01.31.08

Ex-Met/Twin Viola : Carlos Gomez Is No Kirby Puckett

Posted in Baseball, General at 7:52 pm by

Straight from the celebrity Wall of Fame at 2nd Ave’s Jade Mountain to the wire services, lefty Frank Viola tells the AP’s Dave Campbell the Twins didn’t get decent value for the still-unsigned Johan Santana (link taken from MetsBlog).

As the Johan Santana trade story unfolded, Frank Viola couldn’t help but see the parallels to his own departure from Minnesota 19 years ago.

Both were left-handed aces with Cy Young Awards on their resumes who priced themselves out of the Twin Cities – and onto the New York Mets for a multiplayer package of mostly unknowns.

The Viola deal finally came at the July 31 trade deadline in 1989, much later than most people around the game expected. The delay helped the Twins get a better return from New York for their ace.

“That’s why it worked out for me, because they waited,” Viola said.

“I question the trade somewhat, as a fan of the Twins and not an ex-ballplayer,” he said. “I guess if you’re a Minnesota fan like I am, you hope this is the best Bill could’ve done under the circumstances.”

Players offered earlier in the process by the Red Sox and Yankees probably would’ve made a stronger impact for Minnesota, though it’s unfair to predict what kind of career any of them will ultimately have. Center fielder Carlos Gomez and right-handed pitchers Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra are four of the Mets’ top prospects, but none of them are considered sure bets to be All-Stars.

“You’re talking four guys with a big question mark by all of their names,” Viola said. “Carlos Gomez, he has to be comparable to a Kirby Puckett and a Torii Hunter? Good luck with that.

Please, all hands up all Twins fans old enough to remember the 6 player deal that brought Viola to Flushing. How many of you said to yourself when the trade was announced, “thank god we held out long enough for David West”?

Tell Me When It’s Over (The Centerfield Wall) : Steve Wynn’s Baseball Album

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Rock Und Roll at 5:05 pm by

Former 15 Minutes/Dream Syndicate main man Steve Wynn has an album of baseball songs — recorded with Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey amongst others — hence the following interview culled from KEXP.org (link courtesy Repoz).

A baseball record! Why?

I™ve wanted to do this record for years. I™m a big baseball fan ” and former sportswriter ” and always thought the game and the colorful characters throughout history would make an interesting platform for spinning yarns and making statements and metaphors for bigger things in life ” assuming, of course, that there are bigger things. I kept putting off the project until I got into a long conversation with Scott McCaughey at the party before R.E.M.™s induction to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. Turns out he was as big a baseball geek as me, and we immediately decided to do the record as soon as possible.

Are these original songs, or collected nuggets from over the years? I have to confess, until I heard the Bob Dylan Radio Hour baseball segment, the only recorded baseball songs I had heard were the Barbara Manning LP and the Pernice Brothers™ song œMoonshot Manny.

We wrote 16 brand new original songs and could have easily kept going. In fact, we were going to seek songs from other rock baseball fans ” Barbara, Joe Pernice, Ira Kaplan ” but ended up getting into a hot streak of Ichiro proportions. I think we™re already planning the second and third volumes.

Wynn, McCaughey, Buck, Pitmon¦ how did the mix of Yankees, Mariners, Braves and Twins fans go?

No rhubarbs, no bruhahas, no¦well, you get the picture.

Can Delirium Be Transmitted Via A Kiss?

Posted in Basketball at 3:31 pm by

Magic Johnson, the N.B.A. legend and part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, met with Knicks president / head coach Isiah Thomas for about 30 minutes before their teams played Tuesday night. Johnson expressed sympathy and support and made this bold claim about the Knicks: œThey™re going to make the playoffs. I think that they™re going to be a tough eight or seven seed, too.Howard Beck, New York Times, January 31, 2008

Baseball’s Foremost Heterosexual : Don’t Worry About The Twins

Posted in Baseball at 2:03 pm by

While Twins fans ponder a future sans Torii Hunter and Johan Santana, Tigers reliever Todd Jones (above) surveys the latter’s depature in The Sporting News and and muses that while “it’s always hard to gauge what you are getting when you deal for prospects”, “in the Twins’ case, a few factors are working in their favor”. (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

No. 1, Terry Ryan still is connected to the organization. He has an unbelievable ability to evaluate talent. Need we mention, A.J. Pierzynski to the Giants for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser. If you think that was luck, how do you explain Chuck Knoblauch for Cristian Guzman and Eric Milton? So if Ryan had his hand in this deal, rest assured as long as there’s no major injuries, the Twins will be OK.

