Sports Outside the Beltway

World Series hero Dusty Rhodes dead at 82

His pinch hit homerun won game one of the 1954 series. Rhodes pinch hitting again in game two, made another critical hit that helped propel the New York Giants to a World Series sweep. RIP.

Dusty Rhodes, who helped the Giants win their last World Series title in 1954, has died. He was 82.

Rhodes died Wednesday of cardiopulmonary arrest at Valley Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas, the Clark County coroner’s office said Thursday. He lived in Henderson.

Rhodes had heart trouble and was on the way to his doctor for a checkup, according to Frank Turco, a cousin of Rhodes’ wife, Gloria.

Born James Lamar Rhodes in Mathews, Ala., Rhodes played with the New York Giants from 1952-57, then appeared in 54 games for the San Francisco Giants in 1959. He had a .253 career average, 54 homers and 207 RBIs.

“He didn’t miss a beat in life. He had good times. He liked to live,” Turco said. “And the results of those things take a toll on you. But he was a happy guy until the day he died.”

Rhodes was 4 for 6 with two home runs in the 1954 World Series, when the Giants swept the Cleveland Indians.

Pinch hitting for Monte Irvin in the 10th inning of Game 1, Rhodes had a tiebreaking, three-run homer off Bob Lemon for a 5-2 victory at the Polo Grounds.

He had a tying single as a pinch hitter for Irvin in the fifth inning of Game 2 and led off the seventh with a homer off Early Wynn for the final run in a 3-1 win.

Rhodes pinch hit again for Irvin in the third inning of Game 3 at Cleveland and had a two-run single against Mike Garcia for a 3-0 lead in a 6-2 victory.


Off target- Mountain biking champ Melissa Giove arrested on drug charges

The person nicknamed ‘The Missile’ is in for a heap of trouble. From AP-

Former mountain biking world champion Melissa “Missy” Giove was in custody Thursday on federal drug charges after authorities said they seized more than 200 pounds of marijuana from a truck she was driving in upstate New York.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials said Wednesday that the 37-year-old Giove, of Chesapeake, Va., and 30-year-old Eric Canori of Wilton were charged Tuesday with conspiring to possess and distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.

Authorities said they seized nearly 400 pounds of pot from the truck and from Canori’s home outside Saratoga Springs, 25 miles north of Albany.

Giove and Canori were in the custody of U.S. Marshals pending detention hearings Thursday afternoon in Albany.

DEA spokeswoman Erin Mulvey said authorities learned of Giove and Canori’s plans last weekend when Illinois State Police pulled over a woman driving a truck and trailer loaded with about 220 pounds of marijuana. Authorities completed the delivery to the Albany area, where Mulvey said Giove picked up the vehicle and trailer.

Officials said Giove then drove north and followed Canori to his home, where some of the trailer’s contents were unloaded.

Giove was later arrested at nearby Saratoga Lake, authorities said. A search of Canori’s home turned up more than 150 pounds of pot and more than $1 million in cash stashed in a closet and the basement, the DEA said.


Giove, nicknamed “The Missile” for her aggressive riding style, was the downhill world champion in 1994 and won World Cup season titles in ’97 and ’98, then captured national titles from 1999-2001. One of the sport’s first mainstream female stars, she retired from downhill racing in 2003.

400 lbs isn’t simple possession but sounds like someone was dealing. In light of how Giove is facing federal charges, if found guilty she will be in jail for a very long time.


Ivan Rodriguez sets all time record for games played as a catcher

He broke the record held by Carlton Fisk. From AP-

Ivan Rodriguez was praised by fans and teammates Wednesday night for becoming the all-time leader in games caught.


Rodriguez, who began his career at age 19 in 1991 and played 12 seasons in Texas, caught his 2,227th game to break Carlton Fisk’s record.

“I’m tickled for Pudge,” Cooper said. “It’s great he was able to break the record. But it’s unfortunate that it didn’t happen on a good night for us.”

Rodriguez received numerous ovations from the Rangers crowd, but also had his first two-error game since Aug. 26, 2004, and sixth in his career. Both of his miscues led to runs.

Pudge’s rifle arm has been prone to miscues. He totaled double digit amounts of errors in three seasons.

Catcher is the most demanding position position on the baseball field. It puts a lot of wear on a player’s feet, back, etc. That’s why 2,000 games at the position is a huge amount, and why many catchers(Anyone remember iron man Randy Hundley) begin breaking down at half or more the amount of games Pudge played.


Minnesota Wild name Todd Richards as their next head coach

He replaces the recently retired Jacques Lemaire. From AP-

Todd Richards represents the current NHL coaching trend: Inexperience is insignificant.

Richards has returned home to coach the Wild, and the Minnesota native brings with him the promise that the team will play a more exciting, up-tempo style.

He also carries the humility of a playing career consisting of eight NHL games — and a dozen years in the minor leagues.

“You always imagine yourself or picture yourself as a star in the NHL,” Richards said. “I wasn’t able to do that, but other avenues have opened up for me and this has been a great opportunity.”

He’s the latest hire with limited NHL coaching experience, a line on the resume that was far less important to new Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher than philosophy, intuition, and personality.

“I truly believe that talent is the most important thing. … How you deal with people, how you communicate, how you get the players to buy in and execute, your understanding of the game, your integrity,” Fletcher said. “I think your skill set and your overall talent takes precedence over experience.”

Richards was introduced Tuesday as the second head coach in the franchise’s nine-year history, completing a new power structure that began with Craig Leipold’s purchase of the team 1½ years ago. Fletcher was hired last month, when Richards immediately became a front-runner for this job despite only one season as an NHL assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks.

Prior NHL experience isn’t a prerequisite for coaching success in the league. Peter DeBoer never coached or played in the NHL, but took the Florida Panthers last season to its best record in a decade.

Richards will try molding the Wild into his type of team. Will it work? I just don’t know enough about the franchise or its personnel.


Clemson Men’s Soccer Coach Trevor Adair resigns

He had led the Tigers for 14 years. From AP-

Longtime Clemson men’s soccer coach Trevor Adair has resigned, more than two months after his arrest on charges of attacking his teenage daughters.

Adair, 48, had coached the Tigers for 14 years and led the team to nine NCAA tournament appearances including a trip to the 2005 national semifinals.

In April, police charged him with two counts of assault and battery. The cases are pending. Adair was released on $10,000 bond and placed on a leave of absence.

“After a great deal of thought and prayer, I believe the time is right to pursue other opportunities in coaching and to help transition the Clemson program to new leadership,” Adair said in a statement released by the school.

Clemson assistant Phil Hindson will take over as interim head coach for the 2009 season.

“We had many bright moments at Riggs Field during his tenure and we wish him the best in his future endeavors,” athletic director Terry Don Phillips said in a statement.

In 1998, Adair led the Tigers to a school-record tying 22 victories, the Atlantic Coast Conference championship and the No. 1 ranking.

Adair leaves with a mark of 174-91-26 at Clemson.

IMHO, the only justification for violence towards a woman is self defense. Details are sketchy as to what form of assault Adair did against his own flesh and blood, but whatever it was it calls into question his character and whether he should be coaching young people at all.


Big Break- Jan Dowling to next Florida Gators Women’s golf coach

She once was an assistant coach at Duke and Kent State. From AP-

Florida hired Dowling as its golf coach Monday, giving the former “Big Break” contestant her first head coaching job.

Dowling replaces Jill Briles-Hinton, who resigned last month after the Gators finished 16th in the NCAA East regional played in Gainesville.

Dowling spent one year as an assistant at Duke and two seasons as an assistant at Kent State. She also played professionally for almost three years before entering the coaching ranks. From 2003 to 2005, she competed on the Futures Tour and on the Canadian Women’s Tour.

The Bradford, Ontario, native also participated in the Golf Channel’s reality TV series “Big Break” in 2005.

I love the sport of golf, but have never the Big Break. In fact, I don’t watch any reality shows.

As for college golf in general, on the women’s side fewer top golfers are playing collegiate ball before trying their luck at the LPGA. In fact, the only American LPGA golfer since 1998 who was 23 or younger and went to college for four years before winning their first event, is naturalized US citizen Candie Kung. LPGA players are winning at younger ages, but many if not most skipped playing college ball.


NFL WR Donte Stallworth to serve 30 days for DUI Manslaughter

Is life cheap? From AP-

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth took full responsibility for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk in Florida and began serving a 30-day jail sentence Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter.

Stallworth also reached a confidential financial settlement to avoid a potential lawsuit from the family of 59-year-old Mario Reyes, according to Stallworth attorney Christopher Lyons. Reyes was struck and killed March 14 by Stallworth, who was driving his black 2005 Bentley after a night drinking at a swanky hotel bar.

Stallworth, 28, told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy that he hopes to get involved in drunken driving education programs.

“I accept full responsibility for this horrible tragedy,” said Stallworth, who was accompanied at the hearing by his parents, siblings and other supporters. “I will bear this burden for the rest of my life.”

Stallworth faced 15 years in prison. After his release from jail, Stallworth must serve two years of house arrest and spend eight years on probation.

Stallworth took a life, to me the sentence he got for the crime is really ridiculous. Even if the victim’s family agreed to it. People serve longer time in jail for penny ante stuff like angering a judge by not showing up for jury duty. When you compare stories like that and Stallworth’s, you can’t help think that the US justice system is either 1) Totally broken or 2) There is two different levels of justice in this country, depending on what a person does for socieity.


Philadelphia Flyers Defensemen Derian Hatcher retires

He is the only American to ever Captain a Stanley Cup winning team. From AP-

Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher retired Monday, two weeks after knee replacement surgery in effect ended his 16-year career. The 37-year-old former Flyers captain joined the coaching staff as player development coach.

“It sounded like the perfect way to stay in the game and see if I like it,” Hatcher said. “I will be watching the younger players and making sure everything runs smoothly for them. I will be involved with running the rookie camp this summer.”

On the coaching staff, Hatcher replaces former Flyer Eric Desjardins, who resigned to pursue business interests.

Hatcher underwent a right knee replacement June 1 and said afterward he did not expect to play again. He missed all of last season and played only 44 games for the Flyers in 2007-08.

Hatcher finished his career with 80 goals and 331 points in 1,045 games for the Minnesota North Stars, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings and the Flyers. He also scored 33 points for 133 career NHL playoff games.

He signed with the Flyers as a free agent in 2005. He won a Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999 and is the only American-born player to captain a team to a championship.

Hatcher was a good player but hockey is a rough sport without the type of surgery he underwent. He got out at the right time.


Men, women to play successive Opens at Pinehurst #2 in 2014

On the surface I like this idea, because the US Women’s Open is too often played on courses I don’t think should be hosting the biggest tournament in Women’s golf.

This might be as close as golf gets to a doubleheader.

The USGA said Monday the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open will be held over consecutive weeks in 2014 at Pinehurst No. 2, the first time in golf that women have a chance to share the stage with the men.

“It’s a big opportunity,” said USGA executive director David Fay, who came up with the idea. “I really do think this will generate some buzz for women’s golf and the Women’s Open. And I think a lot of people will take advantage.”

The U.S. Open already was scheduled to return to Pinehurst in 2014 for the third time in 15 years. The Women’s Open has been held three times at nearby Pine Needles since 1996, but never at the fabled No. 2 course at Pinehurst.


Holding back-to-back championships on the same course should save time and money. The USGA already will have tents in place for corporate hospitality, concessions and the media. The ropes already will line the fairway. And there will be no need to tear down, transport and rebuild grandstands and scoreboards.

Here’s the problem I have with back to back opens. What kind of condition will Pinehurst be in after 156 men just spent seven days playing and practicing there. Will the women golfers be playing out of divots? Will the greens be up to quality or showing signs of wear and tear? I think these are legitimate concerns.

I’d love to see the women play the Open at Pinehurst(Or Pebble Beach too) but I think it would be better if they did so in a different year than the men do.


Beer may be banned at Univ. of Minnesota football games

What are fans supposed to cry over after a loss next season? From AP-

This fall’s eagerly awaited return of Minnesota football to campus after 27 years will feature nostalgia, pageantry and fresh air. But no beer.

University President Robert Bruininks is expected to recommend Friday that regents ban alcohol from the new TCF Bank Stadium following a dispute with state lawmakers.

“We know people will drink before they get to our games. We’re not naive,” Bruininks told The Associated Press on Thursday. “But we do think this is the best, most responsible way to manage our game days and to really make this a high-quality experience for our fans.”

Lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty had set conditions for a stadium liquor license, saying the school could sell alcohol stadium-wide or not at all. They also blocked the university from serving free alcohol to fans in premium seating areas, such as luxury boxes and club rooms.

Trying to enjoy a sporting event as some drunk makes a fool out of himself, always made me wish I had stayed home. In fact, I haven’t been to a major team sporting event in over a decade. Who needs drunks on top of high prices for food and parking and the cost of a ticket when you can just watch it on television?

By the time the Gophers host their first game Sept. 12, Bruininks said the university will have settled on a plan for keeping intoxicated people from entering the stadium and removing unruly fans who do get in.

Checking fans before game time would appear to be an impossible task unless you require 40,000 people to show up five hours early for the game. Does the University plan on doing breathalyzer tests at the gate?


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