06.30.07

Wevie Stonder II Shows The Proper Way To Brace Oneself For Being Swept By The Royals

Posted in Baseball, Hip Hop at 9:16 pm by

Though the Halos’ mid-week stumbles against K.C. are now consigned to history (with El Barto taking a loss today against Baltimore), MLB.com’s Larry Santana bore witness to the sort of clubhouse tomfoolery that should have musicologists and Angels fans alike looking for the razorblades (link swiped from the Fanhouse’s Tom Fornelli)

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.

Klapisch : What’s Up With Free Swinging Robbie Cano?

Posted in Baseball at 8:58 pm by

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.

Cano went 0 for 3 earlier today as Chad Gaudin and Rich Harden combined to one-hit the (defused) Bombers, in Oakland’s 7-0 win in the Bronx.  I’ve yet to watch a replay of Scott Proctor’s postgame antics, but even Paul Lo Duca thinks he overreacted.

The Rockies’ Jeff Francis, LaTroy Hawkins and Jeremy Afeldt collaborated on a 4-hit clean sheet against the Astros tonight, snapping Colorado’s 5 game losing streak. Not so conincidently, Brian Fuentes and his dripping cannisters of kerosene remained in the bullpen.

Scott Long Befuddled By Talking Corpse

Posted in Free Expression, The World Of Entertainment at 8:28 pm by

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.

Well, yeah. Because not only was Larry caling Ringo, “George” kind of a once-in-a-lifetime moment, that wasn’t even the most fucked up part of McCartney & Starr’s sitdown with King.  For instance, what could be hotter TV than the former Beatles drummer hailing Macca as “one of the most melodic bassists of all-time”, and Larry asking, “what does…melodic mean?”

Diddy & Hoops : A Laff Riot…Until Someone Is Trampled To Death

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down at 7:27 pm by



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.

Even Pariahs Deserve Better Protection

Posted in Baseball at 4:48 pm by

He’s a deeply divisive figure, a man whose achievements rankle nearly all with any appreciation whatsoever for his chosen field.

But enough about Eddie Vedder. What’s up with the security in San Francisco? And how soon can they be reassigned to the Secret Service?

The Bitterly Divided Mets

Posted in Baseball, Racism Corner at 4:28 pm by

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.

It was just two weeks ago that a national magazine described David Wright and Jose Reyes “hugging and tussling like puppies.”   But last night, the former, impressionable as always —- in a video clip provided by Pick Me Up Some Mets — was shown engaged in the vicious hazing of teammate Ramon Castro.

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.

Does anyone have John Franco’s phone number?

Bradshaw’s Supercuts Endorsement Is In Serious Jeopardy

Posted in Basketball, Fashion at 3:58 pm by

(your no. 9 overall pick goes corporate on Thursday, but really knows how to let it all hang out on casual Friday)

Ladies and Gentlemen, Joakim Noah, Quote Machine (from True Hoop) :

Q: You’re going to Chicago, large market; how much more marketable do you feel for the shoe companies and/or the hair companies or anything else?

Noah: Oh, I feel so marketable, you have no idea. I’m so marketable; yes. That’s exactly why I wanted to go to Chicago; to be marketable. (Laughter).

Sanders : Zeke Tried To Pimp Cheerleader

Posted in Basketball, The Law at 2:41 pm by

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.

It’s fascinating to note the issue of “character” has been raised repeatedly in the past two days since the Knicks acquired Zach Randolph. Presumably, Zach is satisfied that Isiah and Steph are exactly the kind of characters he’d be OK partying with.

06.29.07

Bucs, FSN : Nothing To See Here

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression, Sports TV at 5:43 pm by

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.

Gig Flyer Of The Year / Show Of The Week

Posted in New York, New York, Rock Und Roll at 4:40 pm by

I’d go, but it’s a 1744 mile walk from my place. Possibly shorter from yours.

The Jewish

Jessica Delfino

(the headliners are sans MySpacery, but that’s only to their credit)

Lo Duca : I’m No Cancerous, Gambling Racist With A Thing For Teens

Posted in Baseball at 4:21 pm by

Prior to the Mets’ 6-5 win in Philly this afternoon, Newsday’s David Lennon caught an earful from the Mets’ ever shy, retiring Boogie Shoes, who’d have you believe his trips to the racetrack, marital indiscretions and ill-advised remarks about teammates speaking English are all some kind of media creation.

At best, Paul Lo Duca was portrayed in some media circles this morning as a hothead fed up with constantly answering for his teammates. At worst? A racist in one of the more racially diverse clubhouses in the majors. Either way, those comments got Lo Duca called into the manager’s office for a chat that lasted nearly 30 minutes, and the catcher emerged breathing fire to reporters.

“So now I™m a racist,” Lo Duca said. “Right now, I™m a gambler, a racist, and I like 18-year-old girls. That™s the perception of people in New York about me. Is any of it true? No, none of it.Yet, no one knows that. Do you understand where I™m coming from? Do I have a right to be frustrated? Tell me if I™m wrong. You ask any of these guys in the clubhouse and ask whether I have a problem with any of them “ if they like me, if I™m an issue. One thing about me “ listen, I™ve had issues in my life, I™ve went through marital problems, I understand that.

“If you go to all three of my clubs, name one teammate who has a problem with me. Name one. One person who™s ever said to you that Paul Lo Duca is a cancer in the clubhouse or that Paul Lo Duca is a racist or that Paul Lo Duca has issues. Nobody.”

Full credit to Captain Red Ass : while sitting out the opener of today’s twinbill, there’s no evidence he placed any bets, attended a junior prom or lent his support to the Governor of California. But the day’s not over yet.

Possibly A Better Replacement For Bob Barker Than Bob Gamere

Posted in Sports Radio, Sports TV, The World Of Entertainment at 2:49 pm by

Though Dan Patrick is fond of reminding us “you never want to be the guy who replaces ‘the guy’”, he’s supposedly in line for such an audition.

While I’m not questioning Patrick’s qualifications for the gig, I’m sure I speak on behalf of radio listeners throughout America when I plead with the producers of “The Price Is Right” to at least consider Colin Cowherd.

Captain Red Ass : Please Bug My Hispanic Teammates

Posted in Baseball at 2:34 pm by

(the members of S.O.D could’ve serenaded Boogie Shoes and his date with their classic, “Speak English Or Die”, but a) Scotty’s a Yankee fan and b) Lo Duca’s date wasn’t old enough to get in)

Given the Mets have won 4 of their last 5 games, now seems like a curious time to be addressing what the Daily News’ Peter Botte calls “their June swoon”, but Flushing’s masters of creating turmoil out of thin air seem to be in the thick of it yet again.

Admitting he was “in a bad mood all day,” Paul Lo Duca announced in a near-empty clubhouse last night – and on the eve of the Mets’ key NL East showdown with the Phillies – that some of his Spanish-speaking teammates need to be held more accountable by the media.

“I’ll do this (interview), but you need to start talking to other players,” Lo Duca announced loudly after he was approached by a radio reporter after the Mets-Cardinals series finale was washed out by rain. “It’s the same three or four people every day. Nobody else wants to talk. Some of these guys have to start talking. They speak English, believe me.”

“Listen up, everybody,” LoDuca had shouted. “Stop asking me when I’m going to drop my suspension (appeal). When are you guys going to drop it? I’m tired of talking about it. Go ask Tony (Bernazard) or Willie (Randolph). God almighty, it’s like the president got killed.”

Billy Wagner couldn’t resist the obvious follow-up query, deadpanning to Lo Duca, “So, when are you going to drop it?”

Lo Duca’s marital problems, gambling habits and personal life were publicly scrutinized throughout last season. He snapped at a reporter two months ago when he was asked about a photograph of himself and a woman in the winner’s circle at Aqueduct. Asked for the woman’s name, Lo Duca erupted, “That’s my life. That’s my personal life. That’s none of your business. How would you like it if I went to your house and took pictures of your wife?”

