Speed Read: “Desperate” Plax Faces Grand Jury

As we speak, Plaxico Burress is preparing to testify before a grand jury in Manhattan about shooting himself in the leg last year. And those of you with some familiarity with the legal system might have this reaction to that news: uhhh, wha?

Plaxico Burress

(”I saved the world from having to deal with 19-0. Doesn’t that count for something?”)

In a move that ESPN’s Lester Munson is calling “desperate” and “highly unusual,” Burress will subject himself to questioning in an effort to get the grand jury to consider lesser charges than the felony that is currently on the table. It’s rare for a lawyer to allow this to happen because it can backfire in so many ways. For one, Plax has to be very careful about what he says. If any statement he makes ends up not being true, he could find a perjury charge added to whatever else he’s facing. And, since the prosecutors can ask anything they want, if Burress is forthcoming with every detail, he could basically end up admitting his guilt. Although, as one ESPN commenter noted, Burress really only needs to be asked three questions:

1. Did you have a gun in your possession when you shot yourself?
2. Do you have a permit to have that gun?
3. Do you have a permit to carry a concealed weapon in New York?

If the answer is “yes” to #1 and “no” to the other two questions, that’s basically all they need to make their decision.

Lester Munson

(Things aren’t going well if this guy’s talking about you)

So why do it? Munson and fellow analyst Roger Cossack seem to think that Burress’ lawer, Benjamin Brafman, might be using this as a means to encourage a plea bargain. But Munson says that they don’t have any leverage here, since they’re the ones facing all the downside related to Burress’ testimony. The term “bluff” is being thrown around, but what’s the bluff? Why would the D.A. be worried about Plax testifying?

The only reasonable theory being offered is that maybe Plax can charm the jurors into thinking he’s a good guy who didn’t know the law and just wanted to protect himself. But he’ll have to do all of this without his lawyer, who won’t be allowed into the courtroom.

On Monday, Manhattan D.A. Jack McCoy Robert Morgenthau spoke publicly about the case, saying that Plax was OK with doing a year in jail, but that the people won’t accept a deal that involves less than two years in the clink. Morgenthau even suggested that he’s looking at charging Antonio Pierce for his role in the incident, something Cossack claims was “out of bounds” for the D.A. to talk about publicly, and certainly meant to bait Burress into a deal.

None of this looks particularly good, and one wonders if that two-year deal from the D.A. is still on the table. And I think it’s safe to say it would be the worst two-year deal any NFL free agent would be signing this year.

Robert Morgenthau

(When the guy with the huge ears says you’re doing time, you’re doing time)

Mark Buehrle made his first start since his perfect game, and for an hour and a half or so at the Metrodome, the awesome gift-giver looked like he might have a legitimate shot at the utterly unthinkable. Buehrle retired the first 17 Twins he faced on Tuesday night, before it finally all fell apart and he gave up five runs and five hits.

Despite the eventual unraveling, Buehrle set a major league record by sending down 45 consecutive batters. That’s 15 consecutive innings without allowing a baserunner. The previous record was 41, held by two players, including Buehrle’s teammate, Bobby Jenks (who did it in three-batter increments as a closer).

Mark Buehrle White Sox

Elsewhere around baseball, Ichiro did something he’d never done before — end a game with a hit. That’s right, none of his previous 1,952 hits were of the walk-off variety, by far the longest such active streak in baseball. To give you an idea, Alex Cora now holds the active record for most hits without a walk-off at 742.

Ichiro Suzuki Seattle Mariners

(”You know, maybe if you didn’t have Yuniesky Betancourt hitting in front of me for four years I would’ve done it once or twice.”)

It’s been a good year for the Dodgers, but things took a turn for the embarrassing when Mark Loretta had to come on to pitch with two outs in the eighth inning at L.A. trailing 10-0 to the Cardinals. Loretta was the first position player to pitch in a game for the Dodgers since 2004, and after drilling Matt Holliday with a fastball he got Ryan Ludwick to fly out to end the inning. In other words, he did way better than Chien-Ming Wang had done this year. The Yankees finally Old Yellered him and are sending him to have surgery that can’t possibly make him any worse. Wang’s future with the Yanks is in doubt, as the team must offer him at least $4 million to keep him next year or lose him to free agency.

Chien-Ming Wang  cheerleader

Jessica Simpson is no longer welcome in Tony Romo’s neighborhood. She’s taking the high road, though, by not asking Romo to give her back the boat she bought him.

• Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen isn’t anywhere near the man he used to be. He’s much less. 95 pounds worth, to be exact.

• Because everyone’s been asking for it, here are those long-awaited highlights of the touch football game played by NFL legends before Super Bowl X in 1976. If you’ve ever wanted to see Paul Hornung make a gay joke, watch a bunch of guys try and cop a feel on Phyllis George, and hear why Johnny Unitas likes to drive Pontiacs, look no further:

As you can see, Bill Murray and Christopher Guest had nowhere to go but up.

