Texans owner blames Patriots for Deflategate mess, Robert Kraft and Tom Brady make references to the ongoing saga, Hanley Ramirez won’t be playing in the outfield any longer, and the rest of the sports news you need to know to start your Wednesday.
Texans owner Bob McNair takes shots at Patriots over Deflategate scandal: “What escalated the whole thing is, Brady and the Patriots were going to cooperate fully, and then when it came down to it, they didn’t. That’s what really upset the commissioner.
“I think if it was J.J. Watt, I think he would have been cooperative and it wouldn’t be a question. I don’t think J.J. would destroy his cell phone. The whole idea is that we want to make sure we have a competitive playing field that’s level for everybody. We don’t want people breaking the rules. In the minds of somebody in that organization they thought [deflating footballs] was important. They thought it would give them a competitive advantage and that’s why they did it. You just want to eliminate that kind of situation if you can.’’ (CBS Houston)
Robert Kraft tells Patriots to ignore the noise and focus on the season: “I spoke on behalf of the team and addressed the organization’s position regarding, in my opinion, the most overblown story in recent NFL history. I advised our coach, his staff and all of our players to ignore the noise and keep their focus on what is most important for this coming season.’’ (CSNNE.com)
Tom Brady jokes that “it’s been such an enjoyable offseason’’:
Goodell nemesis James Harrison thinks NFL commissioner will prevail in Deflategate fight: “‘To be honest with you,’ the veteran Steelers linebacker said, ‘I don’t see what a federal judge can do with something the players signed in the collective bargaining agreement, which gives Roger Goodell [power] to do what he wants to. And if that’s the case and he’s going by the letter of what he says, there’s nothing [a judge] can do.’’’ (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Too much talk about Tom Brady’s legacy: “Sure, opposing fans will boo and taunt and yell increasingly unfunny lines about Brady’s little balls, but what visiting player doesn’t already deal with this shit? It’s not like restaurants will take a principled stand and refuse to seat Tom Brady for having general knowledge of some footballs being a little under-inflated. Pinpointing some real-world penalty for Brady’s tarnished legacy, or even the existence of such a phenomenon, is impossible, because the whole thing exists entirely in the sad, confused minds of people who wear their favorite players’ jerseys to the bar on Sundays, and those who make their living by riling the people in those jerseys.
“And, down the line, secure with the respect of his peers and however many Super Bowl rings and a bust in Canton and millions of dollars to his name and the permanent adoration of millions and millions of fans, cruising the Mediterranean in a hundred-foot yacht with his beautiful family, the least likely thing in the whole world is that Tom Brady will give the remotest shit about what an unknowable number of sad-ass football fans and hot-take writers think of his ‘legacy.’’’ (Deadspin.com)
The days of seeing Hanley Ramirez playing in the outfield are over: “‘I think we just walked through a couple different scenarios,’ [Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo said. ‘I think with how the young kids have been doing in the outfield, I think we want to give them the time there that they deserve.
‘The timing of Hanley’s injury is pushing him back a little bit. It’s just condensing that ability to go and play left field until he transitions to first base.’’’ (ESPNBoston.com)
Mookie Betts thrown out trying to steal third base in controversial play, Red Sox lose to Yankees: “As Mookie Betts sat in the dirt, his feet resting on third base, the look of disbelief on the Red Sox center fielder’s face conveyed everything video replay could not.
“What began for the Red Sox as an aggressive endeavor on the bases ended with a tough call that largely shaped Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park. Betts, who found himself dashing toward third in the eighth inning on an attempted double steal, was called out by third-base umpire Vic Carapazza after his foot wobbled off the bag on a hard slide. With Betts visibly frustrated after exchanging words with Carapazza, the Red Sox challenged the ruling. But one minute and 39 seconds of review was all the time needed to confirm the original out call. (MLB.com)
Curt Schilling rips Chris Mortensen in email responding to criticism for ill-fated tweet comparing Muslim extremists to Nazis: “’You chose to make it up, ‘misremember’ as best you can, and create something that didn’t exist because it was the ‘flavor of the day,’ Schilling wrote [in an email to the website Awful Announcing]. ‘Even if it wasn’t true>Very Chris Mortensen of you.’
“When asked about Schilling’s latest literary effort, an ESPN spokesman said: ‘We weren’t aware of Curt’s plan to craft or send this email. We are looking into it.’ ESPN brass has typically frowned on colleagues engaging in public intramural rip jobs.’’ (New York Daily News)
Peter King starts Twitter war with Yankees play-by-play man Michael Kay: “Yankees hitters aren’t the only ones on the receiving end of high-and-inside pitches these days. Long time Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King fired a high-and-hard one on Twitter at Michael Kay, David Cone and John Flaherty during the Yankees-Red Sox telecast Tuesday night.’’ (New York Post)
Yankee announcers are pathetic. Give just a slight nod toward objectivity, men.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) September 2, 2015
The history of the “Yankees Suck!’’ movement in Boston: “The T-shirts were an instant smash. In ’99, Boston was buzzing off the Sox’s appearance in the ALCS, and the streets were packed. The shirts started flying, not just to the hardcore kids waiting to say goodbye to their favorite band but to the masses heading into the park or spilling out of the bars of Lansdowne. They couldn’t tell you the first thing about Ten Yard Fight, but they knew that phrase, in that harsh sing-song cadence: Yan-kees Suck! Yan-kees Suck! (Grantland.com)
Photo Finish: The history of Patriots stadiums