No. 2, the Twins were not left holding the bag. They can feel good knowing they made a competitive offer to Santana. When he told them no thanks, they waited and got the best deal they could instead of turning into Jim Bowden and the Nationals. Remember when Bowden waited and waited and thought he could convince Alfonso Soriano to stay in Washington? Instead, Soriano walked and the Nationals didn’t get much.

Here’s some advice to GMs: If you can’t sign your guys, forget about posturing and fans’ blowback and deal the guys immediately. And when Santana gets his six or seven years at $20 million per, don’t say, “Ah. It’s just about the money.” Some of it is, for sure. But Santana is one of those guys who clubs can’t wait to make a mistake on. GMs can’t get hurt on Santana deals. He’s in his prime and has an amazing track record. Plus, he just went to a huge market to a team that didn’t make the playoffs and whose No. 1 starter from a year ago (Tom Glavine) has gone elsewhere. This creates the financial perfect storm for Santana.

Though Jones’ point about the Pierzynski for Nathan/Bonser/Liriano trade is valid (if not repeated elsewhere), I’m not at all certain that “GMs can’t get hurt on Santana deals”. We’ll see how Barry Zito’s 2nd season with the Giants works out — presumably he’ll accomplish more for San Francisco than Mike Hampton did for Colorado.

Finally, Someone’s Found A Practical Purpose For MMA

Posted in Hockey, MMA at 11:18 am by

Other than extending Joe Rogan’s career.  No offense to the Flyers’ Riley Cote, but it’s pretty hard to imagine Dave Schultz reviewing his own fight footage on YouTube (video link swiped from 700 Level)

Mostly because that would’ve required the invention of YouTube prior to the modern advent of the ‘net. We should, however, give Fred Shero credit for trying.

The Most Deeply Depressing Image To Emerge From Arizona This Week…

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Fashion, The Marketplace at 10:48 am by

….wasn’t Yardbarker choosing to hold their SB party at Hooters (presumably my invitation was grabbed by a spam filter), though that’s pretty desperate, too.

Instead, it was Dontrelle Willis attempting to rock the never quite happening sport-jacket-over-the-tee look.

My advice for the D-Train is pretty simple : stop taking advice about fashion (or anything else) from Matt Sosnick. And the next time you’re invited to a party at Hooters that doesn’t include a large cash payment, calmly explain that you’re an adult and would prefer to spend your time in a more interesting, less exploitive environment.

Unless in you’re stuck in Phoenix. In which case, you’re shit out of luck.

Man-Sized Action : Dungy’s Godly Advice For Dudes

Posted in Gridiron, Religion at 4:37 am by

The Indy Star reports the spiritual musings of Colts head coach Tony Dungy are no longer just for women and children.

Tony Dungy’s book “Quiet Strength” has been so popular it spawned a sidekick: “Quiet Strength: Men’s Bible Study.”

In the 96-page paperback, on sale nationwide for $9.99, the Indianapolis Colts coach challenges men to answer six questions:

What’s my game plan? What’s my strength? What’s success? Where’s my security? What’s my significance? And, what’s my legacy?

The book is aimed specifically at men, including those who “may not otherwise be interested in spiritual matters,” the news release says.

96 pages sounds a little heavy for this breezy reader. But I remain hopeful Saint Tony’s included a chapter entitled, “Where’s The Trainer’s Face? (Hopefully Not Between My Legs).”

Derek Sanderson Versus The Entire Canadiens Bench

Posted in History's Not Happening, Hockey at 4:35 am by

Forgetting the Red Sox and “Ask The Manager”, this is the hottest possible WSBK footage you could possibly see.

And aside from a dope deal at Chet’s Last Call, this is probably the most unlawful behavior ever witnessed in North Station.

