Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wednesday A.M. *VERY* Quickie

I have to take my son to daycare this morning, so I won't be able to weigh in fully until later in the morning. For now, here are a few things on the radar this a.m.:

*Big East/ACC Challenge: It's obvious now that Maryland is painfully underrated at No. 21. They won the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament and, last night, became the first non-conference team to win at Illinois since 1998. Are the Terps this year's Gators? (I thought Maryland's women's team -- defending champ, all five starters returning -- was this year's Gators?)

*BCS bowl picks: Specifically, which way will the Rose Bowl go if USC beats UCLA? Word is that they'll take LSU. But wouldn't it make more sense if the Sugar Bowl didn't *automatically* get the SEC champ (if they're not in the BCS title game), so we could see a real "3-vs-4" game? 3-vs-5 is nice, but not the same.

(Of course, if Florida loses to Arkansas in the SEC title game, then LSU *will* be the No. 4 team. Look, can we all simply agree that the answer should be: "Anyone But Notre Dame.")

*MLB Hot Stove: The Red Sox signing JD Drew is only interesting in that it catalyzes the trade of Manny Ramirez out of Boston. Speaking of Boston, MLB won't let them apply their $51.1M posting bid to Matsuzaka's actual contract -- some rare common sense from MLB.

(Meanwhile, the Yankees won the bid on a Japanese pitcher with half the posting price but more than half the talent. It doesn't take an MBA to see the relative value there; it remains to be seen whether EITHER pitcher will be worth the huge outlay of cash.)

*More Hot Stove: Who else thinks that the White Sox are robbing the Angels by potentially getting rising starting pitcher Ervin Santana (and Chone Figgins) for Joe Crede and Freddy Garcia? "The Other" Santana could end up nearly as good as "The Cy" Santana.

*Obligatory Bama Coaching Watch: Hiring Rich Rodriguez from WVA makes a ton of sense...for Alabama. For RR? Hardly: His best players are only sophs and the Big East/unbeaten season is his for the taking in '07 *and* '08. And don't you think better jobs than Bama (perhaps offering even more money) will open up between now and then? (Yes, I'm looking at you, Florida State. Yes, FSU is a better job than Alabama...uh, I think.)

More later. Feel free to throw your own intriguing storylines of the morning/day into the comments.

-- D.S.

Update: How about the B&B owner-turned-Raiders O.C. getting yoinked from play-calling duties? If you didn't see that coming when TK hammered on it on MNF in the preseason, you weren't paying close enough attention.

And how about the NFL fining Mike Vick $10K for his middle finger(s). That's $5K per finger, right? There is nothing as impotent as monetary fines in pro sports.

And, since I'm always on the lookout for sports-media beefs and feuds, did anyone else catch Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel's shot across the bow of my former colleague Bill Simmons in Wetzel's interview with The Big Lead, published yesterday? (These must-read interviews with online media types are becoming TBL's signature.) It's a classic example of Rule #1 of feuding: Always take your punch in the direction of a higher weight class.


marcomarco said...

Yankees, $26,000,194 bid. A new type of cold war

Unknown said...

Is it any wonder the Red Sox are far more disliked than the Yankees anymore?

I like the ACC/B10 Challenge concept and wish other conferences would do it. I know some like to use it as a marker for how leagues stack up...though I don't think it is usually accurate by the end of the season. The B10 usually does very well in the Tournament.

Big D said...

Wrote a lot about this last night on my site, but I'll revisit it here:

Aside from wearing out his welcome, there's no reason to move Manny Ramirez. And certainly not if the only viable option to fill his lineup hole is J.D. "Nancy" Drew.

Though the buzz this morning of Manny going to San Diego for Peavy and Adrian Gonzalez at least make me feel a little warmer about the deal. Especially when you consider that Peavy would be a #4 starter in the Red Sox' rotation.

jhawkjjm said...

psst... it's the Big 10/ACC challenge.

But I'll let it slip because I know what its like in the morning getting a little one ready to go. I love the idea of the challenge and wish that the other conferences would set some up. I'd love seeing it in football too.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Question for everyone there going to be an All-Catholic/Jesuit/No D1 Football basketball league? Or was it just an impossible rumor? The teams would be...

Holy Cross
St. Bonaventure
St. John's
St. Joseph's
Saint Louis

other(s) missing?

Anonymous said...

I doubt that St. John's, Villanova, Providence and G'town would leave the Big East.

Way too much money involved for them to jump. Plus don't Villanova and G'town play I-AA football?

NA said...

Big East/SEC challenge starts next yr:

RevScott: Interesting idea, but you forgot to include Notre Dame for football, and I'm not sure I understand the inclusion of UMass, wouldn't they switch to the Big East. They aren't a small Catholic school like the rest.

NA said...


Forgot Notre Dame for Basketball, not football...

Brian in Oxford said...

That's what the Big East practically was at the beginning anyways....only 'Cuse, UConn (which sucked), and eventually Pitt. The problem really started when the secular football universities came aboard. You left off Seton Hall.

The Big East and ACC used to do a challenge, but that's OBVIOUSLY never going to happen again. I'm surprised Providence even wanted to schedule BC this year.

Gabe may have to grow up in a Wiggles-less universe! Or worse, a Sammy Hagar-esque version with a new yellow guy.

And if there hadn't been so much freaking expansion, then there'd only be 16 viable baseball teams to compete in the first place. There'd only BE medium and big market teams. Of course, I prefer the argument that whoever thought athletes were "labor" was crazy. Pay athletes working-man salaries, and the sport benefits. The Dodgers were loved in Brooklyn because they lived in the neighborhoods with their fans.

Santana and Figgins? That would be a complete fleecing of the Angels. A nice coup if they can land it.

