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Thursday, July 20, 2017

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Billy Butler upset with Robinson Cano over Home Run Derby diss

Billy ButlerFor the second year in a row, there is tension between Robinson Cano and Billy Butler over the Home Run Derby.

Cano was named captain of the AL Home Run Derby squad last year and upset Kansas City Royals fans by leaving Butler, the Royals’ top hitter, off the team. The All-Star Game was being played at Kauffman Stadium, and many felt that including one of the home team’s top players would have been a nice reward for the home fans. Cano felt differently and left Butler off the squad. The fans in KC protested Cano’s decision by booing him mercilessly during the competition and supposedly going after his family.

This year’s All-Star Game is being played at Citi Field, and Cano was named captain of the AL Home Run Derby squad once again. When asked if he would make amends by picking Butler for this year’s squad, Cano answered, “no chance.”

Butler found Cano’s “no chance” comment to be disrespectful.

“I respect Robinson as a great baseball player and I don’t feel like he has to make those type of comments, really,” Butler said on Wednesday, per MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel. “The situation had nothing to do with me, I was just a guy that was a part of it. I’d like for him to respect me a little bit more with his comments. There’s no reason to say ‘no chance’ or that kind of stuff.”

Butler accused Cano of stirring the pot with his “no chance” remark.

“Obviously, Robinson is still affected by what happened last year and I told him that it had nothing to do with me, it was the fans. The fans ran away with it and everything like that,” Butler said. “Robinson is just trying to stir the pot again.”

Look, Butler is a very good player and has been a very good player the last four seasons. The Yankees would love to have him on their team. But as good as he is, it needs to be recognized that he is not the kind of slugger fans want to see in a Home Run Derby. He only has five dingers this season. Sure, Cano could have answered the question in a more diplomatic way, but there really is no chance that Butler should be in the Derby. And if it makes you feel any better, Billy, you have killed the Angels this season and I would love to have you on my team.

New York Mets approached cougar dating site to help vote David Wright into All-Star Game

David WrightThe New York Mets are going all out in an effort to ensure David Wright is voted in as the starting third baseman for the NL All-Star team this year. The Mets are hosting the Mid-Summer Classic at Citi Field next month, and they don’t want to suffer the embarrassment of having their franchise player outvoted by the San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval for the second year in a row, especially when Sandoval is on the DL.

With Wright trailing Sandoval by 200,000 votes, the Mets decided to get creative in an effort to tap every single voter market possible. As reported by Deadspin, they even reached out to dating site CougarLife.com about a potential partnership that would have encouraged women to vote for Wright.

The team acknowledged on Thursday that they approached the “cougar” dating site about partnering to push Wright for the All-Star Game. The employees who explored the partnership likely got the idea after Wright won a recent vote on CougarLife.com that asked women to name the “cub” they’d most want to “round the bases with.” Wright topped Cole Hamels and Matt Kemp in the poll.

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Doc Rivers reportedly has interest in coaching Clippers

Doc RiversDoc Rivers has three years and $21 million left on his contract with the Boston Celtics, but there is growing speculation that he will not return to Beantown next season. Now the latest reports say that there is mutual interest between Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers, who have a vacancy after parting ways with Vinny Del Negro.

The Los Angeles Times’ Broderick Turner reported on Wednesday that Rivers would be at the top of the Clippers’ list if he decides he does not want to return to Boston. On Thursday, ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne reported that Rivers is “highly intrigued by the idea of coaching the Clippers.” They say there is strong mutual interest between both sides.

Multiple reports have indicated that Rivers may want to leave Boston after coaching the Celtics for the past nine seasons. The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn reported this week that speculation has grown that Rivers may step down as head coach. What are some of the reasons? CSN New England says Rivers may not want to stick around for a full-on rebuild considering Boston’s stars are aging.

Though there may be strong interest between the Clippers and Rivers, working out a deal for him to coach the team will not be easy.

First off, Rivers is scheduled to earn $7 million per season. The Clippers have a notoriously cheap owner who likely will not want to pay that amount. Secondly, since Rivers is still under contract with the Celtics, the Clippers might have to offer Boston some sort of compensation to persuade them to release the coach from his contract. A deal could be arranged, but I just don’t think it will be easy to figure out.

Brian Shaw, Byron Scott, and Lionel Hollins are other candidates for the job. If I’m the Clippers, Hollins would be the guy I’d want to hire.

Adrien Broner peels layer of skin off his face (Video)

Adrien Broner faceThis dude Adrien Broner is a real trip. Broner (26-0, 22 KOs) has an upcoming fight with Paulie Malignaggi on June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The two have picked up their media blitz this week in order to promote the big fight. But when it comes to Broner, he will find multiple ways to entertain the masses.

From the same people who brought you the video of Broner paying a woman $200 to cut in line at the DMV comes this video of Broner peeling a layer of skin off his face. It’s clearly a funky substance and not skin, but Broner plays the role so well he makes the video funny. Just his expressions and acting crack me up.

I haven’t decided yet whether Broner will be able to get a knockout, but I do think he’ll win even if he is stepping up in weight to face Malignaggi.

UFC fighter Josh Thomson believes gay marriage could lead to incest, pedophilia, polygamy

UFC fighter Josh Thomson issued a statement on Thursday to clarify his provocative comments about gay marriage.

Thomson, who is 20-5 and defeated Nate Diaz in April, started a discussion over Twitter and Facebook about gay marriage. Though he said he was not against gay marriage, he suggested that allowing gay marriage could lead to the fight for equality when it comes to issues such as polygamy, incest, and pedophilia.

Josh ThomsonThomson’s Facebook post sparked a discussion, and he weighed in on the comments of the thread.

“I’m only asking a question. My next question is, should siblings be allowed to marry siblings? My point is, where do you draw the line?” Thomson asked in a comment. “I personally don’t care who you marry but I also am smart enough to know that it opens a gateway to men/women trying to marry young kids, siblings marrying eachother and people having multiple husbands an wives. You have to think all of these things are okay otherwise your stopping them from being happy as well which is hypocrisy. Equality doesn’t stop with gay marriage, it just starts with it.”

Thomson continued to put gay marriage on the same level as bestiality, polygamy, incest, and pedophilia.

“I’m not talking about just gay marriage. I’m talking about where does it stop? Where do you draw the line? People wanna marry animals, children, siblings, multiple husband/wives, etc?
[…] it all comes down to those same people just wanna Be happy like the people who want gay marriage.

Look, I personally don’t give a [removed] who you marry but my question to you is, why is it okay for gays to marry and your gonna turn around and tell the guy he can’t marry the lil girl next door or the teacher she cant marry the lil boy in her class? Siblings, animals, etc. Why can’t they be happy like gay people an heterosexual people?”

After receiving backlash for his comments, Thomson defended himself in a statement issued on Thursday.

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Jurickson Profar doesn’t like water, is afraid of sharks

Jurickson-Profar-RangersTexas Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar is one of the most promising young players in baseball. He may be fearless when it comes to diving for a ground ball or standing in against a 100-mph fastball, but that doesn’t mean the 20-year-old has no fears at all.

During an interview with BaDD Radio on KTCK-AM earlier this week, Profar spoke about some of the things he liked to as a kid growing up in Curacao. While a lot of kids in Curacao like to play sports and go for a swim, Profar said he strayed away from the latter.

“Oh, I don’t like water,” he explained, via The Dallas Morning News. “Water is for sharks and stuff … I always watch Discovery Channel and stuff and I see those sharks and I get scared.”

I feel you, bro. Shark Week is no joke. There’s a list of about five countries I would never swim in thanks to programs I’ve seen on the Discovery Channel, so he’s not alone. And never mind sharks, what about jellyfish? Jellyfish are a scary mother, man.

One of the other highlights from Profar’s interview came when he was asked what types of television programs he watches in the US.

“ESPN,” he replied. “Let me see … Mr. Bean.”

If for some reason I ever win a contest that allows me to pick an MLB player to spend a day with, my choice has officially switched from Will Middlebrooks to Jurickson Profar.

H/T Hardball Talk

Golfers at Merion had to hit fairway shots off this mat prior to US Open

Merion-Golf-Club-fairway-mats

Because of the tremendous amount of rain that has fallen in the Pennsylvania area this week, the conditions at the US Open have been a bit unusual. Merion Golf Club is known for being one of the most difficult courses in the country to play, with firm conditions typically sending shots rolling all over the fairways and greens. Several inches of rain is enough to soften even the most immaculate course.

