Sports Morning Headlines-Monday, 10/17/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Monday, 10/17/11.

#NBAFanVoice Day: Speak Your Mind - Throughout the NBA lockout, we've heard from players and union leadership. We've heard from David Stern. We've heard from columnists and media folks. We've heard from TV's talking heads and sports radio's disembodied voices. But the most important voice at all -- the voice of the fan -- hasn't received nearly enough attention.  That's why SB Nation invites all NBA fans to speak their mind about the lockout and the league on Monday, October 17.   READ MORE

Project Spurs:  Turiaf set to join Parker, ASVEL? - Could New York Knicks' Ronny Turiaf be set to join San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker with ASVEL-Villeurbanne? According to leprogres.fr, he might.  Turiaf could be joining the team as early as Wednesday for the duration of the NBA lockout.  Parker and Turiaf are coming off playing together for the French national team at Eurobasket 2011 and are good friends. Add the fact Parker is part-owner of ASVEL and acts as the VP of Basketball Operations, the chances of Turiaf joining the squad is high.   READ MORE

Meet Mavericks Player X - My theory is that Nov. 15 was always a red-circled day for NBA owners because that is (was) the players' Payday No. 1 of 13. To illustrate further what this means to negotiations, let's do some loose math with 'Mavs Player X' as our guinea pig. … and a missing $282,000 biweekly paycheck as the pivot point. …  Mavs Player X was scheduled to earn $5 million this year. Assuming that he planned to accept his bimonthly checks in the standard manner (on the 15th and 30th of every in-season month), Player X's pre-tax income was to be $384,000. … $384,000 every 15th and 30th of the month, from mid-November to the end of May.  In a way that has nothing to do with the labor dispute, that's jaw-dropping, I know. But focus, please.   READ MORE

How Cancelled Games Affect Houston - Whether it be financially, physically, emotionally, or all three rolled into one seismic disaster, every player, on every team, is bruised by the lockout. Guys really want to play ball, and a shortened season not only hurts them individually, but it’s a backward step for their teams as a whole—which doubles as a backward step, once again, for them as individuals, by way of their contribution towards a lower product.  A few aging groups, built on creaky knees but veteran skill and experience—the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, and Dallas Mavericks to name a few—are hurt less than others for two reasons: 1) A shortened season means less opportunity for old man injuries to occur. Guys like Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and Kobe Bryant aren’t sighing relief that games are being missed, but when they look at the glass as being half full, all three recognize their possible one last hurrah is easier to grab now that energy from October and November can be translated to May and June, when they do things people remember them for, and 2) The continuity/chemistry factor isn’t a concern.   READ MORE

 

 

 

 

 

Tickets for The World Series - Cheer on the Back-2-Back ALCS Champion Texas Rangers.  See what's available at TiqIQ.com.   CHECK AVAILABILITY HERE


Texas Rangers to Return to the World Series - I've said it once (recently in fact) and I’ll say it again—I love these Texas Rangers.  Like many people I watch sports because they remind me of a kinder, gentler time; when the game was just a good excuse to hang out with your friends.  What makes watching these guys even better is that they are people you want to cheer for.   READ MORE

Rangers rest as Cardinals bash way into World Series - It just so happens that there is rest for the weary, and the Texas Rangers gladly accepted a Sunday off after closing out the American League Championship Series.  Among the causes for the weariness were sore muscles and joints, and overworked arms.  Some players, such as Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre, were afflicted by lingering injuries.  So, closing out Detroit in Game 6 on Saturday rather than having to play a win-or-go-home Game 7 on Sunday came with one significant advantage ahead of the Rangers' second straight berth to the World Series.  Rest, sweet rest -- for key lineup contributors and a bullpen that made the difference between booking a trip to St. Louis and booking off-season tee times.   READ MORE

All-Star letdown has Rangers starting on road - The Texas Rangers make their second consecutive appearance in the World Series on Wednesday and do so without home-field advantage. You can thank the All-Star Game for that.  The National League won this year's midseason classic 5-1 on the strength of a three-run home run by Milwaukee's Prince Fielder off C.J. Wilson.  Starting in 2003, the All-Star Game has been used to determine which league gets the home advantage in the World Series. Previously, the Series alternated home field. The American League won the first seven All-Star Games under the new format but has lost the last two.   READ MORE

Cardinals' lefty relievers have familiar look - The two left-handers in St. Louis' bullpen -- Arthur Rhodes and Marc ``Scrabble'' Rzepczynski -- have a familiar look to the Texas Rangers.  Rhodes opened the season with the Rangers and was released in late July after performing poorly. He was 3-3 with a 4.81 ERA in 32 appearances with the Rangers. With St. Louis, Rhodes was 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 19 regular-season appearances. He has retired five of the seven batters faced in the post-season.  Rzepczynski is one of three pitchers acquired in July from Toronto in a deal that sent center fielder Colby Rasmus to the Blue Jays. In his final appearances with the Jays, Rzepczynski faced two Rangers hitters without getting and out and took a loss.   READ MORE

