05.29.08

The Former Ultimate Warrior Defends His Legacy

Posted in Free Expression, Professional Wrestling at 8:31 pm by

It’s been a few months since we’ve run an item on The Former Ultimate Warrior. While the shoot interview above is several months old, I do hope for those seeing it for the first time, it proves as reliably provocative. Some of us have been waiting years for Gary Cole to get a crack at a lead role, and hopefully this will be just the catalyst.

From The No Fucking Way Dept.

Posted in Blogged Down, Internal Affairs, The Marketplace at 6:29 pm by

I don’t mean to doubt the veracity of any public claim that CSTB is worth $1,470,044.00. But if someone offered me a tenth of that amount to turn over the entire operation, I’d be outta hear faster than you could say “speed and cruelty”. They could Coors Light/Today’s Action Army the blog to death for all I cared. I’d hand over Jason Cohen’s email address (I might even have David Roth’s social security number somewhere) and the keys to the executive washroom. The transition would be seamless to the point where you’d never remember I was here in the first place.

In all honesty, I find these sort of figures profoundly depressing. All those thousands of bikini photos and Sports By Brooks is barely worth more than CSTB? It just doesn’t seem fair. Either pandering doesn’t pay what it used to or the industy leaders (ie. that oh-so-smutty Baseball Musings) have made it impossible for the rest of us struggling hopefuls to compete.

The Kid Stays In The Papers : Gary Carter’s Formal Apology

Posted in Baseball at 5:27 pm by

“‘I’ll still be the manager of the Mets before he will” sneers Newsday’s David Lennon after reading Gary Carter’s press release. Hey, I’d wager Lennon would get an interview sooner than Wally Backman. Hey, how come nobody’s asking Art Howe or Jeff Torborg if they’d be interested in applying?

œI have been inundated with requests for interviews regarding my comments about the New York Mets managerial position. In order to be fair, I cannot honor all the requests and would like to issue the following statement instead:

œMy goal over the past six years has been to work my way back to the major leagues as a manager or coach. In order to accomplish that goal I agreed to start at the bottom by managing two years in Port St. Lucie in the Mets minor league system. This year the Orange County Flyers of the Golden Baseball League selected me to manage their team, and to help me reach my goal. I took that position to allow me to stay in baseball and be close to family members who live in this area, and to come back home to where I grew up.

œAs part of my arrangement with the Flyers, I have been given the option to return to the majors if a coaching or managerial position becomes available. I have always maintained an open dialog with the Mets, and my recent contact with them was to explore if there was something I could do to help this team that I care about. My intentions were not malicious, but I acknowledge that my actions have been hurtful to Willie and his players.

œI want to publicly apologize to Willie Randolph, and the Mets, for my radio comments. Throughout my career, and in many cases to my detriment, I have been open and honest with the media and at times discretion may have been a better choice. I continue to be an avid fan of Willie and the Mets, and have confidence that this team will be successful.

œThank you to all my fans who understand my tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve and let my enthusiasm get the best of me at times. I am honored by your support.

Stu Jackson’s Job Description Just Became Slightly More Complicated

Posted in Basketball at 4:25 pm by

“Good thing Vlade Divac isn’t in the league anymore because he’d wind up owing the NBA his whole salary by the end of the year,” says Rog, noting this morning’s announcement the Association would begin monitoring the ghastly practice known as flopping. While some will contend the new measures are long overdue, the timing of said edict leaves no doubt whatsoever Rasheed Wallace is the single most influential man in the game.

Canucks D-Man Luc Bourdon Dies in Motorcycle Crash

Posted in Hockey at 3:23 pm by

Vancouver Canuck Luc Bourdon

TSN reports that Vancouver Canucks defenceman Luc Bourdon was killed in a motorcycle accident in northern New Brunswick on Thursday. He was 21.

“Luc was a winner, he was a competitor,” said Kent Hughes, his agent. “There was no quit in him. He persevered through a lot. He was a great guy and a great teammate.” Hughes added that he never knew about his client’s new hobby. “I had no idea,” he explained to CKNW in Vancouver. “Another client of ours, Kris Letang, said Luc let him know he was riding his dad’s motorcycle with some friends a week or two ago. I have since been told – though I don’t know – that he actually bought a motorcycle two days ago.”

Canucks GM Mike Gillis made this statement:

“We are deeply saddened by today™s news and on behalf of the entire Vancouver Canucks organization, I would like to extend my sincere sympathies to Luc™s family. Luc was an extremely talented player with a bright future. He brought great passion to the game and was a valued team member on and off the ice. He will be greatly missed.

Bourdon was one of the Canucks’ top prospects and an asset former GM Dave Nonis hesitated to include in any potential deal for more scoring.

A Curious Reaction To Milwaukee’s Signing Of Julian Tavarez

Posted in Baseball at 3:20 pm by

Seen during the 8th inning of the Brewers’ 8-1 loss to visiting Atlanta earlier today.

Captain Red Ass and Chad Cordero are doing commentary for MASN during this afternoon’s Nats/Padres game. Much weirder than hearing Boogie Shoes praise the aggressive base-running of Lastings Milledge is the revelation that Lo Duca and Cordero currently resemble identical twins.

While the Daily News’ Adam Rubin wonders if Willie Randolph will dare allow slumpng Carlos Delgado to face the Dodgers’ highly touted lefty Clayton Kershaw this weekend (hint : not unless Carlos D. learns to hit from the right side), the Houston Chronicle’s Jose De Jesus Ortiz reports that recently waived Mets reliever Jorge Sosa has signed a minor league contract with the Astros, and will report to Triple-A Round Rock.

