Thursday, May 6, 2010

New York Giants Lawrence Taylor Accused Rape

Lawrence Taylor, the former NFL New York Giants linebacker whose quarterback-chasing exploits secured him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was arrested by police in the Suffern, N.Y., area early Thursday morning and charged with rape.

Authorities accused Lawrence Taylor of paying $300 for sex with a 16-year-old runaway from New York City. The alleged victim in the case, identified only by her initials during Taylor's arraignment Thursday, was accompanied to Taylor's hotel room by a man who later was arrested in New York, authorities said.

Lawrence Taylor was charged with third- degree rape -- a felony involving sex with a minor below the age of 17 -- and patronizing a prostitute in the third degree, a misdemeanor. The felony charge is punishable by up to four years in jail and the misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to a year in jail, authorities said at an afternoon news conference.

Ramapo Chief of Police Peter Brower said Lawrence Taylor was cooperative when police woke him up around 4 a.m. Taylor was arraigned Thursday on charges of third-degree rape and patronizing a prostitute.

"I'm not that important," Lawrence Taylor told a scrum of media after being released on $75,000 bail. His attorney, Arthur Aidala, said Taylor is a "loving family man" who did not have sex with the teenager. "My client did not have sex with anybody," Atty. Arthur Aidala said. "Lawrence Taylor did not rape anybody."

Brower would not comment on whether Taylor knew the girl's age; third-degree rape is a charge levied when the victim is under the age of consent, which is 17 in New York. "Ignorance is not an excuse to an individual's age," Brower said.

Police said the girl was reported missing by her family in March and had been staying with a 36-year-old parolee, Rasheed Davis, in the Bronx. The two met a few weeks ago at a Bronx bus stop, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.

"He chats her up. She explains she doesn't have a place to stay. He provides one," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.

A judge set bail for Lawrence Taylor at $75,000. was arrested in New York, authorities said. His attorney, Arthur Aidala, said at a news conference that Taylor "did not have sex with anybody," disputing an account by authorities that Taylor acknowledged to investigators that he paid for intercourse.

Lawrence Taylor had a highly publicized struggle with drug addiction and has had multiple legal run-ins since retiring from football.

A quick, fierce and athletic linebacker who redefined his position, Lawrence Taylor anchored the Giants' defense and led New York to Super Bowls titles in 1987 and 1991. He was selected to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.

A 10-time Pro Bowler, he was the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1986 and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1981, 1982 and 1986. He recorded 132½ sacks, which doesn't included his 9 sacks in 1981 when the statistic wasn't official.

In 2001, Lawrence Taylor was convicted of possessing drug paraphernalia in New Jersey. The conviction stemmed from the September 1998 discovery in a hotel room of a butane torch and other materials commonly used to smoke crack.

Suns Team Owner On The Way To Immigration Law

We all know that politics and basketball don't mix but they sometimes collide. On this day, the MVP of the Phoenix Suns isn't Amar'e Stoudemire or Steve Nash, but team owner Robert Sarver, with an assist from General Manager Steve Kerr. They saw a political freight train heading right toward them and - rather than veer out of the way - accelerated full-speed right into it.

That doesn't happen often in the pro game. Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in professional baseball was a collision of sports and politics. Muhammad Ali's legal fight against the draft was a collision. Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising a Black-power salute during the playing of the national anthem in the 1968 Olympics was a collision.

And now, in a way no one saw coming, Senate Bill 1070, the state's new immigration-enforcement law, has collided head-on with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns. The Diamondbacks tried to avoid it. Owner Ken Kendrick, a major contributor to Republican causes, was surprised by the protesters who greeted his team outside ballparks. Kendrick issued a mild-mannered statement saying that he personally disagreed with the law, then sent out his public-relations flacks to spread the word about sports not really having anything to do with politics and that people upset with SB 1070 shouldn't take it out on his franchise.

The team, for the most part, was silent, allowing the baseball players association to issue a tough statement against the law. The Phoenix Suns and their owner, Sarver, took a slightly different tack. Instead of trying to avoid a collision, Sarver steered his high-rolling franchise right onto the controversy.

He sought and received unanimous support from his players for them to wear their "Los Suns" jerseys for Game 2 on Wednesday. He told The Arizona Republic that the new immigration law was not "the right way to handle the immigration problem, Number 1. Number 2, as I read through the bill, it felt to me a little bit like it was mean-spirited, and I personally just don't agree with it."

Team General Manager Steve Kerr added, "It's hard to imagine in this country that we have to produce papers. It rings up images of Nazi Germany. We understand that the intentions of the law are not for that to happen, but you have to be very, very careful. . . . It's important that everyone in our state and nation understands this is an issue that needs to be explored. So, we're trying to expose it."

According to some sports analysts, a reader calling himself "chatmandu" wrote, "Steve Nash can move back to Canada, and the Suns can go play for Mexico City. ... I am burning all my Suns stuff in effigy." Reader "tonyman10" added, "I attended the first ever Suns game at the Madhouse on McDowell and became an avid fan. . . . I've attended at least a dozen games each year and watch every other one on TV. That all ended today. . . . " Others, like "Bob46" praised the team, saying, "Sometimes you just have to do the right thing, regardless of the consequences. Thank you, Robert Sarver and Suns players. ..."

Whether you agree with the Suns' decision or not, you should be proud of them for taking a stand and for doing so the right way. No wavering. No dancing around the issues. It took guts. It showed heart. In basketball terms, they drove straight down the lane and jammed it.

Or as the "voice of the Suns," Al McCoy, might say, "It's a wham, bam, slam!"

