Various links of moderate importance on a Monday morning after a Daytona 380 and an NBA All-Star weekend. I really missed my NFL this weekend. But, I am falling back in love with everything about All-Star weekend but the game.
By the way, if Nascar is interested in my consumer dollars, then you must punish Junior like you would punish Carl Edwards or Either of the Busch brothers when you start a 10 car pile-up based on your short fuse. That was sad that Jr was a punk, and even more sad that Nascar still treats him like a diety.
Josh Hamilton with a refreshing quote …
Rangers All-Star Josh Hamilton isn't too concerned about where he plays in the outfield this season.
"I've had a lot of people ask me if I'm in right or I'm center," Hamilton said. "I could care less. I want to help the team any way possible. If I have to DH from time to time, that's fine, too. As long as it's the best lineup out there, I'm all for that."
There's a possibility Hamilton, who started in center the majority of 2008, could be moved to right field to lessen the wear and tear on his body. The Rangers have former All-Star center fielder Andruw Jones in camp as a non-roster invitee.
Here is how the blogging world is. First, DB.com wrote about Mavs chances. Then I responded. Then they responded to my response. Now, I am responding to his response of my response.
Fish’s volley …
Three very bright Mavs observers, Dirk Nowitzki and Bob Sturm and Eddie Sefko, have crafted three viable reasons for Dallas to avoid making this deal or that.
The UberMan on whether the Mavs should keep the nucleus intact: "I think so.We've had a good last two or three weeks. Guys have played hard and I'm looking forward to our last 30 games of the season. … If we can get healthy soon and keep working, keep doing what we're doing, I think we're on a good track.''
The Sturminator likes our exhaustive studies of the options but shoots down the notion that Dallas will take on a fat contract. “Allow me to be clear here: There is no way that the Mavericks would pay $40mm to have Shaq for next season. No way.’’
Sefko, who undoubtedly has his finger on a Mavs pulse, is writing and saying things that shut down the notion of a major deal. From the Dallas Morning News in print to a roundtable discussion on ESPN Radio the other night featuring Eddie and yours truly, Sekfo clearly believes the following:
“The Mavericks absolutely should not make any major trade before next week’s deadline. Why? Because they finally have some semblance of a groove and, after their splashy trade of a year ago, it’s taken this long for players to find a comfort zone with each other. Make another big deal, and that process starts all over again and you probably waste another year.”
To which I respond:
*Re Nowitzki: Dirk is saying the right thing to say. No surprise there.
But his front office wants MORE, and intimates, “We’re in go-for-it mode.’’
*Re Bob: Sturm’s take on dollars and sense is understandable. But somebody IS going to pay Shaq $40 million. The list of prospective owners is a short one. Wouldn’t Robert Sarver figure to want off that list? How badly does he want off it? Wouldn’t Mark Cuban figure to be on that list? How cheaply can he get on it?
This front office intimates, “Almost everybody else in looking to cut back, but this owner is willing to spend if that right deal comes along.’’
*Re Eddie: A "splash'' as a negative? Conceivably. But if they DON’T make another “splashy’’ trade, they remain sub-Lakers, they remain second-tier contenders and they remain in the wide gray territory between fifth and eighth place in the West.
You've got an owner willing to spend for "the right deal.'' You've got a league full of possible partners. You've got the precedent of a Lakers team that was in this same spot. ...
So you go for it.
You know what is funny? Since I wrote that, I am catching myself wondering if you could get them to take Dampier. If you can, then the Suns save almost $20mm and then, Shaq doesn’t cost Cuban $40mm, he costs $20mm.
Am I saying there is a way? I hate to be so wishy-washy…
Fistric is back, Stars need a win tonight …
Fistric was assigned to the Manitoba Moose on Nov. 2 after playing just 11 games with the Stars. It was a huge setback for the 22-year-old blueliner who was an important part of the Stars' trip to the Western Conference finals last season.
But it was also a lesson in patience and calm – attributes Fistric will need if he wants to impress the coaching staff and ensure a call-up that began Saturday will last the rest of the season.
Fistric said he had to deal with a roller coaster of demotion emotions when he was sent to the Moose.
Fistric, the 28th overall pick in 2004, said he felt he pushed into the NHL as a full-timer last season when he played 37 regular season games and nine in the playoffs.
But when the Stars acquired veterans Doug Janik and Andrew Hutchinson at the start of this season, it became clear he hadn't done enough. And when he was criticized publicly by coach Dave Tippett for mistakes he made early in the season, he said that made things mentally challenging.
"You lose confidence a little, you get a little mad, it's not an easy thing to deal with," Fistric said. "I'll be honest, it was really hard the first couple off weeks down there."
But Fistric slowly learned that anger could only take him so far. He said a positive vibe from a winning Manitoba team forced him to start pushing ahead.
"It's a big deal up there, and you feel like you're doing something important, so that helped," Fistric said.
It also helped him understand that playing harder isn't always the right answer. At 6-2, 232, Fistric needs to be physically engaged in games. He also has to be smart with the puck and make confident plays.
"If you're in the NHL, there's an expectation that you have to be able to make that first pass out of the zone" Tippett said. "Bring a physical presence, play from a strong positional base, but also add the elements of moving the puck, of helping the team move smoothly."
New Stars blog I support: Defending Big D.com ….
Cowboys may not have a stadium name …
When the Dallas Cowboys play their first game here later this year, team owner Jerry Jones might have a temporary name for his stadium and a lot less cash than he expected.
A naming rights deal to add hundreds of millions of dollars to his bottom line hasn't materialized, and sports business professionals said Jones might not find a sponsor this year unless he's willing to offer a deep discount. Even optimistic naming rights consultants are saying that a blockbuster deal is probably off the table in this year of economic turmoil.
"Chances are, there are offers, but they are coming in well below what the Cowboys want," said naming rights consultant Terry Burton, who is not involved with the negotiations.
He said the Cowboys would be best served by waiting for the economic downturn to "play out." Burton, owner of Vancouver, Canada-based Dig In Research 2007 Inc., which evaluates sponsorship and philanthropic naming rights deals, said he believes the market could bounce back to previous levels in time for Super Bowl XLV in Arlington in 2011.
However, such a delay means that a sponsor would miss all the publicity surrounding the opening – such as concerts, large-scale tours and other high-profile events – as well as national attention when the Cowboys play their first regular-season game in Arlington.
Cowboys spokesman Brett Daniels declined to comment about naming rights negotiations for the $1.1 billion stadium, which is projected to open June 1. Team officials, including Jones, also have declined to discuss specifics in the past.
Could Parcells really want Barbie? …
Bill Parcells likes some players because they have, "the makeup." No, we're not talking eyeliner or lipstick here -- although some of your responses suggest some of you guys would like that. The makeup is about a player's disposition, work ethic, desire, ability, intelligence and other things that make him successful.
Of course, Parcells misses on some of these guys, but sometimes the guys Parcells identifies as having, "the makeup," don't succeed only because they're not given the right opportunity, or perhaps they are sidtracked by injuries. As Curley of the Three Stooges would say, they're victims of circumstances.
Bobby Carpenter might be one such player. When he was in Dallas, Parcells picked Carpenter with the 18th overall pick in the first round of the 2006 draft. Carpenter, 6-2 and 250 pounds, didn't blossom in the one year Parcells was there and has fallen behind on the depth chart the past couple of seasons.
Last year the Cowboys wanted inside linebacker help and they signed Zach Thomas. This year, they're talking of trying to sign Ray Lewis. Carpenter is seemingly never in the conversation.
And that might make Carpenter, bordering on becoming a bust in Dallas, a possible Parcells target in the coming weeks as the Dolphins search for inside linebacker help. Understand that the Dolphins showed mild interest in trading for Carpenter last season but the Cowboys rebuffed the overtures.
Roy 11 with Steve 11
The Beckham story reaches its obvious crossroads …
David Beckham admitted it would be "difficult" if he has to return to LA Galaxy after his loan spell at Milan comes to an end. Milan have officially loaned the 33-year-old until the end of the season but his parent club have demanded that he return on 9 March for the beginning of the MLS season. Milan remain confident they will sign Beckham on a permanent deal, however, and the player has remained unequivocal in his desire to stay.
"It would be difficult to go back after everything that has happened," said the former England captain after yesterday's Milan derby. "I have said that I want to stay but I will stay professional and do what I have to do."
Asked if his future would be decided in the next 48 hours, Beckham replied: "I don't know. Talks have been going on and on and everyone seems to be talking about it but it's out of my hands. We'll know more in the next week."
Beckham also confirmed that his performance here was hampered by a calf injury. "I had a kick against Spain on Wednesday and it didn't really clear up and I had another kick on the same place — my calf — tonight."
Beckham was only briefly effective before being replaced early in the second half, as Internazionale extended their lead at the top of Serie A to 10 points, and moved 11 clear of their city rivals. "We are quite far behind Inter now, we were quite far behind before the game started and we needed to win it," reflected Beckham. "But you never know, this league is up and down. There's a chance but it is a slim chance."
Tom says join the Eagles Nest …