Wait, Lincecum Smokes Pot? That’s Unpossible!

You mean to tell me that the fellow in the picture below enjoys weed? What? Because I would have guessed he spends the off season reading the Book of Mormon, or cleaning oil-infested sea fowl. But there’s word today that Tim Lincecum was pulled over by the cops last week and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Tim Lincecum

It happened on I-5 in Vancouver, Wash., (Lincecum is a native of Bellevue, Wash.) on Oct. 30, as a motorcycle trooper timed him on the radar gun (ironic) doing 74 mph in a 60 mph zone in a ‘06 Mercedes. Once Lincecum rolled down the window, the jig was up, smell-wise. He handed over a small bag of weed to the cop. Read more…

Speed Read: Another McNair Mistress In Minny?

Speculation has been rampant that one of the reasons that Sahel Kazemi decided to kill Steve McNair was because she suspected that McNair was involved with yet another woman who was not his wife.

Sahel Kazemi Photo Steve McNairs Girlfriend Photo

And now, the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS says they have discovered that McNair was involved in what they characterize as a “longtime affair” with a stripper in Minneapolis. But was it really an “intimate” relationship, as claimed by DAILY NEWS sportswriter Michael O’Keefe?

His only source for the story is the former business manager of an unnamed strip club, who asked remain anonymous for the story. This guy says McNair was a frequent visitor to the club and had an ongoing affair with a dancer that lasted for six years. Here’s what he had to say:

“She liked money and athletes,” the former business manager said on condition of anonymity. “She went out with athletes before. She was one of those girls who said, ‘You’re married? You have kids? So what?’ Lets have fun.

“I can tell you that she was very upset when she learned that he had died,” the former business manager added.

I don’t doubt that McNair may have visited this club every time he was in Minneapolis, and that when he did he sought out the same woman. But was there really a relationship here? Maybe he just liked to see the same stripper every time he was in Minnesota? Did he have a different woman in every city he went to?

Minneapolis

(What about this city was so alluring for McNair?)

But how often would he have occasion to go to Minnesota? Since he played only for AFC teams, a search of PRO-FOOTBALL-REFERENCE.COM shows that McNair only went to Minnesota to play against the Vikings three times: in 1995 (as a rookie when he wasn’t even a starter), 2001, and 2004. That’s only one game there in the last six years. He was from Mississippi and lived in Tennessee, so I’m not sure why he would be making frequent trips up to Minneapolis, unless he was good friends with some of the Vikings who were on that sex boat.

If there’s anyone out there in Minneapolis, what club would be the choice of athletes?

So while it might make sense for the woman in Minnesota to be sad (perhaps more for the loss of a customer), it doesn’t make sense that she would be completely distraught, unless she traveled to see McNair. Kazemi reportedly saw another woman leaving McNair’s condo days before the shooting, but it’s far-fetched to think that it could be the Minnesota stripper. Which makes you wonder exactly how many women he was involved with in some way.

While McNair had a very public memorial service yesterday, Kazemi’s funeral is scheduled for today in Jacksonville, Fla.

Moving on, Lenny Dykstra continues to try and keep up with Darren Daulton in the race to be crowned the “looniest guy who played for the 1993 Phillies.” In an interview with CNBC’s Jane Wells that is not done justice by this accompanying article, Dykstra rambled (often incoherently) about his financial woes that has led to him filing for bankruptcy. Here’s the video, and it’s worth all 18 minutes of your time:



Dykstra claims that Washington Mutual perpetrated fraud against him on a mortgage that he can no longer afford, and that he is simply filing in order to deal with foreclosure proceedings (he points out that it is his corporation filing Chapter 11 in order to “reorganize”). He even goes as far as to call out a specific Wamu employee, even mocking his stuttering. Of course, Dykstra also stumbles over his words, so it’s unclear when he’s pretending to be the stutterer and when he’s just being himself. He also claims to not be very smart, and to not really know how all the paperwork works in any of this. So how is he so sure that he was taken advantage of in his mortgage? His attorney says he’s worth around $50 million, but Dykstra won’t go as far as to even give a ballpark figure of his net worth. When Wells informs him that the bankruptcy paperwork indicates his assets are no more than $50,000, he doesn’t really have any answer that would lead you to believe otherwise. This despite boasting that he’s “111-0 in the stock market” (which, if you steal other people’s stock advice, maybe that isn’t that hard).

