Speed Read: Knee Surgery Sidelines Arenas Again

Agent Zero is once again aborting his mission of playing a full NBA season healthy, as Gilbert Arenas underwent knee surgery on Wednesday.

Gilbert Arenas sleeping

(Gilbert passes out from the pain?)

The Wizards star says the doctoral slicing & dicing will cause him to miss training camp, the preseason and the first part of the regular season - meaning he won’t be on court until at least December. This will be surgery #3 for Gilbert’s left knee, but you know what they say - the third time’s the charm. If anything, the recovery process should give him plenty of time to stay more current on his blog.

Mike Lowell Red Sox bent over

(The Red Sox’s rotten play on Wednesday pains Mike Lowell [L])

Mike Lowell sat out Wednesday night’s Red Sox-Rays contest due to a sore hip - or maybe he was just hip to what awaited the Beantown ballers, as Tampa Bay trounced Boston 10-3, taking a 2-game lead in the AL East. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks slithered up to 3 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West, as Arizona got the better of the Giants, while L.A. was pummeled by the Pirates.

The rest of the MLB playoff picture made little change from yesterday - the Mets, Phillies & Brewers all won to keep the NL East & NL wild card chases the same status quo, while the White Sox & Twins both tumbled to keep the AL Central centered on a 2 1/2 game separation.

It seemed strange that Louisville & Kansas State faced off on ESPN on a Wednesday night. Rather than the usual Thursday night college football coverage, the Cardinals & Wildcats clawed it out in a TV slot usually reserved for a matchup between MAC schools (Ball State-Eastern Michigan, anyone?). So, why the weird Wednesday scheduling?

Louisville Cardinals Caddyshack gopher

All was explained when Mike Tirico paid a mid-game visit to the broadcast booth at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium -  the move was made to help the Worldwide Leader further promote their Ryder Cup coverage. ESPN is set to televise Thursday’s Opening Ceremonies and will continue Cup coverage through the weekend. And where’s this year’s Ryder tourney? The Valhalla Golf Club, right in Louisville, Kentucky. Now that’s what I call corporate synergy!

Oh, and the Cards KO’ed K-State 38-29. Schools from the Sunflower State probably should stop scheduling Big East opponents and stick with Sam Houston State.

And now on to more pressing matters:

Michelle Wie

• The RIVERSIDE (CA) PRESS-ENTERPRISE tees up news that Michelle Wie is doing quite well at Q-School, as the teen swinger is currently holding second place in the LPGA qualifying tournament.

• MLB.COM learns that Manny Ramirez won’t let Joe Torre give him the day off, as the Dodgers outfielder dutifully declares, “I’m Cal Ripken!

• NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO hears that Roger Goodell is worried the NFL won’t make hundreds of billions of dollars this year, but only tens of billions.

• Kansas Jayhawks QB Todd Reesing needs a better press agent, as even reporters from the LAWRENCE WORLD-JOURNAL don’t recognize the local star signal-caller.

• BUGS & CRANKS gets a sneak peek at the 2009 MLB schedule. The Yankees & Mets will be opening their brand-new ballparks against their storied foes - the Indians & Padres?!?!

• WISN-TV motors up news that Wisconsin Badgers LB Jonathan Casillas is facing charges of drunk driving - while riding a moped.

Jake Miller of the DAILY PRINCETONIAN tells all about his summer internship at ESPN. And his greatest moment in Bristol?  Holding the door for Erin Andrews.

• The ARIZONA REPUBLIC lays down the law, as the small town of Guadalupe may soon be without a police force. Where’s Clint Eastwood when you need him?

• The MIAMI HERALD splashes up the story of one local high schooler who swam for Suriname in the Beijing Olympics.

• The ASSOCIATED PRESS passes along the revelation that when Tony Romo plays at Green Bay this weekend, the Wisconsin-bred QB will be stepping onto the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field for only the third time in his life.

In honor of Jeff Pearlman’s new book on those crazy Dallas Cowboys, we present our pertinent poll of the day:

Which would be the scariest situation to find yourself in?

View Results

Sterling Needs To Work on His Ice Cream Etiquette

• Better grab your dessert before Yankees announcer John Sterling gets his hands on it - literally.

John Sterling ice cream

• The Warriors may have missed out on Elton Brand, but they did capture a Clipper in Corey Maggette.

Manny Ramirez earns $49.56 just for forgetting to cash a $10,000 check.

David Cutcliffe is determined to clean up the Duke football program - and the campus, too.

• One thing A-Rod & John Rocker have in common - making it with fitness model Alicia Marie.

Read more…

Can You Hear Me Now? Lowell Steals Fan’s Phone

A foul ball into the Fenway stands turned out to be the perfect distraction for Mike Lowell to swipe someone’s cell phone.

Mike Lowell steals fan's cell phone

WBZ-TV calls in news that the Red Sox third baseman made the phone grab during Monday night’s game against the Twins. Read more…

Mike Lowell Used Jock Strap On Ebay Taken Down By Site

STRAPPED FOR CASH? TRY SELLING MIKE LOWELL’S JOCK: Someone named Phil Castinetti might have been caught up in this whole, nasty sub-prime mortgage fiasco, because he REALLY needs the money. The BOSTON HERALD reports Ebay caught Castinetti, who sells sports memorabilia, trying to sell a Mike Lowell-used jock strap on Ebay.

Red Sox Run

Excerpt: “Red Sox captain Jason Varitek’s game-used spandex undies sold for $255 on eBay the other day, but the cyber auction site couldn’t support the sale of World Series MVP Mike Lowell’s jock.SportsWorld memorabilia man Phil Castinetti said eBay yanked Mike’s well-used athletic supporter - with his number on it - from the site the other day, saying it was ‘adult-oriented’ material.

Castinetti: “I’ll just sell them in the store. I figure since he was the World Series MVP, I can get $200 to $250 for it. People collect stuff that’s different. They’re tired of baseball cards. And they seem to like the game-worn stuff. It’s nuts, it really is.

OK, he apparently really did say that.

Lowell Agrees To New 3-Year Contract With Red Sox

LOWELL DOESN’T GET FOUR MORE YEARS; SIGNS WITH SOX: With A-Rod having cornered the Yankees, the BOSTON GLOBE reports today that Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowellhas agreed in principle to the framework of a three-year deal to return to the Red Sox.

Mike Lowell

More: “Lowell, 33, tested the free-agent waters, and may have received at least one four-year offer from another undisclosed team, but in the end the Sox third baseman elected to stay where he was most comfortable. Sources indicate that the three year deal is worth in the $36-$38 million range.“Translation: A-Rod went back to the Yanks, so Lowell didn’t have leverage to get a fourth year with a contender, so he settled for three years with the Sox. Lowell was obviously the Yankees’ first choice for third base if Rodriguez hadn’t re-upped.

Mitt Romney Rudy Guiliani

Now onto the next Boston-New York battle for a four-year deal.

Alex Rodriguez Opts Out Of Yankee Contract

THREE WORDS FOR YANKEES FANS - HELLO MIKE LOWELL!: Joe Heyman of SI.com reports Alex Rodriguez told the Yankees on Sunday that “he’s opting out of his record $252 million contract.

Alex Rodriguez Bobblehead Doll

A-Rod’s agent Scott Boras tells Heyman: “Alex made the decision today. I thought we should notify the club.“Amazing that neophyte Yankees front officers Hank Steinbrenner (who will probably soon have us aching to have George back) and Randy Levine were the only people in the 212 that didn’t realize that when they fired Torre, they were also firing A-Rod (who loved his BIG-faced manager).

Of course Hank and Levine wanted to keep A-Rod (and had been preparing an extension before Boras blew them off the past week) because the Rangers still had to pay part of his salary. A-Rod’s decision will save the Rangers a staggering $21M over three years (we’d like to be Tom Hicks’ server at Dakota’s Steakhouse tonight!).

Alex Rodriguez Bobblehead Doll

Sunday night Rodriguez didn’t show for a ceremony at the World Series in Denver to commemorate the first annual Henry Aaron award, which signifies the AL and NL’s best hitters. While it looked like a bush league move at the time, now it appears that it was the right thing to do, since A-Rod’s appearance (and Heyman’s subsequent reportage) would’ve overshadowed the award and to an extent distracted some from the Series (Ken Rosenthal reported the news Sunday on the Fox broadcast in the eighth inning).A-Rod likely will now land with the Red Sox (those of you who think Frank McCourt has the huevos to make a financial commit like that haven’t checked his questionable real estate acumen). With A-Rod with the Sox, Mike Lowell should get a nice, fat deal from the Yanks, which is the club he came up with.