“In terms of goals scored, is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the best substitute in English football history?” asks Peter Brown.
He’s certainly the best in Premiership history. (What do you mean football didn’t begin in 1992? Pass the muesli.) Solskjaer has scored 17 league goals after coming off the bench, which puts him comfortably clear of Jermain Defoe, Kanu, Andy Cole and Tore Andre Flo, each of whom have 13. In all competitions, Solskjaer scored 29 of his 126 United goals from the bench. His first goal for United, in August 1996, came six minutes after he was introduced in a home match against Blackburn; spookily, his last goal for the club also came six minutes after he had come off the bench at home to Blackburn.
It is hard to say with absolute certainty that Solskjaer is the most prolific substitute in English football history, as records from the pre-Premiership era are less comprehensive. His most likely rival, Liverpool’s David Fairclough, scored either 18 goals (according to the official Liverpool site) or 20 (various newspaper reports) as a substitute in his time at Anfield. Fairclough also played for Norwich, Oldham, Tranmere and Wigan but, in the absence of cold, hard data, we’re presuming he wasn’t a substitute too often. And he only scored three goals for them anyway.
Confusing stuff from the Tampa marketing department (link courtesy Sam Frank). The part I’m puzzled by? Other than wondering why “The Umperor” isn’t named Jerry Meals, I also cannot figure out why there’s no place for Elijah Dukes in the above adventure.
The SF Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins raises the bizarre spectre of Barry Bonds As David Brent (“the Giants continue to make excuses for Bonds, a veritable domineering boss who gets too drunk at the office party. They overlook every disgraceful move and bow to the shrine of his home runs. That has to end. His teammates aren’t going for it, and neither is any fan who ever seriously played the game.”), while offering a rare tribute to player typically described (around here, anyway) as a ticking time-bomb.
Stodgy football coaches like to say three things can happen when you put the ball in the air, and two of ‘em are bad. That’s how it is when you take a gamble on Milton Bradley: He can get in a perpetual foul mood, eventually self-destructing. He can get injured — a lot. Or he can lift your team to great heights, which is exactly what he’s doing in San Diego right now. Not that the A’s have any regrets; it’s too late for that. Bradley hates Billy Beane, and I’d imagine the feeling is mutual, so there’s no way that relationship was going to last a moment longer than it did. But Bradley was a force with the Dodgers, he was by far the A’s best player during last year’s ALCS against Detroit (his final-game performance was the stuff of greatness), and he has singlehandedly revived the Padres — in their run production and in their spirit. They’ve won five out of six as this is written (Sunday), and his power hitting has resurrected a lineup believed to be deceased. We all know there isn’t much value in a long-term association with Bradley. His history strongly suggests otherwise. But the Padres have a four-game lead in the wild-card standings right now, and if Bradley and pitcher Chris Young (back issues) stay healthy, they’ll be right back in the playoffs.
While the Florida State League hosted rehab stints by Pedro Martinez and Mark Mulder last night, high Class-A’s classiest performance Monday came from Phillies prospect Andrew Carpenter, who tossed a 7 inning perfect game in Clearwater’s 2-0 win over Fort Myers. Carpenter’s bid was nearly broken up by Ron Gardenhire’s son, Toby, who nearly ended up with a bloop single in the 6th inning.
First person to say something about Tim Couch being tossed out of Canton loses their comment privileges for at least 10 minutes. In all seriousness, if Human Growth Hormone isn’t potent enough to help a QB beat out Lester Ricard for 3rd place on the Jacksonville depth chart, to quote Ray Parker Jr., Couch oughta want a new drug.
“We couldn’t agree on the outcome of the O.J. Simpson murder trial 12 years ago and we couldn’t cheer, or boo, together during the Barry Bonds home run chase this summer. No doubt we would have argued bitterly had Kobe Bryant faced trial on a rape allegation a couple of years ago,” writes Newsday’s Wallace Matthews, “and now, we are arguing over Michael Vick.”
Maybe race does play a role in everything that happens in this country. For my own sanity and peace of mind, I choose to believe not. I think – and I hope – that Vick is going down solely on the merits of his case.
Clearly, there is hypocrisy in a society that is more outraged with Vick than, say, Brett Myers, who was charged with smacking his wife in full view of witnesses in downtown Boston, or would seek to ban Vick from the NFL while embracing Ray Lewis as “God’s Linebacker.”
But that doesn’t change the fact that Vick’s crime baffles the sensibilities to the point that you wonder if there is something seriously wrong with him. Don’t tell me about his upbringing or his environment, please. Unless he was raised by Charles Manson or Son of Sam – both white men, by the way – he would have to know that executing dogs was wrong.
But the Vick case once again exposes the great racial divide in this country, in which people who interact daily, conduct civil conversations with one another and even regard each other as “friends” can look at the same individual, the same incident, and see it completely differently.
While it does seem hard to fathom that Michael Vick was surprised to learn those in power (more of whom resemble Matthews than members of the Vick clan) would find dog fighting socially unacceptable, surely Wally is aware that dogs are executed every day?
There’s all kinds of cruelty worthy of examination, some examples of which are legal, institutionalized, and practiced by one of Newsday’s most longstanding advertisers. Michael Vick is merely the most convenient, easiest to vilify public figure available, so we shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for Matthews to consider the history of Port Washington’s North Shore Animal League.
Eye-contact, that is. It’s been a tough week for Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho), shown above, right, with an unidentified friend. While the Idaho Statesman reports the gospel-loving public servant has long been dogged by charges of homosexual trysts in public restrooms, one of his former constituents has come to his defense.
Writes Tim Cook, “Surely there must be more successful, alternative methods of obtaining random ass?” adding, “Sen. Craig is said to have a difficult time keeping his feet within the boundary of his restroom stall in the Minneapolis airport. I’m sympathetic to Craig here as I know exactly what it is to panic about missing a flight.”
St. Lucie County deputies clocked Scott Alan Schafer, 19, of Texas, driving his Hummer 69 miles-per-hour in a 45 mile-per-hour zone on Okeechobee Road at around 1 a.m. Sunday morning, an arrest report said.Asked if he knew why he was pulled over, Schafer said he “was doing close to 80 miles per hour,” the report said.
Deputies said his speech was mumbled, his eyes bloodshot and watery and he smelled of alcohol, according to the report.
Schafer declined to take a breath test. After performing several field sobriety tests, he was transported to the St. Lucie County Jail and his car was towed, the report said.
I’m sure Schafer has his apologists (well, other than the girl who got dumped before the prom) and while they’re entitled to their screwy opinions, they might wanna consider the following : any irresponsible 19 year old with a twisted sense of entitlement can manage to get pulled over in St. Luice. But it takes a genuine adult, with decades of quality decision-making under his belt, to somehow acquire a pair of speeding tickets in less than 20 minutes.
I’d rather be in Philadelphia, which is convenient, since I am.
The Phillies-Mets game didn’t waste time being entertaining, as Charlie Manuel got booted on the game’s first play, a Jimmy Rollins “groundout.” Luis Castillo made a terrific grab and bounced a throw to first; the ball had not yet risen from the dirt when Rollins hit the bag, but Joe West was still in line for cheeseteaks up at Tony Luke’s and blew the call (I say this having seen the replay the several times).
And something else I never thought I’d see – the whole crowd going nuts for Pat Burrell, who hit the two-run homer that has made it 3-0 Phillies in the middle of the fourth. It’s so easy to regain this city’s love: According to the ‘ game notes, Burrell is second in the NL in batting average dating back to July 2 (.362); as of tonight he joins Barry Bonds and Chipper Jones as the three active players with the most career home runs against the Mets (38).
This post will no doubt update several times.
Update: For example, Carlos Beltran just broke up J.D. Durbin’s perfect game with no outs in the fifth. Durbin has also set a career high for strikeouts with six.
Update 2: Beltran scored, and pitcher Brian Lawrence got himself an RBI to make it 3-2. But now let’s talk about cheesesteaks again.
It’s great that CBP has the real stuff (both Tony Luke’s and Rick’s), but I truly cannot fathom why hundreds of people wait in line to get ‘em. I mean, I’ve driven 30 miles out of the way to get to my favorite sausage pizza, and have also paid some 80 bucks in shipping to have Jim’s delivered overnight. But stand there for three innings? I got myself a slice of chicken parmesan from Peace A Pizza in 10 seconds, and it was actually quite good.
Meanwhile, it’s now 4-2: Utley has homered in his big return (above).
Update 3: It’s 5-2 Phils, but Jorge Sosa struck out Chris Coste with the bases loaded to end the sixth. On strike 1, Coste’s follow-through sent his bat flying into the arms of a first-row photographer. “Can he keep it?,” you could see the usher asking. The answer was no, prompting a nearby child to throw up his arms, apparently outraged that a player would want his fully intact bat returned to him for the next pitch.
Update 4: Utley added a double and it’s 6-2. And since there’s no way I’m walking two levels and 20 sections for a photo (plus my cell phone camera sucks), let me tell you about my favorite sign, an old-fashioned bedsheet-with-block-letters reading “GENERIC FAN GROUP” – a much-deserved dig at all the cheering sections (“Sal’s Pals,” “Howard’s Homers, “The Coste Guard”) that have sprouted since the Wolf Pack.
Update 5: It’s 9-2, with Tad Iguchi (who still draws a press corps of at least a half a dozen) chipping in a pinch-hit two-run homer. His teammates greet him in the dugout with mock-solemn Japanese bows. Utley is a triple short of hitting for the cycle and the Phillies now have 17 hits.
Sorry, as I know a lot of Mets fans read this blog, but I’m especially pleased that one guy in particular will be unhappy with this game – the one two spots in front of me at the Starbucks in the Walt Whitman rest stop on the Turnpike. For some reason he insisted on waiting for the coffee to “finish brewing,” a request that not only seems unnecessary (doesn’t his home coffeemaker have a “pause and serve?”) but confounded the counter girl so much that she had to pour and dump two cups.
Oh, and for some reason, in addition to Mr. Met, Brutus Buckeye is here (along with the Michigan State, Western Kentucky, University of Nebraska, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Hurricanes and Baltimore Orioles mascots). Actually, I think I rode an elevator with them in their street clothes.
Phinal Phillies Update (while the Mets fans talk amongst themselves down in the comments): Jayson Werth is 9-for-9 with a BB over the last two days, a modern club record.
As public apologies go, it wasn’t quite Vince Coleman saying he wanted to be friends with the children he nearly maimed with fireworks, but that doesn’t mean things went smoothly, either. While we’ve heard noting about Michael Vick’s plea deal with the federal goverment giving him immunity from state or local prosecution, Pro Football Talk poses the logical question, what exactly are the QB’s lawyers thinking?
Vick is still facing possible criminal prosecutions in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina for dog fighting. Though the statement of facts that Vick signed on Thursday likely gives competent prosecutors enough ammo to put him away, anything else Vick says can and will be used against him, and could make getting multiple convictions easier.
The fact that Vick’s legal team allowed him to speak extemporaneously (thanks, Tiki) without a single note or quote is amazing to us. The man is in dire legal jeopardy in a total of four jurisdictions; nothing good can come out of saying anything publicly for now.
Germaine Greer (above), author of “The Female Eunuch” and With Leather contributor noted academic weighs in on the modern phenomena of cute, huggable toys, declaring that such “ugly monstrosities” are “are truly hideous, beyond kitsch.”
“By making our children fall in love with such ugliness,” writes Greer in the Guardian, “we are preparing them for a life without taste.” I guess she won’t be sending any business Merle Allin’s way, then.
Art long ago capitulated to the ubiquity of the doll; Marisol, Kokoschka and Hans Bellmer are three among dozens of elaborators of the doll motif in all its creepiness. And Paula Rego has dared to address the ghastliness of the animal-human chimera that is the first love object and inseparable companion of so many of our children. In The Shakespeare Room, of 2005, the artist’s lookalike sits surrounded by abandoned toy monkeys; another lies stiffly as if dead across her lap while she thrusts an outsize pistol into the face of another. It can only be a matter of time before someone mounts an exhibition of violated and dismembered teddy bears.
Though it is 50 years since Elvis warbled about wanting to be someone’s teddy bear, most people would reject out of hand the suggestion that a child’s cuddly animal was its surrogate sexual partner. But I have certainly seen a two-year-old humping her teddy bear. If we persist in decoying children away from demanding relationships with humans by providing them with undemanding animal fetish objects, we should not be surprised if they end up like Big Brother housemate Jonty Stern, who, at the age of 36, is still a virgin, has more than 50 soft toys and thinks farting is amusing. When he was in the house, he kissed and cuddled his soft toy ape, called Monkety Tunkety, before miming sexual intercourse with it. Enough, already.
Tied for last place in the National League Central with about a month left in the regular season, the Astros fired general manager Tim Purpura and manager Phil Garner this afternoon.
Astros owner Drayton McLane named president of baseball operations Tal Smith as interim general manager and bench coach Cecil Cooper (above) as interim manager. McLane wants to name a permanent general manager by the end of the season.
Cooper, 57, is the first African-American manager in Astros’ history. He is in his third year as bench coach and has experience a minor league manager and major league bench coach following a stellar 17-year playing career with the Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers.
œWe have the talent, Cooper said. œIt™s just a matter of us going out and playing like we™re supposed to, and believe me we will.
McLane said he wouldn™t consider bringing back former Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker, who™s working for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Astros assistant general managers Ricky Bennett and David Gottfried will be given considering, but Tal Smith said his son Randy will not be in the mix to replace Purpura.
Purpura has been widely criticized this season for trading young pitchers Jason Hirsh and Taylor Buchholz and outfielder Willy Taveras to Colorado for righthander Jason Jennings, who had been dealing with elbow issues. Jennings won two games and is out for the rest of the year with an elbow injury.Purpura also failed to sign the club™s third- and fourth-round draft picks this year, leaving them without a signed player in the first four rounds. They lost their first- and second-round picks after signing Carlos Lee and Woody Williams to free agency.
While Crawfish Boxes’ Stro Bro suspects Garner being booed during yesterday’s Jeff Bagwell jersey retirement ceremonies influenced McLane’s decision, Astros Dugout’s Lisa Gray has raised the terrifying specter of Steve Phillips becoming the new Houston GM. Unsurprisingly, Phillips has not offered to tender his resignation from ESPN if his recent prediction that neither the Mets or Yankees would make the postseason turns out to be correct.
Whether or not such frank commentary will turn Rainey into a punchline, folk hero or some combination of both, remains to be seen. But given the nature of student journalism, isn’t there at least a slight chance the freshman was misquoted, and was merely vouching for the quality of the box office smash pictured above?
“Sure, Denver Broncos running back Travis Henry has a $25 million contract and a base monthly salary approaching $50,000, but that kind of bill can still crimp your style when you’re accustomed to expensive cars and fancy jewelry ” and lots of other child support payments.” writes the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Ty Tagami. Or as David Roth put it, “Touches, it seems, are not and will not be a problem for King T. This could be the story that makes Mushnick’s beard fall out.”
Henry, 28, has fathered nine children by nine women in at least four Southern states and has been ordered by various judges to provide child support for seven of them, according to court records involving one child living in DeKalb County.DeKalb Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger this week ordered Henry to provide $3,000 a month for the Lithonia boy he fathered out of wedlock three years ago with Jameshia Beacham, now 29.
Henry isn’t the most thrifty guy, according to court records, so the judge wants to ensure payment by establishing an unusual $250,000 trust that Henry must fund by next spring.
Seeliger wrote that the football player displayed “bad judgment in his spending habits,” dropping $100,000 for a car and $146,000 for jewelry. Meanwhile, Henry fell behind on support payments for his child with Beacham that were mandated by a previous order. Threatened with jail, he borrowed $9,800 from his former team, the Tennessee Titans, to pay the bill, according to court records.
His lawyer, Shiel Edlin, said that to his knowledge the trust would be without precedent in Georgia. A quarter-million dollars is a lot of money, even for Henry, Edlin said. “He has some concerns and he’s weighing his options.”
Beacham could not be reached for comment. Her lawyer, Robert Wellon, said he asked that the trust be set up because Henry rarely made the payments mandated by an earlier order, though they were $800 less a month. Wellon said there was testimony establishing that Henry received a $1 million bonus earlier this year but quickly spent most of it, buying, among other things, a Mercedes and gold jewelry.
“My argument was, if he makes wise investments, other than in gold chains, then he should be able to make the payments,” Wellon said.
In reality, I™m not that great a writer, nor that masterful a prose stylist. But compared to the rest of these mental midgets that masquerade as football writers in this country, I™m Dr. Wolfgang Von Bushwickin the Barbarian Mother Funky Stay High Dollar Bill Shakespeare.
And as for my ESPN career ” let™s just, for today, pretend that the last 12 years never really happened. I mean, even I have some kind of shame.
Not only did I miss Summerslam last night, but I also bailed on a unique opportunity to watch the matches in the company of a former superstar in what can only be described as a very unique setting.
Just a quick reminder for those of you in the Atlanta area: I will be at the Hooters at 795 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Roswell, GA (770) 992-4540 tonight for the WWE PPV, Summerslam (I will be the one staring at the girl with the biggest boobs (yeah, right. LOL)). They are located exactly 1 mile West off of exit 7B of Georgia 400. It is on the left in a strip mall with Dunkin Donuts. Hope to see you there.
Perhaps the only thing standing in the way of chess becoming a cable sports fixture to rival poker or UFC is the lack of an articulate, provocative commentator who could put the game’s strategies and personalities into some broader context.
Actually, the community leader in this instance is yours truly. I’m representing the community of those who were thoroughly unimpressed with New Era’s questionable decision to flog Yankee caps featuring prominent gang motifs. So America’s most beloved peddler of baseball caps (with designs that’ll be obsolete in 15 minutes) wants to exploit genuine gangsterism and cash in on teen anxiety. Why should the recording industry have all the fun?
However, when New Era markets to impressionable kids with styles like the one shown above, I think we can all agree the very fabric of our free society is crumbling. I’m too lazy to organize a protest march, but I’m not too tired to try and get my name in the newspaper. Sometime between lunch and dinner, I intend to come up with a name for my new pressure group, and I sincerely hope I can count on your support, if not paypal donations.
Unless a pennant contender develops a sudden need for a DH in the 4 days, there’s every possibility Mike Piazza will conclude his big league career with the very out-of-it A’s next month. The Hall of Fame bound Dream Theatre aficionado looked back on a glorious run (well, some of it) with Nick Cafardo in Sunday’s Boston Globe. (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
Any regrets about anything?
MP: “That’s a good question. I really don’t. I’ve had a unique career. Getting traded from LA to Florida when Fox bought the Dodgers and that contemptuous sort of [contract] standoff we had was tough. Looking back, it built a lot of character for me. Your life sometimes is like muddy water and you have to wait for things to settle so you can see clear. Looking back, I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. I remember Jim Leyland took me into his office and he said, ‘Let me tell you. You’re going through a tough time now but you’re going to get paid. You earned it. You worked hard for it. It’s obviously not going to be here. Just keep yourself in shape. We’re going to get you somewhere where you need to go.’ That was an experience I wouldn’t trade in.”
You know what I’m going to ask. You and Roger Clemens. Hitting you in the head in 2000. Throwing the splintered bat at you in Game 2 of the 2000 World Series. Did you guys ever patch that up?
MP: “We’re just different people, I guess. I don’t carry a resentment or anything like that. Someone made a comment to me the other day in Canada that, ‘With all your accomplishments, you’re going to be remembered for that.’ Are you that shallow that you only remember me for that? If that’s true, then you’re too stupid and I can’t help you. I don’t look back in any sort of regret. He’s who he is, I am who I am, we’re two different people, but we’re both very competitive and strong-willed. He does his own thing and he’s had a very successful career. I’m sure we can coexist in the future in some way, shape, or form.”
Mr. Rooney vented his ire on Thursday about baseball, which he said he had never liked. Amid complaints about the game™s rules, types of statistics and the dominance of thehe seized upon the prevalence of Latin American players in the United States.
œI know all about Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, but today™s baseball stars are all guys named Rodriguez to me, Mr. Rooney wrote in the second paragraph of the column, which appeared in The Stamford Times of Stamford, Conn. œThey™re apparently very good but they haven™t caught my interest.
œYeah, I probably shouldn™t have said it, Mr. Rooney, 88, said when reached by telephone on Friday afternoon. He added that although he regretted the comment, he doubted he would apologize for it in a subsequent column. œIt™s a name that seems common in baseball now. I certainly didn™t think of it in any derogatory sense.
He added, œThat™s what I do for a living, I write columns and have opinions, and some of them are pretty stupid.”
At present, there are 9 players named Rodriguez on MLB rosters. That’s compared to 10 players with the last name Johnson.
To call KVET’s Gregg Henson (above) an aggressively untalented radio host would be a tad diplomatic. In fact, his sub-Morning Zoo yackfests, as previously heard on KZNX, are enough to make Ben Maller sound like David Brinkley by comparison.
Henson’s bounced around from one radio gig to another, inexplicably turning up as program director at Clear Channel’s Austin sports station shortly after stinking up the evening drive slot on their crosstown competitor. It’s fair to say his former listeners in Philadelphia — the few who recall his name, anyway, aren’t wishing him well in future endeavors. Of Henson’s tenure at Philadelphia’s WPEN, 700 Level’s Matt P writes, “his annoying laugh, his above-the-world pomposity, his berating of anyone who disagreed with his unfounded and subjective points, and his overall lack of actual sports knowledge, both in Philly and on the national level, made 950 a non-option during the morning drive.”
Apparently Henson didn’t last long back in Detroit, and he’s now returned to Texas to work the drive home on the Longhorns’ flagship station, 1300 AM. And as you might imagine, the Longhorn fans are already trying to hook him. Henson himself thinks the show is taking off, but oddly, he “can’t believe there are that many people out there who want to talk sports.” Um, then why base your entire career on that “phenomenon”?