Today's Names to Know: Mike Vick, Joe Torre, Braylon Edwards, Ron Gardenhire, Roy Halladay, Yankees, D'backs, Colorado, Carmelo, Fire Joe Morgan and More.
Mike Vick to start Sunday: The resuscitation of Mike Vick's career is arguably THE biggest storyline of the 2-week-old NFL season. Vick being named Week 3 starter -- after initially being benched after his terrific Week 2 performance, merely because Kevin Kolb was healthy enough to do the job -- is the biggest development yet.
I saw it as a no-brainer -- how about you? I hope this obliterates the old conventional wisdom that a starting QB can't lose his job because of an injury.
Joe Torre doesn't want to manage the Mets: Can you blame him?
Twins win: This is hardly a surprise, but the Twins win the AL Central. Ron Gardenhire for AL Manager of the Year? I'd still go with Joe Maddon (or Buck Showalter).
How good is Roy Halladay in Philly? He is the Phillies' first 20-game winner since Steve Carlton in 1982. Said this yesterday: Halladay-Oswalt-Hamels is a killer playoff rotation.
Was last night the decisive win for the Yankees over the Rays for the AL East title? It put NY up 2.5 with 11 to play (12 for the Rays). Even Mr. Instant History says not to pop champagne yet. If the Rays win tonight (Davis vs. Burnett), they're only back 1.5 -- and if they beat CC on Thursday (pitching David Price, in an ALCS Game 1 preview?), they're only .5 GB.
Even if they split the last two games to leave NYC down 2.5, remember: After this trip to New York, Tampa ends the season at home vs. Seattle and Baltimore, then on the road for four at Kansas City.
(Meanwhile, aside from home-field advantage, winning the division is entirely overrated. It's not like either team is missing the playoffs. So why did I just spend so much time working through that scenario?)
NL West: Giants win, Padres win (.5 GB), Rockies lose (2.5 GB).
Milestones: The D'backs set the all-time single-season record for strikeouts by a team (1,403 -- topping the free-swinging 2001 Brewers). Amazingly, they earned the record with 12 games to go. They might set an unbreakable standard, the "56" of lack of plate discipline.
Carmelo Watch: Apparently, he still wants to go to the Knicks or Bulls, even if Denver's best deal is with the Nets.
If Carmelo wants New York or Chicago, he can have New York or Chicago -- all he has to do is let everyone know he won't sign an extension with any team except those two; what team in their right mind would trade anything of value for a one-year rental?
(Apparently, according to Chad Ford, Carmelo would accept a deal with the Nets -- and potentially sign an extension -- but it's not his first choice. I renew my theory from "The Decision" that if the Nets were already in Brooklyn, they would be OK with Melo.)
Braylon Edwards is really dumb. How hard is it to grab a cab or car service? As punishment, he won't start Sunday, but he will be in uniform, and I presume Rex Ryan will use him whenever he wants to after that first series.
$7 million: That is what it will cost Colorado to leave the Big 12 early, after the current academic year, for the Pac-10. If the Pac-10 can do its TV deal, CU can make that back in a year.
How do you feel about letting sub-.500 teams be bowl-eligible? I actually think that it doesn't bother me -- like 6-6 is so great? The key for me is whether the fans of a 5-7 team would care:
Would they travel to the bowl? Would they bother? I know that while I was at Northwestern (pre-Rose Bowl year), I would have loved to get to go to a bowl, any bowl. Then again, I would have loved to go 5-7 (then 5-6, actually).
My biggest problem with bowl-eligibility is that bowl-eligible teams get a critical extra month of practice (which has a lot less to do with prepping for a bowl than it does prepping for the following season), while bowl-ineligible teams do not.
So excited for Fire Joe Morgan to reunite today to run Deadspin.