(keep smiling, Mr. Commissioner, this letter gets better as it goes on)
“I’m 51 years old now, and I have been a dedicated NBA fan for longer than you’ve been commissioner, and longer than the Sonics were a team. I have not been a corporate box customer, or a multi-season ticket holder, but I have been a valuable customer that your marketing people might refer to as an advocate or evangelist.” Thus states hoops afficiando David Betz, who eloquently addresses NBA Commissioner David Stern with what could well be the first letter of resignation from a (former) NBA fan. To the jump!
For a first post-game press conference, that was a doozy. San Francisco lost, 34-14 at home to Seattle earlier today, and Mike Singletary’s head coaching debut included benching his starting QB, J.T. Sullivan in the second quarter, and telling TE Vernon Davis to take a hike with 10 minutes left in the game. “I’ve never seen a coach so animated,” winced the SF Chronicle’s Kevin Lynch, who clearly never saw Tom Coughlin’s cameo in “The Snorks”.
“You don’t want me to go any further,” Singletary said, to which Santa Rosa Press Democrat columnist Lowell Cohn said, “Yes we do. You’re doing fine.” Singletary said, “This is going to change. It’s going to change because they (and he pointed to the locker room) want it to change.”
“I told everyone at the beginning of the week, I will not tolerate players that think it’s about them when it’s about the team,” Singletary said still in high-decibel mode. “We cannot make decisions that cost the team and then come off (to) the sideline and it’s nonchalant. I would rather play with 10 people and just get penalized … rather than play with 11 when I know that person is not sold out to be a part of the team. It’s more about them than it is about the team. Can not play (with those players). Can not win with them; can not coach with them. Can’t do it. I want winners.”
This drama and animation by Singletary could go either way. Either he self-implodes or he gets the team to buy in. It reminds me of when Magic Johnson took over for the Lakers for a half a season and threw a player’s cell phone against the wall. Johnson couldn’t deal with the modern player and maybe Singletary can’t either.
Sea trash and baseball junkies alike are well aware the summer Cape Cod League, an amateur, non-profit setup dating back to 1885, is a terrific launching pad for the millionaires of tomorrow (3 of the Rays’ starting position players, Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria and Jason Bartlett are CCL alumni). Despite the obvious player development benefits to Major League Baseball, MLB Properties is putting the hammer down when it comes to copyright concerns, writes the New York Times’ Katie Thomas in an item from Friday’s paper (link culled from the Eddie Kranepool Society).
Cape Cod teams are being forced to choose between maintaining a link with the major leagues and remaining true to their homespun heritage. In the case of the Chatham Athletics, homespun is winning out. The team has changed its name to the Anglers to sidestep a trademark dispute with Major League Baseball. The teams have a Nov. 1 deadline to abandon their names or purchase team uniforms and merchandise exclusively through licensed vendors.
œWe found that too constrictive, said Peter Troy, Chatham™s president. œWe have longstanding relationships with local vendors.
In addition to Chatham, the Orleans Cardinals have also decided to change their name, although officials have not announced the new one. The other teams with major league monikers ” the Hyannis Mets, the Harwich Mariners, the Bourne Braves and the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox ” will keep their names at least through the 2009 season, said Judy Walden Scarafile, the president of the Cape Cod League.
œThis is all about trademarks and trademark law, Scarafile said. œWe totally understand that.
œRight now, one out of six players in Major League Baseball came from the Cape Cod League, said John Reid, the general manager of the Harwich Mariners. œIt™s unfortunate that they™d have to go after us.
Although Harwich is keeping its name, Reid said he received permission from Major League Baseball to continue using local vendors if the T-shirts he sells read only Harwich or Mariners, but not the two words on the same shirt. New designs will need approval from Major League Baseball. He is waiting for a price quote on new home uniforms through the licensed vendor, and expects each uniform will cost $30 to $40 more.
The Harwich team has been known as the Mariners since the 1930s, predating the Seattle team by more than four decades. That is partly why the team chose to stick with the name, Reid said, despite receiving a flood of suggestions like the Boggers or the Sea Captains.
œThere are not too many creative names left out there, Reid said.
