Friday, April 29, 2016

Johnny Manziel watches NFL draft from a barstool before heading to Justin Bieber concert

It looks like Johnny Manziel has gone from being a draft pick to watching the draft flow after a photo of the out-of-work quarterback was posted on social media showing the former NFL quarterback watching the NFL draft proceedings from an Ohio bar Thursday night.

The Los Angeles Rams kicked off the 2016 NFL draft by selecting California's Jared Goff with the first overall pick. And while Goff became the first Cal quarterback to land in the first round since the Green Bay Packers took Aaron Rodgers at No. 24 in 2005, the troubled Manziel was seen watching the event from a bar in Columbus before the former #1 pick reportedly headed off to a Justin Bieber concert.
What a difference a couple of years make.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Islanders coach Jack Capuano takes puck to face, watches team win (VIDEO)

New York Islanders' Jack Capuano may want to ask his equipment manager to bring an extra helmet for Game 2 of his team's second round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning after the head coach was nailed in the face with a puck during the opening matchup.

Capuano was forced to leave the bench after a puck deflected from the ice and hit him directly in the face. But what might have been more painful was hearing his team's 4-1 lead get cut down to 4-2 in the third period from the locker room.

Capuano immediately dropped after getting hit. He needed to be helped off the bench by the trainers while holding a towel to his face.

And while Capuano was out, the Lightning scored another goal to cut the deficit to a single goal. However, minutes after Capuano came back to the bench the Isles scored the empty-net goal to seal a 5-3 Game 1victory.

Later, coach had the bruised nose to show for it.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mark Jackson tells everyone to show Warriors some 'respeck' during broadcast (VIDEO)

For arguments sake, let's just admit Mark Jackson essentially helped build the Warriors into a world championship team. And, since being unceremoniously dumped as coach of Golden State, the TV analyst has been announcing a lot of games for ESPN — and mostly in Oakland.

But the former NBA star still doesn't mince words — even if they might not be his own.

During Sunday's 121-94 Warriors victory over the Rockets in Houston, Jackson stuck up for his old team by channeling Birdman and saying, “Put some RESPECK on their name!”

Classic Jackson.

Golden State went up 3-1 in their first-round series. Steph Curry sprained his knee just before halftime and didn’t return. He’ll have an MRI on Monday.

Total respeck.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Islanders beat Panthers on Alan Quine's 2OT goal (VIDEO)

Alan Quine was barely bigger than a hockey puck when the New York Islanders last won a playoff series (1993 for all you tearful fans) and, after the 23-year-old spent most of this season in the minors, the team adding him to the roster as an emergency call-up two weeks ago.

And are they happy they did.

Quine put the Islanders in position to end that 23-year drought between playoff series wins. His slap shot at 16 minutes of the second overtime — after 96 minutes of play — narrowly beat Florida goalie Roberto Luongo, and New York topped the Panthers 2-1 in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

The game started Friday and ended Saturday at 12:16 a.m.. Now the Islanders — up 3-2 in the series — will try for the clincher in Brooklyn on Sunday.

"Right in my wheelhouse," Quine said of the power-play winner, "and I just ripped it."

Isles' goalie, Thomas Greiss, continued his spectacular series stopping 47 shots for the Islanders. He's saved 92 of the last 95 shots he's faced.

Jacoby Ellsbury's straight steal of home leads Yankees to win

Jacoby Ellsbury wasn't supposed to start the game Friday night against the Rays and, to many Yankees fans, if the slumping $153 million man never sauntered to centerfield ever again it might be too soon.

But on a rainy night in the Bronx when he began the game on the bench with the Yankees facing another lefty starter, Ellsbury showed what the Bombers paid him for in a 6-3 win over the Rays.

After replacing Aaron Hicks, who injured himself diving for a ball in the fourth inning in center, Ellsbury didn’t take long to make his presence felt — thanks to a straight steal of home in the bottom of the fifth that tied the game.

“I knew if I took off, I’d make it,” said Ellsbury, who shocked nearly everyone by going despite a 3-2 count and two outs.

Brett Gardner took the pitch and Ellsbury slid under the tag.

“It was a surprise, but it worked out for the best,” said Gardner, who took the pitch and didn’t have to risk an Ellsbury injury  by swinging. “Thank goodness the ball wasn’t close to the zone.”

And the last time Ellsbury pulled off what is probably the most exciting play in baseball?  2009 against Andy Pettitte of the Yankees:

Friday, April 22, 2016

A-Rod walks up to a different Prince song for each at-bat Thursday

There was no moment of silence or official recognition of Prince’s death at Yankee Stadium Thursday night, but the ballpark’s PA system and Alex Rodriguez did plenty to honor the legendary artist after he died at his Minnesota home earlier in the day.

A dozen of Prince’s songs played over the ballpark’s sound system during the game against the A's, beginning with “Let’s Go Crazy” shortly before the Yankees took the field. Other Prince songs including “1999,” “Batdance,” “Raspberry Beret” and “When Doves Cry” played in between innings.

And one  player did personally honor Prince. Alex Rodriguez used four of the Purple One's songs as his walk-up music for each at-bat.

A-Rod told reporters he used a different Prince song for each at-bat "as a tribute to one of the great legends."

Here is A-Rod's playlist:

First at-bat: Erotic City (instrumental only)
Second at-bat: Kiss
Third at-bat: Pop Life
Fourth at-bat: Alphabet Street

Earlier in the day, A-Rod tweeted out his own sadness at the music world's loss:
It definitely didn't feel like 1999 in the Bronx after A-Rod went 0-for-2 with two walks and the last place Yankees (5-9) lost once again.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Yankees’ Aaron Hicks records 105 mph throw from left field to home on double play (VIDEO)

There seems to be a statistic for every aspect of baseball these days and Aaron Hicks just put name in the books for probably one of the most obscure.

The Yankees left fielder started in place of Brett Gardner Wednesday night and in the fourth inning turned in a double play with a rocket of a throw from deep in the outfield.

The A's had already scored three runs in the inning when Yonder Alonso came to bat with the bases loaded. The Oakland first baseman skied a fly ball to left field with that Hicks hauled in. The left fielder then delivered a one-hop strike home to catcher Brian McCann to gun down DH Danny Valencia tagging up from third. The double play ended the inning.

MLB Statcast registered the throw at 105.5 mph — the fastest ever by an outfielder.

"When you know your ball's not tailing and you've got that nice four-seam going straight, you know you're going to get a solid hop," Hicks said of the throw. "I did today."

Hicks had an opportunity on a similar play earlier in the inning, but his throw home got away from McCann.

The young outfielder may have a cannon of an arm, but the Yankees' bats are still pop-guns. They lost, 5-2.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw accused of using gay slur against referee in loss to Blues (VIDEO)

Andrew Shaw was called out on Twitter after shouting what appeared to be an expletive and a gay slur at a referee during Chicago’s 4-3 loss to St. Louis in Game 4 on Tuesday night.

The Blackhawks right winger took a penalty with two minutes to go in the game for an interference call. Cameras showed he flipped a double middle-finger and continued yelling at referees from the box.

Lip readers on social media said that Shaw’s comments included the gay slur.

“Emotions were high. I don't know what I said. I wasn't happy with the call,” Shaw said afterward, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The You Can Play Project, an organization for equality in sports tweeted this in response to the Shaw video: “We are aware of tonight's incident and will be reaching out to the NHL immediately to assist in an appropriate response.”

Here's the two-finger salute for your enjoyment:

The Blackhawks lost the game 4-3 and trail the Blues, 3-1, in the series.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Lightning's Boyle taunts Red Wings' Abdelkader with chicken dance (VIDEO)

Things once again got a little chippy at the end of the third game of the first round Eastern Conference playoff series between the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lighting. And after Tampa Bay's Game 2 win on Friday and Detroit's Game 3 win on Sunday night both ended in fisticuffs, the third game didn't disappoint either.

Well ...  sort of.

Game 2 ended with Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader leaving Mike Blunden a bloody mess after a flurry of punches while the two were at the bottom of a brawl. But when Abdelkader wouldn't straight up duke it out with the Lightning's Brian Boyle at the end of Game 3, Boyle skated off the ice doing a little chicken dance.

Here's what instigated Sunday night's clucking after the buzzer sounded: