– Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Phillies have traded OF Shane Victorino to the Dodgers for RHPs Josh Lindblom and Ethan Martin. Victorino was originally drafted by the Dodgers back in 1999. The 31-year-old finishes his Phillies career with a .279/.342/.434 batting line, three Gold Glove awards, two All-Star appearances and a World Series championship over eight seasons. He appears likely to start in left field, and could bat leadoff with SS Dee Gordon out. Lindblom will join the Phillies’ bullpen, while Martin will be sent down.
– The Giants have acquired OF Hunter Pence from the Phillies. This comes immediately after the division-rival Dodgers acquired Victorino. Pence is batting .271/.336/.447 with 17 home runs, 59 RBI and a .784 OPS this season and should take over the starting right field job in San Fran. The 29-year-old is under team control for 2013.
– The Braves have acquired LHP Paul Maholm, OF Reed Johnson and cash considerations from the Cubs for RHPs Jaye Chapman and Arodys Vizcaino. Maholm, 30, has a 3.74 ERA and 81/34 K/BB ratio over 120 1/3 innings this season, and has a $6.5M club option for next year. He’s a solid addition to the back end of the Atlanta rotation.
– The Rangers have acquired C Geovany Soto and cash considerations from the Cubs for RHP Jacob Brigham and a PTBNL or cash considerations. Soto will take Yorvit Torrealba’s job as the starting catcher, while Mike Napoli jumps between first and DH. Soto, 29, is one of the better defensive catchers in the league. He’s under team control for 2013, meaning he also provides a failsafe if Napoli tests free agency.
– The Dodgers have acquired RHP Brandon League from Mariners for OF Leon Landry and RHP Logan Bawcom. League was removed from the closer’s role earlier this season. He has a 3.63 ERA and 27/19 K/BB ratio over 44 2/3 innings overall this season and will likely continue as a setup man in LA. The 29-year-old’s value was at its highest this winter, which was really when Seattle should’ve pulled the trigger on a deal. League will be a free agent following the season.
– The Pirates have acquired OF Travis Snider from the Blue Jays for RHP Brad Lincoln. Pittsburgh was in the market for a bat, and the asking price was fairly low. Snider is just 24, but his struggles being well-documented, it’s fair to question whether he’s a major leaguer anymore. Either way, it’s a win for Pittsburgh if Snider improves at all.
– The Cardinals have acquired RHP Edward Mujica from the Marlins for prospect INF Zack Cox. Mujica has a 4.38 ERA and 26/9 K/BB ratio over 39 innings this season. He’ll play a setup role in St. Louis. Cox, the Cards’ 2010 1st-round pick, has a mediocre .254/.294/.421 batting line through 84 games with Triple-A Memphis this season. It’s a win for Miami.
– Reds’ 1B Joey Votto (knee) began light baseball activities Monday at Great American Ballpark. Votto, who underwent left knee surgery in mid-July, played catch and took some throws. He has yet to resume hitting and admitted that he’s not yet 100% when running. There’s no clear timetable for his return.
– Twins’ RHP Carl Pavano (shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment on Thursday. Pavano threw a live batting practice session Monday with no issues. Pavano, who has been out since early June with a right anterior capsular strain, will throw 40 pitches in the outing.
– Randy Orton returned to action Monday night on Raw after serving a 60-day suspension for his second violation of WWE’s Talent Wellness Program. Heath Slater called out any current WWE Superstar in the back to answer his challenge and The Viper responded by pummeling The One-Man Band all over the ring. After blasting Slater with a powerslam and a DDT off the second rope, Orton nailed him with the RKO to gain the pinfall victory. WWE.com spoke to The Legend Killer after defeating The One-Man Band.
“I gotta say, I am very rested due to my 60-day “vacation.” Guys threw me huge party today, a welcome back party. They literally set the stage on fire. I feel better than ever. I gotta say during my ten, eleven-year career here in the WWE, I haven’t felt this good, as good as I do today, and I think I just proved that out there a little while ago.”
“I’ve been at home and I’ve been watching and I see Heath Slater, week in, week out calling out these Legends. I used to to do the same thing and I’m thinking to myself, “I’m the Legend Killer, the original Legend Killer.” But he’s not even doing it right, he’s like the reverse Legend Killer. But tonight, I just couldn’t stand back here and let him go on yapping his gums. He got his a** kicked last week in my hometown of St. Louis at the 1000th episode of Raw and you know what? Sorry Heath, but you’re going to get your a** kicked if you flap your gums like that with Randy Orton backstage.”
– English wrestler Andre Tyson (aka MVK Valkabious), who signed a developmental contract with WWE earlier this year and is awaiting to travel to Florida, was arrested in England over the weekend following a “bar-room bust-up.” The Yorkshire Evening Post reports a scuffle broke out in one of the booths at the back of the bar and Tyson was asked to leave but resisted the security staff who tried to have him escorted. Police, who were already patrolling the street, arrested Tyson and another man. Tyson admitted to assaulting the man following the incident and was given caution.
– The Bengals have signed coach Marvin Lewis to a 2-year contract extension. Cincy’s coach since 2003, Lewis was entering a walk year. The longest-tenured coach in Bengals history, Lewis is 69-77-1 lifetime, but has led the Bengals to three playoff appearances, and was the AP 2009 Coach of the Year. Despite the numbers, it’s a good deal for the Bengals.
– The Seahawks have signed WR Braylon Edwards to a 1-year deal. Edwards was unable to work out for teams for nearly the entire offseason following a knee injury that limited him to nine games and 15 catches for the 49ers last season. If he can stay healthy, Edwards could be a nice downfield threat. Edwards won’t be guaranteed a roster spot until he proves he’s healthy.
