random ramblings fred riecke, gamblersdata

…Colorado Rockies pitcher Alex White could be charged with “extreme DUI” after registering a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit in Scottsdale, Ariz., police said Monday. White was arrested about 9:15 p.m. Saturday night after his blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.174, according to a police report. The legal limit is 0.08 and, under Arizona law, the term “extreme DUI” is used to describe anything over 0.15, The Denver Post reported.

…Syracuse University has self-reported possible violations of its internal drug policy and an NCAA inquiry is under way, according to school officials. Kevin Quinn, senior vice president for public affairs for the university, says the inquiry does not involve any current student-athletes. In a report Monday, Yahoo Sports said a three-month investigation it conducted showed that the Syracuse men’s basketball program failed to adhere to the drug policy while playing ineligible players over the past decade. The report, which cited anonymous sources, said at least 10 players since 2001 had tested positive for a banned recreational substance or substances. The sources said all 10 players were allowed to practice and play at times when they should have been suspended by the athletic department, including instances when some may not have known of their own ineligibility.

…Say it ain’t so!  Is the NBA going the Nascar route?  NBA owners plan to discuss at an upcoming meeting the possibility of having some kind of advertising emblazoned on team jerseys.

…Mo Isom, a star on the LSU women’s soccer team, will be trying out for the kicker job on the school’s football team.  Isom, who claims to have kicked field goals as far a 51 yards in practice and who once dropped in a modest 90 yard goal in a real live soccer match, has been planning this endeavor for a while now.

…The New Orleans Saints must be gluttons for punishment.  With severe penalties possible for the defensive bounties offered by former coordinator Gregg Williams hanging over their heads, the Saints brought in Randy Moss for a workout on Tuesday. The team is in need of a receiver, with the likely departure of Marques Colston to free agency.

…The Padres bullpen may have some heat this season.  Padres relief pitcher Andrew Cashner threw ten pitches last Sunday ranging from 100.5-103.3 mph—an impressive average of 102 mph per pitch.  Cashner is expected to be the Padres set up man for Huston Street.

…Former Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra has been sentenced to three years in California prison, according to the LA Times. After initially pleading no contest to grand theft auto and filing false financial statements in connection with stealing somebody else’s identity to lease and resell several new cars, Dykstra’s lawyers aggressively attempted to withdraw his plea and fight the charges, but the judge ultimately denied and sentenced the three-time All-Star to three years in a state prison. The maximum penalty was a four-year sentence.

…The Kansas City Chiefs are reported to be the first NFL team to present quarterback Peyton Manning a complete contract, one day after his release by the Colts.  Where Manning is headed is anybody’s guess, but insiders claim that there is one thing for sure – Manning wants to play in the AFC.  Miami and Denver are two logical landing places.  Miami has the money and an improving team.  For Denver, bringing in Peyton might be the only thing that fans would accept that would put Tebow on the pine.

…Don’t throw away those tickets!  Just kidding as these games were decided long ago.  But the FBI is investigating suspended Auburn point guard Varez Ward for alleged point shaving.  “We are very concerned by the point shaving allegations involving Auburn University men’s basketball program and have been in contact with the school and the FBI since the issue arose in February,” the NCAA said in a statement. “The NCAA takes any allegation of point shaving very seriously because sports wagering threatens two of our core principles – the well-being of student-athletes and the very integrity of intercollegiate sport.As allegations of point shaving, if proven, are also potential federal crimes, the NCAA will defer action until any process with the FBI has concluded.”

…Add Auburn point shaving query – Yahoo Sports! reports that the investigation is focusing on two games. On Feb. 7, Auburn lost to Alabama 68-50, even though Alabama was favored by only five points. On Jan. 25, Auburn lost to Arkansas 56-53, but still covered the 9 ½ -point spread. Coach Tony Barbee suspended Ward and teammate Chris Denson for a Feb. 25 home game against Arkansas. Ward remains suspended. Denson was reinstated after a one-game suspension. It’s not clear if the suspensions were tied to the point shaving investigation or for some other disciplinary matter. Other Auburn players have been questioned about whether Ward tried to get them to take part in a point shaving scheme. Ward started 17 of the 27 games in which he played and averaged 8.9 points. He was the third highest scorer on the Auburn Tigers team.

…Final add Varez Ward –  Here is what we know.  In the Feb. 7 loss to Alabama, Ward played for 17 minutes and scored just three points. He was 1-for-5 from the field and 1-for-2 from the foul line. He committed six turnovers. Ward even shot an air ball during the game against Alabama. With Auburn behind 43-33 with 15:25 left, Ward committed two turnovers in 21 seconds. When he returned to the game, he made two turnovers in less than three minutes. During a three-game stretch in between the Alabama and Arkansas game, Ward had his hottest streak of the season. He scored 53 points, including 24 points against Mississippi State.  Ward entered the Jan. 25 game against Arkansas with 14:25 left to play. He turned the ball over just 19 seconds later. Then he fell to the floor and left the game limping.  Yahoo! Sports reported that an Auburn player told an assistant coach in late February that he had suspicions of point shaving. School officials contacted the FBI and the NCAA.

…Kate Upton, the voluptuous swimsuit cover girl for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is quite a head turner.  In fact, her presence at an NBA game last week seemed to prove it.   Shooting at the basket near where Upton sat , both teams combined to go just 39 percent from the floor. On the other end? 49.4 percent. Also, the Suns went 9-12 in the first half from the free throw line, while at the Upton end, they missed six. Including a rare one from Steve Nash.

…Larry Brown Sports, an excellent sports themed website, is ready for the MLB season.  LBS notes the return of baseball means the return of weird baseball injuries, and luckily they’ve already spotted a few of them. Rays pitcher David Price only pitched two innings instead of three Thursday because of neck spasms. The spasms were caused when he wiped his neck off with a towel. No joke. I guess at the age of 26 Price hasn’t yet mastered the toweling process.

…The bizarre injuries often seem to strike pitchers.  Here’s another that befell NYY pitcher David Robertson.  According to the NY Post, Robertson injured his foot Wednesday night while carrying two empty boxes down a flight of stairs in his home. The right-hander missed a step on his way down and suffered a foot sprain during what he called a “clumsy” incident. “I just misjudged one step and caught it funny and just kind of rolled under me,’’ he explained. “I can tell you right now, it’s the truth. My wife was like, ‘What are you doing down there?’ She saw me laying there, holding my foot. I was like, ‘I fell.’ She was like, ‘Are you serious?’”

…Ricky Rubio’s sensational rookie season has come to a devastatingly abrupt end. The Minnesota Timberwolves point guard will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, the team announced on Saturday. Now the upstart Wolves will have to keep chasing a playoff berth without one of the players who was most responsible for the franchise’s resurgence.

…Here’s a fine you don’t see too often.  The NBA has fined New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith $25,000 for posting a photo of a scantily clad woman on his Twitter account. Stu Jackson, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations, announced the punishment on Saturday. Smith appears to have eventually deleted the post but that didn’t stop the photo from being passed around the Internet on Friday, earning significant attention that included a mention on the entertaining sports website Deadspin.

…Tim Tebow to the Jacksonville Jaguars?  It could happen. There’s a good reason for Tim Tebow to be rattled by the Broncos’ pursuit of Peyton Manning. Per a source with knowledge of the dynamics in Denver, if the Broncos land Manning, Tebow most likely will be gone. He wouldn’t be cut. He’d be traded. At while the number of potentially interested teams isn’t known, the next yard sale at Shad Khan’s house may include some oversized tarps. Yes, we’re told that the Jaguars are in the mix to acquire Tebow via trade. Word is that the Jags would welcome Tebow and use his Florida background to fill some seats.

…More news on the Kardashians!  This might end up being pretty funny.  Kris Humphries is shooting for a $7 million payout from Kim Kardashian and is threatening to turn their divorce proceedings into an ugly, public trial if he does not receive the money, TMZ reported Saturday, citing sources close to the NBA player. The alleged secret ultimatum, made through his Minnesota lawyer, was rejected by Kardashian’s team, according to the source.

…On the opposite side of the Kardashians, let’s talk about class.  The Pittsburgh Steelers officially released defensive end Aaron Smith.  The following day Smith purchased an ad in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette thanking everyone for the wonderful time he spent in Pittsburgh.  Here’s part of what he had to say – “As of today I am no longer a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  I leave the field and the Steelers with n regrets, and am grateful to have played for such a great organization. I feel truly blessed to have spent my entire professional career in the best town, playing for the most loyal fans who have loved and supported me and my family…I may no longer be on the Steeler’s active roster, but I will always be a Steeler – and never forget all the people who made it all worthwhile – the fans, the Rooneys, the front office, the equipment guys, the trainers, my teammates and my family.  Thank you for supporting me over these last 13 years and I hope you will support me in whatever future path life will take me on.”  Sort of brings a tear to the eyes!

…And then there’s Jose Conseco and his never ending drama filled life.  Former major league star Jose Canseco has been suspended from the Mexican league after allegedly refusing to undergo a doping test. Mexican league president Plinio Escalante says refusing to take a doping test is treated the same as testing positive in the league. Quintana Roo Tigers team president Cuauhtemoc Rodriguez says doping control doctors advised Canseco against taking the test because he was using a medicine to produce testosterone. He says Canseco had already informed the team that he was using the medicine because his body doesn’t produce the substance naturally.

…Linsanity is apparently influencing all aspects of life. It looks like there is some marijuana named after Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. A strain called “Linsanity OG” has been making the rounds.  Lin, by the way, has had his gaudy numbers reduced as of late, but they are still rather impressive. Lin has continued to put up solid numbers averaging 17.4 points and 8.4 assists  over his last five games. A book about Jeremy Lin’s meteoric rise to NBA stardom is dropping on March 26, just a mere 53 days after his February 4th start against the New Jersey Nets that started it all. The book, authored by Sporting News reporter Sean Deveney and published by McGraw-Hill, will be entitled WIN LIKE LIN: Finding Your Inner Linsanity on the Way to Breakout Success.

…The heavyweight title fight between Junior Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem is without a doubt one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the year. The UFC and FX brass have apparently acknowledged that fact and as a result, will be releasing a three-part countdown to UFC 146 series in the infamous “UFC Primetime” format.  UFC 146 is set to go down on May 26 at Las Vegas Nevada’s MGM Grand Garden Arena. The heavyweight title fighter between Alistair Overeem and Junior Dos Santos will serve as the evenings main event. The first episode in the three-part series is set to air on May 11, at 11 p.m. ET/PT and the following episodes will air in the same timeslot each week following.


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