random ramblings fred riecke gamblersdata

…According to Ian Baker-Finch, Tiger Woods’ real problem is “fear.” The CBS broadcaster was a guest on SEN Radio in Melbourne, Australia, and was asked, based on his relationship with Woods, if he would be inclined to “interfere” or intervene with some advice to help the 14-time major winner. “I would love Tiger to just go play golf every day and stay away from the machines and the mechanics and the trying to be perfect,” Baker-Finch said. “I’d like to just see him go play and shoot a score every day and enjoy golf again and maybe even learn to play again, if that’s the right terminology. I think he’s forgotten how to play golf. I think he’s trying to play with a perfect swing every day, every time.” Asked to respond to Woods’ troubles taking his game from the range to the course, Baker-Finch, citing some of the circumstances that led to his own decision to walk away from competitive golf, hit on the fear factor. “I would hit 50 perfect drives on the range, and snap-hook it off the first tee,” he said. “[Woods] does exactly the same thing. At the first tee at Augusta every year he’s so nervous he hits it 100 yards off line, and he’s just hit 50 perfect drives on the range. You can’t tell me that that’s a bad back, or a swing flaw. It’s totally mental. It’s a fear.

…Tiger Woods said his golf is not acceptable for the PGA Tour and he will not return until it is. Woods shot a career-worst 82 to miss the cut in the Phoenix Open by 12 shots. He was playing poorly at Torrey Pines when he withdrew after 11 holes because of tightness in his back. Tiger Woods said his golf is not acceptable for the PGA Tour and he will not return until it is. Woods said Wednesday on his website that the injury is not related to the back surgery he had last spring. He said he is having physical therapy every day and feeling better. “Right now, I need a lot of work on my game, and to still spend time with the people that are important to me,” he said. “My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf. Like I’ve said, I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I’m ready, I’ll be back.”

…Following in the footsteps of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the new head of Major League Baseball, Rob Manfred, told ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Thursday that “it’s important for baseball to give fresh consideration to the issue” of sports betting. According to CBS Sports, his position, along with the league’s owners, would at best be support of potential federal legislation that would OK Las Vegas-style sports books in more states than just Nevada. It hasn’t yet been spelled out how the MLB and NBA would profit from this.

…Earlier this month a federal judge said that evidence collected against high-stakes poker player and wealthy Malaysian businessman Paul Phua was obtained via shady FBI methods, but
the case is still set to go to trial this spring, the Associated Press reported. Prosecutors still have time to appeal the decision to discard evidence against Phua. The April trial
date reportedly is tentative. The case may be dropped if prosecutors lose their appeal to have the evidence included. Phua is accused of conducting illegal online sports gambling out
of villa at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. He has been ordered to stay out of casino poker rooms in the meantime.

…Ten-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Doyle Brunson said on his Twitter early Friday that he will soon be undergoing his 12th major surgery in his life. Brunson will be
having a melanoma growth removed. “Got my third melanoma confirmed today,” Brunson said. “Early stages; should be simple operation. Fortunately, it’s on my head and everybody knows I’m
hardheaded.” He has had melanoma taken care of twice before, but at 81 years of age Brunson admitted that it’s a serious operation and he needs lady luck on his side.

…Domestic violence charges against Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy have been dismissed, with his accuser not making herself available to help with the case, prosecutors
announced Monday. Domestic violence charges against Greg Hardy have been dismissed. Hardy’s appeal of his 2014 conviction was scheduled to begin Monday morning at the Mecklenburg
County Courthouse, but his accuser, ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder, did not show up for the hearing. In a statement explaining the decision to dismiss charges, the district attorney’s
office said it has “reliable information” that Holder and Hardy have reached a civil settlement and that she has “intentionally made herself unavailable to the State.” Prosecutors have
been unable to locate Holder to issue her a subpoena, which would have compelled her to testify in the trial. Holder’s civil attorney also has refused to assist prosecutors in locating
his client.

…Add Hardy Case – DA Murray would not comment on whether Holder had reached a settlement or anything else surrounding the case. Hardy requested the jury trial July 15 after
Mecklenburg District Court Judge Rebecca Thorne Tin found the 2013 Pro Bowl selection guilty of assaulting and threatening Holder. Under North Carolina law, his appeal set aside the
guilty verdict. Prosecutors last spoke with Holder in November, and at that time she indicated she wasn’t interested in participating in another trial. She has not spoken with them
since then, they said in the statement. Hardy left the courthouse without comment. He played only one game last season but received $13.1 million from Carolina after being designated
the franchise tag in February. Hardy was placed on the inactive roster in Week 2, days after the NFL’s climate regarding domestic violence changed with the release of a video showing
then-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in a casino elevator. Hardy was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list before Week 3 until his case
was resolved. General manager Dave Gettleman said after the July 15 verdict that “what’s happened with Greg is very concerning and disappointing.” “His status remains unchanged until
we fully review the matter,” the NFL said Monday.

…After months of considering his options, veteran Ray Allen plans to decide his NBA future after All-Star Weekend, sources told ESPN.com. Allen, 39, still has not decided whether he
wants to return for a 19th season but has been keeping in shape and doing on-court work to keep his options open. Additionally, Allen has been in contact with teams to explore his
possibilities and may take meetings during the upcoming All-Star break. Numerous teams have been staying in touch with Allen in hopes of signing him, including the Washington Wizards,
Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and, recently, the Atlanta Hawks.

…Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre’s left knee is “100 percent” healed. Less than one year after he tore his left ACL, St-Pierre has resumed training in Montreal. He
has not fought since November 2013, but says he would “love” to do so again under the right circumstances. “I still have the competitive itch,” St-Pierre told ESPN.com. “It doesn’t go
away.” St-Pierre, 33, says he is not close to announcing a return to professional fighting, however, due largely to what he believes to be the rampant use of performance-enhancing
drugs in mixed martial arts — and a broken system in place to fix it. “That’s a very big factor for me [to come back],” St-Pierre said. “I’m wealthy and I’m happy. I retired on top.
I don’t need to risk taking a fight again. Maybe I would get someone who is cheating. I retired on top. … If I fight again, I want a fair fight. I want it to be legit. Right now,
the system is not in place for that. ”
— Former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, on the fallacies of drug testing in MMA

…Add St. Pierre on UFC Drug Issues – “I’ve never said these things to downgrade the UFC,” St-Pierre said. “I’m a UFC guy. I want to see the UFC elevated. The UFC claims to be the
most prestigious organization in the world. I believe it’s up to them to take the first step. Not Bellator MMA or another organization. If another organization makes a move, I think it
would take from the UFC’s stardom. “If I were in charge, I would take the money and use it for this. They have money. These are pretty wealthy people. I’m sure they can afford it.”
If and when a year-round, independent program is implemented, St-Pierre predicts it will immediately turn the sport on its head. Entire rankings will change, as PED users’ performances
decline. “We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg,” he said. And if and when that day comes, St-Pierre will consider fighting again. “If the UFC makes the testing by a third party
who is independent, with no financial interest and is competent, I will think twice about it,” St-Pierre said. “I won’t say I will do it, but I would let it play out more in my mind.”

…The Bucks just played their 11th game since Larry Sanders was suspended at least 10 games for violating the NBA’s drug rules, and he wasn’t active. What gives? Charles F. Gardner of
the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: the suspension will not end until he is in “full compliance” with his treatment program, a league spokesman confirmed Friday. When Sanders is determined
to be in full compliance, the team will be notified by the league and be able to publicize that, the spokesman said. The league announced this condition when suspending Sanders, so
it’s no surprise Sanders has not been reinstated. Sanders is reportedly trying to stop using marijuana and continue his NBA career. There’s a sense this will be a long-term process.
How eager are the Bucks for his return? They’re playing well without him, and his suspension gives them an extra roster spot. There’s no evidence Milwaukee has been anything less than
fully supportive, but the league’s rules could put the team in an awkward position once Sanders nears compliance.

…OK, it’s not the Hall of Fame. But it’s a Hall of Fame nonetheless. From the San Francisco Chronicle: Few understand the history of Bay Area sports like Barry Bonds, who has lived
it and made it. He’s now getting honored for it. “It’s great. Being a Bay Area guy, it’s awesome. It’s wonderful,” said Bonds of his selection to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.
The story says he got more votes than any other candidate.

…Former Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett was one of the greatest running backs of his era. During an 11-year span from 1977-1987, the Hall of Famer tallied 15,468 total yards
and 85 touchdowns on over 3,100 touches. Playing at a time when the National Football League didn’t focus on head injuries and trauma to the brain, Dorsett didn’t think too much about
his long-term future and what playing in the NFL might do to him after retiring. In a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News, Dorsett touched on how his post-NFL life has been
impacted by continual blows to the head during his playing days. “I signed up for this when, I guess, I started playing football so many years ago,” he said. “But, obviously, not
knowing that the end was going to be like this. But I love the game. The game was good to me. It’s just unfortunate that I’m going through what I’m going through. I’m in the fight,
man. I’m not just laying around letting this overtake me. I’m fighting. I’m in the battle. I’m hoping we can reverse this thing somehow.” Dorsett was diagnosed with CTE in November of
2013 after undergoing brain scans and evaluations at UCLA. For his part, Dorsett has indicated that he’s gone through bouts with depression and dementia – both symptoms of CTE – over
the years.

…Some of Warren Sapp’s NFL Network colleagues apparently are quite happy that the analyst is no longer their co-worker. The NFL Hall of Famer, who was unceremoniously fired after his
arrest for allegedly soliciting a prostitute as well as assault in Phoenix, Ariz., early Monday morning following Super Bowl XLIX. According to a TMZ report, at least a dozen of Sapp’s
colleagues anonymously came forward and expressed relief that the “unpredictable” on-air talent is no longer with NFL Network. Sapp’s co-workers, “ranging from low-level people all the
way up to big shots,” told TMZ that there was some kind of “Sapp Disclaimer” that unofficially was in play during his tenure with the network. The no-nos on the so-called disclaimer
included that one shouldn’t look him in the eyes, that it was not advisable to try and befriend him as well as the edict that he wanted to be referred to as “Warren,” never Sapp.

… Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez’s fiancée has been granted immunity sought by prosecutors in his murder trial. The decision released by a judge Tuesday means that
Shayanna Jenkins could be compelled to testify or face time behind bars. Prosecutors filed the petition last month, and Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh held a closed hearing at that
time but did not immediately release a decision. All details of the petition were sealed at the time it was filed. The court said it was because the petition contains grand jury
testimony. It wasn’t clear when or if Jenkins would be called to testify. Hernandez is charged with the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating Jenkins’ sister. Jenkins has
been seen often in court during the trial, sitting behind Hernandez to support him. The two have been heard whispering “I love you” to each other and occasionally joking together.
Jenkins last week also shared notes with Hernandez’s defense team after her sister testified against Hernandez. She still lives in the couple’s North Attleborough mansion with their 2
-year-old daughter. Prosecutors have said Jenkins lied to a grand jury dozens of times, including when she said she didn’t know what she did with a box she took from the basement of
their home that prosecutors say contained possible evidence. She has pleaded not guilty to perjury.

…Little League Baseball has met to review facts surrounding the eligibility of the Chicago-based team that won the 2014 U.S. championship, amid allegations that the much-celebrated
squad violated a rule prohibiting the use of players who live outside the geographic area that the team represents. The Jackie Robinson West Little League team is accused of using
players from outside its local area by recruiting players from neighboring districts. Stephen Keener, CEO of Little League Baseball, told ESPN that the findings of a recent review of
the matter are complete and were evaluated Tuesday. He declined to say whether Jackie Robinson West, the first all-African-American team to win the championship, could be stripped of
its title, as one of its rivals has called for. Keener said the organization likely would release a statement on its findings Wednesday. A source close to the investigation told ESPN’s
Karl Ravech that it would not be a surprise if the decision results in the title changing hands and the suspensions of officials.

…Add Little League flap – reporters from Chicago website DNAinfo.com, say the squad has been accused of using players from outside its local area by recruiting players from
neighboring Little League districts to build what amounts to a superteam. Little League embraces policies designed to preserve traditional community-based leagues in which classmates
play with classmates, friends with friends. But in 2014, Jackie Robinson West officials reportedly expanded their territory to overlap with neighboring leagues.

…Online poker site 888, which has been offering games in regulated U.S. markets, has been approached by U.K. bookmaking powerhouse William Hill about a possible merger, according to
reporting Tuesday from Reuters. William Hill reportedly would be willing to spend more than $1.1 billion for 888. Shares in Gibraltar-based 888 jumped 20 percent thanks to the news.
“The board of the company confirms that it received an approach regarding a possible offer for the company by William Hill,” 888 said in a statement. “There can be no certainty,
however, that any firm offer will be made.” According to the report, 888 might want more than what William Hill is tentatively offering, but the bookmaker, which also has roots in
Nevada, probably won’t go any higher. 888 has an existing relationship with the WSOP for online poker in New Jersey and Nevada. In addition, it is the back-end technology for online
gaming in Delaware.

… A juror was dismissed in the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez on Wednesday, marking the second time in two weeks a panelist has been removed from
the case. Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh told jurors after a short session Wednesday morning that they may have noticed another empty seat in the jury box. Aaron Hernandez sits with
attorney Charles Rankin on Wednesday. “That was for reasons that were entirely personal to that juror,” Garsh said. “It has nothing to do with this case.” She did not elaborate.
It was the same explanation Garsh gave to jurors last week when she dismissed a juror. In that instance, Garsh said in court out of the jury’s presence that there was evidence the
juror had discussed the case in detail and expressed the belief that it would be difficult to convict Hernandez without the murder weapon, which has never been found. Hernandez is
charged in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins. The panel is now made up of 16 jurors, and 12 will ultimately decide
Hernandez’s fate. Alternates will be selected randomly immediately before deliberations.

…There are no easy answers in the latest legal development involving the PGA Tour. Last week, more than 80 caddies joined a class-action lawsuit claiming rights to some $50 million
annually in endorsement income for bibs they are required to wear each week that are adorned with the title sponsor’s logo. While the tour could easily rescind the bib requirement and
go with logo-less apparel, this is clearly seen as a way to call attention to the caddies’ plight and perhaps get the tour to budge in other areas as well, such as health care and
retirement benefits. The biggest problem? Caddies are not PGA Tour employees. Neither are the players, for that matter, although they have a lucrative pension program, access to health
care and numerous other perks that make the life of a professional golfer pretty sweet.

…The Oakland Raiders, worth an estimated $970 million, are late on their rent payment to the Oakland Coliseum. It might be not be what it seems, but the Raiders were due to pay
$400,000 for playing at O.co last season. That deadline has since come and gone without the stadium receiving the funds. According to The Coliseum’s executive director Deena McClain,
the Raiders are withholding the funds because of “certain claims” regarding the team’s lease with the worn down venue. She did go on to explain that the Raiders do expect to pay last
season’s rent when a lease agreement to play at that location next season is finalized. A potential deal to allow the Raiders to play at O.co does have to pass through the city
council, which held up the approval of the Oakland Athletics 10-year lease agreement last season before Major League Baseball stepped in and threatened to allow the A’s to move from
Oakland. This is just the latest in a long line of issues between the Raiders, the Oakland Coliseum Stadium Authority and the City of Oakland itself.

…Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones has been ordered to pay $12.4 million to the victims of a Las Vegas shooting after he lost an appeal before the Nevada Supreme Court.If you
remember, Two doormen at a Las Vegas strip club sued Jones after they were shot during an incident in 2007. Jones didn’t pull the trigger, but a jury found he incited the melee at the
strip club that precipitated the shooting by ‘making it rain.’ The bulk of the $12.4 million will go to Tommy Urbanski, who was paralyzed in the shooting. Urbanski’s co-worker Aaron
Cudworth was also shot and awarded damages from Jones, though Cudworth’s injuries were not as severe. Jones attorneys contend that he can’t afford to pay that amount.

…Add Pacman – TMZ reports that the Cincinnati Bengals cornerback was kicked out of Hollywood Casino in Indiana Wednesday morning. The casino would not comment on the situation, but
records show a call was made to police close to 1:00 a.m. to report a “disorderly person.” The casino would not say whether Pacman was kicked out, but witnesses supposedly say he was.
Pacman is said to be a regular at the casino and reportedly has been a pain in the behind on numerous occasions. To be clear: Jones was not arrested and did not break any laws — he was
just kicked out of a casino supposedly for his behavior.

…Former NBA player and college basketball analyst Greg Anthony has reached an agreement to have his soliciting a prostitute charge dropped. The Associated Press reports that Anthony
has agreed to complete 32 hours of community service and remain on probation for four months in what is called a deferred prosecution agreement. Anthony will be allowed to complete the
community service in Florida, where he lives. Anthony remains suspended from his job at CBS Sports and has since apologized in a statement to his wife, family and colleagues, in which
he called his actions a “lapse of judgment.” Anthony was arrested on Jan. 16 as part of a sting operation. He allegedly solicited a prostitute through a website.

…Superbowl-winning Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson announced Wednesday that he has filed for divorce from his wife Ashton. They were married in January of 2012, a few
months before Wilson was drafted by the Seahawks. In a rather strange move, the team released a statement on the matter to the Seattle Times. “I have made the difficult decision to
file for divorce,” Wilson said in the statement. “Clearly, decisions like these don’t come easy. Ashton and I respectfully ask for prayers, understanding and privacy during this
difficult time. Moving forward, I will have no further comment on this personal matter.” Wilson and Ashton went to high school together, and dated throughout college. They were known
for the charity work they did together.


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