Friday, June 30, 2006

Subway Series: Mets Express Heads Into the Bronx [J. Mark English]

Tour de France: Doping Scandal [J. Mark English]

Nate Vinton, New York Times --

HAMBURG, Germany, June 30 — Top-ranked cyclists Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso will not compete in the Tour de France after being suspended by their team managers today amid an explosive doping scandal that has upended the sport on the eve of its most important race.
Among the many riders ruled out of competition today , Basso and Ullrich were the biggest. The two men were considered the top favorites to win this year's tour, which begins on Saturday. Last year Basso finished second behind Lance Armstrong, while Ullrich — the 1997 winner — was third.
"It's my responsibility to suspend Basso," said Bjarne Riis, the leader of the Danish team CSC. "I need to think of the team — that's the most important thing. I have confidence in Ivan. But it is up to him and his lawyers to prove these allegations false."
The T-Mobile team suspended Ullrich along with a teammate, Oscar Sevilla, and a longtime coach, Rudy Pevenage, after team representatives reviewed evidence "clearly proving" that the three men were in contact with Eufemiano Fuentes.
Fuentes is the Madrid-based doctor that Spanish authorities have placed at the center of a massive doping ring that reportedly involves up to 58 riders, including some of them the biggest names in the sport.
"Last night and this morning we got hold of documents from the Spanish investigators clearly proving that there has been contact between the three we now suspended and the Spanish doctor Fuentes," Philipp Schindera, a spokesman for T-Mobile, said in a telephone interview.
The team reviewed materials obtained by organizers of the Tour de France, who had requested that Spanish authorities share them following a steady stream of media reports that described leaked details of the investigation.

World Cup Updates [J. Mark English]

Former Players Sue NFL [J. Mark English]

ATLANTA (AP) -- Steve Atwater told his four kids their recent trip to Cancun may be the last one for a while. Blaine Bishop has tossed and turned at night, worried his retirement safety net could be in jeopardy.
The two former NFL defensive backs insisted Friday that the league and its players' union are to blame for the $20 million they and five other current and former players lost in an alleged investment scam.
The seven players have sued the league and its union to recover the money, claiming the union endorsed the services of an investment firm even though its manager had liens against him.
"They are a huge billion-dollar company," Atwater, a former Pro Bowl safety for the Denver Broncos, said of the NFL at a news conference. "We hope that they would at least come to the table and talk to us."
Bishop said he is past being mad at the scheme authorities say hedge fund manager Kirk Wright cooked up to steal the players' money. Now, he just wants his money back so he can take better care of his wife and 5-year-old son.
"It's not to the point of filing for bankruptcy, but it's a large sum of money," said Bishop, a former Pro Bowl safety for the Philadelphia Eagles who also played for the Tennessee Titans. "It didn't destroy us, but ... the NFL failed us."
The lawsuit, filed June 23 in federal court in Atlanta, says the league and the NFL Players Association are liable for the losses. The players also say the union failed to certify that Wright was properly insured.

Randy Walker Dead at 52 [J. Mark English]

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- Northwestern coach Randy Walker's sudden death left the school stunned Friday, with players praising him as an inspirational leader.

"I'll never forget coach Walker," kicker Joel Howells said, his voice cracking during a somber news conference on campus. "He's had a huge impact on my life the last four or five years. If you really knew him, I don't know how you wouldn't remember him.

"A lot of guys are still kind of in shock."

Walker, 52, died Thursday of an apparent heart attack, after feeling chest pains around 10 p.m. at his suburban Chicago home, said Mike Wolf, the school's assistant athletic director for media services."Everything he taught us could be applied to life," linebacker Nick Roach said. "You can't really measure something like that."

Two months ago, Northwestern gave Walker a four-year extension through the 2011 season. He joined the school in 1999 after nine years at Miami of Ohio.

"He was a tough, demanding coach," athletic director Mark Murphy said.

In October 2004, Walker checked himself into a hospital after experiencing chest pains. He was diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle; the condition is not a common ailment, and is usually caused by a virus.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

As for the Rest of the NBA Draft [J. Mark English]

Results can be found here.
Toronto took Andrea Bargnani with their over all first pick. Chicago with the number two pick (which really once belonged to the Knicks) took LaMarcus Aldridge...expect him to be a Hall of Famer...He'll also be a Trailblazer as they traded him for Tyrus Thomas whom Portland picked in the fourth slot. Somewhere in between, Adam Morrison was picked by the Charlotte Bobcats (he'll get to practice with Michael Jordan). Other notables...Rudy Gay picked by the Houston Rockets. And J.J. Reddick will play for the Orlando Magic.

Knicks Draft: You Can't Make this Up [J.Mark English]

Howard Beck, New York Times --

After all the Knicks' recent mayhem and misery, Isiah Thomas would like to look forward. But draft night detoured into a referendum on the immediate past, and a stinging reminder of the franchise's failures.
Angry chants began echoing through the Theater at Madison Square Garden before a single player was chosen in Wednesday night's N.B.A. draft, prompting Commissioner David Stern to remark from the dais, "This is a very rowdy crowd."
Two hours later, the Knicks chose Renaldo Balkman, a 6-foot-8 forward from South Carolina, with the 20th selection. The home crowd booed. The Knicks later took Mardy Collins, a 6-6 guard from Temple, with the 29th pick.
But it is the pick the Knicks did not make that inspired chants from the disenchanted. The Knicks earned the No. 2 pick with a 23-59 season, but it went to the Chicago Bulls as part of last year's Eddy Curry deal.
A chant of "Where's our draft pick?" broke out just before the Bulls selected, followed by a mock chant of "Eddy Curry." Chicago drafted LaMarcus Aldridge, a 6-11 forward from Texas, and later traded him to Portland for Tyrus Thomas, a 6-9 forward from Louisiana State. While Knicks fans winced, Isiah Thomas did not.
"No, because I stand here before you today in all honesty and I say I would still rather have Eddy Curry than any player in this draft," said Thomas, the Knicks' president and coach. "And every G.M. polled would take Eddy Curry in this draft. And if we had the second pick, I would have traded the second pick in the draft for Eddy Curry."
What the Knicks did obtain were two defensive specialists who can guard the perimeter, a skill the Knicks sorely lacked last season.
A junior last season, Balkman led the Gamecocks to the N.I.T. championship and was named the most outstanding player of the tournament, purely for his defense. His hustle, tireless effort and rebounding have earned comparisons to Dennis Rodman, Ron Artest and Jerome Williams.
"Going into the draft, we wanted to get defenders," said Thomas, who last week added the head coach title to his résumé after the Knicks fired Larry Brown. "Balkman is a very unique talent, a very unique player. He reminds me a lot of a Rodman or Artest kind of player with his energy, with his defensive abilities."
Balkman is not a scorer — he averaged 9.6 points a game last season — but as Thomas noted, "We have enough offense."
Balkman's defensive statistics were more telling: 6.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.7 steals in 25.7 minutes a game. Although he was benched late in the season because of turnovers and inconsistency, Thomas called him "the guy that we wanted coming into the draft."
Fans at the Theater booed the selection. They chanted for Connecticut point guard Marcus Williams, who was later taken by the Nets. Balkman was not even included in the N.B.A.'s official draft guide, which profiled 133 players. The ESPN analyst Jay Bilas scoffed that Balkman was a second-round pick.
Thomas disagreed. He said the Phoenix Suns were ready to grab Balkman with the 21st pick. The Knicks were more confident that Collins or another player they liked would be available at No. 29.
Collins has played mostly point guard, but is regarded as a strong defender who can play both backcourt positions.
"He has good skills, he has a good understanding and a good feel for the position," Thomas said.
The Knicks now have six guards, but they are expected to trade at least one of them — most likely Steve Francis or Quentin Richardson — this summer.
There were several chants of "Fire Isiah" — a sentiment that came just two days after Thomas was given a one-year deadline by management to show progress or lose his job. Fans also made derogatory chants referring to James L. Dolan, the Garden chairman.
"I've been in sports all my life and I've been called a lot of bad names growing up on the west side of Chicago," Thomas sad. "And being in an arena where people jeer and shout and say bad things about you, that's all right."

Uh, Miss, Can't Find Your Seat? [J. Mark English]

Photo of the Night: Yep, Thats a Walk Off From A-Rod [J. Mark English]

And It Didn't Get Any Better... [J. Mark English]

BOSTON (AP) -- Pedro Martinez was touched by the fans and tagged by the Red Sox.

Boston's former ace signed autographs when he arrived at Fenway Park and heard an adoring crowd chant "Pedro! Pedro!" as he warmed up before the bottom of the first.

Then he gave up four runs in that inning, four more in the third and spent the rest of the game on the sidelines as baseball's hottest team went on to a 10-2 win over the New York Mets on Wednesday night.

But after his worst performance in two seasons with the Mets, the right-hander who won two Cy Young Awards with the Red Sox and the hearts of their fans still flashed the charming smile they had seen so often during his seven seasons in Boston.

"It's not disappointing at all," Martinez said. "The reception I got, I will always remember that as one of the best moments of my life."

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Boston Martinez Massacre? [J.Mark English]

It would appear that way so far. Lastings Milledge made a costly two-run error in the first behind Pedro Martinez. ( At the end of the first it was the Red Sox 4, Mets 0.

Miracle on Ice Video: Thank You Herb Brooks [J. Mark English]

Patrick Roy & Herb Brooks: Hall of Fame Bound [J. Mark English]

TORONTO -- "Miracle on Ice" coach Herb Brooks and Patrick Roy, the NHL's winningest goaltender, highlight the newest class of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Former NHL player Dick Duff and executive Harley Hotchkiss also received enough votes from the selection committee, the hall announced Wednesday. All four will be inducted in November.
Brooks led an Olympic team of college players from the United States to the greatest upset in hockey history, the "Miracle on Ice" victory over the mighty Soviet machine in the 1980 semifinals. The Americans went on to win the gold medal, their only one since 1960. Brooks died in a car accident in 2003.
"Dad is looking down and is very proud about this honor," said Brooks' son Dan Brooks. "Hockey meant so much to him."
The Americans' 4-3 semifinal victory over the Soviets on Feb. 22, 1980 is considered by many to be the greatest sports moment of the 20th century. As the final seconds ticked away, broadcaster Al Michaels shouted the immortal question, "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"

Peter Gammons... [J. Mark English]

...Appears to be in good condition following surgery after a brain aneurysm.

Rangers vs. Islanders Face Off in 'House That Ruth Built' [ J. Mark English]

Sounds crazy, but it actually may happen. The baseball meca is being looked into as a possible outdoor facility for an regular season game between the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders.
From the ESPN Sports ticker --
Newsday reported on Wednesday that the NHL is looking at the possibility of having the New York Rangers play the New York Islanders in a regular season game at Yankee Stadium.
"A request has been made to use the stadium for an NHL game in the 2006-2007 season," Yankees spokesman Rick Cerrone confirmed to Newsday. "The matter is under discussion."
According to the newspaper, league officials met with both teams as well as city officials and NBC to discuss the feasibility of the event, which would tentatively take place on Jan. 1, 2007.

2006 NBA Draft Prep [J. Mark English]

As you are you doing your prep work, let it be known that rookies as well as the vets will get to play with a new game ball next year. It is the NBA's first adjustment to the game ball in 35 years. It will no longer have leather, but instead will be a composite of non-animal materials.

Jogger of the Year: U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Christian Bagge [J. Mark English]

Jennifer Loven, Associated Press Writer --

President Bush took a jog Tuesday with a soldier who lost part of both legs in Iraq, following through on a bedside promise even the president had doubts about at the time.
Despite a slight drizzle, Bush and Staff Sgt. Christian Bagge took a slow jog around a spongy track that circles the White House's South Lawn. About halfway through their approximately half-mile run, Bush and Bagge paused briefly for reporters.
"He ran the president into the ground, I might add," Bush said, as the two gripped hands in an emotional, lengthy shake. "But I'm proud of you. I'm proud of your strength, proud of your character."
The president met the soldier on a New Year's Day visit to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where Bagge had been recuperating from his injuries for months. Bagge, now 23 and a native of Eugene, Ore., was in a convoy hit by roadside bombs a year ago in the remote Iraq desert south of Kirkuk.
Bagge's left leg was amputated just above the ankle, and his right leg ends just above the knee.
He told Bush during their January visit that he wanted to run with him. Bush was an avid runner who had mostly traded the activity for mountain biking in the last couple of years because of knee problems.
"I looked at him, like, you know, there's an optimistic person," Bush said. "It's an amazing sight for me to be running with a guy who, last time I saw him, was in bed wondering whether or not — I was wondering whether or not he'd ever get out of bed."
But, the president added, in tribute to the hard work Bagge did to realize this goal, "There was no doubt in his mind that he would."
"It's a privilege," commented Bagge, who had changed in the Oval Office into a special set of prosthetic legs that he uses to jog.
And then the pair took off for the remainder of their run.

Peter Gammons: Surgery for Brain Aneurysm [J. Mark English]

BOSTON (AP) -- Peter Gammons, an ESPN analyst and a member of the writer's wing of the baseball Hall of Fame, underwent brain surgery Tuesday after he was stricken with an aneurysm near his Cape Cod home.
The 61-year-old Gammons was resting in intensive care Tuesday night following the operation, The Boston Globe reported on its Web site.
Gammons was taken to a Cape Cod hospital Tuesday morning and then airlifted to the Boston area. The newspaper said he's expected to be in intensive care for 10 to 12 days.
Several ballplayers called the press box during Boston's game against the New York Mets for updates on Gammons' condition.
"Peter is one of the Hall of Famers we have on TV, and everybody has a lot of respect for him," Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez said in the visitor's clubhouse after the game. "I wish him well."
On a personal level, I had the oppurtunity to meet Peter Gammons at the Delta Shuttle Terminal some years ago. He seemed a bit out of sorts and I asked him if he needed any help, he asked if I knew which gate his flight would leaving from. Aside from the aloofness, he could not have been kinder to me afterwards. We sat down for a brief moment and had nice conversation about the Mets and their series against the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS. Mr. Gammons was extremely humble and gracious. I hope he pulls through... And I intend to buy the CD he has just released...
More recently, Gammons has dabbled in music and next week is scheduled to release his first CD, Never Slow Down, Never Grow Old. The proceeds are designated for the foundation established by Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, who appears on the album along with several ballplayers and professional musicians.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

And One Last Insult to Injury [J. Mark English]

Return to Boston 20 Years Later: The Amazin's 1986 Music Video [J. Mark English]

James Dolan's Ultimatum [J. Mark English]


"I'm saying this right with Isiah here. This is his team," Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan said Monday. "He made this bed. There's nobody better than him to make this thing go forward.
"But he has to do that and he has one year, one season to do that. At this time next year Isiah will be with us if we can all sit here and say that this team has made significant progress towards its goal of eventually becoming an NBA championship team. If we can't say that, then Isiah will not be here."
Isiah made his bed? Try looking in the mirror Mr. Dolan. Does Scott Layden not count? How about when you fired Ernie Grunfeld? Do you take no responsibility for the hacking away of a championship caliber team you acquired in 1995? Isiah's bed was made before he even arrived. Perhaps you should get in with him.

Oregon State College World Series Champs! [J. Mark English]

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Bill Rowe scored the go-ahead run on second baseman Bryan Steed's throwing error in the bottom of the eighth inning, and Oregon State held on to beat North Carolina 3-2 for its first College World Series title Monday night.
The Beavers (50-16) became the first team in CWS history to lose twice in Omaha and win the national championship. Oregon State also is the first truly Northern-based school to win the series since Ohio State in 1966.
"You've got to be lucky to win a national championship," closer Kevin Gunderson said. "We got the right breaks when we needed them. Someone was looking out over our heads tonight. For everyone who doubted us all year, it proves we can play ball."

Monday, June 26, 2006

Photo of the Day: Another Walk Off For Papi [J. Mark English]

Cartoon of the Day 6.26.06 [J. Mark English]

Boston Be Ready: Here Come the Mets [J. Mark English]

In a rematch between the two teams that faced each other in the 1986 World Series, the road warriors...the New York Mets...come into play the Red Sox who with a win today over the Phillies, could be on a nine game winning streak.
Eddie Coleman of WFAN compared the pitching match ups of this series to a boxing card. The lightweight card would be Alay Soler vs. Jon Lester. Then the middle weight class will feature the former Red Sox, pitching in his first game at Fenway since leaving two years ago, Pedro Martinez vs. Josh Beckett. And the final card is the cream of the crop veterans, heavy weight champs, Tom Glavine vs. Curt Schilling.
Can it get much better then this folks? Yes. The Mets will play three at the Bronx this weekend. But for now, enjoy the games. I wonder how many Met players will be out at Fenway today to see the Phillies take on the Red Sox today.

Hey Yankee Fans, Where Did Y'all Go? [J. Mark English]

Last night's attendance in the wrap up of a two game billing between the Florida Marlins and the New York Yankees was a mere 6,809.
To be fair, the earlier game of the double header had 53,615 in attendance.

World Cup Scuffle: 500 Arrested [J. Mark English]

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) -- British and German police were helped by heavy rain that had most fans running for someplace dry after a weekend that saw hundreds of arrests.

Fears that the fan violence that gripped Stuttgart the previous day would be repeated on Sunday were erased by England's 1-0 win against Ecuador and the driving rain.

Police spokesman Olaf Petersen said nine fans were arrested for minor offenses on Sunday. That paled compared with Saturday when police arrested 400 English, as well as 14 Germans, following a clash between fans from the two countries.

All but three were released Sunday morning, in part because of a lack of detention space, police spokesman Stephan Keilbach said.

The fans were banned from the downtown area until Monday morning, though Keilbach said police would only know of violations if the fans caused more problems. All those arrested and released had been photographed, but Keilbach said it was impractical to hand out so many pictures to all the officers on patrol.

The arrests followed a clash with police earlier Saturday during which 122 English were arrested. Of those, 117 were being kept in custody until Monday.

In the free open-air viewing area Sunday, middle-aged couples and families with children -- some carrying the German flag -- mingled with fans clad in flags or walking around shirtless to bare patriotic tattoos.

"It's a party. We're here to have fun," whooped Kevin Penfold as he swapped his red England shirt for an Ecuadorean one worn by Ana Cecilia Pinos Flores, who struggled to put on her sweat-soaked acquisition.

Nearby, an English fan with his chest hairs dyed ginger and shaved in the shape of a cross grinned benignly in an alcoholic daze as his friends covered him in a flag. Others bellowed songs about downing German bombers in World War II.

Nearly 2,000 police officers patrolled this normally pristine southern city, a force boosted by hooligan experts from England. It was a model of cooperation that so far this World Cup has helped prevent widespread trouble.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Red Hot Reyes [J. Mark English]

Toronto (AP) - Reyes had four hits again, including a leadoff homer, and Beltran hit a three-run shot to lead the New York Mets to a 7-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

The streaking Reyes went 4-for-5 for the second consecutive game and the third time in five days. He extended his hitting streak to 13 games and is on a 32-for-57 (.561) tear that's raised his batting average from .246 to .302.

