Brad Penny’s tenure with the Royals was awfully brief, with the veteran right-hander (above) topping off a pair of ineffective spring training outings by breaking his non-throwing hand slugging a wall. No idea if Kevin Towers is laughing tonight or not, but with all due respect to Clint Barmes, Amare Stoudemire, Brian Anderson and Joel “Guitar Hero” Zumaya, John Tudor has to ask, “is that the best Penny could do?”
Gaurav Garg : I was reading an article on ESPN recently and in the article (it read) that all the Bulls need to do to get Carmelo Anthony is amnesty Boozer and trade away Dunleavy, but I thought that it was much more complex than that. Because looking at the Bulls payroll as is, for next season they are at 63M, which is right at the cap, maybe a little over. So if they amnesty Boozer and trade away Dunleavy for nothing, that gets them to about 44-45M. But now wouldn’t they have to set aside 6M for 2 likely 1st round draft picks, plus then have 2M in cap phantoms eaten into their payroll, leaving them with only 10M to offer Anthony, not to mention having to renounce the rights to their FAs and not able to bring over Mirotic. I personally don’t want the Bulls to sign Anthony. I think we could be title contenders with Mirotic, and a healthy team. I really think if Asik was healthy in the 2011 ECF, the Bulls knock off Miami. The Bulls gave Miami a lot of trouble with their bigs when Rose was healthy. Miami had no answer for our big men.
Sam Smith : You certainly are ruining your chances of working at ESPN. The “Noah recruits Melo at All-Star” was the Anthony rumor of the week. Is it July already? Yes, we’ve got four months of these coming. But you are correct. It’s a lot more than the breezy summary ESPN offered. But when ESPN promotes something, it gets attention; they are great at that and we all do watch. They do say Entertainment before Sports in their name. Anyway, Anthony can sign with the Knicks this summer for $129 million; the maximum the Bulls or any free agency team could offer would be a four-year deal worth about $96 million. But the Bulls would need to be $22.5 million below the cap for that amount of about $33 million less to be paid Anthony. The Bulls without Dunleavy have about $42.5 million committed next season to Noah, Rose, Gibson, Butler and Tony Snell. The cap is expected to rise to about $62 million from the current $58 million. If you also gave away Snell you’d be close to that $22 million base salary. But it would require an amnesty for Boozer, releasing Hinrich and Augustin, trading both your first round draft picks for future draft picks and telling Nikola Mirotic you are not interested this summer. So then you basically are trading Augustin, Hinrich, Dunleavy, Boozer, Snell and two first rounders for Anthony. And Anthony still could not get that full $96 million because you have cap holds for roster spots as you have to have placeholders up to 12 on your roster and the Bulls would have just four players other than Anthony.
– “Ask Sam”, Bulls.com, March 7, 2014
Over at Posting & Toasting, Seth Rosenthal suggests the Knicks treat Melo like “a human adult who’s been around the league a while and has already seen this same organization clean out so they could acquire him” by way of pitching a more conservative deal than the maximum (ie. if New York’s maxed out, they can’t assemble proper pieces around Anthony). Ideally, Rosenthal hopes Anthony, “understands that the Knicks should be months past the point of valuing the present season over the long term, isn’t fooled by some harebrained plot to scapegoat the coach that’s both self-destructive and a tacit admission that the roster sucks…and recognizes that it would take sacrifice to repair all of the above.”
I don’t know who this amazingly unselfish, highly insightful Carmelo Anthony is, but I’m sure we’d love to meet him someday!
(Editor’s Note : From time to time, CSTB is blessed with the observations of noted Bronx, NY baseball executive Randy L. Upon hearing of comedian/author Chelsea Handler’s recent critical remarks directed at suspended New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, Randy asked, no, he insisted on weighing in – GC)
As Spring Training commences here in Tampa, I’m well aware that many members of our organization enjoy healthy, consensual relationships with other adults. What John Sterling gets up to in his own time is not necessarily illegal, and while our General Manager has caused us no shortage of embarrassment with his zipper problems the last several years, as I’ve already explained in this very space, we’ve got that matter well under control.
When it comes to a certain member of the Yankee universe who is currently banned from donning our uniform, visiting our clubhouse or making use of training facilities for roughly one calendar year, however, I am sorry to say that I am not in a position to police Alex Rodriguez’ carnal desires. His pathetic attempts to chat up the lovely and talented Ms. Handler were as awkward to read about as they were highly surprising (for one thing, she doesn’t look like Lex Luger with Farah-hair).
Still, while it pained me to see this world-class franchise dragged thru the mud on yet another occasion by a preening, supercilious boor, it was hard to take issue with Chelsea’s savvy assessment :
“Just the way he conducts himself,” Handler said. “He’s got a centaur of himself in his bedroom. Yeah, him and a horse, combined as one person … Plus he dates all these girls, he just sleeps around. I don’t like guys who cheat on their girlfriends, you know? I’m not into that.”
Bravo. You know who else isn’t into that? Randy L., that’s who. Leave the species-splicing to the experts, that’s what I’ve been saying for years. And fidelity, genuine, deep fidelity against all encroachments (Jacoby Ellsbury in a towel on Family Day, a Jacoby Ellsbury screensaver on your wife’s laptop, your wife serving soup made from Jacoby Ellsbury’s underwear for your anniversary dinner) is what our civilization is based upon. If we were all just a bunch of grunting, stupid animals attempting to mate with every creature whose stench met our fancy, the Cleveland Police Department would constantly be issuing APB’s for people meeting the description of Nick Swisher.
With a little more than a month standing between us and our quest for a 28th World Championship, let this latest unsavory incident between Alex Rodriguez and Chelsea Handler serve a as learning lesson for the dozens of young prospects attending our training camp; keep it in your pants, gentlemen, or I might be compelled to put it back for you.
Speaking as a resident of an allegedly major American city where people would sooner attend a fucking ELO hoot night than watch the Bad Sports, I can’t really find fault if this idea catches on in St. Louis.
From Craigsist STL (Community/Musicians) :
Forming a Drunks with Guns / Strangulated Beatoffs / Bullets for Pussy tribute band. These are some of St. Louis most influential bands in Europe and Japan.
Looking for guitar, keys, drums, and knob twiddlers.
All proceeds will be given to the original band members, for their psych meds.
I am serious, lets do this. No shredders allowed, unless you switch instruments.
Email me a dick pic and your contact info. Even ifyou’re a chick, I want a dick pic.
Tanna: “tomorrow is Friday the 13th… lets get a gang of us to wear Jason Vorhees masks to Citi-Field and go skin us a GM-Owner-Manager”
Tanna: “think of it… it would be the lead story on CNN…. #mets fans kill the team owner-gm-manager. before they kill us #selfdefense”
Tanna: “what are some good ways to dispose of Wilpon-Alderson-Collins any ideas?”
Tanna: “there will be a blood bath at Citi-Field tomorrow night”
Tanna: “no #mets fan will get out alive if you have on a 7 Line t-shirt… Jason Vorhees doesn’t care for plump plums”
Those are just a few of the Twitter outpourings of Aryan LeRoux, aka Dan X. Tanna, charged last October with making criminal threats against New York Mets ownership and management. According to ESPN NY’s Adam Rubin, Leroux, “applied in Milford (CT) superior court Thursday to participate in a program that would prompt the dismissal of the case upon completion.”
Prosecutors have alleged Leroux, 42, of West Haven, Conn., threatened team executives, players and coaches via Twitter in October and also made a “specific threat” to Citi Field. He was charged with second-degree threatening and second-degree breach of peace — both misdemeanors.
A hearing is scheduled for April 7 regarding Leroux’s application for the Accelerated Pretrial Rehabilitation Program. Completion of the program would prompt the charges to be dropped.
Film director/Knicks superfan Spike Lee is certainly not above reproach ; if you paid an admission price of any sort for “Girl 6″, you know what I’m talking about. But if seems that Lee’s wealth and celebrity status have caused some to sneer at his recent diatribe against the creeping Vice-ification of his beloved Brooklyn (“we had the crystal ball, motherfuckin’ Do the Right Thing with John Savage’s character, when he rolled his bike over Buggin’ Out’s sneaker. I wrote that script in 1988. He was the first one. How you walking around Brooklyn with a Larry Bird jersey on? You can’t do that. Not in Bed Stuy”).
Noting the rather aggressive backlash to Lee’s comments, Jeremiah Moss of the fantastic Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York cannot help but recall his own blog once fielded a comment as pithy as “NYC was gross back then. The natives nearly destroyed the city. Now, thanks to the influx of cleaner people, the city is glamorous again!”
People didn’t like that Lee was angry and had used the word “fuck” several times in what was now being called his “rant.” They called him “arrogant,” a word that has “uppity” as one of its synonyms. They didn’t like that he, like television’s George and Louise Jefferson before him, had “moved on up” to the East Side, to a deluxe apartment in the sky, as the song goes. He was a wealthy hypocrite, people argued. He had too many multi-million-dollar properties. He had abandoned Brooklyn, and didn’t deserve to defend it. In an op-ed for the Daily News, Errol Louis made some good points about Spike’s own role in the gentrification of Fort Greene, including his flipping of several properties and the marketing of a rather tacky “Absolut Brooklyn” vodka. There were definitely some conflicts there that Spike did not address, and should have; however, that omission does not fully explain the violent backlash he received, and the fierce pro-gentrification cries that swirled around him. After all, plenty of other financially successful New York artists have railed against gentrification—David Byrne of Talking Heads, whose net worth is $45 million, even used the word “fuck” in his rant against the rich–and they didn’t get such backlash. But they weren’t black people expressing anger about white people.
As the online comment threads about Spike Lee lengthened, growing more contentious, the conversation began to crack. The neoliberal façade that hides the true face of today’s brand of gentrification fell away like a veil. Several people began to make statements like (I’m paraphrasing here): “I’m white and I helped make the neighborhood nicer,” and “White people were here first,” and “Black people pushed out the white people and now the whites are just coming back,” as well as, “I’m white and I’ll live wherever I want.” Said another (not paraphrasing), “Making a neighborhood that was once nice, nice again is not gentrification. It’s restoration.”
17th 57th Birthday to Mark E. Smith. No one should discount the possibility that he’s only just getting started.
The New York Post’s Marc Berman reports that Broadway’s long-running suckfest has finally generated something approaching civil disobedience ; to wit, a group calling themselves KF4L — no relation to those dudes from the KLF who burned a million pounds — have scheduled what you might call a Million Mongo March on MSG for two weeks from today.
In a statement, the organizers wrote the rally is being staged because of “Dolan’s failure to allow knowledgeable basketball people the autonomy/power to make basketball related decisions…His insistence on overriding the opinions of his basketball people by bidding against himself in negotiations and overpaying in trades.’’
The statement also took issue with “the rehiring of Steve Mills who has never been in the GM role before and presided over one of the most embarrassing eras in Knick history.’’
It went on to add Mills “has yet to speak to the media or fans about the state of the team since he came back. The fans deserve explanations.’’
In conclusion, the statement read: “We understand Dolan will not sell. We understand change may not come of this. We just want our voices heard. We want to remind Dolan and the NBA that our voices matter. We buy the tickets, the jerseys, the NBA League Pass subscriptions. We are frustrated. We are tired. We deserve better.’’
Before anyone suggests something underhanded, I think the statement above is far too well written to have been the work of Brett Yormark.
…it must’ve been far too difficult to find a way to shoehorn the line, “do you like gladiator movies?” into the above commercial’s script.
It was a week ago that I suggested my acquisition of an (ahem) bobblefoot figurine depicting a former politician soliciting a sex act in a public restroom had left my consciousness / psyche free and clear to donate as much spare cash as possble to WFMU‘s annual fund-raising marathon.
Never did I imagine, however, that the listener-sponsored broadcaster (or Chris Tsakis on his lonesome) would find a way to combine two of my greatest passions ; obtaining offense little statues of public figures doing ill-advised things and sending large amounts of money that I can ill-afford to WFMU. But that’s just what he’s done.
Right now on Chris’ “Aerial View”, a minimum pledge of $15 means you’re eligible to win a limited edition, 4.5″ Chris Christie Bridgegate Figurine and an “My Governor Can Eat Your Governor” sticker. If you’re waiting for something…don’t wait much longer.
Though I’m no Braves fans, I’m already on record in calling Atlanta’s Turner Field an unfortunate candidate for demolition, what with the local baseball franchise’s planned move to a new stadium in nearby Cobb County in 2017. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Tim Tucker reports an Atlanta advertising executive, Mike McDonald, is proposing an American League expansion team be created to fill the vacancy at Turner (link swiped from Creative Loafing’s Max Blau) :
Tucker has presented the idea to some local politicos and business folks. He has talked to lawyers about how to challenge MLB. He even wrote a letter to the Tampa Bay Rays, asking if they’d be interested in relocating. The Rays haven’t responded and McDonald has decided he’d prefer the fresh start of an expansion team.
McDonald already has a name in mind for the AL team he seeks: the Atlanta Surge, drawn from the city motto Resurgens (Latin for rising again). He envisions the city and county receiving an equity stake in the team in return for use of the venue, and an investor group operating the team with him. He says MLB should waive an expansion fee as a way to settle the damages of the Braves leaving the city limits.
He expects people to “take shots” at his plan and says that is fine.
(Precious Paul, already doing the math to determine his cut of the $40)
From Craigslist Dallas :
I’m willing to pay a van load of punk kids (i.e. hardcore kids with boots or whatever/black clothes/spikes/and patches on every fucking thing owned/you know what I’m talking about!), each, a crisp $20 bill, to ride from Dallas to Greenville to crash a 30 year old’s birthday party on Saturday, March 15. Mind you, tis the season for treason and all that is mad…March 15 recalls the assassination of Julius Caesar, who was famous for invasive strategies…just seems appropriate to ‘invade’ a party on the day of his death. Especially, a party of a man (i.e. the birthday dude) whom quotes the famous line, “Beware the Ides of March,” periodically. I’d like to provide transportation, so your money won’t be wasted, unless it’s on 40 oz’s. The party will be around 7 p.m. until drunk:30…and I want to make an entrance with a bunch of unexpected guests similar to that of the Road Warriors in the 80′s flick ‘Weird Science,’ where a bunch of street punks crash a fancy party. Everyone needs to be legal though. There will be beer. And most of all, there will be a house party that needs a good thrashing. I want jumping over fences/drinking/and being disgusting, but not destructive to the property…I know that sounds ridiculous in light of the movie preference, but damage costs suck, so just show up to be loud and have fun with a similar group of kids your own age who like the band, Local H and shit. They do enjoy good metal and good beer though, so it probably won’t be that lame.
Oh man, I am so going to hell for that headline. As you’ve probably read elsewhere, former Saints S Darren Sharper was recently canned from his analyst job at the NFL Network after being charged with multiple rapes and named a suspect in at least 4 other instances of sexual assault. The Nation’s Dave Zirin cannot help but note Sharper’s brushes with the law come on the heels of Jovan Belcher executing his girlfriend and a published report that more than two-thirds of the league’s 32 clubs had at one time or another last year, included a player with a domestic violence or sexual assault charge on his record on their rosters. “At what point,” asks Zirin, “do the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell confront the constant, haunting league-wide presence of violence against women?”
It is stunning that an NFL, which wants to police how players talk to each other on the field and has announced plans to institute an entire new set of guidelines around “locker room conduct,” does not address this publicly. It is stunning that an NFL, which tries to cultivate and grow its female fan base by trussing players in pink for a full month out of the season to display their seriousness in the fight against breast cancer, is silent on the question of violence against women. It is stunning that Roger Goodell, who believes that players should be “role models,” does not address the kind of behavior that is being modeled.
This is about more than violence. It is about a locker-room environment that sees women as little more than “road beef.” Amidst the infamous text messages between Miami Dolphins offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, lost among the racial taunts and homophobic jibes, were the discussions of “bitches,” “hooker parties,” “strippers who go the extra mile,” and Incognito’s boast that “I was doing work last night. I got those girls hammered.” This is the same Richie Incognito who received second chance after second chance, no matter how many accusations of sexual assault were levied against him throughout his career in college and the pros. The entire Incognito saga could have been avoided if the league had a zero-tolerance approach to violence against women. They don’t, so it wasn’t.
No, the connective tissue between football and rape culture is not created in the NFL, as Incognito’s own history demonstrates. We know too much from stories that span from high schools in Steubenville and Maryville to colleges like Vanderbilt, Notre Dame and Missouri to think that it possibly starts in the pros. But shouldn’t the NFL be where it ends?
At least he’s not trying sell you on artisanal turbo gravy. ‘Cause then you’d know for sure this was fake.
As tempting as it is to deem a jock with a film degree from Notre Dame a graduate of Advanced Going To The Movies, Cleveland reliever John Axford must at the very least have a keen take on the Academy Awards voting process and the balance of critical acclaim/commercial clout. On Sunday, Axford unveiled his predictions for 18 of 24 Oscar categories and got each of them correct, a result some have likened to a 7 inning perfect game.
