04.30.08

DeShawn Stevenson, Fashion Plate

Posted in Basketball, Fashion at 11:26 pm by

Was the John Riggins throwback in the laundry?  DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg describes DeShawn’s sartorial decision as “something to make absolutely sure I never land that mainstream endorsement deal. Some crowning gesture–ridiculously, brazenly dark and disturbing– that perfectly sums up what I’ve done this month: turned myself into a comic-book villain, a prototypical WWE heel, a man you might hate but simply can’t ignore.”

Hey, it’s not as though Stevenson wore a tee reading “I BELIEVE THE ROCKET” to shootaround. Either way, however, we’ll see what sort of fashion statement he opts for Friday night, as the Wizards have forced a Game 6 after LeBron missed a layup with 3.9 seconds remaining in Game 5 earlier tonight.  Cleveland’s 88-87 victory narrows the Wizards’ series lead to 3-2, and comes just hours after Gilbert Arenas announced he’s done for this postseason.

Wednesday marked the end of Avery Johnson’s tenure with Dallas, but as luck would have it, the former Mavericks head coach posted the following advertisement on Craigslist You Go Live In Utah a day earlier :

NEED AN AUCTION CALLER? HUMAN TORNADO SIREN? EVER WANTED TO HIRE SOMEONE WITH A JOHN WATERS MUSTACHE?

I’m your guy. My name is Avery Johnson and I am looking to obtain employment that will utilize my skills both as a man with very powerful lungs and very little idea of how to coach a professional sports team. I am a published author of a book about learning from failure, of which I have experienced much as of late. And if it’s a professional looking office environment in which I am employed, the good news is that I have plenty of suits and ties. If you find my skills to your liking, I hope you won’t mind if I wear my championship ring during the interview. It’s kind of my lucky charm.

Buzz Bissinger Has Accomplished The Near Impossible

Posted in Blogged Down, Buzz Bissinger Needs Professional Help, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 8:21 pm by

He’s managed in the space of one premium cable roundtable chat, to make Will Leitch seem like an a thoroughly reasonable, if not likeable character by comparison.

Of course, Buzz has already demonstrated that he’s out of his fucking mind.

Yet Another Setback For America’s Leading Advocate For A Quality Public Education

Posted in Baseball at 8:07 pm by

It took a mere 71 pitches for Atlanta’s Mike Hampton (above) to feel discomfort in his strained left pectoral muscle during a rehab assignment Wednesday for Richmond (IL) versus Durham.  Conversely, it took about 25 pitches by the Mets’ Oliver Perez (5 BB, 7 runs, 2 earned, 1.2 IP) today for those in attendance at Shea to suffer severe discomfort in their skulls and stomachs.  Pittsburgh beat the Mets, 13-1, and about the nicest thing a fan of the home team can say about the contest is that it’s lovely to see Aaron Heilman get in some quality mop-up work.

MLB Umpire Jerry Crawford left Tuesday’s Cubs/Brewers tilt in the third inning with what’s being called “a bad reaction to medicine”. Scott Weiland and Eliezer Alfonso can only shake their heads and wonder about the double standar.

How Can The U.S. Media Ignore The Ronaldo Scandal?

Posted in Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl?, Fashion, Football, History's Great Hook-Ups at 2:51 pm by

Never mind his alleged hookup(s), what the fuck is going on with Ronaldo’s hair?

On behalf of the entire Clemens family, I do hope the American print and electronic media will give this story all the attention it deserves.

Tampa Scribe Resistant To Tracy Ullman’s Many Charms

Posted in Hockey, Sports TV at 2:35 pm by

The Tampa Tribune’s Erik Eriendsson, coping rather well after years of being a Courtney Love sideman, adds his voice to the chorus of national columnists wondering just-what-is-up with Versus and their cable or satellite provider.

I would like to thank DirecTV tonight for screwing me out of the first five minutes of the third period of the Dallas-San Jose game. I flipped over during the second intermission to catch the end of Mystery, Alaska in just enough time to see Connor Banks ring one off the crossbar as the final seconds ticked off to see the Mystery boys drop one to the New York Rangers. And after getting my 3-year-old a sip of milk after he woke up, I flipped back over only to see Tracy Ullman fold up her laptop computer while in bed, then complain about cramps before putting the still warm computer in her abdominal region. I then got to see previews of some show called The Secret Life of a Call Girl, The Weeds, Penn and Teller™s Bullsh!! and the opening minutes of The Tudors.

There’s always the chance Eriendsson’s cat stepped on the remote and flipped to Showtime. But it’s so much more fun to presume there’s a vast global conspiracy to fuck over hockey fans at every available opportunity.

Had the Rangers Won That Game, Sean Avery Would Be Willis Reed

Posted in Hockey at 1:04 pm by

From the WWL’s Scott Burnside:


The New York Rangers said forward Sean Avery suffered a lacerated spleen in Tuesday night’s Stanley Cup playoff game and will be lost for the remainder of the playoffs.

The team also denied a published report in the New York Daily News — which first reported Avery’s hospitalization — that the forward had been taken to a Manhattan hospital while unconscious and in cardiac arrest.

The Rangers said Avery was admitted to St. Vincent’s Medical Center following a CT scan and is expected to make a full recovery. Avery walked into the medical facility with team doctor Andrew Feldman, and the two took a car to the hospital, not an emergency vehicle, the team said.

Michael Fagan, spokesman for St. Vincent’s Medical Center, said Avery is in “stable” condition.Tuesday night, the Rangers lost 5-3 in the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. The Penguins took a 3-0 series lead with the win.

Avery suffered the injury as the result of a hit during the game, spokesman John Rosasco told reporters during the team’s morning workout.

“He walked into the hospital,” Rosasco said. “He was never in a life-threatening situation.”

Avery’s mother Marlene told the Toronto Sun that the injury occured in the first period as the result of a collision with a Penguins defenseman and that he played the remainder of the game in a great deal of pain. She said her son’s spleen had not ruptured, but that he had suffered internal bleeding.

Avery played 14 minutes and 34 seconds of Game 3, taking 19 shifts on the ice. He finished the game before going to hospital, according to the team. He has seven points in eight playoff games this spring.

There’s no longer any mention of a heart attack (nor a correction) in the Daily News. Does this mean we can’t trust them on Mindy McCready either?

AHL Hockey Is Still Your Finest Entertainment Value…

Posted in Hockey at 12:00 pm by

…and a terrific way of ignoring how thoroughly Scranton’s parent club have humiliated the Rangers over the past 3 games.  From The Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice :

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins captain Nathan Smith will be suspended for the first game of the second round of the playoffs, coach Todd Richards announced Tuesday morning.

Smith was charged with public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, open lewdness and indecent exposure after he ran naked into the street as part of what he called “a prank that went wrong” early Sunday morning in Scranton.

“Guys have to be held accountable for their actions,” Richards said. “That’s what we’ve done all year. That’s what we will continue to do. Yes, we are here to win games, but when situations like this arise, that’s not the most important thing.”

Smith also met with the media and was apologetic.

“I recognize the fact that being a member of this team, part of our job is being a good role model in the community,” he said. “What I did was out of character for myself and is something I’ll always remember and never do again.”

Richards said he had not yet decided whether Smith would continue to act as the team’s captain. Veteran winger Dennis Bonvie said he thought Smith should continue in that role.

“Take that blip out of the screen and he’s been an unbelievable leader for us,” Bonvie said. “Does he deserve to be the captain? Yeah, he does. Other people will say, ‘Well, look what he did.’ Yeah, he did that, but he’s dealt with it head on and he’s dealt with it face up. Is he still the captain of our hockey club? As far as we’re concerned he is. He’s definitely the captain of our hockey club.”

Josh Howard’s Impeccable Sense Of Timing

Posted in Basketball at 11:10 am by

While there are conflicting reports this morning over whether or not Phoenix’s first-round flameout against San Antonio means the end of Mike D’Antoni’s run as Suns head coach, it seems just a matter of moments before Avery Johnson’s tenure in Dallas is considered in the wake of New Orleans’ 4-1 series victory over the Mavericks. The Star Telegram’s Jeff Kaplan reports the Mavs were slightly distracted facing elimination, thanks in small part to the party planning of noted weed enthusiast Josh Howard.

A late-night party to celebrate Josh Howard’s 28th birthday after Sunday’s Game 4 loss turned Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson livid and led him to cancel Monday’s practice, two sources confirmed.

Johnson, who stressed no partying during the series, was informed before Monday’s scheduled practice that Howard handed out fliers to teammates in the locker room before Game 4, inviting them to his party at a Dallas nightclub.

After Johnson called off the practice, the team then chose to conduct a players-only practice, an odd occurrence, especially the day before an elimination playoff game. Players were unavailable for comment Monday, but at Tuesday’s shoot-around several players claimed nothing out of the ordinary about the circumstances that led to the coach-free practice session.

Howard declined to comment after the Hornets ended the Mavs’ season Tuesday. He sat at his locker, at times with his head in his hands.

“I™ll keep that to myself,” Howard said when asked about his emotions as he sat facing his locker.

And with that, the Mavericks have found a scapegoat for the way they were repeatedly torched by Chris Paul. Seriously, Jason Kidd owes Howard just a little bit of his playoff share for taking so much heat.

Longhorns’ Kasparek No Hits Texas State

Posted in Baseball, General at 1:34 am by

You know that ballgame I said I’d be attending tonight, the one without booze on the menu? Well, it turned out to a somewhat memorable event in an otherwise shitty season for the hosts.

Below .500 in the Big 12, the University Of Texas might well miss out on the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998.  Leave it to right-handed starter Kenn Kasparek (junior) then, to end a 5 game home losing streak with a complete game no-hitter against Texas State, a contest won by Texas, 11-0. Kasparek faced the minimum 27 batters, a plunking of the Bobcats’ Thomas Field (subsequently retired on a double play) being all that separated him from perfection.

Kasparek’s no-no (9 K’s, 113 total pitches) was the 20th in school history and the first since Adrian Alaniz blanked Oklahoma, 4-0, on April 16, 2005.

Jim Rome opined Monday that “even Woody Allen, Luis Polonia and Gary Glitter” would find Roger Clemens’ alleged behavior “inappropriate”.  The rest of us eagerly await the day Rome’s staff figure out who R. Kelly is.

Gianluca Zambrotti Lost The Turnover Battle

Posted in Football at 1:30 am by

Much as I deplore the use of the nickname, “Ginger Ninja”, I’m sure Paul Scholes finds it more endearing than “formerly relevant”.

As we’re on the brink of an All-England Champions League final in Moscow, we can now recall a period in which it was honestly suggested (out loud, even!) La Liga or Serie A held the public’s consciousness in a vice-like grip?

04.29.08

Lee Elia : The Mike Gundy Of 1983

Posted in Baseball, History's Not Happening at 7:37 pm by

In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the “I Have A Dream” of post-game meltdowns, I’m raising a non-alcoholic beverage tonight in honor of former Cubs manager Lee Elia. Appropriately, at a night baseball game.

Cubs Mailbag: 100 Years and You’re Still Here

Posted in Baseball at 7:19 pm by


(Pictured, a view from one of Wrigley’s luxury sky boxes)
Hey, it™s Cub Mailbag time again. Here™s how it works: Fans send MLB™s official Cub reporter Carrie Muskat questions at the Cub web site, and I supply the answers her job description prevents her from giving. As the Cubs ride out April in first place, the Mailbag is feeling good. So what’s on your minds, Cub fans?

Sunday’s win put the Cubs in first place in the National League Central. Given that the White Sox are in first in the American League Central, I was wondering when the last time both Chicago teams simultaneously led their respective divisions.
– Tom B., Streator, Ill.

Tom — The Sox? Why do you care about them? You think Sox fans care about you? How often are the Cubs in first place at all? Next to never? We get to first and you bum my high out with a Sox question? Nice. As for our being number one at the same time as a team that™s managed to post only one more Series win than we have since 1908, and nowhere near our 16 pennants, I’d have to say not too often is the obvious answer. I think the Cubs in first at the same time as that 1-in-40 million giant asteroid hitting the earth is more likely. Don™t write mailbag with any more Sox questions. You’re banned from mailbag for a year.

Is anything physically wrong with Bob Howry, or did he have any offseason problems of any kind? I remember watching games last year and consistently seeing Howry hit 94-95 [mph] on the gun, but now he’s hitting 87-88. I know velocity isn’t everything, but it’s a huge part of Howry’s game and it seems to be a logical conclusion that if he can’t overpower hitters, he’ll continue to struggle. We need him to be solid if we’re going to make a run.
– Mike C., Chicago

In the post-steroids era, 87 is the new 95. But Mike, honestly, can you believe that Sox question? The balls.

After watching Carlos Zambrano’s huge game at the plate on April 16, I was wondering how many starting pitchers have ever had hits from both sides of the plate in the same game?
– Barney F., St. Charles, Ill.

Barney, Zambrano™s winning. He™s eating his bananas and laying off the Red Bull. So don™t take his mind off his pitching with this sort of thing and jinx him. Mailbag’s not even going to tell him you asked.

I noticed that when Kosuke Fukudome is on first (which has been often), Matt Sinatro appears to be talking to him about third-base coach Mike Quade’s signs. Does Sinatro speak Japanese, do they compromise and speak Spanish, or is Fukudome’s English improving?
– Jake D., Janesville, Wis.

Jake, signs are SIGNS. They™re not English or Japanese, for God’s sake. Quade rubs his nose, he taps his hat, and you think Fukodome needs subtitles? What a rube. First I get Sox questions and now one written by a guy who should be a Sox fan.

As DeRosa’s biggest fan, I would like to know what uniform number he wore as the quarterback at Penn. I need to order a jersey for my DeRosa shrine.
– Nicolas B., Bloomington, Ill.

Ok, I hate looking up stuff like that. What do I know from Pennsylvania football? And btw, a DeRosa “shrine?” Sounds more sexual or stalkery than you’re letting on, Nic. So, no, I won’t enable you. This, plus that Tommy Commiskey from Streator, Illinois “ today’s mailbag just bad-vibes me.

I received a white “W” flag for Christmas and have been flying it religiously this season. What is the official length of time I can fly the flag after a win? When does it need to come down? Please help.
– Jason P., Grinnell, Iowa

Jason, the œW flag is traditionally raised at Wrigley after the Cubs win a ball game and taken down when they lose. Please be careful with it. As you™ll see on the manufacturer™s label, they™re generally not good after 85 runs up a pole, sometimes burst into flames after 90, and over 100 is simply unknown.

Aug. 8 is the 20th anniversary of the first night game at Wrigley. Why is the game not a night game? Is there any chance they will change it?
– Liana W., Hiawatha, Iowa

Hiawatha “ cool name for a town. You know, after Obama won out there, I thought Iowa must be a lot hipper than I thought, and your town name proves it. It™s like your town has a really cool tattoo. Thanks for the question, Liana. Questions like yours are what keep me going.

The Price of Hockey Tix in Cincinnati: Ocho Cinco

Posted in Greedy Motherfuckers, Gridiron, Hockey at 6:52 pm by

I’m gonna leave out the portentous stuff about “love of the game” – all you need to take away from Paul Daugherty’s Cincinnati Enquirer column is the nuts and bolts of a promotion by the ECHL Cincinnati Cyclones:


A steady stream of Bengals fans entered Koch™s Sporting Goods downtown at noon Tuesday, to pay their disrespects to the The Player Formerly Known As Chad. Each carried with him a JOHNSON 85 jersey, and a cathartic need to get rid of it.

The jersey could have been kindling. It could have been a doormat. They wouldn™t have cared. The fact that fans could exchange the nylon keepsake for two tickets to a Cyclones playoff game was a bonus, icing on the cake of betrayal…

Sherry Brabham has brought to Koch™s the Chad jersey of her 12-year-old son Frank. Frank, formerly a worshipper, has left the Chad flock and, Sherry says, is thrilled to be watching the Cyclones for free Wednesday night.

Next up, how ’bout a Chris-Henry’s-guns-for-hockey-tickets swap?

J. Hovah To D. Stevenson: “That’s A One Hot Album Every Ten Year Average”

Posted in Basketball, Hip Hop at 6:26 pm by

Unlike the Suns, Rockets and Mavericks, who all face potential elimination games tonight, the Washington Wizards have at least 28 or so more hours remaining in their ’07-08 season. But while their match-up with the Cavaliers was pretty easily the first-round series I most looked forward to — I had a feeling the Suns/Spurs series would turn into the dreary, Parker-led, ref-soliciting, play-executing death march it has become — it has turned out to be pretty much a dud. Game four was exciting, but the previous games were torpid blowouts that were notable only for a few hard fouls and some demonstrative gesturing from second-tier guards. Well, that and for the ridiculous mastery of LeBron James (29.5 PPG on 51.2% shooting, 8.5 RPG, 6.5 APG). The Wizznutzz describe the experience of watching these games thusly:

Right now Queen James is having his way in the lane, like a bull in a vagina shop.

When he drives lane, its like the goddammed video for “OWner fo a Lonely Heart” by YES: a dude having seizures while a bunch of big eyed reptiles sit around and stare. Cuz Queen james is owning us right now, hes not even owning DeShawn hes just leasing him cuz he doesnt want to be responsible for the oil changes.


But besides being lopsided basketball, the series has also featured a goofy, WWE-style subplot involving each team’s surrogate rapper. The Cavs and LeBron have aligned themselves with Jay-Z, while the DeShawn Stevenson and the Wiz have 17-year old dance-inventor/ho-Supermanner Soulja Boy. My opinions on ho-supersoaking and/or Supermanning to the side, my instincts naturally put me on the side that doesn’t have the ultra-billionaire cake-talking rap plutocrat (and LeBron), but this will likely all be moot by sometime tomorrow night, anyway. Which isn’t bad news, considering that it should at least consign Jay-Z’s corny DeShawn Stevenson dis record to the furthest reaches of mixtape limbo. New York Magazine’s Ben Mathis-Lilley reports on the track:

Apparently a freestyle, it™s recorded over the beat from Too Short™s œBlow the Whistle. Though no target is named, the track is clearly aimed at Washington Wizards shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson and rapper Soulja Boy.

