Dienstag, 30. November 2010
The Denver Post was the first to report that the Rockies finalized a seven-year, $134 million extension with Tulowitzki that runs through the 2020 season and that they also have a deal in principle to keep the free agent de la Rosa on a two-year deal that could run to four years with a pair of options.
Tulowitzki's deal was officially announced at a 4 p.m. ET Tuesday news conference that should serve only to reinforce the notion that the 26-year-old has become the face of the franchise. The value of his new contract trails only the previous holder of that mantle, Todd Helton, whose nine-year, $141.5 million deal wraps up next season.
The new agreement piggybacks on the six-year, $31 million deal Tulowitzki signed after his 2007 rookie campaign, which at the time was the largest ever for a player with less than two years of major league service. Tulowitzki will make $5.5 million in 2011 under the terms of that contract.
Any time you can say your starting rotation is set before December 1, you're doing something right.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are definitely able to say that. In just a few short weeks, the Dodgers have made several big moves which they hope will translate to success in 2011.
The process of solidifying their starting rotation started with signing LHP Ted Lilly to a three-year contract on October 19. Lilly went went 10-12 with a 3.62 ERA in 30 starts while splitting time with the Chicago Cubs and Dodgers.
Lilly was solid last season, posting a 1.08 WHIP, but struggled against lefties with a .301 BAA.
As if locking up Lilly wasn't enough, Dodger's GM Ned Coletti wasn't satisfied. He then proceeded to sign RHP Hiroki Kuroda and RHP John Garland to one-year deals.
In these three moves alone, the Dodgers have created a solid starting rotation which will give them both plenty of starts and innings.
Last season, the Dodgers' starters ranked 11th in the National League in IP (952.2). But now they've brought in three pitchers who combined to make 64 starts and pitched 598.3 innings.
The Dodgers now have something few teams can boast—a starting rotation consisting of pitchers almost guaranteed to provide at least 25-30 starts and 190-200 innings.While people will always debate quality versus quantity, the Dodgers are one team that have both.
On the offensive side, the Dodgers have also added the hero of the San Francisco Giants, Juan Uribe. On Monday, the Dodgers signed the versatile infielder to a three-year, $21 million contract. Uribe, 31, can play third base, shortstop and second base for the Dodgers, but he is expected to play, for the most part, at second.
Uribe hit just .248 last season, but had a career high 24 homers and 85 RBIs. He played just 24 games at second base for the Giants and didn't make an error in 98 chances.
Uribe will not only give the Giants power at a position where it is hard to find, but also defensive flexibility, which is probably his most important contribution given that the contracts of Casey Blake and Rafael Furcal will expire at the end of next season.
The additions of Kuroda, Garland and Lilly have given the Dodgers strength in their starting rotation while Uribe has given them much-needed power and flexibility in their lineup.
It remains to be seen whether or not these moves will pay off in the win column for the Dodgers, but the most important result of their moves is that they have a starting rotation that matches up nicely with the powerful rotations of the Giants and San Diego Padres.
Another important part of these offseason moves is that they took two big pieces away from their in-state rivals. Garland pitched for the Padres last season and Uribe was of course a big part of the Giants' World Series victory last season.
Make no mistake, the Dodgers are moving fast. With the Winter Meetings set to begin next week, the Dodgers might not be done just yet.
Virginia 87, No. 13 Minnesota 79: Dan Hanner of the excellent Yet Another Basketball Blog is also a Minnesota fan, and he wins the award for best new term (unless it's not a new term, in which case it's just a good term, but whatever): the "double surprise."
And with the Gophers leading a terrible Virginia basketball team by 13 at home, my rooting energies were firmly behind the Gophers on Monday. This made the 26 point collapse (from a 13 point lead to a 13 point deficit) all the more painful. I was emotionally invested in a punch to the gut.
In the process, Minnesota became our first "double surprise" team of the season. They surprised us by being better than we thought, and now surprised us by reminding us that maybe they are not so great. Many teams have not even given us one surprise yet; Minnesota has already provided two. But the heartbreak is still tolerable. It is early in the season, and it is hard to be crushed by any loss.
This is probably the best assessment of Minnesota's young season to date. After Puerto Rico, the Gophers looked like a potential Big Ten title contender. After Monday night's surprise loss to Virginia -- a 4-3 team that's been blown out by every good squad it's played so far this season -- well, who knows? The good news is that Al Nolen was�missing from action; Nolen in particular has been a stable presence. But even without him -- and even taking into account the difficulty of losing any player from your rotation, no matter how obvious that player's production -- Minnesota is not a team that should be losing to Virginia at home.
Here's the thing, though: It's still very early. The wins in Puerto Rico were nice, but we might have made too big a deal of that mid-November success. Were those wins a fluke? Was the Virginia loss telling? Or vice versa. We don't know. It's a pratfall that rears its head every year, and it's one to be very wary of. If nothing else, we might thank Minnesota for that much. It's a healthy reminder.
(All of which is not to take credit away from the Cavaliers, of course. That was a quality win, and while they might not shoot 10-of-13 from 3 every night, the fact is they did it at a very tough road environment. That's laudable.)
In the meantime, those of you who actually care about the ACC-Big Ten Challenge tally, well, things are looking a little different now, aren't they? Minnesota-Virginia seemed to be one of the more foregone conclusions in the entire slate; not one of our ESPN folks picked against them Monday. The upset clouds an already very close picture, and the Big Ten's road to a second-straight overall victory doesn't look nearly as clear.
Everywhere else: Kansas State's win over Emporia State went about as well as you could ask for; the Wildcats cruised to the sort of easy blowout you'd expect when a good team plays a Division II squad. There was one interesting footnote, though: Jacob Pullen hit four 3s, and in doing so broke the K-State school record for 3-pointers in a career. Newsflash: Jacob Pullen hits a lot of 3s. Now you know ... Elsewhere in the Big 12, LaceDarius Dunn was encouragingly good in Baylor's dominant win over Prairie View A&M ... We just got done talking about making rash assumptions early in the year, but, um, yeah: USC is not good. After an 81-69 loss to TCU, that's probably a fair assessment ... And, hey, guess who's 8-0? That would be the Cleveland State Vikings, who remained unbeaten with a 58-53 win over Robert Morris. The Vikings haven't exactly played the toughest schedule in the world -- there are no real marquee victories or major upsets here -- but given Butler's well-documented struggles in the non-conference portion of its schedule, and the ascendancy of Detroit still in question, maybe (maybe) Cleveland State makes some noise in the Horizon this year. Hey, it's possible. But let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet. (See: Minnesota.)
One assist shy of a triple-double, Josh Smith started getting worried. One teammate had already missed a shot that would have given him his 10th assist, and time was ticking down in the fourth quarter. "When it was coming down to it, I was like 'Man, I'm not going to get it,"' Smith said.
The Marlins have agreed to a one-year deal with the right-hander, pending a physical, MLB.com reported Sunday. The pitcher will be hoping for a fresh start at age 34 after enduring a dreadful 2010 season with the Yankees that saw him post his worst numbers since he was a rookie in 1998.
The deal with be worth $6 million to $7 million according to FoxSports.com -- quite a pay cut from the $11.5 million Vazquez pulled in from New York this year. It was a bad investment for the Yankees, who saw the pitcher go 10-10 with a 5.32 ERA in 31 appearances, including 26 starts, as he plummeted from the heights he had reached in Atlanta (15-10, 2.87 ERA) the previous season.
Perhaps the starkest indicator of how far Vazquez fell from 2009 to 2010 was his strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 2009 it was a career-best 5.41 (238 strikeouts to 44 walks), while in 2010 it was a career-worst 1.86 (121 strikeouts to 65 walks).
Filed under: DodgersCOVINGTON, Ga. (AP) -- Danny McDevitt, the former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher who won the team's final game at Ebbets Field in 1957, has died. He was 78.
His daughter-in-law, Kristie McDevitt, said McDevitt died Saturday of unknown causes and was buried on Tuesday in Covington, near his home in Social Circle.
McDevitt, a left-hander, was 21-27 with seven saves in seven major league seasons with the Dodgers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, the Yankees, Twins and Kansas City Athletics.
He is remembered for striking out nine Pirates and allowed five hits in a complete-game 2-0 victory over Pittsburgh for the Dodgers on Sept. 24, 1957, in the team's last home game in Brooklyn.
Montag, 29. November 2010
It's really funny how the tables have turned in favor of Manny Pacquiao after his domination of Antonio Margarito over two weeks ago. Pacquiao doesn't have to prove anything to anybody.
Well, at least one fighter, and a familiar one, thinks that the Pac Man owes him again. Didn't we witness this same old song and dance twice before?
Juan Manuel Marquez wins his recent fight, then calls out Manny to fight him a third time. It's not Manny's fault that Marquez didn't correct mistakes from their first fight, which resulted in him losing their second fight.
I can tell you this: Pacquiao won't gain anything from taking on Marquez a third time. He sure won't make more money than he did in the fight with Margarito.
It seems that Marquez is almost begging Pacquiao to accept his challenge. That means Pacquiao, not Floyd Mayweather, holds the trump card, and I'll tell you why.
Pacquiao can bypass Mayweather and fight some up-and-coming boxers who think they're ready for the pound-for-pound champ, or he can retire. Mayweather is in a separate category, so we won't count him.
Shane Mosley stressed the need for more fights before he calls it a career. His career should be over right now.
Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander aren't ready for Pacquiao, regardless of who wins that battle. Either of them could suffer psychological effects after they saw how Margarito's face was rearranged by the Pac Man.
Amir Khan, who trained with Pacquaio, is somewhere down the food chain. Besides, why would he want to fight his training partner?
Marquez, for his part, will comply with any demands that Pacquiao wants. Catchweight? Check. Drug testing? Check. Less Money? Check.
Pacquiao has nothing to prove to Marquez. He's still waiting for the anointed, the former face of boxing who is running scared. Floyd should have been thankful on Thanksgiving Day that Margarito took his place on Nov. 13. Remember, Mayweather and Pacquiao could've been throwing down on that night if they had agreed to a contract.
She was five weeks shy of her fourth birthday when her father, former Major League Baseball player Alan Wiggins, died from complications of AIDS in 1991. He was 32 years old.
And now Wiggins, a guard for the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, is taking her personal connection to the cause and going national. Wiggins spoke to FanHouse TV on Sunday about World AIDS Day.
Another name to add to that group, according to NBA front-office sources, is Golden State's�Brandan Wright, who simply hasn't been able to produce (or stay healthy) consistently for the Warriors despite his�intriguing length and athleticism.
The Warriors selected the slender 6-10 power forward with the eighth overall pick in 2007 and have an undeniable�need at the moment for dependable players off the bench. Frontcourt, backcourt, you name it.
But Wright only made it onto the floor for 77 games in his first three seasons thanks largely to a run of shoulder injuries and hasn't been able to catch up. Not even with�David Lee (elbow), Louis Amundson (finger) and prized rookie�Ekpe Udoh (wrist) all dealing with their own health woes.
It's likewise no secret that Amundson and Udoh are locks, albeit not quite at�Lee 's level, to receive rotation priority from coach Keith Smart over Wright when everyone's healthy.
Suspect as a rebounder because of his build and still trying to develop more variety offensively to complement his undeniable shot-blocking ability, Wright will be a restricted free agent at season's end if he’s not moved by the Warriors first. There aren't any strong signals that anything’s imminent, but this much we know:�The 23-year-old�belongs with Dan Gadzuric and Vladimir Radmanovic on list of Golden State "gettables."
The fit isn't there anymore.
He's not good enough to carry a young team just beginning a major rebuilding project -- and probably not patient enough to go through it -- but he's still good enough to have value around the league, fueling the daily speculation about his future.
Getting traded now almost sounds inevitable.
"I would love to stay in Philadelphia, but if I'm playing somewhere else, I definitely understand how that could happen. I know how the business works,'' he told FanHouse Friday night before his Sixers lost to the Heat, 99-90. "You have to be prepared for anything in this league. And I am. It's one of the first things you learn when you get here. Guys get traded on draft night.''
It's not exactly panning out how we thought it would be.
To the avail of critics and to the disappointment of Heat fans, the Miami Heat and their modern day dream team have yet to prove to anyone that they are the legitimate favorite to win the next few championships as expected prior to the beginning of the season. At 9-8 and with a recent double-digit loss to the Dallas Mavericks coupled with losses to Indiana and Memphis, the NBA world is going insane at the thought of this Heat team being recognized as a bust.
To be perfectly honest though, there shouldn't be anything to worry about too much. The losses to Memphis and Indiana were a bit painful, but it's all part of the growing up process. When the Boston Celtics came together and found immediate success, NBA fans now have the belief that any team that brings superstars onto their team will see it too.
The difference between a team like Boston and Miami is that the Celtics brought in players that all had their niche. Allen was a long-range shooter, Pierce was a shooter and slasher, and Garnett was a mid-range shooter. The Heat feature Wade and James who are both slashers and Bosh who has plays similarly to Garnett. When you have a team that features two players who generally drive, there will be issues when finding plays for each player to thrive in.
Just because the Heat haven't gotten to the start that we expected doesn't mean it won't work, it only means that there needs to be adjustments and a chemistry to build off of. The fact that there are already trade rumors is a clear sign that there is a panic amongst the masses. If the team isn't panicking and making desperate moves, then there isn't anything to worry about. Most teams that bring in new players, especially players of this magnitude, all need time to adjust, build a chemistry with their teammates, and learn the system they're playing in.
Dwyane Wade and LeBron James knew what they were getting themselves into when they joined this team and they both know what it takes to win. They'll do whatever it takes to win games and their biggest issue is forming a chemistry and thriving off of each other which will come in due time. The talent is right there and it's going to take more than 17 games for it to come together.
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It won’t always happen that Oklahoma State guard Keiton Page checks out toward the end of the game to receive hugs and handshakes from coaches, with teammates giving the 5-foot-9 guard loving taps on the head.
On Sunday, Page had the hot hand and scored a career-high 29 points to lead the Cowboys to a 66-49 win against Murray State in the consolation bracket of the 76 Classic. But afterward, offense-oriented Travis Ford spoke of his team needing to rely on defense and rebounding rather than the heroics of one guy.
With last season’s Big 12 player of the year James Anderson leaving early for the NBA draft, the contributions are going to have to come from a number of different areas going forward.
“I’m not going to expect Keiton to go out and get 29,” Ford said. “I’m proud of our defense and rebounding. That’s what we want our identity to be.”
Ford loved that Page caught fire, but was perhaps even more thrilled that a veteran Murray State team shot just 38 percent from the field and that the Cowboys won the battle on the boards.
“For a [Murray State] team that has achieved that much, for our young, inexperienced team to get a win against that team, that is a good win,” Ford said.
Oklahoma State got 11 rebounds out of Darrell Williams, 13 points from sophomore guard Ray Penn off the bench and a big 3-pointer from Nick Sidorakis early in the second half to extend the lead to nine. Leading scorer Marshall Moses neither scored nor attempted a shot in the first half, but finished with seven points and three assists.
For this game, Page was the biggest difference-maker. Unfazed by a Racers backcourt intent on stopping him, he was 10-for-13 from the field and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.
