06.24.08

Professional Schlub To SF’s Schulman : Who You Calling A Scrub?

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 2:41 pm by

Last Tuesday night, the Giants’ Jonathan Sanchez allowed a monster HR “not by one of Detroit’s high-salaried thumpers, but a .219-hitting scrub named Ryan Raburn,” wrote the SF Chronicle’s Henry Schulman. “Baseball has an evil way of balancing it’s ledgers,” mused Schulman, who couldn’t have possibly meant he’d be taking a beating from Tigers closer Todd Jones a few days later.  From Sunday’s Detroit Free Press :

I can’t think of anybody who has ever played in the major leagues as a scrub — not even Bob Uecker.

When Tigers manager Jim Leyland saw the article, he was livid. We all were.

Ryan just laughed it off. What else could he do? He’d just been humiliated by a guy he’d never met.

The proper term for what Ryan does is: “A role player or backup.” He’s actually very useful. He plays outfield and infield in the big leagues. (I wonder if Schulman could do that?)

Sure we’ve got thick skin, and reporters don’t bother us for the most part. But when it’s a personal attack on a guy’s ability or perceived place in this game, enough is enough.

I’d rather be a scrub than be a guy who sits on the sideline and watches what happens and then writes about it. How about next time, Mr. Schulman, you just report on the game and you show Mr. Raburn and the hundreds of players on all clubs that fill out the big leagues some respect and call him a backup or a utility player.

Indeed, words that are very polite euphamisms for “scrub”.

Battle Of The Nitwits ’08 : Ryan Dempster Vs. Kevin Millar

Posted in Baseball at 12:45 pm by

Cubs starter Ryan Dempster’s having a heck of a first half, but he’s not the kind of guy to let individual accomplishments get in the way of really matters ; a pointless pissing match with Baltimore’s Kevin Millar (above, left).  From The Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer :

”Let’s be honest, really,” Dempster said. ”Can there be anybody more lucky than [Kevin] Millar?”

Until Cubs manager Lou Piniella juggled his starting rotation a couple of weeks ago, Dempster was on schedule to get his long-awaited matchup with old Florida Marlins teammate and pal Millar during this week’s series. The two sparred through the media for weeks during spring training — Millar mocking Dempster’s World Series prediction and threatening to homer off the rooftop Budweiser sign against him, and Dempster countering with a threat to drill Millar in the ribs.

”Now he knows if he gets hit by a pitch, it’s on accident,” Dempster cracked after improving to 9-2 with another impressive start Sunday against the White Sox. ”I get to watch his circus act from the bench for three days.”

So now what are the Orioles first baseman’s chances of reaching the Bud rooftop?

”Oh, yeah, I’m sure he’ll probably take a fungo out there in [batting practice] and hit it just to say he did,” Dempster said. ”I’ll be surprised if he even plays because he’s barely fringe enough in the field to be able to play a position and there’s no DH for him.”

06.23.08

SNY’s “Daily News Live”, Home Of The Culture Wars

Posted in Sports Radio, Sports TV at 11:59 pm by

In the wake of George Carlin’s passing yesterday, SNY’s Chris Cotter rattled off his own list of favorite comedians, ranking former Dave Chappelle co-star/ Mets fan Jim Breuer just outside his Top 5 of Steven Wright, Dom Irrera, Eddie Murphy, Denis Leary and Steve Martin.

Through the howls of outrage issued by Cotter’s colleagues, Joe Beningno-Gazingo wondered of Breuer, “didn’t he play with Sidney Moncrief?”

After a partnership of nearly 20 years, you might well wonder what topic could possibly be so divisive as to create a deep wedge between Mike Francesca and Chris Russo.  The latter spelled it out for his loyal WFAN listeners earlier today, “whether it™s Yankee Stadium, good or bad, whether it was David Ortiz-Manny Ramirez, whether it was Don Nelson Hall of Fame, not Hall of Fame, Shaq with Phoenix, Yunel Escobar with the Braves, you name it, we were fighting like cats and dogs.”  Presumably, Yunel Escobar was the last straw.

Let’s Not Go to the Videotape

Posted in Racism Corner, Sports Radio at 7:06 pm by

For the few of you who don’t read ESPN.com or every other sports blog in the world, I give you Don Imus on Adam Jones.

Imus was told by anchor Warner Wolf that Jones has “been arrested six times since being drafted by Tennessee in 2005.”

