Last year he was called an “idiot” and a “moron.” Last week he was called a “mental midget.” And last weekend Rex Grossman, the much-maligned quarterback of the Chicago Bears who nonetheless helped land the Bears in the Super Bowl last season, was called a “retarded vagina.” When Alex Borstein was introduced as the voice of Lois Griffin at the live voice-over performance of Family Guy at the Chicago Theatre Saturday night, the Chicago native and former MADtv star emerged in a long Walter Payton Bears jersey, wearing only short spandex shorts underneath. After sitting in her director’s chair she pulled down the jersey over her thighs and asked the crowd to let her know if her “Rex Grossman” started to show. When the crowd laughed Borstein said Grossman was a “retarded vagina.”
“Because when I went through my hard times, I was acquitted! I was found innocent! You’re going to tell me different?”
Murphy went on to offer his own explanation of Simpson’s recent actions.
“O.J., his life has been in turmoil for the last 12 years,” he said. “Now, he’s gotten bored with life. That’s the only reason I think he would do something that stupid. He wants the front page again.”
Los Angeles 2B Jeff Kent is a quite likely a first ballot Hall Of Famer. The truck-washing Hall Of Fame, that is. On the baseball diamond, however, the veteran motorbike enthusiast has a weird habit of alienating his Dodger teammates, whether its fellow warm’n'fuzzy type Milton Bradley, or the whatever-happened-to Hee-Seop Choi.
Asked if it bothered him to be criticized by one of the team’s leaders, James Loney said of Kent, “Who said he was a leader?”
Said Matt Kemp: “If you take the younger guys away, do you have a team?”
Loney said the sizable generation gap in the clubhouse, and the fact there are few players in their prime to bridge the gap between young and old, probably resulted in some misunderstandings.
“That’s not just in baseball, that’s in life,” he said. “Definitely, things get misinterpreted. You really need to get to learn that person. A lot of people don’t want to take that time. A lot of people are too lazy to do that.”
Loney said Kent has never spoken to him about any of his points of criticism.
Asked if Little had adequately managed the personalities on the team, Loney replied, “I don’t really have anything to say on that.”
Kent refused to revisit the discussion for long on Friday. To a suggestion that he might want to clarify his vaguer statements, he replied, “If I wanted to clarify anything, I would’ve done it yesterday.”
He said he wouldn’t retract what he said, asking, “Are there no reasons we lost?”
The 67-year-old Dick Versace, a Democrat, said Thursday that he will bid for the 18th Congressional District seat in central Illinois. Incumbent Republican Ray LaHood announced in July he will retire when his term runs out in 2009.
Versace said he will tour the district in a 28-foot motor home called the “Common Sense Express” after he formally announces his intention to run for office at a news conference in the next couple of weeks.
I’m sure the Greater Boston area is a terrific place to live, filled with friendly, enlightened people. That a precious few seem all too comfortable expressing opinions like those linked above on the website of the town’s 2nd biggest newspaper is no reflection whatsoever on Boston’s sharing, caring climate.
Though a botched onside kick cost the hosts a chance at tying or winning at the buzzer, consider the following sober factoid : with today’s 38-35 home loss to Syracuse, Louisville have now allowed 120 points in their last 3 games to non-ranked opposition. The nation’s 2nd longest home winning streak (longest to take place at a stadium named a bad pizza chain) has come to end, and at the hands of a 300 point underdog, to boot.
Hands up, anyone who thought Ball State v. Nebraska would be one of the best games of the day. Keep your hand up if can think of a legal way Bill Callahan’s contract extension can be nullfied — the Nebraska Board Of Regents would like your phone number.
Should anyone from South Florida really be calling West Virginia fans “couch burning hillbillies”? And what’s a more appropriate way of disposing of a couch, anyway?
In a Friday afternoon radio interview on 1280 The Zone, Williams (above) told Salt Lake Tribune columnist Gordon Monson and co-host Kevin Graham that Kirilenko can be “a special player for us” if he returns with the right attitude.
Referring to teammates Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur, Williams said, “You see Booz after practice shooting for 25 or 30 minutes. You see Memo shooting for 20 minutes. You see, you know, all the rookies. The young guys. You saw [Rafael Araujo] in there working. [Then] you see Andrei being the first one out the door.”
As the Jazz’s quarterback, Williams admitted he has looked for other targets with his passes because of Kirilenko’s approach to the game last season.
“If he’s coming off a screen on one side and Matt [Harpring] is coming off a screen on one side, who do you think you’re going to pass to?” Williams said.
“You think you’re going to pass to the guy you see working every day in the gym or are you going to pass to the guy who never works on his shot but yet wants to shoot ‘em every time?”
Asked if Kirilenko’s work ethic was a problem, Williams said, “I would say so.”
Giants LB Antonio Pierce (above) used an air horn Thursday to interrupt the questions of Fox News’ Reischea Canidate, a stunt that earned him the scorn of noted sports journalists Tiki Barber and Shannon Sharpe. From the Newark Star-Ledger’s Mike Garafolo :
“Now that things are struggling, first of all he runs away from it early in the week and now he’s refusing to answer questions by being completely disrespectful to a group of people who are just trying to do their job,” Barber said. “That’s the job of media: (to) ask the question. And you don’t have to answer it but don’t be rude.”
Former Broncos and Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe said the following on his Sirius Radio show:
“That is so ridiculous. It irks me when I see guys act like that. That’s ridiculous. Are you 14 [years old] or are you 28, 29 making millions of dollars to play a kid’s game? And you act like this?”
During Sharpe’s show with Bob Papa today, the folks in the booth occassionally sounded air horns for no reason in particular while callers were talking. They even did it during an interview with injured Giants receiver Michael Jennings, who knew nothing about the air horn incident at all.
Pierce was asked if he wanted to respond to either Barber or Sharpe.
“Do they play for the New York Giants?” he said. When told one of them did, he said, “Do they play for the Giants?”
Pierce said the comments by Barber and Sharpe don’t register with him because they came from outside the locker room.“If it was one of 53 guys in this room that said something or my 10 coaches or someone in the front office…” he said. “But my teammates know what I was doing so that’s all that matters.”
Strangely, no one has suggested that Pierce has assumed a leadership role of sorts. By becoming a pariah with the tri-state media, he’s deflecting attention that might otherwise be foisted on floundering Col. Coughlin.
Titans QB Vince Young was fined $7500 by the NFL for throwing a ball at Colts DB Kelvin Hayden last week. This is just another example of the double standard Donovan McNabb spoke of ; Drew Brees has thrown balls at as many as 3 opposing defenders this season (the sort they could easily catch), and he’s not been disciplined.
With a baseball lineage that includes the hallowed tenures of Greg Vaughan, Jose Canseco and Wade Boggs, a historic ballpark like Tropicana Field, not to mention a former ownership group obsessed with private toilets, how can the good people of Tampa/St. Pete manage to avoid Devil Rays games? More to the point, writes the St. Petersburg Times’ Marc Topkin, playing to a throng of Yankees or Red Sox rooters is “disturbing to the young and idealistic stars such as Scott Kazmir (above), B.J. Upton and Delmon Young.”
“You know it’s going to be nothing but a sea of red when the Red Sox are there and then next week nothing but Yankees fans,” Kazmir said. “You go out for the first inning and next thing you know they’ve got one guy on and already that Red Sox chant is going on.
“That stuff really bothers me. It does. We’re a major-league team too. It’s tough. It seems like okay, we’re just renting-the-place type stuff. I don’t know. It’s just wrong. It really is.”
“I think it’s ridiculous,” teammate B.J. Upton said. “You’re supposed to be the home team and the place is sold out, but it’s 98 percent the other team’s fans. I think you kind of get used to it, but at the same time it gets old.”
“We’re playing in the Trop and it’s more like Fenway than anything,” Upton said. “We go in and play at home and it’s like a road game at home.”
The Rays rank last in the majors in attendance – averaging 16,288, and needing a big final week just to match last season’s total – which means the crowds are often small if they are not pro-Red Sox (25,847 average) or pro-Yankees (27,757).
That creates something of a marketing conundrum for the Rays, who choose a broad – “Just get them in the building” – approach with hopes of conversion later.
“The only way it’s ever going to change,” Young said, “is if we start winning.”
“I guarantee you’ll have a lot of these guys switch their caps and jerseys and jump on the bandwagon,” Kazmir said. “Hopefully it’s only a matter of time.”
Hey, if I were Dennis Deitch of the Delaware County Times, I wouldn’t bother reading Marcus “Sabreboy” Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News either. But unless the Phillies beat writers are having a doggerel contest, they ought to at least agree not to trot out the old “Spahn and Sain” routine more than once a month.
To paraphrase that ultimate gamer (you know, like last night) Country Time, “know your place, 2nd-year player.” That place, of course, being on-the-field.
Your unintentional comedy moment of the week comes from the Denver Post’s Woody Paige, whom while stumping for the MVP candidacy of Colorado’s Matt Holiday, insists “Wright, the Mets’ third baseman, has been the favorite, although he isn’t the MVP on his own team. Reyes, the shortstop, is.”
Not to pile on Jose, but clearly Woody hasn’t been watching many Mets games over the past month.
Which AL team would like to take a shot at letting Barry Bonds wear their uniform for his 3000th hit and/or 800th HR? Though I’m hoping it’ll be the Orioles —given their terrific track record of signing character guys in their prime — there’s always the chance that today’s announcements, as described by the SF Chronicle’s Henry Shulman, are a prelude to the Sultan Of Surly’s final farewell.
The Giants will announce at 5 p.m. today that Barry Bonds will not return next season, ending his career in San Francisco after 15 remarkable seasons.Bonds upstaged the Giants on his Web site, with the following entry:
“This journal will be one of my last entries as a San Francisco Giant. Yesterday, I was told by the Giants that they will not be bringing me back for the 2008 season,” Bonds wrote. “During the conversation with Peter Magowan, I was told that my play this year far exceeded any expectations the Giants had, but that the organization decided this year would be my last season in San Francisco.
“Although I am disappointed, I’ve always said baseball is a business , and I respect their decision. However, I am saddened and upset that I was not given an earlier opportunity to properly say goodbye to you, my fans, and celebrate with the city throughout the season as I truly believe this was not a last-minute decision by the Giants, but one that was made some time ago.
“I don’t have, nor do I want any ill feelings towards the organization, I just wish I had known sooner so we had more time to say our goodbyes and celebrate the best 15 years of my life.”
Though Bonds made mention of equipment manager Mike Murphy and Giants broadcasters Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow in his goodbye address, he neglected to thank Greg Anderson.
I™m leaving AOL and, more importantly, FanHouse to be the œSenior Editor of Blogs & Community at Yahoo! Sports. If you™re not familiar with what a Senior Editor of Blogs & Community is, well, don™t beat yourself up over it. I™m probably the first one ever, so rest assured that it™s a pretty big deal.
Mottram tells The Big Lead, “I™m really not going anywhere. I™ll still be working from my kitchen table.” which has to be terrific news. For him, anyway. No disrespect to JM’s new paymasters, but I’ve seeing the parking lot in Sunnyvale and other than the close proximity to In-n-Out, it’s kind of a bummer.
Florida State University football players Geno Hayes and Joe Surratt were arrested early this morning after an altercation with police outside a bar near the FSU campus, the Tallahassee Police Department said today.
Police charged Hayes, a junior who is a starting linebacker for the Seminoles, with resisting arrest without violence, disorderly conduct and assault on a law enforcement officer, all of which are misdemeanor charges. Surratt, a senior fullback who suffered a broken right leg in the preseason, is charged with one felony count of battery on a law enforcement officer.
According to a statement released by the Tallahassee Police Department, the incident began at approximately 1:45 a.m., when officers noticed Hayes, a starting linebacker for the Seminoles, gesturing wildly and screaming outside a bar. Police said Hayes was “screaming profanities and waving his hands wildly” and wearing no shirt while outside Potbelly’s, a popular gathering place near campus.
According to police, an employee of Potbelly’s told officers that Hayes had been involved in an altercation inside the establishment. When officers tried to calm Hayes, the police said, Hayes responded with “profane language and became aggressive.”
After police warned Hayes that his actions could lead to his arrest, the confrontation escalated, police said. According the police narrative, Hayes was unsuccessfully restrained by friends, a group that included Surratt. Hayes broke away from his friends, police said, and charged toward an officer with a clenched fist while he shouted threats.
Moments later, police brought Hayes to the ground. When he still resisted, Michael Malafronte, a Tallahassee Police Department officer, applied a Taser to Hayes and arrested him.
Meanwhile, according to police, Surratt “did not comply” with police orders to distance himself from the officers’ apprehension of Hayes. Michael Petroczky, a Tallahassee Police Department officer, pushed Surratt, who is wearing a cast on his right leg, to the ground.
According to police, Petroczky then arrested Surratt, but not before Surratt “struck” Petroczky, leaving the officer with a cut inside his lower lip.
John Kerry would like to reassure all Tallahassee citizens that he had nothing to do with this law enforcement matter.
This week the “Get Rid of Glenn” movement got a bit more formal at Ian Bethune’s Sox & Dawgs in the form of an on-line petition that garnered more than 225 signatures in the first 48 hours of its posting. (A cohort going only by Steve did the writing of the letter directed at The Trio of Henry, Werner and Lucchino.)
Shots has good news for the Geffner gadflies, as a source familiar with the specifics of Dave O’Brien’s contract has confirmed that “Obie” will be in the Sox radio booth for at least 135 games next season. The source also verified that stalwart Joe Castiglione will be returning and that Geffner’s role will be either greatly reduced or non-existent. “If [Obie's] ESPN duties (which will be reduced next season) allow him to do more than 135 – say 162, or 150, or 139 – then he will,” said the source. “It really depends on what is manageable for him.”
Geffner, who has been a target of Sox radio listeners all season, is a victim of the booth-share agreement that offers up the booming, made-for-radio voice of O’Brien in sharp contrast to the not-yet-ready-for-a-major-market pipes of Geffner.
Without wishing any ill-will towards Geffner, any arrangement that renders O’Brien unavailable for next summer’s Euro 2008 can only be considered a victory for American soccer fans.
Though not nearly as hot as entry no. XV, Danny “Blazin” Hazen (check out the new website), these guys might have exactly what it takes to compete in the cutthroat music industry. For one thing, I bet they could be modified to actually cut someone’s throat.
For another, they’ve got way more soul than Yancey’s suggestion of Ken Bottenfield.
Rex Hudler (above) complimenting Raul Ibanez for playing through injuries like a professional. Steve Physioc lauding Jeff Mathis for keeping the team afloat after Napoli went down. Both of them heaping praise on Garret Anderson for being so clutch after a weak groundball double and a pop-up single in front of a deep outfield. Physioc saying that if Jered Weaver keeps hitting the same low spot with his fastball, it should be called a strike. Physioc denying that the Angels play in a pitcher’s park. Hudler claiming that Lackey jumping into the mess on the field would “definitely” make the Mariner hitters afraid of him on Sunday. Both of them talking about how Maicer Izturis is a dangerous hitter, because he was fifth in the lineup, and the fifth hitter in a lineup is usually dangerous. Physioc claiming that Campillo’s curveball is his best pitch. And so on and so forth. These are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. The entire broadcast was a constant, steady stream of statements that were just factually incorrect, and it’s like this every single time.
Everybody jokes about how when a bad announcer starts talking they “put the game on mute,” but Physioc/Hudler really and truly make me consider watching without sound. It’s the only escape. I’m generally able to look past my hatred and admire a lot of things about the Angels organization, but their announcers are a huge problem, and the more they talk, the more blown opportunities there are for the next young fan to grow up with something resembling legitimate knowledge.
The New York Daily News’ Fillip Bondy (shown above left, with Bobby “The Brain” Raissman) used last night’s Mets’ debacle as a fine excuse to drop an old story about injuring Marvin Webster’s knee with a giant portable computer, along with complaining “there is nothing that reporters hate worse than a comeback on deadline.”
First I sent a œMets lose column to my editors at the end of the eighth inning. Then after Marlon Anderson™s three-run double, I sent a œMets win column in the middle of the ninth. Then after the Marlins scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth I sent a neutral column, because the game went into extra innings and wouldn™t be finished in time for the City edition (which actually circulates in the suburbs “ go figure). That column was used to hold space for one edition, until I filed an updated œMets lose column for the Racing Final.
This was about as terrible an evening as I can remember, and not only for Willie Randolph.
It would have been a great night to be a Marlins™ fan at Dolphin Stadium, but of course there was almost none in the place. Attendance was announced generously at 15,132. Many of those fans were rooting for the Mets, and many had left before all the dramatic plot twists.
You come to places like this to be reminded that baseball is basically dead in most of America, and that New York is one of the last oases of good taste that prefers this often elegant sport to football “ everywhere but on the sports talk shows.
Is baseball dead in Philly, Colorado, San Diego, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Southern California or St. Louis? 35,000 + turned up in SF last night to see a meaningless game between the Bonds-less Giants and Reds. More than 42,000 desperate souls made their way to Busch II to watch the 67-86 Astros hang 18 runs on the fading Cardinals. How is it that baseball’s minor leagues — which at least check, featured no franchises in the Bronx or Queens, have shown a steady increase in attendance year after year?
Perhaps — and this is just a crazy guess — the lower than low turnout in Miami to see the last-place Fish has more to do with a football stadium ill-suited for baseball, and an ownership group ill-suited for anything besides a dildo convention? Given the Marlins’ contentious relationship with local officials and their blatant flirtations with Portland, Las Vegas, etc., just how eager should the Dade County populace be to giving the club their hard earned money? How many Marlins games has Fillip Bondy paid to attend recently?
The week’s Sick Sense Of Humor award goes to Hot Foot, who’ve chosen to illustrate the Mets’ current magic number (Philly’s is 12, by the way) with Gregg Jefferies’ jersey.
The New York Post’s Mark Hale reports Shawn Green will miss tonight’s game at Dolphin Stadium in observance of Yom Kippur. At the risk of proslytizing, perhaps Jorge Sosa might want to convert to Judaism before sundown?
CSTB Mets Fun Quiz! Put on your thinking caps, and read the clues below! Who am I?
-I look terrified.
-I “pitch” righthanded.
-I gave up five hits and three earned runs while getting only three outs tonight.
-My name is Spanish for “George Whythehellissomeoneelsenotpitching”
Yes, tonight’s Mets bullpen suicide hotline attendant, Jorge Sosa, served up a hot plate of awful in Florida en route to blowing a save, and then the game, in the Mets 8-7 loss to the Marlins. There was plenty of baseball played before then — Tom Glavine coughed up a three-run lead in the fifth; Lastings Milledge (above) got gully on the home plate ump in the seventh and earned himself an ejection and likely scolding from Wally Matthews, who never curses or gets angry; the Mets came roaring back against previously untouchable/bespectacled closer Kevin Gregg in the ninth thanks to a Marlon Anderson three-run triple — but what happened after Jorge Sosa came into the game is what mattered most. And man, did it ever suck.
With Billy Wagner unavailable — and not even in the bullpen at the end of the game — the mantle of closer fell first on Pedro Feliciano, then immediately on Jorge Sosa. No one in the bullpen even stirred for the rest of the game. Which was cool, because Sosa was lights out was nightmarish.
It’s kind of academic, at this point, to wonder why the much more accomplished Feliciano was pulled after facing only one batter in the ninth. (The obvious answer — lefty/righty match-up considerations — doesn’t seem satisfactory to me at the moment) Or why Sosa, who pitched two innings yesterday, was the guy Willie Randolph chose to close instead of Aaron Heilman (very effective, in the eighth inning). Or Philip Humber. Or Masato Yoshii or Tim Hamulack or Jaime Cerda or…okay. Okay. Sorry. The story, such as there is one, is what (if anything) is wrong with Billy Wagner. An injury to Wagner would be big news, but there’s no reporting on it yet. SNY announcer Gary Cohen announced that the network was “dispatching” sideline reporter Kevin Burkhardt to find out what was going on, but the game was over before he could report back. The SNY postgame show, as usual, consisted of Lee Mazzilli dispensing hair care tips and then cooking manicotti with guest Rocco DiSpirito. Or maybe not, I don’t know. I was too busy cursing to pay much attention.
Oh, and also: the Phillies win, 7-6. In a dramatic, team-of-destiny sort of way, naturally. Only one and a half games separate the Mets and the Phillies in the National League East.
UPDATE: America’s most trusted news source, Rotoworld.com, reports that Wagner was held out of the game due to back spasms. It also reports that he has a tired arm, which is interesting because his appearance in yesterday’s Mets win was his first in five games.
FURTHER UPDATE: The headline at Faith and Fear in Flushing is “Oh Good God.” Metsblog has a quote from Willie Randolph in which he explains that Wagner’s back spasms were known to him before the game and that Wagner was “too stiff to pitch.” An unusually snarky Matthew Cerrone then adds:
people are e-mailing me all upset that willie didn™t hold back heilman to pitch in the ninth¦i guess because, during the eighth, when heilman stepped to the mound, willie knew he would use his magic wand to getMarlon Andersonthat three-run triple
Touche, dude. Although I still don’t get throwing Sosa out there in the tenth.
First the good news. Virtually the entire nucleus of the Phillies’ current team was signed and developed during his tenure as general manager (1998-2005). Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Pat Burrell, Brett Myers, Marlon Byrd and Taylor Bucchholz were all drafted when Wade was in charge. Jimmy Rollins came up in a farm system Wade organized. He took over an organization that was a mess and made it almost as productive as any. He hired Ruben Amaro and promoted Mike Arbuckle.
He hired two managers–Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel. Bowa’s tenure was interesting if nothing else. Manuel might be the NL Manager of the Year.
Now the bad. He traded Scott Rolen and Curt Schilling and didn’t get nearly enough for them. He handed out some horrendous contracts to Mike Lieberthal and David Bell and dumb no-trade clauses in deals for Bobby Abreu and Jim Thome. He got into unnecessary feuds with the Philly media.
That said, this is a good hire. Ed Wade is competent. It’s not a daring hire or a leap of faith. Wade will paint the town beige. But that’s okay. This organization needs someone that, first of all, will get them back on track at the minor league level.
Wade knows the lay of the land. Tal Smith hired him to be public relations-director of the Astros in the ’70s. He resigned after Smith was fired and went to work for Tal after a stint with the Pirates. He eventually joined the Phillies and methodically climbed the masthead, until being named general manager in 1998.
He became a punching bad for the Philly talk-show nitwits. Some of the criticism was legitimate, but most of it was typical talk-show gas. If anyone tells you Ed Wade is incompetent, don’t believe them.
“There’s no telling whether Anucha Browne Sanders’ attorneys will successfully convince the jury of seven that Isiah Thomas is guilty of sexual harassment,” wrote Newsday’s Jim Baumbach yesterday. “But after listening to Dolan’s deposition, and that of senior vice president of human resources Rusty McCormack, it’s become clear he wrongfully fired Browne Sanders.”
And what a doozy of a deposition it was. The rave reviews keep flying in.
David Roth : He’s schlumpy and evasive and painfully stupid and so openly disdainful as to make Donald Rumsfeld look like…I don’t know, someone who is friendly to the media.
NateDog : there are so many wonderful details..
The rolling of the eyes in every direction possible… The body language as the hours pass… The snort into the mic (clipped on a t-shirt because he didn’t even bother to wear a collared shirt to a deposition in a multi-million-dollar lawsuit) at the 8:54 mark… The continual resort to “influencing the investigation” by the defendant… And of course, the JD special, saying “the um” as if “the um” were a concept unto itself…
This man is clearly a born performer, and who can deny they’re entertained?