(Video) Milestone: Jim Thome’s 600th Career Home Run

Congratulations to Jim Thome on becoming the 8th major league baseball player in history to hit 600 career home runs. Jim Thome hit his 600th home run an inning after he hit No. 599 to help the Minnesota Twins outslug the Detroit Tigers 9-6. Both home runs were no-doubters. No. 599 was hit off of Rick Porcello and the historic No. 600 was hit off of Daniel Schlereth.

 

*Source: YouTube / Vs2nice

*Source: Associated Press

NFL > Daunte Culpepper Works Out For San Francisco 49ers

~ Remember  Daunte Culpepper? The former Minnesota Vikings quarterback would like you to get to know him again as he pursues a comeback to the NFL. Culpepper worked out for the San Francisco 49ers and according to reports, did very well.

 The question remains to be answered if the now 34-year old Culpepper has enough left in the tank. He was hampered by injuries and has not played in the league since 2009. However, everyone knows the 49ers have issues at the quarterback position. Alex Smith has looked shaky in camp and Colin Kapernick is a rookie. This could be an ideal fit for Culpepper to get back into the league.

 Culpepper found success early with the Vikings and made the pro bowl 3 times. The 49ers have potential firepower at wide receiver with Braylon Edwards, Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn Jr., and Vernon Davis at tight end. New head coach Jim Harbaugh just needs a quarterback to get them the football.

 

*source: Associated Press

NFL > From The Jets To The Steelers, Jerricho Cotchery Says It Was Time To Move On

~ Jerricho Cotchery didn’t see himself fitting into the long-term plans of the New York Jets anymore. He didn’t even see himself fitting into their short-term plans. That’s when Cotchery decided it was time to move on. The Jets former wide receiver signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers looking to find success away from Gang Green.

 “It was time for a change, time for a change of scenery for myself and the organization as well,” Cotchery told the Pittsburgh media. “It was time to move on. Future-wise, I didn’t really see myself fitting in …

 “People on the outside looking in might say, ‘Well, you been there that long, you’re part of the future,’ but I didn’t really see it that way. I think it would have been beneficial for both sides to move on.”

 Cotchery was expected to be apart of the wide receiver group that the Jets would put on the field in 2011. However he now becomes the 3rd Jets receiver to move on to another team. Free Agent Brad Smith signed with Buffalo and the Jets basically let Free Agent Braylon Edwards end up in San Francisco without so much of a thank you card for his tenure.

 The Jets went out and signed Plaxico Burress, then they signed Derrick Mason and all of a sudden Cotchery was in a familiar position that he was hoping to break away from, the number 3 or number 4 receiver on the team.

 Cotchery has not really had the chance to prove he is a top receiver or even a really good number 2 over a long peroid of time. He’s also coming off back surgery. He’s had breakout years in 2006 and 2007, however his numbers since were on a decline and that reflects the changes the Jets have made on offense during that time.

 The back surgery took away any leaverage Cotchery may have had as a free agent and he ends up in Pittsburgh as the 3rd receiver behind Hines Ward and Mike Wallace. Right now it’s hard to envision anything more from him than being a good possession receiver who can move the chains.

 Cotchery is going to have to come up big if he wants to get a piece of the spotlight he feels had no room for him in New York.

Osi Umenyiora To Return To Giants … Without New Contract.

 ~ The New York Football Giants could use a dose of good news and maybe Osi Umenyiora deciding that he’s ready to play football is a start. The two-time Pro Bowl defensive end let the Associated Press know that he will be returning to the Giants and start practicing without the new contract he has publicly been pursuing.

It’s become a very familiar tune for Giants fans whenever Umemyiora starts letting his feelings become known that he wants a better contract. If it’s about respect, he feels the Giants are not giving it to him. According to Umenyiora, they offered to place incentives in his current deal which would pay him $7.1 million over the next two seasons, which he rejected.

“No deal has been reworked,” Umenyiora told the AP. “What has been offered has been unacceptable and shows they don’t really respect the fact I sacrifice my health for the franchise. I will play under my current deal because I love and respect my coaches, my teammates, the fans, and myself. Not for those incentives.”

The keyword in those comments is respect, Umenyiora feels he has not received any. He’s 29 years old and knows that he needs to secure at least one more big-money deal in his career. However, Umenyiora also has been injury prone and has a knee that is questionable at best currently.

Maybe someone in Umenyiora’s corner finally was able to get through to him and let him know that if he wants teams to show him the money, he’s going to have to get on the field and put up the kind of numbers that will earn him that new deal.

