Curbishley Quits Charlton, Pompey’s Escape, QPR’s Clearout

Posted in Football at 1:26 pm by

Alan Curbishley (above) has ended a 15 year tenure at Charlton Athletic with the announcement he’ll be stepping down at the end of the season.  Frequently mention in speculation surrounding the England job, it is rumored that Curbishley might be taking over at Aston Villa.

Chelsea clinched their 2nd consecutive Premiership title with today’s 3-0 demolition of 2nd place Manchester United.  Afterwards, Jose Mourniho (above) threw his championship medal, jacket, passport and collection of Peter & The Test Tube Babies 7″‘s to the adoring crowd at Stamford Bridge.

United’s Wayne Rooney was carried off the field following a challenge from Paulo Ferreira. The condition of Rooney’s right foot is unknown at present, but I’m certain if they X-ray his head, they’ll find absolutely nothing.

Per the result of Portsmouth’s 2-1 win at Wigan today, Pompey are staying up and West Brom and Birmingham are going down, down down.

Mired in 20th place in the Championship, QPR have confirmed that Georges Santos and Richard Langely (above)  are amongst the several players who have been released, with a number of other Loftus Road fixtures (Marc Bircham, Marcus Bignot, Tommy Doherty) placed on the transfer list.

NFL Draft Continued : Broncos Trade Up For Cutler

Posted in Gridiron at 1:01 pm by

11) Denver (from St. Louis) – Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt

Chris Berman notes that Culter is just the 3rd QB to be drafted in the first round despite never having led his college team to a winning season, the other two being Phil Simms “and Tommy Kramer, pretty darn good with Minnesota, and might I add, had a pretty darn good time doing it.”

I can only assume Berman is refering to Two Minute Tommy’s penchant for crazy comeback victories, as opposed to the former Owl’s history of getting boozy behind the wheel.

12) Baltimore (from Cleveland) – Haloti Ngata, DT, Oregon

Jets Hit D’Bricks!

Posted in Gridiron at 12:38 pm by

The NFL Draft Thus Far :

1) Houston – Mario Williams, DE, North Carolina State
2) New Orleans – Reggie Bush, RB, USC
3) Tennessee – Vince Young, QB, Texas

4) NY Jets – D’Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia (above)
5) Green Bay – A.J. Hawk, OLB, Ohio State
6) San Francisco – Vernon Davis, TE, Maryland
7) Oakland – Michael Huff, S, Texas
8) Buffalo – Donte Whitner, S, Ohio State
9) Detroit – Ernie Sims, OLB, Florida State

Interesting to see Norm Chow’s Titans opting for VY over Matt Leinart, along with the claims that New Orleans are prepared to splash out heavily on Bush, despite existing commitments to Deuce McAllister (and the huge deal just signed by Drew Brees)

With all the crap Reggie Bush is going through this week…and Leinart slipping perhaps as far as the Cardinals at no. 10, how about LenDale White as the Trojan having the worst weekend of all?

(ADDENDUM : Arizona picks Leinart at no. 10. Bad news for the ballroom maven in terms of loot, but not the worst situation imaginable ; he’ll have a year to watch Kurt Warner, the Edge in his backfield, Larry Fitzgerald as a target…and, uh, well, that’s all the good things I can think of.)

Dave D’Allesandro Vs. John Mellencamp

Posted in Basketball, Sports Journalism at 11:29 am by

Henry Abbott describes the following missive from the Newark Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Allesandro as “the cultural equivalent of one of those hard playoff fouls”.  If you’re waiting for an Indy comeback that references Adrenalin O.D. and Uncle Floyd, well, don’t hold your breath.

(foreground : pop singer, background : Austin Croshere)

Coming to Indy is an annual rite of spring “ has been since ™92. Prior to that, we only came twice a year, and we didn™t know the place from God™s Little Acre. Can™t say we liked it much back then “ it was slow, sleepy, undeveloped, and we always suspected that somewhere outside of town there was a sign that read, œWelcome to Indianapolis “ This is what death is like.

The place seemed to be the most powerful hypnotic known to man, because hardly anyone left. You knew that by the fact that everyone looked 60 years old, including a few of the Pacers cheerleaders. We used to laugh at a catalogue they put in each hotel room, entitled œIndiana, Our Glorious State. And if you were bored enough to open the thing, you realized that the assortment of glories were a bit on the thin side, unless you had a real hankering to visit the creamery out in Zionsville.

None of that holds true today, though. By any standard, Indianapolis is a mecca of cosmopolitanism, a dynamic hub of commerce and culture and tall glass buildings, where people wear suits and dark socks, even simultaneously.

We experienced a profound depression watching Game 3 at Conseco last night. The place was dead, with only 14,700 bothering to show, and we™re told more than 1,000 of them were freebies. Nobody cares about the team around here anymore “ partly because No. 31 has left the building, partly because the Artest hangover that still makes the franchise so wobbly, partly because there has been a stunning disconnect between this group of players and its fan base.

We have no idea what the advance sales are for Game 4, but it™s not likely to change much. It™s enough to make you root for the visiting team, and get out of here ASAP. 

The Buzz On Bobee Bee

Posted in Leave No Child Unbeaten at 10:42 am by

Much as I’m tempted to make light of this attempt at reaching out to the Youth Of Today, (link taken from True Hoop) said tome is probably outselling “Catch”.

Seo Staving Off Billingsly…For Now

Posted in Baseball at 10:24 am by

Prior to last night, you’d have to say the Mets got the better end of their swap of Jae Seo for reliever Duaner Sanchez. But while Sanchez was yet again a key component in Friday’s New York victory, Seo was terrific for the Dodgers last night, allowing just two hits in 6 shutout innings, earning his first win of 2006 in LA’s 3-0 win over San Diego. From the LA Daily News’ Tony Jackson :

The evening’s unquestioned star was the embattled Seo, whom Little never admitted was on the verge of losing his spot. The importance of his performance nevertheless was magnified by the fact top pitching prospect Chad Billingsley was simultaneously throwing eight shutout innings for Triple-A Las Vegas against Colorado Springs, allowing one hit.

Seo’s performance might not have happened if not for Little’s meeting.

“We were trying anything we could do to try to help him out,” Little said. “I don’t know much about (the Korean) culture, what their approach is to pitching, but I just talked to him about going out there and pitching a game without setting his goals too high. What he needed to do was throw a one-inning shutout and see if he could accomplish that goal. Then after that inning, set another goal.”

No interpreter was present for the meeting.

“He understands,” Little said.

Jon Wiseman can’t resist comparing Seo’s Friday night with that of former Dodger Jeff Weaver, who was treated harshly by the White Sox, allowing 8 earned runs in 2 and a third innings. Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski, making his first appearance in Anaheim since last October’s ALCS, was roundly booed. According to his manager (quoted by the Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley), he oughta be used to it.

”A.J., because they boo A.J. everywhere,” Sox manager Ozzie Guillen responded, when asked who would get the most boos over the weekend. ”Even in his backyard, his wife and kids boo him.’

Umberger’s Revenge

Posted in Hockey at 9:43 am by

Flyers 5, Sabres 4

It’s very hard to argue that Ryan Miller shouldn’t have prevented Buffalo’s 4th goal last night ; for one thing, it wouldn’t have been the toughest save of all time.  For another, the puck came off the stick of a dead man.

James Mirtle points out in the wake of Dallas’s 4-1 victory that prevented their elimination at the hands of Colorado last night,  Jose Theodore might well be ready to turn into the same Jose Theodore the Canadians were dying to unload.

It’s Official : David Wright Almost As Valuable As Ty Wigginton

Posted in Baseball at 1:55 am by

Mets 5, Braves 2

I’m sure it gets better than this, but what with my Kevin Finnerty-style memory loss, I can’t remember a 6 game lead over Atlanta. My short term memory is slightly better, however, so I can still recall David Wright hitting a pair of long home runs, Pedro Martinez (with apologies to Greg Maddux) looking every bit the Cy Young front-runner, Endy Chavez continuing to run down fly balls that would elude most Carlos Beltran understudies, Kaz Matsui (.345 BA) extending his hitting streak, Duaner Sanchez-untouchable-again (no runs allowed in 16 innings)…and most clearly of all, a John Franco-esque three out save by Billy Wagner, working his way out of his own jam.

If John Franco had been 20 MPH faster.

Some other perspectives from men who didn’t have dates on a Friday night :

Game over, you tomahawk-chopping dilettantes. Pedro beats Smoltz again. President Carter gets dragged under by a changing tide again. (Sorry, sir, we have to part ways when it comes to that cap you were wearing. But didja catch the size of that footlong that Rosalynn was working on? It oughta be suspended for ingesting performance-enhancing substances, not Iriki). – Greg, Faith & Fear In Flushing

Plain and simple, the Mets beat Atlanta tonight because Queens’ best was at their best. Petey, save for the two run home run to everybody’s favorite hateable third baseman, was brilliant for seven innings. Jose Reyes and David Wright, the young cornerstones of the franchise, produced. Reyes got on base 3 times and scored twice, while Wright hit two home runs. And Billy Wagner, Country Time, nailed down a big save in a big spot. Sure, it was dicey…the bases were loaded…and it wasn’t September. But it was Atlanta…and it was the Braves. And that’s big enough for me at this point.Metsradamus

If I have any complaints at all with this game, it’s that Billy Wagner hasn’t gotten the memo that he’s supposed to be a lights-out closer.

Smoltz stopped throwing that splitter because of the arm problems it caused, and now he’s gone back to it. I respect him as much as any opponent the Mets face, but I’d be really surprised if he made it over 200 innings this year.Mike’s Mets

Amazin’ Avenue’s Eric Simon notes that Binghamton’s Henry Owens struck out 4 batters last night in 1.1 innings collecting his 5th save in the Mets’ 4-1 defeat of Erie. Owens has 31 K’s and just 5 walks in 13.1 innings of relief so far.

EA Sports Strikes Again

Posted in Gridiron, Video Games at 1:24 am by

Usually, the cover jinx takes a little longer than a day to kick in.

USC’s 2004 BCS Title In Jeopardy?

Posted in Gridiron at 1:17 am by

It would be fair to say that Reggie Bush had an extremely shitty Friday.

From Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel :

Assertions by Michael Michaels “ the lead investor in a doomed sports agency and the owner of a Spring Valley, Calif., home occupied by the family of Reggie Bush “ could cost the University of Southern California its 2004 Bowl Championship Series national championship.

BCS officials told Yahoo! Sports on Friday that if Bush is ruled ineligible by either the Pacific 10 Conference or the NCAA for even one game during the 2004 season, the BCS will discuss amending its rules to allow it to force the Trojans to vacate the national championship.

“This is the type of thing the BCS might have to look into if other governing bodies, the conference and the NCAA, take action,” BCS administrator Bill Hancock said.

Michaels’ claims, which he has promised will be backed up by corroborating evidence, moves the timeline of Bush’s potential ineligibility back to the Trojans’ 2004 undefeated BCS national championship season.

In a statement released to Yahoo! Sports on Friday, Michaels’ attorney, Brian Watkins, said that in October 2004 Michaels was approached at a San Diego Chargers football game by Bush’s stepfather LaMar Griffin about investing and partnering in New Era Sports & Entertainment, a new sports agency.

In November 2004, Michaels then met with Griffin, longtime Bush friend Lloyd Lake and Bush himself to discuss the plan where the USC running back would be the firm’s central client when he turned pro in the spring of 2006.

“In November 2004, in San Diego, Reggie Bush, recruited by his stepfather to validate Mr. Griffin’s company, convinced [Michaels and Lake] of its viability,” Watkins said in the statement.

“There was the representation that Reggie would come with his stepfather,” Watkins told Yahoo! Sports on Friday. “Reggie ratified that.”

Michaels said that soon thereafter Griffin asked him to pay off $28,000 of Griffin’s personal debt, which Michaels obliged.

While Sports Illustrated’s Peter King quotes Saints GM Mickey Loomis as virtually guaranteeing New Orleans will select Bush with tomorrow’s 2nd pick,  The Houston Chronicle’s Richard Justice derides the Texans’ decision to opt for Mario Williams writing that Bush would’ve given Houston “a couple of things they don’t have. Like excitement and credibility.”

Texans owner Bob McNair has this ridiculous notion that the No. 1 pick must be signed before the draft.

You’re wrong, Bob.

The No. 1 pick is seldom signed before the draft. Yes, holdouts are part of the process with the top players. Yes, Bush wanted an obscene amount of money. Tough luck. Taking a hard line with Bush makes absolutely no sense.

You overpaid for Gary Walker, Todd Wade, Morlon Greenwood and others. Now you’re going to play hardball with Bush? That makes you look incompetent and petty.

Franchises aren’t destroyed by holdouts. Emmitt Smith twice held out. Would the Texans have passed on him?

Were the Texans scared off by Bush’s family living in a house furnished by a sports agent? If that was an issue, why did they continue to negotiate with him until Thursday?

Or did the Texans change their mind about Bush? Did they decide he wasn’t the best player available in this draft?

Maybe all those other teams, maybe all those other talent evaluators, aren’t as smart as the Texans. The Texans decided their need for a pass rusher was more pressing than taking the best player on the board.

There’s a word for this kind of logic in professional sports. It’s called stupidity.