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Old 11-05-2001, 07:05 PM   #1
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Default Sports Central Newsletter - #63 - A World Series With Everything

The Sports Central Newsletter
November 4th, 2001 - Issue #63

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|-- IN THIS ISSUE... --|

- Words From the Editor for 11.04.01
- What's new at Sports Central?
- Feature article: A World Series with everything
- Community Spotlight Center for 11.04.01
- Sports briefs: The latest in the sports world



Hello folks,

What a World Series this has been, huh? And it's not over yet - as I'm
writing this, the magical Game 7 is still an hour away. Both teams have
played well in their fair share of games - and other games, they have
not. (15-2, anyone? Talk about a shocker.) I'm not going to predict a
winner with the game so close to the time this is being written, but I
will tip my hat to both ballclubs for a great, memorable Fall Classic
series that is one of the best in recent decades. Schilling vs. Clemens,
a surreal matchup that you can only dream of in a Game 7, has finally
become reality. Enjoy it, sports fans, because you don't see this

Lots of articles posted this week, including updates to all three of our
sports columns: Calling The Shots, Heroes and Zeros, and our newest,
"Bulls and Bears", which made its debut recently. What is this new
"Bulls and Bears" column about, you ask? Simply put, it's dedicated to
picking each week's fantasy football "sleepers" and "dozers" for fantasy
football players.

We don't normally run fantasy content, but I bet many of you also happen
to have interest in fantasy sports, so you will find this extended
"branch" of our coverage particularly enjoyable. The new column is
written by widely-recognized fantasy gurus at our new friends at Check out for all your fantasy
football commentary; and you'll also find some Sports Central content
appearing there regularly. Look for updates to Bulls and Bears every

Until next time,

- Marc James, Your Fall-Classic-Enjoying Editor
mailto:[email protected]


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Revisiting the new articles for the week of 10/29/01 - 11/04/01:


NFL: One on one with the champs
by Andrew Kulp

Some of the NFL's biggest rivals have already had their first hands-on
experiences with each other this season. Perhaps this year's most
interesting rivalries are the ones that have not been played on the
field. These are the heavyweight matchups that everybody ignores. Every
year, both sides take shots at one another, and at the end of the
season, there is still no winner. SC's Andrew Kulp makes his SC debut
this week as he asks: are the Bucs champions or paper champions?


COLLEGE FOOTBALl: College football vs. NFL: Easy choice
by Topher Brodeau

College football is better than the professional game: it's more
exciting, completely unpredictable, and filled with rivalries that
actually mean something. Anyone thinking otherwise can talk to the
Heisman. And it's never been more obvious than last week, when both
sports were in the middle of their seasons, yet only one of them held
contests that fans (and players) truly cared about. Need convincing?
Compare this running diary by SC's Topher Brodeau from last Saturday's
OU/Nebraska game with the impressions of the Oakland/Philadelphia
matchup on Sunday.


COLUMN: Heroes and Zeros - October, 2001
by Rick Reighard

October is always one of the most active sporting months of the entire
year. With all the action going on day in and day out, there is bound to
be some eventful figures and events. Find out who SC's Rick Reighard has
profiled as the sporting world's Heroes and Zeros of the last month in
his updated column.


COLUMN: Bulls and Bears - Week 8
by Kellogg's Komments

Fantasy football die-hards, the NFL's Week 8 is here, and so is this
week's Bulls and Bears picks for fantasy football sleepers and dozers.
Find out how to transform your team into a powerhouse champion!


NBA: Going beyond the zone
by Piet Van Leer

Legalizing the zone can only help the NBA restore integrity to its
individual-driven game. And if they want to get really serious, SC's
Piet Van Leer has given them some other options to consider.


COLUMN: Gracing the World (Series) with his presence
by Michael Melissa

With the Chicago Cubs, Mark Grace was the poster child for the "loveable
losers." A term he despised. Now, with the Arizona Diamondbacks, he
would like to turn that term into "loveable winner," says SC's
filling-in Michael Melissa in the latest edition of Calling The Shots.


MLB: World Series a tale of Davis and Goliath
by Gary Cozine

It's hard to believe that the Diamondbacks, who have the best one-two
punch from their pitching starters of any team in baseball and were up
2-0 in the World Series have a disadvantage, but compared to the
Yankees, every team is an underdog, says SC's Gary Cozine.


NFL: The terrible towel makes a fashion return
by Mike Round

It may not be the return of The Steel Curtain. There isn't going to be
another Immaculate Reception. Terry Bradshaw is staying in the broadcast
booth and Mean Mo Greene is basking in the sun. But the Pittsburgh
Steelers are back on top of the AFC Central. And that's enough to get
the good folks of Western Pennsylvania waving those towels again, says
SC's Mike Round.


NHL: Can money buy a winning team?
by Vishal Patel

There have been some weird happenings in the NHL lately and SC's Vishal
Patel is scratching his head as to why the Islanders are leading the
Atlantic and why the Flames are atop the Northwest. The answers lie
inside this week's article.


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: How to fix the BCS 101
by John McManus

Is it possible for major college football to determine a national
champion through a system that combines the tradition of the bowls with
the BCS formula and a slight bit of playoff flavor? Why, certainly, says
SC's John McManus.



A World Series With Everything - Except Batting Average

The 2001 World Series will go down in the history books as one of, if
not the, most memorable ever. Starting pitching that even Atlanta in
their heyday would be proud of. Clutch defense, game-changing errors, an
umpire-pitcher confrontation that made the jaw drop in disbelief,
manager hunches that paid off and ones that blew games, closing from a
future Hall of Famer that is almost perfection and - most memorably -
dramatic finishes the like of which would be laughed out of Hollywood
for being ridiculous. Enjoy it while you can - you might not see it's
like again.

By Mike Round

As I sit back reflecting on this year's World Series, I can't help but
spare a thought for the young Korean closer of the Arizona Diamondbacks,
Byung-Hyun Kim. How close he came to glory, only to see his world
crumble in the cruelest of circumstances. Having cruised through the 8th
in Wednesday night's epic, and allowed only Paul O'Neill on base in the
9th, he was set to rubber stamp Curt Schilling's dominant Game 4 effort.
Then up stepped a struggling Tino and the rest is history.

If his appearance for Game 4 was a questionable call by Bob Brenly, with
Schilling seemingly on autopilot and Yankee bats transfixed, his Game 5
call to the hill was sheer madness. Sure, Monday morning quarterbacking
is easy, but give me a break. After 60-plus submarine balls and 2
homers, you ask the kid to go again? Yankee batters - almost silent from
Game 1 onwards - were salivating at the prospect of facing the
one-dimensional Kim. The inevitable happened, Scott Brosius briefly
returned to the halcyon days of 1998, and young Kim left a broken man.
For his sake, I hope he's made of Dennis Eckersley stuff, rather than
Mark Wohlers.

The jury is out on Brenly. He likes "hunches", like Homer Simpson likes
pork rinds. Neither is good for your health. Sure, his Game 4, Schilling
on short rest gamble, nearly paid off. But, think he'd have won Game 5?
Me too. Then you have Randy Johnson, equally dominant, going in Game 6,
with Arizona 3-2 up instead of 3-2 down, and that's assuming the Yankees
beat Batista in Game 4. They may still take it in seven (it's Friday
evening as I write this), but if they don't, Brenly will take, rightly,
heat for his call.

Pinch hitting calls obviously aren't Brenly's forte, either. David
Dellucci sat all through Game 5, watching Arizona strand runner after
runner, despite batting .513 against right handed pitching. Reggie
Sanders (.167 WS average with 6 SO's) and Mark Grace (.133) got to face
Ramiro Mendoza in the ninth instead, stranding Steve Finley. That's just
straight poor management. What Joe Torre would have given for an option
like Dellucci, or indeed Jay Bell, on his bench?

Some of Brenly's "hunches" have paid off. Barajas for Miller worked out,
but the game was lost anyway. Bautista, a defensive substitution for a
struggling Luis Gonzalez, put him in scoring position in the 11th of
Game 5, but Rivera got out the inning and the game was lost. His hunches
have yet to register in the win column this series. And that's what
he'll be judged on. "Bad Journalism" he calls Monday morning
quarterbacking. Journalists would reply with "Bad Management" on his

Even if New York losses this series, some good things have come out of
it. Joe Torre now must be sure that David Justice and Chuck Knoblauch,
for all his 12th inning heroics, aren't worth a roster spot. Shane
Spencer is the future, at left field, despite Knoblauch's better range.
Tino Martinez, at the right price, may be worth another year or two at
first base, with Nick Johnson DHing and spelling him.

Likewise, Scott Brosius, while Drew Henson matures. An infield of
Johnson, Soriano, Jeter and Henson in 2003 must have Joe foaming at the
mouth. Paul O'Neill, Mr. Intensity himself, has called it a career,
meaning the big bucks must go replacing him (Cliff Floyd or Moises
Alou?). The spirit of this team is something to behold, and with O'Neill
gone, as well as David Cone last year, Torre will be aware that he's
lost two clubhouse leaders in a year. That's why Tino may still be a
Yankee come spring training.

A lot has been made in this series of the poor batting averages of both
teams. Yeah, it's been disappointing to see guys like Bernie Williams
(.222), Derek Jeter (.143), Tino Martinez (.133), David Justice (.091),
Chuck Knoblauch (.071), Matt Williams (.176), Tony Womack (.143), and
Craig Counsell (.050) struggle so visibly at the plate. But batting
average, in my book, anyway, is an overrated statistic. Clutch hitting
is what counts. The difference between these two teams so far isn't
batting average, or even starting pitching. It's clutch hitting. And the
Yankees have produced when the game is on the line. That's what's kept
them in it, when they should have been fishing or watching the NBA now.


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And now, a collection of the latest and hottest sports stories on the

MLB: Desert storm brings much-needed relief
(JS Online)

NFL: Linebackers might steal the spotlight

NFL: Parity looks pretty good to Bengals
(Cincinnati Enquirer)

NHL: Lalime squeezes Sabres' offense
(Buffalo News)

MLB: One bad pitch turned into a baseball tragedy
(Kansas City Star)

NFL: Vikings out of synch so far
(Star Tribune)

NBA: Curry helps Bulls get first win
(Chicago Sun-Times)

NFL: Bears Q&A: John Davis, Tight end
(Chicago Sun-Times)


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(Thanks for reading! Next issue set to come out on 11/18/01.)

Contents copyright 1998-2001 Sports Central.
No part of this newsletter may be reproduced without permission.
Marc James - SCMB Administrator | Sports Central Managing Editor & Founder
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Last edited by Marc; 11-29-2001 at 09:24 AM.
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