Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jay Cutler could soon be an ex-Bronco

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen announced on Tuesday that the team will entertain offers and try to trade disgruntled quarterback Jay Cutler. This comes after a month of angst between Cutler and new head coach Josh McDaniels which stems from an attempted trade for Matt Cassell to take over as Denver's QB.

Cutler missed the team's offseason workout program -- and was subsequently fined $100,000 -- and has not been able to be reached in ten days, according to Bowlen.

A likely trade partner could be the Cleveland Browns, who have two quarterbacks that other teams would want in Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson. A three-way deal could also happen with Cutler coming to Cleveland and Quinn and Anderson both leaving the Browns.

Gary Sheffield released by Tigers; Will anyone else want him?

DH Gary Sheffield was released by the Detroit Tigers Tuesday, a week before the regular season starts and with the well-traveled slugger only one home run shy of the magic number of 500. Sheff was coming off a rough spring training in which he only hit .118 but of his eight hits, five of them were homers.

The question now is, where will he end up?

Sheffield has said he wants to play in Tampa Bay, but the Rays signed Pat Burrell to be their designated hitter this offseason. The Rangers and Blue Jays have no interest either, according to Fox Sports.com's Ken Rosenthal.

Even though he is 40 years old, Sheffield can probably still be a moderately productive DH, especially at the $400,000 league minimum it will take to sign him. Ruling out National League teams, I could see the Twins and Royals as good fits for a power hitting right hander.

But what if Sheffield were willing to play first base? Or maybe the better question is, could he play first base? That would make him a more likely fit with an NL team, like the Pirates, Reds, Nationals or Giants.

One final wild card... The Mets. They passed on Bobby Abreu this offseason because they didn't want to add to their already lefty-heavy lineup. Maybe they should take a chance on Sheffield, plop him in right field and hope he can hold up. It would be an upgrade over Ryan Church, who will spend about five stints on the DL anyway this year.

Hey, they signed Moises Alou to a two-year deal a few seasons ago, so why not?

Dropping Links: Tuesday, March 31st

Dwight Howard becomes youngest player to 5,000 boards in NBA history |ESPN.com|
Kentucky expecting John Calipari to accept their 8-year, $35 mil offer |CBS Sports.com|
Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman will start season on DL |SI.com|

FOTB Bob Glauber argues against the NFL's wish for an 18-game season |What About Bob?|
GM that traded Divac for Kobe still defending himself |The Scores Report|
ESPN will begin adding content to YouTube |Fang's Bites|

Monday, March 30, 2009

Video: Guitar Hero commercial with Knight, Pitino, Coach K, Williams

You remember the commercial for Guitar Hero that was a parody of the film Risky Business. It featured A-Rod, Kobe Bryant, Tony Hawk and Michael Phelps dancing around in their underwear while playing the game.

Guitar Hero is back with a similar commercial for their new game, "Guitar Hero: Metallica." The spot features legendary college hoops coaches Bob Knight, Rick Pitino, Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski, along with Metallica.

(Hat tip to Larry Brown Sports)

Blake Griffin leads 2009 AP All-America team

Oklahoma's Blake Griffin and UNC's Tyler Hansbrough were the two leading vote-getters for this year's NCAA basketball All-America team. The rest of the first team was rounded out by Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair, James Harden of Arizona and Stephen Curry of Davidson.

The second team All-Americans are UConn's Hasheem Thabeet, UNC's Ty Lawson, Notre Dame's Luke Harangody, Kentucky's Jodie Meeks and Marquette's Jerel McNeal.

The third teamers are Terrence Williams of Louisville, Florida State's Toney Douglas, Pittsburgh's Sam Young, Sherron Collins of Kansas and Gerald Henderson of Duke.

Video: Highlights of Tiger Woods winning Arnold Palmer Invitational

Tiger Woods stormed back from five shots down to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday, making it his first victory of 2009 and the 66th of his professional career. This guy isn't too bad at golf.

Dropping Links: Monday, March 30th

Back from a mini hiatus and there should be a whole bunch of blogging in store as I try to play catch up. For now, enjoy these fine links from around the world wide webs with your morning coffee and bagel.

Tiger comes back from 5 shots down to win Arnold Palmer Invitational |FOX Sports.com|
John Calipari could be headed to Kentucky to take over as head coach |ESPN.com|
Michigan State gets by Louisville and into Final Four |CBS Sports.com|
Mark Cuban gets fined $25,000 for comments made on his Twitter page |SI.com|
UNC reaches ninth Final Four in last 19 years with win over Oklahoma |Yahoo.com|

Jack Edwards did his vampire impression during the Flyers-Bruins game |Fang's Bites|
Fight Night Round 4 heavyweight roster revealed by EA Sports |PastaPadre.com|
Photos from Sunday's college game at new Met stadium, CitiField |The Final Score|

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dropping Links: Friday, March 27th

Villanova destroys Duke to set up Big East matchup in next round |SI.com|
Pitt survives 3rd straight scare, sneaks past Xavier and into Elite Eight |FOX Sports.com|
Billy Gillispie could be out as Kentucky basketball head coach |ESPN.com|
NCAA will look into UConn recruiting violation after University's probe |Yahoo.com|

Mike Francesa will do the dunk tank at CitiField for charity |WatchDog|
Cops hold Ryan Moats in hospital parking lot as mother-in-law was dying |What About Bob?|
Some more info on the UFC 2009 Undisputed videogame |PastaPadre.com|
Jim Nantz will be special guest presenter on "The Price is Right" April 2nd |Fang's Bites|

Tony Kornheiser talks about Matt Lauer's bike/deer accident on Today Show |NESW Sports.com|
This will give you a new respect for volleyball and cheerleading (NSFW) |The Scores Report|
Unedited footage from the police car during the Ryan Moats incident |Shutdown Corner|

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Video: Anna Kournikova beats Jimmy Fallon at beer pong

One of Jimmy Fallon's recurring segments on his new late night talk show is to play beer pong with tennis players. He lost to Serena Williams earlier in the month and last night he took on Anna Kournikova.

