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Philadelphia Phillies Fan Picks The Wrong Nationals Fan to Mess With

Any shred of an inkling I ever had about wondering what would happen to me if I vomited on an off-duty cop is officially gone.

Gone like Matthew Clemmens’ dignity.

Clemmens, the 21-year-old New Jersey man who was arrested on April 14 at a Phillies game, pleaded guilty Tuesday to simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment.

Apparently alcohol is a powerful drug that makes you do some pretty crazy things. In Clemmens’ case, he stuck his fingers down his throat and intentionally vomited on Michael Vangelo (the off-duty cop) and his 11-year-old daughter.

This was all after Clemmens and his friend (who was escorted out of the stadium before the upchucking) had heckled, cursed at and spilled beer on Vangelo and his daughter.

Vangelo and his 15-year-old daughter both complained to security that Clemmens and his friend were spitting on the 11-year-old as well.

To top it all off, after Clemmens vomited on the family, he attacked Vangelo by punching him several times in the head.

I’ve had too much beer before but I’ve never had that much beer.

I can’t imagine how Vangelo put up with security not kicking these two idiots out of the stadium earlier. How he didn’t attack these two with physical violence is beyond me.

I’m sure everyone sitting around those two wouldn’t have stopped Vangelo from pounding those two into the ground. Other fans might have even helped Vangelo, and those two would have left the stadium in an ambulance. (This is Philly we’re talking about.)

Kudos to Vangelo for handling things the right way. I’m not sure other dads with daughters out there would have been able to control themselves.

And while the Vangelos said they are satisfied with the outcome, I can’t say I am.

Clemmens is expected to be penalized for being one of the biggest jerks in the history of public sports spectating only by being put on probation.

An 11-year old being pelted by chunks of vomit? Yeah, that seems about right.

A 17-year-old runs onto the field at the same stadium May 3 and gets tased. That’s a much worse punishment than Clemmens will get.

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Lima for the Last Time

Several years ago after cutting him for the umpteenth time off countless rotisserie baseball squads over my career, I was certain that I would never miss Jose Lima.

But I was wrong.

The 37-year-old former big league pitcher died in his sleep after a “massive” heart attack sometime Sunday morning.

The eccentric thrower, who often referred to his pitching appearances as “Lima Time,” always drew me in with his charisma and passion for his craft.

But what got me to appreciate him even more is when he would go seven strong innings without surrendering a run and striking out eight in the process. I couldn’t click “Add This Player” fast enough on my league’s waiver wire to get him on my team.

And then less then a week later I would always be racing to a computer to drop him off my roster after two consecutive starts where he would give up a dozen runs and not make it out of the third inning, crippling my ERA and WHIP in the process.

Fantasy analysis aside, Lima was one of the great characters on the mound in the line of Mark “The Bird” Fidrych and Roger McDowell. And that’s what I–and baseball people everywhere–will miss most about him.

Lima was the spice of the sport. He’s what made us turn the channel to the ballgame. He’s what made us click the turnstiles. He’s the one that always had us rooting for his cause.

It’s tough for an athlete to be self-promoting and flamboyant and still capture the appreciation of fans everywhere. But Lima excelled at it.

So for a guy who I never thought I’d miss, I find myself wishing he could come back and pitch just a few more games.

After all, baseball can never have enough Lima Time.

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Breaking news? Lets Keep It To The Important Stuff

You have to love that scroll at the bottom of the screen.

ESPN’s Bottom Line is one of my favorite things about the network. It gives me everything I need to know in bite-sized pieces, including breaking news.

Boy, am I am captivated by that breaking news red glow at the bottom. It gets my heart thumping and mind racing.

“Did LeBron just buy a house in Chicago?”

“Did the Raiders sign T.O.?”

“Did the Yankees just send a few prospects to Florida for the Marlins’ starting lineup?”

“Did LeBron just buy a house in New York?”

You can imagine my disappointment when I discovered what news the Bottom Line was breaking today:

In an interview with ESPN’s Bonnie Ford Wednesday, former Tour de France champion Floyd Landis said that he used performance-enhancing drugs for most of his career.

Thanks, ESPN. Is water still wet, too?

