Monday, August 31, 2009

Did White Sox Lose Gamble on Peavy?

Kenny Williams is a gambler. He bets big, and big bettors can cash big paydays. Williams banked one gigantic payday: the 2005 World Series.

But one is never enough for a gambler. Winning is intoxicating – for the White Sox general manager and anybody else who calls the South Side of Chicago their home. They all want more, and Williams went out to improve his team’s chances for a second championship this decade.

(Continue to Justice Is Served)

Saban's Extension Ends Bear's Shadow

Paul “Bear” Bryant’s lengthy shadow, which had hovered over the Alabama football program for nearly 2 ½ decades, finally has lifted.

It had begun to fade when the Crimson Tide lured Nick Saban from the Miami Dolphins at the end of the 2006 season to be their head coach. It completely disappeared Saturday when Saban signed a three-year contract extension on his original $32 million, eight-year deal. The extension supposedly will keep him in Tuscaloosa until 2017. Supposedly because we know contracts aren’t worth the paper they are written on these days, so it isn't a lock Saban will be around that long.

(Continue to Rue's Rant)

Freep Reporters on Michigan Allegations

Detroit Free Press reporters Michael Rosenberg and Mark Snyder talk about their investigation of the Michigan program with Tom Leyden of Detroit's WXYZ. The reporters explain the reasons behind the use of anonymous sources.

(Continue to the The Wiz of Odds)

Irish Schedule Doesn't Guarantee Wins

Notre Dame's new 7-4-1 scheduling format - seven home games, four road affairs and one neutral site contest - is not going over too well with its detractors.

There has been much talk about how this is a trend toward watering down the schedule, something Notre Dame vehemently disputes. Still, the critics may have a point, as Notre Dame's 2009 schedule looks pretty easy on paper.

Of course, a so-called favorable schedule is no guarantee of anything. The Irish are not to the point where they can count any game on their slate as an automatic 'W' (although there are couple games this year that would appear to be close to automatic wins).

(Continue to Bob Birge's Irish Eyes Are Smiling)

FSU Coaches: Candid or Coy?

As I walked off the field at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday afternoon, I had two initial thoughts following Florida State's final preseason scrimmage before hosting Miami on Sept. 7.

1) FSU's coaches should send thank-you letters to the Atlantic Coast Conference and ESPN for giving them a couple of extra days this week to prepare for the Labor Day evening showdown with the Hurricanes, or

2) The Seminoles' coaching staff is working overtime at building a huge smoke screen in preparing for Miami.

(Continue to Seminoles Sports Center)

2009 BCS Standings, Preseason Edition

At last, the Guru has published the 2009 BCS Standings, preseason edition. There are a few items of note that may impact the standings throughout the season.

But first, the methodology. This is the third season I'm running a simulated preseason standings, and this model isn't all that different from the '07 and '08 versions. The AP Poll is used in place of the Harris Poll, and as I noted in painstaking detail previously, this is a no-brainer.

(Continue to BCS Guru)

Yankees Coasting to Division Title

We all know there have been teams that have blown leads in September as the pennant races heat up in Major League Baseball.

The Mets did it just two years ago, when the Phillies came back from seven behind with 17 to play to steal the National League East division title. In 1964, the Phillies blew a big lead and lost the National League pennant by a game to the St. Louis Cardinals.

But don’t expect that to happen to the Yankees this year.

(Continue to New York Minute)

It's All About Price with Rays

It might have been David Price's boldest statement in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform since saving the seventh game of the 2008 American League Championship Series against the Red Sox.

Price's performance in Saturday's 3-1 victory at Detroit -- five hits, four strikeouts and one walk in 7 1/3 innings -- came a day after the trade of his close friend, fellow left-hander Scott Kazmir, to the Angels for three minor-league prospects.

For Rays fans, it's good to know Price was able to shelve his disappointment about Kazmir in time to handcuff the AL Central leaders. The victory represented a career milestone for Price -- his first road victory.

(Continue to Henry's Chopping Block)

Open Nonsense: Serena at No. 2

Serena Williams got a No. 2 seed at the U.S. Open, which begins Monday morning. While a No. 2 seed might sound fair, how can it be fair when Dinara Safina, the player seeded ahead of her, has won nothing of importance.

The collection of insignificant titles that dot Safina’s resume doesn’t add up to one of the 11 Grand Slam trophies Serena Williams has on her mantel. The U.S. Open, however, stuck to its traditional rules of using yearly rankings to seed players, though officials had the prerogative to ignore the rankings.

(Continue to Justice Is Served)

UFC Eyes Vancouver for Next Event

The big news coming out of the UFC camp in the build-up to UFC 102: Couture vs. Noguiera was that the UFC is eyeing a third trip to Canada in June of 2010 with the likely destination being Vancouver, B.C.

A trip to Vancouver, B.C. would be huge for both the city and the UFC. Being from there and having traveled to the city numerous times, I can personally attest to the passion for MMA that the people have up there. Plus, with the olympics set to hit the city in February of 2010, there probably is no city that is going to be more ready for a big time event, not to mention how much publicity it will give the UFC for doing a show just four months after the world's best winter sport athletes perform in the same building.

(Continue to Fighter's Corner)

Heck of a Macho Weekend

It really doesn't get much better guy-wise than my Friday-Sunday run: two poker games, two football games, one cigar--with thanks to Mr. Luda for the Perdomo Patriarch that tied it all together.

The personal aspect of blogging came through big time after enjoying a steak & baked tater dinner and watching 'Casino Royale' after finishing Friday nights cigar, and whether you count watching the Denver-Chicago game and Daniel Craig stick it to the bad guy as super-macho sporty, the thoughts for the weekend came down to decisions and results.

(Continue to Baseline Shorks)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Sunday Paper

Sundays for me are a bit of a mixed bag. I love a good Sunday breakfast, relaxing, watching football during the fall, and reading the Sunday paper. But the Sunday paper routine for me can be a bit daunting.

Currently I read the New York Times, Boston Globe, and the local Metrowest Daily News on Sunday. Well, "read" may be a bit of a stretch. I suspect if I read all of those Sunday papers it would take hours, and that stresses me out a bit on my relaxing Sunday. So it amounts to a scan of the headlines, maybe the occasional first paragraph or full article, of all of the sections of all of the papers. Then I do the Globe and Times crosswords.

(Continue to 200 Miles From the Citi)

Does Federer Have an Open Run?

You wonder whether Roger Federer, the world No. 1, has the stomach for the grind that will be the U.S. Open.

His season has already been wildly successful. He’s conquered a demon: the slow red clay of Paris; he’s recaptured the glory on the hallowed grass at Wimbledon when he bested Andy Roddick in an unforgettable Finals, and he’s marched on toward the kind of greatness few men in any sport have ever achieved.

(Continue to Justice Is Served)

Five Biggest Stories in 2009 Offseason

The 2009 NBA offseason picked up exactly where the playoffs ended last season, supplying plenty of drama for basketball fans to ponder at home and in the office.

Here are five of the most intriguing NBA stories since the Los Angeles Lakers handled the Orlando Magic in five games to capture the 2009 NBA championship at the beginning of summer.

5). Rose cheated on SAT.
Should we really be surprised? Probably not. But it doesn’t seem fair.

(Continue to All Net)

Inside the Thunder: Power Forwards

Thunder vs Wizards
Today, This Is Thunder Basketball will look at, arguably, Oklahoma City's deepest position.


Jeff Green will likely enter the season as the starter at the Four. His improvement during his Sophomore campaign was overshadowed by Kevin Durant's breakout season. Even in the shadow of Durant, Green increased his season averages by 6 PTs, 2 RBDs, and 1 STL per game. While he is naturally a Small Forward, Green has thrived at PF and should only improve in his third season.

(Continue to This Is Thunder Basketball)

Smoltz a Great Find for Cardinals

John Smoltz turned in his second quality start with the Cardinals in as many tries Friday night. Granted his opposition has been the Padres and Nationals, but Smoltz is pitching like the old days in Atlanta not like the recent past in Boston.

Smoltz appears to have some gas left in that 42-year-old arm and the Cardinals low risk investment is paying dividends. As long as he pitches this well, the bullpen in St. Louis will wait.

(Continue to Paul's Redbird Report)

Vick Recap and First-Place Phillies

I really do not enjoy doing this but being that I am writing a blog regarding Philadelphia Sports I feel it is necessary to give what I observed of Michael Vick's debut in Philadelphia--before I talk about more serious matters at the moment such as the 1st place Philadelphia Phillies.

Vick showed up to a standing ovation. Some sports journalists in the city thought the fans would booo incisively, not sure why they predicted such a reaction, but regardless custom Vick jerseys and t-shirts are all over the city. Outside of Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday there were a handful of protesters and anti-Vick signage---again more was wrongfully and illogically predicted (but there were a few protesters at Broad and Pattison).

(Continue to Philadelphia Sports Scene)

Is Mario Ancic Retiring?

Last July, Mario Ancic hired the law office of Mary Turudic, sister of the famous Croatian judge Ivana Turudica, in Zagreb; and recently he's been seen in the building of Commercial Court. Ancic is working as an intern, and his working hours turn on increasing doubts about his return to professional tennis.

The gangly 6-5 Ancic passed a brief but extremely intense lustre in top tier tournaments, revealing himself in 2002 when, as a wildcard, he upset Roger Federer, then with a reputation of rising star after his success against Pete Sampras the year before. Ancic remained the last to defeat the Swiss at the Championships until the dramatic 2008 final.

(Continue to ATP Tennis 360)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Leaking Names as Bad as PEDs

Journalists preach about integrity and transparency, two noble principles that have long been the hallmark of the profession. Yet those principles can collude head-on with the issue of privacy.

When it does, privacy should seldom lose.

But privacy took a trouncing when journalism steamrolled it with the ongoing leaks of names of ballplayers who used performance-enhancing drugs (or steroids). Their names were supposedly on a “secret” list. Yet it seems as if each day another player whose name made the list is outed, much to the consternation of the player and his union leaders.

(Continue to Justice Is Served)

Saints, Hornets, Big Easy's Comeback

It’s hard not to notice the irony of the New Orleans Saints playing a preseason game in Oakland this particular weekend.

The last time the Saints played a preseason game in Oakland, they didn’t make it back to the New Orleans for more than four months. They, and the city, haven’t been the same since.

It was four years ago this weekend that the Saints left early for their game against the Raiders because a hurricane named Katrina was bearing down on New Orleans. By the time the game had been played, three levees around New Orleans had failed and wind and water had severely damaged the Superdome.

(Continue to More From Les)

Slow as Lightning?

Just when you think you've seen it all in this business, something happens to remind you that you haven't.

As a veteran sportswriter closing in on two decades of covering every sport imaginable, I have sat through my share of long rain delays in baseball and weather delays in high school football, soccer and even swimming. But last night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa was a first for me in terms of seeing an NFL game (albeit preseason) stopped in the middle due to lightning.

(Continue to NFL Guru)

NFC East on Road to Super Bowl

To say that anybody can win the NFC East is a gross understatement. In the last three years, at least two teams from the division made the playoffs. In the last two years, a representative from the NFC East has played for a conference championship. In 2009, the road to the Super Bowl will definitely come through the NFC East.

The hard part is trying to figure out which one. You can certainly make an argument for all four teams. It's not too hard to go out on a limb and say that three teams from the East will make the playoffs. All four teams have upgraded their talent and are capable of winning it.

(Continue to NFC 'Easter)

USC Looks to the Future

Pete Carroll’s decision to name Matt Barkley as the Trojans starter will pay tremendous dividends in the future. One thing that Coach Carroll always stresses is that he wants the Trojans to improve every week. Pete has gotten all his teams to do this since he took over the program.

There will be a big difference between the Trojan team that lines up on September 5th against San Jose State and the USC team that will play Arizona on December 5th. From September through December Matt Barkley will improve a lot and so will the Trojans' defense that had to replace seven starters from the 2008 season. The decision to name Barkley the starter may cost USC the chance to play for the National Championship this year, but starting in 2010 they might be the favorites to win it for the next three seasons.

(Continue to Inside the Pac-10)

Breaking Down KU's Schedule

Jayhawk fans are excited like it's basketball season. For the third straight year the 'Hawks should field a team on the gridiron that is capable of competing for most popular team on campus with the hoopsters.
Here is an inside look at the Jayhawks 2009 schedule.

Sept. 5 - Northern Colorado - The Bears are a team that went 1-10 a year ago, and their defense "lost several key starters " according to its own school web site. This could get ugly. Prediction: KU 55, NCU 10.

(Continue to Inside Jayhawk Nation)

Getting Defensive in Vancouver

When word was out that the Vancouver Canucks had a pair of press announcements to make today, it seemed that the inevitable was finally taking place: that the club had come to terms with franchise goalie Roberto Luongo on a long-term contract extension.

Thing is, neither announcement was about Luongo. Though you could argue that both were made with Luongo in mind.

Canucks GM Mike Gillis instead sent out word that he had acquired three veteran defensemen to bolster what had been considered a problem area in front of Luongo.

(Continue to Jim Cerny's Rink Rap)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Public Enemy No. 4

The biggest of the Michael Vick plotlines have now played out, with his return to live action Thursday night with the Philadelphia Eagles. But the Brett Favre storylines are just getting started.

And none is bigger than this one: How did this man, this icon, this exemplar of modern NFL manhood next to whom everybody else seemed puny and weak – how could Brett Favre turn America against him so swiftly and so completely?

Because he has lost more cache in a shorter time than almost any superstar you can think of. At this time last year, people were screaming from the rooftops that anybody who didn’t open their arms to Brett’s return from his tragically-forced retirement from Green Bay was a fool, a hater, a bitter, jealous hack.

(Continue to The Steele Drum)

New Eagle Lands Without Big To-Do

The headline: “New Eagle Has Landed,” words that had nothing to do Thursday night with a moon landing.

The words referred to a much-anticipated event, one that, while significant in its own way, could never measure up to a more historic occasion decades ago.

The new Eagle was Michael Vick, a convicted felon who was trying to resurrect an NFL career that unraveled like a spool of thread because of Vick’s fascination with fighting – and then lying about -- pit bulls.

(Continue to Justice Is Served)

A Mixed Bag for Dolphins

The Dolphins won their third straight preseason game, 10-6 over Tampa Bay Thursday night, but it was far from a complete effort. For the second time in three games, the defense was strong, holding an opponent to under 10 points.

In fact, Miami limited the Bucs to 288 yards of total offense, and despite not forcing a single turnover, the Dolphins managed to keep Tampa Bay out of the end zone.

Of course, the Bucs were not fielding their top unit, with wide receivers Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton both out. And Tampa Bay's offense isn't expected to light up the league in 2009.

(Continue to Dolphins Watch)

Leftwich 'Annointed' By Fox Crew

You can declared the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback competition over.

We have a winner, as far as the Fox NFL broadcast crew is concerned.

The Tampa Bay-Miami preseason game brought the "first team" to town Thursday night for a wet, thunder and lightning-infested contest that left Joe Buck and Troy Aikman with too much dead time on their hands in the broadcast booth.

The 10-6 snoozer of a win by Miami, did little to decide the starting quarterback for the Bucs.

(Continue to Buccaneer Bow Shots)

Sanchez, Manning Square Off

Never has a game that has meant so little meant so much for the quarterbacks in Saturday’s preseason game between the Giants and Jets.
The third preseason game is always the most critical of NFL schedule, because it is when the starters get the most reps. The final preseason game is almost pointless, because teams rarely let starters play more than one or two series for a fear of injuries.

So it is that tomorrow’s 8 p.m. contest is important not only for Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, but also Giants quarterback Eli Manning. There is much more at stake for Sanchez, the highly-heralded rookie from USC who was anointed the starter earlier this week by coach Rex Ryan. But Manning will also be under pressure to perform, if for no other reason than to show he’s still the top quarterback in town.

(Continue to New York Minute)

NFC East Team-By-Team Picks

Yesterday I broke down the most valuable players on each AFC West team based upon their average draft position. It was brought to my attention that I did not list the players' positions, so I went ahead and edited yesterday's post to include that information. I appreciate the feedback. Please keep it coming. With that said, let's get to today's divisional breakdown. Here are my value picks out of the NFC East.

