[First Cub Fan ex-Governor Blagojevich might still be in office had Wrigley voted on his impeachment.]
Your Cub Update stands still for a lot (I have a choice?), but seeing Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich impeached today was too much. Jeez, the Senate even handed Cub Fan #1 a shut-out: 59-0. But I have to speak out: Why is it a Cub fan Democratic office holder who lies, abuses power, and defies Federal investigators is impeached, yet GOP Cub fans like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Henry Paulson retire with dignity and mountains of money? Possibly this has something to do with our Sox fan President’s first official gaffe in office (I’m not counting the oath) when he attended the Commander’s Ball last week and asked several members of the Illinois National Guard serving in Iraq, “Cubs or Sox?” What was Obama thinking? Of course the Commander in chief was humiliated, and today’s news indicates he’s still smarting. The Daily Herald carries a nice Inauguration wrap-up of Bush’s exiting office to a classic Sox fan “Na-na-na, na-na-na, hey hey, good-bye” thru Obama’s tarnished moment in front of the troops.
A twitter post from the Sun-Times Gordon Wittenmyer (a twittermyer?) says “Report from Baltimore: out-of-options, lost-in-space Rich Hill headed to O’s for PTBNL once Balt. GM MacPhail juggles roster.” Indeed, with Kerry Wood and Hill gone, the on line wait for training room jacuzzi time will be seriously cut down in 2009.
And finally, right-handed pitcher Aaron Heilman is leaving his beloved Seattle Mariners. After spending nearly six-weeks there (including his first Seattle Christmas), we can expect Heilman in Cub pinstripes Opening day, unless a loophole is found in Jake Peavy’s contract. All I know of Heilman is that he was a key player on the Mets 2008 season. Is he an all-star waiting to happen on a contending team or just good on a so-so team? How will he adapt to Wrigley? For insight, I turned to CSTB’s own Gerard Cosloy, a noted Mets enthusiast. Says Gerard: “I can only assume his Notre Dame lineage will make him an instant fan fave. The real loser in the deal? The Joe Strummer estate. If Heilman’s a starter, Tannoy play of ‘London Calling’ drops dramatically.”
(Bulldogs react poorly to the news they’ll be under intense scrutiny later this evening)
Gonzaga and St. Mary’s collide tonight at 11pm eastern (ESPN2) and your viewing of said contest can be enhanced with the Twitter magic of Jason Cohen. Please chime in — the WWL’s advertisers get a raw deal, while Jason’s enjoyment is hampered by looking at his cell for much of the night.
“I did curse…” admits Dallas TE Martellus Bennett, referencing his since-removed YooToob clip that managed to rhyme “Romo” with “homo”. “…but I didn’t steal a hearse.” And with that, I think we can agree that a) Bennett has not been accused of stealing a hearse, and b) the sports blogosphere and the producers of several ESPN programs that feature men shouting eagerly await the day he does steal a hearse.
Former Steelers RB Franco Harris, perhaps thinking of those unlucky enough to miss the Derrick Coleman estate sale, has unveiled his “Immaculate Collection”, much to the delight of Brand Freak‘s Kenneth Hein.
The first piece is a “generously proportioned” chair conceived by Helen Hoey, who partnered with national lifestyle designer Barclay Butera. There will only be 500 chairs made, and they are numbered and autographed by both Harris and Hoey. Thus, Harris will achieve every football player’s other dream”of having his autograph next to that of someone who’s also famous for luxury linens.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Yankee official said yesterday that some members of the front office staff already are required to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to protect “proprietary knowledge of our business model.” The proposed clause is intended to ensure that future books about the Yankees are “positive in tone,” and “do not breach the sanctity of our clubhouse.”
Confidentiality agreements, some with meticulously spelled out rules and stipulated monetary penalties for their violation, are standard equipment in most contracts between celebrities and their hired staffs, as well as between corporations and their CEOs. The Mets are believed to have included similar clauses in their contracts with former manager Willie Randolph and former pitching coach Rick Peterson. Up to now, the Yankees never have included them in the contract of a player or manager.
“Up to now, we have always operated our employer-employee relationships on a basis of trust,” the official said. “But we never expected what we got from Joe. We may have to get a little tougher on this issue.”
The 29th place Ottawa Senators (quick, name the other 28 teams!) were defended after Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to New Jersey by owner Eugene Melnyk with what the Sun’s Don Brennan diplomatically calls “an inadvertent choice of words in a war-sensitive time.”
“Anybody that says we should blow up this organization should get their own bomb and go blow themselves up,” Melnyk said, flanked by 30 Grade 4 students, at a press conference to announce new fan initiatives.
“This is not an organization that is completely crippled,” he said. “It needs fine-tuning, it needs some tweaking, it needs a player here, a player there, a few good bounces and that’s it. But we are nowhere near that type of environment.
Melnyk did declare “the excuses are over” and that it was now-or-never time to salvage the season.
“To tell you the truth, it is hard after a game like (Tuesday) night,” Melynk said when asked about remaining upbeat. “On the other hand, you hope it’s just a blip. Going into (the Devils) game there was tremendous optimism. We played a few great games and then we had the all-star break and then we came back, and unfortunately enough was said by Craig, and that’s all I can tell you.”
Asked if he had made any decisions on the future of the team’s management and coaching staff, Melnyk offered some ominous words.
“As far as the hockey organization is concerned, I leave the hockey operations to the hockey people. I’ve always done that,” he said. “And we are going to continue doing whatever it takes to put a winning team on the ice. As far as I’m concerned right now, we are at a crossroads. This is it. We have to win 26-27 games, it’s got to be done.”
Don’t ask how we got on the subject this morning at shootaround, but Kyrylo Fesenko’s decision to show up to the Rocky Mountain Revue with blond hair was revisited. As he did then, Sloan insisted Tuesday that he had no problem with Fesenko’s look.
“I told him exactly that,” Sloan said. “I said, ‘If you need attention, son, go get 20 rebounds. There’ll be people lined up to shake hands with you, that want to talk to you in the press, everything.’ I don’t know why it works that way.”
The New York Times’ Michael B. Schmidt is reporting federal prosecutors getting ready for the Sultan Of Surly’s perjury trial believe they’re sitting on damning evidence the greatest offensive player of the modern game used performance enhancing drugs. Besides, y’know, before and after photography.
A person who has reviewed the evidence said that the authorities detected anabolic steroids in urine samples linked to Bonds that they gathered in connection with their investigation. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The evidence could be significant because questions have been raised about whether the œclear, which like the œcream was created to avoid detection in drug tests, was technically a steroid under federal law when Bonds testified before a federal grand jury in November 2003.
The urine-sample evidence could also have implications for another statement Bonds made before the grand jury, in which he denied ever being injected with any substances by his former trainer, Greg Anderson. Bonds said he never received injections from anyone other than his doctors. Most steroids are administered through injections.
Meanwhile, the authorities continued their efforts Wednesday to gain Anderson™s testimony about Bonds™s suspected use of banned substances. Early Wednesday morning, 20 federal agents raided the home of Anderson™s mother-in-law, according to one of Anderson™s lawyers, Mark Geragos.
Bonds was indicted in November 2007, and the authorities have since targeted Anderson™s mother-in-law, Madeline Gestas, and Anderson™s wife, Nicole Gestas, in an effort to put more pressure on Anderson to testify. The authorities have focused on the finances of Madeline Gestas, a California businesswoman who has been the subject of tax liens. Nicole Gestas is also under investigation in connection with her own finances.
œEven the Mafia spares the women and children, Geragos said in a telephone interview in discussing Wednesday™s raid. œThe government is obsessed with trying to get Greg to testify about Barry, but he never will.
Bynum threw a blatant elbw and hip-check to keep Wallace from reaching the basket in the fourth quarter. I get it that every play in that quarter mattered “ it did go to overtime, after all “ but there were many things Bynum could have done to avert Wallace dunking. Most of them would not have involved Wallace going to the hospital.
Hopefully, this was about youthful indiscretion, not malicious intent. Because as talented as Bynum is, I™d hate to think his destiny is to end up a hockey goon.