Speed Read: “Desperate” Plax Faces Grand Jury

As we speak, Plaxico Burress is preparing to testify before a grand jury in Manhattan about shooting himself in the leg last year. And those of you with some familiarity with the legal system might have this reaction to that news: uhhh, wha?

Plaxico Burress

(”I saved the world from having to deal with 19-0. Doesn’t that count for something?”)

In a move that ESPN’s Lester Munson is calling “desperate” and “highly unusual,” Burress will subject himself to questioning in an effort to get the grand jury to consider lesser charges than the felony that is currently on the table. It’s rare for a lawyer to allow this to happen because it can backfire in so many ways. For one, Plax has to be very careful about what he says. If any statement he makes ends up not being true, he could find a perjury charge added to whatever else he’s facing. And, since the prosecutors can ask anything they want, if Burress is forthcoming with every detail, he could basically end up admitting his guilt. Although, as one ESPN commenter noted, Burress really only needs to be asked three questions:

1. Did you have a gun in your possession when you shot yourself?
2. Do you have a permit to have that gun?
3. Do you have a permit to carry a concealed weapon in New York?

If the answer is “yes” to #1 and “no” to the other two questions, that’s basically all they need to make their decision.

Lester Munson

(Things aren’t going well if this guy’s talking about you)

So why do it? Munson and fellow analyst Roger Cossack seem to think that Burress’ lawer, Benjamin Brafman, might be using this as a means to encourage a plea bargain. But Munson says that they don’t have any leverage here, since they’re the ones facing all the downside related to Burress’ testimony. The term “bluff” is being thrown around, but what’s the bluff? Why would the D.A. be worried about Plax testifying?

The only reasonable theory being offered is that maybe Plax can charm the jurors into thinking he’s a good guy who didn’t know the law and just wanted to protect himself. But he’ll have to do all of this without his lawyer, who won’t be allowed into the courtroom.

On Monday, Manhattan D.A. Jack McCoy Robert Morgenthau spoke publicly about the case, saying that Plax was OK with doing a year in jail, but that the people won’t accept a deal that involves less than two years in the clink. Morgenthau even suggested that he’s looking at charging Antonio Pierce for his role in the incident, something Cossack claims was “out of bounds” for the D.A. to talk about publicly, and certainly meant to bait Burress into a deal.

None of this looks particularly good, and one wonders if that two-year deal from the D.A. is still on the table. And I think it’s safe to say it would be the worst two-year deal any NFL free agent would be signing this year.

Robert Morgenthau

(When the guy with the huge ears says you’re doing time, you’re doing time)

Mark Buehrle made his first start since his perfect game, and for an hour and a half or so at the Metrodome, the awesome gift-giver looked like he might have a legitimate shot at the utterly unthinkable. Buehrle retired the first 17 Twins he faced on Tuesday night, before it finally all fell apart and he gave up five runs and five hits.

Despite the eventual unraveling, Buehrle set a major league record by sending down 45 consecutive batters. That’s 15 consecutive innings without allowing a baserunner. The previous record was 41, held by two players, including Buehrle’s teammate, Bobby Jenks (who did it in three-batter increments as a closer).

Mark Buehrle White Sox

Elsewhere around baseball, Ichiro did something he’d never done before — end a game with a hit. That’s right, none of his previous 1,952 hits were of the walk-off variety, by far the longest such active streak in baseball. To give you an idea, Alex Cora now holds the active record for most hits without a walk-off at 742.

Ichiro Suzuki Seattle Mariners

(”You know, maybe if you didn’t have Yuniesky Betancourt hitting in front of me for four years I would’ve done it once or twice.”)

It’s been a good year for the Dodgers, but things took a turn for the embarrassing when Mark Loretta had to come on to pitch with two outs in the eighth inning at L.A. trailing 10-0 to the Cardinals. Loretta was the first position player to pitch in a game for the Dodgers since 2004, and after drilling Matt Holliday with a fastball he got Ryan Ludwick to fly out to end the inning. In other words, he did way better than Chien-Ming Wang had done this year. The Yankees finally Old Yellered him and are sending him to have surgery that can’t possibly make him any worse. Wang’s future with the Yanks is in doubt, as the team must offer him at least $4 million to keep him next year or lose him to free agency.

Chien-Ming Wang  cheerleader

Jessica Simpson is no longer welcome in Tony Romo’s neighborhood. She’s taking the high road, though, by not asking Romo to give her back the boat she bought him.

• Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen isn’t anywhere near the man he used to be. He’s much less. 95 pounds worth, to be exact.

• Because everyone’s been asking for it, here are those long-awaited highlights of the touch football game played by NFL legends before Super Bowl X in 1976. If you’ve ever wanted to see Paul Hornung make a gay joke, watch a bunch of guys try and cop a feel on Phyllis George, and hear why Johnny Unitas likes to drive Pontiacs, look no further:

As you can see, Bill Murray and Christopher Guest had nowhere to go but up.

• OK, Jason Marquis has been pretty good this year, but the DENVER POST’s Mark Kiszla has to settle down. Kiszla says that because Marquis has been on a heater for 19 starts this year that he deserves a long-term contract from the Rockies. Because those other nine years Marquis pitched must have been some kind of aberration.

• BASKETBAWFUL wonders why it’s so hard to keep score of a pickup basketball game, despite using the theoretically easier 1-point/2-point scoring system.

• DEADSPIN has the strangest overreaction to the whole Erin Andrews mess that has been published so far.

• Yes, this is in fact Garth Brooks tossing a coin into his own face before an international soccer match (TMZ is covering something other than Michael Jackson these days):

Garth Brooks tossing coin into own face

Homeless man starts passing notes to Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby. Penguins win Stanley Cup. Coincidence?

• The Cowboys will play at the Chiefs on October 11th in Kansas City, and the home team will be wearing a helmet with a big picture of Texas on it.

Vin Scully has announced that next season — his 61st as broadcaster for the Dodgers — will be his last.

• And just because we can, here’s some pictures of Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis getting ready to kiss each other:

Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis

Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis

Speed Read: LA Riots as Lakers Get NBA Title #15

The Magic were a Courtney Lee layup and a Derek Fisher miss away from being up 3-1 and having the Lakers on the ropes going into Game 5 last night, but it wasn’t to be. Then, sensing that Orlando was still reeling from giving away Game 4, the Lakers seized the momentum and left absolutely no doubt as to who the better team was in a 99-86 series-clincher at Pyramid Scheme Arena. The Lakers used a 16-0 run in the second quarter to take control, and the Magic never got closer than five after that.

Lakers celebrate

It’s title #15 for the Laker franchise, #10 for coach Phil Jackson (breaking Red Auerbach’s record), and #4 for Kobe Bryant (who was also named MVP). And, if you’re scoring at home, suck it, Redick:

Adam Morrison

(Ladies and gentlemen, the saddest NBA champion ever.)

Kobe finally got his title without Shaq, though it’s not like he did this thing alone (but averaging 32, 6, and 7 in the Finals is a pretty impressive line). The Lakers were a mediocre team until Memphis GM Chris Wallace decided to give them Pau Gasol, and the continued development of youngsters like Andrew Bynum and Trevor Ariza helped push the team to another level. Add in the rejuvenation of candy addict Lamar Odom and you have all the ingredients for a championship run.

Pau Gasol

As for the Magic, they certainly have a lot of things to be proud of, but also face a lot of uncertainty going forward. Will they find room for Hedo Turkoglu? What are they going to do with Rafer Alston? Will Dwight Howard grow into his true potential? Will Stan Van Gundy’s insane act wear thin? Was this their only window of opportunity? If Cleveland gets LeBron some help and KG comes back healthy for the Celtics, Orlando might find getting back to the Finals an impossible task in the near future.

Dwight Howard alone

The trophy presentation had plenty of unintentional comedy, including Jackson’s goofy “X” hat that his kids made for him, Morrison’s puzzled look as he decided whether or not he should act like he deserved a ring, and a hilariously awkward interview with Jerry Buss‘ kid, whose public speaking skills came off like a cross between your average spelling bee champion and Mark Madsen. David Stern’s backhanded obligatory compliment to the Magic for being a “very worthy Eastern Conference champion” was nice too. All in all, it wasn’t “anything is possible!” but still a very solid postgame ceremony.

Phil Jackson X hat

Of course, the fine citizens of Los Angeles are always looking for a flimsy excuse to throw a garbage can through a window, and the “celebration” around the city extended well into the wee hours of the morning. As I’m sure you already know, Brooks was on hand outside the Staples Center and noted that the LAPD was clearly overwhelmed in trying to keep up with what was going down on the streets.

police at Lakers celebration

(Yeah, this is probably enough officers, right?)

Fortunately, Brooks was able to get some good shots of the good clean fun outside of Staples before things went south. Although CBS 2 says that, all things considered, this year’s riots were not on par with previous years, such as 2000 when the Lakers won the series in L.A. Still, the LAPD’s attempts to keep revelers out of downtown altogether was a massive failure, and the department should be counting its lucky stars that major issues were the exception and not the norm.

De La Hoya statue at Lakers riot

(Kobe jersey with no undershirt and jeans = not a good look for a white guy)

Magic statue Lakers riot

(”The looters went that way!”)

The LA TIMES says that some folks went into looting mode, breaking windows at a shoe store and cleaning out a convenience store. Because what better way to celebrate your team’s NBA title than with some stolen beef jerky and a chunk of glass in your thigh?

And what makes all of these people even bigger geniuses is the fact that their city and state are both completely out of money, so it’s entirely reasonable to destroy a bunch of stuff that public funds will have to replace. Look, I’ve been excited, but I can’t imagine ever feeling the urge to carry a metal barrier through the streets and ram it into things indiscriminately, like these folks who were photographed by ABC 7 in L.A.:

Lakers fans riot

I’m sure we could fill page after page with entertaining photos of idiot Laker fans, but other things are happening in the world of sports, so let’s get to the links:

• OK, one more NBA thing. Charles Barkley checks in with a column in the LA TIMES, and he thinks Phil Jackson won’t be around to wear an “XI” hat next year.

• While most sports fans were transfixed on the NBA Finals, Cliff Lee took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Cardinals in the night game on ESPN, but Shin-Soo Choo made a less-than-stellar attempt at catching Yadier Molina’s deep fly into the right field corner, and the no-hitter was no more. Lee didn’t exactly throw Choo under the bus afterward, but it also seemed like he wasn’t really pleased with the effort. The Indians won 3-0, and Lee gave up two more hits.

Michael Phelps lost two races yesterday at a meet in California. Perhaps it’s the porn ’stache that’s weighing him down?

Michael Phelps porn stache

• The SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS says that 17-year-old baseball phenom Bryce Parker is going to skip his last two years of high school, get his GED, and play community college baseball in Las Vegas in preparation for the 2010 MLB Draft. If you think Stephen Strasburg’s going to command a boatload of money, just wait until this kid gets drafted. He’s already bombed multiple 450-foot-plus shots in a home run derby in Tampa.

• Your 2009 LPGA Championship winner is Anna Nordqvist of Sweden via Arizona State. See if you can pick her out of this photo:

Anna Nordqvist

I know. It’s a tough one.

• Oh, yeah, now you try and trade for Shaq, Cleveland. Way to think of that about four months too late. Perhaps it was the steep asking price of Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic that made them balk the first time around.

• How bad have the Colorado Rockies been this year? After a 7-1 win over Seattle yesterday, they’ve now won 11 games in a row, but still are a game under .500 and 10-1/2 games out of first place. Still, a nice run for the Rocks, who haven’t won this many consecutive games since September of 2007, when they won like 49 out of their last 50 on the way to the World Series. More good news for the Rockies: catcher Yorvit Torrealba’s son was returned after being kidnapped for ransom in Venezuela, and he spoke about the ordeal for the first time yesterday.

• I can’t imagine better timing for Nike to release a shoe designed by and dedicated to Chien-Ming Wang. But hey, if your dream is to have a 14+ ERA in the big leagues, these kicks are for you:

Chien-Ming Wang shoes

Phil Ivey is a sick human being. He won his second World Series of Poker bracelet in a little over a week with a victory in a half Omaha/half Stud high-low event on Saturday. He was simultaneously playing a different pot-limit Omaha event in another part of the room, and fit in enough hands there to nearly make that final table. And he somehow found more time to win over $100,000 online. While the $400,000+ in prize money he has won for his two bracelets this year is nice, rumor has it that he’s won millions more in bracelet wagers with his friends and high-stakes regulars at the Bellagio. At 33, Ivey already has seven bracelets and needs just four more to equal the record held by Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, and Doyle Brunson.

• You know how on WWE they always have someone get “hurt” and then carted off and dramatically loaded on an ambulance like there’s some sort of actual injury? Well, that happened to Japanese superstar Mitsuharu Misawa on Saturday night. Except it wasn’t fake. He had a heart attack during a match in Hiroshima and died at the age of 46. Misawa got his start as a character called “Tiger Mask” and was the biggest star in Japanese wrestling, reportedly on par with Hulk Hogan in the U.S. The BALTIMORE SUN has a short tribute. Here’s some footage of Misawa going at it a few years back with Samoa Joe:

Who ya got for the 2010 NBA title?

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Speed Read: Sox Spank Yanks Again At Fenway

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s only June, but the folks in New York can’t be pleased that the Yankees dropped to 0-7 against the Red Sox this year with a 6-5 loss at Fenway last night. To put it in perspective, the last time this happened the Yankees weren’t even the Yankees. It was 1912, and the New York Highlanders (and here I thought there could only be one Highlander) were the ones who couldn’t buy a win against the Sox.

Red Sox spank Yankees

(This is about the only Red Sox spanking Yankee fans wouldn’t mind)

Even more worrisome for New York is the continued debacle that is Chien-Ming Wang. After giving up four runs in 2 2/3 innings, Wang now has a 21.61 ERA in five starts this year — the highest ERA through five starts for a pitcher in the freaking history of baseball. Joe Girardi seems exasperated as to what to do with Wang. They’ve already done the DL thing, and NEW YORK TIMES notes that he was hitting 95 on the gun last night, so it would be hard to argue that he’s hurt again.

Chien-Ming Wang

Mark Teixeira clearly isn’t the problem for the Yankees, as he went 4-for-5 with his league-leading 19th home run. But that doesn’t matter, since A-Rod is signaling to Tex where the catcher is setting up when he’s in the on-deck circle. What, you think that’s crazy talk that only some loose-cannon “analyst” who also thinks that George Clooney is “over there solving that thing” could come up with? Well, OK, you’d be right. AWFUL ANNOUNCING says Rick Sutcliffe has gotten into some hot water with the Yankee duo after accusing them of the pitch tipping on an ESPN broadcast with absolutely no evidence to back it up.

In any case, Boston has reclaimed a one-game lead in the AL East, which is remarkable considering they’ve gotten nothing out of David Ortiz, Daisuke Matsuzaka has been mostly a mess in his few starts, Josh Beckett just recently got his act together, they still don’t really have a shortstop, and this guy is milling around Fenway:

Red Sox Fans

Tim Floyd was pushed off a cliff by USC resigned from his position as head coach of USC yesterday in the wake of the O.J. Mayo scandal, and ESPN’s Andy Katz put together a column that lists all of the questions that are now left to be answered in the wake of this move. Katz theorizes, among other things, that Floyd might be USC’s sacrificial lamb in the NCAA’s investigation against the school’s football and basketball programs.

Tim Floyd and OJ Mayo

Floyd’s resignation comes in the wake of most of his team declaring that they wouldn’t be coming back anyway, for various reasons. Marcus Johnson jumped through all of the hoops to earn a waiver for a sixth year of eligibility, then suddenly decided to stay in the NBA draft, where he’s not expected to be picked. Daniel Hackett is even blowing off his senior season to also not get picked by an NBA team. Think they know something we don’t (yet) about where this program is heading, even with Floyd’s departure?

So now what for the Trojans? Would Jamie Dixon, who grew up in So Cal, be up for rebuilding the program? What about Randy Bennett of Saint Mary’s? Rick Pitino? OK, now we’re just getting silly. Which means that Bobby Knight makes all sorts of sense.

Now, here are some things to read while Tom Brady waits to get rescued after flipping his kayak over:

HALOS HEAVEN has a huge break in the Nick Adenhart case, as toxicology reports show that Courtney Stewart, the 20-year-old driver of the car Adenhart was riding in, had a BAC of .016 at the time of her death. That’s twice the legal limit for an adult, and infinity times the limit for a 20-year-old (actually, California generously allows an underager to blow up to a .01 without consequence). ORANGE COUNTY WEEKLY’s Nick Schou is the one who obtained the toxicology reports, against the wishes of the DA’s office.

Courtney Stewart tox report

While it still doesn’t come close to excusing Andrew Gallo’s choice to drive drunk, and it doesn’t change the fact that Gallo is the one who ran a red light to cause the crash, it certainly is now reasonable for Gallo’s lawyer to argue that Stewart’s impairment could’ve played just as large a role in the accident as his client did. TMZ also reports that Stewart tested positive for an “illegal substance.” Still a horrible tragedy all around, but this definitely calls Adenhart’s judgment into question, as it looks like he chose to get into a car with an underage drunk (and possibly high) driver. What if Stewart had been sober? Would she have been able to see Gallo running the light and stop in time? We’ll never know.

• D.C. SPORTS BOG exposes what is either an unholy union between the Redskins and that LOL cats site, or somebody hacked the ‘Skins website and put a kitty’s picture in place of Jason Campbell (and really, you have the ability to hack into an NFL team’s site and that’s what you do?):

Redskins website cat

• Elsewhere in D.C., we found out last night exactly how many Nats fans would wait through a rain delay to see if their team could come back from a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the 9th inning — less than 100. That’s how many folks were on hand after a two hour delay to see their team rally to tie the game, only to lose it in the 12th. This despite converting the popular 4-3-6-4-6 double play in that inning.

• Everyone’s been talking about Zack Greinke all year, but Justin Verlander might be the best pitcher in the AL Central. He cruised to a complete-game victory over the White Sox last night to move to 7-0 in his last nine starts.

• Boy, who could’ve ever predicted that Jameer Nelson might not play that well in the Finals after not having played a game since before the All-Star break?

• If things keep going the way they are, according the WASHINGTON POST, the entire LPGA Tour will soon be available for you to hire for your bachelor party.

Play Golf Designs

We know that Joe Montana’s kid has committed to play football at Washington, but current Huskies QB Jake Locker had some big news of his own today — he was drafted by the Angels in the 10th round of the MLB draft. If Locker signs a baseball contract, he’ll still be eligible to play football for UW but will lose his scholarship.

Marcin Gortat has a sweet ride to go with that Jordan tattoo.

Marcin Gortat car

Brett Favre is apparently in trouble for not showing up to organized team activities for a team he doesn’t even play for. Favre’s non-coach, Brad Childress, says he set no deadline for Favre to accept the team’s non-offer to play for them. For now, the Vikings are now going to feign disinterest in having Favre around but will eventually pass him a note asking him if he’d want to go to training camp with them.

• Funny how everyone is so bent out of shape about Stephen Strasburg asking for $25 million or more to pitch for the Nationals, but nobody bats an eye when fifth-overall pick Mark Sanchez gets $28 million in guaranteed money from the Jets. But think of all the nice stuff Mark can buy for girlfriend Hilary Rhoda:

Hilary Rhoda

Knowing now that the underage driver of Nick Adenhart’s car had been drinking, does that change your view of the accident?

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How Convenient For Yankees — Wang Is “Injured”

I missed this when the news first came out on Friday, but it appears that the Yankees have finally invented a reason to put struggling starter Chien-Ming Wang on the disabled list to prevent further embarrassment (and the possibility of losing him to a waiver claim if they tried to send himd own). Wang, as you may know, has allowed 23 earned runs in 6 innings this season.

chien-ming wang

And what, nobody is questioning this at all? Joe Girardi contended — nay, insisted — after Wang’s latest disaster last weekend against the Indians that the pitcher wasn’t injured, which led to much consternation within the organization as to what exactly they could do with him. Now, all of a sudden, he’s been diagnosed by A-Rod’s rehab doctor in Florida with “weak abductor muscles in his hips,” which is apparently enough to allow the team to put him on the DL.

