Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday 07/12 A.M. Quickie:
MLB 2nd Half, Oklahoma, Pronk vs. Rashard, More!

Heading into baseball's second half, what are your predictions for how things will go? I think the big story will be the continued surge of the Brewers as the NL's breakout (and best) team of 2007. Put your own predictions in the comments.

Oklahoma's 8 wins in 2005 stricken from the record: I like the humiliation aspect of the punishment, but it isn't nearly punitive enough to simply erase the record books and strip away two scholarships over the next two years.

Tulsa, Kansas State, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Kansas, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Oregon get a win back in the column. Gee: Thanks. I've always been torn about this punishment, because it really does nothing to remedy the original sin delivered against the teams that lost the game.

I'm not going to crunch the numbers myself, but I have to believe that the winning teams that were affected each lost potential bowl revenue by being sent to a lower-revenue bowl because they had that one extra loss. At the very least. It's impossible to truly calculate damages.

At minimum, I think given the bowl-payout implications for the teams it beat, if Oklahoma is going to have its 2005 season obliterated, it should also be banned from all bowl participation for one year and banned from all BCS or other New Year's Day bowls for two more. Only then can you begin to inflict a measurement of payback for the actual harm done to the teams that OU beat in 2005.

(Update: Now Oklahoma says it's going to appeal? That's Sooner-sized chutzpah.)

Tony LaRussa vs. Albert Pujols: Why can't LaRussa just admit that he screwed this up?

Travis Hafner signs extension: 4Y/$57M, which seems appropriate for one of the Top 3 most productive offensive players in the AL. (As a throw-in, can the guy please have permanent fantasy eligibility at 1B to go with his usual "Utility" spot?)

Magic officially get Rashard Lewis for, like, $100 gajillion dollars. OK, so it's more like $110 million. But that's a lot of money for a "Robin"-style player. Orlando makes the big – no, HUGE – bet that Howard-Lewis will be enough to be a contender in the East for the next half-decade.

UPDATE: Darko to the Grizzlies, reportedly at a rate of 3Y/$21M, which isn't too shabby for a guy continually labeled a bust as a 22-year-old 7-footer who got a lot better last year. He'll benefit from playing next to Pau Gasol, but more from playing in Marc Iavaroni's system, especially with end-to-end talents like Mike Conley and Rudy Gay.

Bobcats keep Gerald Wallace: For those of you who have been waiting all century for Michael Jordan the Executive to make a personnel move that didn't fall within his usual range from "laughable" to "sucks," here you go.

NBA Summer: Corey Brewer made his debut, and it was a freakish one. He scored 8 points on 1-of-10 FG shooting, but also pulled down 13 rebounds. (Meanwhile, Foye and McCants showed flashes of a Backcourt of the Future, combining for 39 points.) More: Nick Young settles down after a terrible first game to rebound with 20 points on 8/16 FG shooting for the Wiz in a loss... Thaddeus Young had his breakout game, going for 20 and 10 for the Sixers... OK, so Alando Tucker might just fit into the Suns' scheme: He made his Summer debut with 29 points and 6 assists. And fellow PHX rookie DJ Strawberry had 19 points and 7 assists... Kevin Durant had a DNP. What: He's tired already? Or maybe just freaked after his first few games showed that scoring on those oh-so-tough NBA Summerleague defenses is tougher than college.

Dan Artest Mania: Meanwhile, Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post's DC Sports Bog has once again become the market-maker for trend-spotting. His latest find is Daniel Artest (yes, Ron's brother), and Dan Artest Mania is spreading throughout the sports blogosphere. How can you NOT root for the 300-pound brother of Ron Artest who fancies himself a jumpshooter?

Uniform Watch: Michigan... and adidas? Some of us have associated Michigan with Nike for as long as we can remember. Frankly, for both football and hoops, Michigan is one of those foundation Nike schools. So how weird is it going to be to see Michigan playing in adidas uniforms? (Related: Dale Jr. signed a deal with Adidas, too. Let's review: David Beckham. Reggie Bush. Gilbert Arenas. Dale Jr. Michigan football. Kansas basketball. Not a bad collection.)

