Sports Outside the Beltway

Torrey Pines may host LPGA event beginning in 2009

It is the site of the San Diego area PGA Tour event and its south course was where Tiger Woods won the 2008 US Open in dramatic fashion. From the San Diego Union-Tribune

When the LPGA Tour released its 2009 schedule last week, there were several holes to be filled for tournament sites. One was the Samsung World Championship, scheduled for Sept. 17-20. The location: TBD.

If International Management Group, which runs the Samsung, gets its wish, the event will be staged on one of the Torrey Pines golf courses.

City Golf Manager Jon Maddern confirmed that preliminary talks between IMG and the city have recently taken place in an effort to bring the 2009 Samsung to San Diego. Maddern said he has told IMG the September dates would work on either of the Torrey Pines courses, North and South. He said IMG has yet to specify which course it would like to use.

“They have made contact with me. There is nothing further than that,” Maddern said. “There is no signed contract.”

I’d love to see the ladies play Torry Pines, but preferably the South course. The North is only used for one round of play on Thursdays and Fridays each January as the course hosts the Buick Invitational.

Hat tip- Ryan at Waggleroom


Don Baylor returns to the Colorado Rockies as a hitting coach

This 10 years after he was the first manager of the major league baseball team. From AP-

Former manager Don Baylor returned to the Colorado Rockies as hitting coach Monday.

Baylor was one of five coaches added to manager Clint Hurdle’s staff. The team also hired former major league manager Jim Tracy as bench coach and Rich Dauer as third base coach. Jim Wright becomes the bullpen coach and Brian Jordan will be strength and conditioning coach.

Baylor was the first manager in Rockies history, leading the team from 1993-98 — including a playoff berth in 1995.

Pitching coach Bob Apodaca and first base coach Glenallen Hill are the only coaches to return to Hurdle’s staff following last year’s disappointing 74-88 season.

Colorado let go of hitting coach Alan Cockrell, third base coach Mike Gallego and bench coach Jamie Quirk in early October, a year after the Rockies won their first NL pennant.

The Rockies’ coaching staff now has 16 years of big league managerial experience, in addition to Hurdle’s seven years on the job.

Baylor also managed the Chicago Cubs from 2000-02. Tracy was in charge of the Pittsburgh Pirates (2006-07) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2001-05).

If Hurdle falls out of favor with team management, there are plenty of experience around when it comes to who would be the interim manager.

On a serious note, wikipedia says Baylor has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. It is good to hear he can coach in the major leagues again.


Goalie Roberto Luongo listed as week to week with strained muscle in his groin

He got injured in a game played last Saturday. From AP-

Roberto Luongo has a strained groin muscle and the Vancouver Canucks’ star goalie is expected to be sidelined at least a week — maybe longer.

A two-time Vezina Trophy finalist, Luongo was injured five minutes into Saturday’s 3-1 victory at Pittsburgh and didn’t put any weight on his left leg while being helped off the ice by teammates. He had an MRI exam Monday and the Canucks announced the diagnosis after consulting with team doctors.

Luongo was listed as week to week with an adductor muscle strain in his groin.

“We don’t know, it’s the first time I’ve had an injury like this,” Luongo said just before Vancouver’s game against Detroit on Monday night.

Luongo has always been incredibly durable. He has played in as many as 76 regular season games in a NHL Season. The total amount of non-playoff games for all 30 NHL teams is 82.

With Luongo hurt, who will try to fill in for him?

“This is a great challenge for our group,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “Our players play real well in front of Curtis [Sanford], and Curtis is an experienced NHL goaltender. He’ll do a good job for us.”

Vancouver also recalled goalie Cory Schneider from Manitoba of the American Hockey League. Schneider, the Canucks’ first-round pick in 2004, leads the AHL with a 10-1 record and 1.37 goals-against average. He was second with a .945 save percentage.

The 29-year-old Luongo started 14 straight games before Sanford made his first appearance in more than a month Thursday at Minnesota. Sanford then replaced Luongo in Pittsburgh on Saturday, stopping 45 of 48 shots overall to win both games — his first victories since Dec. 12, 2007.

Sanford was 4-3-1 with an .898 save percentage last season, his first in Vancouver after seven seasons in the St. Louis organization, including a career-high 34 games and 13 wins with the Blues in 2005-06.

Don’t you just love the positive spin by the Canucks’ coach? Sanford is an experienced goalie, but not a very good one. Vancouver would be better off finding out how good Schneider is.


Concern over Cuttino Mobley’s heart holds up Clippers-Knicks deal

He was supposed to be part of a four player trade between the two NBA teams. From ESPN-

Zach Randolph was in the Los Angeles Clippers’ locker room Tuesday night. He just wasn’t in a Clippers’ uniform, as the trade between Los Angeles and the New York Knicks was held up by what a source said were concerns about Cuttino Mobley’s heart.

Mobley and Tim Thomas were sent to New York in exchange for Randolph and Mardy Collins on Friday in a deal that gives the Clippers a low post presence in Randolph and gives the Knicks more cap space for the 2010 free-agent market.

Mobley’s and Thomas’ contracts expire before the 2010 season.

The source said Mobley would see a heart specialist on Tuesday. Normally players have 48 hours to report to their new teams and take a physical examination, followed by another 24 hours for all the test results to come in. Because this trade was completed after business hours on Friday, the teams agreed to an additional 24-hour period, which ends at 6:30 p.m. ET Tuesday.

When asked about’s report by reporters after the Clippers game on Monday, coach Mike Dunleavy said: “From the standpoint of Cuttino’s concern, there’s nothing they have or don’t have that hasn’t been known to us or hasn’t been approved by us and all the other teams he’s played for. Neither one of those guys has had any issues with any of the things that are even being talked about.

As someone who lived with a heart defect for 47 years before needing it to be repaired, I can say a heart issue shouldn’t automatically cancel any deal. The Knicks are just being careful, as they don’t want to spend 9 million dollars a year on a player who can’t take part in any games.


Miami Dolphins WR Greg Camarillo out for the season

He got injured in yesterday’s 48-28 loss to New England. From ESPN-

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Greg Camarillo is out for the season with a knee injury.

Camarillo left Miami’s 48-28 loss to New England in the second half Sunday and did not return.

“He’s not good, he’s done,” Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said Monday. “You don’t want to lose a player like that. He’s been really productive for us.”

The injury ends Camarillo’s breakout year with the Dolphins.

He leads the Dolphins with 55 receptions for 613 yards and two touchdowns after catching a total of eight passes in his first two NFL seasons.

The loss of Camarillo is a big blow to Miami. Of their receiving corps, Camarillo was easily the most productive though Ted Ginn has been prodcuing good numbers of late. Miami is 6-5 after the loss yesterday, I think they’ll finish over .500 based on the weakness of the fins schedule rather than the strength of the team. New England made mincemeat of the Dolphin defense. Over 400 yards passing, and other teams(Houston, NY Jets and Arizona) have shown how flimsy Miami’s pass defense is. Lets say Miami wins one of the two games(Buffalo and the NY Jets both on the road) I think they will end up losing and instead makes the playoffs, it will be a quick out for the fins. Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, New England, The Jets or some other playoff team will do a number on Miami like John Elway and Denver did(38-3) about 10 years ago.


Washington Wizards fire Coach Eddie Jordan

The second head coach firing of the 2008-09 NBA season has taken place.

Eddie Jordan was fired as coach of the Washington Wizards on Monday after opening the season 1-10 without injured starters Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood.

Ed Tapscott, the Wizards’ director of player development, will replace Jordan on an interim basis, running his first practice as the team’s new head coach Monday morning, a team spokesman told The Associated Press.

The firing was first reported by The Washington Post on its Web site.

Assistant coach Mike O’Koren was also let go, and the Wizards named Randy Ayers as top assistant coach, a source told ESPN’s Ric Bucher.

Jordan was in his sixth season with the Wizards and led the team to the playoffs each of the past four. In September, shortly before the start of training camp, the Wizards picked up a one-year option to keep him under contract through the 2009-10 season.

Frankly I would have been more inclined to giving Jordan more time to work out the problems in Washington. These two recently fired coaches were producing dismal results too but didn’t have Jordan’s success in previous season.


Dainus Zubrus scores 4 goals as NJ routs Tampa 7-3

Before yesterday’s game the Devil forward had two goals for the entire 2008-09 season. From AP-

Dainius Zubrus had one of the best offensive games in New Jersey Devils history.

