– Red Sox’ OF Carl Crawford (left elbow) says he’ll eventually need Tommy John surgery. Crawford was told by doctors in April that he’d probably need the surgery to repair his damaged ulnar collateral ligament. He considered it, but decided to try and play this season. “Probably at some point it’s going to blow out on me. It’s one of those things that is what it is.” If Crawford were to undergo the procedure in October, he could be ready for camp in March. Stay tuned.
– Phillies’ RHP Roy Halladay (shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment with High-A Clearwater Thursday if Tuesday’s bullpen session goes without incidednt. Doc has thrown three bullpen sessions without problems. It’s not clear how many rehab appearances he’ll need, but could return as soon as late-July.
– Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Pirates have had preliminary trade discussions involving D’Backs’ OF Justin Upton and Padres’ OF Carlos Quentin. Morosi says Arizona and San Diego have been scouting Pittsburgh’s minor-league affiliates in recent days. Upton is batting just .267/.349/.386, but would immediately become the centrepiece of the team’s offence. Quentin has batted .273/.403/.527 with seven homers in 32 games since coming back from the DL.
– Marlins’ OF Giancarlo Stanton (right knee) had successful surgery Sunday to remove two small loose bodies from his knee, and is expected to be sidelined 4-6 weeks. The arthroscopic procedure lasted just 21 minutes.
– Rays’ 3B Evan Longoria (hamstring) is not expect to return to the lineup until mid-August. Manager Joe Maddon says he has “no idea” when Longoria will be ready to return. Longo’s resumption of baseball-related activities has been pushed back until after the All-Star break. He’ll go through 7-10 days of drills before being cleared for a rehab assignment, barring setbacks. The Rays have used seven third basemen since Longoria has been out, and they’ve hit a combined .231 three three homers with 15 errors over 60 games.
– Cardinals’ OF Lance Berkman (knee) will begin a rehab assignment next weekend, likely at Double-A Springfield. Berkman had been hoping to be back in the Cardinals’ lineup for the start of the second half, but is more likely to join them on July 16 in Milwaukee after their first post-break series in Cincinnati. Berkman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his surgically-repaired right knee “feels really good. It’s just about getting back into baseball shape. The good thing about this is that I didn’t have a lot of swelling. That helped to speed the recovery.”
– Rangers’ RHP Colby Lewis (forearm) will throw a bullpen session Friday before likely rejoining the rotation on July 18 at Oakland. Lewis threw his first regular bullpen session Saturday since going on the DL, and also participated in fielding drills. He’s been out since late June with right forearm tendinitis and will return to a 3.51 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 90/12 K/BB ratio.
– Braves’ SS Andrelton Simmons (broken right pinkie) has been diagnosed with a broken right pinkie. Simmons fractured the fifth metacarpal bone of his right hand when he slid into second base in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game. The 22-year-old will be examined by a hand specialist Monday. Simmons has a .296/.336/.452 batting line this season.
– During a recent Padres’ game, a fan tried updating his status when he was hit with a homerun ball. Check it out:
– Check out Kate Upton enjoying a few drinks in Tigers’ RHP Justin Verlander’s suite during a recent Tigers’ game:
– Adam Rubin of ESPN NY was told by a source that while it’s not guaranteed, they predict a trade sending C Ramon Hernandez to the Mets will happen. ”I think Hernandez will be a Met.” Rubin adds that the Mets have tried to expand the deal to include LHP Matt Reynolds. Hernandez is currently on the DL with a left hand strain.
– The Nets are reportedly “making progress” in their attempt to find a third team to facilitate a trade for Magic’ F Dwight Howard, as the Cavaliers have been mentioned as a possible landing spot for a signed-and-traded F Kris Humphries. Per Ken Berger, the team receiving Hump would likely trade a 1st-round draft pick to the Magic, part of a package including F Brook Lopez and at least three 1st-round picks. Adrian Wojnarowski is also reporting that Cleveland’s interest with Humphries is simply to swing him to acquire more draft picks and assets. Stay tuned.
– According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Lakers’ F Andrew Bynum has a short list of teams he’d consider as free agent in 2013, assuming his contract is not extended by the Lakers. The list reportedly includes the Rockets, Mavericks and Cavaliers. Bynum “has shown no inclination to agree to an immediate extension if sent to Orlando,” meaning that this could kill any momentum towards a Bynum-for-Howard trade. Stay tuned.
– The Magic and Hornets have agreed to a sign-and-trade sending F Ryan Anderson to New Orleans for F Gustavo Ayon. Orlando isn’t believed to be able to match a future offer sheet, and will trade him in order to get something in exchange. Ayon has an unguaranteed $1.5M salary next season, a $1.5M team option in 2013-14, and a $1.9M qualifying offer in 2014-15. New Orleans may have to drop F Chris Kaman and F Carl Landry, but are still expected to match the Suns’ max offer sheet for G Eric Gordon. Anderson’s contract is reportedly worth 4-years/$36M.
– According to his agent, Blazers’ RFA G Nicolas Batum personally asked team management on Thursday not to match his 4-year/$45M offer sheet from the Timberwolves. Bouna Ndiaye said that Batum’s “heart isn’t [in Portland],” and that he felt his role last season was too limited — “He wasn’t able to get up and down … being a Bruce Bowen in-the-corner player frustrated him.” The Wolves have only made a verbal commitment, as nothing can be signed until July 11. It has been previously reported that during Thursday’s meeting, the Blazers told Batum they would match the offer regardless of his preference.
– UFA F Ersan Ilyasova is close to agreeing on a 5-year/$45M contract with the Bucks, his agent told HoopsHype on Saturday. He averaged 13.0 points, including 45.5% from downtown (second-best in the NBA), 8.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers in under 28 minutes per game with the Bucks last season. It was believed that Ilyasova was moving on from the Bucks, but that no longer appears to be the case.
– Celtics’ G Avery Bradley (right shoulder) is scheduled to have surgery on Tuesday and could miss the start of the 2013 season, according to assistant GM Austin Ainge. Bradley was reportedly on pace to participate in training camp, and no reason has come out as to why the surgery was delayed for so long. Bradley had surgery on both shoulders at the end of May. When asked when Bradley might return to action, Doc Rivers suggested “mid-December” as a target.
– The Nets have begun working on a contract extension for RFA F Brook Lopez, according to Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski. This could mean that the Nets have moved on from F Dwight Howard, or that the contract will be used as part of a sign-and-trade. Stay tuned.
– The Knicks and Nets met with F Marcus Camby on Sunday, and are the front-runners to acquire him in a trade with the Rockets, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. As per previous reports, the Spurs, Clippers and Celtics are also pursuing Camby. No word yet on the possible return package for the 38-year-old.
– The Bulls and Kirk Hinrich have verbally agreed to 2-year/$6M+ contract, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Chicago will likely decline the $3.2M option for G C.J. Watson by the July 10 deadline, and will roll with Hinrich until G Derrick Rose (ACL surgery) is ready to return.
– UFA F Andrei Kirilenko has reportedly decided to play at least one more season for CSKA Moscow. The team won the Russian League last season, then lost by one point to Olympiacos in the Euroleague Finals, all while AK=47 himself was named the Euroleague MVP.
– The Boston Globe reports that the Patriots are $6M in guaranteed money apart in long-term contract talks with unsigned franchise WR Wes Welker. Per Globe reporter Greg Bedard, the Patriots “want Welker to take a bit of a discount to stay with Tom Brady.”
– According to Montreal Gazette reporter Dave Stubbs, Hall of Fame coach Larry Robinson will be introduced as an associate coach with the Sharks on Monday. Stubbs, who announced the move Sunday afternoon via Twitter, reports that the Sharks have “showed huge interest in Robinson when they learned he was interested in continuing his coaching career”. Robinson has been part of nine Stanley Cup winners – six as a player with the Canadiens, and three as a coach with the Devils, including one as head coach in 2000. He was part of Peter DeBoer’s coaching staff that helped shepherd the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final this season. According to Stubbs’ Twitter account, Robinson also spoke with Lightning’ GM Steve Yzerman about a job but eventually chose to work under his long-time friend, Sharks’ GM Doug Wilson. Stubbs also added that Robinson admitted via phone to being impressed by Sharks’ head coach Todd McLellan.
– According to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, Wild’ F Zach Parise turned down a contract larger than the 13-year/$98M offer he received when he signed with the Wild. Parise reportedly offered $110M by the Flyers and over $100M by another unnamed team, but Parise decided to take a pay cut from the Wild–an offer less than what he signed for with Minnesota–to sign an identical contract with D Ryan Suter.
– UFA F Shane Doan could leave the Phoenix Coyotes as early as Monday. The Coyotes’ captain has set July 9 as the date he would decide on his future, as that was the supposed date that the City of Glendale stated that the signatures were due from a petition to make prospective owner Greg Jamison’s lease agreement, a referendum item on the November ballot. The date as organizers of the referendum say they have until July 16, though. It’s believed as many as 20 teams interested in his services, with the Flyers known to be aggressively pursuing.
– Canada’s Ryder Hesjedal is now focusing on the London Olympics after a left leg and hip injury forced him out of the Tour de France. The Giro d’Italia champion, who was injured during the crash-marred sixth stage of the race, did not join his Garmin teammates at the start of Stage 7 and was flying home later Saturday. His Garmin-Sharp team said that Hesjedal was not able to pedal normally. Hesjedal was among at least two dozen riders caught up in a nasty crash with 26 kilometres left to go on Friday. He entered the day in ninth place but lost more than 13 minutes and dropped to 108th overall. He said in a statement,
“I only took a few days off the bike after the Giro before I started training again, and I have been very focused on doing a great Tour…It’s a huge disappointment. I’ll go home, keep working with the medical staff on my recovery, and re-focus everything on the Olympics.”
– Forrest Griffin told MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani that when he left the Octagon at the conclusion of his three round fight with Tito Ortiz, UFC President Dana White told him to get the “F” back in. Once Griffin made his way back into the Octagon, he received what some people view as a controversial decision win, he stole the microphone from Joe Rogan and interviewed Tito Ortiz. Ortiz was not impressed.
“I was pissed. I’ve been in this sport a lot longer. You have to understand, 15 years ago, May 3, 1997, Joe Rogan was the first person to interview me, and I told him, ‘I’m going to make a mark in this sport.’ It was my first fight. I said, ‘just you wait. I’m going to make my mark in this sport.’ I helped build this sport to be what it is to this day.For Forrest to step in and do what he did, after running? … I can’t complain about anything, as I said, I wish Joe Rogan got to interview me.”
UFC President Dana White was equally confused.
“He drives me crazy, this guy. It’s professional suicide, the things that he does. People love Forrest Griffin, OK? So I ran after him. I don’t have to tell you guys, everyone in this room knows exactly what I said. So he turned around, and he ran back into the ring. I saw him in the back and I said, ‘What are you doing, whats wrong with you, are you mental?’ Next time you’re depressed about winning the fight, go back in the back and be depressed.”
“It’s Tito’s last fight. If Tito won his fight, stand there, get your hand raised or Tito’s hand raised. If your plugging for Joe Rogan’s [expletive] job, it isn’t going to happen. Leave the microphone alone until Joe comes over and talks to you. I love Forrest Griffin, always have. He’s a great guy but he gets a little kooky sometimes.”
Check out the fight highlights and Griffin explaining his actions after the jump.
Here’s Forrest Griffin explaining what he was thinking after the fight:
– Check out Lakers’ G Kobe Bryant and Heat’ F LeBron James hanging out with UFC champion Anderson Silva following his UFC 148 win. LeBron tweeted the following:
“Congrats from one Champ to another!!”
– This week on Are You Serious?, a clip is featured of (Ultimate) Warrior tormenting Hollywood Hogan backstage through a mirror on WCW Monday Nitro. While the clip airs, Road Dogg and Josh Mathews ponder what Warrior may be foretelling Hogan, such as alimony payments, the box office returns for Santa with Muscles and the end result of PastaMania.
“It’s official, WCW jumps the shark,” Josh Mathews says after baring witness to the clip. Road Dogg adds, “WCW ruined Hulk Hogan. They ruined the Ultimate Warrior. It didn’t help Eric Bischoff any, that’s for sure.” Mathews responds, “Bret Hart’s career really didn’t skyrocket when he went to WCW.” Road Dogg concludes, “Remember kids, WCW ruins everything, including Billy Kidman’s career.”
