Sports Outside the Beltway

Washington Wizard Josh Howard out for the season with a torn ACL

The injury takes place just days after he was acquired from the Dallas Mavericks.

Recently acquired Washington Wizards forward Josh Howard will miss the remainder of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld made the announcement in a statement Tuesday.

Howard was injured Monday night in Washington’s win over the Chicago Bulls, only his fourth game with the Wizards since being acquired from Dallas in a seven-player trade on Feb. 13. He collided with the Bulls’ Flip Murray with 4:23 to play in the first quarter and stayed on the floor for a minute before being helped off the court by two trainers.

Howard started three games for Washington and scored 14.5 points a game to help the Wizards go 3-1 since the deal, which sent starter Caron Butler to the Mavericks.

Howard has averaged 15.3 points and 6.0 rebounds since his 2003-04 rookie season with the Mavs.

The article says its not known if Howard will have surgery. I thought an operation was mandatory for ACL tear.

The loss of Howard won’t have much immediate effect on Washington this season. At this moment the Wizards are 6.5 games out of the last Eastern Conference playoff spot.


Former MLB Infielder and Manager George Strickland dead at 84

Strickland was mostly a utility infielder who backed up Bobby Avila, Al Rosen, and Chris Carrasquel for the Cleveland Indians. After his playing days were over he was a coach for Cleveland who had brief stints as the team’s manager in 1964 and 66. Before his career in Cleveland, he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also coached in the major leagues for the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals. RIP.

George Strickland, the slick-fielding shortstop for the Indians in their historic 1954 season and a two-time interim manager for the team, died on Sunday at 84.George Strickland

The Indians acquired Strickland in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 18, 1952. Playing in an era when the value of middle infielders was determined by their fielding and not their hitting, Strickland batted .233 with 22 home runs and 213 runs batted in for the Indians before he was released on Aug. 3, 1960.

For much of his time with the Indians, Strickland’s glove ably backed the Indians’ famed “Big Four” starting pitchers: Hall of Famers Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and Early Wynn, and all-star Mike Garcia.

Strickland played 112 games, batting .213 with six homers and 37 RBI, in 1954, when Cleveland set what was then an American League record for wins, finishing 111-43 before being swept in the World Series by the New York Giants.

Strickland was an Indians coach from 1963-69, usually stationed at third base. His first stint as Cleveland’s interim manager began on April 2, 1964, one day after manager Birdie Tebbetts suffered a heart attack, and days before the start of the season. The Indians went 33-39 with Strickland at the helm, before Tebbetts returned on July 5.

Cleveland began the 1966 season 27-10, but had slumped to a 66-57 record when Tebbetts was dismissed as the manager on Aug. 19. Strickland took over, and Cleveland went 15-24 the rest of the way to finish 81-81. Strickland went back to his duties as the third base coach when Joe Adcock was hired as the manager.


Meadowlands bettors to get more handicapping info

A betting establishment that wants to make customers happy. Isn’t that a oxymoron? From

Starting Wednesday, Feb. 24, Meadowlands bettors will be given additional handicapping information for each race. In most races, there are several drivers who are named to drive more than one horse when entries are made. Drivers have to decide which horse they will drive a few days prior to the printing of the racing program. A new television graphic will now show these choices.

If a driver was listed on multiple horses in a race, the graphic will list those horses and indicate the drivers choice.

“Many bettors feel driver choices are one of the most important handicapping angles at the track and several of our fans have requested a way to obtain that information,” said director of simulcasting and track announcer Sam McKee.

This is probably more related to simulcast rather than live racing. When I’ve been to the horse races, any change of driver or scratches were announced as betting opened on that particular race.

It is very important to know who is in the sulky when betting a harness race. In my early betting days, my father laughed when he heard I bet on a horse driven by Al Olori(?). Dad said to me “He can’t drive around the track without the help of a map.” The horse I bet on finished 6th or 7th and I learned an important lesson.


No end in sight- Comcast/Versus dispute still unresolved

A game between two top 15 schools is scheduled to be broadcast on Versus this Saturday. From KRQE-

Saturday’s game between the New Mexico Lobos and the BYU Cougars may be the biggest game of the season and an estimated 1/3 of Albuquerque TV viewers will not be able to see it.

The No. 10/12 ranked Lobos are heading for a huge showdown Saturday in Provo, Utah against No. 13/11 BYU.

The regular season conference championship will most likely be on the line.

But, because the game will air on the Versus network, DirectTV subscribers will not be able to see it.

A money dispute between Versus and DirectTV has kept Versus off DirectTV.

On their network, DirectTV claims the parent company of Versus, Comcast, is asking too much money to carry the network on DirectTV. As a result, DirectTV does not carry Versus.

The Mountain West Conference’s tournament championship is scheduled to be broadcast on Versus next month.

I sympathize with Mountain West sports fans. This dumb dispute has dragged on far too long and NHL fans are about to get screwed even more than they have already been up to now. The playoffs are less than two months away and some of those games are carried exclusively by Versus.

The NHL’s decision to sit on its hands is mind boggling to me. The league doesn’t have a big United States fan base. Marginal fans are going to find something else to watch and perhaps permanently. Is Commissioner Gary Bettman too dumb to realize that or does he simply not care?


San Diego Chargers release RB LaDainian Tomlinson

He was NFL MVP for 2006. From ESPN-

The San Diego Chargers released running back LaDainian Tomlinson Monday afternoon.

Tomlinson played nine seasons in San Diego, but at the age of 30 and with declining numbers, Tomlinson has been anticipating his release for the past month.

“It was a longtime coming, but I knew it was coming,” Tomlinson said, according to “Now that it’s official I can kind of look to the next step in my career and playing football for someone else.”

Tomlinson ranks eighth on the all-time rushing list with 12,490 yards. His 138 career rushing touchdowns rank second, and his 153 total touchdowns rank third.

He was the NFL’s MVP in 2006, when he set NFL single-season records with 31 touchdowns and 186 points. Tomlinson won the NFL’s rushing title in 2006 and ’07.

A former first-round pick, Tomlinson rushed for only 730 yards in 14 games last season and had a 3.3-yard rushing average. He struggled on first down during the Chargers playoff loss to the New York Jets.

Still, the Tomlinson years were some of the best in Chargers history. Tomlinson established himself as a star during a rookie season in 2001 when he rushed for 1,236 yards and scored 10 touchdowns.

Tomlinson has been in a steady decline since 2007. The NFL salary cap makes it about impossible for a team to keep an aging veteran these days. I for one prefer the old days where someone like a Walter Payton could play his entire career for one team.(The Chicago Bears)


Toronto Maple Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski arrested

That broken wrist he suffered last month isn’t keeping him out of fights. From the Toronto Star-

This isn’t how the Maple Leafs hoped Mikhail Grabovski would be spending his Olympic break.

The 26-year-old centre was arrested at 2:30 a.m. Saturday by Vancouver police and kept in jail overnight after allegedly being involved in a street altercation.

Grabovski was apparently released to his parents at about 9 a.m. Saturday.

Leafs GM Brian Burke said in a news release he was “aware” of the incident. “Since we are presently investigating this matter, the team will not provide any further comment at this time.”

The details of the incident are unclear, but apparently an argument on the street escalated into a situation in which punches might have been thrown, possibly at least one by Grabovski. No charges had been laid as of late Saturday evening.

The wrist injury took place on January 2nd. He was scheduled to play for Belarus in the Olympics.

IMHO Grabovski is an overpriced NHL player and just another example of why Toronto is one of the worst run teams in the NHL. They are paying nearly 3 million dollars for a player with 7 goals and 12 assists scored this year.


Skid- Orlando beats Cleveland 101-95

What has happened to the pre-All-Star game Cavaliers? From AP-

Dwight Howard had 22 points and 16 rebounds in a bruising battle with Shaquille O’Neal, and the Orlando Magic beat Cleveland 101-95 on Sunday for the Cavaliers’ first three-game losing streak in two years.Cle-Orl

Cleveland’s skid comes on the heels of a 13-game win streak.

Howard was 8-for-13 shooting and added four blocks, and Vince Carter had eight of his 11 points in the fourth quarter to help the Magic beat Cleveland for the first time this season.

