Texas Sports Recap Monday, 10/18/10
Sports news from around the great state of Texas.
Nowitzki looks for variety from his Mavericks sidekicks - Caron Butler doesn't view himself as Dirk Nowitzki's designated sidekick. There are several of them on this Mavericks team, he figures. Could be him some nights. Or Jason Terry or Shawn Marion. Or maybe even Jason Kidd from 3-point range on occasion. But when Nowitzki looks at the situation, he sees Butler as the man who can make a huge difference – and be part of what could be one of the most dangerous forward pairings in the league. It's going to come down to variety, Nowitzki said. "When Caron mixes up his game, it makes all the difference," he said. "We all know I'm a jump shooter and if we both fall into the trap of shooting jumpers all the time, that's not good. "When he mixes in the drive and creates with the ball, that's going to make us really tough to guard. I think that's when we're at our best, when both of us are doing a little bit of everything on the offensive end."
Caron Butler is ready to do his part for Dallas Mavericks - Caron Butler doesn't view himself as Dirk Nowitzki's designated sidekick. There are several of them on this Dallas Mavericks team, he figures. Could be him some nights. Or Jason Terry or Shawn Marion. Or maybe even Jason Kidd from 3-point range on occasion. But when Nowitzki looks at the situation, he sees Butler as the man who can make a huge difference -- and be part of what could be one of the most dangerous forward pairings in the league. It's going to come down to variety, Nowitzki said. "When Caron mixes up his game, it makes all the difference," he said.
It’s October and we’re talking about what? - The start of the NBA season right around the corner but if you’re a long time DFW sports fans like myself, your sports mind is more than occupied right now. When we talk about sports in mid-October the Dallas Cowboys are usually the topic of conversation. Not this year. Not now. We are talking Texas Rangers baseball. Surreal is the only word that comes to mind.
Why do we assume Hill over Jeffries? - Looking at the box score from the previous game, we see that Jared Jeffries logged 22 minutes to just three for Jordan Hill. Now preseason games are not indicative of the actual rotation, but this really begs the question: why do we just assume Hill will be a regular? We can all probably agree that Patrick Patterson won’t see minutes this season, at least at the start. But what of the rest of the 4-5 depth chart? Yao and Luis Scola are penciled in as mainstays. You would think that newly acquired Brad Miller is assured a spot. How do we sort out Hill, Hayes, and Jeffries? I think its our own wishful thinking that leads us to conclusively write in Hill.
Millions are looking up to one - Yao Ming is learning how to handle the burden of carrying out China's hopes, expectations. Center Yao Ming, who was born in Shanghai, says goodbye to his fans after the Rockets defeated the Nets 95-85 in Saturday's preseason game at the Guangzhou International Sports Arena. Yao's popularity is unparalleled in his homeland.
Stat Geek Wanted - Durvasa has informed me that unfortunately he will not have the time this season to regularly contribute. In that vein, I’m in search of a new stat geek. It’s a tough act to follow – Durvasa’s were our most cited works. But it would be grossly negligent to cover the Houston Rockets without some form of advanced statistical analysis. Applicants should have writing and excel proficiency. Send me a short sample at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Duncan eye injury not serious - Tim Duncan left Saturday's preseason game after taking a shot to the eye in the first quarter, but the injury isn't serious and he is expected to return. He laid on the court for a while before going back to the locker room, but has since returned to the bench. As beat writer Jeff McDonald put it, it was "much ado about nothing."
ProjectSpurs: Spurs trade Jerrells - According to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, the San Antonio Spurs have traded guard Curtis Jerrells to the New Orleans Hornets for a future second round pick.
Spurs Family Fantasy Fundraiser Makes Dreams Come True - On Sunday, Oct. 24, the Spurs are hosting an exclusive day inside their practice facility where kids, adults and families will get the experience of their dreams – to be a Spurs player for the day – during the Spurs Family Fantasy fundraiser. The Spurs Family Fantasy fundraiser is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dribble, shoot and play ball with a Spurs’ players, take a tour of the practice facility and talk shop with the coaching staff. This premiere fundraising event for the Spurs Youth Basketball League will directly fund local youth sports programs. With the full team, coaching and training staff on hand, premium food and beverages, and a few surprises along the way, the Spurs Family Fantasy will make memories to last a lifetime.
What pressure? Lee cool, confident in playoffs - The pressure of the postseason, like his opponents, does not get to Rangers ace Cliff Lee, who takes a career 6-0 playoff mark into Game 3 of the ALCS vs. the Yanks on Monday.
