Report: Colletti Repaid Kent Favor With $22M Deal!

In an interview with Jon Weisman of ESPN’s Dodger Thoughts Molly Knight, who recently published a lengthy piece in ESPN The Magazine about the McCourts divorce, reported why the Dodgers allegedly hired Ned Colletti as GM and how Jeff Kent landed a “shocking” two-year contract extension with the Dodgers in 2006 worth over $22 million at age 38.

Jeff Kent and Jamie McCourt of the Los Angeles Dodgers

(”You want me to teach women to play baseball? That’ll be $22 million”)

Weisman: “What was her (Jamie McCourt) biggest impact on the organization?

Knight: “I still have no idea. Oh, maybe the hiring of Ned Colletti. I’ve heard stories that she became close friends with Jeff Kent after he volunteered to help domestic violence victims as part of her WIN Initiative.

Both she and Frank respected Kent’s willingness to serve the community. Jeff mentioned Ned Colletti to Jamie because he knew they were looking for a GM. Jamie suggested it to Frank.

Ned killed in his interview because he didn’t ask how much money he’d have to play with. A few former execs told me all this, so take it with a grain of salt. But it starts to make sense that Kent was responsible for Colletti when you see the contract extension he was rewarded with after Colletti got there.

So because Kent showed up for Jamie McCourt’s community projects, he was able to get Colletti’s foot in the door. The same Colletti who later handed the 38-year-old Kent an outrageous, two-year, $22 million contract.

But at least Kent was injury prone and hated by his teammates!

In a post titled, “Didn’t See That Coming: Dodgers Extend Kent’s Contract,” Weisman wrote of the deal at the time: Read more…

Kent Coupled w/Ail Landry In “Superstars” Redux

Summer is just around the corner, and that can only mean one thing - a new series of ABC’s “The Superstars” will soon be upon us! The show that is to athletic endeavor what “Dancing With The Stars” is to … um, dancing, is set to kick off on June 23. (Although I admit I often get “The Superstars” confused with “Battle of the Network Stars”. Speaking of, when’s “BNS” gonna get it’s own 21st-century revival, huh?)

Jeff Kent Ali Landry

(Kent & Landry - kicking butt this summer on ABC!)

Anyway, Tom Hoffarth of FARTHER OFF THE WALL gives us the scoop on what agile athletes will compete in this season’s run - and who’ll be pared up with which “celebrity”. (Tom’s quotes, not mine - although I’d be inclined to agree with most of the upcoming examples.)

For instance, former L.A. Dodger/San Francisco Giant, Vin Scully hater & gay marriage opponent Jeff Kent will be on the program. So some folks may be enticed to tune in just to root against Jeff. But many others will watch probably because of Kent’s predetermined teammate: Ali Landry.

(More pics of Ali & others to pique your interest after the jump.)

Read more…

Speed Read: Seymour’s Wife Arrested In Lynching

I cringe when I hear the words “lynching” and “South Carolina” in the same sentence. But this is about as bizarre as it gets. THE STATE is reporting that Tanya Seymour, the wife of New England Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour, was arrested on Thursday and charged with second-degree lynching stemming from an incident at a New Year’s Eve party. (This is what happens when you change the channel from “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” to MTV without asking.)

Tanya Seymour mug shot

I’m sure your initial reaction is the same as mine: lynching? Turns out that no ropes were used: PRO FOOTBALL TALK breaks down the South Carolina Code of Laws, which defines second-degree lynching as “any act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person and from which death does not result.” So maybe not quite as horrific as you would first think, but still not good.

Richard Seymour

Police allege that Tanya Seymour was among a group of people who “jumped” two women at a New Year’s Eve party after they had got into an argument and were asked to leave. The arrest affidavit claims that Tanya Seymour was part of the mob, and punched the two women several times in the face and body. Oddly enough, the affidavit also claims that she had use of illegally obtained scouting videos to prepare for the beatdown.

The injuries were fairly minor, including bruises, a busted lip and a sprained wrist. One of the women also claimed that her scalp was sore from having it pulled during the fight. And in one of the most obvious statements I’ve ever seen in a news story:

“The victims left after the attack, the incident report says.”

Really? Because I heard some people were making a run for another keg.

