Batting Around is BC Sports' look back at the week's happenings in the world o' sports, presented in a lineup card format for some undisclosed reason.
The Lineup Card
1. WR Terrell Owens — Okay, this is the year he's not a distraction. In 2007, the Dallas Cowboys will not do anything or say anything to deter his team's focus … aw, crap.
In an interview with Time, a fan asked Owens who he would choose to have throw him the ball on a weekly basis, if given the opportunity. (Remember that, when Owens played with Philadelphia, he slighted Donovan McNabb by answering "Brett Favre.") With Tony Romo as his current quarterback, Owens replied, "Man, that's a tricky question. I don't want to cause trouble … O.K., I would say Peyton Manning, then Donovan McNabb."
Don't worry, Romo. In two years, when Owens is playing with someone else, he'll want you as his quarterback.
2. MF Cristiano Ronaldo — The English record for the most goals in one game is 10, accomplished by Joe Payne in 1936. Cristiano Ronaldo's epic performance got him only halfway to that mark. Of course, Payne scored by kicking a soccer ball into a net. Ronaldo scored by nailing hookers.
Evidently after a Manchester United win over
Leeds earlier this season, Ronaldo and some teammates rounded up a quintet of serviceable women and had a night of it. One lady even went as far to say she'd have performed for free that night.
The orgy allegedly lasted four hours. First of all, who did they designate to sit in the corner with the stopwatch? Secondly, I guess dudes can last that long when said athletes play a sport without timeouts. Hats off to you, Mr. Ronaldo. Pants off, even.
3. RF Juan Encarnacion — Know why I was bad at baseball? I was always afraid of getting hit in the face with that ball. And that was just by pitches thrown and hit by little kids. But enough about how I spent my weekend.
The St. Louis Cardinals' journeyman outfielder was released from the hospital earlier this week after, while standing on deck, he took a foul ball line drive to the eye, shattering his left eye socket. His career could be over, but Encarnacion's vision is showing signs of improvement. Plus, how often do we hear that someone's career was once thought to be over, then he returns to the field and makes a clutch play at the end of a pivotal game?
If he ever does return to the field, at least he has a good reason to flinch at the first line drive that heads his way.
4. RF Magglio Ordoñez — The Big Tilde was named the American League Player of the Month for August. His numbers damn well solidify his case: A .391 batting average with 10 home runs and 31 RBI in 29 games. As the Detroit Tigers wistfully fall in the standings, the team would be dead in the water were it not for the Wonderbat and surname swoosh of Ordoñez.
The 41-year-old (yeah, right) center says he has one more year of vicious blocks left in him with the Houston Rockets. If there was one thrilling play beyond points that I would love to see, it would be blocks. Mutombo is one of the game's legendary shot blockers (he's second all-time in career blocks to fellow Rockets great Hakeem Olajuwon) and could be argued as one of the era's great centers. I sure hope, in his swan song season of the NBA, that someone will finally sex him.
6. 3B Jack Hannahan — Last month the Detroit Tigers made a swap with the Oakland A's, acquiring outfielder Jason Perry in exchange for the aforementioned minor league all-star for the Triple-A level Toledo Mud Hens. A seemingly harmless, flavorless trade. After all, neither Hannahan nor Perry were on the teams' respective 40-man rosters.
Soon after the trade, Hannahan was called up to the major leagues and transplanted in the everyday lineup at base. Last Sunday he knocked in the game-winning extra-inning run to win. The team they beat? The Detroit Tigers.
7. RB Laurence Maroney — A few months ago, the rapscallions at Kissing Suzy Kolber caught wind of the New England Patriots' Facebook page, somewhat of a holdover from his playing days at the University of Minnesota. It was a treasure trove of comedy bullion, bringing us once-though inconceivable phrases like "wash u ass" and "bout time we got some construda in dis mothafucka." We never did find out what "construda" meant. My theory always was that it's some species of termite.
But forget all that. When Maroney was asked about the Facebook page, he denied ever making it, saying it was a forgery. " 'construda?' — I don't know what that is," he said. But, see, none of us know what it means.
8. #88 Ricky Rudd — NASCAR's Ironman, Rudd separated his shoulder in a crash on Sunday, his 900th career race. One of racing's legendary yet overlooked drivers, Rudd has never missed a race due to an injury. But he won't be able to suit up this weekend at Richmond.
His main sponsor may no longer be Tide (now it's Snickers), but I will always associate Rudd with the detergent. For example, when I'm watching a ballgame and the trailing team evens up the score, I like to say, "like Ricky Rudd, this game's Tide." Nobody laughs with me. It's fantastic.
9. SP Erik Bedard — For a team who allowed 30 runs in one game and let a rookie throw a no-hitter against them, it's normally a stretch to say that the team has a legitimate — nay, favorite — Cy Young candidate.
Look at the numbers. Bedard is 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA. He leads both leagues in strikeouts with 221. Unfortunately, now that he's injured, he may not get a chance to add to those numbers. At least he'll likely be awarded with a top five finish in the Cy Young voting.
So even though his team may have allowed 30 runs in a game — and then lost the nightcap of that doubleheader — take note that the night before that infamous box score, Bedard beat the Rangers on a seven-inning, two-run, 11-strikeout performance.
Coach: Joe Paterno — So, the Penn State football coach sorta rules. Not only did he make good on his promise to get the team to clean their stadium after home games following some troubling offseason fisticuffs, but a recent New York Times' feature story reveals that JoePa and his wife just got around to watching M*A*S*H for the first time. So far they're impressed with the show, but I hope that if his football team gets in more off-the-field trouble, Coach Paterno doesn't try to punish them by sending them to fight in the Korean War.