Notes from around the sports, and sports betting, world today:
1. I can’t believe what a mess the Raiders are. De Angelo Hall hasn’t been worth the money they are paying him, but anyone with half a brain knew that that would be the case before the deal was done – especially since the Raiders didn’t really need corner help. Cutting him now may save a few bucks, but it has to throw the locker room into turmoil, and it makes the team a laughing stock. Or more of one. Good luck trying to attract free agents to town now. Especially if they cut Javon Walker, too. It is hard to imagine a time when this team is competitive again – at least not until after Al Davis’ funeral. From a betting perspective, it will be a long while until I can imagine seeing any value in them given their woes and the total chaos.
2. The college football coaches are falling like flies. The latest news is that Kansas State has a lame duck coach. So do Tennessee and Washington. Toledo’s coach left already. There are few better signs of a program with problems. Any team in this situation will be worth a hard look at betting against each week.
3. Interesting story about Derek Jeter. A panel that includes Bill James and other stats geeks has called Jeter ‘the least effective defensive player in the major leagues, at any position’. I knew Jeter was no superstar on the field, but I wouldn’t have gone this far. Apparently, part of the group watched and recorded every play in every game of the season to come to this conclusion. Gatorade can’t be too happy about that news. Alex Rodriguez is probably smiling inside, though.
4. Big sigh of relief for Pittsburgh. The MRI on Ben Roethlisberger’s shoulder showed no added damage. That means that he could play as soon as this weekend. Byron Letwich was very impressive in relief last weekend, but it still doesn’t seem like a great idea tohave to trust him in the long term. On the other hand, this is the same team that has done well with Charlie Batch and Tommy Maddox in relief, so maybe they are fine regardless of who is taking snaps.