Friday, July 30, 2010
1. Nationals place rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list. Don't panic, Nats fans, Strasburg will be back. He's got some shoulder soreness on his pitching arm, and Washington opted to shelf him for a few starts until that dies down. It's no big deal, since the Nats are 14.5 games out of first place in the NL East and don't look playoff bound this year. Plus, Washington already announced its intentions to let him pitch 160 innings this year before taking him out of the rotation for the season to ease him into the starter's role. Through the minors and majors, he's up to 110 innings. He'll likely get six or seven more starts and take the rest of the season off.
2. Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth fails team's conditioning test. Further ramping up the rivalry between Baltimore and Washington, the Redskins' $100 million man was unable to pass Washington's conditioning test on the first try. "Fat Albert" has made headlines this offseason by protesting a move to nose tackle, but he's been with the team so far in Ashburn, Virginia at their practice facilities, and has lost 35 pounds since last year. As the Washington Post reported, "People familiar with the results said that Haynesworth performed well on the first half of the running drills but apparently needed a break to visit the restroom midway through the drill." Sounds like someone had to take a dump.
3. Orioles name Buck Showalter team's new manager. It's nothing to get too excited about, as the O's sit with the MLB's worst overall record. But it's a step in the right direction, I guess, hiring Showalter, who won AL Manager of the Year in 1994 with the Yankees and in 2004 with the Rangers. Still, his overall record of 882-833 is hard to look past. It's better than Dave Trembley for sure, though.
4. Orioles deal infielder Miguel Tejada to San Diego Padres. It's a good situation for Tejada, who joins the NL West-leading Padres for a race for the National League pennant. As the Baltimore Sun explains, the move "not only saves the Orioles money, but also allows them to evaluate prospect Josh Bell at third base for the rest of the season." In return, the Birds got pitcher Wynn Pelzer, a 24-year old in double-A ball who had a promising 2009 campaign.
5. Nationals deal all-star closer Matt Capps to the Twins. Again, without a shot at the playoffs, a pretty good move considering Washington got "highly regarded catching prospect Wilson Ramos," according to the Washington Post. In addition, highly-touted rookie pitcher Drew Storen will assume the closer's role, which, like the Tejada deal, allows the Nats an opportunity to evaluate him for the rest of the season. Ramos, a 22-year old catcher, has been playing well in triple-A Rochester, and should be the long-term replacement for Jesus Flores at catcher.
6. Wizards re-sign Josh Howard to one-year, $4 million deal. It's a pretty good low-risk, medium-reward type signing. Washington wasn't in the running for any big-name free agent signings, and Howard is coming off an ACL injury that caused him to appear in just four Wizards games last season. In the offseason, Washington declined to pick up his nearly $12 million option for next season, and instead brought him back for a much more reasonable figure when staying put became his best option. He may be dangled as trade bait this season while the Wizards try to figure out how to build around rookie John Wall.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
It was no surprise when Cody, a 350-pound butterball pictured lactating to the right at the NFL Combine, failed the Ravens' basic conditioning test at their summer training camp in Westminster, Maryland.
According to the Associated Press, the test includes "running 25 yards, doubling back, resting for 70 seconds and repeating it twice."
"It's down and back, down and back, down and back. It's not complicated [but] it's a tough test. You've got to go out there and compete," said Baltimore coach John Harbaugh.
On Tuesday, Cody failed it twice. He passed it on Wednesday morning, but not before earning the nickname "Cheeseburger" from fellow defensive lineman Haloti Ngata. He was immediately removed from the Physically Unable to Perform (P.U.P.) list.
"He's got to lose a little weight, and that will happen in training camp," Harbaugh said.
Gee, you think?
"But the fact that he's in shape is important. That's the bottom line. It shows that he's done the work," Harbaugh continued.
He's done the work? Between Tuesday and Wednesday? Whatever you say, coach.
It's not that Cody won't ever be an NFL star. In fact, he'll rarely ever have to run 50 yards continuously. But still, if you polled 50 people on the street, I'd wager that almost half of them could pass the test -- maybe even in business casual attire.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
A line drive to the head obviously doesn't qualify. But when Arizona Cardinals kicker Bill Gramatica tears his ACL after celebrating a routine, non-game-winning field goal, or when Los Angeles Angels batter Kendry Morales breaks his leg celebrating on home plate after a game-winning home run, you're entitled to laugh.
In general, America finds the unexpected a lot funnier than things that are scripted. That's why a YouTube epic like Grape Stomp has more than six million views.
So it goes without saying that the latest fluke injury is laugh-worthy. Florida Marlins leftfielder Chris Coghlan tore his meniscus (knee cartilage) after throwing a shaving cream pie into the face of teammate Wes Helms.
Helms had just singled with the bases loaded for the Marlins in the 11th inning of a 5-4 win against Atlanta on Sunday when Coghlan delivered the pie, and landed himself on the disabled list.
Coghlan, a promising 25-year old, won the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year Award after batting .321 and hitting nine home runs and 47 RBIs last year.
The injury is definitely one of the dumbest I've heard of in recent years, but since there's no video footage of the post-game celebration, I took the liberty of including a montage of fat people falling down, below. This should simulate the experience you would have had after seeing the injury in real life.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
After appearing in five games with Memphis in the NBA's summer league, Vasquez will miss the next six weeks with an ankle injury. He will have his ankle scoped, according to Comcast SportsNet's Chick Hernandez.
Vasquez, the 28th pick in June's draft, started three games for Memphis, and averaged seven points, four assists and two rebounds per game, while connecting on 35 percent of his field goal attempts.
A tweet Vasquez posted at 12 p.m. on Monday roughly translated to "I feel well. It isn't anything from another world. Thank god that it was now and not before. So that I want everyone positive and with good energy."
The Memphis Commercial Appeal wrote that Vasquez "struggled with running the team's offense and other NBA nuances during summer league play," but added that "it turns out that the 6-6 player out of Maryland might have somewhat of an excuse."
Vasquez will rejoin the team by October in time for Memphis' training camp and the start of its season. Thankfully, the Grizzlies are no longer in the running for New Orleans point guard Chris Paul. He will continue to compete with OJ Mayo and Mike Conley for point guard duties.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Last fall, Good Counsel finally snapped a bad luck streak of losing to DeMatha in the WCAC title game by beating the Stags, 14-7.
DeMatha had won the five previous WCAC championships, beating Good Counsel every time.
That was nearly eight months ago, and DeMatha still isn't quite over it. At least, the Stags appear to be still working on their plate of sour grapes.
You see, Good Counsel starting quarterback Zach Dancel, a two-star passer with offers from FCS teams Stony Brook and Towson, worked with DeMatha offensive coordinator Chris Baucia in the offseason during some private workouts.
Baucia owns the Quarterback Factory, which provides one-on-one and small group lessons to quarterbacks in the D.C. area in an effort to improve their skills and eliminate any weaknesses. His list of former students is impressive: Scott McBrien and Josh Portis (University of Maryland), Leon Kinnard (UConn), Tom Chroniger (Eastern Michigan) and Josh Bordner (Boston College), to name a few.
Dancel, of course, benefited from the instruction, and threw for 186 yards and a touchdown in Good Counsel's win over DeMatha in the fall. People went ballistic.
Washington Post staff writer Josh Barr writes: "The DeMatha coaching staff wondered how much one of their peers had helped an opponent. Their counterparts at Good Counsel worried that DeMatha might have inside information about one of the Falcons' most important players."
"It was a huge stink. How that happened, it was beyond a lot of people. There were a lot of questions, a lot of unhappy people. A lot of people, I guess the best word I can use, were extremely [ticked] off," an anonymous source told Barr.
Since then, DeMatha has done its best to correct the "problem", forcing Baucia to turn away any WCAC athletes from taking instruction at the Quarterback Factory. That's a real shame, considering the area's talent that could benefit from the private lessons.
Of course, this would be a non-issue if Dancel wasn't starting, or if he had thrown three interceptions in a season-ending loss to DeMatha. But he didn't, so people complained, and now Baucia may have just lost a significant chunk of his potential business.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Meet Haukur "Hawk" Palsson, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound small forward from Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida. Palsson is a glue guy, mostly unheralded, even on his own high school team, where he's the sixth man.
Don't panic. Palsson's high school team is sending players to Villanova and Marquette, with another recently decommitting from Boston College. On top of that, Palsson still managed 10 points and five rebounds per game for Montverde.
During the U16 European Challenge, Palsson averaged 20.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, and dropped 41 points on Belgium's under-16 squad. He was reliable from the floor (48 percent) and from the line (79 percent). He finished second in points and rebounds per game among all FIBA players during the tournament.
Another recent Terp had a fruitful college career despite serving as the sixth man on his own high school team: Landon Milbourne.
That's not to say that Palsson will end up as a 1,000 point scorer like Milbourne. In fact, the Iceland native may get fed up from serving as the designated chest bump guy, and transfer down to a school in Conference USA or the CAA.
His performance at the Capital Classic alongside future teammates Terrell Stoglin and Pe'Shon Howard confirmed what many scouts had said before. His stat line included three points, four rebounds and two steals in 16 minutes of playing time. It wasn't showy, but it was what everyone expected. He filled in where needed.
Palsson chose Maryland over offers from Central Florida, Harvard, South Florida and Vanderbilt, and, as you would expect, he's a good student. The No. 50 small forward in the country according to ESPN.com, Palsson's best case scenario comparison is probably Byron Mouton.
Mini-sidenote: Today marks Benched Press' 300th entry. Thanks to the loyal readers out there for coming back day after day!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Schultz, 58, hit his aces on the fourth and 14th holes, scoring a career-best 3-under for the day.
According to U.S. Hole In One, located 60 miles south of Bethlehem in nearby Bryn Mawr, the odds of hitting two holes in one is 26 million to one. And they would know: they insure hole-in-one contests when companies promote a free car or other prizes.
The Bethlehem Morning Call reported that the holes in one were Schultz's fifth and sixth of his life, an unbelievable feat as LPGA golfer Michelle Wie only has five. Only, like I have six.
U.S. Hole In One also says that "the odds of getting a hole in one on a par-3 are 12,500 to 1 for an amateur and 7,500 to 1 for a pro," according to USA Today.
That means that on an 18-hole course with six par-threes, every 2,083 rounds, you'll hit a hole in one. But maybe this story is so compelling because my golf skill level is legitimately worse than 2010's Arnold Palmer, blindfolded after a dizzy bat relay.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
In finishing 2-under par, tied for 27th in the tournament, Jimenez got creative on one of the unique holes at St. Andrew's after finding himself backed into a corner.
On Saturday, the third day of the tournament, Jimenez hit a shot that cozied up to a stone wall structure. Left in a pickle without the ability to take a swing, he channeled his inner Roy McAvoy (a.k.a. Kevin Costner in Tin Cup) and ricocheted the ball off the wall and onto the green.
If you've ever seen Tin Cup, you'll know that Jimenez's shot was a page out of McAvoy's book. So of course it ended up being the most creative shot of the tournament, held on the most creative golf course in the world.
And although he double bogeyed the hole, who the hell cares? It was still awesome to watch, and worthy of a SportsCenter Top 10 play.
Check out Jimenez's shot, below.
Now check out Roy McAvoy teaching David Simms (played by Don Johnson) the meaning of a trick shot.
Monday, July 19, 2010
The last time Cleveland residents celebrated a real championship was 46 years ago, in 1964 when the Browns won the NFL Championship three years before the Super Bowl was established.
That's a long drought for any town, which explains why Cavaliers fans are so distraught about James' departure.
Cavs fans aren't taking the break-up well, though. Almost instantly, Ohioans found their way to YouTube, burning LeBron's jersey in effigy. Somewhat reasonable if you consider that those jerseys are just a painful reminder of the fact that James split town before ever winning anything meaningful in Cleveland.
Just hours after LeBron's announcement, Cleveland fans threw rocks at a 10-story Nike advertisement that read "We are all witnesses," picturing James throwing powder in the air, his signature move. Cleveland removed the sign shortly thereafter.
Possibly the best reaction of anyone's was Dan Gilbert, the team's owner, who wrote a nasty letter about LeBron that would have been significantly more acceptable if he was drunk.
Some of the highlights of the letter included:
"As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier."
"If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels."
The pouting continues to get more and more creative. A fan listed LeBron-branded toilet paper on eBay for $25 a roll. It ended without any bids, but there's something to be said for the creativity.
That comes on the heels of Great Lakes Brewing Company, a Cleveland brewery, releasing 30 gallons of a bitter beer cleverly titled "Quitness," a play on words on the Nike "Witness" campaign. It sold out in three hours, according to the Associated Press.
Another salty fan changed the URL of his website, InLeBronWeTrust.com, to redirect to InLeBronWeTrusted.com. Oh, I see what you did there.
Get over it, Cleveland. Crying about it isn't going to bring him back. On the bright side, the Browns are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Wait, they aren't? OK, back to rioting.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Front office executives aren't so sure. The 36-year old Owens remains a free agent with the NFL preseason less than a month away.
CBS Sports columnist Mike Freeman wrote that, "when speaking to several team executives about Owens, there was glee no team had signed him yet. ... Straight up, unfiltered, high-pitched glee."
Naturally, Owens is quick to blame ESPN for his unemployment, telling a Nashville radio station that, "I may do 99 good things right and if I do one thing wrong, ESPN and the people on there ... make it out to be the worst thing ever."
Sure thing, T.O. The reason you don't have a job right now is because of ESPN.
Teams should take it easy on the possibly-bipolar Owens. Instead of focusing on keeping himself in tip-top physical condition, he's working on his acting career with VH1 in his sur-reality show, The T.O. Show.
He's a fragile personality, and a diva whose ego needs to be stroked. Furthermore, his track record with NFL teams on the field is impressive: he's a six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver who has the most receiving yards of any active player. Off the field, though, is another story.
While in San Francisco, he publicly insinuated that quarterback Jeff Garcia was gay.
In Philly, he publicly feuded with quarterback Donovan McNabb, stalled in contract negotiations as he and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, tried to get the dramatic receiver more money, and then held a press conference while doing sit-ups in his driveway.
In his brief stint with Dallas, he told the press that he felt that quarterback Tony Romo played favorites with tight end Jason Witten, cried in a now-YouTube-famous postgame interview that Romo was "my quarterback," and overdosed on Hydrocodone but denied that it was a suicide attempt.
Owens signed a one-year deal with Buffalo in an attempt to lay low for a year, quietly play hard and parlay that into a multi-year deal with another team. So far, he's striking out. And with NFL training camps fast approaching, his options may be limited to waiting until another team loses a receiver to injury before he's brought aboard.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
He was the face of the Yanks for more than three decades, and will remain in the minds and hearts of their fans for the foreseeable future.
His legacy will live on for years and years beyond July 13, 2010, partly because of the never-ending barrage of Seinfeld reruns.
So enjoy the video below, a tribute to one of baseball's best, in the way that Benched Press knows how: a humorous tribute a la Larry David's impression in an episode of Seinfeld.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The 6-foot-3, 200 pounder is one of only two players to ever start for the Warriors for three years under head coach Steve Smith, who has led Oak Hill for the last 26 years.
Howard ran the point for the nationally ranked Warriors, and ultimately chose Maryland over offers from Georgia Tech, Harvard, South Florida, UCLA and Virginia.
That's right. Harvard. Howard is so academically focused with a 3.6 GPA that he was considering playing in the Ivy League and earning a degree from Harvard instead of following most 18-year olds and playing ball at UCLA or Maryland.
Howard, nicknamed MVPe', helped Oak Hill (29-4) become the runners up in the high school national championship.
During the Capital Classic, Howard notched 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting, and added three assists, including a between-the-legs pass to Villanova-bound Jayvaughn Pinkston.