The Mets are currently leading the Phillies, 6-2 in the 7th inning at CBP behind HR’s from Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado (along with RBI’s from Ramon Castro and El Duque).  Hopefully the lot of them can hold a lengthy postgame press conference to take some of the spokesmodel pressure off Paulie Large Nuts.

Goodell To Hamburg : Fuck Off, Sea Devils

Posted in Gridiron, We Aren't The World at 10:36 am by

It would appear as though QB’s aspiring to someday marry Brenda Warner will have to find an apprenticeship elsewhere in the future. From the AP :

The NFL folded its development league in Europe after 16 years on Friday, calling the decision a sound business move that will allow for a stronger international focus on regular-season games outside the United States.

The announcement came less than a week after the Hamburg Sea Devils beat the Frankfurt Galaxy 37-28 in the World Bowl title game in Frankfurt before a crowd of 48,125. Five of the league’s six teams are based in Germany, with the other in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

A statement on the German-language edition of the NFL’s Web site said the NFL decided to concentrate its “strategies and resources” on regular-season games outside the United States in an effort to reach as many people as possible.

“We thank our fans for the great support in the past years,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was quoted as saying.

Goodell said it was time to develop a new international strategy, terming the move to fold NFL Europa the “best business decision.” The league reportedly was losing about $30 million a season.

“From now on we will focus on regular-season games and use new technologies to make NFL more popular worldwide,” he said.

Mushnick On Benoit : Told ‘Ya So!

Posted in "Wife Beater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Professional Wrestling, Sports Journalism at 9:37 am by

With a Friday morning column that was presumably ready to go since last Tuesday, the New York Post’s resident hater of all-things WWE related, Phil Mushnick would like us to remember the real victims of the Chris Benoit Double Murder/Suicide : crusading journalists whose warnings were ignored.

Look what it has taken for the media to finally begin to report that Vince McMahon has been operating a death mill the past 25 years.

Look what it took for the news media to finally learn and report that McMahon produces a TV show that regularly features physically fit and soon-to-be dead young men.
It didn’t take one death, or even 20, for the media to finally wake up. Hell, pro wrestlers have been steadily dying young since the early 1980s, when McMahon began to rule the industry.

And it didn’t take Monday’s suicide of a McMahon-made star, Chris Benoit. It took three deaths in one weekend in one home; it took Benoit’s murder of his son and wife for modern pro wrestling to finally be stamped with a skull-and-crossbones caution label.
Hell, Brian Pillman died at 35; Louie Spiccoli was 27; Chris Candido was 33. For all the drugs Eddie Guerrero relied on to become one of McMahon’s champs, it was miraculous he made it to 38.

“Ravishing” Rick Rude was 41; “The British Bulldog,” Davey Boy Smith, was 39. Curt Henning, “Mr. Perfect,” died at 44. “Road Warrior Hawk” made it to 45, which can be like 85 in pro-wrestling years.

Given cartoon names, they were real people. They are among the most renowned pro wrestlers who died young – just since 1995. There are dozens more from where they came from, and wound up. None of their deaths made for big, nationwide news.

Monday night, in the midst of a plot in which he was supposed to have been murdered, McMahon knew exactly what to do. He replaced that night’s USA Network show with a Benoit memorial. McMahon’s best ratings have been generated by tribute shows following the sudden, real deaths of his performers. He cashes in on these guys coming and going.

Pro wrestling manufactures death. And the guy who owns and operates the biggest factory, the boss who sets the standards, is Vince McMahon. And, though it took 25 years and the deaths this week of Chris Benoit, his wife and son, the media are finally beginning to notice.

Hoo boy. Phil’s made the same points about Vinnie Mac being a death merchant on a number of occasions. And while there’s some meat to said charges, Mushnick does his readers no favors by his willful selectivity. Nowhere in the above piece does Phil ponder the possibility that Benoit’s state of mind could’ve been affected by anything other than his vocation. Likewise, Phil relies on the ignorance of his editors in citing Louie Spiccoli and as “amongst the most renowned pro wrestlers.”

