Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday night update

A few notes for your Thursday night as I recover from my lawnmower breaking!

* - Our buddy Ken Fang from the Fang's Bites has the update on the NFL and Comcast reaching agreement to keep the NFL Network on Comcast Cable systems while they continue to talk and try to reach a long-term agreement on carriage.

* - A-Rod says he won't discuss the new allegations in Selena Roberts' book. Watch it here on ESPN.com.

* - The Boston Globe has the analysis on the Patriots/Bucs trade of TE Alex Smith to Foxboro.

* - Julius Peppers is going to skip the Panthers mandatory mini-camp (Carolina Growl via Pro Football Talk)

More later as the we continue to watch the Bulls build a double-digit lead in the 4th against the Celtics while Josh Beckett continues to struggle against the Rays, down 8-0 in the 6th. So much for that quality start in my fantasy league Josh!

Red Sox/Rays on TBS this Sunday

From TBS Sports, we get David Wells and the Red Sox this Sunday -

The Red Sox Battle the Rays in ALCS Rematch on “Sunday MLB on TBS”

Former MLB All-Star David Wells makes his debut in the TBS broadcast booth


“Sunday MLB on TBS” continues on Sunday, May 3rd at 1:30 p.m. ET with a rematch of the 2008 ALCS on TBS featuring Dustin Pedroia and the Boston Red Sox visiting Evan Longoria and the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays defeated the Red Sox in seven games last October to advance to their first-ever World Series. Former MLB All-Star pitcher David Wells will make his debut in the TBS broadcast booth alongside Chip Caray (play-by-play) and Buck Martinez (analyst).

“Sunday MLB on TBS” includes match-ups on TBS every Sunday afternoon throughout the regular season. The network will also exclusively televise the MLB All-Star Selection Show on Sunday, July 5. Additionally, beginning in October TBS will once again provide exclusive coverage of the Division Series and the National League Championship Series (NLCS).

TBS has broadcast MLB coverage for more than 30 years serving as the exclusive home of the MLB Division Series (DS) and one League Championship Series (LCS) since 2007 and home of Atlanta Braves coverage from 1977 to 2007.

SUNDAY MLB ON TBS SCHEDULE:
Sun., May 3
1:30 p.m. Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays
Announcers:
Chip Caray (play-by-play), Buck Martinez (analyst) and David Wells (analyst)

SUNDAY MLB ON TBS UPCOMING SCHEDULE:
Sun., May 10
12:30 p.m. Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies
Announcers:
Chip Caray (play-by-play) and Buck Martinez (analyst)

Sun., May 17
1 p.m. Minnesota Twins @ New York Yankees
Announcers:
Chip Caray (play-by-play), Ron Darling (analyst) and David Wells (analyst)

NBC: Kentucky Derby and NHL this weekend preview

A pair of release from NBC -

NBC SPORTS PRESENTS UNPRECEDENTED COVERAGE OF THE 135th RUNNING OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY THIS SATURDAY AT 4 PM ET

NEW YORK - April 30, 2009 -
NBC Sports broadcasts exclusive coverage of the 135th Kentucky Derby this Saturday starting at 4 p.m. ET. NBC Sports' broadcast will bring the spectacle of the Kentucky Derby, which has been contested annually since 1875, home to viewers with behind-the-scenes access, celebrities and fashion surrounding the legendary Run for the Roses. The Red Carpet will feature celebrity interviews as the stars arrive to Churchill Downs to enjoy the greatest day in horse racing.

Bob Costas and Tom Hammond co-host the Derby alongside three-time Derby winner Gary Stevens. NBC Sports' broadcast team also includes race-caller Tom Durkin; contributing analysts/handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier; reporter Kenny Rice and on-track reporter Donna Brothers, who retired in 1998 after an impressive 11-year career as a jockey. The Kentucky Derby on NBC is produced by Sam Flood and directed by David Michaels. Additionally, the TODAY Show's Al Roker will contribute reports, and Nancy O'Dell, co-host of "Access Hollywood" and author of "Full of Life: Mom-To-Mom Tips I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Pregnant," and Tiki Barber of "Football Night in America" will handle Red Carpet arrivals.

Below are quotes from NBC's talent and production staff about the Kentucky Derby and NBC's coverage:

HAMMOND ON WHAT MAKES THE DERBY SPECIAL: "I always look forward to the first Saturday of May because the Kentucky Derby is one of the great sporting events in America. It's really a slice of Americana where you have the raucous infield, millionaires' row and more than 150,000 people on hand, and that makes it one of the highlights of our broadcasting year.

"The thing that makes the Derby special to me too is that, aside from the Olympics, there are more stories involved in horse racing and specifically the Derby than any other sport of all the sports I cover. Not only stories about horses, but also stories about the people involved with them - the owners, the trainers, the jockeys. It's just a wealth of stories, and storytelling is part
of our duties as sportscasters."

HAMMOND ON ONE OF HIS FAVORITE STORIES THIS YEAR: "There's a story in the Derby this year that typifies what I think the Derby is all about. On one hand, you have Sheikh Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, coming over with two horses. He's spent billions worldwide, and the one thing he has not been able to accomplish in horse racing is to win the Kentucky Derby. There's also a horse in here named General Quarters that is owned by Tom McCarthy, who is a 75-year old retired school principal from Louisville who has been chasing his dream of having a Derby horse for 50 years. He's the owner, the trainer and the groom for a horse he claimed he bought for $20,000. So you have the man who is a one-horse stable who does all the work himself, running against one of the richest men in the world. It's what the Derby's all about. It doesn't matter how much money you have. The horses don't know who owns them, and you can't buy the Derby. The best horse on that day is going to win it, regardless of the wealth of its owners. And that's what the Kentucky Derby is all about. It's a great equalizer and the story of Tom McCarthy is one we'll tell on Saturday, and hopefully that will make the Derby special."

STEVENS ON A WIDE OPEN DERBY: "It's a great Kentucky Derby this year, one of the best I've seen in 20 years as far as prospects who could win it. I've got about eight horses who, if I was still riding, I wouldn't mind sitting on their back. It's a very contentious race this year."

EIGHT HORSES STEVENS LIKES:
· I Want Revenge
· Pioneerof the Nile
· Dunkirk
· Desert Party
· General Quarters
· Regal Ransom
· Papa Clem
· Mr. Hot Stuf

NEUMEIER'S TOP THREE: "I only see three possible horses that can win the race. In order of preference: Dunkirk, Pioneerof the Nile and I Want Revenge. I'll be very surprised if someone else wins the race, because I think those three are head and shoulders above the rest of the field."

NEUMEIER'S PICK TO WIN THE KENTUCKY DERBY: "I like Dunkirk because he ran an
incredible second in the Florida Derby to the horse that I thought was the best horse in the country, and that is Quality Road, who has been scratched for the Derby. For that reason and the fact that Pioneerof the Nile has never run on conventional dirt, makes me give the nod to Dunkirk. I don't care about historical precedents about him not running as a two-year old. I think he's the best horse in the race."

NEUMEIER ON I WANT REVENGE: "Tactically, I think the race will advantage I Want Revenge, because he is kind of a frontrunner pace presser in a race that's dominated by late running horses, or closing horses. So I think he will take advantage of that. But I don't think he's any better than Dunkirk or Pioneerof the Nile, and as a favorite I'll put him third on my hit parade. So Dunkirk –1, Pioneerof the Nile- 2, I Want Revenge- 3."

BATTAGLIA ON THE DERBY FIELD: "It's a strong field of three-year-olds, much stronger top-to-bottom than the field we had last year. Big Brown was a standout last year, but I don't think the field as a whole was nearly as good as the one we have this year.

BATTAGLIA'S PICK TO WIN THE KENTUCKY DERBY: "I personally like Pioneerof the Nile's chances. I think he will handle the dirt. This is a horse that has only raced on turf and synthetics, but he's really trained well since he got here and trainer Bob Baffert knows how to win this race. Baffert has already won the Kentucky Derby three times and I think the fact that jockey Garrett Gomez chose this horse over Dunkirk speaks volumes for Pioneerof the Nile also, so I think he's going to be very dangerous. Wide open race, excellent race. Best trip wins. My pick- Pioneerof the Nile."

OTHER HORSES BATTAGLIA LIKES: "You can't knock I Want Revenge, the favorite and you can't knock Dunkirk. Either one of those can win and Friesan Fire could be dangerous."

BATTAGLIA'S LONG SHOT: "For a long shot I kind of think Hold Me Back will run big. He makes his third start for Bill Mott, who is very good with horses."

FLOOD ON DERBY STORYLINES: "It's a wonderful Derby because there are more stories than we've ever had before. There's a great trainer in Bob Baffert coming back to the track to Tom McCarthy, the school principal who's getting his first chance at age 75 on a $20,000 horse. Then you've got Larry Jones coming off the tragedy last year with Eight Belles, coming to his last Derby. There are human stories throughout the Derby that make it a compelling day of racing. We have all the people in place and all the equipment in place to really make this one of the great Kentucky Derby scenes of all-time."

FLOOD ON BRAVO'S FRIDAY SHOW: "Doing the Oaks for the first time is very exciting for our group. In the past we have not covered that race, and now we have an hour-long special on Bravo that will include the Ladies' Day at the Derby. This will create a whole new feel and a whole new tone to Friday's telecast, so we're very excited about that and the folks at Churchill are really excited about moving the Oaks onto Bravo and showcasing the ladies."

NBCSPORTS.COM AT THE DERBY: NBCSports.com will live stream the tote board during the pre-race broadcast Saturday so fans can get up-to-the-minute information on the latest odds directly from Churchill Downs.

Additionally, NBCSports.com, in conjunction with Icue, will present a video-quiz application that tests knowledge of past Kentucky Derby winners and events, and is available on NBCSports.com and Facebook.

KENTUCKY DERBY ON ITUNES: This year, for the first time, race fans can also purchase a Kentucky Derby race replay on the iTunes Store (www.iTunes.com). Fans can buy a highlight package of the NBC Sports broadcast and "Run for the Roses: The Kentucky Derby and the Business of Horse Racing", a CNBC Original primetime program, for $1.99 each or a bundle of the two for $2.99.

SEE THE DERBY ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE: Users on the go can watch the Kentucky Derby live on their mobile phones exclusively through NBC 2Go and NBC Sports Mobile. Plus, fans can watch exclusive video and race replays on-demand on NBC Sports Mobile Video (check your carrier for availability).

LUCKY U GAME: NBC Sports and Churchill Downs are joining together to present The Kentucky Derby Lucky U Game for the third consecutive year. Last year, the Lucky U Game generated more than 500,000 entries. Lucky U is a contest where a lucky fan can win a cash prize and a trip to the 2010 Kentucky Derby. Once the field for the Derby is set on Wednesday, horse racing fans will be able to vote for the horse that they think will win. The winner will receive $10,000 in cash and a 2010 Kentucky Derby VIP Experience provided by Churchill Downs, including tickets to the Derby, round-trip transportation, and accommodations. Viewers of NBC's Kentucky Derby broadcast and other horse racing fans will be invited to enter by sending a text message for their choice from their cell phone. Standard text messaging charges apply. Fans can also enter by going online to NBCSports.com/luckyu.

LADIES FIRST: BRAVO AT THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Bravo will feature the very best in food, fashion and the celebrity experience associated with the great spectacle of Kentucky Derby weekend including Kentucky Oaks 135 on "Ladies First: Bravo at the Kentucky Derby," a one-hour special produced by NBC Sports, LIVE this Friday at 5 p.m. ET/PT. The special, hosted by NBC's Costas, "Access Hollywood's" O'Dell, and "The Real Housewives of New York City's" Bethenny Frankel, daughter of horse trainer Bobby Frankel, celebrates a day for women and gives viewers a history on the fashion and festivities before and after the Oaks race. NBC's
Barber will check-in live from the Infield Club with "Top Chef" series five finalist Stefan Richter, and season four and five "Top Chef" winners Stephanie Izard and Hosea Rosenberg. "Top Chef: The Tour," a state-of-the-art customized traveling kitchen with expansive space to accommodate cooks and fans alike, will make a special stop at the Kentucky Oaks in the Infield Club.

Frankel, a racing aficionado and best-selling author, will provide a female perspective to handicapping and betting at the Kentucky Oaks, and along with O'Dell will take viewers through the spectacular fashion and hats on display over the weekend.

KENTUCKY DERBY A RATINGS SUCCESS: NBC's coverage of the 2008 Kentucky Derby grabbed 11.5 million viewers, equaling its best delivery in six years. Since 2001 when the Kentucky Derby moved from ABC to NBC, average viewership has increased more than two million viewers (24 percent) over the previous eight years on ABC.

KENTUCKY DERBY ON NBC: NBC Sports began its exclusive coverage of the Kentucky Derby, the longest continuously held sporting event in North America, in 2001. In May 2005, NBC Sports and Churchill Downs Incorporated reached an agreement giving the network the exclusive broadcast rights to the Kentucky Derby beginning in 2006 and continuing through 2010.

CROSBY VS. OVECHKIN, & DEFENDING CHAMPION RED WINGS HIGHLIGHT NBC SPORTS COVERAGE OF STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS THIS WEEKEND

Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals Saturday, 1 p.m. ET; Anaheim Ducks at Detroit Red Wings Sunday, 2 p.m. ET

This series is star-power personified, just great for the game of hockey. NBC's McGuire


NEW YORK - April 30, 2009 - A marquee matchup between Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, plus the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings headline NBC Sports' coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs this weekend. Saturday, Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals will host Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins at 1 p.m. ET in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. On Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, the Red Wings will host the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 of their series.

Mike "Doc" Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass analyst) call the action (Darren Pang will fill in for McGuire Sunday in Detroit). McGuire and Pang will pull double duty, hosting NBC's studio show alongside analyst Mike Milbury on site in Washington and Detroit.

MCGUIRE ON PITTSBURGH-WASHINGTON: "This series is star-power personified, just
great for the game of hockey. The big question is, will the Capitals have enough balance to deal with the Penguins? The X-factor is Jordan Staal for Pittsburgh and how well [Simeon] Varlamov plays. He played well but really wasn't tested in the Rangers series but you can be sure he will here. The Penguins are vicious on the forecheck and I wonder how Washington will cope with that."

MCGUIRE ON ANAHEIM-DETROIT: "I see a lot of problems for Anaheim in this series dealing with the waves that Detroit throws at you. They're going to have to get scoring beyond their first line and from the defense in order to compete."

Dave Roberts joins NESN as studio analyst

From NESN, we get word that former Sox outfielder and infamous game 4 of the ALCS basestealer in 2004 Dave Roberts will join the Red Sox broadcast as a studio analyst. Here's the info from our friends at NESN -

DAVE ROBERTS JOINS NESN AS RED SOX STUDIO ANALYST

BOSTON, MA
– NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, announced today that former Red Sox outfielder and post-season hero, Dave Roberts, has joined NESN to serve as a Red Sox studio analyst. Roberts will join Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley and Jim Rice for the network’s popular pre and post game shows.

“We are thrilled to have Dave join our team of outstanding studio analysts,” said Joel Feld, NESN’s executive vice president of programming and executive producer. “Dave is an icon in Red Sox Nation. He has a deep knowledge of the game and understands the passion of Red Sox fans.”

Roberts will make his NESN debut this Monday from the new Yankee Stadium when the Red Sox play the Yankees. During the game, he will also join NESN’s Red Sox broadcast team of Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy in the booth for a couple of innings.

Best known to for his stolen base in the 9th inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees, Roberts recently retired after a 10 years in the major leagues. He played for 5 different teams compiling a .266 career batting average with 243 stolen bases while only being caught 58 times for a very impressive 81% success rate. He enjoyed his best year in 2006 with the San Diego Padres when he hit .293 as the team’s leadoff hitter and collected 49 stolen bases.

Let's get it on! Cuddy & House!

We've all been waiting for it and I guess we're about to get it "House" fans!

Cuddy and House will be getting down to business on Monday, May 4th! Yes, this Monday, it's time to get busy. Check out the promo from FOX -



Can't wait! But if you really can't wait, here more of the sexy Cuddy, Lisa Edelstein and a little strip tease -



Oh my!!!

Bob Costas goes 1-on-1 with Cal Ripken

From the MLB Network -

BOB COSTAS INTERVIEWS CAL RIPKEN JR. ON MLB NETWORK BEFORE THURSDAY NIGHT BASEBALL

Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., President & CEO Ripken Baseball, Inc., stopped by MLB Network studios for an interview that will air tonight during On Deck Circle at 6:00p.m. ET, prior to Thursday Night Baseball (Boston at Tampa Bay). Ripken sat down with Bob Costas to discuss the upcoming 70th anniversary of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium, as well as Ripken’s thoughts on Gehrig and his legendary record for consecutive games played.

Thursday’s segment is part of a longer interview between Costas and Ripken that will air later this summer in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s initiative to raise awareness and financial support for organizations leading the fight against ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), otherwise known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” With the new charitable campaign “4♦ALS Awareness,” MLB is working with four leading organizations - The ALS Association, ALS TDI, Augie’s Quest (the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s ALS research initiative) and Project A.L.S. - whose primary goal is to find a cure for ALS. The initiative will culminate on July 4, 2009, which is the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium.

Highlights of the interview include:

ON GEHRIG SITTING OUT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS CAREER:


“When my streak ended after all those games, I didn’t know what to do with myself. There were other reasons, obviously for Lou, but I certainly didn’t know what to do with myself, I didn’t know how to behave. I felt like I was on the outside looking in. and I’m wondering if he thinks he’s on the outside looking in right there.”

ON RIPKEN’S CONNECTION TO GEHRIG:

"I often wonder what a conversation would be like if you had a chance to sit down and talk to Lou and kind of compare notes – why you did it, how you did it, what were your challenges, because to me, it just happened. It wasn’t ever a part of what I wanted to do - it was a sense of responsibility, it was your obligation to yourself and to your team and to your manager, and I’d love to hear those things from Lou.”

ON BREAKING GEHRIG’S RECORD IN 1995:

"I guess at the time in ‘95, I was still pushing Lou away a little bit. In some ways, I knew the comparison was necessary because of what the streak was all about, I never felt it was right, because he was one of the game’s greatest players. I never thought of myself in that same category. We had a link because of our desire to play and our resiliency in our ability to do that. But I think I was pushing him away because I didn’t want it to become an obsession.”

ON GEHRIG’S CHARACTER:

"I think everybody on the surface knows what a great man he was. He was a man of character, an iron horse in the truest sense – strong, thick, and probably a little bit stubborn as a result, but I’d love to learn a little bit more about him but really in my own time.”

NBA Notes from TNT

Don't forget that the Celtics/Bulls game is at 7pm, ET tonight on TNT and Comcast Sportsnet New England. It's the front end of the TNT doubleheader with Houston/Portland closing things out. Here's some notage from TNT -

Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Wednesday, April 29, 2009

TNT’s “40 Games in 40 Nights” NBA Playoffs coverage continues on Wednesday, April 29th with the Boston Celtics @ Chicago Bulls (Game #6) at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the Portland Trail Blazers @ Houston Rockets (Game #6).

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com
Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Chris Webber and Kenny Smith


Barkley on the Hawks chances with Dwyane Wade admittedly at 60%: “The Hawks are a better team than the Heat and if Dwyane Wade doesn’t play spectacularly Miami doesn’t really have a chance. I expect the Hawks to come out like gangbusters and win this game.”

Webber on the youthful Miami Heat: “It’s not (Michael) Beasley’s fault, it’s not anybody on that team’s fault. Dwyane Wade is in the same position as Chris Paul; if he doesn’t make every basket, meaning through scoring or through assists, then he can’t do it, and these guys are not one-on-one players.”

Barkley on Heat forward Michael Beasley: “I think the problem with (Michael) Beasely is the three inches he lost between the college and the NBA. Beasley was 6’10” in college and 6’7” when he entered the NBA.”

Barkley on Orlando’s chances without Dwight Howard and Courtney Lee: “They still could win that game, they’re not playing Dr. J’s 76ers.”

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Game #1: Miami Heat (91) @ Atlanta Hawks (106) – Atlanta leads the series 3-2.
Announcers: Dick Stockton and Mike Fratello; and Cheryl Miller reporting


Fratello on Miami guard Dwyane Wade playing hurt: “In talking to some of the assistant coaches on Miami they said on some of the worst nights as far as injuries by Dwyane Wade, where he’s banged up, he’s come out and put on spectacular performances when you least expect it, so don’t be surprised if he gets it going.”

Fratello on Miami forward Michael Beasley: “Beasley has to do a few more things than he has done when he comes in the game then catch it and shoot. He has to have a little variety to his game, he has to figure out the defense, mix it up and be an important part of this Miami team.”

Stockton on the Heat players quickly coming to break up a skirmish between Dwyane Wade and Hawks forward Soloman Jones: “The Miami Heat looking to protect their meal ticket.”

Fratello on the flagrant foul called on Dwyane Wade against Hawks forward Maurice Evans: “I don’t think Dwyane Wade did anything except run him down and try to block his shot…I don’t agree with that (flagrant foul call), Dick, this is a guy who has blocked over 100 shots as a 6’4” guard. You can’t let the sensitivities of the crowd wind up determining it. He’s playing ball, he’s coming from behind and his body hit him, you call the foul”

Fratello on Hawks guard Flip Murray: “(Murray) is a little too strong, a little too smart for (Mario) Chalmers.”

Fratello on Hawks All-Star guard Joe Johnson, who has struggled so far in this series: “Five-year deal for $70 million dollars, they were expecting a little bit more, but he’s helped teammates by taking on double teams…he gives himself up to give a little extra room for a teammate.”

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T-Mobile Halftime Report
Announcers: Johnson, Barkley, Webber and Smith


Johnson following the physical play in the first half of Heat-Hawks: “Why don’t you get physical with Kenny?”

Barkley: “I don’t want to hurt her.”

Smith: “You know when you got physical with me two rings came out of that.”

Barkley: “You know the trainer got a ring, too.”

Barkley on NBA EVP of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson not suspending Celtics guard Rajon Rondo for fouling Bulls center Brad Miller: “If Stu (Jackson) didn’t think that was a flagrant foul he blew that one. Number one, he went to the head and number two, he drew blood…I like Stu Jackson, but he blew that one”

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Fratello on the poor defense of the Heat’s young players allowing the Hawks to get to the basket: “(Mario) Chalmers, along with (Dequean) Cook, have to learn to keep the ball in front of them.”

Fratello on Hawks forward Josh Smith: “Josh Smith is so much better of a player when he puts the ball on the floor and attacks the front of the rim and allows himself the chance to get fouled, for the three point play, as opposed to settling for the three point jump shot.”

Fratello on how the back and forth blowouts by the Heat and Hawks in this series: “The whole thing about the playoffs is your ability to bounce back…you have to clear your mind and come back with a fresh approach to the next game, that’s the most important one, the next one.”

Fratello following a 17-point third quarter by Dwyane Wade: ‘The competitive spirit of Dwyane Wade is showing up right now as he tries to rally his team.”

Fratello on what Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra is facing following another blowout loss: “The worst thing that can happen to a coaching staff is when you feel the team hasn’t competed. It’s tough when you lose one-point games, you know Chicago and Boston with three overtimes in those games already, the coaches know those guys are laying it all out. Right now Erik Spoelstra and his staff, just like Mike Woodson after games two and three, they are trying to figure out ‘why aren’t we down to the wire, involved in a one/two/three point game. What do I have to figure out to make it right?’”

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Game #2: New Orleans Hornets (86) @ Denver Nuggets (107) – Denver wins the series 4-1.
Announcers: Marv Albert and Reggie Miller; Marc Fein reporting


Miller on the first quarter effort by the Hornets following a 58-point blowout: “You look at the rest of these games, this might be the best start for New Orleans in any of these games…Bryon Scott has to be happy so far with the start of his banged up Hornets.”

Miller on Hornets forward David West: “I like that (West) is not settling. He has been struggling. ‘Let me put my head down and take it to the rim…I like the start for David West, not settling for all jump shots.’”

Albert on Nuggets guard J.R. Smith: “J.R. Smith, a one-time Hornet, has been instant offense for Denver.”

Miller on New Orleans point guard Chris Paul, battling a knee injury: “Chris Paul is not even looking to be aggressive at the offensive end.”

TNT’s Marc Fein interviewed Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups at halftime.

Billups on the effort by the New Orleans Hornets: “I’m not surprised at all, when you face a team, that is fighting for their lives they are going to scrap and play hard. It’s going to be a hard fought game, it’s going to go down to the wire….We can’t expect a blowout in a game like this, they are fighting for their lives, they’re going to play hard.”

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T-Mobile Halftime Report
Announcers: Johnson, Barkley, Webber and Smith


Barkley on the first half effort by the New Orleans Hornets: “I’m going to take my hat off to Bryon Scott, Chris Paul and all those guys. I don’t mind teams losing, but you have to give them credited they are really competing. They are still going to lose, but they are competing.”

Barkley on the physical contact that Chris Paul is absorbing: “The New Orleans Hornets, they can not let Chris Paul get hit like that. Like Kenny said, they are hitting him with everything. …I would never let guys beat my point guard. They’ve got to defend him, and it has to be a big guy. Chris Paul is a great player, but he’s a little guy, and I am so disappointed in all these games they have physically beat up Chris Paul …and not one single time has anyone on the Hornets knocked the hell out of Chauncey Billups.”

Barkley on the Hornets needing to protect their manhood: “New Orleans whole manhood is on the line tonight. There is not one single person I’ve seen, read, talked to who hasn’t said they quit last game. If they quit tonight that’s the worst thing they can say – ‘they’re quitters.’”

Smith on a missed between the legs dunk attempt by Atlanta’s Josh Smith late in Game #5: “Sometimes you do things and they are just not smart, and this was just not smart, even if he makes the basket.”

Barkley: “Yeah, you don’t want to rile the other team up.”

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Miller following Chris Paul being knocked down again in the game: “This is like a prize fight for Chris Paul, the more jabs and jabs and jabs he keeps taking eventually he is going to get knocked out.”

Miller on Nuggets guard JR Smith after back-to-back three-pointers: “Those are really three’s; those are almost three and a half or four pointers. He is three feet behind the three-point line.”

Miller on the Denver Nuggets: “These Nuggets players are starting to have the eye of the tiger, they are starting to have that look.”

Miller on the New Orleans Hornets needing to restructure: “You have two pieces to definitely build around I Chris Paul, an All-Pro level player, and David West a two-time All-Star. But then after that, where do you go? They tried to trade Tyson Chandler, the trade was rescinded. You bring in James Posey to help the bench but after that that is all you’ve got. Chris Paul; there really is no back up point guard he’s playing nearly 42 minutes a night. There are a lot of areas that GM Jeff Bowers is going to have to address in the offseason. I really think they need a shooting guard as well as small forward. No disrespect to Peja Stojackovic but he is not the same player that was in Sacramento.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai
Announcers: Johnson, Barkley, Webber and Smith


Smith on the Denver Nuggets’ ability to blow their opponents out: “(The Nuggets) are the only team in the playoffs that know how to blow you out. Meaning they know how to take a 10-point lead up to a 20-point lead better than any team that’s in the playoffs. However, down the stretch they are little bit wild and wacky, they’ve got guys who will take some crazy shots. We saw Kenyon Martin, he’ll take a three, we saw J.R. Smith, he’ll take any three, so you have some guys who will take some wacky possessions and wacky shots, but from 10 to 20 (points) they get there faster than any team in the playoffs.”

Barkley on his prediction for the match-up between the Nuggets and Mavericks: “I don’t think (the Mavericks) can beat the Denver Nuggets. The Denver Nuggets are the only team who realistically has a chance against the Lakers in the West. They are talented, they are deep, they have a leader in Chauncey (Billups), they are big. Dallas to me is a finesse team, they beat San Antonio because they were the better team, but this team from Denver they are a very different animal than the Mavericks. They only thing that concerns me is (the Nuggets) have a couple of guys who are a little flakey, so what’s going to happen when they have any adversity?”

The Inside crew gave their predictions for the Mavericks/Nuggets series:

Barkley: “I like Denver in 5.”

Smith: “Denver’s tough, I’m not going to lie, they really impress me. But I’m still thinking the Mavs have a chance, so I’m going to go with the underdog and going with the Mavericks in the full seven.”

Webber: “I’m going with Chauncey Billups, he’s changes the whole direction of the team and I think it’s going to the full seven.”

Johnson: “I’m going with Denver in seven, too.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Hawks guard Flip Murray after they defeated the Heat.

Murray on the attempted dunk by Josh Smith late in the game: “That was silly, he wasn’t supposed to do anything like that. I talked to him after that, he was supposed to finish that, you can’t do plays like that. If you’re going to do something like that, make sure you make it. If you miss it, it’s all bad.”

Barkley on forward Josh Smith’s attempted dunk: “You don’t want to do anything to rile up the other team. Erik Spoelstra said something about it, Dwyane (Wade) said something about it. You don’t want to fire up the other team when you beat them like that.”

Webber on giving a team extra motivation during a playoff series: “I don’t believe in giving any great athlete or anyone who loves competition any fuel for the fire. Does that mean (the Heat) are going to win? I don’t know. But this is the only thing they can hang their hat on, they can ignore everything else, ‘we were hurt, we were this, we were that, but this guy is going to try to show off.’ I know if I won or lost this game I wouldn’t sleep well if you were trying to show me up like that.”

Webber on needing to stay focused during the playoffs: “We’re putting the ball all the way through the hoop; we’re getting every point because these are the best players in the world, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You want to be on point the whole way down, you have to have blinders on and keep your goal. Anytime you see guys getting off track like that you see a weakness in them.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Rockets forward Ron Artest.

Artest on playing against Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy: “They are doing a good job, they are well coached. (Brandon) Roy is probably the best player I’ve played against, to me he is the best shooting guard. Not on defense now, defense is kind of suspect. He’s the best player I’ve played against.”

Sager: “He’s a better player than Kobe Bryant, better than LeBron James?”

Artest: “He’s the best player I’ve played against.”

Sager: “Are you saying that just because he’s your opponent in this series?”

Artest: “No, he is. He’s the best player I’ve played against, outside from a guy from my hood in Queensbridge, a guy named Mike Chafley. He went to jail a couple of years when he was 15 or 16 years old, but he was the best player I played against and now it’s Roy.”

Artest on what kind of player he thinks Charles Barkley was: “Charles was a bit overrated. Charles was a good player, but he was a little small, he didn’t have defense. I’m not sure how I would have fared against him. I know Michael Jordan said he wished he would have played against me in his prime.”

Tiger's back and CBS is very happy!

Big ratings are forthcoming for CBS this weekend as they get Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson back for the PGA this week. Here are your full details from CBS -

WOODS, MICKELSON, GARCIA, OGILVY AND KIM COMPETE IN STELLAR FIELD AT PGA TOUR'S QUAIL HOLLOW CHAMPIONSHIP ON CBS SPORTS MAY 2-3

Seven of the top 10-ranked players in the world compete this weekend at the PGA TOUR's QUAIL HOLLOW CHAMPIONSHIP as defending champion Anthony Kim, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Geoff Ogilvy, Padraig Harrington and Vijay Singh are among the field this week. CBS Sports broadcasts third- and final-round coverage of the Quail Hollow Championship, in only its sixth year as a PGA TOUR event, from Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3 (3:00-6:00 PM, ET; both days), live on the CBS Television Network.

Jim Nantz, the 2008 Emmy Award Winner for “Outstanding Sports Personality - Play-by-Play” and 2008 National Sportscaster of the Year, serves as anchor of CBS Sports’ golf coverage. Nick Faldo, winner of six majors and more-than 40 tournaments worldwide, serves as lead analyst alongside Nantz in the 18th hole tower. Peter Oosterhuis calls the action at the 17th hole, Gary McCord at the 16th and Ian Baker-Finch at the 15th. David Feherty and Peter Kostis serve as on-course reporters. Lance Barrow is Coordinating Producer and Steve Milton is Director of CBS Sports’ golf coverage. Harold Bryant is Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.

The star-studded Quail Hollow field, with 19-of-the-Top 30 world-ranked players, includes Woods, Mickelson, Garcia, Ogilvy, Harrington, Singh, Camilo Villegas, Robert Karlsson, Kim, Jim Furyk, Angel Cabrera, Stewart Cink, Sean O’Hair, Retief Goosen, Martin Kaymer, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, K.J. Choi, Nick Watney, Robert Allenby, Trevor Immelman, Ian Poulter, Chad Campbell, Rory Sabbatini, as well local favorite Davis Love III. *In order of Official World Golf Ranking.

