Saturday, March 30, 2013

A-Rod posts first photos of rehab workout on Facebook

Alex Rodriguez finally came out of hiding and posted a few photos of himself on Facebook doing what he does best — looking at himself in the mirror.

All kidding aside, the New York Yankees' Centaur — aka the player who makes more money than the entire Houston Astros team put together — posted three shots of himself working out at an undisclosed New York City gym.

"The rehab continues. Ready to support the New York Yankees," reads the caption above the photos of A-Rod in a tight, gray T-shirt doing squats with a ball weight.

A-Rod is still recovering from surgery on his hip and has only recently been publicly spotted hitting restaurants and watching a tennis match with his girlfriend Torrie Wilson in his hometown of Miami during the past week.

Rodriguez has kept a low profile since posting post-surgery photos of himself in January and been in the news more for his reported links to the Biogenesis scandal than his association with the Yankees roster. It looks like he's ready to come out of hiding.

As fit as Rodriguez looks, he isn't expected to be available to play until the All-Star break.

Scottish darts fan banned for life after spitting at league star

PDC chief Barry Hearn slammed the "disgraceful" behaviour of "one idiot" who spat at darts legend Phil "The Power" Taylor during a Premier League match in Glasgow and banned the phlegm-ejecting man from future events for life.

Taylor was on his way to the stage to face Raymond van Barneveld, who he beat 7-3, when the Englishman was hit in the ear by spit from a spectator.

But Hearn confirmed the man involved was removed from the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre immediately after the disgusting incident.

"It was disgraceful behavior," said Hearn. "The guy was ejected immediately and won't be allowed back to watch darts.

"There were 8,000 people there and one idiot decides to do that. Premier League darts does not just have a positive atmosphere in arenas, it's the hottest sport ticket.

"You always get the odd idiot, as you do in society, so there is no better deterrent than kicking them out of the event."

Two 90-year-old men run a 100 meter dash in under 17 seconds

It may not exactly be Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake but these two nonagenarians ran a thrilling 100-meter heat during a veteran's track meet in San Sebastian, Spain the other day.

94-year-old Emiel Pauwels of Belgium came for behind to defeat Finland's 95-year-old Ilmari Koppinen at the tape. What may look like more of a preventive dash to the men's room than an athletic event (it might have been both) is a moot point considering that both men still cracked the heralded  17-second barrier.

Koppinen was overheard later telling people he lost because the Belgian sprinter was younger.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Taiwanese fans welcome Manny Ramirez with photo of ... Johnny Cueto?

You have to love the enthusiasm of the Taiwanese fans at Manny Ramirez's first home game with the EDA Rhinos in the Chinese Baseball League.  Too bad a couple of fans thought every major league baseball player with dread locks looks like the same and put a photo of the wrong player on their poster: the Cincinnati Reds' pitcher Johnny Cueto.

These two women probably went through a lot of trouble to make the professional-looking poster just for the big night but ended up with an epic fail or amusing comment about how long Manny has been out of the public eye — depending on how you look at it.

Here's a photo of the real Manny being Manny for the next time.

Dodgeball banned at New Hampshire school district

A New Hampshire school district has banned the playground sport of dodgeball over concerns about violence and bullying.

The local school board in Windham, N.H. voted 4-1 last week to remove ball-throwing game and nine other "human target" activities after a committee of physical education teachers studied the issue after a middle-school parent complained his child was bullied during a dodgeball game.

The committee recommending eliminating dodgeball — regionally known as bombardment to many including Homer Simpson — along with prison ball and slaughter during school hours.

"We spend a lot of time making sure our kids are violence free," Windham superintendent Dr. Henry LaBranche said. "Here we have games where we use children as targets. That seems to be counter to what we are trying to accomplish with our anti-bullying campaign."

School Board member Dennis Senibaldi cast the sole vote against the nanny state ban.

"We have rules that are set in place to deal with bullying," he said. "We don't need to ban an entire round of games just to enforce those rules."

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education said there are any number of reasons to drop dodgeball.

"It's an elimination game," said Andrew Mead, program manager at NASPE. "Games like dodgeball and tag don't keep kids involved and physically active. They objectify slower students who don't catch as well."

Senibaldi offered an interesting solution.

"We could just do it on a point system," he said. "So, no one gets knocked out right away."

What's next?  Tag without touching?  Oh, they already have shadow tag.

A-Rod making more than Astros' entire 2013 payroll

Here's something for the New York Yankees to chew on while they make an attempt to slim their payroll below the luxury tax threshold.  Alex Rodriguez's $29 million salary is more than the entire Houston Astros payroll combined — over eight MLB minimum wage contracts more.

And the injured Yankees slugger won't even be playing a game before the All-Star break — if at all.

A-Rod's bloated salary tops the major leagues for the 13th consecutive season, according to a study of major league contracts by The Associated Press while the Yankees' — with all their talk about austerity — $228 million opening day payroll is tops in the major leagues for the 15th straight year.

A-Rod and friends at Sony Open

With both teams ready to set opening day rosters Sunday, the Yankees' payroll is almost 10 times the size of the Astros — who have shrunk their spending to a minuscule $25 million. Carlos Pena is their top earner at $7.25 million.

"When we get on the baseball field with whomever the opponent is, they are not sitting there saying: 'Well, their players make more money than us so therefore you're deemed a winner and we're deemed a loser,'" Astros manager Bo Porter said Thursday. "Games are won and lost on the baseball field, and it doesn't matter what somebody is paid every two weeks. At the end of the day, that person has to be better than you today."

The ailing A-Rod — recovering from January hip surgery — has been recently spotted hitting restaurants in Miami and taking in the Sony Open with his girlfriend Torrie Wilson while the Astros have plodded through their inaugural American league spring training schedule with a 14-16 record.  The Bronx Bombers are 13-18. They will meet for a three-game series at the end of April.

The Yankees have four of the top six salaried players in the majors and will begin the season with two of them (Mark Teixeira, $23.1 million, is the other) on the DL.  Houston has no such worries about millions lying around.

As Hal Steinbrenner slashes the payroll to get under the $189 million tax threshold by 2014, the Yankees will still pay the fat-cat tax for the 11th consecutive year.

Bobby Valentine back with Mets as studio analyst

For a guy who seems to rub more people the wrong way than anyone in sports, Bobby Valentine sure knows how to keep working.

SportsNet New York, better known as SNY, announced Thursday that it has hired the well travelled manager as an analyst for the New York Mets' pre- and postgame shows before 12-15 telecasts on the cable channel this season.

The part-time gig comes three months before Valentine, 62, will officially become Sacred Heart University's athletic director and is separate from his third job, as an NBC Sports radio commentator.

"I like being busy," Valentine said. "Get up early, go to bed late. That's what it's all about. This seemed like a nice way to watch a ballgame."

Valentine told Newsday that his parents "put me on the path" toward simultaneous, wide-ranging activity.

"I was competing in international dance competition the same week as playing in Babe Ruth League regional championships as a kid," he said. "I was in the school class plays the same week as the high school championship football game.

"It's all I know; let's put it that way."

The network said that Valentine will work Monday's opener against San Diego with Bob Ojeda and Chris Carlin. Valentine was an analyst for ESPN in 2011.

A former manager of Texas (1985-92), the Mets (1996-02), Boston (2012) and Japan's Chiba Lotte Marines (1995, 2004-09),  Valentine was fired by the Red Sox on  October 4, 2012, after one disastrous season as the manager in Boston.

"I think all of life's experiences blend together if you allow them to, if you're open enough to take on challenges," he said. "I see as a blank canvas."

Bobby V will mostly be working alongside former Mets pitcher Bobby Ojeda on the show, "I'll just try to give the lefty a little idea of what happened and what might happen.

"And who knows what will happen during a rain delay."

Can't wait to see that famous smirk when the tarps come out.

McGrattan and Bordeleau go at it in 'full-time, stand-up' NHL brawl

The Calgary Flames brought Brian McGrattan over as an enforcer "type" and Patrick Bordeleau found out why. The Colorado Avalanche skater and Flames defenseman went at it in what one of the startled announcers called a "full-time, stand-up hockey brawl."

You don't see many hockey fights with the intensity of this one and, after the two went shot for shot for about thirty seconds, they were escorted to their respective boxes as spent as dollar bills in a Toronto strip joint.

The best part may be the announcers' spirited call of the bout.

Most of these shots by each skater connected, so let's call this a draw.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Santana likely to miss entire Mets season — maybe more

It looks like Johan Santana may never throw a pitch for the New York Mets ever again after an MRI exam reveal a possible re-tear on his left shoulder.

General manager Sandy Alderson announced the news on Thursday evening, saying Santana underwent the MRI in New York and would decide over the weekend whether to have the same surgery he had in September 2010, according to The New York Post.

Alderson said the second surgery is a strong possibility.

"We don’t know when it happened, how it happened," Alderson said. "What we do know is that at some point, symptoms appeared, and they worsened, rather than improved. It’s possible Johan will be able to shed more light on that, but at this point we simply don’t know."

Santana, in the final season of a six-year, $137.5 million contract, likely won't pitch this year, and it remains to be seen if he will ever pitch again.

Much has been made of Santana's slide after his workhorse-like no-hitter last June 1.  After the historic 134-pitch Mets' first no-no, he struggled through ten games before being put on the DL for an inflamed back.  Santana never seemed to really recover.

The lefthander experienced weakness in his left shoulder during spring training and was flown to New York on Wednesday for an examination by Dr. David Altcheck, who made the original diagnosis of a re-tear. The diagnosis was confirmed by Dr. James Andrews and Dr, Lewis Yocum on Thursday.

It's hard to pinpoint when the possible re-tear occurred because Santana has been resting a stiff lower back most of the winter but, either way, seeing Santana pitch another game in Mets' orange and blue looks pretty slim.

"If this diagnosis proves to be correct, I think in all likelihood Johan will be lost to the Mets for the season," Alderson said.

Robert Guerrero, slated to fight Floyd Mayweather, busted for gun possession at JFK Airport

Six-time boxing champion Robert (The Ghost) Guerrero was busted for gun possession at JFK Airport in New York City Thursday morning while catching a flight to Las Vegas.

Guerrero, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Wednesday, was picked up reportedly carrying an unloaded .40-caliber semi-automatic Smith & Wesson handgun.  He had no ammo on him and was held at the Port Authority police station at the airport.

The 5-foot-9 southpaw is slated to fight reigning WBC welterweight champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the title in Las Vegas on May 4.

