05.31.07

Eastern Confernce Finals Game 5 : LeBron’s Takeover

Posted in Basketball at 11:45 pm by

Cavaliers 109, Pistons 107 (double OT)



Jeff Jensen
says his jaw is on the floor. He can join the club. Leave it to billion year old Dr. Jack Ramsey to point out one of the night’s more stunning, if arcane stats : the Cavs totalled a mere 13 assists while scoring 109. And 7 of those assists were from LeBron James.

“That tells you,” chortled Dr. Jack, “that someone must’ve been doing an awful lot by himself.”

And that might be the great understatement of the week. I’m old enough to remember Jordan torching the Celtics for 63. I’m washed up enough to recall Reggie Miller going nuts at MSG inbetween taunts of Spike Lee. But I cannot recall in my lifetime an individual playoff performance as impressive as LeBron’s 48 points — including the Cavs’ final 25 (29 of their last 30) over the course of the 4th quarter through 2 OT’s — nor the way he scored many of them.
For all the furor over James not taking the last shot in Game One, there’s a good chance he’ll not be hearing much criticism for the next 2 days — particularly given what he pulled off tonight without Larry Hughes. While the Pistons can scratch their skulls over a layup here or there, there’s not much they can do when James is hitting long, off-balance jumpers with a pair of defenders on him.

TNT’s 3 headed monster of Reggie Miller, The Chuckster and Kenny Smith took issue with the likes of Michael Cooper, Terry Porter and Mark Jackson not getting the coaching gigs that went to Marc Iavaroni, Billy Donovan and Jim O’Brien. And while I ususally blow a gasket over certain (pale) retreads being 3rd of 4th chances, I’m not sure they’ve picked the right examples to groan about. Cooper and Porter have coached in the Association already, and I suspect the latter will get another chance before long. O’Brien took the Celtics to a conference final, Iavaroni was considered by multiple clubs this spring, and Billy Donovan is merely coming off back to back national titles.

And I’m 100% against Mark Jackson becoming a head coach. Not because he’s unqualified, but if you break Jax and Ian Eagle up, I’ll be deprived of mucho material come next winter.

The Flyin’ Hawaiian Will Have Philly Music Lovers Cryin’

Posted in Baseball, Radio at 6:25 pm by

(Victorino, above far left, with Chris Roberson and Cole Hamels, moments before being told August Darnell Day at CBP had been rained out)

Writes the link-suppling Repoz, “Next thing you know…Scott Muni will start embracing punk music instead of worms!” From NBC10.com’s Leah Zerbe.

Before all the excitement of having Barry Bonds in town surges at Citizen™s Park on Friday, one Phillie will be serenading Philadelphia music lovers with his guest DJ selections as he takes over as Y-Rock DJ at XPN Thursday night at 8.

Listeners can tune in at 88.5 XPN, 88.5 HD-2 or online at YRockOnXPN.org as Shane Victorino, the feisty right fielder known as The Flyin™ Hawaiian, controls the airwaves for an hour. Back in March, I spoke to the Bob Marley-loving Victorino briefly about music, and I think it™s safe to say listeners will get to hear their fair share of reggae Thursday night when he™s calling the shots.

Peter Gammons chatted with ESPN Radio’s Dan Patrick this afternoon, the topic of choice being the alleged violation of baseball ettiquette by Alex Rodriguez last night in Toronto. Gammons insisted despite the Yankees’ poor showing thus far, when they’re on the road, “they’re the Rolling Stones.”

“Which of the Yankees is Keith Richards?” wondered Patrick.
“Jason Giambi,” replied a giggling Gammo, “though he might not like the comparison.”

Indeed, Keith might not. The Yanks’ Mr. Apology will miss at least 3 weeks after being diagnosed with a left heel injury earlier today.

It’s Magic : Donovan Disappears From Gainsville

Posted in Basketball at 4:46 pm by

From USA Today / Associated Press, Thursday morning, May 31 :

Florida’s Billy Donovan (above, right) declined to comment Wednesday on a report that the Orlando Magic have contacted his agent in hopes of gauging his interest in becoming their next coach.

Donovan said Wednesday he had no idea whether the report was true.

