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Thursday, September 29, 2016

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Video: Soup Nazi and Frank Costanza at Mets Game

On Saturday, we passed along the news that actor Larry Thomas, better known as the Soup Nazi, attended the Mets-Dodgers game at Citi Field. The Soup Nazi was at the game “to give DVD prizes to fans at Citi Field who correctly answered trivia questions about the show,” according to the AP via Off The Bench. He wasn’t alone; Frank Costanza joined him as well. Frank, aka Jerry Stiller, managed to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame without breaking character. Here’s the video via Mets Police:

At least their visit to Citi Field seems to have gone better than the last time a Seinfeld cast member attended a Mets game.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Victor Ortiz to Fight in September at Cowboys Stadium?

It’s starting to look more and more like Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be returning to the ring. Last week we told you his uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, said he anticipated Floyd would fight by the end of summer. Adding to that speculation was Floyd’s presence at ringside of the Victor Ortiz-Andre Berto fight, suggesting he was doing some scouting. All that speculation is starting to come together.

The Examiner noted that BoxRec.com has Mayweather scheduled to fight Victor Ortiz on September 17th at Cowboys Stadium. Here’s the shot from Floyd’s BoxRec page:

Now if all the aforementioned information doesn’t convince you something is in the works, in an interview with KU Sports last week, Ortiz said he’s negotiating a deal to fight Floyd. “I just need to look at the contract and make sure everything is OK,” Ortiz said. “It’s not 100 percent sure yet, but that’s what I’m setting my sights on.”

LBS reached out to Ortiz’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions about the BoxRec.com scheduled fight, and they told us “There is nothing to announce at this time.” The way it’s phrased — that there’s nothing to announce at this time — makes me think there will be something to announce in the future.

If this fight does go down in September, it will be quite a challenge for Floyd in his first fight since May last year. As we wrote, Ortiz looked darn good in his win over Berto.

Glove touch to Black Sports Online for the info

Milton Bradley Designated for Assignment by Mariners, Who Will Pick him up?

In a move that should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone, Milton Bradley has been designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners. The move comes after Bradley was ejected for arguing balls and strikes Friday night, which was a week after he was ejected for arguing a call as a baserunner. Bradley was only hitting .218 on the season and even had to resort to wearing earpluggs to block out boos at home, so you could tell things weren’t working out for him in Seattle.

Bradley’s list of recent infractions include a domestic violence charge this offseason, leaving the ballpark during a game last season after being replaced, flipping off the fans in Texas, and calling himself the Kanye West of baseball.

When he was first acquired by the Mariners in a trade with the Cubs a year and a half ago, we wondered how long he would last. Looks like barely over a year is our answer.

Designating Bradley for assignment means he’s been removed from Seattle’s 40-man roster. They now have 10 days to either trade, release, or place him on waivers. Nobody will claim Bradley based on his current contract, and he has the right to refuse a minor league assignment. He’ll probably end up being released, so the question is who will pick him up.

There are plenty of teams that could use the offense, and my guess is a team like San Diego may take a chance. The problem is Milton has proven beyond a doubt that he cannot avoid trouble wherever he goes. At least he used to be able to hit and be worth the risk. Now he’s not even doing that. His career is going to end a lot sooner than it should, and he only has himself to blame.

Forearm bash to MLBTR

Andrei Kirilenko Gets Massive Back Tattoo

We’ve seen our fair share of tattoos here at LBS. Some are self-indulgent like David Beckham’s, some can be feminine, and some are just downright disgusting. Classify Andrei Kirilenko’s new back tattoo how you choose, I’ll call it elaborate:

Hey, it could be worse — at least he didn’t go Birdman neck tattoo on us.

To see all sports-related tattoos posted at LBS, go here

Pictures courtesy Vicback on twitter via SLC Dunk and The Basketball Jones

Video: Jeremy Roenick Calls Patrick Marleau’s Performance ‘Gutless’

For the second year in a row, analyst Jeremy Roenick has criticized San Jose Sharks winger Patrick Marleau during the playoffs. Last year, Roenick criticized Marleau for not hitting anybody. This time he said something similar, criticizing Marleau for being gutless and having no heart:

Marleau has not scored a point in San Jose’s series against Detroit, one the Sharks lead 3-2. Worse yet, he was embarrassed by Pavel Datsyuk who stole the puck from him and assisted on a goal that gave the Red Wings a 4-3 lead Sunday. Still, Marleau is one of San Jose’s top players having scored 73 points during the regular season. He may not be doing anything against Detroit and he needs to help them close things out.

The question is whether Roenick’s criticism was unfair. Look, I can’t stand Roenick from his playing days, but I think he was giving his honest opinion as a good analyst should. Was it accurate? Was it harsh? Those are debatable points and matters of opinion. You can also question Roenick’s loyalty considering the two were once teammates. To the Sharks fans offended by the analysis, I’ll say this: just hope Marleau uses it as motivation to prove him wrong. If Marleau has a good Game 6, it may have been the best thing for San Jose.

Stick tap to Puck Daddy for the video and background

Did Pau Gasol Confirm Off-Court Issue with Girlfriend, Kobe?

It’s been a long month for Pau Gasol, and it looks like the summer will be even longer. On Friday we passed along a report saying Pau Gasol’s girlfriend broke up with him and that Pau was blaming Kobe’s wife for it. When asked about the report, Pau expressed dismay over the “lies” and Kobe said his wife barely knew Pau’s girlfriend.

