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Two Words For You:
Shaq tells ESPN of Kobe, "I'm not the one buying love. He's the one buying love," in response to Kobe's reported allegations -- in his initial police interrogation -- that Shaq paid hush money to women.
Reminder to mark it down: Heat at Lakers, Christmas Day. Expect the NBA's highest-rated regular-season broadcast since MJ was still with the Bulls.
Mark this down as well: Kobe vs. Shaq officially becomes sports' No. 1 feud. The current top 5:
1. Shaq vs. Kobe
2. Red Sox vs. Yankees
3. NHL players vs. owners
4. Progressives vs. Purists
5. Jay Fiedler vs. A.J. Feeley
Expos to D.C.
Don't blame the fans: 31,395 turned out for Montreal's final home game to bid an emotional farewell. Former owners Claude Brochu and Jeffrey Loria and commissioner Bud Selig were not in attendance.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, baseball in Montreal did not die after the 1994 strike. The Expos were actually 10th out of 14 teams in the NL in attendance in 1996, when the team nearly made the playoffs, but Brochu and Loria destroyed the franchise.
Meanwhile, in Baltimore: O's owner Peter Angelos will get some nice monetary guarantees to keep happy -- or to keep him from suing.
Here's a better solution to appease him: move the O's to the NL East, where he can escape the Yankees and Red Sox and have a chance at winning, and slide the Expos to the AL East.
NL Wild Card
Since momentum is only as good as your starting pitcher, here's who's lined up:
HOU (89-70): 33-10 since Aug. 15.
Fri. vs. Col: Munro (6.38 ERA in Sept.)
Sat.: Oswalt (3.57 in Sept.)
Sun.: Hernandez (7.45 in Sept.)
SF (88-70): 7-9 vs. L.A. this year
Thur. at SD: Williams (1st start since July)
Fri. at LA: Rueter (3.34 in Sept.)
||CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
|WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...|
Ichiro Watch: Wed., 1 hit; needs: 3; games to go: 4|
Astros: Win 15th straight at home, take over WC lead
Brad Lidge: Astros closer has 68 K's in 39 IP in 2nd half
|... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'|
Pedro Martinez: Hammered by D-Rays for 4th straight L|
Tiger Woods: May pull out of AmEx with bad back
Sammy Sosa: Hitting .203 with .256 OBP in Sept.
Sat.: Tomko (1.78 in Sept.)
Sun.: Schmidt (5.53 in Sept.)
CHI (88-70): Lost 4 of last 5.
Thur. vs. Cin: Prior (2.54 in Sept.)
Fri. vs. Atl: Wood (3.60 in Sept.)
Sat.: Zambrano (1.01 in Sept.)
Sun.: Maddux (4.83 in Sept.)
And the pick is ... The red-hot Astros finish with 18 straight home wins and line up Clemens for Game 1 of the playoffs.
AL West Race
Don't want to declare the A's dead, but a 5.30 team ERA in September has led to a dismal 11-16 record this month.(Shanoff instant history: A's are dead.)
Solution: Sign Jeremy Giambi and then suspend him for the rest of the season for being a clubhouse cancer.
After pulling a "Guillen" on Tuesday, Dodgers outfielder Milton Bradley was suspended for the rest of the regular season (he didn't appeal, leaving him ready for the playoffs, barring an L.A. collapse).
Seems a bit harsh, even given Bradley's past outbursts. With his reputation, if he looks at an ump, he gets two games. Funny, though, how Bradley got ripped, but if say, Larry Bowa or Lou Piniella goes nuts, everyone thinks it's good fun.
Deflecting criticism of Mark Brunell, Joe Gibbs assures that he's still the starter. Doesn't matter, Redskins look like a mess. Bring back Spurrier!
Meanwhile, Steve McNair not ruled out for Titans, but expect Billy Volek to start. And in Miami ...
Not Payton's Place
Will Gary Payton report to Celtics training camp when it opens Monday? Danny Ainge thinks so, but Payton's agent said that may not be the case.
Welcome to Boston, Doc.
--David Schoenfield, pinch-hitting for Dan Shanoff
||LaTroy Hawkins and Sammy Sosa:
Another blown save for Cubs closer. He better join Bartman in witness protection if Cubs miss the playoffs. Sosa (.203 in September) may want to join him.
|Today on ESPN.com|
|Page 2: The first SportsNation presidential debate|
|Remembering the Expos|
|Pitchers On Playoff Contenders I Want Starting Game 7:|
|He's done it before|
|Only due to inexperience|
|4-0, 2.57 in Sept.|
|Can't deny 1.01 Sept. ERA|
|Regained ace status|
Still on top of his game: Bobby Cox becomes 9th manager to win 2000 games. Give him NL MOY award ...|
Still on top of their game: Downloaded the new U2 single "Vertigo" last night ...
Stephen Davis will miss at least one more game, so insert DeShaun (174 yards 2 weeks ago) Foster into your fantasy starting lineup ...
Georgia freshman sensation RB Danny Ware back from bruised lung and will start vs. LSU ...
No Shanoff, so let's talk soccer: 18-year-old sensation Wayne Rooney scored 3 goals in his debut for Man United on Tuesday ...
Indians P Kyle Denney: shot in the calf while on team bus as it heads to KC airport ...
Paul Hamm ruling won't come until after Oct. 11 ...
Former Panthers DL Jason Peter tells HBO's Real Sports he was addicted to painkillers (80 Vicodin a day!) as well as crack cocaine and heroin. So much for the NFL's drug-testing plan ...
Eric Gagne sidelined with shoulder stiffness and could miss four days ...