06.22.09

Hutcheson’s Southern Hospitality

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Mob Behavior at 3:40 pm by

(to be perfectly fair, the above photograph was not taken in Atlanta)

What’s it like, following a baseball club whose home field advantage is routinely compromised by hordes of exiles and traveling fans bellowing their support for the visiting side?  That’s the situation Deep Left Field‘s Sam Hutcheson finds himself in, advising his fellow Braves rooters to avoid Turner Field for tonight’s clash with Chicago (” If there’s any slug of baseball fandom that will appear for a Monday rain-out replay and make the park a miserable hell of drunken buffoonery, rest assured, it is Cubs fans”).  And’s he’s only just getting started (link courtesy Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

We follow that septic sludge with Bud Selig’s most joyous fuck you to Atlanta fans, our yearly parade of soul-grindingly annoying fans from the NEC. Three games of transplanted Yankee fans soiling the seats of our fair grounds, followed immediately by an equal dose of their paternal twins from Boston. Oh, joyous day. How can we, the unworthy denizens of Atlanta ever thank you Mr. Selig? If not for your ever-brilliant notion of making the World Series essentially meaningless by playing the leagues against one another in the middle of the summer we’d never have the chance to see all of the loud, obnoxious sprawl-eating invaders gathered together in one place like this! You’re the best.

I hate interleague play. I hate people who think a baseball stadium full of families is the proper place to get drunk and moan “Yoooouuuuuuk” like a water buffalo in heat. I hate anyone who thinks Derek Jeter deserves anything more than a good garroting. All of which pales as shadow compared to the burning summer sun that is my hatred for the man who unleashed this unholy calvacade upon us.

ESPN Claims EPL Rights

Posted in Football, Sports TV, The Marketplace at 3:21 pm by

(will the The Special One make the jump to the WWL? Better yet, when does Mario Rosenstock let loose on Bill Belichick?)

Earlier this month, Setanta’s failure to make a contracted payment to the SPL was described by this author as “the worst news to hit the football biz since the On Digital debacle.”  Of course, that was before I imagined Trey Wingo hosting a Sunday soccer roundtable discussion.  From the Daily Mail :

ESPN have secured a clean sweep of beleaguered Setanta’s Barclays Premier League TV packages for the next four seasons.

Sportsmail understands that the Disney-owned TV channel, who already broadcast two sports channels to the UK on the Sky platform, will be the owners of both Setanta’s packages for next season – a total of 46 games.

Sky have purchased the five other bundles for season 2010-11 and were not allowed to buy the sixth.

Setanta lost the right to broadcast the matches on Friday after failing to meet a deadline for a £10million payment to the Premier League

Setanta has around 1.2m subscribers, but this is below the 1.9m it needs to break even, and it is currently thought to be running at a loss of nearly £100m a year.

It suspended new subscriptions earlier this month, prompting fears over the future of the business, and also recently missed a £3million payment to the Scottish Premier League.

Thespians Around The World Rejoice : Art Howe Removed From 2010 Oscar Consideration

Posted in Baseball, Cinema at 12:36 pm by

(Scott Hatteberg, apparently not ready for his close-up)

Variety’s Peter Bart and Michael Fleming report Steven Soderbergh’s hotly anticipated film adaptation of Michael Lewis’ “Moneyball” has been placed in turnaround by Columbia Pictures. Who knew Joe Morgan had so much influence in Hollywood?

The move came after Columbia’s Amy Pascal read a rewrite that Soderbergh did to Steven Zaillian’s script and found it very different from the earlier scripts she championed. Pascal was uncomfortable enough with how the vision had changed that she applied the brakes.

If a new financier doesn’t emerge by today, Columbia will re-examine options that include replacing Soderbergh (and hoping Pitt doesn’t ankle), delaying the film until Pascal and the filmmaker find themselves in synch on the script or pulling the plug.

Even in the climate of heightened studio caution, the turnaround news on “Moneyball” is surprising given that the project had reached the equivalent of third base. It was just 96 hours before the participants were ready to take the field, following three months of prep and with camera tests completed and cast and budget in place.

Aside from actors like Brad Pitt and Demetri Martin, Soderbergh is using real ballplayers — such as former A’s Scott Hatteberg and David Justice — as actors, and he also has shot interviews with such ballplayers as Beane’s former Mets teammates Lenny Dykstra, Mookie Wilson and Darryl Strawberry. Those vignettes would be interspersed in the film. While Soderbergh is confident his take will work visually, Columbia brass had doubts on a film that costs north of $50 million.

06.21.09

Rocket Crony : Reports Of Orgies With Joe Morgan Greatly Exaggerated

Posted in Baseball, Golf, Hockey, The Law at 6:33 pm by

The following item from the New York Daily News’ Teri Thompson, Michael O’Keefe and Nathaniel Vinto is a day old and follows an earlier report you’ve probably already seen.  But I’ll use any excuse, however flimsy, to link Hall Of Famer Joe Morgan to a sex scandal.   19 current or former NHL players are suing golf course developer Ken Jowdy, alleging he misued millions of dollars that could’ve otherwise been spent…I dunno, helping Sammy Hagar launch a new line of adult diapers?

According to the lawsuit, Jowdy used the hockey players’ money to purchase private planes to ferry notables such as Roger Clemens, Reggie Jackson, Pete Rose and Joe Morgan around the country; threw parties for the athletes and other clients, complete with “porn stars, escorts, strippers, party girls and other women”; and provided athletes and other friends with “gratuitous extravagant private air travel, five-star hotel accommodations, luxury home rentals, unlimited food and beverage expenses, golf tournaments and lavish parties several times a year.”

Jowdy denies all that. “Roger Clemens, Reggie Jackson, Joe Morgan and Pete Rose are all friends of mine. They’ve taken time out of their schedules, at my request, to attend functions in Mexico to promote our projects,” he told The News. “They have been gracious with their time and efforts in showing support to me, and have been gracious in playing golf and socializing with prospective buyers. At no time have they ever participated in, or has there ever existed, parties with hookers, strippers or porn stars.”

Ronald Richards, the California attorney who filed the suit on behalf of the hockey players, told the Daily News that he has photographs that support allegations that Jowdy squandered the hockey players’ money on wild parties, although he acknowledged the photos did not prove anything illegal or unseemly occurred. But the main issue, he said, is that Jowdy blew his clients’ money and has nothing to show for it.

Jowdy claims he has barely met the plaintiffs, who he says made their investments via his business-partner-turned nemesis Phil Kenner (above), who he says blocked all access to the hockey players. Jowdy says Kenner, an Arizona businessman who calls himself a “lifestyle coach” and has served as a financial adviser to many of the athletes who are plaintiffs in the case, is behind the lawsuit.

Three Devil-Locks & A Baby

Posted in Leave No Child Unbeaten, Parental Responsibility, Rock Und Roll at 1:18 pm by

Hot Shit College Student submits the above, recently unearthed 1982 video of the Misfits in Kalamazoo as “a document of what probably was the most uncool night (possibly afternoon) of this child’s life.” On the other hand, how many parents are bold enough to eschewing the teachings of Dr.’s Spock and Bettleheim in favor of Robo?

Calkins : Grizzlies Can’t Pass On Rubio

Posted in Basketball at 1:15 pm by

While colleague Roland Tillery touts UConn’s 7-foot-3 center Hasheem Thabeet as Memphis’ likely pick as the no. 2 overall selection in this week’s NBA Draft, the Commercial-Appeal’s Jeff Calkins warns that if the Grizzlies opt for anyone other than PG Ricky Rubio, “they had better hope he’s a bust…It’ll be like the Pau Gasol trade, only worse.”

If the Grizzlies pick someone else, they better have a good reason. Most of the reasons you hear being tossed around these days don’t qualify:

1) Rubio isn’t the best fit.

Nobody has ever looked back and said, “Gee, we got the best player available at the time but I sure wish we had drafted a lesser player at a different position.”

You take the best player. Always. That’s especially true when you’re a team like the Grizzlies that can pick up pieces in trades and free agency, but has to get its stars through the draft.

Portland passed on Michael Jordan because he wasn’t the best fit. Everyone knows how that turned out.

Nobody is saying that Rubio is Jordan. But what if he is a more charismatic Chris Paul?

2) But the Grizzlies need help up front.

Where is it written that the Grizzlies have to fill all their holes with their first pick in the draft? They have two other picks, remember. And they have roughly $20 million to spend. They can go get help — better, more proven help than they’ll find in the draft — by signing a free agent or making a deal.

Carlos Boozer is going to be a free agent. Same with David Lee and Anderson Varajao. Emeka Okafor might be available in a trade.

Grizzlies owner Mike Heisley has said he won’t spend on old guys who won’t be around when the Grizzlies are ready to contend for a title. Well, Boozer is 27, and Lee, Varajao and Okafor are all 26. None will start to slide for at least five years.

Beyond that, they’re all power forwards, which is where the Grizzlies really need the help. If the Grizzlies don’t want to draft Rubio because they already have Conley, why would they draft Hasheem Thabeet when they already have Marc Gasol?

3) Fans don’t have the patience to wait for a young point guard to develop.

What fans? Seriously. What fans are we talking about?

Winning seven more games this year isn’t going to put anyone in FedExForum. Getting a dynamic star to pair with O.J. Mayo just might.

Bethpage Black: Where Jets Fans Go When There Are No Jets Games

Posted in Free Expression, Golf at 11:50 am by

This was probably bound to happen, right? Obviously Bethpage Black is both a lovely and implausibly difficult golf course, and in that sense a perfect location for the U.S. Open, but it’s also right there on Long Island. Any map can tell you that. And a passing knowledge of Long Island in general should tell you that this thing just must not have been allowed to go forward. Hold a fancy-pants event outdoors in the heart of Strong I, then sell beer, then ask America’s Most Meatheaded for even the most basic comity and quiet — as the guy with the gun-on-bicep tats says in this Daily Show video about Long Island’s secession plans, “good luck with that.”

So, guess what? Here’s Patrick Whittle in Newsday setting the scene on the 10th hole:

At 6:42 p.m., dozens of drunken spectators at Hole 10 taunted Woods as he prepared to start his third round in the rain. “We’re on Long Island, baby, where men are men!” one fan yelled. “Put that umbrella down!”

…Woods did not respond to the people who were heckling him but tried to quiet the crowd with a “sshh” hand gesture, putting his finger to his lips, as golfers prepared to tee off on the adjacent 12th tee.

“Suck it up, you’ve got your own video game!” someone shouted at Woods. Some fans, apparently disgusted by the hecklers’ behavior, walked away from the hole. Others told the vocal contingent to quiet down, which had no effect on the verbal abuse. Minutes later, a group of fans greeted Fred Funk at the 10th hole by shouting his last name as an obscenity.

A little earlier, drunken fans at the seventh hole shouted at golfers, “This Bud’s for you!” On the ninth fairway, drunks called out “you suck” to players while spectators on the other side booed the hecklers.

Long Island, this is why you can’t have nice things.

06.20.09

Ivan Putski Is Rolling Over In His Grave

Posted in Basketball, Hip Hop, We Aren't The World at 7:56 pm by

Ivan’s not dead, you say?  He will be after he views the handiwork of  14 year old ToRResPL9.  Video link culled from the Orlando Sentinel’s Matt Humprheys, who observes, “I can’t understand anything that’s being said, other than the occasional Gortat Gortat Gortat.”

Neyer On Mags’ Benching : Tigers Are Cheap Skates (With Good Reason)

Posted in Baseball at 1:23 pm by

(l-r : Ordoñez, strength and conditioning coach H. Chavez)

Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski’s decision to reward skipper Jim Leyland with a two-year contract extension just happened to coincide with the benching of struggling outfielder Magglio Ordoñez. “He’s been through situations like this before, and he didn’t get benched then,” complained agent Scott Boras, suggesting to the Detroit Free Press’ Vince Ellis, the Tigers are eager to avoid being on the hook for Mags’ 2010 contract, conditional on ’09 plate appearances. If this is indeed the Tigers’ strategy, it seems pretty wise in the eyes of ESPN’s Rob Neyer.

To make his $18 million, Ordonez needs 1) 135 starts or 540 PAs in 2009 or 2) 270 starts or 1,080 PAs in 2008-09. This year, he’s got 57 starts and 242 plate appearances. Last year, he got 144 starts and 623 plate appearances. To qualify at the two-year threshold, he needs 69 more starts or 235 more plate apperances. To qualify at the one-year threshold, he needs 78 more starts or 298 plate appearances.

