03.30.08

The Post Dangles A Delicious Detail Regarding The Matsui Wedding

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 4:11 pm by

“Shotgun”, huh? Either Hideki’s dad gave the Post more information than they could’ve dreamed of, or there’s an intrepid web reporter who isn’t entirely sure what the expression means.

Has Weiland Checked Out Rich Harden Yet?

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 4:07 pm by

Of the enigmatic A’s starter Rich Harden, Inside Bay Area’s Carl Steward writes, “for a fan of power pitching, is like crack cocaine, heroin and LSD all rolled into one.” If nothing else, Oakland might have some new candidates for those “I Live For This” commercials (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)



The man is like a powerful drug, even at 3 a.m. from 5,000 miles away, as he was this past week while pitching in Japan. Harden still possesses the most seductive live arm in Oakland franchise history since Vida Blue circa 1971, albeit one that’s about as stable as Britney Spears’ psyche.

A’s fans know this story by heart, and by heartbreak. Harden spins a lethal game, pronounces that he’s finally healthy and that it’s going to be all good from here on in. Then he pitches two or three more times and really starts to convince everyone that he finally can be counted upon to avoid a breakdown.

Yoo-hoo, deja vu. Harden’s back again to tantalize those of us who resolutely said they wouldn’t become dependent on his mound magic again. In Tokyo, the right-hander rolled out some of his addictive stuff ever. The smoking heater. The criminal changeup. The filthy slider and the underwear-twisting split-finger.

Maybe the breakdown won’t happen this time. Maybe Harden will walk the training-room tightrope and make 30 or more starts in 2008. Maybe he’ll pitch 200 innings. Maybe he’ll finally win 17-20 games, help keep the A’s compelling throughout the summer and make a run at the Cy Young Award virtually every baseball writer has forecast for him since 2004, his last reasonably healthy season.

I don’t mind saying I’m rooting hard for Harden. I love watching the dude pitch. What’s encouraging is that he’s still only 26 and can still salvage a sweet career if his body will just play along. He’s an exceptional young man and a fierce competitor. He deserves a break, as do A’s fans and the organization that has pinned so many hopes on his incredible potential to become one of baseball’s best pitchers. Face it, with a healthy Harden, the A’s might have a couple of World Series trophies by now.

Cuban Amends His Blogger Invite, Chaos To Follow

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, Sports Journalism at 12:40 pm by

“Now that my ban on bloggers in the locker room has been lifted by the NBA,” writes Mavs owner Mark Cuban, “the ‘Joes’ of the blogger world will have the same access as the ‘Pros’. Those that get paid. I can’t wait to see the results.”

Suffice to say, the submissions at BlogMaverick are pretty embarrassing. Rather than leave this issue in the hands of his media relations department, the very Owner With A Boner expects the blogging rank & file to openly audition in the comments section of his own blog. And much as i would love to give Cuban some credit for getting his hands dirty over a matter issue most owners are barely conversant with….this is a total dick move on his part.

His sports blog/ Talk Soup analogy isn’t totally whack, though it’s a gross generalization.  We all know there are decent NBA-specific blogs and/or general sports blogs that would consider Mavs press credentials surplus to their requirements.  But Tim MacMahon is much closer to a traditional beat reporter — that the work appeared online rather than in print merely provided Cuban with an excuse to pull the plug.

We also should be aware there are blogs — some popular, some not — that would take these credentials pretty seriously and would probably bring far more to the table in terms of knowledge, insight and intellectual curiosity than Tim Fucking Cowlishaw.

By sanctioning these open auditions — Blogging Idol, with Mark Cuban playing the part of Simon Cowell — it might not necessarily be designed to humiliate bloggers and make a mockery of the medium.  But this is most certainly an act of ego-ism above and beyond the OWAB’s usual standard.   Though I poke fun at Cuban quite often, most of the time I figure he’s got the best interests of his team and Mavs fans in mind. This is case is a pretty big exception.

Klugman : Big In Germany, Stiffed By NBC

Posted in The Law, The World Of Entertainment at 12:21 am by

Your favorite chief medical examiner is a bigger sensation than Nein Nein Nein and Tokio Hotel combined. Just ask the Associated Press :

Former “Quincy, M.E.” star Jack Klugman sued NBC Universal Friday, claiming the studio is lying about the show’s profits and owes him money. Klugman, 85, played the crime-busting Dr. R. Quincy on the show from 1976 to 1983.His 1976 contract with NBC entitles him and his company, Sweater Productions, to 25 percent of the show’s “net profits,” according to the suit filed in Superior Court. Klugman claims his copy of the contract was lost when his agent died, and NBC has refused to provide a copy.

The lawsuit aims to force NBC to divulge the contract and award Klugman attorneys’ fees. It also asks the court to clarify the terms of the agreement.

“I recently heard that they made $250 million and it’s still on TV in Germany. I don’t want their money. I want my money,” Klugman told The Associated Press. “I worked my tail off. I got up at four in the morning and stayed at the studio. I did rewrite, I edited.”
NBC provided Klugman with an accounting statement showing the series had lost $66 million through 2006, according to the suit. However, Klugman said he believes NBC is lying, and that it made money.

If this case goes to trial and a judge sees the above clip, it doesn’t matter how much money Klugman is seeking. He earned every penny.

03.29.08

A Dining Tip For Anyone Visiting Seattle : Don’t Order The Roethlis-Burger

Posted in Food, Gridiron, The Law at 11:45 pm by

KOMO TV’s Kitsap Sun reported Friday on the most serious violation of the public trust in Greater Seattle area since the Dwarves faked the death of He Who Cannot Be Named.

Deputies said at 37-year-old man in Steelers garb took his daughters to a Mile Hill Drive fast food restaurant Saturday evening, and “began trading friendly barbs about his team and their victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL,” reports said.

One employee told the man that he’d “better not say that to the guy that’s making your food,” but the man thought it was a joke, reports said.

That is, until he opened his “clamshell-style” hamburger container and discovered what he called a “loogie” on his hamburger.

The 37-year-old told his daughters to stop eating, demanded a refund and called the restaurant’s district manager.

A deputy was informed by the manager that the person responsible may be a 24-year-old South Kitsap man who was near his quitting time when the incident occurred.

Eventually, the man confessed to spitting in the 37-year-old’s hamburger container to “gross him out … because he was a Steelers fan,” deputies said.

Yard Work Channels THEKING610

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Sports Radio at 11:02 pm by

It’s hard to know who to trust when previewing the 2008 Major League Baseball Season. Clearly, in an age where the credibility of David Pinto is under fire, we’re gonna have to turn some new sources for soothsaying, and if that means absorbing a Phillies prospectus penned in-the-style -of WIP’s Charlie Manuel-baiting Howard Eskin, so be it. From Yard Work :

Out in left field, there™s good old Pat the Fat, good for a sterling .260 average, a remarkable 70-80 RBIs, and stone-cold defense that could be improved upon by fielding the Venus de Milo. If this dope wasn™t sticking it to a centerfold, he™d be more useless than a DeVry graduate. Now in center field, there used to be Aaron Rowand, a gamer™s gamer, a guy that would literally run into a wall for you. Sure, we™ve got supercuzz Shane Victorino sliding over, which is great, but who™s going to be in right field? The only guy I can see going there is Geoff Jenkins, and since the best thing he™s known for is resembling Brett Favre, color me unimpressed. This ain™t Cheese Country, Mr. Bratwurst ” this is CheeseSTEAK Country. At least it™s a safe bet that Jenkins knows not to throw across his body fifty yards downfield into triple-coverage, unlike some water-walking drunks we all know and blow. Maybe good ol™ Geoffie can two-sport it and save us from another season of boy genius Donovan McGagg, how about it?

In the infield, we™ve got three all-time greats, an up-and-coming catcher and now Pedro Feliz, a guy that was let go by the San Francisco Giants. You know what that means ” he was on the same cocktail as that broke-down clown Barry Bonds, so don™t expect a miracle from that walking slump. And of course it™s only a matter of time before Utley or Rollins or Howard breaks down. Betcha it™ll happen write after they ink one of those ridiculous multi-million dollar deals ballplayers seem to be getting. Seriously ” how much bling-bling does a brother need before the dope with the gold fronts and more sparkle than a gay pride parade says, œYou know, maybe I™ll accept that ten-million dollar deal instead of holding out for something bigger? Unless there™s some sort of price spike on tricked-out spinners or putting TVs into the TVs in your rear-view mirror, I don™t get it.

You dopes realize that the only reason the Phils actually won the division was because the Mets played like Darryl Strawberry™s crack-addled family for the last month of the season, right? And you saw what happened to the Phils in the playoffs, right? They were manhandled by a bunch of Sally League Born Again Christians! News flash, kiddies ” not much has changed. Sure, the NL™s still like a quadrapelegic slap fight when it comes down to it, so the one-handed team that™s not busy rubbing one out wins. That don™t mean much, though ” if weak sisters like the Cubs and Dodgers and (seriously?) Brewers are the league™s shining lights, then it looks like someone™s forgotten to pay the electricity bill.

The Phillies, bless their inbred little hearts, don™t even measure up to those chumps. Three hitters and one pitcher do not a championship team make ” if that were the case, the Yankees would win every year, without fail.

Classic stuff, though I’m hopeful that Mike Missanelli won’t be lobbying for equal time.

Q: What Did The Wizard Of Westwood & Bill Walton Once Have In Common With Tom Troccoli’s Dog?

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, Free Expression, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 6:35 pm by

(Other than being members of that great mutual admiration society all true artists belong to, of course?)

A: All three were at one time or another, members of the SST Records family. In the case of John Wooden and his Deadhead center, a pair of spoken word albums for SST offshoot Issues Records.

While UCLA leads Xavier, 33-24, at the half in the West Regional Final, Greg Ginn and The Texas Corrugators are making their local debut at Emo’s on April 25.

