Not only cruising through Tour de France, but just
picked up "Best Male Athlete" award at last night's
ESPYs (Annika wins "Best Female Athlete.")
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
The return of Curt Schilling triggers
the biggest question of the second half of the
Can the Red Sox repeat?
Schilling's sketchy effectiveness, his "TBD" role out
of the bullpen and his as-yet-unknown emotional impact
on the current fractious team chemistry all combine to
make him THE key to the answer.
Things get interesting early, with the Yankees coming
to Boston for a four-game series starting tonight (8 p.m.,
ESPN2) that could dramatically alter the state of the
AL East by the end of the weekend.
Whether the Yankees can rally to make the
playoffs is the second-biggest story line of the second
half. Once again, we're back to Red Sox and
Even with all the fantastic non-Boston, non-NY
Story lines from the first half, drama between the
Yankees and Sox is MLB crystal meth -- addictive and
overwhelming, if extremely punishing.
You claim you hate both teams, but you know you love
it. (See Big 5 for the rest of the Top-5 2nd-half
With the new deal in place, what can
the NHL do to even begin to claw back to
relevancy with mainstream sports fans?
Emphasize novelty of access: That means
transparency, from the upcoming draft lottery to
training camps and beyond. Let fans in.
Re-stake claims to fandom: Make the
unprecedented upcoming mega-free agency a
once-in-a-lifetime chance for fans to reconnect with a
Free! Free! Free! Give away everything
that's not nailed down. That includes tickets, the
more the better.
If there can be a single guiding vision, it's
(For more Quickie NHL coverage, see last Thursday's
After the U.S. Open, it became apparent
that the "Big Four" is really a "Big One, Plus Three
Guys Who Try to Make It Interesting."
||CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
|WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...|
Beane-Epstein deals: Love 'em! Trade Bradford for Payton|
Nats: Trade for CF P. Wilson, sign ex-Yankee RP M. Stanton
Bill Belichick: Confirms split from wife. (This is news?)
|... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'|
Pacman Jones: Titans rookie DB arrested for assault|
FSU DB Antonio Cromartie: Out for 2005 season (knee)
NASCAR: Sued on antitrust grounds by Kentucky track
For those who recognize that blueprint, Tiger Woods'
first round is good news: He finished at -6 and holds
a tentative lead over the field.
Clutch 15-foot birdie putt on final
hole advances her to 2nd round of men's publinx this morning
(with possible 3rd round this afternoon).
As expected, her huge gallery is a competitive
advantage when playing these amateurs. And she seems
to be taking to the head-to-head format, too.
L. Brown Saga
No decision: Gee, go figure. The team
and the coach are going to talk again today. Let's
just get to a resolution already. One way or the
other, weary fans just don't really care as much at
Kwame Brown Saga
Former No. 1 overall pick now
reportedly the Lakers' problem, swapped to the Wizards
for Caron Butler and scraps. (via LA Times)
It's an indication of Brown's impact in D.C. that the
most you can say is that his era is over. Wow, Michael
Jordan really blew that one.
Prediction: Like most ex-Bullets/Wizards, undoubtedly
he will thrive in a new setting. But it's not like he
has anywhere to go but up.
NBA Free Agency
Knicks sign James: Ex-Sonics C Jerome
(5y/$29m) will have to suffice until they can land
that other James in a few summers. NY fans will
just love this James' inconsistency.
Clippers sign Mobley: So much for NBA shooting
guards being dime-a-dozen. Cuttino will be getting $42
mil over 5 years to score his dozen points a game. NBA
shooting guards are the new real estate
More evidence that fans as a group have
a far better handle on sports awards than any "expert"
Which major sports league will be the first to follow
ESPN's lead and ignore media-bestowed awards to give
fans direct say in the "official" annual
Unsurprisingly, the biggest ESPY winner was the Boston
Red Sox, which took Best Team, Best Championship
Performance (Schilling) and Best Game (ALCS Game
In one other notable Boston win, Bill Belichick won
Best Coach/Manager. Catch the broadcast of the awards
on Sunday night.
Welcome to Gamecock Country, Steve Spurrier! S.C.
admitted 10 violations (5 major) under the Holtz Era
to the NCAA. Punishment pending.
|Today on ESPN.com|
|Neel on MLB|
|MLB 2nd-half Storylines:|
|Red Sox vs. Yankees|
|But they MUST get to ALCS|
|Barry Bonds' return|
|When? Or is it "if?"|
|Nats vs. NL East|
|Or will Braves march on?|
|White Sox legit?|
|Can they keep it up?|
|Clemens: Best ever?|
|Another Cy and answer: Yes.|
WSOP Update (Spoiler Alert): Defending champ Greg
Raymer is one of 27 players remaining after five
rounds. Biggest story in the sport's history.|
Another signature of the start of MLB's second half:
Trade rumors heat up. By far, the biggest name being
tossed around (by *everyone*) is Burnett.
Palmeiro 3K: Sitting at 2,998, Raffy's 3000th hit
could come tonight in Seattle. Let's end any HOF
debate about him already. He's in.
Say good-bye to a piece of your childhood: Bankrupt
trading-card company Fleer to be auctioned off (when
can I bid on individual card assets?)
How is it that the NFL hasn't made the supplemental
draft some type of well-marketed "event" like
everything else? Draft is today, if you care.
Maui Invt'l set: Arizona-Kansas winner playing
UConn-Arkansas winner; Maryland-Zaga winner plays Mich
St-Chaminade winner. Wow!