Lance Armstrong, Renaissance Man

Posted in cycling, Technical Difficulties, The Internet, The Law at 5:30 pm by

Lance Armstrong isn’t merely a world class cyclist, budding marathon runner, aspiring stand-up comic and platonic friend to Jake Gyllenhaal. He’s also, allegedly, just as big a hacker as, uh, Matthew Lillard.

From Cycling News’s Tim Mahoney (link courtesy Sam Frank)

Although French investigators from the cybercrime unit of the Gendarmerie have yet to find the culprits who hacked the computer system of the anti-doping laboratory (LNDD) in Châtenay-Malabry, sending fake e-mails that were allegedly sent by a “close associate” of 2006 Tour De France winner Floyd Landis, according to French newspaper Le Monde, another American cyclist may be a suspect in the cyberspace tomfoolery: Lance Armstrong.An article published last week in Le Monde by French journalist Stéphane Mandard contained a claim that Lance Armstrong might be the mystery hacker of the LNDD lab, according to allegations by Betsy Andreu in her deposition of January 17, 2006 in the Armstrong/SCA Promotions arbitration case. When Armstrong’s attorney Timothy Herman deposed Mrs. Andreu, asking “did you already tell anyone that Lance Armstrong has hacked your computer”, Betsy Andreu, the wife of former professional cyclist Frankie Andreu said “I think [Armstrong] has hacked my computer and we are currently suing America On Line to find the IP address of who hacked my computer.”

Betsy Andreu had already filed a complaint with the Dearborn, Michigan police department on March 31, 2005 when she tried to sign on to her AOL account and found that someone else had already signed on to her account and that the same thing happened to Frankie Andreu’s computer the next day.

Betsy Andreu told Le Monde’s Mandard that “Lance wanted to control everything; anything anyone might say about him and he was ready to do anything to do it.” According to Mrs. Andreu, her computer wasn’t the only one Armstrong had hacked. She claimed in her SCA deposition in January 2006 that former Oakley sports marketing manager Stephanie McIlvain thought that Armstrong had hacked her computer and had placed a bug in the computer of his ex-wife Kristin as the couple was going through their divorce.

“Stephanie told me that [Armstrong] told her he put a bug in Kristin’s computer and every word she typed was sent directly to him. Stephanie was scared that Lance had also hacked her computer.” Although AOL refused to cooperate with Ms. Andreu, she told Mandard the she next intended to take the matter up with the Justice Department.

When Cyclingnews reached Lance Armstrong at his home in Austin, Texas to ask him about the accusations in the Le Monde article, the seven time Tour De France winner was incredulous. “Oh boy… Just when I thought I had heard it all”, exclaimed a surprised Armstrong. “What’s next? Saddam Hussein’s WMD’s are out at my ranch in Texas? ‘Ridiculous’ does not even begin to describe this latest insinuation. These accusations are not credible in any sense of the word. Are we supposed to believe anything Betsy Andreu says? However, I do wish her all the luck in the world with her lawsuit against AOL, one of the largest ISP’s in the world today.”

Asks Sam, “is this more or less plausible than Harrison Ford in “Firewall”?”

Isola’s Pity For Marbury

Posted in Basketball at 3:27 pm by

Charging that Isiah Thomas “went out of his way to embarrass Stephon Marbury in the home loss to Houston,” the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola hopes the NBA’s Self-Proclaimed No. 1 Point Guard can get a fresh start elsewhere.

Marbury and the Knicks would both be best served by a trade. As a third or fourth option on a good team, Marbury would excel. Plus, I feel at this stage of his career he needs to get out of New York. If he played for Miami, Houston or Dallas he would help those teams.

On some level, I feel sorry for Marbury because I believe there are people in the Knicks organization that have taken advantage of him and allowed his surly behavior to take over the locker room. When Marbury arrived in New York, Thomas gave him the keys to the franchise which only alienated the entire locker room.

Marbury was then told by executives which media members to avoid so instead of using the media to build his image, he acted like a creep and went to war with the press. It was wasted energy in a battle he can™t win. And yet no one in the organization had the smarts to tell him otherwise.

I™m one of those media guys that Marbury has zero use for. Our relationship has come a long way since he was an 11-year-old kid and would call me regularly to talk about high school basketball. Over the years, I™ve established professional relationships with Ewing, Oakley, Harper, Houston, Ward, Larry Johnson, Latrell, Van Gundy. But Marbury was told by the Knicks petty organization to avoid me at all costs.

Unfortunately, it could end badly here for Marbury and when it does those same people who are œprotecting Marbury will be the same folks who will bury him behind his back. That™s the MSG way.

