DateMarch 7, 2012

Racist cheer? High school forced to apologize for ‘USA!’ chant at basketball game

From Off the Bench

A district superintendent has apologized and students have been reprimanded for a perceived racist chant at a high school playoff basketball game in San Antonio on Saturday — but not all parties agree that it was offensive. A host of message board critics and conservative talk radio host all says it’s been blown way out of proportion.

Our story so far: Alamo Heights High School, which is made up mostly of Caucasian students, beat Edison High, which is predominantly Hispanic, in the Region IV-4A championship in San Antonio on Saturday. As Alamo players celebrated the win on the court, a large group of students began cheering “USA! USA!” until the Alamo coach made them stop. Deeming the cheer a racist slur on the Edison players, the San Antonio Independent School District, which represents Edison, filed a complaint with the University Interscholastic League, the governing body of high school sports in the area. From the San Antonio Express News:

It was the second year in a row that a complaint about racially motivated chants was filed after the Region IV-4A basketball tournament.

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Scenes from Spring Training: Yu Darvish Mania

From Hardball Talk

I’m not gonna say that there’s a lot of interest in Yu Darvish‘s first start, but the Padres’ PR staff has roped off 100 seats in a section along the third base line as an auxiliary media section.  Yeah, this is not your usual Wednesday morning in the Cactus League.

I got here super early and made my way to the press box to find that every single seat had a name tag on it already, with seats reserved for everyone from Ken Rosenthal on down to the weekend sports reporter of KBFE radio from East Nowhere, Texas. Add to that the usual huge contingent from the Japanese media and we’re talking a really full house.

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Yu Darvish impresses in his first major league action

From Hardball Talk

Months of anticipation of Yu Darvish‘s debut led up to less than a half hour of baseball action, but it was exciting baseball action all the same. The tale of the tape: two innings, 36 pitches, 26 strikes, no runs, a couple of hits, three strikeouts, a spiffy defensive play and the beginning of what’s bound to be a fabulous career.

My first impression of Darvish: he’s tall. We knew he was tall, but after seeing a half inning of Jeff Suppan before him, he looked all the taller. He also throws hard. We knew he threw hard, but after seeing a half inning of Jeff Suppan before him, he looked like he threw all the harder. And, at least according to these uneducated eyes, he had offspeed and breaking stuff that should be illegal.

Not that it was perfect: he gave up two doubles. One, by Orlando Hudson, was not very hard hit. The other, by Will Venable, was tattooed and probably would have been a homer if not for the very tall wall in center field here at the Peoria Sports Complex.  Venable was erased a couple batters later, however, when James Darnell chopped one in front of the plate, Darvish reached up tall — did I mention he was tall? — stabbed it, fired to his catcher and caught Venable in between third and home.  Greg Maddux, who has been working with Darvish in Rangers camp as a special assistant and made that play hundreds of times in his career, is likely to be proud.

Apart from that: three strikeouts: Cameron Maybin to lead off, Carlos Quentin to end the first and then John Baker to end the second.  Quention and Baker looked confused at the offspeed stuff. Baker looked practically lost. He may have well as had a piano leg with him.

And a final note that tells us that Darvish is a different guy altogether. Strike two to Baker was a hard foul back that just cleared the screen behind the plate and made the concourse just to the third base side. A man dove for the ball, dropping what was in his hands, and laid out full on the concrete to pick up the souvenir.  The man who dove: a credentialed Japanese photographer. The thing he dropped: a very expensive-looking camera.

You don’t do that for just anyone. But you do it for Yu.

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking sued by Wells Fargo

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking is the mastermind in a diabolical scheme to screw Wells Fargo out of $2 MILLION … this according to a new lawsuit obtained by TMZ.
Brooking — a 13-year NFL vet who signed a 3-year $6 million contract in 2009 — has been sued in federal court in Georgia … where he allegedly took out 2 separate loans in 2008 which totaled $1,996,224.73.
But according to the suit, Brooking “realized he would not be able to meet his obligations” to Wells Fargo … and secretly embarked on a “systematic effort to hinder, delay and defraud” the bank.
WF claims Brooking began to hide all of his substantial assets, including property in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina … so the bank couldn’t go after his homes to satisfy the debt.
According to the lawsuit, the plan was simple … Brooking simply transferred the deeds out of his name to various “insiders, affiliates and relatives.”
The bank is asking the judge to clear a legal path so it can go after Keith’s property.
But a rep for Brooking tells TMZ “There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support Wells Fargo’s allegations that Keith transferred any properties … to fraudulently conceal assets.”
The rep adds, “These allegations are completely unfounded and Keith is and will continue to defend himself vigorously against these allegations.”


Dallas Cowboys Star SuedYou Can’t HIDEfrom Your $2 Million Debt!! (TMZ)

Ow! TCU, Baylor combine to set record for hit batsmen — 13

From Off the Bench

You know when you’re having fun at a baseball game? When there’s more hit batters (13) than actual hits (12). It happened in Fort Worth, as TCU and Baylor combined for an NCAA single-game record 13 batters hit by pitches Tuesday night. The Horned Frogs plunked 10, matching the record for one team. One poor guy got beaned three times. Fox Sports:

“It was ugly, it was just an ugly game,” Baylor head coach Steve Smith said in a report on the school’s website. “It’s hard to watch some of what we do, particularly on the mound. This was not a hard game to pitch, the wind is blowing in the batters’ faces, and it’s just not that hard.”

Oh, there were also 11 walks. Time of game: 3 hours, 53 minutes.

TCU still won, 9-4.

Robert Wilonsky leaves the Dallas Observer and the Earth stood still


I’ve never met Mr. Wilonsky, but from what everyone says about him, he’s a great guy.

In case you don’t know (and it would be hard for me to believe you don’t know), Robert Wilonsky was the editor and chief cook and bottle washer over at the Dallas Observer and wrote a daily piece called Unfair Park.

So long story short, he is leaving the Observer and going to the Dallas Morning News to apply his trade there, not sure if it’s behind the pay wall or not.

So in looking at the Observer now, there is great pain and gnashing of teeth as Wilonsky makes his exit. Let’s face it, Wilonsky has a great following. I have to admit I’m jealous. Wilonsky has friends everywhere! D magazine, The Ticket radio station. You name it, and Wilonsky is an expert at it. The guy is everywhere it seems. It seems as if he could go to work for the Thrifty Nickel above a funeral home and make money. How did he get so popular? I wish I had read his articles all along, but I didn’t. Good luck Robert. Well, why should I wish him luck? I’m the one that struggles to write.

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