Obama Fan George Will Finally Finds a Subject Where He Can Still Talk Like a Pre-Bailout Republican: Bud Selig

Posted in Baseball, Greedy Motherfuckers at 9:59 pm by

[An autogrphed photo of Selig recently made out to himself.]

I’ve posted here before on Bud Selig’s tenacity when it comes to promoting himself.  Now he’s got a very public show of support, from noted Cub fan George Will, who writes in to Forbes Magazine to chastise it for criticizing the man that Bud Selig has declared a massive success “ Bud Selig.  Will argues that Selig is bar none the greatest commissioner Major League Baseball has ever had.  I™ll be the first to say, Selig™s business acumen and selling the game are definitely impressive.  That™s because Selig is the best business rep the owners have ever had, and he should be commended as such.  As far as what the job of baseball commissioner was designed to do, which is bring a sense of moral authority to baseball and give it credibility ” he™s about the worst it has ever had.  With a kind of Bush-like thinking Will has recently rejected, Will manages to both praise free market economics and extol the virtues of Selig, the CEO of America’s favorite monopoly “ baseball.  Will™s total blame for PEDs on the players union is also a bit much to stomach, since owners happily profited from their œignorance of the situation and did little or nothing to raise the issue.  Mr. Will’s fan letter can be found here. [And a CSTB thank you to Chris Lehmann for the link.]

Sweet 16 Twitastic Thumb-fest

Posted in Basketball, Internal Affairs, The Internet at 6:37 pm by

(Xavier’s Terrell Holloway, determined to command more viewers tonight than Alec Baldwin)

Pittsburgh and Xavier
will be tipping off in Boston very shortly, and in the unlikely event you’d prefer to follow my as-they-happen observations from the TD Bank North Garden than follow CBS’ analysis or a more qualified live blogger, you do so in the box to the right, or by following the CSTB Twitter feed.

I’ll be hanging around for Duke/’Nova, too, unless there’s an impromptu DMZ reunion happening somewhere down the road.

Revenge is a Dish Best Served on Your Blog

Posted in Golf, History's Great Hook-Ups, Sports Journalism at 6:32 pm by

Here’s what CBS Sportsline’s Mike Freeman has to say about the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against him by pro golfer John Daly in 2005:

Now John Daly can return to what he does best: getting cut, getting drunk and getting fat.

Several years ago I wrote a column that called Daly something that was wholly true then and is even more accurate now. I called Daly a repugnant loser who is more scoundrel than hero. I blasted him for his treatment of women and his reckless lifestyle….

The victory is not just one for freedom of speech. Athletes should be held accountable for their deeds just like writers are held accountable for theirs.

Just as all of you are in your everyday lives.

So I’ll repeat what I said several years ago.

Daly is a disgraceful human being who, if he were Allen Iverson, would be despised and wouldn’t get the dozens of second chances he has received.

Is “Allen Iverson” some kind of code? I didn’t even know he was a golfer.

PS – On an unrelated note, if you’re not paying attention to those twitter widgets (twidgets?) on the righthand side below the ad, GC will be live from Boston shortly (and I’ll be on the couch).

Oh No Fucking Way Dept., Los Angeles Bureau: Did Isiah Interview With Donald Sterling?

Posted in Basketball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 4:55 pm by

Actually, per ESPN’s Chris Sheridan, Zeke and Donald Sterling definitely had “informal but substantive” talks several weeks ago — The Donald being in the market for an executive to take the pressure off High-Voltage Bummer Generation Device and nightmarish martinet/Head Coach Mike Dunleavy. Dunleavy, who brokered the talks, was apparently playing some sort of practical joke. See how much, if any, of this makes even the slightest bit of sense:

Thomas remains under contract to the Knicks for the remainder of this season and two more, but he has the franchise’s permission to seek employment elsewhere. He was fired as Knicks coach and general manager last spring and was replaced by Donnie Walsh in the front office and Mike D’Antoni on the bench.One source with knowledge of Thomas’ thinking said it now appears he has shifted his focus to pursuing a head coaching position at the college level. The same source said Thomas’ name was discussed at the highest levels of the Grizzlies organization when Memphis fired Marc Iavaroni earlier this season.