Born in Los Angeles, Howard spent his freshman year at St. Edward High in Cleveland, Ohio, before transferring as a sophomore to Oak Hill in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. In his first year at Oak Hill, Howard partnered up with Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings, and as a junior, played alongside Arizona point guard Lamont "MoMo" Jones. A well-traveled teenager, Howard has become one of the Terps' best recruiters, trying to convince several players in the class of 2011 to join him. Most notably, Howard is best friends with DeMatha's Quinn Cook, a star point guard who Maryland would love to add to its 2011 class.
As a senior, he still wasn't the top scoring option, but that was OK for Howard. He still managed 13 points and six assists per game, dishing the ball to UConn-bound Roscoe Smith and Kentucky-bound Doron Lamb.
For those obsessed with rankings, Scout.com has Howard as the No. 28 point guard. ESPN has him the No. 39 shooting guard. And if you're wondering what his game looks like, he's sort of Rajon Rondo-esque.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Brad Lidge got a good request recently, though. After signing a couple of baseballs, he announces his departure and starts to pull away in his luxury car.
He doesn't get far, as a fan gets him to sign his prosthetic leg. I must admit, that's a new one. Even more impressive is the fact that it's got the Phillies logo on it and all.
You've got to wonder if that guy was balancing on one leg when he asked to have that signed. Maybe he's got his real prosthesis on, but puts on the Phillies one during baseball games.
The real question mark is not about the prosthetic leg. What left me really curious is why anyone would want Lidge, a mediocre-at-best reliever whose ERA was 7.21 in 2009 and 4.60 this year, to permanently sign something that is vital to your ability to travel. I guess we'll never know.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Netherlands midfielder Nigel De Jong, whose name is among the few on the Dutch roster without several vowels in a row, took matters into his own hands in the 28th minute.
De Jong not-so-convincingly "aimed" for an airborne ball but ended up striking Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso in the chest, karate kick style.
Soccer results in more injuries than any other sport, American football included, but I can safely say I've never seen someone take a kick to the ribs like Alonso received.
It only resulted in a yellow card, which leads me to believe that a player could pretend an opposing team's player's face was a cinderblock and karate chop him in the face with just a slap on the wrist.
Mr. Miyagi would be proud. Check it out below.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Instantly, the Heat are the favorites to win it all in 2011, despite having one player signed as of right now: point guard Mario Chalmers.
In acquiring the big three, the Heat had to part ways with Michael Beasley, the No. 2 overall pick in 2008 who looked like a building block of the future not long ago.
Beasley, who averaged 14.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, was dumped off to Minnesota for a second-round draft pick in 2011. That's all. In return, Miami frees up enough cap room to offer the trio max contracts, though if all three do sign max contracts, the Heat will have to fill their roster with hot dog vendors and ballboys.
LeBron's announcement sent waves throughout the rest of the league, particularly to the teams that finished as runners up to the Heat in James' courtship: Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles Clippers, New Jersey and New York.
The Knicks are probably in the worst shape, having room to sign two big-name free agents but only ending up with all-star forward Amare Stoudemire. Worse, they have agreed to trade David Lee, who led New York in points (20.3) and rebounds (11.7) last year, leaving them with a potential lineup of Toney Douglas, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Stoudemire and Ronnie Turiaf. Woof. That's a bottom-five team unless things change drastically.
In an equal amount of disarray is the Nets, who whiffed on signing James, Wade, Bosh, Lee, Stoudemire, Rudy Gay and Carlos Boozer. Instead, New Jersey signed Travis Outlaw, a forward who averaged 8.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game to a five-year, $35 million contract. Weird. ESPN reports that the Nets may pursue Tyrus Thomas or Luis Scola to bolster the roster.
Then there's the Clippers, who rebounded fairly positively, signing shooting guard Randy Foye and forward Ryan Gomes to join a young roster that comprises a solid team, no doubt, but one that could have really used a big name free agent signing to put them over the top.
Chicago had room for two big names and signed Carlos Boozer, hoping that he and point guard Derrick Rose could woo either Wade or James to join and instantly become a championship contender. To make that room, the Bulls traded away guard Kirk Hinrich to the Wizards for next to nothing, and now have a gaping hole at shooting guard. ESPN Chicago reports that the Bulls will pursue Kyle Korver, JJ Redick, Ronnie Brewer or Michael Redd.
Last but not least, the Cavaliers, who are hearing a sad trombone play on repeat in their heads. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert already trashed LeBron, saying that he quit during the playoffs last year, but where does that get them? They don't have the salary cap room to pursue a big name, since LeBron was only able to fit under the cap using the Larry Bird Exception. Now, Cleveland is left with Antawn Jamison and Delonte West leading the way, with a 39-year old Shaquille O'Neal down low. Very meh.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I was never lucky enough to stumble upon a card like that of Bethany Beach, Delaware resident Glenn Davis, who now has one of the coolest sports-related stories you'll ever hear.
Twelve years ago, Davis' father, Richard, gave his 1914 Babe Ruth rookie card to put on display at the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum next to Orioles Park at Camden Yards. Three years later, Richard passed away, leaving the card's rights to his son, Glenn.
At the time, Glenn spoke to the people at the museum, letting them keep it on display just like his father had wanted. But eight years later, Forbes Magazine wrote a story about the most expensive baseball cards in circulation, one of which was Glenn's card.
It was one of 11 or so ever made, and was recently appraised at $500,000.
As soon as the museum's executive director Mike Gibbons found out, he has been trying to get a hold of Glenn, but had come up empty-handed. He reached out to The Baltimore Sun to try and track him down.
After unsuccessfully reaching out to his former mailing address -- he has since relocated to Bethany Beach, Delaware, and the only reason I know that is because he lives a few doors down from my girlfriend's parents' beach house -- the Sun ran the story hoping to uncover the mystery.
Sure enough, it worked. Just a week later, the Sun ran another story after getting in touch with Davis, confirming his decision to keep the card at the museum, despite its value potentially allowing he and his wife to retire today.
"There's no one sick in our family, no one starving in our family. So I enjoy seeing the card displayed at the museum," Davis told the Sun.
During the worst economic recession since Ruth's card was created, Davis has opted not to cash it in like the majority of us would have.
Now there's a story.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Basketball coach Bobby Gonzalez has had a rough go of it recently, culminating in his firing from Seton Hall in mid-March.
The ex-Pirates coach was arrested yesterday for shoplifting a man purse in Millburn, New Jersey, a half hour outside of New York City.
According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Gonzalez "was arrested on charges he stole the $1,400 Ralph Lauren men’s satchel from the mall’s Polo store that day."
Where. To. Begin.
Men's satchel? Where I come from, that's called a man purse, or a "murse" if you're feeling frisky. And no real man can look himself in the mirror while wearing one.
His attorney has already attempted to set the record straight, calling the episode "a misunderstanding in a series of miscommunications. ... Bobby had no intention of stealing anything."
That's funny, because the hostess at the restaurant in which Gonzalez left the purse noticed that the "sensor was ripped, the leather was all shredded in the middle," and employees at the Polo store noticed that nobody had bought a $1,400 man purse.
Gonzalez's latest embarrassment is yet another chapter in a novel that is turning into a Jerry Springer episode. He was suspended for a game after criticizing referees in March of 2008, and later fired after star forward Herb Pope punched a Texas Tech player in the crotch in a loss. Gonzalez received his seventh technical foul of the season and was fired the next day.
Gonzalez should probably go ahead and check himself into rehab. He's about a month away from sniffing some dude's thong on the subway.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Unfortunately for the family of Mount Carmel High School basketball star John Crowder (pictured, far right), the weekend was spent remembering the life of a teenager whose life was cut entirely too short.
Crowder, 17, was preparing to tour around the country with Nike Basketball Elite's Baltimore-area AAU team during college basketball's open period in which he would have likely earned a handful of scholarship offers.
According to The Baltimore Sun, Crowder "was found laying in the grass and bleeding from gunshot wounds ... around 1 a.m. ... [He] died a few hours later at Johns Hopkins Hospital."
As an eighth-grader, Crowder played basketball in Texas and was profiled by the Dallas Morning-News as one of the nation's top up-and-comers. One year later, he moved back to Baltimore and played as a freshman for Towson Catholic. When Towson Catholic closed its doors, he transferred to Mount Carmel, averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds per game for the Cougars.
Maryland, Clemson, Virginia Tech and St. Joseph's were all recruiting the standout. He was the seventh juvenile killed this year in Baltimore.
Crowder's death came on the same day as Bellaire, Texas prospect Deion Jackson-Houston, a 2012 recruit who held offers from Baylor, Bradley, Florida International, Georgia State, North Texas, Old Dominion, San Diego State, San Jose State, Southern Methodist and TCU.
Jackson-Houston, 17, was visiting his grandmother in Duncan, Oklahoma. He had just bought a stick of deodorant at a Family Dollar store when his car was struck by a train and dragged for several blocks.
He was flown to Oklahoma University Medical Center, but never regained consciousness. More than 1,480 people have joined a Facebook group paying tribute to the high school sophomore.
It's been a bizarrely rough summer for basketball prospects, particularly in Bellaire. Tobi Oyedeji, a Texas A&M recruit, died in mid-May after a head-on collision after his high school prom. And on July 2nd, Jacksonville, North Carolina recruit Detrique Baker died in a car accident after the car he was in overturned at a high speed and ejected its passengers.
Thoughts and prayers with all four families in this difficult time.
Friday, July 2, 2010
The Memphis Grizzlies re-signed one of the cornerstones of their franchise, inking forward Rudy Gay to a five-year, $80 million contract. Meanwhile, 400 miles southeast in Atlanta, the Hawks offered guard Joe Johnson a six-year max contract worth $119 million. Sources told ESPN that "Johnson is all but sure to accept."
The Suns re-signed forward Channing Frye, considered a complementary piece for potential suitors, but not a player around which to build a team, and the Celtics just re-signed Paul Pierce to a four-year, $61 million deal to retain the eight-time All-Star.
Yawn. The whole point of free agency is to shake things up, and the Wizards, despite the fourth-worst record in the NBA last year, aren't even making a run at anyone, much less the big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh.
It's anyone's guess where those three end up, though if I had to guess I'd probably say LeBron and Bosh end up in Chicago, and Wade re-signs in Miami.
LeBron has a lengthy list of suitors that include Cleveland, Chicago, Miami, New York and New Jersey, who have all made roster moves to become able to afford King James' salary next year. Cleveland actually doesn't have the salary cap room, but under the Larry Bird Exception, the Cavs could go above the salary cap and re-sign their own player.
Even if James ends back up in Cleveland and Wade re-signs in Miami, there are two other big men on the market (in addition to Bosh) who appear ready to sever ties with their former teams: Amare Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer.
Nobody knows where either will sign, but Stoudemire sounds extremely unlikely to re-sign with the run-and-gun Suns, even though their system fits him better than almost any other NBA team. Boozer has made it fairly clear that he's chasing the biggest paycheck.
Those three signing with either LeBron or Wade would be a huge splash and instantly vault that team to a championship contender. Yes, even if it was with the Wizards -- though as of right now, that's mathematically impossible due to salary cap restrictions.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
There's one catch: "she can never publicly speak out over his flings with socialite Rachel Uchitel, reality star Jaimee Grubbs, porn queen Joslyn James and up to 17 others, who will work out costing him 25 million pounds each," the Sun wrote.
For $750 million, you could legitimately convince me to never speak again, much less speak publicly.
According to Forbes, in 2009 there were 793 billionaires in the world, one of which is (or was) Tiger. By discovering her husband cheating -- which, to be honest, didn't require a Sherlock Holmes-like investigation -- Elin is now one of the richest 2,000 people in the world.
This all begs the question: who's a guy gotta sleep with around here to get a $750 million paycheck? Jeez.