In a sport that has been riddled with dopers, this doesn’t come as a surprise to me. Even when Landis had his Tour de France title stripped because of positive drug tests, he was so adamant that he was clean, he got me to think that he was actually lying.

And to make himself look like less of a bad guy, he decided to throw national hero Lance Armstrong under the bus as well.

I’m not going to write about all the other stuff you’re going to see on other websites, like how could Landis have the audacity to lie, and that yet another athlete has fallen short of our expectations. I’m here to gripe about the breaking news.

Athletes in all sports use drugs. Illegal drugs. And most of those athletes are a dime a dozen. However, some of them achieve success and break records, and those few have us all up in arms.

So when a lab develops a test that can prove whether an athlete ever took PEDs, and guys like Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa pass that test, let me know ASAP. That’s breaking news.

Obviously a guy like Landis got caught up in his passion for success. It sounds like he thought that because so many other competitors were doping, he felt he had to do it to win. And he also said he doesn’t feel guilty about it.

That last paragraph could be said about hundreds–and probably thousands–of athletes in dozens of sports ever since amphetamines were the drug du jour in the 1950s.

Breaking news is when these guys are proven to be clean. Don’t waste that beautiful glowing crimson color on a story like this one, which barely qualifies as news.

Gotta go. I think I just saw LeBron James with my apartment manager.

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NBA: The Games Off the Field

Only 409 more days.

That’s right, in fewer than 59 weeks, the 2010 NBA free agency period opens.

And it will open sans LeBron James. No Dwyane Wade, either. Chris Bosh will be inked to a team already. Not even Joe Johnson will be available. All of those guys get their big deals this summer.

But I am still totally psyched for next year’s free agent class for one reason:

The possibility of Kevin Durant coming to Milwaukee.

(Quick pause for me to put my crack pipe down.)

It’s a long shot, I know. Oklahoma City will probably not let him go, considering he is a top-five player in the league. And even if by some horrible mismanagement the Thunder didn’t sign Durantula, why would he come to Milwaukee? No one comes to Milwaukee. Bango the Buck has even been petitioning the league to let the Las Vegas Whitetails into the NBA so he can leave Wisconsin.

And yet I cling to this shred of hope. The thought of Kevin Durant pumping in 30 points a game with second banana Andrew Bogut chiming in with 16 and 12 boards a night makes me tingle. And on the nights Durant can’t get it going, Young Money Brandon Jennings can go off for 25 large and ten dimes.

If they sign Durant, the Bucks would threaten 60 wins in the Eastern Conference with defensive guru Scott Skiles running the show. And they would be instant title contenders .

I write this knowing full well that the Bucks are more likely to sign me next season with that $19 million they will save with Michael Redd’s expiring contract. But I still hope.

And hope like mine has infiltrated sports fans world wide. Just look around:

Suddenly, the NFL Draft is as intriguing and watchable to fans as the actual games .

The classic NBA Finals match up of Lakers-Celtics is bearing down on us, and yet seemingly all we can talk about is where King James will be playing next year.

After I watched the Yankees celebrate their 27th World Series title last Season, I realized that there was much more excitement about the Bombers’ free agent signings of Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett before the season started than there was when the champagne was flowing in the Bronx in October.

It’s an interesting trend that we seem to be experiencing right now, in that we as fans care more about what happens in our teams’ war rooms than on the field.

But for fans of a team like the Browns, that interest in hoping for something better to come along is much more compelling than watching Jake Delhomme throw a pick on third-and-long.

Wishing for those NBA Draft Lottery ping pong balls to come up aces for the Warriors is more fun for their fans to think about than watching the Magic dominate them by 30. Staying true to the Pirates when the chips are down is tough for their loyal faithful when Paul Maholm gives up six runs in the first inning without recording an out.

We’re still watching our teams play the games. But we’re moving further from the bleachers, and closer to the owner’s box to take them in.

With that in mind, let me give a shout out to Kevin Durant:

Come to Milwaukee, man. It’s a fun place to spend your career. Nothing here is really that cold, except for the beer. I’ll even buy you one after you don that #35 Christmas-tree colored jersey at your press conference next summer.

It’s only 409 days away.

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