Monday, April 28, 2008

You've Got To Be Joking

Sit back and relax as you enjoy this week’s Sports Shorts.

New Reports suggest that Roger Clemens had a decade-long relationship with country star Mindy McCready that began when she was 15-years-old. Something tells us that’s not what the Red Sox had in mind when they began their youth mentoring program.

An umpire who took a 96 mph fastball to the right side of his jaw was released from a hospital, hours after briefly losing consciousness. Authorities have since labeled the case assault by a battery.

The University at Buffalo’s top basketball player has been suspended indefinitely by the school for posting an ad on the Internet offering to pay someone to write a course paper. Come on, he’s an athlete; shouldn’t people be writing his papers for free?

Two jockeys have been inducted into the Horse Racing Hall of Fame. It’s one of the few places in the world where you actually have to be shorter than the Charley Brown cut-out in order to get in.

Golfer Colin Montgomerie married his longtime sweetheart over the weekend in what many pundits labeled the number one Scottish social event of the year. Sadly, the second most popular event involved a bottle of Scotch and a pair of sheep.

Jose Canseco spent more than three hours with federal agents yesterday discussing the alleged steroid use of Roger Clemens, Miguel Tejada and Alex Rodriquez. It’s believed to be the longest Canseco has ever gone without talking about himself.

A published report suggests that the Cubs may have thrown the 1918 World Series. Based on their performance ever since we’re guessing they probably threw it like a girl.

The Titans have finally traded Adam “Pacman” Jones him to the Cowboys. Dallas’s strippers are delighted with the news.

The Chicago Cubs defeated the Colorado Rockies to record their 10,000th win. Mind you, the Cubs are such losers they could win 10,000 games in a season and still finish a half game out of the playoffs.

North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough has announced he will return for his senior year. A 6-foot-9 forward, Hansbrough last season averaged averaged 22.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.4 blinks per game.

Nuggets coach George Karl is reportedly on the radar of Knicks president Donnie Walsh. Then again, at 250 lbs. Karl is on EVERYONE’S radar.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Question of the Week

Jonathan, Chicago, IL
Subj: Baseball stats
Has anyone ever pitched a double header?

You bet Jonathan. The feat was relatively common during the early 1900’s when pitching staffs were small, bullpens were undeveloped and hurlers didn’t have the sense to come out when their arms were hanging on by a single tendon. Believe it or not, from 1876 until 1926 there were 45 occasions in which a single pitcher posted two complete game victories on the same day. The most prolific of these double duty specialists was New York Giants ace Joe McGinnity, who accomplished the task three times in August of 1903. For the record, “Iron Man Joseph” finished the season with a record of 31 wins and 20 losses in a mind boggling 434.0 innings pitched. To put that into proper perspective, that’s 100 innings more than Carl Pavano has pitched in the last four years combined. By the way, that sound you just heard is George Steinbrenner trying to get in touch with McGinnity’s agent.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Talking Points: Danica Drives to Victory

Welcome to Talking Points, a handy cheat sheet designed to help you hold your own in any water cooler discussion. In this week’s column I’ll examine Barry Bonds’ availability, Danica Patrick’s sudden legitimacy and Isiah Thomas’ latest demotion. Read all about it here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

You've Got To Be Joking

Sit back and relax as you enjoy this week’s Sports Shorts.

Houston Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada has told the team he's actually 33, two years older than he's listed in the club's media guide. The admission saves the team the trouble of having to cut him open and count his rings.

The Milwaukee Bucks have sacked head coach Larry Krystkowiak. Apparently just firing him wasn’t enough.

Pope Benedict XVI held a mass for 46,000 worshippers at the new Nationals Park in Washington D.C. The Pontiff proved to be such a huge drawing card that Washington has offered him a contract to play leftfield for the remainder of the season.

Tiger Woods underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee two days after finishing second in the Masters. It’s a good thing he didn’t finish third or he may have something really drastic to his body.

The Oakland Athletics’ expected move to Fremont will likely be delayed until 2012. In the meantime, players have been encouraged to continue putting “no radio on board” signs on their cars when parking around the stadium.

An Olympic athlete charged with assaulting a man in a nightclub has been kicked off the Australian swimming team. On the positive side, he still has an excellent shot of making the Australian boxing team.

Kentucky Derby goers will be able to buy special $1,000 mint juleps at this year’s event. The price is particularly steep when you consider they’ll also be able to purchase glue containing that year’s losers for just $3.99 a bottle.

Kenny Chesney recently took batting practice with the Baltimore Orioles. The country music star looked entirely out of place since, unlike the Orioles, he’s actually had a few big hits.

Tour de France legend Lance Armstrong threw out the first pitch at Saturday’s Red Sox-Rangers game. It was an emotional moment for the former cyclist since it’s the first time in years he’s had two balls.

The third period of a Minnesota Wild-Colorado Avalanche playoff game on Versus was cut off for a Victoria Principal makeup infomercial. And here’s the sad part, the ratings actually went up.

Eli Manning’s wedding to his college sweetheart Abby McGrew reportedly cost $500,000. That’s a lot of money to spend for a guy who already had a ring.

New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss is writing his life story. The book, "Rollin' with Randy: The Real Randy Moss Story," is expected to take seven boxes of crayons to complete.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Question of the Week

Kristi, San Diego, CA
Subj: Sports or not?
Hey Ryan, what's the definition of a sport? Do you think that Poker can be considered a sport?

Excellent question, Kristel! According to the eggheads at Merriam-Webster, a sport is “a physical activity engaged in for pleasure.” By those less than rigorous standards it’s hard to see how poker qualifies. After all, the most strenuous part of the game is keeping your cards aloft, and most players don’t even bother to do that.

If you’re looking for a real sport you should turn your attention to chess boxing, a brand new hybrid in which competitors alternate between capturing pawns and clubbing the snot out of each other. According to the rules put forth by the World Chess Boxing Organization (, a typical match involves 6 four-minute rounds of chess and 5 two-minute rounds of boxing, with a one minute break between activities. If the chess game ends in a stalemate, the opponent with the higher score in boxing wins and if there is an equal score, the opponent with the black pieces wins. My hope is that Chess Boxing will eventually give way to other creative hybrid sports like Sumo Ski Jumping, Full Contact Crazy Eights or Drunken Gymnastics. Just imagine the possibilities!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ask Ryan - Welcome To The Block

Welcome back for another edition of Ask Ryan, the column where sports and entertainment go together like Barry Bonds and unemployment. This week’s mailbag is bursting at the seams with queries about Bill Buckner’s return to Boston, the NBA’s best “little big men” and the worst major league all-stars of all time. Read all about it here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

You've Got To Be Joking

Sit back and relax as you enjoy this week’s Sports Shorts.

Yankees employees have unearthed a tattered and torn Red Sox jersey that was buried beneath the new stadium’s concrete. The shirt had so many holes in it that observers first mistook it for the Yankees pitching staff.

Browns wide receiver Joe Jurevicius has become the sixth Browns player in four years to suffer a major staph infection. At least the Browns are finally leading the NFL in something.

Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain has left the team to be with his ailing father in Nebraska. Perhaps his father would feel better if he didn’t insist on watching the Yankees.

Greg Maddux posted his 349th career victory in a 1-0 win over the Dodgers. It’s an impressive feat for a man whose fastball is so slow it takes three innings just to get to home plate.

It appears as though Larry Krystkowiak’s days in Milwaukee could be numbered. Luckily the Bucks coach can always sell a few vowels if times get tough.

Federal authorities are investigating a former Cowboys offensive lineman for allegedly distributing steroids. Officials hope to wrap up the case shortly so they can return to their regular job of keeping an eye on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Former first baseman Bill Buckner received a warm reception from Boston fans this week during a visit to Fenway Park. It’s easy to cheer a guy when the only things going between his legs are a bucket of popcorn and a beer.

China has uncovered a plot by members of a Muslim minority group to sabotage the Beijing Summer Olympics. It remains to be seen how they could do a better job undermining the Olympics than China has already done.

Brett Favre has suggested he may return to the Green Bay Packers if quarterback Aaron Rodgers goes down with an injury. In related news, John Madden was spotted in Rodgers’ house placing hundreds of tiny marbles at the top of his staircase.

Minnesota Vikings great Carl Eller has been charged with assault on a police officer, impaired driving and making terroristic threats. Or as the Bengals call it, a trifecta!

Milwaukee Bucks forward Desmond Mason has gone on record claiming his team needs to work on their chemistry. Based on the way Milwaukee have been shooting they may also want to work on their physics.

A new batch of emails suggests the Seattle SuperSonics may have been talking to Oklahoma City as early as 2007 about possible relocation plans. The news comes as a shock to many observers who didn’t realize Oklahoma City even had electricity.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Question of the Week

Jack, Houston, TX
Subj: Stolen base king
Hey Ryan, I was looking at a list of baseball records and I noticed some guy named Hugh Nicol once had 138 stolen bases in a single season. How is that possible?

Great question, Jack! As you may have noticed, Nicol set the single season record for stolen bases in 1887 when professional baseball was still working out the kinks on what constituted a swipe. According to the rules of the day, a stolen base was credited to any runner who reached an extra base on a hit from another player. That rule was eventually changed in 1898, but it helps explain why five of the top six base stealers of all time including Nicol, Arlie Latham, Charlie Comiskey, Billy Hamilton and John Ward set their marks prior to 1891.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ask Ryan - Sly As A Fox

Welcome back for another edition of Ask Ryan, the column where sports and entertainment go together like Chris Henry and ankle monitors. This week's mailbag is bursting at the seams with queries about the NBA's top-selling jersey, the NCAA's fastest rising star and Matthew's Fox's football career. Read all about it at Fox Sports.

Monday, April 7, 2008

You've Got To Be Joking

Sit back and relax as you enjoy this week’s Sports Shorts.

A grassroots effort is close to getting Wilt Chamberlain on a commemorative U.S postage stamp. It’s the perfect way of honoring a man who has already been licked by thousands of his fellow Americans.

Barack Obama bowled a 37 this week. A politician hasn’t spent that much time in the gutters since Bill Clinton.

The New York Knicks officially announced the hiring of Donnie Walsh on Wednesday. The veteran CEO is expected to be flooded with condolence cards shortly.

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt has spoken to Matt Leinart about his partying. At least he tried to; Leinhart couldn’t hear him over the music.

A pair of Yankees fans were arrested after trying to remove the decorative bunting along third base line. Police have since classified the incident as foul play.

Injured Olympic equestrian Darren Chiacchia will be moved to a Buffalo hospital Thursday to begin the next stage of his rehab. If that doesn’t work doctors will simply take him behind the barn and shoot him.

The Olympic torch arrived in Kazakhstan Wednesday amid tight security. The extra police effort was deemed necessary since it was the first time many people there had seen a technology as sophisticated as fire.

Cleveland Browns defensive back Kenny Wright was arrested after leading police on a quarter-mile foot chase. On the positive side, Wright displayed such impressive speed that the Browns are now considering giving him a shot at running back.

A 13-year-old Red Sox fan named Alexa Rodriguez was attacked by a red-tailed hawk during a visit to Fenway Park. Right idea, wrong A-Rod.

A Penn State basketball player is facing charges after he was caught playing with himself in the school library. On the positive side, it’s the first time in years that a Penn State athlete was actually IN a library.

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming is seriously considering using traditional Chinese medicine to help cure his foot. Now all doctors have to do is find a tiger penis large enough to rub all over it.

North Carolina junior Tyler Hansbrough has been named the AP's college player of the year. Hansbrough was so excited about the news that he nearly blinked.

Madison Square Garden has unveiled plans for a $500 million renovation. The project includes plans for a new annex made exclusively out of Quentin Richardson’s bricks.

Knicks chief James Dolan is planning to offer free food and soft drinks to everyone who attends New York’s final home game of the season on April 14. Fans should be leery, however, as the Knicks have been known to cause indigestion.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Question of the Week

Kim, Washington, D.C.
Subj: Orange you glad I asked
Hey Ry Guy, why are basketballs orange?

Great question! Since basketballs are made from leather they tended to be dark brown until the late 1950’s. Unfortunately that hue made them difficult to track by fans and players alike. Cue Tony Hinkle. The Butler University basketball coach was convinced a lighter shade of orange would help make the game more enjoyable and he worked diligently with Spalding to create a prototype. The new ball was rolled out for the first time at the 1958 NCAA Finals in Louisville and proved to be such a hit that it was adopted by the league on a full time basis the following year.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Ask Ryan - The Devils Made Them Do It

Welcome back for another edition of Ask Ryan, the column where sports and entertainment go together like adult movies and synthesizers. This week’s mailbag is bursting at the seams with queries about NCAA graduation rates, the history of the Sun Devils and Jose Canseco’s latest literary masterpiece. Read all about it here.