I'm back to blogging, and allow me a few thoughts to circle back to the last 24 hours in sports:
The No. 1 team in the NFL? Everyone saw them crush the defending NFC champs last night.
(I may have to revise my "1/4 MVP" ballot to give it to Steve McNair for the AFC and Rex Grossman for the NFC.)
Albert Haynesworth suspended 5 games: It's notable not for the viciousness of his stomp on Andre Gurode's face, but for being the longest NFL suspension ever for an on-field action.
Cubs fire Dusty Baker: Who didn't see this coming? The only question is whether the corporate restructuring within Tribune Co. will keep the Nats from poaching Joe Girardi.
Giants fire Felipe Alou: Hey, I hear Dusty Baker is available...
Remember that old rumor about Duke teammates Christian Laettner and Brian Davis? They're buying the Memphis Grizzlies together. Aww, how sweet...
(Could they possibly convince Coach K to take a pro job coaching the Grizz with Jerry West running the franchise?)
Clemens scandal: Well of COURSE he denies it. The question is: Will Hall of Fame voters hold this against him in the same way they're holding it against McGwire, Sosa and Bonds? Won't believe it 'til I see it.
(Now, the lead prosecutor for the Feds says that the LA Times story contains "significant inaccuracies." He didn't say if "inaccuracies" meant "The L.A. Times has lost all credibility, because Roger Clemens isn't listed.")
NBA Training Camps open tomorrow/Tuesday: I'll try to start rolling out my NBA preview, but I think it's mostly going to be back-loaded to the end of the month, closer to the actual opening game. Amazingly, the No. 1 storyline is the new freaking balls.
Also more tomorrow/Tuesday: It's the actual anniversary of the "Shot Heard 'Round the World," the most famous moment in baseball history. (It's also the subject of a great new book: "The Echoing Green," by Joshua Prager.)
And what about the MLB LDS series?!
I'm going to do a lot more tomorrow (Tuesday) morning in advance of the day's series starts. Here's my gut reactions ("gut" = I picked a Mets-A's World Series back in April in the Quickie):
A's over Twins (no confidence)
Yankees over Tigers (low confidence)
Mets over Dodgers (medium confidence)
Padres over Cards (high confidence)