– 20-year NFL veteran LB Junior Seau was found shot to death at his home Wednesday morning in what police said appeared to be a suicide. He was 43. Police Chief Frank McCoy said Seau’s girlfriend reported finding him unconscious with a gunshot wound to the chest and lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful. A gun was found near him, McCoy said. Police said no suicide note was found and they didn’t immediately know who the gun was registered to. Seau’s death follows the suicide last year of former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson, who also shot himself in the chest.
In October 2010, Seau survived a 30-metre plunge down a seaside cliff in his SUV, hours after he was arrested for investigation of domestic violence at the Oceanside home he shared with his girlfriend. The woman had told authorities that Seau assaulted her during an argument. There was no evidence of drugs or alcohol involved in the crash and Seau told authorities he fell asleep while driving. He sustained minor injuries. Bobby Beathard, who as Chargers’ GM when they selected Seau, said,
“It’s a sad thing. It’s hard to understand. He was really just a great guy. If you drew up a player you’d love to have the opportunity to draft and have on the team and as a teammate, Junior and Rodney (Harrison), they’d be the kind of guys you’d like to have.”
“I just can’t imagine this, because I’ve never seen Junior in a down frame of mind. He was always so upbeat and he would keep people up. He practised the way he played. He made practice fun. He was a coach’s dream. He was an amazing guy as well as a player and a person. This is hard to believe.”
Seau, who played in the NFL for parts of 20 seasons, is the eighth member of San Diego’s only team to make it to the Super Bowl to die before the age of 45. Lew Bush, Shawn Lee, David Griggs, Rodney Culver, Doug Miller, Curtis Whitley and Chris Mims are the others.
Seau was voted to a Chargers-record 12 straight Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro six times.
– The Patriots have signed WR Jabar Gaffney to a 2-year contract. The 31-year-old posted career bests across the board last season. Given his familiarity with the offence and spending 2006-2008 in New England and 2009-2010 in Denver with OC Josh McDaniels, Gaffney should slide right into the mix.
– CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco considers 49ers’ RB Frank Gore’s playing time “likely” to decrease following the team’s offseason tailback additions. Kendall Hunter and Anthony Dixon were brought back, while Brandon Jacobs was signed and LaMichael James was drafted in the 2nd round. Gore could see as few as 13-17 touches in 2012.
– According to the Wrestling Observer, Edge’s performer’s contract with WWE expired on April 30, and he has not re-signed. When he made a surprise appearance on RAW several weeks ago and gave John Cena a pep talk, he was there to meet with WWE officials, but nothing came of it. He was forced to pull out of a scheduled appearance for Billy Corgan’s Resistance Pro Wrestling show on May 11 because of his filming schedule for Syfy’s “Haven” show, but he did promise to appear at a future RPW show.
– According to the Wrestling Observer, Michael Cole’s heel announcer gimmick was supposed to officially end at WrestleMania 28. His new role will be an “edgy” character who still respects John Laurinaitis, one of WWE’s top heels. A recent sign of Cole retreating from being an annoying heel and shifting to a more neutral role was that he was sympathetic towards John Cena during his feud with Brock Lesnar.
– According to the Wrestling Observer, Sin Cara will be returning to action on WWE’s upcoming tour of Mexico. An announcement was made on on the April 30 episode of RAW that aired in Mexico. During a recent media interview promoting his return, Sin Cara said he expects things to go a lot better for him this time around. Sin Cara specifically mentioned that he’s used to working the “right side” of the body (as they do in Mexico, but not in WWE), and he’s now much more comfortable working the WWE style.
– According to F4WOnline, Brock Lesnar was informed several weeks ago that John Cena would be defeating him in their match at Sunday’s Extreme Rules PPV.
– According to F4WOnline, Evan Bourne (broken foot) he had the ‘PICC’ line (peripherally inserted central catheter) removed this week, and is still wearing a cast. Bourne tweeted back on April 19 that he has “no idea” when he’ll be cleared to return to the ring, but hopes it will be by “#endofsummer.”
