Saturday, May 31, 2014

NPSL: The First Weekend Without PCFC

The only thought is to have the remaining six games be walkovers and let people get their points since they may not play each other in true round-robin fashion. But the end is currently in discussion at the NPSL league level.

The Southeast Conference is one short with the shocking folding of Pensacola City FC and the whole saga is far from being over.
At least, that's the gut feeling at the HQ. PCFC was supposed to play the Georgia Revs Friday night before their next meeting was supposed to be in Chattanooga FC, but that's now in the wind.

As is the rest of their season...

The other teams carried on as they did: Nashville was hosting Rocket City. Chattanooga FC was playing Knoxville Force and New Orleans traveled the eight hours to Atlanta to take on Silverbacks Reserves against that backdrop (pictured right, thanks New Orleans Jesters their own selves). It was as everything was normal save the fold/dissolving/whatever-you-want-to-call-it after only three games into a season.

The opinions have been documented from both sides over the last few days from both ownership and players of the franchise- you can catch up with them hyah for starters...

So, what do the rest of the league think of what has gone down...???

"It surprised me," Silverbacks head coach Alejandro Pombo admitted. "It has never happened before. When you're here, you commit to the league and I have always thought that you end the season. Three years ago, when we were Atlanta FC, we had on-the-field problems. But we finished the season.

"What happened there... that's not the way. You have to figure it out to the end. They were supposed to travel to Chattanooga to play, but now they're not. They should have talked with the league to see if they could get some help to continue to play and finish the season."
.

New Orleans Jesters head coach Kenneth Farrell was more matter-of-fact about it:

"Irresponsible. Unprofessional. Embarrassing...

"We can pull together as brothers in times like this," he admitted. "Once you have committed, you have committed to the league. You should have talked to the league about it and figured out what to do. And the league would have done that. You don't blame the league in a situation like this. It happened without them knowing- any of us knowing... we're a good league and you just don't do that."


Sources close to the league that OSG Sports talked to about this raise the standard financial questions. Did the re-branding and name change from the Texans family to PCFC come as a result of partners pulling out and, therefore, create a loss of funds that Bill Fetke counted on for financial stability...? There were plans, we are told, of bringing in players from all corners- including Asia. That did't happen, either.

So, is this a part of a larger cascade for Fetke and PCFC that created the dissolving...???

Only he can answer... and now some of the Internationals on the roster have to still find a way to pay bills and have a roof over their heads starting tomorrow...

And that prospect is daunting at least and scary at most...

More when we know more...

Big Papi Got No Respect For David Price No More

((HT:MLB.com/CSNNE))

Tempers flared multiple times last night at Fenway as the Tampa bay Rays went after Boston.

And for David Price it seemed like last night was his opportunity to get back at David Ortiz after his playoff homer that rubbed Price the wrong way.

All the brushback and blowback is below


Papi talked after the game and called Price out...
It was quite colorful

Ha! UF Baseball Pulls Hidden Ball Trick on College of Charleston

((ht: espn.com))

Oh, this is embarrassing...

Check out what happened in the first game of the Gainesville regional in the NCAA Baseball playoffs.

The home team, the Florida Gators used one of the oldest tricks in the book to get an out during the 1st inning of their game against the College of Charleston.

Gator pitcher Logan Shore ties his shoe and somehow Charleston's Nick Pappas steps off the bag. What Pappas didn't know was Florida shortstop Richie Martin still had the ball.

Martin reaches over and tags Pappas...who undoubtedly is and will be getting grief for some time to come over this one..

Alas, Charleston got the last laugh, beating the top seeded Gators 3-2....

Your video from ESPN.com:

Reports: Phil Mickelson Part of Insider Trading Investigation--UPDATED

((ht: dealbook.nytimes.com))

Hmmmm....

Masters champ and PGA Tour golfer Phil Mickelson is one of several interesting names being bandied about during a federal insider trading investigation.

F.B.I and Security and Exchange Commission Investigators are looking into some trades made by Mickelson, a Sports gambler by the name of William T. Waters and possibly investor Carl Icahn.

No charges have been filed, but the investigation began after reports began to surface that Icahn may have shared some insider information with Waters, who passed on the information to Mickelson.

For their part, investigators have not connected Icahn and Mickelson, but the golfer does have some connection to Waters. And Waters is a known and successful Sports gambler who owns a Las Vegas area golf course.

Hmmmm....

Read more from the NY Times RIGHT HERE

This is interesting. We don't profess to know how investigators will tie all these allegations together but they raise plenty of questions.

For people who don't run in the circles of multi-millionaires like these guys, it wouldn't be a shock that information like this is shared.

But it would be a shock to find out their hero Phil Mickelson could be involved in doing it. There have been whispers for years that Mickelson is or was a heavy gambler, which could easily explain the relationship with Mr. Waters.

It will be very interesting to see if or how this all plays out....

**UPDATE**---Mickelson released a statement Saturday afternoon stating that he has been cooperating with investigators and due to the nature of the investigation, can't talk further about it.

For no real reason, we chose this video of Mickelson...because we don't have a TV News story on this investigation...

Friday, May 30, 2014

DEVELOPING: NPSL Commissioner Responds To Pensacola City Situation (Kinda)

((HT: Michael Hitchock's Twitter))

Although not to direct question, the Commissioner of the NPSL has responded in a series of Tweets to the situation in Pensacola

Dear @NPSLSoccer fans: No one is more frustrated with the PCFC situation than me. With all the positive momentum for the NPSL right now 1/2

The owner of PCFC has let down the NPSL, the South East members & most importantly his players. We are getting all the info & addressing 2/2

The @NPSLSoccer is a not-for-profit corporation whose mission it to grow the sport of soccer in US in a sustainable way. Run by the members.

Consistent with the NPSL structure & philosophy, South East conference members will work together with NPSL on PCFC issue. Thx for support!

1/2 Official Statement: @NPSLSoccer is extremely disappointed to hear that Pensacola City FC has decided to cease operations immediately...

2/2 Statement: League remains committed to the Pensacola soccer community and looks forward to working with fans & supporters in the future.


OSG Sports has asked the Commissioner about the 7 games on the schedule that PCFC were to play and how the schedule is reconfigured...

And, in an amazingly similar to Tweet number 4 above, he replied:

South East Conference members are working with NPSL on PCFC issue. Consistent with NPSL structure

More when we know more... and, maybe, more details...

Donald Sterling Fires Back: Files Suit Against NBA for $1Billion

((ht: nbcnews.com))

You knew this was coming. It had to be.

Amidst reports that wife Shelly Sterling has agreed to sell his beloved Los Angeles Clippers, NBC News reports team owner Donald Sterling is suing the NBA...

For $1 Billion Dollars:



Yeah...that's what we thought too.

The suit is supposedly to block the sale of the team and to fight the NBA's decree that Sterling sell his team.

Read the NBC News story RIGHT HERE

Did we add that TMZ reports Sterling is and has been suffering from Dementia? For up to the past 3 years? And that's not to say he and his lawyers aren't serious here. We think they are....

His lawyers say the reports "Overstate" his condition. But it's exactly that condition that Shelly has used to take over the franchise and negotiate the potential sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Make sense?


But everyone involved in the current game. Donald Sterling, Shelley Sterling, Adam Silver and the NBA are all putting their cards on the table ahead of Tuesday's vote to possibly take the team away from Donald..




DEVELOPING: NPSL Pensacola City FC Reax- Alvaro Pichardo

OSG Sports has received an e-mail from Pensacola City FC midfielder Alvaro Pichardo about what has happened over the last 36 hours...

This is his first-person account as to what he experienced in the folding of the franchise...
It is a stream-of-consciousness review and OSG Sports left punctuation alone...

It is heart-breaking, head-scratching and leaves a lot of questions still...

Well, we received an email from Bill at 9:10 Wednesday night that said we had a meeting the next day (Thursday) at 1:00 pm because he was doing an equipment check. (who does equipment checks at this level, why would you need to check our equipment if there hasn't been a problem with us wearing the wrong gear or anything? at this point we started talking as a team about what we thought would happen and some of us came up with the thoughts that the team was folding because we hadn't trained on Wednesday, 2 days before a game, and we hadn't discussed the traveling plans for Thursday afternoon to travel to Georgia for the game.

Anyway... we get there and Bill takes our equipment, when he is finished "checking" our equipment he gives us this lecture of how we are workers and just like any business if you don't do your job you can get fired, he even goes to say that he heard that some of the guys had gone out to drink the night before the Chattanooga game, which i know for a fact that no one went out, we finished the game and everyone went home because we had a game the next day at 1. then he says that we played like "shit" against CFC because we were hungover... i have 2 things to say about that, 1st we didnt play like shit, we lost 1-0 against the best team in the conference, a team that is competing in the US Open Cup and is one of the best in the NPSL year after year with almost the exact same line up from the night before in 90 degree weather with a team that has almost no organization due to the fact that we have had 0 tactical sessions all year and don't know how to defend and play as a team, this goes to tell you that we worked our asses off for Bill and we only lost 1-0... 2nd no one had any alcohol in them. we lost because they were the better team.

Bill also added that him and his business partners decided that it was not worth spending so much money when the public was not reacting and supporting us, this is normal in sports, you dont make a team and 2 years later start making money, this is normal in any business, it takes years to start making money first you invest, then you start breaking even and then you make a profit... this is what i think actually happened, Bill doesnt really have a good idea on how to run a sports team.

At first I didn't want to say anything because I had a good relationship with Bill, he had been really nice to me last year and even this year but it really bothers me that he has blamed us for terminating the team, this is not our fault, you do not expect us to win every game when the set up has been an absolute joke, from having no goals for the first few days to doing the same thing every single day at training without any intensity and not working tactically, soccer is not a sport that you just go out there and kick a ball around, you have to be organized and run a system, which we didn't do... we pretty much were just thrown out there to kick the ball around. If anything, Bill should be happy that we worked hard in the games and didn't lose by more with such a disorganized and unprofessional environment around us...

Also, I'm not too happy about how he is treating the injured players, Remy (Moulard) hurt in ankle and had to be taking the hospital about a week ago and he has yet to have an MRI, I wonder how Bill would feel if this happened to his son and the owner of the team simply didn't care about his health. I dont think he has realized how much we gave up to come play for him and how much we have lost now that he terminated the team. Remy is injured and has nowhere to go but he doesnt care about this, he is probably gonna have to sit out his next college season due to this injury and this could affect him to reach his goal of becoming a professional soccer player but evidently Bill could care less... I had other options before coming here, PDL other NPSL team and I even passed up on playing with my countries national team because i was promised a professional environment and a very organized team with MLS and USL coaches coming to watch us (which never happened)...

He also said "i have no control of where they lived, they stayed with local players. so local players are the ones who kicked out their teammates" this has really pissed me off that he would lie like this, he had control of where we lived, yes we stayed with local players but those local players live in apartments which require you to pay rent obviously, and guess who agreed to pay that rent... Mr. Bill Fetke himself, so now that we have 2 days till rent is due, what are we supposed to do? No one has enough money to afford rent because we have not been working, because of the fact that Bill promised us food and housing.

Yes he has folded the team and there is nothing we can do now but the least he can do is keep his promise to pay for our rents, at least for 1 more month to give us time to find another team and he could pay for the injured players' medical bills. Just like in any business if you get injured while working, the employer has to pay for medical bills but it seems like he forgot about this or maybe he is just a cold person that doesn't care about the well being of others.


More reaction will be posted as we receive it and OSG Sports also has another question into NPSL Commissioner Michael Hitchcock about how the folding of the franchise relates to the rest of the schedule going forward...

Donald Sterling Diagnosed With Alzheimer's, Thus The Trust's Moves

((HT: TMZ Sports/ESPNLA))

TMZ is reporting on the Clips on a few fronts...

First, that the Ballmer bid of $2-billion is all cash...

Second, that Donald Sterling was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.

From the TMZ article:

We're told earlier this month Donald agreed to an examination by 2 prominent neurologists. He underwent extensive tests, including a CT and PET scan. We're told both doctors diagnosed Donald with Alzheimer's and concluded he may have had the disease for as long as 5 years. The doctors both concluded he did not have the ability to conduct the business of the team.

If two doctors come up with the same diagnosis, the Trust can then take over for the incapacitated partner. That meant that Shelly Sterling could do what she wanted when it came to the proposed sale of the club to another party.

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne confirms the Alzheimer's diagnosis.

Here's your live shot outside of Staples Center to recap Thursday in the Clippers saga
((HT: KABC-TV))

OSG High: Louisiana Coach Arrested For Underage Sex, Exposing Student To AIDS

((HT: WWL-TV))

A New Orleans-area high school track coach is in jail on a million-dollar bond after having sex with an underage boy and knowingly exposing him to the AIDS virus.

Derrick Nesby, only employed a year at HL Bourgeois High, was arrested on one count of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile and one count of intentional exposure to the AIDS virus.

He denies the allegations in a very disturbing story- and, frankly, the HQ thinks the word "disturbing" barely scratches the surface...

Here's the story out of Terrebone Parish

The disgust in the HQ right now is pretty deep...

Storytelling At Its Finest: Dominic Moore's Road Back...

((HT: ESPN))

The story of the return of the New York Rangers' Dominic Moore is heartbreaking and encouraging as to the core of all of us...

Jeremy Schaap and Rich Ackerman get the credit on E:60


The fact that Moore got the game-winner last night to move the team to the Stanley Cup Finals is even more awesome.

DEVELOPING: More Owner+Player Reax From NPSL Pensacola City FC Fold

After reaching out to players and the front office personnel, we're getting more details about the situation at Pensacola City FC after owner Bill Fetke decided to fold the franchise yesterday- blaming his relationship with the city and bringing forward issues with player behavior.

Fitke responded to follow-up questions from OSG Sports early Friday morning:

All the teams in the conference and the commissioner have been in contact with me. As far as the players go, it is not a good situation, being terminated/let go is a part of business. I do feel for them, and actually, I had lots of tears while I addressed them today. If they were not playing for me this summer, most would have found a way home. Some are truly stuck, and I feel bad for them. I remember them playing hung over or not putting forth an effort in training or matches or not willing to go to practice, then I have to say to myself, they didn't care about me and the investment I made on them. At the end of the day, this is a business, and when employees do not do their job, they get fired. Businesses close everyday, people lose their job everyday. This is not what I envisioned when I started this, but what entrepreneur plans on going out of business. But the players were a small piece of the problem, the city of Pensacola and lack of support from the community these last couple years were a bigger part of the problem.

For the record, I had nothing to do with the players getting kicked out of the apartments. I have no control over where they lived. They stayed with local players. So local players are the ones who kicked out their teammates.

Responding to our desire for player comment was defender Joe-Tyla Butcher:

When I arrived the training field didn't even have goals, and was in shocking condition. A joke compared to last years facilities, what makes me laugh is that I was told it was urgent to come down here and even skipped walking at my graduation so that I could be here in time for the first game. yet I arrive and the training field doesn't even have goals, I should have known from there it was going to be a joke. Secondly I had been messaged by a few of the players saying that the coach was unorthodox and not very good, but whatever I gave it the benefit of the doubt, I got here and in all fairness Gary Hindley is a very nice guy, but in soccer terms he was totally out of his depth in my opinion, we did the same drills every day, possession then a scrimmage, I did more advanced sessions when I was ten years old, he played players out of position, seemed to have no tactical knowledge of the game at all, a huge contrast to last years coach Neto(Knoxville force coach) who is probably the best footballing coach I have met out here. A lot of the players quickly became unmotivated and actually considered quitting but we all stuck around as we had made a commitment to bill, coach gary and the team.

Anyways yesterday we get a text, no training. team meeting at the stadium at one, bring all your equipment, and that is when we were told the team would be folding, apparently the players didn't care enough and went out every night before games (false information) I know for a fact none of the boys went out before the Knoxville or Chattanooga games, perhaps the reason for players being tired is they were asked to play two 90 minute games within 24 hours of each other, putting almost an identical line up to the first game out (tactical knowledge hint hint) and I forgot to mention that the second game was scheduled at 1pm in 95 degree heat against the best team in the league, some good management right there. Then to top it all off the assistant coach Don Maples (just as hopeless) goes on his personal facebook after shaking all our hands and sympathizing with us at the meeting saying that it was the players fault the team broke down, two faced… perhaps he should stick to coaching u15 girls in Tennessee.

But the part that is most a joke is that all these players were brought down here, id say at least 80% of the players are international, the messed up thing is all of our food and bills were being paid for, so nobody has worked in preparation for this summer, everyone is working on limited funds. And we the team gets folded ay 28th, rent for next month is due June 1st with none of us having worked or any way to pay for it, effectively not only leaving the players without a team for the summer, but potentially with out housing or money to buy foods. Now everyone is frantically contacting their parents and other teams trying to sort something out for themselves, some of the American boys have already left. The thing that gets to me the most is that one of our players got hurt in a reserve game, went away in an ambulance, he was scheduled to have an MRI the day the team gets folded, and guess what still no MRI, the owner says that he will pay for his MRI but has told him, I don't care if you don't have the money or a place to stay its not his problem anymore. Bearing in mind this lad is an international, hasn't worked or saved up money and was fully expecting to be supported by the club for this whole summer, I think its extremely f**ked up to be honest. Now he will in a few days not have a place to stay, is also injured and on crutches, possibly out for his college season as well, the least they could do is support the agreement they made all of us which was to house and give meals to the players until the end of the season July 4th.


Adding to that is the comments goalkeeper Steven Hermosa who sent word to the Gulf Coast Armada supporter's group...

From the Armada Twitter:

Also, Bill's comment about players not wanting to "waste gas" in order to train in perdido was questionable. I have no record of anyone saying that but most of the players rely on just a few cars for transportation. Bill changed the scheduled training times the day of- so those with cars had made plans according to the original schedule and couldn't just switch around to switch bill's schedule because he was unprepared.

OSG Sports is still waiting for any kind of public comment from NPSL Commissioner Michael Hitchcock as this continues to play out in the soccer media.

Not Your Average Ordinary Bicycle Kick

((HT: FC Tucson their own selves))

Odaine Sinclair did this against for the USL PDL side against BYU the other night
And it is awesome!!!


See...???

Told ya...

Rangers Advance To Stanley Cup Finals For First Time In 20 Years

((HT: NHL.com/NBCSN))

And our man-crush on Doc Emrick manifested itself last night once again...


Now, the Rangers wait for (hopefully for them) a seven-game series between Los Angeles and Chicago.
Game 6 is tonight in Los Angeles

Do Not Joust With Gregg Popovich

((HT: SI.com/cjzerovids))

This happened after the Spurs-Thunder game last night when asked to explain the blowouts in the five games so far in the series...


DO NOT MESS WITH THIS MAN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE UNLESS YOU WANT THE HORNS, JUNIOR...!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mental Incapacitation Gives Sterling Trust Green Light With Ballmer

((HT: MyFoxLA))

From Ramona Shelburne at ESPN again:

Espn has learned that experts had declared Donald Sterling mentally incapacitated, leaving Shelly as sole trustee & power to sell the team

That way, Shelly Sterling didn't need anything resembling her husband's permission to negotiate a deal.

Here's the early thoughts on the deal heading to the NBA office
Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

The next move is Donald Sterling's, but he'll have to go after his wife first before chasing the NBA.

From James Rainey, Andrea Chang, and Chris O'Brien:

Bobby Samini, an attorney for co-owner Donald Sterling, said as he left Sterling's home: "There's been no sale. There can be no sale without Donald's signature."

Ah, the layers...

BREAKING: NPSL Pensacola City FC Update- Front Office + Gulf Coast Armada Respond

Here's Part One in the responses involved with the folding of Pensacola FC

OSG Sports has caught up with PCFC's Bill Fetke, who released this statement:

It is not one thing that happened. It has been a progression of negative issues that when looked at as a whole, made us determine that it is just not worth the headache. I am embarrassed to quit mid-season, but why waste the extra money when we knew we were going to quit at the end of the season.

Fetke then referenced the Pensacola FC news from earlier this week

On top of this, the players refused to train yesterday because they felt the practice field I secured was too far away (30 min for most) and they didn't want to "waste" gas. I had enough and everyone wins and I lose. On top of that, people just didn't care to come to the matches. We had a reserve match Saturday vs the local adult league, none of them stayed. The youth players don't come, even when I was part of the biggest youth club last season. So I was asked, "why are you doing this?" I responded "passion". To which the response was at some point in time, you need to cross over the line from passion to logic.

So that is where I am at today.


Then, the HQ asked about the notions that international players (or non-Pensacola/Mobile based players) are, in effect, stranded with bills that need to be paid without a way back to their respective homes, and if the NPSL league office has been in contact about the situation.

OSG Sports is awaiting that answer...

Abram Chamberlain of the Gulf Coast Armada supporter's group answered our inquiry as well:

The end result of not even reaching the end is inexcusable. Season ticket holders have no idea if there will be refunds. More than anything we are furious about the treatment of our players. There are rumors flying of players stuck with no place to live and no way home. Rumors of broken promises to our boys. To say we are disappointed in ending this way is an understatement."

We still have feelers out to players (now ex-players) and the league and will continue to update as we can...

As for highlights, here's the end of the PCFC-Rocket City FC match- a match that ended in a 1-1 draw earlier this season
((HT: Rocket City FC))

BREAKING NPSL Update: Pensacola FC Folds, Looks Really Bad (UPDATED w/Early Conversation)

A severely odd situation going on in Pensacola as the Pensacola City FC team is now over, done, and gone only a handful of games into the season.

It seems to have started with this post on the website Monday:

The City of Pensacola has just informed PCFC that Legion Field will be undergoing aeration. Therefor the city has transplanted us to Magee Field on MLK Drive. First off, we have no issue with moving. Magee field was nicely constructed and we would have felt privileged to play on that field, except we can’t. The city says they are not allowed to move the removable baseball fences that go well to cover half of our playing surface, and I do not think the neighbors behind the goals would appreciate us hitting their houses for two hours everyday, as the fence is low and there are no nets. So we are only allowed to use a 40×60 yd playing surface. Anyone who has half a brain knows soccer is not played that way.

This is the type of idiocy we all have come to hate about the City of Pensacola. As of this moment, I regrettable have made a decision to boycott businesses in the city limits. My money given to those businesses get sent to the city in form of taxes and license fees. We will not support a dysfunctional city like Pensacola anymore. I am sorry to each business owner, as you all are great people trying to make a difference, but I will no longer indirectly support the city.


There was a subsequent post Wednesday that sounded positive as the city wanted practice times for the team at its new location, but things seem to have blown up and the team is no more.

Here, for the record, was the walk-out for their game against Rocket City FC two weeks ago...


OSG Sports is working on reaction from the community, players, team, and the league...

More when we know more...
It promises to have colorful language...

PM UPDATE: Following the conversations on Twitter, it seems to be a really bad situation for the roster. Word coming from the supporters at the Gulf Coast Armada have this going on:

Apparently PCFC players were exiled from apartments w no ticket home. Players are stuck wo a...

to go. Forget the SG, forget the season ticket holders, that is fucked up. Any suggestions as to what we can do for them? Raw deal or not...

team or not, we support these players. Just not sure what we can do for them. #ShipWithoutAPort


And from defender Joe Butcher's Twitter:

local players aren't affected, we were treated as sacked players and told it was out responsibility to get

home, when 75% are international and gave up work, going home, and others teams to go here and are now left

with no team and limited funds 3 says before the rent/bills are due on the appartments we are put up in


Donald Sterling Surely Will Be Talking About Rich DeVos (Or First)

((HT: MLive.com))

The HQ is working two tracks here

In addition to the James Rainey piece in the Times about the high bidder that may or may not get the team, reports are that the NBA will hold off on their vote to get rid of Clippers owner Donald Sterling as boss if the Sterlings can agree on the sale and the sale price.

And that's the rub in all of this...

Donald Sterling is looking to make sure that he goes down swinging- at least at this hour.

He was still planning on a lawsuit against the NBA and wants to vet the other NBA owners who he and his attorneys feel have said worse things publicly than he did in private.

The big hook seems to be Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos an his comments about the gay community. In a 2009 interview with the Grand Rapids Press, reporter Chris Knape talked to DeVos around the 50th anniversary of DeVos' Amway Corporation.
Sterling notes DeVos in his missive to the NBA earlier this week that DeVos "has made highly controversial comments against individuals with HIV/AIDS and generously supports anti-homosexual causes with impugnity (sic)." Shandra Martinez over at MLive talks about the interview in depth hyah.

Report: Clippers To Be Sold To Former Microsoft CEO, Price Agreed To But Will He Sell? (UPDATED)

((ht: latimes.com))

We will start this story by saying this: While the LA Times is certainly a credible news organization, and we believe this report to be true because it makes sense, don't assume it's a done deal.

The Los Angeles Times reports that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has won the bidding war for Donald Sterling's Los Angeles Clippers.

The price: $1.8 billion....

Yes, that's right, $1.8 billion for a team that 20-years ago was the laughingstock of the NBA.

Ballmer's bid was the highest among the groups that made offers to Donald Sterling's wife Shelly.

Read more from the LA Times RIGHT HERE

Now...this report is tempered by the fact that depending on what time it is, Donald Sterling will say it's up to him to sell the team, he doesn't want to sell, he wants to fight the NBA.

And maybe he will. It's no secret Sterling will do things just to piss people off and he may do that here.

But how do you pass up $1.8 billion?

When it comes down to it, we don't think he will pass it up. But he will make the NBA, commissioner Adam Silver, the players and pretty much everyone else sweat while he takes his time making up his mind.

So there's that...

PM UPDATE: The LA Times Andrea Chang is hanging out outside the Sterling mansion right now and has reaction from Donald Sterling's attorney on her Twitter feed...

Sterling's lawyer just told me, in Sterling's driveway, "My belief is he will not sell this team."

Donald Sterling refused to come to the door of his home, but I could hear him holler, "How could she have the nerve to come here?"


Sharon Terlep over at the Wall Street Journal has the conditions of the sale for Sterling:

In order for the NBA to sign off on a sale, as it is required to, the league wants Mr. Sterling agree to several provisions: to not sue the league, to pay a $2.5 million fine levied by the league and to accept a lifetime ban imposed by the league.

2100 UPDATE: Ramona Shelburne is reporting that there is a "signed, binding agreement between Ballmer and the Sterling Family Trust" and that "the agreement is going straight to the NBA for final approval"

Still awaiting the reaction from Donald Sterling, though...

College Football Stadium Site Moved Because Of Eagles

((HT: WSB-TV))

Berry College is in the process of adding a new football stadium to their facilities to go with their burgeoning football program in NCAA Division III.

Here's a piece the HQ did on the Reinhardt and Berry College programs in Year One


They started thinking about building their own barn on campus, had Valhalla all picked out, but got visitors- bald eagles.
They put up a webcam to show everyone the eagles as they net- and it ended up with over 17-million views
You can still check it out hyah

The school is thinking discretion and moving across the street is the better idea...

Here's Fred Blankenship with some web cam video of the eagles...
"We didn't see the eagles coming," commented Berry President Steve Briggs. "But they certainly knew what they were looking for in a college. It would be difficult to find a more fitting home for a pair of nesting bald eagles than Berry's amazing campus. The eagles epitomize this place— both its uncommon beauty and its educational opportunity." So, the Eagles win and the Vikings get more room for their new barn.

Opening Statements In Bryan Stow Case

((HT: NBC Los Angeles))

You had to get through a six-page written questionnaire, but 16 jurors were selected, eight men and eight women, to hear the Bryan Stow civil case against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Frank McCourt.

Stow suffered brain damage in the Opening Day 2011 beating at Dodger Stadium and is permanently disabled.
His lawyers say his lifetime care could cost $50 million and he will not testify in the case.

Patrick Healy is outside the courtroom


Four of the 16 will become alternate jurors, but the panelists will not know until the end of the trial which 12 will actually deliberate on the Stow case and deliver a verdict.

The Dodgers maintain that the security force they had at the Giants-Dodgers game was one of the biggest they ever had and that the responsibility for the acts of that day rest with Stow for wearing his Giants gear and two Dodger fans who beat him on that day.

Hang On A Sec, I Gotta Grab This...

((HT:milb.com))

Take you to Norfolk for this one...

Ivan DeJesus hit a home run the other night, but it's not the shot to left-center we're talking about
Just watch in the picnic area


Must have been one important phone call...

Kings And Blackhawks Go For A 5th Period In Game 5

The HQ had a feeling that the game would either be 13-11 (after the Montreal-Rangers street fight the night before) or was going to be a game where Corey Crawford and Jonathan Quick were going to be on their heads...

Actually it was a little of both...

The Kings were down 2-0 after four minutes and 3-1 in the second period. But the Blackhawks let them back in the game- not rattled by early returns- and went deep into the night with an unlikely hero.

Chantal McCabe talks us through the highlights
((HT: NHL.com))


The larger questions in America 6 Friday will be around the Hawks Patrick Kane and wondering if his Game 5 efforts were just a one-shot deal or not and will Corey Crawford still look a step late on some instances when the Kings have the puck in traffic.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sterlings Working Both Sides Of The Street: Donald Looks To Sue, Shelly Looks To Sell

((HT: KTLA-TV/ESPNLA))

First, from KTLA's Christina Pascucci, via her Twitter:

#EXCLUSIVE #BREAKING I've learned #DonaldSterling plans to sue @NBA and will likely file suit by end of week

Filed through his attorneys, Blecher, Collins, Pepperman, and Joye the complaint involves the desire for a jury trial on a complaint of "Violations for Denial of Constitutional Rights, Breach of Contract, Antitrust Violations, Conversion, and Breach of Fiduciary Duty" whatever all that means...

At the same time, Shelly Sterling is looking to have all letters of intent in house by the end of business eastern time today and is ready to have Bank of America vet all serious bidders by the end of Thursday.

The LA Times James Rainey has word that Shelly Sterling's term letter calls for a 100-percent stake for the new owners- apparently, giving the impression that she will not be around. All that despite Donald Sterling's intent to stay owner and fight the NBA and his wife in the battle for ownership.

Getting all this...???

Rainey lists the main four to pay attention to as:

A Guggenheim group that includes Oprah Winfrey, Larry Ellison, and David Geffen
A Grant Hill-involved group that includes Ares Management's Tony Ressler and Tribune chairman Bruce Karsh
The Steve Ballmer group
A group of middle eastern investors

Bill Simmons, via his Twitter, maintains that Guggenheim will announce their intent Thursday, but the larger issue may be that the Sterlings want $300-million non-refundable up front of the purchase. That would be some kitty for lawyers as Donald Sterling (and, possibly, Shelly independently) would be in court.

Here's the Dean with Donald Sterling's initial response to the NBA's point-of-view from last night
((HT: NBC Los Angeles))


And, yes, it is now somewhat official as Ramona Shelburne confirms on her Twitter through Blecher that Donald Sterling has changed his mind since the letter to the NBA was sent a week ago.

Blecher says that "On May 22 that’s what [Sterling] wanted to do. But as time has evolved he’s come to a much more hardline position."

Kelly Tough! JK Is Out Of Radiation Treatment

((HT: Jill Kelly))

This was what awaited Jim Kelly as he exited the hospital today after his radiation treatments came to a close


How cool is that...???

Corey Crawford Being Investigated For Water Bottle Spraying Of Kings Fan

((HT: Sportsnet))

TMZ Sports broke the story about an LA Kings fan and an interaction with Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford...

Corey Wong has filed battery charges on the goalie before he left Staples Center and thinks the bottle had both water and backwash- since he is seeking treatment for an eye irritation.

Hockey Central discusses...

The LAPD is investigating...

And what is it about LA sports teams being exposed to water incidents with fans, anyway...???

Frankly, the HQ thinks that Mr. Wong has too much time on his hands and is taking things a little too seriously at the moment. But that's just us...

Hernandez Pleads Not Guilty In 2012 Drive-By Murders

((HT: MyFoxBoston))

In a session that lasted 20 minutes, former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty to all charges in front of a crowded court room that included family members of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado.

Prosecutors allege that Aaron Hernandez killed the two in a drive-by shooting in 2012. The Suffolk County District Attorney alleges that Hernandez was getting more and more sensitive to people "testing or disrespecting him."

He rolled down the window of his SUV and allegedly told a friend in his SUV:
"I think I got one in the head and one in the chest."

Prosecutors then allege that Hernandez drove the SUV to his cousin's house in Connecticut and left it there. Hernandez attorney Charles Rankin claimed in open court that the state was poisoning the possible jury pool with the proceedings and a "one-sided grand jury proceeding."

Hernandez is still held without bail and will have his next appearance on June 24th.
Here's WHDH-TV's first-half of the noon newscast previewing what was going to happen in court
7News Boston WHDH-TV

All over the paranoia associated with a spilled drink at a Boston-area nightclub

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cobb County Commissioners Approve Braves Paperwork

((HT: 11Alive.com))

Surprising no one, really, the suburban county that is getting the Atlanta Braves and their new ballpark may have slipped paperwork onto their website for only a day's review before the meeting Tuesday night.

And stacked the deck on speakers before putting their ideas to a vote that was going to pass anyway...

And had people tossed from the meeting who wanted to speak, weren't allowed to, and then raised their voices in protest...

It looks like an additional $31-million was added onto the county's responsibilities. If the Braves and the county don't meet their expectations with incoming revenue and revenue streams, then county taxpayers are on the hook for the balance...

Here's team coverage with the Hull Man and Melissa...

Construction starts in late 2014 and the team is set to move into its news digs in 2017

John Moore May Not Be Around For A While

((HT: CBC/NHL))

For this...


The HQ gives PK Subban credit for steering Dale Weise back to the bench since he, probably, couldn't even remember what day of the week it was after the shot to the head...

But John Moore's Dory Funk, Junior impression should get him, at least, a 2-game sit...

What say you...???

Bryan Stow Suing McCourt In Civil Proceeding

((HT: MyFoxLA))

You'll remember that Bryan Stow was a Giants fan who was beaten severely Opening Day of 2011 by Dodgers fans at Dodger Stadium. He spent months in hospital and even more in rehabilitation trying to regain even the simplest of motor functions.

He feels the Dodgers were responsible for not having enough security to protect himself, his friends, and family and has taken the matter to civil court in Los Angeles.

Gigi Graciette is outside the courthouse for the jury selection phase as Stow goes after the McCourts
Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

So Much for A Peaceful Resolution With The Sterlings

((HT: ABC News/USA Today/The Score))

Donald Sterling has issued a 32-page response to the NBA in the league's fight to oust him from being owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. In the 32-page tome, he is basically telling the league to stick it...

Big time...

Sterling's response claims the recording was made illegally in the state of California and therefore is inadmissable in any court proceeding. The morals clause some feel Sterling violated with his words, in Sterling's view, is meant only as an idea that is associated with the operation of a basketball franchise- not words spoken in the home.

Also, Donald Sterling's attorneys feel the fine given to their client is excessive and, if the team is ordered to be sold, the capital gains taxes would be huge and cause an unnecessary strain on the Sterling's finances...

Got all that...???

Shelly Sterling is planning her own response as well...

From Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today:

Shelly Sterling's response, which is being made separate from her husband Donald, was due by midnight (ET) Tuesday after the NBA filed formal charges last week against Donald Sterling, accusing him of damaging the league with racist remarks.

By reasserting her position as the innocent 50% owner, Shelly Sterling is building on her case that she should be able to retain at least some ownership stake in the team. Meanwhile, she is trying to sell a controlling interest in the team after her husband authorized her to sell it on his behalf.


Oh...

Bank of America was being consulted by the Sterlings on a sale...
The HQ wonders if they have a retainer...

Here's the interview Shelly Sterling did with the "Today Show" about her husband's mental state- just as a refresher for the innocent 50-percent owner...
((HT: NBC News))

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

NPSL Western Week 2 Review-Preview: May 23-26

Golden Gates Conference

Sacramento Gold are off and running and only Sonoma County can catch them...

8 games in and the Gold are 6-1-1 and 6 points clear of the Sol. They're also a plus-16 so far. They knocked off both Real San Jose and San Francisco in the last week 1-0 and 2-0. They host Sonoma County in an already-must win situation for the Sol.

CD Aguiluchos, San Jose, and San Francisco are already jockeying for third, fourth, and last only separated by a point.

Here's Stompers goalkeeper Brent Webber keeping them in the game as the only Gold goal was an own goal
((HT: Stompers FC))


The Stompers get the week off. CD goes to Real San Jose on Sunday.

Northwest Conference

It's all Spartans Futbol Club right now... 7 games, 7 wins, and a plus-24 in goal difference. They knocked off Gorge FC 4-0 last week and have a home game against Inter United. Inter has only one win so far and are a minus-13.

Seattle Sporting FC is second, but only have ten points on the year. That could be padded with their game with Gorge FC this weekend. Gorge FC are winless and have a goal difference of minus-17.

Southwest Conference

It's a three-team race with FC Force, the San Diego Flash, and FC Hasental.

Force are in the middle of a four-game homestand and should add another three points to their totals with the game against cellar-dwelling Del Rey City. DRC are winless in nine with a minus-26.

The San Diego Flash are second, four points back with 20, and got a big win over Hasental last weekend 2-1. Brandon Zuniga scored twice in the 46th and 61st minutes. next up for the Flash is a match against FC Santa Clarita who they beat 6-2 back on May 2nd.
((HT: GoProHero3WhiteBS))


Hasental is third at 18 points and can heal some wounds with their game against Temecula Sunday.

NPSL Week 2 Midwest Review-Preview: May 23-26

Central Conference

The Minnesota United Reserves are on top after a home-and-home win and have both FC Bordo and the Quad City Eagles in hot pursuit two points back. Bordo had a draw and a loss in their Minnesota-based two-game road trip against United and Twin Stars. Understandably, Bordo have the week off as do Quad City.

The Twin Stars and Madison 56ers drew at 1 last week and the 56ers take on the last place Eau Claire Aris at Viterbo. Aris play for the first time since a 7-2 loss to Minnesota United Reserves back on the 18th.

Great Lakes East Conference

Two teams have points and two are struggling...

AFC Cleveland knocked off the Cincinnati Saints last week, 5-2, and they have their hands full this weekend with a crossover game with Westfield Select and a home game against Fort Pitt. FC Buffalo lost to Indiana Fire for their first loss of the season and the Fire take the top of the table because of it. FCB start a three-game home stand with a match against Erie Admirals Sunday.

Erie lost to Cincinnati 2-1 last week and host Lansing United before the trip to FCB.

Great Lakes West Conference

Westfield (or the Indiana Fire, whichever you prefer) continues their hot start- undefeated in their first four. But Detroit City FC have a game in hand and are only a point out of first after their 1-0 over Lansing United.

Detroit City FC captain Josh Rogers scored the only goal of the game on a PK
((HT: Michael Kitchen))


Press Row Sports caught up with DCFC manager Ben Pirmann


Lansing had a win-loss weekend that keeps them in third before they go to Erie Sunday. Cincinnati has a tough weekend with their home game against DCFC before a roadie to Michigan Stars. Stars need points as they're oh-for their first four and a minus-10.

NPSL Southeast Week 2 Review/Preview: May 23-26

South Atlantic Conference

Upward Stars played twice, went 1-1 with a win over FC Carolina and a loss to Gate City, and they get the weekend off. Myrtle Beach Mutiny are second with a game in hand. Their tie with Carolina Railhawks under-23's gave the Hawks their first point of the year.

Myrtle Beach host Gate City this weekend who are a point back. The Railhawks and FC Carolina Discoveries are at the bottom of the table a point apart and get each other at WakeMed #2 Saturday night.

South Central Conference

OKC FC are set to play Joplin Demize this Saturday. OKC are 3-for-3 with 9 points and Joplin are in the group behind at 6. Here's highlights of the first match-up of the two that OKC FC won 1-0 back on the 16th in Joplin.
((HT: Gabriel Hershewe))


Four squads are at 6 points- Tulsa, Joplin, Corinthians, and Dallas City FC

Tulsa hasn't given up a goal all year and are +18 hosting Liverpool. Dallas City FC are set for their return match with BCS Clash- who gave up 13 in their first match-up a few weeks ago. One of the bright spots for DCFC has been Karhim Gattaz- who has one appearance and a hat trick as DC FC are +14 on the season.
((HT: Dallas City FC))


Corinthians are a +9 in goal difference and got 11 on the board themselves against BCS Clash in their 11-1 win.
Here's the highlights
((HT: CFC SA TV))


And postgame with head coach Jon Burklo and CFC's Martin Hansson


Fort Worth played a murderous two-game roadie last week in Joplin and OKC, so they get the week off.

Southeast Conference

Nashville FC is at the top of the table after games against the Georgia Revolution and Silverbacks Reserves.
The Williamson Source has highlights from the second match


OSG Sports caught up with Nashville FC keeper Stephen Lunney:

"It was an amazing weekend. To be through 4 games and sitting top of the table with 10 points is a great position to be in but we know that there is plenty of work still to do. To play 2 games back-to-back and come out of both with wins shows the strength and depth of our squad. We must have used our entire active roster over the course of the weekend.

"Without doubt, the crowd that came out to support us in our inaugural home game was the major talking point of the weekend. To get over 1,800 fans (some of them owners) through the gates for the game was something special and something that I know the players and coaches really appreciated. Hopefully everybody liked what they saw and we can try surpass that figure when we take on Rocket City in Murfreesboro this Saturday."


Rocket City held on 2-1 over Pensacola City FC Friday night.
Here's how that game ended
((HT: Rocket City United))


Chattanooga FC is hanging out at the top of the standings with their New Orleans-Pensacola road trip behind them once and for all. Here's the Pensacola match-up from the Chattahooligans


The Silverbacks Reserves and Jesters play this weekend at Oak Park while the Chattahooligans go to Knoxville to play the Force. The Revs host Pensacola City FC

Sunshine Conference

This one is all Miami United so far as they're 4-for-4 and 7 points clear of Tampa. These two square off at Naimoli this weekend. Jacksonville, after their win over Cape Coral, get the weekend off.

Storm FC and Cape Coral battle at the bottom of the table this weekend.
Here's Storm FC getting their only point this season- their early season draw with Tampa
((HT: Tampa Marauders))

NPSL Week Two Northeast Review/Preview: May 23-26th

Northeast Division

Keystone Conference

GBFC's 2-2 draw with Electric City out them at the top of the table- one point ahead of Junior Lone Star (who play on Wednesday at Pocono Snow). FC Lehigh Valley won their season opener at last place Hershey and go to Electric City as part of the Shock's two-game home stand this week. Hershey visits them on Friday.

Clarkstown is fifth after their win hosting Pocono and they get the weekend off.

Here's Pocono's first goal of the year in their win against Electric City
((HT: J. Spike Rogan))


Mid-Atlantic Conference

DC United, Chesterfield United, and Virginia Beach City FC are all with three points. DCU hosts VBC and Chesterfield and RVA FC have the weekend off. The only other match-up involves ASA Charge hosting Legacy 76 in two of the three teams who didn't get points in their first games of the year.

North Atlantic Conference

Looks like the early separation is with NY Red Bulls U-23's and the Brooklyn Italians...

The Red Bulls win over Rhode Island makes them 3-for-3 with a goal difference of +13. They host the Seacoast United Phantoms who haven't played in two weeks. The Italians have yet another week off to see if there will be anyone closing from behind and if the Red Bulls will keep their distance.

Greater Lowell United host Rhode Island and will try and move up in the standings after losing twice to Red Bulls already this season- to the tune of 11-1. Here's GLUFC's recap of the first loss...


And here's Dallas Donovan's strike for the Reds against the Italians
((HT: RIReds))


With postgame from Donovan as well in his Reds debut...


New York Athletic Club gets their first game under their belt this weekend against the Seacoast United Mariners

ICYMI: Best Catch of a Bat By A Fan: MLB Edition

((ht: hardballtalk.nbcsports.com))

It's not every day you get a good seat, right behind the dugout at a baseball game.

It's even less likely a player will lose control of his bat and send it hurtling towards you.

But that's exactly what happened Monday afternoon in Chicago.

Check out what happened at Comiskey Park after White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers takes a mighty swing--and misses.

The bat goes flying, bounces off the top of the dugout and is snagged by a woman in the first row--one handed, without even flinching.

Well done ma'am...well done..

Video from MLB.com:

Jerry Remy's Son Pleads Guilty To 1st Degree Murder

((HT: MyFoxBoston))

The son of Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy pleaded guilty to the first degree murder of his long-time girlfriend Jennifer Martel. Remy stabbed Martel in their apartment last year, and had pleaded not guilty in the past.

He was arrested for the first time back in August after allegedly pushing Martel into a mirror. He was released on his own recognizance and stabbed Martel to death the following day. First degree murder charges carry a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.

Remy had pleaded guilty to other charges surrounding Martel's death- including assault on a neighbor who tried to intervene, and violating a restraining order Martel had taken out against him.

Here's the plea
Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Two other charges- assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon- were dismissed after Remy’s attorney argued they were covered under the murder charge.

In a statement after his sentencing, Jared Remy said“blame me for this, not my family.”

Congrats On Winning Even Though You Lost

((HT: Sportsnet))

Usually, when the HQ is at a sporting event, we're paying attention to what's going on so we can report what's going on...

Sounds solid, right...???

This happened to Nicolas Mahut after his four set loss in the first round of the French over the weekend...


Solid career move we think...

Monday, May 26, 2014

DEVELOPING: Trotz To Caps, MacLellan To GM

((HT: CSNWashington))

Brian MacLellan was promoted to Senior VP and GM of the Washington Capitals as Barry Trotz is now the new head coach of the franchise.

Trotz was on board with the search and was okay with the MacLellan promotion
Chick Hernandez talks to CSNWashington Caps insider Chuck Gormley


The next set of questions will center around the new relationship between Trotz and Alexander Ovechkin. Ovie had a great scoring year for the Caps, a horrible plus-minus, and an owner who wanted to have a fresh set of eyes for his new head coach.

MacLellan has been with the team since the 2000-01 season.
The HQ would like to know how this qualifies.

The defense and goaltending are issues that needed to be addressed in the off-season and it will be interesting to see how this evolves as we head into the summer. The team has very little cap space at present ($1.198M before the new cap adjustment) and 6 players are under UFA status this season- Halak (who left already to the Islanders), Penner, Stoa, Strachan, Brouillette, and Grabovski.

That knocks a little over 11-million off the books, but how you fill the space will be the interesting moves for Ted Leonsis, MacLellan, and Trotz- who will be working with more money in DC than he ever did in Nashville.

Can Eibar Seal La Liga Promotion In Time?

((HT: Goal.com/Wright))

Here's one for the little guy... hopefully...

Eibar got another home win a few days ago with a win over Deportivo Alaves
((HT: LigaAdelante))


Eibar secured promotion from the Secunda League, but they have one of the smallest stadia in the competitive ranks in La Liga with a gate a little over 5,000. They need to raise almost 2-million Euros by early August to meet all the financial obligations they need to meet- and there are, apparently, a lot of them.

Sid Lowe, over at ESPN.com, has the by-law in question:

According to the law -- Real Decreto 1251/1999, which became applicable to Eibar when they were promoted to the Second Division in the summer and thus took their place in what is formally classified as professional football -- every team has to have a capital equal to 25 percent of the average expenses of all the teams in the Second Division, not including the two clubs with the biggest outgoings and the two clubs with the smallest outgoings in the division.

In theory it is a way of guaranteeing the survival of clubs but in practice, it could cripple Eibar
.

Eibar is operating in the black, but might have to get some big investors (or a lot of little ones) when the shares come out.

Count the HQ in at 50 Euros a piece when available...

I'll Buy That For A $1.60

((HT: ProSoccerTalk/Bonn))

The first thing that popped into the HQ's collective head when we saw the headline was this:
((HT: Orion Pictures))


But, it now comes forward that the former Premier League club Reading is now up for sale for a pound, but there's a catch...

And that's where the HQ lost interest and couldn't handle it with our coffers.
You have to assume the debt which is either 38-million pounds or $64-million. Majority owner Anton Zingarevich is putting up his 51-percent share that also includes paying a 3.2-million pound tax bill to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) pretty quickly.

Reading was relegated from the Premier League after the 12-13 season


They finished just out of the Championship playoff play-in this last season with 71 points and a 7th-place wrap in the table.

Never Forget On Memorial Day: The Story of Bob Kalsu

((HT: ESPN/NFL Films))

The HQ has seen people wish for it to be a happy holiday today and, having family who served in WWII and Korea, who wanted to serve in Vietnam but were too old, we fail to see it as such...

It's a day to remember, be reverent, and never forget why we are a part of the greatest political experiment in the history of this or any other planet.

To remember the day, we choose to re-tell the story of the only active professional football player to die in combat- Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Bob Kalsu


We fail to see why veterans are treated as shabbily as they are and we also fail to see the profound lack of respect they're shown at times as well. It disappoints, but sadly, it's part of our dynamic.

All the HQ asks is that: When you see a vet, someone who is serving, has served, or any of their families give them thanks.

We wouldn't be here without them...and we don't think that's hard to do...

Chris Daniels Catches Up With Michael McCann About Seattle + Clippers

((HT: KING5-TV))

Chris Daniels caught up with sports law guru Michael McCann about the whole Ballmer-Sterling-Seattle to the Clippers idea which really isn't going anywhere, but needs to be addressed because everyone is freaking out about it.

But what this whole dynamic does is bring Hansen-Ballmer to the fore even if they don't get the Clippers. TMZ reporting a meeting before (perhaps) the NBA knew about the dalliance won't sit well in New York City- ever...

There are six groups looking at the Clips including a Grant Hill group and the Ballmer group. But if another NBA team goes on geographic life support or the league wants to expand, they could be in line.

Just nothing in Seattle at present...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Shelly Sterling Met With Steve Ballmer Over Clippers, But Don't Bet On A Move

((HT: Ramona Shelburne/The Score))

Shelburne's Tweet credited TMZ Sports with the news here- which would reinforce a few things from KING5-TV's Chris Daniels conversations in the last month or so...

TMZ reports, however, a concern over a move of the Clippers to Ballmer's home turf of Seattle.

But, Shira Ovide's interview with Ballmer in the Wall Street Journal before his commencement address to students at Southern Cal's Marshall School of Business, pooh-poohs any such idea:

The HQ reversed the two questions Ovide asked Ballmer for the sake of not blowing continuity of copy...

WSJ: So you wouldn’t move the Clippers to Seattle?

Ballmer: If I get interested in the Clippers, it would be for Los Angeles. I don’t work anymore, so I have more geographic flexibility than I did a year, year-and-a half ago. Moving them anywhere else would be value destructive.


WSJ: You’ve tried a couple times to buy an NBA franchise to return a basketball team to Seattle. Are you interested in the Los Angeles Clippers, if the team goes up for sale?

Ballmer: I have nothing definitive to say. Am I right on top of what’s going on there? Absolutely I am. I love basketball, and I’d love to participate at some point in the NBA. If the opportunity is outside of Seattle, so be it. I will learn about any team that comes up for sale at this point.


Re-running Hansen's piece from last month about a possible move, here's the thoughts and they're not all that optimistic for the pacific northwest- and this was last month:
((HT: KING5))

But, remember, any Hansen-Ballmer sniff of the Clippers better go through proper channels with commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA office or the duo could be shut out entirely. Just because Ballmer may meet with Shelly Sterling doesn't mean much for putting them at the front of the line for prospective owners of the team.

For Hansen-Ballmer, their first phone call after securing the meeting with Sterling and her lawyer, Pierce O'Donnell, better have been to New York City if they want to play in the reindeer games down the line.

Basebrawl Over A Stolen Base (?)

Yup...

((HT: MLB.com))


Yunel Escobar, Jonny Gomes, and Sean Rodriguez got ejected as Escobar stole third with a five-run lead...

How would you react...???

DEVELOPING: Beckett Throws No-No Against Phillies, First of 2014

((HT: MLB/TWC Sportsnet))

Let's go to the last out first, since the pitch before, Chase Utley started walking to first on a three-ball count...


Beckett throws the 21st no-hitter in the history of the Dodgers franchise and the first since Hideo Nomo in 1996.

Michael Radano over at mlb.com has some stats on Beckett and his lack of success going into this game:

Beckett, who has one career one-hitter, entered the game 4-12 in his last 20 road starts -- including a 1-1 record in three road starts this year with a 4.32 ERA.

Beckett, whose previous closest call to a no-hitter was 6 2/3 innings against Detroit when he was with Boston on June 4, 2009


After a walk to Marlon Byrd in the second inning, Beckett would go on and retire 21 in a row. He threw 128 pitches, walking 3 and striking out 6. It was the outing in his career with the most pitches thrown- facing 30 batters along the way.

BREAKING: Hunter-Reay Wins Indy 500

((HT: IMS/ESPN on ABC))

An American driver has won the 98th renewal of the Indianapolis 500 in the second closest finish in the history of the event.

Ryan Hunter-Reay gives Andretti Autosport its 3rd win for car owner Michael Andretti in a finish over Helio Castroneves with four racers finishing in the top 6 overall. Andretti admitted RHR ran a perfect last 6 laps for the win and Helio said post-game, laughingly, that it's still a good day when finishing second sucks.

Two drivers who had a shot, James Hinchcliffe and Ed Carpenter, caused the contenders to thin out a little bit with 26 laps to go


And a Townsend Bell crash with ten to go caused a red flag situation with all the debris on the track


After the track was cleared, it came down to Hunter-Reay and Castroneves


The Indy Star's Stephen Holder and Curt Cavin discuss

ICYMI: Jim Nabors Does "Back Home Again in Indiana" for the Last Time

For those who've lost track of the Indianapolis 500, there's a lot of things that have changed since it's heyday in the 1970's and 80's.

Indy Car racing has become pretty much a niche' sport, relegated to the second tier after losing the marketing war to NASCAR.

The 500 itself, it still is a big deal to those in and from Indiana. For the rest of us, it's mostly a curiosity. But hardly the must watch event featuring the Unser's, Andretti's and others from a time long gone by.

But one thing has not changed. At least not since 1972. The constant: Jim Nabors (see Gomer Pyle) singing "Back Home Again in Indiana".

Nabors has performed it 37 times. Number 38 was Sunday May 25th.

There will be no Number 39.

Nabors, who is now 83-years old, is not from Indiana and there are conflicting stories as to how he ended up doing it.

But it is and has been a tradition, one that will never again be quite the same...

Rotherham Up To Championship After PK Win

((HT: Football League))

But the best response comes from Rotherham Manager Steve Evans after a golazo in the second half that squared their League One playoff game at two.

First look at the strike by Alex Revell, his second, to tie the game after being down 2-0 on a strike of Leyton Orient from 25 yards out that was pretty strong on its own. Then, look at Evans and his celebration.


All on the same play...

Manny Gets To Be Manny In Iowa

((HT: Cubs.com))

The HQ couldn't be more pleased to have one of the sport's more colorful characters back in the game.

After not getting much of a chance with the Texas Ranges organization last season, Manny Ramirez is back as a player-coach with the Iowa Cubs. The Iowa Cubs will use Manny as a mentor-hitting coach for the kids and he'll get an occasional AB.

"We are excited to welcome Manny to the Cubs organization and look forward to him working with our young hitters," Cubs GM Theo Epstein said. "Manny is not only one of the best hitters of all time, he is also a dedicated student of hitting and has proven to be a gifted teacher with younger teammates who have worked with him in the batting cage. Behind the scenes, he has always been a tireless worker who is very serious about the craft of hitting. Manny has made real mistakes in the past, but he has owned up to them and moved his life in a positive direction the last couple of years. He is in a really great place right now and wants to share the lessons he's learned along the way. We think he deserves another chance and that our young hitters will benefit from it."

"While Manny is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs' Major League roster, we do think at this stage of his life he's a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young, talented hitters we have in the organization. Manny will coach full-time and play part-time in a limited role that does not take at-bats away from our prospects. If he shows there is still some magic in his bat, perhaps he will find his way to the Major Leagues and help another team, but that is not why he is here. We are thrilled that he wants to work with our young hitters and make a difference."


"I'm at the stage of my life and career where I really want to give something back to the game that I love -- the game that has meant so much to me and done so much for me and my family," Ramirez said. "I know I am nearing the end of my playing days, but I have a lot of knowledge to pass on to the next generation -- both what to do and what not to do. The Cubs have some very talented young hitters, and I would love nothing more than to make a positive impact on their careers. I am passionate about baseball and about hitting, and I have a lot to offer. While I would love to return to the Major Leagues, I leave that in God's hands. My focus will be on working with the young hitters, making sure they don't make the same mistakes I made, and helping the team any way I can."

Sounds like Manny still wants a shot in the bigs...

And Ben Murray had a visit with him the cage to see what's he's up to...


Plus him talking about it


Welcome back, dude...
Good to have you...

Hand Jive Gets Russian Coach Suspended For Final (UPDATED: They Found A Way Around It)

((HT: LVHighlights))

Let's face it...

Russian head coach Oleg Znarok and Swedish head coach Rikard Gronborg had issues with each other in the World Championships and how they were handling their teams in Minsk.

They let each other know it through sign and song...


The outbursts got Znarok a one-game suspension, but the suspension was for today's final game against Finland.

Mikael Backlund's hit against Sergei Plotnikov in the final seconds of the semifinal set both of them off. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) banned Znarok for the throat-slashing gesture seen in the video.

Znarok said after the game that "the Swedish forward was out of order." Gronborg was also suspended for the bronze medal game against the Czechs for "directing foul and profane language" at Znarok.

Ah, coaching...
Especially, on the international level...

SUNDAY UPDATE: It looks like Znarok either communicated with his bench assistant via either cell phone or walkie talkie and celebrated on the ice when the Russians won
((HT: Kukla's Corner))


So much for the enforcement of rules- especially in international competitions

ICYMI: Slash Rocks The Anthem to Start Kings-Blackhawks Playoff Game

This is always cool. Even if "Slash" is 162-years old....

Check out the former Guns and Roses guitarist doing the solo guitar performance of the National Anthem before Saturday night's Game 3 of the Chicago Blackhawks/Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup playoff series...

Really, there is much to be said here other than play the video...and make sure you have the volume on...

Oh, in case you are wondering, the Kings won the game 4-3 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series...

Thanks for sharing the video NHL.com

LSU Gets The Out Off The 3rd Baseman's Face

Haha! This is definitely one way to get an out.

Check out what happened Saturday afternoon, during the LSU vs. Arkansas game at the SEC Baseball tournament in Hoover, AL.

The Razorbacks are at the plate and a pop fly is hit in foul ground just behind 3rd base.

LSU 3rd Baseman Christian Ibarra goes back on the ball, but...well...he must of lost it in the sun.

The ball comes down...and hits Ibarra smack on the face, bounces in the air and is caught by LSU's shortstop Alex Bregman.

And yes, it was an out. A painful out, but an out never the less...

BTW---LSU won the game 11-1 and will play for the SEC Title on Sunday...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

OSG Prem: QP 'R' Back In The League

((HT: beINSports/SkyBet Championship))

It is called the most expensive game in all of soccer...

The winner of the Championship League play-in game gets the third slot in the 2014-15 Premier League and it looked like QPR and Derby County were heading to extra time scoreless...

Until this in the 90th minute...
((HT:SnappyTV))

And Zamora did just that...

Manager Harry Redknapp stayed with Tony Fernandes' squad, who played a man down, and head back to a league where the prevailing thoughts are that the win was worth 120-million pounds worth of television rights, sponsor dollars, and all the other bells and whistles that come with the league...