Say What?

ATP suspends Kyrgios for ‘tanking’ a match, urges therapy

Nick Kyrgios, one of Australia’s most promising tennis stars, was suspended from competition for eight weeks (or less) for giving too little effort at a match last week at the Shanghai Masters. Kyrgios, 21, was cited by the ATP for “conduct contrary to the integrity of the game.” He delivered soft serves, and when his opponent was serving, he turned his back before the ball was across the net. The spin he wasn’t using on the court he saved for tweets such as, “The Asian circuit was very tough. . . . My body finally just gave out in Shanghai, physically and mentally.” The ATP accepted that explanation, fined Kyrgios $25,000 and promised to reduce the suspension to three weeks if he agrees to therapy sessions with a sports psychologist. The suspension, even if it goes the full eight weeks, conveniently ends on Jan. 15, the day before the start of the Australian Open which is the year’s first Grand Slam tournament.

NotepadDear Nick: Nice of them to be so forgiving. But there’s a fine line between mercy and enabling. The ATP is pointing out a problem that requires urgent attention. Hopefully you got the message.


Bautista suggests ALCS is rigged against Toronto

When the Toronto Blue Jays fell behind the Cleveland Indians 2-0 in the American League Championship Series, Jays outfielder Jose Bautista suggested that umpires were intentionally miscalling pitches to help set up a World Series between two tradition-heavy franchises, Cleveland and Chicago. The Indians shut down the Jays’ power by pitching to the outside edges of the plate. “All you gotta do is look at the video and count how many times they’ve thrown pitches over the heart of the plate,” Bautista said. “It hasn’t been many. They’ve been able to do that because of the circumstances that I’m not trying to talk about because I can’t.” Apparently the “circumstances” have to do with a desire by Major League Baseball to create the most attractive World Series stage that’s possible. Bautista referred to analytical study of pitch locations that did in fact indicate a slightly wider strike zone for Toronto hitters. But other observers credited that to the skillful way that Indians catcher Yan Gomes frames the pitches.

NotepadDear Jose: This is not the NBA.


Schilling to run against Elizabeth Warren for 2018 Senate

Curt Schilling, one of Boston’s greatest baseball icons – pitching in the postseason with a bloody sock – posted on Facebook, his favorite communications venue, that he intends to run against Elizabeth Warren for the Senate in 2018. “I’m going to run. But, but, I haven’t talked to Shonda, my wife.” He said he was concerned that a career in politics might threaten his marriage.

NotepadDear Curt: Statistically, political candidates are less prone to divorce than the general public. Consider the durability of the Clintons’ marriage, no matter how challenged and scrutinized.


Texans’ coach and QB in angry confrontation

Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien and QB Brock Osweiler were seen and heard in heated argument following a team meeting last week, according to a CBS report. The confrontation was witnessed by some of the players, causing speculation that there’s a rift between coach and quarterback. O’Brien is known to launch into a profanity-laced tirade on occasion. When he was offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots, he had one such episode with Tom Brady. Tensions may have eased Sunday night after Osweiler led his team to two touchdowns in the final two minutes, 37 seconds, to force overtime with the Indianapolis Colts. The Texans won 26-23. “We showed a lot of heart,” DeAndre Hopkins said. “We never gave up, even though half the stadium left.”


Beckham’s antics continue, and McAdoo is not amused

Odell Beckham Jr. played his best game of the season, and played a major role in winning it for the New York Giants. But his sideline behavior continued to be a problem. Beckham seemed to enjoy his on-field performance a little too much – his 8 catches for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns, one of which was the game-winner against the visiting Baltimore Ravens. After the first touchdown, Beckham cuddled with the kicking net, which he once famously attacked with angry vigor. After the second TD, Beckham acted out a proposal to the net, and before doing so he theatrically removed his helmet, thereby drawing a 15-yard penalty. “Can’t have it, he knows it,” said Giants head coach Bob McAdoo. “We need to keep the focus on the ballgame.” McAdoo hopes to coach Beckham into being more composed in times of joy or sadness. The coach did not think it appropriate when the receiver was sobbing after an Eli Manning interception.

NotepadDear Odell: Yes the yellow hair appeals to some eyes, but your endless attempts to draw attention to yourself can cost your team penalties and victories.


Woman injured by framed photo of Giants, lawsuit alleges

A woman who visited a gift shop at MetLife Stadium claims she was severely injured by a large framed photo of the New York Giants that fell off a shelf. Laura Gallagher, 53, filed a lawsuit that alleges she suffers from multiple injuries, “ongoing pain, anguish and emotional distress” because the picture “fell from a shelf and violently struck her.” The suit also accuses the team of destroying evidence after it was specifically asked to preserve the framed photo in question. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages to be determined by a jury trial.

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