Saturday, June 15, 2013

High-five gone wrong forces Baker out of Rangers lineup



ARLINGTON, Texas Not having Jeff Baker in the lineup for Friday night's game against Toronto left-hander Jeff Baker looked strange. The reason Bakers' not in the lineup takes the weirdness to a new level. Baker sprained his right thumb before Thursday's game when he got it hurt receiving a high five from an overzealous teammate. Baker's thumb was sore enough Friday that he couldn't grip a bat. "I was giving my teammate a high five and the teammate was a little overexcited for whatever reason and bent my thumb back from my hand to my wrist," Baker said. "I'm not too happy about it." Baker has swelling in the thumb but hasn't had an MRI yet. Losing Baker for any amount of time is a blow to a team that's struggled to score, putting up just 36 runs this month. He's one of the best hitters against left-handers in baseball as he's batting .386 with eight home runs and 13 RBI. He leads the majors in home runs, slugging percentage and OPS vs. left-handers. "When it rains it pours, right?" Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. "We're a little banged up, scuffling a little bit and then you get a freak deal like that. We'll push through the other stuff and I'm sure he'll push through that as well."

Alex Cobb hit in head by hard line drive, leaves game on stretcher

In the top of the fifth inning in Tampa Bay, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer hit an absolute rocket of a line drive right back at the pitcher's mound. And unfortunately, it hit Rays starter Alex Cobb quare in the head. It appeared to get him above the right ear.
The ball ricocheted off Cobb's head all the way back to the home-plate area, so it was by no means a glancing blow. It was ugly.
Here's video of the play. Remember, a pitcher gets hit in the head by a hard line drive. If you don't want to see that, don't click on the play button:
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The Rays said Cobb remained conscious all the way to the hospital and has only a mild concussion, which is pretty surprising given how hard it hit him.
Note just how hard it was hit, via Baseball Tonight's Jonah Keri:
Cobb immediately fell to the ground and was nearly motionless, save for some leg movement. Doctors and athletic trainers immediately signaled for the stretcher and Cobb was taken to the hospital.
Considering how violent the play looked, Cobb is mighty fortunate to have escaped with a mild concussion. He will remain in the hospital overnight for observation, but as things currently stand, it appears it's pretty good news.

Carl Pettersson’s golf ball literally gets hit by other golf ball mid-backswing at U.S. Open

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It looks like the strangest thing that would happen to Carl Pettersson this week as showing up on the first tee Thursday wearing the exact same outfit as playing partner Francesco Molinari, but oh was that wrong.
Pettersson was in the 5th fairway on Friday, completing his first round, when mid-swing an errant tee shot from No. 2 came rolling right at him, not only disturbing his golf shot but smashing into his ball mid-backswing.
This is definitely not the first time something strange has happened to Pettersson at a major championship. A year ago at the PGA Championship, Pettersson hit a leaf on his backswing, later landing a two-shot penalty for doing so in a hazard.
No penalty was assessed to either player this time around but wow, talk about something I've literally never seen on the PGA Tour.
Pettersson went on to make par on the hole despite the disturbance.

Gael Monfils pulls off one of the most ridiculous shots you’ll ever see, still loses the point

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It is never easy when talking about Gael Monfils. The 26-year-old Frenchman is a showman by nature, but sometimes that gets in the way of him simply playing good tennis and winning conventional points.
Case and point, his quarterfinal match on Friday at the Gerry Weber Open. Monfils was up a set on Tommy Haas and had an easy lob to take a 30-15 lead in the game when Monfils did something only Monfils would do.
Instead of just slamming the lob and taking the easy point, he did something that we've never seen before in tennis; let the ball bounce between his legs, spinning around and then hitting the slam.
The antics were impressive, but unnecessary, and Monfils ended up not only losing an easy point he should have won, but the match to Haas 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-3.
Monfils already said he wouldn't be at Wimbledon because of some personal issues, but it's moments like this that make you both amazed and confused at what Monfils is really trying to do with his tennis. There is a difference between the NBA and the Harlem Globetrotters and it's moments like this one that make you think Monfils would be mighty happy carrying around a bucket of confetti in his tennis bag.

Black Forest fire’s destructive force captured in captivating picture during prep baseball game

The Black Forest fire in Colorado continues to torch large swaths of land around Colorado Springs, leaving charred land and huge, billowing clouds of ash in its wake. It has forced evacuations, and to date more than 360 homes have been forcibly evacuated.
The Black Forest fire is seen in the back of the Pine Creek baseball diamond — TwitterThe Black Forest fire is seen in the back of the Pine Creek baseball diamond — Twitter
High school baseball games, on the other hand, are not so easily pushed aside, as the photo you see above is powerful testament to.
That powerful image was tweeted out by Peter McEvoy, a sophomore infielder for Colorado Springs (Colo.) Pine Creek High. McEvoy snapped the photo, which is rapidly spreading across social media, during Pine Creek’s 10-0 victory against Greeley (Colo.) West High on Tuesday. As the fires continued, Pine Creek continued playing not only in the morning, but also in an afternoon matchup against Colorado Springs (Colo.) Legend High, which ended in a 2-0 Pine Creek victory.
The Black Forest fire has spread closer to Pine Creek High since that Tuesday doubleheader, so even Pine Creek and its loyal fans would have to temporarily put off action if it had been scheduled for Thursday.

Luckily for Pine Creek, no games have been in the offing, only prayers in hope that the fires won’t continue apace. If they do, McEvoy will probably be there to get the photo again, whether near his school’s baseball diamond or from a much safer distance.

Tim Tebow, Angels outfielder? It almost happened

Imagine this: “Now batting for your Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, left fielder, No. 15, Tim Tebow. “ Don’t laugh, it could have happened. In fact, it nearly did.
On Thursday, longtime baseball scout Tom Kotchman told Boston sports radio network WEEI that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were very interested in drafting Tebow after his senior season at Ponte Vedra (Fla.) Nease High. In fact, Kotchman, who was helping lead the Angels scouting department at the time, insists all the team needed to pick the newest Patriots quarterback was his information card.
"We wanted to draft him," Kotchman told WEEI. "But he never sent back his information card. Either it never got to him, or … it’s Tim Tebow. Who knows if it got to him, and if it did we just never got it back. Otherwise we were going to take him."
The rest, as they say, is history. As noted by MaxPreps, it’s likely that Tebow would have stuck with his commitment to Florida and history would have proceeded as scheduled, but you never know.
Tebow’s time on the diamond was almost as successful as his title-winning form for the Nease football team. The superstar batted .494 as a junior, then took off his senior season after he signed with Florida. He hit four home runs during his final baseball season.
Tim Tebow is now a member of the Patriots, but he could have been an Angels outfielder — GettyTim Tebow is now a member of the Patriots, but he could have been an Angels outfielder — Getty

His prep coach, for one, claims that if he had been drafted and signed, Tebow likely would have been in the majors by now, whether with the Angels or someone else.
“Everybody should know this: He wasn’t just a great football player, he was a great baseball player, too,” Greg “Boo” Mullins told the Sporting News. “I believe he could have played in the big leagues." - Prep Rally

A federal judge calls Michael Jordan’s $5 million lawsuit against a grocery chain ‘greedy’!

Michael Jordan looks to see if any punk kids are wearing Bobcat gear in the clubhouse (Getty Images)
Years ago, Michael Jordan established himself as a dogged competitor that didn’t mind how many bridges he burned or feelings he hurt on his way to getting what he wants. The latest news about the six-time champion and Basketball Hall of Famer, though, is a bit of a low point. In layman’s terms, he’s suing a grocery chain that dared congratulate him in an advertisement that also sold a few steaks. Jordan appeared in court this week to attempt to prove why such a lawsuit is necessary.
When Jordan was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, and prior to the wildly inappropriate speech he gave in the induction ceremonies, local Chicago grocery chain Dominick’s released an ad congratulating Jordan on his accomplishment, while pointing out that, while you’re at it, you can use your Dominick’s card or a coupon in the ad to take in the tasty two dollar savings on a “Rancher’s Reserve Steak.”
The ad can be seen here:

