After finishing a disappointing 66-96 last season, the Baltimore Orioles have made strides to upgrade their team this off-season. First they acquired Mark Reynolds from the Diamondbacks in a trade, and then they brought in shortstop J.J. Hardy from Minnesota in another deal. Now, The Baltimore Sun reports they have agreed on a one-year deal with first baseman Derrek Lee.
Lee is coming off a down year where he only hit .260 with 19 home runs. He got traded mid-season to the Braves and did well, but he only managed three home runs in 129 at-bats for them. Given that Lee smashed 35 home runs with a .972 OPS in 2009, this is a strong signing for Baltimore. On top of consistently playing good defense, he’s a good bounceback candidate for 2011.
Baltimore may not be anywhere near competing in the AL East, but at least they’ve improved their team. The infield consisting of Reynolds, Hardy, Roberts, and Lee is nothing special, but at least it’s respectable. Their pitching is another story, but at least they’re moving in a competitive direction, and I’d much rather have Lee on a one-year deal than Adam LaRoche on a three.
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In wrestling and MMA, it’s quite common to see fighters with cauliflower ear. Their hearing devices get ripped to shreds and disfigured from all the years of pushing, pulling, and strain placed on the vital appendage. Heck, we’ve even seen someone’s potato dumpling get torn off during a fight, Evander Holyfield-style (check the pics!). The same thing happened at K-1 Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve in Japan. Kazushi Sakuraba’s ear was torn off during his loss to Marius Zaromskis, resulting in the fight being stopped. Check out this gnarly pic courtesy of God Bless the Ring via Bloody Elbow:
The ear opened up about a minute into the fight, and then left hands from the southpaw Zaromskis hurt it more. The ear completely tore off when Sakuraba shot in on Zaromskis’ leg, looking for a takedown. The referee immediately put Sakuraba back into his corner and the fight was waved off. That was truly gross, and here’s another look from MMA Fighting.
Alistair Overeem and Todd Duffee was one of the big attractions at K-1 Dynamite!! in Japan just before New Year’s Day. Fans may have been satisfied with the one-way ass-kicking, but the downside is the whole event didn’t last longer than a virgin in the sack. Overeem showed off his kickboxing skills, peppering Duffee with some serious knees. Duffee showed off the glass chin we saw in the Mike Russow fight. Enough of me, here’s the 18 seconds of infamy, aka the Alistair Overeem-Todd Duffee fight video courtesy of Bloody Elbow:
Though the fight ended so early it was a disappointment, hearing the announcer’s line that Reem has more muscles than a seafood platter made it all worthwhile. That’s quality right there.
It’s been quite a while since we’ve updated our ever-expanding list of Steve’s smokin’ hot sports girlfriends for you, so we decided that there’s no better time than the final day of 2010 to make an addition.
A new report claims Aaron Rodgers is dating actress Jessica Szohr, who is known for her work on the TV show Gossip Girl. We had no problem with Rodgers dating Erin Andrews, but we more than approve of his new lady friend if the rumors are true.
Supposedly Szohr was sitting in Aaron Rodgers’ private box last weekend with Ashley Greene and Joe Jonas, and Rodgers and Szohr attended a Milwaukee Bucks game together the following night. Dating Jessica certainly warrants the LBS stamp of approval, but hanging out with Joe Jonas? We’ll just assume Szohr and Greene are good friends and Rodgers was thrust into the situation. As always, here are some pictures of Rodgers new girlfriend:
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We already told you how we feel about the NFL’s decision to only slap Brett Favre with a fine and not suspend him for allegedly sexually harassing Jenn Sterger. Whether you think she led him on or not, Roger Goodell would have suspended any other player if the situation were different. Goodell normally isn’t tolerant of this type of behavior regardless of the circumstances, but he’s obviously making an exception to give Favre an opportunity to start his final NFL game.
It sounds like we’re not the only ones who are unhappy about it. As a matter of fact, we’ve got nothing on Jenn’s dad, Leo Sterger. Leo told RadarOnline.com that “as a father (he’s) furious” and had “better not meet that guy walking down a dark alley.” I think I speak for all of us when I say I hope those two cross paths in a dark alley someday.
In all seriousness, Leo needs to relax. What does he expect? If you hate Favre for the reasons everyone else hates him, I can understand how this situation would fuel the fire. But his daughter is asking for it. Go to Google Images and type in “Jenn Sterger Florida State” and see what you come up with. This is a young lady who decided in college that she can handle being sexually harassed. Don’t hate the player, Leo — hate the game.
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- Everything Else
It’s about that time of year again. Time for that annual resolution, the most pointless endeavor this side of a weigh-in for a heavyweight fight. My previous New Year’s declarations have included increasing career prospects, becoming more optimistic, and improving health and self-image. Unfortunately, I have failed on all three, as I am currently writing about sports while drinking out of a half-empty lowball.
Some resolve to take a trip. The University of Texas football team took a vacation from the Top 25 this season, but they didn’t seem too rejuvenated. Volunteer and charity work seem to be an admirable goal as well. The Cam Newton and Renardo Sidney Benevolent Fund seems like a pretty good place to start. Or, if you are light on cash, how about finding a way to manage debt? Just resist the temptation to take financial advice from Antoine Walker, Lenny Dykstra, or Scottie Pippen. Contrary to widely-held belief, corporate jets have pretty poor resale value. Some of the best and brightest in the sports world continue to make such pointless resolutions in the hope that the previous year’s declarations will be forgotten like so many overdue tax payments …
Sal Alosi (New York Jets’ Resident Muscle-Head): Focus more on upper body workouts in 2011. Too many leg extensions.
Brett Favre (Minnesota Vikings Point-man): Cut back on that unlimited cell-phone data plan.
Gilbert Arenas (NBA gunslinger): Continue thanking the heavens that there were no Washington Bullets in those firearms.
Reggie Bush (No New Orleans’ saint): Legally change name to “Vacated” to screw with the college football history books and be able to keep records.
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- Everything Else
We’ve seen a lot of bad calls throughout our lives as sports fans, and this certainly is up there. You don’t even have to be a Kansas State supporter to realize that the Wildcats were hosed at the end of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
In what turned out to be a highly entertaining bowl game with the teams trading scores, Kansas State scored with 1:24 left to get within two of Syracuse. Carson Coffman hit receiver Adrian Hilburn on a quick hook, and Hilburn broke a tackle turning the pass into a 30-yard touchdown. After scoring the TD, Hilburn did a salute to the crowd and then was flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. The penalty pushed Kansas State back to the 18 in their two-point conversion attempt and their pass fell incomplete. Here is the Kansas State Adrian Hilburn penalty video if you haven’t seen it:
That wasn’t anything close to excessive, and it hardly was an example of a player drawing attention to himself. That certainly was a situation where I wish the referee just let it go. It was too good of a game for a key play at the end to be ruined by an official’s poor judgment.
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- College Football
Andrew Luck is the consensus top NFL quarterback prospect in college football. The redshirt sophomore is expected to be the top overall pick in the draft if he elects to come out. Much like Matt Leinart in 2004, people expect the man who has led Stanford to an 11-1 season and Orange Bowl berth will come out of school. But what if he pulls a Leinart and returns? That scenario has been considered far less often, but it’s one proposed by Charlotte Observer columnist Scott Fowler.
In a blog post relayed by Pat Yasinskas, Fowler quotes a source who says Luck is currently leaning towards returning to school for his junior season. According to Fowler, “The source said he ‘knew’ Luck was leaning toward staying at this moment.”
“A lot can happen between now and Jan.15th,” said the source, referring to the date underclassmen must declare themselves eligible. “There will be a lot of conversations still to come. And whenever he goes pro, he will be a fantastic NFL quarterback. But this is a kid who truly enjoys college.”
A kid who truly enjoys college. Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, Matt Leinart. I don’t know how accurate Fowler’s source is, and we don’t even know whether Luck’s current mindset matters, but the point is valid. Though many people are talking about which team will get Luck, there is no certainty that he even comes out. Remember, Luck is only a redshirt sophomore; he has two years of eligibility left and is no sure thing to leave school.
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- Andrew Luck
Much like his father, the outspoken Ozzie Guillen, Oney Guillen isn’t bashful about sharing his feelings. Oney was fired by the White Sox last Spring Training for being critical of the organization. Now he’s no longer a member of the organization, but his father remains the team’s manager, and he still defends his dad no matter what. Take for instance what happened this week.
Former White Sox closer Bobby Jenks, who signed with the Red Sox after not receiving the type of offer he wanted from Chicago, expressed some disappointment with the White Sox. He event went so far as to criticize Ozzie:
“With the way Ozzie was talking this winter and the way he treated me, I don’t want to fight with the guy. How many times did he question my ability, and then saying how he would love to have me back, but I would have to come to Spring Training and fight for the closer’s role like anyone else?
“Why would I come back to that negativity?” Jenks said. “I’m looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen.”
Well it’s that type of criticism, and the last zinger about a manager who knows how to run a bullpen, that had Oney livid. The fiery youngster lashed out against Jenks with a couple of nuclear bombs on his twitter account.
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Before UFC evacuee Todd Duffee fights Alisteroid Overeem on New Year’s Day in Japan, we must remind you about his most recent experience in the ring. The man who holds one of the fastest UFC knockouts ever was the victim of one of the greatest comebacks in MMA. Duffee was famously destroying Mike Russow before getting knocked out by two out-of-nowhere punches. Now, thanks to LBS contributor Alan Hull who shared with us this video from Bloody Elbow, that famous fight has been memorialized in Mortal Kombat form. Greatest video ever:
It doesn’t get much better than that. How about Brock Lesnar as Goro? Come to think of it, there is a strong resemblance there.