Details of the arrest were not immediately available and the exact charges against the California resident are pending, said sources.

Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs, 2 NCs) — the interim WBA champion — said the "media knows I'm a hunter and requested he bring it for a photo op."


Jeff Green breaks Cavs' hearts at buzzer, then hugs his heart surgeon

Call it heartbreaking, heartwarming or heart stopping but, any way you look at Jeff Green's last second buzzer-beater in Quicken Loans Arena, don't call it disheartening.

Green's last second layup to give the Boston Celtics a 93-92 victory on the home floor of the Cleveland Cavaliers was all that more special to the Celtics player because the man responsible for Green even still playing in the NBA was sitting courtside — Dr. Lars Svensson, the surgeon who performed open-heart surgery on him at the Cleveland Clinic nearly a year ago.

While the jubilant Celtic players jumped around the court and Cleveland fans grumbled on their way out, Green headed to the locker room scanning the crowd for the man who gave him a chance to earn a living playing the game he loves and give him a hug. He finally found him.

Svensson has seen his patient play here before, but tonight seemed a little more special because the last second play would have never happened without the heart surgeon's skilled hands.  As Green embraced Svensson, the doctor told him he was proud.

"Just a year ago and a couple of months, I was under that bright light with him working on me," reflected Green. "It's a blessing to be here.

" That was for him," he added.

The win ended a Celtic five-game losing streak. Green finished the game with 21 points and 7 rebounds and was mobbed by his teammates.  The best hug of the night had to be by far the one from Dr. Svensson.

Klinsmann not happy about Team US 'victory parade' for tie against Mexico

The U.S. Soccer Federation has announced a special "victory parade" in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the scoreless  0-0 draw in a World Cup qualifier against Mexico, reports Yahoo! Sports.

The officially ended in a tie. But it was only the second time the U.S team earned a point in World Cup qualifiers and it felt like a win — especially since it came in the raucous, sold-out Estadio Azteca. American reaction to the stand-off was as if the third-place team had won a tournament and now the USSF is pulling out all the stops to show their affection.

"This is a historic event for the U.S. national team and the fact that it comes in our federation's centennial year only makes it more special," USSF president Sunil Gulati told reporters. "So, like Spain does after winning every real trophy, we will hold a victory parade through our nation's capital to mark this momentous occasion. There will be balloon animals for the kids and the fan who had the most mystery liquids thrown on them at the Azteca will be awarded the Medal of Honor. By Morgan Freeman. Dressed as Abraham Lincoln."

The tie leaves the U.S. in third place three games into the six-nation, 10-game qualifying tournament for Brazil 2014 after a game in which they were outshot 19-1 and helped by a referee who ignored Mexico's penalty shot in the second half.

The U.S. squad's coach Jurgen Klinsmann doesn't sound like a big fan of twisted balloons or even "The Shawshank Redemption" actor in a beard and stovepipe hat.

"I think it's a stupid idea," said Klinsmann when asked about the parade. "We need to act like this has happened before -- which it has in 1990-freaking-seven -- and move on with the qualification process. Now let's focus on actually winning matches and things instead of Morgan Freeman in a Lincoln suit."

Mexicans weren't as jubilant about the tie as their U.S. counterparts. Fans south of the border booed their team off the field after it fell to fifth in a qualifying tournament in which only three teams are guaranteed berths in Brazil.

For the U.S., it all sounds like the trophy-less, self-esteem building, "everyone's a winner" coddling — that is rampant in kid's sports  today — has finally made it to the big leagues.

Dan Boyle goes berserk on Corey Perry after 'sucker-punch'

The gloves literally flew off both Dan Boyle and Corey Perry's hands after the San Jose Shark's defenseman took offense at his one-time Team Canada teammate Perry's stick to the ribs late in the third period of the Sharks' 4-0 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

Boyle flipped out after they batted all game but it seemed like known agitator Perry's contact on a shorthanded odd-man rush was the real turning point.

"On the short-handed goal, [Perry] sucker-punched me in the face," he said. "It just kind of carried on from there."

See if you can spot the punch to the face that Boyle retaliated for in the video below.

Hideki Matsui gets his own commemorative stamp collection

Nippon TV is selling a Hideki Matsui commemorative retirement stamp collection that will have 20 stickers featuring the Japanese slugger from his playing days in Japan and the U.S.

The man called Godzilla — who won three Japanese World Championships and a World Series in 2009  with the New York Yankees— will be immortalized on the 20 stamps, 10 postcards and a special holder, according to the official website. The set will be made available in Japan.

The set of No. 55's memorabilia will cost you 5,500 yen — coincidentally.

The collection covers his whole career as a pro — and I mean whole. There are even two stamps showing Matsui in a Tampa Bay uniform — a team for which he played 34 games and hit two of his 507 professional home runs.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kris Humphries was Lindsey Vonn's 'Bachelor No. 2' right before Tiger

Imagine six foot ten Brooklyn Nets forward Kris Humphries posing next to Lindsey Vonn in those corny Facebook photos announcing her romance to Tiger Woods last week.  It could have happened.

The estranged husband of Kim Kardashian was getting close to Vonn just about the same time Woods was making moves on the Olympic skiing star, reports Us Weekly.

“Woods wasn’t Vonn’s only suitor,” a confidant of Vonn’s told the magazine. “Bachelor No. 2 was none other than Kim Kardashian ex Kris Humphries.”

Too bad for Humphries he didn't have a private jet ... or a 150-foot yacht at his disposal

The source said of the NBA player and the Olympic skier, “They’re both from Minnesota, so they had a lot to talk about” but they never got physical.

Whatever their relationship status the fellow athletes do go back. In June 2012, Humphries tweeted, “Hanging with a fellow Minnesotan @lindseyvonn. Gotta get her back on lake minnetonka soon!”

Vonn replied, “I know! Def need to get back!!”

We all know how the fairy tale romance ended up with Woods claiming Vonn as his own and reclaiming his No.1 ranking in the golfing world to boot.

"He [Woods] confessed everything in his past to her and stuff, the source told the magazine. "They're really into each other."

As for Bachelor No. 2, Humphries has been lingering on the Nets' bench of late while stalling his divorce case from Kim K.

Take your parting gifts from Jim Lange and get out of here.

Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko are 'secretly engaged' after rekindling romance

It's only been a couple of months since Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko started Round 2 of their romance, but now it looks like the final bell is already ringing — a wedding bell that is.

The 23-year-old film and television actress and the 37-year-old heavyweight boxing champion have reportedly gotten secretly engaged and are planning a summer wedding this summer, reports

A source told the magazine: "Very few people know, and she isn't wearing her ring publicly yet."

"Looks like a summer wedding!" added the source.

The engagement reports come after the five foot two Panetierre and the six foot six Klitschko were spotted kissing at the Miami Heat game in Florida on Sunday.

This all comes as a surprise because back in January, Hayden had denied that the two had officially reconnected after the Ukranian was seen dropping her off at the airport.

When she landed in Los Angeles on January 11 she insisted to TMZ that the former couple were just good friends, but her lovestruck demeanor somewhat spelled otherwise.

"We've been friends for five years now, so we're just good buddies," she told the website.

"I knew that was going to be the question!," she giggled. "I was lassoed in."

Her reunion in Florida with Klitschko comes after the star split with former New York Jets receiver Scott McKnight in December.

The actress and football player had been dating since June 2011, just one month after she split from fellow pro-athlete Klitschko.

Hayden had been dating the Ukrainian sports star since 2009 before parting ways in 2011.

Klitschko said they called time on their 18-month romance because it was difficult coping with having a long-distance relationship.

Sounds like she's got a mean hook.

Nike's Tiger Woods ad 'Winning takes care of everything' has plenty of critics

Tiger Woods' new Nike promo is creating quite a social media storm with its online ad's tagline.  The ad — which has a picture of Woods overlaid with a quote from him, "Winning takes care of everything" — has already garnered over 8,000 likes and 2,000 shares on Facebook but also has its critics, reports The Associated Press.

Woods — who regained his ranking as No.1 golfer in the world Monday — has reportedly used the phrase many times with reporters since 2009 when they asked him about rankings.

The ad, posted on Facebook and Twitter, is supposed to champion the fact that the golfer recovered from career setbacks to take over the the top spot once again after losing it in October 2010.

While many people are congratulating the one-time pariah for his comeback, others are commenting that the ad sends out the wrong message in light of Woods' past marital woes — including the end of his five-year marriage to Elin Nordegren after a serial cheating scandal in 2010.

It’s the latest controversy from the athletic giant's marketing department. Nike recently had to cut ties with cyclist Lance Armstrong and runner Oscar Pistorius due to their own respective scandals.

Critics on Twitter say the ad "sets a bad example for children" and call Woods a "poor choice" for Nike. Or they claim the 36-year-old is rubbing it in their faces after two-and-a-half years of being called over-the-hill.

Nike spokeswoman Beth Gast said that the ad references Wood’s refrain that he competes to win.

“When asked about his goals such as getting back to number one, he has said consistently winning is the way to get there,” she said in an email response to a query. “The statement references that sentiment and is a salute to his athletic performance.”

Allen Adamson, managing director of branding firm Landor Associates in New York, said the ad signals that Nike believes it is time Woods — who in addition to his new No. 1 ranking is now in a much-touted relationship with Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn — is back in the spotlight.

“They’re looking at this and saying, ‘Time has passed, he’s winning again, it’s time to turn up the volume on our association,’ " he said. “But it’s risky when you associate with a celebrity only based on winning or losing. Consumers care about how you play the game: both the actual game and the game of life.”

Apparently many people don't see the difference.

Kung Fu soccer kick to head is a sure red card

Holding up a red card for this Kung Fu kick to the head on a soccer pitch was a no-brainer for this referee. Taras Stepanenko's blatant foul (Ukraine) on Moldova defender Vitaliy Bordiyan — in the final seconds of Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier — almost took the poor guy's head off.

In the 92nd minute, Stepanenko raced towards the ball for a challenge and let loose with a high-flying kick to his opponent's jaw.

Ukraine picked up the 2-1 home win, but not until Danish ref Kenn Hansen raised a red card for the shocking foul.

Maybe Stepanenko should trade the pitch for the octagon.

NY Giants will wear white pants in 2013

The New York Giants will wear white pants in a game for the first time since 1999.  The team announced Tuesday that it will use an alternative uniform for select games next season, but only below the waist.

For the first time since last century, the players will wear the tight whites instead of traditional gray. The white pants will have a thin red stripe bordered by gray and blue stripes and only be worn with blue jerseys — so there will never be a white-on-white combination. That look was last used 13 years ago and was also the last years the team had the word "GIANTS" written on the side of their helmets.  In 2000, Big Blue went back to the classic "NY" logo on the helmets.

Lawrence Taylor in '87

NFL rules allow teams to incorporate three pant styles in their uniform wardrobe.  Last season the Giants used the same pants — gray with a blue stripe bordered by gray and red stripes — for both home and away games.

The team has not yet announced which games will feature the white pants

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Buffalo hires Bobby Hurley as men's basketball coach

It looks like New Jersey's own, Bobby Hurley, is headed to upstate New York to take over the men's basketball program at Buffalo.  A press conference late Tuesday announced Hurley's first head coaching job would be at the university, after three seasons as an assistant at Wagner, then Rhode Island for his brother Dan, according to ESPN.

Hurley will replace Reggie Witherspoon, who was 198-228 during 14 years at the school.  The Bulls finished 14-20 overall, 7-9 in the Mid-American Conference.

This might be a good hire for the middle-of-the-pack Bulls.  Hurley, the son of legendary St. Anthony's  (Jersey City) High School coach Bob, Sr., brings a solid background as a player at Duke — something his two national titles will attest to.  Even though his glory days were two decades ago, Hurley's Coach K pedigree and the former All-American's name recognition should be enough to lure top prospects to the Buffalo campus.

The Bulls have had a decent amount of success recently, but has been in hovering in the middle of the MAC. A lot of the hype around the program is attributed to the talents of Michael Watt and Javon McCrea. If Hurley can convince McCrea to stick around for his senior season — he averaged 18 points and 7.9 rebounds this season — he might have the roster (only two seniors on this year’s roster) to immediately contend in the MAC.

That's something the old Jersey City gym rat will be able to build on.

High school girls basketball team poured urine into rival team's water cooler during game

Parents at Monett High School in Monett, Missouri are raging mad after four Cassville High School female basketball players poured cups of urine into the Monett team's water cooler during a game. The entire team reportedly drank from the contaminated urn.

According to Daily, public health officials are testing members of the Monett Lady Cubs team to determine if any players caught any diseases or risk serious health problems from the urine-spiked water.

The Cassville High School players urinated into cups and dumped one of those cups into the drinking water cooler that Monett used during their February 4 game at rival Cassville, which Cassville won, 37-26.

Superintendent Brad Hansen pleaded with the students not to retaliate against the disgusting prank. The two schools are about 20 miles apart.

Monett High School officials sent a letter to parents of the players last week informing them of the incident, but didn't reveal when they learned of the twisted stunt.

"We are asking you, as parents, to help us work with our girls and their friends to handle this situation with professionalism and restraint," Monett High School Superintendent Brad Hanson wrote in the letter. "We encourage you to support our stance that retaliation in any way stoops to the level of the offense committed against us and is counterproductive."

Cassville Assistant Superintendent Jill LeCompte issued a statement on March 22, which read in part: "Cassville R-4 School District believes that sportsmanship and maintaining high standards for our students is important. We do not condone these actions and regret that our students were involved in this unfortunate incident."

"Student discipline is a private matter that we cannot discuss," the statement read. "We are in communication with the other school district and are working cooperatively with them to address questions or concerns."

Four members of the Cassville girls basketball team have admitted their involvement in pouring urine into the water cooler provided to the Monett team, reported The Monett Times.

A-Rod making the rounds in Miami while rehabbing hip

Alex Rodriguez's surgically-repaired hip seems to be coming along quite well these days.  The New York Yankees third baseman isn't letting the rehabbing hip or MLB investigators breathing down his neck about that pesky Biogenesis thing keep himself from getting around the Miami area.

The Yankees slugger was spotted Sunday with his girlfriend Torrie Wilson and golfer Greg Norman taking in Maria Sharapova's match the Sony Open the day after dining with two friends dining at Bianca in the Delano in South Beach on Saturday night, reports The New York Post.

A-Rod, who's in rehab after having hip surgery in January, stood up and talked with New York Giant Andre Brown, a source told The Post.  The spy said Rodriguez "looked happy and in great shape."

Hey. Any bit of good news from the Yankees M*A*S*H Unit is great news these days — even if it is about the team's pariah.

Lindsey Vonn stoked about Tiger's resurgence to No. 1

No one was more excited to hear that Tiger Woods reclaimed the title as the No. 1 golfer in the world than his new girlfriend Lindsey Vonn.

The Olympic skier tweeted her feelings on Twitter with more exclamation points than a kid at Christmas.

This could be the beginning of an onslaught of well orchestrated tweets and publicity photos that will flood the media as the serial cheater Woods clings to his top spot and one of America's sweethearts, Vonn, rehabs her way to the 2014 Olympics. A public relations flack couldn't have manufactured it any better because it's perfect for this social media day and age. Or could they?

It's nice that the new world's top sports couple — Woodsey or Linger to some — thought their simultaneous "outing" of their relationship and prom quality photos last week would curb the paparazzi. But if they think that will hold off the crush of cameras the next time they're together, think again.

Much happiness to the new couple. Let the ickiness begin.

Streaker interrupts Ski Jumping World Cup Final

Ski jumping is a cold weather sport.  Streaking is a warm weather hobby. Nothing good ever happens when you combine the two. Nothing.

