Friday, May 20, 2005With Friends Like These..
Karl Malone's mansion overlooking the Salt Lake Valley was sold Thursday at auction for less than half the original asking price, and the surprise winning bidder was Malone's longtime agent.
Dwight Manley had the highest bid Thursday at $2.5 million, ending the sale of the estate that has been on the market for nearly two years. Manley will have to pay an additional 10 percent auction fee, pushing the total price to $2.75 million for
a property that once had been listed at $6.1 million.
"It's just not very often you buy something for less than half of what it would cost to build," Manley said from California...
Damn, it's sad enough this guy has been taking 10% of Malone's cash for 15 years, now he takes the man's house at less than half the value.
"I feel bad for him and I'm in shock about what I paid," Manley said.
Anyone believe that one?
Karl Malone's Agent Stiffs Him Again [AP]
Give Ricky the Finger...
Nonetheless Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote suggests a rude welcome for Ricky. But after the initial venom, give the guy a break.
You don't need to forget or forgive that Williams abandoned the Dolphins less than a year ago to follow his own eccentric muse, the shocker that surely tipped the first domino on Miami's awful 4-12 season.
But you probably do need to admit, if only into a mirror or in a confessional at church, that the 2005 Dolphins would be a better team with a presumably reenergized Ricky than without him.
Here's a compromise for the torn fan. Boo No. 34 during pregame introductions on opening day if you must. Slap him on the wrist. Make your statement. Hold up a ''Traitor!'' sign, even. Let him know that we know he was selfish and that we don't tolerate that type of behavior around these parts.
And then cheer wildly the first time he turns the corner and shoulders past some flyweight cornerback for 21 yards.
Chant ''Rick-y! Rick-y!'' -- but maybe softly, to let him know you're not over it yet -- as he torpedoes into the end zone.
However how long will they have to cheer him? He might be coming back, but he's not staying in Miami for more than a minute.
Boo Ricky, Then Cheer, if it Eases Pain [Miami Herald]
Saban: Ricky's Very Very Interested [Miami Herald]
Shocker, Romanowski Took Drugs...
Is this a surprise? Not particularly, pretty much everyone knew Romanowski was a drugged up felon. But like I said, this guy is probably the biggest punk in sports and he gets maybe 5% of the venom that...Barry Bonds get.
"I didn't want that embarrassment, but I pushed that envelope ethically and morally because if I could take something that would help me perform better and it wasn't on the list, I was going to take it. I had two criteria: Would it hurt me? And would I test positive?
"... At the core, I compromised my integrity to become the best I could be, to perform at the highest level possible."
There's a man you want your kids to follow. And the sad thing is, a lot of kids, especially undersized high school kids look up to this guy because he was such an "intense" freak. He wa part of this rage that the NFL loved to market to kids. "Hey young man, take greenies and you can be just like this crazy asshole!"
"I'm always pushing that envelope. And in doing that, there are times that I've crossed the line. There are things I'm not proud of. But nobody will ever be able to say, man, Romanowski was lazy here, or he didn't work hard here, or he could have done this to help his career in that way.''
Ahh the infamous "hey no one can't say I didn't work hard" well no shit, I've usually found that those who take performance enhancing drugs usually go the extra mile. That's part of the drugs. And there are things he's not proud of? I seriously doubt that one.
Still back to Bonds vs. Romo. The media doesn't like Bonds, they shouldn't like him, he's a dick to most of them. But why should that matter to fans? Bonds never spat in guy's faces, he never ended a guy's career in practice. I wonder how Romanowski is to the media. He's probably a halfway decent guy to them so they don't run him through the shredder like he deserves.
Now he wasn't the nicest guy to the fans but it wasn't like he beat them up. He just ignored them, hell he ignores his teammates, what makes you so much better? Fans don't like him because he cheats? Well McGwire cheated and we threw him a parade. Fans like home runs, Bonds has given us 703. I'm not saying worship the guy, but he's not the end all be all of sports villians.
Especially when there's Bill Romanowski out there.
Romanowski's Revealing Ruminations [SF Chronicle]
Romo's Believe It or Not [Mercury-News]
Thursday, May 19, 2005That's the Spirit Danny
However, you've gotta love this quote by convicted arsonist Danny Kolb.
"Leadoff walks don't bother me,'' Kolb insisted. "I'm a ground ball pitcher and I can get double plays. Now I just to have get them to hit ground balls at someone.''
So far Kolb's has allowed 18 hits and 12 runs in 16.2 innings. He's also walked 16. I think the batters are hitting ground balls at someone. Unfortunately that someone is the bullpen catcher.
Braves Face Problems in Quest to Repeat [AP]
Laboring Labor Talks
The NBA and the NBA Players union have broken off talks over a new labor agreement. They have time to get them started yet, but this isn't the message the league needs to have going through the media during its playoffs.
Comparing the situations between the leagues shows that the similiarities aren't there. The NHL is dealing with a players union that is spoiled and unrealistic while the NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman doesn't really have the respect of anyone. Hockey's marketing appeal fell so much from the successful 2002 Olympics that Bettman was forced to sign a bare bones (relatively speaking) TV deal just to keep the product on American television.
The NBA just signed a pretty decent TV deal with ABC/ESPN and they seemed to be turning the corner with the product this season. There's a new group of superstars that are starting to establish themselves and last year a lot of people saw the 400 pound gorilla in L.A. get smashed by the team-first Pistons.
However they are risking all this momentum if July 1 strikes without a deadline agreement, the 1999 lockout absolutely destroyed a sport that was already going to suffer from the second retirement of Michael Jordan and the dismantling of the Chicago Bulls.
So my suggestion to David Stern and Billy Hunter is to take a break from each other for the month. Both sides know what needs to get done and David Stern is arguably the best Commissioner in sports. Both sides need to give each other some space and by the beginning of June start discussing how to compromise. Unlike the NHL I don't think the sides are as far apart. The only thing that worries me are comments like these:
The three-month era of good feeling ended with a bang. The league said that after meeting with prominent player agents, the union backed out of agreement on several points, including the league's key demand, reducing the length of contracts from seven years to five.
The union made no statement, but ESPN's Greg Anthony said union director Billy Hunter, who is black, told him the league's suggestion the agents were running things was "racist" and "bigoted."
In a predominately white league office and predominately black union, the race issue has always been there and it would make life a lot easier if both sides squashed it and apologized.
And a memo to Stern: Drop the age limit, it's not worth a lockout.
NBA Labor Talks Take a Bad Turn [LA Times]
Ball Now in Their Court [Boston Globe]
NBA Doesn't Need a Lockout [Sports Network]
This Bud's for You
This glorious afternoon in May was vastly different from the sour evening in March when a different committee whacked Selig and baseball all around Capitol Hill. "Different atmosphere," Selig said yesterday, as if the difference was between two casts of representatives. It was not.
This was a new Allan H. Selig on display for all the world to see, a man who spoke enthusiastically of 50-game suspensions for first offenders, 100-game suspensions for repeaters and lifetime bans for three-time losers.
Selig did everything but stand up on a table and shout, "Off with their heads!" It was perhaps his finest hour. Cringing Selig, dithering Selig, consensus-gathering Selig was long gone.
Well finally, after many years, it looks like Bud is standing up for himself...and for the game of baseball.
This Fight Leaves Selig Pumped Up [NYT]
Well after a "long and strenuous" review of his work, the Detroit Free-Pass...Press has let Mr. Albom continue to hone his craft. And right away Albom hits 'em hard with this lede:
So I'm walking past the Palace loading dock Tuesday night, after the Pistons waxed the Pacers in Game 5 of their series, and there, standing by the bus, were Rasheed Wallace and Jermaine O'Neal, and they were talking and laughing and at one point they must have shared a joke so funny that Rasheed doubled over and shook his head in hysterics.
