What's moving the needle this week? What's resonating with me from last week or just bears watching? Without further adieu:
Marion Jones - A lot of different reactions about the former track and field golden girl. Many folks in the media have commented on feelings of betrayal and others skepticism about the sincerity of the statements currently being made. Journalists seem to be going through the five stages of grief with respect to Ms. Jones. It's actually pathetic to watch the moaning and groaning. More on this later.
Apple Inc - In the last month the stock has gone up 20%, it's rise has been nothing short of remarkable consider the relative maturity of the company. Apple went public on December 12, 1980. It's run up in the past few months isn't unique for a company its age, but it isn't common. Apple has been left for dead many times. However, it should be noted that with the introduction of the iPod articles about "Is this the end of Apple?" are few and far between. The first iPod, which was Mac only, was introduced in 2001. Since then it's become ubiquitous. It's dominance of the portable digital media player is the equivalent of Windows dominance in the OS market, perhaps more so. The iPhone and the new iPod Touch represent further leaps forward. The stock seems like an expensive option, but people have said that for years. I think if you've been a shareholder for the last few years you can't wait to cash out but also must be conflicted about foregoing any potential huge gains in the future. That's a nice boat to be in.
The Yankees - Not dead yet. Despite the predictable post-season flameout of Roger Clemens, the Yankees rallied in a stirring win. This is a flawed team, with mediocre pitching but an excellent line-up. This line-up can victimize any staff, the problem is their pitching can be victimized just as easily. Yankee bats have been mediocre, most notably Jeter's. It's okay, Yankee fans give him a pass, perhaps deservedly, but it's clear that the entire focus of attention is A-Rod. That's how it should be. Jeter is a great star, an excellent player with a lot of post-season huzzahs. Rodriguez is, however, on the short list of the very best position players ever to lace 'em up.
The Patriots - They beat a mediocre Browns team convincingly. Next week is their first big test as they play the, as of now, undefeated Cowboys. In terms of the offense the single most important aspect has to be the fact that over five games Brady has been sacked three times. I would wager that Brady has the most time to deliver the ball of any quarterback in the NFL. Add that and the fact that he has a fearsome wideout corps and you can see why he's putting up career best numbers.
In a bit.