08.29.07

Lucchinco : Stupid People Buy Beer, Too

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, General at 4:19 pm by

Taking Red Sox Inc. to task for things like the mainstreaming of RSN is a bit played out (sadly, I’ve not caught that dating show with Jerry Remy channeling Chuck Woolery), but as Call Of The Green Monster demonstrates, there’s something to be said for the fresh approach of inventing Larry Lucchino quotes.

œLet me say unequivocally that the stupid fan is very important to us, Lucchino says earnestly.  œWe™ve done focus groups with hundreds of stupid fans to really get into their mindset and see what drives them.  For instance, we found that they™ll pay almost anything for a beer as long as there is no limit to how many they are served.  That™s why our policy is that no matter how drunk a fan is, if they can somehow manage to stagger their way to the concession stand”we™ll keep selling them beer.  Lucchino said that research indicates that stupid fans don™t mind not having any recollection of the game.  œHey, I love watching baseball, but who am I to tell someone what constitutes a fun time at the game?

Lucchino was asked if he has any regrets about phasing out the more learned fans, those who truly love the game, and not those who attend games just to make a fool out themselves.  œI just feel the stupid fan has been ignored for far too long, Lucchino said, eyes misty and his voice quivering with emotion just a bit.  œTo accommodate them, we will continue to raise ticket prices, let the alcohol flow, and keep those pink hats coming.  Hell, I™ll even throw down a few beachballs from my luxury box.

The Carl Lewis Of Falsely Accused Security Guard Bombers, Dead At 44

Posted in non-sporting journalism, olympics at 3:36 pm by

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Mike Morris :

Richard Jewell, the Centennial Olympic Park security guard once suspected ” but later cleared ” in the bombing of the park during the 1996 Summer Games, was found dead Wednesday in his home in Meriwether County. He was 44.

County coroner Johnny Worley said Jewell’s wife discovered him dead in their Woodbury home at about 10:30 a.m., and he was pronounced dead by Worley about 45 minutes later.

Jewell was initially lauded as a hero after a bomb went off at the July 27, 1996, Olympic celebration. He called attention to the suspicious knapsack that held a bomb and helped evacuate the area.

But days later he became the FBI’s chief suspect, as The AJC and other media outlets reported.

The FBI later cleared Jewell of any wrongdoing. He was never charged with a crime.

Eric Robert Rudolph pleaded guilty to the bombing in 2005 and is serving life in prison for it and other attacks.

After he was cleared, Jewell sued the Journal-Constitution and other media outlets for libel, arguing that their reports defamed him. Several news organizations settled, including NBC and CNN.

The Journal-Constitution did not settle. The newspaper has contended that at the time it published its reports, Jewell was a suspect, so the articles were accurate. The newspaper also has asserted that it was not reckless or malicious in its reports regarding Jewell. Much of Jewell’s case was dismissed last year.

Jewell’s passing deprives our nation of a desperately needed public servant who can tackle the thankless task of identifying suspicious knapsacks.  And let’s be clear —- all knapsacks are suspicious.

Andrew Giuliani should be graduating college soon, however, so there’s still hope.

Tottenham Blame The Messenger

Posted in Football, Sports Journalism at 12:59 pm by

From Wednesday’s Metro :

After a week in which chairman Daniel Levy and his board have endured intense criticism for their apparrent attempts to replace boss Martin Jol, Spurs announced London Evening Standard reporters would be barred from attending games and press conferences at the training ground.

Tottenham are unhappy at a number of articles by Standard columnist Matthew Norman (above) about the club, and Levy in particular.

In a statement Spurs said: ‘Please note this decision has been taken by the club’s management board, not in haste and at a time when quite simply “enough is enough”.

‘The timing of this is in no way related to comments generated as a result of the past few days’ events – Matthew Norman’s personal attacks continue regardless of what happens at the club.’

However, the Standard has defended its coverage, with fellow columnist David Mellor quick to rush to Norman’s support.

Writing in Tuesday’s Standard, Mellor described Levy’s recent actions as ‘so crass that even Pravda in the bad old days might have felt constrained to utter a little coded criticism of his behaviour.’