(Courtesy the Chicago Tribune)
Michael Jordan, because he’s Michael Jordan, somehow found out about this and was infuriated enough to initiate a lawsuit against Dominick’s for $5 million. Luckily, thus far, the suit has just about been laughed out of federal court.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Jordan was allowed to avoid attention Wednesday by entering the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse through its underground parking garage and then taking a private elevator to U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur's 23rd-floor courtroom.
Shadur, who has ruled that Dominick's is liable for a 2009 magazine advertisement that used Jordan's name without permission, wanted the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats to appear in person to hear the judge's views on what reasonable damages would be, according to court transcripts. He rejected a demand from Jordan's attorney that the president of the grocery chain also appear.
"I think it would be a constructive use of time to see whether some element of sanity cannot be introduced into this matter," Shadur was quoted as saying in a transcript of a May 22 hearing.
"I thought the demand was greedy," Shadur said of Jordan, who is seeking $5 million in damages for a one-page ad that ran in a Sports Illustrated commemorative issue celebrating Jordan's induction into the Hall of Fame.
Jordan was able to sneak into the courtroom after a legal battle pitched by MJ’s representation, hoping to keep the most prominent member of this lawsuit away from the proceedings. Shadur, in court testimony from May 22, asked Jordan’s lawyer if he was “allergic to the notion that he somehow ought to participate in a lawsuit that he brought?"
Kind of liking this Judge Milton Shadur-guy, at this point.
The judge hasn’t completely ruled out handing damages to Jordan, as Dominick’s (which is not just a mom and pop store, but the most prominent grocery chain in the Chicagoland area) clearly did use MJ’s occasion to make a band pun on cuts of steak in order to sell their wares. Jordan’s famous Jumpman logo wasn’t involved in the ad, nor were logos from the NBA, Chicago Bulls, or Charlotte Bobcats, but the company was piggybacking off of the eyeballs sent Jordan’s way in order to sell a few steaks as summer wound down in 2009.
But for $5 million? Just because that’s MJ’s current going rate? This wasn’t exactly a shoe company ad, destined to be seen by millions.
Judge Shadur appears to agree with me. From the Tribune:
Shadur has said Dominick's is liable for an advertisement that was "ultimately stupid and really totally without common sense," but the judge also held that Jordan has tried to make a "legal mountain" from a "legal molehill," according to transcripts.
The case is ongoing. And pretty stupid, especially when you consider the fact that Michael Jordan was the guy that paid Ben Gordon $12.4 million to play basketball last year.
(Hey kids, if you really want to to tick off Michael Jordan, you can print this post out and clip the full ad to your walls!)
(A much appreciated hat tip to Holly MacKenzie for sending this our way.)

NFL’s new bag policy will definitely ruffle some feathers, especially among female fans

(Getty Images)
In its quest to improve security at all stadiums (and perhaps to pick up a few merchandising bucks in the process), the NFL has revised its policies for what fans -- mostly female fans -- can bring into stadiums. Here are the new parameters:
The NFL strongly encourages fans to not bring any type of bags, but outlined what is permissible. Beginning with preseason games, fans will be able to carry the following style and size bag, package, or container at stadium plaza areas, stadium gates, or when approaching queue lines of fans awaiting entry into the stadium:
  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12.” (Official NFL team logo clear plastic tote bags are available through club merchandise outlets or at nflshop.com), or
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
  • Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the stadium with one of the clear plastic bag options.
  • An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.
Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.

Among those bags now not allowed are the ones sold on official team websites.
“Our fans deserve to be in a safe and secure environment,” said Jeffrey Miller, NFL vice president and chief security officer, on the league's new "All Clear" site. “Public safety is our top priority. This will make the job of checking items much more efficient and effective. We will be able to deliver a better and quicker experience at the gates and also provide a safer environment. We appreciate our fans’ cooperation.”

