You've insulted your players. You've undermined your manager and GM. You've turned former Rangers outfielder David Dellucci into Nelson Mandela.
Here's what Hicks, the Rangers' owner, should do in the wake of a radio interview in which he complained that the team lacked leadership and mental toughness and admitted he was asking questions about manager Buck Showalter:
• Fire Showalter.
• Apologize to his players, specifically shortstop Michael Young.
• Re-acquire Dellucci, the backup outfielder, who, to hear Hicks tell it, was the team's indispensable leader.
No disrespect to Dellucci, a good guy and fine role player, but Hicks — the owner who never should have signed Alex Rodriguez for $252 million or fired his first general manager, Doug Melvin — again has it all wrong.
Hicks probably does not even realize that by bemoaning the trade of Dellucci to the Phillies for right-hander Robinson Tejeda, he's dumping on GM Jon Daniels, whom he hired less than a year ago at age 28.
Then there is Showalter.
If, as Hicks said, he's trying to "dig around" to determine whether the manager's style is affecting his players, guess what? It probably is.
The mere fact that Hicks is asking questions is not a good sign. Showalter is not the main problem with the Rangers — the main problem, as always, starts with "p" and ends with "g" — but no one should be surprised that he's becoming an issue, just as he did with the Diamondbacks and Yankees. Nor should anyone be surprised that Showalter is almost certain to remain manager: Hicks, in another burst of baseball insight, signed him through 2009.
I suppose the game of the weekend is surely in Austin, where Buckeye attempts to get revenge on Longhorn. It could be a quick national title buzzkill for Longhorn if they are not successful. Somehow, Buckeye, despite being #1 and not having the freshman QB are underdogs.
I have a difficult time picking this one, but I do believe that Longhorns Defense can minimize the Ohio State Running game. This was a war last September, and if it is half as good tomorrow night, we are in for another classic.
I think a smart picker must take Buckeye, 23-20. If Longhorn gets this one, suddenly, the idea of a repeat will seem reasonable even with Vince in Nashville.
The Nation prepares for the heavyweight battle …
Ohio State -- a 2-1/2-point underdog despite its higher ranking because it's playing on the road -- is led this year by another athletic quarterback, Troy Smith, who figures to mount a serious Heisman bid.
That's assuming Smith isn't surpassed by his former high school teammate, wide receiver/kick returner/whirlwhind Ted Ginn Jr., who caught two touchdown passes against Northern Illinois before the season was 10 minutes old.
In another plot thickener, Longhorns cornerback Tarell Brown, who was expected to cover Ginn, has been suspended after he was arrested on misdemeanor handgun- and marijuana-possession charges. Reserve linebacker Tyrell Gatewood also will sit because of the incident.
Even though Texas is the oddsmakers' favorite, running back Selvin Young said the Buckeyes' No. 1 ranking trumps that.
''We've got an underdog feel,'' Young said. ''But in our hearts, we feel like we're the No. 1 team. We've got to win every game to prove it.''
The biggest wild card in this early showdown should be Vince Young's successor, Colt McCoy, a redshirt freshman who will make his second college start.
Could there be a better name for a Texas quarterback? If he's the real -- well, let's just say it -- McCoy, the defending national champions will get a big boost.
''We'll do whatever the game calls for,'' offensive coordinator Greg Davis said, confident that Colt is a straight shooter -- um, passer. ''I'm confident in Colt, the receivers and our protection. But obviously you'd like to run the ball. It's easier to pass if you can run.''
It's not as if McCoy is facing graybeards. In a startling show of faith in Ohio State coach Jim Tressel's recruiting and teaching, the Buckeyes entered the season top-ranked despite losing nine defensive starters. Six were NFL draft picks, including three in the first 18 selections.
''I read in some papers that I'm a veteran,'' said sophomore linebacker James Laurinaitis, who filled in late last season for an injured Bobby Carpenter. ''If I'm a veteran, we're pretty young.''
One thing is certain: Some youngsters are going to grow up real fast Saturday in Austin.
I know this is likely old news, but Brown and Gatewood’s lawyer who certainly helped pound home lawyer stereotypes earlier in the week can be found below:
www.dwidude.com …Seriously. DWI Dude.
Which, of course, has nothing to do with chasing ambulances.
Cowboys prediction time: I have pretty high hopes for this team in 2006, but should be noted that they are in a division with 4 very capable football teams. I see the division breaking down like this:
Cowboys 10-6 – division winner
Giants 10-6 - wildcard
Obviously, one wrong injury and everything changes, but that is how I like it now. The Giants pass rush has a lot to like; the old RB and the young QB concern me. The Redskins Portis situation as well as mediocre QB play concern me. And I just can’t buy Donte Stallworth suddenly realizing his potential merely because he was traded. Not only that, but the feared Eagles pass rush did not exist last year. They still seem thin at RB, and all of this bounce-back talk in Philadelphia is pretty wishful thinking.
I believe that the Cowboys are about defense this year. I think they have an elite defense and that will help them pile up wins early as they feel out the new offensive situation with basically 4 new starters on the OL and of course, TO.
