random ramblings fred riecke, gamblersdata

 

foundation room

 

…If Mandalay Bay’s House of Blues was one of your favorite spots, the whole world now knows why.  The Mandalay Bay Resort plans to pay a half-million-dollar fine after employees at an upscale Las Vegas Strip lounge provided prostitutes and drugs to undercover officers. The Nevada Gaming Control Board filed a proposed settlement with the casino this week. It’s awaiting approval by the Nevada Gaming Commission. Authorities say undercover officers bought cocaine, ecstasy and other drugs from employees of the House of Blues Foundation Room over the summer of 2012. Officials say employees also connected officers with four prostitutes and a private room for sex. The sting caught 10 employees and five non-employees engaging in this kind of illegal activity. Two have been arrested, according to Gaming Control Board Enforcement Chief Karl Bennison, and more arrests may be in the works. The arrests were delayed to avoid disruption to the operation.

…A recent study conducted by a professor at Xavier University concludes that the city of Seattle boasts the most rabid sports fans in America. Christian End, who studies the social behavior of sports fans, examined obituaries to conduct the study. And he found that 21 percent of all obituaries from Seattle made a reference to being a sports fan. Atlanta (20 percent) and Cincinnati (19) finished second and third, respectively. I would have guessed New York.  But surely New York fans get the prize for most obnoxious!

…One of Las Vegas’ gaming legends passed away on Wednesday at the age of 93. John “Jackie” Gaughan, who once controlled a quarter of the gaming in Downtown, Las Vegas, had spent the last part of his life living in a hotel above the El Cortez. Despite his old age and dementia, he could occasionally be seen playing poker in the casino. A 2009 column by the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s John L. Smith called the elder Gaughan “the last king left in the old Vegas deck.”

…Add Vegas Legend – Gaughan purchased the El Cortez, currently the city’s oldest operational casino, in 1963. “Few people have influenced Las Vegas and Nevada like Jackie Gaughan,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement. “He played an important role in the history of Las Vegas, helping shape it into the city we know today. There is no question his incredible legacy will be felt for generations to come.” Gaughan is the father of South Point Casino owner Michael Gaughan. “Las Vegas lost a legend today and the El Cortez lost its patriarch in Jackie,” El Cortez owner Kenny Epstein said in a statement. “But his vision for the gaming industry and his presence as a beloved member of the El Cortez family will be felt for years to come.”

…Well, the NCAA has gone all NCAA and disallowed the Baylor Bears to wear the custom “Sic ‘Em Bears” uniforms that Adidas created for them in homage to March Madness. Adidas created a social media buzz last week when it released the unprecedented drabs for Baylor. However, as the NCAA typically does, the fun is being diffused on the account that only team names or mascots can be on the front of jerseys. That NCAA knows how to be a party pooper for sure.  And that is a very polite description of an archaic organization that has long outlived its necessity.

…Kobe Bryant is not in the mood to wait for the Lakers front office to build a contender any longer beyond this season. According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, Bryant is expecting the franchise to make significant overhauls this summer in order to improve the roster. The star guard, who was officially ruled out for the rest of the season on Wednesday, will not accept anything less, apparently. As it stands now, the Lakers certainly have their work out for them to meet the demands of their superstar. Entering play Wednesday, Los Angeles was tied with Utah and Sacramento for the worst record in the Western Conference.

…Add Kobe – if he truly wants the Lakers to compete he needs to rewrite the ridiculous contract he just signed for two years.  Kobe took the Lakers for a mammoth $48.5 million for the next two years.  Clearly the Lakers were paying Kobe this gigantic amount based on what he has done and not on what he will probably do.  So if he wants to field a competitive team, it’s clearly sign for him to take less.  And we know that is not going to happen.

…Francisco Rodriguez has taken Cactus League play to a whole new level. The veteran Milwaukee Brewers reliever stepped barefoot on a cactus earlier this week and may not be able to make his scheduled spring training debut Thursday, manager Ron Roenicke told reporters Wednesday morning. Francisco Rodriguez may miss his scheduled spring training debut Thursday after stepping barefoot on a cactus earlier this week. Roenicke said the mishap occurred either Monday night or during the team’s off-day Tuesday. Rodriguez was having the remainder of the cactus’ spines removed from his foot Wednesday morning. Rodriguez signed a one-year deal with the Brewers in February, then arrived late to spring camp after acquiring a work visa and leaving the unsettled situation in his native Venezuela.

…Add Frankie Rodriguez injury – Rodriguez’s prickly situation may be the most recent, but it’s far from the only bizarre baseball injury to have occurred. Some others: former AL Rookie of the Year Marty Cordova fell asleep in a tanning bed and had to miss one game in 2002 due to burns;  Sammy Sosa landed on the disabled list in 2004 after a violent sneeze while talking to reporters at his locker led to back spasms; Joel Zumaya had to miss part of the 2006 AL Championship Series due to a sore wrist later deemed to have been suffered from playing the video game “Guitar Hero;” Reliever Josh Outman strained his oblique after violently vomiting due to a bout of food poisoning in 2002; Brewers general manager Doug Melvin spent several hours in an Arizona hospital last March after he was stung by a scorpion; Boston Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy has yet to pitch this spring after cutting his left index finger with a fishing knife earlier this month.

…More from the injury department include: John Smoltz missed a start cause he burned himself ironing his shirt – WHILE HE WAS WEARING IT!  Jonathan Lucroy closed a suitcase on his hand and missed 6 weeks. David Morrissey’s wife dropped a suitcase on his hand and broke it!  Richie Sexson once strained his neck squeezing his cap on his big head!  And hey, trust me, I’m not making these up.  And numerous players have been sidelined after tripping over their dog – allegedly!

…Here are some baseball facts for you to ponder and try to figure out why:  Fact 1: Major League Baseball players, as a collective whole, batted .253 in 2013. That was the lowest batting average for the group in 41 years, and it also represented the seventh consecutive season in which the league’s mark declined. Fact 2: Major League Baseball hitters, as a collective whole, struck out in 19.9 percent of their trips to the plate, the highest single-season mark in the history of the game. That number has now risen in eight consecutive seasons. The obvious answer would be that the pitchers are better but I don’t buy that.  And of course there are the ubiquitous PED’s to consider. ESPN’s Tristan H. Cockroft has another explanation – These facts are hardly coincidental, and they reveal a growing swing-freely, trade-average-for-power trend permeating the game. He may be right!

…The bizarre story of former San Diego State running back Adam Muema took yet another strange twist when Muema tweeted that he won’t be playing football anymore. Apparently, Muema believes the world is coming to an end soon, thus there’s no need to spend what little time he has to play football. Muema made headlines last month after leaving the NFL Scouting Combine early because God told him he would play for the Seattle Seahawks. Then he went MIA for nearly a week before finally calling a friend to pick him up at the Ft. Lauderdale airport. The fourth-leading rusher in San Diego State history was projected as a late-round pick before the combine. Now, it seems unlikely Muema will ever play in the NFL at all.

…Imagine Brent Musburger trying to intimidate Charles Barkley.  Charles Barkley decided to open up old wounds this week when he revealed that CBS announcers weren’t so nice to Turner Sports announcers during last year’s NCAA Tournament. In fact, Sir Charles basically called out the CBS guys for being very hostile, perhaps trying to intimidate Barkley and his Turner Sports gang in fear of being replaced. “Some of these [CBS] guys are jerkoffs. They didn’t treat us very well, because they thought we were trying to take their jobs.

…There’s way too much about Nancy Pelosi to dislike without her going out of her way to be even more unlikeable.  But that has never stopped her before.  While many have called on Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the team’s name, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, Calif.) is proposing an alternate strategy: hitting Snyder’s wallet. Pelosi, speaking Thursday at an event hosted by the National Congress of American Indians, called for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to tell the NFL that the league can’t keep the registered trademark for the Washington Redskins. The trademark prevents unlicensed vendors from making and selling merchandise with the team name and logo. During her speech, Pelosi said: “We all respect freedom of speech, but the trademark office has rejected names which are considered offensive and they should do it now. They can keep their name on the team, but when it comes to all the stuff — that’s serious money. So I think that is one path that we can go.”  Okay, Nancy.  You might have gained some Indian support with your passionate plea.  Unfortunately, every poll that has taken up the issue has found that a majority of American Indians do not object.

…Chris Fowler has won the Brent Musburger sweepstakes. ESPN officially named Fowler as Musburger’s play-by-play replacement for ABC’s Saturday Night Football package on Thursday. Fowler will work with analyst Kirk Herbstreit and sideline reporter Heather Cox for that assignment, as well as for the new College Football Playoff including the national championship game. As important to college football fans, Fowler will continue to host College GameDay, a position he has held since 1990. The 51-year-old will also remain a commentator on ESPN’s tennis coverage, which includes the Australian Open, French Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon.

…Add Musburger demotion – In a phone interview with SI.com on Wednesday, Musburger said he was excited about calling SEC games. “This is not, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m not doing the national championship game,'” he said. “I’m going to spend that night, in fact, with my wife and sons in Montana. We’ll sell (betting) squares, and have a great time. I’m in a very good place. I’m an old guy with a three-year contract and I can afford to buy my own beer.”

… When odds to win Super Bowl 49 were posted just after the surprising beatdown the Broncos took in Super Bowl 48, there weren’t many people running to the bet windows to take their chances with Denver again. But when they signed cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward on Tuesday and followed that up with landing pass rusher DeMarcus Ware on Wednesday, books took notice, even without taking many futures bets on last season’s runner-up. “We’re just paying close attention the moves right now and reacting quickly just to be safe,” said South Point sports book director Bert Osborne. “This team probably has one shot left, and the moves they made have made what was already a contending team even better.” The South Point opened Denver at 7-to-1 odds to win next season’s Super Bowl, but with so much action coming in quickly on Seattle, dropping the Seahawks from 8-to-1 all the way down 3-to-1, the Broncos’ odds were raised to 9-to-1. With the new acquisitions, the Broncos are now 6-to-1, which is third on the South Point’s futures board behind San Francisco (9-to-2) and Seattle. Over at the LVH SuperBook, oddsmakers dropped the Broncos from 7-to-1 to 6-to-1 as a precautionary move to see how bettors will react to the acquisitions.

…The latest reports on TMZ.com claim that Floyd Mayweather suspected two of his employees of stealing jewelry from him and he had them kidnapped and nearly beaten to death. The reports claim that both men were hospitalized for days with broken arms and legs. They swore that they didn’t steal anything and it turns out that they were most likely telling the truth. But they got beaten badly in the meantime.  There is no way to know the truth about this story yet, butthe men have allegedly hired a high-power attorney. It looks like they know that there could be a huge payday in their future. Not that a settlement will take away their pain and suffering. But Floyd surely knows that kidnapping and attempted murder are serious charges that could derail his May 3 fight, as well as the rest of his career. So he may try to compensate these men with an offer they can’t refuse. Again, this is all speculation.

…TMZ.com has obtained the x-rays of two men who claim to have been assaulted by boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr.’s crew. The two individuals were accused of stealing jewelry from the fighter’s home.  Mayweather reportedly ordered his crew to beat the two men to a pulp. One of the victims had X-rays taken after the alleged incident and they show a variety of painful injuries, including: broken right pinkie; severe swelling of the left hand; broken left ulna; cracked right ulna;multiple fractures in left hand that required pins to reset the bones. TMZ writes: “We’re told the left arm was so badly broken, doctors drilled into the bone to attach a titanium plate so it would reset. “

…Rutgers can’t seem to get away from one bad news story to the next bad news story. Here’s the latest courtesy of DEADSPIN.   Just over a month after Rutgers was humiliated by the Mike Rice player abuse scandal, the Scarlet Knights basketball program has found itself back in the news for the wrong reasons: New head coach and former RU basketball star Eddie Jordan never graduated from the university. Deadspin checked with the registrar’s office, which said Jordan did not graduate from the school despite the following line in his bio: “RU’s all-time leader in both assists (585) and steals (220), “Fast Eddie” scored 1,632 career points and earned honorable mention All-American honors as a senior in 1977 before earning a degree in health and physical education.” Not only does Jordan’s bio claim he graduated, it’s very taboo for a college head coach not to have a degree because of the example it sets for student athletes. Former Houston coach Clyde Drexler and ex-NC State head man Sidney Lowe both had to take additional college courses before coaching at their alma maters in recent years. According to Deadspin, Jordan accumulated 103 credits, which was not sufficient to graduate. And I will add one more thing – DEADSPIN is most often right.

…Most NFL players would be considered pretty free spenders.  Then again, others are downright cheap.  Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Christian Ponder may have a nice check to cash from having a job in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean he won’t slum it at Arby’s once in a while. In fact, Ponder must have taken a liking to the fast food joint, because he took his beautiful wife, Samantha Ponder, to Arby’s for their wedding dinner. I’m guessing that will cost him dearly in the future.

…Former University of Maine running back Zedric Joseph was arrested on Wednesday (March 12, 2014) in Richmond County, Georgia. Joseph, 23, was arrested in connection with a murder in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is accused of fatally stabbing a 23-year-old man on March 7th. He is also accused of stabbing a 23-year-old woman through the hand. Joseph, a senior, finished his NCAA eligibility following the 2013 season. He was suspended from the school on March 8 after the University learned of this incident.

…Phil Ivey dismissed rumors being spread by fellow poker pro Dan Bilzerian that he is broke. “People can say what they’re going to say… I don’t really feed into that. His opinion is his opinion… He really doesn’t know my financial status,” Ivey said during a rare interview conducted by Bluff Europe. “Phil Ivey just went broke,” Bilzerian told CardPlayer.com in a January interview. Ivey, who is the biggest money earner in the game of poker today, went on to win the AUD$4,000,000 in the Aussie Millions LK Boutique Challenge last month.

…The Chicago Cubs are in the market for a new team psychologist after the Lovable Losers fired their old one. According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, the ultimate decision was made by president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, who could no longer take the oddness of team shrink Marc Strickland’s presence in the organization. Not only was Marc Strickland available for consultation with players, the specialist in sports psychology had his own locker at home and on the road, dressed in team workout gear and played catch and shagged balls before games during batting practice. Early in his first year in the majors, Strickland even stood in the dugout tunnel at Wrigley Field after victories, bumping fists with players as though he was part of the team.

…Red Sox prospect Jon Denney, a 19-year-old catcher, was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with driving with a suspended license. A report issued by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said Denney was arrested at 4:06 a.m. Denney was initially pulled over at 11:57 p.m. in the Fort Myers Beach area when his black Ford F-150 Raptor was observed accelerating quickly through a stop sign, causing the pickup truck to fishtail. Denney produced a passport and an Arkansas license that was restricted for business and emergency purposes because of a previous DUI arrest. Denney told police he was “partying” and called a friend to drive him home. Two hours later, police saw Denney get back in his truck and drive out of a parking lot. He was stopped again and told police he was giving the woman with him a ride home. According to the police report, Denney “became belligerent and started to cuss” at two officers. Denney then said he was a Red Sox player and made more money than the officers would ever see. After being handcuffed, Denney allegedly said he would be freed quickly because he played for the Sox and made $3 million a year. Police later determined Denney’s license was suspended and he was booked on a charge of knowingly driving while his license was revoked, a misdemeanor. He was released at 8:30 a.m. after posting a $500 bond.

 

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