03.23.06

Look Out, Ladies : Shawn Kemp Is Back

Posted in Basketball at 2:59 pm by

Congratulations to the Suns’ Amare Stoudemire on making it back to active duty before Shawn Kemp.

From KRISTV.com

Former Seattle SuperSonic and Orlando Magic player Shawn Kemp says he’s ready to get back in the game after three years of retirement from the NBA.

The 36-year-old former All-Star retired voluntarily from the Magic in 2003, citing weight issues. During his last NBA season he weighed as much as 320 pounds. But he’s slimmed down to 270 pounds through an intensive exercise regime.

Kemp told Houston T-V- station K-R-I-V- that he sat out the whole season to get in –quote– “tip top shape to make a comeback.”

He says it’s love of the game that’s bringing him back — and he wants to some day make it into the Hall of Fame.

I dunno about the Hall Of Fame, but Peter Vescey’s next column just wrote itself.

Des Vs. The Younger, Phony Generation

Posted in Football, Sports TV at 2:43 pm by

From the Mirror’s Cameron Robertson :

Des Lynam has blasted football commentators who use foreign pronunciations for teams and players.

The TV host, 63, did not name names but attacked the “absurd” commentators who try to sound Spanish.

He said: “If somebody’s been to Marbella twice, they get this Spanish accent about things. Peru becomes Peroo, Chile is Chil-ay and Real Zaragoza becomes Real Tharagotha.

“Well that’s for them but not for us.”

Des, who quit the BBC after 30 years for ITV in 1999, currently hosts Channel 4 quiz show Countdown.

His comments came on BBC2′s Grumpy Old Man show which will air next month.

Fake accents galore will be showcased in the glory of high definition on June 9, when the BBC starts its HD trials with Germany’s World Cup opener against Costa Rica.

User Of Performance Enhancing Eyeliner Skewers Selig

Posted in Baseball at 2:25 pm by

With today’s publication of ‘Game Of Shadows’, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Jay Mariotti (above) feels he’s waited long enough for Major League Baseball to act.

I don’t want Bonds to pass Babe Ruth or break Henry Aaron’s record. I would like him to take his perpetual scowl, smarmy denials and Paula Abdul wig and immediately get out of our lives forever. I also would like the man who purportedly runs the so-called national pastime to feel the same way. The very nanosecond he heard about Game of Shadows, which alleges Bonds’ rampant steroid use in comprehensive detail, Selig should have ordered the Incredible Sulk to his Milwaukee office, surrounded him with an intimidating phalanx of authorities and power attorneys and baseball legends and demanded to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You know, about Winstrol, Clomid, Deca-Durabolin, human growth hormone, insulin, the cream, the clear, trenbolone and anything else he may or may not have injected, swallowed, rubbed on his skin or placed on his tongue.

But two weeks have passed without an announcement or much of anything from Selig, whose silence is equal parts defiance and cowardice. The longer he goes without a full-scale outside probe of Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Rafael Palmeiro — anyone and everyone for as long as it takes — the more Selig symbolizes the bloated era as the I-see-nothing lord who allowed syringes to be stuck into buttocks on his watch.

If I were Selig, I’d aggressively want to learn about everything that took place under my blind eyes. Not only is it his right to investigate, it is his responsibility to fans who invest hearts, energy and money into a game advertised as legitimate. Just as his late predecessor, Bart Giamatti, relentlessly probed Pete Rose’s gambling scandal via an outside investigator, Selig owes it to baseball’s past, present and future to do the same. He should want to know exactly who was using and who was directly or indirectly enabling, which would require shakedowns of the Cubs, Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, the managers of those teams (hello, Dusty Baker) and the internal workings of every ballclub, really.

Michiko Kakutani’s review of ‘Game Of Shadows’ can be found in today’s New York Times ; Pulitzer winner Kakutani correctly cites Howard Bryant’s tremendous ‘Juicing The Game’ as a worthy compliment to the reporting of Mark Fairnaru-Wada and Lance Williams.

I Only Play 4 Money

Posted in Blogged Down, Internal Affairs at 12:39 pm by

Metsblog’s Matthew Cerrone writes that he turned down ducats to the “Game 6″ premiere (at which, James McNew, reports, celebs in attendence included Mike Piazza’s platonic friend Eddie Trunk), telling the promo creeps, “if they wanted to reach my audience they should buy an ad through Blogads.com, like any other company looking to push a product.”