However, viewers may have already noticed that the fairways appear to be in perfect condition in terms of divots. The course was virtually divot-less for the first round of the US Open on Thursday, and that was not a coincidence. Since last October, anyone who played at Merion — members included — had to hit all of their fairway shots off a small artificial grass mat that their caddies carried around with them.

Talk about a commitment to excellence. If Tiger Woods was thinking about trying to sneak in an improper drop at this major, he better think again. There will be no confusion over which divot is which this weekend.

Patrick Ewing: Ku Klux Klan rally stopped me from picking UNC

Patrick Ewing coachPatrick Ewing is arguably the greatest player in Georgetown basketball history, but what many people may not know is that he was close to becoming a North Carolina Tar Heel. Had it not been for the Ku Klux Klan or some loud creatures of the night, he might have been college teammates with Michael Jordan.

Ewing, who was recently named an associate head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats, spoke to “The Dan Patrick Show” on Thursday about his relationship with Jordan. That led to a question about whether or not he was ever close to committing to UNC.

“I was close,” Ewing said. “North Carolina was a very good school, but when I went down there they put me in that Carolina Inn and there was a big Ku Klux Klan rally in North Carolina when I was there. I’m like, ‘You know what, I’m not coming down here.’ I’m staying my butt back in Boston.’ ”

However, it wasn’t just the presence of an organized racism rally that soured Ewing on the idea of attending school a bit further south. He also hated the bugs.

“And you know in North Carolina you hear all the crickets,” he said. “They stuck me in that Carolina Inn. At night down in North Carolina it gets pitch black and I hear all the crickets and I’m jumping and I’m like what the heck. So I (decided) I’m going back home.”

Ewing did add that his first choice was always Georgetown and his second choice was UCLA, so the KKK and the crickets may not have completely ruined things for UNC. Considering Ewing remembers it all so vividly, it’s certainly safe to assume it played a major role in his decision.

H/T The Big Lead

Tim Tebow will only have to speak to the media once a week

Tim-Tebow-PatriotsThe NFL has certain rules in place regarding when players and coaches have to speak to the media. Otherwise, people like Bill Belichick would just never do it — ever. Media obligations basically allow the type of buzz that Tim Tebow creates to rage on, unless of course the team designates him as one of its “stars.”

As the NY Post pointed out on Wednesday (via Deadspin), all NFL teams are allowed to label two players as “stars” who are only obligated to speak to the media once a week. New England is the only team in the league who has decided to use that stipulation for a player who is currently competing for a backup quarterback role. The other, naturally, is Tom Brady.

In addition to Belichick doing his best to ignore questions about Tebow and provide the media with no updates on the Patriots’ newest addition, reporters will also have limited access to Tebow. When the Patriots announced the signing of Tebow on Tuesday, he spoked to the media very briefly and fielded no questions. We can fully expect that theme to continue once a week as long as Tebow remains on New England’s roster.

As we said before, it appears Belichick is going to win this battle. Without comments or updates from the coach or player, there is going to be very little to report over the next couple of months.

David Ortiz on Home Run Derby: ‘I’m done with that’

David-Ortiz-rips-Buster-OlneyBoston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has been a fan favorite in the Home Run Derby for several years. Ortiz won the event with 32 total home runs in 2010 and has always provided the fans with some monstrous big flies and comic relief. Unfortunately, it appears we have seen the last of Big Papi in the competition.

On Wednesday, Ortiz said he would decline the invitation if American League team captain Robinson Cano asked him to participate.

“If he asks me to do it? I wouldn’t do it. I’m done with that,” Ortiz told WEEI.com. “I can’t do it no more. I can’t even do it in batting practice. Watch me in batting practice, I might lose a couple of balls but that’s it. I can’t do it. It wears me out. Wears me out. And you know the Home Run Derby (can’t) be taken lightly. You have to be young with a lot of energy.”

Young, he is not. At age 37, Ortiz has reached a point in his career where his health needs to be a top priority. He is off to a tremendous start to the 2013 season, and Boston is hoping that will continue after the All-Star break. Despite missing the first 15 games of the season, Ortiz’s power numbers still rank near the top of the AL with 13 homers, 48 RBI and a .608 slugging percentage.

The last thing Papi needs is to aggravate his heel or any other injury that has nagged him over the past couple of seasons. Without Ortiz in the middle of their lineup, the Red Sox offense would struggle tremendously. Taking a pass on the Home Run Derby is probably a wise decision. Sorry, Bobby V. — no Jose Ortiz this year.

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