01.30.08

What’s Beef?: New York Times Scoops New Jersey Native On Meat-Related Ritual

Posted in Food, non-sporting journalism at 11:52 pm by

First it’s the outrageously baroque mob-douchery at Jets games, and now it’s beef tenderloin dipped in butter: even though I don’t live in New Jersey anymore, I did grow up there, and I don’t appreciate the New York Times scooping me on things that take place in my (parents’) backyard. That said, I found today’s Times‘ article detailing the long history of the Bergen and Passaic County banquet staple known as “The Beefsteak” (no words left out, there). The sports relevance in this article is negligible…until you consider that it was written, oddly enough, by none other than Uni Watch’s stirrup-sock obsessive Paul Lukas. We join Mr. Lukas in scenic (not really) Hasbrouck Heights, NJ.

About 350 men, seated shoulder to shoulder at long tables, were devouring slices of beef tenderloin and washing them down with pitchers of beer. As waiters brought trays of meat, the guests reached over and harvested the pink slices with their bare hands, popping them down the hatch.

Each slice was perched on a round of Italian bread, but most of the men ate only the meat and stacked the bread slices in front of them, tallying their gluttony like poker players amassing chips. Laughter and uproarious conversation were in abundance; subtlety was not.

As anyone in northern New Jersey could tell you, this was a beefsteak. The term refers not to a cut of meat but to a raucous all-you-can-eat-and-drink banquet with a rich history in Bergen and Passaic Counties.

The events, which typically attract crowds of 150 or more, with a ticket price of about $40, are popular as political meet-and-greets, annual dinners for businesses and civic groups, and charity fundraisers. Caterers said they put on about 1,000 of them in the region last year.

œOnce you start going to beefsteaks, it™s an addiction, said Al Baker, a Hasbrouck Heights policeman who had organized the evening™s festivities to benefit the Special Olympics. œYou™ve got the tender beef, butter, salt, French fries, beer ” all your major food groups. But it™s very unique to North Jersey. I go to other places and nobody™s heard of it.

There’s much more, including a detailed history of the Phillies old zip-up jerseys this particular tradition’s New York roots. It’s recommended, for those who don’t mind reading the word “beef” twice per paragraph.

NPR’s Simon : Will Leitch Has A Problem

Posted in Blogged Down, Racism Corner, Radio, Sports Journalism, Will Leitch Sucks at 8:23 pm by

I’m sure you’ll agree it totally sucks when jealous bloggers routinely mock successful, multi-media personalities who’ve worked so hard to attain fame and fortune. But enough about the cruel treatment afforded to Stephen A. Smith, let’s instead check out someone else’s take on Will Leitch.

“God Save The Fan” author Leitch, whose curious choice of party attire was featured here yesterday, recently sat still long enough to speak with National Public Radio’s Scott Simon. The latter could well have allowed Leitch to peddle his tried and tested spiel about crusty-press-box-reporters being out of touch with today’s fan, but instead took Will to task for some rather bizarre comments about prominent African-Americans, and didn’t let the Deadspin editor escape without suggesting he’s every bit as big a pandering creep as the television bozos he routinely lampoons.

Remarkably, with the exception of this entry, I’ve not seen a reference to said NPR interview elsewhere. That mainstream media outlets who’ve published Will’s work — The Sporting News, New York, The New York Times and GQ amongst them — might not consider such an exchange newsworthy is hardly a surprise. But the deafening silence from the sports blogosphere is rather out of character.

Let’s just imagine for a minute, a prominent pro jock, noted print journalist or sports television personality was interrogated about his or her racial sensibilities on a radio program and took it on the chin nearly as badly as Leitch. What’s the likelihood this hypothetical incident would go unnoticed by the same sports blogs who routinely cover even the slightest faux pas by an athlete or broadcaster?

Either there’s an overwhelming (quiet) consensus that Scott Simon’s out to lunch (but not so nutty that anyone feels compelled to defend Leitch), or there’s a glaring double standard.

(There’s also the possibility no one listens to NPR.)

Blazers Vs. The Sign Vigilantes

Posted in Basketball at 5:06 pm by

The Oregonian’s John Canzano on the city of Portland’s edict that the Blazers remove a 128-foot by 60-foot vinyl banner from a steel grain silo across the street from the Rose Garden :

Attaching the banner in a way that no sign had been attached to the silo before is what city electrical inspectors term a “structural alteration,” which is why the NBA franchise has been notified that it must remove the sign by Feb. 8 or pay a $100-per-day fine.