Sosa will become the 4th ex-Met to wear an Express uniform this season, joining a glittering cast that’s included Alberto Castillo, David Newhan and Victor Diaz. Watching Round Rock this year has been kinda like going to a Long Island Ducks game, except it’s 25 degrees hotter and there’s fewer guys named Buttafucco in the stands.

Mariners To Seattle Lesbians : Get A Room

Posted in Baseball at 3:02 pm by

Seattle’s KOMO TV reports a pair of women were ejected from a Mariners game for kissing. Each other.  Said item doesn’t specify whether the game was Eric Bedard’s gem Wednesday against Boston, but presumably the below incident happened recently.

Sirbrina Guerrero says she only gave her date a peck, but a mother sitting with her son complained to security and, as a result, they were told to stop or leave.

“And he (the security guard) goes ‘there’s a lady whose son says he saw you guys making out, and I did, too. And you have to stop.’ And I said ‘well, we weren’t making out, but we were kissing and I’m not going to stop,’” said Guerrero.

Guerrero says the only reason she was called out was because of her sexual orientation.

“(The security guard said) the mom doesn’t want to explain to the kids why two girls are kissing. So I said ‘well, I’m not going to stop, so you’ll have to kick me out. So he said ‘so I suggest you leave then,”‘ she said.

Safeco Field officials refused to comment on the incident. However, officials did send KOMO News a copy of the field’s code of conduct which states “displays of affection are not appropriate in a public family setting.”

But Guerrero and her friends don’t buy it. After Guerrero was flagged at the game, they took pictures of other couples who kissed but were not reprimanded. Those couples, they said, were heterosexual.

When asked whether she and her date were acting lewd in any way that would have prompted such a firm response from the security guard, Guerrero said, “We were eating garlic fries. The last thing we wanted to do was make out with each other. Honestly, that’s what it was.”

I remain hopeful this is a misunderstanding and not indicative of homophobia on the part of the Mariners.  I’ve spend at least 30 minutes designing a “J.J. Putz Drives Me Nutz” t-shirt for sale via Cafe Press, and I’d hate to think none of the thousands of Seattle male buyers would feel comfortable wearing it to Safeco.

Bulls Opt For An Unexpected Retread

Posted in Basketball at 12:56 pm by

Previously rebuffed by Mike D’Antoni, the Chicago Bulls are expected to announce the hiring of Doug Collins as their head coach. Collins has a career record of 332-287 over stints with Chicago, Detroit and Washington, but never took the Bulls beyond the Eastern Conference finals.

Earlier this spring, Collins claimed no interest in the Phoenix coaching vacancy, and presumably the allure of Chicago’s no. 1 pick in the June draft played some small part in changing his mind. He’s also turned down a pair of overtures from Milwaukee in the past two years.

Given the circumstances surrounding Scott Skiles’ firing (ie. his squad had tuned him out, wished he was dead, etc.) it seems a tad curious to bring back a coach who wore thin on players with far greater talent than anyone on the current Bulls roster.

Not to Mention May Sweeps Ended on the 21st

Posted in Blogged Down, Hockey, Sports TV at 4:33 am by

Once again we turn to the New York Times’ “Slap Shot” for a bit of sensible debunking, in this case re: the NHL’s terrific ratings. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am pretty darn impressed a hockey game is up there with the Tour de France as the Outdoor Life Network’s VS’s highest-rated program ever, but can you imagine saying that in 1985, when the so-called “Big 4″ sports had no real competition (from other sports, or anything)?

Anyway, the words of Jeff Z. Klein:

There has also been a lot of talk about how this year™s ratings are way up, like 275 percent up, over those of the 2006 and 2005 finals.

Well, there™s a reason for that. The U.S. ratings for the last two finals were so minuscule as to be practically nonexistent. It™d be virtually impossible not to manage an increase in viewership this year, which mathematically would happen if, say, you convinced each member of your immediate family to watch on separate TV sets.

The real test comes tonight with the ratings for NBC™s broadcast. Be on guard for stories tomorrow that say the ratings tonight were twice those of last year; remember, last year™s were historically tiny.

Click on the link to see Klein’s chart, which shows, for example, how the ’97 Red-Wings Flyers final drew a 4.0, while the ’04 Tampa-Calgary, ’06 Carolina-Edmonton and ’07 Ottawa-Anaheim mustered a 2.6, 2.3 and 1.3, respectively.

There are lots of other factors to consider, including the overall decline of sports ratings in general, and of course, the lockout, but Klein’s final question is still fair enough:

Can Wings-Pens draw an audience large enough to equal the modest levels of 8, 9 or 10 years ago?

The breakdown I would like to see on Friday is how much of the inevitable increased viewership lives outside of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Because the U.S. network would have had exactly zero viewers from one of the two team’s markets each of the last three finals, and something tells me Anaheim did not draw droves of loyalists/bandwagoneers in quite the way Detroit and Pittsburgh do (or Raleigh and Tampa for that matter).

And if the ratings elsewhere in the U.S. have gone up because of the Red Wings’ Yankees-like (both history and recent dominance) appeal and Sidney Crosby’s Q rating, is that a price that hockey really wants to pay (i.e., “let’s hope those small-market Canadian teams don’t get back to the final very often)?

05.28.08

Wednesday’s Portraits In Male Bonding

Posted in Baseball at 10:11 pm by

(l-r : the Mets’ Fernando Tatis gets a hug from his embattled manager. Not shown, the Aaron Heilman Of 2006 who made an appearance earlier tonight)

(l-r : don’t fucking ask.)