Speed Read: Men In Blue Know Umping Ain’t Easy

You think that baseball umpires have it easy? Talk to Kerwin Danley. Actually, don’t talk to him today - he’s probably nursing one heck of a headache. Unlike me this morning, it was not as the result of a night of heavy drinking, but from a baseball bat to the back of the head. The DALLAS MORNING NEWS says that Danley was whacked by Hank Blaylock’s broken bat while working the Rangers vs. Blue Jays game, and had to go to the hospital with a possible concussion.

Please ignore the Zapruder film quality (get some video conversion software, people) and prepare to wince at footage of the incident:

Unfortunately for Danley, winding up in the hospital is getting to be a regular occurrence for him. You might remember last year when he took a 96 mph fastball to the jaw courtesy of Brad Penny.

If I were Danley, I’d avoid any home plate assignments for the rest of my career if possible. Or I’d only work from a perch about ten rows in back of home, or wearing more padding than The Michelin Man.

But also: THE KILLER BATS ARE BACK!  I thought we stopped the maple bats’ raping and pillaging of the baseball world last season? Actually, I don’t know if that was a maple bat or not, but why not start the overly-heated, panicked reaction now?

Meanwhile, you might have missed this Washington Nationals bit of news because, well, they are the Nationals, but sluggers Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman were forced to wear jerseys that said “Natinals” during a game last Friday. Which, as you can imagine, was a bit of an embarrassment … for Majestic Apparel, the company that makes all uniforms for MLB. (I can’t imagine the uniform gaffe caused Dunn or Zimmerman to lose their “Natinals Pride”.)

Washington Natinals jersey

So MLB.COM says that Majestic has apologized for the mistake. They didn’t give an explanation for the error, but we can assume it’s because it was a Nationals jersey and no one cared. Apparently the Nationals’ clubhouse attendants didn’t care, since they just checked to make sure the names were spelled right on the back of the jerseys and didn’t look at the front when they opened the boxes before Opening Day. Honestly, you don’t wash those once to make it less itchy?

Finally, you have to wonder about La Salle University’s basketball recruiting process. After all, top recruit Karon Burton was supposed to be known for his speed, which led him to be named Delware County, PA’s Player of the Year this past season. But if that’s the case, how in the world did he, as the DELAWARE COUNTY DAILY TIMES says, get caught by a police officer when trying to flee on foot as cops were chasing him as part of a massive drug bust? Either someone’s scouting department sucks, or there’s a cop who should be receiving a recruiting visit.

Karon Burton

But I’m guessing that Burton won’t be getting that scholarship anyway. He was one of 11 people arrested on Monday as part of a two-hour undercover drug sting. Police say Burton ran from a car that had tried to purchase heroin from a cop posing as a dealer, and he tried to ditch bags of pot before being chased down by the cops. But that’s better than the woman who was also arrested in the sting trying to buy heroin and cocaine - with her young daughter in the car seat in back.

  • Another day, another case of a South American soccer match turning into a giant brawl. SKY NEWS says this one in Argentina started after the captain of Guarani Antonio Franco (who I think was dictator of Argentina at one time) bumped into the ref. Here’s the wackiness that ensued:

  • What’s worse than breaking someone’s ankle with a vicious soccer tackle? The BBC has an answer: how about stamping on the player’s shattered leg as he lays writhing on the ground?
  • The CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL says Marshall football player Courtney Edmonson made a basic mistake that many youngsters make when they drink: don’t carry a big bottle of Bacardi Razz Rum around campus.
  • Ole Miss DT Jerrell Powe told police that “he couldn’t read when they came over to his place about a noise complaint. The CLARION LEDGER says that Rebels head coach Houston Nutt is not pleased, especially since he’s had a history of eligibility issues with the NCAA.
  • Manny Pacquiao threw out the first pitch in San Francisco at the Giants’ home game against San Diego. The final verdict: more of a light jab than a knockout punch. Check it out for yourself (but don’t tell me you don’t want one of those T-shirts):

  • Even NASCAR is getting into the “helping the environment” business, with USA TODAY saying that for the first time, they will be using a hybrid as a pace car during the Coca-Cola 600 over Memorial Day weekend. This is what happens when the pinko leftists take over, people.
  • Congratulations, Blue Jackets fans: you got to see the first home playoff game in team history last night, as Columbus hosted Detroit. The bad news: THE HOCKEY NEWS reports that the Red Wings scored about one minute in and never looked back, coasting to a 4-1 win and a 3-0 series lead. But hey, you can show up tomorrow and be there to see the Blue Jackets get swept for the first time in franchise playoff history.
  • The PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER has the latest college basketball star to declare for the NBA Draft: Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds, who I believe has been at the school for 27 years.
  • The LOS ANGELES TIMES says that there’s an apparent winner in the USC Trojans’ QB derby, as Pete Carroll has named sophmore Aaron Corp the starter for the spring game and through fall camp. I wonder where Mitch Mustain will transfer to next?
  • Finally, let’s give one last finger wag for Dikeme Mutombo, who the HOUSTON CHRONICLE says suffered a knee injury in the Rockets’ 107-103 loss to the Trail Blazers that Mutombo says is career-ending. And whom was he battling with when his knee exploded? Of course it was Greg Oden - he’s now made knee injuries viral. But let’s honor the defensive beast and great humanitarian by sexing someone tonight.

Which fans are the most obnoxious and overzealous about defending their semi-popular sport?

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USC’s Sanchez Injures Knee, Could Miss Opener

Yesterday we learned that USC starting quarterback Mark Sanchez was carted off the field with a knee injury during the “non-contact” portion of practice (read: carioca shuffle-induced leg trauma).

Alex Sanchez and Mitch Mustain

USC later reported that Sanchez dislocated his left kneecap when “he jumped slightly while making a throw and landed awkwardly“, and now there’s a chance he could miss the Trojans’ season opener against Virginia.

Sanchez says he’s day-to-day starting Monday, and overall, he sounds optimistic:

Read more…

Brog: USC Starting QB Carted Off With Knee Injury

USC QB Mark Sanchez went down at the start of practice on Friday in Los Angeles with a knee injury.

Mark Sanchez Makes Me Touch Myself

(Injury or no, Mark Sanchez makes people touch themselves)

From Gary Klein of the LOS ANGELES TIMES:

A witness reported seeing Sanchez doing a carioca shuffle. He then went to throw a football, put weight on his left knee and collapsed.

Sanchez was helped to the trainers’ table, where ice was administered and his jersey and shoulder pads were removed. He was then carted to the locker room and was then taken for x-rays.

Strangely, despite a full complement of beat reporters (LAT, LADN, OCR) at USC football practice, apparently none saw the injury happen. More importantly, just what the hell is a “carioca shuffle“?

Why, let Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers show you:

Read more…

Digger Phelps Trades The Broadcast Booth For The Stage

• AWFUL ANNOUNCING shines the Broadway spotlight on Digger Phelps, master thespian:

Digger Phelps Master Thespian

Neil Best of NEW YORK NEWSDAY tries to talk shop with DEADSPIN guru Will Leitch.• Edward McClellan of SALON runs down how marathons are being ruined by amateurs.

• The RIVERSIDE PRESS-ENTERPRISE takes some reps with the next USC QB superstar - former Arkansas Razorbacks starter Mitch Mustain:

Mitch Mustain

• 100% INJURY RATE feels the recent Bonds flap is just one more example of why the Bay Area is in sports hell.• FAN IQ swears they heard South Park characters say that Broncos QB Jay Cutler sucks.

• WE ARE SEC gets all gussied up for the upcoming Arizona State & USC fashion show - all for the benefit of the Matt Leinart Foundation:

Matt Leinart

• THE BRAVES SHOW feels the brotherly love, as Scott Rolen may come back to Philadelphia.• YOU BEEN BLINDED faces up to the mangling menace of Chinese chin straps.

• To celebrate their #1 ranking, BIG TEN TAILGATE advises LSU fans to drink up. And this woman certainly does:

LSU Tequila Queen

• ESPN SOCCERNET kicks over news that England’s Sports Minister is concerned about the number of foreigners on British soccer teams.• COLLEGE NEWS is not shaking in their boots at these unintimidating school mascots.