Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday A.M. Quickie
(Everything But the LCS)

*Who was the Mets' bigger Game 1 hero?

*Why is LaRussa on the hot seat?

*What's the ALCS' biggest X-factor?

I've got a complete LCS post coming.

Meanwhile, the rest of today's big news:

Did Alfonso Soriano reject a 5-year, $70 million offer from the Nats? The Nats are denying it.

Wait: Are they denying he turned it down or that the mega-deal was proffered?

Either way, it's a bad start to the most intriguing position-player free-agency of the MLB offseason.

CFB Thursday: Ranked teams can take advantage of the lack of clutter to make statements when they play on Thursday night:

Good: Clemson. The No. 12 Tigers did what they had to do: Put up a nice, staggering number (63) on a terrible opponent, so that poll voters who simply look at scores affirm in their minds that Clemson is a legit powerhouse.

Bad: Virginia Tech. Everyone – me included – should be ashamed for having the Hokies as high as No. 11 as recently as two weeks ago. VA Tech lost its second straight game – and this one was brutal: A 22-3 loss to B.C., which was KO'ed from the Top 25 for the crime of having a bye week last week. This should get them back in.

Oh, and Steve Aponavicius for Heisman!

Complete CFB Weekend Preview coming later today.

Now that the new NBA ball is passe as the hot button for the new season, the trendy point of contention is the league's new crackdown on player griping.

Kevin Garnett has the quote of the debate so far, after last night's game where the T'wolves collected 3 Ts, including 2 on Mark Blount.

"To the fact that you can't really speak to the refs, the refs don't want to hear it. That's almost like Communism. That's like Castro." Didn't North Korea manufacture the new NBA ball?

NBA Preseason: Quickie readers know my fascination with Jordan Farmar, the only Jewish NBA player. (I like to claim that my own game resembles Farmar's, just without the skills.) He had 10 points and a game-high 5 assists in the Lakers' win last night. Get him in the rotation, Phil! (And where's that replica jersey for me to buy, NBA?)

Police arrest Lloyd Carr stalker: That's nothing, if Carr can't beat Penn State tomorrow (let alone Ohio St next month).

Brad Daugherty is ESPN's newest NASCAR reporter. Having cognitive dissonance? Apparently, he's been a NASCAR guy for a long time.

Kurt Warner said he's considering retirement after the '06 season. Considering that his starting days are over and that he's gotten his bell rung more than Notre Dame, why not make the jump to TV now?

More CFB Top 25 Stuff: I meant to link to this yesterday. My non-nemesis Dan Steinberg raised the ante on the Top 25 analysis, actually finding the ranking that could very well be the Most Sensible. Ranking. Ever. (Hint: Leave it to the gamblers.)

As someone mocked on national TV for being a high-talker, I am unwilling to make voice jokes about Avery Johnson, who just got a new 5-year, $20 million deal to keep coaching the Mavs.

The Little League World Series is going to institute pitch counts next season. Now, if only they could do something to limit those insane coaches.

And, finally, it's nice to see justice served: That baseball coach who wanted to bean the autistic boy was sent to prison. Rot in hell, "Coach."

(Oh, and I want to give a huge shout-out to Joshua Prager, author of the phenomenal new book, "The Echoing Green," for having a tremendous book club performance last night in NYC. He couldn't have been nicer, and the stories he told -- and songs he sang -- really enhanced what is already a spectacular book that I recommend everyone read.)

Coming today on the blog:
*MLB LCS Mania!
*CFB Weekend Preview!
*NFL Week 6 Picks!
*College Hoops Midnight Madness!

-- D.S.


Jake C said...

Easily a combo deal between Glavine and Beltran for last night's win. Who would have thought we'd see a 2-0 game in this series at all?!

How long have I been saying VT is overrated? Hmmm...just all year. VT always starts off the season higher than they should be.

ALCS biggest X factor from here on out is simply the A's hitting with men in scoring position. That's been their problem all year, and it's a major problem now.

Alfonso to the Mets to replace Floyd in left. Watch for it. (As Milledge + prospect is traded for Willis).

That "coach" should be banned from EVERY sporting event for life as well.

Unknown said...

I just want to thank you Dan and everyone else who thought VTech was any good. Having them as 3.5 point favorites lastnight really helped my bank account.