It’s an unfortunate situation, but the CCL has withstood greater challenges. If the league could survive an association with the Freddie Prinze Jr. star vehicle, “Summer Catch”, having to print a few Hyannis Pantsless Kennedys tees shouldn’t be such a big deal.
In addition to tipping the comeback of 43 year old, four-time Stanley Cup winner/Kris Draper assassin Claude Lemieux, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks dropped the following tidbit into Sunday’s column :
In the World According to Bob Clarke, waving arms in a goaltender’s face and saying unspeakable things on the ice to opponents the way Sean Avery did and does, is crossing the line.
Breaking an opponent’s ankle with an intentional two-hand slash as Clarke did to the resplendent Valery Kharlamov in Game 6 of the epochal 1972 Canada-USSR Summit Series, however, is the act of a national hero.
…in which Adam Jenning’s reputation for unsure hands comes back to haunt him. Watching the replay three times — the final two in slow motion — took me all of 3 minutes from the vantage point of my couch. That’s not meant to be my resume for the NFL’s new director of video review, but given how pivotal the Iggles’ recovery of Jenning’s muff-that-wasn’t turned out to be in Philadephia’s 24-17 defeat of Atlanta, perhaps Ed Hochuli can ghostwrite a few letters of apology?
I’d just like to point out that I am in no way related to I. Michael Coslov (above), though I did have glasses like those for about a month. From JTA.org :
A pro-McCain letter e-mailed to Pennsylvania Jews suggested that a vote for Barack Obama could bring another Holocaust.
Pennsylvania Democrats are calling on U.S. Sen. John McCain™s campaign to disavow the letter from the state Republican Party™s œVictory 2008 committee.
The letter, which reportedly was sent to 75,000 Jews, was signed by three prominent Jewish Republicans, including Sandra Schultz Newman, a former state Supreme Court justice, and I. Michael Coslov, the campaign chairman of the Philadelphia Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
The e-mail, after extolling McCain™s record and questioning U.S. Sen. Barack Obama™s commitment to Israel — as well as his associations with William Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright — says that œJewish Americans cannot afford to make the wrong decision on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008. Many of our ancestors ignored the warning signs in the 1930s and 1940s and made a tragic mistake. Let’s not make a similar one this year.
Michael Barley, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party, told The New York Times that the e-mail “definitely went a little bit farther than the facts would support” and that the political operative who composed it had been fired.
“This individual never worked for our campaign and that sort of rhetoric has no place in it,” said Paul Lindsay, a McCain-Palin spokesman. “The only candidate in this race who needs to repudiate anything is Barack Obama, who has failed to be straightforward with the American people about his relationship with unrepentant terrorist William Ayers.”
If you’re compiling a checklist of pandering, Sen. Obama has been characterized at one time or another as a practicing Muslim, an anti-American, a socialist, an elitist, a baby killer and now, an anti-Israel operative at the least, an accessory to genocide at worst. Clearly, it’s taken all sorts of decorum on the part of the nation’s hate fuckers not to point out Obama’s ties to Satanism, stewardship of the Robert Wuhl Fan Club or plans to make same sex marriage mandatory by the age of 12.
Also, the Democratic nominee’s opponents might not be aware of this, but apparently, he’s black, too.
If you’re looking for pithy quotes from Harry Redknapp after Clint Dempsey’s late goal salvaged a tie for Fulham at Fratton Park earlier today, you’re shit out of luck. That’s because Redknapp (above, right, in snappy new jacket) — in exchange for a hefty cash payment — is already ensconced at White Hart Lane, following Tottenham’s decision to fire Juande Ramos. While Redknapp observed Spurs’ 2-0 victory over fellow strugglers Bolton, the Guardian’s Amy Lawrence opines “it is easy to kick a man while he is down. But there has been something about Ramos’s body language that makes it even easier.”
Arms folded. Lips pursed. Could he have been any more passive? Will he have greeted his dismissal with a noncommital shrug? Does his assistant, Gus Poyet, have a monopoly on facial expressions? Did the outgoing manager honestly think that his players would respond to adversity, starting against Bolton today, when they had seen nothing from their boss to spark them? Tottenham needed Ramos to show a touch of the Joe Kinnears. But he has, for weeks, looked like a man needing to be put out of his misery.
