03.31.09

Change Of Plans In Denver : Cutler’s On The Trading Block

Posted in Gridiron at 11:18 pm by

Despite prior assurances by Josh McDaniels that fences could somehow be mended with Jay Cutler, the miffed QB’s refusal to accept phone calls from his head coach appears to have worked to Cutler’s favor. To wit, his trade demand is about to be granted, as the Denver Post’s Mike Klis explains.

“Numerous attempts to contact Jay Cutler in the last 10 days, both by head coach Josh McDaniels and myself, have been unsuccessful,” owner Pat Bowlen said in a statement. “A conversation with his agent (Bus Cook) earlier today clearly communicated and confirmed to us that Jay no longer has any desire to play for the Denver Broncos. We will begin discussions with other teams in an effort to accommodate his request to be traded.”

Cutler heard about Bowlen’s statement Tuesday, but said by text, “I’m not talking about it.”

For now, the Broncos’ starting quarterback is Chris Simms, who has thrown just two passes since sustaining a ruptured spleen in the third game of the 2006 season, or nine games before Cutler replaced Jake Plummer as the Broncos’ starting quarterback.

An NFL source said the Washington Redskins are among the leading candidates to pull off a trade for Cutler. The Redskins have a proven young quarterback, Jason Campbell, and would meet the Broncos’ preference of dealing Cutler outside the American Football Conference. The Redskins also have the No. 13 overall selection in this year’s draft, one spot.

Gun Violence Plagues Oregon Ducks Basketball Team

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, Firearms, Lower Education at 7:04 pm by

And let me be (presumably) the thousandth person to suggest that if they have to hunt small animals, the beaver would more appropriate. From the Oregonian:

Three Oregon men’s basketball players were cited Monday night in Eugene’s Alton Baker Park for shooting BB guns at ducks and geese in the park’s pond.

Officers responded to a report of men shooting guns in the park at 11:08 p.m. and arrived to witness freshman forward Josh Crittle fire approximately 20 shots toward the pond with a BB gun, said Jenna LaBounty, a spokeswoman with the Eugene Police Department.

Crittle was cited along with fellow freshmen Michael Dunigan and Teondre Williams on an accusation of violating park rules, which carries a base fine of $155.

LaBounty said that when the officers approached, Dunigan tossed his weapon into the water, where officers found it. Williams’ weapon was also located by the six officers who responded.

Crittle, Dunigan and Williams were handcuffed, cited and released within 30 minutes late Monday.

LaBounty said it did not appear any animals were injured in the shooting.

Isn’t that always the way? When you’re driving to the pond, gun cradled, somebody’s hand up in your face, you somehow manage to get off the shot and make it. But when they’re sitting ducks…

Devils’ Mottau : Avery Stood Me Up At The Dance

Posted in Hockey at 6:21 pm by

Hailing the passive resistance of the Rangers’ recently reacquired Sean Avery (above), the New York Times’ Jeff Z. Klein calls the former Vogue intern, “not merely a Zen master” in the Blueshirts’ 3-0 dispatch of New Jersey last night, but “a Machiavellian Zen master.”

Mike Mottau, who hit Avery with some big body checks early in the game, said Avery had challenged him to a fight late in the first period. It certainly looked that way, given that Avery crosschecked Mottau in the back after Martin Brodeur had smothered an Avery shot, then backed away.

œHe shook his gloves and I was at the end of a shift and then the refs got in there, Mottau told Gulitti. œI said I™d fight him the next shift, and after the TV timeout we lined up next to one another and he wouldn™t fight me.

(If the refs had gotten wind of it, that would have counted as an appointment fight, which the league now considers a suspension-worthy offense.)

In the third period, David Clarkson grabbed Avery during a scrum. Avery dropped one glove, then let himself be thrown around by Clarkson, which resulted in Clarkson™s expulsion from the game.

œI was just trying to spark the guys, Clarkson told Gulitti. œHe had one glove thrown down and he had his fist cocked back, so that™s kind of why. I™m trying to spark the team and he had his one hand cocked back in a fist. I don™t know how. Say he throws a punch and hits me. I™m the guy that loses.

Avery is provoking reactions from other players, then doing nothing in hopes of drawing a penalty. It™s a smart and effective tactic ” but it™s also exactly the kind of thing players cite in polls when they repeatedly vote him the most hated man in the league.

