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Game 22 Recap: Cubs 8, Marlins 6

The last time I recapped a Cubbie victory, Chicago defeated the Reds 3-0 to move to
8-4 on the season. That was ten games ago. A stretch that saw the Cubs lose seven of nine games put Chicago under .500 at 10-and-11 entering today’s game against the Florida Marlins.

As in my last recap, Rich Harden took the mound for the Cubs, this time facing Florida’s rookie starter Graham Taylor.

Harden was hit hard and thoroughly outpitched by Taylor as Graham would end up going five innings, allowing just two earned runs on five hits and three walks. Harden didn’t make it out of the fourth and finished with a line that looked like this: 3.2 innings, 6 hits, 5 earned runs, 4 walks and just 2 strikeouts.

But down 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the Cubs’ slap-hitting shortstop decided it was time to take his manager’s advice and attempt to pull the ball with runners on base. With the bases loaded and two outs, Ryan Theriot took Burke Badenhop into the second row of the left field bleachers for his first career grand slam, a shot that gave the Chicago a 6-5 lead.

Marlins Cubs Baseball

“Lou and I did have a discussion about it (last week),” said Theriot, who has eight homers in 1,351 career at-bats. “He sees me working out. He said I was plenty strong enough to do it so why don’t I do it? It’s cool. I’d like to hit a few every now and then.”

The slam seemed to rejuvenate the Cubs’ offense. Chicago made it 8-5 in the seventh on Geovany Soto’s RBI single and Fontenot’s sacrifice fly. Soto, Lee and Reed Johnson had two hits each; they entered the game in a combined 0-for-30 slump.

Aaron Miles who has quickly and almost definitively moved to the top of my list of most despised players to ever wear the Cubs uniform went 0-for-3 with SEVEN men left on base.

Kevin Gregg gave up a ninth-inning run before getting Hanley Ramirez to fly out for his second save of the year.

Rookie David Patton (1-1) worked two scoreless innings to earn his first career victory.

The Cubs are now 11-1 when scoring four or more runs, 0-10 when scoring three or fewer.

Then after the game Theriot, in his post game interview, was told to ‘hit another one tomorrow.’ Ryan responded with a short and simple: “I will.” Check back for Guy’s recap to see if Theriot can stay true to his word…



ESPN: Richard Pitino leaving Louisville for Florida

Courtesy of Pat Forde:

Louisville assistant coach Richard Pitino, son of the head coach, is leaving his father’s side for a similar position at Florida, multiple sources tell ESPN.com.

Florida coach Billy Donovan is a former Pitino player and assistant coach and is very close with the Pitino family.

A source close to the Louisville program said Richard Pitino could one day be considered head-coaching material, and going to work somewhere else could enhance his resume. Richard Pitino previously worked at Providence, Northeastern and Duquesne.


With all the madness surrounding UK’s coaching search, and still ongoing recruiting soap operas, there hasn’t been a lot of news out of the Louisville camp since the men’s basketball team fell in the Elite Eight and the women lost the National Championship to UConn.

This is a somewhat expected move by Richard Pitino.  Obviously he aspires to be a head coach someday (sooner than later) and staying at Louisville under his father would not have been as beneficial as branching out on his own at another established program.

As far as Forde’s source close to the Louisville program, yeah it would be pretty sweet to have Richard take over for Slick Rick when he’s done coaching in the Derby City.

Strong Second Half Propels Wildcats over Rebels, 71-58

One down. Could it be the one that finally gets the Wildcats going?

After struggling defensively in the first half, the ‘Cats held the Rebels to 20 points in the second half, en route to a 71-58 win. Kentucky will now move on to the second round to face the SEC regular-season champs, the LSU Tigers.

The first half was a bit of a roller coaster ride as the ‘Cats and Rebels traded off six to eight-point runs. Neither team would take a lead greater than five and Ole Miss took a two-point lead to the break.

Ole Miss shot 55 percent in the first half and was led by Terrico White, the SEC freshman of the year. White knocked down shot after shot with a hand in his face, especially late in the half, to lead the Rebels with 15 points. He knocked down three three-pointers in the process.

The Wildcats stayed in the game by dominating the offensive glass and getting to the line. They went to the break with 11 offensive rebounds and shot 9-of-10 from the line.

Despite their good work on the glass, head coach Billy Gillsipie was concerned about the Wildcats’ tenacity on defense. In the second half it looked like they may have finally got that message.

The Wildcats played well on the defensive end in the second half, holding the Rebels to 6-of-20 shooting and White to only six points, while forcing nine turnovers. Offensively, the ‘Cats clicked as well, even with Jodie Meeks struggling a bit from deep.

The main reason for the offensive efficiency. They protected the basketball. The Wildcats turned the ball over only 10 times. When Ole Miss brought full-court pressure, they beat them in transition.

The Ole Miss zone tantalized the ‘Cats in their first meeting. This time, the ‘Cats seemed to have a gameplan. In Darius Miller’s 24 minutes of action, he consistently got in the middle of the zone for either a 15-footer or looked to find someone down low.

Often times that person down low was Perry Stevenson, who did an excellent job of getting behind the Ole Miss defense and making himself available underneath.

With Meeks’ shot not falling he avoided forcing shots, which has been a problem of late. Instead, he used his speed and his knowledge that defenders would be chasing him all over the court. He came off of curls and with his defender behind him slashed his way to the hole.

Ole Miss did not have an answer. Meeks finished with 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting.

Patrick Patterson was his normal beastly self as “P Double” finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

The ‘Cats had four players finish in double figures with Stevenson and Miller joining Meeks and Patterson, with 13 and 12 respectively.

The ‘Cats put together a strong second half to claim their first win since they beat Tennessee at home on Feb. 21. They now move on to face LSU in a rematch of a game they lost less than two weeks ago.

Kentucky’s second-half performance was a good sign and it was evident that they enjoyed being out there. Maybe the SEC Tournament is the fresh start they needed.

They are going to have to play more than a good 20 minutes to get by the SEC regular season champs.

The Pinkie Previews (W5)Ole Miss vs. (E4)Kentucky: Wink’s Breakdown

It was January 27th, the Cats had won their first five games in SEC play and had a nine-game winning streak overall. They were finally gathering respect nationally, receiving a #24 ranking in the Associated Press poll. Kentucky was rolling and many envisioned Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks leading the way to a regular season conference crown.

Then the unthinkable happened. The Wildcats got absolutely out-everythinged by an out-manned Ole Miss squad. An Ole Miss squad that entered the game on a three-game losing streak and had a 1-4 record in conference. An Ole Miss squad that was missing three key players, including their all-conference point guard Chris Warren, due to knee injuries.


Despite all of this, Kentucky left Oxford with their first SEC loss, 85-80. The Rebels’ zone took the Cats completely out of their offense and for the first time we saw Jodie Meeks standing around a bit. The Cats were absolutely bullied underneath by Malcolm White and company. They were killed on the glass, 42-32, as the inability to pull down defensive boards consistently led to Ole Miss points. Kentucky couldn’t find a way to keep Terrico White and the Ole Miss guards out of the lane. And they couldn’t defend the three as the Rebels knocked down ten of them.

At the time these problems were something we had seen before but not to this magnitude.  Billy Gillispie and the Kentucky fan base hoped that it was just a bad game or maybe even a case of overlooking an opponent. Not things you want to see from a potential conference champion, but not a season-killer either.

We thought. Turns out these deficiencies could be a season-killer. The same things continuously haunted the Wildcats throughout the remainder of the season and they were unable to regain that swagger.

Including that loss, Kentucky is 3-8, after starting SEC play at 5-0, and they have lost their last four. In order for them to make their 18th strait trip to the NCAA tournament they have to do one thing, win four games in four days and claim the SEC tournament. A tough task for a team that has won three games in the last month-and-a-half. Some say three wins will do it, but let’s first focus on the Rebels.

Ole Miss struggled down the stretch, just as the Cats did. They lost three of their last four, with their lone victory coming at Arkansas in overtime.  They rank in the bottom four in the conference in scoring offense and defense.


On defense, Kentucky must first focus on the Ole Miss guards, David Huertas (6-5, junior) and Terrico White (6-5, freshman). Huertas is leading the Rebels in scoring with 18.2 per game and has scored in double figures in all but one game this season.

Recently, Huertas has turned the reigns over to the SEC freshman of the year, Terrico White. White is a freakish athlete and came to Oxford with a reputation as a tremendous scorer. He has lived up to the billing, especially as of late. He is fourth in the SEC in conference scoring with 18.4 per-game and has scored in double figures in his last 11 games. White has also improved his stroke from deep. He has knocked down 36 three-pointers in those same 11 games.

Despite the fact that they killed Kentucky underneath in their earlier victory, the Rebels are just not strong underneath. They are eighth in the league in rebounding and tenth in blocked shots. Look for Malcolm White (6-9, sophomore), who had one of his two 20-point games on the season against Kentucky, and Murphy Holloway (6-7, freshman) to man the frontcourt.


On paper this is a game that Kentucky should definitely win, but they must first do something to prove that they have not quit on the season. Late in the year, it just did not appear as if the Cats were having fun, and it is hard to play loose and be effective when playing becomes a chore. Playing basketball for Kentucky comes with a lot of pressure and when things don’t go right that pressure can weigh down a team.

Sometimes when things go wrong, the only way to fix the problem is to go back to the scene where your troubles began. While, Tampa is not Oxford, the Kentucky Wildcats get that opportunity in round one of the SEC tournament. They get a chance to redeem that initial loss to the Rebels and foreseeably for their lousy play of late.

But, can the Wildcats forget their late season struggles and start anew in the SEC tournament?

If they can, and they get that first round victory against the Rebels, then maybe they find a sense of rejuvenation and start enjoying playing basketball again. After all, the game of basketball is all about having fun. If you aren’t having it, you aren’t going to win. It sounds too simple but sometimes the simplest things are the purest.

Sure, four games in four days is going to be a tough task. If Kentucky can get that first one, who knows what will happen. Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks are still wearing blue, so it is possible. But, to make a run they have to concentrate on one thing. Have fun again.





Need more on the 2009 SEC Tournament.  Well, Guy has just what  you are looking for.  For the 2009 SEC Tournament Viewer’s Guide, click here.

Gillispie Tells Meeks “Don’t Shoot!” ???

Kentucky basketball has been less than ideal to watch during the last few seasons. It appears this offseason is shaping up to play out ala an episode of All My Children or As The World Turns.

According to Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley, who relays the story from Florida’s Ray Shipman, Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie told his leading scorer, Jodie Meeks, to stop shooting during the Wildcats’ loss to Florida on Saturday.

Dooley quotes Shipman as saying, “Meeks and I were standing there after the timeout and he said his coach told him not to shoot anymore.”

Another strange story, but strange is becoming the norm in the Bluegrass as of late. You can read Pat’s entire column here.

On today’s Southeastern Conference coaches’ teleconference, Gillispie responded to the accusation with a simple: “No. Absolutely Not. (Meeks) pretty much had the green light” to shoot the entire season.

A very odd story and one of many that are sure to develop in and around Lexington in the coming months. Is there any way this could be true? I don’t think so. However, some indications are Billy G is already on the hot seat, and stories like these sure aren’t going to help him cool off.

Astro finds his way home

As my favorite rapper Earl Simmons (DMX) waxes poetic in the Ruff Ryders’ Anthem:

Give a dog a bone, leave a dog alone
Let a dog roam and he’ll find his way home

Oh so true Earl, oh so true. It appears a reunion of epic proportions was recently made possible between a German Shepherd, named Astro, who had been missing for NINE YEARS(!) and his original owners, the Geary family.


It is possible Astro chilled with his space fam for the nine years he was AWOL from the Geary family...

Now living in Louisville, the Geary family has moved three times from Port Lucie, Florida since Astro went missing one month after they adopted him from a local shelter in Palm City way back in 2000.

On Jan. 29, 2009, an animal control officer in Tennessee picked up Astro, who was running loose. Officers tracked down the family through a microchip implanted in the canine, and Astro and the Geary’s were happily reunited.


Lane Kiffin is an Idiot

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The new Volunteers’ coach was reprimanded by the Southeastern Conference and issued an apology Thursday after he falsely accused Florida coach Urban Meyer of a recruiting violation.

Earlier in the day, Kiffin told fans at a breakfast celebrating the Volunteers’ recruiting class that Meyer violated rules by phoning Nu’Keese Richardson while the wide receiver prospect was on an official visit at Tennessee.

“I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn’t get him,” Kiffin said, according to a WVLT-TV report.

NCAA and Southeastern Conference officials said it is not against recruiting rules to contact a recruit while they are on an official visit to another school.

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley delivered a quick and harsh response to Kiffin’s statement and called for him to apologize.

“It is obvious that coach Kiffin doesn’t know that there is not a rule precluding phone contact with a prospect during an official visit on another campus during a contact period. His allegations are inappropriate, out of line and, most importantly, totally false. It is completely unfair to Urban Meyer, our coaching staff, our football program and our institution,” Foley said in a statement.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive then reprimanded Kiffin for publicly criticizing Meyer, which is against the league’s code of ethics.

That led to Kiffin’s apology.

“In my enthusiasm for our recruiting class, I made some statements that were meant solely to excite those at the breakfast,” Kiffin said. “I apologize to commissioner Mike Slive and the SEC, including Florida (athletic director) Jeremy Foley and coach Urban Meyer. My comments were not intended to offend anyone at the University of Florida.”

Kiffin’s first game against Meyer’s defending national champion Gators is Sept. 19 in Gainesville, Fla. The Florida-Tennessee rivalry, dominated by the Gators since Meyer’s arrival four years ago, is always heated. But Kiffin’s comments will undoubtedly be remembered by Florida and its fans when Tennessee comes to town, and become a storyline in the lead up to the game.

The 33-year-old coach was on the receiving end of questions about recruiting violations days after he was introduced at Tennessee.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier questioned whether Kiffin broke rules by contacting a recruit before being cleared by the NCAA to do so. Kiffin assured fans that he had been notified by the NCAA that he was cleared before making his first phone call.



Fox’s Lockses – ‘Cocks at Gators (-8)

Ok so I tried to get fancy and just proved a point: Foxy does NOT know hockey. Back to the basics. I’m lockin’ in on the Gators down in Gainesville tonight. This is not only a revenge game, but Florida is looking to rid themselves of that nasty taste left by the Volunteers in Knoxville their last game. The winner of this game will be guaranteed a share of the SEC East Division lead at the halfway point of the conference season. The winner of this game will be Florida (-8) LOCKED!


Career Record:  36-32-2

Boise State: 2008 Straitpinkie.com National Champeen!!

I still have no idea how Ole Miss did it.  I think that game sums up why sports are so awesome; anything can and will happen.  I hate the BCS and current setup, but there isn’t a team in the country that could defeat the Gators.  Somehow they lost to Ole Miss early on, AT HOME!  IN THE SWAMP!! (prolly due to the ghost of Ed Orgeron)

And here at straitpinkie.com, they have lost again….

In what was easily the closest matchup throughout the tournament, the fans of Boise showed their undying devotion and unbreakable will as they battled neck and neck with the Gators until the end.  Florida jumped out to an early 7 – 0 lead in the polls…. but here came the Broncs.  An endless wave of voters pushed Boise out in front 30 – 7 and they never looked back. 

Thanks to sites like Gatorsports and Floridafansite the 2009 BCS Champion Gators looked like they might finally put an end to the Broncos amazing run.  Florida several times pulled to within under five votes, but the Boise fans would have none of it.  The final tally was Boise 195, Florida 187.

2008 Straitpinkie.com Champeens!

2008 Straitpinkie.com Champeens!

The Boise State Broncos have shocked the world and it is our pleasure to present to them the 2008 Straitpinkie.com Champeenship!!!  Congratulations Broncos, you and your fans deserve it.

Fox’s Lockses – Florida/Oklahoma (OVER 70)

Foxy’s been too busy layin’ on the sofa Al Bundy style to post since Sunday…

But I’m here for ya now, an hour before kickoff to make sure you make some money tonight by layin’ a good chunk of your nestegg on the OVER 70 in the BCS Title Game.  Okie’s got no D, and have averaged about 70 ppg by themselves this year.  LOCK IT UP!!! Florida-Oklahoma OVER 70 !!!

Career Record 27-23-2

2008 Straitpinkie.com College Football Champeenship!! **Warning – Blue & Orange Clad Fans Only**

It is finally here!! The Inaugural Straitpinkie.com College Football Champeenship has reached the ultimate game:  Ninth seeded Boise State has impressed week in and week out with dominating performances over (5) USC, (1) Oklahoma, and (8) Penn State and will now get their shot at immortality as they take on the second seeded Florida Gators who have also run roughshod over the competition en route to the finale.  Vote now, as the polls close Thursday night at 8:00pm !!!

[poll id=”22″]


Yeah, USC was upset by Boise in this thing but they crushed Penn State in real life and for some reason don’t get a shot at the title. Anyways, LB Rey Maualuga isn’t too pissed about it as he got his freak on with Erin Andrews before the game on New Years.