Monday, May 21, 2007


Matt Stairs with the Oakland Athletics in 2000 and with the Blue Jays on May 19, 2007

What do you think? Did Matt Stairs take steroids?

Monday, May 14, 2007


Inner-city baseball players have been thrown a wicked googly by NYC Education and Government officials. Baseball is out and Cricket is in.

Seven NYC high schools will field teams in new "varsity sport" of cricket next year: A cricket clinic was held in Cunningham Park, Queens on Saturday May 12, 2007. Why isn't MLB conducing more baseball clinics and why didn't it do more to stop the NYC ban on metal baseball bats?

Less than one month ago baseball executives, pundits, players and fans lamented the fact that MLB has a declining number of Black American ball players. That development was duly noted on Jackie Robinson Day. There was much gnashing of the teeth while various voices gave numerous theories why that is the case.

Meanwhile, above the din in Bristol, CT and certain Park Avenue offices, the New York City Council was doing its bit to make it tougher for inner-city kids to play baseball. In its infinite ignorance, New York City legislators have voted to ban aluminum baseball bats. The prohibition on baseball bats was so popular in the Council it was able to swat down Mayor Michael Bloomberg's veto.

However, New York's Public School Athletic League (PSAL) has approved the recognition of cricket as a high school varsity sport. Therefore, 7 schools will field cricket teams next year.

"When I saw the ad on the wall I said, 'Damn, I've got to be dreaming,' " said Avinash Sookhwa, 18, a junior at John Adams HS in Queens who emigrated from Guyana in 2004.

Baseball is America's game. New York City is a baseball city. Thousands of New York kids follow the Mets and Yankees but fewer of them are playing baseball. Playing baseball in the PSAL was a unique way to keep playing because most kids can't afford to play on travel teams. NY's schools have produced great major leaguers like Manny Ramirez.

Baseball is far more popular around the world than is cricket. MLB has players from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Venezuela and Curacao, but it's rare to find a player who hails from Chicago, Mobile, AL, Brooklyn and South Central.

One New York high school coach who knows a lot more about baseball than some bureaucrats sums up the bad news...

Steve Mandle, varsity baseball coach at George Washington HS and a one-time mentor to Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox, worries that the school's current budget can't afford regular purchases of expensive wooden bats.

"I'm an old-school guy. I prefer wood. But financially, it's going to be a disaster, an utter disaster," he told The Post.

At end-of-summer, wooden-bat tournaments, Mandle says, teams he coaches tear through bats. "I've got kids who throw 80, 90 miles an hour. We [just] go through bats."

At $75 a pop, this could get very expensive, very fast.

So we wondered whether the council had made any provision for replacing broken bats - like paying for them.

Yesterday, we asked Oddo.

"You think I'm going to give you the bullets to shoot me back down? You've already ripped me a new [expletive] four times. I may be crazy, but I'm not that crazy," he said.

We take that to be a no.

Which isn't at all surprising.

Pols like Oddo tend to welcome the publicity that self-aggrandizing legislation generates but are generally too ignorant to understand the consequences of their actions - or too arrogant to care.

Sometimes both.

Oddo was also dismissive of the bat-safety issue yesterday ("I don't need a study of injuries," said the councilman), leaving the last word on that to Mandle, too.[New York Post]

Instead of making it even harder for disadvantaged youth to play America's pastime, our leaders should be finding ways to make it easier for kids to play on the city sandlots. Cricket is a niche sport that will never gain widespread popularity. Why are city schools fielding cricket teams for a small group of players? If anything, American sports and sporting culture should be encouraged.

The next time you hear about the dearth of Black Americans in MLB think about the deprived kids at George Washington HS and other similar schools around New York City.

Bud Selig is good at making speeches in Rachel Robinson's presence but he has been derelict in shepherding the game where it counts - in our cities.


James Oddo, (Staten Island), New York City Council and Major League Jerk

Legislative Office Address:
250 Broadway, 15th Floor
NY, NY 10007
Legislative Office Phone No.: (212) 788-7159
Legislative Office Fax No.: (212) 788-7232


(R.B.I.) Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities:
Major League Baseball
phone: (212) 931-7800

1) Cricket Bowls Over HS Kids
2) Oddo Goes Batty

Monday, October 23, 2006


Yes, we know it was pine tar.

But, Ken Rosenthal wants to know why Tony La Russa didn't raise a big stink when he caught Kenny Rogers in the act of cheating.

That's because La Russa's integrity has been compromised by the way he has coddled bigger cheaters (literally and figuratively) over the years in the form of steroid abusers, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire.

La Russa knew that his weak denials of any knowledge of steroids on his previous clubs have been met with guffaws and cynicism. He has a law degree and is skilled in the art of the "non-denial denial".

"Tony went out and said a couple of his players said the ball was acting funny, and they made Kenny wash his hands, and he washed his hands, and he came out the second inning and was pretty clean the rest of the way," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

"Pretty clean" — very funny, Jim.

But "pretty clean" is a relative term.

One Cardinals player said that reserve outfielder John Rodriguez showed him balls that were discolored.

"I can't comment on that," Rodriguez said. "Tony's not talking about it. I'm definitely not talking about it."

Did La Russa institute a gag order?

"You listen to your boss?" Rodriguez asked.

FOX Sports - MLB - Rogers' Game 2 gem marred by controversy

Sunday, October 22, 2006


The apocaplypse has already occured.


Philadelphia police said a father pulled out a .357 Magnum pistol on a youth football coach because his son wasn't getting enough playing time.

A fight ensued between the man and a referee, and both are now facing charges.

Wayne Derkotch, 46, is accused of pulling the gun Sunday during a game between the Oxford Circle Raiders and the Burholme Outlaws -- 5- and 6- year-olds -- in Northeast Philadelphia. No shots were fired.

