Full credit to Mike D’Antoni and Stephon Marbury, both of whom addressed the possibility, however remote that Sixers fans would start chanting for Marbury’s insertion tonight at the Wachovia Center. The Knicks officially placed the Coney Island PG on the inactive list just prior to being blown out, 116-87 by the Sixers. Elton Brand scored 24 points and collected 14 rebounds for the hosts, while the Knicks combined to shoot just 32.7 % from the floor (Zach Randolph, 5 for 19, David Lee, 5 for 13). On the bright side, most of the locals were far too tired to attempt flipping the Knicks’ bus.
Oklahoma City’s new NBA entry seek their first regular season win tomorrow night when they travel to Houston, but if you’re the superstitious type, you might figure the Thunder are already fucked.
Seems like this has become quite the tradition at Southern Cal, but if their laff-riot head coach and mascot-for-life Will Ferrell really want to scare the shit out of the Trojans for Halloween, they’ll hire someone (Jim True-Frost? John Hodgeman?) to pose as an interviewer from Yahoo Sports.
While the City Of Philadelphia continues to celebrate the Phillies’ first World Series title since 1980, the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman isn’t quite finished castigating Major League Baseball for their handling of the events of Monday night. Accusing Commissioner Bud Selig of “bogarting” Monday night’s press conference, Raissman doesn’t put much stock in the Used Car Salesman’s boast “that before the first pitch of the tilt had even been thrown, he had changed the rule regarding rain-shortened games.”
Selig said that even if the Rays had not scored the tying run in the top of sixth, the contest – which was already an official game – would still be played to a finish.
Since Selig had kept his decision – which was the right one – close to the vest, this was news to everyone in that room. By not informing anyone outside his tight circle, Selig not only hung his TV (Fox) and radio (ESPN) partners out to dry, but also the entire assemblage of print reporters who were filing stories instantaneously.
The media were not the only ones left in the dark. Contrary to what Selig later maintained, the umpires didn’t know that the rule had been changed, either. According to sources close to the situation, neither did the managers (Joe Maddon and Charlie Manuel).
“This whole thing is just too fishy. The managers both saying they unilaterally didn’t tell their players (about the rule change) and nobody telling us or the other media,” said one broadcaster involved in a World Series production. “If he (Selig) really made this decision beforehand, why didn’t he announce it to everybody?
“Or even more importantly, why didn’t he make this decision before the postseason even began?” the broadcaster asked.
The fact is, Selig could not have made a unilateral rules decision without collective bargaining with the Players Association, even if he was doing it in “the best interests of baseball.”
World governing body the FIA have been quick to condemn a “voodoo-style” website in Spain where hundreds of abusive messages have been posted.
Visitors to the site, which was not working this lunchtime, have been encouraged to drop imaginary nails, pins or porcupines on a mock-up of the Interlagos circuit.
Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the party’s Ethnic Minority Taskforce, urged Foreign Secretary David Miliband to formally protest to Spain asking them to take whatever steps necessary to stop the abuse.
Mr Vaz said it was clear that the website – named Pincha la Rueda de Hamilton, which translates as Burst Hamilton’s Tyre – was set up to destabilise Hamilton before this weekend’s race.
He said: “The Spanish government cannot stand back and allow this organised and systematic racism to continue. These people must be widely condemned and the websites that they use shut down immediately.
“I call upon the Foreign Secretary to make a formal protest to the Spanish government urging them to act on this serious issue that looks set only to escalate if action is not taken now.”
I remember watching “Eight Men Out” with my father when I was a kid, before I picked up what is now an embarrassingly dorky knowledge of character actors. I don’t do it unless I think there’s a good reason, but I have from time to time identified an actor for whoever was lucky enough to be sitting next to me on the couch. Maybe my girlfriend didn’t know that was M. Emmett Walsh, you know? I know you don’t know her, but she’d totally want to know.
Anyway, the first time anyone ever did this in my presence was my father, who picked out Studs Terkel in his role as the newspaper writer Hugh Connelly in that film. My father recognized his voice. I don’t know if anyone recognized Studs Terkel’s face, but tons of people in generations ranging from those preceding my parents’ to mine recognize Terkel’s voice from his 45 years in radio and his canonicinterview-centeredworks of American social history. Terkel died at 96 today, with a new book due next month and mere days away from (one hopes) seeing the election of a fellow adoptive-Chicagoan for whom he’d been an eloquent advocate.
Rick Kogan’s excellent obituary in the Chicago Tribune is almost laughably long and complicated; for someone who seems to have lived the equivalent of three or four lives, it’s amazing how much other peoples’ lives and thoughts remained interesting to Terkel. Amazing and a little inspiring, even to those of us only faintly familiar with his work.
