Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bob Stoops steps down as Oklahoma coach after 18 seasons

Bob Stoops, the longest-tenured coach in college football, has stepped down after 18 seasons with the Oklahoma Sooners, he announced Wednesday.

"Stepping down after 18 years as the head football coach here at Oklahoma," Stoops said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference. "I feel like I've been absolutely the luckiest, most fortunate guy in the world and incredibly blessed to have experienced what we have over the last 18½ years. I felt I just didn't want to miss the right opportunity to be able to step away and hand this baton off to Lincoln Riley and to help this all just keep going in a great direction."

Editor's Picks

    Bob Stoops joins rare company in college football history

    The winningest coach in the history of Oklahoma, one of the most storied programs in college football history, is among an elite club of coaches who were able to leave on their own terms.
    Meet Lincoln Riley, the 33-year-old taking over the Oklahoma Sooners

    OU coach Bob Stoops knew Lincoln Riley was head coach material. Now Riley, the youngest head coach in the FBS, gets his chance to prove it.

Riley, 33, will become the youngest head coach at the FBS level after two seasons as OU's offensive coordinator. Stoops will remain as special assistant to the athletic director.

"The time is now because Lincoln Riley will provide a seamless transition as the new head coach, capitalizing on an excellent staff that is already in place and providing familiarity and confidence for our players," Stoops said in a statement released by the program earlier Wednesday. "Now is simply the ideal time for me and our program to make this transition."

Stoops said he did not base his decision on health reasons and that he has "had no incidents that would prevent me from coaching." A high-ranking Oklahoma athletic department official told ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski that Stoops' decision "was not an overnight revelation."

The source added that Stoops' father, Ron, suffered a heart attack and died while coaching a high school game in Ohio in the late 1980s and that Stoops has always had that in his mind. The source also said Stoops didn't want to get to the point at which the school forced him out, adding that he doesn't expect Stoops to coach again at any level.

"He didn't want to go from the sidelines to the graveyard," former Florida coach Steve Spurrier told ESPN on Wednesday. "He pretty much was able to go out on top."
Bob Stoops is the all-time winningest coach at Oklahoma, compiling a 190-48 record and taking the Sooners to bowl games in all 18 of his seasons. Ben Queen/USA TODAY Sports

Stoops joined the Sooners as a rookie head coach in 1999, and he guided OU to the 2000 national championship, 10 Big 12 titles and 14 seasons with double-digit wins, including an 11-2 mark in 2016.

Stoops, who turns 57 on Sept. 9, is the winningest coach in OU history, with a 190-48 record (.798 winning percentage). He has gone 121-29 in Big 12 play and has taken the Sooners to bowl games in every one of his 18 seasons -- going 9-9, capped by January's 35-19 victory over Auburn in the Sugar Bowl.

His 190 victories had ranked fourth among active FBS coaches, behind Brian Kelly (230), Nick Saban (205) and Bill Snyder (202).

Only four times in Stoops' career did the Sooners win fewer than 10 games, and he never had a losing record.

In addition, he coached two Heisman Trophy winners: quarterbacks Jason White (2003) and Sam Bradford (2008).

"The Bible says, 'To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven,'" Stoops said in his statement. "I'm grateful for this season of my life, and feel I've fulfilled my purpose here at OU as its head football coach."

Stoops was finishing his third season as defensive coordinator under Spurrier at Florida when the Sooners came calling and hired him in December 1998.

Oklahoma had fallen into disrepair after three losing seasons under coach John Blake. When Stoops arrived, chicken bones littered the practice field, where fans had still been allowed to tailgate. Even more telling, the sign longtime coach Bud Wilkinson put up coming out of Oklahoma's locker room, "PLAY LIKE A CHAMPION TODAY," was dilapidated and missing letters.

After only two seasons with "Big Game Bob" at the helm, Oklahoma was a national champion again, beating No. 2 Florida State 13-2 in the BCS National Championship Game at the Orange Bowl following the 2000 season.

The Sooners would play for the BCS national title three more times under Stoops -- losing to LSU (2003 season), USC (2004) and Florida (2008) -- and a spot in the College Football Playoff (2015).

His 2008 team scored 716 points, which at the time had been the most by any team in a season.

"Bob did a tremendous job turning things around at Oklahoma and putting their program back in national prominence," former Texas coach Mack Brown said in a statement. "Our rivalry game became a focal point of college football every year and was great for both schools, the Big 12 and college football as a whole.

"He will be remembered as a Sooner legend. I wish him the best."

Stoops went 11-7 against the rival Longhorns during his tenure.

This upcoming season's entry into the Red River Rivalry will feature the first matchup between first-year head coaches at both programs since 1947, as Tom Herman is taking over at Texas after a successful run at Houston.

Stoops was named Walter Camp Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2003 and was named Big 12 Coach of the Year six times. He is the only head coach in the BCS era to have won the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl.

On Wednesday, Stoops took time to thank his players -- past and present -- and the fans.

"I'm especially thankful for being able to coach so many talented young men over my 18 years here," Stoops said in his statement. "It has been so rewarding to see these players come to OU and mature over a four- or five-year career, and not just on the field. To play a small part in their growth is what I will always cherish the most.

"None of my success would have happened without the best fans in the country. I can't tell you how much I appreciated the 110 consecutive home sellouts. The passion of our fan base is unmatched, and their support has played a huge role in not only home games, but road games and all 18 of our bowl games, as well."

