04.27.16

Schilling : ESPN’s Full Of Racists

Posted in Sports TV at 10:12 pm by

If you thought ESPN’s inevitable/overdue dismissal of baseball analyst/gender studies non-expert Curt Schilling would lead to the 20 year MLB vet keeping a low profile, well, no such luck. On Wednesday, Schilling taped an appearance on Breitbart’s Sirius/XM “Patriot Forum” program for broadcast the following morning in which he raised the specter of an alleged double standard at Disney-owned ESPN. From Newsday’s Neil Best :

“It was apparent to me early on that if you wanted to go off topic as a sports person you had to go off topic left, or you were going to get in trouble,” Schilling said.

“Some of the most racist things I’ve ever heard have come out of people that are on the air at ESPN. They’re some of the biggest racists in sports commentating.”

Asked to clarify his remarks after the show, “You listen to Stephen A. Smith, and Stephen A. Smith was the guy who said that Robert Griffin didn’t play quarterback for the Redskins because he’s black. No, Robert Griffin didn’t play quarterback for the Redskins because he [stunk].

“. . . Tony Kornheiser compared the Tea Party to ISIS. I don’t know any planet where those are sports topics. But I don’t care. It’s OK. I think those conversations need to happen. But as soon as you go to the flip side, the right side, there are repercussions for not talking about sports.”

The part that seems to escape Schilling notice is that Smith and Kornheiser, for all their myriad faults, were hired and are actively encouraged to express personal opinions are part of their on-air jobs. Had, for instance, Kornheiser taken the opportunity to take shots at the Tea Party during his Monday Night Football tenure, it’s pretty likely he’d have been removed from the airways.

04.26.16

At Least Dan Boyle Didn’t Offer To Show Larry Brooks The Bronx

Posted in Hockey at 9:07 pm by

In which Rangers D Dan Boyle ends his 2015-16 season by channeling Ryan Leaf (as opposed to, y’know, Bobby Bo) in refusing to submit to the questioning of NY Post castigator, Larry Brooks.

04.25.16

Is “New Orleans Jazz” Already Taken?

Posted in Baseball at 11:11 pm by

While SB Nation are justifiably proud of their minor league team name generator, the site’s writers were careful to point out that New Orleans’ Pacific Coast League franchise is currently holding a contest to do, well, what SBN’s robot is fully capable of :

In 1993, professional baseball returned to New Orleans when the Zephyrs arrived from Denver. Through attendance records with the opening of Zephyr Field, to a pair of league championships and the city’s first national professional sports title in 1998, the team never had a name that reflected the community it represented.

Until now.

We want YOU – the fans – to help us re-name the team as we commemorate a quarter-century in New Orleans in 2017. Submit your entry in the form below, and tell us why you think your name would perfectly represent everything that makes New Orleans great. The winning entry will receive two to four (2-4) full season tickets for 2017, a ceremonial first pitch with pre-game recognition, on-air interview during a game’s radio broadcast, a 20-person suite rental, and Honorary Bat Boy Experience for child (if applicable).

It’s a fun idea, but I’m pretty certain my entry — the New Orleans Eyehategods — probably isn’t gonna win.

Townie News’ No. 1 Correspondent On Monday’s Deflategate Judgement

Posted in Gridiron at 9:13 pm by

Nick Stevens’ outrage knows no off-season.

04.23.16

An Update On The Condition Of Harry The Hawk’s Groin

Posted in Basketball, When Mascots Are Attacked at 4:27 pm by

We’re all adults here. We all know about the hawks and the hornets (thank you, Chris Paul), but were you aware Atlanta’s mascot, Harry The Hawk, is recovering from a nasty spill suffered during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against Boston? The following press release, circulated by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Helen Oliviero, suggests the Hawks front office (to say nothing of the medical staff) has come a long way (well, not really) since determining the product wasn’t appealing enough to white people.

Harry has been limited to strict “nest rest” in hopes of having him back in the lineup for a possible Game 5 in Atlanta on Tuesday, April 26, according to the Hawks.

“This is a serious blow to our roster for these crucial games on Friday and Sunday. We are asking for all of our fans to send their thoughts and prayers for Harry’s speedy recovery,” remarked Steve Koonin, CEO of the Atlanta Hawks in a press release.

In lieu of flowers or cards, the Atlanta Hawks are requesting well wishes be sent via social media with the hashtag #GetWellHarry.

