Posted 08/23/2010 at 11:11 AM
--Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review Journal reports on Kenny White's departure from Las Vegas Sports Consultants earlier this month. Kenny, a great guy who is as 'in the know' as any other in the sports handicapping business, took the high road when discussing the situation and will no doubt land on his feet in whatever career venture he attacks next.
--Like I said on twitter over the weekend, I don't wish jail on anybody except for Orenthal James Simpson, Roger Clemens and.......Jay Mariotti!
--Would it really feel like August if Steve Spurrier wasn't unhappy with his quarterbacks?
--After playing well in Saturday's scrimmage in Oxford, it appears to be a given that Houston Nutt will name Jeremiah Masoli as his starting quarterback on Tuesday. From all indications so far, Masoli has been the ultimate teammate and is comfortably adjusting to his new surroundings. And trust me, an inner-city kid from San Francisco has to be experiencing a lot of culture shock in Mississippi.
--Quick story on how backwards things are in Oxford (or at least it was like this on my last trip in '05): The mayor's family owns the only ice-making factory in the area. Therefore, it's a law that cold beer can't be sold at grocery stores or convenience stores in Oxford. That's right, the beer isn't being refrigerated so that every time someone buys a sixer, 12-pack or case, you have to buy ice, too. Unless, that is, you like to drink hot beer. What the hell is that garbage?!?!
--UFC 118 coming up this weekend in Boston! B.J. 'The Prodigy' Penn and Randy 'The Natural' Couture are monster favorites, with bettors getting a chance to cash generous underdog tickets on Frankie 'The Answer' Edgar (+250) and James 'Lights Out' Toney (+500). Also, I finally found a number for Frank Mir (-220) vs. Mirko Cro Cop (+180) in the main event of UFC 119 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Sept. 25.
--Following Saturday's scrimmage, Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips refused to name a starting QB. In fact, he wasn't even willing to eliminate in any of his three viable candidates -- Morgan Newton, Mike Hartline and Ryan Mossakowski. Hartline has the edge in experience and was playing the best football of his career when he got injured last season. Newton logged eight starts as a true freshman and was impressive both throwing (6/3 touchdown-interception ratio) and dealing with pressure with his huge frame (6'4", 235) and ability to escape and/or take a hit. Mossakowski, a redshirt freshman, was one of UK's best recruits under Rich Brooks. UPDATE: Hartline named starter late Monday afternoon.
--I love the way Braves General Manager Frank Wren has been wheeling and dealing this summer. The acquisitions of SS Alex Gonzalez and 1B Derek Lee have molded this team into a serious World Series contender. As of early this morning, BoDog had Atlanta with plus-750 odds to win The Fall Classic (risk $100 to win $750). I've been critical of Wren in the past, but he's done a splendid job with this club that I would've never dreamed would be in this position.
--Here's a hat tip to Sweet Lou, who stepped down as Cubs skipper yesterday to go spend more time with his ailing mother. Sweet Lou was always a character, an excellent manager who won a World Series with the Reds and had a number of outstanding teams during his decade in Seattle. He also got the most out of his abilities as a player through toughness and hard work.
--Great story on ESPN Radio this morning from John Kruk. When asked about Sweet Lou getting emotional yesterday, especially about taking off his uniform for the last time, Kruk told a classic story. The background was this: Kruk-er playing for the White Sox, ready to retire and it decided that the next time he got a base hit, he'd be pinch-run for and then he'd be done. His parents were in town and when Kruk told his Dad about that plan, his Dad said, "Allright, well hurry up and get that SOB because it's fu__in' hot as hell out here."
--I'm still jonesin' to see Mariotti's mug shot!!!