I don’t know if this backs up Isola’s claim that Stephon is overly contentious with the media, but the Journal News’ Mike Dougherty was on hand for the following exchange between the former Coney Island product and the AP’s Brian Mahoney.

SM: œWe™re better than what we were last season right now.
BM: œThe record is about the same.
SM: œWe are?
BM: œYep, 5-10.
SM: œAt this time? Serious?
BM: œYes.
SM: œThis is a better 5-10 than last year.

Da Bulls’ Ben Wallace tells the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson that it was the Nets’ Uncle Cliffy who got him started on the slippery slope of headband-wearing.

“He told me I should try it and that’s a reminder not to let my head get too big in this league,” Wallace said.

The Orange Country Register’s Art Thompson III, along with covering Chris Kamen’s ankle injury, notes the Clippers might send Yaroslav Korolev to their Anaheim D-League affiliate. The Arsenal are visiting the Austin Toros this Friday, and this news will certainly generate frenzied ticket sales amongst Austin’s Russian community. Unless there’s something good on TV Friday night.

The Warriors have knocked off the Jazz and Spurs within 48 hours. If I want to see someone who sneered at Golden State’s hiring of Nervous Nellie, all I have to do is look in the mirror. I’m more recognizable without the snorkle and mask, however.

Sabes To The Hall : Fuck Y’all

Posted in Baseball at 2:51 pm by

From the Kansas City Star’s Jeffrey Flanagan :

Bret Saberhagen
doesn™t hold any illusions about his chances of making it into the Baseball Hall of Fame now that he™s entered his first year on the ballot.

But Saberhagen had some startling words for Hall voters about what he™d do if he got in.

œI™d have to decline, Saberhagen said by phone. œI wouldn™t accept it unless the Hall decides to put Pete Rose in, which is where he belongs. You™re talking about the all-time hits leader. It™s never been proven that he bet on baseball while he played.

Saberhagen said he isn™t a close friend of Rose™s.

œWe talk when we run into each other, Saberhagen said, œbut it™s not like I™ve got his number or he™s got mine. We don™t hang out. But I just feel there™s a problem with the Hall and him not being in there.

I totally know where Sabes is coming from. In the unlikely event CSTB ever wins a Weblog Award, I’ll turn the fucker down, in solidiarity with Pete Rose.

Humorless San Diego Cops Wasting Taxpayer Dough

Posted in The Internet, The Law at 1:57 pm by

From the AP :

A classified ad that offered a free baby boy on the Craigslist Web site was under investigation by police Friday although the posting was believed to be a hoax.

The ad was posted to the “free stuff” section of the site early Thursday alongside offers for free turkey dinners, a set of crutches and an electric stove.

The writer, who said he was in San Diego, claimed that his ex-girlfriend had the baby a few weeks ago.

“Now he just sits in my closet and cries,” the ad stated. “I’m not too sure how to deal with it.”

The posting added: “Batteries not included. Transaction final. No returns.”

Craigslist removed the ad shortly after it appeared.

“This is most probably a hoax,” site founder Craig Newmark said in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Friday.

San Diego police said the matter was referred to investigators in the child abuse unit and another department that investigates Internet crimes against children.

I’m no Curtis Sliwa, but I can promise the San Diego authorities that if they’re looking for something really interesting on Craigslist, “free stuff” isn’t the section.

DeAngelo : I’m A Lazy Sod

Posted in Gridiron at 12:18 pm by

Drew Brees’ Hail Mary to Terrance Copper the other day against the Falcons was already cited in this space as one of those “how the fuck did that happen?” moments. Thanks to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter, we now have an explanation.

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall said he went for an interception on the Hail Mary pass that gave the Saints a 21-6 halftime lead. New Orleans’ Terrance Copper came down with the ball between Hall, Derrick Johnson and Lawyer Milloy.

“I was trying to make a play,” Hall said. “I was kind of being lazy. I probably should have been a couple yards deeper in the end zone instead of trying to fade back.

“Then just being greedy in my mind, wanting to pick it. Then knowing that I can’t pick it and then trying to tip it down. Halfway up in the air, my arms are still at my chest. … The ball goes a little bit to the left.”

The Washington Post’s Howard Bryant writes the Redskins might be holding kicker tryouts today. Surely I’m not alone in thinking this could be Tony Meola’s big break?

Since I’m really having a hard time finding anything positive to say about Eli Manning of late, how’s this? If his 4th quarter decision making was nearly as savvy as his reluctance to take the bait when invited to bury Plaxico Fantastico, the Giants wouldn’t be staring up at the Cowboys in the NFC East standings.

Metal Mike Moving To The East Bay?

