After Club Signs Nathan, Moves Neffy to Rotation, Rangers Offer Wilson Arbitration

Categories: Texas Rangers
My bad. Been meaning to get back in here and post something, anything, of note, and there's been plenty in recent days. And as Josh's Broken Groin notes, it's been way too long. So then, to today's Breaking, or Broken, Rangers News: The club has offered salary arbitration for next season to C.J. Wilson, already considered long-gone after the signing of closer Joe Nathan earlier this week, which heralds Neftali Feliz's move into the starting rotation. John Blake's full note follows, but keep in mind what this means:
With today's offer, the Rangers would be rewarded with the compensation of two additional draft picks in the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft if Wilson were to decline the offer and sign with another major league club.
Who didn't get arbitration? Well, for that you'll have to jump.More »

They Went and Stole Shawn Bradley's Bike!

Categories: Awful News
I swear this recently reopened Sportatorium isn't an afterthought; and bless those of you still posting in Thursday's item -- hey, there's Merten. Efforts are underway to better reboot this thing sooner than later. But in the meantime, feel free to fill Joe Tone's inbox with random observerations and enders and recipes. He loves that.

But this item, this nugget of gold, I could not keep to myself. It comes to us courtesy CBS News and concerns not the Cowboys 44-7 win over Buffalo (which somehow didn't feel as impressive as it might have looked, especially during that very shrugging second half, which i guess one could blame on blowout let-up ...?), but the travails of one former Dallas Maverick. It would appear someone stole Shawn Bradley bicycle, a custom-belt Trek. But it has been found. Because, well, how you gonna resell that sumbitch?
Authorities wouldn't reveal a motive for the theft, but Bradley speculated that anybody who took it simply was looking for something they could pawn for quick cash.

They certainly weren't going to ride it - as it is about 50 percent larger than what a normal-sized person would ride. Trek never even included a serial number when it built the bike in 2005 because it is so unique.

"I'm guessing he just walked it away," [Sgt. Brian] Wright said of the suspect, who stands just 6-foot.
I'll try to better from here on out. And see what Sam's doing, besides combing his hair.

From Penn State to the Dallas Stars, the Good, Bad and Godawful News in This Day in Sports

Courtesy G+
Don't think for a second this small attempt to resurrect a sports blog is an afterthought. We'll get there ... sooner than later. But on a day like today: Where to begin? Penn State, no doubt, far from home for most but not for all, and certain top of mind on this day as news comes of riots breaking out over Joe Paterno's firing. "The media is responsible for JoePa going down," says a freshman. Right -- not, say, Jerry Sandusky.

But there is brighter news: The Dallas Stars sale has been moved up to a week from tomorrow, as Tom Gaglardi is the lone bidder for the bankrupt, best-in-the-NHL franchise. Reports Brandon Worley, all things go according to plan, Your Dallas Stars will be in new hands some time in December. Happy Christmas.

By that time, though, Mike Maddux may be the new Chicago Cubs manager. Hate to see the Rangers' pitching coach go; he was, after all, no Tom House. As he tells ESPN, there's much to consider before he packs his bags again:
"We have a lot of things to think about and a lot of things to weigh," Maddux said. "Family is very important. I played for a long time and when I finished playing my kids were 10 years old and 8 years old. I said what happened? So I got into coaching right away, and we moved the family to Wisconsin. At least we were together.

"Then I went to Texas. For the first two years my wife and youngest daughter stayed in Wisconsin. My oldest daughter was with me in college in Texas. As of June my family resides together. That had not happened in three years, and that's pretty special. There does come a time when you have to stop and smell the roses. There are a lot of tough decisions that would have to be made."
Then, finally, this just arrived in the inbox: an infographic showing the real loses resulting from the NBA lockout -- everyone from small-market teams to shoe manufacturers to cities losing millions in sales tax revenue from drinks and meals not sold.

Show Me the Highlights: Sorry, Kid, But You Can't Watch ESPN Right Now. Maybe Later.

For the last year, my 8-year-old boy's had a morning routine that involves watching SportsCenter and reading SportsDay over breakfast. Today he wanted to watch highlights from last night's Stars win over the Capitals, 5-2, making Dallas tops in the NHL -- big news 'round our house in the absence of pro basketball, which doesn't appear to be in any rush to return to the hardwood. But we had cancel the boy's programming plans, given the Penn State sex-abuse story that now dominates the network -- all others too.

He follows along just enough to know the name Joe Paterno, now on the verge of retiring, according to most reports; he's aware of the coach's stature, his legend. But yesterday the boy asked what the ESPN anchors meant by the "inappropriate touching" of young boys; and so, off the TV went while we fumbled for an explanation. Then he wondered why basketball players and owners can't agree on how to chop up their millions. Sigh. I suggested perhaps we just go outside and throw around the football till first bell. Said he, "Good idea."

Romo Is "Part of the Solution and Not the Problem": Staubach Talks to Huffington Post

Categories: Dallas Cowboys
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Yesterday over on Unfair Park, a few folks asked if maybe we could go ahead and re-open the Sportatorium, if only to give y'all a place to chit and chat in an open thread. To which I said: Sure, let's do that.

Moments ago Huffington Post a Q&A with one Captain America, who addresses myriad topics -- chief among 'em, the late-game play of one Tony Romo, named by 111 NFL players as the second-most overrated player in the game at the mid-season mark. Roger Staubach doesn't agree; matter of fact, he thinks the Cowboys are looking more and more like a playoff team, if not a Super Bowl conten ... well, let's not get carried away.
Why do you think Tony Romo has so often struggled late in games?

Tony is a great athlete, and he's made a lot of big plays. [He's made] more than some he hasn't made. I think getting Jason Garret as the head coach, he's really working with Tony as far as the whole team concept. They've stumbled a little bit this year. They believe a whole lot in Tony. If we had this conversation at the end of the year -- I'm going to predict that this team is going to end up as a playoff team. Right now, they've had maybe everything go wrong, and the second half it will go right. But I'm a Romo fan. I think Tony is part of the solution and not the problem.
Read the whole thing here. You know what to do after.

My Final Top 10 Observer-ations

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Last week's cover. Irony is funny.
​10. As of this morning, the Dallas Observer is out of the sports business, at least on a full-time basis. Though I'm not technically being fired ("laid off" is supposedly less damning), the paper and its owner, Village Voice Media, have decided to eliminate its full-time sportswriting position. It's called downsizing. And yes, it sucks. Sources close to me indicate my farewell column -- a staple of the paper since September 2005 -- will appear in this week's edition. I'll pause a second while some of you pick your jaws off the floor, and others organize a celebratory parade.

9. I didn't exactly see this coming. Hard Impossible to envision going from emcee of Brew at the Zoo one week, to writing the paper's cover story the next week, to ... poof. But it's another sign of the terrible, terminal disease rotting newspapers to death. One minute your blog is a prototype; the next, the fat that must be trimmed.

I would like to sincerely thank VVM for a generous goodbye, and also offer a tip of the cap to my loyal readers and sharp-tongued commenters who both kept me on my toes and kicked me in the crotch. Now it can be told: Being a sportswriter, I always wear a cup. No hard feelings.

My first Observer column was about the Rangers. So was my last, a cover story fittingly adorned with the screaming headline "The End is Near!," a reference to the regular season's end and last week's apocalypse-themed Best of Dallas issue. Overall I wrote 310 ditties in the paper and won 13 national, state and local writing awards for stories like this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

Couple weeks ago we learned to live without Entourage on Sunday night, and last Friday Mike Modano began life without hockey. This morning I woke up -- for the first time since accepting a job on the staff of UT-Arlington's The Shorthorn in 1983 -- without a newspaper job. Unsettling, to say the least.More »

Whitt's End: 9.23.11

Categories: Whitt's End

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Whether you've reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt's End:

*Doomsday scenario for Monday Night Football: Quarterback Jon Kitna. Running back DeMarco Murray. Receivers Kevin Ogletree, Jesse Holley and Dwayne Harris. Center Kevin Kowalski. Left guard Bill Nagy. Ouch indeed.

*With the Angels' loss to the Blue Jays in 12 innings last night, the Rangers can clinch the AL West tonight with a win over the Mariners and an Anaheim loss to Oakland. As has been the case since mid-August, it's just a matter of when, not if. Tigers also lost to the Orioles, so we're dead even in race for 2nd-best record in AL. Detroit has tie-breaker edge over Texas, so Rangers need to finish ahead of the Tigers to avoid the Yankees in the ALDS.

*Speaking of baseball, it's the most over-celebrating sport on the planet. Saw the Yankees clinch the East the other night and they did the mound dogpile complete with Champagne and goggles and plastic over the lockers in the clubhouse. I'm telling ya, they celebrated more wildly than the Mavericks when they won the NBA championship. Here's hoping the Rangers this weekend act as if clinching the West is a stepping stone, not a destination.

*So Russ Martin is moving to afternoons on 97.1 The Eagle? Sounds like a couple things. Martin's ratings have been very mediocre -- 3.8 over the last three months compared to Kidd Kraddick's 6.1 -- in the mornings, so a move to kick-start things makes sense. I also hear it may be part of The Eagle's grand plan to dump music and go all-talk in the mold of the old Live 105.3 or Free FM. Dan O'Malley is a talented, hard-working, great dude on that show. Otherwise, yawn.

*Jason Garrett is all "football" and "process". But when he goes to the movies the dude gets crazy. He told me and Greggo on his weekly show Wednesday that he gets a large popcorn, dumps into it a box of Milk Duds, a bag of Sour Patch Kids and digs in <>. Mixed all together? Yep. Yuck.



More »

Best of Dallas 2011: Sports (Director's Cut and Deleted Scenes)

Best of Dallas - 2011.jpg
Some are good. Some are getting better.

But only a select few are the best.

When it comes to our annual Best of Dallas issue I've made it easy this year. For those of you too cheap to "buy" a paper that's absolutely free, just sit back in your boxers and click, click, click away.

I present the Best of Dallas Sports for 2011. And for those of you who continually bemoan about my lack of taste, let's start with ...

Best Local Sports Radio Show

Best Sports Moment

Best Ranger

Best Maverick

Best Star

Best TV Sports Anchor

Best Cowboy

Best Sports Cards Store

The rest, including deleted scenes? Right thissa way ...

More »

They Must Be Ice Skating in Hades Because SMU is Laying Three Touchdowns. On the Road.

Categories: You Betcha

Tony Soprano - Cash.jpg
​With the Big 12 seemingly back together since the Pac 12 didn't want 'em, SMU is back in play as a potential member in the wake of Texas A&M's expected departure.

But before the Mustangs play with the big boys, they need to beat the little ones.

They have a chance to do that Saturday. And oddsmakers think they will do just that, by a whopping 22 points.

Can't remember the last time SMU was favored by 22 over anyone. Much less on the road. Memphis must suck. Sure enough.

The Tigers beat Austin Peay, 27-6, last week for its first win after blowout losses to Mississippi State (by 45 points) and Arkansas State (44). After allowing an average of 628 yards to those foes, defensive coordinator Jay Hopson resigned. Even in a loss, Austin Peay ran up 368 yards on Memphis.

Since the Mustangs were embarrassed by A&M in the opener in College Station, June Jones' team has bounced back with impressive wins over UT-El Paso and Northwestern State. The Ponies have committed to J.J. McDermott at quarterback and their passing game should overwhelm the Tigers in the Liberty Bowl.

But by three touchdowns?

More »

Sure Mike Modano Has a Spot on Dallas' Mount Sportsmore. Well, Doesn't He?

Categories: Dallas Stars

Mike Modano is on Facebook. And out of hockey.

The legendary Dallas Star used social media  to announce his retirement from the NHL yesterday, ending a 21-year career as one of the sport's all-time greatest skaters and its most prolific American-born scorer.

Feels like we've delivered these eulogies before -- remember the video tribute, the tears and the on-ice farewell in April, 2010? -- but Modano has meant so much to hockey in Dallas, what the heck?

On the ice, he was the coolest player you ever saw skate. Blinding speed -- with an unmatched gliding fifth gear -- with that shirttail trailing him like a jet stream. Always in the right place at the right time and usually there a half-second before anyone else.

And off the ice, he was the impossible combo platter of wildly popular and mildly humble. With good looks and great play, he was the man in Dallas in the '90s. Every guy wanted to be him; every girl wanted to do him. We went to Reunion Arena to watch him play and went to Primo's to play with him.

He'll retire with a Stanley Cup championship, a World Cup gold medal, an Olympic silver medal and the staggering scoring totals of 561 goals and 1,374 points.

Considering he was Usain Bolt on skates and Brad Pitt in bars and assuming we'll forgive him for pulling on that sweater of the Detroit %^&*$#@! Red Wings, Modano will officially retire in good standing Friday with a press conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

He'll do it as easily the all-time best Dallas Star. But what about his place alongside the local giants on Dallas' Mount Sportsmore?

More »

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