The American Idol-ization of MLB’s All-Star Voting

It’s that time of year when the teenage girl in the short shorts and platinum blonde smile holds out a handful and asks, “Would you like one?”

That’s right; it’s baseball’s annual answer to the PENTHOUSE Forum: the mostly fictional facade of MLB All-Star Game voting, where your vote counts increasingly less each year in a game that supposedly counts more than ever.

Carrie Underwood collectible card

That peppy young lass from the organization with the stack of ballots would like you to fill out a couple hundred or so at the ballpark and then she’ll give you a big reward. (In Arizona, the Diamondbacks whip out a team shop gift certificate. Your local franchise’s well-intentioned bribes may vary.) You don’t want to disappoint her, do you?

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Speed Read: Celtics Fall Again; May Not Top East

Remember a couple of weeks ago when the Celtics were going to challenge the ‘96 Bulls for the best record ever? Yeah, you can pretty much put that possibility to rest. The C’s continued their strange descent on Tuesday night, dropping a game to the lowly Bobcats, 114-106 in overtime. Boston has lost five out of seven games following a 27-2 start, and now faces the real possibility of not winding up with the best record in the East at the end of the season. Orlando is 27-8 after beating Washington last night, and the idle Cavs sit at 27-6.

Bobcats Celtics

There was a huge bowl game last night too. I mean, all the best games happen after January 1st, right? Oh, it was just the GMAC Bowl. And what better company to be bringing us a bowl game this year?  It actually wasn’t a terrible matchup, as both Tulsa and Ball State took undefeated records deep into the season before faltering late. In wet, sloppy conditions in Mobile, the Golden Hurricane rocked the Cardinals 45-13. BSU was once ranked 12th, but will probably not end the season in the rankings. It’s a shame former Cards coach Brady Hoke, who left for San Diego State, couldn’t have stuck around for this one since he needs some experience in losing games by that margin for his new job.

In your New Yankees/Old Yankees news, Mark Teixeira was introduced in a press conference yesterday, Andy Pettite rejected the Yanks’ one-year, $10 million offer, and Jason Giambi is on the cusp of signing a one-year deal with the A’s.

Mark Teixeira

(ugh)

See this guy?:

Corky Simpson

His name is Corky Simpson, and he might be the only member of the Baseball Writers Association who didn’t vote for Rickey Henderson to be in the Hall of Fame. Henderson, who is among the all-time leaders in a number of categories and considered by many to be one of the 10 greatest players ever, is up for election for the first time this year. HOME RUN DERBY has tracked down the ballots of 31 writers so far, and all but Simpson’s contain Henderson’s name. And it’s not like Simpson was being stingy with his votes. He voted for eight players, including Tommy John, Tim Raines (the poor man’s Henderson), and — get this – Matt Williams! HOME RUN DERBY further analyzes Simpson’s insanity.

Today’s links are brought to you by Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp:

• The whole dating hockey players thing has worked out well for Elisha Cuthbert and Hilary Duff, so Carrie Underwood has apparently jumped on that train as well. REALITY TV MAGAZINE reports that Underwood is dating Ottawa’s Mike Fisher, as she was seen watching the game from a suite with Fisher’s parents this past weekend.

Carrie Underwood

• Somebody dressed as a security guard took a hockey stick from a teenage fan that was given to the kid by Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg during the New Year’s Day game at Wrigley Field. The “guard” said that the stick would be available to be picked up at the customer relations booth. There was no stick at customer relations. The kid is crushed, and nobody knows who the guy is that took the stick nor where the stick went. The CHICAGO TRIBUNE’s Jon Yates has the odd story.

• Reminding us that there’s nothing more pressing going on in the world than the state of postseason college football, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is considering launching an investigation into the BCS and possibly bringing antitrust charges, according to the DESERET NEWS.

• Speaking of the Utes, their fans are currently spamming AP writers such as the RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER’s J.P. Giglio, who says he’s received more than 100 emails urging him to put Utah #1 on his final poll ballot.

• Your strange video of the day comes courtesy of the NHL, where Ottawa’s Jarko Ruutu thought it was a good idea to bite Buffalo’s Andrew Peters on the hand.

The best part? Peters is the one who got a penalty.

• In a time when the NCAA Division I ranks continue to swell, the University of New Orleans is considering eliminating its athletic program altogether, says the NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE. The school, which is a part of the LSU system, is a member of the Sun Belt Conference but doesn’t have a football team.

•  A San Francisco couple with too much time on their hands are in the process of suing the 49ers for patting them down before entering Candlestick Park, saying that it’s an invasion of privacy. The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE has the arguments from both sides.

• The Orioles have signed 34-year-old Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara, according to the BALTIMORE SUN. I guess the O’s just feel left out of the Japanese pitcher phenomenon.

• In a stroke of genius roster management that would make Isiah Thomas proud, Tottenham Hotspur sold striker Jermain Defoe to Portsmouth last January for £9.0 million, and now have decided they want him back. The price? £15 million. Well played, Spurs.

• Finally, I have to include this story about the Indians signing Carl Pavano. Is it huge news? No. It’s just an excuse to run a link to an article penned by the incomparably-named Chris Assenheimer of the MEDINA COUNTY GAZETTE.

Who will end up with the best record in the NBA this year?

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Breaking: Kyle Kendrick Hearts Backstreet Boys!

For professional sports players, having a personal blog is a dicey gamble. While they provide the much-needed service of allowing sports fans a glimpse - and sometimes more - into their personal lives, it also comes with the built-in stipulation that you’re willingly giving fans of opposing teams’ more material to heckle you with. Case in point: It has now been confirmed that Kyle Kendrick loves the Backstreet Boys. Run with it, Rays fans!

Kendrick hearts Backstreet

Writing on his “personal diary” for the series over at PHILLYBURBS.COM - not being on the World Series roster gives him a decent amount of free time - Kendrick spends an inordinate amount of time (i.e. any at all) getting excited over the fact that the Boys from Backstreet were in attendance to sing the national anthem.

Read more…

Underwood Has New Shot in War for Romo’s Heart

Whether out of jealousy, animosity or some soul-crushing combination of the two, Tony Romo castoff Carrie Underwood is insecurely pointing and laughing at current Romo girlfriend Jessica Simpson like Sarah Palin at a community organizer.

Tony Romo Jessica Simpson Blue Icing Birthday Cake Kiss

A recent Simpson interview with OK! MAGAZINE reportedly set the jilted Underwood’s lips to flappingRead more…

Bloggy Blogg: Carrie Underwood Hits Cleanup

  • WITH LEATHER has the former American Idol playing softball. Or, standing around during a softball game, anyway.

Carrie Underwood Celebrity Softball

  • Darren Rovell has the name of the NBA supplier that you’ve never heard of before at CNBC. Read more…

Tony Romo Signs New Contract Extension With Dallas Cowboys

ROMO’S ROLLING IN THE BIG BUCKS W/NEW DALLAS DEAL: Tony Romo has struck it rich in Texas, as the Cowboys QB has agreed to a new contract extension:

Tony Romo bench smile

ESPN reports that the Dallas slinger and Hollywood swinger will sign a new six-year contract worth $67.5 million, with 30 million of those greenbacks guaranteed. Romo has been playing in the last year of a contract, which could have sent him to the free agent market at the end of the season.The official announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday morning. Better get those TiVo’s fired up!

Carrie Underwood Britney Spears

With the new deal, the Romo-mantic now has plenty of dough to buy some friendship bracelets for Jessica, Carrie, Sophia, and Britney. And he can even toss in a few bucks for Ms. Spears’ next round of rehab.

Tony Romo Hangs Out With Britney Spears During Bye Weekend

JERRY JONES IS REALLY PISSED ROMO DIDN’T INVITE HIM: PEOPLE reports on how Tony Romo spent his bye weekend - by hanging with Britney Spears and actress Allie Sims in Hollywood.

Britney Spears Tony Romo

Romo has been “friends” with Sims for a long time - a lot longer than people know - and he came to L.A. to see her over the weekend. Sims also happens to be pals with Spears, so we’re sure Romo was very, very happy to be seen with her.Spears and Sims initially met up with Romo (he’s huge in L.A., don’t you remember his days with the AFL Avengers?) at L.A. restaurant Ketchup, which is partially-owned by Jim Rome.

Excerpt: “Alli was meeting up with Tony and his friends at Ketchup and Britney wanted to come along. Tony and Alli have been good friends. They’ve known each other for a little over a year.

We’re sure Carrie Underwood would be interested to find that out.

The trio eventually ended up at Matt Leinart and John David Booty’s favorite H’wood hot spot, Les Deux, “where they hung out for a friendly low-key night upstairs.” Spears was “sitting with her friends and Tony. Everyone was just hanging out. Brit was upbeat, really seemed fine.

Carrie Underwood Tony Romo Birthday Party Photos In Dallas

ROMO PHOTOS WITH CARRIE UNDERWOOD ON QB’S B-DAY: GIRLS GONE SPORTS unearths a link to pics (from anonymous wacking morning show - “WMS”) of Tony Romo and Carrie Underwood at a birthday party for Romo in Dallas.

Carrie Underwood Tony Romo Birthday Photos

Underwood (at least to me) in the photos looks like she’s hanging on for dear life with Romo (why I have no idea). And I know, the pics have the worst watermarking (by the WMS website) I’ve seen this side of a gay gossip blog.