10.26.09

Ricky Rubio : Adjusting Nicely To F.C. Barcelona Bàsquet

Posted in Basketball at 10:02 pm by

So where do you think Ricky Rubio would be on the T-Wolves depth chart right about? In the middle of Ramon Sessions and Jonny Flynn, or behind both of them?  Also, note the main beneficiary of Rubio’s passing is Fran Vaszuez, the Magic’s one-that-got-away.

If LJ’s Dad Played For Denzel Washington, He’s Way More Qualified Than Todd Haley

Posted in Gridiron at 7:08 pm by

(above : Stonewall rioters,  1969.  Not shown : Larry Johnson)

It’s been said on more than one occasion that if you’re a prominent public figure, Tweeting is kind of like holding a press conference, except you don’t have to answer questions (or put on pants).  That much is  very clear to Chiefs RB Larry Johnson, who chose Twitter as a venue to bury K.C. head coach Todd Haley hours after a 37-7 loss to the Chargers, a somewhat foolhardy move considering it came after the trade deadline.  From the Star’s Kent Babb :

A message posted on Johnson’s profile, whose username Sunday about 7 p.m. stated: “My father played for the coach from ‘rememeber the titans’. Our coach played golf. My father played for redskins briefley. Our coach. Nuthn.”

Johnson continued the rant, and, in later responses directed toward Johnson’s Twitter followers, contained inflammatory remarks about gays. In a reference to someones profile picture, Johnson called it a “fag pic” and called the person a “Christopher street boy,” a reference to a predominantly gay section in New Yorks Greenwich Village. Johnson’s Twitter profile was taken private and some posts were deleted.

On Monday in the Chiefs locker room, Johnson used another gay slur after saying he wouldn’t speak to reporters.

Johnson, sitting next to second-year running back Jamaal Charles, told reporters that “I’m not talking till Thursday,” his usual day of speaking with reporters.

Then Johnson turned away and whispered.

“Get your faggot ass out of here,” he said.

Johnson’s agent, Peter Schaffer, said Johnson’s tweets were his own but said the running back intended to compliment his father — Larry Johnson Sr. is the defensive line coach at Penn State — and not disparage Haley.

The Mets Blogosphere Cannot Agree On A Lesser Of Two Evils

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 5:09 pm by

(what true Mets fan doesn’t want to see this man rewarded for his years of hard work?

“ICH BIN EIN PHILLIE” declared a sanguine Jason Fry of Faith & Fear In Flushing last week, declaring of the (uncrowned at the time) AL Champion Yankees, “this greater enemy is attended by a howling mob that knows neither reason nor decency nor humility…Twenty-six times has this foe bred a vile plague, one that reduced our nation to lifelessness and blighted all that we hold dear. Though we are not allowed to fight, neither are we required to adjourn in silence. We must lift our voices against tyranny, though we would have chosen most any other champion. We must shout down injustice, though our voices cannot conjure fairness. We must oppose a great evil even if it means supporting a paltry good.” In other words, though it’s distasteful, Fry would advocate Mets fans cheering for Brett Myers to receive a 2nd ring rather than see Hank Steinbrenner and A-Rod doused in champagne.   Tedquarters’ Ted Berg, however, couldn’t disagree more, citing the following Phactors for rooting against The Phillies.  Or more to the point, toning down the hateful rhetoric towards the Highlanders.

1) The Yankees buy their championships

First of all, Mets fans: Just because your glass house is falling apart doesn™t give you the right to throw stones. The Mets had the second-biggest payroll in baseball this year, and even if they didn™t spend like the Yanks did, they still tried pretty hard to buy a championship. They just did a poor job of it.

Second, there™s still nothing illegal about trying to buy a championship. The Yanks bring in a lot of cash, so they spend it on players. Would you prefer the Steinbrenners pocketed the loot? Would that be, in some way, more honorable?

2) My friends are Yankee fans, and they™ll rub it in my face

Will they? Then I have a solid suggestion for you: Get some new friends.

I recognize that there™s an obnoxious sense of entitlement among some Yankee fans, but I™ve actually found it remarkably easy to filter those people out of my life. It turns out, people who are obnoxious and entitled about anything are just not too pleasant to be around. Nowadays, the Yankee fans I do interact with are mostly kind and reasonable people who recognize how lucky they are to root for a team with a $200 million payroll.

