Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday 07/19 A.M. Quickie:
Vick, British Open, Bonds, Big East, More!

Vick Watch, Cont'd: The current plan from the NFL isn't to suspend Vick (according to Schefter via PFT), but you can still hope.

Actually, if anything, the cautious "wait-and-see" approach from the league makes their aggressively established "Get Tough" personal conduct policy look like a sham: If you're not a star, you get the rack; if you're a star, "well, let's not rush to judgment!"

Meanwhile, Vick's first court appearance is a week from today, incidentally the first day of Falcons training camp. It's like Fate has an amazing sense of humor (if not for the – y'know – electrocution, drowning, hanging and beating of dogs to death).

(MDS at Fanhouse has a great little pick-up: The judge assigned to the case is a hard-ass on defendants. Yikes for Vick.)

British Open: The best British Open storyline is that Gary Player claims that there are steroids in golf. It's an amusing concept, until you realize that he's almost certainly right. And I'll bet it's even more widespread than you think. It always is, particularly in the places you least expect.

Meanwhile, here's why golf has become boring. My analysis? Um, yeah: I'll take Tiger to win, like he has the last two B.O.'s. (Any breakdown beyond that is opining for the sake of opining.)

(Related: Take a sip every time you hear or read someone torture the cliched pun "Car-nasty" in reference to the Open course.)

Bonds Watch: He sits... again. And anyone who put money down on an August 1 over/under on when he breaks Aaron's record has to be a little nervous at this point.

MLB Stud: Julio Franco! MLB's Methuselah given a new lease on his 48-year-old life after being signed by the Braves.

MLB Stud, 2: Carlos Zambrano becomes the NL's first 12-game winner.

MLB Dud: BBWAA (an organization I rip on regularly), for tossing out a Japanese baseball writer who asked for Roger Clemens' autograph, which is a no-no according to BBWAA guidelines. Not that the foreign writer understood that, but that didn't stop the BBWAA from banning him. Hmm: I didn't see that they had a policy about BBWAA members who have personal favorite players they write sympathetically about. That seems to me to be a much greater offense. (Not to mention the ridiculous way that this group gets to determine which players are Hall of Fame-worthy or not. But that's another story.)

College Football Media Daze: Big East. I'm a few days late on talking about Big East Media Day (my annual moment to take a snapshot of the league and what will happen in the upcoming season).

First of all, let's look back: The conference is coming off an amazing year. Rutgers was the national Cinderella story of the season. West Virginia and Louisville were national-title contenders. The league's profile shot up.

In 2007, I'm with the writers who pick West Virginia to win the conference (though Louisville QB Brian Brohm is the league's best shot to win the Heisman, with Rutgers RB Ray Rice the next-best candidate). WVA is led by the electrifying combo of Pat White and Steve Slaton. Then add blink-and-you'll-miss-him Noel Devine to Rich Rodriguez's spread offense, and that's why WVU is in the mix for the national title. (I won't reveal my BCS title-game pick until later this summer.)

Heisman Watch: Why Darren McFadden got my Heisman vote a year ago and why he should be the No. 1 contender in 2007: Best. Car. Ever.

LeBron to host "SNL" in the fall: I actually think LeBron is a pretty gifted actor (for an athlete). He'll do really well... except for the fact that, well, "SNL" sketches are absolutely terrible. (The digital videos are OK sometimes, but what does it say that SNL has to rip off YouTube amateurs in order to be remotely funny or relevant?)

NHL: This might be the smartest move that the NHL has ever made, particularly considering their current situation.

Pimp-My-Blog Goodness: In case you missed yesterday's announcement, I have partnered with the email newsletter Thrillist. Click here to sign up for it or click here to see yesterday's post about it with details.

Navel-Gazing: Believe it or not, I'm not the type of person to obsessively check my Technorati status (maybe once every few months, if that), but on a whim I just checked it out, and I have cracked the Top 10,000 ranking. That's really kind of cool. I'm quite sure that they'll boot me out once they realize the mistake they've made.

Finally, a quasi-welcome to Epic Carnival, a new-ish group sports blog. I say "new-ish" because it's all bloggers you've probably seen linked on Deadspin or read directly yourselves, all in one place. It's sort of like AOL Fanhouse without the financial compensation. Good luck to the E.C. Cool idea!

-- D.S.

55 comments:

Brian in Oxford said...

Just save us a Stuart Smalley episode on SNL. I don't have to be the greatest basketball player in the world....although he could possibly be the SECOND black Harlem Globetrotter....

rafael said...

as if the jerks from teh BBWAA don't have tons of signed memorabilia. Talk about fat guys in basements eating nachos in their underwear...that seems to be the image of the BBWAA..not bloggers.


but i'm biased.

pv845 said...

I think Dan hit the nail on the head with the "get tough" policy. They didn't wait to suspend those other players even though they have been in trouble before. The wat and see approach with a case like this should instead be done in a shoot first, ask question later approach. This isn't a DUI, this is freaking dog fighting. It is about as close to killing to shooting someone as possible.

MLB Stud: Royals - win the series from the Red Sox.

Zappatista said...

MLB STUD, No "Clear the bags Mags"???????? Drove in all three against Santana! Wow! lets have some props!

C.West said...

The get tough policy is NOT a sham. The other players who were suspended were already found to be guilty. Vick has to be given the benefit of the doubt.
This is coming from someone who is not a fan of Vick and is in my opinion the most over rated and over paid player in the league.

CMFost said...

This my problem with Vick being able to play, if this was you or me or anyone else who is not a sports star we would either already be fired or suspend pending the outcome of the trial. If I am blank I say to Vick your done until the trial is finished just like he probably would to any of his Home Depot Employees

eileen said...

I bet that if Stern ruled the NFL, Vick would have already been slapped with the ban hammer.

pv845 said...

C.West: Pacman Jones has only been sentenced to probation two times. That is all the convictions he has, but yet he is suspended for a year because of the tupe of charges against him now. It is a sham that they are waiting and seeing.

Brian said...

Did you watch SNL last season? While no where near its peak seasons (75-80, 86-90), it has certainly been better since they reduced the cast and FINALLY gotten rid of Horatio Sanz. This year should be even better now that the cast has had a year to gel.

Geoff said...

Um, the reason the Digital Shorts appear to 'rip off YouTube amateurs' is because they are largely done by guys that got there starts doing videos and posting them on the internet. The Lonely Island. Look them up then fix your post.

rafael said...

Sigh..people..under the policy, Vick CAN"T be suspended because it is a first time offense. Henry and Jones were repeat offenders.

pv845 said...

Actually he can be suspended. He would have to not work with the NFL on this but he can.

"Any Covered Person arrested for or charged with conduct prohibited by this policy will be required to undergo an immediate, mandatory clinical evaluation and, if directed, appropriate counseling. Such evaluation and counseling must be performed under the direction and supervision of the NFL Vice President of Player and Employee Development. Failure to cooperate with evaluation and counseling (including being arrested for or charged with additional criminal activity during the evaluation and counseling period) shall itself be conduct detrimental to the National Football League and shall be punishable by fine or suspension at the discretion of the Commissioner."

Michael said...

under the pacman rules shouldn't water(bottle)-gate have some sort of effect on the commish's reaction. It is not as if Vick has been to personification of candy and lolipops in the past he has a history.

Boomhauertjs said...

Being indicted for a crime doesn't automatically get your suspended/fired.
Somebody at my work killed someone in a drunk driving accident and they are still at work while out on bail. I work for a Fortune 500 company.

DCScrap said...

Thanks for the link, Dan.

Danny said...

Michael,

Vick was never charged with anything for the "water bottle". So this would be his first offense and would not qualify him as a repeat offender.

spinachdip said...

In a way, the Digital Shorts made YouTube. While YouTube, and digital video in general, were around for a while, it really only blew up after "Lazy Sunday".

Andy said...

I HAVE A MORNING OFF AND CAN COMMENT!!!! WAHOO!!!!!

MLB Stud: Koyie Hill, Cubs Catcher: 5 RBI's in the Cub's rout of the Giants.

MLB Dud: Bonds. He sat out. Again. Lame ass excuse for a baseball player.

Vick is an idiot. The NFL is acting like a bigger one with the whole "no suspension until a verdict" thing. They didn't wait for a verdict against Jones or Henry, they certainly shouldn't against Vick. He had the water bottle incident. And do we really think that he's a good boy? Look at his brother. I highly doubt, in light of these new events, that Mike is such a better person than Marcus. Mike probably just didn't get caught until now.

Plus, this was said yesterday, this is a federal case. State and local cases can be biased and unsubstanciated(see Duke lacrosse) but federal cases are usually pretty legit.

Richard K. said...

McFadden isn't a lock for the Heisman this year. John David Booty, Chad Henne, Colt McCoy, Brian Brohm, and Mike Hart will probobly be gunning for it.

Personally, I hope to see Colt Brennan take the award home, but I doubt it's happening.

Danny said...

The fact is that the NFL does not have a legal leg to stand on for suspending Michael Vick. As pv845 pointed out, it is clearly outlined in the agreement reached between the Players Association and the NFL that once you get arrested the next arrest/indictment will lead to punishment at the commissioners discression.

Packman and Henry had prior convictions that allowed the commissioner to suspended them under the agreement. But without an additional arrest the league's hands are tied by the agreement. Any suspension would be overturned on appeal.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

John Daly is 5 under through 11 at the Open

CycleDan said...