Now, as you know, these two do not play for the same team. An hour earlier, they had been battling on the court. They often guard each other in the blood feud known as Detroit-Indiana. They are "opponents" in every sports sense of the word.
Right away Albom comes with the thunder. Don't you love how he just randomly happened to be walking past this random loading dock on a random night and....guess what he catches out of the corner of his eye. Two guys joking..
But these aren't two normal guys. They are opponents and pro basketball players *gasp*. Welcome back Mitch, I'm sure someone missed you.
Friendships Don't Have Time-Outs [Free-Press]
Free-Press Editor Announcers Reforms Prompted by Albom Scandal [E&P]
The Pacers believed they had a step up on laying claim to this season's NBA championship while blowing out the Pistons in Detroit until Ben Wallace sent his headband flying, a cup followed and . . . well, the rest is history.
It's remarkable the Pacers still are standing after all the blows they have taken.Their planned starting five for the season never played a game together with Miller's early season injury and then the suspensions to Artest, Stephen Jackson and O'Neal. They had 32 different starting lineups and 435 games lost to injury or suspension.
But they made the playoffs--as the sixth seed--went to Boston and blew out the Celtics at home in Game 7 of the first round before taking two of three from the Pistons.
We have seen this series before--in 1989. Michael Jordan hit the famous game-winner against Cleveland and the sixth-seeded Bulls were on an unlikely roll, winning in the second round and then taking two of three from heavy favorite Detroit. The Pistons woke up in Game 4 and ran the Bulls out in six games.
That's what this Pistons-Pacers series now looks like.
The Pacers must hold the current record for "most times a team has been written off during a single postseason."
I'll wait to say my goodbyes.
A Hand for Pacers, Miller [Chicago Tribune]
It's All in the Color
In all, the study in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature found that red-clad Olympians in the four sports won about 55 percent of the time, compared with 45 percent of their blue-wearing competitors. The disparity was largest among competitors of similar ability, while the advantage of wearing red seemed to decrease among mismatched opponents.
"Basically, if you're hopeless, wearing red won't turn you into a winner, but it may mean that you don't lose as badly, as often," said study co-author Robert Barton, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Durham in England.
So how do they explain the Arizona Cardinals?
Want to Win, Wear Red [Newsday]
Wednesday, May 18, 2005Stark vs. AP: You Decide...
ESPN.com's Jayson Stark originally stated that Bonds is immobilized and is receiving IV 24/7. His rehabilition is going so poorly that according to Stark its not a matter of when Bonds will be back, but if Bonds will be back. Originally Stark also stated that Bonds was facing a serious post-operative infection on his knee.
However, thanks to the magic of updated reports and an AP story, people around Bonds say that's not the case at all and the ESPN.com story changed and added in the following quote lifted from AP
"As of today, Barry Bonds is no longer on IV antibiotics," Giants trainer Stan Conte said. "This allows Barry to be a little more mobile, he has been pretty much stationary because of the IV. ... It's still important to keep a close check on the infection and make sure that it is totally eradicated."
The AP story goes even further.
Bonds is not immobilized "by any stretch of the imagination,'' his spokeswoman, Rachael Vizcarra, said Wednesday night.
"Barry's doing great. The IV antibiotic is very standard. He's not on it any longer, and he's progressing very well. He really wants to get back to his teammates,'' she said.
Oh I wish I would've saved that screen shot before ESPN saved themselves.
Updated Report on Bonds [ESPN.com]
Story With Old ESPN information [MSNBC]
Commissioners to Congress: BACK OFF
This comes only a few days after MLB Commish Bud Selig said he will SUPPORT Congress in policing drug use in his league if the MLBPA doesn't back his stronger stance on steroids. I wish he'd make up his mind.
The Capitol Hill hearing was held as part of the continuing debate about athletes' use of performance-enhancing substances, particularly steroids. The issue of steroids in sports drew intensified Congressional interest after the former major leaguer Jose Canseco wrote a book asserting that several former teammates, including some of baseball's biggest stars, had used steroids to enhance their skills and performance.
