08.23.05

Time To Stop Being Nice

Posted in Cinema at 6:03 pm by

Paging Andrew Earles.

Says Tim Cook,

First Courtney and Coogan mate, now this. Is nothing sacred?

Celtics Trade For Dickau

Posted in Basketball at 5:39 pm by

You can never have too many guards — just ask Isiah Thomas. Boston will have as many as five guys competing at the point following the Celtics’ acquisition of former Hornets PG Dan Dickau. From the Globe’s Shira Springer :

Celtics executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed last night that the team has agreed in principle to a sign-and-trade deal with New Orleans that would land point guard Dan Dickau in Boston with a three-year contract worth an average of $2.5 million per year.

Ainge said some details of the deal still must be negotiated, including what the Celtics will give to the Hornets. New Orleans will receive a trade exception in the process.

As a Celtic, Dickau will join a number of point guards (Delonte West, Marcus Banks, Orien Greene, Will Bynum) expected to compete for the starting job.

Dickau has three years of NBA experience, with three teams: Atlanta, Portland, and New Orleans. As a starter for the Hornets for more than half of last season (46 games), he averaged 13.2 points and 5.2 assists in 31.0 minutes.

Touched By The Hand Of Fraud

Posted in Football at 5:06 pm by

From the BBC :

Argentine football hero Diego Maradona has said he is unrepentant about using his fist in a controversial goal against England in the 1986 World Cup.

Speaking on his TV show, Maradona said the intervention, which he nicknamed “The Hand of God”, was justified.

“The truth is that I don’t for a second regret scoring that goal with my hand,” he said on the programme.

The footballer apparently defended his goal as his response to Britain’s claim to the Falkland islands.

Maradona scored the goal by punching the ball into the net during a jump as goalkeeper Peter Shilton leapt into the air towards the ball.

Argentina wan the match 2-1 thanks to a second, impressive goal scored by Maradona, and described by England coach Bobby Robson as “a miracle”.

The South American team went on to win the World Cup that year.

‘Robbing a thief’

But that first Argentine goal will remain among the most controversial episodes in football history.

From the referee’s angle it looked as though Maradona had headed the ball into the back of the net.

After scoring during the quarter-final match, Maradona said the boys came over to celebrate.

“They were quite timid. They came over to embrace me but it was as if they were saying: ‘We’ve robbed them’,” he said.

“But I said to them: ‘Whoever robs a thief gets a 100-year pardon.’”

The player was apparently referring to the Falklands War, fought unsuccessfully by Argentina against the UK to take control of the islands it claimed as its own.

Dear Bob…

Posted in Basketball at 3:45 pm by

…start packing.

yours,

Nancy.

Dick Vitale’s predictable comments on “Sports Center” : “He made some mistakes, obviously, but all of us have made some mistakes in our lives. Everyone got on him about academics, but 11 of his last 18 players have graduated, 25 of the last 38. 11 of those guys went on to the NBA…they left early, (Huggins) gets penalized for that. The bottom line is, his goodness, his heart, wanting to give people a second chance and an opportunity, came back to haunt him because a lot of those kids who got into trouble off the court, that really was his downfall in the eyes of the President. She came there with a negative perception of Bob Huggins when she arrived on that campus.”

What exactly does a member of the coaching fraternity need to do to justify termination in Vitale’s eyes? Other than lose a lot of games?

Would The Tampa Police Kindly Return Doc Gooden’s License?

Posted in Baseball at 3:37 pm by

Former baseball star Dwight Gooden was being sought by police Tuesday on a felony warrant after he allegedly drove away from an officer who stopped him on suspicion of drunken driving.

Gooden, 41, left the scene of the traffic stop early Monday after refusing to get out of his 2004 BMW to take a field sobriety test, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

The officer stopped Gooden’s car because he was weaving in traffic near downtown Tampa, McElroy said. Gooden, a Tampa native and resident, has a history of drug abuse and is awaiting trial on a domestic violence charge.

“The officer pulls over the car and immediately notices that the driver is under the influence,” she said. “He has bloodshot, glassy eyes, his speech was slurred and he has a strong odor of alcohol.”

Gooden handed the officer his driver’s license but refused two requests to get out of the car, McElroy said. He then drove off with the officer still holding his license.

US Sports Media Encourages MLS Suicide

Posted in Football at 3:08 pm by

With an MLS All-Star XI preparing for their friendly at Real Madrid (taking place later this hour, Fox Soccer Channel, 3:30 PM EST), it is hard to understand why such a midweek fixture is taking place during a crucial point in the US league’s season, coming just 3 days after the US National team’s World Cup Qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago as well.

Even more baffling is the fascination that certain past-their-prime European stars hold for various American journalists. ESPN The Magazine’s recent David Beckham cover story had the obligatory “what if?” musings about a possible Becks transfer to the States, as does Grant Wahl’s “Kick Start” in Sports Illustrated, dated August 15 :

What’s the next step for a league that’s growing but still not profitable? One possibility : carefully chosen imported superstars. After Real Madrid’s recent friendly in against the Galaxy in L.A., no fewer than four Galacticos —- David Beckham, Ronaldo, Luis Figo and Raul — told SI they would like to finish their careers in the U.S. “Playing in the MLS definitely interests me,” Beckham said after the sold-out match which had scalpers asking up to $800 a ticket. “If that can carry on with soccer games all over America, that’s what I’d like to achieve.”

The key words above are “finish their careers”. All 4 of the players mentioned have seen their best days and are unlikely to challenging for first team football in 4-5 years time, at least not in La Liga. Does MLS really want to go the route travelled by the NASL — a retirement tour / easy payday for onetime greats? Surely I’m not the only one who remembers Lothar Mattheus’ brutal tenure at the Meadowlands. If you were trying to give a European basketball league some credibility, would you break the bank for Gary Payton in 2008? Can Brett Favre look forward to a contract offer from a fledgling American football federation based on Mars in say, 2020?

Back in the present day, Liverpool, are trailing CSKA Sofia, 1-0 in the 2nd leg of their Champions League third qualifying round contest., currently showing on Setanta Sports US. Liverpool entered the night with a 3-1 lead from the away leg.

In the night’s true glamour tie, 10 man QPR are preparing to make their annual early exit from the League Cup, trailing 2-0 at Northampton.

(ADDENDUM : Real Madrid 2, MLS XI 0 after 40 minutes, goals from Beckham and Ronaldo. They’d be singing “can we play you every week?” at the Bernabeu, but they’re laughing too hard).

Woody Williams On The Casual Padres

Posted in Baseball at 1:03 pm by

From MLB.com’s Lyle Spencer :

“We’re trying to win a division here,” pitcher Woody Williams said following a 6-2 loss to Roy Oswalt and the Astros on Monday night at PETCO Park. “And [in] games like this, it seems like it’s no big deal to anybody.

“We’re playing a good team — and we’re a good team. Sometimes it seems like it’s a daze. We just need to get to a point where we’re winning a lot of ballgames and playing good, consistent baseball.

“We can’t coast. We haven’t done anything. We haven’t accomplished anything. I can’t speak for anyone else, but winning ballgames in August and September is huge. This thing should not go down to the last week. We’ve got to make it uncomfortable for other teams.”

It could be much worse for Woody. He could have Corey Patterson for a teammate.

International Diplomacy, 700 Club Style

Posted in Religion, Total Fucking Terror at 11:34 am by

From the Associated Press’ Sue Lindsay :

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson has suggested that American agents assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop his country from becoming “a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism.”

“We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability,” Robertson said Monday on the Christian Broadcast Network’s “The 700 Club.”

“We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator,” he continued. “It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.”

‘Knot Now, No Way : Iowan Sludge Merchants Sue The King

Posted in Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace at 11:10 am by

And for the first time in US legal history, a judge has been asked to block Coq Roq.


(quite possibly not a member of Slipknot)

From the Smoking Gun : (link courtesy Jon Solomon)

