Another 40

Tonight, the Knicks gave up 40 points in the first quarter for the third time this season. This is the Knicks' 7th game. Not good.

I know Mike D' Antoni is supposed to be an offensive genius, but occasionally you have to keep the other team from scoring to have a chance to win. As I write this, Milwaukee has 50 points with nine minutes left in the first half. And Michael Redd isn't playing.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but this team is total embarrassment. Can they at least feign interest on defense?

Don't take this Holliday

The Mets should absolutely not sign Matt Holliday this winter. He is the absolute wrong player for them, no matter how right he might seem.

Rumors are already circulating that the Mets favor Holliday over Jason Bay. I'm not in love with either guy, and personally I'd rather see them go after Roy Halladay, Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez via trade. But between Bay and Holliday, I'll take Bay.

All you have to do is look at Holliday's splits. In a career spent almost entirely in hitter-friendly Colorado, Holiday had a 1.052 OPS at home and an .808 OPS on the road. Cavernous Citi Field will not be kind to Mr. Holliday's numbers, not to mention the fact that he has been known to butcher the occasional play in the field.

For once, the Mets must be smart. Fans want the team to spend big to dull the pain of last season and calm any fears about ownership being broke thanks to Bernie Satan Madoff. But signing Holliday to a huge contract would be another shortsighted move by a team notorious for such blunders.

The Mets should try like hell to trade for a star that will thrive with this team. But if they can't, the worst thing they could do is panic and scramble to appease the fans in the short term. If they give Holliday this money it won't be available for someone else, someone the Mets really need, in the future.


Wrong answer

After the Grizzlies lost to the Kings earlier this week, Allen Iverson voiced his displeasure with coming off the bench and playing just 18 minutes in the game.

Iverson told reporters, among other things, to "go look at my resume, it will show you that I’m not a sixth man.”

Since our aim at The Sports Rippers is to make people happy, I am going to do just that.

First, let's look at Iverson's stats. No one could argue that at his best he was an all-time great scorer. He's averaged 27 ppg for his career, good for 5th in NBA history.

Unfortunately, Iverson isn't exactly what I'd call an efficient scorer. He's never shot better than 46% in any season and has dipped below 40% twice. His career shooting percentage is a putrid 42.5. Four times Iverson led the NBA in field goal attempts.

The Answer led the league in turnovers twice, has shot just 31% on three-pointers for his career and was never a particularly good defender.

The most important fact to know about Iverson is that the 76ers got better after they traded Iverson for Andre Miller, and Denver improved after trading Iverson for Chauncey Billups.

Is that the resume you meant, Allen?

It seems Iverson has never been able to grasp that everything isn't about him. The Grizzlies won 24 games last year. They have a young and promising backcourt of O.J. Mayo and Mike Conley. Memphis is doing the smart thing, getting those guys experience and trying to gauge if they're the kind of players to build around.

It's possible - though certainly not a sure thing - that Memphis could win two or three more games over the course of the season with Iverson starting instead of Conley or Mayo. But that's not important. The Grizz don't want to be slightly less bad this year, they want to be good in the future.

If the Grizzlies are better in the future, you can bet it's a future that won't include Iverson.


Deja T.O.

W.F. Slinger (who we promise will post his own stuff eventually) with some thoughts on the newest Cowboy diva.
There are your bad guys and then there are your bad team guys. I know nothing about Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Roy Williams as a person, but I now know all I need to know about him as a teammate.

Welcome to the Zach Randolph/Allen Iverson/Terrell Owens/others like them Club, my friend. You are officially a loser.

Don't believe me? Then check out this story from ESPN.com, which makes Williams sound selfish, stupid and delusional.

Williams pretty much blames quarterback Tony Romo for his own lack of production since coming over from the Detroit Losts last year. Despite playing like a bum and having other bums like Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton completely outplay him, Williams maintains he's the teams No. 1 receiver. According to him, "I'm the No. 1 wide receiver, but things are just going No. 2's way."

Maybe that's because you stink. Doesn't this sound like the rantings and ravings of another wideout in Dallas? Just last year, T.O. was making wild claims about how Romo didn't throw him the ball enough and that the quarterback and tight end Jason Whitten were somehow conspiring against him by coming up with their own plays.

Last I checked, Romo has better things to occupy himself with in hotel rooms when the team travels on the road.

It's a shame because I used to really like this guy. He played for Permian High School (made famous by the legendary book "Friday Nigh Lights") in Odessa, Texas, where his freakish talent earned him one of the simplest, but great nicknames ever: The Legend.

At the University of Texas, he provided the best highlight material of any wide receiver since Florida State's Peter Warrick and was even ranked No. 1 on Mel Kiper's Big Board at one point before being drafted No. 7 in the 2004 NFL Draft. After showing some early brilliance (82 catches for 1,310 yards and 7 TDs in his third full season), even while playing for the sorriest professional team of the past decade in Detroit, Williams has basically been an injury-plagued disaster ever since.

And now, on top of bringing Dallas down (a good thing), he's killing my fantasy team (dagger). Too bad Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones doesn't play in my fantasy football league. Then I might be able to dump "The Former Legend" on him like the Lions did for a first, third, and sixth round pick in next year's draft.

Get out.

We're going on 24 hours of this absurdity. The daggers are flying so fast and furious we Yankee haters can't avoid them. Painful stuff.

Turns out Old Daggerface himself is...none other than Joe Girardi. Not only has Girardi steered the Yanks to No. 27, his number (yawn!), apparently he's Father Theresa.

In the words of T.G. Dagger, sigh.

The stifling images have hounded me all day, but none more so than this fraud pictured above and to your right: Kurt Russell. So he's a Yankee fan? Puke time.

Check out K-Russ' wikipedia page. Born in Springfield, Mass. (Red Sox country), Russell's family settled in Arlington, a suburb that's half a bike ride from Fenway Park. He graduated from high school in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Dodger country), and, in perhaps the greatest calamity of all, he currently lives in Vancouver but considers Rangeley, Maine, his hometown.

I'd love to see K-Russ find anything but a Red Sox hat in Rangeley, pop. 1,052 and just a few miles from the Canada and New Hampshire borders.

If you're a true sports fan like us, Russell's sudden fandom makes you want to lock your head in a vice. It smacks of several serious offenses of the fan code, among them:

• Bandwagon jumping
• Sports polygamy

Russell and his peeps would probably spin this despicablity as support for Kate Hudson, A-Rod's girlfriend and fellow bogus fan. But I can't blame Hudson. For starters, she roots passionately for someone on the team, purple lips and all, and she hardly shoves it down our throats. (FOX, on the other hand...)

So if K-Russ wanted to catch a few games this postseason, fine, but lose the hat. And definitely lose the jacket. It's ugly. You're not a 10-year-old kid. And you're certainly not the manager.

Russell couldn't, of course, because no one would've noticed without it.

Apparently, Russell so wanted to pledge support to his gutty, gritty $218-million band of heroes, he wore the getup to a club early Thursday morning, where Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and other Yankees held a celebration.

Ya know, it may've made all this torture worth it. We'll never know.

An assist from above

Three random thoughts from Game 6:

Best part of the Yankees' celebration by far was Mark Teixeira saying God led him to the Yankees. Funny, I thought it was the $180 mil...which he accepted after turning down the Red Sox' $168 million offer. Players SHOULD go for the most money -- and fans shouldn't be critical when they do -- but please, spare me with the nonsense explanations. Somehow, I don't think Scott Boras was consulting with God.

How funny was it to see Hank Steinbrenner being relegated to the back row on the podium when the Yankees were accepting the trophy? The guy was front and center last year. This year you get the feeling he had to pay off a security guard just to be let on the field.

I got a kick out of the fact that it clearly wasn't even remotely in consideration for Mariano Rivera to be brought into the game before the 8th inning. WFAN's Mike Francesa mocked anyone who even took the position that such a move was highly unlikely. Once again, he was totally lost.

My worst fear realized

I'm in mourning, so I won't be posting anything lengthy or profound. The Yankees have won another title...sigh.

The thing I most want to avoid every year is a Yankees' world series parade. No such luck in '09. For the next week I'll have to hear about how much heart this gritty bunch of highly-paid stars has, how much adversity Alex Rodriguez has overcome and how Jeter's intangibles produced yet another ring.

It was a good run. Out of the playoffs last year and out of the winner's circle for eight seasons. Last night, they finally daggered all the Yankee haters across the land.

Hey, there's always next year.


Get this man a new chart

Warning: Much of the following post will make no sense. I'm sorry. It's not my fault. It is Tony Sparano's incomprehensible explanation as to why he decided to go for a 2-point conversion with the Dolphins leading 30-19 with 8:48 left in the game in Sunday's victory over the Jets.

Anyone with literally the most fundamental football knowledge should know that you NEVER go for a 2-point conversion when leading by 11 points. The difference between an 11-point lead and a 12-point lead is so much more important than that between a 12-point lead and a 13-point lead. It is absolutely comical that Sparano made this mistake. Most bad decisions have some possible explanation...but this one simply has none.

Given a chance to just admit he messed up, Sparano did his best to explain the ridiculous decision. Sit back and enjoy this beauty.

Here it is:

Reporter: Tony, when you went up 30-19, what was the reason for going for the two-point conversion?

Tony Sparano: I'll tell you what. Here's my reason (drumroll please). There's a lot of scenarios (no, actually just one). Too many scenarios to be honest with you. Coulda, shoulda, wouldas. But my feeling at that time was that one of the elements that we could have taken out of play was the scenario of, and let me start by saying this, I liked being there where I was at 11, 11's kind of a good number to be at (good to know). And the reason that I think 11's s a good number to be at -- not that 12's not a better number or 13's not a better number -- but 11's a good number to be at in that it brings three different deals into play. (Does he think this is insightful?) One that sounds easy but really isn't is this two-point conversion business. (Who said it was easy?) Now [The Jets] tried a few of them and didn't make them. When you look at this year's statistics, that number going into the ballgame was about 29 percent conversion. My feeling was, being aggressive, I felt like at that point 11 was a good spot to be for us. (We get it...you like being up 11.) I was trying to take a scenario out of play where the only scenario that would have beat us was two touchdowns. (Um, yes, so kick the PAT and make sure of it rather than risking it.) So I treated it in that situation kind of like a fourth down call (huh?). I thought we had a really good play, a really good play, and we just didn't execute it. (It's just as stupid a decision even if it worked.)

He later continued...(second warning: He's about to say a lot of really stupid and bizarre things)...

I hate this. I remember watching this movie Armageddon once. (I have never seen this movie, and I definitely don't plan to now.) And they said, 'You can't use your blow the bomb up card in this situation.' There's five different cards, you might get five different answers. (Read my "card" below Tony. It's not that confusing.) You really might. In my mind, as I'm going through this thing, one of the things I'm thinking (he was thinking?) is -- and this is not being negative -- I just didn't know how many more at bats that team was going to get (probably not more than two). You can tell me eight-and-a-half minutes, I just don't know. (I know you don't know.) The way the game was going, and where we were offensively in this football game, I had no idea how many more at bats that team was going to get. (Enough with the "At-bats.") In my mind, we were down there, we just finished a good drive. (Pretty typical to be "down there" after a touchdown.) We had some momentum and we had a good play in a good situation and we were at a good number (Did you know Tony Sparano likes to be up 11 points in the fourth quarter?) When you look at some of those things, the touchdown, the two-point play, the field goal, those kind of plays, the hardest things to execute, to get, are the touchdowns and the two-pointers sometimes (thanks). So with where we were at 11, they had to execute a field goal, a two-point play, and a touchdown. Now as it turned out, the Monday morning quarterbacks (no, people with basic football knowledge) are all going to look and say, 'Well jeez, that's the way it kind of was headed.' (Was it really that shocking?) That's true, but we weren't planning on a 50-something yard pass play and any of those scenarios to happen during the course of this thing. That's why.