Dropping Links: Thursday, March 26th

Bigger version of the morning link drop today, since I'll be heading out of town on a little road trip. I'll be driving the Blogmobile to the land of bagels, popped collars and vacation homes that is known as Long Island. There will probably be a few updates here and there but if not, I apologize in advance.

Jim Calhoun not so smug after alleged recruiting violations |ESPN.com|
Senate will investigate College Football BCS antitrust issues |CBS Sports.com|
Commish Goodell wants one or two more games added to schedule |FOX Sports.com|
Mangini wants Favre to mentor Quinn and Anderson for Browns |SI.com|
Donte Stallworth says he flashed warning lights in fatal accident |Yahoo.com|

Terrell Owens found a charity that will recognize him |Tirico Suave|
Ten professional athletes that don't look very athletic |No Guts, No Glory|
The NFL is getting wimpier with each and every rule change |Sharapova's Thigh|
Maybe Donte Stallworth could have just hit the brakes? |Shutdown Corner|
Andre the Giant never tried out for the Redskins |DC Sports Bog|
MLB Network announces Thursday night live game schedule |WatchDog|
NBA Live '10 will have custom shot arcs for each player |PastaPadre.com|

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Video: A tour of the new Yankee Stadium with Lonn Trost

This video tour of the new Yankee Stadium comes to us courtesy of NJ.com, via Sliding Into Home. Yankees COO Lonn Trost took reporters inside the stadium and showed off the new amenities. I've said it before and I'll say it again right now, this stadium looks incredible. The designers and workers look to have done a great job at capturing the majesty and mystique that the Yankees are all about.

Touring the new Yankee Stadium with Lonn Trost

Dropping Links: Wednesday, March 25th

Mangini says Browns starting QB spot is up for grabs |ESPN.com|
Tony Gonzalez has again asked Chiefs to trade him |FOX Sports.com|
Looks like the Lions have a new logo, still have bad team |MLive.com|
A's manager Geren gets new contract extension |CBS Sports.com|

FOTB Bob Mantz feels the same way I do about Mike Francesa |Bob's Blitz|
DirecTV has to pay NFL in new deal whether league plays or not |WatchDog|
The latest on Anquan Boldin's status with the Cardinals |The Scores Report|

An emotional tribute to Chris Wilcox's missed dunk from Monday |Tirico Suave|

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Video: 2009 World Baseball Classic Championship Game highlights

The 2009 World Baseball Classic concluded last night with a thrilling Championship Game between Japan and Korea, with Japan winning in 10 innings to claim their second WBC title.

I should have had this up earlier in the day, so my apologies for that. The game was incredibly intense and the crowd was very into it, which helps to heighten the atmosphere. But is it just me, or did Jon Miller seem more excited in the early stages of the game than at the end, when he should have been more into it?

Mike Francesa proves he is a hypocrite once again

Last week Mike Francesa went on a tirade against a caller after said caller claimed Mike had called him an idiot earlier in the month. Francesa said he doesn't call people idiots anymore and then went on and on for minutes about how he is the God of all things sports and is never wrong, or something like that. You know how he is.

During today's "Mike'd Up" show, someone called in with the claim that Nolan Ryan was better than Tom Seaver. Francesa didn't like that very much and went on for a long time against the caller, stopping himself once before calling him an idiot, but then finally letting the hammer down at the end of the call. After waving his hand to cut off the caller -- which he also claims he never does -- Francesa said, "You're a moron!"

Now, I know moron and idiot aren't the same word, but they have pretty much the same meaning, don't they?

It will be interesting to see how Francesa -- or "Franceser," as he likes to pronounce it -- will wiggle his way out of this one. Probably by screaming and lying, like he usually does.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, March 24th

Lance Armstrong breaks collarbone, may not race in Tour |FOX Sports.com|
NFL owners could extend length of season starting in 2011 |CBS Sports.com|
Josh McDaniels vows loyalty to whining Jay Cutler |SI.com|

NFL extends Sunday Ticket deal with DirecTV until 2014 |WatchDog|
Some suggested changes to make the WBC a bigger, better event |The Scores Report|
ESPN can't seem to remember what Curt Schilling looks like |Tirico Suave|
Jim Nantz could run for public office someday? |The Big Lead|

Monday, March 23, 2009

NFL announces opening week primetime schedule, Thanksgiving tilts

The NFL released the schedule of first-week primetime games along with this year's slate of Thanksgiving action today.

Here it is, courtesy of Neil Best at Newsday's WatchDog blog:

Thursday, Sept. 10
Titans at Steelers, 8:30 p.m., NBC

Sunday, Sept. 13
Bears at Packers, 8:30 p.m., NBC

Monday, Sept. 14
Bills at Patriots, 7 p.m., ESPN
Chargers at Raiders, 10:15 p.m. ESPN

Thursday, Nov. 26
Packers at Lions, 12:30 p.m., Fox
Raiders at Cowboys, 4:15 p.m., CBS
Giants at Broncos, 8:20 p.m., NFL Network

Video: John Cena needs a hand double for his new movie

Here's a funny spoof video of John Cena on the set of his new movie "12 Rounds." The gag is that he needs a hand double to dial a phone and make it look realistic and then things just get carried away. It's a pretty funny bit, though, and is undoubtedly 100 times better than his new flick.

Curt Schilling announces his retirement

In "We kind of figured you were already retired" news, Curt Schilling has announced his retirement on his blog, 38Pitches.com.

Schilling hadn't pitched since 2007 after missing all of last season with an injury. That is, after he signed a one-year, $8 million contract.

The question now is whether or not he is a Hall of Famer. Of course ESPN's Peter Gammons thinks so. Then again, he thinks everyone who has ever worn Red Socks is a shoe-in. I would have to strongly disagree.

Sure, he has a career record that is 70 games over .500, but he played for 20 seasons and compiled 216 wins, for an average of less than 11 wins per season. Schilling has a career 3.46 ERA. No doubt these are very good numbers, but when did very good players become Hall of Famers? The criteria should be greatness over an extended period of time.

Then again, Jim Rice got in, so who knows anymore.

Dropping Links: Monday, March 23rd

Japan knocks off USA, advances to WBC finals |ESPN.com|
Louisville survives scare from Siena, on to Sweet 16 |CBS Sports.com|
Missouri beats Marquette with help from the baseline |SI.com|

Some highlights from yesterday's NCAA tourney action |Fang's Bites|
Can we just stop interviewing Tommy Lasorda all the time? |NESW Sports.com|
CBS releases tip times and announcers for Sweet 16 |WatchDog|

Friday, March 20, 2009

UFC 2009 Undisputed videogame full roster revealed

I don't write about UFC very often, but this is a videogame that I'm interested in. I've read a lot of good previews so far about the fighting and submission engines. Thursday, THQ revealed the complete roster for the game. The key is as follows: LH - Can also be used as light heavyweight, MW - Can also be used as middleweight, WW - Can also be used as welterweight, LW - Can also be used as lightweight, DLC - Available through downloadable content.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, Brandon Vera (LH), Gabriel Gonzaga, Cain Velasquez, Cheick Kongo, Eddie Sanchez, Heath Herring, Andrei Arlovski, Mirko Crocop, Fabricio Werdum, Tim Sylvia, Mark Coleman, Antoni Hardonk, Justin McCully

Light Heavyweights
Chuck Lidell, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Tito Ortiz, Keith Jardine, Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Stephan Bonnar, James Irvin, Wilson Gouveia (MW), Houston Alexander, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Thiago Silva, Tim Boetsch, Ryan Bader (DLC)

Anderson Silva (LH), Rich Franklin (LH), Dan Henderson (LH), Michael Bisping (LH), Kendall Grove, Chris Leben, Jason MacDonald, Nate Marquardt, Drew McFedries, Ricardo Almeida, Evan Tanner, Yushin Okami, Demian Maia, Martin Kampmann (WW), Amir Sadollah (WW), Thales Leites

Georges St-Pierre, Matt Hughes, Matt Sera (LW), Jon Fitch, Karo Parisyan, Josh Koscheck, Diego Sanchez, Mike Swick (MW), Marcus Davis, Thiago Alves, Chris Lytle, Ben Saunders, Josh Burkman, Kyle Bradley, Matt Arroyo, Anthony Johnson

BJ Penn (WW), Sean Sherk (WW), Kenny Florian, Roger Huerta, Joe Stevenson, Mac Danzig, Nathan Diaz, Spencer Fisher, Tyson Griffin, Gray Maynard, Thiago Tavares, Joe Lauzon, Rich Clementi, Mark Bocek, Hermes Franca, Frank Edgar, Efrain Escudero (DLC)

Video: Jeremy Pargo big jam against Akron in NCAA Tourney

A double-dip video clip for you today. (Who wrote that, Walt Frazier?) Giving you two different looks at the jam that Gonzaga's Jeremy Pargo threw down against Steve McNees of Dayton during yesterday's Round 1 action of the NCAA Tournament.

McNees was being annoying all game - clapping while Gonzaga players were shooting free throws, swinging his girly hair all around - and after Pargo slammed it in his face, he stopped doing those things.

The first look is from the TV cameras - one a wide shot and the other a baseline shot. The second clip is from someone in the crowd, so you can gauge their reactions too. Enjoy.

WWE's Kane denies he brawled with UFC's Tim Sylvia

The internet was abuzz earlier in the week with rumors that WWE wrestler Glen Jacobs, a.k.a. Kane, got into a brawl with UFC fighter Tim Sylvia in a Detroit bar. The reports said Sylvia suffered a broken nose and a black eye at the hands of Jacobs.

Jacobs recently told the UK newspaper The Sun that the reports are totally false.
"I was sitting at home at the time and someone told me – that was the first I’d heard about it.

"I hear I handled it pretty well though. I’m happy with myself!

"I’m pretty sure Tim won’t hold a grudge though."
A WWE spokesman had also issued a story saying the rumors were untrue and, according to The Sun piece, friends of both Jacobs and Sylvia deny that either man was even in Detroit at the time.

Happy Birthday, Mike Francesa

It was on this day 55 years ago that Michael Patrick Francesa, Jr. was born.

Mike is joined by some other sports notables like Bobby Orr, who turns 61, and Pat Riley, who turns 64 today.

There are even a few other celebrities with sports ties that share March 20th as their day of birth. Spike Lee, perhaps the most popular Knicks fan and director of the sports film "He Got Game," is 52 today.

Finally, Kathy Ireland, the model and actress who played the kicker Lucy Draper in the football comedy "Necessary Roughness," turns 46.

Video: Blake Griffin gets flipped during NCAA Tournament

I don't know about you guys but I haven't seen a move this fundamentally sound since Bret Hart was still in the World Wrestling Federation. Ameer Ali of Morgan State pulled off the nice arm-bar takedown on Oklahoma's Blake Griffin during the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday night after the two got tangled. Ali was ejected.

Dropping Links: Friday, March 20th

Donte Stallworth was driving drunk when he hit and killed man |FOX Sports.com|
#12 Western Kentucky upsets #5 Illinois in the Dance |Yahoo.com|
Michigan knocks off Clemson to advance in NCAA Tourney |CBS Sports.com|
Evan Longoria replaces Chipper Jones on WBC roster |ESPN.com|
UConn absolutely shellacked Chattanooga, 103-47 |SI.com|

Twitter is suffering from Tournament overload |Bob's Blitz.com|
Binghamton has some less-than-stellar-looking players |Tirico Suave|
Tim Tebow's idiotic "promise" speech will be immortalized |No Guts, No Glory|

CBS started airing these Steve Nash commercials from November |tonyblogs.net|

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Michael Kay says his talk show is better than Mike Francesa's

During Wednesday's "Michael Kay Show," Kay and his partner, Don La Greca, spoke about how their show is better than Mike Francesa's Chris Russo-less version and that listeners should encourage their friends to switch the dial from 660 WFAN to 1050 ESPN.

According to Neil Best, Kay and La Greca said their show is basically younger and fresher.
They urged listeners to encourage friends who listen to WFAN to defect. "Time to change," said Kay, who then gave props for the quote to Peter Brady.
Yes, Michael, clearly your show is much younger and fresher. What a cutting edge "Brady Bunch" quote you used.

If you're scoring at home, Kay is seven years younger than Francesa.

Barack Obama picks UNC to win NCAA Championship

This aired on Wednesday's SportsCenter and while a lot of people - like Duke head jackass coach Mike Krzyzewski - think Obama should be focusing on other things, I think it's fair to allow the President a few minutes each day of free time, don't you?

Dropping Links: Thursday, March 19th

Floyd Mayweather nearing return to boxing ring |ESPN.com|
Kurt Warner underwent hip surgery Tuesday |FOX Sports.com|
NFL looking into "Hochuli Rule" replay system |SI.com|

The IRS will be giving athletes a closer look |Sports Biz|
Gus Johnson was tossed in a cop car last weekend |The Big Lead|
Kobe Bryant got out off jury duty yesterday |The Final Score|

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Chalk" is apparently the new word of the week

Is it just me or is everyone and their mother saying "chalk" now?

Jay Bilas used the term, referring to picking the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament, about 1,000 times during Sunday's ESPN Selection Special. Now every blog, website and newspaper is throwing it around like a hot potato.

Maybe I just never noticed it before, but I can't remember it being used so much.

Just a little rant. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog-programming.

Dropping Links: Wednesday, March 18th

A little delay in link dropping today...

Aaron Boone will have open heart surgery |ESPN.com|
USA rallies in 9th to advance in WBC |FOX Sports.com|
Pedro says he has two teams interested in him |MLB.com|

Charlie Villanueva was tweeting at halftime |BergerSphere|
Kevin Youkilis agrees with me on the WBC |No Guts, No Glory|
Madden '10 will feature retro AFL uniforms |PastaPadre.com|

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

tonyblogs.net is now on Twitter

Actually, we've been "tweeting" for a few weeks now but I just made a fancy button for it, so I figured I'd add a post about it to create some awareness.

Go ahead and follow us and receive all the latest updates right through Twitter.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson admits to steroid use in college

During a recent interview with MTV to promote his new movie "Race to With Mountain," Dwayne Johnson admitted to using steroids while playing football for the University of Miami.
"I tried it," Johnson admitted. "Me and my buddies tried it back in the day when I was 18 or 19. Didn't know what we were doing."
Does that sound a lot like A-Rod's admission to anyone else? But Johnson won't be vilified the way Rodriguez has, I'm sure.

If Johnson took steroids while playing collegiate football then why would he stop when he became "The Rock" in World Wrestling Entertainment? WWE is known for its long history of steroid abuser and chairman Vince McMahon turning a blind eye to what goes on with wrestlers. That point was driven home once again last week with the death of Andrew "Test" Martin.

Obviously it wouldn't be a big shock if Johnson were using steroids while wrestling, his physique changed mightily throughout his first few years in the then-WWF.

But if congress and pundits want to argue that A-Rod, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are villains because kids look up to them, one could make the argument that "The Rock" has just as many kids who idolize him as a role model. Johnson might even have more kids looking up to him now that he has made a career in family-friendly films like "The Game Plan," "Gridiron Gang" and "Race to With Mountain."

A slew of new Yankee Stadium photos for your viewing pleasure

Bob Ruffalo of "The Voice of Yankees Universe" recently had the chance to tour the new Yankee Stadium and grabbed a whopping 73 photos of the new park.

The Yankees are paying great homage to their history in the new stadium, as evidenced by the photographs, while still glorifying the current roster. The Mets, on the other hand, will be paying more attention to the history of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants in their new home, CitiField.

Take a look at all the pictures right here.

(Hat tip to The Final Score)

Video: SportsCenter to be featured on Wednesday's "Scrubs"

Scrubs and SportsCenter are two of my favorite shows so I was very happy when I came across this clip today, which will be on tomorrow's all new Scrubs episode airing at 8 pm. JD is a total nerd and Hannah Storm and Josh Elliott help to prove that in the clip.

This is the benefit of Scrubs moving to ABC this season. Last year, while the show aired on NBC, they would have never been able to use the gigantic Disney/ABC/ESPN machine.

(Hat tip to Awful Announcing for the vid.)

Dropping Links: St. Patrick's Day

Panthers deny Peppers-to-Patriots trade talk |ESPN.com|
Marshawn Lynch will meet with Roger Goodell |CBS Sports.com|
Sean Williams arrested after mall altercation |SI.com|

Dan Patrick will have a show on DirecTV |Fang's Bites|
New beach volleyball ads could "spike" attendance |Sports Biz|
ESPN ombudsman writes her final column |WatchDog|

Monday, March 16, 2009

Video: Mike Tyson documentary trailer

"Tyson," the documentary detailing to life of Mike Tyson, is set for limited release on April 24th in the United States. It won the "Regard Knockout Award" at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and has received great reviews from critics so far. This trailer definitely has me intrigued. Take a look.

