March 9, Week in Sports
:: MANNY RAMIREZ RE-SIGNS WITH DODGERS (Pro. Baseball)
:: TWO NFL PLAYERS LOST AT SEA (Pro. Football)
:: TERRELL OWENS CUT BY COWBOYS (Pro. Football)
MANNY REJOINS BOYS IN BLUE
After a long and ugly process, Manny Ramirez re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday for $45 million over two years. Ramirez, the former Boston Red Sox star slugger, is one of the best players in Major League Baseball.
Negotiations between the Dodgers and Ramirez began nearly four months ago, and those four months have not been pretty. Though Ramirez is an extraordinary player, he is also well known for letting his mood swings and attitude problems interfere with his performance on the field and his relationship with his team. It doesn’t help that he is represented by Scott Boras, who is universally regarded as one of the most egotistical agents in baseball. That being said, Dodgers ownership has not been blameless in this process, as team owners Frank and Jamie McCourt have made strange public comments about free agency, suggesting that it might be immoral to offer fat contracts to baseball players. In any case, the turmoil between the two parties is now over, which is good news for the Dodgers, since Ramirez was a huge factor in their playoff run last season.
In other baseball news, doctors discovered that Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez had a torn labrum and he is having surgery to correct the problem. As a result, Rodriguez will miss at least the first month of the season.
Quote of the Week: “Hurray for Mannywood. Concluding a four-month run that was part slapstick, part soap opera, and completely surreal, the drama between the Dodgers and Manny Ramirez is finally over.” — Bill Plaschke, L.A. Times
Further Reading: “Manny takes physical, completes deal ” — Associated Press, via ESPN
DAY OF MOURNING FOR THE NFL
Last Tuesday, the Coast Guard called off the search for three men, including two NFL players, who were lost at sea when their fishing boat capsized in the Gulf of Mexico. One member of the fishing trip, Nick Schuyler, was found alive.
The Coast Guard found Schuyler clinging to the capsized boat, and he was in surprisingly good condition, considering the fact that he had been in the water for almost two full days. The three other members of his group, which included pro football players Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith, were also hanging onto the boat for hours after it capsized. However, according to Schuyler, two of the men eventually took off their life jackets and allowed themselves to be carried off by the waves, and the third man eventually swam off when he mistakenly thought he saw rescuers approaching.
After the Coast Guard called off the search, the families of the missing men mounted a private effort to continue looking for their loved ones. However, those efforts have reportedly come to an end, as well.
Quote of the Week: ”To stay in the water for 46 hours and be alive afterwards I think is a miracle.” — Dr. Mark Rumbak
Further Reading: ”Families hunt for closure as Gulf search for players ends ” — Sean Leahy, USA Today
BILLS, BILLS, BILLS: T.O. BUFFALO BOUND
In a surprising move, the Dallas Stars cut star wide receiver Terrell Owens, commonly referred to as “T.O.” Two days later, the Buffalo Bills picked Owens up, in a one-year deal for $6.5 million.
T.O. has a reputation for being a stubborn, spotlight loving player with a “me first” attitude. That being said, he is one of the best wide receivers in the game, and in his three years with Dallas he played extremely well. Furthermore, in spite of the general opinion that Owens is a “clubhouse cancer,” he fit in with his teammates surprisingly well compared to his conflicts with previous teammates, despite reported conflicts with quarterback Tony Romo and tight end Jason Witten. Last year, though, the Cowboys were expected to be one of the best teams in football, but they completely flopped and many critics blamed Owens for the team’s poor chemistry. Now, as Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News said, “It’s time for every player who blamed T.O. for the problems on this team to put up or shut up.”
The fact that the Bills picked up Owens so quickly was almost as surprising as the fact that Owens was cut. Many expected Owens to go to a playoff-ready team looking for a missing piece of the puzzle, but the Bills are young and inexperienced. In short, without veteran players and coaches with strong personalities in Buffalo, everyone is already predicting that Owens will butt heads with his new teammates.
Quote of the Week: “I’m leaving America’s team [for] North America’s team.” — Terrell Owens
Further Reading: “Out route: Terrell Owens had to go ” — Jean-Jacques Taylor, Dallas Morning News
WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK
:: COLLEGE BASKETBALL: As Championship Week moves forward and the tournament draws near, we are entering into “March Madness,” the peak of the college basketball season. The madness will continue this week, as the champions of conference tournaments across the country are decided. This is all leading up to next Sunday, when the NCAA Selection Committee announces the competitors in the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship.
NBA (Pro. Basketball): The 2008-09 season is currently underway. It runs from late October to April of 2009, when the playoffs commence. [Official NBA Website]
NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL (College): The college basketball season is currently underway and runs through “the Tournament,” which takes place in March. This Sunday is “Selection Sunday,” when the NCAA Selection Committee announces the competitors in this year’s tournament. [CBS Sports]
NFL (Pro. Football): Now that the Super Bowl is over, the next major NFL event is the draft, which takes place in late April. [Official NFL Website]
NCAA FOOTBALL (College): The college football season is now over, with Florida defeating Oklahoma in the national championship game. [NCAA Football, ESPN]
MEN’S GOLF: While there are professional tournaments throughout the year, the most important tournaments are the four Major Championships: The Masters, U.S. Open, The Open (The British Open), and the PGA Championship. The Masters is scheduled for the first week of April. [Official PGA Website]
NOTABLE PLAYERS: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson
NHL (Pro. Hockey): The hockey season is currently underway and runs through April of 2009. [Official NHL Website]
MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TENNIS: While there are professional tournaments throughout the year, the most important tournaments are the four Grand Slam tournaments: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open. The next event is the French Open, which takes place in May. [USTA Website]
NOTABLE PLAYERS: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic
MLB (Pro. Baseball): The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in this year’s World Series. During the off-season, baseball news will focus on major trades and player signings. [Official MLB Website]