From the AP :
Chivas USA acquired forward Ante Razov, the fourth-leading goal scorer in MLS history, from the MetroStars on Monday for forward Thiago Martins.
Razov (above) has 84 goals in 10 seasons with the Los Angeles Galaxy, Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew and MetroStars. He had seven goals and six assists in 25 games last year with Columbus and the MetroStars.
Martins had three goals and one assist in 22 games last season.
The trade reunites Razov with Chivas USA coach Bob Bradley, who coached him in Chicago from 1998-2002 and a portion of last season.
With mounting allegations of players suffering racist abuse, South Africa’s cricket authorities might not send the team back to Australia if incidents continue. From the Independent’s Colin Crompton.
The Cricket South Africa chief executive, Gerald Majola, said: “It is very serious and if it continues, yes, we would look very seriously about whether we return.”
Makhaya Ntini, Garnett Kruger, Herschelle Gibbs and Ashwell Prince, who are black, were targets of racial abuse during the first Test in Perth last month.
“It is not right when a country has a history like ours,” Majola said. “The sad thing is, it has continued around Australia. It hasn’t just been limited to one state or one city.”
Cricket Australia’s chief executive, James Sutherland, said a crackdown on racist fans was planned. “These types of people are not wanted at cricket. If there is a cost-effective method of keeping them out, we will certainly look into it.”
TVNZ’s has more on Cricket Australia’s response.
ricket Australia is considering following the example of European football and devising a register of “undesirable” fans that would be distributed to gate attendants in a bid to stop boorish, racist spectators from entering international venues.
“Though violent behaviour hasn’t been prevalent at international cricket matches this summer, CA chief executive James Sutherland believes the same method could be applied to curb the racist taunting of players by fans, such as that which distressed the South African team,” Fairfax reported on Tuesday.
Sutherland told the newspapers: “Look at the way they address the issue of hooliganism in England.
“We hope we don’t need to get to that stage, but they have been successful in keeping undesirable people out of grounds,” he said.
Unless Sutherland is refering to the Premiership clubs’ practice of pricing tickets beyond the means of many of their fans, it is hard to fathom what he’s talking about.
Young hopeful Jeff Wilpon (above) gets a head start on Spring Training, flanked by Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran. Not did the Mets choose to not offer Mike Piazza a contract, but they’ll save plenty of cash in ’06 by not issuing Wilpon a uniform, catcher’s mask, chest protector, etc.
A link to the Wilpon photo op was culled from Metsblog, who noted this evening that HBO’s “Real Sports” is preparing a segment on the unique throwing mechanics of former Mets catcher Mackey Sasser (above).
From MSNBC :
DEDHAM, Mass. – A dominatrix was acquitted of manslaughter charges Monday in the death of a man who allegedly suffered a fatal heart attack while strapped to a replica of a medieval torture device.
The jury in Norfolk Superior Court deliberated for eight hours over two days before finding Barbara Asher, 56, not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and dismemberment.
During his closing argument, prosecutor Robert Nelson re-enacted the bondage session that allegedly killed Michael Lord, of North Hampton, N.H., in July 2000.
Donning a leather mask and speaking to the jury through the zippered mouth, he said Asher did nothing to help Lord as he flailed about and died while strapped to the rack in a makeshift “dungeon” in Asher’s Quincy condominium.
“She did nothing, nothing for five minutes,” Nelson said, his voice muffled through the mask.
It was Nelson’s theatrical closing that provided the most dramatic moments of the trial.
The prosecutor pointed and hollered at Asher. He dumped a box full of hoods, collars and paddles onto a table, and proclaimed that Asher was trying to protect her business.
“That’s why she didn’t call the police,” he said.
With both hands, he reached back and clutched the top of a blackboard to simulate Lord being strapped to the rack.
He paused as his head hung forward as if to simulate Lord’s alleged death.
Page objected, and Norfolk Superior Court Judge Charles Grabau agreed.
“That’s enough, Mr. Nelson,” the judge said. “Thank you for your demonstration.”
TSN reports that Vancouver D Ed Jovanovski will undergo abdominal surgery this week and shall be out of the Canucks’ lineup for the next 6 weeks, thus rendering him unavailable for Team Canada.
After Steve Yzerman scored his 200th career power play goal against the Wild tonight, Robert Lang’s 14th of the season at 14:58 marked the first even strength goal for the Red Wings in their past 5 games.
Carolina, currently holding the NHL’s best record, acquired St. Louis’ leading scorer (11 goals, 33 assists) C Doug Weight and LW Erkki Rajamaki in exchange for right-winger Jesse Boulerice, centre Mike Zigomanis and the rights to unsigned draft pick Magnus Kahnberg, along with first-round and fourth-round draft picks in 2006 and a fourth-round pick in 2007. SI/CNN’s Allan Muir’s review of the deal :
As nice an addition as Weight is, this move feels like it was as much about Carolina keeping him away from Ottawa, Philadelphia and maybe Atlanta as it was about shoring up the ‘Canes’ depth. Considering that Weight was the premier trade deadline target of those teams, and how tight the East could be down the stretch, that makes this deal a two-fer for Carolina.
For its part, St. Louis did pretty well in the deal. The three bodies the Blues acquired — Mike Zigomanis, Jesse Boulerice and Magnus Kahnberg — won’t make anyone forget Weight (or replace one-third of his offense combined), but they’ll help fill out the roster as the team makes other moves in the next few weeks.
From the NY Post’s mini-Mushnick, Andrew Marchand :
With Al Michaels’ future on Monday Night Football in doubt, ESPN is strongly considering putting talk show host/columnist Tony Kornheiser on its telecast next year, The Post has learned.
While ESPN is expected to decide after the Super Bowl if it will force Michaels to honor the eight-year $32 million contract he signed this summer, sources say the network has devised a Plan B around Kornheiser.
If the network allows Michaels out of his contract then the new team is expected to be led by Mike Tirico. Tirico will be joined by Joe Theismann and Kornheiser, if Kornheiser agrees to ESPN’s offer that is believed to be for around $1 million.
The addition of Kornheiser, who writes for the Washington Post, would be a radical move in the same vein as when Dennis Miller was named to the Monday Night booth.
ESPN executives, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, recently met with Kornheiser about accepting the role. If Kornheiser takes the offer then he is expected to continue to co-host Pardon the Interruption.
Though Kornheiser would bring a little more sports journalism credibility (though substantially less hair) to the role than Miller did, given how well the previous experiment worked out, this is a curious choice. That said, there is something funny about the notion that any number of Disney/ABC/ESPN on-air personalities could be replaced at a moment’s notice by the company bringing Kornheiser in on the relative cheap.
And with that in mind, is Jamie Sale’s future 2nd husband ready to go to Iraq?
In an unrelated and untimely note, who amongst us hasn’t wanted to see portraits of Tony, Michael Wilbon and Stat Boy in Pumpkin form?
From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s JoAnne Klimovich Harrop (link swiped from Baseball Musings).
The Pittsburgh Pirates will introduce a new staff member April 16.
Joining the Pirate Parrot will be another team mascot.
“He will not replace the big green chicken because everyone loves him,” said Tim Schuldt, vice president of marketing, sales and broadcasting for the Pirates. “The new mascot will be warm and cuddly with one gold tooth. He looks like a Pirate. One will work the one dugout and the other will work the other. Fans will love him.”
I’ve got just the man for the job — he’s already a big part of recent club history, has spent lots of time on a boat…and knows all about stealing Kevin McClatchy’s money.
(advance warning : I didn’t make up the joke about the boat and stealing money. Whoever did is entitled to a free autographed photo of Stevie Ray Going-Going-Gone.)
Declaring “the biggest scandal at MSG continues to be the performance of Isiah Thomas’ team” (I guess he’s never been groped by someone quoting from “Love & Basketball”), the Daily News’ Frank Isola is quite ready to kick Zeke when he’s down.
It’s been one of the ugliest weeks in Knicks history and for Thomas, who is the face of the franchise for all the wrong reasons. The only things we know for sure are that a) neither Anucha Browne Sanders nor Thomas will go down as the most well-liked bosses to ever grace the Garden and b) the responsibility of trying to turn the product into something worth watching falls to Larry Brown.
It’s already 42 games into the Brown’s first season in New York and the coach still can’t make heads or tails of the roster Thomas assembled. Brown has been criticized for shuttling players in and out, failing to define roles and for using 25 different starting lineups.
Does that mean he’s a mad scientist at work or just bloody mad for taking the job in the first place?
It’s probably a combination of both. The word over the summer on Brown was that he had serious doubts about the players brought in under Thomas’ watch. Backup center Jerome James (above) has been a bust. Quentin Richardson, who appears to be playing with a bad back, has struggled and Eddy Curry lacks the drive to become a great player.
Thomas has spent millions to make over the team and yet the Knicks are 77-102 since he was hired. This season, the Knicks have tried to temper expectations by calling it a rebuilding year. But most of the players are veterans with long-term contracts. Plus, the Knicks traded their first-round pick – likely a lottery selection – to the Chicago Bulls in the Curry deal.
Former Georgia Tech PG Will Bynum, currently leading the NBDL in scoring with a 24 ppg average with the Roanoke Dazzle, is profiled in today’s Roanoke Times. Bynum, property of the Celtics through this season and next, is also averaging 6.7 assists per game, along with a league-high 6.2 turnovers.
Fresh off his failure to win Ch. 4′s “Celebrity Big Brother”, Dennis Rodman’s pricey weekend cameo with the Brighton Bears might cause the club to be docked points in the BBL league standings.
Save a replay or two, the pairings for the F.A. Cup 5th Round have been determined and the Guardian’s Barry Glendenning and Paul Doyle were near a television set when the heavy shit went down.
Unless they were moonlighting for Mecca bingo, it’s difficult to imagine FA big cheese David Davies, Jason Robinson-doppelganger John Salako and Liverpool legend Ian Rush generating much excitement with nothing more than a glass bowl full of numbered balls, but the trio pulled it off with considerable aplomb at today’s draw for the FA Cup fifth round.
Mind you, it was touch and go. With Davies floundering in his role as MC, just a few sides left in the drum and the early fixtures barely registering a flicker on the Fiver’s interest-o-meter, it was more in hope than expectation that we stayed tuned to events at Soho Square rather than switching the channel to revel at the latest madcap scheme involving mischievous Toadfish replacing Harold’s tuba with Paul Robinson’s prosthetic leg on Neighbours. Luckily, our patience was rewarded as, with trembling hand, Rushie drew ball No4 from the FA tombola, thereby ensuring that the one tie football lovers everywhere wanted to see will take place.
But with Stoke City manager Johan Boskamp unavailable for comment on his side’s home clash with Reading or Bongo FC, we’re going to focus on the equally mouth-watering tie between Preston or Crystal Palace v Coventry or Middlesbore instead. “We wanted it done and dusted in 90 minutes. We now have a ridiculous number of games in a short space of time, but we’ve got to get on with it,” chirruped Crystal Palace gaffer Iain Dowie to an old lady who asked him for directions to the post office. “They are a good side and it was a tough game on Saturday.”
There are, of course, other matches of marginal interest taking place, as Glendenning and Doyle go on to specify.