Rangers World Series tickets on sale now - Enjoy playoff baseball in Arlington. Don't miss any of the action at Rangers Ballpark and come out to support your Rangers. Tickets for potential World Series games are on sale right now.
El Capitan? Andrus shows shades of Jeter - With hits in his first seven playoff games while playing the role of catalyst in a potent lineup, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus has drawn comparisons to his Yankees counterpart.
Hamilton a threat despite playing with injury - Josh Hamilton may be in pain, but that hasn't stopped teams from avoiding him, as shown by his seven playoff walks, nor has it stopped him on the basepaths, where he has four steals.
Texas' 2 step: Win at home, get even with Yanks - Elvis Andrus sparked the offense and the bullpen backed Colby Lewis as the Rangers beat the Yankees, 7-2, on Saturday to even the ALCS with their first home playoff win.
Moreland wants to be first option at first - Manager Ron Washington hasn't decided who will be his first baseman for Monday night's Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. That he has not automatically written Jorge Cantu in the lineup speaks well for what rookie Mitch Moreland has accomplished in the playoffs. "I don't see any tension," Washington said. "I see a guy who is going out and playing his game. I see a guy who realizes he can do it rather than questioning if he can."
Washington's calm confidence guiding Rangers - Manager deeply in tune with his team entering Game 3. The postseason provides a kind of microscope into the makeup of a baseball team. We get to find not only what's in there, but what is connected to what else. Who are the players that will flourish under the increased intensity, and who are the ones that will fade? And the men directing these clubs; are they being real with the rest of us, or are they ducking behind a curtain of convenient cliches and staying there for the duration?
Pettitte, Lee headline marquee Game 3 matchup - This is a pitching matchup so good that it appears to have taken on a life of its own. Game 3 of the 2010 American League Championship Series, to be televised on TBS, is scheduled for Yankee Stadium on Monday at 8 p.m. ET, and the headlines are already screaming "LEE VS. PETTITTE!!" Of course, not to get lost in the glamorous pitching matchup is an integral Game 3 that will break the ALCS stalwart. However you want to view it, with the Texas victory in Game 2, Game 3 has become particularly pivotal. And whatever attention the two left-handed starters have achieved, on their own or in this pairing, is well-earned. Says Lee of Pettitte: "In my opinion he's probably the best postseason pitcher of all time just by the number of wins and the number of rings he's got."
Bourn, Myers need fans' support in TYIB vote - Astros outfielder Michael Bourn and pitcher Brett Myers are among the nominees for the 2010 This Year in Baseball Awards. Fans can vote for the awards through Dec. 3.
Astros drop three from 40-man roster - Esposito, Hernandez and Sutil outrighted to Triple-A. The Astros outrighted three players to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday, removing catcher Brian Esposito and infielders Anderson Hernandez and Wladimir Sutil from the 40-man roster in what amounts to some end-of-season roster housecleaning. Esposito and Hernandez can elect to become free agents, while Sutil will be placed on Oklahoma City's roster. "We're starting to get the roster in order," general manager Ed Wade said. "This is the normal timeframe to do those types of things, to clear space for potential add-ons from within the system."
Astros exercise 2012 option on Mills, add a year - Skipper rewarded for strong second half with club option for 2013. As far as general manager Ed Wade is concerned, he's hired his last manager for the Astros. Houston, as expected, picked up the 2012 option on the contract of manager Brad Mills on Friday and added an option year for 2013, signifying the club is putting its long-term support behind the man who led the Astros' second-half charge this year. "I don't see any reason why Millsie wouldn't be here for a very long time," Wade said. "I think he's shown what he's capable of doing with the club in the transition from an older, established group to younger players. I think he's handled that very well and he has the respect of both the veterans and our younger players."
Schaub's not under pressure - "Matt Schaub took a quantum leap forward as an NFL quarterback last season, vaulting to the top of the league's statistical charts in multiple categories and landing in the Pro Bowl. For added measure, he made himself that star-studded game's Most Valuable Player. When you are so far up, it's easy to fall down, especially when you are getting frequently knocked down by blitzers and bull-rushers as Schaub has been. Five games into this season, his performance has mirrored that of the 3-2 Texans — a decidedly mixed bag as the surprising 3-1 Kansas City Chiefs come to town today.
Double vision: Chiefs can look at Texans and see how to build a contending team - "The coach is looking back now, thinking about his first days in charge of a NFL team and remembering the decisions that might someday define him and an organization. Back then, there was a long way to go. Some might say there still is. The coach's assignment was to improve a team that had struggled for years. He instilled a new approach to meetings, practices and workouts. "Having the right mentality, teaching a whole organization - a whole group - how you have to do things," he says now, "on a day-to-day basis to be successful. From meetings to the offseason - everything.
Texans persevere in 35-31 win over Chiefs - The Texans' offense carried the team to a 35-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Wide receiver Andre Johnson caught the game-winning score. The Texans never gave up. Despite losing their emotional leader, linebacker DeMeco Ryans, in the first half and being gashed by the Kansas City Chiefs for 417 net yards, the Texans stared down a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter and didn’t flinch. Behind clutch efforts by quarterback Matt Schaub, wide receiver Andre Johnson and a host of other players, the Texans beat the Chiefs 35-31 by scoring 21 points in the final 12:06. Johnson’s 11-yard touchdown grab in the back of the end zone with 28 seconds remaining proved to be the deciding score. “My guys up front gave me time to step up and scramble out of the pocket and find Andre,” Schaub said. “As soon as I scrambled out, I saw Andre break open in the back of the end zone and I tried to give him a chance to make the play.”
Just like last week, Cowboys get flagged for celebration penalty - "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -- George Santayana The Dallas Cowboys might want to brush up on their Spanish philosophers. One week after a celebration penalty played a pivotal role in the team's loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Cowboys went out and got another one after scoring its first touchdown Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. So much for learning from past mistakes. After Roy Williams scored a first quarter TD, Miles Austin ran into the end zone and leapfrogged his teammate in what appeared to be a carefully-planned celebration.
Wade Phillips looks more inept; Cowboys an NFL joke - Ask these Cowboys about Wade Phillips and the praise flows. They defend him. They respect him. They like him.
Too bad you can’t tell from their performance. With each raggedy performance -- they’re coming at a rapid rate this season -- Phillips looks more inept. The Cowboys’ season – one that began with legitimate conversation about the Super Bowl – continued unraveling on Sunday with yet another dreadful performance that featured a litany of mistakes as Minnesota beat Dallas, 24-21. If it weren’t so pathetic, it’d actually be funny.
Randy Moss help beats Cowboys with impassioned halftime speech - Before the Vikings even ran an offensive play Sunday, fans at the Metrodome welcomed back Randy Moss with boisterous cheers and a serenade of "Ran-dy, Ran-dy" echoing off the Teflon rooftop. Moss – who 11 days earlier was traded from New England to the team that originally drafted him in1998 – didn't give the Minnesota faithful much to roar about from that point on. After hinting earlier in the week that he was again due for a big day against the Cowboys, Moss was held to a pedestrian five catches for 55 yards this time around. He had averaged 101.2 receiving yards in six previous games against Dallas. While limited on the field, Moss' actions behind the scenes sparked the Vikings. Down 14-7 and with the Vikings sputtering with 60 net yards of offense, Moss gave an impassioned locker room pep talk at halftime. "It wasn't anything scientific," quarterback Brett Favre said. "[Just] a couple of choice words I'd rather not use. But I thought the guys responded well."
Jerry Jones: Wade Phillips safe, but optimism is gone - Jerry Jones did not talk after last week's loss to Tennessee, but the Cowboys owner and general manager spoke after Sunday's 24-21 loss to Minnesota and continued to express support for Wade Phillips. "We may make some changes with personnel or adjust for the obvious because of injuries, but we won't be making any coaching change," Jones said. The eternal optimist, Jones said that is no longer the case, but when asked if thought making the playoffs was out of the question he said, "No, I do not."
Cowboys season looks over, but coach isn't only problem - SportsDayDFW phoned Bob Sturm to comment on the Cowboys' loss to the Vikings. The following is a transcription of the interview: General thoughts: Enough of the season has passed we know we're dealing with. There are minimal injuries. We're getting to the point that the only people you can blame are the players and coaches. They've mastered finding new and inventive ways to lose and being their own worst enemy. Despite working feverishly to find solutions, I honestly don't think they have any idea how to do it. And what's going to go wrong next? I think we've all become familiar with teams finding ways to win games regardless of the unique scenario from week to week. Whereas the 2010 Cowboys seem to do just the opposite.
Mean Green fans need reason to care - North Texas head coach Todd Dodge made an impassioned promise not to give up late Saturday night after what has to rank among the more disappointing losses in recent program history. UNT was toasted at home -- on homecoming -- by Florida International. There are freshmen at UNT who have been alive longer than FIU has been playing football.
UNT falls to FIU in blowout - North Texas’ hopes for a winning season ended in stunning fashion on Saturday in a loss that raised a whole lot of questions about the future of the program -- not to mention the future of head coach Todd Dodge.
