Ugly conditions in Washington, but the helmets sure look neat, reflecting the field and stadium lights during the Huskies game versus the Arizona Wildcats.
Mariano Rivera Says Goodbye To Yankee Stadium
Moments like the one experienced by pitcher Mariano Rivera, his Yankees teammates, and all of those present in Yankee Stadium this evening are why we love sports so much. Between injuries, cheating scandals, athletes behaving badly away from work, etc., the excitement, drama, heartbreak and joy of the game can get lost at times.
The greatest closer in Major League Baseball history was bid an emotional adieu at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, a moment which showcased the best that sports has to offer.
The Yankees were recently eliminated from the playoffs and although they have a few games left on the regular season schedule, Thursday’s contest against the Tamp Bay Rays was the Bronx Bombers’ final home game. It would be the last time Rivera, who is retiring after this, his 19th season in the majors, would pitch for the only home crowd he’s ever known as a big leaguer.
The Sandman entered the game in the ninth inning. He retired all four Rays hitters he faced. Then it was time to say goodbye.
Any recap or play-by-play I could type describing Rivera’s exit from the mound would not do this moment justice, so I won’t even try. Get a few tissues ready and enjoy the scene.
The NBA season is fast-approaching as teams begin training camp in the coming days. For one last hurrah, a few NBA players hit the red carpet at Greystone Manor in West Hollywood for the launch of the video game NBA2K14.
The Western Conference’s Pacific division was well-represented at the event, where Pepper On Sports spoke with Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors), Nick Young (L.A. Lakers) and Ryan Hollins (L.A. Clippers).
We discussed the controversy-ridden NCAA, wacky injury stories, players one would want as a coach, and how the old Celtics crew will fare in Brooklyn.
Here are some highlights.
Does the NCAA needs an overhaul that would include compensation for athletes?
"I think there will be major changes. I flew under the radar in college so I’m pretty sure I didn’t make the NCAA too much money so I’m cool with them. But as far as, especially the case with Ed O’Bannon, he’s kind of the one who pioneered the whole thing. He did make the NCAA a whole lot of money and he didn’t quite reap the benefits and then he didn’t have that exciting of an NBA career afterwards, so you know, it’s very understandable. Guys who are legends in college, and kind of taken advantage of.”
Editor’s Note: Despite his modesty, Andre was a fantastic player in college and made the NCAA plenty of dough.
"I think [players] should get a little bit [of monetary compensation], but USC, no, we’re legit. We’re strictly by the book up there."
"I’d love to see it. It’s deserved. I think you’d have a chance to eliminate a couple of kids leaving early, a couple of kids from going out and doing silly stuff to make ends meat, and just bringing real honesty to the game. I was a scholarship athlete, my parents did okay, but I was broke in college. I didn’t make enough to get by, you know? You’re put in a very very tough situation so I’d love to see them you know at least get compensated enough to where these kids don’t want for much."
"Obviously you want a little spending money but just enough to cover your bills…simple necessities, you know?"
"I don’t think nothin’ can top being hit by a stripper. Nothin’ is topping that right now. That’s one of a kind."
Jason Kidd went directly from playing to coaching. If you had to choose one current NBA player to be your coach, who would you choose?
"Probably Andre Miller, just because he passes me the ball more than anyone [lauhgs]. I’m pretty sure he could teach someone how to pass the ball to me. No, but he’s a very smart basketball player and has a very high IQ and that’s why he’s been able to play so long at a high level and he’s going to be a very good coach once he gets the opportunity."
"He’s still competing though, giving guys problems night in and night out so I think he probably has three more years left in him."
"I’d probably have to say Jason Kidd…he’s like a coach, he’s been a coach out there on the court since he’s been playing."
How will your former Celtics teammates Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce adjust to playing for Jason Kidd in Brooklyn?
"I think they’ll do great. After playing with those guys, I don’t want to say that they don’t need a coach, but if there was players that would fit in with Jason Kidd in his first year, the type of player that he is and now growing into a head coaching role, it’s a perfect cast to throw together."
On that note, I’m ready for some basketball!!!
Bonehead Baseball Play of the Day
Remember that theory from your college Psyc or Soc 101 class stating that people are less likely to take responsibility or action when other people are around? If you need a quick refresher course on diffusion of responsibility, you’ve come to the right place.
Our “Bonehead Baseball Play of the Day” comes to us from San Diego, care of the Padres.
See, what had happened was… with the L.A. Dodgers leading 4-0 in the top of the seventh inning, big boy Adrian Gonzalez hit a grounder directly between Padres short stop Ronny Cedeño and second baseman Jedd Gyorko. What ensued (or, what didn’t ensue) was pretty funny in a “Dumb and Dumber” kind of way.
But the best part of this debacle is that the bonehead play isn’t even the best part! No, the best part is legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully’s call. Gonzalez’ reaction ain’t to shabby either.
*pay no mind to the laughing in the background of the video*
Rockin’ goggles and poppin’ bottles… @Dodgers are #nlwest champs, clinching playoff berth for the first time since 2009. Congrats to the Dodgers and their fans.
Driving up PCH today I was startled by this beautiful 9/11 memorial at Pepperdine University. This is only a small portion of the tribute.
Pepper On Sports turned 2 today! Thanks for reading everyone. I really appreciate it.
September 14? Oy vey!
