File Under : “Organized Superstar Coddling”

Posted in Baseball, The Internet at 11:29 am by

Oh yeah, this will work. Marc Perlman says “I’m at a loss for words,” and while I speak for his entire softball team in wishing that were true (just kidding, Marc), the makers of “Project A-13″ are nothing if not erudite in their understanding of the fan/athlete dynamic.

We can start the journey out of here by making a choice”to be patient, positive, and strong as fans.

Forget all the gaudy statistics and awards too”this goes for Alex as well as for us. If we can each clear our minds of the headlines, the hype, and especially the money”which is both corruptive and corrosive by its very nature”we can start this relationship over with a renewed sense of opportunity. We can believe in him, and his abilities at the plate, without expecting anything in return…belief in its purest form. If we can do this, The Movement will begin, and the possibilities are endless.
Are you ready to believe?

I thought so. And so am I.

Just remember: positive energy is contagious, and limitless in possibility. Let’s stop the boos (not booze), and start spreading the word.

Stand up, New York.

Start The Movement.

No Time Like The Present For Costanza To Ask Jennifer Swindal For A Date

Posted in Baseball at 11:07 am by

The New York Times’ Tyler Kepner on a probable change in the New York Yankees’ chain of succession.

George Steinbrenner ate dinner in the cafeteria at Legends Field on Wednesday with his daughter Jessica beside him and her husband, Felix Lopez, next to her. Lopez merrily took out a cellphone and snapped a picture of his wife and his father-in-law. It was one big, happy family. But all is not right in the Steinbrenner clan. His other daughter, Jennifer, filed for divorce from her husband, Steve Swindal, in the family law division of Hillsborough County Circuit Court on Tuesday. Swindal was arrested last month on suspicion of driving under the influence, and the divorce would end any chance he had of succeeding Steinbrenner in running the Yankees, as Steinbrenner had said he would do in June 2005.

œI™m the boss, Steinbrenner said through his spokesman, Howard Rubenstein. œI continue to be the boss, I have no intention of retiring, and my family runs the Yankees with me.

Steinbrenner™s sons, Hank and Hal, are listed as general partners along with Swindal at the top of the Yankees™ hierarchy. Lopez, who has become an increasingly active presence, is listed as a senior vice president.

When Swindal leaves the family, he will effectively leave the Yankees. According to an individual with direct knowledge of the matter, Steinbrenner no longer plans to promote him, and he would seem to have no future with the team. But the situation is complicated because Swindal has a small financial interest in the team ” among other things, he is listed as the chairman of Yankee Global Enterprises, the umbrella company for the club and the YES network ” and the specifics of that interest will have to be untangled. Rubenstein would not say if Swindal still worked for the Yankees.

Steinbrenner™s appearances in public are less frequent than ever. He has answered questions from reporters only once this spring, on the first day of camp, when he appeared unsteady as he walked slowly through a tunnel to see Torre.

œWhen I™m ready to say something, I™ll say something, Steinbrenner said through Rubenstein on Wednesday. œI don™t really appreciate being mobbed and people screaming at me.

On The Bright Side For Yao Ming…

Posted in Basketball at 10:53 am by

being rejected by Elton Brand isn’t nearly as galling as failing to shoot over Nate Robinson.

With Stephon Marbury getting some love from the MSG rim last night, Jim Doh’lan’s decision to extend Isiah Thomas’ contract received a thumbs-up from an interested observer, as quoted by the New York Times’ Howard Beck.

œCome on, this city deserves a playoff team, LeBron James said. œIt doesn™t make sense for them to have all that talent and not be able to make it to the playoffs. I think Isiah™s definitely got them on the right path.

Newsday’s Ken Berger
follows an interesting exchange betweeen James and Marbury that suggests the former might not be a future guest on “Stars On Stars”.

Before the game, James took a little shot at Marbury’s $14.98 kicks, saying he couldn’t imagine endorsing a sneaker that cheap.

“No, I don’t think so,” James said. “Me being with Nike, we hold our standards high.”

Marbury, who is friendly with James, was lacing up his Starburys before the game when informed of LeBron’s comment. He thought about it for a moment and said, “I’d rather own than be owned.”

Behind 31 points from Tim Duncan and a stirring display of clutchiness from Brent Barry, the Spurs won their 18th out of their last 20 with Wednesday’s 92-88 home decision over New Orleans. San Antonio coach Greg Popovich, however, is $15K poorer this morning, writes the Express-News’ Mike Monroe.

According to an NBA source, the league fined the Spurs and Hornets $15,000 earlier in the day for published comments the coaches made about players who have not declared their eligibility for the draft.Popovich’s comments ” references to Ohio State center Greg Oden ” appeared in the March 18 Boston Herald. Scott’s comments about Oden and Texas freshman Kevin Durant appeared in the March 19 edition of the Oklahoman.

Popovich responded to a question from a Boston Herald reporter about whether it would be fair for the Celtics to land the No. 1 pick in this summer’s draft with Oden potentially available because Boston had lost out on the chance to take Tim Duncan in 1997.

“That would be the fair thing, wouldn’t it?” Popovich said. “That would be the fairest thing. If they could get him, that would be great. It would mean there is some fairness in an unfair world.”

Popovich, who never said Oden’s name but was clearly talking about him, then made what seemed to be an off-the-cuff comment about Ohio State’s near loss to Xavier that same day. Two other reporters present at the time didn’t report the remark.

“If they’d lost, I thought, is this going to make that kid want to stay in one more year?” Popovich said. “I don’t know, maybe he’s just collegiately oriented, and it’s a big disappointment, and he wants to come back and get it done.

“What would that do? I mean, everybody would just die. The bottom five teams would just croak. Then they came back and won.”

Perjurious DOJ Official Has Great Court Vision, Says Washington Post

Posted in Basketball, non-sporting journalism, politics at 10:35 am by

(D. Kyle “Don’t Call Me Ralph” Sampson)

The award for Strangest Lede to an Article Concerning a Soon-To-Testify Department of Justice Official: is there a more prestigious prize in all of journalism? It’s a rhetorical question, the answer is no. And furthermore, if you were honing your article comparing former Alberto Gonzales Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson to a reuben sandwich or riding mower or whatever, you can stop. Sdrihar Pappu of the Washington Post has this one wrapped up, as of yesterday’s piece on K-Samp, who testifies today before the Senate on his role in the forced resignations of eight insufficiently loyal United States Attorneys. Or six insufficiently loyal ones and two actually incompetent ones. Anyway, my point:

Walking into the FBI gym for a basketball game in 2003 or 2004 to play against John Ashcroft and his boys, you would have found it easy to dismiss the former attorney general’s point guard, D. Kyle Sampson. He was, and, well, still is, short and balding and chubby, looking like a smaller Karl Rove. But then at tip-off you would have discovered that Sampson was not a throwaway player or fill-in but a guy with legitimate skills. In a blur he’d take over the game as the best one-guards do: firing no-look passes to open teammates (including Ashcroft, the team’s forward), passing the ball behind his back, breaking through a crowd for a layup and taking terribly accurate jump shots that left you and any of the other people he played against–FBI agents, U.S. attorneys, other members of the Justice Department–deflated and quite frankly stunned.

“He’s deceptively quick,” said former Justice public affairs director Mark Corallo. “I say deceptively because he has this baby face. But he can do it all, though.” Tomorrow Sampson, 37, appears voluntarily and under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee. As chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales until his resignation March 12, Sampson was the man in charge of the axing of eight federal prosecutors who were perceived as not being with the program the administration wished to prosecute. His testimony could be pivotal as lawmakers probe the depth of involvement in the sacking by Gonzales and the White House.

The best guards are extensions of their coaches — putting into form what had been plays drawn up on the sideline. While acknowledging that “mistakes were made,” Gonzales has maintained that he left matters to Sampson when it came to the firings. “I was not involved in seeing any memos, was not involved in any discussions about what was going on,” he said. “That’s basically what I knew as the attorney general.”

Documents suggest otherwise.

Whatever the reasons for firing these attorneys — they were not what White House Counsel Harriet Miers termed “loyal Bushies,” they were unwilling to prosecute wholly false voter fraud cases — there is a lesson in the first few paragraphs of that article: if you’re a United States Attorney, and Isiah Thomas (or Gonzales, or Miers, or the senior Senator from New Mexico) warns you not to go in the lane, you can expect to take a hard foul.

Tennis Pest Denies Dropping N-Bomb

Posted in Racism Corner, Tennis at 10:06 am by

From the Palm Beach Post’s Jason Lieser :

Whether or not he used racial slurs, security will keep a close eye on Donald Winton at future WTA tournaments – if he is allowed to attend. Miami-Dade police served Winton, 51, with a no-trespassing order after he heckled Serena Williams during her victory over Lucie Safarova on Monday at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Williams said Winton, a Cocoa Beach resident, made improper racial remarks, which he denied.

“I said she was lazy … but I did not say the N-word or use any racial language,” he told The Miami Herald. “I didn’t say what she said I said.”

Tournament director Adam Barrett said Winton’s ejection was warranted even if he didn’t use racial slurs. Barrett said Winton admitted he was trying to make Williams uncomfortable and was disruptive to fans seated near him, which in itself is grounds for ejection.

Larry Scott, the CEO of the WTA Tour, said hecklers “won’t have the privilege of coming to our tournaments. We have zero tolerance for what happened.”

There’s no truth to the rumor the gentleman above has been banned from WTA events for claiming he’d slept with Serena’s sister.


Loony Patroony : Not The Way Michael Ray Wanted To Return To The Headlines

Posted in Basketball at 8:11 pm by

How’s this for good news/bad news?  The good news is there’s been a Michael Ray Richardson sighting.

The bad news is, he was noticed by the Anti-Defamation League.

Just kidding!  From the Albany Times-Union’s Brian Ettkin.

When Micheal Ray Richardson refused to shake an opposing coach’s hand after defeat, he was hypercompetitive. When he made a trade without telling the general manager first, he was a character, Maverick Ray. When he left the Patroons for two games to instruct at an NBA fantasy camp, it was just Micheal Ray being Micheal Ray. When he picked up more Ts than you’ll see in a month of “Wheel of Fortune” shows, he was a cannon so loose you couldn’t help but watch for the next explosion.

But when Richardson told a fan who heckled him early Tuesday night to “Shut the f— up,” and when near game’s end he shouted at another heckler, “Shut the f— up, you faggot,” you wondered how this guy keeps his job.

The answer: The general manager, Jim Coyne, is his friend and enabler. Coyne said he didn’t intend to speak to Richardson about his conduct. “He’s an adult and he should know better,” Coyne said. “He knows if he’s acting appropriately or inappropriately.”

Oh, really?

After straddling the line between eccentrism and the outer limits of acceptable behavior, Richardson fell and tripped the wire a public figure can never cross. In addition to his slur against homosexuals and verbal beatdown of two fans during the game, Richardson made bigoted comments about Jews in an interview with the Times Union before it.

It started with an offcolor quip Richardson made in his office to two reporters when discussing the contract Coyne had offered him Monday to coach his USBL team.

“I’ve got big-time lawyers,” Richardson said. “I’ve got big-time Jew lawyers.”

When told that such an offhand remark might offend people because it plays to the stereotype that Jews are crafty and shrewd, Richardson replied: “Are you kidding me? They are. They’ve got the best security system in the world. Have you ever been to an airport in Tel Aviv? They’re real crafty. Listen, they are hated all over the world, so they’ve got to be crafty.”

Why are they hated? he was asked.

“They know that in this country the Jews are running it if you really think about it,” Richardson said. “I mean, which is not a bad thing, you know what I mean?”

“How are they running it?” he was asked.

“They got a lot of power in this world, you know what I mean?” he said. “Which I think is great. I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with it. If you look in most professional sports, they’re run by Jewish people. If you look at a lot of most successful corporations and stuff, more businesses, they’re run by Jewish. It’s not a knock, but they are some crafty people.”

There’s no truth to the rumor Albany intends to replace the suspended Richardson with Charlie Ward.

With Full Apologies To Jon Landau…

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, Free Expression, Rock Und Roll at 2:09 pm by

…I’ve seen the future of sportsbloggery, and his name is Josh Alper.

I know you’re a fan of JD & The Straight Shot, as well as their deft reimaginings of Springsteen so thought you might like this little ditty I came up with for the fearless leader of the Knicks based on the body parts washing up on his private beach.

I saw him standing on the sidelines, twirling his clipboard

Me and him went for a ride, sir, and one innocent person died

From the town of Cove Neck, Long Island with a sawed off leg on my lap

Through to the badlands of Manhattan I killed everybit of hope in my path

I can’t say I’m sorry for the things I’ve done

At least for a little while I had myself some time in the sun

The fans brought in a guilty verdict and the media sentenced me to death

Midnight in a courtside seat with thunderstix across my chest

Isiah, when the man pulls that switch and snaps my fat neck back

You make sure Nate Robinson is sittin right there on my lap

They declared me unfit to own, said into the CBA my soul be hurled

They wanted to know why I did what I did

Well, sir, I guess there’s just a meanness in this world

Wow. Beat that, Craig Finn!

Your Editor DJ’ing at The Scoot Inn, Plus A Salute To Timmy Napalm

Posted in Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 1:50 pm by

So I’ve had a chat or two with management at The Scoot Inn, and despite prior assurances I’d have complete creative control over tonight’s programme, there’s been a subtle hint or two that perhaps I need to make a greater effort to make the cash registers ring.

I’m all about the art. I hope you know that by now. But it’s also really hard to masturbate blog with a broken arm, and with that in mind, I have made some serious concessions.

Along with my usual musical journey down Memory Lane (and I-35 south), tonight will also feature a stirring career retrospective devoted to Tim Stegall. Not only will rare footage of the Hormones and Napalm Stars be on display, but we’ll have a reading of some of Dr. Stegall’s finest works and perhaps dignitaries from all over the music and art world will make their testimonials via satellite.


(due to circumstances beyond our control, Tim Napalm himself will not be in attendance).

I should also mention —- in the interests of full disclosure, that when Scoot Inc. re-sent my last missive about this event, a particularly unflattering reference to a band I’ll merely refer to as the Weapons Of Mass Fucktardom, was deleted.

I wholeheartedly promise you that no censorship took place, and any reports of an unpleasant exchange between myself and a certain C. Attal of Austin, TX were wildly exaggerated. We were merely rehearsing for a dinner theatre production of “Network” (he took the Ned Beatty part, I was Peter Finch).

In any event, I look forward to seeing you all at the Scoot Inn (1308 East 4th Street at Navasota), this evening, from 10pm onwards.

Apparently, Damon Jones’ Wardrobe Isn’t The Funniest Thing In The Cavs Locker Room

Posted in Basketball at 10:25 am by

The Akron Beacon Journal’s Brian Windhorst on the giddy scenes after the Cavs beat Indy, 105-94 last night, clinching a playoff spot for the former  :

Sasha Pavlovic was trying to sing a Young Jeezy song.  First, Sasha can’t rap, at least not in English.  Second, he was apparently messing it all up.  So Donyell Marshall and David Wesley were trying to explain to him the lyric was “Go Getta” as in “he’s a go-getter” not “he’s a go get her” as Sasha as saying.  He wasn’t getting it, but it was damn funny watching the two of them attempting to explain what a “go-getter” is in comparison to what he thought “go get her” meant.  (Note: this was modified once I was clued in to who Young Jeezy was)

Windhorst has nothing to apologize for. I’m impressed that 110 year old Donyell Marshall knows who Young Jeezy is.

Asked by an unidentified questioner to “put in perspective” the T-Wolves blowing a 25 point lead at home to the lowly Sonics, Kevin Garnett replied, “No I can’t. That’s fucked up. That’s fucked up.”  Amen.  (link courtesy I Heart KG)

You Give Live In Utah’s Amanda says she’ll be at Minnesota’s tilt with Dallas tonight, but not before paying homage to rare transcendent moment from Austin Croshere against New Orleans last night.

I like it when the Mavs margin of victory is larger than the number of years I have been alive. Is it weird that the most thrilling moment of the whole game was the ally oop dunk Croshere pulled off early in the 4th quarter? I know part of the impetus for me starting this blog was to mourn the loss of Keith Van Horn and for a while I thought Van Horn’s skill-less spirit would live on in the form of Austin Croshere. But he’s really improving and growing on me.

Once again, Dave D’Alessandro’s Agony Aunt column in the Newark Star Ledger fails to disappoint.

Hi, Dave: I think Mr. Thorn had second thoughts about not taking Walter Hermann when he had the chance — he looked pretty good against the NJ boys. I’m feeling pretty low about the season and what has transpired. Any encouraging words?

Mo: Do you mean Walter Hermann Bucher, the paleontologist known for his study of cryptovolcanics? Or Walter Hermann Nernst, the Nobel Prize winner for his work in thermochemistry? Because I really doubt they regret that they couldn’t get Walter Herrmann, the one-dimensional forward who probably couldn’t make half the teams in the league. I don’t want to knock the kid, because he’s overcome a lot of tragedy in his life (he’s the kid who lost his mom, sister, and girlfriend in a car accident back in ’03) to have a very nice career for Argentina. But I would be very surprised if he is better than, say, Nachbar. And as of Saturday night, I think he had something like 11 assists and 50 boards in 500 minutes. And when they made the McInnis deal, the Bobs let it be known in no uncertain terms that Herrmann wasn’t available. . . .As for encouraging words: You know what’s occurred to me these last few mailbags? Other than Prof. Turner, who probably has better alcohol than the rest of us, all the letters have come saturated in melancholia, and every reply makes me sound like a surly nag. So let’s get back to the way it is: They will probably get the seventh seed, they will probably match up with Cleveland, and nobody defends LeBron better than Jefferson, which means it could be a very competitive series. You know, if the ja-drools ever get there.

Sports Illustrated – Upholding The Standards Of Print Journalism…

Posted in Blogged Down, Sports Journalism at 10:01 am by

…except when they’re running a quote without attribution.