I know Jonny Gomes plays for the Reds who are competing in the NL Central with the rival Cardinals, but how about a little sportsmanship, huh? The hot-headed outfielder took the news of Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright’s elbow injury pretty happily, as we learned via With Leather. From the Dayton Daily News:
Jonny Gomes walked into the Cincinnati Reds spring training clubhouse early Wednesday morning singing at the top of his warbly voice.
The melody was not recognizable, but the words were plaintive: “Wainwright’s gone, Wainwright’s gone, Wainwright’s gone,” he sang joyously.
Sportsmanship at its very finest. Sure Wainwright’s injury would decimate the Cardinals and boost Cincinnati’s chances of repeating as NL Central champs, but true sportsmen want to see another team go down to defeat because of injury; you want to beat the opposing team’s best. But that’s Jonnny Gomes for you, the classic dugout top-stepper. I guess the good news is the NL Central is becoming even more intriguing than last year.
A Chicago Cubs marketing flub has caused quite the stir around the blogosphere and beyond. On Wednesday, Tremendous Upside Potential called our attention to a Chicago-area billboard marketing single-game Cubs tickets. For whatever reason, Derek Jeter makes up 50 percent of the players featured on that particular billboard. Here it is:
For more on the billboard, Larry Brown Sports caught up with Kevin Saghy, a public relations and marketing specialist for the Cubs. Saghy explained that the image used on the billboard you see above was carried over from the Cubs marketing campaign for their “Pick 13 Plan,” which gives fans an opportunity to customize a ticket package and see the Cubs take on top-tier opponents like the White Sox and Yankees. Here’s a similar billboard that makes slightly more sense:
In this era of unselfish athletes who train hard and practice harder, it’s not easy to find role models who stand for what is right about sports. Guys doing charity work, autograph signings, and being fan friendly is not what we seek. Playing professional sports is about entertaining people, not being a good role model. We don’t care if you take money from boosters or pump your body full of steroids. So long as your scoring touchdowns and popping pitches out of the park, we’re happy.
That’s why it’s nice to finally have someone like former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton who truly gets it. During a phone interview with Peter King of SI Tuesday, Newton said “I see myself not only as a football player, but an entertainer and icon.”
That’s the exact sort of mindset all athletes should have. And to prove that Newton is fully aware of how advanced his perspective is a young player, he offered this up to Yahoo!’s Dan Wetzel.
“I don’t want to sound arrogant but I did something in one year people couldn’t do in their whole collegiate careers,” Newton said. “We had a chance to do something great and we did it.”
- Filed Under:
- College Football
- Cam Newton
Over the last two years, Adam Wainwright has emerged as one of the best and most consistent pitchers in the National League. He won 39 games over that span, put together a phenomenal 2.53 ERA and struck out 425 batters. Those are the numbers of a top-notch ace, and that’s just what Wainwright has become for the St. Louis Cardinals. They may be without that luxury in 2011.
Wainwright reportedly felt a tug in his elbow while throwing on Monday, and the training staff has already termed it a “significant ligament injury,” one that likely stems from an elbow injury toward the end of last season that was believed to be a strain. Early indications are that the 29-year-old could need Tommy John surgery, which would obviously shut him down for the season. Now, Cardinals fans are left wondering where the injury puts them in 2011.
The obvious: making the World Series in 2011 has become a long shot. Prior to the injury, St. Louis had one of the best starting pitcher combinations in baseball between Wainwright and Chris Carpenter. Behind that the Cardinals have Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook — not exactly Cy Young candidates. With names like Kevin Millwood being the only ones remaining on the free agent list, it would be hard to imagine St. Louis putting together a quality playoff rotation unless they pull of a major mid-season trade.
- Adam Wainwright
If you’re a long-time LBS reader, you know that we have no problem with fat baseball players. In fact, most of the time the media complains about players being fat they are complaining about ones who are highly productive. Fat pitchers even started to become a trend at one point. C.C. Sabathia, arguably the best pitcher in the American League, is always being questioned for his weight. When Buster Olney reported that he had lost weight this offseason, Brian Cashman was quick to say that he’s basically not impressed.
However, let’s not take our viewpoint to mean we don’t find it funny. When a player has gotten as fat as Bartolo Colon over the years and is still playing baseball, you have to laugh. Check out these Bartolo Colon fat pictures from over the years:
Hey, that’s what happens to old men. Bartolo arrived at Yankees camp weighing 267 pounds, which is particularly impressive considering he’s only 6-feet tall and was listed at 185 the last time he pitched in the majors. One thing is for certain: if the Yankees’ season is hinging on Colon’s or Freddy Garcia’s ability to lock down a spot in their five-man rotation, it could be somewhat of a down year by New York standards.
Over the years, we have seen plenty of strange happenings when it comes to mascots. There have been arrests for incidents involving snowball throwing, Bar-Mitzvahs, dance-offs, nut shots, and much more. We’ve even seen a few scuffles involving mascots and fans, but I don’t remember any of them resulting in blood gushing from someone’s nose. On Wednesday night, Mister C changed all that during a game between Vanderbilt and Tennessee. Take a look at the Vanderbilt mascot fan punch video, courtesy of Barstool U:
If I was that kid I would have gone absolutely ape on the mascot. There’s something about mascots in those big, bulky costumes that just makes you want to pummel them anyway, no? That fan was presented with an opportunity. If he beat the mascot down, no one would have blamed him. Instead, he grabbed a newspaper and let him off the hook. Unless, of course, he’s already plotting his attack for the next game.
- Filed Under:
- College Basketball
He is the amazing Blake Griffin, able to leap tall Russians in a single bound. No one’s quite saying he is a superhero yet, after all he is a Clipper … Scavengers assemble! With Donald Sterling’s track record of nonchalance, the Spidey sense of LA Clipper fans should definitely be tingling at the moment, with his free agent status not too far away. Apparently, with great leaping ability comes great respectability. Of course there would be no Superman without Jor-El, but Blake has him beat with an assist from Al-Farouq. Commissioner Eric Gordon has also helped Griffin fight crime, corruption, and double digit deficits. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No … It’s a CLIPPER?!? For those who don’t know, a griffin is a creature from medieval lore that had the body of a lion, the head and wings of an eagle, and for some unknown reason consistently hit its head on the side of the backboard.
Last weekend’s slam dunk contest was quite entertaining fare. After the endless matchups of Dwight Howard-Nate Robinson that had become more played out than Rocky going toe-to-toe with Tommy Gunn, the world was introduced to the Blake Show at the All-Star Game. While the voting results may have been more rigged than a presidential election in Belarus, Griffin gerrymandered his way into the finals. Serge Ibaka landed a dunk while taking off from behind the foul line. In doing so, Air Congo became the first aircraft from the country to successfully land after flying 12 feet… Javale McGee was apparently workshopping ideas on how to get Washington back to the water mark. No word on whether the Wizards will be successful in petitioning the league to use two backboards and three basketballs to improve their odds. DeMar DeRozan reminded everyone … that the NBA still has a team in Toronto (contrary to popular belief).
- Filed Under:
- Blake Griffin
Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin bet that the loser of their UFC 126 fight would have to get a tattoo. We figured it was all in good fun, until we learned last week that Franklin was actually going tattoo shopping on Friday. We commended him for living up to the bet, but now we have learned the whole story was just a hoax.
On Monday, Franklin posted pictures of his “tattoo” on his website:
Yup, he went out and got a gigantic henna dragon tattoo on his back. Two more pics:
- Filed Under:
You don’t have to know who Billy McGill is to understand his story. From hero to homeless, the man went from one of the brightest basketball prospects in the country to unemployed in a matter of years. Now at 71 years of age, the former basketball star is still searching for his job.
McGill is a 6’9″ big man who led Jefferson High School to two LA city championships in the ’50s. Academic issues kept him from attending Cal and playing under Pete Newell, so he wound up playing for Utah. As a senior he averaged 38.8 points per game, a mark topped by only three players — Pete Maravich, Frank Selvy, and Johnny Neumann (to the best of our knowledge). He wound up being the top overall pick by Chicago in the 1962 draft, but he was out of the NBA a few years later.
McGill says a knee injury suffered in high school prevented him from reaching his potential, and he told the LA Times he believes he would have otherwise been up there with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson.
- Filed Under:
- Billy McGill
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster capitalized on injuries to Ben Tate and Steve Slaton by rushing for a franchise-record 231 yards the first week of the season against the Indianapolis Colts. The undrafted back out of Tennessee didn’t stop there — he put together seven more 100-yard games for the Texans to earn the NFL’s rushing title and fantasy MVP crown. Though 2010 proved to be a monstrous success for Foster, an interesting item was revealed on Tuesday making us wonder how it will impact Foster’s fantasy status for 2011.
Texans running back Ben Tate announced on twitter that he was finally ready to resume his NFL career. “Went to see the doc today finally cleared no more rehab im sooo happy…..time for a vacation then back on the grind for the 2011 season!!!!!!!!#NOLOCKOUT” he wrote.
Tate was Houston’s second-round pick last year and he unfortunately tore up his ankle in the team’s first preseason game in August. Tate ended up on injured reserve for the entire season, and the starting job went to Arian Foster who became a star. Now that the former second-round pick out of Auburn is returning, one has to wonder if Arian will be as productive as he was last year.
There is little doubt that Foster fits into Houston’s offense perfectly and that he can continue his success in the league. The reality is that all teams share carries at running back — even Houston had Derrick Ward getting plenty of looks last season — so I wouldn’t worry about Tate. He has to worry about regaining the form that led to him being a high draft pick, and the Texans would be crazy to take the ball out of Foster’s hands more than they need to.
Tate’s emergence may give the Texans a better second option at running back, but I wouldn’t worry about him cutting into Foster’s stats too much. Arian Foster is still the man in Houston.