Also featured are clips of Juventud Guerrera taking a tumble during his ring entrance at the 1996 WCW Fall Brawl pay-per-view event, Al Snow’s various incarnations and the Playboy Buddy Rose “Blow Away” diet.
– Promoting tonight’s TNA Destination X pay-per-view, Christopher Daniels spoke to Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald to discuss his current role in TNA Wrestling, wrestling AJ Styles, the Claire Lynch storyline, Austin Aries and more. Highlights from the article are as follows:
Appearing on live episodes of Impact Wrestling: “For me personally, the fact that we are live, and that they have put me in the final segment the last couple of times, it’s a lot of pressure. It’s good pressure. It’s something I look forward to and something I am trying to excel at. I feel like when they put that microphone in my hand at the last possible second, I believe I have delivered. I plan on continuing to deliver. I want to keep being that guy for TNA. If we continue to be live after the summer, I feel like the company has proven we can do it. It’s just another step forward for the company.”
TNA’s presentation of its backstage segments, from traditional to more of a candid look: “Guys like Eric [Bischoff] and Jason Hervey have come to us with a more fresh and on-the-fly way of doing it, rather than just giving us a script. I feel like it has helped us sharpen our skills. I’ll be walking backstage, and all of a sudden, Jason will come up to me with a camera asking questions. You are answering right off the top of your head, and it’s a more realistic feeling. It’s a more honest answer that you are giving. It’s definitely different… There is a must-see sort of mentality to our television shows. The fact that we are going live and doing so much reality based or hidden camera based, there is an idea that the fans have to tune in. It’s not a matter of when we were taped where they could read spoilers on the Internet. They have to watch and see how it rolls. They are getting surprised and caught off guard with what we are doing. I think it’s awesome.”
AJ Styles’ grappling ability: “AJ is one of the best in the world. We have great chemistry together that the challenge for us after so many years of wrestling each other is somehow keeping it fresh. This particular match is a Last Man Standing match, so it will make that a little bit easier because it’s a completely different mindset. As far as getting in the ring with someone the caliber of AJ, I’m never bored with it. There is always the challenge to make it great and make it different for the fans. That is what I appreciate it.”
Facing AJ Styles this year compared to last year: “The truth of the matter is last year I was sort of treading water when the match came around. It didn’t seem like the company had a lot of plans for me or at least the plans that they had for me beginning with that match. There wasn’t a whole lot going on for me before Destination X. Now that we have had this sort of thing going on for pretty much the whole year, I feel like I am in a better position with the company. I feel like I contributed more this year than in the last. With the previous match, it was just a marquee matchup. It was a technical exhibition style match. This one is going to have a little bit more blood behind it.”
Austin Aries’ rise in TNA: “Austin Aries right now is on the top of his game. Everything he seems to be doing has been coming up aces, and he has parlayed that into a world title shot. If you watch even last week, we saw the appearance of Sonjay Dutt on our shows. I feel like he is going to be somebody in the next couple of months we will be talking about how good he is and start to show back up on our television. Rubix, Mason Andrews and Rashad Cameron, those guys last week also had opportunity and hit home runs in my opinion. I think they did great. Even in defeat, I think Rubix and Mason Andrews were great and hope they get an opportunity with the company to continue. Another good thing about Destination X is we always give X Division guys an opportunity. Last year where we had guys like Kid Kash returning to the company based on his performance at Destination X. I hope these guys get the same opportunity and if they do, I think they are going to do great things with it.”
Claire Lynch storyline: “As far as the story goes, we are right on track where we want to go. I think people who are upset with the storyline are assuming that they know the end or where this is going, and they don’t. So I just tell people who are upset to just wait and see what happens. I know there was a lot of speculation about the introduction of Claire, but that wasn’t a last minute decision. It’s something we thought about for a while. You just need to see where it goes. This is something that has been thought out. If the people give it the same amount of chance that we put into it, the amount of effort we put into it, I think they are going to be happy with the end result.”
– Rosita, who has not appeared on Impact Wrestling since April 17, says she is still affiliated with TNA Wrestling despite her lengthy absence. She wrote on Twitter,
“For those who keep asking, YES I am still with iMPACT Wrestling. And don’t you worry, I plan on returning and making an IMPACT ?#nevergiveup?.”