Posted in Baseball at 11:54 am by

The SF Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports Oakland are looking to replace Frank Thomas’ production with that of Mike Piazza.

the A’s began talks with Padres catcher Mike Piazza last week about becoming the team’s DH. While negotiations are continuing, according to a source, Oakland is unlikely to sign Piazza, a Type-A free agent, until after the Dec. 1 arbitration deadline so that the team does not lose a draft pick. Piazza, who also was an A’s target last offseason, probably is looking for a two-year deal.

Then there’s the spot that will be open when left-handed starter Barry Zito opts for free agency: On Monday, the team put in a bid for the rights to Japanese lefty Kei Igawa, according to a major-league source. As many as 10 other teams also were expected to put in a bid with Igawa’s Hanshin Tigers, including large payroll clubs such as the Yankees and Mets, so it’s a long-shot that Oakland would acquire the 27-year-old, who went 13-9 in the Central League last season.

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, completely ignoring the appeal of Amoeba Records’ vast selection Savatage rarities at their Berkeley location, surveys the possible move on purely baseball terms.

Oakland is stacked with left-handed hitters such as Eric Chavez and Mark Kotsay, and Thomas provided the right-handed balance. Piazza would serve this purpose, as well — he hit .359 against lefties last season, with a .421 on-base percentage. And in an offseason when the best offensive players are getting six-year deals or eight-year deals, Piazza would probably require only a one- or two-year deal, which would better fit Oakland’s modest payroll.

Olney also stresses Piazza’s low batting average last year at the place Pets Fly Balls Go To Die (.233) compared to a none too shabby .332 away.

Slusser’s colleague, Henry Schulman, along with reporting the Red Sox are insisting on more than Armando Benitez + an unidentified position player in exchange for Manny Being Manny, writes the Cubs have offered free agent P Jason Schmidt $44 million over 3 years.

With Randy Wolf moving to the Dodgers, the Phillies have signed P Adam Eaton to a 3 year, $24 million pact. Apparently, that’s the going rate for a hurler who has never won more than 11 games, and is coming off a short stint for Texas where he compiled an ERA of 5.12 (albiet in a hitter’s park).

It seems as though free agent C Rod Barajas flunked his physical in Toronto. I don’t know exactly what that means, but I’ve always had trouble with the coughing part.

OF David Dellucci, identified earlier this year by baseball expert Tom Hicks (above) as a paragon of toughness and leadership, has signed a 3-year, $11.5 million contract with Cleveland.

CSTB Marketing Dept. Busts Out Of Extended Slump

Posted in Internal Affairs, The Marketplace at 2:28 am by

OK, perhaps the CSTB line of actionwear is selling worse than Bobby V. muscle tees.  There’s no cause for panic, not when your 13th or 14th favorite spurts blog has joined forces with T-Mobile to introduce the Ltd. Edition CSTB Sidekick III.

(photograph by Sally Crewe)

Sports Putz Vs. Joumana Kidd Basher

Posted in Basketball, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 1:41 am by

Bill Simmons’ recent critique of Celtics coach Doc Rivers not only failed to escape the notice of David Roth, but stuck firmly in the craw of the Globe’s Bob Ryan, who holds the Sports Putz accountable for the anti-Rivers chants that have filled the TD Banknorth Garden of late. David Scott quotes Ryan’s remarks from a Sunday night appearance on Bob Lobel’s “Sports Final”.

From 3,000 miles away, someone who has got some influence on I™d say at least 25 percent of the people who are after Doc Rivers, Bill Simmons. . . UNBELIEVABLE, has written a column last week at ESPN.com assaulting and just killing Doc Rivers.

And I™m telling you that the emails I get reflect the fact that people are paying attention to him from 3,000 miles away, as if he knows what™s going on with the Celtics.

While Scott’s Shots is primed for “a potentially simmering feud between two of Boston™s most influential sports columnists,” a subsequent reply from Simmons is of the taking-the-high-road variety. That aside, I mean no disrespect whatsoever (ok, maybe a little) in observing that the other 75% of Celtics fans that aren’t under the Sports Putz’ magic spell are perfectly capable of reaching a negative conclusion about Doc all by themselves (as Simmons as noted, he’s had about 200 games to get it right). And the 3000 miles dig does Ryan few favors, as Simmons has already cited the “he doesn’t matter, he doesn’t come into the clubhouse card,” along with the somewhat provocative (if you work for a daily newspaper) “I can’t remember a single time when somebody with “inside access” helped elucidate something about the Red Sox, Patriots or Celtics that I couldn’t have figured out myself.”

Seriously, if Boston-area residency is a prerequisite for being allowed to offer an opinion on the state of the Celtics, perhaps Ryan should petition the NBA to limit their League Pass package to those with a Massachusetts zip code. In his recent interview at Sports Media Guide, Ryan refers to the “intimidating” level of access modern technology provides today’s fan, but depending on your point of view, that sort of availability could also be considered helpful, liberating, or even lucrative.

