Pat Burke Strikes Fear Into Heart Of Mike D’Antoni

Posted in Basketball at 4:37 am by

The Suns are all the rage here in Phoenix. … Wait, what’s that? Yeah, I know. Not even the Cardinals’ hiring of Ken WhisenhuntTHE Ken Whisenhunt “ will distract Zonies from the streaking Suns, who are out for their 12th straight win tonight vs. the Trail Blazers.

Having reeled off 15 straight wins already this season, I’m starting to worry what this bandwagon will look like come April. More impressive is how they’re doing it: Coach Mike D’Antoni (above) has been relying on an eight-man rotation that has been reduced to seven with an injury to Kurt Thomas (out four to six weeks).

The starters are logging heavy minutes, but the thought of dipping into his bench makes the paranoid/protective D’Antoni sweat right through that porn mustache (via The Arizona Republic):

“I’m not going to jeopardize this for them,” D’Antoni said. “I’m just not going to do it. I don’t think it’s fair to Steve (Nash) and everybody else that works their butts off. If somebody can come out and earn (minutes), that’s fine. But they have to be ready.”

Pat Burke, folding towels in the locker room, not available for comment. Where’s Paul Shirley when you need him?


In the Case of Famous Athletes vs. Women …

Posted in Gridiron, The Law at 9:57 pm by

One of the more interesting blog posts I’ve seen this week comes from Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics. He relates the recent news of Kidd vs. Kidd and Bart Starr’s alleged mistress to an NFL seminar the league runs for its rookies, warning them of the downside to fame and fortune, including scheming women.

I cannot do the example Dubner uses justice with my own words. You really just have to read it. Here’s a highlight, which is either amusing, frightening or all of the above:

“Marcellus Wiley, a San Diego Chargers veteran, advocates ‘keeping a stable’ of women to avoid undue complications.

Hello? Paging Chuck Finley.


Cardinals Interview Sherman for 2nd time; Nation Hits Snooze button

Posted in Gridiron at 6:14 pm by

Here in Phoenix, where every coaching search brings calls to talk radio from rabid idiots fans asking, “Why not Danny White?!?!,” the Cardinals’ search carries on with some of the most boring names known to man. Ex-Packers coach Mike Sherman (above) was in town for his second interview, though no deal has been struck yet.
From The Arizona Republic:

Sherman was the first candidate to receive a second interview with the Cardinals, who announced Wednesday they had narrowed a field of eight candidates.

They wouldn™t reveal how many coaches were in the final group or their identities.

Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt has a second interview lined up, and Norm Chow’s name appears to be slowly fading away. Whoever the lucky guy is, he’ll be dealing with squabbling Bidwill sons struggling for power of this futile franchise.

Danny White, STILL not available for comment.


Underachieving ex-ASU coach soon to be underachieving NFL coordinator

Posted in Gridiron at 3:13 pm by

As an Arizona State alum, I barely shed a tear when the school dumped Dirk Koetter after the season. Despite his 40-33 overall record, he was 2-19 vs. ranked teams, 0-12 vs. Pac-10 teams in California, paralyzed by indecision and oversaw a program that included a fatal shooting of a former player by ex-running back Loren Wade. And fans here thought Dennis Erickson has baggage? A recruiting violation seems fairly trivial compared to, you know, murder.

As if to validate his awful decision making “ one more time, Dirk: Rudy Carpenter=bad; Sam Keller=good (now gone) “ Koetter could have sat on the $2.5 million ASU had to pay him for a buyout. But, no, Koetter, heralded as an offensive boy wonder upon his arrival in Tempe, is headed to Jacksonville to be the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator.

Hey, have fun with David Garrard. And, oh, Dirk, how’d that whole leaving Boise State thing work out for ya?


Kurt Warner coming back; Brenda, too

Posted in Gridiron at 4:04 am by

Starting the last game of the season this Sunday in place of the injured Matt Leinart has convinced the graying Kurt Warner (above, right) that “I feel like I have a lot of football left in me.” He says he’s committed to the contract he signed, and I’m sure the Cardinals will welcome his 10 fumbles in four starts.

Per Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic:

This year might have been his last shot to be a regular starter, and he contemplated retiring at the end of the season.

But after much thought he’s decided to return in 2007, although he left himself some wiggle room.

“I’m going to come back and play,” he said. “I want to play. I feel like I have a lot of football left in me. That’s my plan as of right now, not that that can’t change when the off-season comes around and me and family sit down. But I signed a contract to be here with the Cardinals. That’s where I go into the off-season thinking.”

As GC might say, God not available for comment.


Must … hit … 12 … more … homers

Posted in Baseball at 4:27 am by

Sammy Sosa’s selfish pursuit of reaching 600 home runs began in earnest. According to the Associated Press (via ESPN), he began working out with hopes of signing a deal with a major league team “ any sort of deal. And the offers will come pouring in … according to Sosa, natch.

“The 38-year-old slugger said he had received calls from teams interested in signing him but declined to reveal their names.”

