Today's Names to Know: Giants, Tim Lincecum, Edgar Renteria, Cliff Lee, Randy Moss, Mike Shanahan, Colts, Luol Deng, Al Horford, Harrison Barnes and More.
San Francisco Giants, World Series Champs. Tim Lincecum throws a memorable gem. The ageless Edgar Renteria wins MVP. Giants fans get something they haven't had in more than a half-century. Read last night's post-game post here.
(Something worth adding: Look back to the start of the postseason. How many "experts" picked the Giants to win it all? I couldn't find any. That's what you call a quality playoff ending.)
What next for Cliff Lee? He will be welcome back in Texas. He will be given a mega-sized contract offer by the Yankees. Other teams will be in the mix -- I suspect he lost a few million by losing both World Series starts; he also lost that "postseason invincible" tag. My guess: He stays in Texas, which will match the Yankees offer. And he never again comes as close to a championship as he did this past week.
Vikings will waive Randy Moss: Where to start? He was outspoken, but why did the Vikings trade for him if they didn't plan to use him aggressively? Consider that they gave up a 3rd-round pick for an ineffective 4-week player rental, which could be argued was the single-worst trade in recent NFL history. (And it's coming out that Brad Childress didn't ask his owner -- or basically tell anyone -- before making the decision. Aaand... that might be all for the head coach. Not immediately, but at the end of a let-down season.)
And where does Moss go next? At the top of the waiver wire are teams that have no shot at the playoffs but sure could use him (probably not THAT much); at the bottom of the waiver wire are teams in the playoff chase that can't risk the distraction (despite the tantalizing upside). Plenty of teams could use his talent; few -- if any -- will want his baggage.
Mike Shanahan under pressure: His bone-headed move to bench Donovan McNabb with 2 minutes to go in the game on Sunday (for Rex Grossman!) was compounded by his feeble attempts to explain it. The big question is: With that move (and cover-up), did he irredeemably lose the team? The Redskins media certainly seems to have soured on him.
(By the way, I only very rarely heard people refer to me as "Shanny" growing up, but I kept seeing "Shanny" in my Twitter feed in reference to Shanahan, and it made me look twice every time. Of course, I wouldn't be so dumb as to bench Donovan McNabb for Rex Grossman with 2 minutes to go and about to start what would be a game-tying/-winning drive.)
NFL MNF: Colts beat back Texans. Feels like years -- or at least a half-season -- since the Texans toppled the Colts back in Week 1. Now, Indy feels in control of the AFC South -- as usual.
NBA Last Night: Luol! The Bulls' Deng scored a career-high 40 in a Bulls win over the Blazers. Meanwhile, the Kings went to 3-1 and the Clippers remain winless (Griffin: 17 and 8).
Al Horford gets 5Y/$60M deal with Hawks: He deserved it, and I don't just say that because he is one of my favorite players in the league. Undersized at center, Horford is solid defensively, a good passer and nimble, while good enough to be counted on for a double-double every night. Atlanta might be stretched thin with all these big deals, but Horford's was a good one to get done. He would have been coveted as an FA next summer (if there WAS a "next summer").
CBB Preseason All-Americans: This is usually a pretty good foreshadowing of who will be postseason A-A. Loved seeing freshman Harrison Barnes on the 1st team. He becomes the first freshman ever to make the preseason team (since the team started in '86-87).
And while he deserves it -- he is the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft -- this "first-time" situation feels like a panicky make-up call for the AP's egregious preseason misses through the years, most recently John Wall a year ago.
The Death of Declan Sullivan, Cont'd: For those interested in the punitive measures that could be taken against Notre Dame, criminal charges appear to be out (mystifyingly), but a Forbes writer pegs the potential civil (financial) punishment at $30 million. Still doesn't seem like enough. (h/t: Emma Carmichael)
Vote. Take the 15 minutes or hour or whatever and go vote, thoughtfully.