04.29.07

Cards’ Hancock, Dead At 29

Posted in Baseball at 1:32 pm by

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bill Bryan.

Cardinals relief pitcher Josh Hancock was killed early Sunday in an accident on Highway 40 (Interstate 64), just east of Compton Avenue, authorities said.

Hancock’s Ford Explorer slammed into the rear of a tow truck that was parked in the far left westbound lane shortly after 12:30 a.m. The tow truck driver, who was seated in the vehicle at the time, was unhurt.

He told police that his emergency lights were on, and that he honked his horn when he saw the Explorer approaching in his rear view mirror, but that the Explorer didn’t slow down or swerve to avoid the collision.

At the time of the accident, the tow truck driver was assisting a motorist from an earlier accident.

Hancock, 29, was pronounced dead at the scene. The medical examiner’s office said Sunday morning that an autopsy had been scheduled.

The Cardinals released a statement confirming Hancock’s death, and will make another statement at 3 p.m. at Busch Stadium.

Their home game game tonight against the Chicago Cubs has been called off and will be played later this season. A new date has not been set.

04.28.07

Scarier Than Troy McClure : The Sick Sexual Practices Of Chris Duncan

Posted in Baseball at 5:32 pm by

Cubs 8, Cardinals 1

Bad enough for the Cards that the roof caved in on Adam Wainright in the Cubs’ 7 run 5th inning today. Discouraging enough for St. Louis that Carlos Zambrano (1 earned run, 7 hits, no walks, 7 IP) had his most solid outing of the season earlier today. But if Chris Duncan insists on fucking electrical sockets in the walls of Nuevo Busch, surely a national TV audience shouldn’t have to witness it?

Sharp : Millen’s A Moron

Posted in Gridiron at 5:22 pm by

With Detroit needing to fill more holes than one wide receiver — even a world class talent like Calvin Johnson —- can possibly compensate for — the Free Press’ Drew Sharp scoffs at Lions GM Matt Millen not dealing the 2nd overall pick, asking is it any wonder that they remain annual participants in the NFL draft™s top 10?”

There™s nothing wrong with standing firm with the hope of getting maximum value for the second pick overall, but you can™t be stubborn enough to walk away from what might be a very good offer simply because you™re demanding a proposal that blows your socks off.

The Lions blew it again.

œYou can scoff at it if you like, Millen told reporters about his decision to keep Johnson.

Perhaps those words were another smokescreen, and if you™re a Lions sap, you had better hope so, because despite his extraordinarily high potential, Johnson is most valuable to the Lions for the extra early-round draft picks “ and extra bodies “ he potentially brings.

He™s got freakish athleticism and was generally considered the highest rated talent in the draft. But he™s still a wide receiver.

This should have been Millen-proof.

The word there was œshould.

Deadspin Colleagues In Rapture Over Sliding Quinn

Posted in Gridiron at 1:43 pm by

As QB Brady Quinn hasn’t been selected within the first 15 overall picks (Cleveland throwing a slight, Charlie Frye-loving curve with the choice of Wisconsin LT Joe Thomas, above, at no. 3), at least one panel of esteemed observers seems a little too pleased with the Notre Dame product’s excessive face time. From Gawker.com :

Millions of Americans are crowding around the TV or at least occasionally glancing up from their mugs at the bar to check out the NFL Draft today. Although this seven-round yawnfest mostly features at best reluctant teams picking talent that seems the least likely to implode under animal-abuse charges, colossal fan expectations, and the cold-hearted business features of the NFL, there’s occasionally reason to watch. Take, for instance, hunky first rounder Brady Quinn of Notre Dame, who has sports fans licking the hot sauce and blue cheese from their chops every time he drops another position.

According to sources who actually have cable, ESPN’s cameras are zoning in on the uncomfortable Quinn, who is doing such things as adjusting his tie, loosening his tie, and playing with his tie in nervous anticipation. The thick/pretty piece of manmeat is jittering like an Eskimo without a parka, and the colossal plummet is schadenfreudelicious.

RB Marshawn Lynch (Cal), is displayed above, in cliptastic form.  Buffalo selected Lynch at no. 12 in the first round — O.J. Simpson, while probably not unavailable for comment, probably wasn’t consulted, either.

King : Torre’s On Thin Ice

Posted in Baseball at 11:09 am by

I don’t often find myself feeling sympathy for Yankee fans, but when the New York Post follows Jon Heyman’s claim that James Dolan is keen to purchase the ballclub with the above front cover, even an avowed Highlander Hater becomes queasy. And if we’re to believe the Post’s George King, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera being knocked around by the Red Sox last night could well portend the end of Joe Torre’s long tenure in the Bronx.

Yesterday, the word out of Tampa was that Steinbrenner “was very displeased” about the way his high-priced stable of talent is underachieving and was thinking about a change.

Could Torre, who is in the final year of his contract, really be fired before April is finished? Is Torre the reason the starting rotation has melted in the first month and put an alarming workload on the bullpen? Is it Torre’s fault the lineup, so potent through 19 games, has gone 20 innings without an extra-base hit?

If Steinbrenner and the voices he is listening to believe the answers are “yes,” and if the Yankees get swept this weekend by the Red Sox, it’s not out of the realm of the possibility that The Boss could make a change.

Bench coach Don Mattingly and former Yankees catcher Joe Girardi are the names you hear when potential replacements for Torre are mentioned. Working in Girardi’s favor is that he has a year of managing experience. Mattingly was moved from hitting coach to bench coach to be groomed as Torre’s successor.

They’re ‘Tarded In Toledo : Choo Booed Over VT Massacre

Posted in Baseball, Racism Corner at 10:38 am by

From the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Paul Hoynes (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory)

Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, promoted to the big leagues Monday by the Indians, has heard boos before.Last week, the boos took on a disturbing tone. When Class AAA Buffalo, the Indians’ top farm club, played in Toledo, fans apparently associated him with Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech senior who killed 32 of his schoolmates before killing himself April 16.

“Some fans said bad things,” said Choo before Monday’s game. “It’s pretty close to my name. My name is spelled Choo, and his name is Cho.”

When asked what the fans were saying, Choo wouldn’t say. “It upset me when a couple of fans talked like that,” he said.Choo and Cho are from South Korea.

Smart Aleck : Russell’s Gonna Be A Bust

Posted in Gridiron at 10:18 am by

As reports are issued, then refuted that Oakland has opted to selected LSU QB Jamarcus Russell with the no. 1 overall pick in today’s NFL Draft, at least one loyal Brady Quinn supporter insists that Russell is “a fraud” and “the next Ryan Leaf.” Have fun picking apart the following, authored by 411mania’s Ian Smart.

Six months ago if I had told you that the Raiders were going to take Russell, you would disregard everything else I wrote. No one thought Russell should go in the first round when the season began, or even half way through the season. Russell shot up the draft boards after the Sugar Bowl when LSU went head-to-head with Notre Dame and won.

This raises the question of why was Russell not considered a first round talent in October or November? The answer is that he wasn’t worthy of such lofty status, and he still isn’t. Russell finished the season throwing 28 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, rendering him less productive than Quinn in either of his last two seasons. Quinn threw 37 touchdowns and 7 interceptions as a Senior and 32 Touchdowns and 7 interceptions as a Junior.

Russell’s big selling point is not his stats, it is his physical attributes. By now everyone knows that Russell has a cannon of an arm, maybe the best that anyone has ever seen, but how useful is his cannon? How much is just overkill? Apparently Russell can throw inhuman lengths on his knees and posterior, and I will be the first to say that those are impressive feats of strength, but when are they utilized in a game?

If Russell is on his knees, chances are he is being sacked and can therefore not throw, but let’s say he slips and he is on his butt, do you want him to attempt to hit a receiver forty yards down the field? One that he cannot see because of the linemen in the way. Even if you just want to take these accomplishments as a sign of his strength, and not a practical tool, at a certain point arm strength is irrelevant. Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer and Marc Bulger cannot throw as far of Russell, but they are Pro Bowl Quarterbacks. Brady Quinn can throw the ball 70-80 yards from his feet “ the only time you should throw a ball that far- so arm strength is irrelevant in the comparison between the two Quarterbacks. There is no throw that Russell can make that Quinn cannot. Russell’s ability to throw a ball threw a brick wall is useless in every facet of the game; it just makes for a good publicity stunt.

With about 90 minutes to go before the Draft begins, we might as congratulate the Lions in advance. Sooner or later, the whole picking a wide-receiver-every-year thing had to pay off, and it probably will this time.

After some disturbing chit chat (is there any other kind) between Dan Patrick and Peter King yesterday that involved the words “titanium plate”, there’s further scuttlebutt (courtesy of the Fanhouse’s Ryan Wilson) that OU RB Adrian Peterson might not play in 2007.

The Dallas Morning News’ Rick Gosselin tips the Cowboys to select Texas CB Aaron Ross with the 22nd overall pick. More importantly, Joe Benigno-Gazingo and Evan Roberts are overcome with emotion in reporting the Burger King has arrived at Radio City Music Hall.

04.27.07

CSTB’s Recent Lack Of NFL Coverage Explained

Posted in Gridiron at 7:50 pm by

America’s Most Popular Sport has received scant coverage of late around these parts, and the reasons could be one or more of the following :

a) I’m dreading a Saturday morning in which the phrase “best athlete available” is uttered nearly 200 times.

b) I’m dreading a Saturday morning in which virtually every columnist and blogger is compelled to refer to Mel Kiper Jr.’s hair (ok, I’m in). Without displaying their own quiff, of course.

c) my requests for press credentials at the Draft were shot down. Who knew Stalking The Schwab would be so tough?  Other than Jeff Jensen, I mean.

d)  I’ve been busy making hotel and flight reservations for Super Bowl 50, taking place at Nuevo Wembley.

d) it’s hard to do anything properly after seeing this :

Inhuman Amusements At $2.2. Million A Year : Scott Pollard’s Crime Against Music

Posted in Basketball at 7:21 pm by

File this under Not Safe For People Who Can Hear. (link swiped from True Hoop)

The quote of the week award goes to the Warriors’ Stephen Jackson, who says of the Chuckster comparing him to Terrell Owens, “I don’t get in conflicts with people that don’t have championship rings. I’ve got one.”  Wow. Who knew the car that ran Jackson down outside Club Rio was being driven by Red Auerbach?

With more than a full quarter to go in the Swamp, Jason Kidd already has a triple double, Vince Carter is putting on a clinic (the scoring at will kind, not the sort no one wants to go to), and the Nets lead the Raptors, 75-64.

Ex-Mets Batboy Prepares To Sing

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 7:02 pm by

From the AP and SI.com :

A former New York Mets clubhouse employee pleaded guilty Friday to distributing steroids to major league players, and is cooperating with baseball’s steroids investigation.

Kirk Radomski, 37, admitted providing anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, Clenbuterol, amphetamines and other drugs to “dozens of current and former Major League Baseball players, and associates, on teams throughout Major League Baseball,” San Francisco U.S. Attorney Scott Schools said in a statement.

Radomski, who worked for the Mets from 1985-95, dealt human growth hormone, deca-durabolin and testosterone, among other drugs, the San Jose Mercury News reported, citing a search warrant affidavit. The warrant had some information blacked out, including what appeared to be players’ names.

According to that warrant, Radomski became a major source of drugs for baseball players after federal investigators shut down Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative in Burlingame.

The case is being handled by the same federal investigators who netted guilty pleas from BALCO founder Victor Conte and Barry Bonds’ personal trainer, Greg Anderson, among others.

As part of the plea deal, the Washington Post reported Radomski agreed to testify before any grand jury proceeding as requested by the government and participate in undercover activities.

The affidavit listed 23 checks worth more than $30,000 that federal investigators alleged were deposited by individuals associated with MLB into Radomski’s bank account between May 2003 and March 2005, the Post reported.

And SI.com reported cell phone numbers belonging to current and former MLB players already have been identified.

Howard Johnson, a Mets infielder in the 1980s and currently the team’s first-base coach, remembered Radomski.

“He was a clubhouse kid, one of several, one of the kids that were there,” Johnson said before the Mets played at Washington on Friday night.

Ramdowski, presumably not a Cam’ron fan,  was certainly a fixture in Flushing for a long era and I for one am bracing myself for the inevitable day in which a small boy on the courthouse steps is heard to cry, “say it ain’t so, Bill Pecota, say it ain’t so!”

The 100% clean 2007 Mets are currently trailing the Nationals, 3-2, in the top of the 4th at RFK, courtest of a 3-run blast by Austin Kearns off Oliver Perez in the first inning.  Shawn Green has a pair of hits, raising his average to .367, and further puncturing the hopes of dreams of Lastings Milledge, who was placed on the DL today after straining a ligament in his right foot at Triple-A New Orleans.

Kevin Youklis connected for a 2-run HR off Andy Pettitte in the 3rd inning tonight in the Bronx, spotting Daisuke Matzusaka and the Red Sox a 2-0 advantage. Such grim news for Yankee fans, however, pales in comparison to an item by Jon Heyman that raises the spectre of The Straight Shot’s J.D. purchasing the Bombers.