Wednesday, December 15
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Brian Cashman may have pitching help on the way, but it's not the kind -- prospects -- about whom fans are used to getting excited. [One scout] called [Manny] Banuelos, whom he'd watched in the Arizona Fall League, "the best lefthanded pitching prospect I've seen in years. He may be only 19, but he's got both the stuff and the poise and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he was in the big leagues as early as sometime next year." ... In the meantime, look for Cashman to spend his saved money on shoring up the bullpen, with re-signing Kerry Wood a new priority. And in addition to re-signing [Andy] Pettitte, he'll still be exploring the trade market with the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano, who experienced a turnaround both in temperament and results under the tutelage of new Yankee pitching coach Larry Rothschild the last six weeks of last season, a likely target. (New York Daily News)Comment
At the time of Josh McDaniels' hire, nine of the previous 11 Super Bowl winners were coached by veterans. Since then, the last two Super Bowl winners were first-time head coaches -- Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin (2008) and New Orleans' Sean Payton (2009). Despite this recent run, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen may be gun-shy about hiring a first-time head coach again. If so, Jim Fassel may get a look. He led the New York Giants to Super Bowl XXXV and, perhaps just as important, was the Broncos' offensive coordinator in 1993 when John Elway had his only 4,000-yard passing season. (The Denver Post)Comment
Saying "It happens, sure, but it's cool," Chris Kaman sloughed off the fact that his owner openly heckles his players courtside. Kaman is a nice guy who would never rip somebody paying him millions, so, while I appreciate his attitude, I'm not buying his characterization. Kaman told me that it's often too loud to hear a single voice at courtside, so Sterling's words have little impact. "Usually you only hear it when you're shooting a free throw or running down the court during a lull," he said. "I'm telling you, it's really a non-issue." (Los Angeles Times)Comment
Vince Carter wanted no part of this dunk from Carmelo Anthony. (Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
The soccer-ball-cake prank. Classic.
Game To Watch
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks, 7 p.m., ESPN
- Boston Celtics
- New York Knicks
SI Vault: More Kobe Bryant
This Day in Sports
- 1964 -- San Francisco's Wilt Chamberlain scores 58 points, including nine in overtime, to give the Warriors a 134-132 victory over the New York Knicks.
- 1973 -- Sandy Hawley becomes the first jockey in history to win 500 races in a single year.
- 2006 -- Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers scores 53 points in a 112-101 double overtime victory against the Houston Rockets.