08.26.07

NASCAR : Louder Than Fushitsusha, Less Exciting

Posted in Medical Science, Vroom Vroom at 6:52 pm by

(ok, maybe Haino and stock cars are a weird fit. But that didn’t stop Juan Pablo Montoya)

The New York Times’ Viv Bernstein
reports on a pair o National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health studies that conclude NASCAR’s noise levels are “hazardous not only for fans, but also for drivers, crew members and everyone else who spends time at a racetrack.”

A co-author of the studies, Dr. Luann E. Van Campen, said Niosh viewed Bristol as a worst-case situation for noise because of the bowl-like stadium track surrounded by stands that rise 21 stories. Chemical and noise exposures were measured at Bristol Motor Speedway and at an undisclosed race team shop. The study found chemical exposure to be low but noise exposure high.

œEmployees involved in stock car racing are routinely exposed to extreme levels of noise, and auditory damage will ensue eventually, according to the report™s conclusion. œMore immediate concerns include the occupational risks posed by possible noise-induced fatigue, stress and miscommunication.

Chucri A. Kardous, a Niosh engineer and a co-author of the studies, said the noise level of 43 cars during a race was œequivalent to a jet engine”.

Nascar could use mufflers to reduce the noise during races.

œThat™s the primary source of the noise, so obviously, that would be the top recommendation if we could make it, Kardous said.

But Nascar spokesman Jim Hunter said the organization tried mufflers in the 1960s and that they did not have a significant effect on decibel levels. Besides, it would be a hard sell for fans like Josh Whitt, 28, who watched practice Friday without any hearing protection even though he had a headset in his backpack.

œYou know you should do it, but it takes away from it a little bit, he said.

œJust bring a lot of Goody™s headache powder. Never leave home without that.

Wifebeater Flunks Spelling Bee

Posted in "Wife Beater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Baseball at 5:29 pm by

Though I’d be remiss in not mentioning how Philadelphia salvaged the third game of their weekend series with the Padres today, you’ve probably seen the latest bit of unpleasantness surrounding the Phillies’ Brett Myers (above) somewhere or other in the blogosphere today.

Jason Cohen has helpfully supplied an audio link to the effervescent exchange between Myers and the unidentified Philadelphia Inquirer reporter, and as you can hear for yourself, the pitcher declined a challenge to spell retarded, instead calling the writer “a fuckin’ idiot”, and was then reportedly restrained by teammates. (mp3, KWY1060.com)

There’s been no comment yet from Bill Giles, but I’m counting on the club’s minority owner to challenge the veracity of the above recording, while stressing this was just Myers’ way of kidding around.

Newbridge Toyota Dealership Owner Takes In A Snakes Matinee

Posted in Baseball at 4:35 pm by

Truly a ridiculous way to dress up for a Diamondbacks game. But enough about the guy in the Cubs tee. Of the fellow on the left, Thom Brennaman opined, “it looks like Gene Simmons has gained some weight.” Apparently, Thom doesn’t watch the A&E Channel.

While Arizona’s Chris Young has homered off Jason Marquis twice, with the Snakes leading, 5-4, in the top of the third, I cannot discount the possibility the God Of Thunder prefered to take in a game between two postseason hopefuls rather than hit up close pal Dale Torborg for White Sox tickets. The Demon’s Southsiders lost to the Red Sox for the fourth day in a row, with Boston outscoring their hosts, 46-7, over the course of the series. Said result, coupled with the Yankees’ 5-4 loss in Detroit, increases Boston’s AL East lead to 7 1/2. Hands up, anyone who thought a division was winnable with Julian Tavarez starting 25 games or more.

TSF : “The Sports Reporters” In dwil’s Doghouse

Posted in Blogged Down, Dogs, Racism Corner, Sports Journalism at 3:53 pm by

Though The Starting Five’s dwil reserves most of his Sunday critique for Page 2′s Jemele Hill and her remarks on “Outside The Lines”, he wasn’t exactly enarmored with the rest of the Sunday chat lineup, either.

Howard Bryant (above), he of a brutally uninformed and factually-challenged book on steroids and baseball and Barry Bonds, said he didn™t know if this dog fighting thing was œracial, regional, or what.

I wonder what the white people in Wyoming and Idaho are thinking about Bryant and his cohort Mike Lupica, who wholly agreed with Bryant, today. I wonder if they™re laughing all the way to the ”””“ dog fighting pit. And I wonder why PETA and the Humane Society aren™t in those states protesting en masse the law that makes dog fighting a misdemeanor instead of a felony in those states¦. hmmmm.

