07.29.08

At Least He Lasted Longer Than Rush Limbaugh

Posted in Gridiron, Sports TV at 7:31 pm by

Newsday’s Neil Best reported earlier today that Emmit Smith has been replaced by Chris Carter on the set for ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown”, charitably describing the former Cowboys RB as an announcer who “struggled at times to speak English clearly”. With this historic announcement in mind, let’s (again) turn back to last November, when the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Gary West annointed Emmitt as “the media™s MPP —most painful person to watch/hear.”

As an ESPN football analyst, Smith is conspicuously inept. No, to call him inept insults inept people: He™s woefully incompetent. But here™s the important question: What does his presence say about the network that put him there?

As one of the analysts on NFL Countdown, Smith babbles, bumbles and stutters while generally insulting the language. He sometimes fumbles his facts and frequently seems unprepared. He can™t even get a cliché right.About Green Bay™s Donald Driver, Smith said: œTonight he™s looking to get back to paydirt so he can right size the ship right now.

About the Cowboys™ quarterback, Smith said: œTony Romo has the mentality to have the sense to make the play.

When asked to summarize his thoughts in two words, he once said, œCowboys lose big-time.

And about this season™s grand possibilities, Smith said, œIf you want to stay perfect, you can not go undefeated with a blemish on your record.

OK / No Way : Don’t Tell Me That God (Shammgod) Is Dead

Posted in Basketball at 6:49 pm by

With apologies to Mission Of Burma, who amongst us hasn’t awoken in a cold sweat wondering, “whatever happened to God Shammgod?” Thankfully, you can sleep easy tonight, as the New York Post’s Howard Kussoy reports Shammgod is putting up gaudy numbers for Raw 129th Street in the Tri-State Classic.

The man – whose name leaves as much of an impression as his game – is back playing streetball after a five-year hiatus, drawn back to the court that resides less than 50 dribbles from his childhood home.

“I play because that’s the park I grew up in. That’s the park where I fell in love with basketball,” Shammgod said. “I used to be in that park until like two in the morning.”

Shammgod, 32, achieved his greatest fame during his second, and final, year at Providence, leading the Friars to the Elite Eight in the 1997 NCAA Tournament, where they lost in overtime to the eventual champs, Arizona. The Wizards took Shammgod in the second round of the 1997 NBA Draft. He played in Washington for one season.

“I can’t say I didn’t get a fair shot. I played behind Rod Strickland, who was one of the best point guards in the NBA,” the 6-foot guard said. “It’s hard to argue [about playing time] when a person is leading the league in assists.”

Were it not for Kussoy’s street hoops reportage, I’d be blissfully unaware, for example, that Smush Parker, Allan Houston and Ron Artest are amongst the household names currently spending their summer on the asphalt.

Teixeira Gains A Halo, Braves Bail On ’08

Posted in Baseball at 5:23 pm by

That Atlanta 1B Mark Teixeira has been on the trading block of late is hardly a shocker, but Tim Hudson and Chipper Jones going on the DL yesterday can only have hastened the Braves’ resolve in getting someone of value for what amounted to a year’s rental. ESPN’s Keith Law reported this evening on “SportsCenter” that the Angels have acquired Teixeira in exchange for 1B Casey Kotchman and P Stephen Marek (above).

While David Pinto scores points for being the first person to propose a Jose Guillen/Manny Ramirez trade, the Providence Journal’s Sean McAdam suggests the Red Sox are amongst those clubs coveting position player-turned-reliever Ron Mahay. Long before his conversion, Mahay was part of the same Trenton Thunder squad as Boston’s former shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. Perhaps he can platoon in left field after the Mets have exchanged F-Mart for Manny.

15 Months In The Stoney Lonesome For Tim Donaghy

Posted in Basketball, The Law at 4:33 pm by

The rogue ref’s solicitor can neither confirm nor deny Tim Donaghy — sentenced to 15 months in what his wife hopes is a country club prison — is writing a book. Either way, it’s a bad time for Judith Reagan to be out of the publishing business.

