Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday A.M. Quickie:
World Series Rain-Out Woes and More

Baseball playoff series that have a rain-out are sort of fascinating: Pitching calibrations change, and the travel day between shifting the series from one city to the other evaporates, triggering a day-in-day-out drama of consecutive games.

Two rain-outs, on the other hand, are just lame.

With last night's rain-out -- and tonight's expected encore performance -- not only haven't we had baseball since Tuesday night (with the earliest resumption being Friday), but a potential Game 7 would extend into next week, rather than be neatly wrapped up this weekend.

(What is this, the NBA Finals? The biggest gripe about the NBA's championship series -- and, arguably, the biggest strategic mistake by the usually strategically brilliant David Stern and Co. -- is the interminable delay between games. The argument has always been: If MLB can play a 7-game series into 9 days, why does it take the NBA seemingly interminable weeks to do the same thing? But I digress...)

One World Series rain-out ratchets up the drama and triggers an addictive, "no-nights-off" momentum.

TWO World Series rain-outs, on the other hand, and soon most casual fans are going to forget there's a Series going on.

More notes for today:

Matt Leinart is a "Baby-Daddy!"

Tony Romo to start at QB for the Cowboys: Does that make him Jeff Hostetler to Drew Bledsoe's Phil Simms? I'd like to hear Simms weigh in on what it's like to have Bill Parcells stop paying attention to you.

Tiki Barber hates Michael Irvin!

Big Ben to start Sunday? It looks like Big Ben is going to play this weekend, and I'm feeling deja vu: Haven't I been through this argument before with the Steelers and their fans about putting Ben's long-term future at risk for some suspicious short-term gain?

QB controversy in Jacksonville? David Garrard is splitting snaps with Byron Leftwich to run the Jags' first-team offense. I know Del Rio is just hedging his bets, in case Leftwich's chronic case of "gimpy" flares up, but the coach doesn't seem to be tamping down the controversy angle.

Stop the presses 1: Derek Jeter doesn't give a rat's ass about A-Rod. Not that the Captain loathes A-Rod or anything. He just doesn't feel the need to analyze him for the media, though Jeter did insist that everything is okey-dokey in the Yankees locker room. Yeah, sure.

Is Orel Hershiser going to be the next A's manager? I guess Oakland figures that the guy who helped beat them in the World Series in 1988 is the best-equipped to lead them to the World Series in 2007.

Stop the presses 2: David Stern doesn't want NBA players to carry around guns. Yes, but how does he feel about players who use intermediaries to exact their own vigilante justice on C-list rappers after being mugged outside of Diddy's restaurant?

NBA Preseason: The Raptors are 7-0. I know that preseason records aren't supposed to mean much, but I think Toronto will shock everyone and make the East playoffs this season. (In the West, count me on the Warriors bandwagon; Don Nelson will win Coach of the Year.)

CFB Tonight: Clemson at VA Tech. Doubters! Here's your chance to watch the highest-scoring offense in the country (and the last remaining hope of respectability for the ACC on a national stage) play in one of the more hostile stadiums in the country (even if the Hokies are down this year). Players to watch? The Tigers' 2-headed RB tandem of James Davis and CJ Spiller, the best RB combo in college football.

Coming later this morning: Why Jim Tressel will never leave Ohio St.

Finally, I'm wondering if any of you have new ideas for what to call the Florida-Georgia game, now that the SEC and school presidents don't want anyone to call it the (amazing) "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party." It's become the hot game among CFB fans.

(This effort to tame the name, by the way, is so ludicrous. Ironically, it's a lot like Prohibition: You can attempt to play down the alcohol, but the people won't stand for it. In Prohibition's case, the rules were repealed; in the TWLOCP's case, fans will still call it what they want to call it and mock efforts to do otherwise.)

-- D.S.


Big D said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Big D said...

Just one thought - there's no reason for Pittsburgh to start Big Ben this weekend against Oakland. It's freakin' OAKLAND.

I'm pretty sure Charlie Batch could handle them just as well. Sure, it might not be a 17+ point blowout, but last time I checked, this isn't college football - there are no voters looking at final scores to determine who the better team is.

A win is a win, and the Steelers could beat Oakland with me at starting quarterback (I do throw a pretty nice post pattern...) They don't need to risk Roethlisberger.

Brian in Oxford said...

How about a doubleheader Friday in St. Louis?

Anonymous said...

Michael Irvin may not be a journalist, but there can be no doubt that he is an idiot. has a ton of great ideas of what to call the UGA/UF game this weekend. The leader in the clubhouse is "World's Largest Outdoor [Beverage Redacted] Party"

mrw said...

Thank you, Tiki Barbar, for calling out Michael Irvin as an idiot. It amazes me that that ESPN (or anybody) continues to employ that guy. He's a showboating ass with mulitlple drug arrests - even after being "born again." What'd ESPN do in '05 when police found drug parapanelia in his car? Nothin'. This gives me insight to the future: some network 5 years from now will be hire TO to be their on-air personality, and a role model to millions. Pathetic people, both Irvin and his buddy TO.

Gary said...

I'm mostly upset for the potential rain-out tonight because the Office and My Name is Earl are repeats because they didn't want to compete against the World Series...

Michael said...

With another rainout, that potentially puts the World Series up against Monday Night Football, right? I *can't* imagine that MLB wants to expose themselves that way.

mrw said...

Calling out someone's play or even off-field behavior is expected for major sports stars, but picking on Leinart's baby naming skills is lame. Same goes for his his family planning decisions (or lack thereof). Leave the kid (meaning Cole) out of it.

CMFost said...

What surprises me is that Irvin still has a Job with ESPN and Dan Shanoff does not? Dan what did you do???

Brave Sir Robin said...

You do realize we can tell who wrote the comments given the name at the top right? Just checking.
And, with regards to banning the guns from the arena for NBA players, Stern just wants to make sure no one takes advantage of loopholes in the "no whining to the official" policy. Busting a cap in their ass is not considered whining technically.

Jingoist said...

A guy like Tiki using a word like "facetiously"? I'll give that guy the benefit of the doubt over T.J. or Irvin any day of the week.

Unknown said...

mrw woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

I think Irvin is fine on the show. Loud..sure. But he's made plenty of good points over time. They've ALL made stupid points over time as well.
Irvin, Jackson, et al. have every right to criticize Tiki Barber. Just as Barber has every right to criticize them. is odd..why did Tiki announce this now?

Richard said...


I'm pretty sure Leinart was plenty experienced with contraception. Think about it. If you compare the number of women he probobly slept with at USC (I'm guessing a little over 20,000) to the number of known babies (1), I'd say he did a pretty good job.

Kevin said...

Tiki didn't purposely "announce" his retirement now. His conversation with Ronde was overheard by a reporter and the story grew from there. Tiki has even commented that he DID NOT want it to come out now.

Generik said...

Hey Big D.. Technically every analyst for the NFL rates teams by their performance and not just their record. Look at Dan putting the Pats ahead of the Colts in his weekly rankings. has a power rankings, I thought ESPN also did. True they don't mean anything in terms of making the playoffs or not, but the fans sure seem to care.

I am rooting for the WS to go to game 7 just to see the ratings battle between MNF and game 7. I think we could probably all agree it would be on of the best nights of televised sports ever. New England at Minnesota should be a good game vs. Game 7. The best possible game in any sport is game 7 of the final playoff round. I see the potential for a lot of DVRing, and a ton of flipping back and forth on the remote.

Hende said...

Can any one picture the NRA and their old chief Charleston Heston having a press conference to support the NBA players' right to carry firearms? I would piss myself watching old Moses supporting the thug life.

Between Tiki calling him out, and Tom Jackson calling him retarded, Irvin is getting slammed by his peers and contemporaries. How much longer does the viewing public have to suffer with him?

Kevin said...

Regarding Leinart's baby...

I've always wondered if some of these women that have children with sports stars are just in it for the money (and some fame). Think about the child support money Leinart will owe for the next 18 years. Since it is based on a percentage of his income, she is set for the next 18 years. I image she will earn more in child support than in salary for her full-time job.

Anyone else see this as a possibility, or am I thinking to rationally?

Chris W said...

Why does BC get absolutely no love? I know there is a southern bias in CFB like no other but what must BC do to get any respect whatsoever. I'm not even an Eagle fan, honestly I could care less but as a sports fan it drives me crazy.

They beat VT on national TV and then followed that up with a convincing win in Tallahasse. They also beat a Clemson team that the world is so high on which by default means they beat a very good GT team.

When they win the ACC Championship will they get respect or will the national media (and like it or not Shanoff, you are the national media) just chalk it up to an impotent conference a la the Big East? I'd love your input on this.

TJ said...

Students here will probably keep calling it "The Georgia Game." Which is actually my favorite part of all this. They're going for the name change because students keep dying each year, but I don't ever hear people say, "I'm going to the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party™ this weekend!" It's more like, "Yeah, I'm going to Jax on Friday--you ever been? It's just one massive party. Awesome." I highly doubt any new name could fool people about what Haloween weekend is really about in Jacksonville--buckets and buckets of alohol.

TJ said...

or alcohol, even.

Generik said...

I think you are dead on regarding her income for the next 18 years. I don't know the woman at all, so I don't feel right to question her motives.

And I totally agree with pretty much everyone. Irvin has to go. Half the time he speaks I can't even understand what he's saying. I just don't think he is suitable for a television job. And it is interesting how that drug deal from last year just kind of disappeared.

Drucifer said...

First of all, the name of this weekend's game is "The World's Largest Outdoor Coctail Party", and will continue to be....teetotaling conservatives aside, the fans will continue to call it what they want.

Michael Irvin is a coke snorting, hooker banging jackass and how he ever got a job on the WWL is beyond me. I have yet to watch him and feel afterwards that I have a better understanding of football. Mostly all he does is slurp (to borrow the word) whoever the #1 receiver is on the team being discussed. He's the last retard on the planet that thinks having TO on your team is a good idea.

And finally, Dan, your comments on Matt Leinart were classless and beneath you...but you probably already knew that. Tacky.

TJ said...

And finally, Dan, your comments on Matt Leinart were classless and beneath you...but you probably already knew that. Tacky.

Really? I thought they were tame--he didn't even use the word "bastard"!

Josh said...

I'm more than happy to give credit where credit is due, but calling the Clemson backfield the best duo in the country is EXTREMELY generous when they've played games against the likes of Florida Atlantic University, North Carolina, Temple, and Louisiana Tech. Playing games against those four teams would help Dan lead the country in rushing. So let's not pad their reputation too much here and say that they're good and leave it at that.

Jen said...

I usually just laugh at Michael Irvin and then turn the channel since I can't really understand him either. I'm with cfost though....If that druggie can keep his job at ESPN, what the HELL did Dan do!!!?

Dan, are you EVER going to tell us what happened; even a Cliff's Notes version??

Why the heck is the media insinuating that Jim Tressel would even consider coaching the Browns when Romeo Crennel is still here? Another example of nothing better to talk/write about.

Unknown said...

Dan- Being that Joel Zumaya is your guy.... no mention of ZUMAYA-GATE????

In case you hadn't heard, there was a strange phenomenon in game 3. Zumaya was hitting 99-101 on the radar gun on Fox, as always, but, if you noticed, there were no oohs and ahhs for the normal three-digit figures on the radar gun. The reason was that there weren't three-digits on the stadium scoreboard. Those were the same numbers Carpenter had been hitting all night. Everyone knows that Zumaya's fastball is alot faster than Carpenter's. Apparently it was so striking that Justin Verlander was in the dugout and saw the numbers on the scoreboard and was concerned Zumaya was hurting from his injury again. He went up into the dugout and checked the broadcast and saw that they were the usual 99-101 and he said he was rerlieved. When someone asked Todd Jones about the anomoly he said "Maybe it was 95 Canadian. ... Or metric." And in case you were wondering, the Gameday reading was on FOX's side. So what the heck was going on there. Some people think that they were de-juicing the numbers so that their hitters wouldn't be as scared. I think that may be the case.

Dan....your take?

Tino said...

Simms wasn't benched by Parcels in favor of Hostettler. He was hurt. The Giants went on to win the Super Bowl. Parcels retired and the notorious Ray Handley benched Simms for Hostettler (a terrible mistake). When Handley and Hostettler left, Simms regained his starting position and led the GMen to an 11-5 record and the playoffs in is final year.

Mike said...

First off, Hende, thank you for making the funniest comment I've seen all week.

Josh, as a VT fan, I have to say I'm terrified of the Clemson backfield. If you saw what they did to GT in the 2nd half last week, you'd be too. Spiller made two GT players look silly on the same play, and Davis is better. They're disgusting.

...That said, I'm still going tonight, screaming my head off, and hoping we can shut them down and Brandon Ore runs all over Clemson's D.

But I wouldn't put money on it.

Sean said...

I missed the classles comments about Leinert's baby...where they removed?

WuzUpG said...

MLB and NBA do their championship round wrong, anyway. In a 7-games series, how can the team with home field/court advantage say they actually have the advantage, when the pivotal Game 5 is played on the non-home-advantaged (I would say underdog, but that's not always the case) home. The MLB and NBA use the 2-3-2 format. I believe this format favors the non-home-advantaged team because if they get a split in the first 2 games, then they can actually sweep at their home.

The only sport that has their playoff system correct is the NHL. They utilize the 2-2-1-1-1 format, despite having to fly across country. Hence, the home ice advantaged team has both pivotal games (5 and 7) at home.

Josh said...

Mike -

That's my point, I'm actually NOT afraid of their running game. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they're bad, they are a good tandem, but it's hard to qualify them as "the best backfield in the country" with the way some other teams are running the ball as well. Their stats are EXTREMELY padded due to those four games...didn't they have 7 rushing TDs against 1-6 North Carolina? I'm honestly more afraid of Rutgers or West Virginia and frankly I wouldn't want to have to find a way to defend Cal's running game either (but that's just because I'm a Cal fan and Marshawn Lynch is a beast). I'd say that Clemson has a high calibur rushing attack, but let's not designate a "best of" yet, let's see them get through the ACC and then have to play some actual competition.

Kurt said...

"Yes, but how does he feel about players who use intermediaries to exact their own vigilante justice on C-list rappers after being mugged outside of Diddy's restaurant?"-Dan Shannoff

Hey quit rippin on my boy F-A-B. He ain't C-list compared to the rest of em today.