“I know nothing,” he said at the Southeastern Conference’s annual spring meeting. “Anybody can say anything. If you said to me someone made a comment about that, maybe I would respond. But I’m not going to make any response or comment on sources. … A lot of times there’s speculation out there, and a lot of times there’s nothing to the speculation.”

A few minutes ago, ESPN credited Pat Forde with a report Donovan had signed a 6 year, $36 million pact with the Orlando Magic.

I guess the Magic just completed the fastest negotiation in history.

Rick Pitino would like Donovan to know that Dennis Scott isn’t walking through that door. Unless he’s hired as an assistant.

Please Let This Event Be Rated PG-13

Posted in Cinema, music, The World Of Entertainment at 4:37 pm by

Though I suspect I’ll be busy that night, hopefully the soon-to-relocate Alamo will see fit to reserve seats for Jim DeRogatis and Gary Sheffield.

Tony La Genius : “A Study In Human Pyrotechnics”

Posted in Baseball at 2:36 pm by

Or perhaps just a boozy guy having a late-life crisis while watching his defending champs slide down the toilet — last night’s defeat of Colorado aside. Sports Illustrated’s SL Price considers the dark days of Cards skipper Tony La Russa.

He has seen the shattering of his enlightened image — already cracked by a 2005 admission that he had suspected Canseco was using steroids with the A’s — and heard his leadership doubted. Just months removed from reveling in the Cardinals’ 10th championship, won on the field of their new, $365 million ballpark, La Russa has found himself the public focus of what team president Mark Lamping calls “the most embarrassing period” of their 12 years together in St. Louis.

No one could take so bruising a fall without howling, and indeed, La Russa’s response ranges from bitterness to regret to rage to resignation — occasionally all at once. But he won’t say what seems obvious: Sometimes life comes at you like a landslide, and you dodge one boulder only to get leveled by another. “I’ve now read this word three or four times, and it’s a perception that some people have that I don’t feel at all: embattled,” he says, before a May 9 home stand finale against the Colorado Rockies. “I don’t feel embattled. As long as this doesn’t sound disrespectful, this is so routine for what a manager goes through during a season. Now … you don’t have guys die. But the adversity? The ups and downs? You’re always trying to keep your wagons going — or you’re circling them trying to stay alive.”

La Russa says he still “absolutely” believes that McGwire never used steroids and attributes the slugger’s muscle mass to a combination of diet and work ethic. “To this day, five or six days a week, you call him in the morning, he’s just finished his workout,” La Russa says. “He looks like he could play today. That’s why I keep asking him to.”

Vescey : Jermaine O’Neal To LA

Posted in Basketball at 10:06 am by

In case you’re wondering why Kobe Bryant was demanding a trade on Stephen A. Smith’s ESPN 1050 show but making much calmer noises later in the day, the New York Post’s Peter Vescey is all too pleased to fill you in.

The Post has learned a championship-caliber collaborator should soon be coming to Kobe’s – the city’s and the team’s – emotional rescue. How poetically peculiar that the player’s last name is O’Neal, as in Jermaine, not Shaquille!

Within the last week, the Pacers and Lakers have laid the groundwork for a trade that would certainly placate both sorrowful All-Stars. L.A. inquired about O’Neal – another fake franchise player pocketing maximum money on the prowl for someone to save him from losing. And was told he was available. Indiana let it be known the Lakers have ample assets (players and/or picks) to make a fair deal.

No specifics were delivered. No negotiating has been done. Still, Lamar Odom would have to be the principal of the package in order to adhere to NBA trade specifications. He’s currently on the Laker salary cap for $12,348,596 and has two seasons remaining at 900G per raises.

O’Neal earns Kobe-like numbers: $18,084M this season, and has three remaining at $19.728M, $21.372 and 23,016M. Kobe has an out after two more seasons.

Surely Andrew Bynum ($2.030M/$2.172M/$2.769M) must be included as well. I can’t see the Pacers parting with a 7-footer without getting one back.

Obviously, this very real swap talk is why Kobe’s blithering abruptly ceased late yesterday afternoon.

Much as I hate to challenge the veracity of Vescey’s report, I think we need to take a cold, hard look at the facts. In past 48 hours, Kobe has called in to no fewer than 7 chat radio shows, both of the local and national variety. Clearly, he’s frustrated and angry…at being the only person in North America WFAN hasn’t invited to host their early morning show for a few days.

A-Rod Suffers Humiliating Corbin Bernsen Comparison

Posted in Baseball at 9:26 am by

Knowing Alex Rodriguez, Knowing You (A-ha!), with Slappy’s latest crime against Real Yankeehood (abeit in a New York win) ably covered by the New York Daily News’ Mark Feisand.

With his team leading by two runs following his RBI single in the top of the ninth, A-Rod was running between second and third after Jorge Posada had popped up the potential third out.

As Rodriguez went behind Toronto third baseman Howie Clark, who had camped under the ball, he appeared to shout something toward Clark, causing him to back off the play. The ball fell in for a single, allowing a run to score and extending an inning that wound up breaking the game open for the Yankees.

“I said, ‘Hah,’ that’s it,” Rodriguez said. “I was almost past third base. I was surprised the ball bounced.”

The Blue Jays didn’t see it that way.

“I was under it and I heard a ‘Mine’ call, so I let it go,” said Clark, who thought the call came from shortstop John McDonald. “This is my 16th season, granted most of them are in the minor leagues, but it’s never happened once. It happened tonight.”

“I told him it’s bush league. That’s what we do in Little League,” Gibbons said. “The one thing that everybody in the game respects about the Yankees is that they play the game right, they play the game hard. That’s what they’re known for. They’re a class operation.”

“I could care less,” Rodriguez said. “We’re looking not to be swept. It really doesn’t make a difference; we won. Those guys have their opinions, our guys have ours. I’m fine with that.”

Troy Glaus, the Blue Jays’ regular third baseman and a 10-year veteran, was appalled by the play.

“Not since I think ‘Major League II,’ the movie; I think that’s the only time I’ve ever seen it on the field,” Glaus said. “I’ve never heard of someone doing it and I’ve never seen anybody do it. That’s not proper. That’s not the right thing to do.”

In all seriousness, A-Rod might be far more savvy than any of us give him credit for. He might well have realized he’d have to do something rather sensationational to distract the media from his zipper problems, and it appears as though he did just that. I can only hope the organization appreciates that kind of maturity and leadership.

A Version Of “Mother” That Will Have You Crying “Uncle”

Posted in Free Expression, Rock Und Roll at 2:50 am by

The folks at Legion Of Rock Stars have already done their worst to Loverboy and Billy Idol, but there’s little that can prepare you for their meditation on, uh, Chuck Biscuits’ sole entry in the Billboard Top 40. (thanks to Eric Bradford for the link)

05.30.07

CSTB Contributor’s Fantasies Revealed

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 9:16 pm by

(this man would surely not approve)

Salutations to longtime CSTB fixture David Roth on the publication of “My Overactive Fantasy Life : What Happens When You Love Your Fantasy Team A Litte Too Much” in Wednesday’s edition of Slate. David describes a growing social problem with harrowing detail :

It started with simple flip-overs to WGN from Mets games. You know, an innocent, Oh, I wonder if Jermaine Dye is up”I could really use a two-run single and two stolen bases from him. Then it became a full-on addiction. I watched my fantasy players’ at-bats with an intensity that I can’t bring to Mets games until the weather starts getting cold. I watched them not only instead of Mets games, but also instead of whatever else I was supposed to be doing. I write “watched” instead of “watch” because, after hitting bottom a couple of weeks ago, I’m trying to change.

My moment of clarity came on a beautiful April afternoon at Shea Stadium. For the first time in my Mets-attending life, I was treated to the spectacle of the Mets putting a nice, easy walloping on the Atlanta Braves, their longtime divisional nemesis. But there was a complicating factor: One of my fantasy pitchers, Chuck James, was starting for the Braves. So, while I enjoyed watching the Mets pound him silly, I felt empty high-fiving my friends as runs five and six crossed the plate. My mouth said the right things, but my fantasy-sodden brain wondered why a nice 3-1 win (with, say, one of the runs being unearned and James registering eight or so strikeouts) couldn’t have sufficed. It was then that I decided that I needed to get a handle on this.

Given that David’s squad in the Charlie Kerfeld Memorial League is currently 9th out of 13 teams, I think we can safely say he is making ample progress towards sanity.

