Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Rest of The Story: Ralph Neves

Paul Harvey passed away today at the age of 90.
A lot of us grew up listening to the rest of the story for a lot of stories over the years...
As an homage, here's the story of a jockey who died- and, then, didn't...
For another 28 years...

Ralph Neves...

Kentucky Basketball Fans Depressed: What's Wrong With "Big Blue"

LEXINGTON, KY: Dining out at the Logans Roadhouse right off the University of Kentucky campus Saturday night I overheard some UK fans complaining about the fate of the Wildcats NCAA tournament hopes between bites of bar-b-que ribs and sips of sweet tea. Especially since Kentucky lost at home to LSU 73-70 at Rupp Arena. UK is now 8-6 in the SEC, 19-10 overall.

"It was a game where they were tougher than us and smarter than us." head coach Billy Gillispie said. "That is why they won." Gillispie added that the loss was "100% on me." Gillispie was ticked off that he failed to make a substitution late in the game.

It was a very important game for Kentucky after a week of turmoil. A.J. Stewart quit the team earlier in the week then Friday, head coach Billy Gillispie said smiling Stewart was back on the team. That Stewart feels a "great deal of remorse." By the way, Stewart saw 3 minutes of action against LSU and is credited with an assist.

Heading into March is when you want to play your best basketball is Kentucky is clearly not. The Wildcats have lost 6 of their last 9 games. That has the Big Blue fans red hot. Wildcat fans don't take to losing well and you can sense the concern throughout the Bluegrass. UK hoops is the identity of the Commonwealth and right now it doesn't look good.

Back at Logan's Roadhouse, you could hear Kentucky fans bring up that other tournament, the NIT. Heck maybe even the CBI (are they playing that tournament this year.)

Our waiter whose name I can't recall wasn't optimistic at all with Kentucky's chances of making the NCAA Tournament. It's safe to say he represented the depressed mood throughout the Commonwealth on Wildcat hoops.

I get the feeling the jury is still out among Wildcat fans about Billy Gillispie. Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart says Billy the "G" isn't on the hot seat. I haven't heard Ashley Judd's opinion.

Kentucky closes the regular season hosting Georgia at Rupp Arena (I calling this a win) and at Florida (good luck). Then its off to the SEC Tournament in Tampa, Florida. It seems whatever ails Kentucky is cured during the SEC Tournament but I'm not sure the "blue mist" will have much effect this time around. The depression among the Wildcat fans have become that deep.

Photo Courtesy: Pablo Alcala/Lexington Herald-Leader

Guerin Pulled... Trade Imminent...?

((HT: TSN-Dreger))

How's this for a little on the weird side...?

The New York Islanders' Bill Guerin ((pictured, thanks Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)) made it through warm-ups okay, but he didn't play in the Islanders game with the Buffalo Sabres.

Guerin was pulled off the ice under the thought that a trade for his services will be coming soon. There was no indication he was dealing with any kind of an injury.

Islanderspointblank.com, run by Chris Botta, is reporting that Guerin is willing to move his "no-trade" clause, and will be heading to an "eastern team." The Isles would be getting a draft pick in return as Guerin is an unrestricted free agent come July 1.

The teams that have been eliminated from the deal- Boston and New Jersey. Monreal and Washington seem to be the Top Two Contenders ((capitalization on purpose)).

As of 9:00, the deal is agreed to "in principle," and Guerin seems to be happy with the end result. The team Guerin will be heading to is still a mystery, but the Isles are probably getting a second-rounder as a starting point.

More when we know more...

Keith Brooking To Cowboys

((HT: AJC))

Former Falcons linebacker Keith Brooking has signed a three-year deal with the Cowboys, according to his agent Pat Dye Jr.

Dye did not disclose terms of the contract.

Brooking, the last member of the 1998 Falcons Super Bowl team, will be reunited with Cowboys coach Wade Phillips, who was the Falcons’ defensive coordinator in 2002-03 and the team’s interim coach for the final three games of the ‘03 season.

“That played a big part in the decision,” Dye said of the chance for Brooking to be reunited with Phillips.

Brooking became a free agent at 12:01 a.m. Friday, but Dye said he had discussions with the Falcons through Saturday before Brooking chose the Cowboys’ offer.

Falcons' owner and CEO Arthur Blank had the following to say about Brooking:
“Keith defined the Falcons in so many ways: his tenure, his leadership on and off the field, his commitment to excellence and his many resulting accomplishments, his love for Atlanta , and so much more. He will always be a Falcon in the hearts of his teammates and our fans. We wish him the very best in his future NFL endeavors, and we extend best wishes to his wife, Holly, and their children, Logan and Juliette.”

Todd Archer's blog from the Dallas Morning News reveals this:
"Brooking will replace Zach Thomas, who finished second on the team in tackles and is a free agent. It also puts into question the return of Kevin Burnett, who is also a free agent."

The Cowboys also acquired Jon Kitna from Detroit as a back-up to Tony Romo.
But, as always, Jean-Jacques Taylor thinks the Cowboys overpaid...

Boogey Man Gets Five For Elbow

The NHL has come down hard on Minnesota Wild tough guy Derek Boogaard as the veteran enforcer was handed a five game suspension Saturday for an elbow to the head of Flames' forward Brandon Prust.

With just under two minutes remaining in the third period, the 26-year old Boogaard blindsided Prust with an elbow to the side of the head. Prust left the game and did not return. At Flames practice Saturday, head coach Mike Keenan suspected that Prust had been concussed on the play.

One of the most feared heavyweights in the league, the 26-year old Boogaard has three assists and 85 penalty minutes in 47 games this season.

Here's the elbow no longer in question...
((HT: Sportsnet))

Calhoun and Nantz Address "The" Presser...

((HT: Awful Announcing))

Here's the tail end of the interview that Jim Nantz did with UConn Head Coach Jim Calhoun about the run-in he had earlier in the week.

Thankfully, once again, Calhoun does not apologize...


Yes, Krayeske baited him. But those of us at OSG HQ are behind Calhoun. If the university and those who follow it do not know the personality of the man by now, then that's their issue.

Dude's gone two rounds with cancer and we hope he never bites his tongue.
Krayeske, simply, had it coming. And when he continued to play with Calhoun, he got what he should have had coming to him a lot sooner...

Frankly, we wish more coaches were this way with stupid questions..

Cassel And Vrabel To Chiefs


((HT: Boston Globe))

Scott Reiss of the Boston Globe and boston.com fills in the details of the initial Mike Vrable-to-KC deal. Here's the other part...

The New England Patriots traded quarterback Matt Cassel ((pictured, thanks Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe)) and linebacker Mike Vrabel to the Kansas City Chiefs today in exchange for a 2009 second-round draft choice (34th overall).

Cassel, who turns 27 in May, will be reunited with former Patriots Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli, the Chiefs' first-year general manager.

“I have a long history with both players,” Pioli said in a statement. “Mike and Matt are men that I respect both personally and professionally. I look forward to having them as new members of the Chiefs family.”

Cassel was one of the NFL's surprise stories in 2008. Despite having not started a regular-season game since high school, he stepped in for the injured Tom Brady in the Patriots' season opener against the Chiefs, and ultimately led the team to an 11-5 season.

Cassel completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 3,693 yards, with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Said Patriots coach Bill Belichick of Vrabel: "When Mike arrived in 2001, we knew we were adding a solid outside linebacker. But where Mike took it from there exceeded our highest hopes. Mike Vrabel epitomizes everything a coach could seek in a professional football player: toughness, intelligence, playmaking, leadership, versatility and consistency at the highest level. Behind the scenes, Mike's wit and personality is one of the things we have all enjoyed about coming to work every day. The toughest aspect of my job is the day I stop coaching people like Mike, who did everything in his power to contribute to team success. Of all the players I have coached in my career, there is nobody I enjoyed working with more than Mike. In the same way people recognize guys like Troy Brown, we appreciate and thank Mike Vrabel. He is one of the very special Patriots champions."

Of Cassel, Belichick said: "It is very easy to root for guys like Matt Cassel, who do everything the right way and flourish as a result. As much as we would have loved to continue working with Matt, we wish him nothing but the best as he takes this next step forward in his career."

We hope Cassel has his full medical paid up...

"Rocky" Goes Out Swinging...


Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo.

The Rocky Mountain News said good-bye Friday...
55 days short of their 150th birthday.

This is their own story around the "Final Edition." It's melancholy. It's real life personified through writers writing about themselves and their own obit.
From Columbine to the Broncos, to the "Crossing" to a coronation, it was always "My Rocky" and THE "Denver Post."
Scripps gave the world a month to come up with a new buyer.
Gee, thanks...
Prevailing opinion was EW Scripps quit on the paper when its staff never did.
To the staff, thanks for everything...
To Scripps, thanks for everything...

((The crux of the matter chimes in at, about, the 14:30 mark...courtesy of RMN reporter Laura Frank and her husband, sports guy Jeff Legwold))

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sean Avery To Be Placed On Waivers

((HT: TSN/Darren Dreger))

The Dallas Stars will place Sean Avery on re-entry waivers on Monday.

The New York Rangers are expected to claim him, failing a rival bid from a team lower in the NHL standings.

If no team claims Avery, picking up half of his remaining salary, then the Stars will consider one of two options:

They will allow him to continue playing in the AHL with Hartford.

Or...

They will allow him to leave while continuing to pay him for not playing.

Dallas will then officially cut ties with Sean Avery by buying him out during the buyout period this summer.

Brendan Witt Sits For 5 Games

New York Islanders defenseman Brendan Witt was suspended five games Friday for an elbow to Toronto Maple Leafs' Niklas Hagman on Thursday night. Witt had a disciplinary hearing with NHL's senior vice-president and director of hockey operations, Colin Campbell on Friday.

"We are disappointed to lose a player of Brendan's calibre and character for this period of time," Islanders' GM Garth Snow said in a statement. "But we understand the league's concerns regarding hits to the head."
The incident happened in the third period of the Maple Leafs' 5-4 shootout win over the Islanders. Witt was assessed a 5-minute major and a game misconduct on the play.
The veteran defenseman has seven assists and a minus-31 over his 49 games with the Islanders this season.

He will lose $74,372.75 in salary over the course of the five game ban. Witt would be available to return in time for the Islanders' game against the Maple Leafs in Toronto on March 10.

On Friday, Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson said Hagman would be sent back to Toronto and not play on Saturday in Ottawa against the Senators.

Here's the hit in question... or- no longer in question...
((HT:Rogers Sportsnet))

Quincy Carter Arrested For DWI ((and...))

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter was charged Friday with drunken driving and marijuana possession.

Carter’s blood-alcohol level tested at 0.14, said Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Johnny Hernandez. The state’s legal limit is 0.08.

He was charged with misdemeanor possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana after the drug was found in his car, Hernandez said. Carter was pulled over in the Mission area for failing to signal a turn, and had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, police said.

The 31-year-old Carter, who played at Georgia from 1998-2000, was arraigned Friday and being held in the Hidalgo County jail.

In 2003, Carter guided the Cowboys to a 10-6 record and the playoffs in their first season under coach Bill Parcells. But he was released in training camp before the 2004 season.

He started briefly for the New York Jets before poor play and drug-related arrests ended his NFL career. He played in the Arena Football League before a brief tryout last year with the Miami Dolphins.

((HT:AP))

Ex-Islanders Owners Arrested In Money Scandal

((HT: Sportsticker/Yahoosports))

Two members of the New York Islanders’ former “Gang of Four” ownership group are charged with stealing $553 million from charities and pension plans to buy horses, mohair teddy bears and a $3 million home, according to a published report.

The New York Daily News reported that Paul Greenwood, 61, and Stephen Walsh, 64, were arrested on securities and wire fraud charges on Wednesday and taken to Manhattan Federal Court.

The report cited feds saying the duo promised investors - including the University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University - huge returns with bogus claims of a trading strategy that outperformed the S&P 500 Index for a decade.

The feds say the scandal dates to 1996, but was uncovered by the National Futures Association this month. The association found $812 million on the books of the pair’s Greenwich, Connecticut, WG Investors, with $794 million due from Greenwood and Walsh.

The two men have been in business together since 1979, when they founded the brokerage firm Walsh, Greenwood & Co.

In 1991, Walsh, Greenwood and two other investors bought a minority stake in the Islanders’ professional hockey franchise.

The investment group, which became known as the “Gang of Four,” received 100 percent operating control over the team.

However, with the team losing millions of dollars per year, the group sold the Islanders in late 1996. In that same year, the federal criminal complaint filed yesterday alleges, the partners conspired to commit securities and wire fraud that continued through this month.

Also arrested was James Nicholson, who prosecutors say duped investors out of $900 million since 2004. Nicholson’s scheme was uncovered after several investors tried to recoup their money following reports of Bernie Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme, the report claimed.

In a suit filed Wednesday, federal officials say Greenwood and Walsh spent $168 million of their ill-gotten gains on rare books bought at auction, horses and a lavish home for Walsh’s ex-wife Janet, the Daily News stated. They spent as much as $80,000 on mohair Steiff teddy bears, which are German-made.

Glendale Denies Helping Coyotes

((HT: Arizona Republic))

Carrie Watters and Rebekah L. Sanders are hot on the trail of the whole "Are they or aren't they?" part of the Coyotes money issues with the city of Glendale.

Apparently, nothing is set in stone... yet...

City officials are pissed off at a story that ran on the Sportsnet website ((ed. note- we can't find the piece... maybe we're just blind or something))

It said an unnamed source said that the National Hockey league and Glendale "have come to terms on an agreement that will see Glendale concede at least $15 million per year to the Coyotes toward a new lease deal."

One day after the story was published, Glendale officials vehemently denied the story, saying "the statement about a $15 million concession is completely inaccurate."

((somewhat of a correction- we found a story that mentioned US$4-million. Which, last time we checked is nowhere close to US$15-million.))

City spokeswoman Jennifer Liewer said an agreement has not been reached.

"When it is reached it will be brought to the city council," she said.
A timeline could not be nailed down, she said.

And Coyotes president Doug Moss added that the two sides are "still in the middle of negotiations."

Frank Brown, an NHL spokesman, said "Business is done more effectively when it's done confidentially and internally."

City Manager Ed Beasley said the Coyotes aren't getting a free ride: payments will be made but some have been delayed by the contract negotiations.

Yeah, like seven of them...

Brahm Resnik from KPNX-TV continued story-telling on Glendale and the 'Yotes is in black...It's a nice civics lesson...
First, here's the conversation Resnik had with Mayor Scruggs
And here's the civics lesson...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"7" Getting Out Of Jail

[HT/AP]

A government official says imprisoned NFL star Michael Vick has been approved for release to home confinement.

Vick's lawyers have said they expected him to be moved any day into a halfway house in Newport News, Va. But the official says there's no bed space, so Vick could be released to his Hampton, Va. home as soon as May 21st.

The official has knowledge of the case but requested anonymity because the individual was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The official says Vick will be on electronic monitoring and will only be allowed to leave home for activities approved by his probation officer.

The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback is serving a 23-month sentence at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., for a dogfighting conspiracy.

Talkin' Baseball: The Seattle Mariners

This is the first of our previews of each MLB team. We begin with a team that was beat to hell last season, the Seattle Mariners.
Seattle Mariners

Manager: Don Wakamatsu (1st season)
2008 Record – 61-101 (dead last in the AL West)

Mariner fans, say hello to: Ken Griffey, Jr. (OF), Mike Sweeney (1B/DH), Endy Chavez (OF), Franklin Guiterrez (OF).

And say so long to: Raul Ibanez (OF), J.J. Putz (P)

The Mariners are in total rebuilding mode. Ownership canned everyone from the G.M. to the manager, the coaching staff, most of its scouting department and I’m sure the janitor was pink slipped to. New G.M. Jack Zduriencik has no honeymoon period. Zduriencik task is the get the M’s at least competitive again.

What To Like About The Mariners:

Clean Slate: 2008 is over, 2009 may be painful for Mariner fans but management seems willing to make the effort to put a better product on the field.

Starting Pitching: If the starting rotation of Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, Jarrod Washburn, Carlos Silva & Ryan Rowland-Smith get things going, they could keep Seattle in some ball games. That rotation was very disappointing last season but there is potential.

Ken Griffey, Jr.: Mariner fans, he’s not the same Junior from 10 years ago but he’s the best player in franchise history (yes, I’m including A-Rod) and he was the single reason why Safeco Field was built to save the franchise. Griffey’s value on the field has declined but his value with the fans is still high. 16,000 tickets were sold the day he signed with Seattle. Griffey is older (almost 40), slower and is breaking down, but he can still turn on right handed pitching with some pop in his bat. Griffey will see time at left field and DH.

OSG Prediction: About the same as last year though they may avoid losing a hundred games. It will be a long year so Seattle should be more competitive in 2009 however, we just don’t see avoiding the cellar in the American League West.
Photo Courtesy: KEN LAMBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Breaking News: Rijo To Be Fired

((HT: Washington Post))

Chico Harlan and Barry Svrluga reveal the following:

The Washington Nationals have made the decision to fire Jose Rijo, the member of their front office most closely linked to the Smiley Gonzalez fraud, a source with knowledge of the situation said tonight. Rijo owns and operates a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic, which the Nationals have used as their scouting base in Latin America.

Rijo, who has worked for the team since 2005 as a special assistant to the general manager, had taken a forced leave of absence from his job this weekend and returned to the Dominican Republic. Now, that leave has become permanent.

By cutting ties with Rijo, the Nationals have also cut ties with Rijo's academy -- the place where the organization and their now-infamous prospect intersected. According to one source, one member of Washington's front office, Mike Rizzo, is currently in the Dominican Republic seeking information about a new facility.

Rijo, reached tonight, was not yet aware of the firing.
Asked if he'd heard anything, Rijo responded, "No, nothing."

A Washington spokesperson said the team would not have any announcement forthcoming tonight. President Stan Kasten has not responded to an e-mail seeking comment.

Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated adds GM Jim Bowden may not be long for the unemployment line himself. No known replacement was named in the article...

Trevis Smith Out On Full Parole

Here's the end of this particluar chapter in the Trevis Smith case- a proceeding we've been following from the absolute beginning here at OSG HQ...

He's out...

Smith ((pictured, thanks Don Healy/Regina Leader-Post)) who was a former CFL football player who received a six-year sentence in 2007 after having unprotected sex with two women when he was HIV-positive, was released on full parole Wednesday morning from a Saskatchewan correctional facility.

Smith, 32, was granted full parole on January 14 after serving a third of his sentence for aggravated sexual assault. Smith, however, won't serve his free time in Canada, said Arti Jolly, a spokeswoman for the National Parole Board.
"He will not be released into the community at all — that's part of the conditions of the parole," Jolly said Wednesday. "He will go directly from the institution to (the United States)."
The former Saskatchewan Roughrider is facing a standing deportation order which will come into effect upon his release. He is set to serve the rest of his sentence on parole in his native state of Alabama with his wife and two children.

His sentence expires in 2013.
During a parole hearing in January, Smith said he didn't inform his sexual partners of his HIV status because he was embarrassed and in denial. His parole officer said Smith was a well-behaved prisoner and the parole board found he did not pose a risk to reoffend.
Jana G. Pruden of the Regina Leader-Post ran a piece when the decision was initially handed down. The story reveals, in the eyes of the Canadian justice system, the sentence is concluded.
“The thing is that once an offender leaves the country, he’s no longer our responsibility,” said Bernie Pitre, regional director of the National Parole Board. “It’s not a concern of Canadian authorities ... If he were to remain in Canada, it would be a different story.”
Jeff Campbell, regional communication manager for the Correctional Service of Canada, said offenders who are facing deportation orders are usually taken into custody by immigration officials at the institution, and then removed from the country.
Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, that moment effectively ends the person’s sentence, and Campbell said the person is then outside the jurisdiction of the Canadian parole system.

“At the moment of handover to the immigration officials, the sentence is considered served,” Campbell said.
Smith served two years of a six year sentence.
The Leader-Post ran a fantastic editorial on January 16. It is in black...
Those of us at OSG HQ consider Smith to be lucky on a few different levels.
Personally, the idea of being "embarassed and being in denial" is a profoundly, asinine defense.
You're lucky people bought it.
You only served two years of a six-year sentence.
You're lucky the system is built that way.
Now, you say you want to be a teacher back home in Alabama...?
Your students should be so lucky as to learn your story...
So, will you tell them...?
Or will we be the lucky ones to share your fortunate tale...?
Enjoy your freedom, sir.
Enjoy your freedom...

Eric Tillman Case Delayed

((HT: Howard Bloom SBN/Regina Leader-Post))

The sexual assault case involving Saskatchewan Roughriders’ general manager Eric Tillman has been adjourned to March 17.

Tillman’s first appearance on the charge occurred Tuesday morning in Regina Provincial Court.
Tillman was not present and his lawyer, appearing on his behalf, did not enter a plea. The matter was simply adjourned to next month.

Senior Crown attorney Bill Burge — who prosecuted the aggravated sexual assault trial of former Riders linebacker Trevis Smith two years ago — has been assigned to the Tillman file.

A popular figure within the CFL and the Rider Nation, Tillman made headlines around the country when he was charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

The assault is alleged to have taken place on August 6, and was reported to police in Regina three days later. Tillman was charged on January 27, and the allegation became public knowledge several days after that.

Authorities have not released any details about the allegation.

Speaking at a press conference on February 3, Fox said he expected there could be “a lot of developments” before Tillman’s first court date, but that does not appear to have been the case so far.

Instead, prosecutor Lane Wiegers recently told the Regina Leader-Post the case is currently proceeding in the usual fashion — starting with this morning’s court appearance.

Sexual assault is a broad charge that can refer to any unconsensual action of a sexual nature, ranging from touching to intercourse. The Crown has not yet confirmed whether it will proceed summarily, the less serious way of treating a charge, or by indictment, which is more serious.

Tillman is currently on paid administrative leave from his position with the Riders organization.
At the February 3 press conference, Tillman told the media he’d been co-operative and truthful with authorities, and has faith in the process.

“You might imagine, this is not fun,” Tillman said at the time. “There are a lot of other things that I would like to say but out of respect for the individuals who are involved, many of whom I have profound respect for, I can simply say I told the truth. The process will unfold and I ask you to judge it as it goes forward and as the facts and truth are told.”

The 51-year-old Tillman came to Regina to work with the Riders in August 2006, after general manager Roy Shivers was dismissed. Tillman’s popularity skyrocketed in 2007, when he hired Kent Austin as the team’s head coach, a decision that ultimately helped the Riders win the Grey Cup.

Getting More Than 100-Percent For Your Effort...

((HT: NW Florida Daily News))

Tom McLaughlin from the Daily News was present when the verdict was given to regional sports-talk show host Charles "Scott" McKinney ((pictured, thanks Devon Ravine/NW Florida Daily News)).
The judge was not a happy man...

Okaloosa County ((FL)) Circuit Judge Thomas Remington was not moved by the "voluminous letters" he said he'd received from McKinney's supporters. He gave McKinney the stiffest penalty possible under a plea agreement reached January 2- five years in prison.

McKinney was charged with 11 counts of fraud and grand theft. Under terms of the plea, he could receive no less than a year in prison and no more than five years. In addition to the sentence, Remington also ordered McKinney to serve 50 years' probation following his prison term and to pay restitution of $188,508.

McKinney hosted two programs from his Florida base, but he is more known regionally for his "Southern Sports Tonight" program that ran evenings in southeastern markets.

McKinney was arrested in March after six men who had invested in his "Southern Sports Tonight" show claimed he stole nearly $140,000 from them. Authorities said he sold shares in Southern Sports Tonight LLC to investors by claiming he was about to send his show into national syndication.

The shares he sold - some of them for 49 percent ownership each - far exceeded 100 percent stock in the company. McKinney originally was charged with 16 offenses, but by Tuesday's sentencing that number had been cut to 11. The charges brought included felony investment fraud and grand theft.

The prosecutor in the case also had records that showed McKinney had spent the investor's money on his own lifestyle and gambling.
As of Wednesday, the "Southern Sports Tonight" website has been taken down and we all now wonder what will be the future of McKinney's sidekick- Ballpark Frank.
But you can still listen to what's left of the show on 98.1 FM's website...
If you like...

Stenson Admits To Possible Losses With Stanford

((HT: Golfweek))

Alex Miceli of Golfweek Magazine caught up with professional golfer Henrik Stenson ((pictured, thanks Tracy Wilcox/GolfWeek)) the day before the Accenture Match-Play Championships in Arizona. Stenson admitted in the article that he has some of his assets frozen in Antigua because of investments made with R. Allen Stanford.

From the Miceli piece:
Stenson, 32, of Sweden, signed a three-year endorsement contract with Stanford in June 2008. At about that time, he also transferred a considerable amount of his personal wealth into a Stanford bank account.

“Not all my money,” Stenson said of the amount he has invested at Stanford. “But I have quite a big part of my own savings and investments with them.”

Stenson’s agent, Johan Elliot at Sportyard, has been in contact with Stanford Financial representatives in Europe, but Stenson said they have gotten few answers.

“I don’t know anything more than I read in the papers,” Stenson said. “So it’s obviously not a happy situation for a whole lot of people.”

According to another player agent who was approached by Stanford to sponsor two of his players, the Stanford sponsorship deals included putting money back into a newly opened Stanford Bank account, similar to what Stenson did as part of his deal.

However, Stenson took it to another level by investing his own money.

“I’ve heard some interesting stories, especially in the last few days with Stanford,” Trevor Immelman said last week when the Stanford news broke. “A lot of guys had money with Stanford, so hopefully they can recoup that.”
Those of us at OSG HQ aren't holding our breath...
Just ask the Mets how that whole Bernie Madoff thing os going...

Preds Get Billionaire Buy-in...?

((HT: CP))

Calgary billionaire Brett Wilson has made a lot of money over the years by hedging his bets so it shouldn't be a surprise that he's not willing to say he has a firm deal in place to buy shares of the Nashville Predators ((pictured, thanks The Tennessean)).

But he did confirm Wednesday that progress has been made in his plans to invest in the NHL team.

"We have a handshake agreement but nothing in writing," Wilson told The Canadian Press. "Normally a handshake agreement would be fine with me but in this case we still have to get NHL approval, cross-border deals done and the paperwork signed," he added.

Wilson, a co-founder of Calgary's FirstEnergy Capital Corp., originally expressed interest in investing in the Calgary Flames. He began to look elsewhere when informed that members of the current ownership group weren't willing to sell any of their interests.

Wilson has had discussions with Predators majority owner David Freeman with an eye to investing in their third professional sports franchise together. Freeman is attempting to recoup the 27 per cent share that belonged to minority shareholder William J. (Boots) Del Biaggio III, who pleaded guilty to charges of securities fraud after using doctored financial statements to bilk a succession of investors out of US$65 million in order to sustain his lavish lifestyle and acquire a chunk of the Predators.

"David and I have done a lot of business together," said Wilson. "We have an understanding but that news has been out there for some time. It won't be news until everything is signed and sealed. We have to get agreement first."

Wilson has had discussions with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and his offer is being reviewed by the league. Wilson has previously said his eventual share in the Predators would be "nominal."

Wilson and Freeman also own a minor-league baseball team in Jackson, Tennessee.

John Glennon and Michael Cass of the Tennessean disclose that the Wilson share may be only in the neighborhood of 5-percent.

FBR Closed

Sponsor Bailout...

Much like, well pretty much most of America, the PGA Tour is really starting to feel the sting of the Economic Downturn. Sponsors are bailing out of Tournaments...fairly quickly. It no longer seems to be economically feasible to a company to pay Millions of Dollars to sponsor there own tournament.

The latest casualty...the FBR Open in Phoenix. Believe it or not, this is one of the more popular...at least from a spectator perspective, tournaments on the tour. They draw very large and are known for there very loud galleries. However, FBR Capital Investments can't apparently afford to be a sponsor after the end of their current contract which ends in 2010.

((photo courtesy: Cheryl Evans/Arizona Republic))

The story from the Arizona Republic is right here .

In light of Memphis losing there main sponsor (although for a "slightly" different reason) and now this, there is evidence that golf may have a bit of a problem here in the very near future. With the amount of banks and other "Large" investment types of business involved with Sponsorship deals, there may be a significantly smaller pool of successful ones for the PGA to pull from here in the very near future.

Honestly, the PGA could use a somewhat smaller schedule and maybe this will be the impetus for them to realize that after the PGA Championship in August, nobody really cares what they do.

For The First Time In 43 Years, ACC Tournament Tickets On Sale!!!!

Have you always wanted to go to the ACC Tournament but can't because no tickets have been available since 1966. Well here's you chance. Tickets for the ACC Tournament at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta "will be available to the general public" for the first time since Lyndon Johnson was President and gas was .15 per gallon.

"Due to the unique combination of playing this year's tournament in a dome during very trying economic times, our league has the opportunity to offer a public sale of ACC Tournament tickets." said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "Playing in the Georgia Dome provides a great stage for our conference teams and Atlanta has been a terrific partner. Having already sold more tickets to this year's tournament than the capacity of any of our other venues, our schools felt it would be appropriate to offer the remaining tickets to college basketball fans in the Atlanta area."

You see, there is a bright spot from this bad economy.

All remaining tickets available for purchase are upper deck seats and are priced at $363 for an 11-game tournament book.

Those of us at the OSG HQ are dialing the digits to secure our seats. See you there.

The Shield Takes Some Hits, Jolly Roger Lighter In The Wallet

You think the National Football League is immune to the nations economic downturn you are very wrong. The NFL has trimmed it's staff by 15% through buyouts, layoffs and other staff reductions (pink slips, firing squad, etc.) Seventy-six people took buyouts while 45 jobs were eliminated and 48 openings went unfilled.

The financial pain extends to the NFL commish. Roger Goodell has voluntarily taken a 20% pay cut from his $11 million dollar salary and bonuses the jolly Roger was suppose to receive this past year. Other league executives will see a salary freeze for 2009. No raises for you.

The move affects NFL headquarters in New York, NFL Films in Mount Laurel, N.J., and the NFL Network in Los Angeles and somewhere down the line you, the NFL fan.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Glendale Quietly Helping Coyotes

((HT: Arizona Republic))

Just when you thought the Phoenix Coyotes ((Jobing.com arena pictured, thanks Michael Schennum/Arizona Republic)) situation couldn't get any more odd, the Republic and Brahm Resnik of KPNX-TV 12 let us know that the city of Glendale their own selves has been letting the team play, for all intents and purposes, rent free for the last seven months. The value of the non-payment adds up to US$4-million.

"They're using that money for their operating money when it should have been paid to the City of Glendale," said Councilman Phil Lieberman.

Council members who were informed of the bailout by 12 News said it was news to them.
"Absolutely I should have been told," said Lieberman, a member of the city council for 17 years. Joyce Clark, who represents the district that's home to the Coyotes, also said she was never informed.

Glendale spokeswoman Julie Frisoni declined to make City Manager Ed Beasley available for an interview, citing policy not to discuss ongoing negotiations.
She did say there was no need to notify council members because the break on the lease was part of a change to an agreement, not an entirely new agreement the council would have to vote on.

"That whole arena was structured on certain revenues coming in," Mayor Elaine Scruggs, a longtime friend of team owner Jerry Moyes, said last month. "And we need to retain the ability to meet our debt payments."
The Coyotes have not delivered the lease revenue. For example, the lease requires the team to pay an arena parking fee to Glendale of $2.85 per ticket sold. That parking fee makes up almost half of the team's $16.8 million in lease payments since 2003 -- $7.75 million to date. But that's $10 million short of the $17.8 million in parking fee revenue the Coyotes were projected to deliver.
Meantime, the bond rating agency Moody's has raised concerns about Glendale's ability to service its mounting debt, after the city borrowed $200 million to build the new spring training complex for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. Moody's cited continued declines in sales tax revenue.

UNI Set To Drop Baseball

((HT: Howard Bloom/Sports Business Daily))

The University of Northern Iowa will eliminate its baseball program following the 2009 season, UNI director of athletics Troy Dannen announced Monday.

"This is a sad day for Northern Iowa athletics," Dannen said. "Current budget estimates project the University will see at least a nine percent reduction in state funding. That reduction directly impacts intercollegiate athletics. The projected gap between revenues and expenses for the upcoming year is $500,000 - $600,000 as a result of the reduction in state funding.

"The magnitude of the reduction has forced us to review every program in our department. That review has concluded we cannot maintain the overall quality of our athletic program without reducing the number of sports."

With the elimination of baseball, UNI will offer 17 intercollegiate varsity sports, seven men's sports and 10 women's sports. The Panthers will continue to field men's teams in basketball, cross country, football, indoor track and field, golf, outdoor track and field and wrestling, and women's teams in basketball, cross country, golf, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball.

The Panther baseball team includes 35 student-athletes. According to NCAA rules, all student-athletes who have eligibility remaining after the 2009 season will be allowed to transfer to other schools and compete in the 2010 season. Current and incoming baseball student-athletes wishing to remain at UNI and who are receiving scholarship aid will have their scholarships honored. The timing of today's announcement is in part to accommodate the interests of the student-athletes, and to assist them in finding participation opportunities at other institutions, if they so wish. Three full-time coaches are also having their positions eliminated.

"We explored every alternative before reaching this decision," Dannen said. "Coach Rick Heller and the UNI baseball program have always represented UNI in exemplary fashion and have been positive contributors to the quality of life on our campus."

According to Ben Allen, president of UNI, "During these challenging budget times, every area of campus will be affected. This decision with respect to baseball is a reflection of the difficult decisions that we will be facing across the entire University."

This is not the first time that UNI has dropped sports. Men's and women's gymnastics were dropped in 1981, and women's field hockey was dropped in 1983. In May of 2002, the men's and women's swimming and men's and women's tennis programs were dropped, but women's swimming and women's tennis were reinstated several months later. UNI also added women's soccer in 2000.

Sid Jacob's coverage from our friends at KWWL is below...
In the piece, Jacob interviews a former player who believes there are other underlying issues, other than financial, that caused the elimination of the sport after this season.


The baseball team has been given an alternative to keep the program around. Coach Heller and AD Dannen have six weeks to raise $1.2-million to keep the baseball around in the short term. At that point, they would have a few years grace to raise $10-million to permanently endow the idea of a baseball program.

The first part of the Dannen presser is below...
((HT: KWWL-TV))

Monday, February 23, 2009

Devin Harris Nails Buzzer Beater Over 76ers


((HT: YES Network/NBA))

The New Jersey Nets' Devin Harris hit an unbelievable lunging 47-footer at the horn, and the Nets snapped a season-high five-game losing streak with a 98-96 victory over the slumping 76ers on Monday night.

"It's the great thing about this game," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "These players are so talented, they make freakish shots. Not that it's a rehearsed shot. I don't know if Devin's doing it in the gym, but the basketball gods were with us tonight."

While there was no question the shot swished, officials Derrick Stafford, Violet Palmer and Pat Fraher had to watch replays of the heave for 2½ minutes with players from both team staring over their shoulders.

"I didn't want to look at the replay," said Harris, who stood near the center jump circle while the review took place. "I just kept my head down, waiting for a reaction. On the court, I was looking at Violet and she was telling me 'no good.' That was the first thing that I saw."

Stafford said the original call on the court was that the basket was not good. However, the replay showed conclusively that the shot left Harris' hands before the clock hit all zeros, and Stafford eventually gave a touchdown signal, setting off a celebration among Nets players and fans.
After the review, everyone was jumping up and down, going crazy," said Harris, who scored a game-high 39 points. "We'll take it any way we can."

The loss was the fourth straight for the 76ers, and it was tough to take.

"This was a real disappointment because I felt we played well enough to win the game," Philadelphia coach Tony DiLeo said. "To put up a shot like Devin Harris did was heartbreaking for our team."

Seconds earlier, the 76ers seemingly nailed down the victory when Andre Iguodala sank the second of two free throws to give them a one-point lead with 1.8 seconds to play.
With no timeouts left, the Nets inbounded from under their defensive basket to Harris, who bobbled the ball after bumping with Iguodala and then heaved in the winner from in front of the scorer's table.

"I thought a lot was going on for 1.8 seconds," Iguodala said. "I thought for sure it wasn't good and I still don't think it was good."

But, Andre, it was and will be in the scorer's book...and that's all that matters...

Yep, It's Tortorella...

((HT: Bob McKenzie/TSN))

McKenzie is reporting that Torts ((pictured, thanks Scott Audette/Getty Images)) is on his way to New York City to take care of what needs to be taken care of to make sure he's the next coach of the Rangers.

McKenzie continues:

But that doesn't mean the issues between the two teams have been solved.
''It's very complex,'' one source said.

But it would appear that all involved are now acknowledging Tortorella is going to coach the team.

Tortorella's path to the Ranger job was cleared, sources say, because the Lightning gave Tortorella written permission in June to seek other employment and that permission was never revoked.

But sources say there are still some outstanding issues that have clouded the whole situation, involving other members of the Tampa Bay organization. The Rangers and the Lightning, with the input of the NHL, are attempting to resolve them and while a negotiated settlement is possible, it could well be that formal tampering charges could be filed by the Lightning against the Rangers before all is said and done.

This may have something to do with Lightning assistant coach Mike Sullivan, who reportedly has a clause in his contract that he could join Tortorella if Tortorella were to be named head coach elsewhere in the NHL.

But whatever issues exist between the two teams, they are not enough to prevent Tortorella from being on the ice with the Rangers at practice Tuesday morning.

Those of us at OSG HQ think the source is someone very close to Torts himself, and we can't way for the Boston-born guy to head-butt the New York media.

Should be fun...
This absolutely screams of video and audio goodness-awesomeness on a bazillion levels...
Kinda like this...
((HT: CBC/NHL))
Or this one...
((HT: The Score))

ACC+IMG= Not As Much $$$ As the SEC...

Looks like the ACC waited a year too late to negotiate their new deal...
But, they're going to do it, anyway...

John Ourand and Michael Smith from Sports Business Daily educate us this way...

The Atlantic Coast Conference is set to hire IMG Sports Media’s Barry Frank to handle its next media rights negotiations, according to several informed sources.

The two sides could sign a deal as early as this week. Frank’s ties to ACC Commissioner John Swofford go back to last year’s BCS negotiations when Frank was the BCS media consultant and Swofford was beginning his term as BCS coordinator.

The ACC also considered Wasserman Media Group’s Dean Jordan, who pitched the conference for the business in the middle of last month.


The ACC’s media rights expire after the 2010-11 season, and the conference is hoping to continue the trend that’s seen the SEC and BCS score huge rights-fee increases. Last year, the SEC signed deals with ESPN and CBS guaranteeing the conference an average of more than $200 million a year for the next 15 years.


Given the ongoing recession, most college media executives expect the ACC to begin taking bids next spring, hoping for a healthier economy. The incumbent rights holders, ESPN and Raycom Sports, are expected to make significant offers.
There’s a chance another bidder, like a Versus, could enter the negotiations or the conference could look into forming its own channel, à la the Big Ten Network. But several college media executives say an ACC channel is unlikely. As part of its current seven-year deal, the ACC’s football rights belong to ESPN and its basketball rights to Raycom. Combined, those contracts generate about $73 million in annual revenue for the conference.

Raycom re-sells the basketball rights annually to various networks, like ESPN, CBS and Fox Sports Net, while also syndicating games to local over-the-air broadcasters in the ACC’s footprint.


CBS and ABC each pay Raycom $250,000 per ACC appearance, while ESPN pays about $150,000. The number of ACC appearances vary each year by network, but CBS and ABC each buy about five annually, Fox Sports Net and other regional nets buy about 35 to 40 and and ESPN’s networks may take as many as 35 to 45. Raycom broadcasts about 40 itself.


In this next round of negotiations, ESPN is expected to make a bid for the basketball rights directly to the ACC, bypassing Raycom. Raycom, meanwhile, has been seeking a cable partner, such as Comcast or Time Warner, to take to the negotiating table.


ESPN is less likely to go after the local broadcast syndication rights because of conflicts it would have in some ACC markets that also cover SEC teams, insiders say. ESPN holds the SEC’s syndication rights.


At an industry conference last fall, Frank said that during BCS bidding, ESPN assured him that it would make a competitive bid for the ACC. At the time, Frank was not under contract to handle the ACC’s media rights, but he clearly expected that he would be.

“One of the things we did, candidly, is take [ESPN’s] pulse,” he said. “Is ESPN going to treat us fairly? And the answer was, ‘You have our word that we will.’ We accept that. And we accept that they will make a fair and equitable deal. … What equals fair is the precedents they have set already with, for instance, the SEC deal. You look at that as a benchmark.”

While those of us at OSG HQ don't quite see the deal that the Southeastern Conference got, we look forward to seeing all the dollar signs that Raycom, the four-letter, and the Versus are going to throw around at the benchmark...

"The Bitch Didn't Mean A Thing To Me..."

((HT: As always to, crazieman76/CBC))

There's only one guy who can say it, mean it, and get away with it...
Donald S. Cherry- at the tail end ((pardon the pun)) of the segment as he's talking to his dog, Blue, back at the house. Blue did not make the trip to Campbellton, NB for "Hockey Day In Canada."

Totally, completely awesome...

N.Y. Rangers Fire Tom Renney... Tortorella In...?

[HT/AP]

Tom Renney ((pictured, thanks Scott Levy/NHLI, Getty Images)) has been fired as coach of the New York Rangers.

General manager Glen Sather dismissed Renney and assistant Perry Pearn on Monday. No replacement has been chosen, but assistant Mike Pelino and goalie coach Benoit Allaire remain with the team.

The Rangers have won only twice in their last 12 games after leading the Atlantic Division much of the first half of the season.

The Rangers lost in overtime to Toronto on Sunday night, and are in a fifth-place tie in the Eastern Conference with 69 points -- two points ahead of ninth-place Carolina. The top eight teams make the playoffs.

TSN's Bob McKenzie is speculating that former Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella will be named successor. Tortorella is still under contract for the remainder of this season with the Tampa Bay Lightning- his former employer. The Tampa ownership would have to give their official okey-dokey to the idea, and the Rangers, according to McKenzie, are in contact with the NHL league office to expedite the deal.

The New York Post is saying/guessing/speculating themselves that former New Jersey Devils head coach Jim Schoenfeld will be Renney's replacement. Schoenfeld currently works in the Rangers front office.

And how's this for today's bout of irony...?

All four NHL teams that opened the NHL season in Europe have now fired their head coaches this season. In addition to Renney, other coaches to get the axe are the Penguins' Michel Therrien, the Lightning's Barry Melrose and the Senators' Craig Hartsburg.

Kenseth Makes It 2 In A Row

((HT: ESPN/NASCAR Images/FOX))
John Buccigross has the highlights with appropriate color commentary from John Anderson...


Hey, kids, Matt Kenseth won again...

Kenseth took the lead from Jeff Gordon in the pits under caution with 38 laps to go in the 250-lap race and stayed ahead, pulling away over the last 20 laps. But it took a while for the winner to shake Gordon, who went also went winless last year and is desperate to get back to Victory Lane.

"I honestly thought that we were going to be too loose at the end and he was going to catch us," Kenseth said. "Especially [when] I couldn't get away from him that time he ran me down and got right on my bumper [on lap 231]."

But get away he did, beating Gordon's No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to the finish line by 1.464 seconds -- most of the front straightaway. It is the first time a Cup driver has won the first two races of the season since Gordon did it in 1997 on the way to the second of his four championships.

The key to Kenseth's win Sunday was a near-perfect pit stop that put him in the lead on lap 213.

"It's such a great team," Kenseth said. "I just thank these guys [on the crew]. They gave me a great stop and got me in clean air and that's just a huge difference.

"Our car handled really good all day and we had excellent pit stops. About the fourth one from the end, I started complaining and then, all of a sudden, they started getting me three or four spots every stop."


Earlier in the race, Kenseth, who led a race-high 84 laps, got out ahead and Gordon caught and passed him on a long green-flag run. But, after the final restart on lap 216, Kenseth found a way to stay in front.

Both Kenseth and Gordon were much faster than the rest of the field at the end. They steadily pulled away from the pack. But Gordon was unable to get to Kenseth's rear bumper and get a real run on the No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford.

"I thought he was going to pass us again," Kenseth said. "Some people think I'm a pessimist, but I think I'm more of a realist. ... I don't even know what we changed. It wasn't easy, but we were able to hold them off."

Nationals GM Under Investigation


((HT: CBS Sports))

Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden ((pictured, thanks SI.com)) is part of a federal investigation into the skimming of signing bonuses given to prospects from Latin America, according to an SI.com report posted Sunday night.

The website reported, citing an unidentified baseball executive familiar with the investigation, the FBI is looking at Bowden's actions as far back as 1994, when he was GM of the Cincinnati Reds. Bowden met last year with FBI investigators looking into an alleged scam involving skimming signing bonuses for prospects from the Dominican Republic.

Last year, the Chicago White Sox fired director of player personnel David Wilder and two other scouts in the club's Latin American operation after a two-month investigation by Major League Baseball's Department of Investigations. The White Sox said the three were dismissed "for actions in Latin America that were violations of club policy and standards," but did not elaborate.

Findings from baseball's investigation were turned over to federal authorities.

SI.com reported that two unidentified sources inside baseball say that former Latin America scout Jorge Oquendo, who confirmed being contacted by the FBI to SI but denied skimming bonuses, has worked for Wilder and Bowden.

The SI.com report comes a day after the Nationals announced that special assistant Jose Rijo was taking a leave of absence after a Major League Baseball investigation revealed a prospect from the Dominican Republic he discovered was older than originally believed. Rijo is a former major league pitcher and the MVP of the 1990 World Series for the Reds.

Earlier in the week, it was announced that prospect Esmailyn "Smiley" Gonzalez lied about his age and name. Gonzalez received a $1.4 million signing bonus in 2006 when the Nationals signed what they thought was a 16-year-old shortstop.

The Nationals had been listing his date of birth as September 21, 1989, which would make him 19. But Kasten said an MLB investigation determined Gonzalez is actually Carlos David Alvarez Lugo, who was born in November 1985 -- meaning he is really 23.

Kasten and Bowden did not respond to e-mail Sunday night from the AP requesting comment on the SI.com report from the AP.

When Kasten discussed the Gonzalez case earlier in the week, he said no one else with the Nationals, including Bowden, would comment on the investigation.

"Boys In Red" Bring Home Title...

This is the temporary end of a basketball season for one school in New Brunswick...
And, by that we mean the Canadian province, not the home of Rutgers University...

A little over a year ago, seven members of the Bathurst High School Phantoms ((pictured, thanks Andrew Vaughan/CP)) lost their lives when their van wrecked coming home from a game. The wife of the head coach at the time was also killed in the accident. The event forced high school administrators to re-examine their policies for transporting athletes to and from games.

The Phantoms beat Campobello High by 32 for the win in the Class AA Championship.

Forward Bradd Arseneau, who survived the crash, scored 25 points during the final while wearing the No. 7 of his late friend Nathan Cleland. Arseneau, who was named the game's most valuable player, declined interviews after the game.

His mother, Peggy O'Neil-Arseneau, was thrilled with the outcome.
"I've never seen him play any better," she said. "He carries the spirit of those boys wherever we go. He has certainly told me that."

The crash put an end to the Phantoms season last year, but the program resumed in the fall and ran up an impressive record of 35-3, including 26 consecutive wins heading into the provincial championship.
The players suffered more heartache on February 3 when head coach Alan Doucet collapsed during a practice and had to be rushed to hospital. He was in Montreal for tests Saturday while his team was winning the championship.

The crowd stood and cheered as the clock wound down over the final 30 seconds to the buzzer.
After the game, the Bathurst players spent a long time on the court, as if trying to savour the moment for as long as possible. They cut down both nets before leaving for their dressing room.

"It's a huge deal, coming back from that accident," said forward Brad States. "Obviously, it's huge."

"It was amazing. After the accident we didn't think we were going to get this far but we did," said guard Alex Robichaud. "We did the impossible, pretty much."

Those of us at OSG HQ would agree and congratualte them at the same time.
Not just the team, but the town as well.
Here's the last few minutes, real time, before the horn sounded...
Bradd's mom is in the front of the crowd holding up the sign for support.


Global TV's Ross Lord was in Fredericton...
CBC's Susan King was there as well and caught up with Peggy O'Neil-Arseneau...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Falcons Will Not Re-Sign CB Lawyer Milloy

The Atlanta Falcons are going a different direction in their secondary next season.

Per Falcons PR:
The Atlanta Falcons announced today that they will not renew the contract of safety Lawyer Milloy ((pictured right, thanks atlantafalcons.com)). In three seasons in a Falcons uniform (2006-2008), Milloy totaled 342 tackles (229 solo), two sacks, three interceptions and 15 passes defensed. Prior to joining Atlanta , he spent three years with the Buffalo Bills (2003-2005) and was a member of the New England Patriots from 1996-2002. In his 13-year career, Milloy has earned four Pro Bowl selections while winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2001.

As an organization, we felt it was in the best interest of both parties to let Lawyer test the free agent market,” said General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. “He significantly contributed in his three seasons with the Falcons and we were proud to have him here. We wish him the best as he takes the next step in his career.

Braves sign OF Garret Anderson to 1-yr deal


After Ken Griffey Jr. became Sleepless in Seattle once again, the Atlanta Braves moved quickly to sign free agent OF Garret Anderson from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim ((just had to say the whole thing...just rolls off the tongue...)). The Braves signed the veteran outfielder to a one-year deal, somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.5 million.

The 36-yr old slugger ((pictured right, thanks MLB.com)) has played his entire career for the Angels, seeing three name changes (California, Anaheim, and Los Angeles of...)

Anderson will probably bat cleanup, sharing defensive time with Matt Diaz. Either way, Anderson is an improvement over Griffey, Jr. Look at the numbers...Anderson hit .293 with 15 home runs, 84 RBIs and a .325 on-base percentage last season. Griffey hit only .249 with 18 homers and 71 RBIs in the same amount of time.

I guess there will be "Angels in the Outfield" at Turner this year... ;)

Homecoming King: Sundin Returns to Toronto

The easiest thing to do from Saturday is just to take the night chronologically...
Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin returned to the post office in an unfamiliar set of colors. He was coming back as a member of the Vancouver Canucks...

Here's how the night started... courtesy of our friends at Leafs TV...
Here's the first segment of the pre-game show...hosted by Jody Vance...


And here's how it ended... like it was supposed to end any other way...
((HT: CBC/HNIC/NHL))


And your postgame with FOSG Elliotte Friedman...
((HT: CBC/HNIC/NHL))

Reporter Gets a UConn Smackdown

Ya gotta love UConn head basketball coach Jim Calhoun. Hartford freelance writer Ken Krayeske, best known for getting arrested during a CT gubernatorial parade in 2007, asks Jimmy C how he feels about being the highest paid CT state employee in the midst of a 2-billion dollar state deficit.

See the rest for yourself...((video courtesy YouTube and the Four Letter))

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Denis Gauthier Sits For 2 More

((HT: NHL/CSN))
At, about the 3:45 mark inside the highlight package is the hit in question...

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Denis Gauthier has been suspended for two games, without pay, as a result of an incident during NHL Game #870, February 19th against the San Jose Sharks, the National Hockey League announced.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Gauthier will forfeit $22,580.64. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Gauthier was assessed a minor for boarding after making contact with Sharks’ forward Patrick Marleau on an icing play at 10:14 of the third period. There was no injury as a result of the play. Gauthier will miss games against Phoenix on February 21st and at Minnesota on February 24th. He will be eligible to return on February 25 at Philadelphia.

It's not the first time Gauthier has been forced to sit down this year while simultaneously forefeiting a paycheck... and those of us at OSG HQ suspect it won't be the last as long as he continues to play the way he does...

Another Bout Bites The Dust

Just what the world needs: Another dude who wants to take a chunk out of another...
We go to last night bouts on the four-letter from South Florida...

Breidis Prescott and Humberto Toledo were the co-main event, but unfortunately one of them was the main course.
Late in the 10th round, Toledo was completely frustrated and thought that munching on Prescott's shoulder was in order...
Needless to say, Toledo was DQ'ed...
Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas have the play-by-play...
((HT:: ESPN2))

Neat...

More Habs Coverage

From our friends at Global TV Quebec- Jamie Orchard anchors
Dominique Faziola has the backgrounder, and Mike Lacouteur catches up with Canadiens play-by-play voice Rick Moffat...

To give you an idea how big a story this is, it took up more than a quarter of their newscast on Friday...