Tom Hicks’ Reign Of Error In Arlington Coming To A Close

Posted in Baseball at 1:36 pm by

Today marks the first, and perhaps last time in recorded history supporters of Liverpool F.C. find themselves envious of Texas Rangers fans.  The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports a group fronted by Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan have reached an agreement in principal to purchase the Rangers from Tom Hicks (above).

The deal ends some three weeks of intense negotiations, the final eight days of which took place at the urging of Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig after a 30-day window of exclusive negotiations ended Jan. 15.

Last-minute details were ironed out late Friday night and into Saturday. Now, the likelihood of Ryan becoming a minority owner of the last team for which he played and is currently its team president is seen as a formality.

“We are fortunate to be assuming the stewardship of a franchise poised for greatness,” said Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg, who is leading the 12-investor group that includes Ryan, in a statement.

Ownership could be transferred to Greenberg and Ryan™s group, Rangers Baseball Express, by Opening Day, April 4. The deal is expected to easily to pass the scrutiny of baseball™s executive committee and eight-man ownership committee. The 40 lenders who hold $525 million in Hicks Sports Group debt also will review the agreement.

An intriguing aspect of the deal is that it all but excludes Tom Hicks.

A baseball source said that Hicks will own only a small piece of the team and will not sit on its board of directors. He will remain with the team in the ceremonial role of chairman emeritus and, in a deal struck with another company he owns, will hold only 42 of the 195 acres surrounding Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and Cowboys Stadium.


The Next Time Someone Calls Bobby Jenks Fat, Arrogant & Stupid…

Posted in Baseball, Fashion at 9:41 pm by

…feel free to stick up for the White Sox reliever by pointing out he’s merely arrogant and/or stupid. The Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley reports the South Side closer has lost a ton of weight this off-season.

(above : possibly Bobby Jenks, maybe Vini Reilly. Very hard to tell these days)

‘He looks the best I’ve ever seen him, and I’m really proud of this guy,” Kenny Williams said. ”As a husband and father, he’s great around his kids — but just sitting here and looking me and Ozzie right in the eye, addressing the issues head-on like men, I’m proud of him. Good for him. Sometimes you’ve got to push some buttons to ultimately get to that point

The 28-year-old appears more than ready. Though he looked at least 30 pounds lighter, Jenks wouldn’t say how much he lost, only that ”I’m hiding it in my shoes.”

”I know I have said stuff like that before, but this is really the best I can remember feeling,” Jenks said. ”Regardless of what happened this winter, I did this for myself. I’m ready for this year. There is more pressure on me this year to fill those shoes that I’ve walked for myself.”

Williams’ concern was whether Jenks lost the weight the proper way, and he got his answer.

”Before I could even get it out, he told me, ‘I’ve lost it the right way,”‘ Williams said. ”I talked to him about flexibility, and he said, ‘I work on that, too.’ We’re in a good place with Bobby Jenks; Bobby Jenks is going to have a big year.”

Thrifty, Quiet, Effective : WSC Daily On Doncaster’s O’Driscoll

Posted in Football at 4:06 pm by

Despite a 1-0 defeat at Derby in the 4th round of the FA Cup earlier today, Doncaster manager Sean O’Driscoll can take considerable solace in Rovers being a mere 6 points removed from a playoff spot in the Championship, the sort of jam econo results that have When Saturday Comes’ Glen Wilson wondering when a Premier League club might make a play for the former Republic Of Ireland international (“like taking your favourite toy to show off at primary school, the more you gleefully talk about how great it is, the more likely one of the bigger boys will come along and pluck it from your grasp.”)

To keep a squad in a division on a budget is one thing. To do so with reliance on an aesthetically pleasing brand of fluid football is another. O’Driscoll  (above, right) has achieved results with one of the most unfashionable teams in the Championship playing arguably its most fashionable football. The emphasis is on ball retention and movement. The system is fluid, the midfielders and full-backs are given freedom to roam – comparisons with Arsenal’s style have been made often. There is joy to be had in punching above your weight, but to do so while out-footballing players much more feted than your own carries an incredible amount of satisfaction.

