Monday, July 31, 2006

Oxnard: Year 3, Day 1



Day 1 of The Ticket at training camp means a few things. Let’s refresh:

1) The blog gets up a little later. I will shoot for 10am Central, but 9am isn’t happening.
2) The blog will generally have more Cowboys. (it’s time, buddy)
3) Parcells will knock out 45 minutes of BaD Radio each day for the next 3 weeks. (of course, since we get our hour from Dale, we will still take this!)

I haven’t been to practice yet (am going as soon as I am done here).

Nick Eatman’s Sunday workout report

Rafael Vela’s take on the Sunday workout …I think I need to meet, Rafael. He does nice work…

Meanwhile, I haven’t written word #1 about the Carlos Lee trade, and since it happened, the Rangers have lost 2 of 3 to the Royals. That has nothing to do with the trade. That has more to do with a team that was already in a funk. In the most crucial stretch in their schedule, the Rangers had 20 of 26 on the road. And yet, they took their dive on those 6 home games. I just don’t get how they could let that happen, but now it is on to Minnesota.

As for the trade, it is genius on every level. This team is about 60 home runs behind last year’s pace, and they just didn’t have a dangerous lineup (I wrote about that last Wednesday) and now they do (for at least two months). Lee and Nelson Cruz are now the two biggest bodies on the team, and they really insert talent to a lineup that was feeble. I like the move even though I hated the results of the weekend.

Rangers salvage one game from Royals


Texas ended a frustrating homestand by frustrating the Kansas City pitching staff in a 15-2 win at Ameriquest Field. The victory kept the Rangers from slipping into the cellar of the AL West and ends their seasonlong six-game losing streak. They are three games behind division-leading Oakland and a half-game up on last-place Seattle.

The Rangers hitters did the best thing they could for the starting rotation: They made it irrelevant.

Texas jumped all over Royals starter Mark Redman, whose name has surfaced in trade rumors of late. The Rangers scored 12 runs in the second, third and fourth innings – six of those off Redman. It was a much-needed tonic after a disappointing week.
Michael Young and Mark DeRosa led the way with eight hits and six RBIs between them. Young was the designated hitter for the third time this season and is 12-for-16 as a DH. The Rangers converted sacrifice bunts and played fundamentally sound baseball.


Here, Are the plans for the BCS this year ….I really dig the new Fox College Football commercials, too, with the dudes climbing the ladders and all…


There are big changes ahead again, including the creation of a true championship game. But BCS officials are understandably worried. Fans may not grasp the format, and officials aren't sure how Fox will present its multimillion-dollar product.

Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg spent the last two years as the BCS coordinator, a role he was relieved to relinquish. Last week, he agreed that Joe Fan may not know the new BCS national title game is Jan. 8, after the four other BCS games have been played.

Here's how it works. The top two teams in the BCS standings on Dec. 3 will meet in the national title game in Glendale, Ariz., home of the Arizona Cardinals' new stadium. Eight more teams will be selected to play in the Fiesta, Sugar, Orange and Rose bowls.

Once the bowl lineup is set, that's it. The winners of any of the other BCS games do not advance to the championship game.


Remember the Cleveland Library dude? …follow up on his story!

Borat the Movie is coming!




Samuel Jackson = the voice of God?


Movie superstar SAMUEL L JACKSON will voice God in a new audio version of the Bible. The taped recording of the New Testament will feature many famous other black actors and musicians. Jackson was given the lead role because producers felt his deep, authorative voice was perfect for the role of God.



Check out this re-edit of Office Space!

Now, to the story of the day: Here is RomaFC.Net …They are an adult soccer team in Dallas that is shocking the soccer world.

There story is out there, but you need to read it for yourself! From the San Diego Paper

And, NY Times


Next week, Schell and the players from Dallas Roma F.C., an amateur team of players who are household names only in their own households, will pack their bags and head for a lower-priced motel nearest the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. They will play the Los Angeles Galaxy, the defending champion, in the quarterfinal round of the Lamar Hunt United States Open Cup.

Roma advanced in perhaps the biggest upset in Open Cup history, defeating Chivas USA of Major League Soccer on July 12 in a penalty kick shootout. Think of the Kamloops Blazers beating the Carolina Hurricanes for the Stanley Cup or the Tulsa 66ers ousting the Detroit Pistons from the N.B.A. playoffs. Around the world, cup competitions, which are contested while league seasons are in full swing, offer the soccer minnows an opportunity to step onto the same field as higher-paid opposition like Manchester United and Bayern Munich. Upsets become the stuff of legend.

“Every year at this time, I get to act like a G.M., like I know what I’m doing,” said Schell, Roma’s 31-year-old coach who runs a company, Audio Systems Plus, with his brother, Dominic, one of the team’s midfielders. “People call it my hobby, but it feels like the big time. So this year, I’m a G.M. competing against M.L.S. guys.”
The first Open Cup was won by the Brooklyn Field Club in 1914, and it is the oldest team competition in the United States. In 1999, the tournament was named for Lamar Hunt, a founder of the American Football League (and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs), the North American Soccer League and M.L.S. (he runs the Kansas City Wizards, a team that is for sale).

Like the English Football Association Cup, after which it is modeled, the Open Cup is exactly that — open to all amateur and professional teams affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation.

Play begins with regional qualifying for teams affiliated with the United States Adult Soccer Association (which includes Roma), then integrates teams from the United Soccer Leagues (First and Second Divisions — minus the three Canadian teams — and the Premier Development League, whose teams are largely composed of college players who maintain their amateur status). M.L.S. clubs have byes in the early rounds.

Players on the winning team split $100,000 and claim the Dewar Cup, with the runner-up getting $50,000. M.L.S. teams have won the competition the past six years and in nine of the past 10 years. Teams from each of the lower divisions that advance the furthest receive $10,000, a prize that Roma will take with another victory.

Roma’s victory against Chivas was the first time a nonleague amateur team defeated a professional squad since M.L.S. teams started to participate in the tournament in 1996, the league’s first season. Roma, which plays in the North Texas Premier Soccer Association, will be playing its fourth game in the Cup after eliminating the Laredo Heat of the P.D.L., Miami F.C. of the U.S.L. First Division and Chivas USA.

Roma’s roster is an ever-changing collection as the team’s success keeps attracting players, some of whom played for the Dallas Sidekicks of the Major Indoor Soccer League, and a few, like Schell’s brother, who briefly played in M.L.S. All of Roma’s players have full-time jobs, which means the club practices at 7 a.m. five days a week.


Please donate to their cause if you can on their website. It is a great story, and it is happening in our little city of Dallas….Good luck, boys.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Football Season is Open



Greg Ellis is pouting already …Man, I like this guy. He has built up 8 years of credibility with me as a class guy, but he is throwing much of that away right now…


A few moments after he walked off the team plane at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, signaling the start of Cowboys' training camp, a defiant Greg Ellis said he had no interest in playing for the Cowboys.

"I still don't want to be here," Ellis, a defensive end, said. "I'm not looking forward to it [training camp]. It's still disappointing to me. I'm going to go and play as hard as I can, but I'm a 4-3 guy, and I really don't want to be in a 3-4.

I've tried to take the high road, but it really hasn't worked. It is what it is. It isn't anything against Bill [Parcells] or Jerry [Jones], but I don't want to be here."




Keith Davis lied??? No Way!


Dallas police said Thursday that Dallas Cowboys safety Keith Davis initially lied to investigators about where he was just before he was shot while driving on Interstate 635 this month.

Mr. Davis' initial account to both the police and The Dallas Morning News was that he was driving home from a family gathering in Shreveport, La., about 5 a.m. July 16 when bullets pierced his customized 1995 Chevrolet Impala. The bullets grazed his head and lodged in his leg.

He was later released from the hospital and on Thursday was at Cowboys training camp in California.

