Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday 06/25 A.M. Quickie:
Griffey, Clemens, Beavers, Horford, More!

Welcome AOL Fanhouse readers!


Ken Griffey is MLB's hero
: 2 HR on Sunday to lead the Reds over the Mariners and vault himself ahead of Mark McGwire on the all-time HR list, in front of a "home" crowd that loves him perhaps more than any other athlete in city history.

A healthy-ish Griffey is enjoying a late-career surge of national popularity, most likely because he seems to be a rare model of clean power in a larger pool of PED-tainted sluggers of his era.

Clemens throws middle relief: It was his first relief appearance since July 1984. Think he wanted extra money for it?

The dramatic crescendo of the appearance was his battle with Barry Bonds. He walked Bonds on four pitches. Eh: Not so dramatic.

Frank Thomas hits 499: What's more exciting to follow – Frank Thomas reaching 500 HR or Craig Biggio reaching 3000 hits?

(Which is more exclusive? The 3000-hit club has 26 members; The 500 Club has 20.)

MLB Stud: Dustin McGowan, who threw a no-hitter through 8 innings before settling for a complete-game win. (Runner-up: Beckett becomes MLB's first 11-game winner. Angling for All-Star start?)

MLB Trade Rumors: Is Trader Ken Williams ready to ship Mark Buehrle to the Mets?

Morneau Watch: Still sidelined in the hospital after that collision. Purely my own speculation, but is this going to end his season?

Rod Beck, R.I.P.: Condolences to family, friends and fans of the longtime MLB closer, who sported the best moustache of our era.

CWS: Oregon State repeats as champs. Not a bad spring for back-to-back championships in major men's college sports.

NBA Deals: Vince Carter staying with the Nets? Ugh, how depressing for Nets fans. Why is Bruce Ratner so enamored with such an unclutch player?

It's time for the Nets to rebuild: I'd start with re-dangling Jason Kidd to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum (let's see LA turn that down NOW, after all the Kobe stuff). Then I'd let Carter go, or deal him in a sign-and-trade (to the Bobcats for Gerald Wallace?). Then I'd see what I could get for Richard Jefferson. Then I'd bide my time until LeBron arrives. Sound like a good plan?

NBA Draft Watch: Today, the Hawks are working out Al Horford, who is the consensus "Best Player Available Not Named Oden or Durant."

I've been saying this for two seasons: Horford is going to be an amazing NBA player. For now, he's being eclipsed by Oden and Durant, but he is going to be a huge impact player.

(That's sort of why I hate to see him go to a woeful team like Atlanta. But he can really help that team.)

Track: Your next great American Olympic track star? Tyson Gay, who produced the second-best time ever in the 200.

Wimbledon starts today: So it's going to be Federer winning the men's side and – what – like a Williams sibling winning the women's? OK, gotcha. Ping me when the finals are on.

(At least Wimby is paying the women the same as the men... finally, and long overdue.)

NFL: If you would like to know why Laurence Maroney will be the bloggers' favorite NFL player next year – sort of an antidote to Pac-Man Jones – here's why.

-- D.S.

58 comments:

rafael said...

The next great Olympic track star has to do more than just the 200. What else does Gay run? And can he medal in it?

rafael said...

And yes, Junior is still, and will always be, my favorite all time baseball player.

ryan from boston,ma said...

R.I.P Rod Beck....

Adam Giblin said...

By "lead the Reds over the Mariners", I think you meant "allow the Reds to not get shutout by the Mariners". Griffey and co. lost despite his two homers, in a microcosm of his entire Cinci career.

Clinton (Indianapolis) said...

Dan, I know that NASCAR is a niche sport, but there was something historic over the weekend. Juan Pablo Montoya became only the third foreign-born driver to win a race on the circuit. He joins Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney as the only men to win a NASCAR race, an F1 race, and an Indy Car race.

GuyInTheCorner said...

