Urban: Better Late Than Never on Humidor Balls


Urban: Better Late Than Never on Humidor Balls

Sept. 25, 2010


Mychael Urban

DENVER --In what might be the biggest DUH in baseball history, Major League Baseballhas decided to assign an independent (i.e., league employee vs. a Rockieslackey) to monitor the process of ferrying game balls from the humidor at CoorsField to the umpires working the game.JohnShea, the national baseball writer for the San FranciscoChronicle nicknamed Columbo for his propensity for doubling backwith one last question in an effort to make his case stick, broke the storySaturday afternoon.Theresbut one appropriate reaction: Its about damn time.Seriously.This is something that should have been done the moment the humidor was broughtinto play, so to speak. That was more than eight years ago. But for reasonsnobody is either willing or able to explain, MLB trusted the Rockies to handlethe process on their own until now.So thegame balls, in theory deadened by the humidor, were handled by a Rockiesemployee, and of late there have been all sorts of accusations of shenanigans.Topsamong them was the charge that non-humidored balls were being put into playwhen the Rockies were at bat late in games, while the opponents were forced tomake do with the balls that had been stored in the humidor in an effort tocounter the thin Rocky Mountain air.Fridaysgame was far from a typical Coors Field affair, with the teams combining forthree runs on five hits, but there was at least one instance in which theconspiracy theory seemed plausible.It camein the bottom of the eighth inning, right after a new ball had been put intoplay. The end result was a fairly routine ground ball to third base off the batof Miguel Olivo, but never before have you seen a routine ground ball get tothe third baseman as quickly as did this one. It was as though Olivo had hit agolf ball. Or a superball. Or anon-humidored ball.TheGiants, Shea reported, filed an official complain with the league Friday night,not long after ace Tim Lincecum treated lip readers with a colorful in-gametake on what he called, among other things, the juiced balls with which hefelt hed been given to work.Its hardto believe the Giants are the first team to complain about a situation soclearly rife with potential problems, but give the league credit. This was acredibility issue, and anything that threatens to undermine the integrity ofthe game should be handled posthaste.

Report: NYPD closing in on arresting Kings forward Matt Barnes

Report: NYPD closing in on arresting Kings forward Matt Barnes

After an extended road trip, the Sacramento Kings return to Golden 1 Center Friday night to dark clouds - and we aren’t talking about the weather.

The NYPD is closing in on an arrest warrant for Kings forward Matt Barnes for his involvement in a skirmish in a Chelsea nightclub over the weekend, according to the New York Daily News.

Barnes, 36, along with All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, have been at the center of an ongoing investigation after the two left Avenue nightclub early Monday morning. According to the report, Cousins “will likely not be charged.”

“They’ve got enough to charge Barnes with an assault on a woman,” a police source told the Daily News. “It will probably be a misdemeanor assault on one of the females who was pushed or choked or sustained some sort of injury. She’s obviously cooperating.”

The potential arrest warrant is on the heels of a lawsuit filed against both Barnes and Cousins by the alleged victims of the case - Jasmine Besiso and her boyfriend, Myrone Powell.

According to their complaint, Besiso was choked and then knocked unconscious by an elbow from Barnes. In the complaint, Cousins is also accused of punching Powell in the altercation.

“There’s always two sides to a story,” Barnes posted earlier in the week on instagram. “The side the media consistently tries to paint of me… And what actually happened!”

The Kings have yet to comment on the latest development, but earlier in the week, they released the following statement:

“We have clear standards of conduct and behavior expected of the entire Kings organization - on and off the court. We are working with all parties involved to gather information in order to take any appropriate next steps.”

We will have more on this story as it develops.

Staley's streak expected to end after 92 consecutive starts


Staley's streak expected to end after 92 consecutive starts

Five-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game due to a hamstring injury, the 49ers announced on Friday.

Staley has the third-longest active streak among offensive tackles with 92 consecutive starts. Only Cleveland's Joe Thomas (156) and Oakland's Donald Penn (153) rank ahead of him on the list.

Coach Chip Kelly said Friday morning on his weekly show on KNBR that the 49ers have two more days of training “and then we’ll see what Joe’s status is going into the game on Sunday.”

Kelly added, “That’s kind of what we normally do with everybody. The best thing to say with Joe is he’s day-to-day. We’re hopeful, but we have two more days out on the field.”

With Staley not expected to play, the 49ers will likely shift left guard Zane Beadles to left tackle. Andrew Tiller, who started the first five games of the season at right guard, would likely start at left guard.

The 49ers expected outside linebacker Aaron Lynch to return to action on Sunday after missing five games with a high-ankle sprain, Kelly said on KNBR. Lynch is listed as questionable, along with defensive tackle Quinton Dial, who has a left elbow injury

The Jets will be without at least one starter. Right tackle Breno Giacomini was ruled out due to injuries. Brent Qvale, a third-year player from Nebraska, is scheduled to make his fifth NFL start.

Defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson is listed as questionable with an ankle injury.

T Joe Staley (hamstring)
DT Quinton Dial (elbow)
LB Aaron Lynch (ankle)

RB Khiry Robinson (lower leg)
DT Steve McLendon (hamstring)
T Breno Giacomini (back, calf, shoulder)
LB Lorenzo Mauldin (ankle)
S Antonio Allen (concussion)
WR Jalin Marshall (concussion)
DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle)