His militarism is a little too intense at times, but he steamrolled Jennifer on the "Apprentice 2" finale ... like Randy Johnson will steamroll the AL.
QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Depending on how you feel about the Yankees, an
imminent acquisition of Randy Johnson would be an Unfortunate Event to
make Lemony Snicket wince with pain. (Or maybe just Red Sox
A tabloid editor's dream:
Big Unit in the Big Apple.
A Bronx cheer to R.S. Nation:
Our Unit is bigger than yours.
Bigger salary, bigger arm, bigger results: Johnson would be the
Yankees' answer to Curt Schilling -- every bit as World Series clutch,
even more the dominator.
A big, bad man -- a one-Unit wonder -- who can turn the Red Sox reign
into a one-year wonder. Check out the top of a new-look New York
rotation: Johnson, Pavano, Mussina... (shudder).
"A Series of Unfortunate Events?" Only if you're in the 2005 playoffs
trying to avoid a starters' steamroll to a Yankees title.
NFL W15 Subplots
1. "Double Coverage": NFL football returns to
Saturdays, including the "Prove It" Game of the Weekend: CAR (6-7) at
ATL (10-3). Let's see if the Panthers are worthy of their SRO
bandwagon. (8:30, ESPN)
2. Big Ben vs. Eli: No competition, actually. R'berger is
capping arguably the best season for a rookie QB in NFL history;
Manning is coming off arguably the worst game for a rookie QB in NFL
3. HFA Watch: While the AFC home-field race goes down to the
wire, the Eagles can clinch NFC HFA with a win over the Cowboys. Then
we can start talking about how they'll just choke it away
4. Peyton Pace: Can set the single-season TD record with 3, but
must do it against the formidable Ravens D, featuring Ed Reed, the
most exciting defensive player in the NFL. (Sunday, 8:30,
5. Gripe about parity if you want, but isn't it better to see
.500 teams battling for playoff spots in Week 15 than to slog through
four games where neither team has anything to play for?
(WAS/SF, HOU/CHI, NO/TB, TEN/OAK).
Hudson to Braves
Theo gets all the hype, but Atlanta's John Schuerholtz
has to be among the most talented (and underrated) GMs in baseball. He
continues to perennially reinvent a winner with bold moves.
||CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
|WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...|
DePodesta: GM transforms LA Dodgers with NYC imports?|
John Smoltz: New Braves starter signs 2-year deal with ATL
Sly Croom: Miss. St. Gator-slayer gets 1-yr ext (thru '08)
|... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'|
Brian Urlacher: Likely finished for season (hamstring)|
Dave Wannstedt to Pitt: Not interested; this ain't ND, guy
Todd Sauerbrun: If Carolina Ls, blame DUI-arrested punter
The NL coup of the winter: Trading for A's stud Tim Hudson,
giving away good talent, but getting an All-Star (and Georgia kid) in
return. No Russ Ortiz? No Jaret Wright? No problem.
And earlier this week, the Braves acquired All-Star closer Dan Kolb,
sending John Smoltz back to the starting rotation (with a nice new
two-year deal). Like I said: Bold moves.
"Fear Goggles": When a team's prospects look so
uncertain that a previously unwanted free-agent toss-away starts
Use it in a sentence: "Between the Pedro defection, Big Unit to
NY(?), Wells signing fizzle, Hudson deal gone South, hyper-competitive
market for AJ Burnett and overall rotation uncertainty, the Boston Red
Sox's fear goggles make even Derek Lowe look
Beltre to Mariners
Seattle's Beltre-Sexson combo becomes a Top 3 "1-2
punch" in the AL, right up there with Boston's Ramirez-Ortiz and New
York's Rodriguez-Sheffield. Comes with a huge health caveat,
To its credit, the BCS would like polls to start in
October and the final coaches' vote to be transparent. The media has
push-back for a push-back date (why?!), while the shady coaches
don't want anyone to see how big of a fraud their poll is.
Answer: Selection committee? One reported option is that the
BCS stick it to both the media and the coaches and adopt a NCAA
Tournament-style selection committee to pick the 1-vs-2
Two advantages: (1) Undercuts the critics' gripe that the PCs
are broken and the human polls are corrupted; (2) everyone is already
comfortable with the "committee" system from the NCAA Tourney.
NBA All-Star Voting
If fan voting ended today, Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter
would start for their conferences in the NBA All-Star Game. Nice to
see that there's zero correlation between p.r. debacles and fan
Vote notes: Shaq leads the East, but, as usual, Yao leads
Shaq... Seeing Grant Hill as one of the top two vote-getters for East
forward should restore everyone's faith in fan voting.
Ricky on "60 Min."
"It's their problem... It's not my problem anymore."
Ricky Williams apparently missed "Charlie Brown Xmas" lesson that
there's no time like the holidays for the soothing sounds of
NCAA 1-AA Title Game
Quick! Name the two teams playing in the 1-AA playoffs?
(Can't answer it? So you BCS-bashers apparently care enough about the
CFB-playoff issue to NOT care who's actually applying it.)
James Madison vs. Montana. And here's some life-of-the-party
trivia for you: Both JMU's Duke Dog and UM's Monte are finalists in
the Capital One Mascot Challenge. (Sat, 8, ESPN2)
||DC City Council:
Asks MLB for extension to Dec. 31 deadline, so DC can find private
funding for stadium (decent idea). Too little, too late: Peeved MLB
|Today on ESPN.com|
|Olney's MLB Grades|
|NFL 1st & 10|
|More NFL W15 Subplots|
|SEA (7-6) at NYJ (9-4)|
|Near-must-win for both|
|BUF (7-6) at CIN (6-7)|
|Too little too late for Bills?|
|DEN (8-5) at KC (5-8)|
|Trap game for Broncos' WC hopes|
|JAX (7-6) at GB (8-5)|
|Not in cold, Jags won't...|
|MIN (7-6) at DET (5-8)|
|Tice's job in jeopardy?|
NFL W15 office-pool suggestions: PIT, WAS, CAR, HOU, BUF, SD, MIN,
NYJ, PHI, DEN, TB, StL, GB, TEN, IND (SNF), NE (MNF)...|
More NFL W15 subplots: SD at CLE (Should be another W for Bolts); StL
at ARI (who *doesn't* want to see the Rams lose?)...
$165,000 for Boston's World Series Game 4 lineup card? Seems a wee bit
excessive, even for the upper-income tier of Red Sox Nation...
Vegas, Portland and Norfolk are reportedly salivating at the thought
of grabbing the Expo-Nats for 2005; 12K stadium-seating? No
Prep QB Greg Paulus named H.S. football player of the year; too bad
he's giving up football to play hoops for Duke...
Preseason, who would have guessed that the NBA Game of the Year would
be 19-3 Phoenix at 18-4 Seattle (Fri, 10:30, ESPN)...