    @OU_CoachStoops Thank you for everything Coach. You turned a little boy's dreams into a reality. I will be forever grateful. #ThanksBob

    — Baker Mayfield (@baker_mayfield6) June 7, 2017

    If you are wondering how @OU_CoachStoops' current and former players feel about him...just look at my face in this picture. Will be missed.

    — Gabe Ikard (@GabeIkard) June 7, 2017

    For all the wins, all the titles, all the memories, and all the lives you touched along the way, #ThanksBob

    — Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) June 7, 2017

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who was hired by the Hawkeyes just one day after the Sooners hired Stoops, becomes the new longest-tenured coach in the FBS.

Over the years, Stoops' name has been attached to many college and NFL coaching vacancies. Each time, however, Stoops chose to stay with the Sooners.

"I'm thankful that my career at Oklahoma was marked with consistent leadership in president David Boren and director of athletics Joe Castiglione," Stoops said in his statement. "It's extremely rare in college athletics to have no change in these leadership positions over a nearly 20-year span. I always appreciated the way both of them supported me and our program. They both played an enormous role in all our successes."

Both Boren and Castiglione spoke at Wednesday's news conference, with Boren thanking Stoops for "a job exceptionally well done."

Stoops attended the University of Iowa and was a four-year starter at defensive back. His first coaching position was as a volunteer coach and graduate assistant for the Hawkeyes. That was followed by assistant coaching positions at Kent State, Kansas State and Florida, where he was part of the Gators' national championship team in the 1996 season.

Stoops is part of a coaching family. His brother Mike is the Sooners' defensive coordinator and was head coach at Arizona from 2003 to 2011. His brother Mark has been head coach at Kentucky since 2012. And his brother Ron is special-teams coach at Youngstown State.

"Bob truly represents what is good about college football, and the success of his career speaks for itself," Mark Stoops said. "What he means to me as a brother and a coach is immeasurable."

Stoops also groomed several assistant coaches who moved on to bigger things, including Mike Leach (Washington State), Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M), Bo Pelini (Youngstown State) and Jay Norvell (Nevada).

"Bob is a tremendous mentor to so many players and coaches, including myself," Sumlin said in a statement. "Not only is he a great mentor to me, but he and his wife, Carol, have been great friends to Char and I for many years. His success and longevity speak for themselves. He will be a success in whatever he pursues."

Stoops, who has two sons who play high school football and are entering their senior year, said he and his wife plan on staying in Norman, Oklahoma.

"The coaching life is like a relay race, and I'm thankful for my turn and am confident as I pass the baton," Stoops said in his statement. "Carol and I intend on staying in Norman -- it is our home. I will be available to Coach Riley and the athletic department in any manner."

Spurrier offered additional comments on Stoops.

"Bobby is ready to go to the beach and watch his kids play ball," Spurrier told ESPN. "He's had a wonderful career. He knew when enough was enough."

Riley takes over a team that will again be the favorites to win the Big 12 with a Heisman Trophy finalist in quarterback Baker Mayfield.

"The hardest moment coming to terms with this was seeing my players just a little while ago," Stoops said at Wednesday's news conference. "As they all know and will tell you, I love them dearly. Look at them all as your own children.

"I also know this is going to be great for them moving forward, so that made it easier."

Riley's first game will be at home against UTEP on Sept. 2. His second game will be at Ohio State.

Last month, Riley, who won the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach in 2015, was given a three-year contract extension worth $1.3 million per year, making him one of the highest-paid coordinators in the country.

"I'm sincerely honored to be given this opportunity to be the head football coach at the University of Oklahoma," Riley said in a statement. "I want to thank Coach Stoops for bringing me here two years ago and making me part of the Sooner family. He is one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game, at any level. I'm absolutely thankful for our friendship and for the mentorship he has provided.

"Coaching at Oklahoma is a dream come true for me and my family. ... I look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence that Coach Stoops and so many others before him have instilled in this great program."

The Sooners have fared well with Riley as offensive coordinator. During his two seasons at OU, the Sooners were one of just two FBS teams -- along with TCU -- to average more than 300 yards passing (313.1) and 200 yards rushing (229.4) per game.

Riley grew emotional when addressing Stoops at Wednesday's news conference.

"He gave me a chance a few years ago I'll never forget," Riley said. "His guidance has been incredible. To be the guy to take over for him is an incredible honor."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Chip Kelly Fired Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Eagles have fired coach Chip Kelly. The team made the official announcement on their website on Tuesday.

“We appreciate all the contributions that Chip Kelly made and wish him every success going forward,” Eagles CEO and chairman Jeffrey Lurie said.
Kelly went 6-9 in his third year with the Eagles. He was 26-21 overall in his career. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will serve as interim coach for the team's Week 17 game against the New York Giants.
The move brings an end to a tumultuous run in Philadelphia. Kelly went 10-6 in each of his first two seasons but failed to win a playoff game during his time, losing in the wild-card round in his first season.
But Lurie gave Kelly complete control over player personnel a year ago, and the coach's tenure has been marked by roster upheaval. Neither of his signature free agent signings, running back DeMarco Murray and cornerback Byron Maxwell, met expectations this season. He also traded running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso in the offseason. And newly acquired quarterback Sam Bradford also had an uneven first season in Philadelphia after arriving via trade.
The Eagles also released Ed Marynowitz, Kelly's pick for vice president of player personnel.
Kelly did not issue a statement but told Jay Glazer of Fox Sports he would like to stay in the NFL. That will certainly fuel rumors of him being a candidate in Tennessee and a reunion with QB Marcus Mariota. The two were together at the University of Oregon.
The team e-mailed the following letter from Lurie to season ticket holders:
"I have made a decision to release Chip Kelly this evening. I spent the last three seasons evaluating the many factors involved in our performance as a team. As I watched this season unfold, I determined that it was time to make a change.
"As we move forward, the search for a new head coach will begin and will be led by myself, Don Smolenski and Howie Roseman. To the extent that we are able, we will try to keep you informed as we go through this process.
"Pat Shurmur will be our interim coach for the Giants game Sunday.
"We have also released Ed Marynowitz, vice president of player personnel. Tom Donahoe, who has been our senior football advisor since 2012, will assume the role of senior director of player personnel.
"I am determined and excited to select a new coach to help us obtain our ultimate goal.
"Thank you for your consistent and enthusiastic support. It is always appreciated.
Roseman was in charge of personnel before Lurie decided to give Kelly complete control last January.
On Monday, Kelly told reporters he wasn't worried about job security and even went as far to say he wasn't the general manager of the team.
"If it's not good enough, it's not good enough," he said. "But I'm going to continue to work as hard as I can and show up early in the morning and stay late at night and continue to work. But I don't think anybody in my situation would tell you they are worried about -- if they are worried about getting fired, they probably should already have been fired."

Source : s

<script type="text/javascript">"");</script> 

Mark Salling Big Break Troubled Past Child Porn

Mark Salling Arrested for Child Porn: Inside the Glee Star's Big Break and Troubled Past| Crime & Courts, Glee, TV News, Mark Salling
From left: Dijon Talton, Kristin Chenoweth, Harry Shum Jr. and Mark Salling on Glee

When Glee actor Mark Salling was arrested in connection with possessing child pornography Tuesday, it sent shock waves through the still devoted fan base of Fox's cult favorite musical-comedy.

Salling, 33, played Noah "Puck" Puckerman from 2009-15 on Glee. A mohawked jock known for tossing students into a dumpster, Puck was best friends with Cory Monteith's character Finn Hudson – though he cheated and had a baby with Finn's girlfriend – and evolved over six seasons, eventually enlisting in the Air Force.

His Big Break

Born in Dallas, Salling began playing the piano at age 5 and performed in rock bands in high school, he said in a 2010 Teen Vogue interview. He moved to California to study guitar at music college for a year before trying to make it as a singer-songwriter.

"I decided I eventually wanted to pursue my own work, and so that kind of led to seeking other opportunities, and that’s when Glee came along," he told the magazine, calling the gig "pretty much my dream job."

Glee marked Salling's first major TV role: Before then, his only acting credits were an appearance in a 1999 episode of Walker, Texas Ranger and a part in the 1996 straight-to-video Children of the Corn: The Gathering.

In a 2010 promotion for the show's open casting call by Fox All Access, Saling talked about his "mind-blowing" and "stressful" audition experience.

"I mean, [there are] 30 people in a room watching you read five scenes and singing, and you do that over and over early in the morning, and there’s like four other dudes around you that are like breathtaking, and you’re like, 'What am I doing here, I’m a freaking troll, ' " he joked.

Losing Cory

Salling and Monteith were close on and off screen, and the leading man's sudden death in 2013 from a drug overdose was a devastating blow.

"Cory Monteith was a great leader as a character and person in real life," Salling told PEOPLE in 2014. "It's a big, obvious hole. I still think about him all the time."

His ex-girlfriend Denyse Tonz also discussed the tragedy's impact on him.

"It wasn't something he talked about much, but it definitely took a toll on him," the former Nickelodeon actress told PEOPLE in a separate interview. "It left everybody shocked, and especially [Salling]."

Mark Salling Arrested for Child Porn: Inside the Glee Star's Big Break and Troubled Past| Crime & Courts, Glee, TV News, Mark Salling
Mike Miller (left) and Mark Salling

Life After Glee

Salling released a solo rock album in 2010 and has been focusing on his music career since the curtains closed on Glee, working on a project with his band Camp Coyote. Plus, he's filming a 2016 movie called Adi Shankar's Gods and Secrets with Kellan Lutz and Denise Richards.

Salling – who was once linked to costar Naya Rivera – dated Tonz (then 20 years old) in summer 2014 before their busy schedules led to a breakup.

"But you never know what could happen down the road," she told PEOPLE that December, adding of his band: "That's one thing that Mark will never let people down on – he's incredible live. Honestly, as an artist, I have so much respect for him because he is the most talented musician."

Sexual Battery Allegation

But Salling also has a dark past. In January 2013, ex-girlfriend Roxanne Gorzela sued him for sexual battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence, accusing him of forcing her to have unprotected sex with him in March 2011.

According to legal papers obtained by PEOPLE, Gorzela went to confront him at his home later but claimed to find him in bed with another woman. She alleges that they got into an argument and he pushed her to the ground, causing her to hit her head. This March, Gorzela dropped her sexual battery claim, and Salling agreed to pay her about $2.7 million.

Source : s

Affluenza Teen Ethan Couch Detained in Mexico

Ethan Couch
UNITED STATE authorities expect Ethan Couch, the supposed "affluenza teenager" that's wanted in Texas for allegedly breaching his probation, as well as his mom to return to the United States on Wednesday, an official informed on the issue told CNN's Evan Perez.

Will Ethan Couch, the "affluenza" teenager, leave gently once again?

Sofa drew the wrath of lots of after a judge punished the then 16-year-old to One Decade of probation for a 2013 intoxicated driving accident that killed 4 individuals.

Those who really felt the sentence too forgiving felt verified when Couch broke his probation and got away. He was apprehended Monday in Mexico

But if you are anticipating a judge to toss the publication at him, be advised that guide could not be as well hefty.

As of now, the most serious consequence Couch could possibly deal with is 120 days in adult prison, Tarrant County Area Lawyer Sharen Wilson stated at an interview Tuesday.

Viewpoint: Ethan Couch recklessly abused court's count on

The area attorney described the problem she deals with:
  • Ethan Couch was sentenced as a juvenile and broke his probation as purchased by the adolescent court system.
  • Under Texas law, Couch, currently 18, would certainly be penalized for his infraction in the juvenile system.
  • The optimal sentence that a juvenile court can dish out for an offense of his adolescent probation is jail time in a juvenile center up until Couch turns 19, which is April 11, 2016.
  • The DA wants to move Couch's sentence to grown-up court. But given that this infraction occurred in the juvenile system, Sofa efficiently would begin with a clean slate in the grown-up probation system. That is, the adult court judge could not punish Sofa for infractions he dedicated as a juvenile.
  • At the time a judge reflects on Couch's probation in the grown-up system, he has the power to put Sofa in grown-up prison for an optimum of 120 days.

The treatment for 'affluenza' is jail

The 120 days in jail won't please those that believe Couch deserves even worse, however as the facts stand now, it is just what the legislation allows.

If Couch ends up on grown-up probation and also violates it as an adult, he could face up to 40 years behind bars, Wilson stated. Sofa also could discover himself behind bars for longer if he is located to have actually dedicated any sort of new criminal activities as well as is demanded and pronounced guilty as a grown-up for those criminal offenses.

Sofa and also his mom, who were being looked for by Texas authorities, have actually been restrained in the Pacific hotel community of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Ethan Couch's mommy, Tonya Sofa, has been accuseded of impeding the worry of a juvenile, and if founded guilty, faces in between two as well as One Decade behind bars, Wilson said.

It is difficult to discuss the lawful maze that stands to benefit Ethan Couch through a light consequence for breaking his probation.

The judge who hears the case "will toss the book at him, but the book is just a few even more months due to the fact that he makes 19," claimed Larry Seidlin, a former state court and adolescent court judge in Florida. "So the legal problem is: Can the prosecutor step this instance to grown-up court as well as aim to obtain grown-up sanctions, obtain some state prison time. It's a close inquiry because double risk is going to take effect. We have actually currently undergone his situation. We've currently done a plea bargain.".

Tracking the teen.

Couch's cell phone use could have led authorities to the pair.

The United States Marshals Solution tracked Sofa down using electronic security, including tracking a cellular phone thought to be connected to him, an official informed on the examination informed CNN.

The Marshals Solution alerted Mexican authorities, who apprehended Sofa as well as his mommy, the official stated.

Outrage, however not shock over 'affluenza' teenager on the lam.

They located both inside an apartment or condo structure, Jalisco state Attorney general of the United States Eduardo Almaguer Ramirez told press reporters Tuesday.

Authorities' preliminary search for Couch focused on the beach area, he said, however eventually their examination pointed them to the home building, which is in a more very discreet area near the facility of town. The pair had gone into Mexico as travelers as well as had exceeded their allowed length of remain, Ramirez said.

Sofa is wanted by authorities in Tarrant Region, Texas, for supposedly breaking his probation. His mom, Tonya, was specified by Texas authorities as a missing out on person after her son's loss, and the authorities claimed they thought she was helping him.

What follows.

Couch and his mom were turned over to Mexico's immigration authorities due to the fact that police could not identify whether they were in the country lawfully, baseding on a declaration from the Jalisco state district attorney's workplace.
Ethan Couch was detained in Mexico.
Ethan Couch was detained in Mexico.

The district attorney's workplace claimed both will be deported to the USA.

Opinion: All the oppression money could purchase.

Since Tuesday, mommy and son stayed captive in Puerto Vallarta, said Ricardo Vera, the representative in Jalisco for Mexico's National Institute of Immigration.

Ethan as well as Tonya Couch consulted with U.S. consular officials and went through a regular medical checkup, Vera claimed.

They were also allowed to speak to family in the USA, he claimed.

The Couches informed migration officials that they got in Mexico with the going across in Tijuana. They did not have the appropriate documents to be visiting Puerto Vallarta, Vera stated.

"They will certainly be deported willingly," claimed Vera. "Their wish is to go back to the state of Texas. This is what they have actually requested.".

Given the very busy travel period on the Mexican coastline, authorities are still exercising traveling logistics, Vera claimed.

Test as well as sentence fueled argument.

A warrant was issued in mid-December for Sofa to be apprehended after his probation policeman could not reach him. He shows up to have dropped off the radar after a video emerged that purportedly showed him at a party where liquor was being taken in, according to authorities.
Closer consider '' affluenza ' teenager ' s parents. Closer look at 'affluenza' teenager's moms and dads 02:49.

Couch had been ordered to keep away from drugs and alcohol throughout of his sentence probation.

His sudden disappearance reignited debate over his case, which attracted extensive focus after a psycho therapist affirmed that Couch, who was 16 at the time of the collision, experienced "affluenza," defining him as a rich youngster whose parents didn't established limits for him.

His lawyers argued that his parents need to discuss a few of the blame for the crash.

District attorneys had requested that Sofa be sentenced to Twenty Years behind bars. The juvenile court judge's choice to put him on probation for One Decade rather than sending him to prison outraged sufferers' families.

It also prompted many observers to examine the term "affluenza," which isn't really acknowledged as a clinical problem in any kind of official sense.

G. Cock Miller, the psycho therapist that claimed the word at the trial, later claimed he wanted he had not used it. As well as Couch's legal representatives have slammed what they state is the news media's narrow concentrate on the term in relation to his instance.

