(Durham, offering a farewell tip of the cap to the Giants on Sunday)In a direct slap in the face to the Our Year dreams of Cub fans, and Rickie Weeks’ .218 on the season, the Milwaukee Brewers dealt two prospects and some cash to add Ray Durham‘s switch-thitting .293 bat to the NL Central. The Crew’s Doug Melvin will immediately bench Durham, as back-up for Rickie Weeks. For what, a week? At least it’s a bench in a play off race. As the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricort reports, the break-up by the Bay didn’t go easy:
Ray Durham spent the first three innings Sunday sitting in the San Francisco dugout at AT&T Park, watching the Giants take on Milwaukee. All the while, he knew he had been traded to the Brewers, a deal that wouldn™t be announced until after the game.
œI sat there for three innings, but I couldn™t take it anymore, Durham said.
œGuys were looking at me, like, ˜What are you doing here?™ I got up and went back to the clubhouse.
Looking for a veteran left-handed bat on the bench (Durham is a switch hitter) and an alternative for Rickie Weeks should he be unable to improve his offensive numbers, the Brewers acquired the 36-year-old second baseman for two minor-leaguers, left-hander Steve Hammond and outfielder Darren Ford.
To make room for Durham, who joined his new teammates on their charter flight to St. Louis, the Brewers sent infielder/outfielder Joe Dillon to Class AAA Nashville.
The deal actually was completed Saturday after Durham approved the trade. As a œ10 and 5 player (10 years in the majors and at least five with his current club), Durham had the right to nix the deal.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said the players union has a rule that 24 hours must pass before such a deal is finalized.
œHe™s a guy that we wanted, a veteran guy to come over here and help our club, Melvin said. œWe™re looking at the left-handed side more so because we™re so right-handed.
“The world needs more blogs like Madonna needs more Botox” writes Norman Chad in his weekly entry for the Washington Post, the culturally savvy columnist concluding, “blogging is writing about as much as working the pole is dancing.”
At least the talk-radio host, after three or four hours of public proclamations, shuts down. But blogs are like 7-Eleven: They have a bunch of stuff you usually don’t need and they never close. The blogger can — and often does — operate at any time of day or night.
Flip Saunders can’t coach? Let me tell everyone how I feel!
Another blown save from Francisco Cordero? Let me tell everyone how I feel!
Just had a rare, late-afternoon bowel movement? Let me tell everyone how I feel!
If a blogger were sitting next to you in a bar, you’d stop drinking.
So, yeah, I recently said no to starting a sports blog. Who wants more of me, other than couples counselors? And why would I want to pollute an already polluted blogosphere? As for those of you who insist on blogging on, I just ask that you be more kind and gentle, less cutting and snide.
Besides, I’m figuring there are no blogs in heaven. Then again, I’m probably looking at purgatory, and firejoemorgan.com might make it a bit less insufferable.
A scuffle broke out and stadium security quickly pulled the West Ham interlopers to the stadium concourse. The next few minutes were frantic.
While the West Ham fans were removed to a stair landing on the back side of the stadium, supporters of both teams gathered on the concourse. Several punches were thrown and one West Ham fan was thrown to the ground by security and handcuffed by police, who used pepper spray or mace to help break up the melee.
Police couldn’t confirm the number of arrests and Crew vice president of operations Scott DeBolt said he would have no details “until I get a report, which might not be till (today).”
More fans were seen handcuffed in the parking lots after the game.
Peter Witham, a fan of the English team Arsenal, said he was on his way to the restroom when he got hit with chemical irritant used by police.
“I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life and I’ve been going to English Premier League games for forever,” he said.
That would be some neat trick seeing as the “Premier League” hasn’t existed for nearly that long. Presumably, while experiencing glamorous top-flight soccer, Mr. Witham has never seen fit to stumble across The New Den.
The latest in hepcat handbooks, Royal Flush, peaks right here on the cover with this Drew Friedman cartoon of funnyman Patton Oswalt. Still, they give their due to Dave Kingman, a legendary Cub/Met/Giant/Yankee/Angel/Padre/Athletic who managed 442 HRs, 1816 Ks, and one rat mailed to a journalist. Congrats to Richie Sexson (or “Sexton” if you go by Royal Flush’s spelling), who wins the 2008 Kingman award by posting 21 HRs with a .205 AVG last year in Seattle before earning his Yankee pinstripes last week.
I think this blurb on what’s in the new “ish” sums up why this magazine matters:
Plus, Hispanic Batman, Wilford Brimley, Lou Ferrigno, Zakk Wylde, Dave Kingman, The MANOWARDS, System of a Down, Carmine Appice, Todd McFarlane, The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Dirtbombs, The Black Lips, Ryan Adams, In This Moment & Ozzy! The 25th Anniversary of Michael Jackson¹s Thriller. Movie night with Ville Valo of HIM. Scott Weiland™s Prison Pal and so much more!
Costas lost me at “hello,” as he continued his personal crusade aganst Barry Bonds in the opening credits, declaring Bonds’ record breaking career “regrettable.” It only brought to mind Costas’ hypocritical support for Roger Clemens and the reminder that at heart, Costas is a well-informed fan boy and no journalist.
Still, Costas NOW’sPete Rose / Jim Palmer face off on Hall of Fame eligibility is some Must See TV, as Rose still clings to the idea he never got a “second” chance when he’s really asking for … a fourth? Ken Rosenthal’s answer on Hall Of Fame voting also got me thinking, as Rosenthal does not rule out voting in juiced stars like Bonds and McGwire. Instead, he wants time to evaluate the standard should be. If it used to be 500 HRs, or hitting 60 in a season, what’s the standard when it comes to the needle users? 600? 70?
Loved seeing Bob Gibson talk to Wille Mays and Hank Aaron: Gibson’s explanation of why Mays calls him a “headhunter,” and Gibson’s shocked “Who Me?” look when he heard it, make up for tons of Costas. Gibson’s rationale that brushed-back batters jumping away often hit themselves in the head with their bat and only thought it was his pitch — is some hilarious Pete Rose-level lawyering, to say the least. Then Costas called Gibson “Gibby,” like he was one of tho brushed-back, and brought the show back to himself. The East Coast Media bias was put on trial at long last, when Costas’ bio pieces on Aaron and Mays included the fact that the ECM focused on Snider, Mays, and Mantle as the best centerfielders in the game to the exclusion of Aaron who played in Milwaukee. Recent postings will confirm that Rog has my back on this.
Finally, the discussion on the dwindling number of black players in baseball was news to me. If racism is keeping people back, I definitely want it changed. Then again, if the “problem” is that black athletes have other opportunities in the NBA and NFL, and choose other careers, I’m not sure that needs fixing. It’s MLB’s loss in talent, of course, but Costas never framed it that way, just as a PC marketing problem.
As for Cubkiller extraordinaire and former Harlem Globetrotter, Bob Gibson, I add this account of what facing him was like from The Hammer and Dusty Baker.
(Note: As a Globetrotter, Gibson often had to wear silly costumes like the above)
Cubs manager Dusty Baker wonders whether Roger Clemens would have been even more dominating back in the 1960s and ’70s when pitchers could throw inside and hit batters, which he feels helped Bob Gibson when he posted a 1.12 ERA in 1968. ”Guys could go inside on every pitch,” said Baker. ”They could hit you on every pitch if they wanted to. When I first came up, they’d assume you could hit the fastball so they’d see if you could hit the curveball. If you could hit the curve, they’d see if you could hit the slider. If you could hit the slider, they’d see if you could hit the changeup. If you could hit the changeup, they’d say, ‘OK, let’s see if you can hit on your back.’ ” Baker remembers advice from Hank Aaron about facing Gibson: ” ‘Don’t dig in against Bob Gibson, he’ll knock you down. Don’t stare at him. He doesn’t like it. If you happen to hit a home run, don’t run too slow, don’t run too fast. If you happen to want to celebrate, get in the tunnel first. And if he hits you, don’t charge the mound, because he’s a Gold Glove boxer.’ I’m like, ‘Damn, what about my 17-game hitting streak?’ That was the night it ended.”
A 96-82 defeat of Puerto Rico earlier today earned Germany a berth in the Beijing Olympics, Deutschland’s first such entry in the Summer Games since 1992. An admittedly emotional Dirk Nowitzki breathed a sigh of relief (above), and his 32 point performance in this win-or-fuck-off contest has to rank right up with winning the Association’s MVP Award. Or recording the hottest Dallas single since “Learn To Hate In The ’80′s”.
(…but so has Darryl Strawberry, and I’m not voting for him, either)
Behind 8 strong innings from Andy Pettitte (9 K’s, 1 earned run, no walks), the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of Oakland with this afternoon’s 2-1 win at Yankee Stadium. Among the 54,386 in attendance, writes the New York Times’ Larry “Sit On My Face, Steve Nix” Rother, were Senator John McCain and beloved Yankee mascot, Rudolph Guiliani. Link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory.
Before the game on Sunday, Mr. McCain, with Mr. Giuliani in tow, chatted on the field with Joe Girardi, manager of the Yankees, and Bob Geren, manager of the A™s. He also toured Monument Park, where plaques honor Yankee greats beyond the center field wall. When the game began, he and Mr. Giuliani settled into a front-row box seat right next to the Yankees™ dugout, munching on hot dogs.
On the field, Mr. Geren asked Mr. McCain about the experience of running for president. œIt™s like being in Double A and all of a sudden you™re playing in Yankee Stadium, Mr. McCain replied.
Otherwise, Mr. McCain avoided any comments related to politics. But Mr. Giuliani, whose name sometimes comes up in speculation about who Mr. McCain will choose as his running mate, drew heavily from Mr. McCain™s talking point in criticizing what he called the lack of experience of Senator Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee for president, who is traveling abroad at the moment, in Afghanistan, and is expected to go from there to Iraq, Israel and Western Europe.
œI think the fact that Barack Obama is kind of making his first tour, in essence, of the world, gives you an indication that John McCain is the man with the experience, Mr. Giuliani said. œJohn doesn™t have to go for the first or second time to these places. He™s been going for 20, 30 years. He knows the world. He understands the world.”
At Sunday™s game, Mr. McCain kept his rooting interests under wrap. He did wear a baseball cap, but it was emblazoned with the word œNavy instead of the logo of a baseball team, and he applauded solid plays in the field, regardless of who made them.
Given Yankee Stadium’s status as a publicly owned facility — and presumably, MLB doesn’t look favorably upon political endorsements by its individual franchises, can we look forward to an Barack Obama trip to River Ave. before the ballpark is razed?
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman finds fault with WFAN editing an archived audio clip from earlier this week. Hey, if the News columnist — or any other writer from the paper — made a glaring factual error in the print edition, can we assume a corrected version online would be accompanied by a link to the original gaffe?
Tuesday during a WFAN interview with Hall of Famer Phil Niekro. Joe Benigno asked Niekro how his “brother Joe” was doing.
“He had an aneurysm about a year and a half ago and died,” Niekro said. Joe Niekro, a two-time 20 game winner who recorded 221 career wins, died in 2006 of a brain aneurysm at the age of 61.
Benigno told Niekro, “I did not know that.” The talkie was embarrassed, but did not try to hide or cover his mistake.
Someone else did.
If you go to WFAN’s Web site, and click on Benigno/Roberts’ interview with Niekro, you won’t hear the exchange concerning Joe Niekro’s death. It was edited out of the interview.
The FANdroids would not do such a thing, would they? If they were inclined to be so embarrassed over a mistake – or bad radio – they would shut down WFAN’s transmitter from 6 a.m.- 10 a.m., Monday through Friday.
Ladies and gentlemen, that might be the closest thing to a major plug for Adam The Bull you’re gonna read anytime soon.
Good thing there’s always ticket scalping to fall back on, right? David Scott of Scott’s Shots notes WEEI.com’s high profile poachings from the Boston Herald (Mike Felger following Rob Bradford’s earlier move) and suggest these nu-media initiatives might leave some of the station’s more cartoony mouthpieces on the outside looking in.
