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Indians lose 6-5 to O’s – “After Orioles closer Kevin Gregg walked the bases full with one out in the ninth inning, it was Cabrera who delivered a three-run double to trim Cleveland’s deficit to one run. It was a dramatic turn that went no further, though. The American League Central-leading Tribe (49-43) dropped its first game of the second half and its first this year to Baltimore.
The defeat spoiled an admirable effort from Tribe right-hander Carlos Carrasco (8-7), who surrendered three runs over seven innings en route to a hard-luck loss to Baltimore (37-54). Carrasco kept Cleveland within striking distance all evening, but Alfredo Simon proved too perplexing for the Indians.
Simon is even a bit of an enigma to his own teammates.
“This guy I can’t explain,” Orioles outfielder Felix Pie said. “Every day he goes out there and fights. That’s just what he did today.”
It certainly did not help Cleveland’s cause that only two hitters in Saturday’s starting lineup — Asdrubal Cabrera and Austin Kearns — had faced Simon in the past. They each had only one career at-bat against the righty. Complicating things even more for the Tribe was the fact that, as a starter, Simon’s repertoire expanded to four pitches.” [Jordan Bastian / MLB.com]
On Omri Casspi – “If Casspi had any indication that he was about to be moved to the Cavaliers — or anywhere else -– he did a good job of masking it during a brief phone chat the night before the trade, talking about his camps, his summer plans and his legacy.
After West Hills, he held another youth basketball camp in Israel and will next join Israel’s national team on July 25 to start practicing for the European Championships later this summer in Lithuania. His oft-told story of making it in the NBA never gets old.
“First of all, nobody ever made it from Israel,” Casspi said. “It was hard growing up. Everybody was asking who was going to be the first one playing in the NBA: Who was going to break that barrier to make it?
“I never really expected me to make it. And then when I was growing up and getting better and better as a basketball player, I was going to take that talent and work as hard as I can to make it.
“The sky was the limit for everyone.”
The natural question is: Who, and how many, eventually will follow Casspi to the NBA? What is the old crystal ball telling him?
“I don’t know — hopefully as many as we can,” he said. “When you are 18 in Israel and leave junior team and start to play professional, it’s a big step.”‘ – [Lisa Dillman / LA Times]
Mike Leach on the radio Friday, talking about his new book - “Mike Leach joined WQAM in Miami with the Big Dog, Joe Rose to talk about how he feels about ESPN suspending Bruce Feldman, whether or not he think Craig James has become the golden boy at ESPN, what he thinks of Texas Tech siding with Craig James as opposed to him when it came to Adam James, and if he thinks Craig James was doing things behind his back when he was the head coach at Texas Tech.
How he feels about ESPN suspending Bruce Feldman: “I think ESPN just isn’t going to let little inconvenient details like the facts get in the way of their agenda. The bottom line is we don’t have anything in the book that isn’t 100 percent factual and we don’t have anything in that book that’s not totally backed up by documents. Furthermore Bruce had permission ahead of time to do this book from ESPN. The guy that got the car in the ditch for them was Craig James. That’s where they ought to be looking. Not Bruce Feldman.”
Whether or not Craig James has become the golden boy at ESPN: “He evidently is because if you look at the public reaction, if you look at the blogs, everybody sees through it and understands it. People are recognizing the truth and nobody appreciates Craig James’ role in this. It’s insulting to everyone’s intelligence. Between Craig James and ESPN both they’re starting with this. Me being too dumb to see through what they’re doing and then it became well the public is too dumb to see through what they’re doing. Then with this thing with Bruce they think it’s almost like they’re so smart that we won’t understand it anyway and they’re so powerful that we have to do whatever they want no matter what. Everyone is seeing through it and everybody resents it.”’ [Sports Radio Interviews]
Here’s a pretty weird story involving Shaq – “Amidst the announcement that Shaquille O’Neal will join the TNT crew on Inside the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal still has some personal turmoil to deal with. Remember that strange lawsuit against O’Neal that alleged he was involved in some strange kidnapping/sex tape scandal? New, even more outrageous and fantastical (Shaq-tastical perhaps?) allegations have been added to the suit.
TMZ reports an addition to that suit alleges O’Neal was involved in planning and directing several murder plots against gang members, a record producer and even a woman he impregnated. The complaint also alleges O’Neal ordered the plaintiff in the suit to break the shooting arm of another NBA player.
O’Neal’s attorney vehemently denied these allegations.
All this originated from one of O’Neal’s former pals, Robert Ross, alleging O’Neal hired gang members to kidnap him back in 2008. These new allegations apparently happened while they were still friends and Ross, who is allegedly a former gang member, was directed by O’Neal to perform these acts with O’Neal using Ross’ criminal history as leverage to get him to do what he wanted. It all sound a little … out there.” [Phillip Rossman-Reich / Crossover Chronicles]
NFL Lockout, Florio talking about late power play by players – “As ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported earlier today, the players want $320 million in benefits that weren’t paid during the uncapped year, as well as a one-year limit on the use of the franchise tag. Also, if the “lockout insurance” case must be settled separately and apart from the financial package negotiated by the league and the players, it’s possible that another nine-figure sum could be demanded. And to the extent that the Brady antitrust lawsuit needs to be resolved via something more than the contents of a new CBA, the players still could demand even more money and/or special treatment for the named plaintiffs, such as an agreement never to use the franchise tag on any of them.
With a deal now regarded by the media and fans and players and pretty much everyone else as a foregone conclusion, the NFLPA* has by all appearances opted to go for one last home run, possibly buoyed by the league’s decision to cave on the “right of first refusal” concept and the league’s significant concession on the rookie wage scale.” [Florio / PFT]