** A college coach won a game yesterday by calling a timeout. Naturally, the victim was the snake-bit Syracuse football team. On fourth down, with 4 seconds left, behind by one point, Syracuse sent their field goal unit on to try a 50+ yard field goal. At the snap, the holder stood up and threw a pass toward the sideline and a wide-open tight end. And I mean wide, wide open. There wasn't a Pittsburgh player within 15 yards of him and nobody between him and the goal line. Alas, the Pitt coach had called a timeout just prior to the snap to "freeze" the kicker. Instead, it won the game. With the trick play ruined, Syracuse threw an incomplete pass to end the game.
** The Yanks signed their first big free agent yesterday, former Atlanta catcher Brian McCann. 5 years at $17 million a year. Great left-handed power, made for Yankee Stadium, and a great defensive catcher. He's also above average at "framing a pitch," an ability I personally have no faith in. Half the time, the umpire can't see the pitch, let alone the catcher's glove, so how does that help? It might work if they umpired the game from behind the pitcher, but framing didn't even work like that when I played sandlot ball back in the 50's. On the bad side, McCann doesn't have much of an arm. He's also so slow that he makes Jorge Posada look like Usain Bolt.
** As John Sterling would say, "An A-Bomb from A-Rod." And A-Rod dropped a few A-Bombs at the hearing of his suspension appeal. His tantrum came about when the arbiter upheld Bud Selig's refusal to testify. You seldom see A-Rod lose his cool on the field, but the guys in suits found a way. I'm not an A-Rod supporter, but I think Selig's refusal is bull-roar. He's the one who levied the suspension, he should be made to defend it. Oh well, it's off to Federal Court - maybe.
** Buster Olney feels strongly that the Yanks intend to cut A-Rod loose after whatever suspension he serves, his $100 million salary notwithstanding. His thinking is, that after a full year of inactivity and at his age, A-Rod will have nothing left. He has a good point, but that's an awfully big money bite, even for the spendthrift Yanks.
** Another pundit, whose name I've forgotten, suggests a trade that "...will help both teams." Matt Kemp of the Dodgers to the Yanks for CC Sabathia. I don't see how this is any great deal for NY. They're looking to add two starters and they should trade their #1 starter? I don't think so.
** This is new - brand new. Ian Kinsler was traded to the Tigers for Prince Fielder and Kinsler's agent, Jay Franklin, knew nothing about the trade until he got a phone call from ESPN, asking about it. I'll bet he still wants his commission, though.
** LA Angel's owner Artie Moreno, can't spend money fast enough. He just acquired outfielder David Freese from the Cardinals. for Peter Bourjos, adding about $3 million to his already sky-high payroll and still has nothing to show for it.
** There is some poetic justice in this: Current Astro's owner, Jim Crane, has sued the former owner, Drayton McLane, because he claims they misrepresented the value of the regional TV network that broadcasts the Astro's games. He probably should have been more concerned that they misrepresented the quality of the team.
** Students standing behind college football's 4-man broadcast crew (including Lee Corso), display signs rooting for their respective teams - and sometimes crazy things to get noticed. My favorite: "COULDN'T THINK OF A THING"
** Finally. Mike Lupica asks a good question:
"One game for the championship of the world in baseball, who would you rather have at second base, Dustin Pedroia or Robinson Cano? Discuss."
"Links legend Chi Chi Rodriguez, who — while trying to break a pane of glass 25 yards away with a shot for “Big Break NFL” TV cameras — hit himself in the groin when the glass held strong and the ball came flying back." -- Dwight Perry [Every guy who reads this is wincing right now. - CP]
"Last Tuesday marked the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, which consisted of 272 words. On “Monday Night Football,” it takes Jon Gruden 1,500 words to explain an offside call." -- Brad Dickson
" The Florida Gators lost in Gainesville to…. Georgia Southern? This is the most embarassing thing to happen in Florida since at least Wednesday." -- Janice Hough
"An Olympics promotion has Moscow Transit letting passengers ride for free if they do 30 squats in two minutes. I’m not sure about 30, but I’m pretty good at doing squat" -- RJ Currie
"Jack Taylor of Grinnell College in Iowa just scored 109 points in a game. He scored 138 points in a game last season. I'm no expert, but it may be time to consider double-teaming this guy." -- Brad Dickson
"And from the The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction file comes word, via San Francisco’s KRON-TV, that police pulled over ex-baseball slugger Jose Canseco’s car, only to discover: Four goats in the back seat. And one of them was wearing a diaper. (A goat, not Jose.)" -- Dwight Perry
"Dwight Howard appeared on “Sesame Street” last week. Based on how Howard shoots free throws, I'm guessing the word of the day was “brick.” -- Brad Dickson
"This weekend Canada will have their 101st Grey Cup football championship. Between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Hamilton Tigercats. Otherwise known as a game between two teams most Americans couldn’t find on a map." -- Janice Hough
"The woman who ran topless at the President’s Cup said she did it because “streaking for Stricker kind of rhymed.” Whereupon Grey Cup organizers began worrying she’d get ideas for Regina." -- RJ Currie