Claiming that its image and persona have been hijacked as part of a marketing campaign for Burger King’s new chicken fries, the costumed heavy metal band Slipknot is threatening the fast food giant with legal action. In the below August 4 letter, the band’s lawyers charge that Coq Roq–a mock metal band featured in new Burger King commercials–was created as a “look-alike, sound alike ‘band’ in order to influence the Slipknot generation to purchase Chicken Fries.” Counsel for the band (which is pictured at right) notes that Coq Roq–whose masked members are supposed to resemble badass chickens–has blatantly copied several of Slipknot’s signature masks, including a gas mask, a kabuki-style face covering, and a mask with dreadlocks attached. Details of Slipknot’s beef with Burger King surfaced in connection with an August 12 federal court filing made by the fast food company and its advertising firm. Burger King wants a U.S. District Court judge in Miami to issue a “declaratory judgment” that the Coq Roq campaign does not infringe on Slipknot’s publicity and trademark rights. As for the similar masks, Burger King lawyers–who apparently read the metal mag Revolver–note that many groups “wear masks and/or make-up to accomplish a mask-like effect, including but not limited to the bands KISS, Gwar, Insane Clown Posse, Mushroomhead, Mudvayne, Marilyn Manson, Los Straitjackets, and the Spits.”

Crasnick Lobbies For Leyland

Posted in Baseball at 12:54 am by

Jimmy Leyland wants to manage again. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is happy to sing his praises :

If you gave him talent, he found a way to get it done. Leyland won three straight National League East titles with Pittsburgh from 1990 to ’92, and led the Florida Marlins to a title in 1997 when everyone expected him to win.

The Rockies signed Leyland to a three-year, $6 million contract before the 1999 season, and he planned to move his wife and two young children to Denver. But the Columbine High massacre took place that spring, and Leyland spent the rest of the season sleeping on a cot in the clubhouse and realizing Colorado might not be the best fit.

For starters, Coors Field neutralized Leyland’s ability to strategize. In the Rockies’ home opener, Leyland did his usual masterful job of matching up, but the Rockies still lost to San Diego on an 11th-inning homer by Jim Leyritz.

“He knew it wasn’t a baseball park he could do his stuff in,” Donnelly said. “It was like telling Picasso, ‘You have to paint by the numbers, ol’ Pablo.’”

Has Leyland been tarnished by his decision to bail on the Rockies? Perhaps, a bit. But consider the alternative. Piniella is dying in Tampa Bay, but not enough to walk away from the millions still owed him under his contract. Leyland devotees point out that he asked to be let out of his contracts in Pittsburgh and Florida after both teams ripped it up to rebuild and that he received promises of support from Rockies management that failed to materialize. When the team signed free agent Brian Bohanon instead of Kevin Brown, that was a pretty good sign of things to come.


(not only did some of these evil teens show callous indifference towards human life, but they also fucked with the future of the Colorado Rockies)

Actually, Leyland jumped off a sinking ship in Pittsburgh in favor of free-spending Wayne Huizenga’s Waste Management All-Stars in Miami, then managed to get himself cut loose after the Marlins’ sorry salary dumping ensued. His bailing on the Rockies was the third time in short succession the much-revered manager essentially quit on a team and city, the excuse each time being they’d quit on him first (though this is the first time I’ve seen the Columbine massacre blamed).

Crasnick says Leyland doesn’t want to manage on the West Coast. So that limits his wish-list to Eastern contenders with deep pockets…but he doesn’t want to campaign for a job someone else is already doing. Good news for Joe Torre, then.

08.22.05

Malice Or Mistake? M’s Nageotte Tosses One Pitch, Gets Tossed

Posted in Baseball at 9:16 pm by

The Seattle Times’ Bob Finnigan on Clint Nageotte’s brief sting yesterday against the Twins :

When Clint Nageotte spoke hopefully before yesterday’s game about being with the Mariners longer than the last time, he had no idea what was ahead.

Last time, he pitched in only one game ” a 1-1/3-inning appearance in Detroit on Aug. 3.

Yesterday, the 25-year-old lasted only one pitch in an 8-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

That serve, which looked like a mis-thrown breaking ball to start the seventh inning, sailed over the head of Lew Ford and convinced plate umpire Larry Poncino that Nageotte had evil intent.

So Poncino tossed Nageotte.

“The umpire totally overreacted,” M’s manager Mike Hargrove said. “The ball slipped out of the kid’s hand. He got in at 11:30 the night before, it was his first game. He’s not throwing at anyone.”

Nageotte was still stunned after the game.

“I slipped on the dirt and the ball came out of my hand. I’m here to get guys out, not hit anyone. I knew who was up, and that probably was why I was thrown out of the game.”

Poncino said: “He can say what he wants. It was the first pitch, the guy had hit a couple of homers in the series, hit a three-run homer earlier in the game.

“There is no doubt in my mind he was throwing at him. Case closed. I’ve got to stop it before it starts.”

Defiant Graham Daydreams Of Boy Scouts

Posted in Hate Fuck Radio at 8:29 pm by

Michael Graham (above), formerly of ABC Radio’s WMAL, denies there is anything racist about characterizing Islam as “a terrorist organization”.

“If the Boy Scouts of America had 1,000 scout troops, and 10 of them practiced suicide bombings, then the BSA would be considered a terrorist organization,” he said. “If the BSA refused to kick out those 10 troops, that would make the case even stronger. If people defending terror repeatedly turned to the Boy Scout handbook and found language that justified and defended murder “ and the scoutmasters in charge simply said ‘Could be’ “ the Boy Scouts would have driven out of America long ago.”

No word yet if Graham will be auditioning for Larry Krueger’s old spot on KNBR.

Showalter’s Rangers Roll Over & Die

Posted in Baseball at 5:33 pm by


(Manager Buck, blissfully unaware that someone has drawn a chalk penis on the back of his jacket)

Texas completed a 1-12 road trip yesterday with their third straight defeat to Tampa Bay. The reinstated Kenny Rogers has been shelled in every outing since his return. How much do the Rangers suck? The Dallas Fort Worth Telegram’s T.R. Sullivan counts the ways :

The Rangers’ 13-game, four-city road trip started out with what was supposed to be good news.

Before the second game of the trip, way back in Boston, the Rangers found out that pitcher Kenny Rogers’ 20-game suspension was over and he would be available immediately.

From owner Tom Hicks on down, the Rangers rejoiced in the news. Turns out that not even Rogers could do much to help on the worst road trip in club history.

Instead, the trip finally came to an end with Rogers giving up six runs in six innings as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays completed a three-game sweep with a 6-3 victory at Tropicana Field on Sunday.

The Rangers finish the trip with a 1-12 mark. The only win came when Chris Young and Francisco Cordero combined on a shutout in Cleveland.

“I never expected this team, with the players we have, to have this bad of a road trip,” catcher Rod Barajas said. “It’s embarrassing, but for some reason, we’re not playing good baseball, and it’s very disheartening. We’ve got to find a way to get this turned around, because I’m extremely embarrassed by the way it’s gone on this trip.”

“Nobody cares about your struggles,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “Most are happy you’ve got them. It’s part of it. I don’t care if it’s the White Sox, Yankees, Red Sox; everybody goes through these periods. This is a tough period for us.

“We all know how hard success is at this level, and we’re not having it. We have to get back to doing what we’re capable of doing.”

Rogers made three starts after his suspension, and went 0-3 with a 7.00 ERA. He allowed 20 hits in 18 innings pitched.

“You want to take advantage of the games Kenny pitches, and we weren’t able to do that,” shortstop Michael Young said. “It’s been a miserable trip on several fronts. One, we won one game; two, we were away for the last two weeks. Three, it came at the worst possible time.”

Rogers is now 3-5 with a 5.29 ERA in his last 11 starts, and the Rangers are 3-8 in those games

Would be it fair to say after all these years to say that Kenny Rogers is a terrific performer as long as there isn’t very much at stake?

Former Ranger Lenny Randle, interviewed by the Dallas Morning News’ Dave Lance, thinks that Rogers has gotten a raw deal :

Even 28 years after the fact, Randle said he had no comment on his one-sided fight with manager Frank Lucchesi, which led to a 30-day suspension and a ticket out of Texas to the lowly New York Mets.

Angry over a perceived lack of playing time, Randle approached Lucchesi near the batting cage before a game in Orlando, Fla. The two talked briefly before Randle punched the unsuspecting Lucchesi several times.

It made Randle the most notorious Ranger. But after Kenny Rogers’ outburst in June directed at two TV cameras and their operators, Randle has company.
Randle said he sympathizes with Rogers, who ended up suspended by baseball for 13 days.

“He just overreacted to the situation,” Randle said. “I’ve seen guys at Jiffy Oil do that and don’t make news. Everything we do, Big Brother is watching.
“He got busted. If nobody films it, it’s no big deal.”