Violated : Cultural Appropriation In Honor Of Carlos Ruiz

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 12:09 pm by

Given my own rooting interests in the upcoming World Series (ie., I’d like to see it canceled), I have to say I greatly prefer the original version of Kurt Vile‘s video for “Freak Train”.  That said, if the above clip can bring peace to the waring factions behind Chooch’s Chicos and the Chooch -Chooch Train club, who am I to complain?

Introducing The New Publisher & Editor Of Deadspin…

Posted in Blogged Down, Gridiron, Sports Radio, Sports TV at 2:07 am by

….Sean Salisbury. Improbable? I thought so , too. I still do, actually.  But the burden isn’t on the former ESPN analyst / Dallas radio host  to prove he’s never been in the habit of harassing female colleagues with phone-cam snapshots of his schlong, ;  it’ll be down to Gawker Media to prove that Salisbury’s self-portraits weren’t as crudely menacing as his treatment of John Clayton. From the McKinney Courier-Gazzette’s Danny Gallagher :

Sean Salisbury, a Frisco, TX  resident and former National Football League quarterback, filed a petition for a civil defamation lawsuit in a Denton County court against Gawker Media for publishing several false stories on their sports blog Deadspin.com that cost him several jobs, ruined his reputation and made it difficult to find gainful employment.

Salisbury’s attorney, Jeffrey Tillotson of the Dallas law firm Lynn, Tillotson, Pinker & Cox, said in the petition that Deadspin has waged a “long-running smear campaign” against his client since January of 2007.

Harlow,  a member of Salisbury’s counsel,  said the suit singled out Gawker as a defendant because of their “concerted” efforts to single out their client, despite the reporting of others.

“What we hope to prove is that blog sites like Deadspin are accountable,” he said. “They can’t simply attack someone and make a concerted effort to destroy the lives and careers of people without any ramifications. The difference between other news outlets and Deadspin is at least the other news outlets try to get it right. We hope to make a statement that if sites are going to behave like this, there are consequences and they are long overdue for that.”

10.25.09

ESPN : Dealing With Internal Zipper Issues (In 140 Characters Or Less)

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups, Sports TV at 9:49 pm by

So that’s that.  Phillips’ credibility wasn’t considered an issue when he suggested Josh Hamilton was undeserving of a Cincinnati roster spot, nor did anyone at the network raise an eyebrow when Phillips suggested Barry Bonds’ record breaking HR had to occur at home “for the good of baseball”.  In the wake of a consensual extramarital affair, however, one that caused additional scrutiny to be placed on the Bristol U. campus, the former Mets GM apparently cannot do his job properly.   For instance, the next time he and Joe Morgan had a disagreement on “Sunday Night Baseball”, Morgan could reply, “yeah, but you had sex with someone who wasn’t your wife. And bloggers didn’t think she was very attractive.”  ARGUMENT OVER.

Surely Phillips isn’t being sacked simply because ESPN and Disney are trying to protect the sanctity of marriage? If that’s the case, Phillips supporters (all zero of them) might well wonder at what point the network established an official policy banning infidelity.  If the cringe factor came from what sounds like the exploitation of a subordinate half his age,  ESPN ought to specify as much. As a Connecticut native, I’d hate to think one of the Nutmeg State’s most widely recognized entities  has gone all puritanical on us.

UK Scribe Unimpressed With Pats’ Clinical Win (And The Food Sucked)

Posted in Gridiron, We Aren't The World at 9:23 pm by

“Hey, another NFL game in London! Awful! The Tampa Bay fans lose a home game as a soccer-mad nation checks in on Chelsea and Man U.” So scowled the SF Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins yesterday, neglecting to mention it was Liverpool who played Manchester United this weekend in the big battle for the UK’s sports fans’ hearts and minds.  Despite a healthy turnout on a day tons of empty seats were visible in Oakland, the Times’ Nick Szczepanik seems to concur with Jenkins, opining, “Wembley Stadium was about the worst place in Britain in which to judge the success or otherwise of the project.”

The NFL wants to spread the word, increase the number of games played here and even, perhaps, establish a London franchise. For its third regular season game at Wembley, it had brought over the team of the decade in the Patriots, and arguably the leading star of the sport in Tom Brady, their quarterback. But inevitably, they were preaching to the converted ” 84,000 of them.

What can the NFL do to spread its word beyond its existing constituency over here? Part of the plan was the largest tailgate party yet, held in the Wembley car park, with all 32 teams represented, so that neutrals ” if there were any ” could pick a team.

There was an NFL cinema, live bands, video game tents and free face transfers (sorry, decals) of the two teams™ logos. But it did not have the one essential for an authentic tailgate ” excellent food.

At NFL games in the US, fans bring half a dead cow and a vast grill to cook it on, and if you are wandering past looking undernourished (in other words, of normal British girth) the chances are that you™ll be invited over to partake.

Here there were just the usual overpriced fish and chips and burger vans. œIt™s just one big commercial gathering, Dean Rothwell, a Patriots fan from Chesterfield, said.

The NFL may only know that they have reached the limits of Britain™s potential when it fails. Perhaps it should deliberately pick an unattractive match-up for next season and see if it can still sell out. If there is a full house to see the Carolina Panthers take on the Buffalo Bills, the NFL can take over the world, never mind Wembley.

I realize an East Coast experience is hardly representative of the entire USA, but hands up,  every person who has wandered through the parking lot in Foxboro or East Rutherford and found themselves invited to break bread with strangers.  I suspect the total number will be substantially fewer than those who’ve been in a fight or had to ask someone to stop urinating on their car.

Bunyan-esque Fraud Considers Teaching Gig

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 6:37 pm by

And he’ll have much to offer his students other than advice on how to avoid questions.  With Tony La Genius opting to stay in St. Louis, it’s rumored today that former Cards 1B / andro enthusiast Mark McGwire is debating whether or not to join his old manager as the club’s new hitting coach.  For DanUpBaby of Viva El Birdos, (“ss much as the congressional hearings made me cringe, I would be really excited to see him back on the bench, taking up his role as Slugger Emeritus”) the official announcement cannot come soon enough.

Enigmatically Sized Mac”prepare for a ridiculous muscles-watch campaign for the next several months, unless he’s extremely forthcoming about The Past in the interim (Khalil Greene is already putting together a long-sleeved undershirts care package)”seems to have a serious interest in the mechanics and technique of hitting, and while a player’s skill-set is no guarantee of future baseball enlightenment (Joe Morgan and John Kruk both had 110+ walk years), the McGwire method, which in Matt Holliday’s unsuccessful case required quieting that big leg kick, seems like a disciplined change of pace from Hal McRae, whose philosophy seemed to involve the words “grip” and “rip” and a small thesaurus.

As for the circus”well, let’s let it play out before we work up our best indignant faces. Some sportswriters might see this as a chance to focus a little more on their pet baseball black eye, but some won’t, too; if that’s not your prerogative the best thing to do is just to look at it in your own way, and not focus on dive-bombing the people who would see a Travesty of Baseball Ethics in Albert Pujols taking an aspirin.

ESPN’s On-Air Talent : Not Merely Horny, But Culturally Challenged, Too

Posted in Food, Gridiron, Racism Corner, Sports TV, Vroom Vroom at 4:08 pm by

The LA Times’ Houston Mitchell reports that ESPN college football analyst Bob Griese, working Saturday’s Minnesota/Ohio State game, has bojoined the network’s growing long list of dudes with-a-lot-explaining-to-do after

To promote Sunday’s NASCAR race, ESPN displayed a graphic with the top five drivers in the Chase for the Cup race. Color commentator Chris Spielman asked “Where’s Montoya?”

“Out eating a taco,” Griese responded.

Wow. What a dumb thing to say.

Griese later apologized. “Juan Pablo Montoya is one of the best drivers in NASCAR. I just want to apologize for the comment I made earlier in the ballgame.” I wonder which ESPN executive ordered him to do that.

A foolish remark under any circumstances, but particularly as tacos are not very popular or widely available in Montoya’s homeland of Colombia.

10.24.09

NYT : The Nu Stadium Is Already Falling Apart

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, Ugly New Stadiums at 9:09 pm by

(Yankee exec Randy Levine helpfully points out the exact spot where there’s absolutely, positively no chance you’ll be crushed to death.)

Tonight’s Game 6 of the ALCS has been postponed due to heavy rain, but if we’re to believe the following report from the New York Times’ WIlliam K. Rashbaum and Ken Belson, perhaps the series should be moved to a neutral field to protect the public?

The concrete pedestrian ramps at the brand-new $1.5 billion city-subsidized Yankee Stadium have been troubled by cracks, and the team is seeking to determine whether the problems were caused by the installation, the design, the concrete or other factors, according to several people briefed on the problems.

The ramps were built by a company accused of having links to the mob, and the concrete mix was designed and tested by a company under indictment on charges that it failed to perform some tests and falsified the results of others. But it is unclear whether work performed by either firm contributed to the deteriorating conditions of the ramps.

