Sports 247

MLB Updates

  • White Sox general manager Kenny Williams has revealed that Robin Ventura will be the team’s new manager. The offer apparently came as a surprise to Ventura who assumed that Ozzie Guillen was in line for the job, but apparently, Williams’ other main consideration was team captain Paul Konerko who would have been made a player-manager by the move. Ultimately Williams realized that Konerko would be split by the position and that the team would be better served to keep their skilled and capable captain focused on the game.
  • If you were wondering what happened to the Boston Red Sox last year, the word is out in the latest sports headlines. Apparently, there was a little too much partying going on…in the clubhouse. While we’re all used to athletes getting a little wild out there in the big bad world, it’s a whole other thing when you’ve got a trio of pitchers (Josh Beckett, John Lackey, and Jon Lester) hanging out drinking, eating and playing video games instead of supporting their teammates. Obviously, this was happening during games where they were not starting- there would have been a much bigger stink otherwise! There were other allegations that Terry Francona was distracted by personal issues, which he vehemently denies, but then, he’s moved on so it will be up to the players to prove that they can get their act together for the next season.
  • Sports 247 fans have embraced the Busch Stadium Squirrel/Rally Squirrel after the little fellow(s) made appearances at two games, including one who ran across home plate during the NL division series game between the Phillies and the Cardinals on the Wednesday before last. Rally squirrels and “Got Squirrel?” t-shirts are a new and humorous addition to fan paraphernalia this season, one which Cardinal’s Manager Tony La Russa supports because it shows the fans having fun. So far, four squirrels have been caught in humane traps and removed from the Busch Stadium.

Sports 24 7 News

Well, it isn’t like it really belongs in the latest sports headlines since we all saw this coming but technically it is news: the first two weeks of the NBA season have been cancelled, so we are likely looking at something more like a 65 game season at best. After meeting for nearly twelve hours over the weekend, there continues to be a massive divide between players and owners.

Current issues that were discussed without resolution include the luxury tax (owners want to quadruple it, players find this to be out of bounds) and the ability of teams to make exceptions such as re-signing their superstar players regardless of salary caps by doing so independently.

Says Union exec Billy Hunter, “[The owners] figure that once a player misses a check or two it’s all over. I’m saying … that would be a horrible mistake if they think that’s going to happen, because it’s not going to happen.” Players have been chiming in via Twitter to say both “let us play” and “we’re holding out” and there is absolutely no sign that anyone is thinking of caving yet.

Big Changes In Mets Coaching

The 2012 lineup of Mets coaches under Terry Collin’s management is going to look quite a bit different then this year’s. Safe in their positions are pitching coach Dan Warthen and hitting coach Dave Hudgens. Changing will be bench coach Ken Oberkfell, first-base coach Mookie Wilson, third-base coach Chip Hale and bullpent coach Joh Debus. Hale, Wilson and Debus were all asked to stay on within the Mets organization. Hale chose instead to join manager Bod Melvin with whom he was previously paired with the Arizona Diamondbacks on the staff of the Oakland Athletics for a two-yea contract.

Known replacements are Tim Teufel who will become the third-base coach and Rick Bones who will become the bullpen coach. The vacancies in bench and first-base coach positions have been announced and are expected to be filled in the coming weeks. The Mets are looking for a bench coach with experience in that role. They have also stated that one of the reasons for the change up was that they were interested in having a pitching influence in the bullpen.

The NBA’s Monday Deadline

If no deal is struck by Monday then the first two weeks of the NBA season games will be cancelled. While disappointing to fans, players have seen this coming, and not just as a result of the past week’s negotiations. For years now players have been told to expect this kind of difficulty in renegotiation, and it is playing out exactly as some expected that it would.

In this past round at the table players were unofficially offered a 50-50 split. Some saw this as an opportunity to step down. It was an opportunity they were not interested in taking. This past year the players received 57% and their new offer on the table is 53%, which they say will put $1 million back into the pockets of the owners.

Meanwhile, players continue to sign overseas contracts. There is a wide variety of players who are taking overseas deals. From rookies to first-year players to those with eight and ten years in the NBA, you’ll see all kinds. Some contracts have outs for the players returning should the lock-out end and others are signing this year away to a team whose season is guaranteed. You might have to catch a French, Italian, Chinese or Israeli game this year to keep up with players’ stats!

2011 NFL Injuries

As Sports 24 7 fans already know there have been numerous injuries this year that have left teams feeling a little more challenged than they were hoping to be at this point in the season. The Chiefs, for example, are down Tony Moeaki, Eric Berry and Jaamal Charles for the rest of the year.

Earlier this year that were concerns that there would be more season-ending injuries this year as a result of the lack of training camp workouts. Less training seemed dangerous to some, but it would seem that this wasn’t really the case. It may even be that veterans are staying healthier than usual because they had more of a break before heading into the season.

As with most things that have to do with the latest sports results, there is one surefire way to be sure and that is to check the stats. At this time last year there were 142 players on IR (injured reserve) and this year there are only 130. It’s not drastic, but it’s certainly a big enough difference to take note of. What will be interesting to compare will be how players perform – are they up to their usual standards without the pre-season training or will see see an accross-the board drop in performance as well. Certainly it will be an interesting thing to follow up on.

Keeping Up With the News

Keeping up with the latest sports headlines means swallowing the bitter pill that the NBA season is now going to be affected by the lockout. Training camps have been canceled and the first week of pre-season games have been as well. In order to avoid canceling season games the two sides need to have reached an agreement within the next 2 1/2 weeks or so. Some have speculated that owners would be willing to lose some of the early season games as attendance tends to be low at the beginning of the season, while others argue that since game tickets will be refunded plus 1% interest for any game cancelled that the owners have plenty of reasons to come to the table in good faith of reaching an agreement sooner rather than later.

Of course, a lack of playing time hasn’t stopped players from getting into trouble. Marcus Camby was arrested on a marijuana charge (yes, again), Tate George is being charged with an Ponzi scheme and Kobe Bryant’s assault allegations are being renewed (at a church? Come on, now!). We really do need some actual 247 sports news about the NBA, you know, the kind with stats!

NBA News

Kobe Bryant is still considering an overseas season while Dirk Nowitzki has decided to take a break after his time at the European Championships. Nowitzki has stated that the NBA lockout would have to carry over into November before he would start looking elsewhere for the coming season. In fact, Nowitzki is taken more than just a few months off. In past 24 hour sports news we learned that Germany failed to qualify for the Olympics and for those who were watching it didn’t look like Nowitzki was really at his best. Now Dirk says that while he isn’t leaving his national team for good that he will be taking two years off at the very least. Should Germany try again in 2015 for the Olympics it is likely that Dirk, at age 37, will be giving it one last go.

Meanwhile, after a meeting last week owners and players are looking to meet again this week. Last week’s meeting ended with some pessimism on both sides about their ability to reach an agreement, but in fact there were also reported successes in the negotiation. The economic end of the deal as recently presented by the players was acceptable to the owners, so at least there is that! They are still working on the system as well as a salary cap. It seems the players want a soft cap while the owners would prefer a hard cap. We can only hope that this week’s meetings will bring the two sides closer to an agreement.

Who Earns the Most?

The focus on finances in the latest sports results pages has been obvious to even the most forgetful of sports 247 readers. In no small part this is because of the mass negotiations happening in Major League sports and in part because money has always been a big part of the game. When the Dodgers couldn’t make payroll and MLB stepped in, everybody noticed. When players’ incomes became a point of debate between players and owners, everyone noticed. Over the past decade there hasn’t been much of an increase for most sports leagues in terms of fans but while some teams are gathering more fans, plenty are losing fans in a bit way. If you look internationally you’ll see that soccer seems to be on top of the list of teams who are making it big quickly followed by US sports. Following are the top five highest earning teams of 2011….

1. Real Madrid: $592,000,000
2. FC Barcelona: $537,000,000
3. Manchester United: $432,000,000
4. New York Yankees: $441,000,000
5. Dallas Cowboys: $420,000,000

Amazing Play of the Week

One of the great things about sports is how often you get to watch somebody do something truly impressive. Whether you tune into 247 sports and read every last detail or only skim the highlights, chances are you’ve read a stat and thought “no way he did that!” or wondered how on earth the human body came to be capable of same great feat. Sometimes, however, a good play is just that – a good play – and if it so happens to set a record in the process, so be it.

Many watching the game or checking the latest sports results for the Arizona Cardinals vs the Carolina Panthers game were expecting to see a lot of press about Cam Newton. Newton played well, to be sure, but it was rookie Patrick Peterson who got most of the attention for the day. Peterson brought it home for a Cardinals win with a 89-yard record-breaking play. Part of what make this punt-turned-touchdown so entertaining to watch was the finish. Nearing the finish line Peterson obviously thought that he was in the clear and his stride turned into a little bit of a strut. All showboating was abruptly called off, however, when he realized that he was about to be taken out by Panther Mike Goodson. Peterson threw himself headfirst over the line for his touchdown in a dramatic moment, thus earning himself and the Cardinals a great victory.

Maybe Schools Will Shuffle…and Maybe Not

While it seemed that there was a lot of talk in the latest sports headlines about possible changes coming up, like Texas A&M’s hopeful move to the SEC, it looks a bit dicey as to whether or not those changes are as forthcoming as was thought. Texas A&M’s move may be blocked by a potential lawsuit by Baylor. You may recall back when Miami and Boston College were sued back in 2003 as they tried to move to the ACC – and that lawsuit failed. That doesn’t mean that precedent is set, however, and this could go either way.

Meanwhile the PAC-10 has announced that actually, it’s just fine at 12, thank you very much. If you’ve been paying attention to 24 hour sports news for a few years then you know that the Pac-12 was recently the Pac-10 and seemingly in a big hurry to expand. They took in Colorado from the Big 12 and Utah from the Mountain West last year, and those weren’t the only teams they were after. Now that they are the Pac-12, however, it seems that they will be sitting tight and watching what happens with the Big 12 and the SEC before they decide whether or not to expand their own numbers once more.