08.27.06

Treanor To Invisible Marlins Fans : Shame On You

Posted in Baseball, Video Games at 12:38 pm by

Florida C Matt Treanor tells the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi, “”People in South Florida should be ashamed of themselves,”…and this has nothing to do with The Eat’s “Communist Radio”.

The overachieving Marlins inched closer to a winning record Saturday night by winning their sixth straight game in front of 30,017, their fourth-largest crowd of the year at Dolphin Stadium.

“I want to see people out here hooting and hollering, especially if they’re rooting for you instead of the Mets or Phillies or whoever is in town,” Treanor complained. “That kind of irks me, too, (when) people come to root for the (visiting) team. They got their team right there This is the ‘Fish.’ We’re from Miami. Let’s go.”

Still, with the Marlins creeping to within four games of .500 and four games of the wild-card lead, Treanor said he and his teammates are concentrating on the field, not on the stands.

“I just want to win,” he said.

“If they come, they come. If not, I wouldn’t mind being in the post-season with 2,000 people in the stands.”

ESPN’s Buster Olney is quick to take exception.

Fans are not obligated to buy tickets; teams are not entitled to have thousands of people laying out hundreds of dollars to watch them play. You come up with a product that people want to see, and they’ll pay. The reasons for fans not showing up at Marlins games began compiling long before Treanor became part of the organization.

Treanor has had a good year, but his words may rank among the most ill-chosen of the season. What a way to win over hearts and minds.

Fish Stripes, always standing in stark contrast to Miami fan apathy, provides a photograph of the D-Train’s mom. There’s no truth to the rumor the Red Sox would like her to pitch middle relief.

My copy of Joe Maddon ’07 finally turned up in the mail, and apparently there’s a special feature where you can build your own players from scratch…and send them to Durham (where they end up in jail). It’s kind of Strat-o-Matic meets “Grand Theft Auto”, only far less exciting than either.

Kenny Anderson : Washed-Up, Overlooked Or Merely Delusional?

Posted in Basketball, Fashion at 11:44 am by

The Boston Globe’s Shria “How Much Art Can You Take?” Springer writes that PG Kenny Anderson “just can’t figure out why no teams have expressed interest.”

“Sometimes I’m like, `Maybe I’ve played enough,’ ” said Anderson. “Then, there’s days when I work out and I want that team environment.

“I just need that opportunity. I’m in shape. I haven’t had any major injuries. I’m young, only 35. I didn’t want to retire at 34 or 35. I’ve still got that hunger. I want to be 100 percent sure that I can’t help a team when I finish, and I’m not there yet.

“I don’t know why I’m not getting a harder look. I think everybody knows I know how to run a team. I’m not going to be a cancer on a team. I’ve always been a good leader. Why doesn’t somebody say, `Hey, why not bring Kenny into camp?’ “

Even Derrick Coleman will vouch for Kenny’s work ethic.

Though The Association’s Craig Kwasniewski is no fan of the floppy Argentine, he’s duly impressed by Nike’s limited edition Ginobili Dunks.

They have clear powder blue soles and the inserts show a map from Argentina to San Antonio. So if you can stomach the Manu Ginobili era I suggest purchasing a pair.

Fish Front Office Working O.T. To Bury Girardi

Posted in Baseball at 11:10 am by

A typically sharp performance last night by Dontrelle Willis coupled with Death Wish’s latest failure kept the Marlins within 4 games of the NL Wild Card, but the South Florida Sun-Sentinel David Hyde has further dirt to dish regarding the status of manager Joe Girardi. Writing that owner Jeffrey Loria “might have to stand in line next time he wants to shout at Girardi,” Hyde seems to be the beneficiary of a whispering campaign designed to take the Fish skipper down a notch or two.

Back in spring training, according to two Marlins sources, here’s some changes Girardi pushed for: Miguel Cabrera from third to first base; Dan Uggla not at second base but in left field; Josh Willingham at catcher, not Miguel Olivo; Alfredo Amezaga might not have made the team; and young pitchers like Ricky Nolasco and Josh Johnson would have started in the minor leagues.

Whew.

Pick your own reason to worry what might have been.

So you can understand, as Girardi pushed against moves the front office spent a thorny off-season making, how a perfect-storm of problems was brewing. Loria’s shouting match with Girardi was to some extent just the boiling point of that.

Ironically, it was Loria who demanded that Girardi be hired. That meant General Manager Larry Beinfest and Girardi had to hatch out their relationship on the run, and it has been “spotty at best,” one source said.

The manager’s job shouldn’t be overvalued. If you’re listing the assets for this team, you’d say: 1. Beinfest and his scouting staff; 2. Miguel Cabrera; 3. Dontrelle Willis; 4. The young arms starting with Johnson; 5. Hanley Ramirez and Uggla …

… and somewhere down below would be Girardi.

Papelbon Picks Up The Save. His 10th

Posted in Baseball at 12:59 am by

That would be Josh Papelbon of the NY-Penn League Lowell Spinners, 3-1 winners over Oneonta at Fenway Saturday afternoon. Pawtucket beat Rochester, 5-4, in the nightcap, a two-run HR by Carlos Pena being the decisive blow.

As for the elder Papelbon….they couldn’t quite get the ball to him.

08.26.06

There Are No Meaningless Games. Just Meaningless Persons Who Want You To Turn Them Off

Posted in Gridiron, Sports TV at 11:04 pm by

After the Mets’ 4-3 loss to Philly Friday night, I made my way back into Lower Manhattan and sought refuge in an undistinguished tavern. Hoping to medicate myself after the sorry events of the day just concluded, my attention was drawn by the 2nd half of the Giants/Jets annual preseason finale, a plodding enounter that ended with an unimpressive 13-7 scoreline in favor of Big Blue.

Watching this exhibition brought me to the first half of the prior decade. A band I was playing in had a Saturday evening show at CBGB, but we nearly had to skip our 11pm set, as our drummer, the noted painter and sculptor Harry Druzd (above), had lost track of time while watching the Giants and Jets do battle on his home television.

I was nearly apoplectic with rage. How could Harry risk disappointing the nearly two dozen persons in attendence just for the sake of the most meaningless event on the sporting calendar?

As the years have gone by, however, I’ve come ’round to Harry’s way of thinking. There are no meaningless games. In every competitive situation lies the potential for that one transcendent moment, a rare slice of artistic brilliance amidst a sea of mediocrity.

There were no such moments during last night’s telecast. Though the countless shots of Eric Mangini holding back the tears were pretty entertaining. (And I did miss the first half. )

I should also mention that Harry once caught an earful of verbal aggro from fellow MSG patrons when he refused to stand for “The Star Spangled Banner” at a Knicks game. This was the sort of civil disobedience that blazed a trail for Carlos Delgado.

The End Of Darko’s World Championship Dream

Posted in Basketball, Fashion at 10:04 pm by

Pau Gasol (above) had 19 points and 15 rebounds, while the Raptors’ Jose Calderon added 13 points and 4 assists in Spain’s 85-75 defeat of Serbia & Montenegro. Spain moves on to a quarterfinal clash with Lithuania, while Darko Milicic can return to eBay to catch up on any missing bits of the Esham catalog he might not have acquired in Detroit.

True Hoop’s Henry Abbott scoffs at the notion of Jeff Van Gundy assembling a rowdy gang in the Rockets coach’s own image. I’d have to agree — unless Houston are pretty sure they’ll be facing Miami in the finals, going to all that effort just to make ‘Zo afraid of his shins being humped hardly seems worthy it.

Dov Charney
, eat your heart out.

Man U. Lose Ferdinand, Hopefully No One Will Find Him

Posted in Football at 9:10 pm by

Though Manchester United defeated Watford for the first time since the Hornets’ most recent return to the top flight, they’ll be without the services of defender Rio Ferdinand for an undetermined period due to a broken toe.

On the evidence of this display, I’ll not call it karmic payback.  That would require a double amputation.

Iain Dowie earned his first 3 points as manager of Charlton Athletic, as the Addicks’ Darren Bent scored a pair of 2nd half goals in a 2-0 home win over Bolton.  Scott Carson saved a penalty kick from El Hadji Diouf, and to the relief of journalists eager to get the fuck out of the Valley, Sam Allardyce blew off the post-match press conference.  Can We Cover You Every Week? etc.

When rumors surfaced last year of Dennis Wise interviewing for the QPR managerial vacancy, my reaction was  akin to say, a Yankee fan absorbing the news that Buddy Bell had been named Joe Torre’s heir apparent.  So with that snap judgement in mind, I should acknowledge that a) under Gary Waddock, Rangers find themselves in 19th place in the Championship after Friday night’s 3-1 loss at Ipswich, the Tractor Boys’ first league win of 2006-07, and b) Wise’s Swindon Town have taken 15 points from 5 matches, preserving their perfect record in League Two with Saturday’s 2-0 home victory over Stockport.