As a track, it™s not much; there are some decent if vague lines ” œWe [that™s Jay and LeBron] let the money do the talkin™ / And as you see, we talk rather often ” but since Jay refuses to actually mention whom he™s talking about because he thinks he™s above it, there™s none of the hilariously personal cutting-down that makes a dis track a dis track. It’s too generic to be memorable, but we nonetheless appreciate it if simply for the fact that Jay-Z’s catalogue now includes an entire song about a semi-obscure player for the Washington Wizards. It’s an entirely new category of music: the Novelty Beef.

Revisionist Local Baseball History With Christopher Russo

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 6:07 pm by

The word for the day must’ve been “aloof”, over at WFAN, as earlier this afternoon, Mike Francesca and Chris Russo launched into an extended spiel to determine which of the New York Mets’ prominent Latino ballplayers are guilty of not-exhibiting Captain Red Ass-like tendencies on a regular basis. After determining that Carlos Delgado was (ahem) aloof, Russo turned his attentions to the Mets’ centerfielder, a player he derided as one who “…doesn’t like to play hurt. Everything’s gotta be perfect for him to go out there.”

That Russo mispronounces names and generally plays fast and loose with the facts is hardly a new development. But WFAN’s afternoon programming has hit an all-time low if the Fraudcaster in question honestly expects his listeners to forget on how many occasions Beltran has insisted on playing while not even close to 100%. Innuendo Radio is obviously profitable, but this goes beyond mere critique and extends all the way to genuine defamation of character.

Guess Who’s Not Quite Retired…

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 3:53 pm by

….from blogging? That’s right, Yard Work’s sure-thing, first ballot hall-of-famer “Rickey Henderson” (not to be confused with, er, Rickey Henderson), today weighing in on Da Edge’s expulsion from Flushing, and the continued furor over Carlos Delgado refraining from the kind of shit that had most of America hating Gary Carter once upon a time.

No doubt about it, Mets got rope-a-doped by an expansion team ” you™re telling Rickey that the best you can get for a 23-year-old kid that™s got all sorts of upside is some broke-ass catcher and a Jew-hating outfielder? Rickey™s not down with that, the trade or the bigotry. Hating Jews is like a gateway drug into more insidious and dangerous forms of racism, like hating on the black man, or the Chinese man, or even women. And the honky™s last name is Church, if you can believe that! Chump should know better! For Rickey, Church is about loving your fellow man, praising The Lord for sacrificing his only son, waking your dead ass up early Sunday morning, and getting a few quick winks during the preacher™s corny-ass sermon before heading off to IHOP for some Rooty Tooty Double Covered and Smothered action. Rickey loves the strawberry syrup more than he loves his stolen base record (and Rickey sleeps with that base every night). Anyway, Rickey calls BOOYAH on this racially-motivated trade, and hopes Lastings whups up on those jive Jew-hating chumps every chance he gets.

And speaking of racism, Rickey wants to know what the heck™s going on with Carlos Delgado? Brother cannot catch a break ” they boo him when he doesn™t hit, they boo him when he hits, and they™d boo him for ordering the #6 at Wendy™s. œBoo, Carlos Delgado! Rickey says boo! Rickey wanted you to get the Big Bacon Classic with a side of chili and a vanilla Frosty! You™re a chicken-eating chump, Carlos Delgado! Rickey supports Carlos Delgado in his telling Mets fans to go have sex with their butt-ugly sister. New York fans are nothing but chumps if they got nothing better to do than harass this beautiful, beautiful man with their stank-ass beer mouths.

The Secret Life Of Steve Trout

Posted in Baseball, Fashion, History's Not Happening, Rock Und Roll at 3:42 pm by

(pic swiped from The Ugly Baseball Card Blog)

Lefty Steve Trout’s combined 9 years as a starter for the White Sox and Cubs are a matter of public record.

What’s not nearly so well known is Trout’s late summer of ’87 stint moonlighting as a CBGB soundman during his days off with the Yankees. Bill Popp & The Tapes haven’t sounded nearly as good since then.

Bobby V. – Documentary Subject

Posted in Baseball, Cinema, We Aren't The World at 2:13 pm by

New York Magazine’s Bilge Ebiri caught up with former Mets / current Chiba Lotte Marines skipper Bobby Valentine for a chat on the occasion of “The Zen Of Bobby”, heading to an arthouse…well, a DVD rental queue near you. Pete Harnisch is gonna wait for it to hit cable.

What made you decide to let three NYU students follow you around with a camera? Did you have any concerns?
For starters, they were so persistent. It was kind of a three-year trip they took ” calling me, e-mailing me, telling me about their idea, about their passion for the project. Finally, after I met them and saw the documentary they made before this [Andrew Jenks's Room 335],I decided to do it. I did have some concerns. Eight months ” that™s a long time. But they were very special, wonderfully intelligent, and creative. And I can say it was the greatest experience of my life, hanging out with three 21-year-olds. [Laughs.]

When you first arrived in Japan, did you have any idea of the kind of media celebrity you’d become there?
When I first got here in 1995, I came to change the world. I wanted to make a big splash. And I got fired at the end of that season. That was when I realized how much the fans had taken to me ” there was a genuine outcry for me not to leave. But you have to remember what the world of baseball was like in 1995. That was the year [Hideo] Nomo went to the U.S. He was basically the first modern-day pitcher to go there. As he was going, I was coming. And I was thinking that maybe a bridge or a highway could™ve been built between the two cultures.

What is the biggest difference between Japanese baseball and American baseball?
When people watch this film, they™ll hopefully see that these three guys captured the fandom here, which is really different. The fans have an incredible amount of passion. The game on the field is the exact same game, but it™s played with precision, the way it was many years ago in the States, before it became a power game. The double play and the sacrifice run and the sacrifice play are still common here. The 100-mile-an-hour fastball and the 500-foot home run are not.

One & Done : Manchester City Jettisons Sven

Posted in Football at 12:31 pm by

Despite Manchester City remaining in contention for a spot in Europe for most of the season and having beaten Manchester United twice in league competiton — a feat not achieved in nearly 20 years, manager Sven-Goran Erikkson (above, left) finds himself free and clear to spend as much time as he likes with Pat Riley‘s family. From the Telegraph’s Tim Rich :

Sven-Goran Eriksson will be sacked as manager of Manchester City at the end of the season after being told by the club’s owner, Thaksin Shinawatra, that he was not right for the club.

His agent, Athole Still, did not attempt to deny that Eriksson’s relationship with Shinawatra had broken down completely but said he would not be resigning.

Manager and owner met in the wake of Manchester City’s 3-2 defeat by Fulham on Saturday at which Eriksson was told he would be replaced.

Eriksson was said to have kept his customary cool during Sunday’s meeting but was said to be shocked by developments and there are even reports that he said goodbye to City’s players yesterday morning.

“I am giving a reasonably informed opinion and it is odds against him staying,” Still said. “It is the developments over the past couple of days. If Dr Shinawatra were going to give his ringing support, we would have heard it over the last couple of days.

“The one thing I can categorically say is that Sven will not be walking. You walk if you feel you have been doing a bad job and in Sven’s case that is very, very far from the truth.

What is surprising is the speed with which Thaksin’s mood has changed. Last summer, as Eriksson was hastily assembling a fresh squad built around eight new players bought on video evidence, the former Thai prime-minister suggested he was looking only for a modest improvement on Manchester City’s 14th-place finish under Stuart Pearce. Next season he would look for European qualification and entry to the Champions League by 2010.

Assistant coach Tord Grip said Eriksson had not been given enough time as manager. Grip confirmed to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet: “We will be here for the two last matches. They probably think that we haven’t done a good enough job.”

The Couch Slouch Channels His Inner Miggy

Posted in Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 12:11 pm by

Syndicated columnist Norman Chad, preuambly aware of “E-60″‘s unseemly ambush of Astros SS Miguel Tejada, submits the following transcript from his own fateful encounter with “Ferris Toms of Fox Sports Net’s ‘F-60′”. “Little did I know my whole ink-sustained world would come crashing down when I agreed to do the interview” complained Chad, who might still have something left to offer as a character actor….if a second season of “Tilt” ever takes place.

Toms: How old are you?

Me: Me? I’m 47.

Toms: Born in …?

Me: A hospital.

Toms: In which year?

Me: 1960.

Toms: You sure?

Me: Why do I have to lie? Are you a divorce attorney?

Toms: We acquired the birth certificate that your father filed when you were a boy and, uh, let me show it to you because I want you to explain this to me. OK?

Me: My father? Where did you find him at, OTB or DMV?

Toms: This is your birth certificate, right? Is that you?

Me: Probably. Maybe. Perhaps. Who wants to know?

Toms: Is this your birth certificate?

Me: Hey, you don’t have to bring me over here to talk about my personal stuff — I pay a therapist to do that.

Starkey : Avery’s A Coward

Posted in Hockey at 11:59 am by

Comparing Rangers D Sean Avery targeting the wrists of Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby with Adam Graves’ attempts to disable Mario Lemieux, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review conceeds few others will raise the point because “sneak attacks are designed that way.”

