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Yasiel Puig benched after arriving late to ballpark

Yasiel PuigYasiel Puig was a late scratch from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup on Friday after he arrived late to the ballpark, according to various beat writers. He was replaced by Matt Kemp after reportedly showing up at about 10:15 a.m. while batting practice was already underway.

As of now, it is being reported that Puig was benched for his late arrival. Had the coaching staff known he was going to be tardy, you would think he would have been kept in the lineup. Apparently Puig thought he was supposed to be there at 10:00.

If this was any other player on the Dodgers, it probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal. However, Puig also showed up late for a game last year. The team joked about his tardiness on social media after that incident, but it would appear that Don Mattingly was not amused on Friday.

Unless Puig has a very valid excuse for why he was late, he’s going to give the media in LA even more reason to be all over him. He supposedly called a meeting with his coaches and teammates last week to ask how he can improve off the field. I doubt anyone advised him to take his time getting to the ballpark.

Ohio State coach Ed Warinner takes funny shots at Michigan, Brady Hoke

Ed Warriner Urban Meyer

Ohio State assistant coach Ed Warinner (pictured above winking at Urban Meyer following a Carlos Hyde touchdown run) is now a known man in Michigan, and it’s all thanks to a couple of funny shots he took at the Wolverines and their coach, Brady Hoke.

Warinner, the co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach for the Buckeyes, spoke at the team’s annual Spring Kickoff event on Tuesday. According to Buckeyes reporter Marcus Hartman, Warinner hit Hoke with a zinger while speaking to the Buckeyes crowd:

Now that is classic. I don’t even know how Michigan fans could be upset over that line — it’s just too darn funny.

But Warinner wasn’t done with the one-liners!

Zing!

This dude’s a comedian!

Keep in mind that Warinner was speaking at essentially a pep rally, so we shouldn’t get too carried away about the comments, just like we didn’t when Hoke said Notre Dame was chickening out of their series with Michigan.

Not even Hoke seemed bothered by the comments when asked about them.

“The one thing around here, we always try to stay in between the lines,” Hoke said of Warinner’s comments Thursday morning on 1050-AM WTKA’s Michigan Insider. “That’s important with how you handle your program.”

At least he made light of it. But for now, the offseason zinger scoreboard reads just like the result from football: Ohio State gets the win.

Photo via Twitter/GerdOzone

Report: FSU investigated Jameis Winston case, he didn’t cooperate

Jameis WinstonJameis Winston was never charged with sexual assault late last year after he was accused of raping a woman on Dec. 7, 2012. The state attorney determined that there was not enough evidence against Winston to file a charge, and he later went on to lead Florida State to a BCS National Championship. But is he out of the woods?

According to a report Deadspin published on Thursday, Florida State has conducted its own independent investigation of the incident with what is called a Title IX investigation. As a result, FSU players Chris Casher and Ronald Darby were recently charged with five violations of the school’s code of conduct. Winston, however, is not facing any sanctions from the university.

Casher and Darby both gave signed affidavits to legal investigators heavily supporting the notion that Winston’s alleged victim was a willing participant. Both said they watched Winston having sex with his accuser and Casher admitted to filming the act on his cell phone. He said he later deleted the video.

As a result, Casher and Darby face FSU charges of “conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for another person” and “acts that invade the privacy of another person.” Casher is also charged with “recording images without consent.”

So why have Casher and Darby been charged by the school but not Winston? Because Jameis didn’t say anything. According to Deadspin’s source, Winston was called to a meeting with FSU dean of students Jeanine Ward-Roof and others in January. Winston said at the meeting that his legal team advised him to say nothing.

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Atlanta Hawks don’t care about the playoffs

Mike-BudenholzerThe chances of a No. 8 seed beating a No. 1 seed in the first round of the NBA playoffs are not very good. It almost never happens. Because of that, the Atlanta Hawks seem genuinely disinterested in qualifying for the postseason.