04.22.16

Not The Prince Eulogy You Deserved Or Wanted…

Posted in record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 3:17 pm by

…or, if you prefer, proof that even the all-time greats can make spelling mistakes. The Milwaukee Record’s Justin Kern retells the tale of former acquaintance Joan, who during her tenure at the offices of a Los Angeles-based law firm during the early 1980′s, had a rather unique brush with fame :

Joan had a hot car and cool attitude and expensive shades. She was a young badass working in music, which she adored. Joan really dug Prince, especially those first hits. So, professional courtesy was one thing, but if there were a chance to meet Prince, she would take it. Further, she had a teen niece back here in Milwaukee who counted “The Artist Then Currently Known As Prince” as her fav. Joan was already the cool aunt for living in Los Angeles, in every way different than Milwaukee. Giving her niece a document of this cool via Prince himself meant a teenage lifetime of adulation and appreciation.

As Joan told it, Prince came to the office with his team of suits. Everything on the paperwork side of things was quick and orderly. Then, with it all wrapped up, Joan slid next to Prince and pulled out a copy of his 1979 self-titled album. She said he was sweet but brief. She introduced herself, then asked, “My teenage niece, Darlene, loves you. Can you sign a record for me to send to her? Can you write, ‘Darlene, Stay Sweet—Prince’?” She said Prince was courteous—”from the Midwest,” as she explained it to me—and quickly scribbled on the album, writing a nicety on a mass produced picture of his own face. Joan thanked him, and the parties parted, this time without any party. Joan said she mailed it out that day in the hurried splendor of a surprise gift given. She made no mention of his outfit or height, nor of his legal team’s possible use of dyed-purple giraffe blood.

A few weeks went by when Joan got a call at her office desk from her brother. He had finally wrestled the Prince LP from his teenager daughter’s hands and got a look-see at the famous autograph. Prince wrote what? The eyes of a father of a teenage girl do not miss such things. From Milwaukee, he called his hot-shot L.A. sister to complain.

“Joan, you idiot, did you read this before you sent it?” the brother yelled. “He wrote, ‘Darlene, Stay Wet—Prince.’”

04.21.16

Bonkers From Yonkers’ Most Recent Money Mark : Where The Fuck Is Wyoming?

Posted in Dino Costa, Hate Fuck Radio, Sports Radio at 11:13 pm by

Despite promising everything from permanent relocation to ratings domination upon his March hiring as as morning host/program director for St. Louis’ KFNS aka 590 The Fan, the most recent incarnation of Dino Costa’s patented brand of egomania and angry-white-male hate fuckery has come to a speedy, if not thoroughly predictable conclusion.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar reports that Costa is leaving KFNS effective tomorrow, failing to maintain even two months of steady employment after alienating co-workers and making things a tad squeamish for benefactor Randy Markel, he of cowboy fetish emporium, Chuck’s Boots.

Caesar writes that Costa — still ensconced in his Wyoming rumpus room — is unwilling to continue doing a show for KFNS if Markel sells or turns stations operations over to a third party.  Markel for his part, claims no such deal is in place, yet doesn’t seem especially tearful at being denied Bonkers From Yonkers’ oratory skills.

Markel said Costa won’t be back. Friday “will be (Costa’s)  last day — if he’s even on,” Markel said. “I’m not about to drive up to Wyoming and make him go on the air. I don’t even know where Wyoming is.”

And Markel said he is tired of the tumult with Costa, who has made personal attacks against many people in print, on the air and in social media.

“I like Dino, he’s like your crazy brother you have to bail out of jail,” Markel said. “I believe in Dino. He’s very talented. But it’s the BS (he said the words, not the letters) that comes along with him that’s hard to take. He came into this area with a scorched-earth mentality and it just didn’t work. It’s the way he wanted to do it, I wasn’t about to stop him. You hire somebody to do what they do, he tried it. It didn’t work. … It was a constant uproar. Me for one, I’m tired of the drama.”

Remembering The Time Somebody Ordered Too Few Copies Of ‘Purple Rain’ (And Way Too Many Of ‘Victory’)

Posted in History's Not Happening, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace at 4:35 pm by

In the summer of 1984, I was employed as clerk/bag security schmoe at the Copley Square location of Strawberries Records and Tapes, the New England chain store owned by Morris Levy (who may or may not have been the inspiration for “The Sopranos” Herman “Hesh” Rabkin). This was a pretty wild time for the music business with a plethora of blockbuster albums by veteran acts competing for shelf space. In the wake of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, industry expectations were sky-high for The Jacksons’ ‘Victory’, to say nothing of Bruce Springsteen’s hotly anticipated ‘Born In The U.S.A.’. But both would ultimately be overshadowed (in the aisles of that Strawberries, anyway) by Prince’s 6th album, ‘Purple Rain’.

