Papelbon goes nuts-o on photographer

After giving up a two-run home run to Mets’ backup catcher Omir Santos in New York’s 3-2 victory over Boston on Saturday night, Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon screamed and hurled a towel at a photographer trying to capture Papelbon’s utter failure.

Papelbon screamed, “Don’t take my f- – -ing picture,” according to Causi, before throwing his towel at him.

It should be noted: Papelbon missed Causi.

“I guess he missed with two pitches that night,” Causi cracked.

Papelbon then stormed off to a corner of the dugout, hiding from the lensmen working in the first-base photographers well.

Causi contrasted Papelbon’s behavior with that of Yankee closer Mariano Rivera. The fotog recalled taking a picture of Rivera last month at Fenway Park just after the ace reliever blew a save against Boston.

“He knew I was shooting him, and he didn’t say a word,” Causi said. “A true champion realizes you got to take the good with the bad.”

Wow – Causi 1, Papelbon 0.

I don’t know what’s worse, giving up a two-run home run to Omir freaking Santos or having a no-name photographer make you look like a massive chump in the newspaper.

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The Scores Report chats with Ozzie Smith

Twenty-five years ago today, October 14, 1985, St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith raised his fist in celebration after hitting a solo home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 1985 National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Smith, who had never hit a home run in his previous 3,009 left-handed major league at-bats, pulled an inside fastball down the right-field line for a home run, ending Game 5 in a 3 Cardinals victory. Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck used the line, “Go Crazy Folks, Go Crazy,” after the home run was hit. The Cardinals went on to face the Kansas City Royals in the 1985 World Series, known as the I-70 Series. UPI/Bill Greenblatt/FILES

His name is Osborne Earl Smith but to baseball fans everywhere, he’s simply known as “The Wizard.”

In an era when the shortstop was known as being the best defender on the field, Ozzie Smith was the best of the best. For 19 seasons he strengthened the middle of the diamond for the Padres and the Cardinals, making 15 trips to the All-Star Game and winning an astonishing 13 Gold Glove Awards. Before he hung up his cleats in 1996, he helped the Cardinals win a World Series championship in 1982 and was the 1985 NLCS MVP. The Cardinals retired his No. 1 jersey in order to pay homage to the man who thrilled crowds with his dazzling defensive heroics and of course, his entertaining back flips in between innings.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ozzie, which was a great pleasure to someone who has always cherished the game of baseball. He’s currently assisting Holiday Inn with their “Pay it Forward” program, which is encouraging people to show each other a little extra kindness every day to benefit Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) youth initiative. Ozzie spoke about the program and his involvement, as well as how people can be entered to win an all-expense paid trip for two to the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix, Arizona just by sharing their “pay it forward” stories.

Of course, Ozzie was gracious enough to field some questions about baseball as well, including what current players impress him and what his secret was to always being in the right position to come up big defensively. He also gave his take on whether or not Albert Pujols will return to St. Louis next year and what he thinks of the ever-evolving shortstop position.

For more information on Holiday Inn’s “Pay it Forward” program, including how you could win a trip for two to the 2011 All-Star Game, check out Holiday Inn’s Facebook page.

Ozzie Smith: Hey Anthony!

The Scores Report: Ozzie, how are you?

OS: Doing real good, how are you?

TSR: Excellent! As a fan and big admirer of the game, it’s a pleasure to speak with you today.

OS: Oh, no problem – no problem at all.

TSR: How did you get involved with Holiday Inn and their “Pay it Forward” program?

OS: Well, I’ve always been associated with Major League Baseball and now I’m teaming up with Holiday Inn to encourage people to “pay it forward” by showing each other a little extra kindness every day to benefit baseball’s connection with the inner cities. We’ve lost so many youth to different sports and many programs have been eliminated. Holiday Inn is about celebrating the everyday hero and this program encourages people to act heroically every day, from holding doors open, to giving up your seat on the bus, to buying a friend a cup of coffee. It’s small acts of kindness that make a difference day-to-day, and for each person who shares their story at Facebook.com/HolidayInnHotels, in turn, Holiday Inn will give tickets to Major League baseball games to children participating in RBI. The people who post their stories will be entered to win an all-expense paid trip to the 2011 All-Star Game. It’s a great way to do something good, make yourself feel good, and make someone else feel good, too.

