Monday, December 29, 2008

"Bring BD Back" Campaign Has Begun In The Bay Area

If you are looking for some pretty entertaining reading, check out my boy Marcus Thompson's article in today's Contra Costa Times.

Evidently, while the Warriors were hanging out in LA before their matchup with the Lakers, Golden State's
Stephen Jackson got the chance to hang out with his former teammate and best friend Baron Davis.

And guess what topic dominated their conversations: Davis going back to the Warriors!

"That's all we talked about," Jackson said. "I went to his house, spent some time with his mom and his grandmother. He wants to come back. And if he wants to come back, I want him back."

Seriously, how funny would that be?

After all the posturing and back-and-forth this past summer between the Clippers and the Warriors (don't forget, LA also signed Kelenna Azubuike to an offer sheet that GS eventually matched), the two teams would then turn around and orchestrate basically a "do over". It would be the ultimate ironies of ironies.

But don't start counting your contract swaps just yet. The reasons why this move is so unlikely to happen are numerous, if not infinite. They are, at the very least, too numerous to list here. Plus, most of them are so obvious, it would actually be a waste of time, but the story still makes for a great read!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chargers/Broncos Postgame Notes

The Chargers scored 52 points tonight, their most points since scoring 51 against Detroit on Dec. 16, 2007…it’s the most points the Chargers have scored in a game against Denver since 1968 in a 55-24 win…in their last three wins over Denver, the Chargers have outscored the Broncos 116-27.

The last time the Chargers scored more than 52 points in a game was Dec. 8, 1985 when the Chargers, coached then by Don Coryell, scored 54 points in a 54-44 win over Pittsburgh.

The Chargers rushed for a team-record 289 yards tonight, bettering the previous team mark of 287, set against the New York Jets on Oct. 13, 1963.

Darren Sproles led the team with 115 yards, his second-career 100-yard game.

LaDainian Tomlinson scored three rushing touchdowns tonight, the 124th, 125th and 126th of his career…in doing so, he broke a tie with Marcus Allen to take over sole possession of second place on the NFL’s all-time rushing touchdowns list…he now trails only Emmitt Smith, the NFL’s all-time rushing scorer with 164 TDs.

The TDs were also the 139th, 140th and 141st of his career, allowing him to move past Terrell Owens and into fourth place on the NFL’s all-time touchdowns list…Marcus Allen (145) is currently third on that list.

The three TDs were Tomlinson’s most in a game since he scored four against Oakland on Oct. 14, 2007…it was his 11th career game with three or more rushing touchdowns.

Tomlinson finished the season with 10 rushing touchdowns…he’s rushed for at least 10 touchdowns in all eight of his NFL seasons and is the only player in NFL history to begin his career with four-or- more 10-touchdown seasons.

Tomlinson’s outing against the Broncos included a season-long 45-yard run.

Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes tonight giving him 34 for the season, a new team record…it breaks Dan Fouts’ total of 33 set in 1981.

Rivers passed for 207 yards tonight to finish the season with 4,009, becoming just the second 4,000-yard passer in team history, other than Fouts…Fouts also last did it in 1981, throwing for a team-record 4,802 yards.

Rivers finished the season with a passer rating of 105.5, a new team record (min. 100 att.) and the top passer rating mark in the NFL this season…the previous team record (104.8) was set by Drew Brees in 2004.

Punter Mike Scifres finished the season with a 40.9-yard net punting average, a new team record for single-season net punting average.

The Chargers reported the following injuries: tight end Antonio Gates (ankle), running back LaDainian Tomlinson (possible abdominal strain), linebacker Shaun Phillips (knee) and defensive end Luis Castillo (groin).

The Chargers won their third straight AFC West title and will host Indianapolis in an AFC Wild Card Playoff Game on Saturday, Jan. 3 at 5:00 pm on NBC…the Chargers are 23-7 in AFC West games since 2004.

The Chargers capped off the month of December 4-0 and ran their win streak in the month of December to 14 games.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Furcal Agrees To Three More Years With Dodgers

I think this is a great move by the Dodgers, providing of course, Rafael Furcal stays healthy. As great as Manny Ramirez down the stretch last season, it was obvious how much Furcal meant to the top of Joe Torre's lineup as well.

LOS ANGELES -- Rafael Furcal is staying with the Los Angeles Dodgers, reaching a preliminary agreement Wednesday on a $33 million, three-year contract.

Furcal finalized his decision late in the afternoon, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal was still not yet official.

A day earlier, Furcal had been close to accepting a $30 million, three-year offer from the Atlanta Braves, his original major league team.

Furcal gets $7.5 million next season, $9.5 million in 2010 and $13 million in 2011. The deal includes a $13 million team option for 2012 with a $3 million buyout, and the option could become guaranteed depending on his performance.

The 31-year-old Furcal, coming off a $39 million, three-year deal with the Dodgers, played for the Braves from 2000-05.

He hit .357 with five homers and 16 RBIs last season but was limited to 36 games and 143 at-bats by back problems. He had back surgery July 3 and was sidelined until the season's final week, but started each of the Dodgers' eight postseason games, hitting .258 with one homer, three RBIs and nine runs scored.

Furcal was hitting .366 through May 5 before injuring his back. He reached base in his first 30 games of the season, becoming the first Dodger to accomplish that feat since Duke Snider in his first 34 games of the 1955 season.

Earlier Wednesday, agent Paul Kinzer said Furcal had never accepted the Braves' offer.

"They know we didn't have a signed contract, that we didn't have even a verbal agreement. We had, 'Things look very good and Raffy's going to sleep on it,'" Kinzer said after a news conference for another client, Francisco Rodriguez.

Furcal still owns a home in the Atlanta area, but owns another in nearby La Canada Flintridge as well.

Los Angeles hesitated to make an offer of more than two years because of Furcal's medical history, but general manager Ned Colletti has been saying for weeks that signing the shortstop was his immediate top priority.

Colletti can turn his attention to pitching and free-agent outfielder Manny Ramirez. A pair of Los Angeles starters, Derek Lowe and Brad Penny, became free agents.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Hidden Perils Of Facebook

Like most of you, I'm sure, I have become a regular on Facebook. I resisted joining for quite some time, thinking I was too old for something I associated with college students.

But after so many requests from friends and colleagues, I took the plunge. I mean, if nothing else, it would drive more traffic to my blog, right?

And while I am not the fanatic that some of my "friends" seem to be, I do enjoy going on it daily and catching up with old friends. I have had more "blasts from the past" than 20-year high school reunion. In fact, if it were not for Facebook, I would have forgotten about so many of my old Kentucky peeps.

(Editor's note: MySpace has contributed greatly in that respect as well.)

However, Facebook is not the end all, be all. It definitely has its drawbacks as well.

I mentioned those "blasts from the past." Well, let's just say I wasn't exactly thrilled to hear from ALL of them. Let's be real. You know there are some things and people you would just soon forget.

And then there's the case of finding out information you probably didn't need to hear, or as I like to call it, "When TMI goes bad!"

Take the case of one of my very good friends who joined Facebook just this week, only to delete her account in matter of only three hours.

Her quick retreat from the cozy social networking site caused me to shoot her an e-mail asking why she had come and gone faster than Joe The Plumber.

This was her response: "in a matter of a few hours I found out that my best friend is pregnant and never told me... a guy I have been dating off and on for years has the same pet names with another girl...I got an e-mail from a guy that used to stalk me and my friend's husband asked me if I wanted to "hook up" without his wife... I can't take it man!!! too much for me."

Holy overload, Batman!

So just because Facebook is the best thing to happen to you since the DVR, don't think it's all fun and games for everyone.

As you can see, Facebook can be dangerous!

NFL Announces Pro Bowl Rosters


The New York Jets will lead the American Football Conference’s 2009 Pro Bowl squad with an NFL-high seven players when the AFC takes on the National Football Conference All-Stars, the NFL announced today. Right behind the Jets with the most conference players are the Tennessee Titans with six and the Baltimore Ravens with five.

The Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, February 8, in Honolulu, Hawaii (NBC, 4:30 PM ET).

The Jets’ seven All-Star selections – ALAN FANECA, BRETT FAVRE, KRIS JENKINS, THOMAS JONES, NICK MANGOLD, DARRELLE REVIS and LEON WASHINGTON -- are the most in team history and surpass a club-high of five following the 1982, 1985 and 1998 seasons. All seven Jets will make their first Pro Bowl appearances as representatives of New York in Hawaii. The AFC roster includes 17 first-time All-Stars, including Denver Broncos quarterback JAY CUTLER, who leads the AFC with 3,851 yards passing.

Nine-time All-Star PEYTON MANNING of the Indianapolis Colts will be the starting quarterback in his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl. New York Jets quarterback BRETT FAVRE was selected to his 10th All-Star game, but his first representing the AFC. Favre ties JOHNNY UNITAS for most All-Star selections by a quarterback with 10 and he is the first Jets QB to appear in a Pro Bowl since VINNY TESTAVERDE (1998 season). In his third season, Cutler will join veterans Manning and Favre to complete the AFC’s passing attack.

The AFC’s backfield will consist of four first-timers in the Aloha State. New York’s THOMAS JONES earned the starting role at running back. Jones has set the Jets’ season record with 15 touchdowns and leads the AFC with 1,222 rushing yards. At 260 pounds, LE’ RON MC CLAIN has utilized his size by pounding his way to a career-high seven rushing touchdowns this season. The first-time All-Star will be the AFC’s representative at fullback.

Rounding out the threesome at running back will be rookie CHRIS JOHNSON of Tennessee and RONNIE BROWN of Miami. Johnson ranks second in the AFC with 1,159 rushing yards and joins EARL CAMPBELL (1978 season) as the only Oilers/Titans rookie running back to reach the Pro Bowl. A former first-round pick in 2005, Brown is the first Dolphins running back to be named to the Pro Bowl since RICKY WILLIAMS in the 2002 season.

Four receivers are named to each All-Star squad. Chosen for the AFC’s 2009 team are Houston’s ANDRE JOHNSON, who leads the NFL in receptions (103) and receiving yards (1,408). The sixth-year receiver will make his third Pro Bowl appearance. Lined up opposite from Johnson as a starter will be first-time selection BRANDON MARSHALL of Denver. Two veteran receivers will round out the AFC All-Star receiving foursome -- Indianapolis wide receiver REGGIE WAYNE and first-timer WES WELKER of New England, who ranks second in the NFL behind Johnson with 102 receptions.

Representing the AFC at tight end will be 10-time All-Star TONY GONZALEZ of the Kansas City Chiefs, who has been selected to the most Pro Bowls at the position in NFL history. In his 12th season, Gonzalez leads NFL tight ends in receptions (84), receiving yards (941) and touchdowns (8). In his sixth season, San Diego’s ANTONIO GATES has been selected to his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl.

In his first year with the Jets, 11-year veteran guard ALAN FANECA will make his eighth consecutive Pro Bowl trip and will be joined at the other starting guard position by KRIS DIELMAN of San Diego, who will make his second All-Star game in back-to-back seasons. Kansas City’s BRIAN WATERS, who plays a pivotal role on a young Chiefs offensive line, has been selected to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl.

In his 15th season, Tennessee’s KEVIN MAWAE will start at center for the AFC in his first Pro Bowl with the Titans and seventh overall. AFC All-Star NICK MANGOLD of the Jets will be making his first Pro Bowl voyage.

Assigned to keep the pocket clean against a talented group of NFC edge rushers are a group of AFC All-Star tackles – two-timers JASON PETERS of Buffalo and JOE THOMAS of Cleveland. Budding talent MICHAEL ROOS of Tennessee will play in his first Pro Bowl.

Plugging the middle for the AFC defensive front are starting interior linemen ALBERT HAYNESWORTH of Tennessee and New York’s KRIS JENKINS. Haynesworth will record his second consecutive start and Jenkins his fourth Pro Bowl berth and first as an AFCer. Accompanying Haynesworth and Jenkins will be Cleveland’s SHAUN ROGERS, who completes a mammoth interior group for the AFC.

A trio of AFC South rushers will be on display at defensive end. MARIO WILLIAMS of Houston will make his Pro Bowl debut as a starter and will be joined by Indianapolis defensive end DWIGHT FREENEY in his fourth Pro Bowl in seven seasons with the Colts. Freeney’s teammate ROBERT MATHIS will cap off this trio with the first All-Star appearance of his six-year career.

Sacks are plentiful for the AFC’s starting outside linebackers – Miami’s JOEY PORTER ranks first in the AFC with 17.5 and JAMES HARRISON of Pittsburgh is second in the conference with 15.0. Porter will make his fourth All-Star appearance and first as a Dolphin, while Harrison settles in with his second consecutive Pro Bowl start. Joining Porter and Harrison at outside linebacker is TERRELL SUGGS, who has 7.5 sacks and two interception-touchdown returns for Baltimore.

Roaming the middle of the AFC defense will be two AFC North linebackers from the NFL’s top-two-ranked defenses -- RAY LEWIS of Baltimore and JAMES FARRIOR of Pittsburgh. In his 13th season from Miami, Lewis will start as he makes his ninth appearance in Hawaii. Farrior, the captain of the league’s No. 1 defense will appear in his second All-Star game.

Locking up coverage on the outside will be three first-time All-Stars for the AFC at cornerback. NNAMDI ASOMUGHA of Oakland and CORTLAND FINNEGAN of Tennessee will pair as the starters. Asomugha is the first Raiders cornerback since CHARLES WOODSON in 2001 to earn All-Star status. In his second NFL season, New York cornerback DARRELLE REVIS will make his Pro Bowl debut. Revis is tied for second in the NFL with five interceptions.

Two of the NFL’s elite will start at safety for the AFC. Pittsburgh’s strong safety TROY POLAMALU earns his fifth consecutive AFC All-Star berth and Ravens ball-hawking free safety ED REED is a five-time Pro Bowl choice in seven seasons. First-time Pro Bowl selection CHRIS HOPE of Tennessee will join starting safeties Polamalu and Reed.

The AFC special teams unit is comprised of four players, including two first-time Pro Bowl honorees. New York Jets kick returner LEON WASHINGTON makes his first trip to Hawaii and New England kicker STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI, who leads the AFC with 124 points, will make his All-Star debut. Gostkowski is tied for first in the conference with 30 field goals. Baltimore linebacker BRENDON AYANBADEJO, who leads the Ravens with 26 special teams tackles, will serve as the AFC’s special teamer. Ayanbadejo makes his third consecutive Pro Bowl and his first with the Ravens. Concluding the special teams group will be Oakland’s veteran punter SHANE LECHLER. The four-time All-Star leads the AFC with a 48.8 average and has placed 28 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.

The 42-man AFC squad is comprised of 21 offensive and 17 defensive players plus four specialists. A 43rd “need” player will be chosen by the AFC head coach and must be a cornerback, defensive end, linebacker or long snapper. The 2009 AFC coaching staff will be from the AFC Championship Game runner-up team.

The NFL is the only professional sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players in determining its All-Star teams. The consensus vote of each group counts one-third towards the total. Each team submits two ballots – those of the coach and the players with no one permitted to vote for a player on his own team. This year, nearly 85 million fan votes were cast on

The National Conference defeated the American Conference 42-30 last season in the Pro Bowl. The all-time series is tied 19-19.

Under terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each player on the winning Pro Bowl team receives $45,000, while each player on the losing squad earns $22,500.

Monday, December 15, 2008


The only issue I have with this news is that it is way overdue. Congrats, Vin!

LOS ANGELES – Dodger Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will be among the distinguished list of broadcasting professionals inducted into the 2008 class of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in New York City tomorrow night. The ceremony, hosted by CBS’ Jim Nantz, will be held tomorrow night in Manhattan at the New York Hilton and is the culmination of a selection process by more than 80 industry leaders from national broadcast networks, cable sports networks, leagues, teams, and related organizations.

