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)
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