Fuckin’-a. To the right of Cerrone’s missive, there’s a Blogad for “Bloggersfuel”, a self-described “roasted-to-order, gourmet coffees designed FOR bloggers to ‘FUEL’ bloggers.”

Naturally, I am consumed with jealousy and rage that Cerrone has acquired such a classy advertiser, and can only hope that the manufacturers of “GLUE 4 BLOGGERS” will soon be in touch with CSTB, as I think I’ve got their demographic nailed.

On a similar tip, that Christ-like figure of baseball blogging, David Pinto, continues to remind his 2 1/2 billion Baseball Musings readers with every post that he’s immersed in a March pledge drive. In my opinion, compared to any other charitable endeavor you might choose from, there is no individual or organization more deserving of your money than David Pinto. The victims of Hurricana Katrina can fuck off. Likewise for Oxfam. The continued struggle of David Pinto to support himself and his family through his wildly informative blog really oughta take precedence over other trivial concerns. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly doing my part to help. When Blogads informed me that CSTB was ineligible for their program because, well, I don’t know, they never really explained it….the heroic Mr. Pinto emerged to save the day. Through a referral with Baseball Musings, Pinto collects a percentage of CSTB’s advertising revenues. Admittedly, this percentage isn’t very high, but that’s why you need to start purchasing more advertising. Even if you hate CSTB, doubt anyone is reading it and would sooner use an electric stapler on your genitals than see me spending your hard-earned cash, at the very least, you can sleep better knowing that David Pinto’s kids won’t have to go to a public school.

Thank you!

NBDL To Swallow CBA?

Posted in Basketball at 11:50 am by

My close personal friends know that the very first thing I do when I awake in the morning is check out Henry Abbott’s True Hoop. OK, that’s not entirely true. The very first thing I do is feed the dog and cats, search for some pants, check my email and Google myself to see if David Laing’s been talking shit about me again.

But the 5th thing I do every morning is check out Henry Abbott’s True Hoop. Today, in addition to being all over Alonzo Mourning’s calf injury and the amazing job the Pistons did in shutting down Dwyane Wade in last night’s likely preview of the Eastern Conference finals, Abbott links to the following story from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader’s Stu Whitney.

The National Basketball Development League is exploring the possibility of annexing the CBA’s most stable franchises – including Sioux Falls – to join the “D-League” starting in the 2006-07 season.

Other top CBA candidates to join the other league are the Idaho Stampede; the Dakota Wizards of Bismarck, N.D.; and the Colorado 14ers, an expansion team set to begin play next season in Broomfield, Colo.

“We’ve talked about this for each of the last four seasons,” CBA commissioner Gary Hunter said Tuesday. “As of right now, though, nothing is official and nothing has been signed. Nothing passed by my desk today.”

“To be honest, I think the CBA is better than the D-League,” said Skyforce guard Corey Williams. “There are more experienced players here. More call-ups go from the CBA to the NBA.”

Actually, the NBDL lists 13 players promoted to NBA teams this season, while the CBA has 12.

I’d add the obligatory “Isiah Thomas, unavailable for comment” line, but you were probably already thinking of it halfway through. Though that does remind me that “Love & Basketball” is available on DVD for just $8.61.

All Parties In Denial Over Yanks/Sox Plunkfest

Posted in Baseball at 11:28 am by

Sadly, there is no way of noting “HBP that didn’t hurt very much” in the boxscore. From the Boston Globe’s Chris Snow :

In the top of the seventh inning, a bending Mike Myers offering plunked J.T. Snow in the upper arm. In the bottom of the seventh, a David Riske splitter found Derek Jeter’s back. In the top of the eighth, the first ball to leave Tanyon Sturtze’s hand shot into Mike Lowell’s backside. And there was home plate umpire Wally Bell, walking toward the mound, pointing to each dugout, a warning issued.

”I thought it was a joke,” said Riske, who surrendered a two-run game-deciding homer in the seventh to Luis Garcia. ”I hit him with a split. If I’m going to hit someone it’s going to be with a fastball.”

Some initiation for the newest members of the Red Sox, in the only meeting with the Yankees this spring, an affair that ended 5-4, Yankees, before a satisfied 10,334 at Legends Field.

