Green Bay Packers

Superfan loses control, names twins Brett and Favre

The whole world is trying to come to grips with the life-altering news that Brett Favre has decided to hang up his cleats for good. And if you thought John Madden and Peter King were in a funk, just imagine how Wisconsin natives are holding up. But have no fear Cheeseheads because the legend of Brett Favre lives on in Florida.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that David and Emily Kinsaul of Palatka, Fla., named their newborn twin boys Brett and Favre.

“I was hoping we’d have at least one year of him still playing,” David said. The twins were born Feb. 22.

Brett and Favre?!? We’ll let Brett slide by, but what kid is going to want to grow up with the name Favre? We understand that the culture of football is nuts in Packer-land, but that is really no excuse. After all, basketball is the game of choice in Indiana, but you don’t see any Hoosiers naming their children Bob and Knight or Isiah and Thomas or Larry and Bird. Although, now that we think about it, Knight Isiah Bird has a nice ring to it for an only child.


[]: No. 4’s legacy just beginning for twin baby boys
[]: Newborn twins names Brett and Favre

MLB General

The Full Count: Miserable in Minnesota

1. Lost Season, Lost GM: The Minnesota Twins have declined after winning the division last year, with an unimpressive 72-74 record. To make their situation worse, their longtime GM, Terry Ryan, announced he will resign at the end of the season. Ryan, who has been with the team for 13 years, has been a brilliant manager of a small payroll. The Twins have won 4 out of the last 5 division titles, relying mainly on homegrown talent instead of expensive free agents. Ryan, who will be replaced by assistant GM Bill Smith, has become one of the game’s most respected administrators. He will leave the Twins with an excellent talent core, with All Star caliber players in Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano (when he finally returns), Torri Hunter, Justin Morneau, and Joe Mauer. The key for new GM Smith will be in keeping as many of these players as possible while staying within the franchise’s limited budget.

2. Getting Closer: The San Diego Padres lost ground on two teams with one loss. Both the Dodgers and Phillies are within 1.5 games of them for the wild card lead after the Dodgers defeated the Padres 6-3. James Loney had three hits and four RBIs, and Rafael Furcal had three runs and three steals for the Dodgers. David Wells, who was cut by the Padres a month ago, was victorious against his former teammate Greg Maddux. Wells is 3-0 since joining the Dodgers. The Phillies also gained a game on San Diego with a 12-4 rout of the Rockies. Chase Utley homered and Aaron Rowand had two RBIs as the Phils roughed up Jeff Francis for eight runs. The Phillies will travel to New York to play the Mets this weekend, while the Dodgers play the Diamondbacks and the Padres face the Giants.

3. 20 losses?: It is amazing that the Cardinals’ Kip Wells has stayed in the rotation the entire season. He is 6-17 on the year after another loss on Thursday, leading the majors in losses. Wells could challenge for 20 losses, which has not been done since Mike Maroth went 9-21 in 2003. Wells has a 5.77 ERA and 1.65 WHIP for the year, and he was 2-9 within the first two months of the year. He’s not the only player on the Cardinals with a terrible record. Anthony Reyes, who started 0-8, is 2-14 on the year, and Maroth himself is 0-4 since joining the Cardinals. These pitchers have combined for a 8-35 record this season, meaning the Cardinals are 61-40 in games they didn’t record a decision. This shows how valuable Chris Carpenter is to this team. If he was pitching instead of Wells, the Cardinals would easily be winning the division.

Player of the Day: AJ Burnett, Blue Jays: 8 innings, 4 hits, 1 runs, 8 K’s in a 2-1 win over the Yankees. Burnett’s excellent start helped end the Yanks’ seven game winning streak.