Beckham Invasion, Cont'd: So the Galaxy are changing their uniforms for Beckham's debut. (Duh: It's all about the jersey sales.) But the boldest thing would have been to splash "BECKHAM" across the front like the usual soccer jersey sponsorship. I mean, isn't that how blatant MLS and everyone involved with MLS is being about Beckham's arrival?

ESPYs (Um... Spoiler alert, I guess...): LaDainian Tomlinson was the big winner, grabbing four awards. The Colts won "Best Team," but it's hard for me to see how FINALLY meeting long-missed expectations tops Florida repeating as college hoops national champs. And I'm glad to see Boise State pick up two awards (as anticipated) for Best Game and Best Play. What a great capper to a dream season for the Broncos.

Now THIS will be interesting: Vanderbilt honcho Gordon Gee is taking over as president at Ohio State. You might remember Gee as the guy who wanted to de-emphasize the power of athletics at Vandy. So: He's either going to trigger revolt at tOSU or become academia's biggest hypocrite. Doesn't look like a winning situation for him either way.

My Bad: Obviously, I meant to say "1992" not "1996" about the Dream Team in yesterday's item about greatest teams of all time. I'm sure you all knew what I meant. I wrote that particular item bleary-eyed at 2 a.m. (not that that's an excuse) and neglected to go back and fix it. Then I was stuck on an airplane all day and didn't see that it needed changing until it was way WAY too late. Sorry 'bout that.

-- D.S.


Anonymous said...

As a non-Gator fan, I'll say that going 1-for-8 and getting 13 rebounds does not qualify as "freakish". And considering how annoying the basketball Gators were to most people, its not surprising for the Colts to top them in that category.
Though, in any case, I would also take a first-time, over-the-hump championship for a team over a repeat...especially when Matta was a dumas and didn't just keep giving Oden the ball. :)

LaRussa has got to be ready to retire after this season. That can be the only reason that I can see for getting on your star player's bad side.

Gee already worked at OSU in the 90's. He's a big athletic supporter...he just eliminated the Vandy athletic department as a separate sports disappeared..and athletics was folded into the Division of Student Affairs. That's not exactly 'anti-sport'. Vandy sports haven't been better.

Matt T said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think vacating a schools wins affects the other schools.

As in, those schools don't get a win added to their record, they may get an L taken off, but no win would be added.

I may be way off on that though.

philipjsnell said...

other bigtime football programs that run with adidas are Nebraska and Notre Dame

eric said...

Gee was actually president at OSU before, so its not that big of a deal, Dan!

jhawkjjm said...

I don't know what grounds OU is appealing on, it sounds like they're playing "don't punish everyone because of these two kids". That season was Bomar's freshman season, but I'm not sure if he was a redshirt or not. The only way (that makes sense and is justified) for the NCAA to vacate the record for that year would be if the two were being paid before then, thus making them ineligible. If the NCAA has proof of that, then OU deserves to have the records vacated. If not, then the NCAA shouldn't take the wins away.

Big D said...

Here's the thing about the uniforms... I can't remember the last time I watched a sporting event and even noticed a uniform logo, aside from maybe the Nike swoosh on Tiger's golf ball or maybe a small logo on a shirt.

I can't see the switch from Nike to adidas being all that big a deal. On the business side, sure. But from a fan perspective, can't see it being that big.

Matt T said...

Tennessee also uses adidas.

Auburn switched to Russell Athletic 2 years ago and South Carolina switched to Under Armor this year.

It shows that Nike may be losing some ground as the premier athletic gear, and fans buy the official clothing, which means more revenue for the other companies.

Its a coup to get a school to switch to your brand.

pv845 said...

Florida repeating isn't as big as the NFL. While UF had players tht could have left, the Colts basically have stayed the same over the years and won. Better team. Screw the Gators!

Brewer is a freak alright. He fits in the can't shoot but can sure dunk and hustle style that won th Gators games. NBA washout in 3 years. He and Noah can sit around reminiscing about "the college greatest team ever".

1999 Officers said...

Gee has always been a hypocrite. This is nothing new in Higher Ed circles.

Big D said...

By the way - if nothing else makes you smile today, at least this will...

Rickey's Back, Baby!

CMFost said...

2nd Half Predictions:
Brewers falter and miss the playoffs.
Cubs win the NL Central.
Phillies catch and pass the Mets to win the NL EAST.
Dodgers, D-backs and Padres fight all the way to the last day of the season for the NL West title
Yankees Miss the playoffs
Detroit Wins the Centra
Seattle gets the Wild Card
Red Sox win the AL East
Angels win the AL West

Leaf said...

Last night was not Brewers debut. He played on Monday night also. Had a better offensive game as well. The fans and the papers so far are loving him.

Big D said...

2nd Half Predictions:
(Damn I want a Perma-Link here so I can point a laugh at myself when this all goes to shit...)

Since I was pretty close with my original American League Preview back in March, I'm leaving most of it alone. Still not sure what I was thinking picking the White Sox...
AL East:Red Sox
AL Central:Tigers
AL West:Angels
AL WC:Indians (Yankees, Mariners both fall 3 games short after solid 2nd halves)

Pretty happy with the National League Preview, even if it was a cop out...

NL East:Mets
NL Central:Brewers
NL West:Dodgers
NL WC:Braves (Over the Phillies, Pads & D-Backs)

The heroin sheik said...

I'm kinda glad the gators didn't win best team if only because now we wont have as many bandwagon fans. As much as I would like to dominate in bball and fb year in year out, it would actually do us some good to maybe slip a bit so us true fans, ACR's and alumni can weed out the bandwagon bitches. 13 rebounds for brewer is pretty sweet but he is going to really need to step it up on the scoring side of things.

My predictions for the 2nd half: Rays sweep the remaining games with the yankees so that they have no chance at the playoffs and Elijah Dukes kills someone.

Paul Rinkes said...

Second half predictions: The Pirates will disappoint.

(Can you hear that cracking sound? It's from the limb I'm crawling out on here)

TBender said...
LaRussa did admit to making the wrong call, as much as he would admit it.

And OU got slapped on the wrist. The NCAA only goes after I-AA and lower schools because the big boys bring in too much money to be nailed (see Illinois avoiding the death penalty after SMU got it - the NCAA realized that the penalty cost them dollars).

Everyone at the I-A level cheats, some knowingly due to the fact they won't get in real trouble, some unknowingly due to the archaic NCAA rulebook.

Big D said...

@ pr9000:

Oh, c'mon now Paul. You mean that making a serious threat to break the .500 mark could be called a disappointment?

/end dripping sarcasm

kway34 said...

Gee was actually very popular in his previous stint as President at OSU.

I don't think any of the teams Oklahoma beat get those wins, I believe the games are simply erased from the record books, no winners, no losers. From my understanding Oklahoma will officially be 0-4 for the 2005 season.

Anonymous said...

I've watched enough Michigan games that, yes...the maize swoosh on the blue jersey does stand out to me. Will I have a hissy fit when I don't see the swoosh anymore? nah. But if I drew a Michigan uni, i would include the swoosh from memory.

Boomhauertjs said...

Durant didn't play because he was at the ESPY's.
Boy Dan, sounds like you need to hire your own "Stat Boy".

The heroin sheik said...

The funny thing about cheating is this it seems like the cheaters who get caught are just mediocre. OU was what 8-4. I know when the gators got screwed out of a title shot in 84/85 and could have destroyed byu we were on sanctions for the Charlie Pell years where we went 0-10-1, 8-4, 7-6, and 8-4. Then when we got hit again in SpurDog's first year it was from Pell's successor Galen Hall who went 6-5, 6-6, 7-5 in the years he cheated. Make your own conclusions, but I figure great teams are just better at hiding the cheating than mediocre ones.

TBender said...

Corollary to my previous statement: Great teams (and ND) bring more money to NCAA HQ.

The heroin sheik said...

I was just reading the WWL where there talk about how A-Rod is chasing Bonds. I had the misfortune of playing A-rods team in high school twice and he was jawdroppingly good. I don't like him as a result but it would be so great if he would opt out of his contract and then sign with the Rays. Sure it would be more likely for him to go to the Marlins since that is closer to home but if he went to the Rays you could actually protect him in the lineup. He could play short since we have Evan Longoria at 3rd coming up. With no wind and a relatively easy park to go yard in he could easily wind up with 800 dingers. My fiancee just pissed herself laughing.

Big D said...

@ the heroin shiek:
"My fiancee just pissed herself laughing"

So did I.

A-Rod to the D-Rays? Not sure of any circumstance in which that happens, aside from when he's old & grey, or if Tampa suddenly comes up with double their current payroll.

Not to mention the 20-ish times a year he'd have to play in Fenway & Yankee Stadium. At least if he plays for the Sox or Yanks next season, he only gets boo'ed 3/4 of those games (all on the road, and about 1/2 at home...)

CMFost said...

I think going to the d-rays or any of the other teams that basically have no shot at winning would be the best thing for A-Rod. He would have absolutely no pressure and probably hit 400 with 75-80 HR and have 150 RBI on a team that loses 100 games

Brian in Oxford said...

Do you think Red Sox fans would boo A-Rod if he gave a big F-U to the Yankees and signed with Tampa Bay? I don't know, I think I'd be willing to give him a smile and smart-ass round of applause for the move.

hutlock said...

AL Predictions:
AL EAST: Boston
AL WEST: Anaheim
AL WC: Cleveland

NL EAST: Philadelphia
NL CENTRAL: Milwaukee
NL WEST: San Diego
NL WC: Los Angeles

I'm gonna be a happy pappy with no NYC teams in the playoffs this year. I wonder if ESPN will even bother to cover them if their beloved Yankees and Mets are gone?

pv845 said...

@ toddthesecond: ESPN will cover because their second love affair, the Red Sox will be in it.


E: Boston
C: Detroit
W: Anaheim
WC: Royals, jk Cleveland

E: Philidelphia
C: Cubs, only to lose on a Bartman like error
WC: Brewers

ckopech said...

after a 10-10 tie to Michigan during Gee's first tenure at OSU, he was heard to remark that it was "the biggest in the football team's history"


Word around CBus is that everyone is as excited for it as they were for football last year. Which means it ain't gonna end too well.

hutlock said...

Okay, ARod.

Scott Boras claims that he'll get a $30M deal for him, no problem, and refuses to negotiatie with the Yankees during the season for an extension. If ARod opts out of his deal, the Texas Rangers are off the hook suddenly for the portion of his salary that they are paying now. Meaning instead of paying him $18 per or whatever it would be, the team that signs him would be on the hook for the WHOLE $30M.

Questions to discuss:
1) Who, other than the Yankees, could pay him that much money?
2) Who, other than the Yankees, WOULD pay him that much money?
3) Given that he is already the highest paid player in the game by some margin, why on earth would anybody think to give him a RAISE?
4) Given the gap between what his salary would be and what the second highest paid player's salary would be, is he really worth THAT much more?
5) Scott Boras: Bad for baseball or just doing his job?

pv845 said...

No one would pay AROD that type of money other than the Red Sox and that is unlikely.
Boras if horrible for baseball. If he does get that contract then we will have the rash of other morons signing players for insane amount like we did the last time Arod signed his contract.

hutlock said...


I hope you're right. My dream scenario is that ARod opts out, chases the $$$, and finds that no one is even willing to sign him for what he makes now (which honestly, other than the Yanks is who? The Angels maybe? Not Cubs (ownership problems, Zambrano, etc.), not the Sox (hatred), not the Mets (don't need him). So then BorAss basically costs ARod several million, everyone turns on him, and he's laughed out of baseball.

Like I said, that's my dream, but very few of my baseball dreams have come true yet...

Big D said...

@ brian:

I think the same thing that applies to Bonds applies to A-Rod; people just simply hate him, as long as he's not on their team. Most Sox fans in general would continue to boo A-Rod until the day he took over in Fenway, and even then he probably wouldn't get full support (see my earlier comment about 3/4 of the time he'd be boo'ed).

Sure, we'd be happy that he wasn't playing for the Yankees anymore, because in general, Sox fans can support anyone 100% more after they shed the pinstripes. Just look at Roger Clemens - in '04 & '05, a lot of Sox fans (myself included) were openly supporting the Astros.

Although, in my case, it was so that he'd get another ring and just go away...

Anonymous said...

I don't see how you can say that Boras is bad for baseball. He does what any good agent should do for his client: get the most money possible. The general managers and teams that are willing to pay that much for someone is what is really hurting baseball. But you can't fault Boras for doing his job better than pretty much anyone else.

chipp said...

What about SF? Bonds goes to TB so he can DH against BAL (sorry Mike, Sheldiz), TOR (sorry Canada), and NYY (I'm not sorry) while the Giants take on A-Rod. Wouldn't that work?

pv845 said...

I realize what Boras is doing is the best thing for his clients, but is very far from a good thing for baseball. I am all for the free-market system, but some of the salaries are retarded and he is a leading cause of that.

The heroin sheik said...

I would love for Bonds to come to St Pete to play for the Rays. Cmon I gotta love any guy who has the same middle name as me. But Sternberg keeps claiming that he will raise the payroll for the Rays so maybe he can get a deal on Arod because he wont have to pay as much in taxes. I know I am dreaming but it would be sweet to have a real power hitter who is in his prime.

jhawkjjm said...

I agree that some of the blame has to fall on the front offices of teams that pay that much money. Boras is an ass yes, but if I were getting a percentage of my client's value I'd drive the price up too.

Somewhat related to this is the players association. I remember when the Red Sox supposedly traded for ARod that the deal was negated by MLBPA because they determined that ARod was lowering the value of his contract because of how it was going to be restructured.

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of an A-Rod contract buff. Does anybody want to hear what this thing is really all about? I could post an explanation for what's going on but it might be long. Who wants it?

Westy said...

By the way, this wasn't Brewer's debut.
The Timberwolves also played on Monday and Brewer carried them to victory in OT.

Big D said...

@ guyinthecorner:

Some people are Civil War buffs. Some people are really big into model railroads & airplanes. Some people play video games 6 hours a night. Some people are fantasy sports addicts.

You however, chose to learn everything possible about the biggest individual player contract in American professional sports history.

Dude - you might need a new hobby. :)

Big D said...

And before somebody else does it, I'll channel by inner Costanza, from the first Kieth Hernandez episode:

"JERRY: Yeah, he's a real smart guy too. He's a Civil War buff.

GEORGE: I'd love to be a Civil War buff. ... What do you have to do to be a buff

JERRY: So Biff wants to be a buff? ... Well sleeping less than 18 hours a day would be a start"

hutlock said...


I'd love to hear it!

Anonymous said...

A-Rod's contract is incredibly interesting. Just a small tidbit would be that A-Rod allowed the Rangers to differ 40 million dollars from the beginning of his contract on 3% interestest until 2011. Then, as he was traded to the Yankees, he told the Rangers that he would only charge them 2% interest if he could link his website directly to the Yankees' site and if they gave him the nicest suite in the hotel every time they went on a road trip. Because the difference between 2% and 3% interest on 40 million dollars is a bottom of the roster player's salary, the Rangers convinced the Yankees to do it as part of the trade.

Now about that new hobby....

Unknown said...


You've got to be kidding with the OU story. They self-reported the violations! They kicked their starting QB off the team! They should be applauded for how they handled the situation, and losing two key players, in addition to other self-imposed sanctions, is punishment enough. Compare this to USC, who is basically getting off scot-free for what Reggie Bush and his family did. The lesson here: if you are a big time CFB program, keep your mouth shut and don't cooperate and you'll escape sanctions.

I could go on, but Stewart Mandel at SI has THE column to read on this.

David Kippe said...

couldn't agree with you more. I have a lot more of respect for OU than I did previous to this decision. It is great to see a big time school accept responsibility. If Florida was in a similar situation, Dan would be standing and applauding the sincerity of UF. And Dan, whats up with the mis info, like on Brewer? Your track record as of late has been horrendous.

pv845 said...

I would have a lot more respect for OU if they weren't violating the rules in so many sports. I mean how do you have violations in FB, MBB, Baseball, and I think some women's sports. While it is admirable that they self-reported, they had a lot of violations.

Danny from Milwaukee said...

"Erasing" the record books strikes me a quite fascist. I mean, the purpose of records, above all else, is to re-cord what happened. They still won those games even if our history of it doesn't acknowledge that. But I suppose history is always written by the winners.

Also, Go Brewers.

Chaddogg said...

On behalf of the Chicago Cubs fanbase, let me officially say that none of us would boo ARod.

You know, just in case he reads this and is looking for a new home, with a manager who loves him (Pinella), where there happens to be a hole at shortstop, and the team has a problem getting to the playoffs, much less winning there, so the pressure would be significantly lower.

Plus games with the wind blowing out, the short porches in St. Louis, Houston, and Cincinatti.....come on, ARod, you know you wanna come over to the North Side!