Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday A.M. Quickie:
LDS Look-Ahead and More!

In analyzing the state of the four LDS series, which one of these things doesn't look like the others?

Cards-Padres: Over
Mets-Dodgers: Over
A's-Twins: Over
Yankees-Tigers: Whaaa?!

For every Tigers fan who might be nervous about putting the series in Kenny Rogers' hands in the first game in Detroit tonight, there must be 10 Yankees fans freaking out about Randy Johnson controlling their team's destiny.

Twins at A's: Brad Radke pitching with the equivalent of a wet Kleenex hanging from his shoulder socket is inspiring, but Oakland is going to close it out at home this afternoon.

Padres at Cards: Both pitchers (Young and Suppan) were moved around in the playoff rotation to give each team what it perceives would be an edge in the first game in St. Louis. Here's the REAL edge: The Cards are up 2-0 with 2 to play in St. Louis. Cards close it out tomorrow.

Mets at Dodgers: Unlike the A's or Cards, the Mets still have to win once on the road to ensure that they don't blow a 2-0 lead and have to win a pressure-packed Game 5 back at home. Steve Trachsel should give Mets fans low confidence, and the Game 4 starter is up in the air. Still picking the Mets to win; the Dodgers were cooked after the double-out at home plate in Game 1.

Stephen Jackson's version of NBA Training Camp: How appropriate for the one-time Palace Brawler that his '06 season begins with an incident at an Indianapolis strip club where he fired a gun after being hit by a fist (and a car). Does he want to avoid running wind-sprints THAT bad?

Clinton Portis' crazy characters return: Winning obviously inspired Portis to break out a new zany press-conference character: Dolemite Jenkins, who came out to greet the local media in a "Vote for Pedro Santana" T-shirt, a dual reference to "Napoleon Dynomite" and his interest in having teammate Moss win NFL Player of the Week.

Sixers lose exhibition opener: No, it's MUCH worse than that. The Sixers became the first NBA team to be beaten in Europe – and only the third NBA team since 1988 to lose to an international team.

Arguably, this is MORE embarrassing than Team USA's performance in the World Championships; that team's excuse was lack of chemistry. The Sixers played together all last season.

Now, you could say that Philly had no motivation and that the Euro team was probably playing like it was their NBA Finals, but what bigger motivation could there be than avoiding humiliation?

Of course, with the Sixers, ongoing humiliation seems to be their goal. Expect a quality "Trade AI" rumor ASAP to take the attention away from this debacle.

N.C. State upsets Florida State: But it's only an upset if you haven't seen how utterly mediocre the 'Noles are this year. Are they still thinking that Jeff Bowden is a good replacement for daddy Bobby?

(Meanwhile, despite being 3-2 overall with losses to Akron and Southern Miss, suddenly the Wolfpack is 2-0 in the ACC, with wins over BC and FSU. Not too shabby. That's coach Chuck Amato chilling his hot seat.)

Gators reinstate top DL: Just in time for the national Game of the Week against LSU (and next week's game vs. Auburn and the following game vs. Georgia), Florida has reinstated suspended DT Marcus Thomas, the team's most dominant lineman. Coincidence? I'm a Gators fan, and even I have to chuckle at this one. In a game that should be low-scoring and made (or broken) on one or two big plays, getting a premier defensive player back in the lineup could be the difference.

Nats want Braves' Pendleton? Apparently turning their attention away from Joe Girardi, the Nats are looking at Atlanta hitting coach Terry Pendleton as their next manager. The Braves stunk last season, but at least their OPS was 2nd in the NL. (The Nats are also reportedly talking to Dusty Baker. That sound you hear is the enthusiasm of fans being sapped.)

Penguins earn a RIM-job: The guy who runs Blackberry is buying the Penguins. (Obvious idea for the team's first game promotion: The first 5,000 fans 18 and under get a free Blackberry!) At least the guy is from Canada.

Andre Gurode won't press charges against Albert Haynesworth, but he wants to know something that is unknowable: Why? He'll never get an answer, probably because Haynesworth himself doesn't know.

Coming later today:
*CFB Weekend Preview!
*NFL Week 5 Picks!

-- D.S.


Chris said...

If there's one thing that'd make me watch the NBA, it'd be the introduction of a European division - that could be huge over here. It goes into the whole issue of what constitutes a mainstream sport and what constitutes a niche sport, but in a global sense, basketball is probably second only to football (soccer) in popularity (among team sports). Cricket and rugby would also vie for that honour, I think.

Chris said...

Of the three 0-2 teams, the one I give the best chance of coming back is San Diego - that series is still alive, in my opinion, despite the Cards' homefield advantage. The Twins are done and the Dodgers need something huge from Maddux tonight to get them going.

Geoff-Detroit said...

The Tigers game was so amazing yesterday. Just a shame it wasn't in prime time so the country could see Joel Zumaya hitting 102-103 mph.

Dan Shanoff said...

I just posted a "Lead Item" entirely about Zumaya, in the post above this one. It was originally at the top of this post, but it was so good as a stand-alone item that I pulled it out. Zumaya is the new face of these playoffs.

nyc-steelers fan said...

So you gotta love Fox; the most exciting thing to happen in the playoffs, double tag at home (I was at that game; LoDuca earned himself a lot of love there); Fox shows the replay, and says, it is becoming known as 'The Play.' Can't you coming up with something better? 'The Play?' Can't anything be called the play? Jeter's flip; Rose's rebound catch; A-rod's slap. You can call them all the play. Come on, what about, the Double Tag, or the LoDuca Miracle, or the LoDuca Lucky Turnaround, or the Dodgers Baserunning Blunder, or the 'Hey third base coach, there's a reason they don't put armless people as baserunning coaches' Flub, or 'Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, couldn't have happened to two nicer guys.'

Not much else to say about last nights game, since I don't want to jinx anything. But its nice the Mets were the only team in the city to win last night (god, a subway series would be nice and all, but I'd prefer not to have to fight with obnoxious yankees fans, especially given the likely result).

Generik said...

I live in Indy and the Stephen Jackson incident should be interesting to see play out. It sounds like it was a case of self defense, but still.. what were 4 Pacers doing at a strip club at 3am, adding to that, 3 of them were packing heat. The Pacers have started an advertising campaign locally where the jist is roughly: "We know we put a crappy product out on the floor the past 2 years, this year is different, give us a chance". Should be fun to see them spin this little incident to the local fans who barely have an interest in the team since Reggie Miller retired.

Kind of sad, but the Pacers are becomming the new Trailblazers. Used to be a running joke that the Blazers were nothing but criminals and dope smokers, and now every year the Pacers season seems to get derailed by 1 or 2 bad seeds.

Tee Isenhour said...

Go Gators!!!

I am laughing as well, but I am giddy about having Marcus back. Hopefully Meyer won't feel like he has to sit him for the 1st half....

The Red Terrors said...

Full disclosure...I am an NCSU grad and fan.

You stated that Amato's "hot seat" is cooling. That is rubbish -- it never actually existed. The hot seat in question was completely a media creation. The NCSU administration and, most importantly, the football boosters were and are clearly in Amato's corner. Regardless of this year's record, Amato was not going to be fired this year or next.

Brian in Oxford said...

So, are strip clubs the way for NBA players to avoid being hassled by groupies?


Funny that the next topic would be the RIM-job, now? I wonder if a Canadian would eventually move the Penguins into Canada....Winnipeg or Quebec? And will Gary Bettman crap the bed thinking about it? Is there any chance Pittsburgh shells out more public money for another arena this soon? (Actual question there, not sarcasm)

The Twins are the only one of the 0-2 teams with a realistic shot. Especially because of how awful the A's are at closing series out.

Tim said...

What does anyone do at a strip club at 3 a.m.? At least he was provoked and he didnt shoot it AT someone.

Im also from Indy, and what does it say that something like this happens, and I'm not even the least bit surprised?

Richard said...

You know, NC State is quietly 2-0 in the ACC with wins over BC and FSU. Warrants mentioning. Currently Wake, NC State and GT are the only ACC teams undefeated in conference. If Clemson beats Wake this weekend, GT and NC State will be riding shotgun to Jacksonville. Strange year in the ACC. Not that I'd mind that result. Go Jackets!!!

Manada said...

"Penguins earn a RIM-job" - Classic DS..loved it.

I think Pittsburg will be the one getting a RIM-job out of this, as soon as they don't approve the new arena plans and he moves the team to:

a) Kansas City - Return of the Scouts? New arena is there and a market waiting to be tapped.
b) Hamilton, Ont - a pipe dream, but he does have the exclusive rights to Copps Coliseum.
c) Winnipeg, Man - they're freaking out over this....really want that team
d) Quebec City, PQ - Poutine and Labatt 50 for all!!!

Worldwide Reader said...

But it's only an upset if you haven't seen how utterly mediocre the 'Noles are this year. Are they still thinking that Jeff Bowden is a good replacement for daddy Bobby?

I am a huge FSU football fan. Huge.

But Dan is right - this program is slowing delving into mediocrity, much like what happened to Nebraska after their dominance in the 90s/early 00s. And I hate to say it, but it's all Jeff Bowden's fault. The guy simply needs to go.

And when Papa Bowden does retire, we all know who needs to come back: Mark Richt, the genius behind that once-potent offense.

TBender said...

Albert Freakin' Pujols.

That is all.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Marcus Thomas will be huge for the Gators. Apparently it's a school decision and not an athletic department decision.

Joe (Dayton)

manninghamheisman said...

Let's talk college football, anyone? Dan can you start a comment section for that. You KNOW that's the best sport in the world. Nothing beats NCAA Foootball baby! You have your Gators, I have my Wolverines. We need to sing about it!!!

