Sports Outside the Beltway

Punchy- Fighter claims broadcast of old fight is ruining his life

A former heavyweight fighter is suing ESPN.

Here’s the deal. Boxer Joe Frazier’s last opponent is suing ESPN Classic, claiming the broadcast of his fight has basically ruined his life.

Floyd “Jumbo” Cummings filed suit in Randolph County, Illinois, claiming by broadcasting the fight without his consent, ESPN Classic sought to “annihilate and destroy the seclusion of my private life …”

In the suit, Cummings says prior to the broadcast, he “Lived a quiet and private life, free from the prying curiosity which accompanies either fame or notoriety, withdrawn from the public gaze, free from the insatiable interest of the great mass of people …”

Cummings claim of ESPN ruining his life is interesting particularly in light of the fact that he is serving a life sentence in a Illinois prison for armed robbery.

I guess Cummings is just another fighter who took too many punches to the head.

Hat tip- Don Surber


Getting carried away- Helen Alfredsson wins first ever LPGA event in China

She won the Grand China Air LPGA by 3 shots. From the BBC-

Helen Alfredsson won the Grand China Air title in Haikou with a magnificent seven-under-par 65 in the final round.

The Swede finished three strokes clear of Taiwan’s Yani Tseng in the first LPGA Tour event to be staged in China.

Alfredsson, 43, carded eight birdies and could afford a bogey at the last following a poor chip as she took her career earnings past the $5m mark.

England’s Karen Stupples led by five at the start of the round but a 75 left her five off the pace in fourth place.

Alfredsson began her charge with threes at the first two holes and covered the front nine in just 31 shots before another three at the 10th took her to the top of the leaderboard.

Playing three groups ahead of the overnight leaders, she also picked up shots at 14 and 17 before a five at the 18th provided the only blemish on her card.

“I was four up and didn’t have great pressure on me for the chip, but it was not a great shot,” she admitted.

Despite the error, the final groups were unable to challenge her 12-under-par total of 204, but Tseng, who won the LPGA Championship as a 19-year-old earlier this year, returned a 68 to pip Laura Diaz (72) for the runner-up’s cheque.

“Since I almost caught up with the leader, I am very happy with the position I finished. It was a three-day event – you never know what would happen if it was a four-day tournament,” said Tseng.

This was Tseng’s fifth runner-up finish of the year. I have to imagine Tseng has the Rookie of the Year title sown up. If would have my vote.

Were the mainland Chinese golf fans pulling for Tseng who is from Taiwan? It is hard to tell, because there is television coverage of the tournament outside of Asia.

Helen Alredsson would get my vote for comeback player of the year. Since finishing 2nd at the US Open, she’s had a incredible run. Four weeks to the ADT Championship and the million dollar winner.


NHL Goalie suffers hip injury after tripping on carpet for Sarah Palin

I wonder how this will effect John McCain’s chances in Missouri.

ST. LOUIS — Blues goalie Manny Legace left after one period Friday night with a hip injury that occurred when he slipped on the carpet placed on the ice for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The Alaska governor dropped the ceremonial first puck before the Blues hosted the Los Angeles Kings. A narrow carpet walkway was placed from the gate at the Blues bench to center ice for Palin, her husband and two of her daughters.

Just before the ceremony, Legace was the first player onto the ice for St. Louis. A team official pointed to the carpet. But Legace said the official moved his own foot from the carpet just as Legace stepped down, causing the carpet to slide.

Legace fell, then gingerly made his way to the crease.

After Legace’s mishap, the official rolled up enough of the carpet so other players wouldn’t have to step on it.

Legace described the injury as a strained left hip flexor. He doesn’t believe it is serious but said it is painful. He said he won’t play Saturday when the Blues host Florida, but wasn’t sure if he’d miss any additional games.

If you want to see the incident, go to the link at the top of the post.

How long before some Democrat makes hay of what happened? There ought to be a law- No women running for Vice-President can drop ceremonial first pucks. We have to protect goalies and other hockey players from further incident.


Florida Panther Defenseman Bryan Allen ‘out indefinitely’

He will have knee surgery on Monday. From AP-

SUNRISE, Fla. — Florida defenseman Bryan Allen is set to have surgery on his left knee Monday and will be out indefinitely.

Allen, one of the Panthers’ three alternate captains, has been out since playing in the Panthers’ first two games of the season. He underwent surgery on the knee in the summer and sat out all but the last of Florida’s preseason games.

The Panthers are still without defenseman Bryan McCabe, who has been out since the season opener Oct. 10 because of a back injury. Panthers general manager Jacques Martin said McCabe is making progress and the team is hoping he can begin practicing next week.

Martin also said the Panthers have had discussions with veteran defenseman Jassen Cullimore, who played with the team last season but wasn’t re-signed.

Allen’s abscence is already being felt. Over the last two games, Florida opponents Ottawa and San Jose took 90 shots on goal. So much for the purpose of the Olli Jokinen deal which was to decrease the pressure on Florida goaltenders.

Florida plays St. Louis tonight. Having played in Florida last night, and then Missouri tonight, I expect Craig Anderson to be in goal. If he isn’t, Coach Peter DeBoer has to be taking direction from GM Jacques Martin. Martin showed little confidence in Anderson, and as of now DeBoer seems to be following his predecessor’s lead.

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Goalie Craig Anderson and Florida Panthers shut down Ottawa 3-1

The cats keep alternating wins and losses so far in the 2008-09 NHL season. From AP-

OTTAWA – Rostislav Olesz and Nathan Horton scored goals 48 seconds apart early in the first period and the Florida Panthers beat the Ottawa Senators 3-1 on Wednesday night.

Cory Stillman assisted on Horton’s goal that made it 2-0 in the first, then scored his third of the season midway through the second to restore Florida’s two-goal lead.

Craig Anderson made 41 saves in his first start of the season. The backup goalie dove to his left to make a glove save on Antoine Vermette’s shot as Ottawa enjoyed a power-play for the final 3:05 of the third after David Booth was assessed a double minor for high-sticking.

Florida, coming off a 3-1 loss in Montreal on Monday night, has alternated losses and wins in getting off to a 3-3 start.

Anderson had a great night against a team that scores plenty of goals. He was 8-2 in his last 10 starts of last season, including back to back shutouts. Yes I’ve said this before but it bears repeating.

Why do Florida coaches have so little confidence in Anderson? Two years ago then coach Jacques Martin started 41-year-old Eddie Belfour over 20 games straight rather than give Anderson even one game in net. Anderson spent large amounts of last season on the bench also. Tomas Vokoun is a great goalie, but he needs rest from time to time. Florida should use Anderson more often or shop him around. Based on his play since last year, some NHL may want the Chicago native. Ottawa could do worse, right now they have journeymen Martin Gerber and former Panther Alex Auld splitting goalie duties.


San Francisco 49ers fire coach Mike Nolan

He is expected to be replaced by Assistant Coach Mike Singletary. From ESPN-

Seven games into the NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers fired head coach Mike Nolan on Monday.

Assistant head coach Mike Singletary will be the interim head coach, general manager Scot McCloughan said. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported the two sides are working on a suitable contract for a head coaching position.

“The decision was difficult, because Mike has been both a friend and a valued coach of our team,” said McCloughan, who was hired by Nolan but gained authority over the coach last year. “My first obligation is to do what is in the best interest of our fans and the entire 49ers organization.”

The firing came late Monday afternoon after Nolan met with ownership. Earlier Monday, ESPN’s Michael Smith reported that Nolan was going to be fired after next Sunday’s game and be replaced by Singletary. Whether that story sped up the process or not, it was clear that Nolan’s days were numbered following Sunday’s 29-17 loss to the New York Giants in the Meadowlands.

I wasn’t buying into Smith’s earlier report. Why would an NFL team allow a coach to go one more game and then fire him in mid-season if the decision was already made. ESPN isn’t always reliable as a sports news source, so when they report news from unnamed sources I tend to be skeptical.

Mike was the second Nolan to coach the 49ers. His father Dick was head coach for the team from 1968-75. Will Mike continue in his father’s footsteps and become New Orleans Saints head coach one day? Play ‘The Twilight Zone’ music if he does.


Tampa Bay Rays earn spot in World Series

Shades of the 1969 New York Mets? From the Miami Herald-

The Tampa Bay Rays, laughable losers for the first 10 seasons of their existence, became the third team from Florida in the past 12 years to earn a trip to the World Series, dethroning the defending champion Boston Red Sox on Sunday with a 3-1 win in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.


Matt Garza, named the ALCS MVP, fired a pitching gem and the Rays survived a close battle, squeaking out just enough runs to edge past the Red Sox. Rays manager Joe Maddon used five pitchers – four from his bullpen – in the eighth inning to snuff out Boston’s best chance for a rally.

David Price struck out J.D. Drew with the bases loaded to kill the threat, and the rookie from Vanderbilt recorded the final three outs to preserve the win and give the Rays the pennant. He got Jed Lowrie on a ground ball to end the game.

I think the Ray’s magic will run out starting Wednesday. The only other times a Florida team(The Marlins in 1997 and 2003) made The World Series, they came out on top. My pick though is for the Philadelphia Phillies to win in seven.


Morgan Pressel wins LPGA Kapalua Classic

It was her second career victory on tour.

KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — Morgan Pressel served as a gracious host but didn’t want to extend Kapalua’s welcome by going into overtime.

Pressel birdied the final hole Sunday in the inaugural Kapalua LPGA Classic for her first victory of the season.

Kapalua’s tour pro closed with a 3-under 69 to edge Suzann Pettersen (69) by a stroke. Pressel finished at 8-under 280 and earned $225,000 for her second career win.

The 20-year-old Pressel birdied two of her final three holes and made a clutch 15-foot putt from the fringe near the front of the green to secure the victory.

Both of Morgan’s victories have come at Pettersen’s expense. Unlike the 2007 Kraft Nabisco, Morgan wasn’t helped by last round collapses by her closest challengers.

Randall Mell of the Sun-Sentinel wrote Sunday about the swing changes Morgan Pressel had been undergoing the last few months. The biggest flaw in Pressel’s game is her shortness off the tee. So far as I see it, Morgan is still below average in driving distance.

The LPGA now leaves the US for its Asia swing. Leading off with its first ever event in China, followed by tournaments in South Korea and Japan. After that comes Lorena Ochoa’s invitational in Mexico and then the year ending tour championship. Only five weeks of pro golf for 2008 remain. I’d suggest you enjoy it while you can, but US golf fans have little chance of watching the Asia swing. Those tournaments are not broadcast on North American television.


Former NY Yankees shortstop, outfielder Tommy Tresh dead at 71

He was the 1962 Rookie of the Year and the son of a former Major leaguer. Tresh might have been more of a household name if the bottom didn’t fall out of the New York Yankees in the mid-sixties. RIP.


LPGA Tour loses title sponsor ADT

Is my home town tournament in danger of folding? From AP-

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The LPGA Tour lost another title sponsor Friday when ADT Security Services said it would not renew its contract after 2008 for the tour’s season-ending event at Trump International.

The ADT Championship began in 2001 and transformed into one of the more compelling events on the LPGA Tour — a 30-player field whittled down to eight for the final round where the winner received $1 million.

The company did not specifically state why it was not renewing its contract, only that its strategy is investing in growth areas of its business more closely aligned with its customers.

It was a blow to the LPGA Tour, which has already lost four title sponsors this year. The tour previously said one of its majors, the McDonald’s LPGA Championship, would not have a title sponsor in 2009, and it has said it might fund the Phoenix event that lost its title when Safeway consolidated its LPGA sponsorship to one tournament.

Phoenix is only the tip of the iceberg. Semgroup, Ginn Tribute, plus the Fields Open are tournaments that are either kaput or at risk right now.

Note- Is AP predicting tomorrow’s news? Note the article says ‘lost another title sponsor Friday’. Today is Thursday October 16th and the LPGA put out a press release today.

Ryan at Waggle room writes-

The rumor mill had been flying about the future of the ADT Championship. It had been declared everything from dead, to moving to the START of the season, to being a part of the new network television package that the LPGA Tour is trying to negotiate. Any of those things may still be true, but one thing is certain: ADT is no longer sponsor of the season ending (and thrilling) event on the LPGA Tour.

And ADT politely slaps down their relationship with the LPGA Tour:


Basically, ADT sounds like they are stepping away from the LPGA Tour because they want to get involved in sports that are perceived as a bigger deal. After all, golf fans are generally pretty well off. And people who are pretty well off usually get scared that bad guys are going to steal their things. So, they would want ADT’s services.

The loss of ADT is troubling. As Ryan also notes, all these sponsor problems calls into question what the LPGA will look like in 2009. Will there even be a US Ladies golf tour in 5 years?


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