Sports briefs Sept. 29, 2010
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Rays’ fan base called out by players
While the Tampa Bay Rays are battling for the top spot in the American League East, their fan base has been a topic of discussion. The team is on track to qualify for the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, but the organization is still having a hard time filling up Tropicana Field. Monday night saw only 12,446 fans show up to their matchup against the Orioles. This poor showing did not sit well with some players on the team, and third baseman Evan Longoria aired his grievances with the fans. “We’ve been playing great baseball all year. Since I’ve been here in , the fans have wanted a good baseball team,” Longoria told ESPN. “They’ve wanted to watch a contender. And for us to play good baseball for three years now, and for us to be in a spot to clinch again and go to the playoffs, we’re all confused as to why it’s only 15,000 to 20,000 in the building.” With the playoffs looming, it will be interesting to see how the fan base responds, and if they can sustain a serious following like the Red Sox and Yankees.
McIlroy calls out Tiger before Ryder Cup
With the Ryder Cup looming, and Tiger Woods’ play a serious topic of discussion among golf experts, any sort of controversial statement regarding the 14-time major champion would undoubtedly make headlines. This time it was Rory McIlroy, the 21-year-old upstart who won his first PGA Tour victory back in May at the Quail Hollow Championship. According to ESPN, McIlroy said he would relish the opportunity to play Woods during the famous matchup between the United States and Europe, which will be held this year at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales. “I would love to face him,” explained McIlroy in an interview with the BBC last month. “Unless his game rapidly improves in the next month or so, I think anyone in the European team would fancy his chances against him.” Tiger did not take the bait, and was curt in his responses.
Man convicted in Adenhart death
The tragic death of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart has finally resulted in a conviction. Adenhart, who was killed tragically in a car crash April 9, 2009, was with two other friends at the time of the accident. Monday, a jury convicted Andrew Gallo, a 23-year-old construction worker, and he now faces 50 years to life in prison. Prosecutors pushed the charge to second-degree murder, because Gallo had a previous DUI charge. Adenhart passed away only hours after pitching six innings in his major league debut. According to the Associated Press, Gallo had been warned repeatedly by family members of the dangers of driving under the influence. In addition, Gallo had signed a court form from an earlier drunk driving case, explaining that he would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law if something like this were to happen.
Magic: Howard extension a priority
With the biggest stars in the NBA shifting teams and signing extensions, it is interesting to see what will happen with Magic center Dwight Howard. The 24-year-old, 6-foot-11 perennial all-star was the No. 1 pick in the 2004 draft. He has since been named Defensive Player of the Year twice, an all-star four times and a member of the All-NBA first team three times. Howard has two seasons remaining on his contract before he hits the free-agent market, but according to ESPN, the Magic are going to do everything in their power to lock him up by this summer. With LeBron James and Dwyane Wade signing extensions this summer, the Magic will no doubt want to do everything in their power to ensure his presence in Florida for the foreseeable future.