It’s pretty late in the day for Ryan or any other old-schooler to bitch about the suddenly level playing field — not unless they wanna give up their cable TV gigs or ask their newspapers to restrict their compositions to the print editions (and declining readership). If Simmons’ musings are resonating with a larger audience than those of Bob Ryan, whose fault is that? The latter had a pretty gigantic head start, and you’d hope he’d have it in him to let the quality of future work stand up to comparision. I mean, I know who I’m rooting for, but this 3000 miles away bullshit is a pretty weak defense for what might be too close a relationship with the coach in question.


The Video Store Is A Scary Place

Posted in Cinema, The World Of Entertainment at 10:38 pm by

And not just because I almost rented a film co-starring Scarlett Johansson and Darius Miles.

No, my friends. There are far more terrifying options. Val Kilmer IS Moses. (Or, he was). “Ten Commandments : The Musical” IS a digital versatile disc available right now for your purchase or rental. And no matter how poorly received the stage version might’ve been, the results of this inspired combination have been documented for all time. Long after Val Kilmer’s detractors have left this mortal coil, his most triumphant moment since “Top Secret!” will live on and on.

Parcells To Liquored Up Idiot : Get Lost

Posted in Gridiron at 7:12 pm by

Hands up, everyone who thought Terrell Owens’ tenure in Big D would outlast that of Mike Vanderjagt?

While I don’t know what the future holds for Peyton’s least favorite former teammate, I do hope he does a better job of paying his bandwidth bills than Billy Cundiff.

Braylon Edwards has apologized for flipping out on Charlie Frye during the Browns’ 30-0 loss to the Bengals yesterday. Those waiting for Colonel Coughlin to admit wrongdoing for publicly dogging his charges, however, had better not hold their breath.

Marvin Harrison’s been getting some grief on TV and radio today for his early exit just prior to intermission last night against the Iggles, and it’s all my fault.  If I was more reliable, Marvin wouldn’t have to send a last minute text reminding me to Tivo “The Wire” at 9pm.

Mike Shula hasn’t been out of the job in Tuscaloosa for more than a few hours, and already the Miami Herald is speculating that Dolphins coach Nick Saban will be amongst ‘Bama’s targets.

Texas defensive co-coordinator Gene Chizik was introduced as Iowa State’s new head coach earlier this evening. I don’t want to say the folks at Burnt Orange Nation are slightly overzealous, but they seem to have figured out the identity and exact location of Chizik’s likely successor.

Please God, Let No Comedian Dare Mock Joe Buck Like This

Posted in Cricket, Sports TV at 4:57 pm by

Of Billy Birmingham’s impersonations, Richie Benaud once said the Australian journalist turned satirist “shouldn’t give up his day job.” And despite the devestating vote of no confidence from one of his favorite subjects, things have worked out pretty well for Birmingham, profiled by the Sydney Morning Herald on the occasion of Australia’s rather brutal dispatch of England in the first Ashes test (link courtesy The Corridor).

Richie Benaud is so peeved with Eddie McGuire’s cost-cutting decision to sack the entire Channel Nine commentary team – and hire Billy Birmingham to do all their voices and cover the Ashes series himself – that he forms a band called Richie and Da Boyz who do a remake of Birmingham’s song Marvellous in a bid to get their own back against a man who has forged a career out of taking the piss out of them.

Benaud does a round of radio appearances to drum up interest in the song and when he’s asked to introduce Marvellous, he tries to get all hip and funky and says something along the lines of: “A big hello to all my homos out there.” When it’s pointed out that he probably meant to say a big hello to all his homies out there, he admits: “Yup. My bad.”

Boned! is Birmingham’s first album in five years. It will sell like hot cakes. Or, more accurately, it will sell like all his other The 12th Man albums.

“I’m all over the place like a suicide bomber’s sandshoe,” he tells The Sun-Herald.

The 12th Man’s catalogue stands at almost 2million units sold. Have no doubt about Boned!becoming the biggest-selling album at Christmas. All six previous albums from The 12th Man have reached No.1 on the ARIA chart, making Birmingham the only Australian recording artist to have reached top spot with every one of his releases.

“It couldn’t have happened in any other country,” he says. “We’re a nation of sports nuts and piss-takers and all I’ve done is combine the two.”

“I don’t know what Richie really thinks. It all just started with an idea to take the piss out of Richie saying, ‘Welcome back to the SCG’, and then they throw to an ad break and the idea of him breaking wind, perhaps, as soon as the microphones are turned off.”

