Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday 05/10 A.M. Quickie:
Warriors, Fisher, Schilling, Sawgrass, More

Feel-good Warriors down O-2 after OT loss in Utah: As a bandwagon Golden State fan, I'm not worried... yet. They could have won either game in Utah; that bodes well for their chances to take both games at home in Oakland and turn this into a very winnable best-of-3.

Were there mental mistakes near the end of Game 2? Sure: Missed free throws, turnovers. But you can't support the frenetic style one day, then curse it when its inevitable downside rears up and bites them in the ass.

The unlikely star of the game? Derek Fisher, who missed the first three quarters of the game due to a family emergency, but scored all five of his points in OT.

Deny: Jerry Hairston says he's no steroid guy.
Deny: Pat Riley says he isn't trading Shaq.
Deny: Jermaine O'Neal says he doesn't want out of Indy.

Yet another reason why Curt Schilling's blog is pretty amazing and transforming the way athletes deal with the media and fans: A day after he created a firestorm with a radio interview totally bashing Barry Bonds, Schilling went to his blog to issue a long, sincere-sounding apology for it. He didn't have to go to the media to get his message out. He was able to be ultra-reactive, on his own timetable. Fascinating.

Terry Francona wants Schilling to STFU (to the extent the player can). We can agree that Schilling weighing in on... everything... can be hit-or-miss, but his blog has been the most interesting sports-media story of the season – and, again, if he can use the blog to make nuanced arguments, rather than find himself reduced to sensationalistic sound bites by radio and newspaper hyenas, then isn't the blog a good thing?

Wah! Roger Clemens is upset that Phil Garner was pointing out that Clemens' contract's "freedom clause" was used for things other than spending time with his family? Boo-freaking-hoo for Clemens. If you're going to demand unique treatment, you're going to have to accept unique criticism. His freedom clause doesn't bother me; his griping about people complaining about it does.

MLB clubhouse alcohol ban reaches 13 teams: The Brewers, for one, are not going to remove alcohol from the clubhouse. It's the other side of the argument: Adults can make their own decisions, provided they aren't abusing the privilege. (Maybe post-game socials -- a tight-knit clubhouse -- are one of the reasons this team is winning and has become the toast of baseball this season.)

(Related: John Danks was doused in beer by teammates following his first win of the season.)

MLB Studs: Matsuzaka (8K/7IP) and Manny (HR 476) team up to lead the Red Sox over the hapless Blue Jays... Jason Marquis wins his fifth straight start for the Cubs... Ryan Howard: Pinch-hit grand slam... Brewers: Best home stand in 15 years (9-1) en route to MLB's best record.

From yesterday's Maddux-Smoltz item: Yes, I recognized I totally forgot Mariano Rivera and Pedro Martinez as lock Hall of Famers. No slight intended.

Steve McNair arrested: For owning a car being driven by a drunk driver (McNair was sitting shotgun). We'll see what the Commish does about this, under the new, harsher conduct policies...

Unsurprisingly, the NBA receives the highest marks for minority representation among league and team executives. If only the other major sports -- including college -- could follow the example.

PGA: TPC starts today. I'm always sympathetic to Ponte Vedra Beach and Sawgrass -- we took a tour of the place as a possible spot for our wedding. Nuptials on the island of Sawgrass' 17th hole?

(Not that that option was on the table, but it sure would have been cool if it was. That's one of the few holes where I'd be willing to have a "hole-cam" open on my computer during the day as players come through. I have no idea if that's even an option, but it should be. Aha: Here's the link, h/t reader Tyler.)

Meanwhile, there are few smarter moves in golf than the TPC moving into May, to fill the void between the Masters and the Open. Given the money ($9 million) and the unofficial status as "5th Major," maybe "official" status won't be far behind. Pick: Tiger.

The potential "national basketball academy" has been a recent fascination of mine, and Arn Tellem bashed it in the LA Times yesterday, hitting on the most substantial flaw of the concept: The academy would severely limit the number of players who would be helped.

How do you make the cut? Look at the players on the current (or any former) US National Team: How many were among the Top 10 players in their class in high school?

Are you going to tell a player ranked No. 15 he's in, but the kid ranked No. 16 he's not? We're talking about stability, security, schooling and a gift-wrapped ticket to the NBA, let alone college.

And I question what the ultimate purpose of the academy is: Is it to groom future national-team players? Groom future NBA stars who play "the right way?" Help the most talented players in the country avoid perils that might derail their career... or derail the NCAA and NBA's ability to make money off of their talent?

No question: Tellem has a vested interest in bashing the "academy" system; after all, an academy might short-circuit a player's need or interest in having a super-agent. But he raises good points.

Happy graduation to Ashley Judd, who can now officially claim Kentucky as her alma mater after completing the final course she needed to graduate.

Happy election to Doug Flutie, among the latest class elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. What took so long?

The logic behind the NFL adding a 17th regular-season game is becoming more clear: It will be so that each team can play a regular-season game outside of the US without giving up one of their 8 home games.

Junior leaving DEI: I'm no NASCAR expert, but it seems to me that Dale Earnhardt Junior not driving for Dale Earnhardt, Inc (DEI) will be kind of surreal for fans.

Kevin Durant's first endorsement deal is with... Upper Deck trading cards. First of many, I presume. (H/T Darren Rovell at CNBC).

Mayweather-DeLaHoya a pay-per-view smash: 2.15 million buys (at $54.95 each!) makes it the most-purchased PPV event in TV history. Pretty astounding in this day and age of (1) consumer fragmentation and (b) boxing apathy.

Just to clarify, from yesterday's "Cavs-Nets: Zzzz" item: No, I don't particularly hate Cleveland and/or Cleveland sports. I loved the Browns drafting Joe Thomas; I'm hardly a "hater" for disliking the Brady Quinn pick or the trade to get it. I find LeBron interesting enough, but I have little patience for the unimaginative way the team plays. (And, yes, as a Wizards fan, I have a natural inclination to dislike both the Cavs and LeBron.) I have always been sympathetic towards the Indians and their fans. Hell, who isn't on the Sizemore bandwagon? And I hardly think that pointing out that the Cavs-Nets series isn't particularly exciting is Cleveland-hating. Except maybe as foreshadowing for the moment down the not-so-distant road when Jay-Z brings LeBron to play for the Brooklyn Nets. (Ahh... my first "LeBron-leaving-Cleveland" mention of the season! And I held out for so long!)

-- D.S.


RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Best news of the day!!! Hollywood couldn't have scripted this better!

"[Brady] Quinn threw consecutive balls into a brisk wind that could be described charitably as wounded ducks. Each ball looked to hit a brick wall in midair and plummet, one far short of the intended and uncovered receiver. Quinn compensated on the next pass and overthrew a receiver.''
-- Cleveland Plain Dealer veteran Browns beat writer Tony Grossi, observing Brady Quinn's first mini-camp practice Friday in Berea, Ohio

TJ said...

MLB Stud: Jason Marquis, rocking a 1.75 ERA (!) and a complete game shutout.

As for the Warriors, there is no need for any concern. They've more or less played to a tie in both games on the road. I don't see them losing a home game, and so long as they don't the thing will go 7, which... then all bets are off.

Unknown said...

On a rare occasion, you have to give a Stud to a Tampa Bay player.

Shields went 9IP/0ER....and didn't get teh win. Ah well.

Not a NASCAR fan, but how Earnhardt Jr. didn't get 51% of his father's company is just ridiculous. But then, he did have to fight to just use his own name. Theresa Earnhardt doesn't come out looking so good.

Lewis Dodgson said...

Its not up yet, but here's the link to watch live video from the 17th at Sawgrass.

Smalley said...

Derrek Fisher
Dice K

ToddTheJackass said...

Lots of great pitching yesterday. Yesterday's MLB Studs and Duds:

1. Jason Marquis
2. James Shields/Erik Bedard
3. Ryan Howard
4. Daisuke Matsuzaka
5. Cha Sung Baek

1. Nate Robertson
2. Robinson Tejeda
3. BJ Upton
4. Ramon Ortiz
5. Sal Fasano

Unknown said...

How about STUD to Aubrey Huff. He beats Tampa Bay (his old team) with a walk off homer in the bottom 10 to win the game 1-0.

CMFost said...

Dan check out the pga tour website there is actually live online coverage all day of the Player Championship.

here is a link

CMFost said...

Maybe driving that Hendrick car a couple of weeks ago was a little scouting. How would this be for a team? Johnson, Gordon and Junior

CMFost said...

Stud - David Ortiz 4 for 5 with his 9th HR of the Season.

ndyanksfan05 said...

rev - not only did that happen about a week ago but its practice...his first day of practice...are we going to keep track of every bad throw the guy makes over the next ten years because in all probability at least 4 out 10 are not going to be caught so hopefully you have a lot of time on your hands...just FYI.

Unknown said...


I'd we willing to bet if you combine the ones that are caught by both teams Brady Quinn could get up to 60% of his passes caught.

Like if he throws 30 passes. I'd say the Browns catch about 11 and their opponents catch about 7. Sounds about right.

CMFost said...

Brady Quinn is not that bad. He is not that good either but in the right system (cleveland is one of those teams with the right system) he could be a solid starting QB. He is not going to Manning or brady but he will help his team win some games

ToddTheJackass said...

It'll be sad for the Yankees after today, when they won't have any more games against the Rangers. While it won't last, it's funny that the Yankees are 3-11 against the AL East right now.

Unknown said...

Maybe he won't PEYTON MANNING, but can you say he won't ELI MANNING? As in be drafted to high, be overrated, look stupid, crush the hopes of a franchise, etc....

ndyanksfan05 said...

By crush his franchis do you mean take them to the playoffs in two of his first four years and win a division?

ndyanksfan05 said...

And is 22 that high?

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

ummm, cmfost?

normally you say very smart, intelligent things. but can you give further analysis on how "cleveland is one of those teams with the right system" for me?

5-11, 4-12, 6-10, 4-12 in the last 4 seasons? That sounds like the wrong system to me.

See Dan! It's easy to make fun of Cleveland. It's about as American as apple pie.

Unknown said...

Going to Yankee Stadium today!!!
Our company sponsors an outing where we get a bus from work, tickets and some food for $10 - just to make sure people really want to go. Nice thing except we have so many people from other countries who don't know anything about baseball. However, many of the Asian guys are happy that Wang is pitching.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

also...what makes people so sure that quinn will even beat out charlie frye? last time i checked, charlie frye was probably #5 of their problems...

1.) offensive line
2.) coaching
3.) terrible DBs
4.) no running back
5.) quarterback...but not his fault b/c the rest of the offense sucks ass besides winslow and edwards.

Unknown said...

The browns have a coach? Who knew?

Brian in Oxford said...

I think Flutie's HoF induction had to wait until he stopped playing pro, didn't it? Certainly the class he's in is all old-timers, too.

Do you have to graduate for a college to be called your alma mater? (doesn't that mean "mother soul" or something like that?) Mike Vick was described as a VT alum at the draft, and did he actually graduate? He left early and has in the off-seasons.

This morning it was mentioned on-air that Dale Jr. could get the 3 car if he races for Childress. Does this mean millions of rednecks pulling off their 8s from the window decals on their trucks? Usually the 3's in one corner, the 8's in the other.

And they said last night it was Maddux-Smoltz for the first time in 14 years, but EIGHTEEN years between Jamie Moyer-Randy Johnson matchups. that's just weird....

RevScottDeMangeMD said...



making fun of the browns is so fun. i feel so much better right now! maybe it's b/c i am going to vegas tomorrow...

Boomhauertjs said...

The Cavs' style might be unimaginative, but it's the same style that the Spurs have (since Mike Brown's a former Spurs assistant and Danny Ferry was a Spurs player and front office guy). The Spurs have won 3 titles. How many have the Suns and Warriors won with their "imaginative" styles? If the Cavs win a title, I could care less what style they play.

Luke Bell said...

Can we get any kind of hockey mentioned instead of this NASCAR crap?

CMFost said...

The reason Cleveland is the right system comes down to there coach Romeo Crennel. Being from the same coaching tree as Charlie Weis and using a similar offensive style to what Notre Dame ran.

CMFost said...

Sorry Luke but the NHL has not played in a couple of days so it gets no love but I like Buffalo in 7 and Anaheim in 6

mcscholt said...

re: Ashley Judd, alumnus
You don't have to graduate to be an alumnus at most schools. I think you only need to attend the school for 2 years (or 2 semesters?)

Mikepcfl said...

Does anyone know when Dan completes his last course at UF? Then he can become an official alumnus like Ashley Judd at UK. j/k

Ben K. said...

The Schilling love from Dan is getting a tad bit out of control. He's still a blowhard who speaks out on every issue (except when facing a judgmental Congress) and doesn't get his facts straight. Just because he has a blog doesn't mean he's some sort of baseball-Internet demigod.

rukrusher said...

Give Dan props for knowing the game last night was in Utah.

I would just like to say that as a Met fan it is nice to see Armando blow up and give the Mets a win for a change. I know the fly ball by Reyes should have been caught but that Was vintage Armando slamming down the rosin bag, glaring at the umpire, overthrowing the fastball and missing with the slider. You could just see the grooved fastball that D. Wright turned on was coming 15 seconds before it was thrown. Nice road trip for the Mets.

Finally, Gary COhen calls out Kieth Hernandez yesterday on his criticizm of Reyes and his home run dance sequences with his teamamtes. Kieth says, "I wish they would bring that into the dugout, the other team does not like being shown up." Gary says, well, the whole league hated the 86 Mets, including the curtain calls and other celebrations. Keith gets uncomfortable and then throws out, "Well we had Gary Carter and Wally Backman, they had no choice but to hate us." Classic, Keith throwing Carter under the bus 21 years later.

ndyanksfan05 said...

So schilling apologizes on his blog for a minute long rant about barry bonds (full of lies) and all is forgiven - but imus apologizes in every medium possible for a one liner during a 6 hour long show and imus is crucified and schilling is "sincere" and all is forgiven?

Matt T said...

The Smoltz/Maddux game was fantastic.

Smoltz got the W (to go 5-1 on the season) and Maddux didn't get the L, best case scenario for a fan fave coming back to pitch against his old team.

And Junior just announced he's a free agent. He's about to get PAID.

CMFost said...

ndyank what do you want the Red Sox to do fire him?

Luke Bell said...

I mean, I only follow hockey during the playoffs, but even hockey of days are more worth mentioning than NASCAR. Especially when all that is being talked about is more like a damn soap opera.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Obviously not, but everyone is so quick to forgive and forget with him (Mike and Mike this morning were praising him for being so apologetic, see Dan's comments, etc.) whereas a month ago they wanted Imus' head on a pike...

Travis said...

Last night Yahoo! Sports was reporting that Junior and TRuex were both leaving DEI and would drive for JRMotorsport, Juniors team.

Yahoo also said that the cars and engines would be supplied by Hendrick essentially making them a 5th and 6th Hendrick cars.

Michael said...

the junior story is interesting because he is leaving his dad's team and if you didn't know his father is one of the best in the history of the sport. The rumor is that Jr. will be starting his own team and taking fellow DEI racer Martin Truex Jr. (great racing name BTW) with him.

I'd say let's stop riding Brady Quinn so hard, but he probably likes it (thanks I'll be here all night, don't forget to tip your waitress)

Luke Bell said...

I don't find NASCAR interesting in the slightest.

pv845 said...

How about Gil Meche as a MLB Stud? Didn't get the win, but 6IP 7k against the Athletics is pretty good. He is currently sitting 3rd in ERA. Not bad for any team and wonderful for the Royals.

WuzUpG said...

My Warriors are killing me. Sure, they missed their free throws (71.7% in the season; 5th lowest in the NBA), but as a true Warrior fan, we've grown to expect that. We BELIEVE!

Matt T said...

Michael and Travis,
I'm watching the press conference. He said he's a free agent.

He's not sure what Martin Truex Jr is going to do.

Someone asked him about driving 8 and he grinned and said he'd love it but not sure if that was possible.

He did say he'd like to drive his own cars, but he's not really looked into it yet.

Matt T said...

I meant driving the 3, not the 8.


jhawkjjm said...

Schilling was only wrong in the fact that he said Bonds admitted to all those things. Had he used "it's been reported" or "there's some evidence" that he did those things then there's nothing wrong with what he said, except there was no reason to bring up things about cheating on his wife and taxes.

A radio program out here yesterday was talking about how indirectly Bonds actually has admitted to using steriods. He admitted using something that he was told was flaxseed oil which later we learned was steriods. So again, when referring to Barry admitting to using steriods, it was the word admitting that was wrong. Had he used either of the phrases above then there's no issue.

As for Brady Quinn, time will tell. I think he'll be good and probably be better than Alex Smith, who was a #1 pick a few years ago.

13 said...

Does the print media's bashing of Schilling seem a bit hypocritical to anyone else? I am by no means a Schilling apologist but it justs seems like he said what everyone has wanted to say about Bonds and now guys like Bob Ryan and Jay Mariotti are killing him for it. Mariotti is a clown, but that is for a different day.

Does this make Bonds a sympathetic figure? I hope not.

Mega said...

The Chicago media is hilarious. The Sox are "sucking" and the Cubs are doing "great". The Cubs are 1 game above .500 in the NL's worst division while playing the bottom feeders of the NL. The Sox are in the MLB's best division and are .500, while playing against the best teams in the majors. Biased much?

TBender said...

Garner wasn't the only one upset from what the local media implies.

Consider this, while the Cards were collapsing the last week: Clemens was with the team one day (the day he pitched), so if he was needed for some key relief duty he wasn't available.

Mikepcfl said...

I think Al Sharpton needs to investigate McNair's bogus arrest in Tenn. Come on, they were going 44 mph in a 30 mph zone at midnight with no traffic. We all do that. He was probably pulled over by some redneck deputy in a racial profiling incident! Something needs to be done before Boller has to start a game or two for the Ravens.

mattie said...

I would just like to say that as a Met fan it is nice to see Armando blow up and give the Mets a win for a change.

A-MEN!!!!!!!! I'm sure every Mets fan on the planet was thinking that yesterday, rukrusher.

Matt said...

I knew you were gonna do that Dan!!

It isnt like the suns and GSW are doing anything crazy there. Just push the ball, try to control the pace run run run play 0 defense and have a PG that can pass.

Cavs are a team that has a new defensive identity and rebounding philosophy. Crash the boards, play solid d, win the close games. That is what wins championship. while the suns and GSW might be entertaining, they will not win when it matters in a 7 game series because what makes them entertaining makes them beatable.

chitown italian said...

Don't forget, the Cubs are still owned by the Trib. I am sure the reporting may change in the coming years.

Unknown said...

As a huge NASCAR fan (check the blog) I gotta know - if you run a company, would you give majority ownership to the only reason your company makes ANY money? Or instead would you throw that face of the franchise, face of the entire sport out the door in order feed your own agenda?

Could you imagine the Cavs cutting ties with Lebron James because they feel like they can succeed without him? How stupid is that decision?

RevScottDeMangeMD said...


Top 5 bands right NOW

1.) Killers
2.) DMB
3.) Radiohead
4.) Guster
5.) Coldplay

Darklawdog said...

Top 5 bands:

1: Tool
2: Doesn't matter
3: Doesn't matter
4: Doesn't matter
5: Doesn't matter

Jen said...

That guy from the Plain Dealer is never positive.

Can we please wait and rip on the Browns after they only win 4 games? Pretty please? :( HAHAHAHA

Jen said...

oops, my sad face got separated

Top 5 bands, not solo artists?

CMFost said...

early MLB stud - Josh Willingham for his 3 run game winning home run to win a game that was 0-0 in the 9th

CMFost said...

Top 5

1. Pearl Jam
2. Coldplay
3. Chili Peppers
4. U2
5. Green Day

CMFost said...

Players Championship
Early Studs - Mickelson and Sabbatini both shot -5(67)

Early Dud - Tiger +3(75)

Unknown said...

Pearl Jam still does stuff?

Brian in Oxford said...

Jose Contreras for early Stud. Of course, I was ready to give that to Derek Lowe, too...

Brian in Oxford said...

Do the Red Sox EVER miss Halladay?!

CMFost said...

Early Dud - Wang - NYY - 7 Runs 11 Hits - Ouch

Kevin said...

How many lock Hall of Fame pitchers are in MLB right now? Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, Clemens, Johnson, Schilling?, Hoffman? I know there are more.

Yes, Pedro and Mariano are locks, as you mentioned today. I definitely think Schilling should and will get in; he's probably not a *lock* just yet, but I think he's fine. Smoltz definitely should be in, but he doesn't even have 200 wins yet b/c of those three seasons he spent as a closer. He will probably get in too, but it's not a done deal.

And after that...I guess you're right, there really isn't anybody else. Mike Mussina? I doubt it, although it will be interesting if he goes four more years and gets his win total up into the 270-280 range.

Unknown said...

Going to the O's/Rays tonight to see Casey Fossum hopefully throw his 43mph EEPHUS PITCH which he has dubbed the "Fossum Flip".

Daniel "the heat" Cabrera goes for the O's with the potential to either strikeout 20 or walk 20.

1 guy throws low triple digits, 1 guy throwing low 40s. Should be fun.