As noted above, Axford’s done pretty well in past years, but deserves special praise for nailing such categories as “Best Make Up and Hairstyling” and “Best Costume Design”, both of which, as you already know, are hotly debated at every MLB spring training facility.
(above : presumably not the work of an art school graduate, but statistically accurate at one point in the past)
Given the season cannot end soon enough, you’d think the Knicks would struggle to create further cringe-worthy storylines this late in the year, but not for the first time, James Dolan’s prized sporting property has exceeded expectations. Following Sunday’s 109-90 capitulation to the Bulls at the United Center, New York’s Carmelo Anthony acknowledged (again) that he’s got escape options this summer, with the awkward quotes provided by the New York Post’s Marc Berman :
Behind the Knicks bench, one fan brandished a poster with Anthony’s picture and the inscription “Melo to Chicago.’’
“I saw a couple of those tonight,’’ Anthony said. “It was a good sign. It was good.”
But before taking Anthony’s compliment of the sign as a bad omen, the Knicks free-agent-to-be clarified he didn’t mean the sign’s message was “good,’’ but the presentation.
“The artwork, he went to art class,’’ Anthony said. “Not the message, but it was a good sign.’’
Who amongst us doesn’t remember the pre-internet / before-we’d-heard-of-dirtsheets era in which Mean Gene Okerlund was greatly enriched by 1-900 lines that didn’t exactly reveal the greatest scoops of all-time? Of course not, you’re not 100 years old! The good news is that Austin, TX based Inspire Pro Wrestling remember these days of insane phone bills and intense salesmanship, and they’ve dragged an otherwise moribund medium into the modern era :
(a possible challenger to Pete Carroll’s authority)
“There’s one person who was so righteous & pretty much walked into Heaven. Don’t think my plans are anything less than that ” So tweeted former San Diego State RB Adam Muema just prior to going AWOL from the ongoing NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Muema, who apparently spent 3 days camping in a Fort Lauderdale airport, claims he was acting on the instructions of God, who apparently already knows he’s being drafted by Seattle. From the LA Times’ Nathan Fenno :
In previous social media posts, Muema frequently ascribes special meaning to numbers. That includes a Facebook picture of a personalized No. 8 Seahawks jersey and listing himself as “Seahawks#8) on his Twitter biography. No Seahawks player wears the number.
“If I would of performed that day I would of missed that meaningful #8. Glory be to God. Keep calling them coincidences if you want to,” Muema wrote.
In the new social media posts, Muema also restated his belief in a figure named Lord Rayel, who claims to be the second coming of Christ. Before the combine, Muema posted three YouTube videos about Lord Rayel on his Facebook page.
Muema also recommended the “Son of God” movie and posted a picture of a devotional book.
“Many ppl believe I won’t play football,” he wrote in his last tweet, “why wouldn’t God want me to reach out to the millions through that lovely sport I deeply enough # Blessed.”
In a development that makes the Baltimore Sun newsroom depicted in David Simon’s “The Wire” seem like a relative bastion of journalistic integrity, the free weekly Baltimore City Paper has disappeared a highly negative review of a recent arena appearance by country megastar/bambi-killer Jason Aldean (above). According to Baltimore Brew’s Fern Shen, Travis Kitchens’ February 4 review of Aldean’s concert (“a lot like watching a two-hour beer commercial. . . a mindless dopamine rush as precise in its effects as methamphetamine..He struts around the stage with his prop guitar like a rockstar android wiggling his ass in a manner so contrived it makes Madonna look like Miles Davis in comparison”) was removed from the paper’s website a week later at the behest of two major advertisers, Live Nation (promoters of the February 1 show at Baltimore Arena) and sports apparel manufacture Under Armor (sponsors of Aldean’s hunting show, “Buck Commander”).
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, local Arena management found the article “terrible, more of a slam piece than a review,” complaining directly to City Paper and alerting Jeremiah Xenakis, director of marketing for LiveNationDC, who was “upset” about it.
Asked by phone and via email if he complained and threatened to stop buying any more LiveNation event advertising on City Paper – and if so, why – Xenakis responded, “while we don’t always agree with our reviewers, we look forward to working with City Paper in the future. Thanks and have a great weekend.”
