8:30 PM The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle notes that the Rochester Red Wings were the last American baseball team to play in Cuba before the U.S. embargo began in 1960. The July 25 game against the Havana Sugar Kings ended in a 3-3 tie after fans began firing weapons to celebrate Fidel Castro's revolution.
Sad news out of Toronto today. Ex-NHL star Peter Zezel has been taken off of life support, as he will apparently succumb to a rare blood disorder that has plagued him for years. Zezel, only 44 years old, nearly died of hemolytic anemia in 2001 but recovered. This time, he’s not going to be so lucky.
Zezel scored 219 NHL goals, and was instrumental in helping the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1985 (as a 19-year-old) and 1987. He also played a key role for the Maple Leafs when they reached the conference finals in 1993 and 1994. Zezel famously retired from the NHL in 1999 when Canucks GM Brian Burke refused to trade him to an Eastern Conference team so he could be closer to his niece, who was dying of cancer. Burke shipped Zezel to Anaheim instead, prompting his retirement and setting off a ton of negative publicity toward Burke and the Canucks, who were not contenders at the time.
I’m sure all this is making Burke feel good about the way he treated Zezel.
We last left the never-ending stand-up comedy routine that is Shaquille O’Neal’s life as he was engaging in a prank battle with Suns rookie Louis Admunson. But then came word that he might soon be taking his show on the road, as the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS reported that the big man expected to be heading to New Orleans in the off-season in a trade for Tyson Chandler.
While the prospect of O’Neal - who had something resembling a career resurgance this past season - joining Chris Paul and David West might make Hornets fans (hello, anyone?) scream like a teenage girl bumping into Joe Jonas at an am/pm, the TIMES-PICAYUNE says that they can save their voices. They looked at the trade and said that the numbers just don’t work - basically, the Hornets would have to trade $8 million more in player salaries in addition to Chandler’s, which doesn’t help their goal of trimming salary to stay under the cap.
So while the Suns’ trade of Shaq might have stalled, the same isn’t true of Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver Anquan Boldin. First, the DALLAS MORNING NEWS said that Boldin appeared as a guest on Michael Irvin’s radio show and pretty much pleaded to be traded:
As for getting traded Boldin said, “I just want to get it resolved, it’s been going on way too long.” Later he said, “it would hurt but at the same time, change is necessary. My only problem has been management, always has been.”
While this was happening, the ARIZONA REPUBLIC was reporting that the Cardinals have changed their course and are now “open” to listening to trade offers for Boldin, who has two years left on his contract, but still prefer to resign him. Boldin mentioned in his interview that he’d love to play in the NFC East. With basically every team in the division needing a go-to wide receiver, it certainly is an attractive option.
And while this all was happening, on the other side of the country former Delaware football player Julian James was hungry - really hungry. The DELAWARE NEWS-JOURNAL says that a video surveillance camera at an off-campus apartment complex allegedly shows James entering an unlocked apartment and leaving with loot, while unsuccessfully trying to get into six other apartment. His haul?
“100 frozen chicken wings, a pound of frozen salmon, 18 frozen Hot Pockets and 20 hamburger patties worth a total value of $82.”
Or as John Kruk would call that, “lunch.” I hope they recovered the stolen food before James had a chance to eat it; Otherwise, I’d think the state’s Exhibit A in the trial is going to be pretty smelly and disgusting.
What’s hotter than Miss America in a basketball jersey? How about Miss America in a basketball jersey draining an NBA 3-pointer. INDY CORN ROWS says current Miss America Katie Stam did just that before a Pacers game last night.
What happens when a stick from an opposing team’s player gets stuck halfway through the glass in Boston? As PUCK DADDY says, it turned into a tug-of-war between Montreal’s Alexei Kovalev and a Bruins fan during the Canadiens’ 4-2 loss, with the stick breaking in half. If this were the 1970s and the Bruins were playing the Rangers, Mike Milbury would have made sure someone ate some leather.
As if the Flyers needed an obstacle in trying to take down the Penguins in their NHL first-round playoff series: the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS says that Philadelphia enforcer Daniel Carcillohas been suspended for Game 2 after giving a “message” hit to the back of the head of Pittsburgh’s Max Talbot at the end of the Flyers’ Game 1 loss.
The ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH says that Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter left the team’s game against the Cubs in the fourth inning with a strained oblique. How did he get the injury? Taking a swing during an earlier at-bat. THIS IS WHY WE HAVE THE DH, PEOPLE!
Kenyon Martin on Sacramento Kings co-owner Joe Maloof to SI.COM after Maloof demanded an apology after Martin gave a hard foul to the Kings’ Spencer Hawes: “Apologize to him? I’m not apologizing to him. I apologized to Spencer after the game, but before he opens his mouth he needs to know what’s going on.” Guess someone just got uninvited to the Palms VIP suites this off-season.
Congratulations to former Arizona basketball star Eugene Edgerson, who the ARIZONA DAILY STAR says was arrested for his second domestic abuse charge within the past two months. Edgerson currently plays for the Harlem Globetrotters, leading me to wonder if his wife is the Washington Generals of marriage.
Rick Reilly stands this morning as the sports media’s Jack O’Halloran, the ever-prodding manchild from Superman II: every time he throws a bus at Tiger Woods, Tiger crawls out from underneath just a little angrier.
Sunday, Bay Hill stood in for Metropolis and Sean O’Hair pulled over the black bedazzled robes to take the Terence Stamp role to Tiger on Sunday, seemingly in control until he saw that red swoosh fill the camera. At that point, O’Hair dropped from the Saturday leader to a Sunday round of 73 and Tiger dropped a 15-footer for the one-shot victory at 18.
In drama worthy of a Donner-esque cut of a better sequel, Tiger took his first title after last year’s knee surgery on a long putt at hole #72 just like he did last spring. After the win, he met again with the namesake of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, who we think might be Perry White in this analogy. Or Lois Lane. This one may need some work still, unlike Tiger’s knee.
Neither game was particularly close, leaving casual sports fans hunting for Tiger or smaller game (as mentioned below). Sadly, even Clark Kellogg’s stale “versatile like baking soda” line couldn’t get any vinegar for a volcanic explosion.
At least the ticket sales should improve with a state team available to attend. Villanova and Connecticut will fill out the other two slots as we all spend all week polishing our convoluted plans to justify picking against a UConn-UNC final Monday night. (Oh, and is Roy Williams finally accepted at UNC? Just checking.)
A foreign country bordering the United States has such a horrific crime problem due to a drug war that it could affect their ability to host international tourists. Of course, we’re talking about Canada. Specifically, Vancouver’s inability to get decent amounts of cocaine has caused a gang war to break out, raising the murder rate dramatically.
After having to spend most of last summer listening to the incessant whining about the safety of the 2008 Beijing Games, we can’t help but notice the silence surrounding the 2010 Vancouver Games. We can’t quite put our finger on what could be different about the two countries. Maybe journalists feel safe after watching a “Da Vinci’s Inquest” marathon?
In case you suspect we’re overstating the case, listen to a local activist: “I’m really apprehensive about going out in the evening. We’ve turned into an American city.” Does that mean you’re not interested in two free Final Four tickets?
Stephen Curry’s little brother, Seth, will transfer to Duke and be eligible for the 2010-2011 campaign. Perhaps he just found the Teletubbies course syllabus on Liberty’s fall schedule.
John Calipari and the University of Kentucky have spotted each other from opposite ends of the dance and have started staring a little too long for it to be a coincidence. Expect someone’s dress to be up over their heads in the parking lot by Tax Day.
Remember when we caught the Flyers crashing at a Temple University frat party? Well, our fun-loving boys are back at it, and moving up in the world of partying. They’ve gone from hanging out with bar skanks and frat rats to scoring some personal time with one of the world’s biggest porn stars, Gina Lynn.
(Taking a page from certain rum ads, Gina might soon have a little captain in her.)
