05.29.06

Leyland : Bandwagon Hoppers Can Fuck Off

Posted in Baseball at 11:21 am by

While some of us are throughly looking forward to this afternoon’s Jeremy Bonderman/Randy Johnson matchup, Tigers manager Jim Leyland has a new angle from which to grumble : Detroit’s getting too much respect!

From the Detroit Free Press’ Mark Snyder.

“We were a token stop in spring training,” a clearly agitated Leyland said before Sunday’s game. “Now all of the sudden these experts, they knew about (Justin) Verlander, they knew about (Joel) Zumaya (above). They knew about (nothing). They didn’t know (anything), if you want to know the truth. All of the sudden they’re on the bandwagon. That’s the way it goes, but I’m not going to fall for it.”

His biggest problem is that it’s only May, and people are trying to project the Tigers’ current pace into a full season.

“I look forward to my job, but you can see it all being set up,” Leyland said. “Nobody is going to keep up the pace we’ve played. So if we lose a couple games, they’ll say, ‘Oh, it was the Yankees.’ It doesn’t matter who we’re going to play. At some point, this pace is not going to keep up.”

Superball Enthusiast Blasts Bonds

Posted in Baseball at 11:09 am by

The New York Post’s Steve Serby has the pleasure of chatting with Craig Nettles.

Former Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles is hardly thrilled that Barry Bonds, with his 715th home run, has finally passed Babe Ruth and moved into second place on the all-time list.

“I just hate to see a guy that cheated like him get the record,” Nettles told The Post. “It hasn’t been proven, but I can tell with my own eyes what a guy looks like.”

Nettles – like so many others in and out of baseball – has long suspected Bonds of steroid use. “For the last three or four years, when he got so big,” Nettles said. “Guys don’t get so big and strong at that age. It doesn’t happen without chemicals.”

Nettles, who ranks 46th on the all-time list with 390 home runs, 250 as a Yankee, believes Major League Baseball was right for not celebrating Bonds passing The Babe. “They shouldn’t do anything until he passes Aaron,” Nettles said. “I don’t see any reason how a guy who passes second place … you have to pass the leader.”

Nettles believes those that choose to play the race card in Bonds’ defense are misguided and out of line. “I don’t think race plays any part of it,” Nettles said. “I’m sure some people in the country are racist. I don’t think anything about race should even be mentioned.”

And on that note, I was planning on ignoring the following passage by ESPN’s Tim Kurkijan, but seeing as the same copy has been used on “SportsCenter” along with ESPN.com, I can’t resist :

Passing Ruth into second place all time should be a cause for celebration, but Major League Baseball isn’t recognizing it, Bonds gets booed wherever he goes on the road, and every once in a while a player takes a shot at him: Phillies pitcher Cory Lidle was the latest, saying he doesn’t want to see Bonds break records. Hank Aaron dealt with racial hatred and ignorance on his road to 715. Bonds is dealing with some of that and much more, but unlike Aaron, he brought much of it on himself.

That Bonds has been (I’m being diplomatic here) a testy, sometimes tough-to-embrace kinda guy throughout his big league career is well documented. That said, what has the Sultan Of Surly ever done in his public life that would constitute bringing racial hatred upon himself? Barry has had a thing or two to say about being a black man in Americaville. Sometimes he has a point, sometimes he’s out to lunch. None of it, however, justifies any measure of racial abuse, and there’s something a little screwy about the claim “he brought much of it on himself” going unchallenged. I could certainly use an editor over here most days. I’m surprised they can’t afford one in Bristol.

Spare a thought today for KNBR’s Dave Flemming, dicked out of his moment in baseball history by a technical snafu.

MLB Manages To Celebrate Sultan Coming In 2nd

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 12:01 am by

From USA Today, April 27, 2006 :

Major League Baseball is not planning any celebration for Bonds if and when he tops Babe Ruth’s mark of 714 home runs, commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday.

“Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record,” Selig said. “We don’t celebrate anybody the second or third time in.”

Well, Barry has most assuredly topped the Babe’s mark of 714, and the Commish is…how can I put this delicately?  A big fucking liar? A mustard-stained hypocrite?

On the bright side, if Cory Lidle’s kids are still wondering what to get their dad for Father’s Day, well, look no further.

05.28.06

Praise The Lordi And Pass The Ammunition

Posted in Rock Und Roll, We Aren't The World at 9:57 pm by

Until very recently, the nicest things I could think of citing about the annual Eurovision Song Contest were

a) it gave some of our friends — both the flamboyant and the bookish — an excuse to have a party.

b) Kimberly Rew, of Soft Boys / Waves fame, authored a Eurovision winner in 1997′s “Love Shine-A-Light.”

c) “Waterloo” took the trophy in 1974 (the year that punk broke in half), thus launching the white supremacist juggernaut of Abba.

d) no matter how much Eurovision sucks, it’s still more fun than watching some sub-Curtis Stigers douchebag that looks like a slightly younger version of Jay Leno become an overnight sensation (attention haters : I am not referring to Greg Dulli, so you can stop right there).

Well, you can add the following to the list :

e) The improbable rise of Lordi.

If only the USA was eligible, this competition could really be Bronson Arroyo’s big break.

‘Canes / Sabres Game 5

Posted in Hockey at 8:50 pm by

Carolina 3, Buffalo 3 (end of the 2nd period)

With full props to the Diaw-fest taking place on TNT, there might not be a playoff game in any sport (AFL included) played at as frantic a pace as tonight’s Stanley Cup semi-final, a contest that should go a long way to determining who gets to play the Oilers of the beer-deprived city of Edmonton.

With the Hurricanes trailing 3-1 in the 2nd period, Peter Laviolette pulled goaltender Martin Gerber (above) in favor of Cam Ward. I have no problem with this move, but Frank Robinson is simply beside himself.

Paul Gleason, RIP

Posted in The World Of Entertainment at 8:10 pm by

Actor Paul Gleason, most often remembered for his role as Principal Vernon in “The Breakfast Club”, but equally beloved for his tenure as Dr. David Thornton on “All My Children”, has passed away at the age of 67. Described as “funnier than Jackie Gleason” by Repoz who supplied the prior link, Gleason’s filmography included appearances in “The Great Santini”, “Trading Places”, “Die Hard” and the Anthony Michael Hall star vehicle “Johnny Be Good” (possibly the finest work Uma Thurman would ever do in a film starring Anthony Michael Hall).

Author of the book, “Uleta, Blues & Haikus”, Gleason’s diverse background included stints in the Red Sox and Indians minor league systems, at least according to the dustcover of said book.

I’ve never quite undersood the saying “he’s in a better place now” when someone dies (particularly if the deceased was a woman). But with all due respect to Gleason’s friends and family, heaven, hell or a box in the ground could all be considered an improvement over ever being confused with Jeffrey Jones by a radio commentator who couldn’t keep his teen movies straight.

Lara’s Final ODI Ends In Triumph

Posted in Cricket at 6:45 pm by

While some observers can’t wait to wave goodbye to one batting legend (I’m talking about you, Tim Kurkjian), another sport’s icon received a far less conflicted going-away party. With Sunday’s 19 run victory over India, Brian Lara’s final One Day International as the West Indies’ captain saw the Windies take 4 of series’ 5 matches.

There was a Test Match of some import taking place at Edgbaston this weekend, but I’m hesitant to say much more about it. Short of running more Northwestern soccer hazing jpegs, nothing creates server strain in CSTB-land quite like passing references to K—n P——-n. Seriously. Not even Huckapoo, Carmelo/LaLa and Jackie Christie combined have accounted for as much traffic, which either says something about the England cricket team’s massive leap in popularity over the past year or it (more likely) indicates that K.P. scores awfully high on the Cricketeer I’d Like To Fuck (C.I.L.F.) scale for many intrepid Google-abusers.

Sultan Of Surly Smacks HR No. 715

Posted in Baseball at 4:34 pm by

(there’s no better way to commemorate relegating the Babe to 3rd place than by allowing Todd Greene to grab your ass in public)

Barry Bonds moved into 2nd place on the All-Time HR List this afternoon , hitting career homer 715 off the Rockies’ Byung Hyun Kim in the bottom of the 4th inning at AT&T. Steve Finley was aboard at the time, and the drive landed somewhere just to the left of the right center field bleachers.

Bonds’ blast narrowed the Rockies’ lead, with Colorado currently ahead, 6-2.

Whether or not the Sultan is capable of hitting another 40 homers and catching Henry Aaron might be largely dependent on how many more chances he has to face the Chicago Cubs’ pitching staff. They’ve served up an incredible 8 HR balls to the Braves today, and with the Cubs rallying from a 12-8 deficit in the 9th inning, there’s always a chance for another. Seriously, with all the conjecture over the longball explosion in what is meant to be the Post-Steroid era, perhaps the explanation is very simple : Glendon Rusch is still on a major league roster.

Agent Zero : “You Can’t Arrest Me, I’m A Basketball Player”

Posted in Basketball, The Law at 3:54 pm by

In which the Black President and Awvee Story find themselves in a Miami vice (though thankfully for them, not one starring Colin Farrell). From the AP :

Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas (above) and forward Awvee Storey were arrested on charges of disobeying police, part of the crackdown on disorderly behavior among those who have flocked to Miami Beach for Memorial Day weekend.

Storey had been blocking traffic in the middle of a busy street when an officer told him to get back to the sidewalk Saturday night, according to police reports. Storey did not get out of the street, and the officer arrested him and charged him with failure to obey a command.

While police were arresting Storey, Arenas got out of a vehicle and walked toward the arresting officers. According to reports, an officer told Arenas to get back in his vehicle, but he refused, saying he wanted to stand next to his teammate. The officer took Arenas into custody and charged him with resisting without violence.

As Arenas was being arrested, according to reports, he said, “You can’t arrest me. I’m a basketball player. I play for the Washington Wizards, and I’m not going to leave my teammate.”

Reaves : Dusty’s Gotta Go

Posted in Baseball at 1:17 pm by

The nice thing about being an out-of-town columnist calling for Dusty Baker’s firing is that the Cubs might not be able to yell at you as easily as they might chew out Phil Rogers. From the Arizona Republic’s Joseph A. Reeves.

Dusty needs to go because one of the more beloved franchises in all of sports is in shambles on and off the field. While it’s not all his fault, the house cleaning has to start somewhere.

The brawl at U.S. Cellular Field and Greg Maddux bashing the bejesus out of a water cooler in Florida are just two signs of the Cubs coming unglued.

There’s also the stuff behind the scenes.

Like earlier this month when the front office summoned the sports editor and Cubs writer from the Chicago Tribune and berated them for their coverage.

Tribune Co. owns the paper and the team. Toss in conflict of interest to the list of troubles.

Baker isn’t to blame for all the chaos in and around the Cubs this year. But his hiring four years ago was a sign.

Ever stop to think why the San Francisco Giants let go a manager who just took them to the World Series?

It wasn’t because the Cubs offered more money. It was because Dusty’s act had worn thin. The way he let his starters throw 120 pitches time and again. The way he balked every time the front office wanted to make a move to make the team better.

Baker has a reputation as a “player’s manager.” It’s well deserved. Almost every time the Giants told Dusty they planned to send a player down, he would argue: “You can’t. He’s my guy. I need him.”

Didn’t matter what Dusty’s guy was hitting. Or how he wasn’t pitching. Every guy was Dusty’s guy. Trouble is, the major leagues allow only 25 guys on a roster at a time.

The Cubs will send Jae Kuk Ryu to the mound in a few minutes to face the Braves and John Smoltz. Fox’s Joe Buck argued during yesterday’s telecast that when Jim Hendry failed to bring in a serious hitter to replace Derrek Lee, that sent a message to the rest of the club that the Cubs weren’t serious about winning. I guess Joe didn’t think much of the acquisition of Tony Womack.

Lt. Dangle left the Dodgers’ win over the Nationals yesterday with a sprained left wrist. You’d be surprised how many guys who are right-handed for most things choose to beat off as a lefty. This afternoon at RFK, the Nats are running riot over Jae Seo, as Ryan Zimmerman and Affonso Soriano have each homered, the latter connecting for his 18th on the season. So much for my thinking that Soriano’s power numbers would suffer in DC.

Despite having allowed a 2nd inning 3-run HR to Jeremy Hermida, El Duque has a shot at winning his Mets debut, as Florida trails NY, 7-3 in the bottom of the 4th. Carlos Beltran hit a 2 run HR off Ricky Nolasco a few minutes ago, his 14th of the year.