Ruben Amaro appears to not understand difference between at-bats and plate appearances

Ruben Amaro JrRuben Amaro has been running things in the Phillies organization for nearly six years, and little things like this might explain why the team has struggled lately under his watch.

Amaro joined Tom McCarthy and Jamie Moyer in the broadcast booth Thursday and was talking about how Jimmy Rollins is nearing Mike Schmidt’s franchise record for hits. Rollins is now at 2,233 career hits, while Schmidt had 2,234 hits (all with the Phillies).

In a truly embarrassing moment, Amaro was totally at a loss to explain how Rollins and Schmidt could have nearly the same amount of hits and at-bats (and therefore batting average), while Schmidt has nearly 800 more plate appearances.

Here’s what Amaro said via Crossing Broad:

“Yeah, we were checking it out. In fact Schmitty was in the booth yesterday when we were talking about it, and, um, I think it’s about a thousand difference in, ah, plate appearances. Pretty amazing. But their batting averages aren’t that different, which is kind of… weird. I don’t quite understand it.”

Oh jeeze, Ruben. You don’t understand it? Schmidt walked almost 800 times more than Rollins. Which would also explain his higher on-base percentage, in case you’re unfamiliar with that metric. The other less frequent occurrences that would explain the difference in plate appearances include sacrifices, hit-by-pitches and catcher’s interference calls.

Since I know there’s no way you’d believe an actual Major League Baseball GM wouldn’t understand the difference between at-bats and plate appearances, we’ve included the audio below as proof, as shared by Crossing Broad:

I want to give Rube the benefit of the doubt here, but there really is no explanation. How could an ownership group allow a guy with this lack of statistical knowledge to continue making all the important decisions about the franchise? That is really, really bad.

H/T LBS tipster David

Kings drop Rocco’s Old School as sponsor after owner tried to hire hitman to kill model wife

Dino Guglielmelli Monica Olsen

The Los Angeles Kings dropped “Rocco’s Old School Products” as a sponsor after learning the company’s owner was being investigated for trying to hire a hitman to kill his wife.

53-year-old Dino Guglielmelli pleaded no contest Friday to attempted murder charges after a recording showed he tried to pay an unemployed army vet $80,000 to kill his wife, former model Monica Olsen, while the two were going through a bitter divorce.

Guglielmelli is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday and faces nine years in prison after pleading no contest to second-degree attempted murder charges.

Guglielmelli is the owner of Creation’s Garden, a supplements and beauty care company. One of the subsidiary brands of the company is Rocco’s Old School, which specializes in tattoo aftercare products. Rocco’s Old School was the presenting sponsor of the LA Kings Ice Girls and worked with the Kings on other sponsorship projects until early in the season, evidence shows. This photo was taken in September:

The company’s name still appears on the Kings’ website in association with the Ice Crew:

Kings Ice Crew Roccos

LBS was informed that Rocco’s was dropped as a sponsor when the charges first came to light. The Kings began using their own logo in association with the Ice Crew for a few months until finding a new sponsor. They have since replaced Rocco’s with Zerorez Socal. Zerorez is a carpet and tile cleaning company, so sponsoring a crew that cleans the ice is a natural fit.

Guglielmelli was busted after the Army vet he tried to hire freaked out and contacted police before secretly recording Guglielmelli. Guglielmelli spent eight months in custody after it was discovered he was trying to wire $4.4 million out of the country and flee.

Guglielmelli and Olsen were married in 2004 and have two children together. They were going through a divorce after nine years of marriage and were fighting over money and custody of their children.

When asked on the recording about killing the mother of his two children, prosecutors say Guglielmelli said:

“They’re totally fine. All they need is their dad.”

Below is a video showing some still modeling photos of the 32-year-old Olsen:

And here is a video report on the story:

Michael Jordan officially a billionaire?

Michael-Jordan-Neighbors-AnnoyedMichael Jordan is finally a billionaire, according to an article that was published in Forbes on Thursday.

Jordan, who earns an estimated $90 million per year through endorsement deals, his clothing and shoe company, the Charlotte Hornets and other avenues, was estimated to have a net worth of around $750 million earlier this year. However, Mike Ozanian reports that a recent increase in his stake in the Hornets has pushed Jordan’s net worth into 10 figures.

In recent months, Jordan has supposedly increased his stake in the Bobcats from 80 percent to almost 90 percent. Sports bankers estimate that the Hornets are worth somewhere between $600 million and $625 million, using the recent $500 million sale of Milwaukee Bucks as a benchmark. Here’s how Ozanian came to his conclusion:

Our net worth figure for Jordan uses the $600 million figure. The Hornets have $135 million of debt, which makes Jordan’s equity in the team worth $416 million. After subtracting all the cash Jordan has invested in the team, we estimate his net worth outside of the Hornets to be $600 million, giving him a net worth of a $1 billion

It was only a matter of time, right? If a report from Golf Digest earlier this year is accurate, Tiger Woods recently became the first billionaire athlete.

Moral of the story? Be the best athlete to ever play your sport and cozy up with Nike.

Spurs are the best team in the NBA and straight up showing it

Kawhi Leonard LeBron James

The San Antonio Spurs finished the regular season with the best record in the NBA, and they have shown throughout the playoffs — and especially in the NBA Finals — that they are the best team in the league.

San Antonio has shocked most fans, pundits and onlookers by not just winning two straight games in Miami, but by blowing out the Heat in Games 3 and 4 on the road. They’ve used a combination of precise execution, incredible ball movement, and relentless effort on both ends of the floor to blast the Heat. They are so good they’ve managed to make Miami look like an old, second-rate squad. And this is the defending champion Heat we’re talking about — a team full of All-Stars and the greatest player on the planet!

The way the Spurs are playing right now makes me think about putting them in the conversation for best championship teams I’ve seen. They went 62-20 during the regular season, which doesn’t stack up next to the ’96 Bulls, the 2000 Lakers, or the 2008 Celtics based on record, but it’s a pretty showing when you consider how deep and talented the Western Conference was. They absolutely annihilated a very good Portland team in the second round of the playoffs, and they overall handled the Thunder with ease in the Western Conference finals. A very good, underrated Mavericks team matched up with them well and took them to seven games, which is probably a testament more to how good Dallas was more than anything else.

What the Spurs have done has been remarkable to watch. I thought they were going to beat the Heat because they were the deeper team and playing better than anyone going into the Finals, but I never thought I’d see what we’re seeing. Call the Finals boring because the Spurs have made the games non-competitive, but I’ve enjoyed watching the clinic they’re putting on.

Watching the Spurs play is like watching a state champion varsity team take on a JV squad. They just run circles around their opponents. They whip the ball around on offense and constantly keep the flow moving. They always manage to find the open man. They penetrate when they have to. It’s like they’re running simple layup lines and executing as if nobody were guarding them. I said after Game 2 that the Spurs would have to practically not miss shots in order to win in Miami, and that’s what they’ve done. For the Finals, they’ve shot 54.2 percent, which is the second-highest percentage through four games all time (according to Elias Sports Bureau). They’ve just caught fire NBA Jam-style.

And then on the defensive end, man, does anyone not defend on that team? You don’t see laziness, you don’t see guys leaving their man, and you don’t see anyone left open. You see help defense where it’s needed and guys all up in the face of their opponents.

This series has really turned into so much about what the Spurs are doing right rather than what Miami is doing wrong. If you’re watching these games, you know Miami is simply overmatched and doesn’t have the overall depth and talent to compete with San Antonio.

LeBron James is playing very well this series. He really is. He won Game 2 for the Heat, he had them in Game 1 until he suffered his cramps, and he’s been the only guy showing up these last two games. It’s his teammates — especially Dwyane Wade, whose body looks toast — stinking up the joint. They’ve gotten nothing from Mario Chalmers or anyone at the point, they’ve gotten very little from the bench, and they need Chris Bosh to go off.

If you want to criticize anything about the Heat, you better leave LeBron out of it. If this were a baseball series, Miami would have been nearly shut out by San Antonio’s pitching the last two games. LeBron is the guy going 3-for-4 with a couple of doubles, while the rest of the team has taken the collar. He’s doing all he can do, but he’s just not getting enough help.

As strange as it sounds based on how much I’ve praised the Spurs, I actually think the Heat can turn it around in Game 5. I still think the Spurs will win the series, but don’t think it’s just going to end in five. Miami will put up a fight. They’ll make some adjustments, they’ll play more inspired, maybe Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard will get into some foul trouble early and late (wink-wink), and the Heat will have a chance in Game 5. But San Antonio will win the series and prove to everyone what an awesome team they are.

If you’re analyzing this series and season and view this as anything other than proof of how good the Spurs are, you’re really missing out on what’s going on.

Dwyane Wade lazy defense in NBA Finals compilation (Video)

If you feel like Dwyane Wade has been a weak link for the Miami Heat during the NBA Finals and longer, this video will definitely support your position.

Dwyane Wade defenseOur friend Dylan Murphy put together this compilation video, and it shows Wade playing some incredibly lazy defense during the Finals. He’s often loafing it down the floor and the last guy to get back on defense. He doesn’t locate his man well. He wasn’t keeping track of his man well. He was getting out-hustled all over the place.

If you’re wondering why Manu Ginobili had so much success in Game 1, look no further than Wade’s bad defense as the reason. Seriously, his lazy defense was constantly exploited by the Spurs.

I don’t know, maybe Wade’s knees are seriously limiting his effort here. Maybe this is all he can do. But it sure doesn’t seem like it. And no matter how you look at it, it’s certainly putting the Heat at a disadvantage.

Kevin Stadler, Shane Lowry upset over ‘heavyweights’ group at US Open


What do Kevin Stadler, Shane Lowry and Brendon de Jonge have in common? For starters, they are all professional golfers who were put in the same grouping for the first two rounds of the US Open. They also weigh well over 200 pounds each. Is that why they are playing together at Pinehurst?

The USGA has a history of pairing golfers together at the US Open based on common traits. For example, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott and Charl Schwartzel — all former Masters champions — are playing together. Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell made up a threesome of former US Open winners.

You can probably see where this is going. There’s a good chance that Lowry, Stadler and de Jonge were paired together because they are all fat guys. Stadler’s caddie Shannon Wallis even referred to them as “the heavyweights.” Lowry doesn’t think the joke is funny.

“When I saw it, I was pretty annoyed,” Lowry said, noting that he has lost 18 pounds in the last six months. “I think it’s very cheeky of the USGA to do what they’ve done. I don’t think it’s fair to the three of us. It’s a mockery, to be honest.”

Stadler also seemed somewhat offended, though he cracked a joke about it.

[Read more...]

Kevin Love calls Timberwolves ‘they’

Kevin LoveHas Kevin Love already moved on from the Minnesota Timberwolves? We hate reading too much into one tiny piece of an interview, but it was hard not to take note when Love referred to his current team as “they” on Wednesday.

When Aja Dang of FOX Sports asked Love about the future of the Timberwolves under Flip Saunders, the star forward responded like he is already a member of another team.

“If they’re healthy, they can do a lot of damage,” Love said. “With Flip as the coach — kinda been there, done that, in the Eastern Conference and in the Western Conference, having seen and really played all sides in the basketball world, I think he’s going to do a great job.”

That is pretty telling. You can argue that it was simply a slip of the tongue, and that might be true. But I highly doubt Love would be referring to the team he has spent the first six seasons of his career with as “they” if he wasn’t planning on being dealt.

For what it’s worth, Love also said he has a great relationship with Saunders when asked about Flip saying Love has no reason to be frustrated with the direction of the T-Wolves.

“What some people don’t know is that Flip and I have a great relationship, and we’ve been constantly speaking about my situation,” Love said. “Flip is going to be a tremendous coach again for the Timberwolves; he did a great job last year with our team, even throughout all the injuries and different things that we had.

“But that’s the way of Flip of getting people motivated, whether it’s me or people you don’t even know about. Am I happy he said those things? I think he’s supposed to come out and say that because it’s a team game, not about one singular player.”

There are too many rumors swirling around to have a solid idea of where Love is going to be traded, but it would be a shock if he is not dealt. The Timberwolves would simply be taking too much of a risk by keeping him.