04.27.07

Your Wednesday Night Is All Figured Out

Posted in General, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 4:38 pm by


The Black + a northeastern interloper fond of songs about kitty kats and flying kites Idi Amin. It’s all going down at the Scoot Inn, 1308 E. 4th St., Austin, TX, next Wednesday, May 2 at 10pm. It’s free until 2am, at which point there’s no amount of money that will help you out.

Put A Sock In It : Schilling Can’t Leave Well Enough Alone

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Sports TV at 2:27 pm by

It’s not nearly enough for Curt Schilling that Gary Thorne (“an awesome hockey announcer”) has been exposed as less than credible, nor does no. 38 take much satisfaction in his October ’04 heroics being recounted in the papers over and over again. Instead, while offering a one million dollar donation to charity(!) if anyone can prove his bloody sock wasn’t 4REAL, Boston’s foremost Everquest enthusiast / Republican Schill uses his 38 Pitches blog to tar much of the print and broadcast media with the same (bloody) brush.

Take Gary Thorne, John, Jack Joe or whatever his first name is, Heyman, Karen Vescey, Woody Paige, CHB, Jay Marriotti, Bill Plaschke, and a host of other people that litter the media landscape, and put them all on an island somewhere.Does anyone stop reading their newspapers? Watching the shows they appear on? The answer to that is no. Instead of using the forums they participate in to do something truly different, change lives, inspire people, you have an entire subset of media whose sole purpose in life is to actually be the news, instead of report it. They have little to no talent at what they do and other than a mastery of the English language their skill sets are non-existent.

Watching Woody Paige or the plastered made up face of Jay Marriotti spew absolutely nothing of merit on sports, day after day, makes it easy to understand how Gary Thorne could say something as stupid, ignorant, and uninformed as he did the other night.

If you haven™t figured it out by now, working in the media is a pretty nice gig. Barring outright plagiarism or committing a crime, you don™t have to be accountable if you don™t want to. You can say what you want when you want and you don™t really have to answer to anyone. You can always tell the bigger culprits by the fact you never see their faces in the clubhouse. Most of them are afraid to show themselves to the subjects they rail on everyday.

So Gary Thorne says that Doug told him the blood was fake. Which even when he™s called out he can™t admit he lied. Doug never told Gary Thorne anything. Gary Thorne overheard something and then misreported what he overheard. Not only did he misreport it, he misinterpreted what he misreported.

Without dismissing Schilling’s right to take umbrage at Thorne’s comments, this particular salvo at Masarroti, Page, Shaugnessey and Plaschke is pretty unsophisticated, even by Curt’s standards. Perhaps the quartet aren’t nearly as committed to “reporting the news” as Curt would like because they paid to express their opinions rather than merely provide the game story. Whether or not any of the above have much to offer in that regard, is another subject, but I think Schilling is missing the point here. If Thorne’s accusations were without evidence, he’s up shit creek and deservedly so (though again, this wouldn’t be the first time someone challenged Doug Mirabelli’s account of something). But that has little, if anything to do with print journalists who routinely mock Schilling’s egomania.

Mushnick On A Steamy Case Of Mistaken ID

Posted in Dead Authors, Sports Journalism, Sports Radio at 12:38 pm by

There are so many things Phil Mushnick and I have in common. Beards. Devotion to our families. A deep appreciation for the Billy Joel canon. Judaism. But perhaps least surprising is that we’re each fans of David J. Halberstam’s “Sports On New York Radio : A Play By Play History”, a tome Phil calls “among the most relied upon books in my library.”

As you might imagine, the book’s author, a former Miami Heat broadcaster, probably fielded no shortage of calls this week upon the passing of Pulitzer winner David Halberstam (amazingly enough, writes Mushnick, a 5th cousin, as both men would later learn). And as Phil transcibes in Friday’s Post, such a mix-up could’ve once yielded some sexy results.

“Not that there should have ever been any confusion, not before, not now. For one thing, David was 73. I’m 55. And while we both had written sports books, I only wrote one.

“And he won a Pulitzer Prize. If I’d been the David Halberstam to win a Pulitzer, I’d have years ago made the distinction between the two of us very clear to everyone.

“I hate to have to think of David’s death in terms of what it means to me, about putting an end to a lot of confusion about our shared names. But, sadly, this should be the end of it.”

It was interesting while it lasted. Even the late David Halberstam, at dinner 18 months ago, told me that he’d occasionally be confused with David, the other.

There was always enough in the mix to mistake David Halberstam for David Halberstam.

David The Other, after all, is now the Executive VP of Westwood Radio Sports. Before that he was the radio voice of the Miami Heat, and before that the radio voice of St. John’s basketball, and before that the analyst on CUNY basketball radiocasts (Myron Rushetzky, the Post’s longtime City Desk traffic controller, was Halberstam’s stat man).

During the 1984-85 basketball season, Larry King’s USA Today column – those columns are still legendary for their colossally comical mistakes – noted that David Halberstam, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, was spending the winter calling St. John’s basketball games on WCBS radio.

And there was that night in 1977, when both Halberstams were single, and the phone rang in Halberstam The Other’s Manhattan apartment. “The woman’s voice on the other end was dreamy, the kind heard in a movie – ‘David, I just arrived in town, and I don’t have your address, and I so much want to see you.’

“That was a tough thing to do, telling her that I think she has the wrong David Halberstam.”

Attn : Philly Phans Who Enjoy Wallowing In Their Own Misery

Posted in Baseball at 12:03 pm by

…after yesterday’s 4-2 loss to the Nats, your tragic number stands at 32. (link courtesy Scott Comeau).

The Sultan Of Surly Has Fallen Out Of Favor With Angry, Drunk Georgians

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 11:14 am by

From The Smoking Gun :

While there is never an excuse for getting drunk and breaking into a neighbor’s home, this Georgia arrestee did have a point last week with his drunken ramblings about Barry Bonds. William Smith, 21, allegedly forced his way into a Statesboro home and verbally threatened the elderly couple living there. The intoxicated Smith, who we’re guessing is a Hank Aaron/Atlanta Braves fan, was shouting, “Barry Bonds did not deserve to be the home run king” when police found him in the kitchen of a home at 7 Greenwood Lane, according to an April 18 Statesboro Police Department report. Smith lives at 17 Greenwood Lane, so perhaps he thought pensioners Shafik and Nilofer Hashmi had broken into his house. Smith, a Georgia Southern University student, was booked into the Bulloch County jail and was charged with a felony burglary count.

In other Bonds musings, The Globe’s David Lefort considers the possibility of Barry breaking Hank Aaron’s home run mark when the Giants visit Fenway Park in mid June. Given the Sultan’s past statements about the city of Boston, this should no doubt inspire all sorts of deep, thoughtful discussion on WEEI.

Raissman : Thorne Was Bloody Irresponsible

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 10:56 am by

“Gary Thorne once said ‘I hate’ when broadcasters become part of the story. He should have thought about those words before he opened his mouth on Wednesday night,” scolds a bemused Bob Raissman in Friday’s New York Daily News.

Even an opinionated voice like Gary Thorne (above) gave the appearance he knew when to hold back, when to put limits on what a broadcaster says during a baseball telecast. He offered evidence of his apparent awareness back in August 2002, when – on a Ch.11 Mets game – he informed viewers what the final telecast of his career would be like.

“It’s going to be a game where you say all the things you wanted to say all those years,” Thorne said almost five years ago. “All the things that will get you fired. All the things fans are thinking, the players are thinking, but we’re not allowed to say because we’ve got to protect somebody’s behind.”

One did not have to ask Sherwin-Williams to know, even back in 2002, that Thorne had already broadcast many games as if they were his last. Wednesday’s was just another one of them. His “paint” comment was neither opinion nor analysis. Thorne threw the line out there as if it were fact, without going to Schilling – or someone in the Red Sox organization – for a response. This was totally irresponsible.

Yesterday, Thorne did what he should have done Wednesday. He went to Doug Mirabelli, the “source” of his story, and concluded the Red Sox catcher had been just jiving him. “I took it as something serious,” Thorne told The AP, “and it wasn’t.”

Still, you must wonder how Thorne, an attorney who once was an assitant DA, could be duped. Or maybe he’s now buying Mirabelli’s explanation just to get out of this mess. For while delivering his accusation on Wednesday evening, Thorne certainly did not protect Mirabelli’s “behind”.

One TV baseball producer who has worked with Thorne was puzzled over how the play-by-play man handled the situation.

