September 15, 2004
Johan Santana:
How about every fifth day, I just hand over this spot to him. Cyntana won his 10th straight start and 11th straight decision. (18-6 in '04.)
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

"ZeN-H-L": If a lockout happens in the sports world and no one is paying attention, does it make a sound?

Declining relevancy: People keep saying this lockout will kill the sport; I'm sorry: Did I miss something? It's been wheezing for years.

Little sympathy for either side: How can players decry a salary cap when one works just fine for their NFL counterparts? How can owners deny that major sports have contracted into a "Big Three?"

This lockout is about the bottom line, so here's another one: What happens when both sides realize that no one notices they're gone?

The Chair Incident
Freak-Out Frank Francisco charged with battery for The Chair; MLB seems to be easing into investigation. Is it really so hard to slap him with a suspension now, then mull it over when the union inevitably gripes?

Fascinating how this is being spun into a referendum on fan behavior. Fans whose taunts go over the line should be booted from the stadium, but athletes with "rabbit ears" should get very little sympathy.

Bonds: 700 'Stateau'
If the Brewers ever pitch to him (two walks Tuesday), he will it reach 700 this series. Haven't seen this much anticipation for a career "stateau" since Ripken's streak. In the meantime, Barry wins with defense, too: Giants win 3-2 and Bonds throws out a runner at home.

Scoreboard Watching
In the AL: Boston fell 4 GB after D-Rays rookie Scott Kazmir outpitched Pedro and the Yankees beat KC (with no help

Packers: Off big MNF W, CB Mike McKenzie to end holdout
Keary Colbert: Rookie will fill in for CAR WR Steve Smith
Greg Oden: Heir to LeBron gets ESPN2 TV showcase
Packers NT Grady Jackson: Out indeterminate length (knee)
Astros P Wade Miller: Out since June, now for rest of '04
Marshall's Bob Pruett: Apologizes for slur; no reprimand?
from Jason "Oh-fer" Giambi. (Days until NY-BOS mega-clash: 2)

NL: SFG-CHC-HOU-FLA all win: (Sorry, Padres.) Most notably, Clemens beat the Cards, running his season record vs. StL to 3-0 (1.64 ERA). Has any other P owned them in '04 like that?

Wild Card Coin Flip
Nothing rewards performance on the field like ... a coin flip. From NFL OT to today's MLB wild-card tiebreaker home-field decision-making system, GMs put a season's worth of effort on the line by calling "heads" or "tails." Can't we at least get "rock-paper-scissors," to make it interesting?

Kidd to Portland?
For Shareef? Laughably lopsided? Not if you look at each team's goals: The Blazers need a topflight PG; the Nets (a.k.a. "Clippers East") simply want to shed payroll. That makes a prospective deal win-win.

'E' License Plate
Nothing says "NASCAR" like New York. Does that sound ludicrous to you, too? Yet New York will become the first state to offer a special commemorative Earnhardt "E" license plate. Where's North Carolina on this? Now "Red Sox Suck": There's a New York license-plate concept!

'Dukes' Update
Latest rumor: Jessica Simpson as "Daisy" in "Hazzard" remake. The physique is right, but Simpson's, umm, "range" is one of levels of ditziness, where Daisy was way more crafty.

Art Howe:
Wanted to hear from management directly; Tuesday, he got that meeting. Rumors have it that he may be out as early as today. Tracking ...
Today on
Page 2: Simmons on 'Entourage'
Chat wrap with Dan Shanoff
NFL Power Rankings
Ranking Sports Most Missed If Locked Out
How would we play FANTASY?
College football
Ha: Can you imagine that?
Would be a long summer
50-game season not bad idea
Anything but NHL
As they'll soon find out

On ESPN today: AL East scoreboard-watching: NY/KC (2 ET, ESPN); TB/BOS (7 ET, ESPN2). And WC mania: HOU/StL (8 ET, ESPN); SD/LA (10 ET, ESPN2) ...

Ryder ramp-up: And the media just wants to ask Tiger about troubles with Elin. "100 percent false," Woods said. Next topic? ...

NCAA grilled Tuesday on Capitol Hill by showy legislators who make a good point: Infractions management needs more transparency ...

Colorado prosecutors (read: taxpayers) spent $400K prepping for the Kobe case. Interesting, because I'd have taken the "over" ...

The Cubs are suing the paper carrier who mistakenly got a $301K check due a player of the same name. Both sides acting dumb ...

After going 2-0 at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field, maybe the Marlins should consider playing all their September home games there ...

Be sure to check out The Morning Quickie on SportsNation, every weekday from 9-10 a.m. ET (See Q It Up for the link) ...

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