Speed Read: Dodgers Done, Cowboys To Follow?

How often does the first batter tell you everything you need to know about how a baseball game is going to go? But after seeing Jimmy Rollins take Chad Billingsley deep in the first inning of Game 5 of the NLCS, did anyone have any doubt that the Phillies would be going to the World Series? The result wound up 5-1 for Philadelphia, but it might have been 1,000-1 after that first at-bat.

Philadelphia Phillies clinch NL Pennant

With how Cole Hamels was pitching, it’s not as though the Phillies needed much help, but Rafael Furcal channeling some combination of the Chicago Cubs’ infield, Steve Sax and Rick Ankiel (pitcher version) didn’t help. Furcal made three errors in the fifth inning, tying an MLB post-season record. I can sympathize with Furcal: I also once made three errors in one inning. Of course, I was 12, and a terrible Little League player.

Rafael Furcal and Joe Torre

I hate to burst the bubble of die-hard Philly fans like THE 700 LEVEL who are reveling on their team’s victory, and the fact that they are four games away from bringing the city its first major professional sports title in 25 years. So I won’t mention that the Phillies’ Big Three (Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley) are hitting a meager .250 combined in the 2008 playoffs.

Or that Jamie Moyer might wind up starting a World Series game, and that your starters not named Cole Hamels have an ERA just over 6.00 this postseason.

Or that the Rays have somehow turned into the 1929 Yankees, if that’s who you wind up playing.

Or that other than Manny Ramirez, this wasn’t a very good Dodgers team, and beating them in five games wasn’t really that huge of an accomplishment.

Just sleep tight, Phillie fans, after a night of serious celebrating. Probably in a pool of your own vomit, but sleep tight none the less, and don’t worry about tomorrow.

Meanwhile, as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ season ended with a thud, the slow-motion train wreck that the Dallas Cowboys’ season is becoming is continuing. A day after they were fleeced by the Lions (the Lions!) to complete their Roy Williams collection, the DALLAS MORNING NEWS reports that head coach Wade Phillips doesn’t expect Adam “Pac-Man” Jones to return to the team regardless of the length of his suspension.

Also not expected to come back after this season: Wade Phillps.

But fear not, Cowboys’ fans! Remember Tony Romo’s pinkie injury that was going to sideline him for four games? Turns out that he’s going to try to play this week against the Rams. Because having a quarterback trying to play with a broken finger on his throwing hand always ends up well. Right, USC fans?

Here’s what else happened last night while you were rolling your eyes at John McCain rolling his eyes:

    Mets bullpen car

  • THE LEGEND OF CECILIO GUANTE prays for the return of the bullpen car. I don’t know: as cool as they are, it’s a little less intimidating when NAME OF YOUR TEAM’S CLOSER HERE comes in from the bullpen to the sounds of AC/DC OR GUNS ‘N’ ROSES OR METALLICA OR BLACK SABBATH when he’s riding in a giant, cartoon helmet.
  • The LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, the Mob bookmaker and casino boss who inspired the movie Casino, has cashed in and gone to that comped room in the sky.
  • MICHIGAN DAILY notes that Michigan running back Mike Milano has been indefinitely suspended from the team after allegedly assaulting Wolverines hockey player and Anaheim Ducks prospect Steve Kampfer on campus, slamming him to the ground and knocking him unconscious.
  • Kansas State assistant coach Dalonte Hill reportedly makes $420,000 a year. THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION points out that is more than the school’s President makes.
  • How fat is Eddy Curry? So fat that he sat on his exercise ball and it exploded. That’s not a joke: THE DAILY NEWS’ KNICKS KNATION says this actually happened at practice on Monday.
  • BRAVES LAUNCH PAD notes the striking similarities between Phillies slugger Ryan Howard and The Office temp-turned-executive-turned-secretary of the same name.
  • VEGAS NEWS delivers a strike with news that Make That Spare is coming back to TV. Pro bowlers making spares over and over? That’s must see TV!
  • Your World Cup qualifying recap from the LOS ANGELES TIMES: The US, having secured their spot in the next round, fields a youthful squad and falls to Trinidad and Tobago, 2-1. Meanwhile, Mexico has to rally to tie Canada and is in danger of missing the final round of qualifying.
  • The NEW YORK TIMES’ SLAP SHOT follows up on the fallout from the tragic death of Rangers’ prospect Alexei Cherepanov at age 19, including the confusion over the possible causes of his death.
  • Finally, the AP has word that Bobby Knight told a TV interviewer that he would consider coaching again. But he was such a natural, energetic analyst working for ESPN. (Note: I’m being sarcastic here.)

Who do you blame for the Dodgers’ failures in the NLCS?

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Man Takes Betting On Black Jack To A New High

Last week we gave you the story of a man attempting to make a down payment for the services of a hitman with NASCAR memorabilia, this week in the ludicrous alternative forms of currency file we bring you a man who decides to throw down a bag of marijuana as a bet at a black jack table.

Half Baked

Since this whole thing went down in a casino, home to more hidden cameras than a Patriots game, we have video evidence for your enjoyment.  Video via THE GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS after the jump.

Read more…

Dolphins LB Joey Porter Heckled By Eagles Fans At Atlantic City Casino

EAGLES FANS GAMBLE ON PESTERING PORTER IN NJ CASINO: A couple of Eagles fans in Atlantic City took a gamble on starting something with Joey Porter:

Joey Porter Dolphins

The PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS spins the news that the Miami linebacker was at the Borgata casino, trying to do something his Dolphins team couldn’t this season - win. While at the craps table, Porter began taking crap from the Eagles fans.Before anything could escalate, Porter’s bodyguards and casino security stepped in to stop the shenanigans.

Those Iggles fans should know enough to tread lightly around Porter when inside a gambling establishment. Just ask Levi Jones.

Vegas Casino Keeping Visitors And Media Away From O.J. Robbery Room

DO NOT DISTURB - CASINO CLOSING ‘OJ ROOM’ TO PUBLIC: Vegas is all about making money, from the saps who spend their paychecks on the slots hoping for a jackpot, to the casinos raking in all the dough from the delirious gamblers.

However, one spot doesn’t want to cash in - the hotel where O.J. Simpson’s latest crime took place:

Palace Station casino

The LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL checks out the news of Palace Station keeping potential guests away from the “O.J. Room”.

It was in this hotel room that Simpson made his memorable memorabilia grab - an event that’s resulted in his criminal trial that began on Friday.

Visitors have requested reservations and media members have asked for tours of the infamous room, but the casino has closed off the space to the public, knowing what a “media circus” it would be come.

OJ Simpson Circus Circus

That hasn’t stopped folks from trying. A hotel spokesperson recalled, “We did have a couple people come up to the hotel registration, toss their credit card on the desk and say, ‘Charge me whatever you want so I can stay in the room.’

But that doesn’t mean that others can’t profit from O.J.’s shenanigans.

The NEW YORK TIMES blog THE LEDE sees plenty of product placement in the current legal entanglement, most notably the name recognition for Sprint & the iPhone.

knitted iPhone

Where there’s a trial, there’s tons of money to be made.