Sunday, May 31, 2009

Barkley calls Kenny Smith "Numnuts" & Producer a P*ssy

Classic Charles Barkley last night on "Inside the NBA" after last night's Magic win over the Cavs to win the Eastern Conference Finals.

First, Sir Charles gets all over fellow co-host Kenny Smith for not letting him finish a thought, calling him a "numnuts!"

Then, it's a shot at his producer, calling him a "p*ssy" while coughing. As one who's been a producer, that one's funny as well and happens all the time in the biz! Plus, I love Reggie Miller's reaction as well.



Thanks to our friends at The Sporting Blog and the Sporting News for the link!

LeBron, Seriously! Man up!

OK, I understand that losing sucks. I get that. I completely understand that it hurts a little more when you're the superstar, the "it" guy on a team that was supposed to make it to the NBA Finals. I really get that.

But how on earth can you understand LeBron James not shaking the hand of Dwight Howard and not making what normally is a mandatory press conference committment after last night's game 6 loss to Orlando that eliminated the Cavs from the Eastern Conference Finals and sent the Magic into the NBA Finals against the Lakers.

So, yes, we don't get the Cavs vs. the Lakers. We don't get LeBron vs. Kobe. And yes, somewhere David Stern is in a corner throwing a tantrum. He doesn't get his marquee matchup!

As one who's been in the media and had to cover the lockerrooms of winning and losing teams, you definitely appreciate guys who are stand-up men. Not little boys who are only there when the going is good and there's winning to be had. Win or lose, you show up, answer the questions and MAN UP!

It's an easy thing to adhere to in life. You get instant respect to be held accountable for the action and answer the questions from the media that YES, are a part of the gig. If you want to make millions of us and the fans, you should be there to tell them what went wrong.

And lastly, it's one of the greatest things in hockey that I truly love. Win or lose, fighting or passive, guys shake hands after a grueling (or very easy) series and MAN UP by giving respect to each other. It's what should be done.

If you want to be champion, act like one win or lose.

Usually, LeBron is a classy guy, but last night he was not. I could easily say one time, one free pass. But here's one situation where he could've stood out, MANNED UP and showed he's truly a legend.

Cue up that Dwight Howard puppet Nike!

Sunday's MLB Pitching Probables

12:40 p.m. ET NYY Phil Hughes (3-2, 5.16) at CLE Carl Pavano (5-4, 5.50)

1:07 p.m. ET BOS Jon Lester (3-5, 6.07) at TOR Ricky Romero (2-1, 3.08)

1:10 p.m. ET FLA Chris Volstad (4-3, 3.69) at NYM John Maine (4-3, 4.18)

1:35 p.m. ET DET Edwin Jackson (4-3, 2.58) at BAL Jason T. Berken (1-0, 3.60)

1:35 p.m. ET WAS John Lannan (2-4, 4.11) at PHI Jamie Moyer (3-5, 7.42)

1:35 p.m. ET HOU Mike Hampton (2-4, 5.63) at PIT Paul Maholm (3-1, 4.11)

1:38 p.m. ET MIN Nick Blackburn (4-2, 3.55) at TB Matt Garza (4-3, 3.65)

2:05 p.m. ET CIN Micah Owings (3-5, 4.78) at MLW Yovani Gallardo (4-2, 3.32)

2:10 p.m. ET CWS John Danks (4-3, 4.59) at KC Zack Greinke (8-1, 0.84)

3:05 p.m. ET OAK Dallas Braden (4-5, 3.69) at TEX Kevin Millwood (4-4, 3.25)

3:10 p.m. ET SD Chad Gaudin (1-3, 5.40) at COL Jorge De La Rosa (0-5, 5.26)

3:35 p.m. ET SEA Garrett Olson (0-1, 3.66) at ANA Ervin Santana (0-2, 7.82)

4:05 p.m. ET STL Adam Wainwright (5-2, 3.18) at SF Jonathan Sanchez (2-4, 4.60)

4:10 p.m. ET ATL Kris Medlen (0-2, 9.72) at ARZ Max Scherzer (2-3, 3.38)

8:05 p.m. ET LA Eric Milton (1-0, 3.00) at CHC Sean Marshall (3-3, 3.70)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Diversity tops Susan Boyle!

The finale of "Britain's Got Talent" is over and it's an upset!

Diversity tops Susan Boyle! Here's what it looked like....

Diversity



Susan Boyle



I would say they got it right!

Penguins vs. Red Wings - Game 1 Stanley Cup Finals

Since it won't get a ton of love around the country tonight, I'll give the NHL a little affection with a preview of tonight's game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Penguins and Red Wings in Detroit.

Here's how both teams got here -

Pittsburgh Penguins



Detroit Red Wings


Your NHL.com preview

Your TSN preview

Your CBC preview

Your Barry Melrose ESPN preview

I've got Wings in 6!

Lakers win so NHL goes with 8pm for Game 2 of Stanley Cup Finals

With no competition from the Lakers/Nuggets Game 7 after the Lakers eliminated the Nugs Friday night, NBC and the NHL have set an 8pm start time for the Penguins/Red Wings Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals Sunday night.

Here's the full schedule -

STANLEY CUP FINAL BROADCAST SCHEDULE
Game 1 Saturday, May 30
Pittsburgh at Detroit NBC 8 p.m. ET
Game 2 Sunday, May 31 Pittsburgh at Detroit NBC 8pm A ET
Game 3 Tuesday, June 2 Detroit at Pittsburgh Versus 8 p.m. ET
Game 4 Thursday, June 4 Detroit at Pittsburgh Versus 8 p.m. ET
Game 5 * Saturday, June 6 Pittsburgh at Detroit NBC 8 p.m. ET
Game 6 * Tuesday, June 9 Detroit at Pittsburgh NBC 8 p.m. ET
Game 7 * Friday, June 12 Pittsburgh at Detroit NBC 8 p.m. ET

*if necessary

Saturday MLB Pitching Probables

1:07 p.m. ET BOS Brad Penny (5-1, 5.96) at TOR Brian Tallet (2-3, 4.31)

1:10 p.m. ET FLA Josh Johnson (3-1, 2.67) at NYM Tim Redding (0-1, 6.75)

4:10 p.m. ET LA Eric Stults (4-1, 4.29) at CHC Ryan Dempster (3-3, 4.99)

4:10 p.m. ET ATL Javier Vazquez (4-4, 3.80) at ARZ Doug Davis (2-6, 3.77)

4:10 p.m. ET MIN Francisco Liriano (2-6, 6.42) at TB David Price (0-0, 5.40)

7:05 p.m. ET DET Justin Verlander (5-2, 3.55) at BAL Jeremy Guthrie (4-4, 4.90)

7:05 p.m. ET NYY CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.42) at CLE Fausto Carmona (2-4, 6.42)

7:05 p.m. ET CIN Aaron Harang (5-4, 3.36) at MLW Dave Bush (3-1, 3.92)

7:05 p.m. ET WAS Shairon Martis (5-0, 4.86) at PHI Cole Hamels (2-2, 4.68)

7:05 p.m. ET HOU Wandy Rodriguez (5-3, 1.71) at PIT Jeff Karstens (1-2, 5.19)

7:10 p.m. ET CWS Mark Buehrle (6-1, 2.59) at KC Gil Meche (2-5, 4.55)

8:05 p.m. ET OAK Brett Anderson (2-4, 4.98) at TEX Brandon McCarthy (4-2, 4.67)

8:10 p.m. ET SD Josh Geer (1-1, 4.91) at COL Jason Hammel (1-3, 4.10)

9:05 p.m. ET SEA Felix Hernandez (5-3, 3.76) at ANA Matt Palmer (5-0, 4.82)

9:05 p.m. ET STL Chris Carpenter (2-0, 0.00) at SF Barry Zito (1-5, 4.02)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Confirmed - Kennedy released by WWE

It has been confirmed! Ken Kennedy, a/k/a Mr. Kennedy has been released by the WWE.

Here's the statement from WWE.com -

World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the release of Raw Superstar Mr. Kennedy (Ken Kennedy) as of today, May, 29 2009. WWE wishes Ken the best in all future endeavors.

So much for that push!

Thanks to my friends at 411 Wrestling for their help on this one too!

Mr. Kennedy released by WWE?

Breaking news from Jeremy Borash's Twitter page tonight. The TNA broadcaster tells us that the WWE has released Mr. Kennedy!

As you know, Kennedy just returned to ring action as part of the 5-on-5 match Monday night in LA for RAW, but he did injure his wrist in the match.

Injuries have been a problem for him. He's a great guy as I met him in person while at the Score in Providence.

Stay tuned. We'll update as we get info!

Why, oh why, do we need...

Why, oh why, do we need...

* - A daily David Ortiz "what's wrong with him" discussion? Get back to me in a week and let's go from there!

* - More controversy from "Jon & Kate Plus 8?" Now, we get a state child law complaint? Let's just cancel the show and let them get on with their lives!

* - Another day of rain? I've forgotten what the sun looks like in Southern New England!

* - Five nights of Jay Leno at 10pm on NBC? I didn't watch him at 11:35pm and I won't watch him at 10pm.

* - Perez Hilton attacking American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert everyday for not coming out of the closet?

* - A special report everytime President Barack Obama stops at a fast food joint? We get it, he wants to be an everyday guy. Well, guess what? There are no cameras when I stop at McDonald's or Burger King!

Back with more of these later!

Friday Feel Good: Taylor Swift on the Today Show

A lucky day for the "Today Show" on NBC this morning as they get an appearance by country superstar Taylor Swift. It's also a lucky day since if you missed it, like me, here it is from the "Today Show" website. It's this week's "Friday Feel Good!"

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



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



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



She just keeps getting better and better!

Enjoy!

MLB Network teams with DIY Network plus MLB on TBS This Sunday

A pair of baseball releases -



DIY NETWORK AND MLB NETWORK TEAM UP TO CREATE THE ULTIMATE BASEBALL-THEMED MAN CAVE FOR ONE MAJOR LEAGUE FAN

Cablers Launch "Who Wants A Man Cave" Contest on June 12 With Multi-Platform Support

NEW YORK, May 29, 2009
— As the go-to destination for home improvement television, DIY Network is teaming up with the ultimate television destination for baseball fans, MLB Network, to deliver one lucky viewer a man cave fit for the major leagues with their “Who Wants A Man Cave?” contest. From June 12 to July 24, guys in desperate need of a getaway can submit a video explaining why they want their own baseball-themed man cave to www.diynetwork.com or www.mlbnetwork.com.

After selecting the winner in August, DIY Network’s Man Caves hosts Tony “Goose” Siragusa and licensed contractor Jason Cameron will join MLB Network studio analysts and former Major League Baseball players Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams to transform the winner’s space into the ultimate man cave, equipped with official MLB merchandise from his favorite team, high-tech toys and deluxe furnishings. Four runners-up will receive an MLB Authentic Collection cap and jersey from the Major League team of their choice. Viewers can witness the fast-paced renovation from start to finish on a special edition of DIY Network’s primetime smash hit series Man Caves on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. ET, and on MLB Network in October.

“I’m always willing to lend a hand if it means giving another guy a space of his own,” said Siragusa. “And as a sports fanatic, I especially look forward to building a man cave where our winner can kick back and watch his favorite major league team.”

The “Who Wants A Man Cave?” contest also consists of on-air promotion on both networks and online at www.diynetwork.com, www.mlbnetwork.com and www.mlb.com. The partnership between DIY Network and MLB Network was brokered by Media Storm who serves as media agency of record for both networks. For more contest information, baseball fans can tune-in to DIY Network and MLB Network’s promotional broadcasts on the big screens at major league and minor league stadiums across the country.

“Our one-of-a­-kind live studio show, MLB Tonight, brings the baseball experience directly to our viewers’ living rooms on a nightly basis,” said Reynolds. “Our project with DIY Network will give the ultimate fan a major league man cave to sit in and enjoy while watching MLB Network.”

MLB Network’s signature show, MLB Tonight, features on-air analysts Mitch Williams and Harold Reynolds, and airs live beginning at 6 p.m. ET until the final MLB game of the night ends between Monday and Saturday. The show features live look-ins of games in progress, updates, highlights, reporting and analysis.

Whether building a swanky cigar bar, a well-equipped wine cellar or an upscale sportsman’s lodge, DIY Network’s Man Caves delivers jaw-dropping getaways outfitted with high-tech toys and all the manly essentials for homeowners and even celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Rainn Wilson. Each half-hour episode follows hosts, former NFL star Tony “Goose” Siragusa and licensed contractor Jason Cameron as they transform ordinary spaces into a guy’s paradise. The primetime series airs on DIY Network every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.

For more information on the “Who Wants A Man Cave?” contest, DIY Network's experts, tips and home improvement programs, visit the network's companion Web site at www.diynetwork.com. Members of the media may also obtain additional press materials, talent bios and show images by registering at DIY Network’s online media newsroom. Viewers can also become fans of DIY Network and interact with other home improvement enthusiasts and do-it-yourselfers through Twitter and facebook. DIY Network is available nationwide on DISH Network Ch. 111 and DIRECTV Ch. 230, and additional cable channel designations may be found by checking local listings and www.diynetwork.com/tv.



Yankees and Indians Face off on “Sunday MLB on TBS” at 12:30 p.m. ET

“Sunday MLB on TBS” continues on Sunday, May 31st at 12:30 p.m. ET with an American League match-up featuring Mark Teixeira and the New York Yankees taking on Grady Sizemore and the Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Yankees probable starting pitcher Phil Hughes is scheduled to face former Yankee and the probable starter for the Indians, Carl Pavano. Chip Caray (play-by-play) and Dennis Eckersley (analyst) will call the action from the broadcast booth.

“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 31
12:30 p.m. New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians
Announcers:
Chip Caray (play-by-play) and Dennis Eckersley (analyst)

SUNDAY MLB ON TBS UPCOMING SCHEDULE:
Sun., June 7
1:30 p.m. Texas Rangers @ Boston Red Sox
Announcers:
Chip Caray (play-by-play), Ron Darling (analyst) and David Wells (analyst)

Sun., June 14
1 p.m. New York Mets @ New York Yankees
Announcers:
Chip Caray (play-by-play) and Buck Martinez (analyst)

HBO's Summer of Documentaries

With the turn to June this weekend, we get closer to HBO's Summer of Documentaries. Each Monday, you'll get to see another award-winning doc from HBO Sports. Here's the release and schedule from HBO -

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

TNT NBA Notes from Cavs/Magic Game 6

From TNT Sports -

TNT’s exclusive coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals continues on Saturday, May 30 with pre-game coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET, followed by Game #6 of the Cleveland Cavaliers @ Orlando Magic at 8:30 p.m. ET.

**** **** **** **** *****

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


Smith on the how the Cavaliers can still use their home court advantage to win the series: “(The Cavaliers) are actually in a good position to (come back and win the series), they have two games possibly at home and that’s how you have to look at it. So you say tonight there is no way we can lose at home, there is no way that (Orlando) will celebrate and go to the NBA Finals on our court. The most pressure is Game #6 and if they lose that they know they have to come back here and beat us and they know they will not do that.”

Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown on needing someone from the bench to step up in order to beat the Magic: “We need someone that has not stepped up, someone that is not known quote on quote for ‘stepping up’ point-wise whether it’s Wally Szczerbiak, Sasha Pavlovic, Daniel Gibson, Joe Smith, we need one of those guys to step up.”

Barkley on Cavaliers guards Mo Williams and Delonte West being worn down from their defensive assignments: “I’m on the fence with Mo Williams and Delonte West. They are guarding guys who are so much bigger. They are both small guys to begin with and having to push and shove with Rashard Lewis and (Hedo) Turkoglu all game has really worn them down. They missed some shots, but they are both little guys to start with and then having to wrestle Rashard Lewis and Turkoglu, they are going to miss some shots.”

Smith on the Cavaliers coaches having a misstep in Game #1 and needing to step up and make adjustments against the Magic: “Some of that stepping up has to come from the (Cleveland) coaching staff as well. I don’t think overall, to be honest, they have done a great job getting beat differently each game. The Orlando Magic have won each game pretty much the same way. The biggest decision I thought was in Game #1 when you elect to take the second best defender in the NBA in LeBron James and put him on Rafer Alston and say, ‘you don’t guard him.’ So you’re making your best defender not guarding someone. I thought that was the biggest step that probably changed the series.”

Smith on the way the Magic should approach the close-out Game #5 mentally: “One thing we used to always say in close-out games is everybody stay in character. Don’t get out of character because it’s the close-out game. We stay in character with the things we’ve done to get here and it’s going to be good enough because we’re in a close-out game.”

TNT aired a feature on former NBA player Rodney Rogers who was injured in a dirt bike accident in November 2008. Rogers broke his neck and is a quadriplegic. Friend and former Sixers teammate Chris Webber conducted Rogers’ first exclusive interview.

Barkley on Rodney Rogers: “We play sports. You play sports and you are so physical and it just becomes a part of your life. (Rodney Rogers) impressed me with how strong he is and being in good spirits, but my heart just hurts for him. I’ve been so physical my entire life…I just feel bad. The first time I played against him, on the Dream Team they brought a bunch of college all-stars in there and people don’t know, but they beat us the first time we played them. We played them later and beat them by 40 because it pissed us off. But I had to guard (Rogers) and this guy was so physically imposing, he was a left-handed three-point shooter and he could post up. They just kicked our butt really good and I thought, ‘I’m glad I’m leaving the NBA soon.’ He’s just a nice man. Once you are a part of the NBA family you are one of us and we feel for you. I just wish him and (fiancĂ© Faye) the best and his three kids.”

