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10/30/2014

Madison's World

[Posted Wednesday PM]

Dallas Cowboys Quiz: Name the four with 5,000 yards rushing in their Cowboys’ careers. Answer below.

Giants Win!

No doubt next chat I’ll have all kinds of commentary from around the country on the greatness of Madison Bumgarner. Right now there is nothing else to say but its Madison’s world and we’re all just bit players in it.

As for the Giants, it’s official...they have a dynasty. 3 World Series titles in 5 years. In today’s sports scene, with tons of franchises in all four major professional leagues, this more than qualifies.

I’ll get down all the stats concerning Bumgarner next time. For now, there is but one reaction. Wow.    The greatest post-season performance since Christy Mathewson in 1905.

Ball Bits...World Series Edition [all written prior to Game 7]

-- In Game 6, a 10-0 Royal blowout, what a great effort by K.C. pitcher Yordano Ventura, who honored his friend, Oscar Taveras, tweeting out in Spanish hours before the game:

“Everything for you my brother wherever you may be. I’ll always remember you my bro you don’t know the pain that you left in me...

“I’ll always remember you you are my brother wherever you may find yourself.”

--Madison Bumgarner has pitched in four World Series games, allowing one earned run in 31 innings, just 12 hits, 5 walks, 27 strikeouts. 0.29 ERA. 4-0 record.

In postseason play this year, he has six starts, 47 2/3 innings, 6 earned, 26 hits, 6 BB, 41 SO, 1.13 ERA, 4-1 record.

--I posted Sunday evening before I learned of the death of top Cardinals prospect Taveras, who was killed in a car crash that also took the life of his girlfriend in his native Dominican Republic. He was 22.

“I simply can’t believe it,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in a release. “I first met Oscar when he was 16 years old and will forever remember him as a wonderful young man who was a gifted athlete with an infectious love for life who lived every day to the fullest.”

Taveras was called up on May 31 of this season after racking up some big numbers in the minors, particularly 2012 in AA, and finished his rookie season at .239 with three homers and 22 RBI, but he clearly was destined for stardom.

His major league highlight will end up being in the National League Championship Series, Game 2, when he hit a game-tying home run in the seventh.

--But, I haven’t seen any updates on the heist at the Yogi Berra Museum.

According to the New York Post’s Mike Puma, “The Yankees and Mets, as well as Major League Baseball, will donate replicas of items that were recently stolen from the baseball icon’s museum....

“A statement from the museum added the two teams, plus Major League Baseball are also donating several new items to the existing collection.”

Details on exactly what items will be replaced and when are still not final. And the dirtballs who perpetrated this crime remain at large. I really wish these guys the worst.

--Former slugger Jose Canseco blew off a middle finger while cleaning his gun at his home in Las Vegas. A Vegas police officer said, “There was nothing suspicious. There was no alcohol involved, just a misstep with a handgun.”

Canseco’s fiancé said he was at a table in their home cleaning the gun when it went off. He didn’t know it was loaded and it ripped through the middle finger. Doctors were trying to save at least part of it.

College Football...the plot thickens

--So Tuesday we had the release of the first College Football Playoff selection committee poll, the only one that in the end will matter, but first a reminder on this week’s AP Poll:

1. Mississippi State 7-0 (46 first-place votes)
2. Florida State 7-0 (14)
3. Alabama 7-1
4. Auburn 6-1
5. Oregon 7-1
6. Notre Dame 6-1
7. Ole Miss 7-1
8. Michigan State 7-1
9. Georgia 6-1
10. TCU 6-1

I wrote last time, “I will really be shocked if the Selection Committee deviates more than one or two positions from the above” and that basically proved to be the case. 

To wit:

CFB Selection Committee Poll:

1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
3. Auburn
4. Ole Miss
5. Oregon
6. Alabama
7. TCU
8. Michigan State
9. Kansas State
10. Notre Dame
11. Georgia
12. Arizona

There is nothing in the above worth arguing about, yet. With so many games remaining, such as Saturday’s Auburn-Ole Miss contest, it will shake out rather nicely in the end with I’m imagining 2 or 3, max, issues.

But I did forget this aspect of the process. I’ve been talking about East Carolina and Marshall and their hopes for a major bowl bid. 

Chris Dufresne / Los Angeles Times

“The 12-person selection committee will use its final top 25 to select at-large schools for the six major bowl games. It will also grant a major-bowl bid to the highest-ranked champion of the so-called ‘Group of Five’ conferences – Mountain West, Sun Belt, Mid-American, American Athletic and Conference USA.

“The school currently in position for that spot is one-loss East Carolina, which debuted at No. 23. Marshall, one of three undefeated major college teams – Mississippi State and Florida State are the others – did not crack the inaugural 25. The Thundering Herd (8-0) is probably being penalized for not playing a single team from a Power 5 conference.”

Dufresne also notes the selection committee “seems to have placed a premium on conference strength and head-to-head matchups. Every team in the top five has defeated a team in the top 10....

“The glaring discrepancy is the gap separating one-loss Oregon and one-loss Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Ducks, in Eugene, Ore.

“The committee appears to be rewarding Oregon for a stronger nonconference schedule that included a win over Michigan State.”

It would also appear, by my way of thinking, that the committee is rewarding the Ducks for consistently having a top 3 cheerleading squad. Quack quack....

Not that Arizona’s isn’t top shelf as well. But I should probably move on, don’t you think? 

--As for the big games this week, No. 2 [AP...I’m sticking with that for my game day / preview stories] FSU vs. Louisville, Thurs., is important, while the aforementioned No. 4 Auburn at No. 7 Ole Miss is the game of the week, 7:00 ET ESPN.

Stanford at No. 5 Oregon is big.

