Yankees get something for nothing

Seriously, the Yanks traded the mythical Player to be Named Later for Karim Garcia and Dan Miceli. Garcia is a career .230 hitter with a little bit of pop in his bat. He's a ncie addition for the Yankees bench and not much more. Miceli averages about one strikout per inning, and while he's never going to win the Cy Young, he's a useful guy to have in your bullpen. And if you've seen the Yankees bullpen and bench, you'd understand how valuable these two players will be.

Miceli makes $350,000, so the Yankees were able to make this deal by taking on the $900,000 Garcia contract. So the Yankee big budget strikes again. Or does it? Really, what contending team isn't willing to spend $1.25 million to solidify their bench and bullpen?
posted by Poseur 6/26/2003 11:47:00 AM

The Draft

The NBA Draft is today. As far as drafts go, it's the second best one to follow, but it's still a distant second to the NFL version. Why? Because I couldn't pick these guys out of polic lineup. Can you?

OK, maybe you recognize Darko by now. but when I think Darko, I think Donnie Darko and all I see is a big demonic bunny in my mind's eye. Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?

So I just can't bring myself to care like I do about the NFL draft. I don't know if these players are any good, and neither do you. We've never seen them play, so we have to take someone else's word on it. I might as well watch the NHL Draft.
posted by Poseur 6/26/2003 11:19:00 AM



The 29-year-old Brit was in command of the third set after an early break but, leading 5-2 and receiving serve, he lost his cool when a spectator shouted "out" on a Roddick backhand.

Rusedski did not continue playing the rally, unaware that the call had not come from a line judge.

The umpire refused to allow a let and Rusedski promptly lost his serve in the next game.

At which point Rusedski let out a very un-British torrent of profanity. Rusedski had lost the first two sets, both on tiebreakers. And that sucks. He hadn't been broken all match, and he had a 5-2 lead at the time in the third. Rusedski was this close to getting back in it. It's never good when you start whacking the net with your racket.

Rusedski would lose the next 5 games in a row. Composure, people. Aren't the Brits supposed to have the stiff upper lip?
posted by Poseur 6/25/2003 08:16:00 PM

A Texas A&M freshman football player just died. Click here. (registration required)

Brandon Fails was 18 years old.
posted by Poseur 6/25/2003 03:31:00 PM

OK, Gioia set the table for me (see below), so now it’s time for me to go through the overrated players. I think it was nice of Page 2 to do this right after I called David Beckham the most overrated soccer player on earth. Which he is.

What I’m going to do is pick the top 2 overrated players in the 4 major sports and then throw in some other sporting guys.

Jeff Kent – 2000 NL MVP

What a friggin’ joke. First off, he’s barely adequate in the field. He’s never going to be confused for Bill Mazeroski out there. So, yeah, he plays a tough defensive position, but you don’t get bonus points for that if you aren’t any good at your defensive position. So I’ll just rate him as average and give him no positives or negatives for defense. Let’s look at his hitting that year.

.334/.424/.596, 33 HR, 125 RBI

OK, that’s a nice line. But you’re gonna get 125 RBI’s when the guy ahead of you gets on 45% of the time. If the voters didn’t feel like giving it to Bonds that year, they could have given it to Helton, Vlad, Sheffield, Sosa, or Alou. But no, they gave it to the source of Rick Reilly’s hatchet job on Bonds.

And outside of 2000? He’s appeared on the leaderboards sporadically. Once in batting average, once in slugging, three more times in RBI’s, once more in runs. That’s about it. Yet he’s finished in the top ten in MVP balloting FOUR TIMES. I’m not saying he’s not a good player. You can’t be overrated if you stink, but he’s not MVP caliber.

Miguel Tejada- 2002 AL MVP
He won the MVP award last year. He plays the same position as A-Rod. Go look at their numbers, report back.

How can anyone think those two are even on the same planet? I’m not knocking Tejada, I actually really like him. But he’s not A-Rod. No one is. Yet he has an MVP Award and Rodriguez doesn’t. That’s obscene.

Alexander Mogilny

Talk about a guy who only gives you one year. Here are his goals scored in his first full years with a club: 76, 55, 43, 24. Wow. His second year? 32, 31, 33. Hey, those are good numbers. He can find the back of the net, but he’s just never lived up to that 76 goal season. He’s a soft player, doesn’t penalty kill, and rarely notches an assist. He comes in, lights it up, and then apparently irritates everyone on the team until he gets traded again.

