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1998 near Triple Crown winner Real Quiet dies

09.28.10 at 5:38 pm ET
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Real Quiet, the small horse who was less than a length away of becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978, died Monday at age 15. The bay was found lying in his stall after his left shoulder hit the ground, breaking his neck.

In 1998 Real Quiet won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness for trainer Bob Baffert and owner Mike Pegram in two heated races with Victory Gallop. In the Belmont, Victory Gallop edged Real Quiet in a photo finish that revealed Victory Gallop had won the race by a nostril.

“He gave us a lot of thrills and excitement,” Baffert said. “Just winning the Kentucky Derby for Mike Pegram was pretty amazing. … I like to think it was meant to be.”

Real Quiet continued to race successfully as a four year old with victories in the Hollywood Gold Cup and Pimilico Special. Eventually he was retired to stud and was moved to the Penn Ridge Farm in Pennsylvania, a farm created specifically for the horse.

“He was a great champion and is a great champion,” said Mike Jester, owner of the farm. “It’s a pretty big blow for us.”

Read More: bob baffert, real quiet, Rumor Mill, victory gallop

Houston’s Case Keenum unsure on future

09.28.10 at 5:38 pm ET
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Houston quarterback Case Keenum has not made a decision on his future after having surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Due to graduate in December, Keenum is weighing whether to come back for a fifth season and attempt to set the NCAA passing yards and touchdown passes record or prepare for the NFL draft in April.

Keenum, the fifth-leading passer in NCAA history, was injured in the team’s September 18th game against UCLA while trying to make a tackle. He currently stands just 3,487 yards behind former Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang and 28 touchdown passes behind Graham Harrell. If Keenum decides to return to school he would have to petition the NCAA for a medical waiver.

Keenum had put his name in the draft pool this past spring but decided to stay for his senior season. ESPN college football analyst Mel Kiper Jr. projected Keenum as the third best senior quarterback entering the season.

Read More: case keenum, Rumor Mill,

Flyers to start season short two players

09.28.10 at 5:37 pm ET
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Playoff hero Michael Leighton and Ian Laperriere will likely miss the first several weeks of the Flyers season which begins October 7th against Pittsburgh.

Leighton, the team’s starting goaltender, will miss a month due to a bulging disc in his back the team announced Tuesday. General manager Paul Holmgren said that Leighton should be fine  with rest and rehabilitation and will not need surgery. In the playoffs last year Leighton took over the starting role and went 8-3 including leading the Flyers to their first Stanley Cup appearance since the 1996-97 season.

The timetable for Laperriere is uncertain as the forward continues to suffer from post-concussion syndrome. Laperriere has suffered from the symptoms since late last season when he was hit by a puck in the head. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI Friday.

Read More: ian laperriere, michael leighton, paul holmgren, Rumor Mill

Charlie Batch still the starter in the Steel City

09.28.10 at 3:07 pm ET
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Mike Tomlin announced Tuesday that Charlie Batch will start Sunday against Baltimore despite the fact that Byron Leftwich is healthy. Batch originally the team’s fourth string quarterback threw for 186 yards and three touchdowns Sunday in the team’s 38-13 victory over the Buccaneers.

The Steelers who are without their suspended starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the first four weeks had originally intended to start Leftwich during the suspension. But after sustaining a left knee injury, the veteran was cut and then resigned with the club last week to serve as Batch’s backup while he finished rehabbing.

Sunday’s game will mark the first time Batch has started consecutive games since 2005 when Ben Roethlisberger suffered from a right knee injury. In 2005 he guided the team to back-to-back victories against the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns without throwing a touchdown pass.

Read More: Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich, charlie batch, Rumor Mill

Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio to attend Saturday’s game

09.28.10 at 3:06 pm ET
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Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio will be in the coaching box for Saturday’s Big Ten opener against Wisconsin less than two weeks after suffering a mild heart attack.

Dantonio was released from the hospital a week ago and announced his intention to attend this week’s game at Tuesday’s weekly press conference. The fourth-year head coach spent two days in the hospital last week after sustaining a mild heart attack hours after the team’s thrilling victory over Notre Dame.

