Saturday, June 21, 2008

Baseball Cards

Looking through an old old box of baseball cards my dad hadn't thrown away from the house I grew up in (circa 1980 Topps). Among other notable nostalgia it elicited, here's an observation: With rare exception, the three-headed "Future Stars" card was just the absolute kiss of death on the player fulfilling the card's promises. Just a batch of duds...remarkable. - D.S.

Saturday 06/21 (Very) Quickie

Is the NFL partnering with ESPN to turn ESPN Classic into a place for NFL, including the coveted Thusday/Saturday games?! Wow. (H/T: WSJ and my guy Sam Schechner)

Story of the weekend, by far.

Meanwhile, Aramis Ramirez and (of all people) Kyle Lohse as MLB studs.

And Turkey!

-- D.S.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday 06/20 A.M. Quickie:
Tiger, KG, Joba, Rays, Barkley, More

As compelling storylines go, I didn't think that anything could top KG and the Celtics winning the NBA title this week -- then Tiger happened. I wouldn't want to compare them, but we will probably look back and recognize both stories as two of the Top 3 of 2008. Maybe Top 5. We'll see. That's the gist of the lead of today's Sporting News column, which also...

Totally reverses course on Joba...
Stays on the Rays bandwagon...
Continues to get ready for the NBA draft...
Rips Charles Barkley on gambling (again)...
Rips the NBA age limit, as compared to the NHL (again)...
Declares my Euro 08 knockout-round rooting interest as Holland...
Laments the demise of Blog Show...
And generally gets ready for the weekend.

There's a lot more, as usual. Check it out here.

I'll be posting over the weekend, as usual.

-- D.S.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sports Bloggers vs. MSM, Part Infinity

This was attempting to be even-handed, but more than anything it was overly simplistic -- not to mention creating something where there really isn't.

(Let's just clarify: By extensively quoting Simmons, Adam Reilly actually frames the debate as newspaper vs. online, not MSM vs. bloggers. Bill isn't a blogger; never has been. Rick Reilly was just being a douchebag when he called him that, revealing his own ignorance about various forms of sports media and their leading practioners.)

What I should have done was give this the FireJoeMorgan treatment. Maybe later.
-- D.S.

UPDATE: Do you know why I love sports blogs? Because Fire Joe Morgan just DID give this column their treatment. Here you go.

Thursday 06/19 A.M. Quickie:
Tiger, A-Rod, NBA Draft, Michigan, More

Sorry for the delay today. Tiger's absence obliterates golf's relevancy. Brett Favre is so obviously coming back to the NFL. A-Rod is the new Marcus Thames. Michael Beasley is the linchpin of the NBA Draft. Michigan stopped Northwestern signal-stealing. I got something wrong yesterday (big surprise there). But if it's 2:30 already, you should have already seen the column earlier this morning, right? RIGHT?! -- D.S.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tiger Woods Done For the Year

Wow: Kind of makes his US Open win that much more impressive, doesn't it?

Golf is in trouble. Fundamental national irrelevance for the remainder of '08.

-- D.S.

Wednesday 06/18 A.M. Quickie:
Yes, Yes, the Celtics Rule. Sigh.

I may not be a fan of the Celtics or their fans, but I can appreciate a great champion when I see one -- particularly one that wins a close-out game by a record 39.

I feel good for KG. I feel less good (but still good) for Pierce and Allen. You can see just how good I feel about them in today's Sporting News column.

What I am mostly struck by is the turnaround, perhaps the most dramatic in sports history. Credit Danny Ainge for pulling it off.

I have said for a while that anything less than an NBA title for this Celtics team would be a failure. That set them up to merely MEET expectations -- never exceed them.

But I think that, in this case, meeting the expectations -- given how massive they were -- is amazing in and of itself.

Meanwhile, Marcus Thames. It's not the 5 straight games with a HR. It's the fact that his last 8 hits have all been HR. THAT is the ludicrous part.

Michael Beasley is "only" 6-7 and I contend that will be enough for Pat Riley -- who never liked Beasley anyway -- to take OJ Mayo ahead of him. We'll see.

There is a ton more in today's SN column, so check it out here. It's a getaway day for me, but I will try to have another post later.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

NBA Draft 1998: 10 Years Later?

About 8 job lives ago, I was a columnist and editor for I was looking up something else via Google and ran across something: Look at this NBA draft superlatives list I did in 1998. Check out the insanely dated references! The wince-inducing wordplay! (I can't believe I actually correctly predicted that Paul Pierce would be the king of the draft class.) Cripes, has it really been 10 years? I'm so freaking old. -- D.S.

Tuesday 06/17 A.M. Quickie:
Mets, Tiger, Rocco, Hank, NBA Draft

Stories that break overnight are fun, because when I file my column -- whether it was the Quickie or like today in my SN column -- I was among the first with an opinion. (Now, whether that opinion is worthwhile or not is another story...)

With Willie Randolph getting axed -- strangely, after a road win against a division-leading AL team -- you just got the sense that the moment typified the maddening mediocrity.

