Especially if you are not exactly a gazelle. It hurts just to watch this.
Especially if you are not exactly a gazelle. It hurts just to watch this.
The Red Sox are really, really happy when Big Papi’s bursitis isn’t barking so loud. David Ortiz stepped up to the plate and ripped a RBI single on the first pitch he saw in 10 days, sparking Boston to a 13-2 victory over Texas.
That moved Boston a game ahead of the Yankees, as if manager Terry Francona is focused on the American League East standings with so much time left in the season.
“I think there’s more significance to what food’s being served in there tonight,” he sniffed.
Especial to Ortiz.
CRUMMY EFFORT OF THE NIGHT
Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia blew up again, allowing the light-hitting Dodgers to score seven runs in five innings. During the six-run Los Angeles third inning, the dispirited Garcia failed to back up the plate (or was slow getting there) several times.
Weren't the Cardinals supposed to contend this season?
FROM THE BLOG-O-SPEAR
The Lost Letterman noted that Oregon running back Lache Seastrunk said it was God who told him to leave Eugene and transfer to Baylor:
It apparently has nothing to do with the NCAA breathing down the necks of Seastrunk and the Ducks for Seastrunk’s relationship with street agent Willie Lyles.
Coincidentally, Seastrunk said it was God who helped guide him to Eugene in the first place when he shockingly decided to commit there in January of 2010.
Hmm, maybe Oregon coach Chip Kelly should try telling the NCAA it was God that told him to buy Lyles’ scouting service.
It’s better than the other excuses Kelly has come up with so far.
SPEAKING OF BAILING OUT
So what’s going on in Ann Arbor? The once-mighty Michigan football program keeps losing players. Freshman tight end Chris Barnett is the latest to bail, following freshman offensive lineman Tony Posada and junior receiver Je'Ron Stokes out the door.
PILING ON TIM TEBOW
So what does Boomer Esiason think of the Bronco quarterback prospect? Um, not much. .
“He can't play. He can't throw," Esiason said at a CBS press event in New York. “I'm not here to insult him.”
“The reality is he was a great college football player, maybe the greatest college football player of his time,” Esiason said. “But he's not an NFL quarterback right now. Just because he's God-fearing, and a great person off the field, and was a winner with the team that had the best athletes in college football, doesn't mean his game is going to translate to the NFL.”
Bruce Pearl might be finished as a major college basketball head coach. The NCAA stuck him with three-year "show-cause" sanction for fibbing about violations at the University of Tennessee.
Pearl is banned from recruiting for the next three years. Any school hiring him would have to appeal to the NCAA to have that ban lifted.
Coaches have come back from worse, but the journey is difficult. This ruling made Pearl one the greatest college basketball cheating casualties of modern times.
Here is a Top Ten countdown:
10) Jim O’Brien, Ohio State: He paid an enormous price for a single act of generosity -- sending $6,000 to the mother of Serbian recruit Aleksander Radojevic $6,000 in 1998. O’Brien owned up to it, yet the Ohio State University fired him in 2004 and the NCAA saddled him with a show-cause ruling.
O’Brien termed the payment a “humanitarian loan” to widowed mother. Radojevic never played for the Buckeyes, yet the school vacated its 1999 Final Four appearance, banned itself from the 2005 postseason and trimmed two scholarships for that year. The NCAA put the program on probation for three years.
The coach did not go quietly. O'Brien sued the school, earning a $2.5 million judgment, and appealed his NCAA penalty. He later returned to coaching with Division III Emerson University.
9) Jim Harrick, UCLA, Rhode Island and Georgia: Controversy followed him around his coaching trail. He lost his job at UCLA for falsifying expense reports amid concerns about a recruiting violation. At Georgia, allegations by former player Tony Cole stirred an academic fraud controversy that led to his forced resignation.
Among Cole’s claims: He bought a TV with Harrick’s credit card, took about $900 from a booster and had phone and hotel bills paid by Harrick’s son (and assistant coach) Jim Harrick Jr. Then there was the matter of Harrick Jr. giving not-so-grueling tests at players in his basketball course, featuring questions like: “How many points do you get for a 3-point shot?”
