Today's Names to Know: Jay Mariotti, Stephen Strasburg, A-Rod, Alabama, Ben Roethlisberger, Chris Carpenter, Josh Bell, Lithuania and More.
So: About Jay Mariotti. Yikes, that's a lot of schadenfreude. It's like the guy has zero allies in sports media -- granted, it would have been a rough moment to come to his defense.
I guess the rationalization comes down to: "What would Jay say about an athlete who did what he did?" He'd kill him, fairly or not... unnecessarily or not. So that's the treatment he is getting.
(For what it's worth, Jay was pretty nice to me when I went on Around the Horn -- another panelist was a pretty big asshole to me, so I appreciated Jay's reception. But I also recognize that he hasn't treated plenty of media folks nicely, starting with his former Sun-Times colleagues. I'm sure it's not an easy night for the ATH team -- or Mariotti's bosses at AOL.)
Well, Stephen Strasburg is totally effed. I wouldn't be surprised if they shut him down for the rest of the season -- even if his forearm isn't as bad as last night's exit suggested it was.
(Between Stras and A-Rod going to the DL -- plus Youk and Carlos Santana's previous season-ending injuries, plus Prado and Soto's ongoing injuries -- a first-division finish in my fantasy league will be a huge overachievement. I feel like the Red Sox this year.)
CFB AP Preseason Top 25: Alabama is No. 1, for the first time in the preseason since 1978. Basically, if you're under 45, you basically have no recollection of Alabama being preseason No. 1, until now.
For what it's worth, I can't pick Bama No. 1, because my preseason Top 25 is a reflection of how I think the season will end, and I think that Alabama doesn't even win the SEC title, let alone the national title.
Ballot going up soon, but I'm ranking Texas-Boise at 1-2. (Yes, I'm backing off my Boise-as-national-champ theory, but I figure putting them in the national-title game will still put me ahead of 99 percent of people out there.)
NFL Preseason: Big Ben is back, and perfectly capable... Albert Haynesworth obviously doesn't care what Mike Shanahan thinks of him... Well, Sam Bradford isn't particularly good, but at least he got through another game without crumpling.
*More trouble for Lincecum (but a huge get-back-on-track win for the Cards)...
*Nothing symbolizes the O's resurgence under Buck Showalter like the throttling they gave Cliff Lee and the Rangers. (Josh Bell!)
*The winning secret for the Mets: Rain-shortened 6-inning games.
USA Hoops: Wow, Kevin Durant did NOT look good yesterday. World title or bust, fellas.