Issacs : Don DeLillo’s A Fraud

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 7:08 pm by

I could mention that Mike Lupica has a fiction career, too, but there’s enough suffering in this world already. The Columnists.com’s Stan Issacs has had enough of Don DeLillo’s great baseball jones (street). (thanks to Repoz for the link).

On the occasion of the recent opening of the new movie œGame 6 written by the acclaimed and defamed novelist, Don DeLillo, let me refer to a passage from the first chapter of DeLillo™s 1997 novel, œUnderworld. It revolves around the game that has come to be known as œThe Shot Heard ˜Round the World, Bobby Thomson™s home run in the 1951 Giants-Dodgers playoff classic.

FBI boss John Edgar Hoover was at the game, so DeLillo™s overly ripe imagination has Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason and the boorish restauranteur Toots Shor sitting with him in the Polo Grounds.

Immediately after Thomson hits the climactic home run, DeLillo pens this description:

œJackie [Gleason] utters an aquatic bark, it is loud and crude, the hoarse call of some mammal in distress. Then the surge of flannel matter. He seems to be vomiting someone™s taupe pajamas. The waste is liquidy smooth in the lingo of adland and it is splashing freely on Frank™s stout oxford shoes and fine lisle hose and on the soft woven wool of his town-and-country trousers.

As if that isn™t enough, he goes on later: œFrank persists in looking down. He allows one foot to list to port so he can examine the side of his shoe for vomit marks. And, œSays Gleason, ˜Don™t™ think you™re the first friend I ever puked on. I puked on better men than you. Consider yourself honored.™ 

If it is possible to desecrate the memory of a great baseball game, DeLillo has done it. As one who was at that game, who treasures the sight of Thomson hitting that home run as one of the dearest moments in an adult lifetime of covering sports, I am appalled by the juxtaposition of the celebrities fouling the pages and my memory. I say DeLillo is a blackguard, a wretch, a disgrace, a good-for-nothing miscreant and more than anything else, a fraud.

I™ll note that one critic has called DeLillo œThe great American novelist. And that another has described him as, œAmerica™s greatest unread author.

I don™t care what the critics think of him. I just wish he™d attend to his artistry without having to rely on the built-in interest of great baseball games to whet people™s interest.

Accused Kid Fucker Pioneers New Defense Strategy

Posted in The Law at 5:25 pm by

When the going gets tough, defense attorneys get desperate. There’s the time-honored “she asked for it” defense. Robert Chambers’ innovative “rough sex” defense. Mike Tyson’s baffling “she should’ve known what would happen” defense.

But with all discredit to the gentlemen above, the following item from the New York Post’s Laura Italiano might be a new all-time low. The first ever “she wasn’t hot enough to rape” defense.

My client made $500,000 a year,” the defense lawyer, Howard Greenberg, said after a Manhattan Supreme Court appearance for James Colliton, who is being held without bail. Colliton was a tax attorney for Cravath, Swaine and Moore, a top Midtown law firm.

“He had the wherewithal to pay for any piece of tuchus on the planet,” Greenberg continued. “And he paid that skank?”

While we can all acknowledge that everyone is entitled to a fair trial and their choice of representation, I hope that Greenberg’s friends and family are all thrilled to be associated with a man who refers to an alleged (child) rape victim as a “piece of tuchus” or “that skank”.

Mets’ Zambrano Shelled, Injured

Posted in Baseball at 5:13 pm by

Today’s ugly line for the Mets’ Victor Zambrano against St. Louis ; 2 and 2/3rds innings, 6 earned runs, 8 hits, a pair of HR’s allowed to Albert Pujols) and an to-be-confirmed hamstring strain in the Cards’ 8-6 win. Zambrano was scheduled to start New York’s 2nd game of the season, Wednesday night against Washington.

Pujols had 3 HR’s on the day, connecting off Pedro Martinez in the 3rd with one on.

RF Victor Diaz was hitless on the afternoon for New York, and is widely rumored to be starting the season at Norfolk.

Boeheim : Let’s Water Down The Dance

Posted in Basketball at 12:56 pm by

If the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament galvanizes attention for 3 weeks with a 65 team field, imagine how awesome it would be if every Division I program was invited?

Thought that’s not exactly what Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim is suggesting, let’s hear him out just the same. From the Rocky Mountain News’ Gary Holtz.

“I think this year more than ever has proven there are teams that might not get in or just barely get in that can win games,” Boeheim (above) said at a media event held by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

“In the past, years ago, I think there were always teams that maybe wanted to get in, but you really knew they couldn’t win any games in the tournament if they got in. In college basketball today . . . the quality of teams has tremendously increased and the number of teams has increased. If it wasn’t a logistical problem, I think we would have expanded the tournament a long time ago. I think we need to get by that somehow.”

