08.21.05

Person With Crap Taste Ditches TV, Dull Article Ensues

Posted in non-sporting journalism at 11:35 am by

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The Observer’s Amelia Hill (above) has learned she can live a full, stimulating existence without a television . If the rest of us could learn do without the Sunday supplements, there’s no telling how far society might advance.

When I told my friends that I was throwing out my television there was disbelief, disapproval, confusion and consternation: what on earth was I going to do instead? Wasn’t I going to be bored? Wasn’t I cutting myself off from society and setting myself up to be isolated? Essentially, why on earth would I want to do such a thing?

I randomly decided to give my new lifestyle three months. It was, I thought, long enough to undergo both a complete detox and the construction of an alternative routine, but not long enough to lose track of how ER ‘s Dr Carter was coping with his broken heart, or whether Bree’s attempts to save her marriage in Desperate Housewives had succeeded.

Six months later and, as much to my surprise as anyone’s, I’m still TV-less. Dr Carter’s love life and the travails of Wisteria Lane’s mildly creepy residents are a distant memory. Every day I have less interest in their worlds and even less inclination to ask for my television back.

The enormous impact of doing something as simple as giving up television has amazed me. Lifelong familiarity with an advertising world that posits its greatest lies on the promise that a single action – generally the purchase of a product – can transform my life had made me cynical that any fundamental personal change could come about without some dramatic epiphany or long, sustained effort.

But – and it is hard to write this without sounding evangelical – giving up television succeeded where all the money-driven, cynical, empty promises failed:this one, simple act has fundamentally transformed the quality of my life. Let me explain. I had never watched excessive amounts of television and had never been one for random channel- hopping. On the contrary, over the past few years I developed a cosy, obsessive ritual of sitting down on a Sunday morning with the TV guide and pre-recording all the programmes I wanted to watch in the week ahead. But the fact that I was watching decent television just made the problem worse: I would come home between 9 and 11pm most nights and flick on the video, intending to unwind with just half an hour of a quality, pre-recorded programme.

Perhaps it is down to my weak will, or perhaps – perish the thought – I was just another nightly notch on the bedpost of the enormous industry of bright, well-paid people whose job it is to make sure no one ever watches ‘just half an hour ‘, but every evening, before I even knew the time had slipped by, I would find myself slumped on the sofa with two hours’ worth of programmes behind me and still powerless to resist the rerun of Will & Grace just beginning to flicker on the screen.

Fascinating stuff, and congrats to Ms. Hill, a reporter for BBC Breakfast News (and as such, a cog in the enormous industry described above), on coping without “ER”, “Desperate Housewives” and “Will & Grace”. It never ceases to amaze me that supposedly intelligent persons decide the problem with TV isn’t the garbage they choose to watch, but rather the medium itself.

David Ortiz Is Leading The AL In Walks For A Reason…

Posted in Baseball at 10:46 am by

…and that reason has nothing to do with his tendency to throw a shit-fit when he’s called out on strikes. From the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman :

David Ortiz was quite upset after his ejection for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Bill Welke in Friday night’s 4-3, 10-inning Red Sox win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

“I’m leading the league in walks for a reason. I think I know what I’m doing out there,” Ortiz said. “From the very first pitch, he made bad calls. I’ve got to let him know, bro.”

Ortiz, whose post-ejection tirade last year in a game played at Angels Stadium earned him a suspension, wasn’t finished.

“I’m the DH – it’s my job to go to the plate and get the job done,” he said. “I hit, that’s what I do. I’ve got to let him know. In the beginning, I let him know in a nice way. I’m not a crazy guy. If you miss a ball in the beginning, that’s fine, but every at-bat? I don’t think so. I respect umpires. They need to respect me.”

Joe Randa Loves The Sound Of Breaking Glass

Posted in Baseball at 10:36 am by

The Orlando Sun-Sentinel’s Mike Bernadino interviews former Royals 3B Joe Randa, who says KC GM Allard Baird is a convenient scapegoat for the franchise’s recent woes.

Because of Baird’s good-soldier tendencies and admirable willingness to take full blame for a lousy product, the critics lose sight of the real problem, Randa said. That would be the Glass family ownership group, which, despite its Wal-Mart billions, authorized a $37 million payroll, second lowest in the majors.

“It’s over Allard’s head,” Randa said. “He’s done the best he could with the limitations of payroll and personnel. It’s not his fault one bit. He puts so much effort and time into his job.”

Baird’s critics point to his trades of Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye and Carlos Beltran and claim he didn’t get enough in return. But those ownership-mandated deals still brought back building blocks like Angel Berroa, Mark Teahen and John Buck.

Yes, Baird has failed to deal Sweeney for younger pieces when teams such as the Angels and Rangers badly wanted him. But ownership has steadily refused to eat any of the money that remains on Sweeney’s contract when that has become commonplace in such trades.

