Archive for May 2012

Reds Todd Frazier not only a third baseman but he’s a lifesaver

May 30, 2012

(Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE)

If the whole baseball thing doesn’t work out for Todd Frazier, he may have discovered a second career as an emergency medical technician. Or maybe a lifeguard.

The Cincinnati Reds third baseman had two hits and drove in two runs during an 8-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirateson Tuesday, less than 24 hours after saving a local restaurant-goer from a serious medical emergency with some quick thinking.

Frazier and teammate Ryan Ludwickwere eating dinner on Monday night when they noticed a customer across the room struggling to breathe. Frazier leapt into action, jumping behind the man and using the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge a sizable piece of meat.

“I don’t know what it was — it was a monster piece,” Frazier said. “The lady he was with was crying, and it was like surreal. Never done it before in my life.”

The customer recovered, thanked both players then picked up the tab without realizing either played for the Reds.

Considering the way Frazier is slugging the ball, he may not remain anonymous for long.

“He was … not Superman, he was Mr. Magnificent or somebody,” Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said.

This is a great piece I read this morning and I thought I would share with my fellow followers. Frazier is a player with total power and can play a very good third base but we now know he is a great citizen and an even better human. Baseball players have this “celebrity” power that comes with them and Frazier didn’t even consider himself as one and help this man while he was choking. Not only that, he hit an RBI single in their next game against the Pirates. That is something special that many players haven’t done. He’s not only playing America’s game but he is saving fellow American’s who are in trouble. That’s a warrior…

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Texas Rangers bolster pitching rotation by adding Roy Oswalt

May 29, 2012

Free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt has signed with the Texas Rangers.

The sources said that if Oswalt is called up by July 1, he gets $8 million pro-rated — 4 million in his pocket. He can also earn an extra $1 million in incentives if he makes 10 starts.

Oswalt, who had previously auditioned for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox and the Rangers, had given teams indications that Texas was his destination of choice. He has a close relationship with club president Nolan Ryan, and he apparently likes the thought of pitching for a contending team that’s close to his Mississippi home.

Oswalt, 34, has a career record of 159-93 in 11 seasons with Houston and Philadelphia. He is a three-time All-Star who has finished among the top five in National League Cy Young Award balloting five times in his career.

After waiting until spring training and failing to land a job to his satisfaction, Oswalt told major league clubs in late February that he planned to wait until midseason to return.

This is a big move by the Rangers. Their main problem this season has been the rotation and by adding the veteran Oswalt, it gives them much-needed depth. The amount of money they spent on him is a little pricy but this reminds me of the same deal the Phillies made with Pedro Martinez back in 2009. Martinez became a big part of the Phils run in October bringing them all the way to the World Series and staying healthy to last through two months. If the Rangers want to win, they need to pitch. It is as simple as that baseball fans and Oswalt provides that stability to try for a ring three years in a row…

Photo of the Week: Robert Griffin III

May 25, 2012

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

RG3 will be the first NFL player and the first player across all four North American professional sports (NBA, MLB, NHL) to feature a Roman numeral on the nameplate on the back of his uniform.

Atlantic 10 basketball is having scheduling issues already

May 25, 2012

Via Andy Katz:

The Atlantic 10 will discuss and then likely decide Thursday on how it will schedule with 15 teams next season, according to commissioner Bernadette McGlade. The A-10, which will wrap up spring meetings Thursday, will have 15 schools in the league because VCU left the CAA immediately. Temple and Charlotte don’t leave for the Big East and C-USA, respectively, until 2013. The A-10 will add Butler in the fall of 2013. Xavier coach Chris Mack said one format discussed was to have each team have two partners (four games) and then play the other 10 five home/five road. McGlade said the A-10 has been looking at creative alternatives.

I like that the A-10 is becoming a powerhouse conference but this scheduling seems to be out of sorts. As a Fordham fan this is going to be hard to play VCU and Butler in the future. The talent coming in better live up to the expectations or else they will be in the Patriot League or MAAC. I liked how you would play three teams twice and try to play everyone else one time in your conference. With VCU coming in immediately it causes a problem both for future bids to NCAA Tournament and makes the Duquesne’s and Rhode Island’s turn from 4 win conference teams to 2 win teams…

Marquette’s DJO is perfect fit for “defensive” New York Knicks

May 25, 2012

Via Zagsblog:

Darius Johnson-Odom says he knows what the Knicks need.

The former Marquette star worked out for the team on Thursday and said he was more concerned with bringing intensity on the defensive end than with showing his offensive skills to head coach Mike Woodson and company.

“I know what the Knicks need so I came with a defensive mindset,” DJO told SNY.tv. “With Iman [Shumpert] being out, with Baron [Davis] being out, with them being low on guards, I know if can just get in and play hard for six or seven minutes defensive-wise then that’s all I need to do.”

A natural two guard, DJO averaged 18.5 points and 3.5 rebounds last season for a Marquette team went 27-8 overall, 14-4 in the Big East and lost to Florida in the Sweet 16.

With Shumpert sidelined until December or January with a torn ACL, DJO is hoping the Knicks might use their No. 48 pick on him with the idea that he might be a similar kind of physical, defensive-stopper on the wing. DraftExpress.com calls him the No. 47 prospect in the Top 100 this year.

The Knicks enjoyed great success this season with another Marquette product when Steve Novak led the NBA in 3-point efficiency. Still another Marquette product, Dwyane Wade, went off for 41 points when the Miami Heat ousted the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 of their series Thursday night.

The Knicks have auditioned a slew of point guards this week, including Tu Holloway (Xavier), Scoop Jardine (Syracuse) and Scott Machado (Iona).

“[Shumpert] is a little bit taller than me,” said the 6-2 DJO. “I think we do have athletic ability, the effort he plays on defense. That’s all I can give you.

“I can give you a couple points here but whatever I have to do to help the team  that’s what I’m wiling to do. I feel like defense is something that the Knicks will need here with Iman being out.”

DJO has already worked out for the Philadelphia 76ers and at the Nets free-agent combine and still plans to attend the Minnesota Timberwolves combine, a workout with the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Pre-Draft combine before other individual workouts.

DJO remains in constant touch with Marquette coach Buzz Williams for support.

“He always texts me, ‘Did you guard anybody today?’” DJO said. “And I always tell him, ‘Just a little bit,’ knowing I did a little bit better than ‘just a little bit.’ That’s one of the things coach Buzz is always pushing me to be, a defensive player with my athletic ability and my strength and my speed. I should be a top defensive player.”

Knowing DJO for three years I have to say this guy has been a sleeper his whole life. I remember when he got hurt when he got to campus and had to sit out Marquette madness and a few games. Then when he arrived, he brought the madness to campus. This guy is a complete player and if you need a defensive stop or a big shot, put the ball in #1 hands. He also is a perfect teammate. When I interviewed him, all he cared about was winning and only wanted to get better each game. That would be a coaches dream! As a Knicks fan, I would be praying for Darius to get drafted by this team. Not only could he play point but he can hit shots and get to the basket and take it to the rack with authority. The Knicks have been missing that over the past few years and if they want to hit it big with a draft pick, take the tough-minded and clutch Darius Johnson-Odom with that #48 pick…

Ochocinco lost his Starbucks card and is more entertainment than game

May 24, 2012

Via ESPN:

New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco said he was “not trippin’ ” about losing his wallet, credit cards, license and iPod when someone broke into his SUV Wednesday, but was inconsolable about his Starbucks gold card being stolen as well.

“I earned the gold card,” Ochocinco said in a two-minute video posted to his Twitter account discussing his ordeal. “You know how many coffees I’ve had to drink and lemon loafs I’ve had to purchase to get to that gold card? I had $220 left on my Starbucks card. Not just any Starbucks card, but a gold Starbucks card.”

According to the Starbucks website, gold card holders get a free drink every 15 times the card is used; free syrup or soy milk in any coffee purchase; and, of course, a personalized card so the barista will know you by name when you order. Customers need to use their standard Starbucks card at least 30 times a year to upgrade it to a gold card.

“I feel like I’m about to tear up,” Ochocinco added.

Later in the day, Ochocinco tweeted that the mother of one of his followers had found the wallet in Providence. While it contained his credit cards and license, the Starbucks gold card was missing.

The story does have a happy ending, however. Starbucks reached out to him via Twitter and agreed to replace his gold card.

Really Chad! Really? I mean it’s a Starbucks card. I am sure if you go to the next location you can get another one for being a “GOLD” member. Your SUV got broken into and you don’t even care about that. C’mon Man! Chad, you need to get out of the spotlight when it comes to entertainment and start producing on the field with your teammates. Start doing funny things again like touchdown dances and calling out defensive backs week to week. But to go on a tangent on Starbucks cards to get attention. You need another job buddy…

The San Francisco 49ers offense and Alex Smith will be dangerous this season

May 24, 2012

2005 #1 pick Alex Smith was looking like a bust heading into the 2011 campaign. Then new coach Jim Harbaugh comes in and look what Alex Smith did. He looked like Andrew Luck leading the 49ers to  a 13-3 record and an NFC West title. Not only are they winning, they added a ton of talent at the wide receiver position.

During mini camp, Alex Smith looked one way, then another, finding open receivers with such ease that the toughest part might’ve been deciding whose turn it was in the rotation.

Smith’s new choices at wide receiver are Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and first-round pick A.J. Jenkins, They zipped all over the field during Wednesday’s pad-free practice, giving the quarterback options he never had last season.

“It’s like waking up on Christmas,” Smith said. “You have a lot of new toys out there, new presents.”

New expectations, too.

Smith ranked 19th in the NFL with a career-high 3,144 yards passing and struggled to find wide receivers in a 20-17 overtime loss in the NFC title game to the eventual champion New York Giants.

One thing the 2005 No. 1 overall pick out of Utah no longer seems to lack: confidence.

“This is the honest truth: I could absolutely care less on yards per game,” Smith said. “I think that is a totally overblown stat because if you’re losing games in the second half, guess what? You’re like the Carolina Panthers and you’re going no-huddle the entire second half and, yeah, Cam Newton threw for a lot of 300-yard games. That’s great. You’re not winning, though.”

New receiver RandyMoss again declined to talk to reporters but has been Smith’s No. 1 target during the open portions of practice and, by all 49ers accounts, has dazzled.

“It’s neat to watch our players watch a guy like Randy that they’ve watched growing up,” Harbaugh said. “And we have two fields. The defensive field’s on the far right and then the offensive field is over here on the left. And I can always see the defensive players will be looking over.”

Said Smith: “The first day, it was surreal out there throwing balls to him. The physical skills everybody knows. The thing you appreciate a lot is the guy’s a true pro. He’s played a lot of football. He’s incredibly smart out there.”

From reading Alex Smith’s quotes and understanding what general manager Trent Baalke are trying to do, it feels like the 49ers are back and are ready to make a move. They realized that last year they could have won the Super Bowl and clearly were the second best team in the league besides the Green Bay Packers that finished 15-1.

Next year will be fun and interesting throughout the whole league but I hope this 49ers team doesn’t adopt the mentality of the Philadelphia Eagles and think they have become a “dream team.” They can be the best team in the NFC if they believe in Alex Smith and the offense.