Monday, August 31, 2009

Report: Brad Penny will sign with the San Francisco Giants

Brad Penny has cleared waivers following his release from the Boston Red Sox and will sign with the San Francisco Giants, according to sources.

Penny has pitched very poorly this season, posting a 7-8 record with a 5.61 ERA. Fellow Boston castoff John Smoltz also had terrible numbers in the American League but has since thrown two great games in the National League since joining the Cardinals.

The Giants are hoping to get the same results from Penny with the change of scenery.

Michael Irvin will join the NFL Network

Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin will join the NFL Network's Sunday morning pregame show, "NFL GameDay Morning," according to MKRob's Sports Blog. Irvin will also join the crew of "GameDay Highlights" with Rich Eisen and Deion Sanders.

Irvin formerly was an analyst for ESPN's television coverage and currently has a radio show on ESPN 103.3 in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Dropping Links: Monday, August 31, 2009

NEWS
Jay Cutler strong in return to Denver for preseason game |CBS Sports.com|
Patriots LB Tedy Bruschi will announce retirement today |ESPN.com|
Giants beat Rockies to pull even in NL Wild Card race |FOX Sports.com|
Andre Smith ends holdout, signs with Bengals |SI.com|

BLOGS
Brandon Marshall has joined an exclusive club |Glauber's NFL Hot Reads|
Madden 10 online numbers have skyrocketed over past years |PastaPadre.com|
Apparently Ted Kennedy once tried out for the Bears |Shutdown Corner|

Friday, August 28, 2009

Angels acquire Scott Kazmir from Rays after all

The on-again, off-again trade of Scott Kazmir to the Angels is on-again. Several outlets are reporting that the swap has been agreed upon and the Rays will receive the aforementioned minor leaguers Alexander Torres and Matthew Sweeney, as well as another player to be named.

Updating my previous post, Kazmir was not claimed at all during the waiver process and therefore was allowed to be traded to any team. Many clubs were afraid of claiming the Rays' pitcher and then having to pay him. Kazmir is in the first year of a three-year, $28.5 million contract.

Deal for Scott Kazmir falls through

MLB.com is now reporting that the proposed swap of Scott Kazmir for two minor leaguers between the Angels and Rays has fallen through. No word yet as to why the deal did not get done.

Report: Angels close to acquiring Scott Kazmir in trade with Rays

This one is shocking on all sorts of levels. MLB.com is reporting that the Angels and Rays are close to a deal that would send Scott Kazmir to the Halos in exchange for two minor leaguers, pitcher Alexander Torres and third baseman Matthew Sweeney. The deal could be announced later today.

I'm shocked that Scott Kazmir would get this far down the waiver wire to be claimed by the Angels. That means the Red Sox did not put in a claim for Kazmir since they would have been higher on the waiver wire than Los Angeles of Anaheim. Boston is desperate for pitching help right now.

I'm also surprised because the Rays are only 3.5 games out of first place in the wild card race. Kazmir, though, has certainly underperformed in his Tampa Bay career and he is 8-7 with a 5.92 ERA this year, so I guess it makes sense to try to get something for him.

Video: Highlights of Andy Roddick's appearance on The Late Show

Andy Roddick was a guest last night on The Late Show with David Letterman. In this clip, he talks about Roger Federer. Then he and Letterman head outside for some tennis action, with the help of Rachel Ray as the ball girl.

Video: Top ten circus shots of the 2008-2009 NBA season

The NBA has just released their latest compilation. This time it's the top ten circus shots of the '08-'09 NBA season. Check it out.

Dropping Links: Friday, August 28, 2009

Our thanks to our friend Bob Mantz of Bob's Blitz.com, who is having some surgery that will limit his blogging for the next few weeks. He's listed some sites he recommends his readers check out and, lo and behold, tonyblogs.net was one of them. Bob will be posting some of his "greatest hits" while he's recovering so be sure to check it out and read some of his hilarious stuff.

NEWS
Broncos suspend WR Brandon Marshall for at least rest of preseason |ESPN.com|
USC names true freshman Matt Barkley starting quarterback |FOX Sports.com|
Red Sox get crushed, shortstop Nick Green pitches two scoreless |SI.com|

BLOGS
UFC's new magazine will be priced a little high |Bob's Blitz|
ESPN will launch ESPN Boston September 14th |Fang's Bites|
Bob Glauber brings back his "5 things you need to know about the NFL right now" |Glauber's NFL Hot Reads|
Jimmy Johnson has a crush on the Cowboys' new video board |No Guts, No Glory|
Roy Williams is the latest to complain about his Madden ratings |PastaPadre.com|
Donovan McNabb has the right to hate a lot of people today |Shutdown Corner|
Talkin' Baseball with Jeff Cirillo, an exclusive interview |The Hall of Very Good|

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Video: Highlights of Michael Vick's debut with the Eagles

Michael Vick made his preseason debut with the Eagles tonight. All in all, it was pretty underwhelming. According to some people I've talked to, Donovan McNabb was boo'ed tonight and "We Want Vick" chants could be loudly heard after McNabb threw an interception. I know we've had a lot of discussion about Philadelphia fans and the bad reputation they have on this blog, but things like this are the exact reason why the stereotype is out there.

Dropping Links: Thursday, August 27, 2009

NEWS
Mark Sanchez named starting quarterback of the Jets |ESPN.com|
Rick Pitino was pretty arrogant during today's press conference |FOX Sports.com|
Milton Bradley says he feels hatred from Chicago fans |SI.com|

BLOGS
This weekend's national TV baseball schedule |Fang's Bites|
Second NCAA Football 10 patch is available now |PastaPadre.com|

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dropping Links: Wednesday, August 26, 2009

NEWS
Johan Santana out for remainder of Mets' woeful season |CBS Sports.com|
Rockies improve to two games behind LA in NL West race |ESPN.com|
Seahawks officially sign RB Edgerrin James |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
CBS releases 2009 NFL announcing teams |Fang's Bites|
The QB race in Cleveland is still very tight |Glauber's NFL Hot Reads|
Former NBA ref Tim Donaghy is back behind bars |No Guts, No Glory|
Apparently some Vikings still want Jackson as the QB |Shutdown Corner|

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Report: Red Sox finalize deal to acquire Billy Wagner from the Mets

Just minutes before the deadline, Billy Wagner has agreed to waive his no-trade clause and will be sent to the Boston Red Sox. Boston claimed Wagner off waivers from the Mets and had until 1:30pm today to complete a deal for the former closer who will be used a setup man for Jonathan Papelbon.