Look, I understand that this stuff probably goes on a lot, but is there anyone on MLB’s end that makes sure a guy is really hurt?

Are you buying that Chien-Ming Wang is really hurt?

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Speed Read: Allen Outduels Gordon, Saves Celts

With three minutes left in last night’s Bulls-Celtics tilt, it looked like Ben Gordon was going to will the Bulls to an astounding 2-0 series lead. But then, as Paul Pierce wilted down the stretch, Ray Allen finally woke up and saved Boston’s season with two huge threes, including the game-winner with two seconds left as Boston won 118-115. Rajon Rondo bounced back from a sprained knee/ankle/hip he suffered just before halftime to finish with a triple double: 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 16 assists.

Ray Allen

Gordon scored 42 for Chicago, but the Bulls couldn’t keep the Celtics off the offensive boards all night, and it cost the Bulls dearly in the fourth quarter. With about 30 seconds left and holding a one-point lead, Chicago was unable to corral a loose ball that eventually ended up in Allen’s hand — and he nailed a three to give the Celtics the lead. Gordon answered to tie it, but never got another chance as Allen hit a tough shot over the outstretched arms and hair of Joakim Noah to end it.

Well, there were two seconds left, but Vinny Del Negro plowed through all of his timeouts too soon (and at least one of them seemed completely unnecessary, considering the Bulls’ only play in the final three minutes was “give it Ben Gordon and get out of his way”), meaning the Bulls got a 70-footer from Tyrus Thomas at the buzzer. Still, a split in Boston is all the Bulls could reasonably ask for, and knowing that they can compete when the series comes back to Boston is going to be key.

Ben Gordon

Can the Bulls actually win this series?

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In the other playoff game, the Spurs got 38 points from Tony Parker and beat the Mavs 105-84. Still, it seems like Dallas is winning this series, doesn’t it?

In the NHL, the Bruins moved within one game of their first playoff series win in 10 years with a 4-2 victory at Montreal, taking a 3-0 lead. Meanwhile, the Caps scored a huge 4-0 road win over the Rangers at MSG after dropping the first two games at home. And in Calgary, the Flames got back within 2-1 in the series by beating Chicago 4-2. It was Calgary’s first win in seven games against the Blackhawks this season.

• If you’re a Cubs fan and you’re dead, there’s still a way for you to support the team that probably hastened your death in the first place. That’s right, a Cubs-themed cemetery called Beyond the Vines opens for business on Wednesday.

Cubs cemetery

Billed as “eternal luxury suites for Cubs fans,” the cemetery features an ivy-covered brick wall and will have some other Wrigley touches, such as a stained-glass replica of the ballpark’s scoreboard.  CNBC’s Darren Rovell says that if this works, the guy who came up with it is going to take it to Yankee fans.

• You might have noticed that Chien-Ming Wang sucks now. Even worse is that he’s out of options so the Yanks can’t send him down to the minors without sending him through waivers, and someone would surely claim him (the Orioles can always use a guy with a 34.50 ERA). Worse for Wang is the fact that he’s signed to a one-year deal, which means he’s this close to pitching for the Newark Bears next year. Or, you know, Wang could throw 45 consecutive scoreless innings and get his ERA under 4. RIVER AVE BLUES is searching for answers.

• Yeah, the Marlins were 11-1, but you don’t just go into Ross Ohlendorf’s house and expect to win ball games. The Pirates now have four shutouts this year after beating Florida 8-0. They had two all of last year.

• American running hottie Kara Goucher almost won the Boston Marathon yesterday. She actually had the lead in the final stretch, but was passed up by a Kenyan and an Ethiopian and finished third, just nine seconds off the winning time. The BOSTON HERALD says she would’ve been the first American to win the race since 1985.