To get where you want to go in this division, this season opener in Jacksonville is one you need to get. Sure, Jacksonville is tough, but you need to beat a team like that to get off on the right foot. 6 out of your first 9 on the road means you must get going quickly.
Jaguars could lose CB Williams …Wow, the 2005 Vikings rap sheet grows…
Police arrested Jaguars cornerback Brian Williams on Saturday on a charge of driving under the influence.
The Jaguars' biggest free-agent acquisition of the offseason was arrested early Saturday morning after his 2006 Bentley, while traveling on West Bay Street, swerved toward a police car, causing it to hit a curb, according to a JSO police report.
It's unclear whether Williams will be suspended for the team's season opener Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Williams has continued to practice with the team this week.
So, With Williams in trouble, Stroud and Peterson with injuries, I think the Cowboys should get this opener, 20-14.
Steelers defense swarms late to beat Miami …This just in, Zach Thomas is still an animal out there…
As they did so often on their run to a Super Bowl championship last season, the Steelers emerged from beneath the rubble to pull out a win to open the NFL season last night in Heinz Field.
Quarterback Charlie Batch overcame a costly fumble at the Miami 1 in the fourth quarter and threw an 87-yard touchdown pass to tight end Heath Miller to lift the Steelers to a 28-17 victory against the Miami Dolphins.
"Panic never set in on our football team," coach Bill Cowher said. "It was a good start."
Linebacker Joey Porter sealed the win when he intercepted a Daunte Culpepper pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown with 2:59 left.
The touchdown to Miller was the third scoring pass of the night for Batch, playing four days after starter Ben Roethlisberger had his appendix removed. The electrifying connection with Miller turned into the longest touchdown pass in Heinz Field history and came with 6:11 to go.
Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt presented Batch with some options during a break just before the play, and the quarterback chose the pass to Miller. As he barked out signals, he noticed the cornerback and safety moving to cover Hines Ward and virtually ignoring Miller.
"I stared down Hines, hit Heath over the top and the rest is history," Batch said.
The Christies are coming …
COMMITTED: THE CHRISTIES
In October, BET’s adult-focused companion channel BET ‘J’ will launch a new reality show based on the life of NBA star Doug Christie and his wife Jackie entitled CHRISTIES COMMITTED. Often misunderstood, their relationship is one that will keep viewers mystified, entertained and in awe. As married couples go, there are perhaps none who live, love and manage life in the pro sports limelight like Doug and Jackie Christie.
Now, there's no doubt at all we're going to watch this. The question is, will we watch it more than once?
Jayhawks want infants to buy tickets …
When Kansas football fans Owen and Lisa Foust headed to the Jayhawks' season opener last Saturday, they bundled up 3-month-old daughter Kate to go along.
But when they presented their tickets at the gate, they were told they would need an additional $35 ticket for Kate.
"I just thought it was pretty tacky," Owen Foust said. "It's just a grab for money."
Kansas actually began enforcing the babies-pay policy three or four years ago, said Kansas associate athletic director Jim Marchiony.
"Everybody needs a ticket regardless of age," Marchiony said. "The very small children come with backpacks and bottles and toys. ... We've received numerous complaints over the years from people who are sitting next to those people -- enough for us to know that even those sized children need the space."
I often get asked about substance abuse in Mixed Martial Arts. I honestly don’t know how well it is regulated, but given Stephan Bonnar’s failed test it at least appears there is some policy…
On Wednesday, a complaint was filed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission against light heavyweight contender Stephan Bonnar, citing a positive test result for the banned substance Boldenone.
Bonnar was tested after his three round decision loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 62 on August 26th. Boldenone is an anabolic agent which was also one of the substances former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett tested positive for after his title-winning effort over Randy Couture in March of 2002. Barnett was subsequently stripped of his title by the UFC and suspended by the NSAC.
“Obviously, we need to wait and hear Stephan’s side of the story, but the UFC wholeheartedly supports the commission’s continuing efforts to keep this sport clean and to protect the athletes,” said UFC President Dana White. “I hope this is the type of news we never have to hear again in professional sports.”
In Soccer, Wayne Rooney near trouble again …every day with this kid. And it is never his fault…
Suspended for club and country due to misdemeanours on the pitch, Wayne Rooney has now been involved in a row with another Premiership player, Blackburn's Michael Gray, off the pitch.
The 20-year-old Manchester United striker was with fiancee Coleen McLoughlin and a group of their friends at the Panacea restaurant in Manchester, when Gray, himself capped three times by England in 1999, wandered over. The footballers subsequently exchanged words.
"Wayne and Coleen were enjoying a night out with three other couples and were having a quiet dinner when Michael came up to their table uninvited," said a spokesman for the striker. "Michael then began making a number of remarks which were offensive to Coleen and Wayne's other female guests. Several times, Wayne asked Michael to leave. It was a brief incident and as far as Wayne is concerned, he bears no ill-feeling towards Michael."
Here is an email:
Please use these references the rest of the week when referring to the team from Austin:
Bonghorns or UT, The University of Thugs
JB in Austin
How Superman should have ended
Longhorn has already played the game on his Xbox, so there is no reason to play the game.
Have a good sports weekend.