December 14, 2004
Titans WR
Drew Bennett:

Nicely summarizes the duality of the "fantasy/NFL fan": Makes some FFL GM happy with an NFL season-high 233 rec. yards, yet Titans lose shootout.
QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

All this hysteria for a guy no one is sure can even get the job done anymore.

But Pedro brings cachet.
But a career in stat decline.

He brings three Cy Youngs.
But that 100-pitch red flag.

He brings an ace's attitude.
But MLB's most mercurial ego.

He brings Nelson De La Rosa.
But Who's Your Daddy? chants.

He brings MLB's best hair-do.
But no NL DH? No hair-cuts.

But he brings a Sox WS ring.
(And no "But ..." about that.)

Unit to Yanks?
Not to be outdone by their crosstown rival, the Yankees are suddenly back in discussions with Arizona for Randy Johnson.

"Price too steep" is apparently relative, MLB execs' equivalent of beer goggling after one drink (early last week) versus 10 (today).

While questions about Pedro's arm linger, everyone agrees that if the Yankees get Johnson, they are (once again) the favorite to win the title.

Your Move, Boston
Action by the Yankees triggers an impulse in Boston to make a pitching deal of its own. (Is the "new Moneyball" hiring ex-Cold War experts to analyze proliferation strategies?)

Hottest rumor? A.J. Burnett, in a potential trade with Florida for Boston's top SS prospect Hanley Ramirez (made dispensable if the Sox sign Renteria). Boston is also looking at Matt Clement and, least appealing, signing Derek Lowe, who everyone knows -- after THAT postseason -- is SO due to suck.

NHL Lockout Mess
NHL to reject union offer: Owners wrongly fixated on salary cap; rightly think the players' proposed short-term payroll cut isn't a long-term financial answer.

Speaking of "long-term," there's not going to be an NHL season, in case you (a) were still wondering, or (b) still care.

Suns: Crush ORL; 18-3 is franchise's Best. Start. Ever.
EA: Signs an exclusive deal with NFL for video games
Sideways: Smart buddy flick gets seven Golden Globe noms
Brad Gilbert: Roddick fires his coach; who's next protege?
CLE QB Jeff Garcia: Done for season; probably better off
BoSox team doc Bill Morgan: But stitching legend secure
MLB Steroid Deal?
Owners, union will meet in NY today to talk about new-'n-improved steroid testing. How ironic that the sworn enemies of MLB and MLBPA are about to give the NHL and its union a lesson in coopetition.

Weis Arrives at ND
"Nasty": That's how Charlie Weis described his team's necessary attitude. He's also going to find that's the competitive mantra out on the recruiting trail.

Biggest pitfall: Recruiting? Competing time-commitments? Nah. NCAA rules and regs? Ah, there's the rub! Team control is one thing; "institutional control" is much tougher.

MNF: KC 49, Ten 38
As long as we're going to watch two teams not even sniffing the playoffs, they might as well put on a telegenic no-D show: 87 total points is second-most in MNF history.

Heat Rule East
The Wizards looked great feasting on the dregs of the East, but the Heat -- no: Shaq -- put them back in their place. Shaq went off for 40 and 12, cementing the Heat's status as the Southeast East's best team.

MLB Fray Agency
The Mariners are going with the "See If the Pasta Is Ready" strategy: Throw deals at Delgado, Sexson and Beltre to see if any stick. They're hoping for 2 of 3, but they'll be lucky to bat .333.

If the Cards can't repeat their success next season, look to the migration of C Mike Matheny to the Giants. Won't help StL to re-sign a guy like Matt Morris if they don't have anyone to catch him.

Bowl Season Begins
Wyndham New Orleans
Teams: N. Texas vs. So. Miss
Location: Do you have to ask?
Time/TV: 7:30 ET, ESPN
Subplot: Eh, it's still early
Stud: NT Fr RB Jamario Thomas
Pick: Gotta love "Mean Green"

Manny to Mets:
Ramirez joining his buddy Pedro in Queens looked promising until GMs Theo and Omar had a squabble over money (go figure) and the deal went south.
Today on
Morning Quickie transcript
Stark on MLB winter meetings
Fantasy: Pedro analysis
Top *Actual* MLB Winter Meeting Moves
Pavano (NYY)
Boss trumps BoSox
Finley (ANA)
Poor man's Beltran?
Kolb (ATL)
Smoltz moves to rotation
Glaus/Ortiz (ARI)
Reserving judgment
Wells (BOS)
Wait until September

"I'm not going to be a star in another Bryant soap opera," says the Mailman. That's a clip-and-save quote for anyone dealing with Kobe ...

Kudos to the two newspapers using open-records laws to force the coaches' poll to reveal the ballots of its voters. Tracking ...

Corey Koskie: "I'm leaving Minnesota with a heavy heart." Yeah, but a heavy wallet, too. And there's the story of team loyalty in a nutshell ...

Tough news for 49ers fans: coach Dennis Erickson will reportedly remain for rest of the season. Memo to SF: Wait for Pats' Romeo Crennel ...

Expect NBA trade talk to heat up tomorrow, but in the meantime, chew on the champ Pistons making a trade for Bulls backup PG Frank Williams ...

Hornets at Bobcats: The irony here is that the new Charlotte team should be favored over the old one tonight ...

Last word on Pedro: All I can say is that the Big Apple might not be big enough for the human thrill ride that is Nelson De La Rosa ...

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