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Morning Jolt: No more NHL players at Olympics?


Tuesday, February 23

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NBC hockey freeze may lead to pull out

The Olympics may have finally frozen out the NHL from allowing its players to participate. Commissioner Gary Bettman should tell the IOC he's pulling the plug on this experiment that began in Nagano in 1998. Technically, he would need support of NHL owners and players in the next bargaining agreement, but Bettman needs to lead the fight against the Olympics, which take what the NHL has to offer and give so little in return. Seriously, if 8.2 million Americans can find USA-Canada on MSNBC -- that's about a month's worth of viewers for Keith Olbermann -- do the folks at NBC think their Olympic viewership on the network would have suffered badly by airing hockey in prime time? (Dallas Morning News)Comment

Burnett questioned self, not Jorge

Jorge Posada and A.J. Burnett say they are finally on the same page. Despite not pairing last season, the battery believes all will be well this season as Posada will catch Burnett, according to manager Joe Girardi. Is that a good thing? In 16 starts throwing to Posada, Burnett was 5-5 with six no decisions and opposing batters hit .270 against him. In 11 games working with Molina, Burnett was 5-2 with four no-decisions and held hitters to a .221 average. In five postseason starts, Burnett was 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA. (New York Post)Comment

Ortiz on notice for more run production

The happiest days seem to have faded for David Ortiz. Once the toast of the Hub, Ortiz faced criticism for his play last season. At camp yesterday, the slightly trimmer designated hitter spoke of the pain he felt during his historic drought of April and May. After Ortiz made several references to "negativity," he was asked if he felt people in Boston gave up on him too quickly last year. "I think so," he said. "I think people give up on me too early. Start talking about age and all that kind of stuff. You listen to it for a minute. It was the same people that was clapping for me the year before that. Minds change that quick? I don't believe in that. But I'm strong enough to know how to deal with that." (Boston Globe)Comment

Must-See Photo

Germany's Christina Beier and William Beier perform their free dance during Monday's ice dance figure skating competition at the Olympics in Vancouver. (AP)

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Game To Watch

No. 13 Georgetown at Louisville, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

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SI Vault: More Bob Knight

This Day in Sports

  • 1960 -- Demolition crews begin work on Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, longtime home of the Dodgers until their 1957 departure to L.A.
  • 1980 -- Speed skater Eric Heiden earns a record fifth gold medal at the Lake Placid Olympics with a victory in the 10,000 meters.
  • 1985 -- Indiana coach Bobby Knight is ejected from a game against Purdue for throwing a chair across the court.