Rumors: I figured I’d make this special section just for today to keep you updated on a couple rumors that are being reported on ESPN and local sports outlets. One rumor is that Shaq is most likely going to sign with the Boston Celtics next season to join the big 3. The sources say that it will be announced late Tuesday night or Wednesday if he decides to play for the Celtics. The Atlanta Hawks were originally rumored to be in talks with Shaq as far as a month ago to have him play there, but as of right now the Celtics seem to be in serious discussion with him to try and land him a contract.
Another big rumor being reported is that former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is planning to retire from football and move on with his life (sound familiar?). Head coach Brad Childress has yet to hear from Favre about retiring from football. However, multiple players on the Vikings claimed that he sent out text messages and told them that, “This is it.” Neither Favre nor the Vikings claim that these messages were sent out at this time. Both of these rumors should clear up within the next 24 hours, but who knows.
MLB: The Yankees are now looking at something they haven’t seen since June 12… a different division leader. The Tampa Bay Rays have claimed sole possession of first place in the AL East after they defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-4 and got help from the Toronto Blue Jays as they went on to beat the Yanks 8-2 Tuesday night, who now fall a game behind the Rays. It’s been twelve games now since Alex Rodriguez hit his 599th career home run after going 0-3 in the game. It is safe to say lately the pressure has gotten to A-Rod after everyone in the stadium is snapping pictures after every pitch during his at-bats hoping to capture his 600th dinger. Here’s another number for you: The Yanks have lost three straight, which matches the longest losing streak of the season for the team. The Yankees got off to a promising start as Mark Teixeira connected for a two-run home run in the first inning to give the Yanks a 2-0 lead. But after that, Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero settled down and shut down the Yanks. Romero threw a complete game, giving up two runs on only two hits and one walk in his bid for the win. Yankees starter Dustin Moseley couldn’t keep up with Romero, giving up five runs in seven and a third innings in his first losing effort this season. Wednesday’s series finale will be a very interesting day for A-Rod, for it will be three years exactly that he hit his 500th home run at the old Yankee Stadium against the Kansas City Royals. Phil Hughes (12-4, 4.07 ERA) gets the start for the Yankees as he takes on Blue Jays’ starter Shawn Marcum (10-4, 3.24 ERA) in a game where the Yanks look to bounce back and reclaim the AL East. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. and can be seen on YES.
The Mets looked to finally take advantage of gaining ground in the NL East as they took on the division-leading Atlanta Braves Tuesday night. Although it looked like the Mets were heading for defeat once again, Jeff Francoeur changed the script and added his own drama by launching a solo home run in the ninth inning to propel the Mets to a 3-2 victory over the Braves. R.A. Dickey kept the Braves in check on a rainy evening, a knuckleballer’s nightmare, pitching six innings and giving up two runs on five hits while walking four. Braves’ starter Derek Lowe also pitched well, throwing six innings and giving up one run on six hits while striking out three. That run came off of Jose Reyes, who doubled in the third inning to score Luis Castillo from second. Then in the seventh inning after Francoeur drew a walk, Chris Carter came off the bench to pinch-hit for Dickey and hit an RBI single to tie the game at 2. All that to set up late-inning heroics from Francoeur to put the Mets at six and-a-half games behind the Braves. This is exactly what this team needed if they want to make a run for the playoffs this season. Time will tell if this is the spark they needed for them to win often, or just be a footnote in another disappointing season for the Mets. Mike Pelfrey (10-5, 4.10 ERA) takes the hill for the Mets in Wednesday’s series finale and takes on Kris Medlen (6-2, 3.66 ERA) of the Braves. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. and can be seen on SNY.