Rangers bullpen makes history against the Tigers - FOR STARTERS, NO WINS: The Texas Rangers won the AL championship series without a starting pitcher earning a victory.  That was only the second time that a team won a best-of-seven playoff series without one of its starters getting a win, according to STATS, LLC. The only other team to do it was Cleveland in the 1997 ALCS over Baltimore.  Alexi Ogando, a starter in the regular season who returned to the Rangers bullpen in the playoffs, won Games 1 and 6 against Detroit. That was somewhat fitting since Ogando was the starter and winner for Texas' three victories over the Tigers during the regular season.   READ MORE

Rangers `scary' to NLCS Most Valuable Player - St. Louis third baseman David Freese paid close attention to the American League Championship Series. What Freese saw from the Texas Rangers made a strong impression on him.  ``The Rangers are scary,'' said Freese, Most Valuable Player in the National League Championship Series. ``They're a scary team. They've been doing it all along the last few years. You look at that lineup. You look at that staff. It's going to be a battle.  ``I think we're a team that can match them a little bit. They're confident. We're confident.''   READ MORE http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/10/rangers-scary-to-nlcs-most-val.html

LHP Randy Wolf's brief stint with Astros played key role in restoring career - Left-hander Randy Wolf stepped up last Thursday in Game 4 of the 2011 NLCS when the Milwaukee Brewers truly needed him and recorded one of the most memorable outings of his major league career in a 4-2 road victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.  The 35-year-old veteran allowed just two earned runs on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts over seven solid innings to keep the Cardinals off-balance en route to his first career postseason win.  At the time, the victory evened the series, but St. Louis has since taken a 3-2 lead with an impressive 7-1 win on Friday in Game 5.   READ MORE

Farmstros Predicts November 15 - The Astros have one month from today to finalize their 40-man roster, clarifying who will be protected in December's Rule 5 Draft. The club has already made steps towards that end by outrighting six players off of the 40-man roster in the last several days. Following is my predicition of who will be on once Ed Wade turns in his final paperwork on November 15.   READ MORE

 

 


Flustered in fourth quarter, Texans lose 29-14 at Baltimore - For three-plus quarters, the Texans were in exactly the kind of game they expected against the Baltimore Ravens. It was physical. It was back-and-forth. It was right within their grasp.  But Sunday’s game at M&T Bank Stadium slipped away from the visiting Texans in the fourth quarter. They were outscored 13-0, converted only three first downs and were unable to put together a drive longer than 37 yards. A close game turned into a 29-14 loss, and the Texans' record now sits at 3-3 after a 3-1 start to the season.  "I liked the type of game we were in," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "(But) when it counted most, with about 10 minutes left in the game, with a 19-14 game, we quit making plays and they started making plays."   READ MORE

Quotes: Texans at Ravens - The Texans lost to the Raiders in Week 6 at M&T Bank Stadium. Afterward, coaches and players from both sides answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.  Head coach Gary Kubiak:  (on CB Jason Allen playing in the game) “I don’t know how many plays he played. I don’t know, I’ll have to go back and look at the tape.”  (on the running game the past two weeks) “We haven’t run the ball well the past two weeks, you are right. Twenty five carries for 90-something yards, I think. This team is a tough team to run on, but you’ve just got to keep pounding at them, and we did. I think we kept battling, had ourselves some good [field] position as a team. A 19-14 football game early in the fourth quarter, we’re down there on the 40-yard line, third-and-8, make a play, we knew it was going to be that kind of play, we didn’t make it, and they started making theirs, but you are right, we’re not running the ball well right now.”   READ MORE

Texans vs. Ravens: 5 Things We Learned from Houston's Loss to Baltimore - As I predicted, the Texans fell on the road against arguably the best team in the AFC today, dropping a 29-14 decision at Baltimore.  Their defense kept them in the game for most of it, but the Texans offense was never able to get a real rhythm going.  Arian Foster doesn't seem a hundred percent and Gary Kubiak seemed to shy away from the run.  After six games, the Texans are an all too familiar .500 at 3-3. Fortunately for them, the toughest part of their schedule is now over. But with a team ravaged by injuries, it isn't going to be easy. Especially after some of the things we learned about them today.  Let's take a look at a few of them.   READ MORE

Houston Texans: Winners and Losers from Texans' Loss vs. Ravens - The Houston Texans were defeated 29-14 on Sunday when they traveled to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. With key players out for both teams, it was a close game right until the end.  Despite decent play from both teams, there were some key players that stood out with their impressive performances.  The following is a list of the winners and losers from the Texans' loss against the Ravens.   READ MORE

Garrett might have to alter future game plans - The Dallas Cowboys went to New England on Sunday looking to make a statement.  This was not the time to make good on quarterback Tony Romo's hollow Super Bowl promise of earlier in the week.  But this was their opportunity to show they were ready to show progress and maybe take a baby step in that direction against Tom Brady and the big, bad Patriots.  In the end, the Cowboys were left cursing themselves for letting a golden opportunity slip away in a 20-16 loss.   READ MORE

Recent flops place Romo in a conservative position - As Tony Romo was leaving the field after throwing an interception on the Cowboys' first possession, nose tackle Jay Ratliff stopped the Dallas quarterback.  "Hey, don't even worry about it," Romo said Ratliff told him. "We're going to get these guys."  The interception was the Cowboys' fourth in eight possessions, dating to the meltdown against Detroit. But Romo did what was asked the rest of Sunday: He didn't have another turnover, and he put the Cowboys in position to win. But, for the second straight game, the effort wasn't quite good enough.  "They're a good football team, so it's unrealistic for us to come up here and say we're going to play a clean game in all three areas," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "There are going to be some things that don't go our way. A big emphasis that we make with our football team is continuing to play, continuing to play through the success and the adversity that happens in a game. I felt like we did that. Ultimately, we didn't do enough things to win the ball game at the end."  Romo was 27 for 41 for 317 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and an 87.1 passer rating. He didn't have many down-the-field throws, with the longest play a 33-yard catch-and-run by Dez Bryant.   READ MORE

Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware picks up two more sacks, makes mark in record books - On two different occasions Sunday, DeMarcus Ware raced into the Patriots' backfield and tackled quarterback Brady behind the line of scrimmage. The first of Ware's two sacks forced the Patriots to kick a field goal in the first quarter when Ware brought Brady down 13 yards from the end zone on third down.  The second helped kill a Patriots drive on New England's first possession of the second half, when New England's Zoltan Mesko was called on to punt for the first time.   READ MORE

Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman makes his mark Sunday - Terence Newman's name was all over the stat sheet Sunday. The nine-year veteran cornerback intercepted a pass thrown by Tom Brady in the first quarter that set up a Cowboys drive that led to their first field goal.  He later recovered a fumble by Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in the third quarter that linebacker Bradie James caused inside the Cowboys' red zone. Newman also made five tackles and defended a pass. But after the game Newman didn't seem too eager to talk about his personal accomplishments, choosing instead to focus on the state of the Cowboys.   READ MORE

Cowboys WR Dez Bryant disappears in second half again - After halftime, Dez Bryant returned to the field with the rest of his teammates. But soon thereafter he disappeared from the stat sheet. After making four receptions for 78 yards in the first two quarters, he failed to record another catch.  Sunday marked the continuation of a disturbing trend for Bryant, who has made just two catches for the 50 yards in the four second halves he's played this season.  "You have to understand who we have on this offense," Bryant said when asked about his lack of production after halftime. "We have a lot of great players. Each and every last one of us can make plays. Whenever our number is called on, we just have to do our job. That's it."   READ MORE






 

Souray's contributions coming all over pond - No doubt about it, when the Dallas Stars signed defenseman Sheldon Souray during the off-season, it was a move that was viewed through somewhat cautious eyes. After all, the hulking, 6-foot-4 blue liner had been out of the NHL for the 2010-11 season after falling out of favor in Edmonton and "Shelly" had spent last season with Hershey of the American Hockey League, skating in a total of 40 games for the Bears.  However, on the other hand, the shift to Big D was viewed as a big positive, a change that could epitomize how beneficial a change of scenery could be for a player in any sport. And it also helped that Souray knew at least one current Star, center Mike Ribeiro, a former teammate of his in Montreal.   READ MORE

Stars Notes - The Dallas Stars have played well at times over the first five games and their play has been spotty at other times, but there are few complaints about the bottom line record of wins and points.  After sweeping their just concluded three-game homestand the Stars are 4-1-0 on the season as they get ready to play four straight and eight of their next eleven games on the road.  “Early on at home if you can gather points you can gather some momentum and feel good about your game going on the road,” said forward Adam Burish. “That’s the most important thing, feeling confident about the way you want to play. After [Saturday] we can finally see that playing the way our coach is telling us to play works. It’s a good feeling.”   READ MORE

Stars join in Hockey Fights Cancer night - The Dallas Stars held their annual Hockey Fights Cancer night on Thursday as the team hosted the St. Louis Blues.  The Stars recognized and raised money for several charitable organizations for their efforts in cancer research – Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Cancer patients from these organizations got the opportunity to participate in some fun behind the scenes activites such as:  serving as the Dr Pepper Stick Kid, sitting in the penalty boxes during warm-ups, and sitting on the player bench post-game.   READ MORE







---Staff and Wire Reports contributed to this story

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