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No CBI, so long, C-Web an hello, Cubbies

No CBI, so long, C-Web and hello, Cubbies

BY JOE SANTORO

Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .

It is reasonably safe to say that the Chicago Cubs are due. A century without a World Series title, after all, is the quintessential meaning of due. That, and the deepest roster in the National League, is why the Cubs will win the World Series in 2008. The Mets and Diamondbacks will also win division titles in the National League and the Los Angeles Dodgers will be the N.L. wildcard. In the American League, the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers will make the playoffs. And the Cubs will beat the Yankees in an epic World Series.

. . .

The San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics? Third place for the A’s (they have better pitching than the Texas Rangers) and fifth place for the Giants. There will be teams in the Pacific Coast League (other than Fresno) with better offenses than the Giants. Look on the bright side, Giants fans. This will be the easiest summer to get tickets since . . . when did Barry Bonds join the team?

. . .

Since we are in a prediction mode, here are tonight’s winners in the NCAA Tournament: Davidson, Stanford, Kansas and Memphis. The Big Ten was horrible this year, so we like Davidson to upset Wisconson and Memphis to survive Michigan State. Kansas is loaded so they should have no problem with Villanova and it will be nice to see Trent Johnson and Stanford get to the Final Four. It’s OK to pull for Johnson, Wolf Pack fans. Don’t forget that it was Johnson who turned your basketball program around.

. . .

It’s time the NCAA scraps the whole idea of the College Basketball Invitational. It’s not working. Nobody cares. Why don’t they just call it what it really is? It’s the Feed The Coaches tournament. The only reason to have all those NCAA Tournament wannabes playing in a meaningless tournament is to help pay the salaries of all the overpaid coaches and give them something to put on their resumes.

. . .

Is it just me, or are sports highlights on the radio the biggest waste of time? What exactly is the point of listening to some guy describing the action of a few hours ago? We understand TV highlights. It’s nice to see what actually happened. But a replay of radio play-by-play is sort of like have someone read you a newspaper story out loud that you just read yourself. OK, maybe it’s just me.

. . .

The NFL is considering a rule that would prohibit extremely long hair (for players, not cheerleaders) that hangs down onto the shoulder pads. Of course, there is no way such a rule will fly with the players’ union. A man has the right, after all, to look like Carrot Top on steroids, if he so chooses. But it would be a good rule. With all of the silly long hair in the league these days it’s only a matter of time before the NFL turns into a Powderpuff football game.

. . .

Chris Webber officially retired this week. Webber was a solid player in his prime. If he would have won a NBA title or two, we might be thinking of him as a Hall of Famer. But the only thing Webber will be remembered for — besides the Fab Five and the baggy shorts — is calling a timeout he didn’t have in the NCAA title game.

. . .

The San Francisco 49ers 2008 season is already falling apart. First, they signed a washed up Isaac Bruce (wasn’t John Taylor available?) and now they lost a fifth-round draft pick and five spots in the third round by tampering with free agent Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears. But, hey, look on the bright side, 49ers fans. Tickets this season will be the easiest to get since . . . when did Steve Young retire?

. . .

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson wants to be traded. Johnson has even threatened to play in the Arena Football League if he doesn’t get away from those Garanimals Bengals uniforms. Are you thinking what I’m thinking, Raiders fans? Of course you are. There was a day when the Raiders would have pounced on such a player like Johnson before you could say Al Davis.

. . .

If this was the 1960s, ’70s or ’80s, another guy that would already be dressed in Silver & Black is Pacman Jones. OK, there is one reason to be grateful the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s are long gone. The NFL should be embarrassed for even considering to allow a thug like Pacman back into the league.

. . .

Here’s hoping that Indiana has the guts to offer Bobby Knight its head basketball job. The Hoosiers have been meaningless ever since Knight was booted off campus. College basketball needs Knight. The Big Ten needs Knight. Indiana needs Knight.

. . .

Jose Canseco has written in his latest book (due out next week) that he introduced Alex Rodriguez to a steroid distributor. So what? Roger Clemens has spoken to thousands of Little Leaguers over the years. Does that mean that all of those Little Leaguers should be suspected of using performance enhancing drugs? Why didn’t Canseco put this amazing news in his first book? Why doesn’t Canseco just disappear? Why is the earth round? Who thought we needed not one, not two, but three postseason college basketball tournaments? These are all questions that probably have no answers.