And No. 10 TCU at No. 20 West Virginia is an enticing matchup at 3:30, ABC.

--Meanwhile, what the heck is going on in Tallahassee with Florida State? The local police are investigating an alleged domestic assault involving top running back Karlos Williams. He allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, who lives with him and is pregnant with the couple’s second child. At first the school said in a statement that Williams’ status is under review.

Last Friday, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher denied a report by a Florida radio station in Jacksonville that Williams would be suspended for unspecified violations and Fisher said, “There’s another false report, and that’s amazing how things happen. Whoever has sources, whoever has rumors, needs to check who they are talking to – because that is about as far from the truth as there is.”

Fisher added: “It’s funny. That guy, who’s a tremendous kid, a tremendous ambassador, I don’t even know where that [suspension report] would come from. It kind of caught me off guard like ‘Whoa.’ Karlos has been wonderful.”

You just can’t make this stuff up...and it’s why we call him Dumbo.

But now we have a situation where the attorney for the woman said Tuesday he asked the Tallahassee police to drop its investigation.

Fisher said Williams will play on Thursday night at Louisville.

Nancy Armour / USA TODAY

“When both your starting quarterback and leading rusher are under investigation by either the school or the authorities, that’s not a witch hunt.

“It’s a problem.

“It is beside the point that Florida State running back Karlos Williams hasn’t been charged in a drug-related robbery, and isn’t considered a suspect. Or that the attorney for the alleged victim in a domestic violence case involving Williams says his client wants the investigation dropped. Or that Jameis Winston has never been formally charged for any of his misdeeds.

“Programs that operate with class, dignity and high character, as Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher defiantly says his does, do not repeatedly generate headlines better suited for a crime blotter than a sports section. They don’t have top-notch defense attorneys on speed dial.

“And they don’t brush aside questionable behavior with conspiracy theories....

“In the case of Williams, Tallahassee police aren’t releasing details because of the ongoing investigation. But they have said the running back is a suspect in a domestic battery incident last week. A man who was robbed during a drug deal this summer also said Williams was his ‘hook up’ for marijuana, and that it was Williams who arranged the meeting between him and the men who allegedly robbed him.

“Williams was not present during the deal or the robbery.

“To hear Fisher tell it, however, all of his players are fine, upstanding citizens who spend their free time rescuing puppies, helping the elderly and prepping for interviews with the folks who select Rhodes scholars.”

And now...your New York Jets!!!

Steve Politi / Star-Ledger

“Has John Idzik stopped talking yet? The Jets general manager gave such a long, rambling preamble to his midseason press conference that I couldn’t figure out if he was breaking down the 1-7 start or filibustering ObamaCare.

“When it was finally over, I wrote down ‘19:13’ in my notebook. That’s the length of his speech, not the year it began. I think.

“It was, in a word, bizarre. He blamed himself for the seven-game losing streak and even seemed to tear up at times – ‘You feel like you’ve been punched in the face,’ he even said – but then praised his great coach, his great owner, his great team president, his great support staff and even tried to sell the idea that the talent wasn’t a problem, either.

“Talent’s not a problem? He’s GM of the Jets, right?

“This might be my favorite quote: ‘I’ve been a part of this plan. I’ve experienced this plan. I know it works. Our plan is not only to win now, but win into the future. Easy to say, harder to do. They are not mutually exclusive.’

“So wait. The Jets team that lost 43-23 to the Bills on Sunday has a plan? The franchise that replaced one bad quarterback (Mark Sanchez) with an even worse one (Geno Smith), the team failed to address obvious problems in the secondary and the offensive line despite $20 million in salary cap space, the GM whose drafting prowess might not outdo a dartboard has an actual plan?”

Meanwhile, after throwing three interceptions in the first 11 minutes of the game on Sunday, Geno Smith is being replaced as the starter for Sunday’s game in Kansas City by Michael Vick.

Smith is 9-15 as a starter, with 31 interceptions.

Mike Lupica / New York Daily News

“The organization looks like a butt fumble now. That is where the Jets are, looking like some kind of software program that has crashed. This is rock bottom for the owner, Woody Johnson now, the only thing keeping the Jets from being called the worst team in pro football is the win they got against the worst team, the Oakland Raiders, two months ago.

“Johnson’s hand-picked general manager, John Idzik, the end of the star search when Johnson decided to fire Mike Tannenbaum, held his mid-season press conference on Monday, during which he said the following:

“ ‘I believe in our team. I believe in our players.’

“It means he is the only guy in town who does.....

“We didn’t need to hear from Idzik Monday, because you knew going in that he would offer exactly what he did, what guys in trouble always do in sports, which is offer fake accountability. This is on me. The buck stops here. And blah blah blah. You hear it from coaches and managers all the time. They say they take full responsibility, but they don’t really mean it. In their hearts, the ones who have hearts, what they’re really thinking about is the great title from an old book by Jim Bouton:

“ ‘I Managed Good, But Boy Did They Play Bad.’”

Manish Mehta / New York Daily News

“John Idzik’s State of the Disaster address on Monday was a sad and pathetic display by an overmatched man unfit to lead the Jets into the future.

“The general manager responsible for a wretched roster of a 1-7 team referred to two typed pages of notes neatly placed in front of him during a bizarre 19-minute monologue complete with forced emotion, jaded talking points and illogical babble.

“Somehow, this former salary-cap guy managed to make Jets fans feel worse about their team 24 hours after a 20-point butt-kicking with a cluelessness that can’t truly be measured.

“Idzik didn’t look, sound or act like a leader capable of fixing this mess.

“He overdramatized the poor state of the franchise as if Anderson Cooper would rush to Florham Park to cover these vital world events. He praised the Herculean practice habits of Eric Decker; the warrior mentalities of Damon Harrison (he played with a sprained ankle!) and Sheldon Richardson (he returned to the game after getting an IV!), and the never-die attitude of Rex Ryan.

