Sunday, October 07, 2007


It is what it is.

UMD men's hockey preview. Can we get some defense, here? Kevin Pates knows it will be a key part of this year's Bulldog squad. It seems like a "Captain Obvious" thing to say, but it's the key storyline for a team that lost 42 percent of its scoring from last year.

UMD’s defensemen showed the most improvement last season in the lowest-scoring year in WCHA history. Leading the returnees are senior assistant captain Travis Gawryletz, along with juniors Josh Meyers and Jason Garrison, and sophomore Trent Palm.

The Bulldogs should be able to match most league teams along the blue line.

It's also worth noting that UMD started practice Saturday on campus, and I was told the goal is to be on DECC ice by Wednesday. The DECC floor was completely re-done over the summer, a deal that should improve the overall ice condition at the facility, and a rock concert Sunday night is the first major event at the DECC since the project's completion.

As for scoring, look for juniors Michael Gergen (pictured) and Macgregor Sharp to pick up some of the slack. I also wouldn't be shocked by a huge year from senior Mike Curry, who made major strides last year. I've heard really good things about freshmen Kyle Schmidt (Hermantown), Rob Bordson (Duluth Marshall), and Justin Fontaine (Bonnyville, AB).

First, defense (Duluth News-Tribune)

Torre in trouble. Only in New York could a manager be blamed for an aging, pitching-thin team failing in the playoffs. Then again, these morons have made a living out of blaming ARod for this mess. Speaking of morons blaming ARod, the Yankees haven't even been eliminated, and it's already started:

Rodriguez began this series with 4 hits in his previous 44 postseason at-bats. By the time he struck out in the ninth inning Friday night, he was 4 for his last 50. That computes to a batting average of .080 on your handy calculator. “Some of the people who kept him in check are future Hall of Famers,” Cashman said.

Which of these pitchers do you think will make the Hall of Fame when their careers are over:

Justin Verlander, Nate Robertson, Kenny Rogers, Jeremy Bonderman, Joel Zumaya, Jamie Walker, Bartolo Colón, John Lackey, Ervin Santana, Paul Byrd, Francisco Rodríguez, Scot Shields, Derek Lowe, Mike Timlin, Keith Foulke, Alan Embree, Tim Wakefield, Bronson Arroyo, Pedro Martínez or Curt Schilling?

After the first two games of this playoff series, we can add C. C. Sabathia, Jensen Lewis and Fausto Carmona to the list.

Of course, Chass fails to call out his boy, Derek Jeter, whose numbers for the series are even worse (.125 OBP compared to .250 for ARod).

It's shocking to me that a guy like Chass can survive as a baseball scribe for this long without having even a basic understanding of sample sizes.

As for Torre, while I hate to see him get blamed for this, it's probably natural. All we hear about is how big the Yankees' payroll is, so the team should be basically without weaknesses if they're spending that much money. However, the Yankees have been fatally flawed for many years. It's not all Torre's fault, but Steinbrenner can't fire the players, as much as he might want to sometimes.

Report: Yanks' Torre managing for his job in ALDS (
New October, but Same Old A-Rod (New York Times)
Yankees Losing = All ARod's Fault (FanHouse)

Chip Caray sucks. So says Wikipedia. Ouch:
"Chip Caray has long been considered one of the worst sports broadcasters, both today and over baseball history. Many believe he is the least prepared play-by-play announcer in baseball. He often holds on to a topic he thinks he knows and will not let it go during a broadcast. Most believe he is the perfect example of "nepostism". Even during his non-Braves broadcast, Caray seems to become completely biased and is absolutely disrespectful to the team he decides not to "cheer on". He has a complete disregard for baseball history. Most feel he should do the sports industry a favor and quit."
(Awful Announcing)

Look out, Barry. Now that Marion Jones has finally given in, Bonds appears to be the next target.
Sources familiar with the investigation into perjury and tax evasion charges against the all-time home run leader told the Daily News that the U.S. Attorney's office in San Francisco remains determined to indict Bonds by the time the grand jury expires in January.

"Once they're finished with (Jones), then it's Bonds," an attorney familiar with the case said.

The feds don't believe Bonds. Except for two brief respites, Anderson has been in prison since July 2006 for refusing to testify against his longtime friend.
Feds: Barry Bonds is Next (FanHouse)

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