04.29.08

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?

I Too, Would Like To Be An Apologist For Fred Wilpon’s Monument To Avarice & Greed…

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, New York, New York, Ugly New Stadiums at 6:20 pm by

…but I’m in a high enough tax bracket, as is. A day after I noted Bob Raissman’s rather heavy accusation that Matthew Cerrone’s MetsBlog was being censored by the Mets’ partially-owned SNY, The Gil Meche Experience raised the following point :

Not that I mean to pile on Matt, who does excellent work, but one of his links today, Develop Willet’s Point, raises my ire just a bit. I’m not ready to call the man behind it a flack for City Hall, but C. McShane (if that is his real name, says the guy named Pulp) is pretty jazzed about Mayor Mike’s vision for our fair pit.

I know MetsBlog used to be the go to sports blog for Fred Thompson ads and I believe it was part of the Pajamas Media consortium for a time (I will take back this slur if it turns out to be wrong), so for all I know, Matt Cerrone is a pro-business Republican who supports using eminent domain for the greater good and all that. But maybe he isn’t. But I do think it’s important we know what Matt thinks of the Willet’s Point redevelopment plan because it’s another test of that independence he promised his readers he would have after the merger with SNY.

Is he going to stick to Wilpon and Co.’s party line that the place is a hopeless garbage pit and has to be razed to the ground? Is he aware of any of the area’s history, the city’s neglect of it whenever they aren’t trying to push its businesses out? Is it telling that he hasn’t ever linked to No Land Grab, the anti-Atlantic Yards blog, despite the fact that they’ve followed the Willet’s Point story for longer than Develop Willet’s Point, which has been around for all of five days?

As baseball fans, we don’t want to deal with these issues, we just want a good bar to go to after the game, and I understand that. But there are people who work at Willet’s Point who will more than likely be forgotten by the city, no matter what promises our Billionaire King makes. There’s also the matter of affordable housing, the enormous clean up costs involved with the area and the question of whether the whole development will turn into a sweetheart deal with a connected developer that changes the entire neighborhood of Flushing. The people in Willet’s Point deserve better than being pushed out just so we can better enjoy a baseball game.

Well put. The potential for abuse in this instance is so pronounced, Donald Manes is currently clawing at the inside of his coffin, desperate to get in on the payday.

The Inspired Young Hawks : “Don’t Be Satisfied” Sounds So Much Cooler Than “Let’s Delay The Inevitable”

Posted in Basketball at 12:14 pm by

Or perhaps, “don’t B satisfied” would be a more appropriate motto.

Sherman : Flushing Is Negativland

Posted in Baseball, Mob Behavior at 11:24 am by

Much is being made today about Mets 1B Carlos Delgado’s refusal to take a curtain call after the second of his two home runs off Atlanta Braves pitching during a 6-3 victory at Shea Sunday afternoon. In an era in which New York’s print media have been all-too quick to criticize Delgado’s black and Latino teammates for excessive celebrations, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman would have us believe it’s the paying customers who’ve made the working environment intolerable in Queens.

For better or for worse – and to talk to a Met anonymously is to know they only think the worse – the negativity emanating from the Shea stands is a real part of the games. Most days these players feel as if it is the Mets vs. both the Braves and their own fans.

Delgado insisted afterward this was no statement. But it was the strongest one yet to define this current reality: Met fans don’t like this team too much and the players don’t like the fans, either.

And as one player asked, “Do they think that is helping us?” In other words, it is hard to win, harder yet when you are playing either in anticipation of the boos or to try and ward them off. Both media and fans have become harsher over the years, but there is a quick, energy-sapping maliciousness at Shea that is hard to match anywhere.

When Carlos Beltran’s 2006 campaign began with frequent booing and a similar reluctance to take a curtain call, I suggested those fans who were most hostile in their treatment of the outfielder represented a loud minority, but a minority of Mets rooters just the same. I’m not sure where the sense of entitlement comes from — that the likes of Beltran, Delgado and Reyes are pilloried in their first at-bat sometimes, that the manager cannot show his face without hearing chants of “Fire Willie”, but I suspect astronomical ticket prices and a level of hysteria primed by chat radio goons (it was only a week ago that Chris Russo suggested Delgado be executed) are as much to blame as any lingering resentment over last September’s collapse.

If patrons can only afford to attend one or two Mets games a year, they’re gonna get their booing in as early as possible.

Country’s Mindy McCready : Knocking Sean Bell Off The Front Page

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups, non-sporting journalism at 3:00 am by

File under : couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

04.27.08

Raissman : Wilpon TV Is Leaning On MetsBlog

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 6:09 pm by

I can’t vouch for veracity of the below report by the Daily News’ Bob Raissman, but if true, it kinda takes the shine off Carlos Delgado’s surprise resurrection earlier today at Shea Stadium :

Prior to the start of the season, Matthew Cerrone joined forces with the Mets and SportsNet New York in a deal to have MetsBlog.com appear on SNY’s Web site. This was followed by a lot of yap-flapping out of Metsville (and MetsBlog) about MetsBlog being able to continue doing its thing.

On Thursday, MetsBlog posted a YouTube video of Joe Smith going mouth-to-mouth (“You ain’t s— … I’m in the big leagues you idiot”) with Cubs fans. Spies say when a Mets official was made aware of the video’s presence, he had it immediately pulled off MetsBlog.

For MetsBlog, and its fans, that’s called livin’ in a corporate world.

If SNY is hellbent on ridding itself of any questionable associations, where’s the censors for Chris Cotter’s haircut?