He ain’t hittin’ the ball, so …
Utilityman Alberto Callaspo (.215), who’s played everywhere from right field to third base for the Diamondbacks in those horrifically ugly new uniforms, was booked on Thursday on one count of assault.
Turns out (shock) he has a history of domestic violence. From The Arizona Republic:
According to the booking documents, Callaspo had a “previous altercation” with his wife “during which time the victim (Paola) was cut with a knife.”
As for Thursday’s incident …
According to the documents, Callaspo and Paola had an argument Thursday, during which Callaspo broke a video camera and Paola’s cellphone.
Callaspo, 24, told police that Paola, 22, pushed him and he pushed her back, at which point she “started to come at him again,” the document reads. “(Callaspo) pushed her away, and he kicked her in the buttocks area . . . causing a red mark/flesh abrasion,” according to the document.
But leave it to Callaspo’s lawyer to set the record straight:
“Domestic violence cases are very serious,” (Benjamin) Green said. “(But) I don’t see any significant injury. It appears that maybe she started it. . . . The news seems to be picking out things like ‘kicked’ and ‘pushed,’ and they’re not reading the whole thing. I think the public needs to know it’s not that type of a case. There are two people involved. He’s not coming home and beating his wife.”
Right. “Beating” is a little strong. “Cut with a knife,” maybe. But “beating,” no, no. You media types have it all wrong.
Whatever the case, the Diamondbacks put Callaspo on the restricted list (i.e., no dough), the story says, “because of a failure to report for the team’s charter flight to Houston on Thursday.” I guess Callaspo’s one allotted phone call from the clink to his wife’s cellie probably wasn’t going through.
Bob Melvin never had to touch the phone (segue!) as NL Cy Young winner Brandon Webb went the distance in striking out 10 in a 3-1 victory over the Astros.
Interesting story by Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan on former Cy Young winner Mike Marshall, who has a PhD in exercise physiology and claims to have developed a pitching motion that would put an end to pitching-arm injuries. (Mark Prior joke goes here.) His students are devoted, if not a little desperate.
One of Marshall’s students, for lack of a better description, said “we kind of throw like a girl.”
An accompanying video shows a pitcher performing the motion. The pendulum-like swing of the arm sort of makes sense, if you consider how many days in a row fast-pitch softball pitchers can throw.
Nevertheless, Marshall has been met with resistance from baseball’s sanctimonious inner circle:
As averse as Marshall is to his peers’ theories, he at least respects the science behind them. For baseball executives, who he believes take pride in their ignorance, Marshall saves a special kind of repugnance.
“I got tired of appeasing the stupid,” Marshall said. “How long does a blonde have to act like a moron before she gets a date? These people (in organized baseball) are idiots. They don’t know a damn thing. The thing is, they’re powerful. They get the kids and can destroy them. And they do.”
Even Dusty Baker can’t argue.
You may remember the Suns’ Shawn Marion — he of the inferiority complex — saying after a win over Dallas that he was “Defensive Player of the Year, hands down.”
Well, not only did the Matrix finish fourth in that category, he didn’t even make All-Defensive team … or second team. But here’s the real burner: Teammate Raja Bell made first team. That’s gotta sting.
Says Marion in The Arizona Republic:
“It’s all right,” Marion said. “I’m just going to keep doing what I do.”
Which means more grousing about being underappreciated. Wouldn’t be surprised for the annual Marion trade rumors to crop up, and possibly even Matrix requesting a deal. Like Joe Johnson before him, Marion wants to be The Man. Would Bryan Colangelo try to reunite with him in Toronto? Or maybe the Grizzlies, if they go after Suns assistant Marc Iavaroni for their head coaching job?
Wannabe major league pitcher Mark Prior, who cracked that he’d try to make the Futures All-Star Game after being sent to Triple-A by the Cubs at the end of spring training, was forced to leave an extended spring training start when he felt discomfort in his shoulder, which is kind of like saying the sun rises in the morning.
From the Chicago Tribune:
If Thursday had gone well, Prior likely would have been sent to Iowa to start Tuesday. How this latest setback affects Prior’s status is unknown, but he likely will remain on the minor-league disabled list.
When Prior was sent to Iowa at the end of spring training, he said he felt good physically and was capable of getting out major-league hitters.
The Cubs have given no timetable for his return to the majors.
The drop headline on the story is telling “ even copy editors are tired of this by now: “Once-great Cub will see specialist after more shoulder woes.”
Tigers smoker/manager Jim Leyland, 62, gives the Associated Press great filler material for its nightly notes package — and a good reason for me to post.
Manager Jim Leyland, who prides himself on being œold-school, says it’s good he does not understand all the up-to-date medical jargon trainers and doctors use.
œI’m all fouled up on the medical state of the game of baseball, if you want to know the truth. I’m lost, the 62-year-old Leyland said. œAnd I don’t want to make stupid comments to offend anybody. I believe people a whole lot smarter than me are doing what they think is best for the players in modern techniques. I marvel sometimes how you went from (treating pitchers’ arms with) hot water to ice. I know they’re right. They’ve studied it a lot more than I have. I’m totally confused on the medical side.
Allow me to help, Jim.
em·phy·se·ma: a condition characterized by air-filled expansions of body tissues; specifically : a condition of the lung marked by abnormal enlargement of the alveoli with loss of pulmonary elasticity that is characterized especially by shortness of breath and may lead to impairment of heart action.
Preseason prediction columns bring out the absurdity in us all, but this? Well … Juan Pierre for MVP; that’s a joke that pretty much writes itself. Joseph A. Reaves of The Arizona Republic is calling his shot, with nary an argument to back it up:
“Vladimir Guerrero wins the AL MVP and Juan Pierre takes NL honors for the Dodgers.”
Juan Pierre will win MVP the day the Cubs send Mark Prior to Triple-A … oh, wait.
Sam Keller (above) “ who won the Arizona State starting quarterback job last fall, then had it taken away from him by a wishy-washy (and now fired) Dirk Koetter, then transferred to Nebraska instead of being insulted at watching Rudy Carpenter fire interception after interception “ was cited for disturbing the peace in a parking-lot incident on campus.
From the Lincoln Journal Star:
According to Capt. Carl Oestmann of UNL police, Keller was allegedly trying to park his car in a public parking stall near Memorial Stadium at approximately 11:30 a.m. when someone else reached the spot ahead of him.
According to the woman who filed the complaint, Keller allegedly got out of his car, yelled profanities and threw a plastic cup at the victim™s car, said Oestmann.
The Huskers must appreciate Sam’s fiery attitude, but you gotta wonder just how sedate things are in Lincoln when a plastic-cup toss constitutes “disturbing the peace.”
Regardless, it’s a Class III misdemeanor, punishable by up to three months in jail and a $500 fine.
Keller will appear in court April 26.
Perhaps overlooked in the fallout of the Suns-Mavericks double-OT tilt will be a gem of a quote from the habitually underappreciated (so says he) Shawn Marion (above, right). After a big win that pulled the Suns within two-and-a-half games of the West lead, the Matrix assures us that there’s no Marion in team.
He was particularly impressed with his defensive effort on Dirk Nowitzki and made sure to tell The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro:
It was Marion’s defense on Nowitzki that gave Phoenix a chance to rally (“Defensive Player of the Year, hands down,” Marion said) and then take command in the first overtime …
Dirk finished with 30 points on 11-of-28 shooting. In Marion’s, um, defense, Boris Diaw and Raja Bell took turns guarding Nowitzki. But really, we shouldn’t be surprised. We’ve seen Marion campaign for himself before, when just last month he said, “By the time I hang my shoes up, I™m going to be the best small forward ever to play this game “ all-around, anyway.
In lieu of actual sports news in Arizona, let’s check out the housing market. Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt (above, right) and his wife dropped $1.85 million on a 5,500-square foot home in Chandler. It rests beautifully on a man-made lake to give really rich people the illusion of waterfront living. (Nevermind this drought thing going on in the desert.)
The best part of Whis-inator’s new digs “ aside from the 72-bottle wine cooler, which he’ll undoubtedly need “ is that he’s less than a mile from bonus baby QB Matt Leinart’s $2.3 million pad. Maybe Coach can get some leftover scraps from those weekend parties. Because nobody needs to go out like short-time Cardinals assistant Richie Anderson.
Craigslist makes the world go ’round:
Media Out Loud is seeking Freelance Writers for Sports Out Loud, the best gay sports magazine in the world.
Magazine experience not necessary but a plus. Be comfortable covering the gay sporting community; also be capable of interviewing high profile sports figures.
Just one question: Exactly how many gay sports magazines in the world are there?
Much as I despise University of Arizona and that, once again, the Wildcats dropped my Sun Devils (barely) on Sunday, there’s not much to laugh at in this story. UA coach Lute Olson, 72, addressed in a conference call rumors he has Parkinson’s disease.
From the Tucson Citizen:
“It’s a complete lie,” Olson said. “I have physicals like everyone else does. There is absolutely no medical indication of a problem of that type.
“It’s a vicious rumor that gets passed on. It’s totally false. If need be, I can get my doctor to indicate that it’s totally false.”
Olson said he decided to address the rumors for several reasons: A television station began to work on a story two weeks ago, a sports talk radio caller mentioned it and a fan came up to him today and asked him about it.
Plus, “This is the kind of thing you get from people you are recruiting against,” Olson said.
“If the rumor is going around here, it’s certainly going to be passed around (the nation),” Olson said.
“I’m healthy. When you get nervous, you start to shaking a little. But most people my age do (shake).”
It’d be appalling, though not unprecedented, if opposing coaches were using that dagger in recruiting. However, Lute seems to have opened the door himself to ageism attacks by saying, “Most people my age do shake.”
Having admitted Sunday after the game that he doesn’t have a “handle” on his team, Olson can’t possibly stick around at UA much longer. At least that’s the hope 100 miles to the north in Tempe.
(hardcore journalist Carl “The Night Stalker” Kolchak. His gig ain’t what it used to be)
It’s an unnerving time to be in the newspaper business. Circulation is dropping and papers are taking some drastic measures to keep up and stay profitable.
At the Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal, the standalone business section will be “relocated” and combined with the sports section Monday through Friday. That doesn’t sit well with some intellectuals, who apparently find stock listings more important than NBA standings.
Chris Roush writes (via Romenesko):
Let me ask all business editors where this is being considered to go to their editors and ask them this question: What is more important to people, knowing information about their jobs and the economy, or knowing whether their favorite sports team won last night? (And I went to the UNC-NC State game last night.) At some point, newspapers will have to decide whether they want to improve society or not.
Here’s an intriguing — if not totally unrealistic — outlook on Barry Bonds’ pursuit of the home run record, courtesy of the great Freakonomics blog. Stephen J. Dubner wonders about Barry’s future Hall attempts amid steroids talk and Mark McGwire’s denial into enshrinement.
Here™s one proposal: hit your 755th home run and then retire, making an earnest speech (on national TV at the All-Star game, perhaps?) that recognizes your own accomplishments in the skein of history that includes Aaron, Jackie Robinson, and, yes, Babe Ruth. In exchange for this gracious gesture, however, you require Major League Baseball to agree in writing to never ban you as it banned Pete Rose. While this hardly guarantees admission into the Hall of Fame, it would at least not preclude it. And you would be tied forever (or at least until Albert Pujols finishes his career) with Hank Aaron for the most memorable record in baseball ” the tie being an acknowledgment that you could have broken the record if you wanted to but, out of a keen understanding of the baseball public™s psyche, you chose to take the high, noble road.
Interesting theory and, of course, it will never happen. There’s a lot of key words and phrases we must emphasize that likely never will be attached to Bonds’ name: “earnest,” “gracious,” “keen understanding of the baseball public’s psyche,” “high, noble road.”
Good try, though. At least Dubner knows it hooey: I put the odds of this happening at about 20,000-to-1.
Suns forward Shawn Marion is always quick to let anyone within earshot know that he’s amazing, an MVP candidate in fact. Just last year, he was singing his own praises.
“If I’m averaging 20 and 10 and I’m 6-7 and 225, am I just supposed to do that?” Marion (above, right) said late in the regular season as he lay on a hotel bed playing handheld electronic poker. “How the hell do I not get the same credit as Garnett and Tim Duncan and those guys? I’m 225, barely. Is this just what we’ve come to expect of Shawn?”
Marion sat up and put the game aside as he continued.
“It’s frustrating because I’ve been doing this since I got here. I’ve been playing with Jason Kidd, Stephon Marbury and Steve Nash and been able to adjust my game to everyone.”
Well, the Matrix is at it again, and no better time to campaign for himself than during his sort-of homecoming to Las Vegas for the All-Star Game. This time, Marion isn’t just an MVP candidate. Oh, no.
For Marion, it was much of the same. Fantasy league owners and opposing coaches adore him. Even with a loaded West forward crop, Marion was named to the team. But he continued to resent that it was even up for debate.
“It sucks that I’ve got to speak up for myself more than ever,” he said. “But at the same time, people who know and see what I’m doing out there know what I’m capable of.
“I have the ability, and I have the determination to be one of the best small forwards to ever play the game, if not the best. Hopefully, I’m almost at that. By the time I hang my shoes up, I’m going to be the best small forward ever to play this game – all-around, anyway.”
Just off the top of my head, I’d still take Scottie Pippen — in his prime, anyway — over Marion. I’ll give Marion this: He can jump and he’s as athletic as anyone in the league. But I’d never let him run the point like Pippen could, and have you seen him shoot? His short-arm delivery looks like a T-Rex taking a jump shot.
But for “the best small forward ever to play this game,” he makes a hell of a local furniture pitchman.
In addition to losing all his loyal gay fans, Tim Hardaway has now lost an endorsement deal with BaldGuyz. From the Miami Herald:
Hardaway’s comments could hurt him financially. BaldGuyz, a New Jersey-based company that makes grooming products for bald men, dropped him as a spokesman Thursday, four months after making him the first former pro to represent the two-year-old company.
”BaldGuyz, like baldness, does not discriminate based on lifestyle choice, color, education, financial resources, religion, physical capabilities or in any other way,” Howard Brauner, CEO of BaldGuyz, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, if you’ve got nothing better going on with your Friday night, the Sophomores are routing the Rookies at halftime, and GC will be pleased to know that David Lee has 18 on 9-for-9 shooting. But he’s got nothing on Bow Wow.
Trail Blazers Bulls great Scottie Pippen, 41, is hoping to return to the NBA, riding the gravy train of a playoff-bound team. Of course, the Chicago Tribune’s Sam Smith just soiled his drawers.
Pippen, who turned 41 on Sept. 25, says he’s in better condition and health than at any time in the last five years. And in the Eastern Conference, his veteran presence could change the balance of power and be a major influence in the playoffs. Or he might be the long-sought backup to relieve the pressure on the Suns’ Steve Nash. The possibilities are intriguing.
Pippen will give an indication of where he is physically when he teams with the Bulls’ Ben Gordon and the Chicago Sky’s Candice Dupree in the “Shooting Stars” contest part as part of Saturday night’s All-Star festivities.
“I’m thinking of trying to come back for the playoffs,” Pippen said. “Something like the last two months of the season, somewhere I can come back and play limited minutes to start, play point forward for someone and build toward the playoffs. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for the last three months.”
As a Phoenician who watches the Suns quite often, I doubt Pip will head this way. They already signed Jalen Rose, who plays less than Pat Burke.
But here’s the kicker:
Pippen wants to move into coaching and said his ideal situation would be to serve as a player-coach. He believes his experience running Phil Jackson’s Bulls offense and as the leader of good Trail Blazers teams in the late 1990s gives him a step up in coaching.
This no doubt guarantees he will call his own number for the final shot in a playoff game with 1.8 seconds left.
He hasn’t abandoned his bread-and-butter curveball (yet), but Barry Zito, the Giants’ prized off-season acquisition, has tweaked his delivery, much to the concern of pitching coach Dave Righetti.
Apparently, Zito wants to generate more power from his lower body, a focus of his off-season training.
