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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

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Joe Buck explains why he quit Twitter

Joe-BuckIn addition to being one of the most successful broadcasters in sports history, Joe Buck is also one of the most heavily criticized. He has been accused of being a homer for every team in America, called every name in the book and probably told to kill himself or “eat a (blank)” thousands of times.

That’s pretty much why Buck hasn’t tweeted in well over a year.

During a recent appearance on a podcast with Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, Buck explained that he quit Twitter because he found himself engaging negative people and allowing criticism to affect how he was doing his job.

“I found that I was spending an inordinate amount of time either engaging the people that were giving me crap or kinda sparring with someone who was being funny back or you know retweeting or engaging somebody that was being positive,” he said, as transcribed by Jim Adair of Crossing Broad. “It was really everything. I think Twitter kinda breeds a lot of the negativity and I know when you’ve written articles about me there’s kind of an apology to the Twitter haters that you start with that always catches my attention.”

Not surprisingly, Buck says the last straw came when he was calling a game between the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies — two very reasonable fan bases, right?

“I was in Philadelphia actually, from what I remember, and I had the feed open and I was doing the game – I think it was Boston at Philly – and if you want harsh comments do a Boston/Philly game and have your Twitter feed open,” he explained. “And I started reading the comments and finding myself almost reacting to it, and curtailing what I was saying or an opinion as I was going through the game. And I was like what am I doing? This is a dead-end. This is moronic.

“So I was like, you know what? It felt like when I dropped an Astronomy class in college when I was failing it, I’m just gonna delete this from my phone.”

Believe it or not, public figures have natural human reactions, too. Heck, Buck gets so much Twitter hate that he was once blasted for a game he wasn’t even calling. I don’t blame him for calling it quits.

Michael Sam, boyfriend Vito Cammisano broke up?

Vito-Cammisano-Michael-Sam

After abruptly leaving the Montreal Alouettes earlier this month, Michael Sam returned to the team on Sunday night and explained that he needed to take care of some issues in his personal life. We now have an idea of what may have been going on.

It appears Sam and his boyfriend Vito Cammisano, to whom the former Missouri star was engaged, have broken up.

As TMZ pointed out, Sam has removed several photos of himself with Cammisano from his Twitter and Instagram pages. One of them is the photo that shows Sam down on one knee proposing to Cammisano during a trip to Europe. Sam and Cammisano have also not been spotted together in roughly two months, and Vito said nothing on social media after Sam left the Alouettes.

For further evidence, TMZ noticed that Cammisano — an aspiring video blogger — posted a video on YouTube earlier this week in which he is not wearing an engagement ring. Here’s a screenshot:

Vito-Cammisano-ring

There has been speculation that Sam left the Alouettes because he was “pouting” after a teammate made a comment about him, but relationship trouble would make more sense. If you remember, Sam and Cammisano kissed on national television after Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams. They have been very public with their displays of affection since Sam came out. Something has to be up.

TJ Oshie girlfriend Lauren Cosgrove had a heck of a bachelorette party

Lauren Cosgrove TJ Oshie

TJ Oshie is getting married soon to his longtime girlfriend Lauren Cosgrove, and it looks like the woman just had herself one heck of a bachelorette party in Las Vegas.

Cosgrove, who has a daughter with Oshie, flew out to Sin City and partied it up with her friends in her last days as a single woman.

We’re guessing you’re going to enjoy these photos of the barbie doll (no, the photo at the top is not from the party, so don’t worry):

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DeAndre Jordan recruited by Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony

DeAndre Jordan Clippers

When DeAndre Jordan was drafted in the second round in 2008, how many people would have envisioned that he’d be one of the most sought-after free agents in the NBA seven years later? Very few, but alas, here we are. And Jordan is such a hot commodity that the who’s who of NBA stars are trying to recruit him.

Jordan, who was drafted by the Clippers and has spent his entire career with the team, is expected to make potentially max money on his next contract. When free agency begins, the defensive-minded center will meet with the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, and then the Clippers, in that order.

The LA Times’ Broderick Turner reports that teams fighting for Jordan have their big guns trying to recruit him. Kobe Bryant has called to recruit Jordan to the Lakers; Carmelo Anthony has done the same for the Knicks; Chandler Parsons has been hanging out with him representing Dallas; and Clippers coach/exec Doc Rivers met with Jordan, along with Jamie Foxx.

If any team is able to lure Jordan away from the Clippers, the Mavs are viewed as the team that might do it. The Clippers are able to offer Jordan more money than anyone else because they hold his Bird rights, but one potential knock is the reported strained relationship between the center and point guard Chris Paul.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Frank Kaminsky gets ‘Stanky Franky’ name in Wikipedia edit by Congress staffer

Frank Kaminsky

Many people were none too pleased with the Charlotte Hornets’ selection of Naismith College Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky ninth overall in last Thursday’s NBA Draft. Seen as a reach in the top 10, the pick became even more baffling after Celtics GM Danny Ainge revealed the gargantuan trade offer he presented the Hornets with for No. 9. Now apparently, the sour sentiment surrounding the Wisconsin center has made it all the way up to the United States Congress.

The Twitter account @CongressEdits automatically sends out a tweet every time an IP address linked to the congressional offices in Washington, D.C. makes an edit to a Wikipedia article. On Monday, the account revealed a rather interesting and none-too-flattering edit.

Our American government hard at work, ladies and gentlemen. It’s unclear if the edit bestowing the “Stanky Franky” sobriquet on Kaminsky was the result of an unpaid staffer looking for a cheap thrill, a bored representative trying to spice up a dull Monday morning on Capitol Hill, or just someone with legitimate antipathy for Kaminsky. Whatever the case, the edit was quickly removed and the seven-footer’s Wikipedia page reverted back to its original state.

Let’s just stick with “Frank the Tank” for now, folks. Though the edit might not be too far off-base considering Kaminsky probably does a mean Stanky Leg.

Stanky Franky definitely has better moves than Jimmer Fredette.

H/T SI Extra Mustard

Report: Mike Richards’ contract terminated over border incident

Mike Richards

The Los Angeles Kings on Monday terminated Mike Richards’ contract, a day after they placed him on waivers. The team was expected to buy him out of his 12-year deal, so this was an unexpected move. However, the move might not stand up if challenged by the NHLPA.

Though there are few details about what happened that led to the termination, there is some information. ESPN’s Katie Strang says an “off-the-ice incident” spurred the move. She also reports that the Kings were engaged in trade talks to deal Richards Friday before finding out about the incident, which scuttled their plans.

TSN legal analyst Eric Macramalla shed some light on the matter and said on TSN 1200’s “The Drive” in Ottawa that Richards was involved in an issue at the border.

NBC’s Pierre McGuire also confirmed something happened at a border crossing.

On TSN 690 in Montreal, McGuirre said he had a “broken heart” over what happened. When host Mitch Melnick said he heard it was something that happened at a border crossing, McGuire agreed and said that was “correct.”

“I’m not going to talk about it until it’s made public. I have a pretty good idea of what is happening,” McGuire said.

Richards, 30, was a two-time All-Star during his six seasons in Philly. He was traded to the Kings in 2011 and has failed to come close to matching his production with the Flyers. The Philly Daily News’ Dan Gross reported in 2011 that the Flyers were disappointed with Richards’ partying ways. Richards learned about the trade at the time by reading about it online.

Many believe the Kings would have a hard time winning an appeal if the termination decision were contested by Richards’ team.

Report: Knicks gave up on signing Marc Gasol ‘long ago’

Marc Gasol

The list of potential suitors for soon-to-be free agent center Mark Gasol is dwindling by the day, and that probably has to do with the common belief that he will re-sign with the Memphis Grizzlies.

The New York Knicks, who were once interested in Gasol, have apparently moved on. According to Fred Kerber of the New York Post, the Knicks “long ago gave up any hope” of being able to sign the 30-year-old.

Gasol posted a career-high 17.4 points per game last season for a Grizzlies team that advanced to the second round of the playoffs this year (pushing the eventual champion Golden State Warriors to six games) and appears to be headed in the right direction. In all likelihood, Gasol will sign a max contract with Memphis and earn more money than he could anywhere else.

Now that they have seemingly given up on Gasol, the Knicks are turning their attention to DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge. Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reports that the Knicks are considered “long shots” to land either player, but both Jordan and Aldridge reportedly have New York in their top five.

When Gasol’s brother Pau indicated several months ago that Marc was interested in what the Knicks had to offer, there apparently wasn’t much truth to it.

H/T Eye on Basketball

Royals slipping in All-Star Game voting, lose two more starters

Royals All-Stars

On Monday, Major League Baseball released its sixth voting update for this year’s All-Star Game and thankfully, it looks as though The Great Kansas City Ponzi Scheme of 2015 is beginning to come unraveled at the seams. Somewhat.

