So Agassi Was On Meth…What’s McEnroe’s Excuse?

Posted in Basketball, Halloween, Tennis at 7:24 pm by

This is about as scary as things get at MSG without hiding a camera in Steve Mills’ office.  The always down with the cultural zeitgeist John McEnroe helps a far from capacity crowd at the Knicks home opener recall “The Young Ones”. Trailing the Sixers, 40-25, at the end of the first quarter, the hosts have apparently decided to pay Halloween homage to the Washington Generals.

Owner With A Boner : Artest Would Be At Home In The Palace

Posted in Basketball at 7:03 pm by

The Lakers were humbled at home by the Mavericks Friday, a contest that saw new LA addition Ron Artest, in foul trouble early, rendered a non-factor offensively. Earlier in the month, the shy, retiring Mark Cuban predicted Artest would prove a divisive force for the Lakers, a charge the Dallas owner repeated yesterday after being asked to respond to Artest’s question, “what team do I fit on? should i not be in the NBA?” From the OC Register’s Janis O’Carr :

Cuban said Friday that he indeed was glad to see Artest on the Western Conference rival because there always is the possibility that Artest™s volatile nature will get the better of him and he will cause problems for the team.

œHistory repeats itself, Cuban said. œI™m not saying something you guys haven™t considered, right? That™s just the risk. Every team has to deal with chemistry and the impact of the chemistry on the team. Normally, you try to minimize that.

œRon is an amazing talent, he™s a great guy. I don™t really know him, but the way he™s handled this is phenomenal. I give him a ton of credit. But it is what it is.

So what team does Cuban think Artest would fit best?

œI don™t know the culture of every team, so I don™t know where he would fit in best ¦. Maybe Detroit?

Cole Hamels’ Most Lifelike Performance To Date

Posted in Baseball, Video Games at 5:03 pm by

Big League ‘Stew consider this viral campaign for Call Of Duty to be in questionable taste, and I can’t really argue with that. But on the bright side, after showing all the personality and range of a cardboard box in commercials for ESPN The Magazine and New Era, Hamels has clearly been working with some sort of acting guru.  With a little practice, he might manage something as impressive as this someday.

Sultan Of Sloth To Phantics : No, Not I’m Telling Ripken He’s Gay, Thank You Very Much

Posted in Baseball, Mob Behavior at 4:46 pm by

There are sooo many enticing storylines to consider before tonight’s Game 3 of the World SeriesCole Hamels’ recent struggles. Charlie Manuel’s alleged diss of Andy Pettitte.  A-Rod’s interior decorating.  But leave it to the New York Post to come up with the most intriguing talking point of the weekend — former Yankee David Wells’ low opinion of Philly fans.  “The people in that town would give The Finger to their own mom,” argues Boomer (above), “It™s not Brotherly Love in that town ” it™s Brotherly Hate.”

When I was in Philadelphia earlier this postseason with Cal Ripken Jr., Dennis Eckersley and Ernie Johnson for TBS, we got booed. We were just doing our show out in center field and people were walking by saying œYou fat piece of [bleep]. . . . Tell Cal he™s gay. . . . Ernie Johnson sucks.”

I™m like, œWho the hell are these people? We™ve got no part of baseball.

We™re doing the game and TBS stuff and these Phillies fans are just f-bombing us to death.

They are angry people. It™s going to be tough, because they are very vocal, foul and can maybe cause havoc on some of the younger guys, but I don™t think they will give the Yankees any problem. The only problem will be for these Phillies fans, when they lose. The Yankees will shut them up.

I put Philadelphia, Cleveland and Oakland atop my list for the worst fans in baseball, with Philadelphia No. 1.

Curiously, rather than cite any examples of CBP being a hostile environment for visiting teams, Wells makes it very clear it’s a very tough place to broadcast.  Would it be out of place to suggest Philadelphians are not necessarily terrible baseball fans, but rather, have a very low tolerance level for poor analysis?

Milton Bradley And Vernon Wells – Not Untradeable If They’re Swapped For Each Other

Posted in Baseball at 4:29 pm by

(Cubs GM Jim Hendry and Milton Bradley, back before they got to know each other)

When Buster Olney floats the possibility of an (admittedly unlikely) Oliver Perez-for-Milton Bradley swap.  the circumstances are rather obvious ; the only way the Cubs will be able to jettison an obvious scapegoat escape their contractual obligations to their tempermental outfielder is if they take on an equally brutal salary in exchange.  The Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliot quotes one unnamed Cubs insider as saying there’s some truth to  rumors of a Bradley-for-Vernon Wells discussion (“”It’s early on, but we think this one has some legs”)

Wells has six years left on his contract extension, $107 million remaining, including the $8.5-million final instalment of his signing bonus, which is due in March. Team president Paul Godfrey and former general manager J.P. Ricciardi signed Wells to the contract extension.

The Cubs’ idea is to split the difference on monies owed — Wells’ $107 million and Bradley’s $21 million for a difference of $86 million. Each team absorbs $43 million.

The Cubs have to deal Bradley. Other possible landing spots: The San Francisco Giants for lefty Barry Zito, who has four years remaining at $83 million; the Indians for Travis Hafner, three years for $40.25 million, Giants’ Aaron Rowand, three years at $36 million, the Dodgers for Juan Pierre, two years at $18.5 million, and Tampa Bay’s Pat Burrell, one year at $7 million.

If You Ever Envisioned A-Rod As A Unicorn, Think Again

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 2:06 am by

“What kind of aesthetically challenged dolt doesn’t have a portrait of themselves as a mythical creature from Greek mythology?’ asked WNBC’s Josh Alper, formerly of the late, lamented The Feed, responding to claims by Us Weekly that Yankee 3B Alex Rodriguez had not one, but two such framed illustrations in his boudoir, featuring his own visage re-imagined as a centaur.

Thanks to Faith & Fear In Flushing‘s Jason Fry, here’s an example of exactly what Kate Hudson saw the first time she visited A-Rod’s bachelor pad.


Erin Andrews, Fuck Off : Recalling The Journalistic Chops Of Penny Crone

Posted in Baseball, non-sporting journalism, Technical Difficulties at 9:40 pm by

For New Yorkers of a certain vintage, shots of a manical Penny Crone cackling away in front of celebrating Yankee fans were a big a part of the local TV news tapestry, right up there with regular Freddy “Sez” sightings.  The exploits of the former WNYW reporter — now selling real estate for a tony NYC agency — are remembered fondly by the New York Times’ James Barron.

Early in Derek Jeter™s career, she took a look at him in street clothes, and wondered about the fit of his slacks.

œI walked right up to Derek Jeter and I said, ˜Derek, why don™t you wear tighter pants?™  she recalled. œAnd what did Derek say? Not too much. He looked at me like I was nuts.

“Gatorade man? She yelled that at someone who walked into the stadium with a large barrel of ” well, you know. He was blocking her shot, which ruins everything in television news. The man turned out to be Willie Randolph, a Yankees coach at the time and later the manager of the Mets.

There was the day she went to a bagel factory and the anchor introduced her as œan industrial accident waiting to happen.

And there was the time she interviewed Yogi Berra and called him œYogi Bear.

œMy husband told me that Yogi Berra was named after Yogi Bear, she said, œso I thought his name was Yogi Bear. So we™re sitting in his living room, me on one side, Yogi Berra on the other, the fireplace, and I said, ˜Good evening, Mr. Bear.™

Avery Accused Of Sizism

Posted in Fitness, Hockey at 5:38 pm by

(the phrase, “have another doughnut, you fat pig”, is of course, trademarked by Jim Schoenfeld)

Did NHLPA interim executive director Ian Penny jump or was he pushed? Who gives a fuck when we’ve got another sensational item involving hockey pariah Sean Avery? The fashionista / loose cannon’s former AHL coach, current Capitals boss Bruce Boudreau, has a new book coming out, “Gabby, Confessions Of A Hockey Lifer”, in which he describes Avery’s rude rhetoric during last spring’s New York/Washington first-round playoff clash. From the Washington Times’ Corey Masisak :

Boudreau said he wanted a “rated-PG book,” but there are some juicy stories – especially about his departure from Manchester and his dealings with Sean Avery. He was let go by the Monarchs despite leading the franchise to the playoffs in its first four years of existence, but Boudreau paints a picture of backstabbing and betrayal by a couple of people in the organization who he felt wanted him gone.

Not only did Boudreau lead the Bears to back-to-back appearances in the Calder Cup Finals, he also went 7-0-1 against the Monarchs, including a four-game sweep in the Eastern Conference finals in 2007.

Boudreau coached Avery for the Monarchs, and the experience ended up being a negative one. But that was tame compared with what Boudreau recalled Avery saying during Game 7 in the first round of the last year’s playoffs against the New York Rangers.

“He told me I was the biggest, fattest bleeping pig he had ever seen,” Boudreau said in the book. “He told me I was fatter than bleeping Ken Hitchcock. He told me I was going to die because I was such a fat bleep.”

An Around The Horn Halloween : Jay’s Scarier Than Usual

Posted in Halloween, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 4:26 pm by

Mariotti’s Kate Hudson is most certainly not the slump-buster A-Rod is looking for. And good thing Kevin Blackistone is wearing a name tag, otherwise we’d have no way of knowing who he’s supposed to be . However, the latter deserves massive credit for prefacing every spiel with “i’m gonna let you finish, Kate Mariotti…” Somebody remind me, did Mariotti dress up as Ozzie G. last year?

WSC : Hull’s Brown Undone By Bandwagoneers

Posted in Football at 4:14 pm by

Hull City A.F.C.’s embattled manager Phil Brown is said to face immediate dismissal if his side can’t defeat Burnley tomorrow, a circumstance that has When Saturday Comes Daily’s Chris Donkin recalling the scene outside KC Stadium shortly after the Tigers secured promotion in 2008. “In the big league everyone knows your team,” sighs Donkin, “and unfortunately that also means everyone knows when they lose 5-0, too.”

A ridiculous queue formed quickly outside the ground. Some of the new army of fans were seen wearing Liverpool and Manchester United shirts. One of the overnight queuers summed up the attitude of the glory supporters perfectly when asked by BBC Radio Humberside: “So, what are you looking forward to seeing next season?” He replied, with little thought: “I can’t wait to see Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney in action.”

Seeing your club’s popularity grow should be a good thing. The problem is that the new fans have hopelessly unrealistic expectations. For most, City only entered their consciousness when Dean Windass powered home the winner in the play-off final against Bristol City, after a season where the team won far more games than they lost. As a result they expect the side to win every week and if they don’t the manager gets the blame and has to go.

Longer-term fans have better memories and you will hear few true supporters calling for Phil Brown’s head. Were it not for Brown the club would have certainly been relegated from the Championship in 2007. Then by the end of his first full season he’d rebuilt the team and achieved promotion to the top tier for the first time in the club’s history. Of course, when the inevitable happens and City’s tenure among the elite expires, these new fans are the ones most likely to not renew their tickets and go back to their armchairs to watch Man Utd rather than trek to watch a rainy Tuesday evening match against Blackpool.