2:15 PM The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks defeated the Hanshin Tigers 1-0 on Thursday to win the 2014 Japan Series. The game ended when Tigers batter Tsuyoshi Nishioka was called out for running outside the first base line while trying to beat a double play.
2:00 PM It was 40 years ago today that Muhammad Ali & George Foreman had their "Rumble In The Jungle" fight in the African country of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo).
For now, the maddening tabs have mostly turned away from Tiger Woods and his gaggle of alleged mistresses. Thanks to the gossips, not to mention new and old media, the story’s lifespan was expanded about two weeks too long. And if Brittany Murphy hadn’t died, it might still be getting the pseudo news treatment.
One of the outlets responsible for that unnatural extension is People.com, which reported last Sunday that Woods had taken his yacht to the Bahamas “for a few days” this week with friends and “golfing buddies.”
BC: “Standing right behind him when he was warming up (before Monday’s practice) and I saw him reach for his groin. Hold it … whatever you do with a groin. Rub it. That’s what I think I witnessed. It twinged a little. He’s on the injury report as hip related but that lower chain all fits together.”
Case you missed it, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols reported last week that on the Vikings’ most recent team flight, coach Brad Childress dressed up as a female flight attendant as a joke. I hadn’t seen any photos of the Childress’ ill-advised ‘costume’ until now:
The hot buzz over the weekend, even though it seems utterly insane and it came from someone serving in Iraq, was that Brett Favre had already signed with the Minnesota Vikings and that the team was just waiting for the right time to announce it.
(”Hi, guys. Please allow me to address this rumor by flying 2,000 miles away for a week. Toodles!”)
So naturally, if that’s true, Vikings head coach Brad Childress is monitoring the situation closely from his office in Minneapolis, right? He wouldn’t be, oh, I don’t know, finding the second-farthest state in the union from Minnesota and hiding there, right? No?
Stop the presses! Pull up that nifty ESPN Breaking News graphic! This is the biggest news in the history of everything! Brett Favre will at long last become a member of the Minnesota Vikings!
Well, probably. Maybe. We’re not totally sure yet. PRO FOOTBALL TALK has the latest scoop on the ongoing (and admittedly tiresome) Favre-Vikings saga. The newest poop claims that Favre has signed a contract with the Vikes, and that the team is waiting to announce the big news. Probably right after they’re done watching “Whacked Out Sports“, or at least during a commercial break.
Yesterday on ESPN both Chris Mortensen and Ed Werder reported that the Minnesota Vikings and head coach Brad Childress had set a deadline of Friday for Brett Favre to decide whether or not he was going to come back again and play for the Vikings. Since Favre is just coming off of arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder word is he would like to wait a little longer before deciding. In other words, he wants to wait until training camp is a few weeks old so he doesn’t have to go through it.
I mean, we all know he’s going to come back at this point because why else would he have the surgery on his shoulder? So it doesn’t hurt when he throws a football in his next Wrangler commercial? So if Favre isn’t “ready” to make his “decision” yet and the Vikings want one by Friday, does that mean he’s not going to be back this season? No, because according to Sirius radio host Pat Kirwan the boys over at ESPN are making this whole deadline thing up.
Let’s be honest with ourselves: the Penguins are done. Sure, technically all Detroit did on Sunday night was hold home ice advantage with their 3-1 win over Pittsburgh in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the same score as Game 1. But their 2-0 lead pretty much feels insurmountable - does anyone feel like the Penguins can take four of the next five games against the Red Wings? Didn’t think so.
Especially since the Red Wings and their old, tired legs, were able to outhustle, outskate and just plain outplay the Penguins 24 hours after Game 1, a made-for-TV contrivance that was supposed to be their downfall. Pittsburgh’s Big Two of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have combined for one goal in the first two games, half as many as Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader, who was playing minor-league hockey in May. And both of his goals have been beauties, including his singlehanded effort last night:
The bottom line for Pittsburgh is simple: when their main goal scorers are being held in check, and their goaltending is soft, they are going to lose. It doesn’t matter how much revenge they want, or if Evgeni Malkin tries to start fights to fire the team up - Detroit is just the better team (and doing this without Pavel Datsyuk, mind you).
Speaking of Malkin’s fisticuffs: despite picking up an instigator penalty at the end of Game 2, which should be an automatic one-game suspension, the NHL has decided that Malkin will be on the ice when the serious returns to Pittsburgh. Think the league wants to avoid a sweep?
With the win, Texas advances to the Super Regional, where they will play TCU in a Best-of-Three series that will likely come down to the final pitch of Game Three. Seriously, guys, it’s OK just to win a 5-1 snoozer every once in a while. (Or if you are Florida State, a 37-6 snoozer.)
Finally, congratulations for Jamie Moyer for getting his 250th career win yesterday, a 4-2 Phillies win over the Nationals. (And really, shouldn’t that could as half a win?) The achievements of the 46-year-old goes to show that not being able to throw hard enough to break glass isn’t a prerequisite to being successful. And it also shows that if you are a lefty with a durable arm, even a 4.23 career ERA can’t keep you from reaching some big milestones.
I’m making a list of pitchers who don’t want to go to the Chicago White Sox, and apparently every No. 1 is on the list. First it was Jake Peavy of the Padres rejecting a deal, and now the HOUSTON CHRONICLE is saying that Roy Oswalt of the Astros will exercise his veto rights to nix any deal. But I’m sure Barry Zito is still available.
How not to win your first PGA Tour tournament: miss putts inside 10 feet on the final hole of regulation and the first hole of a playoff, and then have your approach on the second playoff hole ricochet off the pin and roll back more than 20 feet from the hole. Steve Stricker was the beneficiary of Tim Clark’s bad luck/meltdown, picking up the Crowne Plaza Invitational.
The Orlando Magic thought they had lost All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson to injury for the season back in February, but now the ORLANDO SENTINEL is saying that the rehab for his shoulder injury is “dramatically” ahead of schedule and he might be available for the NBA Finals.
Arkansas DT Lavunce Askew was arrested on Saturday after allegedly stealing a laptop from an apartment. His teammate Matt Marshall also stole an iPod Touch, but was not charged after he returned it to the doorstep and helped police track down Askew. See, Marshall might be a thief and a stool pigeon, but his heart is in the right place.
World champion hurdler Jana Rawlinson was forced to confirm an embarrassing, poorly-kept secret circulating around the track world for months. Not that she’s using PEDs, but that she had breast augmentation. You would think if there’s one sport where being busty is a disadvantage, it’s hurdling. Check out some Russ Meyer-approved before and after action:
Brett Favre is turning into a door-to-door salesman, or possibly a Jehovah’s Witness. You see him coming up your street, so you run inside and hide in hopes that he thinks you’re not home and leaves you alone. But after awhile, you assume it’s safe to come out of your haven and finish mowing the lawn or whatever you’re doing. And just when you open the door - *WHAM!* - there he is, waiting to annoy you for the next half-hour or so.
I don’t know about you, but while I was watching Sunday’s playoff game between the Vikings and Eagles, one thought kept entering my mind. That thought was “How in the hell could the Chicago Bears lose the division to a team quarterbacked by Tarvaris Jackson?” Of course, I realize that the Bears actually once got to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman, so maybe I had no right to complain. Still, Tarvaris Jackson really, really sucks.
You know how I know he sucks? Well, it wasn’t just because Tarvaris completed only 15 of his 35 passes for 146 yards and a pick-six. No, it was because after only two games this season he was pulled by his head coach Brad Childress in favor of Gus Frerotte. I’m not the only one who shares this opinion either apparently, because after the game Frerotte said that the Vikings would have had a better chance to beat the Eagles had he been playing instead of Jackson.