Monday, March 31, 2008

Magic Number: 162

Well, major developments from our two winter teams must take a backseat. For a period of time that could last somewhere between 1 day and 6 months, optimism exists as it pertains to the local baseball teams – our Texas Rangers.

I am trying to kick it with optimism this morning, regardless of those Erik Bedard numbers I shared with you on Friday. If you missed them, just know this: If stats mean anything, the Rangers are in for a very long day.

But, Josh Hamilton, CJ Wilson, and David Murphy are not the same old thing. They may be nothing special, but we have not established that YET. At least it isn’t Frank Catalanotto, Kevin Mench, and Kenny Lofton in the outfield. Well, Catalanotto is still in the mix, but he is not starting, right?

They join Hank Blalock, Michael Young, and Ian Kinsler to try and help Kevin Millwood as he grinds through a textbook Kevin Millwood start.

For today at least, it is baseball season. And odds are, that this season, the Rangers season will be relevant longer than the Mavericks season.

Play Ball.

Revo types the most amazing paragraph in the metroplex last week

If you're keeping score, in the past two years, the Rangers have traded Alfonso Soriano, Chris Young, Adrian Gonzalez, Francisco Cordero and Teixeira and will not have a single player on their opening day 25-man roster to show for it. You have every right to wonder how much better this team would look if those five players were still here.

The bad news is that baseball season could be over by the end of the week if the opening trip starts 1-5 or so

Today's game
At Mariners, 5:40 p.m., FSN Kevin Millwood (10-14, 5.16 ERA in 2007) vs. Erik Bedard (13-5, 3.16)

Tuesday: at Seattle, 9:10 p.m., FSN SW, Padilla vs. Hernandez
Wednesday: at Seattle, 9:10 p.m., FSN SW, Jennings vs. Silva
Thursday: Off
Friday: at LA Angels, 9:05 p.m., KDFI/27, Gabbard vs. Moseley
Saturday: at LA Angels, 8:05 p.m., FSN SW, Millwood vs. Weaver

Stars playing better; not enough to win but better…

A month ago, it didn't seem like that big a deal for the Dallas Stars to clinch a playoff spot.

Then again, a month ago, it didn't seem that big a deal for the Stars to outplay an opponent for one third period.

But ending one of the worst months in the last decade, the Stars celebrated a 3-2 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. By gaining a point in the standings, the Stars (43-29-7, 93 points) clinched a playoff spot. By overcoming a 2-1 deficit with a Niklas Hagman goal in the third period, the Stars outscored an opponent in the third for only the second time in the last 12 games.

Small victories, sure, but victories the Stars say they need.

"I thought we needed that third period," captain Brenden Morrow said. "Yeah, we would have loved to win, but we needed to get some positive momentum going forward."

The Stars finished the month 2-7-2, but they also went 1-0-2 on a three-game road trip through San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim.

"I think this group was a little fatigued," coach Dave Tippett said. "Marty [Turco] cleaned up a lot of hiccups we had, and we found a way to get a point. We were a tired group today. You could tell we didn't have a lot in the tank."

But again, is that a tribute to the team's determination to come back or a statement that rings of faint praise. After all, the Stars could have tightened up the race for fourth place in the Western Conference by winning this game. They could have sent a message to the Ducks, who very well could be their first-round opponent.

Was fatigue even an option?

"We wanted to keep home ice, we wanted a regulation win, and it's too bad we couldn't pull it out," said Turco, who had 30 saves, some spectacular. "We're going to take a lot out of the point that we did get, but from my perspective, I thought the game was winnable."

Not the way the Stars played it early. They handed the Ducks seven power-play opportunities in the first two periods. They were outshot, 32-25, for the game and were outhit, 25-17. They were on their heels until the third period, when they finally began to fight back.

"It is a big deal," Tippett said of making the playoffs. "If you don't get to the playoffs, you don't get that opportunity to go on. That's always a goal, and now we can put that behind us and keep building our game and getting ready for the playoffs."

So, the 4th ever Stars Road Trip is over for BaD Radio. Here are our results for all of our trips…

2/14/04 At Pho L 3-2
2/16/04 At Ana L 1-3
2/18/04 At LA W 4-3

3/5/06 At Chi W 7-2
3/7/06 At Edm W 4-3
3/9/06 At Cal L 1-0
3/11/06 At Van W 2-1

3/21/07 At LA W 4-2
3/23/07 At Ana OTL 3-2
3/24/07 At Pho W 4-3

3/27/08 at SJ OTL 3-2
3/29/08 at LA W 7-2
3/30/08 at Ana OTL 3-2

7-3-3. With points in 10 of our last 11 games! Not too bad…

Mavs fall into tie with Warriors and Nuggets …I hope you didn’t make plans for the playoffs…

Once again, the Mavericks were right there, stuck in a close game with the fourth quarter ticking down.