This will not go over well with anyone who likes to carry a purse, to be sure. Of course, we're on board with the banning of man-purses, but that's more an overall style point. Female football fans, of which there are many, aren't happy at all.
From longtime Houston Texans blogger (and friend of Shutdown Corner) Steph Stradley:
Melissa Jacobs of TheFootballGirl.com emailed a league spokesman after one of her readers brought up the issue of parents of very young children bringing diaper bags to stadiums, and she got this response: 


This fan will have 100 problems if her purse is too big. (Getty Images)
"This is something that we contemplated. We are sports fans and attend events throughout the year, too, and took a long look at possible concerns people would have. Simply put the contents of the diaper bag into an approved bag. If there are necessary medical items for the child there would be an exception made after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose. The 12x6x12 bag is a decent size and can fit diapers, bottles, wipes, etc. I had a to go bag that size for my kids that worked well on day trips. And it's one bag per person so other family members would be able to help."
We certainly understand the need to establish effective security parameters, but at a time when the NFL is looking for more ways to keep fans going to stadiums as opposed to staying home and watching RedZone or watching games on their phones and tablets, the new policies seem a bit short-sighted -- especially in the ways they seem to inconvenience and exclude female fans.

Friday, June 14, 2013

(FUNNY VIDEO) D's Highlights T-G-I-F Edition

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(VIDEO) Watch a helpless Chris Brown get dunked on by Detroit Pistons Center Andre Drummond!!!


EVERYONE’S FAVORITE PERSON Chris Brown was asking for trouble when he agreed to play defense against Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond. Despite looking surprisingly confident, he gets absolutely owned. Enjoy.
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Beer Man Falls Down Stands at New York Mets Game (Video)

During the eighth inning of the Mets-Cardinals game at Citi Field, cameras caught a fan in the background slip and tumble over two rows of seats as Cardinals reliever Trevor Rosenthal prepared to deliver a pitch.

Being a Mets fan can be tough. But add in to that equation trying to stand on a wet seat while drinking your beer, and it gets even tougher.
At least for one fan.
During the eighth inning of the Mets-Cardinals game at Citi Field, cameras caught a fan in the background slip and tumble over two rows of seats as Cardinals reliever Trevor Rosenthal prepared to deliver a pitch.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kansas City Royals take victory celebrations to a sticky new place with their ‘rally sauce’

The Kansas City Royals victory celebrations have turned sticky. In baseball, we're used to a walk-off hit meaning a guy gets a Gatorade bath. The whipped cream or shaving cream pie to the face has become to the norm too.
Leave it to Kansas City of all places to introduce baseball to barbecue saucing. Yes, it's what you're thinking: The Royals have started hitting guys in the face with barbecue sauce. It happened Wednesday to Eric Hosmer, who hit a game-winning single against the Detroit Tigers and then got sauced afterward.
Opening the door to condiments as a celebration tool could get messy fast, but in Kansas City, the Royals have really gotten behind their "rally sauce." Specifically, designated hitter Billy Butler's new Hit-It-A-Ton barbecue sauce, which is helping raise funds for needy families in the Kansas City area. It's also helping the Royals.
After losing 11 straight in May and looking to be on the brink of total collapse, the Royals recently anointed Butler's sauce their good luck charm and have won seven of their last eight games, including a streak of six in a row that ended Tuesday. George Brett, the Royals new hitting coach, has gotta feel great that the team is rallying around barbecue sauce and not one of the best hitters that ever played the game. (Or maybe he's wondering how much sauce you can legally put on a bat).
The rally sauce story goes like this: Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie saw the sauce when it was delivered to the Royals clubhouse and told his teammates they needed to "hit it a ton" too. Since then, the Royals have been seen stroking the barbecue sauce for good luck. Guthrie even tweeted a picture of himself "sleeping" with it. Things sound might cozy in K.C. these days.
Here's more on the rally sauce:

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Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich Says Foreign Hoops Players Are 'Fundamentally Harder Working'


By almost every measure -- winning percentage, playoff appearances, championships -- the San Antonio Spurs are the most successful North American franchise of the past 15 years.
As with every dynasty, the Spurs owe their success to a combination of factors (scouting, coaching, luck, etc.). But in looking at this San Antonio squad -- you know, the one giving the Miami Heat a run for its money in the NBA Finals -- it's impossible not to notice one characteristic that separates the franchise from other teams. Namely, the Spurs have relied heavily on a plethora of foreign born players.
Two of the Spurs' "Big Three" -- Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili -- come from outside the United States. Tim Duncan, San Antonio's legendary big man, was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands but played collegiately in the United States and represented the United States in the Olympics.
This year the Spurs feature several key foreign role players in Tiago Splitter (Brazil) and Boris Diaw (France). Add in Patty Mills (Australia), Aron Baynes (Australia), Cory Joseph (Canada) and Nando De Colo (France), and more than half of the players on San Antonio's roster were not born in the continental United States. The eight foreigners on the Spurs constitute the most in the NBA in a season when there were a record number of foreigners.
As you might have suspected, this is not a coincidence. In a brilliant and revealing ESPN The Magazine story by Seth Wickersham, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says foreign players are "fundamentally harder working than most American kids."
This work ethic is a result of many factors, perhaps none more important than the development systems in foreign countries:

"...when Pop looks at American talent he sees many players who "have been coddled since eighth, ninth, 10th grade by various factions or groups of people. But the foreign kids don't live with that. So they don't feel entitled," he says, noting how many clubs work on fundamentals in two-a-day practices, each lasting up to three hours. "Now, you can't paint it with too wide of a brush, but in general, that's a fact."

It definitely seems like Popovich has a point. Not only has he been scouting international players for decades, plus it's impossible to argue with the Spurs' remarkable and sustained success.

Kentucky offers seventh grade DB prospect Jairus Brents a football scholarship

On the heels of two scholarship offers to highly regarded eighth grade prospects from top Division I programs, an SEC school blew them both out of the water by handing out a scholarship to a seventh grade defensive back.
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This is not a headline from The Onion, it really happened. Seventh grade. 13. Class of 2018. College recruiting is now officially absurd.
The player in question is young (by definition) Jairus Brents, a hard working (for a middle schooler) defensive back and running back from Indiana, where he plays for New Albany (Ind.) Hazelwood Middle School. He will still be playing for Hazelwood Middle School in the 2013 season because he’s still in middle school.
Brents received his first scholarship offer on Thursday when the University of Kentucky extended the teen a verbal offer for when he graduates some six years from now. The news of Brents’ commitment was first reported by ESPN.

Brents brushed off the scholarship offer when interviewed by ESPN as if this was just another day in the life of an average American middle schooler.
"It's not a big deal. It's just an offer," Brents said.
"It's a good accomplishment, but I'm focusing on being the best cornerback ever and working hard."
Derrick Ansley, the Kentucky coach who gave an offer to Brents — Twitter
Derrick Ansley, the Kentucky coach who gave an offer to Brents — Twitter
USC gambled on Sills because he was a quarterback -- a high need skill position which requires significant project -- and was recommended by luminary quarterbacks coach Steve Clarkson. Brents projects as a cornerback, a position that requires an absurd amount of speed and strength. Successful collegiate cornerbacks are freakish athletes, particularly in the SEC.
Apparently, Kentucky feels confident projecting that six years from now, Jairus Brents will be one of the best athletes in the country. They are doing so on the advice of Chris Vaughn, a former NFL player who now runs a training facility in Indiana. Vaughn also happens to be Brents’ godfather.
“[Brents] is a different breed of kid. He's super competitive," Vaughn told ESPN. "He expects to win every route. He's one of those kids who lights up the competition. Jairus is the best skill kid in the state right now."
Of course, Brents is also currently just 5-foot-8 and 152 pounds. He holds a 3.7 GPA, but he is taking seventh grade math courses. There is no trigonometry in seventh grade math. There may not even be any algebra.


