Category:  Pro Sports

Junior Brave emerging from slump

imageI'm all for redemption and working past self-inflicted wounds. And that seems to be the case with Jordan "the Juice" Schafer, once a top prospect for the Atlanta Braves who was knocked off track this year with a 50-game HGH-related suspension.

He's playing again and has emerged from a prolonged slump that started when he returned from the suspension. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution featured a lengthy Q&A with Schafer over the weekend. But it sheds little light -- well, none -- on the suspension nor does Schafer provide an explanation about what happened.

He and his father have said it was all a misunderstanding in previous press reports. But Schafer still hasn't come clean. For that, I'll continue to hold a grudge against the sexy outfielder with the boyish good looks.

Q. What was it like when you came back from the suspension? What did you have to deal with?

A. It was a variety of things. I asked my teammates: 'I'm sorry guys, I wasn't here. I still followed you guys. I'd really like it if you guys would support me because I know I'm going to get a lot of stuff especially when we go on the road.' They were really good with that. The fans kill me all the time. That's to be expected. They're going to say what they want. Two nights ago I hit two home runs. In my fourth at-bat, I was on deck and the fans were still killing me.

Matt Ryan the man for Falcons opener

imageThat's right. The six-year, $72 million stud rookie for the Atlanta Falcons -- thought a long-shot for the team's Sept. 7 opener -- will suit up and lead his new team.

Team officials said they expect Matt Ryan to start all 16 games and he will become the first QB in the NFL since 2002 to become a starter.

“Anything you get in this game is earned, whether it be a touchdown, a win, whatever it is you earn it in this game,” Ryan said. “In some sense it is satisfying in that light. But trust me, there’s a lot of work ahead. I know that probably just as much as everybody else around here.

“There’s going to be some ups and downs. You’ve got to try and stay mentally tough and try and grind through it.”

So much for hunky QB Joey Harrington.


Are sexy athletes evil?

Comedy Central has a funny video exploring why sexy athletes are evil. There’s Michael Phelps at No. 1 and David Beckham at No. 5, with this snarky comment: “What’s the point of David Beckham? To get more gay guys to watch soccer? There are already gay guys watching soccer — they’re called Europeans.”

(Hat tip to the Olympics 2008 blog at Outsports. It’s a great stop for finding the latest in gay angles on the Beijing Games — and photos of sexy athletes.)

Watch the video after the jump.    READ MORE »

Ginepri quietly competes in New Haven

imageLocal tennis stud Robby Ginepri, fresh from a first-round defeat at the Beijing Olympics, is in New Haven this week for the Pilot Pen. It’s the last stop before the U.S Open, which starts Aug. 25.

A little jet lag didn’t slow Ginepri, who lives in Kennesaw. He knocked off Luis Horna on Monday and plays again today.    READ MORE »

Mike Piazza says bye to South Beach

imageMike "I'm not gay" Piazza wants out of South Beach. His condo is on the block for $4.9 million, quite a nice uptick for the 3,300-square-foot place he picked up in 2002 for $1.75 million. The three-bedroom unit has terraces and panoramic views and is designed with contemporary styling and limestone floors.

Piazza and his, uh, former centerfold wife have picked up a $10-million, eight-bedroom home in Miami. Piazza married the Playboy Playmate in 2005, three years after his infamous "I'm not gay" press conference and little more than a year after a New York Times article discussed the All-Star's live-in yoga instructor. The live-in, by the way, was a guy.    READ MORE »

G-Braves go with whistlepig

imageLet the jokes begin.

The Gwinnett Braves, preparing to open the 2009 season in a new $45-million stadium, now has a mascot. It's a whistlepig, otherwise known as a woodchuck, looking quite goofy with this glove, hat and jersey. Like Daffy and other Disney characters, the whistlepig isn't wearing anything below the belt. Yup, just furry nakedness.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Women’s soccer returning to Atlanta

Women's Professional Soccer says it's coming to Atlanta in 2010. The league opens next year in cities including Boston, Chicago and New York, with Atlanta and Philadelphia gaining teams the following year.

Atlanta is already home to the Silverbacks, which plays in the United Soccer Leagues. WPU is the successor to the Women's United Soccer Association, which included the Atlanta Beat from 2001 to 2003. The city is also being considered for a Major League Soccer franchise in an ownership group that includes Arthur Blank, the Home Depot co-founder who now owns the Falcons.    READ MORE »