 The Giants clearly showed they are not in a hurry to throw money at Umenyiora. They are still loaded at the defensive end position with Justin Tuck and the emerging Jason Pierre-Paul. Umenyiora perhaps sees the writing on the wall that the kind of money he’s looking for can’t be secured from the sidelines complaining to the anyone that is willing to listen to him.

 One of the main gripes Umenyiora has had with the Giants is that he feels their upper management did not keep their word on reworking his contract. We’ll see if he intends to keep his word and play for his teammates, coaches, and the fans.

The Evolution of Tiger Woods Continues …

~ To conclude that Tiger Woods is struggling right now would be a severe understatement. There is slumps and then there is epic meltdowns. It’s not just raining on Woods and his career right now, it is a storm that remains to be seen if the one-time face of his sport can get out of.

 The latest downpour on Woods comes from the PGA Championship where he missed the cut. Instead of moving on in the tournament, Woods is headed home. The questions are beginning to pile up from the critics, the fans, the media, and even some who don’t even pay attention to golf. Can Tiger regain the dominant hold he once held on the sport?

I’ve read the phrase major meltdown whenever associated with Tiger Woods most recent outings on the golf course and I do feel that is a little extreme. Woods has been struggling for most of the last two years with his play and it’s been uphill since the news broke of his marital problems. This struggle that Woods is going through is a struggle that any of us could go through if put in his position the last 24 months.

 Woods is paying a severe price right now for being in the spotlight for so much of his adult life. The sport of golf thrived on the marketing power that came with every Woods victory. It now seems to thrive on the adversity that is now following him.

 Woods every move is being strongly dissected in the media. He is distancing himself from a lot of people who have played roles in his career and even that has been looked upon negatively.

 At the end of the day Tiger Woods for all of his faults and poor decisions that he has made, is still human like the rest of us. Change is inevitable with all of us. We are not exempt to it. Sometimes it takes a series of growing pains to trigger that change. Woods is a public figure and is going to always be open to criticism as such. However maybe it’s time to start putting the focus on Tiger Woods attempting to mature as a responsible man.

It would be great to watch Tiger Woods dominate a golf tournament like he’s done in the past. His current struggles have not reached the point of a major meltdown. It could very well be the evolution of Tiger Woods, professional sports athlete into Tiger Woods, the man.

Media > Jerry Rice To Join ESPN As TV Analyst

 

~ Adding the greatest wide receiver to ever play the game to it’s coverage of the NFL is a pretty good idea. Jerry Rice will be joining ESPN as an analyst and will be featured on NFL Live, SportsCenter, and their Audibles show as reported by Sports Illustrated.

Rice has been fine tuning his tv skills by doing analyst work for the BBC television’s coverage of the NFL and also co-hosted Sports Sunday on NBC Bay Area after San Francisco 49ers games during the 2010 season.

It remains to be seen how Rice will do on the national stage as an analyst. I suppose Rice can’t do any worst than Emmitt Smith did when he was at ESPN. While Smith was a great running back, his time as an analyst though … not so much. It’s not for everyone.

Rice isn’t the only new face that will be on ESPN for the upcoming 2011 season. Ex-players Hugh Douglas, Damien Woody, and former Browns and Jets coach Eric Mangini have also been added to the mix.

NFL > Deion Sanders Inducted Into NFL Hall of Fame (Video)

 

~  Deion Sanders can now add hall of famer to his list of nicknames. In a fashion that was only fitting for someone nicknamed “Prime Time”, Sanders was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. The induction speech that Sanders gave was electric and provided a new insight into why he played the way he did.

When I first saw Deion Sanders on my television, he was making his major league baseball debut for the New York Yankees. The Yankees were not pretty good back then and Sanders provided a reason to at least watch them that night. Sanders ended up having a pretty decent baseball career. He was flamboyant, brought a swagger to the teams that he played for, and even though the numbers did not reflect it, he had no problem with believing he was the best on the field. However I never would have thought he’d end up a hall of famer. Sanders would go on to make the Hall of Fame … as a football player.

Sanders provided the template to what a “shutdown” cornerback is in the NFL glossary. If Sanders came away with an interception, all eyes were on the television to see if he would return it for a touchdown. He made the Atlanta Falcons entertaining to watch and then brought that style and swagger to San Francisco and then Dallas which is where he solidified his status as an all-time great cornerback. He was simply put … that good.

 

Because of his confidence and arrogant style of play, Sanders drew his fair share of critics. His induction speech is sure to draw a few critics as well. However, that’s not going to bother Sanders one bit. If that speech showed me anything it’s that no matter what the world had to say about Sanders, he never let it effect his goals to provide for his family and uphold the promises he made to them.

 

To this day Sanders continues to do his way and in typical prime time style.

 

 

Images:  Ben Liebenberg/NFL

 

Video: / YouTube

 

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