There’s some funny stuff over at Rock’n'Roll Confidential, but how do they manage to compile something called The Hall Of Douchebags without including Jason Starr or Keane? (link courtesy Brian Turner)
There’s some funny stuff over at Rock’n'Roll Confidential, but how do they manage to compile something called The Hall Of Douchebags without including Jason Starr or Keane? (link courtesy Brian Turner)
$750,000 to spend 6 months in close quarters with Lt. Dangle and Milton Bradley just isn’t enough, writes the LA Times’ Steve Henson.
Jim Tracy has formally asked the Dodgers for a contract extension, wanting to ensure that if he is going to endure the lean times, he will be around to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
The request came during one of several meetings the manager had recently with General Manager Paul DePodesta, sources said Tuesday. Tracy has one year left on a two-year deal that would pay him about $750,000 with incentives that could increase the value to about $900,000.
Tracy, who has a five-year record of 426-379 after a 2-0 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium, has an opt-out clause that must be exercised within seven days of Sunday’s finale. Technically he cannot shop for other jobs during that time, and teams interested in him must gain permission from DePodesta before contacting Tracy.
However, intermediaries often are used to convey interest. By the end of the seven-day window, Tracy should have a clear idea of his marketability from the many teams expected to be shopping for a manager.
After watching the Giants squander a chance to narrow the gap between themselves and the Padres, Only Baseball Matters’ John Perricone, in a calm, measured tone, pays tribute to SF starter Brett Tomko.
Tomko’s failure, his inability to hold not one, but two separate leads, his failure to get the leadoff batter out in any inning he pitched tonight, his utter and complete fumbling of his one opportunity to wipe clean the slate of a disgusting, dissappointing, deflating and demoralizing 7-15 season from hell, probably dooms his intentions to remain a Giant, and has certainly doomed the Giants of any real shot to make the last week of the season reasonably interesting
He failed. He let himself, his team and the city of San Francisco down. The Padres were reeling, down 3-0 before they could even begin to think about how tough it was to watch Trevor Hoffman blow a save for the first time in 5 months…. And don’t you believe the bullshit the Padres are saying on Sportscenter, about how they knew all along they were the better team, blah, blah,blah. They were on the ropes after Bonds went yard, big-time. They were folding.
All Tomko needed to do was get the leadoff batter in the first, and he had ‘em, 1-2 count, throwing 97 MPH. All he needed to do was shut them down, right then and there, game over, season’s worth of pressure on the Padres. Instead, he couldn’t throw strikes, couldn’t throw anything but BP fastball’s, couldn’t do his job!!
What a disgrace. Blowing 3-0 and 5-3 leads in the most important game of the season, Tomko should be ashamed of himself. If I was his teammate, I’d punch him in the mouth.
The Philadelphia Daily News’ Marcus Hayes reports on Phillies GM Ed Wade (who might not be around next year) chastising reliever Billy Wagner (who also might not be around next year) for the latter’s critique of the paying customers (who might not be around tonight).
On Monday, Wade upbraided serial fan critic Billy Wagner for the closer’s latest salvo at the Phillies’ fan base, launched Sunday. Wade has performed the chore often this season as his sensitive players find themselves the object of frustration born of a 12-year playoff drought.
“I’ve talked to players before about – you can’t turn this around,” Wade said. “It has to be about the fans. People have a right to boo.”
Wagner was uncharacteristically surly before and after Monday’s game, refusing to talk beforehand and dismissive afterward. Wade didn’t begrudge Wagner his opinions.
“At the same time, I think it’s human nature, over 162 games, every once in a while, a player will get upset,” Wade reasoned. “But it can’t be about that.”
Wagner acknowledged that Wade spoke with him, but did not comment further on the matter, though he indicated that he believed that Wade, too, gets frustrated with the demanding fan base, but just can’t say anything.
Silence seems wise, what with attendance projected to be down about 600,000 from the inaugural season of Citizens Bank Park and the Phillies again climbing uphill for a wild-card berth. With the face of the team unlikely to change much next season – Wagner can be a free agent, but he would be the biggest loss – now is no time to alienate the people who pay the salaries.
Benched on Monday for a variety of minor transgressions, Florida LF Miguel Cabrera probably said “fuck” (as opposed to “forget”), as quoted by the Palm Beach Post’s Carlos Frias.
“When I was first coming up, you were never late, never said anything. It’s a rule,” said 13-year veteran Jeff Conine. “You show up on time and work hard, nobody will say anything to you.”
Baseball players police their own, and Conine said it is time for a veteran to have a heart-to-heart with Cabrera.
“Something probably should be said at some point by someone,” Conine said. “You hope that’s all it has to be said, is once.”
Cabrera bristled at the prospect of a lecture.
“(Forget) the veterans,” he said, momentarily breaking into English to deliver an expletive. “They haven’t told me anything and they better not come tell me anything, either.
“I don’t want to hear anything else. I want to play baseball, give what I have to give on the field of play, and win. That’s all I want. . . .
“Everyone here is a grown man,” he continued. “Everyone knows what he’s doing. And I’m not going to go crazy worrying about these things.”
Manager Jack McKeon brushed off Cabrera’s comments.
“He’s only saying that because of being benched. He’ll be fine,” McKeon said. “He’ll get over that. He’s a great kid.”
Channing Frye, the 6-11 center selected ninth in last June’s draft, did not take Las Vegas or Minneapolis by storm in July. Frye showed promise with free-throw shooting (89.4 percent) and getting his shot off from the low block.
But in 10 games, Frye (above) showed up small on the boards and was plagued by fouls in virtually every contest. With Larry Brown’s first practice six days away in Charleston, S.C., Frye is unsure he’ll merit a permanent spot in Brown’s rotation, even though the club is desperate for a shot-blocking force.
“It didn’t help me confidence-wise, but it showed me what I needed to work on,” Frye said yesterday during a charity appearance at the Ronald McDonald House in Manhattan. “The biggest thing was getting used to rules of the NBA.”
Frye averaged 13.4 points and 5.1 rebounds, but that’s because players can’t foul out in the summer league. Frye averaged 5.2 fouls per game. He admitted his rebounding was subpar, but believes he played good team defense.
“I’m going to make my own history with Coach Brown,” Frye said. “If he feels I’m not ready to contribute, I’ll have to work harder. I’ll go in with a humble attitude.”
1. A senator will tell us about how much he or she likes baseball, which apparently is as important in congressional protocol as standing for and singing the national anthem.
2. Bud Selig will nod his head and agree with just about everything a senator is saying, then jab a thumb in the direction of union head Don Fehr, as if to say: You got problems with us? Talk to that guy over there.
3. A senator will tell us about how he or she rooted for (Insert Team Here) as a kid — and then mispronounce the name of said team’s star player.
4. One of the Hall of Famers who will be part of the panel will be the star of the day, with a loud pronouncement about cleaning up steroids. We think it’s going to be Henry Aaron, a friend of Selig.
5. A senator will ask a question that was asked six or seven times before.
6. Selig will say, again, that he really didn’t become attuned to the issue of steroids until the summer of 1998 — a decade after 10 years after Ben Johnson had his gold medal stripped.
7. A senator will make a joke about a current pennant race, probably involving the great states of Illinois and Ohio, or the great states of New York and Massachusetts.
8. Fehr will defend, deflect, parry, dodge, and say about a dozen times that the current testing system is working — while retreating, all the while.
9. A senator will take three minutes to explain how he started collecting baseball cards as a kid, and how he’s still annoyed with his mother, God rest her soul, for throwing out the shoebox.
10. The effort to rid baseball of steroids will move glacially, again.
After watching the torturous start to today’s grandstanding-fest, I can only hope for John McCain’s sake that if he runs for President again that David Stern doesn’t oppose him.
Tuesday’s onslaught aside, Tne New York Times’ William Rhoden is kicking a club when it’s down, down, down.
While Commissioner Bud Selig is investigating steroids and vitamin B-12, he should also investigate the Baltimore Orioles – for consumer fraud.
Until last night, when they finally beat the Yankees, the Orioles had been the embarrassment of the stretch drive. While the Mets, the Royals, the Tigers, the Blue Jays and the Devil Rays have done their part to upset the contenders, the Orioles have been the pin cushion of the playoff race, the American League punching bag, a runway for the Red Sox and the Yankees, a trampoline boosting aspirations in Boston and New York.
Before yesterday’s victory, Baltimore had lost 10 consecutive games to the Yankees and the Red Sox, four of them at Camden Yards, the place the Orioles marginally call home.
What’s so bizarre about this is that Baltimore has ceded its ballpark to New York and Boston. Last weekend, Red Sox fans were so prevalent here that it looked as if they had rented out Camden Yards for a private party.
Now Yankees fans attempted to take over Oriole Park.
Baltimore is suffering through its eighth consecutive losing season. Next year, Peter Angelos should consider putting his Orioles on the road full time – the baseball equivalent of the New Orleans Saints – and lease Camden Yards to other Major League Baseball teams.
Don’t the Washington Nationals need a slicker place to play?
A franchise can have a bad season or two or three. But the Orioles have been overcome by a culture of losing.
So how does Angelos regain the glory of a once-proud franchise?
Perhaps he should sell it.
As a result of the Orioles’ lack of effort down the stretch, the Red Sox and the Yankees have a full head of steam heading into a weekend series in Boston that could prove pivotal.
There’s even the possibility of a one-game playoff between the Red Sox and the Yankees. If that happens, Major League Baseball should play the game here, at Camden Yards, where Red Sox and Yankees fans feel comfortable.
(recited in my best impersonation of David Pinto) Congratulations to Bobby Cox, Leo Mazzone and the Atlanta Braves on clinching their 14th consecutive NL East title with Tuesday’s 12-3 demolition of the Colorado Rockies.
With the exception of 1996, the Braves have proven in each of those seaons that they are amongst MLB’s 8 best teams, much as their loyal fans have shown Atlanta to be one of the top 3 dozen baseball towns in North America year after year.
Congratulations are also due to Willie Randolph, Rick Peterson and Mrs. Jeff Wilpon. Despite a dismal early September, the New York Mets managed to stave off mathematical elimination from playoff contention until their 157th game of the season.
There’s some furious tidying taking place in the CSTB front lounge in preperation for Wednesday’s Champions League reunion of last year’s semi-finalists, Chelsea and Liverpool. All available peanut shells and crisp wrappers have been arranged in a very neat pile that is less than 30 inches tall — just call me Mrs. Doubtfire (but not to my face, please).
A friend of a friend of a friend of Mrs Thierry Henry has unwittingly revealed to The Fiver that the Gooner is a goner. A deal to bring the Frenchman to Barcelona next summer has already been done.
Nuri Sahin last month became the youngest player in Bundesliga history when he turned out for Borussia Dortmund aged 16 years and 335 days. Officials at the German club were today at a loss to explain why it took Chelsea over four weeks to make a multi-million pound offer for the midfielder.
Sir Alex of Ferguson has been entrusted with £10m and told to have another tilt at finding “the new Roy Keane.” He’s got his gimlet eye trained on Saint Etienne’s Didier Zokora, who’s not sure whether to feel flattered or not.
And Laurent Blanc (above), last seen filling in at the Trafford Devildome as a free but inadequate replacement for Jaap Stam (as opposed to the expensive but inadequate Rio Ferdinand), will be named as Monaco manager next Monday.
In a sea of interweb mediocrity, leave it to The Onion to remind us that Nick Denton just can’t buy funny. (thanks to Maria for the link).
If you donate $100 to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Brian Wilson will give you a call. He’ll also match your donation.
Not to be outdone, for a mere $19.95, Leon Spinks will call you. No word on whether or not any portion of the $19.95 goes to the Katrina Relief efforts, but let’s not assume the worst.
Following yesterday’s correspondence, Jake Wilson is still exasperated with Deadspin :
First they’re mocking MLBlogs for allowing obscene French-language postings on the site, going as far as yesterday’s exercise in poor taste to try to make their point about the lack of post moderation on there. Today Deadspin is decrying “the ugly hand of censorship” at MLBlogs after noticing that their favorite French blog is missing some key words. I guess it’s too much to ask for any consistency out of Deadspin.
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. The mensas over at Deadpsin don’t appear to have ever heard of the technological breakthrough known as the “profanity filter” and seem to be under the impression that MLBlogs has a staff of people going through posts and editing out inappropriate terms by hand. No wonder they can’t even figure out how to enable comments on their “blog.”
Well, you don’t see any comments at Gawker or Defamer, do you? It’s a one-way conversation, though you are of course, welcome to supply them with tips (though what they really need is internet access at home).
With the picture-in-picture features of the CSTB HQ incompatible with our satellite system, I’m reduced to the indignity of having to change channels to properly follow the events of Champions League Matchday 2 ;
(ESPN 2) Manchester United 2, Benfica 1
(Setanta US) Ajax 1, Arsenal 2
Unavailable on any US TV set : Thun 1, Sparta F.C. 0
In the slightly less flashy world of the Coca Cola Championship, QPR — joined by new loan acquisition Lloyd Dyer — and Milwall are in the midst of a scoreless draw at the New Den.
Citing Lou Piniella’s prior stint as a Yankee broadcaster in 1989 (and his subsequent criticism of Dallas Green), the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman suggests that current D-Rays skipper might be a likely hire for the YES Network, perhaps as soon as this autumn.
Using history as precedent, it’s obvious that having Piniella on board as a broadcaster would be appealing to Steinbrenner and other Yankee suits who put heat on Joe Torre this season. Unless the Yankees win the World Series the heat will continue. Coming out of this week with a postseason berth will not take any pressure off Torre going into next season.