Wagner had originally balked at the deal, asking the Red Sox to agree to decline his option for next year because Wagner wants to be a closer. Boston didn't want to give up control of Wagner but apparently has agreed to do just that in order to acquire bullpen help for their chase of the AL Wild Card.

Or, perhaps, the Red Sox have made an agreement with Wagner that they will pick up his option for next year and then trade him. Some rumors have also suggested that Papelbon could be the one dealt, with Wagner then holding a seat for Daniel Bard, Boston's closer of the future.

ESPN's Buster Olney says the deal is "all but done." WFAN reports that the Mets will receive two players to be named later in exchange for Wagner.

Video: Highlights of Mark Teixeira's appearance on The Late Show

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman last night. He spoke about the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, playing in Baltimore as a Yankee and his thoughts on playing in New York. Then he took some batting practice in the streets of New York. Below is a clip with some highlights of the night.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

NEWS
Plaxico Burress says security staff knew he was carrying a gun |SI.com|
Michael Beasley is the latest athlete to suffer depression |ESPN.com|
Chargers give Philip Rivers huge contract extension |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
Minor league baseball games being infiltrated by cheerleaders |Busted Coverage|
A video clip of Plaxico speaking to E:60 about shooting |Fang's Bites|
Floyd Mayweather is smack in the middle of a shooting investigation |No Guts, No Glory|
NCAA Football 10 second patch details revealed |PastaPadre.com|
Making a case for Pete Rose's conditional reinstatement |The Hall of Very Good|

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dropping Links: Monday, August 24, 2009

NEWS
Mets keep losing in embarrassing ways, this time on unassisted triple play |ESPN.com|
Yankees win series behind five home runs at Fenway Sunday |FOX Sports.com|
Rockies close to signing Jason Giambi for the stretch run |MLB.com|
Smoltz strikes out nine, looks impressive in debut with Cardinals |SI.com|
Complete WWE SummerSlam results and show recap |411Mania|

Friday, August 21, 2009

Video: Top ten blocks of the 2008-2009 NBA season

The NBA is at it again, releasing their collection of the top ten blocks of the '08-'09 season.


I know the Dwyane Wade block on Brook Lopez was more important because it was late in overtime but I thought the LeBron James block on Allen Iverson should have been number one. That was just ferocious.

WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 first details revealed

THQ has revealed some of the details of this year's Smackdown vs. Raw incarnation and it looks like SvR 2010 will be a vast improvement over an already good franchise. Here is a quick look at some of the new features:

- Create-a-Wrestler has been improved and load times will be faster when previewing items.
- Create-a-Finisher has "30% more" options.
- There will be a new Create-a-Story mode, which seems pretty detailed, that will allow you to create your very own wrestling angles.
- The "Road to WrestleMania" mode is back featuring six new characters, including one diva storyline.
- There is the ability to edit attires of wrestlers already in the game. For example, you could make CM Punk's tights pink if you wanted.
- Buttons have been tweaked. There will only be one reversal button, instead of one for strike reversals and another for grapple reversals.
- Content can now be uploaded online and shared with others, which means plenty of CAWs out there of wrestlers who couldn't be put in the game. This should be a huge hit.

THQ promises that this is only the beginning and that more announcements will be made on upgrades and improvements to Smackdown vs. Raw 2010. I'm curious to see if Create-a-PPV mode and Create-a-Belt make it back in the game. The title hits shelves November 10th.

Video: Chad Ochocinco kicks an extra point in Bengals' preseason win

The Bengals' normal kicker, Shayne Graham, was injured so Chad Ochocino handled the kicking duties for Cincinnati in their preseason game against the Patriots Thursday night. Here he attempts and makes an extra point to put the Bengals up 7-3. They went on to win, 7-6.


After the game, Ochocinco said, "'Esteban' Ochocinco is back, the most interesting footballer in the world."

Dropping Links: Friday, August 21, 2009

NEWS
Ben Roethlisberger injures his ankle at Thursday's practice |SI.com|
Bucs CB Aqib Talib arrested after allegedly punching taxi driver |CBS Sports.com|
Usain Bolt continues to smash world records |ESPN.com|
NCAA strips Memphis of 38-win season, as if it matters |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
Shaq's public relations campaign for relevancy continues |Hoops Vine|
Radio host Mike Wise makes Jon Heyman a little upset |Bob's Blitz|
There are some interesting Mike Vick prop bets out there |Busted Coverage|
This weekend's national MLB game coverage |Fang's Bites|
NFL will sell Michael Vick dog jerseys |No Guts, No Glory|
NHL 10 demo available now for Xbox 360, 8/27 for PS3 |PastaPadre.com|
Reggie Bush acknowledges the need to run forward on the field |Shutdown Corner|
Almost no one goes to day baseball games in Cincinnati |Tirico Suave|
Shaq may have ripped off Steve Nash with reality show idea |WatchDog|

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Plaxico Burress pleads guilty, gets two years in jail; seems a little harsh

Plaxico Burress decided to change his plea to guilty and has been sentenced to two years in jail for accidentally shooting himself in the leg last November. The minimum sentence with a conviction is three and a half years, but under the conditions of Burress' plea deal he will get two years in the big house and two years of supervised release.

Isn't this a little bit harsh, though? Sure, it's a year and a half less than what Burress would have served with a conviction, but it's basically the same amount of jail time Michael Vick got for slaughtering dogs in a premeditated, heinous "business venture."