Marion Barber, RB, Dallas Cowboys: It must be the threat of Felix Jones and Tashard Choice that's causing Marion Barber to slip late into the late 2nd round/early 3rd round territory. While it's becoming a grim reality that running back committees have decreased the value of many running backs, I feel that Barber is a guy that can flourish in such a system. A smash mouth runner that punishes opposing defenders, Barber needs a backup that can spell him throughout games, keeping him fresh so that he can continue to hand out blows well into the fourth quarter. Sure, this means he's a stretch to rush for over 1,000 yards, but he's never done that.

(Continue to Inside Fantasy Sports)

Wizards (Bullets) Return to China

The Washington Wizards are going to China -- again!

The team announced that some former and current players, including NBA Hall of Famer Wes Unseld, Romanian giant Gheorghe Muresan and contemporary stars Caron Butler and Randy Foye, will be making the 10-day journey Sept. 5 for a series of clinics and other goodwill activities in Beijing and Shanghai, promoting USA balling to a hoop-crazy populace.

The peg for the trip: the franchise is following up on a historic tour 30 years ago – as the Washington Bullets (nee Baltimore Bullets) – the first NBA team to visit the communist nation following the renewing of diplomatic relationships with the United States.

(Continue to DMA 7-22 Sports)

Bowden's Take on Heisman Hype

It's as much a part of college football today as tailgating and trash talking. I'm talking about that mailbox-stuffing tradition of schools sending out piles of promotional material hyping their favorite Heisman Trophy candidate.

One of my personal favorites arrived in the mail last year: a pair of plastic binoculars that showed Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel making big play after big play when you looked into the lens.

(Continue to Seminoles Sports Center)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Howlings in Glendale

While all hell has broken loose with the Phoenix Coyotes the past several months, Don Maloney has tried to go about the business of assembling a competitive hockey club on a phantom budget, not knowing if his team will remain in Glendale, move to Hamilton, or even continue to employ its head coach, Wayne Gretzky.

Just consider this the latest imperfect situation for one of the NHL's classiest gentlemen.

That Maloney is indeed as first-class as they come is something I know firsthand, having worked with him in the Islanders organization during the 1990's. At the time of his retirement as a player, on my birthday---January the 17th---in 1991, the Islanders hired Maloney as Assistant General Manager, and heir apparent, to legendary GM Bill Torrey.

(Continue to Jim Cerny's Rink Rap)

Higgins, Gilroy Playing for Blue Shirts

Matt Gilroy and Chris Higgins share something in common with me - they're Long Island natives. They are also separated by one distinct measuring point that creates enemies - they are members of the New York Rangers.

Higgins, who hails from Smithtown and was recently acquired by the Rangers from Montreal, grew up a die-hard Habs fan, so playing for the Blue Shirts isn't as sweet as it sounds. However, when I spoke to Higgins last month he was more than thrilled to be playing for one of the Original Six teams.

(Continue to Thin Ice)

Has Holtz Lost His Mind?

Lou Holtz has gone off the deep end again with his prediction last week that Notre Dame would play in the BCS national championship game, presumably against Florida.

You have to appreciate Holtz's love for Notre Dame, and someone needs to defend the Irish, especially when they get attacked every week on ESPN by Mark May, who remains bitter because Notre Dame had the audacity to fire Tyrone Willingham (How did the "molder of men" fare at Washington?)

(Continue to Bob Birge's Irish Eyes Are Smiling)

Mark Sanchez: The Only Choice

The official word was handed down Wednesday: Mark Sanchez will be the starting quarterback for the New York Jets to start the 2009 season.

The unofficial word: Hopefully he will also be the starting quarterback for many additional years to come.

Rex Ryan gave a fair shake to the "incumbent", Kellen Clemens, whose only claim to the job, really, was having already been on the Jets' roster. Ryan declared the position open to a competition, may the best man win.

Trouble was, no one was best...the numbers this pre-season were pretty equal. And that's bad news for a veteran versus a rookie, because if the rookie can do what the veteran can do, why not go with the this case the number five overall pick in the draft.

(Continue to 200 Miles From the Citi)

Tide Players Land in Murky Waters

Let me get this straight.

A man from Athens, Ala., takes two Alabama football players on a fishing trip earlier this year and now the players might be suspended when the fifth-ranked Crimson Tide opens the 2009 season Sept. 5 against seventh-ranked Virginia Tech at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff.

Did I miss something?

It sounds kind of fishy to me, but reportedly Curtis Anderson, a 56-year-old man from Athens, took Tide sophomore receiver Julio Jones and sophomore running Mark Ingram on a Gulf Coast fishing trip, which Anderson paid for. Anderson claims the players are friends of his.

(Continue to Rue's Rant)

Mark Richt: We'll Get Beat

These are some words from Georgia coach Mark Richt after Wednesday’s practice game at Sanford Stadium, where the Bulldogs simulated their upcoming game with Oklahoma State:

“We’re not going to beat Oklahoma State playing like that. I’m glad we have 10 more days to prepare. There were too many penalties. One of the penalties forced us to kick a field goal instead of going for a touchdown. Offensively, we were just erratic. We did make some fine defensive plays and had good, solid tackling.”

I mentioned before that I think something is bothering Richt. I think there’s a chance he isn’t quite sure this year’s team will be that good.

(Continue to The Chapel Bell)

Ten Years of BCS: 2006

BCS had its dream season in 2005. Too bad it had to wake up for 2006.

Throughout most of the year, it looked as if the BCS would have its first intra-conference rematch, pitting Ohio State against Michigan. The Big Ten's bitter rivals matched each other game-for-game on a collision course of unbeatens while other contenders fell away.

Then on the eve of the 1-vs.-2 showdown at the Horseshoe, Bo Schembechler, Michigan's legendary coach (and former Ohio State assistant), passed away.

(Continue to BCS Guru)

Greinkkkkkkkkkkkkkkke ... with 15Ks

Even the most starved and beleaguered sports fans claim some obscure benefits when their hometown team is perennially cellar-dwelling in what is perhaps baseball's thinnest division (the AL Central). Two days ago at 4:47 p.m., my roommate, Daniel, and I decided to fill another lifeless Tuesday with a trip to the Royals-Indians game that evening at Kauffman Stadium, recently renovated and now known as 'The K'.

After a quick workout and an even quicker dinner, we left for The K shortly after 6:23 p.m., hoping somehow to avoid Kansas City's rush-hour traffic and still arrive in time for first pitch at 7:05. Neither objective was an obstacle. With the Royals roughly 20 games out of first (19 entering Tuesday) and exactly 30 games below .500 (47-77), there was no discernible automotive convergence on the Truman Sports Complex, which is located due east of downtown KC and holds both The K and Arrowhead Stadium, where the town's other lovable losers languish longingly.

(Continue to Sport Imitates Life)

Phillies Closer Experiment: Fail

Who's next?

Ryan Madson has blown more saves (5) than he has successfully converted (4).

I've heard everything from bringing back Mitch Williams to calling up Scott Mathieson who is just coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2006 and another elbow injury in 2007.

(Continue to Philadelphia Sports Scene)

The Triumph of Patchwork Tennis

With a creative fusion of different styles Andy Murray has interrupted the duopoly Federer-Nadal, becoming the first player, when both present, to occupy one of the first two seeds in a Grand Slam tournament since Wimbledon 2005.

Multiplicity in unity. Andy Murray is the new paradigm, of a gestaltic synthesis of different influences and characters, styles and spurs generating an ensemble divergent and probably better in quality and quantity from the mechanical sum of the parts. He's a natural born showman, he speaks to his public with grimaces and snarls, with sulks and outbursts. He's genuine and spontaneous, on- and out-courts, and as a youngsters faced the inconveniences of journalistic misunderstandings.

(Continue to ATP Tennis 360)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Man, the Myths and the Beas

The tale of Michael Beasley’s recent entrance into a rehab facility, a little over a month before the start of training camp for his second NBA season, has turned out to be both far less and far more than what was originally assumed and reported.

Much has happened to clear the picture up, so we likely can stop blaming Twitter, and stop praising Twitter. We can shut up about this being proof that ballplayers need to go to college, and about spoiled millionaires not appreciating how lucky they are. We should give up on the insta-cyber-polls about what the Miami Heat “should do about him,’’ and on the debate over whether he is a future All-Star or current bust.

In short, time to stop turning 20-year-old Michael Beasley, of Seat Pleasant, Md., into a cautionary tale, and to turn him back into a flesh-and-blood person.

(Continue to The Steele Drum)

Two Chads See Time in Tampa

The Dolphins' third preseason game is tomorrow night, and as most NFL fans know, this is the game in which the starters get major minutes as they work on their timing. The fourth preseason game is little more than a dress rehearsal for backups and third-stringers, making tomorrow's game the last time you'll see Chad Pennington and Ronnie Brown get major playing time until the season opener in Atlanta.

And that's just how Tony Sparano plans to do it, announcing that Pennington will play the entire first half, with Chad Henne playing the second half.

Second round pick Pat White was not mentioned, but he will probably see some action anyway.

(Continue to Dolphins Watch)

So Why 'Rink Rap'?

Now, the title of today's post might lead you to believe that my first offering here on Rink Rap, and for World Sports Blogs, is a set-up. You know, use my own blog to self promote. Place the ball on the tee and knock it out of the yard, all for my own good.

In other words, ask the question: "Why choose to read and follow Rink Rap?"

And then inundate you with the reasons why.

Well because I have 20 years of experience covering the NHL. And my blog will be fun and often zany, as well as informative and opinionated. And many of the top people---players, coaches, broadcasters, front office execs, scouts, writers, etc.---will stop by for interviews. You know, that kind of shameless self promotion.

(Continue to Jim Cerny's Rink Rap)

College Sports Rule in Alabama

Pardon me for forgetting my Southern manners the other day. What was I thinking? I just started ranting without introducing myself or telling you what I'll be ranting about.

An introduction indeed is in order.

I am a lifelong Alabamian from Montgomery, a University of Alabama graduate (Class of 1979) and I've been writing about sports in this state for more than 30 years.

(Continue to Rue's Rant)

Inside the Thunder: Small Forwards

NBA Oklahoma City Thunder vs Washington Wizards

In the third installment of "Inside the Thunder," we are going to look at Oklahoma City's Small Forwards. Or should we say forward, as Kevin Durant is the only SF listed on the Thunder's depth chart.


Kevin Durant, Kid Delicious, the Durantula, Velvet Hoop, or KD35, no matter what you call him, he is the face, and voice, of the Thunder. He is already one of the best SFs in the NBA, and seems to only be able to improve. Last season, Durant averaged 25.3 PTs, 6.5 REBs, and 2.2 ASTs per game ( He improved in every statistical category last season, and is on course have 5,000 points by the end of his third season. If his teammates can take defensive pressure off Durant, he is almost a lock for the All-Star Game.

(Continue to This Is Thunder Basketball)

Rays Face Make-or-Break Stretch

When you look at their rotation, the Tampa Bay Rays don't resemble a contender.

Matt Garza, James Shields, David Price and Scott Kazmir are a combined 29-31, and Kazmir's 6.17 ERA is reminiscent of the franchise's early days (or the 1930 Phillies). Jeff Niemann (12-5, 3.87, two shutouts) has been the most reliable starter for Joe Maddon.

The Rays skipper has done a masterful job getting the maximum from his bullpen. J.P. Howell has 15 saves in 21 opportunities, so the late innings remain an area of grave concern for Tampa Bay fans.

So, with so-so pitching, what are the Rays doing breathing down the necks of the Red Sox and Rangers in the American League wild-card race?

(Continue to Henry's Chopping Block)

The Problem with Lousy Free-Throw Shooting

If you're the wife or girlfriend of a muscle-head, surfer or biker of any strain, genuine geek-consumer of electronics or (chortle) a soccer player, you'll be spared the dramatic evaluation "I sucked, again" regarding that deeply personal male concern called lousy free throw shooting. It's not going to break any Guy Codes to possibly clue you ladies about this smaller than the bedroom (but potentially related) stroke problem either. In fact, you might consider this info relative to 'Five Minute Great Abs!' because you'll feel show-offy smooth and quietly better, reacting with understated coolness while providing support the guy won't question.

(Continue to Baseline Shorks)

Joba Frustrates Again

Well now, this whole Joba Chamberlain move to the Yankees starting rotation is working out swimmingly, don’t you think?

Watching the big right-hander with the even bigger attitude during last night’s 10-9 debacle of a loss to the Texas Rangers was like seeing someone without a clue trying to hang wallpaper. It was ponderous, frustrating and, just when you thought success was at hand, the whole thing came unraveling and he had to start over.

Last night’s outing may have been the most frustrating of his career. Staked to a four-run lead in the first inning, Chamberlain quickly proceeded to give it all back and then some. He labored through four innings on 96 pitches, giving up nine hits, seven earned runs and three walks.

(Continue to New York Minute)

Tony Fein Arrest: Racial Profiling?

Let’s start this with a disclaimer. I wasn’t there, and I am relying on reports I read.

Tony Fein, a Baltimore Ravens rookie linebacker from Mississippi, was arrested Aug. 23 -- a Sunday evening at a restaurant at Baltimore’s Harborplace dining and entertainment district, hanging out with buddies, also supposedly Ravens. Fein allegedly shoved a city cop after being asked to show his hands after a security guard's report of a man possibly with a concealed gun.

(Continue to DMA 7-22 Sports)

1964: Season That Saved Notre Dame

For Fighting Irish fans old enough to remember, 1964 remains a special season in the program's storied history (No, I am not quite that old).

Ara Parseghian didn't come riding in on a white horse, but his arrival in South Bend that fall ushered in the "Era of Ara." He proved to be Notre Dame's savior and that 1964 season is regarded as a turning point for the Irish.

Jim Dent, the author of Junction Boys, has written another book about college football. This one chronicles the story of the 1964 Fighting Irish, who produced one of the greatest comeback seasons in the history of the sport.

(Continue to Bob Birge's Irish Eyes Are Smiling)

Welcome to Through the 5 Hole

Welcome, hockey aficionados, to my new blog.

I'll attempt to keep you posted on news from around the NHL, and include as many rumors and quirky items as possible. I'll offer opinions and analysis on various hockey-related topics and try to have some fun.

Professional sports should be about entertainment, after all, even if the outcome of a game can seem to have life-or-death ramifications at times.

(Continue to Through the 5 Hole)

Profile of Sam Querrey

Profile of Sam Querrey, the 2009 Us Open Series winner

When he turned professional in 2006, Sam Querrey certainly didn't believe that in three years he would be capable of winning the U.S. Open Series, entering the top 30 and starting the last seasonal Grand Slam tournament as a seeded player. But all these dreams became real. The laid-back Californian, talented as a junior player but not skilled enough to be defined as "The Next", is extremely improved during the last year.

(Continue to ATP Tennis 360)

Beyond Couture vs. Noguiera

At first glance the UFC 102: Couture vs. Noguiera card looks rather unspectacular, disappointing is a word I would use. In the main event, we have two fighters in the twilight of their careers looking to prove that they still have it against a similar past-his-prime fighter.

Randy Couture (16-9) will take on the legend Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera (31-5-1) in the consolation bracket of the heavyweight tournament that began almost a year ago at UFC 91 with Couture facing Brock Lesnar. As far as implications to the division, this fight is about as interesting as watching a tournament on the Nationwide Tour.

(Continue to Fighter's Corner)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pete Rose Belongs in Hall of Fame

It has been 20 years since Pete Rose was kicked out of Major League Baseball for betting on it.

Rose got a fair hearing on the allegations that he bet on baseball, and he was rightly found guilty of doing so. But his worthiness for induction into the Hall of Fame has not – and cannot – receive a fair hearing because his punishment for gambling – excommunication from Baseball – prohibits his consideration.

That needs to change.

(Continue to More From Les)

The FedEx Cup ... Yawn

The third installment of the most worthless playoff system in sports gets underway this week at the Barclays, held at the Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey.

While props should be given to the PGA Tour for tweaking the format enough to force the season points leaders into showing up for the first of the four-tournament format, the fact remains that having points determine a playoff winner just doesn't create a true playoff atmosphere.

(Continue to Par for the Course)

NFL Talk, Guru Style

Let's hit the ground running, shall we?

Here we are, half way through the 2009 preseason, and as your window into everything Miami Dolphins and the rest of the National Football League I can tell you this:

1. Brett Favre is more likely to pull a hammy by Minnesota's second game than he is to have another 6-touchdown pass afternoon like he did last year with the New York Jets while playing in their throwback uniforms against the Arizona Cardinals.

(Continue to NFL Guru)

First Impressions of Mark Sanchez

The worst thing that could have happened to Mark Sanchez is a 48-yard completion on the first pass he threw in a game in a Jets uniform.

The best thing that may have happened to Mark Sanchez is a poor performance, including an interception returned for a touchdown, in his first start.

Even the most level-headed rookie, which I think pretty well describes Sanchez, might get a bit worked up over the kind of success he had in his first pre-season game last week. Big hype, big city, home crowd - I'm sure it goes to your head a bit.

But the NFL's not that easy. If it was, we might have been sitting through Browning Nagle's press conference this year after he decided to come back for one more season because he just couldn't hang them up and end a Hall of Fame career.

(Continue to 200 Miles From the Citi)

Minaya, Manuel Escape Ax

Fred Wilpon’s announcement Saturday that Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel would return next year was the Mets owner’s version of hitting into a double play and killing any potential chance for a team rally.

Wilpon told the New York Post’s Mike Puma that general manager Minaya and manager Manuel, who have presided over this wreck of a season, are safe for next year. "Am I going to bring Omar (Minaya) back next year? Absolutely. That's a fact,” Wilpon told the Post.

As for Manuel, Wilpon said “Jerry is my guy.”

Really? Why?

(Continue to New York Minute)

Inside the 2009 Preseason AP Poll

The 2009 Preseason AP Poll was released on August 22nd along with all of the individual ballots. Once again Pollspeak salutes you, Associated Press, for having the stones to stay transparent. Before I get to the ballots, it’s interesting to note that every general point I made about the Preseason Coaches’ Poll (Inside the 2009 Preseason Coaches’ Poll ) holds true for the AP as well (although some minor details are a different):

* There are no Big East Teams in the top 25. This is the first time that has happened in the BCS era. Pittsburgh received the most votes (103), which puts it in the 28th spot.

* LSU had the largest jump of any team. The Tigers were unranked at the end of last season and jumped to No. 11 in the preseason, not quite as high as the Coaches’ No. 9, but it still shows a lot of faith that LSU will field a much better team in 2009.

(Continue to PollSpeak)

Techno Trial Could Be Game-Changer

Does the use of technology support or undermine umpiring decisions? That's really what the debate over the increased use of TV replays boils down to.

The forthcoming ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa in September will strike a blow for the advocates' camp, with umpires able to consult with the third umpire over any marginal calls, although he will still adjudicate over line decisions, hit wicket and boundary referrals.

(Continue to Crick Down the Legside)

AFC West Team-By-Team Picks

One of my favorite aspects of fantasy football is that it enables fans to broaden their knowledge of the players that make the sport what it is. We all have our favorite team (or teams) which we follow attentively, but fantasy football provides an opportunity for fans to learn about and support players on the 31 other teams that fill out the NFL, as good or bad as those teams may be.

(Continue to Inside Fantasy Sports)

Edge Gets New Start with Seahawks?

Even though the Arizona Cardinals reached the Super Bowl, Edgerrin James didn't do much smiling last season. Months after being released by Arizona, James might grin a little after agreeing to terms on a one-year, $2 million dollar deal with the Seattle Seahawks, reports.

The contract will be finished as soon as James takes and passes a physical. James could be the Seahawks' answer to their frustrations with the running game. Seattle has been unsatisfied with the prospects of a backfield featuring Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett.

(Continue to Arizona Sportspage)

Monday, August 24, 2009

BCS Rankings Hopelessly Tainted

The first college football game is still more than a week away and already the BCS is off track.

The BCS, of course, is a formula that is supposed to bring together the two most deserving teams to play for the college football national championship at the end of the season.

The BCS-vs.-playoff debate continues to smolder, but there’s no point in rehashing it here because the BCS isn’t going anywhere as long as the current contracts with the bowls and networks are in place (through 2014).

(Continue to More From Les)

A Delayed Bolt of Lightning

All the praise, adulation, historical perspective – even reasoned skepticism – should have come to Usain Bolt a year ago.

A year ago, Bolt was doing almost exactly what he just finished doing in Berlin at the World Track and Field Championships, except he was doing in Beijing at the Olympics, on an immeasurably larger stage. That should have been his moment, his time, his chance to savor the global spotlight.

Problem is, the spotlight ran away from him, as fast as he ran away from his competitors. The only time it turned toward him was to rain dirt, disrespect and insult on him. What Bolt is getting – for taking three gold medals, for setting world records, for reveling in his own excellence and inviting the world to revel in it with him – is nothing more than a late payment on what was due him when he originally earned it.

(Continue to The Steele Drum)

Bucs' Morris Wears Heavy Headset

Raheem Morris, the youngish coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will turn 33 next month and he's finding out that decisions are a tough part of this high-profile job.

Media and fans were speculating on his big impending decision, the starting quarterback job for his football team. It was supposed to come down this week, prior to Thursday's preseason home game against the Miami Dolphins.

(Continue to Buccaneer Bow Shots)

25 Reasons to Be Excited About KU

The Jayhawks squeaked their way into the AP Top-25 poll by claiming the final spot. That might not be where true Jayhawk fans want their team to be, but let's be honest, preseason polls are about as accurate as my driving-the-fairway percentage-- somewhere between zero and not much.

So here are 25 reasons to be excited about the upcoming 'Hawks season.

25. Nebraska is returning to the site where it gave up nearly 3/4 of 100 points in 2007.

(Continue to Inside Jayhawk Nation)

USF Football: High Hopes ...

The University of South Florida has been a tease of a football team.

The Bulls have been a popular pick, a logical pick to make major in-roads in the Big East Conference the past three seasons.

Those three seasons have yielded an uneventful, under-achieving 10-11 conference record.

(Continue to Running With the Bulls)

Four Lessons We Learned from Cincinnati

1-God bless Father Roger
The Swiss champion didn’t seem too much diverted by his one-month-old twin daughters not to win his 16th Masters series title (in 25 finals), only one fewer than Andre Agassi, leader of this particular ranking. The surgical demolition of a slightly absent-minded Andy Murray and of Novak Djokovic are important signs of health, even more meaningful with six days remaining until the last Grand Slam tournament of the season, where he could face his old nemesis Rafa Nadal.

(Continue to ATP Tennis 360)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Welcome to the Drum

Or, to be specific, the next stage in whatever passes for a sportswriting career these days.

Truth be told, this is not my first thrust at blogging. Past Baltimore Sun readers (maybe a few current ones, too) might remember the roughly two-year exercise that eventually was named "Steele Press.''

(Continue to The Steele Drum)

Time to Get Off Wie's Back?

All the naysayers that have belittled Michelle Wie approach to playing in men's tournaments just may need to zip it for awhile.

Wie led the Americans in total points with 3.5 while leading the USA to a 16-12 victory over Europe in this weekend's Solheim Cup.

(Continue to Par for the Course)

Winners vs. Losers

I hope the fact that the game ended on an unassisted triple play (capping off a wild string of plays to end the game) doesn't overshadow the fact that Oliver Perez is a mess.

I don't think you could find a starker contrast in pitchers than Perez versus Pedro Martinez.
Put simply: Pedro Martinez is a winner. Oliver Perez is not.

(Continue to 200 Miles From the Citi)

Mike Johnson Wins Third Straight

Mike Johnson of Covina won his third straight NASCAR Late Model race and Tim Huddleston of Agoura Hills lost his lead in the Late Model standings at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.

The top-three drivers in the Late Model standings are separated by 38 points. Nick Joanides of Woodland Hills took over the lead in the Late Model standings. He has an 18-point lead over Huddleston, the reigning Late Model champion at the track. Johnson is 20 points behind Huddleston and 38 points out of first.

(Continue to Haddock in the Paddock)

Defense Could Push Cardinals

If this isn't a mirage---this is the desert, mind you---the Arizona Cardinals' defense could be the reason why the team becomes a Super Bowl contender again this season.

The Cardinals' offense, ranked fourth in the NFL last season, has sputtered. Arizona's first-team offense has scored a total of six points in two games. In Saturday's 17-3 loss to the San Diego Chargers at University of Phoenix Stadium, Arizona's offense failed to score a touchdown after three first-half trips into the red zone.

(Continue to Arizona Sportspage)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dolphins Sharp, Beat Panthers

After the offense struggled Monday in a 12-9 win over Jacksonville, the Dolphins regrouped in a 27-17 win over the Carolina Panthers Saturday night at Land Shark Stadium.

Chad Pennington and Chad Henne were both razor sharp; Pennington especially so in limited action.

(Continue to Dolphins Watch)

Rays, Tropicana a Good Fit

With a major-league best home record of 98-44 (through Friday night) since the start of the 2008 season, the last thing the Tampa Bay Rays should be thinking about is leaving Tropicana Field.

Yet on the eve of an important home series against Texas, a consulting group called "A Baseball Community" -- ABC -- decided it's as good a time as any to beat the drum for a new stadium elsewhere in the Tampa Bay area.

(Continue to Henry's Chopping Block)

Congress Can't 'Fix' the BCS

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) made a lot of noise earlier this year about reforming the BCS. He even wrote an op-ed in Sports Illustrated. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) went as far as introducing a bill to ban the use of "national championship" by the BCS. Even President Barack Obama (D-World) has promised (or threatened) to "throw his weight around a little bit."

(Continue to BCS Guru)

The Mets' Worst Week Ever

Alright...maybe it's not the worst week in the history of the New York Mets...but when it comes to psychological damage inflicted on Mets fans, it has to rank right up there.

(Continued to 200 Miles from the Citi)

Where Were You? Suns-Bulls Game 6

Sunday, June 20, 1993. I was 13 years old and enjoying my last summer before I entered high school. I would lose a friend to death that summer. I would gain a few, too. It was a summer of ups, downs, sure things and uncertainties. A typical summer for a kid growing up in Kansas City, Kan.

(Continued to Arizona Sportspage)

Spike TV to Televise UFC Fight

*UPDATE* Spike TV confirmed Friday that it will indeed televise the undercard fights for UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort on September 19th. However, contrary to the report published by the OC Register, Spike will air just one hour of uninterrupted coverage of the undercard with two fights guaranteed.

Those fights are Efrain Escudero versus Cole Miller which will be a match-up of previous winners of 'The Ultimate Fighter' and a middleweight slugfest featuring Tomasz Drwal and Drew McFedries.

(Continue to Fighter's Corner)

OKC Thunder Summer Preview

This past offseason has been a busy one for the Oklahoma City Thunder. From the draft, to free agency OKC has improved on the team that finished near the bottom of the NBA last season.

(Continue to This Is Thunder Basketball)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Our Blogs

(See Our Authors page for author biographies)

More From Les by Les East
Justice Is Served by Justice B. Hill
The Grill Room by Doug Clawson
The Steele Drum by David Steele

NFL Guru by Andy Kent
Denver Broncos - Broncos Beat by Michael Hicks
Miami Dolphins - Dolphins Watch by Mario Sarmento
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Buccaneer Bow Shots by Tom Edrington
NFC East - NFC 'Easter by Chris Murray

Grand Baseball Concourse by Larry Fleisher
Detroit Tigers - Michigan and Trumbull by H. Jose Bosch
St. Louis Cardinals - Paul's Redbird Report by Paul Delger

12trillion by Chris Bernucca
All Net by Dwayne C. Nelson
Oklahoma City Thunder - This Is Thunder Basketball by Greg Evans

Jim Cerny's Rink Rap by Jim Cerny
Through the 5 Hole by Rick Sadowski
New York Area Teams - Thin Ice by Christopher R. Vaccaro
New York Area Teams - Brad's Barbs by Brad Kurtzberg

College Football
BCS Guru by Samuel Chi
The National Championship Issue by Ed Gunther
The Wiz of Odds by Jay Christensen

College Basketball
The March to Madness by Jay Christensen

College Sports
University of Florida - Saurian Sagacity by Henry Gomez
Florida State University - Seminoles Sports Center by Scott Carter
University of Kansas - Inside Jayhawk Nation by Mike Norris
University of Maryland - Terp Ticker by Emile Dawisha
University of Notre Dame - Bob Birge's Irish Eyes Are Smiling by Bob Birge
University of South Florida - Running with the Bulls by Tom Edrington
Pacific-10 Conference - Inside the Pac-10 by Demar Richardson

Par for the Course by Richard Paolinelli

Soccer 24-7 by Ivan Yeo

Crick Down the Legside by Dominic Ellis

ATP Tennis 360 by Alessandro Mastroluca

Fighter's Corner by Anthony Dion

Horse Racing
On the Muscle by Victor Ryan

Auto Racing

Women's Sports
Left Coast Hoops by Michelle Smith

Alabama - Rue's Rant by Rubin E. Grant
Arizona - Arizona Sportspage by Jeremy Banks
Baltimore/Washington - DMA 7-22 Blog by M.V. Greene
New York - 200 Miles From the Citi by John Sucich
New York - New York Minute by Tom Renner
Philadelphia - Philadelphia Sports Scene by Chris Zervoudis
Tampa Bay - Henry's Chopping Block by Mike Henry

Inside Fantasy Sports by Spenser Ayres

Baseline Shorks by Glenn Shorkey
The Pine Rider Writer by Andrew Busscher
Sport Imitates Life by Bo Allegrucci
Sportacus by Carl Shimkin

Our Authors

(Authors listed alphabetically by last name)

Bo Allegrucci
- Sport Imitates Life
Bo Allegrucci has been a sports writer and sports editor for various daily newspapers in his native Kansas and has also free-lanced regularly for a handful of high school and college sports magazines. Bo is a University of Kansas graduate and a regular on the Kansas Press Association’s annual awards list.

Spenser Ayres
- Inside Fantasy Sports
Spenser Ayres is a recent graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a passion for athletics. In the summer of 2008, he worked for the Oakland Raiders as a website content provider, covering the team during training camp and preseason before departing for his final year of college. Spenser has been an active fantasy sports player for over six years and has a firm understanding of the statistical analysis necessary to be a successful competitor in any fantasy sports league. He conducts player and team research daily to provide readers with useful insight and advice for their fantasy teams.

Jeremy Banks
- Arizona Sportspage
Jeremy Banks, over his sports writing career, has covered a wide range of sports, including football, basketball, soccer, baseball, volleyball, racing, golf and track. He has covered sports of all levels, such as minor and major league baseball and football, college basketball, NASCAR, horse and dog racing in addition to high school and community sports coverage. His blog gives unique analysis, news, a creative approach, story telling and entertainment.

Chris Bernucca - 12trillion
Chris Bernucca has covered the NBA since 1996. His work also can be found at You can disagree with him at

Bob Birge - Bob Birge's Irish Eyes Are Smiling
Bob Birge is a veteran sportswriter with more 25 years of print and online experience in the New York metro area. He has covered a wide variety of events ranging from high schools to professional leagues. Three of his favorite things are the New York Yankees, New York Rangers and Notre Dame football.

H. Jose Bosch
- Michigan and Trumbull
H. Jose Bosch is a recent graduate from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism graduate program. He did his undergrad studies at the University of Michigan. Bosch was destined to be a Tigers fan when the two prominent stuffed toys in his crib were a tiger and a baseball. His biggest claim to fame is that he was the starting catcher the one season he played alongside Tiger rookie catcher Alex Avila at De La Salle High School in Warren, Michigan. That didn't prevent Avila from being better at everything else baseball related. Bosch loves to blog about anything Detroit Tigers related and will try to remind the reader that while we all take this game and this team so seriously, we still need to have some fun. If we don't, we'll never find Magglio's attempt at catching fly balls humorous.

Andrew Busscher
- The Pine Rider Writer
Andrew Busscher graduated from UNC - Chapel Hill and has always been active in sports from little league baseball, coaching tennis, playing water polo, to working in the Premium Services Department with the Carolina Panthers. Andrew enjoys cheering for the underdogs and seeing the lesser-favored team or player emerge victorious. His mission is to highlight and take a closer look at the sometimes unsung heroes of sports.

