10.28.05

Scooter Indicted

Posted in Baseball at 12:53 pm by

About time, too. I hope they give that annoying little fuck the electric chair.

3rd and 4th Biggest Cities = Worst Ratings Ever

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 11:02 am by


(ariel view of a town that isn’t NY or Boston)

Despite being bigger than, say, St. Louis or San Francisco, Chicago and Houston came up terribly short in World Series ratings bragging rights (though why this really matters to anyone besides Fox and their advertisers, I dunno). From the Associated Press:

The Chicago White Sox’s first world championship in 88 years was also the lowest-rated World Series ever.

Chicago’s four-game sweep of the Houston Astros averaged an 11.1 national rating with a 19 share on Fox. That’s down about 7 percent from the previous low, an 11.9 with a 20 share for the 2002 World Series between the Anaheim Angels and the San Francisco Giants.

While the 2002 World Series, which went seven games, rated higher overall, it was only averaging an 11.0 through four games.

However, this dark cloud for Rupert Murdoch has a silver lining:

Wednesday night’s 1-0 Chicago win had a 13.0 preliminary national rating with a 21 share. It was the highest-rated prime-time show on Fox since the final of “American Idol” in May, but still not enough to save the series from being the lowest-rated.

End Of The Line For Andleman?

Posted in Sports Radio at 11:00 am by

The Boston Globe’s Bill Griffith reports today that Sporting News Radio has decided to end all locally-based programming on Boston’s WWZN.

Said move means that this afternoon’s Breeders’ Cup preview could be the final broadcast in the long, illustrious career of legend-in-his-own-mind Eddie Andleman. If the radio listeners of the Boston area are lucky, that is.

The station launched in the fall of 2001 with hopes of carving a sports audience in a Boston market dominated by WEEI (850 AM). It paid a lavish amount for the Celtics’ radio rights and put on high-profile shows with Andelman and Sean McDonough (”The McDonough Group”). However, then-GM Mike Kellogg wasn’t able to complete his vision of all-day local programming before SNR pulled the funding plug, leaving the station struggling to stay afloat and pay the Celtics’ rights fee.

The Zone got out from under the Celtics deal this season when WRKO (680) bought the rights.

But it apparently didn’t happen in time to save the local operation.

Pataki Cancels Halloween For Pedophiles

Posted in The Law at 10:43 am by

From the New York Daily News’ John Mahoney.

The worst of the state’s convicted perverts have been ordered to make themselves scarce on Halloween, the Daily News has learned.

Under rules to be enforced by the state Division of Parole, registered sex fiends must abide by a curfew that begins at 3 p.m. Monday and runs until 6 a.m. Tuesday.

They also are barred from wearing masks or having any interaction with young trick-or-treaters who ring their bell.

“As a parent, I know that nothing is more frightening than the prospect of someone preying on your child,” Pataki said. “That is why we have directed the state’s criminal justice agencies to do everything in their power to make sure our children are safe from sexual predators on Halloween and every day.”

The new restrictions apply to 270 Level 3 sex offenders – the worst of the worst – in the five boroughs and 539 in the rest of the state, officials said.

To make sure the convicted molesters and rapists get the message, Pataki said parole officers will be knocking on their doors and calling their homes “throughout the night.”

So if it wasn’t tough enough to be a registered sex offender, now these troubled individuals will have to cope with the inevitable vandalism that will occur when furious kids from their neighborhood realize they’ve bailed on their candy-giving responsibilities.

Of course, they should’ve thought of that before they joined they seminary.

Vescey Buries Byron Scott

Posted in Basketball at 10:33 am by

Not even a period of Katrina-enforced exile in Oklahoma City is enough to spare Hornets coach Byron Scott — a favored target during his days in New Jersey —- from the NY Post’s Peter Vescey.

Lord Bye-Ron, you may recall, was jettisoned by Jersey just after the mid-point of the season before last. Not even the Nets’ 101-63 regular-season record during the previous two ” highlighted by a Final Frolic in 2003 ” was enough to save Scott.

Finally, after endlessly ignoring how harmful to his team’s health his coach had become, Nets president Rod Thorn made his Dread Scott Decision in favor of no-experience Lawrence Frankincense who nearly went undefeated for the remainder of the season, that’s how giddy Jason & The Argonauts were to see Bye-Ron beheaded.

Scott, by all accounts, was (choose one):

a) A lazy lump;

b) Dangerously smug;

c) Out-coached and simply out of it;

d) Any combination thereof.

Scott took over as head coach of the New Orleans Hornets prior to the 2004-2005 season . . . and promptly guided them to a franchise-worst 18-64 record.

As putrid of they were/are, the Hornets did/do have some marketable members. Chief among them: Jaamal Magloire (above), who, despite missing 59 games last season (fractured right ring finger and back spasms), was an ’04 All-Star.

The Toronto native, entering his sixth season, was actively sought by the Raptors prior to last June’s draft (the price of two No. 1s, management felt, was too stiff) and remained a coveted commodity during this past offseason.

Yours truly, the hack journalist, had the temerity to type such blasphemy into last Sunday’s column. Sources had told me there was ongoing trade conversation with numerous teams re Magloire. Bye-Ron responded by telling the local (temporary digs of Oklahoma City) and New Orleans media that I have no clue what I’m talking about and never have.

Three days later, Magloire was traded to the Bucks for former Oklahoma State standout Desmond Mason, an ’06 first-rounder and cash.

Jim Bower, a recent GM replacement for the terminated Allan Bristow (the club erroneously announced he left for medical reasons), openly admits the Bucks’ offer was just one of many proposals. In fact ” perish the thought ” the Hornets had actually initiated some of the discussions.

Meaning, either Bye-Ron is completely out of the loop or he’s terminally fruit loops. Either way, he ought to consider coming off the golf course more often or, at the least, subscribe to The Post on line so he can keep up to date with what his team is trying to do.

“What I meant to say,” Scott hedged, “is we wouldn’t trade Magloire for Jackie Mason. And another thing; Malcolm-Jamal Warner isn’t going anywhere.

For his part, Mason was quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Charles F. Gardner, calling the Bucks liars.

Mason, who played for two-plus seasons in Milwaukee, focused his anger on Bucks general manager Larry Harris and owner Herb Kohl in a radio interview aired on WAUK-AM (1510).

Mason called Harris “a snake in the grass” and said he “flat out lied to my face” about the chances of being traded, even after the Bucks signed free-agent forward Bobby Simmons during the summer.

After the Bucks’ practice Thursday, Harris said the deal came together quickly early this week, after the general manager had a Pfister Hotel coffee shop session with Sen. Kohl on Monday morning. Harris had become concerned about the Bucks’ depth at power forward and center, but he denied he was shopping Mason to other teams.

“Certainly, no one wants to be called that,” Harris said of the “snake in the grass” comment. “All I can say is I know he has a great passion for Milwaukee. It was a shock to him when I phoned him, I knew that.

“Obviously, he’s a very emotional young man. It’s the nature of the beast, and we move on.”

In an interview with radio host Steve Haywood, Mason said: “It’s hard for me to say this about somebody, but Larry’s a snake. He’s a snake in the grass. I thought my situation with Seattle (being traded to the Bucks in 2003) was tough.

“The magnitude of things that Larry Harris told me this summer, this season, all those things. I mean, he told me a lie to my face.”

Sox Snub Minnie

Posted in Baseball at 10:08 am by

Though they managed to issue credentials to that great baseball legend Steve Perry, the White Sox came up a little short with one of their all-time greats Wednesday night. From the Chicago Tribune’s Fred Mitchell (thanks to Jay Strell for the link) :

On a night when Major League Baseball announced its all-time Latino Legends team, longtime White Sox star Minnie Minoso was denied admittance to the team’s locker room Wednesday to join in the World Series celebration at Minute Maid Park.

“They won’t let me in; they say they don’t know who I am,” an exasperated Minoso told this reporter as credentialed media, players’ wives, children and various peripheral members of the White Sox organization and MLB paraded in and around the champagne-soaked clubhouse.

Minoso, 82, a Cuban-born star who spent 12 of his 17 major-league seasons with the White Sox, has a statue of his likeness at U.S. Cellular Field. Earlier this year, the statue inadvertently was damaged by a fan. Wednesday night, Minoso went searching frantically for White Sox authorities to help him gain admittance to the clubhouse or the area just outside the locker room, but he was not made to feel like a celebrity by MLB security.

Mental Weakling Reads USA Today Sports Weekly

Posted in Baseball, Will Leitch Sucks at 2:22 am by

Not only is Will Leitch the only adult in America that admits to watching “Cold Pizza”, but he’s also the sole reader of USA Today’s Sports Weekly. At least that’s the conclusion I’ve come to after watching the net totally flip out over the following :

*-Leitch spies an item in Sports Weekly that claims an unidentified AL outfielder who took part in the postseason, recently tested positive for steroids and continued playing while the appeals process played out.

* – Mr. Irrelevant (incredibly, not a psuedonym for Will), David Pinto and the bane of all talk radio, AOL’s Sports Bloggers Live pick up the hot potato and run with it. Followed by further guessing games at Baseball Think Factory.

To which I can only advise, calm down for a minute. Any untalented, cowardly putz with a computer can repeat an unsubstantiated rumor and unfairly subject innocent public figures to crazy speculation.

Now might be the time, however, for Bubba Crosby (above) to step forward and take one for the team.

Barnet Goalkeeper Appeals Historic Red Card

Posted in Football at 1:42 am by

If Barnet facing Manchester United in the Carling Cup this week wasn’t a bizarre enough experience for the former, they can also rest assured that one of their own set a new mark at the Theatre Of Dreams. From the Guardian’s Daniel Taylor.

Ross Flitney could be found yesterday trying to clear his name after his 15 minutes – or rather 90 seconds – of fame at Manchester United on Wednesday. The Barnet goalkeeper is to appeal against the red card that sent him to an early bath despite not having a scuff of mud on his knees.

“The night before the game I dreamt that I would get a standing ovation,” the 21-year-old said yesterday. “I even told the lads. But I never imagined I would be clapped off because I had been sent off within 90 seconds. All week I had been living for the occasion. It had been a dream of mine to play at Old Trafford since I was a kid and within two minutes it was snatched away. I’m still speechless about it.”

If it is possible for Flitney to take any positives out of a thoroughly chastening experience, he could try to console himself that United’s supporters will certainly remember him for his solitary contribution: rushing from his goalline to collect an innocuous through ball only for his momentum to take him outside the area.

His red card produced the quickest sending-off in Old Trafford history, but a place in the record books was of little consolation to Flitney as he sat crying in the away dressing room. “I don’t just feel bad for myself, I feel bad for all the boys,” he said. “I was expecting a yellow card and I was so shell-shocked when he got out the red I can’t remember anything from the next minute or so. I just hope I get another chance one day.”

Manchester United icon, Northern Ireland international and onetime European Player Of The Year (1968) George Best is suffering from internal bleeding from a bowel infection. Best, 59, one the most notorious playboys and drinkers of his generation, is supposedly in critical condition, with numerous publications and online outlets already preparing their obituaries.

10.27.05

Of Course, That’s Only $200K In Real Money

Posted in Gridiron at 11:39 pm by

Congrats to someone who was paid for attending a CFL game. Other than Warren Moon, Doug Flutie and Lawrence Phillips, that is. (Disclaimer : your author once owned a Toronto Argonauts jacket…and had to stop wearing it in London because everyone thought I was working for the Argos catalog store).

There’s no truth to the rumor, by the way, that the Philadelphia Eagles have cut Jose Cortez and signed Mr. Diesbourg.

In all seriousness, the CFL is 12 man-tastic. Congrats to the Argos on clinching their first Eastern Division title since the Doug Flutie era by beating Hamilton, 34-11 this evening.

Rangers Kill Penalties, Islanders

Posted in Hockey at 9:35 pm by

Rangers 3, Islanders 1

Is going 0 for 11 on the power play any worse than, say a National League championship club going 0 for 30 with runners in scoring position? You can ask Islanders coach Steve Stirling, though he is quick to remind fans who write to him c/o of the club’s website, “I’ll read anything an Islander fan wants to tell me. Just keep in mind two things: I’m the coach, not the GM.”

Mike Piazza’s close personal chum Zakk Wylde (shown above, circa the extensions-era) opened the evening with his six-string rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” — apparently no one at Cablevision could find Liz Phair’s telephone number.

Not a great night thus far for Todd Bertuzzi’s line versus the Avalanche, though on the bright side, they’re all playing hockey and aren’t in jail.

Latino Baseball History For Dummies

Posted in Baseball, Will Leitch Sucks at 7:14 pm by

Baseball scholar Will Leitch wrote earlier today,

The Boston Globe brings up something about Red Sox great Ted Williams we™d never heard before: He was of Mexican ancestry on his mother™s side. This is mentioned in the context of last night™s œLatino Legends ceremony before the White Sox™s World Series win, in which the all-time Latino team was announced.

Indeed, the Splendid Splinter’s ethnic background is an interesting subject. Or at least it was last August when was raised by Newsday’s Les Payne, amongst others, if not more than 5 years ago when the Sacramento Bee’s Marcos Brenton proclaimed Teddy Ballgame “the greatest Latino player of all time”.

Coming soon in a future Leitch entry : Rickey Henderson sometimes speaks in the third person.

Rock’n'Roll Death Wish

Posted in Baseball, Rock Und Roll at 6:56 pm by

The painful tale of Bronson Arroyo’s musical sideline has been mentioned before, but never in such excruiciating detail. From the Boston Globe’s Robert Carrol.

”It was 1992 and I was 15 years old when I heard the Stone Temple Pilots,” said Arroyo. ”I heard ‘Plush’ and it got me going on music.”

Slowly, Arroyo built a music collection around bands such as STP, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam — groups that zeroed in on teenage angst. ”It’s funny that I enjoy listening to songs that are, well, depressing,” he said, ”because I have nothing to complain about in my life.”

”Things changed the day I was in the studio working on a Stone Temple Pilots song when this sound tech that used to work for the band comes over to me and says, ‘Man, you sound just like Scott,’ ” referring to the band’s lead singer, Scott Weiland (above). ”That gave me a boost.”

AT&T Hangs Up On Proud But Brief Bay Area Tradition

Posted in Baseball, Ugly New Stadiums at 6:34 pm by

SBC’s merger with AT&T means the Giants’ ballpark, originally named Pac Bell, is likely to undergo its third name change in 6 years. Say it ain’t so, writes The San Jose Mercury News’ John Ryan.

Oh, the memories of the halcyon days of our youth, those many months at SBC Park, where you could get a hot dog for 120 nickels, the beer was warm, and a sliver the left-field line was visible from inside the Coke bottle slide. First Ebbets Field goes, and now the heart-wrenching end of this tradition.

What we’re really waiting for is Jon Miller’s reaction. When the name switched over this year, Miller used it sparingly on the broadcasts. In May he told the Mercury News’ Daniel Brown, ”I want to reflect the way people think of the ballpark. I don’t want to sound like some mindless zombie, some automaton, who got reprogrammed to say SBC Park. For me and for the fans and for my son, it’s still Pac Bell.”

Bertuzzi Skates Tonight, Moore Doesn’t

Posted in Hockey at 5:34 pm by

With the Canucks visiting the Avalanche tonight, Todd Bertuzzi will make his first Denver appearance since his attempt at scrambling the brains of Colorado’s Steve Moore. The Rocky Moutain News’ Terry Frei wonders what, if anything, has been learned since then.

We’re supposed to pretend that because the NHL reinstated Bertuzzi, his assault on Moore should be as if this is some driving violation, wiped off his record and out of our consciousness after the lapse of “x” number of months? That’s not about Bertuzzi.

That’s about a sport unwilling to hold itself up to ruthless self-examination, and not just to forget the lessons learned – but to never learn them at all. And it’s about fandom and media too often willing to allow the cacophony from the brainless (“If you disagree with me, you don’t understand the game!”) to drown out the thoughtful wing of hockey followers who believe their game can be better.

Think of how ridiculous it is that the Canucks took so long to pick their spot to avenge Naslund. And then it didn’t take much longer in the grand scheme for the Avalanche to all but forget a teammate in a pool of blood, with fractured neck vertebrae and a concussion that won’t go away? What should that say to Colorado’s Dan Hinote? Yes, in a sport of considerable player movement, the bonds are easily and instantly dissolvable, but you at least should pretend that perhaps career-ending injuries that happened to you in a Colorado uniform aren’t the same as being sent down to Hershey. Otherwise, the relentless attempts within the hockey culture to avoid the promotion of stars and to highlight a one-for-all team identity are completely hollow.

The Avalanche’s indifference is the most curious, of course, but it is part of a league-wide collective shrugging of shoulders. Even Hockey Canada, which airs wonderful television ads promoting “respect” in its sport, from the stands to the rink itself, sent mixed messages by taking roughly sixteen-thousandths of a second to invite Bertuzzi to its Olympic orientation camp after the NHL reinstated him.

It’s time to move on? OK, fair enough.

But to what? The “moving on” seems to have more to do with amnesia and rationalization than forgiveness and a feeling that Bertuzzi had been penalized enough.

Seperating Church, State and The Eagles

Posted in Gridiron, Lower Education, Religion at 1:20 pm by

From the Associated Press :

The principal of a public high school apologized to parents for allowing a Christian-themed assembly that featured two Philadelphia Eagles players, saying he was misled about what the presentation would cover.

Principal Emmanuel Caulk of Newark High School wrote in a letter that he expected the talk by players Tra Thomas (above) and Thomas Tapeh to focus on “values, choices and challenges that adolescents face in today’s society.”

He said promotional material used the name “Tra Thomas Promotional Tour,” and he did not know Thomas was founder and spokesman for Athletes United In Christ.

A projection of that organization’s logo was shown throughout Tuesday’s assembly, and the athletes urged students to attend an upcoming rally and concert at a Philadelphia-area Christian center.

Thomas said he assumed everyone knew his promotional tour was connected to his organization, but he has heard similar complaints after speaking at other public schools.

“What we’re trying to do is to help the kids make better decisions in life. I guess I understand,” why some people objected, he said, “because you have other religions there. But we’re not preaching to the kids.”

There’s no truth to the rumor, by the way, that newly signed Eagles K Jose Cortez has been asked to speak at Newark High’s Career Day.

Massaroti : Larry’s Smearing Theo

Posted in Baseball at 12:05 pm by

As the Red Sox continue their negotiations with GM Theo Epstein, the Boston Herald’s Tony Massaroti accuses Boston president Larry Lucchino of burying his young protege.

Lucchino (above) seems to fancy himself as a maker of men, a Bill Walsh of baseball who has blessed the game with select disciples. He likes to take credit for most everything his followers do “ from San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers to Epstein “ and all is well and good until the boys become men, until they want to actually have an identity.

When that happens “ and it is happening here now “ Lucchino pounds his fist and puts those disrespectful little twits in their place, just to remind them that Big Daddy brought them into this world and he can certainly take them out.

In the interest of disclosure, let us rewind for a moment. In the last few days, most recently in the Globe (which has more invested in the Red Sox than anyone but John Henry), it has been reported that Epstein rejected the Sox’ latest contract offer, though the sides continue to talk and are expected to have some resolution in the next day or so. The latest proposal was for three years at $1.2 million per, which is the kind of information that comes out when real negotiations have given way to mud-slinging and damage control.

That said, some things need to be made clear. The first is that the media is a very dirty business; on some level, we are all compromised. The second, as one longtime observer once pointed out, is that Lucchino is a political animal. The Globe owns the Red Sox which means the Red Sox own the Globe, which is not a criticism as much as it is a statement of fact. The same is true of WEEI, or at least parts of it, which is currently in negotiations for Red Sox broadcast rights and compensates Lucchino for a weekly radio segment.

So, for an assortment of reasons, the two most powerful media outlets in New England are not about to challenge the words or methods of Lucchino and the Red Sox. (Not really.) And that is OK so long as we recognize there are conflicts of interest everywhere now and the truth will be distorted as a result of it.

That is why, as much as ever, we should hope this remains a two-newspaper town.

All of that brings us back to the Red Sox, Epstein and Lucchino, the latter of whom’s behavior is growing astonishingly predictable. When the Red Sox failed in the Alex Rodriguez negotiations “ and thank goodness for that “ Lucchino blamed the players’ union. When the Red Sox traded Nomar Garciaparra, members of the Red Sox (guesses, anyone?) leaked information to make the shortstop out to be the villain. And now, in the worst transgression of all, Red Sox management is smearing one of its own in the most sacrosanct negotiation, one that should have been conducted exclusively within the gilded walls of the front office at 4 Yawkey Way.

No matter the ownership, in the often petty and sometimes tactless history of the Red Sox, this is a new low.

