Small Balls: Manny being Manny

La première étoile: New York Jets. By acquiring Beautiful Brett Favre for a conditional draft pick the Jets have added a legitimate star pivot to their lineup who should revamp a dismal Jets offence that only produced four wins last year. Even if the team still sucks this upcoming season, management can at least cash in on Favre merchandise sales.

Two minutes for … disrespecting the Great One. Why the hell has Manny Ramirez decided to wear No. 99 after being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers? Doesn’t he know that Wayne’s fabled number was universally retired. Kids playing peewee hockey in Hungary probably aren’t stupid enough to ask for No. 99.

Who’s got tickets? Opening round of the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills CC in Bloomfield Township, Mich. Phil Mickelson still has a bitter taste in his mouth after falling short last weekend and losing to Vijay Singh. The course is a monster at nearly 7,400 yards with every par three hole no shorter than 190 yards from tee to green. Yikes!

Fun police: You’d think that after spending your entire life training for the Olympics that an athlete would find it imperative to take part in the opening ceremonies. Not the case. It is estimated that nearly a third of all Canadian Olympians will pass on the opening ceremonies. Some, like Simon Whitfield, appear afraid of getting homesick.

Extra bases: The Olympic Games haven’t even started yet but the protesting has. A small group of Americans unfurled pro-Tibetan banners yesterday in Tiananmen square. Authorities apparently used restraint when dealing with the matter, but once the spotlight is on China that restraint might turn to forceful action.

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