Mushnick : Let’s Not Go To The Videotape

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 4:12 pm by

When he’s not overcome with emotion recalling the late Dick Young (above) —- “it’s hard to imagine Young would be particularly pleased with the condition of sports, from HGH to PSLs” — yeah, to say nothing of blogging and the passage of the Civil Rights Act —- the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick raises a valid point or two regarding MLB’s introduction of video review on questionable home run calls. “What happens when a team’s network is found to have withheld a replay that would have benefited the opponent?”  asks Phil, and while I have no idea about the correct answer, if it results in the suspension of Chris Cotter, can’t we all agree that’s a good thing?

The subjugation of evidence on behalf of a network’s team will happen, thus it becomes a matter of whether we find out. The flipside will show teams’ network personnel extra eager to find and display third-angle evidence that supports the team/network for which they work.

And what about the team’s TV crew that honestly was just too late finding evidence that would have benefited the opposing team? Should it be shown for public enlightenment, as it would have before “instant replay”? Or hidden from view rather than risk such high suspicion?

Will SNY and YES tape operators be forced to take oaths of allegiance to MLB? MLB can’t discipline non-employees for refusing to accept MLB’s unilateral appointment as umpires. Why put anyone other than an MLB umpire in a position to cost a team/network owner millions in postseason revenues, not to mention one’s own job?

The cure that MLB seeks will be worse than the disease. If left in the hands of MLB umpires, right or wrong, no nefarious outside activity, real or imagined, can enter the process of determining games. Let the umpires, and only the umpires, be the umpires.

Let The Healing Begin : Woody Page Avoids Grope Suit

Posted in Sports TV, The Law at 3:55 pm by

The New York Daily News’ Thomas Zambito reports that we’ve been denied the Trial Of The Century.  Not to sound all cavalier about inappropriate behavior in the workplace, but we should say a silent prayer of thanks that the WWL’s epidemic of zipper problems never resulted in any revelations about Beano Cook.

Judge John Koeltl tossed out a lawsuit Friday filed by makeup artist Rita Ragone, who accused host Jay Crawford and sportswriter Woody Paige of groping and propositioning her.

Koeltl ruled Ragone had agreed to take any sexual harassment claims to an arbitrator when she was hired by the show in 2005.

Ragone maintained she never signed anything and that the signature on the agreement was forged. An ESPN handwriting expert disagreed.

Ragone, who calls herself the “Stylist to the Stars,” claimed she was canned in 2006 after complaining to ESPN execs about locker room talk on the set.

“I don’t care if you can do makeup or not,” she said Crawford told her after backing her into a corner. “The only reason you got the job here is because you’re hot.”

Brand : Just What Are West Ham Trying To Hide?

Posted in Football at 3:34 pm by

Penned prior to West Ham’s 4-1 demolition of Blackburn earlier today, Russell Brand’s latest Guardian column includes the muse, “they say societies get the government they deserve and perhaps we get the sport we deserve too; and as a West Ham fan that is a troubling idea.”

The club seems to be in some turmoil and it appears there is division between manager Alan Curbishley and the board. Not least one suspects as a result of the growing trend in top-flight football for superscouts, at West Ham there is a fella called Gianluca Nani who is tasked with finding and recruiting new players for the team. Now whether he works in conjunction with the incrementally castrated Curbishley or not it’s easy to envisage how such a relationship could cause tension.

The other week Nani, whose official title is “technical director” (need any techniques directed? Ooh, yes please, they’re all over the shop) brought in the Chilean striker Sebastián Pinto on loan from the Brazilian side Santos and Curbishley refused to play him in a friendly against QPR that took place “behind closed doors”. There’s a few things in this story worthy of note; firstly the whole “on loan” concept is bizarre, in a transient world such as ours everything is impermanent, the planet itself will one day implode so the notion of an eternal transfer is berserk.

Also borrowing people is perhaps more quirky than buying them – “oy, mister can I borrow your wife?” sounds macabre, as does “give us a go on your girlfriend Russ” which is what the video man used to shout when he’d pull up his van outside ours. I never let him of course, in spite of his pledge to give me the Star Wars trilogy free for one week as recompense. I’d already seen it and those videos were moody, plus Tracy was a schoolgirl.

