|Maple Leafs playoff ticket sale glitch send fans to expensive secondary market||04.26.13 at 12:39 pm ET|
The first Maple Leafs playoff ticket sale since 2004 should have been cause for celebration among weary Toronto fans. But when seats went on sale Thursday, the Leafs and Ticketmaster sent out an incorrect link, preventing tens of thousands of fans from purchasing the tickets they wanted.
The error was fixed after about 30 minutes, but by that point, all the tickets available had been bought. And Leafs fans who hoped to go through StubHub.com instead may have been surprised to see that seats in the lower bowl of the arena were listed for as much as $88,000 for Game 1.
While those exorbitant offers may or may not be legitimate, the Leafs have hiked the cost of their playoff tickets 75 percent over their regular-season tickets. By comparison, the Canadiens, a potential first-round opponent for the Leafs, have raised their playoff ticket costs between 55 and 59 percent, according to the Toronto Sun.
Toronto’s tickets already were the most expensive in the NHL, so while they may not have to pay $88,000, Leafs fans who want to see live playoff action will have to dig deep into their bank accounts.
|Ray Allen breaks record for most career playoff 3-pointers||04.26.13 at 10:10 am ET|
Ray Allen broke Reggie Miller‘s record for most career playoff 3-pointers on Thursday, knocking down the 321st of his career in the fourth quarter of the Heat’s Game 3 victory over the Bucks.
Allen tied the record in the second quarter of Thursday’s game. Then, with 8:37 left in the fourth, he took a pass from Norris Cole and made the shot from near the baseline on the right side to move ahead of Miller’s mark.
Allen already is the all-time record holder for 3-pointers made in a career and owned the record for the most in a single season (269 in 2005-06) until Stephen Curry broke it last week.
Thursday’s game was the 131st of Allen’s postseason career, so it took him 13 games fewer than Miller’s 144 to reach that mark. He made five of his eight shots from beyond the arc on Thursday as the Heat won, 104-91, to take a 3-0 lead in the series.
|Derek Jeter says there’s ‘no doubt’ he’ll return to Yankees this season||04.26.13 at 10:01 am ET|
Despite a recent setback in his recovery from a fractured ankle, Derek Jeter said Thursday he has “no doubt” that he’ll return this season.
Jeter was diagnosed last week with a small crack in his left ankle and now is wearing a walking boot to protect the ankle. The Yankees have said they expect him back after the All-Star break, but Jeter declined to say when he thinks he might return.
“I’m not getting into timelines. The last timeline I set, I didn’t make,” Jeter said. “Whenever it heals, I’ll be back.”
Jeter originally fractured the ankle Oct. 13 and had surgery for a dislocated ankle. In the offseason, the Yankees had hoped to have him back by Opening Day, but when issues arose in spring training, he had to be shut down.
Last week, because the ankle was not improving, Jeter had surgery done by Dr. Robert Anderson, and Anderson found the small crack in the bone.
Anderson told Yankees general manager Brian Cashman that 95 percent of players return from Jeter’s condition.
“I’ve been told this bone will heal,” Jeter said. “When it heals, I’ll be ready to go. It is frustrating that I can’t magically make it heal sooner than it is taking. But there is no doubt. I have no doubt.”
|Yankees top prospect Mason Williams arrested for DUI despite BAC below legal limit||04.26.13 at 9:59 am ET|
Yankees top prospect Mason Williams was arrested for DUI early on Thursday morning in Tampa, despite the fact that his blood-alcohol content was below the legal limit.
The 21-year-old outfielder was pulled over after officers saw him driving his Range Rover erratically and going 50 mph in a 40 mph zone around 2:45 a.m. Williams’ BAC was measured around .06, and the legal limit is .08, but he failed a field sobriety test and showed “clues of impairment,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The Yankees drafted Williams in the fourth round in 2010, and he presently is playing with the Single-A Tampa Yankees. He was ranked No. 32 on Baseball America’s top prospects list before this season.
|Dennis Rodman says FBI asked him for advice on North Korea||04.17.13 at 12:57 pm ET|
Dennis Rodman says the FBI has reached out to him for information on North Korea, hoping to use his recent trip to the country to help settle tensions as North Korea threatens to use nuclear force against the United States.
The White House did not originally embrace Rodman’s trip to North Korea in February, saying Kim Jong Un‘s government should be focusing on the welfare of its citizens instead of “celebrity sporting events.”
But as Rodman told The Miami Herald at a recent charity event, the FBI now is hoping to use Rodman’s first-hand experience with the North Korean elite to its advantage.
“They wanted to know what went on and who’s really in charge in North Korea,” Rodman told the Herald. “I have been invited back to North Korea in August, and I want to go.
