Rrrroooaaarrr No More : Voivod’s Piggy, RIP

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 12:39 pm by

Dennis “Piggy” D’amour, guitarist for Quebec quartet Voivod, has passed away at the age of 45.

Along with vocalist Snake, drummer Michel Langevin and original bassist Jean-Yves Theriault (later replaced by Jason Newsted), Voivod’s late 1980′s recordings were a heady mix of prog metal, modern thrash and futuristic subject matter. On paper, yeah, that does sound downright awful, but the band were genuine boundary-smashers in an otherwise stodgy scene, and were pretty ferocious live, to boot.

Todd Jones Invites Men To Get On His Back

Posted in Baseball at 9:36 am by

From the Orlando Sun Sentinel’s Steve Gorten :

A huge fan of the rock band Staind, Marlins closer Todd Jones became close friends with its members after they invited him to stand on stage with them during a 2001 concert in Biloxi, Miss. Two years later, after Staind played a gig in Houston, guitarist Mike Mushok called Jones.

“I remember saying to Todd, `I can’t imagine what it’s like walking out of the bullpen into people that are against you and the pressure it must be on you to come out and get three outs,’” Mushok said. “I know what it’s like to walk out to people that were rooting for us and wanted us there. I couldn’t imagine if they were against you.”

At Wrigley Field on Friday as Jones’ guests, the band members, part of an announced crowd of 38,902, saw how the 37-year-old closer does it.

Jones entered in the eighth with two outs and two on, facing MVP candidate and former Marlin Derrek Lee and trying to save what three innings earlier had been a seven-run lead.

Jones struck Lee out swinging and pitched a scoreless ninth for his 20th consecutive save as the Marlins beat the Cubs 7-5.

“This has pretty much exceeded everything I ever thought about this year,” said Jones, adding that he wants to carry the Marlins to the postseason.

“The good thing is we’re at where we’re at. You re-evaluate your goals and set new ones now … Get on [my] back and go to the playoffs.”

(the fun-loving Jonesy does his impression of Randy Johnson on Depo-Provera after the game)

Without saying anything to diminish the accomplishments of sexual libertine Todd Jones, I would like to assure Mr. Mushok that his band does indeed, have people — perhaps tens of thousands — rooting against them.

Señor Steroid Sticks Up For Sidney

Posted in Baseball at 9:17 am by

In a display of camraderie not seen since Michael Jackson told O.J. Simpson, “Don’t worry, I’ll watch the kids”, Orioles 1B Rafael Palmeiro has spoken on behalf of teammate Sidney Ponson. From the Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebic :

“He didn’t come up to me or question me about anything,” said Palmeiro. “He put his arm around me, and he stands with me, and he supports me. I’m going to do the same with him. I’m going to help him in whichever way I can help him. I’m his teammate. I feel like I’m family with him. We’re all human and we all make mistakes, and we’re all here to help him if he needs our help.”

Palmeiro, who was vocal in his support of Ponson earlier this season when the Orioles seemed ready to trade him, said he was not sure what causes Ponson’s off-the-field issues, but he did not deny that the Aruban needs help. Thursday’s arrest was his third in the past nine months.

“Maybe he’s reaching out for help,” Palmeiro said. “I don’t know. Maybe we haven’t paid close enough attention. I love Sidney as a teammate. I respect him. He’s the kind of teammate I want. … Someone needs to be there for him. I know he doesn’t have family here. So some of us need to help come in and do whatever we can to help.”

Speaking Ill Of The Dead (& Dismembered)

Posted in non-sporting journalism at 12:01 am by

From the Daily Texan’s Adam H. Covici and Clint Johnson :

You could say Colton Pitonyak had a rough summer.

In June, he served 20 days in jail for a previous cocaine charge. A month and a half after he got out, he was charged with committing the most brutal campus-area crime in recent memory.

The 22-year-old student, charged with murdering Jennifer Cave, 21, dismembering her body and fleeing to Mexico, previously spent a month in drug rehab. He has a drug problem. That much is clear.

Jenna Jasso, a UT mechanical engineering senior, dated Pitonyak’s friend, Juan Montero, and knew Cave from her high school in Corpus Christi.

She describes Cave as an outgoing person who wanted desperately to fit in, and may have used her sexuality to get attention from guys.

“She came to school halfway through senior year after everyone had already made friends, and started doing some scandalous things to fit in,” Jasso said.

Note to all female CSTB readers —- try very hard not to be brutally murdered & hacked up, because a local newspaper might track down a high school classmate who will imply you were asking for it.


Lawton Bronx Bound

Posted in Baseball at 11:40 pm by

Voices in my head (that sound suspiciously like Jayson Stark) claim the Yankees are on the brink of acquiring OF Matt Lawton from the Cubs in exchange for an undisclosed prospect.

Lawton, a free agent next season, would bridge the gap between bumbling Bernie and New York’s inevitable run at Johnny Damon.

For Lawton, the Yankees will be his third team of the year and 5th in 9 campaigns.

Lokomotiv Plovdiv Owner Murdered

Posted in Football at 8:06 pm by

Knicks and Rangers fans were horribly teased earlier today, when news of the owner of a professional sports franchise being gunned down hit the wires. Alas, said killing took place in Bulgaria, where Lokomotiv Plovdiv would otherwise be looking forward to their UEFA Cup tie with Bolton Wanderers. From the Times :

Lokomotiv Plovdiv owner Georgi Iliev, 39, was killed on Thursday after the team beat OFK Belgrade in the cup. Mr Iliev, who ran hotels and clubs, was killed as he talked on a mobile phone at one of his bars by the Black Sea.

It was the latest in a series of shootings and bombings that have been blamed on Bulgaria™s underworld. The criminality has scarred the country™s image as it vies for entry to the European Union in 2007.

Police said that Mr Iliev had faced criminal charges in the past. His brother, a suspected mob boss, was murdered in 1995. Boiko Borisov, of the Interior Ministry, said yesterday: œWe had several operations on drug-trafficking, especially of cocaine, and we have operational data which leads to him.

Sid Vicious, Pt II : Partying Ponson’s Disappearing Acts

Posted in Baseball at 7:41 pm by

Followng his third arrest in the past 9 months, the Baltimore Orioles are searching for ways to rid themselves of boozy Sidney Ponson, writes the Sun’s Dan Connolly and Roch Kubatko. In addition to his recent DUI incident, watching O’s games from the dugout hasn’t been comfy enough for Sidney.

Even if Ponson, 28, who is on the disabled list with calf and thumb injuries, remains with the team, he could be facing a suspension for leaving the bench and going to a club level suite at Camden Yards during Wednesday’s game.

According to several ballpark sources, Ponson left the clubhouse in uniform pants and an Orioles pullover jacket during the first half of Wednesday’s game and joined friends in the fourth-level suite No. 22, which he periodically rents.

He stayed between one and two innings before rejoining the team. One ballpark source said he was drinking soda and not alcohol while in the suite. It was at least the second time he has visited the suite during a game, another ballpark source said.

Interim manager Sam Perlozzo said he still needs to set some team policies, but, “I would assume if you are here and in uniform, you are on the bench.”

He did not notice Ponson’s absence from the dugout Wednesday but said when informed of the report: “If that’s true, I would think that is grounds for a suspension.”

It’s Joe Blanton vs. Bruce Chen tonight at Camden Yards, Oakland leading Baltimore, 2-0 after 2 innings.

Leinart’s Light Course Load

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 7:20 pm by

The LA Times’ Gary Klein on the scholastic grind Trojans QB Matt Leinart is about to endure. Presumably, Advanced Going To The Movies was full.

Leinart, who announced in January that he would forgo a chance to turn pro and would return for his final season of eligibility, is taking only one course: ballroom dancing. The elective fulfills the final units Leinart needs to graduate with a sociology degree.

Leinart makes no apologies for a light load that will keep him light on his feet.

“I put in my work to get my degree,” he said. “I came back for my fifth year, and I’m taking what’s necessary for me to graduate. And that’s two units.”

Mets Fans Giddy Over Demolition of NL’s Worst Pen

Posted in Baseball at 7:06 pm by

Before you send your playoff ticket deposits to General Delivery, Flushing, stop for a second to consider the quality of the opposition faced by the Mets this past week in Phoenix. If that’s too much, the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro has done so for you :

Perception: The Diamondbacks have the worst bullpen ever.

Reality: It may not quite be the worst of all time, but it’s well on its way to being the worst in more than 50 years. So far, 19 pitchers have taken the mound in relief, and they’ve combined to post a 6.24 bullpen ERA. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that would be the highest since the 1950 St. Louis Browns had a 6.62 bullpen ERA.

Still, wins against the terrible teams count in the stands just like playing the Cardinals, as I’m sure David Roth, quoted below, is aware.

An infield made up of Wright, Reyes, Keppinger/Anderson Hernandez/Cairo and Mike Jacobs is 1) cheap, 2) very productive and 3) likable. Depending on where you fell on the Mo Vaughn issue, Mets fans haven’t seen even one of those three over the last few seasons. So while I may not believe that this is the year they’ve got the teamwork to make the dream work, I do believe that I’m pretty fired up by the group of hungry and happy young dudes starting in the infield. If Beltran gets into one of those late-season kicks and knocks off the Brian McRae imitation, I might just have to drink up on some kool-aid.

Not since Merv Griffen last visited our comments secton has there been so much enthusiasm for hungry and happy young dudes. David’s Brian McRae comparison, while cringeworthy, is very much on target. Beltran’s had his adjustment period, the stint on the DL, the cautious spell not wanting to blow out the hamstring, and now the comeback from the collision with Mike Cameron. The Mets cannot realistically expect their 7-8-9 hitters to produce down the stretch the way they have earlier in the week. Fred Wilpon’s modest dream of “meaningful games in September” is about to become a reality, but Beltran might have more to say about the outcome of those contests than anyone else.

For those who were wondering, yes, I throughly enjoyed my 24 hours in Phoenix, AZ, truly one of America’s finer cities. I had an engrossing conversation with an Eric Roberts lookalike who had recently been released from jail where he’d served a short stretch for violating a restraining order. It does seem quite unfair that in the supposed land of the free, a well-tanned, heavily perspiring citizen can be incarcerated merely because he left an answering message for his old lady (who had previously attacked him with a knife, not that the judge even cared).

Grumpy Reader Takes Issue With Melodramatic Rocker’s Hairstyle

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 6:37 pm by

Writes Jim Laasko,

We were all justifiably moved by Eddie Vedder’s I’ll-have-this-mohawk-til-we-stop-killing-people-abroad thing a few years ago. But now that he’s won that battle, what is he fighting for by becoming Barry Gibb?