Monday’s Morning Mashup: New York poll shows dissatisfaction with Rangers coach John Tortorella
|05.27.13 at 7:55 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Phillies at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Nationals, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Mets, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at White Sox, 7 p.m. (WGN)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Grizzlies, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL playoffs: Blackhawks at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Lacrosse: NCAA championship, Duke vs. Syracuse, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Following the Rangers’ Eastern Conference semifinals loss to the Bruins that ended Saturday night in Game 5, the New York Daily News ran a poll asking readers to vote on which members of the team should stay or go. No surprisingly, there was general discontent with the sixth-seeded Rangers’ dismal performance against the Bruins that came one year after New York finished first in the Eastern Conference standings and reached Game 6 of the conference finals.
The front office took the hardest hit, with 71 percent voting to fire coach John Tortorella, who has one more year remaining on his contract, 62 percent voting to remove general manager Glen Sather, and 83 percent voting to depose owner James Dolan.
Tortorella took some heat during the series for his confrontational approach toward the media and for criticizing his players publicly.
“Certainly the responsibility falls on me,” Tortorella said after Saturday’s game. “I think one of the big things in this series was I could not — and it does, it falls on me, it’s a big part of my job — is to get your top players to play consistently, and I couldn’t do that. We tried, and so I need to take some responsibility in trying to get them in those spots to help us here. I thought that hurt us.”
The player who took the most heat from Daily News readers was veteran center Brad Richards, with 81 percent supporting his departure after he was demoted to the fourth line and then benched for the final two games against the Bruins. Richards, an alternate captain who led the team last postseason with 15 points, is playing on a nine-year, $60 million contract that runs through the 2019-2020 season. He is a candidate for a compliance buyout that would give New York some salary cap relief. The salary cap goes from $70.2 million this year to $64.3 million next season under terms of the new, 10-year collective bargaining agreement.
The Rangers are scheduled to gather their belongings at the team’s training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y., on Monday before heading their separate ways for the summer.
♦ Julie Hermann, hired to clean up the athletic department at Rutgers after the fallout from former basketball coach Mike Rice‘s abusive behavior, herself was accused of being an abusive coach when she guided the women’s volleyball team at Tennessee, according to a report in the Newark Star-Ledger.
Hermann quit at Tennessee in 1996 after all 15 of her her players signed a letter to school administrators complaining about mental cruelty. They stated that she called them “whores, alcoholics and learning disabled,” and they wrote: “It has been unanimously decided that this is an irreconcilable issue.”
Hermann pleaded ignorance when asked by the Star-Ledger, insisting she did not recall the letter.
“I never heard any of this, never name-calling them or anything like that whatsoever,” she said. “None of this is familiar to me.”
However, the Star-Ledger spoke with some former players and they said Hermann responded to the letter by saying: “I choose not to coach you guys.”
♦ Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay athlete to play in a U.S. professional league when he made his Major League Soccer debut Sunday night with the Los Angeles Galaxy in a 4-0 victory over the visiting Seattle Sounders.
“I guess this is a historic thing, but for me it was just a soccer game,” said the 26-year-old midfielder, who entered the game in the 77th minute to loud cheers from the crowd of 24,811.
Rogers, who played the last two seasons in England, had announced his retirement in February, when he came out in his blog. He accepted an invitation from Galaxy coach Bruce Arena to train with the team in April and was signed to a contract Saturday, after LA traded leading scorer Mike Magee to the Chicago Fire for Rogers’ rights.
“In a lot of ways the easy part is over,” Arena said. “Now the difficult part remains, which is getting him positioned to play. Our expectations for Robbie are not anything big in the near future. Hopefully, he’ll get back to the way we think he can be.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 27, 1985, in the Memorial Day Massacre at Boston Garden, the Celtics routed the Lakers, 148-114, in Game 1 of the NBA finals. Which Celtic set an NBA finals record by shooting 11-for-11 (including four 3-pointers)?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m just trying to be aggressive in the zone and look for a pitch I can drive. Fortunately, I put a good swing on it.” – Jacoby Ellsbury, after his two-run hit with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday gave the Red Sox a 6-5 victory over Cleveland
STAT OF THE DAY: 1 – Turnovers in the first half of Sunday night’s 114-96 victory over the Pacers by the Heat, a franchise playoff low (they finished with five overall)
‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Fox Sports Brewers sideline reporter Sophia Minnaert has her microphone knocked out of her hand by a wayward baseball.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Scott Wedman
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Bruce Cockburn was born on this day in 1945.
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