Thanks in large part to unfortunate injuries, the Hawks have gone 8-21 since the start of February. They were once a middle-of-the-pack team in the Eastern Conference, but Al Horford’s torn pectoral muscle inevitably took the wind out of Atlanta’s sail. Despite that, the Hawks are just a game behind the New York Knicks for the eighth spot in the East. General manager Danny Ferry doesn’t care.

“Candidly, I don’t pay the amount of attention to the standings that you would expect,” Ferry told the New York Times earlier this week.

And this isn’t one of those “we’re taking it one game at a time” type of deals. The Hawks really don’t seem to care whether they make the playoffs or their season ends in two weeks.

“Our goal is not to be the eighth seed,” Ferry added. “We’re really just focused on building our habits. I know the standings. There’s not a lot of time and energy I put into it. Getting in or not getting in, I don’t think of it that way.”

That attitude has trickled down to some of the players. Forward DeMarre Carroll basically echoed what his GM said.

“I don’t think it’d be that big of a deal,” Carroll said. “Nobody expected us to be in the top eight. Our biggest thing is, don’t worry about the playoffs. It’s about building the system.”

In other words, the Hawks don’t think they have a chance. Getting sharpshooter Kyle Korver — who admitted he keeps his eye on the standings — back should give the team a boost. He and fellow guard Lou Williams seem to care a bit more than others.

“As players, our job is to win games,” Williams said. “The playoffs come with winning games. So, yes, it’s important.”

Things are looking better for the Knicks by the day. At least they have the right attitude about the final stretch of the season.

Deion Sanders says Johnny Manziel has ‘ghetto tendencies’ then denies it

Deion SandersDeion Sanders is a fan of Johnny Manziel because he likes the former Heisman Trophy winner’s flashy ways on the field. In fact, Primetime says Manziel’s behavior reminds him of the way he used to act, and that’s a big reason why Prime is a fan. But Deion had a little bit of a problem on Wednesday when he denied saying people will have a hard time accepting Manziel because the ex-A&M QB has “ghetto tendencies,” even though the comment was caught on audio.

Sanders was a guest on “Roland Martin Reports” and spent most of the interview defending DeSean Jackson. At the end of the interview, he was asked about Manziel.

Below is a transcription of what Deion said via the Roland Martin website:

SYBIL WILKES: So before you go, Deion, what do you think about all of this talk about Roland’s boy, Johnny Football, Johnny Manzel in all of the conversation about him?

DEION SANDERS: Oh, please. I love Johnny Football. See, the reason people won’t accept Johnny Football is because Johnny Football has ghetto tendencies. I love Johnny Football.

TOM JOYNER: He’s got ghetto tendencies?

ROLAND MARTIN: He’s got ghetto tendencies? What are ghetto tendencies, Prime Time?

DEION SANDERS: Because he was successful, he made it, and he let you all know he made it, and he was cocky, he was flamboyant, and he let you know.

ROLAND MARTIN: So he was a white Prime Time coming out of college.

DEION SANDERS: Thank you. And I love him. (Laughter) I love him. They had the music playing when he came in. Put his whole equipment up, who go out there all do your pro day with all your equipment on? (Laughter) That’s some hula stuff, I love Johnny Football.

They even posted the audio on their website (skip to the 6:27 mark to hear it):

Sanders’ point was understandable, but the phrasing “ghetto tendencies” is more than questionable.

Now here’s where the fun begins. Our friend Rob Littal at Black Sports Online says someone from Roland’s program sent him the audio clip along with the headline that Manziel has “ghetto tendencies” in an effort to receive more coverage and publicity for the story. One of Rob’s writers, Vashti Hurt, posted the story on their site, and Rob tweeted out the link. Someone showed the link to Sanders, who flipped out and denied saying what he said:

Unfortunately for Deion, the Roland program posted the audio clip on their site and transcribed all the comments, so everyone could hear and see exactly what Deion said. And there’s no denying that Deion said Manziel had “ghetto tendencies.”

Deion never apologized for denying making those comments, but that’s not too surprising. Would you expect him to admit where he was wrong?

I went to ‘The Dan Patrick Show’ and the man cave is every bit as awesome as you could imagine

LB Dan Patrick interview

If you were wondering where the heck LB has been for the past few days, the answer is simple: I was traveling to Connecticut to “The Dan Patrick Show” where I got to interview the man himself — Dan Patrick.

The whole thing came about when a company that works with Dan Patrick Show sponsor Ram Trucks asked if I wanted to head on out to Milford, Conn., to check out the show and interview Dan on behalf of Ram Trucks. They obviously didn’t have to ask me twice — I was all-in.

I got my tired bones up early Sunday morning and was at LAX at 6:30 a.m. to begin the journey. The flight was to Atlanta and then Hartford, and from there it was about an hour drive to Milford. Naturally I was a little concerned about missing the two Elite 8 matchups that day — first UConn-Michigan State and then Kentucky-Michigan, but I got to see some of the first game on my flight and in the airport, and then I caught the second game on radio while driving from Hartford to Milford. Luckily I arrived at the hotel in time to see Aaron Harrison’s game-winning shot, which was pretty awesome.

And you know what the best part about being in Connecticut the same day UConn clinched a Final Four berth was? Getting to hear the guy working the front desk brag in his obnoxious accent about how he had the Huskies going to the title game. I almost hope they lose just to spite that guy.

After a full day of traveling, I went out to a business dinner with some of the folks who work with Ram Trucks and grabbed some good Italian food at a joint called Reggianos. I recommend the rigatoni.

We got back to the hotel around 11:00 p.m. and I was just totally ready to pass out so I could be fresh for the day at the show Monday. That was going to be the fun part.

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Richard Sherman implies Eagles cut DeSean Jackson and kept Riley Cooper because of race

DeSean JacksonOne of the arguments many people have made against the Philadelphia Eagles cutting DeSean Jackson is the team’s decision to keep Riley Cooper. After the season, the Eagles signed Cooper to a five-year, $25 million contract. Apparently his racist outburst from last summer is a thing of the past.

Jackson, on the other hand, was released shortly after a report surfaced indicating he has connections to members of a gang in Los Angeles. In a column he wrote for Monday Morning Quarterback on Wednesday, Richard Sherman defended Jackson for not alienating the people he grew up around who supported him when his father passed away in 2009. He also implied that race played a role in the Eagles’ decision to cut Jackson.

This offseason they re-signed a player who was caught on video screaming, “I will fight every n—– here.” He was representing the Philadelphia Eagles when he said it, because, of course, everything we do is reflective of the organization. But what did they do to Riley Cooper, who, if he’s not a racist, at least has “ties” to racist activity? They fined him and sent him to counseling. No suspension necessary for Cooper and no punishment from the NFL, despite its new interest in policing our use of the N-word on the field.

Commit certain crimes in this league and be a certain color, and you get help, not scorn. Look at the way many in the media wrote about Jim Irsay after his DUI arrest. Nobody suggested the Colts owner had “ties” to drug trafficking, even though he was caught driving with controlled substances (prescription pills) and $29,000 in cash to do who-knows-what with. Instead, poor millionaire Mr. Irsay needs help, some wrote.

Sherman makes some very valid points, especially regarding Irsay. The amount of cash the Colts owner had in his possession could easily be viewed as gang-related or drug dealing activity if he was somebody else.

As for Cooper, you can understand why it looks bad that the Eagles chose to send a white player to counseling after his racist tirade. The only thing I would say about that is that situations like the Aaron Hernandez murder trial have made teams increasingly paranoid when they hear the word “gang.” If a white player reportedly had ties to a gang, you would probably see the team react the same way.

I believe the risk of gang involvement currently has NFL teams on high alert, whether the claims are founded or not. That said, Sherman presented a very well-thought argument that certainly makes you think.