The store’s buyer loaded up on ‘Victory’ LP’s to an insane degree. THOUSANDS of the fuckers, overstock crammed into every available corner of the store’s back rooms and behind countertops. As you may or may not remember, the album was poorly received, the subsequent stadium tour (co-promoted by New England Patriots exec/heir Chuck Sullivan) bombed and well, the staff of Strawberries had boxes of ‘Victory’ hanging over their shoulders all summer long.

‘Born In The U.S.A.’, was of course, another story. Huge critical acclaim, immensely popular videos (even if the Boss was pissing on the flag, see above), and most importatly, the store had enough stock to satisfy demand, but just barely.

‘Purple Rain’, however is where things got crazy. The film wouldn’t open until late July but the album dropped in June, weeks after “When Does Cry” had pretty much blown everyone away. Despite the fact we had real-live-human beings walking into the store several times a day asking when ‘Purple Rain’ would be out (amongst them, the J.Geils Band’s Peter Wolf, who lived across the street) our store’s manager, for reasons known only to herself, determined that Prince Rogers Nelson was some product of hype and a couple hundred copies of the year’s most eagerly awaited album would be enough.

We blasted thru the available stock within a couple of hours of the doors being unlocked. Customers were outraged, apoplectic that the record they already knew would be the soundtrack to their summer wasn’t available.

An edict came down to tell aggrieved consumers that while we were out of stock on ‘Purple Rain’, we could, however, furnish them with copies of Newcleus’ ‘Jam On Revenge’, which just so happened to be released by the Morris Levy-owned Sunnyview Records.

This suggestion did not sit well with inconvenienced Prince fans. I’d previously not been cursed at in the store before, save for the time Monoman came in to yell at me about a middling review for The Lyres’ ‘On Fyre’ in Matter Magazine (“you should be in prison,” Jeff said…and he was right!). Let’s just say this was my one and only experience being on the retailer end of the Great American Bait & Switch and either I wasn’t very good at it…or Newcleus were way, way out of their league.  Maybe a little of both.

So there you go. The music business when it still existed. Needless to say, ‘Purple Rain’ was great, some of us saw the movie twenty times or more and that was the summer Prince went from merely being super popular to the sort of megastardom that caused geniune panic & anxiety in Copley Square.

04.20.16

Tribune Scribe To Shaw : Here’s Why Your Slur Hurts

Posted in Hockey at 11:18 pm by

Following Tuesday’s Game 4 loss to St.Louis, Blackhawks F Andrew Shaw (above, left) was suspended for Game 5 and ordered to undergo sensitivity training after being caught on camera directing an unmistakable homophobic slur at officials from the penalty box. Writing in Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune, openly gay Hawks beat writer Chris Hine writes, “Shaw is not the problem. The fact he felt he could use that word like it was another four-letter word — and not remember saying it after the game — is the problem It is the word gay men fear and despise the most.”

I was called that growing up before I even realized I was gay. When you’re closeted and thinking about coming out, you have nightmares about friends or family members using that word and making you feel like an outcast. It hurts when your friends use that word in a teasing manner. It’s a whole different feeling to have people direct that word at you with contempt. I’ve had that feeling.

Now put yourself in the shoes of a closeted gay athlete. You’re in a locker room or on a playing field, and you hear your teammates use that word. You start thinking, “Is this how they really feel about gay people? Is that what they would call me if I came out to them? Would I still be a member of this team? Would my career be over?”

That word is why gay athletes everywhere hide their sexual identity and often live lives of torment. It’s why some contemplate suicide and develop emotional and psychological issues they might never rectify.

Shaw was heartfelt in his pledge to learn from this, to stop using the word no matter how riled up he gets on the ice. I told him I didn’t view him any differently Wednesday than I did Monday. I’m still going to see how he’s doing when he’s in the locker room and still will pester him with hockey questions. If he ever wants to ask me more about the word and what kind of an effect it has, I’ll be there to answer — after every practice and before and after every game, as long as the Hawks find a way to re-sign him after the season.

Coming To A Discogs.com Listing Very Soon :

Posted in record collector disease at 2:57 pm by

I just came across 20 copies of a very rare 7" record: Taylor Swift's "Kill All Pigs to Death" If you'd like a copy, PayPal $12 to derekerdman@gmail.com VERY RARE!