Smith on the encouragement Rodney Rogers gives: “I’ve know Rodney, his family and his daughters have come to my basketball camps. I’m encouraged. I’ve been blessed in that when I was an 11th grader there was a wheelchair basketball tournament in New York City. Every year you go to go a hospital to visit, I’ve been doing that since I was an NBA player and since then, so I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of people in Rodney Rogers’ shoes. During that I saw how they lived life and not look at life with the things they don’t have and understand you can’t do the same things you used to do. But your fiancĂ© is still there for you, your family still loves you and your kids are still there. I’m encouraged by that.”

**** **** **** **** *****

Orlando Magic (102) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (112) – The Magic lead the series 3-2.
Announcers: Marv Albert and Reggie Miller; with Craig Sager reporting


Miller on the Cavaliers defense having a strong start to the game: “This is what you want when you’re struggling and you’re down 3-1, let your defense do your talking for you.”

Miller on the Magic needing to increase their intensity: “In a close-out game it’s never easy and it’s the little things. You have to do the little things, especially when you have a team that you’re ready to close out on the road. You’ve got to come out with a higher sense of intensity.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interview Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy after the first quarter.

Van Gundy on whether he is more upset about the Cavs having 35 points or the Magic only having 18: “It all goes hand in hand. They are scoring every time and we’re getting nothing in transition. They are just much quicker than we are at both ends. Their rotations are much better, their ball movement, they are going right by us at both ends.”

Van Gundy on the Magic’s first quarter performance: “That was the worst we’ve played, even compared to the first two games.”

“From the start of this second quarter I like the Magic’s defense so far, allowing only one possession, getting into shooters and then executing at the offensive end.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, former pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.

Sabathia on how he feels about the Cavaliers being down to the Magic 3-1 in the series: “I am shocked. The way they’ve been rolling these playoffs, it was hard to predict that they would be down 3-1. But you can never count them out, they’ve got the best player in the game on your team so we’ll see what happens.”

Sabathia on what it would mean to the city of Cleveland for the Cavaliers to win the NBA title: “I think it would be huge for this city, this city is starving for a champion. We came close a couple of times, but couldn’t get it done. But they’ve got the right cats to get it done, you’ve just got to overcome this small little mountain.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Cavaliers forward LeBron James at halftime.

James on how the Magic came back from being down in the first half: “They started to get some good looks and we gave them a lot of second chance points. Dwight got a couple ‘and ones,’ it’s something we have to key in on the second half to win the ball game.”

James on how he will approach the second half: “I’m going to take what the defense gives me, we all need to be a little more aggressive and do a little bit better job in the second half.”

**** **** **** **** *****

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


Smith on Cavaliers forward LeBron James needing to guard either Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu or Rashard Lewis: “The Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t made an adjustment, particularly on how to guard people and how to guard the Orlando Magic. The best player and the best defender is LeBron James and he’s not guarding any of their best offensive players. When the ball goes inside and you go double, when you have Delonte West or Mo Williams running after Rashard Lewis, (James) has the three or the runner so (Lewis) never has to change up or have any pressure of having LeBron (guard him). You have to have LeBorn James guard (Hedo) Turkoglu or Rashard Lewis if you want to have a chance of sustaining the lead because those guys are having a field day.”

Barkley on having smaller players guard you: “You heard of the limo guy? We sent a limo for those guys. I don’t want them to have no car accidents, I don’t want them to be late. I’m going to send a limo to their house to make sure they get to the game on time. You start foaming at the mouth when you see those guys.”

Barkley on the Cavaliers needing to play at a faster pace as they did when they got off to a good start at the beginning of the game: “The thing they do that annoys me, I’ve criticized them the past couple of years for it, for playing too slow. You see how they started out fast (tonight)? I don’t understand why they don’t play like that all the time. When they start playing slow that’s when they struggle, when LeBron (James) has to go one on five.”

Barkley on Magic center Dwight Howard:“I love Kobe Bryant and LeBron James and Carmelo (Anthony) has played great. But welcome to the party, Dwight Howard, this guy is a flat out beast.”

Smith: “Are you saying they (Nike) are going to have to change the puppets (in their commercials)?”

Barkley: “I can see my guys at Nike right now scrambling. All the puppets look alike so they just change Dwight’s voice.”

**** **** **** **** *****

Miller on Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao’s game which requires flopping: “One guy in our green room does not like the flopping of Anderson Varejao, and that would be our Sir Charles Barkley. He thinks every play out there Varejao is flopping all over the place. I was telling him, ‘you can’t be mad at Anderson Varejao, that’s his game. Some guys are great shooters, some guys are great passers, that’s Anderson Varejao’s game to get underneath the skin of the opposing big men. If that’s his game to flop and draw charges and get guys technical fouls, so be it. It’s a lot like Bill Laimbeer, everyone hated Bill Laimbeer, but if you ask Rick Mahorn and Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, he was one of the best teammates because he was one of those guys who did the dirty work.”

Miller on the Magic looking fresher than the Cavaliers: “The Magic look fresher, they look fresher and this is the team that played more games in the postseason than the Cavaliers. It looks almost like they are a half a step to a step quicker than the Cavs right now.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Cavaliers coach Mike Brown after the third quarter.

Brown on the Cavaliers needing to put pressure on the Magic defense: “We have to keep driving and kicking the basketball and when the ball goes to you, you’ve got to shoot it or drive it and put pressure on their defense like they do to us.”

Brown on whether Cavaliers forward LeBron James will stay in the game the entire fourth quarter: “He may, we’re talking about it right now. We’re fighting for our playoff lives and so if we feel we need to run him, we’ll run him.”

Miller on Cavaliers coach Mike Brown advocating more aggressive play in the fourth quarter: “Mike Brown telling them foul everyone, Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, wrap people up, we have enough bigs. Zydrunas (Ilgauskas) fouls out, (Anderson) Varejao fouls out, and he comes out with Ben Wallace.”

Miller on Cavaliers coach Mike Brown simplifying the offensive attack: “Mike Brown really simplified the offense. How about let’s put LeBron James at the top of the circle of the three point line and let him go one on one with my shooters down in the short corner. If they come to double, trust in your teammates to knock down the shot, if not; let him make the play.”

Miller on the simpler offense needing the assistance of guards for it to be effective: “We talked about trusting in your teammates and when Daniel Gibson and Mo Williams and Wally (Szczberiak) are knocking down threes, it’s going to make it tougher (for the defense) because you simplified the offense. Now it’s going to take a lot of wear and tear on his body because he has to do so much, but those guys have to knock down shots to make it effective.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Cavaliers forward LeBron James after the Cavaliers defeated the Magic to extend the series, trailing 3-2.

James on avoiding ‘going fishing’ from the TNT’s Inside the NBA crew: “This is a big game for us. You never want to disappoint the home crowd by coming out and not playing as hard as you can. It’s win or go home and there’s one thing that we don’t want to do right now and that’s seeing Ernie, Charles and Kenny putting on those fishing hats, so we gave it our all.”

James on having help from his teammates: “That’s huge, that’s what we had all year, complimentary players. Mo came out and was aggressive once again. Today it was a lot off our bench. Ben Wallace played strong in the post against Dwight, Daniel Gibson came in and gave us some big minutes and big shots, and the rest of the complimentary guys came in and did what they had to do to win the ballgame.”

James on how the Cavaliers will approach Game #6 in Orlando: “We’ve got to play the same way we played today. We’ve got to play gritty, we’ve get the ball up the court, play fast and attack. We’ve got to do everyone in our will to try to take that game away from them and try to come back here.”

**** **** **** **** *****

Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai
Announcers: Johnson, Barkley and Smith; joined by Reggie Miller


Smith on asking too much of Cavaliers forward LeBron James to carry the team for three straight games: “That’s a great, great player doing great, great things. But to me, that’s discouraging that a guy has to do that much to will a team to win a basketball game. If they are going to Orlando there have to be other contributions down the stretch because you expect Superman (Dwight Howard) to put the cape on, save the building and then at the same time go catch the train that’s falling of the track and then oh yeah, grab something to eat. It’s a lot to ask.”

Barkley on Cavaliers forward LeBron James’ performance: “That was a very impressive performance, but that’s a lot to ask one man to do for three games. It was phenomenal tonight, but you’ve got to wonder how (LeBron James) is going to feel Saturday.”

Smith on the Cavaliers not figuring out how to beat Orlando, causing concern for Game #6: “I’m not sure if they’ve figured out Orlando. The Orlando Magic haven’t even really figured out the way they played today. So there is cause for concern even in a win because what did you do that was different that actually worked? Really nothing. It’s just your guy down the stretch, you gave him the ball and said, ‘play by yourself, we’re not calling any plays, we’re going to give it to you at the top of the key for the entire fourth quarter and you can win.’”

Miller on Cavaliers forward LeBron James needing help from his teammates: “The speed that he’s coming at the Magic with, I give (Mickael) Pietrus a lot of credit because he’s doing the best job that he can do, but LeBron is just too big and too strong. But I will say this, they’re wearing (James) down. I’m a little discouraged. I like the win, they did what they had to, but I want to see is Boobie (Daniel) Gibson, Mo Williams and Wally Szczerbiak, is their game going to travel? If they are making shots like that in Orlando, we’re playing Monday, but they haven’t done it yet. They are putting so much pressure on this kid to do so much and he needs some help.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on Thursday

Bryant on what type of player he is: “I’m naturally a scorer by nature. I’ve had to learn how to facilitate (the ball) and some of these things. In this system, it’s a lot harder to do because it’s an equal opportunity offense.”

Bryant on the officiating in the playoffs: “If it was up to me, they would just go back to the rules the way they were back in the (19)80’s. It’s becoming more difficult not only for players to play but for the officials to make those calls because it’s too subjective. I think it would make their job a lot easier and our job a lot easier as players to make it a little more clear.”

Reggie Miller on the energy that Lakers reserve guard Shannon Brown brings to the team: “What I liked in Game #5 (Lakers/Nuggets) was Shannon Brown. His minutes have gone down somewhat but his intensity and defense on Chauncey Billups really won that game for (the Lakers). I like to see players like that come through in big situations.”

Smith on the difference between the Lakers and the Cavaliers: “(The Lakers) players are empowered when they have the ball. I think the Cavaliers have to shoot when they get the ball. The power doesn’t come with the score or decision making, the only decision you can make at that time is to take an offensive shot. The difference is the Lakers empower their players and that’s why, from top to bottom, they are the best twelve players in basketball on that team. Does that translate to winning (the WCF)? Maybe not but they should win an NBA Championship. They empower their players, they have all the elements, they have the best coach, they have youth and experience, and they have the best closer (Kobe Bryant). There are no excuses for them not to win a championship.”

Log onto TNT OverTime on NBA.com for a full replay of Inside the NBA and exclusive reports from TNT announcers.

Leno's Last "Tonight Show" Airs Tonight

It's another passing of the torch tonight on the "Tonight Show." Jay Leno gets the spotlight as he does his final show in late night. Conan, O'Brien, who will be Jay's last guest tonight, will take over on Monday.

As we say goodbye to Jay, let's take a look back at the legend that made the "Tonight Show" - Johnny Carson.

Back in May of 1992, Carson, the King of Late Night, signed off for the final time. His next to last show had the memorable guests of Bette Midler and Robin Williams. The final show was a look behind the scenes on May 22, 1992.

Here, through You Tube and NBC, take a look back at the wonderful show -















Bette Midler's "One for My Baby"



Enjoy!

DirecTV for June Highlights



Here's what my favorite satellite provider has in store for your June offerings -

* - A free preview of its Premier package on June 18-21. You'll get movies from HBO, Cinemax, Starz and Showtime, plus the sports pack that weekend.

* - The US Open Golf and Wimbledon Free Mixes are back on June 18-21 (US Open) and June 22-28 (Wimbledon). The Wimbledon Mix will give you six matches at a time plus all the interactive updates. Meanwhile, the US Open Mix lets you follow specific holes and players while staying up to date interactively.

Enjoy!

Friday's MLB Pitching Probables

2:20 p.m. ET LA Chad Billingsley (6-2, 2.82) at CHC Ted Lilly (5-4, 3.77)

7:05 p.m. ET DET Dontrelle Willis (1-1, 3.57) at BAL Brad Bergesen (1-2, 5.49)

7:05 p.m. ET NYY Andy Pettitte (4-1, 4.30) at CLE Cliff Lee (2-5, 3.04)

7:05 p.m. ET WAS Ross Detwiler (0-0, 2.45) at PHI J.A. Happ (2-0, 2.60)

7:05 p.m. ET HOU Brian Moehler (1-3, 8.31) at PIT Ross Ohlendorf (5-4, 4.20)

7:07 p.m. ET BOS Tim Wakefield (6-2, 3.99) at TOR Casey Janssen (0-1, 4.50)

7:10 p.m. ET FLA Sean West (0-0, 3.60) at NYM Mike Pelfrey (4-1, 4.31)

7:38 p.m. ET MIN Scott Baker (2-5, 6.32) at TB James Shields (3-4, 3.63)

8:05 p.m. ET CIN Johnny Cueto (4-2, 2.37) at MLW Braden Looper (4-3, 4.47)

8:10 p.m. ET CWS Clayton Richard (1-0, 3.55) at KC Brian Bannister (4-1, 2.79)

8:35 p.m. ET OAK Edgar Gonzalez (0-0, 1.80) at TEX Scott Feldman (3-0, 4.04)

9:10 p.m. ET SD Chris Young (4-2, 4.76) at COL Jason Marquis (6-3, 4.45)

9:40 p.m. ET ATL Jair Jurrjens (4-2, 2.07) at ARZ Jon Garland (4-3, 4.70)

10:05 p.m. ET SEA Jason Vargas (1-0, 1.29) at ANA John Lackey (1-0, 6.00)

10:15 p.m. ET STL Joel Pineiro (5-4, 3.52) at SF Matt Cain (5-1, 2.40)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

ESPN's Lee Corso has mild stroke; Tom Brady meets the media

A couple of news notes as we hit the 8pm hour in the east tonight -

* - ESPN college football analyst Lee Corso had a mild stroke but is expecting to be back for the fall football season (ESPN.com).

* - Patriots QB Tom Brady met the media for the first time today since Patriots OTA's began with him participating. The Boston Globe has the transcript.

Patriots.com has the full video and audio of the session.

* - Time Warner will spin off AOL and undo the failed merger of yesteryear that ultimately saw the downfall and sale of World Championship Wrestling (WCW). So sad (Bloomberg.com)

Kenny Chesney clarifies camera-gate at his shows

Earlier today, our friend Shannon, the "Bloggin Momma," gave us the sudden news that cameras were going to be barred from Kenny Chesney's concerts starting next month.

Well, thanks to some great digging by Shannon and some clarification from the Chesney camp, we get good news that cameras WILL be allowed in the show. They are just going to start cracking down on the videotaping of songs.

Great job Shannon!

NBC & Versus Previews Pens/Wings Stanley Cup Finals

The fine folks at NBC and Versus held a conference call to preview the Stanley Cup Finals Rematch between the Red Wings and Penguins (I have Wings in 6!). Here's what they see for the finals. Plus, the folks at NBC tell me that the NHL/NBC will have an announcement on the time for Sunday's game 2 no later than Saturday morning.

Here's the release -

PITTSBURGH-DETROIT STANLEY CUP REMATCH OPENS ON NBC THIS WEEKEND

The most intelligent team I've ever seen. - NBC's Milbury on Detroit

The theater will not intimidate Pittsburgh like it did last year in Games 1 & 2.”- NBC's McGuire

NEW YORK - May 28, 2009 -
In the first Stanley Cup Final rematch in 25 years, Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh Penguins seek to dethrone the defending champion Detroit Red Wings, who defeated the Penguins in six games last year. NBC Sports, the network home of the National Hockey League, will broadcast up to five games in the series, all in primetime, beginning with Game 1 Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET (see complete schedule below).

Mike "Doc" Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass analyst) call the action. McGuire will pull double duty in the on-location studio show alongside Mike Milbury and former NHL netminder Darren Pang. NBC Sports' coverage is produced by Sam Flood, the architect of the "Inside the Glass" analyst position.

In addition to Crosby, the matchup features some of the NHL's greats, including Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal against Detroit's Marian Hossa, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom. Hossa skated for Pittsburgh against Detroit last year. Detroit has won 11 Stanley Cup championships in their long history as an NHL "Original Six" franchise and the Penguins, two (1991 & 92). Twenty-one current Red Wings players (total of 40 times) have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup compared with just five for the Penguins.

NBC Sports today conducted a media conference call with Emrick, Olczyk, McGuire, Milbury and Flood to preview the Final and NBC Sports'coverage.

FLOOD ON NBC'S PRODUCTION: "The rule from Dick Ebersol is to provide the best seat in the house for the audience and that's our goal and it will always be. The sport is the thing and we are here to showcase hockey. In doing so we take advantage of 'Inside the Glass,' which Pierre has turned into the gold standard. It really changed the way we look at a hockey game. His insights and access, changes the entire broadcast. Everyone on our hockey production team is number one a hockey fan and number two a television person."

FLOOD ON INSIDE-THE-GLASS: "To begin with I thought it was a unique opportunity to get an ex-coach in a position where he could listen to both benches and know how to translate what's happening down there because it is a short hand and it takes a unique talent to take that information and translate it on air. When we created this position back when we got into hockey in 2004, Pierre was the first person I talked to. I knew he had the skill set so we put him in there."

