Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday 08/17 A.M. Quickie:
Vick Plea, MLB Pennant Races, CFB Mania, More!

Today's Names to Know: Michael Vick, Roger Goodell, A-Rod and Giambi, Cole Hamels, Emmanuel Moody, Ryan Seacrest and Dan Patrick. Let's get going...

Michael Vick's lawyers tell him to accept a plea deal, as early as this morning (there's reportedly a 9 a.m. deadline). (h/t NY Times)

The deal would include 12-18 months of jail time. Wow. I know that this has been coming, but now that it's here, it's pretty crazy: Michael Vick WILL be going to jail, and we're talking YEARS here.

What about the NFL's punishment? They're obviously most concerned with the gambling angle, but a Vick guilty plea would let Goodell off the hook:

He can keep Vick out of the league as long as he's in prison, and he can punt on the harder decision about whether to ban him further for either the crimes themselves or the non-legal "personal conduct" violations related to the gambling, which the league may or may not have evidence about.

That punishment can come later – when Goodell can read the public mood about Vick. Presumably, fans will be more forgiving (if not forgetting) about letting him back in the league after he's done two hard years in prison. But the Cellblock D intramural team just got a HELL of a lot better.

NFL Camping: Is the Vick scandal eclipsing the rest of the NFL? I'm a cynic/skeptic, but I'm with Roger Goodell when he insists that it isn't. And it says a hell of a lot about the power of the NFL that it can take a bodyblow like this one involving one of its signature players and still keep on clicking. (Goodell can thank fantasy football and that old standby, NFL gambling. I'm being totally serious.)

NFL this weekend: Drop your preferred storylines in the Comments.

NFL.com relaunches with a new design: Having used to work for NFL.com (about a half-dozen jobs and lifetimes ago), I'm intrigued. It's an improvement – a serious improvement.

I'm still not sold on the editorial content (it IS a league P.R. vehicle), but the video assets are unarguably fantastic... and that's the entire game right there for NFL.com. They should try to do two things really well: Video and Fantasy, which mostly means having an awesome Sunday scoreboard experience.

My biggest complaint about NFL.com video: Where is the ability to embed NFL videos on blogs? (Without that function, all that happens is that they have to upload their fun videos – like the Fantasy series, which is awesome – to YouTube. The league gets the promotion, sure, but they don't get the actual traffic to their site.)

Speaking of gambling: Looks like Rick Tocchet won't serve any jail time. What a reminder of NHL's mainstream irrelevancy that they can claim "Hey! We had a gambling scandal FIRST!" and not only has it been eclipsed by gambling scandals in the NBA and NFL, but its main gambling guy won't even see jail for it.

MLB Stud: Cole Hamels, the Phillies' young ace who earned his 14th win and has positioned himself as the NL's leading Cy candidate, particularly with the Phillies' surge into NL East contention.

More MLB Pennant Racing: The Cards are surging after sweeping the Brewers. In the AL, this weekend is pretty awesome: RedSox-Angels and Yankees-Tigers. That could be the four AL playoff teams. (If you're a Yankees fan, do you cheer for Sheffield? He's probably earned it.)

A-Rod in 2008: If A-Rod opts out of his contract, the Yankees are SAYING they won't try to re-sign him. That's quite the threat, given that A-Rod is the front-runner for AL MVP (and has reclaimed his title as the best player in baseball). Meanwhile, A-Rod can probably not only command more money, but find a more comfortable market to play in. (Though unless he signs with Boston – hardly a more comfortable market than New York – he won't be on a perennial contender as he is with the Yankees.)

Giambi won't be punished by MLB, a carrot for talking with the steroid commission: Bud Selig sends a signal here – cooperate and we'll go leniently on you. (But will EVERY player get the Giambi treatment, or does he catch a break because he got in line early?)

Julio Franco Watch: He's playing for the Braves' A-ball affiliate... and he turns 49 next week. (The Braves would rather keep him close to Atlanta than have him shuttling around the East in AAA.) Basically, the guy has to hang on one more year and make it back to the bigs: Who doesn't want to see him at 50 taking an MLB at-bat?