Dropping Links: Thursday, August 20, 2009

It seems like every time I go somewhere and take a few days off from the blog something big happens. This week Brett Favre came out of retirement AGAIN to join the Vikings, proving that he is the most self-absorbed athlete in the world. Oh well, I'll have plenty of chances to write about Favre in the coming weeks, I'm sure. Now on to the links...
NEWS
Cliff Lee strikes out 11 in 2-hitter against D-Backs |ESPN.com|
John Smoltz, free from the Red Sox, signs with the Cards |FOX Sports.com|
Jason Williams also un-retired this week, signs with Magic |Yahoo.com|

BLOGS
Brandon Marshall doesn't even know the Broncos' playbook |The Scores Report|
Full details on the second Madden 10 roster update |PastaPadre.com|

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Video: Cyborg Santos defeats Gina Carano after first round TKO

There was a bit of controversy surrounding this fight, with referee calling it in favor of Cyborg with only one second remaining in the first round. Many felt that the referee could have waited for the round to end before deciding if Carano could still compete. Either way, Cyborg is the new Strikeforce women's 145-pound champion.

I've never been into MMA but this fight was pretty exciting. It wasn't your typical MMA fight where there are a few punches and then it turns into a snuggling session. Check out the full, action-packed fight below.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Video: Michael Vick introduced by the Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles held a press conference this morning to introduce the newest member of their team, Michael Vick. He was joined by Eagles head coach Andy Reid and Tony Dungy, who has been advising Vick. Below is an excerpt of Vick speaking at the event.


I've been a proponent of Vick returning to the league all along, as I feel that he has served his time just like the dozens of other criminals who continue to play professional football. He certainly seems remorseful for his actions and will become another offensive threat that will help the Eagles win.

And remember folks, that's what it's all about. As much as we'd love pro sports to be rainbows and unicorns and great messages for the kiddies, it's not. It's about winning and making money.

Dropping Links: Friday, August 14, 2009

NEWS
Tiger shoots 67, takes first round lead at PGA Championship |FOX Sports.com|
Bronson Arroyo eats supplements like they were candy |ESPN.com|
Louisville stands by their man, supports Pitino |CBS Sports.com|
Adrian Beltre is on the DL with an injured jewel |SI.com|
As rumored, Quentin Richardson was traded AGAIN, this time to Miami |Yahoo.com|

BLOGS
The weekend MLB national TV viewing schedule |Fang's Bites|
Ichiro's favorite American expression is NSFW |Tirico Suave|
Michael Vick's every word will be scrutinized at Friday's presser |Sports Biz|

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Michael Vick signs with the Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are continuing their quest of making sure Donovan McNabb never feels comfortable that the quarterback job is his full time, Philadelphia and Michael Vick have agreed to a one-year deal with a second year option.

How much time Vick will see at quarterback once his suspension is lifted is debatable, but he certainly adds to an already versatile offense. Brian Westbrook is one of the best pass-catching running backs in the NFL and McNabb, although not as mobile as he once was, is still a QB that can run. Toss in Vick, whether it be under center or in a wildcat formation, and suddenly this is a very dangerous team.

Perhaps Andy Reid is the right guy to be able to guide Vick. Reid certainly has experience dealing with criminals in his own household.

In a way the move makes a lot of sense because of the loss of backup quarterback Kevin Kolb for the year. But one would think that Donovan McNabb won't be too pleased about the team bringing in a quarterback that is very similar to him.

Getting you ready for Madden 10: Reviews and gameplay video

We're only a few hours away from the release of Madden 10. Wal-Mart and other retailers will have the title available at 12:01 AM for those of us without jobs or lives.

I'm always excited for Madden to come out, but this year I'm especially looking forward to it. From everything I've read and seen it seems like the developers actually tried to improve this game from last year's offering. Usually it's just the same old thing with Madden, the same thing as last year with some shinier graphics and more accurate rosters.

This year, though, the game speed is slowed down, there is a new tackling system and a host of other features. I've compiled some reviews and video clips to get you pumped up before you make the midnight drive to Wal-Mart. Check it out.

- First impressions of both Xbox 360 and PS3 versions from Destructoid.
- Visit Gamespot.com's Madden NFL 10 Launch Center, for a whole lot of media about the game.
- PastaPadre has his initial thoughts on the overall gameplay, as well as reviews of online play and the online franchise mode. The video clip below is from his site and he has a whole bunch more at PastaPadre.com.

What the hell was Pedro Martinez wearing in his postgame interview?

Here's a photo (click it to enlarge) of Pedro Martinez speaking to reporters following his outing against the Cubs last night, his debut as a Phillie. The color is a bit off, but this is some sort of aqua-green velour sweatsuit, except that it's skin tight. Certainly not a flattering look for someone who, while wearing this, was saying how he feels and looks better than he has in years. That may be true, but Pedro might want to go with a baggier version of the suit next time.

I mean, really, he looks like The Grinch.

Video: Chris Bosh's trainer is a bit less intimidating than Gina Carano's

Last week I showed you a clip of MMA star Gina Carano training with Norm Turner, a.k.a. Satan. Chris Bosh recently posted this video on his YouTube page of him training with someone who is much less intimidating than Turner, but the workout actually is pretty strenuous nonetheless. Take a look.

Dropping Links: Thursday, August 13, 2009

NEWS
Donte' Stallworth will be suspended for entire 2009 season |CBS Sports.com|
Pedro Martinez wins Phillies debut against the Cubs |FOX Sports.com|
Could golf and rugby be a part of the 2016 Olympic games? |ESPN.com|

BLOGS
PGA Championship coverage press releases |Fang's Bites|
Jay Cutler also wants to control the Bears' roster decisions |Glauber's NFL Hot Reads|
Nets will promote opposing players in an unusual way |Sports Biz|

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Video: Mike Francesa furthers his reputation of being an arrogant jerk

Let me say this before I dive in: Mike Francesa might not really be an arrogant jerk. He certainly seems like it, though, and Francesa provided further evidence for that the other day when he received a call about a player he hadn't heard of and immediately assumed he was being pranked.

The guys at Tirico Suave bring us the video (and have an in-depth recap) of "Joe from Bristol" calling in to ask about the Yankees' newly acquired minor league pitcher Jason Hirsh. He's never heard of the guy (and I can't blame him, since almost no one has) but the way he goes about saying that is priceless, giving Joe the "you picked the wrong guy to mess with" attitude. Instead of just assuming Hirsh is some bum the Yanks grabbed off the scrap heap, he figures the wool is being pulled over his eyes. And we all know Big Mikey won't stand for that!

