Bowls are way over capacity

May 04, 2008|By PETER SCHMUCK

News item: The NCAA has approved two more football bowl games - including one in Washington - to bring the total number of postseason bowls to 34.

My take: If you're keeping score at home, that means there will now be more bowl-eligible teams next season than participants in the NCAA basketball tournament.

Bonus take: Make you a deal. I'll agree to watch North Texas play in the 2008 equivalent of the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl if the NCAA will agree to a four-team playoff for the national championship.

News item: The Tampa Bay Rays have vaulted to No. 6 in ESPN.com's Major League Baseball power rankings.

My take: Could it be time for the pundits to panic? The unheralded Oakland Athletics are up to No. 2 and the Orioles have gone from 30th to 17th during the first month of the season.

News item: The Orioles have grown weary of the assumption they have been playing over their heads for the first five weeks of the new season.

My take: They've still got quite a bit to prove, but a .500 performance on this 10-game road trip would help cement the notion that they have turned hard in the right direction.

News item: New York Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes is expected to be sidelined for at least two months with a stress fracture in the ninth rib on his right side.

My take: Hank Steinbrenner probably thinks this never would have happened if Hughes pitched more like Jamie Moyer.

News item: The defending National League champion Colorado Rockies have lost young shortstop Troy Tulowitzki at least until the All-Star break with a severe tendon tear in his left quadriceps.

My take: The kid is devastated, but I'm guessing a lot less devastated than he would have been if he had held off on signing that six-year, $31 million contract after his great 2007 season.

News item: Roger Clemens has yet to comment on reports that he carried on a long extramarital affair with country music singer Mindy McCready and also had a relationship with the ex-wife of golfer John Daly.

My take: He's probably smart to wait until this scandal completely shakes out. The way things are going, it wouldn't surprise me if Queen Elizabeth II copped to a couple of rides on Roger's private jet before this is over.

News item: Former Oriole Sidney Ponson pitched eight strong innings Thursday to lead the Texas Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

My take: Sidney says he is taking his comeback very seriously, and I think he means it. He has pitched twice and given up just two earned runs in 13 1/3 innings.

News item: Steroid canary Jose Canseco has stopped paying the mortgage on his $2.5 million home in Encino, Calif., allowing it to go into foreclosure.

My take: Don't get too choked up. He blew a lot of money on bad marriages and performance-enhancing drugs over the course of his career, but I don't think he has to worry where his next meal is coming from.

News item: Police reportedly are investigating whether mild-mannered Indianapolis Colts star Marvin Harrison was involved in a shootout outside his bar in Philadelphia.

My take: The Colts don't seem very concerned. Even if Harrison is charged with a handgun violation, they'll still be well under the NFL's arrest cap.

News item: Charlotte Bobcats managing partner Michael Jordan chose Larry Brown on Tuesday to be the team's new coach.

My take: Jordan reportedly wanted an experienced coach, but settled for Brown, who has coached only eight other NBA teams.

News item: The Atlanta Hawks have pushed the heavily favored Boston Celtics to the limit in their playoff series, forcing Game 7 today at TD Banknorth Garden.

My take: The supposedly invincible Celtics have won their three home games in the series by an average of 22.3 points, but don't be surprised if the weight of their postseason expectations keeps them from running away from the Hawks today.

News item: Julio Franco officially announced his retirement Wednesday after spending 23 years in the major leagues and playing in several other countries.

My take: That made my day, considering he's only 3 years younger than me ... and that's if he has been telling the truth about his age.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon most Saturdays and Sundays.

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