An Small, But Important First IMDB Entry For The Knicks’ David Lee

Posted in Basketball, Leave No Child Unbeaten at 2:50 pm by

Perhaps not the meatiest of parts, but far less embarrassing than being singled out by Mike Breen for ruining the toilet in ESPN’s NBA Winnebago. Video link culled from True Hoop.

Starting Next Autumn, You Won’t Have Tommy Smyth To Kick Around Nearly As Much

Posted in Football, Sports TV at 2:28 pm by

EPL Talk.com links to an AP item confirming Fox Soccer Channel — the cable/satellite outlet that hasn’t quite learned the meaning of the words “high definition” — has wrested rights to the UEFA Champions League away from ESPN, and will begin showing the competition next fall.

It’s a curious move for a number of reasons, the first of which being FSC’s limited availability throughout the country.  While ESPN’s coverage of the tournament is hardly above critique, the WWL has certainly done far more in recent years to promote marquee matchups and devote more time to relevant highlights on “SportsCenter”.  If there’s more interest stateside in the Champions League compared to earlier in the decade, ESPN and John Skipper deserve some portion of the credit.

(4/2/09 addendum : details on FSC’s plans)

Finally, Someone Has The Guts To Make U.S. Youth Soccer Competitive

Posted in Football, Leave No Child Unbeaten at 1:57 pm by

A Scituate, MA kiddie league soccer coach has resigned after naming his squad of 6 & 7 year-old girls “Green Death” and advocating a diet of “undercooked red meat”The Boston Herald’s Joe Dwinell reports on the region’s most hard-wired gaffer this side of the Hooded Casanova.

œI believe winning is fun and losing is for losers, Michael Kinahan wrote in a letter to the kids on his team.

Kinahan went on in his welcoming letter to compel his players to be ready to hit the pitch playing like a œMichael Vick pit bull.

The coach warned parents he wouldn™t tolerate them planted on the sidelines œin their LL Bean chairs sipping mocha-latte-half-caf-chinos and not cheering.

Kinahan told parents and players to prepare for œbumps, bruises and even bleed a little, – and vowed to œheckle the young referees.

Kinahan told the Herald last night his letter was a mix of œsuburban satire and a challenge to compete.

œI stand by my comments. This isn™t two hours of free babysitting, Kinahan said.

Without knowing much about Kinahan’s credentials, this does seem like an awful lot of work just to get mentioned on Jim Rome’s radio show.

First Rick Wagoner, Now This: Sheff’s Out in The D

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 12:35 pm by

Turbulent economic times, man. Bad CEOs, fading sluggers, pretty much everyone working in the manufacturing sector. No one’s job is safe. Of course, certain gigs are safer than others. Yes, even though he has 499 career home runs and is probably (I mean, right?) a Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield was released by the Tigers today. Sheff was batting under .200 this Spring, but it takes awhile to get up to speed at a certain age.

This is just true of people who already have their places in Cooperstown sewed up. Take, for instance, Hall of Fame honoree Peter Gammons, whom I like but whose softball TV interviews and rambly, ultra-positive writing work have him looking more and more like the baseball world’s answer to Larry King. Two weeks ago, Gammons dropped this bit of happy talk into a Spring Training roundup:

The way Gary Sheffield has gotten back his bat speed and leverage through the hitting zone after a year and a half of shoulder problems makes him look like a serious comeback of the year candidate.

This latest turn of events would, admittedly, make Sheffield’s comeback candidacy that much more dramatic. You know, provided he finds a job somewhere.

ITV’s Pseudo Springer Headed For The Scrap Heap

Posted in The World Of Entertainment at 10:12 am by

The Daily Star’s Michael Booker reports Jeremy Kyle, the former life insurance salesman turned chat host / chav-tastic TV icon, will be removed from the small screen next February.

Kyle, 43, has come under fire for œexploiting dysfunctional families since he hit TV screens in 2005.

His shows have included œBrother, I™ll Prove I™m the Father Of Your Ex-Girlfriend™s Baby and œIf I Can™t Have Children, How Can It Be My Baby?.

Angry guests have tried to assault the ex-radio DJ when they objected to his comments about their personal problems.

In 2007 when a man head-butted his love rival. Security guard David Staniforth, 45, attacked bus driver Larry Mahoney, 39, after discovering he had begun an affair with his wife Jennifer after moving into their home as a lodger.

