Our favorite part comes toward the end -- when Ozzie is asked whether hockey players are better athletes than baseball players. Spoiler alert: Yes.
April 2009 Archives
Our favorite part comes toward the end -- when Ozzie is asked whether hockey players are better athletes than baseball players. Spoiler alert: Yes.
Rodriguez put on 25 pounds of muscle between his sophomore and junior years, and word was that his connection was a dog kennel owner.
A former high school teammate told Roberts the future No.1 MLB draft pick was on steroids and his coach knew it.
Another student said the son of coach Rich Hofman admitted he saw Rodriguez use steroids.
Hofman said it was news to him. "Whatever he was doing, he was doing it somewhere else," he said.
But this is just ... I don't know ... gross.
The Baltimore Sun laid off three sports writers and a photographer while they were in the press box at an Orioles game yesterday.
This from a live blog on the OC Register Web site:
"(Tough times in the newspaper biz. Two writers for the Baltimore Sun in the press box here got the news -- by phone during the game -- that they had been laid off in the latest round of cost-cutting. Stay classy, Baltimore Sun management.)
"(UPDATE: Make that three reporters and a photographer axed by the Sun during the game.)"
If you work in this industry, layoffs have become a source for daily fodder and speculation. It's traumatic enough to be among those who lose their job. But to be spared the common decency of a face-to-face dismissal -- It's just gross.
The Baltimore Sun is Absolutely Heartless, and Tim Wheatley is a Gutless Sports Editor [The Big Lead]
All you'll need is a minimum of $19,000.
A judge has ordered the auction of ousted Sacramento Kings assistant coach Randy Brown's three championship rings that he won as a guard with the 1996, 1997 and 1998 Chicago Bulls.
Brown, a product of Collins High School here in Chicago, filed for bankruptcy in August 2008.
Web-only public bidding for the rings through West Auctions will begin May 19 and last for two days. The bidding starts at $19,000 for the set of three rings.
Daniel West, a partner in the Woodland Calif.-based auction house, took the rings to a California jewelry appraiser who told him the value of the set was more than $40,000. The 12.5-sized ring from the 1998 championship alone was valued at more than $20,000.
"From a collector's standpoint, [the final bid] could easily triple that -- I hope," said West.
Between them, the rings contain nearly 200 individual diamonds. But it's the sentimental value surrounding Brown's rings that has piqued more interest than the commercial auctions West's company usually handles.
"The Bulls are such a strong team and they're doing so well this year, so that's part of the interest," said West. "I think the other part is that these rings are from such a special time for the Bulls -- back when it was their second three-peat."
He noted that the fact the rings are being sold as a set also makes this auction attractive to buyers.
"If you go looking, you can find championship rings available, but you'll only find one here or there," he said. "It's a rare thing to see all three from such a pivotal moment from a team like the Bulls."
Bulls fans may not be the only ones interested in Brown's pieces of history. West said his Web site numbers show that he's getting almost equal visits from Chicago and Northern California, where Brown played and coached for the Sacramento Kings.
In Brown's bankruptcy filing, the rings are listed at a total value of $10,500.
Also as part of the bankruptcy filing, Brown is surrendering the million-dollar home he owns in Naperville's tony White Eagle neighborhood and a pair of Dodge Chargers.
MORE PHOTOS OF RANDY BROWN'S CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS
Allow me to let you in on the NBA's worst-kept secret: Kevin Garnett is a prolific trash-talker. Google "'Kevin Garnett' trash talk,'" and you'll get about 18,500 results. His on-court antics have been the subject of debates about sportsmanship on Sportscenter and he's been regular fodder for sports columnists across the country. If this Bulls-Celtics series is your foray into the Garnett mouth-running bonanza, then you are certainly missing out.
He's the Shakespeare of taunt, the Picasso of trash, the da Vinci of distraction, the Mary-Kate of ridicule. From slapping the floor while picking up a guard on defense in the back-court, to entire bench stare-downs, to telling Kobe Bryant to go have sex with himself (in not so many words) while he, Garnett, is in the process of shooting a free throw, the man is truly a pioneer of put-downs. The kind of guy you love if he's on your team and despise if he's not.
But with Garnett sidelined with injuries, it's been his off-court antics during the Bulls-Celtics series, in particular, one incident that occurred near the end of regulation in Game 5, that's drawing this Bulls fan's ire. Captured in an oh-so telling photo, there's Mr. Gatorade himself in the ear of Bulls shooter Ben Gordon as he walks toward the bench during a timeout. The expression on Garnett's face says it all, but you can't help but wonder what, exactly, he's saying.
Analyst Matt Vasgersian made an awkward attempt to inject humor into the situation by remarking that one of the field workers resembled Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Oops:
Bears linebacker Lance Briggs says he cut his right hand using a straight-edge razor -- something that I was pretty sure had been rendered obsolete years ago with the introduction of the Mach 3. The tackling enthusiast is scheduled to show his injured paw to Bears brass at Halas Hall today.
Just a few months ago, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose cut himself on knife he was using to slice apples in bed.
The woman apparently began contacting the NBA player during the 2001-2002 season under a different legal last name.The woman, Symone Fisher, has allegedly sent a number of e-mails, messages on social networking sites and letters to the Lakers star claiming to be his wife, even though the two have never met, Derek Fisher wrote in a declaration. She recently began showing up at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo and near his home, according to court papers.
Derek Fisher wins restraining order (Los Angeles Times)
Well, smiling and encouraging them to grow beards in conjunction with the NHL playoffs.
As you might suspect, this little beard-off has become the subject of some good-natured ribbing around the office. And face touching, too, which seems inappropriate now that I think about it.
The 41-year-old was subdued with an "electrical device" by police at a Manhattan hotel around 4 a.m.
FORMER NETS STAR JAYSON WILLIAMS HOSPITALIZED (New York Post)
In move that would have made Michael Jackson proud, the guard seemed to clutch his groin after his trey. Consider it his answer to Bill Raftery's signature "Onions!" reaction to fearless play.
For his part, Gordon says he was having um, man problems, that necessitated the move.
Nikon D300. Nikon 18-200mm VR lens @ 200mm.
Shutter Priority. 1/1000 second @ f/5.6. ISO 1600.
Picturing-taking enthusiast and friend of the blog Andy Aupperlee brought his arsenal of cameras to Wrigley Field last Saturday to see the Cubs take on the St. Louis Cardinals. And since his field trip to the World Series of Beer Pong was such a hit last time, it seems appropriate to showcase some of his work. Aupperlee is proprietor of the very entertaining Seattle-based photography blog The Andy Aupperlee Explosion 5000.
Aptly named, indeed.
His words are after the jump.
But, since video is worth 100,000 words, we'll just prove it to you right now. Gilbert became the subject of much YouTube fascination when this video of him jumping out a swimming pool on to the surrounding deck surfaced.
You can't do that, can you?
Hey, those are the same two teams that were in February's Super Bowl! What are the chances?
Time will tell if the so-called "Madden curse" is potent enough to extend to two players at once.
Polamalu, Fitzgerald Land Madden NFL 10 Cover (Sporting News)
See, it doesn't look like the Brewers got anything in exchange for minor league outfielder Jason Tyner.
What am I missing here? Tyner can't be making enough to be a serious drain on the Brewers' finances, so what's the impetus for giving another team something for nothing?Dan Lunetta, the Tigers' director of minor league operations, said the Brewers assigned Tyner's contract to the Detroit organization. It didn't appear that any cash or other players were involved in the transaction.
Tigers acquire minor leaguer Jason Tyner from Brewers (Detroit Free Press)
But, how good of a pro will Curry be?
I've perfected Missouri's spread offense, and frustrated Kyle with countless Daniel-to-Maclin jaunts into the endzone. Kyle, in turn, made me lose even more hair than usual on occasion by controlling the clock with the likes of Knowshon Moreno and Javon Ringer.
To be sure, NCAA Football 10 will offer even more opportunities for us to prove our virtual gridiron prowess -- all while we hope our players get injured so we can hear sideline reports from Erin Andrews.
But the real question: Who's face will we be looking at when we pop open the game?
Michael Crabtree, Brian Johnson, Brian Orakpo and Mark Sanchez will be featured on platform-exclusive covers of NCAA Football 10.
Tyler will eschew a commitment to play at Louisville, where the 6-11, 260-pound San Diego High junior had previously committed to play.
Tyler, who averaged 28.7 points per game last season, told the New York Times:
"Nowadays people look to college for more off-the-court stuff versus being in the gym and getting better. If you're really focused on getting better, you go play pro somewhere. Pro guys will get you way better than playing against college guys."
His father, James Tyler, told Yahoo! Sports:
"He can always go back to school. It's all learning. How is living in Europe not a learning experience?"
You see, even after all of these years it's still topical.
For instance, SportsCenter's Hannah Storm apparently decided to pay homage to the puffy shirt storyline this morning.
Rose averaged 16.8 points and 6.3 assists per game during the regular season.
Report: Rose named NBA's top rookie (ESPN)
This morning, sportswriters are paying homage to the longtime veteran, both for his prowess on the court and his altruistic efforts off of it.