No one outworks Baird, who rarely gets to see his wife Julie, a Miami accountant.

“He flies all the time to see the Triple-A and Double-A teams or to go see a guy they’ve maybe inquired about,” Randa said. “He’s so hands on and he works so hard that his family life suffers. It’s unfortunate that he seems like somewhat of a fall guy all the time for the organization.”

The best solution, Randa suggests, would be for club chairman David Glass and his family to sell the team.

“I think there’s a lot of hidden agendas there,” Randa said. “With the revenue sharing and all the money he’s getting with the TV revenues, he’s making money and they’re losing games. That’s the problem.”

Sage Draft Advice From Meat Loaf

Posted in Gridiron at 10:23 am by


(that’s not a teleprompter flashing lyrics — Meat Loaf has Braden Looper on his fantasy baseball squad and now he’s praying for the end of time to hurry up and arrive.)

Jim Steinman’s former collaborator and master thespian (“Spice World”), the former Marvin Aday is interviewed by the New York Times’ James Diamos about his meaty fantasy sports addiction (thanks to Sam Frank for the link) :

Q. How many leagues are you in?

A. At this point, 18, but there will be more. I’ve had as many as 60. Last year, I was in 33 and I won 9.

Q. How do you prepare for a draft, and how much time do you spend on your leagues during the season?

A. Because it’s so deep, and there are usually 15 teams in a league, you really have to research to death. You’re like a G.M. at that point. When I’m not working, I have N.F.L. Sunday Ticket and I watch all the games. At the same time, I have my computer on, so I can monitor everything in real-time scoring. On Monday, I don’t do anything. Tuesday is the day you normally pick up free agents, and I spend several hours working on that. I listen to N.F.L. radio on Sirius. Sometimes I even do call-ins on N.F.L. radio with their fantasy football guru. Unless there is a Thursday game, by Friday, I have to set my lineups. Then you have to watch the injury reports on Saturday.

And on Sunday, I joined this Web site, where it’s nothing but injury reports, which they update every 15 minutes.

Q. LaDainian Tomlinson or Shaun Alexander?

A. That’s a tough one; a coin toss. With (San Diego tight end Antonio) Gates in camp, I would take Tomlinson. But Shaun Alexander is a great running back.

Q. Randy Moss or Terrell Owens?

A. You’d take Moss. Moss is a top 10 draft pick. Owens is in the second round now.

Q. Ron Dayne or Maurice Clarett?

A. I would take Maurice Clarett. I think there’s more upside. Ron Dayne you’ve seen play. Maurice Clarett, you haven’t seen him yet.

Q. Is drafting two good players out of three good enough in fantasy football?

A. Well, two out of three ain’t bad. (He laughs.) No. In fantasy football, you need depth. And you really need depth at running back, with weeks off and things like that. I would avoid quarterbacks, unless you can get Peyton Manning. And people are always picking kickers in the early rounds and they should be kicked.

The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick, of course, takes a dim view of this kind of activity, claiming that “many fantasy leaguers have a more grotesquely skewed view of games than do game-to-game gamblers.” Fantasy football is a gateway to hardcore gambling, ladies and gentlemen, much the way the New York Post is a gateway to a real newspaper.

Bradley : “As Long As I’m Black, I’m Fine”

Posted in Baseball at 12:50 am by

From the Associated Press :

Dissension in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ clubhouse sent center fielder Milton Bradley to the manager’s office following Saturday’s 11-6 victory victory at Florida.

Bradley (above) said he requested the private, 25-minute meeting with manager Jim Tracy, apparently to discuss discord with a teammate.”I want people to say Milton Bradley was a pretty good ballplayer and a pretty good person,” Bradley said. “Anybody who is going to stand between me getting there, then they need to be eliminated.”

Bradley and Tracy declined to provide specifics.

“It’s internal,” Tracy said. “I had a chat. It has nothing to do with anything he did, right or wrong.”

“Some people, that’s all their life is — is baseball … how many hits they get, how many runs they drive in, how many plays they make,” Bradley said. “They’re working for a plaque. I’m not working for a plaque. I’m working to put food on my table.”

When asked by a reporter if he was OK, Bradley replied, “I’m always OK. As long as I’m black, I’m fine.”

(ADDENDUM : The LA Times’ Paul Guiterrez says Bradley’s gripe is with 2B Lt. Dangle.

In the seventh inning, with the Dodgers trailing, Bradley failed to score from first base on Jeff Kent’s double into the gap in right-center field. The hit tied the score, 6-6, but Bradley’s scoring would have given the Dodgers the lead and Kent, who joined the Dodgers as a free agent on Dec. 9, his team-leading 84th run batted in.

“For some people, all their life is baseball,” said Bradley, who never mentioned Kent by name. “All they care about is how many hits they get, how many runs they drive in and how many plays they make. They’re just looking for a plaque.

“I love baseball to death, but it’s not my life. My life is working to put food on the table for my wife and my son, coming in December¦. You can read between the lines and see who’s had problems with teammates; never me.”

Bradley, tears welling in his eyes, surveyed the emptying clubhouse and the reporters surrounding his locker.

“Look around, there’s only one of me,” he said, apparently referring to his being African American. “I’ve got to have my own back.”

08.20.05

Can’t Lose ‘Em All : Royals Snap 19 Game Losing Streak

Posted in Baseball at 11:24 pm by

Royals 2, A’s 1


(Jose Lima congratulates Ambiorix Burgos on inducing Dan Johnson to pop up at the end of the 7th. Burgos doesn’t want to be impolite, but would prefer that Lima stop touching him.)

Hey, KC could win 20 in a row and that Captain’s “C” on Mike Sweeney’s jersey would still look ridiculous.

Doug & Jackie Turn The Other Cheek

Posted in Basketball at 10:57 pm by

Doug Christie might’ve quit on the Magic, but at least he can take a joke. Or accept a check from someone who ridicules him. From the Dallas Morning News’ Chuck Carlton :

œBeing a free agent, looking at the options, I said I can vastly help that situation in Dallas, and it would be fantastic to get there, Christie said. œThen the call came, and I™ve been giddy ever since.

Johnson and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson visited Christie in Seattle, sealing the deal.

Christie wasn™t even upset about his portrayal in Dallas during a 2004 playoff series. The Mavericks mocked several Kings in a pregame video that included an animated Christie being led around on a leash by his allegedly domineering wife, Jackie. The NBA fined the Mavericks $25,000.

œLife is bigger than that, Christie said. œWith all the problems in the world today, nothing is wrong with comedy.

Jackie Christie described the video as œhilarious. It is just part of the rivalry between Sacramento and Dallas.

The Christies (above) have a unique series of hand signals they exchange during games and have been filming scenes for a possible TV reality series.

œThat™s my queen, Christie said. œAnd when you have one, you™re going to treat her the best you can. I think a lot of things have gotten blown out of proportion. My wife loves me. She™s my No. 1 fan. She doesn™t come to every game on the road but darn near every one just to support us and make sure everything is running smooth for me.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Dwain Price reports that Mavs owner Mark Cuban is still working out the details of Shawn Bradley’s retirement package. Cuban usually knows best, but I’d like to suggest he throw in the Rebel’s new CD, ‘Kit’, along with some prophylactics.

Former Celtics/Sonics defensive mainstay Dennis Johnson (above) has been named head coach of Austin’s new NBDL franchise, the unfortunately dubbed Toros. CSTB’s suggestion that the club be named The Stegalls fell on deaf ears (appropriately enough considering the inspiration).

Boom-Boom, Out Go The Lights : Thompson’s Explosive Send-Off

Posted in Dead Authors at 10:06 pm by

The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe on a quiet, dignified memorial for the late Hunter S. Thompson.

“You can’t miss Hunter’s place,” laughed one of the locals as he waved directions. “There’s a huge cannon in the back garden.”

He was right. From across the floor of the valley you could see this huge, imposing structure, 150ft or so high, wrapped in blue plastic cladding. To be honest, from a distance it looked more like a long, thin penis than a cannon. But on top, what looked like a swollen head waiting and ready to explode, was actually a huge, fibre-glass clenched fist packed with a mixture of explosives and human ashes.

This, apparently, was what Hunter S Thompson wanted, and this was what Hunter S Thompson was to get. As far back as 1978, the inventor of so-called Gonzo journalism, had said that after his death he wanted his mortal remains blasted into the sky.

it was not entirely clear what the residents in Woody Creek made of the blast-off for Thompson. But most tellingly, it was also unclear whether he would have welcomed all the fuss. One wonders what the man would have written had he been sent by Rolling Stone to cover such a send- off for a dead writer whose most compelling work had been completed more than 30 years earlier.

Beltre Denies Fight With Franklin

Posted in Baseball at 4:23 pm by

Adrian Beltre may be having a bad season, but he denies being a bad guy. From the Tacoma News Tribune’s Larry Larue :

Adrian Beltre™s telephone didn™t stop ringing Friday, and he could be forgiven for not answering every call.
All day on ESPN there was video “ and an incorrect report “ saying Beltre and teammate Ryan Franklin had scuffled in the Seattle dugout Thursday night.

Not surprisingly, those who knew Beltre were surprised.

œI think 10 guys from the Dodgers called today and said ˜What did you do?™  Beltre said. œI guess now I™m a baaaad man.

Beltre laughed, but try explaining to dozens of people that no, you weren™t in a fight and that all the video showed was Beltre moving Franklin away from a loud argument in which no blows were thrown or landed.