What should have been a big win instead merely put the Mets one game UNDER .500, with their season just shy of 70 games complete. Was Willie about to turn it around?

Obviously, the Wilpons thought he wasn't. Not sure why they took him on the road trip, though, because this feels like it was a done-deal.

Meanwhile, the opposite effect is in play for Tiger: With the epic 19-hold playoff over by 5, the topic was beaten into the ground by this morning.

"Tiger is awesome."
"Best Tiger major win ever."
"Who else stopped working?"

Even David Brooks used the event as column-fodder in today's NY Times (always interesting when non-sports columnists dive into sports, even if Tiger transcends sports at this point).

I am actually far more fascinated with Rocco. (It's just "Rocco" now, by the way.) It is possible to lose the match -- the major -- and win the day. In Rocco's case, the fame from taking Tiger to the edge should more than make up for the missed major.

Meanwhile, in MLB, Hank Steinbrenner hates the NL pitcher-bats rule. Given that Wang is out until September, I don't blame him, but his frustration is misplaced. Yeah, they're going to change the rule, just for you, Hank.

The NBA Draft was notable more for who dropped out than who stayed in: UNC's trio of players (Lawson, Ellington and Green) went back to Chapel Hill, making UNC the overwhelming No. 1 team next season. Of course, look at all the good that did them at this past Final Four.

There's a bunch more in the column, of course. Here is a link to the main column page, but you'll have to click through to see the whole thing.

-- D.S.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday 06/16 A.M. Quickie:
Tiger, Lakers, Griffey, Tigers, More

Tiger Woods is ridiculous, and we should all thank him for the workday diversion today, beginning at noon and running all afternoon. It's like the first two days of the NCAA Tournament: Take a long lunch at the nearest sports bar.

Tiger bumps the NBA Finals as the lead of today's Sporting News column -- as he should. Meanwhile...

I can't believe that Celtics fans would be sweating losing Game 5; given the history in the NBA Finals at work -- no team has ever come back from being down 3-1, no road team has ever won both Games 6 and 7 -- there is little to worry about (except the karmic boomerang from the 2004 ALCS, obviously).

I would love to see Ken Griffey on the Rays, but not at the expense of Tampa's best young arms... Willie Randolph may not make it back to NYC after the Mets' road trip... Can the Tigers have too-little-too-late on June 15?

In case you missed it this weekend, a tribute to Ralph Wiley on the (near-) anniversary of his death four years ago, plus -- yes -- I need to clarify my argument from earlier in the weekend that I would rather lose in the playoffs with Arenas (maximizing my entertainment value for an entire season) than lose in the playoffs without him (without the extra six months of Gilbertainment). I mean: As long as I'm losing in the playoffs anyway...

(That's really all I was saying. I'm not saying I don't want to win an NBA championship; I'm saying that no matter WHO the Wizards would get to build around if they let Gilbert go -- being reasonable here -- they will almost certainly not be winning an NBA title. If they had pulled off that rumored preseason trade for Kobe, it would have been interesting. But, let's face it: Not nearly as entertaining.)

Anyway, there's a ton more in the column today. Check it out here. (It should be up by 8:30 or 9, and you'll have to click through my main archive page to get to the full version.)

-- D.S.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday 06/15 (Very) Quickie: Tiger!

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there. Let's start with the ultimate dad: Tiger Woods, raised by the ultimate sports dad, now a dad himself.

In what was instantly one of the most classic moments of his career (and arguably his finest moment ever), Tiger's limping surge to the US Open lead was the stuff of legend. I can't remember a greater moment in his career, including the '97 Masters, which was the previous gold standard.

Was it the 70-foot eagle putt on 13 that seemed to signal his surge? The one-hop chipper on 17 that bounced in for a birdie? (The look on his face after that shot went in was perhaps my favorite sports reaction shot of all time) Or maybe the way he closed it out, with that 30-foot putt for eagle on 18? Cripes. ALL ON THAT GIMPY KNEE!

(Caveat: It doesn't mean anything if he doesn't win today, and there's no guarantee the knee doesn't give out on him. But do you really think that he won't win? If you're lined up against him, do you really think you can take him? He has never lost a lead heading into a Sunday of a major. So there's that.)

Is everyone ready for the NBA season to end tonight? As long as the Celtics are going to win, isn't it more appropriate they win in Boston?

Good question: If you're a Celtics fan, and you knew you were going to win the title anyway, wouldn't you prefer to see them win it on the home court?

MLB: Interleague mania. Rays over Marlins behind Garza... A's Harden shuts out Giants in Bay Area battle... 5-run 10th (incl Kouzmanoff grand slam) leads Padres over Indians... Kevin Youkilis should be an All-Star...

NASCAR: Name to Know -- Joey Logano, who last night became the youngest driver ever (18 years, 21 days) to win a Nationwide series race. He will be a HUGE star once he gets to the Sprint Cup level...which at this pace, could be any week now.

NFL: Chad Johnson participated in drills on Saturday. Of course he did.

Again, happy father's day everyone. Catch you in the a.m.

-- D.S.