Moments before taking the field to close out a three-game series against Kansas City Wednesday, Angels starter Jered Weaver (above) — the right-hander scheduled to take the mound that afternoon — and reliever Dustin Moseley displayed the dexterity (sort of) they possess in their other limbs.
Trading the high-priced arms they flaunt so masterfully on a baseball diamond for the opportunity to show off the dancing prowess in the limbs below their waists, the pair put on a show for a group of amused reporters as the Shop Boyz’s “Party Like a Rock Star” blared from the clubhouse speakers.
“Party like a rock, party like a rock star. Party like a rock, party like a rock star. Party like a rock, party like a rock star. Party like a rock star. Tuh-tuh totally dude!”
The pregame dance routine apparently remedied the ailing right shoulder and strep throat that kept Weaver from toeing the rubber for 11 days. Through seven innings, he allowed a single run on four hits in a losing effort. Not to be outdone, Moseley tossed two near-flawless innings to end the contest, surrendering only one hit.
But the hip-hop music that inspired the spontaneous display is as permanent a fixture in the Angels’ clubhouse as the players, coaches and physicians that frequent its haunts.
The mix, including tracks from Akon, Swizz Beatz and T-Pain, begins with Rich Boy’s “Throw Some D’s On It,” an ode to extravagant rims placed on equally extravagant automobiles — quite a fitting parallel for the club with one of the gaudiest number of wins in the Majors.
But not every member of the Angels is particularly enthused by this mix. While maintaining that he is indeed a fan of the genre, reliever Chris Bootcheck waxes nostalgic for the glory days of Hip-Hop Past — the days defined by iconic martyrs Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace and Tupac Shakur.
“I’m really diluted to hip-hop right now,” Bootcheck said. “Everything just sounds the same. I really like the older stuff; Biggie, Tupac. They were worth it.”
If Bootcheck is ever granted control of the stereo, perhaps the long-deceased duo will reemerge in Anaheim.
Uh, yeah. And then they’ll get high with Rex Hudler.
Insisting “(Robinson Cano’s struggles are a microcosm of everything that’s so far gone wrong with the Yankees this summer,” the Bergen Record’s Bob Klapisch writes off the Yankee 2B as being “on a long, flat road to nowhere, under-achieving at the ripe old age of 24.”
Cano’s curse is that he was so impressive in only his second year in the major leagues. It’s not just that Cano finished third in the American League in batting last year, it’s that he’d improved by 45 points from his rookie season.
No wonder scouts were touting Cano as the eventual No. 3 hitter in the Bombers’ lineup: His swing was full of power and grace, not to mention that ultra-hip quality that cannot be taught. If Cano could slam 15 homers so early in his career, imagine what he’d do with another 2-3 years of mentoring from Jeter.
“All the time,” is what general manager Brian Cashman said when asked if other executives were asking about Cano. At least they used to. These days, the phone lines are silent. No one’s seeking a trade for Cano. No one seems to be able to figure out who he is in 2007 “ whether he’s suffering through a delayed sophomore slump, or if he’s been infected by the malaise that permeates the rest of the lineup, or if Cano has, consciously or not, put his career on autopilot.
He sees only 3.37 pitches per plate appearance, the fewest among the Yankees. The majority of Cano’s at-bats are over in just one or two pitches. Call it anxiety or pressure — or fear of striking out — but Cano hacks at the first good pitch he sees, a philosophy that runs counter to the Yankees’ system-wide indoctrination.
The Juice’s Scott Long wonders “why anyone under the age of 50 watches Larry King?”, despite the fact he answered his own question with the following ;
King was always a weird guy. He has worn more suspenders than Mork from Ork. He has treated people calling into his show like they were telemarketers and he was on a don’t call list. At some point, KIng decided that he needed to offer up his inane movie reviews for public consumption, which outside of PR people form film companies, serves no useful purpose for the planet.. His previously mentioned interview style is one where soft-ball questions are followed up by non-sequitors, which generally leave you scratching your head. Truthfully, his show is such a trainwreck anymore that the only thing that is compelling about watching is to see what crazy-ass comment/question he is going to throw out next.
