Monday, June 30, 2008

Six degrees of Tony Armas Jr.

Tony Armas Jr., who is currently pitching well for the Mets' triple-A club, has been involved in a bevy of Mets- and Yankees-related moves. He was traded from the Yankees to the Red Sox in 1997 for Mike Stanley. The Sox then packaged him with future-Yankee Carl Pavano in a deal to Montreal for future-Met Pedro Martinez. The Metropolitans then signed Armas in February.

Armas may soon join the Mets major league rotation, although Oliver Perez looked good enough against the Yankees today to get another start.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

ESPN's "My Wish" hits a tender spot

I admit it, I'm a mark for the ESPN "My Wish" segments. Chris Connelly does these pieces better than anyone, which is funny because he used to be on MTV. Today's package told how the Pittsburgh Steelers made a paralyzed young boy's dream come true.


Baseball is full of impressions

Here's JC Romero doing his best Joba Chamberlain after a strikeout, then Jarrod Saltalamacchia doing an old Bo Jackson bit.


I don't care what anyone says, that's got to hurt. I'm guessing the Romero fist-pump won't get as much play on radio airwaves as Joba's, but I could be wrong.

Lookalikes: Orton, Gallinari and Sizemore

These might not be the best pictures to show case how closely these three guys all resemble each other. It's WWE superstar Randy Orton, the Knicks European addition Danilo Gallinari and Indians CF Grady Sizemore.

I would imagine that Sizemore could play some basketball, and he's probably better than half the Knicks roster. Hell, I'd take Randy Orton over Jerome James. RKO would at least be in shape enough to practice.

OSWPOTD: Dino Bravo

Dino Bravo was born Adolfo Bresciano in 1948 in Quebec, Canada. He is probably most notable for his feuds with Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior as the tag team partner of Earthquake. Bravo billed himself "Canada's Strongest Man," and later, "World's Strongest Man."

Sadly, on March 11th, 1993, Bresciano was found shot to death in his Lival, Quebec home. He was gunned down gangland-style and apparently had been involved in a cocaine smuggling ring. That, though, was never proven.

He was the first and only wrestler to hold the WWF's Canadian Championship.

More info on Dino Bravo:
- Wikipedia page
- Dino's Find A Grave memorial page
-
Dino Bravo v. Ultimate Warrior on YouTube

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cowboys looking to acquire... everyone

ESPN is reporting that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is interested in trading for WR Joe Horn of the Atlanta Falcons. Dallas is currently in the midst of a contract dispute with WR Terry Glenn and wants a bona fide number two receiver to pair with Terrell Owens. I'm not sure, though, if Horn is really even a bona fide number three right now.

Anyway, the 'Boys have already traded for Adam "Don't Call Me Pacman" Jones, even though he is still suspended. Jerry Jones continues his tradition of bringing in high character guys with that move. Dallas has also been linked to Detroit receiver Roy Williams, Arizona's Anquan Boldin and the perpetual "mouth" Chad Johnson.

I guess it's the same in baseball, where anyone who could be traded might end up with the Yankees, because of their history of acquiring big names and their financial power. The same can be said for the Cowboys.

But honestly, Jerry, you were 13-3 last year with just Barber, Romo and TO. You've gotten better. Stop trying to take over the football world.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Mets pound Yankees, then Yankees club Mets

It was a tale of two cities - or two boroughs, really - in New York Friday night. In the first game of the two-stadium doubleheader, the Mets beat the Yanks 15-6 behind nine Carlos Delgado RBI. Then in the nightcap at Shea, the Yankees won 9-0 behind a good pitching performance from Sidney Ponson.

If someone had told you right after the first game that Ponson would beat Pedro Martinez and not allow a run, especially after the deflating defeat, you probably wouldn't have believed them. Such is baseball.

Kei Igawa even made an appearance, allowing two base runners before getting a double play to end it in the ninth. Oy.

(Photo courtesy of The Journal News

OSWPOTD: Kamala, the "Ugandan Giant"

Introducing a new segment here at TONY BLOGS, the "Old-School Wrestler Picture of the Day." This is not only an homage to the glory days of professional wrestling but also a (hopefully) humorous look into the past. Yes, I know wrestling is scripted, but it's pretty much the male alternative to soap operas. But with more violence. Come on, the chair shots to the top of the dome have to hurt. Let's get back to the task at hand.

Kamala was never a main event, championship guy in the WWF but was a memorable character. He's a reminder of how goofy wrestling used to be. And how culturally stereotypical it was as well.

However, the "Ugandan Giant" was an intimidating figure to opponents and fans, especially young ones. When I was a little kid and was misbehaving, my parents would tell me that Kamala was coming to get me. I never stopped to think that Kamala wouldn't possibly be in Fishs Eddy, NY.

More about Kamala:
- Wikipedia biography
- Kamala's official website (You can even buy a spear or his CD in the Merchandise section! What?!)
- Kamala v. Yokozuna on YouTube

Mike or the Mad Dog?

Mike Francesa is doing the Mike & the Mad Dog radio program solo today, and in the first segment addressed rumors of the split between he and Chris Russo, just as Russo did on Monday. Francesa didn't shine a lot of positive light on the situation, saying he really isn't sure what will happen and that it will be "an interesting summer." I said earlier in the week that I didn't think this would really be the end of M&MD, but maybe the time really has come. If that's true, it will be a sad day in sports talk radio history.

Wolves get new look on court and on jerseys

Aside from acquiring Kevin Love and Mike Miller yesterday, the T'Wolves had another announcement that flew under the radar. They unveiled a new logo to the media.I like the change and I think a new look is always a good idea when a franchise is trying to get over the stigma of trading away one of the best players to ever lace them up. They have a lot of fresh, young faces in Minnesota and a fresh logo is a nice way to show that this is going to be a different team. The logo is a little reminiscent of what the Mavericks have, though, does anyone else agree?

NBA Draft hangover

Apparently I spoke a little too soon in my second-round Draft thoughts post, because Joey Dorsey won't be in Portland after all. The Blazers traded him to Houston with Darrel Arthur for Nicholas Batum. Dorsey will be a nice addition to a Houston team that, like Portland, could use an extra big guy.

Here's some more NBA Draft stuff to get your morning started:

- Brook Lopez was wearing a mic last night and ESPN put together a montage of his footage. There's really no setup needed, but the guy doesn't even know who the Nets coach is...and he's about to play there.




- The NBA.com draft results page can be found at this link, as well as FOXSports.com's Draft Central section here. Kevin Duffy of NBADraft.net has his winners and losers. And Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie scores the draft.

The Mayo spreads from Minnesota to Memphis

TONY BLOGS correspondent Gerry Harris told me earlier that he would have liked to see Memphis get OJ Mayo, pairing him with Rudy Gay for an electrifying combo. ESPN is reporting that he might get his wish.

The Timberwolves will send Mayo's draft rights, Marko Jaric, Antoine Walker and Greg Buckner to the Grizzlies for the rights to Kevin Love, as well as Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins.

Memphis still doesn't have a power forward, but maybe they plan on using Walker in that role. This shows that the Grizz have a lot of faith in Marc Gasol, Pau's brother who says he will come across the globe and play in the NBA. Minnesota gets Miller, a solid shooter, along with Love, Collins and Cardinal to help Al Jefferson in the post.

2008 NBA Draft: Second-round thoughts

Not a lot of big-time, shocking picks here but there were a few I thought were notable:

- I was a little surprised that Patrick Ewing Jr. went 43rd overall to the Kings. I think he'll be a good bench player and will be a nice addition, but everyone talked as though he would be a free agent signing and not even be drafted.

- I liked Joey Dorsey winding up in Portland. The Blazers already have Lamar Aldridge and Greg Oden, so adding Dorsey will beef up the frontcourt.

- I thought the Nets had an exceptional day all the way around. They had a nice first-round and made a good trade today, then added Chris Douglas-Roberts in the second round. With Jefferson gone, I would think Vince Carter will play more small forward, with Marcus Williams, Devin Harris and CDR to rotate through at the guard spot.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

2008 NBA Draft: First-round thoughts

Some thoughts on the first round of the NBA Draft:

- You already know my thoughts on Danilo Gallinari. He's definitely a "wait a few years" player and that is something that Knicks fans don't want. I know you can't make every move to appease the fans, but it's not fun to keep hearing, "It's okay if we suck for the next two years because we could, potentially, perhaps, maybe be able to sign LeBron James, Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade," from ownership.

- The Nets added two big guys in Brook Lopez and Ryan Anderson, showing that they want to transform their team to an interior-power group. With today's acquisition of Yi Jianlian and Nenad Krstic, Josh Boone and Bostjan Nachbar already on the roster, New Jersey has a decent foursome of bigs that they can rotate around. Vince Carter is a pretty good inside guy as well.

- Roy Hibbert to the Raptors will help their frontcourt, especially if the Jermaine O'Neal deal goes down, which JO himself says is happening. It will allow Hibbert to develop and get stronger by playing behind O'Neal, if the newly acquired PF/C can stay healthy. Hibbert may have to play a lot more if that's the case. That might not be a good thing.

Bucks draft Alexander anyway

The Milwaukee Bucks drafted Joe Alexander of West Virginia, despite trading Yi Jianlian to the Nets earlier in the day. Many, including myself, had speculated that one of the main reasons the Bucks wanted him was because of his Mandarin ties - perhaps making Yi a little happier in Bucktown. I guess we were wrong. And I guess this also shows that Jianlian just wasn't happy in Milwaukee, something that started to show a year ago when he almost refused to play in the NBA for the Bucks.

Knicks draft a rooster

...that's Danilo Gallinari, whom they selected with their first-round pick (6th overall,) and is nicknamed "The Rooster." Knicks fans obviously weren't too thrilled about this, booing him heavily. I think mostly because Frederick Weis is still fresh in their memory. I personally wasn't really happy with this either, but I'm hoping he will prove me wrong and be the hustling, point-scoring distributer that people say he is. Mike D'Antoni made Leandro Barbosa and Boris Diaw into good NBA players, so maybe he can do the same with Gallinari. The Knicks are so bad, though, that one guy won't be enough to make them better. Hopefully there is some dealing ahead for the 'Bockers tonight.

RJ to Milwaukee; Yi to New Jersey

The first 2008 NBA Draft Day trade seems to be nearing completion, with the Bucks agreeing to trade their first-round pick from last year - Yi Jianlian - and Bobby Simmons to the Nets for Richard Jefferson. This one surprises me a little bit, with all the talk yesterday that the Bucks were ready to draft West Virginia's Joe Alexander because of his ability to speak Mandarin, as well as his athletic talent. Apparently that plan is out the window as well. I can't say I'm shocked that the Nets would trade Jefferson, though, as they are probably hoping to get under the salary cap by 2010 so they can make a run at LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, among others. Pairing Yi with Nenad Krstic will help the Nets a lot in the East and Jianlian will undoubtedly be happy about playing in a major market.

Jermaine O'Neal might not need that passport just yet

Actually I don't think any American citizen needs one to get into Canada, but either way it seems the trade between the Raptors and Pacers hasn't been agreed upon. That is according to Indiana spokesman David Benner. Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo even says that they are still in discussions with "four or five" teams about TJ Ford. I still think this trade will go down tonight, but I guess this opens the door for a few other teams to swoop in and try to acquire either Ford or O'Neal. The Knicks have been rumored to be after Ford, so maybe Zach Randolph could land them Ford. At least we know he's healthy, and he puts up numbers similar to O'Neal. If I were a betting man, though, I would bet on Jermaine being in Toronto when tonight's draft ends.

MLB to debut USA flag caps on July 4th

Major League Baseball has unveiled their newest novelty item, caps that all teams will wear on July 4th and September 11th, with their team logo emblazoned with the American flag. The hats look pretty cool and each one is navy blue. There is some controversy surrounding the headwear, though, with some concerned about the amount of money that will go to charity from the proceeds and the fact that the Indians "Chief Wahoo" logo is plastered with the stars and stripes. At any rate, this is a pretty good marketing idea and gives the fans a little something different to see on those days. The best is the Blue Jays hat with the Canadian flag screened over the logo.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New York's best current mustaches

It's a short list but I'd bet that New York has more prominent sports figures with mustaches than most other cities. Jason Giambi, who is looking more and more like a State Trooper every day. Mike D'Antoni, the newest of the New Yorkers, has the gray, distinguished 'stache. And finally, Keith Hernandez.