Secondary Market Yack Radio Pissing Match Continues

Posted in Sports Radio at 4:37 pm by

Simmons Media’s 1530-AM, a station whose few listenable, non-play-by-play moments consist of programming syndicated from ESPN Radio, has long engaged in the most desperate sort of baiting of crosstown sports rival KVET. Recently, the slagfest has turned downright nonsensical.

As KVET is currently broadcasting games for Austin’s D-League entry, the Toros, KWNX/KZNX is running spots mocking the competition’s coverage of “pee wee basketball”, with the voiceover dude (the same one that provides the leering tones for about 90% of the sports stations in the country) sneering “Bakersfield? Sioux Falls?”, then reminding us that 1530 brings the exploits of “Shaq & Kobe” to our transistor radios, courtesy of their Spurs games.

There’s only about a half dozen problems with this particular sales pitch. For one, unless you live next door to their transmitter, 1530′s signal completely disappears after sundown. They could be broadcasting a one-on-one game between Michael Jordan and Jesus Christ, and no one would be the wiser.

For another, it’s kind of amazing that ESPN Austin would go out of their way to mock a competitor for devoting airtime to minor league sports. For much of the spring and summer, the only thing worth listening to on 1530 is the Triple-A Round Rock Express, yet we’ve not heard KVET bragging they bring us Roger Clemens and Lance Berkman while the other guys have to settle for Joe McEwing.

On a similar tip, there’s no use in calling anyone else bush league when 1530 features the Texans every Sunday.

Then again, this is a station whose only original weekday programming consists of the afternoon drive time “Beat Down”, which mercifully replaced the excruciating “Happy Fun Ball Show”. The hosts of said program, Gregg Henson and Dave Tepper, have no doubt moved on to bigger and better things (NPR, teaching careers, selling blood, etc.)

Political Song For John Cougar Mellencamp To Sing

Posted in Basketball, Free Expression, politics at 2:05 pm by

John McCain might no longer be the state of Arizona’s Great White (Political) Hope (link courtesy True Hoop)

Blackhawks Fire Yawney, Tap Savard

Posted in Hockey at 12:22 pm by

Mired in 4th place with a 7-12-2 record, the Chicago Blackhawks have fired coach Trent Yawney and promoted assistant Dennis Savard (above) as his replacement reports TSN.

Sources say the firing of Yawney was attributable to his cautious, defence-first approach and that Hawks’ management is looking for a more aggressive, offensive mindset in terms of how the team plays.

“The bottom line is wins and losses and we needed to win more,” said Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon. œWe’ve had some injuries, but in spite of that we’re a better team than our record shows. We’ve won three of our last 15 games and we decided to go in a different direction. We want to play a more up-tempo style game.”

An OT goal by Buffalo’s Chris Drury put a halt to the Rangers’ 3 game winning streak last night, but without the intervention of the Elias Koteas Sports Bureau, I cannot tell you if this is the first or merely the last time a contest at MSG was ended by a former Little League World Series MVP.

(UPDATE : Mr. Koteas has telephoned. Though Pierre Turgeon and Stephane Matteau-Matteau-Matteau were each LLWS participants, of NHL players, only Drury was the tournament’s most valuable player.)

Big Ben Runs Afoul Of Skiles’ Little Hangups

Posted in Basketball, Free Expression, Gridiron at 11:58 am by

(something really needs to be done about ugly headwear)

As noted yesterday, Chicago’s Ben Wallace was MIA for much of Saturday’s win over the Knicks, a benching that had something or other to do with his coach’s distaste for headbands. Amongst other things, writes the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson.

Sources said Wallace became upset early in training camp when Skiles enforced a team rule to tape ankles. Wallace never taped his ankles when he played for Detroit.

Wallace left practice to get his ankles taped and, unaccustomed to being constricted, had trouble running and sat out most of the practice, the sources said.

Less than a week later, Wallace hooked his MP3 player into a docking station to play music in the locker room before the first home exhibition game. Asked then if he now allowed pregame music inside the locker room, Skiles said he was unaware any was playing.

By the next home exhibition game, Wallace had headphones connected to his MP3 player. The headphones hung from a hook in his locker, with the volume turned up so loudly that music clearly emanated from them throughout the locker room.

Several people within the organization, including players, theorized Wallace was marking his turf for what perhaps was an inevitable clash between two strong-willed men.

George Steinbrenner doesn’t allow the Yankees to wear facial hair. The Knicks demand players wear suits while traveling. And White Sox and Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who is believed to be behind the no-headband rule, asked catcher A.J. Pierzynski and Joe Crede to get haircuts during last spring training.

What annoyed Wallace, a source close to the player said, is that he wasn’t informed of the no-headband rule until after he signed his four-year, $60 million free-agent deal.

Less than three weeks after being hired in 2003, Skiles uttered this classic quote in regard to a standoff with Eddie Robinson: “I’ve never lost a battle of wills in my life. And I don’t plan on doing it now.”