œI™d like to think ESPN would have called somebody with the organization just to ask about the facts, manager Mike Hargrove said. œThey didn™t and apparently they didn™t talk to anyone who knew what had happened. The film clip they got was Adrian playing peacemaker, and they made something of it that it wasn™t.

What it was “ a brief flurry of loud words between Franklin and pitching coach Bryan Price, who was trying to quiet Franklin in the dugout “ ended quickly because players “ including Beltre “ broke it up.

œThat™s how reputations get started, Beltre said. œI remember in ™98 I was on deck and Gary Sheffield got hit by a pitch and went to the mound, he said. œI ran out there to break it up, but I was still carrying my bat. I wasn™t even aware I had it.

There’s more on the incident from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Ted Miller.

Paging The Miami Version Of Phil Mushnick

Posted in Baseball at 2:58 pm by

You’d think a club that regularly struggles to fill their ballpark like the Marlins would think twice before demanding that those interested in ’05 playoff ducats must first sign up for season tickets in ’06.

Perhaps those mulling renewal can ask Jeffrey Loria if he can guarantee the Fish won’t be playing in Las Vegas in 2007?

Expos Obsessive Prepares To Sell Steve Rogers’ Underwear

Posted in Baseball at 10:18 am by

Just call him the Anti-Barry Halper. The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold on Vermont’s Herb Pearo, in the process of unloading his vast Montreal Expos memorabilia collection (link copped from David Pinto’s Baseball Musings) :

He began a concerted effort to gather Expos gear, pursuing relics of the team’s players — many of whom would be lucky to get historical-footnote status — as if they were Hall of Famers. That included his spring-training dumpster diving, which might yield uniforms the team was throwing out, and his longtime relationship with an Expos equipment manager who would call up and offer to sell truckloads of used equipment.

” ‘Bad day at the racetrack,’ ” Pearo remembered the man saying. ” ‘Come on up, I’ve got something for you.’ ”

One such transaction left Pearo with one of his most unusual treasures: long underwear owned by Steve Rogers (above), an Expos pitcher from 1973 to 1985.

“They’re autographed,” he said.

He’s also quite proud of a bat used by John Boccabella, a backup catcher on the original 1969 Expos. This was a rare find, Pearo says, because bats are usually discarded only after being broken, and the weak-hitting Boccabella didn’t usually swing hard enough to make that happen.

“I think I had to sell the wheels off a car” to pay for that bat, Pearo said.

Benitez : Liverpool Doesn’t Need Owen

Posted in Football at 12:18 am by

Michael Owen has been deemed surplus to requirements at Real Madrid, but if you’re expecting a Liverpool reunion, don’t hold your breath says manager Rafael Benitez. The Telegraph’s Tim Owen reports :

“I have said many times that we have six strikers here and, even if we are down to five, it will be the same,” the Liverpool manager said. “I need players in another position and I am not doing anything about Owen. I am talking with my scouts about a centre-back and a winger. I am not talking about Michael.”

Benitez denied there had been formal contact with Real Madrid, another club swamped by centre forwards.

Steven Gerrard has said Liverpool could not afford to see Owen go elsewhere. “Could you imagine him scoring against us for another Premiership club? It would be a nightmare.”

Yesterday Fernando Morientes, who knows all about the pain of sitting on a bench in the Bernabeu, asked another question. “If we are going to sign someone, who would be better than Owen?” Through all this, Benitez has given the appearance of a man resolutely unconvinced.

Yesterday he reeled off the men he could use as centre forwards; Morientes, Cisse, Baros, Crouch, Mellor, Sinama-Pongolle and, at a pinch, Kewell and Garcia. Then he mentioned his list of available centre-halves, which came to three. Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia and young Zak Whitbread. There is no question what his priority is and Benitez stated that a winger – probably Aston Villa’s elegant Peruvian, Nolberto Solano – ranks above another forward.

Earlier this week, former Leeds misfit Alan Smith (above) found himself scorned for refusing an invitation to play in England’s friendly with Denmark, prefering instead to turn out for Manchester United’s reserve team match against Bolton. The Times’ Giles Smith singlehandedly takes up the cause of Smith’s defense :

To understand Smith™s motives, however, we need to consider why any player would resist Eriksson™s silvery whisper and say no to an England trip. True, in Smith™s case this time, it might not have looked all that enticing on the recruitment posters: œNow that our sixth-choice striker has picked up a niggle, your country needs you. But even here, there could have been plenty in the invitation to appeal to him.

An England trip routinely offers five-star accommodation in a vibrant European destination, all expenses paid. Players enjoy unparalleled access to cones put out by Tord Grip. (Few men lay down a cone as well as Grip.) Otherwise, they have little else to do but kick back and play a round or two of Beggar My Neighbour with Jermain Defoe. In Smith™s case, he would have got a few days off training with Ferguson, which must come as a fantastic relief to anyone who cherishes their nerve ends. And, short of joining Manchester City, it™s the only opportunity a player will get to flick David James on the ear on the plane home. And all this for between 20 and 60 minutes of utterly consequence-free football in an international shirt (yours to keep or swap).

It is clear, then, that, on at least one level, Smith™s refusal to join the rest of the lads in Copenhagen this week was an act of almost heroic self-denial. Offered the corporate jolly to end all corporate jollies, he stayed at home to work in the unglamorous but necessary circumstances of reserve football.

And, doing so, he showed a professionalism and an ability to make a sober assessment of the circumstances that history has not necessarily taught us to expect from him.

How unjust, then, that his actions should have been interpreted as an insult. Surely what he was saying was: œThank you, Sven and the FA, but right now, I don™t think I™m up to it. A midweek mini-break in Denmark has its charms, but on my present form I would be doing my nation a disservice by agreeing to come. Far better that I stay behind and get some properly competitive football under my belt, in the hope of becoming a better player who may one day be of valuable service to his country.

And perhaps he was also saying: œHave you seen Bolton™s second-string defence recently? Wet paper bag, or what? Even I might nick one.

08.19.05

Lupica Shilling For Lunatic Lou

Posted in Baseball at 10:21 pm by

The Chicago White Sox have lost 6 consecutive games, but the manager of the team that beat them tonight is the subject of print speculation about how soon he’ll lose his job. 1 game out of the AL Wild Card (pending the finish of tonight’s Royals/A’s game — please, play along and pretend KC has a chance) and Joe Torre has the NY Daily News’ Mike Lupica measuring Lou Piniella for pinstripes.

Over all the years George Steinbrenner has owned the Yankees, there is only one person about whom he has acted really afraid.

Joe Torre.

But if the Yankees don’t make the playoffs this season despite the biggest payroll in the history of professional sports, we may find out just how afraid Steinbrenner still is.

There is no way of knowing whether the Yankees have to catch the Red Sox in the American League East, or catch the A’s in the wild-card race, for Torre to keep his job. That’s not the point here. The point is this: It is no longer impossible to imagine a scenario where Torre might have to make it to one more October to keep his job, especially if Steinbrenner thinks there is some way to replace him with Lou Piniella, the only possible successor who makes any sense.

“Lou’s the only one George would be able to sell to the fans,” one member of the organization said yesterday. “I’m not saying I think it’s going to happen, but he’s the only one out there who would look comparable to Joe.”

The only possible successor who would make sense has a managerial record of 182-263 over the last three seasons. His sole World Series victory as a manager came 15 years ago. Granted, Piniella isn’t Stump Merrill. But he’s no Joe Torre.

Seo Flawless Against Nats

Posted in Baseball at 9:24 pm by

Mets 1, Nationals 0

With the exception of Florida’s decision to hang onto A.J. Burnett, the winner of 7 straight after tonight’s 3-0 defeat of the Dodgers, the killer move that might determine the Mets’ Wild Card fate would have to be the long overdue insertion of Jae Seo into New York’s starting lineup. Seo collected his 5th win of ’05 this evening in shutting down the Nationals over 8 innings, allowing no runs while scattering 4 hits, and working his way out of a first & third / one out jam in the top of the 8th.

Since making his return from Norfolk, Seo (above) has allowed one earned run in 3 starts, his ERA dropping to 1.09.

Jose Reyes tied career highs with 4 singles and 3 stolen bases. He was also caught leaning the wrong way by DC’s John Patterson in the 2nd inning.

C Ramon Castro, filling in while Mike Piazza’s fractured wrist heals, scored the Mets’ only run after doubling to right center in the 7th, subsequently coming home on Victor Diaz’ single. Castro also gunned down Preston Wilson trying to steal in the 6th, a throw we can safely assume Piazza couldn’t have matched.

As of this writing, the Mets have narrowed the gap between themselves and the Wild Card spot to a mere 2 games, though said margin could increase by another half game depending on the result of tonight’s Milwaukee/Houston contest, currently tied at 1 through 7 innings. The Phillies have dropped into a a tie with the Marlins following the former’s 11-2 drubbing at the hands of the Pirates, while the Cubs have closed to within 4 1/2 following Mark Prior’s 10 K outing against Colorado earlier tonight.

Nothing Whatsoever To Do With Pac-Man Jones

Posted in Video Games at 3:39 pm by

Sincere congratulations to Abner Ashman (above) on his record-setting Ms. Pac-Man achievements, as chronicled by Twin Galaxies.com in what Sam Frank calls “honestly, the most thorough sports writing I’ve ever read”.

