Lima Time (Out)

Posted in The Marketplace at 11:10 pm by

from the BBC’s Hannah Hennessy :

A Chilean airline promotional video allegedly depicting Lima as a pigsty has sparked a row between Peru and its Latin American neighbour.

Peru’s government says it is suing a unit of the Chilean airliner LAN over the material which it says misrepresents the capital Lima.

This latest spat appears to have revived old grievances.

(on the left, a genuine pigsty. on the right, renowned supermodel Adriana Lima)

Peru will also protest to Santiago over alleged armed sales to Ecuador in the 1990s when the two nations were at war.

The main newspapers in Peru on Saturday expressed their outrage with headlines such as “Protest” and “Chile Must Explain Itself”.

The Peruvian government says it is filing a lawsuit against LAN Peru, which is Peru’s top airline and a unit of the Chilean flag carrier LAN.

It is angry at an in-flight video about Peru which included old images of a man urinating in the street and gutters filled with litter.

Members of congress complained that the video, which was intended to promote adventure tourism, showed Peru as a pigsty.

The airline has apologised and withdrawn the film and three of its senior executives have resigned.

But this was not enough to stop angry Peruvians smashing the windows of one of its offices.

Have You Seen This Man?

Posted in Basketball at 10:40 pm by

If so, please get in touch with Jeff Van Gundy. He was last seen on the hardwood at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas for the first 3 quarters of today’s Mavs/Rockets game.

I don’t wanna be a snitch, but going toe to toe with Pete Rose and Mike Tyson wasn’t nearly enough preperation for Jim Gray’s interview with Carmelo Anthony’s mom.

Bud’s New ‘Roid Rage

Posted in Baseball at 10:27 pm by

The New York Times’ Jack Curry on Bud Selig’s bold new plan to rid baseball of the scourge of (some) illegal substances.

Commissioner Bud Selig wants major league players to adopt a stricter policy against performance-enhancing substances that would include a 50-game suspension for a first offense and a permanent ban after a third offense, as well as a prohibition on amphetamines.

In a letter sent Monday to Donald Fehr, the executive director of the players union, Selig outlined stricter policies he hoped would be adopted in their drug-testing agreement. Selig’s letter, a copy of which was provided by a Major League Baseball official, seeks a 100-game suspension for the second offense.

Under the current policies, which went into effect in March, a first-time offender receives a 10-game suspension, a second-timer 30 games and a third-timer 60. A fourth-time offender is out for one year, and a player who tests positive a fifth time is punished at the commissioner’s discretion. Selig called his proposal a “three strikes and you are out” plan.

“I recognize the need for progressive discipline,” Selig wrote, “but a third-time offender has no place in the game. Steroid users cheat the game. After three offenses, they have no place in it.”

In addition, Selig said that amphetamines should be included as part of banned performance-enhancing substances. While amphetamines are banned in the minor leagues, baseball has no punishment for amphetamine use by players on 40-man rosters in the majors.

The proposal drew a mixed reaction among players.

“That would get it out of the game, in a heartbeat,” Kansas City Royals pitcher Brian Anderson told the Associated Press.

Jason Phillips, the Dodgers’ catcher and a former Met, was skeptical. “Put me on the record as saying that’s ridiculous – I mean, until they come up with a list of banned substances,” he told The Associated Press. “They still don’t know what you can buy over the counter and what you can’t buy.”

By making these proposals to Fehr six weeks after both men were pressured at a Congressional hearing investigating steroids, Selig is shifting some of the onus of strengthening testing to the players.

Yeah, no kidding. No mention of any sort of punative action against teams or owners who have reaped the rewards (in the standings or at the box office) of their players’ superhuman strength.

Lenny Dykstra will bet any one of you $20K that this will never get past the Players Association.

Zeke Has Coaching Candidate By The Neck

Posted in Basketball at 2:59 pm by

Is Isiah Thomas putting a little mustard on the head-hunt? The Newark Star Ledger’s David Waldstein on the latest name to enter the Knicks’ coaching search, former Seton Hall fixture P.J. Carlesimo.

Spurs general manager R.C. Buford gave a strong endorsement of P.J. Carlesimo, the assistant coach of the Spurs under serious consideration for the Knicks head coaching job.

As The Star-Ledger reported Wednesday, Knicks president Isiah Thomas recently contacted Carlesimo (above) about the job — in fact, ESPN Radio reported yesterday that the two met in San Antonio after Thomas met with Phil Jackson in Los Angeles — and Carlesimo is developing into a legitimate candidate for the Knicks head coaching job.

Although this is his 26th year of coaching, including stops at Seton Hall, the Trail Blazers and Warriors, Carlesimo has been linked in recent years to the ugly incident in 1999 in which he was attacked and choked by Latrell Sprewell when the two were at Golden State.

But Buford said that one incident should not tarnish Carlesimo, especially if Sprewell was able to move on from it. Carlesimo was fired by Golden State later that year, and has never had another head coaching offer.

McMullen On The Celtics’ Inability To Keep Pace

Posted in Basketball at 2:43 pm by

The Boston Globe’s Jackie McMullen is never lovelier nor smarter than when she’s agreeing with me.

This shouldn’t be happening.

If I were Doc Rivers, that’s what I’d be telling my basketball team this morning. I’d pull out the stat sheet and go down the Indiana Pacers’ roster, player by player, and explain to the Celtics in explicit terms just who they are trailing, 2-1, in this first-round playoff series.

Start with point guard Anthony Johnson, a career backup who cheerfully concedes he will always be a backup, and is just keeping the seat warm in case Jamaal Tinsley (injured foot) ever gets well. Johnson dished out eight assists in Thursday’s Pacers win in Game 3. He’s killing the Celtics by dictating tempo. That simply defies logic.

There’s All-Star Jermaine O’Neal, whose shoulder was so painful after Game 3 he couldn’t lift his hand above his waist. O’Neal also had his right ankle checked by the medical staff after the game, but was mum on the reason. O’Neal is encased in ice after every game, a nifty impersonation of Nolan Ryan after throwing nine innings of fastballs. It was a wise strategy to make Indiana’s big fella pay with hard fouls every time he ventured inside, but even that backfired when Antoine Walker took it one step too far and got himself tossed. Advantage, O’Neal.

The mercurial Stephen Jackson, the only player in this series who has a championship ring (he snagged his with San Antonio two seasons ago), played 33 minutes on a balky left knee that made it darn near impossible to keep up with Paul Pierce in the opening half. Pierce wisely took advantage of the mismatch — for a while. But when Boston closed within 7 and needed a big basket from its captain, why take a three against a guy who is having issues with mobility? Take him to the hole. Make it hurt. Make the kid work.

Junior Burns While Rome Fiddles

Posted in Baseball at 8:33 am by

Though he’s unlikely to go Jim Everett on Jim Rome’s ass anytime soon, Ken Griffey Jr. bristles at criticism from the radio/tv yackmeister writes the Dayton Daily News’ Sean McCelland.

“The sooner you shut it down, the sooner you get to Cooperstown,” went Rome’s TV take.

Rome has bashed Griffey through the years. Griffey thinks it’s because he has refused several invitations to appear on his nationally syndicated radio show.

“I’m not one of his little clonies,” Griffey said. “I should retire just because I haven’t hit a ball out of the park? He should retire.”

“Have you ever seen him at the ballpark?” Griffey wondered. “It’s all because I won’t go on his show. The only people I have to answer to is my family. Anybody else can say what they want.”

Caddy Cops To Cumming On Cue

Posted in Golf at 2:58 am by

From the Associated Press :

Miami — A former caddie for LPGA golfer Jackie Gallagher-Smith is suing her, saying she seduced him in order to get pregnant.

Gary Robinson says Gallagher-Smith, who is married, used him as “an unwitting sperm donor.” He is suing for an unspecified sum, claiming fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress. No hearing date has been set for the suit, filed in circuit court this week in West Palm Beach.

A message for Gallagher-Smith’s attorney, Edwin Belz, was not immediately returned.

Earlier, he told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the suit was, “an attempt at extortion.”

The suit says Gallagher-Smith, 37, gave birth last month, but Florida law says a child born into a marriage is deemed to be a result of the marriage. A DNA test can’t be forced and Robinson has no legal claim to the child, said Cathy Lively, Robinson’s attorney.

Robinson said he has been affected professionally. He is currently out of work as a caddie and is pursuing a career as a professional golfer.

“The likelihood that I will ever get another caddying job, especially in the LPGA, is very, very unlikely,” he said.

He’s probably right, though a lucrative new career as a gigolo beckons.

Oklahoma Suspends Cochell

Posted in Baseball at 12:59 am by

From the Dallas Morning News’ Brian Davis.

Oklahoma baseball coach Larry Cochell was removed from his position indefinitely Friday after school officials learned that he used racially derogatory language during two separate interviews with ESPN announcers.

OU athletic director Joe Castiglione issued a statement Friday night that Sunny Golloway will be the team’s interim head coach until the matter is resolved.

“This university is a place where everyone is respected,” Castiglione said in a statement. “Clearly, if these comments were made, they run contrary to the core values of this institution and we will treat them very seriously.”

Cochell (above) made the comments before Tuesday’s game at Wichita State, according to ESPN announcers Gary Thorne and Kyle Peterson.

Thorne said he was talking with Cochell before the game in the dugout. Cochell summoned Joseph Dunigan, a 19-year-old black athlete from Chicago, to the dugout and complimented the freshman outfielder on his schoolwork.

After Dunigan walked away, Thorne said Cochell made a racial slur. According to the network, which first reported the incident on its 5 p.m. edition of SportsCenter, Cochell said: “There’s no [racial epithet] in him.”

Cochell, who is white, was speaking with ESPN analyst Kyle Peterson sometime later before the game. The two began talking about Dunigan.

ESPN reported that Cochell said to Peterson: “There are honkies and white people. And there are [racial epithet] and black people. Dunigan is a good black kid.”

Josh Krulewitz, ESPN’s director of media relations, said both interviews were considered on-the-record because the announcers were gathering information to be used during the broadcast. However, Cochell was not on camera. OU labeled the encounters as “a private meeting.”

I’ve been watching a lot of Big 12 baseball this year and have noticed there aren’t a ton of black players. And in addition to all the things we’re always hearing about other sports being more popular pursuits for African-American athletes, perhaps the climate isn’t so welcoming if characters like Cochell feel comfortable making those sort of remarks.

No truth to the rumor, by the way, that Cochell has been offered a position with the Long Island Ducks.

Princess Rodriguez Ends Relationship With Autograph Hawker

Posted in Baseball at 12:25 am by

“When someone does something without my consent and my permission, to me it’s the wrong thing to do,” he said. “Because of that, I’ve taken immediate action.”

This is what you might call a p.r. exercise on A-Rod’s part. If he had a problem with bleeding the adoring public dry, Rodriguez wouldn’t participate in events like the one below.


Pats Sign Diminutive Backup QB

Posted in Gridiron at 3:29 pm by

In a move designed to cheer sentimentalists and yack-radio screamers alike, the New England Patriots have signed 42 year old Doug Flutie to a one-year deal to serve as their insurance policy in case Tom Brady contracts a deadly STD.

Said deal wipes out any hopes of the NY Giants to reunite Flutie with General Tom Coughlin, his former offensive coordinator / QB coach during the former’s salad days at BC. When Bill Belichick is the happy personality by comparison, you know you’ve got problems.

Framingham, MA city planners immediately announced that the shopping mall access road Flutie Pass would henceforth be known as “Flutie Clipboard”.

Rumors that the Celtics plan to active Marvin Barnes in time for Game 4 of their first round playoff series with the Pacers, are unfounded.

Reunited And It Feels Like Shit

Posted in Baseball at 8:54 am by

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Joe Rutter on the long awaited reunion of former teammates Jose Mesa and Omar Vizquel.

Aware that he could encounter his nemesis for the first time in three years, Omar Vizquel is bringing extra protection to PNC Park this weekend.

Not protection in the form of a beefy security guard or police escort.

Vizquel, the San Francisco Giants shortstop, is bringing protective uniform equipment in case he has to step into the batters box while Pirates closer Jose Mesa (above) is pitching.

That includes a double-flap batting helmet.

“I’m going to wear some extra padding because I’m not going to take any chances,” Vizquel said. “If he hits me, I’ll be ready. He still throws hard.”

The next phase of a mostly one-sided feud between Mesa and Vizquel could play out during this upcoming three-game series. Mesa, though, said he has no intention of escalating his grudge with his former Cleveland Indians teammate.

He insists he has no plan of hitting Vizquel in the head, back or any other body part.

“He’s a professional. I’m a professional,” Mesa said. “He’s going to play his game, and I’m going to pitch my game. What happened is in the past. It’s over.”

Two years ago, Mesa made national headlines when he told a Philadelphia reporter he wanted to kill Vizquel over an excerpt in the shortstops autobiography. He interpreted a passage as Vizquel saying Mesa choked during Game 7 of the 1997 World Series when he failed to protect a ninth-inning lead against the Florida Marlins.

This week, Mesa said his threats toward Vizquel were blowing out of proportion.

“I’m not that type of person,” he said. “I’m not stupid enough to try to kill somebody and then go to jail.”

Still, Mesa said he has no interest in renewing his friendship with Vizquel.

“I don’t talk to him,” he said. “I have nothing to say to him, and I hope he has nothing to say to me.”

The relationship began to sour in 1998 when Vizquel homered off Mesa during an intrasquad spring training game and did a cartwheel as he crossed home plate. An angered Mesa vowed to hit Vizquel the next time he faced him.

It’s Peter Vescey’s Friday Morning…

Posted in Basketball at 8:27 am by

…and we’re just getting newsprint all over our hands. From today’s NY Post.

