Today's Names to Know: Colorado Rockies, Matt Holliday, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, Roger Goodell, Steve Pederson, Bill Stoneman, Trent Green, Marc Bulger, Brandon Lloyd, Don Mattingly, Michael Bennett, Michael David Smith and more!
MLB: Rockies sweep D'backs, win NL pennant: Oh, and don't forget it was their 7th straight playoff win (8th if you count the play-in game) and 21st win in their last 22 games. What a story. Totally unprecedented.
I was lucky enough to be at Coors Field last night. (I should call it the "frozen tundra of Coors Field.") Great atmosphere, with fantastic fans who had such a sincere appreciation for what was going on – it was very different from a winning scene in New York or Boston (or even any other team who has a tradition going back beyond 1993). Congrats to the Rockies fans.
The win itself was typical: Unknown starting pitcher delivers, bullpen-by-committee (with Fuentes as the only shaky member), the team/league/playoff MVP with a big game (Holliday HR that was an amazing in-person experience), and a key contribution from an unlikely source (PH Smith's 2-RBI dink to shallow left).
The only thing that can stop the Rockies now is time: They have an 8-day wait until the World Series starts. If they maintain their momentum, it won't matter who wins the ALCS.
(Don't know if you stayed up to watch it. Will Leitch did, for his sensational NYT baseball playoffs blog. Here's another must-read post. Jumping off a point he made: Given the unexpectedness of the Rockies' run over the last month -- let alone last 3 months, let alone last 12 months – it should ramp up expectations among every team's fans that their team, if run right, can contend immediately.)
ALCS: Indians beat Red Sox in Game 3, 4-2. Important win for Cleveland to hold serve in this first game at home and really put the pressure on Boston to get a game-winning performance out of the rested (or is that rusty?) Tim Wakefield tonight in Game 4. Game 3 starter Dice-K was more Dud-K, giving up all 4 runs in 4.2 IP. (I thought he was supposed to be the ultimate big-game pitcher? Yikes.)
Super Bowl in…London?! Yes, because nothing reflects the most American of events like "Toodle-pip!" I am stunned that NFL Commish Roger Goodell would even suggest this. I'm neither a jingoist nor a nativist, but talk about a U.S. outsourcing crisis!
Giants beat Falcons on "MNF," 31-10 in an entirely forgettable game. Eli was iffy, but connected with Burress on a TD, for those of you who needed the fantasy points.
Nebraska fires AD Steve Pederson: I'm not sure the football team's recent struggles are as much the AD's fault as they are Callahan's. Is the rest of the athletic department such a mess? (Wait: At Nebraska, why am I bothering to ask?)
Angels GM Bill Stoneman leaving the team: Could owner Arte Moreno want to make a play for free agent Walt Jocketty? (Would Jocketty go anywhere without Tony Larussa?)
Vince Young is day-to-day: Pretty disappointing season for the sophomore. Go ahead and say it, if you haven't already: "Madden jinx."
Trent Green wants to play again: That guy should get his head examined. No, not for physical damage, but to see a shrink – he is insane to want to keep playing after his most recent concussion. Let it go, man.
Marc Bulger returning to Rams: Psst…it won't make THAT much of a difference.
Brandon Lloyd should step carefully: The WR probably thinks he is gaining some sort of upper hand by bringing up old rumors about Troy Aikman's sexual orientation, but he really just looks and sounds like a jerk. Does he really want to be the NFLPA's version of Skip Bayless?
Torre Watch: Don Mattingly reportedly told members of Steinbrenner's family that he's not ready to be the Yankees manager yet. What a refreshingly candid assessment (and probably not a little bit supportive of Joe Torre's future).
Did you know today is the NFL trading deadline? Unlike baseball and the NBA, it's just not that big of a deal. Do you really care that Michael Bennett was traded from the Chiefs to the Bucs? (Well, maybe if you're desperate for an RB and Bennett isn't claimed in your league.)
Must-Read: The indefatigably talented Michael David Smith is interviewed by sports-blogger Larry Brown. Great way to get to know one of the sports blogosphere's biggest talents. (And I want to thank him for his compliments in Question 10. He raises an interesting point: Maybe I'm less of a traditional blogger than a writer who blogs. Damn you, One-Post-Per-Day format addiction!)
From an email from reader Michael M. just before I published this post: "no update as of 9am + shanoff at rockies clincher = shanoff probably in jail. now thats a story i wanna read about in the quickie."