Lenny Dykstra

The only evidence Dykstra could offer of his net worth still being in the millions (it was reported as $58 million in 2008) was that his failed venture at a lifestyle magazine for athletes (called “The Players Club”) was being reorganized into a company that I think is also supposed to help pro athletes manage their money. And, in his words, “will someone be interested in that later, and want to give me $10 million? I don’t know, but what I have is exactly what’s stated.” Oy. So, basically, it looks like he’s got a few businesses that aren’t worth anything or aren’t profitable, like his private-jet airline called Legends Air, and he’s just hoping that someone will want to give him millions for them later.

The interview took place at Dykstra’s home, which he bought from Wayne Gretzky two years ago. Just after the 8:00 mark, when Dykstra claimed that it was his primary residence, Wells starting losing her patience, pointing out that there was no furniture in the house (with a great “wtf is wrong with you?” look), to which Dykstra responded that the house was undergoing a “remodel” as if that was supposed to be apparent.

Lenny Dykstra's house

(The home in question, which is supposedly worth $25 million)

Please, someone get Dykstra and Daulton together for an interview. Or just tape them talking to each other for an hour. That would be better than anything I’ve ever seen on “E:60.”

Alright, before I go on any more Dystranian tangents, let’s get to today’s links:

• You thought Yankee Stadium was expensive? The total cost of the new stadium for the Marlins in Miami is going to run at least $2.4 billion because the county is going to take an insane amount of time to pay back its loans. Because it can’t afford a new stadium. And they’re still going to draw 8,000 fans a night. Has there ever been a worse idea than this?

Marlins Stadium

(This is an early rendering, missing the tarp over the unused top deck)

Tim Lincecum finally gave up a run after more than 29 scoreless innings. He actually took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Padres last night, but gave up three runs in the inning. No worries, though, as the Giants still won 9-3.

Things got ugly last night during a soccer match between Mexico and Panama in Houston. There were fights in the stands, and apparently a Panamanian player fell off a stretcher when he got pelted by debris from Mexican fans. I guess it all started when the Mexican coach thought it would be OK to try and kick one of Panama’s players:

Rickey Henderson’s jersey is going to be retired by the A’s on August 1st. Rickey, of course, just thinks they’re reserving the number for him when he makes his comeback.

• FANHOUSE discusses a little-known fact about NBA salaries. Due to a clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, all NBA players had to give 9% of their salaries back to their teams. All of this money went into an escrow fund, and is being redistributed to every team equally, in the sum of $6.3 million per team.

• San Diego State fired football coach Chuck Long back in November, but he’s continued to show up for work every day because his contract guarantees him his salary of more than $715,000 per year if he keeps coming to the office. What exactly he’s doing, nobody knows. SDSU can’t force him to leave, but the SAN DIEGO TIMES-UNION says the school is paying a consultant $125 an hour to try and mediate a settlement with Long and get him to leave (thanks the WIZ OF ODDS for the tip).

Chuck Long

(”How’s that Pensky file coming along, Chuck?”)

• A group of Canadians are working on an offer for the Phoenix Coyotes, and they totally want to keep the team in Phoenix. I mean, what group of Canadians wouldn’t want the team to keep failing in when they could be selling out a new arena in suburban Toronto every night?

• The D-Backs were crusing through five innings last night, leading 7-0 over the Marlins. It was still 7-4 after seven. Then the eighth inning happened. 13 hitters, eight hits, two errors, and a passed ball later, Florida had scored a franchise-record 10 runs in the inning.

• The Nats and Astros resumed a game last night that was suspended on May 5th with the score tied at 10. The Nats, the home team on the scoreboard, only took seven minutes to push the winning run across — in Houston. Even stranger, the winning pitcher was Joel Hanrahan, who now plays for the Pirates.

Ron Artest has worn a different number everywhere he’s gone, so it’s no surprise that he’s changing it up again with the Lakers. According to INSIDE THE LAKERS, Ron-Ron’s going to wear #37 — because it’s the number of weeks Thriller was the #1 album. Top that tribute, Griffey.

• Lakers point guard Jordan Farmar just played poker for the first time two weeks ago, but he’s still alive in the main event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Of the 6,494 players who started the tourney, only about 1,500 are left going into today’s play (and 648 will get paid). While it’s still way too early, Farmar would face an interesting dilemma if he were to make the final table. That table won’t be played until early November, which is during the NBA season. Would the Lakers let him miss a game or two to finish a poker tournament? Actually, I’m really rooting for this to happen so we find out. First place, by the way, is more than $8 million — much more than Farmar makes at his job.

• Speaking of poker, ex-WWE star Torrie Wilson also played in the main event, but busted out early (and often!):

Torrie Wilson

Torrie Wilson

How would you characterize the alleged relationship between Steve McNair and a stripper in Minnesota?

