Today's Names to Know: Matt Holliday, Trevor Hoffman, Scott Schoenweis, Sammy Morris, Reggie Nelson, Ricky Williams, Brian Griese, Isiah Thomas, Kobe, Oregon, More.
Let's start with the controversial ending: Would-be-MVP Matt Holliday did NOT seem to touch home plate for the winning run (and I say that as a
Yet another classic example: Baseball needs instant replay. Period.
Really, for two simple, fairly clear-cut purposes: (1) Checking home runs (which they could have used earlier in the game; this game might not have even gone to extra innings if that Atkins double had been correctly ruled a HR), and (2) plays at home plate. Let me emphasize: PLAYS AT HOME PLATE.
Anyway, you've got to give the
In a surge rarely seen in baseball,
If you have no natural rooting interest in the playoffs, these
Up next: Enjoying the moment for the next 24 hours, then traveling to
MLB Playoff Preview coming later this morning, in its own post. (Update: Changed my mind. It'll be the lead of tomorrow's usual a.m. post. Anyone who says they know what's going to happen -- from the LDS to the LCS to picking a WS champ -- is pulling one over on you. Can't remember a more wide-open MLB playoff, especially coming off last year, when 99 percent of "experts" and fans got most of the predictions flat wrong.)
MLB PED Watch: Who had "Scott Schoenweis" among the MLB players who would have used PEDs?
(I could make the easy self-hating joke about how, as the rare Jewish baseball player, it's understandable he might need that extra edge to nudge his athleticism to the MLB level, but really, it's just as much of an embarrassment for Jewish fans as it is for any fans who find out one of their team's player is cheating. Schoenweis reportedly acquired PEDs in 2003 and 2004, but -- then again -- during '03 and '04 who DIDN'T?)
NFL MNF: Pats stifle Bengals, 34-13, affirm their place as the NFL's preeminent team this year. Given that the rest of the league is such a mish-mash of unevenness, I don't think I can remember when one team seemed so much better than the rest than this year with the Pats.
(Yes, I know the Colts are 4-0, but with the injuries, I just don't see them anywhere near the Pats' level. And, as longtime readers know, I'm no fan of the Pats, yet I still am fully a believer in the 19-0 potential. The Pats have the best offense AND the best defense. Yikes.)
Here's the stat of the season so far: The Pats are the first team in nearly 90 years to have a 20-plus-point victory margin in all of their first 4 games. (h/t: Fanhouse)
The Pats D flummoxed Carson Palmer into 21/35 passing and 2 INTs, with only 1 TD. And Chad Johnson was held to 3 catches. Meanwhile, the Pats offense put the ball in 7 receivers hands, including Mike Vrabel for a TD (and Randy Moss for 2).
Moss as NFL MVP? Let me be the first to say it: I know Brett Favre is the sentimental favorite as the 1/4-Season NFL MVP, but you could make a great case for Randy Moss. That's who I would pick as my MVP through 4 games: 31 receptions, 500-plus yards, 7 TDs. Moss is the special sauce that has transformed the Pats offense into an unstoppable juggernaut.
Fantasy Break-Out: Sammy Morris. Don't bother checking your league's free-agent list; undoubtedly, Morris is already gone. But last night he proved his value, rushing for 117 yards (including a 49-yard run) and a TD. He's going to be a classic fantasy points-robber from Maroney.
Scandal Watch: Was Reggie Nelson (and three other as-yet-unnamed
This ain't good for Nelson, and this sure as hell ain't good for the Gators involved, not to mention a program already reeling enough from on-field problems -- the last thing they need is off-field ones.
(Nelson's lawyer says he wasn't there at the time of the shooting. Waiting on the involvement of the
Brian Griese still the Bears QB: I'm sure fans are thrilled. Thanks to the Chicago Trib's excellent daily blog for pointing out my observation yesterday that, at this rate, the team will have a great shot at one of the top QBs of the 2008 NFL Draft. (Andre Woodson would look nice in a Bears uniform, wouldn't he?)
DeAngelo Hall wants out of
NFL Injury Watch: Alex Smith won't need surgery on his separated shoulder. But what about his separated psyche?
Ricky Williams wants back in: If he can get himself into anything resembling game shape, I can't believe he can't play again.
Cadillac Williams done for the season: Hey, maybe the Bucs want to sign Ricky Williams...
Isiah Thomas on Trial: Looks like the jury is going to convict him. The only question now seems to be this: How much will he have to pay in punitive damages?
CFB: Here's the latest Deadspin column, if you missed it yesterday.
This week's BlogPoll: A reader has convinced me to change my mind! Here's from Dan Womack:
"You seriously dropped
Oregon9 spots for losing to an undefeated team with a fluky fumble out of the endzone finish? They dropped 3 in the AP. Meanwhile, you dropped Cal 7 spots for losing to a 2 loss Auburn team in an awful looking game." Florida
Good point, Dan! I have moved
More: Mutombo signs with the Rockets for one more year. He's the NBA's Methuselah, not to mention author of the greatest NBA quote of all time: "Who wants to sex Mutombo?"
Condolences to family, friends and fans of