– Former WWE Divas The Bella Twins are now taking independent bookings and are going by their real names, Nicole and Brianna Garcia. They’ll be appearing at the Northeast Wrestling show on June 1st in Newburgh, New York. They will participate in a meet & greet at 6pm before the show. Other talent booked for the show include Jerry Lawler, Kevin Nash and Bobby Lashley. Their profiles have been removed from the WWE website.
– Paul Heyman issued the following statement regarding last weekend’s Extreme Reunion event promoted by Shane Douglas
“I’ve had a ton of people ask me about #ExtremeReunion… and I haven’t said a word about it. Not a word in advance. And certainly nothing to say about it now. I didn’t comment on TNA’s Hardcore Justice in advance, nor after the show, either. Nothing to say about that, either. I chose not to participate in either show, or any other attempt to re-live #ECW, so I don’t feel it would be right 4 me to comment on it.”
“If you’re involved, speak your mind. If you take a pass on something, STFU. Just another voice bitching with the rest. #NotMyStyle I haven’t done any conventions. No shoot tapes. No paid autograph signings. Nothing wrong with ‘em. Just #NotMyStyle So … I have kept my mouth shut about #ExtremeReunion. I wasn’t there, so who am I to say anything?”
Heyman also commented news of him working with WWE on the upcoming CM Punk DVD project. According to the Wrestling Observer, Paul Heyman will be heading to WWE headquarters soon to work on it. Last year, Heyman was interviewed for Steve Austin’s most recent DVD set. Both Steve Austin and CM Punk personally requested that Heyman be involved in their projects.
“I was interviewed for the Austin DVD. I’m honored 2b interviewed for the @CMpunk DVD as well”
– WWE.com has a new storyline-driven article up that says the Board of Directors may take action against Brock Lesnar for his attack on Triple H this past Monday. However – the ‘contract demands’ made by Lesnar on the 4/23 episode of RAW and agreed to by John Laurinaitis protect Lesnar from liability.
“Adding one further wrinkle is the revised contract that Laurinaitis agreed to during the April 23 edition of Raw. Among the new terms approved by the GM was a clause that waived any future fines or disciplinary actions against Lesnar.
Triple H has already dismissed those additional contract perks as null and void, but could Lesnar’s camp pursue legal action in the event that the Board of Directors or Triple H comes down on Lesnar?”
The article also mentions that the Board of Directors is considering taking action against Jon Laurinaitis for his role in the whole situation.
– According to the PWTorch, the new tag team of Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel are due for a push when Gabriel returns from injury later this month. Kidd mentioned on Twitter this week that his new submission finisher is called The Dungeon Lock, paying homage to his training at the Hart Family Dungeon.
– iNDEMAND has posted the official promotional poster and synopsis for the upcoming WWE pay-per-view, No Way Out on 6/17. The synopsis reads:
“In the grips of WWE’s most ruthless matches, defeating your opponent is grueling but escaping them is impossible. Watch as John Cena, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, and all your favorite WWE Superstars fight to emerge victorious at WWE No Way Out, Sunday, June 17, 8PM ET/5PM PT, live on pay-per-view.”
As we reported several weeks ago, Amazon.com’s synopsis for the upcoming DVD release of WWE No Way Out 2012 revealed that the main events will take place inside of a steel cage and will feature “new and innovative ways to prevent opponents from escaping. All stipulations in place, which may include Lumberjack, Strap, Chain, Steel Cage, Handcuff Matches or more will ensure no respite from the chaos inside the ring.” Here’s the new PPV poster from iNDEMAND featuring Daniel Bryan and AJ Lee in an old fashion Western scene:
– According to the PWInsider, there was said to be a lot of “on the fly” booking at Sunday’s WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view and Monday’s RAW.
