After almost a month after originally agreeing to a three year deal, the Boston Red Sox and Mike Napoli have agreed to a restructured one year, $5 million deal, according to WEEI.
Napoli and the Red Sox initially agreed to a three year, $39 million deal in early December, but, after a physical, the Red Sox noticed some red flags on Napoli's nagging hip. After more than a month, the team and Napoli agreed to a $5 million deal with bonuses for performance. If Napoli reaches all of his bonuses, the contract could be worth as much as $13 million.
Naapoli is expected to play first base for the Sox with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ross behind the plate. Napoli hit .227 in 417 plate appearances with the Texas Rangers last season, but has had much success playing at Fenway Park. Napoli has a career average of .306 at Fenway Park with a slugging percentage of .710 and a OPS of 1.107.
Texas Rangers pitcher Ryan Dempster announced earlier that he would miss his next start due to personal reasons. It wasn't known what exactly was the reason for the missed start.
Now we know why.
Dempster will not make the trip with the Rangers to Toronto because he lost his passport. According to the Dallas Morning News, he may have lost it years ago since he hasn't pitched in the Great White North since 2004 when he was with the Cubs.
He cannot even travel with the team since he can't make it past customs at the airport.
Now the strange thing about all this is that Dempster is a Canadian born player. Dempster was born in British Columbia, but now he cannot even make it back to his home country.
The struggling Roy Oswalt will make a start in place of Dempster. Oswalt is 4-2 with an ERA of 6.53.
Former New York Yankee Chad Curtis has been charged with a sixth count of second-degree sexual assault of a teen, after a third victim came out against Curtis.
Curtis, 43, had been previously charged with one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Two teens, aged 13-15, had testified that Curtis touched them inappropriately in a room used by the Lakewood High School sports programs that Curtis had been a volunteer for.
The newest victim to come forward also said that she was touched on the schools grounds, like the other victims.
Curtis was supposed to be the Lakewood High School's head football coach, but resigned after the claims came out to light.
Curtis played in the Majors from 1992-2001 for the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, and Cleveland Indians. He is best known for being a member of the Yankees World Series winning teams in 1998 and 1999 and for his walk-off home run in Game 3 of the 1999 World Series against the Atanta Braves.
Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin confirmed to USA Today that the Brewers will indeed trade Greinke before the trade deadline.
The Brewers are in the midst of a disappointing season and are looking to sell after being swept by both the Cincinnati reds and Philadelphia Phillies.
Greinke and the Brewers have not had contract negotiations since Spring Training and he informed the team that he intends to test the free agency waters at the conclusion of this season.
"I don't think Zack is about the money personally,'' Melvin said. "You get a young guy that's , and in my conversations with him, you get a chance to be a free agent one time. You've got to look at that opportunity."
There are concerns that Greinke might not perform well in a big market due to his social anxiety disorder that kept him out most of the 2006 season in Kansas City. He was not shown any signs of relapse or attacks since.
"He's been in a small market here. A small market in Kansas City. He's always said he enjoyed it, but he wants to take a look at everything out there.'' Melvin said.
Greinke is having a great year so far with a record of 9-3 and an ERA of 3.44. The Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are all interested in the 28 year old ace.
The Brewers are also looking at unloading Aramis Ramirez, Randy Wolf, Corey Hart, Francisco Rodriguez, and George Kottaras, who was just designated for assignment by Milwaukee.
With the month of June upon us, it brings around a new summer season and high school graduations. A milestone in the life of a teenager as they now embark on something truly remarkable.
Well, Kirk Gibson doesn't think so.
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson has opted to miss his son Cam's high graduation in Michigan because "You're supposed to graduate."
According to Gibson, Cam's mom and the rest of the family attended his graduation and Cam will meet up with Kirk at some point next week. Cam defended his famous father's decision on Twitter saying, "All these reporters need to stay out of my family business, i knew Dad wouldnt make graduation he has to pay the bills somehow, love you Dad"
It's this kind of demeanor that turned around the Diamondback's fortunes last season. Gibson is a no nonsense manager and a damn good one at that, but you need to show up at your child's graduation. It's a pretty important milestone.
At least the D-Back's got the win against the AL West leading Texas Rangers. So it was all worth it.
Yesterday, we looked at the Central and how the Tigers will most likely run away with the title. Today, we take a look at the mighty, mighty West with the new look Angels and the juggernaut Rangers.
So enough of this palaver, let's get on with the show.
1st- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I was really torn with the decision to pick the Angels over the Rangers, but at the end of the day I just felt that the Angels have a slight edge over the Rangers.
The signing of Albert Pujols helps out this offense exponentially, but the Angels still have underachieving Vernon Wells in the lineup. The Angels also acquired the once future catcher of the Rockies, Chris Iannetta, and is an upgrade over the incumbent Jeff Mathis.
The Angels have the edge over the Rangers in pitching, which could tip the scales in the West. The Halos might very well have the best rotation in the American League and the addition of C.J. Wilson will make them stronger. Wilson, Ervin Santana, Dan Haren, and Jered Weaver have the talent to chop down the high powered Ranger offense.
With pitching like this the pennant is within their grasp, the offense just can't fall on their face.
2nd- Texas Rangers
How will the Rangers fare after their heartbreaking World Series defeat and loss of C.J. Wilson seems to be the biggest questions for the 2012 Rangers. Well, the Rangers still have their offensive power. No major losses in the lineup helps this team compete for a third straight AL West title. Presuming Josh Hamilton's recent problems are not a distraction, the offense will be just fine.
Pitching got a major facelift in the offseason. Wilson leaves so enter Yu Darvish, the Japanese import. Darvish has a ton of talent, but will it translate in the Majors. Dice-K, Nomo, and Irabu all had talent, but seemingly sputtered stateside. Neftali Feliz will convert from closer to starter and I'm not so sure that is a great idea. Why take your great closer and convert him into a starter? Hopefully, it won't blow up in the Rangers face.
3rd- Oakland Athletics
The A's were the surprise team that signed Cuban phenom Yoenis Cespedes and they are hoping he becomes the next big star for the A's. However, they made the eyebrow raising signing of Manny Ramirez.
Ramirez will be nothing but a distraction to this young team and could negatively influence Cespedes. If the movie Moneyball was 100% true, then we know Oakland had a hard time dealing with Jeremy Giambi, so what makes you think ManRam will be any better?
On the pitching side, the rotation is still pretty much intact, save for Gio Gonzalez, and Oakland got their pitching coach, Curt Young, back, so that helps. The loss of Andrew Bailey will hurt, but they still have Grant Balfour who is probably the best pitcher in the Pen.
4th- Seattle Mariners
What to say about the Mariners?
They trade their young pitcher Michael Pineda to the Yankees for Jesus Montero and leave Felix Hernandez as the only competent starter on the team. The offense looks like it will suffer. Ichiro's skills are eroding and Chone Figgins has completely taken a nosedive since leaving Orange County. At least they still have Dustin Ackley.
For Showtime's boxing coverage, they decided to bring on former boxing judge Chuck Giampa and use his vast knowledge of boxing to help fans know how to score fights. Or as Giampa puts it, "taking you inside the mind of a judge".
...and nothing else apparently.
It is a pretty bad performance, but it was his debut, so I guess we can cut him a little slack. So I've decided to compile a list of the worst calls of all time.
#5- Dick Vitale's Improv
A lot of people don't like Dick Vitale, I appear to be in the minority, but even I agree this clip is bad. After Dan Shulman gets knocked over by Duke's Kyle Singler, Dickie V decides to throw in a little improv. Bad idea.
So he's saying its a charge?
It seems like Dick Vitale is just afraid to take control and call the game for just a few moments.
#4- Chip Caray's Basehit Caught
I don't like Chip Caray. Chip is definitely the weak link in his broadcasting family, his father, Skip, was a longtime announcer for the Atlanta Braves, and his grandfather, Harry, was the very popular Chicago Cubs announcer.
Chip continuously gets things wrong and this clip is a perfect example.
The way the ball was hit, it was clear it was going to be an out, but Chip allowed himself to be a fan for a moment and called it a basehit. A hit that would have won the game.
No wonder why the Cubs fired him.
#3- Tim McCarver Can't Count
Tim McCarver has been in the game for a long time. Hard telling why, but he has been there awhile. In Game 1 of the epic 2011 World Series, McCarver makes one of his many blunders by saying the word 'strike' has five letters.
...or as Family Guy sees it
#2- Everything Pam Ward Does
Pam Ward of ESPN gives female broadcasters a bad name. A lot of female announcers do a good job, like Beth Mowins and Doris Burke, but its Pam Ward that ruins all the work they put in.
Here are just some of her fumbles:
"He has thrown three picks, but no interceptions"
When announcing a game in Lexington, she called Lexington "Louisville"
After a punt, she said the fair catch had been caught, but it was rolling down field.
"A 100 yard touchdown return for the touchdown
...and there's many more.
ESPN just needs to cut their losses and let her go.
#1- "Boom Goes The Dynamite"
The only reason that Pam Ward isn't #1 on this list is simply because "Boom Goes The Dynamite".
We continue our Year in Review, albeit a bit late, with our look at the Best Sports Moments 0f 2011.
Abby Wambach Keeps US Hopes Alive With Miracle Goal
Remember in the 2010 World Cup when Landon Donovan's goal lifted the US into the knockout round, only to lose to Ghana, GHANA!, and made Americans care about soccer for a hot minute. Well, Abby Wambach's goal in the 2011 Women's World Cup was perhaps bigger than Donovan's. If not for that goal, the US don't make it to the Finals, where they eventually lose to upstart Japan. This goal does not get nearly enough credit like Donovan's did.
Mavericks Defeat Big Three, Nation Rejoices
The Miami Heat have become the villains of the NBA ever since LeBron and Chris Bosh decided that it would just be easier to join a team of superstars to win a title rather than lead one, like Michael Jordan did. So when they reached the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, most of the US, except for a smattering of people in South Florida, were rooting for the Mavs. The Heat finally met their match going up against Dirk Nowitzki and Jason "Jet" Terry as the Mavs won the series in six games. I don't think I've been that happy during an NBA Finals since Jordan pushed off Byron Scott in the '98 Finals to give the Bulls their most recent title.
David Freese Goes From Goat To Hero In One Game
St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese had quite a postseason winning the NLCS MVP and World Series MVP, but Game 6 every baseball fan can agree was quite a roller coaster. Freese had committed an awful error in the 5th inning when he dropped a routine pop up from Michael Young. That error allowed the Rangers to score later in the inning to take a one run lead. Then in the 9th inning, Freese stepped up to the plate with two outs against a young flame throwing closer in Neftali Feliz and hits a bases clearing triple to tie the game.
After the Rangers blew a two run lead in the 11th inning, Freese once again came to the plate against Mark Lowe, perhaps the Rangers weakest reliever, and hit a bomb to dead center field to force a Game 7 that the Cards would eventually win. ESPN's Buster Olney has said that Game 6 was the greatest game in baseball history.
Eric LeGrand Leads His Team On The Field After Spinal Cord Injury
This is perhaps the most inspirational moment of the year. Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand had suffered a severe spinal cord injury while making attempting to make a tackle last season in a game against Army. Doctors said that LeGrand would be paralyzed from the neck down, but in January, LeGrand defied the odds and regained feeling in his shoulders and sensation throughout his entire body. In July, LeGrand was able to stand with some assistance and was gaining feeling back in his arms.
On October 29, Eric LeGrand led his Rutgers teammates onto a snowy field for its game against West Virginia. LeGrand sat in his wheelchair with an ax across his lap symbolizing coach Greg Schiano's message to "Keep Chopping". LeGrand has indeed taken that motto to new heights.
Tim Thomas, Tim Thomas, Tim Thomas
As a Bruins fan, I feel I need to put this down on my list of moments. Without the outstanding goaltending of Thomas, the Bruins don't win the Cup. Hands down. Sure the Bruins have great pieces around him, but without solid goaltending you can't go far. Case in point, the Philadelphia Flyers.
In the epic seven game series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Thomas was perhaps his best in Game 7. The Bruins won Game 7 by the score of 1-0 and Thomas was a huge, if not the main, reason they won that game and the series. The Lightning gave the best challenge to the Bruins all playoffs, not the Canucks. Dwayne Roloson would not back down and if the Canucks had Roloson in net, Vancouver would be hoisting the Cup not Boston. Thomas' GAA was an outstanding 1.98 and his save percentage was .940. So, yeah Tim Thomas big, huge part of the Bruins Cup run.
September 28, 2011: Greatest Night of Baseball Ever
Four teams entered the final night of the baseball regular season with two spots on the line. The Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox were trying to find a way to stop the bleeding and back their way into the postseason. The St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays were just trying to complete to epic comebacks and surprise the baseball world by making the postseason.
The Cards won rather easily over the Major's worst Houston Astros, but the other three games were of epic proportion. The Atlanta Braves blew a 9th inning lead to the Philadelphia Phillies and lost the game in extras to complete the meltdown. The Red Sox seemed to have the game locked up, at least according to Boston Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy, and all of New England was calling for the umps to call the game early due to rain, but to no avail. Papelbon ends up blowing the save when Red Sox killer Robert Andino lined a hit to left field that came up short from a diving Carl Crawford's glove. The Red Sox lost to the Orioles and were now rooting for the Yanks.
The Yankees had a SEVEN run lead in their game against the Rays, but in true Boston sports fan tradition the Rays came all the way back to tie it in the 9th inning when seldom used Dan Johnson just cleared the right field fence to tie the game. Red Sox fans should have known something was up when Joe Girardi kept one of his seldom used, worst relievers in the game for 2 and 2/3 innings and didn't use Rivera to close the game. Again in true Boston sports fans tradition, Evan Longoria launched a ball just over the left field wall and sent the Rays to the postseason and the Red Sox, and Terry Francona, packing.
I'm sure there is more, but I can't keep typing forever. If you have any more moments I should have mentioned, feel free to comment below. Have a Happy New Years, folks.
Yahoo Sports reporting that the Texas Rangers have won the rights to Japanese pitching phenom Yu Darvish. Major League Baseball has confirmed that the Texas Rangers were the highest bidder and that the Nippon Ham Fighters, Darvish's Japanese team, have accepted the bid.
The reports also say that the Rangers winning bid was $51.7 million, topping the Boston Red Sox record $51.1 million bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka. If Darvish and the Rangers do not agree to a contract in 30 days, Darvish returns to the Ham Fighters and they receive no money from Texas.
Darvish, 25, had an ERA of 1.44 and averaged 10.7 strikeouts last season for the Ham Fighters and he hasn't posted an ERA of 2.00 since 2007.
The Toronto Blue Jays were reportedly the only other high bidder for Darvish's services. The Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees also placed bids for Darvish.
As many sports fans know, athletes, and simply sports itself, are superstitious. Don't step on the base line while going back to the dugout. Always keep your same number, even when traded, hold a candle while your team is in the playoffs (trust me it worked for the '04 Red Sox and the Patriots Super Bowl titles).
Fans already know about the big one, the Madden Cover Jinx, but another curse is older and just as big as the Madden Curse. The Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx.
The legend states that if an athlete or team appears on a cover of Sports Illustrated then they will have a bad outing or be cursed. The first instance of the Cover Jinx was in 1954 when the Braves Eddie Mathews became the first person to ever appear on an SI cover. Shortly after, the Braves snapped their nine game win streak and Mathews breaks his hand.
A common explanation for this curse is that whenever athletes or teams appear on a cover it is after a great achievement or performance. Future performances are likely to display the regression towards the mean and make the performance seem less than it really was.
Many athletes have appeared on the cover and didn't affect them one bit. Michael Jordan, for example, was on the cover a record 49 times and he still went on to win six NBA Finals. Emmitt Smith appeared on the cover, although he initially refused, before Super Bowl XXVIII. Dallas still won the Super Bowl.
However, the curse has reared its ugly head many times. In 1955, skiier Jill Kinmont almost died in a crash the same week she appeared on the cover. She became paralyzed from the waist down.
Indianapolis 500 winner Bob Sweikert dies three weeks after appearing on the cover in a sprint car crash in 1955. Driver Pat O'Connor dies four days after appearing on the cover in the Indianapolis 500. Figure skater Laurence Owen appeared on the cover after SI named her "America's Most Exciting Girl Skater". Two days later, she was on the plane that crashed and killed the United States Figure Skating team as they were en route to Prague.
Streaks have been broken too by SI's curse. An Oklahoma Sooner appeared on the cover with the headline "Why Oklahoma Is Unbeatable", the next game Oklahoma loses for the first time in 47 games to Notre Dame.
Texas high school pitcher Jon Peters was on the cover after he set the national high school record for wins. He was 51-0. Next game, he loses for the first and only time in his high school career.
The Texas Longhorns' Earl Campbell appeared on the cover after his Longhorns started the season 11-0. They would lose their next game, the Cotton Bowl, to Notre Dame.
The Kansas City Chiefs started of 9-0 in 2003 and was "rewarded" with a magazine cover. However, the Chiefs would go 4-3 to finish the season, lose home field to the Patriots, and lose the divisional playoff game to the Colts.
The Cover Jinx struck just over a week ago, oddly enough on Halloween, when Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba appeared on the cover after the Rangers win Game 5 of the World Series. We all know how this story ends, the Rangers lose the Series in heartbreaking fashion.
Does the jinx exist? Only if you believe it does. It's easy to think that there's a curse, but look at all the other covers and nothing happened to all these people. It however there have been a lot of people and teams affected by this. So basically the curse is just what you make of it. That being said I still don't want my favorite player or team on the cover.
You can add another team to the list that want Cuban superstar Yoenis Cespedes. The Boston Red Sox.
According to sources, the Red Sox are "sending everyone" to the Dominican Republic to evaluate Cespedes. Other teams are also interested like the Rangers, Blue Jays, Pirates, A's, Indians, and Marlins.
The five tool center fielder is regarded as the best Cuban import in a generation. The Red Sox already have a center fielder in Jacoby Ellsbury, but could easily move him around to possibly right field, a need for the Red Sox, so Cespedes could play center field.
The Red Sox have the money to sign him to a contract he is demanding, he wants a deal similar to Aroldis Chapman's five year, $30 million.
Boston should take a chance on him. It would be a huge splash for Ben Cherington and a coming out party for him. The Sox already signed Lackey and Crawford to bloated deals (Crawford turned it around later in the year), so Cespedes demand is very reasonable for the Red Sox.
However, the Yankees are also in on Cespedes. The Yankees have an edge over the Red Sox simply because of the history of Cuban players. Also, the Yanks have deep pockets and can afford to give Cespedes MORE than he wants.
Cespedes looks like he is going to be a star, according to most scouts, and whoever gets him will be set up nicely for the future.
The Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox have both been granted permission by the Texas Rangers to speak to pitching coach Mike Maddux regarding their managerial vacancies.
Maddux, a former Major Leaguer and brother of Greg Maddux, has served as the Rangers pitching coach for three seasons. Before Texas, he served in the same role in Milwaukee for six seasons. During Maddux's first season with the Rangers, the teams ERA dropped by a full run and have won back to back American League pennants.
The Cubs may have an edge over the Red Sox however. Greg Maddux served as an special assistant under former GM Jim Hendry and the Cubs are hoping to retain Greg Maddux in another capacity. The Red Sox were just one of many teams Mike Maddux played for in his career, so that could give the Red Sox a little push.
The Cubs also plan on interviewing Philadelphia Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum, both of whom already interviewed with the Red Sox. Both Cubs and the Red Sox appear to have the same list of candidates with Maddux, Mackanin, Sveum, and Dave Martinez. Both teams also said that Ryne Sandberg would not be considered.
Frank McCourt finally relented and is putting the Los Angeles Dodgers on the market and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is interested in buying.
Cuban, however, is only interested if the price is right. He had inquired about the price recently to McCourt and McCourt was asking for $1 billion to $1.2 billion. Cuban backed off because the price was too high.
Cuban had tried to purchase other Major League teams in the past. Cuban tried to buy the Chicago Cubs in 2009, but lost out to the Ricketts family. Last August, Cuban tried buying the Texas Rangers, but the ownership group led by Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan beat him out in a bankruptcy auction.
Many don't want Cuban to own a Major League team because of his demeanor and outspokenness, but at the end of the day Cuban is a great owner. The Mavericks under Mark Cuban has turned them from NBA doormat to champions. The years before Cuban owned the mavericks they had a winning percentage of 40% and a losing playoff record. Since Cuban bought the team in 2000, the Mavs have won 69% of their games and finally won their elusive NBA title by defeating the heavy favorite Miami Heat.
Cuban is the guy to turn the Dodgers around. The Dodgers need a charismatic owner to help alleviate the numerous black eyes that the incompetent ownership of Frank McCourt. Cuban has proved he can turn teams around, so Major League Baseball needs to give him a shot.
However, he faces a situation similar to the failed Texas Rangers bid. Former Dodgers Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser have expressed interest and so has former Dodger owner Peter O'Malley, the son of Walter O'Malley.
The Dodgers need Cuban more than he needs them. With the Cuban ownership, it will give the Dodgers something positive to talk about other than the McCourt divorce hearings, Frank McCourt using the Dodgers as his piggy bank, and the Bryan Stow beating.
The New York Yankees are ending their pursuit of free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt after expressing concern about his chronic back issues.
Oswalt has a history of back problems starting when he was with the Houston Astros. He reportedly has two degenerative discs in his lower back and was placed on the disabled list in June with back problems.
The Yankees are very scared of his past back problems leading to one insider saying that's why the Houston Astros traded him. Oswalt was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies at the 2010 trade deadline for J.A. Happ and minor leaguers. He has a record of 16-11 during his time in Philadelphia.
The Phillies declined Oswalt's option last week, most likely, because of his chronic back problems and did not want to be stuck with paying him $16 million.
The Yankees are still trying to pursue another starting pitcher this winter and are likely to make a bid for Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson and Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle.