When Bobby Bonilla Said “I’ll Show You The Bronx”…

Posted in Baseball at 7:11 pm by

…this probably isn’t what he meant.

(pic courtesy of Scott Comeau)

They’re in the top of the 3rd at Fenway, Chien-Ming Wang (above) having allowed a 2nd inning solo HR to Jason Varitek that put Boston in front, 2-1. Johnny Damon managed to take the bat out of Manny Ramirez’ hands in the bottom of the third, being caught in a run down after a David Ortiz tapper back to Wang. Not only did Damon make the third out of the inning trying to advance to third with Manny on deck, he did so after after he’d already been looked back to 2nd. I suppose he figured if he didn’t draw a throw from Wang the first time, why would Giambi try to execute a simple toss across the diamond. Idiotic.

Cleveland and Chicago are scoreless after 3. As you might expect under the circumstances, Paul Konerko has the night off, the always dangerous John Gload (0 HR’s, 3 RBI’s, .147 BA in 33 AB’s) batting 3rd for the White Sox.

Mental Midget Grades ESPN’s Shapiro

Posted in Blogged Down, Sports TV at 3:36 pm by

I somehow managed to miss departing ESPN executive VP Mark Shapiro on Jim Rome’s radio program yesterday, but I’m sure host and guest spent hardly any air time whatsoever congratulating each other for their efforts in transforming sports entertaiment as we know it.

Over at the professional website that would have virtually no content were it not for the constant flirtations with ESPN employees (just send your fucking resume already!), Partyboy has a cute little list of the “hits” and “misses” during Shapiro’s tenure. Among the former, “Playmakers” (best known for being the launching pad for Omar Gooding’s eventual star turn in “Barbershop”. The TV show, not the film) and the NASCAR tear-jerker “3″ (best known for being an improvement over Barry Pepper’s performance in “Knockaround Guys”) ; on the thumbs down list, “Quite Frankly (White Journalists Resent Steven A. Smith)” and “ESPN Hollywood” (which, quite frankly, functions as a slightly less shitty TV version of a recently launched, non-ESPN website).

As always, readers are solicited for “tips”, in case the author has completely missed the boat.

It seems all too fitting that said ambulance chaser’s critical faculties are right down there with those of Bill Simmons. How can an adult with a supposedly functioning brain attempt to chronicle the most wretched moments in ESPN’s recent history without once typing the name “Tom Sizemore” or the words “You’re Playing Poker, They’re Playing You”?

Phil On The Car Phone Refuses To Reveal His Personal Details

Posted in Sports Radio at 1:07 pm by

From the The Last True Believer, Phil Mushnick in today’s NY Post :

A new policy will be in place at WFAN, effective today. Callers to the “Know-It-All and the Village Idiot Show” will now be asked, before going on the air, for their phone numbers and addresses.

Thus, callers who are, in any combination, unfairly trashed, bullied, shouted down, ridiculed and cut off by Mike Francesa and/or Chris Russo ” such as the caller Francesa buried Tuesday for providing data on MLB doubleheaders that turned out (as intelligent listeners immediately knew) to be correct ” can be contacted by program director Mark Chernoff.

Chernoff will then provide a “just between us” apology and, as a further conciliatory gesture, offer the caller a Vermont Teddy Bear (limited to the first dozen unfairly abused callers, each week).

WFAN’s public stance on what Francesa or Russo did or did not say to callers and invited guests will remain: They didn’t say it. And to prove it, WFAN will continue to fail to tape that particular segment.

(resemblance aside, not related to Phil)

Much as Francesca and Russo induce an almost instant migrane whenever I have the misfortune of hearing them, I don’t object to WFAN’s new policy. Those old enough to remember the fate of Denver talk radio host Alan Berg (above) are well aware there any number of kooks who might take exception to Mike & Chris’ radical social views.

At least that’s what I was counting on.

Tony Massarotti Casts His MVP Vote…

Posted in Baseball at 12:47 pm by

…and surprise, surprise, it isn’t for Travis Hafner. From today’s Boston Herald

Already trailing the Yankees by one game in the AL East, the Sox faced a 4-1 deficit entering the bottom of the sixth inning. They rallied for an inspiring 5-4 victory behind, largely, Jonathan Papelbon and David Ortiz, one a fountain of youth and the other an old faithful.

About Ortiz, in particular, there really is nothing we can say anymore. The designated hitter may or may not win the AL Most Valuable Player award, but there simply has not been anyone in baseball this season who has meant more to his team.

There may not even be anyone close.

“The guy’s unbelievable,” Kevin Millar said of Ortiz, who tied the game at 4 with a solo homer in the eighth inning and won it with a one-out single in the ninth. “He’s the greatest clutch hitter in the game, 100 percent. You just don’t see that. It’s not that easy.”

And what of the 24-year-old Papelbon? Slightly more than a year ago, he was pitching in the Single-A Florida State League. Now he is in the midst of a big league September during which he is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA, including a sterling, scoreless, 2 2/3-inning performance last night in which he threw 23-of-30 pitches for strikes.

Papelbon has truly been a revelation for Boston, early to the extent of New York’s Aaron Small. It would only figure that in a season where Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright have struggled, the Yankees’ savior would be an unheralded 33 year old making $300,000.

You Don’t Wanna Be Holding Out On Bob Buczkowski…

Posted in Gridiron at 12:08 pm by

…although you can probably get away with it, starting right about now.

The next time Johnny Unitas complains about the NFL pension, somebody please remind him there are all kinds of ways to make a living.

In a completely unrelated story, the AFL’s Chicago Rush have denied that Buczkowski is the new name of their club mascot.

Barker : Larry, Zeke Spat Is Inevitable

Posted in Basketball at 5:07 am by

Newsday’s Barbara Barker uses those misunderstood Hilton sisters to illustrate her point about the Knicks’ GM and his latest coaching hire.

Waiting for Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas to have their first gigantic clash of egos is like waiting for Paris and Nikki Hilton to utter their next stupid sentence. You know it’s going to happen; the only question is what it will be about.

The bet here is the honeymoon between Brown and Thomas will end sometime in training camp, after a particularly uninspiring practice. Or maybe the two will make it to the first month of the Knicks’ season before the frustration of a six-game West Coast trip sends Brown running into Thomas’ office.

Sooner, rather than later, Brown will tell Thomas that one of his beloved acquisitions, maybe even Stephon Marbury, needs to go. And the onus is going to be on Thomas this time to keep things from getting out of hand.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Stephon’s name pop up in these gloomy predictions, and I think Barker is correct, if only because Detroit will likely reject a Jamal Crawford for Darko Milicic trade proposal.


Milo Ventimiglia And John Franco, Together At Last

Posted in The Mailbag at 6:46 pm by

The New York Mets and the Mets Foundation are pleased to join former player, Todd Zeile, in a special fund-raising event to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The event features the New York premiere of the movie “Dirty Deeds,” the first film to be produced by Todd’s film production company, Green Diamond, and a post-premiere reception with a bevy of sports and film celebrities.

As a valued ticket holder, you are being offered the opportunity to join us for the film’s New York premiere and VIP party on Tuesday, October 4th. Festivities will kick off at 6:30 pm at the AMC Empire 25 Theatre (42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues) with cocktails and dinner to follow at the ESPN Zone in Times Square.

Attached please find the invitation with details on expected celebrity attendees and instructions on how to purchase tickets.

We hope to see you on the 4th!

The heck with the Division Series’, I think we’ve got Will Leitch’s Tuesday night all figured out.

Healy Polishes Glavine’s Plaque

Posted in Baseball at 6:35 pm by

FSNY’s Fran Healy, introducing Mets left-hander Tom Glavine prior to his first pitch tonight against Colorado.

“…he’s a brand new pitcher….he’s been a Hall of Famer…and he’s going to win 300 games as a member of the Mets organization.”

Hyperbole about Glavine’s improved 2nd half aside, Healy would have us believe that Glavine is the only active player currently enshrined in Cooperstown. He’s also asking us to accept that the Concord, MA native (who turns 40 next spring) will win 25 or 26 games for the Mets in 2006, despite not having won 20 since 2000 (and never having won more than 22 in a single season previously).

If this is indeed Healy’s last weekend behind the Mets microphone, he’s going out in style.

David Stern, Fashion Killer

Posted in Basketball at 5:19 pm by

(one of these gentleman can look forward to a makeover)

The Boston Globe’s Shira Springer on a move that seems solely designed to make Allan Iverson look like a square.

As part of the new collective bargaining agreement, the NBA and its players’ union devised several new initiatives designed to improve the athletes’ accessibility and professionalism. Players will be required to attend pregame autograph sessions and participate in pregame giveaways of T-shirts, hats, and wristbands. Inactive players will greet fans and community groups on game nights. The league increased the players’ minimum number of community relations appearances from 10 to 12. Players must make themselves available to the media for at least 15 minutes after practice. And among other new rules, there will be a dress code Stern expects to include sport coats and collared shirts, and exclude bluejeans. When it was mentioned that some of the league’s most highly regarded players, such as Tim Duncan, dress more casually, Stern said, ”Well, the job description has changed.”

”We’re working on a job description,” said Stern. ”It’s to help the players understand what the job is. The job is not only to go to practice and win games. The job is representing the NBA to all constituencies. Community relations. Public relations. Sponsor relations . . . Maybe for a variety of reasons we pulled back too much. Or maybe we got spoiled by a generation of players who did these things as a matter of course and as we got younger we moved away from them. So, we have to slowly remind ourselves [what to do].

”Sometimes I worry that our players’ intensity can be misconstrued and their effort can be misconstrued. They are the most intense, the most dedicated. I think the younger base of our fans understands that, but perhaps, the mid-to-older aren’t quite as attuned to it. We’d like to use our convening power to have people focus on this game and our great players, who they are and how they play, rather than their variance from some norm . . . Being neatly attired in a certain way, that’s going to be our norm.”

Red Sox Trade For Stanton

Posted in Baseball at 5:06 pm by

Knowing that a savvy veteran left hander is just what they need to counter the Yankees’ recent addition of, uh, Mark Bellhorn, Boston has acquired Mike Stanton from Washington in exchange for righties Rhys Taylor and Yader Peralta.

(Rhys Chatham, not involved in the above 3 player deal)

A 46-42 stretch was enough for the Cincinnati Reds to remove the “interim” tag from Jerry Narron, as Dave Miley’s successor was given an extension through the end of the 2006 season. No details were revealed about how much money Narron is supposed to pay the club for the privilege.