The first slash connected. Luckily for Crosby, the harder second one did not, only because he’d whipped his smarting wrist out of the way. “He wasn’t going for the puck,” Crosby said. “He was going for my wrist.”

Penguins coach Michel Therrien said he was well aware of the incident and added, somewhat cryptically, “I’m working on that right now.”

Asked if that meant he was going to send a tape to league headquarters, Therrien said no.

It’s not exactly news that Avery is a league-wide joke. Or, as Penguins winger Gary Roberts put it a few weeks ago, “an idiot.”

Roberts was speaking in the aftermath of Avery’s ridiculous face-guarding act against New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur.

You might have heard what Avery did at the Rangers’ next practice, when he realized a television camera had caught him re-enacting his face-guarding routine. He made an obscene gesture to the camera.

This is the kind of maladjusted mental midget you’re dealing with.

Who knows why this obnoxious little gnat is such an attention seeker? Maybe Penguins defenseman Hal Gill got it right in Game 2, after the benches exchanged words.

NBC analyst Pierre McGuire, stationed between the benches, said, “Hal Gill just said to Avery, ‘You just weren’t hugged enough as a child. That’s why you’ve got issues.’ “

Yes, he’s got issues.  Of Vogue (with apologies to Alan Partridge).

04.28.08

Matthews : Hannah Montana’s A Worse Role Model Than Lastings Milledge

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups, Leave No Child Unbeaten, Parental Responsibility at 11:20 pm by


(father of the year)

Of L’affair Clemens/McCready, Newsday’s Wallace Matthews opines, “aside from the age of his alleged mistress at the time of their meeting, this is one big non-story.” And that’s a very important distinction, as Matthews seems quite fixated on the age of the Rocket’s alleged mistress.

A ballplayer who cheats on his wife? I am shocked. A young girl who is seduced by the “charms” of an older man, said charms consisting mainly that he has his picture on bubblegum cards and an obscenely outsize paycheck? I am double-shocked.

The fact that she was 15 and he 28? Well, that one is a little tougher to get around, but these days, 15 is the new 30. Ask Miley Cyrus and her dad, who had no problem posing for an Annie Leibovitz photo spread with his scantily clad teenage daughter — looking creepily like his girlfriend — which, of course, was the only way that has-been was ever getting into Vanity Fair.

I’m going to have a much tougher time explaining that one to my 7-year-old daughter, who worships at the altar of Hannah Montana, than I am the reality of a warped world in which supposedly grown men feel they can avail themselves of anything and everything they want whenever they want it. Besides, if the State of Tennessee wants to pursue the matter of the Rocket and the Schoolgirl, I say have at it.

We don’t know if Clemens was having “an affair” or “a romance” with the underage McCready, the two coy terms applied to the association by the Daily News, or if Clemens was simply assuming a mentoring role with his young friend, knowing as we do how strongly he feels about serving as a role model for young people.

“I pride myself as an example for kids,” Clemens said under oath to Congress in February. “If I am guilty of anything, it is of being too trusting of everyone, wanting to see the best in everyone, being too nice to everyone.”

See, it could be as simple and innocent as that.

Then again, to believe a 28-year-old man could strike up a platonic 10-year friendship with a winsome 15-year-old is kind of like believing the only member of the Clemens family to use HGH was Roger’s wife, Debbie.

Though I’m somewhat comforted to know Wally finds the voice behind “Achy Breaky Heart” as worthy of a cheap shot as say, Jose Reyes, I don’t see the parallels between the Clemens/McCreedy allegations and a veteran entertainer’s photo session.

On the other hand, if Matthews were to lose his Newsday gig when and if NewsCorp purchases the Long Island paper, he might have a future in the marketing department of a minor league baseball franchise.

The (Allegedly) Curious Choice Of Words Employed By Chelsea’s Lawnmowers

Posted in Football, Racism Corner at 10:54 pm by

The ugly postmatch scenes alluded to in a post concerning Manchester United’s 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday received further scrutiny yesterday, as the visitors insisted they were provoked, writes the Guardian’s Daniel Taylor :

Manchester United’s lawyers will tomorrow ask the club’s players for their accounts of the violent clashes with Chelsea employees at the end of Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge. In particular they will focus on suggestions that Patrice Evra suffered racial abuse, with sources inside the dressing room reporting that Evra had been called a “fucking immigrant”.

senior sources at Old Trafford confirmed yesterday that one of Evra’s associates had informed them the French defender was subjected to what Carlos Tevez described as a “grave insult”. United players who were closest to the scene believe they heard Evra being sworn at and racially abused. It is understood that Chelsea will vehemently deny this and that any allegation of racist comments or any language that could be construed as racist will be strongly disputed.

The Football Association has launched an investigation into the trouble, which occurred when Sir Alex Ferguson’s unused players were taking part in the routine post-match warm-down and objected to groundstaff and other officials asking them to leave the pitch.

The trouble flared after Chelsea’s groundstaff asked the players to move because they wanted to cut the grass. It is in the Premier League’s rules that the players are allowed on the pitch after the match, and the players carried on with their exercises. A United player is believed to have sworn in response and the situation went downhill from there, with other insults swapped. In the next few minutes there were then two separate clashes, involving up to 30 people, with Evra predominantly involved. Photographs show a groundsman, Sam Bethell, with his fist raised and apparently about to punch him as others try to calm the situation.

Chelsea claim the trouble was begun by United’s players but on another day of claim and counter-claim Ferguson expressed his concern that the Stamford Bridge employees had started the incident out of nothing. “There’s one question I want to put,” he said. “Why were the lawnmowers going after the game to cut the grass? Were they not supposed to do it before the game?”

Rockin’ Steady Invades Donnie Walsh’s Brain

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down at 9:47 pm by

While New York and Chicago are seemingly engaged in a tug-of-war for the coaching services of Mark Jackson, Rockin’ Steady has unveiled “The Anthony Bonner Project”, a ten point plan for repairing the brutally damaged Knicks . Here’s a few of the highlights :

Under no circumstances will we bid against ourselves for a player, particularly a player already on the payroll. When Allan Houston was up for free agency some years ago, we more than doubled the next highest offer he had gotten (from the Chicago Bulls). There was no need to do this, considering that we were looking at a one-dimensional player”albeit a very good one”who would have gladly stayed in New York with a lower offer that still would have been the best offer on the table. This signing, more than any other, put us in a situation in which it became impossible to sign other free agents, and it also crushed the morale of our loyal fanbase when Allan™s health deteriorated. We have to be, and from now on will be, a team willing to lose a good player instead of making a bad deal. Just as fans of the New York Mets appreciate their teams™ savvy in not overpaying for the now-terrible Barry Zito, so, too, do we trust that our fans are intelligent enough to recognize the wisdom in these decisions.

We will, at this point, keep an evolving list of those free agents who are actually worth the NBA maximum salary. That list will number no more than 15 players. We will never offer the maximum salary to a player not on this list. Period. Not as a free agent, not as a retained member of the Knicks. Players who disagree with us as to their worth are free to take offers with other teams, assuming they can find an organization whose sense of their worth is more in alignment with theirs.

We will not overvalue or under-evaluate a talent “ player, coach or otherwise “ for reasons of regional favor. We will no longer be an organization that leaps to get Stephen Marbury, in part, because he is a Brooklyn guy whose homecoming would be a nice story. We recognize that fans of the New York Knicks desire not a homegrown product but a winning product.

We will bring back the player intro music from the mid 1990s. We are sorry for the shit we make you sit through now.

We will eliminate the cheer squad we™ve started sending around the Garden at home games, spurring fans to cheer regardless of the dreck on the court. We are sorry for making you sit through their shit, too. If we put a good product on the court, the fans will take care of themselves.

El Guapo: Bringing The Intense Sexuality Back To The Granite State

Posted in Baseball at 6:46 pm by

Awesome news for the ladies of the Can-Am League, as provided by the press release mavens at Our Sports Central (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory‘s Repoz)

Nashua Pride Officials have announced that the team has re-signed pitcher Rich “El Guapo” Garces for the 2008 season.
“El Guapo” will return to Nashua after a successful 2007 campaign in which he accumulated a 6-4 record, with an ERA of 4.42 in 36 games pitched.

The Maraca, Venezuela, native, emerged as one of the top Can-Am League closers in 2007, recording 17 saves for the Pride, including the final three outs of the Can-Am League Championship Series that earned the Nashua Pride the Can-Am League Championship Trophy.

“Having Rich back is so exciting for us, especially the fans and the sponsors,” said Pride General Manager Chris Hall. “He was on the mound for us when we won the Championship and is a guy that we wanted on the mound this season. He is going to be a key player for us and we couldn’t be happier to bring him back to Nashua.”

He leaves the Mexican Baseball League where he had been pitching for Potros de Tijuana, recording three saves, and a 2.45 ERA in 18.1 innings pitched.

Not that I’m rooting for the Pride to lose a bona fide box office attraction, but might the Giants consider whether or not Garces is any worse an option for the SF pen than Brad Hennessey?