Ben Schwartz On The Newly Circumspect Cubs

Posted in Baseball at 11:07 pm by

Writes Ben,

CSTB will have to go looking elsewhere for baseball comedy this season, as the Cubs are promising to keep their mouths shut. However, Dusty is confident that Wood will be back sooner than later, although Dusty’s estimation of when a pitcher is ready to go has always been questionable.

From the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mike Kiley.

Kerry Wood re-enters the spotlight when he starts today against the Colorado Rockies. It will be his first Cactus League start since March 9, when he took himself out after two innings with what an MRI showed was bursitis and rotator-cuff inflammation in his right shoulder.

Wood has chosen not to talk to the media in recent weeks, telling people privately that he’s not mad at anybody in particular but that he feels more relaxed. He also has been annoyed by how some comments he considered harmless came back to bite him, and he is enjoying a breather from answering questions about his physical well-being.

Manager Dusty Baker said Wood isn’t the only Cub taking a more low-key approach to the season. Baker already has noted that he is going to be less forthcoming with his opinions.

”After last year’s fiasco, everybody is more low-key,” Baker said. ”It’s not only Kerry, it’s probably everybody. We all learned some valuable lessons last year.

”I get calls from guys and organizations about what they hear and read [about Wood] — that his arm is about to fall off. That’s about as far from the truth as anything.”

Wood gave up 3 runs on 8 hits over 5 innings on Wednesday against the Rockies. And I’m not sure about the lack of laffs at Wrigley in ’05 — not if Roger Cedeno makes the team.

Saintly Cyclist Accused (Again) Of Juicy Abuse

Posted in cycling at 10:53 pm by

Who are you gonna believe, a 6 time Tour De France winner / yellow-bracelet peddler or a disgruntled, ex-gofer / Chris Cacavas lookalike?

I’ve been looking for a jpeg of Greg LeMond smiling so hard his face is gonna bust, but I just can’t find it.

Jobless Koch Unloads On Jays

Posted in Baseball at 12:00 pm by

From the Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliot.

We asked Koch, released five days ago by the Blue Jays, if he was going to play with another team.

“Nope,” the relief pitcher said firmly.

“I’m going to make the Toronto Blue Jays pay every cent of my salary.”

The Jays are on the hook for Koch’s $950,000 US salary. If a team had an injury and needed an arm, it could add Koch at the prorated major-league minimum of $320,000.

“To be released after four outings? What’s four outings in the spring? Nothing,” Koch said. “They can pay my gas money for my car, they can pay to fill up my 240-gallon tank for my 30-foot Pursuit, they can gas up my jet boat and our three jet skis.”

That’s a lot of gas.

“Nothing against the city of Toronto or Jays fans,” Koch said. “I love the city and the fans treated me well.”

Whether this is bullet-proof bullpen bravado that closers need, or whether Koch will change his opinion a month down the road remains to be seen. But that’s what Koch was saying yesterday.

“I read in the paper they say I didn’t work hard,” Koch said. “Talk to any pitching coach or strength coach I’ve had. I lift, run a little, do agility drills and play long toss.

“I can’t run and haven’t run as much as everyone else in four years. Why? Because my back hurts. Say I threw a horse-bleep pitch, don’t attack my work ethic.”

Bass Wolf, RIP

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 11:53 am by

Hideaki Sekiguchi, aka Billy, Bass Wolf of the amazing trio Guitar Wolf, passed away yesterday in Tokyo. A funeral will be held Tuesday morning at the following address :

Rinkai Saijo
1-3-1 Tokai
Ohta-ku, Tokyo 143-0001
phone: +81-(0)3-5755-2833

The Larry Bowa Morning Zoo

Posted in Sports Radio at 10:32 am by

Greaseman, Howard Stern, Opie & Anthony, you can all fuck off. Nobody knows how to push the broadcasting envelope quite like former Phillies firebrand Larry Bowa. This morning on XM’s Baseball Channel, host Mike Patrick (joined by Buck Martinez) mentioned to Bowa that the local Gallahgers (!) had a menu featuing a Pedro Martini and a Carlos Beltran Burger.

“Ever have a drink or sandwich named after you, Larry?”

“Yeah…..there was the Larry Bowa Hot Dog….a lot of meat for your buck.”

Kaz Hitting Eighth?

Posted in Baseball at 12:50 am by

With Mets 2B Kaz Matsui looking overmatched at the plate this spring (.208 BA thus far, no extra base hits in 53 at bats), the New York Times’ Pat Borzi raises the possibility of the speedy import batting 8th.

Willie Randolph has batted José Reyes and Matsui first and second in his lineup throughout spring training, and a healthy Reyes has been productive, batting .328 with eight steals in eight attempts and 12 runs scored. But Randolph says the starting lineup “is not something etched in stone.”

It is a phrase he uses repeatedly when the conversation turns to the possibility of the second-year third baseman David Wright batting eighth – an eyebrow-raising spot in the lineup for a promising young power hitter who had 14 homers, 40 runs batted in and a .293 average in 69 games last year. In the future, Carlos Beltran and Wright could anchor the Mets’ lineup as the No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, so the question is whether batting eighth is the proper apprenticeship for someone as valuable as Wright.

In the N.L., the No. 8 hitter, batting in front of the pitcher, can often go a long time without getting a good pitch to hit. “To me, it boils down to who’s the best guy for that spot,” Randolph said. “Everybody can have their opinion, but it’s what’s best for the ball club.

“David’s basically a rookie,” Randolph added. “We’ve all got to earn our chops.”

But what about Matsui? Is it possible that he could be dropped to the bottom of the order if he does not start hitting? Matsui has proved adept at situational hitting in recent games, collecting all five of his spring-training R.B.I. since his return. But he still walks less and strikes out more than a leadoff or No. 2 hitter should; he has only two walks in spring training and 13 strikeouts, the second most on the team and one more than Andres Galarraga had before he retired.

Randolph, who is still learning his players’ strengths and weaknesses, said Thursday that Wright, Matsui, right fielder Mike Cameron and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz were all possible candidates for the eighth spot in the order. But Randolph is likely to leave Matsui where he is for now. Matsui’s speed makes him tough to double up; he hit into only three double plays last year, the third-best ratio in the N.L. (one every 153.3 at-bats). And when he bats left-handed, he provides a shield for Reyes when he takes a lead off first base and prepares to steal.


Viagra Pitchman Decries “Steroid Era”, Boss Calls For Asterix-Mania

Posted in Baseball at 11:44 pm by

Orioles 1B Rafael Palmiero has told the AP that in the wake of Jose Canseco’s best-seller,“this whole era over the last 10, 15 or 20 years has been tainted. Regardless of whether you did or you didn’t do anything, this whole era will have that label.” So maybe he should’ve kept a closer eye on Brady Anderson?

Yankee owner George Steinbrenner was at his grandstanding best yesterday in USA Today, telling Hal Bodley that he’d favor an asterix being attatched to those records broken with the aid of steroids. Considering that two of George’s most highly paid employees, Gary Sheffield and Jason Giambi, are admitted ‘roid users, it’s a good thing the Yankees haven’t set any records (or won any championships) recently that would require a disclaimer.

Wednesday’s Transcation Highlights :

Milwaukee released outfielder/pitcher Brooks Kieschnick. I know a team in New York that needs bullpen help and utility outfielders who can catch the ball. But enough about Queens College’s softball squad, they never listen to any of my suggestions.

Boston traded the enigmatic (ie. euphamism for relentlessly shitty) Byung-Hyun Kim to the Rockies for left-hander Chris Naverson and catcher Charles Johnson. Johnson was released soon afterwards, perhaps clearing the way for his signing with the Mets as a free-agent.

(Marichal, showing the Dodgers’ John Roseboro a pose that might work well in statue-form).

San Francisco announced they’ll retire Gaylord Perry’s number 36, along with errecting a statue in honor of Juan Marichal. The plaza / playground tribute to Will Shatter will just have to wait.

Los Angeles have sent catcher David Ross to Pittsburgh in exchange for approximately $750,000.00 (USD). Clearly, the acquisition of Jason Phillips was enough to provoke an entire overhaul of the L.A. roster (if not a team meeting called by Milton Bradley). Why the Pirates were so keen to acquire Ross is a myster ; they’ve already got Benito Santiago and Humberto Cota behind the plate, along with a bunch of decent catcing prospects. Pittsburgh also sent OF Ben Grieve, a former AL Rookie Of The Year, to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Oakland SS Bobby Crosby (above, right) is questionable for Opening Day after being hit on the wrist during Wednesday’s exhibition against Milwaukee. If Crosby isn’t good to go on Monday, former Met Marco Scutaro will get the start.