Reporter: But don't you need two touchdowns if you're up 12?

TS: Yeah, but one brings into the at bat thing (kill me). That's all I'm saying. One brings into a touchdown a field goal and a field goal can get you. You know what I mean? (There was 8:30 left!! Let me know the next time a team kicks a field goal down 12 points with under eight minutes.) I'm trying to put some of that out of the way, because I don't know how many at bats they're going to get. I really don't. (You're right, you really don't know.)

Here is a quick 2-point conversion lesson for Tony and the rest of the NFL courtesy of The Sports Rippers free of charge.

When to go for 2:

First rule, don't even consider it until the second half of the third quarter.

When leading (AFTER the touchdown) by: 1, 5, 12, it is usually a good decision to do it.
When trailing (AFTER the touchdown) by: 2, 5, 10, 13.

There are other more intricate scenarios -- for example, you should go for two if you score and are up four points VERY LATE in a game -- but those aren't all that common or critical. Stick to the above chart, and you're fine.

And you won't get ripped.

Best. Sign. Ever.

Sign writer = legend.

(UPDATE, 2:08 a.m.: For those who can't see it, sign reads "Purple Lipped Roid Freak.)

Pedro: Better than ever?

No, actually, he's not.

In fact, at 38, Pedro Martinez, the greatest pitcher in the last 25 years, could very well be on the verge of the final start of his career — and for a justifiable reason. Yet of all the absurd notions floated by dinosaurs roaming aimlessly around the sports landscape these days, one uttered today made the others look intricate and advanced, kind of how movies like Waterworld make Costner masterpieces like For the Love of the Game appear entertaining by comparison.

Now, I don't want to repeat the rip of my astute colleague, Tony G. Dagger, who bemoaned the cliched idiocy spewing from those two herbivores, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, during Game 2. But listen to how lost one reporter — we'll call him Not Ferdinand Magellan — proved himself to be during the Yankees pre-Game 6 workout.

In a scrum centered around (of all people) Jerry Hairston Jr., someone asked the Yankee utilityman the following:
"Is Pedro maybe more dangerous now than earlier in his career because he relies more on deception?"
I'd laugh, too, had this not actually happened. Well, it did.

I don't know. Perhaps N.F. Magellan prefers Pedro circa '09, but were I a member of the Phillies I'd rather Charlie Manuel shipped the Pedro of 10 years ago to the mound for Game 6.

Call me crazy, but here's three quaint little pieces of evidence as to why:

• 1997: 17-8, 1.90 ERA, 13 CG, 4 SO, 241.1 IP, 158 H, 65 BB, 305 K, 0.932 WHIP, 219 ERA+
• 1999: 23-4, 2.07 ERA, 5 CG, 1 SO, 213.1 IP, 160 H, 37 BB, 313 K, 0.923 WHIP, 237 ERA +
• 2000: 18-6, 1.74 ERA, 7 CG, 4 SO, 217 IP, 128 H, 32 BB, 284 K, 0.737 WHIP, 291 ERA+

Anyway, after the question Hairston paused. I can't even imagine what ran through his head. Maybe the 97-mph fastball. Maybe the mid-70s changeup. Or the mid-60 deuce. Whatever it was, he answered the question, filling up N.F.'s notebook as best he could.

In this case, LOL would've sufficed.


Is Fox Kidding?

W.F. Slinger...big fan of Fox's broadcast team.

Another game, another night filled with laughs. Seriously, Fox should scrap all their sitcoms and simply use the brainless bantering of Tim McCarver, Joe Buck and now Ozzie Guillen to draw viewers looking for a comedy fix.