Now that he’s given his system a year to rid itself of any, um, evidence, Sosa is confident he can further tarnish whatever legacy he has remaining. He even goes so far as to compare his situation of missing a year to Ted Williams’ absence from the game for serving in the war.

” ‘Ted Williams went to war and lost a couple years. More recently, Barry Bonds stayed away for more than a year and came back, and the same happened with Frank Thomas because of injuries,’ he said.”

So, come on, who’s it gonna be? What team will make this joker an offer? Some team has to be desperate enough to ride the PR gravy train of 600 HRs.


Rodman Still Trying To Make News

Posted in Basketball at 1:00 am by

(desperate for publicity while offering nothing of enduring value. On the right, Dennis Rodman)

In a story you (hopefully) won’t read in any self-respecting newspaper sports section, Dennis Rodman and his Bad Boy All-Star team (no, seriously) are taking on the Harlem Globetrotters on Feb. 17 in Las Vegas, which happens to coincide with the NBA All-Star weekend, also in Vegas.

From Harlem Globetrotters website (no, seriously, they have a website):

That afternoon, basketball history will be made in Las Vegas when the Ambassadors of Goodwill meet and play a spirited and competitive basketball game against Dennis Rodman and his Bad Boy All-Star team. Never have these amazing athletes met on the court for championship competitive play. The game between the Globetrotters and the unpredictable, record-setting and championship winning Rodman will be recorded as one of the greatest and very likely the most unusual basketball events of all-time.

Did the Globetrotters PR flacks not witness the Nuggets-Knicks?


Billy King Really Shouldn’t Have Access To Wikipedia

Posted in Basketball, The Internet at 11:11 pm by

For about five glorious minutes on Tuesday night, Allen Iverson’s Wikipedia entry — for reasons unknown — looked like graffiti in a boys bathroom.


Not High On Grass At UofPee Stadium

Posted in Football, Ugly New Stadiums at 2:40 pm by

There are, um, growing concerns about the quality of the turf at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., home to the Fiesta Bowl and BCS title game in a little less than a month. Oh, yeah, the Cardinals play there, too.

Last week, the stadium hosted two high school championship games — quality of football only slightly inferior to that of the Cardinals — and the Cards-Seahawks. That left the grass, part of a retractable playing surface, a little beat up, according to the Arizona Republic’s Dan Bickley:

“Meanwhile, there’s the matter of this cow pasture they call a playing field. All over the Valley, playing fields are green and lush. According to witnesses, you wouldn’t believe how good the field looks at Sun Devil Stadium. But in Glendale, the expensive field-in-a-tray is growing more sporadically than a Chia Pet.

“Granted, the field looks worse than it feels under cleat. And, hopefully, it’ll look better today than it did last week, when the stress of three football games in 30 hours left but a few splotches of grass between the 20-yard lines.

“But if the field doesn’t look significantly better today, then we’ve got big problems. The clock is ticking, and aesthetics are very important this time of year, especially with two Bowl Championship Series bowl games coming down the pike.”

Cow pasture? Yikes. But I thought the Cardinals’ horse manure play would be good fertilizer?


Cubs GM Needs To ‘Do More Exercise’

Posted in Baseball at 2:02 am by

Perhaps Jim Hendry also should give his check-writing hand a rest. It’s hardly coincidental Hendry ended up in the hospital with heart trouble after Ted Lilly “ he of the 59-58 career record “ agreed to his four-year, $40 million contract.

From the Chicago Tribune:

The Cubs introduced Lilly at Wrigley Field on Friday while announcing the signing of pinch-hitter Daryle Ward to a one-year, $1 million deal. Hendry also confirmed a Tribune report the Cubs will hire an assistant general manager, and expects an announcement before the end of the year. The decision had nothing to do with his heart problem, according to Hendry, who said interim President John McDonough suggested it when he took over in October.

“John would like me to finish up what I have to do and take a little time off before spring training, but there’s nothing to the [notion] that I have to do my work any differently,” Hendry said.

“I just need to get in better shape and do more exercise. ¦”

How much time on the treadmill will it take to work off the reality of that three-year, $21 million deal for Jason Marquis (56-52)?


A Quick Introduction

Posted in Internal Affairs at 7:09 pm by

Gerard was crazy kind enough to invite me along on this venture of his. So I thought I should start with a quick, introductory handshake.

My name’s Kevin, and I’m a sports copy editor at a newspaper in the southwest, so why I’ve decided to read/follow sports copy for spare-time leisure is beyond me. Also, I have a music blog (gratuitous link).

I was born in Chicago, so I’m a Cubs/Bulls/Bears fan. The Blackhawks play hockey, so I don’t associate with them. I went to Arizona State and I’m still not sure what to make of the Dennis Erickson hiring. I believe Herb Sendek is good for the ASU men’s basketball team but that Lute Olson (above) probably will outlive me and continue to punish my Sun Devils long after I leave. He is the devil.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.