The Knicks did the right thing by reaching out to Phil Jackson, doing it on the up and up at the appropriate time as instructed. Now it’s up to him to do the right thing: Climb out of his Think Tank and make a command decision.

Sources say Jackson was spotted late yesterday huddled with biographer Charley Rosen rolling into an upstate vented mountain retreat. If we see the chimney emitting black smoke, that means nothing has been decided.

Stephen A. Smith tells me Jackson indeed is coming back next season. He’s just waiting for Dan Gilbert to pass him a note about which team to coach.

If it turns out players under 20 are prohibited from playing in the NBA, new owners should be required to spend at least two years in the National Basketball Developmental League until they have a grasp on how to run a team.

Following his 1-for-16 misadventure in Game 1 against the Sonics, Mike Bibby, desperate to figure out his shooting problem, drove to the nearest Wendy’s to see if its employees could put their finger on it.

Rocker Sucks In Ducks Debut

Posted in Baseball at 8:16 am by

John Rocker’s journey down the comeback trail hit a speed bump Thursday night, the racist reliever walking 4 in the 9th inning of Bridgeport’s 4-3 win over Long Island, the Atlantic League opener for both clubs.

On the bright side, Rocker might be just as competent a closer for the Braves at this point as Danny Kolb.


Great News For Both NY Clubs, Gwynn Censored

Posted in Baseball at 10:03 pm by

For Mets fans, the real Peter Gammons (and not the one blogging away at BBTN’s Yard Work) made the helpful prediction that RF Victor Diaz would be a .300 hitter for the duration of the season. Well, yeah, if he’s hit by a truck tomorrow.

(on the same broadcast, SS Jose Reyes was cited as one of April’s statistical freaks ; 0 BB in 96 at bats. Ouch. )

For Yankee rooters, Kevin Brown (above) had something aproaching a quality start this evening againt the Angels. Certainly, John Lackey’s performance was of a much higher quality, but I’m trying to sound encouraging.

Our thoughts go out to Tony Gwynn, who learned this week much the way Free Expression Pioneer Maggie Gyllenhaal did, there is a price to be paid for speaking one’s mind in the tough town called America.

Dying At The Plate, Dye At SS

Posted in Baseball at 3:48 pm by

As if his ice-cold April wasn’t harsh enough, the White Sox’s Jermaine Dye found himself in an unfamiliar position, writes the Contra Costa Times’ Rick Hurd.

To get the proper perspective on what Dye could’ve been contributing to the A’s and didn’t, you had to have wandered into McAfee Coliseum during the late stages of the A’s 2-1 win over the Chicago White Sox, Dye’s new team, on Wednesday. That, or you had to have taken a healthy dose of No Doz before witnessing another riveting day by the home team’s offense.

You had to have witnessed the ninth inning. Because there, standing on a patch of dirt between second and third base stood …

Jermaine Dye? Chico Carrasquel, Luis Aparicio, Don Kessinger, Ozzie Guillen …

And Jermaine Dye? “Now, we can add your name to the list,” Guillen, now the White Sox’s manager, said, putting his arm around Dye and taking a swig from a beer after the game. “Lots of great shortstops for this franchise.”

Hey, maybe he’s on to something. Dye hasn’t exactly distinguished himself in his first 31/2 weeks with his new team. He departed Oakland hitting a cool .171, and until the ninth inning, his most notable moment during his three-game visit here was dropping a fly ball that helped the A’s rally for a 9-7 win on Tuesday.

But Guillen (above) was tossed by home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt in the final frame after Wendelstedt ruled shortstop Joe Crede had stuck his right elbow into a pitch thrown by A’s reliever Justin Duchscherer. One pitch later, Crede was tossed when he threw his bat angrily after popping out to end a White Sox threat.

And all that did was leave the White Sox’s infield as empty as the upper deck, because middle infielders Juan Uribe, Tadahito Iguchi and Pablo Ozuna all were nursing various ailments and weren’t available.

And all that did was lead Joey Cora, Guillen’s bench replacement, to do what all good innovators do. He told Dye to get his infielder’s glove.

Who knew he even had one? “It just happened so fast,” Dye said. “As (reliever) Dustin Hermanson came in (to replace reliever Damaso Marte), I talked to Wash, and he was giving me the same hints he always used to give me. Use my feet, basic stuff.”

Ah yes, Wash. For the uninitiated, that would be Ron Washington, the A’s third base coach and instructor supreme for the novice infielder. Prospective infielders work like honey bees for Wash during the early days of spring training, a time of year when there’s nothing but time if you want to go to work.

Wash is so good that a certain Gold Glove right fielder decided last season that he could use some work on the infield. He was a third baseman at Will C. Wood High School-Vacaville, and the Kansas City Royals drafted him in 1992 with the idea Dye would play the position someday.

