|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Knicks veterans have issues with Jeremy Lin’s contract||07.16.12 at 8:03 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: White Sox at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Angels at Tigers, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Basketball: Exhibition, U.S. vs. Brazil, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ With reports leaking out from New York that the Knicks might change course and let Jeremy Lin go to the Rockets, Carmelo Anthony called Lin’s renegotiated offer from Houston — which includes a $14.9 million salary in the third year of the three-year deal — “ridiculous.”
The way the contract is structured makes it difficult for New York to match, and the Knicks appear prepared to instead go with a point guard rotation of Raymond Felton (reportedly headed East in a sign-and-trade with the Trail Blazers) and Jason Kidd (who was arrested Sunday morning for DWI only days after signing a free agent deal).
Knicks coach Mike Woodson insisted last week that the team would match the Rockets’ offer to Lin, but that was before Houston altered it to ensure that the Knicks would have to go well over the salary cap to keep the former Harvard star.
“I can’t talk about it,” Woodson said Sunday.
Knicks guard J.R. Smith made it clear that the team’s veterans would have some issues with Lin receiving All-Star money after having yet to prove himself over a full season.
“Without a doubt,” Smith told SI.com. “I think some guys take it personal, because they’ve been doing it longer and haven’t received any reward for it yet. I think it’s a tough subject to touch on for a lot of guys.”
♦ Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is at it again, and this time he’s chosen a high-profile subject for his latest controversy: Nationals rookie Bryce Harper. During Sunday’s game, Guillen complained to the umpire that Harper used too much pine tar on his bat. When Harper used new lumber in his second at-bat, Guillen started riding Harper from the dugout because he claims Harper did something “unprofessional” toward the manager, although he wouldn’t say what the offense was.
“Something happened there the inning before and I didn’t like it and I was talking to the umpire about it,” explained Guillen, who said that during his razzing of Harper, “I was just telling [Harper] how he cut he was.”
Responded Nationals manager Davey Johnson: “Ozzie had complained that the pine tar was too high up on Harper’s bat. So we changed it. Then he was still chirping about. It got on the umpire’s nerves. It got on my nerves. He was trying to intimidate my player, I guess. That’s not going to bother our player. He does what he has to do.”
Harper, who has done a good job of staying out of trouble after some incidents in the minors, took the high road.
“He battles for his team, and that’s the type of manager Ozzie is,” Harper said. “He’s a great manager to play for. He’s going to battle for you, no matter what. That’s a manager you want to play for.”
♦ It was a strange stage in the Tour de France on Sunday, as at least 30 riders got punctures in their tires when they rode over tacks and small nails someone tossed on the course. Overall leader Bradley Wiggins was ahead of the incident, but he encouraged the lead pack to slow down and let defending champion Cadel Evans catch up after Evans lost time getting a replacement wheel.
Two days earlier, Wiggins was hit on the arm by a flare waved by a spectator and received minor burns.
“We’re out there, quite vulnerable at times, very close to the public on climbs,” Wiggins said. “We’re just the riders at the end of the day and we’re there to be shot at, literally.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 16, 1958, which Red Sox starter improved to 9-0 with a 5-2 victory over the Kansas City Athletics, making his 12th consecutive victory dating back to the previous season?
|Bryce Harper’s ‘That’s a clown question, bro,’ will be on T-shirts||06.24.12 at 1:50 pm ET|
Washington outfielder Bryce Harper‘s line, “That’s a clown question, bro” will be available on Under Armour T-shirts in the near future, Comcast SportsNet reported.
The phrase originated during a postgame interview on June 12 after the 19-year-old smashed the longest home run in his career against the Blue Jays in Toronto. One Toronto TV reporter asked Harper if he’d use Canada’s lower drinking age to celebrate with a beer.
The right fielder, who is a mormon, paused before telling the reporter, “That’s a clown question, bro.”
Harper’s religion prohibits him from drinking alcohol.
|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Suspended Saints player claims coaches told him to keep quiet about bounty program||05.08.12 at 7:51 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA playoffs: Celtics at Hawks, 8 p.m. (CSNNE, TNT; WEEI)
NBA playoffs: Magic at Pacers, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA playoffs: 76ers at Bulls, 9:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA playoffs: Nuggets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Devils at Flyers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB: Red Sox at Royals, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WRKO)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Braves at Cubs, 8 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Giants at Angels, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ According to a document revealed by Yahoo! Sports Monday, former Saints defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove said in a sworn statement that two Saints coaches encouraged him to deny the existence of the team’s bounty program to NFL investigators. Hargrove described meeting in February 2010 with then-defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and current assistant head coach Joe Vitt, and Williams telling Hargrove, “If we all stay on the same page, this will blow over.”
Yet, with all four suspended players appealing, the denials continue to fly.
“All we know from the declaration is that a couple of coaches were in trouble and hoped for support from him,” said Peter Ginsberg, attorney for suspended player Jonathan Vilma. “Anthony’s declaration in no way supports that he lied, that a bounty system existed or that players participated in any kind of inappropriate program. It’s a shame that the NFL needed to have mischaracterized that declaration in order to justify these punishments. It’s just another reason to conclude that the NFL has no evidence to justify what it has done to the players.”
♦ Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, who admitted that he drilled Nationals rookie Bryce Harper on purpose Sunday night, was suspended five games and fined by Major League Baseball.
“Obviously that’s not what we’re about,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “We’re not about trying to injure people. Things that happen in the game happen in the game. Those are parts of the game. But as far as how the Phillies want to conduct themselves, we try to take the high road on things. By no means are we condoning this. We fully support what the commissioner’s office has decided to do.”
♦ With the Big East stung by defections of high-profile programs, commissioner John Marinatto resigned Monday after less than three years in the top spot. School presidents reportedly were upset at Marinatto’s failure to keep Pittsburgh and Syracuse from heading to the ACC and West Virginia to the Big 12.
The Big East attempted to rebound by adding Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, SMU and Temple, plus Boise State, San Diego State and Navy for football only.
“Our recent expansion efforts have stabilized the conference for the long term, and we are likewise well positioned for our very important upcoming television negotiations,” Marinatto said in a statement from the conference. “As a result, I felt this was the right time to step aside and to let someone else lead us through the next chapter of our evolution.”
♦ With the eighth-seeded Kings advancing to the Western Conference finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Real Clear Sports has a list of the 10 lowest seeds to win a championship.
No. 10 is the 1969 Celtics, who were the fourth and final seed in the East when they made the final title run of the Bill Russell era. No. 1 is the 2008 Fresno State baseball team, which won the College World Series and became the lowest-seeded team to win an NCAA title in any sport. The Bulldogs were seeded fourth in the four-team Long Beach regional, meaning they were no higher than 13th in the West.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 8, 2004, in a 9-1 victory over the visiting Royals, which Red Sox player hit two home runs, one of which was an inside-the-park homer?
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels admits hitting Nationals rookie Bryce Harper on purpose||05.07.12 at 7:48 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS
MLB: Red Sox at Royals, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: White Sox at Indians, 1 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Mets at Phillies, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Jazz, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Grizzlies at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Capitals at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Predators at Coyotes, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
IIHF World Championship: United States vs. Slovakia, 1 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels sent a message to Nationals rookie Bryce Harper in the first inning of Sunday night’s game, hitting him in the back with a fastball. In case the message wasn’t received, Hamels admitted after the game that it was no accident.
“I was trying to hit him,” Hamels said. “I’m not going to deny it.”
Explained the veteran hurler: “That’s something I grew up watching, that’s kind of what happened. So I’m just trying to continue the old baseball because I think some people are kind of getting away from it. I remember when I was a rookie the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything because that’s the way baseball is.”
Harper got his revenge later in the inning, stealing home when Hamels made a pickoff attempt to first base. Then in the third inning, Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman hit Hamels in the leg, drawing a warning to both teams from the umpire.
♦ During Saturday’s Braves-Rockies game in Denver, Rockies pitcher Jamie Moyer approached Chipper Jones while the Braves veteran was on second base and accused him of stealing signs. Jones screamed at Moyer that he was not, and Jones still was bothered by the accusation Sunday.
