One of the biggest sports stories so far in 2009 has been the taking-down of Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED writer Selena Roberts. Whether or not you enjoyed the revelations of steroid abuse, stalking, and tipping pitches, you’ve got to admit that Roberts’ book has been worthy of the lead story on SportsCenter, in bars, and around the water cooler.
It might not have seemed possible a few months ago, but it appears as if Ed Hochuli has no longer made the worst officiating gaffe of the last 12 months. That honor now belongs to NHL ref Brad Watson, who probably didn’t sleep very well after the mistake he made in last night’s Red Wings-Ducks game in Anaheim.
(I guess Brad Watson still needs that glowing puck they used to have on FOX)
Trailing 2-1 with just over a minute left, Detroit’s Marian Hossaknocked in a loose puck that squirted free from Jonas Hiller’s pads and was sitting all by itself in the crease (as you can see above) for the apparent tying goal. But, astonishingly, Watson blew his whistle just before Hossa scored, wiping out the goal because he says he lost sight of the puck (admittedly, Watson was at a terrible angle to see where the puck was) even though the rest of the world could see the thing sitting right in the middle of the crease. The play wasn’t reviewable, and the Ducks held on for a 2-1 win to take an identical lead in the series. Wings fans are irate, but since everyone else in hockey hates Detroit the screams aren’t resonating much outside of Michigan. Here’s the full video of the play:
For what it’s worth, the announcers are right that NHL refs are required to blow the whistle as soon as they lose sight of the puck. And, while Hossa’s shot clearly goes in before the whistle sounds, the rule is that the play is dead as soon as the ref decides to blow the whistle, which is a second or so before he actually does. Procedurally, Watson did everything right. But the whole thing about not seeing a puck right there in plain sight? Yeah, he messed that up pretty bad.
(Hey Watson, are your eyes ever where they’re supposed to be?)
In the NBA playoffs, The Hawks hung around for a while, but eventually the Cleveland Cavs ran away and hid, making it eight straight games involving Atlanta that has ended in a blowout. LeBron accepted the MVP award from David Stern before the game, then tossed up a ho-hum 34 and 10 in a 99-72 win. The Cavs outscored the Hawks 50-28 in the second half and lead the Eastern semis 1-0.
The Nuggets also used a second-half run to take a 2-0 lead in their series with the Mavs. Carmelo Anthony and Nene each scored 25 in a 117-105 Denver victory. Dallas was one of the hottest teams down the stretch but this just looks like a bad matchup for them. They’re now 0-6 against the Nuggets this season and, including their only home loss after the All-Star break. DALLAS MORNING NEWS columnist Jean-Jacques Taylorhas already declared the series over.
In the Bronx, the Red Sox pounded Joba Chamberlain for four runs before an out was recorded, and cruised to a 7-3 win, making them 5-0 against the Yankees this season. Even though Joba got roughed up early, he recovered and ended up striking out 12 batters in 5 2/3 innings. Regardless, he still had a better day than his mother.
(The new Yankee killer)
• SI’s Jon Heyman says MLB is now “investigating” the pitch-tipping allegations about Alex Rodriguez. If you haven’t heard, Selena Roberts says in her book that A-Rod would let opposing batters know what pitches were coming in blowout games, with the understanding that they would return the favor later. There’s about a 0% chance that we’ll ever know what really happened. But it all seems a little far-fetched. Wouldn’t somebody notice this? And who are the other people in on this scheme?
• SPORTS RUBBISH brings us footage of a soccer team called Corinthians in Brazil celebrating a major tournament victory by setting their team captain (known only as “William”) on fire during the trophy presentation. They didn’t mean to, but I’m sure that’s of little consolation to the guy who was on fire:
• Remember when the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix in the late ’90s and everyone said it was crazy that they thought a hockey team would work in Arizona? Well, looks like everyone was right. The Coyotes are bankrupt and the CEO of BlackBerry wants to buy the team and move it to Ontario (the Canadian province, not the dusty city in California with an airport).
• Shockingly, LeBron James is not going to be rolling around in that new Kia he got for winning the MVP, choosing to donate it instead, according to CARS.COM.
• The Nats and Astros played to a tie after nearly 11 innings yesterday in D.C. and then the rain came. And everyone just shrugged and said “really, does anyone think the outcome of this game is going to matter in September?” and decided to just call it off. Well, that would be the reasonable thing to do. In reality, they will resume the game in July in Houston (but the Nats will still be the home team).
It’s been remarkable to see the assblasting that Alex Rodriguez’s reputation has taken in light of Selena Roberts‘ well-publicized character assassination book, A-Rod. The steroid stuff made its way through the headlines and resulted in the unintentionally funniest press conference in years, but now there’s a different sort of accusation being brought to the forefront, and in its own way, it might be worse.
(A-Rod, celebrating another gutshot to his reputation.)
As THE SPORTING BLOG reports, A-Rod is now under fire for accusations of tipping pitches for his opponents in blowout situations. The accusations come from an interview with Roberts on SI.COM. We’re not sure how that’s supposed to work, since she already writes for them (I mean, is ESPN.COM going to interview Peter Gammons next?), but whatever. As Roberts told the site, Rodriguez had mannerisms to clue in his friendlier opponents on what was coming: Read more…
You probably remember that a few months back the story broke out that Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez had used steroids while playing with the Texas Rangers. The story was broken by Selena Roberts, who was writing a book about A-Rod. Rodriguez handled the story pretty well, claiming that Roberts was stalking him and hiding in his bushes while making everything up. He would then go on to admit that he used steroids while playing with the Rangers to help live up to the pressure and expectations of his huge contract there.
Well, in the least shocking development of all time, it turns out that Rodriguez may have been lying about only using steroids while in Texas. Roberts’ book is out on May 12th, and in it there’s word that Rodriguez’s steroid use started way before he joined the Rangers, and even before he started playing with the Seattle Mariners. It seems A-Rod was looking for an advantage over his dodgeball opponents in high school as well.
The 58th All-Star game is in the books, and the West absolutely destroyed the East, 146-117. At one point, it was 20-8 in favor of the East All-Stars before Kobe Bryant led the West on a 19-0 run, and the Westies never looked back. It’s hard to imagine what was the better Shaquille O’Neal highlight: going between Dwight Howard’s legs for the give-and-go with Chris Paul, or the entrance with that “Jabbawockeez” dance group that’s inexplicably* all over the TV these days. Here’s that intro (thanks, BALL DON’T LIE).
Shaq and Kobe shared the MVP award, which seemed fitting. Kobe tossed in the most points on the night (27), which is usually an automatic win, but Shaq was both far more efficient (17 points on 8-9 shooting in only 11 minutes) and entertaining; this might be the Big Aristotle’s last All-Star game, so he made it count last night.
At some point, with all the ACC losses piling up, you’d think it would no longer be fun or newsworthy to point out another Duke loss. You’d think that, but you’d be very wrong. After having their asses handed to them by UNC last week, the Blue Devils went to the Silvio O. Conte Forum to face a Boston College team that hadn’t beaten Duke in 24 years. Bounce back for the Blue Devils against an unrated BC team?
Err, not exactly. Duke led 37-32 at the break, but the Golden Eagles came alive in the second half, ringing up 48 points in those 20 minutes against the vaunted Blue Devil defense. Senior leader Tyrese Rice drops 21, 6, and 6, Joe Trapani chips in 20 more, 80-74 is your final, and Duke is now 7-4 in the ACC. Dick Vitale must be inconsolable.
Let’s say you find yourself in the middle of Scotland with a dildo in my mouth. I mean your mouth. Anyway, let’s move on. Stuart Slann, a married 39-year-old Manchester United fan from Sheffield (this is all in England, in case you couldn’t tell), met “Emma,” a sexy babe who was also a ManU fan on Facebook, and the two hit it off. One problem: Emma, as you’ve already guessed, did not and does not actually exist, but Stuart didn’t find that out until driving 400 miles north and receiving a rather unfortunate phone call. Oh, and as we mentioned before, Emma really wanted to see a dildo in Slann’s mouth, so now… whoops.
(This image is in no way modified to remove the sex toy. He was just eating corn. That’s all.)
UNPROFESSIONAL FOUL has the uncensored video, which is just basically some text, 2 minutes of the uncensored version of the picture above, and - as far as we can tell - rampant profanity (they’re Scottish, so who can tell). As you can guess, Slann’s wife wasn’t very pleased, and the two have now split. Oof. This never happens to Pompey fans. Just sayin’.
Marshawn Lynch faces felony gun charges after police found a loaded handgun in his car. Honestly, as long as he’s not shooting a bouncer at a strip club or shooting himself in the leg, I think the NFL’s making progress here. They might even be gun-free by 204never.
According to the CEDAR RAPIDS GAZETTE, former Iowa State head coach and current national champion Florida assistant coach Dan McCarney’s daughter was arrested for assaulting a police officer in Iowa City. The details, which include the ever-popular “MY LAST NAME IS MCCARNEY,” are golden.
You know why the dunk contest sucked this year? No Guy Dupuy, who’s probably the most vicious dunking Frenchman in history (can we get him to posterize Frederic Weis? Wouldn’t that be fitting?). Make that happen in 2010, NBA. Even T.O. knows it’s over.
Since it’s no doubt been a whole five or ten seconds since you last heard something about Alex Rodriguez and his positive steroid test and subsequent apology, let me end that peace for you. While most people would agree that A-Rod coming out & admitting he took steroids and apologizing for it was a good public relations move, there was still one part of Rodriguez’s apology he probably could have left out. That would be accusing SPORTS ILLUSTRATED writer Selena Roberts of stalking him.
True, Roberts broke the story and no doubt had to do some investigating to get the info she needed, but saying that she was stalking him and had even broken into his house without any kind of proof to back it up is a bit much. I mean, I get why you’d be ticked off at her, but after all, you did just admit everything she said about you is true. For her part, Roberts denies any of Rodriguez’s claims.