It’s a pretty good question. But if I’m DMX, I’m wondering where I’m gonna find any decent Indian food in Wyoming or Idaho.

Oak Selflessly Volunteers To Be LeBron’s Goon

Posted in Basketball at 1:13 pm by

Though Charles Oakley (shown slapping Scottie Pippen around, above) is unlikely to recant his earlier promise that he “won’t be coming back cheap”), the noted Jordan wingman / car wash magnate tells the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Branson Wright, “my presence and teaching [the players] how to play better defense,” could be just what LeBron’s Cavs need to measure up against a Western Conference foe.

Oakley, a 6-9 power forward and center, said the Cavs could have used his knowledge and skills in the finals against the Spurs, who dominated the inside with Tim Duncan and with uncontested drives by guard Tony Parker. The no-nonsense Oakley, rumored to have smacked around a few players off the court, would not have any of that.

“They lost to San Antonio because guys didn’t know the next step on defense,” said Oakley, whom the Cavs drafted in 1985. “The Cavs are not a good help defensive team. . . . When I come back, I’m going to bring an attitude. I’m not coming back just to be on a team. I’m going to come back and go all out.”

Johnny Clark, who was the assistant player development/shooting coach when Oakley was with the Toronto Raptors, said LeBron James would benefit from Oakley’s presence just as Vince Carter did several years ago. Back then, Carter was fearless when he went inside for monster dunks. Carter knew who had his back if he was on the other end of a hard foul.

“Other teams need to know that a superstar has a teammate who will step up in their chest if the superstar gets knocked down or receives a hard foul,” Clark said. “LeBron would definitely have that with Oakley as a teammate.”

Oakley said he is still in great shape. “I run three miles per day, lift weights, take shots in the gym and I still play,” Oakley said. “Everyone’s going to get old, it just comes down to how did you take care of your body and I’ve taken care of myself. I guarantee, if I get into someone’s training camp, I’ll end camp as one of the top eight players. It just comes down to if you want to deal with me.”

Pointless Poll : Prime Minister Worth Twice As Much As Rooney

Posted in Football, politics at 12:44 pm by

(to paraphrase Patrick Ewing, Wayne Rooney makes a lot of money, but he spends a lot, too)

It’s a fascinating comparison, given that Gordon Brown isn’t much of a defender, nor is particularly adept in the air. From the Mirror’s Ruki Sayid :

The Prime Minister should be paid about twice as much as Wayne Rooney, says a survey.

But that’s not such good news for Gordon Brown because people also say Rooney and other Premiership stars should get no more than £62,000 a year – which means the PM would actually have to take a hefty pay cut.

Pollsters questioned a cross-section of 3,000 people to find out what salaries they thought a variety of jobs were worth. They said footballers were the most overpaid. The average Premiership player picks up a whopping £676,000 and Manchester United’s Rooney earned £6million last year.

The PM’s £187,000 wage was also deemed too generous – and should be trimmed to about £135,000. Top authors such as JK Rowling, who picked up £25million last year, deserve around £80,000 instead. And leading businessmen should get £120,000 – a fraction of their average £736,000 salary.

The survey was carried out for Leftwing think-tank the Fabian Society by pollsters YouGov. A spokesman for the Fabian Society said: “It shows the public feels the gap between the richest and poorest workers should be narrower.”

No word on suggested salaries for tabloid editors and reports, but perhaps that can wait for a subsequent poll.

While the Rooney-deprived Manchester United claimed their first 3 points of the new season with a 1-0 home result over Spurs, former Best Player On Earth candidate (circa 1997) Ronaldo apparently has a medical excuse for his weight gain in recent years — even David Wells thinks Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva owes the striker an apology.

Salacious Sal Marchiano : More Than You Wanted To Know About Mantle’s Groin

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups, Sports TV at 12:09 pm by

While his daughter Sam was just a lucky break or two away from having a retarded irreverent blog named after her, former WNBC sports anchor Sal Marchiano is all too happy to spills the sexy beans from his long and storied careed. From Page Six’s Richard Johnson :

In his new, self-published memoir, “In My Rear View Mirror,” veteran TV sports reporter Sal Marchiano writes that red-headed Eastern Airlines flight attendant Martha Haines bedded Mickey Mantle over an eight-year period in which she also carried on with Vice President Spiro Agnew (above) during his White House years.

Haines tells Marchiano: “Mickey knew about Ted [Agnew's nickname], but Ted didn’t know about Mickey, who would always telephone and cry out, ‘How’s Spy-ro?’ Mickey used to tell me to break dates with Ted to be with him. It was easy because I could always say the airline called for an assignment. I didn’t want to marry either one of them, both had families.”