If Mike Gillespie Can’t Have You, No One Can

Posted in Basketball, The Law at 4:56 pm by

You’d think a Division I hoop coach would know better than most what constitutes a recruiting violation. From the AP :

Florida A&M University men’s basketball coach Mike Gillespie Sr. was placed on paid leave Wednesday after his arrest last week on misdemeanor stalking charges.

Florida A&M Athletic Director Nelson Townsend said Gillespie would remain on leave until the charges have been resolved.

Police said they were called Friday morning by a woman, who said Gillespie stalked her at work last week. A police report said Gillespie had been investigated several times since March 2005 on stalking complaints, but Friday was the first time he was charged.

Gillespie is free on bond, but subject to monitoring and under orders to stay away from the woman who accused him of stalking her.

Gillespie’s attorney, Tim Jansen, didn’t return a call for comment Wednesday, but he said last week that the alleged stalking “didn’t happen.”

Owner With A Boner Involved In USFL II?

Posted in Gridiron, The Marketplace at 4:42 pm by

From the Dallas Morning News :

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is part of a group considering formation of a football league that would compete with the NFL for players drafted lower than the second round.

The league, still very much in the preliminary stage, would play its games on Friday nights. The NFL does not play then because of the potential conflict with high school football.

“It’s a pretty simple concept,” Cuban said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “We think there is more demand for pro football than supply.”

The proposal was first disclosed by The New York Times on its Web site, which said it was the idea of Bill Hambrecht, a Wall Street investor who was a minority partner in the Oakland Invaders of the USFL, which played in the spring from 1983-85. Sharon Smith, a spokeswoman for Hambrecht and Company, had no comment and said Hambrecht was traveling and unavailable to talk about the idea.

Cuban said in his e-mail he believes the salary cap makes it easier to compete financially with the NFL because of the salary imbalance that leaves lower-level players with lower salaries. That would allow the new league to fill its rosters with players taken lower than the second round, as well as late NFL cuts and free agents who escape the NFL draft.

Despite the failure of the USFL and Vince McMahon’s XFL, I have a terrible feeling Cuban is on to something here.  There might well be just enough football degenerates who’d enjoy a Friday evening slate of pro ball as a precursor to the weekend’s other action.  And imagine how deep the talent pool might be if the new league were willing to employ all the players Roger Goodell has either banned or is about to ban?

Not only am I beyond psyched for the possiblity, however remote, of Austin hosting one of the league’s proposed 8 franchises, but a lineup featuring Michael Vick, Pacman Jones and Chris Henry would be awfully tough to beat.

Mark E. To Malcom Middleton’s Ex : Don’t Get Funny

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 2:25 pm by

The only thing more inevitable than a Fall lineup change or the umpteenth occasion of Mark E. Smith following a relative dud album with one that’s shockingly good…would be TV or radio appearances like the one above. Surely Mark’s autobiography could be the greatest case of setting-the-record-straight since Lance Rentzel’s “When All The Laughter Died In Sorrow”?

It’s A Cheap Lousy Smear Campaign, I Tell Ya

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, History's Great Hook-Ups at 1:47 pm by

And apparently, the NY Post’s treatment of Alex Rodridguez is a major invasion of privacy, too.

First of all, this isn’t the first time the Post has connected A-Rod to an adult entertainment establishment. Secondly, there’s a word for male celebrities who are regularly linked to strip joints.  But since I don’t have Kevin Spacey’s number, I can’t ask what he thinks of all this.

One of Baseball Think Factory’s more reasoned commentators was moved to make the following statement :

It seems to me that sites like Deadspin, Can’t Stop The Bleeding, Kissing Suzy Kolber, and With Leather brought on the Liz Smith version of sports coverage. My railing against Will Leitch is mainly sour grapes. It sounds like he has a fun job [but I have an inkling of a doubt about that Berman story which propelled Deadspin into my consciousness (and likely the consciousness of others.)] Meanwhile, I spend more time posting here than performing my boring paperpushing that I’m supposed to do in this adult day care center that is called my job.

Hey, hang on a minute, pal.  Not only does CSTB predate each and every member of the yuckster blog frat cited by a wide margin, but a) I don’t get the comparison and b) much as I’m happy to characterize their daily offerings as one-giant-suckfest,  since when did tabloid gossip columns take their cue from blogs?   Believe it or not, when Jose Canseco was seen leaving Madonna’s apartment in 1904, said story wasn’t blog-inspired.  When Wade Boggs was in the midst of Margo Adamsgate, he couldn’t have spelled blog if you’d spotted him the log (and perhaps he still can’t).

A Remind About Tonight’s Events At The Scoot Inn

Posted in Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 1:25 pm by

In the likely event you’ve already forgotten, myself + Matt Baab will be playing records and hosting your otherwise deadly desperate Wednesday night, May 30 at the Scoot Inn, 1308 East 4th St., Austin.

If you’re the kind of person who cares either way, tonight’s San Antonio/Utah Game 5 should be available in vibrant technicolor on the Scoot’s flat screen. The volume will have to be turned down, however, so as not to drown out the sounds of King Tubby with Jeff Van Gundy’s commentary.

Also, if you can’t make it, don’t feel obliged to write, text or call explaining why. I’m just going to assume that each and every one of you are (extremely) fair weather friends. But you’ll note the weather today is quite fair.

coming :

June 6 – Jimmy Flemion (The Frogs), plus me and a bag of records.
June 13 – Pink Nasty, plus someone who may or may not be me, playing records. Just not the same pile as the previous week.

Kobe : I Want Out

Posted in Basketball at 12:06 pm by

After visiting a pair of SoCal radio shows yesterday and professing his desire to retire a Laker, Kobe Bryant has reversed course in sensational fashion, opening up this afternoon on New York’s ESPN 1050.

“I would like to be traded, yeah,” Bryant said. “Tough as it is to come to that conclusion there’s no other alternative, you know?”

Bryant, interviewed by Stephen A. Smith, was asked if there was anything the Lakers could do to change his mind?

“No,” Bryan said. “I just want them to do the right thing.”

Earlier in the day, Bryant said team owner Jerry Buss masterminded the trade of Shaquille O’Neal — and Shaq later confirming Kobe’s account.

Bryant was left “beyond furious” by a report in Tuesday’s Los Angeles Times that read, “as a Lakers insider notes, it was Bryant’s insistence on getting away from Shaquille O’Neal that got them in this mess.”

“He (Buss) met with me at the Four Seasons Hotel here [in Los Angeles] across from Fashion Island, which is now the Island Hotel,” Bryant told Smith. “I went up to his penthouse suite. [Buss] looks me dead in the face and says: ‘Kobe, I am not going to re-sign Shaq. I am not about to pay him $30 million a year or $80 million over three years. No way in hell. I feel like he’s getting older. His body is breaking down, and I don’t want to pay that money to him when I can get value for him right now rather than wait.

“This is my decision. It’s independent of you. My mind is made up. It doesn’t matter to me what you do in free agency because I do not want to pay [Shaq], period.’ “

“Dr. Buss said that,” Bryant told Smith. “And I haven’t said anything for years because I’ve always felt like folks were just looking to create controversy. Now I know. I realize what extent [the Lakers] will go to, to cover themselves.”

Reached afterward, O’Neal told Smith that be believed his former teammate beyond reproach.

“I believe Kobe 100 percent,” O’Neal said when reached in Los Angeles. “Absolutely. There’s no doubt in my mind Kobe is telling the truth. I believe him a thousand percent.

“I would have respected Dr. Buss more as a man if he would have told me that himself, because I know he said it. But he didn’t [tell me]. He never said a damn word to me.”

The LA Times’ Bill Plaschke is talking all this in and eagerly awaits some sort of full disclosure from the Lakers.

The family is being attacked by its adopted son, a player they have coddled and protected through one of the biggest sports scandals in this city’s history.

Yet, so far, the family, does nothing.

Jerry Buss is essentially accused of lying about the teams’ rebuilding effort.

Mitch Kupchak is essentially called worthless.

The entire organization is essentially cast as untrustworthy because of a supposed media leak.

If the Lakers want to maintain the respect of a community that has blindly given them their hearts, now is the time for them to turn on the lights and let the world know they’re still here.

If Jerry Buss is still alive, now is the time for him to prove it.

The Flushing School Of Bad Medicine

Posted in Baseball, Medical Science at 10:33 am by

It’s one hell of a way to make a major announcement, and not at all the sort of thing Bob Sikes would’ve tolerated (photo swiped from Maura Johnston)

I’m Pretty Sure My Mom Threw Away My Cheetah Chrome Rookie Card

Posted in Baseball, Modern Art, Rock Und Roll at 6:19 am by

The above is the handiwork of Glyph Jockey, who’s also taken a crack at David Byrne and John Lydon. (link swiped from Boing Boing).

Surely there’s a Photoshop fiend out there willing to try their hand at the DP combination of Rev & Vega?

Norris Hopper’s Assault On The Integrity Of The Game

Posted in Baseball at 1:22 am by

I’ll refrain from much comment regarding the Astros’ 2-1 loss to the Reds Wednesday night, except to state a) Houston commemorated the Brewers’ recent 1-6 stretch by dropping nine in a row of their own and b) the Kruky Monster never would’ve drafted Carlos Lee if he could’ve imagined the latter grounding into a game ending DP with the bases loaded.

Instead, we’ll reflect on Monday’s collision that hospitalized Ryan Freel, and a startling confession from the outfielder who felt the full force of the Flying Squirrel and lived to tell the tale. From the Dayton Daily News’ Hal McCoy (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory)

Ryan Freel is on the disabled list, and the truth is out.

Why wasn’t Freel’s catch of Humberto Cota’s long drive one of ESPN’s Web gems? Because Freel didn’t catch it.

With evidence mounting, Norris Hopper confessed that he put the baseball in Freel’s glove after they collided and Freel was knocked out and taken to the hospital.

“I didn’t have to touch Freel,” said Hopper. “The ball was right there, inches from his open glove, and I just had to roll it in quickly.”

Said Griffey, “That was smart. Saved Kyle Lohse an earnie (earned run).”

Griffey thought he had Monday off, but had to replace Freel in the third inning, and after the game said kiddingly to Lohse, who pitched a shutout, “Thanks for throwing that pitch that got Freel hurt and ruined my day off. I was in the clubhouse eating nachos.”

Efforts by manager Jerry Narron, Griffey and Adam Dunn to reach Freel by telephone Tuesday were not successful, “Probably because he lost another cell phone,” said Griffey. “He lost three of his own last month and one of Hopper’s.”

Armando Benitez, Bob Davidson & The Balks Heard ‘Round The World

Posted in Baseball at 12:21 am by

Mets 5, Giants 4 (12 innings)

(left to right : goat, hero)

While Willie Randolph felt comfortable enough trotting out the old “speed kills” line when chatting with Erin Andrews after the game (and much like two weeks ago against the Cubs, Jose Reyes can easily drive a reliever to distraction) and Carlos Delgado (2 HR’s, including the game winner in off a discombobulated Armando Benitez in the bottom of the 12th) is most assuredly All-The-Way-Back, much credit has to go to the evening’s undisputed star.

“Once again, the public have paid to see Bob Davidson!” howled Howie Rose during the first of Armando Benitez’ two 12 inning balks — the first moving Reyes into scoring position with none out, the 2nd scoring the Mets SS from 3rd with two outs in the frame. Benitez hadn’t balked in almost 4 years and you won’t find too many human Giants fans (nor Chris Russo) who won’t feel as though they were jobbed Tuesday night.

If you’re wondering why I’d resort to the dulcet tones of Howie Rose and Tom McCarthy when the contest was otherwise available in glorious HD nationwide, let’s just say that even the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay didn’t have to put up with both Dusty Baker and Rick Sutcliffe commenting on the same game. In addition to Sutcliffle’s lengthy defense of Barry Bonds (ie. the Sultan’s accomplishments occurred on “a level playing field” because pitchers had access to the same drugs, though “I’ve never even seen a steroid!”), the former Cubs reliever observed the Brewers — losers of 6 straight — were trailing the Braves, 3-0, in the 1st inning in Milwaukee.

“With John Smoltz on the mound, you might as well make that 7 in a row.” scoffed Sutcliffe.

Naturally, Prince Fielder would take Smoltz into Miller Park’s 2nd deck as Milwaukee came from behind for a 5-4 win. Apparently. Smoltz reinjured the same right pinky finger he’d previously hurt in a collision 15 days ago with the Nats’ Austin Kearns.

05.29.07

Guess Who’s Not Gonna Be Elected President?

Posted in Baseball, politics at 8:16 pm by

Not only has New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson shown terrible disloyalty to the Albuquerque Isotopes, but his flip flopping on that most crucial of political questions is even worse than declaring himself a Devil Rays fans, claims the Herald’s Rob Bradford. From the Associated Press :

Democrat candidate Bill Richardson, vying for the right to hold the nuclear football, swears allegiance to both Red Sox Nation and the Evil Empire.

œI™m a Red Sox fan, said the New Mexico governor, who was born in Pasadena, Calif., but spent his early childhood in Mexico City, where his father worked for a U.S. bank.

As a teenager, Richardson attended boarding school in Concord, Mass., and graduated from Tufts University in 1971. He also pitched a season in the Cape Cod summer league.

He said yesterday, œI™ve always been a Red Sox fan. But I said if I weren™t running for president, I would like to be No. 7 – Mickey Mantle – playing center field for the New York Yankees.

œMy favorite team has always been the Red Sox. I™m a Red Sox fan. End of session, he said. But, he added, œI™m also a Yankees fan.

Stay Classy, SLC

Posted in Basketball at 7:55 pm by

Fill in your own joke about how we’ll somehow survive without a word from Wake Forest’s foremost quote machine. But as the 2007 Playoffs progress, I’m left with the sneaking suspicion the basketball fans of Utah are every bit as sophisticated as their loveable owner.

While the Fanhouse’s Tom Ziller considers the possibility of Lenny Wilkens appointing himself coach of the Seattle Durants, SonicCentral’s Brian Robinson has lambasted owner Clay Bennett, charging “the guy’s contribution to Seattle basketball has been a complete and 100 percent zero.” I think that’s a bit harsh — doesn’t Robinson think 50% off Rashard Lewis jerseys is a positive move?

The New York Post’s Peter Vescey openly scoffs at Kobe Bryant’s weekend insistence the Lakers had a shot at Carlos Boozer, Baron Davis or Ron Artest.

First off, Jazz executive Kevin O’Connor has maintained from the git-go Boozer was never available. The only reason his name got out there in trade talk was because Kobe and Carlos share the same sleazy agent, Rob Pelinka.

Second, even had the Lakers been able to snare Boozer, closing any one of those deals would’ve cost them Lamar Odom for salary and skill purposes. How much better would that have made them? The truth is, they never should’ve dealt Caron Butler for Kwame Brown. That swap will haunt them into the hereafter.

In the final analysis I’m unsure what to make of Kobe’s bendable benedictions. But I am certain of one thing. I’ll know he lied to me when the jeweler calls and asks me for my ring size.

It be might overstating things a tad to call the Lakers “Team Turmoil”, but you know there’s a problem when Eric Musselman suggests an intervention for owner Jerry Buss. Though in the latter’s defense, maybe he was listening to this while behind the wheel.

Colt .45 : They’re Jerks Every Time

Posted in Beer, The Mailbag at 5:24 pm by

A 2005 study by the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science claimed that malt liquor drinkers “are more likely to be homeless, unemployed, or receiving public assistance.”

Perhaps with a slightly tonier demographic in mind, Pabst Brewery, the makers of Colt .45, have teamed up with the soulless purveyors of bullshit cutting edge humorists at Vice to spread around the following bit of spam.

VICE and Colt 45 are looking for your favorite stories about nights out with Colt 45. Got chased by dogs at 3am? Lost your pants on a bet and had to walk home? Got stuck in a compromising situation? Take a minute and write to us. The best stories will be illustrated by underground comic book artists and released with upcoming issues of Vice Magazine in its own mini-mag form. The first issue comes out in June and if we might say so, it™s pretty killer. Send all stories, yarns and anecdotes to tales@viceland.com . Please send us your stories asap, as we are looking for ones for the July issue. Also, look for VICE and Colt coming to your cities this summer to have some late night adventures and throw down with your favorite djs.

(Funnily enough, I do have such a story. About a month back, I got so drunk on Colt .45 that I cashed a check from Pabst in exchange for hassling innocent people. )

These motherfuckers would be so much better off bringing back Billy Dee Williams. And no one on earth, not even Michael Vick, uses phrases like “I love the shit out of dogs.”

