Greg Maddux’s Hall of Fame plaque will not have an Atlanta Braves logo on it because the pitching great did not want to disrespect the time he spent with the Chicago Cubs.
The Baseball Hall of Fame announced on Thursday what team’s logo would go on the cap that appears on the plaque of each member of the 2014 class, and it was revealed that Maddux has chosen not to have a logo. Here’s the statement he provided to explain his decision.
“My wife Kathy and I grew up in baseball in Chicago, and then we had just an amazing experience in Atlanta with the Braves. It’s impossible for me to choose one of those teams for my Hall of Fame plaque, as the fans of both clubs in each of those cities were so wonderful. I can’t think of having my Hall of Fame induction without support of both of those fan bases, so, for that reason, the cap on my Hall of Fame plaque will not feature a logo.”
Look, that’s a nice statement and all, and I can appreciate Maddux’s ties to Chicago, but this dude needs to go in as a Brave. I don’t think anyone out there thinks of Maddux as a Cub, but everyone knows him for what he did in the prime of his career from 1993-2003 teaming with John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Steve Avery (and Denny Neagle or Kevin Millwood and others at times) to form one of the best and most memorable rotations in baseball history.
The 1990s Braves were one of the most memorable groups in baseball history. Maddux was the face of those teams. 194 of his 355 wins and 363 of his 740 starts came with the Braves. He won three of his four Cy Young Awards while with Atlanta. He won almost 50 percent more games with the Braves than the Cubs (he had 133 wins and 298 starts with Chicago over two separate stints).
Maddux is an Atlanta Brave through and through, and he shouldn’t view choosing the Braves to represent him as a slight to Chicago. It’s just a reflection of where he had his most notable accomplishments as a player.
The one thing I wonder is if there’s some bad blood between Maddux and Atlanta. Did something happen in 2004 when he choose to sign with the Cubs in free agency instead of remaining with Atlanta? That could explain things.
- Greg Maddux
Every sign seems to point to Justin Verlander and Kate Upton being back together as boyfriend-girlfriend.
Last week we told you that the Detroit Tigers ace and supermodel were spotted at a Philadelphia Flyers game. US Weekly then reported that the two vacationed in the Bahamas together last weekend and were “looking very cozy.”
The two also have not been shy about interacting over social media.
When Verlander sent his tweet Sunday about how Richard Sherman would get thrown at if he played baseball, Upton added something about Verlander being a Virginia boy:
— Kate Upton (@KateUpton) January 20, 2014
Verlander then tweeted back:
@KateUpton VA is killing it
— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) January 20, 2014
A few days later there was more.
Most people found out that Mike Pettine was a serious candidate for the Cleveland Browns job after his daughter, Megan, leaked word over Twitter that the team asked her dad back for a second interview. What’s interesting is that in the same tweet where Megan shared news of her dad’s second interview, she also expressed some disappointment that the team her dad was interviewing with was the Cleveland Browns.
Here’s the tweet she sent:
Flash forward a week later, and Pettine was introduced as the head coach of the Browns. Unsurprisingly, Megan’s tweet received some attention in the press conference.
According to Mike Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal, Mike told reporters that he had a long talk with his daughter after the tweet began receiving attention.
New #Browns HC Mike Pettine said he had a very long father-daughter conversation after Megan Pettine drew attention with tweet last week.
— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) January 23, 2014
But Pettine handled it well and attempted to clear things up with the Browns’ fan base that his daughter wasn’t bashing the team.
“She spent her formative years in Baltimore where she learned not to like the Browns..no choice she’s a Browns fan,” Pettine said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
So did Megan tweet that because she, like everyone else, knows the Browns job is an undesirable one because of their lack of recent success and front office problems? Or did she say that because they’re a rival for her favorite team? I’m guessing it was the former, but that was a good coverup by her dad either way.
Helmet smack to Pro Football Zone
- Mike Pettine
Remember how Justin Bieber once called out Tom Brady for stealing his haircut? Well now we can call out Bieber for jacking his joint from another celebrity.
The Biebs was popped for a DUI on Thursday morning in Miami Beach, where he was drag racing on the street. Steve DelVecchio already highlighted Bieber’s hilarious mug shot where he’s smiling like he was just informed he was named People Magazine’s most beautiful celebrity in the world. Anyway, what we missed until our guy Corey pointed it out on Twitter, was that Bieber had the same haircut as none other than Zack Morris from “Saved by the Bell.”
Nice going, Justin. If it worked for Preppy, it will surely work for you.
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Kevin Durant has been a superstar in the NBA for years, so fans have always felt that he was deserving of a great nickname. Many were kicked around for years, and there was a conscious effort to bestow upon him a proper name that would represent him well and stick. The name that was settled upon was “Durantula,” but I never really liked it and it seems like Durant didn’t exactly care for it. But now we have another name that’s been catching on the past few days, and it looks like we have found “the one.”
Lately, people have been calling Durant the “Slim Reaper,” and I love it. A Reddit user is being credited with giving him the name. In fact, eight months ago, Reddit user “Beardfunk” called Durant “Slim Reaper” in a thread for an Oklahoma City Thunder-Memphis Grizzlies game. The name has picked up steam over the past few days since Durant has just been on fire, and Reddit is widely being credited as the source. Whatever the case, I’m all aboard. I love how it’s a play on words and describes Durant’s physique and killer ability/mentality in just two words. It’s fantastic. But is it too morbid?
Durant hosted a Twitter Q&A on Thursday and was asked for his thoughts on “Slip Reaper” as a nickname. He answered that he likes “KD” better.
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) January 23, 2014
Well, the good news is it’s not up to Durant to tell us whether he likes it or not. It’s up to the fans to decide whether we like it enough. If the fans and media decide that we like the name and start using it, Durant won’t have a choice. That’s just how nicknames go; you can’t choose your own nickname. That’s not something you can dictate. If it were, do you think Doug Martin would have picked “Muscle Hamster”? Of course not.
Sorry, KD, but Slim Reaper it is.
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Greg Schiano was not very well-liked during his two-year tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Darrelle Revis probably expected better than a 4-12 campaign last season, and I’m sure he and most of his teammates are glad that they get to start fresh with a new head coach in 2014. Revis basically admitted as much on Wednesday.
“The atmosphere, I felt like, was real tense,” Revis told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.”Guys didn’t like coming to work. That’s one of the things you have to have, a stress-free atmosphere and environment. You’re going to get everything out of everybody if it’s stress-free and let people be who they are. I just didn’t feel he did a very good job of that. It was a learning experience for him as well, and hopefully, if he ever gets another stab at it, he’ll do things differently.”
Back in October, current and former Bucs players described Schiano as an A-hole who wants to be like Bill Belichick. He was even so strict that he reportedly told Dexter Jackson, who won a Super Bowl MVP trophy in Tampa, to leave a team practice.
“I wish he would have listened to some of the players a little bit more, especially the veterans and some of the older guys,” Revis added. “We can go down the line like Dashon Goldson, Davin Joseph, Carl Nicks, Vincent Jackson and those type of guys and listen to them. But he was the boss, and you’ve got to fall in line.”
Coaching in the NFL is much different from coaching in college. Belichick acts like a jerk during press conferences, but even he doesn’t rule with as much of an iron fist as people think. Like Revis said, there were players on the Bucs roster who were much more familiar with life in the NFL than Schiano was.
The Bucs seemingly switched gears by hiring Lovie Smith, who is known for being more of a players’ coach.
“I love to play ball, and if we’re going to run the Cover 2 scheme, I have to master the Cover 2.” Revis said. “I feel confident in Lovie and (defensive coordinator) Leslie Frazier, too. They have a lot of experience in the league with unbelievable players. I think we have great talent. We just need the right personnel and the right coaches.”
We all knew it was only a matter of time before Schiano was shown the door. Based on what guys like Revis have said, maybe he belongs in college.
Phil Jackson made an appearance on FOX Sports Live on Wednesday and discussed a lot of the stuff that basketball fans love hearing about. Like, for example, the time Kobe Bryant told Michael Jordan he could kick his ass in a game of one-on-one.
The former Los Angeles Lakers coach said Jordan had been retired for a year and came to a Lakers game. Jackson asked Jordan if he would meet in the chairman’s room after the game to chat with Kobe. Jackson said he wanted MJ to teach Kobe a little bit about patience. But as we know, nobody has to give Kobe a lesson in being confident.
“First thing Kobe says is, ‘I could kick your ass one-on-one,” Jackson recalled.
Kobe was 21 at the time and Jordan was 36. I suppose it’s possible that Kobe could beat a rusty MJ, but Jackson said he would take Jordan in a one-on-one game is both players were in their prime.
“It’s gotta be MJ,” he said. “When a guy can pick the ball up with one hand while he’s dribbling like Michael could do and take the ball to the basket, it’s very difficult.”
