Your morning roundup for April 19, the day we pre-ordered our Iggy Pop action figure.
•The NHL will announce today the terms of its new TV deal, again with Versus/NBC. It's upwards of $200 million a year, easily the league's largest contract. ESPN was reportedly involved in bidding until the last moment, and a number of execs in the league would have preferred the exposure of ESPN, but let's be honest: Versus needs hockey to survive, and hockey needs Versus to actually devote time to it.
•Is there anything more exciting than a scoring point guard? (Perhaps the facilitating point guard, as Chris Paul showed Sunday.) But still: Derrick Rose's 36, including 12-13 from the line, brought the Bulls from behind again to give them a 2-0 series lead. Larry Bird's ready to anoint it the era of D-Rose. We're just ready to see if Orlando considers putting Dwight Howard on him in round 2.
•No one really stressed Los Angeles's or Boston's lackluster ends to the regular season, but here's a scary thought. What if the Heat were waiting until the playoffs to flip the switch?
•Last night in not-not-hockey: Philly, Pittsburgh, Boston, Detroit. The first three series are 2-1, so they'll be heading back to the higher seeds' arenas. Not the Coyotes, though. Down 3-0, after Wednesday their next game might be in Winnipeg.
•Tim Lincecum went 6 and ⅓ no-hit innings, and tied Christy Mathewson for most double-digit strikeout games as a Giant. What we're saying is, if the NL West is its usual crapshoot, and comes down to a one-game playoff, we like San Francisco's chances.
•Detroit's Ryan Raburn became the first player to hit the roof of Safeco Field, on a foul pop in the first inning. Bandbox! Bandbox, we say!
•Aroldis Chapman became the first player to hit 106 mph on the radar gun at the Great American Ballpark, sort of. We all know home parks goose their numbers a little, and an independent reading put it at 102 mph. So it was a change-up, we guess.
•Everyone's calling the parting amicable, but that doesn't change the fact that the Rockets are letting Rick Adelman go after missing the playoffs again. Now, if only someone could stop Daryl Morey from gutting the roster every few months.
•Via College Baseball Daily, that photo above is Mississippi State outfield Brent Brownlee saluting the Arkansas crowd after catching the final out of Sunday's game. He'll be suspended for tonight's game against Ole Miss, which we can only assume is a rivalry game.
•David Matthews, a good man himself, opines for the Good Men Project on the dearth of, let's say, intelligent sportswriting out there. I think the short answer is this: while the Internet has multiplied the number of opportunities out there, stupid people have always outnumbered smarts, and that doesn't change online. Not only in the writers themselves, but in the audience, the ones advertisers care about. Lowest common denominator, or at least blandly inoffensive and predictable, will always sell.
•Non-sports, but a must-read: The Star-Ledger's Pulitzer Prize-winning series on the mysterious wreck of a small fishing boat off the New Jersey coast. Set aside an hour for this thing, which reads like an excellent suspense novel.
A few stories you might've missed.
Stank:Here's Dan Snyder's property tax hit. More than $200 for the "solid waste charge."
Transparency: ESPN puts together a comprehensive list of their employees' endorsements. Now why didn't anyone think of that before?
Redhanded: Cincinnati hurler Mike Leake got busted stealing from Macy's, and was charged with misdemeanor theft. The real news: Macy's has shirts for under $10!
Dilapidation: Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau had some not-so-nice things to say about Madison Square Garden. It's not causing much fuss, because it's kind of true.