|11.13.09 at 7:22 am ET|
Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.
FOOTBALL: Chris Price has Five Things to Watch For Sunday night when the Patriots visit the Colts. Price also discusses how the Patriots hope to generate a pass rush on Peyton Manning. Dan Guttenplan wonders if Bill Belichick will ever dominate Manning again, the way he did early in their rivalry.
Jay Cutler threw five interceptions as the Bears lost to the 49ers last night.
D.J. Bean has his Week 10 fantasy can’t-pass-up matchups.
Browns running back Jamal Lewis is the latest to criticize coach Eric Mangini. Falcons coach Mike Smith was fined $15,000 for his role in a sideline brouhaha on Sunday vs. the Redskins.
BASEBALL: Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay won his first Silver Slugger award.
Righty Tim Hudson re-signed with the Braves for three years and $28 million.
BASKETBALL: Rasheed Wallace had some interesting things to say during his interview with Dale & Holley yesterday. Kevin Garnett talked about his connection with Rajon Rondo.
Byron Scott was fired by the Hornets, who named general manager Jeff Bower coach. Celtics coach Doc Rivers talked about the firing. Stephen Jackson still wants to be traded from the Warriors, and he says he’s not the bad guy everyone is making him out to be. Or something like that.
Duke freshman Mason Plumlee broke his wrist in practice and is out indefinitely.
The Devils won their ninth straight road game, beating the Penguins.
MISC.: Mike Tyson is in trouble again.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 13, 1978, which pitcher left Boston and signed a free agent contract with the Yankees?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “People want to pan me out to be the bad guy. People want me to be somebody to point the finger at and say, ‘He ain’t doing this, or he’s not humble, or he’s not doing this.’ I just want to win.” — Disgruntled Warriors guard Stephen Jackson, who is lobbying for a trade
STAT OF THE DAY: 172 — Consecutive minutes without allowing a goal by Bruin Tim Thomas
AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED TRANSCRIPT OF THE DAY: Rasheed Wallace was on Dale & Holley, and he talked about Kevin Garnett and friends visiting his home to recruit him in the offseason. According to the automatically generated transcript, Wallace said:
“While on the main thing he was found with the active veterans groups. You know of course that played against Barack when he was going his way — in over the years are currently no detained for it would darkness.”
I can see why Wallace joined the Celtics with a persuasive pitch like that. But what he actually said was:
“Well, the main thing he was telling me was Doc is a veterans coach. You know, of course I played against Doc when he was on his way out. And over the years, I kind of became friends with Doc on the sidelines.”
‘NET RESULTS: Classic clip from February’s NBA All-Star festivities: The Milwaukee Bucks’ mascot, Bango, is standing on top of the basket, then another mascot shoots a halfcourt shot that hits him in the crotch and goes through the basket, and then Bango slips through the rim and falls to the ground (tearing his ACL in the process). The end.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Luis Tiant
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Every get a song stuck in your head and you can’t figure out why? Welcome to my world. This is the tune I’ve been humming flugelhorning all week.
|11.12.09 at 9:00 am ET|
Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.
In his weekly NFL picks, Dan Guttenplan says the Colts win this battle.
Brady Quinn will start for the Browns in Week 10.
BASEBALL: Jason Varitek exercised his option and will return to the Red Sox. The Sox are rumored to be interested in Yankees World Series MVP Hideki Matsui. Ken Griffey Jr. re-signed with the Mariners.
National League Gold Glove winners were announced. Jim Riggleman reportedly will return as Nationals manager. The mother of former MLB pitcher Victor Zambrano was rescued from kidnappers in Venezuela. Here’s the latest on the McCourt battle in Dodgerland.
WEEI.com writers Alex Speier and Rob Bradford will chat with the masses today at noon.
Michael Holley has his NBA power rankings, with the Suns soaring to the top.
Isiah Thomas is receiving positive press for a change, for signing three recruits to Florida International. Tim Hardaway Jr. (son of the former NBA star) signed a letter of intent to play at Michigan.
