Yesterday I reported the news that Yankee fans had recently grossed out the wife of Cliff Lee, to which Phillies fans reacted with universal glee. But did Philly really think it’d escape the week scot-free?
A table of women at DelFrisco’s (15th & Chestnut) asked a server to put Ex-Lax in the food of Giants Pat Burrell, Brian Wilson and several of their teammates who sat in the main dining room Friday night, while the Toronto Maple Leafs were also in the house. Shane Victorino turned up later that night in a large party.
We get no follow from Gross about the incident, which, since we’re talking Philadelphia, didn’t even merit the lede in his daily gossip column. Read more…
As part of a piece today attempting to detect Cliff Lee’s intentions as a 2011 free agent, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY conducted a recent interview with Kristen Lee, the wife of the Rangers pitcher.
(Photo Credit: Misty May-Treanor, wife of Texas Ranger Matt Treanor)
As part of the interview, Mrs. Lee accused New York fans of unspeakably vile behavior at Yankee Stadium during the American League Championship Series.
Perhaps the Rangers’ greatest sales pitch simply was having Kristen sit in the visiting family section at Yankee Stadium during the playoffs. She says there were ugly taunts. Obscenities. Cups of beer thrown. Even fans spitting from the section above.
“The fans did not do good things in my heart,” Kristen says.
“When people are staring at you, and saying horrible things, it’s hard not to take it personal.”
Adding to the veracity of Kristen Lee’s claims was a photograph taken by the wife of Texas Ranger Matt Treanor, volleyball star Misty May-Treanor. In the picture, posted to May-Treanor’s Facebook account, she wrote the following caption:
Yep 3 Yankee fans that show respect…..spit anyone nothing like a shower of it. Thanks fellas very classy!
In the context of Lee’s impending free agency, it’s hard not to think that the soft spoken Arkansas native won’t weigh his wife’s discomfort in New York as he makes his decision on what team to sign with in 2011.
Add in the ugly imagery of Yankee fan behavior broadcast nationally during the 2010 playoffs and it isn’t unreasonable to think New York fans may have cost their own American League team a chance to land MLB’s top offseason free agent.
Those who dismiss the influence of player wives when it comes to free agency decisions as it pertains to New York must have a short memory. Read more…
I have always thought it’s weird when people bring up the idea of removing steroid-era numbers from baseball’s official record book, as if history can be fixed simply by ignoring it. Say what you want about Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire, but every single home run they hit counted in a real-life Major League Baseball game.
For those of you scoring at home, that’s twice now that John Calipari-helmed teams have seen Final Four runs erased from the books, although in 1996 UMass was only forced to give up its 4-1 NCAA tournament record, and not its entire season, due to Marcus Camby’s indiscretions with an agent. In this case, Memphis’ whole season is being invalidated and Calipari is about to find his coaching resume to be 38 wins lighter.
(This didn’t happen either.)
I suppose it makes sense on some level. If Rose shouldn’t have been eligible to play, then how could any of the team’s wins be valid? But ultimately, this is just a big fat case of “who cares?” Michigan vacated its two runs to the title game with the Fab Five, but what did that accomplish (other than banning the team from the postseason in 2003 for things that happened a decade earlier)? It’s not like they’re giving up anything tangible. The memory of what happened will always be there. Chris Webber isn’t suddenly off the hook for that timeout thing.
“Honestly, I don’t care,” former Memphis guard Antonio Anderson said. “We know what we did. We didn’t do anything wrong, but it is what it is.”
And he’s got a point. The rest of the team didn’t do anything wrong. Even Calipari, it seems, didn’t do anything wrong here. Derrick Rose did allegedly do something wrong, but it’s unlikely that anything is going to happen to him. He, like Camby and Webber, will go on to make tons of money in the NBA while their former teammates are told that their dream college seasons didn’t even happen.
Of course, thus far, only teams that didn’t win the title have had such sanctions levied against them. It will be interesting to see if the NCAA is willing to strip a team of a title and hand it to the runner-up if something like this happens in the future.
(This…yeah, this happened.)
So, remember how (insert contending team here) was crazy not to give up half their team to get Roy Halladay a couple of weeks ago? Well, there are at least two teams that are feeling pretty good about their decision not to mortgage the farm for a short-sighted chance at success.