And what kind of pervy Aleister Crowley football matches have to be played behind closed doors? What do they get up to in these clandestine contests? Play in the nude? Worship the devil? It’s difficult to imagine them doing anything more embarrassing than the performance they turned out so publicly and brazenly at Manchester City last Saturday. If that game had been conducted in private I wouldn’t now be harbouring the spectacle of Luis Boa Morte guiltily scampering like a fare evader on an InterCity train.

McCain/Palin Tickets Courts a Precious Demographic

Posted in Hockey, politics at 3:00 pm by

I mean, it was all about the “hockey mom” thing right? This has gotta be a clever way to lock up Michigan, where Sarah’s eldest son Track Palin played a year of Midget AAA (though damned if I can find any of his statistics, save for an appearance in this box score). Not to mention the hundreds of other hockey fans in such swing states as Virginia and Montana.

Plus Palin will be there to correct him should McCain refer to Alexander Ovechkin as one of our “best American athletes.”

Clearly Obama needs to counter by pursuing Scott Gomez‘s endorsement.

Georgia Prep School To Girl Kicker : Come Back When You’re A Dude

Posted in Gridiron, Lower Education at 2:31 pm by

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Kathy Jefcoats reports a private high school has bannished kicker Kacy Stuart from their football team, ignoring every young American girl’s right to grow up to be the next Benny Ricardo.

The 14-year-old high school freshman from Spalding County learned Thursday night ” while team pictures were being shot ” that she was being booted off the field. But her mother said she isn™t going down without a fight.

We™ll file for an injunction if we have to, Angie Stuart said Friday. œWe™ll do whatever it takes to keep her on the team.

For two months, Kacy practiced with the school team, the Crusaders, at New Creation Center, a private Christian academy in McDonough. She participated in drills and even played a scrimmage game Aug. 23.

But a couple of weeks ago, Angie Stuart said, Hank St. Denis, executive board chairman of the Georgia Football League, realized a girl had been accepted onto one of its football teams. St. Denis overruled New Creation™s decision to let her join the team.

œHe said she can™t play simply because she™s a girl, Stuart said.

When she heard the decision, Kacy cried.

œShe has college potential, her mother said. œAnd she™s willing to give up her life here to move to her dad™s [home] in south Georgia, enroll in public school there and play football. That™s how much she loves this game.


Rest Assured, American Apparel & Awful Announcing Have Not Merged

Posted in Baseball, Fashion, Sports TV at 6:15 pm by

However, thanks to the folks at The Lenin Closet (link courtesy Jon Solomon), you might be excused from thinking the nation’s second and third most popular A.A.’s had joined forces.   I’m not crazy about the design of the above shirt, but it’s far more attractive than any of the crap Gary Cohen’s wife is flogging.

Daunte Culpepper – Will QB/Blog For Food

Posted in Gridiron at 5:55 pm by

While the likes of Brock Berlin and Josh McCown will begin the 2008 NFL season as active members of somebody’s roster, former Vikes/Fins/Raiders QB Daunte Culpepper is SOOL.  PFT’s Mike Florio considered the plight of the self-represented Culpepper and offered the 8 year veteran a chance to address the league directly.  Culpepper’s “letter to the NFL community” could well start a trend amongst the jobless — does anyone have Jeff George’s email address?

I set out this free agency period with three categories that I wanted to explore.

1.      Teams that were looking for a starter

2.      Teams that were open for QB competition

3.      Teams that needed a veteran back-up

With the help of the NFLPA, I researched what the market value was for each category. I contacted 14 teams that fell into these categories. Unfortunately, I did not receive any real interest from the teams I contacted. When the Packers finally offered for me to come to Green Bay to back-up Aaron Rodgers there were no real negotiations. They offered me a deal that was, according to my research, below market value. They said that they would get back to me after the draft.