Imus asked, “What color is he?”

“He’s African-American,” Wolf replied.

“Well, there you go,” Imus said. “Now we know.”…

WABC and Citadel Broadcasting Corp. Vice President Phil Boyce said Imus would be explaining his comments on his Tuesday morning show and it was unlikely the broadcasters would take disciplinary action against him.

Boyce said Imus had explained his words in a private conversation Monday afternoon and the explanation was satisfactory.

“I think some people may be misunderstanding what he meant,” said Boyce, who declined to go into further detail.

It just doesn’t seem fair that Warner Wolf has outlasted Michele Marsh.

Update: Imus’s explanation doesn’t seem to help:

“I meant that he was being picked on because he’s black.”

Y’know, like those girls from Rutgers. Also funny how one of the ESPNews anchors went out of his way to say that WABC radio is not affiliated with WABC TV, ESPN or Disney.

The Real GM Of Team USA…

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 6:21 pm by

…is Nike’s Phil Knight.  The American squad for the Beijing Olympics was announced earlier today, and The Basketball Jones correctly points out said roster includes not one single player who isn’t a Nike endorsee, save for Dwight Howard.

That’s not to say there aren’t extenuating circumstances behind some of the other sneaker companies’ omissions.  Paul Pierce needs the summer off to repair that right knee that kept him from accomplishing anything during the NBA Finals.  Kevin Garnett and Allen Iverson have already done their Olympic duty. And why should Team USA bring more than one center to China?

The Washington Post’s Michael Lee, however, is a suspicious sort, and suggests the current roster lends creedence to Gilbert Arenas’ earlier claims that Nike wields undue influence over the squad’s composition.

All the talk about having a national program of 33 players and forcing them to make a three-year commitment to the program, participate in summer workouts, then tryout for the team in an intense training camp process seems laughable now.

How do you explain Carlos Boozer’s addition to the team, when he didn’t play on the world championship team in Japan in 2006 or the representative at the FIBA Americas Tournament in 2007.In his news conference on Monday, Colangelo used the word “equity” to say explain why Finals MVP Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics wasn’t added to the team, saying that you have to invest something into the program to have a chance at making it.

The only choice that I question some is Tayshaun Prince over Tyson Chandler. I love Prince, but the team is really deficient in the height department. Dwight Howard is the only center – and the team only has two players taller than 6-feet-10 with the 7-foot Howard and the 6-11 Chris Bosh. It might not seem like such a big deal now, but it might if Howard somehow picks up foul trouble.

Nobody thought it was a big deal when Tim Duncan was the only center on the 2004 team in Athens – then Duncan got in foul trouble in almost every game. The trapezoid lane makes post play pretty difficult, but you need shotblocking and rebounding – two things Chandler can most certainly provide. And when Greece upset the squad in Japan, they abused them inside with “Baby Shaq” and controlled the boards. Small ball could hurt them in the long run.

If Chandler’s still a Nike endorsee, there’s not necessarily a conspiracy behind his staying home this summer.  Adidas’ Mike Miller, however, is another matter. Either Jerry Colangelo disappoves of the ponytail or Miller’s shoe affiliation is to blame. Or perhaps they’ve seen him play.

Neil Hamburger : Country Winner, Chicken Dinner

Posted in The World Of Entertainment at 4:20 pm by

As seen on Fox’s “Red Eye” Sunday evening, Neil H. proves there’s at least one man in the entertainment business with the guts to stand up to Ray Stevens. And let’s hear it for host Greg Gutfeld, who continues to be the only television host in America capable of making Chris Cotter look cool by comparison.

It’s Official : Being On The DL Is In Nomar’s DNA

Posted in Baseball, Medical Science at 12:52 pm by

The next time you hear a snide remark about the Dodgers’ Nomar Garciaparra being chronically injured, be sure to point out the infielder’s condition is no different than being an alcoholic. Only, without all the tasty alcohol.  From the LA Daily News’ Tony Jackson :

Nomar Garciaparra said a genetic predisposition, one he didn’t know he had until it was identified by a Boston physical therapist with whom he voluntarily consulted last week, is the reason his left-calf strain has been so long in healing.

Garciaparra shut down a minor-league rehabilitation assignment after one game when he woke up Wednesday morning with more discomfort.

Garciaparra said the condition causes him to develop more scar tissue at the injury site than the average person, with that tissue limiting his flexibility and increasing the likelihood that he will aggravate the injury by playing on it.

“It would have been nice if I had found out a lot sooner that I had this,” said Garciaparra, who likened the problem to trying to pull a rope through a hole when the rope has several knots in it. “That’s why I keep straining different muscles.”

KC’s Greinke Shows Extreme Patience With Pseudo Nardwuar

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 11:54 am by

In all honesty, I’m a big fan of David Brown’s “Answer Man” interviews for Yahoo Sports, so much so that I cannot wait for him to quiz Jeff Kent. Preferably, face to face.

Q: When George Brett comes down to the clubhouse, do the rookies throw rose pedals at his feet?

Zack Greinke: Nah. It’s just kind of a normal thing now when he comes down. At least for me. At first, it was kind of neat ” even though I stayed at his house my first year. He has a presence about him, even if you didn’t know who he was, so it’s always neat to see him, but now I just continue to do the regular stuff I was doing before.

Q: You were a boarder of George Brett’s?

ZG: Yeah, I was like 20. I was mainly just saving money [laughs], which I probably didn’t need to do, but it was nice to have the extra $1,000 a month, or whatever. That was probably the best part about it.

Q: Did you have any chores?

ZG: No, I never really saw the rest of the family much. I stayed in an extra room. They had kids at school.

Q: You were once called “the future of pitching.” Tell me, are we going to have flying cars in the future?

ZG: Yeah, we are.

Q: When?

ZG: Probably not too far away. About 10 years. That’s my guess.

Q: OK! I can hold out for 10 years.

ZG: Actually, probably longer than that.

Q: But, you said…

ZG: There definitely will be flying cars, but whether there’ll be flying cars for most people to use, it’ll probably take a long time to straighten everything out, all the rules and hassles. It’ll take a while to figure out how to keep people from crashing into each other.

NY Post To Jerry Manuel : Context Ain’t Everything

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 9:40 am by

The Mets are 3-2 under interim manager Jerry Manuel, and while the club now trails division-leading Philly by a mere 3 1/2 games, full credit to NewsCorp’s Gotham tabloid for taking an otherwise innocuous quote and using it to make the organization squirm just a little bit more.  Hey, at least Manuel acknowledges the fans have some role in the process besides having their wallets raped.

So Long, Funnyman

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression, Radio, The World Of Entertainment at 3:30 am by

There are some Two-way words, like it’s okay for Curt Gowdy to say ‘Roberto Clemente has two balls on him.’ But he can’t say, ‘I think he hurt his balls on that play Tony, don’t you? He’s holding them. He must have hurt them by God.’

- “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television”

In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! – I hope I’ll be safe at home.

- “Baseball – Football”

George Carlin, R.I.P.

Update: Was about to add a partial score joke, but I see Salon’s King Kaufman is also still awake.

The 100 Year-Old Man

Posted in Baseball at 3:23 am by

All you really need to know about Bill Werber, the oldest living major leaguer, as interviewed by ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian.

1. Those damn hippies on the Red Sox killed his interest the game.

2. He shares most people’s take on Bud Selig.

“I don’t watch any baseball anymore,” he said. “I stopped watching because of Johnny Damon and, what’s his name? Alvarez? ¦ Ramirez? ¦ Yeah, [Manny] Ramirez. He had that long hair thing going down the back of his neck. And Damon had that beard. I wrote a number of polite letters to [commissioner Bud] Selig. I don’t believe in being abusive, that won’t get you nothing. He wrote me some innocuous letter back. It didn’t say anything.”

Good Thing For Josh Hamilton There Aren’t Any Jews Blogging About Baseball

Posted in Baseball at 12:45 am by

Sports agent Matt Sosnick‘s name has popped up on CSTB on a few prior occasions, usually with a negative reference to Jerry Crasnick’s fluffy “License To Deal”, the agent’s lame posturing in dumping dick-swinging Mets prospect Scott Schaefer, or his protracted feud with Marlins exec / Accujack enthusiast David Samson.

My low opinion of Sosnick (above, shown on the cover of Jewish SF) aside, he’s got my deepest sympathies if his version of events surrounding AL MVP candidate Josh Hamilton is correct. From It’s About The Money, Stupid :

IIATMS: Losing a client is undoubtedly difficult and I know that losing a big client on the cusp of a big contract is especially painful. How did your peers react? What about your clients?