Staniforth, of Chesterfield, Derbys, is believed to be the first person convicted of assaulting someone on a British talk show. District Judge Alan Berg, sitting at Manchester Magistrates™ Court, branded the show a œhuman form of bear-baiting.

And he added: œIt seems to me the purpose of this show is to effect a morbid and depressing display of dysfunctional people whose lives are in turmoil.

Cash-strapped ITV bosses now say the cost of screening the show daily is too high.

And one of the biggest bills was paying for œguests to stay at hotels near the Granada studios in Manchester.

An ITV insider told the Daily Star Sunday last night: œPeople appearing on the show love to get the chance to stay in a hotel at ITV™s expense but it™s too much to keep paying out.

œThe screenings will be scaled back until next year when the show will go for good. It is unfortunate but everything has a shelf-life and this has come to an end.

Chavez Ravine Is Not A River In Egypt : Lasorda Vouches For Piazza

Posted in Baseball at 9:31 am by

If this is the sort of defense that’s going to be mounted in support of Mike Piazza, MLB’s All-Time Leading Savatage Fan might as well throw himself on the mercy of Peter Gammons.  The LA Daily News’ Ramona Shelburne pestered former Dodgers skipper Tommy Lasorda about The Backne Heard Around The World, and the response from Piazza’s godfather was as thoughtful as it was unexpected.

“I don’t believe that at all,” said Lasorda. “He worked so hard. I saw him in the weight room working out all the time. Whatever (is in the book) is hearsay. I just don’t believe it. He comes from a family that’s full of good people. “I wouldn’t comment on it if I didn’t feel strongly about it. He has too much to lose. And he’s such a nice young man. He goes to church, he’s got a nice family. I know him. I know what kind of man he is and I just don’t believe it.”

There is no proof, and Piazza has not commented or confirmed anything. Lasorda said he was saddened to hear of the accusations.

“This is a guy that should be in the Hall of Fame. He’s out-homered every catcher that’s in there,” Lasorda said. “I just don’t believe it. Mike Piazza? No way. He worked too hard. I saw him.”

I’m no Dick Pound, but wouldn’t PED use enable a person to be in the weight room “all the time”? I have few strong opinons about Piazza’s guilt or innocence (after all, he never played for the Yankees — I kid, I kid) but you won’t find many ballplayers as pious as Andy Pettitte. Going to church (and refraining from masturbation) didn’t stop him from using HGH.

The comment about Metal Mike having too much to lose is utter nonsense. As an unheralded zillionth round draft choice, he had everything to gain.

03.30.09

Wales’ Craig Bellamy Adds Memorable Soundbite To Forgettable WC Qualifier

Posted in Football at 9:32 pm by

Manchester City’s Craig Bellamy has previously revealed himself to be something less than a master of diplomacy, but his text harassment of Alan Shearer seems somewhat tame compared to his public statements in the wake of Wales’ 2-0 defeat to Finland over the weekend. When Bellamy’s playing career has run its course, surely an analyst gig with Sky or Setanta awaits?

O’s Radio Station Declared Their Own Rain Out

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 7:38 pm by

The Mets’ Grapefruit League loss to Baltimore Sunday afternoon wouldn’t ordinarily be a big deal back in Charm City, but it might’ve attracted less attention than usual. As the New York Post’s Bart Hubbach explains, O’s fans following the contest on the radio might well have believed the game was rained out (link culled from Baseball Think Factory)

The Orioles’ flagship radio team of Joe Angel (above) and Fred Manfra quietly left the stadium here today during a 90-minute rain delay and didn’t come back for the final eight innings, telling their bosses at 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore that the game had been canceled.

“Yes, the rest of the game was not on the air back home and we don’t know why,” a baffled Orioles PR rep said later. “We looked over during the game and they weren’t there.”

What if, for example, All-Star reliever George Sherrill — who ended up pitching this afternoon when the game resumed — had hurt himself?

All you would-be announcers might want to get your resume tapes ready, because there could be an opening or two in Baltimore very shortly.

The Baltimore Sun’s Ray Frager took the time to contact Angel, who insists the decison to vacate the premises was made by his radio paymasters (“Fred Manfra and I would much rather have preferred to stay and finish
the broadcast after the rain delay”).  Angel’s version of events has been corroborated by Dave Labrozzi of CBS Radio, so perhaps those audition tapes Hubbach refers to might well be sent elsewhere.

