Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pistons fire Michael Curry after one season, eye Doug Collins as replacement?

The Pistons have fired head coach Michael Curry after a disappointing first season. Detroit barely made the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference and were quickly eliminated.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Doug Collins may be the favorite for the job, even though no replacement has been named.

Curry was apparently fired because of his failure to get along with Rip Hamilton, whom he benched in favor of Allen Iverson several times. That seems a little unfair, though, since it was Joe Dumars who brought the hard-to-handle Iverson into the mix.

A lack of success certainly also had to do with his demise and it seems now might be the time to start fresh in Detroit, with possible departures of some of their stars on the way.

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You can become a fan of our tonyblogs.net page on Facebook, if you're into that sort of thing.

You can also check us out on Twitter, by following tonyblogs.

Finally, I'll be a guest on Real Sports Talk with Kenrick Thomas this Thursday at 10pm. I'll be talking baseball. You can listen live at this link or check out Kenrick's blog right here.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, June 30th

Tim Lincecum throws 2-hitter in 3rd complete game of the season |ESPN.com|
Roy Halladay loses to Rays in return from the disabled list |FOX Sports.com|
Charlie Villanueva an unrestricted free agent as Bucks don't make offer |SI.com|
The Supreme Court will hear NFL antitrust case |Yahoo! Sports|

Rumor mill: Knicks looking at Jason Kidd? |Ball Don't Lie|
Five reasons MLB should ban the shaving cream pie |Big League Stew|
A look at ESPN's plans for their 2010 World Cup coverage |Fang's Bites|
NCAA Football 10's "Road to Glory" mode detailed |PastaPadre.com|
Roger Goodell could come down hard on Plax and Vick |The Scores Report|
ESPN has another summer filler planned for SportsCenter |Awful Announcing|

Monday, June 29, 2009

Yao Ming could be out for all of next season, maybe longer

Yahoo.com's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Rockets executives are telling people privately that Yao Ming may miss the entire 2009-2010 campaign and perhaps longer, thanks to his broken foot.

Some even fear that Yao may never play again.

Yao had surgery to repair the broken foot a year ago, when three pins were inserted, but he cracked it again this year in the playoffs. Sources say it isn't healing well.

Ken Rosenthal will join MLB Network as an "Insider"

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.com and FOX's Saturday MLB coverage will be joining the MLB Network as an "Insider," beginning tomorrow. Rosenthal joins SI's Jon Heyman and Tom Verducci in that role.

Here is some of the release, courtesy of Fang's Bites:
Secaucus, N.J., June 29, 2009 – MLB Network today announced that Ken Rosenthal has joined its roster of on-air talent. Rosenthal will join the cast of MLB Tonight beginning Tuesday, June 30 at 6:00 p.m. ET. Rosenthal, who will continue his reporting for FoxSports.com and MLB on Fox, joins Sports Illustrated senior writers Tom Verducci and Jon Heyman as Baseball Insiders on the MLB Network team.

“Ken brings a wealth of on-air reporting experience and insight into the game and we’re excited to welcome him to MLB Network,” said Tony Petitti, president and CEO of MLB Network. “As we grow as a network, it’s important that we continue to bring fans the most up-to-date information from the best resources in the business.”
Personally I can't stand Rosenthal and his pre-rehearsed diatribes but maybe it will be different when he's on the set.

Dropping Links: Monday, June 29th

Rivera gets 500th save and first career RBI as Yankees sweep Mets |ESPN.com|
Brazil rallies from down 2-0 to beat US in Confederations Cup Final |FOX Sports.com|
Tommy Hanson shuts down Red Sox, improves to 4-0 in rookie season |SI.com|
Zach Greinke wins 10th game of season, improves ERA to 1.95 |CBS Sports.com|
Famed pitchman Billy Mays found dead at the age of 50 |CNN.com|
Full WWE The Bash pay-per-view results and recap |411mania.com Wrestling|
Ring announcer Lilian Garcia announces she is leaving WWE |Rajah.com|
Bills not in a hurry to add more Toronto games to schedule |Yahoo.com|

A look at the top unrestricted NBA free agents of this summer |The Scores Report|
Shaq will wear his collegiate number 33 in Cleveland |Ball Don't Lie|
Darren Rovell of CNBC, with thoughts on Billy Mays |Sports Biz|
Padres will join Yankees in streaming of in-market games online |Fang's Bites|
Jimmy Fallon beat Tiger Woods at his own Wii game (w/ video) |NESW Sports.com|
Initial impressions of the Fight Night Round 4 videogame |PastaPadre.com|
Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will host an FX Movie Fest |Awful Announcing|
All that Rubio-to-the-Knicks talk is likely hype from his agent |BergerSphere|
Shaq claims he previously nixed a trade to Portland while in Phoenix |SPORTSbyBROOKS|

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ricky Rubio likely to stay in Spain for at least one year

It was rumored that Ricky Rubio was not very happy to be chosen by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rubio was not in attendance at today's media session in Minnesota where last night's draft picks were introduced, furthering that speculation.

The Pioneer Press is reporting that Rubio's father told the Spanish newspaper Marca that "He might go now or he might remain (in Europe) one more year...or even two. It's all open, although the most likely scenario is that he stays in Europe more time. We have to talk with the folks in Minnesota...and see what happens, because, at this point, we can go to Minnesota or otherwise."

Newsday's Alan Hahn suggests that Minnesota's strategy for selecting point guards with two consecutive picks was not so much for a trade, but in case Rubio decided to stay in Spain they would still have Jonny Flynn to run the point this year.

The T'Wolves certainly stocked up on point guards during the draft as a precaution, drafting four. They will keep three of them after trading Ty Lawson to Denver.

A look at the contracts of each of the NBA Draft's lottery picks

The NBA uses a slotted contract system, unlike the NFL, so players can't wiggle too much in regards to what they will make in their first three-year rookie contract. That's where the endorsements come in but with this year's crop of rookies and our declining economy, endorsements might not be as great.

Number one pick Blake Griffin will make $16,071,840 over the first three years of his NBA career while Tyler Hansbrough, the 13th pick, will pull in $5,995,800.

CNBC's Darren Rovell has each lottery pick's contract, team and agent at Sports Biz.

Dropping Links: Friday, June 26th

Clippers do just as expected, draft Griffin with No. 1 pick |FOX Sports.com|
Recap the draft with our 2009 NBA Draft Live Blog
Michael Jordan looking to assemble team to purchase Bobcats |SI.com|
John smoltz shaky in first start for Red Sox, Nats rout Boston |CBS Sports.com|
Geovany Soto tested positive for pot during World Baseball Classic |ESPN.com|

People are getting carried away over the US soccer team's defeat of Spain |Tirico Suave|
Brandon Jennings bum rushes the show at NBA Draft |Ball Don't Lie|
A look at the biggest lottery pick busts of the last 25 years |No Guts, No Glory|

Thursday, June 25, 2009

2009 NBA Draft Live Blog

Welcome to our NBA Draft Live Blog, the first ever live blog at tonyblogs.net. Be sure to keep checking back for all my thoughts on tonight's developments. Feel free to leave a comment and I'll incorporate them into the live blog. You can also check out more updates on my Twitter page.

7:32pm: So much drama and suspense. I wonder who the Clippers will take! Okay, seriously David Stern, can you just stop talking so we can see who the No. 2 pick is?

7:38pm: Blake Griffin shockingly goes to the Clippers at No. 1. (I keed, I keed) Ken Berger of CBS is reporting that the Celtics have made inquiries about the #2 pick. I would guess Rajon Rondo could be involved in this deal since Memphis has been rumored to be looking at a point guard in the draft anyway.

7:45pm: Grizzlies take Hasheem the Dream. That could mean a trade of Darko to the Knicks could happen very soon. On a side note, was David Stern just going through puberty as he announced that pick?

7:51pm: James Harden at No. 3?!? I know a lot of people are high on this guy but I am certainly not one of them. The guy looks like he's playing in slow motion. This certainly changes things for Ricky Rubio, who probably goes next to the Kings.

7:57pm: There goes that scenario. Kings take Tyreke Evans out of Memphis. Now does Minnesota take Flynn and Curry, or Rubio and Curry?

8:03pm: Wolves snag Ricky Rubio so Curry is probably next, according to all the rumors we've been reading and hearing. Wow, a bunch of clever fans chanting "USA! USA!" Heckling is fine, but let's be creative at least, okay?

8:09pm: Jonny Flynn? Wow. The Timberwolves take two point guards, which means if Curry doesn't get snatched by the Warriors he will definitely be a Knick. I wonder if the Wolves taking two PGs has anything to do with a potential sign-and-trade deal that could happen in July, once those deals are allowed to be made.

8:15pm: Lots of sighs and sadness as the Warriors take Curry at No. 7. I'm not that high on Stephen Curry. I know he can shoot but he's not a great defender. Knicks are on the clock. I'd love to see them trade down here, but they might grab Henderson from Duke here.

8:20pm: Knicks nab Jordan Hill from Arizona. Could that mean David Lee will get traded once restricted free agents can be moved in July? Maybe that T'Wolves trade scenario is true after all.

8:23pm: Ken Berger says on his Twitter page that Hill may not be a Knick for long. There are some rumors Hill could be packaged in a deal for Ricky Rubio.

8:32pm: A little surprised at Brandon Jennings going No. 10 to the Bucks, only because his agent had advised him to stay away from the arena during the draft to avoid any embarrassment.

8:35pm: Rumors floating around now about a possible deal that would send Jordan Hill and Nate Robinson to Minny for Ricky Rubio. Not sure if that's a good deal for the Knicks or not. That is a deal that couldn't be done until July, I believe, because of the NBA's rules on trading restricted free agents.

8:38pm: Adrian Wojnarowski was right on the money as the Nets take Terrence Williams at No. 11.

8:41pm: A tweet from Kevin Love on Twitter: "im on the tredmill as we speak...gotta start running with these 2 point gods"

8:45pm: Proof Gerald Henderson will be a bust? Michael Jordan just drafted him.

8:51pm: I would have thought it was too high to take Hansbrough with any first round pick, so I'm astonished at this pick. But maybe Indiana is looking for the next Rik Smits.

8:56pm: Nice moment there as Brandon Jennings arrived at the draft to shake hands and get his photo snapped with the commish.

9:24pm: Things were moving along in rather boring fashion and then the Timberwolves took another point guard in Ty Lawson. There is almost certainly a trade in the works for one of the three rookie PGs.

9:30pm: K-Berg says Lawson pick was part of a trade to the Nuggets.

9:52pm: BJ Mullens started two games in his one-year career at Ohio State, but he's really big so he gets drafted in the first round. Makes sense why there are so many busts now, doesn't it?

10:15pm: Lakers on the clock now but it looks like it will be the Knicks' choice. Andy Katz is saying that rumored Darko-for-Q Rich trade is about to go down. I like that trade for the Knicks.

10:16pm: If that pick is in fact for the Knicks, I think Toney Douglas is a good fit for New York. That probably also signals the end of Nate Robinson's Knicks career.

10:36pm: We're getting into no-name territory now which is why it's even more surprising that DeJuan Blair and Chase Budinger haven't been drafted yet.

10:38pm: The Knicks-Grizzlies trade is now official. Knicks send Quentin Richardson and cash to Memphis for Darko Milicic.

10:50pm: DeJuan Blair finally gets drafted but not before his Pittsburgh teammate Sam Young.

10:54pm: It's official: Ty Lawson traded to the Nuggets for their 2010 first-round pick.

11:04pm: Forgot Jodie Meeks was still around. Pretty good pick at No. 41. Meeks is a shooter that can score in bunches and will fit in well with the rebuilding Bucks.

11:12pm: ESPN usually does a great job with big events but their coverage of the draft has been just awful. And enough with Dick Vitale. He must have said "When you look at [insert team or player name] you talk about..." 20 times in his last segment. Stu Scott has been horrendous, as could be expected. Ernie Johnson would have been a hundred times better tonight. Jay Bilas has been great, though, so I'll give credit where it's due.