Though Donaghy’s days officiating in the Association are most certainly over, perhaps the fledgling Premier Basketball League might offer him a gig once he’s paid his debt to David Stern society?  There’s generally not a Vegas line on games between the Montreal Sasquatch and Vermont Frost Heaves, though with the added visibility a Donaghy hire would surely bring, perhaps that’s something to aim for.

Not to diminish the seriousness of Donaghy’s crimes, but Kwame Brown’s been stealing money for years and the Pistons just rewarded him with a new $8 million deal

Never Shall The Name “Jumping Jim Brunzell” Be Uttered In The Mushnick Household

Posted in Professional Wrestling, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 3:33 pm by

(the Baron can be seen 11pm weeknights…and that is all the people need to know)

“Though ESPN Classic is normally loaded with old garbage — pro wrestling, American Gladiators — instead of classic sports, it carried yesterday’s Baseball Hall Of Fame inductions as if they made a good fit.” – Phil Mushnick, New York Post, July 28

A cursory scan of today’s TV listings reveals ESPN Classic (aka “The Ocho”) features “American Gladiators” at 6pm, and AWA Wrestling at 11pm.  By what measure does Mushnick consider one twelfth of ESPN Classic’s daily schedule “loaded”?   Would the Post’s TV sports columnist have us believe a channel that serves up a daily dose of Howie Schwab and Denise Austin is unworthy of Goose Gossage’s acceptance speech?  By what twisted perspective is Verne Gagne’s venerable midwestern wrestling promotion deemed “old garbage”, while impressionable viewers have just as much “Arli$$” foisted upon them?

The Best Newspaper Headline Of Your Editor’s Vegas Vacation

Posted in The World Of Entertainment, Tourism at 10:03 am by

Indeed, it’s something we can all feel good about.

And in the NL Central, It’s a Half-Game Up on Heinz

Posted in Baseball, consumer affairs, Food at 5:01 am by

The Cincinnati Reds get busy at the trade deadline by naming an official ketchup.


Orestes (Madison County) IN – Red Gold, Inc. has announced a new sponsorship program with the Cincinnati Reds, just in time for the Reds Hall of Fame Induction weekend activities.

With this multi-year sponsorship, Red Gold Premium Quality Ketchup is the official and exclusive brand of ketchup available in Great American Ball Park.  According to Greg Metzger, Director of Marketing, œThis is a great opportunity for the Red Gold company to support the Cincinnati Reds and their loyal fan base while becoming part of their rich baseball tradition.

Cincinnati consumers and Reds fans™ have enjoyed the quality of Red Gold Brand tomato products, which are hometown favorites, for years. Now fans will be able to enjoy the great taste of Red Gold Premium Quality Ketchup on hot dogs, fries, bratwursts and hamburgers served at concession stands throughout Great American Ball Park.  The striking and vibrant Red Gold Brand logo will be prominently showcased in all thirty-two concession stands.

This sponsorship of the Cincinnati Reds is yet another example of Red Gold™s involvement in the local community while supporting the hometown team.

And another example of a “Cincinnati” product that’s from Indiana or Kentucky.

Meanwhile, following up on GC’s earlier note, the Enquirer reports that Reds broadcaster Jeff Brantley is free to use Hunt’s, Heinz or Del Monte, since he and all the other broadcasters “have been asked to stay out of the players lounge and dining room.” If this had happened last year, do you think Joe Nuxhall would have been included in the ban?

That’s 105,408 Major Penalties

Posted in Get Out Of Jail, Hockey, The Law at 12:21 am by

(minor league hockey buffs Beecher and Schillinger, moments before the coin flip to determine who’d become Cornacchia’s cellmate)

Bush-league blueliner David Cornacchia of the Florida Everblades received a prison sentence for flying under the influence of alcohol and Ambien. The ECHL star’s behavior certainly topped Courtney Love or Peter Buck.

From Angela Busch of the Naples Daily News:

œSeveral times requested more alcohol … slapped male flight attendant with open hand … put in plastic restraints … exposed genitals in an apparent attempt to urinate … head-butted the assisting passenger … captain requested emergency approach to Dallas-Fort Worth airport.…

œI don™t think anyone could listen to or read that (report) without being horrified, U.S. District Judge John Steele said, just before sentencing the 27-year-old Cornacchia to one year and one day in federal prison, with supervised release for three years, including substance abuse and anger management programs, plus a $4,000 fine. 