• OK, Jason Marquis has been pretty good this year, but the DENVER POST’s Mark Kiszla has to settle down. Kiszla says that because Marquis has been on a heater for 19 starts this year that he deserves a long-term contract from the Rockies. Because those other nine years Marquis pitched must have been some kind of aberration.

• BASKETBAWFUL wonders why it’s so hard to keep score of a pickup basketball game, despite using the theoretically easier 1-point/2-point scoring system.

• DEADSPIN has the strangest overreaction to the whole Erin Andrews mess that has been published so far.

• Yes, this is in fact Garth Brooks tossing a coin into his own face before an international soccer match (TMZ is covering something other than Michael Jackson these days):

Garth Brooks tossing coin into own face

Homeless man starts passing notes to Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby. Penguins win Stanley Cup. Coincidence?

• The Cowboys will play at the Chiefs on October 11th in Kansas City, and the home team will be wearing a helmet with a big picture of Texas on it.

Vin Scully has announced that next season — his 61st as broadcaster for the Dodgers — will be his last.

• And just because we can, here’s some pictures of Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis getting ready to kiss each other:

Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis

Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis

Plaxico Burress’s Life Now Literally A Car Crash

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, someone else files a lawsuit against the troubled star, and this one has nothing to do with shooting himself in the leg. In fact, we can now say, quite literally, that his life has become a car crash … because that’s the source of his most-recent angst.

burress car

(The offender back behind the wheel.)

According to the SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, 27-year-old Alise Smith filed a lawsuit against Burress in Broward (Fla.) Circuit Court alleging that a May accident between Burress and her vehicle left her with serious neck and back injuries. She’s suing for some $15,000 to cover medical bills, damage to her car and, unsurprisingly, lost wages. Read more…

Plaxico “Most Unpopular Celebrity” At Strip Joint

For those in the, ahem, “service” industry (and by that I mean strippers), there’s no greater frenemy than a cheap celebrity. Sure, they’re famous, and everyone likes fame and the recognition that comes with it, but it would be nice if Mr. Hi-I-Make-Millions-Of-Dollars-A-Year actually, you know, spent like a celebrity instead of having a tight wallet.

Plaxico Burress strip club dancer

And today’s tightwad is Plaxico Burress, who, according to the NEW YORK POST, spent a few hours getting drunk at a nude bar (Head Quarters, if you must know) before capping himself in the leg last week. Oh, and he didn’t pay a cent there that night. Nor does he ever pay well, apparently:

Read more…

Jacobs: “… In My Home, I Am Going To Kill You”

Brandon Jacobs and some of his Giants teammates were trying to help take some of the heat off teammate Plaxico Burress and his ongoing firearms case, but they may have brought a whole lot of negative attention on themselves, instead.

burress jacobs practice

(Burress and Jacobs debate: Glock or Smith and Wesson?)

When asked about how Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg — and, more importantly, about why he was carrying a concealed handgun that may or may not have been correctly registered — Brandon had some choice words … and an open threat against anyone who might considering some light holiday breaking and entering at the Jacobs household:

Read more…

Not A Repeat: Giants WR Involved In Gun Incident

Amid this entire “Plaxico Burress Shot Himself In The Leg Like That Cheddar Bob Guy From 8 Mile” controversy, there has been a rather salient question: Why, exactly, was Plaxico packing heat in the first place? And no, “Suicidal Leg Syndrome” is not a valid answer (though Pfizer is making a pill for it anyway).

Steve Smith Holdup
(You have to admit, that’s a really good drawing of a gun.)

Though we can’t know the real answer unless and until Plaxico tells us, a pretty good place to start would be Plaxico’s fellow receiver, Steve Smith; according to Tiki Barber at NBC (via NEWSDAY.COM), Smith was held up at gunpoint as he returned to his home in a gated community after a night out with friends Monday night. Okay, Tuesday at 4 a.m., but whatever.

“Ah, but if Smith lives in a gated community, how could he get robbed at his front door?”, you might ask. And there’s a simple and kind of disturbing answer waiting for you (proceeding emphasis ours):

Read more…

Plaxico Update: Charges Coming, Pierce Involved

It might not be quite as bad as the people who thought it would be a good idea to carry loaded weapons to Toys “R” Us on Friday, but Plaxico Burress‘ decision to tote a loaded weapon to a Manhattan club that night is not high on the list of smart moves.

Plaxico Burress

So, even though he’s already pulled a Cheddar Bob and shot himself, the physical wounds might not be what keep Plax out of the lineup for the rest of this season…and beyond. And Burress isn’t the only Giant who might find himself in legal trouble over the incident.

Read more…