O’Neal made his first eight shots and finished with 20 points, and LeBron James had 33 points and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers,

Lebron didn’t have a very good 4th quarter and that was the biggest cause of Cleveland’s loss. Why did he start passing the ball so much instead of shooting it himself?

Orlando knocked Cleveland out of the playoffs last year. I think the Magic are the team in the Eastern Conference with the best chance of beating the Cavaliers this year.


Ai Miyazato wins the Honda PTT LPGA Thailand

The first LPGA tournament of 2010 is in the books. From AP-

Japanese star Ai Miyazato rallied to win the season-opening Honda PTT LPGA Thailand on Sunday, holing a birdie chip on the final hole for a 9-under 63 and a one-stroke victory over Norway’s Suzann Pettersen.Thailand LPGA Golf

Miyazato, six strokes behind Pettersen after the third round, was 6 under in a six-hole stretch midway through the round, then birdied three of the last six holes to match the tournament record of 21 under set by Pettersen in October 2007.

Pettersen finished with a 70 Siam Country Club’s Old Course. She had a chance to force a playoff on the par-5 18th, but missed a 23-foot eagle try.

The 24-year-old Miyazato earned $195,000 for her second LPGA Tour title. She also won the Evian Masters last year in France and has 15 victories on the Japanese tour.

“I didn’t think of winning. I was just focused on my game and tried to do my best in the final round,” Miyazato said. “It was my lucky day as no matter what I did was right. This victory is a good start of the season for me.”

Taiwan’s Yani Tseng (69) was third, six strokes back at 15 under. Karrie Webb (67) and Cristie Kerr (70) followed at 13 under, and Laura Davies 65), Maria Hjorth (71), Momoko Ueda (72) and Song-Hee Kim (73) were 12 under.

Miyazato played some of the best golf on tour from June onward last year. She finished the year 3rd on the money list only behind Ji Yai Shin and Lorena Ochoa. She has the talent to be one of the best players on tour. When Miyazato joined the LPGA in 2006, big things were expected from her but she couldn’t win till last year. I predicted her to finish in the top 5 this year.(5th to be exact)

Once again Suzann Pettersen has been unable to close the deal on a Sunday. Among her poor finishes on the LPGA are the 2008 Wegmans, 2009 Safeway, 2008 Kapalua, and most notoriously the 2007 Kraft Nabisco. Pettersen still has 6 wins on tour but with the record I list above you can’t ever say she is a safe Sunday bet.

Update- Other bloggers writing on Miyazato’s win are The Constructivist at Mostly Harmless and Hound Dog.


Miami Dolphin CB Will Allen charged with DUI

He is the second Dolphin player to get arrested this season. From AP-

Miami Dolphins cornerback Will Allen has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Miami Beach.

Jail records show Allen was arrested Saturday and was being held at the Pretrial Detention Center in Miami on $1,000 bond.

A spokesman for the Dolphins declined comment, saying the team only recently learned about the incident.

Messages left with the Miami Beach Police Department were not immediately returned. The records did not indicate whether he has an attorney.

Allen is a nine-year NFL veteran. He missed the final 10 games last season because of a knee injury that required surgery.

To be more precise- Allen tore his ACL in a game against the New Orleans Saints. This legal problem won’t determine whether Allen still has a career with the Dolphins. What will decide his fate is if that knee is his can still sustain him as an NFL starter.


Parting gift- Montana State basketball program gets bequeathed $170,000

It was given by Ellen Kreighbaum who was instrumental in starting Women’s Sports at the University. From AP-

Montana State University’s women’s basketball program and the Bobcat Club are the beneficiaries of a $200,000 estate gift.

The MSU Athletics Department announced Friday that the gift was made by Ellen Kreighbaum, a pioneer in Bobcat women’s athletics.

The women’s basketball team will get $170,000, while the remaining $30,000 will go to the Bobcat Club for student-athlete scholarships.

Kreighbaum was instrumental in starting the MSU women’s basketball program in the late 1960s. She also helped establish the women’s athletic department at MSU.

Ellen Kreighbaum’s affiliation with Montana State began in the mid-1960′s. Prior to 1968 the school didn’t have a women’s athletic program.

The Florida High School I attended was bequeathed money to build its own swimming pool. It was still held up in probate at the time of my graduation.


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