Kitchens said Aldean even spoke about Under Armour onstage that night at the concert, noting that Baltimore was “the home of one of my biggest sponsors.”
Kitchens was clearly turned off by the whole scene, as well as the music. His review described the “puke smell” in the venue, the commercialism (with opening act Florida Georgia Line working a sponsoring whiskey-maker’s name into song lyrics) and the booths selling Aldean schwag such as beer cozies with his catch-phrase, “I’m about to get my pissed off on.”
(above : not footage from the 2014 Austin Music Blogger Awards. I think.)
With Dino Costa protecting his twitter account of late, it would seem Austin Town Hall editor / Austin Music Blogger Awards editor Nathan Lankford has now become rather reliable cannon fodder around these parts. On Saturday, the gift-no-one-asked-for kept giving a little bit more. Responding to reader comments that perhaps he was, y’know totally full of shit, Lankford continued to engage in a weird combination of back-tracking, sloppy stereotyping and most predictably of all,self-congratulation.
Lankford now chocks up last week’s accusations that I’m raping the scene/ lining my pockets to an unfortunate bit of poor anger management on his part. Never mind the fact he can’t substantiate any of these claims, point to one example or even offer something as honorable as “sorry, I made shit up about you in a public forum,.” As far as the AMBA voting and nomination process goes, he makes a feeble attempt to explain the whole thing, while claiming labels were asked to vote because “they’re a vital part of the community”. Even if you accept the idea that labels voting for their own records (or against someone else’s) is the best way to acknowledge artistic achievement (HINT : IT ISN’T), how can it be claimed that labels like Super Secret, Todo Destruido or Instincto have made fewer contributions to Austin music than 12XU? If you wanna continue to frame a combination of parochialism, musical bigotry and sheer intellectual laziness as being “all-about-the-community”, by all means, knock yourself out. Preferably with a brick or lead pipe.
Nathan thinks it is particularly important we know that his own personal ballot included such bands as Sweet Talk, the OBN III’s, Pharoahs and Quitters. So there you have it, some of his best friends are punk. He actually characterizes the debate as “Beerland vs. Bloggers”, which is only the latest example of an incredibly narrow worldview from someone who claims to champion diversity. There’s been no shortage of artists mentioned throughout these discussions who are wildly talented and original — to continuously presume they all represent the same genre and are part of some house-band thing at Beerland could not be more incorrect. One of the bands initially cited as an example of Lankford & co. totally missing the boat played to a sold out N.D. last night ; presumably that venue meets Lankford’s sky-high standards for sound (funny how a guy who can’t describe or evaluate music in a way that’s provocative or insightful considers himself qualified to evaluate the work of Austin’s sound engineers).
My “work harder” wasn’t meant to say that bands aren’t working their asses off in this city. Hell, even shitty bar bands I would never watch work hard to perfect their craft. I think the one thing I have wanted for some time is that Austin bridge the gap. I wish the bands would communicate with the blogs a bit more, not because I think we’re the best at what we do, but because if we like it, it’s free exposure, and often spreads from blog to blog. That’s 10000 people, a lot of them in Austin, getting to hear a new song or new album from a band…there’s just a lack of communication, and I’d love to close that gap, encourage the bands to send ATH and the other blogs their music or tweet us about shows so we can retweet and spread the word. I want all the bands I love to get that extra boost of publicity…it’s good for the bands, the bars and everyone involved.
Unfuckingbelievable. So the burden’s entirely on the artists to figure out who these blogs are and provide them with a soundcloud link and p.r. spiel that can be regurgitated. Because your seals of approval are so coveted. By all means, every artist in town needs to stop what they’re doing right now and get cracking on sending stuff to a music blog so staggeringly influential, a bunch of traffic from this very thread actually crashed their server this week.
Gerard and I are two very different people, though both with very similar approaches to things. Gerard worries only about what he thinks is good music. That’s perfectly acceptable and applauded. I, while caring about the same thing, feel a huge responsibility to Austin, as growing up here is what fostered my love of music, so I take a different approach. But in the end, we both want the same thing; we want the bands we love to have money to put out their records and to tour their asses off and enjoy the highlights of rock n’ roll. That should be the bottom line, for both of us.
Sorry, but I don’t think our approaches are particularly similar. Lovely that being an Austin native has fostered such a deep appreciation for music, but not all music is actually good or interesting. And there ought to be way, way more to “the bottom line” than putting out records, touring and “the highlights of rock’n'roll”. I mean, fuck rock’n'roll (if the Black Books are supposed to be rock’n'roll, the genre is in deep, deep trouble) And fuck music blogging. If the height of your artistic ambitions are getting paid, touring and the highlights of rock’n'roll, please, watch the movie trailer at the start of this post three or four hundred times in a row and let me know at what point it all seems shallow, sad and stupid.
Bring on the brickbats, jeers and juvenile stunts from so-called competitors. Mike Zaun remains the King Of All (Sports) Media.
(my 2005 proposal that Cleveland introduce a new mascot based on a popular local icon still require has gone unrecognized by the region’s largest daily).
In the eyes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s editorial board, merely de-emphasizing the Indians’ Chief Wahoo caricature isn’t going nearly enough. “A demeaning symbol is a demeaning symbol, regardless of degree,” argues Friday’s editorial. “It’s a little unsettling that it hasn’t happened by now. Why cling to Wahoo when it so clearly offends?”
One might wonder whether, if Greater Cleveland were a faster-growing region, if it didn’t feel so defensive about its hard-luck professional sports teams, it would have found the collective self-esteem before now to part willingly with Wahoo.
But the Indians shouldn’t wait to win a World Series or for the city to hit boom times to discover the well of decency and understanding within itself to dump the Chief.
The team should do it now. Take the heat. Deal with the backlash. Move on. It can be done thoughtfully, by simply acknowledging the mixed emotions of all involved.
Then the city and the team can send a message to the world that it gets it. And Indians fans, all of them, can root for the team, unconditionally.
(Team GB’s Jenny Jones reminds The Zapper she’s only a couple of opponents’ drug test failures from becoming the numero uno woman snowboarder in the world)
Of the BBC’s recently concluded coverage of the Winter Games from Sochi, Private Eye’s The Zapper considers the lesser of the Olympiads something less than crucial viewing (“what a disparate, distant event like this needs is some kind of narrative chassis, a story that gives the whole sprawling pageant focus and reroutes the headlines from corruption, government-sanctioned gay-bashing and no snow”). That said, perhaps the Zapper’s biggest hang up is the Winter Games’ emphasis on “a whole load of sports we don’t understand”.
In freestyle snowboarding, for example, that left us with two shouty men bleating vaguely scatological non-sequiturs as men in baggy pants pinged up and down like popcorn in a pan : “The backside air was smooth, but it wasn’t massive”; “The front ten is the shire horse of halfpipe riding.” It was at least encouraging to see that Coleman and his redoubtable balls live on in the next generation of sports broadcasters.
“‘The Seatbelt’” said Dom Harington, commenting on some obscure snowboarding move. “It’s like an alligator giving birth : very rare.”
“They’re reptiles — they lay eggs,” pointed out his partner.
Former Jays reliever Dirk Hayhurst (above) has chronicled the grim minor league experience in “The Bullpen Gospels” (his third book “Bigger Than The Game” is published next week), and as such, the journeyman-turned analyst/journalist is uniquely qualified to weigh in on 3 former minor leaguers’ class action lawsuit against MLB, claiming the Uniform Players Contract is sham. In a blog post from last week, Hayhurst bemoans the moment “it became out of fashion for minor leaguers, who truly do get paid like shit, treated like shit, worked like dogs, and screwed when injured, to complain about any of it.”
Baseball has the money to at least alleviate the minor league struggle. It just doesn’t have anyone telling it that it must. In fact, it will tell you that if it did alleviate things players wouldn’t work as hard to make it to the top; that they wouldn’t want it as badly if the minors were comfortable. Gosh, thank you, MLB, for being so considerate.
And thank you, major league players, for not speaking up and allowing this wonderful, character building cycle to continue. For those who may not know, the MLBPA routinely bargains away the rights of minor leaguers and amateurs even though minor leaguers and amateurs have no say at, representation on, or power over the MLBPA’s negotiating table.
Odd, isn’t it, that Baseball will tout it’s charitable efforts and desire to see change in suffering communities. That it will set up institutions to help kids break out of poverty and punch their tickets to its meat grinder, wherein it will turn them into live stock, expect them to behave as such, and toss them right back into the dirt when they fail?