01.28.09

Coming Soon (Maybe) To Dade County : David Samson’s Glittering Accujack Palace

Posted in Baseball, Ugly New Stadiums at 9:37 pm by

I wonder who Hanley Ramirez will be playing for by the time this place opens?  Maury Brown’s The Biz Of Baseball on the proposed new Miami Marlins digs.

The new stadium at the former location of the Orange Bowl in Little Havana is a clear break from the œretro ballpark designs of the past. The design by HOK has the roof retracted to one side, much like the Mariners™ Safeco Field in Seattle. The design renderings appear to have the ballpark in white. With the roof closed, many see a modern, nearly œspace ship like quality to it.

Field dimensions in the site plan show the following: 340 to far left, 384 to left center, 420 “curved section” to straight-away center, 416 and 392 to right center, 335 to far right.

In short, this could be the biggest economic boon to Little Havana since Chuck Norris cast extras for “Invasion USA”.

A Fascinating Way For Newspapers To Stay In Business

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism, The Marketplace at 7:08 pm by

If you think the persons responsible for the above stunt were industrious, how about management of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch? They’ll sell you an framed print of the above photograph for a mere $49.95.

Thankfully, Dennis Quaid Failed The Audition For This One

Posted in Cinema, Football at 5:54 pm by

If you were to make a major motion picture about the life of say, Larry Brown, would you choose to make his brief tenure as head coach of the New York Knicks the film’s primary storyline?

That’s the question that comes to mind after watching a trailer for “The Damned United” (above, opening in the UK March 29), a film that tells the story of Brian Clough’s ill-fated 44 days in charge of Leeds United during the Autumn of 1974.  Clough’s squad earned just one win and one draw over the season’s first 6 matches, and while that might be considered a career detour prior to wild success at Nottingham Forest, it probably makes for a more interesting script.

Antonio Margarito’s Hands Of Stone Gauze

Posted in Boxing at 1:21 pm by

37 year old Sugar Shane Mosely “brought the pain to (Antonio) Margarito, stood his ground like a man™s man™s man, and pretty much fought a flawless fight all around,” gushed No Mas’ Large in the aftermath of Saturday’s welterweight title fight at the Staples Center. “(Mosely) is a consummate professional “ always in tremendous shape, always fighting with intelligence and urgency, and always going for the throat when the opportunity presents itself,” continued Large, hailing an achievement that’s all the more impressive considering Maragarito might’ve had the benefit of illegally doctored gloves eariler in the fight, as the New York Post’s George Willis reports.

The California State Athletic Commission is examining two pieces of harden gauze that were part of Margarito’s hand wraps.

Should the CSAC see and hear enough evidence to warrant a suspension or fine of Margarito and his team, it would taint the Mexican’s legacy and all but ruin his chances of reaching the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Clearly, this decision is the most important of his career.

“He’s tainted everything he has done,” Hall of Fame trainer and HBO broadcaster Emanuel Steward said yesterday. “Now you’ve got a situation where every fighter that he has fought is wondering, ‘Did he do that to me?’ I hate this happened because it makes it where there are questions about everybody he has fought.”

Now the question is whether Margarito had loaded wraps for that fight, too. “Now the biggest victory of his career is being questioned,” Steward said.

Margarito’s dominance over Miguel Cotto was one reason a record crowd of 20,820 fans filled the Staples Center for the Mosley fight. But after the two hardened blocks were discovered by Mosley’s trainer Naazim Richardson, Margarito had no chance against Mosley, losing by TKO in the ninth round. Coincidence?

“I don’t think anybody would have beaten Shane that night,” Richardson said, “but with that plaster in there, it might have made it a little rougher.”

Simers Closes The Door On The Bad Lieutenant’s Exit

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 11:03 am by

I watched Jeff Kent’s tearful, endless retirement press conference last Thursday afternoon while on a flight between Austin and New York, waiting patiently for the thank-you to Barry Bonds that never came.  While Dangle couldn’t acknowledge the role Bonds played in shaping the most inflated numbers of the former’s career, he did manage to remind the public he wasn’t a baseball fan in a somewhat unfocused address that was more awkward and creepy than genuinely moving.

