|04.12.13 at 8:03 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: White Sox at Indians, 7 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Braves at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Celtics at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE, NBATV; WEEI-AM)
NBA: Thunder at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (NBATV)
NHL: Red Wings at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
Golf: Masters, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke broke his left collarbone Thursday day during a bench-clearing brawl with the Padres that began when San Diego’s Carlos Quentin charged the mound after getting hit by a full-count pitch in the sixth inning of a one-run game. The bad blood continued after the game, as Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp confronted Quentin as they were leaving the park before being separated by police and security.
Quentin has been hit 116 times in his career, including an American League-high 23 times in 2011 when he played for the White Sox. He leads all of baseball in HBPs since 2008. Greinke hit Quentin twice before — in 2008 and 2009.
“I never hit him on purpose,” Greinke said. “I never thought about hitting him on purpose. He always seems to think that I’m hitting him on purpose, but that’s not the case. That’s all I can really say about it.”
Said Quentin: “I’ve been hit by many pitches. Some have been intentional, some have not been. For the amount I have been hit and my hitting style, I’m going to repeat: I have never reacted that way.”
The Dodgers, who went on to a 3-2 victory, were livid about the situation.
“That’s just stupid is what it is,” said manager Don Mattingly. “[Quentin] should not play a game until Greinke can pitch. If he plays before Greinke pitches, something’s wrong. He caused the whole thing. Nothing happens if he goes to first base.”
Added Kemp: “I think Carlos Quentin went to Stanford, something like that? I heard there’s smart people at Stanford. That wasn’t too smart. Greinke didn’t do anything wrong. That stuff happens in the minor leagues. It doesn’t happen in the big leagues.”
♦ As Rutgers continues to struggle in the aftermath of the Mike Rice scandal, the school is looking for a new basketball coach. It won’t be New Jersey native Danny Hurley, as Hurley reportedly turned down the job and signed an extension to remain at Rhode Island.
ESPN reports that Hurley was offered $1 million per year for five years at Rutgers, but the 40-year-old coach was concerned that he would need a longer commitment to rebuild a program that wasn’t in great shape even before the Rice controversy.
URI went 8-21 last season, Hurley’s first with the Rams after moving over from Wagner. His new deal with URI is said to include raises for the assistant coaches and more chartered flights for road trips.
“For me, my family loves Rhode Island, loves the people there. We’ve adjusted really, really well to living outside of New Jersey for the first time in our lives,” Hurley said Sunday on ESPN Radio’s “The Ian O’Connor Show.” “Two of my three years as a college coach have been in rebuilding situations, and that’s a tough thing to go through. It takes a lot of energy and a lot of wear and tear on you.”
Some Rutgers players have shown support for assistant coach David Cox.
♦ Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy wrote a letter to Fox boss Rupert Murdoch requesting that the network not broadcast Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race because it’s sponsored by the National Rifle Association.
The Democrat expressed concern about the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway giving national attention to the organization at a time when the Senate is debating legislation to reduce gun violence in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Said NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski: “I can’t speak for everybody but I can speak for myself in saying that I would really rather stay out of politics and just race. That is certainly not the situation though. Sometimes we get thrown into it whether we want to or not. I think the best thing is just to acknowledge it and try to move on with it.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 12, 2000, which Red Sox player recorded a sacrifice fly for the 1,341st RBI of his career (spent mainly outside Boston) in what would be his final major league game?
|04.11.13 at 8:03 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Indians, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Islanders at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN Plus)
NHL: Penguins at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Frozen Four, Yale vs. UMass-Lowell, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: Frozen Four, St. Cloud v. Quinnipiac, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Knicks at Bulls, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Thunder at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Wednesday was an interesting day for the Cubs franchise. In Daytona Beach, Fla., highly touted prospect Jorge Soler, an outfielder for the Class-A Daytona Cubs, was ejected from Wednesday’s game after racing toward the Clearwater Threshers dugout with a bat in hand following a confrontation on the field.
Soler, a 21-year-old who defected from Cuba last year and signed a nine-year, $30 million deal with the Cubs, exchanged words with Threshers second baseman Carlos Alonzo after a collision at second on the final play of the seventh inning. Players from both sides separated the two before Soler grabbed a bat and ran toward the opposing dugout. He was stopped by teammates.
“I think that he was frustrated by some things and there was some emotional things he was fighting with,” Daytona manager Dave Keller told the Daytona Beach News Journal after his team squandered a two-run lead at the time of the incident and lost 14-9 in 11 innings. “Why he did that, I don’t know. I think he was frustrated by what happened. When he slid into second base, [Alonso] ended up laying on top of him. He was laying on him so [Soler] pushed with his arm to get him off him, and I think the second baseman interpreted that the wrong way like he wanted to fight or something.”
Added Keller: “There were two separate incidents, and there was really no fight. But because nobody was around him when he was running across the field with a bat … that makes things a little bit crazy.”
♦ In other Cubs news, police in Chicago are investigating after a severed goat’s head was delivered to Wrigley Field on Wednesday, in a package addressed to team owner Tom Ricketts.
A man drove up to the park’s security gate and left the package with a guard, asking him to give it to Ricketts and then driving away. The package, which was not accompanied by a note, was given instead to the city’s animal control department after police were contacted.
While the intention of this fan in unclear, legend has it that in 1945 a man placed a curse on the team after he was denied entrance into a World Series game that year because he had a billy goat with him.
There has been speculation that Wednesday’s incident is related to contentious negotiations between the team and the city regarding proposed changes to the stadium that could have a negative effect on neighbors.
♦ There has been a movement to get college athletes paid, but Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops said Wednesday they already are compensated plenty.
“You know what school would cost here for non-state guy? Over $200,000 for room, board and everything else,” Stoops said. “That’s a lot of money. Ask the kids who have to pay it back over 10-15 years with student loans. You get room and board, and we’ll give you the best nutritionist, the best strength coach to develop you, the best tutors to help you academically, and coaches to teach you and help you develop. How much do you think it would cost to hire a personal trainer and tutor for 4-5 years?
“I don’t get why people say these guys don’t get paid. It’s simple, they are paid quite often, quite a bit and quite handsomely.”
Added Stoops: “A lot of our guys wouldn’t be here if they were like every other student. I hear what they’re being fed on the outside. Sometimes we have to feed them some perspective.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 11, 1998, which Red Sox pitcher — in his first season in Boston — recorded his 1,000th career strikeout?
|04.10.13 at 9:06 am ET|
The Angels will be missing their ace, Jered Weaver, for at least a month after Weaver broke a bone in his left elbow.
On Sunday against the Rangers, Weaver jammed his left (non-throwing) arm while dodging a line drive back to the mound. He left the game early, and while the team originally thought he had only strained his elbow, an MRI on Monday revealed a fracture expected to keep him out four to six weeks.
“This is all new to me,” Weaver said. “I’ve never broken anything before, and didn’t really know how to take the news. It kind of was a shock at first, and now you’ve just got to play the waiting game, I guess.”
Weaver has been the anchor of the Angels’ rotation for years, starting at least 28 games in each of the last six seasons. He finished second in the AL Cy Young voting in 2011 and third in 2012. However, injuries plagued him last season, with lower-back pain and tendinitis in his shoulder causing him to miss several starts.
“It’s extremely difficult to lose your ace, and Jered has been that for a long time here,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “He’s a pivotal player for us. I feel like in some way the silver lining is it was his left arm, and there’s more of a short-term definition to the injury than long-term. It’s not as if we just found out he was out for the year or something along those lines. It’s his left arm, and that’s the positive here.”
|04.10.13 at 8:07 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Nets at Celtics, 8 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN; WEEI-AM)
NBA: Spurs at Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Bruins at Devils, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Indians, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Knicks won their 13th straight game Tuesday night, in the process clinching their first Atlantic Division title since 1994.
Carmelo Anthony, who averaged 41.8 points per game last week and took over the NBA scoring lead from Kevin Durant with his late-season surge, scored 36 points in the 120-99 victory over the Wizards at Madison Square Garden.
The players returned to the locker room to find shirts that read: Can’t Stop NY Knicks. 2013 Division Champions.
“There’s no reason not to have a smile on your face at this moment,” Anthony said. “We accomplished one of our goals that we set before the season in training camp, so it’s a stepping stone for us.”
♦ In a related note, Anthony’s jersey is the No. 1 seller in the NBA, as the Knicks forwarded unseated LeBron James in the top spot.
James is at No. 2, Durant has the No. 3 most-popular jersey, Kobe Bryant is at No. 4 and the injured Derrick Rose is at No. 5.
The list is based on sales at the NBA Store in New York as well as NBAStore.com since last November. Anthony ranked fourth on last year’s list.
In other jersey news, Robert Griffin III broke the NFL record for most jerseys sold in one year. The NFL did not release the number but indicated RG III beat out Peyton Manning for the top spot. Ray Lewis was third, Colin Kaepernick fourth and Tom Brady fifth.
♦ Rapper and businessman Jay-Z, who recently agreed to represent Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, will sell his minority share in the Nets so that he can represent NBA players, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.
Jay-Z’s Roc Nation company has partnered with the powerhouse Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and is expected to make an immediate splash due to his profile in the entertainment world.
Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, owns a 1/15 share in the Nets, worth about $350,000, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
“It would be disappointing [if he left],” Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo said. “I’d be disappointed. He had an enormous amount to do with the rebranding of the team.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 10, 1998, the Red Sox rallied from a 7-2 ninth-inning deficit against the Mariners, winning 9-7 on a walk-off grand slam by which Sox player?
|04.09.13 at 12:01 pm ET|
A former Robert Morris basketball player told school officials that Mike Rice threw a basketball at a player “once or twice” and used a homophobic slur during his time at the university.
Last week, during an episode of ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Rice’s physical and verbal abuse against his players at Rutgers became public knowledge. The day after the airing, Rice was fired. A former Rutgers staff member alleged that Rice also was involved in “coaches vs. players” brawls while coaching Robert Morris from 2007-10.
Robert Morris athletic director Craig Coleman said that an internal investigation did not reveal any evidence of the alleged fights. Coleman also said that one player, who left the program while Rice was at the helm, told school officials that the coach directed a gay slur at him and was involved in a shoving match with another during halftime of a game. The other player has denied having any improper contact with Rice.
RUTGERS REVIEWING PRACTICE VIDEOS FOR ALL SPORTS
Rutgers president Robert Barchi announced Monday that school officials are reviewing practice videos for all of the school’s sports teams to see if any other coach has engaged in similar behavior to Rice. The school also announced that it plans to hire a consultant to conduct an independent review of the situation.
During a town hall meeting on the school’s campus on Monday, Barchi said that he wants any instances of bullying or homophobic language to be reported immediately. Barchi acknowledged that he should have viewed the video of the abuse back in November, when it first surfaced, and that he would have fired Rice then.
Rice was not the only Rutgers employee to depart following the video’s release, as athletic director Tim Pernetti, an assistant basketball coach and the university’s top lawyer resigned last week.
|04.09.13 at 7:47 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Dodgers at Padres, 6:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Brewers at Cubs, 8 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Athletics at Angels, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Suns at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Hornets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: NCAA women’s championship, Louisville vs. UConn, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Blackhawks at Wild, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Rays’ ninth-inning rally against the Rangers ended Monday night when umpire Marty Foster called out Ben Zobrist on a full-count pitch that was well outside the strike zone, and the umpire later admitted that he blew the call.
The Rays had scored two in the eighth and one in the ninth and had the tying run on first base, but Texas reliever Joe Nathan got a friendly call to end the game at 5-4.
Rays manager Joe Maddon argued immediately and later told reporters: “It just can’t happen in a Major League Baseball game.”
Foster acknowledged his mistake.
“I saw the pitch and of course don’t have the chance to do it again,” he told a pool reporter. “But had I had a chance to do it again, I wouldn’t call that pitch a strike.”
Said Zobrist: “Umpires make mistakes just like players do. It was a tough time to have a bad call.”
♦ When Metta World Peace had surgery to repair a torn meniscus 12 days ago, he was expected to be sidelined for six weeks. However, the Lakers forward said he plans to return for Tuesday night’s game against the Hornets.
“It’s not how sure I’m playing [Tuesday] night,” he said. “It’s how sure I was playing three days ago. I was ready to play.”
World Peace explained that the swelling that normally accompanies meniscus surgery did not exist in his case, allowing him to return much earlier.
“He’s good,” coach Mike D’Antoni said Monday after World Peace participated in a three-on-three scrimmage at practice. “It’s probably a game-time decision, but he looks good. He’s raring to go. The medical staff will make a decision [Tuesday]. It’s unbelievable. He’s different. … I’ve never seen this before.”
With five games to play, the Lakers are battling for the final playoff spot in the West.
“We’ve got a chance to make a push for this championship run,” World Peace said. “We all need it. All the guys under contract, injured or not injured, we all need each other to make a run at this thing.”
♦ Flyers minor leaguer Eric Wellwood was recovering Monday after undergoing surgery Sunday night to repair tendons he cut during the Philadelphia Phantoms’ Sunday game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in Connecticut.
The 23-year-old Wellwood, who has played 31 games for the Flyers over the past three seasons, apparently clipped himself with his own skate after falling into the boards. He is believed to have severed an artery, as his skate filled with blood.
“I don’t think anyone really saw it,” Phantoms coach Terry Murray said. “It was away from the play. In conversation, everyone figures it was an accident that happened to himself. The play was already in the offensive zone and this happened in the neutral zone, so we’re not sure exactly what took place.”
Trainer Greg Lowden rushed onto the ice — not even waiting for play to be stopped and causing a Phantoms goal to be disallowed — and helped Wellwood to the locker room. Wellwood underwent surgery at a Bridgeport-area hospital to repair vascular damage, stop the bleeding and close the wound. He is scheduled for another surgery later this week in the Philadelphia area. to repair damage to the tendons and ligaments.
— Danny Syvret (@DannySyvret) April 8, 2013
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 9, 1982, the Celtics retired jersey No. 10 in honor of which player?
|04.08.13 at 2:03 pm ET|
University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino on Monday was officially announced as part of the class of 2013 elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.
Pitino, a one-time Celtics coach who is coaching the Cardinals in Monday’s NCAA championship game against Michigan, will join ex-NBA stars Bernard King and Gary Payton, former college coaches Jerry Tarkanian and Guy Lewis, former University of Virginia women’s star Dawn Staley and current North Carolina women’s coach Sylvia Hatchell for the September induction ceremony.
Inductees announced previously include E.B. Henderson, Roger Brown, Oscar Schmidt Richie Guerin and Russ Granik.
|04.08.13 at 7:55 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 2:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Brewers at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB Network: Yankees at Indians, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mets at Phillies, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Hurricanes at Bruins 7 p.m. (NESN, NHL Network)
College basketball: NCAA championship, Michigan vs. Louisville, 9:20 p.m. (CBS; WEEI-FM)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Jets keep saying publicly that they’re happy to have Darrelle Revis on their team, but their actions tell a different story. The latest development in the Revis saga is that the team reportedly is forcing him to attend next week’s voluntary workouts in order for him to receive his $3 million in bonus money, and Revis is not happy about it.
The Jets put the language in Revis’ contract to prevent a recurrence of his 2010 holdout, and they apparently plan to enforce it while they continue to talk to the Buccaneers about a trade.
“As we get into the offseason program, it’s all voluntary … but you would hope that most of your players want to be there and be in the building and get the juices flowing with our staff,” new general manager John Idzik said at the NFL scouting combine in February. “We feel that we have a lot to offer Darrelle and all of our players. We would hope that they would be there.”
Revis, who has been rehabbing his surgically repaired left knee in Arizona, had planned to meet with Jets doctors in New Jersey on April 15 and then return to Arizona. Last spring, the Jets allowed LaRon Landy to skip most of the offseason program while he rehabbed a foot injury in Arizona.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneers reportedly are growing impatient with the Jets regarding Revis trade talks.
♦ The feel-good story of the weekend comes from Lincoln, Neb., where a 7-year-old cancer patient named Jack Hoffman scored a touchdown during Nebraska’s spring football game.
Hoffman, who has been battling brain cancer for the past two years, was befriended by the Huskers last year. On Saturday, he dressed in a replica No. 22 uniform and took the field at the end of the scrimmage. On fourth-and-1, he took a handoff from quarterback Taylor Martinez and followed his blockers 69 yards for a touchdown as more than 60,000 fans roared in approval.
“Jack’s a young man who’s touched the hearts of a lot of people,” Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. “Our football team, the student body, people have gotten behind him and he’s become a big part of the team.”
♦ Marty Blake, who was the NBA’s director of scouting for more than 35 years, died Sunday at the age of 86.
A former general manager of the Hawks who oversaw the 1958 title team, Blake later turned to providing scouting reports to NBA and ABA teams. In the mid-1970s, the NBA started paying him to provide the reports for all the league’s teams.
“Marty began his lifetime of service to basketball at a time when the league was still in its infancy,” commissioner David Stern said in a statement. “His work as a general manager and then as director of scouting for the NBA first helped the teams to understand the value of scouting. Marty’s dedication not just to the NBA, but to basketball was extraordinary and we will forever be indebted to him.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 8, 1973, who became the first Red Sox designated hitter to record a hit when he smacked a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 4-3 victory over the Yankees?
|04.05.13 at 2:08 pm ET|
Former Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo told The Baltimore Sun that four current NFL players are considering coming out as gay.
“I think it will happen sooner than you think,” Ayanbadejo, a vocal proponent of gay rights, told the Sun. “We’re in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There are up to four players being talked to right now, and they’re trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out.
“Of course, there would be backlash. If they could share the backlash, it would be more positive. It’s cool. It’s exciting. We’re in talks with a few guys who are considering it. The NFL and organizations are already being proactive and open if a player does it and if something negative happens. We’ll see what happens.”
Ayanbadejo recently was cut from the Ravens, but he emphasized to the Sun that he didn’t think that had anything to do with his outspoken advocacy for gay rights.
The Ravens issued a statement on Thursday to the same effect, saying: “We have always been respectful of Brendon’s opinions and his right to express those. Our decision regarding his departure from the team has everything to do with football. Nothing else.”
|04.05.13 at 2:02 pm ET|
Regardless of how his Cardinals fare in the Final Four, Louisville coach Rick Pitino will have something to be proud of next week: He will be introduced as part of the 2013 Basketball Hall of Fame class on Monday, according to ESPN.
Pitino is the only coach to have officially taken three schools to the Final Four. He took Providence in 1987 and won the national championship with Kentucky in 1996, and this is his seventh Final Four appearance. His all-time collegiate coaching record is 662-239.
“It would mean a lot to me and my family,” Pitino said recently of a possible induction, “but it really exemplifies what I’ve done for athletes and coaches. And if that day comes, it would mean a lot to share with them. So it’s not something I think about, but it’s something I would be very, very proud of.”
Pitino would also be coaching in the national championship Monday if Louisville beats Wichita State on Saturday. The winner of that game will face the winner of the Syracuse-Michigan semifinal.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held in September. ESPN reports that Gary Payton, a nine-time NBA All-Star renowned for his defense, will also be inducted, as will Guy Lewis, who coached at the University of Houston for 30 years.
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