“I’m not happy, to say the least,” Jones said. “Any time a grown man gets his integrity questioned, they’re going to take it seriously, and I’m no different. If he wants to discuss it, we’ll discuss it, but he’s wrong, plain and simple.”
Added Jones: “Never have I wanted a sign when I was hitting, and I have never relayed a sign to a hitter from second base, ever.”
♦ Ravens safety Bernard Pollard, known for injuring Patriots players, is not happy with the league’s attempts to protect its players. During an interview with Houston radio station Sports Radio 610 last week, Pollard took some shots at the commissioner.
Pollard said the restrictions against illegal hits are “taking away the game of football” and it doesn’t bode well for the future. “I just truly believe, another 20, 30 years — I don’t even think football will even be in existence anymore,” he said, adding: “We all know what this game is about. We know and understand that it’s a violent sport.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 7, 1972, Bobby Orr had two goals and an assist in the Bruins’ 3-2 victory over the Rangers in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals, giving Orr a record 22 points by a defenseman in a playoff year. Whose record did he break?
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Nationals send teen prodigy Bryce Harper to minors||03.19.12 at 7:56 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Hawks, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NBA: Bulls at Magic, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Mavericks at Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NIT, Middle Tennessee at Tennessee, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Minnesota at Miami, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Illinois State at Stanford, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Maple Leafs at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Devils at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Ducks at Sharks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Tigers at Phillies, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB preseason: Dodgers at Indians, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Bryce Harper, the controversial 19-year-old many are predicting to be the next major league star, was sent to Triple-A Syracuse Sunday by the Nationals .
Harper, who missed six spring training games with a calf strain, went 1-for-5 with four strikeouts Sunday against the Tigers. Manager Davey Johnson reportedly had been pushing for Harper to stay in the majors.
“He’s a special player,” Johnson said. “He needs to go down there and do what he’s doing. He doesn’t need to change [anything] for me. He just needs to go play.”
Said Harper: “It sucks. But I’ve got to go down there [to Syracuse] and work hard and try to get up here as quick as I can. … I just want to go down there and … get on a streak and be called up and hopefully be a game-changer for the Nationals.”
Harper, who is being transitioned from catcher to outfield, is expected to play mostly center field with Syracuse.
♦ Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie tweeted Sunday night that he is moving to safety to help the team fill a void there. The team has been bringing in free agents — including LaRon Landry, who also has visited with the Patriots — but hasn’t found anyone yet.
Tweeted Cromartie: The reason I say I’m moving to FS is because Kyle [Wilson] is becoming a good corner and I don’t mind the move.
♦ More details from golf coach Hank Haney‘s book on Tiger Woods were revealed over the weekend, and it’s not good for Woods. Haney does not paint a flattering picture of the golf legend in “The Big Miss,” which is due to be released next Tuesday.
Haney claims Woods is a self-centered, immature tightwad who routinely ignores kids looking for autographs. Haney said when eating at a restaurant with Woods, the golfer would get up without a word when he was finished and expect everyone in his party (including his former wife, Elin) to follow him, even if they were not finished.
“When he was done — and he habitually ate fast — you were done,” Haney told.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 19, 1972, which Bruins player scored two power-play goals in a 7-3 victory over the visiting Minnesota North Stars and in the process set an NHL single-season record with 27 power-play goals (he finished the season with 28)?
|Video: Nationals prospect Bryce Harper ejected from Double-A game||08.11.11 at 9:16 am ET|
Nationals top prospect and 2010 No. 1 overall MLB draft pick Bryce Harper was ejected in Wednesday’s Double-A game between the Richmond Flying Squirrels and Harrisburg Senators.
Harper, playing for the Senators, became upset when he struck out looking to end the seventh inning on a questionable pitch. He was immediately ejected for aggressively whipping his helmet into the dirt. He then got in the umpire’s face and rubbed his cleat in the dirt beyond the outside corner of the plate to show that the pitch was outside.
|Ex-Nationals color man Ron Dibble criticizes Nationals for hurrying Stephen Strasburg back to majors||08.05.11 at 10:56 am ET|
Rob Dibble, former color commentator for the Nationals, criticized the team on his radio show Thursday for giving pitching prospect Stephen Strasburg rehab starts with the intention of bringing him back to the majors in September.