Watch as this exhibitionist runs naked through the Ski Jumping World Cup Finals in Planica and —despite the fuzzy derriere — freezes his butt off. At least he didn't get his hands on a pair of skis.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chris Bosh's birthday tweet isn't so flattering

Chris Bosh celebrated his 29th birthday with a smiling mariachi band he towered over.  The Miami Heat center looks more like one of those Day of the Dead skeletons than the birthday boy.

Smile. You're in the middle of a win streak.

Tim Tebow offered Christian movie role

While Tim Tebow was only an extra in that classic movie comedy, That Wildcat Season, one Hollywood producer thinks the New York Jets quarterback has what it takes to be a star.

According to TMZ, faith-based indie producer David Dginguerian wants the Christian NFL player to star in his next project.

Dginguerian, the man behind the religious 2012 film "Crossroad," wrote in a letter to Tebow, "You are an inspiration to so many on the field and off and I am certain that your passion will also come through in films."

Charlton Heston — wherever you are — look out.

It is unclear what the project is specifically about or how much Tebow will be paid for the role, but it's a good possibility that he might be available next fall.

Kobe keeping $20,000 bottle of champagne on ice for NBA Championship

Kobe Bryant must finally like what he sees in his Los Angeles Lakers team because the NBA star is keeping a $20,000 bottle of bubbly on ice in case his team wins the title.

Bryant was presented with a Black Gold Jeroboam of 1998 Dom Perignon — of which there are only 50 — and confidently joked, "We'll pop this in June," reported Page Six of The New York Post.

The moody Lakers star received the gift at the London West Hollywood for being named the latest brand ambassador for Hublot. There was no mention of his brand ambassadorship for Dwight Howard.

Guests at the Hollywood bash included Zac Efron, Jimmy Kimmel and a bunch of other celebrities.

The Lakers are still clinging to a two game lead for the final Western Conference playoff spot with 12 games to go, but have made great strides since early season disappointment.

Now Kobe has some added motivation to get his sixth ring.

Welker bolted New England for Denver because of hair transplant says doctor

Don't blame Wes Welker's departure from the New England Patriots to the Denver Broncos on his agents says a hair transplant expert.  Blame it on the NFL star's new luscious locks. At least that's the way Dr. Ryan Welter — a Rhode Island-based hair transplant specialist — sees it.

Welter told, a Rhode Island news website, that Welker bolted from new England  for Denver because he was embarrassed when the doctor who performed his hair transplant surgery a year ago paraded Welker's procedure out in public with a number of ads for his business.

"Privacy is important and when you tell the world that you had a transplant, that's a lot of pressure to put out there for everyone to see when the helmet is off. Better get it right the first time. I just hope the added pressure didn't affect his decision (to leave)," Dr. Welter said.

Dr. Robert Leonard, who replaced the missing hair in the follically-challenged wide receiver's head, called Welter's remarks a bald-faced lie. He said Welker is a "very self-assured" man who "just doesn't like losing his hair."

Welker even gave a plug for Dr. Leonard's hair plugs.  The former-Patriot wrote a testimonial on the doctor's website saying how happy he was with Dr. Leonard's work.

Now if he convinces Peyton to put some turf in the end zone, that would be a testimonial.

Former NFL cheerleader loses first MMA bout in bloody fight

Rachel Wray — the former NFL cheerleader who is making a transition to MMA — lost her first fight against fellow amateur fighter Nadia Nixon in a wild, bloody fight Friday night in Kansas City.

The beautiful blond — who traded her pompoms for MMA gloves  — lost a close split decision  at the Ultimate Blue Corner Battles for her first loss in three fights.

Nixon actually ended up looking worse, with blood covering almost her entire face by the end of the fight. Wray, who was a cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012, seemed to hurt Nixon late in the second round with heavy punches, but was unable to finish her off.

Nixon is just 1-5 as an amateur, according to Sherdog’s Fight Finder, so it’ll be back to the heavy bag for Wray. It doesn’t seem like she minds. On her Twitter account, she tweeted a photo of her and Nixon punching each other with the caption “Yes that is blood...Greatest night of my life.”


Lauren Davis gets stung on backside during Sony Open match

When Lauren Davis lost her third-round match at the Sony Open in Miami Sunday, it wasn't just the defeat that stung.  The 19-year-old also had to deal with a wasp sting to her behind.

During the gruelling loss to No.36 Alize Cornet under the hot Florida sun, a wasp buzzed Davis and stuck its little stinger right in her backside.

Davis was in obvious pain but refused to blame her 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 defeat on the insect's sting.  The heat was another thing though.

Davis started the match — which lasted two hours and 36 minutes — with on-court temperatures soaring into the 90's with high humidity.  WTA rules let both players takes a 10-minute heat break at the end of the second set. But by the end of the third, the ladies were so exhausted they had to be wheeled off the court in wheelchairs.

Davis — who trains with Chris Evert's brother John — got off to a great start against the experienced Frenchwoman before the heat took its toll.

“My energy level started to drop and she broke back before I actually won the set,” said Davis. “It got a lot hotter and the points were long. She played well in the end and just wore me down.”

Chubby guy shows some mad soccer skills all by himself

A chubby soccer fan was spotted showing off some mad skills with a ball all by himself in an empty lot. Unbeknown st to the lonely footballer, he was was being videotaped by a couple of blokes listening to Rihanna.

The happy Bounce It Like Beckham imitator does some fancy kicks, arm rolls and even balances the pink ball on his nose while the guys with the camera crack up laughing as "We Found Love" plays in the background.

It's hard not to think of a seal in a zoo when you watch this video because that's exactly what the place  – with its enclosure and giant pond of a puddle — looks like.

Way to show the ball who's boss.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Keegan Bradley sends late night text to Michael Jordan

Keegan Bradley sent a few late night text messages Friday to his buddy Michael Jordan — after the golfer found himself stuck in a mental rut during the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill — hoping to pick up some motivation from the former NBA star.  The ultimate competitor's simple philosophy hit home after Bradley's bogey call. It was simply "play much more cocky."

The simple but direct message seemed to have resonated after Bradley made a charge up the leader board in Saturday's third round with a 6-under-par 66 to get to 7-under for the tournament.

“I was talking to ‘MJ’ a bunch this off”‘season, and he was telling me to play much more cocky,’’ Bradley said. “He wants me to play with a lot more aggression and be cocky and just pretend like I’m playing him, which is normally a pretty good beating.

"I texted him [Friday] night and told him I [am going to do] what he was saying for the entire round [Saturday]. I just was going out there and pretended I was him."

The little pep talk resulted in eight birdies as Bradley jumped into contention for Sunday's final round.

Jeter won't talk about ankle anymore, will likely start season on DL

It looks like that rehabbing left ankle of Derek Jeter's isn't the only thing that's getting cranky these days and, prior to his Triple-A game Saturday, the New York Yankees shortstop made it clear that questions about his health and the ankle's setbacks and progress are growing old.

“I will not address how anything feels anymore,” Jeter said. “It’s good. It’s not broken. Some things you’ve got to work through, so it’s really pointless to sit here and say each and every day, ‘How’s it feel; does it feel better?’ It’s pointless. Some days are good, some days are bad, but you’ve got to work through it. So that’s what I’m going to do.”

If the Yankees Captain banned the ankle talk, before playing for the first time since being scratched Tuesday due to stiffness in his surgically-repaired left ankle, he was more than willing to talk about his at-bats after the game.  Even if he did go 0-4 with four groundouts.

“Results, just like when you start, aren’t the most important thing,” Jeter said. “It’s just to see pitches and that’s what I did, and then we’ll move from there.”

Ford apologizes for ads showing F1 drivers and Kardashian sisters bound and gagged in car trunk

An sinister-looking advertising campaign for Ford's Figo has caused outrage after posters for the compact sedan were uploaded to the Internet featuring famous personalities — including Formula One driver Michael Schumacher behind the wheel of the car, smiling with glee while his racing rivals Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are bound, gagged and suffering in the vehicle's trunk.

Other celebrities drawn in the ad campaign include a lookalike of TV starlet Paris Hilton winking while she looks down on three women who resemble Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian stuffed into the trunk with their mouths taped shut and hands tied . Hmmm. Create you own punchline now.

A third illustration has former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (what?) flashing the peace sign over the bound bodies of three scantily-clad women — presumably prostitutes — lie in the trunk.

The offensive drawings were apparently supposed to promote the sedan's spacious cargo area but after the ads were released on the Internet, there was an uproar.

 Ford issued an apology and disciplined the creative team, JWT India, for publicizing the artwork.

Although the print artwork was never meant to be circulated in publications, the mock ups were posted to the Ads of the World website and created a stir.

In a statement, JWT said they "deeply regret the publishing of posters that were distasteful and contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within WPP Group.

These were never intended for paid publication and should never have been created, let alone uploaded to the Internet. This was the result of individuals acting without proper oversight and appropriate actions have been taken within the agency where they work to deal with the situation."

Ford said the posters were out of line and should never have been posted.

By the way, Schumacher races for Mercedes.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

David Beckham takes a great fall in China while demonstrating free-kick

David Beckham took demonstrating how to take the perfect free-kick on the tail-end of his five-day tour of China a little too seriously yesterday.

Beckham — dressed more for a GQ runway that a soccer pitch — was a little red-faced after he slipped while showing off one of his trademark free-kicks in front of a group of young Chinese soccer players.

Wearing a dress shirt, tie and black leather shoes, the soccer ambassador lined up to swing his signature leg move in front of the adoring footballers from the Wuhan Zall club when things took a turn for the worse.  Becks lost his balance, slipped and ended up flat on his tail-end in front of his stunned fans.

The former England captain got up smiling and seemed to take the Bent up like Beckham fall in good spirits.

Beckham was in China on a five-day tour through the cities of Beijing, Qingdao and Wuhan to promote soccer in a country recently rocked by a professional soccer-fixing scandal.  He has vowed to make the Chinese Football Association one of the most popular leagues in the world.

"It is something that we are very passionate about changing the mentality of the league and bringing youngsters through and making this league as popular as some of the big leagues in the world." Beckham said. "I've always been a fan of Chinese football because I think the players are very talented and they are very passionate.

"When you see the excitement throughout this country when the team has done well you see how important it is to people. I am excited to make a difference."

I'm sure the Chinese fans will look past Beckham's tumble and remember his message.  That and his underwear ads.