Now that the Lakers were embarrassingly swept out the playoffs and went down dishonorably, Gasol seems to have opened up about some of the issues. From Bill Plaschke’s column in the LA Times:

“I have to learn from this,” Gasol said. ”I have to learn that when something happens off the court, you have to keep it off the court.”

He was referring to the report that he stopped talking to Bryant during the postseason because Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, had contributed to the breakup of Gasol and his longtime girlfriend. Lakers fans will remember that Karl Malone once publicly accused Vanessa of interfering with his personal life in a similar fashion.

As if that wasn’t enough, Marc Spears wrote at Yahoo! that “Pau Gasol … seemed to confirm reports that he was bothered by off-the-court issues. “I’m going to look back and see everything that’s been going on,” he said. “Try to handle it better. And whatever goes on, on or off the floor, just try to keep it that way and not let it affect anything that goes on on the floor.”

(more…)

Tony La Russa Taking Day Off to Have Infected Eye Examined

The only Tony La Russa news we’ve focused on lately was his daughter becoming a Raiders cheerleader. The other La Russa story getting attention, aside from his team’s incredible offense lately, is his eye that was infected by conjunctivitis aka pink eye. The picture above shows how Tony’s eye looked back in late April (around the 20th), and it apparently is still bothering him. As the aptly-named Eye on Baseball notes, La Russa will be taking the team’s day off Monday to get the eye checked out at the Mayo Clinic. Even as badly infected as the eye has been, you can’t really blame him for not getting it checked out. After all, what’s more important: having your vision, or not deserting your team in May? The way Chris Carpenter’s been pitching, the former isn’t so bad.

Picture Credit: Post-Dispatch

Bennett Salvatore Admits to Mistake on Inadvertent Whistle

Chicago Bulls fans were complaining that the refs screwed them at the end of Game 4 in Atlanta, and it looks like they are justified. Referee Bennett Salvatore admitted he got a call wrong at the end of the game that helped shift momentum towards the Hawks.

Derrick Rose pump faked a three-point attempt with 2:28 left in the game and was hit by Jamal Crawford who tried to block the shot. Rose should have been awarded three free throws for being fouled on the shot, but Salvatore apparently blew his whistle inadvertently. The result was a jump ball won by Atlanta, and they converted on their next possession to go up by eight points, 92-84. Had Rose been awarded his free throws and made all three, it would have been a one-possession game 90-87.

“I blew my whistle. I was positive it was not a foul,”
Salvatore said after the game
. “I blew my whistle by accident, which is an inadvertent whistle. That’s why I disallowed it.
“Having watched the replay, it was a foul. I made a mistake. I was wrong.”

Salvatore may have admitted his mistake, but you can’t make egregious errors like that in such a key situation. And are you telling me there was no other way to handle the situation than by having a jump ball? This is almost as bad as the Kendrick Perkins tip-in by Oklahoma City that killed Denver in Game 1. The refs can apologize all they want, but it doesn’t help the team that got screwed. I suppose the only equalizer in the situation is that there were several incidents when the Bulls got away with hard fouls on guys like Josh Smith. As disappointed and upset as Bulls fans are, I think it all evened out, so keep that in mind.

Thanks to Tom Ziller for the Salvatore link

Paris Hilton Hangs Out with Manny Pacquiao After Mosley Fight

Who knew Paris Hilton was a fight fan? I had no idea she liked Manny Pacquiao but apparently she must because she spent all Saturday evening at the bout in Las Vegas, and then she was hanging out for the postfight press conference with Manny. We know the woman likes publicity, but this seemed to be slightly more than your standard attention-whore behavior. Check out all the pictures of Paris with Pacquiao after the fight:

If you’re wondering why Paris was with Manny, we have our answer — it’s all business. She announced she’s headed to the Philippines this year, and she is planning to visit the country’s prized fighter and his family. She even linked to an article on her twitter page that says “there are rumors that Paris will open a Paris Hilton Beach Club” in the Philippines, so it seems like that is the case. Ahah! It all makes sense! What better way to establish some popularity than by latching onto the biggest hero in the country, right? Who said Paris Hilton didn’t know how to work the publicity chain.

Kobe Bryant: ‘I Grew up Under Phil’

Kobe Bryant guaranteed the Lakers would beat the Mavericks in Game 4 and still believed his team would win the series despite being down 3-0. They came out, played an awful Game 4, and truly embarrassed themselves with cheap shots to the Dallas players. Even though he had to be hurting inside, Kobe was as gracious as I’ve ever seen him following a defeat. Kobe exuded nothing but class, shared thoughtful sentiments about Phil Jackson, and he gave Dallas its proper due. Kobe said “The credit belongs with [the Mavericks],” and then he explained how he feels about Phil Jackson, who likely is done coaching.

“Phil, it’s tough for me to put into words what he’s meant for me. I grew up under him. So the way I approach things, the way I think about things — not only in basketball but in life in general — a lot of it comes from him because I’ve been around him so much, so it’s a little weird for me to think about what next year’s going to look like.”

I almost had to catch myself from choking after hearing that. Kobe? Kobe really said that? Kobe has feelings? I thought Kobe was only capable of scowling publicly, but he proved me differently. He was actually sentimental, and even in his toughest moment he was able to express how he felt about Phil Jackson.

I always thought Kobe was an independent guy who didn’t have a heart, but apparently he “grew up” under Phil. Don’t know about you, but that’s just crazy to hear from Kobe.

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