While it isn’t likely Delgado, whose red-hot second-half carried the Mets to within one game of a playoff spot, will be anywhere but Flushing, there is a school of thought that suggest the Mets could trade him while his value is this high.
Delgado is 36, and there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to reproduce his 38-homer, 115-RBI season. He could be tempting to an AL club looking to split him at first base and designated hitter.
In a statement Friday, Mets general manager Omar Minaya said Delgado “is a key part of our plans for 2009,” seemingly pouring cold water on the notion of a trade.
“We wanted to let him know as quickly as allowed that we wanted him back,” Minaya said. “Yesterday — the day following the conclusion of the World Series — was the first day that we could pick up the option per the contract. It was our full intent to promptly close our deal with Carlos, and that’s what we did.”
The above moves comes a day after the Mets signed Fernando Tatis to a one year, $1.1 deal. Bringing Tatis back troubles me far less than a rumored Delgado trade ; if the former struggles, there’s not so much invested that summoning Fernando Martinez is out of the question. But it would fascinating to know just how Lennon figures the Mets will replace Delgado’s production.
If I’m a bit quiet on the posting front for the rest of the day, that’s because I’m hard at work on my Scott Schoeneweis costume. The can of Skoal was easy enough to obtain, and I’ve taken enough time playing miniature golf to know how to put a ball on a tee.
While Frank Isola reports the Knicks are considering paying Stephon Marbury to teepee Isiah’s house stay home until a trading partner can be found, the club unveiled one of the more curious, if not frugal marketing schemes of late.
For the mere price of $20.08, the Knicks are offering the following :
(1) ticket to see the Knicks take on Emeka Okafor and the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday, November 5th at 7:30PM
- (1) Food Voucher valid for (1) hot dog, (1) 24-oz soda and (1) bag of chips
Uh huh. Because with a cast including Wilson Chandler, David Lee and Jamal Crawford, what name just screams “Basketball on Broadway’ quite like that of 67 year year old Donnie Walsh? Sincere congratulations to whoever thought of this fantastic idea, and perhaps for the November 25 visit of LeBron and the Cavs, the Knicks marketing dept. can unload any remaining J.D. & The Straight Shot tees for the first 19,000 or so persons thru the MSG turnstiles.
Space. It’s just up there, cold and far away and — at least for the time being — comparatively bereft of good recreational opportunities. Yes, there’s ice cream (of sorts). Space-walking is popular. Repairing crumbling space infrastructure will at least keep you busy. But it took 11-year NFL vet Ken Harvey — whom I remember best as the guy in the Redskins uniform standing over a parade of the lousy pre-Fassel Giants quarterbacks he just sacked — to see the lucrative sports-related opportunities in space.
He calls it SpaceSportilization, which is kind of a bad idea on its face, but I’m not judging. If only because I don’t want to wind up like Danny Kannell. That is, prone. The New York Times‘ Michael Brick breaks down Harvey’s proposed “Float Ball” empire:
It would combine elements of basketball, football and the Lionel Richie video for œDancing on the Ceiling into a sort of free-for-all, compelling weightless players to bounce off walls, obstacles and one another while herding weightless balls of various colors to either end of the playing space, which would be placed inside the cabin of a zero-gravity plane or, possibly, on the moon. Eventually, one day, if all went well, some sort of custom arena would be constructed. On Mars.
œThere™s a bonus, said (Harvey) to an attentive audience of National Aeronautics and Space Administration engineers, technicians and scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center recently, œwhere you have to pick up a person holding a certain ball and throw them through a hoop as a sort of extra point.
…Inside the campus, a collection of low-slung brick buildings dating to the 1950s, he was escorted on a tour of communications centers stranded in time, working rooms behind glass replete with mainframe computers, heavy phones and framed portraits of astronauts. The only thing missing seemed to be sweaty guys in thin neckties leaning over smoldering ashtrays. His guides spoke of long-ago flush times for space exploration in the cold war. œYou had somebody to compete against, Harvey said, œlike Redskins against Cowboys.
When the time came for his presentation, Harvey descended the steps of a flag-decked auditorium. Stocky and bald-shaven, dressed in a patterned tie, gray suit, brown loafers and interlocking silver bracelets, he stood before a projection screen that displayed grainy images of the SpaceLab scientists performing gymnastic routines.
His audience, about 40 NASA specialists, fell silent. Harvey ran through a series of slides covering the troubled economy, the promise of space tourism, citations of sports in the work of science fiction novelists and precedent-setting events like Alan Shepard™s lunar golf shot. He cracked jokes, digressed liberally and quickly won over the group. œYou may say, what the heck is all this? Harvey told his audience. œYou™re talking about sports and entertainment complexes on the moon.
Advanced concepts like the Float Ball league, he argued, would develop in time from astronaut fitness programs, virtual reality games, zero-gravity flights and educational efforts designed to instill post-space age children with new interstellar dreams.
This may be too inside-baseball, but I’m looking at the list of category tags here on the WordPress page, and there is nothing available for ‘Space Sports’ or ‘Throwing a Guy Through a Hoop as an Extra Point.’ So, of course, apologies for a poorly tagged post.
I couldn’t afford a full coverage insurance policy on my car so my insurance company won’t cover a vandalism claim. I also had to hire a towtruck to flip it back because Triple A doesn’t cover this either. I can’t afford to buy a new car or to have this one fixed – if it’s even possible. I work as a freelance videographer and a car is crucial for me being able to work and get to my different jobs.
There was alot of people on Broad Street last night. If all the people who were hanging out near Broad and Washington (where the car was flipped) gave me ten dollars I could probably buy a new car… or if all the people who actually flipped my car gave me a thousand dollars that could work too.
“If baseball insists upon playing 162 regular-season games, three postseason rounds and the World Baseball Classic every four years,” warns Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, “weather problems will continue to disrupt the World Series.” And that’s to say nothing of Ken’s paymasters insisting on evening start times for the Fall Classic. The Chicago Tribune’s Rick Morrissey seems equally troubled, insisting “when the Phillies were jumping on each other Wednesday night after winning the World Series, they weren’t celebrating. They were trying to stay warm.” (link taken from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
A wonderful solution would be for baseball to start the season April 15 rather than April 1 and end the regular season Sept. 15 instead of Sept. 30. That’s correct: a 130-game schedule.
Come to think of it, cutting April and September entirely from the regular season wouldn’t be such a bad idea. The season is wayyy toooooo lllllooooooonnnnnnng.
Now I know this would play havoc with statistics. Records we hold dear would likely never be broken again because of the shortened schedule. But let’s keep in mind that the steroids era has taken a sledgehammer to the record books anyway. The home run records, in particular, are silly.
Anyone who has had to sit through a game in the spring knows it can be a wretched experience, at least in Chicago, especially when the wind has kicked up and the cold air hasn’t received the memo about summer being somewhere on the horizon.
What we saw this week made no sense. Why allow weather to be the biggest factor at the exact time the games mean everything?
Assuming the owners don’t like my idea of a shorter season”assuming, while we’re at it, that they don’t like being flogged with a birch switch”what about playing the World Series at a neutral, warm-weather site? Sacrilege, I know. But if football can do it, why can’t baseball?
When precisely isn’t weather a major factor? If the World Series is too important to be played under frigid conditions, can the Texas Rangers petition to play the entire summer at a neutral site?
Mike D’Antoni on Thursday admitted he did hear the chant of “We Want Steph!” from a section of the sellout crowd at the Garden in the second half of Wednesday’s season-opening 120-115 win over the Miami Heat. But while television replays showed D’Antoni yelling, “Are you f— kidding me?” toward the crowd, what is unclear is if he was directing his anger at the chanting fans — who were calling for benched guard Stephon Marbury — or the referees.
“I just thought they didn’t quite get it, but they’re great fans and they’re into it,” D’Antoni said when asked about the situation. “It’s almost like on draft night, no matter who you draft they’re going to boo because there’s somebody the fans like and somebody they don’t … You’ll hear it from the people that don’t and that’s OK. It’s no big deal.”
A majority of the fans seemed to agree with his decision to leave Marbury on the bench for the entire game. But late in the third quarter, with the Knicks ahead by 23 points, some fans in the upper bowl started a chant of “We Want Steph!” After a few attempts, the chant was overcome by loud boos from the rest of the sellout crowd.
But the moment that involved D’Antoni came with 11:10 left in the fourth quarter and, it should be noted, after a foul was called on Mardy Collins. The Knicks were leading at the time, 93-77, and the big lead was already starting to slip away.
A reporter from ESPN Radio said there was also video evidence that D’Antoni added, “What a bunch of a—.” Newsday can only confirm D’Antoni’s first comment.
After D’Antoni addressed the media immediately following practice, he came back a short while later to re-address the issue and said his words were not directed at the crowd.
“There’s no way I would do that to the fans,” he said.
Jacobs turns 28 today. He is eligible for arbitration, and his salary is likely to jump to around $3 million for 2009. He will be a free agent in three years, which isn™t all that relevant, because in three years it™s unlikely that he™ll be worth paying millions of dollars to. He™s unlikely to get any better than he™s been the last three years, and given the difference in league quality, and the fact that Kauffman Stadium is openly hostile to his primary skill, it™s likely he™ll be a little worse in 2009 than in 2008. This is what happens to unathletic hitters who reach the majors at a fairly advanced age: they are very valuable commodities in Year One, and perilously close to becoming liabilities by Year Four. Which is, in part, why the Marlins are so willing to move him.
Jacobs wasn™t even all that good in 2008. He certainly had his uses; he hit 32 homers in just 141 games, and slugged .514 for the Marlins. But he drew just 36 walks, and his OBP was .299. Two-ninety-nine.
Moore doesn™t get that what really ails his offense isn™t the lack of power, it™s the lack of walks. The Royals finished next-to-last in the AL in homers last season. The one team they out-homered? The Twins, who finished third in the league in runs scored and came within a game of the playoffs. But the Royals didn™t just finish last in the league with 392 walks, they had one of the lowest walk totals in a non-strike season in recent American League history.
A few days ago, I suggested newly appointed 49ers head coach Mike Singletary might’ve peaked too early with his now infamous postgame bashing of Vernon Davis. According to the Arizona Republic’s Dan Bickley, Singletary could well have peaked even earlier.
At halftime of the Seattle game, Singletary called for the attention of his players. He then dropped his pants, turned around and pointed to his backside. He used this occasion and that visual to describe what happened to his team in the first half.
A NFL source inside the room confirmed the story with my radio partner, XTRA 910 football guru Mike Jurecki, and added that Singletary then addressed the team for 3-4 minutes with his pants around his ankles.
The 49ers trailed 20-3 at halftime. They would lose the game, 34-13.
So, the question in San Francisco becomes this: Does Samurai Mike’s legendary intensity rally a football team or does the Crazy Man Act alienate a football team?
In what might be the least surprising political note of the autumn, the Los Angeles Times’ Dan Morain reports Dodgers 2B Jeff Kent has contributed $15,000 to supporters of a California anti same-sex marriage proposition.
In a disclosure filed with the California secretary of state, Kent listed his occupation as professional baseball player for the Dodgers and his address as Austin, Texas. He gave the $15,000 in a transaction dated Monday but which only now is public.
Proposition 8 would ban same-sex marriage by imposing a California constitutional amendment that would define marriage as being between one man and one woman.
With both sides spending upward of $30 million each, the measure has become the most costly ballot measure ever dealing with a social issue, and the spending is by far the most for any proposition anywhere in the country this year.
Frank Schubert, managing the Yes-on-8 campaign, said he was unaware that Kent had weighed in.
“He has had a stellar career and will no doubt one day be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame,” Schubert said. “I wish the Giants had kept Kent and traded [Barry] Bonds.”
Either Schubert is thoroughly unfamiliar with Bonds’ accomplishments between the lines, or his views on baseball are as enlightened as his take on civil liberties. Having made a surprise hospital visit recently, perhaps now would be a good time for the Sultan Of Surly to further curry public favor by making a large donation to Prop 8′s opponents?
So it’s come to this ; two determined political vets, one a dynamic new voice of optimism, the other a decorated American hero….reduced to making Chris Berman look like the modern David Frost. With no shortage of pride, ESPN announced today that Boomer would conduct separate election eve interviews with Senators Barack Obama and John McCain to be shown during halftime of Monday’s Redskins/Steelers tilt on ABC.
There’s no truth to the rumor Bob Barr’s been given a full minute to make his case to Qadry Ismail.
Seriously, for all the mockery aimed at Kevin McHale for having fast-tracked his old pals in Boston with the gift of Kevin Garnett, how about the not-so-popular in Philly Ed Wade helping his former club with Houston’s dump of Brad Lidge?
Though I don’t recall many observers (and Jimmy Rollins doesn’t count) automatically awarding the NL Championship to the Phillies back in Spring Training, Lidge — flawless in the postseason, awfully close during the regular campaign — represented the biggest difference between the ’08 World Champs and the ’07 NL East title holders. Jason will have more to offer on last night’s drama and subsequent celebrations, but personal allegiances aside, I can’t be disappointed. Though I’d have loved to watch a seven game series, and there’s no sense in diminishing Tampa’s historic achievement, it’s very hard to argue the Phillies aren’t deserving. And back to those same personal allegiances, I hope Fred and Jeff Wilpon had many snacks and refreshing beverages on hand for their Game 5 2/3′rds viewing party last night. Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro made a bold move with the Lidge acquisition during the offseason, while the recently extended Omar Minaya did zilch at the trade or waiver deadline to address bullpen deficiences that cost the Mets far more than two games in the standings.
Jason, Chuck, and all surviving members of the Sadistic Exploits, you have my sincere congratulations. Though I’m not looking forward to a winter of gloating from this guy.
My first thought upon reading an item from Politico’s Jeffrey Resner that along with hiring a Nashville based P.R. firm, McCain prop Sam Wurzelbacher aka “Joe The Plumber” “is being pursued for a record deal and could come out with a country album as early as Inauguration Day” was, “isn’t the Yep Roc roster large enough already?”
After careful consideration, however, I realized that even in the current economic climate, the general public craves inspirational music that speaks directly to their hopes, dreams and daily experiences. But enough about the Sic Alps, if Mr. Wurzelbacher has something to say, who am I to scoff at his ambitions? However, as a musical neophyte, he’s gonna need help. A producer. Engineer. Song Doctor. Musical dictator director. A savvy, experienced team that know all the crucial elements required to make a hit record in the ultra-competitive pop or country marketplace.
Thankfully, all of those tasks can be accomplished by just one man, a rock’n'roll legend from the battleground state of Pennsylvania with a rich history of knocking out records on a strict deadline. I have no idea whether or not Joey Welz is available or interested in tackling this project, but Sam The Tax Cheat Joe The Plumber’s handlers owe it to themselves to make the phone call as soon as possible.
WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (AFP) ” Two-time major golf champion John Daly spent a night in jail at the weekend after police here found him drunk outside a restaurant, the Winston-Salem Journal reported on Wednesday.
Police Lieutenant Tyrone Phelps told the newspaper that Daly was held at the Forsyth County Jail early Sunday morning to sober up.
According to the newspaper, paramedics went to a Hooters restaurant at 1 am after receiving a report that Daly had passed out.
When police arrived, they found Daly drunk and unwilling to go to hospital. He was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct.
The newspaper reported that Daly was traveling on a tour bus and told police that others on the bus didn’t want him back on it after the restaurant closed.
According to North Carolina state law, police can jail a person overnight to sober up.
Did a lack of clipboard experience stop Magic Johnson from achieving coaching success with the Los Angeles Lakers? Did Ted Williams’ non existent managerial resume prevent him from winning a World Series with the Washington Senators? “A great player doesn’t necessarily make a great manager,” admits the Guardian’s Marcela Mora y Araujo, while still hoping the surprise appointment of Diego Maradona as Argentina manager “could bring the most out of potentially the best squad in the world.”
One of the most popular chants for Argentina fans is: “We will once again be the champions, just like in 86.” Could this be the way forward? A handful of players, the same manager, and Maradona in charge? The reaction of the Argentine press has been one of incredulity. “Bianchi would have been a more serious appointment,” one vox-popped fan said. Journalists echoed the sentiment. “It’s not so much weird as absurd and shameful,” one told me. “My theory is that Grondona actually doesn’t want Argentina to win the World Cup,” another said.
Most negative statements were uttered in the traditional off-the-record premise, while the media analysed where they stood in terms of towing editorial lines. But Daniel Arcucci, of La Nacion, was happy to be quoted: “The risk is the destruction of the myth – how will someone so close to being a deity handle such an earthly task?”
The negative reaction mostly stems from Maradona’s turbulent off-the-pitch track record. Notoriously unreliable, lacking in discipline, and with an innate contempt for established rules and corporate status quo, will he be able to impose order and focus among the players who could form one of the best squads in the world?
I suspect he could. To footballers more than anyone else, Maradona is inspiring. His respect for the game and the craft of playing is contagious, and among the current squad there are players such as Juan RomÃ¡n Riquelme and Carlos Tevez who have been close to him professionally. The younger superstars – Lionel Messi and Sergio AgÃ¼ero, soon to father Maradona’s first grandchild – will be in awe of him and hungry to learn.
Just kidding, folks. Pete Carroll’s probably the only coach in Division One who could afford Bentley’s services. In other Gunners-related news, former Highbury fixture Freddie Ljungberg will reportedly become the 2nd highest pair player in MLS next spring when he joins Seattle’s expansion franchise. Said transaction has obvious echoes of David Beckham’s move to Carson City last year, an acquistion that’s resulted in much visibility for the league, but zero playoff appearances for the Galaxy. Presumably, we can look forward to Cristiano Ronaldo (with greatly diminshed skills) suiting up for Team Wilpon sometime between 2018 and 2022.
Because it’s even sillier than liveblogging: I shall attempt to Twitter from tonight’s World Series contest. I intend to focus more on the pre-game ticket hustle and the post-game celebration riot wake whatever, though I’m sure I’ll update between innings too.