Water Cooler – April 20th, 2011
Here we go with today’s sports water cooler talk. Here, you won’t just find the straight news; you’ll find the stuff everyone is talking about – the ice breakers, the Twitter Sports Picks and topics…well, basically all the stuff you discuss at the water cooler.
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Sports News – MLB news: Ryan Franklin out as Cardinals closer; Jason Bay returns to Mets lineup; Victor Martinez to DL; Robot to throw first pitch at Phillies-Brewers game
Another week, another closer out of a job in Major League Baseball. This time, it’s former stalwart Ryan Franklin. The St. Louis Cardinals bumped him from ninth inning duty after he opened 2011 with a 11.57 ERA and four blown saves in five tries. He was an All-Star in 2009 and converted 27 of 29 save tries last year.
The New York Mets will hope to jumpstart their struggling offense this week by activating Jason Bay. He hasn’t played a regular season game with the big club this season after a strained intercostal muscle in spring training landed him on the DL. Bay went 4 for 4 with two homers in minor-league rehab start yesterday.
The Detroit Tigers’ key offensive import is on the shelf. Victor Martinez, acquired in the offseason, was placed on the 15-day DL this week with a groin strain. He left Monday’s 8-3 win against Seattle after singling in the second inning.
Are the robots about to take over? The next step in their revolution is upon us. A robot designed by engineers at the University of Pennsylvania will throw the ceremonial first pitch at Wednesday’s Phillies-Brewers game. It’s a mechanical arm attached to a Segway and will used a CO2 burst to throw the ball. First baseball – then THE WORLD!
NBA news: Lamar Odom wins Sixth Man Award; Amar’e Stoudemire injures back
Lamar Odom is the first Los Angeles Laker to win the NBA’s Sixth Man Award since its inception. He averaged 14.4 points and 8.7 rebounds this season, playing every game. He beat out Jason Terry of the Mavs and Thaddeus Young of the 76ers, who finished second and third, respectively.
The New York Knicks are already down 2-0 to the Boston Celtics and the road doesn’t get any easier. Power forward Amar’e Stoudemire went down during Game 2 with back spasms. He left the game in the second quarter after going just 2 for 9 from the floor and didn’t return. The Knicks are already without Chauncey Billups.
NHL news: Kunitz, Downie suspended; Ducks send Jonas Hiller to Anaheim; Sergei Zubov retires
The NHL doled out its expected suspensions for Chris Kunitz and Steve Downie yesterday – and each forward got a simple slap on the wrist. The Penguins Kunitz received a game for his elbow to Tampa’s Simon Gagne and the Lightning’s Downie got a one-game ban for leaving his feet to hit Pittsburgh’s Ben Lovejoy.
The Anaheim Ducks are still without All-Star starting goaltender Jonas Hiller, who hasn’t yet recovered from vertigo-like symptoms. He travelled with the team to Nashville for game 3 of the Western Conference quarter-final but, with his symptoms still present, he’s been sent back to Anaheim for further recovery and evaluation.
Sergei Zubov has called it a career. The Russian defenseman had 771 points with the New York Rangers and Dallas Stars before leaving the NHL for the KHL in 2009. He missed all of 2010-11 with a major hip injury.
NFL news: William Moore arrested; retired players sue the players’ union
Atlanta Falcons strong safety William Moore was arrested and jailed after a traffic stop on Tuesday. He was charged with speeding, driving with a suspended license and failure to appear. He was released on Tuesday night.
Five retired NFL players filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL Players Association last week. The suit accuses the NFLPA of defrauding thousands of players of royalties for using their images. It’s a continuation of the battle the retired players started to wage in 2007 stemming from the use of their likenesses in video games, especially the EA Sports varieties.
The NFLPA currently “doesn’t exist” as a union as it decertified in an attempt to fight the lockout.
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