CHIP SHOTS WITH IAN-BAKER FINCH

(On Woods and Mickelson Back after the Masters®):
I will be interested to see what Tiger does this week because he had a little bit of a blow up in what he is doing with his swing at the Masters and was quoted as saying he had the worst warm-up ever before the final round. I’ll be interested to see if he’s made any changes. I think he will be standing a little closer to the ball. He drove it poorly at the Masters and has been working really hard since on getting his swing back together. I’ll be interested to see if Hank Haney is beside him on the range and what he’s doing with his swing, although I do expect him to be in good form and in contention on the weekend. Phil Mickelson will be really strong and ready to go. The Masters was disappointing in one way, but also confidence-building in others. Under extreme pressure, he played really well on Sunday. He had a chance to make that Masters the most memorable ever with the way he played the first 11 holes. I expect Tiger and Phil to be high up on the leaderboard on the weekend.

(On Quail Hollow): All the players love this course and the tournament, so we always expect to see a great leaderboard at Quail Hollow. All the top players will be there. Yes it’s the week before The Players Championship so guys are trying to play themselves into form. But it’s also one of the more highly regarded TOUR events, and a feather in the cap for whomever wins. Some of the top players that didn’t play well and missed the cut at the Masters will be practicing extra hard, stressing to get back in form to make up for their poor showing at Augusta. Guys who play poorly at a major are always pushing over the next few weeks to get themselves back in form for the next one. The top players in the world gear their whole year around the major championships, so if they perform poorly in the first one, there is always a lot of hard work and second-guessing leading up to the next one.

(On Defending Champion Anthony Kim): Can he regain that high level of confidence he had last year at Quail Hollow? Kim’s win was at a time when Tiger was taking a lot of time off trying to get his knee better. He stepped up and won in a strong fashion. Later in the season he won the AT&T National, running away with it. He won a couple of big events in Tiger’s absence, so it will be interesting to see if in Tigers’ presence Kim can regain the same level of play. Camilo Villegas also played some great golf last year and looks to regain his top form. Two exciting young players to watch.

Thursday morning news: Did A-Rod lie to us?

News for the morning for you -

* - The NY Daily News says that the new Selena Roberts book about Alex Rodriguez has info that A-Rod took steroids in high school and with the Yankees. Now how could that be? A-Rod told us all that he ONLY took him with the Rangers. That would mean that he lied to us when he talked to Peter Gammons and in his press conference. That couldn't happen, could it?! Welcome back Alex!

* - John Smoltz is being shut down for a week by the Red Sox (Boston Herald).

* - The Celtics try to close out the Bulls tonight in Chicago in game 6 of their first round playoff series (Celtics.com).

* - The state of Alabama has joined Texas in postponing high school sports in part to the swine flu epidemic (ESPN.com)

* - Can you believe that Zack Greinke of the Royals is 5-0? (ESPN.com)

* - Planes are flying into Brett Favre's hometown again says Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk.com).

More later including could this be the last day you get the NFL Network on Comcast? We'll keep you posted.

"Grey's Anatomy" preview for tonight

"Grey's Anatomy's" back tonight on ABC at 9pm, ET and it's all first-run until the season finale in a couple of weeks. Tonight, it's "No Good at Saying Sorry (One More Chance)" as Izzie's Mom pays a visit to her sick son. Plus, it looks like Meredith tries to go around some ethics to help a young girl who shot her Dad 17 times. That'll put a crimp in Derek's plan to have the Chief be his best man at the wedding for sure! Now, let's get a sneak peek.

Thanks to Kristin from E! Online's "Watch with Kristin" for the previews -








Enjoy! We'll be bouncing between Celtics/Bulls game 6, Red Sox/Rays and this of course. Sorry CSI:, it's DVR for you to watch over the weekend. See what happens when Grissom leaves!

Vice-President Biden says he would stay off public transportation during swine flu epidemic

Uh oh! The White House will be dealing with another one of "those" moments from VP Joe Biden.

On the "Today Show" this morning, the VP said he would avoid any confided spaces, the subways and public transportation while the swine flu epidemic is going on. The VP also said he might be wise to close all the high schools in the United States as well.

Here is is from NBC's Today Show -

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy



I'm sure there will be plenty of clarification later today!

Thursday's MLB Pitching Probables

For the last day of April, here's your pitching match-ups for today and yes, my fantasy team could use a great outing by Josh Beckett against the Rays!

2:05 p.m. ET OAK Dallas Braden (2-2, 2.52) at TEX Scott Feldman (1-0, 7.71)

2:10 p.m. ET TOR Brian Burres (0-1, 12.46) at KC Kyle Davies (1-1, 4.88)

7:05 p.m. ET ANA Anthony Ortega (0-1, 7.20) at NYY A.J. Burnett (2-0, 5.47)

7:05 p.m. ET STL Mitchell Boggs (1-0, 1.17) at WAS Daniel Cabrera (0-2, 4.42)

7:08 p.m. ET BOS Josh Beckett (2-1, 6.00) at TB Matt Garza (1-2, 4.97)

8:05 p.m. ET ARZ Max Scherzer (0-2, 4.91) at MLW Jeff Suppan (1-2, 7.32)

8:05 p.m. ET FLA Chris Volstad (2-0, 2.70) at CHC Sean Marshall (0-1, 4.50)

10:10 p.m. ET SD Josh Geer (0-0, 4.91) at LA James McDonald (1-1, 7.11)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

American Idol Top 5 Results

Yes, there was a shocker Wednesday night on American Idol, but it wasn't in who got booted. No, Matt Giraud got the boot as we had expected, but the real shock is that Adam Lambert was in the bottom two.

Lambert's been the odds-on favorite to win it, so we'll have to see if the fans are staying with him or not.

Your final four now are:

Adam Lambert
Allison Iraheta
Danny Gokey
Kris Allen

FOX Sports notes - MLB, Nascar and Bradshaw's Emmy

From Fox Sports -

MLB & NASCAR Doubleheader This Saturday At Special at 3:30 PM ET Start Time

Hammond: Look For Old Scores To Be Settled On The Track In Richmond

Rosenthal: Joba Not Going Anywhere…For Now

Bradshaw Takes Home Emmy For Outstanding Studio Analyst

NASCAR ON FOX ROLLS INTO RICHMOND FOR PRIMETIME
– On Saturday, May 2 (7:00 PM ET), FOX Sports presents NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing from Richmond. With the spectacle of last week’s conclusion behind him, Carl Edwards looks to finish this week’s race strong and continue his climb up the Sprint Cup standings. Edwards and the rest of the field chase points-leader Kurt Busch, who took over 1st place with his top-10 finish at Talladega. This is the first time that Kurt Busch has led in points since March of 2005. Prerace host Chris Myers along with analysts Jeff Hammond and Darrell Waltrip bring fans all the news and features from the Hollywood Hotel, FOX Sports’ traveling prerace set. Once the green flag drops, race announcer Mike Joy will be alongside Waltrip and Larry McReynolds to call all the twists and turns on the track while Dick Berggren, Steve Byrnes, Krista Voda and Matt Yocum patrol the pits for up-to-the-second reports on teams and pit stops. For instant updates during the week and race from the entire NASCAR on FOX crew, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NASCARONFOX

NL EAST RIVALS DO BATTLE IN PHILLY – The FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK kicks off FOX Sports’ MLB-to-NASCAR doubleheader with three enticing matchups Saturday, May 2 (3:30 PM ET). This week, FOX Sports visits Citizens Bank Park for the first time since last year’s World Series when NL East rivals meet as Carlos Beltran and the Mets take on Shane Victorino and the defending champion Phillies. In Atlanta, Chipper Jones and the Braves entertain Lance Berkman and the Astros. Also, AL Central rivals meet when Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers welcome Grady Sizemore and the Indians to Detroit. Pregame originates live from Philadelphia with host Chris Rose. Once game action begins, Rose joins the game crew including Joe Buck, Eric Karros and Ken Rosenthal as a field reporter. For instant updates during the week and games from the entire MLB on FOX crew, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MLBONFOX.

New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies (65% of nation)
Citizens Bank Park – Philadelphia, PA

Joe Buck, Eric Karros & Ken Rosenthal

MARKETS INCLUDE: Albuquerque, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Fort Myers, Hartford, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Milwaukee, New York, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, Richmond, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa, Tulsa, Washington, West Palm Beach

Probable Pitchers: Oliver Perez, LHP (1-2, 9.31 ERA) vs. Jamie Moyer, LHP (3-1, 5.09 ERA)

Houston Astros at Atlanta Braves (21% of nation)
Turner Field – Atlanta, GA

Kenny Albert & Mark Grace

MARKETS INCLUDE:
Atlanta, Austin, Birmingham, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Houston, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh, San Antonio

Probable Pitchers: Russ Ortiz, RHP (2-0, 5.30 ERA) vs. Kenshin Kawakami, RHP (1-3, 7.06 ERA)

Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers (13% of nation)
Comerica Park – Detroit, MI

Thom Brennaman & Rick Manning

MARKETS INCLUDE: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Detroit, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Seattle

Probable Pitchers: Aaron Laffey, LHP (2-0, 2.41 ERA) vs. Zach Miner, RHP (2-1, 6.00 ERA)

ROSENTHAL: DON’T EXPECT JOBA TO BAIL OUT YANKS ‘PEN YET – MLB on FOX’s Ken Rosenthal believes the Yankees have little choice but to stay the course when it comes to Joba Chamberlain and their bullpen. “The Yankees aren’t panicking just yet, not even after their weekend debacle in Boston. [GM Brian] Cashman is always looking to upgrade, but says that he is not being ‘uber-aggressive’ about looking for relief help, and that none of the available relievers interest him. The calls for Chamberlain to return to his original role only will grow louder if the team's relievers continue to struggle. One way or another, something must give.”

HAMMOND: LOTS OF OLD SCORES SETTLED IN RICHMOND – NASCAR on FOX prerace analyst Jeff Hammond likens Richmond International Speedway to one of the most exciting places to race for both fans & drivers. “If you ask any driver out there, it’s one of their most favorite tracks. The bank isn’t too high and it has several grooves. You can run on the top, you can run on the bottom and through the middle if you want to.” Richmond is also a place where some drivers decide it’s time to settle a feud; for example, when Kyle Busch turned around Dale Earnhardt Jr. one year ago in Richmond. “It’s one of those places where you can settle a lot of old scores. There’s going to be hot tempers and hot brakes! Watch out for guys like Tony Stewart & Kevin Harvick this weekend.”

FOX SPORTS TAKES HOME FIVE EMMYS INCLUDING BRADSHAW’S OUTSTANDING STUDIO ANALYST – This Monday, FOX Sports was honored with five Sports Emmy Awards presented by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. FOX NFL SUNDAY’s Terry Bradshaw was recognized as outstanding studio analyst for his work on America’s most-watched pregame show. FOX Sports took home two statuettes for outstanding sports promotional announcements, one for 2008 NASCAR on FOX ‘Engine City’ campaign and the other for the 2008 All-Star Game ‘Rafters’ ad. The NFL on FOX took home the award for Outstanding Live Event Audio/Sound.

NESN set for 2nd season of "Comedy All-Stars"

From our friends at NESN -

“NESN’S COMEDY ALL-STARS 2” PREMIERES MAY 8

April 29, 2009
NESN’s COMEDY ALL-STARS is back for a whole new season of funny. Premiering May 8th on the New England Sports Network, eight new episodes will air every Friday night immediately after NESN SportsDesk through June 26. Shot in front of capacity crowds at the Comedy Connection Wilbur Theatre, Season 2 of “NESN’s Comedy All-Stars” combines two things that Boston does best – sports and comedy – together in one place on one network.

Hosted by dynamic comedy veteran and actor Tommy Davison (“In Living Color,” “Black Dynamite”), every week the show's lineup will feature a trio of top stand-ups from New England and around the country scoring laughs with sports-only jokes.

Comics on deck for the season opener are Jeff Dye (“Last Comic Standing”), Alex Thomas (“Just Married,” “Def Comedy Jam”), and Nick DiPaolo (“The Chris Rock Show,” “Rescue Me”).

Davidson and the other guest comics will also participate in remote pieces focusing on Boston teams, and in sports themed comedy sketches, along with special guest appearances by Dan Levy (“Comedy Central Presents” “MTV’s Rock Band”).

Here's a sneak peek from NESN's website -



Davidson gained household recognition as an original cast member of “In Living Color.” Also known for his film roles in “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls,” and “Bamboozled,” he will next be seen on the big screen in the upcoming action/comedy “Black Dynamite,” and “Chicago Pulaski Jones.” He was recently featured on TV in “Supreme Court of Comedy“ and as the voice of Oscar Proud in Disney Channel’s “The Proud Family”, “Everybody Hates Chris”, and “The Bernie Mac Show.”

“NESN’s Comedy All-Stars is part of our ongoing effort to bring a broader mix of programming to the network,” said Joel Feld, NESN’s executive vice president of programming and executive producer. “We believe this combination of sports and comedy works great, not just here in New England, but nationally as well.”

NBA on TNT Notes

From TNT after last night's epic Celtics victory -

Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Tuesday, April 28, 2009

TNT’s “40 Games in 40 Nights” NBA Playoffs coverage continues on Wednesday, April 29th with the Miami Heat @ Atlanta Hawks (Game #5) at 8 p.m. ET followed by the New Orleans Hornets @ Denver Nuggets (Game #5).

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“They should just quit playing and start the game in overtime.”

--Barkley on the NBA Playoffs record of three overtimes in the Bulls/Celtics series.


TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com
Announcers:
Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith

Barkley on Bulls guard Ben Gordon likely taking an injection to play with a hamstring injury: “You just shoot it up and go play if it can’t get worse. This is the playoffs, you have to hope for the best. You just shoot that thing up and go play.”

Smith on taking an injection to play in an NBA game: “You would just shoot it up and go play?”

Barkley: “Yes, it’s (my body) breaking down now.”

Smith: “I never took a shot.”

Barkley: “Well, you have to score a lot of points for it to break down.”

Game #1: Chicago Bulls (104) @ Boston Celtics (106) in Overtime – Boston leads the series 3-2.
Announcers:
Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins; and David Aldridge reporting

Collins on Celtics guard Rajon Rondo and Bulls guard Derrick Rose being asked to limit their turnovers: “Both of these great guards have the keys to the car and they have to take care of it tonight to see who is going to take the lead in this series.”

Collins on what it takes to win in the NBA Playoffs: “I’ve been in this league 36 or 37 years. You know sometimes you talk about X’s and O’s, and sometimes it is who’s going to be tough mentally and physically under pressure and make the simple play and execute when it counts.”

Collins on Celtics backup guard Stephon Marbury: “(Marbury) has come in aggressively looking for his shot. This crowd realizes how much he means to them, they need bench play tonight.”

Collins on Bulls guard Ben Gordon: “(Gordon) needs to trust his teammates a bit more, he’s 2 of 10, he’s playing too fast.”

Collins on Bulls guard Ben Gordon playing through his hamstring injury: “The problem you have is that you spend all day preparing to try and play for them (the Bulls). You do all the ice, all the stimulation and that’s not what you do. So for Ben Gordon, how much sleep did he get? How much rest? Is he out of his normal routine? And that’s what you go through when you are trying to play through an injury.”

Collins on the Bulls/Celtics series: “I love the energy in this game right now, and it’s such a different group than last year’s Celtics team, trying to match the Bulls with speed and quickness. The Bulls are playing with a lot of confidence.”

T-Mobile Halftime Report
Announcers:
Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Smith on the need to guard Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose more closely: “You have to guard these guys like they are basketball players and not guys who can’t shoot. You don’t guard them and all of a sudden they can get offensive rebounds on you, they do everything they want to do and they have a great opportunity to do it; get into the lane and shoot floaters. That’s just too easy for guys who are too skilled. You have to play them like they are Chris Paul or Chauncey Billups, you would not play off of those guys.”

Barkley on Celtics forward Paul Pierce: “Didn’t Paul Pierce say he’s the best basketball player in the world? That was a faux pas, apparently. You can’t walk around saying you are the best player in the world, first of all he was wrong, but he has to play better…He should be the best player in this series and he’s not even the best player on his own team. For the Celtics to win this series and advance he is going to have to play a lot better, plain and simple.”

Johnson on the Mavericks/Spurs series: “Hey Chuck, they may be going back to Dallas.”

Barkley: “Yeah, they (the Mavericks) are going back, getting ready for the next round.”

Barkley on the technical foul on Dwight Howard in the first quarter of the Magic/Sixers game: “He should have been tossed. I like Dwight Howard but that was a punch. An elbow to me is a punch. I like Dwight Howard, but that was a cheap shot, you can’t hit somebody with an elbow.”

Collins on Celtics forward Kendrick Perkins: “I am so impressed with Kendrick Perkins; that guy just does the dirty work every single night in that paint.”

Collins prior to a Bulls 9-0 fourth quarter run: “It is going to be the toughest seven minutes of the Chicago Bulls’ season, because the Celtics are trying to make a push.”

Collins on Celtics guard Rajon Rondo: “How good is Rajon Rondo? This kid is fearless! He has been the star of the Playoffs.”

Collins after back-to-back baskets by Rose and Rondo: “These guys realize it’s Game #5 of the playoffs, right?”

Collins on a late turnover by Derrick Rose: “That time (Rose) got caught over penetrating. After that 36-point first game this has been a real growth process for Derrick Rose.”

Collins on Celtics guard Stephon Marbury passing up a shot late that would have given the Celtics the lead: “Marbury had a shot and passed it up. If Marbury is in the game you have to be ready to take the shot. Win or lose you have to be willing to take the shot.”

Collins following a block by Kendrick Perkins in Overtime: “Kendrick Perkins right now is like a heavyweight fighter in the 15th round. He is out on his feet right now and going strictly on adrenaline.”

Collins following Paul Pierce’s go ahead jumper with 3.4 seconds left in Overtime: “This is why I keep talking about Paul Pierce. Without Kevin Garnett, this is the guy that has to play great. No Ray Allen (who fouled out)…When your best player is playing well you get a dose of confidence, and that is what is happening with the Boston Celtics and Pierce.”

TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Celtics forward Paul Pierce after the Celtics defeated the Bulls in Overtime.


Pierce on his play at the end of the game: “I haven’t really been playing particularly well in this series. It’s about time for me to step up.”

Game #2: Dallas Mavericks (106) @ San Antonio Spurs (93) – The Dallas Mavericks won the series 4-1.
Announcers:
Matt Devlin and P.J. Carlesimo; Marty Snider reporting

Carlesimo on the porous San Antonio defense in the first half: “Defensively, the San Antonio defense has to offer a lot more resistance. The first four games of this series, with the exception of Game #2, the San Antonio defense has been good. Tonight, it’s been non-existent.”

Carlesimo on the Spurs’ role players: “The supporting cast is helping out on the offensive end, on the defensive end all five Spurs need to dig in.”

Carlesimo on Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki: ‘The thing with Dirk Nowitzki, he’s capable of going for 30 points on any given night. You had to figure, four straight games under 20, he was ready to explode.”

T-Mobile Halftime Report
Announcers:
Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on the Celtics forward Paul Pierce’s late game efforts: “Paul Pierce did what he was supposed to do; he played like the Finals MVP.”

Barkley on Celtics guard Rajon Rondo’s foul on Brad Miller at the end of Bulls/Celtics Game #5: “This is very close to being a flagrant foul. (Rondo) hit the guy in the head.”

Barkley on the Portland Trail Blazers: “The only way that Portland can win is for them to run. You see (Portland head coach) Nate (McMillan) is urging them to run. They can’t walk it up and down with the Rockets.”

Johnson on the elbow thrown by Orlando’s Dwight Howard on Philadelphia’s Samuel Dalembert: “Should he be suspended for the next game, Charles?”

Barkley: “No question about it, it’s a punch.”

Smith: “He will be, that’s too obvious.”

Carlesimo on San Antonio forward Kurt Thomas: “Usually when somebody hits the deck and Kurt Thomas is in the vicinity it’s a good idea to look at him. He’s not afraid to throw his body around. Teammates love to play with Kurt Thomas.”

Carlesimo on NBA.com’s Barkley Zone promo: “’Straight from the mouth of Charles doesn’t sound good to me, especially with all that swine flu.”

Carlesimo on Mavericks guard Jason Kidd: “Jason Kidd has, as all great players do, improved throughout his career.”

Carlesimo on the Dallas Mavericks: “(The Mavericks) are no longer under the radar. People have to understand that this series was not just about San Antonio maybe playing a little bit sub-par. They (the Spurs) played well enough in this series to beat a lot of teams. (Mavs coach) Rick Carlisle has his team playing extremely well at the time you want them to be playing well. They are going to be a tough out.”

Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai
Announcers:
Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Smith on the Spurs lacking a consistent front court player to play next to forward Tim Duncan: “The one spot that (the Spurs) haven’t filled that they’ve been trying to fill for four years is who plays alongside Tim Duncan. There hasn’t been a consistent starter on that team. Robert Horry has been the closest thing to a consistent player next to Tim Duncan. (Manu) Ginobili comes back, Tony Parker is still at the top of his game, Tim Duncan is not at the top of his game, but he’s going to get healthier and he’s going to be effective. They need a guy who goes in that baseline with Tim, who’s a little more athletic and a little more youthful. (Duncan) is not the most athletic big man anymore and he should not be the most athletic big man on the team.”

Barkley on the aging San Antonio Spurs: “(The Spurs) still won 50 games. (Tony) Parker, (Manu) Ginobili and (Tim) Duncan missed a lot of games and they still won 50 games. I actually like (Matt) Bonner with that group, but the problem is they have an old bench. Kurt Thomas, love him, old; Bruce Bowen, starter, old; Michael Finley, starter, old. Roger Mason had a good year, but he’s got to develop his game and stop just being a steady three shooter, he was taken completely out of the series. He had a fantastic regular season, but he didn’t make any plays (in the postseason). They need some guys who can get their shot off the dribble. Tim Duncan, the thing they’ve got to concern themselves with when you get to his age, I’ve been there and done that, you get rested but you don’t get healthy. Tim Duncan is the greatest power forward ever, the notion that he’s going to get a good summer rest at this age, that he’s going to get healthier, is ridiculous, he’s just going to get older.”

Barkley on Magic coach Stan Van Gundy: “I like Stan Van Gundy, but he’s a little sensitive.”

Barkley on whether Magic center Dwight Howard should be suspended for an elbow on 76ers center Samuel Dalembert: “(Dwight Howard) will be and he should be (suspended). It would a travesty if they don’t suspend him for the next game. That’s a punch, just because he delivered it with his elbow doesn’t mean it’s not a punch. It would set a precedent where you could say, ‘I didn’t punch him, I just hit him with my elbow.’ That’s an easy call. Orlando was very fortunate, he could have gotten tossed tonight, they got very lucky.”

Smith: “Is Chris Webber in on Thursday? If he isn’t, there is a seat for Dwight Howard because he will be available. He will be suspended.”

Barkley on the NBA Playoffs record of three overtimes in the Bulls/Celtics series: “They should just quit playing and start the game in overtime.”

Barkley on a foul by Celtics guard Rajon Rondo against Bulls center Brad Miller: “That is a flagrant foul. You have to look at the result, not the intent, (Rondo) hit a guy in the head. The action that he hit a guy in the head, I thought that should have been a flagrant foul. In fairness to the ref, I can understand the ref’s situation, that call would have maybe given the Bulls the game with two free throws and the ball. (The officials) do not want to decide the game.”

Smith on the hard foul by Celtics guard Rajon Rondo: “If Brad Miller hit Rondo going to the lane like that, they would have called it (flagrant). A big guy hitting a small guy.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Heat guard Dwyane Wade.

Wade on his injured back: “It’s not feeling better yet at this time. You go to sleep, you get stiff, you wake up and come in and try to get therapy on it. Hopefully I feel better tomorrow (Wednesday). No matter what, I’ll be on the floor trying to help my teammates win.”

Wade on when he realized something was wrong with his back: “Before the game, but you try to block it out. You can’t really go into it thinking about it. Early on my first couple shots you could tell that I didn’t have lift, but you keep going.”

So long Brett, again!

Our buddy Dave Hutchinson of the Newark Star-Ledger has the news this morning that the Jets have given Brett Favre his release. Your scratching your head, right?! He's already retired, right!

Well, yes, but now if he wants to come out of retirement again, as has been rumored AGAIN, he can play for whoever he wants and the Jets won't have to give up any picks to the Vikings. In the trade with Green Bay last season, it was part of the deal that if the Jets traded Favre to Minnesota, they would owe Green Bay picks. And we all know how Brett wanted to play for Brad Childress and the Vikes. Well, now he can if he wants.

Let the rumor mill begin! But thankfully it will now not include anything to do with the J-E-T-S!!!

Playboy Buddy Rose passes away

Breaking news fromt the wrestling world as Playboy Buddy Rose has passed away according to Dave Meltzer at the Wrestling Observer.

Our friends at 411 Wrestling have more as well as Rose, 56, was found dead in his Portland, Oregon home. No cause of death has been announced but Rose had been struggling with diabetes.

Rose was a star out in Portland, Oregon before coming to the WWE and then the AWA. I remember his feuds with Bob Backlund, Jimmy Snuka and yes, taking on the Rockers in the old AWA.

Here's Buddy in Piper's Pit in 1985 from You Tube -



Also, here's Rose vs. then WWF Champion Bob Backlund. Just click here to watch.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. You can check out more on Buddy Rose on his official website.

"Lost - The Variable" - 100th Episode!

Daniel Faraday comes clean tonight on the 100th episode of "Lost." Apparently, it's not good news for the Oceanic 6 who were NOT supposed to come back to the island says Mr. Farraday!

Don't forget, the President's press conference is on at 8pm, ET so beware if you are DVR'ing "Lost" tonight to add some extra time at the end just in case President Obama waxes poetically just a tad over an hour.

Now, onto the previews -

Promo from ABC -



We get more from Kristin from E! Online's "Watch with Kristin" -







Enjoy the WTF's!

NHL's 2nd round schedule



As promised, here's your second round schedule for the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs. Nice to see NBC neglect the top team left in our Boston Bruins! Well, that'll give us more Jack Edwards on NESN and Versus, right!

#1 Bruins vs. #6 Hurricanes
Friday, May 1 at Boston, 7:30 p.m. NESN, VERSUS (JIP), TSN
Sunday, May 3 at Boston, 7:30 p.m. VERSUS, TSN
Wednesday, May 6 at Carolina, 7:30 p.m. NESN, VERSUS (JIP), TSN
Friday, May 8 at Carolina, 7:30 p.m. NESN, VERSUS (JIP), TSN
*Sunday, May 10 at Boston, 7:30 p.m. VERSUS, TSN
*Tuesday, May 12 at Carolina, 7:00 p.m. NESN, VERSUS, TSN
*Thursday, May 14 at Boston, TBD NESN, TSN

#2 Capitals vs. #4 Penguins
Saturday, May 2 at Washington, 1:00 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
Monday, May 4 at Washington, 7:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Wednesday, May 6 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Friday, May 8 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Saturday, May 9 at Washington, 7:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Monday, May 11 at Pittsburgh, TBD VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Wednesday, May 13 at Washington, 7:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS

#2 Red Wings vs. #8 Ducks
Friday, May 1 at Detroit, 7:00 p.m. VERSUS, TSN2
Sunday, May 3 at Detroit, 2:00 p.m. NBC, TSN
Tuesday, May 5 at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. VERSUS, TSN
Thursday, May 7 at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. VERSUS, TSN
*Sunday, May 10 at Detroit, 5:00 p.m. TSN
*Tuesday, May 12 at Anaheim, TBD VERSUS, TSN
*Thursday, May 14 at Detroit, TBD VERSUS, TSN

#3 Canucks vs. #4 Blackhawks
Thursday, April 30 at Vancouver, 9:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
Saturday, May 2 at Vancouver, 9:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
Tuesday, May 5 at Chicago, 8:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
Thursday, May 7 at Chicago, 8:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
*Saturday, May 9 at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m CBC, VERSUS
*Monday, May 11 at Chicago, 9:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS (JIP)
*Thursday, May 14 at Vancouver, TBD CBC, VERSUS

* - if necessary

The Heart of a Champion - Celtics survive!

As Rockets head coach Rudy Tomjanovich once said...



With that in mind, the Celtics somehow managed to rally from an 11-point fourth quarter deficit and beat the Bulls 106-104 in overtime last night to gain a 3-2 edge in their best-of-seven first-round NBA Playoff series last night.

No KG. Ray Allen fouls out. Down by double digits. All of it is no problem as Paul Pierce nails jumper after jumper down the stretch and in the extra session to set up Thursday night's game six in Chicago.

Here are highlights if you missed them from ESPN and TNT -



Can't wait for another instant classic in this series Thursday night!

Wednesday's MLB Pitching Probables

12:35 p.m. ET ANA Matt Palmer (1-0, 6.00) at BAL Koji Uehara (2-1, 4.56)

1:05 p.m. ET PIT Ian Snell (1-2, 4.50) at MLW Yovani Gallardo (2-1, 3.71)

1:10 p.m. ET FLA Josh Johnson (2-0, 2.20) at NYM Johan Santana (3-1, 0.70)

2:05 p.m. ET SEA Erik Bedard (2-1, 2.08) at CWS Gavin Floyd (2-2, 5.79)

3:10 p.m. ET SD Kevin Correia (0-1, 4.50) at COL Aaron Cook (0-1, 8.35)

3:40 p.m. ET CHC Ryan Dempster (1-0, 4.88) at ARZ Doug Davis (1-3, 3.67)

7:05 p.m. ET BOS Jon Lester (1-2, 4.88) at CLE Fausto Carmona (1-3, 7.36)

7:05 p.m. ET NYY Joba Chamberlain (0-0, 3.94) at DET Rick Porcello (1-2, 4.50)

7:05 p.m. ET WAS Scott Olsen (0-3, 7.29) at PHI Brett Myers (1-1, 4.91)

7:10 p.m. ET STL Adam Wainwright (2-0, 2.70) at ATL Javier Vazquez (2-1, 2.63)

7:10 p.m. ET HOU Felipe Paulino (0-1, 3.00) at CIN Edinson Volquez (2-2, 6.20)

8:05 p.m. ET OAK Trevor Cahill (0-2, 5.40) at TEX Vicente Padilla (1-1, 8.27)

8:10 p.m. ET TOR Brian Tallet (1-0, 2.95) at KC Zack Greinke (4-0, 0.00)

8:10 p.m. ET TB Scott Kazmir (3-1, 3.97) at MIN Nick Blackburn (1-1, 4.44)

10:15 p.m. ET LA Eric Stults (2-0, 3.52) at SF Tim Lincecum (1-1, 2.96)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's Bruins vs. Hurricanes in round 2

After an amazing last minute comeback to defeat the Devils, the Carolina Hurricanes will now meet the Boston Bruins in round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs starting in Boston.

Eric Staal's goal with just 32 seconds left followed up a game-tying goal by Jussi Jokinen with only 1:20 left to stun the NJ Devils 4-3 in game 7 of their 1st round series.

We'll post the full schedule when we get it.

Oh yeah, did I mention we can now breathe again after another dramatic Celtics overtime win over the Bulls 106-104 in game 5 Tuesday night? Brad Miller missed his free throws with two seconds left that could've tied the game for the Bulls who were up 11 in the fourth quarter before squandering the lead. Thank you Paul Pierce for saving the C's yet again!

Boston's now up 3-2 with game 6 Thursday night in Chicago!

American Idol - Top 5

I'll make this short and sweet since I'm watching the Celtics and Bulls go to another overtime in game 5 of their playoff series.

On American Idol Tuesday night, Adam Lambert, Kris Allen and Danny Gokey are safe. That leaves Matt Giraud and Allison Iraheta in the bottom two. Somehow I fear it's going to be an all-boys final four, but I'll say that Matt goes home on Wednesday night.

Now, back to overtime!

NBC's Kentucky Derby, HBO Sports Documentaries Schedule

A couple of more releases to send your way. First, we get NBC's coverage of this Saturday's Kentucky Derby and then we get what's on tap at HBO this summer.

NBC SPORTS PRESENTS UNPRECEDENTED COVERAGE OF THE 135th RUNNING OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY THIS SATURDAY AT 4 PM ET

NEW YORK - April 28, 2009 -
NBC Sports broadcasts exclusive coverage of the 135th Kentucky Derby this Saturday starting at 4 p.m. ET. NBC Sports' broadcast will bring the spectacle of the Kentucky Derby, which has been contested annually since 1875, home to viewers with behind-the-scenes access, celebrities and fashion surrounding the legendary Run for the Roses. The Red Carpet will feature celebrity interviews as the stars arrive to Churchill Downs to enjoy the greatest day in horse racing.