ESPY nominees announced this mourning:

BEST GAME
Game 5 Eastern Finals Lebron's "48 Special"
AFC Championship Colts over Pats
Texas over Oklahoma St. in 3OT
Fiesta Bowl Boise/Oklahoma

MALE ATHLETE
Tiger Woods
Roger Federer
LeBron James
Peyton Manning
LaDamien Tomlinson

FEMALE ATHLETE
Lisa Leslie
Lorena Ochoa
Candace Parker
Taryn Mowatt

BEST TEAM
Gators Hoops
Gators Football
Vols Women's Hoops
Colts
Spurs
Cardinals (I'm not sure who nominated them)

BEST MOMENT
Derek Fisher after his daughter's surgery
Black coaches in Super Bowl
MNF in New Orleans
Tiger wins British after Earl's death

CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE
Lebron - Eastern Finals
Peyton - Super Bowl
Serena - Aussie Open
Jimmie Johnson - Nextel Cup

BEST RECORD BREAKER
Bobby Knight - Career Wins
Michael Phelps - 5 world records at Olympics
Kelly Slater - Oldest/Youngest Surfing Champ
LdT - Scoring/TD records

BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE
Devin Hester
Kevin Durant
Ryan Howard
Morgan Pressel

BEST FINISH
Dodgers back2back2back2back vs. Padres
Harvick at Daytona
Barton over Winona St. DII hoops championship
Curlin at the Preakness

BEST PLAY
Boise Statue of Liberty to win 2pt
Darrelle Revis return TD Pitt/WVU
D-Wade 3pt play vs. Pacers off glass over 2 guys
Chavez robs Rolen Game 7 NLCS
Pastrana double backflip

BEST COACH
Billy D
Dungy
Leyland
Pop
Pat Summitt

BEST UPSET
Tigers over Yanks ALDS
Golden State over Dallas 1st round
Florida over Ohio St. football
Rutgers over Duke Sweet 16 women

BEST MOVIE
Pride
Talladega
Invincible
We are Marshall

Matt T said...

Ken, please send Buerhle to Atlanta instead of NY. Thanks.

Like I said last week, Horford to the Hawks seems close to a done deal. There's also rumors they have promised Law to take him at 11 if he's there.

They redid their logo, and unis with new colors also. Hopefully they bring better basketball too

J Fitty said...

USA OWNS Mexico!!!!

pv845 said...

Gay can do more than just run the 200. He also was the US champ in the 100m. He ran the fastest time ever into a headwin and still was fast. I expect him with good competition to break the 100m world record. Then again, knowing track, one hamstring pull and it is all over.

Joe said...

Dan-

So now, in the last 3 weeks, you've claimed it is a done deal that the Hawks at # 3 take 1- Conley, 2- B.Wright and now 3- Horford. Steady analysis.

CMFost said...

Hey Dan, Don't you listen to what everyone is saying about Buerhle, The Favorite currently to get him is the Red Sox not the Mets.

CMFost said...

So much for the Yankees surging back into the race. They are now in 3rd place behind Toronto and 11 1/2 games behind the Red Sox

CMFost said...

Stud - Beckett
Dud - Peavy

for what was supposed to be the pitching match up of the season Peavy sure did not handle the pressure well.

CMFost said...

My Espy Vote


BEST GAME
AFC Championship Colts over Pats


MALE ATHLETE
Roger Federer

FEMALE ATHLETE
Lorena Ochoa

BEST TEAM
Colts


BEST MOMENT
MNF in New Orleans


CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE
Jimmie Johnson - Nextel Cup

BEST RECORD BREAKER
Bobby Knight - Career Wins


BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE
Ryan Howard


BEST FINISH
Curlin at the Preakness

BEST PLAY
Boise Statue of Liberty to win 2pt

BEST COACH
Pat Summitt

BEST UPSET
Florida over Ohio St. football


BEST MOVIE
Talladega

jhawkjjm said...

Griffey is going to be the biggest "What if" player in history. What if he didn't have all those injury problems, would we be worried about Bonds breaking Aaron's record, or would we not care as much knowing that Griffey would pass him anyways.

Espy's are joke and become a popularity contest (just like anything voted on by fans) That said, here's my picks:

Best game: Boise St-OK
Male athlete: Federer
Female athlete: no clue.
Best team: Florida bball
Best moment: New Orleans
Champ. Perf: LeBron
Record Breaker: LdT/Phelps (can't decide)
Breakthrough: Durant
Best Finish: Barton/Winona St
Best Play: Boise St
Best Coach: did any of them have to actually coach?
Upset: GS over Dallas
Movie: Haven't seen any

MoL said...

Gay can run the 100 also and after watching him over the past month, expect him to do some big things in Beijing.

What, no Michael Phelps in the "Best Male Athlete" category? Can't ESPN amuse us non-mainstream sports fans and at least include him here? We know he won't win (should though) but it could behoove the powers that be to put him as a finalist.

GuyInTheCorner said...

And now... my picks.

BEST GAME
Game 5 Eastern Finals Lebron's "48 Special"

MALE ATHLETE
Tiger Woods

FEMALE ATHLETE
Candace Parker

BEST TEAM
Gators Hoops

BEST MOMENT
MNF in New Orleans

CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE
Lebron - Eastern Finals

BEST RECORD BREAKER
LdT - Scoring/TD records

BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE
Devin Hester

BEST FINISH
Barton over Winona St. DII hoops championship

BEST PLAY
Pastrana double backflip

BEST COACH
Leyland

BEST UPSET
Golden State over Dallas 1st round

BEST MOVIE
We are Marshall

Sheldiz said...

funny:

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2007/6/25kershner.html

(i hope this hasn't already been posted on here somewhere, i don't think i remember seeing it.)

Michael said...

3,000 hits is becoming more exclusive as the 500 homer club seems to be getting new members all the time including at least 3 or 4 more this year

CMFost said...

Micheal I agree, I think there will be 1 person reaching the 300 Hits mark and 4 or 5 getting to 500 Home Runs this year.

jhawkjjm said...

mol- there are a lot more categories than those posted here. Phelps is up for 2 or 3 different categories.

Eric said...

Don't forget.. US 2 Mexico 1. Big win for the US since it sends them to play world class competition in 2009, less than a year before the WC.
Also, the game was fantastic (or so I hear, I was at my own engagement party...)

Lawdog1214 said...

BEST GAME
Game 5 Eastern Finals Lebron's "48 Special"

Fiesta Bowl Boise/Oklahoma

This is a tossup.

MALE ATHLETE
Tiger Woods

FEMALE ATHLETE
ehhh

BEST TEAM
Gators Hoops

BEST MOMENT
MNF in New Orleans

CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE
Lebron - Eastern Finals
(but in reality do any of these nominees deserve this)

BEST RECORD BREAKER
Michael Phelps - 5 world records at Olympics

BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE
Ryan Howard

BEST FINISH
Barton over Winona St. DII hoops championship


BEST PLAY
Pastrana double backflip

BEST COACH
Don't care

BEST UPSET
Golden State over Dallas 1st round


BEST MOVIE
NONE

MDT said...

No love for a ridiculous volley winner by Feilhaber in the Gold Cup? For shame.

http://www.youtube.com/v/qETrlNYxjyM

Brian in Oxford said...

How do the Eastern finals qualify LeBron for best "championship" performance. That's some serious popsicle-sucking there....

like when Wheaties put Jordan on the box years before his first title....breakfast of champions? Did they mean SCORING champions?)

How can the Boise State 2-pt be up for best play, but not best finish? It was the last freakin' play! And, considering what it was on the heels of in that game, sheesh.

The Cardinals weren't up for best upset, but best team?! That's very laughable, too. They weren't the best team at all, but they did pull off THREE upsets!

And really, ALL of the "Best Moment" nominees should be awarded something, long before some of these nominees deserve even being nominated. The ESPYs truly are about as self-serving as you can get. (Note the absolute lack of hockey?)

CycleDan said...

ESPYs
Colts over Pats
Federer
Gators Hoops
MNF in New Orleans
LeBron
LdT TD record
Ryan Howard
Dodgers, back to b2b2b
Boise St
Bill Donovan
Rutgers over Duke
Didn't see any of the movies.

Jingoist said...

(Which is more exclusive? The 3000-hit club has 26 members; The 500 Club has 20.)

Doesn't that kind of explain itself?

Michael said...

Jingoist, you have to look at the number of players that are going to be entering the clubs in the future and it looks like 500 is going to be passed by a number of players in the coming years

Big D said...

Re: Clemens' relief

"...his first relief appearance since July 1984."


Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't he come out of the bullpen during the Houston/Atlanta NLDS series... that 18-inning marathon? That was blamed as the reason the Astros eventually lost - his throwing schedule was knocked out of whack, leaving him unavailable until later games in the postseason. Or at least, that's what Astros' fans told themselves. Couldn't be that Clemens' postseason record is spottier than a leopard.

Re: 500 vs. 3000

I'd argue that in the steroids age, 3000 hits is more impressive - anybody can shoot up and add 15-25 feet to their hits, thereby increasing their chances of knocking 500 of them out of the yard. Plus, 500 is 1/6 of 3000 - not to get all mathematical or anything...

Kevin said...

I'm just hoping Biggio gets his 3000th soon, so the Astros can get him out of the lineup. His .273 OBP is killing them, especially in a lineup that already has Adam Everett and Brad Ausmus.

And why the hell did Howard get nominated for Breakthrough player of the year? He won the Rookie of the Year award in 2005! He was already a big name before his '06 season...

Jingoist said...

But you almost make my argument Michael.

Why is the list for 500 HRs going to grow exponentially in the next few seasons while the 3,000-hit club stays pretty exclusive?

I say it's because the PEDs epidemic easily has led to more home run hitters than it ever did quality batsmen who can actually hit a ball more frequently (i.e., 3,000-hit club).

You could argue for the 3,000-hit club based on the PEDs argument too. Figure this way... players could use PEDs to doctor their ability and crush more HRs, hence making the 500-HR Club. But you cannot really synthesize your ability to hit the ball frequently... sure it may lead to farther hit balls (obviously some more HRs, maybe some extra base hits). But to be 3,000-hit good? No amount of PEDs can foster that skill.

OK, maybe I just switched my opinion to 3,000-hit Club.

But, really, let's not argue the point that both are pretty damn good company to be in.

Kevin said...

Re: Big d

It was Clemens' first regular-season relief appearance since his rookie year, so that wouldn't count the playoffs. I'm not sure why anybody would say that caused the Astros to eventually lose; they won the NLCS and lost in the World Series, so Clemens' schedule wouldn't have been an issue by then.

As for Clemens' postseason record being "spottier than a leopard", he's 12-8 in the playoffs with a 3.66 ERA, mostly in the AL...

Matt T said...

Re: the ESPYs:

who gives a shit? Its a meaningless award given by a company that is more interested in promoting itself and Disney than good sports coverage.

Big D said...

For the record - my personal ESPY picks (not like it matters at all... kind of like the awards themselves)

Game:
Fiesta Bowl
Male Athlete:
Tiger
Female Athlete:
Don't care
Team:
Gators Hoops
Moment:
Tiger
Championship:
Peyton (ugh...)
Record Breaker:
LdT
Breakthrough:
Durant
Finish:
Dodgers, I guess (Should be Fiesta Bowl)
Play:
Boise St.
Coach:
Pop
Upset:
Golden State
Movie:
Talledega (Only one there I've seen)

Big D said...

@ kevin:

Yes, Clemens is 12-8 in the postseason. I'm not saying he's a terrible postseason pitcher - 12-8 with a 3.66 is respectable... for any average pitcher. But when discussing perhaps the best pitcher of the past 35 or so years, you'd expect a little more.

Not to mention that he's 12-8 over 33 career postseason starts. 13 No decisions just kind of underlines the number of times he's either come up short or been yanked early (the 2005 World Series against the Marlins comes to mind). Plus, that '05 3-inning relief appearance gave him one of those 12 wins, so really he's 11-8. And before the 2000 playoffs, he was pretty average (at best).

Again, not terrible. Certainly better than most. But not the type of numbers you're looking for from the best pitcher of his generation.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Sometimes I feel like the lesser known things don't get the votes that they should. The Barton/Winona St. DII Champ game ending was one of the most ridiculous things that ever happend on a basketball court in any sort of championship game. Here is the clip if you hadn't seen it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WzmQmz9Kdc

Jay said...

Um ...

... wasn't that a FIVE-pitch walk from Clemens?

... didn't the Mariners BEAT the Reds?

jp / john paul / paul said...

BEST GAME
Fiesta Bowl Boise/Oklahoma

(come on... you can make a movie out of this one... - storyline is even better than what the wwe can pull out of)

MALE ATHLETE
Tiger Woods

(still is dominant)

FEMALE ATHLETE
Candace Parker

(can't stay much, though)

BEST TEAM
Spurs

(can't argue here)

BEST MOMENT
Derek Fisher after his daughter's surgery
MNF in New Orleans
Tiger wins British after Earl's death

(any of the 3 would do. how about the fiesta bowl? - none there, come on)

CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE
Serena - Aussie Open

(hmm... i would rather go with the whole boise state team here. lebron did it in the eastern finals, not the nba finals. the super bowl is live and let addai.)

BEST RECORD BREAKER
LdT - Scoring/TD records

(phelps, the gold standard still remains mark spitz)

BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE
Devin Hester
Kevin Durant

(no qualms with either, but durant will take this hands down)

BEST FINISH
Dodgers back2back2back2back vs. Padres

(what, no boise state? again... come on. i will withhold my judgement on the dII game)

BEST PLAY
Boise Statue of Liberty to win 2pt
Pastrana double backflip

(x-games rule..., again... only 1 boise state play? should be pastrana vs the 3 boise trick plays)

BEST COACH
Billy D
Leyland
Pop
Pat Summitt

(except of dungy, no complaints here)

BEST UPSET
Golden State over Dallas 1st round

(come on... is there any other choice... well... maybe boise state over oklahoma... but that is a far 2nd)

BEST MOVIE
We are Marshall

(i presume we all have a soft spot...)

CMFost said...

Not sure if anyone has seen this but it is pretty funny. Check it out.



Clemens in 2057

J said...

Simmon's NHL draft diary!!

Simmon's

Kevin said...

Clemens' 3.66 ERA may not be spectacular, but it's certainly better than "respectable". And the other great pitchers of this era haven't done much better - it's just hard to do better, given the offensive explosion of the '90s and the fact that the league's best offenses tend to be in the playoffs.

The other best pitchers from this era haven't done a whole lot better...Maddux has a 3.34, all in the NL; Pedro's is 3.42, but over a much shorter period of time; Glavine's is 3.42, also all in the NL. Randy Johnson's is 3.50.

Only Smoltz and Schilling from this era have significantly better ERAs than Clemens in the postseason...the point is, Clemens hasn't been any worse in the postseason than you would expect him to be.

CMFost said...

I have to say that is one of the better Simmons articles in a while.

CMFost said...

Why are we talking about Clemens in the post season? It is not like he is actually currently pitching in the post season and he probably won't be pitching the the post season this year.

Natsfan74 said...

In talking about Clemens -- Mussina was right. Roger Clemens is a #3 or #4 starter right now. Torre acknowledged it when he said his hopes for Roger every week are to give his team a chance to win games. For $28M, I would want an ace. A guy who you can count on for a win every 5th day, not a guy who keeps us close and gives us a chance. Clemens has an ERA above 5 on a team that is below .500 and is 11.5 back. I think it's time he "retire" for good!

chipp said...

I was in right field at Safeco last night:

Best. Game. Ever.

At least for a Griffey/M's fan. His second shot was one section to our right.

If he hits 50 this year, that puts him 100 from Ruth. At 37 now, he would need 3 more years at 30+ to pass Ruth. Is it possible?

GuyInTheCorner said...

