Archives for June 2012

Cubs finalize deal with Cuban sensation Jorge Soler

cuba

There were a ton of MLB teams in the derby for Cuba defectee Jorge Soler, and the Chicago Cubs won the spending battle to get him. Now that Anthony Rizzo is up at the Major League level, Soler gets to become the next big name to be “franchise savior.” Soler, 20, joins the Cubs organization after playing for Cuba at several international tournaments, including the 16-under COPABE Pan American Championships in Mexico in 2008 and the World Junior Championships in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada in 2010.

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Ohio State star tailback to miss 10 weeks

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Jordan Hall is a senior tailback who is expected to be a big part of the Buckeyes offense this season. He and Carlos Hyde will contend for the bulk of the carries. But that’s all changed now that Hall will be out of commission for approximately 10 weeks while recovering from surgery Friday to an injured foot.

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Euro 2012 knockout stage: Ronaldo chokes, Balotelli shines

After several excellent goals, a few thrilling penalty kick endings and the toppling of another tournament favorite, Euro 2012 is nearing its finale.  With Italy and Spain on their way to the Euro Final, let’s look back at the defining moments of the knockout stage.

England stays true to its ways

After yet another valiant attempt to stave off elimination by hanging on to a tie game, England continued an age-old tradition of cracking under pressure as they fell on penalties to Italy.

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Penn State covered up Jerry Sandusky? New emails imply it

jerry-sandusky

Newly released emails from 2001 by the disgraced Penn State trio of former officials (Gary Schultz, Graham Spanier and Tim Curley) discussed Jerry Sandusky and appeared to reference Joe Paterno. Check that, they imply deference not reference to Paterno. As if to say what Joe Paterno wanted, Joe Paterno got.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported on emails exchanged between Penn State University officials back in ’01.

According to the report, Curley, Schultz and Spanier exchanged emails to determine how they would deal with child sex abuse allegations that had come up regarding Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 of 48 child rape charges against him a week from last night.

The emails show that they initially planned to tell the authorities about the allegations, but instead opted not to after speaking with “Joe.” Now which Joe would that be? One of the emails shown by CNN reads:(h/t SB Nation)

“After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps. I am having trouble with going to everyone, but the person involved.”

Stories of a cover-up have emerged for some time, and reports of such emails surfaced on June 12th. However, this is the first time we’ve seen a paper trail that could further besmirch this high profile institution of college football and the Big Ten. Even the biggest “JoePa” apologists and acolytes have to admit that this evidence could be rather damning of Paterno and his so-called legacy.

And there is no doubt that he wielded enough clout at the school to have the officials defer to him on their decision. When Beaver Stadium was renovated, Paterno allegedly did not have the press box upgraded because of his distaste/grudges with the media. And when the city wanted to expand the airport, he reportedly nixed that- wanting the community to stay as much insulated and cut off as possible, as to further consolidate his power. If these last two stories can be verified, then it only further proves that Paterno was the man truly running the University and town. In the same manner Dick Cheney and Halliburton truly ran the United States for eight years while George W. Bush was president.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too

Nastia Liukin’s 2012 U.S. Olympic team chances worsen

nastia-liukin

Subway spokeswoman Nastia Liukin is one of the more popular potential U.S. Olympic athletes prepping for London in 73 days. She’s one of the faces of the USA gymnastics franchise, and one of the most successful competitors in Beijing 2008. But despite all her medals, she may not make the Olympic team this summer.

(UPDATE VIDEO: Liukin falls, faceplants at trials. Cost her chance at Olympics)

Her showing at the Olympic trials today was not so good. Here’s an interview of her following her performance, showing that she is indeed holding the proper perspective about her dimming chances of making the London 2012 Olympics squad.

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Jenn Brown: Erin Andrews’ very likely ESPN Successor

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I’ve been saying this for about a year or so. And it looks like it will soon become true: Jenn Brown is the next Erin Andrews. It will be made official once Brown takes over EA spots on College Gameday. That’s the word we’re hearing now. She’ll take the spot on the college football pregame show and the telecasts opposite Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musburger. The ESPN sideline princess baton will be passed from one 34 year old former Florida Gator to a 31 year old former Florida Gator. Jennifer “Jenn” Lynne Brown, is likely heading over to the scorers table and signing in.

Especially now that Erin Andrews has left ESPN and his likely headed to Fox Sports

 

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Cleveland Browns 2012 Fantasy Football Preview

Ranking 30th in the NFL at 13.6 points per game is hard to swallow, but it really shouldn’t come as much a surprise to anyone because the Cleveland Browns had the 28th youngest offense in the league. With high draft picks Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden, the Browns aren’t getting any older at key positions and that is why it could be another year to take extreme caution with Cleveland in regards to fantasy.

Here are the guys in Cleveland that you should have on your list come time to do the fantasy draft. [Read more…]

Trail Blazers have interesting draft with Lillard and Leonard

damian lillard weber state

The Portland Trail Blazers made an interesting splash in the 2012 NBA Draft taking a point guard from a mid-major school that few people had heard off, and a project pick at center. They took Damian Lillard at #6 from Weber St. and a guy who played for someone named Weber in Meyers Leonard from the Illini at #11.

This marks the first time since 1990 that Illinois has had a player selected in the first round of both the NFL and NBA Drafts in the same year. Jeff George went to the Indianapolis Colts #1 overall, and current Bulls analyst Kendall Gill went fifth to the Charlotte Hornets. This year Whitney Merciless went #24 to the Houston Texans and A.J. Jenkins went #30 to the San Francisco 49ers.

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Kurt Busch’s bipolar season continues at Kentucky Speedway

ricky-bobby

The notion of hero, or heroism, has evolved since its early definition. The word “hero” comes from the Greeks, who used the term to define a protector or defender. The word and notion has evolved through the centuries and, today, heroes come in all shapes and sizes. In Kentucky, for example, the majority of state-born heroes are of the four-legged variety. The state is synonymous with everything associated with thoroughbred horses, from breeding to racing. The Kentucky Derby- and Preakness Stakes-winning horse, I’ll Have Another, is the most recent horse-racing hero to top the long list of his Kentucky-born victors. His predecessors include the likes of Seattle Slew, A.P. Indy and Zenyatta.

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Nadal out early at Wimbledon: Door open for Federer, Murray?

With Rafael Nadal’s shocking loss Thursday at Wimbledon, the door might just be cracked open for Roger Federer to make one last run, as he seeks a record-tying seventh Wimbledon title.

Nadal fell in five sets in Wimbledon’s second round—tying his earliest exit in a Grand Slam tournament in his career—to the No. 100-ranked player in the world, Lukas Rosol, the lowest ranked player to ever beat Nadal.  While his early departure could make it easier for world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to take home his second consecutive Wimbledon title, it may just help a less likely champion, like Federer or Andy Murray, come out on top. [Read more…]

Bulls grab Kentucky’s Marquis Teague: building point guard depth

marquis teague

Derrick RoseTyreke EvansJohn WallBrandon Knight.  The lineage of John Calipari-coached point guards is beyond impressive.  That tradition continues with McDonald’s All-American and one-and-done Marquis Teague from Kentucky.

Teague is one of six players from Lexington who were drafted this year.  He was joined by fellow Wildcats Anthony Davis,  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (who went one and two), Terrence Jones, sharpshooter Doron Lamb and versatile wing Darius Miller. Teague fits in as that typical Gar Forman/John Paxson draft pick: big name school with a winning tradition. So when the Chicago Bulls took him it made perfect sense.

Because of the team he played on, Teague has gotten a bit overlooked by NBA scouts. But he started all 40 games for the nationa champions.

“Playing with Anthony Davis, he gets a lot of attention cuz he’s so dominating. And Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, it’s hard to show as much,” Teague said at NBA Combine media day

(This is a Paul M. Banks and David Kay collaboration.)

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Jared Sullinger’s tumbling draft stock finally lands with Boston Celtics

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Jared Sullinger’s two years at Ohio State culminated when his name was called with the 21st overall pick (falling all these many spots cost him about $2 million) by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft Thursday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Sullinger is the eighth Buckeye coached by Thad Matta, head coach at Ohio State, selected in the annual professional draft.

FINALLY.

Sullinger was considered a top 3 pick last year (but he didn’t come out) and a sure fire lottery pick this year. Not so much. He wasn’t even invited to the NBA green room; reserved for the top 15 draft picks. But the Celtics clearly fell in love with him.

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