Arturs Irbe

Has a big name goalie every accomplished less than Irbe? Only once, in 98-99, did he every post a really superlative GAA. He’s just a guy who happened to get hot during the Sharks run way back in the early nineties, and he’s been living on the fame ever since. He brings nothing to the party.

Tiki Barber

He’s not an elite level back. Just accept it, okay? Neither is Anthony Thomas while we’re on the subject, but I can only pick on one guy here. I’m stunned his breakout year, finishing with 1386 yards, 7th best in the NFL, would coincide with the year he finished 9th in carries. He’s never been on the leaderboard before, and probably won’t be again. He scored 11 rushing TD’s last season, he only has 26 in his whole career. He’s a good pass catching back, but if the Giants think he’s going to carry them to the Super Bowl, they are sorely mistaken.

Brian Griese

Is Plummer really overrated? Does anyone actually think he’s any good? Griese had an incredible 2000. Of course, he also had a great team around him. When he had to carry the Broncos, his numbers went into the toilet. Taking out his one great year, his alltime TD-INT ratio is 52-49. Even with 2000, he averages 7.0 yards per pass on his career, which is good, but nothing special.

Antoine Carter

He pretty much nailed it. He’s the second coming of Vernon Maxwell.

Latrell Sprewell

The only reason everyone knows his name is because he once choked his coach. He’s a good player, but nothing special. He ranks 43rd in PPG, and among his position, 24th in RPG and 6th in assists. Whoop dee freaking doo. Get off my TV and let actual stars get some air time.

Sergio Garcia
Has he ever won anything of importance?

Juan Carlos Ferraro
Yeah, he won the French and he’s currently 1st in the ATP points standings. He’s also a one-trick pony, as he’s a whopping 12-5 on all surfaces that aren’t clay. Enjoy the comparisons to Tomas Muster.

Lennox Lewis
Has there ever been a more underwhelming champ? Seriously. Ever?

David Beckham
I’ve covered this.

posted by Poseur 6/25/2003 12:56:00 PM

A surprise twist!

The ACC adds only VT and Miami. This move effectively kills the Big East. And if you've been reading here, you know how I feel about that. I'm not going to attend th wake, let's put it like this. Now for all of the Big East defenders out there who are now adding Virginia Tech to their enemies list, let's go through a quick history of VT and the Big East.

1992- first season of Big East football. Virgininia Tech added as a football only member.
1994- BIG EAST EXPANDS, offering full membership to West Virginia and Rutgers
1995- first conference title
1995- wins basektball's NIT. Denied full membership in Big East, joins A-10 for all sports but football.
1995- BIG EAST EXPANDS. Adding Notre Dame in all sports but football.
1996- second conference title
1999- conference champions, VT plays for the national title
1999- wins A-10's Commissioner's Cup for most successful program in all sports
2000- repeats as A-10's Commisioners Cup, finally allowed to join Big East in the fall

So, the Hokies "traditional" ties to the Big East as full members stretches all the way back to September of 2000. In the timeframe of joining the Big East as football only members, the Big East added three teams before Virginia Tech, including Notre Dame, who was not a football member. Frankly, Virginia Tech owes the Big East a big pile of nothing. The conference didn't let them in as members until they had played for a national title, changed conferences twice, and dominated their short stint in the A-10.

So excuse me if I don't think this merits as a betrayal on the part of the Hokies. Heck, if I were running the Hokies, I would have been calling up the ACC since about 1994, as soon as the Big East placed a higher value on Rutgers' vaunted athletics program.
posted by Poseur 6/25/2003 11:59:00 AM

Roddick vs. Rusedski

I'm going to get into the actual match later today, but right now I'm just going to rant that this is a second round match. Who the hell comes up with the draw? Roddick is the 5th seed and is coming off a grass court tournament victory. Rusedski is a grass-court specialist who thrives at Wimbledon. The other players in their section of the draw get a collective: who? So instead we have a 4th round quality match in the 2nd.

It's stupid. This will be Roddick's toughest match until maybe the quarterfinals. If he makes it past the Candian/Brit.
posted by Poseur 6/25/2003 11:38:00 AM

Wilkerson hits for the cycle

A batter hitting for the cycle is a little like a pitcher throwing a no-hitter - it takes a combination of talent, opportunity and luck.

Brad Wilkerson had one of those days when all those things came together in yesterday's 6-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

A no-hitter is a good comparison for hitting for the cycle. They are equally rare, but while the no-hitter holds our collective fascination, the cycle is buried during the second half of SportsCenter. Mainly because it's not as important, because at the core of it, the cycle is just a neat gimmick stat.

But still, it's really cool when someone pulls it off, particularly the progressive cycle. So congrats to Wilkerson, but don't read too much into it.

posted by Poseur 6/25/2003 11:31:00 AM


Toe to toe with a professional

Ok, ESPN page 2 had this list of the 10 most overrated athletes. Allow me to dismantle the stupidity.

#1. Vince Carter. Holy Cow--since when is he the most overrated player in the world? I don't know if any of you have noticed, but Toronto is a bad team. Carter singlehandedly took them to the playoffs. He didn't do it again last season--and that makes him the most overrated player on the planet.
What was Jeff Merron smoking? He put three NBA players on his list, and not one of them was Grant Hill.

#2. Mike Tyson. Yeah, don't put any thought into your picks, just pile on Tyson. I know you can sift through 100+ years of boxing history & name better fighters than Tyson. Look, before Tyson became a convicted rapist, he was the most feared man on the planet. Fighters would take a dive rather than get crushed by him. He'd knock people out in 2 rounds. Meanwhile, it's only been four days since Lennox Lewis reminded us how overrated he is.

#3-5. All baseball, of which I care little. Brilliant job of calling "all closers" a player. Anyone can write for ESPN!

#6. David Duval & Phil Mickelson. I don't care about golf either, but throw in Sergio Garcia & Colin Montgomery too. Oh, and when's the last time Tiger Woods was close to winning a tournament. Woods was ESPN's athlete of the year two consecutive years. A golfer! OK, that's the most overrated thing I've ever heard of.

#7. Antione Walker. No argument

#8. Jake Plummer. No argument. I'm the charter member of the "Jake's not worth it" bandwagon.

#9. Pavel Bure. OK, fine. Hockey gets it's representative. Good choice.

#10. Chris Webber. I should let Baker handle this one. If you've seen Webber play, you know he's awesome. He has one injury-plagued season and suddenly he's a punk? Nonsense.

Andy Roddick also gets an honorable (dishonorable?) mention. Please, he's not even close to his prime, and two weeks ago he beat Andre Agassi. If you wanted to get a tennis player on the list, how about Lleyton "Choke" Hewitt or Anna Kourikova? Others that come to mind...Ken Griffey Jr., Larry Allen, Peyton Manning...just a couple examples.

posted by uberschuck 6/24/2003 09:55:00 PM

Round Two at the Confederations Cup

Group 1: France breezed through their cupcake group with three wins. Columbia stole the second spot from Japan by beating them 1-0 in their third game. New Zealand just took a beating.

Group 2: Cameroon won the group after beating Turkey and Brazil and playing the US to a draw. The US squad managed only the draw and two losses. That's what happens when you send your B-team to an international tournament and play your warm-up games against teams like Wales. In the World Cup rematch, Turkey and Brazil played to a draw. The Turks advance on the number of goals scores; Brazil goes home.

So, in round two we'll have France vs. Turkey and Columbia vs. Cameroon.
Prediction: The Turks might lose because it's fixed, but they'll beat the hell out of the French players. I'm picking Cameroon to win the tournament--after all, they did bring their best players.

posted by uberschuck 6/24/2003 09:28:00 PM

The Rebirth of Telekom

Last year Telekom was in serious decline. Ullrich was in the middle of bigtime trouble, Zabel finally lost the green jersey. They looked like they'd fall apart & cease to be a stud team in the major Tours. They've done a great job of redoing thier team after the Ullrich divorce.
Now, I don't think they have a man who's a real threat to beat Lance Armstrong. Then again, I don't think anyone's going to beat him, bar a crash or illness. However, this team is the BEST Telekom team they have sent to the Tour in years. Zabel's still a favorite to win the green jersey. Paolo Savodelli won the Giro d'Italia in 2002--he's an excellent climber and a better descender. Nardello's finished in the top 10 of every Tour he's done, save one, and that was the year he had a nasty crash. Plus, he's no longer on a sprinter-only team--he'll have teammates in the mountains. In the TdF 2002, Santiago Botero won both a mountain stage and a time trial. Vinokourov has been a Telekom workhorse for years; he briefly held the lead in the still ongoing Tour of Switzerland. Conclusion--Telekom has the potential to put 2 riders in the top 10 and four in the top 20. They may ride away with the green jersey, 5 stage wins, and the best team time.
posted by uberschuck 6/24/2003 09:14:00 PM

Julich out of Tour de France

Bad news for the Americans. Bobby Julich, one of only three Americans to ever finish on the podium in Paris, has been officially left off Team Telekom's roster for the biggest race in the world. Here's the team (current UCI rank in parantheses):

Erik Zabel (1)
Rolf Aldag (220)
Matthias Kessler (116)
Andreas Klöden (169)
Alexandre Vinokourov (30)
Santiago Botero (23)
Daniele Nardello (117)
Paolo Salvodelli (810)

Zabel is a no-brainer. He's the best sprinter in the world and he needs to get his green jersey back. With Ullrich gone, this team is built on two things, getting Zabel the green and preventing Lance from winning #5. Botero finished 4th last year, so he's a real threat. Nardello is one of Jason and I's favorite riders, as he's tougher than hell. Vino thinks he's a contender. I don't, but he's allowed to think whatever he wants. And Salvodelli is getting hype for his first Tour.

Even without Julich (or Hondo), this team is loaded. They will attack. I can't wait for le Tour.
posted by Poseur 6/24/2003 05:32:00 PM

This just in: Bonds is really good

Bonds, who turns 39 on July 24, has been the only major leaguer to reach 400 homers and 400 stolen bases. In the bottom of the 11th inning Monday, he became the charter member of the 500-500 club. Bonds walked, stole second, then scored the winning run in the Giants' 3-2 win.

The only one who is even close is Willie Mays, who has 338 SB's and 660 HR's. And he's well on his way to passing him on the home run list as well. I'm not going to get into it today, but has there ever been a better player than Bonds not named Babe Ruth?

posted by Poseur 6/24/2003 12:59:00 PM

RICE takes college title

After the first inning, Rice had scored three runs off of one hit. Freshman pitcher Mark Romanczuk just never found a groove and put up a staggering line: 10 batters faced, 6 walks. I told my wife at the end of the 1st, there's no way Rice blows a three-run lead. I didn't begin to think they would eventually add 11 more and win in the most lopsided final in CWS history, 14-2.

Stanford would set a CWS record by walking 12 batters in the game. It was just that kind of night. Nothing, and I mean nothing, went right. It started bad and just got worse. Actually, Stanford made two beautiful plays at the plate, making two outs at home, saving two runs. At the time, it seemed important. So, believe it or not, the score could have been much, much worse.

There's now two things I want to get to. First, this is Rice's first title in any sport ever. This is a school that has been participating in college athletics for almost 100 years, and this is the first time they have managed to win anything. For perspective, click here and try and find the most obscure school to win a national title in an NCAA sport. I'm going with CCNY (2), Idaho (3), Alaska-Fairbanks (6!), Michigan Tech (3), or SIU-Edwardsville (1). That's right, a satellite campus of Southern Illinois.

Rice is a small liberal arts school in Houston, often overshadowed by the big state universities. They graduate 90 percent of their athletes, one of the highest totals in the country. This is really an athletic department which puts academics first, but they still managed to win a national title in baseball. That is absolutely outstanding to see.

Now, Stanford has been to five straight College World Series. and they haven't just made it to Omaha, they have done well every single time, but every time they come home without a title. This is the equivalent of a team going to five consecutive Final Fours and winning zero titles. That's an incredible string of success and frustration.

2003- lose to Rice in the final game
2002- lose to Texas in round of four, Texas wins title
2001- lose to Miami in finals
2000- lose to LSU in finals
1999- lose double-header to Florida State in round of four.

