Tuesday, September 7, 2004
Page 2 Quickie: September 3, 2004
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Much like our current political environment, at the end
of this week, it's tempting to declare the AL Wild Card race a done
The Red Sox are unstoppable: Nine straight Ws... Swept the
Angels, their nearest WC competitor (now a distant 4 games behind)...
Suddenly struggling Texas on deck...
But look to Monday (10 p.m. ET on ESPN, in fact), when Boston
revisits its New Rivalry with the A's, who have won 9/10. Yet the A's
couldn't care less about The WC; they're focused on their division
Okay, so let's do it: With 30 games to go, the Quickie projects
the Red Sox as the winner of the AL Wild Card.
So much for "The WC" (AL Edition) having a cliff-hanger of a
season-finale. But that still leaves the NL, which is getting
Seven wins in a row through Thursday, with Hurricane
Frances apparently the only force that can stop the reigning champs
We've seen this before (the September streak, not the 'cane):
Last year, Florida went 18-8 in the final month, to clinch the Wild
Card spot and ride momentum all the way.
Speaking of mo', suddenly that Carl Pavano for NL Cy Young
bandwagon ain't driving down a lonely, "you're-crazy" road. He's 16-5,
with an outside chance at magic No. 20.
Baron Wants Out
Wouldn't you? The Hornets might have the least cachet
of any team in the NBA. (how can you screw up cachet when you play in
New Orleans?), PLUS they move to the West, so they can look
forward to a decade of 10th-place, crappy-draft-pick finishes.
Davis' agent suggested a few teams, including the Knicks, Suns,
Lakers and Heat. Now let me suggest this:
Baron for Dwyane, straight up.
Wade may have more long-term career upside, but when you have Shaq for
just a few seasons, you need a win-now running mate, particularly one
who's a true point guard (Davis), not a natural 2-guard making an
uncomfortable transition (Wade).
CFB Preview: Day 5
Hot seats: This season, the uber-hot seat is the "Gary
Barnett Endowed Chair," where even winning ugly can get
How about Bill Callahan, bringing his high-falutin' "West
Coast" offense to Nebraska? Call it "Callahan kismet" that NU happens
to open with a 1-AA cupcake.
Miss. State's cupboard was empty when Sylvester Croom got
there, so he gets at least one grace week (vs. Tulane) before
wondering if the team can clear the .500 bar in his first
Tangentially hot seated: Big Ten refs, who will be under the
scrutiny of the new instant replay system starting this
Meanwhile, check out Page 2 later today for the annual College
Football Preview "What's Hot, What's Not" List.
Not on pace to break the 84-year-old single-season hits
record, but to shatter it. Three more on Thursday night. 217
for the season. With 29 games left, Ichiro needs 41 to break Sisler's
No, it's not Bonds chasing HRs: But on the other hand, because
it's only singles, there's no boring, anti-competitive strategy to
pitch around Ichiro, like there is/was for Bonds; Ichiro gets at least
five solid at-bats per game to try to get his hits.
NFL Pre: Last Games!
As long as the great teams (this means you, New
England) refuse to play their starters in these preseason games, I'm
sticking to second-string comment value. Tonight's five best
CHI/CLE: One will go Pre 3-1
GB/TEN: Chris Brown emerging
IND/CIN: More Carson-watching
ATL/DC: Gibbs gets extra game
MIA/NO: Fins still struggling
Next week: NFL '04 Preview!