Chipp-

I would say that it is completely possible for Junior to catch Ruth. With the way he loves the game, I doubt he will stop playing any time soon. Rumors are already starting that Griffey might take less money to go back to Seattle when they lose Ichiro so that he can end his career there. Even if he stops being able to play the field, I doubt that swing is going anywhere. That guy could DH for life.

Big D said...

@ chipp & guyinthecorner:

If there is one person who is designed to be a DH specifically to chase down a record, it's Jr. Bonds' switching to the AL and the DH would bring nothing but constant boos and razzing - I cannot imagine anyone outside of the Bay Area who is looking forward to Bonds breaking Aaron's record. If we're lucky, he hits 756 and no more, making it all the more plausible for a Jr., Pujols, or A-Rod to eclipse the mark within the next decade+.

But as for returning to the Mariners, I can honestly see people nation-wide supporting Jr.'s move to an AL team to give his body a break (sorry, poor choice of words) and chase down Ruth, Aaron and eventually Bonds. If fans in Seattle can "forgive and forget" and welcome him back to the Emerald City, fans across the country would openly be rooting for him to knock Bonds' name from the eventual top of the All-Time list.

Now... if he went to a different AL team (the Yankees spring to mind, what with their gaping DH hole now that Giambi's snitching), there might be less goodwill towards him - people would spring up with the old arguments; "He's just chasing personal glory", "He's not trying to make a team better", "He's all about the numbers and money".

Actually, scratch that. If he went to the Yankees, he'd stil be on a contender. If he went to Tampa Bay, he'd finally be closer to home. It would take a move to a team like Kansas City or the Rangers to get teh boobirds out in full effect.

Big D said...

Holy crap - sorry about the novel I just posted.

JmanTU said...

Dan, I agree with most of your top 5 NYC athletes, but I thought for sure that you would have Joakim Noah as tops on the list, remember we played HS ball in the NYC...

Jen said...

I don't remember...were Seattle fans pissed that Jr. left? Since he went "home" to Cincy, I think they took it better than A-Rod to Texas to NY. I was too busy crying about all of the Indians leaving Cleveland for the money.

If Jr. ever went to the Yank-mes, I don't think I'd root for him. I just don't like good guys going there. I'm enjoying their dismal season right now ;)

Sean said...

Dan, just saw the NY list, and maybe I'm out of touch, but isn't Posada on there somewhere? Catchers usually have some balls and with his tenure on the Yanks, I thought he'd at least make the Honorable Mention list.

Big D said...

Anybody need a defensive tackle with more arrests than sacks last season?

Travis said...

Come on Dan, you really should have given the USA men's team a little love. A great come-from-behind, 2-1 win over arch-rival Mexico... in front of a very pro-Mexico crowd (in Chicago).. for the Gold Cup trophy.

The winning goal by Feilhaber is something that will be remembered as for a very long time. It was spectacular... and by a very young, up-and-coming player. Look out for Benny.

Also, the Griffey HR's were great, and even better that is was a MARINERS win. Now I only wish Bavasi could bring Junior back to Seattle this year.

chipp said...

When Jr. left Seattle, he asked to be let go/traded because he didn't think the M's were committed to doing what it takes to win. At the time, a lot of people felt the same way. Therefore he left under great circumstances. He was cheered every time he came to the plate this weekend and every time he made a play in the field. Seattle still LOVES him. Even if he became a Yankee, I don't think M's fans would boo.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

If anybody's seriously questioning whether Seattle is ready to take Griffey back, here's a column I noticed while reading some unrelated article from the Seattle Times.

As someone who never really cared about KG, Jr. for any reason before, I'm ready to sign the petition to get him out of Cincy this week.

Is there anybody who doesn't freaking love interleague play?

Mark said...

RIP Chris Benoit and family.

Clinton (Indianapolis) said...

Amen, mark. I have watched pro wrestling for as long as I can remember (yes, I know it's scripted), but Chris Benoit was always one of my personal favorites: technically sound and always classy. Condolences to his extended family.

Lozo said...

Clemens actually walked Bonds on five pitches.