Today's Names to Know: Colorado Rockies, Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield, Don Mattingly, San Diego, Kissing Suzy Kolber, Kevin Durant, Free Darko, Hoover, Bizarro Sports Journalism and More!UPDATE: Remember the (more-than-usual) self-loathing I went through during the exercise of filling out my BlogPoll Top 25 ballot (and doing my Deadspin column this week)? EDSBS' rank-what-you-see ballsiness in his poll this week makes me feel even worse. I tip my hat to you, Orson, for being the man I apparently lack the capacity to be.
MLB: World Series Rox vs. Sox, Game 1 in Boston. I made my pick earlier this week, and I'm sticking with it:
Must-Read 1: Rob Neyer, my favorite baseball analyst and writer of all time, ranks the
Must-Read 2: Rox' 21/22, cont'd. The WSJ's Carl Bialik* breaks down the
(* - Carl took over managing the Varsity Letters Reading Series from me)
Tim Wakefield left off
Rockies Tickets Snafu, Cont'd: Well, the good news is that the team worked out the kinks in the online sales system. The bad news is that I couldn't get in to buy tickets, nor could anyone I know or heard about. (So just who DID get tickets? Oh, wait: They're on StubHub and CraigsList.)
UPDATE: Rudy Giuliani comes out for the Red Sox. OK, I have been called a bandwagoneer and a fairweather fan in my time, but it cannot possibly compare to the Yankees' uber-fan Rudy Giuliani saying he will be rooting for the Red Sox in the World Series. For Yankees fans, I cannot imagine a greater treachery. You cannot claim "AL allegiance" -- not when it comes to Yankees fans and the Red Sox (or vice versa). I think Rudy should lose his Yankees cred entirely. Is this REALLY what America would want in a President?
Yankees Manager Watch: Don Mattingly interviews, and reportedly it went really well. That gives the Yankees a tough choice: Go with the nominally more experienced guy (Girardi) or the entirely green, never-managed-before (but coached for four years) popular choice (Mattingly). I think they SHOULD go with Girardi, but WILL go with Mattingly. It certainly is the bolder choice.
NFL: It's official! The Draft's first round will drop from 15 to 10 minutes. It's a fantastic move; as popular as the Draft has become, its first round really dragged on too long. If the NBA can do its first round in 5 minutes per pick, I never understood why the NFL needed three times that amount. It's not like teams haven't prepped.
Pats 16-0 vs. Fins 0-16: Kudos to Fanhouse's Ryan Wilson for picking up on a Sun-Sentinel piece by David Hyde about whether the stunner this season would be less the Pats going 16-0 and more the Fins going 0-16. Either way, we're talking about history, but in the NFL's Era of Parity, it just might be more spectacular to see the Fins go 0-16, particularly given that it would be the perfect bookend to the Pats' other brand of perfection.
Must-Read: KSK understands me. I'm an unabashed fan of the guys at Kissing Suzy Kolber (wow, is this week about the depth of my many admirations, or what?). They had a post on Monday that might be my favorite post -- on any subject, on any blog -- of all time. When you read it, you'll know why. It's as if Big Daddy Drew entered my mind and made sense of it all.
Oh, and it's been mentioned in the Comments, but I should mention it here: You've got to see their take on Easterbrook's latest column, too, which is receiving some of the worst reviews of any column I have seen in a long time. (And people used to ding ME for overreaching...) UPDATE: Wow, that's quite a trick that Easterbrook pulled: He managed to unite New England sports fans and the universe of us who hate New England sports (and their sports fans). I never thought it would happen, but Easterbrook accomplished it. New England fans, I join you in your mockery of him! UPDATE 2: Actually, I find the Pats far more enjoyable when they are making the league their Gimp -- including the TD run-ups -- than before. As someone who traffics in superlatives, I can't help but root for 19-0. Because, let's face it: You hate the '72 Dolphins way more than you hate the '07 Pats.
NBA: Kevin Durant sprains his ankle and might miss the season opener, dampening one of the biggest storylines of the season. If Durant was hurt in any meaningful way, it would really spike this season's rookie-class potential, although in a rookie year that should be prefixed as "Besides Kevin Durant..." two rookies who seem ready to make an instant impact are the "Two Als": Horford (Hawks) and Thornton (Clippers).
NBA Preview: Free Darko rules. I'm ramping up my NBA season preview coverage tomorrow, but in the meantime, I want to point you to the latest series from Free Darko, which has produced what could go down as my favorite NBA gimmick of all time:
Those mad geniuses have produced a preview of EVERY SINGLE NBA PLAYER. And, seriously, they pulled it off. "Where Amazing Happens," indeed:
Prep Football: Hoover cheats? (Yawn.) So if you watched
Sports Media: Bizarro Sports Journalism. This could become the next hot trend in sports media. Publishing the story with the opposite result of what the writer thought would happen. You know beat guys and columnists all do it, even if they just play around with an angle or a lead paragraph (and don't actually write the entire thing).
Given unlimited space on the internet, the never-ending appetite for blog content by traditional sports media and the guaranteed page views for such a sensationalized idea, I could see an entire industry being spun from this. Call it "Bizarro Sports Journalism." (So: Who's going to start the first "Bizarro" sports blog that deals entirely with the opposite of what is happening in reality?)
Last thought on the World Series: The Quickie/Shanoff Curse might just be the thing that brings the Rockies' run to a halt. If any fictitious force can do it, it's that.