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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
The Lakers have lost 8 in a row and seem assured of missing the playoffs. On the bright side, no one is going to jail, and Chucky Atkins can clearly ID who’s in charge. From the Los Angeles Daily News’ Ron Siler.
All season long, the Lakers have fought the battle of perception vs. reality when it comes to Kobe Bryant and the power he wields within the organization. Now one of Bryant’s teammates officially has opened the subject for debate.
It came Sunday with a snarled answer from Chucky Atkins that silenced the locker room as soon as the words escaped his mouth. The question put to Atkins was what he would do as general manager to remake the 10th-place Lakers.
“I ain’t no GM,” Atkins said. “Ask Kobe. He’s the GM. It’s his team. Go ask him.”
Atkins, who has grown increasingly frustrated in recent weeks, was asked to clarify if he was, in fact, saying that Bryant was calling the shots for the organization.
“I don’t know,” Atkins said. “Last I heard they told me that (general manager) Mitch Kupchak was supposed to make the decisions around here. So you all going to ask him those questions, please.”
Atkins became the first Lakers player to call out Bryant this season and made his comments only a half-hour or so after interim coach Frank Hamblen had said morale on the team was “OK” despite eight consecutive losses.
“They seem to get along with one another still,” said Hamblen, who accused the team Thursday of quitting in the second half of a loss to Denver. “They listen to what you have to say, try and go out and do what you want them to do.”
With the Lakers all but certain to miss the playoffs for the first time in 11 years, Atkins was asked what should be done differently next season, and again his words spoke volumes.
“What would you do?” Atkins said. “You watched this (expletive) all year.”
Bryant said of his relationship with Atkins: “He’ll be OK. He’ll just work through it. He’ll be fine. That’s my boy, so I look out for him, make sure he’s doing OK.”
Stephon Marbury as a shooting guard? Damon Stoudamire at point guard for the Knicks? It could happen, writes the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola.
Damon Stoudamire will tell you he has a history with Isiah Thomas, one that may be strong enough to lead to a reunion in New York next season with his former boss.
Stoudamire, according to sources, is a free agent the Knicks will strongly consider this summer, even if Thomas selects a guard in the draft. Thomas wants to add quickness, experience and another ball handler to his backcourt. The addition of a player of Stoudamire’s caliber would allow Stephon Marbury to play more minutes at shooting guard.
Thomas has hinted that he wants to play a style similar to that of the Suns and SuperSonics, spreading the floor with three-point shooters and taking advantage of Marbury’s ability to drive to the basket. Thomas also envisions having three players – Marbury, Jamal Crawford and possibly Stoudamire – who can all play both guard positions.
“If that happens, it would be great,” Stoudamire said late Saturday night. “I definitely think the beauty of playing that way is that you have three guards that can pass, dribble and shoot. Isiah is molding the team the way he did in Toronto and like the team he played for in Detroit. Isiah, Joe Dumars and Vinnie Johnson all complemented each other.”
The 5-10 Stoudamire, who scored 25 points in Portland’s 103-96 victory over the Knicks on Saturday, long has been a favorite of Thomas, who drafted Stoudamire 12 years ago with the Raptors. Stoudamire, who will turn 32 in September, is not expected to re-sign with the Blazers this summer. The uncertainty surrounding Allan Houston’s arthritic knee – the Knicks would prefer that the veteran guard retire – and Crawford’s inconsistency give the Knicks reason to want to add a veteran player with Stoudamire’s resume.
“I’ve got some history with a lot of the guys that run the team in New York, Isiah, Brendan Suhr, and I even played with Herb (Williams) for (one game) in Toronto,” Stoudamire said. “It’s something me and my agent will definitely look at. At the end of the day it’s something I will definitely listen to.”
Stoudamire’s agent is Aaron Goodwin, who also represents Crawford as well as Vin Baker, whom the Knicks signed to a two-year, $7 million contract last summer. Baker was eventually traded to the Houston Rockets in the Maurice Taylor deal. Thomas has a good working relationship with Goodwin, but his friendships with Stoudamire and Goodwin may not mean much if and when the two sides begin negotiating.
Stoudamire will earn $12.5 million this season and is prepared to take a significant pay cut this summer. How much of a cut is open for debate. The Knicks can offer Stoudamire their mid-level exception, which would be a deal starting at $5 million. However, Thomas may want to save that chip for a younger player who can become a starter. The Knicks could get Stoudamire for a deal starting at $2 million but Stoudamire figures to draw interest from several teams.
One of Bobby Valentine’s least favorite people, the Bergen Records’s Bob Klapisch, as interviewed at MetsGeek.com.
MetsGeek.com: Omar attacked the free agent market, going after arguably the three best players available ” Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado ” while at the same time trying to build around talented young players like David Wright and Jose Reyes. Do you foresee the Mets using this strategy in the future, signing big name talent and combining them with players brought up through the farm system, or was this more a one time deal?
Bob Klapisch: That all really depends on how much money the Mets make available to Omar. It is remarkable, and this goes back to the Duquette discussion, that under Jim Duquette™s administration the Mets were only given an eighty million dollar payroll. Duquette basically had to trim forty million dollars, get rid of bad contracts, and be competitive all at once ” which is a nearly impossible task. Now, under Omar, the Mets™ payroll is suddenly over one hundred million dollars again. Where the Mets got that extra twenty to twenty-five million dollars is a mystery to me. It™s possible that the Wilpons had it and they just decided to let Omar spend it after withholding it from Duquette, or some people theorize that the money is coming from Time Warner and Comcast, to help the run up to the new network next year and to put a competitive and watchable product on the field. Either way, there is money on the table right now, and if you™re willing to spend one hundred million dollars every year, you™ll be able to chase some big name free agents, as well as develop talent. If that™s what the Wilpons are willing to do, then Met fans can look forward to a pretty good team year after year after year. That™s assuming that they make some smart decisions with that money, but first and foremost if there™s money to spend. So, I don™t know if this winter was an aberration or not, I don™t know if it was a one-year spike just to coincide with next year™s network. But if this is a barometer, then there are good things coming down the road for the Mets and Mets fans.
MetsGeek.com: Now, most Mets fans have heard and/or believe that the Mets have built their teams with an eye towards making the back pages, making the splashy signing, competing with the Yankees, etc. How much, if any, impact do you think the New York media has on the Mets™ decision-makers?
Bob Klapisch: Unfortunately, I think it has a lot (laughs). I say unfortunately because I think the Met ownership listens to WFAN a lot, and I do believe that had something to do with Jim Duquette™s dismissal last year, because the criticism over the Kazmir trade was unrelenting. As I said to you before I think they really believed that having Zambrano and Benson would create this pennant race and divert the attention away from Kazmir, and when it didn™t happen, Mike and the Mad Dog just spent the next month killing the Mets, killing Wilpon, killing Rick Peterson, killing Art Howe. Everybody was thrown under the bus, and I do believe that kind of pressure, public pressure, media pressure was more than the Wilpon family could take. Somebody had to take the fall for that. Art Howe was one and Jim Duquette was the other. I™m sorry to say it, but in this case, the Wilpons should have just not listened to the radio. But yes, they do make their decisions based on what they hear, and based on what they think people are thinking.
I’m gonna resist the temptation to make yet another gratuitous Tom Sizemore joke, but suffice to say Cleveland will be very lucky if Juan Gonazalez plays more than 100 games this year.
As the Knicks’ playoff chances slip slide away, the New York Post’s Marc Berman takes issue with Jamal Crawford’s choice of words.
Friday night in Seattle, Jamal Crawford talked about coming back to his hometown feeling different this time. After four years with the Bulls, Crawford said he was finally returning “in a winning situation.”
Winning situation? What an insult to all the Knick teams that actually won. Crawford must be confused. It’s the Bulls, the club that allowed him to flee last summer in return for Knick junk, in the winning situation, six games above .500, vying for homecourt advantage.
If Crawford (above) thinks he’s in “a winning situation,” the Knicks have greater problems at shooting guard than anyone imagined.
The Knicks, 10 games under .500, are done now, having blown their season during a rainy Pacific Northwest weekend in back-to-back defeats in Seattle and Portland. Crawford put forth stinkers in both games.
The Portland loss was one of the season’s most disgraceful defeats, with players admitting they came out “flat” in a game needed to keep their dying playoff hopes alive.
The lost season continues tonight in Golden State. If you blame Stephon Marbury for this mess, you’d be dead wrong. This season was not lost at point guard. It was ruined at shooting guard, where Crawford did not live up to expectations and where Allan Houston’s bizarre season brought the team down emotionally.
Crawford is a better point guard than shooting guard ” with a nice handle but streaky outside shot. He’s been at 39 percent all season. But the biggest disappointment with Crawford has been careless defense, perhaps because he’s playing out of position, perhaps because he doesn’t hustle.
If Crawford took more pride in his defense than in his pass-to-himself-off-the-backboard trick-play dunk, the Knicks would be a better team.