If convicted, Tanya Seymour faces up to 20 years in prison. The incident adds to the list of problems her husband has had to deal with in recent years, including his father killing his former girlfriend before killing himself. And if San Diego Chargers center Nick Hardwick thought Seymour was a dirty player, he really wouldn’t want to face his wife.

And speaking of beatdowns: Joe Torre might want to be leery if David Wells invites him to watch the Super Bowl with some of his buddies at his place this weekend.  The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS says that Wells has vowed to “knock him out” if he ever sees Torre on the street after his former skipper ripped him in his new book. Specifically, Torre compared Wells to Kevin Brown, except that “both make your life miserable, but David Wells meant to.

Joe Torre and David Wells

And of course Wells has a great response to those allegations: sure, he was a total pain, but not on purpose. Like when he would yell at Torre in the locker room because the manager had the temerity to turn down his boombox when he was blasting it before the games. Or get in drunken fistfights at diners at all hours of the night.  Based on Wells’ health issues and Type 2 Diabetes, Torre might want to carry around some concealed Pixy Stix in case he needs a weapon to defend himself against an attack.

  • …and No. 1 on David Letterman’s Top Ten Reasons He Likely Won’t Field an IndyCar Team This Year: no money. Not very funny, but then again, his partner Bobby Rahal isn’t laughing as he tells the INDIANAPOLIS STAR that while Rahal Letterman Racing will likely field a car at the Indianapolis 500, a lack of sponsorship will probably keep the team from the full IndyCar season.
  • Bobby Rahal and David Letterman

  • Meanwhile, the economic mess is also hitting north of the border, as THE CANADIAN PRESS reports that Toronto Blue Jays assistant general manager Bart Given was let go as a cost-cutting move. Or as part of a power play between the team’s interim CEO Paul Beeston and GM J.P. Ricciardi. Either way, Given gets to enjoy the Canadian unemployment system, which I believe includes 100 percent benefits and a free, stress-relieving massage.
  • MMA JUNKIE has the life story of Helio Gracie, the Gracie family patriarch and pioneer in the creation and growth of mixed martial arts, who tapped out to the chokehold in the sky on Thursday morning in Rio de Janiero at 95. Naturally, he’ll be laid to rest in a wooden octagon.
  • Congratulations to Tom Cable, as the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE reports that the Oakland Raiders will be removing the “interim” label from his title and making him their permanent head coach. On the other hand, condolences to Tom Cable for becoming the Oakland Raiders’ permanent head coach.
  • More economic cutbacks in NASCAR, as the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER notes that new rules to cut back on costs have been instituted in the Truck Series for 2009. The most shocking? All trucks will be replaced by 1974 El Caminos.
  • Usually a 61-52 loss would be cause for concern, but it’s pretty understandable when the team on the losing end is North Carolina State and it’s their first game since the death of their legendary coach Kay Yow. The WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL has details of their painful first game back.
  • Really, Bobby Estalella is the smoking gun in the Feds’ case against Barry Bonds? ESPN.COM has the latest information, although I’m shocked that Jeff Kent hasn’t volunteered to bury Barry yet.
  • How often is the marquee men’s college basketball game of the night in the West Coast Conference? Gonzaga stops St. Mary’s 15-game winning streak by handing the Gaels a 69-62 defeat.
  • More legal woes for Lenny Dykstra: TMZ reports that he’s being sued by four pilots who say Nails stiffed them for flying his private plane.
  • SOCCER AMERICA says that the San Jose Earthquakes are set to make millions from their latest sponsorship deal: they’ll be wearing the Amway logo on their jerseys. The downside is that their players will be going door-to-door selling household products.

What will be NASCAR’s next cost-saving move?

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Twosome Who Torched McNabb’s Lawn Turned In

• Police have put the cuffs on the pyromaniacal perpetrators who messed up Donovan McNabb’s suburban Phoenix lawn.

Rex Perkins Donovan McNabb Ryan Hanlon

(Criminal masterminds Rex Perkins [L] & Ryan Hanlon [R])

• Notre Dame denies the rumors that they want to grab Jon Gruden.

• First Sir Charles, and now the D-Backs mascot. Guys, just call a cab.