MS :   I like Josh Hamilton and I wish him nothing but the best. But once you use the Christian- or God-card, it™s impossible to take that back. In the days prior, Josh and his wife were very complimentary of us. They were very happy with the work we were doing for them. We were supposed to fly out and meet with them a few days later, but the next day, we were notified that we were fired.

On June 2, SI.com’s Jon Heyman reported Hamilton had dumped Sosnick in favor of agent Michael Moye because “he wanted to be with a Christian stable.” Aside from sounding like something Lex Luger might’ve said at one time, it’s a heck of a way to exact revenge just ’cause Hamilton can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetary.

06.22.08

Not Coming To A Future Edition of Ego Trip’s “Mr. Rap Supreme”

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression, Hip Hop, The Marketplace at 7:45 pm by


Rap
by bsap11

Let’s try to look on the bright side ; henceforth neither David Faustino or Benzino will ever again be called the Worst M.C. Alive. (video link swiped from Awful Announcing)

The Guv’nor Breaks The EPL’s Managerial Color Line

Posted in Football at 6:54 pm by

After leading Franchise F.C. to League One promotion, former England midfielder Paul Ince is about to hopscotch a couple of divisions all by his lonesome, as The Times’ Oliver Kay explains.

Paul Ince will start work at Blackburn Rovers this morning after becoming the first black Briton to be named as manager of a Premier League club, but the former England captain immediately faces several difficult challenges, most notably to persuade David Bentley and Roque Santa Cruz that he can help them to fulfil their ambitions at Ewood Park.

More experienced managers such as Sam Allardyce, Steve McClaren and Michael Laudrup were also interviewed for the job as successor to Hughes, who left for Manchester City this month, but Ince impressed John Williams, the Blackburn chairman, with his energy and enthusiasm. He has signed a three-year contract and is expected to be followed to Blackburn by Ray Mathias, his assistant at MK Dons.

Ince’s appointment will be widely applauded, given that he becomes only the third black manager in Premier League history – after Ruud Gullit and Jean Tigana – and the first black Briton. Last year, shortly after launching his managerial career with Macclesfield Town, Ince implied that he felt there was institutional racism in the boardrooms of English football, but said he was confident that he could challenge perceptions and break down barriers for black managers.

Enough With The Character Association, GM’s. That’s Joel Sherman’s Job

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 4:56 pm by

In Joel Sherman’s “Down The Line” column for Sunday’s New York Post, J.P. Ricciardi’s much-circulated critique of Cincy’s Adam Dunn is described as “unseemly”, and perhaps the final gaffe that will cost the Blue Jays G.M. his job.  Compare and contrast Ricciardi’s blast of Dunn if you will, to the following paragraph concerning Seattle’s attempts to trade P Eric Bedard.

Bedard has made himself tough to move by accentuating the two questionable parts of his reputation: a standoffish personality, especially when it comes to media relations (which would make him a tougher sell in New York and Boston) and – more important – he is soft. He pulled himself after three shutout innings Friday with back spasms. One Mariners official said, “This guy begs out of more games than anyone I ever seen in my life.”

There’s ample baseball evidence to suggest Bedard — like Dunn — is not without considerable flaws.  And like Dunn, his desire is being publicly questioned by a person doesn’t actually spend any time in the Mariners clubhouse.   Seriously, this is the week GM’s and major newspaper columnists alike seem all too willing to employ tactics usually attributed to bloggers.

Of the New York Mets’ recently fired manager Willie Randolph, the New York Times’ George Vescey writes, “When the team slogged through the spring, the fans booed Randolph more than the players, most of whom seemed remarkably blasé about their mediocre state while playing badly. Was that Randolph™s responsibility? Ultimately, in the unfair ledger book of managing, yes, it was.”

How many Mets games has Vescey attended this season? Presumably more than me, because during my numerous visits this year to Flushing’s Cathedral Of Piss I’ve heard no one booed as loudly or as often as Carlos Delgado.

I’m not nearly as sure about the allegedly cavalier acceptance of failure, either.  Once upon a time, there was a Mets infielder prone to kicking water coolers, tossing helmets and stomping through the dugout with a death stare after each unsuccessful at bat. As it turns out, neither Vescey’s colleagues nor the general public were particularly impressed with Jeff Kent’s demeanor.

