Tuesday, August 10, 2010

08/10 Quickie: LeBron, Cards, Stras

As if the Amare-is-Jewish stuff didn't blow my mind enough, now there's this whole LeBron-hiring-the-rabbi thing. Seriously: What's going on here?

"Don't think I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me." -- LeBron on Twitter last night. Does he understand that only encourages the jokes?

The complete NBA schedule came out, and there's only one date everyone wanted to know: December 2 -- when LeBron returns to Cleveland.

The NL Central is all tied up. And these two teams appear to loathe each other, which is excellent. I love that Brandon Phillips yapped about hating the Cards, and I love that Molina got in Phillips' face about it last night. I love that, during the on-field scrumming, the Reds took a shot at Monday's winning pitcher, Chris Carpenter, and I love that everyone is just a tad pissy. It's exciting, it's healthy and it makes for a thrilling stretch run, particularly if you want a counter-balance to the AL East myopia.

Stephen Strasburg: Ouch.

Jeremy Hellickson is the new Strasburg: That's overstating by a wide margin, but the Rays rookie -- pitching in place of the injured Wade Davis -- gives Tampa yet more depth at SP.

The Twins are back in first in the AL Central. Another fun race -- will be hard to top last year's playoff.

Would it have been so tough for the Nats to play the entire game wearing the old Expos hats?

Fantasy Watch: Typical of my season that after two months of lackluster starts, I dumped Wade LeBlanc -- just in time for him to have 8 Ks in a W. I'm clearly out of playoff contention, but as usual, I will consider finishing in the "first division" (top half of the 14-team league) to be a success. It's never happened before, so there's that.

I have no doubt that Carmelo would love to play in New York for the Knicks -- I still find it crazy that he would turn down what could be a LOT more money to stay in Denver. But more power to him if he does forgo the cash to play where he wants to play. (Cough: D.C.!)

Does anyone really believe that Mike D'Antoni is fine with Isiah being a consultant for the Knicks? No one else is -- why should the coach be?

SI's CFB Preview issue has four regionalized covers, featuring Alabama, Ohio State, Texas and Boise State. Can't argue with that. Always one of the great issues of the year.

Obligatory Florida football item: The Gators had their Media Day yesterday, and I'm giddy that frosh DE Dominique Easley compared he, fellow frosh DE Ronald Powell and fellow frosh DT Sharrif Floyd to LeBron, Wade and Bosh. 2012 National Champs.

So the Nets are going to change their name, just in time for the move to Brooklyn. What should the name be? My vote is for "Biggies."

Tough timing for US Soccer, getting a Brazil team coming off its World Cup humiliation. They are reconstructing themselves as "new old Brazil," and the 2-0 win over the US was the first step toward a World Cup title in front of home fans in 2014.

Usain Bolt is taking the rest of the year off over humiliation over losing back pains.

The new season of "Hard Knocks" starts tonight, and I hope that HBO focuses a ton of its attention on the Darrelle Revis holdout -- I'm not holding my breath. Unfiltered Rex Ryan is decent consolation.

-- D.S.

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