The company that evaluated the strength of the concrete poured for the walkways, Testwell Laboratories, its owners and several officers were indicted last year on state racketeering charges, and they have all denied the accusations. The case stems from a sweeping 18-month investigation of the concrete-testing industry that also led to charges against a second company. The investigation also forced the city to order the retesting of the concrete in 80 structures in four boroughs, including the stadium. More than half a dozen other companies remain under scrutiny in the case.

The above news comes on the heels of a New York Post report regarding the shoddy workmanship that went into the construction of Citi Field, another venue that couldn’t have been built without public funds. Though Michael Bloomberg is about as likely to lose the upcoming mayoral election as Chris X. Brodeur is to be invited to brunch tomorrow am with Rudy Giuliani at least two of the three men mentioned above have much to answer for.

Derby County Likely To Reconsider Future Free T-Shirt Promotions

Posted in Football, Mob Behavior at 5:03 pm by

A bit of uncivll disobedience early today at Pride Park, as QPR’s Akos Buzsaky’s penalty goal shut the door on Derby County. The R’s 4-2 victory marked the second time in the past week the visitors have scored 4 times, an vaults West London’s most dysfunctional richest club into the top 6 of the Championship.

10.23.09

When Did Steve Phillips Become The Most Famous Man In America?

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups, non-sporting journalism, Sports TV at 6:18 pm by

(back when Phillips actually worked in New York.  With apologies to the Rotters)

Given the New York Post’s exhaustive coverage of Steve Phillips’ sex life this week, you might be mistaken for thinking the disgraced ESPN baseball analyst’s face actually sold newspapers. As such, it’s curious with all the coverage of Phillips’ zipper issues, few have wondered why a major New York tabloid would devote nearly as much time and attention to a person not nearly as famous to the general public as Michael Jackson or Balloon Boy.  That Phillips’ embarrassment would be grist for Deadspin and countless other sports blogs is no surprise.  Via his shoddy broadcast work and/or tenure as Mets general manager, Phillips became a widely mocked figure long before he was accused of getting busy in a Target parking lot.  But even assuming half of the Post’s readers are Mets fans, how many of them were aching to see Phillips take a spectacular, personal fall?

A case like the Phillips/Hundley affair doesn’t make the front page — even in a slow news week — without authorization from the top.  And the higher you go up the ladder, the more this seems like an arm of NewsCorp has gone to deliberate lengths to publicly humiliate a major competitor.   Is Fox going to win future bidding rights to the NBA because Steve Phillips was horny?  Probably not — and they might not want said rights, anyway.  But every little revelation that proves hurtful to ESPN is making someone in Rupert Murdoch’s organization smile.

So with all that said, congratulations to Phil Mushnick for towing the company line this week. “The only time ESPN indulges ” even encourages ” sexual insensitivity from employees is as a matter of commerce,” lectured Phil in today’s paper, “while in public, on ESPN, ESPN Radio, in ESPN the Magazine or ESPN.com.”   As opposed to Fox TV, Fox Sports, NewsCorp’s movie studios and newspapers, none of which ever stoop to pander?  By all means, kick Phillips when he’s down.  If baseball fans are lucky, when he gets back up he’ll be doing something far quieter. But don’t pretend for a minute that ESPN is any more or less a corrupting, degrading societal force compared to their competition.

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Prospect’s Wife Scorned

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, History's Great Hook-Ups, Leave No Child Unbeaten at 5:49 pm by

I know I’ve been critical of MLBlogs before, but suffice to say, the aggrieved work  of Leury Escobar Moreno, wife of Brewers SS prospect Alcides Escobar totally kills David Wright’s blog.

He abandonded me since october 7th. He was suppose to come and spend Christmas with me and never did, he was suppose to spend New Years with me and never did either. He only called to emotionally insult me and tell me that I was fat and ugly and that he had found someone better, all this while I was pregnent with our daughter. He later told me that the only reason why he married me was to get his green card. He would constantly call and send text messages insulting me and telling me that the baby wasn’t his which he knows is a complete lie and a DNA test will be there to prove it, he would call me and put his mistress on the phone to insult me. She is a prostitute in Venezuela who has slept with almost the entire country to say the least and all she has always wanted was money. She has a son who she abandoned and last I know now she is pregnant with Alcides child. It’s been so hard for me to find out while pregnant all this things and that I married a monster. Alcides got kicked off his team in Venezuela Cardenales due to bad conduct. Everyone believes that the little time he spent in the majors made his head swell to the max.Nobody respects him in Venezuela or in the Brewers organization because everyone knows what’s going on.His own mother and father and brothers and sisters want nothing to do with him to the point that they kicked him out of his house. He had a car accident in Venezuela in December where he totalled the car he was driving so to this day nobody knows what he will or will not achieve this upcoming year due to the fact that he has many loose screws as you can see.

We’ll see how long MLB Advanced Media allows these accusations to remain published. In the meantime, Steve Phillips can take slim consolation in knowing he’s no longer the front-runner for the Lamest Husband/Dad Of The Year. (thanks to Scott Comeau for the link)

McCourt To Wife : You’re Fired

Posted in Baseball at 2:22 pm by

All things considered, this is one heck of a way to take the heat off Jonathan Broxton.  A week after divorce proceedings between Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and wife Jamie (above) were announced, the former has fired the latter as LA’s chief execuctive, the Times’ Bill Shaikin reports.

“Jamie is disappointed and saddened by her termination,” attorney Dennis Wasser said Thursday. “As co-owner of the Dodgers, she will address this and all other issues in the courtroom.”

Wasser would not say whether she would continue to occupy her office at Dodger Stadium. He said that would depend on the outcome of legal proceedings he expected to initiate “in the next couple weeks.”

While Frank McCourt is pressing ahead with the business of the team, including Tuesday’s announcement of a long-term contract extension for General Manager Ned Colletti, Jamie McCourt is believed to be lining up investors for a possible effort to buy her husband out and gain sole control of the team.

Shaikin also writes that Mrs. McCourt  “was believed to have started calling prominent baseball figures, with the intention of arranging meetings to discuss the direction of the team.”  Who thought Steve Phillips wouldn’t land on his feet?

Available : Huge Flushing Function Venue, Available Every October (Probably)

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace, Ugly New Stadiums at 8:38 am by

The New York Mets bulked e-mailed their long suffering fans earlier today to remind them Fred & Jeff Wilpon’s Glittering Monument To Avarice & Greed is usable for oh so many things. Monster truck rallies. Mass Moonie weddings. Promise Keepers get-togethers. Flea markets. Cockfights. Furry conventions.

In short, the building is good for almost anything. Except hitting home runs.

10.22.09

With Each Passing Day, Riggo44 More Closely Resembles Billy Jack

Posted in Free Expression, Gridiron at 9:14 pm by

Over the years, a number of mouthy pundits have taken it upon themselves to run a coach out of town. Leave it to former Redskins RB John Riggins, however, to turn his sights from the embattled Jim Zorn to the meddlesome Daniel Snyder. With effective props! (link courtesy DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg)

Isiah : Magic Kissed Me And It Felt Like A Punch

Posted in Basketball at 2:49 pm by

With (my) apologies to Gerry Goffin and Carole King for the above headline, Isiah Thomas tells SI.com’s Ian Thomsen he’s dismayed by Magic Johnson’s comments in the newly published “When The Game Was Ours”, a book co-authored by Magic, Larry Bird and former Boston Globe scribe Jackie MacMullan. In the tome, Johnson describes his role in keeping Thomas off the 1992 US Olympic Dream Team, along with accusing Zeke of spreading rumors about Johnson’s sexuality.

I’m really hurt, and I really feel taken advantage of for all these years,” said Thomas, the Hall of Fame point guard and former NBA coach and executive, most recently with the Knicks. “I’m totally blindsided by this. Every time that I’ve seen Magic, he has been friendly with me. Whenever he came to a Knick game, he was standing in the tunnel [to the locker room] with me. He and [Knicks assistant coach] Herb [Williams] and I, we would go out to dinner in New York. I didn’t know he felt this way.”

“I’m glad that he’s finally had the nerve and the courage to stand up and say it was him, as opposed to letting Michael Jordan take the blame for it all these years,” Thomas responded during one of several interviews he gave to SI.com on Wednesday. “I wish he would have had the courage to say this stuff to me face to face, as opposed to writing it in some damn book to sell and he can make money off it

“What most people don’t know is, before Magic had HIV, my brother had HIV,” Thomas said. “My brother died of HIV, AIDS, drug abuse. So I knew way more about the disease, because I was living with it in my house.”

His brother, Gregory Thomas, died five years ago, Isiah said.

“Magic acted and responded off some really bad information that he got,” Thomas went on. “Whatever friendship we had, I thought it was bulls— that he believed that. Let me put it to you this way: If he and I were such close friends, if I was questioning his sexuality, then I was questioning mine too. That’s how idiotic it is.”

Thursday’s NY Post : More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About A 22 Year Old ESPN Intern

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups, non-sporting journalism, Sports TV at 12:00 pm by

“Tubby temptress”, “Cuckoo for coco puffs”, “geek”, “portly production-assistant”. A smattering of rude remarks about Steve Phillips’ ESPN colleague/mistress Brooke Hundley from Deadspin commentators? Nope, instead, it’s a cross section of insults delivered by the dedicated news team at the New York Post, who’ve apparently decided the only person more deserving of scorn than Richard Heene is a young woman who didn’t take kindly to being dumped faster than Marco Scutaro. The remarks about Ms. Hundley’s weight are slightly curious in that the Post doesn’t supply full body shots of any of their columnists (and you’ve been dying to see a full-frontal of Phil Mushnick for years). Mo Vaughn was in far worse physical condition than Hundley, and Phillips didn’t catch nearly as much grief over that relationship.

Finally, the Post supplies a written statement to police prepared by Phillips’ 16 year old son, in which Hundley is accused of using the handle, “riotgrrl4life” in her stalktastic correspondence. At the risk of piling on even further, I’m gonna out on a limb and presume Fifth Column weren’t on the tape deck when Phillips allegedly hooked up with Hundley in the parking lot of a Target on I-84. Really, Target parking lots. Boston Market. Never let it be said that portion of Connecticut is without glamor.

Surely Not The FIrst Time Brett Myers Has Heard The Expression “No Means No”

Posted in Baseball at 2:27 am by

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies on their back-to-back National League championships. Ordinarily, my having to choose between the Phillies and (probably) the Yankees would be akin selecting which I prefer, Weiland solo or STP. But if repeating as World Champs means more televised rebukes for Brett Myers like the one shown above, I might have to root for Philadelphia (video clip taken from The Fightins)

Has Steve Phillips’ Cock Written A Check ESPN Cannot Cash?

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 1:12 am by

OK, I actually have no idea what the above headline really means.  One of the joys of writing a sports blog as opposed to being Neil Best, however, is that I can publish such a thing. Just because I can do something, however, is flimsy justification for doing so…at first glance, anyway.

The only thing more precarious this morning than the state of Steve Phillips’ broadcasting career might be his marriage. Hours after the New York Post revealed the alleged affair between ESPN’s Phillips and a twenty-something production assistant, Deadspin’s A.J. Daulerio claimed to have sought commentary from the WWL several weeks ago. Upon being stonewalled by a P.R. flack, Daulerio declared Wednesday open season on ESPN’s long list of persons with overactive libidos (“since the tenuous connection between rumor and fact for accuracy’s sake has been a little eroded here, well, it’s probably about time to just unload the inbox of all the sordid rumors we’ve received over the years about various ESPN employees”).

After the lowly Erik Kuselias and network V.P. Katie Lacey (who apparently, slept her way to the middle) were named and shamed, the uncredited Stupid Sports Blog had seen enough, opining, “it’s just a sad state of affairs over there for a blog that used to be one funny dick joke after another, and now it’s run by a guy who has a vendetta against ESPN because the New York Post did its job better than him.”

Basically, someone sent Deadspin an e-mail accusing someone at ESPN of having some sexual indiscretions, and Deadspin printed it. And they only printed them because Daulerio was upset with his treatment by ESPN. The timeline:

1) 2006-2009: Inbox flooded with rumors about ESPN employees’ sexcapades.
2) 2006-2009: Company policy is never delete them, never do any investigating into them, but don’t publish them, because we’re not going to do that to those people.
3) August 2009: “Hello, ESPN? Hey, it’s A.J. Is Steve Phillips getting fired for doing Harold Reynolds-esque stuff? No? Anything else? No? Kthanksbye!”
4) October 2009: Daulerio spits out his pumpkin latte when he reads the Phillips story in the New York Post. He arrives at work and decides it is now OK to print those old rumors since the one about Steve Phillips, which actually wasn’t true if you recall, since ESPN didn’t tell him about the real Steve Phillips story.

If you’re looking to ruin someone’s life, I suggest you set up a fake e-mail account and e-mail Deadspin with a tasty sex rumor about whoever you like at ESPN. Get your friends to do it too so it seems more credible. Tell them Stuart Scott tried to work a three-way with Cindy Brunson and the corpse of Tom Mees. They’ll print it and be right to do so since they didn’t get the Steve Phillips story.