MCGUIRE ON WORKING INSIDE THE GLASS: "Sometimes you can relay a lot of the things you hear down there and there are other things that you just can't. I've never once been editorialized, not once by the National Hockey League, not once by NBC. Sometimes that gets me in trouble but that's okay. I'm there to tell it the way it is. There have been a bunch of coaches and a bunch of players who have come up to me and said, 'we love having you there because we know it's a big game.' Doc and Edzo allow this thing to flourish because they have to change and accommodate me and by doing that we try to translate a bit of the speed that happens at the arena back to the people watching at home. This would never work if it hadn't been for the spirit of cooperation between the coaches and the players."

MCGUIRE ON WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES: "The theater will not intimidate Pittsburgh like it did last year in games one and two when they were shut out and they looked hopeless. They will look a lot better because of that experience of losing last year. Sidney has become a much better leader. Malkin has become a much more effective player, especially in key times in games and Fleury is a much more refined goalie."

MILBURY ON THE PENGUINS: "We're all excited to see what they can do in the second go around. I think you've seen the two superstars, Crosby and Malkin continue to grow up along with Marc-Andre Fleury. That growth pattern is going to be tested against what I consider to be the most intelligent team that I've ever seen; as a group that obviously has enough depth to handle a half a dozen players on the injured list and still manage to beat Chicago and advance to the Final. It should be fun. I think the goalies, as always, play a big part. Fleury looked very comfortable, so did Chris Osgood."

EMRICK ON WINNING A STANLEY CUP: "It is the hardest prize to win -- the combination of the tenacity that these guys have to be in the lineup and play as hard as they possibly can, as well as the fatigue factor that normally enters in when you have so much competition just to get to this point. They've played six weeks now and they've got two more weeks to go."

MCGUIRE ON THE BACK-TO-BACK GAMES: "I think players like playing back-to-back games. They'd rather play back-to-back then have long drawn out situations. It will be important for the team that loses to control the emotions and control enthusiasm pretty quickly. They're going to have to reel it in fast. It is a little bit like the Olympics. It is a short tournament; you don't have a lot of time to rehash your mistakes. You're going to have to wipe the board clean pretty quick. I don't think it's going to be an issue."

MILBURY ON BACK-TO-BACK GAMES: "I think it absolutely favors the Pittsburgh Penguins. They've had some time off, a little more than Detroit, and they're not as banged up."

MCGUIRE ON CHANGES TO PITTSBURGH: "It's going to be about tempo more than anything else. Both these teams like to air it out; both these teams are highly skilled. Pittsburgh has gone through a huge cultural metamorphosis since they made the coaching change. And now rather than playing passive resistance hockey, they're playing aggressive in-your-face skilled hockey. They're playing to their strengths rather than to their weakness."

MCGUIRE ON COACHING CHANGE HELPING PITTSBURGH: "I know Ray Shero wrestled with this for a long period of time, even going back to last summer. I can tell you that because I talked to him on the phone and it was something that was really eating him up. Ray Shero is a man of honor, he's a man of integrity and he's a man of loyalty. And he just realized at that point that in order to be loyal to franchise, to his owner and to his players, he had to make a coaching change. He didn't want to do it, he had to do it.

"What Danny Bylsma brings is an intelligent approach to the game, educating players through a common sense approach. Rather than coaching them through intimidation, he coaches them through vocalization, imagery, passion and energy. And you can see that's how they play. He turned these guys loose."

MILBURY ON COACHING CHANGE: "If nothing else, Dan Bylsma just wanted to let the guys have some fun and play the game with a little more passion and letting loose a little bit. They were able to find balance both offensively and defensively and boy it's been a heck of a balance. A change in approach, and change in attitude, comes with a change in coaches and no more clearly than in this case with Dan Bylsma."

MCGUIRE ON CHRIS OSGOOD: "It's a Chris Osgood I told you so moment. Everybody was picking on him all year long. Osgood has something to prove and he's still proving it. Had he not been stellar, this thing would probably not be going to the Stanley Cup Final game one, we'd still be talking about Chicago in Detroit playing game six at the United Center."

OLCZYK ON MARIAN HOSSA: "I guess the one thing I'm looking forward to most is the battle within the big battle with Marian Hossa now wearing a Detroit Red Wings jersey and last year, coming over at the trade deadline and helping the Penguins get to the Final. Now he's playing against the team he played with last year. So that's the one story I'm looking at."

STANLEY CUP FINAL BROADCAST SCHEDULE
Game 1 Saturday, May 30 Pittsburgh at Detroit NBC 8 p.m. ET
Game 2 Sunday, May 31 Pittsburgh at Detroit NBC TBA ET
Game 3 Tuesday, June 2 Detroit at Pittsburgh Versus 8 p.m. ET
Game 4 Thursday, June 4 Detroit at Pittsburgh Versus 8 p.m. ET
Game 5 * Saturday, June 6 Pittsburgh at Detroit NBC 8 p.m. ET
Game 6 * Tuesday, June 9 Detroit at Pittsburgh NBC 8 p.m. ET
Game 7 * Friday, June 12 Pittsburgh at Detroit NBC 8 p.m. ET

*if necessary

PGA on CBS This Weekend

From CBS Sports -

SABBATINI, CASEY, OGILVY, PERRY, SINGH AND BAKER-FINCH HEADLINE FIELD AT “CROWNE PLAZA INVITATIONAL AT COLONIAL” MAY 30-31 ON CBS SPORTS

For the 36th straight year, CBS Sports returns to Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, with third- and final-round coverage of the CROWNE PLAZA INVITATIONAL AT COLONIAL on Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31 (3:00-6:00 PM, ET, both days), live on the CBS Television Network. After winning last week’s HP Byron Nelson Championship, 2007 Colonial champion Rory Sabbatini heads to Fort Worth and historic Colonial Country Club for the third and last tournament on the “Texas Swing.”

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 major championships and more than 40 tournaments worldwide, serves as lead analyst. Peter Oosterhuis calls the action at the 17th hole, Gary McCord at the 16th hole and Ian Baker-Finch at the 15th hole. David Feherty and Peter Kostis serve as on-course reporters.

Ian Baker Finch, is playing this week on the PGA TOUR for first time since he competed in the 2001 Colonial where he missed the cut. This year marks the 20th anniversary of his victory at the 1989 Colonial; he is the last Australian to win at Colonial Country Club. For more on Baker-Finch and his golf expectations and television career, go to PGA TOUR.COM for Melanie Hauser’s interview.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson will not defend his title as he is on leave of absence from the PGA TOUR. Last year he won his second Colonial title with a one stroke win over Tim Clark and Rod Pampling.

Sabbatini tees it up against a field which includes Clark and Pampling, two-time Colonial champion Kenny Perry, Paul Casey Geoff Ogilvy, Vijay Singh, Sean O’Hair, Steve Stricker Jim Furyk, Anthony Kim, Ian Poulter, Zach Johnson, Mike Weir, Luke Donald, Stewart Cink, Justin Leonard, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Trevor Immelman, Chad Campbell, Hunter Mahan, David Toms, Davis Love III, Paul Goydos, Mark Calcavecchia, Rocco Mediate and Ian Baker-Finch.

Special Fundraiser This Weekend

If you're out and about the Warwick area this weekend, you might want to consider helping out a very special cause for the Pilgrim High School family.

There are a couple of fundraisers to help raise money for the Kimberly Pisaturo Fund. Kimberly, a 15-year old Pilgrim High student, was tragically killed in a school bus accident earlier this month. Here are the details -

Pilgrim High School events for the Kimberly A. Pisaturo Fund

Car Wash
Saturday, May 30th
10am - 2pm
Pilgrim Senior Center
(27 Pilgrim Parkway)

Ice Cream Social and Candlelight Vigil
Sunday, May 31st
Starting @ 7pm
Pilgrim High School
(cafeteria and football field)


Sponsored by the PHS students and faculty

Thank you!

Stanley Cup Finals Starts Saturay - Pens vs. Wings

Since the Conference Finals weren't really a fight for either the Penguins or Red Wings, the NHL is moving up the Stanley Cup Finals, a rematch of last year's Finals, to start this weekend. They were originally supposed to start next Friday.

NBC's got the first two games this weekend while Versus has game's 3 and 4. NBC will grab the final 3, if necessary. This also helps NBC avoid any long games that might interfere with the first week of the new "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brian."

Here's your full schedule, with an update on Sunday's gametime coming -

Saturday, May 30 at Detroit, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS
Sunday, May 31 at Detroit, TBD-Evening NBC, CBC, RDS
Tuesday, June 2 at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Thursday, June 4 at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm VERSUS, CBC, RDS
* Saturday, June 6 at Detroit, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS
* Tuesday, June 9 at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS
* Friday, June 12 at Detroit, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS

- * denotes if necessary
- All Times are Eastern Standard Time

I'll take the Wings in 6!

BTW: It'll be Rangers vs. Bruins at Fenway Park on January 1, 2010. The NHL won't announce it until July officially.