So it’s the two-year threshold he’s trying to hit, and the plate appearances are easier than the games. After tonight — Ordonez didn’t start, of course — he essentially needs to start 60 of the Tigers’ remaining 95 games to get his money (or a few less than 60, but with a fair number of pinch-hitting appearances mixed in).

Can the Tigers reasonably justify playing Ordonez only 60 times the rest of the way? You bet. They could play him just against left-handers. They could play against left-handers and some right-handers. Considering his performance so far this season, the Tigers can reasonably justify almost anything, including just flat releasing the guy.

Hey, Did A-Rod Go To Hollywood Upstairs Medical College Too?

Posted in Baseball at 12:57 pm by

Alex Rodriguez had the night off in the Yankees’ 5-1 defeat of Florida Friday, a somewhat humiliating scenario given the third baseman having invited some 100 family and friends to attend the game at LandShark Stadium. The Journal News’ Peter Abraham notes Rodriguez had earlier claimed Doctors Marc Philippon Mark Lindsay had recommend he take 5-8 games during his first 45 back. That’s in stark contrast, Abraham writes, to Rodriguez playing in 38 consecutive games, 33 of them at third.

A-Rod said he fought to stay in games, which is what he supposed to do. Knowing him, I™m sure that™s exactly what he did. But why didn™t the Yankees stick with the plan their doctors drew up? All of a sudden a third baseman with a high school education knew better than the two best doctors in their respective fields? Of course Alex said he wanted to play. What else would he say?

Joe Girardi admitted yesterday that he should have given Alex more days off than he did. It appears that Brian Cashman finally forced the issue yesterday. But he should have made that call a week ago.

Tom Verducci had a great stat yesterday: Alex is hitting .246 since he turned 33 last July 27. If you look at those numbers more closely, he has an .880 OPS. That™s pretty good compared to most players. But he was at .969 before that. He also has stolen only five bases in his last 96 games.

Whether it™s his hip, his age, his use of PEDs for three years, his personal issues or whatever, Alex is in a steep decline and the Yankees have to figure out a way to stabilize that and get something out of him. Otherwise that $258 million they owe him through 2017 is going to go down as the worst contract in sports history.

06.19.09

Clemens Threatens Literary World With Collection Of Things He Didn’t Misremember

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 7:40 pm by

“Peace In The Middle East” is Roger Clemens’ sign-off to his adoring fans, the Rocket’s email interview with the readers of Houstonist covering such topics as Koby’s Kareer (“Koby is his own man. Remember, he has grown up in this environment and is no stranger to the media”), his Hall Of Fame chances (“it’s a fantastic place, a fantastic town”) and most predictably, the clearing of his formerly good name.  Despite the failure of two recent Clemens druggy books to top the best seller list, Rahgah might lend his name to another.  From Houstonist’s Jason Bargas :

You have stated that you never took HGH. However, your wife has admitted she took HGH and that that drug was provided by Brian McNamee. Are you saying that he was an adviser of yours and you let him give your wife a performance enhancing drug that you have never taken? (from: Brian Kist)

First, I did not “let” Brian McNamee inject my wife. As I stated in the congressional deposition, I was not at home when the incident took place. All you have to do is read ” just go to the congressional website and spend some time reading.

Why do you believe that Mr. McNamee brought these allegations against you? (from: Cinderelly25)

I believe I do know why he made the allegations, but I am holding on to that due to ongoing litigation.

Do you believe that you will get a chance to present your side of the story in a court of law? And if you do not, what will be your recourse, if any? Will you write a book? (from: Cinderelly25)

I sure hope so. I think that’s the only place that we will be able to fully and fairly tell our side of the story.

If I don’t get that opportunity, I’m not sure how we’ll go forward. That is something to be handled if, or when, the time comes.

I’ve already written one book earlier in my career with Peter Gammons, and I enjoyed that. At this point there have been many conversations about me sitting down to write another one, and I guess that is a real possibility.

Bats Join Rats In The Friendly Confines

Posted in Baseball at 2:31 pm by

(Above: Scott Linebrink dazzles his bosses)

White Sox 5  Cubs 6

Proving that the shortest distance between two run totals is Scott Linebrink, Ozzie Guillen frittered away a 4-run lead in the 8th, entrusting the top-notch performance of Gavin Floyd (7IP 4H 1ER 3BB 2K) to the above- mentioned righty reliever instead of the southpaw Matt Thornton.  Tellingly, camera angles into the Sox dugout showed Pitching coach Don Cooper visibly sweating at the prospect of Liney coming in to make it a save situation. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine Thornton (who was possibly preoccupied with Wrigley bullpen rat abatement) serving dead fastballs into the stands at quite the same clip as his colleague, nor getting as far behind in the count against the sleepy Cubs bats.