– John Hennigan, formerly WWE superstar John Morrison, is the star of a new 4-minute short movie titled, “The Negotiator.” Hennigan plays “Officer Rexy, LA’s finest Negotiator deals with a man who wants to shoot himself.” The clip, which was produced by the Curtain Jerks wrestling podcast, can be seen here:
– According to the PWInsider, The Miz is currently in Brazil doing promotional work for WWE’s upcoming live tour. WWE will hold its first-ever event from Brazil later this month at Ginasio do Ibirapuera in São Paulo on May 23.
– Abraham Washington says former WWE Tag Team Champions Epico and Primo might be ready to sign with him after dropping the gold on RAW to Kofi Kingston and R-Truth. AW tweeted on Tuesday:
“After speaking with Primo and Epico last night the former #WWE tag team champions might be ready to sign on the dotted line… Even though Primo and Epico lost the battle, by signing with me they most certainly will win the RAW is WAR!!!!!”
– Yoshi Tatsu has deleted his Twitter rant where he said Lord Tensai’s ring name, which means “Lord Natural Disaster,” was offensive to Japanese people in the wake of last year’s devistating earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands of people.
– During a recent interview with CelebBuzz.com, former WWE Diva Chyna spoke about how she got in shape for her latest adult movie – and how her diet has changed drastically from her days in WWE:
“First and foremost, diet is very important. When I was wrestling, I ate as much meat as I could. Boys would have eating contests with me, so I would get bigger that way. Now my diet has completely changed. No salt, I crave vegetables all the time [and] 75 percent of my body change was [due to] diet.”
– Here’s the latest Backstage Fallout video from RAW featuring interviews with Jerry Lawler, Abraham Washington and The Miz:
– Here is the latest Twitter rant from Scott Steiner, once again trashing Bischoff & Hogan:
“With eric bn gone chant 609 when garrett is in the ring… Instead of getting rid of the guys who are the problem they keep paying hogan n bitchoff n try To save money else where,they no longer fly Taz n Tenay in for the tapings they Do voice overs in nashville..i betcha eric will try n replace them/one bn himself/ Saying hes saving the company money
“As i tweeted 3 wks ago jeremy Borash was the other guy that b-tchoff ripped on social Media which alot of guys came to his defense and called eric a piece of sh-t,so he realize he got heat so thats where That segment came from when Jeremy calld him out on open fight night tryin to defuse the heat by Putting it on the show,which then 609Garrett came out at the end of show to save the day..wtf bullsh-t… The thing is Borash has done more for TNA than b-tchoff has,and hes bn there since the beginning, And the last time i checkd all b-tchoff does is kill the ratings,and as bad as it is with him pushing his son
“The original plan was much worse,hogan n bitchhoff sons were going to wrestling camp at same time… Thank god hogans son has his p-ssy genes and quit otherwise the fans would have to suffer with These 2 a**holes nepotism’s their non athletic sons to the top,as soon as bitchhoff leaves TNA,609Garrett Career will be over,bcuz guys will kick his ass out of spite bcuz Eric is such a piece of sh*t”
– The Canadiens have officially named Marc Bergevin the 17th General Manager in franchise history. The 46-year-old Montreal native replaces Pierre Gauthier, who was fired in late March. Bergevin, who edged out Pierre McGuire for the job, worked last season as the assistant general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks under Stan Bowman – his seventh with the franchise. After his retirement as a player in 2004, Bergevin became a pro scout with the Blackhawks before serving as an assistant coach with Joel Quenneville. He was director of player personnel when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010 and was promoted to assistant general manager last June.
“I’m going to enjoy it, I’m going to have fun doing it and I’m going to make people in Montreal proud of it. I’m just a piece of the puzzle, we’re all going to do this together.”
“I took this job because I’m ready. I know I’m ready. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be sitting here.”
The Habs also demoted head coach Randy Cunneyworth to assistant coach. Bergevin is also keeping director of scouting Trevor Timmins and assistant GM Larry Carriere as part of his front office.
”Whoever becomes the new head coach will decide if Randy will remain. I respect the way I was brought in as GM. I’ll keep it confidential and low-key in the search for a head coach.”
“Trevor Timmins will be sitting next to me at our draft table in Pittsburgh. He’s done an excellent job in the past. I’ve known (Larry Carriere) for the last seven years and he’s well respected in the NHL.”
– According to Predators’ head coach Barry Trotz, the Preds may bench F Alexander Radulov and F Andrei Kostitsyn for Game 4 as well. The two served one-game suspensions in their Game 3 win on Wednesday. ”With our situation, tonight, if you get it done I would expect I would probably go back with the same group.” Trotz added that the duo wouldn’t have played in Game 2 had the club known they violated team rules prior to gametime. Radulov is the team’s leading scorer with six points in seven postseason games, while Kostitsyn has three goals and one assist.
– The Flames have signed F Roman Cervenka to a 1-year/$3.78M contract. He has played the last two years in the KHL with Avangard Omsk, where he recorded 54 goals and 100 points in 105 games, and won the league’s top goal scorer award in 2010-11. GM Jay Feaster said, “Roman is a highly skilled player with great hands, excellent vision and the ability to score goals at an elite level of play. Our scouts in Europe identified him as someone who could slot into our top six forward group and play in the NHL as a top two line center.”
– Canada’s Competition Bureau confirmed Wednesday that it has no plans to challenge Bell and Rogers’ acquisition of an ownership position in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), while noting that the Competition Act provides a one-year period following completion of such transactions during which it can bring the matter before the Tribunal. MLSE is Canada’s largest sports and entertainment company and owner of the premier professional sports teams in Canada’s largest marketplace: The Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Marlies and Toronto FC. On December 9, Bell announced it had, in a joint ownership arrangement with Rogers Communications Inc., agreed to purchase a net 75% ownership position in MLSE from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. Bell’s cash commitment will total $525M, or $398M assuming the completion of a leveraged recapitalization of MLSE. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2012 following Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and sports league approvals.
– Knicks’ F Tyson Chandler has officially been named Defensive Player of the Year for the 2011-12 season. Opponents shot 52% against the Knicks this season when Chandler was not on the floor, and 44% when he was. “For those of you who didn’t vote for me hopefully I’ll prove you wrong next season.” Thunder’ F Serge Ibaka was second in voting, followed by Magic’ F Dwight Howard, Heat’ F LeBron James and Celtics’ F Kevin Garnett.
– Kate Upton joined Thunder’ F Kevin Durant and G James Harden for a “take a supermodel to work day” video. Enjoy:
– Check out Celtics’ G Paul Pierce Tebowing after a big free throw:
– Check out Bulls’ G Derrick Rose (torn ACL) sitting all alone, watching his team in the playoffs:
– Multiple sources have refuted a report that the Nets and F Andrei Kirilenko have verbally agreed to a 3-year contract. There have been tons of rumours between the two sides, especially given that Mikhail Prokhorov owns the team.
– Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Dodgers are nearing a deal with free agent OF Bobby Abreu. Abreu will serve as a pinch-hitter and occasional outfielder.
– The Red Sox have placed 3B Kevin Youkilis (lower back soreness) on the 15-day DL retroactive to April 29. He’ll likely be ready when eligible on May 14.
– Phillies’ LHP Cliff Lee (oblique) threw his first bullpen session Wednesday since landing on the DL and reported no problems. Lee won’t return from the DL on Friday when first eligible, but he’ll throw another bullpen session in a few days. He has a 1.96 ERA and 0.70 WHIP over his first three starts.
– Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Red Sox will sign RHP Mark Prior. Prior hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2006 and was limited to just 12 innings in the Yankees’ farm system last season due to a injuries, including shoulder discomfort, a groin issue and a bruised forearm. The 31-year-old underwent sports hernia surgery during the offseason.
