09.27.08

No Telethons For Rocco : Rays Doc Denies Muscular Dystrophy Claim

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 2:22 pm by

Crowned AL East champions for the first time in their history last night, the Tampa Rays are contending with some sensational, if not screwy local tele-journalism writes the St. Petersberg Times’ Marc Topkin :

A so-called “exclusive” report by WFTS- Ch. 28 that OF Rocco Baldelli has muscular dystrophy is “erroneous,” according to Dr. Allan Weiss, who has been treating Baldelli.

“The report is erroneous,”  Weiss said in comments relayed through the team. “It is incorrect terminology. He has mitochondrial myopathy, not muscular dystrophy.”

Asked directly before Friday’s game if he had muscular dystrophy, Baldelli said, “No.” And of the report, he said, “That’s awful.”

Rays president Matt Silverman issued a statement calling  the report “irresponsible” and requesting an apology to the Baldelli family: “The report issued by WFTS-TV Channel 28 is irresponsible and erroneous. We expect an immediate retraction and an apology to Rocco and his family.”

WFTS touted the story by Wendy Ryan on its website (abcactionnews.com) and in a press release with the headline: EXCLUSIVE: Rays Rocco Baldelli disgnosed with Muscular Dystrophy.”

Best Bullpen Ever Eyes Armchairs For October Delivery

Posted in Baseball at 11:58 am by

(Above: Joe Morgan delivers a withering diss to Rawly Eastwick)

Although the KC Royals obligingly restored a semblance of order to the Twin Cities blooperdome by administering an 8-1 pounding to the Twins, the hapless White Sox immediately squandered the opportunity to regain the division lead, surrendering 11-8 at home to the Indians.

John Danks (11-9) made it four innings with 7 hits and 5Ks but leading 4-3, gave up a two-run single to Shin-Soo Choo, prompting a haggard Ozzie to reach for what Joe Morgan this year dubbed “the best bullpen ever”.  Unfortunately, Hang The DJ Carrasco’s immediate walk of Jhonny Peralta to load the bases loomed large over the facile Fox announcer’s June 29th estimation.  At the time, the South Side appreciated Joe apparently forgetting he played on the ’75 Big Red Machine, but we couldn’t remain in denial forever.  Or even for one more batter – Morgan’s superlative was sent over the wall forever along with a Ryan Garko grand slam of a 1-0 Carrasco doucheball.  The Indians went up 9-4 and never looked back.

According to the handy-dandy AL Central Outcome Matrix, the Sox could drop both games this weekend and still not be out of it as long as the Twins follow suit, forcing a Monday makeup with Detroit and a possible one-game playoff with the Twins. My head hurts.  It’s Zach Jackson vs Javy “Big Game” Vazquez tonight.  Although it’s against the basic principles of animal husbandry, I will stand by this team in its grave misery and live blog my way to its denoument.  MacBook Pro keyboards can handle tears and bourbon, right?

09.26.08

Selfish hit machine’s workplace relations eerily similar to a Nicoderm CQ-inspired fever dream

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 6:59 pm by

ichiro beatup
(above, Ichiro’s would be new-look, inspired by Derek Erdman’s “STRANGLED: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders”)
I’ll spare you a proper introduction of myself with a simple statement: I quit smoking on Monday and am now on day five of The Patch. The process has been brutal, and I probably haven’t been the nicest guy over this past week. Numerous times I have caught myself snapping at co-workers, family and friends throughout, and while part of me feels kinda bad about my behavior, last night I received my punishment by having fallen asleep with The Patch on. During this turbulent sleep I was subject to the most unpleasant dreams, the most memorable of which involved a string of friends and acquaintances visiting my home in Silicon Valley, performing some kind of Trojan-horse home invasion, and submitting me to all kinds of humiliation and cruelty that I won’t detail here on my first posting on CSTB, but let me say that the premature aging, heart disease, cancer and yellow teeth which go along with smoking seemed appealing by comparison. …Anyway, that said, I was surprised to find my outlandish semi-conscious hallucinations to have a very similar storyline to an alleged situation taking place in my beloved Seattle Mariners’ clubhouse. Per Geoff Baker in Thursday’s Seattle Times:

“I just can’t believe the number of guys who really dislike him,” said one clubhouse insider. “It got to a point early on when I thought they were going to get together and go after him.” The coaching staff and then-manager John McLaren intervened when one player was overheard talking – in reference to Ichiro – about wanting to “knock him out.” A team meeting was called to clear the air. It was a repeat of May 2007, when Mike Hargrove was in charge and a team meeting had to be called during a series at Tampa Bay because of clubhouse bickering over Ichiro being a “selfish” player.

