Photos: Ryan Howard’s NFL Cheerleader Girlfriend

Ryan Howard’s new girlfriend is Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader Krystle Campbell. A photo of Howard holding an anonymous woman’s hand in Miami last week was posted by Bossip.com.

Krystle Campbell Photos Ryan Howard's Girlfriend

(Are those zippers?)

A Bossip commenter (#92) and TheFightins.com subsequently identified the woman as Campbell, who Howard has reportedly been dating for a few months.

Krystle Campbell Photos Ryan Howard's Girlfriend

(Video link)

Campbell was previously profiled by the DELAWARE COUNTY TIMES.

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Ground Beef: Close-Up Of Howard’s Non-Catch

I watched this over and over last night, convinced Ryan Howard caught it. Then I saw the below screen shot this morning:

Ryan Howard Non-Catch World Series

He didn’t. Video after the jump.

Do you blame umpires for missing Ryan Howard’s non-catch?

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12-Year-Old vs. Ryan Howard For 200th HR Ball

Did the Phillies bully a little girl into giving up a treasured memento in exchange for a couple of game tickets and some magic beans? Or is this the case of a scumbag lawyer filing a needless lawsuit to make a baseball star look bad? Hey, why can’t it be both? Yes, now I’m happy.

Jennifer Valdivia, Ryan Howard

The date is July 15, 2009 (actual date may vary) at Land Shark Stadium, home of the Florida Marlins and many gigantic bugs. Ryan Howard slugs a home run for the Phillies. In the right field bleachers, thinking about hair care products and possibly one or more Jonas brother, is Jennifer Valdivia, 12, who is at the game with her grandfather and 15-year-old brother. The ball comes to her and she catches it. It happens to be Howard’s 200th career homer, and Phillies management quickly move in for the kill. Their mission? Get that ball from the kid. Read more…

Speed Read: Turnberry Getting Its Revenge Today

After a day that saw the lowest opening round ever at the British Open Championship and a 59-year-old dude lapping Turnberry like it’s a pitch-and-putt, it appears that the golf gods are turning the screws on the field today. Let’s put it this way, Tiger Woods has moved up more than 20 spots on the leaderboard so far today by not playing golf.

Tom Watson

(It’s been 32 years since we’ve seen this much arm hair and a Claret Jug in the same photo)

Tiger will tee off shortly, and he’ll do so on a damp, dreary, and (most importantly) windy day on the Scottish shoreline. Tom Watson (pictured above) is already out on the course, looking to build on his improbable 65. Yesterday’s clubhouse leader, Miguel Angel Jimenez, has already dropped four shots on the front nine as of press time. His ridiculous ponytail is threatening to blow into the ocean as we speak.

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Ben Curtis was one of three players who started the day one behind, but he’s fallen off the map, firing a brutal 80 and falling all the way to a tie for 108th in the process. Others who have gone completely in the tank today are Mike Weir, Ian Poulter, Hunter Mahan, and US Open champ Lucas Glover. And John Daly looks just as ridiculous wearing this in Scotland as he does over here:

John Daly

American Steve Marino is one of the only players who has negotiated the course well so far, following a first-round 67 with a 68 today. At 5-under, Marino might find himself playing in the final group on Saturday if the wind continues to howl during this afternoon’s play. Marino has never won on the PGA Tour and never even played in an Open. Japan’s Kenichi Kuboya has gone to 6-under as I write this, but he’s still early in his round and may have come back to earth by the time you read this.

Dan Marino

(No, no, *Steve* Marino)

David Beckham made his long-awaited return to the MLS last night for the L.A. Galaxy. Well, it was at least a mildly-awaited return. Alright, let’s be honest, if Landon Donovan hadn’t called the guy out in that book would anyone even know he was back? The citizens of the New York metro area certainly didn’t seem to care that much, as only 23,000 or so showed up to see the Galaxy beat up on the hapless Red Bulls.

Beckham and Donovan

Not surprisingly, Beckham looked slow and tired, as he hadn’t played in a match since the end of May. Donovan scored once and assisted on another goal, and Beckham attempted to bury the hatchet once and for all by bro-hugging him all the way down the field as they celebrated Landon’s goal.

But the tepid response to Beckham’s return was the real story. Just a year ago, Beckham drew more than 46,000 fans out to the Meadowlands, which was down from the 66,000+ who came in 2007. He clearly prefers playing in Europe and living in Europe, so what’s the point now? He has run his course here, and his continued presence is just going to become an embarrassment for all involved — AEG for overestimating the Beckham brand in America, MLS for not shedding American pro soccer’s reputation of only drawing international stars after they’re washed up, and Beckham himself, who is going to have to deal with playing in front of 12,000 people in Kansas City and pretending that he’s happy to be there.

So when is the plug pulled for good? The Galaxy have friendly matches coming up with AC Milan (his other team) and Champions League winners Barcelona, as well as 12 more league matches that stretch into late October. European leagues start at the end of August. Is he going to want to stick around here when he could be getting “better prepared” for next year’s World Cup elsewhere? And more importantly, does anyone really care if he stays or goes?

David Beckham

• OK, so how did U.S. Ski Team member Cody Marshall suffer a serious head injury?

A) Training hard for the upcoming Olympics.

B) Riding the railing of an escalator in the mall like a 12-year-old.

Do I need to even answer this for you? Perhaps the biggest problem was that the escalator wasn’t even turned on.

•  Nice timing for the big celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe this weekend. I mean, it’s not like there’s another important golf tournament going on or anything. I guess if Tiger tanks it today everyone can take solace in being able to watch Charles Barkley shoot 110.

Adam Morrison has finally found a league he can dominate — the NBA summer league in Vegas. The LA TIMES caught up with him there. Seriously, though, the guy has taken a beating just about everywhere so it would be a great story if he could somehow turn himself into a useful NBA player.

• The Jazz are planning on matching the Blazers’ offer to restricted free agent Paul Millsap, which ESPN says might help facilitate a trade that would send Carlos Boozer to Chicago and Kirk Hinrich to Portland.

Ronnie Milsap

(No, no, *Paul* Millsap. It’s not even spelled the same.)

• Remember the good old days when Dominican baseball prospects just lied about their age? Now they don’t even use their real names. The Yankees are the latest team to have apparently been duped by a prospect from the D.R. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED says they signed who they thought was 16-year-old shortstop Damian Arredondo to an $850,000 bonus, but they have been informed by MLB’s Department of Investigations that not only is he not really 16, but he’s also not really Damian Arredondo. Whoever he is, the Yankees don’t have to pay him the bonus and the player is now banned from being offered a contract by another team for a year.

• More evidence that Rich Rodriguez might not be working out in Ann Arbor? An offensive lineman who has left the program to transfer to Ball State says this: “They were bringing in a lot of different kids that were not my kind of crowd. Coach Carr’s staff was a whole different ballgame. It was like a family. But when Rodriguez came in it was a whole different feeling. It was more of a business.”

Ricky Williams would like to give you a body massage.

• That car that Stan Musial rode around in at the All-Star Game the other night was a Ford. And, since we all know that “this is oooouuurrrr coouuuntryyyy” and Chevy owns our souls during baseball telecasts, they had to actually put tape over the Ford logo. Maybe that’s why the guy driving was so surly the whole time (thanks UNI WATCH).

Stan Musial

• The MIAMI HERALD was trumpeting the Marlins-Phillies series that began last night at (shudder) Land Shark Stadium, saying that crowds of “upwards of 30,000″ were expected for the series. Actual attendance last night: 15,171. But look at the bright side — that’s 15,000 fewer people to be embarrassed by watching their team get one-hit by a 46-year-old.

Ryan Howard hit his 200th career homer last night in his 658th game, the fewest ever for someone to reach the milestone. The previous record holder was Ralph Kiner, who did it in 706 games.

• Everybody’s talking about the dress Erin Andrews wore to the ESPY Awards, but Natalie Gulbis was looking pretty nice herself:

Natalie Gulbis

Has the David Beckham MLS “experiment” been a success?

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Random Guy Celebrated WS Title In Locker Room

Meet Lionel Rodia. He’s either A) the luckiest fan in America or B) the country’s most convincing liar. How do we know? Because, depending on whether or not you believe his story, he actually snuck down to a seat near the field for the conclusion of the Phillies’ clinching Game 5 of the World Series at Citizens Bank Park, then ran on the field, got in on the dogpile and, eventually, sprayed champagne all over players like Jamie Moyer and Ryan Howard.

lionel rodia phillies champions

(That’s either Rodia in the locker room or the work of a Photoshop master.)

