Maria Verchenova On Par As One Gorgeous Golfer

• Meet Maria Verchenova, on course to be the Maria Sharapova of golf.

Maria Verchenova

Glen “Big Baby” Davis had Orlando Magic fans in tears last night after sinking the game-winning shot - and running over a kid on the sidelines. But now the youngster’s peeved papa demands satisfaction.

• Not taking too kindly to the taunting of her son, a Little League mother attacks one of the name-calling kids and calls him “white trash” in return.

• Speaking of matriarchs in sports, Mark Cuban gets into it with Kenyon Martin’s mom, telling her her son is a “thug“.

Dennis Rodman reportedly dines & dashes from a Miami restaurant, but not before one of his men mauls the manager.

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Why Won’t ESPN Pay Attention to Selena Roberts?

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.

Selena Roberts Alex Rodriguez

So…why won’t ESPN talk to her?

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Speed Read: Wings Denied By Ref’s Early Whistle

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.

Wings Ducks puck highlighted

(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 Hossa knocked 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.

Brad Watson and Islanders cheerleaders

(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.

LeBron MVP

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 Taylor has already declared the series over.

The Dodgers beat Arizona 3-1 last night to move to 12-0 at home this season, which is just obscene in a sport like baseball. The win tied them with the 1911 Detroit Tigers for the best home start in Major League history. Even more obscene is that L.A. won the game with Jeff Weaver on the mound. Is Scott Erickson not with the team anymore?

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.

Jason Bay

(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:

• According to the INDIANAPOLIS STAR, the Titans will travel to New York Jersey in September to play…the Titans?

• 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).

• Manchester United is going back to the Champions League final for the second straight year, after throttling Arsenal 3-1 in London. Man U scored twice in the first 11 minutes and never gave the Gunners a chance to compete. Through all of this, United is still finding time to wheel and deal, reportedly offering $127 million to Bayern Munich for French star Franck Ribery.

• The Patriots’ cheerleaders just got back from a week-long photo shoot in Aruba, where they were joined by 150 Pats fans, says the BOSTON GLOBE. The girls reportedly engaged in some beach volleyball, presumably to the delight of said 150 fans.

Pats cheerleader

• 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).

• If you offer any of the Pittsburgh Pirates a beer right now, they might punch you in the face. The Bucs have now lost to the Brewers 17 times in a row after an 8-5 decision last night. It’s the longest such streak for any two teams in almost 40 years.

Zack Greinke missed most of the 2006 season because of anxiety and depression. Three years later, he’s the AL’s pitcher of the month and one of only three pitchers in ML history to start 6-0 with an ERA of 0.50 or less (the other two are Fernando Valenzuela and Walter Johnson).

Is Zack Greinke the real deal?

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Was A-Rod Tipping Pitches? Numbers Say Maybe

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 arms out
(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…

Was A-Rod Using Steroids During High School?

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.

Alex Rodriguez

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.

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Speed Read: Introducing The, Uh, “Shaqawockeez”

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.

Corn dildo
(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’.

Some more quick hits while you’re getting your grind on in the principal’s office…

Victoria Beckham weird
(What the hell.)

  • Joe Torre tries the Jedi Mind Trick on Manny Ramirez, telling reporters “I definitely would be very surprised if he’s not a Dodger,” then when pressed admitting that’s just because it’s what Torre wants. Knowing Manny, there’s a chance this might actually work.
  • San Diego pitcher Heath Bell’s secret to losing weight? The Wii Fit. The Padres’ S&C coach is giving you the finger as hard as he can, Heath.
  • For whatever reason, some reporter actually asked Allen Iverson if he was going to heaven or hell. How he didn’t end up quoting that 2pac poster that everyone in the world had 10-15 years ago is beyond me. But it’s wrong anyway, because now SbB readers can judge Alley I too…

Where will Allen Iverson go when he dies?

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*Yes, I know they won that thing on TV. That doesn’t make it okay.

A-Rod Overload; SI Stalkers?; Mike Leach is Mad

• Thank goodness this A-Rod steroids admission happened, or we wouldn’t have anything else to talk about.

Alex & Cynthia Rodriguez dinner staredown

(Suppose Cynthia was really on to something, after all?)

• Still, it’s not like he’s accusing any media members of stalking him, right?

Mike Leach is not to tickled about Texas Tech’s additional clauses in its latest contract offer to the Red Raiders coach.

• The tennis coach who served the Williams Sisters & Maria Sharapova has a new 4-year-old prodigy ready to cause a racket.

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SI Writer Denies Claims She Was Stalking A-Rod

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.

Selena Roberts Alex Rodriguez

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.

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