March 16th Water Cooler

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March 16th Water Cooler
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Here we go with today’s sports water cooler talk. Here, you won’t just find the straight news; you’ll find the stuff everyone is talking about – the ice breakers, the Twitter Sports Picks and topics…well, basically all the stuff you discuss at the water cooler.

Enjoy!

One of the biggest baseball trade rumors in a long time is a nice place to start with today’s news. Could it really be true?

MLB news: Albert Pujols for Ryan Howard?

Before we go crazy – both the Cardinals and Phillies are strongly denying that this trade rumor is true. But it had to come from somewhere, didn’t it? ESPN posted a report yesterday suggesting the Phillies had contacted the Cards to kick the tires about swapping their superstar first basemen. Both guys are 30 years old, each has a World Series ring and both are eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.

New Seattle Mariner Cliff Lee got himself into hot water yesterday when he was tossed from a spring-training game against Arizona for allegedly throwing at Chris Snyder. First, he ran a pitch inside on Snyder. Then he whizzed one over Snyder’s head. Lee claimed that a couple of pitches simply got away from him and that he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone.

NFL news: First hint that Brett Favre will return

Even though LaDainian Tomlinson chose the New York Jets, the Minnesota Vikings still accomplished something by pursuing him. During the courtship, Brett Favre reportedly called Tomlinson to recruit him. If No. 4 was truly planning to retire, would he really put the effort in to bring LT2 to Minnesota?

In today’s comedy moment of the day – Brady Quinn “intends” to start at quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Good luck with that, Brady. I suppose you never know what will happen with Josh McDaniels running the show.

NHL news: Ovechkin gets two games; Malkin on the shelf

Yesterday, we gave you the account of Alexander Ovechkin’s hit from behind on Brian Campbell, which probably knocked the Hawks defender out for the season. In the end, Ovie got two games for the hit. Not exactly making an example out of him, are they? Seems the NHL time and time again fails to make the punishment severe enough.

Speaking of severe – how severe is Evgeni Malkin’s leg injury? The Penguins are mum right now but he left Sunday’s game after getting struck by a Kris Letang shot. Bettors should check for updates as the Penguins are nowhere near the same team without Malkin.

PGA news: Stricker doesn’t believe Tiger should debut at Augusta

From Tiger’s perspective, Augusta National makes plenty of sense as a comeback destination. As I’ve said before, no course or event gives him greater control over his situation.

But that doesn’t mean all Tiger’s peers are jumping for joy at the thought of him returning. Steve Stricker, the top-ranked active player in the world, suggested that Augusta isn’t the ideal destination Tiger’s first tourney back from a PGA or Masters perspective.

Stricker said: "Whenever he comes back it's going to draw a lot of attention to that tournament and the focus is going to be on him coming back. I don't know if Augusta would like that to happen, you know? To turn it into Tiger's comeback instead of the Masters Tournament itself."

So we can’t assume absolutely everyone wants Tiger back so soon – especially anyone who draws the honor of being paired with Tiger on the Thursday.

This Article also appears on Cappers Picks Sports Handicapping Blog.

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