“There’s absolutely no reason, other than to sell tickets and to put butts in the seats, to bring Stephen Strasburg back, to make a few starts at the end of the season,” Dibble said. “He’s too valuable. He’s too talented to even think about stuff like that.”
Considered one of the most elite pitching prospects in all of baseball, Strasburg saw his 2010 rookie season end last August when a torn elbow ligament led to Tommy John surgery. At the time, Dibble had criticized Strasburg for not wanting to play through pain, telling him to “suck it up.” Nationals network MASN fired Dibble shortly after the team announced Strasburg’s injury.
Dibble apparently has changed his tune about Strasburg, now calling for caution and patience as he rehabs.
“You know, they’ve been talking about 2012, and what kind of team they’re going to have in 2012 and stuff like that,” Dibble said. “And you know, if that’s the case, and you don’t want to put a Bryce Harper in the major leagues until you think he’s ready, there’s really no point in rushing this kid back just to get a couple starts out of him for this year.”
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: ESPN’s Matthew Barnaby sentenced to community service, counseling||07.07.11 at 7:55 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY THURSDAY:
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ ESPN NHL analyst and former player Matthew Barnaby was sentenced Wednesday to 500 hours of community service and continued anger management counseling after an incident in May involving his estranged wife. Barnaby allegedly kicked and damaged the garage door in an attempt to get inside his former house, but he did not make contact with his estranged wife or her boyfriend inside. He agreed to reduced charges of misdemeanor criminal mischief and aggravated harassment, charges that will be dismissed if Barnaby serves his sentence.
♦ Former Giants running back Tiki Barber isn’t welcome in New York, but ex-Giants coach Jim Fassel apparently wouldn’t mind seeing the Barber’s comeback begin with Fassel’s United Football League team. Fassel coaches the Las Vegas Locos, whose season begins in mid-August.
♦ USA Today has a closer look at Nationals minor leaguer Bryce Harper, who got his Double-A stint off to a good start with a single in his first at-bat. The 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick is drawing substantial attention wherever he goes, but the organization is trying to keep him quiet.
♦ The Detroit News pays tribute to Barry Bremen, who became famous for sneaking onto the court/field at sporting events dressed as a competitor or official for about a decade, starting in 1979. Bremen died last week on his 64th birthday.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 7, 1936, who became the first Red Sox pitcher to start an All-Star Game?
|Nationals promote Bryce Harper to Double-A Eastern League||07.04.11 at 11:09 am ET|
Nationals minor leaguer Bryce Harper, the 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick, was promoted from Single-A Hagerstown to Double-A Harrisburg on Monday. The 18-year-old hit .318 with 14 home runs and 46 RBIs for Hagerstown, which is in low Single-A. Harper will skip high Single-A and join the Senators of the Eastern League, in which the average player is 24 years old and there are only two other hitters under the age of 21.
Harrisburg is scheduled to play the Portland Sea Dogs, the Red Sox’ Eastern League affiliate, in two series in late August: in Portland Aug. 22-24 and at Harrisburg Aug. 29-31.
|Nationals GM: Bryce Harper won’t see majors in 2011||05.19.11 at 9:33 am ET|
According to Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, the team has no plans to call up last year’s top pick Bryce Harper, even when the rosters expand in September. “We feel that his development is not ready to play in the big leagues,” Rizzo said.
Harper is currently with the Nationals’ Single-A club in Hagerstown. The 18 year-old is batting .336, with nine home runs, 31 RBIs and six stolen bases. Harper was a catcher in high school, but the Nationals want him in the outfield.
“I think four out of six days he plays in right field and two days he plays in center,” Rizzo said. “I think that’s the breakdown of what we had. Center field is an important process just because it gives you the full landscape of seeing the bat off the ball and that type of thing. He adjusted well to both positions, and we’re going to introduce him to left field a little bit also.”
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