MLB General

2 years and 9 months in jail for what?

Troy Ellerman, the attorney who leaked grand jury testimony in the BALCO case has agreed to the maximum sentence of 2 years and 9 months in jail. While this is 9 months longer than his plea bargain, prosecutors did reduce his fine from $250,000 to $60,000. Ellerman had also previously gave up his California law license. Ellerman pleaded guilty to allowing Mark Fainaru-Wada to see confidential transcripts.

So the question is, what exactly did Ellerman get out of this? He was a successful attorney when he was hired to defend Victor Conte and now his life is basically ruined. Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams got a book, an SI cover story, and national exposure out of it. Ellerman gets almost 3 years in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison. We guess we shouldn’t feel too sorry for a guy who couldn’t keep his mouth shut and his photocopier off but Mark Fainaru-Wada should be visiting him every week in prison and slipping him some money.


[AP]: BALCO leak agrees to maximum sentence

MLB General

The Full Count: Barry inching closer

The crawl to Aaron continues: Barry Bonds hit no. 751 on Tuesday against the Reds, a first inning blast off Aaron Harang into the right-centerfield seats. The Giants lost the game 7-3, and Bonds made sure to backhand his teammates by saying, “I’m playing pretty good for an old guy. I just wish we were playing better as a team.” That’s our Barry, always making nice. What made this game interesting was that it was the first time in over 30 years in which two players with that many homeruns played in the same game. Bonds (751) and Ken Griffey Jr’s (585) 1,336 homers are the third-most all-time between two players in the same game.

The players might have liked you, but I think you suck. We believe those were the words Rockies’ manager Clint Hurdle used when taking the closer’s job away from Brian Fuentes. Fuentes had already sewn up his third straight selection to the NL All-Star team before blowing four consecutive save opportunities, the first time anyone has done that in almost 20 years. Fuentes was one of the best closers in the league before melting in games against the Blue Jays, Cubs and Astros, with his ERA jumping from 1.89 to 4.17. He probably won’t lose the job permanantely, but Hurdle now plans on using the dreaded “bullpen by committee” approach.

Rookie what we have here Although his name may sound more like a NASCAR driver than a baseball player, Houston rookie Hunter Pence has been tearing it up for the Astros. Pence has been doing it all for Houston, including hitting a walk-off homerun for a 5-4 victory over the Phillies last night. It was the third time during their homestand that an Astro has sent ’em home happy with a game-winning homer. Since being called up on April 28th, the Fort Worth, TX product has hit 10 homeruns with 39 RBI while leading the Astros with a .345 batting average. He’s even outslugging Carlos Lee .590 to .517. He’s also playing a remarkable centerfield, as evidenced by his ridiculous catch off a Ryan Howard shot in the eigth inning. Pence climbed that stupid Tal’s Hill and caught the ball right next to the waiting-to-kill-somebody flagpole, 436 feet from home.

Player of the day: Brad Wilkerson, Rangers. 3-4, 3 HR, 6 RBI in an 8-3 win over the Angels.

Honorable Mention Player(s) of the day: The Kansas City Royals entire starting lineup. The Royals are a team that has never gotten a lot of respect offensively, but when they beat a team, they beat them like they stole something. For the third time in a month, the Royals put a 17 spot on the board –all in home games– by pounding the Mariners 17-3. 21-year-old Billy Butler led the way, driving in six runs by the second inning. The Royals beat the Phillies 17-5 on June 10th and the Cardinals 17-8 on June 14th. They also lost a 17-3 game to Oakland at home on May 10th.

MLB General

The Full Count: Mets’ hot start fading fast

1. Cold at the Wrong Time: The Mets are in the middle of one of their tougher parts to the schedule, and they’ve struggled through it. In June so far they’ve played Arizona, Detroit, Philly, and LA, all teams with winning records, and their record is 2-8 for the month. The Mets started their series against the Dodgers with a 5-3 loss, as Orlando Hernandez had one of his worse starts of the year. The only player that’s been good for the Mets recently is David Wright, who had a four-game homer streak snapped yesterday and has a 13-game hitting streak going. The rest of the team is in a slump, which has allowed the Braves to climb back within two games despite their own struggles. The red-hot Phillies are also only four games back after winning seven of their last ten. The interleague schedule for the Mets doesn’t get any easier, as they travel to Yankee Stadium and then play the Twins and A’s.

2. Surprise Contender: Besides the four elite teams in the American League (the Red Sox, Indians, Angels and Tigers), could anybody guess who has the next best record? Shockingly it’s the Seattle Mariners, who have come out of nowhere with a 34-26 record. Sure, their payroll is over $100 million, but most of that is spent overpaying players like Richie Sexson and Jeff Weaver. The reason why they are winning is an excellent lineup, which has the second-highest batting average in all of baseball and the eighth-most runs scored. Ichiro is tearing it up with a .337 average and is on pace for 232 hits and 46 steals. Catcher Kenji Johjima is batting .330, Raul Ibanez has 41 RBIs, and five players have at least 30 RBIs. Also, their underrated closer, JJ Putz, has been excellent. He has 18 saves in 18 chances, a 1.23 ERA, and a microscopic 0.58 WHIP. The Mariners out-powered Cleveland on Monday in an 8-7 win as Ibanez hit two homers and five RBIs. They are holding off the A’s for second place in the AL West, though Oakland has a winning streak going as well.

3. Bonds finally homers: Barry Bonds came into Monday’s game in a huge slump, with no homers in his last 13 games and one since May 9. He was finally able to reach career homer number 747 though, with a solo shot off Josh Towers of the Blue Jays. Bonds is still struggling though in every area except walks. The nine remaining homers he has to break the record will take him until after the All Star break, unless he heats up. The Giants won 4-3 by the way, with Matt Morris tossing a complete game.

Player of the Day: Carlos Zambrano, Cubs: 8 innings, no earned runs, 8 strikeouts, homerun (2) in a 2-1 win over the Astros.

LA Lakers

Odds and Ends: Isiah Thomas to offer next 10 first round picks for Kobe

Now that Kobe Bryant has officially asked to be traded from the Lakers, the multi-million dollar question is: where to? It’s fairly amusing the fan reaction to the Kobe demand. On on hand, you have Bright Side of the Sun which basically says no way. On the other, you have which is trying to figure out how many players they’d need to ship to LA to even out Kobe’s value/salary. And then you have The 700 Level which is asking whether Philly fans want the prodigal son to return.

Nowitzki for Kobe seems to be the most logical trade. You get superstar for superstar and you could move some minor pieces to make the contracts work out. The only problem is that Mark Cuban is hopelessly in love with Dirk. Kobe just made the pre-draft period 100x more interesting.

In other news…

[Enquirer]: Odds on when Barry will hit 756*…

[Sac Bee]: But when he does, Barry Bonds might not give any memorabilia to the hall of fame. No wonder why everyone hates him.

[Sports By Brooks]: Getting knocked out and practically ruining UFC didn’t stop Chuck Liddell from partying

[AdFreak]: Is ballpark advertising still effective if an outfielder is lying unconscious in front of it?

[Our Book of Scrap]: You can party in Cozumel with the Broncos cheerleaders

All Other Sports

Korea’s former HR king shows his appreciation by dropping his pants for fans

If you thought that the Red Sox players who wore stained socks recently to tribute their star pitcher Curt Schilling were acting stupid, just wait until you get a load of what Lee Man-soo has done.

Man-soo is the former homerun champ in Korea and recently guaranteed that he would run around Manhak Stadium in his boxers if the home team could manage to sell out a game. On Saturday, Man-soo, aka “Hulk”, made good on his promise and humiliated himself in front of 30,400 spectators.

In one of the most unusual moments in Korean baseball history, Lee, 49, now a coach for the first-place SK Wyverns, stepped out of the dugout after the fifth inning _ stripped down to his under-shorts attached with fake buttocks, socks and cleats _ and jogged toward the outfield followed by 20 members of the team’s official fan club.

The bizarre parade continued for about four minutes, with Lee slowly circling the stadium waving his hands to the deafening applause and laughter from the sellout crowd. His face hinted at a mixed sense of amusement and embarrassment.

We’re hoping that this kind of enthusiasm will rub off on the big league bores we have here in the States. Who knows, maybe this will inspire Barry Bonds to strip naked while running the bases after hitting that record breaking long ball. Call us crazy, but we think that Bud Selig and Hank Aaron just might show up for that.


[]: Koreans flock to see baseball’s `Hulk’ fill out underpants
[The Korea Times]: Ex-Homer Champ Runs Around in Shorts

Chicago White Sox

Odds and Ends: White Sox World Series Ring goes for $28k

It’s kind of sad when someone has to sell their World Series ring but hey, thanks to ebay, you can get $28,100 for a ring appraised at $7,950. The ring was put on sale by Tommy Thompson, the catchers coach from the 2005 team. It’s interesting that a Red Sox 2004 World Series ring went for $35,000 last week while a Florida Marlins 1997 World Series ring is unsold at $9,999 with two hours left in the auction. Talk about an indication of the loyalty and passion of the respective fan bases.

In other news…

[USA Today]: Hank Aaron sticks to his “screw Bonds” plans

[Sportsline]: Redskins have to apologize for Portis’ dog fighting is ok comments.

[Yahoo]: Golfer drives his car off a cliff and dies. Seriously.

[SI]: backup LSU QB suspended for trying to sneak into a casino with fake ID.

[Lion in Oil]: Ooops, I accidentally pulled down my shirt to expose more cleavage while pouring a beer on myself.

[Deseret News]: Football, wrestling top sports-injury list

[Parlayer]: VIDEO: Why Sports Reporters Should Carry Breathalizers At All Times

[Our Book of Scrap]: Rays rookie threatens to kill wife

[The Hater Nation]: Raiders Dedicate Season to the Executed

San Francisco Giants

Barry Bonds’ brother would like to be heard

We strongly believe that relatives of athletes should be seen and not heard (see Wilma McNabb) so it comes as no surprise that by opening his mouth, Bobby Bonds Jr. makes us hate Barry Bonds even more.

Hank Aaron does not even want to support Barry. Being a black man going through what he went through in the past and not supporting my brother, it kind of makes me look at him like, ‘Are you serious, brother? Are you serious?’

Cut the steroids out, just look at my brother as a human being. He stole bases, he ran, he caught the ball. It’s so hard to justify what’s going on with baseball and how they’re treating him.

First of all, he’s actually criticizing Hank Aarons? Is this like black on black crime or something? Why should Hank Aaron support a guy breaking his record by cheating? Most athletes will say that records are made to be broken but they hope that it’s done by someone with more talent than them or worked harder, not by someone who has more syringes.

Second, hate to break it to you bro, but Barry Bonds sucks as a human being as well. Yes, that’s right, he ran, he caught the ball, he stole bases… in the past. Now all he is is a roided up mass of muscle waiting for one pitch to knock over the fence. You’re driving a forklift in NJ while Barry is making $15M this year. That’s insane. That’s just completely insane.

[]: Kid Brother Takes His Cuts

MLB General

Didn’t these guys learn anything from "A League of Their Own?"

Apparently the good people over at Maxim do more than just compile sexy spreads of some of the hottest babes under the sun. In fact, according to our sources, their magazines actually have words in them. Who knew? As a result, we did a little hunting of our own and found one of these mysterious “articles” we had been told of, and it turned out to be quite entertaining. So, without further ado, we give to you “Baseball’s Biggest Wuss Bags.”

#10-Mike Piazza, Oakland A’s

#9-Chuck Finley, California Angels

#8-Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants

#7-Vince Coleman, New York Mets

#6-Jose Canseco, The Surreal Life

#5-This guy

#4-John Kruk, Philadelphia Phillies/Baseball Tonight

#3-Mark Prior, Chicago Cubs

#2-Bobby Crosby, Oakland A’s

#1-Carl Pavano, New York Yankees

It’s a pretty accurate list considering that it came from a picture book. Ya know, Playboy might want to consider this concept of using stories in their mag as well.


[]: Baseball’s Biggest Wuss Bags

MLB General

The Full Count: Return of the Rocket

1. He’s (almost) baaaacck: Roger Clemens is back with the team he won two World Series titles with. The Yankees, who have been desperate for starting pitching since the beginning of the season, signed the Rocket in a $28 million deal pro-rated over four months (so he’ll make $18.5 million). While this deal comes as unsurprising, it could have a huge effect on the league this season. When Clemens returns to the mound within the next month or so, the Yankees with have a solid rotation: Clemens, Mussina, Ming-Wang, Pettitte, and Hughes. But since an already old team is adding a 45-year-old pitcher, it also shows the Yankees need a World Series title this year. As Clemens moves from the National League back to the American, he’ll see a rise in ERA from the past two seasons. But with increased run support, he will have a better record than he did with the Astros, and he will help make the Yankees at least competitive with the Red Sox for the division title. I still favor Boston to win it, but Clemens certainly makes the race more interesting.