I wonder if the Red Sox want Drew not only for the OPS, but specifically because he's a Boras guy and it could make the Diceman negotiations a little smoother. Not the best price to pay there, though.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

I don't know why I put UMass...I meant to put Fordham.

tbender: Dayton plays 1-AA does Holy Cross. This is for D-1 only. Like big-boy. You are right about the money issue...but I swear I heard this and they were really close to doing it before the Big East bball became like 50 teams.

biebs: ND would not be included b/c of the above statement. Only teams that do not have a D-1 football team.

CMFost said...

If the Red Sox can get Peavy and Adrian Gonzalez for Manny, then get the deal done today. I do not think you could get much better then that for an offer. I would like to see them try and get Linebrink or Meredith as well but I think you would need to throw something else in with Manny to make it go.

ACC/B10 Challenge - Talk to me about College Basketball in March.

CMFost said...

As for protecting the QB it is getting ridiculous as to what they call as roughing the passer. I heard someone say it the other day the Roughing the passer should be like the roughing the kicker penalty,it should have to verision a 5 and a 15 yard based on how blantant the hit is.

I also think that Pass Interfernce should be reveiwable and should only be a 15 yard penalty

Jon said...

Manny for Peavy and Gonzalez? Come on. That's worse than the Santana/Figgins potential deal. But who knows maybe it will happen after the Melky Cabrera and Humberto Sanchez for Dontrelle Willis deal I read about this morning.

Jon said...

So, what are the odds that Matsuzaka is pitching in Japan again next year? The Red Sox make a ton of money. What's another $35 million over 5 years if it gives them a pitching staff that good? Now, it's just too bad about their man crush of Drew.

The Yankees deal was pretty smart. Bid plus the supposed contract will be about $10 million a year. That's how much Gil Meche is looking for and we all know how good Gil Meche is. And only half of the contract has an impact on what the Royals and Twins owners get to put in their pockets.

Unknown said...

In the interest of the "Feel free to throw your own intriguing storylines of the morning/day into the comments", here we go....

Maryland is MUCH MUCH better than people think and the really scary thing is that Ekene Ibekwe (Maryland's NBA-bound Power Forward) was out for the game. Maryland is loaded with seniors, including Mike Jones (lights out from 3), DJ Strawberry (slasher and incredible defender), Will Bowers (very white but over 7 feet tall), Ekene Ibekwe (very athletic in the post and on the break). And if you saw the game last night you know just how good the freshman Greivis Vasquez is coming out of Venezuela.

Yankees get Kei Igawa for 26 million, but unlike the Sox getting Daisuke Matsuzaka, there is no justification for the amount of money. The Sox are redoing ads in Fenway to greenscreens and statring a Japanesse TV contract to subsidize their purchase as well as Gyroman being very good. Igawa will most likely be a reliever and would make for a great closer, but that's pretty much the only thing the Yanks have.

In other news the Red Sox appear to be close to signing a 2-year contract with Japanesse free-agent Hideki Okajima who would e a reliever and had a 2.14 ERA last year in Japan.

Unknown said...

The CCHA is a hockey league that includes teams that play football in the B10, MAC, Independent, and I-AA or lower.

A Catholic basketball conference could be just that..those schools are together only for basketball. ND can keep football alone, Dayton wouldn't have to go to I-A in football, etc.

Josh said...

I hate the Red Sox. I hate them enough that I have become a Yankee fan.

Of course, secondarily to my Buccos. One of 7 or 8 remaining fans.

SF said...

Two Things (focus on #2):

1. If the trade between the (Anaheim...not LA) Angels and White Sox goes through, it would be one of the biggest steals since the Dodgers traded Pedro in a straight up deal to the Expos for the one and only Delino DeShields, and would also be White Sox GM Kenny Williams best move yet, and make the White Sox the pre-winter AL favorite...ugh!

2. J.D. Drew. This guy is a true enigma. There are two REALLY good baseball books, written in the past few yaers, and they both have COMPLETELY opposite opiions of Drew (and for philosophies of baseball for that matter).

The first of the book is Michael Lewis', "Moneyball," which stresses the rising importance of the numbers behind the game and supports stat-crunchers like Billy Beane and ex-Dodgers GM Paul Depodesta. The major number, according the Moneyball, is OPS, which is is about to REDICULOUSLY pay J.D. frickin' Drew $15 million-a-year. J.D. Drew owes his existence on this planet (as I am suprised a raging Dodgers fan, like myself, has not assassinated him yet...thank the good lord he is gone) to two things...a. Moneyball, and, b. Scott Boras, who is subject to his own extensive post, as he is single-handedly changing the economics of baseball.

The second book is wonderful work, "Three Nights in August," by Buzz Bissinger (author of Friday Night Lights) and Tony LaRussa, which stresses the importance of the natural hunch of the manager, and the idea that scouting your opponent and situationally making decisions, NOT BASED SOLELY ON THE NUMBERS, is a managerial strategy that is losing popularity. Moneyball managers, on the other hand, are known by baseball purists, like LaRussa, to simply be the GMs pawns. Back to point here, LaRussa gives his opinion on J.D. Drew, and does NOT have the nicest thigns to say. In a nutshell, Tony says he has never seen or managed such a Waste-Of-Talent in his entire baseball career, that Drew has the potential to be one of the game's premier players, but despite the OPS that he has yielded (playing at his maximum capacity of 70%), the man simply lacks HEART, and what truly substitutes heart come October...ARod???

So, pulling it all together, J.D. Drew is a waste of talent and money, and if the Red Sox want to get rid of a gripping a-hole like Manny being Manny Ramirez (who ironically might go to the Dodgers), GM Theo Epstein may want to look further than OPS, perhaps toward a proven winner with a little HEART.

Seemed to work for Mr. LaRussa this fall...did it not?

