Sports Outside the Beltway

San Diego State fires football Coach Chuck Long

The former NFL QB didn’t make it through four season in his Aztecs job. From ESPN-

The Aztecs athletic department has scheduled a news conference for 4 p.m. ET Sunday, regarding an announcement about its football program, according to the school’s Web site.

Long had been assured of his position in public statements by athletic director Jeff Schemmel. But San Diego State is 2-10 and 1-7 in the Mountain West after snapping a seven-game losing streak with a 42-21 defeat of UNLV on Saturday.

Long, a former Iowa quarterback, was hired by the Aztecs in 2005 after spending four seasons as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma. San Diego State was Long’s first head coaching job.

While at Iowa, Long was runner-up to Bo Jackson for the 1985 Heisman Trophy in the closest vote in history. He guided the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten title and the Rose Bowl that season.

He was Oklahoma’s passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach when the Sooners won the national championship in 2000 and was offensive coordinator when Jason White won the 2003 Heisman and when Adrian Peterson and White finished 2-3 in 2004.

Long got his coaching start at Iowa in 1995 after playing eight seasons in the NFL, with the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

I remember Long’s NFL playing days. He had the time at SDSU to put together his own team through recruiting and apparently he failed. Some excellent assistant coaches aren’t meant for the head man’s job. Ask Miami Dolphin fans if they believe in that statement after Cam Cameron coached the team


ADT Championship Sunday- 18 holes for a million dollars

At 9:30 this morning the last 8 golfers begin teeing it up in West Palm Beach. They are-

Seon Hwa Lee, Suzann Pettersen, Paula Creamer, Jeong Jang, Karrie Webb Ji Yai Shin, Angela Stanford, and Eun Hee Ji.

Under the ADT’s unique format, all eight players begin today at even par. Some comments on Saturday’s play

*- Suzann Pettersen shot a 68 in spite of scoring a triple bogey on the 4th hole.
*- Helen Alfredsson came to 18 at even par, but splashed two balls before finishing with a seven. Alfredsson scooping up her 4th shot after it crossed the hazard line but before it reached the water, caused some minor controversy.
*- Paula Creamer feeling very unwell, perhaps because of appendicitis, shot a 2 under par 70.
*- Karrie Webb finally defeats a South Korean in a playoff. Sun Young Yoo, Webb, and Ji had to go back to 17 to play for 2 spots in Sunday’s field. Yoo 3-putted from 45 feet to drop out.

Prior to yesterday, Webb had lost 4 playoffs against South Korean players. Three of them to Se Ri Pak, most famously the 2006 LPGA Championship but also the LPGA’s biggest playoff ever a 6-player affair at the Jamie Farr. Webb’s 4th playoff loss was earlier this year to Seon Hwa Lee at the Ginn Tribute.
*- If Creamer is not well enough to play, she will not be placed in the final round field. That would leave only seven players competing for the one million dollar prize.
*- All eight golfers have won at least once on the LPGA Tour. We won’t have a Julieta Granada like story this year.

Some comments on today’s finalists should they be the winner.

Paula Creamer- Would surpass Lorena Ochoa on the 2008 LPGA money list
Ji Yai Shin- Would earn her 3rd LPGA tour win without being a member of the tour yet.
Suzann Pettersen- Would break the Korean LPGA curse. No winner of the Korean LPGA tour stop, now known as the Hana Bank Kolon Championship, since 2003 has since won again on tour.
Seon Hwa Lee- A win may finally get this very underrated player nicknamed ‘Stone Buddha’ some notice. Lee has won 4 times since joining the tour in 2006 and is pretty invisible with both golf fans and media alike.
Jeong Jang- The player affectionately called ‘JJ’ or ‘The Little Giant’ has won over a million dollars this year without a win and at the same time having a painful wrist injury. Jang, the 2005 British Open Champ, is paired with Paula Creamer. Jeong joked about liking to play before a big gallery. Her 2005 British Open final round had a large crowd following JJ. That because of JJ’s playing partner, Annika Sorenstam.
Eun Hee Ji- If she wins, will she give her acceptance speech in English? It was Ji’s use of an interpreter after winning the Wegman’s that supposedly sparked the controversial English policy on the LPGA tour.
Karrie Webb- A win would keep her from being considered a 2009 Comeback player of the Year candidate
Angela Stanford- Would she be considered defending champion when Stanford Intl. takes over as sponsor of the Tour championship in 2009? Stanford defends Stanford. I can see the headline now…..