MLB General

The Full Count: Pedro drives Mets to 5 game lead

1. Pedro Returns: The Mets’ Pedro Martinez made his first start since last September, picking up a personal milestone and giving the Mets another win in the process. Working with a 75-pitch limit, Pedro threw five innings, striking out four to give him 3,000 K’s in his career. He became the 15th member of the 3,000 strikeout club, as well as about the twentieth player to reach a major milestone this year. Martinez received plenty of support from the Mets’ offense in their 10-4 victory. Moises Alou went 3-3 with a homer, and David Wright and Carlos Delgado also went deep. With their fourth win in a row and 77th on the year, New York has the best record in the National League and the fourth-best mark in the majors. They now hold a comfortable 5-game lead on the Phillies, who were within two games of New York last week but have lost three in a row. If Pedro can stay healthy for the postseason (which he failed to do last year), the Mets have all the tools they need to win the NL pennant.

2. Santana’s Achilles Heel: Johan Santana would be having a great season if he didn’t have to face the Indians so many times. The two-time Cy Young winner is 14-11, with an 0-5 mark against Cleveland. According to ESPN, this marks the first time a reigning Cy Young winner put up an 0-5 mark against one team. Santana allowed four runs in six innings on Monday as he was greatly outdeuled by CC Sabathia. Sabathia had eight scoreless innings in the Indians’ 5-0 win as he improved to 16-7. Meanwhile, Santana gave up four runs for the third straight start as he continues to uncharacteristically struggle since the All Star break. He is 3-5 with a 4.22 ERA since the break, compared with a 32-3 record and 1.78 ERA after the break the previous three seasons. Santana is still having a great season, as he is second in the league in strikeouts, first in WHIP, and third in ERA. He is just being let down by his offense, which has put up an average of 2 runs a game in his losses. All things considered, however, the Cy Young will probably be headed elsewhere this season.

3. The Struggles of the Rocket: Though the expectations of him were far too high, Roger Clemens has still been a disappointment for the New York Yankees. The $28 million man has been merely average, with a 6-6 record and 4.45 ERA. His problem has been consistency; while he looks excellent in some starts, he seems pedestrian in others. On Monday, Clemens gave up five runs in four innings in a 7-1 loss to Seattle. Ichiro homered off Roger and Felix Hernandez outpitched him as the Yankees lost game one of an important series. The Mariners pulled within one game of New York for the wild card lead, finally snapping a nine-game losing streak. Clemens will undergo an MRI exam on his elbow after feeling some pain in it during the game. The Yankees need Mike Mussina to be back in the rotation and pitching well; otherwise they might not even reach October.

Player of the Day: Mike Lowell, Red Sox: 3-4, HR (18), 4 RBIs in a 13-10 win over the Blue Jays. Lowell became the seventh player this season to reach 100 RBIs. He is also among the league leaders with a .333 average.

MLB General

The Full Count: Not even close

1. A Series of Dominance: The Boston Red Sox just pulled off one of the more one-sided series in the MLB this season as they swept the White Sox in four games. Boston outscored Chicago 46-7 in the series, scoring ten or more runs in each game and winning each game by at least eight runs. The Red Sox became the first team in the league this season to reach the 80-win mark, and they extended their lead over the Yankees to a whopping 7.5 games. Boston’s 11-1 win on Sunday included a solid pitching performance by Julian Tavarez and balanced play by the offense. David Ortiz had two more RBIs, giving him seven in the series and 87 on the year. Mike Lowell also drove in seven runs for the series, and he leads the team with 93 this season. The Red Sox are on a roll headed into one of their most important series this season: a three-game set at Yankee Stadium that begins on Tuesday. If they win that series, they will win the division title barring an epic collapse.

2. The Dark Horse: The American League Cy Young race is extremely crowded, though it’s surprising one name is rarely mentioned: Kelvim Escobar. Dan Haren, Josh Beckett, and Johan Santana are more commonly cited for Cy Young contention, but Escobar has as solid stats as anyone: a 15-6 record, 2.77 ERA, and 1.17 WHIP. On Sunday he pitched brilliantly for eight innings as the Angels beat the Blue Jays 3-1. Escobar allowed one run, six hits, and recorded five strikeouts. Though he didn’t even make the All Star team, Escobar has been the team’s ace, even superior to John Lackey. Since the start of July he has allowed three or fewer runs in all but one start. Hopefully Escobar doesn’t get ignored just because he is relatively unknown compared with the other candidates.

