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Wake-up call: Lakers, Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Angels

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Steve Nash’s best friend on the Phoenix Suns, Raja Bell, is traded. Nash goes 0 for 6 from the field in the first half. Coach Terry Porter has only eight players. One of them isn’t Shaquille O'Neal, who is attending a family funeral.

And the Lakers, at home, beat the Suns by a mere five points.

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Who can blame the Suns for treating it like a victory?

And the critics such as Times columnist Helene Elliott for wondering what has happened to the team defense-oriented Lakers we saw at the beginning of the season?

It’s doubtful the 20-2 Boston Celtics or 19-3 Cleveland Cavaliers are looking West and worrying much about the 18-3 Lakers, who still seem soft.

Baseball’s winter meetings used to be a magicial week for fans who were treated to one deal after another after another. Now it’s only the Yankees with CC Sabathia and Mets with Francisco Rodriguez who make headlines. Everything else is mere speculation.

Next up is Mark Teixeira. But that could be it awhile. One agent tells ESPN.com that ‘Tex and CC are aberrations’ and that the economy might limit the market for everyone else.

It’s certainly possible that the Angels and Dodgers will be virtually shut out.

My favorite quote from yesterday’s confusion over whether the Arena Football League will or won’t play in 2009 came from the Cleveland Gladiators’ CEO, who said, ‘We don’t really know what’s going on...’'

--Randy Harvey


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