Todd Jones is a silly guy

Todd Jones is not only a reliever, he's also an impressionist. During tonight's rain delay between Cincinnati and Detroit, Jones showed us his "Magglio Ordonez."

JP Ricciardi just got "Punk'd"

You probably heard about Blue Jays GM JP Ricciardi's negative comments regarding Adam Dunn on his radio show last week. Ricciardi said yesterday that he had received a call from Dunn and apologized for the comments, burying the hatchet. When the Reds outfielder was asked about the conversation, though, he said he never spoke to Ricciardi. The Jays GM claims it must have been a prank and says he apologized to whoever was on the other end. Kids these days. What ever happened to calling and asking the person if their fridge is running?

Happy Birthday to Gaaaarry

Today is the day of my father's birth, so I'd like to say Happy Birthday to Gaaaarry. He's a loyal reader and fellow Yankees fan, so I'm sure he's also enjoying Joba Chamberlain's performance tonight. He's also in first- and third-place in the two fantasy baseball leagues we're in together, respectively. I'm in next-to-last in both. Apparently fantasy sports wisdom is not hereditary.

Jermaine O'Neal heading out of the country

The Raptors and Pacers sealed the deal on their much rumored swap of Jermaine O'Neal and TJ Ford earlier tonight. Indiana will also get Rasho Nesterovic, Toronto's 1st-round pick (17th overall) and another player to balance out the salaries. The deal won't be official until July 9th, when base-year compensation players like Ford can be traded. If O'Neal can stay healthy - he missed 40 games last year due to injury - the Raptors will have a strong frontline combo in he and Chris Bosh. It looks like this is only the beginning of many moves to come for Indiana, especially now with Jamal Tinsley being pushed aside for Ford.

Mets add former Yankees great

The legendary Andy Phillips, who was recently dropped by the Reds while they were visiting the Yankees, has been signed by the Metropolitans. Hopefully he stayed in New York when Cincinnati released him because he'll be there Friday night in orange and blue when the Mets host the Yanks. All joking aside, Phillips is primarily a first-basemen but can also play second and third, as well as the outfield. But sometimes I questioned why he would even bring a bat with him to the plate when he was in the Bronx.

Bob Papa's got a brand new gig

Neil Best is reporting that New York Giants radio play-by-play man Bob Papa will become the new PBP voice of the NFL Network, replacing Bryant Gumbel and joining Cris Collinsworth. This is a great move for the network and hopefully will encourage people to watch the games with the volume on. Papa has done a lot of other work, most notably broadcasting boxing on HBO, and was also the host of "Giants On-line" on YES.

Terry Bradshaw admits to steroid use

...thirty years ago. He claims he did it just to help recover from injuries, and that everyone was doing it then. That's still cheating, Terry. Either way, I'm tired of hearing these admissions. Is Bradshaw selling a book or something? That's the only thing I can think of that would prompt him to give us this "shocking revelation." I don't think this is going to change the perception of Bradshaw among fans and viewers of Fox's pregame show. Shawne Merriman tested positive and still made the Pro-Bowl, and was quickly back in the good graces of the NFL's PR machine - he was used in commercials less than a year after the test.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Imus, Jemele Hill, Mike & the Mad Dog, Shaq

There's a lot going on today and if you haven't heard yet, here's what everyone is talking about around water coolers everywhere.

- Don Imus is at it again, defending his questionable comments about Pacman Jones. Honestly, I thought Imus shouldn't have gotten a second chance at being on the radio. That's not solely because of the Rutgers women's basketball comments, but also because he's an old, washed up personality that only appeals to ultra-conservative WASPs.

- It's been the week for racially/ethnically insensitive comments by media types, and ESPN's Jemele Hill has apologized for the Hitler reference she dropped, comparing him to people from Detroit who root for the Celtics. Why even use these silly comparisons? I'm all for spicing up your writing by adding colorful metaphors, but why tread on such thin ice? That goes for Imus and Hill. Just leave it all alone.

- Chris Russo addressed rumors of he and Mike Francesa's split on yesterday's "Mike & the Mad Dog" program. Personally, I think WFAN execs will do whatever they can to keep these guys together. They ARE sports talk radio. Without them, there would be no Mike & Mike, no PTI or Around the Horn, none of it. Russo did, though, confirm that he and Francesa have been feuding but that they are still under contract.

- Shaquille O'Neal "dissed" Kobe Bryant in a freestyle rap Sunday night, when he got on stage at an NYC club. Shaq's comment about the situation was, "that's what MC's do." He also said he meant no ill will towards Kobe. To call Shaq an MC is just stupid. I think the only good song he ever had was 1996's "You Can't Stop the Reign," which was only tolerable because it also featured Notorious BIG.

Now if you'll excuse me, Kazaam is coming on.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ponson probably in pinstripes Friday

...that's according to Yankees beat writer and blogger Peter Abraham. That would mean Sidney Ponson would start one of the two-stadium doubleheader games against the Mets. The hefty, Aruban right-hander pitched well for Texas this season (4-1 with a 3.88 ERA) but was released after disrespecting teammates and club personnel. The Yankees, minus Chien-Ming Wang, need all the help they can get. Whether Ponson behaves or not, he's still a better option than Kei Igawa.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Turkish soccer fans are gangsta

I posted last week about Boston's wild celebrations after their sports teams win titles, most recently after the Celtics won the NBA crown Tuesday night. All I can say now is that they have nothing on Turkey's soccer fans. Over 20 people were injured by stray bullets fired in celebration of Turkey's win over Croatia in the Euro Cup quarters. And this didn't just happen in one large, crowded area. 11 of the people were injured in Istanbul, while the remaining people caught stray bullets in seven other cities throughout the country.
So I guess in America, we smash windows with road signs. In Turkey, they wildly fire gunshots into masses of people at random.

George Martin walks across the country

Former New York Giants defensive end George Martin finished his 3,003 mile walk across the country earlier today when he crossed a finish line in San Diego. Martin was walking to raise money for those left needing medical care after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. He raised over $2 million. This is just as notable an accomplishment as any Martin racked up during his 14-year playing career, which included being co-captain of the Super Bowl XXI winning G-Men. For more information, visit the "Journey for 9/11" home page.

Baseball players are fickle

Pat Venditte is the switch-pitcher that the Yankees recently drafted who has been getting a lot of press lately. His glove is also ambidextrous, allowing him to throw from either the left or right side at any point in the inning, without having to call time to get a different glove. Thursday night was the television debut of Venditte, as the Staten Island Yankees and Brooklyn Cyclones battled it out on SNY. When a switch-hitter came to the plate, the cat-and-mouse games began.
The best part about the clip is Steve Berthiaume sarcastically calling Gary Apple's play-by-play of the situation,"brilliant." Berthiaume is a former SNY anchor who pokes fun at the Mets routinely on Baseball Tonight.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hawk Harrelson is a slightly biased announcer

That might be the understatement of the century. The WGN Sports broadcaster is known for his "you can put it on the board...YES!" home run call and being one of baseball's best "homers." Here's his call from today's Aramis Ramirez walk-off home run to beat Hawk's beloved White Sox.
Wow, Ken, what enthusiasm! This guy openly roots for the Sox on the air and sounds like he's about to cry when things aren't going well. I know Michael Kay and Gary Cohen are bad, but this guy is in a class all his own.

Cito Gaston got back to the Majors before Carl Pavano

The Toronto Blue Jays fired John Gibbons today and replaced him with... Cito Gaston? Gaston managed the Jays to their only two World Series titles in 1992 and 1993 and was currently an assistant to the CEO of the team. This move is a little reminiscent of the Redskins bringing back Joe Gibbs. Cito, after all, hasn't managed in the Bigs since 1997. I don't think the manager is the only problem in Toronto so who knows how much this will help, but it will definitely appease the fan base.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Brian Scalabrine: "No questions?"

What happens when a guy who barely even played in the NBA Finals wanders up to the podium in the press room? Another "Scalabriscious" moment from Brian Scalabrine!
He seems a little tipsy there, but that's good stuff either way. Scalabrine knows that he is a fourth-tier player, at best, in the NBA and he realizes that, compared to almost any other job, that's pretty damn good. (Hat tip to Awful Announcing for this one)

Peanut butter, jelly, and the Celtics

All the Celtics stuff last night made me feel a little weird, from the endless montages to Kevin Garnett screaming like a mad man and hitting on Michele Tafoya. In all honesty, though, it's hard to deny that KG and all the Celtics played unselfish basketball and proved that solid defense is the foundation for a championship. Having three guys who can all drop 40 helps too. But you can't discount the heart of KG either, and he's an awesome guy to watch. He has so many facets to his game that he can do well. I digress... Here's one of the clips they showed from last night's blowout about how Kevin Garnett brought the peanut butter and jelly sandwich to the Celtics locker room.
What did Ray Allen say? I've been making PB & J sandwiches for a long time and I've never used a fork to do it. Anyway, this just means it was "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" in Boston.
Okay that was a pretty cheesy way for me to get that video in there and it has nothing to do with sports, but tell me you won't have that tune firmly wedged in your head now?

Manuel's Mets look a lot like Willie's

There's been a lot of rumbling lately that the firing of Willie Randolph may have also had to do with Jose Reyes. He and the coach didn't see eye-to-eye for the last few years, mostly because Randolph wanted Reyes to tone down his celebrations and hustle. How dare he! Wallace Matthews chimes in with more on this situation, saying that Jerry Manuel is taking over the same team of primadonnas that Willie had. Here's the video of Jose's mini-tantrum that Matthews speaks of.
Admittedly that tantrum wasn't as bad as it was made to be in the papers, but you can still see Reyes whining and sulking his way through the dugout, not accepting any of the players high-fives, basically acting like a little leaguer. It makes you think that maybe Wallace is right.

A riot in Boston after a title win? No way!

The Boston Celtics won the NBA Championship last night with a blowout victory in Game 6 over the LA Lakers. In typical Boston fashion, the fans rioted afterwards. Below is video of fans throwing street signs through a store window.
Really classy. I know it's a little narrow-minded to think that the actions of the fans encapsulate the whole city of Boston, so I won't go that far. But seeing Boston fans rioting and injuries happening after every New England championship is kind of annoying. You are the toast of the sports world... be happy with that and behave. In fairness, there were some much more calm displays of emotion by the fans, like in this clip below.

The Power of the 'Stache is clear to the Wall Street Journal

I don't know what surprises me more; that Jason Giambi's mustache is being covered by the Wall Street Journal, or that the WSJ has a fantasy sports department.
In this article, Nando Di Fino discusses Giambi's mustache and tells how even some Red Sox fans and writers are embracing "the entirety" of it.
In an incredibly superstitious game like baseball, I don't think we should expect the Giambino to rid himself of his facial hair any time soon. He's only hitting .268 for the season, but has 17 home runs, 40 RBI, and a .403 on-base percentage.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mets fire Willie at 3 in the morning

The Mets finally fired Willie Randolph early Tuesday morning, ending weeks of speculation. The way they went about it, though, was pretty despicable. They let Willie fly to Anaheim, manage the Mets to a win against the Angels, conduct his post-game press conference, then fired him. How did they announce it? Through an e-mail to the media... at 3:11am. Reports are indicating that the Mets "higher-ups" decided to fire Randolph early in the day, but still let him play the game and answer more questions from the media. Clearly this was a case of a bunch of upper-level management guys not knowing how to ax the manager. Unfortunately for them, it turned out just about as bad as it could.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tiger steals Rocco's thunder

I said to my father, on this Father's day today, that I was amazed with Tiger Woods but thought that Rocco Mediate was getting lost in the shuffle. He's a likable guy who seems to have fun with the game and everyone on tour loves him. He's also 45 and has never won a major. He'll probably get a little more press now that he's squaring off with Woods tomorrow in an 18-hole playoff for the US Open title. The story of the day and what everyone will be talking about was how Tiger roared back (overused phrase alert!) and forced the tiebreaker.
Tiger wasn't all that spectacular for most of the final round and even had thrown his club in disgust two shots before this putt. But he got it done, with the bad knee, and will go one-on-one with Mediate. I would guess that Woods will take this one, but Mediate will have a lot of fans rooting for him tomorrow. When asked about that today, Rocco jokingly said he would probably need their help.

