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Rose back in baseball – as TV analyst for Fox

For the first time in 26 years, Pete Rose will have a job in baseball – sort of.  The Fox network has hired him as a television analyst.  The Hit King is appearing on multiple shows: MLB Whiparound, America’s Pregame and Fox Sports Live.  Rose has asked Rob Manfred to lift his lifetime ban for gambling on baseball, and the commissioner said he’s considering doing so.  However, Rose said his studio job is not related to his efforts to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame.  “I enjoy talking baseball,” he said, “and that’s what this is about.  . . . Hopefully people will watch and I’ll make some good points to help them understand the game more.”  John Entz, executive producer of Fox Sports, said he was surprised by Rose’s knowledge of current players, that “he can talk old school and new school.”


Bleachers and bathrooms lag in Wrigley renovations

Chicago’s Wrigley Field renovations are not going as quickly as planned.  There are so few bathrooms that fans have urinated in beer cups.  The new sound system is so loud that residents a block away complain.  The bleachers won’t be finished for at least a month.  “It’s definitely much quieter out there,” said Cincinnati left fielder Marlon Byrd.  “You can usually hear fans in the bleachers yelling stuff at you non-stop.  I only heard one guy yell ‘You’re fat’ to me.”


Mariners’ prospect Sanchez dies from propeller

Victor Sanchez, one of the top pitching prospects of the Seattle Mariners, died from brain injury caused by a motorboat propeller when he was swimming off a beach in Venezuela.  He was in a coma for 42 days before dying at age 20.  “Victor was a tremendous young man and a wonderful teammate,” said Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik“He was a very talented player who was close to fulfilling his promise as a major leaguer.”


New York cops injure Hawks’ Sefolosha

Thabo Sefolosha, defensive-minded forward for the Atlanta Hawks, is missing the NBA Playoffs after being roughed up by New York City police when he emerged from a Chelsea night club.  Sefalosha suffered a fractured lower right leg and ligament damage while being arrested along with teammate Pero Antic.  “I am in great pain, have experienced a significant injury . . . caused by the police,” Sefolosha said.  He and Antic were too close to the scene early Wednesday morning when Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland was stabbed.  The Hawks players were charged with resisting authority and disorderly conduct, although Antic insisted they were not with Copeland when the stabbing occurred.  “We didn’t even see the guy and whatever happened,” Antic said.

Between the Lines:  He considers himself lucky.  He didn’t get shot, it’s good to be white.


Ferry getting no credit for building the Hawks

Danny Ferry signed, acquired and drafted almost every player on the roster of the Atlanta Hawks, the top seed in the NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs.  And yet, instead of basking in limelight, Ferry is nowhere to be seen.  He’s on a forced leave of absence, and the team has nominated the coach he hired, Mike Budenholzer, as NBA Executive of the Year.  Ferry, the Hawks’ general manager, went into seclusion last September after recordings were released of him quoting a scout saying Luol Deng “has some African in him.”  According to The New York Times, the comment was not about Deng’s ethnicity but about the Sudanese culture in which he was raised.  At any rate, it was a horrible sound bite, at the worst possible time, in the wake of furor from a 2012 e-mail by Hawks owner Bruce Levinson saying the team’s black fans “scared away whites.”   The NBA was reeling even more from alleged racism by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.  Both Levinson and Sterling have sold their teams.  Reportedly there’s pressure from other owners to keep Ferry out of his office.  So Ferry, 48, remains in purgatory, while his lawyers negotiate with the Hawks and instruct their client not to speak to media.


Riley on LeBron:  ‘No more smiling faces with hidden agendas’

Miami Heat president Pat Riley expressed confidence in signing the team’s point guard, Goran Dragic.  Riley insisted it won’t be like the last off-season, when he felt LeBron James led him to believe he’d stay in Miami shortly before he opted for Cleveland. “No more smiling faces with hidden agendas,” Riley said.  ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser (PTI) said Riley “looks like a kid who got dumped at the prom by the homecoming queen.”


Pelicans coach says Warriors’ Oracle is illegally loud

New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Wlliams suggested that the Golden State Warriors are somehow violating NBA rules by having an arena, the Oracle, that’s louder than any other.  “I’m not so sure the decibel level is legal, and I’m serious,” Williams said.  “It does get a little out of hand.” 


Blazers put up sign:  ‘We don’t lose to Spanish players’

Prior to a playoff game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Nicolas Batum of the Portland Trail Blazers posted laminated cards in the locker room stating, “We don’t lose to Spanish players.”  It was a reference to All-Star center Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies’ only Spanish player, and it was created by a French-born player.  Gasol seemed perplexed (after all, Memphis had won five games in a row against Portland) but unconcerned:  “I don’t know what it means and I don’t care. . . . They’ve had Spanish players, at least three I can think of.”


Mubtaahij first in 10 years to run Derby without Lasix

Mike DeKock, who trains horses, for the most part, in South Africa, shocked the American racing media when he said he will not shoot up his horse, Mubtahij, with a popular drug, Lasix, in the Kentucky Derby.  “He’s never run on it, he doesn’t bleed,”DeKock said.  He doesn’t need it.” The supposed intent of Lasix is to prevent bleeding.  But now it’s universally used to make horses run faster by speeding blood circulation.  The last horse to win the Kentucky Derby who did not have Lasix was Grindstone in 1996.  Are we to believe that the last 200 starters in the Derby were bleeders?  DeKock said that “in South Africa we use Lasix only in training and in minute doses.”

Between the Lines:  He thinks American horse trainers are way overusing this drug.


Harbaugh ‘wore out his welcome,’ says 49ers’ Boone

After coaching the San Francisco 49ers to three consecutive NFC Championship games, Jim Harbaugh “wore out his welcome,” said guard Alex Boone.  In an interview on HBO’s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, Boone said, “He does a great job of giving you that spark, that initial boom, but after a while, you just want to kick his ass.  . . . He just pushed guys too far, he wanted too much, demanded too much, expected too much.”  Boone seemed to agree with what Randy Moss had said two years earlier, that Harbaugh treated players like they were collegians, not pros.  Harbaugh, now coaching at the U. of Michigan, agreed with Boone’s assessment, saying, “They just don’t want to be around you after a while.”   

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