July 29, 2005
Manny Ramirez or Alfonso Soriano?:
Two huge names who can make Sunday's MLB trade deadline a lot more interesting. (See 2nd Item for the hottest trade rumors.)
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Between today and Sunday, more than half the NFL will join in on training camping, and the NFL preseason will be so on.

All week, the Quickie has provided a handy snapshot of the key plotlines for each team.

Today's camp openings are the motherlode, listed in order of national fan interest:

Giants (Albany, NY)
Plot: Eli Era, Year 2

Chargers (San Diego)
Plot: Gates a no-show?

Browns (Berea, OH)
Plot: Romeo's Pats Midwest?

Titans (Nashville)
Plot: OC Norm Chow rules

Vikings (Mankato, MN)
Plot: Replacing Randy

Broncos (Englewood, CO)
Plot: Clarett Mania

Jaguars (Jacksonville)
Plot: Leftwich breaks out

Bills (Pittsford, NY)
Plot: New top QB (Losman)

Jets (Hempstead, NY)
Plot: Status of Chad

Panthers (Spartanburg, SC)
Plot: Must have hot start

Bengals (Georgetown, KY)
Plot: Steady improvement

Seahawks (Cheney, WA)
Plot: Hot-Seat Holmgren?

Texans (Houston)
Plot: Make or break year

Saints (Metaire, LA)
Plot: The Deuce is loose!

MLB Trade Deadline
All eyes on the Mets: For a team that's barely clinging to playoff hopes, they sure are players in the trade market:

Closing in on Soriano? That's a big add, but will they do it at the cost of their top prospects? (Milledge? Petit?)

Or maybe a play for Manny? Mets, Manny connected because NY is the only team that can afford him. It's a long-shot, but fun to discuss.

White Sox making move? With their best chance to make a postseason splash in a generation, the Sox look ready to make a deal.

Getting star RP Danys Baez from Tampa would be huge; finding a way to land OF Aubrey Huff would just be a bonus.

SP Shawn Chacon to Yanks: His Rocky 1-7 record and 4.09 ERA wiped clean with move from NL to AL, as of Saturday's start at the Stadium.

Deuce McAllister: RB signs 7-yr extension with Saints
Chris Carpenter: First NL pitcher to 15 wins. Cy bound?
Bassmaster Classic: It's the Super Bowl of Bass-kicking
Nats: Swept by Braves. You get the sense the party's over.
Steve Spurrier: Boots players, infuriates S.C. HS coaches
Orlando Magic: Top draftee PF Fran Vazquez stays in Spain
As is the analysis with every player being dealt this weekend from a dud to a contender: No pressure or anything.

Deadline: Sunday, 4 p.m. ET

Knicks' Brown Era
Perhaps my Brownalysis from the Quickie on Wednesday and Thursday gave readers the impression that I don't think he's a good coach.

Quite the contrary: Maddening Athens snafu aside, I'd argue that he's the best hoops coach of the ESPN Era: Remember Kansas '88? Pistons '04?

While Brown seems to short-circuit the Knicks' long-term rebuilding plans, there's no question he offers some huge benefits:

• More winning now.
Not much more, but more.

• Instant credibility
To a franchise that needs it.

• Must-See status
Garden's the place to be.

Brown himself admitted, "It's going to be ugly early," but he looked happy. Check back next April to see if he still looks that way.

NFL Camping: Sunday
Hines Ward is upset the Steelers won't give him a deal extension with the guaranteed money he thinks he deserves.

Not only is he not showing up for the camp opening on Sunday, but he has threatened to sit out "as long as it takes." Yikes. (via PIT P-G)

See Big 5 for more Sunday camp openings.

Alvarez Retiring
Best Big Ten coach of the ESPN Era? Some might say default to Bo Schembechler, but I'll take Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez.

3 Rose titles? In Madison?!

Alvarez combined the 180-degree turnaround powers of Gary Barnett (No. 4 B10 Coach, ESPN Era) with the sustained excellence of Lloyd Carr (No. 2).

(Rank Schembechler No. 3 and round out the Top 5 with Iowa's Kirk Ferentz.)

Goodenow Resigns
After spearheading one of the most impotent labor power plays in modern sports history, NHL union honcho (and fan punchline) Bob Goodenow resigned Thursday. I hear there are some openings in the AFL-CIO.

NHL draft on Saturday: There's Sidney Crosby going first to the Pens, and then ... um ... and then ... well, casual fans have no idea, which is part of the NHL's problem.

Quickie 50/50: Wknd
Three stops!
(Click on state name to vote)

Saturday: Washington
Quickie Impression:
Most underrated sports state

Friday: Arkansas
Quickie Impression:
'60s football, '90s hoops

Sunday: Michigan
Dominant Impressions:
Barry, Fab 5, Bad Boys, 1984

Mark R. Downs Jr.:
Youth baseball coach who allegedly ordered his player to hurt a mentally disabled teammate ordered to stand trial. Can they put him away for life?
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
Clayton on Bears
Len P. on Dolphins
Sunday Camp Openings
How to catch the Pats?
This season's hot b'wagon?
Gibbs has a QB problem
As always: How does O look?
Monday start. (No urgency?)

MLB HOF Weekend: Congrats to Ryne Sandberg (my favorite player when I was younger) and Wade Boggs (best known for his passion for poultry).

Congrats to Peter Gammons, too: He's being given an award for contributions to baseball reporting. But will he play a song set on stage?

Carlos Beltran booed in Houston: You'd think Astros fans didn't remember that it was Beltran's heroics that gave them their '04 playoff memories.

I'd never question the Pats' pat-ented ability to plug holes, but replacing both Tedy Bruschi and Ted Johnson at LB could be tough.

NBA Free: Will Antoine Walker end up in Miami? If so, forget the Heat winning the East. Nets sign PG Jeff McInnis. Is backup PG market that bad?

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