Boeheim said he was in favor of an expansion of “more than one or two, but I’m not looking at 20, either. Whatever seems to fit.”

No mention from Boeheim or the author how the regular season and/or conference tournaments might be devalued a tad if the field were expanded, but Boeheim might be on to something. Making 60% of all the teams playoff eligible has worked wonders for the MLS — fast on track to becoming North America’s 8th or 9th favorite professional sports league, so perhaps the amateurs can give it a try, too.

Vescey’s Plan To Fix The Knicks

Posted in Basketball at 12:42 pm by

If you guessed that the New York Post’s Peter Vescey would’ve made a constructive suggestion on how to repair the sunken Knicks franchise prior to the current squad winning their 20th game of the season, congratulations.

The first order of business is for James Dolan to hire a confirmed planner, a person experienced at erecting franchises pre-foundation and/or rebuilding them by creating something out of perishables or nothing tangible to the unskilled eye.

Not only must this significant someone be given complete power to inflict his will and know-how on the Knicks’ extreme make-over, but the entire Garden as well.

This would abruptly end the dream portion of Cablevision’s programming.

Dolan’s superior choices are five in number – Jerry Colangelo, Jerry West, Donnie Walsh, Geoff Petrie and ex-Knick Kiki Vandeweghe (above) whose father, Ernie, played for the above-mentioned ’51 outfit. Kiki, of course, transformed the Nuggets from layoffs to payoffs in less than two seasons and is a rising free agent.

The other four have repeated success stories to their credit. Despite a year (both Jerrys, for sure) or two on their contracts I cannot envision their respective bosses impeding any such switch. Who knows, Suns owner Robert Sarver may even encourage Colangelo to follow his son’s footsteps out of Phoenix.

If selling Cablevision, the Garden and its two prime tenants, the Knicks and Rangers is out of the question, and Dolan doesn’t find any of those names appealing, I guess there’s always Pete or Rob Babcock.

(My guess is the players are praying Brown will tell his “win the right way” story walking. His reputation as a great teacher and motivator has fallen to the point where he will have to climb a ladder to reach bottom.)

With all due respect to Poison Pete, it should be acknowledged that not every portion of MSG’s empire is fucked. Last night’s loss to Ottawa aside, Manhattan’s hockey team are about to complete a strong campaign, and for the first time in what seems like centuries, have some sort of foundation in place for subsequent seasons, too.

Palace’s Jordan Vs. Dildo Duo, Dein

Posted in Football at 12:10 pm by

I’ve implied that Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan is soccer’s answer to Mark Cuban on more than one occasion. Aside from the fact that Cuban’s team might actually win something of note, I no longer think the comparison does Jordan justice. As a quote machine, he’s killing Cuban. From the Daily Mail’s Neil Aston.

“What do I think of (Birmingham City chairmen) David Sullivan and David Gold?” asked Jordan (above). “Well, what do you expect me to think of two people who sell dildos for a living? I see other clubs’ chairman as the enemy. I want to go in there and beat them up. Some of them like David Sullivan.

They are disingenuous, duplicitous and I don’t appreciate the ethics with which they do their business. I don’t appreciate the personal comments they have made to me and I don’t like the the way they do business. As for (former Palace manager) Steve Bruce, no problem. ”

It was reported that Jordan, who has pumped more than 30 million of his personal fortune into Palace, apologised to Arsenal’s David Dein after claiming that football was “a bullshit world full of bullshit people.”

“Like I would apologise to David Dein,” he scoffed. “David Dein is the kind of person who will do favours that you just don’t want. Everytime I see David Dein at a social event he has a player for me who has probably got one lege and he will do me a favour by letting me have him for twice the price. He thinks he is smooth.”

Birmingham’s Sullivan reponded to the Mail’s Neil Moxley :

“I’m flabbergasted at what Simon has said, although I’m very impressed by his vocabulary. I’ve got an economics degree and I didn’t understand two of the words he used.”

Sanity Prevails : NBA To Ban Tights

Posted in Basketball, Fashion at 2:24 am by

Finally, an act of fashion fascism that everyone can get behind. From ESPN’s Darren Rovell and Marc Stein:

League and team sources have told ESPN.com that the NBA, starting next season, intends to ban the tights sported at various points this season by several players, including three MVP candidates: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Although NBA officials are not publicly commenting on the issue, sources say that the league simply does not like the look of players wearing visible hose. It’s believed that the league office, which already has regulations in place to curtail short lengths, can unilaterally outlaw tights by simply amending its uniform code before the 2006-07 season.

Sources say that the NBA informed its 30 teams at last month’s competition committee meeting in Houston that tights would be banned immediately after All-Star Weekend. But the league wound up holding off on that ban, perhaps to avoid a new controversy after the initial furor sparked by the off-court dress code faded quickly and quietly.

Players who wish to wear tights are required to send the league a written request from a team doctor detailing a “medical need” for the leggings. That’s because the league, according to sources, believes that some players are merely wearing them because they like the look.

Davidoff The Soothsayer

Posted in Baseball at 2:12 am by

Not willing to settle for anything as mundane as preseason predictions of Divisional Champs, MVP, Rookie Of The Year, etc., Newsday’s Ken Davidoff looks into the future and tries to determine when the following milestones, amongst others, will take place.

The first woman general manager: This will mark the ultimate intrusion of the “old boys’ club” that sports’ executive suites have nearly always been. Kim Ng (above, right), assistant general manager of the Dodgers since 2002 (she worked the same job with the Yankees from 1998 through 2001), is the favorite to get the chance, but if young men can shoot up the ladder as quickly as Theo Epstein and Queens native Jon Daniels did – both were hired at age 28 – then why can’t a young woman do the same? ETA: 2007

The first use of instant replay: Man, this sure is taking a long time, isn’t it? Selig opposes it – hence the delay – but one more brutal postseason of umpiring ought to put the issue high enough on the agenda. ETA: 2008

The first player with 500 or more home runs to not make the Hall of Fame: Mark McGwire’s day of reckoning comes soonest, as he’ll be on his first ballot this coming winter. He has virtually no shot of getting to Cooperstown next July, but he’ll probably be on at least 5 percent of the ballots, in perpetuity, and such a player stays on the ballot for 15 years.

I’m going to trust in the good work of our world’s journalistic community and count on new information coming out about McGwire’s sins. And I’m going to trust, once more, in the moral fiber of the Baseball Writers Association of America. McGwire will need 75 percent support to get in. I say he never makes it. ETA: 2021

The first Mets no-hitter. Kudos to Newsday colleague Mike Casey for this suggestion. They’ve employed Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Jerry Koosman, Dwight Gooden, David Cone, Frank Viola, Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine … and not once, in 44 seasons, can anyone throw nine innings without giving up a hit? ETA: 2462

Sandormir On Internal Debate At ESPN Over Bonds Series

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 12:56 am by

Along with an item in today’s New York Times by Murray Chass pointing out the possible conflicts of interests facing former Sen. George Mitchell in his investigation of the Sultan of Surly (ie. he’s on the Red Sox board of directors and is a major Walt Disney Co. sharehoder), Richard Sandomir sheds light on unease at ESPN over the network’s mooted Barry Bonds reality show.

The emotional, sometimes angry debate within ESPN centers in part on whether it has put itself in an untenable journalistic position by aggressively reporting on Bonds’s pursuit of Hank Aaron’s career home run record while simultaneously carrying, at least through midseason, a series that provides Bonds editorial control of its content.

Other serious concerns are whether ESPN is paying for access to Bonds, who is difficult to cover, and giving him hours of time to rehabilitate his image.

“This has conflicts that need to be resolved,” said Jeff Brantley, an ESPN analyst who played with Bonds on the Giants in 1993. “Take this one: Pedro Gomez is covering Bonds on a daily basis, and if he asks tough questions, will Barry be allowed to go back at Pedro on his show?”

Vince Doria, ESPN’s news director, who admitted to having early reservations about carrying the series, said yesterday that Bonds would be “ill-served” if he uses the series to “belittle some of our people.”

Gomez, who was among those who objected most pointedly during the meeting, declined to discuss what he said. Others who cover baseball for ESPN were also said to be among the harshest critics of the series.

Doria said the reactions among the ESPN reporters, analysts, anchors and production workers included those who “felt it was a deal that we shouldn’t have made, some felt it was fine, some felt in between.”

Brantley said he was satisfied with the responses of ESPN management, but is still concerned how the series will look and if it will make the network seem, as he put it, “stupid.” He wondered if the series would stay on the air if it was substandard.

An interesting question. How long has “Cold Pizza” been on, anyway?


Amaré Stoudemire’s Biggest Problem…

Posted in Basketball, The Law at 8:02 pm by

…might not be his left knee. (from New Times, link swiped from True Hoop).

(Carnie Wilson is in no way implicated nor connected to the story above, but it’s amazing whose photo pops up when you type “Carrie Wilson” into a search engine).