Understand, Blazers owner Paul Allen has attempted, unsuccessfully, on various occasions to purchase this silo. He owns the riverfront land adjacent to the structure, and the people who work for him are exploring uses for the land. But the Blazers’ primary use for the grain silo, to date, is to carry the hopeful message of the franchise.

Now, it’s carrying a broader question: Portland really is a strange place, isn’t it?

City sign inspectors don’t drive around looking for non-compliant signs, see. In fact, even if a sign doesn’t meet regulations, the inspectors usually won’t issue a directive to remove the sign unless a citizen complains about it by telephone, e-mail or fax.

Which means that some careful citizen, probably one driving on Interstate 5, looked over, saw the team’s “Rise With Us” sign dangling from the silo and decided having the sign removed was a worthwhile cause.

Said John Hauck, a senior inspector: “We have what you’d call a few sign vigilantes who, if something doesn’t appear to be within the law, call us and complain.”

For those about to sneer, “get a life”, rest assured one can be a concerned member of the community and also maintain a very rich cultural existence.

SNY’s Pending 3-Headed Monster

Posted in Sports Radio, Sports TV at 3:40 pm by

Newsday’s Neil Best, for a moment neglecting Joe Buck’s claim that he’s not got a scripted anti-Randy Moss rant at the ready, drops the following tidbit into your afternoon consomme :

I’m hearing SNY is planning some sort of new show (and/or shows) that likely will feature Joe Benigno (above), Scott Ferrall and Chris Carlin, who have become regular personalities on the station.

“I’m hearing” is a cool-sounding way of passing along (well-informed) whispers and making it sound insider-ish.

I hate to take issue with Mr. Watchdog, but there’s nothing “regular” about Joe Benigno-Gazingo’s personality.

Carton would be well advised to steer clear of the gig. He’s already carrying Boomer Esiason Kim Jones on his back 5 mornings a week, and any program that would pair Benigno and Scott Ferrall is doomed. If the former’s face doesn’t terrify SNY viewers, increased exposure to the latter’s voice should do the trick.

We’ll Not See A Finer Commercial Sunday Evening

Posted in Beer, History's Not Happening, The Marketplace at 2:42 pm by

I mean no disrespect to Tommy Heinsohn when stating the above advertisement represents his finest televised moment.

The Author Of The Paragraph Below Will Not Be Speaking At The 2008 EMP Pop Conference

Posted in Blogged Down, Gridiron, record collector disease at 1:25 pm by


(photo by Eve Prime)

Let’s see if CSTB’s savvy readers can identify which great thinker was responsible for this :

The Super Bowl stinks because the halftime show always highlights someone who personifies everything that football isn’t ” melodic and graceful. Football is violent. Is it too much to ask that the music match the visuals? Prince, Justin Timberlake and Tom Petty are all talented artists, but in a game that can end with ruptured spleens, torn ligaments and concussions, I would like to hear an appropriate tune. Maybe some Pantera? How about some Maiden? What could be a better setting for an NWA reunion? Minus Eazy, of course.

was it…

a) Colin Cowherd
b) Rob Dibble
c) Jay Mohr
d) Stephen Merritt
e) none of the above?

No Googling!

The Fiver Takes The Name Of Soccer Dog In Vain

Posted in Football at 11:47 am by

The Guardian’s Tom Lutz and Barney Ronay have duly noted Manchester City’s attempts obtain a work permit for Iraqi midfielder Nashat Akram (above), and take a somewhat dim view of a politician lobbying on the club’s behalf.

Now, some people say Tony Blair didn’t have a plan after he conqu … liberated Iraq but he did and it goes a little something like this:

1. Conqu … liberate Iraq.
2. Leave 38 soldiers with no equipment in charge of country riddled with religious and ethnic tension.
3. Give soldiers berets instead of helmets to show locals how friendly they are.
4. Um…
5. Ask God to sort it out, if he has time.
6. If God is busy, dress Danielle Lloyd as a racy Santa and send her out to cheer up soldiers when locals get picky about lack of electricity, water, security, medical facilities, Sunday repeats of Heartbeat etc.
7. Um…

But at long last, it looks like the British government is trying to solve the whole mess through football. Not, as you might be hoping, by sending Soccer Dog as a negotiator in a tri-partite meeting between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds, but by getting Human Rights FC to sign Nashat Akram. Unfortunately, Akram’s work permit has been refused and cuddly Labour MP Keith Vaz – who voted for military action in Iraq, by the way – ain’t happy. “I shall be calling on the home secretary to review this decision,” he harrumphed, waving some important-looking papers about. “Here we have someone who wants to come and work legitimately, a role model for his country, whose presence here can heal divisions in Iraq.”

Now the Fiver is all for Akram coming to Britain, but wouldn’t it be better if the country didn’t have to rely on a deal backed by money from Thaksin Shinawatra – a man accused of human rights abuses by all kinds of NGOs – to salve its conscience? Soccer Dog hasn’t worked for a while, come to think of it.

Disco Inferno : The Murderous Musical Taste Of The KOOP Arsonist

Posted in Radio, Rock Und Roll, The Law at 11:25 am by

Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin has discovered KOOP has yet to remove playlists from their site compiled by the station’s accused firestarter Paul Webster Feinstein.

I don’t wanna go on a Whitlock-esque rant implying there’s a cultural connection between Feinstein’s musical favorites and his criminal activity. Many of this blog’s readers can enjoy the recordings of R.L. Burnside and Captain Beefheart without setting a building ablaze.

However, I do believe social crusaders, pop psychologists and the local District Attorney alike should have a field day with Feinstein’s tendency to play the works of Mother 13 frontdude Corey Harris. At the very least, it might be time for a picket line in front of Harris’ label offices.

Making It Rain With Floyd Mayweather

Posted in Blogged Down, Boxing at 11:00 am by

Nyjer Please bulk forwarded a link earlier today to some bullshit video of Tony Romo getting screechy with Metal Skool (can someone please kill those guys before the inevitable Rob Dibble appearance?), but the real gem at TMZ.com is footage of Floyd Mayweather tossing crazy money around (“with some boxer named Zab Judah” — they really know their sweet science at TMZ) at a lame Vegas nightspot. At one point, Mayweather is said to throw $5K into the air.

A bit of a cliché, really. Though in defense of Pretty Boy Floyd, no one busted out a phone cam when I did the same thing last Sunday night at Donn’s Depot.

Zeke’s Latest Delusion : Knicks To Pursue Kidd

Posted in Basketball at 7:01 am by

Rather than dwell on Sasha Vujacic’s 12 point 4th quarter outburst in the Knicks’ 120-109 loss last night to the Lakers, consider the most recent ill-advised public statement from Isiah Thomas, as collected by the New York Post’s Marc Berman :

A day after saying he had “no superstars,” Knick coach Isiah Thomas said he will ask the Nets what it would take to land the on-the-block Jason Kidd.

The Nets have been forever looking for a big center, and Eddy Curry could be involved in a potential deal, possibly along with Renaldo Balkman, whom the Nets like.

Kidd’s bombshell that it’s time to move on traveled to L.A., where the Lakers, too, should have interest again.

“I think our business is to find out,” Thomas said. “When players are on the market, you try to find out. You have to be interested. You have to look.”

With Stephon Marbury likely out of future plans, Thomas considers Kidd among the game’s elite point guards despite Kidd’s age – he turns 35 on March 23.

Of LeBron James’ hopes to be paired with Kidd, True Hoop‘s Henry Abbott writes, “it’s not at all clear that the Cavalier organization wants a highly paid non-shooter on the downslope of his career, especially when it’s sure to cost valuable assets. As much as the team wants to be competitive now, they also really need to be competitive in the summer of 2010, when LeBron James will be a free agent.”

So of course, it would make plenty of sense for Isiah Thomas — whose team will not be confused with the defending Conference champs on many nights — to covet a highly paid, aging non-shooter…who will pass the ball to who, precisely?  Shouldn’t the Knicks be looking ahead to James’ and D-Wade’s free agency as well?

01.29.08

Paging Nigella Lawson : ‘Sheed In Cake Form

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, Food at 9:14 pm by

Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace contributed a double-double to Detroit’s 110-104 victory over Indiana earlier tonight, but more importantly, he’s been immortalized (sort of)….as a cake (link taken from where else, Need For ‘Sheed)

I’m particularly impressed with the culinary skills of Francesca Falchieri, especially in light of my own feeble attempts to produce a curry that resembled Eddy Curry.

Following his recent trade request, it’s foolish to think PG Jason Kidd would begin to sabotage the New Jersey Nets.  If we’re to believe the New York Post’s Peter Vecsey, Kidd had already started doing so.

From everything I’m hearing, no trades are pending, but management feels it may be forced into making the best one as soon as all the bids are in, particularly with regards to Kidd, whose heart and head aren’t into competing for an inferior team.

This was never more clear than at the tail end of the Nyets’ pathologically pathetic 98-95 loss to Minny Ha-Ha on Sunday, whom they led, 95-88, with 1:19 left on the clock.

Granted, Jason Collins, a 35-percent free-throw shooter, shouldn’t have been part of the offense at the time. So what does Kidd do? He compounds Lawrence Frank’s fracture by delivering a pass to Jason Collins, who immediately was fouled by Al Jefferson. Collins appled the first free throw and gagged the second.

You expect a bonehead decision like that from a rookie or a journeyman reject, certainly not from a guy reputed to be among the five smartest point guards of all time.

That play said it all to me. Either Kidd was trying to show up Frank or he was making it obvious to owner Bruce Ratner and team president Rod Thorn they’re wasting precious time and wins.

In Kidd’s defense, he had 11 assists in Tuesday’s 87-80 home win over Mllwaukee, none of ‘em thrown in the direction of Collins (0 points and no shots in 11 minutes)

Wilbon Stricken – Maxim Super Bowl Party Said To Be Unaffected

Posted in Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 7:58 pm by

In all seriousness, here’s wishing for a very speedy recovery for the Washington Post’s Michael Wilbon, who reportedly underwent an angioplasty on Sunday in Arizona. Regardless of your feelings for Wilbon, if you consider that Dan Le Batard is a mere heartbeat away from being Tony Kornheiser’s daily foil on “PTI”, right now is a very appropriate time to say a silent prayer of thanks for advances in modern medicine.

Are You Ready For The Deadspin Superbowl Party?

Posted in Blogged Down, Gridiron, Racism Corner, Will Leitch Sucks at 7:30 pm by

This has been some kinda month for Deadspin’s Will Leitch. Not only has he been wowing a national TV audience with his star turn as Christian radio host Chris Kennedy (above) on “Friday Night Lights”, but I’m told he’s got a new best seller in the bookstores, “God Save The Fran”. It’s about time someone had the guts to write an entire book about how Fran Drescher has so much more going on than a nice pair of legs, and while I’m not sure Will’s the man for the job, America’s sports fans his associates (and Will’s editor) would surely say otherwise.

If that weren’t enough excitement, Leitch is hosting a Super Bowl party and Mr. Irrelevant’s Chris Mottram is nearly beside himself with anticipation.

Going to a party hosted and attended by sports bloggers (along with endless amounts of beautiful women, I’m certain) in a nondescript sports bar in a strip mall somewhere around Glendale, Arizona is more intriguing to me than, say, the Maxim party (although not as intriguing as Dan Majerle’s party). Plus, Steinz and Ufford will be there. Actually, I think those two will be everywhere together this week. Word is that they’re sharing a hotel room. Hilarity is sure to ensue.

Granted, my own SB XLII party is unlikely to consist of much more than sharing a plate of nachos and a couch with a dog and two cats (one of ‘em prone to excessive coughing). But I couldn’t help wonder if a Leitch-hosted event would really be, y’know, off the hook (as the kids say) by comparison.

Judging from the snapshots on offer at Will’s Flickr page — helpfully linked to last week at Deadspin following the “God Save The Fran” publication shindig, this shall indeed be a killer event. A lot of major companies would balk at being associated with someone who exhibits this sort of cultural sophistication, but I salute both of them for standing by their man. Don’t let the pressure groups push you around, Harper-Collins and The Sporting News! Let freedom ring!

Before Anyone Writes “Haven’t The Families Of Great White Fans Suffered Enough?”…

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 5:58 pm by

…at the risk of smirking at a genuine-no-fucking-around tragedy and the noble attempts to raise loot…might not the inclusion of, say, surviving members of Great White, be an appropriate inclusion on this star-studded bill?

Mets Acquire Santana : The Kevin Mulvey Era In Flushing Ends Before It Begins

Posted in Baseball at 4:04 pm by

Ka-boom! USA Today’s Bob Nightengale is reporting the New York Mets have completed a trade for Minnesota LHP Johan Santana in exchange for outfielder Carlos Gomez, pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey.

The deal is pending the Mets and Santana reaching agreement on a six- or seven-year contract extension and that Santana passes a physical; they have been granted a 48 to-72-hour window to do so. Santana has a no-trade clause that he will waive if agreement is reached on a contract extension.

I’m not sure if Wally Matthews is penning an apology column to Omar Minaya and Fred Wilpon at this very moment or if he’s preparing a screed about the 33 HR’s Santana allowed in 2007. Either way, I think we can safely say even with slightly diminished skills, Santana is a more glittering prize to plug into a Mets rotation alongside Pedro Martinez, Oliver Perez, El Duque and John Maine than say, Kyle Lohse.

It’s Official : Gregg Henson Is No Longer The Dumbest Man In The History Of Austin Radio

Posted in Radio, The Law at 3:37 pm by

I realize these guys aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s no reason to resort to arson. From the AP :

A volunteer at a community radio station set fire to the station because he was upset that his song selections for an overnight Internet broadcast were changed, police said.Paul Webster Feinstein, 24, has been charged with second-degree felony arson for the Jan. 5 fire that caused $300,000 damage to the studios of 91.7 FM KOOP. He faces from two to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

Feinstein told investigators that he was “very unhappy” about the changes to his playlist, said Austin Fire Department Battalion Chief Greg Nye. The songs were intended for an Internet broadcast that occurs when the station is off the air.

“He had a dream of a career in radio and was very disappointed about where it had led him,” Nye said.

Station president Andrew Dickens said Feinstein had been in a dispute with another volunteer about what kind of music should be put into a digital library for the Internet program.

Feinstein was a jazz fan and his Internet program was called “Mellow Down Easy,” Dickens said.

“We knew there was a disagreement, but I would characterize it as a little clash of personalities over types of music to be played and not a big blowout,” Dickens said.

The fire was the third the station has dealt with in the past two years. The first was ruled accidental. The second was caused by a malfunction in a heating and air-conditioning unit of a nearby business and forced the station to move.

This month’s fire knocked the station off the air for 19 days. It resumed broadcasting last week in donated space.

“We are kind of worried that people will look at us like a bunch of idiots,” Dickens said. “This is really just one of those out-of-the-blue situations. Who the hell would have thought somebody would have snapped?”

Ken Davidoff Reminds Us What The “E” In “PED” Stands For

Posted in Baseball at 1:28 pm by

With the Red Sox & Mets’ attempts to land Johan Santana supposedly nearing a climax, and O’s owner Peter Angelos allegedly standing in the way of Seattle’s acquisition of Eric Bedard, Newsday’s Ken Davidoff turns his attentions to the lengthy report issued yesterday by agent Randy Hendricks in defense of client Roger Clemens. While The Rocket continues to flaunt his status as the Hardest Working 40-something Of All Time, Davidoff points out “it’s no great leap to say that illegal, performance-enhancing drugs aid and abet those very off-the-field workouts, rather than the two items being mutually exclusive.”

It’s a very interesting study, even more so if you dropped in from Mars and had no idea why such a report was being compiled. But it hardly lays a glove on Brian McNamee and his accusations, because the report could be 100 percent accurate (and it isn’t, as Rob Neyer explains here), and it wouldn’t challenge any of the Mitchell Report.

Undoubtedly, Clemens is an extremely smart pitcher who, as his velocity dropped, relied increasingly upon a split-fingered fastball and two-seam fastball, as Hendricks argues. His “legal” workouts, and the way prepared for every start, watching mounds of video, are legendary. But just like with Giambi and McGwire, why couldn’t he have done all of that, PLUS the steroids?

I covered the 2000 Yankees. For his first year and a half in pinstripes, Clemens was surprisingly mediocre. Then, when he returned from the disabled list, that July, he was a completely different pitcher: Better velocity, better bite to the splitter, more confident. We all thought, “What the heck happened to this guy?” I find it pretty believable that steroids helped create that guy. Hendricks points out that Clemens’ August ERA that year went back up to 3.23, but that’s still quite good, and a considerable improvement from the prior year and a half.

I admire Hendricks for putting this report together. I admire Clemens for throwing heat under the chin of the profoundly conflicted George Mitchell. Mitchell deserves far more scrutiny that he has received, as I might have mentioned in the past. But ultimately, this report does virtually nothing to refute the former Senator’s work.