A House committee held hearings in March, and Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida, later introduced legislation, the Drug Free Sports Act, that would require all professional sports in the United States to adopt steroid-testing rules similar to those that govern Olympic sports and many other international sports federations, like the World Anti-Doping Agency.
But Mr. Selig and others who testified before the subcommittee today expressed concern about such a group taking charge of drug policy for their sports. The World Anti-Doping Agency has much harsher punishments for those caught cheating, including two-year bans for athletes caught cheating and expulsion for a second offense.
Well it looks like the pressure has finally forced some groups to cave in. Already the NBA and NFL are well on their way to stiffer drug penalties while the NHL and MLS takes theirs on a case-by-case basis.
For the lesser leagues (the NHL especially) that's not going to fly for long. I personally think drug-use is as bad in hockey as it is in baseball. As for soccer, I'm just tired of all the flopping.
Sports Chiefs Tell House to Let Them Police Drugs [NYT]
Congress Seeks Tougher Sanctions Against Steroids [LA Times]
Rhoden: Fix the NBA Lottery
Bill Rhoden of the New York Times thinks the NBA has a serious image problem and its possible that revisiting the "frozen envelope" theory of the 1984 lottery might not be a bad idea.
[Joe] Dumars and Isiah Thomas were stars of the Detroit teams in the 1980's that had to go through star-studded Boston and Los Angeles. That was a large part of the N.B.A. drama. "For guys in Detroit to go beat teams like L.A., Boston, that was special," Dumars said. "That you beat Los Angeles in the finals, or that you beat Boston in the conference finals to get there, that was an added bonus."
Now things are flipped: the large market teams are chasing the small and medium market teams. Detroit crushing Indiana's little engine doesn't have the same resonance as the Pistons going after the Lakers or the Celtics. Look at the Pistons' next likely series. Miami, suddenly energized by the presence of Shaquille O'Neal and the rise of the phenomenal Dwyane Wade, is compelling.
The trade that sent O'Neal from Los Angeles to Miami instantly changed the Heat from a veritable little engine into a diesel. The N.B.A. is enhanced by having Shaq in Miami, just as the league was tremendously enhanced in 1996 when Shaq decided, or was persuaded, to leave Orlando and play for the Lakers.
Would it be so bad for the league to have LeBron James in New York rather than his wasting away in Cleveland? Of course not.
There is some danger in this thinking, but let's be honest, the league is definitely missing the star factor right now. Kobe's Lakers died, T-Mac's Rockets were eliminated. I think we all are loving Dwyane Wade but Shaq is still Miami's draw.
I don't see the "frozen envelope" coming into play with this draft. But let's monitor the free agent movement over the next few years. Where will guys like LeBron, Carmelo, Chris Bosh and others play during the prime of their careers. I don't think Cleveland, Denver and Toronto will be the right answer.
NBA Needs Another Frozen Envelope [NYT]
Schilling Still Out; Red Sox Manage...
However, despite this setback the Red Sox have somehow managed to field a team and win games. While this news isn't shocking to some it hasn't been comforting to Schilling as he struggles with his battle of the bul...err rehab.
Also until he is healed Schilling feels no need to speak to the print media. Thank god for small miracles.
Uncertainty for Schilling [Boston Globe]
NBA Dribbles Through Congress
Juan Dixon was the only NBA player to testify in front of Congress, presumably because he finished last in the offseason NBA Live tournament. And today NBA chief David Stern said he'll double the punishment on steroids and do a lifetime ban after the third offense.
However, someone should've told Congress that steroids isn't the drug issue in the NBA, it's marijuana. If Congress proposed a grass-feed association, that would definitely get someone's attention. Imagine Lamar Odom being pressed on whether or not he's smoked weed. His answers would make Mark McGwire's seem somewhat honest.
Leagues Put in Hot Seat by Congress [LA Times]
Stern Wants to Get Tough on 'Roids [AP]
Wizards' Dixon to Testify [AP]
Tuesday, May 17, 2005Will They Ever Lose Again?
I don't think they can keep this pace up but right now it doesn't seem like there's a pitcher that can handle their offense until they face Pedro Martinez on Friday. So can they make it ten tonight? We'll see.
Yankees 6, Mariners 3 [Sports and Bremertonians]
Yankees' Martinez Swings Into Action [Seattle Times]
Webber Wants Out?
According to a "friend" Webber says that Iverson dribbles too much and he wants out. Of course anyone can have him at the bargain price of $63 million dollars (over 3 years), which means that he's stuck in the City of Brotherly Love.
Of course Webber is backtracking because he realizes that:
a) He has been nothing short of a disappointment since arriving in Philly.
b) The Philly fans hate him because of 'a'
c) The Philly fans love Iverson.
So I'm sure the "Answer" will get and apology and a re-committment to excellent from his new sidekick.
Webber's Message is Loud & Clear [MSNBC]
Webber Puts Blame on Himself [Philly Inquirer]
The Best DAMN Sports Figure
Now Serving Desperate Housewives.
John Salley and Tom Arnold used to be on the Best DAMN Sports Show together. That's pretty much where the similarities end. Thanks to the boys at PTI and a few gossip sheets it's been passed around that Salley has been seen at the occasional nightclub swapping stories (and saliva) with the top desparate housewife, Teri Hatcher.
Now with the romance surrounding Eva Longoria and Tony Parker along with the silly controversy of a naked Nicolette Sheridan jumping in the arms of Terrell Owens makes me think that some of these housewifes are desperately seeking athletes.
However, we should all bow down and send a toast out to Mr. Salley. He is obviously a man amongst men. How much does anyone want to bet that Salley might make a little guest appearance on the new season of ABC's hit show?
Short & Tall of Teri Hatcher [Page Six]
Monday, May 16, 2005Pole Day at Indy...
Don't frown Danica, you're still on the inside front of Maxim's Hot 100.
I'm not much for car racing but I like the Indianapolis 500 since most of the drivers can speak strong english (even the foreign ones), one of the racer's wives is Ashley Judd and...Danica Patrick is going to be racing.
I think Tony Kanaan won the pole but who cares about him, it's going to be all Danica TV when she starts from the 4th spot.
I also dig that Castroneves guy because of the way he says Castroneves. Here's a few links for those that love auto racing and hate NASCAR.
Kaanan Endures Long Wait [Indianapolis Star]
Patrick Makes Indy History [Sun-Times]
Castroneves Gambles..and Loses [Toledo Blade]
Fans Gone Wild
Well Spiderman he ain't.
I was looking for a Giambi beer photo but those photos weren't as interested as Eric Byrnes trying to help a lost fan find his seat.
What's up with fans in Oakland? I know the team is awful this year but why go and raise hell? Why not be like Devil Rays and just ignore the team altogether.
As for the A's, it's bad enough they've lost 8 in a row but now they've lost Rich Harden for a couple of starts and Barry Zito's trade value had dropped faster than Cambodian midgets.
Give this team a new owner. Please.
Oakland A's Fan Coalition [Homepage]
Harden Goes on DL [Mercury-News]
A's Introduce Biodegradable Beer Cups [Inside Bay Area]
Lion Mauls Midgets in Cambodia [BBC Satire]
The Streak Is Over....
The fighting Orange's storied lacrosse team, which featured all-world lacrosser (??) Jim Brown in the 50s, had its NCAA semifinals streak snapped this weekend with a 16-15 loss to UMass. The Orange had made the Final Four every year since 1982. Syracuse scored 11 goals in the second half, but sadly it wasn't enough for the defending champions.
Hats off to the Syracuse Orange, excellent run.
UMass Ousts Syracuse [Boston Globe]
Syracuse Sees Final Four Streak Ended [USA Today]