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Tuesday, April 25, 2006 

Noobie, Noobie, Noob (4/25)

Noob of the Week:
It's less than a week before the NFL draft and Brett Favre still hasn't notified the Packers as to whether or not he will retire. Sure, he's a future Hall of Famer and he's earned some slack, but Favre's attitude irks us a bit. The Packers aren't going to cut him and have no option but to wait him out until his new deadline of July 27, unless they want to risk mutiny amongst their fans, and he knows it. He's really hindering his franchise, but his retirement indecision isn't the reason we are awarding him Noob of the Week honors. Last week, Favre piped in his 2 cents on the impasse between the Tennessee Titans and Steve McNair. McNair is locked out of the Titan facilities until his contract has been renegotiated, and Favre voiced his support for his fellow QB. Is Favre right that McNair deserves better? Absolutely, but contract disputes are part of every day life in the NFL and Rule #1 among players is that you NEVER get involved with other people's money or contracts.

In McNair's case, Favre is at least trying to help a fellow player. Last summer, Favre threw a teammate under the bus. Javon Walker was coming off of a breakout season and threatened to hold out for a contract extension. Of course, Favre weighed in on Walker's holdout. He called out Walker and ruined any chance he had at public support for an extension. Guess what? Javon was injured catching a wounded duck Favre tossed in the first game of the Packer's regular season (against the Lions). He did not play another game in 2005 and is now demanding a trade out of Green Bay, presumably because he can't stand Favre. (Am I just bitter because Javon's injury crippled my fantasy football team last year? Definitely.) Favre earns Noob of the Week for not being able to keep his nose out of other people's business or his name out of the headlines. Grow up, noob.

Noob Sports Question of the Week:
Last Friday, I called my buddy, and world's biggest Cubs fan, Derek to discuss the state of the Cubs after Derek Lee's injury. After tossing around cheap trade targets like Matt Stairs, Dougie Baseball, Hee Seop Choi, and Carlos Pena, the conversation turned to the Cubs pitching staff. When I asked if Greg Maddux's then 3-0 start was for real, he said "I think if he took off his shirt, he would have more illegal substances on his body than Eddie Harris from 'Major League.'" Sure enough, during Sunday's start against the St. Louis on Sunday, the home plate umpire came out to the mound and checked the ball not once, but TWICE, at the request of Jim Edmonds and other Cardinals. While the ump didn't find anything unusual about the ball and Maddux went on to win his fourth game of the season, the fact remains that Maddux has some sick movement on his pitches right now. As usual, Maddux has been pitching to contact but his cut fastball is darting off the plate in such a drastic way that we can't help but wonder. So the question of the week remains: is Greg Maddux scuffing or "loading up" the baseball?

Noob Sports Wine of the Week:
If you are in the mood for a good laugh, look no further than this article on athletes and their wines by DJ Gallo. An excerpt: "Michael Vick's wine would be captured with this: 'One of the most anticipated wines in recent memory when it hit the market in 2001, it has often failed to live up to expectations. Rumors claim its troubles stem from being tainted by diseased Mexican grapes. The next Vick vintage is said to be even worse.'"

Noob Sports NFL Draft Sleeper of the Week:
Kalamazoo native Greg Jennings is rising quickly up the draft board. The 5'11 wide receiver from Western Michigan caught 98 balls for 1,259 yards and 14 TDs in 2005 and might find himself selected on Day 1. He had 3 consecutive thousand yard seasons and is currently ranked behind only Chad Jackson, Santonio Holmes, and Sinorice Moss by guru Mel Kiper Jr. at his position. The scouting reports say that he is a competitor with good route running skills but that he is not a true home-run threat. MAC players have enjoyed success in the NFL recently so look for him to be taken as high as Round 2.

Noob Sports Announcement of the Week:
The Noob Sports family is really enjoying fantasy baseball this year and would like to heed the suggestion of our readers to feature a "Fantasy Baseball Mailbag." Obviously, for this to work we need your help. If you have questions about players, potential trades, or anything related to fantasy baseball please email your fantasy questions to noobsports@gmail.com. Thanks, noobs.


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rivera / al leiter throw cut fastballs, maddux throws a sinker

According to both Baseball Almanac and Digest and my own personal knowledge, Maddux throws a cut fastball. A quick internet search reveals that Maddux credits the development of this pitch to former Cub pitching coach Dick Pole. Yeh that's right, he perfected his heater with a guy named Dick Pole.

For the record, DJ Gallo is the single most underrated sports writer. Yes, he may be writing for the behomoth that is ESPN.com, but his work is nonetheless outstanding.

You may not know this, but he also writes and operates his own website, www.sportspickle.com, which is a satirical sports site and is very funny.

In the words of Strongbad: "Check it out, check it out, check it out, check it out, check it out, check it out, check it out."

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