To answer your question, yes they’re real, and they’re spectacular. According to WJBK-2 TV in Detroit, Brandon Inge got these tattoos in San Francisco when the Tigers played at Oakland this past weekend.
Just when you thought that the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry couldn’t get any sillier, here’s Mark Teixeira getting royally riled over something Twittered by Red Sox owner John Henry on Thursday.
It was at the end of Boston’s 4-3 win over New York, stretching the Red Sox record against the Yanks this season to 8-0, that Henry triumphantly sent out the following Tweet: “the MT curse?” The “MT” referenced was not amused. Read more…
Yeah, yeah, I know it’s only June, but the folks in New York can’t be pleased that the Yankees dropped to 0-7 against the Red Sox this year with a 6-5 loss at Fenway last night. To put it in perspective, the last time this happened the Yankees weren’t even the Yankees. It was 1912, and the New York Highlanders (and here I thought there could only be one Highlander) were the ones who couldn’t buy a win against the Sox.
(This is about the only Red Sox spanking Yankee fans wouldn’t mind)
Even more worrisome for New York is the continued debacle that is Chien-Ming Wang. After giving up four runs in 2 2/3 innings, Wang now has a 21.61 ERA in five starts this year — the highest ERA through five starts for a pitcher in the freaking history of baseball. Joe Girardi seems exasperated as to what to do with Wang. They’ve already done the DL thing, and NEW YORK TIMES notes that he was hitting 95 on the gun last night, so it would be hard to argue that he’s hurt again.
Mark Teixeira clearly isn’t the problem for the Yankees, as he went 4-for-5 with his league-leading 19th home run. But that doesn’t matter, since A-Rod is signaling to Tex where the catcher is setting up when he’s in the on-deck circle. What, you think that’s crazy talk that only some loose-cannon “analyst” who also thinks that George Clooney is “over there solving that thing” could come up with? Well, OK, you’d be right. AWFUL ANNOUNCING says Rick Sutcliffe has gotten into some hot water with the Yankee duo after accusing them of the pitch tipping on an ESPN broadcast with absolutely no evidence to back it up.
In any case, Boston has reclaimed a one-game lead in the AL East, which is remarkable considering they’ve gotten nothing out of David Ortiz, Daisuke Matsuzaka has been mostly a mess in his few starts, Josh Beckett just recently got his act together, they still don’t really have a shortstop, and this guy is milling around Fenway:
was pushed off a cliff by USC resigned from his position as head coach of USC yesterday in the wake of the O.J. Mayo scandal, and ESPN’s Andy Katz put together a column that lists all of the questions that are now left to be answered in the wake of this move. Katz theorizes, among other things, that Floyd might be USC’s sacrificial lamb in the NCAA’s investigation against the school’s football and basketball programs.
Floyd’s resignation comes in the wake of most of his team declaring that they wouldn’t be coming back anyway, for various reasons. Marcus Johnson jumped through all of the hoops to earn a waiver for a sixth year of eligibility, then suddenly decided to stay in the NBA draft, where he’s not expected to be picked. Daniel Hackett is even blowing off his senior season to also not get picked by an NBA team. Think they know something we don’t (yet) about where this program is heading, even with Floyd’s departure?
So now what for the Trojans? Would Jamie Dixon, who grew up in So Cal, be up for rebuilding the program? What about Randy Bennett of Saint Mary’s? Rick Pitino? OK, now we’re just getting silly. Which means that Bobby Knight makes all sorts of sense.
Now, here are some things to read while Tom Brady waits to get rescued after flipping his kayak over:
• HALOS HEAVEN has a huge break in the Nick Adenhart case, as toxicology reports show that Courtney Stewart, the 20-year-old driver of the car Adenhart was riding in, had a BAC of .016 at the time of her death. That’s twice the legal limit for an adult, and infinity times the limit for a 20-year-old (actually, California generously allows an underager to blow up to a .01 without consequence). ORANGE COUNTY WEEKLY’s Nick Schou is the one who obtained the toxicology reports, against the wishes of the DA’s office.
While it still doesn’t come close to excusing Andrew Gallo’s choice to drive drunk, and it doesn’t change the fact that Gallo is the one who ran a red light to cause the crash, it certainly is now reasonable for Gallo’s lawyer to argue that Stewart’s impairment could’ve played just as large a role in the accident as his client did. TMZ also reports that Stewart tested positive for an “illegal substance.” Still a horrible tragedy all around, but this definitely calls Adenhart’s judgment into question, as it looks like he chose to get into a car with an underage drunk (and possibly high) driver. What if Stewart had been sober? Would she have been able to see Gallo running the light and stop in time? We’ll never know.