NBC televise the ADT tape delayed beginning at 3 p.m. this afternoon. A showcase unique event for Women’s golf, but it isn’t shown live. The LPGA Tour gets little respect.

Hound Dog, The Constructivist, and Geoff Shackelford are all commenting.


Oklahoma City Thunder fire coach P.J. Carlesimo

It didn’t take long for the recently moved NBA franchise to fire its first ever coach.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, off to a league-worst 1-12 start in their new home town, have fired coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Assistant coach Scott Brooks has been named interim coach.

The Thunder dropped their 10th straight game on Friday night, a 105-80 home loss to the New Orleans Hornets. Sources told that Carlesimo was fired before the team boarded a flight to New Orleans for Saturday’s game against the Hornets.

I can’t fault Thunder management for blaming Carlesimo after a 1-12 start. Brooks will certainly improve on that record, but it won’t take much to do it.


The outrage- Annika Sorenstam’s ADT drug test

Today at the ADT is causing a stir. Ron Sirak wrote about it. Steve Elling had the following to say.

“I’m serious and I was tested two weeks ago, so I don’t really know what’s going on,” she said testily.

Guess they hadn’t heard that she was retiring.

“I have no idea, but they’re not going to let me go,” she said, forcing a laugh. “Yeah, I guess you get tested every other week now.”


Even for an organization known for making head-shaking decisions over the years, this ranks at the bottom of the latrine in terms of asinine, idiotic developments.

I’m not going to get into whether this is an insult or not. Annika has flouted rules or broke them in the past, and I’ve never been willing to give her a free pass just because she’s a golf superstar.

When was she tested before by the LPGA? Two weeks ago the LPGA was in Japan, Annika wasn’t in the field. Three weeks ago the LPGA was in South Korea, Annika was playing a LET event in China. Four weeks ago, Annika played a LPGA event in China. Here’s Annika’s LPGA results for 2008.

Annika played in Mexico last week. Did Annika mean Mexico or the LPGA China event? Or did she mixup the LET and the LPGA? I don’t know if the LET has a drug testing policy. Or did Annika make it up? I don’t believe that.

No member of the media at the ADT noted the discrepancy, just Annika’s anger. Did they give Annika a free pass or did no one know how LPGA schedule? Probably the later, which shows we golf bloggers know this tour better than the old fashioned media that covers the sport.


ADT Championship Day two- The Carnage

The news out of the LPGA event in West Palm Beach isn’t who made the 36 hole cut or Annika Sorenstam having to take a drug test after play ended or led at the end of the second day(IT don’t matter, all scores reset before play begins again tomorrow) but who missed the cut. Here’s a sampling-

#1 Lorena Ochoa
#2 Yani Tseng
3-time ADT Championship winner Annika Sorenstam
2007 Major Champions and South Floridians- Morgan Pressel and Cristie Kerr

I picked Kerr, and Ochoa to be around on Sunday. So they missing the cut comes as a complete surprise.

So who’s left- Katherine Hull, Angela Stanford, Christina Kim, Paula Creamer, In Kyung Kim, Jeong Jang, Angela Park, Seon Hwa Lee, Ji Yai Shin, Helen Alfredsson, Eun hee Ji, Jee Young Lee, Suzann Pettersen, Sun Young Yoo, Karen Stupples, Karrie Webb.

Unlike in earlier years, no playoff was needed to narrow the field down to 16.

That’s 7 South Koreans(IK Kim, Jang, Lee, Shin, Ji, Lee, and Yoo) plus two Korean-Americans(Park and C Kim). If we go by the South of the Border factor, this week’s winner will be Angela Park. The 2006 ADT champ was Julieta Granada born in Paraguay, In 2007 it was Lorena Ochoa born in Mexico. Angela Park was born in Brazil. If Natalie Gulbis was around and got paired with Angela on Sunday, her winning the one million dollar grand prize would be all but certain. Gulbis played with Granada and Ochoa on Sunday when they won.

The only thing keeping the golf media from being dismayed over those players not around on the weekend, is probably the presence of media darling Paula Creamer, and part-time Florida resident Karrie Webb. Creamer would pass Ochoa for #1 on the money list with a win on Sunday, but I’m sticking with my original pick. Ji Yai Shin.

Others blogging on today’s play- Ryan, Hound Dog, and The Constructivist


Florida Panthers- A blah effort

That best describes the cats game against New Jersey last night. Florida out shot 24-19 but lost 3-1. Simple problem with the game- Florida let New Jersey control it. Some players looked like they were barely putting in an effort.

Sun Sentinel hockey blogger wrote-

He hasn’t been able to get this team going on a consistent basis — who can do it? — and in particular Nathan Horton.

He tried to take the pressure off Horton coming into this season. He made him a center to give him more responsibility. Still, no response. There are times Horton hustles and there are times when he appears to be going through the motions.

Horton alternates between being a terror and invisible. Last night he was the later.

Against New Jersey, Florida faced a third string goalie who probably belongs in the AHL. Tonight they play again in Boston. No rest, and against a goalie in Tim Thomas, who is playing brilliantly but has had problems with the cats in the past. Which Florida team will show up?

What does Florida coah DeBoer think of his team so far this season?

Nearly one-fourth through the season, DeBoer said the Panthers’ report card deserves a ‘C.’

I’d say more like a C- or D+

Scott Burnside at ESPN has his own ratings-

Tampa Bay Lightning: D-plus
Firing coach Barry Melrose 16 games into the season illustrates the state of flux in which the Lightning find themselves. Ownership and management can’t seem to decide what kind of team they want to be, both on the ice and financially, as the trade of minute-muncher Matt Carle to Philadelphia attests. There is plenty of time to turn this ship around given the talent in the lineup and the surprising play of netminder Mike Smith, but it won’t happen if everyone isn’t pulling on the same rope, which hasn’t been the case so far. The immediate question facing the team is whether new rookie coach Rick Tocchet has the personality to make sure that cohesiveness takes place.


Florida Panthers: D
New coach, new lineup, new promises … same results in South Florida for the bottom-dwelling Panthers. Rookie coach Peter DeBoer was hoping to rely on a rock-solid defense and goaltending to keep the young Panthers in the playoff hunt, but they’re 16th in goals against per game and 28th in goals scored per game. The Panthers have yet to win more than two games in a row at any point this season. Jay Bouwmeester had not scored through 17 games and will become the elephant in the corner as GM Jacques Martin will have to decide whether to move the franchise defenseman. Bouwmeester can become an unrestricted free agent in July and has showed little inclination to sign on for the long haul in Florida (and why would he?).

Which I find peculiar for several reasons.

1- The records of Tampa and Florida so far

Lightning- 5-7-6
Panthers- 7-10-1

Florida is playing mediocre this year, but not much was expected of the team. On the other hand some hockey analysts thought Tampa was at least a playoff team or even a potential Stanley Cup contender.

2- Burnside hyped Tampa before the 2008-09 season began. How can give the dismal Lightning a better than Florida considering their under performance?


14-year-old Jason Hak youngest player ever to make cut on European tour

His back to back seventies at a tournament in Hong Kong advance him to weekend play.

A Hong Kong teenager became the youngest player ever to make the cut at a European Tour event on Friday, breaking the record set by current world No. 2 Sergio Garcia.

Fourteen-year-old Jason Hak shot a 70 in each of the first two rounds at his home tournament, the $2.5 million Hong Kong Open. He just made the even-par 140 cut at the end of the second round by drilling a 150-yard approach onto the 18th green and holing a 10-foot putt for birdie.

Jason Hak’s golf idol growing up was Tiger Woods. But he’s not thinking about becoming Asia’s version of the world’s greatest golfer just yet.

Garcia was 15 years, 46 days old when he made the cut at the Turespana Open Mediterrania in Valencia, Spain, in 1995.

Hak, who is 14 years, 304 days old, has no immediate plans to turn professional.

But will he sign an endorsement deal with Nike? Yes, the European golf Tour plays in Asia. They just came off events in China and Singapore.


ADT Championship Day Two

Play begins today at 9:30 when Cristie Kerr tees off. Kerr will be playing by herself because Inbee Park withdrew after 14 holes yesterday. Inbee must be either sick or injured, for she was 13 over par for the round.

Katherine Hull has the first round lead after a first round 68. She leads Ji Yai Shin and In Kyung Kim by one shot. Was I ever on target with my pre-tournament predictions for Shin, Hull, and Inbee(Though I was far off with Kerr but so was Greg Stoda at the Palm Beach Post)

Here are all the first round scores-


68 Katherine Hull
69 Ji-Yai Shin, In-Kyung Kim
70 Na Yeon Choi, Eun-Hee Ji, Ji Young Oh
71 Paula Creamer, Christina Kim, Karen Stupples
72 Yani Tseng, Suzann Pettersen, Seon Hwa Lee, Maria Hjorth Jee Young Lee, Candie Kung, Morgan Pressel
73 Angela Stanford, Jeong Jang, Helen Alfredsson Karrie Webb, Nicole Castrale, Angela Park
74 Annika Sorenstam, Hee-Won Han, Sun Young Yoo
75 Lorena Ochoa, Song-Hee Kim, Laura Diaz
78 Cristie Kerr, Shanshan Feng, Meena Lee
WD Inbee Park

Oh no 5 of the top 6 are South Korean and only one white American in the top nine and two in the top 16. Someone must be done to fix this inequity, maybe a foreign player quota but only for non-blondes.(Rolling my eyes)

Since scores reset after both Friday’s and Saturday’s play, the goal is to survive the cut after 36 and 54 holes. The big news yesterday is how Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam, struggled. Ochoa and Sorenstam are in no way out of the picture for the weekend but they will have to play very good golf today.

The two best LPGA bloggers around, Hound Dog and The Constructivist, are also commenting on yesterday’s play.


No boos for Moose

Early in Mike Mussina’s career, a co-worker asked me why it was that the Orioles fans booed him. It took me a moment, but then I realized that they weren’t booing him. They were calling “M-o-o-o-s-e.”

From 1991 – 2000, Mussina was a fan favorite and when he bolted to New York, many fans and broadcasters wouldn’t forgive him. But it wasn’t his fault he left Baltimore.

Here’s what still irks me.

While ace pitcher Mike Mussina begins weighing offers from other teams, starting with the New York Yankees’ opening bid on Tuesday, the Baltimore Orioles continue holding on to hope that they can keep him, pointing to Mussina’s promise to give them the last bid.

Instead of bidding seriously to re-sign Mussina they fell back on “… well he promised!”

Of course the Yankees would have none of that. They were serious about signing Mussina while the Orioles were passive. The Yankees offered Mussina a generous deal on the condition that he not shop it around and that he respond in short order. What should Mussina have done? Gone to the Orioles and lost the Yankees offer? Would anyone have done that?

Ken Rosenthal has more on the Orioles passivity in the face of their star’s possible departure in a withering column in which he describes the Orioles (mis-)management of that era.

Under owner Peter Angelos, the Orioles have lost one of the game’s top broadcasters (Jon Miller), one of the best managers (Davey Johnson) and the man who almost single-handedly transformed the franchise (Frank Robinson).

They’ve lost many of the game’s brightest executives, from Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt to Padres president Larry Lucchino, Mariners general manager Pat Gillick to Rangers G.M. Doug Melvin.

And now they’ve lost Mike Mussina, their latter-day Jim Palmer.

When will it end? By now, the answer should be obvious: When Angelos, 71, no longer is owner.

His team is a laughingstock. His tenure is a flop. But he isn’t likely to sell, not when the team’s value is uncertain because of the threat of a competitor moving to northern Virginia–and not when his sons, John and Louis, are in position to assume control.

The Orioles under new GM Andy MacPhail might finally have started turning things around, but they still haven’t had a winning season since 1997. We’ll see how long Angelos will stick with MacPhail if the Orioles don’t improve fast.

Regardless the villain of Mussina’s departure wasn’t Mussina, but Angelos (and the wreck of a front office the team had back then.) So I wish Moose the best. I wouldn’t boo him. And I hope in five years or so he will be elected to the Hall of Fame. I’d love it if he wore and Orioles hat for that occasion, but if he doesn’t, I certainly understand.

Baseball Crank makes the HOF case for Mussina. And Rob Neyer (via Baseball Musings) notes that Mussina is in select company: one of only 5 Major League pitchers to win 20 games in his final season. One is Sandy Koufax, you probably haven’t heard of the other three.

For me there will be no boos for Moose.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad.


Former Green Bay Packers CB Bob Jeter dead at 71

He played in the first two Super Bowl games. RIP.

Former Green Bay Packers cornerback Bob Jeter, the father of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men’s basketball coach Rob Jeter, has died.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee spokesman Kevin O’Connor said Rob Jeter learned of the death Thursday afternoon and went to join family members in Chicago, where his father lived. He said Rob Jeter told him by phone that his father was believed to have died of cardiac arrest.

O’Connor said Rob Jeter plans to rejoin his team in time for Saturday’s game with crosstown rival Marquette.

Bob Jeter, who was 71, played on the Green Bay teams that won the NFL championship in 1965 and the first two Super Bowls. He played for the Packers from 1963-70 and was with the Chicago Bears from 1971-73. He was inducted in 1985 into the Packers Hall of Fame.


Visitors Since Feb. 4, 2003

All original content copyright 2003-2008 by OTB Media. All rights reserved.