Team USA, The Olympics, NFL and College Football, MLB Diamond Dust + Free Plays for Thursday, August 9, 2012

2012 London Olympic Games: Day Twelve

Team USA mauls Australia to reach semis

Kobe Bryant nailed three straight threes in the fourth quarter and Lebron James had a triple-double as Team USA used a big fourth quarter to blow out pesky Australia 119-86. Kobe had all 20 of his points in the second half while Deron Williams chipped in with 18, Mello 17, and Kevin Durant 14. Lebron had his usual solid game with 11 points, 14 rebounds, and 12 assists. Team USA will meet Argentina for the third straight time in the Olympic semifinals. The Americans beat the Argentines 126-97 on Monday in the final game of pool play.

Lolo Jones on media criticism and not medaling

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Treanor/Jennings win third consecutive gold in beach volleyball

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings defeated fellow Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy to capture their third straight beach volleyball gold medal. Treanor/Jennings were dominant throughout the competition dropping just one set along the way. Good stuff from two mid-30s that have now won 20 straight Olympic matches.

Around the horn at NFL training camps

Andy Reid returns to Eagles the day after son’s funeral

A day after the funeral of his oldest son, Philadelphia Eagle head coach Andy Reid returned to Eagle practice Wednesday saying, “it was the right thing to do”. Reid will be on the sidelines Thursday when the Eagles open their exhibition season at home hosting the Steelers. Garrett Reid, the oldest of Reid’s five children, was found dead Sunday morning in his dorm room at Lehigh University where he was assisting the team’s strength and conditioning coach during training camp. More than 900 people, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, general managers and coaches from other teams and current and former players, attended the funeral service Tuesday.

Andy Reid’s Wednesday presser

Brown’s Richardson might need surgery on left knee

Trent Richardson, the Brown’s top pick and the third overall pick in the 2012 draft, is tentatively scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery Thursday to remove a “hang nail particle” of loose cartilage that is irritating his left knee. Richardson had had surgery on the knee in February after tearing a meniscus in the National Championship Game vs LSU. If everything goes well, Richardson is expected to be ready for the Browns season opener.

First female official debuts tonight in San Diego

Shannon Eastin will become the first female to work as an official of an NFL game when she takes the field tonight as line judge of the Packer/Charger exhibition game in San Diego. Eastin is a replacement official being readied to take the place of the NFL regular officials who have been locked out since their last contract expired. Commisioner Roger Goodell has hinted that there could be as a many as three women officials doing games this year. Eastin is a referee in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (FCS division) and also runs a company that trains officials in football and basketball.

MLB Diamond Dust

Rangers and Josh Hamilton suspend contract talks

The Texas Rangers have broke off contract talks with their soon to be free-agent superstar outfielder Josh Hamilton stating that the two teams are just too far apart. Hamilton is reportedly looking for an “elite” eight to ten year deal worth more than $200 million. Texas has been thinking more along the lines of five years and $100 million. The Rangers have held firm on negotiating deals of longer than five years and that may have been a factor in not being able to sign Cliff Lee and Prince Fielder. Though they love Hamilton, the Rangers are unlikely to give the 31-year old anything more than a five-year deal considering his substance abuse history.

MLB betting nuggets for Thursday, please note that this is a travel day with several matinee games. Josh Johnson is 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his L3 starts for Miami. Jordan Zimmermann is 5-1 with a 2.19 ERA in his L9 starts for the Nats. Doug Fister is 4-1 with a 1.62 ERA in his L5 starts for the Tigers. The Cubs have lost Chris Volstad’s L10 starts. Felix Dubront rocks a 6.47 ERA in his L3 starts for the Red Sox.

The Giants have won seven of their last nine road games. The Brewers have won nine of their last 12 home games. The Tigers are 16-2 in their L18 home games. The Mets have lost nine straight home games. The Astros are 4-33 in their L37 overall. The Jays have lost eight of their last ten overall.

The Over is 19-6 in the Giants L25 with suitcase. The Under is 14-7-1 in the Pirate L22 games overall. The Under is 15-3 in the Ray’s L18. The Under is 7-2 in Kuroda’s L9 starts.

Holgorsen and West Virginia agree to six-year deal

West Virginia and football head coach Dana Holgorson have agreed on a new six-year contract. Holgorsen will earn $2.3 million this season under the new deal, athletic director Oliver Luck said Wednesday. The new contract includes $250,000 in base pay and the remainder in supplemental pay from athletic department revenue or private sources. Holgorsen, now in his second year, will receive annual raises of $200,000 in the second and third years of the contract, and $100,000 in the fourth and fifth years. The agreement also includes performance incentives, including for team academic achievements, regular-season victories, conference titles and postseason bowl appearances. One area spells out reasons Holgorsen can be fired. They include being convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving “moral turpitude,” a plea of no contest, and if he is involved in substance abuse or habitual drunkenness. Holgorsen also would have to pay a $2 million penalty if he leaves before the contract expires.

Free Plays

(MLB) Miami (Johnson) +133 over NY Mets (Dickey) 12:05 PM EST

(MLB) Pittsburg (W Rodriguez) -122 over Arizona 4:05 PM EST

(MLB) Cincinnati (Leake) -151 over ChiCubs (Volstad) 8:05 PM EST

(MLB) BoSox (Doubront) -135 over Kansas City (Smith) 7:05 PM EST