Police on Thursday confirmed that during subsequent interviews with detectives, the Cowboys safety admitted he was at a private party in North Dallas for a few hours just before the shooting.

"All you have to do is pull my affidavit," Mr. Davis said Thursday. "That will tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing. I'm out here to play football. It seems to me that people are a lot more concerned about where I was and what I was doing than the people who shot me."


Apparently, Vince Young’s agent can do a decent job


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans promised they wanted Vince Young, the third pick overall and the first quarterback taken in the draft, under contract before they opened training camp.

They avoided any lengthy holdouts Thursday, agreeing to terms with both Young and LenDale White a day before the first practice Friday afternoon.

Young, the No. 3 overall pick out of Texas, agreed to a five-year deal, with an option for a sixth, with $25.7 million guaranteed and an overall value that could reach $58 million with option and roster bonuses and salary.

The contract includes a $12.3 million option bonus due next March, a $2.365 roster bonus due this year and six years of guaranteed salary totalling $11.075 million, for guaranteed money totalling $25.74 million, ESPN.com's Michael Smith reports.

There's a one-time bonus of $4.1 million Young can collect should he play in 35 percent of the Titans' snaps this year or 45 percent in any other year.

That would top the six-year, $54 million deal with $26.5 million guaranteed for the top draft pick, defensive end Mario Williams of Houston.

"It was a great deal for us," said Major Adams, the quarterback's agent.


Alex vs New York ….


Rodriguez, who turned 31 yesterday, was last season's American League MVP but went 2-for-15 against the Angels in the Division Series. This year he's hitting .280 with 22 homers and 73 RBIs, but his performance in the clutch has been uneven at best.

For the record, A-Rod is hitting .293 with runners in scoring position this season. He's hitting .300 with runners in scoring position and two outs. With the bases loaded, he's batting .455 with two homers. In 31 postseason games, he has hit .305 with six home runs and 16 RBIs. Most recently, he hit a long home run to centerfield in the eighth inning of the Yankees' 8-7 victory over Texas Wednesday night.

On the other hand, in the late innings of close games, he's hitting .220 (9-for-41) with an on-base percentage of .289 and a slugging percentage of .439, all subpar figures.

He has 18 errors in less than two-thirds of a season, six more errors than he made last year. The only time he committed more errors was 1997, when he made 24 while playing shortstop for Seattle. This year's problem seems to stem from throwing sidearm, which he seemed to correct in the Texas series.



TR Sullivan on what moves are out there to be made


The pitchers that the Rangers hoped would be out there by now just aren't there. They asked about San Francisco's Jason Schmidt, but the Giants went into Tuesday's game just one game out of first place and aren't willing to trade their No. 1 starter.

The Brewers, according to sources, want Minor League pitcher John Danks and shortstop Joaquin Arias in exchange for Lee. That may be too steep for the Rangers if they can't keep Lee beyond this season.

So the Rangers wait to see if the Indians are willing to move right-hander Jake Westbrook and mull over some of the lesser names sitting out there. Jon Lieber and Cory Lidle could both get moved by the Phillies, and Arizona right-hander Miguel Batista is a possibility, but the Diamondbacks are just 1 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West.

The Rangers are scouting the Nationals carefully but are not getting good reports about right-hander Livan Hernandez. Tony Armas Jr. is another intriguing name, but has made just two starts after missing a month with a strained right forearm.

The Baltimore Orioles are willing to move right-hander Rodrigo Lopez, and the Pittsburgh Pirates have offered Oliver Perez for outfielder Kevin Mench. The Rangers weren't interested in that and have bigger plans in mind, especially if they need to include Mench in a deal to get an impact player.


Despite wishing failure on Manchester United, I have always thought Ruud Van Nistelrooy was great, But now, Ruud is off to Madrid …and Manchester needs a scorer badly…


His departure will represent the end of an era at Old Trafford. Van Nistelrooy scored 150 goals in 219 games at the club after joining for a then British record £19m in 2001, with United's supporters chanting his name during Wednesday's friendly victory at Celtic in recognition of that achievement. Sir Alex Ferguson, whose relationship with the forward deteriorated markedly last term, must now find a replacement, with his principal target, Atl├ętico Madrid's Fernando Torres, having ruled out a move to Old Trafford.


By the way, United Keeper and American Tim Howard on today’s show as he is in town with Everton to play in Frisco tomorrow night… I swear.



Arrested Development lives!


The syndication rights of the critically acclaimed yet criminally unwatched Arrested Development have been simultaneously licensed by Microsoft's MSN.com and the cable channels HDNet and G4, allowing the series to run on all three outlets through 2009.
While the arrangement to air the reruns on the cable channels is a standard one, the decision to allow the show to run concurrently online is one of the first of its kind.

The deal allows for all 53 episodes from the show's three-season span to appear on each of the outlets and was made despite the fact that the number of shows typically required for syndication is 100, nearly double what Arrested Development had produced.


Is Tony Stewart the new Dale Earnhardt?


Now, some of us knew Dale Earnhardt, and some of us believe Stewart's no Dale Earnhardt. But there are a lot of people who believe he's the closest thing to the Intimidator in racing today, and one of those people is apparently Stewart.
Here's what he said afterward:

"If the 3 car was here, I don't think we would have the same problems in this series as we have. He always had a way of letting drivers know where they stood, when to move and when not to move.''

Stewart then said some other things that didn't make any sense, but his twisted logic was clear. He didn't really know Dale Earnhardt.

Earnhardt was dangerous, too. He took drivers out and moved them and let them know when they stood in his way.

He did not let drivers know when to move. He pushed them out of his way. He did not tell them when not to move. It wasn't that way.

Over time, Earnhardt learned the difference between destroying someone's car and simply taking the air off the deck lid. He learned, over time, that careers were at stake.

He became one of the best drivers to ever race because he finally realized he was part of something larger than himself and was dangerously close to ruining his own career.


Mid Term Grades for the Aikman/Staubach team


C-minus – Tony Raines

Raines, after taking over for Terry Labonte in the No. 96 Chevrolets, has kept the Hall of Fame Racing team safely inside the top 35, which is about all a first-year, single-car team can reasonably expect.


Listen to Matt Barnaby on BaD Radio …if you missed it the first time…

And finally, this email from a fellow Liverpool guy. In fact, Simon is from Liverpool:


Hi Bob, I just wanted to let you know that some Liverpool Supporters have organized here in Dallas and we have a Official Texas Chapter of Liverpool Supporters Club. We will be watching all the matches at the Tipperary Inn and have a couple events coming up that you may be interested in. On Fri Aug 11TH will be having a showing of the Champions League Cup Final from Istanbul..should be a good night. The day after is The Charity Shield Match versus Chelsea. Then on Aug 20th We have a Liverpool Legend, Ronnie Whelan from the all conquering team of the eighties coming to speak at a dinner in The Tipperary Inn. Please let me know if would be possible to post the club info on your Blog for any other Reds that may be interested in Joining the Club.
Simon


For Genius Comedy, Push Play below…



---added 9:20 am

The return of Fernando Tatis


Fernando Tatis surfaced again Thursday night after all but disappearing from baseball for two years.

Tatis, starting in the major leagues for the first time since June 15, 2003, had two hits, drove in a run and scored twice to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 6-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

“This guy was a heck of a player, and then he kind of dropped off the face of the earth for a couple of years and now he’s back, so it’s nice to see him back,” said Kevin Millar, who homered in the sixth to put the Orioles ahead 3-2. “I wish him good things. He’s a great guy, a great teammate. I’m happy for him to be back.”
Tatis hit 34 home runs, drove in 107 runs and became the first player to hit two grand slams in the same inning in 1999, with St. Louis. Then groin, shoulder and knee injuries took their toll on him and Tatis missed the final 92 games of the 2003 season because of inflammation in his chest wall.