From what I can tell, this evening consisted of one adult film actress, four professional athletes,, and an empty apartment. Not a scenario unfamiliar to most adult film actresses, I would surmise. But it looks wholesome, from the background — someone ordered pizza!
The pics get slightly less wholesome, after the jump.
How do you celebrate a four-goal comeback? A nice quiet night at home? Not if you’re a professional athlete. You might hit the clubs, or a strip joint. Or, if you’re the Philadelphia Flyers, you crash a frat party.
(Mike Richards and friends practice the 2-on-1)
That was the scene Thursday night in Philly’s Old City, when a fraternity formal progressed from the usual roofie coladas and drunken fumbling sex in the bathroom to something much more special. It was that kind of magic that can only occur when millionaire athletes show up unexpectedly to mooch off of the frat’s beer.
So the Republican Party though that having Vice-Presidential Candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin drop the first puck at a hockey game in a key swing state would be a good idea. After all, she is a self-proclaimed “hockey mom” and a former sportscaster to boot.
The problem? The game they decided to send Palin to was a Flyers’ home game. Philly fans booed Santa Claus, for crying out loud. And if you are wondering if they were any kinder to Palin, check out the video after the jump:
It was a slow night in the world of sports with the baseball playoffs off until Thursday, and the only football game to be found was the timeless Troy-Florida Atlantic rivalry. So let’s focus our attention on what really matters: Eli Manning’s futuristic space condo.
Eli’s guests are probably most excited by the hidden bar in the living room. It appears to be a normal column next to the wet bar–until Eli presses a button on a nearby Crestron wall panel. It then becomes James Bond-esque: The column slowly rotates and reveals a covert bar area. “I just kind of wanted the place to have a little secret,” Eli laughs.
Also included are two layers of automated shades that provide varying degrees of sunlight exposure. The place even has a computer that sets the the interior lighting to pre-programmed levels at the touch of a button. You know, for those days when you can’t even be bothered to expend the energy to flip a switch.
Unfortunately, most avenues for humor here have been completely destroyed by the fact that Eli Manning is currently the reigning Super Bowl MVP. He was a much easier target when he was losing playoff games 23-0.
In the things-that-actually-happened-last-night department, Greg Oden finally made his long-awaited debut as Portland stomped Sacramento 110-81 in the preseason opener for both teams. Oden had 13 points, five rebounds, and two blocks in 20 minutes of action. It was also the NBA debut for Portland’s Rudy Fernandez, who delivered several highlight moments to a near sell-out crowd at the Rose Garden. Even more impressive: none of the current Blazers have ever been charged with a felony.
Now for your Wednesday surgery round-up! Mariano Rivera had a calcified joint shaved in his shoulder. The shavings will be packed in a Pringles can and auctioned on eBay. He should be able to throw again in three months, and is expected to not have lasting effects. Meanwhile, Omar Vizquel had laser eye surgery. I’m sure the Giants are happy that he did this after he hit .222 for them this year. The Cubs’ Carlos Marmol got into a car accident in the Dominican Republic and had to get some stitches in his head.
Of course, Marmol could’ve just as easily ended up with a gash in his head on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium if he would’ve been anywhere near teammates who took frustrations out on the plumbing near the visiting dugout after their season-ending loss. The pipe-bashers caused a flood, according to the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES’ Chris De Luca. Brad Lidge is scheduled to tear a quad slipping in the puddle Sunday night.
• If the Dodgers do somehow win the World Series this year, let’s hope they take a cue from their 1981 counterparts and put together a four-man singing crew that rivals this one (thanks to BIG LEAGUE STEW for the video footage):
Looking in the mirror might be painful for a few days.
• The Saints have taken down a photo of the Vikings’ Chad Greenway clutching Reggie Bush’s facemask, according to PRO FOOTBALL TALK. The team claims that posting the photo didn’t have anything to do with being mad at Ed Hochuli’s crew for missing the call.
• Last, but most definitely not least, SHORT NEWS has the heartwarming tale of an injured soccer player who discarded crutches and a cast and scored the game winning goal with his injured foot…and then vomited from the overwhelming pain.