FIU defense proves tough for UNT - North Texas’ game against Florida International looked like it might turn into a battle between two of the top two defenses in the Sun Belt Conference. Only FIU held up its end of the bargain in the Golden Panthers’ 34-10 win at Fouts Field on Saturday night.
Cobbs leads latest Hall of inductees - The North Texas Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony is usually one where green is the color of choice. Thanks to Ben Moturi, there was a healthy dose of Denton High School purple as well.
Baylor Bears one win away from reaching their 'Holy Grail' - After Baylor's win over Colorado and a late-night return from the Rockies, athletic director Ian McCaw joked that the jet fuel could have been unnecessary.
Baylor holds off Colorado, 31-25 - Jay Finley rushed for a career-high 143 yards and Chance Casey batted down a last-second pass in the end zone, helping Baylor to a 31-25 win over Colorado on Saturday in the final meeting between the two schools as members of the Big 12.
Baylor dismisses receiver charged with pot possession - Baylor receiver Willie Jefferson has been dismissed from the team after his second arrest on a drug charge in as many weeks.
Baylor officials clear LaceDarius Dunn to return to class - The attorney for Baylor guard LaceDarius Dunn says the university has cleared the star player to return to classes while he faces allegations that he broke his girlfriend's jaw in a domestic dispute.
Failed drive before halftime comes back to haunt SMU - When a team loses in rather brutal fashion, as SMU did Saturday at Navy, there are always moments it wants back.
Late interception foils SMU in 28-21 loss at Navy - It was just what SMU wanted, finally. The defense had stopped Navy and given the Mustangs the ball back with under two minutes to play, tie score.
BCS poll is a 'total sham' after TCU is ranked 5th in first installment - The first BCS poll has been released, and TCU fans won't be happy. Oklahoma is No. 1. The Frogs are going to need some help to have any shot to get to the national title game, even if they finish undefeated. No one wants to hear this, but the Frogs have to start rolling teams by 30. TCU's strength of schedule took a huge hit over the weekend with SMU, Oregon State and Air Force all losing.
The BCS poll
3. Boise State
7. Michigan State
10. Ohio State
This poll stinks. It's a total sham. The Frogs' best hope is for teams behind and in front to lose another game or two.
Despite loss, Browns' Colt McCoy shows he's the real deal - The stage wasn't too big for Colt McCoy. Neither was the challenge.
Sorry, TCU: Oklahoma frog leaps to No. 3 in Top 25 poll; Texas Longhorns return - Oklahoma is now ahead of TCU in the AP Top 25.
Longhorns hold freshman QB to 21 yards rushing - When Texas neutralized Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez, the Longhorns pretty much stopped the Nebraska offense. Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini said the responsibility went beyond just one player for the the 20-13 loss. Martinez was held to 21 yards on 13 carries and was 4-of-12 passing for 63 yards before being replaced by Zac Lee in the third quarter.
'You've got to be kidding. Not again!' An improbable Longhorns win over Nebraska - One more time, Texas came to Nebraska's Memorial Stadium and manufactured a win where few do. A two-game losing streak came to a halt just as the season was slipping away. A team that had seen all aspects of its game questioned responded with a strong effort against the nation's fifth-ranked team. Athletic director DeLoss Dodds stood on the field afterward with many of the red-clad Nebraska fans still in the stands after a 20-13 Texas victory. "This is a good way to end it," Dodds said. With Nebraska exiting the Big 12 after this season for the Big Ten, the two traditional powers aren't likely to meet anytime soon – unless both somehow make it to the Big 12 title game.
Missouri 30, Texas A&M 9: Coach Mike Sherman 3-15 against winning teams - Here are some quick thoughts following the Aggies' 30-9 loss to No. 21 Missouri at Kyle Field.
A&M's Sherman after loss to Mizzou: 'We should take out everybody, including myself' - Blaine Gabbert moved Missouri's offense with ease and the Tigers' defense left Jerrod Johnson and Texas A&M's high-powered offense stunned.
Okla. St. wins in Lubbock for first time since 1944; Tech's Potts goes to hospital to get checked for possible concussion - Justin Blackmon had a career-high 207 yards receiving with a touchdown to lead No. 20 Oklahoma State to a 34-17 win over Texas Tech on Saturday, the Cowboys' first in Lubbock since 1944.
Production from top two lines could make the Stars into contenders - Four games into the season, the Dallas Stars have two of the top-producing lines in the NHL. The team is confident those two lines can guide the team into the playoffs.
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