The WNBA Finals: Thanks, Title IX

Most sports fans are focused on three main things right now:

1. Major League Baseball
2. The upcoming NFL season
3. NCAA Football.

What people are not talking about is the major championship that began Wednesday night: the WNBA Finals! Ok, so maybe it’s not major, but it is a championship nonetheless, so it merits a little attention. Right?

The Sacramento Monarchs — the defending champs, apparently — took it to the Detroit Shock last night in Game 1 of the Finals, 95-71. We suppose the Shock were menstruating or something.

So what happened in the game, you ask. C’mon, Big Picture, give us some hard-hitting analysis.

Well, we frankly have no idea what happened in the game. You think we were watching? Fuck no.

We were watching the Giants/Braves game, studying for our upcoming fantasy football draft and talking college football over at our other site.

But you can find out what happened right here. There’s no word if Ron Artest — now a member of the Sacramento Kings, if you recall — was in attendance. Though the game was in the lovely city of Detroit, so we imagine Artest didn’t make the trip…on second thought, that’s where he’s happiest: in The Palace at Auburn Hills!

Game 2 is Friday, so be sure to go out to dinner, see a movie, read a book; just get the hell away from your TV set. Or, if you’re feeling particularly audacious, ugh, watch the game. It’ll probably be on ESPN. Yeah, the WNBA Finals.

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Who, exactly, is managing the New York Yankees?

Those in Major League Baseball upper management positions have pretty clear-cut roles, if you ask us. The general manager uses the owner’s money to obtain players that the manager then coaches. Duties shouldn’t overlap, much like tequila shots should not be taken after shot-gunning a cold one. Or vice versa, of course.

Simple, right?

Well, it seems the mighty men running the New York Yankees are a bit confused about their duties. On Aug. 15, starting pitcher Carl Pavano got in a car accident that left him with a mutulated jaw and on the brink of death a couple of broken ribs. Pavano, that sly cat, opted not to tell his employer until well after the accident.

Now, Brian Cashman, New York’s G.M., says Pavano can’t pitch for two weeks. If you remember from above, the G.M. obtains players. The manager coaches those obtained. Yet the G.M. in this situation decided who plays and who doesn’t.

So, getting back to the subject of this now wordy and somewhat dummied-down post, who the fuck is managing the Yanks? We’d sure like to know Joe Torre’s take on his boss making his decisions for him. From the linked article, it’s rather clear that Cashman won’t be inviting Pavano to Sunday night dinner this week. (Meatloaf, by the way, is the probable for the main course.)

We can’t really figure out how this managerial decision falls under Cashman’s so-called jurisdiction. If the dude can/can’t/doesn’t know how to/doesn’t want to/forgot how to/is scared to pitch, shouldn’t that be Torre’s call as the manager?

Cashman also said that if Pavano can take the hill that it will be in a relief role, and that “discipline” is a possibility. Again, basic baseball convention would suggest that the manager — it’s Torre, remember him? — decides what role that player has, not the G.M.

As for the discipline thing, based on Cashman’s kind words about Pavano, it could be something like this.

In other news: Despite being in the hospital for an irregular heartbeat, David Ortiz hit his 48th homerun Wednesday in a 7-2 loss to Oakland.

Renaldo Balkman: WTF?!

Wonderful stuff is happening over at YAYsports! NBA. Not only are they making a movie, Who Shot Mamba?, but they also have created an online store that rivals any good sweatshop.

Their latest: this nice little shirt you see in the picture to the right.

Don’t live in New York? No problem. Wear the shirt anytime the Knicks come to your town. Isiah Thomas will love to see the nod of support. Yeah. Support.

Get your new gear here.

Don Nelson doesn’t know what he’s getting into

We suppose Don Nelson thinks that the members of Run-TMC — Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin — are still playing for the Warriors.

And at 66-years-young, who can blame him for being a bit out of the loop? Hardaway and Richmond are long out of basketball and Mullin is now, ironically, calling the shots for the Warriors. Unfortunately for Nellie, there’s not a whole helluva lot of talent on the floor for the Not-so-Golden State Warriors.

Baron Davis has all sorts of issues, Ike Diogu isn’t seeing enough court time and Jason Richardson…well, he’s fucking solid!

But the Warriors haven’t seen the postseason from the first person since 1994 and the front office thinks that Nellie is the guy to get them back there. He’ll try at least. He’ll also get a $1 million incentive if the Warriors make the playoffs.

