Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday 07/13 A.M. Quickie:
Cubs, Beckham, Wells, Redick, Fujikawa, More (Slow Day!)

Wow, I thought Wednesday was supposed to be sports' slowest day of the year. Turns out it was yesterday, given the dearth of good stories to talk about today...

MARK CUB-FAN: Mark Cuban submits application to buy the Cubs. MLB would be crazy to turn him away. It's hard to imagine a sports owner -- a baseball owner, no less -- saving a sport (if MLB even needs saving), but Cuban is the guy to do it.

His combination of marketing savvy, fan-friendliness, commitment to quantitative measurement and competitive drive to field a winner would electrify baseball... and, I predict, lead the Cubs to that long-awaited World Series title.

I have to imagine that Bud and the existing MLB owners will find a way to screw this up.

UPDATE: I'm late on this, but I just watched Miss Gossip's video interview with Greg Oden, and it's fantastic. Oden really does have a likable personality, and Miss Gossip is a better interviewer than, like, 99 percent of mainstream media TV reporters out there. Worth your 7 minutes, if you haven't seen it yet. Here's the link. That's as good a way to start the day as any.

LA Galaxy to introduce David Beckham today: This will be yet another high-water mark of just how little most American sports fans care about this development.

MLB Dud: David Wells, suspended 7 games for arguing with an umpire last weekend. Can't disagree with a suspension, but seven games? Wow. That seems like a lot. They suspend guys for less for doing more. (Of course, for starting pitchers, suspensions are always a joke, given that, at most, he'll miss 2 starts.)

Who else is bummed that Julio Franco, MLB's Methuselah, was designated for assignment? What other team might want a 49-year-old pinch-hitter, even if he is freakishly still productive (given his age)? I'm hoping that someone like Billy Beane scoops him up. (h/t MLB Fanhouse).

MLB Stud: A-Rod hits HR No. 31. Jeter and Abreu hit homers, too, in a Yankees win over the D-Rays. Among the more notable second-half storylines, whether the Yankees can get off to a hot start and insert themselves into the AL Wild Card race is one of them. Because if they don't, it could be bye-bye for Joe Torre and Brian Cashman and the coup de grace that the Yankees' decade-long era of relevance is over.

File it away: David Ortiz revealed he has knee problems. They haven't required surgery (all together now: "Yet"), but that has "ominous foreshadowing" written all over it.

NBA Summer, Orlando: I have been so focused on Las Vegas that I have neglected to cover the Orlando league. Here's the headline: JJ Redick is destroying people. No, that is not some kind of sick joke. He is lighting it up.

With Dwight Howard (who just signed an $80M contract extension) demanding double-teams down low and Rashard Lewis demanding double-teams on the wing, that frees up JJ for a lot of open jumpshots (and, perhaps, NBA redemption after a weak rookie year).

NBA Summer Rookies, Vegas: Aaron Brooks goes for 28 for the Rockets... Stuckey and Afflalo combine for 38 points for the Pistons... Mike Conley had 13 points and 7 assists in 22 efficient minutes for the Grizzlies... Spencer Hawes had 22 for the Kings... Yikes: Julian Wright had a goose-egg on 0/9 FG shooting for the Hornets... And Corey Brewer was 2/12 FG, finishing with 8 points (plus 6 rebounds) in a T'wolves loss.

Finally: You've got to give Isiah Thomas credit where it's due as a guy with a pretty freaking good track record as a drafter for the Knicks. Second-round pick Demetris Nichols (17 points last night) looks like one of the second-round steals of the draft (along with Suns' second-rounder DJ Strawberry).

The Nets will officially announce their re-signing of Vince Carter today. That rush of air you feel is the excitement leaving the bodies of Nets fans.

Tadd Fujikawa turns pro: He's only 16 (and only 5-foot-1) but that only means his marketing potential is that much greater. By the way, note the lack of outrage from the folks who bemoaned preps going straight into the NBA.

Ronny Thompson quits as Ball State basketball coach after only one season, after some violations of NCAA guidelines about offseason team workouts. Remember when he was the hot Thompson-progeny coach?

BALCO leak lawyer gets 2.5 years in prison: If the prosecutors can't actually get anyone who – y'know – actually used steroids (or perjured themselves in talking about it), they can always get the guy who leaked details about the investigation to reporters. Hardly a moral victory. (Not that I'm condoning the leak.)

So: Given how slow things are today, what does everyone have going on this weekend? Anything sports-related?

-- D.S.


Matt T said...

Bring Julio back to Atlanta to pinch hit. I loved that guy.

This is a rather dull weekend. At least next weekend we have the British Open.

Ian Striz said...

Little League.

My team is out, but this weekend is District championships all over the country. It's an opportunity to see some great youth baseball. The winners go on to their respective state tournaments in their efforts to get to the World Series.

Geoff said...

Dan, you can't even compare a 16 year old going pro in golf to an 18 year old going pro in basketball. It's not even remotely the same thing. Well I guess you can compare the two since you often compare things that make no sense.

Sheldiz said...

i'm going to the O's/White Sox game tomorrow night.

so no, i'm not doing anything that would be considered sports-related.

Liz said...

I know nobody outside of Philadelphia cares, but I'm going to the Phillies/Cards game tonight where the Phils could lose their 10,000th game most by any team in any professional sport). Woooo, it's so awesome being a Philadelphia sports fan!

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Dan, Redick was hurt during the summer last year so he did not have the chance to play in the summer league games. Once he was healthy he was stuck on the bench because the former Magic coach Brian Hill is an idiot. I bet Hill will get another chance in the next couple of years to coach.

jeff said...

For the first topic: here's the best post i've seen on beckham so far:

As for this weekend: Bastille Day and the Tour de France (one of the few things VS is good for). It's the first weekend of the Alps; and the scenery, strategy, and athleticism is amazing.

If nothing else, go outside and play your own sport; there's no better time.

hutlock said...

Today is my birthday, and I'm going to the Indians/Royals game this evening. I try to get to a game on my birthday every year, but at least half of the time there are none because of the All-Star break.

Other than that, I have a little league game tomorrow AM. Maybe golf with my dad and brother on Sunday.

T-Mill said...


I love the daily column, and my wife and I will be in your neck of the woods sports-related. We're turning an upstate New York wedding invite into a baseball week as we're taking in games at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park next week.

It's honestly more exciting than Sunday's wedding.

NA said...

US has a big shot in the next week to win the U20 world cup. That's pretty exciting stuff, of course they got to be Austria, and whoever beyond that, but still. Also, Mexico is still alive, gives hope for the future of North American soccer.

I still think they should merge the Americas, then include the 3 CONCACAF births with the 4 CONMEBOL births. It's a little ridiculous that to think that North/Central Americas has even 75% of the top teams that South America.

Brian in Oxford said...

Does croquet count as sports-related, Dan? Wrigley's got ivy on the walls, but we'll be fighting POISON ivy if we get sent into the woods.

ckopech said...

going golfing in Marysville, OH on Saturday...sleeping until entourage on sunday

Unknown said...

Hey Dan,

You don't think Thompson leaving Ball State has nothing to do with this?

In the last couple weeks, he was receiving racist notes in his office.

Gary said...

Going camping with 20 of my closest friend from college all weekend...sports include Beer Pong, drunken wiffle ball and a hot dog eating contest. We do it every year and it never dissappoints. The only way I can fall asleep in a tent is if I give my self no choice by passing out in there!

Airyoda said...

This will be yet another high-water mark of just how little most American sports fans care about this development.

Ugh. Was that just copied and pasted from the hacky sports writer database? Right next to: "Hey, those NHL ratings were lower than women's softball; yuk, yuk, yuk". I'm not a soccer or hockey fan, but this kind of uncreative commentary about a sport is so sad.

Jack said...

Franco has been pretty horrible this year. Seems that he can't get around on a decent fastball anymore so this is probably it for him. Still amazing he lasted this long.

Ftrain said...

Going to the Mets-Reds games tonight with upstate people and again tomorrow night courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York.

Which by the way Dan and everyone,
there is a great exhibit titled "The Glory Days: New York Baseball 1947-1957" at the Museum of the City of New York. It covers how the city was baseball mecca due to the Yankees, Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers.

Great exhibit and i highly recommend it.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Carl Monday, Entourage was great last Sunday there were a number of great Ari lines. My favorite was him telling his wife that her friend "Has been married twice before, I think we're going to get another run at this." Just a classic Ari episode last Sunday

Jack Kidd said...

Having my bachelor party this weekend, and going to the Cubs/Astros game with about 30 people. Opting for the rooftop instead of being in the stadium though. It's a 3PM game, so with 3+ hours in Wrigleyville beforehand, it should make for a very interesting day/night.

ToddTheJackass said...

TGIF everyone. I know I'm happy to see the weekend.

MLB Studs and Duds from yesterday:

1. El Duque - W, 6.0IP, 2ER, 3H, 3BB, 7Ks
2. Bobby Abreu - 3/4, HR, 3RBI
3. Kevin Millar - 3/5, HR, 4RBI
4. Michael Cuddyer - 4/4, 3B, R, RBI
5. Mariano Rivera - Sv, 1IP, 0ER, 2Ks

1. Jeremy Guthrie - L, 3.2IP, 5ER, 6R, 9H, 3BB, 2HR
2. Dewon Day - 0IP, 4ER, 4H
3. Chad Gaudin - L, 4.0IP, 5ER, 6H, 5BB
4. Roy Halladay - L, 5.0IP, 5ER, 8H, 4BB
5. James Shields - L, 6.0IP, 5ER, 9H, BB, 3HR

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Mark Cuban is making a run at the Cubs.

ToddTheJackass said...

I'm on the DL since I still feel a twinge in my elbow from pitching in Wiffle Ball for 3 weekends in a row.

I wonder if anyone has ever needed Tommy John surgery from playing wiffle ball? Perhaps I could see Dr. James Andrews, and he could fit me into his schedule in between Rich Harden and what's left of Carl Pavano.

Sheldiz said...

oh i almost forgot! i have a softball game on sunday, we're going for our 9th loss in a row.

at least we're sponsored by a bar.

CMFost said...

Golfing on Cape Cod.

On the Yankees - Considering they play 29 straight games against sub 500 teams, if they can not make a run at a playoff spot over the next 3 to 4 weeks then they really are done.

Darklawdog said...

My new golf clubs (Callaway X-20 Tour) came in yesterday, so I will be spending a great amount of time on the golf course this weekend.

36 holes on Sunday in Bluffton, Ohio.

Ghost, which course in Marysville are you playing? I hear there are some pretty nice ones there.

chipp said...

Did anyone catch the SEA/DET game last night? One of the weirdest plays ever. Bases loaded single by Beltre scores 2; the throw goes home and Beltre tries to take second, slides wide to avoid the tag (he touches second), gets up and keeps running as Guillen is trying to tag him (which he thinks he does), then Guillen is half-heartedly chasing him and bobbles the ball allowing Beltre to slide into third while Sexson scores the go-ahead run. After arguing with the umps, Beltre is safe at third and the run scores. Then everything is settled down and Beltre is on third; the ump decides that Beltre never touched second (replays show he did), so the pitcher turns and picks him off at second, even though he's on third.

Wacko. At least the M's won.

Gary said...

I want Youtube of that play (Sea/Det), with all the replays and umpire appeal. I keep hearing about it and I haven't seen it yet. It's on the ESPN webpage, but that's not loading on my work computer for some reason.

Anonymous said...

Don't just give credit for Isiah Thomas for drafting on the Knicks. He also picked Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby, and Tracy McGrady while he was in Toronto. Now, if only the Knicks could keep him from making idiotic personnel moves not related to the draft...

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

For some reason I popped Pulp Fiction in the DVD player last night. I have not watched the movie in about 2 years. I got sucked in pretty quick and found a feature when you push the subtitles button that gives you written commentary about the movie. Just a tremendous movie that I forget was so awesome.

Big D said...

I will be enjooying two of my favorite weekend pasttimes... golf and sleep.