Papi’s Ticker And The Value Of Keeping The Press Happy

Posted in Baseball at 8:06 pm by

Days after the Providence Journal’s Sean McAdam suggested that Manny Ramirez wanted to take himself out of the lineup over a dispute with the official scorer, the Boston Herald’s Tony Massarotti reported that David Ortiz visted Mass. General during last weekend’s series against the Yankees, but played in all 5 games nonetheless.

The Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy is almost beside himself with hero worship.

His repeated references to being “stressed” surprised those of us who see him on a semi-regular basis. No Sox player carries himself with more joy or appears more relaxed than David Ortiz. It’s hard to imagine him feeling any pressure. He delivers almost every day and we never think of him as a guy who smashes helmets and/or takes the game home with him. But he acknowledged the Yankee series got to him on the same level that tortures a lot of Sox fans.

And the legend grows. Now the Nation has even more reason to love Big Papi. He leads the majors in home runs, RBIs, and good will. Turns out he cares as much as you care. He put himself in the damn hospital he cares so much.

Or maybe he just ate something bad. It’s happened to me.

Sighing that “Maybe (Coco Crisp) really is the worst centerfielder in the league,”, ‘Feeding The Monster”s Seth Mnookin describes a particularly embarrassing moment from Boston’s 6-0 loss to the Angels last night.

In the bottom of the fifth, with Schilling dealing and Yuniesky Betancourt on first, Willie Bloomquist hit what should have been a bloop single into center field¦except Coco decided he was going to be a hero and bellyflopped about ten feet short of the ball, allowing Betancourt to score and giftwrapping a triple for Bloomquist. The last time a person made that kind of decision ” needlessly diving for a ball when the benefit of a catch would be far outweighed by the danger of letting the ball get by you ” Adam Stern ended up with a highlight reel, along with a stern lecture. (I™ll be here all week, folks.)

I think we’re all relieved to know that Steely Dan have bigger fish to fry than Owen Wilson.

I’m sure there’s an effective way to pitch to Ryan Howard with the bases loaded — an intentional pass, perhaps? Oliver Perez, making his Mets debut, opted for Meatball City, and Howard hit the ball so hard, even Bill Giles didn’t think he was being helpful. Philadelphia is clinging to a 5-4 lead, with Carlos Delgado’s 2-run HR in the last of the 6th narrowing the gap.

ESPN’s Buster Olney points out “the breakdowns of Francisco Liriano and Brad Radke have made Johan Santana’s starts almost must-win affairs for the Twins, and every time, he seems to win.” He’s got some margin for error early tonight at the Cell, as Minnesota’s knocked out Jose Contreras (2.2 IP, 7 hits, 5 earned runs) as the Twins lead the White Sox, 5-1 in the fourth.

Gary Bennett’s Inhuman Highlight Reel

Posted in Baseball at 6:58 pm by

Cardinals 2, Cubs 1

Yadier Molina’s understudy, C Gary Bennet (above) was the unlikely savior for St. Louis earlier today, homering off Rich Hill in the third, then driving in the winning run with a 9th inning single. Chicago squandered a fine effort by Hill (7 IP, 4 hits), who lost the duel to Chris Carpenter, who allowed a mere 2 hits, one of ‘em on a Phil Neven solo HR.

Florida has a 7-1 advantage over the Brewers in the bottom of the 4th ; a perfect time for Ned Yost to summon….Derek Turnbow. I don’t wanna laugh to hard about the closer-to-mop-up transistion, not when the Mets have another 3 years of Billy Wagner on the books.

If you’re looking for a laugh, here’s Jeffrey Loria’s no-confidence vote for Manager Of The Year candidate, Joe Girardi (from the Associated Press).

“Managers obviously have some input during the course of the season,” Loria said. “But what’s important is the product that’s put on the field by the baseball department as well. An amazing job was done by our organization before we started this season.”

When told his comments might fuel the perception Girardi won’t return next season, Loria told reporters: “If you guys want to come to those conclusions, OK. As far as I’m concerned, the only focus for me and the fans should be what’s on the field, personalities aside.”

