Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Manny still being Manny

Manny Ramirez took a shot at the Red Sox again today, trying to force his way out of Boston before tomorrow's trading deadline. He told ESPN Deportes that, "the Red Sox don't deserve a player like me," adding that Boston management has mistreated other great players:
"The Red Sox did the same with guys like Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez, and now they do the same with me. Their goal is to paint me as the bad guy. I love Boston fans, but the Red Sox don't deserve me. I'm not talking about money. Mental peace has no price and I don't have peace here." (Source)
The more you hear Manny rip the Sawx, the more you believe that he could actually be traded. ESPN reported earlier today that the Marlins were discussing a swap with Boston for the dreadlocked left fielder. That would be a great move for the Fish, who are still alive in the NL East.

Yanks get Pudge from Detroit for Farnsworth

One colleague/Yankee-hater told me today, "Anyone who wants to dump salary looks to the Yankees." But before you jump on that bandwagon, realize that both Kyle Farnsworth and Ivan Rodriguez are in the last year of their respective contracts. And when you look at it, it's a trade that improves both teams, with the Yanks probably getting a slight upper-hand.

Pudge is hitting .295 and has a cannon for an arm, while Farnsworth has actually been pretty good for the Yankees this year. New York upgrades both offensively and defensively, while the Tigers get a late-inning reliever and also solve their conundrum of trying to platoon Pudge with Brandon Inge behind the plate.

I-Rod will now reunite with A-Rod, having played together with Texas, and Farnsworth returns to Detroit, where he is most famous for tackling Jeremy Affeldt.

The Yankees, meanwhile, seem to be trying to compile all of the HGH/steroid names they can get, adding Pudge to Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi.

Hulk Hogan, Kimbo Slice to star in kids comedy

So I know kids movies are supposed to be cheesy and silly. And I know that you can't get dynamite star-power unless it's a Pixar film. But Hulk Hogan and Kimbo Slice co-starring in a kids comedy?

My money says this one goes straight to DVD. It's produced by Stero Vision Entertainment (who?) and here's the press release form the company:
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Stereo Vision Entertainment, Inc. (OTCBB: SVSN - News), a film production company focused exclusively on developing high quality, low cost, polarized 3D feature films, announced today that the undefeated Mixed Martial Arts phenomenon, Kimbo Slice, will be co-starring with Hulk Hogan in Stereo Vision's hilarious kids' comedy "Kung Fu U" in 3D.
"Kung Fu U" in 3D is a Disney-type comedy about of a bunch of nerds and misfits that are sent away by their wealthy parents to the Brentwood Academy (a.k.a. Kung Fu U) to learn the finer arts of self-defense. It's a heart-warming romp where the rather weathered warriors come to the rescue for the kids, and in turn, the kids rescue the warriors seemingly lost souls from what had been their eternal apathy. It's a feel-good story that reminds us that we're all the same, no matter what our age, or where we came from, and that we should all stick together.
Stereo Vision's Chairman, "Baywatch" creator Doug Schwartz, stated, "We're very happy to have Kimbo Slice co-starring in 'Kung Fu U.' He has an enormous media presence, and he'll fit right in with our star Hulk Hogan, and the other cast members in our made for kids 3D movie. We hope to have 'Kung Fu U' in 3D in theatres by the fall of '09."(Source)
The only problem I have with this, other than it probably being horrible, is that Hogan is currently in the midst of an ugly, public dispute with his wife and has shown his true colors in the "Jailhouse Tapes" that feature he and his son Nick. The tapes include dialogue between the two saying that the injured friend of Nick Hogan, hurt in Nick's racing incident, deserved what happened because of Karma.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ron Artest to join T-Mac and Yao in Houston

The Houston Rockets might be a name to mention when "Western Conference Powers" comes up tomorrow around the water cooler. The Rockets will reportedly acquire Ron Artest from the Kings for Bobby Jackson, a 2009 first-round pick and another player, likely to be Donte Greene.

Adding Artest to a team that already features Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming undoubtedly will compete for a Western Conference title, if they can stay healthy. Last year, without Yao Ming for most of the stretch, Houston won 22-straight games. Imagine what they can do with Ron Artest and a healthy Yao Ming.

LeBron James has a lot of money

Or at least enough money to buy all his US Olympic teammates $350 Dr. Dre high-definition headphones. Bron Bron is sporting a pair in the above photo, which comes by way of Ball Don't Lie.

Okay, so it only cost him like $5,000 and LeBron is loaded, but it's still a nice gesture.

Krstic sees greener grass, more cash on the other side

Nenad Krstic became the sixth player this offseason to leave the NBA for a more lucrative contract overseas. It's a good thing the Nets got so many "bigs" in the June draft and traded for Yi, now that they've lost Krstic and Bostjan Nachbar, both to foreign teams.

A lot of agents have been using the European card as leverage in negotiations, but the reality is that guys like Krstic, Nachbar and Carlos Delfino can make more money and be stars across the pond. In the US, they are mid-level NBA players who aren't really a big deal.

Happy Birthday to Mamadukes

Today is my mother, Robin's, birthday so I'd like to give a "Happy Birthday" shoutout to her, as well as this Clip Art image of a birthday cake, since I won't see her. She, like most women, is turning 29 again and I still haven't figured out how that's possible.

She, believe it or not, is a loyal reader of the blog and also is a huge Bucky Dent and Paul O'Neill fan. So if either of those two guys happen to stumble upon this post, autographed memorobilia would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Balkman traded to Nugs, might sell "Balkman Cruiser"

The Knicks traded Renaldo Balkman to the Denver Nuggets today for Taurean Green and Bobby Jones, who will both likely be waived by New York, as well as a second-round draft pick in 2010.

I like the move for the Knicks, mostly because it gets them back to 15 on the active roster if they drop Green and Jones. I think, though, that Green could fit in the D'Antoni system, being a pass-first point guard. There really isn't room for him, though, and his contract is easy to part with because it doesn't affect the cap.

Balkman was a beloved Knick, mostly because of his high-energy style, but wasn't as good as most NY fans would make it seem. He can't really score and that is something Mike D'Antoni covets.

The biggest question now, though, is 'What will Renaldo do with the Balkman Cruiser?'

ESPN releases X Games XIV schedule

I'm usually not a big fan of posting TV schedules, but I'm easily peer pressured and all the other cool blogs are doing it. ESPN today released its X Games XIV schedule so here it is:
20 hours of live programming on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will be offered July 31-August 3. X Games 14 coverage will also be delivered on ESPN International, EXPN.com, ESPN Classic, ESPN360.com, SportsCenter and ESPN2's X Center.

Thursday, July 31
8 p.m.-9 p.m. — ESPN — X Center, BMX Street Final
9 p.m.-11 p.m. — ESPN — Skateboard Big Air Final, Moto X Best Trick Final
Midnight-1 a.m. — ESPN 2 — X Center, Moto X Best Whip

Friday, August 1
8 p.m.-9 p.m. — ESPN — X Center, Skateboard Street Final
9 p.m.-11 p.m. — ESPN — BMX Big Air Final, Moto X Step Up Final
Midnight-1 a.m. — ESPN 2 — X Center

Saturday, August 2
3 p.m.-6 p.m. — ABC — Moto X Speed & Style, BMX Superpark Final, Men's Moto X Racing Final, Women's Moto X Racing Final.
7 p.m.-9 p.m. — ESPN 2 — SuperMoto Final, BMX Vert Final, Skate Vert Final
9 p.m-11 p.m. — ESPN — Skate Vert Final, Moto X Freestyle Final

Sunday, August 3
3 p.m.-6 p.m. — ABC — Rally Car Racing Final, Skateboard Superpark Final
9 p.m.-10 p.m. — ESPN 2 — X Center (Source)
For more information, visit EXPN.com

Jorge Posada sees the light

The Yankees catcher will finally have surgery on his throwing shoulder, after initially hoping to return to the team as a DH. The original plan had Posada putting off surgery, rehabbing and coming back in a lesser role. That plan would probably mean Posada would have had the surgery in the offseason, making it unlikely that he would be ready for the start of the 2009 campaign.

Even with the surgery it's not a guarantee that he will be ready for the opener next year, but it's a smarter move. The timetable for recovery is six months, which would have him ready right around February when pitchers and catchers report to camp, if all goes well.

The Yankees don't need another DH/1B (See: Jason Giambi, Richie Sexson, Wilson Betemit) so there really isn't room for Posada this year, especially with the recent acquisition of Xavier Nady. Smarter heads have prevailed, also protecting the Yankees four-year investment in the slugger.

Why A-Rod is not hooking up with Madonna

This photo is my only evidence to support the above claim, but come on. Just look at her. She looks like a jacked-up Amy Winehouse with better hair.

Alex Rodriguez is a superstar for the New York Yankees, he's worth almost a half-billion dollars, and he's not a bad looking guy. So why - WHY?! - would he be hooking up with Madonna? The guy could get any woman he wants, including Canadian strippers and muscular females, so why settle for Madonna, who will be 50 in August?

Photo courtesy Gawker.com

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Manny joins Favre in new TV drama

No, you're not watching ESPN Classic. It's just Manny Ramirez' annual "Manny Being Manny," remove himself from the lineup, pout about his contract, ask for a trade week. Every year Manny does this and every year he stays on the team and remains beloved by the Red Sox faithful.

Ramirez doesn't want the team to pick up his option this offseason so he can become a free agent. He's on strike again, this time with a "knee injury," and told ESPN Radio today that he would accept a trade if the Sox made one, but that he doesn't think they'll do it because they're not stupid. Manny added that the Sox were tired of him, and he of them. Reports say Boston wants prospects in return for a rent-a-player.

Will the Phillies make a move? Imagine Utley, Ramirez, Howard hitting 2,3,4. It seems like it would be too hard to get done, especially before Thursday's trading deadline. Either way, can the media please call out Manny Ramirez on this?

What's that? Peter Gammons? I can't believe it, but the Boston homer extraordinaire just semi-blasted Ramirez for thinking about money and himself while his teammates are focusing on making the playoffs.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Yanks add Nady, Marte

According to SI.com, the Yankees have acquired OF Xavier Nady and RP Damaso Marte from the Pirates for a package that includes minor leaguers P Ross Ohlendorf and OF Jose Tabata.

Losing Tabata might turn out costly but the Yanks have soured on him as of late. Adding Nady, who is having a great year in Pittsburgh, and Marte, a good lefty out of the 'pen, is a great move for New York.

And it presumably adds value to Nady in my fantasy baseball leagues, which is nice.

The OKC answer is blowin' in the wind?

The NBA today filed for rights to six nicknames for the Oklahoma City franchise. The names are Barons, Energy, Bisons, Marshalls, Thunder and Wind.

Wind?! Wind is such a horrible team nickname that it makes Energy seem cool. Obviously the team nickname doesn't have any influence on how good the team is, but it would be hard to seem intimidating with either of those two choices. And please don't tell me that they want to use the name Energy and have green uniforms, because that whole "Going Green" movement is really starting to get more commercial than meaningful.

The "Favre to Jersey" movement is picking up steam

Remember back on July 9th when correspondent/CortSide cohort Stu Millstein told me to "mark it down" that Brett Favre would be on the Jets when the season started? The Jets liked the idea so much that they have apparently received permission to talk to the future Hall of Famer.

Who knows if it will actually happen. There are a lot of things getting in the way, like the Packers desire to get back a first-round draft pick for Favre, for one. If the Jets had a few other pieces in place, it might be worth giving up a number one to take a run at the Super Bowl. But as it stands, I'd recommend that the Jets look to the future.

Either way this Favre drama is getting old, probably because SoapNet ESPN is beating it to death. Let's hope it's resolved soon so they can figure out what jersey to put on Brett for the Madden cover.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mark Grace to get mohawk if D'Backs win 10-straight

Grace is currently a color commentator for Diamondbacks broadcasts on FSN Arizona. During tonight's Arizona v. Chicago telecast, Grace said he would cut his hair into a mohawk to match some of the D'Backs faithful if the team wins 10 straight games.

He even went one further, saying he would count the two previous games they've already won against the Cubs, so he only has eight more to go. Arizona is trailing 1-0 in the second inning as I write this.

This is reminiscent of Lou Piniella dying his hair after a Tampa Bay Devil Rays win streak a few seasons ago. If the D'Backs do make it to 10 straight wins they'll probably be in first place in the weak NL West. And they'll get a little national media attention for Grace's mohawk.

Update: The D'Backs really know how to spoil a party. They lost 10-6 last night to the Cubbies, so no mohawk for Gracie.

Stu Speaks!: Johan not quite filling the "savior" role

Correspondent Stuart Millstein is back, weighing in on Johan Santana's performance in last night's Mets bullpen collapse.

When I visited TONY BLOGS last week, I was happy to see that the third member of the CortSide team, Josh Garcia, had written a post of his own. For the first time in over a year, the CortSide guys were reunited and I must say it felt good. It got me thinking how much people would be willing to pay to hear a CortSide reunion. While it may not reach the $137 million that the Mets gave to Johan Santana this past offseason, I know that none of us will leave the show early like how Johan left the game early last night against the Phillies.

The Mets acquired Santana to be their ace and to be the player who could let Mets fans forget about last year’s collapse. Without question, over the past five years, Santana has been one of the three best pitchers in baseball and without question a true workhorse. While his ERA (3.05) is good and he had a stretch where he was getting no run support, his record is a mediocre 8-7. He’s given up 17 home runs, and also far too often has left early when I believe he still had something left in the tank (i.e. last night against the Phillies, his previous start against the Phillies, etc.) As a whole, I have been disappointed in Johan’s play this season.

Granted, you don’t want to overwork your ace when he is signed for the next six years. However, there does come a point when you have to go that extra inning. With both teams tied atop the NL East coming into last night’s game, Santana had a perfect opportunity to stamp himself a Met. While he did pitch well for 8 innings, it was him not coming out for the 9th that he will be remembered for. He only had 105 pitches with 75 of those being strikes. In a game against your division foe, who just happened to be the team that overtook you last season when you collapsed, Johan has to at least try to finish the job. If he comes out and gives up a hit or walks a batter after a long at bat, then you pull him. But only then. Especially when your All-Star closer (I say that loosely) is hurting and was not available for last nights game.

Last nights loss hurts in not just that it was to the Phillies but that your ace goes 8 strong innings and the bullpen blows it. This is exactly what did the Mets in last year and they still haven’t learned. With about 60 games left in the season, this race between the Phillies and Mets is going to be tight and every game means something. I just hope the result is different this year than last.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Steve Nash + Baron Davis = Bicycle BFFs

From Barstool Sports comes this reader submitted photo of Steve Nash and Baron Davis.
"Baron Davis and Steve Nash, on the other hand, are busy renting a tandem bicycle and cruising around Santa Monica pier together while dressed up like extras from the Cosby Show and Weekend at Bernies.  I don't even know where to begin with this picture I just took." (Source)
I don't know what is up with Nash's haircut but it adds to the humor of this photo, without a doubt. The yellow shades are a nice touch. You can see a video camera in Davis' hand, so I'm guessing this is something for a project of his. Baron, as ESPN has told you over and over, has a hand in film making that perhaps influenced his decision to sign with LA.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Shockey is headed to N'awlins

The Giants today finally traded Jeremy Shockey to the Saints for a pair of draft picks.

Sure, Shockey is a great player and is one of the best TE's in the league. But he tends to drop a lot of balls and shoots his mouth off. And he doesn't like to work in the offseason program with Eli Manning, something Plaxico Burress and others do. And he's coming off an injury. And he has a stupid eagle/flag tattoo on his arm. (Okay, so that has nothing to do with anything but it just wreaks of pseudo-patriotic goofiness.)

This trade has nothing to do with Shockey's talent, it's all about his attitude. He clearly wanted out and the Giants don't want any team chemistry issues coming off of their Super Bowl victory. The two picks, a second- and fifth-rounder next year, are decent enough compensation and is a better package than the Dolphins got for Jason Taylor. The reason for that, of course, is because Taylor may retire after this season. Those picks are pretty much inconsequential anyway.

I would have liked the trade even better if it had gone down yesterday in a deal that reportedly was discussed. That trade had the G-Men landing Taylor, with Shockey still going to the Saints and the Dolphins getting all the draft picks.

As for the Saints, they throw Shockey into the mix with Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and Marques Colston for what should be a really strong offense. Drew Brees thrived in San Diego tight end Antonio Gates, who Shockey is in the same category as talentwise, so you would assume this will make him better as well.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Buzz & Will look so cute together

Aw, isn't this cute? It's Will Leitch, who stands for everything blogging is about, and Buzz Bissinger, who stands against everything blogging is about, chatting it up before appearing together in the audience of "Costas NOW." The photo comes courtesy of Big League Stew.

Brian Powell at Awful Announcing has more of the scoop on their "reunion."

Minnesota radio yapper on hot seat after WNBA comments

Talk radio personalities often feel they have to exaggerate their statements to get their point across. Sometimes they go a little too far, to the point where the statement doesn't have any validity and just makes them look like stupid, ignorant a-holes.

That's exactly what happened Thursday on Minnesota's KTLK, when sports talk host Chris Baker was asking callers to suggest things that never lived up to the hype. When a caller brought up the WNBA, Baker said the league was "a place for lesbians to make out when they score."

Here's video from KSTP-5 News, a local Minnesota station, about the situation:


It's pretty shocking that in 2008 this stuff still happens. Does anyone have any common sense? At what point when Baker was thinking that in his head did he think it was a good idea to say?

Obviously the statement is so far off base that it shouldn't be taken seriously, but this guy doesn't deserve to be on the radio.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The A's excel at trading pitchers

When the A's traded Rich Harden to the Cubs last week and said that it didn't mean they were going to start trading a bunch of guys, I thought they were lying. Now I'm pretty sure that they're lying after today sending Joe Blanton to the Phillies for three prospects.

The A's are six games behind Los Angeles in the AL West and are 4.5 out of the wild card. It makes you scratch your head a little bit after they've traded three starting pitchers in the last few weeks. It's a little early to give up on the season, but this is Oakland's shtick. They give up guys who are good, but aren't quite living up to their billing, and build on that for the future with solid prospects.

The Phils add to a rotation that needs help, especially with a surging Mets squad on their heels. Blanton has struggled this season but posted good numbers last year, and Philly fans are hoping he can return to that form.

Billy Packer jumps from CBS to Wal-Mart...with help from Photoshop

I usually try not to do this type of thing, but when I saw this on Tirico Suave this morning, I had to post it here. It's a very nicely Photoshopped image of Billy Packer's new gig.

Packer says he's completely done with broadcasting, but I'm sure if he really were to work at Wal-Mart he would color-commentate the goings on. "And the stock boy loads the shelves nicely, but he really could have done it without that step-ladder. Back in my day, we didn't have step-ladders!"

Resilient Billy Packer Wastes No Time Finding Work (Tirico Suave)

Josh's Corner: Josh Hamilton's Hollywood story

Josh Garcia, the third member of the "CortSide" radio team, chimes in today with his view of Josh Hamilton's Home Run Derby performance in his first guest post. Josh currently lives and works in Los Angeles:

Josh Hamilton, a former first overall pick in 1999, wakes up in his Manhattan hotel. He’s in NYC for the last All-Star game in Yankee Stadium. He turns on the TV and guess what’s on? It’s "The Natural." Perfect timing; the scene where Robert Redford hits the home run and shatters the lights is about to come on when he hears knocks at the door. It’s his drug tester, no big deal for Josh, who is used to them coming by 3 times a week every week. He is no stranger to the temptations of the road, and the experience that has come with it. “Hold up, I gotta watch this.”

In 1999 after being signed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (imagine if they had kept him, where they would be this year!) He was 18 with a $4 million signing bonus. Think its safe to say first time away from home, he was young and rich and probably going to make some poor decisions. I know I would. Heck, give me $1,000 at that age and I would have wound up in Canada proclaiming that I discovered it and all those who dwell in those parts shall be my subjects.

He fell in with the wrong crowd, tried every kind of drug and he got addicted to some bad ones. This is a kid who has all the ability in the world. “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent,” Robert DeNiro’s character would lecture his son in "A Bronx’s Tale." All the talent, and all the potential, gone because of some drugs. He was kicked out of baseball.

Stories about him gunning kids out from the warning track and hitting 450-foot bombs were a thing of legend. He was all but forgotten in the world of baseball until a couple years ago he was allowed to play in an independent league and sure enough he rocked that and ended up getting signed by the Chicago Cubs (imagine where they would be if they had him now!!) He was then traded to Cincinnati, and eventually Texas where he would get it all together and, oh yeah, have 25 more RBIs than anybody in the AL by the break. Not to forget, he was out of baseball for years and it looks like he didn't miss a step.
So this is some sort of Hollywood story or made up story. I was tentative until Monday night. A reporter asked living legend Derek Jeter who was going to win the home run derby. Knowing Jeter is savvy with the media and knowing how diplomatic he is, I figured a generic, “I hope everyone does well,” was going to come out. After some hard thinking, Jeter says, “Josh Hamilton.” I was intrigued, and sat down to watch one of the greatest All-Star moments there will ever be. So whoever planned the order of the derby knew some things that we did not. They had Josh Hamilton go last and gave plenty of time for everyone to talk about how great a story he was.

So Josh brings his 71 year old Legion coach, and you are thinking, 'Man I hope this guy doesn’t get hurt/die/fall over in front of 55,000 people.' His second home run almost gets hit out of Yankee Stadium. Yes, OUT of Yankee Stadium, the stuff legends like another Josh are made of. It’s been said that Josh Gibson, Negro league equivalent of Babe Ruth once hit a home run out of old Yankee Stadium. No one knows because YouTube wasn’t around back then.

So back to Monday night's home run derby at the best ballpark in the history of ballparks. Josh Hamilton is hitting home run after home run and these are not "little tiny, barely making it over the wall" home runs. These are "people better watch out in left field because someone is attacking them with baseballs" home runs. There were 500-foot shots, upper deck bombs, real impressive like “woooooow” home runs. Josh was trying to hit it out of the stadium; he might have been trying to hit the 4, who knows? 28 home runs later the appreciative New York fans gave him a well-deserved “Ham-il-ton, Ham-il-ton” It was a real special moment in the realm of Yankee lore. For a non-Yankee to get a response like that should be viewed as a very special accomplishment.

One of the great trivia questions in 20 years will be who won the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium in 2008, and the answer should be, "Who cares? Did you see Josh Hamilton?"

Aside from that everything was pretty normal. The All-Star Game went to extras, and big surprise no one wants to leave Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox were booed and Billy Wagner blew a save. The AL won, all was right with baseball. But when remembering this All Star break in 2008 from the historic Bronx and even more historic Yankee Stadium, people will be talking about Josh Hamilton's Hollywood ending and I’m hoping for a sequel, or at least special features on the DVD.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gilbert Arenas does not like Milwaukee

Gilbert Arenas came out of blogging retirement on Monday and finally updated his "Agent Zero Blog" on NBA.com. In a lengthy post, Arenas comments on his return to the Wizards as well as the signings and trades that we've seen so far.

Gilbert won't be making friends in Milwaukee any time soon with these comments about the Richard Jefferson trade:
"Richard Jefferson going to Milwaukee …. HAHAHA! Oh man, now that is funny. When I heard that, I started laughing. Oh man, did I start laughing. You know why? Because every player hates Milwaukee. Nobody wants to live in Milwaukee. I’m sorry, Milwaukee, to come down hard on you, but no one in the NBA wants to play in Milwaukee. From him going from New Jersey, actually from New York (because he lives in New York), from New York to Milwaukee is like going … let’s just say it’s not going to sit well with you. That was a funny one when I heard that one. I know Yi is happy though."(Source)
Ouch. Although what he's saying is mostly true, you've got to be smarter than that. Next time the Wiz visit the Bucks, Agent Zero will not receive a warm reception, it's safe to assume. One thing I admire about Arenas, though, is that he tells it like it is and isn't afraid of the hellstorm that will probably follow.

Clippers got Camby for even less than we thought

The LA Clippers acquired Marcus Camby from the Nuggets Tuesday night, apparently in exchange for a future second-round pick. Those initial reports turned out to be wrong, however. The Nuggets acquired the right to exchange second-round picks in 2010 with the Clippers instead.

Obviously this was purely a salary dump by the Nugs, but this is almost robbery from a Clippers standpoint. LA doesn't even give up a pick - at worst they'll simply move down in the draft - and gets a great shot blocker in return. Granted, Camby isn't Shaq - or even Elton Brand - but when you give almost nothing up to get him, Camby seems a lot more attractive.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Clippers get Camby instead of Randolph

The LA Clippers got someone to bite on that second-round pick they were offering the Knicks, striking a deal with the Denver Nuggets today to acquire Marcus Camby. The Clips will send a future second-rounder to Denver.

The Nugs gets cap space, while the Clippers get a pretty good post player to team with Chris Kaman on the low blocks. Certainly Camby is no Elton Brand, but he is a viable short-term option. There is some thought, though probably just Knicks fans speculating, that LA might package Camby with Tim Thomas and trade them to New York for Zach Randolph, resurrecting the deal that the two teams had been discussing last week. That would also mean a second run with the Knicks for both Camby and Thomas. Camby, you may remember, was a catalyst on the 1999 NY team that reached the NBA Finals.

I think Camby stays in LA and the Knicks look elsewhere for a suitor for Zach. This is the first thing Donnie Walsh will be questioned about during his Knicks tenure, so it will be interesting to see how he responds. Walsh thought he could get more than just a second-round pick for Randolph, but apparently that was good enough for the Nugs to give up one of the best defensive players in the NBA. Then again, Camby doesn't score 20 and grab 10 every night.

Hopefully Walsh is able to rid the Knicks of Randolph's contract. But in terms of basketball, I'd rather have Zach trying to adapt to the high-octane offense than Eddy Curry, if I had to choose between the two.

All-Star Corey Hart wears his sunglasses at night

When Corey Hart of the Milwaukee Brewers finally came to bat in the 9th inning of the All-Star game tonight, "Sunglasses At Night" was played throughout the stadium.

The song is by Corey Hart. Not the same guy, but the same name. Oh the wit of Yankee Stadium! (Or maybe he has that song played every time he bats in Milwaukee, and they just played it here because that's tradition. Any Milwaukee readers like to let us know?)

Either way, I can use this as an excuse to post the original music video of the song! Enjoy.

Josh Hamilton goes nuts in HR Derby

I'll be the first to admit that going into last night's Home Run Derby I had very low expectations. It was a group of guys that were thrown together, reminisicent of the way the NBA's Slam Dunk contest has fallen in recent years. Obviously the fact that a lot of the big names didn't want to participate is a huge factor in the decline of both competitions, but this one was at Yankee Stadium, one of the most famous venues in all of sports, and should have been matched with names of that caliber.

But I wasn't disappointed.


After watching Josh Hamilton launch baseball after baseball to the upper deck and almost beyond, I can't really complain about the lack of stars in the competition. Granted, Hamilton was the only one who put up a good performance. (Evan Longoria had three... THREE... home runs.) But Hamilton alone was enough.

Hitting home runs wasn't the issue for him; it was how far they would go. You could see he was consistently aiming for the corner spot just next to the right field bleachers, trying to jack one out of the Stadium. He came close a few times, in the midst of his 28 first-round home runs.

Hamilton didn't win the Derby, but that didn't even matter. He put on a show for the fans, and that's what counts. Years from now, no one will remember that Justin Morneau was the winner. They will remember, though, Josh Hamilton's home run barage.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Favre feels unwanted, tells Greta Van Susteren about it

Brett Favre said today on Fox News' "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" that he still wants to play but feels like the Packers don't want him.
"I am guilty of retiring early and there is a reason for that," Favre said, according to an excerpt provided to The Associated Press before the Monday night broadcast. "And the major issue is 'Why did he retire?,' and 'He asked for a release because he doesn't want to play in Green Bay.' That's not true. And I hope people are hearing this and saying 'OK, that clears it up."'(Source)
This whole situation is crazy. Who would have ever thought that you would hear this kind of stuff? Favre is a God in Green Bay, but after all of his retirement/unretirement shenanigans, even some fans in GB are saying 'no' to Brett coming back. People are just sick of it like (Stu said) with Michael Jordan and Roger Clemens.

And how pissed do you think ESPN is that Fox News got this interview? I mean, Greta Van Susteren??

CBS wises up, replaces Packer with Kellogg

You probably already heard by now that CBS has decided to drop Billy Packer from its broadcasting team. He will be replaced by Clark Kellogg in the booth next to Jim Nantz.

Here's a clip of the guys from Mike & Mike discussing the news:



This is a good move by CBS. It shows that maybe the big media heads are realizing that as the sport changes, the broadcaster may have to change too. Billy Packer was making historical references to "the day" during high-pressure moments at the end of games in this year's tournament. He, like so many other 60-something analysts, wish the game was played like it used to be, with no three-point line and short shorts.

Plus, Packer came off like an arrogant jerk and didn't mind throwing a sexist/racist comment out there every now and then just to hammer his point across.