Go Dodgers...

Mega said...

As a White Sox fan I would love the prospect of a Crede/Garcia for Figgins/Santana trade. It would be an upgrade at pitching. A downgrade at 3B, yes, however the Sox have Josh Fields in AAA just waiting to take over at the hot corner. Crede has developed into a top 5 3B in the MLB, but his refusal to have surgery on his bad back (at BORAS's advice) tells the Sox everything they need to know about whether or not they should offer him the extension.

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

The Vince Young / Mattias Kiwaniuka play:
I didn't see it live, but kept hearing (here in Houston) about how great a play VY made. Saw it Monday PM and realized that Kiwaniuka (I know I'm misspelling it) was fearing a penalty flag more than VY demonstrating his athleticism (and "will to win").

JD Drew:
Most fragile ego and body in all of baseball. He doesn't get the idea of playing with everyday pain, which is why TLR dislikes him--especially when guys like Edmonds, Rolen, Pujols, Eckstein, etc. will play through it (most to a fault).
Boston fans will love it when Drew hits the DL in April, and then again in June...

Big D said...

@ tyler:

Rumor has it that if the Sox move Manny to San Diego for Gonzalez & Peavy, that Boston would then flip Youkilis and a mid-level pitching prospect to Cincinnati for Adam Dunn, since the Reds are quietly shopping his salary around, and two players still on minor-league level contracts like Youk and a pitching prospect might appeal to them.

That would put Dunn in left and #4 behind Ortiz, Gonzo @ first and #5, and the inevitable Drew/Wily Mo platoon in RF and #6.

That's one three-way deal being bantied around. The other one I outlined on my page last night.

Personally, as much as I like Manny, I wouldn't hesitate to make either of these trades.

Big D said...

@ tbender:

Here's the thing - there isn't one Boston fan I know that is actually excited about J.D. Drew. We all know he's capable of a .310/30/90 year, but he's more likely going to have a .270/18/70, since he'll spend a month or two on the DL.

Here's something to think about though - all the superlatives being used to describe Drew:

Won't "play through pain"
Unable to play in a big market atmosphere

Couldn't the same be said about Manny?

SF said...

TO: ndyanksfan05

If that was directed to me, good point, but i want it to be known that I am not gripping about the salary cap issues in baseball at all. besides the steroids, i am very happy with the current state of the game. i was simply pointing out that because of super-agents like Boras, taltented-yet-heartless players like J.D. Drew can cash in big time.

CMFost said...

Big D if the rumor you are hearing true I hope it gets done this week. I think with Dunn behind Ortiz the offense will be good if not great and with a rotation of Beckett, Papelbon, Mazuataka, Shilling and Peavy I do not think anyone could match that.

SF said...

TO: big d

RE: your question, "Couldn't the same be said about Manny?"

Great point. that is why i pointed it out as irony in my earlier post. but yea, i cannot complain, as a dodgers fan, about possibly getting him (am i hypocrite, YES!) because, he brings excitement, hope, and attitude, and which the dodgers are currently lacking (besides super-stud youngster catcher Russell Martin)

Anonymous said...

@Big D:
Don't know about Manny's ability to tough out a hangnail, but you're right that Drew and he are on par with their mental strengths.

Big difference between them: Manny is a pure offensive freak -- he hits whenever, wherever. Drew needs everything to be just right.

Anonymous said...

We're probably at the point that they should just give QBs special red jerseys during the game, like goalies in soccer. And then the rule would be simple, if you 2 hand touch the QB, he's down and the ball is dead at that spot.

Because at this point, the "physical" ballet of football is becoming a myth for the QB. He can already throw the ball away about 80% of the time he's caught. There are too many rules around this, it's clear they need a drastic change.

Isn't there something to the idea that Martzs'/Vermeil's vertical schemes that minimum protect the QB while putting up huge numbers AND attracting fans is the real problem? Or that maybe the league needs fancy passing attacks to keep fans interested in FANTASY FOOTBALL?

I think the NFL went through a pass-wacky phase where no one kept extra blockers back and no one ran much (Philly, NE last year, StL, KC, Indy). Maybe they shouldn't have started changing the rules. Just let the QBs get concussed, and wait for the O-coordinators to adjust their tactics and improve their lines.

It's not like Manning or Favre has ever gone out of a game, and they've been playing prior to all the ridiculous rules in pass-heavy offenses.

Or I don't know, maybe they could prevent D-linemen and backers from using HGH?

Unknown said...



Clement (if surgery was successful)
Lester (assuming his therapy stays on sched)

Matsuzaka (assuming he signs)
Peavy (if this trade goes through)

Clemens (rumors are FLYING on this)
Petite (doesn't he tag along with Rocket)

if i'm counting right, that's a possibility of 10 pitchers

and that's assuming they don't go get anyone else

Anonymous said...

As a Yanks fan, I don't understand this deal for the Sox. The only reason Yanks pitching fears the Sox's lineup is because of the protection Manny gives Ortiz. Without Manny, Ortiz will just get walked everytime. They're practically taking out two of their best bats if Manny does get traded.

Anonymous said...

For guyinthecorner, from what I've read, Red Socks are interested in Clemens as a closer.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

That Catholic League is much more of a reality than many think:

There are 16 teams in the Big East: 8 D-IA Football, 8 D-IAA or No football. In a few years the contract on that deal is up. There is no way that league lasts, there is just too many good teams, leaving a few teams to the dust that could easily make the NCAA in another league.

The Big East will get 8-9 teams in the tournament each year. Looking at that there will be years where a Louisville (last year), Syracuse, or Georgetown doesn't make the tourny and they start to say the league is too hard...