Team USA is the reason WBC is a complete joke

The United States team has suffered from a number of injuries to players during the World Baseball Classic, something that prompted manager Davey Johnson to use catcher Brian McCann in left field during last night's game against the Netherlands.

Johnson even went so far as to say he would forfeit a game if the injuries became too prolific:
"I damn sure wouldn't want to be lynched or hung up in some city if I put (Kevin) Youkilis behind the dish or something," Johnson said, referring to the Red Sox first baseman. "I would definitely had to gone out and said we had to forfeit this ballgame. Yeah, I'd forfeit it."
A few things here. One, it's never a good idea to use the term "lynched," Davey. Second, this is the exact reason why no one - in America at least - is taking the WBC seriously.

Is it just me, or does it seem like the United States and its fans are the only ones who don't care about winning games in this thing? Watching the Korea v. Mexico game on ESPN last night felt like a World Series game, the crowd was so into it. Today it's Venezuela and Puerto Rico and, again, the crowd is full of energy and intensity, as are the players.

All we've heard so far is complaining about the injuries these guys have suffered. Dustin Pedroia came up lame and now all of New England thinks the WBC is "wicked stupid."

I know these guys aren't ready to play full games at this point in the spring but to openly acknowledge that you would forfeit a game is pathetic. It's especially sad when baseball was created right here in the United States and is mostly run by Major League Baseball, an American league.

Pudge Rodriguez, Astros agree to one-year deal

Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman is reporting the Astros and free agent catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez have agreed to a one-year deal and are in the final stages of completing the agreement. Sources are saying the deal is worth $1.5 million plus incentives.

It's a good move at that price for Houston. The team is very weak at catcher and Rodriguez is known for handling pitching staffs well and being an above-average defensive backstop. Although he struggled last year with the Tigers and Yankees, he has hit .600 with two home runs in the World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico.

Broncos should look to pro wrestling to solve Cutler-McDaniels dispute

Here's a way to settle the seemingly never ending dispute between Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels and quarterback Jay Cutler:

A "Loser Leaves Town" match, just like in the old days of professional wrestling.

For some added excitement, make Broncos owner Pat Bowlen the special guest referee. They could even script a run-in by former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, who could come to the ring with a steel chair in hand, stare down both guys and then whack Cutler in the head with it.

Probably (and obviously) won't happen but somehow this drama needs to end. Mike Golic said it best on SportsCenter when he referred to the spat as "two kids fighting in the sandbox."

Julian Tavarez explains why he signed with the Nationals

Relief pitcher Julian Tavarez signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals on Friday and reported to camp Sunday. When asked why he chose the Nationals, he gave this amazing, hilarious, truthful response:
"Why did I sign with the Nationals? When you go to a club at four in the morning, and you're just waiting, waiting, a 600-pounder looks like J. Lo. And to me this is Jennifer Lopez right here. It's four in the morning. Too much to drink. So, Nationals: Jennifer Lopez to me."
That's got to be up there with the all-time great quotes in sports, but I'm wondering how the Nationals feel about it.

(Quote via Anthony Rieber of The Final Score)

Dropping Links: Monday, March 16th

NCAA Tourney field set, Big East gets three No. 1 seeds |Yahoo.com|
Jay Cutler asks for trade as things get worse in Denver |ESPN.com|
NFLPA names DeMaurice Smith as new executive director |SI.com|
Team USA survives, eliminates Netherlands in WBC |CBS Sports.com|

KryptoNate gets Nike billboard in New York City |Sports Biz|
NCAA Tournament rounds one and two announcing schedule |Awful Announcing|
Former WWE writer Seth Mates remembers Andrew "Test" Martin |The Steel Cage|

Smush Parker talks a little trash about Lakers, Kobe |NESW Sports.com|

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Some Saturday evening linkage: March 14th

- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Dante Stallworth hit and killed a pedestrian in Miami. No charges have been filed.

- Former WWE star Andrew "Test" Martin was found dead at the age of 33. Police are unsure of a cause of death, but this is just another in a long list of pro wrestlers who have died at an early age.

- Bill Belichick and Charlie Weis sang backup for Bon Jovi at a charity event. I have to admit, they weren't as bad as I expected.

- Joey Galloway has a home, signing a one-year deal with the New England Patriots.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Could Sid Rosenberg be returning to WFAN as Francesa's sidekick?

File this one under pure speculation, but Sid Rosenberg could be in the mix - along with Max Kellerman - to join Mike Francesa on "Mike'd Up."

Rosenberg and 790 The Ticket in Miami have parted ways, according to his agent.

Rosenberg was once a sports update man for Don Imus' morning show on WFAN and was also a mid-day co-host for the station along with Joe Benigno. He has been rumored as a possible replacement for Chris Russo for months now and his departure from 790 The Ticket would certainly seem to be a move in that direction.

Personally I'd rather see Kellerman in the seat next to Francesa, if only because he might actually disagree with Mike once in a while. "Mad Dog" Russo was basically a lapdog on-air for Francesa towards the end of his WFAN tenure and Rosenberg would likely do the same.

Torry Holt released by Rams. Where will he end up?

The St. Louis Rams continued their efforts to get younger and rebuild on Friday by releasing seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Torry Holt. The move, along with the earlier release of Orlando Pace, saves the Rams $14 million in cap room for the upcoming season.

Holt can probably still be a very productive receiver in the NFL. Last season was the first year since 1999 that Holt did not record over 1,000 yards and that can mostly be blamed on a horrible offensive line that couldn't protect Trent Green and Marc Bulger.

