Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Yankee Fans, Forever Alone

Your morning roundup for June 10, the day we went swimsuit shopping. Image via Scott.

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What we watched: OK, I'll say it: If the Heat lose this series, the country will go into a giant spasm of moral preening the likes of which we haven't seen since Cokie Roberts had to tell her kid about Bill Clinton's dick. It's going to be awful. We're going to turn LeBron into a national sermon on the wages of narcissism. We're going to edit these finals into a highlight reel of Humility dunking all over Ego. We're going to be a country of Joe Liebermans, all freaking summer long. If there is a reason to root against the Mavs, this is it. We really don't need any of this shit. I watch basketball to see people fly. If I wanted to hear people yammer about sports as a crucible of character, a test of moral sinew, a matter of heart and will and the blessings of virtue, I'd read a golf book. (Tommy Craggs)

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What we're watching: The main event of UFC 131 on Saturday, hopefully in a bar so we don't have to pay for the entire card. Junior dos Santos was supposed to fight Brock Lesnar, with the winner slated to meet Cain Velasquez in a heavyweight title fight. But Lesnar's innards fell apart again, so the UFC replaced him with the next-best option: Shane Carwin, also an enormous wrestler, but one who can punch and matches up better with Dos Santos, perhaps the most dangerous striker in the division. The fight has a high potential for rock-'em-sock-'em robot action, with one man's head likely to be separated from his neck. Kind of like the heavyweight division in boxing once upon a time. Too bad the UFC decided to stage the card in Vancouver. It may barely get noticed amid Canucks frenzy. (Luke O'Brien)

Elsewhere

You won't believe this, but Bill Simmons wanted to do a 30 for 30 about Battle of the Network Stars: "Don't laugh, but 'Battle of the Network Stars' was on the initial list — I wanted to do the first one [from 1976], but the problem was, it didn't fall within the framework of the series because it was supposed to be celebrating our 30-year anniversary, starting in 1979." [The Wrap]

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Pay Jose: "This may sound condescending, but Reyes is not the kind of slacker who can push his inner buttons during the walk year of his contract and decide that he needs to pay attention to details, follow all the coaching tips he has received, and turn in a monster season that will earn him a long-range contract for $150 million or so. It probably does not work that way with Reyes. He has instead put together his skills and energy and essential good will, just when many fans (and many writers, including, to be honest, this one) had despaired of his ever wising up. Now the Mets need to find a way to keep Reyes, and this is where David Einhorn, hedge fund operator and poker expert, should come riding over the hill, trumpets blaring, like the cavalry in an old western." [NYT]

But don't bet on Vancouver: "Roberto Luongo will be back in the Vancouver goal for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals. "You can bet on that," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said Thursday evening after the team arrived from Boston. Luongo was pulled after giving up four goals on 20 shots in a 4-0 Game 4 loss Wednesday night. Overall he gave up 12 goals in both games at Boston." [ESPN]

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Has he considered selling championship rings?: "Despite the fact that his time as Ohio State's head coach has come to an end, Jim Tressel will still be forced to dig deep into his pockets to settle his debt with the NCAA. In a story regarding NCAA investigators leaving the Columbus school's campus last week, OSU president E. Gordon Gee confirmed to the Associated Press that his former football coach will still be required to pay the $250,000 fine levied on him by the NCAA. "He will pay the fine," Gee said at an on-campus event Thursday." [College Football Talk]

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Adrian Gonzalez will make you more bruise than man:"White Sox reliever Jesse Crain tweeted this photo after taking a line drive to the torso off the bat of Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez during a game against Boston on May 30. Not only did it leave this horrific looking hematoma, but it also knocked Crain out of the game. Insult, meet injury." [Last Angry Fan]

Thank you for the imagery, sir: "By firing manager Bob Geren after 63 games Thursday and replacing him with Bob Melvin, the team has applied little more than a cosmetic solution to problems that run considerably deeper than the superficial. The issues before the A's are physical and systemic and too immense for Melvin — or any other manager — to address adequately, much less successfully untangle. This move indicates the A's, who sit in last place in the American League West, are treating not the failing body but a pimple on their back." [San Jose Mercury-News]

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No one wants to see your stupid U.S. Open without Tiger: "Ticket prices for golf's U.S. Open have dropped 20 percent on the resale market since Tiger Woods withdrew from the event two days ago. Four-day tickets to the tournament on EBay's Stubhub dropped today to $402 from almost $500 on June 7, when Woods withdrew because of leg injuries, company spokesman Glenn Lehrman said in a telephone interview. Lehrman said he anticipates prices will continue to drop another 17 percent by next week." [Bloomberg]

We are all Dave McKenna CXXVI: Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting until Snyder's dumbass libel suit dies of dysentery.

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Your morning freestyle canoe interlude:

Science!: "Understand first of all that Alcides Escobar has been arguably the worst hitter in baseball this year. Now, Royals manager Ned Yost, on not pinch-hitting for Escobar in the ninth inning of a close game: 'I looked up our pinch-hitting stats and we're 2-for-10 [.200], exactly what Esky is,' Yost said." [SBNation]

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The life and times of Charlie Driver, cowboy extraordinaire: "The World's Greatest Cowboy had to be peeled off his barstool and carried home the night he killed a man. The next morning, in the presence of two deputies from the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department, the cowboy sat, elbows on his knees, face protected from the light of day by a latticework of fingers, and tried to remember shooting Edward Delaney. He sucked in air, and smelled burnt powder. He breathed out, and caught a whiff of high-proof mucus. He remembered nothing." [The Awl]

No: "To me, Pippen is the Phil Rizzuto of the NBA." [Orlando Sentinel]

The "Blue Hell" of Sporting KC's new stadium:"Look at how close we'll be to the field, he said, pointing out the mere 16 feet between the field and the bleachers where he and hundreds of drum-banging, bell-ringing, dancing fans, long known as the Cauldron, will be sequestered European style. … Putting bleacher seating for 2,000 people in that section was an "audacious goal," [the team's vice president of development David] Ficklin said, especially since the Cauldron typically averages only a few hundred at each game. But the team wants that section full at every game. [The Kansas City Star]

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Fan up, pyros: "The Ford Maverick that Miami Heat fans have been battering with a sledge hammer at stops around South Florida in recent days went up in flames Thursday morning amid the sound of cheers and bagpipes played by the Broward Sheriff's Office Color Guard." [Sun-Sentinel]

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