3:15 PM Alabama women's gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson shares a photo of Nick Saban posing with the team: "Coach Saban stopped by practice to talk with our ladies, his insight is amazing and he's a #CHAMPION for sure!"
WFTV-TV in Orlando has real time video this week of Atlanta Braves pitching prospect Deunte Heath getting busted on Thursday evening by Kissimmee (FL) police in a Craigslist prostitution sting.
Heath, a 2006 Atlanta draft pick from the Univ. of Tennessee, was in Braves major league camp competing for a roster spot. He’s since been suspended indefinitely by the MLB team and sent packing to his home in Atlanta.
Quirky sports traditions: everyone’s got ‘em. In hockey, of course, teams grow playoff beards, not to be shorn until their playoff run ends. In basketball, meanwhile, the players fast 24 hours a day while the coaches gorge themselves. Actually, that may not be true.
(God, it’s like Marty Culp and James Lipton had dirty sex with each other and this was their manbaby.)
But Peter Moylan, a reliever for the Atlanta Braves, has introduced the “Rally Head,” and it’s beautiful. As you can probably see - unless you roll so fly that you have someone to read websites aloud for you - it’s accomplished by shaving only the top of your head, so as to imitate male pattern baldness. Hey, man, it works.
If you’re like me, you’re constantly wondering “What’s the largest number of Mexican immigrants Chipper Jones has had in his truck at one time?” The answer, of course, is 15, which the Atlanta Braves infielder revealed during an interview on 790 The Zone in Atlanta recently.
Jones owns a ranch in South Texas, about 15 miles from the Mexican border. And what made the chat really interesting was his story about climbing a ladder into one of his deer stands, opening the door and finding five Mexicans inside. So what did Jones do? He took them home for lunch, of course.
On Wednesday night, the Braves and Hohn butted heads again over his strike zone, resulting in yet another ejection for Cox — one that he was baited into when Hohn told Cox he had to eject someone and then pulled out his lineup card to “decide” who to toss. Cox volunteered himself, and then threw up his arms in disbelief when Hohn did it. Moments later, Brian McCann was tossed for asking Hohn to admit he missed a call during his last at bat.
Even so, as egregious as Hohn’s mistakes may have been, it’s easy to dismiss Atlanta’s protests as just your average sour grapes. But then something happened on Wednesday night. When Marlins catcher John Baker caught the final strike in Florida’s 6-3 win over the Braves, he turned around and extended his fist toward Hohn, to which Hohn obliged with a response. Yeah, you heard it right, an umpire actually fist-bumped a player. Here’s the evidence, in animated GIF form. A screenshot of the bumping moment:
Hohn likely didn’t realize how that would look, as Baker was probably just telling Hohn he did a good job (as players will sometimes do after games), but on a night when Hohn ejected the opposing manager for arguing about the strike zone, that was a pretty poor decision. One that probably should earn Hohn a game or two off.
Still fuming, the Braves shook it off last night and beat the Marlins 6-3 on a 10th inning homer by McCann.
Your 2009 trade deadline is just hours away, ladies and gentlemen. J.P. Ricciardi continues to hold firm on a steep price for Roy Halladay, and we’ll see this afternoon just how serious he is about making a deal. Many teams have been in the hunt, but all seem to be unwilling to give up the one key prospect the Jays covet. And since Ricciardi can hold on to Halladay and do this all over again next year, he doesn’t feel that dealing him is a necessity.
(If Nick Punto was your shortstop, this guy would seem like a great option)
The Red Sox are going to to everything they can, though, to shake things up and land either Victor Martinez or Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez would be a huge coup for the Sox, as he’s signed through 2010 at about $2.5 million, and his option for 2011 is a very reasonable $5.5 million. I’m not sure, in fact, why the Padres would want to trade him unless they were getting a ton in return (something like Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie, and of Boston’s other top two or three prospects, and even that might not seem like enough). Not surprisingly, Jon Heyman has been told the Sox prefer Gonzalez over Martinez. Martinez has a team option for next year at $7 million, is four years older than Gonzalez, and doesn’t OPS anywhere near .929.
Either way, the Sox would have a huge jam with Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis competing for time at third base, while the new player would vie for time at first with Adam LaRoche.
• CNBC’s Darren Rovell says that one indication that our economy might be heading the right direction is that golf manufacturer Callaway’s stock price is on the rise on forecasts that club sales may be picking up.
• I’m sure you’ve wanted to punch someone in the face during a game of Monopoly, but somebody finally went through with it. The victim’s crime? An apparent unwillingness to sell Park Place and Boardwalk.
If you’re a pitcher trying to make a name for yourself in the majors, in my book there’s only one thing smarter than punching a wall really, really hard. That’s when, discovering that you broke your hand during your temper display, you decide to hide the injury from the trainer by pushing the protruding bone back in, and then going back out to pitch. Oh, yeah.
