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Old 10-23-2001, 07:24 PM   #1
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Default Sports Central Newsletter - #62 - And the Winner is...

The Sports Central Newsletter
October 21st, 2001 - Issue #62

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

- Words From the Editor for 10.21.01
- What's new at Sports Central?
- Feature article: And the winner is...
- Community Spotlight Center for 10.21.01
- Sports briefs: The latest in the sports world



Hello folks,

He's back. What is Michael Jordan to the Wizards? Well, just about everything. Take the Wizard's Saturday game against the Nets. His Airness played the most minutes (33), had the most points by a landslide (41), had the second most amount of rebounds (7), and best of all, he dunked again for the first time since 1998 - at least in an NBA game. At one stretch in the third quarter, M.J. almost single-handedly closed an 18-point deficit to 2. He scored 16 of 20 Wizards points during the stretch, making the first dunk of his comeback and going 6-for-6 with two 3-pointers. Not to mention, he also assisted on one of the other baskets with a no-look pass to Courtney Alexander. Nice.

In other news, it looks like we're going to see a Yankees/Diamondbacks World Series matchup. I don't know about you, but I can't envision the Arizona "Whoa, we made it this far?" Diamondbacks beating the cruising Yanks in a series they have historically dominated forever, it seems. Anyway, that's nothing new. Better luck next year, unless you're a Yankee fan.

Now you can recommend Sports Central to your friends and colleagues and have a chance to win $10,000. That's right, there's no catch. Just go to https://www.sports-central.org/recommend.shtml

Want to join the Sports Central Fantasy Basketball League? We've extended the deadline and there are only a few sports still open. Details: https://www.sports-central.org/commu...&threadid=2414

Until next time,

- Marc James, Your College-Basketball-Anticipating Editor
mailto:[email protected]


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Revisiting the new articles for the week of 10/15/01 - 10/21/01:


NFL: Charlie Brown and the New York Jets
by Piet Van Leer

Sports Illustrated claims the Los Angeles Clippers are the worst professional sports franchise. They failed, however, to give the Jets their full due. There isn't a more storied franchise renowned for it's futility, says SC's Piet Van Leer.



MLB: Fun with free agency
by Sean Rogers

The playoffs aren't over, but who really cares, the Yankees will just win again anyway, says SC's Sean Rogers. Who might your team sign? Who are the big players on the market? Read the complete breakdown.



NBA: Eastern Conference champs limping into the new season
by George Gouvas

Remember when the 76ers began last season 10-0, on their way to the Eastern Conference championship? Remember when Allen Iverson, Aaron McKie, George Lynch, and Eric Snow were all hauling 40 minutes a night for Larry Brown's squad? Well, you will barely recognize the squad that hits the floor on opening day against Minnesota, says SC's George Gouvas.



COLUMN: You gotta believe
by George Soules

How did the N.Y. Yankees turn a disastrous start into victory in the American League division playoffs? Derek Jeter has been mostly credited for the comeback, but SC's George Soules points to other equally significant factors, in this latest edition of Calling The Shots.



MLB: Yankee magic has emerged again
by Brandon Engebretson

How does a 90+ win team scare teams with better records in the playoffs? They call themselves the Yankees. And somehow, they're using their magic again to overcome the baseball behemoths known as the Oakland A's and Seattle Mariners, says SC's Brandon Engebretson.



NHL: The bad boys of hockey
by Lee Manchur

Advances in hockey equipment manufacturing are out of hand. It allows players like Scott Stevens to deliver possible career-ending concussions to players like Eric Lindros and Ron Francis. Other NHL "bad boys" use sticks as swords to crosscheck or high stick opponents. SC's Lee Manchur comments on what's wrong with the NHL and what the league is doing to cut down on these sorts of dangerous, violent actions.



NFL: Where we stand after Week 5
by Scott Nichol

Some of the teams written about since just after the Super Bowl have faded and others have gone on to lead their divisions. Also, there have even been a few surprises. SC's Scott Nichol gives his perspective on the league following Week 5.




And the Winner is...

In the American League, the Cy Young will more than likely go to one of the 20-game winners - Roger Clemens, Jamie Moyer, or Mark Mulder. It shouldn't - just looking at the win column is the Homer Simpson approach. Dig a little deeper, and there's a strong candidate who racked up 11 defeats - Mike Mussina.

By Mike Round

Over in the National League, this year's Cy Young winner is easy to pick. Well, it's easy to pick which team is going to have the Cy Young winner on its roster - Arizona. Schilling or the Big Unit? - pick 'em. Either would be a worthy winner.

Things are not so cut 'n dried over in the American League, where, as usual, there are a bunch of pitchers with solid claims to the Cy Young. Roger Clemens created history by going 20-1, until he came off the rails a touch to end the regular season 20-3. Clemens has had a monster season for sure, especially for a man approaching 40, but he did get the benefit of the second-best run support amongst AL pitchers (4.88) and was bailed out by his teammates more than once.

With one more win than The Rocket is Oakland's Mark Mulder (21-8). After their stuttering start, the A's came on really strong from June on to the end of the regular season, mostly on the back of excellent pitching by Mulder, Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, and Cory Lidle. Mulder isn't a highlight-reel fast ball strike out pitcher, but he has excellent control and outwits most batsmen.

There's no doubt he'd be a meritorious winner of this year's Cy Young. As would Seattle's veteran Jamie Moyer (20-6), who has quietly rebuilt his reputation in the Pacific North West.

However, just counting a pitcher's wins and losses is no way to decide their performance on the year. It's a yardstick, sure, but not the be-all-and-end-all.

At 17-11, Mike Mussina would seem an odd choice for the AL Cy Young. But, closer inspection reveals just how good a first-year Moose had in The Bronx.

Joining a close-knit team like the Yankees can't be easy. It took Clemens most of his first season to settle, and he wasn't really accepted by the fans until that memorable Game 4 of the 1999 World Series win over the Braves, when he exited to a tumultuous reception after a Gerald Williams base hit in the eighth.

Even worse for Mussina, he replaced the legendary David Cone in the rotation. Not only was Cone a fan favorite, but he was a clubhouse leader. Denny Neagle couldn't handle Cone's role, so there were questions about Mussina's ability to handle both the pressure and the intrusive Gotham media. Mussina is a small town Pennsylvania guy who'd pitched all his career in Baltimore. Now he was expected to pitch at third in the rotation for the three-time reigning World Champions. If they suddenly faltered, Mussina would catch some of the fallout.

Things didn't start too promising, with three quick defeats. But Mussina hung in there, sticking to his pitching routine and making batters work to get on base. It paid off with 17 wins by the end of the regular season, and a host of top quality pitching stats.

K/BB Ratio - 2nd in the AL, at 5.10, way ahead of Mulder (3.00), Clemens (2.96) and Moyer (2.70).

Batters Batting Average - 7th in the AL, at .237, again ahead of Clemens, Mulder and Moyer.

Batters OBP - 1st in the AL, at .275.

ERA - 2nd in the AL at 3.15, ahead of Clemens, Moyer, and Mulder, and only behind Freddy Garcia (3.05).

BB+H/IP - Tied 1st in the AL, at 1.07.

All this with a miserly run support of 3.15, compared to Clemens at 4.88 (2nd in AL), Mulder at 4.35, and Moyer at 4.24.

Analyze some of those wins on Mussina's record and you'll find two 1-0 victories, including a memorable night in Boston when only a Carl Everett base hit deprived him of a perfect game, and four 2-1 victories. Three complete games, too, with, in addition to the one hitter in Boston, two three-hitters against Baltimore and Minnesota.

Add in two (so far) postseason victories and a postseason ERA of 1.38, and you've got a truly outstanding season.
After signing an $88 million contract in the offseason, you might expect these numbers. But, Mussina wasn't the most talked about offseason acquisition, not with A-Rod, Ramirez, and Gonzalez around. And he had the hardest job of the four, namely to slide into a winning, closely knit team. He's more than lived up to expectations, and will, in most likelihood, be the Yankees' ace next season. I don't expect his name to be called when the winner is announced, but to me, Mike Mussina is this year's AL Cy Young winner.


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

NCAA: Stanford right back in Pac-10 race

NBA: With little help, Jordan scores 'scary' 41

NFL: Bears blank Bengals

MLB: D-Backs to throw Big Unit on verge of World Series
CBS Sportsline

NBA: Strickland headed to Miami, not Philly
National Post Online

NHL: All Wright night for Flames
Calgary Herald


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