Big East

As a Syracuse fan it is disheartening but not unexpected to see Syracuse picked last in the league. After the departure of VaTech, Miami and BC, there were many who were saying the BE should not be a BCS league, were worse than most mid-majors, etc. It seems that they have turned things around a bit. The BE was formed as a basketball league and will never be as tough top to bottom as the SEC or the Big 10. However it is nice to see them field competitive teams.

I would like to see a step in a positive direction for Syracuse this year. They play a decent OOC schedule a few tough games in conference. I would like to see them win at least 5 or 6 games and move in a positive direction.

CycleDan said...

Tour Update

What a stage! This stage only had one small climb at the beginning and was one of the flattest stages of the Tour. Wisdom said it was one for the sprinters and one in which the contenders for the overall would sit in the pack, drafting off the big group and saving their energy with no major changes. WRONG!

There was a strong head wind coming from the side. To the non-cyclists, that is the most dangerous since you draft the rider in front by being behind and to the opposite side where the wind is coming. The riders form diagonal lines across the road call echelons. The problem is that only so many riders can fit across the road so that multiple echelons need to be formed. With a true straight on headwind, everyone can tuck in a straight line behind the lead.

The top French rider, Christophe Moreau was caught behind and the Astana team drove the pace and split the peloton into a few groups. Other teams riding for their sprinter such as Quick Step joined in. Quick Step had their main sprinter Tom Boonen in the front group while other top sprinters were caught in the 2nd group.

Robbie Hunter became the first South African rider to ever win a stage today and jumped into second place in the sprinter's green jersey competition. The top French candidate for overall victory lost about 3 minutes and is defacto out of it for a chance to win the overall.

CycleDan said...

More Tour info

Just to show how fast they went today, they rode 182.5 km (113.4 miles) in 3:47:50. That translates to 29.86 mph for the stage. That is flying! For comparison's sake, one of the fasted regular rides I do, we average about 23 mph for the ride. For brief periods we go about 30mph and I can barely hold on despite drafting someone and that is only for about a couple of hundred yards. These guys averaged that speed for 113 miles and that is in the second week of the Tour de France where they have 1000 miles in their legs already. I say let them use drugs, they deserve it!

stooncer said...

So what would be an appropriate suspension for Vick? Since he should get the benefit of the doubt until proven guilty (although he doesn't really deserve it), do you suspend him for 4 games? 8 games? The season? Life? Since he was only indicted and, say the league suspends him now for 4 games, how would the league look if he's found guilty down the road? They'll have to go back and revise the suspension, which would look more like the "Wasn't Tough Enough" policy.

I in no way support Vick, but let's not hop on the Danwagon here. Anyone remember the rush to judgement in the Duke LAX scandal?

GuyInTheCorner said...

FOR THE LAST TIME, THE RULE THAT ALLOWED GOODELL TO SUSPEND HENRY/PACMAN DOES NOT APPLY TO VICK AND HE CAN'T BE SUSPENDED YET

I really thought we covered this yesterday. Because Vick has no prior arrests he is considered a "first time offender" and the policy is only for "repeat offenders". That means that until Vick is convicted or pleads no contest, they can't do anything.

And no, having a water bottle taken away at an airport that was later found to not have any pot in it doesn't count.

The heroin sheik said...

My old roommate in Orlando went to the SDGA. Most of the guys who go there are going to be club pros while at least one guy I know is on one of the tours. I have done more drugs with those guys than the worst dope fiends I used to associate with. When they aren't doing rails off strippers asses I know a few are juicing. I haven't seen that much bacne since Freshman gym class. That being said it is golf who cares. Sure the roids might help you hit it longer but when you grip it and rip it you tend to lose accuracy. I don't know how much it would help your game other than that. I was lucky enough to have played most of the great courses in Scotland with my dad when I was younger. I actually broke 100 at Carnoustie. Of course I was 15 and I teed off 30 yrds in front of my dad.

As much as I dislike Vick I kinda have to compare this case to the Ray Ray double homicide Lewis case. I think most everyone was convinced Lewis did something bad but in the end it wasn't as bad as we originally thought. I hate it but Vick is technically innocent til he gets locked up. I hope that in the 3rd preseason game Ray Lewis give Vick a Culpepper type knee injury. That way he can't play and maybe Blank will treat Vick the way Vick treated those dogs.

pv845 said...

Guyinthecorner - you are correct that they cannot do anything to Vick at this time under the language from the Conduct Policy as I quoted above. However, if Vick screws up again and is arrested, they can suspend him without a disposition in either case or if he refuses to comply with the NFL counseling program.

This is the NFL players policy. Vick might have a clause in his contract that allows the team, and possibly the NFL, to discipline him for action such as this. I have not seen his contract so I don't know if he has one in his contract.

The heroin sheik said...

Don't NFL players have a standard clause about conduct detrimental to the team. I am not interested in contracts so I really don't know but it would seem that if there was a personal conduct clause in it he could be suspended by the team for the distraction he is causing. Wouldn't it be better to just cut your losses and get rid of the distraction and hope to god Joey Harrington can play like he did at Oregon than to have a qb who might only be available for part of a season.

Greg said...

Pet peeve of mine...but I can't stand it when someone references "over/under" bets like Dan did. The people who bet the August 1st under for BB breaking the homerun record are nervous. The people who bet the over are feeling pretty smug. And if it actually happened on August 1st, it would be a push.

Danny said...

If the Falcons were to outright cut Vick their cap hit would be $6 million this year and another $13 million next year. I imagine they are going to hold onto him and try to void his contract if he gets convicted. But that is a pretty big cap hit to outright release someone.

As for what Vick actually did vs what the people around him did, it doesn't really matter whether it was him or his buddies because he is being charged with conspiracy. That means that as soon as they prove an agreement to committ an "overt act" (i.e. gambling on dogfighting) Vick is responsible for any act in furtherance of the agreement by an co-conspirator (i.e. executing dogs). So if all Vick ever did was buy the land to setup the dogfighting he is still responsible (under the law) for all the brutal actions that took place.

Brian in Oxford said...

Will a suspension matter, if he's actually thrown in jail for this? Perhaps a judge could attach a fine to put his contract money directly into the pockets of the ASPCA or something like that

(not PETA, though....now those are some people who could stand beatings and electrocution)

Rob Tornoe said...

Dan,

I'm a cartoonist from New Jersey. Love your blog. Where's your mention of the Madden Curse :)

Here's the toon I did on Vick:

Click here for cartoon

kway34 said...

How about John Daly going from -5 and 1st place to +3 and 93rd place in a span of 7 holes...now THAT'S talent!

CycleDan said...

Rob T,
Funny comic. The dog was just fine in that accident by the way.

I was once riding with a friend when a small doberman ran into his front wheel and he broke his back bone behind his shoulder. The dog didn't have a scratch on it.

CycleDan said...

Yanks up 2-0. Wang perfect through 3 innings.

rtmsf said...

Wow, did anyone else read the comments at the bottom of that AOL Fanhouse article re: Vick?

I'm no defender of Vick by any stretch... but some of the things said on there... just... wow.

CycleDan said...

Would people have had as much trouble with Vick if he was torturing cats instead of dogs?

Brian in Oxford said...

A cat woulda clawed his eyes out and not panted around waiting to get injured. Cats are smarter than that! ;-)

chitown italian said...

SHIT! --- Bonds just homered off of Lilly.

I guess praying with Jesse paid off. Either that or Bonds just has Lilly's number.

J said...

Top 2nd: San Francisco
- B. Bonds homered to deep right

carlivar said...

Stupidest. Car. Ever.

GuyInTheCorner said...

brian-

You could say that cats would claw his eyes out but you would also assume that the pit bulls would hurt him also.

Brian in Oxford said...

yeah, good point. i was just sticking up for cats, I guess, in light of cycledan's question....

GuyInTheCorner said...

A couple of breaking news stories...

Stevie Franchise back with his Franchise

Beckham will play this weekend

Cubs send Izturis and Cash to Pirates for PTBNL

chipp said...

Bonds: Lillyhammer. Sorry, bad Winter Olympics joke.

chitown italian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chitown italian said...

@ chipp: made me chuckle

Bonds: 2/2, 2 Runs, 3 RBI's, BB

Yup, Lilly's his bitch alright.

pv845 said...

Bonds homered again

chitown italian said...

Ohman, you're a dead man!

TBender said...

"Stevie Franchise back..."

I think I'm gonna be sick...

That could ruin the good offseason the Rockets were having.

chipp said...

Bonds finished 3-3, 3R, 1BB, 6RBI, 2HR. Not a bad day. Maybe he should rest his tired legs about every 5th game.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

I think Francis is in for a rude awakening. This is McGrady's team and I doubt that he will allow Franchise to take stupid shots. This is the first team that Franchise was on that had a bona fide Alpha Dog. I know they played together in Orlando but if I recall McGrady was hurt most of the time they played together.

WuzUpG said...

Yesterday's Giants whipping of 12-1, Chicago Cub reliever accomplished a rare feat of pitching a 4-inning save. I believe, that's the most you can pitch and still record a save.

TBender said...

FLVY:

They didn't play together in Orlando. Francis/Mobley/etc. was traded for McGrady.