Unfortunately, Jeff Bennett isn’t pitching with the Atlanta Braves at the moment, and that’s a shame. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list after his injury was finally discovered by the Braves, and will have surgery to insert a pin in the break in his fifth metacarpal below the base of the pinky finger of his non-pitching hand. But if I’m ever in a brawl with five New Zealanders, give me Bennett as backup every time. He broke a bone in his hand, pushed the freakin’ thing back in and went back out to pitch the seventh. That’s so “Braveheart.” Read more…
You may remember that before Game 2 of the 1992 World Series in Atlanta, Toronto Blue Jays fans were shocked to see the U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard holding the Canadian flag upside down. Was it a succinct snub at the Canucks by their Southern hosts? Well, it turns out that such topsy-turvy behavior is just normal for the Braves.
A reader over at UNI WATCH BLOG was taking in the sights & sounds of Atlanta’s Turner Field, when he noticed a big mistake in the Braves’ biggest display of their baseball bravado. For the team’s banner marking their triumph as 1995 World Series Champions, the “N” is backwards.
If we told you SirElton John was a baseball fan, how would you respond? Is it really that surprising? After all, there’s nothing in The Gay Manifesto: How All Gay People Act All The Time (this book, by the way, doesn’t exist - for many, many reasons) that says gay people can’t like sports or anything. Still, that’s the sort of thing to which about all you can say is, “Well… I guess I never knew that.”
(Evidently, when it comes to hockey, he’s a big Anaheim fan.)
Credit the Atlanta Braves for knowing how to manage a news cycle. They flipped three prospects to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Nate McLouth to answer the need for outfield help (which they failed to answer correctly the first time by not signing Adam Dunn in the offseason), and called up Tommy Hanson (pitching phenom) and sent down Jordan Schafer (outfielder phenom) and look at all the exciting news!
(Nate McLouth: interstate man of mystery no longer)
Braves GM Frank Wren swears it’s not about the money - which always means it’s about the money. McLouth is actually fairly inexpensive through 2011 with a club option for 2012 if he’s worth $10 million, but the team is replacing three minor league salaries with a major league one (roughly speaking).
Glavine will look for another job and has a decent chance of finding one if the price is right for a desperate franchise. However, no franchise has shown enough desperation to hook up with Sammy Sosa since Baltimore began its bizarre fascination with Chicago Cubs outfielders in 2005 and Texas took Sammy out around the block in 2007.
Some will celebrate their last chance to moralize about him before his Hall of Fame eligibility kicks in. Others will tell Sammy to put a cork in it because they’re sick of him. The best recommendation? Smash a boom box with a baseball bat. It’s like an aural piñata!
Finally, the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team squirted the bed in a simply filthy manner last night in San José, Costa Rica. The U.S. squad gave up two goals in the first 15 minutes of a World Cup qualifier to Costa Rica at the notoriously difficult Saprissa Stadium (banned: alcohol, batteries, and coins) on their way to a 3-1 thumping that wasn’t remotely that close.
(A Costa Rican Superman? Well, that explains a lot)
The bastard out there at ESPN that thought it would help ratings if they jammed Jon & Kate Plus 8 in front of U.S. keeper Tim Howard instead delivered a showing that led the Galavision announcers to chastise the Costa Ricans for not stomping on the throats of the Americans even more and to compare one goal in particular to stealing candy from a baby.
(Actual photo of attempted defensive wall)
Because of two silly yellow cards received by two U.S. players, the American team will be short two people when they play against Honduras at Soldier Field in Chicago Saturday, in what promises to feel like an away game with maybe 25% of the 60,000 fans cheering for Uncle Sam’s boys. If the U.S. doesn’t earn three points with a win, there’s a very real chance they could miss next year’s World Cup in South Africa.
If U.S. coach Bob Bradley is still looking for a left back that has never played there before in a crucial situation, why not call on Tom Glavine? He’s available; he’s a winner; he’s looking for a job. At worst, he can help heave batteries back into the crowd at a gentle 83 mph.
One old baseball man who tabled his moment in the sun: Randy Johnson. His first attempt at 300 wins in D.C. last night got washed out by Mother Nature (whom Randy went to elementary school with) and will be played today at 4 pm ET with Mr. Unit on the mound.
Also filed under “not living up to expectations and therefore open to criticism”, please note the Serena Williams entry created when she lost in the quarterfinals. She showed up to the French Open out of shape mentally and physically, choosing to wear outfits that accentuated the latter and threw snit fits that proved the former. The only person this “athlete/actress” is cheating is herself.
It’s unclear what would motivate you and 13 of your closest friends to spend $15,000 on a suite for two Cleveland Indians games and one Cleveland Browns game, though. Perhaps you have a pathological fear of germs transmitted by $100 bills.
In other legal news, Yahoo! sues the NFLPA for their shot at fantasy stats sans royalties, same as CBS Interactive. Please remember to send the Players Association one dollar every time you think of an NFL player. (This should leave you free to think about Vince Young all day.)
It’s officially the end of an era in Atlanta. The JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION reports that the Braves have unceremoniously dumped Tom Glavine from their ranks. With Greg Maddux long gone and John Smoltz rehabbing in the Red Sox organization, this makes the first time in over 20 years that none of the “Three Aces” has been a member of the Braves organization.
(We’ll always have sepia.)
Glavine was also in the process of rehabbing a shoulder injury when word came down this afternoon; that injury limited the lefty to 13 starts last season, and he had yet to make his major league debut in 2009. It’s an ignominious end to an illustrious career, but according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSPORTS.COM, it all came down to velocity: