What we're watching (all times EDT, unless noted): Oh, shit. It's starting again, isn't it? It's the latter half of July, which means seemingly anyone with any opinion about anything in baseball is going to be trafficking in trade rumors and possibilities. Buster Olney got the rumor roulette started by reporting today that the Mets do not plan to move Jose Reyes. Which will be true up to and until a deal is actually done, unless of course it isn't. This is not to pick on Olney, per se, but rather on a system that treats every not-yet-done deal as newsworthy, when in fact such leaks are often an attempt on the part of front-office personnel to use reporters to impact the value of a given trade. The Mets, for all we know, may have every intention of moving Reyes, especially because this is his walk year. But you're never going to hear them say so, since other teams are likely willing to offer many more goodies if they know Reyes might be a tough get. Which he might yet be. But unless someone like Sandy Alderson is going to come right out and confirm for the record what Olney's sources told him, just let us know once it's done, one way or another, please.
Cardinals-Mets is on ESPN tonight at 7, with ESPN2 showing a World Football Challenge match featuring Guadalajara against Real Madrid at 11.
Where did hair metal come from?: "Like it or not, hair metal is the logical next step after the New York Dolls, who never had much in common with the bands they inspired. First-generation punks took more cues from nihilistic Detroit acts like the MC5 than from the pop sensibilities of the Dolls. The New York Dolls didn't create punk's aesthetic of torn clothing (that came from Richard Hell three or four years later); they were too busy slipping into high heels and applying make-up. They certainly didn't have much in common musically or aesthetically with their biggest fan, Morrissey, whose band the Smiths created maudlin melodies to match angst-ridden lyrics espousing vegan ideology. And aside from Michael Stipe's own flirtations with androgyny, the earnest, socially aware band that served as my gateway to the Dolls bore little to no resemblance (except perhaps during their glam-grunge Monster years)." [PopMatters]
July 20, 2007: The Kansas City T-Bones, The Universe, And Everything
Sounds like Peyton won't be ready for training camp: "The good news is, it looks like the NFL lockout will end later this week and training camps will open within the next two weeks. The bad news, for the Indianapolis Colts specifically, is quarterback Peyton Manning will not be ready once camp begins July 31 in Anderson as he recovers from surgery on a disk in his neck. A source familiar with Manning's health situation said Tuesday that Manning will not be able to participate at the outset, and at this point, there's no way of knowing how much time he might miss. It could be a week. It could be a couple of weeks. Or even most, or all, of training camp." [Indianapolis Star]
Tiger is looking for a caddie: "More than a caddie, Woods and Williams had been close friends. Both got engaged while on safari after The Presidents Cup in South Africa, and they were in each other's weddings. Woods played the New Zealand Open and even took part in Williams' other job as a race car driver. The relationship began showing signs of strain after Woods crashed his car on Thanksgiving night, followed by stunning revelations of multiple extramarital affairs that led to Woods getting divorced. Woods' ex-wife and Williams' wife were close friends." [ESPN.com]
Ivies take action to reduce concussions: "The recommendations, to take effect this coming season, include limits to the number of full-pad/contact practices that can take place throughout the football year. Also, there will be further emphasis on educating student-athletes on proper tackling technique, the signs and symptoms of concussion, and the potential short- and long-term ramifications of repetitive brain trauma. In addition, there will be a more stringent post-game League review of helmet-to-helmet and targeted hits." [Penn Gazette]
Kris Jenkins has had enough with the knee injuries: "Wanted to let you know that I have loved the support and respect that you all have given me throughout my career. But it is time for the torch to be passed to the younger players. I am going to hang up the cleats! The mind is always willing to play but the body deserves the rest. Thank you for the opportunties [sic] to play in Carolina and New York." [The Jets Blog]
Wait 'til you see what this commercial is about:
What comes next for the WWE, post-McMahaon?: "And so comes the offscreen reality. The real world exists off camera, and much of the fake wrestling world not only exists but is also planned there. For years, wrestling has largely denied this uncomfortable truth and only acknowledged it when it served them - with an array of carefully placed backstage cameras. Monday night, WWE admitted that decisions that determine wrestling outcomes are made offscreen. The board met to fire McMahon offscreen; CM Punk, the world champion, was offscreen; and John Cena, the stock hero, was offscreen for almost the entire night." [Grantland/Dead Wrestler Of The Week Archive]
Listen here: "Going to a game with the intent of paying attention to the sound of it all certainly affected my perceptions. I was struck more than ever by the constant buzz of voices. At the old stadium significant numbers of seats were tucked underneath upper tiers. If you were sitting in one of those enclosed areas, the sounds in your section were intensified, and you had a distorted impression of the overall aural experience. More rows at the new stadium are open to the sky, or so it seems. So from where we sat, in the first row of the grandstand on the first-base side, the gaggle of voices blended more organically. And individual shouts pierced the pervasive rumble of chatter. During one lull someone high up in the grandstand actually yelled, "Hip, Hip, Hooray!," which struck me as an antiquated phrase. People all around me laughed, but I gather it's also a name-bending cheer for the Yankees' Jorge Posada." [New York Times]
Spencer Hall goes fishing with Mike Leach: "The talk turns to football because four hours of steady fishing has yielded nothing better than a smattering of bait fish and some impressive fights between fishermen attempting to pull up the seafloor with monofilament line. ‘Why do you call the slot receiver in your playbook 'The Elf'?' Leach laughs. ‘Because that was Wes Welker, and Welker looks like an Elf? One time it's late, like eleven o'clock or midnight on Sunday, and we're having an offensive staff meeting when Welker comes in and he's wearing an elf costume. Tights, the whole thing. He jumps up on the table and does a little jig. He's smiling, and then he jumps down, and just before he leaves he clicks his heels and then runs out of the door.' " [SB Nation]
Whatever became of Donruss' first Rated Rookies?: "A few of the original Rated Rookies lived up to the hype, while others look silly in hindsight. Many of the 20 Rated Rookies that constitute cards 27-46 of the 1984 Donruss checklist fell somewhere in between. Here are their stories." [Mental Floss]
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