October 7, 2004
Red Sox bullpen:
Pedro deserves much credit for 7 strong IP, but 3-RP 8th was the clincher: With 1 on and none out, Timlin Ks Vlad, Myers Ks Anderson, Foulke Ks Glaus.

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

The use of "patented" is one of the great sports cliches.

Like "Patented Yankee rally."

The approach of a "patented" moment can usually be seen from a distance -- say, the mileage on Twins closer Joe Nathan's arm by the start of the 12th inning.

The pitches started rising, the Yankees trotting to first. (Jeter on base? Part of "patented" is simply knowing he'd score that winning run, complete with some Jeter-like fist-pumping flourish that drives Yankee-haters nuts.)

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire simply stood there, like he was rubber-necking an accident on New York's FDR Drive, pulling a patented Grady Little.

Yes, it's only Game 2, and, sure, the series goes back to Minnesota for the next two, but the Twins will now get 48 hours of patented national reaction to losses like this: "Yup, the Twins are toast."

(But on another note, apparently coming soon: "Patented Boston reliever effectiveness.")

Rocket, HOU wins
The question isn't whether Houston will win their first playoff series in franchise history, but only if it will happen in 3 (likely), 4 (possibly) or 5 (remotely).

As the Cards and Red Sox are also showing, the Astros' explosive offense makes pitching easy. No need for Gardenhire-like blunders decisions when you're up half a dozen runs.

UVA: Big test
You can keep USC and OKLA: Simply because of the ridiculous reputation bias of preseason polling, they sit 1-2. The real top two contenders are Quickie preseason champ pick Purdue and Virginia, which gets to prove me right in an ESPN showcase at home tonight (7:30) vs. Clemson.

LeBron: Congrats to him, because he just had a LeBaby
Stephen Davis: Acting like he can (will?) play Sun for CAR
Sam Cassell: Holdout ends quickly; T'wolves need him
O's vs. DC team for interleague: Won't happen in 2005
Kobe accuser: Anonymity request rejected for civil trial
Tyrone Wheatley: Out 2-4 weeks with shoulder injury
Ricky Watch
Ricky Williams' NFL career is like "Wheel of Fortune":

"Big money! Big money!" early
"Lose a Turn" to start '04
"Bankrupt" is the new play

He reportedly wants to declare financial insolvency, seemingly as a ploy to void his Dolphins contract and become a free agent. The NFL scoffs, but some in-state experts say he's got a shot.

I'd like to solve the puzzle:
R-A-I-D-E-R N-A-T-I-O-N.

Sosa Fined Big
The Cubs tagged Sammy for $87,400 for bolting the team's season finale early (Early? Try after 15 minutes, apparently. I got more attention from my last HMO visit.)

Sosa is balking at the number, of course. Maybe rumors of a trade to the Royals were floated to make $87K suddenly seem desirable.

Tiger Gets Hitched
A nuptials comparison, between Tiger Woods' wedding this week and my own from Sunday:

TW: Sandy Lane, Barbados
DS: Amelia Island, Florida

TW: $1.5 million
DS: Wee bit south of that

TW: Aggravatingly, some
DS: Blissfully, none

Celeb the bride compared to:
TW: Uh, Elin Nordegren
DS: Ashley Judd (yes, really)

TW: Hootie and the Blowfish
DS: Can only go up from there

Guest list:
TW: MJ, Oprah, Barkley
DS: Fans of three above

Bride blamed for...:
TW: Major title drought
DS: 447-Quickie streak ending

Milton Bradley:
Because his behavior is usually so amusing, had this "Uncle Miltie" reference all cued up. Well, now he's gone and put the kibosh on that, hasn't he?
Today on ESPN.com
Morning Quickie!Page 2 index
MLB second guessing
"Friday Night Lights"
MLB Insta-Rankings:
Red Sox
Bullpen looking sharp
Poised to go up 2-0
But it took that rally
Clemens got job done
Can they rally from this?

Today's must-read: For the playoffs' most entertaining banter, check out Page 2's "2nd Guessing" (See Q It Up, above)...

Today's p'off sched: HOU at ATL (4 pm, ESPN) with Roy Oswalt offering even more of a challenge than Rocket; LA at StL (8 pm), with -- zzzzz...

After his Nathan debacle, give Ron Gardenhire credit for more risk-taking: He said that Johan Santana would pitch Game 4 on short rest...

Yikes, how bad are those previously clutch Angels hitters? Vlad looks bewildered and 2002 hero Garret Anderson is a non-factor...

More Ricky: Conflicting reports about how his ex-teammates feel about a return. Dilemma: They can't stand him, but he makes them better...

Coming tomorrow: Some "Friday Night Lights" pub. Until then, check out Page 2's Book Club coverage (See Q It Up)...

In Wednesday's Morning Quickie: MLB playoffs, Ricky, NASCAR and more. *LIVE*, 9-10 ET or read the transcript. (See Q It Up.)

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