| Sports |

Strong Arm? We Shall See.

The Rangers want this man on their team next year. So do half a dozen other MLB teams. So, bye-bye, Daisuke. It woulda been swell.

Some random sports notes before Richie wakes up:

The Newberg Report's Mike Hindman sends word this a.m. that "the Seibu Lions will hold a board of directors meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss whether the club will accept the highest bid from an as yet undisclosed major league club for Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka." Well, domo arigato for the heads-up--but who, you ask, is Daisuke Matsuzaka? Well, for at least two years--eight, really--he's been considered the best pitcher in Japan, and it's guesstimated that about half a dozen MLB teams are bidding for his services, to the tune of $30-million-plus.

Among those trying to buy the guy: the Boston Red Sox, the New York Mets, the Chicago Cubs, the Arizona Diamondbacks...and, of course, Your Texas Rangers. Says Hindman, "The Lions intend to respond to the offer via the Japanese baseball commissioner's office by the deadline of 7 a.m. Wednesday morning (5 p.m. Tuesday EST)," which means we should know by tomorrow night that the Rangers have had yet one more dream dashed.

After the jump: Why we're feeling a little sorry--and sick--for Emmitt Smith; and you really need to see this, really.

I spent most of yesterday afternoon baking (cookies--baking cookies) with the 3-year-old who lives in my house, which meant that rather than watch the Cowboys-Cardinals game, we listened to it on KTCK-AM (1310), where Brad Sham and Charlie Waters did their usual bang-up job calling the game--when, that is, Sham wasn't shilling for ABC. The network (or the Cowboys or Emmitt Smith himself) must have paid for the entire broadcast yesterday with ads exhorting Cowboys fans to vote for Smith tomorrow night in the finale of Dancing With the Stars, where the NFL's top rusher of all time will have a dance-off with one of the myriad who-the-hells from Saved by the Bell. And does this seem right: "Sports bars and dance studios throughout North Texas have held 'Emmitt watching parties,'" reports the Associated Press. This is what Emmitt tells TV Guide in an "exclusive" (yeah, because it's almost like but not quite the Pentagon Papers):

"I already have three championships from my days as a Dallas Cowboy, and on Wednesday, let's hope Cheryl and I get another. The only difference is that this championship has a trophy instead of a ring. But I've already told Cheryl that if we win it, we can get it melted down into championship rings so we can each wear them proudly, as I do the ones I've won for my Super Bowl victories."

OK. You wanna see a real running back? Then check this out, from Houston. Kid's name is Sam McGuffie, an all-purpose back from Cypress Cy-Fair. Right now, the University of Texas isn't among his choices; SMU, not so much either. Dancing with the Stars, not likely. Flying in 'em, just maybe. As. Toun. Ding. --Robert Wilonsky

Bonus Video: It's a bird, it's a plane...it's Sam McGuffie!

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