• This parrot has ceased to be … a spectator at an English soccer game, because he kept impersonating the ref’s whistle.

Read more…

Jeff Kent Finally Calling It Quits After 17 Seasons

Jeff Kent has had just about enough, so he’s taking his ball & going home.

Jeff Kent Dodgers

The LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that the 40-year-old Dodger is set to announce his retirement. Kent will officially call it quits during a news conference at Chavez Ravine on Thursday.

During his 17-year career on the rosters of the Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Mets & Blue Jays, Kent compiled a .290 batting average with 377 home runs. He slugged 355 of those dingers as a 2nd baseman, the most homers by any MLB player at that position.

Now Jeff can devote his time to more important matters - like keeping gay couples from marrying and bitching about Vin Scully.

QB Young Breaks With Mormons On Gay Marriage

Forget Obama vs. McCain. The real battle Tuesday is between Jeff Kent and Steve Young (and, I guess, the thousands of people who would be affected by Proposition 8). The former 49ers quarterback is speaking out against and giving money to defeat the controversial measure that would ban gay marriage in California. Making it even more interesting, he is breaking with the Mormon Church on the issue.

Steve Young

Young is a direct descendant of Brigham Young (I guess technically making him a legacy at BYU) and a very visible member of the LDS church, even starring in Myths & Reality, an informational video on the church. (I could totally embed it, but I wouldn’t ask you to watch a 10-minute video on the Mormons. It’s here, if you really want.) So it’s all the more impressive that he’s willing to go against its official stance for something he believes in. Giordano Bruno was executed for less than that.

Read more…

Jeff Kent Donates $15K To Gay Marriage Ban Prop

I’d like to welcome the rest of the U.S.A. to our world here in California. Our votes never count when it comes to the Presidential race, as the state always leans Democrat. With Obama your default winner next Tuesday, looks like we’re all in the same boat now.

Jeff Kent Opposes Gay Marriage

(Ironic: He of the gay porn ’stache opposes gay marriage)

So about the only interesting thing we have to vote on in California is Prop. 8, which would ban same-sex marriage by imposing a California constitutional amendment that would define marriage as being between one man and one woman.

As you might expect, there aren’t any high-profile folks of note publicly backing the ban, but there is one sports figure here in Los Angeles who apparently feels strongly about Prop. 8. Read more…

LA Rejoices As Scully Says He’ll Be Back In 2009

If you’re a Dodger fan, things are looking up. Manny Ramirez is still hitting the cover off the ball and hasn’t asked for a trade yet. The team just completed a three-game sweep of the flailing Arizona Diamondbacks to surge into first-place in the (lousy) NL West. And now this news from the LA TIMES: legendary announcer Vin Scully says that he’ll be back next year for his 60th season of Dodger broadcasts.

Vin Scully

I guess no one consulted Jeff Kent about the Dodgers’ broadcasting plans, although with the way things are going it’s pretty unlikely that Kent’s going to be around next season to have to listen to Scully drone on and on and on…

Read more…

Rockies Manager Hurdle: “I just hate the Dodgers”

Clint Hurdle is all that is wrong with this country. The Rockies manager told the DENVER POST that he abhors the Dodgers, which is as un-American as hating the Dallas Cowboys, or Peter King speaking ill of Brett Favre.

Clint Hurdle

I thought that despising the Los Angeles baseball team that actually plays in LA was a right reserved for Jeff Kent (and, eventually, Manny Ramirez, because that’s his shtick), but apparently anybody can do it.

Read more…

Blog Jam: Church Not So Impressed With Phelps

• Even though Michael Phelps made Olympic history, one church doesn’t think the 8-time gold-winning swimmer is all that high and mighty.

Michael Phelps Jesus church sign

• Aghast by Jeff Kent’s comments on Vin Scully, Brewers broadcaster Jim Powell wonders how the Dodgers’ 2nd baseman will be able to play “with that enormous spiked shoe in his mouth.”

• BOSTON SPORTS MEDIA tunes in to learn that fromer DEADSPIN guru Will Leitch has landed a spot on Beantown’s WEEI radio.

• GIZMODO volleys up the true origin of that weird black stuff seen on Kerri Walsh’s shoulder.

Read more…