Back to back bombs to Derreck Lee and Geovany Soto followed a Chris Getz bad-hop error, erased the Sox lead, sent Linebrink to the showers and set up a Soriano floater to drive in Reed Johnson for the win, evening the Crosstown record to 34-34.

Journal’s Opdyke on Stephen Constantine, One-Man Soccer NGO

Posted in Football, We Aren't The World at 2:31 pm by

If you spend any time looking at the list of American basketball players doing their thing abroad — and there’s no reason why you should — you’re more or less guaranteed a couple of “oh wow” moments. As fans of teams or programs, the constant churn of personnel (that is, people) on and off of rosters enforces a serious foreshortening of our memories. Marquis Estill almost made the Philadelphia 76ers a few years ago, but he didn’t stop playing basketball after that didn’t work out (he’s in the United Arab Emirates); and this is true of the legions of Korleone Youngs and Matt Friejes and Rodney Whites and whoever else you might remember for your own reasons — their careers (that is, jobs) don’t expire with their 10-day contracts, they just get moved to China.

In contrast to the drudgery of our (my) day-to-day, the kind of travel and compromise required of people in pro sports doesn’t necessarily seem that bad. It’s just that, at all but the highest levels, there’s an extraordinary amount of travel-you-would-rather-not-do and ridiculous compromise required to make these already time-limited gigs sustainable. There is no perfect job, I’m saying. You already know this, and probably don’t need to be reminded. But Stephen Constantine’s life, as described by Jeff Opdyke in a story for the Wall Street Journal, is an interesting reminder of how extremely onerous pro-sport dues can be, especially for those with the least to lose.

Constantine is a coach who specializes in turning around national soccer programs, and has had great success in elevating ultra-moribund national teams in Malawi, India and Nepal into respectability. Constantine’s goal is a coaching gig in the United States or the UK, but this particular round of establishing himself means that the 46-year-old lives apart from his wife and daughters — who live in Cyprus (naturally) where he once coached (double-naturally) — and currently resides in… Sudan. Where he is trying to turn around a national soccer program in a country that has something of a genocide problem.

œI seem to get the really tough jobs others don™t want, Mr. Constantine said while his team trained on a Tunisian beach. œPeople back in England say I™m dedicated and brave to take these coaching jobs, but I don™t see that. It sounds corny, but I feel privileged making my living doing what I love”building football teams.

A key test for Sudan comes in a World Cup qualifier Saturday , when African powerhouse Ghana visits Khartoum. Few expect Sudan to slay a four-time African cup winner that qualified for the last World Cup and multiple Olympics and is stacked with athletes playing throughout Europe™s top leagues. Then again, Sudan has home turf. And in the last home qualifier in March, the Desert Hawks, with five players who had never played internationally, tied significantly higher-ranked Mali.

Even for Mr. Constantine, his new assignment is like no other. Sudan is blanketed by dire travel warnings that include threats of land mines and terrorist attacks. Just days after his arrival, the International Criminal Court indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. British Embassy personnel urged Mr. Constantine to skip his first match for safety concerns. He ignored the warning.

So, yeah, working on the payroll of a guy convicted by the ICC for crimes against humanity is probably tougher than a gig that involves having Wally Matthews agitating self-amusedly for your firing. But it’s a living, I guess. It’s worth reading the whole piece.

Jose Canseco Isn’t Really Suing Anyone

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 1:52 pm by

When steroids are in the news, Jose Canseco has generally been right there behind them, trying to also get in the news. If his stint on VH1 had worked out better (or if his film career alongside brother Ozzie hadn’t topped out with this classic), maybe he wouldn’t need to do this. But he needs to do this. And now he feels the need to do this particular thing, in particular, according to an AP report:

Jose Canseco plans to file a class-action lawsuit against Major League Baseball and the players™ association, saying he™s been ostracized for going public with tales of steroids use in the sport. Canseco said Wednesday that he has discussed the suit with lawyers and intends to enlist Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro to join in the suit.

Canseco said the basis of the suit would be œlost wages ” in some cases, defamation of character.

Which, obviously, that is not going to happen, Jose Canseco. You are not going to file that lawsuit. But the AP is still taking your calls, which is good. At NBC Sports, Craig Calcaterra explains, in depth and with more than trace amounts of tartness, why Canseco isn’t suing shit:

With a few minor exceptions, this is a fabulous idea! The exceptions being that (a) Canseco was done as a player after the 2001 season and came out with his book in 2005, meaning that he couldn’t have been kicked out of baseball for writing it; (b) Canseco could not have been “defamed” over steroids when he, you know, has admitted to everyone in the planet — often with glee — that he did, in fact, do lots and lots of steroids; (c) There is no such thing as a “class action lawsuit” that involves Canseco plus whatever small number of players could cobble together, and even if there was, members of a class action lawsuit have to have common claims; and (d) neither he nor anyone else has a legal right to be inducted into the Hall of Fame or to be given a job in baseball after retirement.

Because I don’t want to reprint Calcaterra’s entire (brief) post, I’ll leave it to you to click through and find out how he works mesh shirts into the conclusion.

06.18.09

There’s More Than Candy In Lamar Odom’s Velvet Bag

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 7:16 pm by

By now I’ll presume you’ve seen the Zen Master’s goofy X cap, it not Kobe’s Puppet-fist-rings t-shirt. But the last word in hastily conceived Lakers Championship Swag has to go to candy enthusiast Lamar Odom, who commissioned custom embroidered bags and presentation boxes of Crown Royal XR (image swiped from Lake Show Life).

Even Pau Gasol has his own custom tee upon winning a World Championship ; woe is the sportswear manufacturer that got stuck with the Adam Morrison license.

Hottest Green Bay Garment Since Suburban Mutilation Ran Out Of Tees

Posted in Fashion, Gridiron at 5:41 pm by

Image courtesy Randball. I dunno if Aaron Rogers has ordered his yet, but it would be terrific if Tarvaris Jackson showed for training camp in one of these.

TBL : Refuting An Internet Rumor Or Spreading The Same?

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 4:05 pm by

Gay Ballplayer: There™s a popular rumor floating around Major League Baseball about a pretty talented youngster who may or may not be close to coming out of the closet. But we should add that the chatter, while still in its infancy, is growing louder despite evidence that could be described as flimsy at best.The Big Lead, June 18, 2009

With all due respect, this doesn’t qualify as a popular rumor, nor does this.

On the other hand, TBL did specify this closeted ballpalyer is a “talented youngster”, so at least we have have semi-reliable confirmation of Eddie Guardado’s heterosexuality.

Coming To WFAN This Friday: The Reunion No One Asked For

Posted in Sports Radio at 3:16 pm by

Perhaps proving Emmis Broadcasting CBS Radio’s NYC sports outlet doesn’t want Artie Lange to hog all the attention this week, Newday’s Neil Best reports onetime WFAN fixture Sal Rosenberg will return to the station, albeit briefly, when he pops in his former midday partner, Joe Benigno-Gazingo.

It’s a little unclear why station management have chosen to go this route — perhaps they’re tired of being licensed by the FCC? — but if WFAN is going to fully commit itself to an aggressive nostalgia route, can we please have a seance for Pete Franklin during one of Francesca’s Diet Coke breaks?

Yahoo’s Brown Falls Back on the Old ‘Heroic Lone Wolf Sniper’ Metaphor

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 2:59 pm by

We’re already a day beyond the time frame for “second day” stories — those ostensibly deeper, more analytical reactions to already-broken news — on the Sammy Sosa steroid deal. There have been a lot of them since the Sosa story emerged on Tuesday, some good, some bad, but mostly rote recitations of the usual outraged lines. (I did a roundup of these in my gig at the Daily Fix on Wednesday, including a link back to the very excellent post by the Cubs-affiliated co-head of CSTB’s Chicago Bureau) So Yahoo’s Tim Brown had his work cut out for him in writing yet another column about Sosa’s alleged juicery.