“Through it all, he said nothing to assure a starving fan base that he’s a part of the solution....

“Idziks’ prepared remarks included stories of meeting Jets fans ranging from 5 to 75 in green jerseys, the sad desperation of a man under fire. He said many strange things, but nothing more frightening than nine words that will haunt loyal fans hoping to climb out of this abyss.

I’m the general manager of the New York Jets.

Back to Geno Smith, believe it or not, he has two games this season where his quarterback ratings were 7.6 and 0.0. Folks, if you don’t follow football that closely, just understand those who do think those figures are misprints.

The Jets’ seven-game losing streak is the third-longest in team history since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

But there is no end in sight. Assuming I live another 15-20 years, I’m not sure the Jets will ever win again.

Bottom line, all us fans know that Woody Johnson has to tear this all down again, which really sucks. There are three or four on defense worth keeping, Chris Ivory is OK at running back, but you can find a serviceable back at McDonald’s these days. Tight end Jace Amaro is probably a keeper. Kicker Nick Folk has been the MVP the last two seasons. And that’s about it. [Someone tell me where perennial All-Pro center Nick Mangold has been all year. I swear I’ve heard his name called maybe once.]

So that’s it. We have about six players who might start elsewhere.

And us fans also wish John Idzik and the Jets’ PR department would stop talking about “Jets Nation” and “Gang Green.”

In fact on Tuesday, I saw President Obama give some impromptu comments on Ebola on the White House lawn and even he talked of the Jets, in disagreeing with the quarantine policies of the likes of New Jersey Gov., and Jets fan, Chris Christie.

“We have to keep things in perspective,” said Mr. Obama. “Not one of the seven who have contracted Ebola in the United States has died. Yet I know that in the New York, New Jersey area, people are uptight because it seems like a ton of people are getting sick on the sidewalks, in schools and on mass transit. Just because someone starts throwing up doesn’t mean they have Ebola. They are far more likely to be a Jets fan.”

Really, I think I heard the president say that...or maybe not...

NFL Bits

--Nice job by third-string quarterback Colt McCoy of the Redskins in Monday night’s upset of the Cowboys at Jerry’s Palace, 20-17 in overtime, as McCoy completed 25 of 30 for 299 yards, including 5 of 5 in OT. No one...and I mean no one...expected the Redskins to pull it off.

For McCoy, it was his second game after a successful relief appearance the prior week and he is now 36 of 42, 427, 1-1, for a cool 107.0 rating. As Ronald Reagan would have said from the Oval Office, ‘Not bad, not bad at all.’

But once Robert Griffin III is fully healthy, which will be soon, RG3 gets his team back.

--Back to quarterback ratings...what a week it was.

Tom Brady’s 30/35, 354, 5-0, graded out to 148.4. I didn’t realize 158.3 is a perfect score.

Roethlisberger’s 40/49, 522, 6-0, was good for 150.6.

Peyton Manning thus far in seven games has a rating of 119.0. Again, Geno Smith had a 0.0 last week.

Manning also has 22 TD, 3 INT.

Roethlisberger is 16 and 3.

Aaron Rodgers is 19 and 3.

Tom Brady is 18 and 2...and here some were saying he was washed up.

Geno Smith is 7 and 10, with an overall rating of 65.6.

The league-wide passer rating is 91.3, which, when coupled with the completion percentage of 63.3, is the highest in league history for both entering this week’s games. The single-season highs for all quarterbacks are a passer rating of 86 and a completion rate of 61.2, both set last year.

NBA Openers

--I don’t know what I was thinking when I said the other day that the Lakers would go 28-54.

Mr. Chairman, I’d like to revise and extend my remarks after the Lakers’ 108-90 season opening loss to Houston. Make that 14-68.

You see, the team’s top draft choice, forward Julius Randle, broke his right leg midway through the fourth quarter. While he’s only 19 and no doubt would have experienced some growing pains this season, Randle has immense potential. As coach Byron Scott said, “It is heartbreaking.” Heck, I feel awful for the kid, too.

Kobe, by the way, scored 19 points in his first game back at Staples Center after missing most of last season with two major injuries. In the game, Houston’s Dwight Howard elbowed Kobe in the face after grabbing a rebound, setting off a shouting match between the two squads.

Byron Scott afterward said the two stars “don’t like each other.” I’m on Kobe’s side. Howard’s an overrated jerk.

Norman Chad / Washington Post [Some of his reasons to watch the NBA]

“Kobe Bryant’s last stand. Kobe’s so compelling, I’d get NBA League Pass just to watch him spackle drywall. Even if the Lakers are pitiful, they’re never pedestrian with Kobe. And he’s just as interesting after games as during games – he recently called ESPN ‘a bunch of idiots’ when the cable monolith put him at No. 40 in its NBA player rankings. FYI, Kobe: I do some work at ESPN; we are idiots.

This could be the Year of the Wizards. NOT.  If the Wizards are the sexy pick in the East, then Couch Slouch will take a vow of celibacy for the 2014-15 season. Trust me, if the Wizards were in the West, they’d be lucky to snag the eighth and final playoff spot. They won exactly one playoff series last season – against a depleted Bulls team – and suddenly they’re the ’27 Yankees? Wake me up when they win TWO playoff series (and don’t even wake me if it’s after 10:45 p.m.)”

--In other openers on Tuesday, New Orleans defeated Orlando 101-84 as the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis had an awesome game...26 points, 17 rebounds, 9 blocks!

And the defending champion Spurs beat the Mavericks 101-100. Tim Duncan had 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Bazooka Joe says, “Timmy D. went to Wake Forest!”

--Mark R. says the 76ers will finish 6-76, with their only real player, Jason Richardson, out with a broken foot. Be careful taking the ‘over’ on this one. Mark is a professional. Some of you may not be.

--Great opening night, Wednesday, for the Nets and Knicks. The Nets lost in Boston, 121-105, while the Knicks’ laid an egg at the Garden, losing to Chicago 104-80.

Well, I told you the two would suck. I now project they will go a combined 13- 151.

Stuff

--UNC basketball coach Roy Williams said he’s “worried sick” about the NCAA investigation into the school’s academic scandal.

“I’m very angry about it,:” said Williams in an interview with ESPN.com. “I try to keep away from the anger part of it. I know what we’ve done and what we didn’t do, and I’m proud of what I’ve done and I’m proud of what I didn’t do. I’m 64, so I’m not close to being ready to quit, but you also think, ‘God, I don’t want this to be what people remember about me.’”

Personally, I’m 56 and I want people to remember me for the “All-Species List”... ‘Dog’ a consistent No. 1.

By the way, not to upset any of you, but God really isn’t thinking about Roy Williams, nor me, for that matter. I want His concentration on ISIS these days...like lightning bolts raining down on the bastards...but I digress.

--The federal judge who temporarily halted legalized sports betting in New Jersey will hear arguments next month, Nov. 20. The restraining order granted the four major sports leagues and the NCAA, however, expires Nov. 21, the day after the hearing, so, if the judge doesn’t issue an injunction to further the ban...then it’s time to place your bets, my fellow citizens!

--It’s early in the season, but the latest Division I Men’s Hockey Poll has....

1. Minnesota
2. Union
3. North Dakota
4. Colgate!!!!
5. Boston College
6. Boston University

We’re all in on the Raiders for 2014-15. Granted, I can’t bet on them yet, legally....

--Now I consider myself the world’s fastest golfer, having been clocked in 2:10, solo, with a caddie, walking a regulation course. Plus I take a lot of shots...and they can go anywhere. [I’ve played in a two-some in 2:20 a few times, which is damn good.]

So I’m reading a piece in Golfweek by Andy Zunz on the 2014 Speedgolf World Championship at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort last weekend and the champion was Eri (sic) Crum of Boise, Idaho, who had a 4-over, 76, and did it in 46 minutes, 1 second! 2 minutes, 30 seconds per hole. You add the two for a total score...in Crum’s case, 122.01

Yes, he was running, and, yes, he is also obviously good. In fact he was a teammate of Tiger’s at Stanford.

Rob Hogan of Galway, Ireland, finished second, in 122.57 (83 in 39:57!).

Normally this is a 36-hole event but weather conditions reduced it to 18. 31 teed it up.

So, let’s see. If I shot 98 and ran it in 24 minutes, I win!
But, seriously, is this a cool event or what? It should be televised.

--Sad story...one of NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon’s biggest fans, 78-year-old Larry Sparks, was also Gordon’s driver’s Ed teacher back in the day.

But on the way back from attending Gordon’s race last weekend in Martinsville, VA, Sparks and his wife were killed in a crash in Tennessee.

Sparks used to love telling people about being Gordon’s driving instructor. 

--And in another tragedy, South Africa’s football captain and goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa, was shot to death at his girlfriend’s home south of Johannesburg, apparently in a random robbery attempt, with two men entering the home.

--We note the passing of actress Marcia Strassman, best known for her role as Gabe Kaplan’s wife on the 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter,” a personal fave of mine. She was 66.

She’s the third ‘Kotter’ alum to die in recent years, preceded by Ron Palillo (Horshack) and Robert Hegyes (Epstein).

--This is cool. My brother passed along a piece from Nashville on Tuesday. Tommy Roe received a special honor that day for two of his all-time biggest hit. “Sheila” and “Dizzy” having been played on the airwaves two million times – each.

Roe, from the offices of BMI, said he didn’t really understand what that meant, but, “BMI’s David Preston told me that if you played the record every hour for twelve years continuously, it would reach two million,” Roe said.

“Sheila” was #1 in 1962... “Dizzy” #1 in 1969.

Plus in 1966 he had the #8 “Sweet Pea” and #6 “Hooray For Hazel,” among other hits.

The guy is still performing.

Top 3 songs for the week 10/27/62: #1 “Monster Mash” (Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers) #2 “He’s A Rebel” (The Crystals) #3 “Do You Love Me” (The Contours)...and...#4 “Only Love Can Break A Heart” (Gene Pitney...great tune...) #5 “Sherry” (The 4 Seasons...52 years ago, amazing...) #6 “All Alone Am I” (Brenda Lee) #7 “Patches” (Dicky Lee...teenage angst...) #8 “Ramblin’ Rose” (Nat King Cole...the one and only...) #9 “Gina” (Johnny Mathis...week of heavyweights...) #10 “I Remember You” (Frank Ifield...darn good song as well...I’m humming it as I jog these days...your editor refusing to wear artificial stimulus...plus I like listening to the birds...but now I’m rambling...speaking of rambling...sad to see The Allman Brothers play their last show at The Beacon Theater in New York the other night...something like 22 years of major, sold-out runs...8-12 concerts at a clip...which you can imagine the local merchants, including the Beacon Hotel, will miss big time....)

Dallas Cowboys Quiz Answer: Four with 5,000 yards rushing.

Emmitt Smith 17,162 (1990-2002)
Tony Dorsett 12,036 (1977-1987)
Don Perkins 6,217 (1961-1968)...he’s the one younger folks wouldn’t get, I imagine. Great football card...
Calvin Hill 5,009 (1969-1974)

Robert Newhouse 4,784 (1972-1983)

Next Bar Chat, Monday


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-10/30/2014-      
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Bar Chat

10/30/2014

Madison's World

[Posted Wednesday PM]

Dallas Cowboys Quiz: Name the four with 5,000 yards rushing in their Cowboys’ careers. Answer below.

Giants Win!

No doubt next chat I’ll have all kinds of commentary from around the country on the greatness of Madison Bumgarner. Right now there is nothing else to say but its Madison’s world and we’re all just bit players in it.

As for the Giants, it’s official...they have a dynasty. 3 World Series titles in 5 years. In today’s sports scene, with tons of franchises in all four major professional leagues, this more than qualifies.

I’ll get down all the stats concerning Bumgarner next time. For now, there is but one reaction. Wow.    The greatest post-season performance since Christy Mathewson in 1905.

Ball Bits...World Series Edition [all written prior to Game 7]

-- In Game 6, a 10-0 Royal blowout, what a great effort by K.C. pitcher Yordano Ventura, who honored his friend, Oscar Taveras, tweeting out in Spanish hours before the game:

“Everything for you my brother wherever you may be. I’ll always remember you my bro you don’t know the pain that you left in me...

“I’ll always remember you you are my brother wherever you may find yourself.”

--Madison Bumgarner has pitched in four World Series games, allowing one earned run in 31 innings, just 12 hits, 5 walks, 27 strikeouts. 0.29 ERA. 4-0 record.

In postseason play this year, he has six starts, 47 2/3 innings, 6 earned, 26 hits, 6 BB, 41 SO, 1.13 ERA, 4-1 record.

--I posted Sunday evening before I learned of the death of top Cardinals prospect Taveras, who was killed in a car crash that also took the life of his girlfriend in his native Dominican Republic. He was 22.

“I simply can’t believe it,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in a release. “I first met Oscar when he was 16 years old and will forever remember him as a wonderful young man who was a gifted athlete with an infectious love for life who lived every day to the fullest.”

Taveras was called up on May 31 of this season after racking up some big numbers in the minors, particularly 2012 in AA, and finished his rookie season at .239 with three homers and 22 RBI, but he clearly was destined for stardom.

His major league highlight will end up being in the National League Championship Series, Game 2, when he hit a game-tying home run in the seventh.

--But, I haven’t seen any updates on the heist at the Yogi Berra Museum.

According to the New York Post’s Mike Puma, “The Yankees and Mets, as well as Major League Baseball, will donate replicas of items that were recently stolen from the baseball icon’s museum....

“A statement from the museum added the two teams, plus Major League Baseball are also donating several new items to the existing collection.”

Details on exactly what items will be replaced and when are still not final. And the dirtballs who perpetrated this crime remain at large. I really wish these guys the worst.

--Former slugger Jose Canseco blew off a middle finger while cleaning his gun at his home in Las Vegas. A Vegas police officer said, “There was nothing suspicious. There was no alcohol involved, just a misstep with a handgun.”

Canseco’s fiancé said he was at a table in their home cleaning the gun when it went off. He didn’t know it was loaded and it ripped through the middle finger. Doctors were trying to save at least part of it.

College Football...the plot thickens

--So Tuesday we had the release of the first College Football Playoff selection committee poll, the only one that in the end will matter, but first a reminder on this week’s AP Poll:

1. Mississippi State 7-0 (46 first-place votes)
2. Florida State 7-0 (14)
3. Alabama 7-1
4. Auburn 6-1
5. Oregon 7-1
6. Notre Dame 6-1
7. Ole Miss 7-1
8. Michigan State 7-1
9. Georgia 6-1
10. TCU 6-1

I wrote last time, “I will really be shocked if the Selection Committee deviates more than one or two positions from the above” and that basically proved to be the case. 

To wit:

CFB Selection Committee Poll:

1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
3. Auburn
4. Ole Miss
5. Oregon
6. Alabama
7. TCU
8. Michigan State
9. Kansas State
10. Notre Dame
11. Georgia
12. Arizona

There is nothing in the above worth arguing about, yet. With so many games remaining, such as Saturday’s Auburn-Ole Miss contest, it will shake out rather nicely in the end with I’m imagining 2 or 3, max, issues.

But I did forget this aspect of the process. I’ve been talking about East Carolina and Marshall and their hopes for a major bowl bid. 

Chris Dufresne / Los Angeles Times

“The 12-person selection committee will use its final top 25 to select at-large schools for the six major bowl games. It will also grant a major-bowl bid to the highest-ranked champion of the so-called ‘Group of Five’ conferences – Mountain West, Sun Belt, Mid-American, American Athletic and Conference USA.

“The school currently in position for that spot is one-loss East Carolina, which debuted at No. 23. Marshall, one of three undefeated major college teams – Mississippi State and Florida State are the others – did not crack the inaugural 25. The Thundering Herd (8-0) is probably being penalized for not playing a single team from a Power 5 conference.”

Dufresne also notes the selection committee “seems to have placed a premium on conference strength and head-to-head matchups. Every team in the top five has defeated a team in the top 10....

“The glaring discrepancy is the gap separating one-loss Oregon and one-loss Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Ducks, in Eugene, Ore.

“The committee appears to be rewarding Oregon for a stronger nonconference schedule that included a win over Michigan State.”

It would also appear, by my way of thinking, that the committee is rewarding the Ducks for consistently having a top 3 cheerleading squad. Quack quack....

Not that Arizona’s isn’t top shelf as well. But I should probably move on, don’t you think? 

--As for the big games this week, No. 2 [AP...I’m sticking with that for my game day / preview stories] FSU vs. Louisville, Thurs., is important, while the aforementioned No. 4 Auburn at No. 7 Ole Miss is the game of the week, 7:00 ET ESPN.

Stanford at No. 5 Oregon is big.