Indeed, the baseball department did an awesome job supplying Girardi with a such a deep, veteran lineup. And who can forget all the preseason pundits, almost unanimous in their forecasts : Marlins over the D-Rays in 7 Games, etc.

San Francisco’s 4-1 win over the Reds today moved the Giants within 3 games of the wild card. The enigmatic Noah Lowery allowed little more damage than a David Ross solo HR, and Shea Hillenbrand hit a 2-run HR off Bronson Arroyo. Death Wish’s season has gone down the toilet since he was shown covering “Wonderwall” on Fox, so let this be a lesson to all you aspiring crooner/guitarists.

A two-run HR into the right field seats by Carlos Beltran, his 38th, has given the Mets a 2-0 lead over the Phillies through 2 innings. Along with a 2 run shot off Randy Wolf in last night’s 4-3 loss, Beltran hit 3 two run homers at Shea this week. The crowd was chanting “MVP” Friday evening, and much as I’d love to give the throng credit for recognizing the value of a player they booed on opening day, fuck ‘em. They’re a fickle bunch. Shawn Green was hearing it last night. Or maybe not. But I was heard it, it was directed at Shawn Green, and that’s fucked up enough. So he’s hitting .125 since arriving in Flushing…all of 72 hours ago. At least wait until the end of play Sunday before pronouncing him a bum.

Tampa Bay has placed Scott Kazmir on the DL. Never again will some uppity rookie dare to urinate on Al Leiter’s Pablo Cruise-playing boombox.

CSTB’s Abbreviated Fall TV Preview

Posted in The World Of Entertainment at 4:38 pm by

Though their baseball coverage and parent company’s continued employment of Phil Mushnick are frequent subjects of ridicule around here, I do have to give Fox’s entertainment division some credit. They’ve been responsible for some of my all-time favorite television comedies ; “Get A Life”, “Married (With Children)” and of course, that Sunday afternoon show where the middle aged guys sit around and laugh at Jimmy Johnson’s hair.

So it was with considerable disappointment today that I viewed an extended trailer for the premiere episode of Fox’s “‘Til Death”, a new situation comedy featuring the modest talents of mutli-Emmy winner Brad Garrett.

Though Garrett’s star turn as the grumbly brother on the intensely generic “Everybody Loves Raymond” is probably what made him the bankable lead face in a series, it was his brief role as the title character’s over-zealous mechanic on “Seinfeld” for which he is best remembered in my household.

Which is what makes it so surprising that with echoes of “Seinfeld” still fresh in the ears of, well, anyone old and dull enough to be watching sitcoms rather than something more sensational on cable or satellite, the makers of “‘Til Death” would mine such familar motifs in the very first episode.

Repeated jokes about “make-up sex”? Sounds kinda familiar. A pool table in a room far too tiny to accomodate one (with resulting casualties)? We’ve seen it before.

Weirdest of all, the program most closely mimmicked is not “Seinfeld”, but in fact, “The Munsters”, if for no other reason than Garrett’s phoning-it-in turn as a grumbly, 40-something husband, is almost entirely lifted from Fred Gwynne’s performance as patriarch Herman.

I’ve not been furnished with advance DVD’s of any of CBS’ new shows yet, but the insanity of the so-called Tiffany Network hosting small screen projects from James Woods and Ray Liotta is enough to have me consider investing in a second TiVo. Never mind the hours on the hard drive, I don’t think one console can handle nearly so much overacting.

That said, I’m just grateful they didn’t find a way to pair either of them with Dave Navarro.

Bad news for the Mushnick Family : the show about Julia-Louis Dreyfus’ vagina is coming back.

Loathsome Meets Despicable : The Brazil v. Big Ron Pissing Match

Posted in Football, Sports Radio at 8:57 am by

I can’t hardly believe this warranted a press release from talkSPORT, but then again, I can’t believe anyone listens to James Whale or Mike Dickin without a gun to their head.


Raucous Sports Breakfast radio king Alan Brazil (above) has hit back at former boss Ron Atkinson, after the controversial walking advert for sun beds criticised the fiery Scot on TV.

Big Ron, who is currently starring in a reality TV football manger programme, attacked Brazil, a player he signed for Manchester United in the early 80™s, knocking the former Scotland internationals ability.

But last night Brazil, who won two European medals and played for Scotland 13 times said: œRon was so desperate to sign me that I was afraid to pick up the phone at home in case it was him again.