CFB: USC RB Emmanuel Moody is transferring from the program over playing time. This is kind of amusing because Moody was among the three USC RBs featured on the regionalized cover of SI's college football preview issue. (h/t Fanhouse)

Given my fandom for Darren McFadden (who, don't forget, earned my personal Heisman Trophy a year ago), I'm sort of comfortable with SI dubbing the season the "Year of the Running Back," but I wouldn't have showcased USC's RBs: The reason USC is a consensus No. 1 is because of defense first, then its offensive balance. Not its RBs.

This is hard to capture on a magazine cover, but I'd say the theme of the year is offensive innovation: LSU has a sick D, but the intrigue is new OC Gary Crowton's wild offense. Darren McFadden is spectacular, but the intrigue is how he has basically created an entire offensive scheme (if retro) around himself, including using him as a QB. Obviously, Urban Meyer turned conventional wisdom on its head by using two QBs with no classic running back. Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia has Steve Slaton, but it's QB Pat White who makes WVU's spread go.

(Back to Florida for a second: Isn't it a bit ludicrous that SI would dub this the "Year of the Running Back" when we're coming off a college season where the national champion didn't even HAVE a traditional running back? If anything, college coaches are adapting and adopting to that style, focusing on innovative scheming and getting the ball to their playmakers wherever they can.)

Ryan Seacrest to host Super Bowl pre-game and halftime: This isn't ludicrous. Both are entirely entertainment driven, and Seacrest is the face of Fox's entertainment wing. Does he command respect as a football guy? No: But since when are the Super Bowl pre-game or halftime shows about football? (Seacrest's biggest problem is helping Fox find an act that could compare to last season's Prince halftime, which was arguably the best and most credible halftime show in Super Bowl history.)

Happy trails to Dan Patrick, joining the elite group of folks (cough!) who formerly worked for ESPN. I wish him half as much success as I've had. (Kidding, of course... unlike Dan, I had no sweet syndicated radio show deal to jump over to... I did, however, have a sweet syndicated blog to jump over to... one-year anniversary in two weeks!) Anyway, DP, if you want any tips on blogging for your new site, give me a holler. Happy to help.

Bolt.com closes: Not sports-related, but I joined Bolt in 1999 as employee No. 30(-ish) to be their sports section producer (among other things) and rode the Silicon Alley dot-com bubble all the way to the point where we topped 200 employees a year later, pulled the planned IPO and began the slow descent. Before that happened, I bailed out for business school, but I've still got a pricey memento: A stock certificate. Sure, it cost me a couple hundred bucks of "real" money to claim at the time, but its sentimental value is priceless as an artifact of a long-gone era. (Wow, between the NFL.com and Bolt mentions, that's two of my many career stops and multiple lifetimes ago. In one blog post! At this rate, I'll have my full c.v. posted by the end of next week.)

Reminder: If you haven't signed up for any/all of the four exciting football-predictions leagues I have created, go to the upper-right corner and sign up. Group name for all of them: Daily Quickie Readers. Get in there!

-- D.S.

52 comments:

kway34 said...

Vick might be SENTENCED to 12-18 months of jail time, but I be he doesn't serve 12-18 months unless he's sentenced to 24-30 months.

Sheldiz said...

uh...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,293268,00.html

Sparty said...

Dan,
Maybe you should pay attention once in awhile. Why would Yanks fans cheer for a guy that ripped on their guy Joe Torre? Oh yeah, and they jeered him everytime at bat last night. If you wanted to post that, it should have at least come yesterday before the series began. Damn dude.

rafael said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Goodell, eventually, decides to tack on a year long suspension on Vick to begin after he leaves jail.

rafael said...

Sheldiz...that is awesome. lol


I need to find a frivolous lawsuit to slap on somebody.

Geoff said...

I think Tocchet has less to do with the NHLs 'irrelevancy' than it has to do with the fact that no one was actually fixing games or killing dogs.

Nice win by the Tigers yesterday. Half the team has the flu and they pretty handily beat the Yankees anyway. At one point the bullpin recorded 8 outs in a row via strikeout, which was nice.

jhawkjjm said...

Reason USC is #1 is their defense? Uhm... try again. Their defense is great, but with SC its about Booty and the offense.

Mark said...

Even if hadn't ripped Torre what reason would Yankees fans have to cheer Sheffield? The team never won a World Series with him so how has he "probably earned it?" He was just another hired gun that ultimately failed to deliver a championship.

And why is it "ludicrous" that SI dubbed this year the "year of the running back?" This year has nothing to do with last year and your bandwagon team. I guess your instant history stuff only applies when convenient, huh?

The heroin sheik said...

Maybe the government can work out a way to put vick in the same prison as rae carruth. Imagine if all he did was throw passes every day in the yard. Hell he might improve to a 40% passer when he gets out.

Funny thing about the gators is that other than Fred Taylor and Emmitt Smith they really haven't had any great running backs ever. I mean cmon Errict Rhett or Neal Anderson. At least the guy coming in Rainey is a badass.

Jason said...

I disagree and think the Vick saga is overshadowing the NFL or at least competing for top headline. But that's ok, it's preaseason. Once the season starts, this will be all but forgotton.

danthemanwise said...

Why does Dan constantly state the NFL is more worried about the gambling aspect? Why would the NFL?

They do not have a problem with players gambling in Vegas, Horse Racing, college football or anything else. The only time they would have a problem would be if they were gambling on the NFL.

Financing the dog fighting ring is much, much worse than simply gambling on it.

Luke said...

I think if it would have been somebody that had actually accomplished anything in the NFL this Vick story would have overshadowed the NFL, expecially the preseason. Just think if it would have been Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

Sparty said...

I can understand the NFL being worried about the gambling. All sports desire no connections to gambling.

Brian in Oxford said...

What are ESPN's plans for the 1-4 slot after DP goes away, anyways? Any chance we could get Mr. Tony back?

Ya gotta figure NYY fans would at least have some love for Sheffield getting a "2-for-flinching" in on the jerk in RF in Fenway back in '05.

Lew said...

The question isn't if Goddell will have Vick play in the NFL again, the more important question is how many teams would want Vick as their QB. His stats prove that he is a glorified running back and not an NFL quality QB

Dan Mega said...

I joined Bolt.com in 1999 as well! I was a very active user (my username was deftones81). During college I was on that site every freaking day and it was exploding. I think MySpace and Facebook basically killed it. I would still log on once or twice a year since 2003 just to check stuff out. Now that era is gone. Oh well.

bkelly126 said...

I heard that in federal cases, if sentenced, you have to serve at least 85% of your time. someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think kway is right

pv845 said...

PHILLIPS, PEACE ADMIT TO KILLING DOGS WITH VICK
In a statement of facts signed in connection with the guilty pleas entered on Friday morning by Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips, Peace and Phillips admit to participating with Vick in the killing of eight dogs in April 2007, according to ESPN.
In our view, this means that Virginia authorities now have the green light to proceed with an indictment of Vick on eight counts of animal cruelty.  Under Virginia law, he'd face up to 40 years behind bars, in addition to any federal prison term that he serves.
The alleged involvement in killing dogs is, in our view, proof positive that Vick will never be able to return to the NFL.
ESPN also reports that Phillips immediately was taken into custody because he failed a drug test while free on bond.

CorrND said...

How about MLB stud (and another potential NL Cy front-runner) Chris Young. Last night:

6IP, 2H, 2BB, 6K, 0ER

Of course, San Diego lost, but he lowered his already sick ERA to 1.93 and got his WHIP under 1, to 0.99, both league leads.

David said...

BREAKING NEWS: Cubs resign Carlos Zambrano. 5 years ~90 million. I can't find an article online about it, but its all over the Chicago sports radio stations. Press conference later this morning.

pv845 said...

I know that long-time posters on this site will remember my complaints about Gregg Easterbrook for his rants about my Alma Mater, but this latest article by him makes me want to puke.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/070816

Anyone else have a similar reaction?

Jason said...

All of this talk by you about former jobs makes me think you're not so happy about your "anniversary" coming up.

kwyjibo said...

Via Paul Sullivan at the Chicago Tribune: Zambrano

Mr. Thursday said...

WHIP is a fantasy baseball stat, not a real baseball stat, and the ERA gets a bunch of help from Petco (it's 5 times higher on the road than at home). That said, if the season ends today, he's probably got the edge for the Cy Young.

Hamels needs to keep his HR rate way down from here on out to have a real shot at the CYA.

Big D said...

He Raf - want a good frivolous lawsuit? Try this one...


Also, I can't put Cole Hamels that high up on the NL Cy Young list. Sure, he's tied for the lead in wins and second in strikeouts, but his team is out of the playoffs if the season ends today.

By contrast, Jake Peavy is first in strikeouts, tied for second in wins, first in ERA, and the Padres are the wild card team as of right now. Even Chris Young rates higher than Hamels to me.

Now, if the Phillies overtake the Pads for the Wild Card (or the Mets for the East), there's a good case to be made...

CycleDan said...

Yeah, tough one anniversary. Then again, I just had my 18th anniversary on Monday from being married to the same woman - Yikes!!!

Seriously Dan, any info on what you have been up to other than the script? I worked for an engineering startup when the high tech collapse occured in the late 90's. Investors pulled out and the company collapsed. I took a contracting position for a few months until I landed in my present job. I was only officially unemployed 4 weeks (I had one side project to work on at the time). That 4 weeks was very stressful.

When I think about my wife's uncle who was out as a chemical engineer for 6 months or you for a year, I would totally freak out.

The heroin sheik said...

I actually liked the easterbrook article. I don't really think he is pro-Vick but I think he has some very valid arguments. According to guy I know who did 15 years federal time you used to only have to do 50% of your sentence incarcerated and the other 50% was parole. BUt he was sentenced in the early 80's so it has probably changed by now. In prison in florida you are supposed to do every day but you get 5 days off a month for good behaviour. It works out to around 85% that way.

CMFost said...

For DP fans in Boston coming next Thursday and Friday he will be filling in for Dennis and Callahan. Might be the first time in a while I listen to WEEI in the morning.

GuyInTheCorner said...

cmfost-

I personally am a big DP fan and was wondering how I could listen to that show if I don't live in Boston.

By the way, Ron Burgundy is going to be on DP at 3:00 PM eastern today.

Brian in Oxford said...

guy....

WEEI.com has an online stream you can sign up for....

GuyInTheCorner said...

brian-

Sign up for? As in pay for?

malcolm said...

Anybody know the US parole rules? For a 12-month sentence, when're you eligible?

The heroin sheik said...

IN florida parole and probation works like this. If you get a year you usually have to do the full sentence before you are released and to terminate probation or parole you have to have done half the time you were on it. Typically though you have to do at least half the sentence before it can be lessened but I could call my atty since he deals with federal stuff.

The Legend of Vincent Tremblay said...

How can you possibly stretch a judge sentencing Rick Tocchet to probation into more "everybody hates hockey" rhetoric?

The judge saw the case for what it was: a glorified football pool between people with more money than sense. No NHL games were bet on or fixed.

And if you honestly believe the judge's sentence would have been different if Tocchet were a football or basketball coach, you must have less faith in our judicial system than I do.

verbal97 said...

I never understand why not making the playoffs is taken into consideration for personal awards. That's like the idiot baseball writers who hold a team's winning against HOF candidates. I can understand not considering Hamels if his team was one of the worst, but they're a contender and wouldn't be without him. That should be enough for Cy consideration (and the same is true for MVP candidates). For the record, I still put him below Peavy on merit.

Sparty said...

what really sucks about the cy young award is that you can be an outstanding pitcher with great Ks, ERA, WHIP, innings pitched, but you team scores shit for runs or you have a terrible bullpen, so you have a low win total and don't get the votes. randy johson a couple years ago was outstanding, but the dbacks couldn't buy a run. brandon webb had a horrendous w-l record that year too, even though he pitched well.

The heroin sheik said...

Just got off the phone with my atty and he says that he is pretty sure Vick would have to serve at least a yr of any sentence before he could be released to parole but if he were to get more than 2 yrs he would have to serve half the sentence before he could get parole. However since the sentence is up to the judge and as long as he writes why he gives a certain punishment that Vick in theory could get house arrest which would allow him to play ball if someone wanted to take a chance on him. Of course my atty also said that he only deal with federal cases when there isn't a criminal aspect to it . He did say that no matter what Vick will have to do at least a year if he goes to a federal pen since you can't get a sentence of under a year and still go to a fed joint.

Take it from someone who has done way too much time, anything under two years is nothing. You are just on vacation. Of course knowing how it is like behind bars and how african americans have a predilection for goomps and jailhouse burritos Vick is going in a qb and might leave a fullback.

A goomp is when you take an iced honey bun then crush up peanut butter cookies, water, and peanut butter to make a paste that you ice the honey bun with. A jailhouse burrito is every bit of meat, bread , noodles, chips, and cheese you can get your hand on and rolled up in a trash bag and cooked with lukewarm water or under your mattress for a few hours. Trust me it tastes a lot better than it sounds.

Brian in Oxford said...

the weei thing is free....just make sure you opt out of any emails they might want to sign you up for!

No NL pitcher can bitch about run support, since they have the potential to help their own cause.

Big D said...

Well, for anybody with legal background (or just a big fan of Law & Order), it looks like the superceding charges against Vick could include Federal RICO counts. Yikes.

Also, anybody who wants the direct WEEI stream without having to sign up, so you can hear just how terrible Boston fans are (it's still better than listening to trade offers on WFAN):

mms://wmc1.liquidviewer.net/weei

Big D said...

Should have said "just how terrible us Boston fans are..." I certainly include myself in that mess. And proudly.

The heroin sheik said...

What I want to know about Vick is how the talking heads say if he is sincere in apologizing the judge might be lenient but c'mon does anyone believe he would apologize for any other reason than to save his ass. I am sure he is sincerely sorry he got caught and is sincere in his wish to return to the NFL but there is no way he is sincerely sorry he was involved in that operation. I don't see how someone can do a 180 after they already denied it to the press. What would be funny is if they gave him 11 months and 15 days and made him serve his time in a prison that houses both federal and state felonies like Raiford in Florida. Thats where all the crazy white trash serial killers, pedophiles, and rapists go. I am sure they would love Vick up there. Makes me sad K Wing Slim is no longer there. I guess if he got less than a year he would have to go to a split facility instead of a full federal joint which sucks for him.

CorrND said...

mr. thursday -- if Petco is so friendly, why is Peavy's home ERA three times higher than his away ERA?

Kurt said...

Heroin Sheik, I can't lie...It creeps me out a bit that you are "the heroin sheik", talk about spending "way too much time in jail", know the special prison meals, have an attorney that you call on the reg and have friends in federal prison.

How in the hell did you end up on this blog?

Jen said...

kurt~ heroin shiek is a sports fan, of course!

I am still pretty disgusted at how Vick is only looking at a 12-18 month sentence for what he has allegedly been involved in. I am not a member of PETA or anything, but come on!!

The heroin sheik said...

My old roommate in college got 15 yrs for trafficking coke in the 80's. As for me knowing all about jail that is because I kept getting put on probation for driving without a license and kept violating my probation. As for the name that is just a joke from the days when I liked opiates way too much. But like Jen pointed out I am big sports fan especially the gators and the rays.

chitown italian said...

Booty! Booty! Booty!

Let's hope that Z doesn't turn out like Prior and Wood.

Jen said...

Of course, one of the few and far between times I am rooting for the Yanks to win, they don't. Geez Louise. I hate them more now...unless they win their next three against Detroit.

Jen said...

hs-your Rays are going down this weekend! HAHAHAHA Gotta love the trash talk from me. Like the Tribe will even win two of three. I would be happy if they did, but I am losing faith as fast as they are losing games.

I am really looking forward to football season, and that's coming from a Browns fan. Lordy. I have a road trip to Happy Valley in October that will be a blast. Also may go watch the Hawkeyes somewhere if our friend's son getting any playing time.

Sparty said...

the tigers have called up their top prospect maybin.

Geoff said...

And optioned down Craig Monroe, which is as good as cutting him.

Andy said...

ZAMBRANO SIGNS 5 YEAR DEAL WITH CUBS!!!!


And you Boston fans thought he'd sign with the Sox.....

When he wants to stay a Cub, and the Cubs want him to stay a Cub, there was no way he'd not sign a deal with the Cubs. And as far as him turning in to Prior or Wood, Z's got a proven track record of duribility. Prior's had some hard luck. Wood's never had a good track record. He'll be fine.

Brian in Oxford said...

what Red Sox fan said he was coming here, andy?

now, if we're talking Santana....hee hee hee....