Speed Read: T-Mac Reportedly Out For Season

Last February, the Houston Rockets were crippled - literally - by the season-ending foot injury to center Yao Ming. In what must feel like Groundhog’s Day for the team, this February is also bringing bad news for the team: their other All-Star anchor, Tracy McGrady, told ESPN.COM’s Stephen A. Smith that he needs microfracture surgery on his injured left knee and is done for the season.

Tracy McGrady

Keep mind that this is coming from the mouth of Smith, so take it with a grain of salt (right, Chris Bosh?), and the Rockets aren’t confirming the report. But they sure aren’t denying it either, and with Rockets owner Leslie Alexander telling the HOUSTON CHRONICLE to expect official news on McGrady later this week, it looks highly likely that T-Mac is going on the shelf for a long time.

Tracy McGrady

Alexander also told the paper that McGrady is a “superstar” and that the team has no plans to trade him. Which is probably code for “we really wanted to trade him, but now that he’s damaged goods we’re stuck with him.” How much his absence will impact the Rockets is unclear - he’s either been ineffective or out of the line-up for most of the season to begin with, but losing him can’t help.

The only thing injured on Alex Rodriguez right now is his reputation, which is doing about as well as Jack from Jack in the Box. His press conference at Yankee spring training didn’t help much - I would recommend not using the phrase “I’m here to take my medicine” again any time soon - and might have got his unnamed cousin in trouble.

Alex Rodriguez

Rodriguez claims that his cousin brought something called “boli” from the Dominican Republic, which the USA TODAY says usually refers to the steroids Dianabol or Deca-Durabolin. And now a DEA agent is ominously warning that “those who violate drug laws are always at risk of arrest and prosecution.” We don’t know who this cousin is yet - although BIG LEAGUE STEW has a list of candidates - but I’m guessing we’ll find out soon enough.

In related news, the AP reports that the MLBPA has sent a memo to its players informing them how to respond to questions about the 2003 drug testing. Their recommendation: don’t respond. The memo also goes into detail about little details like why the tests weren’t destroyed, and how the union did not give advance knowledge of tests of players.

Finally, fans who tuned into the Kentucky/Vanderbilt game last night expecting fireworks had to be greatly disappointed. Not in the game itself, but in the lack of a halftime interview between ESPN sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards and the man she spurned, Wildcats head coach Billy Gillispie.

ESPN reporter Jeannine Edwards

Alas, no luck last night. As the TENNESSEAN notes, with the game tied at halftime Edwards chose to interview Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings instead of Gillispie, telling the paper “I cut my losses.” This is, of course, the entirely wrong approach, and there should have been a producer in Edwards’ ear demanding she interview Gillispie. Not having her interview Gillispie would be like if Chuck Wepner replaced Muhammad Ali at the last minute for “The Rumble in the Jungle” - totally unacceptable.

What was the most painful/awesome interview in sports TV history?

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Jaguar Offers Girl To Cops; Daly’s Boob Massage

So, Charles Barkley, Stuart Scott & Mr. Belding walk into a bar

• Drunken Jaguars DB Brian Williams rants & raves & threatens arresting officers - then offers them to have sex with his date.

Brian Williams Jaguars sexy cop

• A pair of Portland State basketball players were accused of brutally beating a tour worker in Mexico.

• When out on the course nowadays, John Daly needs to have his nipples kneaded.

• Diners get medieval in trying to obtain Rashard Lewis’ autograph.

Read more…

Our Reason To Draw A Breath In LA This Summer

We’re soon moving back to Los Angeles. We’re going to miss the weather here in Miami, but at least we have something to look forward to in SoCal this summer: Larry Bowa.

Larry Bowa Melts Down For Dodgers

We’re thinking the Dodgers may finally push through and do some serious damage in the NL playoffs this season. But more important is the well-mannered gent manning the third base coach’s box for the club.

Bowa last night was involved in what umpire Ed Montague called, “One of the dumbest ejections I’ve ever had.” Of course, we loved every minute of it. Read more…

Boras’ big binder bragged about A-Rod’s ability

When trying to get A-Rod the biggest baseball contract in history, Scott Boras went by the book - a really big book:

A-Rod binder

YOU BEEN BLINDED reads up on the efforts made by the uber-agent to sell his client. Back in 2000, Boras put together a huge binder showcasing A-Rod’s statistics and mailed it out to all 30 teams. The big blue book included Alex’s performance against former and current players, and even contained quotes from such baseball buds as Larry Bowa & Dusty Baker.

Did the literary launch work? Well, A-Rod signed a $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers. Must have had some avid readers down in Arlington.

A-Rod arms out

Now 7 years later, A-Rod isn’t speaking to Scott, and has signed with some new reps. Looks like Boras might soon be working on a new book - of the tell-all variety.

Joe Torre Closing In On 3-Year $15 Million Deal To Manage The Los Angeles Dodgers

TORRE TO JOIN DODGERS WITH 3-YEAR, $15 MILLION DEAL: The WESTCHESTER (NY) JOURNAL NEWS reports that Joe Torre is close to signing a 3-year deal to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers:

George Steinbrenner Joe Torre

The contract is expected to be worth $15 million, and an official announcement could come as soon as Wednesday.Events in motion were sped up when Grady Little bolted from the Blue Crew on Tuesday, stating his resignation was a “mutual decision” between himself and the front office.

Dodger Stadium sign

If the deal goes through, Torre will likely bring along Don Mattingly as his bench coach. And the ex-Yankees manager is also eyeing current New York 3rd-base coach Larry Bowa to Go West, Old Man.With Torre’s employment saga splashed across the sports pages, METSBLOG takes a nostalgic look back when the skipper was peeled off of the Big Apple’s other major league team:

Joe Torre ex-manager

The Torre story doesn’t get into full gear until two minutes into the clip. But the 1981 TV commercials are amusement enough, such as ads for Sasson jeans, and Leonard Nimoy doing voice-overs for Bell Telephone. Fascinating.