Brett Statue In Greater Demand Than Brett

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 12:55 pm by

From the Springfield News-Leader :

A bronze bust of former Kansas City Royals third baseman George Brett (above) has apparently been stolen from outside the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, 3861 E. Stan Musial Drive, a Greene County Sheriff™s Department spokesman said today.

Museum officials noticed the bust was missing today but think it was probably taken some time over the weekend, Sgt. Rick Mallory said.

Mallory said the bust was worth about $15,000, but he didn™t know how heavy it was.

œThat™s got to weigh a lot, but not necessarily so much that one person couldn™t carry it off, he said.

Paging Lou Piniella : Nats Tell Robbie To Fuck Off

Posted in Baseball at 11:33 am by

From MLB.com’s Bill Ladson.

The Nationals are planning to tell manager Frank Robinson on Thursday that he will be not return to the club in 2007, a baseball source said after Wednesday’s game against the Phillies.

Another source said the front office, which includes general manager Jim Bowden and team president Stan Kasten, has yet to set up a meeting with Robinson. Bowden did not reply to an e-mail and Kasten declined to discuss Robinson’s situation when approached by MLB.com.

Robinson’s contract expires at the end of the year, and the veteran skipper has been waiting for weeks to learn about his future. Robinson was hoping to manage the Nationals for another three years, but a second-half collapse in 2005 — after being in first place before the All-Star break — and a subpar season in 2006 has put him on thin ice with the organization.

T.O.’s Physio Spills The Beans

Posted in Gridiron at 8:17 am by

While Terrell Owens’ publicist boldly claimed yesterday that her client “has 25 million reasons to live,” (yeah, tell that one to Kurt Cobain), the Dallas WR’s personal trainer paints a far different picture in this morning’s Dallas Morning News.


“A lot of things were coming to a head anyway, and then this happened,” said James “Buddy” Primm (above) , 55, who until earlier this month, had been living with Owens in his loft on Commerce Street, in the shadow of Fair Park.

Primm said Owens underwent two traumatic events Monday involving his 7-year-old son and his fiancée, a woman he has dated for three years.

Owens’ son, from a previous relationship, celebrated his birthday Monday, Primm said. Owens was distraught, he said, about not being able to be see the boy, who lives in California.

“He wanted to get together with the boy,” Primm said. “But the boy could not come here, and Terrell could not go there.”

Then hours later, a woman whom Primm described as Owens’ fiancée broke off the relationship. Primm declined to give the woman’s last name but said she and Owens had been dating for three years. She also lives in California.

“That’s been coming on forever,” Primm said of the breakup. “She’s not a bad girl. She’s cool, she’s fine. He said, ‘Can I take a break from the engagement?’ And she said, ‘No, let’s just put a stop to it.’ And that was a complete surprise to Terrell.”

Owens “doesn’t have many friends,” said the trainer, who contends that the public and news media have long misperceived a man he considers “a gentle soul” and a “caring, highly sensitive” individual with a fragile psyche.

Shpigel : Trachsel, Maine Likely For Playoff Starts

Posted in Baseball at 8:10 am by

While recapping the horror show that was Pedro Martinez’ latest start, a gruesome display in last night’s 13-1 loss at Turner Field, the New York Times’ Ben Shpigel examines the Mets’ playoff rotation options. Looks like everyone not named Heilman or Lima has a shot at starting.

Willie Randolph had already prepared Tom Glavine and Orlando Hernández for the possibility of starting Game 1, but he must decide almost immediately. Since he is scheduled to pitch Thursday, Hernández would be in line to pitch Game 1 either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Asking Glavine to pitch Game 1 would require him to miss Saturday™s scheduled start, and he would need to change his routine. Steve Trachsel will almost certainly get a postseason start and John Maine, once in danger of not making the playoff roster, is a near-lock now, too.

Unfortunately for them, the Mets are no longer operating in a vacuum where Martínez is their greatest and sole concern. His disintegration Wednesday coincided with the team™s freefall, a miserable stretch of 10 losses in 13 games that has dropped their September record to 11-15. For the Mets to avoid not having a winning month for the first time this season, they must win their final four games. Right now, that seems impossible, even with playing the final three at last-place Washington.

Since I’ve taken no small pleasure in their recent woes, I’d be remiss in not mentioning the other NL club heading for the finish line with even less momentum than the Mets might’ve saved their season last night, thanks to some late heroics from Albert Pujols. The results at Nuevo Busch, however, didn’t provide Tuesday’s most tension-filled moments (outside of the CSTB birthday bash), said honor going to the Phillies’ marathon win at RFK, a conclusion seemingly witnessed by a few thousand Philadelphia fans and hardly anyone else.

Don’t Fix The Cubs Or The TribCo, They Ain’t Broke

Posted in Baseball at 7:22 am by

Dusty Baker isn™t the only Trib employee wondering where they™ll land next season, as an apparently chipper Trib CEO Dennis FitzSimons dropped in on his œBaltimore Sun staff to let them know he holds their work in even less regard than Kerry Wood™s arm:

Witnesses said that FitzSimons (above) had a conversational tone and even cracked a couple of jokes that went over surprisingly well, despite at least one staffer suggesting that the company sell the Chicago Cubs instead of its newspapers and television stations. FitzSimons responded by noting how much the value of the Cubs franchise has grown in recent years.

Uh, “grown?” I’ll check my Baseball Encyclopedia, which is just chock full of Cub post seasons stats from œrecent years, but the sad thing is only the Cubs could “grow” and finish dead last in their division. And how nice of FitzSimons to shrug off firing suggestions of firing the worst team in baseball over the œSun. Anyway, FitzSimons’ Don’t Fix It If It Ain’t Broke attitude explains a lot about his stewardship of The Tradition. At least Phil Rogers has something on his mind other than Dusty — booting Jim Hendry and Andy MacPhail. Go, Phil, Go …

If injuries explain a 94-loss (and growing) season, then why does that explanation excuse the two guys above the manager but not the manager? Hendry was under pressure in the winter and made some shaky moves. He never will complain about anything, but where was MacPhail when Hendry needed help?

