Speed Read: Sox Sweep As Ellsbury Steals Home

You had your fun, Red Sox haters, when Boston was 2-6 and looking like a mediocre mess. Now, the Sox have won 10 straight and look like the team to beat in the AL East (can Toronto really keep this up?). The Yankees found three different ways to lose to the Sox over the weekend, and were further embarrassed when Jacoby Ellsbury stole home off of Andy Pettite:

Ellsbury’s theft highlighted a three-run fifth inning that led the Red Sox to a 4-1 win on Sunday Night Baseball.  It was the weekend in a nutshell for the Yankees, who are now facing mounting questions about their pitching staff, which is ruining things for an offense that’s scoring more than five runs per game (and will get better when A-Rod returns).

So, you’re the Orlando Magic, you’re down 2-1 in the series to heavy underdog Philly, and you just dumped a nine-point lead late in the fourth quarter and find yourself tied in the final seconds. You don’t want this going to OT because the Sixers have all the momentum. So now what? Clearly, it’s time for Hedo Turkoglu to just dribble around for a while and then drain a 26-footer to win it 84-81:

Just how you drew it up, right Stan?

In Houston, the Portland Trail Blazers once again had a chance to steal a game from the Rockets…and once again, gave it away late. The Rockets killed the Blazers on the offensive boards, getting two huge second chances that led to three-point daggers from Shane Battier in the final minutes. Portland still had a chance to tie it with 20 seconds remaining, but Brandon Roy was called for an offensive foul, then Travis Outlaw missed a deep three. The Rockets held on, 89-88, to take a 3-1 series lead. Houston needs just one more game to advance to the second round for the first time since 1997. And, unfortunately for Blazer fans, Tracy McGrady isn’t around to blow this one.

Luis Scola

(How does his hair stay behind his ears all the time like that?)

In the NHL’s late game, the Hurricanes blanked the Devils 4-0 to push their series to a deciding game in Newark on Tuesday night. In related news, NHL.COM has told Kevin Smith he can’t blog about the series on their site anymore. Apparently, the NHL wants to be “family friendly” and didn’t realize they had commissioned one of the filthiest mouths anywhere to write about the series. So now, Smith has moved his playoff blog to his own site.

Kevin Smith

• The Broncos, along with all of the former AFL teams, are going to wear throwback jerseys for the first two games this season. No, not those orange ones we all remember from our youth. It’s this monstrosity that thankfully was retired after only two seasons (according to the DENVER POST, they were acquired secondhand from a defunct bowl game):

Denver Broncos horrible uniforms

• Man, the Royals even suck in India.

• PRO FOOTBALL TALK notes that Mike Singletary confirmed yesterday that ex-Ball State quarterback Nate Davis has dyslexia. The 49ers still drafted him anyway.

• Amputee Kyle Maynard, who we’ve mentioned a few times here on SbB, lost in his MMA debut last night in Alabama. But he did last the full three rounds. FIGHT REPORT has all the details, including some video.

• The Caps drilled the Rangers 5-3 yesterday to send their series to a seventh game, but Rangers fans like THE MANIC RANGER are incensed that Donald Brashear got away with crushing an unsuspecting Blair Betts at center ice in the first period. See for yourself. It was pretty much a cheap shot, and if Game 7 gets out of hand either way, expect Brashear to get lit up by somebody:

• BUGS AND CRANKS thinks Ozzie Smith was copping a feel on Alyssa Milano’s sideboob at the 2007 All-Star festivities.

• ESPN called on Erin Andrews to moderate the historic Quan Cosby-Bill Cosby summit at the NFL Draft. Yalta can rest easy, though. As you can see, it mostly involved Quan talking on his phone while Bill babbled incoherently and tried to put on his old Temple helmet:

Quan Cosby Bill Cosby Erin Andrews

MJD over at YAHOO! SPORTS says the Bengals obviously are still not all that concerned about character, judging by their early draft picks.

• Seahawks LB Leroy Hill failed in his attempt to have his franchise tag removed by the team by getting arrested for pot possession. But now the ‘Hawks have drafted Aaron Curry, so Hill has been cut loose. That whole staged arrest seems like a waste of time now, eh, Leroy?

• This may not be sports-related, but lets face it, Bea Arthur was twice the man that A-Rod will ever be. So in honor of her sad demise, here’s some grainy footage of her embarrassing performance in the horrible Star Wars Holiday Special:

What was the most embarrassing loss for the Yankees this weekend?

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Amputee’s MMA Fight Isn’t Just About Fighting

Kyle Maynard has powers beyond your expectations. The congenital amputee (first discussed here last month) will participate in his first MMA match in Auburn, AL, this weekend against an unnamed opponent. Maynard has extended his reach into the American psyche through numerous articles this week, some decrying the mockery of MMA and others lifting Maynard above the common man.

Kyle Maynard Black Knight

Maynard’s greatest strength may be as a marketing engine, though. His autobiography (at age 20) won him a spot on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list and appearances with Oprah and Larry King in a 2006 media blitz. His fledgling MMA efforts have yielded him yet another round of attention this week and will certainly bring a stampede of viewers to his web site, where he will broadcast his Saturday fight.

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McHale’s A Monster; Same Said About Kobe’s Wife

Kevin McHale auditions for the lead role in “Not-So-Young Frankenstein“.

Kevin McHale Vanessa Bryant Kobe

• Speaking of monsters, Kobe’s former maid says she’s taken too much crap from the Laker star’s little missus, Vanessa Bryant.

• The NCAA women’s tournament is a sham, a mockery … a shamockery!

• More news in the Donte Stallworth situation: The receiver said he flashed his headlights at the pedestrian he soon it, who wasn’t in a crosswalk.

• An entire Argentinian soccer team gets ejected after fighting with fans.

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Quadruple Amputee Takes To Cage For MMA Fight

For years we’ve been hearing that mixed martial arts is poised to overtake boxing, and that the only thing stopping it is the mainstream’s image of MMA as a sideshow. Cartoony fighters, fluky outcomes and a general level of unprofessionalism are perceptions MMA is trying hard to shake. So why are they letting a quadruple amputee fight?

Kyle Maynard

Kyle Maynard, 22, was born with congenital amputation, which means his arms end at his elbows and his legs end at his knees. He’s been a successful high school wrestler, but this is different. In this, you’re allowed to punch. And Maynard, I’m guessing, may not be so good at blocking. So why would MMA allow something that makes it look even more like a circus?

Video of Maynard in action, after the jump.

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