Pelfrey’s Eastern League Debut

Posted in Baseball at 10:28 am by

Mike Pelfrey, the highly touted Wichita State alumn selected 9th overall in last June’s amateur draft, pitched 5 and 2/3rds scoreless innings in his first start for the Binghamton Mets last night. Pelfrey struck out 8 while allowing 3 hits in the 1-0 loss to the Erie Seawolves.

Norfolk beat Rochester on Saturday night, 4-3, a game that ended on Lastings Milledge’s two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 11th. Heath Bell collected the win with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief ; Jeremi Gonzalez allowed 3 runs and 7 hits in 6 innings in getting the start. On Friday, Jose Lima was relatively competent, giving up 3 runs and 4 hits over 7 innings (7 K’s, two walks) in a 5-1 loss to Scranton Wilkes-Barre.

Mays : Bonds Couldn’t Touch Me

Posted in Baseball at 1:26 am by

From the LA Times’ Larry Stewart :

In a taped interview to be shown on Bob Costas’ HBO show Tuesday, Costas asks Mays: “Have you ever seen anybody as a contemporary? Have you ever seen anybody who [made you say]: ‘That guy is as good or better than me?’ “

Says Mays: “I can’t. You name one and I’ll tell you no. Just name one. Anybody.”

Costas: “Barry Bonds?”

Mays: “No. Barry couldn’t throw with me. He might not have been able to run with me. Let’s give him hitting, since he hit 73 [in 2001]. Don’t think I can hit 73 home runs. I give him that. But what else?”

John Kenneth Galbraith, RIP

Posted in Dead Authors, The Marketplace at 1:11 am by

John Kenneth Galbraith, economist, political advisor, author and scholar, died yesterday at the age of 97.

Galbraith’s better known works included “The Affluent Society”, “The Nature Of Mass Poverty”, “The Anatomy Of Power” and “American Capitalism”. There is no truth to the rumor that his passing was in any preceeded by a cursory glance at the New York Knicks payroll.


Mets Extend Lead Over Atlanta To 7 Games

Posted in Baseball at 9:15 pm by

Mets 1, Braves 0

Don Sutton and Joe Simpson were quick to remind us that John Thompson “only made one mistake” (presumably leaving a fat one over the plate for Paul Lo Duca to knock over the left field fence), but these days, anyone facing the New York Mets will have to get used to having little margin for error. Tom Glavine — who not so long ago was dunking his former club — was masterful in allowing just 4 hits in 7 shutout innings. Aaron Heilman and Billy Wagner pitched scoreless 8th and 9th innings respectively ; Wagner is now 7 for 9 in save opportunities.

Carlos Beltran went 1 for 3 with a double in his first game back after an extended absence due to a sore hamstring. 2B Kaz Matsui extended his hitting streak to 8 games with a single in the 8th inning.

Carlos Delgado and Cliff Floyd were a combined 0 for 8, the former striking out 4 times and the latter seeing his batting average dip to .181. The latter, however, made a pair of terrific catches in left, the first of which saved a run.

some other post-game celebratory musings :

Prescription for beating the Braves: Take one vintage Tom Glavine, mix in one longball from Lo Duca, add a few splashes of near-flawless defense, a dose of Aaron Heilman at his unhittable best, and cap it off with our slider-slinging closer. For the second night in a row, that insidious tomahawk chop chant died in the throats of Braves fans that are losing faith in their old magic.

Question for that snazzy new Japanese second baseman: Who the hell are you, and what have you done with Kaz Matsui?Mike’s Mets

I’ve seen the Braves lie in the weeds until midsummer too many times to get giddy, NL East April records notwithstanding, and heard too much oddly dour/swaggering early-season talk from the respective clubhouses to doubt the Braves will be the thing under the bed until our division’s sun finally rises and proves them a figment of our collective imaginations. But something feels different this year, and I think I know what it is. And it’s corny as all get-out: Whatever this year’s crop of Mets believes about the Braves/Mets rivalry or Turner Field is a lot less important than the fact that this team believes in itself. – Jason, Faith & Fear In Flushing

Cliff Floyd had another awesome game, and of course looked terrible doing it. He runs like Muhammed Ali talks, and his dives are the belly-flops of a giant and diseased whale. I never think he will get to the ball ” but he does, and he did last year, and I think something changed last season. Not the healthy bit ” that much is obvious ” but I think in the way he approached staying healthy while playing hard enough at the same time. The ugly way he moves speaks of a very large man trying not to kill himself while simultaneously propelling his bulk at extraordinary speed. I think it works.East Coast Agony

The Braves’ little league offense has reached a new level of ineptitude, being completely shut down yet again, this time by Glavine and the Mets bullpen.  Thomson™s ERA for the season is 1.32. He has had 4 starts and hasn™t allowed more than one run in any of them. He doesn™t have any wins. That is extremely difficult to accomplish. – Jamie Kirby, Tomahawk

This is unbelievably depressing. The Braves have now lost five games in a row, mostly with good pitching. Tonight, John Thomson made one mistake, allowing an opposite-field homer to Paul Lo Duca in the sixth, and finally got a decision because the Braves couldn’t score at all.

We can complain about Bobby loading the lineup with righthanders after watching that fail against Glavine for a decade, but Brian Jordan had two of the team’s five hits, and the other two against Glavine were by Renteria and another of the platoon guys, Diaz. The Braves’ only real scoring chance was erased when the other platoon guy, Pratt, had a soft liner taken down by Floyd in left. – Mac Thomason, Braves Journal

The Return Of ECW

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 6:25 pm by

Encouraged by the brisk ticket sales for the 2nd of 2 annual Extreme Championship Wrestling revival shows at NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom, WWE is said to be reviving the brand name as part of a worked promotion vs. promotion war, then as an developmental circuit with it’s own TV programming later in the year.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer reports that ECW fixtures such as Sabu (above), Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, Axl Rotten, Balls Mahoney and C.W. Anderson are amongst those thought to be taking part, with Paul Heyman booking the matches.

The role for most those names, but not all, will be to put over the developmental talent and make them the next generation ECW stars. This can’t work if its’ only goal is for older fans to relive Sandman’s ring enterance, because that is the kind of nostalgia that will die quickly. Many, if not most of the names, will likely only be there short-term, until stars in the current WWE system take their spots.

No word on whether or not Joel Gertner has been recruited, but something tells me he’d be available.

Inside Wrestling Weekly’s Zip Whittle has some misgivings about the scheme.

The ECW atmosphere “ violent, bloody matches, original but unorthodox production values, minimal sets and maximum attitude “ seems like it would clash with the elaborate pyro, giant stages and carefully scripted nature of RAW and Smackdown shows. When WWE revived ECW for their ONE NIGHT STAND PPV last year, they had the luxury of performing in a separate venue (Hammerstein Ballroom) re-using a small location that had been established back when ECW first lived. An important part of the ECW appeal lies in the intimate settings and interactions with the personal crowd.

Some people have suggested storylines like RVD winning the WWE title from John Cena at the ECW One Night Stand 2006 and throwing it down ala Shane Douglas/NWA/ECW 1994 incident. Others have joked about ECW becoming ENTERTAINMENT CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING. The real question remains: can you bring back this environment and this atmosphere?

I’ve long admired Heyman’s ability to pick widely disliked figures from the world of pop culture (Divine Brown, Leon Spinks, Billy Corgan) and use them in angles. In other words, chin up, Delmon Young, Michael Brown and anyone that’s been booted from “American Idol” in the past year. Your phones might be ringing, soon.

Questionable Big League Promotional Gimmicks

Posted in Baseball at 5:03 pm by

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer :

May 5: Pepsi & Fred Meyer Mariners Collectible Train Night — First 20,000 fans receive the “A-Train” (Adrian Beltre Car)

Were it not a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, I’m sure the Mariners would love to award fan number 20,001 with The Adrian Beltre Third Baseman.

The Orioles are in the process of making short work of the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez, the visitors holding a 4-0 lead after 3 innings. Much maligned ex-Cub Corey Patterson hit a 3 run HR in the bottom of the third.

On a day when gridiron degenerates and lovers of mind-numbing television alike are transfixed by the glorified slave auction that is the NFL Draft, how appropriate that we have a number of football scores from the major leagues.

Brewers 16, Cubs 2 – bad enough that the Cubs try to pass off Glendon Rusch as a qualified starter, but was it really a good idea to send out Babe Ruth’s daughter in relief?

Tigers 18, Twins 1 – OK, I suppose it isn’t possible to score a lone point in a football game. Miggy, I-Rod and Carlos Guillen were a combined 10 for 14 in this one. Congrats to Carlos Silva on making Brad Radke look downright dependable by comparison.

Yankees 17, Blue Jays 6 – two HR’s and 5 runs scored for Johnny Damon, a 3-run HR and 4 RBI’s for the Giambini (now hitting .345). Kind of sick how Jeter and A-Rod can have a combined 0 for 8 afternoon and the lineup still produces this many runs. Gary Sheffield and Shea Hillenbrand both left the game after a collision in the 5th inning ; The Little Mustache is said to have a sore left knee and right wrist. I’ve read nothing about Hillenbrand’s condition, but it’s safe to asume that everyone still hates him.

NFL Draft : I’m About To File For Conscientious Objector Status

Posted in Gridiron at 3:48 pm by

20) Kansas City – Tamba Hall, DE, Penn State

21) New England – Laurence Maroney, (above) RB, Minnesota

22) San Francisco (from Denver) – Manny Lawson, DE, North Carolina State

23) Tampa Bay – Davin Joseph, OG, Oklahoma

24) Cincinnati – Jonathan Joseph, CB, South Carolina

25) Pittsburgh (from the Giants) – Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State

26) Buffalo (from Chicago) – John McCargo, DR, North Carolina State

Jefferson : AJ’s A Fluke

Posted in Basketball at 2:41 pm by

As New Jersey prepared to face Indiana in the 4th game of their Eastern Conference playoff series, the Nets’ Richard Jefferson claimed he’s less than stressed out over the way the Pacers’ Anthony Johnson has matched up with Jason Kidd.

From the Bergen Record’s Adrian Wojarnowski.

Johnson, a third-string guard to start the season, made the plays in Game 1, and made more in Game 3, including 25 points and eight assists. He’s probably reached an expiration date on outplaying Kidd, but Johnson is so full of confidence, so full of belief, you’d kind of like Kidd to get out and cover him.

As usual Friday, Richard Jefferson was playing the part of contrarian, dismissing the alarms over his old teammate Johnson rising beyond a nuisance into a problem.

“Now it’s not like, ‘Oh my God, how are we going to stop the eight-time All-Star Anthony Johnson?’ “ Jefferson sniffed. “It’s not what are we going to do to stop Jermaine O’Neal from shooting 80 percent. They got hot and had unbelievable games. We don’t believe that it’s going to be the norm.”

Johnson is a better player. He plays with such a different confidence now, a different resolve. Still, Kidd doesn’t suffer embarrassment well. The great ones never do.

“Jermaine O’Neal really was their main guy for them, and then you try and collapse on him and [Johnson] gets hot out there,” Jefferson said. “A.J. has never done that before. He had a great game. To act like that’s going to be the norm over the series, I think everybody knows that’s not going to be the case. He got hot. He hit some big shots for them.”

Jefferson has 13 points midway through the 2nd quarter, with the Nets leading 33-20.

Greg Maddux – Smarter Than He Looks (And He Doesn’t Look That Dumb)

Posted in Baseball at 2:00 pm by

Ben Schwartz writes,

While the Cubs celebrate their defeat at the hands of Babe Ruth and the NY Yankees (even included in today’s pre-game highlight clips) back during the Roosevelt Administration, the NY Times was kind enough to write up Greg Maddux (above), king of the mind game.

“He does terrible interviews for a reason,” John Smoltz, his former teammate with the Atlanta Braves, said with an admiring chuckle. “Believe me, he knows a lot more about what he does than he lets on. He never wants anyone to know where he’s coming from.”

Conversely, Glendon Rusch might be just as brilliant as he looks. The Cubs starter has already allowed HR’s to Milwaukee’s Richie Weeks and Prince Fielder, with the Brewers leading 3-0 after two innings.

NFL Draft Pt. III : Mark Schlereth Is Looking More Satanic With Each Passing Hour

Posted in Gridiron at 1:48 pm by

13) Cleveland (from Baltimore) – Kamerion Wimbley, DE, Florida State

14) Philadelphia – Broderick Bunkley, DT, Florida State

15) St. Louis (from Denver) – Tye Hill, CB, Clemson

16) Miami – Jason Allen, DB, Tennessee

17) Minnesota – Chad Greenway, OLB, Iowa

18) Ohio State – Bobby Carpenter, OLB, Ohio State

19) San Diego – Antonio Cromartie, DB, Florida State

There’s been a little bit of squawking about Haloti Ngata not possessing the proper work ethic to play in front of the disgruntled, exacting Ray Lewis. Surely I’m not the only person watching TV today who suspects Ngata will be less inclined to take plays off if he’s fearing for his life?