Monday, March 14
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Cowboys prepared heading into lockout

New playbooks will be harder to ingest these days, but perhaps especially so for Rob Ryan's players in Dallas. As mentioned in [a Dallas Morning News] article, Ryan's defense is known for its complexities. ... But according to inside linebacker Sean Lee, many Cowboys players attempted to learn as much as they could about Ryan's system before the restrictions imposed during the lockout went into effect. In fact, several returned to Valley Ranch in February to meet with Ryan, knowing that they would soon be barred from the practice facility. "At some point," Lee said, "most everybody was in there. They were making sure they had all the information they could get to take with them into the offseason. I thought we did a really good job preparing for this. I don't think we're going to lose a step because of that." (Dallas Morning News) Comment

Pistons frustrated by lineup moves

There have been all manner of reactions to John Kuester from his players this season, not all good to be sure. But after the latest humiliation -- a 30-point drubbing at the hands of the Nuggets on Saturday night featuring the team's 17th different starting lineup of the season -- there was only a sense of acceptance and calendar watching until the end of the regular season next month. ... [Kuester] put Tracy McGrady at power forward. McGrady said he hasn't played inside since high school. The sense of resignation has been there for quite some time, but there were only veiled cracks at Kuester's constant shuffling of the lineup in the Pistons' locker room afterward. The only public comments were from Tayshaun Prince, who said people "shouldn't be surprised" at the constant lineup shuffling because that has been the trend all season. (Detroit Free Press) Comment

Red Sox sugarcoating Beckett outing?

Everything was just fine until the fifth inning. Beckett lasted four-plus innings, allowed four hits, and was charged with five runs, allowing two solo homers as his ERA shot up to 6.52 for the spring in a 9-4 Red Sox loss to the Pirates. But while Beckett was down on himself after allowing a leadoff homer to Ronny Cedeno in the fifth, then walking a batter and hitting another, he got a thumbs up from manager Terry Francona and catcher Jason Varitek. "I hope his last inning didn't ruin his day because I think he really threw the ball good," Francona said. "Threw some fastballs down. Last inning he walked a guy and hits a guy. The inning gets away. But that???s the good thing about spring training, as long as he can take out of it more good than bad." (Boston Globe) Comment

Must-See Photo
Must-See Photo

Harvard's Kyle Casey gets an earful from a clucth of Princeton fans before the Tigers sent the Crimson packing from the conference's title showdown. (AP)

Must-See Video

Gus Johnson offers a taste in the final seconds of the Pac-10 final of why having him announce any close game in the NCAAs is a reason to turn off the cell phone and send the family out of the house. (After his initial call, fast forward to about 1:50 for an extra cackle.)

Game To Watch

The Heat look for revenge after the Spurs took apart Miami by 30 on March 4, 8 p.m. ET

This Day in Sports
SI Vault: More Henry Aaron
  • 1954 -- Henry Aaron homers in his first exhibition game
  • 1962 -- Gordie Howe of the Red Wing becomes the second player in NHL history to score 500 goals
  • 1954 --The NBA's Baltimore Bullets end a 32-game road losing streak

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