After Francesa has one of his minions do the incredibly hard task of typing "Jason Hirsh" into Google and realizes that he is, in fact, a real living pitcher, he corrects the error. He doesn't apologize, of course, because this is Mike Francesa, after all.

Quentin Richardson could be traded for the fourth time this offseason

Reports out of Minnestoa indicate that Quentin Richardson — who was already traded from the Knicks to the Grizzlies, then to the Clippers and finally to the Timberwolves — could be traded once again by the end of this week.

New GM David Kahn has been moving parts around like a game of Tetris during the offseason and will continue to reshape the Minnesota roster now that new head coach Kurt Rambis is on board. The T'Wolves have a lot of guards and the 29-year-old Richardson, who has certainly lost a step, really doesn't fit in.

If Q-Rich does end up getting traded, he will be the second player to be acquired and traded away by Minnesota in this same offseason, with the first being Etan Thomas.

Dropping Links: Wednesday, August 12, 2009

NEWS
Rick Pitino's extortion case just took an interesting turn |ESPN.com|
Tiger Woods didn't get fined by the PGA after all |CBS Sports.com|
Free agent LB Derrick Brooks will workout for the Saints |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
An NFL preseason game pulled in 7.9 million viewers |Fang's Bites|
A fantasy football preview of this year's wide receivers |The Scores Report|
Some thoughts on the Donte' Stallworth E:60 interview |Cooch's Rant|

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Video: Rick Porcello with an MMA takedown on Kevin Youkilis

Kevin Youkilis had been hit by a pitch in two straight games by Detroit pitching and wasn't going to take it anymore. So he charged the mound after being hit by Rick Porcello tonight, threw his helmet towards the pitcher and then attempted to tackle him. Take a look at what happened next.


You can see Porcello is thinking, "What the hell are you doing man?" as Youkilis is charging out to the mound. Then Porcello does the nice plant-and-turn throw. Great stuff.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, August 11, 2009

NEWS
White Sox get Alex Rios from Jays on waivers for no compensation |ESPN.com|
Tiger Woods will be fined by the PGA for whining about an official |Associated Press|
Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki hits for the cycle against the Cubs |CBS Sports.com|
Celtics re-sign "Big Baby" Davis with two-year deal |SI.com|

BLOGS
A look at the wrestling career of Bret "The Hitman" Hart |Paneech.com|
The ten worst moments of the last six years of Raiders football |Just Blog Baby|
The Bulls have a pretty tough schedule this season |Not Qualified to Comment|
Remember when the Royals and Mariners wore future uniforms? |Outside the Box Score|
The Placido Polanco photoshop makes this an amazing read |Detroit4lyfe|
Video of the fake punt from Sunday's Hall of Fame game |NESW Sports.com|
This makes me hate Kevin Youkilis a little less, even if it is just a Palm Pre ad in disguise |Bob's Blitz|
So is John Smoltz really a Hall of Famer? |The Hall of Very Good|

Monday, August 10, 2009

Jay Mariotti will write for the Chicago Tribune beginning September 1

SPORTSbyBROOKS is reporting that Jay Mariotti, the former Chicago Sun-Times columnist who claimed newspapers were dying when he left the publication, will begin writing for their rival, the Chicago Tribune, beginning September 1. Mariotti also is a regular on ESPN's "Around the Horn."

The word is that Mariotti is pulling a Brett Favre, joining the Tribune as a way to get revenge on his old employer. He will continue his work on ESPN and will still write for AOL Fanhouse, which he has been doing for about a year, and will write one or two columns per week for the Chicago Tribune.

Dropping Links: Monday, August 10, 2009

My apologies for the site looking a little funky right now when viewed in Internet Explorer. It should be fixed soon.

NEWS
Yankees complete four-game sweep of BoSox, up 6.5 in AL East |Yahoo.com|
NHL's Patrick Kane beats cab driver over 20 cents in change |CBS Sports.com|
Tiger Woods rallies to win Bridgestone Invitational |FOX Sports.com|
Ozzie Guillen threatens to bean other players as retaliation |SI.com|

BLOGS
In case you didn't hear about Josh Hamilton's alcohol incident |Big League Stew|
A review of ESPN's documentary, "The Lost Son of Havana" |Fang's Bites|
Serena Williams will punch you in the stomach |NESW Sports.com|
The Cowboys veterans are doing some bad things to rookie hairdos |Shutdown Corner|

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lazy Sunday Linkage - August 9, 2009

Here are some links for you to check out on this lazy Sunday.

- Roddy White ends his holdout after agreeing to a new six-year, $50 million contract extension with the Atlanta Falcons. White had an unexpectedly huge year last year and parlayed that into this big contract. We'll see if he can live up to his end of the bargain.

- Speaking of gigantic contracts, the Seahawks and rookie LB Aaron Curry agreed to a deal that could be worth over $60 million and guarantees the first-round pick $34 million. And people thought Eli Manning's contract was way too much. At least he's done something in the NFL.

- CC Sabathia pitched another gem yesterday and led the Yankees to their 6th straight win. They've taken three in a row from Boston, who came into the series 8-0 against the Yanks. New York is now 5.5 games ahead of the Sawx for first place in the AL East. The teams finish off their four game set tonight at 8pm on ESPN.

- The woman who accused Ben Roethlisberger of raping her has been accused of bragging about having sex with the star quarterback to a co-worker last year. It is also alleged that the woman was hoping to become pregnant with Roethlisberger's child.

- Finally a big shout-out to Bob Mantz, who celebrated the one year anniversary of Bob's Blitz yesterday. He went out of his way to thank myself and a few others. I've certainly been a beneficiary of the growth of his blog so I'd like to send a thank you right back to Bob.

David Ortiz deserves the same treatment as all those before him

David Ortiz was thrown a gigantic lifeline yesterday by the MLB Players Association when they issued a statement prior to Big Papi's afternoon press conference in New York. The statement basically said that they can't confirm or deny anything and that the MLBPA could not reveal what each player tested positive for. That gave Ortiz a huge loophole to use.

Now, he could say it could have been anything, something from GNC, just like Alex Rodriguez said when he was revealed to be on the now-infamous list of 2003. But when A-Rod said it, everyone wanted more, everyone said he was lying, everyone said he was a jerk, a cheater, A-Fraud.

Somehow, though, David Ortiz is getting the benefit of the doubt, it seems. Part of the reason if because one of the most influential and prolific baseball personalities is Peter Gammons, who is a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation.

When Barry Bonds said he didn't know what he was taking and that he never knowingly took steroids, no one believed him. We all said that was impossible, that a professional athlete would know exactly what they were putting into their bodies. Ortiz is saying the same thing, but for some reason everyone believes Papi.

Why?

Kurt Rambis set to become new Timberwolves head coach

The Minnesota Timberwolves have lured Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis away from Los Angeles with a four-year deal believed to be worth over $8 million. It has been often rumored in this offseason that Rambis would succeed Phil Jackson on the Lakers' bench, and that Jax would even allow Rambis to coach some road games.

But the amount of money and the ability to take over a team now was too much for Rambis, who inherits a Minnesota team that has failed to impress lately. They have a lot of young players, which is an ideal situation for a new head coach.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Red Sox designate John Smoltz for assignment

John Smoltz has been designated for assignment by the Boston Red Sox, likely putting an end to what surely will be a Hall of Fame career. The move comes a day after another poor performance by Smoltz, this time getting rocked by the Yankees.

Smoltz signed with the Red Sox while injured, hoping to rehab and come back strong as a starter, but things didn't go as planned. His Boston career ends after going 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA.

I say it's likely the end of the road for Smoltz because of his age and his horrible performances this year. I don't even think anyone would take a chance on him as a reliever because of his terrible WHIP. He's allowed 59 hits in 40 innings and lefties have been demolishing Smoltz all year long.

If this is it, Smoltz will mostly be remembered for his many years with the Atlanta Braves. He has a career 212-152 record and also compiled 154 saves, proving he could dominate as both a closer and a starter.

Video: Gina Carano does Satan's workout to prepare for fight

I've never been a big MMA buff, but I still have heard of Gina Carano. That's probably because she gets a lot of press for being an attractive female in a sport dominated by brutes. She's training for a fight against Cris Cyborg (which sounds like an 80's movie villain's name) and Showtime has released footage of Carano working out with her trainer, Norm Turner. He's also known as Satan, and in this clip that comes via The Scores Report, you'll see why.


Wow. That video almost makes the "300 Workout" look easy.

The Nationals ball girl is handling her blooper very well

I'm sure you saw the highlights on SportsCenter of the ball girl for the Nationals who tried to field a ground ball that she thought was foul, but was actually fair. Today a YouTube video was posted by what looks to be her brother and she seems to handling the whole thing with a great sense of humor.


FUGETTABOUDIT!

Ben Wallace will return to the Detroit Pistons with one-year deal

Ben Wallace will sign a one-year deal to return to the Detroit Pistons, where he helped them win an NBA title in 2004. Wallace was traded to the Suns in the deal that brought Shaquille O'Neal to the Cavaliers, but agreed to a buyout to become a free agent.

Wallace left the Pistons after the 2005-2006 season to sign a big free agent contract with the Bulls. His Chicago career wasn't what everyone expected, which led to his being traded to Cleveland during the '07-'08 season.

The Pistons needed frontcourt help after losing Rasheed Wallace to the Celtics this offseason. The deal is reportedly for the veteran's minimum of $1.3 million.

Is Wallace the same player he was in 2004? No. In fact, he's not even the same player he was a few years ago thanks to injuries. But he can still help defensively.

Video: Top ten alley oops of the 2008-2009 NBA season

A's release injured and struggling Jason Giambi

The Oakland A's today released Jason Giambi, who was on the disabled list but only hitting .193 while he was healthy. It ends the second stint in Oakland for Giambi.

I think it's surprising any time a baseball team outright releases a player, especially one of Giambi's name and reputation, but it's not a shock in terms of production. Giambi played in 83 games for the A's this season and was last in the league in batting average.

The question now is if anyone will sign him for the stretch run.

My guess is that he doesn't end up with anyone. An American League team is the only logical fit but many of the contending teams don't have room for him. Giambi could perhaps catch on as a pinch hitter, but with a .193 average, teams aren't exactly going to be knocking down his door.

Dropping Links: Friday, August 7, 2009

NEWS
Patriots acquire Pro Bowl DE Derrick Burgess from Raiders |CBS Sports.com|
Yankees get first '09 win v. Sawx, extend East lead to 3.5 |ESPN.com|
Magic F Rashard Lewis suspended 10 games for failed drug test |FOX Sports.com|
Michael Crabtree is doing a lot of pouting and whining |SI.com|
Both Fielder and Mota fined by MLB, neither suspended |Yahoo.com|

BLOGS
The reveal of the NBA schedule is basically the Senior Prom |That NBA Lottery Pick|
Kurt Rambis asked Jax for advice on Minny job. Here's their convo. |Lake Show Life|
Michael Crabtree is living up to his diva reputation |Bootlegger Sports|
The new Cowboys stadium isn't as impressive as you would guess |Busted Coverage|
DaJuan Summers - porn star Twitter race controversy! |Detroit4lyfe|
The weekend MLB national TV schedule |Fang's Bites|
The ten funniest scenes from sports movies |No Guts, No Glory|
The Marlins' new stadium looks pretty sweet |The Scores Report|

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lou Holtz will continue to ramble incoherently on ESPN, won't run for Congress

After a few days of rumors flying around that Lou Holtz might run for the central Florida congressional seat, the former Notre Dame coach told an Indiana TV station that he has no plans to do so. Holtz will remain at ESPN, continuing to make us all struggle to figure out what he's saying each week.

"I think when you look at the country, you really don't want to get into politics," he told reporters during a golf outing on Wednesday.

That much is certainly true. Besides, Holtz has a cozy job on ESPN analyzing college football, something a lot less stressful than running for office.

