THE BASEBALL POSTSEASON OPENS TODAY with the Rays facing the Rangers (5:07 p.m., TBS) and the Tigers visiting the Yankees (8:37 p.m., TBS). Gotta figure every Justin Verlander start is a must-win for Other John’s Motor City Kitties. Yankees, who counter with CC Sabathia, are 6-to-5 favorites in today’s game and 3-to-2 favorites to win the series. Texas (C.J. Wilson) is 8-to-5 over Tampa Bay (rookie Matt Moore) both today and in the series. Here’s today’s column about the joy of watching baseball games that matter.
-Ken Rosenthal reports that Terry Francona is expected to part ways with the Red Sox. GM Theo Epstein says “nobody blames what happened in September on Tito.”
FUN STORY BY RANDY KING TODAY ON FRANK BEAMER’S ROLE AS PRODUCT PITCHMAN. Check it out here. “I tell them right up front … this thing is only going to be so good,” Beamer says of taping commercials. “So when it gets to that point, I’m going to tell you, ‘there’s no use taking more takes!’ It’s not going to get any better. It’s only going to be so good. To be honest with you, I don’t feel very natural at that. I don’t think that’s one of my real, real pluses.”
-Pitt blows out No. 16 South Florida, 44-17, in a pivotal Fearless Forecasters tilt.
-Tonight’s game is Utah State at BYU (8 p.m., ESPN).
-Tennessee’s AD says the SEC needs to discuss further expansion – and soon.
UPDATE: 10 A.M. Ralph Friedgen says he burned his Maryland diploma.
-Interesting story from Dustin Long about Charlotte Motor Speedway using a controversial YouTube video as a track promotion. Here’s the story. Here’s the uncensored video (warning: bad language, and you will be dumber after watching it).
-I don’t know why anybody would think using this video would be a bright idea in any way. And the guy’s explanation for using the N-word? Priceless. “I was also drinking that night,” Anthony Dennis said. “Where I grew up at, I grew [up] around black people up in Ocean View. They don’t take offense to it. “I understand it’s still not appropriate. It’s just how I talk sometimes when I’m excited. Hanging around a lot of black people and stuff, I just pick it up. With today’s culture and the hip-hop and stuff, that’s what I listen to right now — you just hear it every day, you hear it in the rap songs that I listen to and stuff. I’ve got people in the family that is black and they don’t trip about it. That’s all it was. I didn’t say “er,” it was the ‘a’ on the end of it.”
-Wow. Charlotte, you’ve outdone yourself.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
-Here’s Robert Anderson’s prediction column for tonight’s games. He’s got Christiansburg topping Franklin County, Salem beating William Fleming and William Byrd nipping Glenvar by a field goal (see you there!)
NAME THAT TUNE
-Nobody got yesterday’s: “If I Stay,” by Tracy Byrd. I realize that was a little obscure. Here’s an easier one:
You know what I’m sayin?
I got every dog in my neighborhood breakin down my door
I got Spuds McKenzie
Alex from Stroh’s
They won’t leave my dog alone with that …