NYC Papers Will Be Careful Not To Call Putz A Putz

The Mets have been spending much of this offseason attempting to rework a horrid bullpen. In the process, they’ve managed to potentially offend local the Yiddish-speaking community. Only in New York, right?

J.J. Putz

(”Call me a putz, and I will break you”)

To most of us, J.J. Putz’s last name describes a dude you might not want to hang out with. Like, maybe Ryan Seacrest or something. But to Yiddish speakers, Putz is a slang term for a penis. Newspapers in New York say they believe printing the name in headlines might be an issue. I’m not sure why. They print “Wang” all the time after the Yankees play.

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Speed Read: Carmelo Drops 33 In Third Quarter

To say that Carmelo Anthony was merely “feeling it” during the third quarter last night is a pretty big understatement. While any accomplishment achieved against the dreadful T-Wolves comes with an asterisk, ‘Melo was in the zone of zones when he dropped 33 on Minnesota in the third frame, leading the Nuggets back from a 12-point halftime deficit. Anthony tied George Gervin’s NBA record for points in a quarter. Not even Wilt (or Kobe) ever put up 33 in a single quarter. The Nuggets took sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division with a 116-105 victory, and Carmelo ended up with 45 points overall.

Carmelo Anthony

The Heisman finalists were announced yesterday. Colt McCoy? Yup. Sam Bradford? Check. Tim Tebow? Of course. Graham Harrell? Not so much. Mike Leach isn’t particularly happy about this. Perhaps voters had visions of Kliff Kingsbury and B.J. Symons dancing through their head.

Graham Harrell Santa

(Perhaps Heisman voters saw this alleged pic of Harrell [top left] and couldn’t bring themselves to vote for him)

There were a pair of big trades that went down last night. In baseball, the Mets acquired J.J. Putz from the Mariners to be their new set-up man for K-Rod. The Mets finally rid themselves of Aaron Heilman, who joins Endy Chavez and four others who are going to Seattle. The Mariners also sent Sean Green and Jeremy Reed to New York. The Indians were also involved in the trade, with minor pieces moving to and from Cleveland as well.

In the NBA, the Suns shipped Boris Diaw and Raja Bell to Charlotte for Jason Richardson. Richardson is a big-time scorer who should be pleased to be getting out of Charlotte, though this article makes it sounds as if he’s upset by the trade. The Suns played short-handed last night against the Lakers, and nearly pulled out a win, going down 115-110.

I may be getting ahead of myself here, but don’t be surprised in March if Gonzaga is one of the #1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Mark Few called off the dogs last night when the Zags took a 32-point lead against Washington State or the 74-52 win could’ve been worse. They’ve already beaten down Tennessee, Maryland, and Oklahoma State. In the coming weeks they have games against Arizona, UCONN, and Tennessee (again), and if they negotiate that stretch they probably won’t lose a regular-season game. Of course, now I’ve just guaranteed they’re losing to Texas Southern.

The Arena Football Season is supposedly back on again. We reported yesterday that the league was close to shutting it down for 2009, and multiple league owners went on the record as saying the shutdown was a near certainity. The NEW YORK TIMES’ Mark Viera says that the league’s board of directors decided against suspending the season in a conference call last night, but there’s still a cloud of uncertainty.

Arena Football empty arena

(Tens of people are really upset about all of this)

Says Cleveland Gladiators owner James Ferraro:

“We don’t really know what’s going on, whether we’re playing the season or not playing the season,” Ferraro had said earlier. “We’re going to work on the economic model either way. I don’t know where it’s going to go either.”

Ferraro, who said the league did not make money, had also said, “I think there’s a pretty clear majority that think we should take the season off in this economic environment we’re in.”

So, the majority of owners think they should shut it down, but the season is still “on.” Not sure I’m convinced.

In the meantime, let’s look at some links:

• Engineers in England are going to make an attempt at breaking the world water speed record on the same lake where British speed demon Donald Campbell died trying to do the same thing in 1967. One of them is going to try and drive this thing 317 miles per hour. What could go wrong?

super fast boat

 • The SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER’s Robert L. Jamieson, Jr. presents the ludicrous theory that universities might recruit athletes of questionable moral character just because they’re good at sports. Jamieson lives comfortably in the year 1981.

•  Mark Teixeira’s main suitors are the Nationals and the Orioles. Tex grew up in Baltimore, and now has the choice of which team he wants to spend the next 3 1/2 crappy years with before he gets traded to the Yankees. MLB.COM says the Nats have offered $160 million over 8 years.

• I’m sure that John Daly was just enforcing the “no pictures on the course” policy at the Australian Open when he took a spectator’s camera and bashed it into a tree, according to ESPN.

• The DALLAS MORNING NEWS’ Cowboys blog says Terrell Owens is mad at Emmitt Smith and Keyshawn Johnson for criticizing him on TV. T.O.’s response? A very timely “Dumb and Dumber” reference while wearing a Santa hat.

Brian Sabean had a bit of a meltdown in the presence of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS’ Andrew Baggarly about the Giants’ apparently non-existent bid to land CC Sabathia.

• FIGHT ON STATE reports that Penn State quarterback Pat Devlin has left the team and will transfer, meaning that he won’t be available for the Rose Bowl. Devlin ultimately lost the QB job to Daryll Clark, but it was Devlin who engineered the game-winning drive against Ohio State.

Matt Cassel’s father has passed away in California. The BOSTON GLOBE says the Pats are unsure if Cassel will play this weekend.

• Another day, another congressman thinking that he can just legislate the BCS out of existence. The AP (via the HOUSTON CHRONICLE) reports that Rep. Joe Barton of Texas wants to make a college football championship game illegal unless it comes at the end of a playoff system.

• According to the NEW YORK TIMES, the Giants are not paying a $1 million portion of a signing bonus owed to Plaxico Burress. Something to do about some trouble he’s in. I’m not really sure what that’s all about.

Who’s your Heisman Trophy winner?

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