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Stole that line from Florio. Here you go kiddos:

Hillary Clinton Signs Soccer Ball For Jessica Biel

To Jessica, thanks for helping me kick my kankles - Hill

Speed Read: NL Weaker Than Obama’s First Pitch

If MLB and Fox executives are wondering why no one watches the All-Star Game anymore, here’s Exhibit A: the winning run for the AL in their 4-3 victory over the NL was driven in by an eighth-inning sacrifice fly from Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles, a name that resonates with a thud among all but the most die-hard baseball fans. And the person he scored was the Tigers’ Curtis Granderson, who can be politely called “slightly more well-known than Adam Jones.”

Adam Jones

To put it mildly, if the All-Star Game was a weekly series, it would be on the verge of cancellation by now. Especially after TV critics would have inevitably slammed it for its lack of imagination and formulaic structure. Yes, we get it - the AL is always going to win. Can’t we just have a twist on that every once in a while? (And not the shoddy “Who’s Going to Pitch?” cliffhanger that Bud Selig and company cooked up a few years ago.)

Barack Obama

After 13 years of not seeing the National League win, it’s not surprising that people just aren’t that interested anymore. But there was an attempt to spice things up this year by bringing in a big-game star for a special guest appearance: President Barack Obama. After warming up with Albert Pujols in the batting cages before the game, Obama took the mound and delivered a pitch that was about as effective as his pitch for the bank bailout.

I’ll leave it to WIDE WHITE to give a breakdown of Obama’s pitch as it relates to his policies, but suffice it to say that it was neither great nor awful. He should just be thankful that Pujols was there to make a great pick to keep the ball from hitting the dirt. (And that was Pujols’ best play of the night, since he went 0-for-3 before the hometown crowd.)

The game MVP was Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford, not so much for what he did at the plate but for his actions in the field, most notably his catch that robbed Brad Hawpe of what would have been a go-ahead home run in the seventh. And the NL can’t blame the loss on the AL being fired up because of Ichiro Suzuki’s notoriously profanity-laden pregame pep talks - President Obama’s visit to the clubhouses took up so much time that he didn’t get to give one.

Speaking of Ichiro, he took some time out of his schedule on Monday to visit the grave of George Sisler, whose record for hits in a season he broke in 2004. It was a nice touch, except for the fact that instead of bringing flowers or a wreath, Ichiro just swore at Sisler’s grave for 15 minutes straight until being escorted away by cemetary workers. Oh well, I guess it’s the thought that counts.

While MLB was playing a game that no one really cares about, the NBA is knee-deep in something arguably more exciting and definitely more important: free-agency. The main story right now is what will happen to Lamar Odom, and the saga took another turn last night as the Lakers have pulled their three-year deal worth $9 million off the table. The reason? Owner Jerry Buss is upset that Odom’s people haven’t responded to the offer while continuing to negotiate with the Mavericks and Heat.

Lamar Odom

But there’s another free-agency drama going on that is a little more below the radar screen, but just as fascinating. The Portland Trailblazers have made a four-year, $32 million offer sheet to promising young Utah forward Paul Millsap, who is a restricted free agent. That means that the Jazz have until the end of the week to match the offer and keep Millsap on the team.

The problem is that Millsap’s offer from the Trailblazers includes an immediate cash payout of $10.3 million, which Utah would also have to do if they match the offer sheet. And apparently, the cash isn’t flowing through the streets of Salt Lake as readily as Mormon children, since the Jazz ownership would likely have to take out a short-term bank loan to get the deal approved. (Portland doesn’t have that problem, since $10.6 million is vending machine money to billionaire owner Paul Allen.)

Not only does this make me question the solvency of the Utah ownership group, but it also makes me wonder how the whole loan process would go down. Would they have to wait in line at the bank before getting seated at one of those tables out in the lobby. What would they have to put up as collateral - Jerry Sloan? It simply boggles the mind.

Other sports news:

  • It turns out that with 22 points, WNBA star Diana Taurasi outscored her blood alcohol level the night she was arrested for a DUI - barely, as the AP reports that she’s been charged with an “Extreme DUI” after her blood alcohol level was shown to be 0.17 percent - twice the legal limit in Arizona.
  • Speaking of the WNBA, they announced their All-Star Game starters yesterday. No word on if Michelle Obama will be there for the traditional “First Fundamentally Sound Screen” of the game, or if they’ll get “stuck” with Hillary Clinton.
  • One thing you might not have seen at the All-Star Game (other than the National League hitting the ball) was a lot of black players. The PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER floats one reason why: the lack of strong black male role models in the inner cities makes it tough to find coaches for organized games.
  • The WALL STREET JOURNAL gives us an “Unofficial Guide to Life as a Ref” while wondering why NFL refs make so much for working one game a week.
  • With all the talk about Tiger Woods taking on Turnberry this week, there’s one thing that should be noted: Padraig Harrington is going after his third freakin’ straight British Open title. USA TODAY says it might be difficult since he’s completely changed his swing from last year.
  • The World Series of Poker Main Event is down to the final three tables, and poker celebrity/Norman Chad man crush Phil Ivey is still very much in the hunt, standing at fourth place with more than 11 million chips. Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari is also alive as they play down to the final table tomorrow.
  • Bud Selig calls claims of collusion to drive down the price of free agentssome make-believe scenario that doesn’t exist.” Right, because MLB would never get involved in collusion.
  • ESPN goes a different route and hires former NBC President Don Ohlmeyer as their new ombudsman. His first call: hiring his good friend O.J. Simpson to replace Bill Simmons as “The Sports Guy.”
  • Anthony Randolph notched his name in Las Vegas NBA Summer League history by tying the single-game scoring record by putting up 42 in the Warriors’ victory over the Bulls. Something tells me you won’t find any pictures of him posing with a basketball with “42″ written on it.
  • While sports talk radio is struggling elsewhere, it seems to be alive and well in Boston, where legendary rock station WBCN in being pulled off the air and replaced by the city’s third all-sports station.

Which remaining free agent is worth the most money?

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Michael Irvin: Generous Guy @ Gentlemen’s Clubs

• Our own Pete Gaines reminisces about the time he & his buddies ended up cavorting at a Chicago strip club with Michael Irvin.

Michael Irvin live nude girls

• The Red Wings have released Chris Chelios, but that doesn’t mean the 47-year-old is ready to hang up his skates just yet.

Sean Avery supposedly gets his own serving of sloppy seconds in the form of Mark Sanchez’s supermodel girlfriend Hilary Rhoda.

• Egypt’s soccer team denies being robbed by hookers, blames the media for distracting them to defeat.

Brock Lesnar thanks God, not steroids, that he’s “built like a black man”, yet doesn’t care too much for President Obama.

Read more…

Little People + Hillary = Minor League Summer Fun

Afraid that you would have nothing exciting to do this week? That was before you read this post: Your week is set, my friends, thanks to Minor League Baseball. First, if you never thought you’d be able to party to the hip hop beat of a Christian-leaning Native American little people rap duo, think again (if you live anywhere near Oklahoma City). Meet Crunk Nativez, who make up with enthusiasm what they lack in ability to reach things on shelves.

Crunk Nativez, Hillary

Lil Mike and Funnybone will be performing for the Oklahoma City Redhawks on Thursday at Bricktown Ballpark, and if you’ve never seen them perform, you’re missing, um, something. My favorite of theirs has to be “Waitin’ On Wifey,” but check out “Rain Dance” in the video below. The Redhawks will never know what hit them. But hey, the fun’s only beginning: Especially if you live in Iowa. Read more…

Picking a Supreme Court Justice a Sporting Matter

The imminent retirement of Supreme Court Associate Justice David Souter has opened broad speculation about his possible replacement.  If you don’t think that matters much in the world of sports, you better ask around. The NFL is especially interested in the actions of the current Court.

Sonia Sotomayor

The leader in the clubhouse is Sonia Sotomayor, a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Second Circuit, has already changed the course of American sports multiple times.  She shut down the union-busting attempt by MLB in 1995, ending the 1994 baseball strike.  She also stood up for the NFL’s age limit against Maurice Clarett a decade later.

However, she’s not the only speculative shortlister with an effect on recent sports history:

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Carano Almost as Influential as Oprah & Angelina

Let’s play the old Sesame Street game “Which one of these things is not like the other?”: Angelina Jolie, Sarah Palin, Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, Gina Carano. If you guessed Carano, congratulations! You just picked out the least likely member of the “Top 5 most influential women” in, well, just about ever.

carano pink

(Yup. Looks like Top 5 quality to us.)

Carano, easily the best looking fighter ever, catapulted from complete anonymity into the Top 10 of YAHOO! BUZZ’s annual list of most influential women. In fact, she not only made the list, she made the top 5. Sure, Carano got plenty of eyeballs on her as “Crush” on “American Gladiators”, and also probably in part of being one half of the first-ever primetime female fight. Still, we’re betting that her looks have something to do with it, no?

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Can You Smelllllllllllllllllll What Barack Is Cooking?

RANDBALL bounces over this fun little video of the big three presidential candidates speaking to that most coveted sector of the voting public - wrestling fans!

Hillary Rodham Clinton implores viewers that for tonight, just call her “Hill-Rod”. Meanwhile, in an amusing nod to former WWE star The Rock, fellow Democrat Obama asks special interest groups who’ve been impeding goverment progress, “Do You Smell What Barack is Cooking?

And John McCain channels Ric Flair & Hulk Hogan, as he announces “To be the man, you got to beat the man,” while calling upon his “McCainamaniacs” to get him to the White House in November.

Read more…

Paterno Passes On Welcoming Clinton To Penn St.

Joe Paterno stayed true to his political party, as he passed on the chance to pal around with Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton Joe Paterno

The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that the Penn State coach and noted Republican decided not to meet with Clinton last Thursday, as the former President made a stop in State College in support of his wife Hillary’s presidential campaign.

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Jessica Jinxing Another Dallas Team, ‘85′ to Big D?

• Is Jessica Simpson jinxing another Dallas team? Maybe Chad Johnson can come to the rescue.

Jessica Simpson Chad Johnson

• A word of warning to Philly fans: Don’t mess with Allen Iverson’s mama.

Andrew Bogut is not stylin’ on the Bucks sidelines.

Barack Obama & John McCain aren’t afraid to get in on the March Madness, but Hillary Clinton is hesitant.

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Presidential Hopefuls Fill March Madness Brackets

Well, two out of three, anyway. Barack Obama and John McCain had UNC winning in their brackets. As for Hillary Clinton, well, she’s not filling one out, for fear of irking potential voters.

Obama, Clinton, McCain, brackets, and you

Senator McCain, you might’ve heard, gained some attention by challenging supporters to beat him in a pool, with the hopes of winning great prizes like … McCain campaign merchandise! Stuff they’re probably handing out for free at rallies. Yeah! Read more…