If Holtz does decide to run in the future, I wouldn't be surprised at all if he won. He is known for his great speeches and his motivational tactics. Being a great leader in a football locker room doesn't easily translate to politics, but the ability to get people to believe in what you're saying does.

A video that pretty much sums up the Mets' awful 2009 season

This video comes from Global Sports Fraternity and is a nice representation of the woeful New York Metropolitans' season.

Titans will wear No. 9 helmet decal this season to honor Steve McNair

The Tennessee Titans will wear a No. 9 decal on the backs of their helmets this year to honor the late Steve McNair, according to an NFL source. The decal will appear for the first time during this Sunday's Hall of Fame preseason game when the Titans play the Bills in Canton, Ohio.

The team had already planned to wear an AFL 50th anniversary patch on their jerseys to commemorate the Houston Oilers so a second jersey patch to honor McNair would have violated league rules. Sunday the Titans will wear the old Oilers throwback jerseys and helmets.

Video: Junior Seau as the Dodgers' ball boy for a day

I'm a bit late with this but I just got my hands on the video. Future NFL Hall of Famer Junior Seau was decked out in a full Dodgers uniform Tuesday night and was their ball boy down the left field line. Pretty cool.

Dropping Links: Thursday, August 6, 2009

NEWS
Brandon Roy agrees to big extension with Blazers |FOX Sports.com|
The Arena Football League shuts down indefinitely |SI.com|
Donte' Stallworth and Roger Goodell will reportedly meet |ESPN.com|
Falcons WR Harry Douglas tears ACL, out for season |CBS Sports.com|

BLOGS
J.R. Smith shuts down Twitter account amid gang controversy |Ball Don't Lie|
Your 2009 NFL betting guide |Bootlegger Sports|
LeBron James has learned his lesson |NESW Sports.com|
A preview of NBA 2K10 with screenshots |PastaPadre.com|

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Vince Young is very confident in himself, seemingly for no reason

There's nothing wrong with being confident. In fact, as a pro athlete, it's pretty much necessary, especially when last year it seemed like you had no confidence at all. But sometimes you can just seem crazy, which is the case right now with Vince Young.

The current backup quarterback for the Tennessee Titans had this to say to Esquire:
I don't know when I'll start again. But I will be the next black quarterback to win a Super Bowl. And I will be in the Hall of Fame.
On one hand, what do we really expect him to say? "I'm a second-tier quarterback at best and will likely never start again"? No. But on the other hand, it's kind of cocky to say you'll win a Super Bowl when you aren't even the starter.

I'll be the first to admit I'm not a huge Vince Young believer. I've always thought he was overrated. In his short career, he's thrown 22 touchdowns and 32 interceptions with an atrocious 68.8 passer rating. Sure, he's got 10 career rushing TDs but he's also fumbled 24 times.

Not exactly Hall of Fame numbers there.

Report: Eli Manning signs Giant deal to stay with Big Blue

ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting (so there's at least a 50% chance it's true... I keed, I keed!) that the Giants and quarterback Eli Manning have agreed to a new six year contract extension worth $97 million. FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reports the deal calls for $35 million in guaranteed money.

Manning is in the last year of his current deal, where he will make $9.4 million. This new deal would pay Eli an average of $15.3 million per year. That annual pay would be higher than his big brother Peyton's $14.17 million per and the highest in the NFL.

While the contract seems a little large, Eli is a Super Bowl winning quarterback, is coming off a Pro Bowl season, and is the face of the franchise. He's the first "cornerstone quarterback" since Phil Simms and the Giants clearly wanted to keep him in blue, perhaps overpaying Manning to do so.

Dropping Links: Wednesday, August 5

NEWS
Pujols leads Cards to win over Mets with HR, 10th inning grand slam |SI.com|
Arizona's Petit almost pulls of no-no in front of tens of Pittsburgh fans |FOX Sports.com|
Hank Aaron wants steroid names released, Rose reinstated. Yawn. |ESPN.com|
Antonio Pierce doesn't regret how he handled Plaxico gun situation |CBS Sports.com|

BLOGS
Pistons rookie racing a porn star to 4,000 Twitter followers |Detroit4lyfe|
Elton John is a New England Patriot for a day |Outside the Box Score|
Charles Rogers says he smoked weed every day in the NFL |The Scores Report|
The new Cowboys stadium will feature $90 pizzas |Shutdown Corner|
Following NHL success, Madden Arcade will come out this winter |PastaPadre.com|
Michael Vick tossed the pigskin to some high schoolers |NESW Sports.com|
A closer look at the ESPN memo about its new Twitter policy |Fang's Bites|
Lou Holtz wants to make Congress less coherent |Bootlegger Sports|
Rich Gannon will join "The Blitz" on Sirius Radio |Bob's Blitz|
Paper accuses J.R. Smith of being in a gang because of the way he tweets |Ball Don't Lie|

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

ESPN prohibits employees from tweeting info "unless it serves ESPN"

ESPN NBA reporter Ric Bucher tweeted earlier today that ESPN has prohibited tweeting unless it serves the network in some way. In two tweets, Bucher said:
"The hammer just came down, tweeps: ESPN memo prohibiting tweeting info unless it serves ESPN. Kinda figured this was coming. Not sure what this means but... I'm probably violating some sort of policy just by telling you. In any case, stay tuned."
Bucher later added, "My guess is I can still tweet about my vacation/car shopping, etc. Which I will do, if I can. But the informal NBA talk is prob in jeopardy."

My guess is ESPN doesn't want reporters tweeting about stories they've learned from other networks before ESPN has the chance to air it themselves.

Full 2009-2010 NBA schedule released: A look at the big games

A day after fining three teams for releasing their '09-'10 schedules early, the NBA has made available the full schedule of games. The season will begin on October 27 with a Cavs-Celtics matchup and the Lakers squaring off with the Clippers, both on TNT.

In notable schedule news, the Knicks actually have a few nationally televised games this year, with the first being on November 6 when they host LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

There will be five games played on Christmas Day again this year. The early contest pits the Heat against the Knicks at noon on ESPN, followed by either Celtics-Magic or Lakers-Cavs on ABC. The schedule makers just couldn't resist going with the Kobe v. Shaq Christmas Day matchup... AGAIN. (The fourth time in five years, in fact.) So we'll get to hear all the same tired lines and controversies one more time. The final game of the night is either Clippers-Suns or Nuggets-Blazers on ESPN, depending on your region.

There will also be an NBA game on the day of the Super Bowl, giving sports fans something to watch other than six hours of football pregame. The Magic will travel to Boston to battle the Celtics in that one.

You can check out the full schedule at NBA.com.

Report: Amani Toomer signs with Kansas City Chiefs

That certainly didn't take long. 30 minutes after I posted my thoughts on Amani Toomer potentially signing with the Chiefs, the free agent wide receiver has agreed to a deal with Kansas City.

I won't re-hash everything I said in my earlier post but I think this is a good move for the Chiefs. A veteran presence is never a bad thing and you can never have too many receivers. Just ask Toomer's former team, the New York Giants, who would have liked to have had a few extra bodies after Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg in November.

Madden 10 bringing back the side camera view?

PastaPadre has news today that EA Sports is currently working on installing a broadcast camera view into Madden 10, similar to the old press box camera option, that would be available as either a post-release patch or downloadable content. Take a look at the work in progress video below and check out my thoughts after the clip.


As Pasta has pointed out, it would be beneficial if they panned the camera to avoid all of that empty space behind the quarterback. That would make it a little easier to pass since you could see more of the coverages and receivers. I'm sure that's been suggested by many and since this is a work in progress, it may be accounted for.

I just don't know how many people would use this mode for gameplay. For so many years the camera has been behind the offense and I think it would be very hard to adjust to not only the visual difference but the analog stick differences in movements. But it's always good to have options.

Free agent WR Amani Toomer works out with Chiefs

Newsday's Bob Glauber is reporting the Kansas City Chiefs worked out three free agent wide receivers Monday, with the most accomplished being former Giant Amani Toomer. The other were David Terrell and D.J. Hackett.

While Toomer is the oldest of the three, he probably makes the most sense. He is a veteran that has garnered a reputation for being a dependable receiver to find under pressure. Eli Manning made Toomer his go-to guy and often times looked uncomfortable without Toomer on the field to toss the pigskin to. He could be a helpful guy to have with the young Matt Cassel at quarterback in Kansas City.

Then again, at 34 years old, Toomer might not have much left in the tank. But with the receiving corps that the Chiefs have, currently consisting of Dwayne Bowe, Mark Bradley and Bobby Engram, new GM Scott Pioli might be wise to bring in Toomer in a low-cost deal.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, August 4th

NEWS
Reds P Edinson Volquez will likely miss a year after Tommy John surgery |CBS Sports.com|
Fedor Emelianenko signs multi-fight deal with Strikeforce |Sherdog.com|
Marshawn Lynch's three game suspension will stand after appeal denied |ESPN.com|
Cavs, Rockets, Wolves fined for leaking 2009-2010 schedule |SI.com|
Uncle of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. arrested on strangulation charges |BlackSportsOnline|

BLOGS
Is there any team out there that wants Michael Vick? |Outside the Box Score|
Raiders WR Javon Walker has a bionic knee |Just Blog Baby|
Mark Madsen is smack in the middle of a domain name theft |Ball Don't Lie|
David Lee and the Knicks can't seem to get this thing worked out |BergerSphere|
An investigative report on Matthew Stafford's cheerleader girlfriend |Busted Coverage|
An interview with Emmy-winning SEC broadcaster Bob Rathbun |Fang's Bites|
The Giants react to Antonio Pierce avoiding indictment |Glauber's NFL Hot Reads|
The Jaguars are growing beards to build team unity |No Guts, No Glory|
A screenshot comparison of Madden 10 vs. Madden 09 |PastaPadre.com|

Monday, August 3, 2009

Plaxico Burress will be indicted on felony gun possession charges

ESPN is reporting that former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress will be indicted in connection with his self-inflicted gunshot wound. This means Burress will likely face a trial despite his attempts to avoid that by reaching a plea deal.

Burress was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and one count of reckless endangerment. The possession charges each carry a minimum sentence of three and a half years.

The proceedings will likely begin in February, leaving a window open for the free agent Burress to play in the NFL this season. That is, if the NFL doesn't suspend Burress before the season begins.

The argument has been made that another suspension of Burress would be too harsh since he was suspended by the Giants last season. But commissioner Roger Goodell could rule that the four game ban Burress served was not punishment enough since he could not have played in those games anyway due to the injuries he suffered from shooting himself.

NFL training camp news and notes: More rookies sign, more players injured

Let's get caught up on all the NFL training camp news and notes on this first Monday of August.

- Eagles starting middle linebacker Stewart Bradley tore his ACL during the team's Flight Night and he's now ruled out for the entire 2009 season.

- Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer was back at practice Monday morning after missing two days due to flu-like symptoms. Palmer indicated that he was suffering from bronchitis and he's not contagious anymore.

- After complaining about his contract and trying to wiggle his way out of Denver, wide receiver Brandon Marshall has a hamstring injury. He pulled up lame during Sunday's morning session and sat out the afternoon practice.

- Wide receiver Percy Harvin signed a five-year deal worth up to $14.5 million, with $8.5 million guaranteed. The contract ends his miniature holdout and Harvin has since reported to Vikings camp.

- Panthers defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu and linebacker Jon Beason each suffered minor injuries during Monday's morning session. Kemoeatu rolled his ankle while Beason tweaked his hamstring.

Antonio Pierce not indicted in Plaxico Burress gun case

ESPN's Sal Paolantonio is reporting that Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce will not be indicted in connection with the Plaxico Burress gun case, according to Pierce's lawyer. Pierce has not been charged with any crimes even though he tried to hide the gun that Burress shot himself with and help cover up the shooting.

The grand jury is expected to rule soon on whether or not Plaxico Burress himself will be indicted.

Urban Meyer becomes highest-paid football coach in the SEC

Florida head coach Urban Meyer was already doing pretty well with a $3.25 million per year contract. Now he's doing even better after finalizing a six-year, $24 million contract earlier today. The deal makes Meyer the highest-paid coach in the SEC, edging out Alabama's Nick Saban by $100,000 for the honor, and the third highest-paid coach in college football. He trails only USC's Pete Carroll and Notre Dame's Charlie Weis in salary.

The new deal is actually an extension that now runs through 2014 and also features incentives that could pay him even more.

Sure it's a lot of cash, but Meyer is certainly worth it. In his four years as Florida's head coach the team is 44-9 and has won two National Championships. The Gators look like the favorite to win it all once again this year.

There has been a lot of talk about Meyer possibly bolting for Notre Dame if Charlie Weis is fired, but Florida seems to have assured themselves that won't happen. Jon Gruden's name has suddenly emerged as a potential candidate for the Fighting Irish coaching post.

Video: The top 100 dunks of the 2008-2009 NBA season

This four-part series comes from SLAM Online, via Ball Don't Lie. Get ready for almost 18 minutes of pure slam dunkage.




Dropping Links: Monday, August 3rd

NEWS
Tiger Woods shoots 69 on Sunday to win the Buick Open |FOX Sports.com|
Melky Cabrera hits for the cycle as Yankees snap three-game losing skid |CBS Sports.com|
Were the Red Sox trying to cover up steroid scandal? |ESPN.com|
Michael Phelps wins 5th gold at Worlds, sets more records |SI.com|

BLOGS
How was Big Papi "blindsided" by steroid accusations? |Bob's Blitz|
Why America's pastime shouldn't become a witch hunt |The Cooch's Rant|
Brandon Jacobs says the NFC East is "hands down" the best division |Glauber's NFL Hot Reads|
Five emotional sports moments caught on tape |No Guts, No Glory|
Pirates must want to trade Andrew McCutchen after 3 HR game |Paneech.com|
Pre-order NHL 10 and get a special bonus |PastaPadre.com|
Braylon Edwards has his priorities in order |Style Points|

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Kurt Angle on shortlist to appear on upcoming "Dancing with the Stars"

I told you back in May that Kurt Angle had been contacted about being a contestant on the upcoming season of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." Now it looks like Angle is getting closer to appearing on the show.

The UK Sun, via The Orlando Sentinel's Between the Ropes blog, is reporting that the former WWE and current TNA wrestler and Olympic gold medalist is on the shortlist of potential contestants for the ninth season of the show, which begins airing September 21st.

The cast will be revealed on the August 17th edition of "Good Morning America," which also airs on ABC. If selected, Angle would be the second pro wrestling personality to appear on the show, with the first being Stacy Keibler who finished in third place during the show's second season.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame debuts Michael Jordan exhibit

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened an exhibit today to honor Michael Jordan, just a few months before he is enshrined with the many other greats that have played the game.



If anyone is deserving of something as big as this, it's Michael Jordan. He's arguably the greatest player to ever step on a basketball court.

The exhibit will remain open until a few months after Jordan is enshrined in September and was made possible with the help of a $250,000 donation by Nike.

Is Chris Jericho becoming the new Chuck Norris?

WWE wrestler, author, actor and musician Chris Jericho is burning up Twitter right now. He's re-tweeting all the examples people are coming up with about how he is better than Chuck Norris, playing off the internet sensation, Chuck Norris Facts. You can follow them at the hashtag #chrisjerichoisbetterthanchucknorris.

Some of the best ones are:
- @JustinP73: Only Chris Jericho can talk about fight club.
- @jumpinbombangel: Chris Jericho once beat a mountain in a staring contest.
- @tharealjaked: Chris Jericho doesn't do pushups, he pushes da Earth down!
- @Nani84: Can kill two stones with a bird.
- @djsaiyan: There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Chris Jericho lives in Florida.

The whole Chuck Norris thing is really played out, but I'll admit these are really funny. You can follow Chris Jericho on Twitter for more.

LenDale White trimmed down by cutting tequila out of his diet

LenDale White showed up at training camp for the Tennessee Titans 30 pounds lighter than last year and the slimmest he's been since high school. He weighted in at 228 pounds on the first day of camp.

So how did you do it, LenDale?
"I really got to be honest," White said. "It wasn't a lot of major diet changes. (It was) watching what I drink. I was a big Patron consumer. ... That's what it was. I was drinking a lot, drank a lot of alcohol. I cut that out of my diet all the way. I don't drink at all. I cut the drinking, I stopped drinking for six months... It started falling off."
We all know that alcohol is bad for people trying to lose weight, but just how much tequila was this guy drinking in order to lose 30 pounds by cutting it out of his routine?

All joking aside, this should help White, who led the AFC with 15 touchdowns last season but was mostly a short yardage/goal line back. It would give the Titans an explosive backfield combination with the speedy Chris Johnson and a suddenly more athletic White as a tandem.

Melvin Mora will not take being forced to sit down sitting down

Orioles manager Dave Trembley decided to bench third baseman Melvin Mora today, since he's batting only .256, in favor of Ty Wigginton. Trembley admitted that he's also playin Wigginton more lately because his contract extends beyond this year and Mora's doesn't, and it doesn't seem likely that Mora will return to Baltimore following this season.

Melvin Mora doesn't seem to be handling the benching very well.
"I don't appreciate the disrespect, because I've been playing hurt for a guy who won't respect you. I don't deserve it," the 37-year-old Mora said. "I need to have my respect. This is not a guy who just came to the Orioles. This is a guy who's been here for nine years."
...
"Don't give me the excuse that I cannot beat John Smoltz, that I cannot beat Josh Beckett or I cannot beat (Jon) Lester or I cannot beat Pedro Martinez or I cannot beat nobody here, because I've been here for nine years," he said. "I've been here for nine years and all those guys in the East, they know me. You don't make the All-Star team for nothing. You deserve respect."
Certainly veteran players deserve respect but baseball is very much a "What have you done for me lately?" sport. When you're not hitting and there is someone else on the team that plays the same position who is hitting, it's hard for a manager to justify running you out there every day.

Yes, Mora has been an Oriole for a long time, but it's not like this is Cal Ripken we're talking about, a guy that you would have to keep playing just because he's a legend. And it doesn't help when you've pretty much made it clear you'll be leaving Baltimore as soon as you possibly can.