a strictly limited 250 prints of her Archibald Prize entry depicting Malthouse and signed by the triple premiership coach.
When contacted by WTBH, Malthouse confirmed he had the 2.1m x 1.5m original on his wall at home and admitted to having the occasional long, hard look at himself.
He said he was happy with Grantford’s work and was typically blunt when asked how he compared to the legendary Mona Lisa."She hasn’t got a smile has she? I have," he quipped. Those wanting to buy one of the prints can check out the details at http://www.grantfordprints.com/category_v3.aspx?categoryID=66.