As you already know, no one was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2013. So that left those in the media with options on how they would cover the vote.
Some are focusing on the story-lines surrounding Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. And some are busy trying to figure out who voted for Aaron Sele.
As for the New York Times, they decided to cover the vote in a more creative manner in which they ran a blank sports section.
Roger Clemens received just 37.6 percent of the necessary 75 percent to make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first appearance on the ballot. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner shared a note over Twitter about the matter which was also notably written in some sort of funky font you would expect out of an elementary school kid.
Phil Jackson seems to be enjoying his time away from basketball, so much so that he’s willing to rule out any return.
The Hall of Fame coach said Tuesday his days on the bench are long gone.
“I have no intention of ever coaching again,” Jackson told SheridanHoops.com.
It would be easier to take Jackson at his word if he offered more than this bare-bones statement. Or if he hadn’t been in advanced talks with the Lakers before the team tabbed Mike D’Antoni as its midseason replacement.
A lot has changed for the Los Angeles Dodgers in recent days, but one thing is going to remain very much the same. The team announced Sunday that Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will return in 2013, his 64th season behind the microphone. Scully will call all Dodgers home and road games in California and Arizona.
Scully, 84, said he is feeling energized after the Guggenheim Baseball Management group bought the team from Frank McCourt this spring for $2 billion.
“I was so impressed by the new ownership,” Scully said Sunday morning in the Dodger Stadium press box. “I was here for the press conference, and I heard some big talk. I wondered whether they would actually do what they said they would do. How fast will they move? How high will they try to take the team? Well, they have done it 10 times over. And what they’ve done is revitalized the city, revitalized the team, the fans — and myself.”
“They want to win, and they want to win now. So I’d like to hold on with both hands and see just how far they’ll take this ballclub — because I really think they’re going to take it as high as it can possible go,” Scully said. “And with all the optimism, it would be pretty hard to walk away from that.”
The Dodgers haven’t won a World Series title since 1988, but that isn’t the primary reason Scully’s coming back.
“I don’t really measure how long I want to stay by the success of the team. I really think it’s inside,” Scully said. “It has nothing to do with the team. It’s the love affair. That’s part of the way I feel about baseball.”
The Dodgers say Scully’s tenure is the longest of any broadcaster with any team. He calls all nine innings of the team’s TV broadcasts, while the first three innings of each of his games are simulcast on radio.
Dodgers chairman and owner Mark Walter says Scully’s return for another season “means a great deal to all of us.”
Scully began his professional baseball broadcasting career in 1950 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He has called three perfect games, 25 no-hitters, 25 World Series and 12 All-Star games.
Among the historic events he has broadcast: Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, Kirk Gibson’s homer in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Hank Aaron’s record-setting 715th homer, Barry Bonds’ record-breaking 71st, 72nd and 73rd homers and the scoreless-inning streaks of Dodger greats Don Drysdale and Orel Hershiser.
In an interview with ESPN’s Bram Weinstein and Ryen Russillo, Hall of Fame football coach Joe Gibbs explained his zeal for the value of the positons by telling the radio hosts that “they always said I was queer for tight ends.”
Reggie Jackson has been banned indefinitely by the New York Yankees after he made disparaging comments about Alex Rodriguez published in last week’s edition of Sports Illustrated. Jackson has been asked to stay away from the team.
Said Jackson, choosing his words carefully: “The Yankees think that the timing is not right for me to be around the team right now. When the Yankees feel that the timing is proper, I’ll return.”
Jackson’s comments questioned the slugger’s home run numbers after Rodriguez admitted to using performance enhancing drugs.
“Al’s a very good friend,” Jackson told Sports Illustrated. “But I think there are real questions about his numbers. As much as I like him, what he admitted about his usage does cloud some of his records.”
It was in the same interview Jackson also said that Kirby Puckett, Gary Carter, Jim Rice, Bert Blyleven, Don Sutton, and Phil Niekro shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame.
Jackson is a paid “special advisor” to the Yankees and often travels with the team, but was not in Boston over the weekend.
Reggie Jackson, who believes baseball turned its back for years to rampant steroid use believes that Roger Clemens deserves to join him in the Hall of Fame in 2013, a sentiment echoed by Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench.
Jackson and Bench, who have been critical about the possible induction of steroid users into the Hall of Fame, said that Clemens acquittal on all charges of lying to Congress in denying use of performance-enhancing drugs should open the door to the game’s Cooperstown, N.Y. shrine.
“Here’s a guy who took his principles that he believed in, and exposed himself to that kind of ridicule, to prove he was right,” Jackson said. “He was proven through the legal system that he was correct. If you can beat Congress and federal judges, buddy, you must have had a pretty strong case.
“Yet, I listen to television today, and TV says that although he was ruled not guilty, he’s going to be held accountable in public court, and they doubt seriously he’ll ever get into the Hall of Fame.
“I don’t understand that. He was ruled not guilty. He beat Congress. Our judicial system says he’s not guilty. By that ruling, he should get into the Hall of Fame, regardless of anybody’s opinion.”
Bench said that he didn’t need a trial to prove Clemens innocence. He took justice on in his own way. He directly asked Clemens himself years ago whether he took performance-enhancing drugs.
“Roger was straight to the point with me,” Bench said in the interview, “and he told me he was innocent. That was good enough for me. I didn’t need a trial. I wouldn’t think he’d lie to me. Now, it’s up to the voters.
“I’m sure people will still have some kind of resentment, and people want to keep the purity of [the Hall of Fame], but for me, I’d welcome him into the Hall of Fame.”
Jackson, who says there likely will be Hall of Famers that boycott the ceremony when players linked to steroid use are inducted, believes that Clemens and Barry Bonds belong. They each won their case in federal court, with Bonds only being charged with obstruction of justice, not steroid use. Players who tested positive like Rafael Palmeiro, or admitted to steroid use like Mark McGwire, don’t belong in the Hall, Jackson says.
Yet, with Bonds convicted on the single obstruction charge, Bench isn’t sure he belongs in the Hall of Fame. Bonds, after all, is a convicted felon unless he wins his appeal.
“There’s always been a little more haze over his name and everything else,” Bench said. “They’re certainly not going to elect [Mark] McGwire, so I don’t think they’ll vote for Barry. That’s just the voting the way it is.
“If [Bonds] was exonerated and everything was clear, it might be different. But there’s still pending stuff going on. Until that’s worked out, there will be a little hesitancy for all of us.”
“You have to really admire what Roger did. He stood up for what he believed in,” Jackson says. “Here’s a guy whose life has been altered, which cost a fortune to buy part of his credibility back, and he did it. He won’t get his money back. But he paid for the truth. I’d be proud to welcome him into the Hall of Fame.”
Brian Xanders is out as general manager of the Denver Broncos after three years in that role. Boss John Elway said the decision to part ways with a year left on Xanders contract was made in a meeting between the two men Monday.
Xanders, 41, took the job hoping to have final say on personnel matters after nearly two decades in the NFL, but that wasn’t going to happen in Denver, where Elway is in his second season in charge.
Elway is a hands-on boss who has made several moves lately to streamline the personnel department and build a roster he envisions can compete for a championship like the ones he won during his Hall of Fame career as the Broncos quarterback.
“Brian and I had a very productive conversation earlier today. Although it was an extremely difficult decision, it became clear that it was best for both the Broncos and Brian to part ways,” Elway said in a statement. “I believe a change to the structure of our football operations will be mutually beneficial, allowing the department to improve its efficiency while affording Brian the opportunity to continue his promising career with another NFL team.”
Xanders joined the Broncos as assistant GM under coach Mike Shanahan in 2008 and was promoted to general manager following Josh McDaniels hiring as coach a year later.
While veteran coach John Fox was leading the Broncos turnaround on the field, it was Xanders who helped show Elway the ropes of an NFL front office job last year, guiding him through the administrative procedures and policies.
Elway began making major changes in his second season in charge, streamlining the football operations department by promoting Matt Russell from director of college scouting to director of player personnel and hiring former agent Mike Sullivan to handle contract negotiations and the salary cap.
Xanders spent his first 14 seasons in the NFL in various capacities with the Atlanta Falcons before joining the Broncos as assistant GM under Shanahan.
Two of the newest inductees into golf’s Hall of Fame went off on one of the game’s greatest players. Writer Dan Jenkins wondered about the heart of Tiger Woods while BBC broadcaster Peter Alliss pondered his brain and pointed to his thunking coming from his pants.
“I do not understand the thinking of Tiger Woods,” Alliss told Randell Mell of Golf Channel. “I think his golfing brain, for some reason or other, is completely addled. Perhaps the good part of his brain for a period drained from here, down to here. And that caused him great distress, probably a modicum of enjoyment at the time. But he’s gone.”
Alliss believes Woods is getting too many instructions and compares it to Pavarotti going from tenor to baritone for no reason.
He says in 30 minutes he could fix Woods game or “I’d go home and stick my head in a bucket of ice water, because it’s so simple. You stand and you swing.”
Jenkins says if Woods wins another major “he’ll be the first guy that ever did it with three swings,” and doesn’t believe he’ll catch Jack Nicklaus.
“…The thing I always thought, and I don’t know if it’s true or not, but everybody wants to win and everyone says they want to win, but the great champions absolutely despised the idea of losing. I think that’s what Ben Hogan had, what Arnold had, Jack certainly had it. I frankly don’t know whether Tiger Woods has it or not because he has never had to come from behind. Every major he won he was in front and everyone, most of them, dropped dead.”
Colorado Rockies pitcher Jamie Moyer made history this week by becoming the oldest player to ever win a major league game. The 49-year-old lefthander donated his cap and glove to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, and now they want to give him something in return: an internship.
Following his historic win over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, Moyer told reporters, “I kind of wish I was a baseball historian.”
Well, the Hall of Fame has offered him a spot in the Museum’s Steele Internship Program. Of course, Moyer actually would have to retire to become eligible for the internship.
“Jamie Moyer has proven that age is truly just a number,” said Brad Horn, senior director for communications and education at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “By winning a game at the age of 49 years and 150 days, he’s broken a long-standing record in baseball history. But even more noteworthy in his performance is that Jamie has expressed a desire to become a baseball historian. Through our annual Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program, we are providing learning foundations and educational opportunities to future leaders in baseball research, among many other Museum and baseball disciplines.
“Jamie certainly has shown the dedication we look for in our program’s candidates, and we believe that Jamie has the stuff necessary to make it as a Hall of Fame historian, with a little hard work and perseverance.”
During his 25-season major league career, he is 268-206 with a 4.23 ERA.
Hall of Fame coach and ESPN analyst Bob Knight once said that “all of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things.” Well, maybe not.
Knight tells South Bend Tribune reporter Eric Hansen that he is writing a book. The title? “The Power of Negative Thinking.”
“I’ve always thought the things that we look upon negatively are extremely important,” Knight said. “Like the word ‘no.’ I think the word ‘no’ is the most important word in the English language. I think people learning to say no keep themselves out of a lot more trouble than those that don’t.”
Knight assured that this would come across humorously in the book. The opportunity to challenge that overtly wasn’t taken.
“Let me give you some examples,” he said, addressing the skeptic-laced silence on the other end of the phone, “like the worn-out positive clichés people use instead of working out something:
“‘Well, we’ll be a lot fresher after a night’s sleep.’ Well, you might be dumber after a night’s sleep too.
“And then there’s, ‘Susie, come here and let Mommy kiss that scratch.’ Well, she better have iodine on her tongue if it’s going to do any good.”
“So we try to take things like that …and show so many times we put our faith in some cliché that has nothing to do with our discovering the origin of the problem or what’s necessary to overcome the problem or correct the problem.
Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones will retire at the end of the 2012 season, according to the team’s Twitter account.
Jones has dealt with a myriad of injuries over his last few years with Atlanta, and hasn’t missed less than 25 games in a season since 2004. For his career, he has a .304/.402/.533 line with 454 homers and has amassed 87.5 career fWAR at third base, the seventh highest total of all-time at third base. The six players ahead of him are all in the Hall of Fame, and Jones has an outside chance of passing George Brett for the sixth spot on the list.
Jones’s career has been rumored to be on the rocks for a couple of weeks now. He’ll turn 40 in less than a month, and his production has been going downhill for awhile. He was a member of the 1995 Braves World Championship team during his rookie season, and also finished as the runner-up in the ’95 Rookie of the Year race to Hideo Nomo. Jones won the 1999 NL MVP award for the Braves, who he has spent his entire career with.
Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton, who had the memorable call on Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, will retire as the radio voice of the Houston Astros after the 2012 season. Hamilton was the recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award in 1992.
This will be the 84-year-old Hamilton’s 28th year with the Astros and 59th year overall calling Major League Baseball games. He will remain with the team after this season working mostly on special events, but will make sporadic appearances on radio broadcasts.
Hamilton made the call on Aaron’s 715th home run on April 8, 1974, as a broadcaster for the Atlanta Braves. He has also called 11 no-hitters, Nolan Ryan’s 4,000th strikeout in 1985 and Craig Biggio’s 3,000th hit in 2007.
The Astros will honor him with “Milo Hamilton Day” on his 85th birthday Sept. 2.
Los Angeles Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda is forever immortalized with a bronze statue depicting the Hall of Famer, which was unveiled in the Dominican Republic, the team announced.
The statue stands at the ‘Paseo de los Immortales’ in La Romana. Lasorda, 84, serves as Special Advisor to the Chairman of the Dodgers and has worked for the team for six decades.
Lasorda has longstanding ties to Latin America as he spent three seasons in the Dominican Republic.
He is a founding member of the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame and serves as their Goodwill Ambassador, according to the team.
During one of the segments in the debut of Costas Tonight on NBC Sports Network, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones chimed in on a topic that had been addressed before he took the stage. Jones, who played college football at Arkansas, said that he has had “50 concussions.”
He then joked that, if he hadn’t suffered so many blows to the head, he would have been the President of the U.S. instead of the owner of the Cowboys.
Jones quickly pointed out he wasn’t trying to make light of the challenges players are facing. Still, some may believe that the remark came off as a bit insensitive to the plight of the men who are suffering the effects of a career of concussions especially on the same day that Hall of Fame running back and former Cowboy Tony Dorsett added his name to a lawsuit thats suing the NFL along with Riddell over concussions.
Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon is a fan of Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon and had a unique comparison to explain his talent.
“He’s a beast isn’t he?” Moon told 710 AM’s Kevin Calabro. “He’s like Dez Bryant with all his brain cells….he has all the skills Dez Bryant has but he’s not the knucklehead that Dez Bryant turned out to be with Dallas. He’s a better route runner than Dez Bryant. A very tremendous talent.”
Every Thursday Sports Grind Entertainment will present you with the Mama Margie’s Major Meltdown. The recipient of this honor goes to veteran sportswriter and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News Bill Conlin who has been accused of molesting three girls and a boy in the 1970s, including his niece. Authorities said no criminal charges would be pursued against Conlin because the allegations of abuse happened too long ago.
Conlin, a Hall of Fame baseball writer and author, retired just ahead of the story’s publication online by The Philadelphia Inquirer. The newspaper reported that the four accusers claim Conlin groped and fondled them in the 1970s, when they were ages 7 to 12.
Conlin had worked at the newspaper for more than four decades, starting in 1965 and becoming the beat writer for the Philadelphia Phillies the next year. He held that job for 21 years and became a columnist in 1987. He also was a commentator on the ESPN program “The Sports Reporters” and wrote two baseball-related books, the “Rutledge Book of Baseball” and “Batting Cleanup, Bill Conlin.”
He received the 2011 J.G. Taylor Spink Award presented at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and is honored in the hall’s “Scribes and Mikemen” exhibit. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America said the allegations would not affect his award.
Daily News editor Larry Platt said he didn’t know about the allegations until Tuesday when he accepted Conlins retirement papers. He described the emotions in the newsroom as “overwhelmingly a sense of shock, a sense of outrage, a sense of sadness.”
In one recent column titled “Tough Guys Are Talking About Sandusky,” Conlin questioned people who say they would have intervened had they witnessed child sex abuse.
“Everybody says he will do the right thing, get involved, put his own ass on the line before or after the fact. But the moment itself has a cruel way of suspending our fearless intentions,” he wrote.
Yep that’s Hall of Fame manager Tommy Losorda showing off his fupa at this years Baseball Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas. The golden years of retirement.
Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young received one of the coolest birthday gifts when a passer buyer fan was seeking an autograph busted out in dance and was then joined by another 300 people. Turns out Steve’s wife Barbara planned the whole thing to celebrate his 50th birthday.
Does your friends and family go to this extreme for your birthday?
An upcoming biography of Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton by Jeff Pearlman, Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton, portrays the late Chicago Bears back as an adulterer and an abuser of pain-killers and laughing gas.
A lengthy excerpt from the book posted at SI.com reports that:
Payton was a nervous wreck on the day of his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction in 1993, because his longtime mistress had insisted on attending, and was staying at the same hotel as his wife Connie and children. The book says the two women talked after the ceremony, and Connie said, “You can have him. He doesn’t want me or the children.”
Pearlman quotes Payton’s agent, Bud Holmes, saying, “I’d see him walk out of the locker room with jars of painkillers, and he’d eat them like they were a snack.” The book says use of pain-killers increased after Payton retired, and that he “habitually ingested a cocktail of Tylenol and Vicodin.”
During training camp, according to the book, Payton kept tanks of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, in an RV. The book says he shared balloons of the gas with other Bears players, and that after retirement he kept large tanks of it in his garage.
Before Payton’s death from cancer and liver problems in 1999, the book tells several anecdotes of Payton behaving erratically because of his use of pain-killers. That included threats of committing suicide, according to Holmes and others.
The book will be released October 4. Pearlman, who also has written books on Roger Clemens, the 1986 New York Mets and the Dallas Cowboys.
Last night was just like old times for former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda as he took a seat on the the teams bench. Lasorda wore his famous No. 2 white jersey as an honorary coach under manager Don Mattingly against the San Francisco Giants, a gesture extended by the team for his 84th birthday.
“I want to manage,” he said. “I got 1,599 wins. Win this one and we’ll be 1,600. It’s very, very important to me.”
Lasorda retired in 1996 as one of just five major league managers to guide the same team for 20 years or more. His tenure included two World Series titles, four National League pennants and eight division titles. He’s is in his 62nd season with the franchise and currently serves as special adviser to team owner and chairman Frank McCourt.
“It feels great,” Lasorda said. “This is something I never thought, never dreamed it would happen and it happened. I’m so grateful. My family’s enthused about it. All my friends are calling me from all over the country. I didn’t think I was that much missed.”
When Giants manager Bruce Bochy was asked how he felt about Lasorda being on the Dodgers bench again he said,“let him manage. I’ll outsmart him.” To which Lasorda responded by saying “tell Bochy I’m in the Hall of Fame.”
The glasses on the statue of the late Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell were stolen sometime over the summber but late last night a worker from a Michigan foundry re-attached a new pair of glasses to the statue that stands inside Comerica Park in downtown Detroit.
No one knows exactly who stole them but stadium officials alerted the company behind the work earlier this summer that the glasses were missing.
“Ernie wore pretty delicate glasses, at least during the age we depicted him,” said sculptor Lou Cella. “We initially made them as durable as we could. If somebody wants to go all out and rip the things off, they can just do it.”
Harwell, a baseball announcing legend, died in May 2010 at the age of 92. Cella also he said that it is not unusual for vandals or overzealous fans to break off pieces of statues. A microphone on a piece in Chicago memorializing Harry Caray also has been broken off.
Yao Ming who opened the basketball world’s eyes to all the possibilities that exist in China has formally requested that his nomination into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame be put off for now. Yao, 7-6, just retired in July and although players must wait five years before becoming eligible he could have gone in with the 2012 class, as a contributor.
Hall of Fame president John Doleva said John Huizinga, Yao’s agent, requested the nomination that was made by a member of the Chinese news media be shelved.
Said Doleva: “He (Huizinga) indicated that Yao has great respect for the institution and equal respect for those elected before his consideration. He just feels that it’s too soon to be considered as a contributor.”
Yao was an eight-time All-Star with the Houston Rockets before his career was cut by numerous injuries. Doleva said Yao didn’t specify a time to be reconsidered.
“It really, at this point, would be his call,” Doleva said. “The ball is in his court.”
The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame voted in February to include former University of Virgina big man Ralph Sampson and on Tuesday night he became just another jail occupant in Georgia. The 7-4 Sampson spent a night in the Gwinnett County jail because of numerous traffic violations.
The newspaper said Sampson, 51, was pulled over in the Peachtree Corners area because of an expired license plate tag. The officer then discovered Sampson’s license was suspended for failure to meet child support obligations and that there was an open arrest warrant from 2008, for failing to appear in court on an auto insurance violation.
Sampson was the first player taken in the 1983 NBA draft and was a four-time All-Star. But he never fully lived up to expectations as a pro with the Houston Rockets.