Any time a receiver is on the market, the Eagles will be the first name to pop up, as they have been all offseason. I wouldn't be surprised to see Donovan McNabb blog about it any day now. Holt would be a nice complement to DeSean Jackson and would give Philadelphia the receiving corps they've longed for since the departure of Terrell Owens.

But other teams will also come calling. The Jets would be a logical fit, although they have apparently said they have no interest. The 49ers, Bears and Vikings would also make sense since they are also starved for a big-play WR.

The Anquan Boldin situation will undoubtedly also play into this, as teams would probably rather have him than Holt. But obtaining Boldin would require a trade, where Holt can be had for only money.

If I were a betting man, which I am, I'd put my money on Boldin staying in Arizona and Holt winding up with the Iggles.

Video: Highlights of the Syracuse-UConn 6OT masterpiece

What an unbelievable game it was last night at the Garden as the Orange knocked off the Huskies, 127-117, in six overtimes. The term "classic" gets thrown around way too often in sports, but this one surely lived up to that word.

Dropping Links: Friday the 13th

Syracuse bests UConn in 6-OT Big East thriller |ESPN.com|
Oklahoma State shocks Oklahoma, Blake Griffin |SI.com|
West Virginia upsets No. 2 Pittsburgh in Big East tourney |NBC Sports.com|
Baylor upsets Kansas in Big XII conference tournament |CBS Sports.com|
Lakers beat Spurs to clinch division title |FOX Sports.com|
Santana makes debut, gets rocked, NY press ignores that part |NY Post|
Ken Shamrock banned for a year after testing positive for steroids |Vancouver Sun|

Company selling iPhone virtual bobbleheads for 99 cents |Sports Biz|
A great pic of Randy Moss... with a giant fish and a cigarillo |Shutdown Corner|
Think the Blazers are re-thinking the 2007 NBA Draft? |The Scores Report|
Jonathan Papelbon is a bumbling idiot |Big League Stew|
Michael Phelps talks to Matt Lauer about weed |Fang's Bites|

A compilation of the NBA's all-time best buzzer beaters |Ball Don't Lie|

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Albert Haynesworth indicted for crash that injured man

Newly-minted $100 million man Albert Haynesworth was indicted Monday on charges of reckless driving and an expired registration for a December 13th incident where a man crashed as Haynesworth tried to pass him.

The new Redskin could face up to a total of seven months in jail and $550 in fines for the two charges. He most certainly won't go to jail though because, you know, he's a rich, famous athlete and they get away with almost everything.

Corey Edmonson, the man injured in the crash, needs a wheelchair or walker to get around, according to his lawyer. Haynesworth's attorney says that after the crash Haynesworth pulled over, called police for help and did not leave until he was allowed to by an officer.

A bit of an anniversary for me

It was ten years ago on this very day that I made my first venture into the world of internet writing. It was with a website called "The Wrestling Cafe," an early semi-blog about professional wrestling. And yes, I know it's choreographed. I knew it then, even at the young age of 14. But I loved the behind-the-scenes aspects of the "sport," the storytelling and characters.

The expression is over-used, but it's a male soap opera. If it's okay to watch a television series and think, "I hope Rachel and Ross get back together," even though it is scripted, why is it any more silly to watch a wrestling show and wonder if John Cena will ever turn heel and become a bad guy?

I digress.

The site lasted for a few years but it wasn't as easy to do as it is now. There weren't popular blogging platforms like Blogger and WordPress. It was all HTML and a whole lot of work, which is why it wasn't very successful and I basically gave up on it. That, and I gave up on wrestling for a while once Vince McMahon bought every competing company.

"The Wrestling Cafe" did help spark my passion for writing and for internet journalism, if that's what you would call this. It led me to write for other sites like Sports-Central.org and the now defunct NYSportsFansOnly.com. So for all of that I am very thankful.

And, of course, I'm thankful for anyone who has read me over the years on the sites I mentioned above, here at tonyblogs.net, or on Bleacher Report, YardBarker, or any other syndicated service that has featured my content. Thank you!

Dropping Links: Thursday, March 12th

Manchester United, Barcelona advance in EUFA Champions League |FOX Sports.com|
Hawks snap Utah's winnings streak at 12 games |ESPN.com|
MLB is investigating Dominican age discrepancies |SI.com|
St. John's got absolutely boot-stomped by Marquette |NY Daily News|

Kellog's donates Michael Phelps cereal boxes to food bank |The Final Score|
Could Anquan Boldin be headed to Eagles or Giants? |The Scores Report|
Danny Bonaduce will wrestle for TNA at their "Lockdown" PPV |Rajah.com|
US gymnastics coach is a real pervert |No Guts, No Glory|

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Joey Galloway would be an excellent fit with the Steelers

14-year veteran wide receiver Joey Galloway visited with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday, their first free agent visit this offseason. Galloway could potentially replace Nate Washington as the Stillers' third receiver after Washington left for Tennessee. (How did that one get past my radar?)

Limas Sweed is currently in place to be the #3 man in Pittsburgh behind Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward. Sweed, though, has shown few signs of development since being drafted out of Texas and Galloway would be a much better option as the young receiver continues his progression.

The Steelers are probably also a little concerned about Ward, who had his share of injuries last year and is getting older... even though he's still four years younger than Galloway, who has stayed relatively healthy during the latter stages of his career.

Dropping Links: Wednesday, March 11th

The newest Snickers commercial, featuring Patrick "Chewing"

Netherlands wins 2-1 in 11 to eliminate Dominican Republic |MLB.com|
Rams cut seven-time Pro Bowler, former #1 pick Orlando Pace |FOX Sports.com|
LaDainian Tomlinson restructures contract to stay in San Diego |CBS Sports.com|
NHL GMs propose rule change to cut back on fighting |SI.com|
Warriors release former UConn star Marcus Williams |Contra Costa Times|
Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson grace the cover of Fight Night Round 4 |GameSpot.com|

CBS releases announcing pairings for NCAA Tournament |Awful Announcing|
Horatio from "CSI: Miami" investigates sports blogging |NESW Sports.com|
Moises Alou discusses his impending retirement from MLB |The Final Score|
Don't get nervous if your favorite NFL team hasn't made any moves |The Scores Report|

Bret Hart is still upset about the "Montreal Screw Job" |ESPN.com|

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

David Ortiz surprises everyone, will play 1B for Dominican Republic

I guess his ailing shoulder must be suddenly feeling much better?

A day after Ortiz basically came out and said he can't play first base, he'll be manning that corner so that both Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez can be in the lineup against the Netherlands. Reyes will play shortstop and Ramirez will be the designated hitter.

It is an elimination game, after all, and the Dominican team did lose their first matchup to the Netherlands on Saturday, so manager Felipe Alou wants all his best hitters in the lineup and Ortiz playing first allows him to do just that.

Binghamton area Time Warner subscribers finally get MLB Network HD

Following last week's addition of new sports HD channels, such as Big Ten Network and CBS College Sports, Time Warner Central New York has stepped up their game once again and added MLB Network in high definition on channel 807, as long rumored.

MLBN joins Fox News Channel (823), Bravo (828), Fox Business News (834), CNBC (835), Sci-Fi (846) and FX (847) as the newest HD channels in the Binghamton area.

Could Max Kellerman be Mike Francesa's new sidekick?

ESPN released a statement this morning announcing that ESPN 1050 in New York and host Max Kellerman have mutually parted ways.

Brian Powell of Awful Announcing is reporting that rumors are swirling that Kellerman is about to join Mike Francesa as his new sidekick and replacement for Chris Russo.

Personally I think it would be a good fit. Francesa desperately needs a sidekick and Kellerman is one of the better sports talk radio hosts in the business. He already is in New York and has a strong familiarity with the local sports scene. He has a younger following, something that could boost Francesa's strong NYC ratings even more.

I'm not sure how the two would fit together, since Francesa is a strong-headed know-it-all and Max actually knows his stuff and provides facts to back it up. But I am very interested to see the two together and I'm the first to admit that the addition of Kellerman, former "Around the Horn" host, would bring me back to "Mike'd Up" each weekday.

Video: Chris Russo knocks out Mike Francesa in boxing match

From friend of the blog Bob Mantz comes this gem. It's Chris "Mad Dog" Russo v. Mike Francesa in the game "Mike Tyson's Punchout." You'll notice Newsday's Neil Best as the special referee, with the corners being "sponsored" by Howard Stern and friend of the blog Bob Glauber.

I have to say, I thought Francesa would put up a better fight than that. Clearly he has the weight and height advantages. But Russo knocks him out just the same way you knock out every big bully, with a punch square on the jaw.

Hilarious, Mantz. Great stuff.

Video: Trevor Ariza hard foul on Rudy Fernandez, altercation

Here's a look at the hard foul from Trevor Ariza of the Lakers on Rudy Fernandez of the Blazers. The hit was ruled a flagrant II foul, which is an automatic ejection. Things got heated right after, but at first glance this seems like an average attempt at a block on a breakaway play that got worse because of the way Fernandez fell. Take a look and decide for yourself.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, March 10th

D-Wade drops 48, hits game winner, Heat drop Bulls in 2 OT's |FOX Sports.com|
Charles Barkley finishes his three-day jail sentence |CBS Sports.com|
David Stern says everything is good with NBA's finances |SI.com|

Eagles worker fired over Facebook comments about Dawkins departure |What About Bob?|
Versus will televise first year of UFL coverage |WatchDog|
Bills fans should be concerned with T.O.'s cold weather performances |Josh Q. Public|
A mini Championship Week preview: #1 seeds and bubble teams |The Scores Report|

(Photo by Victor Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Looks like I was right about David Ortiz

Not that I'm trying to pat myself on the back or anything, because I'm certainly not the first person to have the suspicion that Ortiz wasn't injured but rather didn't want to play first base to avoid embarrassment.

Newsday's Jim Baumbach spoke to the Red Sox slugger earlier today. Here are some of the quotes Baumbach gathered from Ortiz:

- "I'm not a first baseman," Ortiz said. "Everybody knows that."

- "You got to be aware of what you are capable of doing and deal with it. I know people believe that as a first baseman you don’t have to be throwing all over the place but you never know when you need to make a throw. Tough situation, save the game, or whatever, it doesn’t work out and then what are you going to say?"

- "Dude you know what? I'm not a first baseman anymore. I hung up my glove a long time ago. I might go out there and try but everybody knows me as a DH, not as a gold glover. Since day I, since I come here, I said I would play if I had no problem, first base, but if you got something that bothers you and at the same time you’re not even a real first baseman…"

I asked earlier if Ortiz would just admit that he doesn't want to cost his team a game by playing a position that he really doesn't play anymore and, in essence, he did just that. Does he read this blog?

Video: Jimmy Rollins Dick's Sporting Goods commercial

I really like this commercial and I especially like the expressions on Jimmy Rollins' face throughout, but it's still just a tad too close to a ripoff of that scene in Happy Gilmore for me. The whole time I'm just waiting for Carl Weathers to come over and unplug the pitching machine. They even jacked the end part where the kid tries it and doubles over. Either way, it's pretty funny. Enjoy.

Binghamton U's DJ Rivera gets snubbed as America East Player of the Year

Even though Binghamton University guard DJ Rivera averaged 20.2 points per game and is regarded by many as having the best talent of any player in the America East conference, he was not chosen as the conference's Player of the Year, nor was he in the top five to make the All-Conference team. In fact, no one from the BU Bearcats was chosen, even though they are the best team in the America East and are playing for the conference championship this Sunday.

The awards are voted on by coaches in the America East and many of them are unhappy with Binghamton head coach Kevin Broadus. Since becoming BU's head man, Broadus has accepted transfers of questionable character, with Rivera being one of them.

Rivera transferred from St. Joseph's and was academically ineligible for a semester last year, but did not have to sit out a season due to the NCAA's "hardship waiver rule."

This was basically a statement being made by coaches of teams like Albany, Vermont and Boston University, who are also in the conference.
“It wasn’t a protest toward the kid at all,” said Patrick Nero, the America East commissioner. “It was a protest toward the N.C.A.A. in allowing him to be eligible. It’s unfortunate, I don’t think it’s right. It’s unfair to the young man. He didn’t do anything wrong.”
(Quote courtesy The New York Times. The local Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin in no way contributed to this report.)

Video: Vince Carter windmill dunk v. Knicks

Vince Carter is 32 years old, but "half-man, half-amazing" can still get up in the air. Here's a look at the nice baseline windmill jam he threw down against the New York Knicks.

David Ortiz does not have an injured left shoulder

In fact, ESPN's Pedro Gomez said yesterday during the Dominican Republic's game against Panama that the real feeling is that Ortiz simply doesn't want to embarrass himself or cost his team a game by making a mistake at first base.

Manager Felipe Alou had hoped to play Ortiz there so he could use Jose Reyes at shortstop and Hanley Ramirez at DH, or vice versa.

You can make a strong case for this argument because, as Newsday's Jim Baumbach astutely responded to a comment of mine on his Final Score blog, if Ortiz were really hurt, "wouldn't the Red Sox be on the phone saying DON'T PLAY!!!"

I can't argue with the decision by Ortiz, but why not just admit it? We all know he can't play the field at all, it's no secret.

David Beckham plans to own MLS team after career ends

David Beckham has been receiving some criticism for his move to AC Milan, splitting time with them and the LA Galaxy. Many critics says it seems like he is trying to wiggle his way out of his $250 million Galay contract.

Becks is saying that isn't the case at all, and even plans to exercise a clause in his contract that would give him stake in an MLS team once his career is over.
"I have an option to own an MLS franchise as soon as I finish playing and I will start that immediately," he told Reuters. "It is something that I'm really excited about and so hopefully that proves to a lot of people that I am committed to making the game bigger and better in the U.S."
So far Beckham hasn't done much to elevate the level of soccer in the United States, but he seems earnest in his desire. Or maybe it's because it is much cheaper to buy an MLS franchise than one of the European powerhouses. Either way, the game needs help to become popular in America and Beckham has the money and popularity to help.

(Quote via LA Times)

Dropping Links: Monday, March 9th

UNC beats Duke, 79-71, to win ACC regular season title |CBS Sports.com|
US baseball's version of "Redeem Team" wins again, makes second round of WBC |ESPN.com|
Marbury makes first start, Celtics fall to Magic |FOX Sports.com|

An interesting look at the NFL's budget cuts from FOTB Bob Glauber |What About Bob?|
NBC adds typographic insult to injury |Tirico Suave|
Apparently everyone hates MLB 2K9 |PastaPadre.com|

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lazy Sunday Linkfest: March 8th

- Alex Rodriguez opts for arthroscopic surgery on his torn hip labrum and will miss 6-9 weeks following the procedure. On the bright side, that means A-Rod might only miss two weeks of the regular season. The down side, though, is that Alex could be bothered by nagging injuries from the surgery during the entire season, perhaps forcing him to have the major surgery that he intends to have at the end of the season a bit early.

- AC Milan and the LA Galaxy have agreed to a deal where they will both share David Beckham. Could Beckham make his desire to leave the MLS any more clear?

World Baseball Classic
- Pudge Rodriguez auditioned well for a new team, leading Puerto Rico past Panama.
- Venezuela knocked off Italy.
- The Netherlands beat the Dominican Republic 3-2. Manager Felipe Alou is full of excuses.
- Team USA drilled three home runs in 6-5 win over Canada.

Video: Terrell Owens' introductory press conference with the Bills

As you know by now, Terrell Owens is the newest member of the Buffalo Bills, signing a one-year, $6.5 million deal.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Some late-afternoon linkage: Friday, March 6th

- Terrell Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, says several teams are interested in T.O. and he'll have a deal by the end of next week.

- Serena Williams played some beer pong with Jimmy Fallon on his new late-night talk show.

- Former over-hyped NFL player and "movie star" Brian Bosworth arrested for DUI.

- MLB.com bans customized "A-Fraud" #13 Yankees jerseys.

- Family of three missing football players has called off the search for their remains.

Happy Birthday, Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal is 37 years old today and to honor that I've decided to post every nickname I can think of for the Phoenix Suns center.

Shaq Fu
The Big Cactus
The Diesel
Big Daddy
The Big Aristotle
The Big Shaqtus
The Big Agave
Walt Chamberneezy (given to him by Kobe Bryant while they were LA teammates)
The Big Baryshnikov
The Big Galactus
Dr. Shaq (after earning an MBA)
The Real Deal
The Big Deporter (after knocking foreigners Arvydas Sabonis and Rik Smits out of the playoffs)
Shaq Albert (from a Mark Cuban cartoon that depicted him as Fat Albert)
Osama Bin Shaq (for terrorizing Keith Van Horn in the post, which he received much criticism for)
The Big Banana (for peeling the life out of the NJ Nets)

Good Lord, that's a lot of nicknames. Many of these were given by Shaq himself, which violates the rules of nicknames, but he's Shaq, so we'll let it slide.

Happy birthday, big fella!