From the jail-free San Francisco Chronicle:
The idea is to generate more thrust with his legs and less with his arm, which not only should preserve the arm and allow him to throw more innings, but also create later and more powerful movement on his pitches, including the fastball and curveball.”I just felt constricted, really, the last few years, like I was throwing all arm,” Zito said, “so it’s about using the core of your body, the center of your mass, instead of your arm.”
Zito has changed his workout regimen this winter to strengthen his legs and hips, so the new delivery goes hand-in-hand. Actually, he called it an old delivery he used in college.
Righetti is not thrilled with the idea:
“It’s going to change the flight of his ball,” Righetti said, suggesting Zito could lose his signature curveball. That is why Righetti said “yes” when asked if this was worrisome and “I don’t know” when asked if he might try to talk Zito out of it – something Righetti would not do until he sees how well Zito progresses over the next few weeks.
Surely, this is a pre-emptive move on the part of the guitar-slinging Zito, still waiting for that call to go on tour with Dave Matthews Band. Better he change his delivery than try his hand at Guitar Hero.
While the Pac-10 Conference, which Dick Vitale never knew existed, tries to cram seven teams into the NCAA tournament, my beloved Arizona State Sun Devils are on the brink of making some ignominious history.
At 0-13 in the Pac-10 (6-18 overall), they could become the first team to go winless since the conference’s inception in 1978. The Devils have five games left, and none look easy: at home vs. UCLA, USC, Arizona then away at Stanford and Cal.
The latest loss was a 59-55 setback at Oregon State, ASU’s 14th straight loss. The Beavers, who more resembled a junior high team in scoring 35 points against UCLA on Feb. 3, have two Pac-10 wins. Yes, both are against ASU.
If it’s possible, poor Herb Sendek (above) is losing more hair, though he’s a crack-up in postgame press conferences. Lamenting Oregon State’s 72.7 percent shooting from the free-throw line (the Beavers were 57.9 percent coming in), Herbie said, “We can’t work on our free-throw defense.” Hey, ooooooh!
He even got tossed — his first career ejection — in a 66-61 loss to Washington on Feb. 1.
In a comment to a pool reporter, (official Michael) Reed said Sendek ran afoul of Rule No. 1096 by “inciting an undesirable response from the crowd after he had been asked not to do that.”
But Sendek has been doing it all season.
“I wasn’t trying to get the crowd to throw eggs at the officials,” he said.
I’m afraid that may be ASU’s only chance.
Boris Said, veteran road racer trying his hand at NASCAR, might have given us an idea. In an Associated Press feature (via Yahoo!), Said takes us into the (very small) brain of these folks:
Said illustrated his point with a story about qualifying last August at Indianapolis.
“I was on the bubble for a little while and it came down to the last guy, who was faster than me in practice,” Said noted. “I’ll relate the feeling to two movies. One is `My Dog Skip,’ where everybody is crying and sad and the old dog is dying. That’s how we were in the trailer. It looked like our best friend had died.
“Then, the minute we made the show, 15 seconds later, it turned into `Brokeback Mountain,’ with guys slapping each other on the butts and hugging and kissing each other and telling them we loved each other. It was such an emotional swing that day. It’s just really hard to go through it.”
This post not approved by LZ Granderson.
Watching the Suns-Trail Blazers here, and in an unbelievable development, Pat Burke entered the game in the first quarter. Then in the second quarter he followed a miss with a dunk.
If I’m on the Trail Blazers, I’m feeling pretty offended about now.
Live Burke blogging to commence at next dunk …
Bulls rookie Tyrus Thomas is among an uninspiring group of players named for the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest (obey your thirst!): defending champ Nate Robinson, Thomas, Gerald Green and Dwight Howard. Yawn.
When asked by Chicago Tribune beat writer K.C. Johnson if he was excited to be the first Bulls player since Scottie Pippen in 1990 to participate in the event, Thomas (above) possibly forgot that reporters with pens and tape recorders typically put these things in stories that appear in major newspapers:
“Not really,” Thomas said. “I’m just going to go out there, get my check and call it a day.”
Asked if an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the game’s greats could be beneficial for a rookie, Thomas kept unlacing.
“I’m just into the free money,” he said. “That’s it. I’ll just do whatever when I get out there.”
That sound you heard was Commish David Stern smacking his forehead. In other words, if he falls down, he’ll still take home more than $16,000 for finishing in fourth.
For the record, Thomas makes a paltry $3.26 million. So can you blame the guy for trying to get a little extra scratch? Maybe he’s got a family to feed.
What a life. After signing his four-year, $8 million deal with Disney-owned ESPN, Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon valiantly offered to resign from the paper. But according to a story at Washingtonian.com, Wilbon will remain with the paper, but his columns will be fewer, and we’ll see more of him on washingtonpost.com.
Says Wilbon: œI might write columns for the Web. I might have a blog. I might do something with Tony (Kornheiser) on the Web. I™ll do whatever (Post chairman) Don Graham and (executive editor) Len Downie want me to do. ESPN did not create the Wilbon-and-Kornheiser brand. The Post did.
Yeah, see? The Post made him sign that $8 million deal with the devil. It’s a shame Wilbon allowed himself to be pushed into a life of TV face time and riches when a dying newspaper industry was there for the taking. Look, don’t feel bad for him. He’ll survive.
œI™m still a sportswriter on TV. That™s my calling.
Now there’s an
oxymoron if I ever saw one.
Tonight, Arizona State alums everywhere, myself included, will be reminded of the very wide chasm separating the basketball talents of University of Arizona and ASU when the teams meet in Tucson.
ASU, in its first year under Herb Sendek, is 0-8 in the Pac-10 thus far. That was probably expected (though a win over Oregon State, at least, would have been nice). Herby will feel the pain of Lute Olson (above), who whipped down Rob Evans and Bill Frieder before him; the prideful Tucson papers “ as if written by UA students themselves “ are quick to remind readers of this. Still, the Kitty Cats have lost three “ THREE! “ conference games in a row for the first time since 1984, or when Lute was just a spry 84 years old.
It’s a state of panic in Tucson, a
shit pit stop off Interstate 10 where I think they still have a football team. But this is no time to kid. UA has lost three games in a row, and Olson’s well-being is regularly updated.
From the Tucson Citizen:
“He’s holding up well and better than I would assume,” said UA’s associated sports information director Richard Paige, who deals with Olson on a day-to-day basis in handling Olson’s media responsibilities.
Also: “He’s in great spirits,” said former UA star Steve Kerr.
Awww, poor Lute. How can he expect to live past 167 years old in this sort of condition? The good news for ASU alums? Herb Sendek was head coach in 1995 at Miami (Ohio), which beat UA in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Scoreboard: Sendek 1, Olson 0 (so far).
Ahem, unless GC has posted this and I’ve missed it …
I am only slightly amused by Justine Henin-Hardenne separating from her husband because I am a sports copy editor and nothing sucks worse than “Henin-Hardenne” in any sort of headline fit, let alone a one-column order. So, bravo to you, Justine. I’m sure my work complications are just the sort of thing you had in mind when you separated from Pierre-Yves.
But I gotta know: Who gets the hyphen in the settlement? *Rimshot* But seriously, folks, this should fulfill CSTB’s tennis obligations for the year. Thank you.
(a real baby Bear. Let us know when you give birth to one of these, Colleen!)
Being originally from Chicago, I’m a Bears fan and I’m thrilled about the Super Bowl. But this is … well, kinda ridiculous.
PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — Nine months pregnant and married to a fervent Bears fan with tickets to Sunday’s NFC Championship game, Colleen Pavelka didn’t want to risk going into labor during the game against the New Orleans Saints.
Due to give birth on Monday, Pavelka’s doctor told her Friday she could induce labor early. She opted for the Friday delivery.
Wait, it gets better or, uh, worse:
“If he wasn’t born by Sunday and the Bears won, I would have named him Rex,” after Bears quarterback Rex Grossman, joked Mark Pavelka, 28.
If this is really how Bears fans think, I feel really bad for all the kids born whilst Mike Tomczak was quarterbacking the team.