SSB might have a point about whether mere e-mail tips oughta be enough to publicly embarrass the (semi) high and mighty.  But if you’re wondering why the public’s right to know includes digging into the sex lives of persons who barely register as public figures, perhaps this case is about more than smearing celebs.  SSB inadvertently made the point mentioning “Harold Reynolds-esque stuff”, much as Daulerio raised the same issue at the end of the Lacie post in questioning an apparent double standard (“so for your notes: ESPN Corporate Ladder-Fucking: Good. ESPN On-Air Talent Production Assistant-Fucking: Not Good.”).   Were Harold Reynolds’ hugging hands any more or less busy than those of Phillips, Kuselias and Lacie?  Toss in Sean Salisbury’s Phone Cam Penis Gallery, and we start to see a work environment that seems exploitative at the very least, if not downright hostile towards those unwilling to help the on-air talent get off.   Do such things occur at many other businesses?  Fucking right they do, however not every business has a stranglehold on the sports media scene, nor are many businesses as effective in shaping dialogue and pop culture as ESPN.

So yeah, if  true (and that’s a big “if”)  this stuff is very newsworthy . Reynolds and Salisbury probably found it highly interesting reading.   None of that, however, excuses the sickening treatment afforded to Phillips’ production assistant by readers of the WEEI.com website.  Seriously, what sort of twisted individual followed this story, looked at the frosted-tip, Hilfiger-wearing Phillips and said to themselves, “he could do so much better”?

10.21.09

Kobe’s Ultimate Diss To Philly

Posted in Baseball, Basketball, Sports Journalism at 5:18 pm by

Either Lakers G Kobe Bryant (above, left) has a Type-T(ommy Lasorda) strain of Dodger Blue ruining thru his veins or he’s still harboring a grudge over the 2002 NBA All-Star Game. Of Kobe’s decision to attend a Phillies/Dodgers game at Chavez Ravine in the company of Frank McCourt, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s John Gonzalez compares it to “like watching Zell Miller at the Republican National Convention.” “The defection was complete and the insult was obvious,” writes Gonzo, presumably secure in the knowledge there are no West Coast newspapers that might ever desire his services.

Ah, but that wasn’t enough. Mamba wanted to make sure we got the message and sent word through Craig Sager. TBS’s Technicolor Dreamcoat reporter asked the NBA’s version of Kanye West – Bryant’s ego has grown so impossibly large that he didn’t hesitate to go out in public wearing a shirt with his own likeness on it – if it felt a little strange to root against his hometown. Even Sager knows how poorly that sort of thing plays, especially here in Philly.

“It’s not weird.” Bryant reportedly said. “I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 14 years now.”

I lived in Boston and Dallas for eight years total, but I never had the urge to buy a Red Sox hat or spoon with former Big D mayor Ron Kirk. (He’s not much of a cuddler, anyway.) Plenty of athletes leave home to play elsewhere, but few have so openly and unapologetically dug up their roots and scorched the earth they left behind. Can you imagine Dwyane Wade so blatantly snubbing Chi-town?

In an attempt to finally cut whatever frayed ties he still had with Philly, Sager said Kobe told him that he grew up rooting for the Mets and that he still has Ron Darling’s baseball card. It’s bad enough that he was a closet Mutts fan, but he held on to Ron Darling’s card after all these years? Really? Until I heard that, I didn’t think it was possible for Bryant to be any lamer than some of us already suspected.

Man, when was the last time Ron Darling inspired this much disrespect on a national level?

Madoff Liquidator : Mets Profited From Bernie

Posted in Baseball at 3:31 pm by

For the better part of a year, it’s been widely reported Mets owner Fred Wilpon and team COO Jeff Wilpon had lost so much money in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme, the club wasn’t likely to be a player in the free agent market after Madoff’s indictment. One observer even claimed the Wilpons would soon be forced to sell the team, such was the extent of the fraud. Via trusty mouthpiece David Howard, ownership insisted things were a-ok. As it turns out, they might’ve been telling the truth, which makes their inactivity after the K-Rod signing that much hard to excuse. From Bloomberg.com’s Erik Larson :

An entity tied to the New York Mets baseball team and its owner Sterling Equities Inc. might be sued for withdrawing $47.8 million more from Bernard Madoff”s firm than it deposited with the con man, a lawyer said.

Mets LP placed a total of $522.7 million in two Madoff accounts and withdrew $570.5 million over an unspecified period, Irving Picard, the court-appointed liquidator, said in a filing Oct. 19 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.

Picard has sued Madoff’s biggest investors and longtime beneficiaries, including hedge-fund firms, philanthropists and family members, seeking the return of about $15 billion in what he calls fake profit from the fraud. Sterling Equities, led by Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon, hasn’t been sued.

œIt cannot be argued on Wilpon’s behalf “that these were legitimate investment returns,” Bradley Simon, a former federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, New York, who isn’t involved in the case, said yesterday in an interview. “it would be a violation of his fiduciary duty for Picard to not seek the return of that money.”

Give Manny Some Credit, At Least He Stayed In The Ballpark

Posted in Baseball at 1:46 pm by

In yet another violation of baseball etiquette, Dodgers LF Manny Ramirez, writes the Philly News’ Marcus Hays “did not witness Rollins’ two-run double that won Game 4 of the National League Championship Series and gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven competition. He was devoted to hygiene and dependent on technology.” To wit, while Jonathan Broxton was melting down, Manny was cooling off in the CBP visitors’ showers and watching the highlights after the affair had concluded.

“It’s really nothing different than he’s done before,” Joe Torre said. “I don’t think it’s disrespect of anything. He wasn’t going anywhere until the game was over, and we can’t put him back in the game.”

As he exited the shower room, Ramirez saw reliever George Sherrill, who had preceded Broxton on the mound. He snatched a quick view of the replay before teammates entered and turned off the televisions showing the elated Phillies and the rocking ballpark.

He remained in the clubhouse to share their gloom, even if he hadn’t shared their deflating in person.

“I think, the way it turned out, it doesn’t look good,” Torre said.

Indeed, though persons eager to clobber Ramirez should remember a few things. For starters, Keith Hernandez sipping a Bud in the Mets locker room in the midst of a wild Game 6 comeback has only become part of Mex’s legend. Rickey Henderson playing cards with Bobby Bonilla while the Mets were losing to the Braves in the 1999 NLCS wasn’t considered an egregious enough offense to keep the former out of the Hall Of Fame. And considering Manny’s past towel-related issues, this could’ve turned out far worse. (thanks to Chuck Meehan for the link)

The Sound Of Revenge – Chamillionaire On Jordan

Posted in Basketball, Free Expression, Hip Hop at 7:57 am by

If you previously blanched at Michael Jordan’s uncouth treatment of lesser lights ranging from Byron Russell to Kwame Brown, you’ll not be surprised to learn His Airness allegedly demanded $15K to pose for a photograph with the former Hakeem Seriki, aka Houston’s Chamillionaire.  I dunno how much of the above story is true, but either way, it seems Cham has just pissed away any chance of being invited to appear on Charles Oakley’s cooking show (thanks to David Roth for the link)

Phillips’ Zipper Issues Strike Again

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups, non-sporting journalism, Sports TV at 7:31 am by

At the risk of making light of a very sad situation for Steve Phillips’ family, I think i speak for baseball fans across the country when upon learning of the former Mets GM’s suspension from ESPN, the first thing I thought of was, “why are the network’s interns and production assistants so resistant to the charms of Joe Morgan?” While you’re wondering if ESPN isn’t an acronym for “Extremely Serious Penis Needs”, the New York Post’s Jeane Macintosh and Dan Magan provide many sordid details.

ESPN analyst Steve Phillips had a fling with a 22-year-old production assistant, who, after being dumped, taunted his wife with “Fatal Attraction”-like phone calls and a letter that bragged about her sexcapades with Phillips while taking pot shots at their “loveless marriage,” The Post has learned.

The former Met general manager, whose tenure with the team was rocked by admissions of infidelity, confessed to his wife and local cops that he had slept with ESPN assistant Brooke Hundley several times this past summer before dumping her.

Hundley’s desperate actions included accidentally smashing her car into a stone column while speeding away from the Phillips’ home.

You can (and undoubtedly will) read the full piece if you want more dirt, and there’s plenty to sift thru, including Hundley allegedly harassing Phillips’ 16 year old son via Facebook and a very precise physical description of the Baseball Tonight analysist’s crotch that most assuredly falls under the category of more than anyone wanted to know. With any luck, we’ll be spared similar revelations someday concerning John Kruk. Until then, however, perhaps the only really funny portion of this story is The Post crediting “additional reporting” to one Phil Mushnick. Never let it be said Phil isn’t a team player.