Watch a fighter vomit during his post-fight interview

So, you've made it through a three-round fight. It was described as "grueling," but you still got the decision win. Now, you get your chance to practice what it will be like when Joe Rogan comes into the cage after a UFC fight. It's time for the post-fight interview. Sure, your stomach is rumbling and you're not feeling great, but you just made it through a fight. You can make it through an interview, right?
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Poor Cliff Thompson. He's 2-0, won his split decision over Doug Usher, but will still be remembered as the guy who puked before he could say a word in his post-fight interview. At the same time, there are plenty of fighters who are fighting in anonymity. Even if he is known as the Fightin' Puker, he will at least be known.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Darnell Dockett unveils intimidating facemask during Cardinals’ FanFest


Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett unveiled a new facemask at the team's FanFest at University of Phoenix Stadium on Tuesday night. As the photograph above shows, it will be very difficult for opposing offensive lineman to grab hold of Dockett's mask if he wears that this season.
The mask, which was the handiwork of Bad-Ass Masks, features six horizontal bars and one vertical in the middle that divides a whopping 18 diagonal bars, nine on each side of the vertical bar. According to the Facebook page for Bad-Ass Masks, this model is named the "Freight Train".

ECHL’s Justin Pender attacks player in ball hockey game; apologizes for beating goalie, injuring ref (Video)

The 2013 world ball hockey championships were held last weekend in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and featured one of the most audacious attacks by a player on any hockey surface this year.
Justin Pender, a player for the Canadian men’s team and an ECHL veteran, lost his dang mind after the Czech Republic scored an empty net goal to clinch a 5-1 win. It begins with a cross-check to a Czech forward that's taunting him; it ended with a referee on a stretcher:
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Pender began throwing punches and chasing the Czech player down the ice. Czech goaltender Lukas Heczko jumped on his teammate, as did game officials, to protect him from the blows. (No idea why the Czech bench didn’t follow suit as the Canadian was going postal; maybe Don Cherry can tell us why one day.)

From The Telegram (via Eye on Hockey):
Canadian defenceman Justin Pender of St. John's was given a double match penalty with one second left after an incident that resulted in a game official being taken off the floor on a stretcher. The official was reportedly injured as he tried to intervene when Pender tangled with a Czech player after the winners scored an empty-net goal. Czech goaltender Lukas Heczko was also involved.
Double match penalty sounds pretty severe. It’s, like, double a normal match penalty. Here's a bit more from Buzzing the Net.
Pender has played in the ECHL since 2009 with the Trenton Devils, Toledo Walleye, Bakersfield Condors and last season with the Ontario Reign. He’s cracked 100 PIM in his career twice – once in the QMJHL – and has a HockeyFights.com profile.
As you can imagine, this momentary lapse in sanity isn’t exactly good for the ‘ole professional image. So Pender took to social media to let everyone know he’s sorry. Really, really, really sorry.

From his Twitter feed:
“I would like to take this moment to apologize for my actions on Saturday June 8th. After the hockey game was over I let the behavior of a member on the opposing team anger me. My response to the taunting was misguided and someone was injured because of it.
“I would like to apologize to the Czech team members for my handling the situation poorly and truly hope that my actions will not be reflected in their opinion of my fellow team members. What I did is not representative of my team or how ball hockey is played in Canada.
“I would also like to send a heartfelt apology to the referee who was hurt when (I /another player) fell on him during the fight. Had I stayed calm and simply walked away this accident would have not occurred.
“Finally I would like to apologize to my team. As a member of a team hosting an international event I should have set a higher standard of sportsmanship for myself but I did not and it reflected poorly upon my team who worked so hard for this competition.
“Going forward I will make every effort to prevent this from happening again In order to develop better sportsmanship. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope it can give a sense of how truly sorry I am.”
Be nice if he apologized a 40th time in that screed. Thirty-nine seems forced.
But seriously, good on Pender for owning up to his mistakes. In the meantime, we’re totally covering the 2014 world ball hockey championships. Who knew, right?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dodgers, Diamondbacks Brawl: Zack Greinke Hit By Pitch, Massive Fight Erupts (VIDEO/GIF/PHOTOS)