HOCKEY: Graig Woodburn writes about the Bruins needing a contribution from David Krejci.
The Hurricanes have lost 13 straight, following last night’s loss to the Kings.
Forbes magazine rates the Maple Leafs as the most valuable franchise in the NHL, worth $470 million. The Bruins come in sixth at $271 million.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 12, 1970, who replaced Clive Rush as coach of the Patriots?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It feels good to be healthy. It feels good to run. It’s like running free in a cornfield.” — Kevin Garnett, after the Celtics’ win last night over the Jazz
STAT OF THE DAY: 7 — Celtics who scored in double figures last night
AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED TRANSCRIPT OF THE DAY: Bruins legend Ray Bourque talked with Dale & Holley yesterday. He told a funny story about his youngest son:
“My wife calls me and she says, ‘Ryan didn’t want to get up this morning for his 6 o’clock game.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean.’ She says, ‘Yeah, he said he was sick.’ My wife was telling him, ‘Well, you’ve got to get up.’ And he says, ‘No, no, no, I don’t feel good.’ She says, ‘Well, come on Ryan, let’s get dressed, let’s go to practice.’ He says, ‘No, no, I just want to retire, like Cam Neely.’ So, Ryan took a little more time to get used to the early hours. But he got going and is doing very well for himself right now, too.”
It wasn’t as funny after it went through the automatically generated transcript:
“or couples and Serbs. Random — up the born who is 6 o’clock again. There simply means is you are certain respect. And like crystal — you gotta get out. Reliable shall — so as well. Come on line at the construction school practice since warlords or garlic and really the — Tokyo war time to. Get used to be literally hours and but the he Garko and and do very well and so for now to.”
‘NET RESULTS: And they say there’s no scoring in soccer. It took this guy just two seconds.
TRIVIA ANSWER: John Mazur, who compiled a record of 9-21 before being fired nine games in the 1972 season
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Neil Young is 64 today. I would have preferred going with “Lotta Love,” but this will have to suffice.
|11.11.09 at 7:53 am ET|
Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.
We’ll lead off with Chicago Tribune writer Rick Morrissey literally eating his words. Morrissey criticized Joakim Noah when the former University of Florida standout was drafted by the Bulls in 2007 and said Noah’s game was not good enough for the NBA. Morrissey promised to eat his column with salsa if he was wrong. Here’s the video of Morrissey owning up, with Noah alongside. You first have to put up with five minutes of Morrissey talking about himself and enjoying the moment a little too much before he finally takes a bite of the newsprint.
A federal appeals court judge ruled that Michael Vick can keep his $16 million in bonuses from the Falcons.
California running back Jahvid Best is back home after being released from the hospital following his concussion.
More details are coming out regarding last month’s stabbing death of UConn defensive back Jasper Howard.
BASEBALL: Rob Bradford has all the updates from the general managers meetings in Chicago, including agent Scott Boras talking Red Sox and more. Baseball will not expand instant replay. No Red Sox players won Gold Glove awards.
BASKETBALL: Jessica Camerato has a piece on Celtics sharpshooter Eddie House.
Michael Jordan’s oldest son, Jeff Jordan, was suspended two games for playing in an unsanctioned event last summer.
NHL general managers opened their meetings in Toronto and discussed possible rule changes.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 11, 1999, who was named Manager of the Year for guiding the Red Sox to the American League wild card?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The Boston Red Sox had a chance to sign Mark Teixeira before the New York Yankees did, because we gave them an offer. That’s the best I can do for owners, it really is. When you give them a chance to sign a player, that’s … the player was earnest in coming there at the time and he presented them with an offer they could have accepted.” — Agent Scott Boras, at the general managers meetings in Chicago
STAT OF THE DAY: 6 — Number of Celtics on the NBA All-Star ballot; the C’s are the only team with two centers listed (Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace)
AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED TRANSCRIPT OF THE DAY: It was a slow day, so we turn to our own Rob Bradford, who talked baseball on the Dale & Holley show while at the general managers meetings in Chicago. According to the automatically generated transcript, Bradford said about the Red Sox:
“I think offensively to Egypt by right now. Bye — I don’t think they’re going to be able again featuring Google.”
What he actually said: “I think offensively they can get by right now. But I just don’t think they’re going to be able to get Adrian Gonzalez.”
‘NET RESULTS: In honor of Veterans Day, here’s a look at legendary Braves lefty Warren Spahn, who, like Ted Williams, lost part of his Boston career to World War II.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Jimy Williams
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Marshall Crenshaw is 56 today.
|11.10.09 at 5:58 pm ET|
For decades, professional athletes have served as inspiring role models for fans of various age groups through their tenacity, dedication and leadership both on and off the field. While many have reached out to local communities to improve the well-being of society, there are a few brave and courageous men and women who have taken their duties one step further by enlisting and serving in America’s armed forces.
On April 22, 2004, former Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman was killed during a firefight near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Giving up the glamor and the luxury that comes with being a star in the NFL, Tillman had decided shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, that he wished to devote his life to becoming an Army Ranger.
Though it was originally concluded that Tillman was gunned down by an enemy, many of his closest friends and family became outraged upon learning that Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal lied about the specifics of his death. He actually died from friendly fire. Tillman’s brother, Kevin, who served alongside Pat in the war, sharply criticized the Bush Administration and the entire war. In addition, Tillman’s mother, Mary, appeared on an episode of “60 Minutes” to discuss her frustration with the Army for withholding further details of her son’s death.
Though Tillman’s death came under tragic circumstances, he exemplifies the true meaning of an American hero. In the past century, there have been numerous athletes who have served their country and put on hold the possibility of professional stardom. While Tillman’s service represented a rare modern case of an athlete sacrificing a multimillion-dollar contract for a military badge, there have been many players who spent the primes of their careers on the battlefield.
During World War II, many future Hall of Famers signed up for the armed and naval forces, resulting in a vastly different world of Major League Baseball and an exploration of America’s pastime by women, who soon learned there was no crying in baseball (thanks to Tom Hanks). In 1943, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was formed to share the spotlight with men’s baseball.
After the men returned home from the war, attendance at women’s games dwindled as MLB players resumed their roles on the field having already gallantly served their country.
Many ballplayers, such as Joe DiMaggio and Bob Feller, took a leave from baseball during years considered to be the prime of their careers. Choosing to hang up their hats for helmets, future Hall of Famers including Yogi Berra, Warren Spahn, Phil Rizzuto, Stan Musial, Hank Greenberg and Ralph Kiner risked not only their baseball careers but also their lives while stationed on battlefields around the globe. (For a complete list of Hall of Fame veterans, click here.)
On this Veterans Day, as New Englanders remember all the brave men and women who put their country before themselves, let’s take a look at some of our very own Red Sox greats who dedicated themselves to the armed forces during World War II.
In 1941, Teddy Ballgame became the last MLB player to bat over .400 with an average of .406, (however, he lost the MVP to Joe DiMaggio and his 56-game hit streak). The following season, Williams hit for the Triple Crown, slamming 36 home runs with a .356 AVG and 137 RBI. Originally classified in the draft as 3-A by Selected Service, Williams’ classification was later changed to 1-A, a move that he would seek to appeal. After drawing much criticism, Williams decided to enlist with the Navy on May 22, 1942. He served as a naval aviator, attending the same training program as teammate Johnny Pesky. Before being released from active duty in January 1946, Williams received his wings and was commissioned into the Marine Corps on May 2, 1944. He returned to baseball in 1946 to win the MVP and lead the Red Sox to the World Series, which they would end up losing in seven games. In 1947, Williams won another Triple Crown, batting .343 with 32 home runs and 114 RBI. In 1952-53, Williams took another leave of absence from the game to serve his country in the Korean War.
Like his Yankee brother Joe, Dom DiMaggio enlisted in the military during WWII, missing the 1943-45 MLB seasons. Still the owner of a franchise-record 34-game hit streak, DiMaggio served in the Navy during three seasons of his prime years that many, including Bobby Doerr, believe may have cost him entrance into the Hall of Fame. Returning to baseball in 1946 to help the Red Sox win the AL pennant, ”The Little Professor” batted .316 and finished ninth in the MVP voting. A stellar center fielder, DiMaggio passed away at age 92 earlier this year on May 8, 2009.
Considered to be the best second baseman in Red Sox history, Bobby Doerr was only 19 when he made his major league debut in 1937. In 1944, while Williams and DiMaggio were already off to war, Doerr finished in first place in the league with a .528 slugging percentage and second in the AL with a .325 average. After the season, Doerr joined the Army in 1945, missing the entire season at age 27. Returning to the team in 1946, Doerr batted .271 with 18 home runs and 116 RBI as part of the Sox AL pennant run. Though he retired from baseball at the early age of 33 due to back problems, Doerr was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1986 and is still viewed by many as one of the best second basemen of all time.
Pesky’s rookie campaign in 1942 for the Red Sox was nothing short of a booming success after hitting .331 to lead the AL with 205 hits. However, before the season ended, Pesky entered the Navy to serve in Amherst, Mass. Missing three years of baseball, Pesky found his way back to the Red Sox along with Williams, DiMaggio and Doerr in 1946 to help the team reach the World Series. That year, the shortstop batted .335 with a .401 on-base percentage. Though he sacrificed what could have been some of his best years statistically, Pesky will forever serve as an icon to both Red Sox faithful and baseball fans around the country. Having his number retired by the Red Sox in 2007, his name will remain immortalized whenever anyone refers to the right field pole as “Pesky’s Pole.”
|11.10.09 at 5:16 pm ET|
On Monday, the Kansas City Chiefs released running back Larry Johnson, the day he was scheduled to return to the field after serving a two-week suspension for inappropriate comments he made on his Twitter feed and in the locker room.
Despite Johnson’s declining numbers in recent years, it is widely held that present-day LJ is still solid, or behind a good guard and tackle, can be the LJ of 2006, when he rushed for more than 1,700 yards on 416 carries. The question now: What team will take a chance on him? In recent history, the New England has become a place where players can spend some time competing for championship rings as well as rehabilitating their image. Since Bill Belichick took over the reins, several players have benefited from spending time at the “New England Patriots Image and Career Rehabilitation Center.”
Randy Moss is a player that immediately comes to mind. Moss’ issues began in college when a full scholarship to Notre Dame was rescinded when he got into a fight and ruptured the spleen of a student. Then coach of Notre Dame, Lou Holtz recommended Moss to Florida State, but he was kicked out of FSU for violating the terms of his work-release probation. Despite putting up school-record numbers at Marshall, Moss was drafted late in the first round because of the character issues he exhibited in his college career.
Let’s not forget the “Straight cash, homey” incident either — Moss’ refusal to obey traffic laws led to that memorable line and a few others. It was only a matter of time before he was traded to the Raiders from the Vikings in 2005. At the time, Minnesota appeared to be fed up with his antics, which included pretending to moon Green Bay fans and walking off the field with two seconds left in a regular season game loss against the Redskins. In Oakland, he was remembered for letting people know when he’ll play.
Yet when he came to New England, suddenly we saw a Randy Moss that reminded us of the player from the Vikings. He and Tom Brady not only torched opposing defenses but also set the record for most touchdown receptions in a season. You remember the catch in the regular-season game against the Giants, right?
At this point, not only is Moss considered one of the better wide receivers playing the game, but he also has the reputation of being a team player, something he was cultivating in Minnesota and never had in Oakland.
How about Brandon Meriweather? Here’s a player who had much potential coming out of the University of Miami. Then there was that on-field brawl with Florida International.
Meriweather is No. 19, prominently seen stomping a FIU player who is on the ground. While the incident hurt his draft stock, it wasn’t enough to deter the Patriots from picking him as the 24th overall selection. Obviously, the Pats know what they’re doing. Meriweather has been an excellent addition to the secondary and worth the accolades he has received.
While Moss and Meriweather generally benefited from playing in New England, Corey Dillon had a career resurgence upon arriving in Foxboro. The definition of a disgruntled player, Dillon is (in)famous for demanding to be traded to Dallas during a media session in the Bengals locker room. The beauty here, is that once he got to New England, he was no longer the petulant star but the hard-working team player, devoid of all the ego seen in Cincy.
Perhaps LJ can have the same type of resurgence as Dillon. With injuries to Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris, a tough-running, punishing back could be the perfect balance to Laurence Maroney’s scat-back style and Kevin Faulk’s third-down consistency.
As for the Patriots, why not turn another malcontent into a happy camper by putting him on a team with realistic Super Bowl aspirations? It’s not like Belichick is opposed to the idea, right?
|11.10.09 at 10:06 am ET|
Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.
The Broncos have lost two straight, the latest last night to the Steelers. Ty Law made his debut for Denver.
The NFL is investigating a brouhaha in the Redskins-Falcons game. Bengals receiver Chris Henry is out for the season after breaking his arm. Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis (torn ACL) also is done for the year. Larry Johnson was cut loose by the Chiefs. Bears defensive lineman Tommie Harris apologized for punching Deuce Lutui of the Cardinals Sunday and getting ejected. The Buccaneers won Sunday, but safety Sabby Piscitelli wasn’t celebrating after returning home to discover he’d been robbed. Former Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor was arrested after leaving the scene of a car accident.
BASEBALL: Rob Bradford addresses the Sox’ early offseason moves with Tim Wakefield, Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek, and how it sets them up going forward. Get caught up on all the moves at the GM meetings at our Full Count blog.
BASKETBALL: Paul Flannery compares and contrasts the paths taken by Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson. Dan Guttenplan says the Celtics shouldn’t consider making a run at 72 wins.
HOCKEY: Michael Ryder missed practice for the Bruins, who play the powerful Penguins tonight.
Captials star Alex Ovechkin said he was joking about being out a month and will probably miss about a week.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 10, 1968, this Patriot became the first AFL player to top the 1,000-point plateau. Who is he?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m like, ‘Hey, if you’re going to talk, back it up. Because at the end of the day, the spotlight is going to be back on you. You did all the trash-talking through the course of the week, let me see what you gone [and] done.’ ” — Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork on Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter, who did not make a major contribution on Sunday after popping off leading up to the game
STAT OF THE DAY: 8 — Number of college basketball coaches with 800 career victories, after Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim reached the milestone last night
AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED TRANSCRIPT OF THE DAY: Tom Brady appeared on the Dennis & Callahan show yesterday morning. Talking about center Dan Connolly, he said, according to the automatically generated transcript:
“Consists of Oprah and you’ve got athletic ability would put another pull back you obviously think that if he can do things that politically for yeah so strong it can be so he’s. He’s — government.”
What he actually said: “… consistent player for us. He’s got athletic ability, and when you put him in at fullback, you obviously think that he can do things athletically for you. And he’s strong as can be. So, he’s great to have on the team.”
‘NET RESULTS: A couple of Rhode Island high school girls soccer teams became national news, and not for a good reason. They brawled on Sunday, and because there’s video, there is a story.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Gino Cappelletti, who passed the thousand-point mark on a 19-yard touchdown catch from Tom Sherman in 27-17 loss to the Chargers at Fenway Park.
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer is 62 today. Here’s ELP’s version of “Nutrocker” for all you Bruins fans.
|11.09.09 at 2:59 pm ET|
Studies showing a correlation between sports and violence are as common a ground ball to the second baseman. Throughout history, sports often have been used as an alternative to warfare. Yet, despite our ability to be “civilized,” we often see acts of violence stem from poor sportsmanship, especially at the collegiate level. What has happened to sportsmanship, and why are incidents like these ever increasing?
LaGarrette Bount throws a knockout punch
You remember this one, right? The irony here is two-fold. Leading up to the game, Blount bragged about his team and predicted a win for the Oregon Ducks. While not a terrible thing, it seems odd in light of the sportsmanship ceremony that was held during the coin toss of the game, an event that Blount participated in. Skip to the end of the game and Blount is punching out Boise State linebacker Byron Hout for returning the favor and talking a little smack of his own after his team won the game.
Judging from Blount’s reaction, Hout probably had some choice words for him. But what’s the point of being a part of a sportsmanship ceremony if you’re going to punch someone for talking no more smack than you did, but had the ability to back it up? Blount apologized for his actions but was still suspended for the year. However, there has been some recent talk about reinstating him.
Brandon Spikes auditions for WWE
This was a bit ridiculous. Spikes claims that Georgia’s Washaun Ealey had done something similar to him and his actions were simply retaliation. When did that become OK? The game of football is a violent sport with enough chances to be injured unintentionally. Perhaps Spikes missed that lesson about not retaliating because you always get caught.
This leads to another issue. Florida officially suspended him for one half of football against Vanderbilt. Really? That’s the going rate for an eye gouge these days? Kudos to Spikes for lengthening his own suspension. It shows character to not only fess up to wrongdoing but to also suggest an appropriate punishment.
Women’s football gets chippy
I know this a soccer game, but some of the stunts that took place between New Mexico and BYU seem more suited to a football field. The idea of a completely non-contact sport these days is far-fetched. All labeled non-contact sports have some aspect of physicality, but this is a bit much. I’ve never seen hair-pulling used with such effectiveness.
Despite all of that, New Mexico defender Elizabeth Lambert only received one yellow card, for tripping inside the box. Of all her actions that day, the trip was the least violent, and that is what got her a penalty.
We’ve all played in games where the heat of the moment has gotten the better of us and do something against the rules. It just seems like there has been a sudden increase in poor sportsmanship across the board. We need to remind ourselves and those athletes we love to watch that competition should be the driving pursuit of sports. And winning, winning is important, too, but not at the cost of sportsmanship.
|11.09.09 at 8:13 am ET|
Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.
FOOTBALL: The Patriots held off the Dolphins, 27-17. Chris Price has 10 Things We Learned about the win. Kirk Minihane looks at the big picture. Check out the It Is What It Is blog for audio from the Patriots locker room plus more from the game.
The Colts edged the Texans to stay unbeaten as they await the Patriots Sunday. The Saints also are still perfect after rallying to beat the Panthers. The Giants lost their fourth straight, a heartbreaker in San Diego. Rookie quarterback Josh Freeman led the Buccaneers to their first win, over the Packers.
D.J. Bean has the Week 9 fantasy football wrap-up.
BASEBALL: Alex Speier looks at the Red Sox’ chances of landing Padres slugger Adrian Gonzalez. The Sox declined the option on shortstop Alex Gonzalez, making him a free agent.
BASKETBALL: The Celtics bounced back from their first loss of the season by beating New Jersey Saturday night. Paul Flannery has Three Things We Learned.
Isiah Thomas’ Florida International squad opens the season tonight vs. defending national champion North Carolina. Boston College won its exhibition vs. St. Michael’s.
HOCKEY: Joe Haggerty has some thoughts from the Bruins’ impressive win over the Sabres Saturday night.
Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward could miss a month after having his leg cut by a skate.
The Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are tonight, with former Boston College star Brian Leetch among the inductees.
SOCCER: The Revolution are out of the MLS playoffs.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 9, 2002, which Celtic tied his own team record with nine 3-pointers in a game at Minnesota?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s always nice for a quarterback when you see the back of 81 sprinting down the field once he gets by them. There are not too many guys that can catch him.” — Tom Brady, on his touchdown pass to Randy Moss in the Patriots’ victory yesterday over the Dolphins
STAT OF THE DAY: 27 — Career 300-yard passing games for Tom Brady, setting a team record (passing Drew Bledsoe)
AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED TRANSCRIPT OF THE DAY: Junior Seau was on The Big Show Friday and talked about Sunday’s game against Miami. He was on a cell phone and the reception wasn’t sharp. That’s a bad combination for the automatically generated transcript, which apparently decided Seau’s answer should be shortened quite a bit.
When asked about defending the Wildcat, Seau said, according to the automatically generated transcript:
“It, it, it, it. Use yeah oh on the line. With Erica. Much. How is that you know when you’re. Out. In the — There on ground. And and in pain and now. It.”
What he actually said: “It’s only complicated if you obviously overrun the play. But if you have everyone with gap control and be disciplined with their gap control. you pretty much have it locked down. It’s just that, when you have a rare talent like Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams in the backfield, and without a quarterback back there, Ronnie Brown makes a lot of great decisions. To be back there and disrupt his angles and his downhill running is going to be a big key.”
‘NET RESULTS: Nope, we’re not linking to that New Mexico women’s soccer player beating up on BYU players. You’ve seen that already, we’re sure. Instead, here’s Andre Iguodala beating up on the rim with a monster dunk Friday night against the Nets.
Fine, here’s the New Mexico player so you can watch it again. Sicko.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Antoine Walker
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Peter, Paul and Mary singer Mary Travers, who died on Sept. 16 of leukemia, would have been 73 today.
|11.06.09 at 8:42 am ET|
There’s a saying that you should be careful what you wish for because it just might come true. A day after watching his Phillies lose the World Series in six games to the Yankees, Jimmy Rollins may want to think twice before making a prediction in the future because it might not come true.
In the past few years, Rollins has become a present-day Nostradamus of baseball. Never shying away from the pressured spotlight of having to live up to his word, Rollins has assumed a prophet-like role forecasting the triumph and success that he expects his Phillies to accomplish. Prior to the 2007 season, he declared the Phillies as the “team to beat” in the NL East over the New York Mets. Not only did the Phillies use a late-season surge to take the division during the Mets’ titanic September collapse, but Rollins walked away with the NL MVP award as well.
In the months leading up to the 2008 season, Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran attempted to one-up Rollins by noting that New York and not Philadelphia was the team to beat after the Mets acquired left-handed ace Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins in the offseason.
Beltran’s comment struck a nerve with the overly confident shortstop as Rollins once again stepped up to the plate by publicly announcing that the Phillies would win 100 games in 2008, accusing Beltran of plagiarism along the way. Rollins stayed true to his word as Philadelphia went on to win the 2008 World Series, carrying with them 103 victories (including the 11 games they won in the postseason).
Rollins continued to bat 1.000 on the prediction scale when he prophesied that the Phillies would meet the Yankees in the 2009 World Series. After the two teams squared off in a three-game interleague set in May, Rollins told Playboy magazine that he expected to see the highest-paid team in baseball face off against the defending champion Phillies in the Fall Classic. So it was said, so it was done.
Fast forward to Oct. 26, when Rollins appeared on “The Jay Leno Show” and made his notorious nationwide prediction that the Phillies would be the victors in five games, or six if they were feeling generous. Unfortunately (at least for the Philadelphia shortstop), Rollins’ legacy as a faultless fortune-teller came to an end when the Yankees sealed their 27th championship with a 7-3 win over the Phillies in Game 6.
After batting a mere .217 in this year’s six World Series games, Rollins may have learned if he is going to play Joe Namath, he needs to be prepared to face the music if he is unable to back up his claim. (At least he can take anything thrown in his way.)
Rollins certainly isn’t the only athlete to be audacious enough to guarantee a title or victory and fall short of turning their opinion into a cold, hard fact. Last March during the NCAA women’s basketball tournament, Oklahoma center Courtney Paris promised that if the Sooners did not win a national title, she would pay back the entirety of her four-year scholarship to the school. For a while, it seemed like Paris might be able to keep her piggy bank full until the Sooners lost in the Final Four to Louisville in a 61-59 contest.
Then-Steelers safety Anthony Smith guaranteed a Pittsburgh win over the undefeated Patriots when the two teams met on Dec. 9, 2007. New England ensured that Smith would be incorrect in his assessment as the Patriots offense totally dismantled the Pittsburgh defense, with Tom Brady throwingfor 399 yards and four touchdowns to win by a final score of 34-13.
The victory upped the Patriots’ record to 13-0 en route to a perfect 16-0 regular season and a trip to Super Bowl XLII. However, when the Patriots finally did reach the Super Bowl and faced the New York Giants, they heard a familiar proclamation when Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress predicted New York would win 23-17 over the 18-0 squad. Many laughed and shrugged off Burress’ comments. Though the final score read 17-14, it did so in favor of the Giants, giving Burress at least partial credit for his fortune-telling.
For a while, Rollins was in the company of players such as Burress and Petr Sykora, the former right winger for the Pittsburgh Penguins. During a break in Game 5 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, Sykora accurately told a sideline reporter that he would score the game-winning goal. In triple-overtime, Sykora delivered a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
With Wednesday night’s blemish on his once-perfect prediction slate, Rollins may need some coaching himself.
|11.06.09 at 7:54 am ET|
Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.
FOOTBALL: Sunday’s game between the Patriots and Dolphins should be a good one. Chris Price has Five Things to Watch For in this key divisional battle.
Adalius Thomas said rumors of a players strike during the playoffs are “totally absurd.”
D.J. Bean has his fantasy football can’t-pass-up matchups.
BASEBALL: The Red Sox traded for Marlins outfielder Jeremy Hermida. Alex Speier delves into the thinking behind this low-risk/potentially high-reward transaction.Curt Schilling was on Dennis & Callahan yesterday, and he revisited the Pedro Martinez-Red Sox prima donna controversy.
Dan Guttenplan says the key to the Yankees winning was Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter learning how to get along. Yankees manager Joe Girardi stopped to help a car crash victim on his way home from Yankee Stadium after his team won the World Series. Jamie McCourt’s bid to get her job back with the Dodgers was denied by a Los Angeles court. Giants ace Tim Lincecum was cited for possession of marijuana.
BASKETBALL: The Celtics are No. 1 in Michael Holley’s NBA power rankings. Wyc Grousbeck says the Celtics are not having financial problems. Gary Marbry has some stat nuggets from the Celtics’ wins this week. LeBron James was denied on a final shot and the Cavaliers lost to the Bulls.
HOCKEY: The Bruins finally scored a goal, but they lost to the Canadiens in a shootout. David Krejci was sent home after testing positive for H1N1.The B’s signed goalie Tuukka Rask to a two-year extension.
The Sharks put defenseman Rob Blake on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. Kings forward Andres Nocioni was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. According to a business report, Columbus will have trouble keeping the Blue Jackets due to financial problems.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: The offseason following the 1976 season marked the first time for free agency as we know it in Major League Baseball, following an arbitrator’s ruling the year before. On Nov. 6, 1976, the Red Sox made the first and biggest splash in that year’s free agency, signing which pitcher?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We scored. Obviously, that’s a positive we can take out of the game.” — Forward Blake Wheeler, after the Bruins ended a 192-minute scoreless streak last night in a 2-1 shootout loss to Montreal
STAT OF THE DAY: 27 — Consecutive quarters scoring 20 or more points by the Celtics until they scored 19 in the first quarter Tuesday night (thanks to Gary Marbry for that stat)
AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED TRANSCRIPT OF THE DAY: Paul Pierce appeared on the Dale & Holley show yesterday. When asked about the Rajon Rondo-Chris Paul incident, he said, according to the automatically generated transcript:
“In the people’s — as if there was this transcript of the technology called open you know to look closely from the rights. As — in the view of — the minister of Soviet.”
What he actually said: “Hey, it’s up to you to be able to just concentrate and focus on the game and not get caught up in that, because people are going to say things some nights, and if it throws you off your game and gives us an advantage, so be it.”
‘NET RESULTS: On Monday, we showed the video of San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobli swatting a bat out of the air during a game. The website Mental Floss came up with 10 instances of animals delaying sporting events. Here’s No. 1:
TRIVIA ANSWER: Bill Campbell, who previously pitched for the Twins
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