This is an article from the Sept. 6, 2010 issue
Off of waivers by the White Sox, for whom he'll likely be a designated hitter, Dodgers leftfielder Manny Ramirez. The 38-year-old, 12-time All-Star came to L.A. from Boston (where he won two World Series, including, in '04, Series MVP accolades) in '08 and caught on quickly, batting .396 with 17 homers in his first 53 games. L.A. rewarded him with a two-year, $45 million contract, but the relationship soured after Ramirez failed a drug test in '09 (he was suspended for 50 games) and frequented the disabled list in '10. To Chicago, which sat 4½ games behind Minnesota in the AL Central through Sunday, Ramirez brings a .311 average and his tempestuous nature: He was tossed from his last game with L.A. on Sunday (above) after disputing a strike call on the first pitch he faced.
By NBC this season on its telecasts of Notre Dame home football games, commercial breaks. Hoping not to unduly restrain the hurry-up, often no-huddle offense being installed by first-year Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly, the network (which has aired Notre Dame games since 1991) agreed to employ five breaks per quarter, all shorter than the four slotted in previous seasons. "We've talked to NBC about the way we like to play the game," Kelly said on Aug. 24. "I'm very confident that we are going to be able to do the things that we want to do in terms of pushing the tempo without having to go to a commercial break."
By a Nevada coroner, that the May 9 death of 25-year-old LPGA golfer Erica Blasberg was a suicide (attributable to asphyxia and a lethal cocktail of pills) that had been covered up by one of the golfer's friends. On Aug. 24 Henderson police arrested 43-year-old physician Thomas Hess, who made the 911 call reporting Blasberg's death, and charged him with misdemeanor obstruction of justice. Hess was released on bail and faces up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. According to a police affidavit, Hess hid a suicide note and pills that he found at the scene, preventing police from making a quick ruling on the death. (A plastic bag had also been secured around Blasberg's head, and police were investigating foul play.) Hess, whose relationship with Blasberg remains unclear, later told police, "I know doing that was stupid, but I was trying to save some embarrassment for her."
At age 91, former Florida A&M band director William P. Foster, whose innovations at the historically black university, achieved in a time of racial intolerance, helped shape the art of the college marching band. A clarinet player with degrees in music from Kansas and Wayne State and a doctorate from Columbia, Foster arrived in Tallahassee in 1946 when the A&M program had 16 members. He renamed his unit the Marching 100 (above) in hopes that his charges would someday reach that number and, defying the style of the time, incorporated the sounds of black pop music—jazz, rock and R&B, often sampling whatever was popular on the radio—into his creatively choreographed, high-stepping routines. The Marching 100 (whose ranks eventually numbered as many as 400) later appeared on televised award shows and at Super Bowls, at presidential inaugurations and, in 1989, in Paris, at the bicentennial of the French Revolution. "Energy," Foster (inset, above) said, in summing up his style before retiring in '98. "Lots of energy.... Dazzle them with it."
To box in Texas after being denied the same request in California, former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito, opening the door for a Nov. 13 fight for a vacant junior middleweight belt with current welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs). For Margarito, the bout would be his first on U.S. soil since he took on Shane Mosley in L.A. in January 2009. In the lead-up to that match Margarito (38--6, 27 KOs) was discovered to have an illegal plasterlike substance inside his hand wraps. He lost that fight on a ninth-round KO, after which his California license was revoked. State regulators later brushed off Margarito's excuse that he was ignorant of the inserts and denied him a new license, leading to the change of venue, which was approved last week without a hearing.
With the United Football League's Omaha Nighthawks, Maurice Clarett. The former Ohio State running back scored the winning touchdown in the 2002 BCS championship game only to experience a quick fall from grace: He was banned at OSU for accepting improper gifts, sued the NFL over his draft eligibility and later spent 3½ years in prison on charges of robbery and concealing a weapon. Last week an Ohio judge granted permission for the back to leave the state, allowing him 30 days to try out for the Nighthawks. Before Clarett signed a one-year deal on Monday, UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue urged Omaha to invest fully into the former Buckeye. "Just throwing him to the wolves," said Huyghue, "I wouldn't be interested in that."
Career strikeouts reached by 24-year-old Mariners righty Felix Hernandez in an Aug. 25 win over the Red Sox. Only three pitchers have whiffed 1,000 by an earlier age: Bob Feller (22), Bert Blyleven (23) and Dwight Gooden (23).
Decrease from 2009 in the average value of an NFL franchise, according to Forbes, marking the first drop since the magazine began keeping track in 1998.
Las Vegas tab, including $35,000 at a bar, run up last week by Central Florida guards Jeffrey and Marcus Jordan, sons of Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, according to a post (later removed) on 19-year-old Marcus's Twitter feed.
Cost to taxpayers of an 18,000-seat football complex approved last week for Allen (Texas) High, the 2008 5A state champion. The facility will be ready for the 2012 season.
First basemen used by the Angels since starter Kendry Morales broke his left leg during a home plate celebration on May 29.
Time in which Kenya's David Rudisha ran the 800 meters on Sunday, the second time he broke the world record in seven days.
THEY SAID IT
MLB commissioner and former Brewers owner on the unveiling of a statue in his likeness outside Milwaukee's Miller Park last week:
"The guy didn't have much to work with, considering I've never been confused with Clark Gable."