• English soccer team Burnley, playing its first Premier League home game ever (and first in the top division in 33 years), did the unthinkable last night, shocking Manchester United 1-0 on an awesome volley by veteran Robbie Blake:
• Here’s more details on the odd case of Caster Semenya, who won the women’s 800 meter run by a ridiculous 2 1/2 seconds at the World Championships. She is undergoing what is reportedly an “extremely complex, difficult” set of tests to determine whether or not she is actually a she. A gynecologist is involved, so I imagine that “extremely complex” is an understatement.
Please forgive the residents of Toronto if they’re not that relieved to learn that Roy Halladay will probably remain a Blue Jay through 2010. They’re in the midst of a rather nasty civic strike up there, and it’s hard to smell the roses when no one has picked up the trash for the past six weeks. And speaking of things that stink, Halladay gave up 11 hits over seven innings as the Jays lost to the Mariners in Seattle on Wednesday, 3-2. Ask not for whom the MLB Trade Deadline tolls. It tolls for thee.
For those keeping score at home (howdy, Steinbrenners!), Halladay has lost three of his past four decisions; kind of hard to fathom since, according to all of the trade rumors that have involved him lately, he’s supposedly The Chosen One. Those rumors have circled him like buzzards, and Halladay can’t wait for all of this to be over.
“It hasn’t been fun,” Halladay said. “There’s been a lot of attention, questions from all angles; not only the media, but friends and acquaintances.”
“I don’t know what the best way is to go about it. They’re doing their due diligence but how you go about that, what’s the best way, I’ve never had to do that.
“You never want that kind of circus. That part will be nice. It’s baseball, something you love to do and I look forward to doing it. But you look forward to a time when there are fewer outside things going on.”
Oh, and add the Dodgers to the list of teams interested in Halladay. Or if they weren’t before they are now, since Lee landed with the Phillies. LA has lost four straight, Albert Pujols doing the honors on Wednesday with a run-scoring single in the 15th to give the Cardinals a 3-2 win. The Giants, 7 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West and first in the Wild Card race, went out and armed themselves with 2006 NL MVP batting champ Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates, after having snagged Ryan Garko from the Indians earlier in the week. The Giants gave up a lot for Sanchez in minor league pitcher Tim Alderson, whom I think is going to be great. But at least there’s some wheeling and dealing occurring to keep me amused. The Pirates, by the way, also traded Jack Wilson to the Mariners, meaning that they traded away their starting double play combination on the same day.
Meanwhile, THE SPORTING NEWS has commissioned one of those pointless, confounding polls that sucker people like me into writing about them, thus oiling the wheels of conversation. This time it’s the 50 Greatest Coaches of All Time, with the winner being — no surprise here — John Wooden. The Wizard of Westwood is the safe choice, as his 10 NCAA men’s titles will likely not be challenged before one school corners the market on human cloning, or the invention of Flubber. The list was voted on by a panel of coaches, the identities of which are uncertain (except for this complete list, that is. I see that Jerry Glanville is on there, which is probably why Bill Walsh is only at No. 26).
I’m not even certain what the criteria is here. Are we just counting Xs and Os, or overall character and influence? Is basketball a harder sport to coach than football or hockey? Why leave out boxing and swimming? What, no Dennis Erickson?
Here’s the top 10:
1. John Wooden, college basketball
2. Vince Lombardi, NFL
3. Bear Bryant, college football
4. Phil Jackson, NBA
5. Don Shula, NFL
6. Red Auerbach, NBA
7. Scotty Bowman, NHL
8. Dean Smith, college basketball
9. Casey Stengel, MLB
10. Knute Rockne, college football
Although I don’t think that Wooden belongs at the top, I think it’s cool that he’s still around to be told he won this. Let’s salute him by lifting our glasses and saying: “What, you think you’re better than me? It’s go time! Mendlebaum! Mendelbaum!”
If you’re looking for something to do tonight, why not travel to Lowell, Mass., and help the Lowell Spinners celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Manny Ramirez trade. It’s Quitters Night at LeLacheur Park as the Red Sox Single-A affiliate reminds everyone that Manny (they say) quit on the season during his last year with the Sox. Activities will include a fan vote of the top five list of quitters, liars and cheaters of all time; the top five Manny moments; and a cardboard cutout of Manny which will be signed by fans and shipped to him.
Also, the Spinners will have a hypnotist to provide assistance for fans that need a little extra help to quit smoking or other addictive habits.
The Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzkilikes Britney Spears, and he doesn’t care who knows it. Also, if he could have one legendary player as a teammate, his first choice would be Derek Jeter; “except then I wouldn’t have a position. So I guess it would be Babe Ruth. He seems like someone it would be fun to hang out with.”
This is a pretty poor excuse for a fight at an Angels’ game, but one guy’s t-shirt does get ripped, and someone gets a beer dousing. The funny part is that the guy in the middle with the “Eight Men Out”-era straw hat, who appears to be playing peacemaker, is the one who gets the brunt of the abuse. “For the love of Christy Mathewson, knock it off you guys!”
I’ve always been able to make a comfortable disconnect between FOX NEWS and FOX SPORTS, but that peace was tested on Wednesday when the latter trotted out their “10 people we’d like to go away” slideshow. Among the usual suspects (Erin Andrews, etc.) we have at No. 8, President Obama? Seriously? Are Rupert Murdoch’s bony fingers pushing the buttons at the sports division now? Sorry, not even going to link to it.
Tampa Bay pitcher Matt Garza admitted that he hit the Yankees’ Mark Teixeira on purpose Wednesday night, the inning after Yankees starter Joba Chamberlainthrew near the head of Evan Longoria. “It’s about time someone made a statement,” Garza said. … “I hate to be that guy, but someone had to take a stand and say, ‘You know, we’re tired of it.’” Time for Bob Watson to get out the whuppin’ stick. But will he?
Ann Killion is leaving after 21 years as a sports reporter and columnist at the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, not a surprising development as Dean Singleton continues to cut costs and gut sports sections in his teetering MediaNews Group stable of Bay Area newspapers. We wish her well.
The Astros’ LaTroy Hawkins accused umpire Mike Everittof wanting the Cubs to win in Chicago’s 5-1 victory over Houston on Wednesday. “Maybe he was having a bad day,” Hawkins said. “I thought he had determined who he wanted to win the game anyway.” … Asked by Houston reporters whether he regretted the remark, Hawkins replied: “Why would I?”
In a post headlined “Disproving Economic Armageddon Via Stubhub,” THE SPORTING BLOG presents tickets to a Michigan football game in Ann Arbor, row 47 in the corner, on sale for $9,000 each. The game is against Delaware State.
Bugs Bunny turned 69 this week. I mention this because of one of the greatest cartoons ever produced — 1946’s “Baseball Bugs,” which I’m sure everyone has seen at least once. This classic also indirectly produced one of the greatest blog posts of all time, “Bugs Bunny, the greatest banned player ever,” by U.S.S. MARINER. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
Police in Shelton, Conn., broke up a canary fighting ring recently, seizing 150 birds and confiscating $8,000 that had been bet on the fights. As you know, there’s nothing lower than canary fighting. But did these sick bastards actually think that they could elude the long arm of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture? Not likely.
The Magic were a Courtney Lee layup and a Derek Fisher miss away from being up 3-1 and having the Lakers on the ropes going into Game 5 last night, but it wasn’t to be. Then, sensing that Orlando was still reeling from giving away Game 4, the Lakers seized the momentum and left absolutely no doubt as to who the better team was in a 99-86 series-clincher at Pyramid Scheme Arena. The Lakers used a 16-0 run in the second quarter to take control, and the Magic never got closer than five after that.
(Ladies and gentlemen, the saddest NBA champion ever.)
Kobe finally got his title without Shaq, though it’s not like he did this thing alone (but averaging 32, 6, and 7 in the Finals is a pretty impressive line). The Lakers were a mediocre team until Memphis GM Chris Wallace decided to give them Pau Gasol, and the continued development of youngsters like Andrew Bynum and Trevor Ariza helped push the team to another level. Add in the rejuvenation of candy addict Lamar Odom and you have all the ingredients for a championship run.
As for the Magic, they certainly have a lot of things to be proud of, but also face a lot of uncertainty going forward. Will they find room for Hedo Turkoglu? What are they going to do with Rafer Alston? Will Dwight Howard grow into his true potential? Will Stan Van Gundy’s insane act wear thin? Was this their only window of opportunity? If Cleveland gets LeBron some help and KG comes back healthy for the Celtics, Orlando might find getting back to the Finals an impossible task in the near future.
The trophy presentation had plenty of unintentional comedy, including Jackson’s goofy “X” hat that his kids made for him,Morrison’s puzzled look as he decided whether or not he should act like he deserved a ring, and a hilariously awkward interview with Jerry Buss‘ kid, whose public speaking skills came off like a cross between your average spelling bee champion and Mark Madsen. David Stern’s backhanded obligatory compliment to the Magic for being a “very worthy Eastern Conference champion” was nice too. All in all, it wasn’t “anything is possible!” but still a very solid postgame ceremony.
Of course, the fine citizens of Los Angeles are always looking for a flimsy excuse to throw a garbage can through a window, and the “celebration” around the city extended well into the wee hours of the morning. As I’m sure you already know, Brooks was on hand outside the Staples Center and noted that the LAPD was clearly overwhelmed in trying to keep up with what was going down on the streets.
(Yeah, this is probably enough officers, right?)
Fortunately, Brooks was able to get some good shots of the good clean fun outside of Staples before things went south. Although CBS 2 says that, all things considered, this year’s riots were not on par with previous years, such as 2000 when the Lakers won the series in L.A. Still, the LAPD’s attempts to keep revelers out of downtown altogether was a massive failure, and the department should be counting its lucky stars that major issues were the exception and not the norm.
(Kobe jersey with no undershirt and jeans = not a good look for a white guy)
(”The looters went that way!”)
The LA TIMES says that some folks went into looting mode, breaking windows at a shoe store and cleaning out a convenience store. Because what better way to celebrate your team’s NBA title than with some stolen beef jerky and a chunk of glass in your thigh?
And what makes all of these people even bigger geniuses is the fact that their city and state are both completely out of money, so it’s entirely reasonable to destroy a bunch of stuff that public funds will have to replace. Look, I’ve been excited, but I can’t imagine ever feeling the urge to carry a metal barrier through the streets and ram it into things indiscriminately, like these folks who were photographed by ABC 7 in L.A.:
I’m sure we could fill page after page with entertaining photos of idiot Laker fans, but other things are happening in the world of sports, so let’s get to the links:
• The SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS says that 17-year-old baseball phenom Bryce Parker is going to skip his last two years of high school, get his GED, and play community college baseball in Las Vegas in preparation for the 2010 MLB Draft. If you think Stephen Strasburg’s going to command a boatload of money, just wait until this kid gets drafted. He’s already bombed multiple 450-foot-plus shots in a home run derby in Tampa.
• Oh, yeah, now you try and trade for Shaq, Cleveland. Way to think of that about four months too late. Perhaps it was the steep asking price of Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic that made them balk the first time around.
• How bad have the Colorado Rockies been this year? After a 7-1 win over Seattle yesterday, they’ve now won 11 games in a row, but still are a game under .500 and 10-1/2 games out of first place. Still, a nice run for the Rocks, who haven’t won this many consecutive games since September of 2007, when they won like 49 out of their last 50 on the way to the World Series. More good news for the Rockies: catcher Yorvit Torrealba’s son was returned after being kidnapped for ransom in Venezuela, and he spoke about the ordeal for the first time yesterday.
• Phil Ivey is a sick human being. He won his second World Series of Poker bracelet in a little over a week with a victory in a half Omaha/half Stud high-low event on Saturday. He was simultaneously playing a different pot-limit Omaha event in another part of the room, and fit in enough hands there to nearly make that final table. And he somehow found more time to win over $100,000 online. While the $400,000+ in prize money he has won for his two bracelets this year is nice, rumor has it that he’s won millions more in bracelet wagers with his friends and high-stakes regulars at the Bellagio. At 33, Ivey already has seven bracelets and needs just four more to equal the record held by Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, and Doyle Brunson.
• You know how on WWE they always have someone get “hurt” and then carted off and dramatically loaded on an ambulance like there’s some sort of actual injury? Well, that happened to Japanese superstar Mitsuharu Misawa on Saturday night. Except it wasn’t fake. He had a heart attack during a match in Hiroshima and died at the age of 46. Misawa got his start as a character called “Tiger Mask” and was the biggest star in Japanese wrestling, reportedly on par with Hulk Hogan in the U.S. The BALTIMORE SUN has a short tribute. Here’s some footage of Misawa going at it a few years back with Samoa Joe:
Give it up for our northern friends, the Calgary Stampeders, for capturing the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup with a 22-14 win over the Montreal Alouettes. The pride of Temple University, Henry Burris, was named the MVP by totaling over 400 yards from the QB position, while Sandro DeAngelis was named the top Canadian after kicking five field goals. Yes, Canadians get their own award, and yes, it’s probably also in French.
(A typical Calgarian)
So while the Canadian championship may be but a footnote in American sports blurbs, briefs, whirlwinds, and newspaper agate pages, the NFL teams could certainly learn from the Stamps to help further their franchises.
• Tennessee Titans — So you lost your first game? You got whacked by the New York Jets at home 34-13? No worries. The Stamps lost 37-16 at home to the Edmonton Eskimos back on September 1.
• Arizona Cardinals — Don’t worry about the loss to the 37-29 loss to the New York Giants. Like the Stampeders’ Burris, Kurt Warner also played in the NFL Europe for a year. And if that’s not enough solace, then I don’t know what to tell you.
• Bears, Broncos, Dolphins, Bills, Broncos, and whoever wins the Packers/Saints game tonight: You all have five losses. Aw, poor babies. Calgary’s regular season record? 13-5. (Oh, yeah, and the Giants lost six last year. But that doesn’t apply here.)
• Browns, Jaguars, Chargers, Eagles, and whoever loses the Packers/Saints game tonight — you all had high hopes this year, but it’s just not looking like it’ll happen this year. No sweat. Last year the Stampeders went 7-10-1.
• Detroit Lions — You guys, much like many of the players on the Stampeders, still have your health.
Know how your co-worker got an iPhone, so everyone else got one? In a trend of reverse cutting edge technology, college teams are now embracing old solutions to new problems having seen what’s going on in Penn State. Rather than get a trendy receivers coach to lead a big-time program, Kansas State will announce this morning that Bill Snyder, 69 years young, will return as the Wildcats’ head coach. Joe Paterno will now have someone to discuss what it was like to listen to Harry Truman’s speech.
Time once again for a lesson on non-tie NFL rules: A team is allowed to attempt a field goal without an oncoming rush if the team just made a fair catch off a punt. The Arizona Cardinals knew this, and with five ticks left in the first half of their game against the Giants in such a position, Neil Rackers attempted a 68-yard field goal, which would’ve been the longest kick in NFL history by five yards. Let’s take a look-see:
Yum. Can you fit in ten more Thanksgiving metaphors this week? How about links instead?
It’s another NFL Network Thanksgiving miracle, thanks to Sen. Arlen Specter, apparently chairman on the Subcommittee to Fix Sports Things. The Philadelphia Eagles-Arizona Cardinals game will be shown on local Pennsylvania TV stations, although perhaps after Sunday’s loss, this is more of a curse than a blessing.
Old hat: Japanese veteran baseball player. New fedora: Japanese phenom baseball player. Old hat again: the Red Sox sign him, NPB TRACKER reports (or translates SPONICHI ANNEX’s report, which is the same thing). Jinichi Tazawa will get $3 million over 3 years, but will have to develop his Japanese-taught mannerisms in an American-style pitching system. Baseball purists ought to keep an eye on this project.
More from the Fins/Pats game: Matt Light and Channing Crowder could be BFFs for the rest of us know, but at the worst possible time they got in kind of a fight. BALLHYPE has video proof.
Contrary to previous optimism in which the Detroit Lions could win a game this year: the DETROIT NEWS’ John Niyo is reporting the Detroit Lions probably won’t win a game this year.
Cliff Lee isn’t just the Cy Young winner, he also won “Cleveland’s Man Of The Year” as voted on by the local chapter of the BBWAA. Also some guy named Luis Isaac, who was with the Indians for over 40 years, won an award for getting fired and not being a bitch about it. The award, unfortunately, is not a new job.
The TORONTO STAR’s Rosie DiMannoisn’t at all fooled at the Maple Leafs honoring Wendel Clark in a ceremony last night, since the Leafs haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 41 years because Clark isn’t seven people.
And finally, it’s time for your Iranian sports news update. The Grizzlies’ Hamed Haddadi will be sent down to the Dakota Wizards of the NBA D-League. Hey, it beats getting flipped off by your GM. Almost.
(Note: I left Florida out because if Alabama stays undefeated, they will have to beat the Gators in the SEC Championship, putting them at two losses.)
As the calendar turns over to October (or, as we like to call it around here, “Ricktober!”) sports start to get a little … intense. So much so, that we thought it might be wise to offer you a bit of a recap on what you may have missed today. But before we do, let’s examine the following photo of A’s pitcher Brad Ziegler:
Ziegler, the victim of the best rookie hazing we’ve seen in awhile, is sporting a combination of what appears to be a Little Bo Peep hat, a Dorothy Gale-style blue dress, the red pigtails of the Wendy’s girl, and the knee-high red-striped socks that Waldo presumably wears under his jeans. Luckily for Ziegler, all of the girlishness is offset by the manly gold chain he wears around his neck. That said, there can be no more embarrassing part of the ensemble than the garish Walmart bag.