Ramos is not the first Premier League manager this season to find himself caught up in a nightmare not entirely of his own making. Alan Curbishley and Kevin Keegan had reason to feel -similarly exposed by bad decision-making from above. Both effectively fell victim to a director of football. Both refused to accept unwanted meddling with the squad from on high. Both walked. Now Ramos has gone, too.
But there is a fundamental difference between Ramos’s attitude towards his director of football and that of Curbishley or Keegan. He should not have been surprised by the way his squad was reshaped in the summer. The Spaniard has known little else. At every club in La Liga, deals are cut without much input from the coach. Rafael BenÃtez summed it up famously in his Valencia days when he was presented with completely the wrong type of squad reinforcements. ‘I asked for a sofa,’ he said. ‘And they bought me a lampshade.’
Such practice is common throughout Europe. No Italian coach expects much say in who comes and goes during a transfer window. They can ask for a new player to fill a specific position and then the general manager or sporting -director – someone with the ear of the club president – will do the rest. Ask yourself whether Carlo Ancelotti really asked for David Beckham to strengthen AC Milan, or whether it was their chief trader, vice-president Adriano Galliani, who thought it was a bright idea.
Brett does not, in any way, hold a vendetta against his former team. But that has not stopped some from scrutinizing his every move and blaming him for so many things that simply are not true. Some incidents, like the locker room pranks appear funny (but they are still untrue)¦ Others, like the questionable phone calls to other teams, are hurtful, distasteful, and¦ still untrue as they have been reported.
Because of this, lately, my heart has been so heavy. It is very hard to watch the daily toll this has taken on Brett… First and foremost, I am his defender when people tear him down. Thus, each word and accusation weigh down on me like a ton of bricks, because I know the truth behind the rumors. My first instinct is to fight for him”for his character, his peace and his reputation. At the end of the day, I am not just Brett™s wife, I am his biggest fan.
It’s pretty inspirational stuff, though I was a little surprised to find the post didn’t end with, “signed, Peter King.”
Every now and then, baseball fans of this great nation are rewarded for their loyalty to a game filled with flawed characters and all too often typified by unfettered greed. Example no. 1 would be last night’s World Series Game 3, Philly’s thrilling 5-4 victory over Tampa finishing just prior to 2am Eastern, a circumstance that will surely please ‘let your kids stay up for historic events’ advocate Phil Mushnick. Example no. 2 comes in the form of the following item from the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman, in which ESPN is said to mulling a split of Sunday night yappers Jon Miller and Joe Morgan :
What’s coming to light is how unpopular Morgan has become with many of his ESPN colleagues, who are less than thrilled with the way he prepares for a telecast. Some of them also don’t respond well to what they call Morgan’s haughty attitude, which he has displayed during some of his more outspoken performances in internal ESPN meetings.
Prone to on-air mistakes, Morgan also has come under some intense media scrutiny. And during those moments when he’s made a mistake, the give and take between him and Miller can sound strained.
Alas, Raissman’s scoop is not without a grim element. Were ESPN to Fire Re-Assign Joe Morgan, Rick Sutcliffe would likely be teamed with Miller.
Sad news in Saturday’s Newark Star-Journal about the fate of the Atlantic League’s Newark Bears. The one time team of Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco and Jose Lima has ceased operations after 9 years of independent baseball (link courtesy Repoz and Baseball Think Factory), and while poor turnouts aren’t a huge surprise, shouldn’t the Star-Ledger consider deleting comments like this?
Newark is a disgusting, filthy cesspool. I took my 7 year old daughter to the Hannah Montana concert at the rock last year. We took the train to Newark Penn station where we were supposed to meet up with another family. We were supposed to meet under the board by the Amtrack/NJ Transit ticket windows. This was a Sunday, middle of the afternoon. We did not want to go to Newark but it was the only place where we could get tickets. It was supposed to be safe and have a lot of security and police presence. It did not deter the homeless man who was sitting in the first wooden bench who was masturbating and screaming obscenities. Even as police walked by the man (and ignored the situation) he kept on. What a great thing to expose a 7 year old to. I wouldn’t go back to Newark if you paid me! It’s just a matter of time before someone gets shot, raped, killed, carjacked, etc.