Joe (Dayton)

Sheldiz said...

oooh i'm a little late this morning....

anyway, back to the idea of the "all catholic" conference. its an interesting idea, but villanova and georgetown will never leave the big east.

and yeah, georgetown and nova are also both I-AA for football, so it would have to be a basketball only league.

sidebar -- in one of the bball pools i'm in each year, its one of those pools where you pick 8 teams at the beginning and you get points based only on those teams for the whole tournament. my mother picks "all-catholic" every year (well, except last year when she also picked all teams with "george" in their name) and she comes pretty close to winning every year.

and one more note, going all the way back to the top, Go terps!! (i'm a terp by birth and a wildcat by diploma)

Sheldiz said...

crap, one more sidebar -- dan, don't forget NFL picks, there's a thursday night game this week :)

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Joe in Dayton (where I am from also...) nailed it right on the head. In a few years the Big East is going to split up and the teams that are Catholic/Jesuit will join the other and make it a basketball only conference. Heck, they could even make it a football conference too if they wanted, 1-AA that is.

Oh yeah...shedliz...your Ravens are going down tomorrow!

Sheldiz said...

Rev -- its going to be one hell of a game! (i hope!)

Anonymous said...

As a Yankees fan, let me say I'm encouraged by the thought that maybe we'll develop a real rivalry with the Red Sox. You know, now that Sox mgmt. and fans seem to be interested in winning a championship more often than once a century or so. Maybe there'll be some real sustained competition in our division. I guess.

In case this is infuriating, let me add this:
I cheered for the Yankees for years in the late 80's early 90's when they sucked.
I cheered for the Bills during all 4 Super Bowls.
Sox fans are still gloating about the "historic" 4 game collapse. Hey, you deserve to gloat and so do we.

So karma owes me, and I'm riding these Yankees until Steinbrenner is on death's door, gesturing for Cashman to lean over while he whispers, 'Fire Torre' into his ear.

Perks said...

Phil, how can ND be one of the worst two loss teams?

Their two losses were to the teams going for the national championship.

Don't give me their cupcake schedule crap, either. When the season started, I don't think anyone had a harder schedule on paper.

jamesmnordbergjr said...

Don't slurp Maryland too much. The Illini were without their two best players, Brian Randle amd Jamar Smith.

marcomarco said...

@ isbtown

Because baseball is America's pastime. A precision chess match with every pitch.

Basketball is alot like tennis: Back, Forth, Back, Forth.

The entire game is mostly irrelevant until the final 2 minutes. Minor league basketball is even less interesting. Yawn

CMFost said...

Shilling - Yes
Beckett - YEs
Papelbon - Yes
Wakefield - Bullpen

Clement - Bullpen
Lester - Probably going to need to spend time in the minor getting his game back

Matsuzaka - if signs yes
Peavy - if traded yes

Clemens - not if they get peavy and Matsuzaka
Petite - Not a chance probabl going back to the yankees

Dan Shanoff said...

Uh, and Maryland was without Ebekwe...their best player. I'd say it's a wash where things still favor the Terps here.

SF said...

perks, ill tell you how ND can be considered one of the worst two-loss teams....THEY SUCK AT DEFENSE!

1. they got utterly embarrased at home against their rival, and my beloved, Wolverines

2. Shat the bed against USC in what could have put them in serious National Championship contention (at least for argument sake)

3. Took the luck of the Irish to beat a pitiful Mich St team

4. Luck of the Irish part II against UCLA

- that all being said, there only good ones were a lucklaster performance as the #2 team against Ga. Tech, a team who i stil cannot decide of they are good, and a convincing win against JoePa's gritting but under-talented Penn St team

That is why ND is bad -- no defense = no championship. shouldn't charlie weis, a product of the Pats, know that by now?

Gary said...


Their schedule looked hard on paper, well the saying goes "That's why you don't play the games on paper"

They played all three Military Academys and (probably) the two worst BCS teams (UNC and Stanford). By my watch that's 5 of 12 games against teams that 80% of college teams win. Their best win came against Georgia Tech. A good win, I'll admit that, but even still, the ACC is the worst BCS conference this year (yes, worse than the Big East).

It wasn't a marquee season for the Irish and they will most likely get smoked in any bowl game they play...I'm willing to bet on that

Jen said...

If guys don't want to get hurt playing football, they should put some shorts on and kick the round black and white ball.

I am sick of these dumb new "protect-this-guy" rules. Gimme a break.

Jen said...

Not necessarily "new", but the tighter reins the officials are pulling on the penalties.

Big D said...

@ cmfost, guyinthecorner, chuchu17 and others:

If the Manny for Peavy/Gonzalez deal goes through, the Sox' rotation looks like this:

1) Schilling
2) (assuming he signs) Matsuzaka
3) Beckett
4) Peavy
5) Papelbon

First out of the 'pen - Wakefield (or a #5 if Dice goes back to Japan)

There are rumors that Boston is pursuing Clemens as a closer. I don't think he'd play in the AL East as a starter, because he was already a five or six-inning pitcher in the NL Central. Even he probably couldn't hold up to a full season in this division. But as a closer, he'd be scary.

Clement and Lester are both out for all of '07. Lester has cancer for Christ's sake. Matt Clement's pitching shoulder "looked like a bomb exploded..." according to an interview with his doctor a couple months ago.

That means that the Sox would have six potential starters, as of right now, with the ever potent Julian Tavarez as a spot starter/fill-in type.

No, I'm serious.

Remember last season, when Boston dealt away Bronson Arroyo because they "had too much starting pitching"... Schilling, Beckett, Clement, Wells, Wake, Lester, Papelbon (originally) and Arroyo? How'd that work out a couple months into the year?

There's no such thing as too much pitching. Period.

And for all the people griping about talking baseball in November, almost December, well, there is no off-season in the Major Leagues anymore. The Winter Meeting start shortly - this will all seem like nothing once those articles start getting typed.

jamesmnordbergjr said...

Actually Dan, I was wrong, Jamar Smith did play. He got 15 minutes.

The Maryland crack was more defending the Illini than anything else. I'm not really sure how good the Terps are, but I know missing Randle and a hobbled Smith certainly don't tell the real truth about the Illini. They will be tougher than most people think.

Jen said...

Call me in April for baseball too. The Indians just crapped the money the wouldn't give Bob Howry, an excellent reliever, for another outfielder. I think a kindergarten class is actually running the front office here.

Wait, make that a preschool class.

Brian in Oxford said...

Cute shot at Simmons there, I suppose....obviously the wife's football picks being the key to noting who he's talking about.

I think Wetzel's generally good. But it sounded like he was grounded in old-school journalism. I'd counter with, There's a reason nobody reads the Sporting News anymore. Sports is now "pop culture" and I think that's where the Boston Sports Guy (I actually sent him a check for $15 for a tee-shirt from his old site before ESPN) has carved his niche, being able to blend the two. He's clearly not a beat writer, but watches enough games to have at least some knowledge behind his opinions. And more importantly, he's not screaming from a soap box. It's also a reason I like reading Dan....make some good points, and have some fun with it, too.

My wife has figured it out, make her football picks, and then reverse every entry. She's climbed from 30th out of 30, up to 17th in just 3 weeks.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...


Zibokowski is one of Notre Dame's all time overrated players. Yes, he hits hard...but that is only when he doesn't whiff on tackles. He is rated high b/c he goes to ND and is a "tough guy boxer."

CMFost said...

Notre Dame is consistenly the most overrated team in College Football. No other team starts in the top 10 in the polls almost every just on there Name. They are not a top 10 team, I do not think they would be with a TD of any of the teams above them in the polls.

But it is Notre Dame, so they have to be in the top 10 and they must be in a BCS Game.

CMFost said...

yesterday was civil looks like today is getting nasty

CMFost said...

Does anyone else thing that this is how they should set up the BCS games? Especially if there is no playoff, which there should be.

Get rid of the conference tie ins and have it this way. Based on the BCS standings.

Nta'l title game - #1 vs #2
Rose - #3 vs #4
Sugar - #5 vs #6
Orange - #7 vs #8
Fiesta - #9 vs #10

This way you will have some top games and you can basically see who are really the best out of the ten 10 teams

Unknown said...

If the Red Sox are that hell-bent on moving Manny, Gonzalez wouldn't be a bad pickup. I've followed him since he was in low-A ball and it seems like he is still improving. Hits lefties and righties the same, is a good first baseman and doesn't turn 25 until early next season and is the type of guy who would never be a clubhouse problem. May never be a huge power guy (unless you call 25-30 HR a year a power guy), but will hit a lot of doubles and drive in a ton of runs in the right lineup.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

No...I don't hate Notre Dame. I hate their fans. You said that you love Zibokowski...I was saying that he is overrated. He can pound anyone...but then again, isn't that a safeties job? Safeties get all the big hits, but when it comes down to open field tackling, the majority are terrible.

I want your idea of where ND will be ranked pre-season next year. If you say top 10, then it will just prove every ND "basher" in this chat. If you can admit that they won't be top 10 next year, I will consider you a reasonable fan. But to say they are currently a top 10 team RIGHT's just absurd.

They are like the Colts...they beat up on the shitty teams but can't win the big games.

TJ said...

Look, can we all simply agree that the answer should be: "Anyone But Notre Dame."

What are you saying, Dan? If Florida loses to Arkansas, ND in the Rose Bowl is our only hope of not going to the Citrus Bowl. Everyone knows the Rose Bowl would pick LSU over UF, but it's also true that if the Rose Bowl took ND, the Orange Bowl would take UF over LSU, no question.

It's not going to happen, of course--despite how ESPN may want to spin it, the Rose Bowl is not going to want to play host to a 4-TD beatdown.

CMFost said...

Other then taking USC to the wire last year who did they beat last year.

Let's See
Beat a 5-6 Pittsburgh
Beat a 7-5 Michigan
Lost to a 5-6 Michigan State
Beat a 2-9 Washington
Beat a 5-6 Purdue
Lost to 12-1 USC
Beat a 6-6 BYU
Beat a 5-6 Tennessee
Beat a 8-4 Navy
Beat a 1-10 Syracuse
Beat a 5-6 Stanford
Lost to a 10-2 Ohio State

So just like this year they beat the crappy teams and Lost to the top teams. To me that does not make 2005 a Very Very Good Year. It makes it a typical overrated ND year

Sheldiz said...

CMFost -- i've noticed it tends to get a little nasty/personal whenever college football is brought up.

Perks said...

OK, the ND thing is being dropped, considering it wasn't even one of Dan's topics today.

The Bill Simmons thing. He's a great writer. Very unique, and one of the firsts when it comes to online sports writing (and everything that does/doesn't come with it). It's certainly a new"er" culture, and I give him a great deal of credit.

Now, for the future, what happens? Malcolm Gladwell has touched on the subject, as as the guys at the Freakonomics website regarding printed journalism versus online. There is now a (albeit small) feud between Bob Ryan and him (, and Page 2 has totally revamped things in a negative way. Personally, I think his writing is addictive, I'll read every column he puts out, but it's also getting kind of desperate. He really does need to travel more, and be given press passes to do interviews, etc. Otherwise, it's getting kind of old (IMO).

CMFost said...

ND's 2007 schedule looks to be as soft as normal and it means we will be having the same arguements next year.

Here is the 2007 Schedule
Sept. 8 at Penn State
Sept. 15 at Michigan
Sept. 29 at Purdue
Oct. 6 at UCLA
Oct. 20 USC
Nov. 3 NAVY
Nov. 17 DUKE
Nov. 24 at Stanford

CMFost said...