When the beginning of training camp came and there was still no interest, I reached out to Commissioner Goodell to see if he had any suggestions. He asked Ray Anderson to check around the league and get back to me. Ray told me three things based on his discussions with teams. First of all he said that I should get an agent because teams were not comfortable dealing with me without one. The second thing he told me was that I should be ready to accept the vet minimum and start my career over. The third thing he said was that I would only have an opportunity if someone got hurt. This is why I went to Pittsburgh to work out for the team after Charlie got hurt, so I could see if what Ray Anderson said was true. After a great workout, I was offered the vet minimum with no negotiations. This is when I realized that there is something wrong.

For the sake of clarity, I never told anyone in Pittsburgh that I wanted to compete with Ben Rothlisberger for his job. This is an example of misrepresentation or misinformation.

Recently the Commissioner called to let me know that I was on the top of the list for a job if a key veteran got hurt. I really appreciate the Commissioner™s help, but I hate that I have to wait for a fellow QB to experience the misfortune of an injury in order for me to have an opportunity to continue my career. Why was I not given the chance to compete for a job? This is my question to the NFL. The answer seems to point to something that I choose not to embrace at this time. So instead, I will continue to believe for the best and prepare for the worst.

Trojans Fans : As Skilled At Photoshop As They Are In Excusing A Corrupt Program

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 4:57 pm by

You can file this one under “UCLA was asking for it”.  Though I’m surprised nothing fun was done with a) Neuheisel’s visor or b) any reference to a college hoops pool, sometime subtlety is the best policy.

Heyman : Space Mountain Oughta Be Closed For Repairs

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 4:13 pm by

The former Paul E. Dangerously writes, “it’s sad to see Ric Flair advertised for some low rent wrestling shows at this stage of his life.”  As opposed, to say, the not-quite-in-his-prime Terry Funk headlining ECW’s first PPV card (and bleeding on your humble editor as the credits rolled).

Heyman tells the The Sun’s readers “if you check with the producers and vendors and promotions, you’ll see I’ve turned down numerous conventions, autograph signings, guest appearances, booker deals, shoot tapes, you name it.”  Admirable stuff, and I’m sure Paul has left at least three figures on the table as a result.   “Is this how you want to see Flair nowadays? Isn’t just a little uncomfortable?” asks Heyman, and while the clip undoubtedly lacks what Don Cornelius might call production value, if the Nature Boy did manage to retire gracefully, he’d be one of the few guys to have done so.

Hank’s Gestapo : You Will Hold It In During “God Bless America”

Posted in Baseball, Total Fucking Terror at 2:48 pm by

Gothamist.com successfully takes the shine off the Yankees’ comeback victory at the Stadium yesterday afternoon (followed by the news Boston’s Josh Beckett is taking a field trip to Birmingham today rather than start tonight’s game) with the following tale of “mandatory nationalism”.  (link taken from Boing Boing)

Boston fan Brad Campeau-Laurion says a uniformed police officer (perhaps off-duty but working security for overtime) forcibly ejected him from the stadium Tuesday night during the Yankees-Red Sox game.

Why? He says all he did was try to go to the bathroom while “God Bless America” was played during the 7th inning stretch.

“As soon as the latter came out of my mouth, my right arm was twisted violently behind my back and I was informed that I was being escorted out of the stadium. A second officer then joined in and twisted my left arm, also in an excessively forceful manner, behind my back. I informed them they were violating my First Amendment rights and that I had done nothing wrong, with no response from them.

“I was sitting in the Tier Level, and of course this is the highest level of the stadium and I was escorted in this painful manner down the entire length of the stadium. About halfway down, I informed them that they were hurting me, repeated that I had done nothing wrong, and that I was not resisting nor talking back to them. One of them said something to the effect that if I continued to speak, he would find a way to hurt me more.

“When we reached the exit of the stadium, they confiscated my ticket and the first officer shoved me through the turnstiles, saying ‘Get the hell out of my country if you don’t like it.’

Shameful stuff, though it should mollify any fear Mets fans might have about the Yankees making a run at free-agent-to-be Carlos Delgado during the offseason.