|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Steelers’ Ryan Clark predicts problems for Patriots, Tom Brady||05.07.13 at 8:01 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA playoffs: Pacers at Knicks, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Grizzlies at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Canadiens at Senators, 7 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Penguins at Islanders, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Canadiens at Senators, 7 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Blackhawks at Wild, 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Canucks at Sharks, 10 p.m. (CNBC)
Hockey World Championships: United States vs. Russia, 1 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB: Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Tigers at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 8 p.m. (WGN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Steelers safety Ryan Clark, no stranger to Patriots bulletin boards, offered his analysis of the New England offense during an appearance on ESPN’s “NFL Live” Monday and said Tom Brady‘s job got a lot more difficult this offseason.
“I think what’s really underestimated is Wes Welker’s importance to not only the New England Patriots, but Tom Brady,” Clark said. “A lot of what they do is timing. A lot of what they do is option reads, when you’re working inside against that nickel back or against those linebackers. Losing him is huge.
“I know they think Danny Amendola can come in and have the same type of numbers he had with the Rams, but we also have to remember, he’s fragile. He’s not a guy who has completed a whole season, especially playing inside in what can be a physical AFC East. You also think about [Rob] Gronkowski and the injury; that is going to be bigger than anything for the New England Patriots coming in this year. Also Aaron Hernandez.”
Clark also took a shot at Brady, insisting that the veteran QB can be rattled by pressure.
“In 2010, we saw it start with the Jets in the playoffs. When Tom Brady gets pressure and when you’re man-to-man and bumping those guys and making it hard for him to throw, he sees ghosts,” Clark said. “Even when guys aren’t around him, even when he’s not about to be sacked, when his clock goes off in his head that the ball should be out, we’ll see him duck, we’ll see him flinch. When you get Tom Brady doing that, the whole New England Patriots mystique goes away.”
The Patriots host the Steelers on Nov. 3.
♦ Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez returned to the field Monday for the first time since having surgery on his left hip Jan. 16, working out at the team’s minor league complex in Tampa, Fla.
“It feels good to be back out in uniform,” Rodriguez said. “It’s been a rough stretch with the rehab, obviously. It’s small bites at a time.”
Rodriguez said he’s focused on getting back and redeeming himself for the embarrassing finish to last season, when he was benched during the Yankees’ four-game sweep at the hands of the Tigers in the ALCS.
“I have a lot of unfinished business,” Rodriguez said. “I’m really looking forward to getting back on the field close to 100 percent and being who I am.”
As for the latest controversy — A-Rod reportedly had ties to a since-closed clinic in South Florida that allegedly was dispensing performance-enhancing drugs — Rodriguez offered no insight.
“I can only control what I can control,” Rodriguez said. “I’m really focusing on all the great things that have happened in the game. I’m really focused on getting healthy, and just getting back and helping the Yankees win a championship.”
♦ Forbes magazine released its list of America’s most influential athletes, and Tim Tebow ranks No. 1. The free agent quarterback, who has 2.2 million Twitter followers, was judged as influential by 29 percent of poll respondents.
Tebow is followed on the list by swimmer Michael Phelps, sprinter Usain Bolt, injured Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. The second five consists of Saints quarterback Drew Brees, gymnast Gabby Douglas, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, NBA MVP LeBron James and soccer icon David Beckham.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 7, 1997, which Red Sox catcher — who would go on to greater fame as a member of the Athletics’ “Moneyball” team in 2002 — hit his first career home run (along with his second) in an 11-3 rout of the Twins?
|Yankees GM Brian Cashman: ‘It’s a possibility’ Derek Jeter misses opener||03.21.13 at 12:42 pm ET|
You can add Derek Jeter to the extensive list of injured Yankees who might miss Opening Day. The Yankees will open their 2013 season on April 1 in the Bronx vs. the Red Sox. Jon Lester and CC Sabathia are the expected starters for opening day.
Jeter missed his second consecutive spring training game Wednesday, due to inflammation in his surgically repaired left ankle. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who is dealing with an injury of his own, said that there is a chance that the 13-time All-Star could begin the season on the disabled list.
“At this stage, I just don’t know, so all I can do is acknowledge it’s a possibility,” Cashman said.
The 38-year-old shortstop broke his ankle during the 2012 ALCS against the Tigers, in which the Yankees were defeated 4-0. Jeter recently received an anti-inflammatory injection in his ankle.
“We’ve got to do what’s right for him,” Cashman said. “Whatever’s right for him will be right for us. I’m not saying he’s going to be DL’ed, but I can’t tell you it won’t be. I don’t think it’s anything serious, I just think it’s a timing issue.”
Jeter played in his first spring training game on March 9 against the Braves, and has appeared in five total games. He was removed from the lineup Tuesday against the Phillies for “precautionary” reasons because his ankle felt stiff.
The future Hall-of-Famer led the American League in hits last season with 216, while also posting a .316 batting average, 15 homers and 58 runs batted in.
“The doctor said, basically, you can experience a lot of different things along the pathway, so it’s not a surprise,” Cashman said. “His rehab has gone extremely well, but obviously after the back to back, it barked a little bit. He’s going to have ups and downs in the early portion of it, but eventually at some point he’ll be past this. We’ve just got to make sure we take the right steps so it’s eventually behind him.”
|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez’ cousin, Yuri Sucart, reportedly considers lawsuit against player||03.12.13 at 8:02 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NESN, NBCSN)
NBA: Celtics at Bobcats, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Hawks at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Northeast final, Mount St. Mary’s vs. LIU, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Big East first round, South Florida vs. Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Horizon final, Wright State vs. Valparaiso, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Summit final, North Dakota State vs. South Dakota State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Big East first round, DePaul vs. Rutgers, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
World Baseball Classic: Netherlands vs. Japan, 6 a.m. (MLB Network)
World Baseball Classic: Italy vs. Dominican Republic, 1 p.m. (MLB Network, ESPN2)
World Baseball Classic: Puerto Rico vs. United States 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Alex Rodriguez‘ troubling offseason continues with a report that his cousin, Yuri Sucart, whom A-Rod claimed provided him with performance-enhancing drugs, is considering filing a $5 million lawsuit against the injured Yankees slugger after Rodriguez turned down a settlement proposal.
“I know there’s a lot of friction. I know that [Sucart’s] name got caught in the crossfire of all the allegations involving all the performance-enhancing drugs,” Miami attorney John Ruiz told the Daily News. “I’ve been consulted about it. But obviously because there’s an attorney/client relationship, I can’t really divulge details.”
When Rodriguez admitted in 2009 that he had used steroids in the past, he claimed Sucart — who had run errands for A-Rod for 15 years — encouraged him and helped administer the drugs. The Yankees then banned Sucart from the team’s facilities.
Added Ruiz: “I know he was working for [Rodriguez] for quite some time. There is information that he has — I guess, only he knows. The public doesn’t know. I’m not at liberty to discuss it as of this point in time.”
♦ Michael Vick‘s book-signing tour was canceled after threats were made against the Eagles quarterback and store employees due to Vick’s participation in a dog-fighting ring. Vick was to appear at Barnes & Noble stores in Atlanta, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to sign copies of his autobiography, “Finally Free.”
“While we stand by Michael Vick’s right to free speech and the retailers’ right to free commerce, we cannot knowingly put anyone in harm’s way, and therefore we must announce the cancellation of Mr. Vick’s book-signing appearances.” Worthy Publishing president Byron Williamson told PhillyMag.com. “We’ve been assured these threats of violence, which have been reported to the police, are being taken very seriously by local authorities.”
Vick, who last month agreed to a restructured three-year deal to remain with the Eagles, served 18 months in federal prison for his role running the dog-fighting ring. The former Falcons No. 1 overall pick signed with Philadelphia in 2009 after missing two seasons while serving out his sentence. He has since worked with the The Humane Society of the United States to speak out against animal cruelty.
♦ Clippers center DeAndre Jordan‘s alley-oop dunk Sunday night has made him an Internet sensation. It’s also given some publicity to Pistons guard Brandon Knight, who was posterized on the play. At Yahoo! Sports, Adrian Wojnarowski examines our “backward culture” that has made Knight the punch line for challenging an opponent eight inches taller and 80 pounds heavier.
At least Knight is keeping his sense of humor. Tweeted Knight after the game: It wasn’t in the scouting reports that the clippers threw lobs lol
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 12, 1985, Larry Bird scored a team-record 60 points in a 126-11 victory over the Hawks in New Orleans. Whose record did he break?
|Kevin Youkilis on PEDs: ‘I never even thought about it’||02.28.13 at 10:39 am ET|
During his nine major league seasons (8½ with the Red Sox), Kevin Youkilis said he’s never been tempted to use performance-enhancing drugs.
“I never even thought about it,” he said from Yankees spring training (via the New York Daily News). “I was always secure with myself. I was just trying to make it to the major leagues, and if I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t do it. I take more pride in the fact that I’ve done what I’ve done without all that stuff.
“I’ve always been of the mindset that you have to be secure within yourself about about what you’ve done in your career. You have to live with what you do for the rest of your life. You have to live with it. I know I’ve been clean my whole life, and I feel fortunate that I never felt like I had to go that route.”
Youkilis signed a one-year deal with the Yankees to fill in for injured third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who has admitted past steroid use and this year was linked to a reputed PED-peddler in South Florida. Youkilis also played in Boston with Manny Ramirez, who has been suspended twice by Major League Baseball since departing the Sox.
“If guys are going to cheat, they’re going to cheat,” Youkilis said. “They’re also going to get caught now more than ever. Some guys believe in stricter rules, some believe that what’s working is working. I never really think about it other than when guys get caught. It’s crazy to think guys are still trying to get away with it, because the testing is unbelievable.”
Seven players were suspended last year, which Youkilis said shows that the league is having success monitoring the situation.
“With the testing now, if you do it, you’re getting caught,” Youkilis said. “If you think about how many guys are in the big leagues, that’s a very small percentage. Less than 1 percent? That’s not bad. I don’t think any sport will ever be 100 percent clean. It’s life. Everywhere you go, there’s a flaw. If less than 1 percent are doing it, that’s a great thing.
Youkilis expressed no anger toward offenders, although he said he doesn’t like the lack of honesty after they’ve been caught.
“It never bothered me that other guys were taking it,” Youkilis said. “The only thing that bothered me is when people deny it over and over, then finally come out and say they did it. We live in a forgiving society. If you come out and say you made a mistake, so be it.”
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant guarantees playoffs for sub-.500 Lakers||02.22.13 at 7:44 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Suns, 9 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Timberwolves at Thunder, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Spurs at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Saint Louis at Butler, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: North Dakota State at Akron, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Stephen F. Austin at Long Beach State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Sharks at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: New Hampshire at Vermont, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Yale at Quinnipiac, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: North Dakota at Denver, 10 p.m. (NBCSN), 10 p.m.
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Kobe Bryant is confident the sub-.500 Lakers will put things together — so sure, in fact, that he’s guaranteeing his team will qualify for the postseason.
“It’s not a question of if we make the playoffs. We will,” Bryant told Sports Illustrated. “And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone — Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver … whoever. I have zero nervousness about that.”
The Lakers, coming off Wednesday’s rout of the Celtics, have won six of their last nine games to improve to 26-29. They are 3 1/2 games behind the Rockets for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
“We will make the playoffs,” he said. “And we will compete. And part of the reason I have that confidence is the Miami game (a 107-97 loss on Feb. 10). We had control of the game. That was no fluke. We were playing very, very well. We were reading the defense, making the extra pass.
“OK, they have two great players [LeBron James and Dwyane Wade] who scored eight straight buckets and took control of the game. But we were right there. We can do it.”
♦ The lead police investigator in the Oscar Pistorius case was replaced Thursday, after reports emerged that he was facing seven counts of attempted murder.
Hilton Botha and two other police officers were involved in a 2011 incident in which they allegedly fired shots at a minibus they were trying to stop. The charges against Botha had been dropped, but after more evidence was gathered they were reinstated on Feb. 4.
Pistorius’ lawyers have criticized the police investigation and insisted Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend after mistaking her for an intruder.
The defense and prosecution completed their arguments Friday in the bail hearing, and the magistrate soon will decide if Pistorius will be freed or held in jail pending his trial.
♦ Alex Rodriguez, rehabbing his hip in New York while his teammates are at spring training in Tampa, Fla., issued a statement Thursday indicating his desire to rejoin the team. He did not comment on the accusations that he was involved with a South Florida man who is being investigated for distributing performance-enhancing drugs.
“Right now I’m dedicating 100 percent of my energy and focus on my rehabilitation,” A-Rod said. “I am conducting two rehab sessions each and every day in an effort to get back on the field and rejoin my Yankees teammates. I think we have a great team and I want to be a part of it.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 22, 1934, which Bruins defenseman played his final game and then became the first NHL player to have his number retired?
|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: With Alex Rodriguez in New York, Yankees open spring training under cloud||02.13.13 at 7:40 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Bulls at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Rockets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Wake Forest at Boston College, 7 p.m. (NESN: WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Nebraska at Indiana, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Miami at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Syracuse at UConn, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Central Florida at Memphis, 8 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
College basketball: West Virginia at Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Purdue at Illinois, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Providence at South Florida, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: North Carolina at Duke, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: San Diego State at Colorado State, 10 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
College basketball: Cal State Fullerton at Long Beach State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon at Washington, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Blues at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ With Alex Rodriguez rehabbing in New York, the Yankees opened spring training in Tampa, Fla., insisting that A-Rod’s latest PED scandal won’t divert their focus from the task at hand.
“I don’t think I’ve ever really come to a Yankee camp where there hasn’t been something that people might call a distraction,” manager Joe Girardi said. “This club’s used to it.
“A lot of times, it’s a two-day event, a three-day event, then the story kind of goes away. It may change for a day or two, but there will be something else that comes up that we’ll have to deal with. Him being in New York has nothing to do with trying to get rid of a distraction. It’s the best place for him to be.”
Added pitcher CC Sabathia: “We’ve dealt with a lot around here since I’ve been here, and this is my fifth year. It’s been a lot to deal with, but you learn to be a professional and go out and do your job.”
Catcher Francisco Cervelli, also linked to the controversial Biogenesis clinic in South Florida that allegedly prescribed PEDs to a number of major leaguers, is slated to address the issue publicly Wednesday.
“Of course that can weigh on his mind, but it’s a distraction that he’s going to have to block out to be able to perform,” Girardi said of Cervelli, who is competing for the starting catcher’s job. “There are other things that come up in a person’s life that can be distracting if you let them be. In a sense, this is a test for him, how he’s able to block this out.”
♦ Four University of Alabama football players were arrested and face charges for their involvement in two violent assaults and robberies of fellow students Monday. According to the police report, linebacker Tyler Hayes, safety Eddie Williams and running back Brent Calloway admitted their participation in the crimes that allegedly also included defensive lineman D.J. Pettway.
The players are said to have punched and kicked the victims, knocking them out, before stealing their wallets and at least one computer. The players then used a stolen credit card to buy snacks from vending machines in a dormitory.
The players, all backups, were suspended by the team, which is coming off its second straight national championship.
“This behavior is unacceptable for any student-athlete at the University of Alabama and not representative of our football program,” coach Nick Saban said in a statement.
♦ The 21-year-old son of Celtics legend Larry Bird was arrested Sunday after allegedly trying to run over his ex-girlfriend with his car. Conner Bird, a student at Indiana University, is accused of throwing a cell phone at the woman and then driving his car at her during an argument.
Bird faces preliminary charges including intimidation with a deadly weapon, battery with injury and possession of marijuana.
“It is a private matter we are hoping to resolve as quickly as possible,” said Bird’s attorney, John Tompkins. “We are happy no one was seriously hurt.”
♦ The international Olympic Committee voted Tuesday to drop wrestling starting with the 2020 Games. Wrestling was voted out from a final group that included modern pentathlon, taekwondo and field hockey, accordion to an Associated Press report.
Eliminating one of the 26 sports allowed the IOC to add a new sport later this year. Wrestling can attempt to be reconsidered for inclusion, but it faces an uphill battle, competing with seven other sports also hoping to be in the 2020 Games: baseball/softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu (martial arts).
“This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. “In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s not a case of what’s wrong with wrestling, it is what’s right with the 25 core sports.”
Wrestling, which includes freestyle and Greco-Roman events, has been held in every modern Olympics, starting with the Athens Games in 1896. There were 344 wrestlers at least year’s London Olympics, competing in 11 medal events.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 13, 1985, the Bruins fired coach Gerry Cheevers. Who replaced him for the remainder of the season?
|Jeff Passan on D&C: Ryan Braun’s statement confirms ‘beyond a shadow of a doubt’ that Anthony Bosch’s records are legitimate||02.06.13 at 10:03 am ET|
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports spoke with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about Ryan Braun‘s connections to a clinic linked to PEDs, and what the repercussions will be for the other players whose names appear in that clinic’s records.
Alex Rodriguez, who also was mentioned in the records of Biogenesis America LLC, had responded by calling them a forgery. That claim that was seriously discredited when Braun said Tuesday that he had consulted with clinic founder Anthony Bosch while appealing his 2011 positive PED test.
“I think beyond a shadow of a doubt, what happened yesterday confirmed that these records are indeed legitimate,” Passan said. “Ryan Braun coming out and acknowledging some sort of relationship with Anthony Bosch, and Francisco Cervelli doing the same — that’s two players right there whose names were in the records. And I believe, based on the number of sources to whom I’ve spoken, whom I’ve contacted in the first place, that these records were nothing but legitimate.
“It would take the most massive conspiracy I have ever seen, the most massive conspiracy ever, to fake a logbook of this magnitude and put names on there. … Thankfully, we had enough people talk to us that confirmed the veracity of this, and if nothing else it’s very interesting to see Ryan Braun, a guy who’s been under the microscope before, tied again to a guy who he probably shouldn’t be tied to.”
Passan said he doesn’t think random blood testing for HGH, which will begin this year, will bring about a rash of positive tests.
“Honestly, [players are] always ahead of things, and the HGH test, for as good as people make it want to be, is not that effective,” Passan said. “You need to catch somebody within days of using the product. Is that likely to happen? Sure, it’ll happen maybe once or twice a year. But beyond that, I think for the most of them, they’re smart, and there’s some dummies, and I think we can tell the dummies by the ones who use guys like Tony Bosch and guys like ‘deer antler boy’ as the people who are being their consultants on improving.
“That, to me, is the funniest part of this whole thing. You’d think these millionaires would have a boutique drug doctor. No, they use the shady guy in Miami and the former male stripper who’s selling Bambi’s antlers.”
|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Youkilis asked Tom Brady for advice before signing with Yankees||02.05.13 at 7:57 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Lakers at Nets, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Boston College at Miami, 7 p.m. (NESN, WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Wake Forest at North Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Villanova at DePaul, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Purdue at Penn State, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Florida at Arkansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Florida State at Georgia Tech, 9 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: South Carolina at Kentucky, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Ohio State at Michigan, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Lightning at Flyers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Former Red Sox stalwart Kevin Youkilis, who is married to Tom Brady‘s sister, Julie, revealed that he asked the Patriots quarterback for advice before signing with the Yankees as a free agent in December.
During an interview with the Yankees’ YES Network that is scheduled to air Tuesday, Youkilis said he picked Brady’s brain about playing for a rival.
“I even asked a question about coming to New York: ‘Could you ever be a Jet or a Giant?’ ” Youkilis said. “And he’s like, ‘I don’t know. Luckily I’m not in your shoes.’ And I’m like, ‘Thanks for your advice, buddy!’ ”
Youkilis, who will demonstrate his new batting stance during the program, also talked about what’s like being related to Brady.
“Well, I can say I’m his only brother right now, so that’s a cool thing,” Youkilis said. “We always joke about that: the brother you always wanted, and I’m like, ‘I don’t know if you wanted me as a brother, but you didn’t have a choice in this matter now.’ He’s great. It’s pretty fun.”
♦ Following last week’s story detailing Alex Rodriguez‘ alleged PED use, the Yankees are doing their best to keep the infielder out of the public eye while he rehabilitates after offseason hip surgery. General manager Brian Cashman told the media Monday that he’s not going to reveal where A-Rod is working out.
“I’m not going to say to try and keep away the extra, whatever you want to call it, paparazzi, whatever it is, the stakeout, wherever he is working out,” Cashman said. “That’s the only reason I’m not going to say where he is going to be on a given day.”
Manager Joe Girardi said he’s not worried that the latest controversy will be a major issue for the team.
“I think our club is used to handling distractions,” Girardi said at a team fundraiser in Manhattan. “The city we play in, there’s a lot of news always surrounding our club. A lot of times, it’s a lot of good news. Our club will handle it. A club like ours is going to go through adversity all the time. Going through a season is never easy. Why would this year be any different?”
Meanwhile, a New York Daily News story quotes a source as saying Rodriguez is concerned that his team and Major League Baseball are trying to set him up in an attempt to end his career.
“He’s scared, because he thinks this is so unbelievably false, and he’s wondering who could be behind this,” the source told the paper. “He thinks something could be going on larger than anyone might think.”
♦ The European Union police agency Europol announced Monday that an 18-month review has revealed that organized crime groups fixed or tried to fix hundreds of soccer matches around the world in recent years, including World Cup qualifiers.
Europol did not give details about the games or suspects, citing an ongoing investigation, although it did mention that a Singapore-based crime syndicate was involved in some match-fixing. It said 425 individuals — game officials, team officials, players and criminals — from at least 15 countries were involved in fixing European soccer games dating back to 2008.
“This is a sad day for European football,” Europol director Rob Wainwright said, noting that criminals were operating “on a scale and in a way that threatens the very fabric of the game.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 5, 1978, 76ers guard Doug Collins gave up his starting spot in the NBA All-Star Game in deference to which Celtic?
|Report: Alex Rodriguez likely finished with Yankees||01.31.13 at 8:55 am ET|
According to a report in the New York Daily News, Alex Rodriguez is unlikely to ever play for the Yankees again.
Numerous baseball sources tell the Daily News that Rodriguez, still owed $114 million over five years on his contract, will not recover from the hip surgery he had earlier this month. It is the second hip surgery for the 37-year-old Rodriguez, and sources familiar with the situation believe the surgery will leave the third baseman in such a diminished role that he may consider a settlement or an outright retirement.
“I don’t know why he would want to go through the pain of rehabbing and trying to play up to the caliber of player he was, and come back to a game where nobody wants him,” a baseball official told the Daily News.
A Miami New Times story published Tuesday links Rodriguez to an anti-aging clinic in Miami that distributed performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez, according to the New Times story, was a client of Anthony Bosch and purchased HGH as recently as 2012. Rodriguez has admitted steroid use in the past but claims he has been clean since 2003. The Yankees had already been privately readying for the likelihood that Rodriguez wouldn’t complete his contract even before the newest allegations surfaced.
Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $275 million deal in December of 2007. He played in 99 games in 2011, 122 in 2012 and is expected to miss at least half of the 2013 season as he recovers from hip surgery. He set career lows in slugging percentage and OPS in 2012 and had just three hits in 25 at-bats during the 2012 playoffs.
|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees reportedly looking for way to cut ties with Alex Rodriguez after PED allegations||01.30.13 at 7:51 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Kings at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Heat at Nets, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Lakers at Suns, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Villanova at Notre Dame, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Northwestern at Michigan, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Oklahoma at Baylor, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Texas at Kansas State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Indiana at Purdue, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: DePaul at St. John’s, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon at Stanford, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UC Santa Barbara at Long Beach State, midnight (ESPNews)
NHL: Blackhawks at Wild, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Following Tuesday’s Miami New Times report detailing Alex Rodriguez‘ alleged recent PED usage, reports have emerged that the Yankees are discussing their options — including if there’s a way to get out from under the final five years (and $114 million) of A-Rod’s contract.
There is no precedent for a team to void a contract of a player caught using PEDs, and the team first would have to wait until Major League Baseball conducted an investigation.
Rodriguez, through his publicist, denied the report that he made frequent visits to a since-closed South Florida clinic run by controversial nutritionist Anthony Bosch to receive human growth hormone and other PEDs.
“The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true,” read a statement from Sitrick & Company. “Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate.”
The New York Times suggests a scenario in which Rodriguez — expected to miss at least half the season after having hip surgery — ends his career with the hip issue as the reason, and the team’s insurance company covers the remaining portion of the contract. That might be the Yankees’ only chance to break the bond with A-Rod.
♦ The latest incident of racist behavior at a European soccer game occurred in the Netherlands, where American Jozy Altidore was the target of abusive fans during his AZ Alkmaar team’s 5-0 victory over Den Bosch on Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the Dutch Cup.
Referee Reinold Wiedemeijer reportedly wanted to stop the match after hearing “jungle sounds chanted at Altidore,” but Altidore and his teammates persuaded him to let the game continue. Weidemeijer did stop play briefly in the second half because of fans throwing ice at his linesmen.
Altidore, who scored a goal on a penalty kick, took the high road when discussing the fans’ behavior.
“There’s nothing I can do about it,” Altidore told Dutch television’s Eredivisie Live. “All I can do is pray for them and hope they can become better people.”
Added AZ soccer director Earnie Stewart, a former U.S. national team midfielder: “It is terribly sad that this can happen for those involved and for lovers of football in the Netherland. You hear that and wonder what on earth is going on.”
♦ A youth hockey league in North Dakota is raising some eyebrows for holding a raffle for which the prizes include 200 guns, some of them of the semiautomatic variety. The West Fargo Hockey Association hopes to raise $90,000 with the March 15 raffle.
A league representative said the raffle has drawn interest from other parts of the country, but it’s also led to questions about its timing and appropriateness.
“I knew it was going to blow up, but I didn’t think it would blow up to this magnitude,” event organizer Mike Prochnow said.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 30, 1973, the Patriots had perhaps their best draft ever. Which three players did they select in Round 1?
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