– Once again, due to lack of time, I won’t be doing my NBA playoff picks. I went 5-3 in Round 1. This round, I’ll take the Thunder, Lakers, Bulls and (gulp) Heat.
– The UFC 129 results are official:
United States’ Pablo Garza d. Canada’s Yves Jabouin via submission (flying triangle choke) at 4:31 of round 1
Canada’s John Makdessi d. United States’ Kyle Watson via KO (spinning back fist) at 1:27 of round 3
Middleweight bout: Canada’s Jason MacDonald d. United States’ Ryan Jensen via submission (triangle choke) at 1:37 of round 1
Canada’s Ivan Menjivar d. United States’ Charlie Valencia via TKO (elbow and punches) at 1:30 of round 1
United States’ Daniel Roberts d. Canada’s Claude Patrick via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
United States’ Jake Ellenberger d. Canada’s Sean Pierson via KO (punch) at 2:42 of round 1
Canada’s Rory MacDonald d. United States’ Nate Diaz via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
United States’ Ben Henderson d. Canada’s Mark Bocek via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Belarus’ Vladimir Matyushenko d. United States’ Jason Brilz via KO (punches) at 0:20 of round 1.
Brazil’s Lyoto Machida d. United States’ Randy Couture via KO (flying front crane kick) at 1:05 of round 2.
Featherweight Championship: Brazil José Aldo (C) d. Canada Mark Hominick via unanimous decision (48-45, 48-46, 49-46) to retain the UFC Featherweight Championship.
Welterweight Championship: Canada Georges St-Pierre (C) d. United States Jake Shields via unanimous decision (50-45, 48-47, 48-47) to retain the UFC Welterweight Championship
– A prominent brain injury doctor has stated that Penguins’ F Sidney Crosby’s (concussion) setback during his recovery is not “ordinary” in nature. Uh oh. Dr. Julian Bailes, a founding member of the Brain Injury Research Institute and chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the West Virginia University School of Medicine stated, “I don’t know if it puts you back at square one, but it’s probably a case of prolonged post-concussion syndrome. To me, it means this concussion is not ordinary. It’s not running its usual course.” Bailes and other medical specialists did indicate that the situation can change rather quickly, though. Stay tuned.
– Penguins’ F Evgeni Malkin (knee surgery) speculated on Friday that had the Penguins advanced to the Eastern Conference finals he may have been able to play. He’s recovering quickly, so he should be fine for training camp.
– Penguins’ F Matt Cooke (suspension) received counselling this month. He is trying to rehabilitate his hockey career after numerous suspensions and bad press in and outside the NHL community. It’s unclear if the Penguins want him back next season.
– Speaking on NFL Network during Saturday’s draft coverage, Saints coach Sean Payton said he would be “surprised, really” if RB Reggie Bush isn’t back in New Orleans for the 2011 season. Payton insists he has a “clear vision” of Bush’s role with RB Mark Ingram joining the backfield. While Payton seems optimistic, Bush doesn’t seem willing to restructure his contract. It’s still unlikely that he returns.
– NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora “handicaps” the Seahawks, then the Dolphins as the favorites to trade for Eagles’ QB Kevin Kolb after the draft. The Cardinals are also likely in the mix. CSN Philly reported that Arizona had shown the most interest about one month ago, and GM Rod Graves has promised to aggressively address the position once the labor situation is settled. The Titans are also interested in him, but aren’t willing to pay for the price tag.
– ESPN’s Trent Dilfer stated emphatically Saturday that free agent QB Matt Hasselbeck will not re-sign with the Seahawks. Dilfer works with Matt’s brother, Tim, who has hinted several times that Matt wants to be paid more than Titans’ QB Kerry Collins’ $7M per over the past couple of years. Seattle isn’t willing to go that high, and the two sides seem destined to part ways. The Cardinals may use Hasselbeck as a fallback option if they lose out to Seattle on Kevin Kolb. After Arizona, SI.com’s Peter King lists the Titans, Vikings, 49ers and Dolphins as the most likely suitors.
– ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen both confirm that DE Da’Quan Bowers’ (knee) slide out of round one was due to the fact that last year’s NCAA sacks leader will likely need more knee surgery. “He’s still got looseness in his MCL, and his PCL. Teams think he’ll need (more) surgery.” On Thursday, FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported that Bowers has a “bone-on-bone” condition in his already surgically repaired knee, which sounds like microfracture is a definite possibility in the near future.
– Nationals’ 3B Ryan Zimmerman (torn rectal muscle in abdomen) is expected to miss 6 weeks after undergoing surgery. That’s a little better than the earlier report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that said he would be out until the All-Star break after sports hernia surgery. Nonetheless, it’s still a tough blow.
– Giants’ 3B Pablo Sandoval (right wrist) will miss 4-6 weeks with a fractured hamate bone. He’ll undergo surgery in Arizona, likely on Tuesday. Kung-Fu Panda is in the middle of a bounce-back season with a .313/.374/.530 batting line with five home runs.
– Angels’ 1B Kendrys Morales’ (ankle, foot) progress took a step backward when he had to return to extended spring training following an examination from Dr. Phil Kwong, a foot and ankle specialist. Manager Mike Scioscia isn’t optimistic that Morales will return anytime soon. “I don’t think there’s much that we can do differently right now. Just have to be patient. There’s a lot that’s healing in there with his ankle. And some parts are just very, very slow.” It’s unlikely he’ll be back before June, though there remains no timetable for his return.
– Brewers’ RHP Zach Greinke (rib) will make his 2011 regular season/Brewers debut on Wednesday in Atlanta. Greinke had a bit of a down year in 2010 after winning the 2009 AL Cy Young Award, but the move to the NL should work wonders for him.
– Dodgers’ 3B Casey Blake (infected left elbow) will be sidelined for “at least” 4 weeks after undergoing surgery on Friday. He will be in a sling for the next 10 days, meaning the earliest he’s likely to be cleared for any baseball activities is 2 weeks.
– Though an MRI showed no structural damage, Marlins’ OF Chris Coghlan (shoulder) might have to deal with pain for the rest of the season and eventually will probably need surgery. It’s something that he’s dealt with dating back to spring training and evidently will only get better with rest. He hopes to return to the lineup Saturday after sitting out two games, but he’ll likely need a day off once in a while during the season in order to keep the shoulder from becoming too painful. It’s certainly not an ideal situation, but at least it’s something he can play with.
– Rangers’ RHP Neftali Feliz (shoulder) continues to throw without pain and Rangers manager Ron Washington is expecting him to be activated from the disabled list when eligible on May 6. Feliz is currently throwing from 90 feet and will progress to 120 feet before throwing off a mound. Washington would like him to pitch in one rehab game before rejoining the Rangers bullpen, though it’s not clear if that will happen. “If all goes well, me personally, I’d like to him seem go throw an inning and face some hitters before he comes back here,” Washington said.
– According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, OF Manny Ramirez could come out of retirement to play winter ball with the Cibao Eagles in the Dominican Republic. It sounds like a very ‘Manny being Manny’ thing to do. Ramirez would have to serve a 100-game suspension if he were to return to the MLB.
– Mariners’ manager Eric Wedge said the team could make plans as soon as Sunday for OF Franklin Gutierrez (stomach) to begin a rehab assignment. He took early batting practice and regular batting practice Friday and continues to make progress, as it appears the new medication the Mayo Clinic prescribed for his stomach condition may be working. Once he’s playing in games, there should be a more clear timetable.
– Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates are expected to place RHP Evan Meek (shoulder) on the DL in order to allow him to regain strength in his shoulder. Meek has dealt with tightness in hisshoulder for some time, and has posted a 5.63 ERA and 2.13 WHIP over 11 games. They’ll shut him down in hopes that he’ll be able to regain some of the lost zip on his fastball.
– Reds’ RHP Mike Leake has plead guilty to unauthorized use of property related to his shoplifting arrest in Ohio earlier this month. Leake was sentenced to serve 30 hours of community service and will enter a diversion program. “Serious lapse in judgment on my part,” said Leake, who claims that he exchanged the t-shirts in question without talking to the store clerk.
– Lakers’ G Kobe Bryant didn’t practice on Saturday but said that his ankle is “fine.” He’s in no danger of missing Game 1 vs. the Mavericks on Monday, though coach Phil Jackson did caution that the injury “still affects him a lot…it’s not going away anytime soon.”
– Blazers’ G Wesley Matthews (ankle) recently had an MRI which revealed, in his words, that his ankle is “messed up.” He hurt his ankle in January and aggravated the injury in February (it was called a ‘sprain’ at the time), but he continued to fight through the pain as Portland worked their way into the playoffs. Whether he needs surgery or not, Matthews should be healthy and ready for the start of training camp.
– Triple H’s official new title is “Senior advisor in chairman’s office.”
– Scott Steiner spoke with Money Night Mayhem. The highlights:
His feelings on returning to TNA after an eleven-month absence: “Part of the reason was I don’t know why I left. That was not my decision, and obviously they brought me back to bring the ratings back. Now I’m here, and we can go out there and prove that I’m still the best.”
Why he believes Matt Morgan’s collegiate and basketball backgrounds will not help him when “Big Poppa Pump” and “The Blueprint” square off soon: “I tired to look up his (Matt’s) profile on the computer and saw Monmouth College somewhere in the cesspools of New Jersey. I never heard of that. And supposedly Chaminade, where they somehow made it to the NCAA Tournament, where he played a couple of minutes. Fans are going to be deeply disappointed when it comes down to athletic ability, because he says he’s trying to follow in my footsteps. You can’t follow in my footsteps. So he plays with little balls and puts them in the holes. That’s not going to help his ass when he gets in the ring.”
What fans can expect at CWI’s “Brawl at the Bush II” event in Brantford, Ontario, Canada (headlined by his CWI Title defense vs. Kevin Nash and a special appearance by Hulk Hogan): “It’s going to be a great event. There’s going to be a lot of stars there. Of course I have to go against Kevin Nash, which will be a hard-fought match. Hulk Hogan’s going to be there, so anybody who’s a wrestling fan should enjoy the show.