– Ravens’ TE Dennis Pitta (broken hand) is “tentatively” expected to return in time to play Week 1 against the Bengals. Pitta will undergo surgery on Tuesday, and the early timetable has him sidelined through the exhibition season.
– SI.com’s Jim Trotter reports there is “virtually no chance” Chiefs’ unsigned franchise WR Dwayne Bowe will miss regular-season games this season. Bowe continues to refuse to report to camp, which isn’t doing anything except hurting him.
– The Titans have signed No. 20 overall pick WR Kendall Wright to a 4-year contract. Wright missed just four days of camp while the sides worked out offset language.
– NFL Network’s Mike Lombardi said Tuesday that he’s “learned” Titans’ QB Jake Locker is the frontronner to start the season. Locker’s strong arm is a plus in the Titans’ pass-first offence. He should be able to hold off QB Matt Hasselbeck from the starting job, barring a complete implosion.
– 16-year-old Ye Shiwen has been accused of doping. Ye crushed the women’s 400 metre individual medley in a world record time on Saturday. Over the last 50 metres of the race, Ye posted a faster time than American Ryan Lochte who won the men’s version of the same race–and Lochte posted the second fastest time in history. According to the Guardian, Ye was more than seven seconds faster in the Olympic 400 metre individual medley final than she was in the World Championships equivalent last July. John Leonard, executive director of the World Swimming Coaches Association, said,
“The one thing I will say is that history in our sport will tell you that every time we see something, and I will put quotation marks around this, ‘unbelievable’, history shows us that it turns out later on there was doping involved. That last 100m was reminiscent of some old East German swimmers.”
“I have been around swimming for four-and-a-half decades now,” he said. “If you have been around swimming you know when something has been done that just isn’t right. I have heard commentators saying ‘well she is 16, and at that age amazing things happen’. Well yes, but not that amazing. I am sorry.”
“No coach that I spoke to yesterday could ever recall seeing anything remotely like that in a world level competition,” Leonard continued. “Where someone could out-split one of the fastest male swimmers in the world, and beat the woman ahead of her by three-and-a-half body lengths. All those things, I think, legitimately call that swim into question.”
“You can’t turn around and call it racism to say the Chinese have a doping history,” Leonard said. “That is just history. That’s fact. Does that make us suspicious? Of course. You have to question any outrageous performance, and that is an outrageous performance, unprecedented in any way, shape or form in the history of our sport. It by itself, regardless of whether she was Chinese, Lithuanian, Kenyan, or anything else, is impossible. Sorry.”
– Swiss footballer Michel Morganella has been expelled from the Olympics for posting a racist comment on Twitter. Morganella becomes the second athlete expelled from the Olympics for posting a racist tweet after Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was previously sent home. You’d think both athletes would be able to suspend their racist tendencies for a few weeks while participating in the greatest celebration of culture and globalization in the world, but apparently that’s too much to ask. Morganella posted the following message on Twitter…
“Je les tous Defonce Coréens, allez vous tous Bruler, bande de trisos.”
According to the Associated Press, the tweet translates into the following…
“I f*** all Koreans, go all burn yourselves. Ahahahaha bunch of ‘tards.”
– Team USA F LeBron James recently backed up teammate Kobe Bryant’s comments in saying that the 2012 USA team could beat the 1992 USA Dream Team. LBJ said,
“The ’92 Dream Team paved the way for all of us … We understand what they did for our game, but we also are big-time competitors as well, so if we got the opportunity to play them in a game we feel like we would win, too.”
– In a recent interview with Access Hollywood, Olympic hurdler, and 29-year old virgin, Lolo Jones said she’s growing tired of waiting for her future husband.
“There are so many people who aren’t willing to wait for their future spouse. They want to have sex now, they want to hook up,” Lolo — who has openly spoken about being a virgin — said. “That’s their life. My life is something else.”
“I’ve complained about this to all my friends. When am I going to finally meet the man of my dreams, my husband, and experience, you know?’ Please, end this drought.”
– Check out this dog that nearly gets run over during an Olympic road race:
– The Wolves have officially sign G Brandon Roy to a 2-year/$10M contract. All reports on Roy’s health have been positive since he was forced into early retirement. It’s an enormous gamble on a player who may never play another NBA game again, but Roy could be a valuable asset coming off the bench in limited minutes.
– The Warriors have re-signed G Brandon Rush to a 2-year/$8M contract. The second year is a player option, making it the same contract that they just gave F Carl Landry. Rush should back up both shooting guard and small forward next season. He averaged 9.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 treys last season on 50.1% shooting from the field and 45.2% from behind the arc.
– Check out UFC Octagon girl Brittany Palmer posing for the 2013 calendar:
– After losing a unanimous decision to Carlos Condit at UFC 143, Nick Diaz announced he was retiring from mixed martial arts. However, he manager Cesar Gracie now says that the 28-year old wants to return to the Octagon to fight UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Grazie said,
“This week we had a great talk and he made it clear to me that he is ready to get back to the cage. Nick Diaz will return. He will respectfully ask for a fight with Anderson Silva, a fighter he respects and would like to challenge. Silva’s camp has been speaking of a fight with GSP, possibly even at a catch weight. Nick will take that fight in a minute but has told me that should Silva decide not to drop at all, he will move up to 185lbs to face the Champ.”
– Bruins’ F Milan Lucic has proposed to his girlfriend, Brittany Carnegie. She said yes.
– Check out Paulina Gretzky hanging out with Taylor Lautner: