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Sports Morning Headlines-Tuesday, 7/26/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Tuesday, July 26, 2011.

Fab ready to end retirement, join Argentina for FIBAs - Former Spurs center Fabricio Oberto says he’s ready to play basketball for Argentina during next month’s FIBA Americas Championship.  Oberto announced that he was coming out of retirement earlier this month, contingent on getting back into suitable playing shape. He had retired early last season from the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers after struggling with recurrent dizzy spells.  Earlier, he had been diagnosed with arrhythmia. Both concerns needed to be settled before Oberto would resume his basketball career.  But after several weeks of practice, Oberto told that he’s ready to go.   READ MORE

ProjectSpurs:  The point guard problem - A lot of attention has been paid to the issue of the San Antonio Spurs center position or power forward spot if you want to call Tim Duncan a center. With good reason, the Spurs, as we've covered in various articles, podcasts and writer's roundtables, are still smaller than everyone is comfortable with.  There's another problem though. The Spurs are even thinner at the point guard spot than they are at center. At least they have bodies at center, but at point guard, they don't have a whole lot past Tony Parker.  We know about the George Hill trade, but now Chris Quinn has flown the coupe. Say what you will about Quinn, and I don't have much to say about him, he was someone who knew how to play point guard and knew the Spurs' system. On top of that, have you seen the free agent crop for point guards? It's horrendous.   READ MORE

Second career chance - Kelvin Sampson welcomes the pro game's unique challenges even after 25 eventful years in the college ranks.  Kelvin Sampson doesn't know when it happened, and it doesn't matter, but sometime in the last three years, he changed.  He was no longer a former college coach working in the NBA. He was far from a coach biding his time until he could get back to the college game.  The players in his mind wore NBA colors, moved through NBA plays. After 25 years as a college head coach, he saw himself on NBA benches and practices.  "I look at myself as an NBA guy," said Sampson, who will join the rest of the new Rockets staff in Houston this week for the first time since he was made Kevin McHale's lead assistant. "This is exciting. I was really fortunate. You just get a fire that burns inside you."  Sampson, 55, did not intend to make the jump when he finished the 2007-08 season as a consultant with the Spurs.   READ MORE

Robert Horry opens rehab center in Sugar Land - Former Houston Rockets player and NBA Champion Robert Horry has opened a rehabilitation center in Sugar Land.  The Robert Horry Center for Sports and Physical Rehabilitation offers physical therapy, occupational therapy and a hand and upper extremity rehabilitation program.  The staff at the center includes physical therapists and occupational hand therapists who offer rehabilitation services for carpal tunnel and other problems that plague the wrist and hand.   READ MORE

JJ Barea Partners With Converse to Help Kids in Puerto Rico - Jose Barea is a superstar not just on the court but in the community as well. Check out pictures from this event recently held in Puerto Rico where Barea, joined by fellow Converse athlete Carlos Arroyo, helped open a gym where young kids could play basketball in a safe, nurturing environment.   READ MORE

Mavs' small backcourt won't be imitated - If you believe reports, at this rate, every owner in the NBA is about to don wearing blue jeans, every coach is asking his barber for a buzzcut and every sixth man is being administered a Larry-tattoo on his bicep.  The idea that the Dallas Mavericks are about to be mimicked by others desirous of stealing their crown extends now to one high-profile media suggestion that more teams might try ‘small' backcourts. Allow me to debunk some myths …  One column headlined "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," notes that "teams just typically don't win championships with this (small backcourt) style" and that the Dallas Mavericks "got away" with playing three point guard-sized players on the court at the same time. The quote marks are meant to hint that Dallas DIDN'T "get away" with anything, that the smallish guards and The 3-PG Attack was as cleverly intentional as it was wildly successful.  I didn't see it that way.   READ MORE







Rangers score MLB-high 20 to drub Twins - The Rangers pounded the Twins into submission on Monday, sending their first three hitters to the plate in each of the first five innings on the way to winning, 20-6, at Rangers Ballpark.  The Rangers, whose 20 runs and 27 hits are Major League highs this season, scored three runs in the first inning on a Josh Hamilton double and a two-run Michael Young home run.  That inning started a streak that has been duplicated just twice in baseball's modern era.  The Rangers did not score fewer than three runs in an inning until Phil Dumatrait, the fourth Twins pitcher, held the Rangers scoreless in the sixth.  Since 1900, the Rangers are the third team to score at least three runs in each of the first five innings. The first two were the 1900 Phillies, who beat the Pirates, 23-8, and the '91 Athletics, who beat the Rangers, 19-5.  The Rangers' 27 hits set a club record for most in a single game at home, while falling short of their 30-run, 29-hit rout in Baltimore on Aug. 22, 2007.  Each of the first three Twins pitchers gave up four or more runs, as the Rangers refused to let up.   READ MORE

