Fightin' Words

A mixed martial arts blog about UFC, Bellator and other MMA promotions and fighters.

Latest posts from

Mark La Monica

I write in too many blogs to create individual profiles for each. So, whether you get roped into my musings on pop culture, "Entourage," mixed martial arts or the NFL, here are some things you should know about me:

1) No one's meatballs are as good as your mother's. It's undebatable.

2) "The Godfather III" and "Rocky V" get a bum rap. They're not nearly as bad as people make them out to be.

3) Randy "Macho Man" Savage is the forgotten man when it comes to old-school pro wrestling discussions.

4) If YouTube stopped existing, it would create quite a problem for us. How would we waste time at work? Where would all the things we push off until later go?

5) The hug in the ocean between Rocky and Apollo in "Rocky III" makes absolutely no sense, but it's impossible to change the channel when it comes on.

6) MTV doesn't need to play more videos, just create more channels that play videos.

7) Just chill to the next episode.

8) When is someone going to create a garlic-scented cologne? Or perhaps a hand cream of some sort?

9) ADA Jack McCoy would kick ADA Ben Stone's patoot any day in court, but Paul Robinette would smoke Jamey Ross, Abby Carmichael, Claire Kincaid, Danielle Borgia and Connie Rubirosa.

10) I nearly dumped a girlfriend who thought my clapping in 1995 when Don Mattingly finally reached the playoffs was "childish."

11) Lauren Conrad. I'm just saying.

12) Yo Mona Lisa, could I get a date on Friday? And if you're busy, I wouldn't mind taking Saturday-ay-ay, ay-ay-ay.

13) What's up, guy?

14) Victory!

15) Seeing Red Sox fans wretch at the mention of Wade Boggs on the horse in the Yankee Stadium is almost as funny as the episode of "Cheers" when Sam Malone and the rest of them "pantsed Wade Boggs."

16) I believe that after your favorite player retires or gets traded or signs elsewhere, there needs to be a one-year grace period before carefully selecting your next favorite player.

17) Swedish Fish, Mountain Dew make the world go round. Duct tape is a close third.

18) Twitter is the worst invention in history. Wait, how many characters was that?

Derek Jeter's career stats and ranks

Derek Jeter of the Yankees waves to the

Derek Jeter of the Yankees waves to the fans from the dugout during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sept. 26, 2014 in Boston. (Credit: Getty Images / Al Bello)

BOSTON - On the afternoon of Sept. 28, 2014, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter played his last baseball game.

His 20-year career, all spent with the Yankees, came to end with an infield single against Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchhold at Fenway Park.

Jeter finished in the top 10 on Major League Baseball’s career leaders in three statistical categories. Here are those lists.


1. Pete Rose: 4,256

2. Ty Cobb: 4,191

3. Hank Aaron: 3,771

4. Stan Musial: 3,630

5. Tris Speaker: 3,515

6. Derek Jeter: 3,465

7. Honus Wagner: 3,430

8. Carl Yastrzemski: 3,419

9. Paul Molitor: 3,319

10. Eddie Collins: 3,314


1. Pete Rose: 14,053

2. Hank Aaron: 12,364

3. Carl Yastrzemski: 11,988

4. Cal Ripken: 11,551

5. Ty Cobb: 11,429

6. Eddie Murray: 11,336

7. Derek Jeter: 11,195

8. Robin Yount: 11,008

9. Dave Winfield: 11,003

10. Stan Musial: 10,972


1. Rickey Henderson: 2,295

2. Ty Cobb: 2,246

3. Barry Bonds: 2,227

4. Hank Aaron: 2,174

4. Babe Ruth: 2,174

6. Pete Rose: 2,165

7. Willie Mays: 2,062

8. Stan Musial: 1,949

9. Derek Jeter: 1,923

10. Alex Rodriguez: 1,919

Jeter’s final career stats (career rank)

Games played: 2,747 (26th)

At-bats: 11,195 (7th)

Runs: 1,923 (9th)

Average: .309 (77th - tied)

Hits: 3,465 (6th)

Total bases: 4,921 (21st)

Doubles: 544 (29th)

Triples: 66 (433rd - tied)

Home runs: 260 (189th - tied)

RBI: 1,311 (104th - tied)

Walks: 1,082 (85th)

Strikeouts: 1,840 (85th)

Stolen bases: 358 (103rd)

Caught stealing: 97 (126th - tied)

On-base percentage: .377 (128th - tied)

Slugging percentage: .440 (296th - tied)

OPS: .817 (212th - tied)


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Derek Jeter honored by Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park

The Yankees' Derek Jeter, second from right, is

The Yankees' Derek Jeter, second from right, is presented with a sign by Boston Red Sox David Ortiz, center, and Xander Bogaerts, second from left, before the last game of Jeter's career Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, at Fenway Park in Boston. Watching are former Red Sox standouts Jim Rice, left, and Carl Yastrzemski, right. (Credit: AP / Steven Senne)

BOSTON - The final pre-game ceremony for Derek Jeter began in the second-best place possible for the career Yankee: Fenway Park.

The Red Sox opened with a salute to Jeter on its manually operated scoreboard on the Green Monster in leftfield. One letter was revealed at a time, culminating in this phrase: "With Re2pect 2 Derek Jeter."

Jeter was emotional while watching from the dugout. As he introduced and took his position at shortstop -- alone in the infield and among just a few people on the actual field -- for the cermeony, Jeter looked even more emotional.

Several former Red Sox players came out to the field to honor Jeter, including Tim Wakefield, whose 34 hits allowed to Jeter is the most of any pitcher.

Boston sports legends also joined in including Bobby Orr (Bruins), Troy Brown (Patriots) and Paul Pierce (Celtics).

Boston third-base coach Brian Butterfield, Jeter's minor-league instructor, presented Jeter with a pair of custom-made LL Bean navy blue boots with a Yankees logo. The entire group of active Red Sox players then walked out toward Jeter to celebrate him in a receiving line resembling a wedding ceremony.

There were hugs and handshakes, smiles and selfies. Three of those four things existed in pop culture when Jeter debuted in 1995 as a call-up for injured shortstop Tony Fernandez.

Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia presented Jeter with a special second base that had the Yankees' pinstripes and his No. 2 on it.

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz presented Jeter with a donation of $22,222.22 to Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation on behalf of the Red Sox Foundation.

A video was then shown of Jeter taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Peter Frates, who started the challenge and is from the Boston area, came out to greet Jeter.

The Red Sox ended the presentation of gifts with a metal placard from the Green Monster, signed by the 2014 Red Sox. It read: "RE2PECT." Ortiz and shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who grew up idolizing Jeter, presented the placard.

The ceremony concluded with a live performance of the Aretha Franklin classic, "Respect." Midway through the song, Jeter approached the woman singing it to thank her. She tried to get Jeter to dance with her. It didn't happen.

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Derek Jeter souvenirs? They're everywhere at Fenway Park

The Yankees' Derek Jeter is hugged by Ichiro
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The Yankees' Derek Jeter is hugged by Ichiro Suzuki after Jeter was taken out of the game in the third inning to close out his career as a Yankee at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox on Sept. 28, 2014.(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

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BOSTON -- The chanting of Derek Jeter's name at Fenway Park this weekend is not the only show of appreciation for the retiring Yankees shortstop.

Behind those seats from where fans chanted "De-rek Je-ter" were multiple forms of Jeter merchandise on sale.

At Fenway Park.

MORE: Derek Jeter career appreciation special section

Home of the Red Sox.


But there are dollars to be made, and plenty of them with a $45 T-shirt from 47 Brand that commemorates Fenway Park's hosting of Jeter's final games. At just about every souvenir shop inside Fenway Park, there were other Jeter items, including the "I Did It My Way" shirt with Jeter's No. 2, the traditional Jeter T-shirt with his number on the back that sells everywhere around Yankee Stadium. They went for $35. The Derek Jeter foam fingers in pink and navy blue could also be purchased for those looking for a little keepsake of history.

That's inside.

Outside, there were similar items of devotion, including Jeter paintings on large canvases and a Boston baseball magazine with the face of the Yankees on the cover.

The 47 Brand is based in Massachusetts with an office across the street from Fenway. Those shirts and hats were delivered quickly and easily.

The other memorabilia came from New York. Two people working at separate shops inside Fenway said they went to Yankee Stadium and acquired whatever they could that was left after Thursday night's memorable walk-off win in the Bronx.

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UFC champion Chris Weidman explains pain of hand injury and missing UFC 181

UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, from Baldwin, successfully

UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, from Baldwin, successfully defended his title against Lyoto Machida by winning a unanimous decision at UFC 175 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on July 5, 2014. (Credit: Mario Gonzalez)

It hurt to open the car door. To brush his teeth. To do many of life's basic tasks, let alone train for a mixed martial arts fight.

"I was so confused about this hand," UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman told Newsday Tuesday, one day after he pulled out of a planned Dec. 6 title defense against Vitor Belfort at UFC 181 because of a fractured left hand.

The pain he had felt every day since mid-June -- except for the adrenaline-filled 25 minutes of fighting on July 5 against Lyoto Machida -- was supposed to be about sprained ligaments in his left hand. It should have been gone by now.

On Monday, in Los Angeles, Weidman found out those sprained ligaments are actually a hairline fracture.

"I was really sick to my stomach about the whole thing yesterday, I was really down and upset. Today, you have to realize God has a plan," Weidman said. "I'm happy it's a break this whole time and it's something I can cast up and it'll heal."

Weidman, the undefeated champion from Baldwin, said he met with hand specialist Dr. Steven Shin at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. Shin is a hand consultant for the Lakers, Dodgers, Angels, Kings and Anaheim Ducks. Weidman was told the hairline fracture occurred a while ago. It previously was not seen on the original and subsequent MRIs or a recent X-ray, Weidman said.

Until having his left hand put into a cast on Monday, Weidman had been taping the hand and wrist and pushing through the pain. But that pain, originally thought to be stemming from a sprain, never subsided. To the point where Weidman was just happy "to find out that I'm not crazy" about the ailing hand.

The tape didn't help in jiu-jitsu. The attempts to block it out didn't help with wrestling. And wearing "the big gloves" didn't change anything while training with Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson recently for his fight this Saturday at UFC 178. During one sparring session, Weidman's left hand was grazed lightly.

"It killed me," said Weidman, 30. "I couldn't move my hand for like three or four days."

Weidman said he expects to be in a cast for the next four to six weeks. Presuming he's medically cleared then, he expects to be ready to fight Belfort in February on the next open pay-per-view card. Weidman hasn't hit pads since before his title defense against Machida at UFC 175.

UFC 181 at Mandalay Bay is now headlined by welterweight champion Johny Hendricks' rematch with Robbie Lawler. Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis defends his title against Gilbert Melendez on the same card. Freeport's Eddie Gordon, one of Weidman's Serra-Longo teammates, is also on the card in his first fight since winning Season 19 of "The Ultimate Fighter." He'll fight Josh Samman. Levittown's Gian Villante, Weidman's close friend and longtime training partner, will fight Corey Anderson.

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Against whom will Ronda Rousey next defend her UFC title against?

Cat Zingano Gina Carano Cris 'Cyborg' Justino Holly Holm Miesha Tate Someone else

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