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What? A Royal Actually Wants to Stay in Kansas City!

Shockingly enough, Octavio Dotel has been a popular name on the trade market this year. Why? Because he’s fairly good, on a one-year deal, and he’s on a bad team. Simply put, he’s the ideal rent-a-player. And that’s great for the Royals, because they have Joakim Soria who can close in the future, and Dotel would be a great bargaining chip to trade in exchange for some prospects. Only one problem. Dotel wants to sign a contract extension to stay in KC!

I would love to talk to them now,” he said. I mean, right now. I like it here. It’s not like I want to be somewhere else. I like the players here. I like the coaches. I like everything about Kansas City. There’s nothing not to like about the city or the club.”

OK, either one of three things is going on here. One, Dotel might actually like Kansas City — there’s no pressure, no attention, and you can play ball under the radar. Two, Dayton Moore asked him to make these comments in order to drive up the bargaining price and Dotel obliged. Or three, Kansas City might be on the up-and-up just like the Tigers were a few years ago. They signed Gil Meche, and they could do the same with Dotel. I’m thinking Dotel will still be traded, and these comments are certainly helping the cause — in terms of asking prices at least. But what the hey, a baseball player dying to play for the Royals?! Who knew!

William Clay Ford Confirms His Love for Matt Millen, Lions Still Screwed

Matt Millen William Clay FordYes, finally, we get to the bottom of the William Clay Ford/Matt Millen dynamic. For years it was speculated that Millen had pictures of Ford boozing it up with hookers on his lap and coke up his nose, but now we hear the truth. How can Ford put up with a GM whose team has gone 24-72 under his tenure? Well, apparently he likes the guy:

Asked if his judgment was clouded because he liked Millen personally, Ford said: “It’s possible. But I think if you like somebody and you believe in the same things that they believe in, I don’t know what other yardstick to put against it.”

Well William, if you’re looking for a yardstick, why don’t you try a win/loss record? That seems to be a great way of measuring success. You know, that and playoff appearances, division crowns, and Super Bowl rings. Not surprisingly, Ford has not put any additional pressure on the Lions and Millen to win this year, although he feels they’re on the cusp of something good. Great, that makes one quarterback, and now an owner.

More Reasons to Laugh at the Lions:
Jon Kitna Is Smoking the Good Stuff

Morning Paper: Ranking Cheerleaders

Ranking the hottest college cheerleader squads [The Sports Culture]

Your NFL rookie cheerleader preview [Winning the Turnover Battle]

Check out Alfonso Soriano‘s Sweet Ride [With Leather]

All baseball movie team, starring Nook Laloosh [Doberman on the Diamond]

Some really bad sports broadcasters [Zoner Sports]

Catching up with LA Times writer Christine Daniels [100% Injury Rate]

An interview with CNBC’s Darren Rovell [Just Call Me Juice]

Jessica Alba hits comic con in San Diego [Popoholic]

Could the Angels add A-Rod in the off-season? [Obscure Sports Quarterly]

When soccer moms attack referees [Part Mule]

A letter from Roger Clemens to Red Sox fans [Sons of Sam Malone]

I penned a piece about my favorite sports possession [A Price Above Bip Roberts]

Claire Danes had a nipple slip on MTV NSFW [The Superficial]

Check out all LBS nipple slips while you’re at it (NSFW)

***25 days until Hayden Panettiere turns 18***

Deion Sanders, A Regular Dickens

Yes, Neon Deion, Prime Time, not only is he a multi-sport star, but he’s also a writer. Didn’t you know? He wrote an op-ed for the Southwest Florida News-Press, as Michael David Smith points out at both FanHouse and Pro Football Talk. His topic of course, was Michael Vick. And Prime Time had some interesting opinions.

Why are we indicting him? Was he the ringleader? Is he the big fish? Or is there someone else? The fights allegedly occurred at a property that he purchased for a family member. They apparently found carcasses on the property, but I must ask you again, is he the ringleader?

I believe Vick had a passion for dogfighting. I know many athletes who share his passion. The allure is the intensity and the challenge of a dog fighting to the death. It’s like ultimate fighting, but the dog doesn’t tap out when he knows he can’t win.

Yeah. So let’s see. Deion doesn’t think Vick should be targeted because he’s not the biggest dog fighting personality out there. And Deion also straight up thinks Vick has a passion for dog fighting. But it doesn’t end there — Deion knows many athletes who are into dog fighting! So how many NFLers are into dog fighting? How prevalent is this? And does Deion realize how much he’s burying Vick and his fellow NFLers here? Oh, and not to forget, that’s fantastic logic by Deion. Vick’s not the ring leader, so why bother with him. He might not be the No. 1 mastermind, but he’s brought more attention to what’s a horrible crime going on in the country. Through Vick, many more people will be caught. Got it Deion?

All Michael Vick News on LBS:
Meet Ookie Vick!, Vick Indicted
Back When Vick Was Cool
Say Goodnight to Vick’s Pitbulls
Michael Vick on His Image
Michael Vick’s Water Bottle
Michael Vick on LBS

Tim Donaghy’s Bookies Were Only Mob Wanna-bes, So We’re Told

Boo, Boo!!! Disappointment!!! That’s what the New York Daily News is reporting, leaving me quite saddened here. Actually, that’s really good news for the NBA, you know, that the Gambino family might not have been involved as was originally suspected. But who knows at this point. From the Daily News report:

Two catholic high school chums of disgraced referee Tim Donaghy have been identified as the bookies in a gambling scandal rocking the NBA, the Daily News has learned.

But the two bet-takers apparently exaggerated their Mafia connections. “They’re nobodies,” a law enforcement source said.

The mob wanna-bes attended Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Pa., with Donaghy, who was a varsity standout on the school’s basketball and baseball teams.

Hah, sounds just like a couple of wanna-bes who were trying to make a name for themselves. Or, are they just changing their stories to try and protect others? This is a tough call, but lets hope for the League’s sake that these guys were indeed nobodies. I think that would certainly help David Stern breathe easier.

More on Tim Donaghy:
Uh Oh, Did an NBA Ref Bet on Games?

Sports Bloggers Can Be Hypocritical, and Lazy

You don’t have to be a veteran of the blogosphere to know that one of sports bloggers favorite pastimes is ripping on ESPN. Sure, I’ve taken a few shots at the Worldwide Leader over time — their prevalence in the lives of sports enthusiasts makes it hard not to. And I do believe that us blogs serve an excellent role in keeping ESPN accountable considering their relative lack of competition. But here’s one problem I have. Many of the same bloggers and blogs that criticize ESPN are not only lazy, but they’re also hypocritical. Check out the chart below that I made based on some data the creator of Ballhype, Jason, was kind enough to send me:

If you check the count of most linked to sites in the last 90 days, ESPN dwarfs everyone else. It’s not even funny. But you know what that means? It means that despite all the bashing, complaining, and criticism, the site still remains a favorite amongst bloggers.

I first started to notice this trend the more I used Ballhype, which is a must-use site for all sports bloggers. It amazes me how AP stories can hit the wire making them available on almost every single sports site on the web, yet bloggers will choose to link to the ESPN version. It amazes me how AP game recaps can be produced for all the major sports sites, yet bloggers will choose to link to the ESPN version.

For the most part, I will link to ESPN’s website under two circumstances. One, when they have an exclusive story or broke news first. The second is when I’m looking up an old story, because ESPN has incredible online archives and googles really well. The rest of the time, I’ll just go find the local version of the news story or game recap, because they almost always have more information, more details, and more quotes from people involved in the story. Sometimes I admit, I’ll just use the AP version of a story, but then I’ll mix up which major site I’ll pull it from. Sometimes I’ll use ESPN’s version, sometimes SI’s, sometimes Foxsports.com’s, sometimes Sportslines, and sometimes AOL Sports’ version.

So here’s my question to bloggers: if you dislike ESPN so much, then why do you constantly link to their website? Why do you make it your first stop for generic stories? If they have an exclusive, then by all means, link to them. But if it’s the exact same story you can find on any sports site, then why don’t you grab it from a different site for a change?

Well, if your answer is because it’s just easy and you prefer ESPN.com, then don’t complain about their omnipresence. But if you don’t have a good answer, then why don’t you take a cue and start linking out to other sites? Who knows, you might wind up finding a new site you’ve never been to before and enjoy it. This is a free internet for the most part, why limit yourself to one place for sports info on the web? It just makes no sense.

Thanks once again to Jason from Ballhype for providing the data.

UPDATE: Per Jamie in the comments, this is the top 10 most linked to Mainstream sites (True Hoop and Hashmarks are not included in espn.com’s rankings), which leads me to believe that anything from FanHouse was not included in these stats either.

Back When Michael Vick Was Cool

Seems like everyone — including myself — has had their share of fun with Michael Vick. I really didn’t want to overdo the story, so I’ll just leave it at this. Remember when Vick was the greatest thing to ever hit a gridiron? When he was single-handedly winning games at VaTech and getting traded on draft day for LT? When Michael Vick was no less than a God? Remember back when Michael Vick was the shiznit, and Nike created one of the coolest commercials of all-time? I do:

That commercial was, is, and will always be awesome. Oh, back in the day, when Michael Vick was actually cool. Now, he’s just a useless and hopeless parasite infecting the league. It’s a sad story my friends.