August used to be the dog days of the sports year. (Now, we can't even throw around the phrase "dog days" anymore. Thank you, Mr. Vick.)
Now, between NFL camping (and accompanying fantasy-league ramp-up mania) and CFB two-a-days and MLB fantasy-league pennant races, August has arguably turned into a power month of the sports year. Just thought I'd point that out, given that it's August 1. Let's get going.
NBA: KG to Celtics, Cont'd. Forgive me if I'm not ready to hand
In effect, "playing to win now" means "playing to win the East title," not "playing to win the NBA title." I suppose that beats the Lottery (and having a team seemingly going nowhere), but let's still keep it in perspective. It's a long way from "East contender" to "NBA contender."
If nothing else, it makes the Celtics relevant again. Too bad the only people crowing about needing the Celtics to be relevant again are the team's fans. It is a manifestation of that unique brand of delusional
UPDATE: Here's today's Must-Read: Henry Abbott at TrueHoop put together a cavalcade of alternative opinions about the future of the NBA East. (I'm included... read through them all, but look for a familiar name halfway down.) Really really smart people and a ton of variety of opinion.
UPDATE: Billups has a fairly must-read post over at Free Darko, with 10 reasons why this deal rules. And he may have even pierced my cynicism.
Meanwhile, Kevin Garnett will wear No. 5. And I predict that it will be the best-selling NBA jersey of the year. Who would have guessed that with the ludicrous volume of jersey numbers the Celtics have retired that a single-digit number would still be available? (I guess Gerald Green wore No. 5 a year ago, so I should have known it was available.)
Johan Santana is leaving the Twins: That is not an unreasonable interpretation of some of the things MLB's best pitcher had to say about his team after their trade dud-line:
"I'm not surprised. That's exactly how they are. That's why we're never going to go beyond where we've gone."
"It's not just about hope. In a realistic world, you have to really make it happen and go for it."
"You always talk about future, future. ... But if you only worry about the future, then I guess a lot of us won't be part of it."
"Why waste time when you're talking about something that's always going to be like that? It's never going to be beyond this point. It doesn't make any sense for me to be here, you know?"
MLB Trade Deadline: The Red Sox get Eric Gagne, effectively turning the Red Sox starting rotation into 6-inning pitchers, max. Because then they turn it over to the 7-8-9 bullpen troika, which is
The Braves made another move, this time to get extra bullpen help, grabbing Octavio Dotel from the Royals. Dotel has the ability to close, but will likely be a set-up guy for
MLB Milestones: "Glavine 300" on hold as Mets bullpen blows his shot. "A-Rod 500" and "Bonds 755" also didn't happen. (How do you know A-Rod is in a slump? If you hear the Yankees hit 8 home runs in one game and A-Rod can't claim one of them.)
NFL: Daunte Culpepper signs with the Raiders. If he's healthy, who needs a rookie QB taken No. 1 overall and apparently with an over-inflated sense of value? (Speaking of which, has Brady Quinn signed yet? No? What a d-b-a-g.)
Vick Watch: It's not that Rawlings cut its endorsement ties with Michael Vick. It's wondering what the heck took them so long?
College Football Media Daze: Big Ten. Commish/TV impresario Jim Delany clarified that the Big Ten isn't going to add a 12th team imminently. (As for whether the league should add a 12th team or controversial championship game, here's my small suggestion: Start by moving the
Freddy Adu Watch: Will finally play in Europe after inking a deal to play with
Tour de France: This shouldn't surprise you, but someone says they have proof that champ Contador is linked to doping. How do you say "Same old, same old" in French?
Murdoch buys Wall Street Journal: My only hope is that he lets my immensely talented WSJ friends Jason Fry, Carl Bialik and Sam Walker continue to produce sensational work. (Oh, and if I reprise my role as the WSJ Online's NCAA Tournament analyst next spring, I'd accept a pay bump upward.)
FTC vs. MLB? Here's an interesting one: You know that famous "blah blah blah without written consent of Major League Baseball blah blah blah" that each sports league announces during any/all games? Google, Microsoft and others think it's unnecessarily hard to understand, intimidating those of us who would like to use the content legally from doing so. Here's the story, via News.com. (And a hearty h/t to PaidContent.org.)
If you live in NYC: Varsity Letters Reading Series TONIGHT! An amazing lineup: Sally Jenkins, Joe Posnanski and Seth Mnookin makes his return. It all starts at 8 at Happy Ending (302 Broome) on the