And No. 10 TCU at No. 20 West Virginia is an enticing matchup at 3:30, ABC.

--Meanwhile, what the heck is going on in Tallahassee with Florida State? The local police are investigating an alleged domestic assault involving top running back Karlos Williams. He allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, who lives with him and is pregnant with the couple’s second child. At first the school said in a statement that Williams’ status is under review.

Last Friday, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher denied a report by a Florida radio station in Jacksonville that Williams would be suspended for unspecified violations and Fisher said, “There’s another false report, and that’s amazing how things happen. Whoever has sources, whoever has rumors, needs to check who they are talking to – because that is about as far from the truth as there is.”

Fisher added: “It’s funny. That guy, who’s a tremendous kid, a tremendous ambassador, I don’t even know where that [suspension report] would come from. It kind of caught me off guard like ‘Whoa.’ Karlos has been wonderful.”

You just can’t make this stuff up...and it’s why we call him Dumbo.

But now we have a situation where the attorney for the woman said Tuesday he asked the Tallahassee police to drop its investigation.

Fisher said Williams will play on Thursday night at Louisville.

Nancy Armour / USA TODAY

“When both your starting quarterback and leading rusher are under investigation by either the school or the authorities, that’s not a witch hunt.

“It’s a problem.

“It is beside the point that Florida State running back Karlos Williams hasn’t been charged in a drug-related robbery, and isn’t considered a suspect. Or that the attorney for the alleged victim in a domestic violence case involving Williams says his client wants the investigation dropped. Or that Jameis Winston has never been formally charged for any of his misdeeds.

“Programs that operate with class, dignity and high character, as Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher defiantly says his does, do not repeatedly generate headlines better suited for a crime blotter than a sports section. They don’t have top-notch defense attorneys on speed dial.

“And they don’t brush aside questionable behavior with conspiracy theories....

“In the case of Williams, Tallahassee police aren’t releasing details because of the ongoing investigation. But they have said the running back is a suspect in a domestic battery incident last week. A man who was robbed during a drug deal this summer also said Williams was his ‘hook up’ for marijuana, and that it was Williams who arranged the meeting between him and the men who allegedly robbed him.

“Williams was not present during the deal or the robbery.

“To hear Fisher tell it, however, all of his players are fine, upstanding citizens who spend their free time rescuing puppies, helping the elderly and prepping for interviews with the folks who select Rhodes scholars.”

And now...your New York Jets!!!

Steve Politi / Star-Ledger

“Has John Idzik stopped talking yet? The Jets general manager gave such a long, rambling preamble to his midseason press conference that I couldn’t figure out if he was breaking down the 1-7 start or filibustering ObamaCare.

“When it was finally over, I wrote down ‘19:13’ in my notebook. That’s the length of his speech, not the year it began. I think.

“It was, in a word, bizarre. He blamed himself for the seven-game losing streak and even seemed to tear up at times – ‘You feel like you’ve been punched in the face,’ he even said – but then praised his great coach, his great owner, his great team president, his great support staff and even tried to sell the idea that the talent wasn’t a problem, either.

“Talent’s not a problem? He’s GM of the Jets, right?

“This might be my favorite quote: ‘I’ve been a part of this plan. I’ve experienced this plan. I know it works. Our plan is not only to win now, but win into the future. Easy to say, harder to do. They are not mutually exclusive.’

“So wait. The Jets team that lost 43-23 to the Bills on Sunday has a plan? The franchise that replaced one bad quarterback (Mark Sanchez) with an even worse one (Geno Smith), the team failed to address obvious problems in the secondary and the offensive line despite $20 million in salary cap space, the GM whose drafting prowess might not outdo a dartboard has an actual plan?”

Meanwhile, after throwing three interceptions in the first 11 minutes of the game on Sunday, Geno Smith is being replaced as the starter for Sunday’s game in Kansas City by Michael Vick.

Smith is 9-15 as a starter, with 31 interceptions.

Mike Lupica / New York Daily News

“The organization looks like a butt fumble now. That is where the Jets are, looking like some kind of software program that has crashed. This is rock bottom for the owner, Woody Johnson now, the only thing keeping the Jets from being called the worst team in pro football is the win they got against the worst team, the Oakland Raiders, two months ago.

“Johnson’s hand-picked general manager, John Idzik, the end of the star search when Johnson decided to fire Mike Tannenbaum, held his mid-season press conference on Monday, during which he said the following:

“ ‘I believe in our team. I believe in our players.’

“It means he is the only guy in town who does.....

“We didn’t need to hear from Idzik Monday, because you knew going in that he would offer exactly what he did, what guys in trouble always do in sports, which is offer fake accountability. This is on me. The buck stops here. And blah blah blah. You hear it from coaches and managers all the time. They say they take full responsibility, but they don’t really mean it. In their hearts, the ones who have hearts, what they’re really thinking about is the great title from an old book by Jim Bouton:

“ ‘I Managed Good, But Boy Did They Play Bad.’”

Manish Mehta / New York Daily News

“John Idzik’s State of the Disaster address on Monday was a sad and pathetic display by an overmatched man unfit to lead the Jets into the future.

“The general manager responsible for a wretched roster of a 1-7 team referred to two typed pages of notes neatly placed in front of him during a bizarre 19-minute monologue complete with forced emotion, jaded talking points and illogical babble.

“Somehow, this former salary-cap guy managed to make Jets fans feel worse about their team 24 hours after a 20-point butt-kicking with a cluelessness that can’t truly be measured.

“Idzik didn’t look, sound or act like a leader capable of fixing this mess.

“He overdramatized the poor state of the franchise as if Anderson Cooper would rush to Florham Park to cover these vital world events. He praised the Herculean practice habits of Eric Decker; the warrior mentalities of Damon Harrison (he played with a sprained ankle!) and Sheldon Richardson (he returned to the game after getting an IV!), and the never-die attitude of Rex Ryan.

