|03.01.10 at 8:44 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.
It was an interesting weekend for handshakes, and Bill Belichick wasn’t involved in either of the incidents. In England, the soccer feud that rocked the national team spilled over to Premier League play, as Manchester City’s Wayne Bridge refused to shake hands with Chelsea’s John Terry, who allegedly cheated on his wife with Bridge’s ex-girlfriend and was removed as national team captain. Manchester City went on to win the game, 4-2.
And in New Mexico, Lobos basketball coach Steve Alford and BYU player Jonathan Tavernari exchanged unpleasantries after their postgame handshake. Tavernari later visited the New Mexico locker room to apologize to Alford, whose team won a tight game.
BASEBALL: Rob Bradford sat down with Josh Beckett, who talked about looking forward to a big year. Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was interviewed by investigators about the Canadian doctor
FOOTBALL: Christopher Price and D.J. Bean report from the NFL combine. Raiders coach Tom Cable spoke glowingly of former Patriot Richard Seymour.
BASKETBALL: Kevin Garnett is ‘disgusted’ with the Celtics after Saturday’s loss to the lowly Nets. Tony Battie reportedly would be interested in the Celtics (along with other title contenders) if he is set free by the Nets.
Shaquille O’Neal will have surgery on the thumb he hurt against the Celtics and is expected to miss the rest of the regular season. Timberwolves center Al Jefferson apologized after his arrest on suspicion of DWI. NBA commissioner David Stern said he expects Michael Jordan to be approved as majority owner of the Bobcats by the end of March.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 1, 1901, which future Hall of Famer was hired away from Boston’s National League franchise to be a player and manager for the city’s new American League team (the Red Sox, although that wasn’t the nickname at the time)?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Being in Canada, that’s the opportunity of a lifetime. You dream of that a thousand times growing up. For it to come true is amazing.” — Sidney Crosby, after his overtime goal gave Canada a 3-2 win over the United States in Sunday’s Olympic gold medal game
STAT OF THE DAY: 14 — Gold medals won by Canada in Vancouver, a Winter Olympics record
‘NET RESULTS: The girlfriend of Canadian speedskater Charles Hamelin, Marianne St-Gelais (an Olympic speedskater herself), gets a workout cheering for his gold medal performance in the crash-filled 500.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Jimmy Collins
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Mike D’Abo, former lead singer for Manfred Mann, turns 66 today.
|02.26.10 at 9:52 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.
At the Olympics Thursday in Vancouver, Canada defeated the United States for the gold medal in women’s hockey. That went over well in Canada. The team’s celebration, however, wasn’t as well-received. After a half-hour in the locker room, the players returned to the ice and partied with champagne, beer and cigars.
“I don’t think it’s a good promotion of sport values,” said Gilbert Felli, the IOC’s executive director of the Olympic Games. “If they celebrate in the changing room, that’s one thing, but not in public. We will investigate what happened.”
Hockey Canada apologized in a press release late Thursday night. “The members of Team Canada apologize if their on-ice celebrations, after fans had left the building, have offended anyone,” the statement said. “In the excitement of the moment, the celebration left the confines of our dressing room and shouldn’t have. The team regrets that its gold medal celebration may have caused the IOC or COC any embarrassment.
“Our players and team vow to uphold the values of the Olympics moving forward and view this situation as a learning experience.”
BASEBALL: Rob Bradford looks at how one adjustment led Marco Scutaro to Boston. Hitting coach Dave Magadan defended the Red Sox offense. David Ortiz is in a better place this spring. The Sox unveiled plans for their new spring training home. On Dennis & Callahan this morning, Jonathan Papelbon said he’s “on a mission.” Theo Epstein talked to D&C about his thoughts on the team.
Alex Rodriguez said last season’s World Series title is like “a humongous gorilla came off my back.” Mark McGwire responded to his estranged brother’s tell-all book by saying that he doesn’t plan on ever seeing him again. Infielder Khalil Greene’s contract was voided by the Rangers, as the player did not report to spring training due to social anxiety issues.
The Steelers re-signed nose tackle Casey Hampton. Representatives from the players union and the league met to talk about a new CBA.
Without coach George Karl (cancer treatment), the Nuggets raced past the Warriors. The Bucks edged the Pacers for their fifth straight win. As expected, the Wizards bought out Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ contract, clearing the way for him to return to the Cavaliers in a month. The Grizzlies assigned rookie center Hasheem Thabeet to the D-League.
Purdue junior forward Robbie Hummel is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Isiah Thomas was ejected from Florida International’s loss to Middle Tennessee. Syracuse is expecting a record crowd for an on-campus game when it hosts Villanova Saturday.
HOCKEY: The Bruins returned to the ice for practice. Dan Rowinski analyzes the B’s top defensive pairing. The Flames gave Rene Bourque a six-year extension worth $20 million. The Wild signed winger Cal Clutterbuck to a three-year extension. Blues forward Cam Janssen was suspended five games for a hit to the head on Washington’s Matt Bradley.
OLYMPICS: The U.S. women’s hockey team fell to Canada in the gold medal game. South Korean Kim Yu-na won the women’s figure skating gold. Skier Julia Mancuso talked about her rivalry with Lindsey Vonn and played down the controversy. The United States won a couple of Nordic medals.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 26, 1935, the New York Yankees released Babe Ruth so that he could sign with which team to finish out his playing career?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This year everyone is doubting our offense, so that motivates you, and not only me but all the other guys in the lineup have something to prove. It’s going to be fun proving everybody wrong.” — Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, during an appearance on Dennis & Callahan
STAT OF THE DAY: 3-for-21 — The Celtics’ shooting in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s loss to the Cavaliers
‘NET RESULTS: Soccer goalie scores goal. From own box.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Boston Braves
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Fats Domino is 82 today. Interesting fact: When he and his family were rescued from their flooded New Orleans home during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath in 2005, they stayed with then-LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who reportedly was dating Domino’s granddaughter.
|02.26.10 at 8:25 am ET|
The Thrill of Victory
The United States continued its successful run in Vancouver with a few more medals on Thursday, and two of them came from an unlikely source.
With his gold in the large hill competition at Nordic combined, Billy Demong captured the first gold medal ever for the U.S. in Nordic competition. His teammate, Johnny Spillane, wasn’t far behind to give the Americans ultimate bragging rights with a 1-2 finish in the race.
These two guys should be dubbed the “Mailmen” from here on out, because they had to tackle the rain, snow and wind to get through the grueling course — similar to if they live in the Washington D.C. area during a tough winter storm.
Jeret Peterson took home a silver medal in the men’s freestyle competition. Peterson is the owner of two pretty sweet nicknames. His nickname is “Speedy” and his jump that landed him on the medal stand is called “Hurricane.”
Peterson had to deal with some demons during his life, as he has battled alcohol and depression, but now he can call himself a decorated Olympian.
The Agony of Defeat
The U.S. women were destined for gold. They blew through all their competition and made Russia look like a JV team in the process, but you know what … so did Canada. The host ladies defeated the American’s 2-0 in the gold medal game.
Both squads seemed to be skating in the park during these Olympics. The American’s held a 40-2 scoring advantage coming into the final, but Shannon Szabados did her best Ryan Miller impersonation to keep the U.S. off the score sheet.
Julia Mancuso couldn’t defend her championship in the giant slalom and finished in a distant eighth place. It was her last attempt at a medal, as she has decided to skip Friday’s slalom event. Mancuso goes home with two silvers and a war of words with America’s sweetheart Lindsey Vonn.
Bill Schuffenhauer, a member of the U.S. bobsled team, found his way into the news for an off-track incident. Schuffenhauer was detained and released by Canadian police after an alleged domestic incident with his fiancée.
With the final races coming up on Friday and Saturday, you wonder where his head will be at when the U.S. team is ready to take on one of the fastest tracks in Olympic history.
The women’s hockey team was loaded with New Englanders who had to settle for a silver medal in the Vancouver Games. The six New England ladies will probably be welcomed with open arms upon their return from Canada, but gold was there for the taking. The shots just came up empty when it mattered most.
Other than the women’s hockey team, New Englanders were not well-represented during Thursday’s events.
United States (8 gold, 12 silver, 12 bronze) 32 total
Germany (8, 11, 7) 26
Norway (7,6,6) 19
|02.25.10 at 8:05 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.
Mark McGwire’s estranged brother Jay gave an interview to promote his new book and said the former home run king knew what he was doing when he used performance-enhancing drugs,.
“Mark knew that he was going to get the strength and endurance and size. I know that the main motive to justify taking steroids was healing,” Jay McGwire said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I know that for a fact. But in the long run he knew the strength and the size and endurance will increase. I don’t know why he’s coming across that it was all healing.”
A former bodybuilder, Jay McGwire claims he convinced his brother to use steroids regularly after Mark’s injury-filled 1993 season with the A’s.
Derek Jeter wants to stay with the Yankees after his contract expires at the end of this season.
An emotional LaDanian Tomlinson bid farewell to the Chargers. Raiders coach Tom Cable will not be punished by the NFL after an investigation into allegations of domestic violence against women and a fight with an assistant. South Florida prosecutors said they will not file rape charges against former Cowboys star Michael Irvin.
The Mavericks turned away the Lakers. Dwight Howard recorded his franchise-record 19th straight double-double in the Magic’s win over the Rockets. The Hawks held off the Timberwolves. The Bucks are .500 after beating the Hornets. Manu Ginobli blocked a Kevin Durant dunk down the stretch to help the Spurs beat the Thunder. Here it is:
HOCKEY: Dan Rowinski continues his Bruins positional analysis with a look at left wingers.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 25, 1982, which former major league pitcher signed with the Pawtucket Red Sox?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He knows his game went to the next level because his body went to the next level.” — Jay McGwire, on brother Mark McGwire
STAT OF THE DAY: 67 — Consecutive wins (and all by double digits) for the UConn women’s basketball team after Wednesday night’s 87-66 rout of Syracuse
‘NET RESULTS: Magic guard Vince Carter throws the ball 86 feet into the basket while sitting on the ground.
Soccer player scores goal, decapitates team mascot to celebrate.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Mark Fidrych
SOOTHING SOUNDS: George Harrison was born on this day in 1943 (he died in 2001).
|02.24.10 at 9:21 pm ET|
Win a championship in the city of Boston and nine times out of 10 you will be welcomed with open arms upon your return … even if it is with another team.
On Tuesday night, Eddie House made a trip back to TD Garden only a week after being traded to the Knicks for Nate Robinson, and the cheers from the fans literally brought the “House” down. A video montage of House highlights was displayed on the big screen for all to see, and the fans offered up a loud standing ovation for the C’s former spark plug.
House wasn’t a starter or a superstar on the team that brought home the 17th banner to Causeway Street, but he showed up when it counted most and could ignite a Celtics charge with a couple of patented catch-and-shoot 3-pointers.
Here’s a look at a couple of other cases in which an athlete returned to Boston after helping secure a championship in the city. (As said before, nine times out of 10 the response is overwhelmingly positive, but as you will see, it doesn’t happen that way every time.)
In his one season with the Celtics, Posey, like House, helped end a 22-year championship drought for the most decorated team in the NBA history. Posey was the guy off the bench that year, filling the role as defensive stopper and clutch shooter all in one.
Posey was able to give Paul Pierce and Ray Allen much needed rest during the season, and in the Finals Posey made quite a name for himself with big shot after big shot.
Don’t forget about the monumental pregame hugs at half court.
Posey’s outstanding play in the playoffs made him a little too rich for the Celtics’ liking after the season and he inked a lucrative deal with the New Orleans Hornets, ending a very successful one-year run with the Green.
He returned to Boston in December 2008 to collect his ring in a Hornets uniform and he was more than well received in his return. A ceremony was put on in Posey’s honor, as he missed the initial ring ceremony at the beginning of the season because he was playing with his new team.
See what one steal can do for a man? Roberts was brought over at the trade deadline in 2004 and played sparingly in the Red Sox outfield. But his steal against the Yankees in the ALCS will never be forgotten.
Here is some amateur video of the big play that helped spark the comeback vs. the Yankees.
Roberts’ time in Boston was brief, but will never be forgotten by Bostonians. He returned in 2005 with the San Francisco Giants in an interleague game at Fenway and was welcomed with a big standing ovation.
Roberts filled in for Jerry Remy on NESN at times last season as a color commentator and probably doesn’t have to by a dinner in Boston ever again. Who knew that one steal gets you a job and free food?
Remember that nine-times-out-of-10 thing we talked about? Well Damon fits the bill in this situation. The self-proclaimed “Idiot” — he wrote a book about it, too — captured the hearts of Red Sox fans for four seasons and helped bring THE championship that Boston wanted most.
At the end of the 2005 season, the Red Sox decided to part ways with the bearded wonder, and what did he do? He shaved the beard and turned to the “Dark Side,” as Larry Lucchino likes to call it.
Damon stunned Red Sox Nation by signing a four-year deal with the hated Yankees, and you knew his first trip back to Fenway was going to be ugly. He even took out a full-page ad in the local papers to thank the fans, but that wasn’t enough for Sox fans after he put on the pinstripes.
His first game was sure to be a circus. Just check the bleacher creatures heckling the formerly beloved center fielder.
Damon helped the Yankees another World Series last season, and he just signed a deal with the Detroit Tigers. Who knows how fans will treat him when he comes to town in a different uniform?
|02.24.10 at 10:12 am ET|
The Thrill of Victory
For whatever reason, women’s figure skating is one of the most popular events at the Winter Games. And on Tuesday, fans were treated to quite a show from the sport’s best: Kim Yu-na.
The South Korean skater performed a flawless routine in her short program, breaking her own record with a score of 78.5 points, almost five points ahead of main rival Mao Asada of Japan. The gold medal favorite thrilled the audience and the judges with her skate set to the James Bond theme and will head into Thursday’s free skate with a sizable lead.
It was not the only inspiring moment of the night in the event. Canadian Joannie Rochette, the 2009 silver medalist at the world championships, performed just days after her mother, Therese, passed away after suffering a heart attack. Despite the obvious weight on her shoulders, Rochette was able to compose herself and come through with a third-best score, moving the crowd that supported their own in one of the most emotional moments of the games.
Another Canadian woman had a memorable Tuesday. Ashleigh McIvor, a Whistler native, blew past the competition in the skicross to win the first-ever gold in the event. The hometown girl had come in as one of the favorites and delivered the sixth gold of the games for the hosts.
The United States kept its hold of the overall medal lead, barely staying ahead of Germany. That was helped by the continued surprising effectiveness of the Nordic team. A little over a week after Johnny Spillane won the first-ever Nordic medal for the United States, a silver in the normal hill competition, he teamed with Billy Demong, Todd Lodwick and Brett Camerota for second podium finish. This was eerily similar to the end of Spillane’s race, as Austria’s Mario Stecher passed Demong on the final downhill to once again deny the U.S. gold. Still, another medal in Nordic is a strong indication of the U.S. turnaround in the event.
The Agony of Defeat
If there had been one international athlete that had owned the Olympics up to this point, you could have made a strong case that it was the Netherlands’ Sven Kramer. He was all set to cement his status as the world’s best in long track speedskating with a record-setting performance in the 10,000 meters and another gold. Instead, Kramer walked away with nothing after a disqualification for failing to change lanes.
Kramer’s failure was Lee Seung-hoon’s gain, who won his second medal of the games after taking advantage of the miscue between Kramer and his coach Gerard Kemkers, who sent the Dutch star into the wrong lane. Though Lee’s gold medal time was an Olympic record, this one was all about Kramer’s blunder.
New Hampshire native Bode Miller also went away empty-handed in the giant slalom on Tuesday. After three medals in as many races, Miller had high hopes in the event. But he picked up too much speed on the course in his first run and missed a gate trying to correct himself, ending his day early.
And a day after the U.S. men’s curling team ended its Olympic run with a disappointing 2-7 record and a share of last place, the women’s side lost 10-3 to Switzerland Tuesday to finish with an identical mark, but alone at the bottom of the standings. Needless to say, the Americans never found their footing on the Vancouver ice.
The Local Outlook
Though Miller could not come through with another podium finish, the day wasn’t all bad for those with New England ties.
Bruins stalwart David Krejci lifted the Czech Republic into the men’s hockey quarterfinals with an overtime goal, saving his team after it had squandered a 2-0 lead. The Czech side will face Finland today for a spot in the semis.
Erin Pac of Farmington, Conn., drove the USA-2 sled into striking position on the first day of the women’s bobsled, just 0.13 seconds away from the top tandem from Canada. It was an unexpected surprise after Pac spent much of this past weekend casting doubt over her performance, saying she had “not learned [the Whistler track] yet,” and that it was a “huge struggle” for her. So much for that, as the she and Elana Meyers head into today’s last two heats in second place.
Lenox, Mass., native Laura Spector competed in her final event of her Olympics debut on Tuesday, helping the U.S. team to a 17th place finish in the biathlon relay. The Russian team won the gold to defend its Olympic win in Turin.
Wednesday, Pac will be in the spotlight as she and Meyers try to vault into the top spot and give the U.S. its first medal in the sliding sports in Vancouver. Joining her will be Belmont’s Emily Cook, who will be looking for a medal of her own in the women’s aerials. Cook was the top U.S. representative in qualifying, finishing with the fifth best score and will try to jump into medal position.
The Medal Count
United States: 26 (7 gold, 9 silver, 10 bronze)
Germany: 23 (7, 9, 7)
Norway: 17 (6, 5, 6)
|02.24.10 at 9:02 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.
It’s common knowledge that hot dogs are not good for you. A Kansas man says he found out last season that they can be dangerous without even eating one, and he blames the Royals. John Coomer filed a lawsuit against the team seeking more than $25,000 for injuries he sustained Sept. 8 when he was hit in the eye with a hot dog thrown by the team’s lion mascot, Sluggerrr. Coomer said the hot dog caused a detached retina and the development of cataracts in his left eye. The Royals are getting a replacement for their mascot, but they did not say if this was the reason why.
BASEBALL: Mike Lowell talked about his situation and said he’s healthier than last season and wasn’t bothered by the offseason trade talks. Here’s the wrap-up of Tuesday’s developments at spring training.
The Eagles released running back Brian Westbrook. The Panthers said they will not franchise Julius Peppers. Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson pleaded guilty to DUI and received a four-day jail sentence and five years probation. Former Raiders assistant Randy Hanson is suing head coach Tom Cable and the team for Cable’s alleged attack on him.
The NCAA found that Michigan did not comply with practice time rules.
BASKETBALL: The Celtics edged the Knicks. Paul Flannery has the Three-Pointer analysis. Jessica Camerato talked to Knicks players about Nate Robinson. Mike Petraglia has Eddie House talking about his love for Boston.
Kobe Bryant returned to the Lakers and hit the winning shot vs. the Grizzlies. The Cavaliers ended their three-game losing streak. New Wizards forward Josh Howard tore his ACL and is done for the season.
No. 4 Syracuse won at Providence. No. 11 Georgetown handled Louisville. Florida beat No. 19 Tennessee. Philadelphia University coach Herb Magee became the NCAA’s all-time leader in wins, passing Bob Knight.
HOCKEY: Dan Rowinski continues his Bruins positional analysis with a look at the right wingers.
MISC.: Tiger Woods reportedly sent a letter to parents at his 2-year-old’s preschool apologizing for media presence at the school. ESPN suspended “Pardon the Interruption” co-host Tony Kornheiser for comments he made about SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm’s clothing.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 23, 1986, which Red Sox player lost his arbitration case but came away with $1.35 million, which was the largest award of its kind to that date?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m definitely healthier this year than last. I don’t see why I should get less at-bats.” — Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, at a spring training press conference
STAT OF THE DAY: 903 — Carer wins for Philadelphia University basketball coach Herb Magee, moving him past Bob Knight into No. 1 all-time in NCAA history
‘NET RESULTS: This person will not be competing in the Olympics.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Wade Boggs, who had been seeking $1.85 million
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Rupert Holmes is 63 today.
|02.23.10 at 5:02 pm ET|
The Thrill of Victory
In 2006, the U.S. women’s hockey team was just as on fire as it is in 2010. The Americans had outscored their first three opponents 17-3 and qualified for a semifinal-round match against Sweden.
They then fell to Sweden 3-2, ending their gold medal hopes.
Monday, however, team USA avenged that semifinal loss four long years ago, pummeling Sweden 9-1 and advancing to Thursday night’s gold medal game.
Monique Lamoureux had a hat trick in the victory that put the Americans in the final against Canada.
Lamoureux and Co. won’t be spending much time enjoying their revenge, as Canada presents a whole new set of problems.
The Canadians have been every bit as successful as the United States in 2010, outscoring their opponents 46-2 in their run to the gold medal game. They are led by Meghan Agosta, who set an Olympic record Monday night with her ninth goal of the tournament in Canada’s 5-0 win over Finland.
But for now, the USA can at least take solace in the fact that this year, history did not repeat itself. Instead, the Americans now have a chance to make positive memories rather than negative ones.
The Agony of Defeat
It just hasn’t gone quite right for the American men’s curling team.
In an Olympics in which the USA has taken control of the ice, the air, the powder and the medal count, there remains one area where the Americans have slipped out of the world eye – and Monday night, entirely out of contention.
Following its 11-5 loss to team China last night, the U.S. men’s curling team was eliminated from medal contention after posting a 2-7 record over nine contests.
Earlier Monday, the Americans took on Canada and grabbed an early lead. But, as has been their luck this Olympics, they fell behind and eventually lost 7-2 in a shortened match.
Their 2-7 record may not be as bad as it appears, however, with three of their losses coming in extra ends, which is similar to extra innings in a game of baseball.
Still, elimination is elimination no matter how you look at it, and the Americans now will be forced to watch the remainder of the Olympics from their couches.
Honorable mention to Canada’s Martin Brodeur, who was officially replaced in net by Roberto Luongo following the Canadians’ upset loss to the Americans on Sunday night. Brodeur has had his struggles so far in the Olympics, especially in Sunday’s game, when he allowed four goals, including a few that could be labeled as “questionable.”
Team Canada will take the ice with its new postmaster tonight against Germany in a playoff qualifier.
The Olympic committee might want to think about awarding three separate medals in Thursday night’s gold medal collision between Canada and the United State: one for the victor, one for the loser and another for New England.
The six contributing members of the U.S. squad continued to make their mark on the 2010 games Monday afternoon, totaling two goals and six assists.
Meghan Duggan’s first-period goal put the USA up 2-0 en route to its 9-1 drubbing of Sweden. Harvard’s Caitlin Cahow recorded the assist on Duggan’s score and netted a goal of her own early in the second period.
Prior to that, Hanover’s Hilary Knight recorded one of her two assists on the first score of the game, Monique Lamoureux’s first of three goals. Julie Chu of Fairfield, Conn., assisted on Team USA’s eighth goal of the game, while Fitchburg, Mass., native Erika Lawler was responsible for assisting on the Americans’ fifth and seventh red-lighters.
The New Englanders will look to continue to carry the USA’s torch come Thursday night, when they hit the ice to take on Canada for the gold.
United States 25 (7 gold, 8 silver, 10 bronze)
Germany 21 (7, 9, 5)
Norway 14 (6, 3, 5)
|02.23.10 at 8:01 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 Toronto Star ran a story and followup over the weekend that focused on boxing matches being held in locker rooms of youth hockey teams. According to the report, it’s not a new problem. And according to many parents, it’s not a problem at all.
The report was sparked by this video showing 15-year-olds from the Minor Midget A Vaughan Panthers go at each other in a locker room last month.
Manny Ramirez said his days with the Dodgers are numbered. The Yankees are working on a deal with pitcher Chan Ho Park. Hank Aaron gave Mark McGwire a thumb’s-up for the former slugger’s admission of steroid use.
BASKETBALL: Jessica Camerato takes a look at what the NBA’s elite players are expecting from the Celtics the rest of the season.
Allen Iverson left the 76ers again to be with his sick child. The Hawks won in Utah for the first time in 17 years. Andrew Bogut had 24 points and 20 rebounds as the Bucks beat the Knicks, who visit the Celtics tonight. Oklahoma City signed free agent guard Antonio Anderson of Lynn to a 10-day contract, waiving forward Matt Harpring.
UConn picked up another impressive win, beating No. 8 West Virginia. Kansas held off Oklahoma to clinch a share of the Big 12 title. Texas point guard Dogus Balbay is done for the season with a torn ACL. New Mexico moved into the Top 25 for the first time in 12 seasons.
HOCKEY: Dan Rowinski begins his Bruins positional analysis with a look at the centers.
Oregon suspended linebacker Kiko Alonso for the 2010 season after he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants over the weekend.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 23, 1998, the first owner of the Patriots died at the age of 82. Who was he?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s been great. I wish I could have been there a long time ago. It’s a great city and I had a blast there. I’m just happy the way they received me out there. It was unbelievable.” — Former Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez, on playing in Los Angeles for what he expects will be his last season there
STAT OF THE DAY: 8 — LaDanian Tomlinson’s rank on the NFL’s all-time rushing list; he was let go by the Chargers Monday
‘NET RESULTS: Here’s a collection of impressive basketball trick shots.
Bowler Brian Voss converts a 7-10 split with a lucky bounce of the pin.
Trinity beat Yale for its 12th straight national squash title, and it got a little testy at the end.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Billy Sullivan
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Howard Jones is 56 today.
|02.22.10 at 11:48 am ET|
The Thrill of Victory
The United States is adding a little blue to the traditional Canada red and white.
The U.S. continued to pad its totals Sunday as it strives to win the medal count for the first time since the 1932 Winter Games in Lake Placid, but the day’s biggest victory came in a preliminary event, and it came at the expense of the host nation.
The U.S. hockey team scored its most monumental victory since the Miracle on Ice, almost 30 years to the day after one of the defining moments of Olympic history, by beating the star-studded Canadian team 5-3.
Brian Rafalski scored two goals and added an assist, Ryan Miller had 42 saves in net and Ryan Kesler added an empty-net tally in the final minute to seal the deal for the victory that will let the U.S. get an all-important bye before facing the winner of Switzerland-Belarus. And the young American team earned it against the tournament favorite and the best goaltender in the NHL in Martin Brodeur.
Another Miller also made headlines — Bode Miller grabbed his first Olympic gold and third medal in three events in Vancouver on Sunday by rallying from seventh place to the top of the podium in the super-combined. Four years after a disastrous run at Turin after which Miller become vilified in the media, the Franconia, N.H., native had the third-best time in the slalom portion of the event, allowing him to leap over his competitors for the gold medal and set off a chorus of “Miller Time” headlines across the nation.
Miller wasn’t the only one who won a third medal on Sunday. Magdelena Neuner did her best to help Germany try to keep pace with the U.S. in the overall medal count by winning her second gold of the games in the 12.5k biathlon, adding to the silver she took on the first day in Vancouver. Neuner is the second women to earn two biathlon golds in the same games and joins cross-country skier Marit Bjoegen of Norway as the only female athlete with three medals at these games.
The Agony of Defeat
It wasn’t all sunshine for the U.S., however, in Sunday’s events. The Americans were shut out in the skicross, as Daron Rahlves and Casey Puckett both lost in their first heat after qualifying. Rahlves, one of the best downhill skiers of his generation, will head home without a medal in his fourth Olympic appearance after a nasty spill left the 36-year old — who it just so happens was already nursing a hip injury suffered last month at the Winter X Games — out of contention.
Puckett also was dealing with an injury of his own, this one a dislocated shoulder that hampered him for the last six weeks. He mis-timed a jump in his race and finished in last in the heat, finishing medal-less in his fifth appearance at the games. Though the injuries had lowered expectations some, there was hope that the pair could go back to being the medal contenders they had been penciled in as, but Michael Schmid of Switzerland was the story in the skicross.
The U.S. also continued to struggle in the sliding sports on the Whistler track, adding to the frustrations in the skeleton and luge by once again coming away without a medal, this time in the bobsled. German Andre Lange continued his dominance in the sport, teaming with brakeman Kevin Kukse for his fourth gold medal and cementing his status as perhaps the best-ever in the sport.
And Canadian fans distraught over their hockey team’s loss could find little solace on other ice Sunday. With two heavy favorites in the 1,500 speedskating event, Christine Nesbitt and Kristina Groves, the crowds watched the Netherlands continue to make Vancouver home and dominate the long track events. Ireena Wust left everyone in the dust and won her second gold medal (she won the 3,000 in Turin), relegating Groves to second and the favored Nesbitt to sixth with her blistering pace.
The Local Look
Bode Miller made New England proud on Sunday, and he will have two more attempts to continue his storybook turnaround at these games. But he wasn’t the only local to enjoy the day.
Connecticut native and former BU star Chris Drury certainly played a part in the U.S. hockey win over Canada, tallying the team’s third goal of the evening to break a 2-2 second-period deadlock.
On Monday, the U.S. women’s team looks to make its own headlines in the rink in its semifinal matchup with Sweden, and it boasts a strong contingent of players with New England ties.
Skier Ryan St. Onge, who was born in Hartford but moved to Colorado, will be looking to set himself up for the finals of the aerials Thursday with a solid day of qualification on Monday.
The Medal Count
United States: 24 (7 gold, 7 silver, 10 bronze)
Germany: 18 (6, 7, 5)
Norway: 12 (5, 3, 4)
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