Harrick did some NBA scouting and coached in the Association’s developmental league.
8) Bruce Pearl, Tennessee: His downfall was rich with irony, since Pearl leveled charges against Illinois while recruiting as an Iowa assistant coach in the late 1980s. Pearl was trying to land Deon Thomas, but Illini assistant Jimmy Collins got him instead.
Pearl's claimed Collins offered the player a car and money to sign. His broached that topic during a taped telephone call with Thomas. This led to a NCAA probe that resulted in Collins losing off-campus recruiting privileges for two years.
Collins later served as head coach at the University of Illinois-Chicago before retiring. "What goes around comes around," he said after Pearl's problems at Tennessee arose.
7) Kevin Sampson, Oklahoma and Indiana: At OU, he racked up numerous NCAA violations for making impermissible recruiting calls. When he landed on his feet with the Hooisers, he vowed to do better.
“It is a little bit embarrassing to stand up here and be asked about NCAA violations, but you also have to realize we're human and we make mistakes,” he told reporters after IU hired him. “I made a mistake but we've corrected it and moved forward.”
The correction didn’t hold. Sampson got caught doing the same thing while still under NCAA sanctions for the earlier violations. That was it for the college career. Sampson joined the Milwaukee Bucks as assistant coach and presumably got carte blanche to phone players whenever he liked.
6) Clem Haskins, Minnesota: A wide-ranging 1990s scandal ended his coaching career, led to wholesale resignations in the school’s athletic department and left the program facing heavy NCAA sanctions.
The transgressions were many and varied: Cash payments to players, mail fraud involving player transcripts, academic fraud and the refusal to act on complaints about his players’ behavior on campus. A department employee admitted writing more than 400 papers and take-home tests for his players. His staff leaned on professors to favorably change grades for players in academic trouble.
Haskins took a buyout – some of which was returned after the school sued him – and retired to his farm in Kentucky.
5) Jerry Tarkanian, Long Beach State, UNLV and Fresno State: Allegations of NCAA rules violations dogged “Tark the Shark” throughout his career, but he fought back with litigation that kept his career rolling along. He sued the NCAA in 1992 and reached a $2.5 million settlement in 1998.
A variety of problems arose for Tarkanian during the latter stages of his career, at Fresno State, and led to his retirement. Tito Maddox departed after accepting gifts from an agent, Chris Sandy was suspended for receiving a loan to pay for a community college course and Melvin Ely was suspended for receiving improper benefits.
Tarkanian continued assailing the NCAA in retirement. He called it “the crookedest organization in our society” during a speaking engagement in Arkansas.
4) Todd Bozeman, California: He was of the rising stars in the coaching profession, a hot-shot recruiter who had the Bears dreaming about national titles. And then he earned an eight-year "show cause" sanction from the NCAA for paying more than $30,000 to the parents of player Jelani Gardner.
The parents ratted out Bozeman after becoming dissatisfied with their son's playing time. Exiled from coaching after his 1996 dismissal, he finally resurfaced as coach of the struggling Morgan State program -- and led that squad to a NCAA Tournament berth.
3) Norm Ellenberger, New Mexico: He led the program to great heights before his dismissal in 1979 over the “Lobogate” academic scandal. Much of the team was declared ineligible and Ellenberger and assistant coaches faced federal mail-fraud indictments.
The U.S. Attorney's office released a transcript of a tapped telephone conversation between Ellenberger and one of his assistants, Manny Goldstein, discussing paying off a junior-college official to get a forged transcript for guard Craig Gilbert. The story got more sordid from there, with allegations of drug abuse in the program, cash payoffs to players, financial fraud within the athletic department and suspicious relationships between Ellenberger and well-known local gamblers with possible organized crime ties.
Despite his resulting convictions, Ellenberger managed to revive his career as an assistant coach under Bob Knight at Indiana and Tim Floyd with the Chicago Bulls.
2) Dana Kirk, Memphis: When a coach ends up in jail, that is the ultimate sign that a program veered out of control. Kirk ended up doing four months of soft time at a federal minimum-security prison on convictions for tax evasion and witness intimidation.
Former Tigers star Keith Lee testified that he received $40,000 in payoffs from Kirk. Other witnesses testified that Kirk scalped tickets and solicited kickbacks from tournament promoters.
Memphis vacated its 1985 Final Four appearance and was banned from the 1987 tournament as part of the NCAA sanctions. The scandal precluded Kirk from coaching again, but he reemerged as a public figure while hosting a radio show in Memphis before his death last year.
1) Dave Bliss, Baylor: How could any rogue coach hope to top what happened in Waco? Wholesale cheating in the program came to light after one player, Carlton Dotson, shot and killed another player, Patrick Dennehy.
The laundry list of problems included rampant drug use in the program, illegal tryouts, improper tuition payments for players and a cover-up attempt orchestrated by Bliss. As assistant coach claimed Bliss threatening him with dismissal if he go along with the lie – and produced a tape-recorded conversation to prove the charge.
The resulting NCAA sanctions including a one-year ban on non-conference play and a 10-year “show cause” sanction on Bliss. He later coached the Athletes in Action squad and at the high school level . . . where he earned sanctions for major recruiting violations at the Allen Academy.
But at least there has been no gun play to this point.
While University of Tennessee sports fans were absorbing the terrible news about women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, word leaked that former Vols men’s coach Bruce Pearl will get a virtual death sentence from the NCAA – a three-year “show cause” ruling that will render him virtually unemployable in the college game.
That bad news should become official today.
Fans will remember happier times for these two, when a shirtless Pearl cheered on Summitt’s team and Pat returned the favor by donning a cheerleader outfit to support Bruce's team.
Those were glorious times for the good people of Knoxville. The party seemed like it would last forever.
Vols fans got more bad news when they learned widely disliked former football coach Lane Kiffin would escape NCAA scrutiny with just a wrist slap.
ABOUT LAST NIGHT: GIANT DISAPPOINTMENT
The San Francisco Giants couldn’t afford to lose to the visiting San Diego Padres at home, but they did – 7-5, after overcoming a 4-0 deficit to tie the game 5-5. This was an exceedingly painful loss for an injury-depleted team.
Fill-in reliever Ramon Ramirez, subbing for The Beard, spit up two runs in the ninth inning to erase his team's spirited rally.
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler was left scratching his head:
It was a strange night, start to finish. The Giants even got Steve Bartman'd. In the seventh, Padres pinch-hitter James Darnell hit a long foul to right field off Matt Cain. A fan with a glove leaned against the railing and stole the ball from right fielder Cody Ross. Cue the old folk-song refrain, "When Will They Ever Learn?"
Elsewhere in the MLB, Tuesday was a good night for young relievers. Chris Perez (Cleveland Indians) and Jordan Walden (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Orange County California) earned key playoff race victories and Craig Kimbrel (Atlanta Braves) locked down his 40th save. That reminded general managers everywhere of the value of acquiring or developing big young arms as opposing to overpaying for older ones.
That’s not to say Padres Heath Bell won’t cash in with free agency; he banked his 35th save against the Giants.
CRUMMY EFFORT OF THE NIGHT
Just a few weeks ago, the St. Louis Cardinals were in the National League playoff hunt. But then came their free fall, punctuated by their 13-2 loss to the light-hitting Los Angeles Dodgers. Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse allowed eight runs in three innings. Manager Tony La Russa let reliever Mitchell Boggs hit for himself with the bases loaded (he struck out) so he could stay in the game – and La Russa still ran out of pitchers.
The final indignity: Infielder/outfielder Skip Schumaker worked the ninth for the Cardinals and his old friend Aaron Miles jacked him for a two-run blast. Schumaker was able to hit the low 90s with his fastball and he effectively changed speeds, so he offered more than fallen closer Ryan Franklin did earlier this season.
He is not the first position player La Russa has called on to work out of the bullpen during his tenure.
COMEBACK OF THE NIGHT
On the other hand, courageous Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday returned the lineup after surviving the previous night’s moth attack. Profiles in courage!
GIANT INJURY CRISIS
The real games are weeks away, yet New York Football Giants are already seriously depleted. New York Post scribe Paul Schwartz assessed the damage:
For the Giants to have a prayer this season they will have to get past what even by harsh NFL standards was a dizzying 24 hours. They already were processing the devastating loss of star-in-the-making cornerback Terrell Thomas to a torn right ACL when they learned defensive tackle Marvin Austin (torn pectoral muscle), their rookie second-round pick, and reserve cornerback Brian Witherspoon (torn ACL) also were hurt in the pyrrhic 41-13 victory over the Bears. All three will require surgery that will end their seasons before they ever began.
Sports By Brooks laid a heavy hit on new Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie, leading to full scale Twitter warfare later in the day. Gillispie has run off trainer Jon Murray, basketball secretary Leslie Hartline and assistant coach Chris Beard since taking over the program. Wrote Brooks:
Beard left the program after multiple, heated altercations with the irascible and intractable Gillispie, the final of which was physically broken up by Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt. That final conflict was a mediation of sorts after Beard had previously decided to leave the program because of Gillispie’s poor treatment of Tech employees, a former player and concern over Gillispie’s fast-and-loose recruiting tactics.
Sorry Bro: Sports Through Houser wondered about Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow getting fragged in Denver:
The Broncos are in shambles as an organization due to their personnel, not the person who will become their scapegoat, Tebow. Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn are in their final years of their contracts in which the team really don't have confidence in signing them for multi-years (which all free agents want) afterwards. So Denver Broncos' fans can thank their management for when Adam Weber or a rookie to be determined later becomes their 2012 starting QB while Tebow will be in Indianapolis, learning from the master Peyton Manning. His resurrection with the Colts will bring revenge towards John Elway, John Fox and the various members who scorned him in 2011.
What, shaggy Curtis Painter is the heir apparent in Indy?
FROM THE TWEETDECK
Jon Heyman: “Over the next calendar year, guessing Nevin isn’t going to be a popular baby name.”
Sportswatch: "It might be time for an intervention to help ESPN overcome its creepy obsession with the Little League World Series."
First a praying mantis takes a run at Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison in the Florida dugout, traumatizing him. The visibly shaken Morrison was later demoted to the minors, where he presumably is still trying to regroup.
Then a moth attacked defenseless Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday Monday, flying into his ear and forcing him out of the game.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch scribe Derrick Goold described the aftermath: "A team official who spoke with the Cardinals' trainers said the left fielder was taken into a dark room in hopes that the moth would "seek light" and fly out of the ear on its own. That did not work. A trainer then had to use tweezers to reach deep into Holliday's ear and remove the insect."
Goold reported that the moth was still alive upon its removal and that Holliday took it home with him.
But look at this blatant attempt to give an opposing player a season-ending injury. Thank goodness fans are keeping an eye on this stuff -- because the officials have no idea out there.
Then your conversations would go something like this. How unbearable would that be?
Is they just don't behave during the President's Race. Manners please.
Is that they are so terribly difficult to see.
Elsewhere in South Florida, baseball fans are wondering why their ball club exiled outfielder Logan Morrison. The Palm Beach Post offered up some details along with a Q and A session with the demoted slugger.
Since I had Morrison on two different fantasy baseball teams, I'm taking the petty actions of Marlins management personally.
Yeah, this kid is outspoken. And he is a Twitter king. And it seems he has had some beefs with the team's promotional staff.
But a 17-homer, 60-RBI guy belongs in the majors? No sir. Many teams would be thrilled to have this kid right now, with a .249 batting average and all.
Let's hope the Marlins move him in the off-season to a franchise looking to utilize his power while embracing his freedom of speech.