Today we shall sponsor a debate over just whose offense is the worst: the Miami Dolphins, the Seattle Mariners and U.C.L.A. being the featured contestants. With Miami led (nowhere) by a quarterback named Tyler Thigpen, the Mariners being so otherworldly bad that pitcher Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young Award in a landslide despite only 13 victories and the Bruins getting crushed in a game when the opposing quarterback outshined them with 68 yards, there are no wrong answers.
O.K., we will entertain the possibility that the Dolphins’ woes in Thursday night’s 16-0 loss were largely created by a Bears defense that suddenly has Chicago daydreaming about 1985. It’s that defense that makes the Bears a championship contender, , but still has most people — — wondering just how this team has won seven games, other than one of them being against the Dolphins. But as , just don’t use the L word around them.
Even considering Chicago’s defense, though, Miami needed an upgrade to reach pathetic, .
The Mariners, we are reminded today, would have needed a rocket to reach pathetic. They ranked dead last in the majors in except games played: hits, runs, batting average, doubles, triples, home runs, R.B.I. The second-worst run-scoring team (Pittsburgh) beat them by 74 runs. Hernandez should have won the Cy Young for just getting out of bed every day he had to pitch for these guys. So the chorus of people bemoaning his 13-win total was more than drowned out by , and , among others. , forced to witness the Mariners from up close, hails Hernandez’s maturity for overcoming his team.
As for U.C.L.A.’s offense, well, watching a car rust is potentially more exciting. Three quarterbacks produced 55 yards passing in Washington’s 24-7 win. At least one of the three interceptions they threw, however, . Jake Locker was on the winning side with 68 passing yards. This was a game where offense went to die.
It was far more entertaining to watch the hand-wringing going on at the baseball meetings. You could find some in the discussion over expanding the playoffs, an idea . But most was concentrated on the Yankees’ contract negotiations with Derek Jeter, which strike as bizarre. that it is hard to believe the team that has opened a vault for a litany of players is playing hardball with Jeter.
Oddly enough, the often-offensively challenged N.H.L. produced perhaps the barnburner of the month: an 8-7 Tampa Bay victory over Philadelphia, a game so hot one of the goals . Things are not so hot in once-hockey-mad Denver, where that fan apathy has grown despite the Avalanche’s young, exciting team. The N.H.L. would hope for apathy in the continuing controversy over its head of discipline Colin Campbell. in support of Campbell, despite having hopelessly lost the battle of public perception that Campbell can do this job fairly. that the lost trust — only cemented by the e-mails revealed in a referee’s lawsuit — is why Campbell should go.
But, hey, he’s doing no worse a job than Tyler Thigpen or anyone batting for the Seattle Mariners.
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