• D.C. SPORTS BOG exposes what is either an unholy union between the Redskins and that LOL cats site, or somebody hacked the ‘Skins website and put a kitty’s picture in place of Jason Campbell (and really, you have the ability to hack into an NFL team’s site and that’s what you do?):
• Elsewhere in D.C., we found out last night exactly how many Nats fans would wait through a rain delay to see if their team could come back from a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the 9th inning — less than 100. That’s how many folks were on hand after a two hour delay to see their team rally to tie the game, only to lose it in the 12th. This despite converting the popular 4-3-6-4-6 double play in that inning.
• Everyone’s been talking about Zack Greinke all year, but Justin Verlander might be the best pitcher in the AL Central. He cruised to a complete-game victory over the White Sox last night to move to 7-0 in his last nine starts.
• Boy, who could’ve ever predicted that Jameer Nelson might not play that well in the Finals after not having played a game since before the All-Star break?
• We know that Joe Montana’s kid has committed to play football at Washington, but current Huskies QB Jake Locker had some big news of his own today — he was drafted by the Angels in the 10th round of the MLB draft. If Locker signs a baseball contract, he’ll still be eligible to play football for UW but will lose his scholarship.
• Brett Favre is apparently in trouble for not showing up to organized team activities for a team he doesn’t even play for. Favre’s non-coach, Brad Childress, says he set no deadline for Favre to accept the team’s non-offer to play for them. For now, the Vikings are now going to feign disinterest in having Favre around but will eventually pass him a note asking him if he’d want to go to training camp with them.
• Funny how everyone is so bent out of shape about Stephen Strasburg asking for $25 million or more to pitch for the Nationals, but nobody bats an eye when fifth-overall pick Mark Sanchez gets $28 million in guaranteed money from the Jets. But think of all the nice stuff Mark can buy for girlfriend Hilary Rhoda:
Heaven knows it’s a battle to fill the gaping maw of a newspaper sports section (or, heck, an Internet site). It’s eternally ravenous, utterly unforgiving, and preternaturally cruel. Lots of writers have to resort to the occasional trick (like comedy bullet points) to keep the beast at bay for another day.
(ARIZONA REPUBLIC writer, considering his next opus)
However, it takes a special effort to knock out 1200 words bemoaning the loss of the baseball superstar. It takes interviews with other old men as they pass through town to hopefully buttress your case. It takes calling up your friends and/or other similarly-minded sports fans in town. It takes quoting Simon and Garfunkel. And, of course, it takes bullet points. (These are also funny, but it’s less intentional this time.)
Remember a couple of weeks ago when the Celtics were going to challenge the ‘96 Bulls for the best record ever? Yeah, you can pretty much put that possibility to rest. The C’s continued their strange descent on Tuesday night, dropping a game to the lowly Bobcats, 114-106 in overtime. Boston has lost five out of seven games following a 27-2 start, and now faces the real possibility of not winding up with the best record in the East at the end of the season. Orlando is 27-8 after beating Washington last night, and the idle Cavs sit at 27-6.
There was a huge bowl game last night too. I mean, all the best games happen after January 1st, right? Oh, it was just the GMAC Bowl. And what better company to be bringing us a bowl game this year? It actually wasn’t a terrible matchup, as both Tulsa and Ball State took undefeated records deep into the season before faltering late. In wet, sloppy conditions in Mobile, the Golden Hurricane rocked the Cardinals 45-13. BSU was once ranked 12th, but will probably not end the season in the rankings. It’s a shame former Cards coach Brady Hoke, who left for San Diego State, couldn’t have stuck around for this one since he needs some experience in losing games by that margin for his new job.
In your New Yankees/Old Yankees news, Mark Teixeira was introduced in a press conference yesterday, Andy Pettite rejected the Yanks’ one-year, $10 million offer, and Jason Giambi is on the cusp of signing a one-year deal with the A’s.
See this guy?:
His name is Corky Simpson, and he might be the only member of the Baseball Writers Association who didn’t vote for Rickey Henderson to be in the Hall of Fame. Henderson, who is among the all-time leaders in a number of categories and considered by many to be one of the 10 greatest players ever, is up for election for the first time this year. HOME RUN DERBY has tracked down the ballots of 31 writers so far, and all but Simpson’s contain Henderson’s name. And it’s not like Simpson was being stingy with his votes. He voted for eight players, including Tommy John, Tim Raines (the poor man’s Henderson), and — get this – Matt Williams! HOME RUN DERBY further analyzes Simpson’s insanity.
Today’s links are brought to you by Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp:
• The whole dating hockey players thing has worked out well for Elisha Cuthbert and Hilary Duff, so Carrie Underwood has apparently jumped on that train as well. REALITY TV MAGAZINE reports that Underwood is dating Ottawa’s Mike Fisher, as she was seen watching the game from a suite with Fisher’s parents this past weekend.
• Somebody dressed as a security guard took a hockey stick from a teenage fan that was given to the kid by Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg during the New Year’s Day game at Wrigley Field. The “guard” said that the stick would be available to be picked up at the customer relations booth. There was no stick at customer relations. The kid is crushed, and nobody knows who the guy is that took the stick nor where the stick went. The CHICAGO TRIBUNE’s Jon Yates has the odd story.
• Reminding us that there’s nothing more pressing going on in the world than the state of postseason college football, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is considering launching an investigation into the BCS and possibly bringing antitrust charges, according to the DESERET NEWS.
• Speaking of the Utes, their fans are currently spamming AP writers such as the RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER’s J.P. Giglio, who says he’s received more than 100 emails urging him to put Utah #1 on his final poll ballot.
• Your strange video of the day comes courtesy of the NHL, where Ottawa’s Jarko Ruutu thought it was a good idea to bite Buffalo’s Andrew Peters on the hand.
The best part? Peters is the one who got a penalty.
• In a time when the NCAA Division I ranks continue to swell, the University of New Orleans is considering eliminating its athletic program altogether, says the NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE. The school, which is a part of the LSU system, is a member of the Sun Belt Conference but doesn’t have a football team.
• A San Francisco couple with too much time on their hands are in the process of suing the 49ers for patting them down before entering Candlestick Park, saying that it’s an invasion of privacy. The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE has the arguments from both sides.
• The Orioles have signed 34-year-old Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara, according to the BALTIMORE SUN. I guess the O’s just feel left out of the Japanese pitcher phenomenon.
• In a stroke of genius roster management that would make Isiah Thomas proud, Tottenham Hotspur sold striker Jermain Defoe to Portsmouth last January for £9.0 million, and now have decided they want him back. The price? £15 million. Well played, Spurs.
• Finally, I have to include this story about the Indians signing Carl Pavano. Is it huge news? No. It’s just an excuse to run a link to an article penned by the incomparably-named Chris Assenheimer of the MEDINA COUNTY GAZETTE.
In this offseason alone, the Yankees have spent $432.5 million on three free agents: pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett and first baseman Mark Teixeira. To get Sabathia and Burnett, New York bid above market prices. For Teixeira they shot appropriately high. yet all those moves pale in comparison to what the Yankees could have bought with the same money in the downtrodden stock market: Freddie Mac, a controlling ownership of Churchill Downs, half of the New York Times or one-third of Foot Locker.
That’s right, Steinbrenner, Steinbrenner and Steinbrenner, Inc., clearly could have spent their money a bit more wisely, according to CNBC Sports Business guru Darren Rovell. Two years ago Freddie Mac was booming, and there’s no reason the organization couldn’t return to their previous glory of share-price highs. Just think: The Yankees could own one of the largest mortgage brokerages in history. They could call it Yankee Homes and go buy up one-third of New England delinquincies, forcing Red Sox fans to sign on to “Yankee Home” deeds. The possibilities are endless.
Instead, New York has two pitchers and a slugging first baseman. For five years (assuming Sabathia doesn’t opt out). Seems like a misallocation of resources, if you ask us.
We’re all supposed to believe that Mark Teixeira eventually chose to sign with the Yankees because they ultimately stepped up and offered the most money. But was that really the deciding factor? According to New York sportswriter and baseball Hall of Fame member Murray Chass, Tex spurned Boston for a very simple reason: he and his wife didn’t want to live there.
Additionally, Tex actually had a better financial offer from Washington, and the Nats were reportedly even willing to go higher but never got the chance. But the thing that will sting in Beantown if the Yanks somehow parlay this signing into a World Series title is the fact that he’d rather reside in New York.
• We shake our pom-poms in salute to those hard-working, fast-moving, good-looking San Diego Charger Girls.
• The Chicago Bears are still alive, thanks to Brian Urlacher using his head.
• A Toronto Blue Jays choreographer is in trouble after admitting to dancing between the sheets with a 15-year-old bird.
• The perfect holiday gift for the righteous God-fearing hunter in your life: A camouflaged bible.
NBC’s Football Night In America sure knows how to bring the hard interviews to Joe Fantasygm’s television. Former Giants running back Tiki Barber sat down with current Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, and little-known Detroit native Jerome Bettis was at the Steelers-Titans game and somehow scored an on-field interview with his former quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.
Honestly, all sports interviews should be conducted by former teammates-turned-journalists. It makes them so much more fun, and they can talk about the good old days when there were two or three years in their careers that intertwined. Keyshawn Johnson can talk to Terrell Owens while sharing a king sized bed, braiding each other’s hair and ask each other, “Seriously, isn’t it better to be like us than it is to be a fan of the game?” “Yeah, screw the fans!” [high five]
Barber was nowhere to be seen (rats!) as the Giants nuzzled up to home field advantage with a 34-28 overtime win over the surprising Panthers. Derrick Ward rumbled for 215 yards on merely 15 carries. A visibly crushed DeAngelo Williams was not consoled by Tim Biakabutuka.
Elsewhere in overtime news, the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl went to an extra frame with Southern Miss winning 30-27 over Troy, with USM’s Britt Barefoot doinking a field goal off the inside of the goalposts for the game-winning three points. Not only is Barefoot an amazing name for a kicker, as is his coach’s, Larry Fedora. Anyone whose surname is also a hat immediately wins trust in my book.
Four teams not named the Boston Celtics have 18 wins or more this season. One team actually named the Celtics has 18 wins or more in a current streak of basketball games. A 124-105 dismantling of the New York Knicks on Sunday evening kept the streak alive. This ties a franchise record, and it’s only the longest win streak since … earlier this year, when the idiosyncratic Houston Rockets won 22 before losing to … Boston. If The C’s can make it 26 in a row, the Rockets will get a chance to return the favor on January 7. The NBA: where looking extremely far down the road happens.
SbB: Where ten other stories I didn’t have much else to say about happens.
- NESW SPORTS finds an oblique mention of Ahmad Rashad making a jump shot for the Philadelphia 76ers, but no mention of it anywhere else on the Internet. Much like the fossils in the ground, God probably put this video on the tubes to test our faith.
- One more thing about that Celtics game. The BOSTON HERALD reports that Glen Davis missed the game after getting in a car crash on his way to the game, and his head broke the windshield. The accident was classified by the Celtics as “minor,” probably because their spokespeople are manly men who jog home from vasectomies.
- Now that the Lions are 0-15, we can now call Bizarro Mercury Morris because they are on his block. The DETROIT NEWS is asking Lions fans — the ones that haven’t strangled themselves yet — put out an online survey asking what emotion best describes the reaction to this season. The results so far?
Put that on a t-shirt. “The Detroit Lions: The Otherest Team In History.”
- We almost went a whole day without any Mark Teixeira rumors. Sheesh! Well, the Angels are pulling away their 8-year, $54 gazillion offer, leaving Tex with the Yankees, Red Sox, Nationals or Orioles as potential new homes. Two of these is not like the others. The MERCURY NEWS is rather sick of this bidding war, concluding he will sign “maybe with Baltimore or Washington, whereupon he will say the perennial loser that lands him was attractive because it offers the best chance to win.”
- The Phoenix Suns need a new point guard and are having open tryouts for the position. As noted by BRIGHT SIDE OF THE SUN, ““The six guys that will be here Monday are a mix of vets and youngsters ranging from the 26 year old Walker Russell to the 83 year old Darrell Armstrong.“
- THE HARDBALL TIMES reminds Cubs fans that, no matter how bad it gets for the team, its fans can always fall back on their pure hatred of Steve Garvey.
- THE 700 LEVEL has video of the Eagles-Redskins final play, perhaps the most climactic finish of the day in the NFL, where Reggie Brown gets stopped cold at the goalline, denying Philly the game-tying touchdown on the final play.
- Oh, Mike Singletary, never change. After the 49ers escaped out of St. Louis with a 17-16 win (after being down 16-3 in the fourth), the interim coach said of his quarterback Shaun Hill after throwing his third interception: “I was going to choke him.” Good lord. If Singletary doesn’t get hired back next year, he’s a shoe-in to become a New York Mets consultant.
- Now for a critical NHL All-Star voting update. Sidney Crosby rallied from 120,000 fake Canadiens votes behind to shatter the all-time NHL votes record and leads Alexei Kovalev by 280,000 votes. Three other Canadiens are still in the lead, but not by much. The anticipation is palpable! I can hardly zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
- The Cowboys might have ate it hard in their home finale but Jerry Jones seems content in keeping Wade Phillips around for another year, despite the game being a seemingly passing of the torch to Jason Garrett. The STAR TELEGRAM does not seem pleased with this. “Talk about your buzz kills. Not only did Coach Wade help ruin a huge party for fans and legends assembled to bid farewell to Texas Stadium on Saturday, he now apparently has another 16 games to bring his special brand of “ish” football to JerryWorld.”
Remember way back in October, when the Indianapolis Colts were 3-4 and their playoff hopes looked completely dead in the water? What a difference a couple of months make. Last night’s 31-24 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars was the team’s eighth straight, clinching a playoff berth and as the INDIANAPOLIS STAR notes, made them the first team ever to win 11 or more games in six straight seasons. And Tony Dungy became the first coach since the merger to make the playoffs in ten straight years.
All impressive, but the star of the night was Peyton Manning. You might not have noticed, but after struggling a bit during the team’s early slump, Peyton’s stepped out of his little brother Eli’s shadow, putting together a string of great performances despite not having a run game to speak of. And last night might have been his best yet: 364 yards and three touchdowns, including completing his first 17 passes in a row.
If he keeps this up, he might get some endorsements in the future. The game was a bit of a letdown for Jaguars fans, but their highlight had to come before the game, when paralyzed lineman Richard Collier took the field in a wheelchair with his teammates. No jokes there, just a Christmas wish that no other NFL players (or athletes) are the victims of needless crime in 2009.
Meanwhile, the NFL wants you to become a narc. Not about drugs (so please stop following Ricky Williams around, thanks), but about unruly fan behavior. USA TODAY reports that NFL teams are giving fans a way to report obnoxious fans to stadium security by sending a text message.
It’s more discreet than having to find a security guard and point someone out, but it does lend itself to “prank texts” of people wanting to kick people out of the stadium. For example, Buffalo fans shouldn’t text message security and demand that Dick Jauron is kicked out of the stadium for “impersonating an NFL head coach.” Note: the Saints, Rams and Titans don’t offer this service, so feel free to act like complete cretins at these games.
- NESW SPORTS has footage of Chris Webber going “Iraqi Shoe Thrower” on Charles Barkley in the name of “Gene Chiznik” (I think he meant Chizik). I haven’t seen Sir Charles move that fast since a Vegas pit boss came towards him to collect his marker:
- You can remove the Boston Red Sox from the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes: owner John Henry tells the BOSTON GLOBE that “after hearing about his other offers, however, it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor.“
- The CHARLOTTE OBSERVER reports that NASCAR and Mauricia Grant have settled her sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit out of court. Apparently with the auto industry going into the tank, NASCAR decided that having a $225 million lawsuit hanging over its shoulder might not be a great idea.
- They’re getting Wrigley Field ready for the Winter Classic NHL game, and apparently they’re also indulging in some egg nog (or Old Style) while they are at it. GOING FIVE HOLE has video of an incident that occurred while unloading one of the Zambonis. Just call it a “Zam-boner.”
- KCBS 2 has the details of a suspected child molester who was working as a youth sports coach in Orange County. Remind me to send my kids to tap lessons instead.
- Not only do they take their high school football seriously in Texas (even if the fields can kill you), but God is right up their too. The HERALD DEMOCRAT reports on how their Christian faith has guided the Celina High football team to eight state title games in 11 years.
- In case you missed it, Tim Tebow questioned Mel Kiper Jr. on why the draft pundit thought he wouldn’t make it as an NFL QB, and the Hair Helmeted One really didn’t have a good answer. COLLEGE FOOTBALL TALK says that comments like that (and anger over not winning the Heisman Trophy this year) might drive Tebow from Florida and into the NFL.
- GOLF DIGEST says that Jack Nicklaus has a holiday message for Tiger Woods: get well soon, but don’t break any more of my records. And get off my lawn!
- THE SPORTING BLOG rolls up with word that Bronson Arroyo’s personal motto is “It ain’t no fun unless the homeys can have some!” from a Snoop Dogg song, meaning sharing the sexual services of young ladies with your friends. Talk about a Hot Corner…
- Finally, an Argentine soccer player tells the AP that he feels terrible that he killed a pigeon when it was struck by a ball he kicked. Go tell it to Dave Winfield.