Archive for May, 2008

Media Allowed To Watch Cowboys OTA’s

The voluntary practices continue at Valley Ranch for the Cowboys.  For some reason the media think it’s a big deal that Roy Williams is back at the OTA’s after skipping last week.  Roy went on a cruise with his family.

Linebacker Greg Ellis was missing today.  Should we be alarmed?  I just don’t think it is a big deal.  It is voluntary. 

My man Nick Eatman has more from dallascowboys.com.

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Gecko Man Michael Scott Update

I always get people asking me where former morning anchor Michael Scott went. 

You know, the Gecko Man who freaked out when a gecko jumped on his suit and freaked out.  It’s great video.  Please click here if you haven’t seen it and be ready to laugh out loud.

Well Mr. Scott is a TV free agent again after losing another job.

The Hunstsville Times had this report today:

WAAY anchor no longer with station

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
By CHRIS WELCH
Search under way to replace Michael Scott, GM says

Michael Scott, a 30-year broadcast veteran who was hired in July 2007 as WAAY-TV’s evening anchor and managing editor, is no longer with the station, according to its acting general manager.

Manny Calvo, acting general manager and president of Calkins Media, confirmed in an e-mail to The Times Tuesday afternoon that Scott is no longer with the company. He said a national search for a new anchor will begin immediately.

Scott, 54, couldn’t be reached for comment.

According to sources within the station and newsblues.com, an Internet site for broadcast news professionals, Scott’s departure came after a dispute with a producer that occurred during a commercial break in last Thursday’s 10 p.m. newscast.

Scott has worked previously in Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver, Omaha, Charlotte, Kansas City and Huntsville. Prior to this incident, Scott’s was perhaps best known for “the attack of the gecko.” He was interviewing a snake wrangler on the air in 2002 for KXAS-TV, the NBC-affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth, when a gecko lizard jumped on him from a nearby table. He screamed, yelled an expletive and has been immortalized on YouTube.

Scott eventually moved to Kansas City’s KCTV5 in 2004 and left in 2006. No reason was given for his departure from Kansas City.

Can Josh Hamilton Beat The S.I. Cover Jinx

 The Rangers outfielder has become a national feel good story. 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Newberg Report Will Make A Ranger Fan Sad

Just read it and weep.  And curse then assistant GM Grady Fuson who loved Drew Meyer and drafted him.

THE NEWBERG REPORT  

You can’t win ’em all on Draft Day – nobody does – but yeah, June 4, 2002 wasn’t a real good day in Rangersland. 

 

(Or in Exposland, where Montreal hung out at the correct high school field but chose the wrong guy . . . or in the war rooms of nearly half the teams who had the chance to name their player before the Mets came up):

 

1. Pittsburgh , Bryan Bullington, rhp, Ball State

2. Tampa Bay , B.J. Upton, ss, Greenbrier Christian Academy , Chesapeake , Va.

3. Cincinnati , Chris Gruler, rhp, Liberty HS, Brentwood , Calif.

4. Baltimore , Adam Loewen, lhp, Fraser Valley Christian, Surrey , B.C.

5. Montreal , Clint Everts, rhp, Cypress Falls HS, Houston.

6. Kansas City , Zack Greinke, rhp, Apopka ( Fla. ) HS.

7. Milwaukee , Prince Fielder, 1b, Eau Gallie HS, Melbourne , Fla.

8. Detroit , Scott Moore, ss, Cypress ( Calif. ) HS.

9. Colorado , Jeff Francis, lhp, U. of British Columbia .

10. Texas , Drew Meyer, ss, South Carolina .

11. Florida , Jeremy Hermida, of, Wheeler HS, Marietta , Ga.

12. Anaheim , Joe Saunders, lhp, Virginia Tech.

13. San Diego , Khalil Greene, ss, Clemson.

14. Toronto , Russ Adams, ss, North Carolina .

15. N.Y. Mets, Scott Kazmir, lhp, Cypress Falls HS, Houston .

16. Oakland (from Boston for Johnny Damon), Nick Swisher, 1b-of, Ohio State .

17. Philadelphia , Cole Hamels, lhp, Rancho Bernardo HS, San Diego .

18. Chicago White Sox, Roger Ring, lhp, San Diego State .

19. Los Angeles , James Loney, 1b, Lawrence Elkins HS, Missouri City , Texas .

20. Minnesota , Denard Span, of, Catholic HS, Tampa , Fla.

21. Chicago Cubs, Bobby Brownlie, rhp, Rutgers .

22. Cleveland, Jeremy Guthrie, rhp, Stanford.

23. Atlanta , Jeff Francoeur, of, Parkview HS, Lilburn , Ga.

24. Oakland (from N.Y. Yankees; Jason Giambi), Joseph Blanton, rhp, Kentucky .

25. San Francisco , Matt Cain, rhp, Houston HS, Germantown , Tenn.

26. Oakland , John McCurdy, ss, Maryland .

27. Arizona , Sergio Santos, ss, Mater Dei HS, Hacienda Heights , Calif.

28. Seattle , John Mayberry, Jr., 1b, Rockhurst HS, Kansas City , Mo.

29. Houston , Derick Grigsby, rhp, Northeast Texas CC.

30. Oakland (from St. Louis ; Jason Isringhausen), Ben Fritz, rhp, Fresno State .

www.newdawg.com

Tampa GM Admits Mistake With Josh Hamilton Tearing Up The American League

The St. Petersburg Times has a nice feature story on Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton’s comeback to his original team, Tampa.

“In retrospect, clearly we made a mistake,” Friedman said Saturday. “His success is really incredible. It’s a testament to Josh and his determination. It’s an amazing story. A number of people in our organization helped him on his path, and except when we’re playing against the Rangers, we’re all rooting for his continued success.”

Hamilton, who turned 27 last week, said he’ll always be grateful to the Rays for his first chance, and specifically to Friedman for his second. He doesn’t accuse them of giving up on him, but he doesn’t absolve them, either.

“I don’t know what to think about the situation,” he said. “I think what was supposed to happen, happened. Oh well, I’m doing all right.”

The Rays made an error in judgment, magnified because shortly after the draft they dumped some bit players off the 40-man roster, middle reliever Travis Harper and extra outfielder Damon Hollins.

The way Hamilton has played — hitting .337 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs — has made it look worse.

Opposing players are staying in the dugout to watch him take batting practice. (“He’s just a freak of nature,” Baltimore’s Aubrey Huff said.) Teammates rave about him as a player and a person. (“He’s our guy,” infielder Ian Kinsler said.) The Rangers have been so impressed they are considering signing him to a long-term deal. (“After seeing him for a while, nothing Josh does surprises me,” manager Ron Washington said.)

Even some of the Rays, seeing the highlights and checking his stats, admit to wondering, What if he were in rightfield?

“How could you not?” pitcher James Shields said. “I can just imagine what it would be like.”

“You think about it all the time,” leftfielder Carl Crawford said. “But it was just one of those things. You just didn’t know that (his amazing play) was going to happen. You knew he could do it, but you didn’t know if it ever would happen. It’s good to see him doing well. It would have been nice to have him over here, though.”

Josh Hamilton Returns To Tampa

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton has a lot of fans back in Tampa.  Despite letting the organization down with his admitted use of crack cocaine, he was never looked at as a bad guy.

Tonigtht he returns to Tropican Field in St. Pete, Florida.   Hamilton was drafted #1 overall by the Rays in 1999.  Former teammate Carl Crawford is happy to see him tearing it up in a Rangers uniform.

The Tampa Tribune picks it up from here:

ST. PETERSBURG – Tampa Bay LF Carl Crawford and Texas Rangers OF Josh Hamilton are forever linked in Rays history as the franchise’s top two picks in the 1999 draft.

Hamilton, the No. 1 overall pick, is set to play today against the Rays for the first time since he was selected by the Cubs and traded to the Reds in the 2006 Rule 5 draft. It will be Hamilton’s first game as a major-leaguer at Tropicana Field.

Crawford, the Rays’ second-round pick in ’99, is glad to see Hamilton, 27, excel after an offseason trade sent him to Texas. Having apparently overcome the drug and alcohol problems that cost him most of the 2002-06 seasons, Hamilton leads the majors in RBIs with 53 and is among the AL leaders in batting average at .333 and home runs with 12.

“It’s refreshing to see,” Crawford said. “Everybody’s happy for him. Wish he was over here.”

Crawford and Hamilton were minor-league teammates from 1999-01 at rookie ball Princeton, Single-A Charleston and Double-A Orlando. Injuries and the aforementioned substance-abuse problems derailed Hamilton, even as Crawford became a major-league All-Star and the face of the Rays franchise.

Still, Crawford said he’s not entirely surprised Hamilton has begun to fulfill the massive potential he showed in the late ’90s and early 2000s.

“I didn’t never really count him out, because I knew the talent that he had,” Crawford said. “I figured if he could ever get clean, if there was a person that could do it, he definitely was the one that you think could get it done, that could do it. You just always said that if he could get clean, who knows what could happen?”

NFL Players Deserve A Life In Off-Season

Somewhere along the way “voluntary” Organized Team Activities in the National Football League became a must-attend event for coaches, fans and media.

Sorry, players have lives.

Six years ago, former Cowboys linebacker Darren Hambrick uttered his best line, “What does voluntary mean?”

D-Ham was criticized at the time for not attending the club’s OTAs because he was unhappy with his contract. Players who have contract issues and complaints skip the “voluntary” OTAs. That doesn’t make them bad guys.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson has destroyed his good-guy image with his trade demands and his unnecessary public spat with head coach Marvin Lewis and the organization.

Johnson is not wrong to boycott the OTAs because the players association has a deal with the owners that protects the players from being forced to participate.

Mandatory mini-camps are different. All players must show up.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe players should attend OTAs because it will make their teams better, but guys don’t have to have perfect attendance. I certainly can’t recall who decided not to come to all of last year’s voluntary work at Valley Ranch.

Bullies like Miami Dolphins president Bill Parcells want players to live and train year-round at the team’s complex.

Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor skipped Dolphins workouts to participate on the hit show, Dancing with the Stars, and has angered the Tuna. Taylor’s situation has gotten so bad that he has asked the Dolphins to trade him.

It’s a shame, because Taylor was recently named the NFL’s Man of the Year for his work in South Florida. He’s the kind of player Parcells needs, but because he wants a life in the off-season, he is looked at as not being a team player.

Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye supported Taylor’s dancing on a Sirius NFL radio program this week. Ogunleye said too many NFL players never develop skills outside of football during their off-seasons and end up lost. Cowboys safety Roy Williams is on vacation with his family with the OK of coach Wade Phillips. In the eyes of some people who cover the team, you’d have thought he committed a crime.

There is a lot of speculation about Williams’ comfort and role in the defense, but missing one week of four scheduled weeks of OTAs will not get him cut.

The players don’t get paid for voluntary football practices. Voluntary means of one’s free will.

We should remember that.

Newy Scruggs is the sports director at NBC 5.