A photo posted by Derek Erdman (@derekerdman) on

pic courtesy Derek Erdman.

04.19.16

Curt Schilling – An Inexhaustable Source Of Bad Will

Posted in Baseball, twitter twatter at 11:56 pm by

ESPN baseball analyst / videogame flop Curt Schilling shared the above item on Facebook yesterday, but lest you think this is in some way a reflection on the former Phillies/Diamondbacks/Red Sox starter’s views on gender specific bathrooms, well, think again. If you’re offended, IT’S ALL IN YR HEAD.

This latest brew ha ha is beyond hilarious. I didn’t post that ugly looking picture. I made a comment about the basic functionality of mens and womens restrooms, period.

You know how I know you ‘offended’ people are full of crap? Because I’m not even close to any of the things you so desperately want me to be, so you can whine.

Wouldn’t you assume that all of you offended folks would have heard of me treating people the way you needed me to treat them, to be what you so desperately want me to be?

If people want to create stories or impressions where there are none, and you want/need to get offended by them that’s on you.

04.18.16

The Submission Squad’s Questionable Mentorship Of Barrett Brown

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 12:32 pm by

In which the duo of Pierre Abernathy and Evan Gelistico attempt to share their years of veteran knowledge with fledgling Inspire Pro superstar Barrett Brown. If Brown seems skeptical about the Submission Squad’s advice and training regiment, well, maybe it’s a Millennial thing. Not everybody understands dedication and sacrifice.

Abernathy, Gelisto and Brown are featured participants this Sunday night at Inspire Pro’s “Splendor In The Smash”.

04.17.16

Chance The Rapper Has Truly Made It To The Big Time : 2 Consecutive Sunday Mushnick Columns

Posted in Hip Hop, non-sporting journalism, Sports Radio at 9:56 pm by

NY Post sports media critic Phil Mushnick has for years targeted hip-hop as negative influence, suggesting broadcast partners and franchise owners alike would shudder were they fully aware of the coarse, anti-social lyrical content. Perhaps in recognition of changing times, Phil’s managed to lay off Jay-Z for a while, instead aiming his less-than-laser-like vision at Chance The Rapper. From Sunday’s Post :

Keepin’ it real: Peter Rosenberg, hip-hop hotshot and mostly superfluous addition to YES/ESPN-NY radio’s “The Michael Kay Show,” Wednesday insisted Chance the Rapper would be a great addition to MLB as a paid community “ambassador” for the White Sox. Chance’s work, Rosenberg said, is a wonderful inspiration to young folks.

OK, then he’d have no trouble proving the courage of his conviction. I’ll supply him the lyrics to, say, five Chance recordings — more, if he’d like — starting with, oh, the one that begins, “Ladies loving my music is like some sex s–t. N—-s trying to grip up my mic like it’s my d–k.”

Rosenberg can read those lyrics aloud on the air then again claim Chance meets with his enthusiastic approval as an MLB youth ambassador. And if he won’t — or can’t — explain why.

Up for the challenge, Peter? Or no can do?

If Phil’s challenge to Rosenberg seems familiar, that’s because it’s pretty much the same bullshit gauntlet he laid down to Mike Golic and Kenny Williams a week ago.

04.16.16

Randy L.’s Sexiest Hits : Fucking At The Ballgame

Posted in Baseball at 10:04 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : It was reported by Larry Brown Sports earlier today that a young couple took the occasion of Matt Harvey getting his ass kicked by the lowly Indians to engage in public love-making in the highest reaches of Progressive Field’s upper deck. Since the only other person I know of who’d find himself sexually aroused by Harvey getting lit up is Bronx baseball executive / CSTB contributor extraordinaire Randy L., it seemed like a very appropriate time to revisit Randy’s first ever entry in these pages, one that (as you’ll recall) concerned a similar incident in The House That Randy Built (“the woman sat on the toilet as her enthusiastic male partner — who wore a CC Sabathia t-shirt and no pants — climbed on top of her amid a crowd of onlookers,”). From September 17, 2012, “GUEST EDITORIAL : When Romance Blooms At The Nu Stadium” – GC) :

Greetings, losers, shut-ins, finger-sniffers and Mets fans — or am I being redundant? Though I’m loathe to drop any wisdom via a blog that can’t sell one single advertisement, I’m told the publisher is a big fan of my unexpurgated Yelp reviews. Since I’m as magnanimous as I am well-endowed, here’s a freebie for the sports blog crowd. Even if this is barely one step above Live Journal.

Deadspin’s Issac Rauch — hopefully no relation to the pituitary freak stealing money from the Mets — did an adequate Mike Taibbi impersonation yesterday with “A Couple Humped In A Yankee Stadium Bathroom Stall For About Three Innings On Saturday”. Three innings! That’s supposed to be impressive? A little advice for the male heterosexual readers — it’s really not necessary to go on that long. Maybe you think you’re doing her a favor, but chances are awfully high she’s pretty eager to get it over with and get back to pretending you have any redeeming qualities.

I am certain this story is going to get a lot of play in today’s tawdry media sphere, and despite the absence of photos clearly depicting penetration, I can understand this. Publishers and editors are businessmen, not Zucotti Park-dwelling fantasists who have to smoke copious amounts of weed just to tolerate fuckin’ Tom Morello. They’re in the business of MAKING MONEY, just like me and the two genetic lottery winners I do all the heavy lifting for. I know, you’re already shaking your head, “sex sells, Randy, we know.” To which I’d reply, you’re the cynic, not me.

Unless each of this blog’s 12 readers have somehow morphed into Andrea Dworkin (and in some cases, that would be an improvement), I can’t believe I even have to spell out the distinction, but there’s a world of difference between random sexual encounters in a public place and true romance. The former are generally desperate acts committed by sad, lonely, friendless individuals. The latter? Well, it’s the sort of thing that renders almost everything else (save for 27 World Championships, a chauffeured town car and enough cash to fill the Grand Canyon) meaningless.

I know this might be the minority opinion, but the young couple filmed In flagrante delicto (that’s FRENCH, you ignorant little shits) were true romantics after my own heart. Note the guy’s refusal to dispense of his CC Sabathia tee — I like it. He’s paying homage to a lynchpin in our attempts to win World Championship #28. And if the shirt was seriously stained before returning to his seat in the Audi Club, he can purchase a replacement at the Yankee Clubhouse Store, a 5000 square foot facility conveniently located in the Great Hall right behind home plate.

How many times have you heard of a similar incident taking place at that aesthetic/commercial disaster known as Citi Field? Not once, and I reckon that speaks volumes about the building’s stench and the host team serving as the greatest anti-aphrodisiac this side of a Hammel On Trial CD. Some of you self-styled comedians have suggested we hand out condoms at the gate, and it’s an interesting idea (especially if we can get Verizon or Turkey Hill to pay for it). And we’ll look into it just as soon as our crosstown “rivals” take steps to confiscate razor blades.

That’s right. I WENT THERE. While Flushing’s embarrassment does more to keep The Samaritans switchboard busy than say, a Hammel On Trial CD, the 27-time World Champion New York Yankees are all about romance and repopulating the Yankee Universe with more exceptional young people, conceived in the most sophisticated of environments. Who amongst us can say that Saturday’s consensual encounter might not result in that most precious miracle of all, Nick Swisher saying something interesting the gift of human life? Maybe the Baby Bomber in question will someday grow up to be another Derek Jeter, another Don Mattingly, perhaps the next Joe Pepitone?

And perhaps — if he or she works very hard, uses his or her imagination and never, ever allows the intellectual shortcomings of 2 overprivileged siblings to undermine self-belief — becoming the President of the world’s most successful and universally recognized sports franchise, is within reach.

Not fucking likely, but parents can dream, right? A toast from me and everyone in the Yankee organization to Saturday afternoon’s young lovers.

PEACE,
Randy L.

04.14.16

As Far As New York’s Numbah One Is Concerned, “The Chosen One” Will Always Be A 2010 Movie Staring Rob Schneider

Posted in Sports Radio at 7:18 pm by

Not to take question the wisdom of the all-knowing Mike Francesa, but it is hardly unusual for for LeBron James to be referred to as “LBJ“.

When Facing The Difficult Decision Between Primavera Sound & Total Punk Fuck Off III (The Final Fuck)…

Posted in record collector disease, Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 5:05 pm by

…no coin flip is necessary. Orlando’s got the better lineup (again).

04.13.16

Golden State’s Drive For 73 : A Real Time Update From The Unfriendly Skies

Posted in Basketball at 8:51 pm by

True story folks : I’m on an airplane right now and there’s a couple of passengers throwing something not quite approaching a shit fit (but still a little too loud and angsty) over the aircraft’s satellite TV system being unable to show tonight’s possibly historic Grizzlies/Warriors game.

My options are as follows :
a) calmly explain to them that sports are essentially irrelevant, the results have no bearing on their lives and the players would almost certainly despise them if they ever met (and rightfully so).

b) calmly explain to them the NBA was much better back in the old days. Before expansion. Before the 24 second clock. Before the three-point shot. Before dunking. Before desegregation. Before sneakers. Before the iron hoop. That if they cannot appreciate the superiority of an (all-white) game played (very slowly) beneath the peach-basket using a cow’s bladder for a ball, they really don’t understand basketball and they’ve got a lot of nerve disturbing my beauty sleep with their petty complaints.

c) whisper conspiratorially, “shit’s fucked up,” glance towards the cockpit and add, “and what are we gonna do about it?”

d) put a germ-bearing blanket over my head and wait for the unpleasantness to end.

(I know a lot of you have a boner for Steph Curry and with good reason. He’s ridiculous. But unless he’s playing 12 games a year against the Rochester Schaubroecks on a concrete floor w/ huge puddles all over the place and angry fans throwing darts at him (PLUS A COW’S BLADDER IN LIEU OF A BALL) these 72/73 wins should be accompanied by an asterisk.)

Attention Money Marks : Jeff Jarrett Has A Golden Opportunity For You

Posted in Professional Wrestling, The Marketplace at 8:14 pm by

Does TNA Hall Of Famer Jeff Jarrett strike you as the sort of person who’d let the abortive launch of Global Force Wrestling shake his self-confidence?

All kidding aside, this seems kinda sketchy and the best possible thing I can say about it is that at least it’s not nearly as bad a look for Jarrett as those econo razor commercials are for Brett Favre.

04.11.16

AJC’s Schultz : Lame Duck Braves Are Bush League At MLB Prices

Posted in Baseball at 10:59 pm by

While the Braves’ plans to abandon the city of Atlanta have been mentioned in this space, I’ve been too busy anticipating the Mets going 19-0 against their longtime NL East rivals to pay much serious attention to what the former America’s Team have actually put on the field this season. Perhaps that’s for the best, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeff Schultz notes the club are currently on pace to go 0-162, which “somehow seems appropriate in the same season the franchise created the deformed offspring of a hamburger and a pizza.”

At the risk of irritating the Braves’ marketing suits, who would prefer you focus on their new mutant food creations, magnetic schedule giveaways and fond reminders (corporate euphemism) of this being their final season at Turner Field, here’s your reality check.

This team stinks. No, I mean it really stinks — way worse than most even expected it to stink, which means sportsbooks’ dire projections of 66 to 67 wins is starting to look optimistic. The Braves hadn’t started 0-5 since the 1988 season, when they opened 0-10 on the way to going 54-106.

Centerfielder and leadoff hitter Ender Inciarte, whose entire game depends on his speed, went on the disabled list Sunday with a wonky hamstring. Reliever Dan Winkler, another of the Braves’ post-Tommy John reclamation projects, dropped to his knees in pain in the seventh inning after suffering a right elbow fracture while delivering a pitch.

In another move, the Braves shipped the remains of reliever John Gant (four runs, six hits, two homers, several dreams crushed, in three innings) to Triple A Gwinnett before the game. So before opening a seven-game trip at Washington Monday night, the Braves’ roster will include three new players who weren’t considered good enough to make them out of spring training.

They return home April 19. There are tickets available. Also roster spots.

Using An Amazing Jeff Mahannah Flyer As An Excuse To Recall New Orleans’ Recent ECHL History

Posted in Hockey at 8:56 pm by

When the ECHL’s New Orleans Brass were launched in 1997, it was a big deal, not only in a city where ice – other than in sweet tea – is rare, but also in the African-American community, where interest in the sport is, unfortunately, also rare. As a franchise majority-owned by an African-American investment group – one that included New Orleans ex-mayor Ray Nagin – the Brass were billed as a landmark development in black business circles, garnering an article in the March 1998 issue of Black Enterprise.

Other partners in the ownership group included attorney Roy Rodney and political insider and entrepreneur Stan ‘Pampy’ Barre. Behind the scenes, the Brass were additionally funded by silent partner John Georges, a self-made multi-millionaire of Greek-American ancestry.

The Brass were a bold business venture as well since the Crescent City had little knowledge of hockey. In fact, when New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter Peter Barrouquere was given the Brass beat, he was a novice to hockey. “I had seen four hockey games,” Barrouquere said. “I didn’t really know about it.”

But Barrouquere learned quickly, as did a sizeable chunk of the New Orleans sports fans. The team built a base of hardcore devotees who came in thousands to watch games at the Municipal Auditorium. The squad also found a fair amount of success on the ice, making the ECHL playoffs each of its five seasons, advancing to the third round in 1999 with a physical style of play that appealed to patrons who love New Orleans Saints football.

The team moved to the New Orleans Arena in 1999, but when the NBA’s Hornets arrived in 2002, the Brass became second fiddle. The costs of transforming the building’s floor from hardwood to ice and back proved too steep and the Brass failed to negotiate a long-term lease at the Auditorium, leaving the franchise without a place to play. Despite financial and on-ice success, the team had to fold.

Now, 10 years later, three of its former investors have run into trouble with federal authorities. In July 2008, Barre was sentenced to five years in prison for skimming more than $1 million from a city energy contract. A month later, Rodney got four months in the clink for failing to file tax returns, a charge that surfaced during investigations of the administration of then-mayor Marc Morial.

Nagin, meantime, who gained global recognition for his reaction to the Hurricane Katrina crisis, is now being investigated by a grand jury probing alleged gratuities he received from city vendors.Ryan Whirty, The Hockey News, August 8, 2012

04.10.16

From The Desk Of Randy L : The Hypocrisy Of HBO’s John Oliver

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace, The World Of Entertainment at 7:44 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted Bronx baseball executive Randy L. visits CSTB and weighs in on the important matters of the day. In February, Randy came to the defense of a colleague concerning the matter of a certain baseball franchise hoping to keep their most exclusive tickets out of the hands of the great unwashed. After HBO’s John Oliver ridiculed the Yankees and awarded the priciest of ducats to rank & file fans willing to wear goofy costumes on television, Randy asked, no, he demanded a right to reply – GC).

Greetings, members of the Yankee Universe and those slovenly, no-hopers with zero chance of ever entering its ranks. Nice 0-2 start to the 2016 season for that craven beaner-of-Yankees, Matt Harvey. I know, I know, “small sample size”, but let’s face it, Harvey’s already on the downside of his underachieving career and we’ve got our sights set on members of the Mets rotation who are proven winners. LIKE ME.

But I digress. As most of you might know, HBO’s John Oliver, ie. the only person in broadcasting less telegenic than Michael Kay, decided last week to play the class warfare card against this organization, and shamefully pandered to the sort of hoi polloi who believe they’re entitled to NYY Steak at Johnny Rockets prices. Yes, we all got a laugh out of Oliver currying favor with these losers by awarding them Legends Suites seating for a mere quarter, the caveat being they had to don costumes that may or may have previously been used for some sort of cult orgy.

The deep irony here is that while Oliver is making a knee-jerk appeal to Bernie Sanders acolytes who are hoping for a future where you pay NOTHING for anything of value, his employer, Home Box Office continues to charge an arm and a leg for substandard programming. How’d that second season of “True Detective” turn out? Serious question, I don’t know a single person who got thru the entire thing. How about the train wreck that is Martin Scorcese & Mick Jagger’s “Vinyl”? How do you put a thoroughly washed-up, completely out of touch relic like Jagger in charge of the musical contents when The National’s Matt Berninger is available the entire time? I realize this blog’s readers, most of whom are either still paying off student loans or continuing to sponge off parents (who are well advised to consider faking their own deaths and skipping town), believe our premium seats are unfairly priced, but let me ask you which is the greater economic travesty, $1600 to watch the 27-time World Champion New York Yankees or $55 a month to watch Lena Dunham run around naked? YEAH, I THOUGHT SO.

For the few of you who can can afford both the YES Network and additional pay cable channels, I would wholeheartedly recommend Showtime over HBO. For starters, they’re not the ones who’ve given a platform to John Oliver, but more importantly, Showtime is the home of my favorite serial drama, “Ray Donovan”. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I remain impressed at the way the show’s creators are careful to depict every single person with a Boston accent as a lying, thieving, murderous thug. Scumbags, every single one of ‘em. So big, big points for realism.

I’m Still The Greatest,
Randy L.

04.09.16

Blackjack Mulligan, RIP

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 11:18 pm by

Ranking the great-all time Blackjacks :

5  -  Blackjack gum
4 – Blackjack adult book store, Times Square
3 – inaugural Homestead Recording artists the Blackjacks
2 – Blackjack Lanza
1 – Blackjack Mulligan

Forbes On Sports’ Hottest Tee, Spring 2016

Posted in Baseball, Fashion, Racism Corner, Sports TV, The Marketplace at 10:48 pm by

Though the Cleveland Caucasians t-shit recently sported by ESPN’s Bomani Jones received notice in this space as far back as the summer of 2014 (“MLB’s Licensing Division, Unavailable For Comment”), Death Of Samantha/Cobra Verde frontman John Petkovic profiled the shirt’s creator, Brian Kirby in September of that year ; on Friday, Forbes’ Alex Reimer caught up with Kirby, who claims he can barely keep up with the new demand (““It seems like we’ve really struck a nerve…this proved the point of the shirt.”)

“Bomani Jones couldn’t have been a more perfect spokesman for the intent of the shirt,” Kirby says. “It’s not an angry thing, it’s more about making a point in a humorous way. It’s just holding up a mirror saying, ‘Hey, I’m wearing this and you’re broadcasting Indians games with the same kind of imagery. Why is this a problem and that not a problem?’ It’s about flipping the image on it.”

The ‘Caucasians’ shirt has gone viral before, including one day in 2014 when it was the No. 1 trending item on Reddit after a DJ for the Canadian-based electronic group A Tribe Called Red took to wearing it. But Kirby says his startup, which he runs out of basement with his wife when he’s not working as a digital marketer, has never received as much attention as it did Thursday.

Within 24 hours of Jones wearing the shirt, Kirby estimates he made 2,000 additional sales. Shelf Life Clothing’s website also crashed, because its hosting company couldn’t handle the onslaught of traffic and subsequently dropped it as a client. As of Friday evening, the site was still not fully restored.

04.07.16

Former Invasion Drummer : Vinnie Vincent’s Not Heavy, He’s My Brother (And He’s Pretty Heavy)

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 7:26 pm by

Whether you’re a Kiss Kompletist or simply fascinated with the career arc of one-time Ace Frehley replacement Vinnie Vincent, recent entries at the Bobby Rock Blog — memoirs of ex-Vinnie Vincent Invasion drummer, Bobby Rock — are a must read, particularly the extensive descriptions of the hellish attempts to measure up to Vincent’s version of click-track perfection. Still, after characterizing Vincent as an exacting taskmaster with few social skills, Rock is hardly unsympathetic, insisting, “I’m the better musician for having endured the rigors of those sessions.”

How about some kind of OCD type vibe as an explanation? Nowadays, we think nothing of diagnosing folks with some form of this. But back then, it wasn’t largely talked about, and we were all far less familiar with it. One could make a case that Vinnie’s behavior had all the classic symptoms. It’s like the guy who can’t leave his house until he knows that all the soup cans are facing label-out in the pantry… and then he has trouble leaving the house without going back and checking on the soup cans multiple times before he actually leaves. Here, Vinnie appeared to have an obsession with the tracks being perfect against the machine, and I know there are maybe a few “behind the scenes” things that a few of us there were privy to that might support this case.

The man was simply a perfectionist who was trying to create an oil painting with watercolors. He was wanting to hear these triggered, programmed-sounding Mutt Lange-style drums du jour, when we were set up to deliver more of a classic, raw, acoustic-drums-in-a-big-room-with-a-live-drummer-bashing kind of thing. But… none of us really knew this at the time.

Consider the context. Up until the early 80s, virtually everything had live drums on it. Pop, rock, soul, even disco. But Vinnie was someone who liked all kinds of music, and I knew he listened to a lot of the standard pop stuff from the mid-80s, as well. (Forever a student of good songwriting, no matter the genre.) At the same time, Vinnie was a serious player, and he appreciated serious musicianship. So I think Vinnie was having trouble finding a balance between these two opposing concepts: he loved the modern, rock-solid, big drum approach of either programmed or programmed-sounding drums; but he also loved a drummer who could play a bunch of crazy shit, as well. So these sessions were largely about Vinnie trying to reconcile these two concepts… without really knowing he was trying to reconcile them.

A final question I get from time to time: Would I ever work with Vinnie Vincent again? My answer? A few prerequisite inquiries aside… hell yes. Vinnie Vincent is a bad motherfucker, and truly bad motherfuckers are almost as extinct these days as the main man himself.

04.06.16

Nobody Knows How To Bounce Back From A Glaring Faux Pas Quite Like New York’s Numbah One

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 8:54 pm by

Tweet courtesy I Nevah Said Dat. Full credit to Mike Francesa, at least he remembered that Ron Darling had kids.