Maybe even watch some TV, considering I finally have cable. Thinking about the 5 hour drive to AC...

Yes, my life really is that boring.

Xenod said...

I thought it was pretty standard to suspend Starting Pitchers longer so that they would have to actually miss a start.

Jingoist said...

Taking my son (who turns 4 next month), ice skating for the first time. As you may or may not know from other posts, I'm a hockey player myself (future hockey dad?).

Wait, should this post go on Varsity Dads then?

Anyway, big happenings as far as I am concerned!

Unknown said...

Copa America and U-20 World Cup! Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero are like the LeBron James and Kevin Durant of soccer, respectively.

CMFost said...

Hey D - Where are you going to be playing golf this weekend? Any place good?

The heroin sheik said...

Nascar this weekend at Chicagoland raceway. I wonder if midwesterners are as passionate as us southerners. It is weird not seeing cars with their favorite driver's numbers on the rear window or bumper. OH yeah, the lack of gun racks up here is disconcerting. I wonder how much trouble I will get in when I bring my pickup up here because now that I have my civil rights restored I want to put a 12 gauge and a .22 in my rear window just to be a stereotypical redneck.

Big D said...

@ cmfost:

Decent little public course out here called Grand View. Not very long, but extremely challenging. Tons of doglegs and hills to work with (I know - shocking that Pittsburgh would have hills...). I've played it a few times already, still trying to break 90 though.

Jen said...

I hope someone signs Julio! He's one of my all-time favorites.

lawdog~ My boss is a Bluffton alum and will be golfing there next weekend. Enjoy those new clubs.

gary~ I think your weekend sounds like the most fun!

cmfost~ Where are you golfing at the cape? We stayed in Chatham next to the Chatham Bars Inn and there was a golf course right at the end of our driveway. My brother and cousins literally rolled off the couch they passed out on and teed off in a matter of 2 minutes. That was our favorite family vacation thus far. Oh, and it was when my brother was still fun.

I am doing nothing even close to fun this weekend except going to the pool. LAME compared to everyone else's plans. I'd like to go to an Indians' game but we're leaving for the Outer Banks next weekend and I've got a lot to do.

Unknown said...

Adding Brewer's rebounds doesn't help, Dan. lol

I like Oden. That clip makes me like him more. I really think he'll take over for Shaq as the fan-friendly player everyone wants around.

Here's the thing about Beckham. I enjoy soccer...but why would I give a shit about another team's newest player? If he played for the Crew, I'd be interested. Otherwise? meh.

Unknown said...

I coached my t-ball team yesterday, so I'll spend the week in recovery.

Unknown said...

Speaking of old, 6 time Green Jersey sprint winner in the Tour de France, Eric Zabel, is leading the jersey competition as of yesterday. The last time he wore the jersey was 2002. This might be his last year. I think he is 36 or 37 which is old for a pro cyclist.

As of today, Tom Boonen took some intermediate sprint points and took back the jersey.

Plans for this weekend, visit my son in sleepaway camp. I will do my usual 55 mile ride on Sunday. It is not exactly the tour but we average close to 23 mph which is more than fast enough for me. Last Sunday I did a 100 mile ride that is too much for me to do every weekend.

CMFost said...

Jen - I have a house in Falmouth, So typically I will play golf around there either Brookside, Ballymeade, Cape Cod CC or Olde Barnstable

Big D said...

@ cycledan:
Good Lord! I don't even like driving 100 miles. I think the farthest I've ever biked was one summer when I was working on a project for school and didn't have a license yet, so I biked from my house to the school, 8 miles away. It took me 3 hours to recover enough to go from the school to my cousin's house, 1/2 mile away, then call home for a ride.

ToddTheJackass said...

A day late on this I know, but I can't help but wonder if the Mets didn't bring in Rickey to be a little bit of a mentor for Lastings Milledge. I know the Mets have had some concerns about Milledge's attitude, so maybe they thought that he might listen to Rickey more than he would someone else.

Still though, when I heard Rickey had rejoined the Mets, I was really hoping it meant as a player.

Oh well...

Unknown said...

Hey Big D,
Just what you are used to I guess. I started cycling when my knees and to a lesser extent my back went. I took a couple of weeks off of playing rugby, my knees still hurt and I finally went to a doc. I took up cycling since it was much lower impact than running.

When I first started, I got passed by the 50 year old women in the club. They were pretty good riders but being in my late 20's, that was a blow to my ego.

I even rode to work today (about 9.3 miles each way). I forgot my wallet of course so now I have to go grub lunch money off of my coworkers.

chipp said...

Forgetting the wallet is always a bummer. I had two flats in a ride a couple weeks ago and was about 14 miles away from home without a phone or money to buy another tube.

Sports weekend: doing the bike leg of a triathlon relay (15 mi) Saturday, then doing a team Quad Sport (Ultimate Frisbee, Soccer, Football, Volleyball) on Sunday. Great weather in the PNW for it this weekend!

Brian in Oxford said...

My longest bike ride was from Manchester CT to the Mass. state line just to see if I could do it as a 16-year-old. Luckily I knew someone along the way whose house I could stop at for water. Probably 20 miles each way. Back before helmet laws, too.

A ridiculously easy course on the Cape is in Harwich, a little 9 hole thing. I shot a 42, and considering I've never broken 50 anywhere else, it's good for the ego, too.

Ian Striz said...

@ jingoist

It's always awesome the first time you introduce your son to the sport you love. I hope it goes well.

Jen said...

brian~ I need to golf there then!! I think my husband, uncles, etc. golfed that course one year. The cape is awesome. I wished we lived closer.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

This is the real Who’s Now that ESPN should be tracking.

CMFost said...

If you want a course on the Cape that is good for all levels of golfer try the Brookside Club which is just over the Bourne Bridge. It is the only place I have ever gone below 40 for 9 holes and I tied my lowest 18 ever there with an 80 and I am a 17 Handicap.

Unknown said...

Chipp, first rule of cycling is to always bring a patch kit or a 2nd tube - just in case if you are riding alone. Also popping that cell phone in your pocket is a must if you are riding alone.

futurelegend, I love the real men of genius bracket but they don't have my favorite, the Swiss Army knife guy. That was hilarious.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Freeney has signed with the Colts for 72 million over 6 years with a 30 million dollar bonus.

Anonymous said...

Somebody,please tell ESPN to cut the "Who is now"...its getting annoying.

Poseur said...

Am I the only one who thinks that leaking grand jury testimony is far worse than lying about taking steroids? I think our court system is getting it right.

Tour de France heads to the Alps tomorrow. Hope Zabel enjoyed his day in green, because Boonen took the lead back with authority today.

And it's a shame Franco couldn't play to age 50 and be the modern version of Minnie Minoso. I hold out hope. Come on, Royals. Pick him up on waivers.

ToddTheJackass said...

Ryan, I think we all should write letters to the Ombuds[wo]man about how bad the Who's Now thing is. I feel like it's just a giant focus group for ESPN to use when arranging stories for Sportscenter, and that what will come out of it are more and more stories on who they've determined is more "now".

danwise1856 said...

The whole "Who's Now" concept is a farce. I have only seen two segments and both times I felt the analysts were totally one one side.

They will find a way to make the final four come down:

Tom Brady
Peyton Manning
Tiger Woods
Derek Jeter

Now, since I do not know the brackets or the results it might not be possible but IMO the whole thing is rigged

As for the Wells Suspension, it will be worked around so he only misses 1 start.

Here is an example I think would be better. Please feelf ree to tell me what you think:

Starting Pitcher suspended from starting for XXX games but can come out of the Bullpen for no more then 2 innings

Relief Pitchers suspended from relief for XXX amount of games but could start

Position players would be the same as they are.

It would definitely make things more intersting.

Brian in Oxford said...

How about if we put out a "guide to the easiest golf courses" by region?

The cape is awesome when it's not between july 4th and labor day!

CMFost said...

Brian I am starting to work on a list for my blog of the best courses for certain region, and one of my defining things for the courses will be playability by average to bad players.