Going into the HOF alongside Scully will be Marvin Bader (ABC Olympics), Chet Forte (ABC Sports), Curt Gowdy (ABC, CBS, and NBC), Teddy Nathanson (director, NBC Sports), Don Ohlmeyer (ABC and NBC), Val Pinchbeck (NFL), Bob Seiderman (CBS and Fox Sports), and Charlie Steinberg (Ampex and Sony). The Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, formed in 2007 to honor sports TV industry innovators and leaders, announced its inaugural class last year, which included broadcasting legends such as Roone Arledge, Howard Cosell, Jim McKay, and Ed Sabol.

Scully is expected to accept the award via videotape due to the lengthy travel required to be in attendance.

Next season will be Scully’s 60th with the Dodgers, which is the longest tenure of any sports broadcaster with one team in all of sports. Last month, Scully was honored by Pacific Pioneers Broadcasters with the Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award and he has been named California Sportscaster of the Year a record 28 times, while also receiving awards from the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association (SCSB) and the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California (RTNA). Scully took home the Best Radio Play-by-Play and Best Television Play-by-Play awards from the SCSB and won the prestigious lifetime achievement award from the RTNA.

The New York native was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. In July 2000, Scully was named the “Sportscaster of the 20th Century” by more than 500 national members of the American Sportscasters Association. He has been named the country’s Outstanding Sportscaster four times, and California Sportscaster of the Year 24 times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. In 2001, the press box at Dodger Stadium was named in his honor. Throughout his career, Scully has called 25 World Series and 12 All-Star Games.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Are you kidding me? Auburn hires a coach with a 5-19 record in his only two years as a head coach? Seriously??

Meanwhile, Charlie Strong (Florida Defensive Coordinator) and Turner Gill (Head Coach of MAC Champion Buffalo) couldn't even get a sniff of an interview??

It's bad enough that qualified black coaching candidates have to be better than the good white coaches, but now you are telling me that even if they are better than the bad white coaches, they still might not get a shot? WOW!! Iowa State coach Gene Chizik has been hired as the next football coach of Auburn, sources close to the situation told

The former Auburn defensive coordinator will succeed Tommy Tuberville, who resigned following 10 seasons. The hiring was reported by several media outlets, including, the Birmingham News and the Mobile Press-Register.

An Auburn spokesman said no announcement was scheduled for Saturday; an Iowa State spokesman said he couldn't confirm the reports.

Chizik is 5-19 in two seasons at Iowa State after stints running the defenses at Auburn and Texas. He coached the nation's top scoring defense in 2004 in his third and final season with the Tigers. That defense allowed just 11 points a game and Auburn went undefeated.

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard had acknowledged on Friday in a statement that he was aware Chizik had met with Auburn officials and was a serious candidate for the job.

Chizik then spent two seasons as Mack Brown's assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Texas, helping the Longhorns win the 2005 national championship.

Chizik took over at Iowa State for Dan McCarney following the 2006 season and was regarded as one of the nation's best young coaches when he took the job.

But he's gone just 5-19 in two seasons at Iowa State -- including a 2-10 mark in 2008.

The Cyclones went winless in Big 12 play this season, and their win total has dipped in each of the past three seasons.

Last week, Chizik stripped offensive coordinator Robert McFarland and defensive coordinator Wayne Bolt of their duties and reassigned them within the staff. He also fired quarterbacks coach Tony Petersen and secondary coach Shawn Raney.

Information from's Chris Low and Mark Schlabach and The Associated Press was used in this report.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jury Duty Musings

Welcome to the LA Superior Courthouse Jury Assembly Room in Torrance. That is where I sit as I type this post. I was called Tuesday to serve after postponing a previous requirement. With my schedule, it's really hard to predict when a week in the future will be better or worse than another. So, thus, here I sit.

We are at lunch right now as jury selection continues. If I am not called to serve on this particular trial, my service will be completed. Wish me luck!

I'm trying to use this time to prepare for tonight's Lakers/Suns game. Regardless of what happens here at LA Superior Court, I will be working courtside tonight at Staples Center.

As I do my normal research, I stumbled across a few tidbits I thought I would share with you.

I know several Lakers fans will be disappointed not to see Shaq in the house tonight. After last night's 35-point performance against the Bucks, he left Phoenix bound for New Jersey to attend the funeral services of his 92-year old great-grandmother. My condolences go out to Shaq and his family.

Speaking of Phoenix, check out this excerpt from an article by Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times: "The NBA is going to announce today that it will present its All-Star Saturday night program of the slam dunk contest, three-point shooting contest and skill challenge in a three-dimensional format at 80 movie theaters around the country Feb. 14. 'This is about embracing new technology and being innovative,' said David Levy, president of Turner Broadcasting Sales Inc. and Turner Sports. Levy said he is not concerned that the theater showing would negatively affect television ratings on TNT. 'We're aiming at the Saturday night moviegoer,' Levy said. 'And we'll be able to do things with the 3-D cameras that we wouldn't normally be able to do with a live game.'"

Is it just me or do you think we are getting closer and closer to having technologically-manipulated sports games and leagues? Guys sitting at home on their couches calling plays and substitutions through their Xbox3600 or PS30? Ok, well, that might be a stretch, but you feel me, right?

We often view owners of sports teams as money-grubbing old men who don't give a damn about the fans. They only want their money, and are unwilling to go the extra mile to earn the fans trust and respect. At times, that feeling is spot on.

However, that's not always the case as Mark McLane of Black Jesus Disciples explains: "Years ago, I worked for The Home Depot. A coworker of mine was an older gentleman whose retirement hadn't quite stuck the way he hoped. Bored out of his mind sitting around the house, he decided to don a hideous orange apron and make some extra dough while keeping himself busy. Every once in a while, we'd talk Suns basketball (this was during Nash's first MVP season) and while knowledgeable, he admittedly didn't follow the team all that closely any more, and didn't plan to despite my pleas and the Suns incredibly entertaining brand of basketball. The reasons cited were your standard, run of the mill cultural differences, getting too old, that kind of thing. Except the last one he gave. Jerry Colangelo no longer ran the show. It turns out my friend was once a Suns season ticket holder and had been for a number of years. 1988 rolled around and due to a rough economic spot in his life, he and his wife were forced to cancel their season tickets. They made the necessary calls and were soon no longer Suns season ticket holders. Finishing up dinner one night not long after canceling their season tickets, there was a knock at the door. My friend answered to find Jerry Colangelo, donning a three piece suit, hoping to discuss what brought on the cancellation of their season tickets and how he could bring them back into the fold. Colangelo had a cup of coffee, made his pitch, thanked them for their time and continued support of the Phoenix Suns, and went on his way, leaving behind a couple of renewed season ticket holders."

Could anyone imagine Donald Sterling making such a trip? Probably not, but I could totally see Arte Moreno doing it.

And last but not least, you HAVE to read this NY Times article about the oldest college basketball player in the country. I'll give you a little hint, he's old enough to be your grandfather. So much for using the "old" excuse as a reason for no longer balling!

Sources: Mets, K-Rod agree to 3-year, $37M deal

He turned down a generous offer from the Angels during the season because he wanted Mariano Rivera-type money. And just when it looked like Frankie Rodriguez would regret not accepting LA's last offer, the Mets offer enough money to bring K-Rod to NYC. The New York Mets have reached an agreement in principle with All-Star closer Francisco Rodriguez on a three-year, $37 million contract, according to major-league sources. The deal includes a $14 million vesting option for a fourth year that would raise the total value of the contract to $51 million.

The deal is contingent upon Rodriguez passing a physical, and the language of the contract still needs to be finalized.

That vesting option is within reach as long as Rodriguez pitches his normal number of innings as a closer, either in the third year of the deal or in a combination of years two and three. "Basically, he's just got to be healthy," one source said.

The deal also includes performance bonuses that are considered within reasonable reach.

News of an imminent deal was first reported by the New York Post. Contract figures were first reported by

K-Rod recorded a record 62 saves for the Los Angeles Angels this year, five more than the previous big league mark set by Bobby Thigpen of the Chicago White Sox in 1990, and then filed for free agency.

A three-time All-Star who turns 27 next month, Rodriguez was regarded as the top closer on the market.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Dodgers Sign Casey Blake To 3-Year Deal

I have to admit that I am a bit surprised by this news. Talking to Blake towards the end of the season, I was under the impression he wanted to go back East and play out the remainder of his career. But considering the weather back East right about now, I'm sure another three years in LA sounded too good to turn down.

LOS ANGELES – The National League West Division Champion Los Angeles Dodgers today agreed to terms with third baseman Casey Blake on a three-year contract with a club option for the 2012 season. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.

“We are excited to bring back a player whose performance on the field and leadership off the field contributed so much to our division championship this year,” Colletti said. “Our club changed when Casey arrived, and we are thrilled that he wants to continue his career with the Dodgers.”

The Dodgers went 34-26 after Colletti acquired Blake July 26 from the Cleveland Indians for two minor leaguers, catcher Carlos Santana and right-handed pitcher Jon Meloan. The deal also included cash considerations.

Starting July 26, Blake’s 10 home runs ranked second on the club to Manny Ramirez’s 18.

Blake, 35, matched his career high with 36 doubles in 2008, and batted .274 with 21 homers, 81 RBI, and 71 runs scored in a combined 152 games with the Dodgers and Indians.

With the Dodgers, he hit .251 with 12 doubles, 10 homers, and 23 RBI in 58 regular-season games.

Blake’s .985 fielding percentage at third base starting July 26 was the best in the National League over that span and was second among major league third basemen behind Jack Hannahan’s .991 percentage with Oakland. Blake started at third base in 56 of the Dodgers’ 60 regular-season games beginning July 26.

The Iowa native is a career .264 hitter with 201 doubles, 128 home runs, and 447 RBI in 917 games over 10 major league seasons with Toronto (1999), Minnesota (2000-01, 2002), Baltimore (2001), Cleveland (2003-08), and the Dodgers (2008). He has logged at least 30 doubles in each of his five full big league campaigns.

Blake hit .267 (8-for-30) with a homer and four RBI in eight post-season games in 2008, his second straight playoff appearance. He was with Cleveland in 2007, which advanced to the American League Championship Series.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Of The Same For The Clippers

The Clippers swallowed yet another tough loss last night. The opponent was new, but not the cause.

The 4th quarter was once again LA's downfall.

After a buzzer-beating 3-point heave by Baron Davis gave the Clippers a 9-point at the end of the 3rd frame, Orlando preceded to open the final period with a 10-0 run to regain the lead, and then held Mike Dunleavy's squad to just 13 points over the final 12 minutes.

We haven't seen such a quick and definitive turnaround since Joe Lieberman.

Figuring out the problem is not the issue, it's the solution that is being so evasive. But if an answer is not discovered real soon, the Clippers could be headed for an even faster downward spiral.

"The Clippers have had a lot of these games where they've been right there and been ahead in the fourth, then had some trouble down the stretch," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I've had teams that went through that, and it sort of gets in your mind a little bit, too."

It's already in the minds of the fans, who were heard outside our Clippers Live studio last night chanting "Fire Dunleavy!"

Clipper Nation has also been blowing up my mailboxes asking why Dunleavy continues to retain his job even though four other coaches with similar or better records have already been let go.

The Clippers head coach is fully aware of the fans' diminishing patience, but the man, who also serves as the team's general manager, doesn't believe his job is in any immediate jeopardy.

"I don't think that's the case," Dunleavy said. "I think we're headed in the right direction. I think we've got a good group. We haven't had our whole group together all season, or in the preseason."

I can already hear all of your sarcastic rumblings after reading that explanation. True, every team deals with injuries, however, I don't think that defense is necessarily a cop out on Dunleavy's part.

Four players from his 8-man rotation have been injured and unable to practice and/or play at some point either during training camp or the regular season. And that's not even counting Tim Thomas, who was traded to the Knicks in the Zach Randolph deal.

In fact, at no point this season, has Dunleavy had his entire allotment of players healthy for a stretch of 5-games or more. Tough to build chemistry that way on a team featuring nine new players.

"Here's what I think this franchise needs the most," said the GM/coach. "We need to win a lot of games in a stretch, let fans recognize a group of players they can count on, and show everyone just how good we can be when everyone is on the court."

That responsibility, ultimately, falls squarely on the shoulders of the head coach, and no matter how good and truthful the excuses, even those run out eventually.

Chargers Ticket Prices Unchanged For 2009

The good news for Chargers fans is that their tickets aren't going up. The bad news is that the team is already looking ahead to next season!

The San Diego Chargers announced today that there will be no increase in season ticket prices for the 2009 Chargers season. Regular season ticket prices start at $48 per game and Club seat ticket prices start at $140 per game--unchanged from 2008.

The Chargers also announced that the team is lowering the price on approximately 1,300 tickets in 2009. These seats will be set aside in expanded "Family Sections." The season ticket price in the Family Sections will be just $48 per game, and the consumption of alcohol in these special seating sections is strictly prohibited.

"We have listened to the many fans who are interested in bringing their family and sitting in the Family Section," said Chargers Executive Vice President A.G. Spanos. "With these changes for 2009, the Chargers will now have one of the largest designated family areas in the NFL."
A list of formidable opponents next season is sure to attract the fans' interest. The Chargers' 2009 home schedule includes games against Washington, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cincinnati and the corresponding finisher in the AFC East, along with AFC West rivals Denver, Kansas City and Oakland.

For information on season tickets for the 2009 season, call 877-CHARGERS, go to or stop by the Chargers' ticket office at Gate C at Qualcomm Stadium, open Monday through Friday from 8-5 pm.

Dwight Lewis Named PAC-10 Player Of The Week

LOS ANGELES – USC junior Dwight Lewis was named the Pac-10 Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 1-7 it was announced today (Dec. 8) by Commisioner Tom Hansen.

Lewis was USC’s go-to-guy in a pair of close contests, scoring a career-high 26 points in a comeback win vs. San Francisco and then pouring in 25 points in a 73-72 setback at No. 6 Oklahoma. The Metarie, La. native hit nearly 55 percent of his shots for the week, including 50 percent of his three-point shots.

Lewis made 6 of 8 shots after the break against San Francisco to score 17 second-half points and help USC hold off the hot-shooting Dons on Dec. 1. Against Oklahoma on Dec. 4, he scored 17 points in the fi rst half, including making 3 of 4 three-pointers to keep USC in the game and set up the second-half comeback. The two games represented his two highest career scoring outputs.

Lewis currently leads the team with a 17.6 scoring average and has reached double figures in points in all eight games this season. He ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in scoring and is tied for sixth in steals at 1.6 per game.

It is Lewis’ first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor and the 29th all-time for USC.

Reports: Dodgers To Sign Loretta

How do you think this signing will affect the return of Rafael Furcal? The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached an agreement with infielder Mark Loretta, pending a physical, according to multiple media outlets.

Loretta hit .280 in 261 at-bats for the Houston Astros last season with four homers and 38 RBIs. He appeared at four infield positions and hit .330 against left-handers.

A 13-year veteran and two-time All-Star, Loretta will be paid about $1.4 million in 2009, according to

Loretta was not offered arbitration by the Astros, so the Dodgers won't have to surrender any draft picks to sign him.

Monday, December 8, 2008


WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--Tailback Jacquizz Rodgers of Oregon State has been selected both Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, middle linebacker Rey Maualuga of USC the Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year and Mike Riley of Oregon State the Pac-10 Coach of the
Year. The award winners are selected by the Pac-10 head football coaches.

Offensive Player of the Year & Freshman of the Year Jacquizz Rodgers, TB, Oregon State: Rodgers becomes the first freshman in Conference history to be named offensive player of the year. The frosh from Richmond, Texas, burst upon the Pac-10 scene this year becoming just the third freshman to rush for 1,000 yards in Conference history. Rodgers took over as the starter in the second game of the season and caught the nation's attention in game four when he rushed for 186 yards and two touchdowns in Oregon State's 27-21 upset win against No. 1-ranked USC and its topflight defense. With a bowl game still to go, Rodgers has rushed 259 times for a Pac-10 freshman record 1,253 yards (4.8) and 11 touchdowns. He has added 29 receptions for 247 yards and one touchdown to give him an even 1,500 all-purpose yards for the season. Rodgers led the Beavers in rushing in nine of 11 games and surpassed the 100-yard mark seven times. He was named Pac-10 offensive player of the week three times and national player of the week following his performance against USC. Rodgers becomes the first Oregon State player to be named Pac-10 offensive player of the year since the award was inaugurated in 1975 and just the second player of the year overall from OSU, joining defensive end Bill Swancutt, who earned defensive player of the year honors in 2004.

Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year Rey Maualuga, MLB, USC: Maualuga, a senior from Eureka, Calif., anchors the USC defense that leads the Pac-10 in every major statistical category and leads the nation in scoring defense (7.8 points per game) and total defense (206.1 yards per game). The Trojan defense posted three shutouts this season and has allowed only 11 touchdowns in 12 games. Maualuga is a first-team All-Pac-10 selection for the third straight year and is a first-team All-America pick this season. The defensive player of the game in the Rose Bowl last season, Maualuga is a finalist for the Butkus Award, Lombardi Award and Bednarik Award. He leads the Trojans in tackles with 73 stops and has posted 267 career tackles. He led the Trojans in tackles in eight games this year. Maualuga is the second straight Trojan to earn Pac-10 defensive player of the year honors, following tackle Sedrick Ellis, who won the award last season.

Coach of the Year Mike Riley, Oregon State: Oregon State had the fewest returning starters in the Pac-10 entering this season and was picked to finish seventh in the Conference. The Beavers promptly lost their first two games of the season to make that prediction look accurate. But a stunning upset of then top-ranked USC, still the only blemish on the Trojans' record this year, and an October-November win streak of six straight games before losing to rival Oregon in the Civil War in the season finale catapulted the Beavers to an 8-4 mark. Included was a record of 7-2 and a tie for second in Conference play, good for a berth in the Brut Sun Bowl. Riley has upped his eight-year record as head coach at Oregon State to 55-42, the third-most victories in OSU history behind Lon Stiner and Tommy Prothro. Riley becomes just the third Oregon State coach to be voted Pac-10 coach of the year, following Dave Kragthorpe in 1989 and current Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson in 2000.

Friday, December 5, 2008

World Baseball Classic Tickets For Dodger Stadium Set To Go On Sale

Tickets to the second round through the final of the World Baseball Classic will go on sale Monday.

The tournament's second round is set for March 14-19 and will feature the top two teams from each pool of the first round in a double-elimination format.

Ticket strips for the second round, the semifinals and the final of the 2009 Classic will be made available to the public online at, powered by, the official site of Major League Baseball, as well as online and by phone in the local markets. Tickets for each venue will go on sale at 10 a.m. local time, meaning Miami tickets will go on sale at 10 ET, and Los Angeles and San Diego tickets at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

The strips for the individual pools of the second round will consist of six tickets, one to each of the six games played in one of the two second-round venues. Ticket strips for the semifinals and final games will consist of three tickets, one to each of the games played in Dodger Stadium.

Single-game ticket sales for the entire tournament will be announced at a later date.

The 16-team international field in the World Baseball Classic is the same as 2006. An expansion to 24 teams is under consideration for 2013.

First-round play, contested entirely outside the U.S., will be broken into four pools of four teams each. The double-elimination format is a departure from round robin, which was in play in the 2006 Classic.

China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea -- Pool A -- begin play March 5 in the Tokyo Dome. In Pool B, it will be Australia, Cuba, Mexico and South Africa, playing from March 8-12 in Mexico City at Foro Sol Stadium.

Canada, Italy, the U. S. and Venezuela will play March 8-12 at Rogers Centre in Toronto in Pool C. Pool D will feature the Dominican Republic, the Netherlands, Panama and Puerto Rico from March 7-11 in Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The top two finishers from Pool A and Pool B will play at PETCO Park in San Diego, and the teams advancing out of Pool C and Pool D will compete at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

PETCO Park was the site of the 2006 Classic final, when Japan edged Cuba, 10-6, to capture the inaugural title as Daisuke Matsuzaka was named the tournament's most valuable player. Dolphin Stadium will be hosting World Baseball Classic games for the first time.

The semifinals and final will be played from March 21-23 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Competition will shift to single elimination for both the semifinals and final with teams from the two second-round pools crossing over. The winner of each pool will play the runner-up in the opposite pool in the semifinal.

Tickets to the first round went on sale Nov. 17. Those strips for the individual pools consist of six tickets, one to each of the six games played in one of the four international first-round venues.
First-round ticket strips are available for purchase online at, as well as online and by phone in three of the four local markets.

More than 740,000 fans from 48 of the 50 states and 15 countries attended the first Classic.

There were also 486 players that participated, with 235 of those from Major League organizations.

Mike Scarr is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Elton Brand Hurt In Loss To Lakers

The move to Philly just hasn't been what Elton Brand had hoped it would be over the summer.

Not only are the 76ers struggling to find that team chemistry that would make them a force in the East, but EB's numbers haven't been exactly on par with his past several years.

The reasons for the drop could be numerous--new team, new system, new achilles. Whatever the reason, I would tend to think Brand has thought to himself a few times how things would be different if he was still in LA with the Clippers.

So, as if all the above wasn't bad enough, comes this bit of news from The Philadelpia Inquirer:

While (Kobe) Bryant provided the superstar tension last night, the Sixers' main man - Brand - strained his hamstring midway through the fourth quarter, according to the team.

Brand quietly disappeared to the end of the bench with a towel around his neck. Although the team said he was hurt in the fourth period, he sat from the 4-minute, 49-second mark of the third quarter until the end of the game.

Brand will be evaluated today, the team said. He finished with three points on 1-for-7 shooting.

Here's hoping EB has another speedy and successful recovery.

Lott Trophy Finalists Announced

NEWPORT BEACH, CA. – The Lott Trophy, the only collegiate football award where character counts, has announced its four finalists for 2008.

Linebacker Aaron Curry of Wake Forest, Linebacker James Laurinaitis of Ohio State, Defensive End Brian Orakpo of Texas and Defensive Back Myron Rolle of Florida State are this season’s finalists, chosen from an initial Watch List of 42 outstanding student-athletes throughout the country, who have all performed at a high level on the football field and exhibited selfless character off the field.

The winner will be announced at a black-tie banquet at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Ca. Dec. 14.

Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its fifth year, The Lott Trophy is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.

Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, the Lott award is given to a player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

The four finalists:
*Curry (6-3, 240, Sr., Fayetteville, NC): Has 101 tackles on the season and 16 tackles for loss. Curry has successfully combined his academics and football during his career at Wake Forest.

*Laurinaitis (6-3, 244, Sr., Hamel, Mn.): A Lott finalist last year, he has won the Butkus and Nagurski awards in previous seasons. Laurinaitis is a two-time Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time Ohio State captain. He led the Buckeyes in tackles again this season with 121.

*Orakpo (6-4, 260, Sr., Houston): Twice named the Lott Player of the Week this season. Orakpo has 10 sacks and 16 tackles for losses. He’s been on the Texas honor roll.

*Rolle (6-2, 218, Jr., Galloway, NJ): Named winner of a Rhodes Scholarship on Nov. 22. A grad student in public administration, he has a 3.71 GPA. He is second on the Seminole team with 46 tackles, has 5 passes defended and 5 passes broken up.

