Whitt's End: 12.10.10

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Whether you're at the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt's End:

*In the ALCS, the Rangers beat the Yankees in six games. In the pursuit of Cliff Lee, looks like the Yankees will beat the Rangers in seven years.

*I've been rough on the Rangers, who at one point were on the verge of losing Lee without as much as a formal offer. But after a "we won't get into a bidding war" stance, the Rangers did a philosophical and strategical about-face Thursday, sent money man Ray Davis to Little Rock and presented Lee with a "menu" of contract options. Kudos to Texas. You may not like the rules, but you can't win the prize if you don't play the game.

*That said, this quote from Yankees' manager Joe Girardi seems to make all the other teams' machinations null and void doesn't it? "Cliff Lee has been the prize of this offseason and we will continue to pursue him." Gulp. Reminds me of the NBA holding an All-Star 3-point shooting contest in Dallas in 1986 and Larry Bird walking into Reunion Arena and boldly claiming, "Which one of you motherfuckers is gonna finish second?"

*Hey look, there's someone else who would've fired Jerry Jones as general manager by now. But wait, George Steinbrenner?

*Love Jason Garrett as the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. His team is a Roy Williams hiccup away from being 4-0. But I have to admit, there are questions about him as a talent evaluator. We only know about Miles Austin because Williams got hurt. We only know about Doug Free because Marc Colombo got hurt. And now, finally, we're getting to see Tashard Choice only after Marion Barber got hurt. Shouldn't an offensive coordinator with a keen eye see that kind of talent in training camp, practice and/or film?

*Looks like the guy to replace Mark Elfenbein on 1310 AM The Ticket Sunday mornings 8-11 will be Dallas Only Daily columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor.



*Is it just me or is Dirk Nowitzki shooting even more peg-leg jumpers this season? The critics will say he's even softer. The supporters will say he's off to another MVP season.

*Something that makes me like Mayor Tom Leppert: He broke three ribs in a bicycle crash on the L.B. Houston trails. Sucks for him. But good for him.

*Pardon me if I don't get too horny over the Rangers acquiring Zack Greinke. After a Cy Young 2009, last year he only had a 4.17 ERA. In one fewer start in 2010, Colby Lewis posted a better ERA (3.72), allowed 45 fewer hits and had 15 more strikeouts. And, in case you forgot, in four playoff starts Lewis was 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA. Lewis > Greinke.

*We all know what happens when you spell Evian backward. But just realized that when you combine "the" with "irs" it all becomes "theirs." Does that make me naive?

*There's an NFL rule that says players placed on injured reserve - such as the Cowboys' Dez Bryant - can go to their team's facility and have contact with players and coaches but not sit in on team meetings. For the life of me I can't think of how that rule makes any sense. Or how it could possibly be monitored. (UPDATE: After a Garrett clarification, yes he can. Never mind.)

*No doubt I can outmanuever - if not flat-out outrun - a Hippo. And in other news, no way I'll ever be ADD enough to get pick-pocketed.

*Real or fake? I have a 14-foot Christmas tree that I usually drag down from the attic. But this year I wanted that fresh Christmas-tree smell was lazy. So I went to buy a real tree and - what do you know - $10. Ten. I seriously thought it was some sort of trick. But nope, they got lots of 'em at Lowe's.

*I was born and raised Southern Baptist. Treat your neighbor as thyself, turn the other cheek and sing supposedly uplifting hyms in a drab, get-me-outta-here tone. All that stuff. But I somehow missed the part about "if people don't look and act and think exactly like you do, to hell with 'em." First Baptist Church Pastor Robert Jeffress is seemingly preaching that message with his new grinchalert site targeting local businesses who - in the views of his cult followers members - aren't keeping enough Christ in Christmas. Really? Could've sworn the message in The Grinch was about something other than economic bullying.

*The BCS can be criticized because again - this time TCU - it's cheating an undefeated team out of a shot at a national championship. But the BCS should be disbanded once and for all after it made, I shit you not, a math error.

*This weekend? Saturday let's head to Big Tony's from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in McKinney for a bike blessing in honor of Ernie and Elisa Santos, subjects of my motorcyle cover story in next week's Dallas Observer. And on Sunday let's see if Jon Kitna can outrush Michael Vick, then talk about Cowboys-Eagles on 105.3 The Fan's post-game show. Don't be a stranger.

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