Thursday's MLB Pitching Probables

12:05 p.m. ET TB Jeff Niemann (4-3, 4.53) at CLE David Huff (0-1, 17.55)

1:10 p.m. ET BOS Josh Beckett (4-2, 5.01) at MIN Anthony Swarzak (1-0, 0.00)

7:05 p.m. ET DET Armando Galarraga (3-4, 5.74) at BAL David Hernandez (0-0, 0.00)

8:05 p.m. ET LA Randy Wolf (2-1, 3.02) at CHC Randy Wells (0-1, 1.50)

9:40 p.m. ET ATL Derek Lowe (6-2, 3.45) at ARZ Dan Haren (3-4, 2.57)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

MLB & Nascar on FOX This Weekend

From Fox Sports, we get this weekend's MLB lineup and if you missed it earlier on "The Crowe's Nest," it's Ken Rosenthal talking Big Papi -

MLB on FOX: Dodgers/Cubs Revisit 2008 NLDS, Braves/DBacks & Twins/Rays Face Off

Rosenthal on Ortiz Steroid Rumors: It’s Irresponsible and Unfair.

NASCAR on FOX Races To Final Lap of ’09 Season with Monster Mile Race in Dover

MANAGING TITANS MEET AT WRIGLEY
– It’s a rematch of last year’s NLDS on the FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK as Lou Piniella’s Cubs welcome Joe Torre’s Dodgers to Chicago on Saturday, May 30 at 4:00 PM ET. Torre’s men have been more than able to cope with the suspension of slugger Manny Ramirez, maintaining MLB’s best record. In Phoenix, Chipper Jones and the Braves look to pick up a win out west when the take on the Diamondbacks in the desert. Also, Joe Mauer and hit scorching-hot bat travel down to Florida to face David Price and the Rays. Pregame originates live from Chase Field in Phoenix with host Chris Rose. Once game action begins, Rose joins the game crew including Kenny Albert and Mark Grace 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.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs (70% of nation)
Joe Buck, Tim McCarver & Ken Rosenthal


MARKETS INCLUDE: Albuquerque, Austin, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Denver, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Richmond, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tulsa, Washington, West Palm Beach

Probable Pitchers: Eric Stults, LHP (4-1, 4.29 ERA) vs. Ryan Dempster, RHP (3-3, 4.99 ERA)

Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks (15% of nation)
Kenny Albert & Mark Grace

MARKETS INCLUDE:
Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Nashville, Phoenix, Raleigh

Probable Pitchers: Javier Vazquez, RHP (4-4, 3.80 ERA) vs. Doug Davis, LHP (2-6, 3.77 ERA)

Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays (14% of nation)
DeWayne Staats & Eric Karros

MARKETS INCLUDE:
Boston, Detroit, Fort Myers, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Orlando, Providence, Tampa

Probable Pitchers: Francisco Liriano, LHP (2-6, 6.42 ERA) vs. David Price, LHP (0-0, 5.40 ERA)

ROSENTHAL: BIG PAPI IS LIVING IN AN AGE OF ACCUSATIONS & IT’S UNFAIR – With David Ortiz’s continued struggles and his recent demotion to sixth in the Red Sox lineup, MLB on FOX’s Ken Rosenthal has noticed that the whispers of steroids and performance enhancing drugs has started and he believes its unfair. “Ten years ago, no self-respecting journalist would have speculated that a player was using PEDs without some form of proof. Today, respected journalists, blogs, chat rooms and other Internet vehicles, have blithely suggested that Ortiz is in a decline because he no longer take PEDs,” said Rosenthal. “It's irresponsible. It's unfair. It needs to stop. Several times in recent weeks, radio talk-show hosts have asked me what I thought of the possibility that Ortiz was using PEDs. I have no idea if David Ortiz used PEDs; probably no journalist does. I could not even make an educated guess, and it would be unprofessional of me to do so. Here's one thing I do know: Before steroids, players actually declined as they got older. Ortiz is 33. Maybe he is losing his skills. Maybe he just stinks. If I were an innocent player, I would fight back. But I wouldn't even know where to start.” Click here to read more.

NASCAR ON FOX’S 2009 FINALE AT DOVER – The NASCAR on FOX 2009 Sprint Cup Series returns to Dover International Speedway on Sunday, May 31 (1:30 PM ET) for the networks’ final race of the season. David Reutimann, who notched his first Sprint Cup victory of 2009 at the rain shortened Coca-Cola 600, has risen to one spot out of the Chase. Despite the chaos of Memorial Day weekend, Jeff Gordon increased his points lead ever so slightly over second- running, Tony Stewart. 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.

HAMMOND: DID NASCAR LEARN ANYTHING FROM CHARLOTTE? – Yesterday, NASCAR on FOX analyst Jeff Hammond gave NASCAR credit for meeting with drivers and owners to get their input on potential changes within the sport following a rough weekend for racing. “You simply have to give all the drivers and crew a lot of credit because they put up with a lot. [Over Memorial Day Weekend] we had, get ready, start, wait don’t start, finally start, stop, start, stop, take a time out during the race to pay tribute to the troops, which I think was the silver lining in all those clouds Monday,” said the former crew chief. With all the starts and stops, Hammond wonders what NASCAR took away from that. “We had the opportunity to see if shorter race lengths are right or wrong. Did we learn anything from that?”

To read more on Hammond’s thoughts following Charlotte and what changes he thinks Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 needs to make click here.

NBC French Open This Weekend

From NBC Sports -

NBC SPORTS FRENCH OPEN COVERAGE BEGINS THIS SATURDAY

Nadal, the King of Clay, Seeks his 5th Straight French Open Title

I think it would be a good idea at the French for Roger to change his tactics and play more aggressively, shortening the points and coming to the net.” - McEnroe on how Federer Can win

NEW YORK - May 27, 2009
-- Rafael Nadal seeks to become the only man ever to win five consecutive French Open titles as NBC Sports presents the 2009 French Open from Roland Garros in Paris beginning Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET, in high definition. Coverage of the French Open concludes next Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7 with the women and men's finals live. Host Ted Robinson anchors NBC Sports' broadcast, joined by analysts John McEnroe and Mary Carillo.

Nadal, the four-time defending champion at Roland Garros seeks to become the only man to win five straight French Open titles surpassing the legendary Bjorn Borg, who won four straight from 1978-1981 and six overall titles. Nadal had spent 160 straight weeks as the world's second ranked men's tennis player until he surpassed Federer in August 2008 and has held the No. 1 ranking ever since. In 2008, Nadal became the only man to win the French Open, Wimbledon and earn an Olympic gold medal in the same year.

Federer had been the world's top ranked tennis player for a record 237 straight weeks from February 2004 – August 2008 before being passed by Nadal. He has won a total of 12 Grand Slam singles titles (five Wimbledon, four U.S. Open, three Australian Open) and is closing in on Pete Sampras' record of 14, but the French Open title still eludes him. Federer has lost to defending French Open champion Nadal in the Finals in each of the last three years and in the semifinal round in 2005.

FEDERER VS. NADAL: NBC Sports analyst John McEnroe calls Federer-Nadal the "one of the greatest rivalries in sports." · They have been either No. 1 or No. 2 in the world since July 2005 with Federer holding the top spot for 237 consecutive weeks before Nadal surpassed him in
August 2008.

· The two have faced each other 20 times, 16 of those in tournament finals including a record seven Grand Slam finals.

· Nadal holds a 13-7 edge over Federer including wins in five of their seven Grand Slam final matches.

· Federer won the last match between them on clay at the Madrid Masters earlier this month but Nadal holds a 9-2 edge in the series on clay.

MCENROE ON THE RIVALRY: "Last year's Wimbledon final was the greatest match ever and for our sport it couldn't have come at a better time. Let's just hope that they keep it going for a few more years. Already, it is one of the best rivalries in sport."

MCENROE'S PREDICTION: "I have to go with Nadal to win his fifth straight French Open title."

MCENROE'S ON FEDERER WINNING IN MADRID: "It looked like Federer was trying to change his tactics which worked for him, and I think it would be a good idea at the French for Roger to change his tactics and play more aggressively, shortening the points and coming to the net."

MCENROE ON WHO COULD SURPRISE: "I don't think you're going to see any big surprises. The best-known players are going to come through. If Gael Monfils is healthy he can make a run. I don't think you're going to see a Gustavo Kuerten come out of nowhere as we've seen in the past."

The women's draw is wide open with Dinara Safina, last year's runner-up and the runner up to Serena Williams at the Australian Open, holding the top seed. Serena (No. 2) hasn't won the French Open since 2002 and her sister Venus (No. 3) has never won at Roland Garros. Last year's champion Ana Ivanovic won her first round match this year but is only the No. 8 seed. Other top seeds include Elena Dementieva (No. 4) and Jelena Jankovic (No. 7).

MCENROE ON WOMEN'S COMPETITION: "Dinara Safina is the favorite with the most confidence on clay but it's certainly wide open. There are only a handful of players who believe they can win including the Williams sisters, particularly Serena, who won a tough first round match."

