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Two Words For You:
I thought baseball's steroids issue exposed a disconnect
between the media (crisis!) and fans (yawn!), but it pales in
comparison to the reaction to the end of the NHL season.
Media requiems are flowing ...
... Almost. As If. Fans. Care!
Here's a headline: "WE DON'T"
Guess what: The NHL's biggest problem isn't a financial impasse with
the union, or even long-term solvency; it's irrelevancy with
fans -- today, let alone in the future.
Fan cries of "Good riddance!" would actually be an improvement,
because that implies fans care enough to mutter.
But the NHL doesn't even get that. It's ignored. A non-factor.
Silence from the rinks? Ha, that's NOTHING, compared to the silence
When MLB's "Roid Era" is historically deconstructed, a
key question -- perhaps THE key question -- will be "What did MLB
know, and when did they know it?"
The FBI told MLB 10 years ago that it had a chemistry
problem, according to the NY Daily News. We'll be tracking,
to see how MLB gets out of this one.
Meanwhile, in sunny Florida, where there's tons of beach to bury our
Call it the "Anti-NHL": On the other end of the
interest spectrum, there's baseball, which is riding an 18-month wave
of the most fan interest in a generation.
The first batch of pitchers and catchers report today, for three teams
across the spending spectrum:
Yankees: As always, a circus.
This time, around Big Unit.
Reds: Pricey offseason.
Yielded a bolstered rotation.
Nats: D.C. gets MLB-mania!
"Expos in expansion clothing."
AL: CHI, SEA, TEX, LA/ANA
NL: ARI, CHI, "New Mets"
Jeter on Canseco
"I don't think it's a good thing, obviously, because it's
bringing a bad light to the game," Jeter said. Thank you, Captain
As opposed to, say, runaway salary-spending that destroys the
competitive balance of baseball for a generation? Hmm: No comment from
Derek about that.
I'd argue that payroll disparity is MUCH worse for baseball than
steroids, which fans, the league
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Savannah St: Finished a staggeringly perfect 0-28 in hoops|
Nets: Land ageless PF Uncle Cliffy Robinson from Warriors
Coco: Terrier is the favorite to win B.I.S. at Westminster
|... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'|
Yankees execs Cashman/Levine: Fall guys for Giambi snafu?|
MLB roid tests: New policy won't be ready today (3/1, exp.)
Rick Neuheisel: Weeps on stand in lawsuit against NCAA, UW
and teams have managed to live with
-- blindly AND willfully -- for a decade.
(A recent SportsNation poll supports that: More than half of fans
responding said "competitive balance" was a bigger problem for MLB's
future than steroids.)
Like Angels owner Arte Moreno, will Reggie Fowler, the
presumptive new Vikings owner and the NFL's first-ever
African-American owner, similarly connect his ownership with his
To expand his team's fan base? To woo free agents? Or to affect other
change in the NFL for minorities?
Or will he simply move the team, as some in Minneapolis are
speculating. Let's take a page from the Moreno playbook; how about the
"Las Vegas Vikings of Minnesota?"
Twins Keep Santana
Johan Santana had two years before free agency,
at which point he could have broken the bank -- we're talking richest
contract for a pitcher EVER -- with any of the teams in New York or
But credit the Twins for stepping up today and giving him
big-market value (4 yrs/$40 mil), a show of good faith that should
make fans happy -- and keep Minny in division contention through the
end of the decade.
College Hoops Watch
The end of the NFL season is the signal to finally take
a look at the RPI (the top 25 is for suckers) and start ID'ing Final
Four faves and Cinderella gems, affected as recently as last
Final Four "Power" Pretender
Kansas (RPI Ranking: No. 1?!)
Combine KU's humiliation at Villanova in January with last night's 2OT
loss to Texas Tech, and that top-ranked RPI is a joke.
Final Four "Cindy" Contender
Utah (RPI Ranking: No. 17)
RPI rank matches last night's 17th straight W. PGs might rule March,
but watch out for C Andrew Bogut (31/13 Monday), college's best
Weis Pep Rally
Charlie Weis' playbook's first page must read: "Win
over the students."
The Notre Dame coach spoke with students on Monday, stressing the need
for (Quickie fave) expectations management.
As in: "Have some."
Remember when this mattered? Of course, remember when
it was your only outlet for hottie soft-soft-core skin?
Between the lad mags, cable TV and the Internet, it's just not that
big of a deal anymore. Frankly, I've seen better on a pop-up ad in the
"But it's tastefully done!"
Hunh? What's THAT?
Oh, NOW the NHL union wants to accept a salary cap? Too
little, too late. WAY too little ...
Released by Browns. New management team needs to find a QB ("Tim Couch is available" isn't an option!); Garcia needs to realize he's an NFL backup.
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|Gammons on MLB|
|More CBB March Cinderellas|
|S. Illinois (RPI: 14)|
|Part of UNC-KU-ILL domino|
|Yes, you read RPI right|
|Pat Forde's favorite|
|Old Dominion (28)|
|Don't sleep on Colonial|
|Wichita St. (29)|
|Give 'em the Shocker!|
Correction: Turns out the Yankees DID strike "steroids" from Giambi's
contract, after earlier (strenuous) denials by team
Speaking of college hoops, don't ignore big intraconference wins on
the road, like Pitt's 68-64 W at Syracuse last night.
WNBA to name PGA exec Donna Orender as new commish. First job: Expand
the fan base.
Peter Gammons has today's must read (see Q It Up), and I'll be waiting
to hear his reaction to the NY media story about the FBI/MLB
NHL might be ignored, but college hockey still has a limited appeal.
Boston U. won famed Beanpot last night, 3-2 (OT) over Northeastern.
Voted for Page 2's Hottest Athlete yet? I'll say Nat Gulbis is still
the favorite, but how 'bout Biba? (see Q It Up for a H2H).