You know, I was just thinking recently that Alex Rodriguez needs to do some more to endear himself to the rest of the country the way he has with the people of New York. It seems now that, in addition to not being a True Yankee, A-Rod is also not a True American as he’s allegedly decided to play for the Dominican Republic in March’s World Baseball Classic. He played for the U.S. in the 2006 WBC, but perhaps thinks that jumping ship might be the only way he sees a title of any kind in his career.
(Flipping countries. Rooting for Duke. Seriously, what’s not to like about A-Rod?)
None of this is a done deal yet, as the only source of this info seems to be YAHOO! SPORTS’ Gordon Edes, who says Big Papi told him that A-Rod has chosen to play for the D.R. and will make an official announcement soon. And last time, he wavered between playing for the D.R., then the U.S., then not at all, then back to the U.S.
This isn’t totally egregious (like Chris Kaman playing for Germany in the Olympics), as other players chose to play for their countries of heritage rather than their birthplace in the last WBC, but none of those guys were good enough to be chosen to play for the U.S. team (except maybe Mike Piazza, who played for Italy). A-Rod is one of the best players in the world, and while he did live in the D.R. for a while as a kid, he was born in New York City and went to high school in Miami. Luckily, Americans are totally reasonable about nationalism. I’m sure U.S. fans will greet him very warmly if the two teams meet up.
Remember when it looked like Louisville might be a football dynasty in the making? We can pretty much put that to rest. The Cards simply forgot to show up last night and got rolled by Rutgers, 63-14. With the loss, Louisville finishes 1-6 in Big East play and misses a bowl game for the second straight year. Meanwhile, Rutgers has risen from the dead and looks like one of the best offensive teams in the country all of a sudden. Quarterback Mike Teel, who was smacking teammates earlier in the season in the midst of the team’s 1-5 start, threw six touchdown passes in the first half as the Scarlet Knights built a 49-0 halftime lead. Louisville was so bad they had to resort to tackling RU players by the hair:
I forgot that the Raiders and Chargers were playing on the NFL NETWORK last night, and by the time I turned it on it was already 24-0 in the second quarter. San Diego cruised to a 34-7 win. Oakland’s only points came on a kickoff return at the end of the first half. Good to see the Raiders are back after that inexplicable win over Denver a couple weeks ago. As for the Chargers, it looks like too little, too late. The Bolts have to win out (including a win over the Broncos) and hope Denver loses every game. And the Broncos are playing the Chiefs this weekend. Not looking good.
With the ACC-Big Ten thing over with, college basketball now turns its attention to the awkwardly-named Pac 10-Big 12 Hardwood Series, which saw both L.A. teams go down on the road. UCLA fell to Texas, 68-64, while USC squandered a late comeback bid and lost to Oklahoma, 73-72. I gotta say, though — I like Blake Griffin and think he’s a stud, but he’s already getting the superstar treatment from the officials and it’s only December 4th. Although, Griffin did get elbowed in the nads by USC’s Leonard Washington during the game, which was a pretty legitmate foul. See for yourself:
• The BOSTON HERALD tells us about a high school football player in Massachusetts who dropped out of school, then returned for a fifth year to play football and graduate. He’s been ruled ineligible because the state’s rules say that a player beyond a fourth year of school can’t play. The guy’s only been in seven plays all year, but his team may have to vacate it’s league and potential state title (provided they win this weekend). Of course, there’s all sorts of legal challenges going on. The lesson here: don’t try to better yourself by returning to school.
• Ball State coach Brady Hoke supposedly isn’t big on money, but the BALL STATE DAILY NEWS says he’ll still need more of it if he’s going to stay in Muncie for much longer. He’s the eighth-highest paid coach…in the MAC.
• FANHOUSE’s Bruce Ciskie says the Stars are looking at ways to get rid of Sean Avery. That was quick. At least he lasted longer than Melrose did in Tampa. To make this more exciting, here’s a photo of Avery’s “sloppy seconds” with new boyfriend Dion Phaneuf:
• LAS VEGAS NEWS BLOG says that people are selling tickets to the supposedly sold-out De La Hoya-Pacquaio for half price.
• Khalil Greene is going to be hitting .220 in St. Louis next year. The ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH reminisces about the Cards’ middle infield carousel over the past few seasons.
• The United Football League doesn’t have any teams yet and one of its main investors is in some trouble for insider training. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have a vaguely inappropriate logo! WITH LEATHER brings us this:
• The last time the Bills played in Toronto, during the preseason, thousands of tickets went unsold and had to be given away. NATIONAL POST says that this weekend’s game at the Rogers Centre is finally sold out, but the fact it took so long is not exactly what the Bills and the NFL were looking for in this whole Canada experiment.
• So far, it appears as if Michelle Wie is actually going to qualify for the LPGA tour. She’s tied for the lead after 2 rounds of Q-school, and only has to finish in the top 20 to earn a tour card. So, it’ll be like, an actual accomplishment. In golf.
• Some team just gave Edgar Renteria and his .699 OPS $18.5 million. Yup, it’s gotta be the Giants. FANTASY 411 makes this sound way more reasonable than it really is.
• Finally, ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky has the heartwarming tale of a ball of tape that the Titans are treating like it’s one of their teammates. Cute for a while, then kinda weird.