I asked Red Sox manager and former Mets skipper Bobby Valentine if he'd rather deal with the Boston or the New York media. "Neither," Valentine said. "I'd live in a nice little vacuum and play the game and not have to deal with people who have to either describe what happened or make up something about what they wish they saw." ... Cavs coach Byron Scott says Steve Nash's defensive shortcomings won't change anything in Los Angeles. "The Lakers have always been a pretty bad defensive pick-and-roll team," Scott told me. "It doesn't matter who they have at point guard." ... MLB Network analyst John Smoltz is fed up with teams' limiting pitch counts—especially in the minors. "They don't give these guys enough time to figure out what kind of pitcher they are," Smoltz told me. "Then we wonder why they aren't the pitcher they need to be when they get to the big league level." ... Swimmer Dara Torres just missed the Olympic cut at age 45, and understood why even at 27, Michael Phelps decided to race one less event than he did in Beijing: "He's four years older and realizing that what he did in 2008 was unbelievable, but it's tougher as you get older."