Do you happen to remember a sage truism given to you by a parent, trusted loved one, or fortune cookie that came along with a restaurant check? A penny saved is a penny earned. Either I was sick on one of the many days my mom was dispensing clichés or was too weak from overfeeding on Kung Pao to muster the strength to crack open that V-shaped bearer of wisdom/empty calories to take in that luminous advice. Between holey pockets, incline benches at the gym (yes, I workout), and the random, shifty valet attendant, I have lost more pennies than I can count. The most recent example of money lost was what I spent to bear witness to the spectacle that was the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight.
In fact, for the pleasure of watching that fight in public, I failed to save 2000 pennies. I should have taken Andrew Jackson’s accusing stare from the $20 bill I handed over to get in as a sign that maybe the money would have been best served being invested in soybeans, or at least a contentious game of bingo. Instead, for the first time in years, I gave boxing another shot. Lured by the prospect of seeing one of the quickest, most athletic politicians the Philippines’ Congress has ever known — I’ve heard of a punch card ballot, but this is ridiculous — against 39-year-old Shane Mosley, who was trying for another shot at glory against the WBO welterweight champion. To Pacquiao’s credit, they say politics is not a spectator sport … and they’re right.
On Tuesday we brought you the thoughts of A’s reliever Brian Fuentes who ripped manager Bob Geren for his lack of communication regarding bullpen roles. It was hard to determine which side was right — Fuentes had been pitching poorly and it seemed like he was blaming someone else for his problems. Geren meanwhile should be communicating with his players and notifying them of their duties.
Though it was easy to side with the manager on the matter, comments from former Oakland closer Huston Street, now the closer for the Rockies, paints Geren in an even worse light.
“Bob was never good at communication, and I don’t want to speak for anybody else, but it was a sentiment reflected in many conversations during the two years I spent in Oakland, and even recently when talking to guys after I left,” Street told the San Francisco Chronicle. “For me personally, he was my least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports from age 6 to 27. I am very thankful to be in a place where I can trust my manager.”
Keep in mind that Street had a run-in with Geren in September ’08 when both were with Oakland, so there’s some obvious tension. Also, second baseman Mark Ellis backed Geren up saying he’s always been fine with him. Still, it seems to be a trend where relievers have a difficult time getting along with Geren. He may not be the worst person in baseball, but it’s pretty obvious he needs to communicate with his players much better. I’m guessing this is an issue GM Billy Beane plans on addressing.
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The Vancouver Canucks have reached their third Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history, and they did so on one of the flukiest goals you will see. First off, the Canucks scored with 16 seconds left to tie the game at 2 and send it to overtime. Then in the second overtime, Kevin Bieksa scored the winning goal on one of the strangest plays you’ll see. Check out this video of Kevin Bieksa’s goal that sent Vancouver to the Cup:
Think about this from San Jose’s side for a second — this team is a perennial disappointment in the playoffs, and they not only blew a 2-1 lead with 16 seconds left, but they also lost on a goal where nobody on their defense saw the puck. I’d say that’s the most lackluster big goal I’ve seen, but last year’s Stanley Cup winner by Patrick Kane can compare. The only difference is the puck didn’t take any funny bounces there like it did here. There isn’t much to say about this hidden puck goal except that the Canucks seemed to have had a greater force on their side. Oh yeah, and Sharks fans, man do I feel your pain. No fan should have to endure such an awful gut punch.
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Even after the final buzzer sounds to end a game, another game begins: the one that happens in the postgame news conference. Phil Jackson used to be a master in that setting, finding ways to tweak the officials so he’d get calls in his team’s favor. In last year’s postseason, Phil primed the refs before the Thunder series by suggesting Kevin Durant gets calls he shouldn’t. Then he said refs need to watch out for Steve Nash’s carries. The result may be a minimal fine from David Stern, but you can’t put a price tag on extra calls from intimidated referees.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau must have kept that in mind, because he made a point to call out the refs following his team’s Game 4 loss in Miami.
Speaking about Derrick Rose after the game, Thibodeau said “He hasn’t been able to get to the line like we thought he would. There’s a lot of contact, and he hasn’t gotten calls.”
The numbers would back up Thibodeau’s assertion — Rose only attempted seven free throws compared to 13 for LeBron James and 11 for Chris Bosh. The Heat got to the line 38 times compared to 22 for Chicago, but they also were more aggressive with their drives to the hoop, and you can’t say LeBron got the calls — he was whistled for an offensive foul at the end of regulation.
Whether Thibodeau was right or wrong with his assessment is debatable. What is a certainty is that it’s usually a good idea to complain that your team isn’t getting enough calls. Believe me, the referees hear the criticism — they listen. And more often than not, they try to make up for it in the next game.
One of the behind-the-scenes things cameramen do at ballgames is search for the best-looking women in attendance. I’ve worked places where they have entire compilation tapes of hotties. But you’re never supposed to do that while your camera is live, which is what happened during TNT’s telecast Tuesday night. Check out this flub via Jose 3030:
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- Miami Heat fans
Less than three weeks after getting swept out of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers appear to have decided on their next head coach. According to Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area, former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown will be the team’s next head coach.
If Brown does sign on to become the new head coach of the Lakers, he will have beaten out names such as Rick Adelman, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Dunleavy and Lakers assistant Brian Shaw for the job. Here are the details from Steinmetz’s report:
Mike Brown will not be the next head coach of the Golden State Warriors.