Past and present staffers at Randle’s youth baseball clinic include Vince Coleman, George Foster, Fergie Jenkins, Doc Ellis and inexplicably, actor Stoney Jackson (above). The next time anyone asks why I’m not having kids, I’ll explain it is because I don’t think I could cope with their looks of disappointment when I tell them they aren’t going to Lenny Randle Camp for the summer.

40 Years Ago Today…

Posted in Baseball at 5:03 pm by

…Juan Marichal showed that a pitcher can do some real damage with a bat.

Lakers Sign McKie

Posted in Basketball at 1:16 pm by

Reports that the Nets had the inside track on Aaron McKie were premature writes the Newark Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Alessandro :

Aaron McKie gave the Nets the thumbs-down yesterday, refusing their one-year offer to accept a two-year, $5 million deal with the Lakers.

The 6-5 swingman, a recent amnesty cut by Philadelphia, was the Nets’ primary target to fill their backup wing slot, but their offer of the veteran’s minimum (one year, $1.1 million) was blown out of the water by Phil Jackson, who has an extraordinary track record for extending the careers of big guards well past their prime.

“The bottom line was that it was too good to turn down, and an excellent opportunity for Aaron from the standpoint of having a major role,” agent Leon Rose said last night. “And it helps that Jackson uses veteran guards (Brian Shaw, Ron Harper, et al.), another factor that came into play.

Among the available free agents who can handle the role intended for McKie are Devin Brown and Greg Buckner, though the Nets have not pursued either player so far in this off-season.

Strength Guru Abandons Giambino

Posted in Baseball at 12:33 pm by

With 1 hit in his last 28 at bats, Jason Giambi will have to snap out of this slump without the assistance of his longtime personal trainer, writes the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner.

Bobby Alejo, who left his job as the Athletics’ strength coach to join Giambi in New York after the 2001 season, is taking a job as the head strength coach for all 18 sports at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He ended his final trip with the Yankees on Sunday, and he starts his new job Sept. 1.

“He’s great to me; he’s one of my best friends,” said Giambi (above, right), who added that he did not know if he would seek a new trainer. “It’s definitely going to be difficult. But I have to finish the season and worry about that at the end.”

Alejo’s presence had long been a point of contention between Giambi and the Yankees. Giambi signed with the understanding that Alejo would have full access to help him at the ballpark before and after games, supervising his weight training and batting practice.

But when Major League Baseball imposed stricter rules on clubhouse access in 2002, the Yankees had to hire Alejo as a batting-practice pitcher, even though Giambi still paid him, so that Alejo would have full access.

Gradually, Alejo’s access dwindled to team flights only, and Giambi has had to change his routine, working out away from the park before games instead of immediately after them.

Despite being 4 games behind Boston in the AL East pennant chase, the Yankees can take solace in knowing they can count on the intimidating presence of Randy Johnson down the stretch.

Unrepentant Lt. Dangle Stands Up For Baseball Tradition

Posted in Baseball at 12:18 pm by

From the LA Daily News’ Tony Jackson :

On the morning after teammate Milton Bradley unleashed a public tirade against him – albeit without using his name – Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent told his side of an incident that took place between the two after Saturday night’s win over Florida.
Kent was anything but repentant.

“Most of what happened stays in the clubhouse, but I will respond (to Bradley’s comments),” Kent said. “I’m one of the veteran players on this team, probably the only veteran. When things happen, something needs to be said. I’m not one to hold back. How other players respond to that is something I can’t control.”

The incident reportedly took place in the clubhouse immediately after the game, when Kent confronted Bradley after Bradley failed to score from first base on Kent’s seventh-inning double, a hit that scored Hee-Seop Choi from second to tie the score. Bradley eventually did score on a bases-loaded walk by Jayson Werth, putting the Dodgers ahead to stay.

Bradley apparently took exception to what Kent said, and what one source described as an “ugly” confrontation ensued. That led to an impromptu, closed-door meeting involving the entire team, but neither Kent nor manager Jim Tracy would say who called it.

More on the indicident from MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick.

Kent said “clubhouse etiquette” prevented him from revealing all that was said in the 20-minute meeting, but he offered no apologies and, rather, insisted he was carrying on a baseball tradition.

Said Kent, “I expect ballplayers on any team to be on the same page, and if they’re not on the same page and not playing the game for the right reasons, that’s where a veteran player needs to step in and make a statement and make the adjustment to motivate and to drive and to push. If you don’t have that player, then you’ve got guys shooting from the hip and not playing for a championship.”

