Sevilla’s Puerta, Dead At 22

Posted in Football at 3:41 pm by

From the Telegraph’s Mark Elkington and Simon Baskett :

Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta, one of Spain’s most promising young players, died on Tuesday, three days after collapsing during a La Liga contest.

The 22-year-old Spanish international had been in a critical condition in the Virgen del Rocio hospital in Seville since suffering a heart attack on Saturday.

Sevilla said that Puerta’s body would be taken to the club’s Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, where fans could pay their respects, and that he would be buried tomorrow.

Puerta collapsed after jogging back towards his own goal 35 minutes into the game against Getafe.

Team-mates and medical staff prevented him from swallowing his tongue and he was able to walk from the pitch.

However, he collapsed again in the changing rooms and had to be resuscitated before being taken to hospital.

Sevilla’s Champions League Qualifier against AEK Athens, scheduled to kick off just a few hours ago, has been postponed. Friday’s European Super Cup match with AC Milan will take place as scheduled.

Jiminy! Romney Pal Enjoys Making Contact With Men

Posted in History's Great Hook-Ups, politics, The Mailbag at 11:46 am by

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.”

Kobe : The Man Behind The Thick-Feminine-Asian Accent

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down at 11:01 am by

Not only is Kobe Bryant (shown above during the USA’s 127-100 win over Mexico last night) playing tremendous defense in the FIBA Tournament Of The Americas, but he’s proven to be a staunch supporter of the blogosphere. No. 8 No. 24 No. 10 granted an exclusive interview to the previously unheralded Introducing Liston.

Suffice to say, I think even Jim Gray would be impressed at the way I.L. managed to get Kobe to open up.

Catching Up With Mets Pitching Sensation Scott Schafer

Posted in Baseball, Internal Affairs, The Law at 9:33 am by

Mets prospect Scott Schafer created a slight buzz in the blogosphere in June of ’06 when his typical teenager’s MySpace profile had both the ballclub and a certain blowhard agent going into scolding overdrive. Courtesy Cyclones Nation, we now learn that Schafer has been having additional troubles with the overzealous Florida police.

From the Palm Beach Post’s Paul Quinlan :

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.

You’d think they don’t have any football players to harass in this town.

Bars Throughout Sweden Prepare For The Arrival Of Belfour

Posted in Hockey at 8:33 am by

Perhaps Eddie always wanted to explore Sweden’s Dalarna region? From TSN :

The 42-year-old netminder Eddie Belfour signed on with Swedish club Leksands IF on Monday.

Belfour went 27-17-10 with a 2.77 goals-against average for the Florida Panthers last season.

Belfour is also a five-time All-Star, with 484 career wins, a 2.50 GAA and 76 shutouts in 963 games with Florida, Chicago (1988-96), San Jose (1996-97), Dallas (1997-2002) and Toronto (2002-06).

Hopefully, one of our Swedish readers can fill us in on what sort of bouncer hassles Belfour is likely to face in his new place of residence.

If You Wanna Stay Alive, Don’t Tell This Man You’d Prefer A CD By Juice Newton

Posted in Cinema, The Law, Video Games at 12:14 am by

Though I foolishly linked to the trailer
for “King Of Kong : A Fistful Of Quarters” a while back, I’d never have done so had I been aware the film’s star, video game grandmaster Billy Mitchell, was also known as Paul Gilbert Devoe III, the accused sextuple murderer.


On the Whole…

Posted in Baseball at 6:55 pm by

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.

Oh, and Howard Eskin is Lionel Luthor.

PFT On Vick’s Napping Legal Team

Posted in Dogs, Gridiron, non-sporting journalism at 6:50 pm by

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.

While WBZ’s Jack Williams would have us believe the days of the oversexed anchorman are in the rear view mirror, there seems to be some evidence to the contrary.

Germaine Greer : Cuddly Toys Are For Losers

Posted in Free Expression, Parental Responsibility, social crusaders at 4:19 pm by

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.

Scrap Iron, Purpura Scrapped In Houston

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 3:48 pm by

The Houston Chroncle’s Brian McTaggert on today’s executions at Ken Lay Field :

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.