David Pollack of Georgia, DeMeco Ryans of Alabama, Dante Hughes of Cal and Glenn Dorsey of LSU were the winners of the first four Lott Trophies. Georgia, Alabama, Cal and LSU each received $25,000 for their general scholarship funds. In four years, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has donated $450,000 to various charities, including the universities. Each finalist receives $5,000 for his school’s general scholarship fund.

Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation and Legends Coaches, a distinguished group of former head college coaches.

For more information on the Lott Trophy, go to:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Here's a good chance to score some Lakers tickets and an autograph, and it will all benefit some much-deserving kids.

LOS ANGELES -- L.A. Lakers forward Vladi Radmanovic and his Vladi Radmanovic Children's Foundation will host the organization's annual "Giving Tree" at the Westside Pavilion benefiting Five Acres. The event will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13 at Westside Pavilion (on the first floor just outside Nordstrom's) located at 10800 W. Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles.

With the purchase of a holiday gift from the event's Giving Tree, each fan will receive an autographed photo of Vladi as well as Lakers game tickets (while supplies last). The Westside Pavilion will staff a table for individuals seeking to purchase gift cards for the charities. Radmanovic has set a goal of collecting 200 holiday gifts and raising more than $1,500 worth of Westside Pavilion gift cards during this year's event.

"This will be our third year of hosting the Giving Tree," said Radmanovic, whose foundation, established in 2005, collected more than 1,000 toys over the past two years. "I remember when my family was homeless during the war. My mom and dad made sure my sister and I had a little something for Christmas. I can relate to these kids from Five Acres and want to make sure that they at least have something for the holidays."

Five Acres is a child and family services agency that strengthens families and prevents child abuse through treatment and education in community-based and residential programs.
Originally founded as an orphanage in 1888, Five Acres today offers an array of services including residential care and education, mental health services in homes and schools, foster care and adoptions, and domestic violence prevention.

For more information on this year's Giving Tree event, log on to or contact Matthew Wade, executive director of the Vladimir Radmanovic Children's Foundation at or (206) 227-9387.

Vladimir Radmanovic Children's Foundation Mission Statement:
The mission of the Vladimir Radmanovic Children's Foundation is to assist organizations that aid children who have been abandoned by their families or removed from their homes for their own protection.


One-Hour Telecast Airs Live on Sunday, December 14th; College Football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year Will Be Awarded

Los Angeles -- On Sunday, December 14, Fox Sports WEST will telecast a one-hour live telecast of The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation 2008 Lott Trophy Award presentation. Event coverage from the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif., begins at approximately 9:30 PM immediately after the Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Lakers post-game "Lakers Live" show. Reporters Bill Macdonald and Michael Eaves will host the Fox Sports WEST coverage of the event.

Hall of fame sports commentator Keith Jackson is the keynote speaker for the event. Best known for broadcasting college football, Jackson has received many awards throughout his 50-plus years of contribution to the sport. He was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 1995.

Since 2004, the Lott Trophy has been awarded annually to college football's most deserving Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. The athlete who is bestowed with this honor signifies the epitome of the IMPACT acronym - Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity - through his mastery of the sport and reputation as a role model. The award is named after the former USC All-American, College Football and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Ronnie Lott. David Pollack of Georgia (2004), DeMeco Ryans of Alabama (2005), Dante Hughes of Cal (2006) and Glenn Dorsey of LSU (2007) were the winners of the first four Lott Trophies.

The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation will make a $25,000 contribution to the general scholarship fund of the winner's university and a $5,000 donation to the schools of the other finalists.

Voting for the 2008 Lott Trophy consist of ballots distributed to The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation Board of Directors, a Board of Advisors made up of former NFL players and coaches, 17 members of the Master Coaches, offensive and defensive college coordinators, and sports journalists.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chargers Tickets Still Available

--2,000 tickets available for next two home games--

The Chargers’ streak of 35 consecutive regular-season and postseason home games shown on live local television is in jeopardy. More than 2,000 tickets remain available for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons at Qualcomm Stadium. Kickoff is Sunday at 1:05 pm. All general tickets must be sold 72 hours prior to kickoff for NFL games to be televised live locally.

In addition, an equal number of tickets are available for the Chargers’ nationally-televised home game versus the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night, Dec. 4.

Tickets are available online at; the Chargers Ticket Office at Qualcomm Stadium (Gate C), or by calling TicketMaster at 619-220-TIXS (8497).

If a sellout is announced, the game will be shown live on Fox 5 in San Diego and Fox 11 in Los Angeles. Matt Vasgersian and J.C. Pearson will call the action.

The radio broadcast can be heard in San Diego on KIOZ Rock 105.3 FM and XTRA Sports 1360 AM in San Diego and KLAC 570 AM in Los Angeles. Josh Lewin and Hank Bauer call the action from the booth and Jim Laslavic reports from the sideline. Jorge Villanueva, Adrian Garcia and Efren Dominguez call the game in Spanish on XHFG 107.3 FM in San Diego and KWKW 1330 AM in Los Angeles.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Zach Randolph's Clippers Debut Will Have To Wait

Newly acquired Zach Randolph will not be in uniform tonight when the Clippers host the Hornets. He and Mardy Collins will not be allowed to suit up for their new team until all physicals have been completed.

Here is the team's official release: Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins will not be in uniform for tonight’s game between the Clippers and New Orleans Hornets. None of the four players in Friday’s trade between the Clippers and New York Knicks are eligible to play for their new teams until the results of all physicals are known. Accordingly, the Clippers’ Monday afternoon media availability session scheduled for Randolph and Collins will be postponed.

Basically, the issue is the completion of all four physicals. They seem to be taking an extra day on both sides. However, everything is expected to be completed by tomorrow, and you can expect to see Randolph and Collins in uniform for Wednesday's game between the Clippers and the Nuggets.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Clippers Send Forward Tim Thomas and Guard Cuttino Mobley To New York

The Los Angeles Clippers acquired forward Zach Randolph and guard Mardy Collins from the New York Knicks today in exchange for forward Tim Thomas and guard Cuttino Mobley Clippers General Manager and head coach Mike Dunleavy announced today.

“In an attempt to make our team more competitive, we are excited about the acquisition of Zach Randolph,” Dunleavy said. “He is a 27-year old highly-skilled scorer and rebounder. Getting a player like Zach cost us two highly skilled veterans in Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas, but we feel that the move will help us both now and in the future. We wish nothing but the best of success for Cuttino and Tim with their new team.”

The six-foot-nine Randolph is known as one of the NBA’s most effective young post players, bringing a career 16.4 points per game scoring average and 8.2 rebounds in 467 career games to the Clippers. Randolph is a career 46 percent shooter from the field and averaged 17.6 points, a team-leading 10.3 rebounds in 69 games for the Knicks in 2007-08 while finishing 10th in the NBA with 40 double-doubles. Randolph is averaging 20.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in the first 11 games of the 2008-09 season.

The Michigan State product was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers in the first round (19th overall pick) of the 2001 NBA Draft. Randolph, 27, played six seasons in Portland, enjoying a break-out year in 2003-04 when he averaged 20.1 points and 10.5 rebounds for the Trailblazer en route to being named the NBA Most Improved Player of the Year. Randolph joined the Knicks prior to the 2007-08 season in a trade.

In his third pro season, the six-foot-six Collins is averaging 2.2 points and 1.7 assists in nine games this season. A former standout at Temple University, Collins was drafted by New York with the 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft. Collins has appeared in 107 career NBA games, with career averages of 3.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.

Cuttino Mobley joined the Clippers as a free agent on August 4, 2005 and was a key member of the club’s run to the 2005-06 Western Conference Semifinals, averaging 14.9 points that season and 13.3 points in 12 playoff games. A 10-year NBA veteran, Mobley is the Clippers third-leading scorer this season, averaging 13.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 2008-09.