While intrusive laughing, general ignorance and single-mindedness play well on sports talk radio, the effectiveness of our generic, moronic, Meaty Men for use on the website is going to be negligible. Beyond re-packaging the snorts and soundbites of Smerlas (above, left), DeAwful and The Dwarves, it™s not like any of those big, bad, bullies could ever blog or otherwise communicate effectively. Sentence writing, we™re guessing, wasn™t high on the course list at Connecticut School of Broadcasting.
The beauty of what WEEI.com is going to be able to do, is that it won™t have to strictly rely on in-house (non-)talents to fill the web pages. Murphy and Bradford will be able to line up freelancers and gifted souls who aren™t beholden to fart jokes and homophobia. Even if the majority of WEEI™s radio talk isn™t intelligent and barely entertaining, the website has the hope and ability to be both.
Derek Williams, flanked by two glamour girls, was given a tour of Universidad Nacional’s stadium before issuing a statement to journalists and posing for photographs. The 56-year-old actor, of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, advertises himself on his website as a “Svenalike”. He arranged his visit on Wednesday by sending the first division club fake documents purporting to be from the Mexican football federation. The real Eriksson was named as the new Mexico coach in June after being sacked by Manchester City.
Mexican officials have since warned all clubs to be on their guard should the imposter strike again. “The real Eriksson is in the US at the moment and the character who has been claiming to be him is just a ringer,” the federation said in a statement, adding that Mr Williams had shown a “total lack of respect”.
I’ve got to admit, I had a hard time imagining one could make much of a living working as a doppelganger for the former England/Manchester City manager. But there’s no accounting for taste.
Though the Mets hope to stop a 2-game skid (has the Jerry Manuel Death Watch commenced?) against the Reds today (Volquez v. Pelfrey, 1:15pm EST), they might be forgiven for looking ahead to this week’s trio of games at Shea against the division leading Phillies. Following a highly celebrated stint with Lehigh Valley of the International League, Philadelphia’s Brett Myers tells the Inquirer’s Jim Salisbury, “”I can’t think of a better team for me to come back against.”
“I don’t like ‘em,” he said. “We’re not supposed to like them. Nothing against the guys on the team – they’re our rivals. We like beating them; they like beating us.”
Myers believes that the trip to the minors helped his fastball command and confidence. The righthander’s velocity has ebbed since he moved from closer to the rotation, and that has made locating his pitches more important.
“I feel way more confident than I did,” he said. “I feel like I was aggressive again. I had to get some swagger back, and I feel I accomplished that.
“I threw my fastball a lot, enough where I’m comfortable with it and not worried about it getting hit.”
Myers said it was good to get away for a while because his struggles had begun to bring him down.
“I wasn’t having fun,” he said. “Going down made working hard a little easier. I saw some old faces who were able to tell me what I used to be. They open your eyes. You say, ‘What have I become?’ “
And what had Myers become?
“You can’t print it,” he said.
Myers found time to watch the all-star festivities and liked Chase Utley’s profane message to the New York fans who booed him before the Home Run Derby.
“That was fun,” he said. “I thoroughly enjoyed it. If it had been me, I’d have been run out of town already.”
With all due respect to Utley’s attempts at out-booring Myers, the 2nd baseman has a long way to go.
“I don’t think this is false information,” Lobel said last night. “It’s not something I’d make up. It didn’t come to me in a dream. I know it’s not in their best interests to talk about this, but I’m pretty confident with what I said.”
Manager Terry Francona added, “We handled it how we thought was appropriate. So much has happened since. Things that happen, we take seriously. I don’t think because we don’t say things that that makes us spineless.”
When told of Lobel’s accusation regarding Manny’s passive pinch-hitting appearance, Francona asked, “Where’d he come up with that?”
“It’s ridiculous and incendiary for anyone to suggest that Manny would purposefully make an out in any game,” Henry wrote in an e-mail. “Ridiculous.”
Lucchino wasn’t buying, either.