Costa Rica protests soccer loss to U.S. in heavy snow

The Costa Rica soccer team seemed to be having a lot of fun playing in the snowy conditions during Friday night's World Cup qualifying match against the United States even when inches of the white stuff covered the pitch at  Dicks Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.

Although the U.S. lead 1-0, players from both sides — who looked more like characters in a snow globe — seemed to be pleading with the referee to let the match go on.

That was until the final horn and Costa Rica realized they lost. Suddenly the Rockie Mountain high disappeared.

Costa Rica manager Jorge Luis  Pinto vented his anger about the perceived snow job after the 1-0 loss.

"It was an embarrassment to football, disrespectful to the game," an animated Pinto told reporters.

Pinto said the "legal conditions" for playing the game were not in place and a Federation official told Costa Rican media that an official protest would be made to FIFA on Saturday.

Regardless of the weather, postponing the game would've caused considerable problems for both teams. They would've had to complete it within 48 hours and both sides have to travel for their next matches on Tuesday.

U.S. and Costa Rica push groundskeeper out of way 
According to Reuters, US federation president Sunil Gulati claimed that playing the match in Colorado this time of year had nothing to do with trapping their opponents arctic conditions and instead was designed as high-altitude training for the US's trip to Mexico City next week.

It seems like there's a snow ball's chance on a Costa Rican beach that any action will result from the team's protest, but -- from their perspective they've already lost so why not try.

Friday, March 22, 2013

NHL quiet about Nash's cheap hit on Kopecky

It's entirely possible Rick Nash could hear from Brendan Shanahan and the NHL's Department of Player Safety about the vicious back of the head shot the New York Ranger leveled against Tomas Kopecky Thursday night. But the NHL has been pretty quiet about the cheap shot and that silence speaks volumes.

"There will be no hearing on Nash..." tweeted Larry Brooks of The New York Post Friday afternoon, "Boggles the mind."

Late in the third period of the Rangers 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers, Nash came flying in as Tomas Kopecky took a shot from between the circles that was saved by Henrik Lundqvist.

As replays showed, Nash left his feet and apparently elbowed him in the back of Kopecky's head. The Panthers forward, who wasn't facing Nash, was down on the ice without his helmet for a few seconds and skated off. Nash wasn't called for a penalty.

The Rangers don't play again until Sunday, so the NHL might still be reviewing it.

Nash wasn't penalized in the game and isn't a known goon while Kopecky finished the game on the bench, but the hit does deserve some sort of punishment.

Ray Williams — NBA star who lost it all — dead at 58

Former NBA star Ray Williams passed away today at Manhattan's Sloan-Kettering Hospital after a long battle with colon cancer.  The former New York Knicks guard, who had fallen on unbelievably hard times, was 58 when he died, reports the New York Post.

Williams' harrowing rags-to-riches-to-rags story is a cautionary tale for all athletes or anyone who thinks they have got it all.  The Mount Vernon, N.Y. playground legend was a first-round NBA draft pick out of Minnesota in 1977 and played 10 seasons with six teams over his career and went to the NBA finals with the Larry Bird-led Celtics in 1985.

Doctors affiliated with a New Jersey medical group that offers health care to indigent athletes discovered a tumor in his colon during a routine colonoscopy.  At the time, Williams was homeless and living in a 1992 Buick.
The gritty guard — fondly known as "Sugar Ray" — retired in 1987 and blew the $2 million he had earned throughout his career but always insisted he never fell prey to drugs, alcohol or gambling. In 1994 he filed for bankruptcy and a $200,000 grant he received from the NBA Legends Foundation was lost in a real estate scam.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson — who played one season with Williams — recently visited his ailing friend.

“He was awesome,'' Woodson told The Post recently. "Physical. Tough. Knew how to play. He was a prototype combo guard because he can play 1, he could play 2 and could guard the 3 because he was so physical. To see him in the hospital like that you don’t wish that on anyone. That’s why we should be fortunate we can walk around and laugh.''

Williams, who played at Minnesota, averaged 16.4 points for the Knicks. He was a backcourt mate of Micheal Ray Richardson.

"We talked about fond memories,'' Woodson said. "We have a lot of fond memories. We laughed about a lot of things. It was kind of nice.''

In the late '70's and early '80's Williams did two stints with both the Knicks and the New Jersey Nets and was a shining star in the New York area.

It's sad to think about how hard and fast that star fell.

Lionel Messi shows off new tattoo dedicated to infant son

Lionel Messi's left foot might be considered the the most expensive body part in the world of soccer. He  already has a $5.25 million solid gold replica of his foot for sale in Japan, but that's only a fraction of the worth to him of the two little hands the soccer star just had tattooed on his slightly less valuable left calf.

Messi — arguably the best soccer player in the world — showed off his new tattoo of what is assumed are the hands of his first-born child along with the four-month-old boy's name —Thiago

Yesterday, the Barcelona star tweeted photos of himself getting the ink job done in what looks like make-shift tattoo parlor in a high-rise building.

Maradona's infamous handled goal at the 1986 World Cup made the "Hand of God" famous but Messi, who has four Ballon d'Or titles, five La Liga titles and three Champions League winners' medals on his resume and is considered the greatest soccer player ever to play by many — now has his own Hands of God.

It might not have the drama or be as catchy as Maradona's phrase, but it probably wouldn't bother Messi.