Mostly Non-Baseball Nightly Notes
1.) The MLBPA continues it's Barry Bonds/collusion pity party, saying that they've "found evidence teams acted in concert against signing Barry Bonds." I've said before that I don't think collusion was necessarily involved with Bonds not getting a job -- there were a lot of reasons for a team not to sign him. That said, if the teams actually did collude, they were unbelievably stupid and deserve whatever penalty the union can get an arbitrator to award. The bottom line is that the issue of collusion was collectively bargained -- and the owners categorically barred themselves from engaging in collusion (backed up by a substantial penalty for colluding). The owner's need to follow the rules that they agreed to with the union. I still don't think the union actually has any real evidence -- but as the article linked to above points out, the union has won three collusion cases in the past, so maybe they actually have the goods. Regardless of what happens with this story, I pretty much just wish that Barry Bonds would go away. I'll be happy enough to talk about him again when he becomes Hall of Fame eligible in a few years.
2.) Well, the Red Sox just won Game 5, so I guess I should talk about that. I don't want to say too much, but I have a few thoughts. First, from the standpoint of a fan of the game, more playoff games = better post-season. For that reason, I'm glad we're getting at least a Game 6 in the ALCS. Also, it might be nice for the Rays to celebrate a pennant at home in front of the newfound fans of the club, rather than in Fenway. My biggest concern (since I'm rooting for the Rays) is that tonight's epic 7-run collapse (8 runs if you count the winning run) sure feels an awful lot like a momentum changer. Psychologically it might be tough for the younger, much less experienced Rays to bounce back. I'd still much rather be in the Rays shoes than the Red Sox shoes, though, and I don't believe for a second that the Sox have the Rays right where they want them.
3.) I'm not much of a high school football fan, but this NY Times article on the rising popularity of something called the A-11 formation caught my eye and made me wonder about what lies ahead in the college and NFL games. If you're a football fan who likes innovative offense, you need to check out the article.
4.) Nice to see the Wild get off to an extended winning streak yet again to start the season. Two road wins in a row down south coupled with the season opener against Boston makes for a nice 3-0 start, with a game still to come against Tampa Bay before the roadie ends. Considering that the Wild have been dealing with some injury issues already this year, and played 2 of their 3 games on the road, the start is reasonably impressive.
5.) The WBC Bantamweight and WBC Featherweight champions both retained their titles in defenses taking place in Japan earlier today. The Bantamweight champ (Hazumi Hasegawa) was favored, and this marked his seventh successful defense of the belt. The Featherweight champ (Oscar Larios) seems to have been the beneficiary of some bad judging, however. Larios is not particularly well respected for holding a belt (neither ESPN or The Ring have him ranked in their Featherweight rankings). His opponent, Takahiro Aoh, is another story. He came into the fight undefeated, and was ranked 8th by The Ring (and 9th by the WBC, incidentally -- obviously, Larios was unranked by the WBC since he holds the belt). Larios only ended up with the strap after reigning champion Jorge Linares moved to a higher weight class. The few articles I've read on him suggest that he's a competent fighter, but not really title-worthy. Aoh probably should have left the ring with the belt -- but that's Boxing for you! I guess if Aoh really wanted it, he should have knocked out Larios and taken the decision away from the refs.
6.) BYU got clobbered tonight by TCU to lose any hope of playing in a BCS game this year. That leaves Utah, Boise State, Ball State, and Tulsa amongst the teams that have a shot of crashing the BCS this season -- although even going undefeated probably wouldn't be enough to get Ball State or Tulsa in the dance because of their weak schedules. I think TCU deserves some love from the rankings committees, though. Look at their schedule: their 7-1 with their lone loss coming to Oklahoma (not exactly an embarrassment to lose to the Sooners), and with solid wins over every other opponent (including BYU and Stanford) except for Colorado State, who they beat by just 6 points. If they win their last four games, it would mean they'd add quality wins against Utah and Air Force. Honestly, even with 1 loss that team would in my mind deserve serious consideration for a BCS spot. Can the winner of the Big East honestly say they had a tougher schedule? Obviously it isn't going to happen -- an undefeated season is a virtual necessity for a non-BCS school that wants a BCS berth. Still, it's not obvious to me that TCU wouldn't be worthy if they finished up 11-1.
Labels: Nightly Notes