The World’s Most Dysfunctional Arena : Where Dignity Goes To Die

Posted in Basketball, New York, New York at 4:19 pm by

The New York Knicks have 3 home games remaining in the 2008-09 season.  While the club is lottery-bound, the basketball product isn’t nearly as shameful / desperate as Cablevision’s continued attempts to give the Garden all the ambience of a suburban U.S.A. shopping mall and/or middle school assembly.

If You Want the 2018 World Cup…

Posted in Football, politics at 2:38 pm by

…why not hire the guy who has ordered covert assassinations and/or secret bombing campaigns in half the world’s countries to coordinate your efforts? At the very least, Henry Kissinger is a recognizable brand — one that kills your democratically elected leader and installs a junta of crypto-fascists backed by fruit corporations or whatever, but a brand nonetheless. And considering that Alexei Lalas was probably in the running for some advisory role or other, maybe Hammering Hank’s role on the committee seeking to bring the World Cup to the U.S. in 2018 or 2022 makes some sense? And, to be fair, Kissinger was a part of the committee that actually brought the ’94 World Cup to the U.S., so maybe…no, actually it’s still pretty offensive. The AP, via ESPN, reports:

“I don’t think we have a huge chance in 2018. I think it will probably go to Europe,” Kissinger said Monday. “We’ll certainly contest for it. And just as ’86 guaranteed that we got it in 94, so I think bidding for 2018 will give us a great chance for 2022.”

…FIFA’s executive committee will vote on the 2018 and 2022 hosts in December 2010, and many think the 2018 vote will come down to England or Spain. Kissinger thinks Russia, which has never hosted soccer’s showcase, will get strong consideration. Next year’s tournament is in South Africa, and Brazil will stage the World Cup in 2014.

“I think Europe will probably get it in 2018,” he said. “Our best shot is ’22, but I hope we can get it in ’18. But it’s hard to believe Europe will let it go three times in a row.”

Kissinger received FIFA’s order of merit in 1996, with the governing body saying his “support for football from the high-profile position of his public office has contributed greatly to raising its visibility and credibility in the United States.”

Kissinger grew up in Fuerth, Germany, and still pays attention to Germany’s national team, die Deutsche Nationalmannschaft. “I follow them and I wish them well, but I don’t feel about them like I do about the Yankees,” he said. He also roots for Juventus, because he is friendly with the Agnelli ownership group, and Manchester United and Arsenal.

He also roots for the oppressive crypto-corporatist Chinese government, because he is friendly with its leaders, and resigned his spot on the 9/11 Commission because he preferred not to reveal the extent to which his consulting company does business with essentially every bad government in existence. Of course he loves the freaking Yankees. Thanks to Brendan Flynn for the link.

High Anxiety : Detroit Docs Dispute D-Train Diagnosis

Posted in Baseball, Medical Science at 12:24 pm by

The Tigers placed SP Dontrelle Willis on the 15 day disabled list yesterday with what the club is calling an anxiety disorder, Said move raised the suspicions of the The Detroit News’ Lynn Henning, who took the time to quiz the area’s mental health professionals.
“I can’t speak of the specific situation, but to the best of my knowledge, you cannot diagnose an anxiety disorder by a blood test,” said Hiten Patel, a psychiatrist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. “Most psychiatric conditions cannot be diagnosed by blood tests, and anxiety disorder cannot be diagnosed in such a way.”

Agreeing was Taft Parsons, medical director of the Kingswood Hospital, the in-patient psychiatric facility at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

“There’s no anxiety disorder, no psychiatric disorders, which are diagnosed by blood tests,” said Parsons, who explained that anxiety might be a symptom of a medical situation identified by blood work, such as a thyroid condition. “But (anxiety) would not be the disorder itself. Only a symptom.”

Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers president and general manager, was careful about providing details of Willis’ health, citing confidentiality laws. But he said: “It’s something that our doctors have discovered, and we’ve been working on it for a while to try to make sure exactly what this is. The doctors discovered that.”

GM Dave Dombrowski declined comment Sunday after being informed of the psychiatrists’ response.

The Tigers owe Willis $22 million through the 2010 season. But if he were to spend the bulk of this season or 2010 on the DL, insurance policies that are routine for highly paid players would likely be responsible for as much as 50 percent of his compensation.

Calipari’s Pitino Emulation Hits New Heights

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, General at 11:51 am by

The Memphis Commercial-Appeal‘s Dan Wolken reports University Of Memphis head basketball coach John Calipari held a team meeting this morning and strongly hinted to the squad that he’ll be coaching Kentucky next season.

While Calipari did not say explicitly what he planned to do, players left the meeting convinced that Calipari would take the job. According to the source, Calipari told the team that Kentucky was the Notre Dame of basketball.

Meanwhile, ESPN.com reported Monday morning that Calipari met with Kentucky officials over the weekend to discuss an outline of a deal to replace Billy Gillispie.

A source told The Commercial Appeal on Sunday that Calipari had expressed interest in the job and could meet with Kentucky this week but that a meeting was œnot definite.

Memphis officials, according to multiple sources, had no direct knowledge of a meeting between Calipari and Kentucky if one indeed took place over the weekend. Kentucky still had not asked Memphis for formal permission to speak with Calipari as of 9:45 a.m., according to sports information director Lamar Chance.

Either way, Memphis is expected to make a strong bid to keep Calipari with a financial package that would make him the highest paid coach in basketball, according to another source.

While it’s hardly too early to wonder where Memphis might turn if/when Calipari’s hiring in Lexington becomes official, let’s consider the real victims of the Wildcats’ likely coup ; Memphis’ returning players Jeff Caple and Travis Ford, who are both denied the opportunity to extract greater compensation from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, respectively.

03.29.09

When A Cringeworthy Advertisement Is Inevitable, Relax And Enjoy It

Posted in Basketball, Video Games at 6:50 pm by

Honestly, I don’t know what’s more surprising — that the new Guitar Hero ad featuring The General, (Sick Boy) Roy Williams, Rick “Matt from Tyvek Isn’t Walking Through That Door” Pitino and Coach K isn’t being financed by the opposition to make Rock Band look cool by comparison…or that the General is so willing to poke fun at his lousy reputation. Can a Bill Belichick spot for Ashley Madison.com be far off?

Funny Video Coverage Comes To Those Who Wait : The Re-Emergence Of An NBA Icon

Posted in Basketball at 6:37 pm by

Sure, his team is just playing out the string, but we know it’s a huge morale boost for one of the East’s also-rans to witness a team leader, nay,  the face of the franchise, returning to the hardwood after a long absence.

But enough about Eddy Curry, I hear Gilbert Arenas played some basketball last night, too.

Lou Saban, Dead At 87

Posted in Gridiron at 5:29 pm by

Lou Saban, a head coach in the NFL, AFL and NCAA for more than 40 years (as well as a former New York Yankees club president) passed away earlier today in South Carolina at the age of 87.  From the Buffalo News’ Mark Gaughan :

Saban (above, seated) had two successful stints as Bills head coach. The first came from 1962 to 1965. He built the Bills in to a powerhouse, and directed the AFL title teams in 1964 and 1965. He left the Bills after that second crown to coach at the University of Maryland. But he returned in 1972 and helped catapult O.J. Simpson to NFL stardom.

Simpson became the focal point of the Bills’ offense once Saban arrived, and in 1973, he set the NFL single-season rushing record with 2,003 yards. Saban directed the Bills to the playoffs in 1974. He resigned during the 1976 season.

Saban alienated Bills Owner Ralph Wilson Jr. by quitting twice and he has never been added to the team’s Wall of Fame.

He finished with a record of 68 wins, 45 losses and four ties, according to the Pro-Football-Reference Web site.

Saban cited heart problems in quitting his most recent coaching job, at tiny Chowan University in Murfreesboro, N.C., in 2002 at the age of 81.

But four years later, he told a Buffalo News sports columnist that he would be interested in coaching again.

“If I coach again, fine. It not, who cares? I can’t force anything. When I mention my age, they say I’m too old. I can’t battle it. I can’t in any way cover up my age. I’d like to test myself again. That sounds selfish, but I’ve proven myself, and I’m alive. There’s nothing the matter with my brain,” Saban said in the 2006 interview.

Recession Be Damned, New Yorkers Want Their Shack Burgers

Posted in Baseball, Food, The Marketplace, Ugly New Stadiums at 3:59 pm by

Pic lifted from clr‘s Twitter feed.  The Mets charged a mere $5 to see St. John’s & Georgetown play the first competitive game in Citi Field history, while the Shack Shack charges $6.75 (at their Manhattan locations, anyway) for a Vanilla Creamsicle Shake.  Of course, said shake is “blended with David Kirsch Vitamin-Mineral Orange Super-Juice”, which undoubtedly makes it an important part of Livan Hernandez’ training table.

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One (A Thousand Times) Before : The Widow Cobain Accused Of Online Trash Talk

Posted in Free Expression, The Law at 10:47 am by

In which recording artist/Judaism expert Courtney Love provides the rest of us with great inspiration the next time we receive a bill we cannot or will not pay.  From Page Six’s Paula Froelich :

In papers filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Dawn Simorangkir, who runs a sportswear line called Boudoir Queen, says Courtney Love asked her to create a wardrobe for her, but then got angry when the designer sent her an invoice.

Love then hatched a “plot to destroy Simorangkir,” writing “malicious and false statements” on the Internet, claiming the designer “sold drugs, is a drug addict, has a history of selling cocaine, has a history of assault and battery, has a record of prostitution, has committed grand theft . . . was deemed an unfit parent, lost custody of her child, is a racist and homophobe . . . [and] is a danger to society,” the suit states.

In addition, “Love publicly made the menacing and disturbing statement that Simorangkir will be ‘hunted til your [sic] dead,’ ” according to the suit. “Whether caused by a drug-induced psychosis, a warped understanding of reality, or the belief that her money and fame allow her to disregard the law, Love has embarked on what is nothing short of an obsessive and delusional crusade to terrorize,” the suit claims.

It also states that Love’s vicious missives refer to Simorangkir as a “vile horrible lying bitch” and “the nastiest lying person I have ever known . . . [a] total scumbag.”

Apparently, if you read TMZ or any number of sub-Golden Fiddle sites, this dispute is pretty old news (well, by 3 days anyhow), but as someone genuinely saddened at the way so many have tried to bilk Ms. Love out of her hard earned fortune, the above item seemed newsworthy enough for a Sunday morning.

03.28.09

The Wire’s David Simon : Not Nearly Finished Dumping On The Baltimore Sun

Posted in non-sporting journalism, The World Of Entertainment at 7:18 pm by

“If I want to find out what’s going on in this city, I’ve got to go to a fucking bar and talk to a police lieutenant and take notes on a cocktail napkin,” moans “The Wire” creator David Simon (above, third from left) to the Guardian’s Oliver Burkeman. “That’s what passes for high-end journalism in Baltimore these days.” Lest you think Season 5 settled all of the old scores for Simon, “The Wire”‘s recent UK success has afforded him another opportunity to take a shot at the American news media.

Simon doesn’t respond well to the criticism that perhaps things aren’t entirely bad – that his shows’ unremitting pessimism distorts a world where some people do defeat the crushing force of social institutions. Last year, the journalist Mark Bowden made that charge in the Atlantic magazine, and Simon hasn’t forgiven him. “This premise that The Wire wasn’t real because it didn’t show people having good outcomes in west Baltimore … I don’t know what to tell him. We didn’t spend a series in a cul-de-sac with people barbecuing; it was the story of what’s happening at the bottom rungs of an economy where capitalism has been allowed free rein. And if he’s telling me it’s not happening, I want to take his fucking entitled ass and drive him to west Baltimore and shove him out of the car, at Monroe and Fayette, and say, find your way back, fucker, because you’ve got your head up your ass at the Atlantic.”

Behind Simon’s general disillusion is a disillusionment with journalism, the only work he ever wanted to do. Raised in a secular Jewish household in the Washington suburbs, he wrote for his school magazine, then was so busy editing the University of Maryland newspaper that it took him five years to graduate (“with terrible grades”). In his final year he began stringing for the local paper, the Sun; his wife, the novelist Laura Lippman, is another former Sun reporter. The way he tells it, the central betrayal of Simon’s life is the gutting of the Sun by profit-obsessed owners and Pulitzer-obsessed editors. One of those reviled executives, Bill Marimow, gets an obnoxious police lieutenant named after him in The Wire; Scott Templeton, the weaselly fabricator of season five, is modelled on a Sun colleague. (Other former staffers describe Simon as a perpetual picker of fights.)

The collapse of the US newspaper industry has left politicians free to pursue their unethical schemes unscrutinised. “The internet does froth and commentary very well, but you don’t meet many internet reporters down at the courthouse,” he says. “Oh to be a state or local official in America over the next 10 to 15 years, before somebody figures out the business model. To gambol freely across the wastelands of an American city as a local politician! It’s got to be one of the great dreams in the history of American corruption.”

CP3 Oozing With Contempt For Knicks’ Mighty Mite

Posted in Basketball at 6:43 pm by

Hornets G Chris Paul and Knicks counterpart Nate Robinson exchanged pleasantries and shoves with about 9 minutes remaining in New York’s 103-93 win at MSG Friday night and afterwards, the former praised N8 as “the better player” to the Post’s Mark Hale. Sort of.

“What happened was, I went in for that layup over Larry Hughes, and he pushed me in the back, and I was just like, ‘All right now, Nate,’ ” Paul said. “And I’m thinking he’s going to be like, ‘My fault’ or something. He said something crazy. So then we went back down the other end, I tried to be aggressive and it happened. . . . Whatever. It’s our last time playing the Knicks.

“I don’t pay no attention, tell you the truth. I just play. Dunk contest champion.”

The “dunk contest champion” comment seemed to be a jab at Robinson, though Paul claimed he knows Robinson personally and insisted that the feisty Knick “didn’t get in my head.”

“They won the game. I guess that makes him the better player.” Paul said with a bit of sarcasm.

“I really like their team, to tell you the truth,” he said. “I know Al Harrington real well. Q-Rich [Quentin Richardson]. Chris Duhon. I’m a huge Chris Duhon fan. We played against each other in college.”

Irving R. Levine, Dead At 86

Posted in non-sporting journalism at 3:01 pm by

Who was the bow-tie wearing economics reporter that was like a sex machine to all the chicks?

IRVING R. LEVINE!

Marlins’ Ramirez : Fuck Tha (Fashion) Police

Posted in Baseball, Fashion at 2:31 pm by

A couple of weeks back, Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria instituted what the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi calls “a new, clean-cut look” for the Fish. Amongst those displeased with the club’s new dress code ; All-Universe SS and hot pick for 2009 MVP Hanley Ramirez (above, left).

At first, players kept any complaints private. But Thursday, Ramirez let out his frustrations when he arrived in Fort Lauderdale and was told to remove his gold chains, another fashion no-no under the new policy.

According to a team source, Ramirez reacted by complaining loudly about the hair-cut policy. He walked around the clubhouse with the words “I’m sick of this ”-” written across the front of his shirt and reportedly said, “I’m angry! I want to be traded.”

The protest prompted a meeting between Ramirez and top team officials after he left the Marlins-Baltimore game in the sixth inning.

Manager Ferdi Gonzalez was asked if Ramirez’s protests Thursday prompted the manager to address the team. “Now you’re putting me in a bad mood,” Gonzalez said, refusing to discuss the issue.

Ramirez wasn’t talking about it, either.

“That’s in the past. No more comments about that. New day today,” he said Friday in the clubhouse while wearing a ball cap that covered his buzz cut. “I’m happy today.”

The Owner With A Boner’s Embrace Of A New Medium (For Bitching About Officiating)

Posted in Basketball, The Internet at 2:14 pm by

An item in Friday’s New York Times warned that Twitter-ville is heavily populated by ghostwits filling in for persons as varied as 50 Cent, Britney Spears and Barack Obama.  Mavs owner Mark Cuban, as you might expect, takes a more hands-on approach to the new technology, continuing his feud with Denver’s JR Smith after Dallas’ 103-101 loss Friday night.  From the Dallas Morning News’ Tim MacMahon :

Antoine Wright and Smith got in each other’s faces by the Denver bench after Wright’s missed jumper with seconds remaining essentially sealed the Nuggets’ win.

Cuban took his frustration out on his keyboard minutes after the loss, posting twice about the incident on his Twitter page, questioning a refereeing crew headed by Ronnie Garretson.

how do they not call a tech on JR Smith for coming off the bench to taunt our player on the ground ?
scary part of that play: Same crew chief from game in Denver where they missed call – last play of the game & 1st JRSmith/Wright issue.

Cuban was fined $25,000 for “inappropriate interaction” after his confrontation with Smith earlier this season. It’d be stunning if David Stern didn’t order Cuban to cough up some cash for finding a new way to question NBA officiating.