Bringing The Taste of Chicago To Long Island City

Posted in Radio at 3:14 pm by

The Score’s Mike North (above)  was the latest sacrificial lamb substitute host to fill Don Imus’ old chair on WFAN this morning, and while Newsday’s Neil Best describes the Windy City windbag as “sounds like he’s doing an imitation of a bad Chicago accent, something out of a Saturday Night Live skit,” the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein was far more easily impressed.

North was loud, brash, hyper-opinionated and just plain hyper. When WFAN staple Chris Russo called in during the third hour, North barely let him speak. Russo is nicknamed “Mad Dog,” yet North muzzled him without a tranquilizer.

After Mike asked Russo which team he favored, and Russo said the San Francisco Giants, North barked: “They got Ray Durham at second base. He’s 50.”

A brief discussion of the NBA led North to say: “Eddy Curry decided to have a pulse this year.”

“You gotta do your homework when you’re on with me, Mad Dog,” North said.

“North is on top of it!” Russo fired back.

No doubt North did his research. He fired on tons of New York sports figures, including Joe Torre, Plaxico Burress, Eli Manning and Hideki Matsui. (“The Japanese players get here, and after a couple of years they get the American way. You can see Hideki Matsui after the game working out at TGI Friday’s.”)

WWL’s Drehs Worries About The Sultan’s Safety

Posted in Baseball at 12:02 pm by

(if the gentleman above is sitting next to you at Shea tonight…you must have pretty good seats!)

Salutations to ESPN.com’s Wayne Drehs for using Barry Bonds’ pursuit of Hank Aaron’s home mark as an excuse to raise the spectre of something truly chilling —- the aesthetic atrocity that was Tony Scott’s “The Fan”.

Best-selling author Peter Abrahams describes the character with ease — a man in his late-50s, a throwback of sorts, frustrated by a world of escalating gas prices, scandalous reality television and too many me-first, you-last personalities.

He would have grown up loving baseball, worshiping Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and others. He’d despise what the game has become. He’d look at San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds and cringe at the thought of this sullen, allegedly chemically enhanced antihero smirking his way to one of the most prestigious records in all of sports.

So he’d want to do something about it. Major League Baseball? The Mitchell Investigation? A San Francisco grand jury? An ultra-revealing, best-selling book? They might not be able to stand in the way of the slugger’s becoming baseball’s all-time home run king. But he could.

“His goal would be to almost religiously sacrifice himself on behalf of the American people to stop this record from happening,” said Abrahams, author of “The Fan,” the early-1990s book that was the basis for the Robert DeNiro/Wesley Snipes sports movie thriller of the same name. “I’m not sure if that character truly exists. But I can assure you those emotions do.”

“You get those crazy assassin types who are out there in the woodwork and are magnetized to someone like Barry Bonds,” Abrahams said. “Then there are the baseball purists who want to protect the records like a bible. Those people are annoyed, too. Whether or not that type of guy is going to pull out a .357, well, it doesn’t exactly fit the profile.”

Charles Nelson Reilly, RIP

Posted in The World Of Entertainment at 10:52 am by

From the LA Times’ Valerie J. Nelson.

Charles Nelson Reilly, whose persona as a wacky game show panelist and talk show guest overshadowed his serious work as a director and Tony-winning actor, has died. He was 76.

Reilly, a longtime resident of Beverly Hills, died Friday of complications from pneumonia at UCLA Medical Center, said Paul Linke, who directed Reilly’s one-man show “Save It for the Stage: The Life of Reilly.”

“The average person thinks of him as being on ‘The Match Game.’ That was a mixed blessing for him,” Linke told The Times on Monday. “One of the reasons I was so motivated to get his show out there was because I wanted people to recognize that this was a heavyweight talent.”

When a Times reporter visited his home in 2000, Reilly displayed an opera review that referred to him as “Charles Nelson Reilly of ‘Hollywood Squares’ fame.”

“It’s like a scarlet letter,” Reilly yowled in his high-pitched, nasal voice.

Reilly’s close friend Burt Reynolds said in a 1991 Times article that he thought Reilly’s reputation as the perpetual jester had worked against him in Hollywood

“We have a thing in this town that if you are enormously witty and gregarious, you can’t be very deep. There’s something wrong with a society that says, ‘You’re the wit, but you’re not the teacher.’ People just haven’t seen him in this arena,” Reynolds said.

Though Craig Finn was not necessarily unavailable for comment, he’s not on my buddylist, either.