Wallace, who called himself “stubborn” in the preseason, clearly viewed his decision to wear a headband as payback.

I realize a holiday weekend has just concluded, but I am very surprised Hard Wood has been unable to collect Ben’s iPod playlist. So far, anyway.

Color me bitterly disappointed that Jay Mariotti had nothing to say about this burning issue in today’s Chicago Sun-Times, instead, choosing to crucify the overmatched Rex Grossman. I realize the Bears’ loss at New England is a big story, but if anyone could be counted on to defend Big Ben’s civil liberties, I’d think it would be someone who has been a pioneer for men wearing mascara in the workplace.

Moose : Beat On The Brat With An (Aluminum) Bat

Posted in Baseball, Parental Responsibility at 11:30 am by

You’d think a Stanford educated guy like Mike Mussina would realize there’s little to be gained by a pitcher shilling for an aluminium bat company in today’s climate.  From the New York Daily News’ Lisa Colangelo (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory).

“I can unequivocally state that non-wood bats are no more dangerous than their wooden counterparts,” said Mussina, speaking as a member of the board of Little League Baseball.

“Though less dangerous than many other sports, baseball is not without risk,” the pitcher added in a statement distributed by a public relations firm that represents a metal-bat manufacturer.

“However, if New York City were to ban nonwood bats for high school players, those kids would be no more safe than when they take the field today.”

City Councilman James Oddo (R-S.I.), the chief backer of the ban, criticized the veteran hurler for entering the fray with a reference to the broken nose Mussina suffered in a 1998 game.

“Had the ball that hit Mike Mussina come off an aluminum bat, he probably wouldn’t be around to make such a ridiculous comment,” said Oddo, a die-hard Mets fan.

Mussina’s endorsement of aluminum bats also disappointed Debbie Patch, a Montana woman whose 18-year-old son died after being hit in the head by a baseball two years ago.

“Brandon was such a Yankees fan,” said Patch, who testified at a City Council hearing on the legislation last month.

“Someone should ask Mike Mussina if he would pitch against Barry Bonds using a high-performance bat,” Patch said. “It’s like suicide out there.”

Worldwide Leader : Playmaker’s Mandingo Spiel No Big Thing

Posted in General, Gridiron, Racism Corner, Sports Radio at 11:16 am by

It would appear as though the powers that be at Bristol University are eager to put Michael Irvin’s latest public embarrassment behind them with as little fanfare as possible. And with the possible exception of Rush Limbaugh, the person who should take the greatest offense at the network’s inaction…is Dan Patrick (above).

The speed with which ESPN sought to disassociate itself from Limbaugh following the hate fucker’s ill-advised remarks regarding Donovan McNabb left no doubt the Disney subsidiary knew what was at stake. Their NFL pregame show was under tremendous scrutiny and a perceived cavalier ‘tude towards Limbaugh’s controversial statements would’ve been seen as the height of corporate irresponsibility.

Conversely, a moroic, unfunny joke from Michael Irvin on a radio show so unpopular, it took the blogosphere to bring this story to national attention (take a bow, Pro Football Talk and The Big Lead) was probably the sort of thing the network figured no one of consequence would notice.

I’m sure Dan Patrick will accept an apology in writing.

Sultan-Shedding SF Eyeing Manny?

Posted in Baseball at 1:27 am by

We’ve read time and time again that for all his prodigious hitting talent, Barry Bonds is a clubhouse cancer. So with that in mind, who better to replace the Sultan Of Surly than the ultimate team player? From the SF Chronicle’s Henry Schulman.

Sources on Sunday confirmed that the Giants are among the teams talking seriously to the Red Sox about their disgruntled, temperamental yet unquestionably talented slugger. Ramirez, 34, is a .314 career hitter who has swatted at least 33 home runs with at least 102 RBIs in each of the last nine seasons.

If the Giants can pull this off, they would have one of the game’s premier offensive forces in the middle of their lineup. They also would have no room for Barry Bonds, as both are left fielders.

There are many obstacles to such a deal, although money might be the least of them. Ramirez is owed $14 million and $16 million, plus a total of $8 million in deferred salary, over the final two seasons of the eight-year, $168 million contract he signed with Boston.

One source said the Giants and Red Sox have discussed a trade between the teams and possible three-way deals. The talks were described as preliminary. Boston is unlikely to move Ramirez before sewing up free-agent outfielder J.D. Drew, whom the Giants are not pursuing.

Baltimore, having already invested $12 million on reliever Jamie Walker, has reportedly sunk a further $19 million into a 3 year deal for righty Danys Baez. Baez, who toiled for the Dodgers and Braves last season (5-6, 4.53 ERA), made no further appearances after being shelled by the Pirates on August 22.