“I’m very excited,” said Tatis, who had his first multi-hit game since May 7, 2003. “I’m healthy. I’m 100 percent. I just wanted to go out and try to have a good game, just be myself. The best part is we won the game.”

Tatis, who was released by Tampa Bay in spring training in 2004 and did not play professional baseball the past two seasons, doubled in the seventh and scored on a fielding error by third baseman Mark Teahen.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

CoCo to the Rescue

Well, the Rangers unraveled right before our very eyes last night, yet again. The big bullies from New York came into Texas Monday, and stole our lunch money and pushed us into the dirt. The Yankees have now won 7 straight in Texas, and 10 out of 11.

But at least we can boo A-Rod really loud.

Bullpen betrays Texas


It was the Rangers' fourth consecutive loss overall and the seventh consecutive loss to the Yankees at Ameriquest Field. Texas has lost 10 of its last 11 home games against the Yankees.

Most painful: It dropped the Rangers 1 ½ games behind AL West leaders Oakland and Los Angeles.

The bullpen duo of Francisco Cordero and Akinori Otsuka allowed six runs in the final two innings. Of late, though, they have been the two most reliable bullpen pieces.

Here's the thing about bullpen pieces: The more you have to use, the more likely one – or more – is going to crack. They were the fourth and fifth pitchers of the night; manager Buck Showalter pulled starter John Rheinecker with one out in the fifth after he allowed a one-out single and a walk.

"There are so many steps and so much passing of the baton involved," Showalter said. "There is more likely to be a breakdown."

The most painful blow was Jason Giambi's two-run homer off Otsuka in the ninth. It came after Derek Jeter led off with a single. Otsuka has blown three saves this season, and two have come against the Yankees.



Coach Fran on the hot seat in 2006?


Franchione is 16-19 with one bowl trip at A&M. By comparison, all three of his years at TCU resulted in bowls. The last season, the Horned Frogs were 10-1 with him.
The best his Aggies have done is 7-5. But just try getting him to talk about his lack of success at A&M on the eve of a new season.

"I'm not worried about that right now," Franchione said. "I'm focused on getting ready for this season and moving forward."

Franchione's history of quick turnarounds is what got him hired at A&M – but it's also the standard to which he's being held.

"We definitely need to get it going," linebacker Justin Warren said. "The sense of urgency is very high. People realize that we've had only one winning season out of the last three. ... We just want to get back to being the old Texas A&M."

The old A&M had players with star power. The current A&M did not have a player named
to the media's preseason All-Big 12 team.

Franchione is the focus of Aggies' frustration, but it isn't like a lot of talent is being squandered.


Meanwhile, the news of Tuesday was the ESPN Firing of Harold Reynolds. It appears the rumors of harassing girls may have been correct as The New York Daily News snoops around


While responding to inquires concerning his demise at ESPN, Harold Reynolds presented a variety of answers, which only led to more questions.
Questions that will follow him for quite awhile.

Reynolds told the New York Post he wanted his job back, explaining he was fired for "giving a woman a hug" that he felt was "misinterpreted."

But Reynolds told USA Today he was ousted because: "They (ESPN suits) made a decision to have a change in direction. I respect their decision, but I don't necessarily agree with it." Reynolds added he already was considering several job offers while his attorney was working on a financial settlement with ESPN. This would seem to indicate he either does not want his ESPN job back or already knows ESPN won't take him back.

When I asked Reynolds what happened, he said something about a difference "in philosophy" that he might talk about in a "couple of" days. "Don't press me," he said. "I'm a nice guy."




3 years later, Freddie Adu progresses ….


At only 17 years of age, Freddy Adu is establishing himself as a legitimate force in Major League Soccer. The versatile midfielder/forward is maturing into the impact player the league dreamed he would be when he was signed as a 14-year-old. Along with his team-leading six assists, another sign of Adu's advance was being named to the All-Star team by coach Peter Nowak, who also coaches Adu with D.C. United.

"Adu's getting better every year," said Chris Albright, a fellow All-Star, national team defender and L.A. Galaxy player. "He's certainly a lot stronger. He was able to be knocked off the ball his first couple of years."


The great Brian McBride retires from international soccer

I got this email from a good strong:


You have to listen to this podcast/mp3. It's a whole bunch of Mike James sounding off about the greatness that is and that will be Mike James. Edited from some Toronto radio show. Dude is completely nuts. Mavs dodged a huge bullet here.

Click Here to listen

Keep up the good work.

hubcityraider


Wow. He loves me some me.

Speaking of loving me some me, here is the My Space page for TO ….

And Newy’s 1 on 1 with Owens

In other news, Heika does a chat on the Stars

LA Times decides to drop hockey coverage

Alright, Alright, Alright: Buy this car ….




BaD Radio,

Someone mentioned that Donovan should be named Employee of the Month for giving up part of his vacation to interview Will Ferrell.

Screw, that. He should be named Cumulus Employee of the Year for getting Will Ferrell to join him in a duet of "Dust in the Wind."

At the very least, Donovan gets the Guest Booking League points.

Stay BaD,

Kevbo

-----

Guys,

I'm checking out the Ticket top 10 and Donovan's interview with Will Ferrell, freakin Will Ferrell, was number 8? WTF?

Jerry



Are you kidding me? #8? Turley needs more cowbell.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sell! Sell! Sell!

The Rangers lost again last night, and yet, so did the Angels and A’s in the pathetic AL West, so the Rangers remain ½ game back.

And the trade deadline comes closer.

I would not do a thing with this team in the name of winning in 2006.

I am sorry. I would not give up a single future asset for this team. They are the dictionary definition of average. They play hard, but their lineup is feeble. Their rotation is erratic. And, their bullpen is frustratingly average aside from their closer.

They are getting tossed around the diamond by a team that is missing its entire starting outfield, and New York may not even make the playoffs.

They just aren’t very good. Now, they also aren’t very bad. They are average. They are 81-81 waiting to happen. And unless you can get a huge run producing bat to stick behind Tex, there is no trade that can save this thing.

In 2006, the Rangers have played 101 games and are led in home runs by Brad Wilkerson with 15 measly knocks. That paces out to barely 24 home runs. 24!

We all spend time blaming the pitching staff, and although they are certainly not fabulous, let’s not forget that this 2006 Rangers lineup is about as feeble as any Rangers lineup we have seen since the Ballpark opened. The Rangers are currently 8th in the AL in Home Runs, and 7th in Runs scored. This while playing half of their games in the Ballpark in Arlington, the AL version of Coors Field.

The bottom line is that they are led by their 8th hitter in Home Runs, while the rest of their lineup consists of Michael Young, an underachieving Mark Teixeira, and a collection of 7th hole and 8th hole hitters.

Kind of makes you wonder why they traded Phil Nevin. I endorsed it since it meant more Jason Botts. But, he plays in Oklahoma now, and the Rangers do not consistently score runs.

They have no player in the top 30 in AL Home Runs, and no player higher than 19th in RBI’s.

We have finally found a Rangers team that can’t hit.

Even though ½ game out, this team needs to sell, not buy.

Fraley on Eaton’s debut


With the Rangers anticipating a midseason shot in the arm, they took a kick in the groin with a 7-4 loss to the New York Yankees at Ameriquest Field.
Eaton, who missed the first 100 games because of a torn tendon in the right middle finger, had a dynamic opening. He held the Yankees hitless for 3 2/3 innings on only 49 pitches.

"And then the proverbial stuff hit the fan," Eaton said.
He threw 29 more pitches without getting another out. Eaton allowed the last five batters faced to reach base on two walks, a hit batter, a walk and an infield single. He gave up a 2-0 lead in that jarring stretch, and the Rangers never recovered.

This typified Eaton's career.

An American League scout at the game said Eaton can be very good, or very bad. He was both in the span of four innings.


Meanwhile, the controversial decisions of Tom Hicks continue: He extends Doug Armstrong for 3 more years! …I love Army, but this is a very generous move given the recent results on the ice…


Armstrong, 41, has worked for only one NHL organization in his career. He was hired by Bob Clarke and the Minnesota North Stars in 1990 as the director of team services and moved up to assistant GM in 1992. He was named to replace Bob Gainey as general manager of the Dallas Stars on Jan. 25, 2002.

Stars owner Tom Hicks said he likes Armstrong's ability to adapt to the NHL's salary cap.

"It's like building a giant jigsaw puzzle, and all of the pieces have to fit," Hicks said. "We want to win the Stanley Cup next year, but we want to contend for the next five years or 10 years, and that's going to require we have a general manager who can think outside the box, be flexible and be smart. I feel very comfortable we have the right man in Doug."


As the college season nears, The Horns are not sure who is the QB


When Ohio State comes to Austin on Sept. 9 in Week 2 of the season, Smith will be the Buckeyes' clear choice at quarterback. It will be the Longhorns who may well be playing two quarterbacks – Colt McCoy and Jevan Snead – cringe-worthy material for fans who recall the divisive Chris Simms-Major Applewhite era.

"Whether we'll play two quarterbacks against Ohio State is an unanswerable question at this point," Texas coach Mack Brown said Tuesday at the Big 12 media days in Kansas City. "We'll probably have a decision made during the week, and it's one that could change during the game.

"But we will not worry about public perception at all. Our job is to win games. So because people got mad over two before, that will not affect us in any way.
"Everything we decide will be based on what we think we should do to win the game. Two quarterbacks opens you up to more questions. It opens you up to more criticism. But our job is to win the game."

The replacement for Vince Young is all anyone wanted to talk about with Brown on Tuesday. And Brown readily admits he wants to play just one quarterback. He just doesn't know when redshirt freshman McCoy or true freshman Snead will emerge as the clear favorite.

But even if one emerges as the go-to guy, Brown said he'll play the other to gain experience in case of injuries.

"At a place like Texas, losing your quarterback to injury doesn't give you the right
to lose the rest of the games," Brown said. "So depth is really, really important at our place. And we've got it at every other position except that one right now.


More good stuff from the Boys blog …this time on Julius Jones…

Being really white, I have only recently discovered ghost-riding. But, thanks to Youtube.com, here is a demonstration of stupid people and their cars. Ghost-riding appears to be the idea of starting your vehicle, and then getting out of the car as it drives on its own.



Tuesday, July 25, 2006

BaD Radio Back at Noon



Well, a day after promising to look into things and try to find the truth in the Mavericks situation, I have come to two conclusions:

1) – Avery Johnson is underpaid, and I expect that will change within 12 months.

2) – Reports of major conflict between Avery and Cuban appear to be greatly exaggerated.

The Latest from the Morning News


"Right now, I have a contract," Johnson said. "And if there is a time that Mark wants to revisit it, we will. But it's really nobody else's [business]. Mark's not going to put me in a position where I can't do the best job. He's just not going to do it. He's too smart for that.

"But everything we do around here, we do it on our own timing. And whatever we're doing, we're headed in the right direction."


Meanwhile, at Cuban’s blog: Cuban has an odd entry that addresses employees getting bonuses


When does an employee deserve a bonus ? When should you as an employee ask for one or expect one and when should you as the person responsible for paying bonuses offer one.

The answer comes from the expectation you have when you hire someone.

When I hire someone, I hire them because I expect them to be good to great at what they do. I dont want to hire some shlep that goes through the motions to collect their money. I dont want someone who does whats expected of them as an employee and nothing more. The people who will find success working for me are those who love the challenge of excelling at their jobs and find away to exceed all expectations.

Now if you are a person that does just that. Challenges yourself. Excels. Makes the company more competitive, our customers happier and our bottom line bigger, should you automatically get a bonus ?

Of course not. You are doing exactly what you were hired to do. You were hired to be great. You are expected to do great things. We pay you to do just that. You dont deserve a bonus.


In other Mavs news, Devean George could be on board soon …wow. I really like what the Mavs have done this offseason. That is potentially 5 new players to this NBA Finals roster, and they all appear to be rotation-caliber.

Yankees 6, Rangers 2

Adam Morris with the point of the day


Two on, two outs, down 4 in the 8th inning, Kyle Farnsworth on the mound, and Jerry Hairston Jr. is due up.

The same Hairston who, at that time, has one hit since the All-Star Break, is 2 for his last 22, and came into the game hitting .218/.295/.291 as a Ranger, after putting up a .207/.253/.244 line with the Cubs before being sent to Texas in exchange for Phil Nevin.

Why on Earth do you let Hairston bat, rather than sending up Hank Blalock to pinch hit? Or even Rod Barajas?

It makes my head hurt to think about it.

Update [2006-7-24 23:30:33 by Adam J. Morris]: -- We talked about this a month ago, but the Rangers, with 19 pinch hit plate appearances on the year, and no more interleague games, look likely to break the all-time record for fewest pinch hit appearances (per 162 games), which is 30.


But, we cannot directly blame Buck for this one, since he wasn’t in the yard.

Joel Sherman on the festering A-Rod fun in New York ….


But they are not going to overcome the mental anguish afflicting Alex Rodriguez. Because this has become every Yankees' mental anguish. This is wearing on a whole team in a way the physical injuries did not. A groundball is hit to Rodriguez now and an entire team - an entire fan base - thinks the worst. The same when A-Rod bats in a big-time spot.

We now are examining every word said about Rodriguez by each Yankee, but
specifically Joe Torre and Derek Jeter. We look for hidden meanings, closeted agendas. It is too much for the toughest-minded, most physically fit squad to endure. And these Yankees are fragile of body, and not nearly as mentally rugged as their recent championship groups.

For these Yanks, it is all too taxing. One-third of their current roster looks like something the Long Island Ducks dragged in. So they needed the AL MVP version of Rodriguez. Instead, they have gotten a soap opera that gets more draining by the day. I initially thought the injuries to Matsui and Sheffield would force Rodriguez out of the insincere just-one-of-the-guys cloak he brandished and propel him to carry the club. But rather than put a team on his shoulders, A-Rod might be taking the Yanks down with him.


College Football Odds are posted …Norm?


Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Ohio State are considered the top three contenders to win this season's BCS championship game and college football's national title, according to Las Vegas odds.

The Hilton sports book has Notre Dame a 9-2 favorite followed by Oklahoma at 5-1 and Ohio State at 6-1. Every other team on the board is 8-1 or higher to win the championship game.

Their "Big 3" status is also reflected in the season-win over / unders recently posted at the Hilton and in the Week 1 college football lines now available at the Stratosphere.


with 4 pounds of pot, Ramonce Taylor transfers


Without Taylor at tailback, Texas will look to Jamaal Charles, who averaged 7.4 yards per carry and scored 11 touchdowns last season, as well as Selvin Young (4.8 yards per carry and eight touchdowns) and Henry Melton (5.0 ypc and 10 TDs).




Sorry, girls. AJ Hawk is off the market


Hawk and Laura Quinn, sister of Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, were married in a civil ceremony Monday afternoon in the Green Bay downtown law offices of Liebmann Conway Olejniczak & Jerry. Attorney J. Michael Jerry officiated


Canadians extend Bob Gainey through 2010

Now, you know my stance on the Sports Guy, Bill Simmons. His writing is phenomenal, and really his grasp of comedy, current pop culture, and sports is one of a kind. It has been suggested that we should get him as a guest on our show, but we cannot, for fear that like most writers, his spoken word is not near the genius as his written word.

Regardless, while on vacation, my two worlds collided. Bill Simmons has decided to follow English Premiership Football. Amazing. Not sure I like it, kinda like my wife getting interested in fantasy baseball, but it is sure something I did not expect. Anyway, here is the result of his new discovery:

Picking a Premiership Club

Picking a Premiership Club II

Liverpool fans try to convince him to join us

And, to prove his genius Emails for the Sports Guy


Q: Enough about Barbaro. To quote Ralphie Cifaretto ... "It was a [bleeping] horse!" If he placed at the Derby, he'd be an anonymous Euroburger right now. Instead, he's getting the "President's colon" treatment. Can we move on?
--Kernberg, Dorchester, Mass.

SG: That was this month's "Really evil e-mail that made me laugh out loud." By the way, I think Barbaro has replaced the Bonds home run chase and Clemens' comeback as the ongoing "major" sports story that nobody seems to actually care about. We're on a roll, folks! Next on the docket: T.O. and Bill Parcells may or may not be getting along! For more, let's go to Ed Werder in Dallas!


UFC Gold Coming Soon: Hughes v St Pierre 2!


You just don’t see this type of stuff in any other sport where the job description includes punching your opponent in the face - two athletes, preparing for battle in a couple of short months, sharing a car, separated only by a few feet.

But that was the scenario last week as UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes and number one contender Georges St. Pierre went on the road to Bristol, Connecticut for an ESPN spot to promote their September 23 rematch at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California.

And as expected, there were no impromptu brawls, no reason for UFC public relations director Jennifer Wenk to jump in and play Big John McCarthy to these 170-pound stalwarts. It was just another day at the office for the two best welterweights in the world.

“I have no problem with that at all,” said St. Pierre while riding to the airport with Hughes. “Matt is a gentleman and I think I am too. It’s just going to be 25 minutes of business on September 23rd, and after that, win or lose, I will shake his hand.”


By the way, since I had an additional day off yesterday to end my vacation, I basically just watched tv. Caught up on Entourage, almost caught up on Deadwood, and watched some sports. Part of that was Pride Fighting on Fox Sports net, and there, in Japan, was the ever-annoying Ken “The World’s most Dangerous Man” Shamrock getting his head handed to him again.



Here are his career stats

Question: If you lose every time you fight, how can you be called the World’s most Dangerous Man?

Since 2000, Shamrock has lost 6 of the last 8 fights he has been in. He has nothing left. And everytime he fights, the announcers make him out to be the greatest thing ever, and then he loses in the first round.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Back til Christmas

Ok, I am back with a vengeance. Thanks again to Ty and his bikini girls for filling in, but now I am back until Christmas break, so let’s roll:



Tiger wins Major #11


Woods said this claret jug meant more than his previous two. Woods said he had wanted to win the Masters in April because his father’s health was fading. Earlier this year, Woods flew to California from Florida several times to be with his father, including in March during his preparation for the Players Championship.
“To win your first tournament after my father had passed away, it makes it that much more special,” Woods said.

Woods’s first chance to dedicate a victory to his father’s memory came at the United States Open at Winged Foot Golf Club last month, but he missed the cut after a nine-week layoff. After a second-place finish at the Western Open two weeks ago, though, Woods brought an efficient strategy to Royal Liverpool, which was host to its first British Open since 1967.

With the course playing short in a warm, dry summer, Woods used his driver only once in 72 holes, relying on long irons to guide him around in 18-under-par 270.


How money is Tiger after 3 rounds with the lead?


Tiger Woods had a one-stroke lead heading into the final round of the British Open and finished with a two-stroke victory over Chris DiMarco. Tiger has won all 11 major tournaments that he's led going into the final round, accounting for each of his major titles.

For the seventh time, Woods increased his lead from the third round to the fourth round while winning a major. His largest such increase was at the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, when he led by 10 strokes heading into the final round on his way to a 15-stroke victory.


Folks, we are watching Jordan in his prime when we watch Woods. Soak it in….You will never see another like him…

Meanwhile, in the FWST Sunday paper,
Art Garcia offered this bold claim : Avery is mad about money


The sources also said Johnson would be agreeable to an extension with a significant bonus that would up his average salary in line with other top coaches in the $5 million range, but Cuban has kept a hard-line stance by refusing to renegotiate.
Even without a new agreement, Johnson isn't considering resigning. He's repeatedly said he's looking forward to next season and has played an active role in the team's off-season moves.

Tensions between Cuban and his coach are nothing new in Mavs land. The battle of wills and dollars defined the frosty relationship between Cuban and Nelson.

At the base of the Cuban-Nelson conflict were serious personality and communication issues. It isn't supposed to be that way between Cuban and Johnson.

Initially labeled as Nelson's hand-picked successor, Johnson won Cuban over with the coaching job he did filling in for Nelson during parts of the 2004-05 season.

The fiery coach and the billionaire have continually emphasized their close personal bond. Johnson stressed before the start of the Finals that his success -- and the team's -- wouldn't have been possible without Cuban's support.

Despite the criticism Cuban took locally and nationally during the playoffs for his conduct and dealings with the league -- star Dirk Nowitzki recently condemned the owner's behavior -- Johnson continued to publicly back Cuban.

Behind the scenes, though, uneasiness seems to be mounting.


Wow! Talk about rolling a grenade into the Mavericks HQ’s! If Art is wrong he will never live this down. But I doubt he would get something this big wrong. Here are the expected denials through Eddie Sefko


Avery Johnson is looking forward to coaching the Mavericks during the remaining three seasons of his contract, and any tension between him and owner Mark Cuban has been exaggerated, a source close to the team said Sunday.

There has been speculation that Johnson's contract, which will pay him about $2.5 million next season, could be a source of irritation for Johnson if it is not restructured, extended or torn up and replaced to increase his pay. However, Johnson has every intention of honoring the deal, and the source reiterated that Cuban and Johnson remain allies and have no problems.


I guess I don’t know what to think, as I am just a few hours back from the Colorado mountains, so to suggest I am out of the loop is an understatement. But, remember that the sources that leaked this info could be one of the countless Cuban-haters out there. On the other hand, Avery does seem underpaid, and he could likely name his price to coach anywhere. I will try to get to the bottom of this.

And the Mavericks get a point guard!


Anthony Johnson, who has two years remaining on his contract, gives the Mavericks a true point guard to complement the shoot-first styles of Terry and Harris. Johnson's 2.82 assists-per-turnover ratio last season ranked 14th in the league.

Johnson averaged a career-high 9.2 points last season and started 53 games. He averaged 20.0 points, 5.2 assists and 5.0 rebounds in the Pacers' playoff series against Jason Kidd and the New Jersey Nets.

The 6-3, 200-pound Johnson has a reputation for being a defensive-minded player. He has the strength to match up with big, physical guards. Such players are tough for Terry (6-2, 180) and Harris (6-3, 185) to handle.


I will admit, I am not real familiar with his work. But, it looks good.

I promise plenty on Lindros to Dallas in the days to come, but here is TSN’s take


Lindros' presence in Dallas will essentially replace Jason Arnott, but it's not likely that Lindros is going to be able to match Arnott's 76-point season since the last time Lindros scored that many points in a year was in 1998-1999.

Since Lindros has played just 72 games combined in the last two NHL seasons, and considering his record of injuries throughout his career, it's optimistic to expect Lindros to play any more than 60 games in Dallas next season, but he could still contribute 25 goals and 45-50 points. Better health could mean even better numbers than that.


This is short and sweet, but tomorrow, we return to normal blogging and normal BaD Radio from noon to 3.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Let's Party!


The end of another relatively slow sports week...moving ever closer to Cowboys training camp! It won't come a minute too soon...
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The Rangers' quick visit to Boston doesn't go quite as planned.

The final stop on Texas' 11-game road trip is in Chicago for
3 with the White Sox.

Some good news for the Rangers' pitching staff with the imminent return of Adam Eaton.
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Barry Bonds escapes indictment, for the time being.
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John Gibbons and Shea HIllenbrand almost made it to the octogon.
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Tiger poised for a big weekend at Royal Liverpool.
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Danica Patrick (who is not hot, by the way) is close to a deal to stay in IRL.
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Johnny Damon upset over demeaning bibs.
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Can't a sister make some extra cash?
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For all you chubby chasers...
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For the rest of us...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Weird Night In Toronto...


The Rangers win Wednesday's game with the Blue Jays...

...but there seemed to be just as much action for Toronto off the field with the
drama involving Shea Hillenbrand.

Texas now heads to Boston to make up a rainout back in May.
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The new Busch Stadium gets blasted before the Cardinals' game Wednesday with the Braves.
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Just over a week before training camp gets underday and the Cowboys are moving to get their draft picks signed.
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Steve Nash administers the shocker to everyone by finally getting his Canadian mullet cut.
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Zinedine Zidane gets punished for his World Cup headbutt.
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The 135th British Open starts today...here are some predictions, including one from the Ticket's own Rick Arnett.
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"Hello, 911? I just had my legs cut off."
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Snake gets hungry, eats electric blanket.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

About Freakin' Time


The Rangers' offense wakes up late against Toronto Tuesday, helping the team put an end to their 3-game losing streak.

Kevin Millwood goes for win number-10 in the series finale tonight.
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The great Buck O'Neil becomes the oldest person to play in a pro baseball game.
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The Seattle Supersonics could be on their way to Oklahoma City.
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Little Danny Snyder getting into the sports-radio biz.
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Some wheels-off things going on with the New York Islanders, as they hire their second GM in just over a month.
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Is that a boa in your mailbox or are you just happy to see me?
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German dude steals bike, then wusses out.
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Did you know that Darth Vader had a brother?
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

'Why Me?'


Terrell Owens is either really high, really stupid or both. Check out HBO tonight when he cries on the shoulder of Bryant Gumbel about how the 'evil media' is picking on him.
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The Rangers, specifically their offense, continue to be on life-support as they get torched by the Blue Jays.

Vicente Padilla tries to stop the bleeding tonight.

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Dallas Stars hope they've found a replacement for Jason Arnott in the form of Eric Lindros.

Toronto's take on the situation.
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Does anyone (besides BDH) still care about Jose Canseco? If you do, check out his fierce knuckleball at the GBL All-Star Game.
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Be a crime stopper and help in the case of "Who Shot Keith Davis?"
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An Australian town has found the perfect thing to send partiers running for the hills: Barry Manilow.
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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Deja Vu all over again...


As if being shot once in a lifetime wasn't enough for Keith Davis, the Cowboys safety hauls off and does it again. Still no word on what the Tremendous Tuna's reaction will be to all of this.

Isn't it fun to be able to laugh about getting shot?

Let's set the wayback machine for 2003 and reminisce about
Davis' first shooting.
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Adrian Griffin says farewell to the Mavs and
heads for Chicago.
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Another wily (old) veteran is apparently headed to your Dallas Stars in the form of Eric Lindros...
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A bad weekend in Baltimore for the Rangers as they wind up losing 2 of 3 to the Orioles...

...headed north of the border for 3 with the Jays.
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Note to self: when leaving an unauthorized party at a cop's house, don't forget my pants.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Please Welcome "Tex" to the Main Stage



Teixeira helps the Rangers drill the Orioles


Before the season's second half started Thursday, the Rangers discussed the importance of having the entire team contribute. Then, they went out and did just that – all in one inning.

On the way to a 15-1 thrashing of Baltimore that kept the Rangers tied for first in the AL West, Mark Teixeira hit three homers and drove in seven runs; Mark DeRosa reached base six times; Brad Wilkerson had a homer and four RBIs; and Vicente Padilla had another quality start.


Enjoy Padilla, says Fraley, because it isn’t going to be here long

"He's been a joy to watch," said Connor, who first worked with Padilla when he was a 17-year-old in the Arizona organization. "He's been more than what we thought he would be."

Visions of a big payday could be giving Padilla the motivation that he has often lacked.

Padilla can become a free agent after this season. When a club employee raised the subject of what next season might hold for him, Padilla said he would be with the club that pays him the most.

The Rangers accept the mercenary approach. They tread lightly around Padilla.
When Padilla wanted to go to Miami between first-half starts for a birthday, the club told him to have fun.

When Padilla wanted to return to his home in Nicaragua during the All-Star break, the Rangers reminded him that the second half started on the road.

The club held its collective breath for three days, but Padilla showed up in the visitors' clubhouse well in advance of the start. Letting him go home was worth it.


The Mavericks depth chart

Not that you care yet, (although I am gearing up for sure) but I was asked to make my picks for the Guys Guide to the Cowboys.

Here are my first NFL picks of the season (Expect another round near the end of training camps).

Dallas Record: 11-5

NFC Division Winners: Dallas, Chicago, Carolina, Seattle
NFC Wildcards: New York, Atlanta

AFC Division Winners: Indy, New England, Pittsburgh, Denver
AFC Wildcards: Kansas City, Cincinnati

Super Bowl: Carolina beats Indianapolis

Don Banks on the NFC North …and a few days ago, he did your beloved NFC East


Coach in the spotlight

BILL PARCELLS, DALLAS

This just in: The Tuna isn't getting any younger and may not coach forever. We are not going to play the Parcells-retirement guessing game again (and that goes for you, too, Brett Favre), but it's fair to speculate that he's gearing up for one last run at the big shiny silver trophy. We're not buying into the idea that Terrell Owens is the final piece of the puzzle in Dallas, but that doesn't mean his addition won't be a huge upgrade for the passing game. It's worth noting that Parcells has yet to endure three consecutive non-playoff seasons.


Phil Mushnick takes on perception and offers reality

The verdict drops in Italy


Juventus, Fiorentina and Lazio will all be demoted to Serie B for their roles in the match-fixing scandal that has tarnished Italian football, according to today's Gazzetta dello Sport.

The verdict of the long-running trial will not be officially revealed until 6pm this evening, but the newspaper claimed to already know the punishments that will be dished out.

"The verdict will be this: Juventus, Fiorentina and Lazio will be relegated to Serie B," claimed the Gazzetta confidently. "AC Milan will stay in Serie A but will not be allowed to take part in the Champions League."

Without disclosing its source, the newspaper went on to insist it even knew the point deductions that each club would receive. Juventus, it said, will begin their Serie B campaign on minus 20 points, while Fiorentina will be penalised 10 and Lazio six or seven. Milan, meanwhile, will be docked 10 to 15 points.

After the verdict is formally announced tonight, the teams will have three days to appeal to a federal court of arbitration; a final decision must be reached by July 24.

The confirmation that three of the clubs are to be relegated is likely to spark a feeding frenzy as Europe's biggest teams close in to snatch talents such as Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Zambrotta and Gianluigi Buffon from Juventus and last season's Serie A top-scorer, Luca Toni, from Fiorentina.


Although many of you may not have any idea what the above story means, just imagine the Yankees, Giants, and Mets being sent down to AAA for disciplinary reasons, thus making them lose all of their star players because their revenue streams would disappear. Guess they are getting serious about referee tampering in Italy. Kind of a World Cup buzzkill.

Classic Funny from Deadspin: Fake Steve Bartman with Dan Patrick

Ty takes over as I take vacation week #2 (of 3) next week. Prepare for bikinis.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Worst Sports Blog of Year

It is at times like this where you need honesty from your bloggers. So here it is. Nothing is happening in sports today. I swear. I spent an hour cruising around looking for something worth your blog-reading time, and here is all I found:

Mavs sign Greg Buckner

Now, check this out: The Dallas Morning News claims that he got HUGE money:


Shooting guard Greg Buckner has agreed to return to Dallas in a deal that should be finalized today.