œAs I recall it, Atkinson had a less than average football career and is no position to make judgements on international footballers.

On television this week Atkinson, starring in Big Ron Manager, was sitting in the dug out at Peterborough when the crowd starting singing ˜its just like watching Brazil.™

On hearing the chant, Big Ron quipped to club chairman Barry Fry, ˜as long as they™re not talking ALAN Brazil, that™s fine.™

Brazil, who was watching the programme at home was incensed by the slur.

The following morning he told millions of listeners on talkSPORT: œHe was out of order. Ron and I had our differences when I was a player and he was a manager but I put that behind me many years ago.

œI™ve had a couple of drinks with then guy over the last few years but didn™t realise he was still venomous about the times we were together. There was no way in the world I was going to take that without responding.

œAnd another thing, on the programme last night Ron was going on about Bleasdale [the then Peterborough United manager] being insecure. Well let me tell you that in my time at Manchester United there was only one man insecure there and it was him. He always had to have his buddies around him.

If that’s the kind of “slur” that provokes such a response, we can only hope Brazil never finds his way into the Monday Night Football booth.

08.25.06

Howie Rose Vs. J/Geremi Gozales

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 7:18 pm by

These may be the Dog Days Of August, and the Mets might be trailing the Phillies, 4-0 in the 3rd (1 HR, 3 RBI’s for Ryan Howard), but every now and then, WFAN’s Howie Rose is the best in show.

When Rose mentioned that Brian Bannister’s hamstring injury ushered in “the Jose Lime /Geremi Gonzalez era,” Tom McCarthy confessed that he’d tried to place Gonzalez’ name last night and failed.

“That’s because you didn’t know whether to spell it with a ‘J’ or ‘G’,” snorted Howie. “How old is he…you’d think by the time someone hits their 30′s they’d have figured it out.”

“Perhaps,” murmured McCarthy, “he wanted to wipe the slate clean.”

“I think the time for that has long since passed,” insisted Rose. “If it was that easy, I’d spell my name with a ‘W’.”

No More Ballin’ Even Less Bawling For Rice

Posted in Gridiron at 3:37 pm by

The Oakland Tribune’s Jerry McDonald attended the contract signing designed to allow Jerry Rice to retire as a San Francisco 49er…and doesn’t even mention what the buffet was like!


The last time Jerry Rice attended a retirement ceremony at the Marie P. DeBartolo Sports Centre, he may as well have been watching a “Steel Magnolias”/Terms of Endearment” double feature.

It was June 12, 2000, when Steve Young stood in the 49ers’ locker room and called it a career, choosing to leave football with his senses intact.

Young’s eyes were dry, the picture of a man at peace with his decision.

Rice was a mess.

He managed a few smiles as Young controlled the room with equal parts humor and humility, but mostly he cried like Dick Vermeil the day of the final roster cutdown.

It wasn’t hard to imagine Rice, then 37, envisioning his own football mortality.

œI know the clock is ticking for me also, Rice said that day.

It ticked for five more seasons, 343 receptions, 4,553 yards and 28 touchdowns. It ticked through one year with the 49ers, three with the Oakland Raiders and one with the Seattle Seahawks.

It ticked through training camp of the Denver Broncos before reality began to set in.

It ticked through œDancing with the Stars. Finally, under a tent outside the 49ers’ facility Thursday, Rice signed a ceremonial contract to end his career where he started it.

There wasn’t a teardrop in sight. Rice had apparently gotten them out of the way after it didn’t work out in Denver.

œI think I have shed my tears already, Rice said. œTo come back here and officially retire a 49er is a happy day.

He seemed to mean it, immediately cutting off a question about Junior Seau, the linebacker who announced his retirement last week only to sign with the New England Patriots four days later.

œI want to let you guys know I’m not going to pull a Junior Seau, Rice said. œThat’s not going to happen. It’s official today, and it’s going to stay that way.

Fine work, Jerry, but the producers of “Jocks Vs. Joes” will not soon forget the snub.

Days after Patriots holdout Deion Branch assured the adoring public a resolution was close to at hand, the Boston Globe’s Mike Reiss reports New England have given the wide receiver permission to find a new club and negotiate terms until September 1.  Translation for people who don’t care about the Patriots or Deion Branch’s career?  Consider drafting Ben Watson.