Sean Avery’s Gubernatorial Campaign Dealt A Serious Blow(job)

Posted in Hockey, The Law at 5:37 pm by

From the New York Daily News’ Jose Martinez and Tracy Connor :

Rangers hockey star Sean Avery’s name and private cell phone number are in the little black book of Manhattan madam Kristin Davis.

Avery, 27, a trash-talking enforcer who has dated a string of models and actresses, is listed as a $500 client of brothel Maison de L’Amour.

Contacted Friday at the number in the records, the pretty boy known in the NHL as “The Animal” at first laughed when told where his name had turned up.

“For some reason, I highly doubt that,” Avery told the Daily News, insisting he was the target of a practical joke.

“It’s April Fools’ Day coming up and I’m not going to fall for it.”

It’s no joke. His name is one of more than 2,000 on a computer spreadsheet, detailing Davis’ X-rated operations, obtained by The News.

In a later statement, Avery denied using Davis’ services.

“This assertion is false and defamatory,” Avery said. “I was never a client of Ms. Davis, nor of any prostitute.”

A subsequent Daily News report this afternoon from John Dellapina and Carrie Mellago includes has Avery claiming “we’ve been laughing hysterically about this all morning,” and “I do know that if I ever was to venture into one of these establishments, I definitely wouldn’t use my own name.”

In a barely related note, the Rangers’ AHL affiliate in Hartford are hosting a pregame celebrity sled hockey game before their April 6 tilt with Lowell. This could be a terrific opportunity for Vin Baker to make his return to the public eye.

The Big O : Stern’s Age Limit Is Illegal

Posted in Basketball at 4:52 pm by

Amidst rumors the NBA is considering raising the league’s minimum age requirement from 19 to 20 when the next basic agreement comes up for discussion, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Bob Woofley had the pleasure of speaking with Hall Of Famer Oscar Robertson (above).

Q. What do you think of the NBA’s age requirement?

A. Actually I have checked this with some attorneys before I got here. It’s illegal. It’s illegal. If you can go into the Army at 18 and fight in Iraq and maybe get killed, why shouldn’t you be able to come into the NBA? That (rule) is only to appease colleges. That’s what it’s all about. . . . I’m glad you brought this up. The problem is that you don’t have to give a kid a contract. Why give a kid a contract if you don’t want him on the team? If he’s 18 and you don’t want him on your team, don’t give him a contract.

Q.Who is the best player in the NBA today?

A. I don’t know. There are so many. LeBron. Naturally, Kobe. Chris Paul, who may be the MVP this year. But they (media) are not pushing him for that award. Isn’t that amazing? When Steve Nash was the MVP, they pushed him all year to be the MVP. Why don’t they do the same thing with Chris Paul?

Q. Can a great team have an average coach and win an NBA championship?

A. A lot of them have done that. Sure.

Q. So great players make great coaches?

A. I’m going to tell you a little story. This was (1980) . . . when Louisville beat UCLA in the final up in Indianapolis. The game was tight and Darrell Griffith made three or four jump shots and won the game. So they asked Denny Crum about his strategy. He said, “I had no strategy. I had Darrell Griffith.”

Braves Acquire Gotay, Mets Mysteriously Cling To Tatis

Posted in Baseball at 4:41 pm by

Out of minor league options, IF Ruben Gotay (.295 BA in 98 big league games last season) was waived on Thursday by the New York Mets, and picked up on Friday by the Atlanta Braves. While it’s unlikely Gotay will turn out to be the next Marco Scutaro, it’s somewhat infuriating to note the former is considered surplus to requirements, while there’s still a chance Fernando Tatis (.215 this spring) might make the club’s 25 man roster. Mets Blog’s Matthew Cerrone is amongst those wondering what precisely Tatis’ appeal might, beyond an alleged ability to play multiple positions.

the whole reason behind tatis making the team instead – is because tatis is a better hitter against left-handed pitching and is more versatile¦whatever¦i™m not so sure tatis can hit lefties, as much as he can stand in the box against lefties¦i™ll believe he can hit them when i see it¦also, versatile¦really¦hey, i can play outfield too¦it doesn™t mean i can play it well, but i can stand out there and run after the ball¦so, to call tatis versatile may be a slight stretch¦

The Journal News’ John Delcos is presumably with the Mets today in Memphis, but during the team’s stint at Port St. Lucie, Delcos bemoaned “the unbelievable rudeness and attitude”. No, not on the part of Bart Hubbach, but rather, the snot-nosed, underage patrons at Tradition Field.

Easley, let me have your hat,™™ said the voice that couldn™t have been more than 13 or 14 as the Mets third baseman ran off the field after the game.No please, no thank you. Of course, mom and dad are usually standing beside them yelling the same things.

Hats, bats, jerseys, gloves. They ask for everything. Of course, it is to sell. Why don™t they ask the players to just write a check?

These ugly scenes must be distinguished from what happens during the regular season. That’s when adults lean over the railing and demand that Paul Lo Duca write a check.