”Actually,” Sox manager Terry Francona said, when asked what he made of the parade of hit batsmen, ”I wasn’t too pleased about it. Derek got hit with a split. We knew it, they knew it.”

Sturtze, approached by reporters, said, ”I don’t care about what they get upset about. They can get upset about whatever. I was trying to come in with a fastball . . . and it just got away. I’m struggling with my location and just missed.”

Diplomatic Yankees manager Joe Torre shook his head and said, ”We’re still trying to get in shape . . . spring training.”

Depending on whether or not Mike Lowell’s full salary would be paid by the insurance company were he seriously beaned, that might be why the Red Sox (ownership) would be upset. There’s a right way and a wrong way to pitch inside, as Curt Schilling would gladly tell you if you had a spare two hours.

Kansas State Embraces The Dark Side, Hires Huggins

Posted in Basketball at 11:08 am by

It was being reported far and wide late last night that Kansas State —- a program that has made the NCAA Tournament just twice in the past 15 seasons — has hired former Cincinatti coach Bob Huggins.

The following part of the story may or may not seem curious to you : (from Sports Illustrated)

Huggins could be joined at Kansas State by two top recruits. O.J. Mayo (left), a two-time Associated Press Mr. Basketball in Ohio, said this week he and Bill Walker (left), his teammate at Cincinnati North College Hill, may sign with whoever hires Huggins. Both are juniors.

What does it say about Huggins’ messianic powers that he’s been able to recruit two of the most highly touted players in the country (in Mayo’s case, one regularly heralded as “the next LeBron”) despite being jobless? Would Mayo and Walker have followed Huggins anywhere? Did he have to check with them before accepting the K-State job?

Gary Sheffield Isn’t Here To Talk About The Past

Posted in Baseball at 1:37 am by

Newsday’s Ken Davidoff and Jim Baumbach were on hand in Tampa yesterday, as the Yankees’ Gary Sheffield responded to questions about his name popping up in ‘Game Of Shadows’.

When Sheffield — who reportedly told the BALCO grand jury in December 2003 that he unknowingly used steroids — was informed of the allegation yesterday, he loudly said, “Great!” after each drug was mentioned. When asked if it is true, he said, “Nope.”

The book, which was obtained by Newsday yesterday and will be available in bookstores today, also alleged that Sheffield attempted to maintain a relationship with Bonds’ trainer, Greg Anderson, after Sheffield and Bonds had a falling out.

When asked about that, Sheffield said, “Do you believe everything you read?”

“It don’t matter,” Sheffield said. “It doesn’t matter really. Say what you want, think what you want, do what you want, it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, it don’t stop nothing that goes on in my life or with Barry’s. At the end of the day. Period.”

Sheffield had no interest in going point-by-point with the book’s details. “What version do I need to have for you all to be satisfied?” he said.

“Like I’ve told you all before, what can I do?” Sheffield said. “I’m not going to spend the rest of my life worried about what people think about me. Think what you want … I’ve been over that. .”

03.22.06

Mets Marketing Dept. Strikes Again

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 11:40 pm by

If last week’s less than-compelling sales pitch from Jon Stewart wasn’t questionable enough, the latest spiel on behalf of the Mets ticket department by John Leguizamo (Windows Media Player required) is equally baffling.

Perhaps the employ of Leguizamo, star of such classics as “The Pest”, “Super Mario Brothers” and the George Tabb star vehicle “Summer Of Sam”, means there are further dubious Mets testimonials currently in production. Who else could be on tap? Richard Bey? Peter Steele? The girl from the old 970-PEEE ads on Channel 35? I can’t wait to find out!

Vince Young’s Latest Test Score

Posted in Gridiron at 7:19 pm by

There’s been a bit of screech mania on yack radio today over Vince Young running the 40 yard dash in a not-quite world record 4.58 seconds.

It was pointed out, for example, that other QB’s in this draft class had faster times.

With all due respect to the NFL scouting mavens, if a QB’s speed running in a straight line was the single most important factor come draft day, the Raiders would’ve given Carl Lewis the ball a long time ago (and who amongst us wouldn’t have wanted to see that?)

So Marcus Vick was faster? When trying to outrun the police, that’s probably very useful. But while trying to manuever through an opposing defense, being able to take a hit might be meaningful, too.

A scrambling QB is gonna be held to a higher standard than a pure pocket passer in this category, I understand. But the stopwatch isn’t going to measure Young’s creativity nor durability.