3. Another year, another run: The Minnesota Twins are one of those teams that seemingly always makes a run in the second half of the season. Last year the Twins rallied from many games back to overtake the Tigers and win the division. This year, though they’re still well out at this point, Minnesota could be making another jump up the standings. Since losing five in a row earlier this month, the Twins have won 9 out of 12, including a five-game winning streak. They swept the Orioles in four games over the weekend by a combined 31-10 score, including an 11-3 beatdown on Sunday. The Twins got a competent start from Scott Baker and pounded Baltimore ace Erik Bedard for six runs in the victory. At 67-63, they are 5.5 games back in the standings, though that will change shortly as they face Cleveland six times over the next two weeks, starting with a three game set at Jacobs Field beginning Monday.

Player of the Day: Chris Young, Diamondbacks: 2-4, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs in a 5-4 win over Milwaukee.

MLB General

The Full Count: Santana strikes out seventeen

1. The Strikeout Machine: Johan Santana has led the American League in strikeouts three straight years, but he’s never fanned as many batters as he did on Sunday. With an incredible 17 strikeouts in eight innings, Santana set a personal and team single-game record. He struck out the side three times, and had at least two strikeouts in seven different innings. Santana allowed only two hits, both to Sammy Sosa. He could have challenged the major league strikeout record of 20 if he had stayed in the ninth inning, but with 112 pitches he was removed. Joe Nathan had two K’s of his own as he recorded his 27th save. The Twins needed all the pitching they could get, scoring only one run on offense. In Santana’s last seven starts, they have scored more than four runs only once, continuing a yearlong trend of poor run support for their ace. Despite mediocre play by the Twins recently, they are still only six games out in the division thanks to struggles by the Indians and Tigers.

2. New York, New York: Both teams from the Big Apple are red-hot, as each reached 70 wins with wins on Sunday. The Mets completed a sweep of the Nationals, while the Yankees took three out of four from the Tigers. For the Mets, Orlando Hernandez had another excellent start, while Carlos Beltran powered the offense with two homers. Beltran, who has struggled mightily since a stellar April, now has five homers in his last nine games. The Mets took advantage of a poor weekend by the Braves and Phillies in extending their division lead to five games. Meanwhile, the Yankees are now four games behind Boston after a 9-3 win on Sunday combined with a Red Sox loss. Hideki Matsui had three more RBIs, while recently acquired Wilson Betemit knocked in four runs. After the Tigers won the first game of this series on Thursday, the Yanks dominated with three wins in a row by a combined 20-6 score. Unfortunately for Detroit, they will face the Yankees four more times later this week. The Yankees’ first series with the Red Sox since June is coming up on August 28.

3. Moving up without playing: The Cubs encountered a unique situation on Sunday. Despite their game against the Cardinals on Sunday Night Baseball being rained out, they still managed to capture the lead in the NL Central division. That was due to another loss by the Brewers, who fell 7-6 to the Reds in a crazy game. Despite a poor start by ace Aaron Harang, the Reds came back thanks to homers by Adam Dunn and Brandon Phillips, as well as a go-ahead pinch-hit double by Javier Valentin. For Brewers starter Chris Capuano, it was his 16th straight start in which the Brewers lost. That is approaching the major league record of 18, set way back in 1912. Milwaukee hasn’t won in one of Capuano’s starts since May 8, when he was 5-0 with a 2.31 ERA. Since then he has lost ten decisions and his ERA has risen by three. The Brewers have given up a once-huge division thanks to a 7-20 record since July 25.

Player of the Day: Johan Santana, Twins: 8 innings, no runs, two hits, 17 strikeouts in a 1-0 win over the Rangers.

MLB General

The Full Count: What happened to the Dodgers’ bats?

1. Where’s the Offense?: The Dodgers won’t make the playoffs unless they start hitting the ball right now. They have scored 20 runs their last 11 games, going 2-9 in that span. Roy Oswalt shut them down on Monday, with eight innings, six hits, and one run in the Astros’ 4-1 win. With another loss the Dodgers fell to 6.5 games back in the NL West, a deficit that will be hard to make up with three teams ahead of them. The Dodgers rank 23rd in runs scored this season, 27th in homeruns, and 29th in runs since the All Star break. They are hitting .226 so far in the month of August. If the hitting doesn’t magically improve within the next couple of weeks, the one-time division favorites will be out of the picture.

2. The Mariners’ Magic: Given the tough league they’re in and the teams they’re competing against, the Seattle Mariners should not be tied for the wild card lead right now. But they are at the top along with the red-hot Yankees, despite having scored 130 fewer runs than the Yanks and allowed 15 more. Looking at the expanded standings, two things stand out. The Mariners have the best record in the league against lefty pitchers (22-8) and are among the best against losing teams (39-24). They won in both of those situations on Monday, as they faced lefty Johan Santana and the 58-60 Minnesota Twins. The Mariners blew a lead in the seventh inning, but then won off Richie Sexson’s walkoff homerun. They are 66-50 now with a 12-4 record in their last sixteen games. The Mariners are certainly the surprise team in the American League this year.

3. Another Record Down: On Sunday Placido Polanco tied the major league record for consecutive errorless games at second base. On Monday, he was perfect again, breaking what was a very impressive mark. Polanco is one of three perfect American Leaguers in the field this year (excluding pitchers), along with Kevin Youkilis and Ichiro Suzuki. Obviously, with second base being one of the toughest positions to field, Polanco has been far more impressive than the other two. However, the Tigers still lost on Monday, 7-2 to the A’s. Oakland pitcher Chad Gaudin ended a personal five-game losing streak and set a career-high in strikeouts with nine. The Tigers couldn’t get anything going, besides two more RBIs for Magglio Ordonez (104 on the year). They are tied with Cleveland, but that will change today as the two teams face each other.

Player of the Day: Tim Wakefield, Red Sox: 8 innings, two hits, no runs, six strikeouts in a 3-0 win over Tampa. Wakefield (14-10) has registered a decision in each of his 24 starts this season, which is approaching the top all-time in that category according to

MLB General

The Full Count: Yankees are creeping up

1. Make it 9: The Yankees extended the longest winning streak in the majors to 9 games after sweeping the Diamondbacks. They won 7-1 on Thursday thanks mainly to Andy Pettitte’s eight-inning, one-run start. Pettitte has quietly posted a 2.93 ERA this season, the best mark on the Yankees’ staff. The Yankees’ offense and pitching are on a roll as they’ve outscored their opponents 67-24 during the streak. Alex Rodriguez drove in two runs to give him 21 RBIs in his last nine games. Hideki Matsui’s three RBIs give him 12 during the nine-game win streak. The Yankees took advantage of another loss by the Red Sox to move within 7.5 games. They will face the Mets, who are on a five-game losing streak, over the weekend.

2. Start Wasted: Tim Hudson outdeuled Johan Santana, but the Braves wasted his efforts with a meltdown by the bullpen. Hudson pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and one walk. Santana went seven strong as well and struck out nine, but he allowed two runs. The pitcher’s duel didn’t decide the game though, as Bob Wickman gave up three runs in the ninth inning to lose the game for Atlanta. The 3-2 win completed a sweep for the Twins, who have won four in a row and are just 5.5 back of the Indians. The Braves moved behind the Phillies for the first time all season, albeit by just a half game. The road won’t get any easier for the Braves, as they travel to Cleveland, who has the second-best home record in the majors.

3. How `bout that Royals offense!: In a bizarre occurrence, the Royals of all teams have scored 17 runs in two of their last four games. After beating the Phillies 17-5 last Sunday, they topped the Cardinals 17-8 on Thursday. Mark Teahen had five RBIs and leads the team with 35 on the year, and Alex Gordon homered as the Royals destroyed St. Louis. They scored 8 runs in the second inning, then 6 runs in the fourth. What a powerhouse! The Cardinals’ Kip Wells had six earned runs in one-plus inning and extended his major league lead in losses to 11. Now the Royals rank 22nd in runs scored, leaving their usual last place in that category. Now the White Sox can be considered the league’s worst offense.

Player of the Day: Justin Germano, Padres: 6 innings, no runs, in a 7-1 win over Tampa. The nearly unknown Germano is 5-0 with a 2.36 ERA on the year.

MLB General

The Full Count: It’s all about the pitching

1. 10 wins for Lackey: John Lackey became the majors’ first 10-game winner after another solid start on Wednesday. As the Angels beat the Reds 6-3, Lackey went six innings and allowed just one earned run. He improved to 10-4 on the season with a 2.53 ERA, making him one of the leading candidates to start for the AL in the All Star game. The Angels won their 41st game of the year, tied with the Red Sox for most wins in the majors. Vlad Guerrero broke out of a mini-slump with a 3-5, 4-RBI performance. The Angels will play at Dodger Stadium this weekend in what will be an intriguing showdown between division leaders.

2. West Coast Aces: The Dodgers and Padres are tied for the NL West division lead, and both are helped tremendously by their aces. The Dodgers’ Brad Penny and the Padres’ Jake Peavy have turned into two of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. Both are 8-1 after winning again on Wednesday. Penny allowed one run in seven innings as the Dodgers completed a sweep of the Mets with a 9-1 victory. His 2.18 ERA ranks second in the NL only to Peavy, who has a 1.82 mark. Peavy pitched seven scoreless innings against the Devil Rays and struck out 8. He is now one strikeout behind Cole Hamels for the major league lead. The Padres crushed the D-Rays 9-0, as Tampa starter Edwin Jackson fell to 0-8 with an 8.20 ERA. Jackson is now on pace for an 0-20 record this season.

3. Aces for the Day: Some pitchers that usually aren’t that good pitched very well on Wednesday. Carlos Silva entered a game against the Braves 3-7 with a 4.40 ERA, but he pitched a complete-game shutout. Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals one-hit the Royals in eight innings, lowering his ERA by 0.52. Ian Snell of the Pirates pitched a complete game against the Rangers, allowing just one unearned run. Snell is having a breakout season with a 2.63 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.

Player of the Day: Carlos Silva, Twins: CG, no walks, no runs in a 6-0 win over the Bra

MLB General

The Full Count: Hey Ducks fans, don’t forget about the Angels

1. Joining the Elite: The Los Angeles Angels have absolutely dominated lately. They’ve quietly become one of the best teams in baseball, and they continued a four-game winning streak on Monday by pounding the Twins 16-3. The Angels had one of the best offensive performances of the year with 23 hits and two innings with five or more runs. Gary Matthews went 4-5 with 5 RBIs and Orlando Cabrera went 4-5 with 4 runs as seven different players had two or more hits. Jered Weaver also had one of his best starts of the year, with seven innings and one run allowed. Meanwhile, the Twins got little offense except for a Torii Hunter homerun, and their pitching was atrocious. Boof Bonser gave up 12 hits and 6 runs, while reliever Jason Miller had one of the worst pitching lines of the season. Miller recorded only one out while allowing 7 hits and 8 runs. The Angels’ rout improved their record to 37-22, tied with the Red Sox for most wins in baseball. With a deep pitching staff and overachieving hitters, this team could be tough to beat come October.

2. No Lou Needed: The Cubs were without manager Lou Piniella, who is serving a four-game suspension for his ridiculous outburst on Saturday against the Braves. However, they didn’t need Lou, as the Cubs cruised past the Brewers 7-2. Alfonso Soriano went 5-5 with a homer and three RBIs. His batting average has gone from .291 to .316 in two days. Jason Marquis pitched well for the first time in four starts. The Brewers, however, continued their recent turn for the worse in the loss. Besides Prince Fielder’s 20th homer of the season, they were unable to do anything on offense. The Cardinals and Cubs have climbed to within six games of the Brewers, who once were dominating the division.

3. The best pitcher you’ve never heard of: Though he plays in the black hole otherwise known as Tampa, James Shields deserves more attention. The breakout stud is 5-0 despite playing for a last-place team, an incredible achievement. Shields is 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA and .202 opponent’s average in his last eight starts, and his success continued against the Royals on Monday. Shields pitched seven-plus innings with four hits, two runs, and one walk allowed. Though Scott Kazmir has struggled and Tampa’s other three starters have been worse than awful, Shields and a resurgent offense give the team some hope.

Player of the Day: Alfonso Soriano, Cubs: 5-5, HR (7), 3 RBIs in a 7-2 win over the Brewers.

MLB General

The Full Count: Josh Beckett cannot lose

1. Still Undefeated: It appears a trip to the DL didn’t affect Josh Beckett. The ace came back as good as ever in a 4-2 win over Cleveland. Beckett threw seven innings, allowing three hits and two runs. He improved to 8-0 on the year, and is one of only three remaining undefeated starters (Jeremy Bonderman and James Shields are the other two). As the Red Sox won their fifth straight game, the Yankees lost their fifth in a row. Boston’s 14.5 game division lead appears now to be insurmountable.

2. Home Sweet Home: Ervin Santana of the Angels has been one of the most puzzling pitchers in the majors this season. At home, he is the ace many expect him to be, with a 4-1 record and 2.12 ERA. But on the road, he has been horrendous: 0-5 with a 9.30 ERA. Thankfully for the Angels, Santana was pitching at home on Tuesday, and he dominated as expected. With seven innings and one run allowed, he allowed the Angels to win easily 4-1. The division-leading Angels might want to consider something unusual to address their problem with Santana: bench him on the road. They have enough starters to make this work.

3. Dominant Delgado: Carlos Delgado was awful in April, with a .188 average and just one homer. But recently, he’s showed signs that he will return to his power-hitting form. After two homers and five RBIs on Saturday, Delgado was even better on Monday. He almost single-handedly beat the Giants, with a two-run shot in the fourth inning and a walk-off solo homer in the 12th. In his last seven games, Delgado has raised his average forty points in addition to the power surge. This game was a pitcher’s duel for a while, with Tim Lincecum and Oliver Perez each throwing seven innings, striking out eight, and allowing three runs. Closer Armando Benitez allowed the winning runs, giving him a loss in two straight appearances. The Mets have won four in a row to extend their lead to a season-high five games over Atlanta.

Player of the Day: Gary Sheffield, Tigers: 3-6, 2 homers (12), 5 RBIs in a 14-2 win over the Devil Rays. The Tigers out-hit the D-Rays 22-4 as all eleven players with a plate appearance got a hit. Sheffield has 5 homers in his last 10 games.

Walk Off: Justin Morneau received much criticism and appeared on many worst-ever MVP lists after winning the award last year. This year, he’s proved he was worthy and is one of a few majors candidates for the MVP right now. Morneau has played in all the Twins’ games and has 16 homers and 43 RBIs. He’s on pace for numbers that would surpass his 2006 season in nearly every category. In games that Morneau has homered in, the Twins are 9-3, which shows how valuable he is to their lineup. As of now, my AL MVP leaders look like this:

1) Magglio Ordonez, Tigers
2) Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
3) Morneau, Twins
4) David Ortiz, Red Sox
5) Alex Rodriguez, Yankees