Stu Speaks!: Don't call it a comeback

Stu Millstein is back with another view into the world of sports. This time, Stu ponders the ongoing drama starring Brett Favre:

After my first blog post last week, Tony has asked me back. Right now, I don’t know who is making a quicker comeback, me or Brett Favre. While many would say that I remind them of Brett Favre (tall, tan, athletic, etc.,) we are different in that I never officially retired from blogging. So, like LL Cool J said, don’t call it a comeback. Come to think of it, the ladies do love Stu like they love Cool J.

On the other hand, if Brett Favre were to play this season, I would definitely call it a comeback. This whole saga is very upsetting. On one side, you have the face of the franchise, who walked away from the game he loved only to reconsider four months later that he had made the wrong decision. At the same time, pressuring the Packers to bring him back as the starter or release him.

On the other side, you have the Packers. For years, they have supported Favre and allowed him to tight rope the line of ‘will he retire or won’t he?’ Finally, after a crushing NFC Championship loss, Favre does retire and the Packers set into motion their future with former first round pick Aaron Rodgers behind center. When they finally tell Brett that they have moved on, he asks for a release. While you can’t place a price tag on what number 4 has meant to the Packer organization, the NFL is still a business where the ultimate goal is to win the Lombardi trophy.

While I’m not saying that Aaron Rodgers is the answer, if the Packers were to release him and he were to sign with another franchise, would that truly be fair to the green and gold? Imagine this: Brett Favre in Minnesota with Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor in the backfield and an intimidating defense. Or how about Favre in Baltimore with Willis McGahee, Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, and Mark Clayton? Not to mention an older but still strong defense. At least by having him on their roster and not releasing him, the Packers can control where he goes. Brett Favre showed last year that he is still an elite quarterback in this league and should get the Packers something in return if they were to trade him. I personally believe this releasing situation is Favre’s idea of the Packers bringing him back and making him the starting quarterback. Now would that be fair for Aaron Rodgers?

I really liked Tony’s comparison of Favre to Roger Clemens. Both older veteran stars that still have something in the tank and really can’t make up their minds, and in the end think that they are bigger than the game. I’ll give you another comparison I thought of.

How about Michael Jordan? The first time he unretired, Jordan was still in his prime and missed a season and a half when he played minor league baseball. I had no problem with this comeback because Jordan was still the best player in the league and he went on to show it. He also at least changed his mind more than four months after the fact. His second comeback bothered me in that I believe it tarnished Jordan’s image. I know he was the general manager and did what he thought was best, however, he definitely was not the same Jordan we came to know and love. I actually believe he set the franchise back a few years.

I’m not saying that if Brett Favre were to come back, he would set the franchise back. I just think its time to start anew with Rodgers. So please Brett, don’t call it a comeback.

Unless you want to play for the green and white in the Meadowlands. And this time he can retire on top like Jordan before his second comeback.

Because right now, his Byron Russell is Corey Webster.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

OSWPOTD: "The Model" Rick Martel

Rick Martel wasn't always a "model." His WWF career began as a tag-team competitor, first with Tom Zenk as the "Can-Am Connection," then with Tito Santana as "Strike Force." Martel and Santana were tag team champions, but Martel would turn heel at Tito's expense.

It was in late 1989 when Rick Martel was re-packaged as "The Model." He came close to winning the Intercontinental title in 1993 after winning a battle royal to fight for the vacant belt. He lost to Razor Ramon.

He wrestled for a year in WCW, winning the World TV Title in 1998 from Booker T during their feud. His tenure was cut short due to an injury.

More on Rick Martel:
- WikiPedia page
- A collection of Martel's WWF promos for his "Arrogance" cologne (YouTube)
- Rick Martel defends the AWA World Title against Stan Hansen (YouTube, complete with foreign-language announcing)

Steroids can't help Canseco in boxing match

The War at the Shore took place Saturday night in Atlantic City, with Vai Sikahema defeating Jose Canseco after a few knockdowns. Sikahema is 5'9, while Canseco is 6'3, but that didn't seem to matter much to the "Tongan Terror." Here's the ESPNews highlight:





Now Sikahema has something to brag about on his next newscast in Philly, while Canseco (hopefully) will shrink back into that hole in the ground where B-List celebrities go, never to be heard from again.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Yankees adding bodies

The Yankees are working the scrap heap again. The NY Post is reporting that Brian Cashman has interest in signing Richie Sexson when he clears waivers. Last night the Yankees signed Eric Milton to a minor-league deal. Milton probably won't play this year, though, as he still isn't fully recovered from Tommy John surgery.

In that respect, it's probably a deal for next year. Either way it's a low risk move. If Milton does pitch this year or next and is successful, it's a great move. If he doesn't pitch or is terrible, it doesn't matter. Milton had some good seasons before injuries and it doesn't hurt to have some extra arms around. (See: This year's Yankees team, last year's Yankees team, the year-before-that's Yankees team, etc.)

Washed up former athletes fight tonight!

I know a lot of you have been waiting on the respective edges of your respective seats for this one. Well tonight is the night, as Jose Canseco finally takes on Vai Sikahema in a three-round boxing match!

Canseco is the former slugger, turned author, turned celebreality star, turned total wacko. Sikahema is the former NFL return man, two-time Pro Bowler, sports director/anchor of Philly's WCAU TV station, cousin to Reno Mahe, uncle to Jon Heder (through marriage.)

The fight will be shown live on the website of Sikahema's station, NBC10.com, so if there's nothing good on TV tonight, check this out. Or watch C-SPAN, that might be more exciting.

RIP Bobby Murcer

Former Yankees outfielder and broadcaster Bobby Murcer has passed away at the age of 62 after an almost two-year battle with cancer. Murcer also played for the Giants and Cubs, compiling a career average of .277 with 252 home runs. He was a Yankees broadcaster for 23 years.

One of the more memorable performances of Murcer's career came the day of Thurman Munson's burial, when he homered and then drove in the winning run of the game. Murcer, along with Lou Piniella, delivered a eulogy at Munson's funeral. Bobby gave the bat he used in that game to Munson's wife, Diane.

Newsday has compiled a photo gallery of Murcer "through the years," and the YES Network will be paying tribute to him tonight with a lineup of programming.

RIP Bobby Murcer (1946-2008)

OSWPOTD: Tatanka

Today's Old School Wrestler is Tatanka. He was a popular figure in the early 1990's, though he surprisingly never held a WWF championship. He was famously undefeated for his first two years in the WWF and beat Rick Martel and Michaels during that streak. Tatanka made a comeback with WWE in 2005, which lasted until 2007. He continues to wrestle today for All Star Promotions in the UK.

More on Tatanka:
- NativeTatanka.com (Tatanka's official website)
- WikiPedia page
- Tatanka v. Skinner on YouTube

Knicks could have dumped Randolph

SI.com's Ian Thomasen reported last night that the Knicks and Clippers were discussing a swap involving Zach Randolph, but that Knicks president Donnie Walsh pulled out of the talks. Newsday's Alan Hahn confirms it on his blog.

It's not as dumb as it seems. With the Clippers under the cap, the trade would not have to match salaries, and the Clips apparently only offered a second-round pick. The Knicks seem to still be very interested in the trade, but want to get something more in return.

Another report said the trade was Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley for Zach, which I think would be a good trade. Thomas and Mobley both come off the books in 2010. I would assume "The Cat" would fit in well with Mike D'Antoni's system, and Thomas played for the former Suns coach in Phoenix.

I think I'd do the trade no matter what LA offered, if I were Walsh. You get out from under the monstrously bad contract that Randolph has and Randolph, who is a black hole on offense sometimes, does not seem to be a piece that will fit into D'Antoni's scheme.

Odds are that Walsh waits until he can get Mobley, Thomas and a pick for Randolph. Or is he hoping to be able to add another player from the Knicks roster into the trade to get rid of even more salary?

Favre fools Green Bay fans; Wants back into NFL

Last night, Brett Favre reportedly asked for his release from the Green Bay Packers because they weren't very keen on the aged QB playing for them next year. Great. Now ESPN can justify the six hours a day they're devoting to Favre.

It looks like this story is the real deal, though, as it's being reported by mutliple outlets. Favre has three years remaining on his Packers contract and if he were to apply for reinstatement, he would become Green Bay property again. It just doesn't make sense for the Pack to outright release Favre, so my guess is they'll trade him to a team that they don't feel threatened by, for whatever they can get.

So basically, kiss all that "Favre to Minnesota" talk goodbye. Aside from the obvious reasons Green Bay wouldn't do it, I doubt Favre would want to play for the Vikes, where he would have to play at least one game at Lambeau Field as a member of the opposition. Let's face it, with the request for his release, Favre has probably lost his stature among some of the Cheeseheads in Green Bay. Even though it would only be one game there, I think Favre would be wise to stay away from it. The Chiefs, Jets and Bucs seem like possible destinations, among others.

This whole thing is so reminiscent of the Roger Clemens situation a few years ago that it makes me want to puke. Of course, Clemens is hated now for different reasons and was even hated then by most people. But then he retired and the Yanks threw him a goign away party complete with gifts, baseball analysts everywhere were kissing his syringe-scarred ass and he was about to ride off into the sunset as one of the great pitchers in baseball history.

Then he came back with Houston. Then again with the Yankees. And now look what happened.

I'm not saying Favre's name will suddenly come up in HGH and adultery allegations, but his legacy will be tarnished by all that has happened. Even if he ends up not coming back and let's this all go away, it will still be strong in the memories of the Cheeseheads, who will always remember when their hero Brett Favre retired, then tried to unretire and play for someone else.

And it makes his tearful press conference seem cheesy and laughable.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Moises Alou can't seem to dodge the injury bug

Moises Alou's career may be over after another setback with his hamstring. Doctors discovered a tear on Thursday that will force him to miss the rest of the season. At 42 years old, retirement is a likely option.

This really isn't a shocker and the Mets shouldn't be all that surprised. Alou has a much storied history of injuries. I mean, if you start dating a girl with a reputation for cheating, and then she cheats on you, you can't really be whining to your buddies about it.

That's a stretch for an analogy, but you see where I'm going.

Stu Speaks!: NBA Offseason Roundup

A guest post from TONY BLOGS friend Stuart Millstein. Stu currently works for CBS Sports in New York. Here it is:

When I was asked by my good friend and former “CortSide” co-host to write a guest blog post, I was speechless. Now for people who know me, I am rarely speechless. However, since Tony started TONY BLOGS in 2006, I have been an avid reader and one of its biggest fans. I especially enjoy when he name drops me (see “Favre in Jersey?” and the February 29, 2008, “Around the Web.”) Writing a guest post is the ultimate honor and I hope to not disappoint.

While the dog days of baseball are upon us, I thought I would write about the NBA offseason. Since the Celtics won their 17th NBA Championship last month, plenty has happened. For one, we had the NBA Draft, which I think made two non-playoff teams this past year (Bulls and Heat) into playoff teams for this coming season. While Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley are young, they will definitely make an impact sooner rather than later. With a healthy Dwayne Wade, Shawn Marion and Beasley, Pat Riley might pull a “Stan Van Gundy” and come back and coach this team.

On draft day, there were two huge trades. First, the Nets traded Richard Jefferson to the Bucks for Bobby “I had one good year with the Clippers” Simmons and Yi Jianlian, who I personally have never been a fan of. On paper it looks like a terrible trade. While RJ is not a superstar, he is a premier swingman who averaged over 20 points a game and was the Nets’ lockdown defender. However, if this move allows the Nets to sign a big free agent in two years (Lebron, Wade, Chris Bosh) to be the Roc of Jay Z’s team, then this trade was worth it. I’ve believed in Rod Thorn before (Kidd for Marbury, Vince Carter for a bag of pretzels) and I have no reason to doubt him now.

The other big deal was Jermaine O’Neal going from the Pacers to the Raptors. I personally love this trade for Toronto. When healthy, O’Neal is a superstar and would make a lethal combination with Bosh north of the border. Plus, they got rid of good, but injury prone, PG in T.J. Ford and this allows the underrated Jose Calderon to become the main man. If O’Neal comes back to his old self, Toronto could be a major sleeper in the East next year.

Another major sleeper in the East is the Sixers. If they are able to hold onto Andre Iguodala, they will have a very solid starting five with Andre Miller, Willie Green, Iguodala, Samuel Dalembert, and the newly signed free agent Elton Brand. While I won’t get into if I think Brand screwed over the Clippers, I will say he has been one of the good guys in basketball who has never been on a great team. Remember, this Sixers team was the 6th seed in the East last year and gave the Pistons a hard time in the first round. Add a healthy Brand and you might just see the Sixers in the Finals next year. It’s not so far-fetched considering the Celtics went from worst to first in one year.

I’m out for now; just like the Clippers chances of making the playoffs after Brand deserted them.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Favre in Jersey?

My friend and former "CortSide" colleague Stuart Millstein has been keeping an eye, like the heads at ESPN, on the Brett Favre soap drama and "BFF texting" that's been going on. Is he coming out of retirement? If he does, will he play for the Packers? Where else could he play?

Stu told me to "mark it down" that John Madden's man-crush will be the starting quarterback for the New York Jets when the 2008 campaign begins.

It's not that far-fetched. Obviously other teams will also show interest, like the Ravens, Bears, Vikings, Lions, etc., and I don't doubt that "Gang Green" will be in the hunt. There is a lot of uncertainty under center on the green side of the Meadowlands and Favre in New York would be a media dream.

Stu adds, "I can't stand Pennington or Clemens. I would rather have Roger Clemens as my QB and I hate him also."

Clippers management made Elton Brand feel insecure

Elton Brand surprisingly signed with the Philadelphia 76ers and was introduced today to the media. Afterwards he spoke of things that fell apart with the Clippers on ESPN, but wasn't asked to elaborate by Chris McKendry. Later in the day Brand's agent, David Falk, told the LA Daily News what happened.
``We were told, mid-afternoon on Monday June 30, that offer was on the table,'' Falk said. ``And it was explained to us that Coach Dunleavy, who acts as the quasi-general manager in L.A., had really gone to the mat on Elton's behalf and was able to get a certain amount of money from the owner, and I believe he did. Mike explained that the owner realy wasn't comfortable with the offer and that if Elton turned the offer down, he'd be just as happy as if he'd accepted it.

``I think that what you want when you're a franchise player... you want to feel that you're wanted by the team... They basically told us that the owner was unavailable to discuss the offer any further and it was basically accept it or don't accept it." (Source)

Brand has gotten a lot of heat for this whole thing, with the "promise" that he would resign in LA and then quickly bolting to Philly. But this isn't an unprecedented move and it shouldn't really come as a shocker that the Clippers would do something stupid.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Jason Varitek is... an All-Star??

Joe Torre used to get a lot of flack when he was Yankees manager for picking his own guys to be All-Star reserves, but Terry Francona takes the cake. (Okay, so the players voted him in. But without that analogy, this would have been a really short post.) On today's All-Star Selection Show on TBS, it was announced that Jason Varitek would join Joe Mauer and Dioner Navarro as catchers on the American League roster.

I can see having three catchers, since it's an exhibition game and all, but come on. No one outside of New England has thought Varitek has been any good the last four years. The guy is probably one of the most overrated players in the history of the game. Sure, he's a hell of a defensive player, but this year he's hitting a putrid .219 with 7 HR's and 27 RBI.

Varitek does lead the league, however, in most consecutive games played with an out-of-style haircut. Derek Jeter is a close second.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Jose Reyes' attitude keeps getting worse

First he threw his helmet when manager Jerry Manuel tried to take him out of a game. Then he slammed his glove to the ground like a Little Leaguer and pouted during last Sunday's 3-1 loss to the Yankees. Now he's confronting announcers.

Reyes and SNY analyst - and former Met - Keith Hernandez got into it after Reyes confronted Hernandez about comments he made about the Mets babying Jose. Hernandez had said that it was time for the Mets to "take off the kid gloves" when dealing with Reyes.

Everyone wants to compare Jose Reyes to Derek Jeter. Reyes may be younger and potentially better, but would Derek Jeter ever act like a 5-year-old on the field and then get into a heated exchange with Ken Singleton about it?

Knicks sign Duhon

ESPNEWS and The Sporting News are reporting that the Knicks and Chris Duhon have come to terms on a two-year deal. The exact details aren't known yet but the contract is rumored to be for the full mid-level exception.

Duhon said yesterday that he would choose between the Knicks and the Orlando Magic, with some reports saying he was leaning more toward Orlando because of the uncertainty of the Knicks guard situation. Perhaps the Duhon signing is a signal that Stephon Marbury may be on the way out. More probable is that Nate Robinson's Knicks days may be numbered.

Duhon said he chose New York because of coach Mike D'Antoni's high octane offense. At least there's something attractive about the Knicks.

Dick's Open tees off today

The Binghamton area's annual PGA golf tournament is upon us again. The Dick's Sporting Goods Open begins today at En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott, NY. This is sports related and also a bit of local news for me, so why not give you all the info you need to keep up with the 50-and-over action?

- PGATour.com's DSGO section
- Golf Channel's video preview of the tournament
- Dick's Open coverage from my employer, The Binghamton Press
- The Golf Channel will have coverage each day during the event

It's Independence Day

Back from a miniature blog vacation, and today should have a lot of blogging in store. This damn real job I have keeps getting in the way.

Anyway, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July. Major League Baseball is celebrating the occasion with a full slate of games. Every team will also be wearing those "Stars and Stripes" caps I mentioned a few weeks ago. Jason Varitek will even don a red, white and blue chest protector.