“I know what Kim Jong Un is threatening to do regarding his military muscle,” he added. “I hope it doesn’t happen because America will take whatever actions to protect America and our allies. I do think that we have to talk to people who want to cause us harm, so hopefully they won’t.”
Rodman said he isn’t apologizing for North Korea’s human rights offenses, considered some of the worst in the world by the State Department. But he said his personal experience with Kim Jong Un, who took power in 2011, was a positive one when he visited North Korea with the Harlem Globetrotters to film an HBO series.
“He’s a good guy to me,” Rodman said after the trip. “As a person to person, he’s my friend. I don’t condone what he does.”
|Longtime NFL broadcaster Pat Summerall dies at 82||04.17.13 at 11:27 am ET|
Former NFL broadcaster Pat Summerall, John Madden‘s longtime play-by-play partner in the booth, died Tuesday at age 82 of cardiac arrest.
Summerall, whose understated style meshed well with Madden’s famous enthusiasm, called 16 Super Bowls, including the Patriots’ victory over the Rams in 2002.
“It’s right down the pipe. Adam Vinatieri. No time on the clock. And the Patriots have won Super Bowl XXXVI. Unbelievable,” Summerall said that night in his final call beside Madden. He worked one more full season after that, then scaled back, only calling the occasional game after the 2002 season.
Summerall’s NFL career lasted 10 seasons, from 1952 to 1961, with the Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants. He was better known in his second career as a commentator, though, becoming famous for his deep voice and his calm, restrained style of commentary.
Broadcasters and other members of the football community remembered him fondly, including Madden.
“He always had a joke,” Madden said. “Pat never complained and we never had an unhappy moment. He was something very special.”
“Pat Summerall was one of the best friends and greatest contributors that the NFL has known,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “His majestic voice was treasured by millions of NFL fans for more than four decades. It is a sad day in the NFL.”
|Former LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu reportedly admits failing numerous drug tests||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.
|Angels ace Jered Weaver to miss 4-6 weeks with broken arm||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.”
|Rick Pitino reportedly will be inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame||04.05.13 at 2:02 pm ET|
Regardless of how his Cardinals fare in the Final Four, Louisville coach Rick Pitino will have something to be proud of next week: He will be introduced as part of the 2013 Basketball Hall of Fame class on Monday, according to ESPN.
Pitino is the only coach to have officially taken three schools to the Final Four. He took Providence in 1987 and won the national championship with Kentucky in 1996, and this is his seventh Final Four appearance. His all-time collegiate coaching record is 662-239.
“It would mean a lot to me and my family,” Pitino said recently of a possible induction, “but it really exemplifies what I’ve done for athletes and coaches. And if that day comes, it would mean a lot to share with them. So it’s not something I think about, but it’s something I would be very, very proud of.”
Pitino would also be coaching in the national championship Monday if Louisville beats Wichita State on Saturday. The winner of that game will face the winner of the Syracuse-Michigan semifinal.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held in September. ESPN reports that Gary Payton, a nine-time NBA All-Star renowned for his defense, will also be inducted, as will Guy Lewis, who coached at the University of Houston for 30 years.
|Auburn football at center of drug-testing contoversy||04.05.13 at 1:37 pm ET|
Auburn’s football program has been surrounded by controversy this week after an article by Selena Roberts, published Wednesday on her website, roopstigo.com, alleged that Auburn had covered up positive drug tests by players and allowed a former player to go to trial on a robbery charge to protect the program.
ESPN then reported Thursday that 12 Auburn football players had failed tests for synthetic marijuana and that the school had withheld the test results.
Roberts’ article suggests a connection between the drug tests and the upcoming trial of former player Mike McNeil on robbery charges. McNeil has maintained his innocence, and Roberts quotes McNeil’s grandfather saying, “Maybe there is a fear in Auburn’s mind that Michael knows too much. Their fear is that Michael will expose the family secret. It’s a way to silence him.”
SB Nation’s Jason Kirk picked apart Roberts’ and ESPN’s reports Friday, noting that although Auburn began testing for the drug in January 2011, the substance wasn’t banned by the NCAA until August 2011.
Kirk also points out that the ESPN report doesn’t make clear where the estimate that 12 players failed drug tests came from, and that the source could be Dakota Mosley, a player who will go on trial this summer for robbery charges and, by his own account, tested positive multiple times for synthetic marijuana.
Mosley’s attorney, Davis Whittelsey, has said he’ll argue in court that Auburn could have done more to help Mosley with his drug problem instead of covering it up.
Many of the players quoted in Roberts’ story have denied her account or claimed that their words were misrepresented in the story. Former Auburn coach Gene Chizik called the report “absurd” and “outrageous,” saying, “Unfortunately, Ms. Roberts’ story is long on accusation and inference, but short on facts and logic.”
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