Shanoff's WUC: Legacy of 2009 Yankees? A-Rod

Today's Calls: A-Rod vs. Babe, Yankees vs. the Decade, Hideki Matsui vs. Pedro Martinez, Brandon Spikes vs. Vanderbilt, Urban Meyer vs. SEC, Dwyane Wade vs. Gilbert Arenas, Rockets vs. Lakers, Latavious Williams vs. Brandon Jennings, Texas basketball vs. Expectations, adidas vs. Brand Jordan and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: This was the "A-Rod-emption." ↵

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↵When we look back in one year, 5 years, 10 years -- a generation from now -- the Yankees 2009 World Series title will be defined as "A-Rod's World Series title." ↵

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↵Not for the "DHVP." ↵

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↵Not for Girardi's "27." ↵

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↵Not for the bookend. ↵

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↵Not for Damon's "Stealx2." ↵

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↵Not for The Boss' last gasp. ↵

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↵Not for the losers. ↵

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↵Not for a new dynasty. ↵

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↵Not for insufferable triumphalism. ↵

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↵Arguably the most talented player -- and the most vilified -- of the modern era, A-Rod's resume was missing only one piece, only its most important piece: A title. Ironically, even the most mega-star's resume will never be complete without the ultimate team achievement. ↵

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↵Hope you enjoyed the era of "A-Fraud" and "A-Roid" and "Lipstick" and "The Slap" and weird Toronto flings and franchise-crippling contracts and, most of all, the notion that A-Rod is a me-first all-star loser. ↵

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↵A-Rod said it himself: "Nothing that you do individually compares one-tenth to a world championship." ↵

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↵He knows and we know: His legacy has been transformed. ↵

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↵Name to Know: Latavious Williams, who tonight will become the first prep player to go straight from high school to the D-League. It is easily as big as Brandon Jennings going to Europe -- and foreshadowing. Instead of following the cynical and arguably counter-productive track to a "one-and-done" (or even "two-and-done" or "three-and-done") college experience, why not go straight to a league whose mandate is to get you ready for the NBA? ↵

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↵CFB Scandal Watch: Brandon Spikes instantly quashes any controversy around his "half-game" suspension for his Georgia eye-gouge by voluntarily sitting out the entire game on Saturday against Vandy. Spikes earns a ton of credit from the media -- his slate is wiped clean, frankly -- and it's not like Florida's defense will need him to dominate the 'Dores. ↵

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↵Will the SEC punish Urban Meyer for criticizing its officials for not calling a penalty on Georgia for its unnecessary roughness on Tim Tebow? No. (Let's put it this way: It's not like a couple thousand dollar fine will bother Meyer, and there's no way the SEC would actually suspend him. Also: Meyer's point is actually right.) ↵

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↵BCS Mess: Boise State backers (via P.R. proxy WAC commish Karl Benson) love to point out that quality non-conference opponents that would improve Boise's strength of schedule are all ducking the Broncos. So what-oh-what can lil' Boise State do? (What a canard: Boise State's real problem is its weak conference schedule, which it can totally control by leaving the WAC for the Mountain West. (The MWC would be crazy to not want to improve its own league by bringing in Boise State.) ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points ↵

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↵• Gil may be back, but Wade is better. ↵

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↵• Once again: Magic better w/o VC. ↵

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↵• 1st Ws: Pacers, Warriors. ↵

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↵• Rookie Watch: Ty Lawson. ↵

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↵• No team loses to the Lakers as impressively as Houston ↵

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↵NFL Mid-Week: How can a team as out of it as the Titans stay in the conversation? By having its star player say things like Tennessee can still go 10-6. ↵

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↵NFL Must-Read: Coaching Trees. What better week than the one where a Belichick team plays a Parcells team to dig into the mentor-mentee relationship among NFL head coaches. (The question: Whose coaching tree is strongest? Has to be Parcells.) ↵

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↵SN CBB Countdown: No. 6 Texas. Rick Barnes has had some wildly talented underachieving teams. This might be his most talented -- meaning the imperative to get to a Final Four (or even win a national title) has never been stronger. ↵

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↵Sneakers: adidas drops Central Florida, when Marcus Jordan takes the court in Jordans, not his contractually obligated adidas. This seems so simple: Why wouldn't Brand Jordan immediately sponsor UCF (at least as long as Jordan is at the school). ↵

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↵The Last Word: Mary J. Blige does a really nice version of the National Anthem. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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