The Fanhouse’s Miss Gossip thought it would kinda entertaining to imagine what might happen if alleged recording artist Sean Combs was asked to assess the Draft Night duds of aspiring studs like UNC’s Brendan Wright (above). And while the results were funnier than say, imagining Chris Benoit doing the honors instead (“Smile or die! No need to cover up those braces, there’s no shame in trying to straighten out your grill. Everybody has something they need to work on … my secret is I used to have acne until I started using Proactiv.”), I’ll remind everyone that those assembled at the WaMu Theatre the other night are very, very lucky P. Diddy had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with staging said event.
If the Metropolitans (leading 5-3 after 4 1/2) hang on this afternoon at CBP, they’ll have taken 3 consecutive from the Phillies and 8 of their last 9. That would be an impressive enough achievement coming off a miserable prior 3 weeks of play, but it’s especially noteworthy in light of Paulie Large Nuts’ verbal hate crimes and the way he has singlehandedly fashioned a work environment marked by intolerance and fear.
Clearly, it is time for Omar Minaya to enlist the calming influence of a person so universally beloved, he’s the one man capable of cutting through the racial cliques and bringing this team back together.
For all the ink spilled this week about Kobe and KG possibly overshadowing Draft Night, why, oh, why, could this story have not come out 48 hours ago? From the AP :
The former Knicks executive who is suing coach Isiah Thomas for sexual harassment alleged in court papers that Thomas urged a cheerleader to flirt with referees and guard Stephon Marbury cursed at her, according to newspaper reports Saturday.
Anucha Browne Sanders, a former senior vice president of marketing and business operations, filed documents to answer the Knicks’ attempt to have her lawsuit dismissed.
In the papers, which were unsealed Friday, Browne Sanders alleges cheerleader Petra Pope told her Thomas encouraged Pope to flirt with officials before a game against the Nets in 2004, the Daily News reported.
“What she told me was that Isiah asked her to go into the referees’ locker room and make them happy,” Browne Sanders testified.
Sanders said Marbury directed an obscenity at her after she complained about the player’s cousin – who was also employed by the team – had made graphic sexual comments to her staff.
Marbury, in a January deposition, acknowledged calling Browne Sanders a derogatory name, according to the New York Post.
Sanders also claimed a member of her staff admitted to consensual drunken sex with Marbury after a night at a “gentlemen’s club” and said “she did not believe she could say no because of who Marbury is.”
Sanders said her decision to inform officials about the encounter led to her being fired, according to the New York Post.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are 33-45, 12.5 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central entering tonight’s contest with the Nationals. They’ve not sniffed the post-season since the Sultan Of Surly wore a size 7 1/8th cap. As such, there are plans for civil disobedience afoot, but the club would prefer no one notice. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette’s Bob Smizik :
The Pirates are doing their best to downplay the fan walkout scheduled for after the third inning of the team’s game Saturday night with the Washington Nationals.
A walkout is scheduled after the third inning of the Pirates’ game against the Nationals Saturday at PNC Park. The protest is an attempt to draw national attention to the lack of success of the Pirates over the past 15 years.
They have asked their television announcing crew not to discuss the walkout with the media. They have removed all comments about the walkout from their message board at pirates.com. They have the support of their television rights holder, FSN Pittsburgh, which does not plan to show the protest as part of its game coverage.
A near-capacity crowd of 36,000 is expected for the game, where Bob Walk bobbleheads will be given as souvenirs to all ticket holders. Organizers of the protest have asked fans to leave their seats after the third inning and stand in the concourse — without purchasing concessions — or leave the stadium. The protest is an attempt to draw national attention to the lack of success of the team, which is in the midst of a 15th consecutive losing season.
Contacted about the protest, Greg Brown (above), who will do the play-by-play of the telecast along with Walk, said, “I have been asked by the Pirates not to comment and refer all calls to Brian Warecki.”
Warecki, the team’s senior director of communications, issued this statement via e-mail:
“We greatly appreciate the passion of all of our fans and their freedom to express that passion in any way they choose.”
One of the ways they might choose has been blocked. According to Andy Chomos, one of the leaders of the protest, the Pirates have been removing content about the proposed walkout for weeks. E-mails from frustrated fans to the Post-Gazette back up what Chomos said.