Was anyone else sickened by Tim McCarver and Joe Buck ranting about Manny Ramirez's turbelent end in Boston everytime he was relevant during last night's game? It was borderline ridiculous. In the first inning, he did something he's always done. Crushed a ball to the deepest part of the park and admired it along with everyone else in the stadium who thought that ball was way out of there. I can't blame the game for having it hit off a chain link fence that sits on top of the wall in dead center at the 409 mark. Sure, he trotted down the line, but he does that all the time. And he drove in the run with an RBI double. Could he have been on second? Sure, he might have made it. But McCarver and Buck just couldn't let it go. Then when he came up in the 5th, they made it a point to discuss how he gave up on Boston in the final weeks of July, opting out of games against Seattle and New York, going for the MRI on his knees, shoving the traveling secretary to the ground, etc. etc. etc. I don't know about them, but I heard about all of that stuff a few months ago when it happened. Two and a half months of major league baseball have expired since then, and what he's done for the Dodgers has been remarkable. Yet they're still caught up on that. Following McCarver's comments the other day about Ramirez's final days being "despicable" and a "disgrace", I couldn't help but feel he had an agenda going into that broadcast. And I thought his blatant efforts to continue the Manny bashing was an absolute disgrace in itself.
Did anyone else catch that episode of "The Office" last night? If so, you'll appreciate the following clip:Onto this week's NFL games. Some interesting matchup as Week 6 proves to be critical for several teams across the league. The Chargers were pre-season Super Bowl favorites but have stumbled to a pedestrian 2-3 record. They host the Patriots in a game that seems more winnable now that Matt Cassel is the quarterback and not Tom Brady. But it will be intriguing to see how Bill Belicheck neutralizes the ground game with LT, especially seeing how Miami torched the Pats on the ground in Week 3. Meanwhile, the Colts struggling offense comes off a dramatic win over the lowly Texans and faces a defensive stalwart in the Ravens. And what are the odds we see Brady Quinn on Monday Night Football? Could the Giants improve to 6-0? For Random Rob, it's darts galore once again. I couldn't find a quarter. Oh well. Once again let's go Mike Goldberg for the official introduction: "And HERE...WE...GO!" Besse's picks: Last week: 11-3; 43-31 Bears -2.5 over Falcons The Bears defense is tenacious, and I think Matt Ryan has one of those stumbling block weeks here. The Bears will contain Turner and Norwood and force Ryan to open things up. Look for Orton to have another steady game. This could very well be decided by a field goal, but nonetheless, Bears cover. Panthers +2.5 over Bucs I'm a big Panthers fan. This could be a real grinder of a game, but Jake Delhomme has a lot of weapons on offense now, and the Panthers run defense has been solid. Look for that to continue here. Redskins -13.5 over Rams This could potentially be a shootout. Clinton Portis should had a tremendous game and Jason Campbell throws for a pair of TD's. Rams will punch in a couple, but they'll get outworked in every phase of the game. Texans -3.5 over Dolphins Let's hope Matt Schaub protects the ball better than his backup did last week. I see a lot of gamblers overlooking the Texans this week and pushing Miami. Let's not forget, was it not for Rosenfels and his lack of awareness (I wonder what his rating is on Madden '09) the Texans would have had an impressive 27-17 win. Ravens +4.5 over Colts Colts win by a FG. McGahee and McClain could have career days on the ground, but I think the Colts manage to pull this out on a late FG by Adam Vinateri. Vikings -13.5 over Lions I'd like to see how St. Paul's fares against the Lions. They've only scored one TD in three ISL games this fall, but the Lions suck. Frerotte could be the top fantasy QB in Week 6. Yea that's right. Gus Frerotte. Saints -7.5 over Raiders I love the Saints and that offense. And I can't wait till Marques Colston gets back. In the meantime, as long as Henderson, Meachem and Moore can actually catch the balls that Brees throws to them, they should light up the Raiders. Bengals +5.5 over Jets I see this as an old fashioned, gun slinging shootout between Brett Favre and Carson Palmer. I think the Bengals get their first win this week in a minor upset. Jaguars +3.5 over Broncos Another high scoring affair that ends in close fashion. Both offenses should look impressive against each other's pedestrian defenses. I think the Jags keep it close. Cardinals +5.5 over Cowboys I actually believe Arizona could win this outright. And if Anquan Boldin is ready to play, that will affirm my belief even more. Cowboys are thin in the secondary and I think the Cardinals passing game will outduel that of Dallas. The best bet for the Boys is to run the ball and control the clock; keep Warner with his hat on for a while. 49ers +5.5 over Eagles San Fran hosts another East Coast team this week, and I think they actually cover this time. Packers +2.5 over Seahawks Seattle's offense isn't there yet, and the Packers offense could duplicate that of the Giants in week 5. Patriots -6.5 over Chargers I just don't feel like rooting for the Chargers. Browns +7.5 over Giants Something tells me the Browns are going to hang tough in this one. I'm not calling an upset, but I think the Giants win by a score and fail to cover. Keefe's picks: Last week: 5-9; Overall 36-38 Falcons +2.5 over Bears Michael Turner leads the league in rushing after the first 5 weeks. He has a tough match up but I like the surprise Falcons to roll. Panthers +2.5 over Buccaneers Sneaky good NFC battle in Tampa. I’ll take Steve Smith and the runningback tandem in Carolina, even though Jeff Garcia is a “winner.” Redskins -13.5 over Rams Rams are the worst team in football, Skins are playing like one of the best. Enough said. Dolphins +3.5 over Texans I think the Texans get their first W, but it will be by less than 4. Matt Schaub back in there after Sage literally gave away the game last Sunday. Ravens +4.5 over Colts Colts are down this year, Ravens D can overcome the offense… at least to cover. Vikings -13.5 over Lions Wait are the Rams the worst team, or the Lions? They both loss by 2 TDs. Saints -7.5 over Raiders Who’s coaching the raiders again? Saints get it figured out this week, Coleston and Shockey could be back. Jets -5.5 over Bengals Bengals remain winless, as the Jets keep pace in the suddenly ultra competitive AFC East. Broncos -3.5 over Jaguars I’ve been anti Jags all season, and maybe its reflected in my miserable picks the past couple weeks, but I’m going to keep it up. Cardinals +5.5 over Cowboys Will Pacman play? As of right now he will, but that could be a huge loss with Terrence Newman already sidelined against a great passing attack in Arizona. Eagles -5.5 over 49ers Philly is 2-3, they need this win, and they’ll get it. Packers +2.5 over Seahawks How are the Seahawks favored? I know they’re home, but come on. I’ll take the Pack. Patriots -6.5 over Chargers I’m not convinced the Patriots will win the game, but even if they don’t it will be pretty close thanks to a very banged up LT. Giants -7.5 over Browns And I thought the Browns would be in the playoff picture. They look bad, and may look even worse Monday Night against maybe the top team in the league. Random Rob Last week: 7-7; Overall: 44-30 Bears Bucs Rams Dolphins Colts Lions Raiders Bengals Broncos Cardinals Eagles Packers Pats Browns Like what you see? Check out more of The Sports Brief at http://sportsbrief.blogspot.com or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org -Bess