“I’m not going to dignify that with a response,” he said. “This is Boston and this is the big leagues. A lot of things get created out of whole cloth, and we’ve got to appreciate that things like this happen from time to time.”
Manny’s strikeout against Rivera certainly looked bad, but it’s impossible to get into the head of any ballplayer. Nobody said Bob “Beetle” Bailey was tanking when he took three down the middle against Rich Gossage in the 1978 playoff game.
In fairness to Manny, all three strikes he watched were nasty cutters on the black. No one looks good when they go down looking at three strikes, but it’s risky to accuse an athlete of tanking.
We’re probably never going to know how much the Sox fined Manny and we’ll certainly never know what was going through his mind when he struck out against Rivera. The Sox will continue to let him do what he wants because of his talent, and he will continue to entertain all with his slugging and those occasional cartoon moments.
I’m not sure I can handle the shock. Whether the comments above were directly solicited by Shaughnessy or culled from elsewhere, this is somewhere in the neighborhood of an even-handed treatment of Boston’s left-fielder. Other than raising the point after Lobel had already done so.
Buzz Bissinger, fresh off french kissing Will Leitch on HBO the other night, details the harsh treatment he received at the hands of overzealous security goons during this past June’s College World Series in Omaha, NE. I won’t claim it isn’t a harrowing tale, but Buzz is getting awfully close to treading on Boing Boing’s turf here. From Saturday’s New York Times :
Roughly half a dozen security officials tackled me and threw me face first into the concrete, causing an ugly gash on my leg and a silver dollar-sized bruise on my arm. My glasses broke. One put me in a chokehold while another handcuffed me, all of it occurring in front of my three sons. They were traumatized. I was traumatized. Over a camera. At a sporting event, a college sporting event that likes to think of itself as the ultimate family affair.
I was told I was permanently banned from Rosenblatt. I was threatened with arrest. The gash in my leg was bleeding, a matter of concern because I am on the blood thinner coumadin (the result of recent five-hour reconstructive surgery for a clot in my leg) and one of the side effects of the drug can be unchecked bleeding.
All kidding aside, this is seriously fucked up. Who knew there were so many Deadspin readers working as security guards?
Earlier in the day, Mission Of Burma‘s Roger Miller thanked a Pitchfork Festival audience for the state of Illinois “giving us Barack Obama”. I don’t wanna accuse Rog of pandering to his devoted fans, but he could just as well have demanded they apologize for John Wayne Gacy, Al Jourgensen or Jim Belushi.
When they took Shea Hillenbrand away, I said nothing. When they banished Frank Thomas, again, I said nothing. The exile of John Gibbons? Not a peep from me. But now that Toronto has done away with Wayne McMahon, I’ve got to wonder, by what possible standard is J.P. Ricciardi not considered expendable?
And on the other hand, Wayne must get pretty annoying after a while.
97 year old Bob Sheppard has been the Yankee Stadium public address announcer since 1951, and while he’s been in poor health of late, CNN’s Darren Rovell promises, “due to the state of text-to-speech technology, Sheppard™s voice could be the voice of the starting lineups for the next 50 years, if the Yankees choose to go that route.”
Patrick Dexter, director of business development for Cepstral a leader in text-to-speech technology, told CNBC that it would be possible for the company to create a program that would enable the Yankees to have every player “ the Yankees and their opponents “ be announced by Sheppard™s voice forever.
œDoing names and numbers is easier than creating what they call a full domain voice, which is voicing full sentences, Dexter said. œBut if we had some time and money “ and the Yankees certainly might have that bankroll — we could do this.
It would likely cost the Yankees in the six figures, Dexter said, and the company would need at least 10 hours of Sheppard™s time in order to recognize all his speech patterns.
If there™s a rookie who comes up for the Yankees in 2017 and the Sheppard program doesn™t immediately pronounce it right, Dexter said a technician could do a couple things to make sure the Sheppard voice program recognizes it correctly. One solution is to write everything phonetically. So if Jorge comes out George, it could be typed in as Horhay.
