Speed Read: End Of The Road For Chris Chelios?

In case you hadn’t noticed, and after these many years it’s okay if you hadn’t, Chris Chelios has been around forever. For-eh-vur. The 47-year-old has literally spent a majority of his life as a player in the NHL, breaking into the league with Montreal during the 1983-84 season. Yeah, back when “Jump” was the hot new sound from Van Halen. That’s how long dude’s been around.

Chris Chelios Weightlifting
(Of course he stuck around this long because of hard work. What did you expect? Prayer?)

And while injuries and the unrelenting assault of time on an aging man’s body have kept Chelios from the legendary Gordie Howe’s all-time record in games played and other marks of longetivity, Chelios is still a colossal freak of nature. Look no further than at (it bears repeating) the age of 47, Chelios is finally being released by the Detroit Red Wings. As the DETROIT NEWS reports, though, he still might not be done:

General manager Ken Holland met with Chelios Monday afternoon and, as expected, gave him the news Chelios will not be re-signed.

“It was kind of understood last summer, after Cheli signed, that the 2008-09 season would be the last one for Cheli as a Red Wing,” said Holland, noting the need for the Wings to bring in younger players. “He wants to play another season and I believe he can still play.”

Perhaps Chelios has a year or two left in him as a swan song in Chicago, or maybe he wants to see if he can hit 50 in an NHL uniform, a stunning accomplishment that really has zero bearing on the world at large. Don’t get us wrong, most guys don’t make it to 30 in the league, much less tack two more entire decades on the odometer, but at no point is Chelios ever going to be a catalyst for great things anymore.

Which is fine, of course. Guys stick around in professional athletics for a few years too many on a regular basis, and few (if any) have earned the privilege as much as Chelios. It’s just that at this point, the list of teams who might pick him up are those who really don’t even need the help to begin with.

Speaking of Chris Chelios (WARNING: this segue makes no sense), let’s talk about women fighting each other. You might remember last week where Cris “Cyborg” Santos choked out a reporter who foolishly questioned her ability to finish a submission move against a fighter, y’know, like how real men do. Well, being that Santos is going to fight SbB favorite Gina Carano in Carano’s post-EliteXC return to the Octagon, one display of lady-on-gentleman brutality can’t go unreturned before the fight, right? Right:

Nighty nighty, talker man. The question isn’t where are you, as Santos’ victim asked when he came back to Earth, but what are you: that would be lucky as hell, lucky that someone strong enough to turn the lights out with such ease also possesses the capacity for mercy, which is pretty much the only thing that has saved your brain’s regular functions.

If ladychoking is the next salvo fired in the War on Equality, then so be it, because strong women are clearly capable of winning that fight against weak men. And sure, a man can still probably choke out a woman, but anyone willing to make that case, even hypothetically, probably isn’t someone worth your time in conversation. Avoid accordingly.

Last, speaking of choking, let’s talk about USC. In the wake of Tim Floyd’s shame-splattered resignation and allegations of selective rule enforcement in the case of Reggie Bush, former Heisman hero and current athletic director Mike Garrett demands to be judged by his record and his legacy. For example, he hired Pete Carroll. Also, he hired, um… uh…

Pete Carroll USC Song Girls
(The Song Girls aren’t really hired, per se, so that doesn’t count. The white-haired guy in the middle does, though.)

Turns out, as the LOS ANGELES TIMES points out, he doesn’t exactly have a track record of success to fall back on, despite his boasts. So while Carroll’s hire is to Garrett as the Emancipation Proclamation is to Abraham Lincoln (seriously, Abe, what else did you accomplish, other than monopolizing the top hat?*), the rest of the resume seems to be, ahem, lacking. The worst hire, in retrospect, seems to be Floyd, who may have crippled the Trojans’ basketball program for years to come in order to secure one year of service from O.J. Mayo. And let’s hope that mistake doesn’t happen again…

Who’s the next big star from O.J. Mayo’s family?

View Results

So above all else, Garrett’s resume suggests that success is but a random decision away, a call to be made by livestock choosing to address one of several piles of food, each festooned with a different logo. Blew it on that up-and-coming coach from Southwestern State back in 2003? Hey, what can you do; Ernie the Carnivorous Pheasant clearly indicated he was due by way of which chum pile he devoured, and in any case, we saved the $12 million a barely-competent would have demanded over those same six years.

Some extra links to consider while you keep the horse off the launchpad…

  • J.R. Smith and Eddy Curry were apparently webcasting online as they were pulled over for the all-too-common D.W.B., as INSIDE HOOPS reports. No charges were filed and no video seems to exist, which is precisely why you’re reading about it here and not blaring at the top of a morning post. [UPDATE: Smith’s unequivocally calling bullfeathers on the story, though it seems so oddly specific we’re not sure why they would make any of that up.]
  • OPPOSITE DAY: The worst GM in at least the last 30 years, Steve Phillips, is allowed to make assertions about baseball that go routinely unchallenged. This is like giving Karl Rove his own political column… oh wait.
  • A word to Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido: there are many, many opportunities for somebody to make self-deprecating jokes to the press. A recent DUI arrest and your mugshot, for example would probably not be the best opportunity to do so. Just something to keep in mind going forw–well, I see we’re too late.
  • Joakim Noah will join Mickael Pietrus and Jean-Shaquille L’Oneal (we made up the last one, of course, but not the first two) on the French national team for upcoming international play. Vince Carter was seem chuckling, sizing up Noah’s dimensions, and dialing his time machine back to 2000. It’s been a while since he abused a giant Frenchman, you see, and these desires just never seem to go away after you indulge them once.

  • Tony Hawk got to visit the White House, then skateboard through it. And you know what? You can do the exact same thing if you spend 20 years getting famous for being better at one thing than anyone else in the world, and no, we’re not talking about what you do three times a day whenever the wife’s not around. In that case, practice makes pervert. Now pull up your pants and keep reading.
  • No, University of Illinois, Ron Santo was not trying to get into med school (not as anything but a discount-level test dummy; get some toes, then we can talk full price).
  • Bet you don’t know who just beat out Jason Jennings for the franchise lead for most victories. Did you guess Aaron Cook? Well, you probably cheated.
  • Some eight-grader does a flip and throws the basketball in a hoop from almost a full court. This is actually less related to competitive basketball than dunk contests, which we didn’t even think was possible.

(What’s next, trying to shoot it out of a cannon into a hoop? What does this have to do with actual basketball? God, we’re old.)

*We’re addressing him in the first person because we have it on good authority that Abe Lincoln and other dead Presidents read SbB with astonishing regularity in the afterworld. Heaven has great wi-fi. Which seems appropriate, if you think about it; how good could heaven really be if the wireless sucked?

Speed Read: Lakers Crush Magic, TV Execs Hearts

That sound you heard in New York last night were league officials and ABC executives quietly weeping into their gin and tonics while watching Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Because what they were watching was the one thing they didn’t need: a Los Angeles Lakers blowout. For the casual fan, the 100-75 drubbing of the Orlando Magic just confirmed what they already knew, that this series is a letdown after the hype of Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James, and the Lakers are going to crush the upstart Magic.

Kobe Bryant

Sure, it was close…for a little over a quarter. The Magic did have a five-point lead early in the second quarter, and then the roof collapsed. This is what happens when a team that relies on three-point shooting has a sub-par shooting game (going 8-for-23 from beyond the arc). Without having to fear the Magic from the outside, the Lakers could double and triple-team Dwight Howard, a form of kryptonite that even Superman couldn’t overcome, going 1-for-6 and scoring just 12 points.

Dwight Howard

So while Howard struggled, Kobe was superb, scoring 40 points while coming close to a triple-double. He had 12 points in the second quarter as the Lakers established their dominance, and was able to create opportunities for Pau Gasol and the rest of his supporting cast. And with Phil Jackson being 43-0 in series where his team wins the opening game, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has to be sweating through his Men’s Wearhouse coat.

But if the Magic need any inspiration, they only need to look to the Stanley Cup (assuming they get Versus in central Florida). Facing a 2-0 deficit against the defending champion Detroit Red Wings, the Pittsburgh Penguins have rallied to tie the series after a 4-2 win in Game 4. Which is especially impressive since they managed to turn an early lead into a 2-1 hole in the second period, which could have easily crippled a lesser team.

Pittsburgh Penguins

And in what can only be seen as a good sign for the Penguins, Sidney Crosby had his first goal of the series, while Evgeni Malkin added a goal and an assist. So now we basically have a best-of-three series starting tomorrow night in Detroit. While the Red Wings are still probably going to win the series, at least the Penguins have made it interesting.

