Today's Names to Know: Scott Boras, A-Rod, Joe Torre, Matt Leinart, Michael Vick, Mark Sanchez, Reggie Bush, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Durant, Joe Paterno, More!
The Fate of A-Rod: Scott Boras all but announced yesterday that A-Rod is going to opt out (and the Yankees reiterated they won't get in a bidding war to re-sign him).
I think A-Rod ends up with the Angels, although that $30M annual salary for the next decade will be tough for even the most free-spending owner.
What next for Torre: The sympathetic media spin is that the Yankees are leaving Torre "twisting." Has anyone asked Torre if he even WANTS to com back? I suspect he doesn't.
Who should manage the Yankees next: Girardi? Piniella? One Philly columnist suggested Larry Bowa. How about Tony LaRussa?
Meanwhile, here's a must-read take about Torre from Deadspin's Will Leitch, writing on his NY Times blog about the MLB Playoffs. If you haven't read it, you don't have to be a Yankees fan (or hater) to appreciate.
LCS Picks (Updated):
Indians d. Red Sox in 7
NFL: Matt Leinart out for the season with a broken collarbone. Who doesn't believe in karmic boomerangs?
Arbitrator rules against Vick: Falcons can continue to try to collect $22M in bonus money from him, which an arbitrator said he owed the team. Still waiting on the intrepid reporter to find out just how much Vick's net worth is right now.
(Speaking of USC QBs, looks like Mark Sanchez will start for USC over injured incumbent/Stanford-loser John David Booty this weekend.)
Wellington Mara doesn't like the "ice the kicker" time-out: I have no problem with it. Sure, it seems like it is being abused by coaches this season, but it is within the rules and I'd qualify it as "gamesmanship."
Cowboys-Bills was the highest-rated Monday Night Football game of the year, affirming Dallas' restored place as the most popular team in the country. Having them be undefeated and that game's thrilling finish doesn't hurt either (but fans who tuned in early didn't know it was going to be a crazy ending). (h/t: MDS)
Reggie Bush Scandal, Cont'd: One of the sports marketers allegedly involved in payoffs to Reggie Bush will work with NCAA investigators. Now, most of the time, I think those investigators are pretty ineffective, but this is a gift-wrapped package placed in their hands. They can't possibly screw this up, can they?
I still anticipate that USC will have to forfeit all of Bush's games in 2004 and 2005 and the Heisman group will face pressure to take back their trophy (and award it to Vince Young – fascinatingly, I'm not sure most fans would gripe).
NBA Preseason: Haven't talked much about the NBA preseason, but today is a pretty intriguing game: KG and the Celtics vs. the T'wolves in
Kevin Durant makes NBA debut: Scores 12 on 5-9 FG shooting with 3 turnovers and 3 rebounds. But it's important to note that he was guarded by Ron Artest, who probably took the assignment rather seriously. In that context, 12 ain't bad at all for a first game.
(More NBA Rookie Debuts: Javaris Crittenton had 18 in a Lakers loss... Yi struggled in 15 minutes for the Bucks, fouling out with only 3 points... Joakim Noah: 6 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in 23 minutes. I could see him averaging 8/6/4/2/2.)
CFB: Were you wondering why Tim Tebow made the "call me" signal with his hand after he scored that TD against LSU? It's because LSU fans got his cell phone number and were obliterating it with calls. (One blog reader actually sent Tebow's number to me, but I didn't call it.)
Was Joe Paterno involved in a bit of a road-rage incident last weekend? He wouldn't talk about it at his weekly news conference, but any other coach would be Gundied.
NHL: The Islanders started their blogger experiment, and I have been waiting for Eric McErlain's take. Here it is.
BCS Preview: Anyone catch Brad Edwards' BCS projections? No surprise at the top, but, intriguingly,
Texas Tech bans "Vick 'Em" T-shirts: They are in poor taste, but they were produced by a Tech frat guy, for gosh sakes. What else would you expect? But I'm sure Tech honchos have never sat in the stands and shrieked (or even muttered) "Kill those M-F'ers!" about the Aggies before. Nope, never. I'm not condoning the T-shirt; I'm just saying that expressions of painful death for the opposing team (or mascot) is a long-standing tradition in most sports.
Finally: Have you added your own CFB analysis over at my guest-blog at CoachOfTheYear.com? Head on over, put in your vote for LMCOY, then check out the blog (link at the top of the page) and post on one of the entries with your take on where the CFB Coach of the Year race stands right now. A bunch of you already have. If you are a college football fan, I'd love to see your opinion in that blog's comments.