07.31.07

Outraged Or Not, There’s Never A Good Excuse For Covering “We Didn’t Start The Fire”

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression, The Mailbag at 9:33 pm by

Gerard,

My team and I are sick of hearing about Barry Bonds and other cheating liars in baseball. With my band the Dancing Bermans, I have recorded a music video called Cheating Liars to address the issue. You can see it here :

I for one am praying for an end to the scourge of PED’s in sports, if only so the Dancing Bermans are never again compelled to send me a video.

Is WFAN Buying A Carton Of Bad Jokes?

Posted in Hate Fuck Radio at 8:38 pm by

Newsday’s Neil Best is comfortable with WFAN’s choice of Boomer Esiason as the station’s replacement for Don Imus, but is puzzled by rumors that WKXW’s Craig Carton might be added in a sidekick role, “given how Imus left.”

Carton’s long rap sheet includes perceived insults of Asians, Hispanics, Poles, gays, Catholics, Italians, Jews, women, the Philadelphia Flyers and various politicians. (Then-acting New Jersey Gov. Richard Codey was apoplectic in 2005 when Carton suggested Codey’s wife try marijuana to ease her depression.)

Jun Choi, a Korean-American running for Edison mayor in ’05, inspired a riff in which Carton used an exaggerated Asian accent and said, “I don’t care if the Chinese population in Edison has quadrupled in the last year; Chinese should never dictate the outcome of an election. Americans should.”

Later, Carton said of Asians, “I don’t like the fact that they crowd the — blackjack tables in Atlantic City with their little chain smoking and little pocket protectors . . . There should be Asian-only rooms in casinos.”

Carton later apologized. Jun Choi won in an upset behind a galvanized Asian community. This year, Carton and his “Jersey Guys” partner, Ray Rossi, angered Hispanics with a stunt called “La Cucha Gotcha” that encouraged citizens to expose illegal immigrants.

In a profile in the Star-Ledger of Newark April 8 – four days after Imus’ “nappy-headed hos” comment – Carton criticized his parents for never saying “I love you” when he was a child, suggesting such slights contributed to his personality.

(Classical) Music Soothes The Savage Mangenius

Posted in Gridiron at 7:56 pm by

I’ve been lax in covering many of the goings-on at NFL training camps, mostly because of my own personal bias against America’s new fave national pastime (ie. watching Mark Sclereth talk with his hands). But there’s been no shortage of hot stories, from the Raiders’ inability to sign no. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell, the retirement of Tarik Glenn in Indianapolis, to Pacman Jones’ flirtations with the TNA Wrestling promotion. Apparently TNA is good enough for The World’s Scrappiest Human and reprobates alike.

Typically, however, I’ll take the more cultured route and link to the following item from The New York Daily News’ Rich Cimini.

Instead of blasting hip-hop, rap and hard rock on their sideline speakers at Hofstra, a tradition that began last summer with the arrival of innovative coach Eric Mangini (above), the Jets have altered their play list, mixing in classical music-namely Mozart-with their old standbys.It makes for an almost surreal setting: 300-pound men crashing into each other, with gentle melodies in the background. It’s a ballet of behemoths.

The ever-meticulous Mangini, always looking for a psychological or physical edge, isn’t playing classical music to entertain the 3,000 or so fans who show up every day to watch practice. There’s a method to his Mozart.

“From different studies, they assume … Mozart’s music and brain waves are very similar, and it stimulates learning,” he said. “They play it in a lot of schools around the country-kind of underneath, very low-so I thought if that’s the case, why not give it a shot?”

Scientists believe that listening to Mozart can help improve concentration and the ability to make intuitive decisions. They say the music helps both sides of the brain to work together. Fourteen years ago, a study revealed a significant increase in college students’ IQs after they listened to Mozart’s “Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major.”

“Mozart, Beethoven, guys aren’t feeling that,” linebacker Jonathan Vilma said, smiling. Said defensive end Shaun Ellis: “It kind of puts you to sleep a little bit. I’m not complaining about it. They say it helps learning. As long as we get our music at the end of the day, it’s okay.”

“My hat’s off to the coach for being creative,” said John Murray, a Florida-based sports psychologist, “but I’m hesitant to take a strong stand either way. If it’s not pleasurable for the players, it’s not a good working environment.”

Setanta Busts Out The Sex Machine

Posted in Football, Sports TV at 5:50 pm by

With the end of Sky’s monopoly on live Premiership coverage in the UK, satellite providers Setanta have dragged a familiar face out of the Brighton wing of the Suaveness Hall Of Fame reports The Guardian’s Owen Gibson.