COVERAGE ON NBC SPORTS: Following is the schedule for NBC Sports' coverage of the 2009 French Open, which culminates with live HD coverage of the women's (June 6) and men's (June 7) finals next weekend:

Saturday, May 30, 1:30-4:30 p.m. ET – Third Round
Sunday, May 31, 3-6 p.m. ET – Third and Fourth Round
Friday, June 5, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (all time zones) – Men's Semifinals
Saturday, June 6, 9 a.m.-Noon ET – Women's Final (Live)
Sunday, June 7, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. ET – Men's Final (Live)

FRENCH OPEN GOES MOBILE: Tennis fans that are on the go can once again watch the French Open live on their mobile phones through NBC 2Go and NBC Sports Mobile. Fans can also get live news and scores on their mobile devices through the NBC Sports Mobile site( http://m.nbcsports.com/) or by texting "TENNIS" to 51515 to sign-up for NBC Sports Mobile tennis alerts.

NBC AND THE FRENCH OPEN: In 1975, NBC became the first American television network to provide coverage of the French Open when the network signed a three-year deal with the French Tennis Federation. The tournament was covered by CBS from 1980-82 and returned to NBC in 1983, where it has remained since.

ABOUT NBC SPORTS CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON: NBC Sports Championship Season ties together seven iconic championship events with a combined 769 years of history in a 65 day period starting with the Kentucky Derby on May 2 and culminating with Wimbledon on July 5. NBC Sports Championship Season also includes The Players, the Preakness Stakes, the French Open, the Stanley Cup Final and the U.S. Open.

Afternoon update - Belichick's son arrested at Gillette Stadium

A few quick links for you afternoon -

* - WBZ-TV has news that the son of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was arrested for underage drinking at the NCAA Lacrosse Finals Monday at Gillette Stadium. Thanks to Pro Football Talk for the heads up.

* - Jets RB Thomas Jones reported to the Jets OTA's today, but fellow RB Leon Washington did not (NY Post).

* - Troubled free agent WR Plaxico Burress is reportedly telling people he'd love to play for the Dolphins (Miami Herald).

* - Fox Sports MLB Guru Ken Rosenthal has Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and his fight against the rumors of PED use.

* - Terrell Owens has already hurt the Bills. Well, he hurt cornerback Terrence McGee today by falling on him at least (ESPN.com)

* - Me thinks the whole North Korea nuclear scare is about to get ratched up to warp power (Reuters).

Back with more later!

Brady back in action for Patriots

Patriots.com has the exclusive video of QB Tom Brady back in action during Wednesday's OTA's for the Pats.

Here's the link to the video.



The lovely Kristina Akra has the story from Patriots Now!

Penguins to air on own HD Radio Channel

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins for advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals! They swept the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals with last night's win. I still thought the Bruins would've at least given the Pens a fight!

Anyway, I forgot to post this when I saw it, so I'll post it now. The Penguins have themselves a new radio deal in Pittsburgh and with it, they get their own HD Radio Channel, becoming the first pro sports franchise to do so.

Here's the full release from the Penguins website -

The Pittsburgh Penguins will launch a new HD radio channel in September, devoted specifically to the Penguins, the NHL and other hockey-related programming.

“Pittsburgh Penguins Radio” will be a joint effort with 105.9 The X (WXDX-FM), the team’s radio rightsholder, and will be heard on 105.9 HD-2 and pittsburghpenguins.com, beginning with training camp coverage in September.

The Penguins are the first team in professional sports to announce the creation of a channel that may be heard 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The Penguins always are looking for new ways to deliver unique content to the greatest fans in hockey, and we’re excited now to be the first team to venture into the world of 24/7 HD radio,” said Dave Soltesz, the Penguins’ senior vice president of corporate sales.

“We are thrilled that the Penguins have embraced the NHL team-branded audio concept,” said Gregg Baldinger, director of NHL Radio. “I can imagine that one of the pre-set radio choices for every Penguins fan is going to be Pittsburgh Penguins Radio.”

One highlight of the programming menu will be a live, local weekday show.

“It won’t be your ordinary talk show by any means,” Soltesz said. “The format of this show will be high energy, covering a variety of intriguing topics. Penguins fans are everywhere -- on Twitter, Facebook, texting, listening, watching -- looking for any information on our team and players. That’s what this show will be about. “

The station also will air “NHL Live,” a daily two-hour show that comes from NHL Radio, as well as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s weekly talk show, “NHL Hour.”

“In addition, we envision our fans being able to hear Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins games, classic Pittsburgh Penguins games, and a variety of other hockey-related programming,” Soltesz said.

Industry expert Bob Snyder of Beason Broadcast Partners has been working with the Penguins on the technology and growing reach of HD Radio.

“Over the next three years, I project that more than 75 models of cars will have HD-capable radios that are factory-installed, which means that Pittsburgh Penguins Radio will be available to a growing portion of commuters,” Snyder said. “In the meantime, we also will be streaming our programming via the internet 24/7, and we believe this will become one of the most popular features of pittsburghpenguins.com from day one.”

The Penguins and 105.9 The X (WXDX-FM) announced a new six-year broadcast rights agreement to have all regular season and playoff games carried on the station.

Good stuff and the kind of extra programming you'll see more and more in the future!

NBA Notes from TNT

From TNT -

Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Tuesday, May 26, 2009

TNT’s exclusive coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals continues on Thursday, May 28 with pre-game coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET, followed by Game #5 of the Orlando Magic @ Cleveland Cavaliers at 8:30 p.m. ET.


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


Smith on someone other than forward LeBron James needing to be a star for the Cavaliers: “Someone on Cleveland’s team has to commit to being a star other than LeBron James. In that locker room I don’t think it’s selfish to want to be a superstar on this stage. I’ve seen Mo Williams come off pick and rolls and if he’s not wide open he’s not taking a shot. In playoff basketball you have to create shots to become a star because everyone knows your offense and everyone knows your defense.”

Barkley on the Cavaliers needing guards Mo Williams and Delonte West to step up: “This game is going to come down to Mo Williams and Delonte West. No disrespect to the Cavaliers bench, but they don’t have anyone on their bench who is capable of getting 20 points, that’s just the fact of the matter. One or both of those guys need to step up or those guys (the Cavaliers) are in trouble.”

Nuggets head coach George Karl on a play in which Nuggets guard Dahntay Jones tripped Lakers guard Kobe Bryant: “Dahntay (Jones) plays an important role for us. He’s our poor man’s Bruce Bowen, or maybe our Duke Bruce Bowen. And he’s not a dirty guy, he just gets in you and that's how he has to play to be successful. He’s competing against one of the greatest players of all time (in Kobe Bryant) and contact’s going to happen. He’s going to get blown for a lot of whistles, but we’re not going to tell him to stop playing.”

Miller on the Lakers’ toughest players being their guards: “The physical nature of how Denver is playing L.A., that’s why they have the advantage. They have so many players who are going to bump and grind and hit and clinch and trip. Kobe Bryant, Trevor Ariza and Derek Fisher, those are the three toughest guys (for the Lakers) and they are guards. That’s never good.”

Smith on why the Lakers mentally toughness allows them to win games: “A lot of people don’t understand the difference between physicality and mental toughness. You can not be a physical team but be a mentally tough team and win basketball games, you don’t have to bump and grind all the time. Pau Gasol is one of the most skilled big men we have in basketball. Lamar Odom is probably one of the most skilled players in basketball. So they might not bump and grind, but if you have a mental toughness it doesn’t matter how much (your opponent might) push, how much they shove and how much they trip if you have mental toughness and you fight through in fortitude. So I still say the Lakers can win the series and win without having a physical presence because they can still be mentally tough and that wins ball games too.”

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Cleveland Cavaliers (114) @ Orlando Magic (116) in Overtime – The Magic lead the series 3-1.
Announcers: Marv Albert and Doug Collins; with Craig Sager reporting


TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Magic guard Rafer Alston before Game #4 of the Cavaliers @ Magic.

Alston on why the Magic will not guarantee a series win over the Cavaliers: “We don’t want to put that type of pressure on ourselves, this is a league where it’s already tough to win as it is and they are a good team with one of the best players to ever lace up a pair of shoes. We just want to come out and compete hard and hopefully we will get a win.”

Collins on whether Cavaliers forward LeBron James has lost trust in his teammates: “I don’t think there is any question that (LeBron James) doesn’t trust (his teammates) quite as much, that’s human nature when he’s got to bear the brunt of the winning and losing. He had 49 and 41 points in their two losses.”

Collins on the Cavaliers moving better without the basketball allowing forward LeBron James to pass the ball: “Cleveland is moving better without the basketball. They are not standing and watching LeBron, they are moving to open areas and he’s rewarding (them), he loves to pass.”

Collins on Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu: “(Hedo) Turkoglu is making great decisions with the ball, you can say, ‘oh that screen roll’ all you want, but your guy has to make the right decision and he’s making the right plays.”

Collins on Magic center Dwight Howard needing to get more involved in the paint: “I think the foul trouble is bothering (Dwight Howard), but he’s only got one tonight. He’s got to be more aggressive and he’s got to control the paint, (which is) a big part of his success. He’s the Defensive Player of the Year.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Cavaliers guard Mo Williams at halftime.

Williams on how his early morning at shootaround helped him gain confidence for Game #4: “Just a rhythm. I got game shots up, running off the screens just like you saw me shooting some shots today running off the screens, getting some in the break and I’m just making an effort to push the ball on the floor and keep them on the heels and play my type of basketball. The first three games I’ve been sitting back and playing off LeBron, I’ve got to initiate and be a threat on the floor.”

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T-Mobile Halftime Report
Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller and Kenny Smith


Miller on Cavaliers guard Mo Williams having a strong first half: “I’m glad (Mo Williams) was aggressive, that was the key. He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but getting to the three point line six times and going six for six. He took a few bad shots, but putting the bulls eye on your back when you’re going to guarantee a win, you’ve got to be the guy to come out and somewhat set the tone. You know LeBron James is going to be the one to finish, especially in the second half, but I liked how Mo came out and was looking to be aggressive offensively.”

Smith on Cavaliers guard Mo Williams helping forward LeBron James in the first half: “As I said earlier, you’re searching for someone who wants to be a star, that means (Mo Williams) has to be a little more aggressive and you have to try to take some risks on the offensive end and then you will take some pressure off of LeBron James. I thought all in all (James) became a finisher instead of a facilitator in that first half. In all those other games he was more of a facilitator with the ball, dribble, dribble, dribble and giving other people the shot. Today he got the ball from other people.”

Barkley on the inconsistent lineup Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown has chosen to play: “If I’m on the Cavaliers I have to question (Cavs coach) Mike Brown at some point. In one game he plays (Aleksandar) Pavlovic, in the next game he doesn’t play him, in the next game he doesn’t play (Wally) Szczerbiak, and he doesn’t play (Daniel) Gibson. He puts those guys in a very awkward situation. You’ve got to at least make them feel like there’s a chance they are going to play when they come to the game.”

Miller: “(Cavs coach) Mike Brown is searching for answers, he’s taking it game by game. He’s not looking at the series as a whole because every game has taken on a life of its own and I think that’s what they’re looking for from his bench players.”

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Collins on the Cavaliers starting the second half poorly: “So often how teams come out at halftime is so important. Cleveland, up eight, they came out very soft and Orlando is taking advantage of it.”

Collins on Magic center Dwight Howard guarding Cavaliers forward LeBron James: “Dwight Howard is waiting for LeBron James at the rim and he’s got a full head of steam. Dwight Howard has so much space and LeBron is going right at him and rolls off. So you can see why it’s been a nightmare cover for Howard, when you’ve got a guy coming at you with that much speed.”

Collins on Magic center Dwight Howard receiving his sixth technical foul, which will result in an automatic suspension if he receives a seventh: “They (Cavaliers) have tried to get in (Dwight Howard’s) head and get him upset. Now what you’ve got to be concerned about is you’ve got to stay away from a double technical where you get wrapped up with someone and they call two technical fouls or in a game down the road when something like this happens. So this is a very serious situation.”

Collins on the turnovers by Cavaliers forward LeBron James in the second half of the game after he passed into a group of Magic players causing a turnover in overtime: “LeBron James has made some careless plays in the fourth quarter and overtime. I know he’s hit some big shots, but trying to force a pass in there with no place to go…remember, he turned it over when he and Daniel Gibson had a miscommunication."

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Magic center Dwight Howard after the Magic defeated the Cavaliers to lead the series 3-1.

Howard on how the Magic won in Game #4: “I had to get myself going, my teammates found me in the right spot to score, but I just kept fighting. I don’t want to lose, I hate losing, especially on my home floor. We just came out ready tonight and we kept it going, we kept fighting to the end.”

Howard on whether he deserves a technical foul for his ‘taunting’ of the Cavaliers after a shot: “I hope the leagues looks at it, I was just so emotional because I made the basket. It wasn’t taunting, I wasn’t doing anything to the other team, I’m just happy because I made the basket. We get emotional out here on the court, but they shouldn’t have given me the technical.”

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


Smith, speaking from experience after two comebacks from 3-1 deficits in the playoffs, on how the Cavaliers must approach Game #5: “The mentality has to be you change your whole mental process starting tomorrow, saying, ‘there’s no way we lose going home.’ That has to be your logic. There’s no way, you have to have a delusion of grandeur right now. Then you say, ‘you know, what if we win at home? The pressure’s not on us, it’s on them because if they lose in Orlando again we come back and there’s no way we lose a Game #7.’ So your delusion starts now, it might not be accurate, but that’s the thought process that I know we had two times coming back out of those holes.”

Barkley on the Cavaliers: “The Cleveland Cavaliers, you can paint it how you want to, they aren’t playing well. LeBron James is not getting any help.”

Smith on the Cavaliers without forward LeBron James: “If you took off the best player on every team that’s left in the playoffs, probably the Cleveland Cavaliers don’t have the best talent. But they have played collectively the best basketball (in the first two series), but they are not showing that because they are not being aggressive on the offensive end and they are making LeBron James work entirely too hard on the offensive end.”

Barkley on Magic center Dwight Howard getting dunks during overtime: “You can’t let Dwight Howard get all these dunks. He’s got to make 14 or 18 free throws a game. He dunked the first three plays in overtime that cannot happen. You’ve got to bring it, Ben Wallace, or you got to bring it Joe Smith, you’ve got to grab him.”

Smith on the technical foul given to Magic center Dwight Howard for ‘taunting’: “If that’s a technical, after every basket there’s a technical.”

Miller on whether the Cavaliers will force a Game #6 by winning at home: “Yes (we will return to Orlando for Game #6). The reason why I say that is the Cavs played fantastic all year, they had the best home record all year, this is really going to show me a lot about the MVP and his team. You look at the look on Mo Williams face and it scares me with the way he’s talking and pausing in between, I worry about that.”

Log onto TNT OverTime on NBA.com for a full replay of Inside the NBA and exclusive reports from TNT announcers.

Cavs lose, down 3-1 - ABC Exec's About to Cry!

That loud, screeching moaning sound you heard last night is the disappointment building from the ABC TV executives. You see, the pests that won't go away, otherwise known as the Orlando Magic, beat King LeBron James and the Cavs in overtime last night, 116-114 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Yes, the Cavs still have two of three in Cleveland, but do you really expect them to win three straight over the Magic? No!

Add to that the Lakers are still tied with the Nuggets going into tonight's game 5 of the Western Conference Finals in LA (9pm, ESPN), and there's good reason the ABC Family of Networks are down in the dumps.

Do you honestly believe America wants a Magic/Nuggets NBA Finals (or really a Lakers/Magic Finals for that matter!)?

For sure, ABC execs don't! They'll be saying their prayers that King James has one more miracle left in him. If not, they'll be on their knees crying!

Wednesday's MLB Pitching Probables

1:05 p.m. ET STL Todd Wellemeyer (4-4, 5.19) at MLW Manny Parra (3-5, 5.79)

1:35 p.m. ET TOR Roy Halladay (8-1, 2.52) at BAL Rich Hill (1-0, 3.18)

2:10 p.m. ET DET Rick Porcello (5-3, 3.55) at KC Kyle Davies (2-3, 4.78)

2:20 p.m. ET PIT Zach Duke (5-4, 2.77) at CHC Carlos Zambrano (3-2, 4.64)

3:10 p.m. ET LA Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 4.32) at COL Ubaldo Jimenez (3-5, 4.25)

3:35 p.m. ET SEA Erik Bedard (2-2, 2.64) at OAK Trevor Cahill (2-4, 4.62)

7:05 p.m. ET TB Andy Sonnanstine (3-4, 6.60) at CLE Jeremy Sowers (1-2, 7.71)

7:05 p.m. ET FLA Hayden Penn (1-0, 6.97) at PHI Brett Myers (4-2, 4.34)

7:10 p.m. ET HOU Felipe Paulino (1-3, 6.90) at CIN Bronson Arroyo (6-3, 5.79)

7:10 p.m. ET WAS Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 5.71) at NYM Johan Santana (6-2, 1.50)

8:05 p.m. ET NYY A.J. Burnett (2-2, 5.28) at TEX Derek Holland (1-1, 4.82)

8:10 p.m. ET BOS Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-2, 10.32) at MIN Kevin Slowey (6-1, 4.23)

9:40 p.m. ET SD Jake Peavy (4-5, 3.48) at ARZ Billy Buckner (1-0, 6.35)

10:05 p.m. ET CWS Gavin Floyd (3-4, 6.54) at ANA Jered Weaver (3-2, 2.52)

10:15 p.m. ET ATL Kenshin Kawakami (3-5, 4.73) at SF Randy Johnson (3-4, 6.26)