Speed Read: All Bets Off On Rose Hall Of Fame Bid

If Vegas actually had a betting line on Pete Rose making it into the Baseball Hall of Fame, it would have probably been taken off the board for “suspicious activity” after the events of the last few days. The odds improved significantly when Henry Aaron - a close friend of Commissioner Bud Selig - mentioned to reporters that he’d like to see Rose in the Hall of Fame, leading to a report by the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS that Selig was “seriously considering” lifting Rose’s lifetime ban.

Bud Selig, Pete Rose

But if ESPN is correct, betting on seeing Rose anywhere in Cooperstown other than selling autographs at a card table might be a sucker bet. Their sources are saying that Selig is not considering reinstating Rose, leaving him to be happy with his place in the Soup Bowl Haircut Hall of Fame (alongside sartorial luminaries as Moe Howard, Chairman Mao and Jim Carrey from “Dumb and Dumber”).

Pete Rose in Vegas

Personally, I could care less one way or the other - at this point, the only way Rose actually makes it into the Hall of Fame is through the Veterans Committee, and they are chock full of grumpy old men who would keep people out of the Hall of Fame for not wearing suits and hats on their train rides during road trips, much less betting on baseball. The only person I feel sorry for is Ray Fosse, as he has to deal with a new round of awkward questions about Rose turning him into a tackling dummy and ruining his career.

All of which Rose finds pretty funny, I guess:

And speaking of “suspicious activity,” I guess you can go ahead and add The Big Security Threat to Shaquille O’Neal’s list of monikers. While appearing on “The Mike Wise Show” a few days ago to promote his stint tonight on WWE Raw, he asked the hosts if they thought he could get into the White House and meet President Barack Obama if he dropped in unannounced. DC SPORTS BOG has the answer, and it’s a resounding “No.”

Shaq actually tried it yesterday, as part of a bet (1,000 push-ups) with one of his handlers. While the guys at the front gate were “nice,” they weren’t going to let Shaq act like this is a Tonight Show episode from 1982, and he’s Bob Hope interrupting an interview between Johnny Carson and an 82-year-old shoe collector to do a walk-through on the way to his latest special. Between the economy, the Middle East and studying the White Sox roster to find Walt Weiss, President Obama might have better things to do.

As far as Raw is Shaq went: he hung out with a leprechaun:

…and then kissed a sweaty guy prone to bouts of irrational anger:

So yeah, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t want him hanging around the Oval Office.

Finally, Jim Bunning might be a Hall of Fame pitcher, but it turns out that the Republican Party has no problem pulling him early and telling him to hit the showers. The WASHINGTON POST says that the Senator from Kentucky is bowing to pressure within his own party and will not run for re-election in 2010, a political fall from grace that would have been almost unthinkable a few years ago.

Jim Bunning

Of course, it turns out that openly discussing when a Supreme Court Justice with “the bad cancer” is going to die isn’t the savviest political move. And his “lousy” fundraising so far for the race - he only $376,000 in his war chest - isn’t helping matters either. Or the persistent rumors that he’s dealing with Alzheimer’s-related dementia - you know, the “bad dementia.” All of which adds up to his seat being widely considered as the most vulnerable in the 2010 elections, making him a problem the Republicans couldn’t ignore any longer.

So what happens to the 77-year-old Bunning? Perhaps a seat on the Veterans Committee - or at least a table at a card show next to Pete Rose.

Other sports news that happened while you were accidentally shooting three people with your brand-new Taser gun.

Which player eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time in 2010 is most deserving?

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Speed Read: Man, The NFC West Is Really Awful

The last time we say the Cardinals take on the 49ers on Monday Night Football was Opening Night of last season, and the result was a 20-17 loss that set the tone for a disappointing 2007 season for Arizona. Flash forward one year and change, and the Cardinals were able to take out the 49ers 29-24 on the strength of a last second goal line stand.

Arizona Cardinals OL Deuce Lutui

Quite a difference one season can make, right? Instead of Matt Leinart looking confused under center, you had Kurt Warner, looking for all the world like an MVP. And at the end of the day, Arizona is 6-3, and a full four games ahead of their nearest NFC West rivals.

Allen Rossum

But really, if you are a Cardinals fan, do you feel any better about the team after last night’s game than you did before? To quote an ex-coach, the 49ers were who we thought they were: a mediocre team with nothing to lose. Great teams put teams like that away early. Good teams let them hang around until the 4th quarter before pulling away. The Cardinals rely on a stop as time expires at the goal line after a questionable “down by contact” ruling.

Perhaps this says less about the Cardinals than it does about the overall awful nature of the NFC West?

In other sports news that happened while you were looking to unload your extra Inauguration tickets:

TJ Downing

What will the end result be of the Arizona Cardinals’ season?