Randy Johnson

Finally, let’s tip our hat to Randy Johnson, who became the first pitcher since Tom Seaver in 1985 to get his 300th victory in his first attempt thanks to the Giants’ 5-1 victory over the Nationals. Thank you for sparing us of the daily update on the ESPN crawl and live game updates ruining our PBA Tour broadcasts on Wednesday nights on ESPN2. The Giants are planning a pregame celebration before their next home game to congratulate Johnson on his 300 career wins - all four of them with San Francisco.

  • The French Open women’s singles final is set, with Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova taking each other on in an all-Russian final. In terms of eye candy, this isn’t exactly the Maria Sharapova vs. Ana Ivanovic Australian Open final from last year.
  • Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova

  • Calvin Borel isn’t just confident that he’s going to win the Belmont Stakes on Mine That Bird to win the jockey Triple Crown, he’s guaranteeing it. (At least that’s what we think he said with molasses-thick drawl.) If he does pull this off, does this mean he gets put out to stud?
  • LeBron, here’s your slap on the wrist: the NBA fines King James $25,000 for bailing on the post-game press conference after the Cavs’ Game 6 loss to the Magic in the Eastern Conference finals. Plus, you made David Stern cry. How does that feel, LeBron.
  • You want Dontrelle Willis to succeed in his comeback with the Tigers, but then something like this happens: in 2-1/3 innings against the Red Sox yesterday, Willis gave up five runs without allowing a hit, walking five and hitting a batter.
  • Just when you thought that it couldn’t get worse for the New York Mets than getting swept by the Pirates, it also turns out that Jose Reyes has a torn hamstring.
  • John Raines, a substitute teacher and athletic trainer at Sussex Central High in Delaware, has been arrested and charged with “inappropriately touching a student-athlete while treating her injury and threatening to prevent her from playing her sport when she tried to stop his advances.” Which is bad enough, but even worse when considering he’s the second faculty member arrested on sex crimes in the past two days and the third within a year.
  • Spencer Cruise, an all-state high school football player in Iowa, allegedly bodyslammed a cop who was busting up a party and then Tasered him with his own weapon.
  • Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson has selected ESPN’s Chris Berman to introduce him before his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and PRO FOOTBALL TALK wonders if that’s such a great idea. (Seriously, was Jim Kelly busy?)
  • Former Tulsa football player Neal Sweeney apparently got into a business dispute with the wrong person, as it ended up with him being shot dead at his fuel sales company. Police have arrested the person they believe is the triggerman, and hope this leads to further breaks in the case.
  • Maurice Neal, a linebacker for the Utah Utes, has been arrested in connection with a bar fight where he took out two men. Shouldn’t Utah be the last place that a bar fight should be happening?

Who is going to be the next 300 game winner in baseball?

View Results

Who The Heck Is Dutch Manager Rod Delmonico?

By now you’ve probably noticed that the Netherlands upset the Dominican Republic in baseball. In fact, as Tuffy mentioned in the Speed Read directly below this post, they did it a second time with even more gumption and dramatics then they had in beating the D.R.’s All-Stars the first time around. This time, a 20-year-old minor league prospect from the Twins system named Tom Stuifbergen matched Ubaldo Jimenez and Pedro Martinez out for out. After finally giving up a run in extra innings — hard to fault them for allowing Jose Reyes to score from second on a clear base hit into the outfield — they responded with two. That, friends, is clutch.

netherlands manager rod delmonico

(Tennessee, the Netherlands … maybe he just needs to keep wearing orange?)

So who, pray tell, is the man behind these wins? Well, his name is Rod Delmonico, and you’ve almost certainly never heard of him unless you’re really, really into college baseball. After a career that started in 1981, Delmonico was an assistant and head coach at Clemson, Florida State and Tennessee. But then, after a long collegiate career, Delmonico left the Volunteers in 2007 for an amorphous position with MLB that may have made him the perfect manager for the Netherlands, and just the type of man who could help a team put on a magical run in the World Baseball Classic.

Read more…

The Netherlands Upset The Dominican Republic?!

Yup, it just happened. Baseball finally has its single game of incredible significance. In a stunning upset — and yes, we realize the World Baseball Classic has no ramifications whatsoever – the Netherlands beat the high-powered Dominican Republic, 3-2, on Saturday in Puerto Rico. Yes, the Dutch beat the Dominicans. In baseball. We’re not making this up. Make no mistake, this isn’t Giants beating Patriots, this is Appalachian State knocking off Michigan.

gold member netherlands

(They’re going for the gooooold.)

Wondering which high powered names are on that Netherlands roster? Sidney Ponson, Randall Simon and … well, that’s about it. Really. It should be noted that neither of those guys has a current team, either. Need a bigger indication of just how slanted the talent was between these two teams? In the eighth inning, the Domincan Republic pinch ran with Jose Reyes, a perennial All-Star shortstop. In the ninth, the Netherlands brought up its clean-up hitter … who spent 2008 in A and AA.

Read more…

Padres Rookies Turned Into Horrid Hooters Girls

• In the most horrible of MLB hazings, the Padres’ rookies get dressed up as Hooters Girls. Isn’t playing for San Diego embarrassing enough already?

Padres rookies dressed as Hooters girls

*Editor’s note: We’re sorry for sharing such a terrifying image. Please enjoy the following photo as a token of our sincerest apologies:

SbB Girls Vanessa Hillary Kim  at Las Vegas Hooters

(SbB Girls Vanessa, Hillary and Kim make it all better)

Ron Artest says Josh Howard’s stunning comments about the Star-Spangled Banner are an indictment of America’s education system.

• What do you do when your team sucks & no one’s coming out to the games? If you’re the Washington Nationals, you cut payroll by $20 million.

• Staying in the District, Agent Zero will be out of action until December, as Gilbert Arenas needs knee surgery again.

• No Tiger at the Ryder? No problem, as long as Boo Weekley is around to cause chuckles around the course.

Read more…

Jose Reyes Is Gonna Have Some Explaining To Do

The New York Mets look like they’re on the verge of another late season collapse, as they’ve lost their lead in the NL East and currently trail the Philadelphia Phillies by a half game. Still, you’ll have to forgive Mets shortstop Jose Reyes if he seems a bit distracted during the season’s closing weeks, because he may be trying to save his marriage.

Bentley Matthews

Photos recently surfaced on THE DIRTY from the MySpace page of a model named Bentley Matthews, and they don’t make it look like the friendship between the married Reyes and Matthews is the platonic type. Though, despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary, Matthews claims there’s nothing going on between her and Jose.

Read more…

Minor League Teams Get Into Major-League Fight

• Chiefs & Dragons get all fired up in a heated minor league basebrawl.

Minor League Fight

• One offended lady was able to put a stop to the Lowell Spinners’ “Politically Incorrect Night” - Mother Nature.

Devin Hester’s mighty holdout from the Bears lasts all of two days.

• The Tar Heels run away from the chance to face Appalachian State.

• The Phillies aren’t flattered by Jose Reyes’ one-fingered celebration.

Read more…

Phils Perturbed By Mets’ Reyes Giving The Finger

If baseball teams are getting peeved by celebrations, it’s pretty clear the second half of the season (and the one really worth paying attention to) is underway. The NEW YORK TIMES writes that Mets shortstop Jose Reyes’ exuberance at his three-run homer in Wednesday night’s game had the Philadelphia Phillies fuming a bit.

Jose Reyes, wagging his finger

If it ticked off the players, it really got to the Phillies’ broadcasters. Larry Andersen said during the game of Reyes: “Somebody ought to put one in his neck.” Read more…

Mets Player, Commentator Almost Fight On Flight

Major League ballplayers aren’t putting up with media criticism anymore. Not soon after the Rangers’ Milton Bradley went looking to rough-up a Royals announcer, the Mets’ Jose Reyes almost came to blows with color commentator Keith Hernandez.

Jose Reyes Keith Hernandez New York Mets

The NEW YORK POST reports that an on-board scuffle was hastily avoided on the team’s charter plane last Sunday night, as the shortstop & SNY analyst “were close to exchanging punches until others stepped in.”

Read more…

Jimmy Rollins: Stylistic, Possible Cheapskate

The PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER talked to Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins and got a mouthful in a half hour, including his jewelry purchases and players with style.

Jimmy Rollins street clothes

“My jeweler said you don’t want to spend a lot of money on earrings. So anybody trying to get something for their wife or something, don’t spend a lot on the earrings because they’re just an accessory. You might as well get cubic zirconium.”

A born romantic, folks.

Read more…