Walker Manzke lost his job at a hedge fund and a significant amount of money thanks to Bernard Madoff. And probably a lot of friends too, since he encouraged others to invest in Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme. But now Manzke has come up with a way to get his revenge: selling golf balls with Madoff’s smirking face on them.
The Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme isn’t just impacting American sports: it’s having a chilling effect on teams worldwide. We previously reported that Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katzlost up to $300 million of their personal fortunes they had invested with Madoff. Now the MANCHESTER GUARDIAN reports that the $50 billion fraud case may have also cost Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley a chance to sell his team.
(get ready to see this a lot next year, Yanks fans)
It makes perfect sense. Manny is from New York City and grew up literally within a mile or so of Yankee Stadium. Manny also cares about placating Red Sox fans possibly less than anyone who has ever played in Boston (and you thought Sawx fans were mad about Johnny Damon going to the Bronx). Manny’s also the kind of guy who would probably go play in Kazakhstan if they offered him the most money, so if the Yankees offer the most cash he almost certainly will go there. The DAILY NEWS claims that Hank Steinbrenner is pushing for Manny, while Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman aren’t entirely sold on the idea. Stay tuned.
Joe Johnson bricked a free throw with three seconds left last night, and the Celtics did something they couldn’t do in last year’s playoffs – win in Atlanta. Boston won its 16th consecutive game with an 88-85 victory over the Hawks. At this point, I think it’s legitimate to start considering the C’s a potential 70-win team. They’re 24-2 now, and are not entirely reliant on the “big three.” Guys like Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins are turning into legitimate players, and they just don’t seem to have any major weaknesses (well, there is Ray Allen’s defense).
In another big game, the Hornets went on a late 13-0 run and beat the Spurs 90-83 in New Orleans. Chris Paul set an NBA record by recording a steal in his 106th-straight game. And LeBron James got a standing ovation last night for his 32-point performance…in Minnesota. That’s how desperate T-Wolves fans are to cheer for something. It must warm Kevin McHale’s heart. The Cavs won the game 93-70 to improve to 21-4.
Now it’s time for you to guess how many links I’ll be providing you now — without going over (don’t be that guy who bids $1):
• I know this is a sports blog, but we need to talk about The Price Is Right for a second. On Tuesday, a guy got the price of his showcase exactly right. This has only happened one other time in this history of the show, back in the early ’70s (the exact date isn’t known). But the big shock in all of this is that Drew Carey reacted to this unbelievable achievement as if the dog he just had neutered was hit by a car:
So what’s the real story here? Well, it seems that there was a ringer in the audience. Apparently, there are people so obsessed with TPIR that they memorize the prices of anything and everything that could be on the show (and I guess some prizes are repeated), and one of those people just happened to be in the audience and shouted out the exact price of the showcase, which Terry used as his bid (Terry also got his one-bid item right on the nose earlier in the show, presumably with the help of the mystery man). And the guy has been found. His name is Ted. After Terry’s bid (but before Drew revealed the actual answers), suspicious producers stopped the taping and met for what is rumored to be as long as 30 minutes to decide what to do, but then realized that no rule had really been broken (people are allowed to shout suggestions from the audience). But Drew knew exactly what was going on, and thus didn’t even pretend to be excited when he announced the winning bid. I feel bad for the other lady, who was only $400 off. Tough break.
• CBS2 in L.A. brings us sad news. MMA fighter Justin Levens and his wife were found shot to death in a Southern California condo yesterday. Levens had a 9-8 professional record, and had fought for various brands, including UFC. One of his losses was to Evan Tanner, who died earlier this year when he ventured out into the desert alone and ran out of water.
• Scott Shafer resigned as defensive coordinator at Michigan after one season, and blamed the “demise” of the program on himself. No, it certainly didn’t have anything to do with the horrible offense. The DETROIT NEWS has the full story.
• More unfortunate news, as former Astros and Cubs closer Dave Smith died yesterday at the age of 53. Smith is Houston’s career save leader with 199. FAN HOUSE points out that Smith will most be remembered for giving up a walk-off homer to Lenny Dykstra in the 1986 NLCS, but Smith was an excellent pitcher. His career 2.67 ERA was well below the league average for relievers during his career.
Another day, another crippling blow to Wall Street: Bernard Madoff, former NASDAQ chairman and founder of major investment advisory firm Madoff Securities, was arrested yesterday and charged with fraud, after losing up to $50 billion in a Ponzi scheme. (Not a Fonzie scheme: that involves betting someone you can jump a shark on your water skis.)
But this scandal could have a deep impact in the world of sports. CNBC is reporting that through their real estate investment firm Sterling Equities, Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz may have had as much as $300 million invested with Madoff. That’s about eight Frankie Rodriguez contracts. And it doesn’t look like they’ll be getting much, if any, of that money back.
I wonder if this means that Frank and Jamie McCourt actually have more money than another set of owners now?