9:00 PM The Brooklyn Cyclones announce they will be "hosting a "Seinfeld Night" on July 5 to mark the 25th anniversary of the premiere of the show. Activities will include the renaming of foul poles as "Festivus Poles" and a Keith Hernandez "Magic Loogie" bobblehead giveaway.
8:30 PMAuburn athletic director Jay Jacobs tells Tigers fans he wants to see a "packed house" at Jordan-Hare Stadium for Saturday's ESPN-televised spring football game: "I want to leave no doubt with future recruits and their families that we have the greatest fans in the country."
It’s a common complaint that ex-tennis star Anna Kournikova has relied too much on her looks to find success in the sports world without any actual success in her own sport. I, for one, don’t really have a problem with this.
And BIG LEAGUE SCREW reaffirs my indifference to such complaints by serving up some fab photos of Anna K. hotstepping at a K-Swiss event held in NYC this week. And viewing such a photographic sampling as shown below after the jump really sets my sole on fire:
As we speak, Plaxico Burress is preparing to testify before a grand jury in Manhattan about shooting himself in the leg last year. And those of you with some familiarity with the legal system might have this reaction to that news: uhhh, wha?
(”I saved the world from having to deal with 19-0. Doesn’t that count for something?”)
In a move that ESPN’s Lester Munson is calling “desperate” and “highly unusual,” Burress will subject himself to questioning in an effort to get the grand jury to consider lesser charges than the felony that is currently on the table. It’s rare for a lawyer to allow this to happen because it can backfire in so many ways. For one, Plax has to be very careful about what he says. If any statement he makes ends up not being true, he could find a perjury charge added to whatever else he’s facing. And, since the prosecutors can ask anything they want, if Burress is forthcoming with every detail, he could basically end up admitting his guilt. Although, as one ESPN commenter noted, Burress really only needs to be asked three questions:
1. Did you have a gun in your possession when you shot yourself?
2. Do you have a permit to have that gun?
3. Do you have a permit to carry a concealed weapon in New York?
If the answer is “yes” to #1 and “no” to the other two questions, that’s basically all they need to make their decision.
(Things aren’t going well if this guy’s talking about you)
So why do it? Munson and fellow analyst Roger Cossack seem to think that Burress’ lawer, Benjamin Brafman, might be using this as a means to encourage a plea bargain. But Munson says that they don’t have any leverage here, since they’re the ones facing all the downside related to Burress’ testimony. The term “bluff” is being thrown around, but what’s the bluff? Why would the D.A. be worried about Plax testifying?
The only reasonable theory being offered is that maybe Plax can charm the jurors into thinking he’s a good guy who didn’t know the law and just wanted to protect himself. But he’ll have to do all of this without his lawyer, who won’t be allowed into the courtroom.
On Monday, Manhattan D.A. Jack McCoyRobert Morgenthau spoke publicly about the case, saying that Plax was OK with doing a year in jail, but that the people won’t accept a deal that involves less than two years in the clink. Morgenthau even suggested that he’s looking at charging Antonio Pierce for his role in the incident, something Cossack claims was “out of bounds” for the D.A. to talk about publicly, and certainly meant to bait Burress into a deal.
None of this looks particularly good, and one wonders if that two-year deal from the D.A. is still on the table. And I think it’s safe to say it would be the worst two-year deal any NFL free agent would be signing this year.
(When the guy with the huge ears says you’re doing time, you’re doing time)
Despite the eventual unraveling, Buehrle set a major league record by sending down 45 consecutive batters. That’s 15 consecutive innings without allowing a baserunner. The previous record was 41, held by two players, including Buehrle’s teammate, Bobby Jenks (who did it in three-batter increments as a closer).
Elsewhere around baseball, Ichiro did something he’d never done before — end a game with a hit. That’s right, none of his previous 1,952 hits were of the walk-off variety, by far the longest such active streak in baseball. To give you an idea, Alex Cora now holds the active record for most hits without a walk-off at 742.
(”You know, maybe if you didn’t have Yuniesky Betancourt hitting in front of me for four years I would’ve done it once or twice.”)
It’s been a good year for the Dodgers, but things took a turn for the embarrassing when Mark Loretta had to come on to pitch with two outs in the eighth inning at L.A. trailing 10-0 to the Cardinals. Loretta was the first position player to pitch in a game for the Dodgers since 2004, and after drilling Matt Holliday with a fastball he got Ryan Ludwick to fly out to end the inning. In other words, he did way better than Chien-Ming Wang had done this year. The Yankees finally Old Yellered him and are sending him to have surgery that can’t possibly make him any worse. Wang’s future with the Yanks is in doubt, as the team must offer him at least $4 million to keep him next year or lose him to free agency.
• Because everyone’s been asking for it, here are those long-awaited highlights of the touch football game played by NFL legends before Super Bowl X in 1976. If you’ve ever wanted to see Paul Hornung make a gay joke, watch a bunch of guys try and cop a feel on Phyllis George, and hear why Johnny Unitas likes to drive Pontiacs, look no further:
As you can see, Bill Murray and Christopher Guest had nowhere to go but up.
While sifting through some recent photos of Anna Kournikova at a charity event yesterday, I happened upon this photo:
Kournikova over the past decade is one of the most photographed women in the world, but I don’t recall ever seeing that monster tramp stamp. Turns out I was a little late to the party - her body art has been all over the web for some time now.
Of all the laws governing space, time & physics, one of the most important is that you never pick a fight with Anna Kournikova. Unless you’re an attractive girl, and I can watch. Many roughed her up on the tennis court, but on Monday night Anna proved that, while trying to relax at a club in Vegas, she is not to be trifled with.
Kournikova, in town attending the Harbat Classic Table Tennis Tournament, was with friends at the LAVO Nightclub in Las Vegas when she got into an altercation with another woman. The woman reportedly threw a drink in Kournikova’s face after a verbal altercation, and then a catfight ensued. And all of this for only a $5 cover!
Since this year’s French Open women’s singles title was a bit lacking in sex appeal - sorry, Svetlana Kuznetsova & Dinara Safina, but that’s just the way it is - we’d like to bring a little sexy back to tennis. And when in doubt, you can always rely on that ol’ standby - Anna Kournikova.
Yes, we all know that her time on the court could have been a bit more successful, but her off-court modeling career has gone so much better. The latest prime example comes from InStyle magazine, who did a recent shoot with the former tennis star. And based on the results, Anna is still A-OK:
How many times have you heard someone claiming they’ve discovered women’s tennis’ “the next Anna Kournikova!” Only to be underwhelmed by yet another teen prodigy who doesn’t have the goods. Well I think may have hit on something with Romanian 17-year-old tennis hottie Simona Halep:
(Now THAT’S what you call an overhead smash*rubs eyes*)
Current Junior French Open Champion Halep, like Kournikova once was, should soon be competitive enough to make the late rounds of TV tournaments. If she does continue to raise her game, she might be able to parlay her body (of work) into endorsement gold.
Or at the very least really raise the interest of fans. More pics and video after the jump. Read more…
So, here’s what we know: Alex Rodriguez is hurt. Beyond that, we know nothing. From what I hear, he could be out for anywhere from an hour to seven years. What’s really going on is so elusive that A-Rod’s brother was being used as the definitive source on his injury for the first half of Thursday. One SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE writer is saying that the “mystery” surrounding the injury is reminiscent of Barry Bonds‘ knee troubles in 2005.
Now, instead of surgery that would keep him out for 10 weeks (which was the brother’s story), Brian Cashman is saying that the Yankees are planning on taking a “conservative approach” to the injury, which involves a bunch of rest and rehab with the hopes that surgery won’t be necessary. But how long do you go with that? Cashman admitted that the surgery would probably keep A-Rod out for four months. But if they try this rehab thing for another few weeks, then are stuck with the surgery, suddenly he’s looking at no earlier than mid-to-late August for a return. But, as we all know, if A-Rod’s going to miss four months, it’s much better for all involved that it’s the last four.
Dr. Louis Romeo, director of the Joint Replacement Center at Stony Brook University Medical Center, said the surgery to treat an ailment of A-Rod’s type - probably a procedure called a hip arthroscopy - is not the most predictable procedure.
“It’s controversial because the results are not as predictable as you’d like them to be,” said Romeo, who is not involved in the Yankees third baseman’s treatment. “A knee replacement or a hip replacement, you can give someone a 90 percent success rate. Hip arthroscopy, depending on the underlying pathology, may not have as high a success rate.”
(Yeah, I suppose you could go the Bernie Williams route, Alex)
(I’m taking advantage of any excuse to run these pictures of Bruce Pearl)
Sean Averymade his return to ice last night in the Rangers’ win over the Islanders. Fortunately, Mike Comrie was recently traded away from the Islanders so Avery didn’t have a chance to get it any Hilary Duff-related blasts. Avery was actually well-behaved, and it seems as if he may be content to fly under the radar for the rest of the year. Mostly, Avery’s just glad to be back in New York so he can go to the Project Runway finale.
• Some good news from COLONIAL HOOPS: It looks like one of the greatest names in the NBA, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, is going to sign with Toronto for the rest of the year. Pops just wrapped up a 10-day contract with the Spurs, after playing for their D-league team most of the year.
• The University of Alabama has admitted to a number of NCAA violations…regarding the distribution of textbooks. So, athletes get too many textbooks and that’s a problem? Shouldn’t we be thrilled they’re bothering to get any? CBS SPORTSLINE has the horrifying details. Certainly, ‘Bama deserves the death penalty for this.
We’ll take you in and around the Coli with a genuine cutty sark-stained boots-on-the-ground perspective, and also have in-game observos from our seats at the game (Thanks Barry!). And I promise: absolutely, positively no mentions of those wacky(!) ESPN Gameday signs.
I’ll be joined by DEADSPIN’sA.J. Daulerio at the entire affair as well. And be sure and check out Matt Sussman’s account of the game over at Dspin. And yes, with tailgate fare in mind (*seasoned* bacon-wrapped hot dogs all around!), I plan to require Daulerio bring a generous supply o’ Depends to the proceedings.
The only thing I’ll add to all that’s been said about the game is that after Saturday, Mark Sanchez is your leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy. Sorry Timbo. And Mizzou, you might ask for your $50,000 back.
Prediction: USC 27, Ohio State 10.
Here’s how Elite XC and CBS is promoting the upcoming Kimbo Slice-Ken Shamrock bout:
A commercial featuring “Bodacious Boobs” and a bikini model showering - which of course is what first comes to mind when I think of CBS. At least after my last forced viewing of Big Bang Theory on an American Airlines flight bound for Topeka.
John Maffei of the NORTH COUNTY (CA) TIMES reports today from San Diego that former longtime SoCal talkshow host Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton “is moving up to Sirius XM Radio starting Monday, when Sirius launches ‘Mad Dog Radio’ on both services.” Hamilton will man the evening shift at Sirius.
Moving up to evening sports talk show shift on Sirius? Table for one, Hacksaw?
No idea how I missed this, but here’s the cover image for the calendar the Redskins are selling on their official website featuring the team’s cheer squad.
(This image has not been photoshopped yes it has)
And to think I thought these (implied) NFL nudie calendars weren’t all about jerkoffs. Read more…