CMFost -- i've noticed it tends to get a little nasty/personal whenever college football is brought up.

Nah, nothing personal, but I think the system currently sticks where you award sometime just because of there jersey and you basically vote for your national champion instead of playing for it.

Perks said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

CMFost - is that really ND's 2007 schedule? They're gonna be irrelevant in the BCS after October with that quality finish.

CMFost said...

Sorry to tell you but this it not true. We played four top 25 teams and 8 bowl teams.

Actually ND has played 3 Teams Currently in the Top 25, #22 Georgia Tech, #3 Michigan and #2 USC. And 6 Team going to bowl Games GT, Penn St, Mich, Purdue, Navy and USC and 1 Team that might go to a bowl game in UCLA

CMFost said...

According to the official Site that is there schedule for 2007

ToddTheJackass said...

Ummm... hold on. A few things to correct:

1. BC is a Catholic school, they're better than a lot of those teams on that list for football and basketball. (Perennial Top 25 in each in recent years).

2. The Peavy/Gonzalez thing is no more than an unsubstantiated rumor. No idea why Big D is so certain it will happen. Basically as much as I've read suggests the Padres are interested. Still I don't think there's anyway that the Pads would give up those two, and take on Manny's salary for the next two years. Think about it, why would the Padres trade away their best pitcher, a rising star, and then take on $19 mil for the next two years? It doesn't add up.

This is like when everyone in Boston was convinced that the Padres would trade Peavy for Lowell, because Buster Olney mentioned the Padres might send back a starter, and people in Boston assumed Peavy, even though it made no sense.

Plus, Manny still holds the cards here, as he can still veto any trade.

-Todd (Boston)

ToddTheJackass said...

Obviously I'm not suggesting BC would leave the ACC, more just noting their omission.

-Todd (Boston)

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Todd in Boston...

BC would never be considered b/c they play big-boy football. Just like ND.

Big D said...

@ todd:

I wouldn't say I'm hell bent on this deal. Personally, I'd rather not see Manny go anywhere unless some type of blockbuster was made.

I'd also prefer a 3-way deal with LA and Baltimore that would net Boston Miguel Tejada and a young pitcher, fill up the Orioles' farm system with prospects from both Boston & LA, and send Manny to the Dodgers.

That type of deal, or something involving San Diego and Gonzalez and either Peavy or Linebrink is about the only two things I'd be comfortable with.

I'm just passing along what I've heard.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

ND had the toughest schedule on paper to begin the year????

As USC and Florida about that. ND had the toughest MONTH, but for the most part their schedule was very soft after that.

I'm still not personally convinced that ND is even a top 15 team. They beat decent GT and Penn State teams. They beat a Purdue team that has not beaten a team with a winning record. And when you're touting Navy as a "good team" get out of here.

Navy is a SOLID program who is better than most midmajors, but FAR from being anything close to BCS caliber.

Joe (Dayton)

ToddTheJackass said...

I'd take five years of Adrian Gonzalez plus two years of Jake Peavy for Manny any day. And the Red Sox would too I suspect, if that really were offered. Peavy still has some of the best stuff in baseball, and really had better numbers than most people realize last year (other than ERA and win total), and Gonzalez could be a pretty steady fixture at 1B for years, allowing Youk to move across the diamond after we ditch Lowell...

Look, all I'm saying is that if you connect the dots, there's no way the Padres give up their ace, a good hitting corner infielder 2 years from arbitration, and take on more than half of Manny's salary.

Now the Dodgers I think are still a possibility, because they can afford to deal the pieces that the Red Sox want. The LA Times reported the Sox asked for some deal involving Matt Kemp, which supposedly the Dodgers rebuffed. But if they dealt James Loney (a 1B prospect who the Red Sox sought in a trade for David Wells), that'd be different, since he's expendable since Nomar will likely stay at 1B. In addition to Loney, the Dodgers could potentially offer Jonathan Broxton, who the Sox could use as a closer (or setup man), who is potentially expendable since Saito had such a great season.

While that might not sound great for the Sox in the short term, having 5 years of Broxton and Loney could be better than having 2 years of Manny, given the team's needs. Additionally, the Sox lack any real corner IF prospects above single-A... recent out-of-high school 2006 pick Lars Anderson probably is the best Sox corner IF prospect, and he's a long, long way off.

The most ridiculous Manny speculation deal I've heard came from Eric Wilbur on, who suggested the Red Sox do a three-way deal with the Giants and Braves, whereby Manny goes to the Dodgers, Andruw Jones goes to the Red Sox, and Matt Cain goes to the Braves... why in the hell would the Red Sox opt for one year of Andruw Jones and not for Matt Cain, who has Cy Young caliber potential as early as next year?

As long as we can all agree that it this point any deal is really just speculation, that really no names have been formally mentioned by any involved teams (that we know of), I'd be fine with that.

Looks like we'll hit the century mark on consecutive days. Not too shabby.

-Todd (Boston)

Anonymous said...

Simmons IS bored. He announced in an offsite interview that he was going to leave this year to write scripts, and that obviously didn't work out, or ESPN panicked and gave him a record signing bonus.

Anonymous said...

Can any Sox fans provide some insight? It's my understanding that Manny is under the 10-5 rule meaning he can veto any trade. Well in that case, has he came out and said which teams he wouldn't mind going to yet?

Unknown said...

@ dave

Ohio State would beat them all by 2 touchdowns on the road. ;)

I think Simmons will be done with ESPN when his contract runs out. He's alluded to this in several columns over the last couple of months.

ToddTheJackass said...

Yes, Manny is a 10-5 player (10 years in the league, 5 years w/ one team), meaning that he essentially gets a no-trade clause.

As for which teams he said he'd go to, there have been numerous exchanges/rumors over the years about possible destinations. They range from him reportedly saying he wouldn't play in the National League, to other anecdotes like going to a shopping mall in Orange County (near Angels stadium), and not having anyone bother him, which he supposedly liked.

Supposedly he asked to be traded in September, so who knows if he actually still wants it. No one really knows, which is all part of the adventure.

-Todd (Boston)

Unknown said...


I hate the black/white issue as much as the next guy, but...

Did anyone see the article that said Noah didnt have Mono, and they checked because he didn't feel well and lives with Brewer?

Then I find out that Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah, Al Horford, and Taurien Green all live together.

If you are Lee Humphrey, how do you not feel alienated? You are all supposed to be good friends who stayed in college for the rare chance at a repeat. But of the 5 starters, the 4 black guys live together and the white guy is left out? I watched the FLORIDA/KANSAS game, and Lee Humphrey was great out there. He was HUGE down the stretch for the Gators. This seems weird to me. Anybody have any comments.

Dan, as this is a Gator issue, I'm lookin in your direction.

dennis said...

There already is an All-Catholic/Jesuit/No D1-A Football basketball league? It's called the MAAC (if you exclude Rider).

The teams are:
Canisius (Jesuit)
Niagara (Vincentian)
Fairfield (Jesuit)
Iona (Christian Brothers)
Loyola (Jesuit)
Manhattan (LaSallian)
Marist (Marist Brothers)
Siena (Franciscan)
St. Peter's (Jesuit)
Rider (not Catholic as far as I can tell)

I didn't say it was a high quality conference.

Fordham, Holy Cross and LaSalle are former members of the MAAC and Duquesne, LaSalle and LeMoyne are currently associate members in football.

Anonymous said...

Let's try again, great interview:

Anonymous said...

You can't give Maryland credit as being Under-rated for beating an unranked team, even on the road, without saying that Illinois is under-rated also.

Smith did get playing time for Illinois, but he is far from being back.

Trey (formerly TF) said...


That might be the most UNinciteful thing I've heard all year.

No! They lived together LAST year and we won the whole damn thing. You think that it would just not affect Humphrey?

Humphrey is a very simple guy who rides his bike around campus and is a very nice guy who gets along with most people.

I don't think there is ANY problem.

Joe (Dayton)

Jon said...

Hopefully that Peavy to the Sox rumor can be put to rest now. Thank you Todd.

That Florida racist comment was just idiotic. Do you even know these guys? Probably not. Different personalities don't make people racists.

Jon said...

It didn't happen during the game, it happened during warm ups. Fox showed a little of it before the game started.

Kurt said...

Hey Big D,

Let's look at the Red Sox more likely starting rotation scenario:

Schilling - 40 years old, headed for a 10 win season, 5 ERA to close out his career.
Beckett - Another average season with 5+ ERA.
Matsusaka - Never pitched a day in the MLB in his life.
Papelbon - Who knows as a starter, shoulder issues.
Wakefield - 40 years old, headed for another sub .500 season with an ERA approaching 5.

So they've got a solid starter in Schilling if he manages to stay healthy, a mediocre starter in Beckett who has yet to find his way, two unproven starters in Papelbon and Matsusaka and good ol' Wakefield if he stays healthy.

I'm not ready to proclaim those 5 the "best rotation in the league" quite yet.

Unknown said...

Talking about making something out of nothing. So the four black starters live together and the one white guy lives someplace else. Big deal! Just because they are all friends doesn't mean they have to live together. Humphrey seems to be into his studies, and maybe he just wanted to be in a situation where he could focus on his academics without the distraction of four other guys living under the same roof. Maybe they all get along well but he's not necessarily into the same things they are, it's no big deal. I have a lot of friends I wouldn't have even thought of living with in college. He does his thing, they do theirs and everyone seems pretty cool with it. Why does it have to be a black/white thing?

Unknown said...

Woah, Woah, Woah

I didn't imply that I knew the guys. I didn't say that Horford, Noah, Brewer, Green were racists. And I don't know if they lived together last year or not. I don't know if it affects them on the court.

I just said it was weird, and asked for comments.

Personally it reminded me of my high school basketall team. 4 of our 5 starters were All-Stars, with the the exclusion of our point guard. He was kind of left out. That's all I was saying.

Saying my comments were idiotic or racist ir rediculous. I just said I thought it was weird.

Big D said...

@ kurt:

Never said they had a top 5 rotation. Don't think they've got anything even resembling a top five rotation. Can't remember even forming a thought that remotely began to classify the Red Sox as a Top 5 rotation.

In fact, what I said was "There's no such thing as too much pitching. Period."

Think we're making the same point here.

And while I don't necessarily agree with you on your assessment and pitching predictions for the upcoming season, I will concede that the rotation, as presently constituted, does not exactly strike fear into the hearts of men.

They've got two guys with proven 20-win stuff in Schilling & Beckett. Unfortunately, one's getting old and the other might never put it all together (a la Matt Clement).

They've got one young stud who may or may not have shoulder issues by mid-June. They're importing another young pitcher with more miles on him than a '67 Vette, and the curretn #5 starter relies on a pitch that has been called at best "uncontrolable".

That's not a Top 5 rotation. I think we agree here.

ToddTheJackass said...

Kurt, where the hell did you pull those projections out of, your Yankee-bias ass?

Seriously, did you just think, ooh, Curt Schilling is an asshole, that means he'll have an ERA of 5? Unless Schilling gets hurt, no way he goes out like that.

As for as Papelbon, he was a starter for most of his minor league career, so it's not that difficult to assume he can make the transition pretty easily. And as for Daisuke Matsuzaka, almost every scout who has seen him raves about him as being a potential ace.