Brian in Oxford said...

or as it's also known, the minor leagues...

manninghamheisman said...

Nah ain't the minor leagues. It's the purest sport. No 'roids, no trading. Team allegiances are all set. You don't have satellite fans and band wagon fair weatherers. It's just soo pure and beautfiul. And the fact there is no bracket or playoffs makes every game like a game 7 World Series game. Trust me, I know as a Wolverine fan. Every team we even come close to losing I am about to barf. I want to win it all this year compadre

Jen said...

Yeah! I want a CFB blog started please!


manninghamheisman said...


You guys have a cupcake schedule going ahead till we meet...we have 3 tough ones (MSU, @PSU, Iowa) and then 3 cupcakes (NW, Ball State, @Indiana) Pretty good chances we both go unbeaten till we meet.

Are you jealous that Manningham chose us instead of you even though he's from Ohio?

Jen said...

Not at all. I have never heard of him until this year! HAHA Where is he from?

The Buckeyes may have cupcakes coming up, but their September schedule was the grueling part, unlike Michigan's. Do you really think MSU will be tough for them? Penn State? Maybe? Iowa? Hmmm, that's a toss-up but I don't think they are a threat either.

I see two unbeatens playing Nov. 18th. That is going to be a GREAT game! It will be like 2002.

Jen said...

Oops, the OSU-UM game will be like 2002-- as in close.

Badass Of The Year said...

You know I feel better with Trachsel throwing than I'm sure many yankee fans feel with Randy out there. Trachsel doesn't have gaudy numbers to say the least, but he usually gets the W for us.

I totally agree with you nyc-steelers fan, we need a better name than "the play" for what happened. I think I'm now officially referring to it as the "Lo Deuce." And yeah it was so nice to have the spotlight all to ourselves last night. Thank you Zamaya!!! Thank you A-Rod!

And I'm a Cowboys fan, but I'm still soo happy Clinton Portis' characters are back, its great for the league.

I'd be worried if I was a Florida fan, and not just because you are going up against a fierce LSU D with a team that can't kick. Remember all the talk of bad karma if Mack Brown reinstated our supsended defensive starters against OSU? And our guys actually passed their drug tests! But you know, actually nevermind, we could've used them that night in Austin, karma be damned.

Myles! said...

You'd think Dan would have learned not to declare a series over before it is, after 2004. Oh well, whatever.

The Twins aren't dead. If Radke pulls this one out tonight, they have the pitching to pull out the final two. Not saying they will, but they can.

As for the Padres and Dodgers... I don't see it happening, but still, it most definitely can. It's not outside of the realm of very legitimate possibility, in either case, by any means.

The heroin sheik said...

You guys have to realize why he is being reinstated by the university. He failed a drug test for POT over the summer. Roughly three weeks later he failed again with a lower lever of the drug in his system that is consistent with not having smoked pot in a few weeks. Sure he failed his second test but for the same offense as his first time or so he claims. He was suspended at the beginning of the season as is required by policy but when they wanted to add on another five games for the seond failed test he appealed because he claims it is due to this "one time" he passed the dutchie. The school is simply acknowledging that herb stays in your system for a long time after you smoke so it is entirely plausible that he did only smoke this one time.

My thoughts on this are that he most likely smoked out over the summer and had a really high level of thc in his fat cells. It probably did stay in his system for around 30 days so maybe he did really get screwed. The biggest problem with suspensions in college sports is that you rarely hear what they did because they are students. You might catch bits and pieces of what occured but you might not catch the whole story unless you read every paper every day. Sort of like Peter Warrick at FSU. You know he had the hookup at dillards but how many people know how much merchandise he had accumulated over the length of this scam. You can't believe that this only occured one time and he just happened to get caught. I figure that unless it is right before the championship game most infractions will be overlooked outside of your direct state and anywhere your rivals are. Im sure most of the country never heard about the cell phone scandal at UCF back when daunte was there and the subsequent dismantling of pretty much everyone who was involved with the football team. Personally I could care less about what goes on at every college west of the mississippi unless they play in the SEC or someone I know is affiliated with them.

When the gators win this weekend 17-13 will all of gator nation call it the greatest homecoming ever?

BLUE said...

The sixers losing is not a big deal. Most of these guys haven't been playing basketball until 5 days ago. Plus in an exhibition game does Iverson or Webber play normal minutes? No's just practice...that's what we're talking about... Practice.

nyc-steelers fan said...

Yeah, the LoDeuce. Not bad. I like it. Way better than 'The Play'. If Fox had been around 35 yrs ago, Franco Harris catching a ball off the carom and running it in to beat the raiders would have been called 'The Catch.' And then what would we have called the Dwight Clark play against the cowboys? Come to think of it, maybe those witty folks at Fox were news journalists in the Bay Area about 25 years ago.

At least I'll be able to tell my grandkids I was at Shea the day of 'The Play.' They'll be like, what? And after I explain it, hopefully they'll wonder why they didn't come up with a better name for it.