Dexter says that the text-to-speech technology is getting better because the company is getting more and more requests from ordinary people who want to preserve the voice of someone who is dying or who is losing their voice to cancer or some other disease.
Indeed, I have it on good authority Victory Records has already made similar provisions with the surviving members of Hawthorne Heights.
Since my local IMAX theatre has already sold out the next four days’ screenings of “The Dark Knight”, I’ll just have to be satisfied with Nick Stevens’ trenchant commentary. Hey, is just me or has Aaron Eckhart not played a single interesting character since “In The Company Of Men”?
“Mom”, in this instance being named Flavio Briatore. Not to get all Uni Watch on you, but QPR’s new alternative jersey is without question the ugliest I’ve seen since I began following the club. And I’m including a couple that looked as though Rangers’ marketing department had hired a design team from Chess King.
On the other other hand, posing in the shirt above is not even close to the most embarrassing thing Ainsworth has done in public.
“I don’t know why they’re keeping me down here, to be honest,” the left-hander said Thursday night. “I don’t know why.”
Liriano let his pitching do most of the talking on a gorgeous night at Frontier Field, allowing just one run in eight dominating innings as the Wings topped the Norfolk Tides 7-4 at Frontier Field. He scattered seven hits, walked none and struck out eight.
“He just seems to get better and better,” Wings manager Stan Cliburn said. “He’s so sharp with his slider. He easily could have finished this game.”
Liriano’s agent, Greg Genske, made news this week by questioning the Twins’ motives in keeping the former phenom in Triple-A. Genske told Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com that he’s “extremely frustrated” that his client remains in the minors. Genske is calling for an investigation by the players’ union because he feels his client should be in the majors and is losing valuable service time.
Liriano (8-2) handled the issue delicately after Thursday’s game, saying: “I think I’m ready to go. I’m just taking care of business right now. It’s not frustrating. I try to be patient and do my job. I just (want to) keep on doing what I’m doing now.”
Liriano’s fastball topped out at 96 mph. He extended his scoreless streak to 262/3 innings before giving up back-to-back doubles to Eider Torres and Luis Terrero in the sixth. It’s the second-longest streak by a Wings pitcher without allowing an earned run since the club began keeping team records in 1967. Nick Blackburn did not allow an earned run over 44 consecutive innings last year.
The Sporting News chose the headline of “Can Liriano (Fantasy) owners sue the Twins?”, though Matt Lutovsky’s item on the subject doesn’t really pose the question, instead concluding “unfortunately, fantasy owners who have had Liriano on their roster all this time can only bide their time and hope Livan Hernandez gets shelled again. There’s no other legal recourse.” Wow, really? Are you totally sure of this, Matt? Have you consulted an attorney? What’s the point of raising such a preposterous notion if you’re not gonna fully explore the possibility?
Attn : acolytes of hate-fuck gasbag Michael Savage ; there’s a new bogeyman responsible for your shitty existence. Not longer must you be satisfied with blaming the nation’s ills on illegal immigrants, homosexuals, welfare cheats and the rise of ebonics. Instead, you can add to the list, the millions of ethically-challenged children who are pretending to be autistic.
Despite not being anywhere near a top-tier starter, Blanton brings a healthy appetite for innings to the Phillies rotation, though it will likely be as a 4th or even 5th man. His split stats show that he hurls better away from Oakland, but Citizens Bank Park isn’t exactly pitcher-friendly, so we’ll have to wait and see how those stats are affected by the new surroundings.
As of this writing, the Mets are 9 outs away from pulling even with the Phillies for first place in the NL East ; New York leads Cincinatti, 6-5, in the last of the 7th, thanks in large part to a pair of two-run homers by Carlos Delgado (his 18th) and Fernando Tatis (his 5th). Phillies and Marlins fans will have to take some solace in knowing Billy Wagner’s very available after his blown save in the Bronx Tuesday evening, and could well be on the mound in the 9th inning tonight.
Viva El Birdos pays homage to Florida’s Dan Uggla today, the man behind what they’re calling “The Worst All-Star Performance Ever”. Yes, even worse than Eric Young’s analysis.