2. Phenom meets phenom: Barry Bonds didn’t play on Sunday Night Baseball against the Phillies, but the game was still interesting due to a lot of offense and a matchup of young pitchers. The Phillies sent their ace-to-be Cole Hamels to the mound to face the Giants’ Tim Lincecum in his major league debut. Lincecum had lit up the minor leagues for a 0.29 ERA in five starts this year, but he allowed two homers (including a shot to Ryan Howard) and struggled with his control. After four innings and 100 pitches, Lincecum left with 5 runs and 5 walks allowed. Hamels allowed 5 runs as well, but only 3 of them were earned and he had 9 strikeouts. He was credited with the win and improved to 4-1 on the year. Another thing worth noting for the Phillies was the emergence of a new weapon on the basepaths. Pinch-runner Michael Bourn came in on first, stole two bases on two consecutive pitches, then scored on a routine grounder to short that usually would have been an out. The Phillies may only be 14-17, but they certainly have a lot of offensive weapons.

3. Detroit Dominance: The Tigers may have just faced the pitiful Royals over the weekend, but they took advantage of them and extended their winning streak to 7 games. A three-game sweep of Kansas City gave Detroit a share of the division lead with Cleveland. On Sunday they dominated 13-4 and had four different players with a homerun. Gary Sheffield hit his third homer of the past five games and has suddenly heated up after a cold April. Also, rookie pitcher Chad Durbin had one of his better starts with 7.2 innings and just 2 runs allowed. The 19-11 Tigers will be tested with back-to-back road series against the Red Sox and Twins over the next week.

Player of the Day: Trot Nixon, Indians: 5-5, 4 RBIs in a 9-6 win over Baltimore.

Stat of the Day: Padres starter Jake Peavy has struck out at least 10 batters in three consecutive games, while throwing for only seven innings in each game.

Walk Off: An ESPN poll about Barry Bonds shows only 58% of people think he should be in the Hall of Fame. This goes to show the complete unintelligence of baseball fans. Even if you think Bonds cheated in every way possible, he was a Hall of Famer before his alleged steroid use. His is the best hitter in a generation, and should be a unanimous Hall of Fame selection in addition to being considered one of the greatest hitters ever. He has broken more records than anybody since Babe Ruth. Don’t let the crappy person Bonds is diminish his unbelievable numbers.

MLB General

The Full Count: Fun with April Numbers

1. Random Projections: April is now over and some ridiculous stats are in the books. If everything went just like it did in April:

– Alex Rodriguez would hit 99 homers and 239 RBIs.
– Josh Beckett would go 31-0.
– Francisco Cordero and Jose Valverde would each have 65 saves.
– Matt Holliday would have 262 hits.
– Jose Reyes would steal 115 bases.
– Kelly Johnson would have more walks than Barry Bonds.
– Bonds would hit 58 homers in only 429 at-bats.
– Vicente Padilla would go 0-24.

2. Complete Dominance: Only three starts after a 10-inning complete game, Roy Halladay was back in domination mode against the Rangers. He threw a complete-game, allowed just one run, and struck out 8. The Blue Jays gave Halladay plenty of support for the win, and now he’s 4-0. If there’s anything this Cy Young candidate has to be concerned about, it’s lasting through the season: he’s thrown 100 or more pitches in five of his six starts. After the 6-1 win, the Jays are 13-12 and in second place in the AL East.

3. Another Webb Gem: Defending Cy Young winner Brandon Webb was shaky his first three starts, but now he’s settled down into his usual dominant self. His last three outings have all been quality starts, including a 7-inning, one-run effort on Monday. Webb, backed by the Diamondbacks’ offense, helped the team move into first place as they beat the Dodgers. The 9-1 rout featured hits from nine players and RBIs from seven. Chris Young hit two homers as Dodgers starter Randy Wolf had another tough outing.

4. Not slowing down: The Brewers haven’t showed any signs of decline after taking the NL Central division lead earlier this year. On Monday, they crushed the three-time defending division champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals were playing in their first game after pitcher Josh Hancock’s death. But usually tragic events like that make a team stronger, and that certainly wasn’t the case against the Brewers. Milwaukee won 7-1, thanks to a complete-game by Jeff Suppan, who has won four starts in a row. On offense Prince Fielder hit his 6th long ball of the year as they tagged Cards starter Kip Wells for seven runs. The 16-9 Brewers are now tied with the Braves for the best record in the National League.

Player of the Day: Roy Halladay, Blue Jays: 9 innings, one run, no walks, 8 strikeouts in a 6-1 win over Texas.