Archive for August, 2011

Miguel Tejada, Aaron Rowand designated for assignment by Giants

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Veteran shortstop Miguel Tejada and outfielder Aaron Rowand were designated for assignment by the Giants on Wednesday.

Tejada, who signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal as a free agent in December, is batting .239 with four home runs and 26 RBIs in 91 games. The 2002 AL MVP with the A’s, Tejada is a 15-year MLB veteran.

“I just thank them for the opportunity,” Tejada told The Associated Press.

Rowand, who is making $12 million this season and is due the same salary for 2012, is hitting .233 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in 108 games.

The defending World Series champion Giants trail the Diamondbacks by a season-high six games in the National League West.

Bengals RB Cedric Benson begins jail sentence, will miss preseason finale

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Cedric Benson

Bengals running back Cedric Benson surrendered to authorities in Texas on Tuesday in order to serve his jail sentence for a 2010 assault charge. Benson was sentenced to 20 days but, according to attorneys for both sides, would be released after seven days for good behavior.

Under that scenario, Benson would miss Thursday night’s preseason finale vs. the Colts but would be back with the team by Tuesday in order to prepare for the regular-season opener on the road Sept. 11 vs. the Browns.

Benson initially indicated he planned to serve his sentence during the team’s bye week, but after his day in court Monday, he decided to serve it this week.

Benson entered into a deferred prosecution agreement on a second charge and will perform 30 hours of community service. The charge will be dropped if he stays out of trouble for one year.

Ex-Patriot James Sanders reportedly agrees to one-year deal with Falcons

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

One day after being cut by the Patriots, safety James Sanders apparently has found a new home, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Falcons, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

In his six seasons with the Patriots after being drafted in the fourth round out of Fresno State in 2005, Sanders played in 84 games, starting 50, and recorded 500 tackles, eight interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He had 42 tackles and three interceptions last season.

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Giants employee accused of embezzling $1.5M

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY WEDNESDAY:
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ A former payroll manager for the defending World Series champion Giants was arrested and charged with embezzling more than $1.5 million from the team’s salary and expense payments. Robin O’Connor, who was fired July 6, allegedly started taking the money beginning in June of last year. Her scheme unfolded when she forged a letter from a team human resources manager in an attempt to explain her boost in income while in the process of applying for a loan to buy a property in San Diego. O’Connor, a 41-year-old married mother of two who had a salary of $80,000, apparently admitted to at least some of the thefts after being confronted by Giants management.

♦ In The Wall Street Journal, Reed Albergotti looks at another consequence of the NFL’s new kickoff rules: It makes it more difficult for teams to identify players who have the combination of ability and fearlessness needed to succeed in the league. He uses former Patriot Rodney Harrison and controversial Steelers linebacker James Harrison as examples of players who turned heads with their play on special teams and earned their way into the starting lineup.

♦ Lakers guard Ron Artest said he will donate the $125,000 (plus any additional winnings) he’s receiving for his apperance on “Dancing With the Stars” to cancer research. Artest originally had said he wasn’t considering the show because of a lack of dancing skill, but his 8-year-old daughter convinced him otherwise. “She said, ‘Daddy, you can do it,’ ” Artest recalled. “It’s going to be fun.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 31, 2002, which Red Sox player committed an error for the first time in 250 games, ending his American League-record fielding streak at 592 chances?

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Mark Cuban reflects on finals: We beat ‘Evil Empire’

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was remarkably quiet throughout his team’s impressive playoff run, but with a Larry O’Brien trophy finally under his belt, Cuban has become more outspoken about his finals experience in recent days.

“The playoffs run 57 days,” he told CNN. “I really didn’t start to enjoy it until there were about 30 seconds left in the game … and it finally dawned on me that we had finally beaten the Evil Empire and all those doubts.”

Cuban said the turning point of the finals actually came when Dallas fell behind 2-1 in the series, and said coach Rick Carlisle was able to outmaneuver Erik Spoelstra.

“I’ll tell you the interesting thing,” he said. “After Game 3 of the Miami series, our guys said, ‘They aren’t making any adjustments. We got ‘em.’ And so the confidence was through the roof.”

Vikings executives ‘concerned’ about keeping team in Minnesota

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

The Vikings’ Metrodome lease expires on Feb. 1, 2012, which means the team could be playing its last season in Minneapolis. With just one preseason game left before the regular season gets underway, Vikings vice president of public affairs Lester Bagley admitted the team’s front office is uneasy about the future of the franchise.

“I am concerned,” he told ESPN Radio. “There is growing concern within our ownership, there is no doubt, about where this is headed and the fact that every year, we get to the end of the season and there is a different reason [a deal didn't get done].”

There has been plenty of speculation that the Vikings could be headed for Los Angeles if the lease is not renewed. Bagley hinted that several teams had already shown interest in moving the franchise.

“If we don’t get it done this fall, we get to February and we will be the only NFL team without a lease,” Bagley said. “The only one. There’s already been knocks on the door about, ‘Hey, we want to talk to you guys when your lease is up.’”

In 2010, Minnesota ranked 28th in attendance with an average of 58,751 fans per home game, ahead of the Lions, Rams, Buccaneers and Raiders.

Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews replace Tim Tebow as top-selling jerseys

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Clay Matthews

The Packers won their first Super Bowl in over a decade last season, and Green Bay fans seem determined to remember it forever. The jersey sales of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews have skyrocketed to the top of the charts, according to the Denver Post. Troy Polamalu‘s jersey currently ranks third.

Tim Tebow, on the other hand, saw his jersey sales drop from No. 1 down to No. 10, as it seems more and more likely he won’t get much playing time in 2011.

According to Business Insider, Polamalu had the best-selling jersey at the end of the 2011 season, followed by Drew Brees, Tebow, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Jeremy Shockey saves choking Panthers teammate

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY TUESDAY:
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

Jeremy Shockey

♦ Tight end Jeremy Shockey has not avoided controversy during his NFL career, but on Monday he showed his better side. When fellow Panthers tight end Ben Hartstock could not breathe because he was choking on a piece of pork tenderloin, Shockey stepped in and dislodged the meat, the National Football Post reported.

“[Hartstock] started to go to the bathroom, and I don’t know if he collapsed, but he couldn’t breathe,” said Hartstock’s agent, Mike McCartney. “Some new guy came and tried to give him the Heimlich. It didn’t work. Then Shockey hit him in the back pretty hard and out came the meat. The Panthers told me it was pretty scary.

“Ben told me, ‘Shockey came over and gave me the Heimlich maneuver and saved my life.’ He was in good spirits and he’s real thankful for Shockey.”

♦ U.S. women’s soccer team goalie Hope Solo, building on her newfound celebrity after the team’s World Cup runner-up finish, will compete on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” this fall. Solo and Lakers guard Ron Artest are the two athletes who were named to the Season 13 cast, announced Monday. They’ll join actor David Arquette, Sonny & Cher offspring Chaz Bono, legal analyst Nancy Grace, model Elisabetta Canalis, reality TV personalities Kristin Cavallari and Rob Kardashian, talk show host/actress Ricki Lake, singer/actress Chynna Phillips, war veteran/actor J.R. Martinez, and fashion analyst Carson Kressley.

Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 shorelines for college football this season, while Stewart Mandel at Sports Illustrated makes his bowl predictions. Mandel has Alabama and Oklahoma in the BCS title game, and Boston College playing Navy in the Military Bowl.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 30, 1997, Nomar Garciaparra‘s American League rookie-record hitting streak came to an end against the Braves at how many games?

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Tiger Woods commits to Frys.com Open in October

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Tiger Woods had added the Frys.com Open Oct. 6-9 in San Martin, Calif. to his fall schedule, according to his website, TigerWoods.com. The event is near Stanford, where Woods went to school.

“I always enjoy competing in my home state, and this tournament fits my schedule perfectly,” Woods said. “I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends.”

Woods has not played in a tournament since missing the cut in the PGA Championship earlier this month. It will be the first time Woods has played in this event.

Cavaliers rookies going back to school during lockout

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Some players are going overseas to play during the lockout, but Cavaliers rookies No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving and No. 4 overall pick Tristan Thomspon are going back to their respective colleges to take classes and continue their education.

“Just picked out my classes for this fall… Back to school it is!!!,” Irving tweeted Monday. He will be returning to Duke.

Thompson has the same idea as Irving, as he will be returning to the University of Texas.

“Even though I’m not playing basketball, I’m still being productive,” Thompson told The Canadian Press. “I’m working out with the Texas team, and continuing to get my education which is important because when it’s all said and done, basketball can only do so much for you. You stop playing when you’re around 35 so you’ve got another 60 more years to live, and I’ve got to do something. This education is going to help me.”