Crying Unkle : Gay Theme Leaves Anonymous Puckhead Pouting

Posted in Hockey at 12:43 am by

The Toronto Maple Leafs and NHL’s willingness to lend their names and logos to the production of the upcoming film “Breakfast With Scot” was mentioned in this space Saturday ; the movie was described by the producers as “a thoughtful comedy, about a gay ex-Leaf and his partner, the team™s lawyer, whose lifestyle and relationship are turned upside down when they become the guardians of ‘a budding queen of an 11-year-old boy.’”

Slam Sports’ David Unkle consults Columbus’ Anson Carter (above), as well as a retired player who curiously, prefered not to reveal his identity (link courtesy Jason Cohen)
When asked about whether the use of the Leafs’ logo in a film of questionable content was appropriate, Carter commented, œThat™s a tough call.

œYou™re talking about a lifestyle”homosexuality and heterosexuality”it™s a choice…but people are people from my personal standpoint.

œWe have 700 players (in the NHL) and if we have one gay player in the league, I wouldn™t be that surprised.”

Carter went on to say that it wouldn™t bother him if a teammate was openly homosexual, œas long as you™re a good teammate and a good person…that™s all that matters to me.

At least one former NHL player (who preferred to remain anonymous) commented that the film œtarnished the sacred icon of Canada and the Maple Leafs™ organisation.

œWhat do you expect when you have a former basketball guy running the league, the player stated, in reference to Commissioner Gary Bettman’s previous tenure in the National Basketball Association.

At the risk of regurgitating an earlier point, indeed, it would be very, very sad if anything was done to tarnish the Maple Leafs’ good name.


Raiders Foiled By The Fumble That Wasn’t

Posted in Gridiron at 8:52 pm by

(who knew the Aaron Brooks Fan Club would be allowed to display their own banner in San Diego?)

Isn’t it enough revenge for the league, watching Al Davis slowly die while his franchise sinks into further irrelevence?

While taking zilch away from Vince Young’s most impressive day as a pro, the Giants blowing a 21 point lead with 10 minutes left against the Titans was a choke job for the ages. Rookie DE Mathias Kiwanuka seemingly had VY in his grasp on 4th and 10 with 2:48 left and Big Blue clinging to a 21-14 advantage, but the former must’ve momentarily thought he was playing touch football. Colonel Coughlin promptly went apeshit ; the next time the Giants lose their composure, there are no prizes for guessing who set the terrific example.

While it is far too early to pronouce Eli Manning a total bust, he’s having a crap second half of the season for the 2nd year in a row. The second of his two passes picked off by Pacman Jones could only be characterized as something other than ill-advised if Eli had bet money on Tennessee. Congrats to the current generation of Giants fans, you’ve now experienced your very own Joe Pisarcik moment.

Brewers Acquire Catcher Estrada, Sultan’s Rep Negotiates With Imaginary Suitors

Posted in Baseball at 7:59 pm by

Milwaukee has garned the services of an NL All-Star receiver (circa 2004) in a deal broken down by the Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt.

The Brewers acquired starting catcher Johnny Estrada, right-hander Claudio Vargas and reliever Greg Aquino from Arizona in exchange for left-hander Doug Davis and minor-leaguers Dana Eveland and David Krynzel.

The key to the deal for the Brewers is Estrada, 30, who batted .302 with 11 home runs and 71 RBI in 115 games last season. Damian Miller, who began the year as the Brewers’ No. 1 catcher, was banged up throughout the second half and played sparingly, hitting .207 with one homer and 10 RBI.

Estrada, who batted .329 left-handed and .272 right-handed last season, is a free swinger who doesn’t walk much (13 times in 414 at-bats) but also puts the ball in play (40 strikeouts). The Brewers have been one of the top strikeout teams in the league in recent seasons, and GM Bob Melvin cited that factor in his interest in Estrada.

Melvin said he was not looking to trade Davis, but the Diamondbacks were short of left-handed pitching and asked for him in any deal for Estrada. Melvin, in turn, asked for a starting pitcher back, and Vargas was included in the trade.

Davis, 31, was a fixture in the Brewers’ rotation since late in the 2003 season. He went 37-36 in 111 starts, never missing a turn while surpassing 200 innings in each of his three full seasons with the club.

, as their practice, reports that today marks the 44th birthday of Chuck Finley. Though I neglected to send Chuck a card this year, it is probably consolation enough knowing that Tawney Kitaen might soon be incarcerated.

If you’re a Pirates fan bummed out over your team’s recent inactivity, buck up. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dean Kovacevic ID’s a number of players that oughta be on the club’s wishlist, including Adam Dunn (too expensive), Aubrey Huff (supposedly, not on the Bucs’ radar) and Kip Wells (said to be unwilling to return).