Roy Horn Toilet Update

Posted in Going To The Zoo, The World Of Entertainment at 11:26 am by


(a heavily sedated animal, above, with Siegfried. In the center, a big scary tiger)

From Court TV’s Lisa Sweetingham.

The bodyguard who once protected tiger tamer Roy Horn of the Siegfried & Roy magic duo claims that Siegfried Fischbacher is a “tyrant” who overmedicates and humiliates the ailing Horn, who is still recovering from a tiger-mauling incident.

“Siegfried was a tyrant and had loud, explosive outbursts at the plaintiff and at Roy,” says the civil suit filed by Louis Mydlach, a former Siegfried & Roy insider.

“[Fischbacher] forced Roy to take medication, even when Roy begged to not be medicated,” the suit claims.

Siegfried is also accused of refusing to hire competent medical workers to look after Horn’s day-to-day needs, and painting a picture in the media of the “amazing physical rehabilitation of Roy” when those close to the star knew “it was all propaganda.”

Mydlach says his role changed from that of security guard to caretaker, “in all the undignified matters concerning his debilitating condition … including personal care cleaning, bathing and various bathroom duties.”

Though I can’t speak to the alleged mistreatment of Mr. Horn, I do have to wonder about Mydlach’s competency as a bodyguard. Not only was he incapable of saving Roy from a vicious tiger attack, but he was also proven to be useless when it came to stopping a drive-by shooting carried out by a former Oakland Raiders placekicker.

If you’re so inclined, here’s a trip down memory lane with S&R.

Phillies Consider Arbuckle

Posted in Baseball at 11:12 am by

Admittedly, not the same Arbuckle, but I couldn’t resist.

Mariotti The Skeptic Pays Homage To The White Sox

Posted in Baseball at 10:50 am by

Not only is the baseball season over, but we’ll have to wait another 5 months before the Chicago Sun-Times’ Jay Mariotti (above) pens another column suggesting Ozzie Guillen isn’t fit to manage.

A Chicago team, I’ve always said, finally will win it all when we least expect it. We expected the Cubs to win in 2003 because they had the requisite big names. But they collapsed when the heat was on, as opposed to the Sox, who recovered and conquered October like few teams in baseball history. Their 11-1 postseason record matches the 1999 Yankees’ as the best record in the division-series era and ranks in the modern era behind only the 1976 Big Red Machine, which went 7-0. Dating back to those nervous nights in Detroit, one full month ago, the Sox lost one game.

Once.

What they did, thanks to the feisty leadership of Guillen and foresight of Williams, was write a new blueprint on how baseball might be played in the post-steroids era. They wanted selfless players and didn’t care where they came from — America, Japan, Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico. With everyone obeying and respecting the yakkety Guillen like some cult figure, the overhaul worked like few we’ve seen.

There was one star, Paul Konerko, and a Mount Soxmore rotation. Otherwise, solid players fulfilled roles splendidly and played smallball, bigball, whatever was needed — but always smartball. If you had told me Jermaine Dye, Magglio Ordonez’s marginally received replacement, would be Series MVP, I’d have giggled loudly.

World Series Game 3 – Classic Or Dud?

Posted in Baseball at 10:00 am by

Apparently, some great relief pitching by both teams and game-saving (at the time) DP’s started by Brad Ausmus and Morgan Ensberg don’t count for much. In the opinon of ESPN’s Buster Olney, Tuesday night’s marathon was “just awful baseball”.

The actual baseball was terrible, with the pitchers dominating hitters in a way you rarely see except in games when some of the players haven’t advanced through puberty yet.

To say that the Astros’ hitting was ineffective would be like suggesting that Enron had an accounting problem. The Houston batters — seemingly pressing to the point of being numb — rarely even hit the ball hard. Some of that was due to the stuff of Bobby Jenks and the guile of Orlando Hernandez, but there were multiple situations in which all the Astros needed was a groundball of 100 feet, a fly ball of 250 feet. Anything. Houston had one hit in its last 33 at-bats. It wasn’t as if the White Sox fielders were diving all over the place and making great plays, the way they did against the Red Sox in the first round. If they had, the game could have been a classic. The Astros just generated a lot of bad at-bats. It was if the fans at Minute Maid Park weren’t sure how to react. The fans stood, inning after inning, cheering and then going quiet, time and again.

The writers in the press box were tortured, as well. Deadline after deadline passed and as time went on, the number of writers standing at their computers grew, many of them having been told that the last run of their newspapers had begun, and there was no chance to get their stories in the morning paper. But then, nobody was really complaining. Unless you were writing for the papers in Chicago and Houston, there really wasn’t much compelling in Game 3, even as the list of broken records — most pitchers used, longest game by time, etc. — lengthened.

The instant that Blum’s homer cleared the right field fence, the noise made by the 30 guys in the White Sox dugout hovered over all of them.

So there you have it. A battle between the AL and NL champs — with both clubs working their way out of jams right until the very end — actually sucked, because journalists were missing their deadlines (indeed, the press area in the left field grandstand had cleared out well before the 14th inning — nice seats, too). If the Astros struggled to execute against the likes of El Duque and Jenks, well, should a World Series hopeful really have their season riding on Orlando Palmiero? You could say the same of Geoff Blum, really.

Anyhow, this game was so boring that “SportsCenter” devoted its entire opening 10 minutes Wednesday night to recapping the key plays — highlights they’re usually able to cram into a few minutes, max.

Local radio in these parts was dominated by guys whose programs didn’t start until 3pm, complaining about how hard it was to stay up. Which is a nice twist for a future Phil Mushnick column ; the real problem causing games to run late isn’t MLB’s corporate greed. Rather, it’s the Houston Astros’ inability to score any runs.

Renowned Drug Fiend Pens New QPR Anthem

Posted in Football, Rock Und Roll at 12:51 am by

I suppose this means fuck off, Pigbag, then.

” I’ll be, I’ll be there/And just before I hit the bar/With the ghost of Rodney Marsh in his pre-smug pundit days/ Before he sold Rangers down the Swanee/With Gerry Francis’s offshore money/ It’s a toss-up between Mick Jones/And a consortium from the Middle Eastern equivalent of Barrett Homes /I’ll be, I’ll be there/With blue and white ticker tape in my hair/Up the Rs/Up the Rs/Up the Rs/What a life on Mars”.


(Iain Dowie reacts to the news that he’s not mentioned in Pete Doherty’s new song. Gerry Francis, right, doesn’t get off so easy.)

10.26.05

World Series Game 4 – Uribe Channels Jeter…

Posted in Baseball at 11:11 pm by

…and by that, I don’t mean he failed to reach a ground ball 10 feet to his left.

White Sox 1, Astros 0

More on this finale later tonight. For now, Juan Uribe’s running catch of Chris Burke’s 9th inning foul ball stands as the defensive play of the series. And what the heck is Don Nelson doing behind the Houston dugout? (He’s got every right to be there, mind you, it’s just a little disconcerting.)

After the Astros managed to go their final 15 innings without scoring a run (and hitless in their final 29 at bats), I’d really like to hear from everyone who still thinks they didn’t need Carlos Beltran.

Backe and Garcia (above, right) were each fantastic. Losing pitcher Brad Lidge, given no margin for error made exactly two mistakes — the sinker that wasn’t to Willie Harris, and allowing a dribbler through the infield to eventual MVP Jermaine Dye. It would really be shame to continue hearing how Lidge has crumbled — under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t have even been out there in such a situation.

Fox’s failure to turn the microphone over to Don Cooper the second this one ended is their loss. Taking nothing away from Ozzie, Chicago’s pitching coach is a riot.

I’m gonna let Tivo weave it’s pause-worthy magic while running an errand — I sincerely hope this tremendous victory brings great joy to our White Sox supporting friends, as well as providing Carl Everett with the national TV platform he’s long deserved to expouse his unique theories on, well, everything.

Addendum : XM’s Home Plate Channel is once again, right on top of the story. When Paul Konerko squeezed Uribe’s assist to clinch the first White Sox championship in 88 years, who amongst us didn’t wonder “How must this feel compared to what Rob Dibble went through when the Reds swept the A’s in 1990?”

Really, any ham and egg media outlet can resort to the most obvious postgame angles — interviewing Guillen, Dye, Jenks, Konerko, Phil Garner, Jeff Bagwell’s ex-wife, etc. But it take real visionaries to allow Dibs to wax nostalgic about the Reds visiting McDonalds when Marge Schott was too cheap to throw a party. If only Kevin Kennedy hadn’t been occupied with his Fox TV duties, he could’ve compared Guillen’s achievement with what it was like to manage in a Triple-A All-Star Game.

Comcast’s postgame coverage featured a tearful embrace between Cliff Politte and Journey’s Steve Perry. I realize that Styx is guilty of some terrible crimes against music, but this is a sad affront by any reasonable measure.

Lobbying For Butch Hobson

Posted in Baseball at 7:47 pm by

The Blue Jays are looking to hire a new manager for their Eastern League affiliate New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and the Union-Leader’s Kevin Gray proposes that Toronto consider former Red Sox 3B and manager Butch Hobson.

Hobson (above) managed the past six seasons for the Nashua Pride , not to mention those three years with the Boston Red Sox from 1992-94 , and he’s very much interested in the Double-A vacancy at Manchester.

With the Pride ownership seeking to join the short-season Canadian-American Association next season year, Hobson, a Nashua resident, would love to join the Blue Jays organization up the road. Former Fisher Cats manager Mike Basso was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse earlier this week.

It wouldn’t be Hobson’s first foray into affiliated minor league baseball. He managed Triple-A Pawtucket leading up to his position as manager of the Red Sox. He was later named manager of the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Not only is Hobson qualified, he believes he could be a perfect fit with the Fishers. Dick Scott, the Toronto farm director conducting a search to replace Basso, will be getting a phone call from Hobson today.

“Developing talent and instilling a winning attitude on and off the field is what organizations expect and demand. I know I’m good at that,” said Hobson, who guided the Pride to the 2000 Atlantic League championship. “I would like for them to consider me. I’m experienced enough, and I think my resume speaks enough for itself.”

Unmentioned by Hobson or Gray is that said resume includes a 1996 termination by Wilkes-Barre after Hobson was arrested upon receiving a Fed Ex package filled with cocaine. While Hobson certainly doesn’t deserve to be blackballed by MLB-affiliated clubs as a result, this is hardly an irrelevent point to raise, especially if you’re essentially saying “why won’t someone hire this guy?”

At least that’s what I learned from Wally Backman’s Online Journalism School.

In other Eastern League news, Sidearm Delivery reports that the Norwich Navigators have changed their name to the Connecticut Defenders. Not to be outdone, the Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish are mulling a change to the Bridgeport Bunnybrains.

Lesbian Sports History For Dummies

Posted in Will Leitch Sucks at 6:50 pm by

Mr. Historian writes,

Well, we™ve all been curious who the first high-profile athlete to announce that they™re gay would be, and now that Houston Comets MVP Sheryl Swoopes has done it, well, we guess we™re still kind of waiting.

High profile enough for you, Will?

Doug Mientkiewicz Doesn’t Need 4 Million Dollars

Posted in Baseball at 6:25 pm by

Mets 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, as quoted in this morning’s Minneapolis Star Tribune by Patrick Reusse. (link courtesy Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

The New York Mets have an option on Doug Mientkiewicz that would pay the first baseman $4 million next season.

“I don’t why they would pick up my option, but if they do, I might quit,” he said. “I’m serious. I don’t want to be back there.”

The Mets must announce a decision within three days of the end of he World Series. No doubt, they will elect to pay Mientkiewicz a $450,000 buyout and make him a free agent.

He said his preference would be to return to the Twins, who aren’t as solid with Justin Morneau at first base as everyone figured when Mientkiewicz was shipped to Boston on July 31, 2003.

“People think Gardy [manager Ron Gardenhire] and I have a big problem,” Mientkiewicz said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. He’s like an older brother to me. We get mad, yell some, but it’s because we’re both competitive and emotional.

“I always thought Minnesota was a great place to play. After a year with the Mets, an organization that doesn’t have a clue, I know that for sure.”

Mientkiewicz’ 2005 looks something like this :

275 AB’s 36 runs, 66 hits, 13 doubles, 11 HR’s, 29 RBI’s, .240 BA, .322 OBP, .407 slugging percentage. Clearly, the Mets were out of their minds when they benched the 31 year old down the stretch in favor of Mike Jacobs (11 HR’s, 23 RBI’s, 1.085 OPS in 100 at bats).