Today's Names to Know: Stephen Strasburg, Tiger Woods, Butch Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Albert Pujols, Cliff Lee, Gordon Gee, Sam Bradford, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Michael Hoomanawanui, Derek Anderson, Bryce Harper, Don Fehr and More.
Late-a.m. update: Stephen Strasburg needs Tommy John surgery. If you're a Strasburg fan or a Nats fan or a baseball fan, that news is a punch in the stomach.
Well we're one-day-down/three-to-go for the "Tiger post-divorce redemption" storyline to overwhelm us all.
UNC football scandal: Yikes. Of course, it's easy to get fixated on the single detail that that tutor in question was Butch Davis' nanny. But he had NO idea. None. Nope. Noooo idea.
That was a nice little run UNC had where it looked like the football team was a future Top 20 staple -- although probably not a national power. Now? Thunk.
Let's be clear: This pales in comparison to the academic fraud perpetrated at Florida State a couple years ago. And FSU is better now than it had been in Bowden's final half-dozen years.
If Carmelo doesn't want to play for the Nuggets and is demanding a trade, the Nuggets are smart to get rid of him now before he bolts as a free agent and leaves them with nothing.
(If Melo leaves, it's time to tear down the entire roster, get young and rebuild: Trade Billups. Trade JR Smith. Trade K-Mart. I'm sticking with Melo for Derrick Favors and Terrence Williams.)
Albert Pujols reaches 400 HRs: By 2013 (age 33), he's at 500. By 2016 (age 36), he's at 600. By 2020, when he turns 40, there's no reason to believe he can't reach 700.
More trouble for Cliff Lee: He got pounded by the Twins and is now 2-5 in 10 starts since he was traded from Seattle; Texas is 3-7 in those games. (That said: The Rangers are in no danger of missing the playoffs, and if last year is any indication -- small sample size, yes -- he will do fine once there.)
Phillies thunked with 4-game sweep by Astros: What a blown chance to either make up some ground on the stalling Braves (3 straight losses) or skip over the Giants for the Wild Card lead (the Phillies are still only .5 GB for that). That said, it's not even September yet; the Phillies will be in it until the season's final week.
Ohio State-Michigan, cont'd: Had a great conversation with an OSU fan -- a friend, no less! -- that gave me new perspective on how much the timing of the rivalry means to fans of both teams.
That's why I'm curious how OSU fans and alums feel about OSU president Gordon Gee coming out on the side of moving the game date, which almost certainly ensures that it will happen.
(Don't seem to see any resistance from OSU or Michigan fans about being in separate divisions; it's all about the game date. They should prepare themselves for it to be moved.)
Not bad, Sam Bradford. Not bad. (And if you know where I've been on him, you know that's a compliment.)
Michael Hoomanawanui: Enough said.
(Injury Watch: Donnie Avery, knee. You might not be a Rams fan, but file away for your fantasy football drafts next week.)
I'm feeling pretty good about drafting Tom Brady as my QB in my two fantasy leagues so far. And if you have Aaron Rodgers, you should be feeling even better.
Matt Leinart has been displaced by Derek Anderson: Just in case you had thought Leinart had hit rock-bottom as a pro before, nope: He's there right now. Biggest bust ever? He's up there. (Let's put it this way: There is little -- if anything -- that can happen to Tim Tebow in his career that could qualify him as a bigger NFL bust than Leinart.)
Bryce Harper took BP before the Nats-Cards game last night and crushed the ball: I'm ready for him to be in the big leagues right now. Do we really have to wait 3 years?
Given the way certain NHL teams have decided to treat the bloggers who have been so good for their league, I hope new union honcho Don Fehr makes their lives miserable. (h/t: Wyshynski)