A source said Buckner agreed to a five-year deal for the mid-level salary-cap exception, which will be $5.125 million next season.

"I'm happy," Buckner told the Denver Post. "It was my first choice to go to Dallas. It's crazy it worked out."


There is no better way to get me to spray my frosted mini-wheats all over the computer than by saying that Greg-Freaking-Buckner was getting a “5 year deal for the mid-level salary cap exception”. (That would be 5-year, 31 million)…But, before you panic, here is The Fort Worth Star Telegram’s Dwain Price


One day after losing out on guard Mike James, the Mavericks regrouped quickly Wednesday, agreeing to a four-year contract for approximately $10 million with
Denver Nuggets free-agent swingman Greg Buckner.

The contract, which will be signed today, is worth a little more than $3 million per year, with the fourth season partially guaranteed.



With all due respect to Tim McMahon, I think Dwain Price has this right. 4 years/10 million or 5 years/31 million? Let’s all hope the FW Star Telegram is right today. If they aren’t, the Mavericks need their heads examined, because I like Greg Buckner and all, but c’mon….

And, besides that, here is the biggest story I could find: Some Indy Car driver takes a shot at sweet Danica


A fellow IRL driver says Danica Patrick has what it takes to succeed if she switches to the paint-swapping world of NASCAR and she's plenty aggressive in open-wheel racing when it's "the right time of the month."

Ed Carpenter, who trails Patrick by four slots in the IRL IndyCar Series points race, made the comment during a radio appearance Wednesday to promote Saturday night's Firestone Indy 200.

"I think Danica's pretty aggressive in our cars," Carpenter said on WGFX-FM. "I mean, you know especially if you catch her at the right time of the month, she might be trading plenty of paint out there. But I think she'll hold her own."

Carpenter later told the Associated Press he didn't mean to be disrespectful of Patrick by using a female stereotype. He said he was trying to make the point that
Patrick is competitive and already proven as a capable driver.


Zidane Speaks! …and believe it or not, he tells us he is not to blame!


Speaking for the first time since the incident, Zidane said during an interview on Canal Plus, a French television network, that Materazzi cursed at him and mentioned his mother and sister.

In an interview with the Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport, Materazzi said: “I said nothing to him about race, religion or politics. I did not talk about his mother either.”

Video replays showed the two players exchanging words after Materazzi put his arm around Zidane while defending. In the TV interview, Zidane refused to say specifically what Materazzi said.

“I tried not to listen to him, but he repeated them several times,” Zidane said about Materazzi’s comments.

“Sometimes words are harder than blows. When he said it for the third time, I reacted.”

Zidane said that while he accepted that what he did was wrong, the blame lay with Materazzi.

“The reaction must be punished, but if there had been no provocation, there would have been no reaction,” he said. “Do you think that two minutes from the end of a World Cup final, two minutes from the end of my career, I wanted to do that?”


Fans of English Football, Everton is coming to town …we would all rather see a good team, but a so/so team in Frisco is worth the drive…

The Stars release their schedule ….all right.

And, things are so slow, that I offer you a time killing Bill Simmons web chat

That is it. A weak, weak day. I am not to blame.

Don’t forget Fight Night is tonight in Dallas. Come see it! My favorite Ticket Event of the year!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

MVP of the Midsummer Classic



Mr Quiet Superstar, Michael Young, stole the show last night at that great stadium in Pittsburgh. If the story of the night wasn’t the 2 hour and 33 minute game, it was Young’s 2-out, 2-run triple in the top of the 9th. Well, done.
Mike Young wins the MVP with another clutch performance


"I'm not gonna lie - this is a pretty big highlight in my baseball career," Young said with a broad grin in the postgame news conference. "I can't wait to get back to my teammates in Texas."

The highlight, Young said, comes a close second among individual accomplishments to the American League batting title he captured last season, which was an entire year in the making. As Young stepped down from the podium, he handed off his wristband to be shipped to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Young then walked down the hall to a clubhouse, where a pack of reporters awaited him. It was a stark difference from the media availability Monday afternoon, where Young flew coolly under the radar.

"Like I say, he's underrated," AL manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I talk about it. Nobody talks about this kid, and this kid is one of the best players in baseball right now."

Young won MVP honors despite not playing his regular position. He played second base, though he is a shortstop in Texas. He is the third Ranger to be an All-Star Game MVP, joining Alfonso Soriano (2004) and Julio Franco (1990), both of whom played second base in the game.


From the Pittsburgh Paper


This is a guy who was booed by Oakland fans in his major-league debut for no other offense than making it on their turf, in the lowly act of pinch-running. This is a guy who, in rookie hazing, was forced to wear a dress by Texas teammates who wisely alerted the media, which captured video of him walking off the plane's, uh, runway. This is a guy who came to Pittsburgh alone, because his wife, Cristina, and son, Mateo, had to stay back home in Texas with summer colds.

"My only regret," this guy was saying near midnight last night inside PNC Park, "is my wife and son are sick and couldn't make it. They had to watch it on TV."


One of the big talking points from last night was the AL owning the NL. Well, the last NL win was in 1996, so Sports Sturm had to go find the 1996 All Star Game boxscore for you to enjoy…

Meanwhile, another free agent gets away from the Mavericks:

James goes to Minnesota


"Minnesota offered him more money and more years," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wrote in an e-mail. "That was the most important aspect to Mike. He told me he was going to take the highest offer, and he did."

Duffy told The Associated Press that James will receive the Timberwolves' full mid-level exception, which is worth about $5 million next season.


Lebreton looks at the dollars …and says it all about the cash…


We assume that all athletes want to win a championship. That all employees want to have a good boss. And we reason that all humble souls, having already banked millions, will now be motivated by less mercenary pursuits.

Oh, what fools we NBA followers be.

For a few dollars more, point guard Mike James spurned the NBA runner-up Mavericks and signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.

The Mavericks won 60 games last season and came within two victories of the NBA championship. Minnesota, meanwhile, won 33 and lost 49.

You can do the math.


That seems harsh, Gil. I understand the cash was different, but let’s not forget the 2nd biggest currency in the NBA, minutes. In Minnesota, he should be able to play the entire game, whereas in Dallas, when you see Harris, Terry, Howard, and Dirk, where is Mike James going to see big minutes? 20 a night versus 40 a night is a big difference, so let’s not make this all out to be cash.

The view from Minnesota


For several days, free agent guard Mike James had told NBA insiders that he was weighing contract offers from the Timberwolves and two other Western Conference teams, and would make his decision according to strict criteria:

1. The team would have to be committed to chasing a championship now.

2. It would have to really want and trust him, in a central role, as part of its future.

So James carefully broke down his pros and cons, studied the rosters of the Wolves, the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks ... then chose the team that offered an opt-out clause after the third year, an extra $6.5 million or so in Year 4 and a trade "kicker" worth an extra 15 percent if he is dealt before the deal runs out.




In today’s discussion of the World Cup fallout, what do you say we look at the television numbers? Fellow soccer lover, Jason, sends me the evidence, but to make sure this is not a biased study, he produced multiple sources to report how the World Cup blew up in the USA.

From the New York Times


The quadrennial visit of the World Cup must be viewed as a television success story. Sunday's final attracted 16.9 million viewers, and the star of stars, Zinedine Zidane of France, morphed from magician to the soccer equivalent of Mike Tyson with his overtime head butt of Marco Materazzi.

Those 16.9 million viewers included 11.9 million on ABC and 5 million on Univision, and they represented a 152 percent leap from 2002, when the game in Japan was shown in the morning. The audience was 31 percent better than eight years ago from France, and it was on par with 1994 from Pasadena, Calif.