Five CWS, five final fours, four times going through the winners bracket, three times making the final game, and zero titles. Simply put, I can't explain it. That is just an incredible run of bad luck for the Cardinal. I think I'd rather lose a little earlier once in a while. This has got to be torture for this team.
posted by Poseur 6/24/2003 12:21:00 PM


Hewitt out

Thanks for stopping by. Hewitt, the #1 seed, has become the first #1 seed to ever lose his opening match since the beginning of the open era. And I'm not really sure how it happened. Hewitt won the first set 6-1 in less than half and hour. He was on cruise control. He lost a tiebreaker in set two, but the wheels never seemed to come off. He just lost. Karlovic only had the three break opportunities, and he went 2 of 3. But after the first set, Hewitt never broke Karlovic's serve. Not once.

And now he's going home.
posted by Poseur 6/23/2003 12:00:00 PM

Game Three!

Hudgins delivered a master blueprint in an 8-3 victory that forced the decisive game in the best-of-three series. The right-hander threw 131 pitches on three days' rest and earned his record-tying third victory of the College World Series.

``We've had some great pitchers at Stanford,'' Coach Mark Marquess said, ``but I don't think any pitcher I've ever had with all the teams that I've brought here has accomplished what John has accomplished during these 10 days. It was an unbelievable pitching performance. I don't think it can be matched.''

Left-hander Romanczuk (12-1, 3.72) will start today against Owls right-hander Philip Humber (10-3, 3.40) with the national championship at stake.

Hudgins was awesome. And until the breakout 7th inning, it was a great ballgame. I was all prepared to write about the magnificent perfomance in the bottom of the 6th, but it was rendered irrelevant by the 5-run 7th. So now each team will throw out their third starter and hope he will hold up. This is for all of the marbles.

posted by Poseur 6/23/2003 11:56:00 AM

US out of Confed Cup

Even after last year's World Cup, there's still a big gap between the United States and the soccer powers.

World Cup champion Brazil dominated the Americans on Saturday night, winning 1-0 and ending the U.S. team's chance to advance in the Confederations Cup.

Adriano scored the only goal in the 22nd minute, stripping the ball from defender Gregg Berhalter and coming in alone on goalkeeper Tim Howard, who made the initial save but had no chance to stop Adriano's shot off the rebound.

"They're the best team in the world,'' American midfielder Earnie Stewart said. "We're not near as close to where they are.''

Your scrubs are better than our scrubs!

This is another chance for the world press, and an indifferent American press, to pile on US soccer. The World Cup was a fluke, the Yanks aren't that good, and blahblahblah. Outside of Donovan, no one on this team is an A-list US player. This is the B-team. It was also Turkey's B-team and Brazil's as well. Arena is experimenting with lineups and trying to see who can play at the international level.

All this tournament proved is that US soccer lacks depth. Whoop dee doo. No one panics when the NY Yankees' minor league team loses to the Devil Rays' farm team.
posted by Poseur 6/23/2003 11:48:00 AM

What now?

"C'mon, Lennox," pleaded the usually quiet Byrd, almost smiling as he spoke to the right of Lewis. "I'm right here. I want to fight you."

Drawing a gasp from those assembled, Byrd continued with, "He (Klitschko) quit on me. You need to be done. You looked like crap."

Emmanuel Steward, Lewis' trainer, shot back with, "Chris, You are the only champion I have seen that is begging for a fight."

Indeed, he may be. But those in attendance at the Staples Center and those watching worldwide are begging for a Lewis fight against Klitschko. Unfortunately for the talented Byrd, a Lewis fight may or may not occur.

First things first. If Lewis doesn't head butt Klitschko, there is no way he wins this fight. It was clearly an accident, but afterwards, Lewis was bragging about how he messed up Klitschko's face, when everyone who saw the fight knew that didn't happen because of Lewis' hard right, it was his hard head.

So we're still stuck with one of the worst heavyweight champions ever. He's lost to a guy who is probably now flipping burgers somwehre (Rahman), and he's beaten a string of underwhelming opponents in underwhelming fashion. Heck, the stroy of the Tyson fight was that Tyson looked awful. And now he can fight the game but, let's face it, moderately talented Klitschko again or he can fight the real #1 contender Byrd.

The average fan wants a rematch. There will be gobs of cash offered for it to happen. And Lewis certainly doesn't want to fight the best boxer in the world when he can still milk Klitschko for another paycheck. We're getting played. Screw the rematch, demand a Byrd-Lewis fight.

posted by Poseur 6/23/2003 11:42:00 AM

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