Bob Costas and Hammond co-host the Derby alongside three-time Derby winner Stevens. NBC Sports' broadcast team also includes race-caller Tom Durkin; contributing analysts Battaglia and Neumeier; reporter Kenny Rice and on-track reporter Donna Brothers, who retired in 1998 after an impressive 11-year career as a jockey. The Kentucky Derby on NBC is produced by Flood and directed by Michaels. Additionally, the TODAY Show's Al Roker will contribute reports and Nancy O'Dell, co-host of "Access Hollywood" and author of "Full of Life: Mom-To-Mom Tips I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Pregnant," and Tiki Barber of "Football Night in America" will handle Red Carpet arrivals.

THE DERBY ACCORDING TO NEUMEIER: "Conventional wisdom suggests the Kentucky Derby is annually a wide-open, ultra-competitive race, with many of the 19 entrants enjoying a reasonable chance for success. But lately the Derby has been controlled by highly-rated favorites and this year's edition figures to be won by one of the top three choices. They would include Pioneerof the Nile, I Want Revenge and the lightly raced but talented Dunkirk. Each has legitimate merits, which makes 'just-who-will-go-off-the-favorite?' an interesting subplot in the run-up to the race.

"As usual, the Derby is rich with fascinating storylines. Can newly elected Hall-of-Fame trainer Bob Baffert win his fourth Derby with Pioneerof the Nile? Will conditioner Todd Pletcher break a 0-for-21 Derby slump with Dunkirk? Is it possible that an underdog could come from the one-horse barn of former high school principal Tom McCarthy with General Quarters, who he claimed for the bargain-basement price of $20,000? These are just a few of the many stories
that dot this year's Derby."

STEVENS TOP FIVE:
· Fresian Fire
· I Want Revenge
· Desert Party
· Regal Ransom
· Pioneerof the Nile

"There are 19 horses in the Kentucky Derby and they all have a chance, don't throw any of them out. I would be very happy riding any of the 19, but those five would be my top picks."

NBCSPORTS.COM AT THE DERBY: NBCSports.com will be streaming the draw live on Wednesday at Noon, ET and the site will also live stream the tote board during the pre-race broadcast Saturday so fans can get up-to-the-minute information on the latest odds directly from Churchill Downs.

Additionally, NBCSports.com, in conjunction with Icue, will present a video-quiz application that tests knowledge of past Kentucky Derby winners and events, and is available on NBCSports.com and Facebook.

SEE THE DERBY ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE: Users on the go can watch the Kentucky Derby live on their mobile phones exclusively through NBC 2Go and NBC Sports Mobile. Plus, fans can watch exclusive video and race replays on-demand on NBC Sports Mobile Video (check your carrier for availability).

LUCKY U GAME: NBC Sports and Churchill Downs are joining together to present The Kentucky Derby Lucky U Game for the third consecutive year. Last year, the Lucky U Game generated more than 500,000 entries. Lucky U is a contest where a lucky fan can win a cash prize and a trip to the 2010 Kentucky Derby. Once the field for the Derby is set on Wednesday, horse racing fans will be able to vote for the horse that they think will win. The winner will receive $10,000 in cash and a 2010 Kentucky Derby VIP Experience provided by Churchill Downs, including tickets to the Derby, round-trip transportation, and accommodations. Viewers of NBC's Kentucky Derby broadcast and other horse racing fans will be invited to enter by sending a text message for their choice from their cell phone. Standard text messaging charges apply. Fans can also enter by going online to NBCSports.com/luckyu.

LADIES FIRST: BRAVO AT THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Bravo will feature the very best in food, fashion and the celebrity experience associated with the great spectacle of Kentucky Derby weekend including Kentucky Oaks 135 on "Ladies First: Bravo at the Kentucky Derby," a one-hur special produced by NBC Sports, LIVE this Friday at 5 p.m. ET/PT. The special, hosted by NBC's Costas, "Access Hollywood's" O'Dell, and "The Real Housewives of New York City's" Bethenny Frankel, daughter of horse trainer Bobby Frankel, celebrates a day for women and gives viewers a history on the fashion and festivities before and after the Oaks race. NBC's Barber will check-in live from the Infield Club with "Top Chef" series five finalist Stefan Richter, and season four and five "Top Chef" winners Stephanie Izard and Hosea Rosenberg. "Top Chef: The Tour," a state-of-the-art customized traveling kitchen with expansive space to accommodate cooks and fans alike, will make a special stop at the Kentucky Oaks in the Infield Club.

Frankel, a racing aficionado and best-selling author, will provide a female perspective to handicapping and betting at the Kentucky Oaks, and along with O'Dell will take viewers through the spectacular fashion and hats on display over the weekend.

KENTUCKY DERBY A RATINGS SUCCESS: NBC's coverage of the 2008 Kentucky Derby grabbed 11.5 million viewers, equaling its best delivery in six years. Since 2001 when the Kentucky Derby moved from ABC to NBC, average viewership has increased more than two million viewers (24 percent) over the previous eight years on ABC.

KENTUCKY DERBY ON NBC: NBC Sports began its exclusive coverage of the Kentucky Derby, the longest continuously held sporting event in North America, in 2001. In May 2005, NBC Sports and Churchill Downs Incorporated reached an agreement giving the network the exclusive broadcast rights to the Kentucky Derby beginning in 2006 and continuing through 2010.

HBO SPORTS PRESENTS A SUMMER FESTIVAL OF ACCLAIMED DOCUMENTARIES, FEATURING A DIFFERENT FILM EVERY MONDAY FROM JUNE 8 TO JULY 27

NEW YORK, April 27, 2009 – Recognized as sports television’s best storyteller, HBO Sports presents eight of its pioneering documentary films this summer on Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. (ET/PT). The collection of acclaimed documentaries, which feature HBO Sports’ trademark blend of archival footage, home movies, revealing interviews and unique storytelling, launches June 8 with “:03 From Gold” and concludes July 27 with the “Breaking The Huddle: The Integration of College Football.”

“We’re delighted to present this collection of documentaries as a series and provide HBO viewers the opportunity to revisit some of the most provocative moments from a very diverse range of sports events and personalities,” says Ross Greenburg, HBO Sports president, who along with Rick Bernstein, HBO Sports senior vice president and executive producer, serves as an executive producer of the series.

Films include:

June 8: “:03 From Gold,” the shocking story of the 1972 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team. To this day the American players who went to Munich refuse to accept their second place silver medals from the IOC.

June 15: “Back Nine at Cherry Hills: Legends of the 1960 U.S. Open,” which revisits the 1960 U.S. Open, where Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan battled for the championship down to the final day, setting the stage for the sport’s growth. The film airs three days before the first round of the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage, Long Island.

June 22: “Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush,” celebrating the love affair between the team and the borough’s residents, which ended with owner Walter O’Malley’s controversial decision to relocate the franchise to Los Angeles in 1958. The Sports Emmy® winner will be seen at 6:00 p.m. (ET/PT).

June 29: “Battle for Tobacco Road: Duke vs. Carolina,” documenting the fiercest rivalry in college basketball and spotlighting the stars who have made ACC powerhouses Duke and North Carolina the most compelling rivalry on hardwood.

July 6: “Jim McKay: My World in My Words,” the acclaimed biography of the longtime host of ABC’s Olympic coverage. The Sports Emmy® winner was written and voiced by McKay, who passed away last summer.

July 13: “Shot Heard ‘Round The World,” recounting the incredible 1951 playoff showdown between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. The film will be seen one day before baseball’s All-Star Game in St. Louis.

July 20: “Barbaro,” recalling the thoroughbred who captured America’s imagination in 2006 and the extraordinary attempts to save him after the tragic injury at the Preakness.

July 27: “Breaking The Huddle: The Integration of College Football,” chronicling the heyday of football programs at historically black colleges and universities, and exploring the profound effect of the Civil Rights movement of the ‘60s on the racial status quo of college athletics.

Following its Monday night presentation, each film will replay three nights later on Thursday at 11:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on HBO2. The films will also be available on HBO On Demand during the festival.

Another sad day in radio

It's no surprise, but more cuts nationally from Clear Channel Radio. I think the industry is just becoming immune to the downsizing, but it's never a good thing when people have to lose their jobs so that the big corporation can save a few bucks.

Locally here in Providence, we reportedly lose the WSNE (93.3FM) morning show with Tad Lemire, among others on the staff. That's being replaced with a simulcast of KISS 108's Matty in the Morning from Boston. Tad's already been taken off the WSNE website and now the station has just middays local with Kristin Lessard.

Elsewhere, WLW in Cincinnati loses sports host Paul Daugherty and sports blogger C. Trent Rosencrans, according to Cincinnati.com.

Here's a few more from Radio and Records -

Columbia, S.C.
PD/MD Tommy Bodean exits CHR/top 40 WNOK/Columbia, S.C. as is Charlie James, morning personality on news/talk sister WVOC-AM.

St. Louis
As many as 16 people are rumored to have been downsized at CC/St. Louis -- one confirmed casualty is night jock HaZe, who exits CHR/top 40 KSLZ (Z107.7).

Toledo
PD Nathan Reed exits CHR/top 40 WVKS, along with APD/afternoon talent Mookie, a 13-year station vet. MD Boomer moves from nights to afternoons, and nights will now be voice-tracked Pyke, afternoon jock on Rock sister WIOT.

We'll update as we get more.

UPDATE (3pm) - All Access has more updates from around in the country as well as the cuts continue.

Press releases - CBS Emmy's, MLB Network to air MLB Draft, TNT's Double-dip tonight

A few releases -



CBS SPORTS’ JIM NANTZ WINS EMMY AWARD FOR “OUTSTANDING SPORTS PERSONALITY – PLAY-BY-PLAY” AT 30TH ANNUAL SPORTS EMMY AWARDS

Network Also Garners Four Other Emmy Awards Including Teaming Up with Showtime Networks for

“OUTSTANDING STUDIO SHOW – WEEKLY” for INSIDE THE NFL


CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz was honored with an Emmy Award for OUTSTANDING SPORTS PERSONALITY – PLAY-BY-PLAY at the 30th Annual Sports Emmy Awards on Monday, April 27 at the Frederick P. Rose Hall Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Nantz is the lead play-by-play voice for the Network’s coverage of the NFL, NCAA Basketball, including the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship and Final Four, and the PGA TOUR, including the Masters® and PGA Championship.

CBS Sports also won four other Emmy Awards including OUTSTANDING STUDIO SHOW – WEEKLY for its combined production with Showtime Networks and NFL Films for “Inside the NFL” on Showtime.

The Network also won for OUTSTANDING SHORT FEATURE for the 2008 NCAA Basketball on CBS, produced by Pete Radovich, Jr.; OUTSTANDING MUSIC COMPOSITION/DIRECTION/LYRICS for the 2008 AFC Championship Game tease, music director Radovich, Jr. and composed by Franz Vonlichten and Helmut Vonlichten; and OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION DESIGN/ART DIRECTION also for the 2008 AFC Championship Game tease, art director Radovich, Jr.