Agent says Griffey not considering Tampa Bay

Today ESPNews was reporting that SI.com was reporting that Ken Griffey Jr. was considering waiving his no-trade clause so he could be dealt to Tampa Bay. Griffey's agent, Brian Goldberg, said later in the day that the rumors were untrue. The talk started when Sports Illustrated reported that Junior had told friends he had a keen eye on the Rays' situation in case the Reds wanted to move him. Goldberg says this was probably "a media member thinking out loud." If the trade were to happen, I think it would be a good move for the Rays. Griffey still hits for power and average, and would be a great DH in that young lineup. It would be a good move for Griffey as well. As shocking as it is to hear, the Rays are a contender and Junior would have a chance to not only take them to the playoffs, but bask in the glory of doing so.

Tiger Woods excels at golf

There's not really anything you can say about Tiger Woods that hasn't already been said to try to describe just how good he is. He decided to sum it all up in three holes of play Saturday at Torrey Pines. Eagles on 13 and 18, both with long putts dropping, and a chip-in for birdie on the 17th.
The putts are both incredible and the reaction to the putt to close out the day and take the outright tournament lead is priceless. It's almost as if to say, "That's right. You expected me to do that." Because we did.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Plaxico still doesn't want to "practico"

Speaking of diva NFL wide receivers, Plaxico Burress is holding out for a new contract. He is at the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants minicamp, but won't be on the field until his contract issues are resolved. Couldn't Plax have spoken out about these things a little earlier in the year? I guess that wouldn't create enough media attention. But at least this way, his teammates were all readily available to comment on the situation. Sean O'Hara did so today, and he doesn't think Plax is handling it the right way. He said, "I guess my feeling is it is a disservice to all the other guys out there working hard, and doing their jobs to focus on the negative. Sometimes we expect that, but there are a lot of guys out there doing good things every day. We have a lot of young guys getting a lot of good reps. That should be the focus."

Ocho Cinco has a habit for creating controversy

Chad Johnson wasn't lying. He showed up for the Cincinnati Bengals' team minicamp Thursday. But he didn't do much. So apparently Johnson realized that he wasn't going to be able to force a trade through the media and decided to come to camp and be a giant distraction instead. Maybe that will work.

The Nets have gas and they'd like to give you some!

The price of gas is ridiculously high and we've already seen car dealerships try to lure in customers by offering gas cards with purchase. The New Jersey Nets are going to see if it will work for an NBA team. The Nets will give 10% of the total ticket price to season ticket buyers through June 26th, in the form of a gas card. There have been a lot of other silly gimmicks to get fans to the game, so here's one that actually might work.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Balkman Cruiser

Just jacked this one from Alan Hahn's Knicks Fix blog. It's the Renaldo Balkman Cruiser. As Hahn says, "8-cylander churnin, big block gas guzzlin, dreds whippin, quadrophonic blaupunkt-pumpin, aw-man-crazy ride to nowhere....in style."
The car itself might not be dazzling and I might have gone with blue as the exterior color, but Balkman seems to be stepping in the direction of Walt "Clyde" Frazier with this...and I like it.

Rebuilding the D-Train

The Tigers are going to do with Dontrelle Willis what the Blue Jays did with Roy Halladay: They're sending him down to single-A to rebuild his delivery. After an atrocious start, it was either that or release him. But after signing a three-year extension for close to $10 million per, Detroit couldn't really do that, so Willis agreed to the demotion. When you think about it, Willis is only 25. Although he has already had a 22-win season, he's still young and a lot of guys don't even make it to the majors at that age yet. It worked for Halladay and Los Tigres are hoping it works for D-Train.

There's a PED problem in baseball?

I know we're in an age where athletes will do anything they can to gain a winning advantage. Steroids, HGH, hyperbaric chambers, etc. But now we can add Viagra to that list. The Daily News, which is getting more and more like a tabloid every day, is reporting that Roger Clemens - among others - used the pill because it helps with endurance and oxygen flow. When an athlete is getting hyped up for a game, we often say he's "getting up" for it. I guess now that's especially true. I'm just a little confused, though. What happens if you need to make a diving catch in the outfield? Or a head-first slide into second? Obviously the Viagra provides sports performance enhancement, but it must be doing its other job at the same time. This is what sports talk has come to. Ay carumba.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Pete Abe bashing the blogosphere?

There's an interesting situation developing in the blogosphere, more specifically the Yankees blogosphere. The good folks at NoMaas were conducting their live draft blog last week during MLB's first year player draft when they received a few negative comments. After some research from the NoMaas team, they discovered it was none other than Peter Abraham, the Yankees beat writer for the Journal News. The guys at NoMaas have the story about it on the main page right now, and obviously it's hard to pick a side when you've only heard the story from one of the parties, but this seems journalistically "bush league" if it's true. Abraham does seem to constantly be monitoring the comments on his own blog and always writes with a bit of an air of superiority. But to be at an average, non-newspaper-backed blog and posting snarky comments is kind of immature. In one of his comments, the alleged Pete Abe says, "No offense, “Lane” but you won’t even use your real first name on the information you provide. Yet you are presented as some sort of expert. What credentials do you have? It’s hard to trust anything on the internet, much less from somebody who’s pretending he’s a character in a cheesy movie." Wow. Abraham is already turning into a grumpy old sportswriter, mad at someone for blogging about a sport they've never played... kind of like Abraham. He says you can't trust what you read on the internet, but writes for the internet. This should get interesting in the coming weeks.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Jeremy Shockey finally speaks; Giants wish he would shut up

Jeremy Shockey came out of hiding yesterday and took a few jabs at the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. He complained that the G-Men "released multiple things" about him to the media and said that unlike the Giants, he would keep quiet. Regarding training camp, the former Gator said that he isn't 100% so if he even goes, he would only be there to get treatment and rehab. Do I smell a holdout coming? Maybe Shockey is trying to force the Giants' hand and get a trade that I would assume he wants. When you think about it, he probably feels a little bit like an outsider, having not played for the whole playoff drive. He knows the fans might not be very kind to him, seeing that they could succeed with an average guy like Kevin Boss. He also sees greener pastures on other teams that feature the tight end as more of a pass catcher. (See: New Orleans Saints) Maybe the Dolphins would take a shot at him. Shockey played at "The U" and maybe Bill Parcells could help turn him into the Mark Bavaro that everyone said he would be.

Big Brown didn't do so well Saturday

Here's the video of yesterday's Belmont Stakes, where Big Brown finished dead last and fell short of the first Triple Crown in 30 years.
I hope this doesn't seem insensitive, but when I saw Kent Desormeaux pull Big Brown back like that I thought we might see another horse get put down on the track. That was me jumping to conclusions way too quickly, but I thought maybe the hoof crack ripped apart. Had that happened, right after the televised end of Eight Belles, the horse racing industry - already under scrutiny - would probably be under congressional review.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Joe Namath has nothing on this guy

A drunk Joe Namath made waves when he told Suzy Kolber that he wanted to kiss her during an ESPN football telecast. The wrestler in this video puts Namath's weak attempt to shame. The clip is of Kathy Cheek, a Greensboro reporter, who gets a surprise visit from whoever this independent-circuit wrestler.
Now that's how you win over an attractive female broadcaster, Broadway Joe! Wrestling Reports Are Hard To Do Live (Awful Announcing)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Barry Zito might not make the All-Star team

Name IP H R ER BB K ERA*
B Zito 4.1 7 6 5 5 1 5.87
That's not a very good outing for Barry Zito. His fastball was topping out at 83 MPH tonight against the Mets. That would be impressive if this were high school baseball. It's been a season and a half of the same stuff. Maybe the guy's done? And no, I'm not just writing this to distract from Joba's not-so-great performance. See.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Joe Dumars keeps it real

Flip Saunders was fired by Joe Dumars today, despite having led the Pistons to 3-straight Eastern Conference Finals. In today's sports realm, that's pretty common stuff. But then Dumars, Detroit's president of basketball operations, did something a little less common. He put all his players on the trading block and then blasted his last three coaches for under-performing. The quote: "There are 25, 26 teams that would love to be where we are, but good has not been good enough," Dumars said. "I appreciate everything that Rick Carlisle, Larry Brown and Flip Saunders have done, but I also know they were handed some great teams. It's not like they had to take bad teams and make them good." That's the kind of stuff a fan would say, not the guy in charge. Sure, everyone's been saying it for years about every good team that gets a new coach and stays at the top, but this is extra ballsy. And do you really think Chauncey Billups, with his year-old contract, is really nervous about being traded? I mean, is this just a message for Rasheed Wallace? I like the straight-forward approach, but Dumars sounds a little like a grumpy old man.