April 24, 2003
Michael Jackson:
Don't stop 'til you get enough: "Home videos" on display tonight ("Jacko Gone Wild"?). Still better than "OJTV."
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
STAR.  SYSTEM.

Last night's two leading scorers were on teams that lost, reversing Game 1 trends. What does that say? The double-nickel (or Bonzi Wells' 45 or T-Mac's 46) is a great show but spreading the wealth is money.

Take a lesson from Mr. 55 himself: When his teammates pick up the slack, AI is happy to "settle" for 29.

Same story in Dallas: Dirk gets "only" 25, but Nash and Finley chip in 45, negating Bonzi's solo effort for Portland.

Familiar McGrady playoff story: Forget the stolen Game 1; Detroit will let him do whatever he wants if the rest of his team stays impotent.

The Lesson: Love those inflated individual scoring nights as theater, but productive second and third options (see Hudson, Troy) bring Ws.

Palmer to Bengals
Is there anything more anti-climactic in the NFL than the draft-podium selection and announcement of a guy who signed three days earlier?

What if: Inspired by Cincy's pre-draft deal with top pick Carson Palmer, teams down the line frenetically signed players over next two days: Lions, Charles Rogers ... Texans, Andre Johnson ...Bears, Whoever ...

The Upshot: By Saturday, 1st round is done; instead of endless 15 minutes between picks, it's snapped out in a half-hour and everyone ambles over to the hospitality parties.

Yankees Win!
16-0?! At the rate they are going, the Yankees' starting pitchers will be the AL's All-Star staff.

It's not even interesting anymore, just embarrassing for the rest of the league, so the

"WISHING FOR MOCK DRAFT ACCOUNTABILITY" EDITION
THE SET-UP: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR TODAY
1 In L.A., Lakers will show T-Wolves they ain't in Minny
2 Can Ducks keep momentum? West semi Game 1 in Dallas
3 Palmer in Cincy, Lions on clock. Will they sign Rogers?
THE SIT-DOWN: RETIRE THESE CONVERSATION TOPICS
1 OJTV: His lawyers say he's not even involved. Deja vu
2 Henderson's return: Newark. Good seats still available
3 Rumors of Greg Maddux's demise: He's back, baby
 
drama shifts to the buildup for Rocket Clemens' 300th win (three away after last night).

Detroit Rules!
So it turns out the Tigers have been playing coy all this time, waiting to pick their spots for the Ws, like yesterday: In Oakland ... beating Cy Zito, 4-1 ... with previously awful (suddenly unhittable) rookie Jeremy Bonderman. Break 'em up!

Prediction: Inspired by the win, the Tigers play at least .250 ball between now and the All-Star break. For them, that's turning the corner.

MLB/SARS Update
BYOP: Bring your own pen: Baseball officials now say players visiting Toronto can sign autographs, but players should use their own pens. Whew! Good to see they're not panicking.

No policy yet on hook-ups with local groupies.

Indy Insanity
"What the hell am I doing here?" was what 63-year-old Mario Andretti, back in a car after a nine-year break, said he was thinking as his Indy test car flipped going 200 mph Everyone else thinking the same thing.

BCS Changes
Surprise, surprise: The BCS system won't be changed this year, but the committee did discuss post-'05 options: Keep present system (dud); post-BCS title game (why have BCS?); old system (let media and coaches decide champ? Funny!); playoff (bingo).

Ron Artest:
If he can't figure out why he lost to Ben Wallace for NBA's top defender, check the stats for "offenders."
 
 
How will Carson Palmer do in Cincinnati? Vote below
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'Mercy' update: States officially get option of adopting mercy rule in h.s. hoops. Hopefully, an end to 100-12 games ...

Expos attendance watch: 37K for Tuesday's opener was blip; 6,400 last night more like it ...

Watch this Adam Eaton kid: Padres P broke out yesterday with 12 Ks, blanking Cubs ...

No sanity cap: The Raiders spent more than $33M in legal fees between '97 and '01, AP reports. (Does that even count the logo thing?) ...

Growing pains: Alan Thicke lost five teeth in celeb hockey warm-up ...


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