Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday 12/24 A.M. Quickie:
Teixeira, TCU, Portland St, Celtics, Plax

UPDATE: I cannot believe I missed Festivus yesterday. I hang my head in shame. Add it to your "Airing of Grievances" about me from this past year that I'm sure happened yesterday.

I have been using this line for months. Now, for the last time, because at this point the phrase has been stretched -- by the Yankees -- to its bleeding edge of reason:

What recession?

The Yankees are making a mockery that we're in a recession/depression/whatever-it-is. I think Hal and Hank Steinbrenner should be named co-Secretaries of Treasury, because they obviously know something that we don't, and it involves massive spending:

It is the Yankees' own version of an economic stimulus package.

One non-playoff season and the team goes absolutely crazy: $140M for Sabathia. $85M for Burnett. Now $180M for Teixeira.

Overreaction much? What happened to last season's plan to implement financial restraint?

Instead, the Yankees have catapulted themselves into a previously unknown stratosphere of payroll spending, not just in baseball, but in all of team sports.

Meanwhile, what a surprise: All we heard was Red Sox-Nats-Orioles-Angels... so much for the crackerjack reporting by the legion of mainstream baseball reporters out there. It's the biggest signing of the offseason, and fans had no heads-up about it. You know? I actually like being surprised. Too much news in sports is a fait d'accompli.

Sure hope they win a championship from all this. I'd hate to see what would happen if they didn't.

(Actually, no I wouldn't. And I think most of us can agree that we are much more intrigued by what would/will happen if they DO miss the playoffs or miss a championship than if they win the World Series.)

Just in time for Christmas: What recession?

All we need to see now is the Yankees signing Manny for a short 2-3 year deal and everything about the Yankees Economic Stimulus Package will be complete.

(And, yet: The Yankees are doing one of the best promotions of 2009. For the April 3-4 exhibition series against the Cubs opening the Stadium, bleacher seats will be a quarter and grandstand seats will be $1.10, the price they were when Yankee Stadium first opened. Yeah, good luck getting your hands on those...)

Poinsettia Bowl: TCU grinds down Boise State. If you watched the first quarter of the TCU-Boise State game, you would have seen Boise in control -- maybe you would have even thought about how high the Broncos could end up in the polls. Then TCU did what they do best: They wore 'em down. They kept it close. They played amazing D. They won the game.

And now TCU stakes its claim as the best non-BCS team in the country -- with only a close loss to Utah ruining its season (UPDATE: Oh, and Oklahoma...I had forgotten, maybe because I don't consider Oklahoma to be on the radar as a great team...jokes!). If Utah gets blown out by Alabama, would you jump TCU over the team that beat them?

For Boise State, they were barely on the wrong end of a spirited effort, keeping them from an unbeaten season and a claim that they should have been in a BCS-level bowl. But I'd say that both Boise State and TCU proved that they are BCS-quality teams. TCU will make the Top 10 in my final Top 25 rankings. Boise St won't drop far.

(Bowling tonight: Notre Dame vs. Hawaii. Pass. I've got a date with Chinese food and "A Christmas Story." With 9 straight bowl losses on their record, Notre Dame can't do much worse. When their offensive coordinator was hired yesterday to coach Miami-Ohio, I found that curious: Wasn't ND's offense this year horrible? Eh: Must have been Weis's fault. I fully support the hiring -- anyone who was the recruiting coordinator at Texas is OK by me. Um: Gene Chizik wasn't the recruiting coordinator when he was there, was he?)

Portland State shocks Gonzaga in Spokane: Know the name -- Jeremiah Dominguez, a 5-foot-6 senior for PSU who just lit up the Zags. He scored 25 points, including an eye-popping 7/10 on 3s. (Great detail: Because of weather issues, Portland State got to the game only 3 hours early and didn't have a shootaround.)

More road goodness: Butler beats Xavier in Cincinnati, which would have been a nice-sized upset to discuss today -- if not for Portland State. (By the way, that's 2 losses in a row for 2 teams that I was demonstrably in the tank for this season. And that doesn't even count Louisville -- my preseason pick to win it all -- losing to Minnesota on Saturday.)

Even more: Wisconsin may not be as good as they have been in years past -- and Texas could be better (even better than the Durant or Augustine teams of the past 2 seasons) -- but Madison is still a hell of a tough place for an opposing team to win. After losing to Michigan State on Saturday in Texas, the Longhorns return the favor in Big Ten country.

Speaking of Big Ten hotness this season (which Wisco wasn't able to hold up), Illinois thumped Missouri last night in the Braggin Rights game in St. Louis. Illinois has owned Mizzou in this series recently, but it's another sign of just how unexpectedly strong the Big Ten is this season.

Celtics win 19th in a row: They have done it so seemingly effortlessly that you forget that they have just accomplished something that no other Celtics team -- not the Cousy/Russell dynasty of the 60s, not the Bird dynasty of the 80s -- was able to do. They are so focused. Tomorrow's game against the Lakers can/should/will be epic.

Full slate of NBA last night: The Lakers seem to be back on track (beating the Hornets), just in time for tomorrow's game against the C's... The Cavs still haven't lost at home (beat the Rockets behind LeBron's 27-9-5, all leading the team)... Yes, that was Rodney Stuckey scoring 40; meanwhile, an injured AI went without a made FG for only the 2nd time in his career... Triple-double for Joe Johnson (20-11-11)... Buzzer-beater: Devin Harris, leading the Nets over the Pacers... God, the Wizards are truly terrible.

Plaxico Update: It actually gets worse! Cops found a cache of weapons and ammo at Burress's house. He is so screwed.

Lance Armstrong is going to have a big 2009: He isn't just going to race in the Tour de France, but he is going to have a baby with his girlfriend, Anna Hansen. Why do I think Lance can afford to hire the help to let him avoid the overnight wake-up fussiness (what? oh, wait: I meant "amazingness") that is new fatherhood.

More later.

-- D.S.


zac said...

I guess TCU's first loss of the year to uhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmm OU doesn't count....You know that team that you think will get smoked by Florida who lost at home to an unranked Ole Miss...

Brendan Smith said...

Even as a Red Sox fan I'm not upset that the Yanks have spent all this money. What should upset New Yorkers tho; is the Yanks just spent roughly 450 million on players and taxes to the league and had the gaul to ask the City of New York for like 325 million more to complete the house that...err...Jeter built?

Apparently the recession has hit the yankees, even they can't spend 1 billion in a year. We all have to make our little sacrifices I guess.

scb said...

the yankees 2009 payroll is actually below last is it really a "previously unknown stratosphere?"

WuzUpG said...

The Sharks, like the Cavs, haven't lost on home ice in regulation, either. They steamrolled the Canucks 5-0, while setting a franchise record for the fastest 5 goals, just under 21 minutes.