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 20, Twins 6 - In an effort to beat the heat, the Rangers took batting practice indoors on Monday.  They may never come out in the light of day again.  Not after a hitting display that netted season high for runs (20) and hits (27) in an 20-6 thrashing of the Minnesota Twins before 35,573 hoarse fans at Rangers Ballpark.  The outburst, coming one night after the Rangers were shut out on four hits, had team officials hastily leafing through the record books.  The hit total is the most ever by the Rangers in a home game and second most in club history.  The onslaught started early and with consistent frequency. Three straight innings of three runs to start the game followed by innings of five and four runs.  Texas became only the third team since 1900 to score at least three runs in each of the first five innings. The feat was accomplished in 1900 in a Phillies-Pirates game and again in 1991 with Texas on the receiving end at Oakland.   READ MORE

Washington endorses search for reliever - Rangers manager Ron Washington agrees with general manager Jon Daniels. He would like to add a reliever to the Texas bullpen before the Trade Deadline.  "Definitely," Washington said. "Anything we can do to get better, [which] I know Jon Daniels is trying to do. There is no secret we are trying to fortify the bullpen. That's a priority of course."  The Rangers know that the Mets are trying to move outfielder Carlos Beltran. They have received conflicting reports on whether Beltran is willing to waive his no-trade clause to move to the American League. But they know the Mets are looking hard at the Rangers' farm system and had multiple scouts evaluate pitcher Joe Wieland in his start for Double-A Frisco on Sunday night.   READ MORE

Beltre hoping to return in two weeks - Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said Monday he is hopeful that he will be off the disabled list in a minimum of 15 days.  Manager Ron Washington is not so sure.  "I hope he is a quick healer, and I hope he gets right," Washington said. "We're not taking any chances in getting him back here before he is right."   READ MORE

Rangers farmhand Murphy returns to field - Clark Murphy, the Rangers' Minor League first baseman who took over two months off to care for his brother who was in a car crash, made his return to baseball on Monday, playing for the Rangers' Arizona Rookie League squad.  Conrad, Clark's brother, was hit by an 18-wheeler while he was driving home from baseball practice. Murphy said in late June that he was hoping to return at some point this year, if his brother made significant progress.  "He's walking with a cane, and talking in full sentences," Murphy said. "He's got a long road ahead, but he's still made a lot of progress already. Hopefully he'll keep being stubborn and makes a lot of progress, hopefully towards a full recovery."   READ MORE

Altuve enjoying the big league experience - For 21-year-old rookie Jose Altuve, his first road trip in his Major League career has been an interesting experience. Marathon bus rides and budget hotels have given way to charter flights and luxury hotels, not to mention playing at notable ballparks like Wrigley Field and Busch Stadium.  "This is my first time here in St. Louis and the same thing in Chicago," Altuve said prior to Monday's game at Busch. "I watched those fields on TV a lot of times, and it's like, 'Wow, now I'm playing here.' We're taking airplanes and staying in the nicest hotels. Everything is pretty good."  Another benefit to playing in the Major Leagues for Altuve is that his family back home in Venezuela has been able to watch him play on television. That wasn't the case when Altuve was plugging away at Class A Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi before being called up.   READ MORE

Mills sits Wallace against right-hander - The lineup card turned in by Astros manager Brad Mills on Monday raised a few eyebrows when Brett Wallace wasn't at first base against the Cardinals. Carlos Lee got the start at first base, with Jason Bourgeois starting in left for his first start since June 28.  Wallace, a left-handed bat, has routinely sat against left-handers but not against right-handers. The Cardinals started righty Kyle McClellan on Monday. Wallace has been struggling at the plate the past month, and Mills said he's going to pick and choose pitching matchups in the immediate future that give Wallace the best chance to be successful.  "I spent most of the day looking at a lot of video with him and some of our other hitters, and just looking at their approach against certain pitchers and just trying to match those up a little bit," Mills said. "He's still real young as far as his baseball age goes, so I think going forward [this is a plan for] the very near future -- I don't think it's going to happen the rest of the year -- and what I mean by that is maybe a week, maybe two weeks, and see how that works out. It might not work out very well."   READ MORE

Weekend once again reveals deep flaws in managerial tactics - Let me say up front that not everything this weekend can be pinned on Brad Mills. Mills can’t make his team start hitting with runners in scoring position; he can’t make Hunter Pence catch that fly ball in right; he can’t make his power-bereft team suddenly start hitting extra-base hits; and, he can’t suddenly be handed a bullpen that won’t blow leads.  But, this weekend, Brad Mills time and time again mismanaged the limited talent that he does have.  The ugliness started on Saturday in the eighth inning. Carlos Lee and Chris Johnson got a two-out rally going with back-to-back singles. Then, because the Cubs know Mills will pull Brett Wallace, they go to lefty Sean Marshall.   READ MORE






