Oct. 24, 2003
Marlins pitching:
When was the last time a Series champ was based on "bend-don't-break" pitching? Brad Penny (2 WS W's) is huge, with Beckett armed, ready.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Anyone else think that the Yankees have suddenly morphed into baseball's version of the Oakland Raiders? An even more appropriate comparison is to a New York retiree living in Miami: Old ... punchless ... saggy, in some pretty ugly places ...

Wait a sec ... see that?!

See what?

By framing the Yankees as a team in decline, it devalues a Marlins World Series title! Meanwhile, if the Yankees win Games 6 and 7 in New York, it positions them as some kind of ultra-gutsy survivor!

Umm ...

Bias! New York bias!!

Wait: Do you really want me to flip-flop and hop on that now-S.R.O. Marlins bandwagon?

... Hell, no. Keep that jinx to yourself.

Game 6 Gamble
Marlins manager Jack McKeon has to make the most important decision of the Series: Should he start ace Josh Beckett on three days' rest in Game 6 or save him for Game 7?

Go for broke: The Marlins know mo', and should know conceding Game 6 swings it back to the Yankees for Game 7. Beckett insists he's ready to go, so take the kill-shot Saturday while NY is stunned.

Monday's Spin Today
If the Yankees win: Gutsiest perf--(Bias! Oh, stop.)

If the Marlins win: We're on the Joe Torre Job Watch.

NFL Week 8 Subplots
Steve Spurrier is reportedly bringing back the Fun 'n Gun offense, "experts" be damned. Bye-week decision could turn into bye-bye in offseason ...

1 World Series: Yankees dynasty on verge of collapse!
2 Marlins must decide whether to throw Beckett Sat or Sun
3 Chad Pennington returns to resurgent Jets lineup
1 David Wells, clutch playoff pitcher: Can't back it up
2 Tempering expectations for LeBron: No, he asked for it!
3 Dumping on b'wagon Fish fans: Quality rooting this week
Game of Week: 5-1 Cowboys at 3-3 Bucs. Just the fact that Dallas makes this conversation ...

Unbeatens Watch: Low hurdles for both (Vikings host Giants, Chiefs host Bills).

Foreshadowing: Broncos (at Ravens) see what life will be like without a real QB.

Jets Rising: C-H-A-D, Chad! Chad! Chad! Pennington returns vs. Eagles.

Someone's Gotta Win: Lions at Bears. Losing coach in a whole mess of trouble.

CFB: Weekend Watch
Won't explore the swamp of title-game wannabes until Oklahoma and Miami each lose (don't worry:, should come as soon as next weekend.)

Meanwhile: Sick of that Northern Illinois-related barking about the BCS? A Saturday loss at Bowling Green will make pro-NIU arguments moot.

Kobe's Return
Don't be surprised that a SoCal crowd would loudly cheer Kobe Bryant: The real story will be if fans on the road are as hospitable.

In hostile cities like Sacramento or Dallas -- my god, can you imagine Boston? -- it will be U-G-L-Y (yes, expect that chant).

Sayonara, Bobby V?
But wait: Then he can't be hired to manage the Red Sox! Bobby Valentine is reportedly close to forcing Theo's hand signing a deal with the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan.

Yankees hitting:
Speaking of "Bend, don't break?" More like "plain broke." (And you can bet that the Boss just LOVED Torre benching Soriano and Giambi.)
Today on ESPN.com
P2: Alternate World Series concludes
NBA: Season Preview
IN: Kiper's top 25 senior prospects
Weekend Flicks Edition:
Scary Movie 3
NY: 3 strgt losing yrs
Beyond Borders
SEC standings a jumble
Brother Bear
Chi: Worst team in NFL?
In the Cut
Tiger makes 113 in row
Always love a football movie

W8 office-pool suggestions: MIN, NE, CAR, TB, TEN, BAL, CHI, SEA, StL, SF, IND, NYJ, KC, MIA (LW: 8-6; Season: 62-40) ...

Looking for a Breeders' Cup pick? Go find yourself a couple of MIT students with dubious values. ...

Too easy: Tiger set to tie Byron Nelson's 55-year-old record of 113 straight cuts ...

Bill Romo is out for the season with a concussion, giving him lots of free time to prep for his steroids grand-jury testimony ...

Second-chance K-O pool still rolling last week with Seahawks; for those still in it, Dolphins keep Miami happy (at Chargers, MNF) ...

Coming next week: The Quickie NBA preview...

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