Tim Thomas signed with the Clippers as a free agent on July 13, 2006, and the 11-year pro has been a fixture in the frontcourt ever since, averaging 10.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 149 games in his time in Los Angeles.

With this transaction, the Clippers roster now stands at a total of 14 players, with three players (Chris Kaman, Al Thornton, Paul Davis) remaining from the team that finished the 2007-08 season.

Clippers Make Trade for Zach Randolph

--LA Sends Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas To NY For Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins--

Mike Dunleavy has coveted Zach Randolph for quite some time, and now it seems as though he is getting him. I heard a little earlier today that the Clippers were making this trade. I assume as I write this post, the legalities of the deal are being finalized right now.

The question now becomes is Dunleavy done dealing or is this move just the beginning? I vote for the latter.

Here's the NY Daily News article on the trade.

Knicks trade Jamal Crawford for Al Harrington, ship Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins to Clippers
Friday, November 21st 2008, 5:04 PM

The Knicks completed a wild day of trading on Friday when they sent Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins to the Clippers for Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley. The deal comes less than two hours after Donnie Walsh traded Jamal Crawford to the Warriors for Al Harrington.

Both deals were made to clear salary cap space for the summer of 2010 for when LeBron James becomes a free agent. The contracts of Harrington, Thomas and Mobley all expire in two years which will put the Knicks in position to make a run at James, the most coveted free agent since Shaquille O'Neal left the Orlando Magic to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


GLENDALE, Ariz – The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox announced today that their two-team, state-of-the-art Spring Training campus in Glendale, AZ will be named Camelback Ranch. Dodger Owner and Chairman Frank McCourt and White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf made the announcement.

“The name ‘Camelback Ranch’ inspires the pioneering spirit of the Dodgers’ original move west in 1958 and with our relocation this spring to Arizona, that move is now complete,” said McCourt. “We believe this facility will be the best in all of Major League Baseball and will provide our team with an unparalleled place to prepare year-round for championship-caliber baseball.”

“Camelback Ranch in Glendale soon will be known as the crown-jewel of the Cactus League,” said Reinsdorf. “Starting this spring, baseball fans will be able to enjoy a world-class complex that features the Cactus League’s largest ballpark with state-of-the-art amenities and one of the most scenic environments in all of sports and entertainment.”

The 141-acre site is located on Camelback Road just west of the Loop 101. The first-rate baseball facility includes more than 118,000 square feet of Major and Minor League clubhouse space, 13 full baseball fields, and three half-fields. The site will feature picturesque walking trails, landscaped grounds, and an orange grove. There will also be two ponds and a fully-stocked lake between the Dodgers and White Sox facilities.

The shared stadium, which will be the focal point of the complex, is the largest in the Cactus League with a capacity of 13,000 which includes 3,000 lawn seats, 12 luxury suites, a party deck, and a unique center field rotunda entrance. Fans will enjoy the ballpark’s modern amenities and design as well as dramatic mountain views from within the park that will create one of the most inviting Spring Training atmospheres in all of baseball.

“It is my sincere hope that generations of families will create lifelong memories at Camelback Ranch,” said Dodger President Jamie McCourt. “This idyllic setting – only five hours by car and a one-hour flight from Los Angeles – could not come at a more perfect time for Dodger fans, many of whom have waited a long time to take part in the Spring Training experience.”

“Many former Chicagoans now call the Valley home,” said Reinsdorf. “That large contingent of people, along with the thousands of current Chicagoans who travel to the Phoenix area during the winter months, now will have the opportunity to enjoy White Sox baseball in an incomparable sports and entertainment facility.”

In addition to serving as the Spring Training home of the White Sox and Dodgers, the campus will become the home for all Dodger minor league operations throughout the year, including the team’s Arizona League entry and Fall Instructional League team. The White Sox also will use Camelback Ranch in Glendale as the home for their Fall Instructional League.

Camelback Ranch will become a multi-use facility, available to host concerts, sporting events, and corporate outings, in addition to Spring Training baseball.

The 2009 Spring Training schedules will be released shortly for each team, while the joint venture offers six different season ticket options: Home Plate Club, Dugout Field Box, Baseline Field Box, Premium Infield Box, Infield Box, and Baseline Reserved, along with day-of-game Lawn seating. Fans interested in purchasing season tickets should call (623) 877-8585.

Renderings and a recent aerial photo of Camelback Ranch are attached, while updated photos of Camelback Ranch can be seen here:

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008 Seeking Associate Reporters

Want to get your foot in the door covering an NBA beat? is looking for up to 30 aspiring sportswriters to form its league-wide network of associate reporters.

These part-time jobs are designed to give you the full range of experiences that comes with covering a professional basketball team. Each reporter will work closely with one of the full-time writers to give visitors to and team web sites all the information they need throughout the season. The plan is to have one reporter at each NBA home city. is looking for talented college juniors and seniors as well as recent graduates and graduate students to cover the 2008-2009 season. Each associate reporter is expected to attend every home game, file live game notes directly into the Game Info page, collect notes and quotes from the locker rooms after the game, and update the homepage of the team web sites featured in your game. You will be paid $50-$75 per game, depending on the arena you work.

Applicants should submit a resume (with references), plus three published articles or a 500-word essay on why you want to be an NBA beat writer.

All applicants must have their own laptop computer. Interested applicants should contact:

Steve Quintana
Executive Producer/

Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama To Get Tough On BCS

Anyone watch President-Elect Barack Obama on "60 Minutes" last night? Most of you probably did, since his appearance gave the CBS News weekly magazine program its highest rating since 1999.

He talked about a myriad of topics, from the economy and financial bailouts to national security and the war in Iraq. He also niftily dodged Steve Kroft's repeated questions about any of Obama's impending administration appointees.

As usual, I found him eloquent, knowledgeable and sincere. My only regret is that he has to wait until January 20th to take office.

Besides the real meat-and-potato dialogue of the interview, there were two things I took away from the show: 1) Barack loves him some Michelle and 2) the BCS might want to get started on a playoff system.

During one of his very last public appearances prior to Election Night, Obama told Chris Berman during halftime of Monday Night Football that the one thing he would change about sports is the lack of a playoff in the Football Bowl Series, formerly known as Division 1A. And just as he has stayed true to some of his other campaign promises and pledges, Obama is serious about the need for a playoff system.

In fact, he already seems to have a plan for it: 8 teams, winner take all!

"It would add three extra weeks to the season," said Obama. "You could trim back on the regular season. I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I'm going to throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do."

There's no question it's the right thing to do. It's been the right thing to do for decades, but the individual institutions of the BCS conferences are just too greedy to make it happen. They want to hoard all the big money and not allow all 119 FBS schools to get a cut.

The one question I have always wondered but never had answered is this: If the NCAA can prevent schools from playing in a bowl game, why can't the NCAA dictate how the champion is determined? It does so in every other sport, including the other three levels of NCAA football.

The BCS issued a reactionary statement today, and as expected, the top brass wasn't exactly open to the idea.

"First of all I want to congratulate newly elected President Obama and I am glad he has a passion for college football like so many other Americans," said BCS Coordinator John Swofford. "For now, our constituencies -- and I know he understands constituencies -- have settled on the current BCS system, which the majority believe is the best system yet to determine a national champion while also maintaining the college football regular season as the best and most meaningful in sports."

Swofford added: "We certainly respect the opinions of president-elect Obama and welcome dialogue on what's best for college football."

I think what's best for college football is to consider your players, alumni and fans as your "constituencies" and not the school presidents and athletic directors.

I have tremendous confidence that President Obama can right this terrible wrong. I mean, if he can take on the RNC and win, the BCS should be a pushover!

Gilbert Arenas: Agent Zero

I must admit, I have not been much of a blog reader through the years. Some would say it is quite audacious of me to expect people to read my blog, even though I don't do a good job of reading others. Call it the "Audacity Of Blogging."

(Wow, that was even more cornier than I thought it would be. Anyway, back to the topic at hand.)

If you have never read Gilbert Arenas' blog, Agent Zero: The Blog File, you are seriously missing out. Not only does the Wizards superstar shed some interesting light on the game as well as his personal life, kid is just mad funny. He's been one of my favorite players in the league for quite some time, not so much for his playing ability, but rather his personality and unmitigated willingness to share it.

I won't give away his latest blog entry completely, but I will give you a little hint.

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Witnessing History--The Sequel

Some of you may remember my post "Tyson Chandler: Witnessing History," where I told you about a meeting between the NBA rising star and Senator Barack Obama on the campaign trail. Chandler had written how the experience gave him a different perspective on politics, in general, and society, as a whole.

Shortly after Senator Obama became President-Elect Obama, Chandler added another post to his blog about watching the election night coverage with his wife.

One passage in particular from Chandler's blog post stood out to me. In reference to a story about one of his assistant coaches growing up in the South and remembering the "white only" water fountains and having to enter stores and restaurants through the back door, Chandler wrote, "A lot of times we lose touch of the opportunity that we have. It makes you respect it a lot more when you hear something like that, or you get a chance to hear Bill Russell speak about playing back then. You say, 'Man, I've got the opportunity to do what I love night in and night out, and there were people before me who fought and died for this.'"

SEC Charges Mark Cuban With Insider Trading

Uh, isn't this exactly what Martha Stewart went to jail for? Oh well, so much for buying the Cubs--as if MLB owners were going to let him into the old boys club anyway.

WASHINGTON (AP)—Federal regulators on Monday charged Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban with insider trading for allegedly using confidential information on a stock sale to avoid more than $750,000 in losses.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Cuban in federal court in Dallas. The agency alleged that in June 2004, Cuban was invited to get in on the coming stock offering by Inc. after he agreed to keep the information private.

The SEC said Cuban knew the shares would be sold below the current market price, and a few hours after receiving the information, told his broker to sell his entire stake of 600,000 shares in the search engine company before the public announcement of the offering.

By selling when he did, Cuban avoided losses exceeding $750,000, according to the SEC. At the time of the offering, Cuban was the largest known shareholder in the Montreal-based company, which later changed its name to Copernic Inc.

The SEC is seeking a court judgment against Cuban finding that he violated the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, an injunction against future violations, an unspecified civil penalty and restitution of the losses Cuban allegedly avoided.

Unless he is subject to an injunction, Cuban “is likely to commit such violations again in the future,” according to the SEC suit.

Attorneys for Cuban in Washington and Dallas didn’t immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.

Cuban, 50, also owns Landmark Theaters, a large national chain dedicated to independent films, and the HDNet cable television channel.

He is one of the richest people in the world, according to Forbes magazine, which pegged his net worth at $2.3 billion as of March 2007.

PAC-10 Players Of The Week

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli of Oregon, defensive tackle Stephen Paea of Oregon State and kick returners C.J. Gable of USC and James Rodgers of Oregon State have been named U.S. Bank Pac-10 Players of the Week in football, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced.

Masoli, a sophomore from Daly City, Calif., led the Oregon offense in the Ducks' 55-45 win against Arizona. Masoli accounted for 387 yards total offense and five touchdowns as he completed 21 of 26 passes (80.8%) for 298 yards and two touchdowns covering 44 and 65 yards with no interceptions. Masoli also rushed 10 times for 89 yards (8.9) and three touchdowns of 66, 6 and 5 yards. Oregon put up 55 points and piled up 504 yards total offense (206 rushing, 298 passing). It marks the second Pac-10 offensive player of the week honor for Masoli this season.

Paea, a sophomore from Los Altos, Calif., keyed Oregon State's defensive effort in the Beavers' 34-21 win against California that kept OSU's Rose Bowl hopes alive. Paea posted six tackles, three solo, including two tackles for loss (-13) and one quarterback sack (-5). The Oregon State defense limited California to 11 first downs and 232 yards in total offense (85 rushing, 147 passing), including just one yard in the fourth quarter. The Beaver defense allowed Cal only 2-of-13 on third-down conversion attempts and posted five QB sacks (-45).

There had not been a kickoff return for a touchdown in the Pac-10 all season until James Rodgers of Oregon State and C.J. Gable of USC did so at key times in their games--OSU's win against Cal and USC's 45-23 victory at Stanford. After California scored on the opening drive of the game, Rodgers, a sophomore from Richmond, Texas, returned the subsequent kickoff 86 yards for a TD to quickly tie up the score and the Beavers never again trailed in the game. For USC, it was Gable, a sophomore from Sylmar, Calif., taking back a kickoff return 93 yards for a touchdown to knot the score at 17-17 shortly before halftime and the Trojans never again were behind in the game.

Also nominated for offensive player of the week honors were tailbacks Kahlil Bell of UCLA, Stafon Johnson of USC and Jacquizz Rodgers of Oregon State, quarterback Rudy Carpenter of Arizona State and tight end Rob Gronkowski of Arizona. Also nominated on defense were rover Patrick Chung of Oregon and linebackers Reggie Carter of UCLA, Mike Nixon of Arizona State and Rey Maualuga of USC. Kicker Kai Forbath of UCLA was nominated for special teams play.

Friday, November 14, 2008

CEO Beats Michael Jordan 1-on-1

Those of you who read Sports Illustrated may remember a story from February regarding a CEO beating Michael Jordan in a game of 1-on-1 at Jordan's famous "Flight School" in Las Vegas. The true legitimacy of that story has been debated for quite some time, but thanks to the Wall Street Journal, we now have video proof of this monumental occasion.

See for yourself as John Rodgers, Jr. beats Jordan 3-2. Be sure and check out the commentary by Damon Wayans afterwards.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bolts Add Veteran RB Bennett

The Chargers added depth to their offensive backfield Wednesday as they signed veteran running back Michael Bennett.

Bennett (5-9, 207), an eighth-year pro, has rushed for 3,627 yards and has a career average of 4.4 yards per carry. He has appeared in 94 games and started 50 during stints with Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Minnesota. With 151 career receptions, Bennett has also proven himself to be a capable receiver out of the backfield.

After a stellar collegiate career at Wisconsin, where he was teammates with Chargers wide receiver Chris Chambers, Bennett was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2002 after rushing for 1,296 yards.

Bennett spent the first five years of his career in Minnesota before signing with the Chiefs prior to the 2006 season. Midway through the 2007 campaign, he was to Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers released Bennett Tuesday so the club could activate Carnell “Cadillac” Williams from the “Reserve-Physically Unable to Perform” list.

In order to make room for Bennett on the Bolts’ 53-man roster, the club released linebacker Derek Smith.

NCAA Minority Hirings Still Lagging Woefully Behind

Not sure if you heard the news, or if you even care for that matter, but the annual Black Coaches Association hiring report came out Wednesday. The numbers, especially for college football, are once again both staggering and saddening.

Almost a third of the candidates interviewed last year were minorities, but only four were hired among the 31 openings in the NCAA's FBS and FCS subdivisions.

The recent firings of Ty Willingham at Washington and Ron Prince at Kansas State leave the NCAA's top division with only four blacks, one Latino and one Pacific Islander as head coaches.

Seriously? Only four African-Americans and two other minorities out of 119 FBS programs? Really?

The NCAA should be flat out embarrassed. Plain and simple.

What? You think I'm being too harsh? Well, if the above statistics aren't a strong enough argument for my assessment, then consider these numbers recently released in a study by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida:

• 54 percent of FBS players are minorities (50 percent of those African-American).

• 92.5 percent of FBS university presidents, 87.5 percent of FBS athletic directors and 100 percent of FBS conference commissioners are white.

As's Gene Wojciechowski writes, "They're good enough to play the game, good enough to become offensive and defensive coordinators (31 of 255), good enough to become assistant coaches (312 of 1,018), but not good enough to become head coaches?"

Once again, that old adage about "the more things change, the more things stay the same" is unfortunately and unbelievably proven true.