As if fasting for 24 hours while God ponders your fate for the following year (by writing your name either in the Book of Life, or the Book of Death) isn’t stressful enough, another element has entered the Yom Kippur fold this year, in the form of College Football.
Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham, AL warned its congregation against kibitzing, schmoozing and spoiling as both the Alabama vs Texas A&M and Auburn vs. Mississippi St. games happen to fall within the most sacred 24 hours of the Jewish calendar year. Oy gevalt.
The purpose of Yom Kippur is to reflect on the past year, repent for your wrongdoings and issue apologies to those you’ve hurt while a higher power determines your fate. After 24 hours of serious reflection and fasting, families and friends —the whole mishpocha— gather to celebrate with a large meal (break-the-fast) which serves as a transition back to every day life. Here is the Temple’s plea to its congregation to be a mensch.
Sure, the temple administration sounds like a bunch of alter kocker kvetchers, but can you blame them? Sporting event spoiler alerts really are the worst (first world problems, I’m aware). Imagine participating in a religious service, minding your own business when the guy next to you becomes totally verklempt because that gonif Johnny Manziel just threw the game-winning touchdown pass?
I haven’t attended a Yom Kippur service in a few years, but Temple Emanu-El *almost* makes me want to fly out to ‘Bama and sit through 3+ hours of holy spiel. Whomever wrote this proclamation has a fantastic sense of humor and is clearly a die-hard sports fan, earning them a gold star in my book!
Here’s to hoping your holiday goes unspoiled. L’chaim!
While BYU/Virginia is weather delayed, enjoy scenes from my afternoon yesterday. No filter.
LA is an even happier town when Tina Cervasio is visiting. Thank goodness for the #knicks and #redbulls bringing her here!
Are you in LA? Join us for sports, debate and laughs on Going Roggin. Love him or hate him, USC football coach Lane Kiffin is also a guest on the show. Yes, he actually laughed!! Watch live and tweet me or DVR us on KNBC channel 4 at midnight. As always, thanks for watching.
Minor Leaguer’s Movie: Not Your Typical Baseball Flick…
The dog days of a baseball summer can be especially rough on minor league players. The monotony of a baseball season in general… plus long bus rides for away games, little money and living in smaller towns creates a recipe for rambunctiousness among the young men who play a child’s game for a living.
Decker, a Los Angeles-area native, brings a bit of Hollywood to the desert with his short comedic film entitled, “Brad.,” referring to long-time big league catcher Brad Ausmus.
“I grew up making movies with my friends. They were awful,” Decker tells PepperOnSports.com.
"It wasn’t until high school that I started taking acting and filmmaking more seriously."
Written and directed by Decker, the film was shot primarily in the Tucson Padres facility and stars Decker, along with several other team staffers, including manager Pat Murphy (you may remember him as one of the more successful college managers during his time at Arizona State University), whose cameo steals the show in my opinion.
"Everyone in the film works at the stadium. I just asked and everyone seemed pretty on board. TJ (clubhouse manager) was a big help. And he really was perfect."
In his fifth season with the organization that drafted him in 2009, Decker is yo-yoing between first base and catching after moving from the outfield to start the 2013 season.
Did Decker ask for the Padres’ permission to shoot the film?
“Uh…. I didn’t,” Decker says. That probably explains why the film is actually funny.
Despite limited action on the field this season (playing in 98 of the team’s 124 games thus far), Decker leads the entire Padres organization in home runs with 16 (two of which came during a brief stint with the AA affiliate San Antonio Missions) and recently hit his 100th career homer . Home runs aside, Decker is best known for his alter ego (“AntiHero”) and his sense of humor which he proudly displays via Twitter, earning him the title of the #1 Minor League Player to Follow on the social media site.
In transitioning to the catcher position, Decker can learn a lot from Ausmus, a 3-time Gold Glove winner. Ausmus, who works in the San Diego Padres front office, told Decker that he laughed while watching the film.
But ohhh no, this is not the last you’ll see of Decker and Ausmus’ on-film relationship. Enough scenes ended up on the cutting-room floor to make another short film, which Decker plans on doing soon. For now though, it’s back to baseball, as usual.
She just turned off SportsCenter…literally. She wasn’t impressed w/ the #Dufnering story lol.
Derek Jeter is known not only for his skills on the baseball diamond, but also for his smooth, even-keeled demeanor. The New York Yankees captain stayed cool as a cucumber during his recent appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Jeter, who is back on the disabled list, spent two segments on the show discussing his battle with the injury bug, funny stories about he and Fallon (it looks like the two are buddies in “real life”) and he even addressed teammate Alex Rodriguez’s steroids scandal. The interview segment is must-see TV for any sports fan.
One bit in particular had Jeter cracking up and the studio audience going wild. Yes, Jimmy (a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan) and The Roots gave Jeter a few suggestions for a new at-bat song. The schtick had Derek Jeter Number Two being introduced with the classic Bob Sheppard recording before he promptly walked up to home plate in the middle of the Late Night stage as The Roots and Jimmy played each ditty.
The fact that Jeter agreed to appear on the show when A) the Yankees are having a bad season B) he’s injured and C) A-Rod and a few of his other teammates are swimming in scandal, is really impressive. Most celebrities pull out of public appearances when faced with far less controversy than that.
Jeter’s alleged parting gifts for lady friends gave him first-ballot entry into the Cool Athletes Hall of Fame, so this Late Night appearance is just bonus points.