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Speed Read: It’s All An NFL Mediocrity Rat Race

All this flowery speak about perfection and futility can bore easily. So the Titans are still 9-0 and the Lions are the opposite of that. Big whoop. But what about the teams that are between sweet and suck? What about the underachievers? The hangers-on? The — to borrow from the college hoops folk — bubble teams? Eight squads (excluding the Arizona Cardinals, who play tonight on MNF) finished Week 10 with a meh-worthy 5-4 record: the Bears, Broncos, Colts, Dolphins, Bills, Cowboys, Eagles, and Vikings. And two of those teams are in the rattiest of races to align themselves for just a few playoff spots.

NFL Rat Race

(Click right here for the big boy version)

Granted, with seven weeks left to play, a couple of those top teams could tumble, therefore a 6-3 record doesn’t mean jack diddly because (a) eight or nine teams are breathing down their neck, and (b) some of those six-win teams aren’t guaranteed a wild card spot. Isn’t it great when the bulk majority of the football teams are rather collectively unhappy? After all, they’re doing good work, but they are so pissed at the mistakes they’ve made this year that it gives their fans a little bit of solace that their favorite team is almost as miserable at their own jobs as they are.

Again, most teams. Not all.

Eli Manning

The New York Giants have to be at least cracking a smile with their 8-1 start after defeating their division brethren, the Philadelphia Eagles, 36-31 on Sunday Night Football. Eli Manning threw two touchdowns and Brandon Jacobs scampered for two scores of his own to go with 126 yards. Expect coach Tom Coughlin to yell at only 80 percent decibel level.

America's Funniest Home Videos over NASCAR

So what’s more of a value to America? Fast cars or trauma to the groin? The VIRGINIAN-PILOT’s Dustin Long feels that people will take bouncy camcorders over rubbin’, which is the same thing as racin’. After a couple of red flags in Phoenix’s Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, ABC moved the final 30 minutes of the telecast to ESPN2 so they could show “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Wait. Rain in Phoenix? Methinks ABC had a bucket full o’ dry ice up their sleeve.

Greg Maddux

And now for (mostly) non-crotch-pain-related news:

  • ABOUT.COM’s Scott Kendrick says the Gold Glove voting is a popularity contest, which is the only reason Greg Maddux has won one more than anyone else.
  • Chris Mullin’s time as the Warriors’ top basketball executive may be nearing an end, and SACRAMENTO BEE’S KINGS BLOG chronicles Mullin’s mistakes.
  • BLEACHER REPORT names this year’s MLB All-Rookie Team, and Armando Galarraga is named as the pitcher, so it’s a quality list.
  • Could Ohio State still make the Fiesta Bowl, yet again? The CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER says it’s possible … provided “six or eight upsets take place”. Gee, that’s all?
  • Where, oh where, will Matt Holliday land? The ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS’ answer: not the Cardinals.
  • Steelers’ tailback Willie Parker has a torn labrum, and might miss most or all of the season, depending on you ask. If you ask Parker himself, he doesn’t have one, since he says nobody told him that. So it won’t hurt, Mr. Parker, if I just take this doctor’s hammer and tap here?
  • Not only South Africa get shut out of the Beijing Olympics, but the DAILY NEWS reports they also wasted 11 million rand ($1.11 million) on a South African expo in Beijing that nobody really went to, since it wasn’t anywhere near the Olympics. See, America? We’re not the only country who spends poorly!
  • Time for feel good news, the court-ordered way. The WHEELING NEWS-REGISTER says cyclist Susan Haywood was entitled to $319,000 after she was improperly kept off the 2004 U.S. Olympic cycling team for some convoluted reason involving lost racing points and confusion over number of mountain bikers on a team. Hey, just because it’s not a sex scandal doesn’t mean it’s not worth mentioning.
  • The KC STAR’s Jason Whitlock says the Chiefs are heading in the right direction, even after their 20-19 loss, where they went for two at the end and missed. SHUTDOWN CORNER’S MJD concurs. Disagree with them? That’s two people, and you are only one person, therefore you are wrong.
  • And finally, THE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER says Seahawks quarterback Seneca Wallace hurt his groin in their 21-19 loss to the Dolphins. Hey, I said it was going to be mostly-free crotch-pain news, didn’t I?

What athlete(s) earned a spot on President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet?

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Remember Back When The Rockies Were Good?

Just a year ago, the Colorado Rockies were riding high from an improbable run to the World Series, even if it did end in a sweep at the hands of the Red Sox. Things were looking up, and the Rocks were poised to dominate the NL West for years to come. Oh, what a difference a year makes.

Rockies fans

(Sadly, the snowman is their #4 starter next year)

Colorado pitcher Luis Vizcaino was arrested for DUI early this morning after being pulled over for driving 71 in a 45 mph zone. But this isn’t nearly the most depressing news today for Rockies fans. The DENVER POST is now reporting that the team is interested in unloading Matt Holliday before he enters the final year of his contract, because they’re pretty sure they aren’t going to be able to sign him later anyway. Well, at least you had one good run, there, Rockies fans.

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