07.29.06

Zeke Finds A Forward…Who Might Never Turn Up

Posted in Basketball at 11:58 am by

From the New York Times’ Howard Beck.

The Knicks signed the defensive-minded forward Jared Jeffries to an offer sheet yesterday, although it is possible he will never pull on a Knicks jersey.

Jeffries, who has played his entire four-year career in Washington, is a restricted free agent. Under N.B.A. rules, the Wizards have seven days to match the Knicks™ offer. (That window will not begin until Monday, when the Knicks are expected to file the paperwork with the league.)

It is believed the Knicks gave Jeffries the maximum terms allowed using the midlevel salary-cap exception ” about $30 million over five years. His starting salary would be $5.215 million.

The Wizards seem likely to match the offer. All of the Wizards™ key officials ” the owner, Abe Pollin; the president, Ernie Grunfeld; and Coach Eddie Jordan ” have said they want to keep Jeffries.

The Oregonian’s John Canzano details just how invisible the market has become for Darius Miles’ services.

On Thursday, an NBA GM told me the Blazers chances of trading Darius Miles before the season are “impossible.” Then, he said, “unless… the team was willing to part with either Brandon Roy or LaMarcus Aldridge as part of the deal.”

Take a minute with that one. Kick it around. Then, let it settle in the part of your brain that remembers how volatile, apathetic, disinterested and destructive Miles can be to a team.

There is no clean, easy way out of this for the team that gave him that awful six-year, $48 million free-agent contract two summers ago. If the Blazers trade Miles now, they will have to give up a promising young player to do so. If they keep Miles around, they put him in the center of a young, impressionable bunch.
You can cut Miles, and keep the prospects. Insiders will tell you that the franchise isn’t a fan of doing that because money is guaranteed and it sets a bad precedent. But I think letting Miles walk isn’t the worst idea around.

Miles by himself is unpalatable, but an NBA team would be willing to swallow him in order to get a sexy asset. If the Blazers had better veterans to use as carrots, they wouldn™t be here. Apparently, dangling Juan Dixon isn™t getting it done.

07.28.06

Betemit To The Dodgers, Baez To The Braves

Posted in Baseball at 10:59 pm by

From the AP :

The Atlanta Braves made another trade to bulk up their bullpen Friday night, acquiring reliever Danys Baez and infielder Willy Aybar from the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers for infielder Wilson Betemit.The deal was announced after the Braves’ 6-4 loss to New York, which left them 13 games behind the Mets in the NL East. Atlanta’s best hope for making its 15th straight playoff appearance is the wild card, and they are counting on Baez to provide a reliable set-up man for new closer Bob Wickman.

ESPN’s Buster Olney is claiming Oakland will send Barry Zito to the Mets if Lastings Milledge is part of the package the A’s receive in return. The other pieces of the package weren’t specified, but presumably their last names are either Pelfrey or Heilman.

All Over The Bronx, They’re Chanting “We Love Wang”

Posted in Baseball at 10:14 pm by

One night after the Staten Island Yankees honored their onetime pitcher with a commemorative bobblehead, the full-sized Chien-Ming Wang baffled the Devil Rays en route to a complete game, 2-hit shutout, as the Yankees defeated Tampa Bay, 6-0. Bernie Williams hit his 8th HR of the year, Derek Jeter was 3 for 5 with a double and a pair of RBI’s, and Alex Rodriguez….wasn’t charged with any errors (sorry).

Though I’m trying my best to concentrate on the Jon Lester/Kelvim Escobar duel taking place in Anaheim, I am somewhat distracted by Jason Stark’s insistence that not only are the Rangers and Astros very much in the mix for Miguel Tejada, but the Dodgers “have come down with a case of Tejeda Fever.” Nothing a B-12 shot shouldn’t clear up, I reckon.

The Phillies have traded David Bell to Milwaukee for 22 year old RHP Wilfrido Laureano. The latter was placed on the West Virginia Power’s suspended list earlier this month for undisclosed reasons, though perhaps a premonition that he’d someday be linked in baseball history with David Bell was enough to provoke some violation of club rules. Ned Yost’s son, Ned IV, is the Power’s first baseman (and presumably, the resident snitch), so perhaps there’s some greater insight at work. Greater than mine, anyway.

Nolasco’s No-No Disappears, Stanton Bound For S.F.

Posted in Baseball at 9:03 pm by

The Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco took a no-hitter into the 7th inning tonight in Philadelphia, only to see his bid at semi-immortality busted up by Abraham Nunez’ two out single. Chase Utley singled in the bottom of the 8th to extend his hitting streak to 28 games.

Earlier, former Met Mike Jacobs’ RBI double put the Fish on top, 1-0.

The Giants acquired LHP Mike Stanton from Washington today in exchange for Shairon Martis, whom you might remember from his no-hitter against the Netherlands during the WBC.

Continuing on the global tip, a couple the Cuban national side’s top players, Eduardo Paret and Yulieski Gourriel are said to have defected to Colombia. Apparently, the football team sucking like crazy didn’t put them off one bit.

Repeat after me : spreading misinformation about Alfonso Soriano’s destination is merely an honest mistake. Taking the intern to the Outback Steakhouse, however, is ground for termination and having Phil Mushnick’s Understudy call you “delusional“.

It’s a Salvation Miracle! David Wright just hit a solo HR to right field off Atlanta’s Oscar Villareal in the 7th inning, extending a Mets lead to 6-4. Last night, the Chicago Tribune’s Dave Van Dyck has floated the possibility of Greg Maddux (above) donning one of the Mets’ half dozen or so uniform styles. Presumably, Maddux can he had for a far more modest price than Barry Zito or Dontrelle Willis (and by the same token, would probably cost more than Tony Armas Jr. or Livan Hernandez).

Speaking of far-fetched, with the 3rd place White Sox losing (again) to Baltimore tonight, and the Cubs beating the Cards at Wrigley, will anyone take a bet on Dusty outlasting Ozzie in Chicago? Other than Jay Mariotti, I mean.

Congrats to recent Round Rock Express alumnus Luke Scott on hitting his first major league HR for the Astros tonight against the Snakes. And the same to Shin-Soo Choo (a frequent CSTB reader, I’m sure), who went deep for Cleveland’s sole run against his former club, Seattle.

Pacers, Hawks Test The Limits Of Space, Time

Posted in Basketball at 2:08 pm by

Here are some things that might happen before Al Harrington finally returns to the Indiana Pacers ;

1) a new My Bloody Valentine album hits the shelves

2) The New York Mets witness one of their (major league) pitchers throw a no-hitter. In a Mets uniform.

3) Dane Cook will say something funny.

4) Deion Branch and the Patriots will kiss and make up (this seems the most likely of the bunch)

5) Organized crime will finally be removed from the Connecticut sanitation business.

Corky To The Globe’s Footy Fans : Fuck Off

Posted in Sports Journalism, We Aren't The World at 1:49 pm by

As stated previously, the gracious words written on behalf of this blog by the Austin American-Statesman’s Michael Corcoran are very appreciated. Short of running another jpg of Jackie Christie, I cannot imagine what would create such a traffic boost.

Being a fairminded sort, I’d like to return the favor.  Corcoran has already made his disdain for baseball known to one and all (more than once!), and recently, as part of his B-List blog, extended the diss-fest to soccer.

Non-sports fans love baseball and soccer, two sports you can have a conversation while watching, but I™m more entertained by a dog show. If not for Zidane™s head butt, the recent World Cup Soccer tournament would™ve been completely forgettable. All that nonsense ” up and down, up and down the field ” and then it™s settled by penalty kicks. That™s like, instead of overtime, a tied NBA championship game would be decided by a free-throw contest. Here™s something that would make soccer interesting: land mines. Each team gets to plant one before the game.

Have you noticed how they don™t keep turnover stats for soccer? That™s because there are about 600 a game. Possession means next to nothing in soccer because players score about as much as a dweeb in a Member™s Only jacket on the prowl at Emo™s. Soccer is a worldwide sensation only because it™s affordable to poor people, who comprise about 80 percent of the world™s population. You can play soccer with a wad of masking tape; no need for a mitt or a hoop or a bag full of clubs.

Rangers Lasso Carlos Lee

Posted in Baseball at 11:01 am by

After the Brewers failed to come to terms on a contract extension yesterday with Carlos Lee, they’ve traded the outfielder to Texas, along with Nelson Cruz, for reliever Francisco Cordero, Kevin Mench and Lance Nix.

Aside from watching one fewer prodigious power hitter in the National League, I’m getting a headache trying to figure out how many 11-10 home games the Rangers will have to win between now and the end of September. As for the Brewers, perhaps the fan-friendly Cordero will fare better than Derek Turnblow.

Lee being off the market may or may not heat up talks on the Alfonso Soriano front, but if nothing else, some kind of price has been established for a premium two month rental.

Braves, Smoltz, Refuse To Seperate Church And Foam Tomahawks

Posted in Baseball, Religion at 1:03 am by

The only part of the following piece from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Michelle Hiskey that I liked was this quote :

“It’s a cool way to get the message across about Jesus Christ. No pressure or anything,” said Jamal Womble, who came from Augusta with friend Ben Palacz.

Seriously, if the former bassist for Public Image Limited can have an open mind about this Faith Day stuff, perhaps I need to reconsider my cynical attitude?

After emptying the ballpark from the game crowd, hundreds of spectators re-entered to fill the left field bleachers. They passed through a sponsor alley where groups such as Focus on the Family, Toccoa Bible College and Gospel Music Channel gave out camouflage Bibles and baseballs resembling Veggie Tales, a Christian comic series.

The 90-minute program began with John Smoltz ” who did not pitch in the game ” urging the crowd to avoid a “no decision” about God.

Smoltz said he once worshiped baseball. He planned charitable works, figuring that once he retired from the mound he would turn control of his life to God.

In 1995, when the Braves were headed to the World Series, a talk with the team chaplain made Smoltz realize that he had no guarantee of even his next breath. So he decided to give his life and plans to God.

“No-decisions ” I currently have 10, and that doesn’t bother me,” he said of games he has started and neither lost nor won.

“Because of the decision I made in 1995, I know where I will be [after death], and I can only hope and wish everyone here knows where they will be, too.”

The promotion, which included a concert by local contemporary Christian musician Aaron Shust, riled some longtime Braves fans. They complained online that Smoltz should stick to pitching and skip the proselytizing. They accused the Braves of seeking to profit off religious beliefs.

Though I respect the rights of such Christ-haters to badmouth the wonderful John Smoltz and the Braves organization, I would ask them to keep in mind that in this great land of ours, all sorts of crazy, even stomach-turning religious practices are protected under the law.

Earlier in the day, the Braves lost to the Marlins, 6-1. First person to write in with “where’s your God now, Smoltzie?” is banned from the CSTB comments section for 30 minutes.

For $2 Million, You Can Soak In Pedro’s Tub

Posted in Baseball at 12:47 am by

Tonight, the Mets return to action at Atlanta’s Turner Field, where Pedro Martinez — making his first start in a month — will take on the Braves, winners of 14 our their last 21.  Whether or not Martinez can hold his own as a member of New York’s new 6 man (!) rotation remains to be seen, but the Boston Globe has more compelling matters for us to fixate upon.  In a Cribs-esque frenzy, the Globe’s Real Estate secton has seen fit to showcase the former abodes of Pedro, Nomar Garciaparra and Johnny Damon, all 3 of which are on the market.

The Globe’s helpful caption for the above photo : “Before baseball fame, Martinez lived in a typical house in Manoguayabo, built with palm wood, dirt floors and a tin roof.”

Guy With Name Like Mine Slithers Off The Hook

Posted in Free Expression, Leave No Child Unbeaten, The Law at 12:26 am by

Though it was the legendry supergroup Steps that sang “Words Are Not Enough”, those sentiments were echoed yesterday by the New York State Supreme Court, which ruled that sending sexually explicit e-mail to a minor is permissible so long as you’re too lazy to attach a jpg of your private bits. From Newsday’s Ann Givens.

The decision by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, Second Department, hung on the meaning of the word “depict.” Jeffrey Koslow, a Manhattan lawyer who was convicted last year of attempted disseminating indecent material to a minor, appealed his case saying that his e-mails did not “depict” sexual conduct because they contained only words, not pictures.

The fact that the appeals court agreed with him means that local law enforcement officials who work to lure pedophiles on the Internet by pretending to be children will now have to convince those pedophiles to e-mail them sexually explicit photographs in order to secure a felony conviction.

I don’t mean to tell the experts how to do their jobs, but they might also consider discouraging children from learning to read. Based on what I’ve seen of the public school systems in Givens’ hood, some of the educators might have already taken this bold step without any prompting.