Suggs is needed to sack Steelers, bag win

January 18, 2009|By PETER SCHMUCK

News item: Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs didn't practice all week and did one interview wearing a sling to protect his sprained shoulder but has been listed as questionable for tonight's AFC championship showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

My take: I'm guessing the sling was largely for dramatic effect and Suggs will be good enough to go. He had better be if the Ravens want to get enough pressure on Ben Roethlisberger to get to the Super Bowl.

News item: New York City's Industrial Development Agency has granted a controversial request by the Yankees and Mets for hundreds of millions of dollars in additional tax-exempt bonds to complete the financing of their new ballparks.

My take: It's obvious that both teams need the help, especially when you consider the Yankees had to spend well over $400 million just to sign two free-agent pitchers and a first baseman for this coming season. The fact that some taxpayers subsidizing the new Yankee Stadium will have to pay as much as $2,500 for a seat doesn't even factor into the equation.

News item: The San Diego Chargers appear to be preparing to cut ties with star running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who did not appear in last week's divisional playoff game against the Steelers because of a groin injury.

My take: Nobody has come right out and said that, but the fact that the team is not denying that speculation after speedy Darren Sproles made such a big impression in the playoffs ought to tell you something.

News item: Former personal trainer Brian McNamee met with federal prosecutors Friday and is expected to testify in front of a grand jury that Roger Clemens was lying when he told Congress under oath that he never used steroids or human growth hormone. Former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, a central figure in baseball's steroid scandal, appeared Thursday at the federal courthouse in Washington, where the grand jury is seated.

My take: This is just more bad news for Clemens, who gambled on the power of his personality during the congressional hearing to convince the public that he was telling the truth when he disputed McNamee's claim that he injected Clemens with illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Can't imagine the government would have taken the case this far if there weren't going to be a perjury indictment.

News item: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $25,000 for walking onto the court at halftime and jawing with a Denver Nuggets player Tuesday night.

My take: Can't imagine that'll be much of a deterrent. Cuban is so rich that fining him $25K is about the same as asking me to buy you a Coke.

News item: Kevin Youkilis signed a $41 million contract extension with the Boston Red Sox, citing his wife's family ties as the main reason for locking in long term in Boston.

My take: Playing for one of the best teams in baseball's most competitive division apparently is overrated, considering that Mark Teixeira also credited his wife with the decision to sign with the Yankees.

News item: The Los Angeles Dodgers released outfielder Andruw Jones and are on the hook for the remaining $22.1 million on his contract, meaning that any other team can sign him for the $400,000 minimum major league salary.

My take: Don't get too excited. The Atlanta Braves already have expressed interest in bringing him back to where he had all his success, so I don't see him coming to a ballpark near you.

News item: There has been speculation that the Dallas Cowboys might soon decide to release controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens in an effort to put more emphasis on team chemistry.

My take: Either that or just make him the offensive coordinator and let him call the plays.

News item: Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez has decided to turn pro and enter this year's NFL draft.

My take: I'm sure a lot of Trojans fans are as disappointed as coach Pete Carroll, but it's the right move in this particular draft environment. With several other top quarterbacks choosing to stay in school, Sanchez's value might never be higher than it is this year.

Bonus my take: On the other hand, he might get picked by the Detroit Lions and end up playing behind Kurt Warner in a couple of years.

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

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