In praise of Dikembe Mutombo, one of the all-time greats (Houston Chronicle)
Dikembe Mutombo Foundation (DMF)
I wasn't at the game, but I can speak to the mood of female fans who were watching at Sopo Grill who let out a collective and spirited "Awwwwwwwwwwww!" And in classic Chicago fashion, our on-field cat encounter had to come weeks after a crazy cat stole home and the hearts of Mets fans on Opening Day at Citi Field.
But our question to Cub fans -- does anyone know how the cat actually got onto the field? And what happened to the cat after it was captured? Was it ushered to the Wrigley drunk tank to wallow with the rest of the inappropriate-behavior enthusiasts?
We have a few theories here around the newsroom about where the cat might have come from:
Two games. That's all it took for me to believe this Chicago Bulls team is for real.
Two of the best post-Jordan era NBA games I've ever seen, and I'm officially man-smitten. So much so that I'm ready to make the following epically bold prediction: the Bulls will win this series.
One more time for dramatic effect: the Bulls will defeat the heavily favored, defending NBA Champion Boston Celtics to advance to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
Chances are you don't share my Cubs-fan-esque optimism, so allow me a moment to explain.
She's being currently being linked to not one, but two different men.
Hot on the heels of our own Bill Zwecker reporting that she and Chris Brown may be living together again, the rumor mill churned out the little nugget that she may be romantically entangled with Los Angeles Lakers' big man Andrew Bynum.
All of this, as you might imagine, has our heads spinning.
Sources: Rihanna, Chris Brown living together again (Sun-Times)
Is Andrew Bynum of the Lakers Dating Rihanna? (The Big Lead)
But, considering the fact that it's the fourth straight no-no he's thrown, the left-hander is generating quite a buzz.
Schuster has a fastball that tops 90 mph and has signed to play baseball at the University of Florida next year, but his recent greatness could change all of that.
The high school record for consecutive no-hitters is six.
Schuster has 17 K's in 4th straight no-hitter (ESPN Rise)
But, today there is reason for optimism in the Mitten State.
You see, after an 0-16 season, the Lions have addressed the most obvious factor in their historically inept season.
Seldom has their been this much collective optimism coursing through the veins of Chicago sports fans. If ever there were a time to have more than a bit of pride about being a Chicago homer, this is it.
It's probably not the first time it's happened, but the Bulls, Hawks, Cubs and White Sox all ended their respective days victorious on Saturday, some in quite dramatic fashion.
The city's two baseball teams are coming off division-winning seasons and are both in positions where a repeat is plausible. The Cubs sit atop their division after fending off the Cardinals the past few days while the White Sox trail only the soon-to-collapse Kansas City Royals.
Carlos Quentin is turning into the city's next superstar on the South Side while Alfonso Soriano has delivered thus far the way Cub fans had always hoped. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have only been playing hockey in this city for two seasons, and already we couldn't imagine the team without them.
The baby Bulls on Saturday looked more than respectable, avoided an epic collapse and handed the defending NBA champs an exclamation point loss. It's possible that Game 1 against the Celtics was the first time this season that many casual Bulls fans saw an entire game of Derrick Rose in action. He delivered a performance sure to convert many of those casual fans back into devotees.
And there's even reaston to be optimistic -- nay, ecstatic -- around Halas Hall with the pickup of Jay Cutler and Orlando Pace in the off season. Finally Jerry Angelo and the Bears front office seems to be truly committed to winning.
Sure, all of these teams have a long way to go before we're planning any ticker tape parades down LaSalle Street or rallies in Grant Park. But if we don't appreciate and celebrate these times while we're in the midst of them, we have absolutely no right to bemoan the bad times.
And as any true Chicago sports fans know, the bad times are always a Grossman away.
Derrick Rose is no Michael Jordan. Any suggestion otherwise would probably be irresponsible.
But, after this afternoon's sterling performance in the Bulls' 105-103 Game 1 victory over the Boston Celtics, it's safe to say that the rookie answered any questions that existed about how he'd handle the postseason pressure.
It should be noted beating the Celtics in the playoffs is something Jordan never accomplished.
The Chicago native poured in 36 points, dished out 11 assists and made everyone of his teammates better during the surprising victory. That's exactly what is expected of great players.
Just being mentioned in the same sentence as these men puts what Kalas meant to the city in perspective. Moments ago, one of our veteran copy editors read Schmidt's quote aloud with a surprised tone."If you can look past Ben Franklin and William Penn, he may have been the greatest person to grace Philadelphia in the history of the city, when you think about it," Schmidt said. "As many lives as he affected over the time that he lived in Philadelphia, who would have had a bigger impact on the city? Who would have? If anybody can think of somebody, I'm willing to hear it, but I don't know."
