What we're watching (all times EST): Michigan State at Indiana (ESPN), Kansas State at Texas A&M (ESPN2), and Mississippi at Arkansas (ESPNU) in men's college basketball at 7. Kings at Wild (NBCSN) at 7:30. Hornets at Bulls (NBATV) at 8. Duke at Wake Forest (ESPNU) and Florida at Vanderbilt (ESPN) at 9. Flyers at Sharks (NBCSN) 10:30.
San Quentin's Field of Dreams: "There are runners on first and second and two outs in the top of the first inning of the first game of organized baseball I've played in seven years, and on the pitcher's mound, a large inverted triangle of a man with thin eyes set deep in a bone-ridged face toes the rubber. His name is Mario. Behind him, the green hump of Marin County's Mount Tamalpais rises over a high concrete wall and one palm tree wavers. The wooden bat is a welcome, familiar weight in my sweating fingers, and the soles of my cleats are heavy, weighed down with clumps of infield mud. Gulls circle, and I can smell the sea. They made baseball for afternoons like this. The crowd, a group of about 150 inmates clad entirely in blue and positioned behind home plate, murmurs. Mario wears a permanent grin. Good pitchers don't grin. Good pitchers, the tired adage goes, are killers. Mario's fastball can't be faster than 75 miles per hour; his curve is a long, slow loop. He's not a killer. At least, I don't think so. 'Thanks for coming,' says a voice from behind me as I step into the batter's box. 'It's a real honor. My name's Johnny.' I look back. The catcher, a taut, wiry man, stares up with wide eyes. The tattoos on his neck appear to have tattoos on them. Johnny—now, Johnny could be a killer." [Outside]
Feb 28, 2010: Tim Tebow False Messiah Watch: Antichrist Edition
Welcome to the NBA, Andre Emmett. You have ten days: "Andre Emmett was shooting jumpers in an empty arena at the edge of Nevada when the N.B.A. came calling two weeks ago. Practice had ended for the Reno Bighorns of the N.B.A. Development League, but Emmett, 29, had retreated to his 'comfort area,' the court, a source of salvation and frustration for him. He was nearly seven years removed from his last N.B.A. game, and now the Nets were making him an offer: a contract for 10 days. Ten days to make an impression. Ten days to redefine his life. N.B.A. teams use these contracts to fill spots on their benches. But the commitment is painfully meager: the player is signed for 10 days but can be released after one. If he lasts, he can be offered a second 10-day contract. When that ends, he must be signed for the rest of the season. Or just released." [New York Times]
Not much happened at yesterday's NHL trade deadline. We think: "Rick Nash? Still a Columbus Blue Jacket. Bryan Allen & Jaroslav Spacek? Still Carolina Hurricanes. Derek Roy? Still a Buffalo Sabre. P.A. Parenteau? Still a New York Islander.The inactivity wasn't a real surprise as we've seen a massive case of parity this year in the league. You could argue that there are still 11 teams in the West in contention while the East has 10. And when 21 out of 30 franchises believe they can make a run at the Stanley Cup, the number of deadline handshakes decrease." [Bloguin.com]
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson may have saved the Kings: "Building a new arena for the Sacramento Kings has never been closer to reality. The city, the Sacramento Kings and the NBA announced a tentative deal Monday to finance a new arena that would keep the team in California's capital for the long haul. The City Council will vote on the plan March 6. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, NBA Commissioner David Stern and the Maloof family, which owns the Kings, emerged from three days of talks in Orlando, Fla.,—where they had been negotiating during All-Star weekend—to announce that the framework of a deal had been reached, giving fans some 3,000 miles away in the Central Valley reason to cheer." [Yahoo Sports]
Your Dead Parrot Interlude:
Robert Griffin III likes socks, dislikes clocks: "As for his already-impressive 40-yard dash, Griffin said he was given a better time when he had finished running. He said his representatives are checking into that. 'I was told on the field that it was 4.35 officially. They told me it was faster than what the screen had posted,' Griffin said. 'If that happens to be the right time, that's nothing to be mad about, 4.41 is a great time. But you want to make sure the right time is put up there.'" [AP/Yahoo]
Josh Beckett is pissed at the clubhouse "snitches" who took away his beer: "Beckett and other starting pitchers often drank beer during games they were not in last season. Jon Lester confirmed those reports last fall and acknowledged that Beckett took part. Beckett has admitted to 'lapses in judgment.' But in the interview, Beckett said: 'Somebody made that stuff up, just like somebody made up that we were doing stuff . . . This is stupid. I don't understand what the big deal is. Somebody was trying to save their own ass, and it probably cost a lot of people their asses. The snitching [expletive], that's [expletive]. It's not good. 'There's two things with the clubhouse thing that I have a problem with: If I'm going to say something about the clubhouse, my name is going to be on it. The second thing is you never want to be remembered as that guy because that will follow wherever you go. It's just mind-boggling to me.'" [Boston Globe]
Send stories, photos, and anything else you might have to email@example.com.