Ironically enough, Jordan actually said last year that he could beat LeBron James one-on-one but isn’t sure about Kobe. The reason? Kobe steals all his moves and models his game after MJ’s. It’s a fun debate that will never be settled but will always be discussed.
Shawna Cook is getting ready to marry her fiance Brian Mascarelli on Feb. 2, 2014. Shawna Cook was also born and raised in Washington and is a die-hard Seattle Seahawks fan. Does anyone see a problem with this?
Feb. 2 also happens to be Super Bowl Sunday, when the Seahawks will be taking on the Denver Broncos to crown the next NFL champion. While Mascarelli, a San Francisco 49ers fan, is probably not that worried about the scheduling conflict, Cook said her friends and family are already freaking out.
“All of my cousins who are coming said there better be a big screen TV there,” she told King 5 News in Seattle. “There is – there’s going to be a 60-incher.”
When Mascarelli proposed to Cook, Shawna wanted to pick a date that would be easy for him to remember. She wasn’t taking the Super Bowl into consideration at the time.
“How about February 2?” Cook said of her thought process. “2/2 – that’s easy enough for my fiance to remember, right?”
Easy to remember? Yes. Ideal? Not exactly. The wedding ceremony starts at 4:00 p.m. local time, with kickoff for the Super Bowl scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Once the ceremony is over, Cook — who said she has blue and green running through her veins — is fine with the attention turning to the big game.
“We’re commemorating the most awesome event in our life with the most awesome event in Seattle life,” she said. “As soon as the ceremony’s over it’s going to be Seahawks central for the next hour and a half.”
You certainly can’t expect someone to plan their life around their team possibly being in the Super Bowl, so I’m sure Shawna’s friends and family appreciate the compromise. Some brides would be far less reasonable.
- Seahawks Fans
We all know that soccer fans have a tendency to do some incredibly irrational things, and Manchester United fans are some of the most dedicated in the world. On Wednesday, Manchester United was bounced from the Capital One Cup following a shocking shootout loss to Sunderland. One fan felt that the result constituted an emergency.
A Man. U fan (who was presumably under the influence of alcohol) called 999 after the game, which is the United Kingdom’s equivalent of 911. As the Manchester Evening News noted, he demanded to speak to former Man. U manager Alex Ferguson, who has not been with the team since last July.
“The result is all wrong, they had extra time and it was a total and utter load of rubbish,” the caller told the dispatcher after being reminded that he had called an emergency line.
When asked if he wanted to report a crime, the guy said that he did.
“Yeah, a crime,” he mumbled. “Yeah, I’ll report a crime. The crime is that Manchester United — Manchester United were absolutely … knackered.”
The Manchester police later released a Facebook statement urging fans to never call an emergency line to talk about soccer results and to try calling the team directly.
While it’s easy to chalk this up to soccer fans being soccer fans, we should note that similar stuff has happened in the US on numerous occasions. Remember the time a Milwaukee Brewers fan called 911 after he misplaced his TV remote? Or how about the guy who called 911 and demanded to speak to Tim Tebow? Yeah, there are idiots all over the world.
H/T For the Win
Keyshawn Johnson and Justin Bieber live in the same upscale gated community in Calabasas, Cali. Last year, Johnson reportedly chased after Bieber and followed him to his home after he was furious that the pop star had been driving like a maniac. Another former NFL star later agreed that Bieber drives too fast and needs to slow down.
On Thursday morning, Bieber was arrested for driving while under the influence. Guess what got him pulled over? Driving recklessly, of course. When Johnson caught wind of the news, he ripped Bieber on Twitter and said he hopes he learns from the arrest.
They finally caught HIM! Glad no one was hurt, no kids in the street. Everyone grows up at some point. Hopefully he learns from it.
— Keyshawn Johnson (@Thromedamnball) January 23, 2014
The scary part is grown adults who are w/ him aren't protecting him from himself! All looking for a quick buck. Learning experience for all
— Keyshawn Johnson (@Thromedamnball) January 23, 2014
NFL single-season rushing record holder Eric Dickerson, the other NFL player who is annoyed by Bieber’s driving antics, also seemed pleased.
It's about time! Nobody's above the law!
— Eric Dickerson (@EricDickerson) January 23, 2014
Given the fact that Bieber allegedly swore at police several times and resisted arrest by leaving his hands in his pockets, we’re guessing he’s not going to learn much. In fact, Keyshawn supposedly reached out to him before and attempted to offer some advice and Bieber wanted no part of it.
Bieber’s a reckless young punk. That’s why we know 19-year-old women’s tennis star Genie Bouchard could do much better.