So, there is one possible answer for anyone who asks (and this question has been asked over and over again), “Would Steinbrenner eat $12.8 million and fire Joe with two years left on his contract?”
With Piniella around, Steinbrenner would not have to. The perception would be that in Piniella, The Boss would have his own shadow manager in the broadcast booth. If Piniella were to work for YES, Steinbrenner would be able to keep him in the wings, ready to return to the dugout if he wanted to make a managerial change.
Steinbrenner would have a watchdog, so to speak. The nature of the job would have Piniella scrutinizing Torre’s every move. And if you don’t think Steinbrenner would be into this, remember, it was The Boss’ lieutenants who fed questions to YES reporters to ask Torre on the postgame show.
There would be no need for that with Piniella on the job. Why pass notes when you have a former Yankee manager, a possible manager in waiting, critiquing the current Bombers manager?
Then again, Piniella might not feel comfortable in that role.
Not to worry, there’s always the new Mets Network.
A: Because no one could find a copy of the Exploited’s “Fuck A Mod” on short notice.
Perhaps unfamiliar with the concept of buying low and selling high, Mets GM Omar Minaya claims that LF Cliff Floyd, CSTB’s choice for Comeback Player Of The Year Who Didn’t Testify Before A Grand Jury, won’t be shopped around this winter. From Newsday’s David Lennon.
It took almost three years, but Cliff Floyd finally has convinced the Mets he can be more than merely a bargaining chip for Sammy Sosa or Manny Ramirez. When the Mets make another push for Ramirez this offseason, which they plan to do, general manager Omar Minaya insists that Floyd’s name will not be part of those discussions.
Or any other trade talks for that matter. “I think that going into next year, Cliff is a very important part of our team,” Minaya said before last night’s rain-delayed game against the Phillies.
“Everybody knew that Cliff had great potential. The key this season is that Cliff has been able to stay healthy and play every day. He’s stepped it up to a level that he’s never done before, and going into ’06, he’s going to be a big part of our team.” Minaya, like any GM, reserves the right to change his mind, and with six months before Opening Day, he has plenty of time to be tempted. But Floyd has built a pretty strong argument for sticking around, with a career- best 32 home runs and 96 RBIs so far and seven games left to reach the 100-RBI plateau for only the second time in his 12-year career. In his first two seasons, Floyd played a total of 221 games. This year, he has a chance of reaching 150 for the first time since 1998, when Floyd played 153 for the Marlins.
On the flip side, Floyd is heading into the final season of a fouryear, $26-million contract, and has never been more attractive as trade bait. The question Minaya has to ask himself is this: How much better can he do in leftfield? Floyd, hobbled by leg injuries in his first two seasons, has even played superb defense to complement his power numbers. But as far as looking into the future, those are matters out of his control.
I’m all for giving Floyd credit for being the Mets’ 2005 c0-MVP (along with David Wright), but it would be foolish to make too much of Minaya’s statements. The club desperately needs a first baseman, a catcher and a top flight closer next year and it will take more than Steve Trachsel to bring much back in return.
Would the Giants’ 45-23 drubbing at the hands of San Diego turned out differently had WR Plaxico Burress not been disciplined by Mr. Sunshine? Jeremy Shockey thinks so. From the NY Post’s Dan Martin.
“I understand his point, but it’s really not fair,” Shockey said of Coughlin’s decision to bench Burress early. “It affects the whole team.”
Burress scored a touchdown in the second quarter, his second as a Giant. He finished with five catches for 52 yards.
“What can you do,” Shockey asked. “As players, we play. Coaches coach. But you should have your best players on the field. The whole offense suffered from him not being out there.”
“I was late to a couple of meetings,” Burress said. “He decided to sit me on the bench to prove a point, I guess. I tried to brush it off and keep my head in the game. I don’t think it helped us on that first drive. We couldn’t run a couple of plays.”
Burress, a free-agent signee from the Steelers, said he learned of the move just hours before the game when he was reviewing the playbook in his hotel room.
“Sometimes things just happen,” said Burress, who added that he was tardy by Coughlin’s rule that dictates you need to be five minutes early to meetings.
(had Burress turned up early, he’d have been present for an inspirational screening of Coach Coughlin’s favorite film)
Perhaps inspired by the Orioles’ new policy of sending their supertar players home early, Jack McKeon has sent cranky A.J. Burnett packing. The Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer and Barry Jackson report thatthe Florida skipper might not be around much longer, either.
Jack McKeon has decided his future, and most indications are it won’t involve returning as Marlins manager for the 2006 season.
Although McKeon has not yet met with team owner Jeffrey Loria, at least one member of the front office believes McKeon will not return as manager, a league source said.
Already, New York Yankees bench coach Joe Girardi has been mentioned internally as a likely Marlins target to replace McKeon.
McKeon, who guided the Marlins to a World Series title after taking over in May 2003, said he has made up his mind about his future with the club but wanted to wait until the season was over to announce his plans.
”When the proper time comes, I’m going to tell you,” McKeon said.
McKeon’s agreement with the team allows him to remain on the payroll as a consultant next season, assuming he does not return as manager.
The Marlins are one of the several teams expected to pursue Girardi, a former Cubs and Yankees catcher who is considered one of the game’s bright young managerial prospects, according to league sources.
Other candidates who will be available include Lou Piniella (who is leaving Tampa Bay), former Marlins manager Jim Leyland (who wants to return to managing) and ex-Mets skipper Davey Johnson (whose name was linked to the Marlins in a recent report in The Sporting News).
And that’s only because “Gang Green In Talks With Jeff George” is seven words.
Porcine pornmeister Al Goldstein is off the hook for allegedly stealing $54 worth of colitis-related books from a Barnes & Noble last year.
A Manhattan judge yesterday dismissed shoplifting charges against the former Screw magazine publisher after defense lawyer Charles DeStefano said the books were for Goldstein’s sick wife, that Goldstein himself is not well, and that a trial would become a “circus.”
The last time he was on trial ” in 2002 for harassing his secretary ” the lithium-popping Goldstein came to court in prison stripes, threw a chair at his judge and called zany actor Al “Grandpa” Lewis as a character witness.
Goldstein, 69, suffers from diabetes, sleep apnea and depression, and had turned down a plea deal for 90 days in jail. The down-on-his-luck ex-publisher is currently writing for booble.com.
Besides booking postseason vacations, the Dodgers are spending their abundance of idle time working Sudoku puzzles, grids that must be filled so each row and column contains the digits one through nine.
Outfielder Jose Cruz Jr. started the clubhouse craze, and he makes copies and passes them out to everyone from rookies to veterans to coaches.
(it should be stressed that hardly anyone has broken their wrist playing Sudoku)
So exactly what is it about Curt Schilling that generates such contempt from his teammates? Having left few friends behind in Philadelphia and Arizona, an unattributed quote has Schilling wondering about his place in Boston writes the Globe’s Bob Hohler.
Less than a year after Schilling risked his career to help the Red Sox capture their first world championship in 86 years, he is plagued by the guilt and despair of failing to fulfill the expectations of his fans and teammates. It also hurts that at least one teammate has suggested that Schilling has unfairly escaped the public wrath that other Sox players have endured for their disappointing performances.
In his bleakest hour, Schilling indicated, he has imagined a better life after baseball. That moment came after a teammate, whom he declined to identify, complained that Schilling should have received more grief than he has from fans for underachieving. Schilling was stung.
”Somebody on this team wants me to get booed to make them feel better, and that really bothers me a lot,” said Schilling, 38, who hopes to pitch two more years. ”Those are the kinds of things that really make me look at this game and understand that when I’m done in the game, I’ll be done with the game.”
Schilling said he suspected the same teammate gave an anonymous quote to the Herald last week in which he aired a similar gripe. Citing the lack of a public backlash against Schilling for his subpar season — the Sox ace is 7-8 with a 5.89 ERA — the player was quoted as saying, ”When he comes into the game, people cheer him like he’s the Pope? You think they’d let Pedro [Martinez] get away with this? Why does he get a free pass?”
Schilling made no secret of his anger at the criticism, even if it came, as he suggested, from ”somebody who’s not wired right.”
”As much time as we spend together, you think you know someone,” he said. ”But more times than not you find you really don’t.”
Jim Hoffman kindly refers us to the following item from Female First :
Hollywood actor Tom Sizemore is to release a series of his own home-made sex films.
The ‘Saving Private Ryan’ star, who filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, is bringing out several tapes he made with nine different women, some of which have already been leaked on to the internet, to try and raise cash.
Porn industry sources claim the actor could make millions from the illicit recordings due to the massive current interest in celebrity sex tapes. Sizemore is the latest star to feature in a home-made sex tape.
Who, pray tell, are these “porn industry sources” and why didn’t they just say Tom was in line to earn billions?
Then again, if there’s any footage of Sizemore getting it on while wearing the Pete Rose/Beatle wig, this could be quite the cash cow.
(Tom assures Peter Bogdanovich that the “deleted scenes” from “Hustle” are purely for his own entertainment)