Crouch’s former club, Queens Park Rangers remain in serious danger of relegation following Saturday’s 2-1 loss to promotion hopefuls West Brom. It was a brutal afternoon for Stupor Hoops striker Paul Furlong, who squandered a solid scoring chance in the first half, then had his 66th minute spot kick save by Albion’s Dean Kiely.
The Observer’s Paul Wilson writes that Sir Alex Ferguson actually expects anyone to believe the floptastic Cristiano Ronaldo is a role model for children.
“The Manchester United manager believes the FA should have taken action over George Boateng’s thinly veiled threat to Cristiano Ronaldo, when the Middlesbrough captain warned the Manchester United player last month to cut out the show-boating or expect to be seriously hurt by a frustrated opponent.
‘I was surprised the FA did nothing about the Boateng thing – if one of our players had said something like that we would have been up before them right away,’ Ferguson said. ‘We are not going to complain; as a club we don’t do that and I don’t think we should. Uefa are investigating the Belgian goalkeeper [Stijn Stijnen of Lille], quite rightly, for saying the same thing, but the FA have done nothing about Boateng and I am surprised.”
When it announced the first annual Civil Rights Game between the Cardinals and Cleveland Indians less than four months ago, Major League Baseball envisioned this weekend as a commemoration of the civil rights movement and baseball’s role in enacting social change.
Cardinals outfielder Preston Wilson, meanwhile, notices that he is part of another change: the game’s ever-diminishing minority of African-American players.
The veteran Wilson is the only African-American player on the Cardinals’ projected opening day roster. He has witnessed the steady ebb of black athletes from the game for two decades.
“I think the perception is if there’s a dark-skinned Latin guy out there, then he’s black,” Wilson said before Friday’s game against the Memphis Redbirds. “A lot of people don’t differentiate. But it’s not the case. There are a lot of issues involved.”
While Major League Baseball has made recent strides in elevating the number of minorities in its front offices and the central office, it has fought a losing battle against the well-known attrition of black athletes. Of players on major league rosters last season, only 8.7 percent were African-American.
Wilson sees few black role players in today’s game. Citing all-time pinch hit leader Lenny Harris (above) as an exception, Wilson said, “There are no mediocre guys who are black who are the 25th man on their roster. It just doesn’t happen. We don’t get those jobs. You can say it sounds whatever. But it’s true. Name one.”
Jon Solomon texted early this morning from the Georgia Dome to report “Chuck Klosterman looks ridiculous in the media area”, but as well all know, there’s more to a Page 2 blogging gig than mere appearances. For instance, there’s the opportunity to let an otherwise anonymous musician speak ill of the dead.
This is the conclusion of an e-mail from someone who was in a band called Stolen Cheesewheel, recounting a brush with fame during the 1990s: “Finally, [this artist] called my friend Emily a dirty name, so I commented, ‘You don’t have to be so bitter. You’re not half the artist your dad was.’ After a brief fight, he left, and we all left shortly after. That night, he went for a swim in the Mississippi River and drowned … I’m not telling you this as any kind of confession. I did not kill Jeff Buckley. But the funny thing is that there are people in Memphis who believe [my friend and] I chased him from the bar and threw him in the river. We were, in fact, confronted several times for just that. I just thought you seemed like someone who would be interested in an anecdote concerning the end of a talent.”
Indeed I am.
Wow. Coming later today — Black Market Baby disavow any connection with the passing of Len Bias, AND YOU ARE THERE!
Not since the salad days of Greg Sage and Pig Champion has the Stumptown music scene been so torn asunder, writes the Portland Tribune’s Steve Brandon (link courtesy Jason Cohen)
Kent Bottenfield pitched to baseball™s biggest hitters and in front of thousands of fans. That was easy, compared with singing to a couple of hundred people.
œIt took me a year to get over the fear, he says.
Bottenfield, a former Madison High star who spent 10 seasons in the major leagues, is now an up-and-coming contemporary Christian recording artist. His second CD, œBack in the Game, is due Aug. 7. He™ll perform at 7 tonight at Portland Christian High in a benefit for the school™s baseball program.
œIt™s a whole new career for me, says Bottenfield, 38, who pitched from 1992 to 2001 for Montreal, Colorado, San Francisco, the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis, Anaheim, Philadelphia and Houston.
Bottenfield writes songs, plays piano and sings. He tours more than 100 days a year.
Only now, with œBack in the Game, is he making much of a deal about being a former big-leaguer. œMost people have heard Carl Lewis trying to sing the national anthem and don™t take former athletes that seriously, he says. œThis new song opens with baseball and talks about how it™s a new season in my life now but my goal is still the same “ to bring glory to God.
Denny McLain is not as concerned with the fact that, he believes, many of today™s biggest Major League Baseball stars have taken steriods. It™s the culture of denial that has clouded the issue that troubles him most.
œIt™s not so much that they™ve taken steroids, it™s how they all lied about it, he said. œThe only guy who did the right thing was Mark McGwire. He decided not to say anything (in front of Congress) and just sat back and waited for the firestorm to come. It™s coming.
McLain broached the issue ” and several others ” as part of a candid address and question-and-answer session Friday afternoon at the 12th Annual Baseball in Literature and Culture conference, which for the second straight year was held at MTSU.
The day after his 63rd birthday, he acknowledged his signature season of 1968, when he was the game™s last 30-game winner, would not have been accomplished without the help of pharmaceuticals, particularly cortisone injections. He said the day after almost every game he pitched that season he spent a few hours in a hospital and took a shot in his pitching shoulder.
œThree days later, I™d go pitch again, he said.
He finished that season with a 31-6 record, a 1.96 ERA and 280 strikeouts versus only 63 walks. He had 28 complete games.
He made it clear he believes players such as Ivan Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens all eventually will be exposed beyond all doubt as steroid users. He noted changes in the physical appearance of both Rodriguez and Bonds in recent years, and pointed to Clemens™ sustained greatness as likely evidence that they used performance-enhancing substances.
œBonds? C™mon, he said. œ… Not to condemn anything (Clemens) did because he had one advantage over everyone else ” he had great stuff. But Lord knows how much better he could have been if he had been using the stuff.
The issue affected him personally, he said, when one of his grandsons, a high school hockey player, asked about steroids.
œI think the message it sends is, ˜No matter what you have to do to win, you do it,™ McLain said. œI don™t think that™s the right message we need to be sending to our children and out grandchildren.
Sam Frank forwarded the following. To paraphrase the Del Fuegos, good luck to all craigslist posters hunting for their moms’ graves.
lynn salem area 1999-now Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 2007-03-30, 5:55PM EDT Title: (missed connections) CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHEN MY ROTTEN FAMILY BURIED MY MOTHER?
DORIS HELEN NICHOLS/dec 2 dob?lynn ,ma.
I SUSPECT IT MAYBE RECENT BECAUSE,
I WAS ASSAULTED AND, GOT SEVERAL SUSPICIOUS CALLS, FROM A defenseless/DESPERATE INCOHERANT DRUGGED UP FEMALE ;
IF MEDIA WANTS TO INVESTIGATE ;
BOY IS THERE A STORY BEHIND THIS LOSER SICK SIBLING FAMILY OF MINE!.
ONE THING I DO KNOW ….THEY WOULDNT LET HER LIVE- CALLED ME CRAZY, TO DAWN THE GOODS AND GET AWAY W/ GETTING RID OF ME AND MY MOMA!
DORIS HELEN NICHOLS;
ANYONE WHO DONT LIKE ME TALKING ….
THINK MY SIBLINGS are HARDWORKING honest bread winners;innocent pillars of the community?just plain HONABLE; HONEST ;TALENTED MONEY MAKERS ,IN THE FAMILY ! ?! GUESS AGAIN!
….arrest this ! ;you ignorant bunch of criminal lying morons….
NCAA President Myles Brand hinted at adding 3 additional play-in games to future tournaments, and if they’re ok with starting the qualifying games 5 minutes after the Sunday selection show, I see no reason why this is unworkable.
Shoving cameramen and doctoring baseballs failed to take a toll on Kenny Rogers’ shoulder, but it appears as though a blood clot will deny Detroit the services of their left-handed ace for the first half of the season. MLive’s Danny Knobler reports Chad Durbin will now assume a spot in the Tigers’ rotation.
Carl Pavano was named the Yankees’ opening day starter, and WFAN’s Sweeney Murti says “it’s time to stop kicking dirt” on the right-hander. Of course, Murti makes said statement after outlining —- in detail — many of the major world events that have occured since the last time Pavano started a game in the big leagues on June 25, 2005.
(Orlando) Hernandez pitched poorly his first outing, but he hasn’t had a horrible spring. The day before this column ran, El Duque gave up an unearned run in 6 strong innings. Maine and Perez had been pitching great, as you all know, which would hardly qualify Pelfrey as “the one bright spot.” If you were looking to pan the Mets, as Rogers obviously was, there certainly are legitimate issues to talk about. Instead, he more or less made up the ‘facts’ he used to make his argument.
Japan Baseball Daily reports ESPN is working on a documentary about Bobby Valentine’s Chiba Lotte Marines. I don’t know exactly what Bobby is doing in the photograph above, but if Charles Perez was allowed to host a chat show, I don’t suppose it would be that hard a gig.
Tom Coughlin (above) barely hung onto his job after the Giants collapsed in the second half of last season. He tried to make it seem he was oblivious when there was so much speculation he was about to be fired. Clearly, it had an impact, because yesterday he compared the barrage of criticism to what Adolf Hitler received. It was a regrettable and politically incorrect comparison, but just putting himself in the same sentence as Hitler shows the strain Coughlin was under and the degree he felt despised.
When he was asked at the NFC coaches breakfast by a football Web site reporter whether he paid attention to what was being said about him last season, Coughlin replied: “I hear some of it and I see it. You know (VP of communications Pat) Hanlon tells me about it, what’s going on.”
Then, he paused, and said, “Hitler and then me, in that order. Unfortunate, but it is.”
Even Kevan Barlow thought Coughlin’s comments were inappropriate.