But shortstop? Maybe it happened in Little League, Dye said.

“I looked over there at short, and he was as happy as can be,” Washington said, his infectious smile taking over. “And I’m over there waiting for the first ground ball to be hit to him.”

It never did come. The most notable action Dye received came when he retrieved Erubiel Durazo’s leadoff fly ball that fell for a hit when center fielder Aaron Rowand lost it in the sun. The only grounders that went his way came courtesy of first baseman Paul Konerko’s soft tosses before the inning.

“He handled them,” Washington joked.

Carrasquel, Aparicio, Kessinger and Guillen couldn’t have done it any better.

We Don’t Need That Fascist Groove Thing

Posted in Free Expression, Lower Education at 12:28 pm by

(two sexually repressed Boston area teens discuss moving to Rhode Island)

The Boston Globe’s Tracy Jan on the latest in educators’ attempts to quash dirty dancing.

Boston-area high school administrators, worried about students’ increasingly vulgar music tastes, have been delivering a pointed message to DJs: Keep it clean, or we keep the paycheck.

As teens gravitate to hip-hop hits like ”Candy Shop,” ”Magic Stick” and ”Get Low,” which are loaded with sexually explicit lyrics, school administrators say they are facing more pressure from parents to police the playlist for next month’s proms.

In the past three years, principals have been pulling disc jockeys aside before school dances and warning them to avoid vulgar songs or play the less explicit radio versions, DJs and principals say. DJs say parents are more knowledgeable about the music being played, and principals are listening more to parents’ concerns.

A Cambridge high school administrator said she carried through on a threat last year and withheld pay after a DJ played a raunchy song at the senior prom.

At Marlborough High, student dance organizers hire the DJs and submit a playlist ahead of time. Administrators rely on the DJs to filter out the vulgar or sexually suggestive songs because the DJs are more familiar with the lyrics, said Paul Kamataris, assistant principal at the school for 25 years.

”If things aren’t going right, we’re going to shut down the dance,” Kamataris said. ”They’re aware of their responsibilities. They know what’s appropriate. I control the purse strings, and you’re going to play the music I want or you’re not getting paid.”

Ken Cosco, the chief entertainment officer of A Touch of Class DJ’s in Marlborough, which entertains at hundreds of school dances, graduation parties, and other teen-oriented events every year, has a do-not-play list — topped, he said, by rapper 50 Cent’s ”Candy Shop.” The song makes thinly veiled references to oral sex by using a lollipop as a metaphor for the male sexual organ.

At Brookline High, radio versions of most songs usually pass muster, but not ”Candy Shop,” said Gretchen Tucker-Underwood, the dean of students.

”Don’t tell me he’s only talking about lollipops,” Tucker-Underwood said. ”I don’t want to have to go through the double-entendres.”

No, god, please. Anything but that.

Not Quite Pat O’Brien In Rehab…

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 10:32 am by

….but a close second in the laff-riot sweepstakes, is the not exactly 4-real Baseball Tonight blog.

CSTB’s Early Interest In Field Hockey Rekindled

Posted in Hot Fads at 1:46 am by

From the Associated Press, proof that you don’t need the directorial skills of Todd Phillips to party in style.

Frostburg, Md. — Six female field hockey players hazed their new college teammates by urging them to drink so much beer and liquor that one 18-year-old was hospitalized with a blood-alcohol level more than four times the legal limit, police say.

The Frostburg State University freshmen also were pelted with flour, ice and eggs, and made to sit in their own vomit and urine, according to charges filed by police in Allegany County Court.

Five of the women were charged with second-degree assault and hazing, police said Wednesday. Charges were pending against the sixth, they said.

The documents also named six victims, including an 18-year-old whom police saw being carried, unconscious, by her boyfriend along a street.

Her blood-alcohol content was measured at a hospital at 0.365; the legal limit for drivers in Maryland is 0.08.

The “secret buddy Christmas party” is thrown annually by senior team members to initiate new members, according to a police report.

Glavine Stares, Glares, Barely Cares

Posted in Baseball at 1:15 am by

In the wake of Atlanta taking two of three from the Mets (and 4 of 6 this season), count Newsday’s Mark Herrman as one observer who thinks the New Mets aren’t new enough.

the Braves left Shea the way they practically always do — smiling and leaving a trail of manager Bobby Cox’s cigar smoke and a litany of praise for the team they had just waxed. Eddie Perez, the Braves’ backup catcher who plays one game a week but who nonetheless went 2-for-4 with a home run in an 8-4 win, said of the Mets: “They’re one of the best teams in baseball right now and you have to play well against them.”

How gracious, from a club that has won the season series against the Mets in 12 of the past 14 years. How familiar it is, from a team that had just beaten the Mets’ two top pitchers in successive games and made these “New Mets” sound like the old Mets: “How do we beat the Braves?”

What the Braves showed yesterday and the night before, despite having played without top hitter Chipper Jones and despite having lost the opener of a three-game series Monday, is that they still are the Braves.

“Until they lose the division, they’re the king. That’s it,” said Cliff Floyd, whose two-run homer in the fourth made the score 4-3 and made the game interesting for a couple of minutes.

“You cannot tell me that with the amount of guys they lost the last couple of years, that you would say they would win the division,” Floyd said. “They lost J.D. Drew, Gary Sheffield, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Javy Lopez. If you had told me they would win after they lost that type of guy, I’d probably tell you that you were crazy. But they found a way to do it, so you’ve got to give them their due.”

Cliff Floyd is off to a terrific start and I’m almost sorry I made so many remarks about how he could barely walk let alone run. But his GM credentials are suspect. John Schuerholz and Bobby Cox clearly knew that certain players were expendable, especially considering the costs of keeping them (hello, Jared Wright).

The jury is still out on moving John Smoltz back to the rotation and the Braves’ addition of Danny Kolb. Kolb’s meltdown on Tuesday night was nearly of nuclear proportions until Cox wisely pulled the latter from the game. Gary Cohen pointed out earlier in the evening that Kolb has barely half a season’s experience closing games and strikes out a mere 2 hitters per every 9 innings ; perhaps “pitching to contact” isn’t the way to go in situations that allow so little margin for error.

And speaking of pitching to contact, Tom Glavine might be writing a book on the subject. Though the ball is also making contact with the bleachers, the left field wall, etc. With two out in the 3rd, Glavine faced Raul Mondesi with Brian Jordan on third and Andruw Jones on 2nd. With first base open, Glavine chose to pitch to Mondesi rather than walk the veteran and face Eddie Perez (hitting .207 at the time). Mondesi promptly singled home both Jordan and Jones on the first pitch of the at bat. Then again, Perez homered later in the game.

(Willie consoles Tom Terrible by telling him he’s looking more like William H. Macy with each passing day)

Glavine is hardly the big name starter who is struggling this year — Barry Zito, Kevin Brown, Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling all come to mind. But Glavine’s underachievement in a Mets uniform is begining to reach George Foster-levels of desperation. If New York offered Glavine straight up for Bruce Chen, would the Orioles bite? Paul Byrd? Jose Lima? Forget it. Unless the Mets are willing to add another faded star to the list of players they’ve paid to play for someone else (ie. Bobby Bonilla, Roger Cedeno), they’re stuck with Glavine until the day his deal expires.

Bellamy To Shearer : U SUK

Posted in Football at 12:33 am by

(“…and you’re boring, too.”)

Newcastle exile Craig Bellamy, who scored over the weekend for Celtic in the Old Firm derby, saved his most impresive performance in recent memory for his mobile phone. From Brian McNally and Euan Stretch in last Sunday’s Mirror.

Soccer bad boy Craig Bellamy sent a series of abusive text messages to his old Newcastle captain Alan Shearer after going on a bender at a charity golf tournament.

Ex-England striker Shearer, 34, was left “visibly shaken” and “seething” after being taunted by former team-mate Bellamy, 25.

Shearer got the messages just minutes after his team’s 4-1 defeat against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final last Sunday. They included insults: “Your legs are gone. You’re too old. You’re too slow.”

Another – which made him “turn purple with rage” – reportedly read: “You couldn’t even kiss my a**e.”

Yesterday a source close to Newcastle Utd said: “Shearer walked into the dressing room and switched on his phone.

“He looked distraught as he checked his messages.

“Bellamy was clearly delighted that Newcastle had been knocked out of the cup.

“He also sent texts to several other players and Kenneth Shepherd, son of the Newcastle chairman.

“But it is the final one to Shearer that has enraged the players – and I don’t think Newcastle fans will be happy about it either.”

The source added: “Shearer is worshipped as a god in Tyneside.

“There is no way Bellamy could show his face around these parts after what he texted.”

It is not the first time fiery Welsh international Bellamy has sent abusive text messages to Shearer. He has also targeted other fellow professionals and managers.

Earlier this year he left an offensive voicemail message on Shearer’s phone and sent him a text calling him “F****** goody two shoes.”

And he sent abusive texts to Newcastle manager Graham Souness and chairman Freddy Shepherd when they tried to sell him to Birmingham for £6million. It read: “I am Craig Bellamy and I don’t sign for s*** football clubs.”


Schilling, Sour Lou In Pissing Match

Posted in Baseball at 11:45 pm by

Curt Schilling went on the 15 day DL yesterday (as did SF’s Armando Benitez and the Cardinals’ Jason Isringhausen), but the Boston starter’s mouth remains in peak condition, as does that of Lou Piniella.

From the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.

Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella reacted angrily to comments made by Curt Schilling on the “Dennis and Callahan” WEEI radio program yesterday morning.

After the Devil Rays lost to the Blue Jays in Toronto, 7-5, Piniella told the St. Petersburg Times that the Red Sox pitcher should be more concerned about his tough start this season than blaming Piniella for the two bench-clearing incidents in Tampa Sunday.

“I think he should just concern himself with pitching and not worry about what other managers do or don’t do,” said Piniella. “I don’t think I’ve forgotten how to play the game. I know exactly how the game should be played, and why. Quite frankly, I’m disappointed in his comments, very disappointed in his comments.”

On the WEEI program, Schilling said, “When you’re playing a team with a manager who somehow forgot how the game is played, there’s problems. This should have been over a little bit ago. Lou’s trying to make his team be a bunch of tough guys, and the telling sign is when the players on that team are saying, `This is why we lose a hundred games a year, because this idiot makes us do stuff like this.’ They were saying this on the field.”

In response, Piniella said, “Go talk to the players. I don’t think they’d say that. I know you wouldn’t get one to say that.”

Though only two players were hit by pitches in Sunday’s game — both by Boston’s Bronson Arroyo — the benches cleared twice, once when a pitch by Tampa Bay’s Lance Carter went toward the head of David Ortiz. In the first two games of the series, Tampa Bay pitchers hit three batters and Boston pitchers two. “I can assure you that we’re not throwing at anybody’s head or anybody’s ear,” Piniella said last night. “We just want to play baseball, whether it’s against Boston or any other team.

“Our problem here is that I’ve got a lot of young pitchers. And even though you can make excuses for them — and that’s not what I’m trying to do — they’re a little more prone.”

I think we’ve all seen the replays of Carter’s attempted beaning of Ortiz — if the former wasn’t throwing with intent, he’s a menace to public safety.

Hasil Adkins, RIP

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 9:56 pm by

from the Associated Press’ John Raby (forwarded, courtesy Mark Ohe) :

Rock-a-billy artist Hasil Adkins, a one-man band whose screaming vocals
and freestyle approach to rhythm landed a cult following, has died at

Adkins’ body was found Tuesday at his Madison home, where he lived
alone. The cause of death has not been determined but it does not appear
to be suspicious. The body has been sent to the state medical examiner’s
office, Boone County Sheriff’s Deputy J.M. Thompson said Wednesday.

“Someone had gone to check on him and had found him,” Thompson said.

Guitar. Harmonica. Drums. Foot-rhythm instruments. Adkins played them
all – often while singing. A yodel, screaming and a high-pitched
female’s lark were some of his many voices.

The son of a coal miner, Adkins learned to played guitar before he was
10. He claimed the only time he practiced his songs was on stage.

Known to his fans as The Haze, Adkins struggled for decades to get
noticed. In a 2002 interview, he said he mailed out thousands of tapes
and records over a 30-year period while fishing for a record deal.

Even Richard Nixon got one, courtesy of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd,
D-W.Va. The president’s reply to Adkins came on White House stationery
in 1970: “I am very pleased by your thoughtfulness in bringing these
particular selections to my attention.”

“Hasil was one of a handful of artists I think (who) are truly unique
and truly individual. There aren’t very many people whose music you can
identify in seconds. But he was one of them,” said Michael Lipton, a
Charleston musician and writer who wrote stories about Adkins for
newspapers and magazines and later became friends with Adkins.

“And like those kinds of singular artists, they have good nights and bad
nights, on a good night it was the most rhythmic, primal music I think
I’ve ever heard,” Lipton said Wednesday.

“On a bad night, it was still good.”

Adkins was the original star of Norton Records, a label built around the
primal recordings Adkins produced in his mountain home, beginning in the
Eisenhower era.

“People told me they wondered how I could stick with it, so many
heartaches and letdowns. I had ‘em by the hundreds, millions I guess,”
Adkins said. “I said, well, I didn’t start to quit.”

Adkins, who claimed to have written more than 7,000 songs, first emerged
hooting and wailing in the 1950s, only to disappear again. European fans
kept the rock-a-billy rage alive, and when the Cramps did an early 1980s
remake of Adkins’ “She Said,” his records suddenly became hot again.

What Adkins sang about was just as unique as his delivery, which was
fueled by a 2-gallon-a-day coffee habit.

New York-based Norton Records combined new and previous recordings to
release “Poultry in Motion,” a collection of 15 Adkins songs about
chicken from 1955 to 1999.

His “Chicken Walk” and “The Hunch” became two short-lived dance fads.

Server Maintaince Severs CSTB’s Ties To Your Psyche

Posted in Internal Affairs at 5:38 pm by

Dear Friends,

Do not worry. I have not actually started doing real work in lieu of finding more fetching photographs of Maggie Gyllenhaal. At some point yesterday afternoon, CSTB’s lovely hosting company moved this site from one server to another. The good news is that said moves will enable the hosting company to maximize their profits. The bad news is that most of Tuesday’s content is, to quote Gary Cohen, “outta here”.

Knowing the strong likelyhood of such an occurance, I did make text copies of yesterday’s entries…all which were lost when a Powerbook hard drive decided to make like Barrett Robins and start Fucking Shit Up. A tough break. I’m told the 42,000 jpgs of Maggie Gyllenhaal have also been lost.

Anyhow, I’m doing my best to cope with these troubling events and I hope you are too. Regular actvity will resume shortly.



Dickhead With Bad Rug Reaches Out To Kaz

Posted in Baseball at 4:26 pm by

The New York Daily News™ Peter Botte reports that germphobic con artist Donald Trump and Mets 2B Kaz Matsui have a special bond. And no, it has nothing to do with Trump bunting against orders.

Donald Trump said in a television interview last year that the one major-league player he™d want to slap with his infamous catch-phrase would be Mets second baseman Kaz Matsui. But Trump didn™t say œYou™re fired when he talked briefly with Matsui while filming an episode for the next season of œThe Apprentice yesterday at Shea.

Instead, Matsui said the mogul only encouraged him during their brief encounter on the infield dirt.

œHe just told me good luck with the season and that I™m looking pretty well right now, Matsui said through his interpreter before last night™s game against the Braves. œI think I™ve seen the program before, but obviously I don™t really understand it.

Trump had taken shots at Matsui during a June 2004 segment of the ESPN™s œThe Hot Seat, saying œI would certainly say Kaz Matsui of the Mets has been a bust. There™s no doubt about that.

Kaz shouldn™t worry about it. I™ve seen œThe Appentice”, too, and I don™t understand it, either.

Is there some sort of legal action pending against Aaron Heilman in the State of New York that requires the Mets to put an imposter on the mound at Shea each time the Notre Dame graduate™s turn in the rotation comes up?

The Bergen Record™s Bob Klapisch previews tonight™s Pedro Martinez/John Smoltz matchup.

Every so often baseball delivers a scheduling gift to its loyalists – a matchup so compelling it makes you forget these are the early, chilly weeks of the season. When Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz go one-on-one tonight, everything else will come to a halt at Shea. Even April™s gusts will cooperate and feel like a soft, August flutter.

Think these two power pitchers aren™t already surging on adrenaline? The last time Pedro and Smoltz collided, they combined for 24 strikeouts, flattening everyone in their path. No wonder Braves manager Bobby Cox likened the encore to œ[Sandy] Koufax against [Juan] Marichal.

œIt™s a good old National League matchup, like [Gaylord] Perry against [Don] Drysdale, Cox was saying Monday night. œPeople love matchups. They™re fun.

They™re irresistible, actually, especially this one. The Mets have the National League™s hottest pitcher in Pedro, averaging almost 12 strikeouts a game, keeping opponents to a ridiculous .119 average.

Smoltz™s numbers are almost as gripping. Since an opening-day meltdown against the Marlins, the right-hander has surrendered just five earned runs in his last 211/3 innings, striking out 24.

It™s inevitable Pedro and Smoltz will go deep into the game again tonight. The at-bats will be over in a hurry, the innings turning into a blur. The hitters will be helpless bystanders to a much larger struggle between two future Hall of Famers.

It™s the kind of matchup that makes the Mets™ ticket office breathe heavily, but in the clubhouse, there are other, longer-range dividends being considered, too.

Willie Randolph is imagining facing Smoltz in the heat of the pennant race, when the 80-something-win Mets will be trying to make a wild-card fantasy come true.

If they can beat Smoltz twice in the first month of the season, that memory could last all summer. Remember, the Mets are like a baby chick emerging from its shell, fragile and impressionable. That™s why they treat Pedro like their guardian every fifth day, especially tonight.

It may not be as apocalyptic as Game 7 in the 2003 AL Championship Series, at least not to Pedro, but he knows these are all late-summer moments for the Mets.

To them, facing Smoltz represents a trip up Mount Olympus. Even in April, it™s an irresistible journey.

How Much For Cardinal Law’s Rookie Card?

Posted in Religion at 3:20 pm by


If Topps can manage to include a bubble gum-flavored cracker, they™ll really be onto something.