Page’s performance came in stark contrast to the previous two games of the tournament, when he combined to go 2-for-16 from the field.
“Being confident, and not thinking about it,” Page said of the key to coming back from back-to-back off days. “My teammates did a great job of screening.”
Growing up near Murray, Ky., Ford especially valued the victory. With all the family connections he has to the school, he was well-aware of the Racers and their success.
Murray State coach Billy Kennedy knows his team is still a work in progress, as it comes off a 31-win season and seeks another run at the Ohio Valley Conference title.
“Butler was 1-2,” said Kennedy, noting the eventual national runner-up’s record at last year’s 76 Classic. “We have a long ways to go.”
Ford, meanwhile, was more than happy to go home with two wins and some knowledge of where his team stands. The Cowboys can be expected to struggle at times to replace some of the scoring they lost from last season, but hope to be a factor in a rugged Big 12.
And as Page showed, being unpredictably dangerous can be a good quality to possess.
Sonntag, 28. November 2010
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Rose is the fifth player in Bulls history to foul out of a game after scoring at least 35 points. The others are Michael Jordan (six times), Reggie Theus, Orlando Woolridge and Scottie Pippen (once each). There have been 123 games in the all-time series between the Suns and Bulls (62 wins for Phoenix, 61 wins for Chicago) but Wednesday's game was the first of them that required double overtime.
Rose has topped 30 points in four of the five games so far during the Bulls "circus" road trip, during which the Bulls have gone 3-2.
As for the Suns, they fall to 1-4 against Eastern Conference teams. The 23-point blown lead for Phoenix is their largest since blowing a 24-point lead to the Pacers on January 13 last season.
With one week left to go in the college football regular season, there are few locks in various bowls. It's safe to say Oregon will play Auburn in the BCS Championship Game barring a disaster from either squad. Oregon plays Oregon State next. Auburn plays No. 18 South Carolina.
Here are the Top 10 Bowl Projections going into "The Decision" tonight (move over LeBron, you are trending downward at the moment).
On the list of big signings over this blockbuster NBA free agent summer, Dorell Wright landing in Golden State barely even registered. Everyone is starting to take notice now. Wright scored a career-high 30 points and set a franchise record with nine 3-pointers to lead Golden State to a 104-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night, snapping the Warriors' five-game losing...
Pac-10 play is quickly coming to an end, with only one game left between these 10 teams and bowl season (or offseason, for most of the conference).
That having been said, the Pac-10 schools are really putting on good shows to close out the year. Big wins, hard fought losses, and some meaningful football all went down this weekend.
With the second-to-last week in the record books, let's take a look at the second to last 2010 Pac-10 rankings.
Samstag, 27. November 2010
Guerrero is a first-time winner of the Edgar Martinez Award, which is named after the longtime Mariners DH.
Guerrero hit .306 with 25 homers and 106 RBI in in his 129 games at DH this season, helping lead the Rangers to their first World Series appearance.
He beat out five-time winner David Ortiz of the Red Sox for the award, which has been given out annually since 1973 and was renamed for Martinez (also a five-time winner) in 2004.
The New Orleans Hornets returned to their winning ways by re-establishing their defense. Reserve Willie Green scored 13 of his 19 points in the first half, Trevor Ariza added 18, and the Hornets got back on track with a 97-78 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night Chris Paul had 16 points and 13 assists for the Hornets, who got off to one of the best starts in the NBA but had...
NEW YORK -- Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart and the rest of his players fully understand how the NCAA tourney at-large selection process works.
They’ve got to root hard for UCLA to have a good season.
The Rams beat the Bruins 89-85 Friday for third place in the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden. But for this win to matter much in March, the Bruins have to be a player in the Pac-10. Clearly, VCU’s win at Wake Forest to get to New York may not mean as much as the Demon Deacons have already lost two other home games (Winthrop and Stetson) and appear headed for the bottom of the ACC.
But Smart said he is convinced the Rams will get credit for the road and neutral-court wins, regardless of what happens with those teams this season. VCU also plays at South Florida (Big East), at A-10 contender Richmond and at UAB (Conference USA). South Florida is expected to be in the bottom four in the Big East and the Blazers are an upper-half C-USA team but not a serious title contender. Still, Smart is banking on brownie points with the selection committee for road wins if the Rams are fortunate enough to pull them off.
This at-large talk is real since the Colonial Athletic Association is expected to be highly competitive with Old Dominion just winning the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas with a win over Xavier on Monday. Northeastern, George Mason and James Madison are also expected to be in the mix.
The Rams proved in New York that they are resilient, balanced and fast. The ability to get shots from point guard Joey Rodriguez and wing Bradford Burgess, as well as from Wake Forest transfer Jamie Skeen inside, makes the Rams tough to defend.
“Everyone thought we would be the worst team here,’’ said Skeen, who had 23 points and nine rebounds against the Bruins. “But we’ve proved them wrong. Me and Joey are the two oldest players and we’re going to lead this team as far as possible.’’
Meanwhile, UCLA leaves New York 0-2 and now has a road date with Kansas on Thursday.
Everyone on the coaching staff and with the team agrees the Bruins are better than a year ago when they lost four neutral-site games in Anaheim, including going 0-3 at the 76 Classic. UCLA has now lost five straight regular-season neutral-site games. Still, there is much more hope in the Bruins’ locker room.
“We just have to get better on defense,’’ said UCLA sophomore forward Reeves Nelson. “We’re starting to play a lot of good teams. We also have to get off on better starts. We got down 8-0 right away [against VCU]. We’re better than last year. And these games will help us. If we can go to Kansas and win, that would give us great momentum going into the Pac-10.’’
The Bruins do have one other marquee nonconference game prior to Pac-10 play, against projected NCAA team BYU at the John Wooden Classic in Anaheim. But if UCLA loses to Kansas -- coupled with the losses to Villanova and VCU here in New York -- then it will put even more pressure on beating BYU so that their entire at-large profile isn’t based solely on how they fare in a still-struggling Pac-10.
More troublesome for the Heat is the fact that they are a measly 1-6 against teams that are currently above .500. Miami is scoring more than 12 fewer points per game and shooting over 8 percent less this season against teams that now have winning records. Miami's only win against such a team was last month at home against Orlando.
Heat This Season, vs. Opponents by Current Record
|�||Above .500||.500 or Worse|
LeBron James led the Heat with 25 points for his 11th straight 20-point game. He also played at least 40 minutes for the seventh time this season, which is a bad omen for Miami, which is 0-7 in those games.
Dwyane Wade needs to find his shooting touch. He was just 6-of-21 from the field in this game, including 1-of-4 on 3s. Wade is 7-of-34 (20.6 percent) from the field in his past two games and an atrocious 1-of-19 (5.3 percent) on 3s in his past six contests.
Orlando won this game by finishing well in the first and fourth quarters. The Magic ended the opening quarter on a 12-2 tear to take an eight-point lead after 12 minutes. Orlando also finished the game on a 17-7 run, turning a one-point deficit into a relatively comfortable nine-point win.
Part of the reason for the Magic's late push was that Orlando held Miami without a single offensive rebound in the fourth quarter. The Heat entered the game last in the NBA in offensive rebounding at 21.9 percent but grabbed an impressive 38.2 percent of the available offensive boards in the first three quarters.
Elsewhere in the NBA...
• With a 99-95 win in Charlotte, the New York Knicks have now won five straight for the first time since a six-game win streak in January 2006. New York has also won four straight road games, its longest road win streak since a five-game run during the 2000-01 season.
• Shaquille O'Neal had 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Boston Celtics to an 89-83 win over the New Jersey Nets. O'Neal sets a season high for points and ties his season high for rebounds. At age 38, he is the oldest Celtic to have a 25-10 game since 40-year-old Robert Parish in 1994.
• Dirk Nowitzki scored 34 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks over the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he is now averaging 33.8 PPG against the Thunder since their relocation. LeBron James (31.5) is the only other player averaging more than 30 points per game since then versus Oklahoma City.
• Although the Minnesota Timberwolves fell to the San Antonio Spurs in overtime, Kevin Love had 32 points and 22 rebounds, just five games after posting the NBA's first 30-30 game since 1982. Love is the third player in the past 25 seasons with multiple 30-point, 20-rebound games in his team's first 16 contests, joining Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley.
Freitag, 26. November 2010
Tom Brady is a Hall of Fame quarterback. He has three Super Bowls, is in the top 15 in touchdowns and is part of the NFL's All-Decade team for the 2000s.
His NFL record are numerous (most touchdown passes in a regular season (50), highest single-game completion percentage, regular season or postseason (26/28, 92.9 percent), most completions in one Super Bowl, most completions in Super Bowl history (career), the highest winning percentage of any quarterback ever during his first 100 starts (76 wins) and the longest streak of games with three or more touchdown passes (10 games) just to name a few).
But in a season when his defense has been struggling to stop opponents the onus is on Brady to lead the Patriots to the Super Bowl on his own.
Can he do it?
Donnerstag, 25. November 2010
Skidmore defeating Southern Vermont 128-123 in a seven-overtime thriller on Tuesday marked the longest game in Division III history and tied for the longest in NCAA men's basketball history.
The game -- which was tied at 59 at the end of regulation -- also offered some crazy stats.
How's this one? The official attendance of the game was 142. The combined number of field goal attempts missed was 145.
Want another? Southern Vermont senior guard Lance Spratling played in all 75 minutes of the game and racked up 31 points and 18 rebounds. He also missed all 13 attempts from beyond the arc and finished 10-of-40 from the field.
But really, it's the emotion of the game that tells the story.
It can be seen in the press releases, with Skidmore reporting that there were "SEVEN" overtime periods and Southern Vermont after a loss noting the game "was the longest game in history!"
How does it feel to lose a game like that? Try Southern Vermont coach Michael McDonough, who has seen plenty of historic games given that he served as a student manager at Notre Dame under Digger Phelps and Ara Parseghian.
"It's difficult to reconcile your emotions when you have just participated in such an epic event and lost," McDonough said in a statement. "But to a man, both teams will take a way something from tonight that they will never forget."
Skidmore coach Joe Burke, a former assistant at Navy and Cornell, was amazed as well.
"I kept telling the guys as each overtime passed to really enjoy the moment," he said in a statement. "They will never be involved in anything like that in their lives again. I kept telling them, 'This is fun isn't it?' But by the sixth overtime, I think that wore out."
In case you're wondering, the only other two NCAA basketball games to have ever reached a seventh overtime are: Black Hills beating Yankton 80-79 in 1956 and Cincinnati defeating Bradley 75-73 in 1981.
Happy Thanksgiving, Bleachers!
I probably should have had this article up sooner, because it has to come out of me. But as the cliché goes, better late than never, right?
For the past two days, since watching the latest episode of NXT Season 3, I have been really bothered by what occurred at the end of the show.
For those of you who didn't watch on Tuesday night, A.J.—the rookie diva who was thought by most to be the sure-fire winner of the entire competition—was shockingly eliminated.
I'm honestly unsure whether the WWE Universe, aka the fans themselves, are the ones who decide all the outcomes of the polls. Due to the number of grievances I read all over Twitter over this move, I'm somewhat skeptical that the fans were the ones who truly ousted the amazingly talented and dedicated rookie diva. To put it succinctly, it seems that the votes were rigged.
It wouldn't be the first time the WWE pulled such a stunt on us. A few years ago, their official website had a poll asking who the fans' all-time favorite diva was, and I voted and distinctly recall Lita having a higher percentage of the votes than the ever-popular Trish Stratus. However, when it all came to an end, the Canadian diva was named the winner.
It didn't quite ring right in my mind or in the minds of other diehard fans of the high-flying redhead, given the numbers we saw immediately after voting. How did Trish edge past Lita in such record time?
Another example, this one from last year, was another poll regarding the divas, this time asking who we fans wanted to see as the next contender for the Divas Championship. I was shocked that the person I voted for—Jillian Hall—was running away with the votes. But if I remember correctly, Kelly Kelly was the eventual winner of the poll. Hmm...again, isn't this strange?
April Jeanette—better known to WWE fans simply as A.J.—is very obviously driven, dedicated and has given her all to the art of professional wrestling. She trained extensively at a wrestling school immediately after graduating from high school and paid for the tuition out of her own pocket while working full-time to support her journey toward achieving her dream.
In the spring of last year, she scored a contract with WWE and began competing in FCW, their developmental territory. Earlier this year, around the time Mickie James was released, there was talk about bringing her up to active competition on the SmackDown roster. It never happened, but that was probably due to the WWE wanting to save her for the all-diva Season 3 of NXT
Fans admire and respect A.J. for all that I mentioned in the previous two paragraphs. It seemed she had cemented herself as the winner in NXT, with Naomi as the other finalist. From the very start of the season, the two had a friendly competition and were the two best, hands down. It seemed inevitable that they would meet up in the finals.
It was heartbreaking to discover that it was not to be and that A.J. was eliminated. Instead of what we all expected, we will get Naomi going head-to-head with Kaitlyn—who wasn't even originally slated for NXT but got a last-minute shot after the release of the 6'9" tall Aloisia.
If the fans were indeed the only voters and the polls were not rigged, then all I have to say is, wow, they really got this wrong. If the WWE did indeed mess with our voting, then it's a disgrace and unfair, to put it nicely.
In conclusion, I hope we still get to see A.J. on the active roster at some point, whether it be on RAW or SmackDown. She is far too talented, charismatic and just plain likable to go to waste.
The Premier League, one of the top leagues in the world, is full of incredibly skilled players, but also some less cultured, more dangerous players.
Whether it's on the field or off it, the players on this list represent the darker side of the Premier League with their bad tackles and criminal tendencies.
All the players on this list are currently playing in the Premier League.
Hamilton received 22 of the 28 first-place votes and 358 total points. Cabrera of the Tigers was second with 262 points and five first-place votes, while the Yankees' Cano came in third at 229 points.
The AL MVP race wasn't quite as clear-cut as the one in the NL, where Joey Votto snared all but one first-place vote. Despite Hamilton's overwhelming edge in most of the rate stats -- he led the majors in batting average (.359), slugging percentage (.633) and OPS (1.044) and was second in the AL to Cabrera with a .411 on-base percentage -- he did miss nearly a month late in the season with a rib injury.
Mittwoch, 24. November 2010
"To second guess another coach and comment on a situation he (Jackson) knows nothing about, it's inappropriate, but it's also ignorant,'' Van Gundy said after a morning practice. "That's not a comment on Phil's intelligence -- he's obviously a smart guy -- I mean it as 'ignorant.'''
Van Gundy was disappointed the way Jackson was speculating about a coaching change in Miami, but he was more upset that he brought up the situation that happened in Miami five seasons ago. That was when Van Gundy was replaced early in the season by Heat president Pat Riley, and the team went on to win the 2006 NBA title.
"That's kind of my take on it, is that eventually if things don't straighten out there (Miami) soon, it could be the (Stan) Van Gundy thing all over again,'' Jackson said during a radio interview Tuesday.
Sadly, one team from this group (Rams, Cardinals, 49ers or Seahawks) is going to be making the playoffs this season.
Whining aside, it’s time for our special Thanksgiving edition of the NFL power rankings.
So sit back, relax, gobble down some turkey, and enjoy the read.
32. Carolina Panthers (1-9, Last Week: 32)
Week 12: at CLE
The Panthers’ schedule the rest of the way: at Cleveland, at Seattle, vs. Atlanta, vs. Arizona, at Pittsburgh at Atlanta.
If they wind up with the No. 1 pick, can a team that took two QBs in the 2010 draft (Jimmy Clausen in round two, Tony Pike in round six) take yet another quarterback at the top of the first round this year?
31. Cincinnati Bengals (2-8, Last Week: 31)
Week 12: at NYJ
Cincy blew a comfortable 31-14 halftime lead at home against the Bills, and wound up on the short end of a 49-31 blowout score.
Oh, Bengals. You are so Bengally.
30. Detroit Lions (2-8, Last Week: 30)
Week 12: vs. NE
Like the Bengals, the Lions blew an early lead on their way to losing handily.
Detroit has lost six consecutive Thanksgiving Day games, and it won’t get much easier when the red-hot Patriots come calling this time around.
Circling the Feisty Wagons!
29. Buffalo Bills (2-8, Last Week: 29)
Week 12: vs. PIT
Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills absolutely blitzkrieged the Bengals in the second half of Sunday’s game on their way to 35 second-half points.
They scored on a 28-yard pass (Steve Johnson), a 27-yard fumble return (Drayton Florence), an 11-yard pass (Steve Johnson), a 32-yard pass (Steve Johnson) and capped it off with a 30-yard run (Fred Jackson).
Interim Coach Turnaround?
28. Minnesota Vikings (3-7, Last Week: 23)
Week 12: at WAS
Brad Childress has finally (mercifully) been fired.
Now it’s time for the Vikes to see what Leslie Frazier can do.
If Minnesota can make a run and finish, say, 8-8, how do they address the quarterback position heading into next year?
Aforementioned NFC West
27. Arizona Cardinals (3-7, Last Week: 28)
Week 12: vs. SF
For some reason, the 49ers-Cardinals game is this week’s Monday Night matchup.
Enjoy that one, ESPN!
26. San Francisco 49ers (3-7, Last Week: 25)
Week 12: at ARZ
San Francisco had a great opportunity to beat a playoff contender at home and vault themselves back into the playoff race.
Instead, the Niners fell flat on their faces in a 21-0 loss to the Bucs Sunday.
Bland. Bland. Bland.
25. St. Louis Rams (4-6, Last Week: 26)
Week 12: at DEN
Despite losing to Atlanta, the Rams showed that they have some fight in them.
They are the team that I’d pick to take home this division once it’s all said and done.
Sam Bradford is performing like a star with receivers like Danny Amendola, Michael Hoomanawanui, Laurent Robinson and Brandon Gibson.
24. Seattle Seahawks (5-5, Last Week: 27)
Week 12: vs. KC
Since Week 7, Seattle’s two wins have come at the hands of the awful Cardinals, while they’ve been blown out by the Raiders, Giants and Saints.
What’s Your Deal? Are You Just Bad or What?
23. Denver Broncos (3-7, Last Week: 22)
Week 12: vs. STL
After an absolute beatdown of the Chiefs the week prior, the Broncos went into San Diego and got beat down themselves by the surging Chargers.
How much longer will they let Josh McDaniels play with this thing?
22. Washington Redskins (5-5, Last Week: 21)
Week 12: vs. MIN
Yellow pants and all, the Redskins found a way to rebound from their debacle against the Eagles to secure an OT win over the Titans on the road.
Clinton Portis has been put on IR. Poor Clinton Portis.
21. Houston Texans (4-6, Last Week: 20)
Week 12: vs. TEN
The Texans have been kicked in the crotch for three straight games now.
They managed to steal defeat from the jaws of victory against the Jets.
Remember when they were 4-2?
20. Cleveland Browns (3-7, Last Week: 19)
Week 12: vs. CAR
Cleveland will finally catch a break with the Panthers coming to town this week, following their Steelers-Saints-Patriots-Jets-Jaguars schedule gauntlet.
What’s with Browns QBs and ankle sprains? Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace have each missed much of the season nursing them.
McCoy suffered the injury against Jacksonville.
Likely Out of It, but Impressive Nonetheless
19. Dallas Cowboys (3-7, Last Week: 24)
Week 12: vs. NO
Free agent Bryan McCann (no, not All-Star Braves catcher Brian McCann) has helped throw the momentum into the Cowboys’ favor in two straight games now.
He had a 101-yard interception returned for a TD against the Giants and a 97-yard punt return TD against the Lions.
How Deion of him.
So, Are You Going to the Playoffs or Not?
18. Miami Dolphins (5-5, Last Week: 16)
Week 12: at OAK
Miami’s offense looked awful in the 16-0 home loss to the Bears last Thursday night.
It will need to get things straightened out in a hurry if they’re truly interested in contending for an AFC playoff spot this season.
What’s up with those running backs? They both seem to have chosen to age 15 years at the wrong/same time.
17. Tennessee Titans (5-5, Last Week: 15)
Week 12: at HOU
This team was 5-2 once upon a time.
They has seen their season turn like a Bryan McCann-induced momentum swing (see what I did there?).
Vince Young is done. Kerry Collins is out. Randy Moss is doing nothing.
Hello, Rusty Smith era! I’m excited.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4, Last Week: 18)
Week 12: at NYG
The first-place Jaguars (weird, eh?) were 3-4 at one point this season, and have rattled off three-wins to take the lead in the AFC South.
Can MJD and company help deliver a costly blow to a scuffling Giants team at the Meadowlands this week?
15. Oakland Raiders (5-5, Last Week: 12)
Week 12: vs. MIA
Coming off of the bye, the previously red-hot Raiders were humbled by the Steelers 35-3.
With the struggling Dolphins coming in, though, there’s a good opportunity for a rebound.
14. Kansas City Chiefs (6-4, Last Week: 17)
Week 12: at SEA
KC was due for an easy victory, and Arizona coming to town was just what the doctor ordered.
Jamaal Charles had 88 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. He has now rushed for 848 yards on just 139 carries this season (6.1 yards per carry).
Can you imagine what kind of numbers the guy would put up if he didn’t have to share time in the backfield with Thomas Jones?
Ready to Contend?
13. Chicago Bears (7-3, Last Week: 14)
Week 12: vs. PHI
The Bears are tough to figure out.
But they are 7-3 and very much in the thick of things in the NFC playoff picture.
Although they struggle offensively from time to time, their defense is what makes them dangerous. They rank third in the league in total defense.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3, Last Week: 13)
Week 12: at BAL
Raheem Morris and the Bucs just keep on winning.
There’s a chance that they could be one of three teams from the NFC South that makes the playoffs.
Undrafted rookie running back LeGarrette Blount has made a major impact this season. He is averaging 4.4 yards per carry and has scored four touchdowns.
11. New York Giants (6-4, Last Week: 5)
Week 12: vs. JAX
The G-Men have suddenly lost two consecutive divisional games.
They would be on the outside looking in on the playoffs if they began today.
Turnovers are a problem for this team. A rash of injuries to the receiving corps don’t help matters, either.
10. Indianapolis Colts (6-4, Last Week: 7)
Week 12: vs. SD
The Colts have dropped to 6-4, and injuries are surely hurting them.
With tough losses to the Eagles and Patriots in recent weeks, Peyton Manning and Co. can’t be too happy to see the Chargers up next on the schedule.
Risers, as Usual
9. San Diego Chargers (5-5, Last Week: 11)
Week 12: at IND
This should’ve been the year that the injury-depleted Chargers finally weren’t able to climb back into first place after a slow start.
But here they are, right in the thick of things after having won three straight games.
As one of the few teams that has actually enjoyed decent success against the Colts in recent years, Sunday night’s showdown should be epic.
On the Verge…
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3, Last Week: 08)
Week 12: at BUF
Pittsburgh rebounded from the embarrassing defeat against New England to embarrass Oakland 35-3.
Will they be able to stop the suddenly high-flying Bills this week?
7. New Orleans Saints (7-3, Last Week: 9)
Week 12: at DAL
The defending champs have had little trouble dominating inferior opponents (except for those pesky little Browns).
But they face a stiff test when they finally visit the randomly-improved Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.
They’ll want some turkey-flavored revenge after Dallas ended the Saints’ bid for a perfect season last year at the Superdome.
6. Baltimore Ravens (7-3, Last Week: 6)
Week 12: vs. TB
Baltimore had no trouble in doing away with underachieving Carolina.
The Ravens will now turn their attention to overachieving Tampa Bay.
Ray Rice finally appears to be living up to his lofty fantasy draft position. He’s topped 100 total yards in three straight games since the bye.
5. New York Jets (8-2, Last Week: 2)
Week 12: vs. CIN
The Jets have now reeled off three last-second wins following their flat 9-0 defeat against the Packers in Week 8.
For a team with so much talent, it would be nice to see them play a complete game and dominate a lesser team. Like the Bengals, for instance.
4. Green Bay Packers (7-3, Last Week: 10)
Week 12: at ATL
The Pack have reeled off four consecutive wins, but face their stiffest test yet.
They travel to Atlanta to take on the 8-2 Falcons.
Aaron Rodgers certainly got his revenge on Brett Favre this season, throwing for 596 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions in two wins over the Vikings.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (7-3, Last Week: 4)
Week 12: at CHI
Michael Vick finally turned the ball over for the first time (a fumble).
But he still racked up 293 total yards with a rushing touchdown in the win over the Giants.
His rollercoaster from NFL stardom, to jail, up to NFL superstardom is quickly becoming movie material.
2. Atlanta Falcons (8-2, Last Week: 3)
Week 12: vs. GB
A win on the road in St. Louis is more impressive than you’d think, as the Falcons just keep on winning games.
1. New England Patriots (8-2, Last Week: 1)
Week 12: at DET
BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead combined for 190 total yards with two scores in the Pats’ win over the Colts.
Nope, I don’t think the Patriots are missing Laurence Maroney too much these days.
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