06.27.08

A Trusted Colleague Is Way Too Familiar With The Former Mookie Blaylock’s Tour Itinerary

Posted in Hockey, The Mailbag at 2:47 am by

(much like the rest of us,  the finest American-born hockey player of his generation cannot pick his friends)

Earlier this morning when I referenced the ’08 NBA Draft, I mistakenly claimed the venue was Madison Square Garden. Actually, the event took place at the adjacent WaMu Theatre,  because the World’s Most Dysfunctional Arena was otherwise occupied, as Dave Scheid from Where Is The Hotel? reminds us.

i saw this from the blog:
“How enraged was the mob at MSG last night? Even Jeff Lageman was booing the Knicks™ selection of Danilo Gallinari at no. 6 overall.”

and i thought.  “oh shit!  wow… why was gerard at the pearl jam show last night”.

in the middle of the show ed ved tells a little story about being asked to come perform in december for the retirement of brian leetch’s jersey.  he’s a big fan, ed says. and looking up in the rafters ed mentions that there aren’t a lot of numbers retired here, so it’s a special honor.  and the stage is facing these two giant banners with retired numbers and names.  messier, #11. leetch #2. elton john, 60 shows.
and at the end of ed’s speech he says “so brian, we hear you’re a real nice guy and you’re a great athlete. so, this one’s for you #11 Brian Leetch”

then one of the olsen twins threw up on chris martin.

06.26.08

Welcome To New York, Danilo Gallinari

Posted in Basketball, New York, New York at 11:42 pm by

How enraged was the mob at MSG last night? Even Jeff Lageman was booing the Knicks’ selection of Danilo Gallinari at no. 6 overall.  While I personally would’ve loved to see New York take a flier on G D.J. Augustin (who might’ve been a stretch at no. 9), I’m still eager to see him regain the consistent form he flashed prior to his sophmore year in Austin . He’ll try to do so in a Bobcats uniform, however, and the Daily News’ Frank Isola predicts the selection of Gallinari means David Lee is a goner.

I™m hearing that the Knicks could be working on a deal with the Charlotte Bobcats to acquire point guard Raymond Felton for Lee, who played for Bobcats coach Larry Brown.

When Mike D™Antoni coached the Phoenix Suns he gave the front office a the thumbs-down to drafting Lee because he felt that Lee wasn™t a good enough shooter.

If Brown’s that commited to acquiring young talent he previously stunted nutured, surely Memphis would consider trading Darko Milicic?

Mobile Update : Davis and Church Make Their Coney Island Debuts

Posted in Baseball at 7:18 pm by

While the majority of you are presuamably enjoying the NBA draft this evening, I’m at Keyspan Park watching a crucial NY-Penn League clash between The ‘Lil Wilpons and the division leading Aberdeen Ironbirds. Someone’s handed out Thunderstix and for the love of God, I would like to know why.

The ‘Clones are leading, 3-0, in the top of the 4th, former UNC-Wilmington hurler Brad Holt having allowed no hits during his 2nd professional start. First round draft pick Ike Davis doubled in his first pro at bat, and Ryan “How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up?” Church has singled and doubled with one RBI thus far. Church is playing right field tonight, despite earlier reports he’d DH. Brooklyn’s A/V dept has resisted the temptation to play the Classic Ruins’ “The Room Starts Spinning” prior to either of Church’s plate appearances, which is just as well. It’s probably dizzying enough for the Mets outfielder to be in close proximity to such a high percentage of Jews, and he needs all the support he can get.

(UPDATE : after beating out a chopper to 2nd for a cranium-rattling infield hit in his 3rd AB, Church was lifted for a pinch runner. What’s more, there’s an ad in the Cyclones program for Rabbi Harry Hertzberg —- “a rabbi who can re-connect you to your Judaism”. If I don’t make it to O.J. Mayo or Liz Phair’s big parties tonight, you can assume Rabbi Harry and I had much to discuss.)

Alan Green’s Chris Berman Moment

Posted in Football, Sports Radio at 3:33 pm by

Xavi Hernandez’s 2nd half goal aside, this might’ve been the highlight of Radio 5′s broadcast of today’s Russia v Spain Euro 2008 semi-final :

Alan Green : “Hey…you…sit down.  Sit down.  I thought they were professionals here. I thought you had to be a professional to be accredited for a European Championship…..yes, you. Sit down!  Just go home, son…..”

Graham Taylor : “I should let the listeners know this gentleman is 6′ 7″…”

Green : “…I don’t care……I stand up for myself.”

Costas for MLB Commissioner?

Posted in Baseball at 2:57 pm by

http://theunnatural.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/little-big-league_220x320.jpg

Friends in the Bay Area tell me that John Madden’s morning KCBS call-ins from bus stations around the country have recently included his vote for Bob Costas as MLB commissioner.  Personally, I can’t see a commissioner shorter than the word “commissioner” itself, but who am I to argue with a licensed Xbox character?  My first thought is that no way would the MLB owners choose a journalist as commissioner.  After all, the idea that a multi-billion-dollar industry could somehow use a fanboy network tv commentator as a mouthpiece to just tow a company line … inconceivable.  Still, given Costa’s recent defense of Roger Clemens while continuing to scapegoat Barry Bonds post-Mitchell Report, he might just be the voice of reason ownership would want.

Also, welcome aboard new Cub fan Jay Mariotti!  For a guy who opened the season by shitting all over the North Side and Fukudome, he’s now decided his hatred of Ozzie Guillien means he needs to suck-up to “classy” Lou Piniella.  Ozzie’s complaints about Wrigley set Jay off, complaints also voiced by Mariotti (not to mention me) in the past, but  given that Mariotti is as much a batshit hobgoblin “emotional” reporter as Ozzie is an “emotional” manager, I guess you have to excuse his inconsistent mood swings analysis from time to time.  At one point in the Ozzie/Jay movie do they finally get that motel room?

Your CSTB Cub Update: as for those of you eagerly awaiting news on Alfonso Soriano’s fractured pinky, the day to day bulletins from Chicago are encouraging.  No news on whether he’ll make batting practice, the All-Star game, how this will effect the current Presidential race, or how Soriano’s pinky will help Washington finally move on after Russert … but from the six-weeks of news it’s generating for The Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune, there’s obviously a lot resting on that little finger.  Only four weeks of bulletins left to go, so enjoy.

With the break approaching, the injury-ridden Cubs are in need of some time off, and I hope they forfeit all their All-Star slots.  Fukudome’s bench visit will probably continue today, and lately he’s been joined by Reed Johnson, Zambrano, and the might as well be on the bench Carlos Marmol.  Marmol put his first batter on base last night, but apparently watching video of himself with Larry Rothschild helped as he put away the inning and held down the Orioles so that Kerry Wood could maintain a three-run lead for the 7-4 final.  Jim Edmonds put the Cubs out front early with a three-run homer and a lead that went unrelinquished for the game, but my vote for the Cubs MVP of the game is Detroit Tiger Gary Sheffield.  Sheff put around the winning run in the 9th of last night’s Cards-Tigers game, meaning the Cubs are up 4.5 games on Los Tards.

Bad News For Yi : The Chinese Food Around East Rutherford Sucks, Too

Posted in Basketball at 2:49 pm by

Lousy news, potentially, for the Cavs, too, considering the mooted deal below is all about Jersey/Brooklyn acquiring expiring pacts in order to make a run at LeBron James. The Bergen Record’s Al Iannazonne is reporting the Nets are about to trade Richard Jefferson to Milwaukee in exchange for C Yi Jianlian (above) and F Bobby Simmons.

The move would give the Nets flexibility in 2010 when the free-agent class headed by LeBron James hit the market. Simmons™ contract expires that summer whereas Jefferson is signed through the 2010-2011 season.

According to one report, the Nets were in talks with Memphis to move up to five, but Thorn said the Grizzlies were talking to many teams and that nothing was close.

Shawn Chacon : Accused Of Something Phillies Phans Wanted To Do For Years

Posted in Baseball at 12:28 pm by

OK, hands up everyone who heard “MLB GM Physically Assaulted By Player” and thought, “man, what did Ricciardi say this time?”.

About That One Time I Saw Thierry Henry and Steve Nash Play Soccer on the Lower East Side

Posted in Basketball, Football, New York, New York at 12:51 am by

My basketball career has gone precipitously downhill since eighth grade. Back then, my pre/pubescing self earned the nickname “Paxson” (as in John; I think it was a compliment to my jumper, but it might’ve referred to my haircut) and was actually pretty good. Since then, disuse and liver abuse have worn my game down to a downcast shadow of its former self. But one of the few places in New York where I’ve played multiple basketball games is Sara D. Roosevelt Park, on the Lower East Side, at Houston and Chrystie Streets. Sara Roosevelt, for those who don’t know (like me before I looked her up on Wikipedia), was the mother of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was her only son, much as my only legitimately decent full-game basketball performance since college came in the park bearing her name. Even then, the comparisons I got from friends after the game were to Robert Horry. No one’s ever dared compare me to Tyrone Nesby; I can only dream of appearing in the same sentence as Kevin Edwards. Except for just now, when I did it. Anyway, I guess maybe “The Kevin Edwards of CSTB Guest-Bloggers” isn’t totally unfair. What I’m saying is, I have some experience with this park.

But even including my glorious performances at the park (i.e. the time I scored five times in a game to 11) (once), what went down there earlier this evening was kind of a new thing. In a little-promoted but very well-attended game that benefited the charitable foundations of participants Claudio Reyna and Steve Nash, Sara Roosevelt Park hosted an 8-on-8 soccer game between an assemblage of MLS and European stars, NBA players and, uh, ESPN writer Marc Stein (who modestly failed to mention his presence in the game while writing it up at ESPN.com). Much of the large crowd — which climbed mold-like, up the park’s chain link fences and into some fragile-looking nearby trees, and stood nearby on the sidewalk and on benches — seemed to be there as much for the soccer stars as for the basketball players. All of us, though, came together in a couple of ways.

Foremost among those was a gentle, generally good-natured heckling of Baron Davis, who showed up for the event wearing Harry Caray-frame glasses, a baseball cap featuring an upside down Dodgers-style LA, and garish, mid-calf-length ancient-school Reebok Pumps. He, like all the other players, was outfitted with a t-shirt and khaki shorts. Unlike the rest of them, he refused to tighten the belt on those shorts enough that his undergarments weren’t always constantly at least kind of showing. Unlike Nash, who scored a pair of goals and is clearly a very good soccer player, Davis obviously had little experience with the game. He did have a sense of humor, though — highlighted by a belly-flop onto prone Liverpool forward Robbie Fowler, who (amusingly) feigned injury after a clumsy-ish Davis tackle — and also managed to score a goal off a nice feed from Jason Kidd. Yeah, Kidd also played. He was actually pretty good, and assisted on two goals. Also, if I even need to mention this, he’s freaking yooge: as big across as Claudio Reyna is up and down, give or take a few inches.

In all, the NBA delegation included Kidd, Nash, Davis, Leandrinho Barbosa (who’s good) and Raja Bell (who’s less good, but didn’t injure anyone); the soccer side of things was highlighted by Fowler (good, but short), Reyna (according to his bio, two inches shorter and a few pounds heavier than me, somehow), Henry (um, more to come here) and a few others who’ve played in Europe and the MLS. All told, considering that the game was played on a patch of Astroturf laid over a scraggly stretch of asphalt much smaller than the average soccer pitch (see what I did there? the terminology? right, I don’t really know what it means, but I heard Andy Gray say it once), it was pretty awesome. Actually, even if you/one don’t/doesn’t consider that, it was pretty fucking amazing. (If you’d like to read a higher-paid non-freelancer writing this, check out Joshua Robinson’s recap in today’s New York Times)
Goals — especially Davis’, but also lights-out penalty kicks from Henry and Reyna and a pair by Chelsea FC’s Solomon Kalou and Henry — were applauded robustly, but for the most part, the crowd was weirdly quiet. The only sound I heard, outside of nearby conversations, for much of the second half was the bassline and backbeat to various classic rock songs bumping from a nearby minivan, overlaid with the repeating jingle from a nearby ice cream truck. It was surprisingly catchy. The silence wasn’t a result of boredom, at least not on the Forsyth St. side of things (fucking Chrystie St is another story; I hate those guys); the reason, I’m pretty sure, was that the crowd was legitimately rapt before the combination of celebrity and virtuosity on display.

At the risk of losing your attention — raptness/rapture is more than I can hope for, except when I’m weighing in on the really important shit — I’ll mention a couple of things. (If you’d rather just look at pictures, check this guy’s flickr feed for shots of the game) First of which is this: if they ever choose to do an And1 Tour for soccer, and Thierry Henry is somehow otherwise unemployed (and he won’t be), you should go see it if he’s participating. While all the big-time soccer dudes showed (unsurprisingly, yet still surprisingly) ridiculous skills, Henry is absolutely the most exuberant and brilliant soccer player I’ve ever seen.

I thought as much during the few instances in which I’ve watched him on TV — and I haven’t watched nearly as much soccer as GC has, or as you probably have — but seeing him from 10 or so feet away was astonishing. The control of the ball, and the aplomb with which he utilized it — juggling it past defenders, lobbing a pass to himself over the head of Jason Kidd (who was even more overmatched by Henry than he was by Chris Paul), trapping the ball between his nose and forehead and running seven or so strides with it there — was amazing. The weather was bathwater-warm for the entire game, but while all the players broke a sweat to various degrees (Stein, a ringer for Patton Oswalt but not terrible at soccer, was sweating before he entered the game; Davis seemed barely to sweat), Henry was well-soaked by the end of the game. He gave the crowd a show, and the crowd gave him a sort of benign, buzzingly impromptu New York respect: a buzz gathered when he got the ball, and a sort of unspoken shout rose from the greater surrounding city din whenever Henry passed or uncorked a (half-speed: the goalies were unknowns, and playing with Baron Davis’ bespectacled goofery as their last line of defense) shot on goal. To say he was the best player out there is, obviously, obvious. It’s also unfair to him. It was a different type of greatness, and getting to see it up close was the sort of good fortune few Americans will have until he signs with the LA Galaxy in five years or something.

When the game was over — I think the yellow team (Henry and Nash’s) defeated the blue (Barbosa, Reyna and Kaloud’s) by a couple of goals — the players posed for a few photos and made their way into the LES. Henry was surrounded by a surprisingly modest mob, signed a few autographs, and climbed into a black SUV. Fowler left through the same gate, ran a block or two, realized he wasn’t being followed, and slowed down, about a block ahead of where me and my friends were walking to a bar in the neighborhood. I was half surprised when we didn’t find him there, slouched and sweating over a pint of Newcastle. My calves hurt from standing on tiptoe for an hour and a half, trying to see what was going on. His probably were sore from doing amazing soccer-related things (I can only imagine how his nostrils felt). Within a couple of blocks, we were both New Yorkers, soaking up what was good and (and this is cliched, and a self-satisfied cliche, but in this case…) unique about the city on our way to somewhere else. There were other things to do (I met my girlfriend for dinner, if you must know), but this was a pretty good one to do, all things considered.

And Not A Moment Too Soon…The New Black Nasty Video

Posted in Free Expression, Hip Hop at 12:47 am by

In a moment of music / blogging serendipity, the emergence of Deadspin-inspired comment spam-bombing at CSTB (I’ve got the IP addresses, folks, and Peter Abraham has nothing to do with this) just happened to coincide with the debut of the new Black Nasty track, “Howz My Shit Taste?”  While I don’t think this particular clip is nearly as groundbreaking as B.N.’s recent “Juno” homage, I’m pretty sure this collaboration with sis Pink Nasty is destined to outsell anything Ozzie and Lou lay down in the future.

No One Ever Called Greenburgh, NY Addictive

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 12:35 am by

Of Miami’s big decision whether or not to select alleged problem child / K-State F Michael Beasley at no. 2 overall Thursday night, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith declared, “Kids do childish things, and maybe Michael Beasley has learned the error of his ways.  Granted, I don’t mind Miami being concerned because South Beach is an addiction. Trust me. It is an addiction.”

I hate to quibble with Smith, but South Beach isn’t an addiction. It’s a location.You can say there’s temptations galore, perhaps a way of life that’s somewhat addictive.  But a geographic location cannot be addictive.

06.25.08

D.K. Wilson Vs. “The White Frat Boy Sports Blogosphere”

Posted in Blogged Down, Sports Journalism at 8:50 pm by

Sports On My Mind‘s Dwil aka D.K. Wilson has weighed more than a few times on the modern state of sports blogging, but in the wake of Will Leitch’s tsk-tisking towards The Big Lead, he’s quite prepared to toss a grenade at both of ‘em.

Mainstream sports media types have summarily dismissed blogs for quite some time now. Some of the dismissing has been on point; the lack of ethics in these fools™ so-called writings, in particular. But at the very same time the mainstream is brushing these people off – people who know little about sports and less about the socio-cultural aspects of the games they watch and the leagues they follow – guess who it is mainstream editor-types run to hire when they™re looking for new blood?

Why, they hire those same pap-writing, half-naked women posting, rumor-mongering, 250-word posting hacks they pretend to hate so! Will Leitch, Tom Florio, and the rest of those elite members of the white frat boy sports blogosphere are the most feted of all the bitches out there.

What does that tell you about mainstream sports journalism?

Oh, and while I™m on the subject, the whole contrivance of a œsports blogosphere is idiot savant genius. Rather than fashion themselves as œindependent media as did their political Internet counterparts, these frat boys maintain that they are bloggers so as to be absolved from sin when they get busted for their racist, misogynist, rumor-mongering ways. See, œindy media is way too serious a label for these miscreants. Then, even their œhumor would have to be somewhat intelligent. But blogger? Then they can be as dumb as they want.

Yet they™re still the first fuckers checked off the mainstream™s list.

Yeah, well, it would appear a University Of Illinois journalism degree is worth the paper it’s printed on after all. Given the tenuous state of traditional media, I’m not sure the odd hiring here or represents a triumph for the frat dudes as much as it reflects the particular circumstances….of an established old (white) boy network.  Would Wilson be a more interesting voice at ESPN.com, Yahoo, Fox Sports.com or —- drum roll — Gawker Media than many of the persons currently ensconced?   I’d like to think so, but for the time being, I’m grateful he’s interrupting family vacations to shit all over the medium’s established franchises.

‘Lil Stein : Willie Can Come Back To The Bronx

Posted in Baseball at 6:08 pm by

“There’s certainly some stuff I can think of for one of the greatest infielders I’ve ever seen,” says the Yankees’ ever gracious Hank Steinbrenner of deposed Mets manager Willie Randolph (as quoted by the New York Post’s Mike Puma). And who am I to suggest Steinbrenner is delusional if he believes Randolph would sooner work for him than continue to collect his Mets money while watching TV?

Hank Steinbrenner made it clear that he considers Randolph a Yankee and holds no ill-will toward him for leaving the organization to manage the Mets, who fired him last week.

“If he had left to take over the Red Sox maybe I would have had a problem with that,” Steinbrenner said. “He’s a Yankee. He’ll always be a Yankee. Even the Mets never completely accepted him because they thought he was a Yankee.”

Steinbrenner said he didn’t want to comment on the manner in which Randolph was fired because he’s not “one of those talk-radio types” who spews on subjects he knows little about.

Still, Steinbrenner couldn’t resist one jab at the Mets.

“They probably could have handled it a little differently than 3 o’clock in the morning,” Steinbrenner said, referring to the timing of the press release announcing Randolph’s firing.

Indeed, I’m pretty sure Hank’s Dad managed to fuck over fire Dick Howser and Mike Ferraro during the daylight.

Nikolai Volkoff Simon Hattenstone Asks That You Show Respect For The Russian National Anthem

Posted in Football at 5:00 pm by

(Spartak Moscow’s Roman Pavlyuchenko, reveling in all the good publicity he’s getting in England)

After Germany’s 3-2 defeat of Turkey in the Euro 2008 semis this afternoon, there’s only two matches that matter remaining in a competition the Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone “wishes would go on forever”.  Having developed a big crush on the Russian national side, Hattenstone writes, “forget La Liga and the Premier League, it’s about time our sports channels signed a big fat contract with Russia’s premier league and beamed pure quality into our lives.”

As with the best dramas, once you get to grips with the plot you find yourself returning to the beginning to fully appreciate the nuances of character and narrative. So it’s only now that I understand how far they have come by looking back to how woeful they were in the first game, only now that I realise just how significant the loss of the play-maker Andrei Arshavin was in the first couple of games; only now can I share Roman Pavlyuchenko’s joy in his goals having revisited his inept earlier misses.

In the last two games Russia’s team play has been outstanding – look at the series of instant passes and Arshavin’s sliding shot into the corner of the net against Sweden or Pavlyuchenko’s near-post volley against Holland. Russia have been a wonderful discovery for most of us – and, as they have improved, possibly for themselves. There’s Denis Kolodin, the defender who looks like Frank Skinner and shoots like Bruce Rioch, Yuri Zhirkov with his audacious volleys and free-kicks, and of course there’s Arshavin.

The man who pulls silly faces, has a dirty-joke name and guided Zenit St Petersburg to last season’s Russian title is a footballing genius; the only man I’ve seen on a football pitch who can dribble, pout and chat at the same time.

Pacers, Raptors To Swap O’Neal and Ford?

Posted in Basketball at 4:20 pm by

Yahoo.com’s Adrian Wojanarowski is reporting Indy is trading Jermaine O’Neal to Toronto for oft-injured PG T.J. Ford and the 17th pick in Thursday’s draft, along with Rasho Nesterovic for cap purposes.  The Pacers are now sitting on the 11th and 17th picks in the first round, that is, unless you believe Larry Bird, who has already denied the deal is happening.

The Contra-Costa Times’ Geoff Lepper hints a Baron Davis for Rasheed Wallace & Chauncey Billups exchange might occur between Golden State and Detroit, while colleague Tim Kawakami sneers, “none of this trade talk is official until one of the NY papers has traded Baron + Brandan Wright to the Knicks for Mardy Collins and the rights to James Dolan™s limo driver.” That’s how far Renaldo Balkman’s stock has fallen folks, he can’t even figure into an obvious cheap shot.

Ricciardi Vs. Dunn – It’s Not Quite Over

Posted in Baseball at 1:25 pm by

The Globe & Mail’s Jeff Blair on the-story-that-will-not-die.  Anyone care to place a wager on a certain Toronto baseball executive taking on a vague scouting assignment with the Red Sox next spring?

Adam Dunn (above) was asked about whether he spoke to Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi about disparaging comments Ricciardi made about Dunn on Ricciardi’s radio show last week.”I talked to him [Dunn] on Saturday,” Ricciardi said before last night’s game. “He called me back. I don’t know if he accepted my apology. But I did apologize.”

Except Dunn told MLB.com that he didn’t speak to Ricciardi.

“Not true,” Dunn said of Ricciardi’s pregame comment. “One million per cent.”

Ricciardi was livid when Dunn’s comment was relayed to him. He took the call on Saturday night, he said, while he was in Pittsburgh. Sitting next to him were director of security Ron Sandelli and assistant GM Alex Anthopoulos.

“If it’s not him, then it’s some prank,” Ricciardi said. “But I don’t know how the person would get my cellular phone number. I mean, I don’t even give it out to you guys [the press].”

So is this a Dunn deal or what?

“I’m so sick and tired of this, foremost, but the real truth is, no, I have not talked to him,” Dunn said after the game, clearly exasperated. “Again, I’m not going to go out of my way to get an apology from a guy I don’t even know. No, it didn’t happen and I hope this is the last time I have to talk about it. I’m sick and tired of it.”

But about that phone call ¦

“No,” Dunn said, “I mean, no. I didn’t. I mean, if he said he talked to me, it was a lie ¦ it’s stupid. I don’t get it. I got more important things to worry about than some guy I don’t know.”

Coming to a future edition of the Globe & Mail : J.P. explains to Christopher Cross there’s no guided tours of the Rogers Centre during Jays games.

(h/t – The Meaningful Collateral)

The Ramon Ramirez / Yorvit Torreabla Feud Of Unexplained Orgin

Posted in Baseball at 11:17 am by

As you’ve probably seen already, home plate umpire Brian O’Nora was lacerated by a piece of Miguel Oliva’s maple bat last night in Kansas City, but as the Denver Post’s Troy Renck explains, said incident might not have even been the second weirdest thing to happen during the Royals’ defeat of Colorado.

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was charged with deception, the umpires ruling a catch on a ball that he appeared to purposely short-hop for a fourth-inning double play. In the end, anger engulfed the 7-3 loss, the Rockies boiling afterward over Ramon Ramirez’s errant pitches in Yorvit Torrealba’s direction.

“We know Ramon has good control, and from my standpoint it looked like it was on purpose. I think he should have been tossed,” Tulowitzki said of the former Rockies reliever. “He strikes out the side with pinpoint control in the eighth, and he’s doing that? Obviously, he was throwing at him.”

It unfolded like this: After having a friendly conversation in Spanish before the game, Ramirez and Torrealba raised eyebrows to open the ninth. Ramirez walked the catcher on four pitches. One whistled by Torrealba’s head, another behind his back.

Ramirez insisted afterward that the ball was wet from perspiration, saying “it slipped.” Torrealba wasn’t buying it. He said he was prepared for Ramirez to throw at him, though he wouldn’t reveal why.

“Ask him. It’s all good,” Torrealba said. “Every time I talk about stuff, I get fined or suspended.”

I’m not certain when was the last time I attended a game in which a player was charaged with deception, but it does vaguely sound like the kind of thing Christian Guzman’s employers have thought of once or twice.

Page 6 : Russert Memorial Ruined By Non-Metallic K.O.’s Ketchup Shit-Fit

Posted in non-sporting journalism at 8:36 am by

I can’t vouch for the veracity of a New York Post report claiming MSNC’s Keith Olbermann “went apoplectic” over the lack of ketchup packets (!) at a memorial service for the late Tim Russert, a claim K.O.’s publicist called “an outright lie”, but I’m having a hard time determining which is funnier — the notion this incident actually happened, or a disgruntled MSNBC colleague fantasizing, “what’s the lamest possible thing I can accuse Olbermann of doing a a memorial service that someone might actually believe?”

We’ve got at least two or three readers on the Bristol campus.  Can anyone testify regarding the ketchup situation at the WWL’s commissary?

Soulja Boy Hits Wikipedia, Unleashes Ageist Attack On Dick Wolf Employee

Posted in Free Expression, Hip Hop at 1:06 am by

Kids today have no respect for their elders. Sure, Soulja Boy’s had a few hits, but that doesn’t excuse his sneering tone when discussing Ice-T, even if it’s all in self-defense. SB, when you’ve carried Judd Fucking Nelson for an entire movie, you’re allowed all kinds of leeway in this world.

Eco Positive Rays Defeat Fish, Provide An Excuse For A Cheap David Samson Joke

Posted in Baseball at 12:53 am by

Tampa survived a bout of Troy Percival wildness (4 BB’s) in the 9th inning last night to defeat the host Marlins, 6-4, just the 3rd time this season the Rays have won a game they’d trailed after 7 innings.  The contest was played under what State of Florida officials called carbon neutral conditions. Thru the auspices of Carbonfund.org, the Fish were said to be financing the planting of trees to make up for all the nasty greenhouse gasses the Marlins’ 3 dozen fans added to the atmosphere Tuesday night.

Not to be outdone, Marlins Prez David Samson is making his own individual effort to reduce Florida’s carbon footprint, unveiling the first ever solar-powered penis pump.

06.24.08

Crap TV Review : Horrifying, Decrepit Monster Appears On Fox News

Posted in non-sporting journalism, Rock Und Roll at 11:27 pm by

But enough about Mick Mars. That Greta Van Susteren is one hell of an interviewer.

They Have To Laugh To Keep Themselves From Crying

Posted in Baseball at 10:40 pm by

Who am I kidding? These guys would be laughing no matter what.  But having seen R.A. Dickey get the snot beat out of him in the PCL on more than one occasion, well, tonight’s debacle begs the question, exactly how many pictures of Jeff Wilpon and the waitress from Lucky Cheng’s is Howard Johnson sitting on? What pray tell, is the Mets’ game plan when facing a knuckler like Dickey, other than say, roll over and die?

If nothing else, Oliver Perez’ latest stinkeroo (5 innings, 5 earned runs, 7 hits, a pair of homers allowed, one to the .218 hitting Kenji Jojihma) suggests that perhaps it’s Rick Peterson who oughta pity us.  The Jacket might be unemployed, but he’s no longer obliged to watch this shit.  The nicest thing you can possibly say about Ollie’s outing is that he achieved a greater degree of competency than Bronson Arroyo, who managed just an inning’s worth of work tonight while allowing 10 runs and 11 hits to the Blue Jays.  It was the second time this season Death Wish has retired 4 batters or fewer during a start — perhaps replacing Scott Stapp with Tom Glavine as his personal guru was not, in retrospect, a great move.

Time To Clarify Some Dubious Claims Made By The Dean Of American Sports Blogging

Posted in Blogged Down, Internal Affairs, Will Leitch Sucks at 7:05 pm by

The Will Leitch Farewell Tour of Deadspin continued today with a longish post attempting to put my somewhat over the top attempts at antagonizing Will into some greater perspective.

Though admitting he once considered CSTB, “one of our favorites, though, and the one that seemed to have the best idea of how to run a general interest sports site” (keep in mind this was 2003, folks), Leitch also includes the caveat, “most of it was just long cutting-and-pastings of AP stories with a one-sentence ‘comment’ on the end.” So in other words, a mere parasite like me oughta have greater respect for someone who adds a two-sentence ‘comment’ to the end of stories cut and pasted from ESPN.com.

At the risk of C&P’ing far too much of Leitch’s self-described plucky midwesterisms, I’ll summarize the post in question.   Outta the blue, mild-mannered Man From Mattoon was bulldozed by an invisible grouch who proceeded to publish his cell phone number and encouraged the homeless to use his fiancee’s portrait for target practice.  Though these missives were distasteful and oh-so-unprovoked, they ultimately help Young Will to buck up, grow-a-pair…and eventually blossom into the fragile butterfly we all saw torn to fucking shreds on HBO.

You’re welcome, Will. Anytime. But the following points need to be made :

1) The CSTB category “Will Leitch Sucks” did not appear “within 25 minutes” of Deadspin’s public launch.  Said category was created weeks after the fact, though for the purposes of proper indexing, old posts relevant to the matter at handed were edited to include the category.

2) It is true I posted Will’s phone number, but I only did so after some moron at CBS Sportsline sent a press release that included it.  There’s a breach in Leitch’s personal security and he wants to blame the whistleblower?

3)  re : the bit about encouraging the homeless to get busy with pics of Will’s ex.  Not cool (dude).  Hardly my proudest moment — especially the part where I had to pay the homeless to do it. This was a reprehensible act and I don’t think I will ever fully live down the way I exploited…the nation’s less fortunate!

(seriously folks, did it ever occur to Will or his dipshit loyal readers that constantly mocking him was not entirely different from targeting, say, Stephen A. Smith or Chris Berman, neither of whom, to my knowledge, have ever met Will Leitch or done anything to personally hurt him?  Or that this long-running schtick is someone’s idea of humor?   That if Will were to disappear I’d have to go back to making fun of Mushnick’s beard everyday?)

4) “It can be difficult for the blog uninitiated ” which we most definitely were ” when they are being hammered online, but, thanks to CSTB, we grew used to it pretty quick. Heck, no one was gonna say anything worse than what he was saying.”

Not until recently, no.

5) The revisionist history is all well and good for lazy types who never bothered to notice how the majority of anti-Leitch posts at CSTB were not in fact, sneak attacks mounted as part of some bloggy traffic war, but directly referenced Deadspin’s real content and totally legit questions about such.

6) Good luck at New York, Will. Hopefully, the magazine won’t “focus too much on New York City for our tastes” and you’ll last more then two days at your new gig before someone compares you to Jm J. Bullock.

The Civil Union Of Ted Twist & Phil Von Rome

Posted in Free Expression, The World Of Entertainment at 6:01 pm by

If there’s ever gonna be a remake of “The Ratings Game”, I nominate Chain Gang’s Ricky Luanda for the part made, uh, famous by Danny DeVito.

Cubs Mailbag: Now, More Than Ever

Posted in Baseball at 5:59 pm by


(pictured: proposed 40-ft tall lead float for the Cubs’ World Series victory parade, only $85,000)

First, thanks to Cub Fan Alex G. for getting “on my case about not enough Cub coverage on CSTB. As to this weekend™s Cubs-Sox mismatch, again, I prefer to let others, like Hire Jim Essian™s Bad Kermit, do the gloating. I did like Ozzie Gullien™s swipe at Jim Edmonds yesterday. If only to convince me Ozzie is a batshit hobgoblin “emotional” manager, and not a La Russa-type “numbers guy.” As the Tribune reports, his decision to throw strikes to Jim Edmonds, who answered with two home runs in a game, resulted from Ozzie™s œhunch to challenge Edmonds™ .234 on the year, instead of considering his .347 for June.

Lately, there have been some negative comments made about Cub reportage around here, mostly from frustrated fans unable to deal in a classy way with their own home team™s miserable performance this year. Remember us, the lovable losers? Take a page outta that book while you suck, ok? Me, I prefer to plan our World Series parade, from Richie Daley’s house to Wrigley, and plan banquet seating charts with fellow Cub fans in this week™s Cubs Mailbag. What follows: the actual questions sent in by Cub fans to Cub beat reporter Carrie Muskat, whose job description doesn™t allow her to give the answers these questions deserve. So I help out.

John T., Nashville: How do we vote for All-Star pitchers? I think more than anyone, Carlos Marmol should be an All-Star, and it’s tough to get a middle-relief pitcher on the team. How can we get him there?

Marmol? Fuck him, he’s grounded. He™s throwing wild pitches and allowing runs in his position? Hey, it™s not like I don™t have a heart, but he™s all that stands between Bob Howry™s mid-relief home-run derby and Kerry Wood™s viewing lead-off batters as œcollateral damage. Fortunately, Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild has taped a photo of Eric Gagne in a Brewers uniform to Marmol™s locker to straighten him out.

Kyle P., Rosamond, Calif: The Cubs have a good chance of finishing the season over .600, and for a little history lesson, when was the last time the Cubs finished a season over .600?

Kyle. Was there even a “please” in that? Here’s a history lesson: I am the goddamn mailbag. don’t tell me what to do. And btw, who cares about .600 teams when we™re after the Series? Get a fucking perspective, on the season and yourself. Sorry kid, but you had it coming.

Cory R., Franklin Grove, Ill.: I’ve heard talk about the Cubs pursuing C.C. Sabathia to strengthen the rotation. Is there any truth to the rumors?

Cory: you don™t think the current rotation might be hurt by that question? They do read the mailbag, you know. Zambrano is on the DL for two games and you sneak around behind his back? You think a man in professional sports named Lilly needs more self doubt? Why don™t you act like a man and say it to their faces? Until then, you™re banned from the Mailbag.

Sean R., Wichita, Kan.: I know Kerry Wood has been lights-out lately, but it seems the few times he has struggled this year he hits a batter at some point during the ninth inning. I was curious to find out how many batters did he hit in his four blown saves and one loss?

Sean: Ah, Kansas, the Show-Me State. Did you not read the Marmol question that I took the time to answer? Wood™s hit a lot of guys, and he™s going to hit a lot more. I’m trying to save lives here. Kerry Wood never got over his post-HGH move to the bullpen, and his uncontrollable fury leads to his Unsafe at Any Speed style of ball.

Levi M., Salem, Ill: With the superb success of Ryan Dempster’s conversion from relief to starter, is there a chance the Cubs might try to do the same with Wood?

Are all Kerry Wood fans functional retards? I mean, you did type that question in and hit œsend, right? And yet, you still asked it. How can two forms of basic function and non-function exist in the same human?

Ryan C., Omaha, Neb: Why did Lou Piniella send in Jason Marquis to pinch-run, especially since Marquis was the scheduled starter the next game [on June 17]? And, Reed Johnson tried a squeeze play with two outs and the tying run on third. Was it Reed’s call or Lou’s call?

Sorry, Nebraska’s the Show-Me State, not Kansas. Anyway, that™s two questions in one e-mail. Answers don™t grow on trees, Ryan. Write the Sox guy, he’s got nothing to do this week.

Brian W., Indianapolis: After Alfonso Soriano’s injury, why didn’t Matt Murton get the call? It seems like he does nothing but hit. The power numbers still are not there, but with a .295 career average, he has demonstrated an ability to hit for high average at the big league level over a significant period of time. I know the Cubs were already planning to call up Micah Hoffpauir to help DH in Interleague games, but what led them to pick Eric Patterson over Murton?

You second guessing, Lou Piniella? Indy doesn™t even have a baseball team. You got some balls, Brian. Why don™t you send your second guesses to Purdue™s baseball team (if they have one!) where they might be more welcome.

Chad M., Shorewood, Ill.: What’s going on with Felix Pie? Is he showing any improvement in the Minors, and should we expect him up in the Majors any time soon?

I checked with Felix. He™s cool. He says thanks for asking and wants to know how you’re doing?

Matthews : Mets Fans Are Worse Than Fertilizer

Posted in Baseball at 5:37 pm by

Claiming that last night’s 5-1 loss at the hands of the last place Seattle Mariners revealed “these were the same Mets you came to know and loathe under Willie Randolph,” Newsday’s Wallace Matthews lays into the Flushing Faithful, but not before wondering about Johan Santana serving up a grand salami to Felix Hernandez (“this was no cheapie, down-the-line paint-scraper of a home run, but a rocket blast over the right-centerfield fence on a pitch clocked at 94 mph”).

For their $137.5 million, spread out over seven years, the Mets have now gotten seven wins, six losses and a 9-7 record in the games Santana has started. Worse than that, he has now surrendered 14 home runs in less than half a season, putting him well on pace to match and perhaps exceed his major-league leading total of 33 bombs from last year, which may indicate his subpar 2007 season was not an aberration, but an omen.

“Personally, I felt pretty good,” Santana said. “We didn’t make routine plays that you make to win games, little things that make you a winner.”

Presumably, that includes retiring the opposing pitcher. Santana’s seven innings, seven hits and just one earned run was the most misleading line since Don Imus claimed he was actually defending Pacman Jones.

But Santana wasn’t the worst performer of the night; that honor goes to the Shea crowd, which started the night chanting Manuel’s name during batting practice, but was booing as if Randolph had just summoned Scott Schoeneweis after Santana gave up Hernandez’ home run.

But the crowd reserved its proudest moment for the fifth, when it cheered the sight of Hernandez hobbling around in obvious pain after Beltran slid hard into him to score the Mets first run of the night. The jeers continued when Hernandez, who had pitched three straight terrific games and was on his way to a fourth, stumbled off the mound while attempting a warm-up pitch to see if he could remain in the game.

At that point, the crowd seemed worthy of the rather dubious spin one local paper put on Manuel’s “fertilizer” line, and the game which so much promise of providing a fresh start to a team badly in need of one, turned into one more ugly, depressing three hours of bad baseball.

There are, of course, cities in America where one could attend a ballgame and not witness an injured player from the visiting team being verbally abused.  Those towns, however, generally only have one or two daily newspapers and few of ‘em would be prepared to match Wally’s current salary.