11.30.07

Damn You, TV Guide

Posted in Gridiron, The World Of Entertainment at 10:06 am by

Keith Olbermann and Kelsey Grammer’s appearances on last Sunday’s “The Simpsons” were worthy of mention, but what about long-suffering Ryan Leaf?

11.29.07

The Boston Massacre : Where Not Giving A Shit Happens

Posted in Basketball at 9:10 pm by

Celtics 82, Knicks 37 (2:44 remaining, 3rd quarter)

Even Bill Belichick thought Doc Rivers should’ve given his starters the rest of the night off.

Only a person unfamiliar with the recent fortunes of these two teams would be surprised by the likely result, but the abject lack of effort on the part of the visitors is nothing short of mind blowing. Even during the most brutal moments of John MacLeod or Stu Jackson’s tenures did we didn’t witness a Knicks squad so throughly outclassed, but never in my lifetime have I seen a professional team trailing by 30 more with nearly a half to be played, that completely gave up trying for rebounds, fighting for loose balls or showing even the smallest bit of pride in their alleged craft.

For all the abuse Rivers has received in the past, I’ll say this much ; the C’s are running away from New York like Secretariat at Belmont, and the likes of Glen Davis and Eddie House are still throwing themselves all over the floor. The Big 3 are most assuredly All-Universe, but Boston’s bench would run rings around Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry most nights.

I am wondering, however, just how big the Celtics’ margin has to be for Scot Pollard to remove his warm-ups. If ever there was a time for Pollard to come up with a cheap double-double, this had to be it.

There’s no shame in being beaten, thumped even, by what is arguably the best team in the NBA. But for Isiah Thomas’ charges to not even show up for a nationally televised game against this historic rival is mortifying. And it oughta bug the hell out of Celtics fans who purchased tickets for a game featuring an opponent other than the Washington Generals.

(UPDATE : Celtics 104, Knicks 59. Only via a Nate Robinson three-pointer at the buzzer — after Boston allowed an intentional 24-second violation to turn the ball over — spared New York their lowest point total in franchise history. Postgame, Kevin Garnett acknowledged Quentin Richardson’s tough talk, and yeah, were it not for Q running his mouth, Boston might’ve only won by 40).

Political Candidates Beware : Raul Mondesi Is One Fickle Motherfucker

Posted in Baseball, politics at 8:37 pm by

This story reminds me of a scene in the Robert Redford vehicle “The Candidate”. Or perhaps the Urge Overkill video, “The Candidate”. Or perhaps, none of the above. From the November 23 Dominican Daily (link lifted from Dodger Thoughts)

Former Los Angeles Dodger slugger and now deputy Raul Mondesí after a meeting with president Leonel Fernandez yesterday decided to continue backing the ruling PLD party and the reelection bid, just hours after vowing to support opposition PRD party presidential candidate, Miguel Vargas.

The newspaper El Nacional said deputy Mondesí “who won his seat after resigning from the also opposition PRSC party- met with Vargas on Wednesday and said he was willing to support his candidacy, but Fernandez invited the ex big leaguer to the National Palace just hours afterwards, when he again vowed to support the re-election.

Vargas said in the two meetings which the former outfielder requested, Mondesí had expressed his disgust with the PLD, for alleged broken promises.

Yesterday, from his native San Cristóbal, in statements by telephone to Radio Z-101FM, Mondesí admitted he was displeased with the PLD, but said as a friend of Fernandez he supports his reelection bid.

He later repeated the statements on the same station to the journalist Consuelo Despradel: “I can meet with whomever, but am friend of the President and support the reelection,” he said, but denied having met with Vargas.

The rumors of Mondesí™s disgust with the PLD and decision to support Vargas spread from San Cristóbal throughout the week, including his threat to turn over his 12 billboards picturing the former L.A. Dodger together with Fernandez to Vargas™ campaign.

Rhetorical Battle With Heartless, Gutless Prick Turgid, But Not Surprising

Posted in Firearms, Free Expression, Gridiron, Sports Journalism, Sports Radio at 8:10 pm by

Hey, at least Leonard Shapiro never wrote that Sean Taylor lead his team in bullets intercepted. From the Washington City Paper’s Dave McKenna :

A huge huddle of Redskins fans have been taking out their grief over Sean Taylor™s death on Len Shapiro for his Tuesday washingtonpost.com column headlined, œTaylor™s Death Is Tragic but Not Surprising. Shapiro says he™s gotten hundreds of emails since the article appeared.

œThis is the most I™ve gotten for anything since I started doing the column, Shapiro says. œEvery time I click over, there are three or four new ones, many of them starting with ˜Mr. Shapiro, you heartless, gutless prick.™

The outcry, which has a hater/non-hater ratio of about 100-to-1, has caused Shapiro some second thoughts.

œThe headline [which Shapiro didn™t write] was a little tough, and a lot of the readers didn™t get past the headline, he says. œAnd if I had it to do over, I probably wouldn™t have been quite as cynical about Taylor™s transformation. I probably shouldn™t have used the words ™so-called.™

Shapiro has also taken a beating on WOL-AM™s sportstalk show, The Sports Groove. John Mitchell, a sportswriter for the Washington Times, went on the air Tuesday night and quickly nailed Shapiro with a one-two punch, calling him both a œracist, conniving skunk and a œracist, conniving dog of a skunk.

Last night, the barrage against Shapiro continued, as Sports Groove host Mark Gray boasted that he had invited the writer on the show to rebut the haters, of which he is a proud ringleader.

Shapiro tells me he was unaware of the invite, but he™ll be glad to discuss the situation with Gray.

Eli’s Old Coach Defends Skittish QB

Posted in Gridiron at 6:57 pm by

In what has to be a more pleasant development for Eli Manning than an expression of empathy from Rex Grossman, the former received a big vote of confidence from, uh, the man partially responsible for tutoring the erratic Giants QB. From Newsday’s Jim Baubach.

“I think resilient is a proper word right now,” former Ole Miss head coach / current Tennesee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe said today by telephone. “I’ll tell you why Eli is resilient. Eli is a guy who is accountable. He’s accountable to himself. He doesn’t pass the buck. It’s square on his shoulders. He understands it’s important – regardless of whether it’s all his fault or not.”

But what about the laid-back way Manning carries himself on the field, in the huddle, on the sideline. In the wake of his four-interception performance, fans have expressed a strong desire to see Manning break out of his mold and show more emotion, to show outwardly that he cares.

“I see that demeanor that is exposed to people, but I also know Eli,” Cutcliffe said. “And I’ll tell you this: You don’t take things on your shoulders without being a tough guy. He’s not a soft guy. People take quiet as being soft. That’s not the case at all.”

“Eli is a man, and he knows how to step it up when he has to,” Cutcliffe said. “He’s just a little quiet. I guess if people can find fault in being a little quiet then he’s guilty. But it’s not soft. I’ll go in the foxhole with him. He’ll fight until the fight is over with him. I know that from knowing him for a good part of his life.”

“He, probably like a lot of us, just sometimes is a little hesitant to talk to much. He’s just more of an action guy.”

I’m not sure at what point in the call Baumbach explained he was asking about Eli Manning rather than Eli Wallach

The Man’s Harassment Of Tony La Genius

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 6:00 pm by

Much as I’d like to presume Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa just needed a little more rest last March, surely he knows better than anyone else exactly how many stray cats and dogs are killed each year by drunk motorists?

Let Me Be The First To Suggest Sascha Baron-Cohen For The Part Of Pedro Gomez

Posted in Baseball, The World Of Entertainment at 5:33 pm by

Richard Dreyfus as Victor Conte? Robert Iler as the Giambino? From Variety :

Ron Shelton has been set by HBO Films to direct a pic about San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds that will air on HBO.

HBO Films has acquired rights to “Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO and the Steroids Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports,” a book by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, the San Francisco Chronicle reporters who broke numerous stories about the nutrition company accused of distributing illegal steroids to athletes including Bonds, Oakland A’s and New York Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi and Olympic gold medal sprinter Marion Jones. Shelton will write the script with his œTin Cup writing partner John Norville as soon as the writers strike ends. The film will be exec produced by Ross Greenburg, the HBO Sports president who exec produced Roger Maris biopic œ61*, and Michael Greenburg (œStargate SG-1), who™s now exec producer of Score Prods.

A Surefire Method For Austin Residents To See Tonight’s Packers/Cowboys Game : Impersonate An Elected Offical

Posted in Gridiron, politics, Sports TV at 4:16 pm by

Time-Warner subscribers wishing to view this evening’s Green Bay/Dallas tilt are shit out of luck, but the same cannot be said of those being lobbied by AT&T, writes the Austin American-Statesman’s W. Gardner Selby.

State legislators, family and staff members are invited to the Alamo Drafthouse South on South Lamar Boulevard to watch the game, with food and drink tossed in ” courtesy of AT&T.

“We couldn’t invite the public to something like that,” AT&T spokeswoman Jodi Bart said Wednesday without elaborating.

Invitations sent to legislators promise a “high-definition demonstration of our incredible new video product U-verse,” which is competing with cable and satellite TV in the Austin area.

Tracy King, AT&T vice president for public affairs for the Western region, said U-verse became possible because of telecommunications deregulation approved by the 2005 Legislature.

Separately, the Texas House Committee on Regulated Industries will hear testimony Dec. 10 on the dispute between the NFL Network and cable providers.

There was no word Wednesday on whether the committee chairman, Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, will be at the Alamo tonight.

Cliche’-Crazed Minny Scribe Claims The Red Sox Are “Favorites” In The Santana Chase

Posted in Baseball at 3:29 pm by

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Charley Waters

A little birdie says the Boston Red Sox have become the favorite in the Johan Santana trade sweepstakes.

The Twins would receive four players for the Twins’ two-time Cy Young Award winner, including center fielder Coco Crisp, 28.

Others would be shortstop prospect Jed Lowrie, 23; left-handed pitcher Jon Lester, 23; and right-handed pitcher Justin Masterson (above), 22.

Before a deal could be made, the Red Sox would have to have time to negotiate a contract extension with Santana, 28, who can become a free agent after next season and could have a market value as high as $150 million over six years.

Lowrie did not play in the major leagues this year but is considered ready and is a good-fielding shortstop who also can hit. Lowrie had a slugging percentage of .500 at Class AA and Class AAA this year.

Though not possessing the ability to speak with birds, the Boston Herald’s Tony Massarotti has a bit more information to offer :

The bottom line is that Ellsbury, Buchholz or Lester could be in any package for Santana, but that two (or more) of them will not go in the deal.

According to one major league source, the Twins are looking for a package of players that includes a pitcher, a positional player and one or two prospects. In the case of the Red Sox, Minnesota™s requests translate into something like this: Buchholz or Lester; Ellsbury; and one or two minor leaguers, perhaps someone like Justin Masterson.

Is that a lot to pay? You bet it is, which is why the deal hasn™t happened yet.

Yankee president Gene Michael told ESPN NY’s Max Kellerman earlier today the Bombers are willing to part with Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy in order to obtain Santana, though you’d have to figure one or both would be on offer for a serious discussion to take place.

Possibly a smart bit of dumpster diving on the part of Tampa in signing former Angels/Tigers closer Troy Percival to a two-year deal. After missing all of the 2006 season and retiring in April of last year, Percival looked pretty sharp for Memphis before compiling a 1.80 ERA in 40 innings for the parent Cardinals later in ’07.

Michael Caracciolo Tribute Act Plugs Irrelevant College Football Game

Posted in Gridiron at 2:31 pm by

For perhaps the first and last time, we’ve heard Colin Cowherd described as “quirky”.