Marchiano also reveals how Mantle sent a jaw-dropping answer to the Yankees front office when he was asked to recall his fondest memory of Yankee Stadium for the 50th anniversary of “The “House that Ruth Built.” Mantle wrote back: “I got [oral sex] under the right-field bleachers by the Yankee bullpen. It was about the third or fourth inning. I had a pulled groin and couldn’t [bleep] at the time. She was a very nice girl . . .”

After Curtis Granderson led off the Tigers’ first inning with an inside the park HR off Philip Hughes today, YES’ Michael Kay said of Comerica, “this is a different ballpark…from other ballparks.” That’s why they’re paying Kay the big bucks, ladies and gentlemen. To make bold, provocative statements.

Who Says the Philly Media is Tough on Managers?

Posted in Baseball at 9:22 am by

Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer has his candidate for National League Manager of the Year, and it’s the guy whose team has dropped to seven games behind the Mets: Charlie Manuel



…the vote shouldn’t even be close….

Charlie Manuel hasn’t become more adept this season at public speaking. He hasn’t trimmed the wild hairs of his in-game strategies. He hasn’t overturned the postgame spread, hasn’t challenged his team publicly, hasn’t really done much to draw attention to himself.

All he has done is hold together a team that should be splintered and sinking. He has helped keep the Phillies in contention despite a season-long plague of injuries and slumps. The Phils didn’t panic or give up or shrug at the unfairness of it all and take the easy way out. They have played every game hard, regardless of who was in the lineup and who wasn’t. That may sound like a small compliment, but in professional sports it is not.

Manuel has done all this without a shred of personal support from the team’s front office. He is operating on the final year of his contract, and general manager Pat Gillick has given no indication that he is even aware of his manager’s role in the team’s success. Of all the oversights committed by Gillick, this is the worst.

The man should get a new contract, and he should get it today. Call a news conference and do the right thing, Pat.

It is somewhat redundant to list what the Phillies have endured this season. Every day has been a new chapter, a new exercise in what-can-happen-next. They have used 12 starting pitchers and 25 pitchers overall….

Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Jon Lieber, Freddy Garcia, Tom Gordon, Brett Myers, Adam Eaton, Ryan Madson and on and on. The roster of those who haven’t been on the disabled list this year is much shorter than the one of those who have. That’s not a good year.

But here they are, hanging around, scoring a lot of runs, giving up a lot of runs, staying close enough to make you wonder if they can actually pull it off this time. The Phils are 2-34 when they score three runs or fewer. That’s no way to play baseball (or no way to pitch, anyway). Conversely, they are 64-28 when they score at least four. That’s a team that believes in itself. That’s a team that takes its cue from the manager.

I’m not sure how the failure to score more than three runs in 36 games involves any more or less self-belief than scoring four, but Manuel is certainly as good a candidate as any (Ford goes on to note Bob Melvin would be equally deserving). Personally, I find his flaws irrelevant because the guy’s a package deal – who’s to say a superior strategist would get as much out of his hitters? Or that a more appealing “personality” would also be the sort of manager who doesn’t blink at giving playing time to guys like Chris Coste and rookie pitcher Kyle Kendrick, rather than pining for mediocre “names” with major league experience?

He surely does deserve to stay. Gillick could have/should have hired his own manager the day he got the job, but he didn’t, and since then Manuel has done nothing but meet or exceed expectations. Conventional wisdom says the Phillies have to make the playoffs for the guy to keep his job, but that seems neither fair nor realistic – is a 90-win manager really that much better than an 88-win manager? Was Charlie a better manager than Tony LaRussa last year because he won more games or a worse manager because he didn’t get the same October opportunity LaRussa did?

Anyway, bench bosses and GMs come and go. Phillies phutility remains the same. Like a certain former Philly manager at Fenway, Manuel might look like a genius if he simply had a better team. And Jim Leyland, who everyone in Philly wanted at the time, might look like less of one if he’d been forced to hand the ball to Gavin Floyd instead of Jeremy Bonderman last year.

08.25.07

Carlos Ruiz Channels Albert Belle

Posted in Baseball at 5:23 pm by

While Phillies C Carlos Ruiz earned a standing O from the CBP patrons for his attempt to knock the Padres’ Marcus Giles into left field during last night’s 14-3 loss, the Friars seem unlikely to forgive and forget, writes the Union-Tribue’s Chris Jenkins.

œ(Expletive) play, just an (expletive) slide, said winning pitcher Greg Maddux, normally given to more diplomacy in his postgame remarks. œThere’s playing hard and playing dirty. That’s playing (expletive).

With no clear intent of actually getting anywhere near the bag on Giles’ double-play relay, Ruiz applied a flying cross-body block that not only wiped out Giles from the play and the game, but likely a number of games to come. Giles left an inning later with a hip pointer, apparently caused by Ruiz’s forearm, and is listed as day-to-day.

œHe wasn’t sliding, Marcus Giles said. œThat’s the only thing about it. I don’t mind a good play and I don’t mind a hard play. I get down on guys when they don’t make hard slides that take me out. You play this game hard and aggressive. But that wasn’t a slide at all.

After seeing the replay, Ruiz said he understood why Giles was angry.

œIt was a little high, Ruiz told The Associated Press. œI was just thinking about breaking up the double play. I was just playing hard.

I think Jack Tatum put it the same way, once upon a time.

While the White Sox haven’t done squat against Tim Wakefield today — the knuckleballer being the recipient of some healthy run support — it’s amazing to consider there’s actually a columnist in Wormtown who believes Daisuke Matzusaka’s won-loss record is an accurate reflection of his value to the Red Sox.

The BlakkAttak Invokes The Name Of Tom Sizemore

Posted in Hip Hop, Racism Corner at 3:43 pm by

While David Yow has observed the paucity of black faces (in a manner of speaking) at SXSW, Detroit’s self proclaimed “Led Zeppelin Of Hip Hop”, The Blakkattak, would like to address a shortage of American MC’s north of the border. From the Province’s Elaine O’Connor :

More than 30 celebrities have been subpoenaed to testify in a $900-million lawsuit against Canadian immigration officials by a Detroit gangsta rapper who is alleging racial profiling at the border.

Jerome Almon, a rapper with The BlakkAttakk, the group responsible for songs such as “On Ya Neez  B—-” and “How Stella Got My Backhand,” filed the suit in Michigan’s U.S. district court earlier this year.

This week, 37 witnesses — from rap stars and U.S. celebrities to Canadian federal ministers — were ordered to appear in court Sept. 22. to testify about their treatment by Canadian authorities. Among the witnesses are hip-hop icons Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, DMX, Diddy, 50 Cent and Eminem.

They will be asked to testify alongside Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, Mick Jagger, Jenna Jameson, Condoleeza Rice, Heidi Fleiss, Kobe Bryant, Paris Hilton, Keith Richards, Spike Lee, Tom Sizemore and former Taliban officials Mohammed Hassan and Abdul Hanifi.

Former ministers of citizenship and immigration Judy Sgro and Dennis Coderre, retired CCRA minister Elinor Caplan and MP Belinda Stronach were also called, as were the president of Canadian Border Services Agency Alain Joliecour, Toronto Mayor David Miller, former head of the Ontario Human Rights Commission Keith Norton, and Selwyn Pieters, a Toronto lawyer representing racial minorities in human-rights cases.

The suit “seeks redress from Canadian government officials who have violated [Almon's] right to traverse the Canadian border without being repeatedly subjected to unwarranted, protracted and highly punitive detentions and interrogations as well as outright refusals to allow the plaintiff to enter.”

The 41-year-old rapper, known as Slikkfordays, told The Province that “Paris Hilton and Martha Stuart [sic] and Tom Sizemore are the most important witnesses. Those three were chosen because all have criminal convictions and two have done prison time and Paris Hilton has done jail time, but all three entered Canada with impunity.”

Almon said the reason for their swift passage was simple: “They’re white and they’re not rappers.”

I’m sure Almon knows what he’s doing, but the government can always point to Shea Hillenbrand’s banishment from the country in their defense.

N8 Vouches For The Knicks’ Ridiculousness

Posted in Basketball at 1:04 pm by

Who has it worse this Saturday afternoon, ABC viewers, faced with the prospect of The Owner With A Boner competing on “Dancing With The Stars”, or Knicks fans, having to absorb G Nate Robinson’s insisting of “I couldn™t see myself on another team”? Dozens of NBA GM’s feel the same, N8. From Newsday’s Alan Hahn.

On being the next starting PG of the Knicks, once Marbury does his Italian Beckham thing: œI just want to play. Period. Regardless if I™m going to be out there playing point guard or the two . . . Whoever™s out there, I just want to play. I want to be part of the team that is going to make the playoffs and send New York on a wonderful ride.