Derkotch was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment. He did not immediately return a telephone message left at his home Monday.

The referee, Shawn Henwood, said he said he was shocked to see a parent had brought a .357 Magnum with him.

"Everyone started screaming, 'Gun! Gun!' I immediately turned the boys and ran them to the opposite side of the field because the issue happened over this way," Henwood said.

He wasn't the only one who was surprised.

"Why would you take a gun to where a bunch of young kids are ... for no reason," asked Wayne Kohler, one of Derkotch's neighbors.

Derkotch didn't answer that question Monday night or the knock on the door of his home.

The coach involved, whose own son plays for the Outlaws, was willing to talk, but didn't offer much detail other than to say overly enthusiastic parents can be a problem.

"We get parents like that all the time ... just an unfortunate situation," said Coach Jermaine Wilson.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Mama, don't let your daughters become University of Miami students - because there are very violent men still allowed to roam that campus.

Donna Shalala, University of Miami president, has informed horrified college football fans, apprehensive athletic opponents, concerned students and nervous parents that dozens of men who took part in an orgy of violence are still good enough to call themselves student-athletes as members of the University of Miami community.

Donna Shalala is a governmental bureaucrat now serving as an academic technocrat. Apparently, money trumps justice - doing the right thing wilts in the face of one-game suspensions. The "Showdown with Florida International" has met less hand-wringing than a clucking of the typical 'boys will be boys' mantra.

Remember the last nasty brawl that attraced world-wide attention? The Pistons-Pacers slugfest was the final straw for NBA commissioner David Stern. He made a personal appearance on television to convey his disgust with what transpired in Detroit. Stern rightly recognized that the image of the NBA was at stake. Families were increasingly turned off by a combination of poor fundamentals perpetrated by players acting violently on and off the basketball court. While Stern couldn't fix the level of play in quick fashion he could impose harsh disciplinary measures. Stern followed through to the fullest extent of his powers. The commissioner suspended Ron Artest for the rest of the season while Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal respectively caught bans of 30 and 25 games.

Donna Shalala had no "David Stern moment", this week, in reaction to the brawl at the Orange Bowl. Instead, the University of Miami announced that the worst offenders would be suspended for a game against winless, toothless Duke University. Miami announced that the coaching staff would still be at the helm of the rotting ship.

At least Florida International, a school that didn't even have a football team five years ago, understood that this disastrous situation necessitated that several players be kicked off the team.

What to do? Expelling the offending players would be a good start. Suspending the coaching staff would be an excellent way to teach young students about accountability. Shalala witnessed her school's football team pick fights before - even at the Peach Bowl just a few months ago. There's been no warnings of consequences. Maybe Shalala should step down as well.

But, Donna Shalala is a Washington politician. We're used to politicians dissembling about wars, telling blatant lies while wagging fingers in our faces, and taking bribes. When Shalala was a Cabinet secretary she urged President Clinton to keep lying to the nation so that everyone in the Cabinet (including her) could keep their jobs - telling the truth was never an option. The truth is an orphan of Washington politicians (of both parties) so be careful when those 'public servants' go from taking your tax dollars to hitting you up for tuition hikes and alumni contributions.

Shalala, as former head of the HHS (Department of Health & Human Services), loves acronyms. She has instructed her minions to embrace the tawdry world of CYA. Here's a suggestion for Shalala; J.E.T.S -- Just End The Season.

There are voices in aggreement with us...
1) ESPN'S Gene Wojciechowski said Laughable suspensions aren't enough

2) USA Today's John Saraceno: "With moral outrage at Miami, it's time for Coker to go"

*Contact us directly*** thepologrounds -at-yahoo-com

Wednesday 3:00 pm ET Update: OH, DONNA DONNA

She just doesn't get it. Now she's complaining about a media "feeding frenzy". This isn't the midterm elections, Donna. No need to circle the wagons and shoot the messengers. You are now in charge of an institution of higher learning. Start acting like an educator instead of a public relations flack.

People are outraged by your stunning lack of sufficient outrage. Your school's football team has a well-documented history of violence. Your team's players have a well-documented history of violence. You should be concerned that most college football fans (and college administrators) are not surprised that "Miami Hurricanes" was inserted into the same sentence as "ugly bench-clearing brawl" this week.

You speak as if you should receive plaudits for inaugurating a "zero tolerance policy". But, who knew that an American university had a tolerance policy for ugly on-field incidents up until today? A teenaged boy scout could do a better job of handling this mess than you, Ms. Shalala.

More sane voices

Fort Worth Star Telegram's Gil LeBreton: At Miami, stupidity has tenure

Philadelphia Inquirer's Mike Jensen: Tougher punishment needed in Miami-FIU brawl case

*Contact us directly*** thepologrounds -at-yahoo-com

Monday, October 16, 2006


New York Daily News - John Harper - John Harper: Pujols pulls no punches: "Pujols pulls no punches
Bat, mouth are trouble

John Harper on how the NLCS spotlight on Albert Pujols is revealing his character...

"He wasn't good. He wasn't good at all," Pujols said of Glavine.

Pujols, who went 0-for-3 in Game 1 and made a baserunning blunder, was complaining that the Cardinals hadn't been rewarded for hitting some balls hard, saying, "We didn't get some breaks."

Still, reporters interviewing him were stunned that he wouldn't give Glavine any credit for shutting down the Cardinals. So they asked him again.

"You didn't think Glavine pitched well?"

"I say he wasn't good at all," Pujols repeated. "He did the same thing that he always does. Throw a changeup, fastball, and that was it. I just think we should have done a better job than we did."

Classy, huh?