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Red Sox Wins Over Angels 5-1

It's like a rite of passage for the Angels' top young relievers, a baptism by Fenway fire. It happened here to Troy Percival, to Brendan Donnelly, to Scot Shields, to Francisco Rodriguez, and it happened Tuesday night to Kevin Jepsen, whose rare meltdown during a four-run eighth inning led to the Angels' 5-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Kevin Jepsen had been the team's best reliever this season, with a 1.64 earned-run average in 14 games, but the right-hander walked as many batters in the eighth inning Tuesday night — three — as he had all baseball season. That set the table for Jeremy Hermida's tiebreaking, opposite-field, three-run double, a fly ball that left fielder Juan Rivera appeared to have a chance of catching after a long run to the corner before pulling up in front of the wall.

Jeremy Hermida's hit laid to waste a superb start by Angels right-hander Ervin Santana, who gave up one run and seven hits in 7 innings, and sent the Angels to their fifth straight loss and their first 0-5 start to a trip since 2003.

"Right now," Manager Mike Scioscia said, "it stings."

The Angels were stymied by Boston left-hander Jon Lester, who gave up one run and five hits in eight innings, but with the score tied, 1-1, they loaded the bases in the eighth when Howie Kendrick and Mike Napoli singled, Brandon Wood bunted the runners up, and Erick Aybar walked.

But Jon Lester, with his 120th pitch, got Bobby Abreu to ground to second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who tagged Aybar and, as he fell to the ground, shoveled a 20-foot toss to first for an inning-ending double play. walked Kevin JepsenVictor Martinez and Kevin Youkilis to open the bottom of the eighth, and J.D. Drew singled to left to load the bases.

It appeared Kevin Jepsen might escape the jam when David Ortiz, with the infield in, grounded sharply to Howie Kendrick. The second baseman threw home for the force, and Mike Napoli fired to first for a rare 4-2-3 double play.

But Adrian Beltre walked on four pitches to load the bases, and Hermida, who bats left-handed, lofted a fly ball to left. Juan Rivera, who was shaded toward the gap, about 95 feet off the line, had a bead on the ball but turned his back at the last second to play it off the wall. The ball bounced a foot in front of the wall, scoring three runs for a 4-1 lead. Mike Lowell's RBI double off Scot Shields made it 5-1.

"I ran hard, I thought the ball was going to hit the wall, I got real close, but I was too far toward the gap." Juan Rivera said.

The seats down the line in Fenway Park block the view of the corner from the third base dugout, and neither Scioscia nor bench coach Ron Roenicke, who positions the outfielders, saw a replay.

"It's hard because the wall is so high, if the ball is going to hit off the wall you want to stay off of it," Ron Roenicke said. And because the wall is only 310 feet from home, "you don't know how much to pinch in that corner."

Any time there's a fly ball to left, "You kind of hold your breath,I had trouble finding the strike zone with all three pitches, and that limited me to the fastball, I tried to battle, but you put yourself in a bad position when you walk the first batter. That gives them the upper hand." Kevin Jepsen said, which is exactly what the Angels probably did while Jepsen was pitching. Of his 32 pitches, 13 were strikes. His ERA ballooned to 4.63.


Mayweather vs Pacquiao: The Next Bout After Mosley?

You could literally see some of these boxing fighters getting excited just thinking about Pacquiao vs. Maywweather. This fight has the potential to be the superfight of the decade. For the integrity of the sport of boxing, for the natural evolution and future of our great sport, CALL Mayweather out and publicly make him take this fight, force Floyd Mayweather to get off his pompous, handpicking ass, and make him fight the fight you and everyone wants to see – Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. If you let Floyd Mayweather hide behind his excuses to duck Manny Pacquiao you are all complicit in perpetrating the fraud known as Floyd Mayweather.

Boxing fans who were ecstatic before at the potential of a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather super-fight, are now even more eager than ever to witness the history-making boxing event. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are not only among the elite fighters between 135-147 pounds they are the best. This would be a far cry from the young hungry lion vs. the over-the-hill veteran that boxing assuredly produces on a yearly basis dressed neatly as drama. Nor would it be a fighter getting the experience he needs to compete at the next level. This would be a prime time boxer against prime time puncher.

Both fighters fully understand their bodies, their training, their skill levels, their range, the positives and negatives of their fight styles. They sit atop everything that makes their particular fight styles possible. Manny Pacquiao with his grit, power, thirst and passion. Floyd Mayweather with his speed, defense, boxing mind and zeal. What more could they attain to make the fight any better?

We are typically force-fed excuses when significant matches aren’t made. Its either he hasn’t fought anyone significant or that they aren’t a big enough name yet. On occasion, fighters have even taken stealthy positions behind their management/promoters to avoid fighters. That wouldn’t be the case here. Everything that they will possibly ever know about boxing they’ve learned and committed to memory. The time is primed for both fighters.

For Mayweather and Pacquiao there isn’t a higher level of training, another grade of boxing knowledge or frankly a bigger payday. Unlike many other fights this is that rare fight where money won’t be a hurdle. There will be millions upon millions to be carved up. Venues from Las Angeles to Las Vegas to New York to the Philippines would bid often and early. 

Stadiums, arenas, reservations and casinos alike would campaign for the opportunity to be the host site. Sponsorship dollars from the world’s largest and most lucrative corporations would pour in. Television and radio stations would line up for interviews. Media outlets from the four corners of the world would request media credentials. I would estimate the payday to be $25-35 million each!

According to Manny Pacquiao’s official website, he is “willing to consider” taking a blood test 14 days before the fight, as Floyd Mayweather insisted last year (Pacquiao previously refused to bend on the 24-day testing used at the Olympics). If Manny Pacquiao concedes to 14 days, it’s up to Mayweather to make this happen. He’d look like a giant fraud if he changed his demands to a week or the day of the fight.