The amigos over at Golden State of Mind like that little clause.

“Simply marvelous! Absolutely amazing! FAB-YOU-LESS! Maybe Cohan (aka the worst owner in all of sports) is ready to actually give winning a serious try instead of just looting Warriors Nation. I never thought I’d say this, but props to Warriors owner Chris Cohan. This doesn’t make up for 12 horrendous years, but it’s a start.”

The City also likes the move, but more because, well, Monty was a wee bit better at Stanford than with the Warriors.

“By parting ways/firing/kicking to the corner/buying out Montgomery, Chris Mullin admitted his second of four mistakes as GM of the Warriors. The first was signing Derek Fisher to a six-year deal. The second was the Mike Montgomery signing.”

So, yeah. Nellie. Back in the Bay. Monty back to the Pac-10? Oregon? We’ll just see. If only Garry St. Jean were still around to mock.

In other news: The Jets named Chad Pennington their starting QB only because they missed out on the Jeff George sweepstakes.

No. The Raiders aren’t joking

If you haven’t heard by now, you’ve been either swamped at work all day or have been having sex for 18 straight hours. Jeff George — Jeff Fucking George! — was signed yesterday by the Oakland Raiders.

And who else but Al Davis to bring George back to the NFL? Really, could you picture George, 87, playing for a legit team? You know a team is desperate when they turn to a guy who hasn’t thrown an NFL pass since 2001.

But hey, if he’s in the league he might as well play. And we’re gonna root for him. Hey, why the hell not?

Aaron Brooks could get hurt, Andrew Walter could go back and play QB for Arizona State, Marques Tuiasosopo could play baseball like his bro, and then George is your starter.

Watch him get in there and lead the Raiders to the Super Bowl. Stranger shit has happened. The guy was the No. 1 overall pick in 1962 after all. We can just see the fans in the Black Hole calling for George like he’s fucking Rudy.

And at this point, he may as well be Rudy. He’s old, he’s ugly and now he’s an Oakland Raider. He’s as big of an underdog as they get.

In other football news: The Titans signed former Raiders QB Kerry Collins to play the vacant role of their mascot, T-Rac.

Jeff Reardon is insane. Really.

Some may recall that former MLB pitcher Jeff Reardon had a brush in with the law in late December.

He was arrested for stealing money from a jewelry story, which sure seemed funny at the time, because who the hell would steal money from a jewelry store? Well, that was answered today.

Reardon was found not guilty of the crime by reason of insanity. Now this makes too much sense — he’s fucking insane! The guy better be if he doesn’t think to rip off the actual jewelry.

Of course this is sad and we shouldn’t be making light of it. But insane or not, a tip of the cap to the lawyers who got Reardon off. Does this remind anyone else of Primal Fear?

Here’s to having Edward Norton play the part of Reardon when the movie comes out. (Clink, clink).

If the Stanford Tree falls in the forest…

Well, it’s probably just drunk again.

You may recall a while back that Tree drank a bit too much at a game between Cal and the Cardinal last February and made a bit of a scene. Erin Lashnits, who wore the tree suit, was then fired. Yes, mascots can get fired.

Then, just a month later, the new mascot — played by Stanford student Tommy Leep — got in trouble for refusing to leave the court after halftime of Stanford’s women’s tourney game against Florida State.

And just this past weekend, the NCAA came down with the penalty. Stanford University was fined by the NCAA and Tree was suspended from the 2007 Women’s NCAA Tournament.

Now really, isn’t this just a little silly? We’re talking about a mascot after all. But at this point, with Tree being so unique and rebellious, we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the mascot show up at Stanford’s Oct. 7 meeting with Notre Dame and beat the hell out of the Notre Dame leprechaun with a giant pot of gold. Really just wallop the guy.

Or, if the Stanford Tree is gonna get suspended, it may as well do something that validates the suspension. C’mon, dancing on the court at halftime is nothing.

Why not a felony? Shit, rob a bank. Pull a Maurice Clarett and get pulled over with four loaded weapons, a bulletproof vest (!) and a bottle of Goose. Launder some money.

We respect Tree greatly — don’t get us wrong here — but cowboy up and get busted for something worthwhile already.

In other news: The Dallas Cowboys fined Terrell Owens $9,500 for missing cheer practice.