Barry Bonds’ agent Jeff Borris, as quoted by the New York Times’ Murray Chass.

œTeams I™m having discussions with are having their managers and players call Barry to urge him to play in their cities.

The above statement leads me to conclude one of the following :

1) Borris — whose Beverly Hills Sports Council is strangely without a web presence — is suffering from the same delusional thinking as the guy who claims he’s leading an invisible posse of anti-CSTB zealots.
2) he’s totally full of shit.
3) both of the above.

I’ve neglected to check out Bobby Valentine’s site for a few weeks, so I missed the introduction of Bobby V’s new line of actionwear.

I don’t wanna be mean, but even David Wright would think twice before wearing this.

Falcon Flips Bird

Posted in Gridiron at 5:51 pm by

I’ve got to give Atlanta’s embattled Michael Vick a ton of credit. Another QB in his situation, after having been let down by his offensive line, Algie Crumpler missing an assignment, Roddy White dropping a couple of passes and the ATL defense proving more porous than ever, would’ve sulked up a storm in the wake of a 31-13 defeat to New Orleans.

Vick, however, took the opportunity, not once, but twice, while leaving the field today, to let his fans know, “We’re Number One.”

Either that, or he was waving to the coach’s dad.

Mushnick, Gassy Knoll-It-All

Posted in History's Not Happening, Sports Radio at 3:24 pm by

From Phil Mushnick in Sunday’s New York Post,

Although Wednesday was Nov. 22nd, the anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and although WFAN programming included somber recognition, WFAN also continued to run an for “Seinfeld” DVDs, one that carried word that George Costanza getting married is even “bigger than the JFK assassination!”

Even worse, Friday marked the anniversary of the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald, and Phil has nothing to say about the Nike logo that’s been superimposed on the left jacket sleeve of Jack Ruby.

Much Ado About A Member Of The Dolphins Practice Squad

Posted in Blogged Down, Gridiron at 3:04 pm by

Like clockwork, every Monday I receive an email from a polite gent representing AOL’s Fanhouse section, requesting that I link to an item or two. Though I generally try to link to stuff I read (though not necessarily endorse), I do understand the Fanhouse is trying gamely to build an audience.

So with that in mind, here’s some linkage. The Fanhouse’s Ira Cohen has what we in the bloggity blog trade like to call a hard on for Virginia Tech, so much so that his laundry list of VT atrocities includes a lengthy summary of Marcus Vick’s track record. Along with dubbing ‘Lil Vick “Ron New Mexico” (no need to attribute the nickname to whoever came up with it), Cohen helpfully suggests “for the sake of the Virginia football and the world at large, keep your legs closed next time, Mrs. Vick.”

Tremendous stuff. By all means, Mrs. Cohen, keep your legs wide open so that you might continue to produce offspring capable of writing that is as witty as it is timely.

Enjoying NFL Week 12 : No Reason For Jake Plummer To Turn Down A 2nd Slice Of Pizza

Posted in Gridiron at 2:00 pm by

A responsible blogger would be paying closer attention to Chester Taylor imposing his will on the Arizona Cardinals. I, however, am far more consumed with the question of whether or not Childress Mustache.com is any more or less terrifying than Sal’s Pals.

There’s a fascinating clash of offensive styles taking place in the Georgia Dome. New Orleans’ Drew Brees (9/12, 201 yards, 2 TD’s) had a monster first half, while the Falcons’ most impressive running threat, for better or worse, remains QB Michael Vick. Nice grab by the Saints’ Terrence Copper on a Brees Hail Mary at the end of the half, but there’s no way that ball should’ve been caught. 30 defenders camped out in the end zone and nobody can bat the pass down? The words “coach killers” come to mind.

Baltimore’s Bart Scott knocked Ben Roethlisberger out briefly, though the Steelers’ Biker Rock Loser might wanna stay down next time. The Ravens seem well on their way to winning their 5th in a row, proving that good things happen to those who part ways with Jim Fassell. Other than the Giants.

The Rams’ Steve Jackson is narrowly ahead in his 1pm duel with SF’s Frank Gore
, and while St. Louis have been decidedly average thus far in ’06, there’s no reason they can’t run the table the rest of the way, save for a Dec. 11 meeting with the Bears.

The only drama remaining in Cleveland today is whether or not the Browns keep Ocho Cinco out of the end zone. Well, that and whether Charlie Frye attempts fewer than 25 passes in the 2nd half.

Jay Culter will supplant Jake Plummer
as the Broncos starting QB when the Broncos play Seattle on December 3. Keep in mind, however, there are far more important things in the world to worry about.