But Brown is a professional columnist and presumably also a newshound who knows that we as a nation have lately had no problems at all with well-armed lone wolf vigilantes doing dumb shit, so it probably wasn’t much work for him to find a new angle on this one. Yeah, his broader point — the players deserve this, so don’t give him any weepy pussy ACLU shit about their right to privacy — isn’t new. But as far as I can tell, he’s the only columnist to 1) describe the guy leaking confidential personal information from within the US Attorney’s office as a “hero” and 2) to then pick the appropriately heroic metaphor of a fucking vigilante sniper picking people off on the ground below. “We got somebody on the roof,” he writes, “and personally I hope he stays up there awhile.”

Along comes Sosa. First, of course, he™d testified before Congress that he™d never taken performance-enhancing drugs. That was four years ago. OK, fine. He retired, for good this time, and went away. Then, this, according to ESPN, barely more than a week ago: œEverything I achieved, I did it thanks to my perseverance, which is why I never had any long, difficult moments [as a baseball player]. ¦ I will calmly wait for my induction to the baseball Hall of Fame. Don™t I have the numbers to be inducted?

Apparently, the last part was more than our snitch was willing to bear.

Bang.

…The next 102 names “ revealed in one big splash or over five years or longer “ aren™t the whole list of drug users, of course, not even close. But, they™d do, no different than the Mitchell Report, no different than the random drug test that nabbed Manny Ramirez. Taken one at a time, they™re mostly meaningless. Put them together and we get a little closer.

I don™t know why our hero took up a position in the clock tower. Maybe to defend the game. Maybe just for the sport of it. The players on the list surely can appreciate that. They were sportsmen once, before they found their chemical shortcuts.

And now they are targets for headshots. You know who writes things like “our hero took up a position in the clock tower?” Nobody. Or nobody who doesn’t want to seem like a scary kook.

The Sawyer Report : In 2009, Bob Ryan Tested Positive For Racism

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Racism Corner, Sports Journalism at 1:46 pm by

In the wake of this week’s revelations about Sammy Sosa, the Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan wonders what’s the point of making a fuss (” is it to stage the baseball equivalent of the Nuremberg Trials, bringing to justice all the nefarious miscreants of its recent past?”), suggests this is old news, even if he didn’t report it at the time (“shame on me? Yup. But other than saying three Hail Marys and five Our Fathers, and throwing in a good Act of Contrition, what am I supposed to do?”) and finally, drops the following passage which is at least as clumsy as it is (partially) tongue-in-cheek.

One of the worst aspects of the PED mess is that just about everyone who puts up any large numbers is now suspect. Would you not agree with the following?

1. All sluggers are suspect.

2. All Caribbean-based sluggers are doubly suspect.

3. All Dominican sluggers should be booked and read their Miranda rights.

It™s clear that there has been a more casual attitude toward the use of PEDs by Caribbean-based players, and it™s undeniable that PEDs are easily available down there, especially in the Dominican Republic, which has become an irreplaceable source of baseball talent.

I’m gonna presume thar Ryan is discussing speculative hysteria more than he’s actually saying players with Carribean lineage are more likely to be cheaters than the dudes emerging from the College World Series. Except….that’s almost exactly what he wrote in the above paragraph! Bostonist’s Rick Sawyer is quick to castigate Ryan for the latter’s attempt at framing the ‘roid controversy “in terms even Tom Yawkey could understand.”

We think Ryan might be on to something, and we’ve sent our Bostonist interns to Santo Domingo to dig up the birth certificates of Lenny Dykstra, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Paul LoDuca, Roger Clemens, Rick Ankiel, and Éric Serge Gagné. We’re also tracking down the entry visa of Mitchell Report source Kirk Randomski to get to the bottom of steroid distribution schemes down south. And, we’ll be calling Caribbean-based health organization BALCO for comment. We’ll get to the bottom of this.

But, seriously. Bostonist knows where we are, and where we are is sad. Would you not agree with the following?

All journalists are probably drunk bigots.

All Boston sports journalists are doubly suspect.

All Boston sports journalists with Irish ancestry should have breathalyzers installed on their computers.

Jason Bay’s Midgame Visitor : Everyone’s Relieved It Wasn’t Manny

Posted in Baseball at 11:50 am by

This sweet gesture totally beats the time Derek Sanderson fell out of the RF grandstand. But it’s somewhat telling the club would sanction this sort of distraction while Bay’s predecessor was totally buried for his inner-Monster pissbreaks.

Ozzie Mows Wrigley Field, Cubs

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 8:56 am by

White Sox 4 Cubs 1

From the first inning’s Alexei Ramirez homer to left to the Bobby Jenks vs. Milton Bradley faceoff in the 9th that left Mr. Absent-Minded twisting on the end of a 1-2 hook, Game “2″ (Game 1 being rained out an rescheduled for September 10th) of Crosstown ’09 was a sight to behold.

Unfortunately, I could personally behold only two innings of it due to work constraints.  I did manage to check in to see Big Bobby’s aforementioned punchout of Bradley and could not help but smile as Cub Nation glumly streamed for the exits with one out, down a mere three runs with the heart of their order coming up.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen Bobby displace that many people at one time outside an Old Country Buffet.

In stark contrast to the sad faces in the lanes of the northbound Edens expressway, Ozzie’s chipper demeanor remained undented all day, starting with an encounter with a Wrigley t-shirt vendor.  Having had many months to think of a replacement for last year’s Humanitas award-winning “Horry Kow” Fukudome paean, Cub Nation idly looked out the bay window of its Lake Forest manse and noticed that lawn mowers have nameless, Ozzie-like people attached to them.  (I’ve got some friends in merchandising, so if next year anybody wants to run with my Cubbie-blue Klan hood, complete with lil’ red “C” on the front, drop me a line.)

Guillen cheerfully purchased a shirt, and then cheerfully pounded Ryan Dempster  (L, 4-4, 6IP 4H 3R, 6BB 4K) with a smallball assault while  Johnny Danks turned in a magnificent no-walks 9K outing (W, 5-5, 7IP, 5H 1R, 9K 0BB), getting out of jams in the 3rd and 4th.

06.17.09

Because I’m So Fucking Sick Of The Trailers For “Year One”

Posted in Cinema at 8:04 pm by

Thought about embedding from this howler instead, but I previously promised our server company that I’d cease placing any further Arch Hall footage, for fearing of making the internet explode

Santana To Jacket : You Don’t Even Know Me

Posted in Baseball at 7:51 pm by

While an overflow crowd at Chez CSTB is enjoying a mound duel between future Hall of Famers Tim Redding and Koji Uehara, there’s still some lingering ill-will in the visitors’ clubhouse over recent comments made by their former pitching guru.

Rick Peterson opined on ESPN 1050 that Johan Santana’s shockingly poor showing on Sunday in the Bronx was a performance under duress, a suggestion the Mets starter took great exception to, as the Daily News’ Adam Rubin explained earlier today.

“How does he know that my knee hurts?” Santana rhetorically asked. “That’s the question that I have. You guys tell me how the heck did he find that out….Not even the trainer knows. Not even me. I didn’t know my knee hurts. Just put it that way.

“We got along pretty good,” Santana continued about his relationship with Peterson, “but the reality is he’s not here. I’m the one who feels my body better than anybody, and my knee doesn’t hurt. I don’t know where he got that one from. I’m being honest and realistic: My knee is the last issue here. We took care of that last year (with Oct.1 surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee), and it has nothing to do with what’s going on right now.”

Pitching coach Dan Warthen speculated Sunday that Santana unwittingly changed the grip on his fastball because of a blister and split nail on the ace’s left middle finger, both of which have since healed. The ace said that is possibly causing his ball to cut, but he’s not conscious of an altered grip.

“If I’m doing it, I’m doing it,” Santana said. “But I don’t think about it when I’m pitching.”

In somewhat less contentious news, It’s Mets For Me reports there’s a gathering of displaced Mets fans planned for this Saturday at the Santa Monica branch of the venerable Barney’s Beanery (EDITOR’S NOTE : Beware the Huevos Rancheros).  Not only am I certain this baseball brunch will be a far more diverse collection of quality invididuals than say, this dude’s-day-out, but you might even get to hang with Giuseppe Franco.

On This Day In Double Murder History…

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 4:35 pm by

…the New York Knicks took a 3-2 lead in the 1994 NBA Finals over the Houston Rockets with a 91-84 win at Madison Square Garden. Television viewers missed portions of the contest, as NBC cut into their broadcast to cover an developing story in Southern California. Hard to believe Al Cowlings had that kind of Q rating, but keep in mind, those were different times.