This from a guy who went 0-for-3 and made a baserunning blunder. When Pujols was asked if he was frustrated afterward, the Cardinals' slugger grew angry.

"Why (should) I be frustrated?" he snapped. "I can't make a mistake? Am I perfect?"

This is Albert Pujols? Apparently St. Louis, no major media market, is good cover for such boorishness. Actually, St. Louis reporters aren't all that fond of Pujols. One said he hoped Pujols would "get exposed" with these comments as a less-than-friendly presence around the Cardinals, despite mostly adoring coverage.

Tony La Russa, meanwhile, resorted to blaming the media for Pujols' comments, saying reporters should have used "common sense" and basically dismissed them because they were said in "the heat of competition."

Right. Like Pujols is the only fierce competitor out there, so he should get a pass for saying something so unprofessional. La Russa knows better, but he's accustomed to having his way in a one-newspaper town.

Besides, if that were the case, Pujols had the chance to take back his comments about Glavine when he was asked about them on the field before last night's game.

"Isn't that what I said?" he replied. "Okay, then keep that one."

He didn't make himself available after last night's game, at least not until past newspaper deadlines in New York.

So what's up with Albert, anyway? He has to realize that as the most feared slugger in the game, he's going to be the focus of media coverage, particularly in the postseason.

Yet on the day before this series opened, Pujols didn't want to go to the interview room, saying he would do interviews in the tight quarters of the visitors' clubhouse at Shea. When reporters surrounded him at his locker after the workout, he complained openly, saying, "You all are a pain in the (butt)."

Eventually he answered questions, taking exception to the notion that his bat was any more important than anyone else's in the Cardinals' lineup, and saying he would be happy to take walks if the Mets chose to pitch around him.

Pujols seemed even angrier to find reporters at his locker after Game 1, flipping a chair out of the way that hit one reporter in the leg.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

After Duke Case, College Athletes Are Put on Notice - New York Times

Duke case has colleges treading carefully.

After Duke Case, College Athletes Are Put on Notice - New York Times: "Last week, the University of Connecticut dismissed five football players for buying beer on a team trip to Florida. Earlier in the season, four Georgia players and two from Texas were suspended for as many as three games for off-the-field episodes involving under-age drinking and misdemeanor marijuana possession.

Oklahoma dismissed two football players, including the starting quarterback, after the university determined they had received money for no-show jobs at a car dealership. At Northwestern, the women’s soccer coach resigned and several players were suspended after photographs of a hazing ritual were posted on a Web site.
The vice president for student affairs at Fairfield in Connecticut has posted a letter on the university’s Web site that repeatedly mentions the Duke case, refers to reports of misconduct by former Fairfield athletes and warns current athletes of the consequences if such acts occur again. Fairfield also encouraged athletes to police teammates who act recklessly.

United Educators Insurance, a company owned by its more than 1,200 member colleges and universities, held eight seminars this year to advise member institutions on athletes’ misconduct. The seminar presents a hypothetical scandal involving a team and a coach with many elements reminiscent of the Duke situation, including a national news media frenzy. About 300 college officials have attended the seminars, most of them after the rape accusations by a woman some Duke lacrosse players had hired as a stripper.

A neighbor told the police in Durham, N.C., that during the afternoon of March 13, he saw several players drinking in the backyard of the house some of them were renting.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Major League Baseball: You've Come a Long Way, Baby



Los Angeles Times: Clemens, Others Implicated in Banned Drug Case

Roger Clemens, 44, one of professional baseball's most durable and successful pitchers, is among six players accused by a former teammate of using performance-enhancing drugs, The Times has learned. The names had been blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court.

Others whose identities had been concealed include Clemens' fellow Houston Astros pitcher, Andy Pettitte, and former American League Most Valuable Player Miguel Tejada of the Baltimore Orioles.

The discovery ends four months of speculation surrounding the possible identities of Major League Baseball figures whose names were redacted from a search warrant affidavit filed in Phoenix on May 31. The document was based on statements made to federal agents by pitcher Jason Grimsley.

Grimsley, a journeyman relief pitcher who has played on several teams including the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and the Angels, acknowledged using steroids, amphetamines and other drugs, investigators said in the document. He also implicated a number of former teammates, but the names were blacked out in copies of the affidavit that were made public in June after investigators used the warrant to raid Grimsley's house.

A source with authorized access to an unredacted affidavit allowed The Times to see it, but retained it to read back what had been blacked out of the public copies. A second source and confidante of Grimsley had previously disclosed player identities and provided additional details about the affidavit. The sources insisted on anonymity.

According to the affidavit, Grimsley told investigators that Clemens and Pettitte "used athletic performance-enhancing drugs." He also said Tejada used anabolic steroids.

Clemens and Pettitte did not respond to requests for comment made Saturday through their agents and the Astros. Tejada had previously declined to be interviewed.

Grimsley was detained after he allegedly received an illegal shipment of human growth hormones. The shipment was tracked to his Scottsdale, Ariz., home by a task force of federal agents investigating drug use in professional baseball, the affidavit said.

For a time, Grimsley secretly cooperated with investigators, they said, but stopped after retaining a lawyer.

According to the 20-page search warrant affidavit signed by IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky, Grimsley told investigators he obtained amphetamines, anabolic steroids and human growth hormones from a source recommended to him by former Yankee trainer Brian McNamee. The former team trainer is a personal strength coach for both Clemens and Pettitte.

McNamee did not return multiple messages left with his wife and on his answering machine.

The affidavit also alleges that Grimsley told federal agents that his former Oriole teammates -- Tejada, Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons -- "took anabolic steroids." Roberts was the American League's All-Star second baseman in 2005 when Grimsley was an Oriole.

All three Baltimore players declined to be interviewed. Roberts said he had "nothing to talk about" and didn't know why Grimsley named him. A sixth player, retired outfielder David Segui previously came forward to say that his name was among those blacked out in the affidavit provided to the public. Segui told ESPN in June that he used HGH on the advice of his doctor as recently as the 2004 season. He did not obtain approval from the league, he acknowledged.

Government officials have declined to comment about either their ongoing investigation of drugs in professional baseball.

Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner who came out of retirement to pitch for the Astros in each of the last two years, was a teammate of Grimsley on the Yankees in 1999-2000, as was Pettitte, a two-time All-Star who is nearing 200 career wins. Grimsley, Tejada, Gibbons and Roberts were teammates in Baltimore during the 2005 season.

Monday, September 04, 2006


The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, was killed in a freak accident. While diving for a documentary, he was stung through the heart by a stingray and died.

Dastardly end to a colorful life.

Steve Irwin killed by stingray | The Daily Telegraph

THE Crocodile Man, Steve Irwin, is dead. He was killed in a freak accident in Cairns, police sources said.

It is understood he was killed by a sting-ray barb that went through his chest.

He was 44.

He was swimming off the Low Isles at Port Douglas filming an underwater documentary when the incident happened.

Ambulance officers confirmed they attended a reef fatality this morning at Batt Reef off Port Douglas.

It is understood Mr Irwin was killed around midday, Eastern Australian time.

More perspective on Steve Irwin's death.


The naturalist and television star Steve Irwin has died in a diving accident in far north Queensland. He was 44.

Police say he was stung through the heart by a stingray while diving off Port Douglas.

He was filming a documentary when the accident occurred around midday AEST near the Low Isles.

A helicopter arrived with paramedics on board to try to resuscitate him, but it was too late.

Irwin's body is being taken to the morgue in Cairns.

His family are believed to be flying from Brisbane to Cairns this afternoon.

Irwin, who was was born in Victoria in 1962, inherited his love of reptiles from his father.

His father Bob was a keen reptile enthusiast and moved the family to Queensland in 1970 to open a small reptile park on the Sunshine Coast.

Irwin took over the family business in 1991 and grew it into Australia Zoo.

In 1992 he ventured into television, making the first series of the Crocodile Hunter.

When the program aired in the United States, he shot to international fame.

ANDRE AGASSI SAYS GOODBYE - TENNIS - Garber: Agassi gave until his body gave out

Andre Agassi's career ended today in memorable fashion. How many storied professional athletes can say that?

Usually when an athlete's skills are on the decline, fans and spectators quietly or overtly hope they retire in order to not besmirch any old memories of their their glory.

In Agassi's case, the fans and spectators didn't want his career to end and were doing everything they could to will him to victory, one match at a time.

When the crowd refuses to say goodbye to a dimming star then that is the ultimate sign of respect.

Andre Agassi is only 36 years old, but these final days he has shuffled around like a senior citizen, limping into restaurants, hobbling through the hallways underneath Arthur Ashe Stadium. Four injections in five days did little to quiet the shrieking pain in his back.

He was unseeded here and his one-time No. 1 world ranking has slipped to No. 39. And yet, when he stepped onto center court for his first two matches, the eight-time Grand Slam champion came alive. Elevated by a full house of passionate believers, his aching body seemed to, fleetingly, live in the past.

On Sunday, Agassi -- his face frozen into a perpetual grimace -- walked into Arthur Ashe for a third time to play a 25-year-old qualifier named Benjamin Becker. His heart, his soul and the U.S. Open crowd were desperately willing, but this time he couldn't rise above his horrible physical reality.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Greece Shocks U.S. Basketball Team: Face It, the NBA Is an Inferior Product

Anyone who watches an NBA games this winter will be wasting their time, anyone who gives the NBA their money is wasting hard-earned cash.

Greece Shocks U.S. Basketball Team - New York Times

Well, Team USA lost in the semifinals of the World Championships.

Face it, the NBA is not a very good basketball league and definitely is not as good as it advertises itself to be. We stopped watching the NBA several years ago and we don't miss it.

Don't kid yourself. After the United States has turned in abysmal performances in the last two tournaments many American sports fans were told this team was the best squad of cagers since the 1992 Dream Team. Well, this special crew of future legends will now be playing for the lowly bronze medal.

In terms of quality of play, the NBA is the worst of the 4 major North American sports leagues but, the NBA runs the biggest hype machine out of all of them.

Most Americans assumed that Team USA would win the goal medal without any regard for the opponents or any knowledge of the players on other teams. (Can you name 2 guys on the Greek squad? One?) Look at the salaries of our home-grown losers. YOU pay those 8-figure salaries.

David Stern assumes Americans will gladly hand over hundreds of dollars to watch crappy basketball games filled with players who are more concerned with choking their girlfriends, firing guns in public, filming movies and promoting sneaker endorsements.

Hopefully, David Stern will be disabused of that notion, his league is a disaster and a joke.

The NBA is dead to us. Are you really looking forward to misguided hoisted shots, crummy free throw shooting and 84-77 final scores?

The NBA is not worth the money, time and attention of American sports fans.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Moving From Down Home to the Big Time - New York Times

The MAC Conference is turning heads. Be on the lookout for Northern Illinois’s Garrett Wolfe, at only 5-7, 177 pounds.

At Northern Illinois, there are cornstalks taller than the tailback, barns bigger than the football office, and games of enormous consequence played on Tuesdays.

To most of the country, the Northern Illinois Huskies look all mixed up. To the Mid-American Conference, they are a model member.

The MAC is made up of 13 universities, most of them spread across the heartland, in towns like Ypsilanti, Mich.; Oxford, Ohio; and Muncie, Ind. Despite fertile soil, the teams are traditionally undersized and underfinanced. They play in whatever time slot ESPN gives them, even if it means rescheduling homecoming.

And yet, when a major upset happens early in the season, a MAC team is often the one pulling it — Toledo over Penn State, Northern Illinois over Alabama, Bowling Green over Purdue, Miami of Ohio over North Carolina, all on the road and all in this century.

The MAC is to college football what the Missouri Valley Conference is to college basketball, and if the bowl season were traded for a 65-team N.C.A.A. tournament, Northern Illinois would be that pesky team seeded No. 12 that no one wants to play.

On Saturday, the Huskies will go to Ohio State with a tailback who is 5-foot-7, a coach who once lost 23 consecutive games, and a group of tight ends who meet on a racquetball court. Sandbagging is part of their strategy.

Guillen still sore about Delmon Young beaning

Guillen still sore about Young issue

Ozzie Guillen insists he didn't order Freddy Garcia to plunk rookie Delmon Young.

The idea that Guillen would have a pitcher throw at Young to regain the good graces of umpires was the theory he found most preposterous.

''It's funny when people say this kid got hit because of Major League Baseball and this kid got hit because Ozzie don't get along with the umpires,'' Guillen said. ''I don't get along with the umpires. I never got in trouble playing; I got in trouble managing because that's my job. When people talk about me that way, I hate it. It's not true.

''Again, if people think we did it, that's too bad. When I make mistakes, I have enough guts to apologize for what I did. Now I am not guilty, and people think [I am]. It's not fair. Not for me, the reputation of me and my team.

''You can call me anything you want -- don't call me a liar, don't call me a headhunter. You can call me crazy, idiot, loudmouth, whatever you want to call me. Don't say we're losing my team because of me, we're not playing now because of me. That thing is out of proportion, out of hand. People are saying stuff they don't know.''

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Schilling K's 3,000th, but Zito beats him

Schilling K's 3,000th, but Zito beats him

Stop the presses. Schilling garnered his 3,000th career strikeout. Red Sox fans will be talking about it on message boards for months to come. Well, Schilling will.

Zito outpitched Curt Schilling, who became the 14th pitcher with 3,000 strikeouts, Mark Ellis and Bobby Kielty each hit solo home runs and Oakland beat the Red Sox 7-2 Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.

The A's won their season-best ninth straight at home and 15th in 19 overall.

Zito (15-8) pitched 6 1/3 strong innings to win his third straight start.

Schilling (14-7) lost his third straight decision. Boston has lost six straight and 12 of 14.

"It's very bittersweet," he said. "When 14 people in the history of the game have done it, that makes me proud to have achieved it. But going through what we're going through and doing what I did today kind of sucks a lot of the enjoyment out of it - most of it, if not all of it."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

MURRAY CHASS: Arms Are Better Than Injured Ones

Tired Arms Are Better Than Injured Ones - New York Times

How pitching woes affect teams down the home stretch.

The Yankees suddenly have a larger division lead than the Tigers, the result of the recent five-game sweep of the Red Sox and a three-game sweep of the reeling Red Sox by the Seattle Mariners.

The Red Sox are not in good shape. Jason Varitek, their catcher, captain and soul, has not played this month, having had knee surgery. Manny Ramírez has been in and out of the lineup the past week with leg and knee problems. Shortstop Álex González is on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle, and right fielder Trot Nixon is on the list, too, with a strained biceps.

David Ortiz had to be hospitalized overnight during the disastrous Yankees series because of stress.

Imagine the Red Sox’ stress when they discover there’s no room for them in the playoffs. After last night’s 9-0 loss at Oakland, they are nearly as far behind the Twins (six games) as they are behind the Yankees (seven), and there’s no other way for them to get to the postseason. They have to overtake the Yankees, or the Twins and the White Sox.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

MIKE WISE: Betts, Cartwright Can Help Keep Things Running

Betts, Cartwright Can Help Keep Things Running

Washington Post columnist says to Redskin fans, "don't worry about the running game."

Because if Portis were to miss extended time, more than the next few weeks with a partially separated shoulder, it's not as much of an emergency situation. Yeah, Gibbs misses Portis's explosiveness and the offense becomes more predictable.

But Al Saunders, the man Gibbs hired to run the offense, loves short-yardage backs who will make three yards out of minus-1. Ladell Betts is that kind of back. Rock Cartwright, who plunged in from the 1 against the Jets for a touchdown, is that kind of back.

It's why they're still here, the longest-tenured players drafted by the organization after Jansen and Chris Samuels in 1999 and 2000, respectively. Betts and Cartwright went from the misery of the ol' ball coach to the majesty of the really ol' ball coach.

"Class of '02, that's us," Betts said earlier this week. "We've seen a little of everything in five years."

"When we got here, we had Coach [Steve] Spurrier and there wasn't much discipline," Cartwright said. "Just didn't feel like an NFL atmosphere, you know. Now, with Coach Gibbs, you can't even compare. Different world, man."

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


In today's column the Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, said

My bosses won't allow me to say which six announcers I would deport to Eastern Europe, but here are their initials jumbled together backwards: WBMABCMJMTBJ.

Okay, who do you think are those six announcers?

1) JB

2) TM

3) JM

4) CB

5) AM

6) BW


Floyd Landis has gone from unknown to that weird Mennonite guy to inspirational to disappointing to pathetic.

I drank my kid's Kool-Aid: yeah,that's the ticket!

Here we go again. Next week, he'll go on "The View" and say he accidentally took his wife's birth control pills and the increased testosterone was his body's way of fighting off the invading estrogen.

Two weeks from now Floyd Landis will appear on "Martha Stewart" and say that somehow a secret ingredient accidentally landed in his souffle.


Jay Leno didn’t let Floyd Landis off easy, and the embattled Tour de France champion responded with yet another theory as to why he flunked a drug test.

Questioned by the “Tonight Show” host Tuesday, Landis said he may have unknowingly ingested something that made him test positive for a high testosterone ratio.

“I see you on these shows and I do want to believe you and evidence seems — I don’t know if it’s overwhelming — but it seems pretty conclusive, right?” Leno said.

Landis said yes, if one goes by the tests, and Leno shot back, ‘Why should we not go by the tests? Tell me why.”’

Landis responded that there were several possibilities, saying, “The tests and the people doing the tests would like you to believe that the only possibility is that I essentially took some drugs and that’s why the test is that way.”

He offered still another new theory: “Now there’s also the possibility, and it’s an argument that has been used by other people. At this point, I don’t know if it’s somehow or some way I ingested something that caused the tests to be that way.”

Landis went on to repeat some possibilities he and his defense team had floated earlier, that there was some type of natural occurrence in his body that caused the positive tests.

He added, “And I’m beginning to wonder about this myself after the way the situation’s been handled, is that after the (sample) leaves my hands ... after I give them the sample, I don’t know where it goes.”



Long Island teenager had dedicated MySpace page to her Major League player boyfriend, Paul Lo Duca.

Meet Krista Guterman, 19: Joey Buttafuoco had a Long Island Lolita. Now, Paul Lo Duca has one.

Paul Lo Duca has had quite a week. First, news of his divorce broke in the New York dailies. His wife alleged infidelity as a cause of action for the divorce proceeding.

The Mets catcher had a friend deny to the newspapers that any adultery took place. Then, the NYDaily News reported that Lo Duca is an avid bettor on horse races and has gambling debts.

[NYDailyNews]: Yet sources close to the Brooklyn-born four-time All-Star told The News that his divorce fight was only part of his woes. The sources said Lo Duca also had gambling debts, accumulating a big enough tab that Mets management was aware of it.

The morals clause within Major League Baseball doesn't prohibit a player from gambling at casinos or race tracks, but the league becomes concerned when one of its players runs up unmanageable gambling debts.

Lo Duca insisted to The News yesterday that he only gambled on horses, never on sports. He admitted betting through the Internet, but said all his wagers were legal.

He would not address his wife's allegations, saying only, "We decided to get a divorce six months ago and I wish it didn't happen, but it happens."

Lo Duca denied that any gambling debts existed.

Mets General Manager wasn't thrilled with the turn of events.

Sources told The News that the MLB security office would likely probe whether Lo Duca had engaged in any activity that would require intervention.

Mets General Manager Omar Minaya said the team was "definitely going to ask him about" the gambling allegations. "Once we ask him, we'll go from there," Minaya said.

Okay, Lo Duca is a good liar in some respects. Does his way with the (gullible, easy) ladies translate to more nefarious activities? Is he lying about the gambling debts? Is he lying about not betting on baseball?

Last night, Tuesday, Lo Duca assembled reporters (and even brought Tom Glavine and David Wright to his side) and spoke into television cameras saying, "I love my wife."

But, a Long Island teenager says that Lo Duca lied to her and told her he was alreaedy divorced when she dated him.

The girl's parents practically whored her out to the lothario Lo Duca. Would YOU trust your daughter with a Major League baseball player? Here is the NYPost's scoop.

[NYPOST:] A sexy Long Island teen revealed in an explosive interview yesterday that she and married Met catcher Paul Lo Duca have been carrying on a steamy affair since April, enjoying secret trysts at his pad and sharing intimate phone calls.

"He's fun - for an older man," bombshell brunette Krista Guterman, 19, said of the All-Star stud, whose wife recently slapped him with divorce papers charging adultery.

Lo Duca also was hit yesterday with the announcement that the Mets will probe claims that he has heavy gambling debts.

As the ball player tried to deflect both stories, Guterman told how she first met the 34-year-old dad while with a pal at "18 and Over Night" at the trendy Bridgeview bar in Long Beach in April. Lo Duca had just returned from spring training, she said, and she was home from college.

The fashion major said she and her friend, who corroborated Guterman's story to The Post, used a contact to land a spot in the hip club's VIP section, a celebrity stomping ground. That night, Met and Cincinnati Red players abounded, Guterman said.

The tanned teen said she and her pal were first approached by a member of Lo Duca's entourage, who pointed out the hunky player and asked if they knew who he was.

Guterman said she had no idea - she doesn't watch baseball.

"Paul thinks you're cute," Guterman said Lo Duca's pal told her.

"I thought he was cute," too, the teen said. "But I didn't have any idea who he was."

She said Lo Duca then approached her and her friend, and the trio partied until 3 a.m.

The teen said that as the night wound down, Lo Duca's pal suggested that she and her girlfriend give him a lift to his posh spread in Oyster Bay.

The young women declined, saying they wanted to get home. But before she left, Guterman gave Lo Duca her cellphone number.

She said that less than hour after leaving the bar, she received a casual text message from Lo Duca, telling her "hi." She said they met again soon after, and he began calling her several times a week.

The first time they went out, Guterman said, the red-hot slugger told her he was divorced - and that he had agreed to give his ex-wife $7 million in the settlement.

She said she learned that he was still married to his wife of six years, Sonia, only after reading The Post on Monday.

"I didn't know he was married. If I knew he was married, I wouldn't have dated him," insisted the leggy teen, who lives with her parents.

Asked how she felt after learning that the catcher was still hitched, Guterman replied, "He's a scumbag for lying to me."

The teen said that since Lo Duca is on the road a lot, they're left to burn up the phone lines until they can hook up. Her parents knew about the relationship, she said, adding that on nights they were getting together, he would pick her up at the house.

The couple went out only once in public, Guterman said, to a Manhattan restaurant.

Otherwise, "We would go to his place [in Oyster Bay] and hang out," Guterman said.

She described their dating as casual, explaining that they could both still date other people. Guterman said she didn't expect it to go anywhere.

"It was fun," she said. "I would call it a fling."

When asked if he was her boyfriend, she said, "No. We dated."

"He's a fun guy. He has a good personality," Guterman said. "We're good friends. We still talk a lot on the phone."

The teen even dedicated part of her Web page to Lo Duca - and posted a sexy photo of her perched on his lap at The Coyote bar in Island Park.

She also showed two photos of the slugger in action - tagged to romantic lyrics from Jessica Simpson's song "Angels."

"And through it all, he offers me protection. A lot of love and affection. Whether I'm right or wrong . . . my love," it read under the photos, which mysteriously disappeared along with the rest of her page yesterday.

At another place on the page, Guterman wrote: "I have an obsession with the Mets . . . OBV [obviously]!!!!"

Guterman said she last heard from the Brooklyn-born Lo Duca when "he called me a couple of nights ago."

Lo Duca wanted to warn her that some news about him might hit the papers in the coming days, she said.

She said that two days ago, he text- messaged her, saying, "I have to speak to you."



Mike Lupica, Daily News: He's Catchin' Grief During Amazin' 06

NYDaily News: Mets Star: You Bet It's Legal

NYDaily News: Lo Duca: I Love My Wife

Monday, August 07, 2006


Lots of Notre Dame stuff today...

1) RB Travis Thomas switching to linebacker

Thomas, though, hasn't given up the idea of running the ball. He wants to start as a linebacker and still carry the ball as a tailback.

"That's absolutely the vision," he said. "It's something I've been working toward all this summer. Playing offense is the love of my life. I love running the ball."

Weis said he will evaluate the move after about a week.

"I'm interested just like you to see what this project looks like," Weis said.

2) Easy bein' green by Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports

“National championship,” said quarterback Brady Quinn, the school’s Heisman Trophy candidate. “That’s the only thing we are thinking about.”

Notre Dame is bold and back in every conceivable way, not just as a team capable of winning it all but also as a program that has shed its woe-is-me skin and is full of the swagger missing since Lou Holtz was stomping the South Bend sidelines.

And college football is better for it. College football always is better when Notre Dame is Notre Dame.

This rebirth is the work of Weis, the second-year coach who overnight didn’t just turn the Notre Dame offense into a potent, powerful force but who also restored the appropriate arrogance that makes people either love, hate, love to hate or hate to love the Irish.

“I think that good or bad, we are judged … like we almost have an attitude, like we are holier than thou, which we certainly are not,” said Weis, who returns 16 starters from a team that went 9-3 last season.

3) Of Weis and Men: Demanding ND Coach Returns Fight to Irish by Lenn Robbins, NY Post

For the first time since the Lou Holtz era, Notre Dame also has a coach that affords no middle ground. Trenton-born Charlie Weis is a Jersey guy to the core, which means he's brutally honest, unflinchingly confident and as abrasive as sandpaper on sunburned skin.

"I try use the analogy that growing up being a Yankees fan I always found nationally, wherever you went, people had an opinion on the Yankees," said Weis. "You know they either liked them or they disliked them.

"I think that's very similar in its own vein to what we have to deal with. We're just trying to do things right. I would like to think people respect us for the way we run the program. Whether you like us or not is not really relevant."

So much for popularity contests. When asked prior to spring football who would back-up quarterback Brady Quinn, Weis said the job was up for grabs with Demetrius Jones, Zach Frazer and Evan Sharpley doing the reaching. Many coaches would coddle players vying for such a key position. Not Weis.

"Come August, I don't have time to worry about it," he said. "And I'm not here to make friends."

Weis has made admirers, if not friends, after one season in South Bend. He took over a team with a predictable offense, soft personnel and all the confidence of a squirrel stranded without a tree.

Notre Dame went 9-3, including a thrilling loss to USC in the best college football game of the season. That has propelled the Irish to the Top 10 in most preseason polls. Many coaches would be scrambling to restrain such expectations. Not Weis.

He told his players in the spring that their No.1 objective was to raise expectations. That message hadn't changed as Notre Dame begins spring practice today.

"We don't hide from anything here," said defensive coordinator Rick Minter. "Not under Charlie. You can't be afraid to face great challenges."

Notre Dame players felt Weis' wrath when they didn't meet the challenge. After an uninspired 34-10 win over Syracuse, Weis told his players about life on the Jersey shore. "He said, 'You don't put one toe in the ocean to find out if it's cold,'" said defensive tackle Derek Landri. "'You jump in with two feet.' The guy is nasty."

Other blogs reporting: Da Fighting Irish of ND, The Nittany Line,

Saturday, August 05, 2006


What is going on in San Francisco? Their inner rage exploded and they finally unleashed their passions last night. In a Barry Bonds related incident, fans threw garbage and beer bottles onto the field. Was it because they finally realized that they've been cheering for a fraud?

No, they felt they were cheated OUT OF the fraudster. You see, Barry Bonds got ejected last night, in the 9th inning, and the fans started going bananas.

Things had never turned this ugly in San Francisco's 7-year-old waterfront ballpark. Fan behavior this bad brought everybody back to the rowdiest of days at Candlestick Park.

Yorvit Torrealba hit a three-run homer against his former team and also scored a run on a balk, leading the Colorado Rockies past the San Francisco Giants 5-2 Friday night in a wild game that featured Barry Bonds' 723rd career home run and later the ejection of the slugger.

Bonds hit a solo shot to center in the seventh for his first home run since July 20 against San Diego, a span of 26 at-bats. He was batting in the ninth when he began arguing with plate umpire Ron Kulpa about a called second strike. Kulpa immediately ejected Bonds, who got in the umpire's face and began yelling.

"There were two unprofessional people out there at that moment," Bonds said. "He was very unprofessional and so was I. What happens on the field stays on the field and that's all I have to say about it."

Bonds returned to the dugout, sat down and crossed his arms as fans responded by throwing garbage, including beer bottles, onto the field from all directions. The Rockies left the field and retreated into their dugout to avoid being hit while fans chanted "Barry! Barry!"

"I don't care about that," Bonds said of the fans' actions. "We're trying to win games, that's all. It happened, it happened. It's over with. Let's go get ready for tomorrow."

Security came onto the field and so did a large cleanup crew, causing an 11-minute delay. Fans also threw things at the umpires as they were escorted off the field after the game.

Stay classy, San Francisco


Floyd Landis now claims dehydration. Even though he was so far ahead of the peloton that he had constant access to his team's car and its assortment of water bottles. He constantlly splashed himself with water throughout his climbs.

The only thing dehydrated is his brain.

Maybe Landis will now roll over and tell the authorities what he knows about Lance Armstrong in order to protect his skin? The man has to find a way to feed his family.

BBC: Landis returns positive B sample

Floyd Landis is set to lose his Tour de France title and faces a two-year ban after returning a positive B sample for excessive levels of testosterone.

The American, who could also lose his contract with the Phonak team, produced levels more than twice the legal limit after his solo victory on stage 17.

Landis, 30, has said the high levels detected were a "natural occurence".

He would be the first Tour winner to lose his title, with Spaniard Oscar Pereiro set to be declared the winner.

Pereiro, who would become the first Spaniard to win the Tour since Miguel Indurain's last victory in 1995, finished second overall behind Landis in the race which finished in Paris on 23 July.

The analysis of Landis' B sample took place at France's national laboratory at Chatenay-Malabry in the presence of the American's Spanish lawyer, Jose Maria Buxeda, and experts from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the International Cycling Union (UCI).

"In accordance to the anti-doping rules, the Anti-Doping Commission of the UCI will request that the USA Cycling Federation open a disciplinary procedure against the rider," the UCI said in a statement.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006





Monday, July 17, 2006



This isn't sports related but the comedic value more than makes up for it. (video below)

I wove you, man

HONG KONG --Jackie Chan disrupted a concert by Taiwanese singer-songwriter Jonathan Lee and exchanged insults with the audience, a news report said Tuesday.

Ming Pao Daily News quoted the 52-year-old action star as saying onstage that he was drunk.

Chan suddenly jumped on the stage Monday night and demanded a duet with Lee. He then tried to conduct the band but stopped and restarted the music several times, the newspaper reported.

As the awkward interruption dragged on, audience members started to heckle Chan, who replied with an insult, according to the report.

A spokesman for Chan, Solon So, said he hadn't seen Chan since the alleged incident and had no immediate comment. He said he didn't attend the concert.

Concert organizers didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

Chan, whose Hollywood credits include the "Rush Hour" series and "The Tuxedo," was an invited performing guest at Lee's show Sunday night. []

What's an embarrassing drunken outburst in front of thousands without the video evidence? Feast your eyes on this.

Jackie Chan doesn't need a stuntman for his movies but it looks like he needs one for his alcohol consumption.

Chris Tucker's agent was contacted for comment and answered "my client couldn't buy that kind of publicity"

Thursday, July 13, 2006


No need to watch the bore fest on Sunday night. Here is the whole ESPY evening, broken down for you, Ron Jaworski style (without the telestrator)

We have freed up your Sunday night for better pursuits. The motive was purely altruistic so you don't have to thank us.

You're with him, Leather

Bruce Jenner's face, sponsored by Dr. 90210

Former actor Kevin Sorbo now works security detail for the Kodak Theater - he doesn't take his job seriously enough

Former skater Oksana Baiul's limo was supposed to take her to the AVN Awards

Brandy, on a mission to search and destroy an NBA baller's life. Never forget her 2 priceless gems on "Punk'd"; 1) The "do you know who I am?" routine and 2) pulling the race card.

Kobe and the Mrs.: Why did she stay with him? For the diamond rings, trips to St. Tropez and front row seats at the ESPYs. Those are much preferable to auditing courses at Laguna Beach Community College

Olympian gold medalists. Can you guess which one of these is not like the others?

ESPY Host Lance Armstrong gives audience the funny with some topical humor

Ben Stiller loses to Lance in thumb wrestling and proceeds to hit him with a tiny chair a la WWE... get it?... the person you hear still laughing is Christine Taylor

Quarterbacks Vince Young and Matt Leinart accept the award for "Best Game" for the 92nd Rose Bowl Game - Young is just happy that there was no pop quiz

After helping Carmen Electra present an award, Shaun White disappeared to his dressing room for 3 minutes

Mariah being Mariah. Manny's got nothing on her.

It was at this moment that Lance Armstrong suddenly realized he had 2 more peaks to climb

Will Ferrell is on the scene and ready to make the audience uncomfortable for the next five agonizingly long minutes. Lance wonders if it's too late to catch a flight to France.

Lance Armstrong, related to Neil Armstrong... Danica Patrick, related to Tera Patrick?

Jason McElwain - the only person in the building with redeeming qualities - from Greece-Athena High School kisses his trophy for best moment at the 2006 ESPY Awards

Ben can walk!!! Not since Michael Jackson moonwalked at Motown25 have so many people been this excited to see a man cross a stage under his own power.

Steelers win the "Thank God Ben Roethlisberger is Alive" Award in a unanimous vote. Also won year's "Best Team" Award.

Show's over, folks. Now, where did Leather go??

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Captain Red Ass... your guess is as good as mine.