Zubrus tied a team record with four goals to help New Jersey win its season-high fourth straight game, 7-3 over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday.

“I had chances,” Zubrus said. “Since I’ve played with Brian Gionta and Patrik Elias, I’ve had more chances than I had before. They just started going in.”

Zubrus, who entered with two goals this season, completed his four-goal effort in the third with a breakaway goal at 7:22 and on a shot from the slot with 5:22 left to play.

You give up seven goals to New Jersey, not exactly a scoring powerhouse. Someone try explaining to me why Tampa was considered a Stanley Cup contender before the season began?


Florida Panthers waive Wade Belak

How many Florida Panther fans will notice or care? From the Sun-Sentinel-

When the Panthers waived veteran tough guy Wade Belak on Saturday, it was part of the search for answers from a team that has three wins in 12 games.

But the move might have created one more question among Panthers players: Could they be next?

“It makes you take a look in the mirror,” center Brett McLean said. “If it happens to someone like Wade, who has done a really good job for us this year, it could happen to anybody.”

General Manager Jacques Martin and coach Pete DeBoer said waiving Belak was, in part, an effort to shake up a team off to a disappointing start. Martin said he didn’t know if any more statement moves were planned and said the team has an important week ahead that he will take “day by day.”


DeBoer hinted that waiving Belak was due to his lack of getting into fights when needed. His ice time had diminished and he played just three minutes Friday.

Belak played very little all year and when he was on ice, he was barely visible. In addition to acquiring Belak late in the 2007-08 season, Florida traded a draft choice for this defenseman. Johansson is back in Sweden now and Belak is waived. Those deals turned out so well. NOT!

I think the real reason Florida cut Belak was that DeBoer realizes the cats need to shore up their anemic offense and can’t afford to waste roster space on a non-scoring forward. Based on past history, I’m probably giving Panther coaches and management too much credit.


Ji Yai Shin wins the ADT Championship

The 20-year-old from South Korea won the ADT Championship today. It was Shin’s 3rd LPGA win this year without her being a LPGA member.

Shin won by one shot over Karrie Webb. It was basically a Shin-Webb battle except for a few brief moments when Seon Hwa Lee tied Shin with a birdie on 16. Lee promptly double bogied 17 and finished 3rd.

Along with that trophy she is holding, Ji Yai won a million dollars today. The ADT is the only LPGA tournament where the winner takes home that large a prize.

Suzann Pettersen shot a 79. The fiery Norwegian could be seen taking out her frustrations on her caddy. Paula Creamer was never a factor on Sunday.

Only two weeks ago I wrote this about Shin after her win at the Mizuno Classic-

She will be eligible for Rookie of Year, assuming Ji-Yai comes to play in the US. She has been tearing up the KLPGA, to a lesser extent the JLPGA for a few years now. You read it here first, the second South Korean LPGA golfer to qualify for the Golf Hall of Fame will be Ji-Yai Shin. Take that to the bank.

The complaints the Koreans are taking over the LPGA are about to get louder. Isn’t it about the best golfer is, not where in the world they are from?

Take this down also. If Shin plays the LPGA Tour in 2009, I predict Lorena Ochoa’s days as the #1 player in the world are numbered.


LA Dodger pitcher Chad Billingsley breaks leg at home

Another odd injury involving a MLB player has taken place.

Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley had surgery on Saturday after fracturing his leg in a fall at his Pennsylvania home.

Team spokesman Josh Rawitch said that the 24-year-old Billingsley slipped on ice outside his house in Reading, Pa., and suffered a spiral fracture of the fibula in his left leg on Friday.

He had surgery to put a plate in and will be in a cast for two weeks. Rawitch said the surgery went as expected and Billingsley should be ready to throw by spring training.

Rawitch said the surgery was performed by Dr. Paul Neuman, an orthopedic surgeon in Reading, after consulting with team surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Billingsley was 16-10 with a 3.14 ERA this past season. He lost Game 2 and Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Pitchers are injury prone enough on the ball field, to have one get hurt in some sort of household accident has to be particularly irksome. Hopefully Billingsley and the Dodgers won’t be damaged too much by what happened.


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