But, after some reflection, the slugging third baseman's statement seems to have merit. You see, institutions like Kalas -- announcers who stay with a city for decades and become part of the team's aura -- are becoming increasingly rare.
Milton Bradley argues balls and strikes with umpire Larry Vanover in the sixth inning Thursday during a pinch-hitting appearance, his first as a Cub in the Friendly Confines. - Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times
Milton Bradley pulled his gimpy groin off the bench for a pinch-hitting appearance in the Cubs/Cardinals tilt Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field. And, of course, he didn't disappoint.
He didn't smack a homer. Not a basehit. Not even a walk. Nope, he got ejected for arguing a called third strike - and is facing possible fine or suspension for apparentcontact with umpire Larry Vanover in the process. Of course it was only a matter of time till the hot-headed Bradley acted out and got tossed for his efforts, but what was the hurry?
So not only could he not help the team out by getting on base - he would have been lifted for a pinch runner because, of course, he's injured - but he now could potentially be lost for a few games if Major League Baseball deems the head case went too far and made contact with Vanover. Oh, and he's 1-for-the-season so far in 2009.
So it got us to wondering: is this the worst first home plate appearance in baseball history? The Cubs, of course, had the tragic Adam Greenberg at-bat against the Marlins in 2005 when he was beaned in the head his first plate appearance and basically never played again. But, of course, that was in Miami.
But you tell us - what's the most infamous, tragic or stupid first plate appearance you've seen or heard about. If nothing else, maybe you can make Bradley feel a little better about his nonsense.
Chicago Cubs rookie Adam Greenberg is helped off the field by Cubs trainers after being hit in the helmet by the first pitch he faced in the major leagues, from Florida Marlins relief pitcher Valerio Do Los Santos during the ninth inning July 9, 2005, in Miami. Steve Mitchell/AP
Today we learn of Blago's correspondence with Cubs manager Lou Piniella -- one that offered some unsolicited advice about the lineup.
Let's set aside for one moment the fact that the former governor took time out of his day to cull together a multimedia package that included a newspaper clipping, which is something that just doesn't happen enough these days. Instead, let's focus speculate on what advice the ousted Blagojevich would offer Piniella on his 2009 Cub team."Yeah, it was on my desk when I came in one day,'' Piniella said of the letter, which came to light Thursday in a chicagotribune.com report. ''He's a big Cubs fan. He was giving me advice on what to do with the lineup. He wanted me to move Soriano out of the leadoff spot to No. 3 [with Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez fourth and fifth]. Obviously, he follows the Cubs very close.''
Stiles' Opening Day report from the new Citi Field in New York is one of the more entertaining pieces of celebrity journalism to come across my radar in a long time.
A small sampling:
Definitely worth a read.As for the park, conceptually it is an absolute improvement, reminiscent of Ebbets Field, with stands like the old Polo Grounds. The open-air concourse allows for good views of the field, and is much less claustrophobic than Shea. The beer lines are slower because they insist on pouring it for you, but the only place you'll find a quicker ladies room is at a Rush concert -- I know from experience.
Making New Memories (Wall Street Journal)
According to San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy, however, the ballpark lacks something even my first crummy studio apartment out of college had: hot water.
NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol announced today that John Madden is retiring from broadcasting. In addition to making Frank Caliendo's comedy act immediately slightly less relevant, Madden's departure marks the end of a long and illustrious career.
Along the way he became the face of one of the world's most popular video games, made the word "turducken" socially acceptable and stated the obvious with his own brand of analysis.
Started by the Islanders in the early '80s, the beards are a very tangible reminder of just how successful -- and long -- a team's playoff run has been. For players, each surviving whisker is a reminder of just how close to hoisting the Stanley Cup they are.
(In-game screenshot from ncaafootball.easports.com)
Video game college football just got a whole lot more interesting. For those who didn't think it was possible to improve perfection, Erin Andrews is coming to NCAA Football10.
In a move that can only be described as brilliantly innovative, the ballyhooed ESPN personality will appear as a sideline reporter in the perennial hit video game. She'll join the virtual broadcast team of Kirk Herbstreit, Brad Nessler and Lee Corso. "Andrews will also be featured in a major NCAA Football 10 mode that will be revealed at a later date," according to an EA Sports press release.
It's Venn diagram marketing at it's finest: Dudes like Erin Andrews. Dudes like NCAA Football games from EA Sports. Put those two circles together, and you've got yourself a winning combination (and a far more attractive Venn diagram than we were ever presented with in grade school).
