Shanoff's W.U.C.: Phelps, Tiger, Lee, Rachel

Today's Calls: Michael Phelps vs. Milo Cavic, Cliff Lee vs. Tim Lincecum, Victor Martinez vs. Melky Cabrera, Rachel Alexandra vs. Tiger Woods, Mike Vick vs. Bob Kraft, Lloyd Carr vs. the BCS and More. ↵

↵Michael PhelpsThe Opening Pitch: Who was the weekend's biggest winner? ↵

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↵— Michael Phelps has a strong argument: That 100 fly win may have been my favorite Phelps moment of all time, because it wasn't about Olympic gold or making history or even setting a new world record ... ↵

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↵... It was entirely about ripping out the soul of Cavic. The look on Phelps' face after the race — not joy, competitiveness — was awe-inspiring, as was the way he "popped" his swimsuit logos as if to say, "Take your polyurethane and cram it." ↵

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↵— Tiger Woods came surging back from Thursday's struggles (did I even mention "miss the cut?") with absolute dominance over Friday, Saturday and Sunday — yeah, it's the Buick, not the British. But it feels like he reclaimed his righful place as a Sunday champ. ↵

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↵— Cliff Lee: Who's ready for a "Lee for N.L. Cy" campaign? Remember when CC Sabathia came into the N.L. mid-season last year and dominated? I thought it was worth his consideration for the N.L. Cy. Felt the same way after Lee's N.L. debut. (Might make a case for Victor Martinez's winning Red Sox debut: RBI Saturday, 5-for-6 with 4 RBI yesterday.) ↵

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↵(Or not. Reigning NL Cy Tim Lincecum seems to have a lock on a repeat, making the point all the more strongly by absolutely dominating Lee's Phillies.) ↵

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↵But while Phelps might be the greatest swimmer ever and Woods might be the greatest golfer ever and Lee/V-Mart have altered the balance of power in baseball, all arguably pale when compared to ... ↵

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↵— Rachel Alexandra, proving once again that she is arguably the greatest athlete — male or female — in sports right now. ↵

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↵Vick Watch: Looks like Vick-to-Pats isn't happening (per Pats owner Bob Kraft, who would know). Interesting rumor that Vick was in Latrobe, Pa. — training camp home of the defending champ Steelers. Like the Pats, the Steelers would give Vick a stable home and the cred that comes from playing for a champ. With all training camps underway, the Vick situation has to be cleared up by the end of this week, doesn't it? (Latest: Panthers don't rule out signing Vick?) ↵

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↵NFL Camping: You get all excited for camps to start, then you realize they are mostly about injuries (Brandon Marshall, Beanie Wells and contract squabbling. At least this year we get Derrick Mason's unretirement — which is a refreshing change from unretirement talk about you-know-who. Oh, and the newest diet sensation: "LenDale White's No-Tequila System." ↵

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↵Rookie Signings: Who needs Brett Favre (or Tarvaris Jackson, for that matter) when the Vikings have Percy Harvin, who will explode onto the scene as one of the NFL's most electrifying players. (Think: Better and more versatile version of DeSean Jackson.) ↵
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↵MLB Talking Points ↵

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↵— Red Sox roid investigation: Not what you think. ↵

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↵— Walk-Off Watch: Marlins back-to-back HR in 9th ↵ ↵

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↵— Peavy wears 44: Obama's must-have jersey? ↵

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↵— Fantasy Stud: Melky Cabrera (4-for-5, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, Cycle) ↵

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↵More Phelps: Cavic suggested the two meet in a one-on-one setting in 2010. I give him points for creativity — the race would probably get a big audience — but after beating Cavic twice, what would Phelps have to gain by racing against him outside of the meet setting?) ↵

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↵CFB Countdown: Of the top half-dozen "non-BCS" teams in SN's preseason rankings, the one you probably don't know enough about is No. 34, Western Michigan. (CMU's Dan LeFevour gets all the pub, but Western Michigan is tops in the MAC.) ↵

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↵Lloyd Carr wants a four-team playoff: Classic example of why a 4-team playoff wouldn't solve anything? This past season, who would make the four-team playoff? Florida, Oklahoma, Texas? OK. ↵

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↵Carr: "You tell me Utah didn't deserve a chance to play for the national championship? They did." Ooh, coach, hate to break it to you: If you used the final regular-season BCS or AP poll to pick your four-team playoff field, Utah wouldn't have come close to making it. Alabama was consensus No. 4, USC No. 5. ↵

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↵Let's be clear: You cannot advocate a four-team playoff and cite Utah as Exhibit A. Utah would have been left out, as would either Alabama or USC (not to mention Penn State). Easier fix than a playoff: Voters recognizing Utah was one of the Top 4 teams in the country, BEFORE the bowls were played. ↵

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↵NBA Offseason: The Knicks may or may not get Ramon Sessions, but is there anyone who DOESN'T want to see flashy Jason Williams out of retirement, suiting up for New York next season and running Mike D'Antoni's offense? ↵

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↵(Meanwhile: It would be only fair if the Cavs signed Leon Powe and — sometime in the playoffs — Powe's gritty play on the inside helped the Cavs bounce the Celtics from the playoffs.) ↵

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↵NBA Coaching Carousel: Are the T-wolves about to hire Mark Jackson? As they have been turned down by virtually every respectable current assistant coach in the league, it only makes sense they would take advantage of a broadcaster who so desperately wants to be a coach that he'd work for David Kahn. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "As good as I've seen." ↵
↵— Joe Drape, the New York Times' expert horse-racing reporter, via Twitter, about Rachel Alexandra. ↵

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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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