Beckett could have a year like you mentioned, or more likely, he could have something closer to his career average numbers (league adjusted), which would probably be in the high 3s low 4s range of ERA.

I'm not saying they're the best 5-man rotation in baseball (assuming that's the rotation), but that'd be a pretty solid rotation.

Please though, don't provide just rampant speculation and projections that have no basis on anything other than your personal feelings.

And in case anyone is wondering, Bill James (employee of the Red Sox) doesn't work on the pitching projections that are listed in the Bill James handbook, all of which suggest that the Sox rotation looks great for next year.

-Todd (Boston)

Adam said...

Am I crazy, or was there a Wetzel reference in Simmons NBA column earlier that has since been purged?

Big D said...

Atta boy Todd... :)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...


I didn't say it was deffinitly a black/white thing.

How do you know that Humphrey is into his studies? And that the others are a distraction?

Is that based on anything or is it because white guys study and black guys party?

That would be racist.

(for the people who didn't get that my 1st post wasn't racist, you might be interested to know that this post was a joke)

Unknown said...


That is racist and idiotic!

(for "THOSE PEOPLE" (you know who you are) this, is also a joke)

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Corner, I don't think it's racist what you said. i just think it's kinda pointless.

As for the Sox fans and their pitching staff. I am a Devil Rays fan, so I am a neutral party here. However, what the Yanks and Sox have done the last few weeks is what really bugs me about baseball (and I LOVE baseball)

Going out and spending a combined 75 Million just to have the rights to sign a pitcher? Rediculous and demeans the sport.

Does either of these signings mean the Sox or Yanks will be in the World Series? No. It just shows how desparate both teams are for pitching right now.

In the good news department, the Devil Rays got a Japanese player too. Akinori Iwamura negotiation rights, $4.5M.

Joe (Dayton)

CMFost said...

We know it wont lead to the Yankees win a world series. They Need to get rid of the curse of A-rod being on your team beofre that will happen

Unknown said...

I'd like to point out how shocked I was that Akinori Iwamura only went for 4.5 million.

People acually thought the Sox would get him for 10.

CMFost said...

Hey how come no ever mentions the NHL on this site? Are we not supposed to talk about all sports?

CMFost said...

Speaking of the NBA how pathetic is it the the Celtics are in First Place in the Atlantic Division with a 5-8 Record?

NA said...


Players can be tough and still tools. No one argues that TO isn't a tough guy and plays through pain, etc, etc...

However, he's still a dick. Just like Shockey

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
CMFost said...

Could this turn out to be the worst division in the history of the NBA if not sports.

NBA Atlantic Division
Boston 5-8
New Jersey 5-9
Toronto 5-9
Philadelphia 5-9
New York 5-11

combined 25-46

And one of these teams will make the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

NBA Atlantic Division
Boston 5-8
New Jersey 5-9
Toronto 5-9
Philadelphia 5-9
New York 5-11

And people complained about the NL Central...

Jared said...

The Atlantic Division is much ado about nothing... New Jersey will bounce back to win 45-50, and the rest of those teams were just as bad last year.

Anonymous said...

M4tt: Simmons is NOT that biased. As a Yankee and Bills fan, I've been torqued at Dan more often than Bill.

But 2 years ago, it was definitely an uneven column.

I like hockey, I really do. I've watched it for decades, and I still think "Hockey Night in Canada" is the best sports show of all time (longer running than MNF btw). They really, REALLY care about hockey, so that helps. I can't wait to hook up my antenna to catch a HD broadcast from Canada.

But there are bigger minor leagues now: NCAA football, NCAA basketball. It's not gaining traction and it isn't going to.

Why? The US population is moving South, Latin America is moving North, and soccer will be a bigger deal in the next 10 years or so.

More than that, hockey, even minor league hockey, really was popular with blue collar types in the city, where the stadiums had to be small and the same type of people liked boxing. We've lost our taste for blood (so has the NHL), not necessarily violence, and the city centers are dying. Fewer people want to go to a city to watch a game on a weekday.

Football is a weekend destination.

TJ said...

If you are Lee Humphrey, how do you not feel alienated?

Felt the need to weigh in on this one. Starting with: huh?

Anyway, Humphrey is a senior, the others juniors. They came in together and have lived together since they got here I believe. If anyone's left out it's Chris Richard, the other junior.

Second, they live on campus (in the same dorm complex from which I'm typing this, actually--and I have no idea how those guys fit on these tiny beds) in a 4-bedroom apartment style dorm. When only four people can live together, the entire starting lineup won't fit.

Humphrey was featured on the UF website's front page last Feb/March, which mentioned how he's into his academics (and probably needs to be, since he's not doing anything in the NBA).

My memory isn't amazing, but I seem to remember a story in the school paper last year--when the Sophomores were beginning to blossom--about how the younger guys would try to get Humphrey out partying with them but he preferred just doing his own more laid-back thing. Not because they weren't all friends, just, it wasnt his thing.

Unknown said...

thanks troy (g,f)

I often enjoy your comments, and was acually hoping you would find this thread as you are troy (g,f)

Anonymous said...

God couldn't save Georgetown last night against Oregon, so we'll stick with the money in the Big East.

Bill Simmons haters, find the audio from Jim Rome today. Jimmy King tore Bill Simmons a new one over some mess he wrote about the Fab 5.

Michael Vick gets to take a charitable tax deduction for his "fine." See me for Falcons analysis. I think there aren't too many Falcon bloggers out there. Real Falcons fans are numb with anguish.

Anonymous said...

God couldn't save Georgetown last night against Oregon, so we'll stay in our big money conference, thank you very much.

Bill Simmons haters, seek out the Jim Rome audio today. Jimmy King tore BS a new one over some of his "writing" about the Fab Five.