And besides, everyone knows the 40 yard dash is culturally biased against slow people.

Shadowy Sheff’s Creamy Scheme Exposed

Posted in Baseball at 7:03 pm by

As the Barry-bashing ‘Game Of Shadows’ hits the shelves this week, the Sultan Of Surly isn’t the only superstar implicated.

From MSNBC :

The book claims that Gary Sheffield also wanted to maintain a relationship with Anderson, even after Sheffield and Bonds had a falling out in 2002. Anderson was convicted in the BALCO steroid distribution scandal.

Sheffield reportedly admitted to a federal grand jury that he used a steroid cream in 2003, but said he did not know it contained steroids. He told Sports Illustrated in 2004 that he thought the cream was cortisone-based, and that he kept it openly in his locker. Sheffield used the cream on his injured knee.

But according to the book, Sheffield attempted to get “the cream” and “the clear” through Anderson, who reportedly kept a calendar documenting Sheffield’s use of HGH and testosterone.

Sordid stuff, but if nothing else, Sheff has to be considered a front-runner for the 2007 Comeback Player Of The Year Award.

Apology Corner : Not So Snoozy Local Blog Scoops CSTB

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, Internal Affairs at 6:07 pm by

Ahem.

In this very space yesterday, I roundly mocked Austinist’s assertion that those attending last night’s Austin Toros / Albuquerque T-Birds game would be graced with the prescence of F Marcus Fizer.

Fizer, signed by Seattle to a 10 day contract earlier in the month, was cut by the Sonics over the weekend after receving a big fat “DNP” in all 6 games on their roster.

As it turns out, Fizer returned to the Toros just prior to tip-off yesterday…in time to score an NBDL season-high 44 points in Austin’s 102-96 victory, snapping a 6 game losing streak.

The folks at Austinist have my most humble apologies. As do Marcus Fizer, Tim Floyd, Uncle Floyd and Floyd Camembert.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Steve Aschburner notes the following case of Marko-on-Mark crime.

Marko Jaric is one of six NBA players featured in a fashion pictorial in the current issue of ESPN The Magazine. In a block of copy next to his photo, Jaric allegedly takes a shot at teammate (and renowned casual dresser) Mark Madsen: “There’s nothing stylish about him.”

Jaric claimed Tuesday he said nothing of the sort, and apologized to Madsen. Madsen laughed it off.

Seems to me Marko had it right the first time.

The Sky Has Fallen : EU Rules Against Murdoch

Posted in Football, Sports TV at 3:48 pm by

Though it has already been pointed out that ending Sky’s monopoly on Premiership coverage provides no guarantee of cheaper prices or any games appearing on free terestrial stations, the European Union has dealt the Rupert Murdoch satellite service a kick in the teeth. Or a kick in the dish. Whatever.

From the Guardian’s Julia Day.

BSkyB’s 14-year dominance of live TV coverage of the Premiership is officially over, after the European Union today confirmed new arrangements for selling media rights to top-flight English football.

Sky has enjoyed a lucrative monopoly over the pay-TV rights to broadcast live Premiership football matches since the league was set up in 1992.

“The solution we have reached will benefit football fans while allowing the Premier League to maintain its timetable for the sale of its rights,” said the EU antitrust commissioner Neelie Kroes.

Ms Kroes’s office said the new commitments, starting from the 2007-08 season until the end of 2012-13 , “will increase the availability of media rights and improve the prospect of competition in providing services to consumers”.

“The commission could impose a fine amounting to 10% of FA Premier League’s total worldwide turnover if it breaks its commitments,” she added.

Under the EU deal, the league will have to divide coverage into six TV packages of equal content – and no broadcaster will be able to bid for more than five of them.

The SPL’s Hearts Of Midlothian have sacked manager Graham Rix. Though this is sad news for the former Chelsea star, he should have plenty of free time to continue his efforts on behalf of young people.

Only an 86th minute goal from Steve Cherundolo spared the US from complete humiliation against Germany earlier today in Dortmund. 4 second half goals for Jurgen Klinsman’s side were an explicit illustration of the gulf in class between the two teams ; this was as hopeless, as tacticly impotent as any American squad has looked in Europe, and that’s saying a lot.

Chelsea are about 10 minutes away from a trip to the FA Cup Semi-final ; John Terry’s 4th minute strike being the only goal thus far in this evening’s quarterfinal duel with Newcastle.

Pitino Assistant Dissed By Delaware Over DUI

Posted in Basketball at 3:10 pm by

Louisville assistant coach Kevin Williard was all but annointed the new head man at the University Of Delaware, only to have the offer rescinded over concerns about a DUI conviction two years ago. Willard’s current boss, Rick Pitino, takes considerable offense, writes The Courier-Journal’s Eric Crawford.

“They were all impressed with his honesty off the first question asked,” Pitino said. “He had a great interview. They called me up and said he blew them away, and I said, ‘I told you.’ And then he was offered the job. He wanted a day to think about it, talk it over with his wife. (Yesterday) morning he got the contract, e-mailed the contract, a letter of agreement, basically.”

Pitino said Willard (above) went over the agreement with him and was planning a news conference for tomorrow. Pitino said that an hour later Willard got a call from Roselle saying that after he had recommended the hiring to the trustees, he got several e-mails expressing concern about the DUI.

“They pulled the contract and everything,” Pitino said.

Initially, officials at Delaware would not confirm or deny Pitino’s account yesterday. Later, however, athletic director Edgar Johnson told the Wilmington News Journal that he began to have his own reservations about Willard after the job was offered.

“All night long I kept thinking about it,” Johnson said. “We just said he’s a fine young man, but you bring in a person with a DUI to our campus as a coach (pause) that’s not the image the university wants to project.”

Pitino called Delaware’s stance “unforgiving.”

“What happened was a mistake, and he owned up to it,” he said. “For this to be pulled from him is very disappointing. And I hope the board at Delaware, I hope they can look themselves in the mirror and I hope they don’t live in any glass houses.

“They just missed out on one of the finest basketball coaches I’ve witnessed in my life. But more important than that, they missed the opportunity to be around one of the finest people I’ve encountered in my life.”

Wally Backman was unavailable for comment.

Rocky Skips Chance To Grope Ellen Barkin, Pleads Ignorance

Posted in The World Of Entertainment at 2:27 pm by

Whoops.

Next week, Steven Segal blows off a drowning Ruth Buzzi, says he lacks the proper training.

Mike James Wants To Run Away And Join The Circus

Posted in Basketball, General at 2:17 pm by

Because the New York Knicks can’t possibly have too many guards. From the New York Daily News’ Darren Everson.

The best guard at the Garden last night scored 37 points, makes a mere $3.4 million and loves Larry Brown. Needless to say, he doesn’t play for the Knicks.

But Mike James sounds like he would like to. Before torching the Knicks, who lost, 114-109, to Toronto, James – a pending free agent – said he would be thrilled if the Knicks showed interest.

“It would definitely be an honor,” said James, an Amityville, L.I, product who played for Brown with the Pistons. “This is the greatest show on Earth. This is the Mecca, you know what I mean? Growing up in New York and coming to the Garden, it was an awesome feeling.”

Knicks F Channing Frye suffered a sprained left knee ligament folllowing a clumsy sequence in which teammate Nate Robinson, attempting to steal the ball from behind Toronto’s Andre Barrett, caused Barret to collide with Frye.

Great Press Releases Of The 21st Century

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 1:10 pm by

From your good friends at AT&T ;

When the SBC Center had its official name change to the AT&T Center at a press conference on January 11, 2006, the first thing everyone kept asking was when are the œSBC Center letters coming down off the front of the building.

Indeed, that must’ve been the first question on everyone’s mind. Not “who gives a shit?” or “why does my life suck so horribly that I am attending this press conference?”, but “when will the ‘SBC’ be removed from the building?”

Ben Schwartz Vs. Dr. Dusty Baker

Posted in Baseball at 12:00 pm by

MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat checks on the condition of Kerry Wood:

Wood is throwing off a mound twice in a four-day program, and progressing well. Dusty Baker said the last report he got on the right-hander was that he was “awesome.”

“I’m still going in the direction we want to go, so I can’t complain,” Wood said Tuesday.

What’s amazing is that Wood is bouncing around after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair a tear in the medial meniscus. He missed one day in his throwing workout, and that was to have the surgery.

“His knee was a miracle of modern medicine,” Baker said. “Back in our day, they [put a cast on] it. Now you’re walking around two days later.”