Sure, it seems like a stretch, but Rodia’s story — and at least a couple supporting photos — are convincing enough that SPORTS ILLUTRATED ESPN columnist Rick Reilly wrote a classic 800-word piece on his escapades, which include this ultimate punchline: The man didn’t even pay for his World Series ticket.

In fairness, it does sound like the ultimate fan experience couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. According to Reilly’s story — and to Rodia’s best friend, one Tom “Tush” Millison (of course his name is Tush) — Rodia had been laid off from his job at a staffing company the prior year, and was bumming his way into games and events with some aplomb. So his World Series adventure wasn’t unprecendented. It was just impressive.

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Ryan Howard To Nab Endorsements, Beer Cans

Had to post this video which was originally unearthed by Kevin Kaduk at BIG LEAGUE STEW:

Ryan Howard Beer Can Catch

Along with beer cans, Greg Johnson of the LOS ANGELES TIMES blogs that Howard will be the Phillies player to most benefit biz-wise from the World Series win:

The NL MVP in 2006, he delivers awesome slugging power at the plate, and impressive selling power on camera. Still under 30, his endorsement resume includes national TV spots for Subway, Powerade and adidas, plus cover-boy roles for Topps baseball cards and Sony’s MLB ’08 The Show videogame. Articulate, charismatic and smooth on camera, Howard could pitch any powerful product—from trucks to power tools, PCs to smart phones. And his impressive nose might work well in a Kleenex or cold remedy demo.

More importantly, video of Howard’s beer backhand after the jump (two angles!): Read more…

Speed Read: Phils Win Game 1, Free Tacos For All

With a runner on and one out in the first inning of Game 1 of the World Series at Tropicana Field last night, Chase Utley attempted to push a bunt through the vacant left side of the infield but it went foul. Five pitches later, he crushed one into the right-field seats for a 2-0 lead that the Phillies would not relinquish. Can we just but this whole bunting-is-a-good-idea nonsense to rest? At least in the first inning?

Chase Utley Game 1 home run

Cole Hamels threw seven innings to pick up the win as the Phils beat the Rays 3-2 in what was a rather uneventful Game 1, despite the close score. Tampa Bay never really threatened Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge in the final two innings. Some of the many Phillies fans who were in the Trop revealed to the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER that the Rays set up their games like a “party” for fans while Phils fans are all business, if “business” means getting drunk and flipping off children wearing Rays jerseys. The TAMPA TRIBUNE found little to talk about, other than Akinora Iwamura’s big night.

The most important thing that happened all night anyway was Jason Bartlett’s stolen base in the fifth inning, which entitled all of America to a free taco from Taco Bell next Tuesday. Although, the only way we weren’t getting a free taco at some point is if nobody stole a base during the entire series. Tacos are available from 2 to 6 p.m., which means that all of America should be in the bathroom by 7.

Taco

Just because both his current and former team are eliminated, you didn’t think that Manny Ramirez was just going away, did you? SI.COM’s Jon Heyman says that the Dodgers are willing to pay him market value, but are hesitant to give him a long-term deal. Manny is thought to be seeking at least a four year deal, and maybe as many as six years. This from a guy who a couple of years ago said he might just retire when his contract was up. Heyman quotes a source that tells him that the team may consider paying Manny a yearly salary in the range of Alex Rodriguez’ $27.5 million, and possibly even more if he agrees to a two-year contract. Expect this to get dragged out, especially since Scott Boras is involved and will have to generate some sort of bidding war.

The most famous knee in New England is not healing particularly well, according to the BOSTON HERALD’s Karen Guregian. Tom Brady has already had three arthroscopic procedures done on the knee in the last week to clean the wound and battle infection. Doctors are worried that the grafted tendon that replaced his ACL may break down, necessitating a whole new surgery.  I know that athletes generally recover well from these surgeries, but it can’t be good for his long-term health to go through one procedure after another. You might want to prepare for a Cassel-led 2009 team, Pats fans.

Enough of this “news” crap. Let’s get to the nudity:

• You don’t need to comb through photoshopped pictures of Sarah Palin to see scantily-clad women with funny accents holding guns:

Canadian Biathlon team

These are the women of the Canadian Olympic Biathlon team, who are doing the whole naked-calendar thing to raise awareness about naked biathletes. The biathlon isn’t exactly as salacious as it sounds. It’s an event comprised of half target shooting and half cross-country skiing, and is huge in Europe but not so much anywhere else. The Canadian squad is hopeful for a medal on their home turf in 2010. Bios of the ladies can be found here. Find out which one hates shoveling manure at home on the ranch!