– The Padres have placed LHP Cory Luebke (left elbow soreness) on the 15-day DL retroactive to April 28.
– Prior to the Dodgers/Rockies game on Wednesday, Magic Johnson, Mark Walter and Stan Kasten stood on a stage in centre field at Dodger Stadium on what venerable broadcaster Vin Scully called “a soft day,” pulling on white jerseys and blue Dodgers caps for the club’s third ownership change since 1998. The new owners vowed to restore the Dodgers’ dignity after Frank McCourt’s often-stormy and sometimes sleazy tenure. While outlining a long-term vision, they also offered an immediate carrot for their long-suffering fans: a $5 reduction in the $15 parking charges at the stadium. Johnson said,
“What we want to do is bring the pride back to this city and this organization. It’s going to take some time to get this franchise back to where Mr. O’Malley had it, but we’re going to work, and we’re going to do it. We’re committed for the long haul. We’re going to be owners for a long time.”
– Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Brewers’ OF Corey Hart (knee) “spent a significant amount of time” during batting practice prior to Wednesday’s game taking ground balls at first base. ”I might sneak in there a little bit, get a couple of starts here and there to see how it goes. I think it really depends on how comfortable I can be over there.” Hart has made just one career start at first in the majors, but he came up in the minors as a first and third baseman.
– Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Orioles’ LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (elbow) will require Tommy John surgery. Wada had a partial ligament tear in his elbow, but it wasn’t confirmed whether he would undergo surgery or attempt to rehab. The 31-year-old signed a 2-year/$8.15M contract this offseason. Wada will be sidelined through the early part of the 2013 campaign.
– Nationals’ manager Davey Johnson said 3B Ryan Zimmerman (shoulder) won’t be activated from the DL until at least Tuesday. Zimmerman had hoped to be back on Sunday. He’ll hit off a tee for first time Friday and has already been playing catch. Zimmerman will not requite a rehab assignment.
– Braves’ 3B Chipper Jones (knees) admits that he’ll have to make a daily decision on whether or not his knee will allow him to play. Chipper played Wednesday, but he sat out two of the previous four games before that. “I told (Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez) if my knee feels good, I want to play. It felt good the last day against Pittsburgh, and it felt really bad (Tuesday). It bounced back, it feels good today, so back in there.” Jones has begun a new weight-training program to strengthen the muscles around his knee in hopes of limiting the swelling and joint pain. “Whenever you get fluid in the joint, the muscles around it shut down, they atrophy. You’ve got weak knees and Bubba (trainer Jeff Porter) told me I wouldn’t make it to the All-Star break if I didn’t get on some kind of weight program.”
– Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin said that 1B Mat Gamel (torn right ACL) will likely require season-ending surgery. Gamel was batting just .246/.293/.348 with one homer over his first 75 plate appearances, but was finally getting consistent playing time at first base.
– Orioles’ LHP Zach Britton (shoulder) will throw a simulated game Saturday, with three extended spring training games to follow starting on May 10. As it sets up right now, Britton could begin a rehab assignment on the May 26, which could push his return to mid-June. Britton didn’t make an appearance during spring training after dealing with a recurrence of the shoulder soreness that landed him on the DL last August.
– Yankees’ OF Brett Gardner (elbow) will be shut down from baseball-related activities on Wednesday and Thursday. Manager Joe Girardi said, ”He still has just a little bit of pain from the bone bruise, so we’re gonna give him two days where he does nothing. So seeing him Thursday or Friday is not gonna be the case.” Gardner’s timetable might be pushed back to next week.
– The Reds have signed RHP Michael Wuertz to a minor league contract. He’ll report to extended spring training before likely being assigned to Triple-A Louisville. Wuertz had a 6.68 ERA in 33 2/3 innings last year for the A’s.