But the portion of Mushnick’s argument that holds the least water of all is his claim that McMahon cynically used Benoit’s death to cash in last Monday night. Given the WWE only learned of the bodies being found in Fayette a few hours before the broadcast (well, supposedly), it wasn’t as though the promotion had any opportunity to fully exploit the tragedy. Nor did the story hit the wire services or much of the internet until early that evening.

I’m not saying McMahon would pass on a chance for higher ratings. But had he opted to ignore Benoit’s death or just mention it in passing at the top of the broadcast, he’d have been pilloried by Mushnick and the WWE’s fan base alike.

Are The Warriors Still Manuevering For KG?

Posted in Basketball at 9:02 am by

Among the flurry of deals last night that I neglected to mention was Golden State’s trade of Jason Richardson along with 36th overall pick Jeremao Davidson to Charlotte in exchange for the rights to no. 8 overall selection Brendan Wright (above). According to the LA Times’ Mark Heisler, the Warriors might not be finished wheeling and dealing, with Chris Mullin supposedly “offering Wright with center Andris Biedrins and guard Monta Ellis and enough salary to make the deal work to Minnesota for Kevin Garnett.”

You can count Heisler amongst those skeptical about the Knicks’ addition of Zach Randolph, writing “the chunky Randolph will play alongside even chunkier Eddy Curry, in a tandem that should be good for 40 points a game, at both ends of the court.”

Add the New York Post’s Peter Vescey to those unimpressed by the acquisition of “the Blazers’ adolescent go-to guy”, noting the remaining $61 million owed to Randolph over the next four campaigns further places the Knicks in Salary Cap Hades, not to mention the (ahem) basketball considerations.

No matter how flashy Randolph’s scoring and rebounding (a 25-and-10 guy for most of last season), and how tricky and physical he is in the post, Isiah Thomas already flaunts one of those space/shot eaters.

As I recall months ago, Thomas branded Curry his team meal ticket, er, leading man.

As much guaranteed scratch as the Knicks squander annually, correct me if I’m wrong, they’re still limited to using one ball on each offensive possession.

How long did it take Thomas to convince “point atheist” Stephon Marbury the offense revolved around Curry? How often does that message need to be reinforced? Will Starbury ever really believe he’s not the team’s true franchise player?

And these two Knicks shouldn’t remotely conflict; one works the perimeter for jumpers or takes his man off the dribble to the hoop. Imagine how congested the middle will be and how frustrated Marbury will become if there’s no room whatsoever to drive. Imagine the gridlock, not to mention the constant conflict, if there are two dinosaurs brandishing a scorer’s mentality choking the occupied area. Also, doesn’t Zach take a swath of David Lee’s daylight?

The good news (for bargain hunting Phoenix) is that Alan Houston is considering a comeback. The even better news is that said comeback has nothing to do with acting.

(Very) Bad To The Bone : Thorogood’s Disloyalty To The Wilmington Blue Rocks

Posted in Baseball, Rock Und Roll at 8:28 am by

Or as Repoz put it, “One bourbon, one scotch and one stadium filled with drunks.”

06.28.07

NBA Draft Night 2007 – It’s Tradetastic!

Posted in Basketball at 10:18 pm by

Dickau meets Dickhead? Newsday’s Allan Hahn reports Isiah Thomas had a busy Thursday with Zach Randolph is headed to the Knicks in exchange for Channing Frye and Stevie Franchise, while the WWL says Dan Dickau and Fred Jones are part of the package to boot. True Hoop’s Henry Abbott wonders, “what about Channing Frye and LaMarcus Aldridge together? They are kind of clones. You can’t get away with two spindly guys like that, can you? Very jump-shooty. And willowy. But you know what? With Greg Oden on the floor, you sure can have two guys like that. It’s a new way of thinking for Portland, which now has a big defensive center,” but I’m simply pleased Portland’s sudden depth opened the door for the Knicks getting any value whatsoever for Francis.

I’m sure David Lee meant no ill will towards Channing Frye when he allowed himself to be seen whooping it up.

(jeez, you’d think someone would’ve slipped G.O. an early iPhone)

Jason Cohen writes, “I should have taken a picture of the crowd storming the floor at the Oden pick. It was slightly less frenzied than when a 15 seed knocks off a 2 in the NCAA.” Hey, I’m sure this is a big, big night in the history of Rip City, and if they can just somehow get Art Alexakis to retire from music, they’ll really have something worth celebrating.

As tipped earlier, the Knicks selected DePaul’s Wilson Chandler at no. 23 overall.
Though the Celtics opted for Georgetown’s Jeff Green at no. 5, the Hoya forward is instead bound for Seattle, along with Wally World, Delonte West and a future second round pick. Boston acquires Ray Allen as part of the deal, which should be enough to mollify Paul Pierce.

For the time being, it would appear as though Kevin Garnett is staying put.  The T-Wolves made Florida junior Corey Brewer the no. 7 overall selection, while the 7’6″ PF from China, Yi Jianlian, will soon become the tallest man in Milwaukee.

As it turns out, Draft Night ’07 has been almost as frantic for the Blazers as last year’s ; they’re sending loot plus a second round pick to Philly for tonight’s no. 30 overall selection, Finnish PG Petteri Koponen.

The sort of analysis you just don’t get from Doug Gottlieb : “Josh McRoberts, known homosexual from Duke, goes to the Trailblazers to violent boos from the crowd. I wish he went to the early 2000s Trailblazers. McRoberts would be the white guy in Chappelle’s Mad Mad Real World, crying, getting raped, and watching Ruben Patterson and Sheed DP his girlfriend.” (The Blog Of Hilarity)

Though the Daily News’ Dick Weiss acknowledges the Nets have “gambled on character before” (ie. their selection of UConn’s laptop enthusiast Marcus Williams a year ago), they’ve stepped out a tad and perhaps snapped one of the first round’s bargain’s in the form of BC center Sean Williams at 17, while Charlotte opted for the Eagles’ Jared Dudley at no. 22.

Around The Horn(y) : Bristol U’s Rep As An Institution Of Ass Grabbery Lives On

Posted in Sports TV, The Law at 5:34 pm by

From the AP :

A woman who worked on the set of the ESPN talk show “Cold Pizza” is suing the sports network, saying she was fired after complaining about sexual harassment by the show’s host and a regular panelist.

In the lawsuit, which also names ESPN host Jay Crawford and sports commentator Woody Paige, Rita Ragone claims she was subjected to crude sexual comments from Crawford and that Paige pinched and fondled her.

Ragone, a makeup artist and hair stylist, said Paige once grabbed her backside so forcefully that she was “propelled forward and into the air.”

“It is not true,” Paige said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. He declined further comment.

Ragone said Paige, a columnist with The Denver Post, repeatedly made vulgar remarks about her appearance. Crawford, she said, made unwanted sexual advances, told her she only got the job because of her looks and contributed to a locker-room atmosphere by making disparaging remarks about another hair stylist.

Ragone said the situation was exacerbated by a few female employees who didn’t seem to mind the atmosphere, including a stylist who gave the men lap dances.

Hell Freezes Over : Actual Praise For Steve Phillips

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 5:29 pm by

Doug Gottlieb subbed for Mike Golic alongside Mike Greenberg on ESPN Radio Tuesday morning, and The Starting Five’s jweiler is amongst those amazed that once, former Mets GM Steve Phillips came off like the smartest guy in the room (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

Tuesday is œJust Shut Up day on that show, and the just shut up contestants were those who believe Sammy Sosa is a first-ballot Hall of Famer versus those who believe he is not. Gottlieb (above) was adamant in his opinion that Sosa did not belong in the Hall of Fame based on three main points:

1) he obviously used steroids since his body changed dramatically and he went from being a pretty good player in 1997 to a monster player for the next several seasons.

2) he lamed out at the 2005 Congressional hearings, pretending he didn™t speak English and dodging the questions, just like McGwire.

3) he got a huge benefit from playing in Wrigley Field where, Gottlieb noted several times, he hit 350 of his career homeruns.

Gottlieb finally had to admit, when Phillips challenged  him in a subsequent exchange between the two, he had no evidence of Sosa™s use except that œit™s visual. Sammy got bigger – therefore, he took steroids. Gottlieb did make one important point: this debate, over Hall of Fame voting, is not ultimately going to play out in a court of law, but in the court of public opinion, and in the court of public opinion, if relevant people (like voters) believe something  it might as well be true. But, it is, on some leve,l the height of arrogance to believe that you know how a person changed their bodies merely by looking at them. And, I presume, in the case of Gottlieb and Sosa, not even in person, but on television.

During Phillips™ exchange with Gottlieb (Greenberg sat mutely through the entire conversation), the former Mets™ GM asked Gottlieb  whether he would assume that a player who 39 homeruns one year and 61 the next was cheating. Almost before Philips could finish his sentence, Gottlieb said emphatically œyes. And, demonstrating that baseball isn™t Gottlieb™s long suit, he didn™t realize that Phillips was, as he then informed Gottlieb, referring to Roger Maris, who hit 39 homers in 1960, 61 in 1961 and never hit more than 33 in a season after that. Phillips also noted that George Foster jumped from 29 to 52 in a season (from 1976 to 1977). Gottlieb did respond that Sosa got dramatically better for several seasons, but it would be an absurd standard of judgment to say that if a player improves dramatically in their late twenties and got bigger in the process,  that is all we need to go on,  to accuse someone of steroid use.

Phillips is not naive and he surely has his own suspicions about who was and who wasn™t using. We all do, however well we can or can™t substantiate those suspicions. But, on every key point Gottlieb made yesterday, he was either flat out wrong on the facts, or was using notably thin arguments. But, unusual for the medium, someone was actually there to call him on it, not with even more shrill hyperbole, but with a superior grasp of the facts and context of the situation.

Conclusive Proof “Dream Job” Was A Poor Career Launching Pad

Posted in Sports TV, The World Of Entertainment at 4:05 pm by

If you think Mike Hall and Dee Brown have it rough, consider the plight of Zach Selwyn aka Zachariah.  With failed pilots and sundry G4 appearances under his belt (and I say this in only the nicest way possible), Zach has a considerable head start on becoming a real-life American answer to Alan Partridge another 10 or 15 years down the road.  There’s no infomercial on his c.v. yet, but give the man some time.

Did The Hawks Blow Their Chance For Stoudemire?

Posted in Basketball at 3:39 pm by

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Sekou Smith suggests the 3-way trade between the T-Wolves, Hawks and Suns (KG to Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire (above) to Atlanta, the no. 3 overall pick plus expiring contracts to Minnesota) was “only a pipe dream”, but ESPN’s Chad Ford suggests the deal would’ve happened, were it not for “the perils of dealing with the Hawks — arguably the most dysfunctional franchise in the league.”

The Hawks ownership group, Atlanta Spirit LLC, is embroiled in a nasty lawsuit with former partner Steve Belkin. Belkin won a lawsuit against Atlanta Spirit LLC last summer and a judge ruled that he could buy out the owners of Atlanta Spirit and gain full ownership of the team. Atlanta Spirit is currently appealing the ruling.

In the meantime, Belkin holds some authority over the team. He can veto any trade or free agent signing that takes the team above the NBA salary cap. Several sources suggested that it was Belkin who vetoed the trade.

This fiasco isn’t the only situation the Hawks are dealing with. Sources said that Knight is in a dispute with some of the Hawks owners over who to take at No. 3. Knight prefers Florida’s Al Horford. Some in the Hawks ownership, including influential owner Michael Gearon Jr., want to draft Yi Jianlian out of China.

Ford claims the Charlotte Bobcats are suddenly in the mix instead of Atlanta, with Minnesota coveting Charlotte’s no. 8 overall pick, Stoudemire going to the Nuevo Jordanaires, and KG proceeding to Phoenix.

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski tips a pair of mega-swaps to occur either before or after tonight’s festivities, with Jermaine O’Neil going from Indy to the Swap in exchange for Richard Jefferson, Nenad Kristic and Jason Collins. Wojnarowski also claims the Knicks and Blazers are discussing a trade of Stevie Franchise and Channing Frye for Zach Randolph and Martell Webster.

While the Oregonian’s Casey Holdahl reports no. 1 overall pick Greg Oden will wear Buck Williams’ old number 52 in Portland, Doubt About It tries to evision how the Blazers would handle tonight’s big decision if the ownership and management of the Pittsburgh Pirates had their druthers. Hint : they wouldn’t take Oden or, yet would still find a way to pay Jeromey Burnitz.

Imus Returns To WFAN – Sort Of

Posted in Hate Fuck Radio, Sports Radio at 3:01 pm by

If WFAN can turn a blind eye to Don Imus’ polarizing qualities, who’s to say Chris Benoit won’t someday be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame? From the New York Daily News’ David Hinckley.

Fired morning host Don Imus will be heard again tomorrow on WFAN (660 AM), like in the old days.

In fact, it will be the old days.

As part of WFAN’s 20th anniversary weekend, Mike Francesa and Chris Russo will host four hours of highlights, 6-10 a.m., from the show that anchored WFAN mornings for almost its entire history.

While it’s unusual for a station to feature a host it has terminated, WFAN program director Mark Chernoff said Imus’ contribution couldn’t be ignored.

“He was such a big part of the station for all those years,” said Chernoff.

Well put, and hopefully Chernoff will not ignore the contributions of other crucial players from the early days of WFAN. If Imus is worthy of 4 hours of taped highlights, surely there’s a way of combining Mike Lupica, Len Berman and Jim Lampley’s finest moments into 4 minutes of clips.

Which reminds me, is Eli From Westchester the only person who hasn’t been considered for Imus’ old morning slot?

The Ultimate In ‘What If?’ Wrestling DVD’s

Posted in Professional Wrestling, The Marketplace at 11:59 am by

In light of Chris Benoit’s suicide and double murder of his wife and son, perhaps this isn’t the right moment to make light of a video project starring Nancy Benoit’s first husband.  But I probably won’t remember to do so in a few months.

RF Video (a company whose founder has made at least one prior CSTB appearance) touts the above title thusly ;

Join Kevin Sullivan in this remarkable DVD as he sits down in our mock booking office and proceeds to rewrite the year 1984 in the WWE. The task we’ve given him…make 1984 the breakout year it was for the WWE, but without Hogan. Watch as Sullivan hires, fires, and books scenario after scenario in the wrestling organization that he never actually booked for! Kevin Sullivan is a former booker/wrestler and he now bring his experience and vast knowledge to our booking session in the first edition of Guest Booker! Hop in our time machine and watch as Sullivan books twelve months of pro wrestling culminating in a Christmas Day Supercard, before your eyes. Watch the onscreen calendar as new Heavyweight, Intercontinental, and Tag champs are decided, as well as the major angles for the year. You’re not just going to hear about the anatomy of booking…YOU’LL WATCH IT!

I’ve got to admit, it’s a hell of a concept.  Hopefully someone at ESPN or MLB Advanced Media will take a tip and begin production on “Guest GM With Steve Phillips : Reimagining The 1998 New York Yankees”.

AMA : Video Game Zealots Aren’t Officially Nuts

Posted in Video Games at 9:57 am by

Good news for Gilbert Arenas and Kevin Durant — they’re merely guilty of exercising poor judgement in how to spend an afternoon. From the LA Times’ Alex Pham.

Saying the issue needed more study, the American Medical Assn. on Wednesday scaled back a controversial proposal that sought to declare excessive video-game playing a mental disorder akin to pathological gambling.

The association also decided against urging parents to limit to two hours a day the amount of time their kids play video games, watch television and surf the Internet.

Instead, the medical association Wednesday removed the word “addiction” and decided to simply forward its report expressing concerns about “video-game overuse” to the psychiatric group, which is revising its mental-health manual.

Juice Newton was unavailable for comment, though presumably, displeased.