‘€œI’€™m going to ease back into this much like anybody would after any injury,’€ Dantonio said. ‘€œI’€™m going to listen to our doctors, but I am going to ease back into this and do something daily with our football team.’€

With Dantonio absent this past weekend, offensive coordinator Don Treadwell took over and led the team to a 45-7 victory over Northern Colorado. Dantonio stressed the importance of focusing on the match-up of the unbeaten rivals rather than his own situation.

‘€œI think it’€™s very, very important that we focus on Wisconsin’€”that the focus go from Mark Dantonio and that night to Wisconsin and what we have to get done this weekend,’€ Dantonio said.

Read More: don treadwell, mark dantonio, Rumor Mill,

Ozzie Guillen set to return to White Sox

09.28.10 at 11:17 am ET
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Ozzie Guillen said he will be coming back as manager of the Chicago White Sox in 2011. Guillen is already under contract for next season with a team option for 2012, but there had been speculation he would leave to join another club. The announcement was made  after Guillen had separate discussions on Monday with both White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Ken Williams.

“I’m very excited,” Guillen said before Monday night’s game against Boston. “I want to be a White Sox for the rest of my life.” The White Sox are 83-73 and have been eliminated from postseason contention.

Read More: Chicago White Sox, MLB, Ozzie Guillen, Rumor Mill

Ray Rice nursing ‘significant’ knee bruise

09.28.10 at 11:16 am ET
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Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has a bruised knee, an injury that leaves his status in doubt for this week’s AFC North showdown against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. Rice left Sunday’s game against the Browns with just under 10 minutes left after catching a short pass for a 4-yard gain and getting tackled by Ahtyba Rubin. An MRI on Monday revealed “a significant contusion,” according to Ravens coach John Harbaugh.

When asked if he expected Rice to play Sunday, Harbaugh said, “We’ll see how he fares throughout the week. We’ll see how it heals.” The team would not reveal whether it was the right or left knee that Rice hurt.

Read More: Baltimore Ravens, John Harbaugh, Ray Rice, Rumor Mill

Bill Polian says debate on 18-game NFL season is over

09.28.10 at 11:09 am ET
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Colts president Bill Polian believes that the debate is over, and the NFL will soon be expanding its season to an 18-game schedule. The competition committee member referred to the decision as a “fait accompli” twice during his weekly radio show Monday night. “I think that the owners, and principally the commissioner, have decided that it’s the way to go, and so the debate, such as it was, is over,” Polian said.

Officially, nothing has changed. Although league owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell have expressed support for cutting the preseason schedule from four games to two and expanding the regular-season schedule from 16 to 18, the format change hasn’t been approved by either the owners or the NFL Players Association.

Read More: Bill Polian, NFL, Roger Goodell, Rumor Mill

Jack Del Rio on the hot seat?

09.28.10 at 11:02 am ET
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The clock started ticking for Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio last season when owner Wayne Weaver said he didn’t expect to be home for the playoffs. Now that the Jags have started the season 1-2 with two straight 25-point losses, Del Rio is under pressure to turn it around. But, the coach said that he isn’t feeling the heat, according to the Jacksonville Sun. “I am doing well, thank you for asking,” he said. “I assume you’re asking because you care about me. I appreciate that.”

Read More: Jack Del Rio, Rumor Mill, Wayne Weaver,

Angels plan big push for Crawford

09.28.10 at 8:10 am ET
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According to ESPN.com, the Angels “are planning an aggressive push” to sign free agent-to-be Carl Crawford. The Tampa Bay Rays outfielder, whose locker at the All-Star Game in Anaheim this summer was located next to that of Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, is hitting .309/.360/.491/.851 with 16 homers and 46 steals. According to the report, the Angels plan a hard push for the well-rounded outfielder, despite expectations that he will receive a deal in the vicinity of six years and $100 million, though the Halos would bow out of the bidding if Crawford’s price significantly exceeds that.

Angels GM Tony Reagins told the website that the Angels will have the resources to spend this offseason.

“You always have to take account of how the finances work, but we’re not limited financially in any way,” Reagins said. “Whatever we need to do that makes sense and that’s reasonable, we’ll address.”

Read More: Carl Crawford, Rumor Mill,