Ray Knight Isn’t Laughing

Posted in Blogged Down, Football at 4:20 pm by

Italy and Spain have played 120 scoreless minutes in their Euro 2008 qualifier, and while they’re headed to decisive penalty kicks, the readers of John Ashdown’s live blog for The Guardian have already declared this contest a dud, one of ‘em asking “”Why do Italy play boring football and win, but England play boring football and lose?”

Half-time alternatives dept. “I’m with Andrew Goudie on this being boring,” writes Nick Einhorn. “Fortunately, in the States there’s some entertaining women’s golf on the neighboring channel that I’m flipping to frequently.” I’m hoping that ‘flipping’ isn’t some sort of American slang, Nick.

The Heaven’s Gate Of Music Videos

Posted in Free Expression, Rock Und Roll at 2:43 pm by

Just to be perfectly clear, I’m not referring to Michael Cimino’s 1980 cinematic bomb, but rather, Marshall Applewhite’s suicide cult.

I’ve watched the above video three or four times and I think I’ve finally figured out the message. Parr’s Red, White and Blue guitar symbolizes freedom and the American Dream.  There is of course, no bigger American dream than tooling around town in a convertible, prior to adjourning to a hotel room with three ladies (who are also interpretive dancers) who cannot wait to fondle one’s mullet.

The next time someone wishes out loud MTV was still showing music videos, just think of what future generations are being spared.  If Billy Squire could sue the director of “Rock Me Tonight” for making him look effeminate, surely there’s a class action windfall awaiting each and every person who has viewed the above aesthetic atrocity.

Rovell : KG Flubbed His Line

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 2:30 pm by

Let it be noted that Darren Rovell is never smarter nor better looking than when he’s agreeing with me.  From the LA Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth :

Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett, in a very emotional moment after the team clinched the NBA title over the Lakers on Tuesday, screamed in response to a question by ABC reporter Michele Tafoya: “Anything’s possible!”

To emphasize, he repeated it, looking to the sky: “Anything’s possibbbaaaaaawwwwww!”

CNBC reporter Darren Rovell doubts that it was all so spontaneous.

He points out that adidas’ slogan, “Impossible Is Nothing,” is what they’ve been using to push Garnett’s shoes in their ad campaign for the past few years.

Meaning, there’s reason to believe that Garnett, even after taking the long pause to gather himself, messed up what he really was trying to say.

The NY Daily News’ Mitch Lawrence warns the Lakers “need to make improvements in their rotation in order to win the West again.” They might also consider move Flea’s seats somewhere very far away from the TV cameras (though I’ve been saying the same thing about the Knicks and Mr & Mrs. Matthew Modine for years).

Turning 34 in August, point guard Derek Fisher should be no more than a backup at this stage of his career. Forward Vladimir Radmanovic shouldn’t be starting, either. Lamar Odom had a rocky Finals and could be on his way out.

Odom’s old team, Miami, is seen as one potential destination. Pat Riley has always loved Odom and had him for a season before using him as a piece to get Shaquille O’Neal from the Lakers in 2004.

As Bryant said an hour after losing to the Celtics, the Lakers need to develop into a better defensive team. “You can’t expect to win a championship by focusing on the offensive end,” he said.

Miami’s Shawn Marion would address some of those defensive concerns. He might also be a better fit than Odom when the Lakers start Bynum at center and Pau Gasol at power forward.

While their contracts don’t exactly match up (Marion makes $17 million next season and Odom is at $14.6 mil), a package deal involving those two players might work. They’re both entering the final season of their contracts.

Perhaps There Is A God After All – Francesca, Russo Partnership To End?

Posted in Sports Radio at 10:03 am by

With what can only be considered fantastic news for lovers of intelligent discourse and/or those who’d prefer to see a solid block of “White Shadow” reruns on YES during the weekday afternoons, Newsday’s Neil Best reports WFAN’s Mike Francesca and Chris Russo “may have done their final show together”.

Barring a change of heart, the partnership between Mike Francesa and Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo is not expected to survive to see its 19th anniversary Sept. 5, industry sources with knowledge of the situation said.

It is not clear which host would remain on WFAN, only that it would not be both of them. One factor appears to be a fraying of their personal relationship in recent months.

Russo, meanwhile, denied knowledge of a potential breakup, and said that his contract, including a no-compete clause, runs through October of 2009.

“That is news to me,” he said. “I have not heard that… That is fascinating information.”

Later, he added, “The only thing I can say is I am signed under contract for another year and a half. I don’t think WFAN is going to let me out of that… I wish I had leverage like that.”

On the air, Francesa and Russo have had some spirited arguments, but nothing out of the ordinary for talk radio. Still, avid listeners had been closely monitoring the show for signs of a rumored rift.

Those signs were subtle, such as Francesa declining to ask Russo how he is after Russo had opened the show by inquiring into Francesa’s well-being.

The odds of Captain Midnight aka Steve Somers being moved to the coveted afternoon drive slot are slightly worse than say, Richard Neer’s Wig being asked to host the program. That said, having already done much to spawn a host of screamy imitators across the continent, this might represent an opportunity for WFAN to smash the sports yack paradigm into little bits and re-establish the station as a pioneer of sorts.

Of course, if Sid Rosenberg offers to do the show for free, all bets are off.

06.21.08

An Ill-Advised Mets PSA

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 9:36 pm by

I’ll resist the temptation to answer this question with a sentence that begins with “molest” and ends with “children”, and instead opt for, “wash Tony Bernazard’s car.”

Zambrano to American League: You Bore Me

Posted in Baseball at 8:54 pm by

http://www.cantstopthebleeding.com/img/robber_barons.jpg

(Cub Fans, celebrating today’s 11-7 win over the White Sox, before the limo parade home)

Lord knows it’s easy to gloat about today’s 11-7 win over the White Sox (and Bleacher Report does so here). But all in all, the Cubs remain status quo with some bad news on the horizon: the Cards beat the World Champion Red Sox, Zambrano is on the DL for two starts, Soriano will stay out the full six weeks doing BP with whiffle balls, and Carlos Marmol has had three shaky appearances in a row — today he threw a wild pitch before Howry came in to officially hand over a run. Still, Jim Edmonds continues to turn his peanuts paycheck into dividends for the Cubs, with two homers alone in today’s 4th inning 9 run rally. It’s also nice to know that all of Sox manager Ozzie Guillien’s whining about the Cubs is just to keep the fans happy, while he enjoys the good life barbecuing at Carlos Zambrano’s house. As Cub’s scribe Carrie Muskat reports:

Guillen and Zambrano had dinner together at Zambrano’s home, dining on Venezuelan dishes such as arepas, and the White Sox manager jokingly suggested the pitcher take the time off.

“I said, ‘I may miss one start,’” Zambrano said. “He said, ‘You better miss two.’ I said, ‘No, just one.’ He said, ‘Why don’t you go on the DL and miss two starts?’”

Zambrano was scheduled to pitch next weekend when the intracity series shifts to U.S. Cellular Field.

“I don’t like to pitch in American League ballparks,” Zambrano said. “I feel it’s boring, and the game is too long. I like the National League and to be competing and do something for yourself and nobody has to come and do the [designated hitter] part. I like to compete, and I like to play against the White Sox.”

http://www.cantstopthebleeding.com/img/Tony+Sirico.jpg

(La Russa motivates Molina: “there’s something coming your way with your name on it, sweetheart, an it ain’t my autograph” was all he had to say)

What feels like a stalemate that will be on the Cubs doorstep sooner or later is how amazing the held together with shoe-string and bubble gum Cardinals are doing in Boston, where they beat the world champeens, 9-3. The sweeps both the Cubs and Cards suffered in last week’s interleague play were enough, but now both teams are winning at the same time against AL division leaders. I’m just one of those I-can’t-win-unless-you-lose guys I guess, but sooner or later one team has to give with only three games between the Cubs and Cards. True, Boston doesn’t have David Ortiz, and Daisuke Matszaka returned today for his first start since rotator cuff surgery, although he should sue his doctor for malpractice after today. Still the Cards won these games without Pujols, Izturis, and concussion friendly Yadi Molina as the DH (Dizziness Hitter). Yesterday he hit a home run with full double vision, so take that Doc Ellis.

JLB Credit’s Top Sports Blogger : Test Cricket Is Just As Thrilling As Clarkson And Hating The Euro

Posted in Blogged Down, Cricket at 7:14 pm by

OK, I’m being a little unfair.  But in today’s entry for his Guardian blog, David Mitchell aka “Peep Show”‘s Mark Corrigan shows his TV portrayal of the world’s youngest old fart is not, in fact, a tremendous stretch. Concerned with the advent of the IPL and Allen Stafford’s upcoming winner-take-all Twenty20 series between England and a West Indies All-Star squad (“it could make cricket a truly global sport but it could also mean bikini-clad cheerleaders and a squeaky ball”), Mitchell warns, “there is simply less of that investment involved in Twenty20 than in Test cricket so it can’t be as exciting – end of story. It may be a percentage choice for something relatively entertaining but it’ll never hit the heights of the climax of an Ashes series.”

Firstly, there is nothing about the phrase “Texan billionaire” that lends confidence – it’s too reminiscent of the plot of Billion Dollar Brain. It makes you think that the guy’s likely to be a moron or a maniac, either way someone who’s made a lot of money and then spent hours and hours sitting in the sun, drinking whiskey and having ideas. This is rightly to be feared. Particularly as he’s been quoted as saying that Test cricket is “boring” which, to my mind, is so massively to miss the point of cricket that I can’t understand why he’d still want to buy it.

Twenty20 is undoubtedly very entertaining (and if it spelled the end of 50-over one-day cricket, I wouldn’t really care) but it isn’t the highest form of the game and it would be a great pity if money made it so. Test cricket is just better: the batsmen have to make fewer mistakes, the bowlers are allowed their proper role as match-winners or losers, rather than run-savers, and, because a match lasts five days, it’s more exciting.

It is monumentally unfair that players are expected to show restraint, and prioritise Test cricket, when future financial security is being offered them on a plate. Missing the Antigua game due to injury or making themselves unavailable for the IPL because of the start of the English season have huge long-term financial consequences for these men and, if they follow the money, I for one wouldn’t blame them. Test cricket organisers need to be big enough to defend themselves, rather than relying on men in their 20s, with few prospects of employment beyond 35, to do the job for them.

Paul Pierce Continues To Take Chances With His Right Knee

Posted in Baseball, Basketball at 3:47 pm by

Risky business for sure, but when we consider the Red Sox had a chance to get a runner into scoring position before last night’s tilt against the Cards even began, the initiative, if not the sheer guts of Paul Pierce oughta be applauded.  Not shown : Brian Scalabrine charging the mound during B.P.

Lumpy, $13 Million Per Year Strike Out Machine : You Don’t Know Me

Posted in Baseball at 2:14 pm by

Days after Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi described Reds slugger Adam Dunn (above) as “a lifetime .230, .240 hitter that strikes out a ton” and suggested Dunn “doesn’t really like baseball that much”, the outfielder was unwilling to listen to the Toronto exec’s apology writes the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay.

“He apologized to me, the organization,” Reds GM Walt Jocketty said. “He wanted to talk to Dunn. I don’t think Dunn wanted to talk to him.”

“He told me he was going through a lot of stuff because he was going to have to fire his manager and coaches,” Jocketty said.

Dunn wishes the story would go away.

“I’m tired of talking about it really,” Dunn said.

But that is not to say he would absolve Ricciardi.

“I’ll probably see him in Toronto (next week),” Dunn said. “Sorry doesn’t fix it. He wasn’t talking about baseball. Say I stink all you want. I’m OK with that. He was criticizing me as a person.”

Actually, that’s not really the case. Ricciardi merely suggested Dunn was indifferent towards his chosen profession. There’s only a value judgement attached if you have strong feelings about baseball.

That said, Ricciardi picked a curious target to smear given he’s the one paying A.J. Burnett $13.2 million (U.S.D.) to openly fantasize about playing for the Cubs.  Still, Burnett’s remarks are somewhat excuseable. He’s been busy getting managers and coaches fired.

Dunn is 0-3 so far today, striking out twice, as the Reds lead the Yankees, 4-0, in the last of the 7th. A Dan Giese throwing error in the top of the 7th directly led to 3 unearned runs for the visitors, but Giese (6.2 IP, 4 hits, 5 K’s, no walks)   — a 34th round draft selection by the Red Sox 9 years ago, has more than earned himself another starting opportuning

Hopefully, Johnny Miller Would Agree It’s Good To Show A Little Cuff

Posted in Golf, Racism Corner, Sports TV at 1:44 pm by

The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir reported earlier today NBC’s Johnny Miller has apologized for remarks made during last weekend’s U.S. Open in which Tiger Woods’ challenger Rocco Mediate was described as someone who “looks like the guy who cleans Tiger’s pool.”

“Guys with the name of Rocco don™t get on the trophy, do they?” asked Miller. Though on the evidence above, the golf analyst is hardly the first person to make a negative inference about an Italian-American.   Or more to the point, an Italian-North American.