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Monday, May 30, 2016

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Mets Ownership Looking Lost, Seeking Partial Sale

The Wilpon family, owners of 100% of the New York Mets, have recently stated that they will entertain offers to sell up to 25% of the team. The family had previously said they never wanted to give up any portion of the team, but a recent lawsuit related to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme has forced them to rethink that stance. The lawsuit reportedly seeks to recover between $300 million and $1 billion from the Wilpons, money that would be used to compensate the other Madoff victims.

The Wilpons, largely-known for their real estate success, have consistently said that the Madoff scandal would not affect the Mets financially. This lawsuit essentially aims to prove that the family actually profited from the scheme. If that is the case, then the sale of 25% of the team — recently valued by Forbes at upwards of $800 million — likely wouldn’t even be enough to cover the low end of the lawsuit estimates.

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CBS Rejected Players Union TV Ad

It’s the week of the Super Bowl and a time when the only focus for the NFL should be the big game. Unfortunately, the possibility of a work stoppage looms over the game and leaves us wondering whether next season will go on as scheduled. I’ll say one thing: the connection between the TV networks and the league is not helping matters.

The web site AdAge says CBS College Sports Network rejected a “Let Us Play” ad from the Players Association that was to run during the NFLPA All-Star Game on Saturday. One can say that CBS just wants to avoid the issue, but the union feels like the network’s connection with the league is keeping them from airing the issue.

For the time being, the union has relied on social media efforts to spread their message. Here’s what one of their ads on YouTube looks like:

Recruit Brent Calloway Still Undecided Between Alabama and Auburn

Brent Calloway is a highly-rated recruit from Birmingham, Alabama. He had been committed to play football at Alabama for a year and a half, but he surprised folks by announcing a change of plans at the U.S. Army All American Game earlier in the month. His father, “Peaches” Winston, was not happy about the announcement, as we found out this weekend via College Football Talk.

“I’m from the old school,” Winston said. “When you shake a man’s hand, look him in the eye and make a commitment, you stick to that commitment. I respect him and I’m going to root for him. But I don’t think he handled it the right way.”

A big reason for the disconnect is a debate over what position Calloway should play; he wants to play running back which Auburn is offering, while his father and Bama both think he’s better suited to play defense.

Apparently Winston is not going down without a fight, because Calloway was in Tuscaloosa for a visit with Bama this weekend.

Only Calloway knows what he’ll announce on signing day Wednesday, and then we’ll find out how upset his folks are. Maybe the reason he’s reconsidering Auburn is because the money’s too good. If that’s the case, it’s certainly not being kick backed to his father’s church.

Peter King on Jay Cutler Criticism: He Is Not Very Well Liked by Other Players

If you’re wondering where all the Jay Cutler criticism came from since he left last Sunday’s NFC Championship Game with a knee injury, SI’s Peter King has an answer. King, who like us felt that there are other quarterbacks in the league who would have played despite being hurt in that game, said one of the reasons the Vanderbilt product became a pinata is because of his standing amongst his peers.

Appearing on Boston sports radio station WEEI, King said “[Cutler’s] just not a guy who’s very highly regarded or very well liked by other players in the league.”

Aside from the jealousy factor amongst players eliminated from the playoffs, that sure helps explain where all the criticism comes from.

Cutler leaving the conference championship game with a knee injury was already a story by itself. The controversy was perpetuated and taken to a new level when all his peers piled on because players ordinarily defend and protect each other. Now we have an idea why they went on, and truthfully, it’s not surprising given what what we know about Jay.

Roger Goodell: No Teammates Went to Bat for Ben Roethlisbeger

Despite missing the first four games of the 2010 season while serving a suspension, Ben Roethlisberger is on the verge of winning his third Super Bowl before turning 30.  You really can’t argue with what he’s been able to achieve on the field, but there is certainly plenty to be said about his character off of it.  It should come as no surprise that the public has a negative opinion of Big Ben.  The interesting part, however, is that most of his teammates felt the same way.

In Peter King’s most recent edition of Monday Morning Quarterback, he highlights a discussion that he had with commissioner Roger Goodell about Roethlisberger and his suspension.  Goodell said that it really bothers him when players act like they’re getting screwed with their punishment, especially since they bring it on themselves and people have a chance to defend them.  In Roethlisberger’s case, no one stuck their nose out.

“[Most often] they’re not recognizing they have a role in it,” Goodell explained when asked about Roethlisberger. “I bet two dozen [Steeler] players … Not one, not a single player, went to his defense. It wasn’t personal in a sense, but all kinds of stories like, ‘He won’t sign my jersey.’ ”

In other words, Goodell talked to some of Big Ben’s teammates to see if they thought the punishment was appropriate and no one made an effort to get their quarterback back on the field faster.  Regardless of how great a player Roethlisberger may be, that should tell you a lot about the type of person he is — or was.  Then again, it’s nothing a third ring in five years can’t solve.

Timothy Bradley Wants Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather but Amir Khan Is Next

Timothy Bradley beat Devon Alexander to unify the light welterweight belt on Saturday evening. The fight was stopped because of accidental headbutts delivered by Bradley that cut Alexander, but Tim was easily the winner to that point. After unifying the titles, who will be next for Bradley? He answered the question in the ring, saying “[Amir] Khan right now would probably be the number one on my list right now, but I want the fight fans to pick who I fight next and I’ll fight him.”

Though Bradley thinks a fight with Amir Khan could come next, he also mentioned that he wants “a chance with Floyd Mayweather,” but that “the key name on the list down the road is Manny Pacquiao.”

Bradley’s promoter, Gary Shaw, says he wants Mayweather next, but Mayweather has been inactive and is likely working on taking care of his legal issues. Pacquiao is fighting Shane Mosley in May but is running out of viable opponents until Mayweather expresses interest in a fight between them. Perhaps a clash with Pac-Man could be in store, but Bradley has a lot of work in front of him before he can ascend to that level. For now, arranging a fight with Khan and winning it should be keep him plenty occupied.

Oracene Price Wanted Li Na to Win, Called Kim Clijsters Dubious and Medusa

If you’re unfamiliar with Oracene Price, she’s the mother of Venus and Serena Williams. Oracene travels to many tennis events to support her daughters, though Serena did not play in the Australian Open and Venus lost in the third round.

Apparently she stopped following the tournament after Venus was defeated because she had to ask her twitter followers who had reached the finals of the tournament. Informed it was Li Na and Kim Clijsters, Price said she wanted Na to win. “I agree is would be cool for a Chinese to win. I like first timers. Also I don’t want My vision blurred!”

Then she explained her issues with Clijsters.

“Lets say I’m not pulling for the other one. I dislike dubious people,” Price wrote. She then elaborated on the vision blurred remark, “Did you peep that eye of hers It gives you the Madusah scare and turns you into solid stone. Don’t look at that eye.”

Look, Oracene’s allowed to have her likes and dislikes just like anyone else. But if you’re wondering where the outright disrespect comes from, it likely dates back to this incident at the 2009 U.S. Open. I tell you, there’s no wonder where Serena gets her attitude from. Too bad for Oracene that Clijsters won, but I’m guessing many more people were happy about that result than not.

via Chris Chase at Yahoo! Sports

Football Fans Show Incredible Interest in Pro Bowl Despite its Irrelevance

I don’t get it. I really do not get it. Our man Danny Lee wrote a satirical piece earlier this week explaining that he won’t be watching either the NHL All-Star Game or Pro Bowl. I don’t mind either All-Star game, or any for that matter, but none of them intrigue me. Actually, the skills competitions prior to the games generally capture my attention, but that’s it. Apparently I’m in the minority, because regardless of how irrelevant the Pro Bowl is, how little the players care about it, and little effort they give during the game, the fans absolutely love it.

Last year we pointed out that the Pro Bowl drew massive TV ratings, figuring that the game’s move to the week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl played a role in the boost. This year, it seems like more of the same. Check out some of the most popular search terms on google in the hours leading up to the game:

For me, watching the Thunder-Heat and Lakers-Celtics was on my sports radar Sunday. The Pro Bowl was not. Clearly that’s not the case for most sports fans who were so concerned with not missing the Pro Bowl they made it the most-searched term and fourth-most searched term. The power of the NFL is unbelievable, and this is just more evidence that the players and owners must come to an agreement on a new CBA because they can’t risk losing any popularity from this booming business.

Kevin Durant Says Chris Bosh Is a ‘Fake Tough Guy’ and Is Right

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant got into a mild incident with Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh on Sunday during the Heat’s win. The two merely exchanged words after Thunder guard James Harden went in for a fast-break layup and was fouled hard by Bosh. Apparently Durant told Harden to dunk on Bosh the next time, and Bosh essentially said that wasn’t going to happen. They each got technical fouls, and Durant had more words after the loss.

“I’m a quiet guy, a laid back guy,” Durant said. “But I’m not going to let nobody talk trash to me. He’s on a good team now so he thinks he can talk a little bit. But it’s a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he’s one of them.”

Durant’s self-description is pretty accurate, and I think most people would categorize Chris Bosh the same way. Bosh is generally laid back and quiet, and has even admitted as much. But being on a great team like the Heat with all the backup they have certainly can inflate one’s ego. That’s happened with Bosh, and Durant is exactly right. Thing is, Bosh’s team is good enough to back him up, and apparently he was feeling good after returning from his ankle injury to do that kind of talking.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki (Durant and LeBron pictured, not Bosh)

Savon Huggins Pulls Jerk Move on North Carolina When Committing to Rutgers

I don’t spend much time following high school recruiting news, so you know something had to happen for me to write a story on it. This is about Savon Huggins, who apparently is a pretty highly ranked running back recruit. I don’t know who this guy is, but I do know that his college and NFL stats are identical to mine: 0 yards. Until he’s actually proven something at a level that matters, he shouldn’t pull crap like this, and he really shouldn’t be doing it at all.

Frumpzilla shares with us how Huggins teased North Carolina when he announced he’d be signing with Rutgers for college. Check out the 1:20 mark of this video:

Yeah, I know recruiting news has become a big deal in this country because there are so many diehard college football fans. I know hundreds of coaches are sending letters to these kids and smooching the butts of these 17 year olds, telling them how special they are. But let’s get real, they need to learn some lessons about respect. Huggins is just a high school kid. He should never pull disrespectful moves like that, screwing with another school. Who does he think he is?

As far as I’m concerned, he’s put himself in the same class as Jimmy Clausen and Kobe Bryant for high school announcement jerk moves. Kobe showed up to his indoor press conference with sunglasses on. Jimmy Clausen rolled up to his in a stretch limo. Those are no-nos right there, and this guy Huggins has now placed himself in the same category. Listen kid, you’re no big deal. You have no place to be pulling garbage like that.

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