And The Chants Of C-Z-W, C-Z-W Rise Up…

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 2:48 pm by

…from the dumpster outside CSTB HQ. Link courtesy Wojohowicz.

Mama A.I. To Become The Larry Miller Of The Bush Leagues

Posted in Basketball at 2:42 pm by

All kidding aside, if Tim Hardaway is qualified to own an ABA team, who says Mrs. Iverson isn’t?

From ESPN.com
:

Allen Iverson’s mom showed her own crossover skills Friday, when the ABA announced she’ll have her own team this season.

Ann Iverson (above) will be the majority owner and chairwoman of the American Basketball Association’s new team in Richmond, Va.

“Richmond is a great basketball city and will be a great ABA city. We are pleased to be back there,” ABA CEO Joe Newman said. “We have a tremendous ownership group, very knowledgeable and experienced and we know that they will do a terrific job.”

I sincerely hope Mrs. Iverson and the ABA strongly consider my suggested name for the new franchise : The Richmond Family Jewelz.

No Visible Intent To Dog It

Posted in Baseball at 2:20 pm by

The Detroit News’ Bob Wojnowski with one of those rare occasions when a lack of hustle is apparently considered excusable by scribe and manager alike.

By the end of the Tigers’ ugly, ugly 10-0 loss to the White Sox on Thursday, we weren’t sure what was more shocking. Was it that Sean Casey was thrown out at first on his line drive to the left fielder, or that the Tigers delivered a stinkin’ pile of baseball?

Casey’s mistake we can forgive. He thought third baseman Joe Crede had caught the ball so he stopped running and only started again when the crowd shrieked. By then it was too late to beat left fielder Pablo Ozuna’s throw, eliciting the loudest boos we’ve heard at Comerica Park in a long time.

The mighty Casey didn’t intentionally dog it, and neither did the Tigers, although at times against Jon Garland, they sure looked like they were content to take quick, tame cuts.

Manager Jimmy Leyland swatted away questions about Casey’s fifth-inning hiccup.

“Does anybody in their right mind think Sean Casey stands at home plate and says, ‘I’m not running?’” Leyland said. “Even Crede thought he caught the ball. That’s a real bad question, a terrible question, in fact, a brutal question. I don’t want to deal with that silly stuff. We stunk.”

Maynard Ferguson, RIP

Posted in Cinema, The World Of Entertainment at 1:50 pm by

Band leader and trumpet player Maynard Ferguson, above, best known for the theme to “Rocky”, has passed away at the age of 78.

Though this is undoubtedly a sad occasion for Ferguson’s fans, friends and family, there is considerable silver lining.  The musician’s passing means he’ll not live to witness a screening of the forthcoming “Rocky Balboa”, and never again will he be mistaken for Chuck Mangione, or the singer for Tool when dropping off a rental car.

Ben Thatcher, Face-Rearranger

Posted in Football at 11:52 am by

All of a sudden, QPR actually winning a Worthless Cup match and Nic Anelka’s return to the Premiership aren’t the big stories. For years, some of us have been confident that Man City defender Ben Thatcher would make headlines. Perhaps when his body was found washed up somewhere, or maybe in one of those “my agent stole my money” scandals. This, however, was not what we had in mind.

Hurry Up Harry Redknapp wonders if it would take killing someone to justify a red card these days. Other than Wayne Rooney appealing the decision later on, yeah, I think that’s exactly what would be required.

Mushnick Stalks Teens At Shea

Posted in social crusaders, Sports TV at 11:29 am by

Still reeling from the Little League W.S. F-bomb, the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick bemoans the boorish behavior amongst today’s desensitized kiddies.

Beyond always overdoing it, ESPN’s LL telecasts have included ads for “male enhancement” products. Sunday’s live, kid cursing episode occurred later on a Sunday night than when ESPN presented its ESPY awards last month, which near the top included an off-color sex gag. And the ESPYs were shown on tape.

ESPN’s Bobby Knight movie was loaded with profanities. It debuted on a Sunday at 8 p.m. It was repeated in the afternoon, for the after-school crowd.

ESPN opened a Sunday night NFL telecast with a group urinal scene. That, too, appeared earlier in the night than this past Sunday’s LL episode. And that, too, was shown on tape.

The cumulative effects of the number that the sports and entertainment worlds have done on our kids should no longer make for surprising results.

Last month, Steve Trachsel was pulled after 42/3 innings. Although he’d won seven straight decisions, as he headed for the dugout in Shea, he was booed. “Trachsel, you bleep!” two boys, about 14, screamed in Trachsel’s face from their seats near that dugout. I was seated nearby.

This month in Shea, when Chase Utley’s hit streak ended at 35 games, most of those shown on TV mindlessly jeering him were kids and teens.

Assuming the boys in question were not members of Steve Trachsel’s family, why didn’t Phil offer to adopt them?

Former Joey Sentenced

Posted in Baseball, Modern Art, The Law at 4:35 am by

From the East Valley Tribune :

Former major league slugger Albert Belle (above) will spend up to three months in jail and five years on probation for stalking an ex-girlfriend in Scottsdale.

Judge James Keppel delivered the sentence Thursday in Maricopa County Superior Court. Belle will be eligible to apply for a work furlough while in jail and will receive credit for 29 days already served.

Belle, 39, pleaded guilty July 26 and faced up to eight years and nine months behind bars.

Belle, who played for the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox, admitted in court to placing a Global Positioning Satellite unit on his ex-girlfriend™s car to track her and then showing up at various places where she was.

He also made implied threats to the woman during a telephone call, prosecutor Scott Doering said.

Belle was free on bail on the first charge when Scottsdale police arrested him in May for making a series of hang-up calls to the woman, Christine Williams of Scottsdale, court records state.

Belle™s wife, Melissa, testified in June that she had made the calls, but Judge James Keppel wrote in a ruling that her testimony wasn™t credible.

In an unrelated story, while I’m happy to report the following message is no longer ending up on my answering machine several times a week, prior commitments on the Eastern Seaboard will prevent me from attending this fantastic art opening.

Bannister To Start Friday Night, El Duque Shelved

Posted in Baseball at 4:22 am by

While there’s no shortage of positives to take away from the Mets’ 6-2 win and series sweep of the Cardinals (Carlos Delgado continuing his recent tear, a successful NY debut for Shawn Green, another solid outing for Reds retread Dave Williams, the increasing likelihood the fraudulent Tony La Russa will be cover the playoffs for Deadspin), the New York Times’ David Picker reminds us the Amazins’ entire starting rotation is officially M.I.A.

The Mets announced yesterday that Brian Bannister, the rookie right-hander who won a spot in the rotation with a standout spring, would be put on the 25-man roster in time to start tonight™s game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Shea Stadium.

He will replace Orlando Hernández, whom the Mets insisted was not ailing but could use a rest.

The Mets made room for Bannister on the 25-man roster by sending Lastings Milledge to Class AAA Norfolk, but they did not say who would start tomorrow in place of Glavine.

They could call up Oliver Pérez and make room by temporarily sending Bannister or Dave Williams, who went six and a third innings for the victory last night, to Norfolk. The Mets could also put Glavine on the disabled list, backdate it and have him ready to come off the D.L. by next weekend.

But any pitcher sent down could not be recalled for 10 days, making him ineligible for any postseason roster. Another option for the Mets is simply to use the long reliever Darren Oliver to start tomorrow™s game.

John Maine is slated to pitch Sunday, and the Mets will likely begin their series at Colorado on Tuesday with Steve Trachsel. After that, the rotation becomes mysterious again.

This is as good a time as any to remind everyone that good seats (well, not-very-obstructed view tickets) still remain for the Brooklyn Cyclones’ September 6th game against Vermont, long-ago dubbed “Brian Bannister Bobblehead Night.”

08.24.06

Varejao Runs Afoul Of Brazil’s Brutal Hoops Media

Posted in Basketball at 4:48 pm by

In addition to covering Team USA’s clinical dispatch of Senegal earlier today in the FIBA World Championships, The Akron Journal’s Brian Windhorst drops the following tidbit from the competition.

According to reports from Brazilian media, Anderson Varejao (above) has been complaining of fatigue in his legs that has been causing him to lose strength. It wasn’t clear whether team doctors believed the symptoms were due to a physical problem or something else.

After playing well early in the tournament, Varejao’s production fell off. He scored nine points in Brazil’s loss to Lithuania on Thursday, but the defeat knocked the Brazilians from the tournament.

He also was involved in a violent collision with Greek guard Nikoloas Zisis on Wednesday. As Zisis dribbled to the middle, where Varejao was playing in Brazil’s zone, Varejao delivered a nasty elbow to the right side of Zisis’ face. The blow broke a bone in the guard’s face.

Replays showed Varejao was looking the other way when the hit occurred, but there was no doubt he swung his elbow. Angry Greek players reportedly confronted Varejao following the game.

Detroit Bad Boys paid close attention to the long-awaited battle between Carlos Delfino and Darko Milicic on the world stage, characterized as “Former Piston” vs. “Maybe Wants to be a Former Piston.” Even Larry Brown forgot what time this one was on.

Apparently, Mr. and Mrs. Vince Carter are splitsville. Captain Red Ass would appreciate it if the rest of us respected their privacy during this difficult time.

DC Baseball Fans…Your New Orleans Zephyrs!

Posted in Baseball at 4:31 pm by

The Nationals dropped a 9-7 decision to the Fish last night in Miami, and the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga bemoans a minor league workforce at major league prices.

The Nationals fielded a makeshift lineup Frank Robinson designed to give some of his regulars a two-day break with Thursday’s scheduled off day. Most of the fans in the tiny crowd at Dolphin Stadium surely couldn’t have named the Washington starters.

Henry Mateo, a utility man called up from the minors Tuesday, played for Ryan Zimmerman at third, his first major league appearance at the position, and he hit his first big league homer. Bernie Castro, a career minor leaguer, subbed for Jose Vidro at second. Brandon Harper, a 30-year-old who is getting his first chance in the majors after spending eight seasons in the minors, was the catcher in place of Brian Schneider, who is still overcoming a bruised toe. Daryle Ward, with one start and just 18 total innings at first base this season, replaced Nick Johnson there, and hit a three-run homer in the ninth, trimming the deficit.

No disrespect to Harper (above), but considering his place on the Nats’ depth chart was previously blocked by Robert Fick and Matthew LeCroy, well, that really says it all.

Cubs, ChiSox In Afternoon Routage

Posted in Baseball at 3:17 pm by

Much as the annual Papi/Jeter MVP competition is crazy entertainment for the universe that doesn’t revolve around Boston and NYC, Jermaine Dye (above) is every bit as serious a candidate as, uh, Ross Perot. Dye’s hit a pair of HR’s today in Detroit, as the White Sox are up, 10-0 in the 8th. Jon Garland’s allowed a mere 3 hits in 7 innings, and remains the single most dependable figure in O.G.’s rotation.

Cole Hamels took an early shower (either that, or he’s kinda stinky) and the Cubs have pounded the Phillies to the tune of 4 HR’s midway through their Wrigley matinee. The Cubs are ahead, 11-1, and it’s amazing the way Aramis Ramirez can flip the switch when there’s nothing at stake.

My ‘Hood’s Local Nightlife Scene, Eviscerated

Posted in non-sporting journalism, Tourism at 11:43 am by

between blog mania, the ease of making a website and the general reluctance on the part of the publc to read something that doesn’t have pretty pictures of AFI, we’re not exactly living in the golden age of ‘zines.  Every now and then, however, there’s sentiment expressed, in print, that oughta be shared.  From vol. 2, issue 2 of Austin, TX’s Misprint

Nowhere in Austin (aside from 6th street…or 4th street…or Red River…) can one find more douchebaggotry-per-square foot than in this block of clubs. A scenester fashion hellhole, The Whiskey Bar hosts bands with faux-hawks and chicks dressed like dudes from 1987. The Rainbow Cattle Company is a gay cowboy bar full of guys attempting to two-step and chicks dressed like dudes from 1994. Finally, there’s Foundation, an imitation-upscale dance club, where the chicks dress like your average Whiskey Bar girl did before she discovered The Bravery.

These three bars share a too-short stretch of sidewalk. But despite profoundly different patronc, it sometimes seems like we should just knock down the walls to make one giant, yet lame, club.

Droog-friendly milk bar Oslo recently rebranded itself as the “Hi-lo”, a new, high-concept shit-stain on the face of Austin nightlife that stinks of cocksuckery so badly I can smell it from my loft-like apartment. The front half is a your standard west sixth  yuppie lounge, while the back has been painstakingly converted to resemble what Houston restauranteurs think Austin dive bars look like. They’ve imported gallons of urine and are even hosting some shitty bands, but the end result  is more T.G.I. Friday’s than The Continental.

Wow.  That’s Hi-lo off the list of places for the CSTB Fantasy Draft, then.  I wonder if they take reservations at Luby’s?