œAt no time during that flight did I mean to hurt anybody … I harmed mostly myself, obviously, Cornacchia said. œI haven™t been drinkin™ for seven months here, and I just want to move on with my life and try to keep playing hockey.…

Cornacchia™s status as a professional athlete bought him free rounds of golf, free dinners, attention from women, adoring fans ” even here in Southwest Florida.

In two and a half months, a whole new Everblades team will take the ice at Germain Arena. Some will know Cornacchia™s story, some may not. Some may choose to take Ambien to help themselves through those long road trips. Some may mix it with large amounts of alcohol.

Night after night, they™ll take the ice, the fans will cheer, and they will spend five minutes in the penalty box if they head-butt an opponent.

Meanwhile, in a U.S. federal prison as close to his family in Toronto as he can get, Cornacchia will sit in his cell, day after day, his hockey gear in storage, the taunts of nearby inmates the only cheers he hears.

07.28.08

Todd Jones : Blogging Pioneer, Paragon Of Heterosexuality, Former Closer

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 6:53 pm by

Fernando Rodney’s been installed as the new closer in Detroit following a Todd Jones blown save on Friday.  The latter reliever tells the Detroit News’ Bob Wojnowski, “”I’ve been to the depths of everything emotionally, but this is just one of those things you have to go through, too.” With this kind of range, there’s no reason Jones can’t make his acting debut in a dinner theatre production of “The Rod Beck Story”.  (link taken from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

“You know, you’re born into the big leagues and then you’re born a closer and then one day you’re no longer trusted with the brunt of the load in the ninth inning. My day came — what is it, July 27? — so there’s no spilled milk here.”

Jones stopped and referenced Leyland, who always stood behind him but couldn’t do it now.

“I mean, I love that guy,” Jones said, his lip quivering, his voice cracking.

Leyland wanted it known he wasn’t scapegoating Jones, that he greatly appreciated his effort, that urgency simply was mounting.

“He handled it like the entire pro he is,” Leyland said. “We’re not throwing Todd Jones under the bus. I have to make decisions that I think are in the best interests of the ballclub, and right now, I think it’s in our best interests to try somebody else for a while.”

“I’m a pro, I’m a Tiger,” Jones said. “I’m a big boy. I’m 40, so you knew this day had to come sometime. I can’t question anything (Leyland) has done because he’s done a lot for me, taken a lot of heat for me, and I’ve done a pretty good job for him too. I don’t like it but I’ll live with it because I respect the guy that told me.”

“As much as (Jeff) Brantley might be baseball’s leading purveyor of hot air, that still doesn’t excuse Griffey making an on-field motion even more distasteful than Brantley’s mullet” scolds Yahoo Sports’ ‘Duk of claims Junior made a throat-slashing gesture towards the Reds’ mouthpiece this past Saturday night while crossing home plate.  Without wishing to debate matters of decorum, can we really blame Griffey for expressing the same sentiments held by virtually every person that’s ever heard Brantley call a game?

Henry David Thoreau, Fuck Off : Carl Stevens’ Ode To Manny

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 2:28 pm by

WBZ’s Carl Stevens considers the crumbling relationship between Manny Ramirez and the Boston Red Sox (above), though isn’t it a tad one-sided to paint Boston’s disgruntled left-fielder as being all about the money? Standing room tickets are $50 at Fenway Park, the franchise is a cash-printing machine, yet the poor, suffering ownership are being encouraged — by the local media, no less —- to cut salary in 2009, if not sooner.

It’s hard to imagine what Manny might have to moan about given a $20 million annual salary. But he’s a rather crucial component in Boston’s two World Series Championships in the past 89 years. For those who cannot abide by Ramirez taking games off, bitching about his contract status in midseason, etc., there’s only one solution that makes sense before Friday’s trade deadline : a straight-up trade swap with Detroit for Gary Sheffield.