Archive for June 4th, 2008

04
Jun
08

He Also Invented the 3 Point Shot and Dribbling

Ronnie Craven is a man who likes to use Craigslist to find women for him to woo. Nothing too out of the ordinary there, except that he likes to pretend that he is a member of the front office staff of the Seattle Supersonics. “I am going to be honest with you. I don’t work for them,” Craven told a Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter, “(The situation was) all brought on by an online dating thing. Craigslist. I lied to her. Does that mean I can go out there and represent the Sonics? No. Does that mean that I did it to get some (sex)? Absolutely.”

226cravenIt seems that Ronnie cravenly told his local paper about how he worked with the Sonics, even being featured in an article, and fine fact-checking that they did, no one ever realized that he was lying. To the woman he was dating, he told her that he was Jeff Turner, a former NBA player.

At other times Craven presented himself to friends and acquaintances as a longtime friend of Sonics GM Sam Presti, even claiming that he had served as a scout and as an assistant coach for several games this season. At the Seattle Athletic Club he told players in a pickup game that he was Todd Lichti, another former NBA player, of course, Lichti is only 6′ 4″ and Craven is 6′ 8″…

When the woman confronted Craven about his dishonesty, he immediately apologized, she said. “He said doesn’t know why he did it, yada, yada, yada. This guy really went above and beyond. I knew nothing about basketball and he said, ‘Great, because I hate talking about basketball and girls wanting to be with me just because I was a player.’ ” Craven admitted that he wasn’t Jeff Turner, but continued to insist that he had played 12 years in the NBA.

Craven proclaims that he never presented himself as a Sonics employee when interviewed by Jack Nikas, a Boston University student and reporter for the Somerville News who did the story on Craven. However, “according to Nikas, Craven walked into the newspaper’s office wearing a Sonics coaching shirt and told Nikas he was a coach and scout. He claimed he met Presti when the Sonics GM was a youth basketball player and tried recruiting Presti to Framingham State, a Division III school 25 miles west of Boston where Craven said he was the head coach.”

The Somerville story apparently was precipitated by emails that Craven’s former girlfriend believes he in fact sent to the newspaper, something which Craven denies. Ronnie Craven remains all class though, telling the Seattle P-I, “I’ll admit, it was a hoax. It was all a put-on. But somebody who I met on a dating site is trying to sabotage me. This is some broad that I lied to who said I did identity theft, (and) I am not going to know what hit me. There was no intimacy in the relationship. I never tapped her.”

I’m sure she’s very thankful for that. “To be honest with you, this whole thing has already taken its toll,” Craven continued, “I know my credibility doesn’t look so great right now. This is embarrassing for me. At this point, I don’t know what to do. I will say this is very, very disturbing.”

04
Jun
08

Lou Piniella Walks Among Us

Google Maps’ Street view feature has provided a nearly endless stream of interesting and funny pictures, from girls flashing the vans to a drug deal going down, and today, via SportsbyBrooks comes an awesome moment captured forever in Google maps. Driving outside Wrigley the Google vans managed to catch a Cubs celebrity out on the streets; the man, the myth, the legend, Lou Pinella Piniella.

piniella

If you type in 3552 N. Clark, Chicago IL 60636, or click here you can check it out yourself. Turns out big Lou is an ordinary man of the streets just like the rest of us. Unfortunately the vans moved on and missed Lou freaking out about a scratch on his car, ripping the car seats out and throwing them into the middle of the road. Ah well. Next time.

04
Jun
08

ESPN Gives Us the Wrong Answers

I love Peter Gammons, I grew up anxiously awaiting his Sunday baseball notes column in the Boston Globe and think he’s the best. When I read his latest blog post, he mentioned how few big leaguers had come from the various first round drafts in the 10 drafts from 1995 to 2004. Now I love all drafts and some of the numbers seemed really interesting and bizarre, so I went and checked them out. It turns out that a lot of Gammons’ numbers were wrong. Once more, I think Gammons is totally boss, therefore, I choose to believe the errors in his latest blog post entitled “Three Draft Questions, Answers” are the fault of someone else at ESPN. (The article is a part of ESPN insider, and if you aren’t a subscriber the stuff I’m referring to is right here and here.)

(Players in parentheses are currently not on MLB rosters but have played in the bigs at some point this or last season and remain on the 40 man rosters)

Gammons says: from the 1997 draft, just 8 first rounders are on MLB teams

In actuality: 10 of the 28 first rounders are currently on big league teams. They are:

JD Drew, Troy Glaus, Jason Grilli, Vernon Wells, Michael Cuddyer, Jon Garland, Lance Berkman, Adam Kennedy, Jayson Werth and Jack Cust

Gammons says: from the 2001 draft, 12 first rounders are on MLB teams

In actuality: 16 of 30 first rounders are on MLB teams, or if you want to not include the troika of Jeremy Sowers, Brad Hennesey and Macay McBride all of whom who have played in the majors but are currently in the minors, than the number would be 13, still different from Gammons’. They are:

Joe Mauer, Mark Prior, Gavin Floyd, Mark Texeira, John Van Benschoten, Chris Burke, Casey Kotchman, Gabe Gross, Aaron Heilman, Mike Fontenot, (Jeremy Sowers, Brad Hennesey, Macay Mcbride,) Bobby Crosby, Jeremy Bonderman, Noah Lowry

Gammons says: from the 2002 draft, 17 first rounders are on MLB teams

In actuality: I have 18 first rounders on teams, but that is including Russ Adams who is not in the majors right now. However, since the numbers haven’t added up any other time not including guys not currently in the majors but who have played within the last year, I’m counting it. The big leaguers are:

BJ Upton, Adam Loewan, Zack Greinke, Prince Fielder, Jeff Francis, Jeremy Hermida, Joe Saunders, Khalil Greene, (Russ Adams,) Scott Kazmir, Nick Swisher, Cole Hamels, Royce Ring, James Loney, Jeremy Guthrie, Jeff Francoeur, Joe Blanton, Matt Cain

Gammons says: From the 2003 first round, 18 players are in the bigs

In actuality: I have 17 and this time without anyone currently not in the majors, although several players are on the DL. The players in the bigs are:

Delmon Young, Rickie Weeks, Nick Markakis, Paul Maholm, John Danks, Ian Stewart, Michael Aubrey, Lastings Milledge, Aaron Hill, Ryan Wagner, Brian Anderson, David Murphy, Conor Jackson, Chad Cordero, David Aardsma, Chad Billingsley, Daric Barton

Gammons says: The 2004 first round has yielded only 7 big leaguers thus far

In actuality: I have 9 big leaguers not counting the 5 once and future big leaguers currently toiling on minor league teams (Humber, Niemann, Sowers, Purcy and Fields). The big leaguers I have are:

Justin Verlander, (Philip Humber, Jeff Niemann, Jeremy Sowers,) Jered Weaver, Bill Bray, Billy Butler, Stephen Drew, (David Purcy, Josh Fields,) Glen Perkins, Phil Hughes, Taylor Tankersley, Blake DeWitt.

Again, I must say that I LOVE Peter Gammons, the highlight of one spring training trip was that he waved to us from about 50 feet away, and I was legitimately excited, like, for an extended period of time. Much more excited, in fact, than when Shea Hillenbrand signed a ball for me. So, therefore, I am blaming the copy editors over at ESPN.Com for putting the wrong information in the boxes. For shame ESPN and not Peter Gammons–who is infallible because he’s fantastic although sometimes he’s been wrong but not this time because it was ESPN and not Gammons’ fault because I love Gammons.




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