Where was MacPhail to help him defuse the Baker-Steve Stone mess down the stretch in 2004? Cooler heads should have prevailed on that one, especially since the melodrama played out as the Cubs were falling out of the playoff picture? Where was MacPhail when the Cubs were planting the seeds for the mess that would be their 2006 season?

Rockets Nab Bonzi

Posted in Basketball at 7:01 am by

While the New York Sun’s John Hollinger made the reasonable suggestion that Charlotte — some $4 million under the cap — make a play for ex-Sacramento/Memphis starlet Bonzi Wells, Houston have made a hash of Hollinger’s otherwise excellent column, inking the free agent SG to a two year, $5 million pact.

ESPN’s Rich Bucher describes Wells as “the last significant free-agent talent on the market.”

Which, I suppose, is Bucher’s roundabout way of saying Keith Van Horn is not a significant talent.

Recovering motorsports enthusiast Jay Williams is expected to sign a deal with the Nets later today. Though the contract is non-guaranteed, it’s a fair bet that no matter how this relationship plays out, it should prove slightly less fatal than the last time New Jersey had a player with a very similar name.


Astros, Phillies, Cards In Tight Spots, Pedro Shelled

Posted in Baseball at 9:49 pm by

(fuck Robert Fick, here’s your replacement for Nick Johnson, Alexander Ovenchkin)

While the Phillies shook off last night’s rip job in erasing a 4-1 deficit tonight at RFK, Houston’s having a problem against the spoil-tastic Pirates.

(UPDATE: Houston 6, Pirates 6, as Eric Bruntlett’s RBI single with two out in the top of the 9th transfered the hook from Jason Hirsh’s jaw to that of Salmon Torres)

(UPDATE DOS : Phillies 6, Nats 5. A blown save for Flash in the last of 9th, but Philly’s rebounded against Flatcap Chad)

For the 2nd time in his last three starts, Pedro Martinez failed to make it past the 3rd inning, allowing 7 earned runs on 8 during a miserable 61 pitch outing, one marked by HR’s served up to Brian McCann and Jeff Francouer. Atlanta’s ahead 13-1, and scorelines like this are becoming brutally familiar to the Mets in September.

Grim numbers from the AP’s game summary : “Martinez has a 16.97 ERA over his last four starts, giving up 22 hits and 20 earned runs in 11 2-3 innings.” Even Hayden Penn shuddered while reading the above.
Four words the suffering baseball fans of St. Louis really didn’t need to hear on this or any night : “Now pitching, Braden Looper.” Though in all seriousness, the introduction of San Diego’s Chris Young oughta give the rest of the league genuine pause. He’s been almost untouchable in his last two stints.

The Yankees, currently engaged in stat-padding mania at the Stadium versus the O’s, passed the 4 million mark in home attendence this evening. Clearly, the Bronx is far too dangerous a place for the Mushnick family to spend a night out.

Sheridan : Bench Burrell Now

Posted in Baseball at 4:20 pm by

Claiming the Phillies’ Pat Burrell “looks so miserable, you have to think it would be a mercy killing for Charlie Manuel to pull the plug on his season,” the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Phil Sheridan would like to see Burrell benched “ASAP, stat and PDQ – before the Dodgers or Padres are spraying champagne to celebrate their wild-card clinch.” (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

With righthander Ramon Ortiz starting for the Washington Nationals, the lefthanded David Dellucci would have made perfect sense. As it was, Manuel dropped Burrell to the sixth spot, after Jeff Conine.

It didn’t help. Burrell struck out with runners on first and second in the first inning, helping to douse a potential big rally after just two runs. After a single in the third, Burrell came up in the fifth with one out and runners on first and third.

He struck out on three pitches: foul ball, foul ball, flail at an outside pitch – just as it says in the How to Strike Out Pat Burrell pamphlet available in every major-league clubhouse.

In the eighth, with the Nationals out of lefthanded relievers, Manuel let Burrell lead off. He popped weakly to second base. Lefthanded pinch-hitter Randall Simon immediately drilled a single to left off reliever Jon Rauch.

“Pat hit some balls hard,” Manuel said after the 4-3 loss dropped the Phillies a game down in the wild-card race. “My options there are Pat, Conine and Dellucci. I’m going to match them up. Pat had some pretty good numbers against the guy tonight.”

Burrell was 2 for 5 lifetime against Ortiz, with two singles and two walks. Dellucci was 1 for 3 but had struck out twice against Ortiz. So those are the numbers.

Any More Football Questions, Folks?

Posted in Gridiron, Sports TV at 2:38 pm by

“When I find out what the hell’s  going on, I’ll you know. I’m not gonna be interrogated.”

Crack reporter Michael Irvin and Arena Football exec Deion Sanders
have each passed along Owens’ denials of a suicide attempt.

As the story crosses from the comic to the tragic and back again, on the bright side, at least Mike Vanderjagt is under a bit less scrutiny.

Bob Ley, not given to overstatement, introduced Chris Mortensen today as “someone with more NFL contacts than any human alive.” I’d be pretty keen to meet the dog, chimp or dolphin that has a better hookup than Mort.

Bidding War Alert, Pt. XX

Posted in Gridiron, Rock Und Roll at 11:27 am by

Bo Knows Getting Fucked In The Eye By The Buckeyes?

Presenting Columbus, OH’s Dead Schembeclers (link courtesy Wojohowicz)