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Dodgers Diamondbacks BrawlA brawl erupted between the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night that was notable both for its ferocity as well as for the names of the former MLB All-Stars who were involved.
The bench-clearing donnybrook got underway in the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium after Arizona pitcher Ian Kennedy plunked his L.A. counterpart, Zack Greinke, up near his helmet. The Dodgers' pitcher, who fractured his collarbone in a brawl with the Padres earlier this season, was the third player hit in the tense NL West tilt. That 92-mph fastball at Greinke's head proved to be the final straw.
Home plate umpire Clint Fagan immediately ejected Kennedy, who began walking off the mound as Greinke shook off the impact. Before the D-backs pitcher even crossed the first-base line, he was swallowed up by a crowd of players who had come charging out of both dugouts. Prominent among those involved in the chaos was L.A. manager Don Mattingly, who appeared to toss Arizona bench coach Alan Trammell to the ground.
GIF: Mattingly tosses Trammell

Mattingly and Trammell weren't the only 1980s All-Stars embroiled in the ugly scene. Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire and Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson could also be seen hollering and grappling in the scrum. Presumably, they weren't talking about the 1989 World Series.
PHOTO: McGwire vs. Gibson
gibson mcgwire

An inning before Kennedy hit Greinke, the 29-year-old Dodgers right-hander had popped Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero with a pitch. Greinke had seemingly hit Montero in retaliation for Kennedy hitting Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig in the sixth. By the time that Kennedy was tossed in the seventh, emotions ranged from anger to fury.
"No use calling out names, they're all there," Dodgers announce Vin Scully said with calm that belied the frenzied action on the field.
WATCH VIDEO ABOVE
Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario was among the pitchers who came rushing in from the bullpens and was involved in one of the uglier sections of the discord. As Belisario wildly threw punches, a knot of players from both sides nearly spilled into the camera well near the visitors' dugout. Diamondbacks coach Hunter Ward nearly got tossed over the railing before Montero came to his aid.
GIF: Brawl gets ugly near camera well

Kennedy, McGwire, Gibson, Ward, Belisario and Puig were ejected, according to MLB.com.
After play resumed with the score level 2-2, the Dodgers went ahead for good in the bottom of the eighth with a three-run double by rookie Tim Federowicz. Reliever Kenley Jansen picked up the save in the 5-3 win.
"That's just baseball," Gibson said after the game, via the Diamondbacks' official twitter account. "We got a game tomorrow. We'll regroup."

Here’s proof that Dr. J can still dunk at age 63

videoWith Monday offering a night off between Game 2 and Game 3 of the 2013 NBA Finals, many NBA fans and players turned their attention to "The Doctor," the new NBA TV documentary celebrating the life and career of Hall of Famer Julius Erving, which debuted on the network last night. In interviews promoting the film prior to its premiere, Dr. J told reporters that while he might not quite be the legendarily acrobatic high flyer he once was, he can still throw down, even after turning 63 this past February. And now, thanks to the film and smartphone technology, we've got proof:

What's even crazier: Erving told Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch last week that he's actually dunked three times in 2013, a full 26 years after his last NBA game. That's even more impressive than managing to get your own filming-your-TV-screen reflection in a six-second video clip.

Monday, June 10, 2013

MUST SEE VIDEO: Ex-NFL star Chad Johnson sentenced to jail after slapping attorney on butt

Former NFL wide receiver/forever clown Chad Johnson was sentenced to 30 days in a Florida jail today for violating  probation in a domestic violence dispute with his now ex-wife, reality TV person Evelyn Lozada.

The Player Formerly Known as Ochocinco probably could have avoided jail time if he had kept his clown act on hold for a few more minutes. From the Associated Press:

A plea deal that called for no jail time fell apart Monday. Broward Judge Kathleen McHugh rejected it after Johnson playfully slapped his attorney on the behind in court. McHugh says Johnson wasn't taking things seriously enough, even after he apologized. McHugh also extended Johnson's probation for three months.

