Desperately looking for answers in yet another season that has seen them fall far out of contention, the Kansas City Royals announced today that they have decided to fire the team's pitching mound.
With the firing, the pitcher's mound is the first to one to be fired in the 2010 Major League Baseball Season. It is also the first pitcher's mound to ever be fired in the history of baseball.
“I love the pitcher's mound, I do. It's part of our team and has been for a long time,” said Royals General Manager Dayton Moore. “Obviously, it was a very difficult decision, but at the end of the day we’ve got to do what's best for our team.”
Added Moore: "We just don't want any of our guys pitching off that thing anymore."
Though Zack Grienke had an ERA of 2.16 pitching from the mound last year, most Royals pitchers have struggled to find any success on it, mounting a collective 5.16 ERA on the season. Royals manager Ned Yost explained that the pitchers were making all the right motions and throwing the ball as hard at they could. He insisted there is no way a group of major league pitchers could be that bad without something else coming into play.
"We had to pinpoint the problem. How is that our team constantly struggles to get hits but also can't keep the opponent's runners off the bases?" said Yost. "I was hired to make this team better. And the possible negative effect of the mound is something that immediately stood out."
The players in the locker room did not seem too affected by the news of the mound's fate.
"It's a pile of dirt. I guess I never really thought about it as a thing before," first baseman Billy Butler told reporters. "I'll miss running up one side of it and down the other when running off the field. That was always fun."
The Royals' pitcher's mound, which debuted at Kauffman Stadium in 1973, has an all-time record of 1561-1820. A giant tortoise shell will assume the role of pitcher's mound until the front office makes any further decisions.
Said Royals pitching coach Bob McClure of the mound's firing: "Whew! I barely escaped this time."
Veteran right fielder PedroCerranoannounced his retirement after 19 seasons with the South Carolina Buzz, the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, at a news conference this morning.
Cerrano, a 1989 Rookie of the Year candidate who struggled in several attempts at a comeback, announced his decision in front of members of the press, several former teammates including Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn, Willy Mays Hayes, and Jake Taylor, Indians owner Roger Dorn, and three die-hard Indians fans.
The 47-year-old spent two Major League seasons with the Cleveland Indians and retires with 32 lifetime homeruns and a career .219 batting average. With his big league days considerably behind him,Cerranoclaims he no longer has the energy to keep trying to hit curveballs.
"No more baseball for me," saidCerrano, who pounded his chest and performed a lengthy Voodoo ritual that involved a black hood, snake, and a small, terrifying doll named Jobu.
The announcement did not surprise many people asCerranohas not been able to earn a spot on a major league team since he defected from Cuba for religious freedom in 1989 and impressed Indians scouts that same year. It was in Cleveland where he won the American League pennant as the team’s starting right fielder. In his first year alone,Cerranofinished in the top five in homers, RBIs, slugging percentage and earned the nickname the Cuban Crusher from adoring fans.
He was also a member of the Indians’ 1990 World Series team, although it remains unclear if they won that or not.
Cerranomade his mark on the game as much with his odd personality as with his contributions to the teams on which he played. He became the first Voodoo follower in the majors, as well as the first openly Buddhist baseball player though his religion quickly switched back to Voodooism when his competitiveness wore off.
Despite a career that spanned two decades,Cerranois most known for the time when he attempted to save a pigeon he hit with a fly ball rather than run the bases. This act, though compassionate, cost the Indians their first game of the 1990 season. When asked to comment on this now legendary event,Cerranosaid nothing and sacrificed a chicken.
Cerrano put up impressive power numbers in the minors, but his average always hovered around .200 and with his path blocked by younger prospects, he was kept on the farm to sell tickets.
The Indians had offered Cerrano a one-day contract to retire with Cleveland, but he turned them down yesterday, reportedly telling Indians general manager Mark Shapiro: "You no give me job when I needed one? I say fk you, Cleveland."
"It was an honor to play along side him, and everyone wishes him the best," said Mays Hayes, who, according those in attendance at the press conference, looked completely different than the last time anyone saw him.
NFL Commissioner RogerGoodellheld a press conference Wednesday to reiterate his strict stance on violations of the NFL conduct policy, adding emphasis on making sure players do not "get caught up in dumbass fucked up bullshit."