Amidst aggressive Royals fans trying to stuff the ballot boxes like Franklin Delano Roosevelt trying to pack the Supreme Court, Kansas City boasted an absurd EIGHT players leading the voting for their respective positions when the fourth update was released on June 15. In fact, reigning AL MVP Mike Trout was the only non-Royal to lead the voting for his position at the time, resulting in cries of voter fraud, pitchforks being raised, and ultimately MLB cancelling over 60 million votes due to concerns of illegal voting practices.

After the fifth update on June 22 that saw Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera surge ahead of the Royals’ Eric Hosmer at the first base position, Monday’s most recent update saw two more Royals lose their footing atop the voting leaderboard, providing yet another blow to Kansas City’s delusions of All-Star Game hegemony.

As you can see above, not only has Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson overtaken Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas, but he has also opened up a sizable lead of 1,365,338 votes. Additionally, Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales has been surpassed by Nelson Cruz of the Seattle Mariners, while Cabrera’s lead over Hosmer at first has grown even further to 2,443,610 votes. Not to mention, Jose Altuve is quickly gaining ground on Omar “Mr .237/.243/.320 Season Slash Line” Infante at the second base position as the Astros put on the full-court press.

In the words of Batman, “Justice always prevails.” Though I’m not entirely sure if Batman actually said that and I’m not entirely sure if having “only” five Royals starting this year’s All-Star Game actually qualifies as justice. Oh well. Just keep voting, everyone!!!

Fred Smoot played with ‘several’ gay players, says ‘everyone knew’

Fred-Smoot-RedskinsMichael Sam is the only openly gay pro football player in history, but that does not mean he is the only gay player in the league.

Former NFL cornerback Fred Smoot did an “AMA” on Reddit Monday to promote his podcast, and he answered a wide range of questions. Some of the questions had to do with gay players, and Smoot had a pretty interesting response.

Here’s how the sequence went:

Q: Did you encounter any gay players?
A: yes. several.

Q: At the professional level? Was it a don’t ask don’t tell kind of thing, or did everybody on the team generally know?
A: everyone knew

Q: We’re they treated noticeably different? Or did nobody really care?
A: no one cares

Though it seems like nobody cares about players being gay, there was a belief that that was part of the reason Sam was cut from the league, though others disagree. Sam also agrees with Smoot and has said in the past that there are a lot of gay players in the league, they just aren’t publicly open about it.

Smoot’s a pretty interesting cat, so his entire AMA is worth reading. He’s a funny guy (he did coin the “Red Lobster” nickname for Mike Shanahan). We’re just thankful his “Love Boat” scandal didn’t go down during Roger Goodell’s day, otherwise he would have been banished from the league.

Phil Mickelson probably didn’t commit crime even if he gambled

Phil-Mickelson

Phil Mickelson and his astronomical fortune have once again made headlines for the wrong reasons, but that doesn’t mean the five-time major champion is guilty of committing a crime.

The latest alleged scandal involves an illegal gambling operation and $2.75 million of Mickelson’s money. Gregory Silveira, a 56-year-old former sports gambling handicapper, pleaded guilty last week to laundering $2.75 million in funds from an unnamed “gambling client” between February 2010 and February 2013. ESPN’s Outside the Lines is reporting that the client is Mickelson, and Silveira allegedly received a wire transfer of $2.75 million — presumably from Mickelson — in March 2010. So “Lefty” is in trouble, right?

Probably not.

Silveira admitted in California court that he knew the money he accepted and distributed into his accounts was related to “illegal sports gambling.” Believe it or not, that could be a good thing for Mickelson.

As David Malinkski of the gambling website Pregame.com notes, it’s likely that Mickelson’s name was not mentioned in any court documents because he has not committed a crime. A Fortune Magazine story that was written several years ago explains how it is the taking of wagers that is illegal in most states, not the placing of wagers. For example, California — where Silveira pleaded guilty — does not prosecute those who place bets. Unless Mickelson was somehow involved in the taking of wagers or was profiting from the gambling operation, he was probably just making wagers through Silveira or someone connected to Silveira.

When you consider how much money Mickelson made last year, it seems unlikely that he would be involved in the business end of an illegal gambling ring. It’s no secret that Phil likes to bet (and bet big) on sports. My guess is he was just betting through Silveira, which would technically be legal for Phil and illegal for Silveira in the state of California.

Much like last year when Mickelson’s name was tied to alleged insider trading, it’s unlikely that the 45-year-old will face any legal consequences.

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