England Prevails, The Pope’s Footie Faves

Posted in Football at 4:49 pm by

One goal created, another scored by the embattled David Beckham, as England won their 2nd World Cup qualifier in 4 days, beating Azerbaijan 2-0 at St. James Park. This result, however pales on the shocker scale compared to Israel’s deadlock with France. Said match follows France’s scoreless draw with Switzerland over the weekend — Group 4 proving more difficult for Raymond Domench’s side than most would’ve predicted. You can watch a tape delayed telecast of the action from Tel Aviv starting at 5pm EST on the Fox Soccer Channel.

(Israel’s Walid Badir letting uncomfortable tourist Fabien Barthez know that not only is the matched tied, but Linda Evangelista is really a man).

The U.S. National team will try to rebound from their weekend defeat in Mexico City with tonight’s WC qualifier against Guatemala, carried live on ESPN2 at 8pm eastern. Which may or may not beat the ratings for tomorrow night’s NIT final.

The Guardian’s Sean Ingle on Matt Taibbi’s best buddy, Pope John Paul, and the team(s) he supports.

“My flatmate and I were in the pub last week discussing the more unusual fans of our teams. In this discussion he claimed that the Pope supported his team: Fulham, and that in his younger days as a priest the Pope had actually attended a Fulham game. Is there any truth in this?” asks Brian Matthew Peers.

The Pope may only worship the one god, but he’s got flaky ties to at least three football teams – including Fulham.

According to local SW6 legend, John Paul II – who was a goalkeeper in his youth – stood on the terraces at Craven Cottage in the 1930s when he was studying as a priest in Roehampton. However, when the Daily Star reported this as fact (and cunningly doctored a photo of his holiness holding a Fulham scarf) they were reported to the Press Complaints Commission and forced to make a grovelling apology.

The story doesn’t end there, mind. In 1999, Ken Myers of the Fulham Independent Fanline phoned up the Vatican to ask about the rumours and later told the Sun: “I’d heard the Pope was a fan so, as it was Easter, I thought I’d give him a ring. I couldn’t believe it when I got through to his press spokesman. This guy even knew we were playing Wigan and was happy to talk about it.”

The Pope’s special envoy, Kieron Conroy, was a bit less forward, however. “The Pope wishes Fulham fans all the best,” he told Fleet Street’s finest. “He has written before hoping Fulham’s fortunes would be reversed and offers his support, such as he can give it.”

If that wasn’t inconclusive enough, the Pope also has been linked with Barcelona and Liverpool.

After performing mass at the Nou Camp in front of 120,000 people in November 1982, his holiness was presented with a lifelong Barca membership card – No.108,000 – from president Josep Lluís Núñez – however rumours that he is a season-ticker holder are wide of the mark.

Meanwhile, more recently, Jerzy Dudek returned from the Vatican with the revelation that the Pope was a big Liverpool fan. “I spoke to a couple of guys who are very close to the Pope and they told me that he is always watching our games and that he is always thinking of me when Liverpool play,” he told the club’s official website.

Zen Mistresss Touts Phil To Knicks (Again)

Posted in Basketball at 1:30 pm by

Since Stephon Marbury scoring 45 in a losing effort to LA isn’t a hot enough story to hold our attention, let us instead turn to the New York Post’s Marc Berman and his conversation with Jeannie Buss.

In an interview by the Staples Center court before the Lakers hosted the Knicks, Buss spoke of the passion that Jackson ” a member of the Knicks’ two championship teams ” still has for the Big Apple.

“It was such a great time of his life,” Buss told The Post. “I totally see him back in New York. We were talking about Bill Bradley a couple of hours ago.”

Buss joined Jackson on his book-signing tour through New York in the fall.

“When he was in New York in October, he wanted to take me places, wanted to show me everything,” Buss said. “He’s got a love of the city. A friend of a friend sent to me a New York Knicks team picture when he was on the team. It had all the signatures but they needed Phil’s. We sat down. Told me all the stories.”

