Yanks Fill Posada Gap, Add I-Rod For Farnsworth

Posted in Baseball at 5:06 pm by

Never mind Edwar Ramirez drilling Kevin Millar an afternoon rout of the O’s, the big news out of the Bronx today concerns the Yankees coping with the loss of Jorge Posada by adding one of the great catchers of his generation, the Tigers’ Ivan Rodriguez in exchange for reliever Kyle Farnsworth.  Not only is Pudge an offensive upgrade over Jose Molina, but as Was Watching is quick to point out, he can offer the rest of the Bombers all sorts of useful advice on how to lose weight.

That the Yankees favored Rodriguez over Greg Zaun isn’t very surprising, but given the Rangers’ embarrassment of riches behind the plate, there’s every chance former UT standout / current Olympian Taylor Teagarden might be dealt elsewhere by tomorrow night.

W’s Former Flack Has Awfully Big Shoes To Fill

Posted in Blogged Down, Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 3:45 pm by

Signal To Noise reported the P.R. firm of former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer is advising the San Francisco 49ers.  Though it’s a huge relief to learn Fleischer’s finding honest work in the private sector, he’ll have to do some tremendous work in the Bay Area before anyone forgets the rather unique approach former publicist Kirk Reynolds brought to the gig.

The San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami, while not petitioning for Reynolds’ return, isn’t exactly welcoming Fleischer with open arms, declaring “it™s ridiculous for the 49ers“or any sports franchise“to trot out any time-tested political attack dog, whether he or she be Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Socialist or whatever.”

Ari Fleischer? To lecture the helmet heads about what? How to lie mislead a nation about the lead up to a fractious war in the Middle East and then continue to bully anybody who might suggest otherwise and warn American citizens that they have to be careful of what they say in a free nation that he perhaps doesn™t think protects, you know, freedom of speech?

Who™s next up on the 49ers speakers bureau? Rush Limbaugh? Then Pastor Jeremiah Wright? (Well, you and I know it wouldn™t be Wright or anyone of that political/social stripe, not for Mike Nolan™s Hearty Fellows, but if it was Wright, it™d be just as stupid as Fleischer. JUST AS STUPID.)

Sports Bloggery + Casual Misogyny = D.K. Wilson Meltdown

Posted in Blogged Down, social crusaders at 1:26 pm by

The NFL.com shop ran an advertisement last autumn for some ladies-dig-football-too line of team logo’d corsets, micro-tees, etc., and after wondering how come I don’t know any girls having parties like that on Sunday afternoons (answer : I LIVE ON PLANET EARTH), I did ask myself, “guys have no fashion brains whatsoever, but what self-respecting women-person actually wears that stuff?”.

Well, thanks to the eagle eyes of Sports On My Mind’s dwill, I think I have my answer.  Though crediting AOL Fanhouse with previously having “included women and treated them as equals in its own white, male, snark and circumstance-dominated bandwidth and pushed women as equals to the rest of the white, frat boy-patrolled sports blogosphere,” Mr. Wilson adds “now, though, it seems that even the women of FanHouse have been undercutted, their value demeaned, and the true perception of their worth exposed.”

The offending content, mysteriously removed, but still available in cached form, leads the SOMM author to conclude, “we can now add misogynist to the already racist atmosphere that acts as a toxic smog hanging over its url.”

Fanhouse founder Jamie Mottram was also dismayed by his old firm’s decision to plug The Fantasy Sports Girls, describing the promotion as “unbelievably bad content…in unbelievably poor taste and reeks of executive ineptitude and shortsightedness.”

Hey, I’m just surprised Yardbarker didn’t think of it first.  Mottram alludes to other changes in the direction of Fanhouse since his departure for Yahoo Sports, and while it’s interesting to watch a good portion of the sports blogosphere leap on Wilson’s righteous bandwagon, how many of ‘em have taken the time to axe this motherfucker from their blogrolls?

Bennigan’s Shuts Its Doors, Cubs Fans Take It Out On Whoever They Can

Posted in Baseball, Get Out Of Jail at 11:01 am by

“Play nice, gentlemen,” reads the note from a concerned GC addressed to Ben Schwartz and myself in the wake of the latest Cubs fan assault on class and decorum, a beatdown which reportedly cost outnumbered White Sox fan Robert Steele his eye. But as Ghandi once observed, “An eye for an eye and soon the whole world is blind, and a tooth for a tooth explains Ronnie Woo-Woo.”

The CSTB honcho needn’t worry. We can, in fact, just all get along. I haven’t met Ben yet, but I doubt he’s a violent racist shitbag hedge fund manager, despite championing the red, white and blue as he does. And I’m no mulleted, first-base coach-tackling buffoon – because when your team wins a World Championship more often than once a century, you just don’t get that motivated. Since Ben’s not the eye-kicking type, it’s not his job to answer for the retrograde brutality and abject cowardice that marks Cub Nationalism.

But who should? Is there no responsibility to be borne by the individuals who tacitly support a violent, media-manipulating organization built on superficial assent, ignorance and entitlement? Do Cubs fans have less or more responsibility for the wretched excesses of their regime than do Republican voters? And most importantly, can Mr. Steele get a Sox eyepatch somewhere?

Because I’d totally wear one of those.

Police said Boguslaw Czapla delivered the kick that cost Steele his eye, but in an interview Tuesday he denied he was at the party during the alleged brawl. He said he was away from the party for about an hour and that Steele had been taken to the hospital by the time he returned.

“I went to the liquor store to get a pack of cigarettes,” Boguslaw Czapla said Tuesday. “By the time I got back it was all over.”

Boguslaw Czapla acknowledged that he and his brother are Cubs fans but said he does not recall any discussions about the teams during the gathering. The Associated Press reported the party started out as a Sesame Street-themed birthday party for a 2-year-old girl.

Boguslaw Czapla said police took as evidence the boots he was wearing that night. “Hopefully, once they do whatever they do on them, [the boots] should come up clean,” he said.

Most of the people at the party”including himself and Steele”were drinking alcohol, Boguslaw Czapla said.

Jaroslaw Czapla, 31, the brother who hosted the party, was charged with misdemeanor battery and felony mob action, police said.

“No comment, thanks,” he said when he answered the door at his Huntley home on Tuesday.

A neighbor who said she has known Jaroslaw Czapla for about five years but who declined to give her name called him a good father and a hard worker. She also described him as an avid Cubs fan who once named a pet dog Wrigley.

An Inconvenient Truth

Posted in Gridiron, The World Of Entertainment at 5:24 am by

(inventor of the internet AFL, Al Gore)

Win a major pro or college championship, you meet the President. Win the ArenaBowl…

“It’s amazing how many people have texted, or e-mailed or called,” [Philadephia Soul co-owner Jon Bon Jovi] said. “Coach [Tom] Coughlin from the Giants, Andy Reid, Bill Belichick, Bob Kraft, [Doug] Flutie, [John] Elway, Al Gore. You’d be surprised at the people who were glued to their TV Sunday. Charlie Weis.

[Bon Jovi] said after Sunday’s game that the concert he promised if the Soul won the championship would be held before next season’s opener.

Does that mean the “free” concert requires purchase of a game ticket? Or is it just going to be “sometime before” next season’s opener, at somewhere other than the Wachovia Center?

Paging Stephen Bochco…

Posted in "Wife Beater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Baseball, Greedy Motherfuckers, The Law at 3:59 am by

You might want to get on this for your new show before Dick Wolf does. According to the Associated Press, former Seattle Mariners (and not-quite-Phillies and Giants) reliever Julio Mateo, now with Fresno of the PCL, was arrested on suspicion of forgery after paying for a cab in Albuquerque using a counterfeit $100 bill.

Mateo had previously faced domestic violence charges from an incident in New York City, which he eventually pled guilty to. I’m now thinking he got nabbed for that because somebody asked him, “Julio, when did you stop beating your wife?”

According to police reports, as officers patted Mateo down in a hotel hallway early Sunday, he made a statement in Spanish to police that translates to, “I didn’t pass the bad money.”

“Before officers informed him of why we were there, Julio stated that he did not know anything about fake money,” Officer Christopher Enyart wrote in a police report….

After investigating officers received permission from Mateo to enter his hotel room, an officer saw “two stacks [of] money with $100 bills on top of the stacks,” a police report said.

The Secret To Carlos Delgado’s Success

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 1:06 am by

Mets 1B Carlos Delgado continued his recent turn-back-the-clock routine Tuesday night, hitting an 8th inning, 2-run HR off the Marlins’ Renyel Pinto, a key blow in New York’s 4-1 victory. Since June 27, Delgado’s clobbered 13 home runs and accumulated 25 RBI’s. He’s also seen his batting average rise from .232 to .262, his OPS increasing by more than 100 points, a stunning turnaround that’s caused many observers to wonder how they should properly account for this career resurrection.  Has Delgado finally recovered from his wrist and hip woes?  Has Willie Randolph’s departure been something of a relief?  Or could this be Carlos D’s personal crusade to make one Long Island-based columnist look silly?   If you picked “C”, surely Newsday’s Ken Davidoff deserves consideration for a Mets playoff share by virtue of penning the following on June 28, the day after Delgado hit 3 HR’s at Yankee Stadium.

Game 1 will go down as a memorable aberration in this downward slope of Delgado’s career bell curve, rather than serving as a springboard for the 36-year-old’s revival; he went 0-for-2 with two walks in the Mets’ 9-0 Game 2 loss to Sidney Ponson, of all people.

Come season’s end, Delgado’s statistics might look decent, the product of a few more binges. But that he’ll leave the Mets, nonetheless, trailed by a cloud of disappointment.

Mets fans have taken on Delgado this year as much for his body language as his stats. The way he barely seems to move on balls hit in his vicinity. The way his shoulders slump after a strikeout. He seems to be a different guy from the freethinking, note-taking, ball-raking leader who first came here in 2006.

Wright, always the optimist, praised his teammate. Said Wright: “He’s a guy that, when he gets hot, he gets stupid hot. He can be one of the best run-producers in the league.”

Maybe. Probably not. But for one glorious afternoon in the Bronx, at least, Delgado entered his personal time tunnel, padded his impressive resume and won the Mets a ballgame.

Dick Justice On The Rockets’ Tarnished 2009 NBA Championship

Posted in Basketball at 12:13 am by

As you’ve probably heard elsewhere, Houston have reunited Rick Adelman with Ron Artest, acquiring the Tru Warier for the price of Bobby Jackson, Donte Green and a future draft pick.  A disillusioned Richard Justice, blogging for the Houston Chronicle, concedes, “if the Rockets win a championship–and they’re good enough if Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming stay healthy and Morey makes a move to upgrade point guard–no one will care how they did it. No one will mention that the franchise suddenly seems diminished.

He’s a wonderfully talented basketball player. He’s only 29 years old. He did a terrific job with the Kings on the court. But there’s a reason this is his fourth team. Not every team has considered Ron Artest worth the trouble.

Rick Adelman coached Artest for 40 games, so he certainly signed off on the deal. I want to trust Rick Adelman in personnel matters. I want to trust Daryl Morey, too. This is a tough one to swallow.

It could be another example of Les Alexander pretending to be a general manager. His last good idea was wanting Steve Francis back in uniform. That one should have taught him to stick with stocks and bonds and whatever else he does. He doesn’t know basketball.

We’ll eventually know whether Les forced this deal on his basketball team. It may be two or three years down the line, but someone will let it slip. They always do.

The Rockets had pursued Artest in the past even after he’d gotten into trouble. In an odd twist, once he was accused of animal cruelty, Artest seemed to disappear from the hearts and minds of the Rockets.

Come to think of it, if you can forgive Artest for all the other stuff he has done, you should be able to forgive him for neglecting an animal.

Justice lists “attacking a fan” as part of Artest’s rap sheet, neglecting to mention said fan precipitated the assault by throwing a full cup of beer .  Indeed, there are many reasons why Artest is on his 4th franchise.  But since we’re on the subject, Tracy McGrady is a trade away from having played for just as many. If Artest’s reputation precedes him, how about T-Mac’s coach killing history?


Write Your Own Big Red Machine Punch Line : Fire Joe Morgan Banned In China

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Free Expression, olympics, The Internet, We Aren't The World at 11:47 pm by

Despite prior assurances that journalists covering the Summer Olympics would have unfettered internet access, CNET reports there’s a number of sites being blocked, including Amnesty International and urls that include “Tibet”. But it’s not just Current 93 loving sports scribes who are SOOL, writes the Rocky Mountain News’ Daniel Oshinsky, as it seems Chinese authorities frown on public criticism of a certain “Moneyball”-bashing former second baseman.

I am not sure why this is the case.  Maybe the Chinese government wants to hide the link between high BABIP and overinflated batting averages.  Maybe they’re against those who lurk in their mother’s basement, thumbing through the dusty box scores in old editions of Sporting News.  Maybe they just like Murray Chass’ new website.

Whatever the reason, here’s an open call for the Chinese government to unblock Fire Joe Morgan.  The good people of China deserve to know what inane things the American baseball media are saying.

One Sad Individual’s Virtual Assault On Carlos Beltran

Posted in Baseball, Video Games at 7:51 pm by

While a 6th inning RBI single off Scott Olsen by Carlos Beltran has the Mets leading the Fish, 2-1, not every New Yorker is enamored with the Mets’ centerfielder.

Shocking stuff, eh?  You’d think Chris Russo could afford a maid.