“Why do you think we have production meetings (before every game)? If a broadcaster is going to present a story as big as this, everyone (involved in the production) should be on the same page,” the producer said. “You have to go to the other side and, at the least, you would like to have video of Schilling and the (bloody) sock ready to roll.”

Anyone who followed Thorne’s 12 seasons behind Mets radio and TV microphones should not be stunned by what went down in Baltimore on Wednesday night. His delivery has always been fearless, spontaneous and, sometimes, reckless. These are the qualities that always have made Thorne a compelling listen. They are also the very qualities that have dipped him in controversy.

In September 2002, during a Mets-Phillies telecast, Thorne said there were “some real problems” between then-manager Bobby Valentine and his players. “There are a lot of guys down there (in the dugout) who don’t like him (Valentine). They don’t like playing for him. And if there has ever been a Teflon manager, he’s it. Nothing seems to stick. He’s never responsible for anything.”

Valentine basically called Thorne a liar. “How the heck does he know,” Valentine said at the time. “He’s never in our clubhouse.”

God Bless The Mooch, Pt. II

Posted in Free Expression, Rock Und Roll, We Aren't The World at 1:14 am by

(pt. I)

Even if he might be related to this guy.

How Many Yuan Can You Fine A Player For Wearing A Wifebeater?

Posted in "Wife Beater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Football at 12:53 am by

Baron Davis, Tim Duncan, take note of the following from Reuters :

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) suspended Xiamen Lanshi defender Gabriel Melkam (above) for three matches and fined him 5,000 yuan ($650) for wearing a vest emblazoned with “Chinese umpires are all fakes”.

On Sunday, the Nigerian import stripped off his team uniform after a 0-0 draw against Chinese Super League (CSL) side Henan Jianye, revealing the undershirt to journalists before a post-match press conference, local media reports said.

“Xiamen No. 4 Melkam displayed serious unsportsmanlike behaviour, which harmed the league and brought a negative influence to bear on society,” the association said in a statement on its Web site.

Local media said Melkam’s act was in response to a referee blunder in the previous round that caused Xiamen to lose 1-0 to Shanghai Shenhua.

An injury-time goal was awarded to Shenhua striker Sergio Blanco, who League officials later conceded was off-side.

Melkam’s punishment was light as he had admitted his mistake and apologised to officials, the reports said.

Guitar Zero : Zumaya Contrite Over Tantrum

Posted in Baseball at 12:26 am by

From the Detroit Free Press’ Jon Paul Morosi.

On Wednesday night, minutes after walking four batters and hitting another in a disastrous ninth inning, Joel Zumaya sat at his locker, chair turned inward. He stared straight ahead, and did not speak with reporters.

One day later, he left little unsaid.

Zumaya stood at the same locker and answered questions for 12 minutes, before the team departed following the postponement of today’s game with the White Sox.

Zumaya repeatedly scolded himself, both for his performance “ the lack of command led to two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning “ and his conduct toward Mark Wegner, the home plate umpire.

Zumaya admitted to œgetting real bigheaded about myself, said his concentration was œsomeplace else, and acknowledged that he yelled at Wegner œquite a few times about his strike zone.

œI™m a humble person, Zumaya said. œLast night, I was not humble. Last night, I was just being a jackass.

At one point, Zumaya said, œThat was embarrassing for me. That was embarrassing for Detroit.

Zumaya vowed that he would never behave that way again.

œMy apologies go to the umpire, Zumaya said. œI actually wanted to talk to him, tell him, ˜That™s not me,™ and (ask) if he could forgive me for disrespecting him like that.

œI yelled at him quite a few times, and that™s probably why the zone got really tight on me.

El Barto (11 K’s) was just as impressive in his 2nd start of ’07 as he was in his first last Saturday ; the Halos beat Seattle yesterday, 11-3 , as Vlad Guerrrero clobbered his 6th HR of the year, a two-run shot off former Met Jae Seo. Gary Matthews had 3 hits, but more importantly, did so without Arte Moreno asking him to pee in a cup.

04.26.07

The Vlade Divac Of Soccer?

Posted in Football at 6:43 pm by

Apologies for my negligence in not mentioning

a) the passing of Alan Ball,
b) Manchester United and Chelsea winning their Champions League semi-final first leg encounters with AC Milan and Liverpool, respectively.
c) Jose Mourinho as the meat in a McMahon sandwich, or
d) Fan Appreciation Week at Old Trafford

I don’t suppose this will make it up to you :