On hearing his name come up in trade rumors: œI couldn™t imagine seeing me in another uniform. I love the Knicks. I love the colors, they™re my high school colors “ orange and blue “ I don™t know what else to say.”

On how a long offseason feels: œWhen you go home early, you have too much time on your hands. Watching all these teams playing, you think ˜We should be playing right now.™ It hurts inside knowing that our team, on paper, is ridiculous.

You know the class-clown is still there inside him, probably always will be. And he’s good at running his game with the media. He knows what answers you are looking for. He plays the role. But if some of the things we talked about, things he’s doing this offseason, are all legit, then Nate might have finally started growing up.

Might. Not having Steve Francis around will help things. Francis was known to mock the role as a bench player and get Nate to lose his focus on the bench, which always seemed to land him in Isiah’s doghouse.

“So you still shooting those half-court shots?”

“Always,” he said without hesitation.

“C’mon, why?”

“I end my workouts that way,” he said. “Gotta leave on a make. You can’t walk off the court with a miss.”

QPR’s Ray Jones, RIP

Posted in Football at 11:00 am by

For one Saturday, at least, being mired in 20th place in the Championship seems utterly unimportant. From the Evening Standard  (link courtesy Sean Leahy) :

Today’s Championship game between QPR and Burnley has been cancelled after QPR footballer Ray Jones was killed in a car crash.Police are appealing for witnesses to the fatal collision in East Ham at 00:20 this morning which killed three young men.

Jones, who was due to celebrate his 19th birthday on Tuesday, was travelling in a black Volkswagen Golf which collided with a double decker bus on East Ham High Street.

The young striker was a product of the west London club’s youth scheme and became a regular member of the Rangers squad last season.

Jones, who last season earned a call-up to the England under-19s squad, was set to miss today’s match with a foot injury.

He made his professional debut against Watford in April 2006 and made 35 appearances in all competitions last season – scoring six goals.

Capitol One Is Shaking in Its Shoes

Posted in Hockey, Sports TV at 9:48 am by

I think it’s swell the NHL seems set to have an outdoor game between the Penguins and the Sabres January 1 – if NBC thinks showing it that day will make it seem like an event and bring in casual viewers, who am I to argue? Neither hockey fans nor the NHL itself can afford to quibble about the game being on US network TV in any shape or form.

It’s also kind of cool those are the teams, rather than a major market match-up like, say, Rangers at Red Wings (even if that wouldn’t be an actual outdoor game). Of course, the Crosby factor (see above) and the potential to sell 20,000 tickets to the people of Ontario make it an attractive package.

But I sure hope they move it from its current scheduled 1pm start, which would put it opposite four of the day’s six bowl games. I know it’s really, really cold in Buffalo, and January 1 is deeper into winter than the last two outdoor contests (Michigan/Michigan State, October, 2001; Edmonton/Montreal, November, 2003), but I gotta think more fans would be available to watch at 4 or 5pm, when the only competition is the Rose Bowl.

Otherwise, it’s pretty much a guarantee that even if the league achieves its goal (as stated by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi) of bringing in “the largest audience ever to watch an NHL game in the United States” that will quickly be spun into “the largest audience ever to watch an NHL game is still smaller than the audience for 9-3 Wisconsin vs. 8-4 Tennessee” (to say nothing of the Gator Bowl).

08.24.07

North American Scum : Braves DFA Wickman

Posted in Baseball at 6:29 pm by

Bobby Cox was quoted by MLB.com as saying “I just want to try something else,” and while the Phillies and Mets would’ve loved to see the Atlanta skipper stay the course, the unreliable Bob Wickman (above) is looking for work as of Friday evening.

Troy Patton will make his big league debut
for the Astros tomorrow against Pittsburgh, making him something like the 5th or 6th recent Round Rock alumni (and/or shuttle passenger) to take the hill for Houston.

Not only did Brad Penny beat out an infield hit against the Mets tonight, but he’s having a heck of a run this summer in those Judd Apatow movies.

Is It (So)Real Or Is It Sabracadabra?

Posted in New York, New York, Rock Und Roll at 6:16 pm by

Having witnessed Sabracadabra doing their thing at the now blown-to-bits Windows On The World some years back, I can vouch for their interpretive skills. Which is to say, they have none. It’s more like an exercise in time travel and DNA replication. I only mean that in a nice way. Presumably, this will go down with little police interference.

Butch van Breda Koff, Dead At 84

Posted in Basketball at 5:26 pm by

Consumed with the distraction of Aaron Heilman’s gopher ball troubles, I neglected to note Thursday’s passing of Butch Van Breda Koff, a 30 year head coaching veteran of the NBA, ABA, collegiate, high school and women’s professional ranks.

