Today marks the 3rd day of the University Of Southern California’s hearings with the NCAA regarding alleged misconduct on the part of their football and basketball programs, and while current gridiron guru Lane Kiffin and former Men’s Hoops head coach Tim Floyd (above) are unlikely to face disciplinary action (the former having just arrived on the scene), their presence is described by former NCAA committee chairman Tom Yeager (quoted by the LA Times’ Gary Klein) as something akin to “a ‘Scared Straight’ program”. Or, if you prefer, what ESPN.com’s Ted Miller calls something far closer to being bored to death.
After an early start, 7:30 a.m. local time, USC and the NCAA infractions committee took Day 3′s second break just before 11 a.m., with a dour looking Tim Floyd, the Trojans former basketball coach, ambling outside and into the rain for an animated whisper conversation with one of his lawyers, Jim Darnell.
It’s likely many of these people will have endured perhaps 30 hours of detailed and sometimes ponderous discussion before heading home.
Kiffin asked reporters for an update on the day’s sports news. The conversation briefly turned to Tiger Woods before he had to return to meetings. The hearing could last well into the evening as the infractions committee tries to cover all aspects of the alleged violations before heading back to Indianapolis.
On average, most reports are completed within six to 10 weeks of the infractions hearing. But that time frame could extend longer for a complicated case.
Probably fair to say this is a complicated case.
Could there be any greater confirmation that Jerry Manuel has little confidence in David Wright and/or Carlos Beltran’s power numbers rebounding at cavernous Citi Field than the Mets manager telling writers yesterday he’s considering penciling in SS Jose Reyes as his number 3 hitter in the batting order? Reyes might be one of the few Mets who might thrive at Citi Field, assuming he stays healthy, though Gangsta Jerry’s scheme leaves other Mets in flux, in particular, mooted leadoff man Angel Pagan and the aforementioned Beltran. Manuel’s thoughts on the matter are provided by the New York Times’ David Waldstein :
With Beltran out for what could be the first two months of the season with a knee injury, Manuel feels the need to get more production out of his lineup. But he also said that if Reyes was doing well when Beltran returned, he would not be inclined to move him back to the leadoff spot.
œHe would stay there and I could fluctuate with Beltran at any place between second, fourth, fifth, Manuel said.
What he did not expound on is that the Mets do not necessarily see Reyes as the prototypical leadoff hitter. He is an aggressive hitter who does not take many pitches or draw a lot of walks, he does not have a high on-base percentage, and he has some power, which could naturally increase as he gets older.
œReyes should be at that period in his evolution that he could be a No. 3 hitter on a good team, Manuel said.
Manuel offered up either Angel Pagan, who will compete for the starting center field job in Beltran™s absence, or second baseman Luis Castillo as replacements for Reyes in the leadoff position. He sounded as if he preferred Castillo because of his .387 on-base percentage last season.
Reyes said he would not change his game if he hit third, but Manuel said he would probably drive in more runs and steal fewer bases.
Aside from his first year in the majors in 2003, Reyes hit .300 only once, hitting that exact mark in 2006. He has hit at least 30 doubles in each of his last three full seasons, but has never hit more than 19 home runs.
œI don™t expect him to try to be a 30 home run guy, Manuel said. œI expect him to still hit the triples, hit the doubles and still be a threat, but have a good feel of hitting with a man in scoring position early in the game.
Does the MLB Network see dollar signs in a nascent White Sox Nation? Long shunned by the camera’s eye on a network where Chicago history means the Cubs (yes, lets look at Ernie Banks round the bases yet again while we have to rely on photographs to remember Dick Allen – or for that matter any White Sox between 1959 and 2005) MLB Networks has announced a new reality TV show centered on the Chicago White Sox front office and management. In addition to giving fantasy league managers the world over further reason to avoid productive work, Kenny Williams, Jerry Reinsdorf and Ozzie Guillen are on tap to become the reality genre’s next…whoever the reality genre puts on TV. The big question: subtitles for Ozzie or no? The Sun-Times Chris DeLuca reports:
”We have to provide the viewers something different about the game that they haven’t experienced before. How many fans of baseball are in baseball fantasy leagues? I know some people that are three leagues at the same time. We wanted to provide people a unique look at how one team — an owner, general manager and manager — go about their business.”
They couldn’t have picked a better season to focus on the Sox. Tension has already been running high between Guillen and Williams about the makeup of the 2010 team. We got a glimpse of that over the Jim Thome debate last month during SoxFest.
