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Tommy Dreamer, the last "ECW Original" on the current WWE roster, won the ECW championship Sunday at Extreme Rules. Now, not surprisingly, there are rumors that Dreamer (real name: Tom Loughlin, not to be confused with the "Billy Jack" actor of the same name) has signed a new deal with WWE, which set the wheels in motion. I had envisioned Dreamer winning, then retiring that same night, like Trish Stratus did at Unforgiven '06. That may still happen, depending on what unfolds tonight.

Dave Batista wasn't so lucky. Batista won his 5th WWE or World title on Sunday, only to be forced to vacate due to injury. Reports have it that he suffered a torn bicep prior to the PPV, but they went ahead and had the title match between Batista & Randy Orton anyway. On Monday, Orton and his Legacy flunkies, Ted DiBiase, Jr. & Cody Rhodes, assaulted Batista in the ring, leaving him with a "broken arm" to cover for surgery on the bicep. This time, they couldn't be honest about the injury. Nearly 3 1/2 years ago, Batista vacated the title in the ring on Smackdown, but doing it that way this time would take some heat away from Orton, heat that would only be siphoned anyway the next time Orton gets beaten down.

And that happened at the end of Raw when Triple H returned to pick up the gauntlet, so to speak. America responds with a collective yawn. The story continues because the writers don't know any better. Par for the course in Vince McMahon's wackyland.

Later tonight, it's expected that Stephen Strasburg out of San Diego State will be the #1 draft pick in the baseball "entry draft", as they now call it. Unfortunately for the Washington Nationals, who hold that first pick, Strasburg has been fed some of Scott Boras' kool-aid, and is retaining the price-gouging agent, which means Boras could pull another stunt like he did with JD Drew and insist on holding Strasburg out. That in this day and age isn't an option. Boras, a lawyer by trade, should know better than to try to pull his usual stunts now. He's fleeced too many teams over the years as a means of getting the money he felt he deserved even though he never played an inning in the majors. It's past time the Federal Trade Commission took a long look at Boras' negotiating tactics. He has to be decertified as a sports agent, preferably yesterday.

It amused me during the NBA's conference championships to hear ESPN's Skip Bayless refer to LeBron James as "Prince" instead of "King James". Bayless cried foul over what he felt was preferential treatment given to James, even though Cleveland lost to Orlando. I've been saying for years that the NBA (and the NFL) subscribe to a "star system" in which certain players, especially the ones with endorsement deals (i.e. LeBron, Kobe, Peyton Manning), will get "preferential treatment", and that the fans are conditioned to accept the fact that the upper-tier stars are sort of above the rules. It's better for all concerned to let the players play, let the coaches coach, and leave the networks and corporate sponsors out of the decision making processes in both the NBA & NFL. There is no such system in the NHL. How could there be?

Memo to Brett Favre: Stop kidding yourself. Stop teasing us. Just retire and be done with it.

Memo to Major League Baseball: In addition to getting rid of Scott Boras, kindly remove Manny Ramirez from consideration for the All-Star Game. If his own manager (Joe Torre) doesn't feel he belongs, due to his suspension, then Manny should sit this one out. The sheep that are voting for Manny should take this into account, too, but in SoCal, "Manny being Manny" seems to be just another common thing. Like paparazzi and Hollywood executives recycling the same ideas over and over and over........!


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