Kara Goucher

• A record-low crowd of 12,473 paying customers saw Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmerman make his major-league debut last night. Actually, it was a lot less than that because a pre-game rain delay chased all but a few hundred fans from the park. By the time Joel Hanrahan saved a 3-2 win over the Braves, the WASHINGTON POST estimates there were 70 people there. I know it was a crappy night, but isn’t it great that D.C. spent millions on that new ballpark?

The Detroit Lions have a new logo. Actually, it’s not really a new logo at all.  It’s just the same logo, with some fierce teeth. It’s all part of a new attitude. This year, Dan Orlovsky’s going to get really angry when he takes a safety.

Lions logo

• The Arena Football League is off this season (which I’m sure you’ve noticed), but when the league comes back next year, the L.A. Avengers won’t be a part of it, according to ESPN. This is bad news for, uh, Todd Marinovich?

• DRAFTEXPRESS says Stephen Curry is going to skip his senior year and declare for the NBA Draft, where he should be picked somewhere in the late-lottery range.

• WFAN’s Mike Francesa says the Yankees need to somehow fix their new stadium as soon as the team leaves for its road trip this week to try and cut down on what he calls an “amusement park” atmosphere with balls flying out of the yard to right field at an alarming rate. But how? Even if it was physically possible to change the dimensions of the park in-season, that’s against MLB rules. So the only solutions are either changing how the wind blows through the park (a little unlikely) or getting rid of Chien-Ming Wang (see a few paragraphs above).

Speed Read: It’s All A Formality Until The Finals

This was one hell of a starting weekend for the NBA playoffs. We mentioned it before, yes, but we can’t shut up about it because it’s something that ought not be shut up about: Derrick Rose’s highly testicular 36-point performance at the Boston Garden was one of the most remarkable playoff performances in the last, let’s say, decade. He made tough shot after tough shot while being defended by one of the premier point defenders, Rajon Rondo, and hit every single free throw, including two to swing a one-point lead to the Bulls with time running out in regulation.

Derrick Rose

Then there’s the shredding that the Lakers delivered to the Jazz at the Staples Center. Sure, the final score was somewhat close, but the Jazz were never in serious contention after the first quarter; the Lakers are too deep and too talented to drop a game at home in this series. And speaking of depth, how dangerous is the Lake Show with not only its regular cast of characters, but a 95% healthy Andrew Bynum, a motivated Lamar Odom, and a productive Trevor Ariza? That’s such a bad sign for the rest of the league; you could conceivably take Kobe Bryant or Pau Gasol off that team and still win a series against most teams. Got to think Derek Fisher’s total implosion can’t help, though. You know the Lakers are drafting a point guard who can play right away in the draft.

As for the rest of the league, we had the Lakers’ dominance as mentioned above, and then the only other top 3 seed who looked capable of going deep in the playoffs was Cleveland, who just toyed with the Pistons, 102-84. Lebron James … what can you say? 38 points, 8 boards, 7 dimes, and this absurd shot one step in from half-court:

How many players can take a shot like that and know it’s good from the moment it leaves their fingers? Look at him running at it. He knows. He’s Neo. He’s stopping the bullets and throwing them back at people. He sees those green numbers. He can fly.

Yes, we should mention the Nuggets’ 29-point win too, but having watched that game, we’re still not sold at all. Sure, if Chauncey Billups goes 8-9 from behind the arc in any other games from here on out, they’re probably going to win. But the final score, in this case, doesn’t reflect the competitiveness of the game; New Orleans was within seven points late in the third before collapsing. Denver’s still not a good 2 seed, and Chauncey’s avalanche seems like far more of an anomaly than J.R. Smith’s brickfest; he went 0-7 from downtown. Not sold, man.

And so that’s it. There’s nobody who, right now, looks like they can challenge the Lakers or Cavaliers. That’s not to say there won’t be exciting basketball, of course - witness Chicago-Boston or the Philly-Orlando game iced by Andre Iguodala - but those are sideshows, the undercard to the impending main event. The best part, then, is that even with the ultimate matchup worth writing in ink, we still have no idea who wins that series. The Lakers are deep, but Lebron is Lebron.

Is there a decent segue between anything Lebron does and the word “Gay”? No? Yeah, that sounds right. Anyway, golf has a fresh round of locker room jokes at the ready after Brian Gay set Harbour Town on fire, breaking Loren Roberts‘ scoring record and shooting -20 at the Verizon Heritage, including seven under in the final round. Well played, Brian Gay. Tyson Homosexual is impressed.

Brian Gay
(Resisting temptation for any reference to his wardrobe…)

And what’s the deal with the “Gay” surname? Like, yeah, it’s only been a big deal for the last two generations or so, whereas the name’s been around for a lot longer, and yeah, being gay isn’t in and of itself a problem. But it’s still got to be utter hell for a child; can’t people just change their kids’ names to “Gray” until they turn 18, and then it’s a judgment call when the kid becomes an adult? Nobody likes to be the butt of gay jokes, after all. Haha, I said “butt.” Let’s just move on.

Some quick hits while you make your very own flaming bacon lance of death

That’ll be good ebough for a one-game suspension for Milan Lucic; you can’t just hit dudes in the head in hockey, man! Except for their famous bare-knuckle sideshows that happen in every single game. Aside from that, we mean.

  • Don’t look now, but the Royals’ Zack Greinke is on a streak of 34 straight scoreless innings, meaning he’s just 25 away from tying Orel Hershiser’s record. We know what you’re thinking, and no, “Greinke” doesn’t rhyme with “stinky.” Grow up.
  • On the other side of pitching competence, there have been 25 home runs in Yankee Stadium in the first five games; that’s about 2.5 times as many as last season. Is it the new park? Lighter balls? How about “nobody on that entire team can pitch worth a crap”? I win!

USC Song Girls

  • Those would be the famous USC Song Girls, caputred in bikini form by - who else - BUSTED COVERAGE. It’s where you can read about sports, but masturbate at the same time!
  • But back to the Yankees, once you’ve cleaned up. You got some on your hand there. Okay, good. Anyway, the Yankees don’t really have much choice what to do with Chien-Ming Wang. He’s got a 34.50 ERA, but he’s not injured and he can’t be sent to AAA. But, on the plus side, manager Joe Girardi can throw him out of an airplane into the ocean. It’s in the collective bargaining agreement; read it.
  • And finally, here’s a hockey player using two sticks. How is this not legal?

Should playing hockey with two sticks be legal?

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Indians Continue Desecrating New Yankee Stadium

The New York Yankees probably wanted a storybook opening for their new stadium on Thursday: A dominating start from C. C. Sabathia, production from their new bats, and a lively crowd cheering them on to victory. For six innings, that was happening. Then the bullpen melted down, the Indians dropped nine runs on the Yankees’ heads in one inning, and the rest was merely academic. New York got their revenge on Friday, rallying for a 6-5 on a Derek Jeter (naturally) home run, which raised the Yankee fans’ spirits and sent them jubilant into the weekend.


(The Indians should forfeit those 14 runs, just to be pricks about it.)

Today, however, was a slightly different story. Chien-Ming Wang made a convincing case for AAA demotion, and the Indians topped their Thursday desecration of the new joint by pouring in 14 runs in one inning, all part of a 22-4 demolition. ESPN.COM detailed the historic nature of the ass-pounding delivered by the Tribe: Read more…

Blog-A-Roni: Rangers Turn Shea Into Slip ‘N Slide

• 100% INJURY RATE washes up video of the Texas Rangers turning Shea Stadium into their own personal Slip ‘N Slide.


• BOBCATS PLANET punches up a clip of a Celtics fan getting a warm reception by the Staples Center crowd.

• It pains LOHUD YANKEES BLOG to reveal that the Yankees have sprained their Wang.

• MIZZOURAH (by way of EDSBS) takes a bite out of comparing Big 12 football squads to potato chips & similar salty snacks.

Read more…

Wang Holds Firm, Pitches Two-Hitter vs. Red Sox

I don’t know if ESPN will be covering the result of this game, so I’d better make note of it here.

Chien-Ming Wang  cheerleader

Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang, he of the 6.17 ERA, allowed only 2 hits on 93 pitches as the Yanks beat Boston, 4-1. Read more…