That’s when the cameras began rolling. They roll again Sunday, when the Sox open camp. Gavant’s crew will gather hours of footage for the one-hour July 4 debut that takes viewers from the offseason to the weeks before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. After the debut, each of the next five episodes will be half-hour segments that provide a glimpse of the Sox’ midseason manuevering.
“My three years as chairman of QPR have been an exciting and incredible experience,” claimed (a presumably straight-faced) Flavio Briatore. “I’m proud to have helped save this historical club and to have contributed in paving the way to its future success.” And with that, the former Benetton
fraudexec announced he was ending a tumultuous run as Rangers’ chairman, though solvency aside, it’s pretty hard to gauge how the Stuporhoops are any more poised for a run at promotion than they were prior to Briatore’s arrival. Gianni Paladini now has the honor of presiding over the R’s next managerial hiring & firing, and despite earlier denials, the Mirror’s James Nursey claims the shy, retiring Neil Warnock (above, left) is next in line to assume the poisoned chalice at Loftus Road.
Rangers hope to name Warnock as their next permanent manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal next week after Palace’s FA Cup replay at Aston Villa on Wednesday.
And Warnock is already planning to bring three of Palace’s best players with him to QPR.
Warnock, whose Palace side host Coventry today, wants to take midfielders Darren Ambrose, Neil Danns and highly-rated full-back Nathaniel Clyne to Loftus Road if he moves once compensation of around £1.5million is finalised.
The trio can all leave on loan now ahead of a permanent summer transfer as cash-strapped Palace are in administration.
Warnock is also keen on Scunthorpe striker Gary Hooper on loan with a view to a full-time 500,000 pounds switch.
Aside from the intensely weird experience of actually liking Rick Reilly for about 20 seconds (ie. when he was bashing Brit Hume), I didn’t have much reaction to Tiger Woods’ extremely stiff, awkward-as-fuck public appearance earlier today other than wishing he could’ve kept such apologies between himself and his family. I’d prefer my early AM TV/radio time be devoted to discussions of Rod Barajas’ job prospects.
That said, the TV pundits were out in full force immediately following Woods’ mea culpa, and a pair of them, Fox’s Stephen A. Smith and “Entertainment Tonight”‘s Kevin Frazier, find themselves under heavy fire from Sports On My Mind’s D.K. Wilson, calling the former “you reprehensible coon”.
Stephen A. ”- Lawn jockeying for your plantation owners. How about this: you failed to mention that Woods™ anger towards the press had to do with being angry with the press following his children and wife. And ESPN put your dumb ass on television to show America why they got rid of your lawn jockey ass. And you acted perfectly in accordance with the script they had planned for you¦ And you didn™t even need to read¦ you remembered your role like a pro.
Kevin Frazier: This guy from Entertainment Tonight blamed Woods for the press taking pictures of his children at daycare. He said if Woods had œtaken care of business and talked earlier the press would never have sunk to following his wife and children around to get pictures of them. When asked if this disgusting behavior would end, Frazier said, œI think so. Just today it was reported that eight photographers and television crews are outside of his children™s daycare center now.
It is incredible that these people in the media never, ever take blame for their actions. But then again, they are responsible for urging viewers and listeners to believe in the mythical characters they create and ascribe some sort of personal meaning to those people to the point where fans hang on the every word of an athlete, actor, or musician or musical entertainer.
ABC News’ Jason Tin reports the Channel 9 commentary team of Eddie McGuire and Mick Molloy have offended polite society…without saying anything about how shitty Ang Lee’s “Incredible Hulk” was.
While discussing the men’s figure skating costumes as part of last night’s Winter Olympics wrap, Molloy said: “They don’t leave anything in the locker room, these blokes, do they?”
McGuire replied: “They don’t leave anything in the closet either, do they?”
The long-time Channel Nine personality then described one competitor’s costume as “a bit of a brokeback”, referencing Ang Lee’s film about gay cowboys.
“A bit of Brokeback Mountain exercises – you can’t wear that,” Molloy responded.
Gay rights activist Gary Burns says the comments have shocked members of the gay community.
“They’re harmful to, particularly, gay youth who are living in isolated areas across the nation,” he said.
“These young kids look up to [McGuire] and when they hear these kinds of comments and [they're] having issues with their own coming-out process, or low self-esteem or depression… they feel worthless.”
