Saint appeals denied, Lamar done in Dallas, BoSox and Yanks notch first wins

Bountygate suspensions upheld, start Monday

As expected, “After careful consideration”, the NFL upheld the Bountygate suspensions of key Saints personnel. HC Sean Payton’s suspension will begin on April 16, the league announced, while the suspensions for GM Mickey Loomis (eight games) and coach Joe Vitt (six games) will begin immediately following the conclusion of the NFL’s preseason.

“The club and the individuals will be expected to cooperate in any further proceedings and to assist in the development and implementation of programs to instruct players and coaches at all levels on principles of player safety, fair play, and sportsmanship,” the league said in a statement.

The suspensions for Payton, Loomis and Vitt do not automatically just “end” and Goodell “will review the status” for all three and “determine their eligibility for reinstatement.”

The Mavericks deactivate Lamar Odom for the rest of the season

It seemed like one of the bets gets of the NBA offseason but Lamar Odom’s time in Dallas is over. After averaging a mere 6.6 points per game (less than half his career average) and shooting just .352 from the field in 50 games … the Mavericks will deactivate Odom for the rest of the season. After losing Tyson Chandler to the Knicks in free agency, Dallas was able to pick up one of the most talented big men in the NBA and arguably the best sixth man in the league for basically a pick and a trade exception but … after a tumultuous offseason and the Kardashian circus, things just never worked out as Odom played the worst ball of his career.

On the court, the Spurs had their 11-game winning streak snapped at Utah 91-84. Greg Popovitch, with the playoffs locked up, left his big three of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli home to rest. All three picked up DNPs. The Magic, playing without Dwight Howard (back), pummeled Detroit 119-89 shooting 53% from the field and burying 15-28 threes. The Lakers used a 28-19 fourth quarter to edge the Hornets 93-91. Memphis climbed to within a half game of the Clippers for the four seed and last home court in the West, beating the Clippers 94-85. Mark Gasol had 19/8/7 for the red-hot (8-2 L10) Grizz. In a battle between teams with a combined 20-92 record, Washington waxed Charlotte 113-85 as the Bobcats dropped their 12th straight. Indiana, OKC, Denver, Phoenix, and Houston rounded out Monday night’s winners.

Pittsburg Penguins 4-1 Canucks 5-1 Rangers 7-1 Louis Blues 8-1 Bruins 17/2
Detroit Red Wings 12-1 Predators 12-1 Flyers 14-1 Blackhawks 18-1 Jose Sharks 20-1 Kings 22-1 Devils 22-1 Coyotes 25-1 Capitals 25-1 Panthers 35-1 Senators 35-1

Yanks, Red Sox, and Giants post first wins, Braves continue to struggle

After San Francisco’s big three of Lincecum, Bumgarner, and Cain went down in flames … the Giants found the win column behind Barry Zito. The ex-Cy Young Award winner threw his first complete game shutout since April 18, 2003 with a 7-0 whitewash of Colorado. Zito threw 114 pitches in the four-hitter striking out four. The Yankees snapped the Baltimore win streak at three with a 6-2 win over the Orioles. Andruw Jones homered and Derek Jeter went 4-for-4 for the Bombers. The Red Sox got three in the ninth to beat Toronto 4-2. Yu Darvish overcame a rocky start to his Texas Ranger career but lasted the mandatory five innings to pick up the win in an 11-5 win over the Mariners. Texas signed 2B Ian Kinsler to a five-year $75 million dollar extension.

SP3 Potpourri

It was a busy day in college basketball. As expected, Kansas junior PF Thomas Robinson will forgo his senior season and enter the NBA draft. Robinson figures to be a top five selection in the June 28 draft. Trey Burke (Michigan), CJ McCollum (Lehigh), Tony Mitchell (North Texas), and BJ Young (Arkansas) have all withdrawn from the draft and will return to school.
LSU HC Trent Johnson will take over the top spot at TCU. The Frogs have not been to the NCAA tournament since 1998. Both Baylor basketball programs are facing NCAA sanctions for illegal phone calls and texts. The Lady Bear’s 40-0 perfect season and championship is not likely to be affected.

Olympic gold-medalist diver Mark Lenzi is dead at 43, apparently of natural causes. Lenzi was hospitalized two weeks ago for fainting spells caused by low blood pressure. Lenzi switched from wrestling to diving after watching Greg Louganis in the Olympics and is the last American to medal in diving.

Free Plays

(NBA) Charlotte/Cleveland Over 192.5

(MLB) Atlanta (Hanson)/Houston (Weiland) over 7.5

(MLB) Cubs (Maholm) +110 over Milwaukee (Narveson)

(MLB) WSox (Humber)/Cleveland (Gomez) over 7.5