…Dunleavy has generally won praise for his salary cap management and his most recent personnel moves…[His] coaching is actually the area where the most justifiable criticism could be directed. The Clippers entered Wednesday night’s game against New York 37 games under .500. He has clashed with some Clippers players, most notably Baron Davis and Chris Kaman, although Sterling has been publicly supportive of Dunleavy and overtly critical of his players, most recently when he went on a postgame rant in the locker room after a loss to San Antonio earlier this month.

It is hard to know where to start with this. ClipperBlog’s Kevin Arnovitz just reprints half the Sheridan story under the headline “When Real Life Exceeds Parody.” Brendan Flynn, who sent me this link, writes, “You can’t make this up. Bill Simmons could try — and if Isiah Thomas becomes the Clips GM, I’ll want to read his column again. Dear god: Could one organization have Sterling, Thomas and Dunleavy? Really?” The answer, it seems, is that only an organization already featuring Sterling and Dunleavy could conceivably also support Isiah Thomas.

Scary Depictions Of Boston Sports History

Posted in Modern Art, Tourism at 2:38 pm by

As seen at Allston, MA’s Sports Depot.  I can get over the omissions of Ted Williams, Bobby Orr, Larry Bird, Jim Plunkett and Carl Yastrzemski, but cannot quite reconcile why there’s a basketball growing out of Tim Wakefield’s shoulder.

SOMM’s Wilson : ESPN, So Tough On Sampson, So Delicate Towards Calhoun

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts at 12:16 pm by

In the wake of yesterday’s Yahoo Sports accusations of impropriety on the part of the UConn hoops program, Sports On My Mind’s D.K. Wilson — not quite shy about saying “I told ya so” — compares and contrasts the Worldwide Leader’s treatment of Huskies head coach Jim Calhoun with their handling of former IU coach Kelvin Sampson.

Notice that ESPN never breaks stories of this sort? Instead, they attempt, with their mighty machine, to co-opt the story after it is published. Their ruse is to, after some time,  give the public the impression that it is they and not the story™s original source, that is acting as both programmer for whatever league it is they are televising and news medium with intrepid-enough journalists who have the go-ahead to investigate the very leagues they televise and to which they are beholden.

Already, this morning on the Mike and Mike in the Morning show, ESPN college basketball analyst Doug Gottlieb is asking, œIs there any plausible deniability [for UConn's hoops program and Calhoun]? Never heard that question asked on behalf of Sampson. Meantime Eric Kuselias asked Wetzel about the timing of the story, implying that Yahoo waited until now to publish the story. Wetzel replied that UConn  refused to hane over their phone records until the authors threatened to sue the university. Wetzel said further that the article would have been published in January had Connecticut™s athletic department complied with the request for the phone records.

Gottlieb later blamed the œOne and Done rule for Connecticut™s misdeeds despite also averring that Calhoun has been followed by these sorts of accusations for most of his career. Kuselias gave the, œif in fact this is true caveat to the story.

ESPN™ talking heads lambasted Sampson, citing his prior excessive phone call record at Oklahoma. No one, to this day, has ever questioned the validity of the charges Sampson incurred at Indiana, despite the fact that there was a cadre of powerful boosters and other influential people in the shadows of the Hoosier™s basketball program who never wanted Sampson to be hired at Indiana and were not at all beyond using assistants to set up Sampson to be dismissed as head coach.

Tonight At Beerland : The Real Satanic Verses (And Choruses, Too)

Posted in Cinema, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 11:53 am by

Though I’m abdicating my Church Of The Up All Night responsibilities this evening, Max Dropout will be your host for an evening of exceptional cinema at Beerland (711 Red River) , screening “Rocktober Blood” (1984, dir. Beverly Sebastian) and Brian DePalma’s directorial debut effort, “Phantom Of The Paradise” (1974) Brooklyn Lager are supplying the free beer, there’s free pizza and i’m so jealous I cannot attend I’m literally shaking with rage. No wait, that’s just a minor stroke!

What Can the Humble Gumbel Do For Your Brand?

Posted in consumer affairs, The Marketplace at 10:35 am by

“Is this the best way to use Greg Gumbel?” Jeff Johnson asks at Fitted Sweats. While I think the answer depends strongly on how — and how accurately — one defines “best,” I’d say that the above image works pretty well. The good people at Pontiac Digital should be commended for finding just the right identity for Gumbel: funky secret service guy.

Mets’ Warthen : Olllie Not Merely Erratic, But Fat, Too

Posted in Baseball at 10:17 am by

After Oliver Perez allowed 6 runs in 3.2 IP against the Tigers yesterday, Mets pitching coach Dan Warthern — quick to cite Ollie’s WBC participation for Mexico (natch) hinted the New York starter might well be dubbed The Hefty Lefty.  From the New York Post’s Mike Puma :

“He’s out of shape,” Warthen said after the Mets’ 10-6 Grapefruit League loss to the Tigers.

“He came into camp in good shape. I thought he was throwing the ball very well when he left camp. I was a little reticent when he left here [for the WBC], and my worries have come to fruition.”

Warthen said Perez is about the same weight as last season, but the lefty added a few pounds after leaving to pitch for Team Mexico earlier this month. The 6-foot-3 Perez is listed at 205 pounds.

“The better body shape you are, the easier it is to get your arm in shape, and I think he has gotten himself out of [shape], even though the weight is about the same as last year,” Warthen said. “He still is not the same guy, the energetic guy, even the life around the clubhouse is not the same.”

Assuming Warthern isn’t exaggerating about Perez’ condition, the club would do well to keep this press release out of the starter’s eyesight.


TNR’s Gay on Curt Schilling: A Whale’s Vagina

Posted in Baseball at 11:44 pm by

Or…sorry? I don’t know what the official in-house CSTB policy is on references to Anchorman. While that film isn’t necessarily my favorite Adam Dunn vehicle, I enjoyed it well enough (and especially enjoyed Will Ferrell’s attempt to translate “San Diego” as the above post-colon cluster of disgusting words). And I enjoyed, too, Jason Gay’s piece in The New Republic Online comparing Curt Schilling to Anchorman hero Ron Burgundy. As was the case with the film he references, Gay’s piece is pretty well out of steam by the time it reaches its conclusion, but when it’s good, it’s quite good. For example:

Curt Schilling was baseball’s Ron Burgundy. Like Ron in his native San Di-ah-go, Schilling was a locally beloved institution–a hero in Boston, Philly, and Arizona–with a comically inflated sense of self-importance. He was a very, very good pitcher, especially in the postseason, but not an all-time great (most sportswriters think he’s a bubble candidate for the Hall of Fame). Still, when Schilling dramatically wrote in his retirement post, “Four Wosrld Series, three World Championships … there are men with plaques in Cooperstown who never experienced one,” all that was missing was that famous Ron-ism, ‘”I’m kind of a big deal.”

Over his 23-season career, Schilling often displayed raffish, Burgundy-style charms. His Yankee-taunting quote during the 2001 World Series–”When you use the words ‘mystique’ and ‘aura,’ those are dancers in a nightclub”–could have been written by Ferrell or Anchorman co-writer Adam McKay. He had enigmatic personal habits: He was a Jedi-level computer geek, with a blog and his own video gaming company; and a 2001 interview he did about his obsession with the game EverQuest may be the most awesomely nerdy sports Q&A ever (“My first foray into Lower Guk was a lot of fun. … Completing the Robe of the Lost Circle quest was a blast. … One night I log in, and there’s a 55 level monk there.”)

But Schilling mostly resembled Burgundy in that he was a first-rate blowhard, thrilled to hold forth with presumed authority on nearly any subject, as if earth was desperate for his wisdom. He’d shamelessly careen from sports to religion to politics; from his conservative heroes (John McCain, George W. Bush) to The New York Times (“A ‘left wing’ mouthpiece that has never had issues reporting ‘facts’ that aren’t, as facts.”) to Obama’s campaign trail economic plan (“There is nothing he’s proposed that is going to help me hire new employees or maintain the best health care coverage”).