News item: Former Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina, who won 20 games this year for the first time in his career, announced his retirement, saying he made the decision before the start of the season and never wavered on it.
My take: It remains to be seen whether his 270 victories and terrific winning percentage will be enough to get him into the Hall of Fame. My heart says yes, but my head says maybe not.
Bonus take: Most players would have stayed around another year or so to remove all doubt, but Moose has never been consumed with individual achievements and honors, so no one should be surprised he chose to go out after his winningest season.
News item: The NFL has reinstated Adam Jones after the round of alcohol counseling mandated by the league. He'll be eligible to play again in the Dallas Cowboys' Dec.7 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
My take: I'm pretty sure this will be the time Jones finally figures things out and plays the remainder of his career without incident. Oh, and the stock market can't go any lower.
News item: Tony Romo, who stopped and changed a tire for a stranded couple on his way home from the Cowboys' season opener, recently met a homeless man on the street and took him to the movies.
My take: Really, really nice gesture by a really nice guy, unless he took the guy to The Dukes of Hazzard, because that would be just cruel.
News item: The Seattle Mariners have hired Don Wakamatsu, making him the first Asian-American to manage a major league team.
My take: Yes, I am using the term "major league team" somewhat loosely. You want to make something out of it?
News item: Major League Baseball has set a Dec. 1 deadline for bids to buy the Chicago Cubs from the Tribune Co.
My take: Nice timing. There's only a worldwide credit crunch going on right now.
News item: Penn State coach Joe Paterno, 81, again has denied rumors he plans to retire after his 43rd season with the Nittany Lions.
My take: In fact, he fired up a pep rally the other day by promising to run out of the tunnel with the team for Penn State's season opener next year.
Bonus take: I'm hearing the starting time of that game will be moved back an hour to give him time to get to the sideline.
News item: By one account on a major sports Internet site, the Washington Nationals are preparing to make a "scary offer" to free-agent first baseman Mark Teixeira.
My take: Don't know whether that's necessary. Most major league players already are terrified by the prospect of playing for the Nationals.
News item: Sidney Ponson will have his day in court. The grievance he filed more than three years ago against the Orioles for terminating his contract will be heard Dec. 17 by arbitrator Shyam Das.
My take: There have been various explanations for the long delay, but I heard it was because the Orioles were holding out for a certain Aruban judge with prior knowledge of the situation.
News item: Ohio State trounced Michigan yesterday, 42-7, sending the Wolverines to a school-record ninth loss and putting an ugly exclamation point on their first losing season in 41 years.
My take: There's no truth to the rumor that Rich Rodriguez has offered to pay West Virginia $4million to let him come back.
News item: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said last week he was unaware it was possible for an NFL game to end in a tie.
My take: I would like to make some derisive comment here, but I have a similar confession to make. Until last Sunday, I was unaware it was possible for an NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals to end in a tie.
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