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War Machine captured by US Marshals in Simi Valley

War Machine mug shot

War Machine was captured by US Marshals and Simi Valley police without incident Friday after they found him at an extended stay hotel, a week after his alleged assault against porn star Christy Mack.

The Marshals’ investigation indicated that War Machine, real name Jonathan Koppenhaver, was in Simi Valley, Calif., which is his hometown. Here’s an official statement:

Further investigation revealed he was staying at the Extended Stay America Hotel located at 2498 Stearns Street in Simi Valley. Simi Valley Officers along side United States Marshals pinpointed his exact room and arrested him without incident.

Inside the room was a small quantity of cash and some pizza. The United States Marshal’s Service turned Mr. Koppenhaver over to the Simi Valley Police Department for booking on his warrant from Nevada. He was transported to the Ventura County Jail.

War Machine is facing seven counts for his alleged assault on Mack, which took place last Friday morning. Mack posted horrifying photos of the aftermath of the beating she received.

[Also see: War Machine joked about killing Christy Mack if they broke up]

Mack said in a statement on Monday that War Machine broke up with her in May and showed up at her home unannounced last Friday. She says she was with a friend who was fully clothed and unarmed, and she says War Machine began beating the man. The other man has been identified as Corey Thomas. After letting the man go, Mack says War Machine began beating her. Mack says War Machine punched her, kicked her, and broke at least 18 bones in her body during the incident. She says she escaped when he went to the kitchen, presumably looking for a bigger knife. She fled and began knocking on neighbors’ doors until one finally let her in and called 911.

War Machine tweeted his side of the story and said he had an engagement ring he was going to present to Mack. He claimed he was acting in self-defense and fought for his life. He also said he went on the run because he did not think he would get a fair shake from law enforcement/courts. War Machine’s brother says War Machine caught Mack having sex with Thomas and that Mack pulled a knife.

Jim Brown on Johnny Manziel: ‘I’m an ex-player, we used to party’

Jim-Brown-does-not-like-Trent-RichardsonCleveland Browns legend Jim Brown is a fan of Johnny Manziel. On Friday, Brown spoke about his appreciation for Manziel’s winning ways. The 78-year-old also admitted that he can relate to the whole partying thing.

“I like Johnny, you know, I like his type,” Brown said during an interview with ESPN Cleveland’s The Really Big Show on Friday. “Johnny is a champion, Johnny won games in college. He won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, didn’t he? … That’s pretty bold. Not bad. You got to have something going on to do that.

“You’ve got to remember, I’m an ex-player. We used to party. Let’s get real, man, we chase girls.”

Brown noted that he does not condone drug and alcohol abuse, but it was clear that he can relate to Manziel on some level. I doubt Brown would have been caught rolling up a $20 bill in front of a sink even if there were camera phones in his day, but we get the point.

A lot of people feel the same way Brown does about Manziel’s party boy antics. The ironic thing is that Brown hinted last summer that he thought some of the Browns players were partying too much, which was leading to a lack of commitment on the field. Plus, Manziel and some other rookies were fined for being late to a team meeting earlier this week.

For the most part, I agree with Brown. Kids in their 20s party and there’s no need to overreact. On the other hand, there have been situations where Manziel hasn’t used his best judgment. He’s constantly under a microscope. Learning to adjust to that wouldn’t hurt.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Pedro Martinez: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens deserve to be in Hall of Fame

Pedro Martinez Red SoxPedro Martinez is eligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame next year, and there is no reason to believe he won’t get in on the first ballot. Pedro thinks Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds should join him.

Clemens and Bonds have been eligible for the past two years, but neither has received enough votes to earn a spot in Cooperstown. Their numbers are certainly Hall of Fame-worthy, but their association with performance-enhancing drugs has essentially blacklisted them. Martinez doesn’t think that’s right.

“With all due respect to everybody that votes, I’ll have to say Roger and Barry Bonds are two guys that I think had enough numbers before anything came out to actually earn a spot in the Hall of Fame,” Pedro said Thursday while being inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame with Clemens, via Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com. “I’m not quite sure 100 percent how close they will be before all the things came out, but in my heart, if you asked me before any of that, I would’ve said, ‘Yes, 100 percent,’ without looking back.”

Bonds claims he “unknowingly” took banned substances while Clemens has vehemently denied ever using steroids or PEDs. Current Hall of Famers have said they will boycott the Hall of Fame if known PED users get in, but Martinez believes Bonds and Clemens were dominant enough before all the steroid talk surfaced.

“It wasn’t just the individual performances. [It was] how they dominated the time that they came up and stayed in the big leagues until those things happened,” Pedro said. “I believe they have a legit chance, and I think, with time, the voters will take into consideration what they did previously.”

Part of what makes Martinez’s career so incredible is that he dominated hitters during the height of the steroid era. As someone who has never been associated with PEDs, you would think Pedro would be opposed to cheaters getting the Cooperstown nod. Kudos to him for taking the high road.

Arian Foster still not cooperating with Houston media

Arian FosterArian Foster is in a particularly cranky mood this offseason. The Houston Texans star returned to practice Wednesday after nursing a hamstring injury, and on Thursday he spoke to reporters for just the second time since the 2013 season ended. Remember a couple weeks ago when he answered almost every question by saying he is just trying to be the best teammate he can be? Foster was just as much of a d-bag in offseason interview 2.0.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk picked out some of the best snippets from Foster’s useless interview. He gave a lot of one-word answers and blatantly danced around most questions. When asked if he actually considered retirement last year as he recently told ESPN, Foster once again said he is “trying to be the best teammate I can be.”

When someone asked a follow-up to the same question, you know what the response was.

“Every day you just work hard,” Foster said. “You’ve got to be the best teammate you can be out here.”

Foster was then asked why he has decided to not cooperate with the local media.

“I’m just trying to be the best teammate I can be and that’s part of it.”

Foster made it clear that he was only chatting with reporters because he is contractually obligated to do so. He also would not say whether he felt he was becoming a distraction to the team by being such a jerk to the media.

[Read more...]

Mike Matheny rips critics of Cardinals coaching staff

Mike-MathenyThe St. Louis Cardinals are struggling at the plate. The defending National League champions rank 29th in baseball in runs scored this season and have scored three or fewer runs in nine of their last 16 games. The Cards are also hitting just .243 with runners in scoring position this year, a full 87 points lower than their remarkable 2013 average.

Mike Matheny is well aware of the stats and struggles. He also realizes his team is just two games out of first and is very much in the playoff hunt, so the Cardinals manager is growing tired of hearing negative feedback.

“You’re putting as much work if not more now than what you did last year when things were going so well,” Matheny said earlier this week, via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “You’ve got people taking cheap shots all the time. You’re human. You wear that. Plus you know that the (players) are not happy with where the guys are right now.

“If you have coaches who don’t care, then they’re just putting in their time and chalking it up to a number of issues. That’s not what we have.”

The Cardinals have been shut out 11 times this season, but they are still pitching fairly well (12th in the majors with a 3.59 team ERA). While it might be time to make some adjustments, Matheny certainly doesn’t feel that his team needs to panic.

“I don’t care what anybody else thinks about the statement I’m about to make but our best offense is ahead of us,” Matheny said. “I’m 100 percent convinced of that. … We can’t do our job in defense of criticism. It’s never going to work out. Just keep doing the job and in the end it will come out in the wash.”

The Cardinals will be just fine. Their manager knows how to wear one on the chin. No, really, he does.

Corey Thomas was other man in Christy Mack-War Machine saga

Corey-ThomasThe man that Christy Mack was allegedly with when War Machine attacked her is Corey Thomas, according to TMZ.

Some of you may be familiar with Thomas if you watched the VH1 show “Megan Wants a Millionaire” back in 2009. Corey, who made a fortune in web design, was reportedly with Mack the night War Machine showed up at her home and went ballistic. When telling her side of the story, Mack said she is just friends with Thomas and that he was fully clothed.

Mack says War Machine broke up with her in May, though LB pointed out that posts on War Machine’s Instagram account from as recently as Aug. 3 indicated he was still with Christy. War Machine’s brother, Michael Eugene Koppenhaver, claims Mack and War Machine were still together and that he returned home last Friday to find her having sex with another man.

Koppenhaver says War Machine got into a physical altercation with the other man — who was apparently Thomas — and then acted in self defense after Mack went after him with a knife.

While we don’t know who — if anyone — is telling the truth, TMZ reports that Thomas has a broken nose and two black eyes from War Machine attacking him. War Machine also supposedly bit him in the face. We also know that Mack suffered some pretty gruesome injuries, as evidenced by these photos that she shared.

War Machine has yet to turn himself in and Dog the Bounty Hunter has not been able to track him down.

Kevin Ward Jr’s dad: Apparently Tony Stewart was the only one who didn’t see my son

Kevin-Ward-JrKevin Ward Sr. spoke publicly on Tuesday for the first time since his son Kevin Ward Jr.’s death last weekend. While Ward Sr. made it clear that he is angry over his son being hit and killed by Tony Stewart, he was sure to point out that he wants Ward Jr. to be remembered in a positive light.

“He was just a very God-gifted kid,” Ward told Charley Hannagan of the Syracuse Post-Standard. “I think he slept with a smile on his face.”

He didn’t leave it at that. Ward did not seem convinced that Stewart did everything he could to avoid hitting his son. He noted that all of the drivers moved to the bottom of the track when the caution flag came out, except for one.

[Graphic Video: Kevin Ward Jr. hit and killed by Tony Stewart]

“Apparently, Tony Stewart was the only one driving out there who didn’t see him,” Ward said.

All the footage we have seen is inconclusive. Ward Jr. definitely walked toward the bottom of the track to make a gesture toward Stewart, and it’s hard to tell how much of an effort Stewart made to turn his car out of the way. Regardless of that, Ward Sr. felt his son had every right to be angry.

“I think the reason he probably got out of that car is who put him into the wall,” he said. “He was definitely put into the wall. Tony Stewart was the best damn driver by far on the track that night. Why he had to go up as high as he did and hog my son, there’s no reason for it.

“The one person that knows what happened that night is possibly facing 10 years in prison. Is he going to say what he done?”

No charges are currently pending against Stewart, but that does not mean he is out of the woods.

Also see: Kevin Ward Jr.’s aunt calls Tony Stewart a ‘dick’