While Chelsea acolyte Mellor makes a valid point for once, in terms of public sympathies, his coming to Norman’s defense is not entirely unlike Ron Artest speaking out on behalf of Michael Vick. Ie., thanks for the support, pal, but perhaps you could’ve just sent a text message.

Hilly Kristal, Marine, East Village Entrepeneur and Chef, Dead At 75

Posted in New York, New York, Rock Und Roll at 11:48 am by

For every Television, there was an Inflatable Boy Clams. For every Ramones, there was a Rude Buddha. For every Agnostic Front…there was Agnostic Front. You get the idea.

(left to right : Hily, Paul Simon. Not shown : Jimmy Gestapo, Donny The Punk)

An inconsistent booking aesthetic and life threatening chili aside, we’ll choose to remember the late Hilly Kristal fondly, and for all the “it’s not as good as it used to be” grumblings about CBGB’s (some of which, to be fair, started in 1978) there’s no disputing that some of the greatest shows we ever witnessed took place on the Bowery between 1st and 2nd.

Heck, some of ‘em even took place inside the club.

Dubious Sounding Pressure Group – Even Without Joe Franklin, Today’s Kids Can’t Sleep

Posted in Leave No Child Unbeaten, Medical Science, Technical Difficulties at 6:39 am by

A survey performed by UK snoozy advice group The Sleep Council claims modern teens aren’t dozing properly due to the proliferation of video game consoles, televisions and other contemporary gadgets. From Ars Technica’s Jacqui Cheng :

23 percent of those surveyed said that they regularly fell asleep while watching TV, listening to music, or with “other machinery” still running. The Council says that this is not surprising, given that 98.5 percent of the teenagers have phones, music systems, or TVs in their bedrooms (almost two-thirds had all three).

Even at the younger end of the group, electronics in the bedroom are prevalent”58 percent of 12- to 14-year-old boys reported having a phone, music player, TV, or game console in the bedroom.

And although many adults claim that they fall asleep more easily with the TV on, it doesn’t always work the same way for kids. One in five of all the teenage boys surveyed admitted that leaving the TV or computer on was affecting the quality of their sleep.

Just imagine how their sleep would suffer if they went to bed listening to the dulcet tones of Captain Midnight?

(A Statistical) Requiem For A Super Sub

Posted in Football at 6:03 am by

With the possible exception of Roy Keane’s Sunderland crashing out of the Worthless Cup at the hands of lowly Luton Town, the kneecapping of Kieron Dyer and the previously noted passing of Antonio Puerta, Wednesday morning’s top soccer story belongs to the brittle Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. In honor of Solskjaer’s just announced retirement, the Guardian’s Rob Smtyth and Paolo Bandini consider the following :

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.

Who Knew Last Place Could Be So Much Fun?

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 12:03 am by

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.

08.28.07

Jenkins : In Praise of Milton Bradley

Posted in Baseball at 8:15 pm by

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.

If nothing else, White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski and hitting coach Greg Walker have now firmly established that Boston’s Manny Declarmen throws a cut fastball.

While the ‘Lil Wilpons are gunning for a doubleheader sweep against Hudson Valley this evening, Tri-City’s Carlos Ladeuth has a no-hitter thru 7 innings against Vermont. This comes one night after teammate Thomas Vessela took a no-no into the 7th against Aberdeen.

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.

Is Tim Couch The Randy Velarde Of Professional Football?

Posted in Gridiron at 6:55 pm by

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.

Racially Yours – Matthews On The Black & White Divide Over Vick

Posted in Dogs, Gridiron, Racism Corner, Sports Journalism at 4:38 pm by

(CSTB’s Texas Bad Newz Kennels reserve squad is transfixed by Joey Harrington’s competent drumming play)

“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.

Of Lance Briggs’ demolished Lamborghini, PTI’s Tony Kornheiser exclaimed, “probably half the people who drive them, crash right away.”

I suspect the percentage is slightly lower, otherwise we’d have heard from Ralph Nader by now.