09.28.05

Lowering The Expectations For NY’s Frye

Posted in Basketball at 11:11 am by

The New York Post’s Marc Berman and Fred Kerber get an early start on making certain we don’t get our hopes up about the Knicks’ new man in the middle.

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.”

Olney Spares You Trouble Of Watching CSPAN

Posted in Baseball at 11:00 am by

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney takes a wild guess about what might ensue during this morning’s Senate Commerce Commitee Steroids Hearing.

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.

Rhoden : Angelos Is A Threat To Baseball’s Integrity

Posted in Baseball at 10:44 am by

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.

Braves Clinch, Prepare For Annual Fall Disappointment

Posted in Baseball at 3:01 am by

(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.

Monaco Draw A Blanc

Posted in Football at 2:36 am by

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).

The Guardian’s titter-tastic Fiver rounds up Tuesday’s hot rumors :

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.

09.27.05

T.O.’s Headstart

Posted in Gridiron at 5:57 pm by

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).

Converse With Musical Genius – $100

Posted in Natural Disasters at 4:49 pm by

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.

Jake 2.0 : Wilson Pillories Shitty Pro Site

Posted in Blogged Down, The Mailbag, Will Leitch Sucks at 3:23 pm by

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).

Champions League Straining CSTB Eyeballs, Left Thumb

Posted in Football at 2:14 pm by

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.

Raissman : Piniella To YES?

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 12:45 pm by

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.