Willem Hendrik Breda Koff (above, right), led the Lakers to the ’68 and ’69 NBA finals, coached Hofstra in the both the 50′s and 90′s, was Bill Bradley’s coach at Princeton, and had a 5 year playing stint with the Knicks from 1946-1950. The following passage comes from Frank Litsky’s obit in Friday’s New York Times.

In the final minutes of the seventh and deciding game of the National Basketball Association™s 1969 championship playoffs, Wilt Chamberlain benched himself during the fourth quarter with what van Breda Kolff considered a minor knee injury. When Chamberlain asked to return to the game, van Breda Kolff refused, and the Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics by 2 points.

œWe played better when he was out, van Breda Kolff said. œI have no regrets because in my mind at the time I thought it was the right thing to do. The only regret I™ll have would be if I don™t have a team.

Shortly after, van Breda Kolff resigned, but as usual he soon had another team.

His coaching style never changed. When he was 71 and coaching his final season at Hofstra, The New York Times described him as the œanimated, nonstop-gesticulating, chair-kicking, sideline-pacing, expletive-spewing Butch of days gone by. But his teams were well-schooled, emphasizing teamwork, a patient offense and a tough defense.

Rangers’ Hicks Schools The English On Baseball Spending

Posted in Baseball, Football at 3:44 pm by

You might recall Texas’ Tom Hicks — in partnership with Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillet — assumed control of Liverpool F.C. last year. What you might not know is that Hicks, courtesy of the Daily Mail, has some interesting revisionist history for an audience that might not be compelled to challenge him.

They might have only been here since March, and they might have appointed Gillett’s son Foster to work alongside chief executive Rick Parry in running the club day to day, but they talk with great knowledge. Hicks gets excited about ‘Torres and Babel’. Gillett mentions talent in the academy.’That’s the unwritten story,’ says Gillett. ‘We have a number of brilliant young players who are going to be the future of this club.

‘Rafa believes in youth and we share that philosophy. That’s why Tom and I are so comfortable with him. He’s a very responsible man. He’s not a slash and burner. He said we needed four or five new players to be competitive and we went out and got them.’

‘A great example of what not to do is the New York Yankees,’ adds Hicks. ‘A guy (owner George Steinbrenner) tried to win in the short term by spending all this money on ageing stars. And they didn’t win. They used to win when they had young, up-and-coming stars. You have to have a balance.’

Terrible News For Apple, AT&T

Posted in Boxing, Technical Difficulties at 12:54 pm by

There’s no point in getting all bent out of shape about a juvenile prank, no matter how much internet traction it generates.

But enough about the iPhone unlocking hack. In footage that should surely have Steve Jobs looking for the nearest ledge, noted pariah Mike Tyson demonstrates just how easily he can trade text messages with Mitch “Blood” Green.

Paging Mushnick : New Era, MLB Charged With Confusing Cap Designs

Posted in Baseball, Fashion at 12:42 pm by

Fox News.com leaves their NewsCorp colleague Phil in the dust with the following bit of hysteria :

Outraged Harlem activists charge that New Era, the caps’ manufacturer, and the New York Yankees ” whose famous interlocking NY cap features a choice of a red and black bandanna design for the Bloods, blue and gray for the Crips and a gold crown for the Latin Kings and Major League Baseball are deliberately marketing to gang members and wannabes.

“Companies involved should not profit from the promotion of gang affiliation, which leads only to gang violence,” the activists, who call themselves the Coalition to Protect Our Children, said in a statement. The coalition is concerned that unsuspecting kids could buy one of the hats, wear it in the wrong turf and then be targeted for attack.”

If that’s not bad enough, I have it on good authority the fiends in MLB’ licensing department have long authorized the sale of a dark cap with an interlocking “NY” on the front. Not only does said hat have obvious appeal to a deviant element, but imagine what could happen to a not-so street savvy child (say, Andrew Giuliani) who might wander into the wrong neighborhood?

Gotbaum To Starbury : Girls Can Wear Cheap Kicks, Too

Posted in Basketball, Sports Radio at 12:06 pm by

There’s no such thing as a quiet off-season for the Knicks’ Stephon Marbury. A day after recanting his remarks concerning Michael Vick and dogfighting, Steph’s gift horse is being stared directly in the mouth, as Newsday’s Justin Rocket Silverman explains.

Stephon Marbury wasn’t trying to be controversial when he donated 3,000 pairs of his branded Starbury One shoes to city high school basketball players last year.

Yet by giving the shoes only to boys’ varsity teams, the Coney Island native drew attention to what some say is a glaring inequality between boys and girls athletics in New York City public schools.

Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum said that because the Department of Education did not obtain 3,000 pairs of basketball shoes for the girls, it is in violation of federal rules that require equal sports resources for both sexes.

“The Department of Education is shortchanging female athletes, pure and simple,” Gotbaum said Tuesday.

“They haven’t provided a plan to increase sports opportunities for women. They haven’t created a fair scheduling system … second-class status for female athletes is unacceptable.”

Purchasing 3,000 pairs of Starbury shoes would cost the department about $45,000. The department Tuesday pointed to a recent donation by Nike of sneakers for 20 girls basketball teams, and said in a statement that it has “worked hard towards securing sneakers and other equipment for girls programs.”

Some observers said Gotbaum’s position is off the mark.

“Have we come to expect so much that we don’t embrace acts of kindness?” asked Brandon Tierney, a sports talk show host on 1050 ESPN Radio.

“Give me a break. I mean, take the 3,000 sneakers and be grateful that you got them.”

As always, a sophisticated take from Tierney, who seemingly put just as much thought into the above statement as he did into his show’s new theme tune.

Drayton McLane : A Crummy Choice For Best Man

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 11:19 am by

(pay up, or Uncle D will put his boot up your ass)

You’ve probably heard the story about the Kiss Cam Marriage Proposal Gone Horribly Wrong at Monday’s Nats/Astros game, a sad tale followed in short succession by Houston slapping the would-be groom with a $300 invoice for services rendered.

The ever cynical Maura Johnston suggests, “perhaps paying Roger Clemens’ salary last year has had some long-term financial ramifications,” but on this one occasion, I’m gonna resist the temptation to blast the Astros. If it became common knowledge that all you needed to score choice seats and face time on the Jumbotron was to have a marriage proposal rejected, who knows how many couples would pull a similar stunt?

It should be stressed, of course, the ballpark, even one as historic modern as Ken Lay Field, is a terrible place to pop the question.

It’s a great place to have a three-way, however, but a lousy venue for a marriage proposal.

Vick’s Dad : Dogfighting “Is Mike’s Thing”

Posted in Dogs, Gridiron, The Law at 9:49 am by

While an ESPN report claims Michael Vick’s pending guilty plea will not include any admission of participation in dog killings or gambling, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Matt Kempner had the pleasure of speaking with Vick’s estranged father.

Michael Boddie, in two sometimes tearful interviews with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week, said some time around 2001 his son staged dogfights in the garage of the family’s home in Newport News, Va. Boddie also said Vick kept fighting dogs in the family’s backyard, including injured ones ” “bit up, chewed up, exhausted” ” that the father nursed back to health.

Boddie, dismissed the idea that Vick’s longtime friends were the main instigators of the dogfighting operation.

“I wish people would stop sugarcoating it,” Boddie said. “This is Mike’s thing. And he knows it.”

He “likes it, and he has the capital to have a set up like that.”

Daniel Meachum, an attorney for Vick, said his client never mentioned situations described by Boddie, nor discussed Boddie in relation to dog activities. “It’s a disgrace Mr. Boddie, who chose for nearly 22 years not to be part of Mike’s life, would at this time seek to capitalize on his son’s current situation.”

Boddie said he and the Atlanta Falcons quarterback have had a volatile relationship for years and that his son has refused to speak with him directly for the last 2 1/2 half months. Boddie said he is speaking out because he’s been hurt by his son and wife’s failure over the years to correct what he considers inaccurate media reports that Vick grew up without his father present.

“I’ve been drug through the mud,” Boddie said.

He said he intends to write a damaging book about more of what he knows.

Boddie, 45, lives in a Duluth apartment that his son has paid the rent on for the last three years. Vick, who has a $130 million contract with the Falcons, also gives him a couple of hundred dollars every week or two, the father said.

Boddie wanted more. Two years ago, he said, he asked Vick for $1 million, spread out over 12 years, enough to keep him comfortable for the rest of his life. Vick declined, the father said. In recent weeks, Boddie asked Vick, through an assistant, for $700,000 to live on.

Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock is hoping the NFL and society will give Vick a second chance after he serves his time, adding “I also hope that our modern-day civil-rights leaders stake out a consistent position on compassion. We can’t demand it for Michael Vick and deny it to those we don’t like, especially when it comes to high-profile public figures such as Don Imus.”

Big Sexy fails to mention, naturally, that no one is denying Imus an opportunity to earn a living in his chosen trade (in fact, he’s said to be negotiating a new deal with ABC Radio). The broadcasting field, unlike professional football, isn’t monopolized.

That said, I can understand why Whitlock would hold out hope for the rehabilitation of Vick or Imus. After all, it’s not as though either have been convicted of wearing baggy pants.

08.23.07

You’ll Never Be Dumped Into Two Wheelie Bins Alone

Posted in Football, The Law at 7:43 pm by

(Furious Styles, only partially to blame for dismemberment)

Incredibly, Rob Styles wasn’t the biggest casualty from last Sunday’s Liverpool v Chelsea 1-1 draw, as Belfast Today explains.

Father-of-two Willie McClatchey, 34, had been drinking and watching football on TV with a friend just hours before he was attacked and his body dismembered.

Police found his heavily-tattooed limbs and torso dumped in two wheelie bins behind a block of flats in east Belfast.

A blood-stained blanket was also recovered from one of the bins in a courtyard at housing association property Pottinger House, off Castlereagh Street in The Mount area.

A brother of the dead man said: œIt isn™t so much that he is dead “ it is how it was done. To be dead was bad enough.

A neighbour added: œIt™s like something out of a Quentin Tarantino film.

It is believed the victim had been in the area since Sunday, when he watched live television coverage of Liverpool™s 1-1 draw against Chelsea.

The Mirror claims McClatchey was “hacked to pieces and dumped in two wheelie bins by a Chelsea supporter after a row over the controversial penalty in Sunday’s match.”

Not to sound too cavalier about violent crime, but at least we know for certain no matter how many trophies raised, no matter how many millions of pounds Roman Abramovich spends, there’s still some portion of Chelsea’s support that would just as soon leave your body in two dumpsters instead of one.

Shea It Ain’t So : Is The Sultan Of Sloth Joining The Dodgers?

Posted in Baseball at 6:16 pm by

From the Newark Star-Ledger’s Don Burke :

According to Dan Graziano, a person close to the situation, who requested anonymity because the deal is not yet finalized, said the former Yankees left-hander David Wells was close to signing with the Dodgers. The person said that, if the deal got completed today, Wells could start Sunday night’s game for the Dodgers here against the Mets.

Although he’s been idle for the past two weeks, it shouldn’t take Wells long to get into shape.

That was a joke.

Of the Mets’ recently sucktastic reliever Guillermo Mota, the Post’s Brian Lewis writes, “he’s struggling so badly, nobody should be wondering if he’s back on the juice.” And what’s so bad about Wilpon Inc. toiling on a level playing field? Where’s the praise for Omar Minaya’s integrity?

Nice work, Bob Timmermann, who performed some Elias Koteas Sports Bureau heroics to uncover a day’s worth of diabolical pitching to rival that of yesterday’s Baltimore Orioles.

One Superfan’s Inhumanity To Man

Posted in Gridiron, The Law at 5:24 pm by

I won’t claim the guy on the left has much to say, but give him this much : he’s more lucid than John Riggins.

Who amongst us hasn’t been drunk in the parking lot of a Dick’s Sporting Goods? Surely we can’t expect the Reid kin to shop for their dad’s sweatpants while sober?

Oakland might be closer to signing their no.1 overall pick, and as the negotiations continue to drag throughout the preseason, the San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami surmised (albeit 3 days ago), “If I’m JaMarcus Russell, I’m already planning my Raiders exit strategy and I’m hoping Al Davis is planning one for me, too.”

Let’s just go through a list of major Davis decisions since the end of 2003: Norv Turner as coach; Kerry Collins as quarterback; Gallery, a tackle, over receiver Larry Fitzgerald, quarterback Philip Rivers and defensive tackle Tommie Harris in the 2004 draft; Moss acquired; Art Shell as coach; Tom Walsh as offensive coordinator; safety Michael Huff over quarterbacks Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler in the 2006 draft; Aaron Brooks at QB.

If I’m Al Davis, I’m not happy with that list. It’s frightful. So maybe I want to play it safe with Russell. If he stinks, I want to be able to get rid of him without fiscal consequence.

But I also should know that, unless there’s an unforeseen panic attack, Russell isn’t agreeing to anything short of a full guarantee. Reality alert: Lousy teams need No. 1 picks more than No. 1 picks need the lousy teams.

So if I’m Al Davis, I should be searching for a trade partner right now. If I dare Russell to sit out all of 2007 and re-enter the draft in 2008, nobody wins. And the Raiders need wins, period.