First there's Guillen during the pregame show before the start of Game 5 of the World Series. Usually I only understand about half of what he's saying, but I did manage to hear the part where he answered a ludicrous question posed by host Chris Rose of whether Derek Jeter is the greatest Yankee of all-time.

I literally LOL 'ed when I heard that one, but Guillen actually took the bait and responded by saying yes. In fact, he threw in that Jeter is even better than Babe Ruth or anyone else who has ever worn the Pinstripes (Erik Karros nearly followed suit, but at least his answer was based on "how Jeter carries himself as a Yankee" even though I'm pretty sure I've heard a few times that Ruth saved baseball).

Hmm. I think he's refering to the guy who hit 714 home runs and re-wrote all the record books. If not, maybe he means the guy who was one of the great pitchers of his era and had a 3-0 record and a 0.74 ERA in the World Series. Oh wait, they're the same player?!

Nobody is better than Ruth and certainly not Jeter, whose career stats (while playing during the greatest hitting era ever) are arguably not even as good as retired Yankee teammate Bernie Williams.

Just for fun, let's look at the stats:

• Jeter: .317/.388/.459 with 224 home runs.
• Ruth: .342/.474/.690 with 714 home runs.

Sorry, Ozzie. I love Jeter too, but all the flip-plays in the world don't make up for that meaty 300-point gap in OPS...

Speaking of OPS, how about Joe Buck chiming in late in the game and talking about it as a "new stat that's in vogue now in baseball." I perked up to listen because I was stunned he even knew what OPS was. I also couldn't wait to hear what he said next.

Buck was talking about Chase Utley and how if you measure him by OPS, he's only behind the legendary Rogers Hornsby all-time for second basemen. So much for "new." The guy basically was born before the invention of the automobile and if he was related to the current Phillies second baseman, he would be his great-great grandfather.

Granted, there are a lot of newfangled statistics that are hard for old-timers to keep up with. But OPS is the simple addition of two longtime stats. It's really not that hard to comprehend...

And then there's McCarver, a.k.a. McLost. He had plenty of gems as usual, but I'll focus on his Cliff Lee gushing. Lee is a great pitcher and has been for two years now, but according to McLost, he's a "different" pitcher with the Phillies.

So I guess that means Lee retooled after going 22-3 with a 2.54 in the American League last season. He wasn't happy with winning the Cy Young Award so he scrapped everything and went back to the drawing board.

Later on, McLost praised Lee for among other things, throwing his fastball both inside and outside. As a fellow ripper on this blog remarked, "It's too bad no one told Koufax that. He would've been tough to hit."

The Maaaaad Backer lets one rip

Frankly, I'm just here as the messenger. This rip comes courtesy of Bart Scott, and I'm just here to share it. He gave one of the all-time rips (or sore loser tirades) following Miami's 30-25 win over the Jets. It was hilarious.

First, some context: To quickly bring those up to speed on what happened in the Jets-Dolphins game, the Dolphins used two kickoff returns by wide receiver stiff and special teams legend Ted Ginn Jr. as well as a fumble return by Jason Taylor to win the game. The Jets outgained the Dolphins 378-104 in yardage and controlled most of the game. The game should not have been close. The Jets should have won by two touchdowns.

Scott, in his self-anointed role as team spokesman, gave the Dolphins credit...well, a little too much credit. Rather than simply offering mundane niceties, he went with the all-sarcastic approach, and essentially compared the 2009 Dolphins offense to the 1999 Rams.

Here is some of what Scott had to say (Remember, the Dolphins had 104 TOTAL YARDS OF OFFENSE):

On the loss in general despite controlling the game:

BS: "It's tough. They're a great team. They'll probably contend for the Super Bowl. They have a tremendous offense -- great running backs, a great quarterback, a great tight end. They are stacked across the board. I'm serious. They are great."

He continued later on...

BS: "They have a tremendous offense and they showed it today. They are Super Bowl contenders and will probably take it all the way."

Don't you just love how he throws in the 'I'm serious.' line?

Bart Scott ladies and gentlemen.

Good luck with that, Andy

A quick follow-up to my pregame post: So how do Yankee fans feel now? Probably tighter than Eddie Harris' back during Game 163 in Major League.

Why? Well, part one of my three-part path to the Phillies winning the World Series came true, they dropped the Yanks 8-6 in Game 5 thanks to an ineffective A.J. Burnett. It has sent the Bronx Bombers home to New York with the lighter and a target — just no bomb.

Pettitte will likely start Game 6 on three days rest. He last pitched on short rest in 2006 for the Astros, who ran Pettitte to the mound on short rest three times that season. It made little sense then — Pettitte had last started on less than full rest in 2001 — but what can you expect from "Scrap Iron," Phil Garner, the skipper of Team GPS. Now? Starting Pettitte here simply boggles the mind, even over three years later. The 37-year-old lefty started on regular, four-day rest on Sept. 5. One start later the Yankees shelved Pettitte to rest his sore elbow. It's been five days or more between appearances for him ever since.

This will prove a monumental mistake. Joe Girardi's only hope is the Yankees tattoo Phillies' Game 6 starter Pedro Martinez, who is compromised by slipping stuff but will completely empty the tank. The offense may bail Girardi out, but remember: This is likely the the last gasp of Pedro's career. No one who called himself "maybe the most influential player to ever play in Yankee Stadium" will pull a Kobe, halfassing it in a big spot


A real laugher

Another postseason award has been stripped of all credibility.

First off, let me say that this is not a rip of Derek Jeter. Jeter had a great season, his team is one win away from a title, etc. Jeter was also given the Hank Aaron award for being the American League's best offensive player this season.

I know you must be waiting for a punch line, but incredibly, this is not a joke.

Jeter had the 5th-best OPS this season - on his own team! In the American League? He finished just outside the top 20. Jeter is looking up six spots at Sin-Shoo Choo.

Fans decided the winners of the award this year, which certainly explains in large part why Jeter won. But fans have already proven with their All-Star Game voting that they don't vote on performance but rather on reputation and name recognition. So why give them another vote to foul up?

In what universe did Joe Mauer not deserve this award? As a catcher, Mauer led the league in OPS, slugging, on-base percentage and batting average. He had the second-best BB/K ratio, the second most runs created and the most runs created per 27 outs. He was the best offensive player in the league by far, no argument.

Let's see what happens with the MVP. If the media robs Mauer of that one, check back to this blog for the rip to end all rips.

Misguided AJ-enda

One of the most ballyhooed decisions by a manager in recent World Series history was made in 2003 by ol' Jack McKeon. Up 3 games to 2, Trader Jack wanted to put two feet on the Yankees throats before they ever caught their breath at Yankee Stadium. He tabbed Beckett to pitch Game 6 on three days rest, rather than take a shot with either Mark Redmond or Dontrelle Willis and turn back to a rested Beckett if the Series went seven.

As we well know, McKeon's faith in Beckett was realized in a five-hit shutout. It was one of the best performances by a pitcher in a decisive game in baseball history, no question, yet by the way people waxed poetic about the bold move since you would think McKeon had pitched himself. The great Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated wrote a profile on McKeon the next month. The manager himself embraced it in one of many others. He proudly told Cigar Aficionado: "It took about 15 seconds to decide to pitch Beckett."

Here's the thing: McKeon's decision was misguided. It worked, yes. The Marlins won, yes. They danced on the infield at Yankee Stadium, yes. But had it failed, McKeon would've proven a miserable flop, sending his team into a Game 7 duel at the most hallowed venue in sports with a squirt gun (Redmond) or an 18th century revolver (a broken down Willis). Today we'd talk about championship No. 28, not 27.

In his aim for that elusive No. 27, Joe Girardi has strategized the Yankees onto the same one-lane highway. His decision to pitch A.J. Burnett in Game 5 tonight on short rest is equally misguided as the one made by McKeon and it could lead the Yankees to the verge of another collapse. Here's why:

Burnett has been splendid on short rest: 4-0, ERA in the twos, terrific strikeout rate. I understand that. But should he lose to Cliff Lee — the man with the lowest ERA after this many starts in postseason history — the Phillies will return to Yankee Stadium armed to force a Game 7.

The real fear isn't Burnett, who could pitch well tonight and still lose to a locked-in Lee. It's Andy Pettitte, Mr. Reliable, who has performed like a man 10 years younger this October but cannot disguise these facts: He is 37 and hasn't pitched on short rest since 2006. And in the instances he has, Pettitte has appeared pedestrian.

Imagine this scenario and consider the odds, because it is the Phillies' path to win this World Series:
 Game 5: Lee outduels Burnett — very plausible, if not expected
 Game 6: Pettitte tries, but fails — again, plausible as long as Pedro Martinez pitches reasonably close to how he pitched in Game 2
 Game 7: CC Sabathia pitches for the third time in nine days — think the Phillies can't win?

Sabathia showed a few cracks in Game 4. Even the staunchest Yankee supporter would agree he pitched his worst game this postseason, ducking in and out of early trouble to allow three runs in 6.2 innings. How much has the big man kept reserved for Game 7?

The key in the above scenario is how Martinez and Cole "No Mas" Hamels pitch at Yankee Stadium. Should one of them (or JA Happ, in a spot start) falter, A-Rod and co. could punish them, saving the media from giving Girardi its Sonny Corleone-at-the-tollbooth treatment for years to come.

In fact, like Jack, a win tonight turns Girardi from goat to hero. But not here. He's already hopped in the car, mad as hell, and is off to teach Carlo another lesson.


Slowed to a crawl

The Yankees have found a new way to annoy me. They have done everything possible to make these games painfully slow. Andy Pettitte throwing to first every other pitch, Jose Molina visiting A.J. Burnett at the mound 15 times in a game, everyone visiting CC Sabathia at every opportunity - anything goes.

As if baseball games weren't slow enough already. I love baseball, it's always been my favorite sport, but something needs to be done. Every year I hear the idea of keeping batters in the box between pitches discussed, and it never happens. I can play a round of golf in less time than it takes half of these games to be played.

Game 4 is in the bottom of the 7th inning, and on top of the Yankees being on the verge of taking complete command of the series, the game is three hours old already. You can bet it's not going to speed up in the last two innings as Girardi and Manuel start shuffling guys in from the bullpen. Yawn.

Bad Joke?

I'm not sure I could be more furious. Watching the Giants is making me physically ill. Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan can't seem to fix whatever is wrong with the Giants' defense, and Eli Manning looks like the old, "you can never win a championship with this guy" Eli.

The Giants new defensive scheme seems to be let receivers run unbelievably wide open in the secondary and hope for drops. So far it's not working. Maybe the Saints exposed some weaknesses in the Giants' defense, but in the NFL you have to be able to adjust from week to week and all of a sudden the Giants seem totally unable to do that.

Incredibly, after a 5-0 start the season looks to be in real jeopardy.

Call the men in the white coats

What on earth is wrong with Stephon Marbury? I'm actually to the point now where I think he has some kind of serious mental defect that needs attention. In his latest insane move, Marbury showed up at the Knicks' home opener tonight, and caused a little fiasco before eventually being removed from the building.

This past summer Marbury made news with his webshow, where he engaged in a variety of strange activities that included eating Vaseline off his finger. OOOOOOOKK Steph.

Marbury will always be linked with the Isiah Thomas era in New York, and that's not an era one wants to be linked with. But he's gone to a level beyond basketball now. I used to just think Marbury was one of these super-talented guys who, for whatever reason, never won anything. Now I'm starting to think there is more to it than that.

He showed up at the home opener of a team that basically paid him to stay away from the team and made a scene. That's not normal behavior.

Then again, I don't think Marbury is a normal guy.