It sounds like a very rough day out. But just to clarify, “makeitgoaway”, Lou Lamoriello is not homeless.
If Joe Maddon summoning as many as 4 relievers in one inning drives you bonkers, please turn away from the screen. Opines The New Republic’s Tim Marchman, “as one watches the least glamorous World Series in recent memory, one should cheer that most despised class of ballplayer, the one-out situational specialist–the guy whose entire job is to frustrate players like Ryan Howard.” (link culled from Bucs Dugout)
(Tampa middle reliever Trevor Miller)
“The best starting pitchers are painters, carefully brushing the outer and inner edges of the strike zone with bold fastballs and delicate change-ups, varying their tones to meet the precise pitch of each hitter in each at-bat. Specialists are more like street vendors peddling airbrushed Barack Obama t-shirts. All the more reason, I say, to root them on.” While righty Chad Bradford is more like the guy flogging a size quadruple XL Mickey Mouse-as-Tony Montana tee.
For each of the last five years, Trevor Miller has averaged less than an inning per appearance, the true scarlet mark of the situationalist. Just this year, he made 17 one-batter appearances. (Phillies lefties Scott Eyre and J.C. Romero, luxury models who between them made $7.8 million this year, went in for another 25 between them.) His job may be the functional equivalent of that held by those random football players who pull down fat salaries for their skill at long-snapping, or of those benchwarming basketball players who stay flush by laughing at the point guard’s lousy jokes, but at least Miller does it well–in his 17 one-batter jobs, he let only two men on base. Who, anywhere, doing anything, succeeds that often?
Why jeer at Trever Miller? Here’s a man who can walk through the concourse in uniform during a game and go completely unremarked on, foiling the plans of a former Most Valuable Player and breaking the heart of Philadelphia, a city that deserves it.
Many of Isiah Thomas’ dealings with New York media during his tenure as Knicks head coach/team president were typified by a lack of forthright commentary. But that’s nothing compared to what one law enforcement official describes as “a cover up” after Thomas’ alleged sedative overdose Friday. From USA Today :
“It wasn’t his daughter,” Harrison (N.Y.) police Chief David Hall told the Associated Press. “And why they’re throwing her under the bus is beyond my ability to understand.
“My cops … know the difference between a 47-year-old black male and a young black female,” Hall said.
He added: “These people should learn something from Richard Nixon ” it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.”
Excuse me, “these people”? This is a sad enough situation as is without Chief Hall discriminating against a much-maligned minority group ; persons currently being paid millions of dollars by James Dolan to stay away from Madison Square Garden.
Nets C Brook Lopez, perhaps eager to make new friends in his swampy surroundings, tells the New York Post’s Fred Kerber that he’s “a Disney fanatic”, with a memorabilia collection approaching dangerous nutcase levels. OK, I supplied that insult all by myself. But it’s hard to imagine, say, Derrick Coleman giving an interview quite like this :
“My older brothers were interested in it and we lived pretty close to Anaheim when I was younger,” Lopez said. “Then my grandma always brought me little toys and trinkets and figurines and stuff when I was little. It just kind of instilled it in me.”
And if you think he’s bad, his twin, Robin, may be worse.
Robin has a nice little room going, almost a museum in his townhouse in Phoenix,” said Lopez, who’s also a noted “Batman” comic freak.
Of his own collection, if he absolutely, positively, could keep only one item, it would be a near-impossible choice. But he made his decision.
“My best friend got me a pretty cool Disney villains snow-globe like eight years ago,” Lopez said. “It’s all Disney villains. It’s pretty cool.”
Cool like the movies, particularly the TV series. And don’t trash the classics unless you you’re willing to have the 7-foot Lopez go Cruella De Vil on your butt.
“High School Musical?” Please. “We prefer all the old stuff,” Lopez said.
Like “Davy Crockett” with Fess Parker, “Zorro” with Guy Williams, “Elfego Baca” with Robert Loggia and “The Scarecrow” with Patrick McGoohan.
There’s so many things I’d rather think about this Saturday morning than the wildly dysfunctional Queens Park Rangers. There’s the Premier League’s Richard Scudamore scoffing at Bolton chairman Phil Gartside’s suggestion that England’s top flight eliminate relegation (please note Wanderers — facing Spurs tomorrow — are a mere point above the drop zone), Arsenal’s William Gallas doing his best to remind kids that smoking is cool, and a fantastic free kick goal by Kieran Richardson giving Sunderland a rare win over Newcastle. But nope, despite going from near bankruptcy to their current status as one of the planet’s richest clubs, the Stuporhoops manage to cover themselves in shame on a regular basis, the catalyst for their latest bonehead move being, believe it or not, this week’s announcement Rangers would be lowering ticket prices. Good news, right? Not if the the R’s three stooges of Flavio Briatore, Bernie Eccelstone and Lakshmi “The World’s Fourth Richest Man” Mittal can’t get on the same page.
There was a spat with Briatore, reportedly about transfer policy, even before the season opener, against Barnsley. Dowie called the stories “hogwash”. After winning six of his first eight league games in charge, however, it was starting to look a sound, pragmatic choice. Then they hit the rails – four league games without a win. Even the 2-1 home victory over Nottingham Forest that arrested the sequence failed to earn him much of a reprieve.
There had been a story linking Terry Venables with a return to Loftus Road. The shutters had seemingly gone up among the playing and coaching staff. Dowie, who always insisted he could handle the pressure, failed to appear at the post-match press conference. His assistant, Tim Flowers, and midfielder Akos Buzsaky were defensive when asked about him. They insisted he was doing a grand job. They said they were not feeling undue stress at the continual media speculation. They appeared to protest too much.
Stories followed that Briatore was unhappy with the direction of the team, and was taking a more hands-on role.
Dowie was critical himself of the 0-0 draw at Swansea that followed, and seemingly that performance was the final straw for Briatore and Co.
(UPDATE : Reading 0, QPR 0. Aside from getting away with a handball that wasn’t, Rangers were halfway organized defensively for most the evening at Majewski Stadium. More importantly, interim manager Gareth Ainsworth sent the Elias Koteas Sports Bureau scrambling —- he now possesses the only career unbeaten mark of any of the members of Dog Chewed The Handle.)
Hardly content with besmirching the memory of Matthew Shepard, the tireless, one-note hate fucks at Westboro Baptist Church have turned their sights on the world of college football. Along with a planned picket of a Paul Newman tribute concert in San Francisco (“He lived a life of pure filth. From his desire to be a movie star to his personal life as an adulterer. You know full well that nobody had a CLUE who Paul Newman was until he played a drunken fag in Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof with the WHORE Elizabeth Taylor, then his acting career took off”), the WBC wrecking crew claim they’ll be out in full force tomorrow when Oklahoma visits Kansas State.
Bill Snyder Family Stadium – K-State Football LOSERS! Kimball & College We will picket your stinking, rotten awful football game. You guys are not good football players, I’m just saying. And that is because you try to throw that ball with limp wrists. More importantly you got those limp wrists from your Living God as a curse because you refuse to obey. Here was the promise from God, and they are good as gold. We are seeing with our eyes, each day more and more that when Our God determines to curse a land, He does it with great panache. Check this out, this is the promise made to our forefathers: Deuteronomy 11:26 ¶ Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: 28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. 29 And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal. 30 Are they not on the other side Jordan, by the way where the sun goeth down, in the land of the Canaanites, which dwell in the champaign over against Gilgal, beside the plains of Moreh? 31 For ye shall pass over Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein. 32 And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day. Worshipping your goofy false gods got you in this mess – so we will gleefully stand and observe you play the part that you so desperately determined to play, i.e. the fool. And God will laugh you to scorn (Psalm 2) as you bellow and bawl about getting your backsides spanked both on and off the football field. God Hates Kansas State; God Hates Kansas; God Hates america and america is Doomed. AMEN!
A White Plains Hospital Center worker told a Newsday reporter that a man he presumed to be Thomas entered the emergency room after midnight with clothing on his face, concealing his identity. Neither Thomas nor his daughter was listed as a patient there Friday.
Thomas’ son, Joshua — a student at Isiah’s alma mater, Indiana University — told the Daily News that his father and sister were at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut on Friday, but neither was listed as a patient there, either. Joshua Thomas denied the reports of an overdose, citing his sister’s hypoglycemia — which can cause fainting — as the source of the medical scare.
No Knicks officials claimed to know what had befallen Thomas or his family, creating a scene that one club official termed “bizarre” before the team’s final preseason game.
“Basically, he’s got some kind of a family issue,” team president Donnie Walsh said. “And he’s asked that we respect their privacy, which I intend to do. ”
Pressed to clarify whether the medical issue involved Thomas or a family member, Walsh said, “I’ve heard both versions. I really don’t know.”
True Hoop’s Henry Abbott — suffering the sort of abuse that only seems to come from anonymous commentators — points out the sedative Lunesta was one of the substances found in the apartment of the late Heath Ledger.
I genuinely wish Isiah Thomas nothing but the best. No amount of frustration Thomas inflicted upon Knicks fans (or Continental Basketball Association owners) oughta be measured against the health and happiness of his family. Suicide’s a heck of a way to get out of living next door to Stephon Marbury, and besides, would you kill yourself if you knew your favorite film was going to be on cable later that night?
For Boston readers of a certain vintage, Bob Gamere isn’t merely the inspiration for a noise rock band of little repute‘s imaginary record label. Through his boozy tenures at a succession of New England television and radio stations, along with a stint in the 80′s calling Harvard football, Gamere was a very compelling character, kinda like a more intense William Devane. While WBZ counterpart Bob Lobel cut a palsy, proto-Kenny Mayne figure, Worcester native Gamere was decidedly old school. As in, the school of “i’m gonna beat you to death for looking at me funny” — even in the placid setting of the afternoon “Candlepins For Cash”, Gamere seemed like the wrong guy to fuck with.
At some point in the late ’80′s, Gamere began appearing in tiny ads in the back of the Boston Herald, pitching his tout acumen as “The Great Gamere”. Sadly for the 68 year old former sportscaster, that handle might’ve been his undoing. From the Boston Globe’s Jonathan Saltzman :
Robert Gamere, the veteran sportscaster who hosted the local TV show “Candlepins for Cash” through most of the 1970s, was arrested yesterday on federal charges of transporting and possessing child pornography.
Several hours later, in a firm voice, the Brookline resident pleaded not guilty in US District Court in Boston to a three-count indictment of distributing child pornography over the Internet on two separate dates last year and of possessing child pornography on his home computer. The indictment was unsealed yesterday.
Terry Ann Knopf, a journalism lecturer at Boston University who got to know Gamere as a television critic for The Patriot Ledger and contributing writer for Boston magazine, said the arrest marked the latest tragic chapter in a troubled life.
Gamere was a skilled and likable broadcaster whose personal demons led to erratic behavior and caused him to bounce from one media outlet to the next, often after being fired, she said.
“It’s kind of a sad story of somebody who was very talented and had an unfortunate knack for throwing it all away,” she said.
Gamere worked as a sportscaster at a number of local TV and radio stations, but he is best-known to many in Boston as the host of “Candlepins for Cash” on Channel 7 from 1973 to 1980.
Afterward, he worked for five years as a sports anchor at WLVI-TV but was fired in 1989 after charges of assault and sexual harassment were brought against him by a Malden man. The charges were later dropped.
In June 1988, he was stabbed four times while walking in Boston’s Fenway section in the early morning. He eventually recovered, resumed his work, and competed in the Boston Marathon.
Gamere had made his television play-by-play debut in 1970 for the New York Yankees on WPIX but was let go after one season and replaced by Bill White.
It was important for the band to be in touch with their fans but at Shea the stage was high with a security zone that kept them right back. I was surprised when The Clash broke up a few weeks later but I understood why. They didn’t want to be so big that they couldn’t reach the people. It’s great that we now have this album to remember the power and the intensity that was The Clash live. – Bob Gruen, from the liner notes to The Clash’s ‘Live At Shea Stadium’.
Putting aside Gruen's laughable claim that a 1983 stadium gig supporting The Who --- with ham & egger Terry Chimes on drums no less --- represented "the Clash at their peak", let's consider the legendary rock photographer's insistence the band's breakup had anything to do with becoming inacessable to their fans. In a portion I've not quoted, Gruen states the Clash allowed non-VIP's into their dressing room on a regular basis, even when the likes of David Bowie and Andy Warhol were propping up the walls. This is true. To their credit, Joe Stummer and Mick Jones had few hangups about associating with drooly fans, even those who weren't passing around class-a drugs. But the "security zone" Gruen speaks of at Shea was not particularly different than any of the hockey arena staging requirements the band had dealt with throught 1982.
There are any number of legit factors that might've contributed to the Clash's breakup. Musical differences. Bernard Rhodes' alleged tendency to amplify or create tension within the band. A highly contentious relationship with their record label. The firing of Topper Headon. But the notion the quartet split because "they didn't want to be so big they couldn't reach the people" is ridiculous.
None of this is to say 'Live At Shea Stadium' is entirely without merit. As a document of the Clash at their slickest, most AOR-friendly moment, it's an interesting artifact. Strummer, fully aware of the absurdity of the situation, is a rather efficient enormodome banterist. But the CD in question is no more representative of the Clash at their best than 'No Security' captures the Rolling Stones in top form. The canned screams might've made sense, had say, Joel Youngblood hopped onstage and dropped his trousers, but not so much in this setting. Phony Beatlemania still hasn't quite bitten the dust.
Occasional mid-afternoon hallucinations aside, I’m fully aware that Shea Stadium is closed for business and there’s no stopping the April unveiling of the Mets’ Citi Field aka The Wilpons’ Monument To Avarice & Greed. But why is it necessary — even in light of consecutive September humiliations —- for Jeff Wilpon to all but whip it out and gloat while pissing on a cherised (to some, anyway) venue? The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir ventured to Flushing and observed Wilpon and assorted hardhat minions engaged in some genuinely creepy bonding.
œThey™re so high, and so close to Mr. Wilpon™s new baby, said Toby Romano, a vice president of Breeze National, the demolition subcontractor, said of the twin light towers™ proximity to the nearly finished Citi Field.
œNice and easy, we™ll pull them down, said Danny Collins, a Breeze foreman.
œIf it were me, said Jeff Wilpon, the team™s chief operating officer, who wants Shea to be gone as soon as possible. œI™d just go in and bring them down.
Collins, a veteran of demolishing skyscrapers, nonchalantly said the Shea razing was œlike any other demolition, but then called it a œgreat challenge to tear down a place where, œI used to spend a lot of time with my uncles.
Wilpon wanted to show the Mets™ clubhouse, now darkened and turned to rubble. But the menacing growl of an approaching Bobcat altered his route. Close by was the rear entrance to the ticket office. A large, ragged gash in a cinderblock wall made it appear that the Incredible Hulk had vented his frustrations over the work of Aaron Heilman.
The old ticket office led, unencumbered by walls, to the stadium™s old main office entrance, and to where the elevator once moved with maddening slowness. It is gone.
œThe shaft makes an excellent garbage chute, said Daryl Mattis, a project supervisor for Hunt-Bovis, the Mets™ construction partner.
J.W. Colucci, an Bobcat operator was asked, what’s it like to be wrecking Shea?
œSometimes, Colucci said, a smile on his dusty face, œit feels better than sex.
Wilpon added: œI™d love to drive a Bobcat, blasting through this place.
Officials at a Chesterfield, Mo., middle school said a handful of students will be punished for organizing “Hit a Jew Day.”
Parkway West Middle School Principal Linda Lelonek said four or five students will face punishment including parent-teacher conferences and suspensions after they designated “Hit a Jew Day” as part of an unofficial “spirit week” that also included “Hug a Friend Day” and “High Five Day,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday.
Lelonek said the students mostly were not hitting the 850-student school’s Jewish population of about 35 but rather tapping them lightly.
“It was almost like a tag thing,” Lelonek said. “But then it changed.”
It’s shocking stuff, however Lelonrek’s modest reaction should provide solace for Steve Lyons. If crap broadcasting doesn’t work out, there’s always a future working with kids.