Asked if Jackson and Jeanie could be a package deal for the Knicks, she giggled and said, “Well, maybe if he gave me a ring I’d think of something like that. But I don’t think our relationship will be like that. I don’t think I can leave my family business.”

The Lakers executive admitted, though, that Jackson still could turn down all the jobs available because he seems unsure he wants to coach again.

“As close as I am to Phil, I still don’t know if he wants to coach,” she said, echoing the Tuesday comments of Jackson’s friend and biographer, Charley Rosen.

“What’s important to me is he’s healthy and feels good. . . . I can’t get a read one way or another [if he'll coach]. If he does, I want to make sure wherever he goes he has the support we gave him here.”

Buss said she once feared him leaving for the Knicks next season, thinking it was the end of their relationship. Now she’s fine with the idea, even if his returning to the Lakers would be her first choice.

She goes to New York twice a season for the NBA’s Board of Governor’s meetings.

“At the end of last season, when he wasn’t coming back, I didn’t know where our relationship would go,” she said. “I felt a lot of panic keeping him here. Now that we’ve gone though this year, our relationship is as strong as ever. Do I worry about him going to New York? I don’t have that concern anymore.”

In Salt Lake City, today’s news has Kirk Snyder sitting for a little while and free agent bust Carlos Boozer sitting for a much longer while.

The Daily Tribune’s Pat Caputo weighs in on MSU’s Tom Izzo and speculation that Cleveland’s new ownership group might try to make a play for the current King Of Kalamazoo. Conjecture is good and fine, but I seriously doubt Izzo is focused on anything other than Saturday’s game. Or at least that’s what I was saying to Chuck Fairbanks on the cell phone while shopping at Louis Vuitton.

Harrison Charged With Kiddie Assault While The Real Child Abusers Roam Free

Posted in Gridiron at 12:09 pm by

Brian Turner calls our attention to the sordid tale of Indianapolis Colts wide-receiver Marvin Harrison’s alleged ass-whupping of 3 youthful autograph seekers.

Marvin Harrison’s sixth trip to Honolulu for the NFL’s Pro Bowl might be one of his more memorable for all the wrong reasons.

According to the lawsuit, the three boys approached Harrison outside a Louis Vuitton store at the Hilton Hawaiian Village for his autograph and to take his photograph. Harrison was on his cell phone at the time and told the boys to wait. Shortly thereafter, the two men with Harrison, who are not identified but remain part of the lawsuit nonetheless, arrived on the scene and the alleged assault ensued.

The lawsuit alleges that “without any provocation, the two yet to be identified males and subsequently Mr. Harrison violently and physically attacked the minor plaintiffs.”

I know this sounds like an open and shut case, but where were the parents during all of this? As someone who is fucking sick to death of autograph-hound adolescents interrupting my cell phone calls while shopping at Louis Vuitton, I applaud Harrison’s decisive measures …and suggest that these grifters and their ill-mannered offspring be the ones deserving of the full wrath of the legal justice system.

And while we’re on the subject of Hawaii, what kind of degenerates willingly attend the Pro Bowl? Other than Donovan McNabb, I mean. Or bring their kids to such a rotten event?

Always The Last To Know – CSTB Reader Tips Us Off To The Blog Everyone Has Already Covered

Posted in The Internet at 11:56 am by

Let’s take it easy on Jim Hoffman. Not everyone gets to abuse broadband at work all day, so it really shouldn’t matter that this well-intentioned correspondent says of Blog-Of-The-Moment (Last Week) Stuck In Rehab With Pat O’Brien,

Even, perhaps especially, in rehab, he’s a dork.

(O’Brien, on the right, is in treatment for something or other)

Though Jim acknowledges that said blog is almost certainly not the work of the former CBS hoops interviewer’s actual rehab roomie, I’m not so sure. The stuff about Whitney Houston sounds pretty accurate. I’m also bitter that this pretty much blows plans for a fake Brent Musberger blog right out of the water.

Don’t Hate The Players- Only Meeting, Hate The Conference Table

Posted in Baseball at 11:26 am by

Who better to call a Dodgers team meeting than veteran leaders like Milton Bradley and Jeff Kent?

Actually, everyone from Pedro Guerrero to Steve Sax to the late Tommy Lasorda Jr. come to mind, but since none of them were available, the LA Times’ Steve Henson can fill you in on what happened.

Jeff Kent planted the seed, mentioning to Milton Bradley that a players-only meeting might be beneficial. Bradley made it happen, closing the clubhouse doors Tuesday and speaking about leadership, chemistry and breaking spring training with a unified purpose.

The Dodgers have so many new players that Bradley, in his second year, is almost an elder statesman. Among regulars, only shortstop Cesar Izturis has been with the team longer.

“Sometimes you can sense something in the air,” Bradley said. “We’ve had a quiet clubhouse. That’s OK. Every team has its own identity. But it seemed to Jeff and I that we all needed to make sure we were on the same page before we went to Los Angeles.”

Jayson Werth, who like Bradley is in his second season with the team, spoke next. Then Eric Gagne, the senior Dodger, had something to say. Finally, Kent stepped forward and talked about what he believes is necessary to win.

“It’s important for us to communicate with one another, for anybody to feel comfortable talking if they have something to say,” Bradley said. “We made it clear to younger and newer guys that anybody can say anything. Don’t be shy.”

Bidding War Alert, Pt. VI

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 11:16 am by

(sadly, no babes, Bush masks or dildos in this pic. Could our correspondent be making this up?)

Brian Turner writes

I hope you are following the development of THE LIVING THINGS – the band Scharpling and I saw open for Velvet Revolver at Roseland, leaving both our jaws dropped (especially when the singer yelled at some guy throwing shit “I hope you get drafted”).

1. Single gimmick: bringing out babes wearing Bush masks and dildos on stage to make important political statement.
2. Dreamworks A&R signing them after 3 songs at the Viper Room for being “visceral”.
3. Dreamworks dropping them after repeatedly warning them to stop doing the Bush masks and dildos (allegedly) and then getting hate emails from Dreamworks staffers.
4. Singer shot at and had ribs broken by guys in Dallas for the Bush masks and dildos.
5. Band member ODs *ON STAGE* at CB’s, presumably before they could bring out the Bush masks and dildos.
6. Pissing on Velvet Revolver by saying they didn’t want to open for them because it would have been like “the Clash opening for Kiss.”
7. Band very proud about not having listened to the MC5 and Stooges until they discovered Hole.

Some heavy points going on there – definitely worth watching…

Your Love Is Like Bad Medicine

Posted in Baseball at 12:00 am by

Incredibly, he’s got time for investigative reporting and playing bass for Velvet Revolver. The New York Times’ Duff Wilson on the latest black eye for MLB.

Dr. Elliot J. Pellman, the medical adviser for Major League Baseball whose recent testimony to Congress praised baseball’s steroids policy and challenged its critics, has exaggerated his educational and professional credentials.

Dr. Pellman, who is also team doctor for the Jets and the Islanders and a former president of the National Football League Physicians Society, has said repeatedly in biographical statements that he has a medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

But Dr. Pellman attended medical school in Guadalajara, Mexico, and he received a medical degree from the New York State Education Department after a one-year residency at SUNY Stony Brook, state records show. He does not hold an M.D. from Stony Brook, according to Dan Rosett, a university hospital spokesman.

In papers sent to Harvard University for a seminar and to the House Committee on Government Reform, which held the hearings on steroids in baseball two weeks ago, Dr. Pellman identified himself as an associate clinical professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

But he is an assistant clinical professor, a lower-ranking and honorary position that is held by thousands of doctors, a medical college official said. Dr. Pellman does not teach at Albert Einstein.

In interviews this week, Dr. Pellman, 51, said he had not tried to mislead anybody about his credentials. He characterized the errors as minor and said he would correct them. And he primarily blamed other people, including his secretary and the Jets, for the discrepancies.

“In a way, I thank you, because those discrepancies are not important enough to be there, and they have all been fixed,” he said in a telephone interview yesterday.

But Dr. Dan Brock, director of Harvard Medical School’s Division of Medical Ethics, said, “If I told you I graduated from medical school in the United States, and I went to Guadalajara, then I think I would have deliberately misled you, so I would say that was unethical.”

When informed of the errors in Dr. Pellman’s biography, Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, who is the ranking minority member on the House committee, said in a statement yesterday: “Major League Baseball told us Dr. Pellman was their foremost expert, but he was unable to answer even basic questions about the league’s steroid policy at the hearing. This new information raises further questions about his credibility and the credibility of baseball’s steroid policy.”

Robert White, a spokesman for Representative Tom Davis, Republican of Virginia, who is the chairman of the House committee, said he was “stunned” that baseball would send “a doctor with a questionable résumé.”

Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president, said the errors were insignificant. He said Dr. Pellman had disclosed his Guadalajara education to baseball on his résumé. He said it was unfair to criticize Dr. Pellman for the false listing of an M.D. from SUNY in the “Reader’s Digest version” of his bio from the Jets.

“I don’t see why it should impact his credibility, I really don’t,” Mr. Manfred said.

(Dr. Pellman, far left, supervising the amputation of John Abraham’s foot at the Meadowlands last autumn)

Perhaps George O’Leary would like this job?


Galarraga Retires

Posted in Baseball at 11:34 pm by

19 year veteran and Mets spring training invitee Andres Galarraga announced his retirement Tuesday, sparing Omar Minaya the unpleasant task of cutting the much admired first baseman. Knowing full well that the Mets were due to run into John Franco by the season’s 2nd week, no one can blame the Big Cat for wanting to hang around long enough to hit his 400th home run.

In other roster moves, the Mets acquired infielder Benji Gil (above) from Seattle for cash, picked up infielder Wilson Valdez from the White Sox on waivers, and signed free agent catcher (and former Met) Kelly Stinnett to a minor league contact.

Stinnett started and went 0 for 2 as The Mets beat the Nationals, 4-3 earlier today, 9th inning solo shots by Miguel Cairo and Luis Garcia making the difference. Earlier in the game, admitted steriod abuser Terminal Sledge touched up right-hander Heath Bell for a two run homer that briefly put Washington ahead.

Age Ain’t Nuthin’ But A Number…

Posted in Baseball at 11:16 pm by

…or so Luis Polonia always claimed. Mel Antonen wrote in Wednesday’s USA Today about a trio of journeymen minor leaguers, all of whom are hoping that Being Washed Up is just a state of mind.

Brian Dallimore played nine minor league seasons before making the San Francisco Giants last year. He played 20 games, hit a grand slam and then, when the Giants needed his roster spot, they cut him ” on his birthday.

With a .478 average in the Cactus League, he has a chance to be the Giants’ utility infielder when they open April 5. Dallimore (above) was a Class AAA All-Star last season at Fresno and hit .352 to win the Pacific Coast League batting championship in 2003.

¢Luke Scott, Houston: Even though the Astros’ outfield competition was wide open at the start of spring training, Scott, 26 (above), who has never played a day in the majors, wasn’t a serious candidate.

Now he could be the Astros’ opening-day left fielder.

“Absolutely, he’s in the mix,” general manager Tim Purpura says. “He’s had tremendous at-bats against a lot of good pitching. Luke has come out of nowhere.”

Scott has 62 home runs in three minor league seasons.

¢Emil Brown ,Kansas City: As a non-roster player who hasn’t been in the majors since 2001, has hit five home runs this spring. A career .200 hitter with eight home runs in 209 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres, Brown, 30 (above), is the favorite to be the Royals’ right fielder for their April 4 opener at the Detroit Tigers.

Johnnie Cochran, RIP

Posted in The Law at 6:25 pm by

Famed celebrity super-attorney Johnie Cochran has died at the age of 67.

Cochran, best known for his pivotal role in the acquital of OJ Simpson on double murder charges, was also the inspiration for the “Seinfeld” character of Jackie Childs.

Cochran’s death removes any lingering possibility of a last-second takeover of the Michael Jackson case and the inevitable regurgitation of the infamous “if the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit” refrain.

Smarmy Shithead Hopefully No Longer A Mets Fan

Posted in Baseball at 5:07 pm by

The above headline was supplied by Sam Frank, who writes of today’s NY Times guest editorialist David Brooks (below),

Maybe he and George Will can have a neckwear war, and then talk America’s pastime–compassionate conservatism! And then, I dunno, die.

I think Sam’s getting pretty angry at a Jim Duquette lookalike.

Mets Youth Movement

Posted in Baseball at 3:20 pm by

The New York Times’ Pat Borzi writes today about the efforts of 1B Andres Galarraga (43) and reliever Roberto Hernandez (40) to make the Mets’ major league roster, the former seeming like more of a longshot than the latter.

In the case of the Big Cat, New York’s options at first are troublesome. Mientkiewicz, while universally hailed as the Mets’ best-fielding 1B since John Olerud (if not Keith Hernandez), is unlikely to produce the sort of power numbers you usually associate with the position. New York’s bench alternatives at first are either old and immobile (Galarraga) or incompetent and immobile (Piazza).

Todd Jones Avoids Temptation

Posted in Baseball at 12:25 pm by

From the BP News’ Tim Ellsworth :

His teammates may be out after games going to popular night spots, but you won’t find Florida Marlins pitcher Todd Jones there.

That’s because Jones knows how serious of a temptation women can be.

“I don’t put myself in those situations because I don’t know how I’d react,” Jones said. “I just try to stay out of the situations — stay in my room, play a lot of Xbox, eat a lot of room service. That’s how I live, because I love my family. I love my wife, and I don’t want to do anything stupid.”

The measures Jones takes don’t come just from a devotion to his family. They also come from his devotion to God. As a Major League Baseball player, Jones wants to do his best to live a godly life, and he knows sexual sins don’t have any place there.

“Like any other guy, women are probably the biggest stumbling block,” he said.

Jones and his wife have been married for 15 years, and Jones has remained faithful to her.

“Still, there are things you come across” as a baseball player, especially on the road, he said. “You’ve got to be careful.”

A few years back, Jones spoke in harsh terms about the possibility of sharing the locker room with an openly gay teammate. So clearly, there’s all kinds of temptation he’s wary of.

Of course, when you’re as hot as Todd, you’ve got to be doubly careful of every breathing individual trying to get into your tight polyesther trousers.

Jose To Flex Reality Chops In Unwatchable VH-1 Spectacle

Posted in The World Of Entertainment at 11:13 am by

God’s gift to basic cable, Jon Solomon alerts us to the following press release :

NEW YORK, March 29 /PRNewswire/ — We had the technology, so we rebuilt it. “The Surreal Life” is back — better, stronger and faster. Production is underway on the fifth installment of VH1′s “The Surreal Life” with a bionic mix of celebrity personalities including: the world’s first supermodel Janice Dickinson; power slugger Jose Canseco; one of the first ladies of hip hop Sandi Denton (Pepa of Salt-n-Pepa); Bronson Pinchot (“Beverly Hills Cop”); Omarosa (“The Apprentice”); UK glamour model Caprice; and motorcross madman Carey Hart.
The new cast hits the screen on September 4th for the fifth season premiere of
The Surreal Life.” From burlesque to bowling this new group of pop culture originals will play house in a Hollywood mansion and have their lives videotaped 24/7.

(hey, he was in “True Romance”, too!)

Fucking fantastic that Omarosa’s success in one mind-numbing reality show could lead to a gig….in yet another mind-numbing reality show. Will former Tony Adams paramour Caprice find love in Jose’s muscular arms? Is “Beverly Hills Cop” really a more prominent part of Bronson Pinchot’s resume than “Perfect Strangers”? You’ll have to wait until September to find out, unless you’d rather kill yourself first.

Beating the Bushes With Mutt Lange’s 3rd & 4th Most Successful Clients

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 12:20 am by

Says Sam Frank, “tickets are $45, but the baseball puns are free.”

(while we await the inevitable answering machine message from a member of Young Heart Attack claiming that the Def Leppard’s oeuvre has aged better than Polvo’s, let us give thanks that our own Triple-A town is not on the tour itinieary.)

Aside from mentioning that the minor league ballpark tour has already been done recently by Dylan and Bjork (amongst others), it would certainly be in poor taste to remind Rick Allen to “use two hands” when catching a fly ball.


Don’t Buy The Realistic

Posted in The Law at 11:42 pm by

I was hoping against hope that this brutal killing had been provoked by a demand that the killers supply their home mailing address after making a nominal purchase. Or perhaps, a particuarly violent protest against the discontinuation of the Flavor Radio.

Alas, this is just more of the same crime & punishment in the region that brought you Joey Buttafucco, Joel Steinberg, Howard Stern and the Good Rats.

Astros Send Redding To Padres, Rocket Routed

Posted in Baseball at 10:09 pm by

Houston have traded righty Tim Redding to San Diego in exchange for catcher Humberto Quintero (above). The former, previously in contention for the 5th spot in the Astros’ starting rotation, leaves Dave Burba and Brandon Duckworth fighting for the job. The latter, the protagonist of Vladimir Nabokov’s classic “Lolita”, hit .250 with two home runs and 10 RBI’s in 23 gaames for San Diego last year.

Houston’s Roger Clemens had a rough, extended outing today against Detroit. Before I get into gloating mode, however, you’ll note that the Mets’ Kris Benson flashed the sort of form you can usually expect from him in anything other than a walk year, getting hammered by the Cardinals.

After leaving yesterdays start against the Mets after just one inning, Nationals starter Tony Armas Jr. was placed on the 15 day disabled list, diagnosed with a right groin pull.

In happier news, Tony Armas St. reports that his groin feels just fine.

Dunkin Dumping On C-Webb

Posted in Basketball at 4:08 pm by

With Chris Webb making an emotional return (is there any other kind?) to Sacramento tonight, Philly Burbs.com’s Dan Dunkin casts a grim verdict on the Philadelphia’s recent all-star acquisition.

Chris Webber’s colossal contract came to the Sixers with an unwritten but clearly understood warning:

Time is the enemy.

Progressive general manager Billy King’s purported blockbuster trade, consummated in the 11th hour with Allen Iverson approaching 30 and the Sixers fading toward a hybrid of the Doug Moe and Johnny Davis eras, has been a bust in the first month.

It’s too early in the adjustment process to assume the deal is a disaster, but in Iverson’s words you can hear the clock ticking – on his serious contending hopes, on the 32-year-old Webber, on embattled coach Jim O’Brien and on King. With the Sixers barely clinging to the last playoff spot, the trade chemistry has to start clicking.

“It has to happen right now,” Iverson said. “I’ve noticed improvement, but it has to happen right now. I can’t tell you that … we’ve got till next year to make it happen, because we don’t. I’ve got to believe that it’s gonna happen right now.”

After a string of misfits passed through as the Sixers’ second bananas, Iverson’s most accomplished ally ever – a five-time All-Star, a complete power forward with rare big-man passing ability and perimeter panache – may have arrived too late to provide a big lift. Webber’s bum knee history has robbed much of his athleticism, and with $62 million due him over the next three seasons, well, the Sixers and King may have one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel.

To plugged-in NBA people and infamously unforgiving Philly fans, it seems Webber has aged dramatically since he stepped off the plane from Sacramento. Maybe it’s the system. Maybe it’s the coach. Maybe it’s Webber’s knee.

Perhaps it’s all three. The first two you can change.

“He can’t go inside and score like he used to,” said an NBA executive. “Do I think it will work eventually? If he’s not really hurt, yeah. But $60 million, you can’t make that kind of mistake. If his knee’s OK, it’s a good trade. If it isn’t, it’s a horror show.

“If he gets close to 100 percent, he’ll absolutely help them,” said an Eastern Conference scout. “But he doesn’t look like he can move.”
Some scouts have their doubts about Iverson making this a strong marriage. It’s hard to knock a guy averaging a league-high 30.5 points and 7.7 assists, and further to doubt the sincerity of a guy who brings it every night and all but begged King to acquire Webber. But the turnstile of No. 2s who preceded Webber prompts critics to question whether The Answer can coexist with a true star.

A Western Conference scout who disliked the trade thinks Iverson could play with only two other superstars – Shaquille O’Neal and Jason Kidd. “He dribbles around too much, needs too many shots,” the scout said. “If I’m him, I’m taking 16-18 shots so I can get Webber more involved. But that’s not him.”

“When your point guard is shooting that many times, everybody else stands around,” said an Eastern Conference scout. “Allen’s a great talent, but he’s no point guard.”