"Unbelievable. That guy has been hot this last week. Four hits today, four yesterday," Beltran said. "I wish I could have two days like that."

It was Reyes' fifth game this season with at least four hits, tying Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki for tops in the major leagues. Reyes also got his big league-leading 34th stolen base and scored twice.

"I always say to him, 'You have the potential to be one of the best players in the game,'" Beltran said. "He's got the potential to be the best shortstop in the game."

Reyes said he's just trying to put the ball in play.

"I feel real good right now," he said. "I made a little change in my swing. A lot of pitchers were throwing me off-speed pitches outside. I tried to pull the ball before. Now I'm staying with it."

World Cup Update: Portugal & England Advance [J. Mark English]

Nuremburg - Portugal beat the Netherlands 1-0 on Sunday to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup after one of the most ill- tempered matches in World Cup history.

Four men were sent off - two for both sides - and eight others were booked as tempers boiled over in Nuremburg.

A 23rd-minute goal from Maniche was enough to put Portugal into the last eight and a clash with England, a repeat of their quarter- final match at the 2004 European Championships, which Portugal won on penalties.

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) - David Beckham was feeling nauseous. England's offense was just as sickly, with nothing to show for an hour of aimless passing against Ecuador in the 90-degree heat.
Then Beckham's right foot lived up to its fame, squeezing England into the World Cup quarterfinals.
Beckham curled a trademark 25-yard free kick just inside the post in the 60th minute Sunday, his first goal for England in nearly 15 months - and the lone highlight in an otherwise ugly 1-0 victory over Ecuador.

Spanish Cyclist Halts Race Over Doping Report [J. Mark English] news services -

MADRID -- About 200 cyclists competing in the road race at the Spanish national championships on Sunday dismounted and returned to their hotels in protest at a newspaper report that accused at least 58 riders of doping.
The riders had covered about three kilometers of the race, according to media reports.
Their anger was sparked by Sunday's El Pais newspaper which published extracts of a supposedly-secret judical investigation into doping.
The newspaper report, six days before the start of the Tour de France, said cyclists had taken part in systematic doping.
Civil Guard police investigations show at least 15 members of the team formerly known as Liberty Seguros were among the 58, El Pais said. Only four cyclists, all Spaniards, were identified in the newspaper report. No one at the Civil Guard was available for comment Sunday.
The Spanish Cycling Federation said it was looking at taking legal action "over damage caused by leaks ... from a judicial summary that, until now, was secret"...
...The Spanish government has said it is determined to crack down on doping in sport and has passed a draft law which will make it an offense for professional athletes to use, or be supplied with, banned substances.

NHL Draft 2006 Results...[J. Mark English]

The New York Rangers drafted Bobby Sanguinetti in the first round, the New York Islanders took Kyle Okposo, and the New Jersey Devils used their 30th pick to take Matthew Corrente.

NCAA: March 'Madness' Could be 'Lunacy' [J. Mark English]

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- In a perfect world, college basketball coaches would nearly double the size of the 65-team NCAA men's tournament field. Realistically, they'd accept a smaller victory.
Motivated in part by George Mason's remarkable Final Four run last season, coaches will urge the NCAA to expand its most lucrative championship event during the men's and women's basketball committee meetings in Orlando, Fla., this week.
"They'd love to see the tournament double to 128," said Jim Haney, executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. "It's based on several things. First, there are a lot of good teams worthy of making the NCAA field, and second, the size of 64 or 65 has been in place for a number of years."
Potential models range from minor adjustments to major changes.
When Haney met with NCAA officials last month, he proposed the 128-team field in part because postseason bids may help coaches keep their jobs...
...But changes don't appear imminent.
In March, NCAA president Myles Brand said he didn't see much support to expand the field and vice president for men's basketball Greg Shaheen reiterated that point Friday.
"Many, many people believe the size of the championship is just right," Shaheen said. "A lot of people think there's enough recognition of teams that did well and there's a logical and timely conclusion to the season."

Curse of the Year? Alexander on Cover of Madden [J. Mark English]

Injuries around the MLB [Jay Moussab]

The Cubs annouced that they will activate 1b Derrek Lee Sunday when they take on the Twins. This move comes earlier than expected because of the injury to Tony Womack (back spasms)who was placed on the DL. Lee who is coming off a wrist injury after running into Rafael Furcal of the Dodgers will try to help the Cubs get back in the race.
Mets relief pitcher Duaner Sanchez is listed day to day after a pinched nerve in his neck. After he threw his second pitch to 3b Troy Glaus he bent over in pain. The Mets sent him back to NY to have an MRI, it came back negative. Ed Coleman reports that he should be ready Tuesday when the Mets start a 3 game series against the Red Sox.
Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder has been put on the DL because of shoulder impingement, inflammation of the rotator cuff, and slight fraying of the labrum. This might be the best option for Mulder who couldn't find his command this season. Hopefully he heals up and returns to his natural form.

Humor of the Night: Burgundy's Auditon for Sports Center [J. Mark English]

Saturday, June 24, 2006

President Bush and Tee-Ball [J. Mark English]

Facts about the President's White House Tee Ball Initiative
President Bush launched his White House Tee Ball Initiative to promote interest in baseball and a spirit of teamwork and service for America's youth. This is the sixth year of the President's White House Tee Ball Initiative, and this is the first game of the 2006 season. Teams are selected by Little League Baseball in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and can be nominated online at
What is tee ball?
Tee ball is the entry sport to baseball for young players, generally four to eight years old. Tee ball develops the primary baseball skills of hitting, running, fielding, and throwing and gives children solid teamwork experience. Tee ball is played in every state and territory and in dozens of countries around the world. Participation is estimated at 2.2 million players -- 65% boys and 35% girls. Members of two teams take turns hitting a ball off a batting tee set on home plate. Batters try to get on base and advance to home; fielders try to prevent that from happening. The absence of pitching allows children to participate without the fear of being hit by a pitched ball. The players gain an understanding of the fundamental rules, which allows minimally competitive league play at all age levels.

Photos of the Day: Larsen/Berra Perfect Reunion [J. Mark English]

Germany's Home Field Advantage [J. Mark English]

Germany Tops Sweden, Makes Quarterfinals

Nesha Starcevic, -

Germany is starting to get that championship look. It took Juergen Klinsmann's team a mere 12 minutes to break down Sweden 2-0 Saturday, becoming the first team to reach the World Cup quarterfinals. It was a one-sided win over what was billed as one of the top European teams heading into the tournament.

Frauds of the Day: Ex-Mets as Yankee Old Timers [J. Mark English]

Grant Wahl: More World Cup Predictions [J. Mark English]

LEIPZIG, Germany --

Well, maybe I'm not the worst prognosticator after all.

At the conclusion of the first round I was sitting at the top of the heap, tied with Gregory Sica and the Limey Boys in predicting 14 of the 16 teams that made it to the knockout stage.

While Sica was the only one of SI's 10 "experts" to tab Ghana in Group E, I felt pretty good about nailing Ecuador, Australia, Sweden and Switzerland. (The only teams I'd missed were Ghana and -- gulp -- Argentina.)

(In case you're wondering, SI's NFL editor Mark Mravic, blinded by his U.S. homerism, was in last place with 10 of the Sweet 16.)

So ... here are my picks for the rest of the tournament:


Germany over SwedenArgentina over MexicoAustralia over ItalySwitzerland over UkraineEngland over EcuadorNetherlands over PortugalBrazil over GhanaFrance over Spain


Argentina over GermanySwitzerland over AustraliaEngland over NetherlandsBrazil over France


Argentina over SwitzerlandBrazil over England


Brazil over Argentina

2006 NHL Draft [J. Mark English]

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

The National Hockey League will hold its annual Entry Draft Saturday evening at GM Place, with the St. Louis Blues receiving first dibs on this year's talent pool.

The Blues, who saw their 25-season playoff streak come to an end in 2005-06, hold the first-overall selection after winning the draft drawing back in April. St. Louis, which has unloaded high-priced stars Chris Pronger and Doug Weight in the past year, finished the regular season last in the NHL's overall standings with 57 points.

The top-rated prospect in the 2006 draft field is defenseman Erik Johnson, who has spent the last two seasons playing in USA Hockey's developmental program.

Andre Agassi to Say Goodbye [J. Mark English]

Christopher Clarey, New York Times -

With his voice calm and his eyes occasionally welling with tears, Andre Agassi announced Saturday that the end of his tennis career is near.
This Wimbledon, which begins Monday, will be his last, and he then plans to retire after the United States Open later this summer.
"I think there's a lot of factors," Agassi said of his decision.
"It's starting with my family, starting with what it takes to be out here and compete on this level. I have to make sure I approach this through the sense of what's best for who I care about the most and what is best for me.
"There's been a lot of challenges, but it's been 20, 21 years of incredible, incredible memories."
Agassi said he made the decision to retire a few months ago.
"We sort of waited until now to say something," he said. "Because it's only right that I say it in the place that it all started."
Agassi surprised nearly everyone, including himself, when he won the first of his eight Grand Slam singles titles here in 1992. At that stage, he was still considered a player with great potential and questionable grit, but with his long hair flowing out of the back of his cap, he beat Boris Becker, John McEnroe and ultimately Goran Ivanisevic in five sets in the final, dropping to his knees with wide-eyed delight.

Friday, June 23, 2006

2006 NHL Awards [J. Mark English]

Courtesy of Brian List with On the Wings:

CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

HART MEMORIAL TROPHY: Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks.

FRANK J. SELKE TROPHY: Rod Brind'Amour, Carolina Hurricanes

JACK ADAMS AWARD : Lindy Ruff, Buffalo Sabres

JAMES NORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY: Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings

LADY BYNG MEMORIAL TROPHY: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

LESTER B. PEARSON AWARD: Jaromir Jagr, New York Rangers

VEZINA TROPHY: Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames

ART ROSS TROPHY: Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks

WILLIAM M. JENNINGS TROPHY: Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames


KING CLANCY MEMORIAL TROPHY: Olaf Kolzig, Washington Capitals

MAURICE RICHARD TROPHY: Jonathan Cheechoo, San Jose Sharks

Sensitivity Training for Ozzie Guillen [J. Mark English] news services -

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen on Thursday was fined an undisclosed amount of money and ordered to undergo sensitivity training for his use of a derogatory term aimed at Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti.

Quote of the Day: Willie Randolph on the Mets [J. Mark English]

Courtesy of Matthew Cerrone's MetsBlog:

“Well, yeah, I never question the character of this ballclub. I knew we’d turn the page after last night’s tough loss. I told you guys last night we’d be looking forward to playing today – a nice bounce back win. And that’s the way we’ve been doing it.”…
…his earlier comments about David Wright and Jose Reyes being the organization's foundation, and how well they are both playing of late…
“Yeah, and it’s in real good hands, obviously – these kids are playing their butts off for us. Carlos is having a nice year, but to watch David and Jose kind of blossom right in front of your eyes is something special to see. And they’ll be even better, which is nice to know also…
“They’re the ones that kind of kick start us a little bit. Jose is on a nice little rhythm, he’s hitting the crap out of the ball - and David has been getting big hit after big hit for us.”…

Rocket Goes Five in Debut [J. Mark English]

HOUSTON (AP) -- Roger Clemens was upstaged by a rookie almost half his age.
Francisco Liriano, Minnesota's 22-year-old phenom, pitched seven scoreless innings to lead the Twins to a 4-2 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday night in Clemens' much-anticipated debut.
Beginning his 23rd major league season, Clemens (0-1) was looking for his 342nd win. But instead it was Liriano, only 7 months old when Clemens started his big league career, that earned his eighth victory.
The 43-year-old Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, left after throwing 100 pitches in five innings. It was his first major league start since leaving Game 1 of the World Series exactly eight months ago with a strained hamstring. He allowed six hits and two runs while striking out four and walking two.
"It was positive," Clemens said. "My body felt better than expected and I hope and expect to get stronger each time I get out there."

World Cup: U.S.A. Sent Packing [J. Mark English]

Grant Wahl, Sports Illustrated -

Oguchi Onyewu didn't want to talk about it, refusing to comment as he walked through the mixed zone.
But his U.S. teammates and coaches had plenty to say about the controversial penalty call on Onyewu that gave Ghana the difference-making spot kick in its 2-1 win over the U.S. on Thursday, which knocked the Yanks out of the World Cup.
"In 100 years that's not a penalty," said Landon Donovan.
"Easily the softest penalty kick of the tournament," Claudio Reyna added.
"To have to chase the game on that call was kind of remarkable in a game at this level," said U.S. manager Bruce Arena.
Needing a win to advance to the second round, the Americans had just tied the score 1-1 on Clint Dempsey's 43rd-minute goal when defender Carlos Bocanegra played a ball high into his own box. Onyewu went up for the ball with Ghana's Razak Pimpong and headed it out of danger, only to bump Pimpong to the ground. But German referee Markus Merk blew his whistle. Penalty. Stephen Appiah converted the spot kick for Ghana, giving the Black Stars a lead they would never relinquish -- and, in turn, providing Africa's only spot in the Round of 16.
Instead of going into halftime tied 1-1 and needing only one more goal to complete a stirring rebirth into the World Cup's second round, the U.S. suddenly found itself in two-goal desperation mode. And Ghana didn't make things any easier by shifting into a defensive-minded counter-attacking mode after the goal.
U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo said he had an unobstructed view of the incident and saw nothing that would deserve a penalty. "There was a little bit of body contact," Cherundolo said, "but it's not synchronized swimming. It's soccer. It's a rough sport, and there's going to be body contact. But it's not a penalty."
For his part, Bocanegra shouldered some of the blame for sending the ball into his own box. "Maybe I should have played it out of bounds for a throw in," he said. "You get punished for those things."
True, but the U.S. hardly covered itself in glory on the attacking end of the field, either. The Yanks managed only three shots on goal against Ghana (and four in the entire tournament), and their offensive star, Landon Donovan, never displayed any of the dangerous attributes that have made him the U.S.'s No. 3 all-time goal-scorer at age 24.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Photo of the Day: Shock & Awe of USA World Cup Performance [J. Mark English]

Isiah Thomas: Move Over Larry, I'm in Charge [J. Mark English]

Howard Beck, New York Times -

Larry Brown was fired by the Knicks this morning after just one, surprisingly tumultuous season as their head coach. And the team indicated that it did not plan to pay him the more than $40 million left on his contract.
Isiah Thomas, the team's president and general manager, was immediately named as Brown's replacement. James L. Dolan, the chairman of Madison Square Garden, made the decision just before 10 a.m., after a one-hour meeting with Brown, Thomas and Steve Mills, the Garden president.
The decision ends a strange and protracted drama that began in mid-April, when the Knicks concluded their first season under Brown with a 23-59 record, their worst in two decades. It ranked among the worst seasons in Brown's Hall-of-Fame career.
Yet Dolan's disenchantment went far beyond the poor results on the court, and he ultimately fired Brown for a number of other transgressions. The Knicks, contending that Brown violated several provisions of his contract, fired him "for cause," and thus do not intend to pay him the balance of his contract, in excess of $40 million.
Under terms of Brown's contract, a five-year deal, he can appeal the team's decision to withhold his pay. Commissioner David Stern will ultimately decide the issue.
The Knicks hired Brown, with considerable fanfare and optimism, last July. Although they kept expectations modest, team officials figured that Brown, who has won both an N.C.A.A. and N.B.A. championship, would reverse a half decade of failure. Instead, Brown exacerbated the franchise's misery, losing games by the dozen, alienating his players and engaging in a public war of words with Stephon Marbury, the team's star point guard.
Dolan wanted specific assurances from Brown that he would change his behavior, both publicly and privately. When Brown wavered, Dolan decided to fire him.
Neither Brown nor any team officials were available for comment. Dolan and Thomas issued a statement expressing their frustration.
"Larry has had a long and storied career," Dolan said in the statement. "We hired him last summer with the expectation that he would be with the Knicks for a long time. Sometimes, decisions work and sometimes they don't. After careful consideration, despite the best intentions from everyone involved, this current structure did not work for us last season and I did not think it was going to improve next season. I have great personal admiration for Larry, but have concluded that it is best for our franchise if we make this change."
Thomas, who assembled the Knicks' unwieldy roster over the last two and a half years, becomes the Knicks' fifth coach since January 2004. He previously coached the Indiana Pacers from 2000-03, compiling a 131-115 record.

Ozzie Guillen Apologizes for Homosexual Slur [J. Mark English] news services - Outspoken Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen apologized Wednesday for using a derogatory term in referring to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti, then kept up his criticism of the writer.
Guillen went into a profanity-laced tirade against Mariotti before Tuesday night's game against St. Louis and called him a number of names, including a derogatory term that is often used to describe someone's sexual orientation...
"I don't have anything against those people. In my country, you call someone something like that and it is not the same as it is in this country."
The problem I have here is that Mariotti has allowed himself to become the story. Sports reporter should not be the story. Sure Guillen made a slur comment towards Mariotti, but why report it? I think there's a bit of self promotion going on here in regards to Mariotti.

NHL: Sell, Sell, Sell [J. Mark English]

NEW YORK (AP) -- The NHL board of governors approved the sale of the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday to a group headed by Dave Checketts, the former president of Madison Square Garden.
The deal, reached March 24, transfers ownership of the Blues -- the league's worst team this season -- and the Savvis Center from Bill and Nancy Laurie to Checketts and his Sports Capital Partners and Towerbrook Capital Partners.
The board also approved the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes by Steve Ellman to Jerry Moyes at its annual end of season meeting.
"All the sales were approved and things are in a position to continue moving forward toward a closing," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.
The financial part of the reported $150 million sale of the Blues isn't finished yet. Checketts said he expects the deal to be done soon, and Bettman added that he didn't foresee any hangups.
"We're extremely pleased to have been unanimously approved ... pending closure of the sale," Checketts said in a statement. "The next and final steps of this process are in front of us, and we anticipate a successful completion to the sale in the days ahead."

Lee Jenkins: Mix Martial Arts [J. Mark English]

Lee Jenkins, New York Times -

On the morning of June 4, as the graduating class at Chelmsford High School in Massachusetts flocked to a football stadium for commencement, Chris Fox took a Greyhound bus to the Howard Johnson Hotel in Atlantic City.
The other seniors at Chelmsford High were about to receive their diplomas. Fox, 17, was about to get started on the next phase of his education: how to punch, kick and karate chop another man into bloody submission.
"I think I'm the only one missing my high school graduation to be here," Fox said. "But I knew it would be worth it."
He sat cross-legged in a ballroom, alongside about 140 other young men in workout clothes. Some had flown across the country. Others had driven all night. They were there not necessarily because they planned to be professional fighters, but because they wanted to learn under the best fighter in the world.
His name is Fedor Emelianenko, and in the sport of mixed martial arts, he is Mike Tyson, circa 1988. He draws more than 60,000 fans for his fights, makes more than $1 million a bout and rarely needs more than a couple of minutes to complete his work. He enters the ring looking out of shape and half-asleep. Then he begins stomping the head of the next challenger.
But as Emelianenko strode into the Howard Johnson, flanked by a United Nations interpreter and five ring girls clad in red satin, no one at the front desk recognized him. Mixed martial arts is still in the formative stages, a sport chronicled mainly on the Internet and fueled at the grass-roots level. Only when Emelianenko reached the ballroom, where he was to conduct a fighting seminar in his native Russian, did young men whisper and squeal.
"I never thought I could achieve so much this way," Emelianenko said through an interpreter. "But it was always my dream. It was my golden dream."
The dream, to parlay karate or wrestling or street-fighting skills into fame and riches, has spawned thousands of Americans in training. Teenagers practice mixed martial arts in local karate gyms for the same reason they play baseball for traveling teams. They hope someday to be good enough to make the major leagues.

World Cup: Must Win for United States [J. Mark English]

Photage Parody: Reyes Hits for Cycle; Wagner Blows Save [J. Mark English]

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Video: Final Countdown to Heat Championship [J. Mark English]

Video: Lord Stanley Handed to the Hurricanes [J. Mark English]

Photos of the Day: Miami's Jubilation [J. Mark English]

NBA Finals: Ring of Fire [J. Mark English]

Israel Gutierrez, Miami Herald -

Miami wins first championship
The Heat captures its first NBA title as Finals MVP Dwyane Wade scores 36 points to help Miami claim a 4-2 series victory.
Dwyane Wade grabbed backcourt partner Jason Williams in a bear of an embrace.
Shaquille O'Neal sported the champion's hat for the fourth time in his career, finally letting out a sigh he has held back since he arrived in Miami promising a title.
The entire Heat team stood on a black stage at the center of American Airlines Center, grabbing anyone that walked on to it.
It's the picture of a plan executed to perfection.
Pat Riley altered a team built around his superstar duo of Wade and O'Neal for this very moment, for those embraces, for that celebration that he has waited 11 years to experience as the leader of the Heat.
Behind Wade's 36 points, the Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks 95-92 to win its first NBA title in its first trip to the championship series.
The formula that brought home the Larry O'Brien trophy may have been altered a bit some since the summer. A little more Wade and a little less O'Neal than Riley would have envisioned. But it worked nonetheless, and the Heat won't have to go through another offseason wondering ``what if?''....
....The Mavs managed to stay within three points of the Heat, 71-68, entering the fourth quarter. And with 9:54 standing between the Heat and a title, O'Neal picked up his fifth foul of the game on a DeSagana Diop dunk.
It forced the big man to the bench, replaced once again by Mourning. This time Mourning couldn't do much to keep the Mavericks from tying the score at 79-79 with 7:06 left, and suddenly it looked like the Heat's close-out effort could go unrewarded.
But a Haslem jumper started a quick 8-2 spurt, which included a James Posey three-pointer, to give the Heat an 87-81 cushion it would desperately need in the final 3:44.
That's because with less than two minutes remaining, a Jerry Stackhouse three-pointer brought the Mavericks within one. And after a Haslem put back, Josh Howard followed with a jumper that narrowed the Heat lead to 91-90 with 42.4 seconds remaining.
But just like in Game 5, the game would come down to Wade at the free throw line. With 26.2 seconds remaining, the series MVP was fouled by Nowitzki on a drive. He calmly knocked down both to extend the Heat lead to 93-90.
After a timeout, Nowitzki attempted a pass to Erick Dampier that Gary Payton deflected and Wade eventually stole. With 17.7 seconds left, Wade was sent back to the foul line for two more free throws that gave the Heat a 95-90 lead. After the makes, Wade stared toward his bench with a steely look. He knew his third season would end with a championship. He knew his coach would look like a genius this evening.
And moments later, the celebration began.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

And Now For a Alternate Reality [J. Mark English]

Lord Stanley: Carolina State of Mind [J. Mark English]

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Rod Brind'Amour lifted the Stanley Cup above his head, tears of joy streaming down his face. This one was for the captain and all those Carolina old-timers whose names are going on hockey's most revered trophy for the first time.
Of course, they couldn't have done it without the kid.
Rookie goalie Cam Ward stopped nearly everything that came his way, finishing off a brilliant playoffs with a rock-solid performance in Game 7. The Hurricanes skated away with their first Stanley Cup title, beating Edmonton 3-1 in the winner-take-all finale Monday night.
"It's just surreal," said Brind'Amour, the team's 35-year-old captain, his eyes still red after he left ice. "The guys on this team have been through years and years of heartache. After Game 6, I knew there's no way we were letting this go. Too many guys on this team deserve it."
A couple of low-scoring defenseman, Frantisek Kaberle and Aaron Ward, put Carolina ahead. Justin Williams finished off the Oilers, scoring an empty-net goal with 1:01 remaining after Edmonton playoff star Fernando Pisani broke up Cam Ward's shutout early in the third.
Oilers defenseman Chris Pronger, a stalwart throughout the playoffs, gave up the puck in the Carolina zone and wound up making a helpless dive to block Williams' gimme into the goal that had been vacated by Jussi Markkanen in favor of an extra skater.
Bret Hedican, among the contingent of 30-something players who had never won the cup, leaped in the air after Williams' shot went in. The crowd of nearly 19,000, which stood throughout the game, went into a frenzy.
The cup has come to Tobacco Road -- territory best known for college basketball and NASCAR racing....
...The Hurricanes were born in the old World Hockey Association as the Boston-based New England Whalers, and entered the NHL in 1979 playing out of Hartford. When their demands for a new arena were turned aside, the team headed south in 1997.
The first two years in Carolina were a dismal experience, the team forced to play 80 miles away in Greensboro while a new arena was built in Raleigh. So few fans turned up in the beginning that the upper deck was curtained off.
Now, the Hurricanes are champions, capitalizing on their second trip to the finals. Four years ago, they were beaten in five games by Detroit.
The Oilers have nothing to be ashamed of, becoming the first eighth-seeded team to make the finals under the current format. But they failed to bring Canada its first champion since Montreal in 1993, or Edmonton its first cup since 1990, when the remnants of the Gretzky-Messier-Coffey-Fuhr dynasty won the last of its five titles in seven years.

Photos of the Night: Hurricanes Sip From the Cup [J. Mark English]

Monday, June 19, 2006

Lord Stanley's Cup: Who Wants It? [J. Mark English]

Tonight the Edmonton Oilers face off against the Carolina Hurricanes in winner take all Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Photo of the Day: Mets vs Reds of Yester-Year [J. Mark English]

Wade the Wonder Boy [J. Mark English]

Mike Wise, Washington Post - This was Dirk Nowitzki's night of redemption, the night he made an incredible fallaway with 9.1 seconds left to give Dallas the lead and, surely, the game.
Until Dwyane Wade stole it.
This was the night Avery Johnson was going to be called a genius rather than the nutty professor, harboring his team members in a Fort Lauderdale hotel, making them room and bond together before their biggest game of the year.
Wade swiped that notion, too.
This was the night Dallas would emerge from its psychological funk in South Florida and go home needing one victory to claim the franchise's first championship.
But Wade could not let this emotionally wounded squad even have that pleasure.
"He's a winner," Pat Riley said simply, moments after Wade sank two clutch free throws with less than two seconds left and put the franchise Riley built one victory away from bedlam. "That's all you can say, he's just a winner."
And that rare young player who waits until the last possible moment to steal the competitive souls of his peers.
As Game 5s go, this one belongs next to Robert Horry quieting suburban Detroit with a three-point heave a year ago and Michael Jordan overcoming food poisoning and the Jazz in Utah in 1997. As Game 5s go, Dwyane Wade hitting two foul shots with 1.9 seconds left, willing Miami past Dallas in overtime, 101-100, goes down as one of the most pulsating Finals thrillers of all time.

Your Daily Fix 6.19.06 [J. Mark English]

Miami Wins; Heads to Dallas Up 3-2 [J. Mark English]

Twelve years ago Pat Riley took the New York Knicks into the Lone Star state with a 3-2 lead in the Finals. The Knicks went on to fall to the Houston Rockets.

And now, he returns to the same state, with the same oppurtunity with a much improved team, the Miami Heat.

Dwyane Wade has turned into an NBA mega star before our eyes as he spearheaded the Heat to a 101-100 win in a game five thriller.

...Just some side notes...Mike Breen, formerly of WFAN, and the play by play man for the Knicks, did a fantastic job for ABC, as did commentator and former Knick coach Hubie Brown.

Your After Hours Fix 6.19.06 [J. Mark English]

  • Be sure you are watching Game Five of the NBA Finals...
  • John Kreiser goes inside the numbers of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals.
  • Break up the Florida Marlins!
  • Red and yellow cards have been warranted so says FIFA.
  • Once again, please be sure you are watching Game Five of the NBA Finals.
  • Fullerton eliminates Georgia Tech from the CWS.
  • Kenny Rogers gets himself win number 200. Say what?
  • Aaron Gray will skip the NBA draft and return to Pitt. Pay attention Isiah Thomas.
  • France draws even with South Korea in the World Cup.
  • Brazil tops the Aussies in the World Cup.
  • Gene Wojciechowski on the failure of Phil Mickelson.
  • And finally, North Korea is set to test a long-range missile that could reach the USA.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ex-Met Segui In IRS Affidavit [J. Mark English]

The following is from ESPN:

David Segui, a 15-year major league baseball player who last was on an MLB roster in 2004, says he's one of the players whose names were redacted in the IRS affidavit that said Jason Grimsley received two kits of human growth hormone on April 19.
In the affidavit, Grimsley told IRS investigators that a player "told him of a doctor in Florida that he was using at a wellness center to obtain human growth hormone ... the player told him, "If you are going to do this, you should do it right."
Segui told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap in an interview Saturday that he is that player, but said he was under a doctor's prescription at the time.
"It was almost word for word the conversation we had, except there's a couple of key words left out," Segui told Schaap. "You know, 'legal' was one of the major -- probably the most major omission in the affidavit ... I was, you know, deemed human growth hormone deficient through blood work ... the doctor put me on human growth hormone, monitored my levels, monitored blood level, blood work periodically, regularly.
"... It was perfectly legal," Segui said. "You know, I was under doctor's prescription."
Segui played for seven teams during his career. Baseball has banned HGH and toughened its testing for other steroids, but there is no reliable test for HGH.
Segui showed ESPN a prescription for HGH from 2003, and said he continues to take HGH today. He said Grimsley came to him this past offseason, seeking advice about HGH, and how it might help him recover from Tommy John surgery.

Photos of the Night: Owner vs. Coach [J. Mark English]

Geoff Ogilvy Wins the Open [J. Mark English]

Mamaroneck, N.Y. – Australian Geoff Ogilvy weathered a series of unlikely events on the 18th hole Sunday evening to win the 106th U.S. Open Championship, at Winged Foot Golf Club.
Ogilvy, 29, shot a final-round 72 for a 5-over 285 total, one stroke ahead of Jim Furyk (70), Colin Montgomerie (71) and Phil Mickelson (74) at 6-over 286. Padraig Harrington (71) finished alone in fifth at 7-over 287.
The last time an Australian prevailed at the Open was in 1981, when David Graham won at Merion Golf Club, in Ardmore, Pa.
Of the five U.S. Opens played at Winged Foot, Ogilvy’s winning score was behind only Hale Irwin’s 7-over finish in 1974 and Bobby Jones’ 6-over score in 1929.
Amid steam conditions and temperatures in the 90s, Ogilvy emerged the winner of the championship by making par over the final four holes, including a chip-in from off the green at the 17th and an up-and-down from below the green at 18.
Montgomerie and Mickelson, playing in the twosomes ahead of and behind Ogilvy, respectively, each double bogeyed the 18th hole to fall back to 6-over. Earlier, Furyk made bogey at the 18th.
Over the final three holes, though, Ogilvy was spectacularly steady, playing them in even par. With Montgomerie already in at 6-over, Ogilvy and his expectant wife, Julie, watched as Mickelson unraveled.
"This is the last [major] I would have thought I was going to win, because I don’t drive it very straight and I demonstrated that on the last nine holes," Ogilvy said. "I didn’t think it was going to be me, but you never think it’s going to be you. It’s kind of bizarre."
Just like the finish.
(Stuart Hall is a freelance writer whose work has appeared previously on