Amongst those unimpressed with Kent’s outpouring, naturally, was longtime sparring partner T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times, whose farewell to “some lip-biting, mustache-soaked sob sister” posed the question, “the cold shoulder lives his entire baseball life, every other macho sentence beginning, “I don’t care what anyone thinks,” and so now we’re supposed to care what Kent has to say?”.  From the January 25, Times :

The whole thing is out of whack, sports at its lost perspective worst, the wrong guy blubbering at the microphone and the line extending from here to New York now with folks more deserving than Kent of such attention.

Where’s the spotlight and appreciative crowd for SteveDilbeck, the Los Angeles Daily News sports columnist, who like so many others in recent weeks has been told they will no longer be paid to do what they do so well?

Kent is 40, and although he maximized his God-given talent to play baseball, the Dodgers paid him $9 million last season on top of millions already earned. Now he will oversee the golf country club and three motorcycle shops he owns until he becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame.

And he’s trying not to cry.

Dilbeck, as upbeat and engaging as Kent is sour and aloof, is married, father of three, including a son requiring shots for diabetes every day, and now at age 56 looking for work in an industry hellbent on becoming extinct.

Kent controls his fate to the end, while an unseen bottom line changes the course of Dilbeck’s life. But, oh, how we care about our athletes, what they are feeling and what might be next for them.

The second baseman earns $55,555 for each Dodgers game, which means two games into the year he’s probably earned more than Dilbeck. And some might argue Dilbeck was more on top of his game than Kent last year.

No question Kent was as bright as they come, a wonderful departure from Gary Matthews Jr. and Kevin Brown, the stern demeanor a mask to hide the beating heart, but in the end not enough to disguise the brooding contempt he had for folks who did not look, act or think like him.

01.27.09

Baseball Team Carefully Avoids Exploitation, Opportunism (Unless It’s Okay)

Posted in Baseball, politics at 11:46 pm by

Brooks Boyer, VP and Chief Marketing Officer of the Chicago White Sox knows how to read a spreadsheet.  Faced with a 25% bump in sales of Sox merchandise since the election of vocal Sox fan Barack Obama, Boyer immediately went to the drawing board and came up with a way to combine the popularity of the new president and his preferred baseball team.  These are the results:


“We don’t want to be overly opportunistic and exploit this,” lied Boyer after producing multiple designs, obtaining MLB Properties approval and crouching by the telephone, gleefully rubbing his hands while awaiting a green light from the Oval Office.

Fine with me if the first thing to be shot down by the Obama administration is this dubious idea.  No offense to Boyer, but if bringing Chicago its only World Series ring in a combined 184 seasons netted the Sox no prestige, then slapping the President’s campaign glyph on a Sox hat isn’t going to do it either.

Woodland, CA PD Nominate Pedroia For MVP

Posted in Baseball, Leave No Child Unbeaten, The Law at 11:09 pm by

Sadly, that would be “Most Vile Pervert”.  Way to challenge ownership’s ultimatium to V-Tek for web traffic, Brett Pedroia.  From the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman and Richard Weir :

Lt. Charles Wilts, spokesman for the Woodland (Calif.) Police Department, said Brett Philip Pedroia was arrested Jan. 9 for sex crimes involving a then 8-year-old boy in 2004.

Wilts said Pedroia, 30, was charged with two counts of lewd acts with a child under the age of 13 and two acts of oral copulation with a minor, both felonies. The spokesman added the alleged sex crimes took place in a home in January 2004. He declined to say where the residence was located or whose home it was.

Reportedly, Dustin Pedroia, 25, and his brother are not close and have not spoken in recent years.

A Gordon Edes puff piece on the Pedroia family from June of 2007 gives little indication Dustin and his older brother were estranged. Though it’s not necessarily something a family would volunteer, either. Let’s keep in mind, ladies and gentlemen, that in the United States Of America (and perhaps a handful of other countries I cannot identify), a person is innocent until proven guilty. And with in mind, I look forward to AOL Sports’ Lisa Olson extending the same courtesy to Brett Pedroia that she afforded New York Knicks accused sex pest Eddy Curry.

NBC Keeps Oregon State From Capitalizing on First Brother-In-Law

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, College Spurts, non-sporting journalism, politics at 8:30 pm by

(a man named Craig Robinson)

In Portland, last week’s presidential inauguration was completely overshadowed by the mayor, his (apparently) 18 year-old ex-boyfriend and far too many journalistic conflicts. In Corvallis, it was ruined by Brian Williams.

From the Oregonian‘s John Canzano:

The cameras caught Oregon State coach Craig Robinson early and Williams identified Robinson as Reggie Love, Obama’s personal assistant. Oops. It got worse. Because Williams waxed on and on about how Love become Obama’s personal assistant, and what a personal assistant does… according to one OSU fan who emailed me, “evidently one shaved head tall black guy looks about the same to Williams.”

Eek.

So later, the cameras are again on Robinson, who is wearing his Oregon State scarf, colors orange and black, and Brokaw says Robinson is wearing “Princeton” colors. Robinson attended Princeton, and the school colors are indeed orange and black, but it was a little shortsighted, no? to miss the the obvious angle. No mention from Brokaw that OSU’s colors are orange and black and that Robinson is the Beavers’ coach.

One reader, from Independence, wrote:

“To NBC: Go (bleep) yourselves. You are elitist pigs. If this is your idea of ALL THE facts, what am I to believe on your newscasts?”

Another wrote:

“I am still pissed about OSU stopping Pitt and holding them to zero points, and have it characterized as a boring game…. and all (Robinson as coach) gets them is their basketball coach first misidentified, and later, lauded for his Princeton education. Elitest (bleeps).”

(Sic)

Now, being a Penn State fan, I like a titanic defensive struggle as much as anyone, so let me suggest that some may have thought the Sun Bowl was a boring game not because of the 3-0 score but because it featured two mediocre teams, the better of which was coming off perhaps the most humiliating home loss of the college football season.

But I digress. Canzano concludes that “NBC’s coverage made the Northwest feel a little insignificant.” Said insignificance would also be why Sam Adams is still not nearly as well-known as Elliot Spitzer.

The ever-unflappable Williams later apologized.

“Whatever you have called me over the past few days can’t be any worse than my own anger over my mistake. I made an inexcusable error when I confused the great OSU coach Craig Robinson with a friend of mine, the personal assistant to President Obama, Reggie Love. I am sending personal apologies to both men, and this is my apology to all members of Beaver Nation. It was a mistake committed during 9 hours of live programming – I was distracted and watching many incoming video feeds, but that’s no excuse for the error, which was no one’s fault but mine. I have felt awful about it since I forced myself to read the coverage of it on OregonLive.com, and I hope that someday you can find it in your hearts to forgive my error.”

Heh. He said “Beaver Nation.”

Incidentally, Coach Robinson’s team is not so bad (0-18 in the Pac 10 last year, road wins over Cal and Stanford this year).

A Most Unfortunate SB XLIII Media Day Headline

Posted in Gridiron at 7:20 pm by

I’m sorry, but that’s a terrible way to refer to Brenda Warner.

(With Apologies To The Angry Samoans) Tom McHale’s Brain Is Calling

Posted in Gridiron, Medical Science at 5:52 pm by

After examining brain tissue from deceased NFL vets including but not limited to John Grimsley, Mike Webster, Andre Waters, Justin Strzelczyk and Terry Long, The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy released a study Tuesday about the 6th documented case of chronic traumatic encephalopath (aka CTE), this time in the form of deceased Tamba Bay lineman Tom McHale (above).  From CNN.com’s Stephanie Smith :

CTE has thus far been found in the brains of six out of six former NFL players.

“What’s been surprising is that it’s so extensive,” said McKee. “It’s throughout the brain, not just on the superficial aspects of the brain, but it’s deep inside.”

CSTE studies reveal brown tangles flecked throughout the brain tissue of former NFL players who died young — some as early as their 30s or 40s.

McKee, who also studies Alzheimer’s disease, says the tangles closely resemble what might be found in the brain of an 80-year-old with dementia.

“I knew what traumatic brain disease looked like in the very end stages, in the most severe cases,” said McKee. “To see the kind of changes we’re seeing in 45-year-olds is basically unheard of.”

The damage affects the parts of the brain that control emotion, rage, hypersexuality, even breathing, and recent studies find that CTE is a progressive disease that eventually kills brain cells.

In a statement, the NFL indicated that their staffs take a cautious, conservative approach to managing concussions.

While they support research into the impact of concussions, they maintain that, “Hundreds of thousands of people have played football and other sports without experiencing any problem of this type and there continues to be considerable debate within the medical community on the precise long-term effects of concussions and how they relate to other risk factors.”