11:27pm: Didn't see this coming: Taylor Griffin drafted at No. 48 by the Phoenix Suns.

12:06pm: Robert Dozier of Memphis is the last person drafted at No. 60 by the Miami Heat. It should be an interesting time now with a lot of big college names out there. Should be fun to see who ends up where as post-draft signings.

Thanks for joining us for the live blog and stay tuned to tonyblogs.net for all your sports information!

Video: Michael Jackson v. Michael Jordan

Michael Jackson was the King of Pop and taught the King of the NBA once. This video was posted originally by our friend Ethan at NESWSports.com on June 22nd. I thought I'd toss it up here with the recent news of Jackson's tragic passing at age 50.

Michael Jackson passes away at the age of 50

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, has passed away at the age of 50 after suffering from cardiac arrest earlier today. He went into a coma after being rushed to the hospital and died shortly after, according to CNN.

Everyone knows about the controversies that have surrounded Michael Jackson but it can't be denied that he was a huge star and made some incredible music.

It's truly a sad day in the world of popular culture and entertainment.

Magic agree in pinciple to acquire Vince Carter from Nets

Apparently the sources were right about that Vince Carter trade getting done sometime today. Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Nets have agreed to the trade in principle.

The terms of the deal have Carter and Ryan Anderson heading to the Magic in exchange for Rafer Alston, Tony Battie and Courtney Lee.

Wojnarowski also says the Nets will draft Louisville's shooting guard Terrence Williams with their 11th pick if he is still available.

The trade would mark another big name switching teams in the last three days. Carter would join Richard Jefferson, Shaquille O'Neal, Mike Miller and Jamal Crawford as players who have found new homes this week.

NBA Draft Buzz: Amare to the Warriors, Vince to the Magic?

Here's some of the latest draft day gossip floating around the world wide web:

- Adrian Wojnarowski reports that league sources are saying that the Suns and Warriors have discussed a deal that would send Amare Stoudemire to Golden State. The Suns would receive Andris Biedrins and tonight's 7th overall pick in the trade, although Golden State head coach Don Nelson is saying that the talks aren't serious yet.

- The Nets and Magic are in serious discussions, however, about a trade of Vince Carter to Orlando for Rafer Alston, Tony Battie and Courtney Lee. Sources are saying the deal could be completed at some point today.

If it goes down, this trade would be a big one for the Magic. Carter may not be what he once was, but he would be a nice piece to add to Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard. Orlando doesn't have room for Alston anyway, so losing him isn't quite as painful.

For the Nets, it would be a pure salary dump and would help create cap room for the team to make a run at one (or more) of the many free agents who could be available in the summer of 2010. In the short term, it would allow Devin Harris to move back to a more natural shooting guard position.

Josh's Corner: Shaqalier?

Los Angeles correspondent Josh Garcia is back with a timely post weighing in on Cleveland's acquisition of Shaquille O'Neal from the Phoenix Suns.

The “Big Cactus” is moving to a cooler climate.

The 37 year old Shaquille O’Neal has been dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic and the 46th pick in the NBA draft, happening later tonight. Ben Wallace is on the fence about retirement so to me this is more of a cap space move for the Suns. Shaq is going to make over $20 million next season and I have a feeling he is going to be worth every penny.

After witnessing his ex-partner-in-crime Kobe Bryant win his 4th ring this year, Shaq is on a mission to get in better shape, stay healthy and get "one for the thumb," also known as his 5th championship, which would be one more than Kobe. Despite what may be said in the media between the two, there has to be some sort of jealousy or animosity of some sort. They had a bitter break up in L.A. and Shaq still blames Kobe for pushing him out. I won’t even bring up the rap that Shaq did about Kobe. I know they made up at the All-Star game but come on now, they are still competitive and have large egos.

It’s Lebron’s town, its Lebron’s team. That is well established. Can Shaq be 2nd fiddle in Cleveland? Can Shaq manage to be the Scottie Pippen to Lebron’s Air Jordan? Or more like the Jester to his King. I’m not sure. And what about big Z in the middle? Is he going to come off the bench? Two seven footers could be hard to handle on the court with Shaq’s post game and Z’s outside touch.

More importantly what is Shaq’s new nickname going to be in Cleveland? Shaq’n’roll? Lake Shaqrie? Shaqili? Shaqogie? I don’t know I hear Cleveland has a lot of Chili and Polish foods, not together but who knows. If he throws out the first pitch at the Indians game is he a "Shaqdian?" What about if he lines up next to Braylon Edwards on Sunday, is he "The Big Brown?" Hm, wait let's just hope he doesn’t play football. That’ll be in poor taste. I also hope Shaq won’t say anything about steamers.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself but the early favorites for next year’s finals are Kobe’s L.A. Lakers and Lebron’s Cleveland Cavaliers. I think it was before the trade and now you add Shaq into the mix and it adds so much story and drama that if it doesn’t end up with those two teams at the end it will somehow feel like a bigger letdown than this year after seeing all those puppet commercials with Lebron and Kobe. One thing is for certain, Shaq is going to make Cleveland the center of the NBA and professional basketball world.

With 2010 looming, all eyes will be on what Cleveland manages to do now that they actually brought in some help for "King James."

Knicks reportedly purchase 29th overall pick from Lakers

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting the Knicks have purchased the 29th overall pick in tonight's NBA Draft from the LA Lakers. Los Angeles GM Mitch Kupchak said yesterday the team would likely try to move the pick to have enough money available to sign Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza in the offseason.

Wojnarowski says this means the Knicks will target a PG with their own 8th pick and a big with the 29th selection. I would think that it could also mean New York wants to package the two picks together (perhaps with something else included) to try to move up and select Ricky Rubio, or to be sure they can land Stephen Curry, who might not fall past the Timberwolves and their two consecutive picks.

Could Steve Nash soon be a New York Knick?

The question has been asked often lately and there are obvious reasons why it could happen. Nash is in the final year of his contract, something that fits with New York's "2010 Plan." Nash won two MVP's playing for Mike D'Antoni in Phoenix and would certainly welcome a reunion with the coach.

With Shaquille O'Neal now in Cleveland, might Nash be ready to finally leave Phoenix?

Here's what Nash had to say to the New York Post's Brian Lewis regarding that:
"Obviously I love New York City; I'm making this my home. Mike D'Antoni is one of my favorite coaches. So in a lot of ways it'd be amazing," said Nash, who lives in SoHo during the offseason. "But it's not simple; a lot of stuff has to go right for me to be in New York. And I'm happy in Phoenix. We'll see what happens.

"Obviously I live in the city and I love Mike, so it would definitely be an exciting option for me... It'd be a great option. And it's always good to have options."
Not a lot of revealing stuff from Nash there, mostly because he's not a diva and wouldn't want to alienate Phoenix should something not work out. I think it would be a perfect fit, since Nash clearly wasn't the same under the Terry Porter style of offense in Phoenix. He did return to his old form under Alvin Gentry but that was with Shaq and Amare Stoudemire, whom the Suns are also interested in trading in the offseason.

While Nash would love to stay in Phoenix, he probably wouldn't if there were no pieces around him. That would seem to clear the way for a trade to the Knicks.

Report: Shaquille O'Neal traded to Cleveland Cavaliers

ESPN is reporting that the oft-discussed Shaq-to-Cleveland trade has gone down. The Cavs will send Sasha Pavlovic, Ben Wallace, the 46th pick in this year's draft and $500,000 to the Suns for the Big Shaqtus.

The deal is now only contingent on league approval, although Shaq hadn't been told of the deal at the time of this post by the Suns, according to his Twitter page.

The Cavaliers would be hoping Shaq could do for LeBron James what he did for Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade earlier in their careers: bring them a championship.

Though O'Neal is certainly not the same player he was in Los Angeles, or perhaps even Miami, he did have one of his best seasons last year. The Suns were careful with the Diesel, not using him in back-to-backs. That allowed him to average 17.8 points and 8.4 rebounds.

Dropping Links: Thursday, June 25th

Happy Birthday to my father, also known as The Rooster, whom you may remember from our Six Picks for Sunday competition during the 2008 NFL Season. I won, but I won't rub it in too much since it's his day today.

LSU beats Texas 11-4 to capture sixth NCAA national championship |ESPN.com|
Iowa HS football coach Ed Thomas shot and killed by former player |SI.com|
US soccer upsets Spain in Confederations Cup semifinal |FOX Sports.com|\
Julius Peppers signs $16.7 million tender with Panthers |Yahoo.com|

US Open scorecards from Bethpage are now up for auction |Sports Biz|
You probably heard about the T.O.-Joanna Krupa thing |No Guts, No Glory|

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Shaq-to-Cleveland talks have heated up once again

CBS Sports.com's Ken Berger, along with others, is reporting that the on-again, off-again trade talks that would send Shaquille O'Neal to the Cavs are on... again.

The deal would send Shaq to the Cavs in exchange for Cleveland's first-round draft pick, Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic. It is rumored that Wallace may be set to retire and take a buyout, which would make this cap friendly deal even friendlier for the Suns.

All signs point to the Big Diesel/Aristotle/Cactus/etc. heading somewhere before tomorrow night's draft is completed, with Cleveland being the most likely destination. It seems like a final effort by the Cavs to get the pieces in place for a title run before possibly losing LeBron James in 2010.

Video: Highlight reel of the top 14 prospects in NBA Draft

I could go on all day snatching videos from YouTube and posting them here of each individual guy, but here's a compilation of the top 14 projected picks in tomorrow's draft, put together by NADAninguem.

For a more in-depth look on all of the prospects, check out 2009NBADraft.com.

Video: Tyreke Evans highlight reel

To help you get a better idea of what some of tomorrow's projected top NBA Draft picks are capable of, I'll be posting some highlight reels from YouTube. Next is Tyreke Evans, the 19-year-old from Memphis. The clip comes from Playstationshow who, as you'll see in the video, thinks Evans is headed to the T'Wolves. So do a lot of others.

Video: James Harden highlight reel

To help you get a better idea of what some of tomorrow's projected top NBA Draft picks are capable of, I'll be posting some highlight reels from YouTube. Arizona State's James Harden is projected by many as a top five pick. His reel was compiled by jwester555. (NSFW Audio for part of the video)

Video: Stephen Curry highlight reel

To help you get a better idea of what some of tomorrow's projected top NBA Draft picks are capable of, I'll be posting some highlight reels from YouTube. Here's Stephen Curry, who was once likely headed to the Knicks but could now go even higher. The Knicks are rumored to be working on a trade to move up and snag the Davidson star. This compilation comes from tapdancingtommy.

Video: Hasheem Thabeet highlight reel

To help you get a better idea of what some of tomorrow's projected top NBA Draft picks are capable of, I'll be posting some highlight reels from YouTube. Next up, UConn's Hasheem Thabeet. He probably needs to bulk up a bit but he has the size and shot blocking ability to be big in the pro game. This compilation is from shardpiece.

Video: Blake Griffin highlight reel

To help you get a better idea of what some of tomorrow's projected top NBA Draft picks are capable of, I'll be posting some highlight reels from YouTube. Up next is the consensus number one pick and soon-to-be LA Clipper Blake Griffin, from SoonerSportsCom.

Video: Ricky Rubio highlight reel

To help you get a better idea of what some of tomorrow's projected top NBA Draft picks are capable of, I'll be posting some highlight reels from YouTube. Up first, Spain's Ricky Rubio, from Shdk.

Video: A chat with NBA Draft prospect Ricky Rubio

I'm posting this for a few reasons. One, so you can get to know Ricky Rubio a little bit better. He's expected to be a high pick in tomorrow's NBA Draft. Two, so you can see how ridiculous the hair is on Andrew Nicholson, who is interviewing Rubio. Three, I know Nicholson is probably just nervous but he seems to have a worse grasp on the English language than Spain's Rubio.

Hawks, Warriors close to Jamal Crawford trade

A lot of big names moving around in the last few days and the latest is Jamal Crawford, who is likely headed to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Acie Law and Speedy Claxton.

If and when the trade is completed it would probably mean the end of Mike Bibby's Atlanta tenure. He is set to become a free agent and, though Crawford isn't a true point guard, Bibby likely wouldn't be needed with a ball-dominant Jamal on the squad.

Dropping Links: Wednesday, June 24th

Phil Jackson may let Kurt Rambis coach some road games next year |ESPN.com|
Manny Ramirez hitless in AAA rehab start, fans still cheer |FOX Sports.com|
Texas evens College World Series final against LSU at 1-1 |SI.com|

Aaron Shutway's amazing flipping overhand shot (video) |The Scores Report|
Did Sammy Sosa alter his jerseys to make his arms look bigger? |Sports Biz|

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

President Obama will throw out ceremonial first pitch at All-Star Game

Barack Obama will become just the fourth US President to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at an All-Star Game on July 14th in St. Louis. It will also be the first time he throws out the opening pitch as President.

The three other presidents to toss out the first pitch were John F. Kennedy in Washington in 1962, Richard Nixon in Washington in 1970 and Gerald Ford in 1976 in Philadelphia.

Obama had previously turned down similar offers for Opening Day ceremonies this year in Chicago and Washington, and he more recently turned down the invite for this Saturday's Civil Rights game between the Reds and White Sox in Cincinnati.

It won't be the first time he's thrown out a first pitch, though, as he did that as a US Senator in 2005 when the White Sox hosted the Angels in the ALCS.

Wizards and T'Wolves talking swap of Foye, Miller for 5th pick in Draft

Apparently that earlier trade of Richard Jefferson to the Spurs was an indication of more deals to come. ESPN is reporting that the Wizards are close to trading their first round pick (5th overall) in Thursday's NBA Draft to the Timberwolves in exchange for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. Minnesota would receive Oleksiy Pecherov, Etan Thomas and Darius Songaila as well as the 5th pick.

Minnesota would own the 5th and 6th picks in the draft if the deal is completed. ESPN's Andy Katz claims they will not try to package those picks together to move up, even though they apparently covet Spain's Ricky Rubio.

The deal would give Washington a very formidable offense, especially in the Eastern Conference. Gilbert Arenas will be healthy this season and Caron Butler showed that he can be an elite player last year in Agent Zero's absence. Miller would give the team a serious perimeter threat, as would Foye, if he can stay healthy.

Report: Spurs land Richard Jefferson from Bucks in four player deal

The San Antonio Spurs just made a case to be considered among the best teams in the Western Conference once again. According to sources, the Spurs have agreed to acquire Richard Jefferson from the Bucks in exchange for Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto.

It's not hard to see that this is a great deal for San Antonio as they get a wing presence to join Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, while hardly giving anything up to do so. Bowen is a lockdown defender but his best days are far behind him. Kurt Thomas is not the same player he once was either.

This may be the first in a series of trades to go down before Thursday's NBA Draft, with the Wizards rumored to be shopping their 5th overall pick and the Suns dangling Amare Stoudemire once again.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, June 23rd

Carlos Beltran joins Reyes, Delgado on DL for Metropolitans |ESPN.com|
Gloria Estefan reportedly buying a piece of the Dolphins |FOX Sports.com|
Celtics reportedly offered Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen to Pistons |Yahoo.com|

A closer look at Brandon Jennings and Ricky Rubio from a former teammate |The Scores Report|
Has Kobe Bryant now cemented his legacy with 4th championship |No Guts, No Glory|

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dropping Links: Monday, June 22nd

Lucas Glover captures US Open championship at Bethpage Black |ESPN.com|
DT La'Roi Glover retires after 13 seasons, six Pro Bowls |The Times-Picayune|
James Blake loses in Wimbledon first round |SI.com|

Blake Griffin is NCAA Basketball 10 cover athlete |PastaPadre.com|
ESPN gets the rights to the English Premier League |Fang's Bites|

Friday, June 19, 2009

A look at some notable players selected in UFL Draft

So the United Football League held a draft yesterday and I'm sure you've been hanging on the edge of your seat to see the results. According to Chris Mortensen (so who knows if it's really true) each team had already signed 20 players and this draft was to fill out the rosters with remaining players available who had worked out in Orlando and Las Vegas.

Notable players selected (and by notable I mean guys you may have heard of) include:

Las Vegas
- Adam Archuleta, LB/S
- Adrian Awasom, DE

New York
- LaBrandon Toefield, RB

- Brooks Bollinger, QB
- Mike Doss, S
- Chris Perry, RB
- Jermaine Wiggins, TE

San Francisco
- Femi Ayanbadejo, RB
- BJ Sams, WR

Not a bad group of names there, actually. Doss and Archuleta had pretty good NFL careers, while Toefield and Perry got a good sniff of the league. These players aren't guaranteed to play in the UFL but each franchise now owns the rights to those players should they decide to play.

Some other notable former NFL guys will be playing in the UFL, like JP Losman, Tim Rattay and Quinn Gray, so it shouldn't be awful. But with only four teams how good can it really be?

Dropping Links: Friday, June 19th

NFL suspends Donte Stallworth indefinitely following court ruling |ESPN.com|
Lamar Odom hoping he and Trevor Ariza will return to Lakers |FOX Sports.com|
Willis returns to DL with "anxiety" and Magglio Ordonez benched |SI.com|

Chris Berman will be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame |Awful Announcing|
Tickets for the Monday round of US Open are the best value |Sports Biz|
The USGA doesn't really care if you bought a ticket and got rained out |Bob's Blitz|

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Josh's Corner: The Death of Baseball

Friend, former "CortSide" co-host and Los Angeles correspondent Josh Garcia shares his thoughts on the steroid controversy surrounding baseball and the newest "discovery," Sammy Sosa.

15 years ago to the day, the sporting world came to a halt with the high speed televised chase of O.J. Simpson in the iconic Ford Bronco. Well this Wednesday to me signified the death of baseball as I know it. I can only compare it to when I found out that pro wrestling was fake and the winners predetermined.

Sammy Sosa was the newest name leaked like a rain drop from the dark cloud that has been hanging over baseball since that congressional hearing in 2005. Sosa joins Mark McGuire, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez and the finger wiggling Rafael Palmeiro. The staggering list of ex sure to be Hall-of-Famers is enough for me to shout, “Enough is enough!”

Think back to the summer of '98 which many consider the resurrection of baseball coming back from the 1994 strike shortened season. The superhero “Big Mac” and the lovable finger kissing, chest patting Sammy were the faces of baseball. Meanwhile playing in the same division on rival teams. The fans ate it up, and we watched every Cubs and Cardinals game because we wanted to witness history. Two players were passing Roger Maris into the history books and baseball glory. So now we know that it was all tainted. What are we to think of these accomplishments that happened more than 10 years ago? I don’t look back with the same nostalgia, that’s for sure.

How can this be fixed? I want to get back together with baseball, I miss the way baseball and I used to spend afternoons together. I miss baseball’s smile and the way baseball smelled.

As baseball fans we deserve to know the other 102 names on that anonymous list. Not only to clear players that we’re suspicious of but, to be honest, the list isn’t so anonymous is it? Who is it going to hurt? You can’t punish those players on the list, most of them probably aren’t even playing anymore. A-Rod didn’t get punished for being on the list so I don’t get what the hold up is. Just get it over with and we’ll move on.

I may be heartbroken if certain players get called out like Derek Jeter or Ken Griffey Jr. but honestly, at this point, until those names are released everyone is guilty. Baseball needs to be trustworthy again and it’s a simple conclusion. Give us the other 102 players that were on that list.

Because more than anything I want to spend my afternoons, and nights with baseball. I miss what it used to be and I want that back.

Dropping Links: Thursday, June 18th

Back from a short hiatus, well rested and ready to roll. Our friend and correspondent Josh Garcia will have an article up later today and we should have much more as the day goes on, so stick around.

US Open underway at Bethpage but delayed due to weather |ESPN.com|
Yankees, Angels, Cubs and Rays will watch Pedro Martinez pitch Friday FOX Sports.com|
Phillies' Raul Ibanez headed to DL with strained groin |SI.com|
Reggie Theus will interview for vacant USC hoops position |CBS Sports.com|

Chris "Mad Dog" Russo takes on Artie Lange over Joe Buck appearance |Awful Announcing|
A good New York-based lookalike from our friend Bob Mantz |Bob's Blitz|

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dropping Links: Monday, June 15th

No posting until Wednesday at the earliest (but more likely Thursday) since I'll be away from the BlogCave for a few days. Be sure to check out all the fine blogs listed in the Blogroll to the right in my absence and visit again soon for some freshly squeezed posts!

Lakers drop Magic in five games to win Phil Jackson's 10th title |ESPN.com|
The Shaq-to-Cavaliers trade talks are heating up again |FOX Sports.com|
Yankees crush Santana en route to series win against Mets |SI.com|
Injury postpones Floyd Mayweather's July 18th ring return |CBS Sports.com|

A first hand account of Luis Castillo's dropped pop up |The Cooch's Rant|
A look at this year's MLB draftees with famous relatives |Big League Stew|
ProFootballTalk and NBC form historic partnership |WatchDog|

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Shaq congratulates Kobe, Lakers via Twitter

Twitter is becoming a source for instant news. Here is Shaquille O'Neal's priceless congratulatory statement to Kobe Bryant on his Twitter page:

"Congratualtions kobe, u deserve it. You played great . Enjoy it my man enjoy it. And I know what yur sayin rt now "Shaq how my ass taste""

Shaq needs to do some spellchecking, but he did post that from his "ShaqBerry" and I'm sure his thumbs are pretty large for those small keys.

He also had this to say about his former coach Phil Jackson:

"Congrats to you to phil jackson. When the general doesn't panic the troops don't panic. You are the greatest now."

And regarding Pau Gasol:

"Congrats in spanish pau gasol, muchas gracias pappacito"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The inner monologue of a Yankees fan as they beat Mets on Castillo error

Okay, come on A-Rod. A base hit ties it, a double could win it. Time to be a hero... Son of a bitch, A-Rod! Game over. Imagine if he dropped it, haha. Yeah right. Wait, he's drifting. Sweet baby Jesus, he dropped it! Oh my! Tex is scoring from first?! Yankees win?!

I don't know if that's exactly what was going through everyone's head, but it's certainly what was going through mine. K-Rod had already started his usual Native American tribal victory dance as the ball went up in the air, A-Rod slammed the bat in disgust, and the Mets were about to go home winners, doing it against the greatest closer of all time.

Instead, it's another horribly embarrassing Mets loss. Making matters worse, Castillo threw it to second after he recovered the drop, probably thinking he didn't have enough time to get up and throw home and the cutoff play would work.

And you have to give it up to Mark Teixeira, hustling that play out even though everyone figured the game was over. He scored from first on a pop up, which would have been impressive for a speedy guy like Brett Gardner, but even more so for Tex who doesn't run well.

But as we keep everything in perspective, it was only a game in June. Yet this is another in the myriad ways the Mets seem to keep finding to lose ballgames. The Daniel Murphy dropped fly ball in left field. Ryan Church misses third base attempting to score the game winning run in Los Angeles. And now this, a third straight tough loss when the Metro's were winning late in the game.

For the Yankees it's a gift that they so desperately needed after being swept by the Sawx to go down 0-8 to them on the season. But they'll take it. As our friend (and Mets fan) Stuart Millstein always says, "A win is a win."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dropping Links: Friday, June 12th

Lakers take down Magic in OT, grab 3-1 NBA Finals lead |FOX Sports.com|
Ex-NBA ref Donaghy attacked in prison, injures knee |SI.com|
Rex Grossman will compete for Texans' backup QB job |CBS Sports.com|

Michael Phelps wrote a children's book about dinosaurs and medals |SPORTSbyBROOKS|
A look at the Steelers' colorful Super Bowl rings |Bob's Blitz|
Are the Cardinals interested in Miguel Tejada? |The Scores Report|

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dwight Howard will be on the cover of NBA Live 10

"Superman" Dwight Howard will be the cover athlete for this year's NBA Live 10, the newest incarnation in the series from EA Sports. It is the second game Howard has been featured on the cover of, with the first being NBA Ballers: Chosen One. Take a look at the cover reveal video below.

"El Duque" signs minor league deal with Texas Rangers

Orlando Hernandez, winner of three World Series rings with the Yankees and one with the White Sox, has signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers. "El Duque" also spent time with the Diamondbacks (a whopping nine games) and Mets, but hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2007.

It's a low-risk move signing Hernandez, who is somewhere between 39 and 43 years old, but with a few injured pitchers and the Rangers trying to contend all season in the AL West the move could prove worthwhile for the team.

It is a bit surprising that "El Duque" got a deal before his former Met teammate Pedro Martinez, but it had been rumored that Pedro's demands were in the $5 million range for a half-year contract so maybe it's not so surprising after all.

Video: David Letterman sends Steve Nash to the NBA Finals

I've always been a big Steve Nash fan on the court, but especially off the court. He's popped up in some funny videos with Baron Davis and did a couple great Vitamin Water spots, but this is the clip where Nash's comedic prowess really shines.

(Hat tip to Bob's Blitz for the video)

Chris Meketansky's New York Sports Broadcaster Hall of Fame: Sam Rosen

Continuing our multi-part series, Chris Meketansky's New York Sports Broadcaster Hall of Fame, C-Mek gives us a closer look at some of the sports broadcasting icons of New York. The second is another great piece about Sam Rosen. You can read Chris' first article on Walt "Clyde" Frazier here.

A lack of accessibility has plagued the NHL for years in the league’s efforts to fight for scraps of the American sports fan’s attention. Once a novel four-team association, they have expanded across the country, into the West, where the closest ice is usually found chilling a drink. They even stuck one team (unsuccessfully) in the middle of the desert. An awkward game played on a slippery surface, in a nation that prefers round balls over flat pucks on a large scale. Sam Rosen makes this foreign sport normal and fun, earning him a spot in the New York Sports Broadcaster Hall of Fame

Rosen took over the post as New York Rangers television play-by-play man in 1984, a year before I was born, so it would make sense I can’t remember watching a game without his soundtrack. In 1986 Rosen began a nearly two decade long stretch of calling games with former Rangers’ goalie John Davidson providing color. The two formed a team that entertained and brought flair to hockey, a game that at times can be rough and unforgiving. With Rosen and Davidson it felt like you could be watching the game next to friends who could both explain the game, but not seem condescending doing so.

Sam Rosen instilled a sense of perspective into the action. He was always aware of the moment - which at times included tension filled playoff action — but never too disconnected from the reality of what hockey is to the audience, entertainment not life itself. In a Newsday article from April 20, 2009, Neil Best interviewed Rosen who said: "I think I'm able to transmit the love I have for the game and for what I do." Rosen, later in the article, said he approaches the games from a fan’s perspective, not as if he’s doing a job.

Being a fan of the Rangers can be tough at times, believe me I know. As great as winning the Stanley Cup in '94 was, moments near that caliber have been scarce. When thinking back to that rare instance of greatness, two things come to mind: the image of Mark Messier, taking the Stanley Cup from Gary Bettman, shaking the trophy and screaming into the air and the other is Rosen’s finest moment: after the final face-off drops in the Rangers zone and the dream is realized, Sam yells "The waiting is over! THE NEW YORK RANGERS ARE THE STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS! AND THIS ONE WILL LAST A LIFETIME!" While at the young age of nine-years-old, I couldn’t understand the pain of fifty-four championship-less years, but I can remember getting goose bumps hearing Rosen’s signature call. I still do thinking about it today.

Although Sam Rosen has been an accomplished broadcaster, calling football games and other sporting events of every nature, he will always be known as the Rangers play-by-play man. Rangers’ fans universally love him, and even after Davidson left the booth to take over as general manager of the Blues, Sam remains a consistent, humorous and entertaining voice. No other New York professional team can boast a broadcaster more intertwined with the franchise. He often rises above the performance on the ice with his talent and presence. Quick with a joke, emotional and humble, Sam Rosen makes watching Rangers games a great experience.

Dropping Links: Thursday, June 11th

Manchester United accepts record bid for Ronaldo from Real Madrid |FOX Sports.com|
Jets give Mark Sanchez an unbelievable $28 million guaranteed |ESPN.com|
MLB tells the Dodgers Manny isn't allowed in clubhouse |SI.com|

The A-Rod book has pretty much been a complete disaster |Bob's Blitz|
Eagles reportedly close to a new contract with Donovan McNabb |The Scores Report|

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dropping Links: Wednesday, June 10th

Magic win 108-104 in Game Three in Orlando, trail NBA Finals 3-1 |ESPN.com|
USC hoops coach Tim Floyd resigns amid violation allegations |FOX Sports.com|
As expected, Nationals take Strasburg with top pick in MLB Draft |SI.com|
Red Sox hand Yankees first shutout loss of 2009 season |CBS Sports.com|
Kings hire Paul Westphal as new head basketball coach |Yahoo.com|

The Zack Morris bit on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" was awesome |Tirico Suave|
'Duk wants everyone to stop complaining about the NY ballparks |Big League Stew|
Rex Ryan continues to be a pompous jerk while having earned nothing |What About Bob?|

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Video: WR Keith Eloi has an impressive vertical leap

Thanks to blog friend Bill Lawrence for pointing this one out, which I hadn't caught yet during my perusing of the interwebs. It's a clip of Washington Redskins' rookie wide receiver Keith Eloi jumping into the back of a truck. Sounds easy? Take a look and see just how impressive it really is.

Wow. And he's wearing flip flops (with socks?) which makes this even more amazing.

Madden 10 team ratings released at E3

PastaPadre got his hands on the full team ratings for Madden 10, so I thought I'd share them with you as well. Not a lot of surprises here, with the Patriots grabbing the top spot thanks to a returning Tom Brady.

New England Patriots, 93
Pittsburgh Steelers, 92
New York Giants, 89
Philadelphia Eagles, 88
San Diego Chargers, 88
Tennessee Titans, 87
Indianapolis Colts, 87
Arizona Cardinals, 86
Dallas Cowboys, 85
Carolina Panthers, 83
Baltimore Ravens, 82
Atlanta Falcons, 81
Minnesota Vikings, 80
Washington Redskins, 79
Chicago Bears, 79
Buffalo Bills, 78
New York Jets, 78
Green Bay Packers, 78
Seattle Seahawks, 77
Miami Dolphins, 77
Houston Texans, 75
New Orleans Saints, 74
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 74
San Francisco 49ers, 73
Jacksonville Jaguars, 71
Oakland Raiders, 71
Denver Broncos, 70
Kansas City Chiefs, 69
Cleveland Browns, 68
Cincinnati Bengals, 67
St. Louis Rams, 66
Detroit Lions, 65

Dropping Links: Tuesday, June 9th

Vikings allegedly set deadline for Brett Favre decision |ESPN.com|
Josh Hamilton will be out 4-6 weeks with ab muscle tear |FOX Sports.com|
Cowboys say they don't want to bring Pacman back |SI.com|

Latest excuse for Big Papi being terrible: He's older than he says |The Scores Report|
Madden 10 team and player ratings now available |PastaPadre.com|

Friday, June 5, 2009

Video: Highlights of Kobe Bryant's 40 point rampage on the Magic

Kobe Bryant was "en fuego" last night, scoring 40 points in a 100-75 victory over the Magic in Game One of the NBA Finals. I had predicted a Lakers win in seven games, but if Kobe keeps this up we might be seeing a sweep.

(Hat tip to NESW Sports.com for the video)

Dropping Links: Friday, June 5th

Kobe scores 40 in 100-75 rout of Magic in Game One of NBA Finals |ESPN.com|
Randy Johnson gets his 300th win in 5-1 victory over Nationals |FOX Sports.com|
LeBron James fined $25,000 for handshake and media snub |SI.com|
More bad news for Mets: Jose Reyes has a torn hamstring |CBS Sports.com|

T.J. Maxx using Tiger Woods lookalike in their new ad campaign |Sports Biz|
Sammy Sosa announces retirement when everyone thought he was retired |Big League Stew|
NBA 2K10 could feature Kobe in a Knicks jersey on the cover |PastaPadre.com|

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dropping Links: Thursday, June 4th

Randy Johnson's bid for 300th win gets rained out, Unit will start tomorrow |ESPN.com|
Patriots' DB Rodney Harrison retires, joins NBC team |FOX Sports.com|
Brian Westbrook will undergo ankle surgery on Friday |SI.com|
Ichiro extends his hitting streak to 27 games |CBS Sports.com|

DeAngelo Hall is really, really pissed about his Madden rating |Tirico Suave|
Is Jerry Jones actually broke? |The Scores Report|

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Braves trying to shake things up in the NL East

Earlier today the Braves released 300-game-winner Tom Glavine, a move to rid themselves of a pitcher whose fastball was registering in the low 80's. Glavine had just done well in his last rehab outing, but the Braves felt it would be better to have a young pitcher in the rotation.

That wasn't their only move of the day.

Later in the day Atlanta acquired 2008 All-Star outfielder Nate McLouth from the Pirates in exchange for three prospects. McLouth is hitting .256 with nine home runs and 34 RBI this season and brings a Gold Glove to the Atlanta outfield. He is also a stolen base threat.

The NL East is wide open right now. The Phillies are strong, but the Mets have suffered from injuries and poor play and the Marlins have stumbled after coming out of the gate 11-1. The Braves now have some more offense to try to contend with.

Dropping Links: Wednesday, June 3rd

Been a little skimpy on the posts lately and for that I sincerely apologize. It's been busy around the blog headquarters. We'll be back to our usual schedule soon.

Roy Halladay strikes out 14 in MLB best 9th win |CBS Sports.com|
Ichiro pushes hitting streak to 26 games |SI.com|
David Stern wants to chat with LeBron about handshake snub |ESPN.com|
Vince Young wants to play for Titans or be traded |FOX Sports.com|

An NBA Finals breakdown, position by position |The Scores Report|
Nike will continue Kobe and LeBron puppet ads through NBA Finals |Sports Biz|
Madden 10 will have Online Franchise mode |PastaPadre.com|

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dropping Links: Tuesday, June 2nd

Joba goes more than four innings as Yanks go MLB record 18th straight w/o an error |ESPN.com|
Phil Mickelson plans to return next week and to play in US Open |FOX Sports.com|
Anquan Boldin fires Drew Rosenhaus, hires Tom Condon as new agent |SI.com|

With LeBron out, Nike had to change their puppet ad campaign |Tirico Suave|
Carlos Boozer headed to the Nets or Pistons this offseason? |The Scores Report|

Monday, June 1, 2009

Video: Joba Chamberlain diving catch and double play

In Monday's Yankees - Indians game, Kelly Shoppach popped up a bunt and Joba Chamberlain made a diving catch coming off the mound, then turned and fired to second to complete the double play. See for yourself.

Dropping Links: Monday, June 1st

Jameer Nelson could return for Magic in Finals against Lakers |ESPN.com|
Nationals likely to take Stephen Strasburg in June 9th MLB Draft |FOX Sports.com|
Adrian Gonzalez hits his MLB-leading 20th home run in Padres' win |CBS Sports.com|

WNBA's Mercury will feature corporate sponsors on jerseys |Sports Biz|
LeBron speaks about Cavaliers' loss to Magic and future in Cleveland |The Scores Report|