After recent incidents involving NFL players Ben Roethlisberger, Santonio Holmes, and Antonio Cromartie,Goodellsaid he felt it was important to remind the league about possible suspensions and even expulsions for involvement in behavior that could be construed as "ridiculously stupid," "fucking mindless," and "just straight up dumb."
"As a member of the NFL, you are held to a higher standard and expected to conduct yourself in a way that is responsible and represents the league in positive way," saidGoodell. "Don't be a fucking moron. Use your goddamn brain."
Goodellcontinued by adding that no action by a member of the NFL should make people shake their heads in disgust, slap their foreheads, or want to call their local sports radio show to go on a swear-filled rant.
Despite recent allegations, a report from CBS Sportssays arrests, major citations, meat-headed fuck-ups for NFL players are down by nearly 50-percent in the past year compared to the year beforeGoodellimplemented his policy in April 2007.
According to the report, 28% of player arrests are DUIs, 22% involves fighting and disorderly conduct, and the other 50% are the stupidest fucking bullshit that even a two-year-old would know not to do.
When asked to address the sexual assault allegations against Ben Roethlisberger,Goodellsaid, "The issue is [Roethlisberger] has had a pattern of poor behavior, and I will take it into consideration when deciding on a punishment. Every player in the league, every coach, and every associate most be held accountable in upholding these standards."
AddedGoodell: "Just doing be a fucking twat, okay?"
After demolishing Texas Stadium in front of crowd of thousands of cheering spectators, the demolition crew was so inspired by the passion and enthusiasm of the fans that they hastily rigged up explosives to the nearby $1.15 billion dollarCowboysStadium and imploded that as well.
"As far as implosions go, this was a huge success," said a giddy demolition crew chief Gerald Hearst, who struggled to hold back his happiness. "Usually we just blow up one thing and leave. But the crowd really wanted it this time. It felt like I was in a band and the crowd was demanding an encore."
A crowd of 20,000 gathered to witness the destruction, many of whom drove from Irving to Arlington to see the second explosion, calling more friends to join them along the way.
CowboysStadium, the now former home of the DallasCowboys, opened in 2009 and theCowboysplayed there until the end of the 2009 season, including one post-season apperance. It was a piece of Texas football history, playing host to such momentous events as theCowboys' 37-21 victory over the Falcons in Week 5 of last season and theCowboys' 38-17 victory over the Seahawks in Week 6 of last season.
"I wasn't expecting it to be so emotional," Harold Keynes, an onlooker and lifetimeCowboysfan, said to reporters. "And I definitely wasn't expecting them to blow up two stadiums in a row."
Added Keynes: "I'm really glad they did, though. It was awesome."
Thousands of pounds of dynamite were used in the initial explosion, and another several thousands of pounds that reportedly just happened to be lying around were also used in the second explosion.
"Seeing Texas Stadium go was like saying goodbye to an old friend," formerCowboyscheerleader Cindy Grainger told reporters. "SeeingCowboysStadium go was like saying goodbye to that kid in your class who you never really knew to but you always thought you'd get along if you did actually talk to each other."
"Yeah! Fk the Cowboys!" said an Eagles fan who was in Dallas on business. "This is the greatest day of my life!"
Following the two major blasts, the demolition crew salvaged enough pounds of dynamite to blow up other arenas in Texas, including American Airlines Center, Minute Maid Park, whatever it's called where the Houston Texans play, and the Alamo.
Not a single member of the media, PGA tour, or crowds of fans at the Augusta National Golf Club has made mention of the fact that three-times Major winner ErnieElsarrived Sunday morning in a wheel chair, baring several scars on his face and what appears to be an artificial left hand.
Elshas not played in a tournament round since an unexplained incident last week. Though members of the media were permitted on the property, none had enough free time to show up to the press conference called byElswhere he promised to announce his decision to play through his physical handicap and to explain the origin of his ravaged condition.
"Um, hello?"Elssaid to an empty room of just chairs. "Could somebody please help me?"
Elswas left on the stage of the press conference for several hours Sunday night, only to be discovered in the dark the next morning by the building's custodial staff.
Fellow pros David Duval and Vijay Singh were scheduled to joinElsin his first public round on Monday, though both toldElsthey had gotten "swamped" in the last minute. Upon his arrival to the first hole,Elswas forced to show several forms of identification to a security guard who eventually let him play only because he saw a white SUV pulling up in the distance and wanted to "check it out."
During his practice round,Elseventually caught up with fellow player Mark O'Meara on the eighth hole. On seeing his good friend ErnieElsconfined to a wheelchair, O'Meara said: "It was good to see Tiger. I care about him and his family deeply."
Elsplayed his opening round of the tournament withAnthony Kim and Ryo Ishikawa on Thursday, though neither of the two players could confirm this or who ErnieElsis. Kim told reporters last week that he will not talk to Woods about his personal life. He did not mention anything about ErnieEls.
According to PGA officials, no montages featuringElshave been planned.
Several Boston Red Sox players believe that Yankees ace CCSabathiawas doctoring the ball with potato chip grease during Sunday's opener at Fenway Park.
"It was so obvious he was doing it." said Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "The ball was all shiny and it was darting all around in the early innings. Every time I took a ball it smelled like salt and vinegar flying by."
Sabathia only allowed one run in the first four innings, prompting Boston manager Terry Francona to ask the home plate umpire to check him for delicious treats. Umpire Joe West instead warned Sabathia, and cameras between innings showed the pitcher downing various items chips, cookies, cupcakes, leg of lamb that he appeared to have had stowed in his uniform.
In the fifth Sabathia yielded another run before getting rocked in the sixth inning on the way to a Yankee loss.
"Once all the chip grease was off his fingers, we took it to him," said Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis. "He couldn't make the ball move the same way. Plus, I think he was hungry and depressed."
But Boston hitters saySabathiawas not just guilty of using potato chip grease. Some pointed out traces of caramel, nougat, and Oreo cookie crumbs left behind on their bats.This is not the first timeSabathiahas been linked to performance-enhancing substances. Last season, several empty boxes of Vienna Fingers were found in his locker room.
Major League Baseball plans to investigate, according to spokesman Rich Levin, saying the issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Levin affirmed that no foreign substance will be tolerated, whether it be salty or savory.
"Maybe it looked like potato chip grease, but I swear I don't keep any of that stuff on the field or in the pockets of my uniform," saidSabathiaduring a press conference. "It was probably just sweat. I sweat a lot."
Addressing the dark, chocolatey stains around his mouth,Sabathiatold reporters they were "just a birthmark" and then licked it away.
Upsets dominated the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. But the true result was much more grave than some dashed title hopes, as it is now being reported that Adam Randolph, a college basketball researcher and bracketologist for CBS Sports, sadly took his own life Sunday by jumping from a 10th story window of the CBS Building in Manhattan.
Like many bracketologists, Randolph invested heavily in highly seeded teams and chose top-ranked Kansas to win the championship.In a tournament that still includes an 11-seed, a 12-seed Ivy League school and Northern Iowa, a school that many have never heard of, several bracket experts have seen their reputations take a hit. According to sources, Randolph seemed very upset following the Jayhawks' loss to Northern Iowa, saying "My brackets are totally fked," and "There's no way I can win now. It's all over. I have nothing."
The timeline of events that led to the tragedy are still coming together. But those who saw Randolph in the hours before his fateful leap say he looked haggard and distressed. At 6:41 p.m. Sunday night, the doorman to the CBS Building went outside after hearing a loud thud, only to discover Randolph's body. The doorman quickly informed Randolph's family, who rushed to the spot as soon as the extremely close Texas A&M-Purdue game was over.
Police found a note in his pocket which said that he committed suicide because he unable to live with his "stupid" tournament decisions, including picking Notre Dame to win their first-round game and putting No. 2 seed Villanova, who had been slumping late in the season, in the Final Four.He was found dressed in his favorite Kansas home jersey and was holding a large foam finger and a framed copy of his bracket from 2009, when he had correctly picked North Carolina to win the title. He signed his note with the phrase, "This is not awesome, baby."
Randolph's parents say they are absolutely devastated.
"How does something like this happen?" asked his father, Michael Randolph, a clinical psychologist in Pennsylvania. "Kansas was supposed to be the best team in the tournament."
Just a day before his scheduled spring training debut, sweat-covered Pirates rookie pitcher Brad Lincoln has announced that he forgets if he uses his right hand or left hand to pitch.
"Dammit, which one is it?" Lincoln said to the press, amidst moments of deep thinking and pretending to throw with both arms.
Lincoln began experiencing problems during a fielding drill where he could not find his glove, which, according to Lincoln, would have been a good indicator of which hand he uses to throw. The problem was only exacerbated by the lack of film room or Internet access in the Pirates' Bradenton training facility.
Despite concerns, Lincoln expressed confidence that he would remember his throwing arm within a timetable of four to six hours he had set for himself, claiming that if he thought about other things, it would probably come to him.
Three days later, Lincoln still finds himself unsure.
Since the initial incident, Lincoln has attempted several different methods of recollection. While in the bathroom this morning, Lincoln reportedly searched his arms for the scar left behind by his 2007 Tommy John surgery, but he claimed there were too many spots on his arm and his shoulder he "couldn't really see." Several teammates confirmed that Lincoln tried on their gloves but complained that a glove on either hand felt fine, and neither was as "uncomfortable" or "weird-feeling" as he hoped. Lincoln even toyed with the idea that he's been ambidextrous the whole time but quickly rejected that notion.
"It's not a good situation," said Pirates manager John Russell. "But it's the kind of thing a lot of young pitchers go through. He's just going to get through it on his own."
According to Lincoln, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance helped him to remember which is his right hand, but it did not help him as far as his pitching arm conundrum.
Basketball player Ye Li, the 6'2" wife of 7'6" Rockets centerYaoMing, has given birth to a healthy seven-foot baby girl.
The child was delivered by a team of 95 doctors, nurses, and assistants, as well as a Ford F-150 pickup truck early this morning at the The Woman’s Hospital of Texas in Houston. Li became only the second woman to give birth to baby over 12 pounds, with her child weighing in at 196 pounds, three ounces.
A spokesman for the hospital told reporters that doctors were "extremely proud" and "really fking tired" after the 288-hour labor.
The newborn, named Xiao Hua or "tiny flower", provideda scare after delivery when she stopped breathing, but she was quickly resuscitated by doctors with the help of a sledgehammer and a leaf blower. Doctors are now confident that baby will survive, especially after she showed signs of strength when she crushed a soda can with just one grip.
"It's a beautiful baby girl," said Dr. Sherene Lassen, chief of the department of obstetrics and gynecology, who cared for the mother since the first trimester. "Just a giant beast of a baby. And we couldn't have done it without the help of the large animal veterinarians from the Houston Zoo."
Though the delivery went better than expected, doctors cautioned the baby might still require assistance with breathing and could face additional problems, including a soft spot on her head the size of a softball, sleeping problems due to college scouts and NBA general managers calling at all hours, and being hungry pretty much 24 hours a day.
Dr. Lassen described the mother, who was admitted to hospital eight weeks before the birth and was conscious during most of the delivery, as "very comfortable". Ye Li remains passed out and was unavailable for comment.
During their first practice today with newly-signed teammate Chris Chelios, Atlanta Thrashers teammates expressed feelings of embarrassment over the fatherly passing style of the 48-year-old veteran defenseman.
"I know he means well, but his passes are so soft. Almost effeminate," said 22-year-old right wing Bryan Little. "And then he spends all this time telling us that his way of passing is just as good and effective as the way we do it, more effective even."
Added Little: "It's so humiliating."
Team sources who attended practice say several Alanta players avoidedChelios's passes throughout the two hours on the ice. Thrashers teammates confirmed the reports, claiming they feared being mocked by the rest of the NHL. Several Thrashers players could be seen using several different strategies of disassociating themselves fromChelios, including skating in a huddled group on the other side of the blue line, hanging out behind the far net, and pretending to not be able to hear him on the bench.
Additionally, the players feared scoring on a pass fromChelioswould lead him into one of his outdated celebratory dances his favorites being The Macarena and wild gyrations to "Who Let The Dogs Out?".
"The worst is when he tries to act cool or be funny when he passes," said center Rich Peverley. "He has no idea how stupid he looks, and I'm afraid he's going to hurt himself. He shouldn't be out here with us. I guess he doesn't have any friends his own age. I hope I'm not like that when I'm old."
Despite the obvious awkwardness in how the Thrashers deal with Chelios,the vet has shown his teammates unconditional support no matter how much they rebel, loudly yelling "You can do it!" and "I believe in you!" from the bench. According to players, this makes them feel even more embarrassed.
ThoughChelioswas not invited out for drinks with the rest of the Thrashers after practice, he offered everyone on the team a ride home in his Ford Taurus, no matter how late they were out.