Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kentucky Derby Winner Arrives In Maryland

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom was loaded early yesterday morning onto a van headed for Elkton, Md., where the 3-year-old chestnut colt will prepare for the Preakness Stakes on May 21 at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, MD.

Owned by racing partnership Team Valor International, Animal Kingdom was joined in the van by his groom, Porfirio Fernandez, and Summer Soiree, another horse trained by Graham Motion.

Animal Kingdom will stay at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton. The nearly 700-mile drive will take approximately 11 hours.

“Just peace and quiet here,” said Dave Rock, assistant trainer for Motion, who left for Maryland on Monday. “Now we start all over again.”

Add caption
Animal Kingdom has walked daily in Churchill Downs’ Barn 22 since Saturday’s race and will make his return to the track for a jog in Maryland on Wednesday.

“We always walk them for three days and then start back training,” Rock said.

With the short two-week turnaround heading into the Preakness, Rock anticipated that the horse would not work between races.

“We don’t usually run horses in two weeks, either. But you kinda have to at this point, right,” Rock said with a chuckle.

Animal Kingdom’s Derby win was his debut on dirt, a first in the history of the race. A win in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness would set up the chance to be the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. The third and final leg of the series, the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes, will run June 11.

(Photos by Baltimore Sun’s Karl Merton Ferron / May 10, 2011)

Four ACC LAX Teams In NCAA Tourney

All four ACC men's lacrosse programs were among the 16 selected to compete in the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship as announced Sunday evening. Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia will all compete for the national championship beginning with first-round games on Saturday and Sunday, May 14 & 15.

Duke (12-5) was selected as the No. 5 seed and will host Delaware (12-6) at Koskinen Stadium on Saturday, May 14 at 5 p.m. The Blue Devils will be making their fifth-consecutive and 15th overall appearance in the postseason tournament where the squad owns an all-time NCAA record of 20-13. Duke, which returns as the reigning national champion - the squad's first men's lacrosse national title, enters the 2011 postseason having won 14 of its last 18 NCAA Tournament games.

Virginia (9-5) earned the No. 7 seed and will welcome Bucknell (14-2) to Klöckner Stadium on Sunday, May 15 at 3 p.m. The Cavaliers will be making their seventh-straight tournament appearance and 34th overall, tying for second all-time with Maryland and behind only Johns Hopkins (40). Virginia holds an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 43-29 and own four crowns, the last came in 2006 against Massachusetts.

North Carolina (10-5) earned the No. 8 seed in the 2011 NCAA Championship and will play host to ACC foe and league tournament champ Maryland (10-4) at Fetzer Field on Sunday, May 15 at 1 p.m. The Tar Heels will be making their fifth-straight appearance and 26th overall NCAA Tournament showing. North Carolina owns four NCAA titles with all four coming between 1981 and 1991.

(Southcreek Global Media)
Maryland (10-4), which will compete in its ninth-straight NCAA Tournament, received one of eight at-large bids announced on Sunday evening. The Terrapins will be making their 34th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and hold an all-time record of 42-31 in the postseason event. Maryland looks for its third national crown and first since 1975, when the program won its second in three years.

All first-round games will be televised live on ESPNU May 14 and 15.

The Division I semifinal and championship games will be held at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, May 28-30.

The D-I semis will be televised live on ESPN2 HD starting at 4 p.m., May 28. The championship game will be televised live on ESPN HD starting at 3:30 p.m., May 30.

ACC Baseball By The Numbers

Clemson's Brad Miller, front left, dives safely back to first base as Georgia Tech 
first baseman  Jake Davies tries a pickoff-attempt during an NCAA college 
baseball game on Sunday, May 1, 2011,  in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo)
A little info from TheACC.com for you horsehide fans to chew on...

.882 - ACC Player of the Week Brad Miller of Clemson posted an .882 slugging percentage in five games last week to go along with a .588 batting average and .650 on-base percentage.

0 - Earned runs allowed by ACC Pitcher of the Week Justin Sarratt of Clemson during the week of April 25 through May 1 while working 14.1 innings and picking up a pair of wins.

4 - Number of ACC shortstops named quarterfinalists for the 2011 Brooks Wallace Award (Clemson's Brad Miller, Georgia Tech's Jacob Esch, NC State's Chris Diaz and Virginia's Chris Taylor).

6 - Number of ACC baseball student-athletes named to the Capital One Academic All-District III Team announced by CoSIDA (Clemson's Phil Pohl, Florida State's James Ramsey, Georgia Tech's Jacob Esch, Virginia's Danny Hultzen, and Duke's Chase Bebout and Will Piwnica-Worms).

8 - Number of ACC players named to Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List (Clemson's Brad Miller, Florida State's Sean Gilmartin and Mike McGee, Georgia Tech's Jed Bradley and Mark Pope, North Carolina's Levi Michael, and Virginia's Danny Hultzen and Branden Kline).

14 - ACC-record number of shutouts thrown by Virginia's pitching staff this season, including Will Roberts' perfect game vs. George Washington on March 29. The Cavaliers posted shutouts in both of their wins over Boston College in last weekend's three-game series.

23 - Florida State's James Ramsey has hit safely in 23 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the ACC at present and this season. 300- Clemson coach Jack Leggett is the third ACC coach to record 300 regular-season conference wins (joining his Clemson predecessor Bill Wilhelm and current Florida State coach Mike Martin). Georgia Tech's Danny Hall is just two ACC wins shy of hitting the 300 mark.

R.I.P. Seve Ballesteros


Javier Ballesteros carries the ashes of his father besides his sister Carmen during the funeral service held for legendary Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros on May 11, 2011 in Pedrena, Spain. Top-ranked golfers joined family members and friends in his home town parish church to pay their last respects to the late golf great, who died on May 7, 2011 from complications arising from a brain tumor. 

(Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Baseball Promotion Of The Week

Fans wear wrestling masks given away as a promotion as they set a Guinness World Record for "largest gathering of people wearing costume masks" during the game between the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on May 10, 2011 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.

The lady on the right, is she wearing a mask?
Nice, Angels (from Los Angeles by way of Anaheim), NICE!

(Photos by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Pictures Of The Day

Stuart Broad of Nottinghamshire bowls a bouncer to Ed Joyce of Sussex during the LV County Championship match between Sussex and Nottinghamshire on May 10, 2011 in Hove, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe)
Kenji Matsudaira of Japan serves against Timo Boll of Germany during the World Table Tennis Championships at Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  Boll won the match 4-1.  (Photo by Chritof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Once down 3-0, members of the Detroit Red Wings celebrate a third period goal by teammate Valtteri Ripppula during their game six against the San Jose Sharks at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.  The Red Wings won 3-1 and tied the NHL Western Conference Semifinals 3-3.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Erwan Le Pechoux of France (l) fights against Luca Simoncelli of Italy during their final match at the 2011 FIE Men's Foil Grand Prix in Shanghai, China.  Pechoux won the final 15-5.  (Photo by Ding Xu/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Young Gary:  Maryland's head coach Gary Williams reacts during the semi-final game against Georiga Tech in the ACC Championship March 9, 1996. (Photo by Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Suits In Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas) Crack Down Hard On OSU’s Jim Tressel

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Reversing their trend of issuing a minor penalty or no penalty at all for major violations by big time BCS football programs, the NCAA/Suits in Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas) have dropped a bomb on Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel for his punishment for not revealing his knowledge of his players’ NCAA violations.

Brace yourself, the regulators of the sport are going to  make Coach Sweater Vest attend a five-day compliance seminar in June in Tampa, Fla.

OH, THE HUMANITY!!!

Sources close to both T.A.H. and the NCAA, tell us that the seminar will be held at a waterfront resort, but that Tressel will have to wear his sweater vest for both indoor and outdoor sessions.

One of the topics of the compliance seminar—one of two put on by the NCAA this summer—is “Division I Major Infractions.”

(Chris Grathen/Getty Images)
Others include “Keeping Your Glasses Clean in November,” "Sweater Vests For Tough Guys" and “Sorting Your Closet by Scarlet and Gray.”  The optional courses include “What Tatoos Really Mean” and “How Much Did You Pay For That Jersey?”

Sources close to Tressel say the head coach was hoping for a session titled “How To Win A BCS Bowl Game” and “NCAA Infractions For Dummies.”

Seriously, the dude has to go to a seminar.  To read more, click here.

T.A.H. Exclusive: Major School Covers Up LAX Scandal

Sources close to T.A.H. have informed us of a major scandal brewing somewhere out there by the big river that currently is flooding like nobody’s business.

According to our insiders, a major school in the Big 12 Conference we won’t name here (Ohio State) is staring straight down the barrel of a full blown LAX scandal.

As you may recall, the last time such a scandal occurred a school we won’t mention here (Duke), threw their coach under the bus the moment an exotic dancer accused some of their LAX players of inappropriate behavior. 

The local prosecutor who graduated from a school we won’t mention here (North Carolina) managed to ruin his legal and political career by rushing to an indictment only to have his star witness, the accuser, recant.

Not so at the unnamed university in the state known as O-H-ten.

In this case, the University already bludgeoned by scandal in their historic football program, decided to take it out on the players and to avoid any more coaching issues.  

Evidently…as we say in T.A.H. parlance…there was a team initiation situation…similar to what happens at so many collges.  While there were no injuries at said event, a student RA filed an alcohol violation.

Suddenly all the anti-LAX and anti-LAX culture bubbles up (blame Duke, it’s their fault! Actually, now that we think about it, maybe it’s Virginia’s fault – violent, murdering guy…)  

According to our sources, the head coach not only condoned the initiation event, he set up the activities and told his players what to do and what not to do.  

The authorities at Ohio State, who suspended the football coach for five games against Sisters of the Poor, the Sisters of the Poor State, the Sisters of the Poor Tech, Sister of the Poor A&M and one team that is a shadow of its former self we won’t  mention here (Sisters of the Poor at Ann Arbor, also known as Michigan), doles out five suspensions at one year each and a bunch of school probations. 

According to some players, or at least, some players’ parents, the coach goes all Buckeye (whatever that is) and denounces any knowledge of said event!

To date, nothing in the school or local papers.

That said, in keeping with the tradition of meaningful penalties, our crack T.A.H. Research Department now believes that several players were suspended for the first two games, a 4-3 Buckeye victory over Detroit-Mercy and a 20-2 victory over Mercer.  According to satellite photos reviewed at T.A.H. Worldwide Media Headquarters, three players missed the Mercer game and five missed Detroit-Mercy.

Meanwhile, Ohio State’s director of compliance is reviewing at least 50 car sales to Buckeyes athletes and relatives to see if they met NCAA rules, the Columbus Dispatch reported Saturday!

Pictures Of The Day (Bovine Edition)

Spanish apprentice bullfighter Pascual  Javier fights against his first bull of the evening during the Desamparados Virgin Fest held at Valencia bullring in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by EFE/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Steerwrangler Josh Garner of Live Oak, California competes at the Mother Lode Round-Up in Sonora, CA.  (Photo by Matt Cohen/Southcreek Global/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Two Herens cows lock horns during the annual “Battle of the Queens” cow fight in Aproz in the western Alpine canton of Valais, Switzerland.  You gotta admit, you can’t make this stuff up.  (Liu Yang/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)

News Flash: Terps Hire New Hoops’ Coach

Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon was hired on Monday night to succeed Gary Williams, who retired last week after a 22-year run at Maryland. The 46-year-old Turgeon leaves the Aggies after making four consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament and going 97-40 in his four-year stay at College Station.

“It was just too good an offer for me to pass on,” Turgeon said in a release.

Obviously, Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson believes Turgeon has the ability to extend the winning tradition built by Williams, who won the national championship in 2002 and reached the NCAA tournament 14 times.  Just as important, Williams ran a clean program and maintained tight control over his players.

“We’re thrilled to bring Mark to the University, where I’m sure he will continue to build on the great legacy and success of Maryland Basketball,” Anderson said. “In Mark, we have brought one of the outstanding young coaches in the country, and one who has a proven record of achievement on and off the court. We couldn’t be more excited.”

Turgeon will be introduced at press conference on Wednesday afternoon at the Comcast Center, where Williams formally stepped down in an emotional ceremony on Friday.

Not everybody in Aggieland loved Turgie!
Turgeon joins the Terrapins after earning Big 12 coach of the year honors with A&M in 2010 and 2011. He is the only coach in Big 12 history with at least 24 victories in each of his four seasons.

Turgeon is 250-159 after 13 seasons overall as a head coach, including seven with Wichita State. He went 128-99 with the Shockers and reached the round of 16 in 2006.

Turgeon was an assistant at Kansas for five seasons. He also played guard for the Jayhawks from 1984-87.

“Maryland’s got a great basketball tradition,” Turgeon said. “It’s a gut feeling. I’m a blessed person to have the choice that I had to make today. They’re both great programs. The one thing I feel good about is I inherited a good team and I think I’m leaving my best team behind. That made the decision really hard.”

Monday, May 9, 2011

Maryland Names Comcast Center Court After Williams

(Mitchell Layton/Getty Images North America)

Maryland will name its basketball court after coach Gary Williams, school president Wallace Loh said Friday at a news conference announcing Williams' retirement.

Loh said Williams represents the heart and soul of the university and is a teacher who has maintained ethical standards and plays by the rules. Loh called Williams an "incredibly loyal alumnus" who displayed fierce competitiveness in 22 seasons as coach.

"You are a champion on the court and you are a champion in the community," Loh said. "Your legacy will live on forever."

Capel Joins Duke Staff

Coach Mike Krztgvw8ski said Sunday that the former Blue Devils guard will be one of his assistant coaches. 

Capel spent the past nine seasons as a head coach at Virginia Commonwealth and then Oklahoma. The Sooners fired him in March following their second consecutive losing season.

Kryzlpw7ski calls Capel “a great fit in our program.” He scored 1,601 points as a four-year starter in the 1990s.

To make room, Krzzzkkw6ski shifted Nate James to special assistant. James’ role will not include on-court coaching.

Capel becomes the fourth Duke team captain on Krzybvw5ski’s staff, along with James and associate head coaches Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski.

Memphis QB Transfers To Miami

PHOTO BY MARK WEBER
Former Memphis quarterback Ryan Williams has transferred to Miami.

Williams played in all 12 games for Memphis last season, completing 57 percent of his passes for 2,075 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a freshman. He’s a South Florida native and led Miramar High to a state championship in 2009.

Miami coach Al Golden says Williams adds “toughness, incredible work ethic and smarts on and off the field” to the Hurricanes.

Miami has also confirmed that a pair of defensive reserves, linebacker Travis Williams and defensive back Jamal Reid, plan to seek transfers.

Pictures Of The Day

Kash Wilson of Goodling, Idaho parts company with Raggidy Ann at the Mother Lode Round-Up in Sanora, California. (Photo by Matt Cohen/Southcreek Global/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Dressed as Colonel Sanders, founder of the Kentucky Fried Chickes food chain, Robin Orth of Washington, DC, makes his way through the crowd after posing for pictures with racing fans at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on the afternoon of the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 7, 2011. (Photo by Luke Sharrett/AFP/Getty Images)

Shane Mosley tries to stand up after being knocked down by Manny Pacquiao in their bout for the WBO welterweight title at the Garden Arena in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  Pacquiao retained his title via unanimous decision.  (Photo by Robert Beck/Sports Illustrated)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Things That Make You Go...

Hmmm...
Kentucky Col. Charles M. Matasich looks on during the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Surely those rose tatoos on his face are temporaries...Surely?

Scott and Jan Baty pose for a photo in the paddock area during the 137th Kentucky Derby. 

(Photo by Rob Carr and Harry How/Getty Images North America)

137th KENTUCKY DERBY

Jockey John Valazquez, riding Animal Kingdom #16 crosses the finish line on way to winning the $2,000,000 Kentucky Derby Gr.I at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Travis Lindquist/Getty Images)
Jockey John Valazquez and Animal Kingdom #16 crosses the finish line to win the 137th $2 million Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Travis Lindquist/Getty Images)
Animal Kingdom is seen in the paddock at Churchill Downs before winning the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, May 7, 2011. (Photo by Luke Sharrett/AFP)
John R. Velazquez holds a rose atop Animal Kingdom in the winner's circle after winning the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on May 7, 2011. Velazquez was scheduled to ride Uncle Mo but switched to Animal Kingdom after Uncle Mo was scratched from the lineup. (Photo by Luke Sharrett/AFP)
The horses break from the starter's gate at the start of the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
John R. Velazquez celebrates atop Animal Kingdom after winning the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on May 7, 2011.  (Photo by Luke Sharrett/AFP)
John Velazquez is congratulated by trainer Todd Pletcher (Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty). (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
 
 Barry Irwin, owner of Animal Kingdom celebrates with the trophy in the winner's circle. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Jockey John Valazquez with the trophy in the winner's circle as he is surrounded by family after he rode Animal Kingdom #16 to victory in the 137th Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Trainer H. Graham Motion celebrates with the trophy in the winner's circle as he is surrounded by family after Animal Kingdom won the 137th Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Jesus L. Castanon atop Shackleford leads the pack around the first turn. (Photo by Luke Sharrett/AFP) 
John R. Velazquez celebrates into a television camera atop Animal Kingdom after winning the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Luke Sharrett/AFP) 
 Jockey John Valazquez, Animal Kingdom with owner Barry Irwin. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
 A detail of a hat worn by a fan during the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Two racing fans display their Derby hats near the paddock at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Luke Sharrett/AFP)

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