|04.15.13 at 12:36 pm ET|
Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa won the 117th Boston Marathon on Monday, pulling ahead late in the race and finishing in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 22 seconds. He beat Kenyan Micah Kongo by five seconds and Ethiopian Gebregziabher Gebremariam by eight seconds.
Desisa, 23, promised he would come back again next year after training back in Ethiopia for the hilly Boston course. He sat for a postrace interview with WBZ-TV and said the course took a toll on his body.
“The muscles, [from running] down and up, become bad,” he said in broken English.
American Jason Hartmann took fourth in 2:12:12, and 2012 champion Wesley Korir was fifth in 2:12:30. There were two other Americans in the top 10: Daniel Tapia (ninth in 2:14:30) and Craig Leon (10th in 2:14:38).
Kenyan Rita Jeptoo won the women’s race in 2:26:55, with Ethiopia’s Meseret Hailu second in 2:26:58 and 2012 champion Sharon Cherop third in 2:27:01. Marblehead’s Shalane Flanagan was fourth in 2:27:08, and fellow American Kara Goucher was sixth in 2:28:11.
Japan’s Hiroyuki Yamamoto won the men’s wheelchair race in 1:25:33. South Africa’s Ernst Van Dyk, who has won a record nine Boston Marathons, finished second in 1:27:12, one second ahead of Japan’s Kota Hokinoue.
In the women’s wheelchair division, American Tatyana McFadden was first in 1:45:25, Sandra Graf of Switzerland was second in 1:46:54, and American Amanda McGrory was third in 1:49:19.
One year after the hottest sustained temperatures on record for the Boston Marathon, the temperature at the start in Hopkinton was 48 degrees under partly cloudy skies, and it warmed up into the mid-50s during the race.
The 117th running of the Boston Marathon began after 26 seconds of silence in honor of the victims of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. A field of 27,000 took to the starting line in Hopkinton.
|04.15.13 at 7:55 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 11:05 a.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Phillies at Reds, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Senators at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Stars at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Grizzlies at Mavericks, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Spurs at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
Running: Boston Marathon, 9 a.m. (WBZ-TV, Universal Sports Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Mike Rice, recently removed from his position as basketball coach at Rutgers after video of him berating and assaulting players at practice was made public, is back on the sidelines, and his demeanor apparently hasn’t changed much. Rice was spotted coaching his daughter’s seventh-grade AAU team out of Neptune, N.J., and, according to one witness, “he’s still acting like a mad man … yelling at both refs and kids.”
Brian Geltzeiler, founder of the website hoopscritic.com, sent a series of tweets Sunday expressing his surprise that Rice was coaching — and acting “as nuts as ever.”
Tweeted Geltzeiler: Just this afternoon Rice told a 12 year old girl, “I can’t even look at you” and the ref told my guy he would have T’d him up 2x if it was HS.
Rice reportedly was coaching the AAU team all season, including while he was at Rutgers. Parents of the girls apparently are OK with Rice’s rants.
SNY.tv quotes a source close to the team as saying that the depiction of Rice is “a gross misrepresentation of the facts. The team’s parents are fully behind coach Rice and his instruction of their daughters.”
♦ Doug Collins will resign as coach of the 76ers at the end of this season, according to a Yahoo! Sports report. Collins, 62, has one year left on his four-year contract, but he informed owner Josh Harris that he will turn down his $4.5 million salary. There is a possibility Collins could remain with the team in another capacity.
The Sixers, who lost to the Celtics in seven games the Eastern Conference semifinals last year, have been eliminated from playoff contention. They are 33-47 and in ninth place in the East.
♦ The Cubs came to an agreement with the city on plans to improve Wrigley Field, with the team set to invest $500 million in the project. As part of the deal, the team will get more night games, four yearly concerts, a video scoreboard in left field and an advertising sign in right field.
It’s not clear how the physical changes will affect fans who watch the games from rooftops of building next to the park. A team statement said that “the Cubs will work with the city on placement of both … to minimize impact on nearby rooftops to the extent consistent with the team’s needs.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 15, 1993, which future Hall of Famer playing for the Red Sox hit his 400th home run during a 4-3, 13-inning victory over the Indians?
|04.14.13 at 8:09 pm ET|
Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters on Sunday, edging Angel Cabrera on the second hole of a playoff on a rainy day at Augusta National to take home the green jacket. After a dramatic finish in regulation that saw Scott and then Cabrera birdie the 72nd hole that allowed them to both finish at -9 and force a playoff, Scott connected on a birdie on the second playoff hole for the win. Jason Day was third at -7, while Tiger Woods and Marc Leishman were tied for fourth at -5.
|04.13.13 at 11:01 am ET|
After an illegal drop on the 15th hold at the Masters Tournament on Friday, the tournament’s Rules Committee decided not to disqualify the world’s top-ranked golfer. Instead, he was assessed a two-stroke penalty.
The Rules Committee issued the following explanation:
Yesterday afternoon, the Rules Committee was made aware of a possible Rules violation that involved a drop by Tiger Woods at the 15th hole.
In preparation for his fifth shot, the player dropped his ball in close proximity to where he had played his third shot in apparent conformance with Rule 26. After being prompted by a television viewer, the Rules Committee reviewed a video of the shot while he was playing the 18th hole. At that moment and based on that evidence, the Committee determined he had complied with the Rules.
After he signed his scorecard, and in a television interview subsequent to the round, the player stated that he played further from the point than where he had played his third shot. Such action would constitute playing from the wrong place.
The subsequent information provided by the player’s interview after he had completed play warranted further review and discussion with him this morning. After meeting with the player, it was determined that he had violated Rule 26, and he was assessed a two-stroke penalty. The penalty of disqualification was waived by the Committee under Rule 33 as the Committee had previously reviewed the information and made its initial determination prior to the finish of the player’s round.
Chairman, Competition Committees
The penalty left Woods one stroke under par through two rounds, five strokes behind tournament leader Jason Day.
|04.12.13 at 1:42 pm ET|
As the NFL draft approaches, former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu is on a cross-country tour to speak with NFL coaches and try to convince them that his troubled past is behind him.
Mathieu, who was arrested on possession of marijuana charges and kicked off the LSU football team in October, has been meeting with coaches in a suit and tie, working to establish a new image for himself.
So far, Mathieu has met with six teams, and still has four more visits planned: the Cardinals, Bengals, Texans and Seahawks. He held a private workout for the Bengals before his pro day.
“People misstep sometimes,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis told USA Today. “It comes down to us having confidence that a person has turned a corner.”
When one team asked him how many drug tests he failed at LSU, according to an assistant coach of the team who spoke anonymously, Mathieu said, “I quit counting at 10. I really don’t know.”
That coach said he blames LSU in part for the situation: ”If he flunked 10 tests before they suspended him, it shows that he got no kind of help.”
Mathieu’s football skills had drawn attention long before his off-field problems became public. As a sophomore, he was the first defensive player in 14 years to be a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
He stands just 5-foot-9 and weighs 186 pounds, but observers have praised Mathieu’s football instincts, and he earned the nickname “Honey Badger” for his tenaciousness on the field. He’s expected to go in the second or third round of the draft, and his position likely will depend heavily on whether teams believe they can trust him to stay clean off the field.
|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.
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