Pampered Pudge Divides Detroit Clubhouse

Posted in Baseball at 1:09 pm by

He’s slim, single and ready to mingle. And according to Detroit Sports Rag’s Jeff Moss, Ivan Rodriguez was also set to slug it out with Alan Trammell.

To say that there are a separate set of rules for Pudge and the rest of the team would be to insinuate that there have been ANY rules for the catcher at all. Ever since signing with the Tigers (when his only other viable option would have been to play daily against the Yakult Swallows and Orix Buffaloes on a daily basis) Rodriguez has been treated with kid gloves by Tigers management.

Pudge’s son is not only allowed on the team plane, but also is allowed in the Tigers dugout. During games. No other player is allowed to have their children on the Tigers plane or in the dugout. This has caused problems between the team and the other players who have kids. It has also bred contempt between the other Tigers players and their catcher.

Pudge openly disrespects Alan Trammell and the coaching staff. According to a Tigers player there was an incident between Pudge and Trammell last season in Chicago. It seems there was an argument about the radio on in the clubhouse that involved Pudge’s kissing buddy, Ugy Urbina.

The situation escalated to the point that Trammell came out of his office to see what was going on and a fight ensued. In front of the team, Pudge had to be restrained from beating the crap out of Trammell. Not only did Juan Samuel pull Rodriguez away from the Tigers manager, Pudge called his boss “a piece of shit.”

Rodriguez wasn’t suspended at the time of this clear insubordination because the Tigers did not want their “golden boy” free-agent to be besmirched by a negative story. After this incident, players viewed Trammell as General Manager/President Dave Dombrowski’s puppet.

He is highly critical of his teammates on a regular basis and has been known to be belligerent towards them. His general feeling is that he is surrounded by a bunch of losers.

For his latest transgression of not showing up in time for the Kansas City game last Friday (which was eventually rained-out), Pudge was fined $52,000 by the team.

Not only does Pudge want out of Detroit BADLY, the Tigers other last chance freeway signing, Magglio Ordonez wants out of the “D” as well. He has been overheard stating that he only signed here to prove his Austrian physician repaired knee was A-OK and now wants to go to a winning team. Or at the very least an organization that has had a winning season in the last dozen years.

Not only have the players totally lost respect for Trammell because of incidents previously mentioned in this article, but that pales in comparison for their hatred of Dombrowski.

They view the Tigers GM as a snake in the grass who lacks integrity. Some players are not happy about the trade of Kyle Farnsworth, but that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their feelings towards Dombrowski.

After getting fined the 52 large, Pudge left the clubhouse and made a half-ass effort attempt to practice with the team. Soon after he started complaining about a hip flexor injury. His teammates do no believe that Pudge is injured.

The reason you haven’t read about this in the Freep Press or News or Booth Newspapers? Tigers management is trying to use their power to strong-arm the media so this information doesn’t come out. Beat writers do not want to lose access by pissing off Dombrowski. He isn’t exactly the friendliest, warmest dude to deal with as it is.

Marv : Dolan Killed The Messenger

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 12:55 pm by

Marv Albert, as quoted by the New York Post’s Mike Forde in Friday’s edition :

Albert, who will be the Nets’ play-by-play man this season, sounded off on the Knick bosses Wednesday while shooting a TV spot for the YES Network.

“When you work for somebody for such a long period of time, it’s strange not doing the games, but I still feel that it’s a very difficult place if you are to do the games correctly,” Albert said. “They know they can’t do what you’re supposed to do.

“It’s not like you’re Mike Wallace or Edward R. Murrow, but there are obvious things that have to be said that they don’t want to be said. It’s so silly because fans see it. Players look at tapes. They know. You’re a mirror of what’s happening. I’ve never heard of that happening, and it did the last couple of years. You lose your credibility with that type of situation.”

Mets’ Dog Night To Benefit Dubious Organization

Posted in Baseball, Dogs at 12:31 pm by


(they don’t care where the money is going…though perhaps they should)

On the surface, the New York Mets’ announcement that tomorrow night (Saturday, 8/20) is “Dog Day In The Park” at Shea, seems like fun-fun-fun for everyone. Canine fans of Jose Offerman, Gerald Williams and Braden Looper, can accompany their human guardians to Shea’s Picnic Area, where free Snausages will be offered to the dogs (Looper, however, has to buy his own).

There’s just one catch, however. Some of the proceeds from this event are being given to Port Washington, NY’s North Shore Animal League, the venerable non-profit organization that touts themselves as “the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption center.”

CSTB has tried over the past several days to find out a little more about NSAL. Remarkably, very few persons in the tri-state area’s animal rescue and/or animal rights community were willing to speak on the record, one woman citing NSAL’s alleged “$50 million war chest against litigation”.

John Contino (above) of New York’s Mighty Mutts, however, did not mince words in his characterization of NSAL :

“If i didn’t pick up a thousand animals with a NSAL tag on it, I didn’t pick up one. They simply don’t care who they adopt to. ”

They claim that they’ve placed over 33,000 animals a year in homes…that they refuse 3 out of every 10 applications.” Contino, by contrast, says he approves adoption requests by fewer than 10 percent of those wishing to take home a rescue dog.

Then again, Contino doesn’t have a massive fund-raising apparatus to maintain, nor could an individual animal lover have anything whatsoever to gain by bringing thousands upon thousands of stray puppies and kittens into the NYC area and leaving other rescue organizations to deal with the aftermath of unwanted, unspayed or unneutered pets who’ve been abandoned.

I adopted a cat from NSAL in 1985. The process was slightly less arduous than buying a pack of gum.

Said Contino earlier today, “…if they (NSAL) were put out of business, New York City would be a better place.”

Repent America Says “Adam & Eve, Not Adam & Steve (Carlton)”

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 11:25 am by

From the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Phil Sheridan : (link courtesy Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

As the Phillies played the Washington Nationals, a confrontation developed in the upper deck at Citizens Bank Park between Repent America, a fundamentalist Christian group, and fans, many of whom were attending the game as part of a gay pride group.

This is the third year for Gay Day, which featured a national anthem performance by the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus and a first pitch from Cyd Ziegler of Outsports.com.

It’s also the third year Repent America’s Michael Marcavage has attended in protest of the event. Marcavage and another man held a sign that read, “Homosexuality Is a Sin, Christ Can Save You” at the top of Section 303 in right field.

At one point, other fans stood in front of the banner, obscuring it. Eventually, officers from the Philadelphia Police Civil Affairs division flanked Marcavage and his unidentified companion.

“This is totally offensive to me,” said James Duggan, a fan from Merchantville who stood several rows in front of the sign and engaged Marcavage in debate. “These people are false Christians. I was told the Phillies’ lawyers arranged this with Repent America’s lawyers, and I find that totally offensive, too.”

Mike Stiles, the Philles’ vice-president of operations and administration, said the team’s attorneys had met with attorneys for Repent America after the group protested the first gay-pride event at Veterans Stadium in 2003.

“It’s pretty clear under the Constitution,” Stiles said, “that if you’re going to have a gay community night, people have the right to express another opinion. We understand it’s distressing for some people to have to look at that sign. We believe the leaders of the gay community who arrange this night like any other group know what they’re going to have to put up with.”

Marcavage and the second man rolled up their sign at the end of the sixth inning, prompting cheers from the fans around Section 303. As the police officers and Phillies officials escorted them out of the grandstand and to an employees’ elevator, fans booed and chanted obscenities.

Duggan left the section a few minutes later and headed over to buy a beer.

“I moved here from New York,” Duggan said, “and I’ve traveled a lot. I’ve found Philadelphia to be the most tolerant place I’ve ever been. I think that says something. I’m a gay man, I confronted this guy, and I’m not the one who got booed. He is.”

Randy “Biscuit” Turner, RIP

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 9:20 am by

Randy “Biscuit” Turner, vocalist for the Big Boys and Cargo Cult, was found dead in his South Austin home yesterday, reports the Austin American Stateman’s Joshua Sanders and Joe Gross. Turner, the subject of an Austin Chronicle cover story that incredibly, ran the very same day, fronted one of best live bands in US punk history in the shape of Austin’s Big Boys.

Backed by the ridiculously talented trio of Tim Kerr (guitar), Chris Gates (bass) and Rey Washam (drums), Turner worked the stage with charisma and humor to spare ; a show I saw at the Greenfield (MA) Grange in August of 1983 in front of about 25 high school kids still sticks in my brain as one of the funniest, most entertaining rock gigs I’ve ever seen.

The Big Boys’ deft introduction of funk stylings into what the rest of America was calling “hardcore” at the time, won them a big bag of Minutemen comparisons. But to anyone saw these guys tear shit up on stages across the USA, at the very least, the Big Boys had to be considered contemporaries, if not one of the best bands of the era.

(ADDENDUM : A wake for Turner is planned this evening at 8pm, taking place at Pedazo Chunk Video, 2009 South First Street, Austin)

Freeing Minds, Asses, Etc. At South Street Seaport

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 12:50 am by

The disquieting headline above is provided by Jersey City’s Brian Turner, who suggests that the star of the video clip in question (quicktime required) might be indie rock’s equivalent to the Numa Numa Dance kid.

To which I can only shake my head in sorrow. Not everyone has the moves of Billy Ruane (above, right) circa 1983, but that doesn’t get the musicians off the hook, either.

Da Game Is To Be Sold Not To Be Told

Posted in Gridiron at 12:36 am by


(Snoop shares a secret with his young charges : Lee Iacocca’s sweat smells like formadehyde)

The above headline was supplied by Laure Parsons, who alerts us to the following scandal in the youth football ranks, as covered by The Guardian’s Dan Glaister (mostly culled from a prior story by the LA Times’ Steven Barrie-Anthony) :

His lazy drawl and laid back demeanour may be the stage trade marks of Snoop Dogg.

But the mums and dads of his neighbourhood in Los Angeles have come to know the actor and rapper in a slightly more go-getting guise – competitive dad. And some of them are not happy.

Trouble began when Snoop became a junior American football coach and dedicated himself to the Rowland High School team that his sons were playing for.

His lazy drawl and laid back demeanour may be the stage trade marks of Snoop Dogg.

But the mums and dads of his neighbourhood in Los Angeles have come to know the actor and rapper in a slightly more go-getting guise – competitive dad. And some of them are not happy.

Trouble began when Snoop became a junior American football coach and dedicated himself to the Rowland High School team that his sons were playing for.

Other parents marvelled as the megastar appeared in their midst, and so did youngsters from rival teams. At the end of the first season, star players at other schools received calls from Snoop asking if they wanted to swap sides.

The tactic worked and when the team of 8- to 10-year-olds won the league, Snoop bought them scooters.

The following year his all-star team won the league again, travelling to games on their customised bus, equipped with TV monitors and bass-heavy sound system pumping out the team’s theme song, Drop It Like It’s Hot, by Snoop Dogg.

The team also won the Snooperbowl in Florida before a crowd of 15,000 fans (Snoop performed at half-time). The victorious team took home trophies donated by Tiffany & Co.

Snoop, though, has now taken matters a stage further and set up his own league – the Snoop Youth Football League.

“I think what Snoop did is just so shallow,” Sandy Gonzales, who has two boys in what remains of the Rowland squad, told the Los Angeles Times. “He came here just so that he could take away from us what we’d taken many years to establish.”

Not nearly as much outcry about baseball’s Cal Ripken League, strangely enough.

08.18.05

Thursday’s Hot Rumors Generate Denials Aplenty

Posted in Baseball at 11:54 pm by

From the LA Times’ Tim Brown :

Major League Baseball officials continue to struggle with the program’s lack of transparency, particularly as it relates to the appeal and grievance process, which required at least two months in the recent cases of Baltimore’s Palmeiro and Seattle Mariner pitcher Ryan Franklin, which Selig called “too lengthy.”

The New York offices received at least a dozen calls from reporters Thursday concerning rumored positive tests for Houston Astro pitcher Roger Clemens and Boston Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon. The officials spent much of the day denying those rumors.

“They want to come after the stars to see people react,” Damon said of the reports Thursday, before the Red Sox played the Angels. “But I haven’t heard anything. Once your name is thrown out there, people start assuming. … Unbelievable.”

Said Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein: “I wouldn’t even want to honor that by commenting. The reporting of the steroid issue has taken on witch-hunt proportions, and it’s wrong. That’s a severe accusation, whether it’s in an Internet chat room or a newspaper, you would like to think there is some actual reporting going on.”

The most assuredly not-on-steroids Roger Clemens allowed a season high 5 earned runs earlier tonight, as the Brewers beat the Astros 5-2. Houston fell a half game behind the Phillies in the NL Wild Card chase after Philadelphia and Washington split a doubleheader.

Randy Moss’ Shocking Revelation

Posted in Gridiron, Sports TV at 11:36 pm by

From the Associated Press :

Oakland Raiders receiver Randy Moss admits he has used marijuana since entering the NFL seven years ago and still smokes it ”every blue moon.”

”I have used, you know, marijuana … since I’ve been in the league,” Moss (above) said in an interview for HBO’s ”Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” scheduled to air Tuesday night. ”But as far as abusing it and, you know, letting it take control over me, I don’t do that, no.”

When pressed whether he still smokes marijuana, the star receiver with the checkered past said: ”I might. I might have fun. And, you know, hopefully … I won’t get into any trouble by the NFL by saying that, you know. I have had fun throughout my years and, you know, predominantly in the offseason.”

Next week on “Real Sports”, Armen Keteyian investigates whether or not water is wet, plus special guest correspondent Alex Reimer updates us on his other TV and radio appearances.

Texas Is The Reason

Posted in Sports TV at 11:00 pm by

Salutations to ESPN on their wildly education “50 States In 50 Days” feature, currently wowing the nation nightly on “SportsCenter”. Cynics might call these corny vignettes just another way to prop up the career of that great Canadian singer/songwriter Bryan Adams, but that just isn’t so.

For instance, last night’s Texas segment including the fascinating factoid that the teaming metropolis of Dallas was the place where J.R. Ewing was shot.

No one else of note has been blown away within Dallas city limits.