Kent, who generally keeps to himself in the clubhouse, said incidents like the one on Saturday night “happen all the time — veteran players policing the clubhouse, although I hate to say it that way.”

The Dodgers don’t know how lucky they are to have a sure-thing Hall Of Fame second baseman who is clearly unconcerned about whether or not he collects another RBI. We’ve already seen Lt. Dangle give Hee-Seop Choi a very public dressing down this season, and perhaps LA would be well advised to consider the Bad Lieutenant as a player-manager for next season?

Long Rumoured Courtney-Alan Partridge Coupling Confirmed

Posted in History's Great Hook-Ups at 12:01 pm by

The Widow Cobain and the godfather of Radio Norwich’s graveyard shift have engaged in carnal relations…and there’s a child on the way writes the Guardian’s Sophie Kirkham : (link courtesy Brian Turner)

In one of the most unpredictable showbusiness pairings the rock singer Courtney Love has claimed she is expecting a child with Steve Coogan, the alter ego of nerdy chatshow host Alan Partridge.


(“which one of you lucky, lucky ladies am I going to be making love to?”)

She and Coogan met while they were staying in the same hotel in Los Angeles and Love is now reported to be embarrassed at the affair, which lasted just two weeks. “What does it make me look like that I have slept with Alan Partridge?” she allegedly told a friend. “Given the A-grade stars I’ve dated it’s embarrassing. I mean … Alan Partridge!”

Indeed, what will Ms. Love say to the authorities when her child is born with a pronounced Kenco dependency?

CSTB offers congratulations to the happy couple, in particular to Coogan, one of the comic geniuses of the modern age. In his short time in Hollywood, Steve has learned that making the scene with Ben Stiller can only do so much for one’s career — if you really want to catapult yourself into the American consciousness, there is no faster way of doing so than impregnating Courtney Love.

But Did She Buy Her Girlfriend A $4 Million Purple Diamond Ring?

Posted in Basketball at 11:47 am by

The LA Times’ Sandra Kobrin and Jason Levin, on former LA Sparks forward Latasha Byears (link courtesy Laure Parsons) :

In June 2003, a few weeks into the Sparks’ drive for its third WNBA title, Byears was accused of sexual assault following a party at her Marina del Rey condo.

Less than a month later, a similar allegation would be leveled against Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant by a Colorado hotel worker. The athletes shared more in common than the specter of a criminal trial. They also worked for the same corporate family, an L.A. institution that would treat the two ballplayers”one famous and the other relatively obscure”very differently.

The Los Angeles Lakers stood by Bryant. The team’s general manager, coach and fellow players publicly supported him throughout his arrest, teary declaration of innocence at a televised Staples Center news conference and court appearances. NBA Commissioner David Stern said that Bryant should “absolutely” continue to play until proven guilty.

In contrast, as a police investigation was opened, the Sparks wasted no time in releasing Byears. She hoped to be picked up by a different team, but the woman who had worn the number 00 on her uniform found zero interest among the other WNBA franchises. She took a series of odd jobs, including a stint slinging JC Penney merchandise in a Buena Park distribution center that lasted seven hot, boring days. “It’s not that the work was bad,” Byears says. “I just couldn’t take it. Playing basketball is what I’ve been doing since high school, and it’s all I really know how to do.”

In some ways, the uneven treatment of Bryant and Byears speaks to the obvious: Bryant is a marquee player”so famous beyond the arena that, like Arnold or Oprah, he is widely known by only his first name. He sells millions of dollars’ worth of tickets and merchandise for a big-time sports franchise. Byears generated no discernible income for an unprofitable enterprise, and she had already made some other missteps on and off the court. What’s more, in its effort to project a wholesome, family-friendly image, the WNBA is more sensitive to bad press than is the NBA, which could field a pretty decent All-Star team of players who have rap sheets.

And yet the 32-year-old Byears believes her particular predicament stems from something other than her largely unheralded status as a player or her reputation for unladylike behavior. She’s convinced she has been ostracized for another reason: She is gay.

Sparks President Johnny Buss’ moves include the trade that brought Byears from the Sacramento Monarchs to L.A., as well as her release. He says he cut her from the team mostly because of dissension among her teammates. She was, he suggests, just too much trouble to keep.

“We had just won a championship, we were waiting to exhale, and with it came difficult attitudes and problems beyond anything that happened with the alleged sexual assault,” he says without elaborating. “We knew it was going to be difficult to trade her under the cloud. We make changes whether they are popular or not. It was a tough situation; I wish it didn’t happen. I wish the publicity or the accusations never happened. People do things and get kicked off the team. Was the timing the worst for Byears? Yes.”

Robert Moog, 1934-1971

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 10:48 am by

From Monday’s Ashville Citizen Times and Paul Clark :

Robert Moog, whose Moog synthesizers are as influential in modern music as they have been to jazz and rock since the late 1960s, died Sunday. He was 71.

“We™re going to miss him, Michael Adams, president of Moog Music, said in Asheville. œThis guy has affected the lives of literally tens of thousands of people.

Moog™s family has established The Bob Moog Foundation dedicated to the advancement of electronic music. Among the many of Moog™s longtime collaborators to agree to sit on its executive board are Rick Wakeman, keyboard player for the ™70 classical rock supergroup Yes, and Wendy Carlos, whose recording œSwitched-On Bach brought Moog™s synthesizers to national prominence.

08.21.05

Giants, Coughlin Won’t Cough Up Info About Eli’s Elbow

Posted in Gridiron at 11:55 pm by

After colliding with the Panters’ Julius Peppers in another “lose your franchise player in a game that doesn’t mean shit” , Giants QB Eli Manning could miss a few days of practice. Or a few months. Who knows? Coach Tom Coughlin will tell you when he’s good and ready…and perhaps not even then. From the New York Times’ Bill Pennington:

In a conference call with reporters, Coughlin, known to be circumspect, sounded uneasy about Manning’s prognosis and conceded he was “very concerned.”

Coughlin provided little information about the results of a magnetic resonance imaging exam Manning had Sunday. He said Manning was going through an additional series of tests on his elbow.

The Giants’ team doctor, Russell Warren, will examine Manning on Monday.

“We won’t really know anything further until then,” Coughlin said. “We are waiting. We are hoping for the best.”

Still, Manning said he did not think his elbow had been seriously injured.

“It feels fine now, it just felt a little funny when it happened,” he said Saturday night. X-rays of the elbow were negative. Manning was not available to reporters Sunday.

Coughlin said Manning woke up Sunday with soreness in his elbow.

Asked if he wished Manning had not continued to play after the injury, Coughlin said: “I didn’t know anything about it – that there was any reason for concern. Not until halftime. Eli did feel it felt O.K. to throw.”

The injury, whatever its severity, underscores the Giants’ continuing problem of protecting Manning, their young franchise player. The offensive line was the most noticeable weakness last season, but was expected to be much improved after some off-season revamping. Against Carolina’s aggressive front four, however, Manning was under constant pressure.

After the game, Coughlin said he was disappointed with how the offensive line had handled the Panthers’ pressure, especially because the Giants had devoted so much practice time to developing better protection for Manning.

(MONDAY 8/22 ADDENDUM : Don’t worry, it’s just a bruise.)

Cornhusker Alumni Update

Posted in Gridiron at 11:42 pm by

From the Associated Press :

Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips (above), who was wanted by police for domestic violence, was arrested Sunday after allegedly running his car into three teenagers who argued with him during a pickup football game, police said.

Police had been seeking Phillips since earlier this month for allegedly attacking his girlfriend twice, once choking her into unconsciousness, they said.

Phillips joined a group of 16- and 17-year-olds in a pickup football game in Exposition Park on Sunday and got into an argument with several of the teens, said Los Angeles Police Officer Sandra Escalante. He left the park, but returned and drove a black Honda onto the field, allegedly running into three teenage boys, she said.

The teenagers were taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

The car Phillips was driving was reported stolen in San Diego earlier in the week, Escalante said.

Phillips was arrested and held on the domestic violence felony warrant. Charges are pending in the Sunday incident, she said.

San Diego Police had offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to Phillips’ whereabouts, and said he had indicated he wouldn’t surrender peacefully.

Something tells me he wasn’t hanging out at Johnny Rogers’ house. Tom Osbourne’s, either.

Coventry 3, QPR 0

Posted in Football at 11:30 pm by

After taking 7 points from a possible 9 in their first 3 matches, QPR came back to earth Saturday in their first visit to Coventry’s partially finished Ricoh Arena. Rangers also managed to lose defender Danny Shittu for 3 games following his dismissal in the 2nd half. From the Guardian’s Martin Rose :

The physicality of the confrontation suited Coventry’s front men. The presence of Dele Adebola (above), in particular, caused the Rangers defence enormous problems and the game was effectively over early in the second half when, with the visitors already three down, their defender Danny Shittu was sent off for hauling back Adebola when he was through on goal. Arguments ensued.

“He’s tugged me back and he’s clipped my heels so the referee made the decision,” said Adebola. Shittu begged to differ: “To give a straight red for that was despicable. We thought there was going to be a yellow card given to Adebola for diving. I’m very upset.”

In the context of recent history it was hardly surprising to see a red card. The teams had met in the final of a pre-season tournament in Ibiza, where the game was marred by fighting among supporters. That seemed to transfer itself to the pitch back in the Midlands.

There were petty flare-ups all afternoon, seven yellow cards and talk of an altercation in the tunnel after the game, although that rumour was denied by both sets of players and managers.

“Cov were leading the final in Ibiza 2-0 before we ended up winning 3-2 and our fans were singing and shouting like we were champions of Europe,” said Rangers’ manager Ian Holloway. “But Micky and his lads have had the last laugh because we came home with a tin-pot cup and they’ve got three points.”

Boston Mulling September Call-Up For Hansen

Posted in Baseball at 11:13 pm by

Though Mike Timlin has been named Boston’s closer with Curt Schilling returning to the starting rotation later this week, the Red Sox do have an intriguing Plan B they in the event Keith Foulke is done for the year. From Maine Today’s Kevin Thomas :

In the past week, Hadlock Field has been visited by Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein, assistant GM Josh Byrnes, pitching coach Dave Wallace and pitching consultant Tony Cloninger. There also has been extra media attention, including a visit by a NESN camera crew.

Craig Hansen certainly draws a crowd.

Hansen, a reliever for the Portland Sea Dogs, is the latest prospect passing through Portland on an obvious fast track to Boston. What’s intriguing about Hansen is he was drafted only two months ago and signed July 25. And he may be at Fenway Park soon.

“He’s unusually good,” Cloninger said with a smile. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen someone already that far along.”

Hansen (above) seems oblivious to the attention.

“It’s OK,” he said with a shrug, after his fourth interview before Tuesday’s doubleheader.

Hansen’s stuff is a little beyond OK.

“He has an electrifying fastball, with good sink and high velocity, and a good slider to go along with it,” Sea Dogs pitching coach Fernando Arroyo said. “He’s working on his change-up a little bit.

“He’s around the plate and throws strikes. I think he handles himself real well. His tempo is good. He’s pretty mature for coming out of college and competing at this level.”

The week’s other hot story out of Portland, ME concerns Binghamton hitting coach Dave Hollins (above), who was suspended indefinitely after attacking Portland pitching coach Fernando Arroyo in the home dugout, midway through game one of last Monday’s B-Mets/Sea Dogs doubleheader.

The Fun Facts Behind Blowing It For Pedro

Posted in Baseball at 12:30 pm by


(Profiling at the airport is bad enough, but now they’ve started at Shea Stadium as well)

from the Elias Sports Bureau :

Pedro Martinez left Saturday’s start with an 8-0 lead through six innings, only to see the bullpen lose the lead. It’s the fifth time this season that Pedro has left a game in line for a win, only to have the relievers blow the lead; otherwise, Pedro could be sporting a 17-5 record. The only major-league pitcher with as many blown wins as Martinez this season is Doug Waechter (six).

Pedro is now winless in his last five starts, tying his second-longest single-season streak. He also went five starts without a win in 1994 and had a seven-start winless streak in 2001.

It was the third game in Mets history in which they blew a lead of at least eight runs and still managed to win and the first win of that type since Aug. 5, 1993, when they had a 9-1 lead in Montreal, blew it and won 12-9 in 13 innings.

The Mets have still never lost a home game in club history in which they held a lead of seven or more runs.

Of course, if Danny Graves is given a few more opportunities, that record might not stand.

I’m not sure if Elias keeps track of this sort of thing, but does anyone know if MASN’s Ron Darling has ever had something interesting to say?