||Red Sox GM
Who can bounce 4 HR-in-4 AB god Carlos Delgado from this spot? The brilliant architect of Boston's now-official trip to the postseason.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Clinching the AL Wild Card Thursday night,
the Red Sox have set into motion baseball's Ultimate
Playoff Scenario. If the Cubs win the NL Central
this weekend, we head into the most compelling
postseason landscape in a generation.
The motherlode: Potential for the
once-in-a-lifetime Cubs-Red Sox World Series,
dramatically (if only temporarily) reversing
baseball's ratings decline and captivating the
Ideal LCS also sick: Cubs vs. Bonds (and Dusty vs. old team), Red Sox
vs. Yankees. Two cursed franchises blocked from the
World Series by, respectively, the best player and
best team of the century.
Even the Division Series would have more drama than
* Moneyball Madness (Oak/Bos)
* Economic Class War (NYY/Min)
* Pitching Dream (Atl/Cubs)
* Felipe Alou vs. owner/nemesis (SFG/Fla)
From a general-interest standpoint, the plan
falls apart if the Cubs miss the cut or join the Red Sox in being bounced early.
The "leftovers" have their charms, but for the
mainstream fan, no matchup come close to the appeal of a Red Sox-Cubs World Series.
Top NFL Subplots
Skip the 49ers-Vikings game and set up a
Terrell Owens-Randy Moss trash-talk contest:
* Unbeatens: Panthers have more to prove than
Vikes, Chiefs, Broncos, Colts.
* Hello?!?!: Jets coach Herm Edwards
better beat Dallas for first win.
* Couch QB: New Browns starter has chance to
displace injured rival Holcomb.
* Trouble: Winless Eagles face awesome Bills
||DON'T MEAN TO HOUSTON-HATE, BUT IT'S THE CUBS HERE
|THE SET-UP: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR THE WEEKEND|
1 NFL Sunday Night: Colts/Saints. Sorry: *Unbeaten* Colts|
2 Sat. BCS Showcase: Wazzu/Oregon, Pitt/A&M (3:30, ABC)
3 Last MLB race: NL Central (Cubs/Pirates, Astros/Brewers)
|THE SIT-DOWN: DROP THESE FROM YOUR HOT LIST|
1 LeBron as top shoe seller: Yao bringing Reebok to China|
2 Mia Hamm as over-the-hill: STILL world's best player
3 Tigers breaking 120 Ls: Will have to lose 3 straight
* Game of Week: Chiefs (w/Priest Holmes) vs.
Ravens (w/Ray Lewis).
Like a fake ID in the freshman dorm, this
weekend's slate offers a false sense of security:
Most of the dozen or so remaining good unbeaten teams
could be looking past seemingly inferior opponents.
See Wisconsin (UNLV), Pittsburgh (Toledo), Texas
(Arkansas): By the time these contenders knew what
hit them, it was too late. Which of the unblemished is
ripe for upset this week? Minnesota (at Penn St.),
Oregon (host Washington St.) and Iowa (at Michigan
Olympic West Village
SoHo-lympic House? "New York 2012"
group lobbying for the Olympics (sure) launched
a design comp for a New York Olympic Village.
Criteria? Hmm ...
* Overpriced rent
* Delivery-menu infestation
* SoHo House envy
* On-call drug dealer
* Nosy stoop lady
MLB Stat Races
About time we celebrated each league's OPS
champ (that's Bonds -- of course -- and Delgado or Manny Ramirez in the AL) the same way we celebrate winning a
mere batting average title.
Until then: Got one eye on the AL batting race
between Boston teammates Manny and Bill Mueller -- and one eye on the NL HR race between
Thome, Bonds, Sexson and Pujols.
How to keep track of it all? ESPN2 has a
ridiculously fun plan for Sunday: From 1:30 to 7,
they'll cut from game to game, wherever the key moment
Between that and NFL: It's a remote-control
biathalon -- "picture-in-picture" and "last
||Red Sox manager
I may be smoking instead of reading tea leaves, but my boy Theo didn't so much praise Little on Thursday as leave him twisting for '04.
|Today on ESPN.com|
|P2: Ralph Wiley on Warren Sapp|
|NFL: Clarett Q&A|
|IN: NFL Power Points|
|Ranking the ideal World Series pairing:|
|Declare a two-week nat'l holiday|
|Then Sammy can call his shot|
|Curse of Bambino ... or Bonds?|
|Steel yourself for nostalgia-fest|
|Real fans would watch; anyone else?|
W4 office-pool suggestions: STL, SF, TEN, WAS, JAX,
BUF, CIN, KC, OAK, NYJ, CAR, DEN, IND (LW: 9-5;
Notre Dame to ACC is the fall's forced drama: Talking
about field hockey and volleyball here, not football
(maybe in a few years) ...
Emmitt Smith supports Clarett, but here's his real
zinger: "The NCAA has a great racket going, and you
can print that one" ...
I'd watch a cool feature on College GameDay about punt
returns, but I'm distracted by telemarketers violating
my do-not-call wishes ...
Blew K-O pool last week with Packers; for those still
in it, lightning can't strike twice: Rams over