As a avid and loyal fan of the Mariners, I can confirm with certainty that there 20 or 21 Mariner players who should be knocked out, and none of them are Ichiro. The lack of quote attribution forces me to speculatively associate said quote with simpering Mariner tough-guy mediocrites Jerrod Washburn and/or Willie “Ballgame” Bloomquist, but for fuck’s sake, put a tent on this circus.

Mariner Manager Jim Riggleman displays an uncanny clarity in an ESPN and Seattle Times follow up as follows:

“We’ve lost so many games, so these types of things surface,” Riggleman said. “When the ship is sinking, the rats are the first ones off. They’re the ones scavenging everything on the ship when it’s going good, but when it’s sinking they’re the first ones off.”

On the bright side in Mariner-land, the M’s have a magic number of 2 in the Strasberg sweepstakes, aka the #1 pick, with the hard-charging Nationals trailing the Phillies 7-1 in the 2nd inning.

Last Call In The AL Central

Posted in Baseball at 6:51 pm by

White Sox, you blew a five-run lead to get swept and lose first place. This time the guilty parties were not named Dotel, Wasserman, Richard, MacDougal or Logan.  Orlando Cabrera, you talked a lot of shit.  And you weren’t wrong.  You’re an asshole, but you weren’t wrong.   Confidential to Bobby Jenks and AJ: in the future, you might want to look into the possibilities of the 1-2 curve ball.  Alexei, Dye, Thome, Konerko?  Yeah, the season continues in September.

Oh, and speaking of Todd Jones:  Carlos Gomez?  You may well be the next Rickey Henderson, but that sniffing, nuzzling, batters-box intimacy with your equipment is completely unnecessary in this post-Stonewall era.  You’re just not shocking anybody.

So what happens when you’re a baseball team that never gets what you deserve — and you deserve second place?

The possible AL Central outcomes for the Chisox are bewildering, although none includes Juan Uribe picking up his boat.  The following helpful table is provided to guide the faithful through the matrix.

Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:

If Twins win… If White Sox win… This happens
3 games 3 games Sox play Detroit on Monday
3 games 2 games Twins win Central
3 games 1 game Twins win Central
3 games 0 games Twins win Central
2 games 3 games Sox play Detroit on Monday
2 games 2 games Sox play Detroit on Monday
2 games 1 game Twins win Central
2 games 0 games Twins win Central
1 game 3 games Sox win Central
1 game 2 games Sox play Detroit on Monday
1 game 1 game Sox play Detroit on Monday
1 game 0 games Twins win Central
0 games 3 games Sox win Central
0 games 2 games Sox win Central
0 games 1 game Sox play Detroit on Monday
0 games 0 games Sox play Detroit on Monday

If it turns out that the Sox must play Detroit on Monday in Chicago, there are four possible outcomes:
¢ If Sox go in 1/2 game ahead and win, Sox win Central.
¢ If Sox go in 1/2 game ahead and lose, Sox play Minnesota on Tuesday.
¢ If Sox go in 1/2 game behind and win, Sox play Minnesota on Tuesday.
¢ If Sox go in 1/2 game behind and lose, Twins win Central.

Mascot Roundup

Posted in Baseball, Football, Gambling, When Mascots Attack at 5:07 pm by

Being shunned at Shea Stadium all week takes a lot of time out of one’s blogging schedule, which is why CSTB’s SMD (Special Mascot Division) is a little late to the party on the top news stories of the week.

Firstly, FIFA is pleased to announce a glam-leopard of some variety as the 2010 World Cup Mascot. His or her name Zakumi, which in assorted African languages means “ten pizzas”. In loving gestures towards the sport, Zakumi has a sort of pentagonal-shaped eczema on his or her forehead, and his or her mane appears to be styled by cleats.

Secondly, those (perhaps the Mets’ relief pitchers) looking for a fallback career in the current economic downturn may wish to consider a move to scenic Oakland, California: auditions are now open for Stomper. Admittedly an elephant isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when one tries to envision the living, polyurethane, clowning equivalent of “Athletic”, but it’s at least as good a leap of marketing logic as the five anthropomorphic penises the Pennsylvania Lottery picked to represent its new Quinto lottery game. Thank you to the Keystone State for reawakening a horror not thought upon since the Ziploc Finger Man campaign of the early ’90s.

In Praise Of A New York Islanders Mouthpiece

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Sports Radio at 3:42 pm by

I’m in Memphis in the midst of something with no genuine CSTB relation (hence all the posts to come on the subject), but I was fortunate enough to hear Howie Rose kick Stephane Mathieu-Mathieu-Mathieu to the comparitive curb with his fantastic account of the Mets’ 7-6 defeat of the Cubs last night.  Gary Cohen receives many favorable notices around these parts, and rightfully so.  But there are times where Rose’s lifelong love of the Mets is rewarded with a crazy moment or 3 — much like Johan Santana’s broken bat miracle on Tuesday — and WFAN’s lead play-by-play guy rises to the occasion.  I didn’t see the replays of Ryan Church’s bit of baserunning daring-do nor Carlos B.’s walk-off game winner for several hours last night, but thanks to the artful commentary of Rose, I didn’t feel like I got the bad part of the bargain.

Contemplating what might be the final game played at Shea Stadium this Sunday, Mets Blog’s Matthew Cerrone writes, “if Mike Piazza, Robin Ventura and Edgardo Alfonzo all roll up at the same time, i may react like they™re The Beatles.” With that in mind, I would respectfully ask the parole board to reconsider Mark David Chapman’s request to obtain Timo Perez’s autograph. Hey, if you think that’s tasteless, where’s the booing for Newsday’s Jim Baumbach?  He’s proposed that Tom Glavine throw out Sunday’s ceremonial 80 mph “fastball” right down Broadway first pitch. 

The White Sox Don’t Have Enough Problems? Stoney Declares Zambrano a “Monster”

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 3:07 pm by

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/pics/steve_stone_autograph.jpg
[Stone, looking North for a manager to advise]

Point taken: during a play-off race and post-season planning, burning out one of your aces’ arms on 110 pitches for a possible no-hitter is a topic for discussion.  Steve Stone, who burned out his own arm for a single season of glory in 1980, should know.  Stoney’s heart is apparently still on the North Side as there doesn’t seem to be much going on in the South Side Hosiery Dept,  so he found time to declare Lou Piniella a weak manager and Carlos Zambrano a “monster.”  It’s completely blown out the real issue facing Chicago baseball fans this week: is 77-year-old Ernie Banks too old to adopt a kid?  This Sun-Times “exclusive” from Roman Modrowski (I guess the Trib doesn’t have wi-fi yet) captures every manager’s best friend in prime Stoneyland:

Looks like ESPN analyst and former Mets GM Steve Phillips wasn’t the only one who didn’t think Lou Piniella should have let Carlos Zambrano finish that no-hitter on Sept. 14.

As Elliott Harris pointed out in today’s Quick Hits, Sox analyst Steve Stone was on Mike North’s Web show and echoed Phillips’ sentiments.They weren’t the only ones who thought that because Zambrano was coming off a missed start due to rotator cuff tendinitis, Piniella should have limited his pitch count. Zambrano threw 110 pitches in the no-hitter.”I don’t agree with allowing Zambrano to throw 110 pitches,” Stone said Tuesday on ”The Mike North Webio Show” on wildfirerestaurant.com. ”I don’t care if it’s a no-hitter. The only job that Lou Piniella has to do, and still has to do, is make sure his pitchers are ready.”I would have pulled him in the sixth. A manager is paid for some very tough decisions and no-hitters are delightful. You can always say you have a no-hitter.

”He is becoming Sammy [Sosa] Jr. They are creating another monster on the North Side.”This is a really talented guy, but so was Sosa.

But the point is, if you remain completely complicit, in guys you know in taking more and more, eventually the tail cannot wag the dog.”

Career In Tatters, Cedric Benson’s Right To Drive Is Restored

Posted in Get Out Of Jail, Gridiron at 2:51 pm by

Congratulations, Austin Police Deparment! Not only are you doing an awesome job thoroughly ignoring 8th thru 11th Streets just west of Red River most nights of the week (next to live music, independent car parking trolls are the Capitol’s fastest growing industry) but you successfully provided a pretext to which Bears GM Jerry Angelo could part ways with underachieving former Longhorn RB Cedric Benson.  In addition to being cleared of all charges by a Travis County Grand Jury yesterday, the Stateman’s Suzanne Halliburton reports our Cedric will once again be cruising the Warehouse District.

Cedric Benson™s car no longer has an ignition lock breath alcohol tester on his steering wheel.

Sam Bassett, Benson™s lawyer, said Judge Elisabeth Earle signed the order Friday to remove the device. Earle had ordered the device to be added to Benson™s car back in June as a condition of his bail on three alcohol-related charges.

Aside from my wondering when Kirk Bohls might offer Benson an apology, might there be anyone in the Rams front office with the presence of mind to send Marc Bulger on an all-expenses-paid sojurn to Austin’s 6th Street cavalcade of douchebag emporiums entertainment establishments? As Benson’s case illustrates, there’s all sorts of ways of managing the salary cap.

John “19-0″ McCain

Posted in politics at 2:10 pm by

Sadly, there’s no plan in place to send banner ads to the third world’s needy kids.  Image taken from Rick Blaine’s Cafe Americain.

Rattled By The Rosh (Hashanah)

Posted in Religion at 11:51 am by

On the bright side, if Dreamworks ever starts a sports division, Steve Lyons might have more career options.