Brain-injured teenager receives $2 million in 'affluenza' situation.

Source : htttp://

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Derek Jeter hopes to help young stars

MINNEAPOLIS -- Derek Jeter remembers being at Coors Field in Colorado in 1998, not quite sure how to conduct himself and a bit in awe of one of his American League teammates, Cal Ripken Jr., who was 37 and about to play in his 16th All-Star Game.
"I was a little scared to approach him," Jeter said. "It was Cal Ripken. Even though I had played against him, I really hadn't had a chance to talk to him."
That was Jeter's first All-Star Game. Now, Jeter is that guy, a future Hall of Famer and the player more young players look up to than any other. While reflecting on his final All-Star Game Monday, Jeter said he plans on being as approachable as possible. Jeter, 40, has announced his retirement after this season. He was voted in by fans and will bat leadoff for the American League team Tuesday night, AL manager John Farrell announced Monday.
AP Photo/Kyndell HarknessYankees star Derek Jeter heads into his final All-Star Game as the face of the sport.
"I don't know what tomorrow's going to be like," Jeter said. "I'm coming here, playing in the All-Star Game and trying to win for our league, because someone in this room is going to benefit. I don't go into things with expectations. I'm looking forward to playing the game and I've pretty much stopped right there. I think I've been pretty good at tempering my emotions over the course of my career."
One of the frequently asked questions at Monday's media availability was, "Who will become the face of Major League Baseball when Jeter retires?" Most players found that a difficult question to answer, because Jeter has won multiple championships, played at a consistently high level throughout a long career and retained an untarnished reputation off the field. It's pretty much the complete package.
Yasiel Puig, speaking in Spanish, called Jeter the "conscience of baseball." Mike Trout, a New Jersey native who modeled himself after Jeter growing up, said, "You don't hear him out there ragging on anybody. He just stays humble and wins championships."
Said Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, "It's hard to fill the role that Jeter's done, being the face. He personifies everything that's good about baseball."
Jeter, who is hitting .272 with two home runs, 25 RBIs and 31 runs scored, is followed in the AL lineup by Trout, Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano and Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista hits fifth for the AL, followed by Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson and Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez.
Adam Wainwright, who will start the game for the National League, said he considers it an honor to finally get to face Jeter.
"I have been in the big leagues for nine years. I've never faced him," Wainwright said. "I'm very excited about it, just to say I faced the best. And he is undoubtedly one of the best to ever play his position, one of the greatest Yankees of all time."
Told of Wainwright's comments, Jeter joked that he wasn't exactly dying to get to hit off Wainwright, who is 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals and has one of the game's most devastating curveballs.
"I've always enjoyed competing against those guys, including some of the best pitchers that have ever played," Jeter said. "It's not like you're running to the bat rack, but I've always enjoyed competing against those guys."
Tuesday night will be Jeter's 14th All-Star Game. A career .311 hitter, he has won five Silver Slugger awards and five Gold Gloves, not to mention batting .308 with 111 runs scored in 158 post-season games.
Like Ripken and his New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera, who pitched the eighth inning in his final All-Star Game in 2013, Jeter no doubt will be honored by players and fans in various ways during Tuesday night's game. Rivera was named the game's MVP at Citi Field. If Jeter wins such an honor, he would be just the fifth player to have multiple All-Star Game MVP trophies.
Jeter is hoping he can be a positive influence on a younger player at the game. Who knows, perhaps the next Derek Jeter is here, a little intimidated to approach the current one.
"I hope no one's scared to say anything to me," Jeter said. "I try to be as personable and approachable to as many people as I can."

Source :

<script type="text/javascript">"");</script>

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oakland's Cespedes repeats as Home Run Derby champ

Oakland's Cespedes repeats as Home Run Derby champ - The rain delay lasted for one hour Monday night, and then the Home Run Derby started at Target Field, as a majestic rainbow formed above the Minneapolis skyline.

The stage was set. The stands were packed. And then … little else spectacular materialized until Oakland slugger Yoenis Cespedes found his groove late to secure his second consecutive derby crown.

Cespedes clobbered Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier 9-1 in the finals to become the first back-to-back derby champion since Ken Griffey Jr., in 1998-99.

The announced crowd of 40,558 saw Jose Bautista hit 10 home runs to lead the American League after one round. Giancarlo Stanton hit six to lead the National League, including one to the top of Section 330 that ESPN projected at 510 feet.

Local fans were disappointed to see Brian Dozier and Justin Morneau both make first-round exits. Both received rousing ovations when they came up to hit, only to see their bats look waterlogged.

Oakland's Cespedes repeats as Home Run Derby champ

“The rain definitely affected us,” Cespedes said through a translator. “The thing is, all of us were ready to go, and all of a sudden it started to rain, so we had to cool our bodies down and get ready again.”

Dozier batted first for the American League and finished with two home runs.

Morneau, who batted last for the National League, also hit two home runs and found himself in a tiebreaker with Frazier. That gave the fans another chance to come to their feet, but each hitter got three swings, and Frazier eliminated Morneau 1-0.

Those weren’t the only buzz kills.

Yasiel Puig, considered one of the event’s bigger draws, tabbed Robinson Cano’s dad to pitch to him, but finished just like Cano did in 2012 — with zero home runs.

The hitters were limited to seven outs per round, down from 10 in previous years.

Stanton hit three jaw-dropping home runs in the first round, including a ball that nestled into the seats above the center field’s batter’s eye. In the new bracket format, Stanton got a bye into Round 3.

Oakland's Cespedes repeats as Home Run Derby champ

Frazier got past Troy Tulowitzki in Round 2 and managed just one homer in Round 3. It seemed like Stanton would go to the plate, swat two quick home runs and get some rest for the finals.

Instead, with Miami manager and former Twins catcher Mike Redmond pitching, Stanton proceeded to post a big fat zero and Frazier advanced to the finals with a Kershaw-esque 1-0 victory.

In the AL semifinal, Bautista, after getting a bye, couldn’t keep his first-round momentum and fell 7-4 to Cespdes.

“The change in the format definitely affected some players,” Cespedes said. “And I think it was difficult for people like Bautista and Stanton because they had to wait so much in between.”

 Oakland's Cespedes repeats as Home Run Derby champ

That left the stage to Cespedes, who last year at Citi Field in New York hit 17 first-round home runs before edging Bryce Harper 9-8 in the finals.

This time, Cespedes managed just three first-round home runs. He would have been bounced were it not for Dozier’s two home runs and A’s teammate Josh Donaldson only hitting three.

Donaldson went first in the swing-off, hitting one home run in three swings. Cespedes hit two quick homers in two swings to advance.

In Round 2, Cespedes crushed Baltimore’s Adam Jones 9-3 before upending Bautista.

In the final against Frazier, at least six of Cespedes’ nine final-round homers traveled into the second deck and one made it into the third deck. According to ESPN, he had hits in that sequence that traveled 504 and 509 feet. Oakland's Cespedes repeats as Home Run Derby champ

Source :

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

'South Park: The Stick Of Truth' Review

South Park: The Stick of Truth is one of the funnest games I’ve played all year, and one of the most enjoyable, hilarious, and disgustingly offensive roleplaying games I’ve played period.

You take on the role of the new kid, a pointedly silent protagonist whose timely arrival in the small Colorado mountain town of South Park comes at a moment of great crisis—a war between the elves and humans over the titular Stick of Truth.

It’s delightful, truly, whether you’re a serious fan of the show (I’ve seen every episode) or a more casual viewer. If you, like me, feel that the show has not been at its best in recent seasons, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that the game itself is South Park at its finest.

The true joy of the game is in its sense of imagination. This is an RPG about kids pretending to be in an RPG.

There’s something genuinely sweet and wonderful about this massive game the kids of South Park are playing. For all its adult humor (and potty humor) South Park: The Stick of Truth is really a celebration of kids’ imagination and play. It makes me want to be a kid again.

There’s bits of Narnia, Mario, Game of Thrones, and Middle Earth all jumbled together. The humans aren’t just up against elves, they’re up against the Drow Elves. A later faction is the Army of Darkness. (There’s even some Star Trek humor.)

As an RPG it’s decidedly on the light side. Combat is rarely terribly challenging or very deep, but it’s always fun and consistently funny. It’s turn-based “just like in Medieval times” according to Cartman, who leads the human faction as the Grand Wizard of the Kingdom of Kupa Keep (or KKK.)

Your array of powers and fart magic is limited but enjoyable. Attacks and blocks are of the timed variety, similar to the Paper Mario RPG. Aside from a few tough fights, mostly it’s a pretty easy experience, but that fits nicely with the flow of the game, which is largely about story and exploration.

You also gain a stable of special “Summon” characters (like Jesus) who you can call in to aid you in a particularly tough fight, though not against bosses. (Jesus comes in guns blazing; other Summon characters have their own super powerful moves.)

Players can choose between four character classes: The Fighter, Mage, Thief, or Jew. These boast different special powers, but not much else.

The fart magic is the same for each class, and each class is open to whatever gear you come across. And you come across tons of gear and loot. There is no end to the ways you can customize your character’s appearance, and even weapons and armor can be customized via Patches and Strap-Ons. (Yeah, that’s what they’re called.)

You’ll never worry about running out of health potions and other consumables, which are scattered everywhere about the game and pretty cheap at any of the myriad shops. No resource management here, and this makes combat encounters even easier.

South Park 21
On the other hand, the town of South Park is a surprisingly deep open world—and an example of an open world done right.

Not everything is immediately accessible to you. You’ll notice small spaces you can’t reach and boulders you can’t break, until you find the right tools or powers later on. Some doors are locked, and some rooftops inaccessible until the right key or equipment is found.

This leads to some retreading of your steps, exploring areas that you knew would be reachable later on. It’s quite enjoyable and impeccably designed. Everything is close enough together to make traversing the game quick, and Timmy’s fast-travel service ensures that you’ll never find moving about the town tedious.

This is another brilliant aspect of The Stick of Truth: Pacing is top-notch.

Cut-scenes are rarely too long, and the story moves on at a brisk clip. (The stuttering character Jimmy has a couple moments where you’ll need to actually skip the cut-scene manually in order for it to ever end….)


Side-quests are plentiful, but you’re never bogged down finishing them as the story progresses. Rather, you tackle all these quests organically, as you explore the game or work on the main story missions. Again, this cuts down on tedium and ensures that players continue to complete various missions as the game unfolds naturally.

Completing missions gives you experience points to help level your character and often leads to you making new friends.

Gaining popularity is a core mechanic of the game, as you unlock Call of Duty like “Perks” based on how large your social network is. Perks are essentially passive abilities that boost your character’s stats or give you special defenses or boosts in combat.

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone write and voice-act, and the entire game feels and looks just like an episode of the show itself.

It’s an incredible accomplishment in every aspect, a totally immersive, interactive South Park experience, and quite possibly the best spin-off since Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. In many ways, this is the best South Park we’ve had in years, and a high note for the show.

South Park 1

It’s also a game made by people who obviously care a lot about video games.

Much is mocked here, sometimes overtly and sometimes more subtly: The silent protagonist you play is often called out on his inability to speak; the sewer level is openly referred to as a sewer level; Nazi zombies (one of the many enemies you’ll encounter) are “so over-played” according to one character in the game.

This is a game made by people who have played a lot of games and the gentle mockery will please gamers of all stripes, save for the easily offended crowd who should avoid this at all costs.

This is also a game made by RPG veteran studio Obsidian, and as such you’ll encounter some bugs. This is the one real downfall of an otherwise brilliant escapade.

Like other reviewers, my playthrough was plagued by stuttering, typically when you move from one section of the map to another. Characters will jitter and jolt as they move into the block. It’s irritating but not game-breaking. I once found that I could no longer equip any of my items and had to reload a checkpoint.

South Park 14

The first abortion scene—one of the censored scenes in Europe—had a mini-game that simply would not work for me for the longest time, meaning I had to play and replay one of the least fun moments in the game until it finally did what I wanted it to. To be quite honest, this was annoying enough that I wished fervently that I’d had a censored copy of the game.

There are moments where things aren’t exactly explained to you quite well enough also, but this is a minor complaint. I’ve also heard of save file issues, and when I first installed and updated the game I was immediately met with a corrupt data message and had to delete the update and download it again.

So there are problems of the technical variety here, but in my experience nothing that you can’t overcome and nothing that should keep you away from what is an overall extremely fun and funny experience.

It is a mark against the game, since there’s really no excuse to release something with such obvious problems. Hopefully a patch will come quickly and fix all of these, but really it should have been more polished at launch.

Technical issues aside, there isn’t much else to complain about here. You can turn up the difficulty if it’s too easy, but you’ll discover that this really isn’t the sort of RPG you play for challenge or mechanical depth.

South Park 19

Then again, it’s really not supposed to be.

It’s kids playing at roleplaying, with their homebrewed costumes and forts and grand imaginations.

Your “buddies” can only join you one at a time and you have no control over their look, gear, or leveling. That’s okay, too. Keeping the game simple on the surface allows for more depth elsewhere, in the game’s story and exploration.

The social media aspect of the game—gaining friends, reading their posts, etc.—is also charming.

One character you encounter—on his own quest to find Manbearpig—quickly becomes the most annoying person in the game thanks to his Facebook spamming. He’s also one of the most difficult boss fights in the game.

South Park 13

All told, South Park: The Stick of Truth exceeds my expectations in almost every way. The bugs are annoying and may be reason enough to hold off on a day-one purchase for some people, but nothing I encountered broke the game or the experience for me.

While the game entire can be finished in around ten hours, you can spend more time at it if you want to find every secret and treasure. And this is a game with very little filler.

A strong story, excellent writing and voice-acting, and the fact that the game really does look and feel like an episode of the show, makes South Park: The Stick of Truth a truly great video game experience. It’s the first game I’ve played in 2014 that’s really kept me glued to the screen from start to finish.

Source :

Paczki Day 2014: Facts And History About The Traditional Polish Doughnut

Happy Paczki Day!

Mardi Gras might get all the attention, but for some Fat Tuesday is celebrated with a traditional Polish doughnut known as a Paczek. The plural is known as Paczki (pronounced “poonch-key), which are jelly-filled pastries cranked out by Polish bakeries across the United States on the special day to indulge before Lent begins.

Large Polish communities in cities like Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and Boston commemorate Paczki Day by chowing down on the Polish pastries. Bakeries will sell tens of thousands of them on the special day with mega lineups that wrap around the block. At Delightful Pastries in Chicago 36,000 were pre-ordered forcing the Polish bakery to produce 1000s per day to meet the demand.

While major Polish communities in the United States tend to celebrate Paczki Day on Fat Tuesday, Chicago commemorates the day on both Fat Thursday and Fat Tuesday.

In Poland, the day is known as Tłusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday), and is observed on the last Thursday before Ash Wednesday. In the United States, Polish communities feast on the deep-fried delights on Fat Tuesday which falls on March, 4, 2014, this year.

For those that want to learn more about the traditional Polish treat, below are fun facts about Paczki:

What Are Paczek Made Of?

Paczki are made from deep-fried flat dough with fruit or cream filling and usually covered with sugar or icing. A small amount of grain alcohol is usually added before cooking, which later evaporates to prevent the absorption of oil deep in the dough.

The traditional recipe is "all about the dough. It's denser; it's a yeast dough that doesn't collapse when you bite in," Dobra Bielinski, partners of Chicago's Delightful Pastries, told ABC News about the pastries. The tiny doughnuts are known to pack a punch – averaging 400-500 calories and 25 grams of fat into a pastry the size of a hockey puck.

What Does Paczek Mean?

Paczek is translated as “doughnut” or “little package.” The recipe, which obviously involves egg, may stem from the idea of using up all the lard, sugar and eggs in the house before fasting begins during Lent.

The doughnuts themselves have existed since the Middle Ages. The recipe was modified when French cooks came to Poland and improved the paczki dough to make it lighter, spongier and more resilient. 

Any Good Recipes?

For those that want to attempt to make the Polish pastries at home, here is a recipe to try from

12 egg yolks (or six whole eggs, see note)

1 teaspoon salt

2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1/3 cup room temperature butter

1/2 cup sugar

4 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cup rum or 1/3 cup brandy

1 cup scalded whipping cream

1 1/2 cups preserves or 1 1/2 cups cooked prunes or 1 1/2 cups cooked apples or 1 1/2 cups poppy seed filling

Oil (for deep frying, The old-timers used lard, but vegetable oil will work)


1. Beat egg yolks with the salt in the small bowl of an electric mixer at high speed until the mixture is thick and piles softly, about 7 minutes.

