Stars Who Were Cheerleaders; D.R. Done In WBC

• Always dreamed of Eva Longoria in a cheerleader’s outfit? Here you go!

Eva Longoria cheerleader

• The Dominican Republic gets dealt a death blow by the Dutch. And here’s the skipper who helped bounce Felipe Alou & Co. from the WBC.

• Q: What’s a life worth? A: The 17th pick in the 2nd round of the NHL Draft.

Dwight Freeney gets an offseason job as Dr. Phil’s limo driver.

• NFL backup QB Drew Olson loses golf tourney to a 14-year-old. Drew, don’t quit your day job.

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Dead NHL Prospect Is A Horrific Bargaining Chip

Generations of doctors and philosophers have striven to answer one question: What’s a life worth? Thankfully, the NHL figured out the answer: the 17th pick in the second round.

Alexei Cherepanov


Alexei Cherepanov
was the Rangers’ first round draft pick who died suddenly last year from — well, Russia’s doing the investigation, so we don’t really know why he died. New York insisted, with some pretty heartless arguments, that they were due a pick this year to make up for their failing to find Cherepanov’s bum ticker. So the NHL said, “sorry about the loss of your prospect. Here’s some flowers, a cheese plate, and a compensatory draft pick.”

Will that be enough to satisfy the Rangers, who demand blood for blood?

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Does Brandon Jennings Regret Going To Europe?

Not too long ago, pundits were touting Europe as serious competition to the US in pro sports. They could pay more to their basketball and hockey players, and were attracting stars at a growing rate. Well, it looks like there’s still a ways to go before the US loses its role as the premier sporting nation. Just ask Alexei Cherepanov. Or ask Brandon Jennings, who’s alive and talking about how terrible it is over there.

Brandon Jennings

Jennings isn’t getting paid, isn’t getting to play, and isn’t getting to work on his game the way he would had he stayed in college. Add to that the language and cultural barriers, and Jennings is sending up a big red flag for any athletes who are thinking about going for a quick and easy payday.

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Speed Read: Dodgers Done, Cowboys To Follow?

How often does the first batter tell you everything you need to know about how a baseball game is going to go? But after seeing Jimmy Rollins take Chad Billingsley deep in the first inning of Game 5 of the NLCS, did anyone have any doubt that the Phillies would be going to the World Series? The result wound up 5-1 for Philadelphia, but it might have been 1,000-1 after that first at-bat.

Philadelphia Phillies clinch NL Pennant

With how Cole Hamels was pitching, it’s not as though the Phillies needed much help, but Rafael Furcal channeling some combination of the Chicago Cubs’ infield, Steve Sax and Rick Ankiel (pitcher version) didn’t help. Furcal made three errors in the fifth inning, tying an MLB post-season record. I can sympathize with Furcal: I also once made three errors in one inning. Of course, I was 12, and a terrible Little League player.

Rafael Furcal and Joe Torre

I hate to burst the bubble of die-hard Philly fans like THE 700 LEVEL who are reveling on their team’s victory, and the fact that they are four games away from bringing the city its first major professional sports title in 25 years. So I won’t mention that the Phillies’ Big Three (Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley) are hitting a meager .250 combined in the 2008 playoffs.

Or that Jamie Moyer might wind up starting a World Series game, and that your starters not named Cole Hamels have an ERA just over 6.00 this postseason.

Or that the Rays have somehow turned into the 1929 Yankees, if that’s who you wind up playing.

Or that other than Manny Ramirez, this wasn’t a very good Dodgers team, and beating them in five games wasn’t really that huge of an accomplishment.

Just sleep tight, Phillie fans, after a night of serious celebrating. Probably in a pool of your own vomit, but sleep tight none the less, and don’t worry about tomorrow.

Meanwhile, as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ season ended with a thud, the slow-motion train wreck that the Dallas Cowboys’ season is becoming is continuing. A day after they were fleeced by the Lions (the Lions!) to complete their Roy Williams collection, the DALLAS MORNING NEWS reports that head coach Wade Phillips doesn’t expect Adam “Pac-Man” Jones to return to the team regardless of the length of his suspension.

Also not expected to come back after this season: Wade Phillps.

But fear not, Cowboys’ fans! Remember Tony Romo’s pinkie injury that was going to sideline him for four games? Turns out that he’s going to try to play this week against the Rams. Because having a quarterback trying to play with a broken finger on his throwing hand always ends up well. Right, USC fans?

Here’s what else happened last night while you were rolling your eyes at John McCain rolling his eyes:

    Mets bullpen car

  • THE LEGEND OF CECILIO GUANTE prays for the return of the bullpen car. I don’t know: as cool as they are, it’s a little less intimidating when NAME OF YOUR TEAM’S CLOSER HERE comes in from the bullpen to the sounds of AC/DC OR GUNS ‘N’ ROSES OR METALLICA OR BLACK SABBATH when he’s riding in a giant, cartoon helmet.
  • The LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, the Mob bookmaker and casino boss who inspired the movie Casino, has cashed in and gone to that comped room in the sky.
  • MICHIGAN DAILY notes that Michigan running back Mike Milano has been indefinitely suspended from the team after allegedly assaulting Wolverines hockey player and Anaheim Ducks prospect Steve Kampfer on campus, slamming him to the ground and knocking him unconscious.
  • Kansas State assistant coach Dalonte Hill reportedly makes $420,000 a year. THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION points out that is more than the school’s President makes.
  • How fat is Eddy Curry? So fat that he sat on his exercise ball and it exploded. That’s not a joke: THE DAILY NEWS’ KNICKS KNATION says this actually happened at practice on Monday.
  • BRAVES LAUNCH PAD notes the striking similarities between Phillies slugger Ryan Howard and The Office temp-turned-executive-turned-secretary of the same name.
  • VEGAS NEWS delivers a strike with news that Make That Spare is coming back to TV. Pro bowlers making spares over and over? That’s must see TV!
  • Your World Cup qualifying recap from the LOS ANGELES TIMES: The US, having secured their spot in the next round, fields a youthful squad and falls to Trinidad and Tobago, 2-1. Meanwhile, Mexico has to rally to tie Canada and is in danger of missing the final round of qualifying.
  • The NEW YORK TIMES’ SLAP SHOT follows up on the fallout from the tragic death of Rangers’ prospect Alexei Cherepanov at age 19, including the confusion over the possible causes of his death.
  • Finally, the AP has word that Bobby Knight told a TV interviewer that he would consider coaching again. But he was such a natural, energetic analyst working for ESPN. (Note: I’m being sarcastic here.)

Who do you blame for the Dodgers’ failures in the NLCS?

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Russian Hockey Player Dies; Jagr To Get Blame?

UPDATE - 5:46 PT: All the details of the situation can now be found at Stu Hackel’s NEW YORK TIMES hockey blog. Jaromir Jagr was not involved in Alexei Cherepanov’s collapse and death. Kudos to Yahoo’s PUCK DADDY for staying on top of the story as well.

From our earlier post: Canada’s TSN has some shocking news today, reporting that New York Rangers top prospect Alexei Cherepanovcollapsed on the bench at or near the end of Omsk’s Kontinental Hockey League game and died a short time later, he was 19.

Alexei Cherepanov Dies Jagr to Blame?

Omsk head coach Wayne Fleming said “Cherepanov collapsed on the bench during the third period of the game and did not see anything that happened on the ice that may have contributed to it.

CPR was next administered to no effect. TSN also notes that the “ambulance that is normally at all games had already departed and had to be called back.

Now the crazy part. PUCK DADDY’s Greg Wyshynski notes a hockey blog that “has been a reliable source for translated Russian news in the past” is reporting that Jaromir Jagr may have been involved in the death.
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