Replies a skeptical Ben Schwartz,

Hey Dusty — maybe you could give him a long weekend? Considering what Wood and Prior have meant to the Cubs in recent years, I’m not sure if the word “miracle” really applies here. Like North Korean cloning science, I’d say the jury is still out. This is from the Cubs web site, btw, which is also raving about Wrigley’s state of the art bleacher renovation. The good news is that the bleachers will be ready. And the best news for bleacher bums — Prior and Wood will most likely be joining you. Like Kerry Wood, “not thinking about his shoulder,” nor Derrick Lee’s this week, this makes my day go easier, too.

Nashua, NH Fast Becoming Repository For Red Sox Near-Greats

Posted in Baseball at 11:34 am by

A year after popping in and out of the headlines during his stint with the Cam-Am League’s Brockton Rox, former Red Sox P Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd remains in demand, writes the Manchester Union-Leader’s Kevin Gray.

Manager Butch Hobson, speaking at yesterday™s inaugural œBaseball and Breakfast at the Granite Inn of Nashua, said the Nashua Pride are working toward inking a contract with Boyd.

Nashua has offered the 46-year-old a contract for the 2006 season, a year in which the Pride enter the short-season Can-Am League. Last season, Boyd pitched for the independent Brockton Rox, posting a 5-5 record while walking only 13 batters in 118 innings.

There is no question the addition of Boyd would bring more fans to Holman. The Rox™ average attendance jumped by more than 1,000 fans each time Oil Can took the mound last season.

A quotable Boyd helped pitch the Red Sox into the 1986 World Series. That season, when fog postponed a game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, on the shore of Lake Erie, Boyd said, œThat™s what they get for building a park on the ocean.

Hobson believes Boyd can make a solid contribution as a strike-throwing starter.

œI think fans in this area have always adopted players that give 110 percent every time they™re out on the field. That™s exactly what Oil Can is going to give you, Hobson said. œThe guy has a genuine passion for the game. He loves baseball.

In November, Boyd made headlines off the field when he was indicted by a federal grand jury for threatening a former girlfriend. Hobson has been talking with Boyd™s agent, who believes those charges will be dropped. Nashua hopes to make an announcement regarding Boyd within the next week.

œMy gut feeling is he definitely wants to play here. Oil Can is waiting to see what™s going to happen with this case, Hobson said.

What Passes For Cool In Cincinnati

Posted in Baseball at 11:23 am by

Cincinnati, OH gave birth to the Ass Ponys, ‘The Hospital Records Story’ and The Customs. And with that history in mind, there is no excuse for the following reportage by the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay, nor the accompanying photograph.

The Reds’ coolness factor increased about 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

That’s when pitcher Bronson Arroyo walked into the clubhouse, Red Sox bag over his shoulder, energy drink in hand, blond hair fashionably swept back.

“Our karaoke team just got better,” reliever Kent Mercker said.

Graziano : Mets Need Soriano

Posted in Baseball at 11:11 am by

While there’s no shortage of other obsevers who think a trade is unlikely, the Newark Star-Ledger’s Dan Graziano is well convinced the Mets should take the disgruntled Alfonso Soriano off the Nationals’ hands.

To focus on the handful of things there are to dislike about Soriano is to lose sight of all there is to like about him. Sure, he’s going to make $10 million this year. But his salary got that high for a reason.

Soriano is, at the bottom line, a huge bat. He is a player who once drove in 102 runs as the Yankees’ leadoff hitter. He is a low on-base percentage guy, yes. But he hits home runs. Steals bases, too.

Kaz Matsui has been a mystery in his two years as a Met, but we know for certain that he is not (a) a quick healer or (b) a good second baseman. The Mets can count on his return from his latest knee injury if they want to, believing their lineup is good enough whether he hits or not. Or they can go out and get a guy who’ll give them 35 home runs, 30 stolen bases and 100 RBI.

They can throw Anderson Hernandez out there, hoping he’ll develop into an All-Star, or they can get a guy who’s already been an All-Star four times.

With the Nationals having miscalculated the strength of Soriano’s aversion to the outfield, the price should be much lower than it was last July. If it’s Victor Diaz, or even if (wildest-dreams time here) the Nats would take back Matsui and part of his contract, Mets GM Omar Minaya should jump at this one.

His defense is bad, yes, but it’s not as if he’d be replacing Bill Mazeroski here. The Mets’ current options are Matsui, who stinks at the position when healthy, or Hernandez, who admitted last week that he’s having trouble learning how to turn the double play. Soriano will cost them runs at second base, but he’ll make up for it with his bat — a lot better than either of those other two would.

Soriano is being silly, putting his reputation and his paycheck in jeopardy. He is worthy of no one’s sympathy. If your boss called you in tomorrow and told you he was changing your job, you might be upset. You might not like it. You might not feel qualified for the position to which he’s moving you. But you’d do it. Heck, you have bills. You’d have no choice.

But if the reason Soriano is pulling this stunt is so that he can get traded to a different team, the Mets should help him out.

Considering that Omar Minaya has already tried — and failed — to get anyone to take on even a portion of Kaz Matsui’s remaining salary, the term “wildest-dreams time” is quite applicable.

Andy Murray, Back In The Running For Salesman Of The Month

Posted in Hockey at 12:33 am by

“I’ll be fired up tomorrow because if I expect my team to be energized and ready to go to work, I’d better make sure I’m energized myself,” Murray said Monday night. “I’ve got some friends who are in the car business here, and I’m not ready to get back into that business yet, so I want to keep coaching.”

The LA Kings’ Andy Murray was partially correct. He was fired yesterday, with Los Angeles appointing one time Panthers boss John Torchetti as interim coach until season’s end.

The Columbus Blue Jackets were named hosts of the 2007 NHL Draft, an event that should be the biggest boon to local tourism since the opening of the Ron House Birthplace and Museum

03.21.06

Colts Replace Liquored Up Kicker With Vinatieri

Posted in Gridiron at 5:53 pm by


(shed no tears for the gentleman above, as he might be headed somewhere with later closing times)

Now you can add Adam Vinatieri to the list of off-season departures from New England, one that includes Willie McGinest, David Givens and Peter Griffin. The Colts signed the inhumanly clutch kicker earlier today, a move the ends Mike Vanderjagt’s tenure in Indy.

Former Chiefs FB Tony Richardson has signed a two year deal with Minnesota.

FA Cup QF : St. Andrews Massacre

Posted in Football at 5:20 pm by

Birmingham 0, Liverpool 7


(everytime Riise does this, Darren Rovell get another letter asking if John Arne is related to Michael Jordan)

For the much-travelled Steve Bruce, tonight’s humilation might be his last match in charge of Birmingham. For Peter Crouch, it’s one of those rare occasions where his goals-to-scoring-chances ratio justifies his prescence in the starting eleven.

Little Caesar’s Boss To Dish/Cable Deprived Masses : Fuck Off

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 4:31 pm by

The Detroit Tigers will have another season with none of their games broadcast on free-to-air television. The Detroit News’ Lynn Henning knows who’s to blame.

Believing the Tigers and a local TV station would hook up again in 2006 might have been a bad assumption. Ditto for thoughts that, even if the Tigers and Channel 50 came to another impasse, FSN Detroit would come to the rescue — of the cable audience, anyway — with additional telecasts.

Wrong, and double wrong.

There might be no “free” television in 2006. Likewise, FSN Detroit is picking up no more telecasts in 2006 — 114 — than it did in 2005.

You can put this one on Tigers owner Mike Ilitch.

It is known among informed local TV people that the Tigers and Channel 50 didn’t do business for much the same reasons talks broke down a year ago: negotiations dawdled, and the Tigers were asking for stiff rights-fees, issues which became academic when the Tigers and Channel 50 never talked past some late-autumn 2005 conversations.

This is not a new problem, although it should have been an old one. Other teams and their local media outlets seem always to get business deals tied up in reasonable time and in ways that benefit both parties. Detroit, alas, is a different

The Tigers are notorious for having been latecomers to the table. It was the biggest reason why Channel 50 had to say sayonara a year ago. A television station needs, at some point, to get on with its programming life. Why Ilitch fails, annually, to understand this is hard to fathom.

Channel 50 ran into another dead-end during the offseason. Net result: Those folks who can’t swallow a monthly cable bill — and they are many — can stretch their imaginations and visualize what the field and the players look like as they tune into Dan Dickerson and Jim Price on local radio. That is, assuming you’re in one of those areas where radio reception along the Tigers network isn’t fuzzy or non-existent.