Amid dark tales of the two broadcasters poaching one another’s staff as the kick-off approaches, Setanta yesterday declared war on Sky with an aggressive marketing campaign highlighting its cheaper prices, and unveiled its secret weapon – veteran football anchor Des Lynam.The former Match of the Day host will act more as talisman than playmaker, fronting Setanta’s high-profile ad campaign and conducting a weekly flagship interview with big names such as Sir Alex Ferguson and Martin O’Neill.

Lynam said of his decision to join Setanta: “It’s a new kid on the block. Sky could do with a rival and I think it will do great. It’s healthy for the sport to have another main player in the game.” Both are trying to present themselves as the choice of genuine football fans, with Setanta’s marketing featuring romantic images of children kicking balls against walls, emotional crowd shots and the tag line “Born out of a love for the game”.

But, Lynam aside, Setanta joint chief executive Michael O’Rourke said the emphasis for the broadcaster would be on youth. Steve McManaman, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder lined up as Setanta’s star pundit, said: “Maybe the fact myself and Les [Ferdinand] and Tim Sherwood are from the younger generation and know a lot of the players will help. We’ve all played numerous times in the Premier League and I think maybe that’s what Setanta were trying to go for – that younger generation who have been there and done that recently.”

As someone who has witnessed ESPN’s roaring success employing the youthful likes of John Kruk and Dee Brown, O’Rourke might be on to something with this ex-jockery. Or perhaps, not.

Steeltown Talking Head Sorry for “Rape Stand”

Posted in "Wife Beater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Baseball, Free Expression, Sports TV at 4:07 pm by

“It’s really a sad day in this country when somehow … Michael Vick would have been better off raping a woman if you look at the outcry of what happened. Had he done that, he probably would have been suspended for four games and he’d be back on the field. But because this has become a political issue, all of a sudden the commissioner has lost his stomach for it.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Paul Zeise, Sunday on KDKA-TV’s “Sports Showdown.”

I regret the poor choice of analogies I used to characterize a professional athlete’s legal situation.

- Zeise on Monday.

Of course, in his own inadvertent, callous way, Zeise may have still said something true about sports culture.


On a semi-related note, the Philllies have shored up their bullpen with Julio Mateo (above), who apparently has Brett Myers-like stuff.

Michael Radano reports that Mateo, who had 12 saves and a 0.79 ERA for AAA Tacoma, will join – at least for now – the Phillies AA team in Reading rather than the AAA affiliate in Ottawa. Why? The outstanding charge against him means he cannot enter Canada.

Look, I’m all for innocent-until-proven-guilty as well as counseling and rehabilitation, but actions speak louder than press releases.

Slats Coins Phrase to Describe Hundreds of Pro Athletes

Posted in Hockey at 2:35 pm by

(For the love of God, the man just wants to make more money than Captivity did!)

Already reeling from the way New York Islanders center Mike Comrie is infringing on his “hockey player that you haven’t heard of dates dubiously talented hottie” turf, New York Rangers super-pest Sean Avery now has to endure being dissed by his own GM.

As the Post‘s Larry Brooks reports, Glen Sather described the winger as “a reasonably effective player as well as a detriment to the team.”

Maybe the “team” Sather meant was the L.A. Kings. The Blueshirts were 17-6-6 after acqiring Avery, who is asking for $2.6 million to the Rangers’ $1.3.

Because this is an NHL salary arbitration item, I’m obligated to conclude it by mentioning Tommy Salo.

Rosenthal At The Deadline : Gagne To Boston, But Not Dye

Posted in Baseball at 2:19 pm by

From Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal :

The Red Sox are on the verge of acquiring closer Eric Gagne (above), but their talks with the White Sox involving right fielder Jermaine Dye seemingly are dead, according to a major-league source.

The two teams apparently could not come to an agreement on players. Dye never was formally approached for his permission to approve a deal.

It is still possible that Dye could be traded before the non-waiver deadline at 4 p.m. ET. The Cubs, Diamondbacks and Angels could be possibilities.

The Diamondbacks have been shopping right fielder Carlos Quentin for pitching help. However, they are more likely to promote Justin Upton from Class AA than trade for Dye.

One possibility for the Diamondbacks is to trade for Nationals closer Chad Cordero, then ship him to the Mets in a three-way deal.

The Mets, though, are balking at the asking price for Cordero from both the Nationals and Diamondbacks.

The Boston Globe is reporting Texas would received outfielders David Murphy, Engle Beltre and P Kason Gabbard in exchange for Gagne.

SI.com’s Jon Heyman claims the Mets have offered Phillip Humber for Corder, but have balked at the Nats’ requests for Fernando Martinez, Mike Pelfrey, Carlos Gomez or Da Edge.

Will Death Wish be taking his (unlistenable) act to The Earl?  The Braves are supposedly making a last minute push for Cincy’s Bronson Arroyo.

Marchman Hails Glavine, “The Anti-Met”

Posted in Baseball at 11:38 am by

With Tom Glavine gunning for career win no. 300 tonight, the New York Sun’s Tim Marchman, while offering qualified praise for the lefthander (“he’ sreached greatness simply because of consistency, from pitch to pitch and from year to year, from his early career with a wretched Braves team through the last few seasons that have seen him chipping away toward the 58 wins he needed to reach immortality,”) can’t resist wondering what Glavine’s doing in a Mets uniform, anyway.

Any baseball writer who isn’t lying will admit to some prejudices, and I was, at the time, prejudiced against the Braves. For their offensive team nickname and the ridiculous tomahawk chop, for the maddening layout of their sprawling city and its past as a stronghold of the Confederacy, for John Rocker and the presence of a grown man named Chipper on their roster, I never could stand the Braves. This never carried over to the likes of Glavine, Bobby Cox, or Greg Maddux, but there still seemed to be a certain justice in a senescent Glavine retiring to the old folk’s home in Queens with Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar and their ilk and suffering through several wretched seasons of losing baseball And something to make up for Kenny Rogers walking home the winning run in the 1999 playoffs.

Five years on, I still think the sight of Glavine in a Mets uniform is only slightly less bizarre than the sight of Reggie Miller in a Knicks uniform would have been, and I still don’t understand the impulse to self-degradation that allowed the Mets to bring the hated enemy into their own camp and exalt him. How could a team have so little pride?

While Cole Hamels was terrific last night (8 IP, 3 hits, one earned run) in the Phillies’ 4-1 win at Wrigley, the visitors lost Shane Victorino and Michael Bourn to injuries. Said mishaps, along with Chase Utley’s recent broken hand, are undoubtedly a bummer for the Phils, but Todd Zolekci submits that no injury has been nearly as costly for Charlie Manuel’s charges as Freddy Garcia’s damaged shoulder.

While Eric Gagne remains one of the more coveted commodities at today’s trade deadline, the Yankees have swapped reliever Scott Proctor for the Dodgers’ IF Wilson Betemit.

“Blow Up”‘s Michelangelo Antonioni, RIP

Posted in Cinema, General, The Mailbag at 10:39 am by

The following note regarding the passing of director Michelangelo Antonioni comes to us courtesy of Tim Cook :

Wow, two titans of world seeneemah gone in 24 hrs. I’ll have a good thought today for Kon Ichikawa, 92, Eric Roemer, 87, and the relatively young Jean Luc-Goddard, 77. Hang in there, guys!

It can be said that Antonioni made two or three of the greatest films I ever saw, “L’avventura” and “The Passenger”, even if “meaning” was often dangled at the end of every dazzling shot, and just as often denied, it was replaced some of the most incredible tracking shots and in-frame compositions on offer in cinema.

This is from the “Zabriskie Point” imdb page:

“Remembering the scoring sessions for this film, members of Pink Floyd later commented that Michelangelo Antonioni was very difficult to please, offering vague comments like (quoting the bandmembers, mimicking Michelangelo Antonioni ‘s accent) ‘Eets nice, but too slow’ or ‘Eets a leetle bit too soft.’”

Those guys should’ve been fetching coffee, but they’d prob’ly screw that up, too.

Pedro Feliciano – Accessory To Murder

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 1:00 am by

Though we’ve already seen ample evidence that some Mets fans (present company not included) tend to have coping problems, an item from the Village Voice’s Michael Clancy, dated July 30, takes things to a new, tragic low.

Michael Anthony” no relation to the former bassist of Van Halen” stabbed his mother in the head and beat her to death with a twenty-pound barbell on Saturday night after she tried to break up a fight between him and his father during a Mets game, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Monday. Anthony, 25, of Fresh Meadows, started pounding on the walls while watching the Mets play the Nationals, Brown said. When his father, Fred Fischman, told him to stop, Anthony punched him in the face and threw him on the ground, Brown said. When his 61-year-old mother, Maria, intervened, Anthony attacked her, authorities said.

Anthony faces up to 25 years to life on second-degree murder, third-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon charges. The Mets lost to the Nationals 6-5.