Andrews will also provide peripheral hype leading up to the game's July 14 release over who will be the the four -- yes, four -- cover athletes from this year's version of the game. A different player will be featured on the cover of each of the game's platforms: Xbox 360 , the PlayStation2, PlayStation3 and the PSP.
In a video posted on the game's Web site today, Andrews posits that Percy Harvin (from her alma mater, Florida), Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree and possible future Detroit Lion Matthew Stafford will be among those to grace the cover.
Football can't be that easy of a game. It just can't be. It takes too much time and preparation to be successful.
It can take years to make it. Literally. Years.
But maybe the Green Bay Packers are on to something. Maybe former Duke point guard Greg Paulus can still heave the pigskin with the same precision as he did as a record-setting quarterback in New York.
Is there a better way to celebrate the Blackhawks' first playoff berth since 2002 than dancing with your shirt off?
You see, this was Opening Day at Wrigley Field. An April tradition built on dressing in layers, Old Style and the timeless pageantry of yesteryear.
Let me be perfectly clear here. I've never, ever been accused of being a Cubs fan. In fact, their championship drought is one of the story lines that I wouldn't mind continuing. But, there's something special about the return of baseball to a historic ballpark to an unflinchingly loyal fan base.
I enjoyed every second of the long, rain-soaked opener. It is baseball, after all
It didn't take Reed Johnson long to top last year's diving grab -- arguably the catch of the year -- against the Washington Nationals.
Bolt made the admission while drinking a Guinness mixed with Red Bull, which sounds like something a bartender would refuse to make you."In Jamaica, you learn as a child how to roll a joint. Everyone here has tried it. I did too -- but I was real young then," Bolt was quoted as saying. "My family and my friends don't smoke and I don't hang out any longer with people who smoke."
Report: Bolt tried weed as a kid (CNNSI)
In a recent interview, Minnesota Vikings defensive end addressed a question about his newest target in the NFC North -- Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
Speaking to a Westwood One reporter backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards, Allen had this prediction about how he expects to fare against No. 6
"Twice a year I'm going to peel the back of his head off the turf. I love the guy, but business is business."
Federer served up the news on his Web site:
OFF COURT - MR. AND MRS. FEDERER (RogerFederer.com)Dear Fans,
Earlier today, in my hometown of Basel, surrounded by a small group of close friends and family, Mirka and I got married. It was a beautiful spring day and an incredibly joyous occasion.
Mr. and Mrs. Roger Federer wish all of you a Happy Easter weekend.
Usually, these little gimmicks are over in a minute and then the silliness is immediately erased from memory.
But for one man who attended a White Sox game, there's an alleged painful reminder of one of these time-fillers.
Love it or hate it, the shootout in hockey is a great opportunity for players to show off moves rarely seen or attempted during the regular course of a game.
Armstrong says French may ban him from Tour (FOX Sports)"There's a very high likelihood that they prohibit me from riding in the Tour," a somber Armstrong said Friday in a video statement posted on his Web site. "It's too bad. The tour is something I love dearly."
Calhoun's Huskies, who lost in the Final Four to Michigan State, have recently been the subject of recruiting violation allegations. The venerable coach has also had his share of health problems and has been treated for skin cancer three separate times.
There was speculation that these factors could mean the end of Calhoun's coaching career, but judging from his statement, that doesn't look to be the case.
A scary moment yesterday during San Francisco's 7-1 victory over Milwaukee as Giants reliever Joe Martinez was struck in the head by a Mike Cameron line drive.
According to San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Henry Schulman, Martinez suffered a concussion, and is expected to make a full recovery.
"Evans said Martinez seemed fine, did not have much of a headache and spoke by phone with his parents, who watched the incident on television from their home in New Jersey."
And the fact that this 22-year-old who had his whole life ahead of him was robbed of all his potential by a suspected drunk driver makes it even more sad.
It is, in short, mind-numbingly painful to think that at any moment the irresponsible and selfish actions of another could deny any one of us of our most precious gift.
"The Woods of Wisdom" is the newest attempt by Tiger Woods and Gatorade to schlep its Tiger brand of flavored sugar water.
The commercial pits a pint-sized Woods teeing up with what looks to be a three iron in the thickets as sundry forest-dwelling animals (including an overzealous, alliterative bear) look on. After slicing it badly and nearly injuring the onlooking critters, the bear leads Tiger to Focus Falls -- a majestic place, to be sure -- where he takes a huge sip of waterfall Gatorade and is suddenly able to bounce a golf ball on his club. Impressive, if not entirely improbable.
The talking animals inform young animated Tiger that in order to be great, he needs only concentrate on being great. And what better way to get a child to focus on something than pumping him full of Gatorade? Sugar makes kids settle down and focus, right?
The tagline for the event is the quaint "a tradition unlike any other," but one columnist is taking umbrage this morning for what he perceives as another tradition in golf: racism.
Kevin Blackistone's column documents the lack of diversity on the links and explains how it's turned him, an African American, away from the game.
The Boston Herald reports that its fair city has been chosen over bids from New York and Philadelphia to host the game.
No word yet on who the Bruins will play in the game, but one interesting piece of information to note is that Boston may have tried (unsuccessfully) to get the game there last year when the Cubs won out.
A Herald "spy" told the paper, "The Red Sox were mad that they were one-upped this year so they get it next year."
No word yet on whether this particular member of Red Sox Nation shares a passion for the Bruins:
But Vikings All-World running back Adrian Peterson just could not get the job done. Before Tuesday's Minnesota Wild game, Peterson flubbed the State of Hockey's game-opening tradition by messing up the words.
He of the Unique Windup allowed three runs in just three innings of work -- equal to the shortest start of his young career.
Lincecum was rattled enough that he mixed up his food axioms after the game.
Hill averaged 18.1 points and 11 rebounds this season for the Wildcats.
Arizona's Jordan Hill declares for NBA draft (AP)
The First Fan called Williams from Air Force One to say he was grateful that the Heels saved his bracket -- one which struggled mightily through the early rounds of play.
Obama phones UNC coach, offers congratulations (AP)
Cousins, the No. 4-rated player in the ESPNU 100, previously committed to Memphis, but didn't sign any binding documents."He told me tonight he's going to Kentucky," said Otis Hughley of LeFlore High School in Mobile, Ala. "He didn't say much after [John] Calipari left Memphis and, I told him I was there for advice and counsel, whatever he needed."
Coach: Cousins chooses Kentucky (ESPN)
Not only does she mildly resemble golf behemoth Tiger Woods (as evidenced in the above photo), she's also got game. Golfweek currently ranks the Wake Forest freshman at No. 107 in the country.
The Bears are in need of another threat at the wide receiver position, and these three veteran candidates are currently the cream of the free agent crop.
Yet, speculation as to where any of these three could be headed has been kept to a minimum lately:
BY KEVIN ALLEN AND KYLE KOSTER
It's said there's no such thing as a bad day of fishing. That extends to a day at the ballpark, which we were fortunate enough to experience Tuesday afternoon.
Baseball is back. Thank God, baseball is back.
Since the sport last left us in October, a Sox fan became the nation's first African-American president, the economy spiraled further out of control and a Kevin James movie has become the highest grossing film so far of 2009.
It's certainly been an emotional few months. To say it's good to be have baseball back in our lives is like saying Jim Thome's eighth-inning, three-run home run was "neat." The return of baseball to Chicago is everything we deserve after enduring brutal wind-chill factors, freezing rain and ousted governors.
Kyle and Kevin will be sending Twitter updates from U.S. Cellular Field this afternoon during the White Sox opener against the Royals. Ever the antagonist, Kyle is considering purchasing a Royals hat -- so this could get interesting.
Follow our Twitter updates below and at Twitter.com/KevinAllenCST.
Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansbrough and Wayne Ellington realized their dream of a national championship and it's pretty obvious that the better team won. And, as heartbreaking as it was for me personally, the "One Shining Moment" montage went a long way to boosting my mood.
It had nothing to do with the fact that the highly compensated Cub failed to reach base, going 0-4 with a strikeout. That was definitely a glaring difference between this year and last, but plenty of good players have off days (Derrek Lee).
The biggest difference had everything to do with the complete lack of optimism surrounding this one player. There are 161 games left in the season, and already there's nothing good to say about Kosuke Fukudome. This time last year, Wrigley's rogue vendors were scrambling to make enough rising sun headbands and tasteless 'Horry Kow' T-shirts to meet fans' rabid schwag demands.
Last year on Opening Day against the Brewers, Fukudome took his first pitch as a Cub and drove it into left-center field for a stand-up double. The Wrigley faithful praised Jim Hendry's decision to sign the Japanese import in one breath and high-fived the stranger in front of them with the next. He went 3-3 with a walk that rainy March day, and provided late-inning heroics with a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth. He was quickly anointed the missing link -- that which the Cubs needed to break 100 years of ineptitude.
That was certainly then.
BY LINDSEY MILLER
Today is baseball's Opening Day. I only know that because someone's bringing in hot dogs for everyone at work in honor of the occasion. Truthfully, I'm more worried about whether there will be soy hot dogs at the luncheon than who's playing, but this is a sports blog, so I have to at least try to keep my eyes on the ball, so to speak.
Of all the popular team sports that Americans watch, I hold the greatest respect for baseball. It's a wholesome, nostalgic, all-American game. Blue sky. Green grass. Brown dirt. White ball, red laces. Even present-day baseball players feel to me like a relic from the past, nostalgic like my dad's yellowing collection of baseball cards that he used to keep in a shoebox in the attic, or his soft, smelly leather baseball mitt that he was saving for a game of catch with a son who never came. Instead, he got three daughters who were more interested in playing dress-up than catch, but still curious about America's and our dad's favorite game.
Plenty is being said about the the guarantee, but by all accounts, it is Oklahoma that owes Courtney after an incredible career in which she became the first four-time All-American in the history of women's college basketball.
Paris didn't have to make the guarantee, and certainly no one would blame her if she backed out. She'll most likely go on to play in the WNBA, but that doesn't come with the guarantee of the type of cash an NBA contract guarantees.
So I guess what I'm getting at is -- it would sure be nice (and make things a whole lot more interesting) if some of these one-and-done guys on the men's side would make similar guarantees.
Let Courtney Paris off hook for OU loss [NewsOK.com]
Paris 'makes good' on $64K promise [ESPN.com]
Boston.com's eerily long one-paragraph story sets the scene:
INF, the photo agency that hired Rolando Aviles and Uri Cortez, said yesterday the two men "narrowly escaped death" when bullets shattered the back windshield of the duo's Suzuki jeep then hit the vehicle's front window. "Nobody was hurt, but it was very close," an INF spokesman told us today.
And who better than the outspoken Carlos Zambrano to weigh in on the state of the stadium?
Big Z -- clearly impressed by the plush amenities found at the Yankees' new yard -- made a plea for a new facility on Saturday.
And while you can point to many factors as to why the Spartans have been able to make it this far, we think we've pinned down the primary one.
It's obviously the contributions of the Big Ten Network's Mike Hall.
This time, the former first-round draft pick was nabbed for failure to appear in drug court.
With a 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators Friday night at the United Center, the Hawks clinched their first playoff berth since the 2001-02 season and that coveted break from shaving.
With all of these off-the-wall gimmicks flying all over the place like Rick Ankiel fastballs, it's nice to see a team do something nice.
The Buffalo Bisons (isn't "bison" the plural form?) are offering up to four free tickets to their season opener for anyone who has lost their job.
The good news for Lawson is that he left the craps table up $250. The bad news is that the NCAA doesn't exactly to be going all-in with its support of this activity.
Former Los Angeles Clippers (and Sparty!) center Paul Davis is featured in a recent episode of Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker."
In the episode "Paul and Kimi," Paul takes Kimi to an "upscale" bowling alley (isn't that an oxymoron?).
It gets interesting when Davis ups the ante with some friendly bets over who can bowl a strike. Davis' bowling prowess apparently nets him the following:
Without a doubt, fans should be excited because they're getting a potential franchise quarterback in Cutler, amazed that general manager Jerry Angelo orchestrated such a trade and optimistic that the Bears could actually be a decent team this upcoming season.
But Broncos fans are feeling none of the above. If anything, it's the exact opposite.
Finally the Bears have gone out and splurged on the nicest car in the lot instead of settling on a lonely Honda Civic -- the one sitting in the corner with a little rust on the bottom that nobody wants.
Finally there's hope that the Bears might actually go into consecutive training camps with the same starting quarterback (one who isn't named Rex).
The sound was a motley crew of emotion:
The bad news? It won't exactly be piloting an NFL team.
This, from his lawyer:
Lawyer: Ex-NFL star Vick will work construction (AP)"When Vick is released, he plans to work 40 hours a week for a construction company. He did not disclose the wage or give any other details about the type of work that Vick will be performing.
During yesterday's Brewers-Diamondbacks tilt, Corey Hart senselessly blasted a home run right at a rather attractive sunbathing girl. Luckily for one Brewers fan, the situation provided the perfect opportunity to snag a souvenir -- and perhaps a phone number.
This is a fact ... or is it?
If you take a moment to study the famous non-athlete alums of each of the four schools, the Final Four picture begins to take shape and reveal itself. In an effort to create a more informed Final Four viewer heading into this, college basketball's holiest weekend, we've compiled a famous alum starting five for each team -- plus a sixth man or woman who didn't actually graduate from the university but attended for some time. There's also a wild card -- someone who went to that university that makes you realize, hmmm ... I never actually pictured that person attending college, but I guess it makes sense. I mean, we all come from somewhere, right? (Yeah, Batavia!) This person would be the equivalent of your team's role player down the stretch.
So without further ado, here are the Sports Pros(e) famous alum squads for each of this year's Final Four schools:
Sources say an announcement is expected Thursday.
Floyd led the USC Trojans to a 85-50 during the past four seasons.
Arizona reportedly to hire Floyd as next coach (KYMA)
Chicago Cubs, Under Armour in new advertising deal (Reuters)"No terms were announced in this week's settlement statement other than the partnership is a multimillion-dollar, multiyear deal. In addition to its logo on Wrigley's ivy-covered outfield wall, the apparel maker has advertising rights for signage behind home plate.
In court documents filed in January, the Cubs said Under Armour was under contract to pay the Cubs more than $2 million a season from 2009 through 2013 to advertise at the stadium and use the Cubs logo.
Greg Gumbel says he was tricked into informercials (AP)"The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale. The suit claims Paul Douglas Scott, owner of Deerfield Beach-based Encore Television Group Inc., told Gumbel he would be announcing introductions for educational programming. Instead, Gumbel says his introductions were used in informercials for time-shares, magnet therapy and other products.
"Games like "Guess How Many Buns Are in My EZ Bake Oven" will be among the featured events when minor-league baseball's Grand Prairie AirHogs host "Octomom Night."
In honor of the Suleman octuplets in California, the independent league club said Wednesday it will also have a Diaper Derby and a stroller race the night of the June 13 game.
Groups of eight or more will be offered half-price admission and if the AirHogs score eight or more runs during the game, every fan will get a ticket to another game.
Now, I'm all for baseball and capitalism, but this sort of thing just seems embarrassing to everyone involved.
"He was asked at a news conference Wednesday with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown whether he had a "good luck message" for the team from England, which is playing Ukraine later in the day in a World Cup qualifying match.
Obama says his college basketball predictions, in which he envisioned North Carolina taking the championship, caused "all kinds of controversy."
You might recall the criticism Obama took for taking time out of his day to fill out his NCAA tournament bracket for ESPN a few weeks back. Coach K even said he should be focusing on the economy and not which 12-seed was going to pull the upset.
Stallworth was questioned by Police the morning of March 14 after the seven-year NFL veteran struck and killed 59-year-old Mario Reyes while driving near the end of the MacArthur Causeway in Miami Beach. Later reports indicated that Stallworth's blood alcohol level was above the legal limit (.12 according to a Miami Herald source).
A March 24 report stated that Stallworth told police he flashed his headlights to warn Reyes -- who was struck as he was rushing across the street to catch a bus.
The charge carries a possible 15-year prison sentence.
A few days after the incident, Stallworth issued an apology.
A video obtained by the Miami Herald shows police administering a field sobriety test on Stallworth as paramedics work to save Reyes.
''My family and I are grief stricken over the tragic accident which occurred Saturday on Miami Beach where Mario Reyes sadly lost his life,'' Stallworth said in a prepared statement. ``My thoughts and prayers are with the Reyes family during this incredibly difficult time. Unfortunately, since this accident is still under police investigation, I cannot comment further on the matter at this time."
Donte Stallworth expected to be charged with DUI manslaughter [Miami Herald w/video]
The first screen grab from Madden NFL 10. (EA Sports)
EA Sports has announced it will release the latest installment of its video game behemoth Madden NFL 10 Aug. 14. No word yet on who will grace the cover.
From an EA press release:
"On-field authenticity and emotion is taken to another level in Madden NFL 10. With more control over the outcome of the play than ever before, players can drag defenders towards the first down marker, fight for a fumble at the bottom of the pile, and avoid the rush by stepping up into the pocket. Utilizing an all-new animation technology, Madden NFL 10 ensures that the Fight For Every Yard doesn't end until the whistle blows."
But who will be on the cover? YouTube user and Photoshop enthusiast CodeE12395 has put together a speculative video:
Somehow, in a "Vice Versa"/"Like Father Like Son"/"Freaky Friday" twist of events you can inhabit Angelo's body these next couple of weeks as the Bears go after trading block enthusiast Jay Cutler. Instead of Judge Reinhold/Fred Savage, Dudley Moore/Kirk Cameron or Jamie Lee Curtis/Lindsey Lohan it's You/Jerry Angelo.
OK, Jerry/You -- you've got some decisions to make. Bill Williamson of ESPN.com gives you 5-1 odds that you'll be able to land him, so you've got your work cut out for you. This ain't Madden 10 (which I'll be very excited to play if you can land Cutler, by the way -- no pressure).