So what say we stop asking about whether Joe Panik could be the Baseball Writers Association of America National League Rookie of the Year (by the way, in the sake of full disclosure, I have a vote, and his name shan’t leave my fingertips without the proper level of bribery)?
Let’s ask whether one can be the Comeback Player Of The Year Within The Year, in which case that unquestionably would be Jake Peavy.
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And while we’re frittering away the first few paragraphs on local baseball, the A’s have lost 16 games in the standings to the Angels. That is one-tenth of a season schedule.
This is the part where Billy Beane tells you, “You know, it’s not just the playoffs that are a crapshoot. It’s getting into them too.” And has a lot of earnest writers nodding in agreement.
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The National Hockey League has turned its game on its ear with three big rules changes. One, they made the goalie trapezoid bigger (oh, good). Two, they’ve eliminated the spin-o-rama in penalty shots and shootouts (how many of those were there this year, four?). And three, they’ve created a level of fines for diving that involve both players and their coaches. Unfortunately, the fine is only $5,000 after the fourth offense, so as an example, Alexander Ovechkin could dive 24 times PER GAME and still have $160,000 left over.
Plus, all the games will still be 2-1, so there’s that.
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Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has had a long-held hate-hate affair with Bayern Munich (and former Barcelona) manager Pep Guardiola, so the fact that they argued with each other about grass length at a coaches forum came as no surprise.
But this quote, from Mourinho, who is the best smack-talker in all of sports, explains that he will go anywhere to open a wound. From El Confidencial:
“When you enjoy what you do, you don’t lose your hair, and Guardiola is bald. He doesn’t enjoy football.”
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And while we’re on the subject of smack, Rory McIlroy put a knee in the withering nethers of two of his historical betters after neither The Eldrick (age 38, though his body is in its mid-50s) or The Phil (age 44) won a single PGA Tour event this year.
“Phil has played well in parts this year,” McIlroy said. “I feel like he's gotten a little better as the year has went on. Tiger is not here just because he's been injured, or he is injured. He hasn't had the opportunity to play. But I think if he gets back, and when he gets back to full fitness, you'll see him back here again. They're just getting older. They're getting into the last few holes of their career. And that's what happens.”
But neither of them is bald. Yet.
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How Jed York missed on this I’ll never know (fill in your own litany of jokes), but Italian soccer power Napoli has designed a denim uniform for next year. Worse yet for Jedediah, Olympique Marseille already has one this year.
And neither of their stadiums is named after Levi Strauss. Ahem, 49ers marketing team. Been distracted much?
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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll (stop booing, please) has changed his mind about safety Earl Thomas returning punts, giving the job to Bryan Walters after only a week of the regular season. This mark of sanity, as you might have guessed, did not sit well with Thomas.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the team,” Thomas told Seattle writers. “So I just took it that way. I’m all in, no matter what the situation is. B-Walt, he’s a great returner, he deserves it, he’s been working hard. It doesn’t always happen like you want it to, but I know I’m still up as far as situationally. I’m always going to be prepared. I know I’m going to impact this team as far as punt returns in a positive way. I have full faith in my capability, and I’m not worried about anything.”
And in case you worried that you were losing your own grip on reality, he followed with this: “The fans, they can kind of sleep easier now. They can stop sending in their regards . . . Overall I’m just happy to be a part of this team, that’s it.”
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And finally, Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy’s great Tip Outrage (he left 20 cents on a $61 bill) defended his right to stiff a burger waitperson at local burger place PYT.
“I tip on my service,” McCoy said Thursday. “There's a difference between good service and bad service and just having a bad day. There's a big difference between just being rude and disrespectful. That's how that went. A 20-cent tip is kind of a statement. You can't disrespect somebody and expect them to tip you. I don't care who the person is. That's why I left my card, so they could see my name.”
And because Satan is our cruise director, Charlie Sheen offered to send $1000 to cover the tip of the aggrieved burger-toter.
God, I wish Roger Goodell could be caught fronting a cannibalism ring for the NFL somewhere. Now that’s a story I understand.