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Text situation about to go from bad to worse for Brett Favre

NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 09: Quarterback Brett Favre  of the Minnesota Vikings walks on the field with his head down late in the second half against the New Orleans Saints at Louisiana Superdome on September 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won 14-9. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

According to Deadspin, two more women who worked with the Jets (as massage therapists) received advances from Brett Favre.

The woman (who wishes to remain anonymous for now — we’ll call her “Mandy”) worked as a massage therapist for the team for a couple years, but she says never had an incident with a player until No. 4 showed up at training camp at Hofstra University, where the Jets still worked out in 2008. “He was on the table next to mine,” she tells me. “He was looking at my ass the whole time while I worked on another player. He was … ogling me.”

The woman who was massaging Brett that day (massage therapist No. 2, or “Lindsay”) exchanged numbers with him. (Mandy claims it’s common for players to take the numbers of team-contracted massage therapists should they need additional rubdowns off campus. Yeah, I know. Please don’t.)

Lindsay received a text message from Favre, according to Mandy. Lindsay assumed it was for a massage but quickly realized Brett was asking for more. He invited both Lindsay and Mandy back to his hotel room. Mandy claims that the texts became increasingly inappropriate (“just nasty stuff”), but she adds that Brett did apologize when he found out she was married.

Here’s the full story if you’re interested.

The article goes on to say that the husband of “Mandy” called Brett after the incident and demanded an apology, which Favre never gave. Now the couple is threatening to take the story public (uh, even more public), but they want to talk to the NFL and the Jets first because they don’t want “photographers showing up on their lawn.”

It sounds as if Mandy and her husband are looking to parlay their story into a gift of some sort, but they may be waiting a while if that’s the case. The Jets want nothing to do with Favre and it’s not like they’re going to protect him in a situation like this. The NFL is already investigating the Jenn Sterger situation and it’s not like they’re going to pay these people off just because it’s Brett Favre. It sounds as if the league is seeking punishment.

But regardless of what “Mandy” and her husband want in the end, this isn’t good news for Favre. This situation seems to be snowballing fast and just as the Tiger Woods scandal proved, the media isn’t going to stop until it uncovers all the details.

Hang onto your Wranglers, Brett.

With help from Gatorade, Eli, and LT, TSR spends a day in the life of an athlete

“Do you guys want to play Foosball?”

“Sure, sounds cool.”

“All right, it’ll be LT and me versus you two.”

There I was, in a trendy New York City building in SoHo, lined up across from a sure-fire, first-ballot Hall of Famer ready to play Foosball. While I tried to remember the last time I played the table game, flashbulbs started to go off around me as the ball was dropped into play.

This is going to be an interesting night, I thought to myself.

After years of it only being available to college and pro athletes, the sports nutrition leader Gatorade is set to release “G Series Pro” to the public. The beverage line, which is designed to help elite athletes perform at their top level before, during and after practice or competition, will be available at GNC stores nationwide starting on May 1.

To help launch the new “G Series Pro” product line, Gatorade held a get together in Manhattan on April 13. Along with an exclusive group of media members, in attendance that night were Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning, Jets’ running back LaDainian Tomlinson, as well LT’s new teammates, offensive lineman D’Brickashaw Ferguson and receiver Jerrico Cotchery.

“What are you doing, man?” I barked at my Foosball teammate Kyle (another member from the media) after he allowed Tomlinson to score two quick goals to send us to an early 2-0 deficit. “You’re killing us with your play!”

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Chris Paul out 1-2 months

Hornets’ star Chris Paul needs arthroscopic surgery for a cartilage tear in his left knee reports Yahoo! Sports. He’ll be out 1-2 months, although the injury isn’t expected to end his season.

Paul injured the knee in the final moments of regulation in a loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday. Paul was injured after he fell into a photographer on the baseline after trying to catch an errant inbounds pass from Hornets forward David West. Paul came up limping after the play, which led to the Bulls tying the game with .2 seconds left.

Paul also told reporters he had initially twisted the same knee in a win over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
Test results revealed a partial tear to Paul’s meniscus. There is still some doubt as to the extent of the injury, one source said, but it is not believed to be season-ending.

The Hornets will now rely on rookie point guard Darren Collison in Paul’s absence. Collison has already made nine starts in place of Paul (who also missed time with an ankle injury earlier this year) this season, averaging 15.1 points per game, 7.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals.

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