2. Soften yeast in warm water.

3. Cream butter, add sugar to it gradually, beating until fluffy.

4. Slowly beat in the softened yeast.

5. Stir one fourth of the flour into the yeast mix.

6. Add rum/brandy and half of the cream.

7. Beat in another fourth of the flour.

8. Stir in remaining cream.

9. Beat in half of the remaining flour and then the egg yolk mixture.

10. Beat for 2 minutes.

11. Gradually beat in the remaining flour until the dough blisters.

12. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

13. Set in a warm place to rise.

14. When it has doubled in bulk, punch it down.

15. Cover and let rise again until doubled.

16. Punch it down again.

17. Roll dough on a floured surface to about 3/4 inch thickness.

18. Cut out 3 inch rounds using a cookie cutter or glass.

19. Put 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of half the circles.

20. Brush the edges with water.

21. Top with the remaining rounds.

22. Seal the edges very well.

23. Cover the paczki on a floured surface.

24. Let rise about 20 minutes.

25. Deep fry in the hot fat until they are golden brown on both sides.

26. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with honey.

Source :

'Dancing with the Stars': Meet the new cast!

"Dancing With the Stars" has announced its new lineup of competitors, and at least two of them already know how to go for the gold.

On "Good Morning America" on Tuesday, the ABC dancing competition revealed that Olympic champs Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who just won a historic gold medal at the Winter Olympics in figure skating ice dance, are joining "DWTS'" 18th season.

Instead of competing as a team the way they did at the Sochi Olympics, Davis and White are now up against one another. Davis will partner with returning "DWTS" pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who left the show in 2012 to pursue other opportunities. White has been set up with pro dancer Sharna Burgess.

Here are the other stars Davis and White will face off against:

Candace Cameron Bure: The former "Full House" actress was rumored to be a potential "star" on this season of "DWTS," and Tuesday's announcement confirmed the gossip. Cameron Bure, who recently released a book called "Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose," will be paired with pro dancer Mark Ballas.

NeNe Leakes: As with Cameron Bure, there was speculation that "Real Housewives of Atlanta's" NeNe Leakes was going to grace ABC's ballroom. Leakes, who's also branched out into acting on shows like "Glee," is partnering with Tony Dovolani.

Danica McKellar: Cameron Bure isn't the only child star on season 18's roster. Former "The Wonder Years" actress Danica McKellar is also going to perform each week, with help from pro partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy. McKellar's also created a career as an author, but she still acts here and there and has appeared on "How I Met Your Mother" and "The Big Bang Theory."

Diana Nyad: We've already seen Diana Nyad's persistence in the water, and we can only imagine how it'll carry her in this season's competition. The 64-year-old became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protective cage last fall, and will now bring that persistence to the ballroom with pro partner Henry Byalikov.

Drew Carey: Stand-up comic and "The Price Is Right" host Drew Carey is more accustomed to making audiences laugh at his wit than dazzling them with his dance moves, but he'll show what he's got alongside pro partner Cheryl Burke this season.

James Maslow: A member of the band Big Time Rush, James Maslow is one of two pop stars participating in this year's "DWTS." The 23-year-old's pairing off with Peta Murgatroyd.

Cody Simpson: At 17, singer Cody Simpson is the youngest competitor in this season's lineup. The "Pretty Brown Eyes" crooner is going to pair off with new pro dancer Witney Carson.

Amy Purdy: Like some of her competitors, Amy Purdy knows all about the pressure of competition. The double amputee has become a top-ranked snowboarder and Paralympic athlete after losing her legs to meningitis at 19. In this season's "DWTS," she's going to perform with pro partner Derek Hough.

Sean Avery: As a former pro hockey player, Sean Avery is trading in the ice for a dance floor. The athlete/model will dance with pro partner Karina Smirnoff.

Billy Dee Williams: This Hollywood legend is already considering being "DWTS"' secret sauce. At 76, the wide-ranging talent will partner up with pro dancer Emma Slater.

These 12 aren't the only new faces this season. Fox Sports journalist Erin Andrews is also joining the series as its new co-host, replacing Brooke Burke-Charvet as Tom Bergeron's right-hand woman.

The 18th season of "DWTS" will premiere on ABC on March 17.

Source :

National Pancake Day: Flip out over free flapjacks at IHOP

Ready to flip out?

IHOP will once again be serving up free short stacks of buttermilk pancakes on Tuesday in honor of National Pancake Day.

Hungry breakfast lovers can stop by participating IHOP restaurants in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico for three flapjacks until 10 p.m.

There’s a limit of one dish per person, and IHOP is encouraging its customers to donate to the Children's Miracle Network Hospital or other designated local charities in return for the free pancakes.
IHOP is encouraging customers who didn’t have to pay for their pancakes to donate the money to charity.

The restaurant chain has raised $13 million for charity since it started its National Pancake Day celebrations in 2006, according to its website.

The tradition of eating pancakes on the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent and is also called Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, has been around for centuries.

Christians in the UK and Ireland refer to it as “Shrove Tuesday,” but it has earned the nickname “Pancake Day” or “Pancake Tuesday” over the years.

But why pancakes? The delicious breakfast food became a Fat Tuesday favorite because they are the perfect way to use up the eggs, fats and milk in the house before you embark on the 40 days of Lenten fasting before Easter.

Source :