Congrats To The AL Central Champs

Posted in Baseball at 3:30 pm by

The faces of victory, ladies and gentlemen;

The absolutely, 100% not crazy manager

The 100% committed to winning at all costs Chairman.

There’s no available footage of a nude Hawk Harrelson pouring champagne all over himself, but perhaps that’s because Comcast is wary of an FCC crackdown and/or scaring children just home from school.

Content starved bloggers across America are praying this team goes deep into the post-season, if for no other reason than hoping for a Carl Everett explosion on a national stage.

Carragher To Mourinho : Even The Cat Can Spell “Dignity”

Posted in Football at 12:41 pm by

Miffed at the continued lack of respect from Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, and futher aggrieved over William Gallas’ disputed handball, Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher (above) vented after yesterday’s scoreless draw in the Champions League Group G (from The Mirror’s David Maddock).

“Oh, it was a penalty, a certain penalty, but we won’t spend our time bleating about it. Before the game, there was a lot of crying coming from their camp, they were crying about various things from last season, and there were some sour grapes.

“But we have a little bit more dignity about this club than that, and we will try not to cry too much about obvious decisions going against us. It was obvious though, wasn’t it!”

A typical reply from Mourinho in the Independent, speaking of Liverpool’s longball tactics since the arrival of tall drink of water Peter Crouch :

“A good game?” Mourinho queried. “It depends on what you love in football. Some like (Crouch), some don’t, some criticise direct play, some love it. As an opponent we don’t have to like or dislike it, just cope with it and we did that fantastically.”

Alberts : ESPN Destroyed Me

Posted in Gridiron, Sports TV at 10:51 am by

Tired of playing a supporting role to College Gameday’s Three Amigos, Trev Alberts became the Butkis Award winner that wouldn’t kiss butt. As such, he’s now out of work and can’t say much on the record to the Lincoln Journal-Star’s Steven M. Sipple.

The 35-year-old former Nebraska football star was fired by ESPN earlier this month because of a disagreement regarding his role in the network™s œCollege GameDay lineup. He said Wednesday he can™t talk about the situation because of pending litigation. But he spoke enthusiastically and optimistically about his future, saying he™s keeping an open mind and considering various options.

He doesn™t envision resuming work as a college football analyst for another network.

œMy opportunities in broadcasting have probably been destroyed by ESPN, said Alberts, a native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, who now lives in suburban Atlanta. œMore than likely, I™ll be making a lifestyle and professional change, which I suppose isn™t always bad.

œMy wife and I have been praying a lot and looking for direction.

With his TV days apparently behind him, he said he™s become œintrigued by potential opportunities in construction and real estate, among other possibilities.

XM Subscribers Begin Petitioning Kevin McClatchy

Posted in Baseball at 10:42 am by

Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on “The Show”‘s Kevin Kennedy, “interested” but not “lobbying” for another managerial position.

Kennedy, the national baseball analyst for Fox Sports and host of an XM satellite radio show, doesn’t deny an interest in being the Pirates’ next manager.

“Everything would be interesting to me,” Kennedy said Monday when the Pirates were in Los Angeles. “I miss it, I really do. I get to manage from (the press box), but I miss the competition. No question about it, I miss the game.”

Kennedy, however, said he would not openly lobby for an interview. He would only be a candidate if approached first, and that has not yet happened.

“Out of respect to the people I work with, that’s the way it would have to be,” Kennedy said. “I have an ‘out’ in my contract, but it’s not a situation where I can really solicit a job when one comes open. I’ve got a great gig now. If somebody has an interest, my door is always open.”

Given his absence from the dugout, the 51-year-old Kennedy is a long-shot candidate, but no more so than, say, Kent Tekulve.

At least one XM patron is hoping that in the unlikely event Kennedy gets the gig, Rob Dibble is named pitching coach.

Because Darryl Can’t Allow Doc Gooden To Hog The Headlines

Posted in Baseball at 10:30 am by

From Tampa Bay’s CBS affiliate :

Former Major League Baseball star Darryl Strawberry is in trouble once again, this time in Delray Beach.

Police arrested him on Wednesday, saying he failed to return a rental car after a month. He then loaned the car to a friend, and told the agency it was stolen.

Police found the car and returned it to the rental agency, and then arrested Strawberry.

Quick, Somebody Fetch Wilbon Last Night’s Scores

Posted in Baseball at 9:09 am by

And to think it’s Kornheiser who is always banging on about being in bed early. From Michael Wilbon in Thursday morning’s Washington Post.

It’s a sorry spectacle, watching Henry Aaron and Ryne Sandberg talk about catching cheaters in the last week of September when the games and the races ought to take up 100 percent of baseball’s agenda. It’s hard to watch Barry Bonds, who was a fabulously great player long before steroid allegations, pull his team within striking distance of front-running San Diego without wondering what he did and when he did it, or if some substance that is illegal in this country is the reason he’s still out there at 41 years old chasing Aaron. And if Bonds miraculously leads his Giants into the postseason, we’ll be wondering in October, too.

Never mind catching Aaron, if Barry Bonds can help the Giants erase a 5 game deficit with 4 games left to play, his ability to transcend the time space continuum is a power to be truly feared.

(Trevor Hoffman and Ramon Hernandez celebrate the Padres’ clinching the NL West crown, their enthusiasm tempered by the knowledge that news of their achievment might not reach Washington for several days)

Manny’s Ability To Hold It In Confirmed

Posted in Baseball at 8:46 am by

Falling a game behind the Yankees with 4 to play might seem like a reason to panic, but if Red Sox fans take nothing else away from their tumultuous 2005, there’s always the knowledge that Manny Ramirez never pissed inside the Green Monster.

