Friday , Nov , 17 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Tracy McGrady: I Want to Play Baseball

Tracy McGrady: I Want to Play Baseball Well, I can honestly say that I wasn’t expecting this one. Having made no prior indication that he was seriously looking into the possibility, Tracy McGrady has said that he plans to play baseball following his retirement from the NBA.

The questions about McGrady’s future surfaced after he mentioned his desire to play baseball during an interview with TNT. The segment aired during the first half of Thursday’s game.

If I had to guess which All-Star swingman was planning to pull an MJ by retiring to play baseball, I would have gone for Kobe Bryant. T-Mac, though? I have heard him mention that he’d one day like to try out as an MLB pitcher, but I thought that was intended in the same spirit as my saying that I planned to be an astronaut when I grew up. Then again, with the means to hire the finest trainers money can afford and arms long enough that he could hand the ball directly to the catcher, Mac just might have a chance.

So, just how long until he has Adidas design him some cleats? Sooner than you might think, in fact.

"I’m going to play baseball at the end of my (basketball) career," McGrady said. "I guess (TNT) took that to mean the end of my contract. But who knows what I’m going to do in four years?"

McGrady, 27, said he would probably pursue a pitching career after he is done playing basketball.

"I think I’ll be done with this game in my early 30s," McGrady said. "I would be a pitcher. I got a knuckleball, slider, changeup, curve and whatever."

I hope you can stay with me while I put my second-grade arithmetic to work. Those of you without my prodigious mathematical abilities might like to follow with a calculator. Here comes the science bit.

27 (Tracy’s age) + 4 (years left on his contract) = 31 (i.e. early thirties)

To be honest, I’m not sure where I was going with that. Actually, hang on.

"I think I’ll be done with this game in my early 30s."

That was it. Is he saying he plans to ride out his current contract, then bounce for the diamond? This is all too much. If I had heard that Tracy was giving up the hardwood for grass, I would have thought he’d done a Ricky Williams and dedicated his life to getting high. At least that would explain why his eyes always look as if he ate some “special” cookies for breakfast.