Brown, the former coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is expected to be named the new coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, according to two league sources.
Brown was considered a frontrunner for the Warriors’ job, but is expected to sign a four-year contract worth approximately $18 million with the Lakers — succeeding Phil Jackson as coach.
Nothing has been confirmed by the Lakers’ front office, but all the rumors Tuesday seemed to indicate this would happen.
Here’s the problem with the Lakers hiring Mike Brown: he can’t run an offense if his life depended on it, unless you consider Kobe isolation plays an offense. The one thing Mike Brown is good at is coaching defense, and this hire may be a reaction to the Lakers’ poor defensive showing against the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs.
Barry Bonds was known as a surly, rude, and irritable player during his career. It was so bad that even his own teammates supposedly wanted him to get hit by pitches. But Bonds seems to have changed since he’s retired. We’ve heard many media members and people say that he’s mellowed out and become a nicer guy, and that seemed to be confirmed when we heard he went to visit Bryan Stow’s family in the hospital shortly after the beating.
Now we’re learning another detail that makes Bonds look even better.
In an interview with NBC LA, the lawyer representing the Stow family in their suit against the Dodgers says the family plans to give back donations if they win the suit. Attorney Thomas Girardi also revealed that the family plans on keeping one gift: a college scholarship donated by Barry Bonds for Stow’s children. Girardi told LBS he wasn’t sure how much the donation involved, but that he knows Bonds set up the scholarships for the children.
Stow is a single father of two children and Bonds already reportedly gave them a signed glove and bat in the hospital. Now he’s paying for them to attend college? He sure has changed, and he is making some great use of his time while he awaits a hearing in his perjury trial. Well done Barry, very well done.
Thanks to Josina Anderson for the tip
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One former prison inmate, Michael Vick, would like another prison inmate to join his Philadelphia Eagles. In a radio interview with Anthony Gargano and Ike Reese on 610 WIP in Philadelphia, Vick said he would want Plaxico Burress to join him on the Eagles when he’s released from prison.
“It would be a great addition for our team,” Vick said. “I think with the guys we have now I think we can fit him in and make it work. Obviously the ultimate goal at the end of the day is to put that ring on your finger at the end of the year.
“I think certainly Plaxico is going to come out with a chip on his shoulder the same way I did and he’ll go out and help this football team to whatever capacity he can.”
The Eagles would not be the first team to consider signing the former New York Giant standout, however, signing the talented yet troubled receiver would be the wrong move.
Plaxico has not caught a pass in an NFL game since November 16, 2008. He’s 33 years old and the Eagles already have dependable dynamic receivers in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Why take a chance on a guy who ruined the Giants by bringing a gun to a club and having it go off? Why take a chance on a guy who was widely viewed as a flaky teammate? Maybe because the same could have been said about Michael Vick when he left prison, but Vick has proven he’s changed. Will Plaxico show the same remorse and character development? We will find out, but there’s little doubt at least one team will be willing to take a chance..
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Wladimir Klitschko is 55-3 and the IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight champion of the world. He’s preparing to fight David Haye in July for Haye’s WBA heavyweight champion belt. If Wladimir wins, he will have earned his fourth title belt and he’ll combine with brother Vitali to hold all the major heavyweight titles. But if you hear the way Wlad tells it, their combined success is extremely surprising.
Wladimir lost two of four fights in 2003 and 2004 getting beat pretty badly. He was defeated in the second round by Corrie Sanders in March of ’03, getting knocked down twice in the first and two more times in the second. Though Wlad struggled immensely with Sanders’ powerful left hand, he rebounded to win his next two fights. Then in April of ’04, Wladimir lost to Lamon Brewster by TKO in the fifth. Wladimir says his brother advised him to quit boxing after seeing him lose by TKO twice in 13 months.
“I was destroyed and at the bottom of the sport – destroyed by fans, media, everyone and I ended up on the floor,” Wladimir told the News of the World.
“Even my brother Vitali said, ‘Look at your face, where you are right now, I think it’s time to say goodbye to the sport’.
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Following Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, nearly every media outlet in the country said the Miami Heat were in trouble. The Chicago Bulls looked good, really good. Their defense was stellar and a hero was born in their 21-point blowout.
Since that game, Miami has won two in a row, placing Chicago in a near must-win situation. The Heat are poised to go up 3-1 in the series if they win Tuesday night. Here are three changes the Bulls need to make in order to pull out a win.
1) Focus on stopping Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh has been motivated by Carlos Boozer’s pre-series comments and it’s resulted in stellar play. He’s scored 30 points or more in two of the first three series games after only doing so three times the entire regular season. Bosh hurt Chicago more than any other Heat player in Game 3, and it’s time for them to start sending help defense to him.
2) Joakim Noah must stay out of foul trouble
Noah is Chicago’s best player at protecting the rim. In the Game 3 loss, Noah got into foul trouble and totaled just five boards, a single point and a certain slur that cost him 50 grand. Noah does the dirty work and he must play significant minutes for Chicago to stay close.
3) Derrick Rose needs to show up in the fourth quarter
In the fourth quarter of the two losses, Derrick Rose has scored a combined four points. Rose won the regular season MVP award for closing games late, not disappearing. Miami has strategically placed LeBron on Rose during the fourth quarter which has disturbed his game. If Chicago is going to even the series, Rose will need to play close games out like the MVP he is.