“Through it all, he said nothing to assure a starving fan base that he’s a part of the solution....

“Idziks’ prepared remarks included stories of meeting Jets fans ranging from 5 to 75 in green jerseys, the sad desperation of a man under fire. He said many strange things, but nothing more frightening than nine words that will haunt loyal fans hoping to climb out of this abyss.

I’m the general manager of the New York Jets.

Back to Geno Smith, believe it or not, he has two games this season where his quarterback ratings were 7.6 and 0.0. Folks, if you don’t follow football that closely, just understand those who do think those figures are misprints.

The Jets’ seven-game losing streak is the third-longest in team history since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

But there is no end in sight. Assuming I live another 15-20 years, I’m not sure the Jets will ever win again.

Bottom line, all us fans know that Woody Johnson has to tear this all down again, which really sucks. There are three or four on defense worth keeping, Chris Ivory is OK at running back, but you can find a serviceable back at McDonald’s these days. Tight end Jace Amaro is probably a keeper. Kicker Nick Folk has been the MVP the last two seasons. And that’s about it. [Someone tell me where perennial All-Pro center Nick Mangold has been all year. I swear I’ve heard his name called maybe once.]

So that’s it. We have about six players who might start elsewhere.

And us fans also wish John Idzik and the Jets’ PR department would stop talking about “Jets Nation” and “Gang Green.”

In fact on Tuesday, I saw President Obama give some impromptu comments on Ebola on the White House lawn and even he talked of the Jets, in disagreeing with the quarantine policies of the likes of New Jersey Gov., and Jets fan, Chris Christie.

“We have to keep things in perspective,” said Mr. Obama. “Not one of the seven who have contracted Ebola in the United States has died. Yet I know that in the New York, New Jersey area, people are uptight because it seems like a ton of people are getting sick on the sidewalks, in schools and on mass transit. Just because someone starts throwing up doesn’t mean they have Ebola. They are far more likely to be a Jets fan.”

Really, I think I heard the president say that...or maybe not...

NFL Bits

--Nice job by third-string quarterback Colt McCoy of the Redskins in Monday night’s upset of the Cowboys at Jerry’s Palace, 20-17 in overtime, as McCoy completed 25 of 30 for 299 yards, including 5 of 5 in OT. No one...and I mean no one...expected the Redskins to pull it off.

For McCoy, it was his second game after a successful relief appearance the prior week and he is now 36 of 42, 427, 1-1, for a cool 107.0 rating. As Ronald Reagan would have said from the Oval Office, ‘Not bad, not bad at all.’

But once Robert Griffin III is fully healthy, which will be soon, RG3 gets his team back.

--Back to quarterback ratings...what a week it was.

Tom Brady’s 30/35, 354, 5-0, graded out to 148.4. I didn’t realize 158.3 is a perfect score.

Roethlisberger’s 40/49, 522, 6-0, was good for 150.6.

Peyton Manning thus far in seven games has a rating of 119.0. Again, Geno Smith had a 0.0 last week.

Manning also has 22 TD, 3 INT.

Roethlisberger is 16 and 3.

Aaron Rodgers is 19 and 3.

Tom Brady is 18 and 2...and here some were saying he was washed up.

Geno Smith is 7 and 10, with an overall rating of 65.6.

The league-wide passer rating is 91.3, which, when coupled with the completion percentage of 63.3, is the highest in league history for both entering this week’s games. The single-season highs for all quarterbacks are a passer rating of 86 and a completion rate of 61.2, both set last year.

NBA Openers

--I don’t know what I was thinking when I said the other day that the Lakers would go 28-54.

Mr. Chairman, I’d like to revise and extend my remarks after the Lakers’ 108-90 season opening loss to Houston. Make that 14-68.

You see, the team’s top draft choice, forward Julius Randle, broke his right leg midway through the fourth quarter. While he’s only 19 and no doubt would have experienced some growing pains this season, Randle has immense potential. As coach Byron Scott said, “It is heartbreaking.” Heck, I feel awful for the kid, too.

Kobe, by the way, scored 19 points in his first game back at Staples Center after missing most of last season with two major injuries. In the game, Houston’s Dwight Howard elbowed Kobe in the face after grabbing a rebound, setting off a shouting match between the two squads.

Byron Scott afterward said the two stars “don’t like each other.” I’m on Kobe’s side. Howard’s an overrated jerk.

Norman Chad / Washington Post [Some of his reasons to watch the NBA]

“Kobe Bryant’s last stand. Kobe’s so compelling, I’d get NBA League Pass just to watch him spackle drywall. Even if the Lakers are pitiful, they’re never pedestrian with Kobe. And he’s just as interesting after games as during games – he recently called ESPN ‘a bunch of idiots’ when the cable monolith put him at No. 40 in its NBA player rankings. FYI, Kobe: I do some work at ESPN; we are idiots.

This could be the Year of the Wizards. NOT.  If the Wizards are the sexy pick in the East, then Couch Slouch will take a vow of celibacy for the 2014-15 season. Trust me, if the Wizards were in the West, they’d be lucky to snag the eighth and final playoff spot. They won exactly one playoff series last season – against a depleted Bulls team – and suddenly they’re the ’27 Yankees? Wake me up when they win TWO playoff series (and don’t even wake me if it’s after 10:45 p.m.)”

--In other openers on Tuesday, New Orleans defeated Orlando 101-84 as the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis had an awesome game...26 points, 17 rebounds, 9 blocks!

And the defending champion Spurs beat the Mavericks 101-100. Tim Duncan had 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Bazooka Joe says, “Timmy D. went to Wake Forest!”

--Mark R. says the 76ers will finish 6-76, with their only real player, Jason Richardson, out with a broken foot. Be careful taking the ‘over’ on this one. Mark is a professional. Some of you may not be.

--Great opening night, Wednesday, for the Nets and Knicks. The Nets lost in Boston, 121-105, while the Knicks’ laid an egg at the Garden, losing to Chicago 104-80.

Well, I told you the two would suck. I now project they will go a combined 13- 151.

Stuff

--UNC basketball coach Roy Williams said he’s “worried sick” about the NCAA investigation into the school’s academic scandal.

“I’m very angry about it,:” said Williams in an interview with ESPN.com. “I try to keep away from the anger part of it. I know what we’ve done and what we didn’t do, and I’m proud of what I’ve done and I’m proud of what I didn’t do. I’m 64, so I’m not close to being ready to quit, but you also think, ‘God, I don’t want this to be what people remember about me.’”

Personally, I’m 56 and I want people to remember me for the “All-Species List”... ‘Dog’ a consistent No. 1.

By the way, not to upset any of you, but God really isn’t thinking about Roy Williams, nor me, for that matter. I want His concentration on ISIS these days...like lightning bolts raining down on the bastards...but I digress.

--The federal judge who temporarily halted legalized sports betting in New Jersey will hear arguments next month, Nov. 20. The restraining order granted the four major sports leagues and the NCAA, however, expires Nov. 21, the day after the hearing, so, if the judge doesn’t issue an injunction to further the ban...then it’s time to place your bets, my fellow citizens!

--It’s early in the season, but the latest Division I Men’s Hockey Poll has....

1. Minnesota
2. Union
3. North Dakota
4. Colgate!!!!
5. Boston College
6. Boston University

We’re all in on the Raiders for 2014-15. Granted, I can’t bet on them yet, legally....

--Now I consider myself the world’s fastest golfer, having been clocked in 2:10, solo, with a caddie, walking a regulation course. Plus I take a lot of shots...and they can go anywhere. [I’ve played in a two-some in 2:20 a few times, which is damn good.]

So I’m reading a piece in Golfweek by Andy Zunz on the 2014 Speedgolf World Championship at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort last weekend and the champion was Eri (sic) Crum of Boise, Idaho, who had a 4-over, 76, and did it in 46 minutes, 1 second! 2 minutes, 30 seconds per hole. You add the two for a total score...in Crum’s case, 122.01

Yes, he was running, and, yes, he is also obviously good. In fact he was a teammate of Tiger’s at Stanford.

Rob Hogan of Galway, Ireland, finished second, in 122.57 (83 in 39:57!).

Normally this is a 36-hole event but weather conditions reduced it to 18. 31 teed it up.

So, let’s see. If I shot 98 and ran it in 24 minutes, I win!
But, seriously, is this a cool event or what? It should be televised.

--Sad story...one of NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon’s biggest fans, 78-year-old Larry Sparks, was also Gordon’s driver’s Ed teacher back in the day.

But on the way back from attending Gordon’s race last weekend in Martinsville, VA, Sparks and his wife were killed in a crash in Tennessee.

Sparks used to love telling people about being Gordon’s driving instructor. 

--And in another tragedy, South Africa’s football captain and goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa, was shot to death at his girlfriend’s home south of Johannesburg, apparently in a random robbery attempt, with two men entering the home.

--We note the passing of actress Marcia Strassman, best known for her role as Gabe Kaplan’s wife on the 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter,” a personal fave of mine. She was 66.

She’s the third ‘Kotter’ alum to die in recent years, preceded by Ron Palillo (Horshack) and Robert Hegyes (Epstein).

--This is cool. My brother passed along a piece from Nashville on Tuesday. Tommy Roe received a special honor that day for two of his all-time biggest hit. “Sheila” and “Dizzy” having been played on the airwaves two million times – each.

Roe, from the offices of BMI, said he didn’t really understand what that meant, but, “BMI’s David Preston told me that if you played the record every hour for twelve years continuously, it would reach two million,” Roe said.

“Sheila” was #1 in 1962... “Dizzy” #1 in 1969.

Plus in 1966 he had the #8 “Sweet Pea” and #6 “Hooray For Hazel,” among other hits.

The guy is still performing.

Top 3 songs for the week 10/27/62: #1 “Monster Mash” (Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers) #2 “He’s A Rebel” (The Crystals) #3 “Do You Love Me” (The Contours)...and...#4 “Only Love Can Break A Heart” (Gene Pitney...great tune...) #5 “Sherry” (The 4 Seasons...52 years ago, amazing...) #6 “All Alone Am I” (Brenda Lee) #7 “Patches” (Dicky Lee...teenage angst...) #8 “Ramblin’ Rose” (Nat King Cole...the one and only...) #9 “Gina” (Johnny Mathis...week of heavyweights...) #10 “I Remember You” (Frank Ifield...darn good song as well...I’m humming it as I jog these days...your editor refusing to wear artificial stimulus...plus I like listening to the birds...but now I’m rambling...speaking of rambling...sad to see The Allman Brothers play their last show at The Beacon Theater in New York the other night...something like 22 years of major, sold-out runs...8-12 concerts at a clip...which you can imagine the local merchants, including the Beacon Hotel, will miss big time....)

Dallas Cowboys Quiz Answer: Four with 5,000 yards rushing.

Emmitt Smith 17,162 (1990-2002)
Tony Dorsett 12,036 (1977-1987)
Don Perkins 6,217 (1961-1968)...he’s the one younger folks wouldn’t get, I imagine. Great football card...
Calvin Hill 5,009 (1969-1974)

Robert Newhouse 4,784 (1972-1983)

Next Bar Chat, Monday