Another bad idea by ESPN

August 22, 2007

250px-espn8.pngWe all know that ESPN loves nothing more than self-promotion and hyping up games they are covering. But this is a bit extreme, even for them.

ESPN is going to air a 25-hour pregame/lead-in show for their first college football game, LSU-Mississippi State. Yes, that’s 25 hours, or more than a full day.

That’s ridiculous. And I’m a big college football fan. I’ve been counting down the days to that first football saturday (10 days people!) and days until that first game (8 days!).

But does a network sports fans of all different teams watch need to hype up its first game for 25 hours? It’s not the Super Bowl or anything. It’s LSU-Mississippi State.

Daily Links

August 22, 2007

fw-baseball-pitcher.gifJonathan Papelbon invents a new pitch, and Babes Love Baseball invents some more of their own.

Jerome Bettis, aka Tex Goldstein, tells all in a new book. Tex Goldstein??? (Larry Brown Sports)

Is Stanford really going at 1,000,000,000:1 odds to win the Pac-10? Really? I’ve never seen odds that high. (The Big Picture)

Why athletes shouldn’t put pictures of themselves at parties on Facebook. (The Wizard of Odds)

Can the Seattle Mariners make the playoffs? If they’ve played this well for 3/4 of the season, why not the last 1/4? (The Sultan on Sports)

brandonwebbbobble.jpgBrandon Webb is scheduled to start for the Diamondbacks tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers. Webb currently has a 42 consecutive scoreless innings streak. The record, of course, is held by Orel Hershiser who had 59.

42 scoreless innings is incredible, especially in this day and age with more offense and pitchers being taken out of games earlier than ever.

Let’s not get carried away though. It’s far from a certainty that Webb will throw two more shutouts in a row to break Orel’s record. Before this streak started, Webb had only two starts where he didn’t allow a run.

A look at the other best pitchers in the majors and how often they’ve had starts without allowing a run (Webb hasn’t allowed a run in 7 of his 26 starts):

Chris Young: 10 of 23 (but two starts were 3 innings or less)
Jake Peavy: 7 of 25
Brad  Penny: 6 of 26
Tim Hudson: 6 of 27
Johan Santana: 4 of 26
Kelvim Escobar: 3 of 23
Dan Haren: 3 of 26
John Lackey: 2 of 25

So this is far from a certainty. But it will be fun to root for. A lot of us like to see records challenged and broken, and this is an extremely impressive record.

Wednesday sports preview

August 22, 2007

anderson_garret051011.jpgGAME OF THE DAY: New York Yankees at LA Angels, 7 p.m. Yes I’m picking this game for the third day in a row. I won’t pick it tomorrow, I promise. Yes, I know these two teams don’t play against each other tomorrow.

The Angels pounded the Yankees on Tuesday night, winning 18-9. You read that right. Garret Anderson got two franchise records on one swing — he hit a team-record 10 RBI in the game and also hit his 8th career grand slam. Mike Mussina was knocked out of the game in the second inning, and the Angels never stopped piling on the runs.

Tonight, the Angels go for the sweep. Probables: Andy “I have too many t’s in my name” Pettitte vs. John “if I were a Yankee or Red Sox, I’d be famous” Lackey

OTHER BIG MLB GAMES:

San Diego at NY Mets, 4 p.m. Nationally televised on ESPN2. This picture on Faith and Fear in Flushing is a must-see. All of a sudden, the Mets have won four in a row. The Padres are tied with the Phillies in a wild-card race where seven teams are within 2.5 games of each other.

Chicago Cubs at San Francisco, 7 p.m. Nationally televised on WGN. The Cubs are tied for first. With a bad outing, Barry Zito’s ERA can climb above 5. What a great signing. Just six more years and about $108 million left until that contract runs out.

Milwaukee at Arizona, 6:40 p.m. Brandon Webb chases history tonight. More on that in another post.

Cleveland at Detroit, 4 p.m. The Tigers won Tuesday night, moving them to within 1/2 of a game of first behind the Indians.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia, 4 p.m. Is it just me, or do the Phillies seem to be in contention until the final week every single year, but never actually make the playoffs?

OTHER SPORTS:

USA men’s basketball national team vs. Venezuela, 8 p.m. Nationally televised on ESPN Classic. The game is an Olympic qualifier. And nice of USA Basketball to misspell Venezuela. Anyone else surprised this game is stuck on a cable network as random as ESPN Classic?

Also, there’s the Little League World Series, all day on ESPN/ESPN2.

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