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Rogue Youth Arrested For Kicking Batting Helmet

You know it’s summer when the youth baseball coaches come out and start having opposing players arrested for nonsensical reasons. Actually Bill Marshall is a sheriff’s deputy, part-time Ballston Spa Village police officer, and coach of Galway of the Ballston Spa Junior Baseball League in New York. Marshall had Gary Hall Jr., an opposing player, arrested on Saturday for “intentionally” hitting one his his players with a pitch, and for kicking a batting helmet after the game.

Corey Hall Jr.

After Galway had beaten Ballston Spa, 2-1, last week, a Galway player punched Hall, 16, in the stomach in the post-game handshake line. According to witnesses, Hall pushed the other player away, then fell to the ground in pain. Hall then kicked a batting helmet near the dugout. If you thought that ended things, you don’t know American youth baseball. Marshall filed charges and had Hall arrested. Read more…

Pitcher Traded For Bats Dead Of A Drug Overdose

You probably remember the odd story last year of the minor league baseball player who was traded for 10 maple bats. It was one of those things that we all had a nice chuckle over, and then we forgot about it and moved on with our lives. Well, as spring training is now underway, some people have been asking whatever became of pitcher John Odom, who was sent from Calgary of the Golden Baseball League to Laredo of the independent United League. And the answer isn’t good.

John Odom

Just a few months after Odom abruptly left his new team, he was dead. The 26-year-old accidentally overdosed on heroin, methamphetamine, and alcohol in November. Odom apparently had been battling personal issues, and some wonder if the publicity and ridicule over the trade pushed him into a depression from which he couldn’t recover.

Read more…

Did The Giants Sign Big Unit Just To Sell Tickets?

The Giants hadn’t exactly made a splash in free agency this offseason, moving away from a potential trade for Jake Peavy and failing to add significant bats to a pretty anemic offense. But all that may have started to change late last night, when the Giants inked 21-year veteran Randy Johnson to shore up the back end of their rotation. According to the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Johnson’s deal is for a single year at $8 million, with another $2.5 million up for grabs in achievable incentives.

randy johnson

(Johnson put on an extra layer of orange toner just for Giants fans.)

That’s right folks, the Big Unit has a job, and now he’ll have plenty of motivation for a handful of starts during the season, when he can take on his former employers, the Diamondbacks. Still, as much as Johnson’s debut in the Bay Area could be a significant bolster to San Francisco’s hopes to becoming a legitimate ball club again, it’s hard not to be a bit cynical about the Giants’ latest signing: Is it possible that they just want to get in on another record chase?

Consider this: the Giants’ attendance plummeted last year after the departure of Barry Bonds. While the chase to befoul Hank Aaron’s record drove people to AT&T Park in droves, despite a crappy product on the field, the lack of drama surrounding the team’s young core made San Francisco an utterly skippable baseball commodity. In the next offseason, the Giants go out and sign an aging pitcher on the verge of 300 wins.

Read more…

At Times John Kruk Wants To Punch Karl Ravech

Have you ever been watching “Baseball Tonight” or any other studio show on ESPN and wondered if the anchors actually liked each other? I mean, I know I can’t stand most of the talking heads ESPN puts on the air so you have to figure there are times when Mike Ditka wants to reach across the desk and punch Stuart Scott right in his lazy eye when he says “Boo-ya!”

The one ESPN personality who I think has probably had it worse than anybody else is Karl Ravech. As host of Baseball Tonight he’s had to work with his fair share of idiots.  Sure, dealing with Harold Reynolds wasn’t too bad — well, except for Harold’s insistence on post-show hugs — and Peter Gammons is an icon, but aside from those two there are a lot more Steve Phillips and John Kruks sitting behind that desk. There has to be occasions where Ravvy just wants to choke Krukker after he says something that makes no real sense, but if there have been, Karl isn’t talking.

Of course, the same can’t be said of Kruk.

Read more…

Blog Jam: Wright Throws Girlfriend Surprise Party

• THE BIG LEAD gives a toast to David Wright for throwing a surprise birthday party for girlfriend Molly Beers.

David Wright Molly Beers

• WITH LEATHER swears that the AL’s current All-Star success is all thanks to the potty-mouthed Ichiro Suzuki.

• DEADSPIN finds someone pleading with the Packers to put Brett Favre back in the starting lineup, and that someone is … Newt Gingrich?

• SIGNAL TO NOISE learns that the NFL doesn’t want to see its image Crip-pled by players flashing gang signs during games.

Read more…