*In the wake of C.J. Wilson leaving Arlington, Albert Pujols shunning St. Louis and Tyson Chandler bidding adieu to Dallas – all for salary over success – let’s take another moment to appreciate Dirk Nowitzki. It’s rare that an athlete shows loyalty, but Dirk did just that in giving the Mavs a hometown discount in July 2010. I hope C.J. and Chandler read this quote from Nowitzki: “My heart and soul will always be with the Mavericks. My goal is to win a championship and see this thing through.” Amen.
*Best news in a bad week for Metroplex sports fans, Rangers’ manager Ron Washington told us on 105.3 The Fan on Wednesday that the employee that taped and leaked his pre-Game 7 speech “is no longer with us.” We assume he meant as in fired from the Rangers, not dead. But either way, bravo!
*I understand what the NBA is attempting to do with commissioner David Stern vetoing the Chris Paul trade to the Lakers. At the crux of the recent labor lockout was small-market teams being able to keep their players and Paul to L.A. and Dwight Howard leaving Orlando for New Jersey flies directly in the face of the CBA just ratified on Thursday. But now there’s no way Paul is traded to another team, or else the NBA will be (appropriately) accused of rigging where its players play.
*And now if Paul isn’t traded, the New Orleans Hornets will receive zero compensation when he leaves via free agency 66 games from now. The trade – which would have netted the Hornets Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and a 2012 first-round pick – wasn’t great. But it’s certainly better than nothing.
*As for the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban says he voted against it.
*Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett still can’t provide a logical explanation for his end-game eff-ups in Arizona, but maybe this nugget shed light on his thinking. On his weekly radio show last Wednesday on 105.3 The Fan he was asked who he’d like to meet, dead or alive? “Albert Einstein,” Garrett said. “I’d like to pick his brain.”
*If only Stern would’ve blocked the Lakers’ acquisition of Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies for Kwame Brown back in 2008 L.A. wouldn’t have won titles in 2009-10.
*In a wild day for Southern California sports, the Anaheim Angels acquire both Pujols and Wilson. The Rangers won the AL West by 10 games over the Angels in each of the last two years. If that gap isn’t totally deleted, it’s considerably closed.
*The Mavericks’ plan is apparently to waive a white flag this season. Gone are free agents Chandler, Caron Butler and soon J.J. Barea. But if the strategy is to have salary-cap room for desirable free agents like Paul, Howard and Deron Williams, it’s really gonna suck of all three are off the market by next summer. Howard says he wants to play with Williams in Jersey. Bummer.
*ESPN’s Erin Andrews has filed a $10 million lawsuit in response to being secretly videoed through a peephole in 2008. Andrews is suing Nashville’s West End Marriott for $6 million and $4 million from Michael Barrett, the convicted criminal. Emotional distress and embarrassment be damned, you can film me doing just about anything for $10 million.
*Jumping center for the Mavs against the Heat on Christmas Day: Brendan Haywood?
*It’s been a great 2011 for Metroplex sports. Mavericks won their first title. Rangers came within one strike of their first World Series championship. Cowboys off to a surprising 7-4 start. But Thursday, Dec. 8 was ugly: Chandler and Butler leave the Mavs and Wilson leaves the Rangers. Vomit. Not only that, the team’s biggest rivals – Angels and Lakers – got stronger through star acquisitions.
*I love June Jones’ football philosophy and he’s resurrected SMU back amongst college football’s living. But what he did to the school and his players – accepting a job at Arizona State and then lying about it – is just despicable. Lost a lot of respect for the man.
*Re: Major League Baseball’s new dress code for media. I will wear ripped jeans to the season opener at Rangers Ballpark. And I’ll wear a golf shirt with a Rangers logo on the sleeve to a game the next day. I will not be kicked out. Watch me.
*The Angels’ top 4 pitchers (Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson and Ervan Santana) combined in 2011 for 61 wins and a combined ERA of 2.97. The Rangers’ new top 4 (Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando) combined for 57 wins and an ERA of 3.81.
*If you love Tim Tebow, please don’t read this.
*Give me Robert Griffin III to win the Heisman Trophy, John “Bones” Jones to beat Lyoto Machida in UFC 140 and I’ll take the Cowboys over the Giants.
*This weekend? Today I’m at Starpower Southlake with RAGE. Saturday how about some UFC 140 at Baby Dolls on Northwest Highway 9-??? And, of course, Sunday is the official Cowboys-Giants pre-game show on 105.3 The Fan from the West Plaza outside Cowboys Stadium at 4:30. Don’t be a stranger.