Whether it’s P Kelvim Escobar turning up for Spring Training unable to grip a baseball or 3B David Wright (above) revealing he’s totally lost his mind, fitness of the physical and mental varieties remains a major concern for the New York Mets. Earlier Thursday, the Newark Star-Ledger’s Brian Costa reported that Amazins’ players arrived in St. Lucie greeted by a clubhouse sign stressing “Prevention & Recovery”.
The Mets are modifying their training program this spring in an effort to avoid a repeat of the injury-filled disaster of 2009. A team spokesman said the signs are meant to reinforce what will be a bigger focus on baseball-related activities and more of an emphasis on “rest and recovery.”
Players will be urged to save their energy for the field and not exert themselves too much in the weight room. The emphasis will be more on baseball skills, agility and flexibility than on building strength.
The Mets declined to give further details about what will be different, and medical and training staff are not allowed to speak to reporters. But the modified program represents the biggest change this spring after the Mets drew criticism for their handling of injuries in 2009.
Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said after last season that the team would do a better job of communicating with the news media about injuries. But the medical and training staff was left intact.
What do you suppose the reaction might be if a female TV personality expressed the sentiment that ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser was “a decrepit, Brad Childress-lookalike”, or someone “singlehandedly responsible for the demise of male sensuality”? I’m gonna guess that if the hypothetical woman was a Bristol U. colleague of Kornheiser’s, she’d have to apologize and/or face a suspension of some sort.
And that’s why it’s confusing to read that Kornheiser (above) used his DC radio gig earlier this week to call ESPN anchor Hannah Storm “a Holden Caulfield fantasy”, adding that in his estimation, the 47 year old mother-of-three was guilty of wearing “a horrifying, horrifying outfit” (“she™s got on red go-go boots and a catholic school plaid skirt ¦ way too short for somebody in her 40s or maybe early 50s by now”).
Far less baffling, however, is Sports By Brooks’ take on the matter, in which Brooks predictably ignores the most obvious question of all — ie. isn’t there something ferociously creepy about the zeal with which Kornheiser discusses Ms. Storm’s Hot Or Not status? —- instead, engaging in the following (ahem) defense of Albert Belle’s old nemesis ;
“I think Storm™s a consumate pro and a very attractive lady. To be more specific, Storm looks unbelievable for her age and I have nothing but respect for the way she™s taken care of herself and how she presents herself on-air.”
Clearly, there’s some difference of opinion between Brooks and Kornheiser, but they still have much in common. The former can type one-handed just as easily as the latter can do a radio show with his trousers down
(there are many photos of Tracy McGrady to choose from online, but only one of him reading Vogue)
It took 3 teams, 10 players, two draft picks and more speculation than any trade involving non-contenders ought to normally generate, but Donnie Walsh finally has his man expiring contract. New York’s trade deadline gambit to land the chronically injured Tracy McGrady — while an admission the past two years of D’Antoni ball has been nothing more than a waste of time until Summer 2010 — reduces Walsh’s GM tenure to the most basic terms ; either he lands a pair of highly coveted free agents or the post-Isiah era is a probably bust. The New York Times’ Larry Coon is cautiously optimistic, writing this past Tuesday that while unloading the Eddy Curry Suppression Ring might’ve been cool, “moving Jared Jeffries and Jordan Hill in exchange for $9 million additional cap space this summer is a reasonable Plan B.”
With an estimated $53 million cap next summer, the Knicks would stand to have as much as $31.5 million with which to pursue free agents. The cream of the crop ” LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh ” can each sign for $16.57 million, so the Knicks can almost afford two of them. They would still be about $1.7 million short of making a maximum offer to two of these players.
But they would have options. One scheme would be to sign one of these players for the full $16.57 million and then pursue a player on the next rung down, like Atlanta™s Joe Johnson, who might sign for slightly less.
Another possibility would be to sign a maximum-salary free agent while hanging onto David Lee. Lee will continue to count against the Knicks™ cap while he is a free agent, unless the Knicks sign him or renounce him, or he signs elsewhere. To gain the full $31.5 million of cap room they would need to renounce Lee, along with all their other free agents. If they renounce everyone else, Lee would eat up an additional $10 million of their cap space, leaving them with about $21.5 million to spend on other players.
While Cleveland, Miami and Toronto will all have the right to sign their respective megastars to more lucrative pacts than they can receive on the open market, it appears last night’s dumping of John Salmon and Tyrus Thomas all but guarantees the Bulls will be major players this summer. Even more so when you consider they’d probably let Dwayne Wade select their next coach.