From the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman.

Whizgate was a sham.

Back on July 18, the story went that Manny Ramirez was late popping out of the door of The Wall in left field after a break in the action because he had to urinate.

Ramirez said, or joked, that was the reason; manager Terry Francona repeated it. And the episode quickly was added to the growing backlog of “Manny being Manny” stories.

But now it can be told: Manny wasn’t taking a whiz.

Scoreboard operator Christian Elias said he was merely chatting.

“He just popped in, like he usually does,” Elias said, “and we started talking about this and that, the weather probably, and all of a sudden the phone started ringing and everything and we were like, `What?’ And then Manny said, `Oh, shoot,’ and ran back out there. There’s no bathroom back here, he didn’t go to the bathroom. We’ve kind of been puzzled about the whole thing, nobody ever asked us.”

Be Still My Heart (His, Too) : Knicks Fail To Land Curry

Posted in Basketball at 8:26 am by

The NY Post’s Marc Berman writes that the Knicks’ repeated attempts to acquire Chicago C Eddy Curry have come up short.

The Post has learned the Knicks offered Chicago a sign-and-trade package of Tim Thomas and Michael Sweetney for the ailing big center, but has been rejected repeatedly by GM John Paxson.

Barring a trade, Curry (above), suffering from heart irregularities, is expected to sign the Bulls’ one-year, $5 million qualifying offer before Saturday’s deadline, according to his Jersey-based attorney, Ed Milstein.

Curry has been commiserating on the phone almost daily with his best friend, Knick guard, Jamal Crawford, who’s worked behind the scenes to get him to New York.

The Knicks offered the Bulls a package that would start Curry at more than $13M and give Chicago cap relief after season. Tim Thomas’ contract ($13.5M) and Sweetney’s ($2.1M) expire after the season. Isiah has offered Thomas in multiple deals because of his tradable contract and the Knick glut at swingman.

Hottest Book Launch Since “Now I Can Die In Peace”

Posted in Basketball at 8:11 am by

The New York Daily News’ Lloyd Grove on a literary bash that brings together the worlds of basketball, publishing, high society and uh…the NRA?

It’s been just a year and a half since ex-Nets star Jayson Williams was acquitted of aggravated manslaughter – in the shooting of his limo driver Costas (Gus) Christofi in the chest with a 12-gauge shotgun – and convicted of four lesser charges of covering up the incident and trying to make it look like a suicide.

But apparently that’s enough time for Williams (above) and his wife, Tanya, to throw a book party tonight at Il Postino for his lawyer, Linda Kenney – who repped him in the Christofi family’s civil suit, which he settled for $2.75 million – and former New York City chief medical examiner Michael Baden, Kenney’s husband.

The return address on the invitation, which omits Jayson’s name, is the Williams’ Who Knew? Estates in Milford, N.J., the scene of Christofi’s death.

The husband-and-wife team’s crime novel, “Remains Silent,” conjures “a terrifying vortex of murder and deceit,” according to Random House’s PR material, “a mounting body count” and “a shocking cover-up.”

Rich irony?

“I find your question bizarre,” Tanya Williams answered. “It would be along the line of saying that I shouldn’t see a movie that involves an accident. ¦ My husband’s read the book, my friends have read the book, you should read the book!”

Kenney told Lowdown: “The cases in the book are [drawn from real cases] ¦ but there’s nothing to do with the Jayson Williams case. It’s absolutely irrelevant.”

I can only presume that Benoit Benjamin and Dwayne Schintzius are not on the guest list. Though with any luck, Will Leitch received an invitation.

Looper’s Shoulder Woes Revealed, 6 Months Too Late

Posted in Baseball at 1:45 am by

Newsday’s David Lennon reports that Braden Looper — relieved of his closing duties by the Mets —- is facing shoulder surgery that could well have taken place last spring.

Looper has been bothered by a damaged AC joint in his right shoulder since the end of last season, and chose to forgo the relatively minor operation because he didn’t want to miss the start of this year. Given the ragged state of the bullpen, the Mets figured they couldn’t afford to lose Looper early on, but the decision caught up to them when he imploded in the past month.

Looper converted 28 of 36 chances overall, but suffered blown saves in his last three opportunities before manager Willie Randolph demoted him for Roberto Hernandez and Aaron Heilman. Looper never let on that his shoulder was hurting, and neither did the Mets, until he admitted yesterday that he was scheduled for an MRI today and likely would have the operation done by team orthopedist David Altchek on Monday.

“We knew sometimes he felt discomfort,” Omar Minaya said. “But he always asked for the ball. I think that this late in the year, most guys are a little banged up. There were never signs from him that he was really hurting. That never got to my ears.”

Hearing Looper describe the sensation inside his shoulder made it sound like pain was an issue. The problem was caused by two bones rubbing together, and Looper said it felt like “having a quarter-inch rock in your shoe and running with it all the time.” The condition got progressively worse during the season, and Looper noticed it most when trying to “finish” his .pitches.

So instead of throwing a sinker that dropped sharply to a hitters’ shins, the pitch stayed up in the zone.

From Jose Reyes’ lost 2004, to Mike Cameron’s slow recovery from a wrist injury during the past off-season, and finishing with the above revelations about Looper’s ordeal, the Mets’ medical staff have quite a recent run.