There was no doubt in my mind that BC would win that game lastnight and how about Steve Apanavicius how is this not the best story in CFB since Rudy?

Big D said...

2 Quick thoughts:

'Fonzi is going to turn down every offer until the Mets' season ends. He knows they want him the most, and will probably pay the most. The Nats could offer him Manny money and he'd still say no. A-Rod money; he'd consider it.

Second - Carlos Beltran might be the biggest postseason threat at home plate not named Big Papi. Not that he had a bad regular season, but was there really any doubt he'd step up huge against St. Louis... again.

Anonymous said...
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MP said...

Can't agree more about Kurt Warner.

And as for Brad Daugherty, he has been a NASCAR fan for a long time. He grew up in NC, said his childhood hero was Richard Petty, and I think he even partly owned a Busch Series team for a time.

Whether he'll be a good announcer in the pits, I can't say. I wish him the best of luck, but I just have this odd feeling that ESPN and ABC are trying another one of those "Dennis Miller" projects. At least Daugherty will have some more knowledge...

Kurt said...

Why do we care about Jewish basketball players? You don't see Catholic fans searching for Catholic players to root for. Why should someones religion have anything to do with if you root for them or not? Dan why can't you just like Jordan Farmar because he's a good player, or would you like him less if he wasn't Jewish? Is it just me or do Jews just enjoy pulling the religion card.

rafael said...

It's just you, Kurt, who is obviously way too uptight on this.

WHy does it matter to Dan that Farmar is Jewish? Because there are very very few Jewish NBAers.
As if Catholics don't root for Notre Dame strictly on religion.

It's the exact same reason I am a fan (albeit casual..i dont like NBA ball) of Carlos Arroyo. How many Puerto Ricans in that league!?

Jewish people use a religion card. Gimme a break.
Minorities use the race card too much too right?

rafael said...

Oh, in case you forgot, Kurt. Dan is Jewish as well.

ToddTheJackass said...

Dan, thirdstringjd is right, how could you forget to mention Steve Apanavicius in the quickie? That's one of the coolest stories in College FB all season.

As a guy who used to sit in the student section at BC, I'm very proud of 'Sid Vicious'. After all, he did way better than Ohliger!

But you're right, BC didn't even play that well (lots of missed opportunities), and the story [other than Apanavicius] was how terrible V-tech looked... and Herbstreit was all over them for it too.

Go BC!

-Todd (Boston)

Dan Shanoff said...

Rafael makes the right point:

I'd say it's part cultural pride, part novelty.

And I'm sure there are quite a few fans who can relate -- not to my choice, per se, but in their own way with their own player(s) of particular interest.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I don't know of Jews pulling religion cards (and what are these religion cards? are you perhaps speaking of the "Rabbi cards" Ben Stiller's character is playing with as a child in the beginning of the Movie he starred in with Ed Norton and Jenna Elfman that was entitled "Keeping the Faith"?

You misunderstand Shanoff. What he's saying is that Jews are not athletic. As basketball is the most athletic of the sports (yes more than football, lineman aren't athletic) and the NBA is the highest level, that Jews are not common there.

You will find many Jews in the MLB because baseball doesn't require much athleticism. These would be Brad Ausmus, Scott Feldman, Shawn Green, Mike Lieberthal, Gabe Kapler, Jason Marquis, David Newhan, Doug Minikeivitz (or however you spell it), Adam Stern, Scott Shoeneweis, and of coarse as Dennis Leary knows Kevin Youkilis.

Also Jews are commonly very short so that will hinder your NBA-ability.

And as a Jew I do find myself rooting for my people at all times.

Brian in Oxford said...

What's the story behind the pitch counts in little league? When I played, pitchers were limited to 6 innings per week, anyway. If a game went extras, you had to switch pitchers. Is that rule not in play at the LLWS?

(P.S. I struck out ESPN's NASCAR-guy Mike Massaro in Little League after he hit two bombs for HRs off our starter. I peaked reeeeal early.)

Has Kurt Warner "tested" for TV work? What's the appeal with QBs as analysts, specifically....I do think that as the center of attention, they're more likely to be polished speakers. But there is a glut of them. Not as many defensive players seem to become analysts.

Jingoist said...

Here you go Dan...

You can go order your very own authentic #5 "Farmer" Lakers jersey.

As the NBA store says, "Personalize it!" (If by "personalize" you mean, put another guy's name on your jersey to wear because it makes it more "personal" for you.)

TJ said...

I'll agree rankings made by the oddsmakers seems like an extremely sensible idea, but then you look at the rankings. In several places they make rankings that would result in universal outrage, by fans, media types, coaches, everyone. Texas #2?! Over USC, Mich, and UF?

Maybe Texas is that good, maybe Ohio State really is the only team they wouldn't beat, but most people (you especially, Dan, based on what you've written) prefer rankings based on what the teams have actually done. If rankings were pure talent or pure potential, LSU would still be #2.

Ed Lamb said...

I'm with Herbsteit and Fowler on dogging Virginia Tech. The players just didn't show up last night. They should be ashamed of themselves, as Herbie noted repeatedly in the fourth quarter. I'm a lifelong Hokie fan, and I'd be surprised to see them win two more games this year.

Kurt said...


Were you a hockey fan, would you root for Anson Carter or Martin Brashear a bit more because they're black?
- mkud

I'm not black, that's the Notorious B.I.G. in my avatar if you were wondering. And even if I was black I wouldn't root for a player in hockey because his skin was as certain color. Race and religion don't cross my mind when I root for players, I just find someone who's likeable and someone who I envision I would play like myself.

Anonymous said...

Regarding that coach who pull that move on the autistic boy. Did he really was sent to prison for that? of for other reason? I mean I agree, the guy is a jerk for doing that, but isn't a little extreme if that's the case? would that set a precedent for all sports?

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Although DS(teinberg)'s readers didn't understand the concept, I realize that it's impossible and makes no sense to complain about anything in the Vegas Poll.

I do have some genuine curiosity/confusion about a couple of those numbers, though. Of course, Texas at #2 is surprising. All the Horns have done is lose big to a good team, and win (big, I think) over awful teams (I love the Big XII). How come another team with a solid defense and OSU-caliber offense (I think there are plenty of those) couldn't dismantle Texas in a similar manner? And don't tell me Colt has become Tom Brady in 5 weeks.

And is this Michigan pre- or post-Manningham incident? I'd imagine that matters, right? (I don't think it's allowed to matter in the standard polls - maybe that's the real difference.)

And... wait. There are 100 teams Miami could win games against? Very interesting.

I can't (definitely won't) argue, because these guys know what they're doing one way or the other, but I'm actually very interested.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

sergio -

a) I thought your name must be made-up, like maybe you were one of those people who send me spam emails, but then I read your grammar. So, I'll buy it.

2) What the hell do you mean? I mean, I can understand if you're wondering exactly what the charges are, but it sounds like you think this guy doesn't deserve to be locked up for 10 years and separated from children for life. A little extreme? Certainly not.

And what do you mean, 'would this set a precedent for all sports?' I'm thinking maybe you haven't read the story. Coach said, "Hit the developmentally disabled kid with a ball so he can't/won't play, because he sucks and we don't want him bringing us down. I'll pay you." Doesn't that sound universally unacceptable to you? In any sport, or setting in life?

And as far as the actual charges, maybe this will make more sense: "Fayette County Judge Ralph Warman sentenced 29-year-old Mark R. Downs Jr. of Dunbar, Pa. to consecutive six-to-36-month sentences for corruption of minors and criminal solicitation to commit simple assault."
Sound like reasonable, jail-time-worthy crimes, don't they? And they're both open-and-shut cases. I think this guy's actions are like the definition of both offenses.

He should be in jail, or compelled to perform years of community service (none of which involves children).

WuzUpG said...

Where's the LV NFL Rankings?

Anonymous said...

I read that story about the father who asked a player to bean the autistic child so he wouldn't have to play him his 3 innings in a playoff game. BTW, this was a tee-ball game with 8 year olds. That's right, this pathetic father was living out his fantasies of being a tough ass manager with 8 year olds in a tee ball game.
I really hope some big bad ass MFer in jail beans him upside his head every day he is in jail. Also lucky that he didn't order that against my kid or he wouldn't be serving time in jail, he would be in hell already.
I rarely get this emotional about a story.