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Jeter Splits from Minka Kelly

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Charlie’s Angels actress Minka Kelly have reportedly split up after three years, news that wouldn’t be relevant here if one half of this equation weren’t a future Hall of Fame shortstop with a track record of dating some of contemporary society’s most attractive actresses and singers. Jeter has been linked to Scarlett Johansson, Jordana Brewster, Mariah Carey, among others.

Recent speculation said Jeter and Kelly were headed for marriage, but that seems less likely now. Rest assured Jeter and Kelly’s faces will be on the covers of People, Us Weekly and numerous other tabloids this week (“What happened!?!?”), not to mention the back page of tomorrow’s New York tabloid newspapers. Obviously we’re most eager to hear what Michael Kay has to say about the matter.

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Orioles Announcer Flanagan Reportedly Commits Suicide

Former Cy Young Award winner Mike Flanagan, a longtime pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles who later ascended to a top executive position with the club and in recent years served as a television commentator, reportedly committed suicide Wednesday afternoon, “despondent over what he considered a false perception from a community he loved of his role in the team’s prolonged failure,” according to WBAL-TV sports director Gerry Sandusky.

Good lord, that’s heartbreaking.

Flanagan’s body was reportedly found outside his home in Monkton, Md. The cause of death has not yet been announced. A member of the Orioles Hall of Fame, Flanagan won 167 games over an 18-year career, including 23 games in his 1979 Cy Young campaign.

From 2002-08 he shared or held the top baseball executive position in the Orioles organization. During that time Flanagan, according to those closest to him, struggled with not being able to do the job the way he wanted to do it, Sandusky said.

Orioles Managing Partner Peter Angelos issued the following statement last night.: “It is with deep sadness that I learned of the death of my friend Mike Flanagan earlier this evening. In over a quarter century with the organization, Flanny became an integral part of the Orioles family, for his accomplishments both on and off the field. His loss will be felt deeply and profoundly by all of us with the ballclub and by Orioles fans everywhere who admired him. On behalf of the club, I extend my condolences to his wife, Alex; and daughters Kerry, Kathryn and Kendall.”

RIP, Mike.

NFL Primetime Crew Plays Dress Up In Brooklyn

Leave it to Berman to stare in the camera.

This new commercial could be hilariously funny or an absolute train wreck. Can’t wait.

[H/T @AdamSchefter]

Amar'e Stoudemire to Publish Children's Book Series

New York Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire has signed a book deal with Scholastic to publish a book series for middle-grade readers. STAT: Standing Tall and Talented will launch in August 2012 and be based on the life of Stoudemire, the six-time All-Star whose nickname is Stat.

“Amar’e Stoudemire is a NBA megastar and a New York hero. He is passionate about reading and education and we are proud to partner with him to publish a new chapter book series that will inspire more kids to embrace reading through Amar’e's story,” said Debra Dorfman, a vice president at Scholastic.

According to Scholastic, the first book in the series, STAT #1: Home Court, will introduce an eleven-year-old Amar’e Stoudemire. He plays sports with his friends, takes his school work seriously, and helps out with his dad’s landscaping company. He also loves skateboarding in the park. But when some older boys start bullying his friends, Amar’e has to step in and use his athletic ability and intelligence to save the day.

“I am excited to create my book series with Scholastic,” Stoudemire said. “They are the best in the business so I trust them with my stories. I decided to write for children because although I am an avid reader now, I wish I had read more as a child. I hope that together with Scholastic, we can creatively inspire a new generation to read.”

NBC Sports Signs Broadcast Deal with MLS

NBC Sports Group has signed a three-year deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) that will see 45 MLS games and four U.S. men’s games broadcast per season on NBC and the newly branded NBC Sports Network, which will officially change its name from Versus in January 2012. The new partnership begins in 2012.

“Everyone at the NBC Sports Group is thrilled to begin this partnership with Major League Soccer,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group. “MLS is a perfect fit for our new group, and we are uniquely positioned to help grow soccer in the United States with extensive coverage on NBC Sports Network, significant programming on the broadcast network and our growing digital platforms. Additionally, this agreement complements the partnerships that five of our regional sports networks have with their local MLS teams.”

Each season NBC will broadcast two regular-season MLS games, two playoff games and two appearances by the U.S. men’s team. The NBC Sports Network will televise 38 regular-season games, three playoff games and two U.S. men’s team matches.

“Our new partnership with the NBC Sports Group is a significant step forward for Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer,” said MLS Commissioner and Soccer United Marketing CEO Don Garber. “The NBC Sports Group is world-renowned for its award-winning coverage, superb broadcast quality and promotional expertise. We are excited to be part of NBC’s ambitious plans for soccer, and look forward to reaching a considerable audience on multiple platforms.”

Bomani Jones Prepared For Life After The Score

Bomani Jones might want to avoid taking a summer vacation next year.

For the second time in three years, Jones has returned from his annual R&R to find out the radio station he was employed by was going under.

Despite The Score Satellite Radio signing off for good on Sept. 1, The Morning Jones host was in relatively high spirits when SportsNewser spoke to him Tuesday night.

“Well, it wasn’t pleasant news. I was shocked,” Jones said. “You don’t expect this to happen. I got experience with this. It’s kind of shocking, but at the same time, I’m going to try to figure out what to do next.”

For the fans of his morning sports talk show who are wondering if The Morning Jones host has looked into starting a podcast network, Jones is exploring his options. Read more

Dan Le Batard Rips Shaq For Being Shaq

The Shaquille O’Neal post-retirement honeymoon is officially over.

Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard rained on Shaq’s parade with a scathing column Saturday:

“There is arrogance and ego in every athlete. It is a survival skill in their work-place jungle, a necessary tool. Some guys are just better at keeping it hidden. But what do you think that was when Tom Brady, sixth-round pick, introduced himself to Patriots owner Bob Kraft for the very first time by saying, “I’m the best decision you’ve ever made”?

Confidence is something you keep on the inside, to yourself; arrogance is just when it slips out of your mouth. That wasn’t mere confidence Larry Bird was spouting when he told everyone in the room at the three-point contest that they were playing for second place.

But Shaq and Wilson seem to understand the media game more than most. Too many athletes take themselves too seriously. That’s volatile when mixed with fans and media who also take their athletes and games too seriously, too. Newsman Dan Rather offers this as life advice: Take your work seriously but not yourself. You would be amazed what that buys you, even though it isn’t the easiest thing to absorb in a stadium full of people paying to worship you. Read more

Nearly 11 Million Viewers Watch Heat-Bulls Game 3

Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals between Chicago and Miami was the second most-watched NBA game in cable history with 10,889,000 million total viewers and a 6.4 U.S. HH rating.

Game 1 of the Heat-Bulls series set the record with 11.1 million total viewers and delivered a 6.2 U.S. HH Rating.

After three games, TNT’s coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals has averaged a 6.2 U.S. HH rating (+35 percent), 10,667,000 total viewers (+42 percent) and 7,231,000 households (+37 percent).

Locally, the game earned a 24.9 HH rating in Miami and a 22.5 HH rating in Chicago.

 

Erin Andrews attacked by treadmill

ESPN sideline reporter and “Dancing with the Stars” veteran Erin Andrews posted some valuable advice on Twitter: “Make sure u are not too tired when you get on the treadmill…I just busted it in front of everyone…grace!!”

And then she posted the photos to prove it.

ESPN's LZ Granderson To Write Weekly Column For CNN Opinion

Starting today, ESPN columnist LZ Granderson will write a weekly column for CNN Opinion on how social and cultural issues affect the way life is lived in America today.

Granderson is no stranger to CNN.com, writing several guest columns in the past on topics ranging from Sarah Palin to Charlie Sheen to the younger Barbara Bush‘s endorsement of same-sex marriage

“We’re delighted to welcome LZ to a team of outstanding contributors who delight, inspire and sometimes rouse readers with their insights into the world we live in,” said Richard Galant, senior producer for CNN Opinion.

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