Today's Names to Know: NL West, Kyle Lohse, Josh Fogg, Barry Bonds, Michael Vick, Mike Winters, Hope Solo, Shawn Marion, T.K. Weatherell, Reggie Bush vs. Percy Harvin and More.
NL Playoff Racing: The National League presents the most exciting season-ending four-game stretch I can remember. The NL West is raging. The NL East is up for grabs, with the Mets on the verge of an epic collapse to rival
Mets collapse continues: Only 1 game in front of the Phillies. Four games to play, and it's too close to call. (If you're not a Mets or Phillies fan, you've got to be rooting for the one-game playoff.)
Phillies win: Behind...Kyle Lohse?! OK, let's give him the MLB Stud of the Day award. What an unlikely September hero.
NL West is best: If this situation was happening in the AL East, people would be freaking out and saying "Best Division Race Ever!" The division is up-for-grabs, and the Wild Card is too.
Meanwhile, the Rox have one game left against the Dodgers tonight -- then three at home against the D'backs to end the season.
Yankees clinch a playoff berth: 13th straight, but that's not the point. Think back a few months to when the Yankees were absolutely reeling. Most fans had gleefully written them off. And, yet, here they are: Back in the playoffs... again.
Bonds 756 Ball: The fans have spoken and the ball will be branded with an asterisk then sent to the Hall of Fame. I think that any self-proclaimed "purist" who voted for the asterisk loses their "Purist Club Membership." But I also appreciate the asterisk as a symbol of an era in baseball that should be marked, no pun intended. I wish it wasn't on the ball, but I'm nothing if not a fan of letting fans decide. 81 percent of fans wanted to see the ball in the Hall of Fame, one way or the other.
Bonds' final game in
Now, here's the natural intrigue: Next season, when Bonds comes to town with another team, will Giants fans cheer or boo?
Vick tests positive for marijuana: Just when you thought the story couldn't get any more effed up... there you go. Let's see: House arrest until he stands trial? Sure! Additional suspension time from the NFL? Why not! It's not like he'll ever play again anyway. At least, NOW he won't.
Mike Winters is the new Joey Crawford: For being a complete d'bag to baseball's biggest nutjob player, ump Winters was suspended for the rest of the season (which means how he acted was probably WAY worse than what anyone in the public really knows).
US Women's Soccer controversy! Coach Greg Ryan benches Hope Solo for Briana Scurry. Here's the problem: Solo is a total hottie – by far my favorite on the team. (I'm not saying to play her only because she's hot. I'm just saying that she's my favorite on the team.) By the time most of you read this, the
UPDATE: US routed by Brazil, 4-0. Ouch. Yikes. Even Dwight from The Office in those hilarious ads can't help them now.
Shawn Marion wants to be traded: The question is: Can Marion be anywhere near as effective without playing alongside the best point guard in the NBA? I think he merely needs to play with a GOOD PG to continue to be one of the weirdest matchups in the NBA. And if he can get himself into the East, he could maintain his status as a Top 20 player.
More NBA: The league hired an ex-ref to monitor refs, an obvious move (almost as obvious as firing Jackson and Nunn, who ran the refs before). I wouldn't have hired an ex-ref: I would have hired a quant expert from Vegas' top sportsbook.
Roy Tarpley is suing the NBA and Mavericks, claiming they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when they wouldn't reinstate him. His disability? Being a recovering drug and alcohol abuser. He doesn't want to play (he's 42) but is looking to restore his reputation. Feels a little late in the game for that. (But, then again, isn't it quaint to remember that players used to be banned for drug and alcohol abuse, rather than, say, gambling on games or killing dogs?)
Academic scandal at
PED Watch: Of the huge DEA steroids bust from earlier this week, the craziest detail (via the NYT) was that a bunch of dealers were peddling PEDs on MySpace... to the children! (Obligatory Helen Lovejoy quote: "Won't anyone please THINK of the children!")
Beckham Watch: David's dad had a heart attack and Beckham flew back to
More MLB: Jim Leyland wants a contract extension with the Tigers. I'd say he's earned it.
Wait: Where's the NFL news? We've already covered Rex Grossman ad nauseum. Interesting tidbit at the top of Pro Football Talk this morning: Is Reggie Bush overrated? (Or, more precisely, is he not nearly as good as he is popular?) It all comes down to how creatively they can use him, because he's simply not an every-down running back (like, say, Adrian Peterson).
One interesting point made in the PFT item was that it might impact the draft status of
But where Harvin will have an easier time proving NFL value and worth is that he's a wide receiver who happens to sometimes get the ball in the backfield, rather than Bush, who is a running back who happens to sometimes line up at wide receiver.
Tebow Watch: Was I so crazy to rank Tim Tebow as my Heisman front-runner as of this week? Was I so crazy to devote the lead of my Deadspin guest-post to him? Well, Pete Thamel (the best college football reporter in the country) has Tebow ranked No. 1 right now, with an inspired pick of Andre Woodson at No. 2. Here's the link.