Haven't they been "right there" all season?

And, once again, right there became a nightmare.

The Mavericks got outplayed at the end as the Golden State Warriors pulled out a 114-104 victory Sunday evening at Oracle Arena, creating a three-way logjam for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference.

The Mavericks, Warriors and Denver Nuggets all are 45-28. Two will make the playoffs.

It should be an exciting finish to the regular season. But the way things are going, the Mavericks seem ill-equipped to keep pace with their two rivals. They fell to 0-10 against winning teams since the All-Star break.

"It's not exciting for us," coach Avery Johnson said. "We'd rather be third or fourth. We don't want to be part of seven and eight."

But that's where they are, mostly because they couldn't stop the Warriors in the fourth quarter.

One play summed up their frustrations.

Down, 102-98, after a three-point play by Brandon Bass, who had a career-best 21 points, the Mavericks had the momentum and forced a missed fadeaway by Baron Davis. The rebound tipped off of Bass' hand and out of bounds. On the inbounds play, the Warriors got a 3-pointer from Kelenna Azubuike with 3:48 left. Moments later, their lead was 109-100, and the Mavericks were goners.

"That's the way it's been for the last two weeks," Bass said. "A few plays, a few stops. We're all determined. We're not down on each other. We just got to get some wins."

Cowboys realize that they can negotiate as hard as they want with Tennessee since nobody else wants Pac Man

Pacman Jones wants to go to Dallas, and the Cowboys apparently want him. How much they'll give up to get him is a different story.

A source close to the negotiations told ESPN's Ed Werder on Sunday night that trade talks between the Cowboys and Titans have stalled over the issue of compensation.

The Titans are seeking a fourth-round pick in this year's draft and another selection next year, according to the source. The Cowboys are so far unwilling to provide either, believing they are the only team pursuing Jones, who remains suspended for violations of the personal-conduct policy.

The Titans have been steadfast in their position, apparently convinced that Jones' trade value will not worsen.

Jones said last week in a radio interview with Cowboys Hall of Famer Michael Irvin that he wants to resume his career in Dallas. He will apply to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstatment in the next two weeks.

FC Dallas fortunate to get a draw against Chivas

FC Dallas' biggest signing of 2008 became its biggest liability in the team's MLS regular-season opener.

Mexican defender Duilio Davino's mistake allowed Chivas USA to score a goal in the 84th minute, resulting in a 1-1 tie Sunday at Pizza Hut Park in front of an announced crowd of 17,540.

Davino did a poor job of trapping a loose ball near the edge of the 18-yard box. That created an opening for Chivas striker Maykel Galindo, who beat Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala for an unassisted goal.

"He [Davino] made one slip towards the end of the game, otherwise he had a solid performance for us," FC Dallas coach Steve Morrow said. "It was very unfortunate; he gave up one mistake, and it cost us at the end of the game."

Added Davino: "Pressure on defenders is like that. A mistake can cost you, and that's what happened."

It was Davino's first 90-minute match since his last appearance with Mexico's Club America in December in the South American Cup final.

Since joining FC Dallas in January, Davino was injured most of the preseason and was limited in exhibition games.

"He'll get better," Morrow said. "He missed a couple of weeks of training. He needs some match fitness. He'll get over it and continue to get better in the next few weeks."

Midfielder Juan Toja put Dallas ahead in the 21st minute. Bobby Rhine, a defender playing in the midfield, served a ball into the box, where forward Abe Thompson held off two Chivas defenders and fed the ball to Toja. With room to work, the Colombian playmaker ripped a left-footed shot past Chivas keeper Brad Guzan.

How many bizarre things can you find in this story?

Godzilla" has taken a bride.

Yankee slugger Hideki Matsui stunned his fans and teammates Thursday when he revealed he secretly wed a longtime girlfriend at a New York City chapel.

"I met somebody who felt right. That was it," the 33-year-old outfielder said upon returning to the Bombers' spring training camp in Tampa.

Matsui refused to reveal many details about Wednesday's wedding or his new wife, only saying she is 25 and from Japan, where she formerly worked "in a reputable position at a highly respected company."

He is so secretive about his wife's identity that he held up a drawing of her, rather than a photo, at a press conference where he showed off the silver band on his left hand.

"I have decided to spend my whole life with her," said Matsui, considered the most eligible bachelor in his native Japan.

As teammates congratulated him, Yankee captain Derek Jeter and outfielder Bobby Abreu claimed they were conned into a bet by the newlywed slugger.

Abreu and Jeter said at the start of spring training, Matsui overheard them wagering on who would be the first to get married.

"It was a bet between me and Bobby," Jeter said. "[Matsui] finagled his way into it. That's pretty good. Sneaky. How do you say 'sneaky' in Japanese? I should have known he was up to something."

The ground rule of the clubhouse wager was that Jeter, who is single, loses if he fails to get married within a year of Abreu and Matsui. Abreu, who has a girlfriend, has six months to tie the knot after one of the two teammates.

"He won," Jeter said of Matsui. "I've got one year. No chance."

The amount of the bet was not revealed. Jeter joked that Matsui, who signed a $52 million contract before the 2006 season, must be hard up for cash.

"If he wanted the money, all he had to do was ask. He didn't really have to do it," quipped Jeter, adding that
he knows the identity of Matsui's wife and threatened to use it as leverage to get out of ponying up.

Abreu said he'll likely pay.

"Good for him," Abreu said of Matsui. "I'm happy for him. I still can't believe it."

Yankee skipper Joe Girardi, who got a heads-up on Matsui's wedding plans, laughed at Jeter and Abreu for getting played.

"Sometimes you should have all the information before you make a bet," Girardi said.

Matsui, also known back home for his large collection of porn films, said he and his wife have been planning their wedding for a year. He began dating her during the 2006-07 off-season. He said the nuptials took place in New York City at an undisclosed chapel.

Tom Hicks is looking even worse these days in England

George Gillett Jr has delivered a damning indictment on his relationship with Tom Hicks, his co-owner at Liverpool, admitting that their partnership has become untenable.

The American claims that Hicks's refusal to sell his stake in the club to Dubai International Capital (DIC) for £400 million has led to Gillett's family receiving death threats. Gillett said he also made an offer to sell his share of the club to Hicks, but his partner took too long to make a decision.

In an interview given to Prime Time Sports Radio in Canada, Gillett Jr said: "This partnership [with Hicks] has been unworkable for some time.

“We gave our partner a long period of time to try to make arrangements to buy us out. We didn’t put pressure on him but he ultimately did not get to the finishing line.

“Because of the things he said, the fans’ reaction has been so negative to him that
if we sold to him it has been made untenable for us.

“He threatened to block me selling to Dubai - that was certainly one of the things that made the fans upset."

Gillett added that he believes selling to DIC would put the Anfield club in safe hands. "Lord knows DIC have the means with the oil prices going up every day that money was not even an issue," he said. "I think they would have been very responsible owners. But making that not possible or difficult didn’t endear [Hicks] to the fans."

Revealing the fury that the Liverpool supporters have shown since the owners made an approach for Jurgen Klinsmann to replace Rafael Benitez, the manager, Gillett added: "We get as many as 2,000 emails a week. Ninety five per cent of them have been directed at some of the comments made by my partner.

“The fans don’t want him to have even one share of my stake in the club, based on what they are sending to me. As a result of that we have received many phone calls in the middle of the night threatening our lives, death threats. A number came to the office and my son, Foster, and daughter-in-law, Lauren, have received them.”
Gillett did not reveal what he planned to do with his half share of Liverpool now, but said there were “pieces on the chess board moving”.

“What I do know is that the fans and the fabled history of this club deserves better, and we are going to do whatever we can to prove that,” he said.

The Best of Emmitt

For Youtube, I was searching for Avery stuff last night, here is what I found…

Avery and Cuban

Avery and Sefko at the NBA Finals…Still painful to watch…


joey said...

that Matsui article made me giggle!!

Jake said...

The Strangers magic number for me is 81, a .500 season. Anything better than that is gravy.

Thanks to my fellow Whorns sending my bracket into coma mode. 4 #1 seeds will be interesting to watch this weekend, Kansas most likely the weakest of the 4.

Does the DFDub have a professional basketball team? I've forgotten.

P-Cat said...

Trading anything more than scraps for PacMan is idiocy. No way Dallas should trade a 4th for him, when everyone knows that the Titans will cut him anyway.

"Matsui, also known back home for his large collection of porn films..."

Didn't need to know that.

arthur said...

this is GOLD!!!