Saturday, July 30, 2011

07/30 (Nnamdi) Quickie

I tweeted this last night: "My favorite part of Nnamdi-to-Philly: In an age where no deal goes spoiler-free, we can still get a genuine, where'd-that-come-from shock"

We can still regularly be surprised by things that happen on the field, but off the field, it's almost always telegraphed way in advance, broken by increasingly well-sourced reporting.

So when something like Asumugha going to the Eagles happens -- totally unexpected (Philly was never mentioned as a player) -- it is delightful, even if you're not an Eagles fan.

I think the Eagles were already a Super Bowl contender. I appreciate the "instant-history" being applied in arguing they are now the TOP contender to win it all, but I'll still take the Packers.


*I kind of love that the Eagles added Vince Young, too -- they have shown themselves to be excellent with (a) reclamation-project QBs and (b) developing back-ups QBs.

*MLB Trade Mania: Good for the Phillies, going after it by trading solid prospects for Hunter Pence, matching the Giants (with Beltran) stride-for-stride. Next up: Ubaldo to the Yanks or Sox?

*Lost in the flurry of NFL player signings: How awesome is it that the rookies are signing so easily? Cam Newton signed yesterday; when was the last time a No. 1 overall pick signed without ANY drama?

*Pujols gets 2000th hit: If he stays healthy (certainly an "if"), getting to 3000 hits in the next 6 years is almost assured, with 3,515 -- one more than Tris Speaker's spot at No. 5 in the Top 5 all-time -- absolutely reasonable. (Just looking over the MLB all-time hits list, I think I didn't recognize that Eddie Murray didn't just get 3,000 hits, but more than 3,200.)

Lots more from yesterday -- reactions to Asumugha and Pence deals, some great "longish" reads for your weekend -- over at Quickish. Give it a look!

-- D.S.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

07/28 (Frenzy) Quickie

Wow, it's been a whirlwind few days in sports. Yesterday, we started testing a dedicated NFL super-stream for Quickish -- you'll find more there than on the typical "main" stream, which is only for the biggest topics that "everyone" is thinking about. On the NFL stream, it's a bit more fast-n-furious -- but still doing the job of curating out the crap and only giving you the interesting analysis. Please check it out (or pass along to your NFL-crazed friends).


NFL Mania: Gotta love the Pats acquiring Albert Haynesworth for basically nothing - a flimsy low draft pick and not on the hook for much money, either. I'm a Belichick fanboy (if a Pats-hater), thus I am in the camp that thinks this works out amazingly for the Pats.

Dolphins get Reggie Bush: I mean, he's still kind of exciting, but I'd hardly call him a feature RB.

Vikings acquire Donovan McNabb: Putting "Flags fly forever" to the test -- McNabb fits the team's "win-now" mentality, but is McNabb the right QB? He is presumably better than rookie Christian Ponder (for now), and presumably more effective with Adrian Peterson keeping defenses honest than he is playing for the woeful Redskins. He'll outperform (admittedly low) expectations.

Seahawks acquire Sidney Rice: Things may be a bit bleak this season if you're a star WR without a decent QB to get you the ball, but just wait until they do poorly enough to bring in a talented rookie QB.

MLB Trade Mania!

*Giants trade for Carlos Beltran: "Flags fly forever." It's one of my favorite phrases in sports and perfectly captures the notion of going for it when you've got a window to win a championship, even if it means setting yourself back years from now. The Giants got better immediately, and it gives them a better shot at winning another title.

*Cards trade Colby Rasmus: A bit more curious -- Rasmus has huge upside, which the Jays will now enjoy. (The Jays and Rays don't deserve the fate of being in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox -- it is arguably the least-fair competitive set-up in all of sports.) Making it odder, it seems that Rasmus was jettisoned because Tony LaRussa simply didn't like him all that much, personally.

UNC fires Butch Davis: Should have happened months ago, when they would have had the chance to hire a new coach before the recruiting cycle ended and send the program -- which isn't a terrible one -- in a new direction. Now? They're looking at a lost season, not to mention the longer-term damage from a lost recruiting year. (Why not hire a head-coach-in-waiting immediately to do nothing but work on recruiting?)

More later. Check out Quickish all day for the best takes on NFL deal-making, MLB trade mania and everything else that's keeping sports hopping this week.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

07/27 (Pirates! Gah!) Quickie

Good golly: This was the worst baseball call I have ever seen -- it's even worse than Joyce blowing Galarraga's no-hitter last year, because this cost the Pirates an actual game. It is the newest evidence to support the my-god-isn't-it-obvious case that baseball needs a replay system.

NFL moves start getting made: QBs always get the glory -- Matt Hasselbeck is apparently going to Tennessee (giving 1st-round draft pick Jake Locker a season or possibly two to figure out life in the NFL). The Seahawks picked up Tarvaris Jackson (and possibly Matt Leinart) as a seat-warmer for whomever they draft next April. Still to come: Kevin Kolb to Arizona? (And, seemingly, Donovan McNabb to the Vikings? Again: Place-holder for rookie, Christian Ponder?)

Ryan Lochte beats Michael Phelps: It's not the same as beating Phelps in the Olympics, but it's a good start for the swimmer who would dethrone the king.

Just to clarify: Comparing Bryce Harper to Jackie Robinson is never going to go well. (And, as a nominal Nats fan, I like Harper and look forward to him making it to the Major Leagues. But these Nats execs did the kid no favors with this -- actually, of all the things in the Harper canon, this might instantly jump to the top of the list... and in the worst way possible.)

Andrew Luck has an amazing offseason beard: The biggest non-Florida player I'm most looking forward to watching this college football season. He is worth a non-contending NFL team tanking the entire season -- I'm talking 0-16 -- to draft next spring.

More MLB: What a start by CC Sabathia (and yet another loss -- 17th in a row -- for the Mariners). And yet Sabathia may only be the third-best pitcher in the AL, behind Justin Verlander and Jared Weaver, whose ERA is now 1.79.

"Quickish is the Best Thing To Happen to Sports Media in 2011."
Someone else said it!

Check out Quickish anytime for the best takes on the biggest topics.

-- D.S.

Monday, July 25, 2011

07/25 (It's Over) Quickie

"Welcome back, football." That was the tweet from ESPN's Adam Schefter on Saturday night, and it couldn't have been any more breathtaking in its pithiness.

(It didn't matter that that lockout wasn't officially over -- it was like an expert political pundit "calling" an election; besides, he wouldn't have typed it if he wasn't 100% sure -- beyond that, he had the definitive report on Sunday of the lockout's impending end. The point is: It was a signal, a symbol. And an entirely welcome one.)

And now we get back to football -- the stuff that matters to us, like which free agents will my team sign and which returning players look good (and which don't) and who will break out this year and is it too early to get ready for my fantasy draft?

I actually love the condensed, speed-dating vibe of free-agency this year -- fans have never needed the weeks and weeks of drama and rumors and misdirection. Condensed into a few days, it's a glorious sprint that couldn't be more fan-friendly. Let's just get those deals done.

Teams have fewer weeks to install schemes or evaluate players. Some players will come back in great shape -- others might be out of shape enough that they are a red flag for injury. The limited contact in practices will also change the NFL -- almost entirely for the better.

Things are hopping at Quickish today, as they have been all weekend on the "End of the Lockout" beat. Pop by for only the most important lockout updates and best analysis of the situation -- not to mention the excitement of free agency and camps opening.

It's going to be a great week. And a great season.

And it's so nice to be able to say that, isn't it?

-- D.S.