Cards epic choke continues: I'm reading "The Echoing Green" right now, the full story about the 1951 "Shot Heard Round the World," which capped a wild fall comeback by the Giants to catch the Dodgers and force a playoff.
Right now, the Cards could use a little of the Giants sign-stealing-style cheating to fend off the Astros and avoid MLB's biggest regular-season division-title choke in the last decade.
If it meant the difference between winning and losing the playoffs, would Cards fans approve of a move like stealing signs? (After all, this is the same fan base that made Mark McGwire a god even though he turned out to be the poster guy for the Steroids Era.)
More on this story at the end of the post, because I want to get to the other storylines of the day.
Bonds to play in '07: Based on his 26 HR this season, Hank Aaron's record is as good as broken. (Bonds only needs 22 to do it.)
The BIG question, though, is WHERE? Will he stay in
Here's the upshot: All but a handful of teams would be CRAZY not to make a play for him: He'll be the biggest draw in MLB next season.
Wait: How about Bonds in
Ortiz tacitly approved shipping Manny out of town, but only if the team got someone to protect Papi's prodigious backside. (He ain't hitting 54 HR without a bodyguard.)
The name Ortiz threw out? Bonds.
Schilling drops "IF"-bomb: As in, "If I come back next year..."
Schilling insists it was a rhetorical slip, but he's WAY too media-savvy for that to happen. Maybe he realized he and his team are off the MLB radar and wanted to do something to get back onto it.
A's clinch AL West: "Moneyball" is back, baby. Just in time to make a run to the World Series (as predicted in my Quickie preview in April).
The Tigers are the anti-Cards: Win yesterday holds off Twins (who also won), keeping DET 1 GA of MIN. (Meanwhile, the Tigers are playing for the playoffs; they're going to pull Verlander from his next start to get him ready for the ALDS.)
Dusty Baker wants an answer: "Sooner rather than later." OK, let me make things easy: You're fired. Now, where's Girardi's phone number...?
Hold on: Girardi lobbying to SAVE his job? Sure, you could see it that way, or you could simply see it as public posturing to continue to make him look like the victim in his battle with the owner.
T.O. hospitalized for allergic reaction: What, did his body finally reject the bullshit flowing through his veins?
J'ag-cuse! Are the Colts dirty? That's what Jags coach Jack Del Rio says. Sour grapes? Hey, I'm a Jags fan: I'm on
Warner still Cards starting QB: Well, that "Leinart-to-start" rumor was as baseless as a degree from an online "university."
Vinny Testaverde to the Pats? They're looking at him. He's so old, he makes Brad Johnson look spry. This has to happen.
Dirk signs extension through 2011: Here's a prediction: The Mavs will never do better than last season, but Dirk ends this new deal in the Hall of Fame.
World's Strongest Man Update: The first American in 24 years won the most recent World's Strongest Man competition.
(Shout out to Magnus Magnussen: Holla!)
Notice how no one has ever suggested we institute drug-testing for
Maybe the Olympics should switch to the "Strongest Man" attitude: Hey, do what you gotta do.
Byron Nelson dead at 94: Be honest, how many of you didn't even know the golf legend was still alive as of yesterday?
If you're under 40, you never saw him play – the closest thing was watching the "Byron Nelson Classic."
MNF: Highest. Rating. Ever. At least, for an ESPN show. And it's the second-highest-rated show on cable ever, still trailing the unstoppable Gore-Perot NAFTA debate.
(The true amazingness of these TV-ratings stories is that a public-policy debate was the highest-rated show on cable of all time. Will it EVER be topped? If the Saints homecoming game can't do it -- and it almost did -- I'm not sure what can.)
Still, this most recent MNF rating is pretty amazing. But will it represent the
Undoubtedly, it was the result of an unprecedented combo of ESPN's promotion skills plus the biggest human-interest story the NFL has seen in decades. As the season goes on, it remains to be seen whether the football-related (as opposed to human-interest) match-ups will be as compelling (or, more specifically, as widely watched).
Meanwhile, don't think that the executives over at NBC weren't tracking those MNF-in-N.O. ratings:
I am sure that NBC will take advantage of the new "flex" scheduling for Sunday night, even if it means PASSING on a more intriguing playoff-implicating match-up in exchange for more human interest from
(Though, at this rate, the Saints will be involved in late-season playoff-implication games, too.)
More on today's top story: The Cards have lost 7 straight; the Astros have won 7 straight, leaving them just 1.5 GB.
The Astros have 5 to play: 2 more at
Meanwhile, the Cards play the final 5 games at home – one more against playoff-contending
I can't help but wonder if die-hard Cards fans are quite sure that ending the season at OLD Busch would have assured a division title. NEW Busch? Who knows?
Here's the Cards' fans problem: They're alone. Every other baseball fan across the country -- and you could otherwise not give a crap about the Astros -- is rooting for