This year's viewership exceeded by about 4 million the average audience last month for the NBA Finals between Miami and Dallas. It came close to the 17.5 million for Florida's victory over UCLA in the NCAA basketball title game and the 17.1 million average for the White Sox's sweep of the Houston Astros in the World Series.


WOW!

From Media Life


If this World Cup proved anything, besides how far behind the rest of the world the U.S. men’s soccer team is, it’s that soccer is no longer a fringe sport in this country.

After a wildly successful month, Sunday’s World Cup final drew 17 million American viewers, more people than watched Tiger Woods’ most recent major win, a non-figure skating night of the Winter Olympics, or the season finale of “The Apprentice.”

The final between France and Italy averaged nearly 12 million viewers on ABC and 5 million on Univision, according to early numbers released yesterday by Nielsen.
---

Perhaps most telling, of the 50 million people who watched part of a game on Univision over the past month, 21 million were non-Hispanics. That shows that the game is catching on in this country, though it still has a very long way to go before becoming mainstream.

ESPN averaged an impressive 2.3 million viewers for its 20 games, 76 percent above 2002’s average.

The final’s overnight numbers put it not too far behind premier sporting events like this year’s men's NCAA basketball final at 11.2 on CBS and NASCAR's Daytona 500, which averaged an 11.3 this year on Fox Sports.

And even non-U.S. World Cup games were well ahead of ESPN men's college basketball average, OLN's hockey playoffs and final-day ratings for any major professional golf tournaments.


And, The USA Today

And, just so no one accuses me of not posting links off the sports page recently, here is Eva Longoria without makeup …yikes!

Now, for some email. This first one is a bit lengthy, but it is directed at my brothers in crime up here at the Ticket (The Musers and Dan) about their World Cup comments from Monday. He wanted a rebuttal, and I thought it was well thought-out enough to get posted here for your review:


Yesterday, amid all the other “apples and oranges” reasoning and idiotic commentary, a few of your “points” stood out for their blatant simplemindedness and total lack of originality.

I thought I’d offer the following responses to two of your many empty-headed and sophomoric observations, as well as some final food for thought:

Summarized Ignorant comment #1 - “Michael Jordon would NEVER check out of the biggest game of his life because he was tired, as Thierry Henry did”.

Summarized Ignorant comment #2 – “Why can’t these guys shoot straight? They don’t hit the target enough.”

Now I’ll ask you to consider the following questions about American sports posed in a similarly ignorant fashion.

Ignorant Questions for Ignorant comment #1

Why do the best starting pitchers in baseball get pulled late in a game 7 of the World Series? Can’t they suck it up? I mean, everyone acknowledges they are by far the best pitchers on the team, why would they leave the game?

Why wouldn’t Roger Clemens gut it out and pitch on back-to-back nights if it were game 6 and 7 of the World Series? Will his arm fall off? Can’t he take some Advil, ice it down and fight through it?

Why are starting pitchers given 5 days off each time they play their game? It only requires that they stand on a hill and throw a ball to a guy hunched down 60 feet or so from them about 100 times.

By your “blood and guts” standards, doesn’t it seem odd that a pitcher can come into a game, throw 1 pitch, and then be replaced by another, or be hailed as the BEST closer in the game? Isn’t he a great athlete with steely nerves and concentration? Is that sport so lame that it requires a new pitcher after one pitch? What’s so great about a player who can’t do more for his team than throw the ball 12 times every other day? It’s absurd!

How come in MLB you have two subsets, the American and National League, which play be a slightly different set of rules? Why does a pitcher only hit in the national league? Isn’t that, I don’t know, what might you call it if it were soccer, UNSTABLE?
Why do Hockey and Basketball allow free substitutions? It seems the player is not physically challenging himself when he gets to rest pretty much whenever he or his coach chooses.

Would you not agree that allowing a player to come over to the bench to sit down, drink some Gatorade, and go back in the game makes him weaker than player who has to stick it out, knowing that when he leaves he can’t come back? Or maybe, go in the locker room for half an hour; get a check up from the Doc and X-ray. After you get your clean bill of health, you can come right back out to a hero’s welcome and resume the game. Wow, what tough guys, huh?

Why do NFL teams only play once a week? Why not play more games?

Ignorant Questions for Ignorant comment #2

Why do the best players in major league baseball only hit the ball 3 of 10 times they try? I mean, the ball is thrown directly at the player and no one is interfering with him. He can decide when to step into the box, position himself, and then all that’s left to do is hit the ball. It seems way too simple to only do successfully 3 of 10 times, particularly when you are the best at doing it. What’s more, a .300 batting average is based on at-bats, obviously, and not pitches taken or swung at and missed or fouled off. So, in actuality, when you look at all the pitches that are thrown, it very rare that a player gets a hit; let alone an extra base hit. Seems futile and boring, doesn’t it? Why don’t the make it easier, like in softball when the score lines are 22-8? These guys are clearly not very good because it sure as hell can’t be that hard, right? Or is the sport in dire need of an overall? Bigger bats? Bigger balls?

Why do basketball players only convert about 35% of the three pointers they attempt? That means about 7 of 10 attempts are missed. Often times, it even seems like they are shooting without a defender in their face, but still seem to miss about 70% of them.

Why do the best golfers on the planet - like Mickelson two weeks ago - hit the ball in the rough or out of play as often as they do, particularly when the tourney is on the line?

Why do the very best quarterbacks in the NFL struggle to complete passes 60% of the time?

Why do Football teams get to kick a ball down field after failing three straight times to gain 12 yards, even though they get 30 seconds to think and game-plan in between each down?

Why, on God’s green earth, is it so hard to get one yard on 4th and 1? You should be able to get that 100% of time, but it’s not even close to 100% success rate.

Why on earth in the middle of the season would you get opposing players together to play an exhibition? Seems sort of dumb, don’t you think?

See, it’s that easy to come up with laundry list of dumb ass questions and comments as each of you did, and mine were definitely better. Well done!

The answers I would offer are simple:

1) It makes strategic sense to insert fresh players, even if they are replacing that the best players in the game, because you increase your chance of winning, and, ultimately, that’s what sports are about.

2) Because the human body has limitations and the quality of play and overall standards of the game would drop if you didn’t do the things needed to prevent that from occurring

3) Because there is a great deal more than meets the eye to ALL of these sports and they require an extremely high level of skill, fitness and concentration to perform at a high level, let alone world class level.

4) Each game is different and should be considered on it’s on merit, or at least as much as it is compared to other sports

It’s astonishing to me that three educated and seemingly intelligent sports fans / hosts could not arrive at ANY of the abovementioned conclusions. But clearly, that underscores and further supports the fact that it was never your intention to provide analysis, offer constructive criticism or look for answers to questions you might have. It was only ever your intention to insult the sport with moronic and childish commentary and offend a small group of us that both listen to you and love the game of soccer.

George, you were dead right yesterday when you observed that “we’ve probably pissed a lot of soccer fans off today”. I think you did.

Not to worry, though, Cowboys training camp is not far of.

Filippo Costanzo

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Bob

For a long time we heard that all the bells and whistles Cuban put in the Mavs locker room along with the plane and hotels they stay in would attract free agents. Can you name a free agent they targeted and got? Two names come to mind, Alonzo Mourning and Mike James. Both were reported to be must haves and neither of them came here. What's up with that? Are the facilities overstated? Are the players getting a littler worn out on Cuban?

A.J. Martin

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Cowboys first preseason game is....

one month from today 7/12/06......
31days...
744 hours.....
44,640 minutes.......
2,678,400 seconds......

The Cowboys first regular season game is.......

two months from last Monday 7/10/06......
62 Days.....
1488 hours....
89,280 minutes.....
5,356,800 seconds.....

And NO I don't have much of a life. And NO these numbers are not to the second, because I do have some life....somewhat!

ALL COWBOYS, ALL THE TIME!

See ya.......CR
Austin, Texas