On Monday, May 4, Nantz also will be honored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association as the 2008 National Sportscaster of the Year. This marks the fourth time he will be honored with this prestigious award (1998, 2005 and 2007).




2009 FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT TO BE HELD AT MLB NETWORK

MLB Network and MLB.com to Air Selections Live from Studio 42 on Tuesday, June 9th
Major League Baseball announced today that the 2009 First-Year Player Draft will be held in Studio 42 at MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey. The Draft will begin live on MLB Network at 6:00 p.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, June 9th.

The 2009 First-Year Player Draft will expand from two days to three days, with the final two days being conducted via conference call from MLB headquarters in New York City. The first day will consist of the first 111 picks, including Round One, Compensation Round A, Round Two, Round Three and Compensation Round B. On Wednesday, June 10th, the Draft will resume in the fourth round at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) and will be tentatively scheduled to go through the 30th round. The Draft will conclude on Thursday, June 11th, which is set to cover the 31st-50th rounds.

MLB Network will broadcast the selections made in the first round live. Beginning with the compensation round (the 33rd overall pick), MLB.com will air a live video stream from Studio 42 for the remainder of the day’s selections. MLB Tonight also will provide coverage and analysis as the Draft continues to unfold.

Beginning the following day, MLB.com will offer comprehensive live programming of the Draft’s final two days, including a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and the exclusive Draft Tracker, a searchable database of every draft-eligible player, featuring statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.

“Major League Baseball is very pleased that MLB Network will host our First-Year Player Draft in Studio 42,” said Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “As the Draft has gained more prominence in recent years, fans have embraced it with great enthusiasm. With the continued support of MLB.com and now the advent of the MLB Network, we are enthusiastic about the possibilities to continue to grow this event.”

“When we started plotting out our programming schedule, the First-Year Player Draft was definitely one of the dates we circled on the baseball calendar,” said Tony Petitti, President and Chief Executive Officer of MLB Network. “We’re looking forward to Studio 42 being the backdrop for the beginning of many promising baseball careers.”




TNT’s “40 Games in 40 Nights” NBA Playoffs coverage continues on Tuesday, April 28th with the Chicago Bulls @ Boston Celtics (Game #5) at 7 p.m. ET followed by Dallas Mavericks @ San Antonio Spurs (Game #5).

TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com
Announcers:
Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith

Barkley on Hawks All-Star guard Joe Johnson struggling in the playoffs: “(Opponents) play better defense on you in the playoffs, so regular season (stats) don’t mean anything in the playoffs. I like Joe Johnson and I think he’s a good player but he can’t be the best player on your team. He’s a good player; he’s not a great player.”

Smith on Lakers center Andrew Bynum: “He wants to play and I think any competitive person would have that attitude. If you are in the NBA and don’t have that attitude, I’d question it from the start. Andrew Bynum has jumped into the season when the season is at its height. He didn’t play the whole year and he doesn’t have his legs, the same timing and consistency. I think it was fool’s gold down the stretch in the last five games when he played well. He was playing against teams that didn’t have the same energy.”

Game #1: Atlanta Hawks (81) @ Miami Heat (71) – Series tied 2-2
Announcers:
Dick Stockton, Mike Fratello; and Cheryl Miller reporting

Fratello on the effectiveness of players-only meetings: “It’s rare that a players-only meeting has an effect. They really need to have a presence that leads the meeting and says something that the players are going to listen to. Often times, it ends up being lip service, a waste of time and they don’t do one thing about the major concerns that they are supposed to be doing.”

Fratello on Hawks guard Joe Johnson’s shooting struggles in the playoffs: “Joe Johnson’s shooting has gotten into his head. His head is all messed up on his shooting.”

Fratello on the Hawks having tough players: “(Maurice) Evans and (Zaza) Pachulia have toughness, Flip Murray has the ability to get into the game mentally and has great concentration on his guy.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Hawks forward Maurice Evans following the first half

Evans on what the Hawks need to do to beat the Heat:
“We have to understand what we did wrong and we have to do exactly what we did when we built up the lead. We played team ball on the offensive and defensive end. That’s what’s going to beat the Miami Heat.”

T-Mobile Halftime Report
Announcers:
Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Smith on players keeping their composure when the game is on the line: “When the game gets frantic the best players get calmer and they have more composure. That’s the difference between championship teams and teams that play championship teams.”

Smith on the Jazz needing to take Lakers center Andrew Bynum off of his game and making him a non-factor: “The only hope that the Utah Jazz have is that they’ve taken Andrew Bynum out of the series. If they can continue to do that, the Lakers are so long and athletic and without Bynum they aren’t as long and athletic.”

Fratello on Heat forward Michael Beasley struggling with his jump shot: “Michael Beasley did not contribute much in Game #3. (The Heat) are counting on him to come off the bench and provide a scoring punch. He’s not hesitant at all to shoot; he’s got to take the ball to the basket more. He’s not making his jumper.”

Fratello on Heat forward Jermaine O’Neal: “(Jermaine O’Neal) has a size advantage. He’s got long arms, he brings the ball up high (to shoot) and elevates over the top of the defender.”

Game #2: Utah Jazz (96) @ Los Angeles Lakers (107) – Lakers win the series 4-1.
Announcers:
Marv Albert, Reggie Miller and Craig Sager reporting

Miller on Jazz center Mehmet Okur returning to the Jazz lineup: “That’s what’s been missing from the Jazz lineup, someone to spread the floor. Especially when (point guard) Deron Williams gets into the paint. Mehmet Okur is one of those players who can spread the defense.”

Miller on Jazz reserve guard C.J. Miles guarding Lakers guard Kobe Bryant: “No disrespect to C.J. Miles but with (Andrei) Kirilenko and Ronnie Brewer on the bench for the Jazz, Kobe Bryant understands that he can take C.J. Miles anytime he wants.”

Lakers guard Derek Fisher on Kobe Byrant having a pulse on how to play the game in order to have success as a team: “(Kobe Bryant) has the understanding of when he needs to do the Kobe Bryant thing. Tonight he’s going to make sure that we come out and send the right message and we start the game the way we need to in order to win this game. If that means scoring early and that’s what he feels then he’ll do that. If that means locking in defensively, if that means facilitating and getting Pau Gasol going, getting Andrew Bynum going, he’ll do that. It’s whatever we need him to do to win.”

Miller on Lakers reserve forward Josh Powell: “Josh Powell is one of those players who comes off the bench for the Lakers who is going to scrap, play hard and sometimes a little dirty. He’ll get some offensive rebounds and set good screens.”

Albert: “You say ‘dirty’ in a nice way.”

Miller: “In a very good way.”

Miller on Lakers forward Lamar Odom: “(Jazz forward) Matt Harpring cannot guard Lamar Odom down low. What makes Odom so tough is when he gets into the open court, he’s able to finish with either hand and he’s able to lay the ball up in traffic.”

T-Mobile Halftime Report
Announcers:
Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Smith on what makes the Lakers a great team: “Kobe Bryant can get anyone a shot on (the Lakers). They’ve got two other guys who can get other players shots which no team has. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom can get other people shots. When you have three guys on your team that can command a double-team, you’re going to be tough to beat.”

Barkley on Lakers forward Lamar Odom: “Lamar Odom is a good player but he couldn’t carry a team by himself. He is the third best player on the Lakers and that makes him more effective and equally dangerous.”

Miller on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant: “Kobe Bryant is one of those players that can go around you, over you, under you and through you.”

Miller on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant getting inadvertently tripped and slowed up by referee Steve Javie during a fast break: “(Referee) Steve Javie might be the best defense for the Jazz tonight by getting in the way of Kobe Bryant.”

Miller on Lakers center Andrew Bynum continuing to get into playing shape: “These are important minutes for Andrew Bynum, who has really struggled with his (injured) knee and conditioning since coming back from injury. If the Lakers move on to the second round to face the Houston Rockets with Yao (Ming) or the Portland Trail Blazers with Greg Oden or Joel Pryzbilla, he’s going to have to round into shape. These are big bodies in the second round.”

Miller on the upcoming off-season for the Utah Jazz: “Everyone is wondering if (potential free agents Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Mehmet Okur) are going to opt out of their contracts and you have six other free agents, Paul Milsap is a restricted free agent. General manager Kevin O’Connor will have a long summer evaluating his team and players.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Lakers guard Kobe Bryant following the game

Bryant on if the Jazz exposed the Lakers inability to hold onto big leads:
“It’s going to be on us to try to correct some mistakes. (We need to) keep hustling, you can’t stop playing hard because you have a big lead. We have to play fundamentally sound, get back on defense and do the necessary things that got you that lead.”

Bryant on former Lakers player and long-time Jazz play-by-play announcer “Hot Rod” Hundley who called his final game: “He’s one of the greatest to ever (announce games). It was a tremendous honor to have some of our games called by him. I was fortunate enough to get my picture taken with him and I’ve got it hanging up in my office.”

Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai
Announcers:
Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on the Lakers’ lack of defense that allowed the Jazz to keep the game close: “I’m concerned if I’m moving forward. The Lakers have unbelievable talent top to bottom, but they keep letting down defensively. (The Lakers have) so many good offensive players, the only way to blow 20-point leads to get down to two or three points is they are not playing defense consistently. As they go deeper in the playoffs and they play against better teams, it’s going to come back to bite them in the (butt) at some point.”

Smith on the strong performance of Jazz guard Ronnie Price who emerged as a strong backup for Deron Williams: “All year there hasn’t been a consistent backup for Deron Williams. When Jerry Sloan said he’s never seen a guy play that hard (as Ronnie Price did) for that short period of time, I would agree with him. That was one of the most impressive eight minutes for a guy who hasn’t played in a series, a guy that I haven’t seen. (Price) made a name for himself. He’s a free agent, they will sign him after this and he will become the backup point guard for Deron Williams. They can move Deron to the two guard because Deron is a very good shooter and can come off screens. You don’t always need to see him and you can play those two guys together.”

Barkley on whether he would re-sign Jazz forward Carlos Boozer: “No (I would not re-sign Carlos Boozer). If I give a guy $100 million he’s got to put me over the hump. (Kenny and I) both talk about wanting to be GM’s, I’d be better than you. I like Carlos Boozer, he’s a terrific player, but my rule of thumb is if I give a guy $80, $90 or $100 million, we’ve got say ‘we’ve got a shot to win the championship with this guy.’ They didn’t advance past the first round, so I’m not going to give him a raise.”

Barkley on the Hornets 58-point loss to the Nuggets in Game #4: “I always think it’s difficult to say someone’s quit, but (the Hornets) quit. You can’t get beat that bad and not quit.”


Celtics head coach Doc Rivers on whether he recognizes the exciting match-up between the Celtics and Bulls: “No, I don’t even see it. I hear it a lot, my brother, my mom, you guys, everybody is talking about it. All I see is 2-2, that’s it and I don’t like it.”

Celtics guard Ray Allen on the advantage the Celtics should have over the Bulls: “We like to think it’s our experience, but experience isn’t just talked about and put in play, experience is shown through the lack of mistakes down the stretch.”