04.30.15

NFL To La’el Collins : Sorry, Your Draft Stock Is Doomed

Posted in Gridiron, The Law at 7:25 pm by

After it was reported last week that likely first rounder OL La’el Collins (LSU) was sought for questioning concerning the shooting death of his 29-year-old ex-girlfriend, Collins petitioned the NFL to have his name removed from draft consideration tonight in Chicago. That request has been denied, and the Baton Rogue Advocate reports Collins, “is exploring all avenues relating to his future in football.”

Collins reportedly sought permission to withdraw from the draft and enter the league through the supplemental draft once his name is cleared from a police investigation.

Collins was once expected to be selected in the first round of the draft, which begins Thursday night. Various reports suggest that Collins is viewed as untouchable by many teams until this situation is settled.

Police have said Collins, 21, is not a suspect in the killing of 29-year-old Brittney Mills, who was fatally shot Friday night at her Ship Drive home. Mills died at her apartment, but was rushed to the hospital where her unborn son was delivered. The baby is expected to survive.

04.29.15

This Afternoon’s White Sox / O’s Matinee Was Not The First Major Sporting Event Played To An Invisible Audience

Posted in Baseball, Professional Wrestling at 11:11 pm by

As you’ve undoubtedly heard elsewhere, the Orioles ended two days of cancelled engagements with the White Sox at the former’s Camden Yards with a Wednesday afternoon contest played in an empty ballpark due to safety concerns in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s questionable death at the hands of Baltimore police. This of course, was not the first time an event of such stature took place in an otherwise vacant venue ; as recently as last Autumn, CSKA Moscow was forced to play their home Champions League fixtures to an empty Arena Khimki per order of UEFA following racist & violent behavior by their supporters.

Former CSTB contributor Ben Schwartz points out that last week marked the 34th anniversary of Terry Funk and Jerry Lawler’s 1985 clash at an empty Mid-South Coliseum :

Mavs To Rondo : Fuck Off & Die (Not Necessarily In That Order)

Posted in Basketball at 7:37 pm by

How exactly do we quantify the (allegedly injured) PG Rajon Rondo quitting on his Dallas teammates? Rondo’s failure to show up in the Mavs’ first-round loss to Houston surely hurt the ex-Celtic’s market value, much as you’d have to give Mark Cuban a failing grade for acquiring Rondo in the first place (and the week’s been bad enough for The Owner With A Boner as is — NICE WORK, CLAY TARVER). In the wake of all this, the Fort-Worth Star Telegram’s Dwain Price reports Rondo’s Mavs colleagues have noted not to split their playoff windfall, though by NBA standards, we’re talking tip money :

When it came time for the 14 players to vote on whether or not to give Rondo a share of the pool of money they earned for qualifying for the playoffs, the Mavs players voted not to give him a share, according to multiple sources.

For participating in the first round of the playoffs, the Mavs earned a total of $208,940. Shared equally among the other 14 players, that’s an estimated $14,924 per player.

Not voting a player a playoff share is not new territory for the Mavs. Back in 2012, the players on that Mavs’ squad voted not to give forward Lamar Odom a playoff share after he was waived on Apr. 8, 2012.

Odom’s end came when he and owner Mark Cuban were involved in a heated exchange in the locker room during an Apr. 7, 2012 game in Memphis. The Mavs played the final nine games of the regular season and their four postseason games without Odom, and were subsequently swept by Oklahoma City in the first round of the playoffs.

04.28.15

Scherzer : My Sophisticated Humor Is Lost On Jon Heyman

Posted in Baseball at 10:23 pm by

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman recently quoted Nats P Max Scherzer as claiming there’s no place for the designated hitter in the National League (“if you look at it from the macro side, who would you rather see hit, Big Papi or me?”), a stance that was criticized by San Francisco’s adept-with-the-bad Madison Bumgarner (“he knew the rules. Whatever much he signed for — what did he get, again? — he didn’t have a problem signing his name”). On Tuesday, Scherzer took to Twitter to, well, pretty much blame everything on Heyman (“I was making an attempt to be funny with those comments and nothing more…this is simply a case of a reporter taking a casual comment and turning it into a story with a specific agenda”). Quotes compiled by DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg :

“In a recent article written by Jon Heyman, there were comments taken out of context that I would like to clarify. First and foremost I value what my colleagues and fellow players think of me and it appears my casual and in-jest comments were not portrayed properly. I was having a casual conversation with Jon discussing Adam Wainwright’s injury and the subject of the DH and pitchers hitting came up. John [sic] asked me if the National League had the DH would it have made a difference in regards to Adam’s injury and I responded ‘no’ as I believed it to be a freak injury and had nothing to do with him actually hitting.

“John [sic] then asked me how I liked hitting in the NL since I made the switch over from the AL and I told John [sic] that I love to hit and enjoyed all of it (bunting, hitting, running the bases, etc.) to help our team any way to win a game. He asked if the NL should have the DL [sic] just like the AL and my response was simply an opinion that I thought at some point it would be good for both leagues to have the same rules.

The Halo In Halo’s Heaven Is Slightly Dented

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, non-sporting journalism at 10:19 am by

(“Rev. Halofan”, whatever you say, Arte)

The following post, headlined “Adios Angels! Addict Hamilton Denies Any Relapse Responsibility” and bylined Rev. Halofan, was published by SB Nation’s Halo’s Heaven yesterday at 5pm. It’s been deleted since, but it’s harder to understand what would possess someone to write such a thing, let alone publish it.

In a telling show that he is as infantile as the day he first shoved blow up his nose at the local tit bar, Josh Hamilton used the cover of an enabling Joint Drug Agreement (JDA) between MLB and the Players Union to deny any culpability in his relapse.

This coddled hillbilly had no shame in explaining that his relapse into drug and alcohol use (abuse?) was not his problem. As transcribed by Alden Gonzalez for MLB.com, Josh mocked Arte’s naiévété in believing Josh would put baseball first over booze, cocaine and the social nexus where these products are consumed away from society’s basic strictures. On Arte he said:

“He knew what the deal was when he signed me. Hands down. He knew what he was getting, he knew what the risks were, he knew all those things. Under the JDA, it is what it is.”

In other words: Arte signed an addict, that is his problem, not the addict’s problem. No accountability. No taking responsibility. No apologies. And so no accountability for his personal negligence. Just embracing the enablers, mocking the man who had faith in him.

Josh, when you finally die of a drug related matter it won’t be Arte Moreno’s fault. It won’t be the fault of the good fans in Anaheim who figured out your little game. They might have Donnie Moore’s karma on them but they won’t have yours. As much as I would like to say the blame for your future fate lies with the enabling national media and coddling players union, I think of Steve Howe’s face crushed against his truck’s windshield on a lonely interstate highway with crystal meth in his bloodstream and I know that all the blame will be on you, all of it, as it was with Howe. I can only hope that when you do yourself in, which you will, that, mercifully like Howe, you take nobody else with you.

Good bye Josh, today is the first day of the rest of your life and you used it to announce to the world that nothing will ever be your fault. Happy snorting.

04.27.15

Lennon : Mets Order Additional Bubblewrap For Harvey

Posted in Baseball at 9:47 pm by

With the recovering Matt Harvey being held to a pitch limit of 90 — and perhaps mindful that Terry Collins once allowed Johan Santana to throw something like 14,000 pitches in pursuit of the franchise’s solo no-no, Newsday’s David Lennon quotes an unnamed source as claiming the Mets will only allow The Dark Knight no more than 32 starts this season. So that means he can pitch long relief in September, right?

The next phase of the plan goes into effect this week when the Mets temporarily switch to a six-man rotation and call up Rafael Montero to start Tuesday in Miami. The Mets will go back to five again but intend to use a sixth starter periodically from that point forward to give Harvey extra rest on occasion. The Mets also could get looks at Long Islander Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard in these spot starts, barring injuries, of course.

Harvey is 4-0 with a 3.04 ERA through his first four starts and is averaging 6 2/3 innings, a pace that would put him at 200 innings for 30 starts or 213 innings for 32 by the end of the season. That’s more than the 180 to 190 the Mets had budgeted for Harvey, so they’ll need to get creative — and why Harvey’s complete-game push in Saturday’s 8-2 rout of the Yankees won’t be happening much from now on.

Orioles Exec Takes A Pass On Demonizing Protestors

Posted in Baseball at 7:29 pm by

After a week of mostly peaceful protests over Freddie Gray’s death at the hands of the Baltimore P.D. degenerated into violence — some of it occurring close to Camden Yards — the Orioles opted to postpone tonight’s contest against the White Sox citing safety concerns.  Beforehand, however, club COO John Angelos displayed a sophisticated-by-MLB standards perspective on the unrest (“inconvenience at a ballgame (is) irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans”) in a series of tweets compiled by For The Win’s Ted Berg :

My greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights.