Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Phillies pitchers give ball from combined no-hitter to ailing team president: Report

After starter Cole Hamels and relievers Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon threw the first combined no-hitter in Philadelphia Phillies history on Monday, there was no argument on who the prized final game ball should go to — and, to a player, there was only one choice.

The game ball, they decided, will be delivered to team president David Montgomery, who took a medical leave of absence last week after battling cancer earlier this season.

Montgomery had surgery in May to remove cancer from his jaw. The 68-year old has been the Phillies president since 1997, making him the perfect choice to get the last ball from the franchise's 12th no-hitter.

When a group of pitchers combine to throw a no-hitter like a Philadelphia Phillies foursome did, it's probably easier to give the final ball to someone else than decide which pitcher gets to keep it — especially a man as revered as Montgomery.

Chris Simms lands football analyst gig at CBS: Report

Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms will continue following in his father Phil's footsteps and into the TV booth for CBS this fall.

Simms — who played in parts of five seasons for the Buccaneers, Titans and Broncos, but never fully recovered from a life-threatening ruptured spleen early in the 2006 season — will be analyzing three relatively low-profile games for the network, beginning with the Titans-Bengals matchup in Week 3.

The 34-year-old New Jersey native has never worked a minute in the booth of an NFL game but did work a few college games for Fox last season.

But dad thinks his son is a natural and has a lot of football knowledge under that shock of familial blond hair.

"I think he has great potential,"' Phil said. "He was raised to do it in this way. Him, me, my wife, anyone who walks into our house, most likely the conversation is going to center around football and we're going to talk about it. That's the way we've been our whole lives."

CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus went even further: "He's better looking and more articulate than his father is; he got his good looks from his mother . . . We're starting him very slowly on a few small games and we'll see how he grows, but he's got a great football mind and has worked not only as a player but as an assistant coach also." 

Simms had worked as a coaching and scouting assistant for the Patriots, but with two young children he sought a more family-friendly schedule. 

"I struggled with that," he said. "I was offered another job in the NFL, and that sparked a discussion with my wife: Are we going to live this life and move every two or three years to climb the ladder? This is a little more stable.

"My kids can grow up. This is still work. but I get home at a decent hour and see my kids every night."

Younger Simms' current job is as an analyst for Bleacher Report so he's knows what is going on around the league.

"I have to know everybody," he said. "I really know, I'm not going to say everything, but a lot about every team."

The big question remaining now is whether or not he'll say Redskins?

Mariachi band serenades A's fans in O.co Coliseum stands (VIDEO)

The A's fans inside O.co Coliseum were treated to more than baseball when a mariachi band popped up in the left-field stands and serenaded the crowd during the eighth-inning.

The color-coordinated musicians added a little local flavor to everyone's peanuts and hot dogs.

And the musical support didn't didn't seem to hurt as the A's beat the Mariners 6-1.

At this point the brass and strings might be less annoying than the wave, but when does the di-di-di-dada di-di-di-dada start to get on some fans nerves:

Monday, September 1, 2014

California high school 'retires' controversial Arab mascot: Report

A California high school is retiring a derisive Arab mascot which came under fire last year.

The bearded, scowling mascot with a large hooked nose who wears a head scarf did not appear at Coachella Valley High School’s season opening football game on Friday. A belly-dancing genie that often appears with the mascot during halftime was also absent.

The change was among the steps the Coachella Valley Unified School District is taking to give the offensive mascot a makeover, reported The Desert Sun.

The Arab mascot has existed since the 1920s to recognize the desert region’s reliance on date farming, a traditionally Middle Eastern crop. Over the years, the mascot evolved from a turban-wearing horseman carrying a lance to a standing figure with a scowl and a traditional head covering.

It came under fire last November when the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee sent a letter to the school district complaining that the mascot was stereotypical.

The district refused to change the school’s “Arabs” nickname, but it agreed to redesign the Arab face on the school logo.

Of the five designs submitted for consideration, the group favors this one:

Derek Jeter graces cover of 'New Yorker' in farewell salute (PHOTO)

The accolades and tributes continue to pour in for Derek Jeter but now the Yankees shortstop is even getting a special sendoff by The New Yorker magazine.

The literary publication is giving Jeter a very special farewell with its Monday cover featuring The Captain tipping his cap in his pinstriped No. 2 uniform.

As a companion to the splendid color image, there is the cover story written by Roger Angell, the brilliant sports writer who is considered among the greatest baseball journalists in history.

"S'Long Jeet" is the senior editor's short vignette about what the future Hall of Famer meant to the game.

As the warm days for Jeter wind down, and the Yankees faithful find it hard to believe the season will be followed by chilly nights this October, the elegant cover is a nice parting gift to all baseball fans.

Bills' Eric Wood blames ESPN as reason no NFL team has picked up Michael Sam: Report

After Michael Sam was cut by the St. Louis Rams Saturday and wasn't picked up by another team, one NFL player put the blame for the openly gay Sam being passed over by the other 31 teams on the reporting of the sports network ESPN.

Eric Wood, an offensive lineman for the Buffalo Bills tweeted "blame that on ESPN" in response to a reporter wondering why Sam was passed over after a solid preseason, reported ProFootballTalk.com.

Ross Tucker, an analyst for NBC and Sirius XM NFL Radio, wondered aloud via Twitter: "Michael Sam performed much better than most expected and still isn't even on a practice squad?" 

Wood tweeted in response: "blame that on espn. No one wants the distraction."

Last week ESPN apologized for a report that quoted an unnamed Rams player as saying that Sam hadn’t showered with teammates in training camp. The story even had perturbed head coach Jeff Fisher reluctantly addressing the situation at a press conference.  

So maybe Wood’s opinion is a logical explanation for why Sam still isn't even on some team's practice squad — although ESPN isn't the only offender. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dustin Pedroia leaves game after taking elbow to head (VIDEO)

In the second inning of Saturday night's Red Sox-Rays game, Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia took a Logan Forsythe elbow to the head on a tag play.

Pedroia had to leave the game as a precaution.

At first, considering the Rays-Sox recent skirmishes, it looks like Forsythe was swinging his arm intentionally towards Pedroia's head:

But calmer heads prevailed and, as you can see from another angle, Forsythe was only moving his arm to avoid the tag:

Forsythe claimed the contact was not intentional.

''The only move that I made was to try to swim-move the tag to get out of the way,'' he said.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said Pedroia was dizzy after the play but improved later.