NBA Finals: "Duncan Dynasty" continues. Is the day of Game 4 too early to crown the Spurs as champs? Please. Even if the Cavs win tonight, everyone knows this thing is over. I'd guess most fans simply WANT it to be over -- euthanizing the lamest NBA season anyone can remember.
So: Where does this dynasty rank among the various multiple-title champs of the last 30 years? I have a stand-alone post dedicated to it, coming later this morning. But I didn't want 400 words on one subject to get in the way of a good a.m. Quickie. (Hint: No. 2)
Selig to suspend Giambi? It's possible, if Giambi doesn't talk with George Mitchell. Of course, given that Giambi is on the DL for the foreseeable future, isn't a suspension just a gesture for the sake of making one? Yes, it tars Giambi's career.
MLB Stud, Pitcher: John Lackey, who became MLB's first 10-game winner of the season (with a little help from Vlad, who drove in 4 runs).
MLB Stud, Executive: Billy Beane, who got an extension with the A's that will keep him locked up through 2014, enough time to win a half-dozen more division titles without winning a World Series. He has been (and remains) MLB's gold standard for GMs.
MLB Stud, Team: The... wait a sec, this can't be right... Yankees? Eight straight wins and all of a sudden the mood is much brighter in the
MLB Dud: Elijah Dukes. I'm a day late, but with his latest "episode" (impregnating a 17-year-old girl living as a foster kid with Duke's relatives), Dukes is quickly becoming MLB's biggest crazy. And he's only 22! That puts him on pace to shatter the all-time crazy standard set by legends like Carl Everett and... um, Carl Everett.
All-Star Update: David Ortiz won't be in the Home Run Derby. He's put in his years (and not won), so he's got a very excused absence.
NFL: Are the Jaguars – "my" Jaguars* – the lead suitor for Daunte Culpepper? That doesn't bode well for my favorite Jags player, Byron Leftwich. Actually, Leftwich is my second-favorite player now, after first-round draft pick Reggie "F'ing" Nelson, but that doesn't kick in until the new season starts. (* - Yes: MY Jaguars... less than three months from my one-year anniversary as a Jags fan!)
NFL: Congratulations to 49ers coach Mike Nolan, who will get to wear suits on the sidelines, rather than official Reebok apparel, for all eight home games this season.
I always appreciated Reebok's interest in getting a return on their massive investment to have the NFL apparel rights, but it was ludicrous to suggest that coaches couldn't wear suits on the sidelines, particularly for a league constantly trying to button-up its image.
My only question: Isn't it uncomfortable? Why would you want to, when you can wear something a little more loose-fitting? The Jags' Jack Del Rio will also wear suits at home games.
(Follow-up question: Will the initiative to have fans wear suits and ties to the home opener go on? It was created as a protest to Nolan NOT getting to wear a suit. Does this let fans off the hook?)
NBA Trades: Try not to be overwhelmed by the deal to send Juwon Howard from the Rockets to the Timberwolves for Mike James.
Minor-league baseball gimmicks: "Billy Donovan Night" on June 20, when you get to renegotiate the price and location of your ticket (and even negotiate a buy-out). I love it.
I default to O.G. sports-blog pioneer (and hockey's top blogger) Eric McErlain for his take, which is a must-read.
My take? I give the Islanders a lot of credit for at least thinking creatively about how to work with (some would say "use") independent bloggers. It's worth trying.
I could make the easy joke about how the NHL needs to be as innovative as possible about reaching its fans (and diversifying its channels), but this is something that ALL sports should follow closely. (Yes, even the NCAA.)
More NHL: I appreciate that there are hard-core NHL fans in
Varsity Dad Alert: Welcome Bryce Maximus James, son of LeBron, born at 12:51 this morning at a whopping 8 pounds 6 ounces and 21 inches. "Bryce James" has a nice ring to it, but there's no question you have to be LeBron James' son to pull off the middle name "Maximus."
Hot Blogger Bracket: I have advanced through Round 2 of the tournament, holding off a tough challenge from Signal to Noise, 55 percent to 45 percent out of 1,317 votes cast. It's only going to get tougher from here.
Apologies: Yesterday, I should have included a link to the John Hodgman segment on MMA from the Daily Show on Monday night. Here's the link. Hilarious.