PLAYERS, OWNERS AGREE TO NEW DEAL - Players unanimously ratify Collective Bargaining Agreement - per NFL-TV.  Here is the schedule the NFLPA sent out to the players:  July 26 -- Team facilities will be open for voluntary training, conditioning and classroom instruction.  Teams can sign their drafted players, as well as undrafted free agents.  The trading of players can begin.  Teams can negotiate, but cannot sign or give offers sheets to their own UFAs, RFAs and franchise players.   READ MORE

Undrafted Texas Tech WR Lyle Leong to sign with Cowboys - According to a report tonight from, the site covering Texas Tech football, former Red Raiders wide receiver Lyle Leong will sign with the Cowboys on Tuesday as an undrafted free agent.  I covered Leong at Texas Tech for two years. He's a great athlete who finished last year with 74 catches for 926 yards and 19 touchdowns. He's only 6-1 or so, but he has great leaping ability. He's a two-time state high jump champion, having cleared a personal-best 7-1, at Abilene. Leong's father, also Lyle Leong, played in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles.   READ MORE

Following long layoff, Cowboys ready to work - Stephen Bowen, one of the Dallas Cowboys' unsigned free agents, knows where he would feel comfortable playing this season.  Right next to linebacker DeMarcus Ware.  That's one of the reasons the defensive end would prefer to re-sign with the Cowboys, who are free to begin negotiating with him and other free agents at 10 a.m. today as team facilities open across the NFL.  "DeMarcus Ware and I have been working every weekend, just me and him, just talking about getting on the field, rushing the passer, about the things we can do this year to disrupt people, especially on third down -- we would be on the same side," Bowen said.  No matter where he ends up, Bowen will be happy simply to get back on the field. And he won't be alone in that regard.   READ MORE

NFL Free Agency: Why Nnamdi Should Sign with Houston - Each and every offseason, a new class of free agents provides the opportunity for teams all around the NFL to get better. This year is a little different because what is normally a four month period is being condensed to just several days before training camps open. The free agency wire is sure to be incredibly busy, but most eyes will focus on several key star players.  The position of cornerback is a unique one. The right player can erase the threat of your top wideout. We've seen what Charles Woodson has done in Green Bay, more so in his prime, as well as what Darrelle Revis has done for the New York Jets. To me, no type of player across the entire league is more impressive than a true shutdown cornerback. Being responsible for the opposing team's No. 1 receiver week in and week out is no small feat, yet several players across the league do it and make it look easy.   READ MORE

Texans Sign Zac Pauga - Able to give LanceZ full credit this time on the linky.  Here's a scouting report on Pauga.  That sound you just heard is Vonta Leach NOT being re-signed.   READ MORE

Texans Sign Oregon WR Jeff Maehl - Here's a scouting report on Maehl.  Considering the late signing, it's most likely Maehl is a camp body.   READ MORE

Battle Red Blog Presents A World Premiere Exclusive Interview With J.J. Watt - In electrical physics, a watt is the rate at which work is done when an object's velocity is held constant at one meter per second against constant opposing force of one newton.  Wow, I can actually hear your eyes glazing over with that introduction.  In short, a watt is a measurement of work and it seems fitting that should also happen to be the last name of rookie Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.  J.J. Watt is participating in a campaign run by Gatorade and the NFL called "Beat the Heat" and he was good enough to give me a few minutes of his time to answer some questions. actually want to read the interview?  Well, to do that, you'll have to go and hit the jump just right below here.  Don't worry, it won't hurt...unless you hit the jump with a hammer, then there's the possibility of shrapnel; but why would you use a hammer?   READ MORE


Stars make Les Jackson contract extension official - The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has signed Director of Player Personnel Les Jackson to a two-year contract extension through the 2012-13 season.  Jackson, 58, is entering his 24th season with the Stars, dating back to the club's days in Minnesota. Most of that time has been spent doing what he does best - managing and overseeing the club's scouting program, which includes monitoring the development of all amateur and professional prospects. Jackson also served as co-general manager of the Stars from 2007-2009.   READ MORE

Jamie Oleksiak to play junior hockey - Jamie Oleksiak, the big defenseman who was drafted 14th overall by the Stars in June, will move from Northeastern University to Major Junior hockey and the Saginaw Spirit next season, according to the Spirit website.  It's not unexpected, and could actually be good for Oleksiak's development.   READ MORE

Stars Prospect Jamieson Oleksiak Signs With Saginaw Spirit - The Saginaw Spirit report this morning that they have signed Stars defensive prospect Jamieson Olekisak, ending a weeks worth of rumors that said as much.  Oleksiak had two big decisions before him after being drafted by the Dallas Stars: Where to play internationally and where to play his regular season. He chose to go Canadian in both instances, leaving Northeastern for Saginaw and turning down the United States invitation for their junior national team camp in favor of Canada's.   READ MORE

---Staff and Wire Reports contributed to this story



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