Ryan Howard still gets an allowance from his parents, writes BLOOMBERG’s Scott Soshnick (via CHINA POST). He heaps praise on Mr. and Mrs. Howard for instilling a solid work ethic and respect for money in their son, but doesn’t say anything about it being a bit unhealthy for your mom to be doing everything for you when you’re 28.

• Celtics rookie Bill Walker has kicked off his career in style by trying to start a fight with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady in a preseason game. This might have something to do with why his ESPN.COM profile page said he was male genitalia this week (thanks to BASKETBAWFUL for the story).

Colt McCoy told the SPORTING NEWS that he’s going to return for his senior season (via ESPN).

• NBA.COM gave every GM a survey and has published the results. Any guesses on who thinks Robert Swift “does the most with the least talent” or picked Toronto to win the Atlantic Division?  Anybody?

• OK, is anyone buying this OCTOBER GONZO thing? I’m not even sure what MLB’s angle is. All I know is that this thing is being written by an MLB.COM intern who knows nothing about baseball. Or Steve Phillips. One or the other. In one post, Gonzo contends that “many” of the 2004 Red Sox who overcame a 3-0 ALCS deficit were still with the team. I guess five constitutes “many” to him (and one of those, Kevin Youkilis, didn’t even play in the ALCS or World Series).

• For an actually entertaining baseball blog, go to FIRE JOE MORGAN, which breaks down ESPN’s ridiculous point/counterpoint article about the World Series, where Jim Caple calls Joe Maddon an “experienced manager.”

• For as much crap as Isiah Thomas takes for running the Knicks into the ground, Michael Jordan has mostly escaped widespread criticism for his terrible personnel decisions with the Bobcats. YAHOO!’s Adrian Wojnarowski has a fascinating look at what is actually the most dysfunctional team in the NBA, especially now that Larry Brown is around to complain about everything.

• The L.A. Galaxy are looking to recoup some of that cash they spent on David Beckham by renting him to AC Milan for the winter. They have to return him by April, though, or face a $2 late fee. The DAILY MAIL seems tired of Becks’ act.

• Anti-doping giant Dick Pound says that unlike China, Canada was filled with “savages” 400 years ago. CTV suggests that Dick Pound should apologize. Dick Pound.

Who will Manny Ramirez ultimately sign with?

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Speed Read: Dodgers Done, Cowboys To Follow?

How often does the first batter tell you everything you need to know about how a baseball game is going to go? But after seeing Jimmy Rollins take Chad Billingsley deep in the first inning of Game 5 of the NLCS, did anyone have any doubt that the Phillies would be going to the World Series? The result wound up 5-1 for Philadelphia, but it might have been 1,000-1 after that first at-bat.

Philadelphia Phillies clinch NL Pennant

With how Cole Hamels was pitching, it’s not as though the Phillies needed much help, but Rafael Furcal channeling some combination of the Chicago Cubs’ infield, Steve Sax and Rick Ankiel (pitcher version) didn’t help. Furcal made three errors in the fifth inning, tying an MLB post-season record. I can sympathize with Furcal: I also once made three errors in one inning. Of course, I was 12, and a terrible Little League player.

Rafael Furcal and Joe Torre

I hate to burst the bubble of die-hard Philly fans like THE 700 LEVEL who are reveling on their team’s victory, and the fact that they are four games away from bringing the city its first major professional sports title in 25 years. So I won’t mention that the Phillies’ Big Three (Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley) are hitting a meager .250 combined in the 2008 playoffs.

Or that Jamie Moyer might wind up starting a World Series game, and that your starters not named Cole Hamels have an ERA just over 6.00 this postseason.

Or that the Rays have somehow turned into the 1929 Yankees, if that’s who you wind up playing.

Or that other than Manny Ramirez, this wasn’t a very good Dodgers team, and beating them in five games wasn’t really that huge of an accomplishment.

Just sleep tight, Phillie fans, after a night of serious celebrating. Probably in a pool of your own vomit, but sleep tight none the less, and don’t worry about tomorrow.

Meanwhile, as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ season ended with a thud, the slow-motion train wreck that the Dallas Cowboys’ season is becoming is continuing. A day after they were fleeced by the Lions (the Lions!) to complete their Roy Williams collection, the DALLAS MORNING NEWS reports that head coach Wade Phillips doesn’t expect Adam “Pac-Man” Jones to return to the team regardless of the length of his suspension.

Also not expected to come back after this season: Wade Phillps.

But fear not, Cowboys’ fans! Remember Tony Romo’s pinkie injury that was going to sideline him for four games? Turns out that he’s going to try to play this week against the Rams. Because having a quarterback trying to play with a broken finger on his throwing hand always ends up well. Right, USC fans?

Here’s what else happened last night while you were rolling your eyes at John McCain rolling his eyes:

    Mets bullpen car

  • THE LEGEND OF CECILIO GUANTE prays for the return of the bullpen car. I don’t know: as cool as they are, it’s a little less intimidating when NAME OF YOUR TEAM’S CLOSER HERE comes in from the bullpen to the sounds of AC/DC OR GUNS ‘N’ ROSES OR METALLICA OR BLACK SABBATH when he’s riding in a giant, cartoon helmet.
  • The LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, the Mob bookmaker and casino boss who inspired the movie Casino, has cashed in and gone to that comped room in the sky.
  • MICHIGAN DAILY notes that Michigan running back Mike Milano has been indefinitely suspended from the team after allegedly assaulting Wolverines hockey player and Anaheim Ducks prospect Steve Kampfer on campus, slamming him to the ground and knocking him unconscious.
  • Kansas State assistant coach Dalonte Hill reportedly makes $420,000 a year. THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION points out that is more than the school’s President makes.
  • How fat is Eddy Curry? So fat that he sat on his exercise ball and it exploded. That’s not a joke: THE DAILY NEWS’ KNICKS KNATION says this actually happened at practice on Monday.
  • BRAVES LAUNCH PAD notes the striking similarities between Phillies slugger Ryan Howard and The Office temp-turned-executive-turned-secretary of the same name.
  • VEGAS NEWS delivers a strike with news that Make That Spare is coming back to TV. Pro bowlers making spares over and over? That’s must see TV!
  • Your World Cup qualifying recap from the LOS ANGELES TIMES: The US, having secured their spot in the next round, fields a youthful squad and falls to Trinidad and Tobago, 2-1. Meanwhile, Mexico has to rally to tie Canada and is in danger of missing the final round of qualifying.
  • The NEW YORK TIMES’ SLAP SHOT follows up on the fallout from the tragic death of Rangers’ prospect Alexei Cherepanov at age 19, including the confusion over the possible causes of his death.
  • Finally, the AP has word that Bobby Knight told a TV interviewer that he would consider coaching again. But he was such a natural, energetic analyst working for ESPN. (Note: I’m being sarcastic here.)

Who do you blame for the Dodgers’ failures in the NLCS?

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Mark Reynolds Is The King Of Swing (And A Miss)

As the Diamondbacks were officially eliminated from the playoffs today, third baseman Mark Reynolds became the first MLB player ever to reach a dubious milestone — 200 strikeouts in a season. Jack Cust got all the publicity last week for setting the AL strikeout mark, but Reynolds is now the true undisputed Wizard Of Whiff. Big #200 came in the 2nd inning against Joel Pineiro this afternoon in the D-Backs’ 12-3 loss to the Cardinals. He later added his 201st K.

Mark Reynolds and a windmill

By contrast, Albert Pujols has struck out 226 times…over the last four seasons. Jose Hernandez made headlines a few years back when he was held out of the lineup to avoid setting the record at home, but guys like Reynolds have taken their lumps mostly in stride. And it appears as if Reynolds might have some company in the 200 Club by the end of the weekend.

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Mr. Jack Cust, Your New Strikeout King of the AL!

There’s not a whole lot to cheer about up in McAfee Coliseum this year. In fact, one of the only things to excite the fans is the knowledge that in a few years they’ll be watching baseball being played in an actual baseball stadium. So there’s not a whole lot of reasons for the fans to show up during this final excruciating week of baseball. At least, there wasn’t until Jack Cust provided it.

Jack Cust, strikeout king

With a pair of strikeouts in last night’s win over the Mariners, Cust claimed the title of the most strikeout-happiest hitter in the American League. His 187 Ks this season - he’s playing another game right now but has not yet struck out - leaves him alone at numero uno for the DH League.

And to give the fans a reason to come out to the ballpark until the final game of the year, Cust left just enough strikeouts (12) before he can claim the all-time record as his own. Read more…