Setting aside the clear Man Law violation for butt slapping outside of a sports context, this was a dumb move by Johnson. He'd already pissed off McHugh during a previous hearing and there's nothing worse than a power-tripping judge looking to teach a defendant a lesson. Or so The Hater hears.

Update: Here's the video. It turns out the judge told Johnson he should be happy with his lawyer, which prompted Johnson to reach over and give the butt pat.
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TEBOWMANIA in New England!!!?

Report: Patriots to sign Tim Tebow

Bill Belichick is now just kicking the New York Jets while they're down. Tim Tebow is on his way to Foxborough to join the New England Patriots.
The former Jets and Denver Broncos quarterback and utility player is expected to sign with the

Patriots on Tuesday and be on the field this week for the team's minicamp, ESPN is reporting.

PERFECT PLACE: Pats always made sense for Tebow
KEPT PRAYING: Tebow never lost hope

The reported signing contradicts recent reports that Belichick didn't like Tebow as a player and that Tebow had given up on his chances of continuing his NFL career following his disaster of a season with the Jets in 2012, when he was passed over for Greg McElroy late in the season after Mark Sanchez lost his starting job.
Belichick certainly hasn't given up on Tebow. And if any coach or team is best suited to handle the sideshow Tebow brings, it's Belichick and the Patriots.
Belichick certainly hasn't given up on Tebow, and if any coach and team are best suited to handle the sideshow Tebow brings, they are Belichick and the Patriots.
Remember, too, that Josh McDaniels, Tebow's head coach in Denver, is the Patriots' offensive coordinator.
Tebow brought his baggage to the Jets last year and, despite owner Woody Johnson's visions of him being a draw for the fans, he was nothing more than a distraction. Even Sanchez admitted as much following the year by stating, "I just don't know if it was the best situation for either of us. ... You can avoid that stuff on your own if you like, in my opinion, but he's a popular guy and people gravitate towards the guy."
Consider this Belichick's way of showing the Jets how to handle the attention Tebow brings. If he succeeds, gets some production out of Tebow and doesn't distract from the overall goal of continued success during his regime, that'll be yet another dart sent in the direction of Florham Park, N.J.
As for Tebow, he's been intent on saying he can and will be a full-time NFL quarterback once again. New England is not the place for that to happen, at least not with a healthy Tom Brady under center.
Tebow figures to continue serving as a utility player on offense and a special-teams contributor. It's a role he accepted with the Jets, only to privately sulk when he learned he wouldn't be replacing Sanchez late in the year. That he's headed to back up one of the best quarterbacks in the game reveals Tebow has accepted his role will be as a contributor somewhere other than at quarterback. - USA Today

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Little Kid Pays Tribute To The Bird Man!

Heat fan Gianni Zandri, 10, paid tribute to Heat reserve Chris Andersen by sporting his mohawk to Game 2 of the NBA Finals between Miami and the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. Andersen and the Heat came through for their young fan, running away with a 103-84 win to level the series at 1-1.
(Getty/USA Today)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Magician Joe Mauer backhands carom off stone wall without looking (Video)

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Forge Joe Mauer's hand-eye coordination, he clearly has a sixth sense or natural instinct that no other mortal human being possesses.
As ridiculous as that sounds, it almost has to be true. Otherwise how can we explain what happened during the fifth inning of the Minnesota Twins game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Saturday afternoon?
On a foul ball straight back off the bat of former teammate Denard Span, Mauer casually turned to home umpire Tim Welke for a new ball. In the same motion, Mauer instinctively puts his catcher's mitt behind his back and snatches the ball out of the air cleanly as it caromed of the stone wall behind him without looking at it.
Just that calmly. Just that impossibly. Just that perfectly.

Intruder invades court at the French Open final

A flare-wielding protester against same-sex marriage is escorted off the Philippe Chatrier clay court by a security personnel during the men's singles final match between Rafael Nadal of Spain and compatriot David Ferrer at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 9, 2013