Scott Carter - Seminoles Sports Center
Scott Carter is a sports journalist with 15 years of experience, spending the majority of his career at The Tampa Tribune. While with the Tribune, he covered the Tampa Bay Rays of the Lou Piniella Era, the Tampa Bay Lightning when they were Stanley Cup champs, and horse racing. In his final two years at the newspaper, Carter covered Florida State University, where on at least one occasion he remembers FSU coach Bobby Bowden actually calling him "Scott'' instead of "Buddy.''

Jim Cerny - Jim Cerny's Rink Rap
Since 1989 Jim Cerny has covered the National Hockey League as a member of the media, and has worked five Stanley Cup Finals, four NHL All Star Games, and the Canada Cup and World Cup of Hockey tournaments. After spending four years hosting the talk show “Rink Rap” in New York, Jim became the play-by-play voice of the Islanders in 1997. Jim later co-hosted the talk show “NHL Live” on Sirius-XM, the NHL Network, and; and he covered the league as a reporter for The New York Times. Along with penning the Rink Rap blog, Jim is also currently the beat writer for the New York Rangers official web site,

Samuel Chi - BCS Guru
An award-winning sports journalist, Sam wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle & Examiner, Contra Costa Times and Pasadena Star-News. During his 20-year career in the news business, Sam covered a variety of events ranging from the Super Bowl, Rose Bowl, Final Four, the Masters to the Tour de France, FIFA World Cup and the changeover of Hong Kong from Britain to China. Sam is the publisher of World Sports Blogs.

Jay Christensen - The Wiz of Odds / The March to Madness
Jay Christensen, a.k.a. the Wiz, is a former editor at the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Herald Examiner and a host of Sports Byline USA radio program.

Doug Clawson - The Grill Room
Doug Clawson began a 25-year career in journalism as a sportswriter and columnist at several newspapers, before leading an award-winning sports department at the Lewiston Sun-Journal in Maine. While there, he also co-hosted a weekly TV sports talk show. Doug went on to become the managing editor of Stars and Stripes, the editorially independent newspaper that serves the troops and their families overseas. Doug now lives in Germany where he still loves the newspaper business ... even if it hates itself.

Emile Dawisha
- Terp Ticker
I am a sports journalist living in Chicago, a short walk away from Wrigley Field. I graduated from Miami University of Ohio, where I majored in journalism and had the pleasure of serving Ben Roethlisberger stir fry at the dining hall once. I have worked at sports desks from Cincinnati, OH to Aurora, IL and have covered just about every sport. I love talking Bears, Orioles, Reds and Terps basketball and football. And yes, I acknowledge I'm all over the map with my sports allegiances. But I've lived in D.C., Cincinnati and now Chicago, so don't say the words, "fairweather" or "bandwagon." Besides, who is a bandwagon Orioles fan anyway?

Paul Delger
- Paul's Redbird Report
Paul Delger grew up on sports. He especially enjoyed playing baseball and listening/watching the professionals. At one point in his youth, he could name every starting lineup on each MLB team. In the adult years, Delger served as a sport editor at a twice weekly Iowa newspaper. He also worked in sports information at two universities. His passion has been a well-crafted sports feature story. Delger enjoys rooting for teams with some form of red team colors. He has bled St. Louis Cardinal red since 1964.

Anthony Dion - Fighter's Corner
Anthony Dion, 24, is a graduate of the University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in Journalism. Currently, he sports close to three full years of experience as a sports reporter and editor at daily or weekly newspapers. Most recently he has worked for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent as a Sports Reporter in Glenwood Springs, CO. and now covers MMA for Aside from MMA, Dion loves a variety of sports with football, baseball and golf being at the forefront. His other interests include movies, reading and comedy.

Les East - More From Les
Les East has been a New Orleans-based journalist for nearly 30 years. He has covered the NFL (including four Super Bowls), college football (including numerous BCS and national championship games), the NBA (including The Finals and the All-Star Game), college basketball (including five Finals Fours), and many other beats. His work has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the country and he has been a frequent guest on radio talk shows and television news programs, locally, regionally, and nationally.

Tom Edrington
- Running with the Bulls / Buccaneer Bow Shots
Tom Edrington is a former sports writer for the Tampa Tribune. He spent 10 years covering Florida State University, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the PGA Tour. He won two national writing awards from the Golf Writers Association of America. Today he is a Tampa-based freelance writer. He was recently published in the New York Times best-selling series, Chicken Soup for the Soul, resolutions edition. Tom is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and is an alum of McLean High School, McLean, Va. and East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.

Dominic Ellis - Crick Down the Legside
Dominic Ellis is a Dubai-based journalist with 15 years' writing and editing experience. Prior to moving to the Middle East, he worked on a range of business titles in the London area.

Greg Evans - This Is Thunder Basketball
Greg Evans is a 2009 graduate of the University of Oklahoma, majoring in Professional Writing in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is from the Tulsa Metro area, where he is a Freelance Sports Writer.

Larry Fleisher - Grand Baseball Concourse
Larry currently covers the Yankees and baseball for Metro New York newspaper. Prior to joining Metro, Larry was a New York area reporter for the wire service SportsTicker from 2005-2009 and covered the Yankees, Mets, Knicks and Rangers. Larry has also worked for and and was an associate editor for three years. A graduate of St. John's university, Larry has followed New York baseball since the mid-1980s. Besides baseball, Larry's other interests include music, especially Pearl Jam.

Henry Gomez - Saurian Sagacity
Henry is also the conductor of, a blog on Cuba and being a Cuban-American.

Rubin E. Grant
- Rue's Rant
Rubin E. Grant spent 25 years as a sports reporter/columnist at the Birmingham Post Herald. He also spent time as a correspondent for Baseball America, covering the Double-A Southern League. He was inducted into the Birmingham Barons Hall of Fame in 2008 for his nearly 25 years of covering minor league baseball. He writes for the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame program and magazine. In 2006, he co-authored the book Tales from Alabama Prep Football. He currently is a freelance writer, based in Birmingham, AL.

M.V. Greene - DMA 7-22 Blog
M. V. Greene is a purveyor of all sports ... from old school to new school, blogging from Owings Mills, MD and Washington, DC -- remembering ... Cal snagging the soft liner to close out the '83 WS; Jordan's last hurrah as a Wizard; teen daughter following Phelps up the Towson parade route after Athens; AAU girls basketball championships in Orlando; the hopelessness of the fate of Sean Taylor; first seeing Sam Cassell in 10-under; volunteering for the Special Olympics.

Ed Gunther - The National Championship Issue
Ed Gunther is not a role model. He is decidedly not the most interesting man in the world. And he's probably not your worst nightmare (unless you're a computer that's scared to death of crunching vast volumes of college football data). He is a writer, fond of snark, enjoys a good sandwich, and is rather tired of all the hype, which he tries to combat at every turn.

Mike Henry - Henry's Chopping Block
Mike Henry's credentials as a long-suffering sports fan include his life-long affairs with the St. Louis Rams, San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors. He also remembers a time when pro golfers didn't throw up on themselves when paired with No. 1, the World Series wasn't a made-for-TV travesty and people talked about horse racing and pro bowling, which were televised every Saturday. In addition to covering professional golf and horse racing for numerous newspapers, 'Old School' has covered the Devil Rays, Buccaneers and college football.

Michael Hicks - Broncos Beat
Michael Hicks is a freelance journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. He has worked for newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina before moving to the Rocky Mountains. He has written for the Denver Post, Dallas Morning News, Sacramento Bee, Major League Soccer magazine, among others. He is married with three children, residing in Arvada, Colo.

Justice B. Hill - Justice Is Served
Justice B. Hill, a former assistant sports editor at The Seattle Times and a senior writer with, is a freelance writer with more than 25 years as a sports journalist. But I've been a sports fan a lot longer.

Andy Kent - NFL Guru
The NFL Guru, Andy Kent, also is the President and Director of Business Development for Sports Media Exchange and the Senior Internet Writer for, the official team website of the Miami Dolphins. This is Andy’s third season with the Dolphins and 15th year as a sports journalist. He has covered four Super Bowls and was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat writer for six years (1999-2004) for the Naples Daily News, covering the Bucs’ memorable run to Super Bowl XXXVII. Andy also covered the birth of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995 and has a keen sense of NFL history.

Brad Kurtzberg - Brad's Barbs
Brad Kurtzberg is a New York-based hockey reporter who has been published on,, and He is also the author of Shorthanded: The Untold Story of the Seals, Hockey's Most Colorful Team, an in-depth oral history of the California Golden Seals. Kurtzberg can be heard weekly on "The NHL Tonight" every Saturday on The Team, 990 AM in Montreal and on NY Hockey Talk on WGBB on Long Island.

Alessandro Mastroluca - ATP Tennis 360
“What is written without passion, is read without impact.” This famous sentence by Samuel Johnson affected all my life and my career until now. I’m Alessandro Mastroluca, 26, an Italian journalist grown with the audacity of a hope, the dream, the desire, the need to be the eyes, the ears, the nose of all the people remained at home. A journalist who simply dream to tell, one day, the same words of the Italian TV commentator after the 2008 Wimbledon final: “Thanks for letting me live such a great emotion.”

Chris Murray - NFC 'Easter
Chris Murray has over 20 years of print and broadcast journalism experience. He is currently a co-host on the Weekend Sports Wrap-up on Blog Talk Radio. From 2004-2009, Murray was a sports writer/columnist with the Philadelphia Tribune. He covered both pro and college sports which included events like the 2008 World Series, the 2007 and 2009 NCAA Tournament and the 2004 NFC Championship Game. Murray was a finalist for the 2009 National Association of Black Journalists' Excellence in Journalism Award in sports writing for newspapers with under 150,000 circulation. In 2008, he was a recipient of the Negro League Baseball Museum’s Sam Lacy Award as its Baseball Writer of the Year.

Dwayne C. Nelson - All Net
Dwayne C. Nelson is a freelance Web writer/columnist who primarily covers the NFL and NBA. His current work can also be found on Associated Content. Prior to becoming a Web writer, Dwayne spent three years as a copy editor/entertainment writer at The Philadelphia Tribune and six years as a copy editor/page designer at the Courier-Post. A graduate of Temple University with a bachelor degree in Communications, he currently lives in Philadelphia, Pa. His favorite professional sports team is the six-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mike Norris - Inside Jayhawk Nation
Mike Norris is a 2004 graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. An avid sports and Jayhawk fan, Mike has been employed as a newspaper sports editor, reporter, columnist, and feature writer for the past five years. He lives in Marion, KS with his wife, two kids, and their fish. He also is an avid Detroit Tigers fan and roots for the Pistons, Lions, and Red Wings as well. When he is not writing, Mike is hanging out with his family or watching sports.

Richard Paolinelli
- Par for the Course
Richard Paolinelli is an award-winning sports writer and editor, as well as a life-long golfer, who has been covering the game since 1984.

Tom Renner - New York Minute
Tom Renner is a long-time sports writer in the New York area who has covered multiple marquee events, including the World Series, NBA Finals and major golf championships. He is also a former Sports Editor at daily newspaper in Connecticut.

Demar Richardson
- Inside the Pac-10
I graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a BA in World Literature and received my MA in English/Creative Writing from Sacramento State. I have covered California Golden Bears football for and covered College Football, the NFL and NBA on since 2006.

Victor Ryan - On the Muscle
Victor Ryan is a former editor and turf writer for such international racing publications as The Blood-Horse Magazine and The Thoroughbred Times. He has more than a decade of experience covering the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry and is currently a public handicapper based in Southern California.

Rick Sadowski - Through the 5 Hole
Rick Sadowski, a New Jersey native, has been covering sports since 1973 and hockey since 1981, for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, L.A. Daily News and Rocky Mountain News in Denver. He’s played hockey outdoors after shoveling snow from ponds but has never been on skates in an indoor rink. He’s authored two books, including “Hockeywood” in 1993, and written for numerous magazines and web sites, among them. A graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Sadowski has covered numerous NHL-All Star Games and Stanley Cup Finals, three Winter Olympics, the Summer Games, the University of Denver hockey team’s 2004-05 NCAA national championship season, an NBA Finals and All-Star Game, and the Rose Bowl. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Colorado, along with their dog and two cats – none of whom have ever been on ice skates.

Mario Sarmento - Dolphins Watch
Mario Sarmento is a graduate of Florida State University and has a Master's degree in journalism from the University of Florida. He has worked as a sports writer for, the Lake City Reporter, as a freelance writer for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, and is currently a writer for the Boca Raton News. He has been following the Dolphins since Dan Marino and the "Marks Brothers" dominated the scene in the 1980s, and is an avid fantasy football player. His football highlight was covering the Indianapolis Colts' victory in Super Bowl XLI in Miami.

Carl Shimkin - Sportacus
Carl Shimkin is the co-host and co-producer of the uber-popular internet radio shows "MMA OUTLOUD" and "BASEBALL TALK." He is also the author of "Cabbie's Inside Pitch" for MLBlogs. He has had his work published for,,, USA Today, LA Daily News, NY Newsday and many other publications and internet sites. He is currently in charge of research for Roger Kahn (author of "The Boys of Summer," "Into My Own" among others) and his latest book. In addition to his work as a writer, Carl worked for as a statistician for 6 years. Though most of Carl's published work has centered around the worlds of Baseball and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), he has quietly written about many other sports which inflame his passions.

Glenn Shorkey - Baseline Shorks
As writer for ITS SPORTS! magazine in Tampa, FL, feature articles focused on 'minor' and youth sports (swimming, Little League, 'red chip athletes') and personalities (Gayle Sierens, 1st female NFL commentator), but also pro wrestling, Tampa Bay Bucs football; stringer for USF baseball. Very strong quote generator. College hoops junkie, will know the story with basketball pre-season analysis (Davidson, UNCC). Strong multi-sport background (incl. 12 seasons of rugby, coaching women’s inter-collegiate hockey); play and write with interest about life sports (cycling, kayaking, tennis, golf).

Michelle Smith - Left Coast Hoops
Michelle Smith, editor and founder of, is an award-winning sportswriter who has more than 20 years experience working as a journalist for some of the largest papers and publications in the country. Smith has spent the last 15 years covering women’s basketball at every level and for publications such as the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, the Oakland Tribune, Sports Illustrated for Kids,, CBS Sportsline, Hoop Magazine, Lindy’s Sports Annuals and Women’s Basketball Magazine.

David Steele - The Steele Drum
David Steele was a sports columnist for the Baltimore Sun from 2004 to 2009. Over more than two decades in newspapers, he has been a columnist and reporter for eight newspapers, and has won awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, the Florida Sports Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the California News Publishers Association and the Association of Black Media Workers. He has co-authored two books, including Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith, which was nominated for a 2008 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work - Biography/Autobiography.

John Sucich
- 200 Miles From the Citi
John Sucich grew up in Queens, New York, in the shadow of Shea Stadium. He now teaches and writes in Massachusetts, 200 Miles From The Citi (Field). He is a lifelong Mets fan, who decided this year that the qualifier “long-suffering” should accompany that description. He is also a Jets fan born after Super Bowl III, which speaks for itself. He writes on baseball, football, and whatever else in the sports world catches his eye.

Christopher R. Vaccaro
- Thin Ice
Christopher R. Vaccaro is a journalist and author from Long Island. The author of three books on Long Island sports, Vaccaro is a former online sports editor at the New York Daily News and has written for more than 45 publications from ESPN, Newsday and the Daily News, to Inside Lacrosse, Gotham Baseball and many others. His undying passion or the New York Islanders - Long Island's only major professional sports team - and penchant for online news led to this blog "Thin Ice."

Ivan Yeo - Soccer 24-7
Ivan Yeo, a resident of Simi Valley, Calif., is the beat writer for the Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles Sol for “American Soccer News” and also a stringer for the Ventura County Star.

Chris Zervoudis
- Philadelphia Sports Scene
I’m a first generation Greek American, born and raised in Philadelphia. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May of 2009, reported for in 2008, and still work in media relations. I also work for Penn and for Citizens Bank until the end of the Phillies season. I am highly competitive and passionate in general, and when it comes to Philadelphia sports (high school, college, professional) that energy all gets taken to another level. I am well aware of the negative reputation of Philadelphia sports journalists and I hope to bring some redeeming qualities to this city.
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