Mike Trout says the reports that he showed up to spring training overweight are inaccurate and overblown.
Many fans and analysts were concerned that Trout fell out of shape over the offseason after word circulated that the reigning AL Rookie of the Year had put on weight. The report seemed to emanate from Angels beat writer Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, who tweeted this on Feb. 14:
Last season, #Angels OF Mike Trout looked like an NFL RB. He looks more like a FB now, after gaining 10-15 lbs. He reported at 240 lbs.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) February 14, 2013
Reading that Trout was up to 240 pounds and looking like a fullback was pretty stunning, especially when you consider that his player profile on most sports websites lists him at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, which would equate to a 40-pound gain. Additionally, photos posted to Trout’s Twitter account didn’t seem to show a noticeable change in his physique. That’s probably because there wasn’t much of one.
On Thursday, Trout set the record straight about his weight during an interview with Mike Gill’s “The Sports Bash” on 97.3 FM in Trout’s home state of New Jersey.
“People say I gained 30 or 40 pounds, they got a wrong answer,” Trout told Gill. “I came into camp like eight pounds over what I played at last year. I ended the year last year 231, and I came in to camp like 240. I’m down to like 235 now.
“I feel great, feel fine, feel normal, so it’s nothing to worry about. [I have] nine percent body fat, so it’s not like I’m out there crushing hamburgers and eating some bad food. Just working out. I didn’t think it was a big deal.
“I think it got out there because when I got drafted it said I was 210, and they haven’t updated it in like three years. I think that’s why they got 30 pounds. Right now, I probably gained five pounds, if that,” said Trout.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia elaborated on the matter during an interview with ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning.”
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- Mike Trout
Let’s get one thing out of the way here: Any excuse we have to re-post this all-time awesome mug shot is going to be seized. This mug shot was taken by Oakland Raiders DT Desmond Bryant over the weekend, and it belongs in the Hall of Fame of mug shots. Heck, it’s so splendid, it should get its own bust in Canton before Michael Strahan.
As you know by now, Bryant was arrested Sunday on a misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief for allegedly drunkenly causing a disturbance at a neighbor’s house (did the neighbors not have ADT?). His incredible mugger has made its way around the Internet and reached the late night talk show circuit this week.
Host Jimmy Kimmel was so enthralled with the mug shot, he decided to turn it into a social media trend. Kimmel asked his “Jimmy Kimmel Live” viewers Wednesday to do their best Bryant impressions and send him the picture over Twitter using the hashtag “#dezzing.”
Below are several photos of people “dezzing,” beginning with Kimmel staffer Guillermo:
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- Everything Else
- Desmond Bryant
Not only is Steph Curry a baller who went off for an NBA season-high 54 points Wednesday, but he’s also aware of what’s buzzing on the Internet about him.
During the middle of his hot streak against the Knicks, Curry was so focused on shimmying that he totally blew off teammate Draymond Green for a high five in the fourth quarter:
Curry set out to right that wrong with his teammate by posing for a high five on Thursday:
Glad they squared that up. Well played, gentlemen.
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The Italian Sausage costume that is used during the “Sausage Race” at every Milwaukee Brewers home game was returned to a bar Wednesday after it was reported missing earlier in the day, and it sounds like the people who stole it had themselves quite the sausage fest.
People claiming to be responsible for the “prank” emailed USA Today to detail their experience with the costume. The pranksters told USA Today that six people were involved — five women and one man — ranging from 26-55 years old. They even wrote a pun-filled note about what they called “Weenie Gate” which they attached to the costume when they returned it.
“Sorry I’m such a sauced weenie. You probably think I’m the wurst,” the note states. “I started feeling the heat as the police began to ketchup by connecting the links. I know it was a greasy move so here I am. Donate the mustard and drink the beer. Take me back to the Land of the Brew… Much Love, ur Cedarburg Crew.”
USA Today has some photos of the thieves partying at bars while wearing the sausage costume. You can see one below:
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- Milwaukee Brewers
When the New York Islanders signed goalie Rick DiPietro to a 15-year contract back in 2006, it appeared that he would be tending the net for the team for well over a decade. Here we are more than six years later, and DiPietro has been assigned to the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport after clearing waivers last week.
The Islanders have not had a winning season or made the playoffs since 2006. The past three seasons have presented some particularly trying times for DiPietro, as the 31-year-old has battled injuries, poor play and a fan base that has turned on him. DiPietro has played in only 50 games since the 2007-2008 season, and he recently told News 12 Long Island’s Kevin Maher (via the NY Daily News) that there was a point where his struggles led to suicidal thoughts.
“DiPietro told me Isles waiving him felt like, ‘they ripped my heart out, stabbed it, set it on fire and flushed it down the toilet,'” Maher wrote on Twitter while giving followers a preview of an interview that will air Thursday evening. “DiPietro also admitted injuries, losing and fan hatred over the past three years made him think about killing himself at one point.”
However, Dipietro later told the Brett Cyragalis of the NY Post that he was being “100 percent” facetious with his comment. Instead, he said he was trying to stress how important the support of his wife has been throughout these difficult seasons.
“I’m just trying to bring light to fact of how important my wife has been,” DiPietro told Cyragalis. It’s been a trying last couple years. There have been times that I’ve been depressed, and I don’t know where I’d be without the support of my wife.”
He also said that if not for his wife, he “might have driven into a tree.” Perhaps DiPietro should have been more clear in his interview with Maher, because claiming you had suicidal thoughts is nothing to be “facetious” about. If you’re going to exaggerate, there are other ways to do it other than claiming you thought about killing yourself if it didn’t actually happen.
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Former USC quarterback Matt Barkley may have made a mistake by returning to school for his senior season last year. Barkley was once seen as a lock to go early in the first round of the NFL Draft, but injuries and other circumstances have resulted in his stock taking a tumble. However, Lane Kiffin insists Barkley is still a first-round prospect.
While it’s not surprising to hear Barkley’s former coach toot his horn, it is a little puzzling to hear Kiffin defend Barkley at the expense of his defense. A defense which, by the way, was coached by his father, Monte Kiffin.
“I think he’s going to be a great starting quarterback in the NFL, and the film shows it,” Kiffin told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Wednesday. “The plays he makes, all the throws he’s made here, the leadership qualities … I’ve said this before: If Matt Barkley had the defense that Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer had, Matt Barkley would have won the Heisman Trophy just like they did. He would have had the winning records they had.”
The Trojans had a number of issues last year during the course of their unprecedented collapse, and defense was certainly one of them. Considering Monte has resigned from USC and been hired as the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, I suppose the only thing Lane could be putting a strain on is the next Kiffin family reunion.
Kiffin was so determined to boost the public perception of Barkley that he even called out one USC player by name, noting that if not for a certain mistake Barkley could have led the Trojans to a win over Andrew Luck and Stanford in 2011.
“Andrew threw an interception for a touchdown and, their very next drive we stop them, and [safety] T.J. McDonald gets called for a head-to-head personal foul that keeps the drive alive,” Kiffin recalled. “Is that Matt Barkley’s fault? If that flag’s not thrown and we stop them right there, you go, ‘Man, Matt just beat Andrew Luck.’ When I remember Matt, I think of all that stuff.”
We get it, coach. You feel that USC lost in spite of Barkley, not because of him. Easy on the family and former player bashing.
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- College Football
Strength was almost certainly one of the main reasons Colorado recruited defensive tackle Samson Kafovalu out of high school, but the Buffaloes coaching staff may not have known just how strong the freshman is. Have you ever heard of someone tell you a person is capable of running through a brick wall if you make them angry enough? Kafovalu has reportedly turned that expression into a reality.
According to The Daily Camera, the 19-year-old freshman was ticketed by Boulder police on Friday night after officers say he tried to force his way into a frat party. A police report says Kafovalu was told by a security guard at the Kappa Sigma fraternity that he was not on the list for the event. The guard said he shouted and tried to force his way in before yelling, “Don’t (expletive) do this (expletive), I’ll (expletive) kill you.”
But that’s hardly the best part. The police report also stated that Kafovalu bumped into a short brick wall and knocked part of it over while his friends were trying to push him back. He reportedly caused $300 worth of damage.
Not surprisingly, the 250-pounder was discovered to be intoxicated after blowing a .120 on a breathalyzer. He was allowed to leave the scene but issued a summons on charges of threatening bodily injury, trespassing, consumption of alcohol by a minor and use of fighting words.
Odds are the wall he knocked over probably had some structural issues to begin with, but we like to think he barreled right through it, leaving nothing but a silhouette of his body as he came out the other side. Yeah, that’s how it happened.
There has been some speculation that the San Francisco 49ers would be in a good position to acquire Darrelle Revis from the New York Jets should they choose to make a run at him. If the Niners were to make a trade for Revis, one interesting thing to note would be that it would put him in the same division as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.
About a month ago, Sherman randomly posted some stats on Twitter in an attempt to prove that he is a better corner than Revis. The Jets corner finally responded to Sherman’s call-out last week, and an epic Twitter battle between the two Pro Bowlers followed shortly thereafter. However, Sherman insists he does not think it would be a big deal if Revis joined him in the NFC West.
“It’d be fun either way, there’s always a rivalry there,” Sherman told 710 ESPN in Seattle when asked about the prospect of Revis being traded to San Francisco. “I still wouldn’t get to play against him directly so it wouldn’t really matter to me. I’m sure our receivers would have a little fun with him. But yeah, I don’t mind either way, he’s really irrelevant in my mind.”
If that were true, Sherman wouldn’t have taken the time to post those stats back in January or get into a heated argument with Revis on Twitter over who is the better corner. He clearly wants to be considered a superior player, and it’s obvious he keeps a close eye on what Revis is doing and has done throughout his career. At this point, Sherman is well past the point of being able to play it cool.
H/T Sports Radio Interviews
Photo credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
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Former Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Swope ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday, making him one of the three fastest players who took place in the Combine this year. But could he be flying under the radar even with that blazing speed?
In an interview with “The Dan Patrick Show” on Thursday, Swope was asked about being a white guy with those kinds of wheels. He said the fact that a white guy ran as fast as he did probably caught some people off guard.
“I think a lot of people were pretty shocked,” Swope said. “You don’t see that every day, a white guy running a 4.3. I just wanted to go out and let people know how important this is to me. This is a big deal. I’m trying to make it in the NFL and I want to go out and do it the right way.”
As Pro Football Talk pointed out, Swope’s NFL.com scouting report says that his straight-line speed and acceleration are “average.” Either that information is inaccurate, or something is wrong with the clocks at the Combine.
Naturally, the former Aggie is used to being compared to successful white wide receivers who currently play in the NFL. One such player is Wes Welker, who Swope is not complaining about being compared to.
“I’ve been compared to Welker,” he said. “I think that’s a huge compliment because Welker’s a great football player. … But I think people decide to make a white and white comparison.”
While Swope’s skin color may work against him if he is stereotyped leading up to the NFL Draft, there are a number of current NFL players who feel that it can work in a player’s favor at the professional level. Several Miami Dolphins players feel that Brian Hartline is underrated because he’s white. Jordy Nelson feels he does not get the respect he deserves from opposing defenses for the same reason. Flying under the radar has its pros and cons.
Chris Johnson seems to never know what to say about the Tennessee Titans offensive line. He has a rocky relationship with the unit, one minute thanking them for their hard work and the next taking a shot at his teammates for not doing their jobs.
Johnson started off incredibly slow last season before picking things up down the stretch and finishing with 1,243 yards. Many people feel that he was dogging it for much of the year. Others have blamed the offensive line and system. We know where CJ?K stands on the subject.
“What a lot of people don’t understand, I was playing with an offensive line that only had one starter,” Johnson told Around The League on Wednesday. “I had four offensive linemen hurt. I felt like I did good with the situation I was dealt.”
In reality, it was probably a combination of poor offensive line play and inconsistent effort from Johnson. Not to mention, the Titans passing offense was hardly a threat to opposing defenses, allowing them to hone in on CJ and the running game. However, Johnson believes he is capable of turning things around and getting back to being one of the league’s most feared rushers.
“Every running back’s goal is to break Eric Dickerson’s record,” he said. “It’s a situation where you’re working hard and you want to break 2,105. I believe I can do it.”
Andrew Siciliano of the NFL Network then asked Johnson if he believes he can break Dickerson’s record in 2013.
“I think I can,” he replied.
If you were to bet on anyone doing it, you’d be best off putting your money on Adrian Peterson. AP won a rushing title while playing through a sports hernia in 2012 and his surgeon believes he could come back even stronger next season. Unlike Johnson, his effort has never been questioned. There’s no reason to believe that Johnson will give it his all over the course of a 16-game season — especially if the Titans struggle as a team once again.
Photo credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE