Did we forget that it was baseball season?
In Denver, hype has followed Colorado Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez since throwing the first no-hitter in Rockies history. How does he reprise his performance? With a dominating win, pitching 7 1/3 shutout innings against the hapless Washington Nationals. While Jimenez is a star in the making in Colorado, the talk of Denver was the news announced across the country, at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The Denver Broncos were on the clock with the 25th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft. The Broncos make the surprise pick of the draft, selecting QB Tim Tebow of Florida, who had been expected to fall into the second round, which resumes tonight on the NFL Network at 6 p.m ET.
So, did anyone notice that baseball was being played in stadiums throughout the land? It was crickets in St. Louis Cardinals news. But at St. Louis Rams headquarters, all was jubilant, as they got their man. Sam Bradford of Oklahoma was not only the first overall pick, but also the first of four Oklahoma Sooners players drafted, when he was chosen by the QB hungry St. Louis Rams. The Rams are in need of the “franchise” quarterback they have lacked since the departure of Kurt Warner.
Did anyone seem to care that Justin Verlander finally shed the 300 lb. gorilla off his back with his first win? Not hardly. People were having a hard time with the name of the 300 lb. gorilla that will dominate for the Detroit Lions defense and even if people weren’t saying his name, they were talking about Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh. Suh was the first draft pick of the day for the Lions. They made their second pick after trading up from the second round (#34) with the Minnesota Vikings for their first round pick at #30 and drafting Cal running back Jahvid Best.
The fans in Tampa Bay were all abuzz in the second coming of Warren Sapp in the form of Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy who the Buccaneers selected with the third-overall pick. But hardly anyone noticed the other big news coming out of Tampa. The Tampa Bay Rays and star right fielder Ben Zobrist agree on a 5-year, $30M contract extension.
Jamie Moyer of the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 8-3, but everyone was talking about a kid young enough to be the 47-year-old Moyer’s son. At number 13 the Philadelphia Eagles selected DE Brandon Graham of Michigan.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were hoping to fare better than the Pirates did against the Milwaukee Brewers, who lost by a football score, 20-0. Whoever the Steelers starting quarterback is next year, depending on how Ben Rothlisberger saga unfolds, will have some protection from Florida center Maurkice Pouncey who was taken with the 18th pick.
Maybe it is still baseball season. But the distraction was well worth it.