Sports Outside the Beltway

Barry Bonds to be Indicted

The NY Daily News reports Barry Bonds is close to being indicted:

Sources within Major League Baseball said they have no inside information, but expect that the troubled slugger will be indicted. On one of the next few Thursdays, the grand jury will meet in the Philip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco and may be asked to weigh the evidence. If at least 12 of the 23 members agree that there is “probable cause” that a crime has been committed and Bonds is the one who committed it, they will return a “true bill,” otherwise known as an indictment. The grand jury could also return a “not true” bill, meaning it will not indict. The U.S. attorney could also decide not to seek an indictment at that point, or request an extension for the grand jury from the judge.

About the only people who care about Barry Bonds and his tainted home run record are San Francisco Giants fans and ESPN who runs a “Chasing Aaron” notice on their sports ticker ceaselessly.


Ford Traded for Villanueva

The Milwaukee Bucks traded point guard T.J. Ford to the Toronto Raptors for all-rookie team power forward Charlie Villanueva.

Villanueva can score, as shown with his 48-point game against the Bucks in March. I saw it live. He was hot, hot, hot. But I don’t know how well the power forward plays defense. A jump shooting team needs good defense for the times when they get cold.

The Bucks must feel Mo Williams is capable physically to go an entire season at point guard. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, “Villanueva is expected to move right into the starting lineup at power forward, which will allow Bogut to slide over to center.” That means center Jamal Magloire will probably be traded. To whom and for what is to be determined. Maybe a back-up point guard.

Forward Progress”

[Cross-posted to The American Mind.]


Knicks Trying to Find Way to Not Pay Larry Brown

The New York Knicks’ problem with canning Larry Brown is he still has $40 million left on his contract. The team may have found a loophole:

The Knicks contend Larry Brown broke Madison Square Garden policy with his roadside interviews, a decision the team believes could wind up saving them millions.

The Knicks fired Brown on Thursday after one season as their coach and replaced him with team president and general manager Isiah Thomas. Brown has four years and a reported $40 million left on his contract, but the Knicks say the Hall of Fame coach is not entitled to all of it because of his disregard for team policy.

Since James Dolan became owner of the Knicks and Rangers, Madison Square Garden policy specifies that any interviews must be done with a public relations official present — with no exceptions, according to a person familiar with the policy, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because this matter has not been resolved.

After reports surfaced in May that Dolan was considering buying out Brown’s contract, the Knicks made neither Brown nor Thomas available after they worked out potential draft prospects.

Reporters soon began waiting near the entrance to the Knicks’ training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y. On a few occasions, Brown pulled his car over to speak, saying during one interview he felt like a “dead man walking.”

That Knicks owner is a control freak.


Miami Wins Game 6, Claims NBA Title

The Miami Heat cap off their home sweep of the Dallas Mavericks with a 95-92 win to claim the franchise’s first NBA title. Dwyane Wade added to his legendary finals performance with 36 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. He was named series’ MVP.


Williams Helps Toronto Win in CFL Debut

Ricky Williams‘ CFL regular season debut turned out well. In Toronto’s 27-17 win over Hamilton the suspended Miami Dolphin rushed for 97 yards and caught two passes for 24 yards.


Tiger Woods Misses Cut at U.S. Open

Tiger Woods shot a 6-over Friday to go 12-over for the tournament. At 120th he needs 60 players to do worse for him to play on the weekend. This U.S. Open will be the first cut Woods will have ever missed at a major as a pro. The golf superstar recently endured the death of his father and hasn’t played a tournament in over two months.

UPDATE (James Joyner): It’s official.

Tiger Woods has missed the cut at the U.S. Open, the first time he’s done so for any major since turning pro.

Photo Tiger Woods 2006 U.S. Open Wingfoot Tiger Woods reacts while in the rough on the first hole during the first round of the U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club on Friday, June 16, 2006, in Mamaroneck, N.Y. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Father’s Day. The U.S. Open. They have always gone hand-in-hand for Tiger Woods, and he no doubt envisioned this week as the perfect time to win one for Dad. Instead, he will be a spectator, the result of a surprisingly terrible two-day display that ended in Woods missing the cut in a major for the first time as a pro. Playing from under trees, in the rough and even from the wrong course Friday, Woods shot his second straight score of 6-over-par 76 to miss the cut by three strokes.

“I don’t care if you had what transpired in my life or not,” said Woods, playing for the first time since his father died in May. “Poor execution is never going to feel very good.”

It would have been a great story had Tiger won the Open, so soon after his dad’s passing. But golf is mostly a mental game. It would have been surprising even for someone with Tiger’s legendary focus to be able to do it, let alone on the brutal Wingfoot course, while still grieving for his loss.



Roethlisberger May Be Ready for Season Opener

After reports of Ben Roethlisberger flying off his motorcycle and landing on his face I feared a long recovery for the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback. That doesn’t look like that will be the case:

Doctors did not discuss Roethlisberger’s condition in detail, at the request of his family, but the quarterback’s only major injuries were to his face: a broken upper and lower jaw, a loss of two teeth, a broken nose, broken facial bones and various cuts and bruises.

Jaw injuries can vary greatly in nature and, because of the rather limited protection provided by a football helmet, have the potential to sideline a player for a lengthy period. But the surgeons who operated on Roethlisberger for seven hours Monday said all of his fractures were successfully repaired.

Roethlisberger suffered a concussion but nothing more serious. He could be ready for the Steelers’ opener Sep. 7.

His pockets must have been stuffed with four-leaf clovers and rabbits feet. He’s a lucky man.


No US Open for Michelle Wie

Michelle Wie’s attempt at qualifying for the men’s U.S. Open fell short:

Three consecutive bogeys sent her to a three-over 75 and into the middle of the qualifying pack at Summit, New Jersey today (AEST).

Wie opened with a 68 on the easier South course, and still had a chance to get one of 18 spots available to the 153-player field at Canoe Brook when she strode confidently to the back nine.

Needing at least one birdie to have a chance, her inability to master the greens finally caught up with her.

She finished at one-over 143 and ultimately didn’t come close.

The girl’s only 16. She’ll make it one of these years.

“Michelle’s US Open Bid Fails”

[Cross-posted to The American Mind.]


Pujols Maybe Out Six Weeks

In this year of Barry Bonds passing Babe Ruth on the all-time home runs list we could have been witness to Albert Pujols putting together one of the greatest offensive performances in baseball history. Too bad for us he hurt himself going after a foul ball:

Pujols, who leads the major leagues with 25 home runs and 65 RBIs after winning the NL MVP award last year, will be re-evaluated on Sunday but is expected to go on the DL.

“Obviously, we have significant concerns about the severity,” team physician Dr. George Paletta said. “This injury can put you out for weeks.”

Paletta said Pujols, who pulled up and grabbed his right side while chasing a foul pop by Ramirez in the second, could be out for as long as six weeks.

“If you told me right now he’d be out two weeks, that’s a lot better than the rest of the year,” manager Tony La Russa said. “I just don’t think after talking to Dr. Paletta that two weeks from now, Albert will be ready to go.”

No one’s accused Pujols of using steroids. Having him chase after Bonds’ single-season home run mark would have returned some gloss to that record.

[Cross-posted to The American Mind.]


For Rockies Character Counts in Clubhouse and on Box Score

The Colorado Rockies are using Christianity to improve the clubhouse and their performance on the baseball field.

On the field, the Rockies are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons and only the second time in their 14-year history. Behind the scenes, they quietly have become an organization guided by Christianity — open to other religious beliefs but embracing a Christian-based code of conduct they believe will bring them focus and success.

From ownership on down, it’s an approach the Rockies are proud of — and something they are wary about publicizing. “We’re nervous, to be honest with you,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd says. “It’s the first time we ever talked about these issues publicly. The last thing we want to do is offend anyone because of our beliefs.”

The clubhouse lacks the rowdiness typical of other baseball teams. After eight seasons of losing baseball and an embarassing incident with Denny Neagel management infused the team with a Christian approach. There doesn’t appear to be any feeling of forced faith but that could be due to the team’s selection process.

The Rockies’ success may not be due to what prayer sessions or bible studies as much as the professional attitude displayed. A good work ethic means being serious about one’s job, being prepared, and taking the job seriously. The Rockies are using Christianity and good character to do that.

“Baseball’s Rockies Seek Revival on Two Levels” [via Michelle Malkin]

UPDATE: Rockies players say USA Today put too much emphasis on Christianity. Jason Jennings said, “You don’t have to be a Christian to have good character. They can be separate. It was misleading.”

It may be misleading. It also maybe Rockies players don’t want to be labled “goody-goodies” by their peers.

[Cross-posted to The American Mind.]


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