Given that O’Driscoll also holds an obvious disdain for the by-products of modern football, it would have been interesting to see him handle the media envelopment of the Premier League. So down to earth he’s practically subterranean, WSC’s Taylor Parkes once described him as “speaking so quietly, he’s drowned out by my wristwatch and looking like he’s just been told his dog has three weeks to live”. In 2008, when asked how he would be celebrating play-off promotion O’Driscoll whispered: “I’ve got a cup of tea waiting, but it’s going cold.” Refreshingly he is the very antonym of Phil Brown

Salisbury’s Sophmoric Mistake

Posted in non-sporting journalism, Sports TV at 3:11 pm by

The following is probably an old story for most of you, but between the Haiti telethon, Kobe’s return to MSG and Conan O’Brien’s farewell (can’t Billy Gibbons find a better band to play with?), I have to admit I missed out on what might be the most important story of our times.

It was a little more than 3 years ago that a blind item — not from a sports blog, but rather, CBS Sports.com — led to widespread speculation ESPN had suspended football analyst Sean Salisbury for sending phone-cam pics of his penis to female co-workers.  There’s been no shortage of embarrassing incidents involving Salisbury since, and with the bullying blowhard’s career in a free-fall, he recently filed a civil defamation lawsuit against Deadspin’s parent company, Gawker Media. Salisbury’s prospects for winning said case and/or settling out of court with Gawker took no small hit yesterday with the following revelations, as reported by USA Today’s Michael Heistand :

Salisbury, 46, is admitting what’s already an urban legend on the Internet: that he took cellphone photos of his private parts and showed them.

Yuck. Salisbury says it only happened once ” “a sophomoric mistake” in a Connecticut bar in 2006 ” for which ESPN suspended him for a week for then-unspecified reasons.

“I was ashamed, and I didn’t want to say anything,” says Salisbury, who was an NFL quarterback for eight years and an ESPN NFL analyst for 12. “I thought it would go away and let my ego get in the way. Since then, I’ve beat myself up about it more than 10 baseball bats could. A stupid mistake can cost you, and this has really cost me. I should have been having this conversation a long time ago.”

Salisbury feels better from having had anger-management therapy ” “I needed help. I had a lot of inner anger for years.” He says he’s trying to champion the cause of accuracy in online reporting in a lawsuit against Deadspin that he insists is anything but frivolous.

And the book he said he’d write about ESPN in an erratic e-mail exchange with Deadspin in September ” saying “some major reputations” would be ruined ” is now off.

“I’m not a tell-all guy and regret saying that,” he says.

Only the hardhearted wouldn’t see a chance for his redemption.

So true. Who amongst us wouldn’t give a second chance to a braying egomanic who insists sending unsolicted snapshots of his schlong to female colleagues is “not malicious”? Full credit to Salisbury, who somehow managed to top both Mark McGwire and John Edwards in the Unsurprising Public Confession Sweepstakes of Early 2010.


Tebow To Mom : Thanks For Not Aborting Me

Posted in Gridiron, Religion at 8:22 pm by

Crosswalk.com’s Russ Jones reports saintly Heisman winner Tim Tebow and his mother will appear in a Super Bowl commercial, Sunday, February 7, with a decidedly  anti-abortion theme.

Tim and Pam share our respect for life and our passion for helping families thrive,” Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., said in a statement. “They live what we see every day – that the desire for family closeness is written on the hearts of every generation.”

Daly says the generous gifts of donors, not funds from the ministry’s general budget, have paid for the pricey TV spot.

Tebow fans may not know that Tim’s mother was urged to abort Tebow during a troubled pregnancy and chose not to.

While Focus on the Family won’t confirm the content of the ad, they do say the Florida Gators star quarterback and his mother will share “a personal story” centered on the pro-life theme of “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.”

“The Tebows said they agreed to appear in the commercial because the issue of life is one they feel very strongly about,” according to a Focus on the Family statement.

Focus on the Family is paying an estimated $2.8 million for the prime time spot. They join an elite lineup of advertisers where CBS estimates over 90 million viewers will watch.

While this sort of advocacy interspersed with football is nothing new, the NFL’s apparent willingness to accept such a divisive advertiser, is another matter.

Celtics Hub’s Lowe : Davis’ Heckler Was The Bigger Baby

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, Mob Behavior at 6:35 pm by

Taking into account the NBA’s decision to fine Boston’s Glen Davis $25K for telling an unruly Pistons fan to “suck my dick”, Celtics Hub’s Zach Lowe is willing “to give Baby a pass on this one” (“I don’t think I could ever get used to someone screaming unflattering things at me all the time”), pointing a finger at Davis’ tormentor.

I have no problem with Glen Davis telling a jerky fan to shut up, even if he uses unsavory language in doing so. (Glen™s biggest problem was that TV and radio broadcasts caught his comments live). For this fan, Scott Zack, to file a complaint with NBA security is ridiculous. You go to an NBA game, you spend two quarters calling a player œfat and œchubs, and then you act surprised when the player fires back at you?

Scott Zack should be embarrassed. He deserved what he got. I hope Zack™s friends laughed at him when Davis finally cracked and responded. What a sniveling little coward.

Again: I understand what the league is doing. It has an interest in preventing anything like the 2004 Indy-Detroit brawl, and so it has an interest in eliminating heated encounters between players and fans. But if sports leagues fined every player who talked back to heckling fans, they™d be giving out a lot of fines.

McGwire’s Welcome Home Marred by Herzog, Busch, IQs Over 60

Posted in Baseball at 2:44 pm by

[Scott Steiner welcomes Mark McGwire back to St. Louis and adoring Cardinal fansWhy can't Jack Clark show as much class?]

Recovering Retired Cardinals mgr Whitey Herzog (1980-90) and former owner Augie Busch IV (his family sold the ‘Tards in ’96) are apparently not so welcoming of Big Mac’s post-’roid confession and return to St. Louis nor La Russa.  What’s interesting here isn’t so much an old school hero like Whitey Herzog coming down on McGwire, but Augie Busch publicly calling La Russa a liar. As Augie puts it, “McGwire has chosen to come out of the closet at the perfect time — alongside a manager who also refuses to be honest, to the fans or to the game itself,” Busch said. “After all, why would Tony La Russa hire a hitting coach whose lifetime batting average was only .263?”

As a Cub fan, this reporter wholeheartedly supports a Redbird team average of .263, and wish Augie would give McGwire a chance to work that magic on the whole squad.   I can’t tell if La Russa was more in-denial about his ‘roided out A’s and Redbirds or that Mark McGwire’s return to MLB would actually be any more popular outside STL than Barry Bonds was outside San Francisco.  On Wednesday, Herzog went off at a Red Smith Sports Banquet in Appleton, WI, unloading thusly to the Appleton Post-Crescent:

“I’ve got nothing to do with him,” Herzog said, clearly annoyed. “I don’t want to comment on steroids because they’re all lying. And they’re still lying. They get on steroids because they say they want to get back on the field. The reason they’re on steroids is because they got injured because they were taking steroids. Because their muscles grow too fast, and every time they make a false move, they slip and pull something. It’s always a pulled muscle, rib cage, a minor something. That’s bull.”Let’s get to the bottom of this. It’s a health problem, but nothing’s going to happen. The people in St. Louis give Mark McGwire a standing ovation the other day, and (former major leaguer) Jack Clark said every steroid user should be banned for baseball, and they booed him. Now, what the hell is the matter with society when that happens?”

Actually Whitey, I think at this point the lovable Jack Clark would get booed handing out twenty-dollar bills on Opening Day.

There Are (Insane) Second Acts in American Life: Inside Ex-Gator Star Teddy Dupay’s Pot-Related Pyramid Scheme

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, consumer affairs, Get Out Of Jail at 2:10 pm by

You had to follow college basketball fairly closely during a fairly brief period of time even to have an impression of Teddy Dupay, a former McDonald’s All-American who spent three years at Florida during the early years of the Billy Donovan administration. Dupay put up points at Pete Maravich-ian volume as a prep, but proved in college to be more the Gulf Coast version of Greg Paulus — a cocky caucasian guard who was universally loathed by opposing fans and pretty limited in certain easy-to-notice ways, but who managed to make some big shots and contribute on some deep and talented teams. If that were all he did, Dupay and Matt Walsh and Andrew DeClerq would be running a sports bar in Fort Myers or something and no one would care. Well, I might, but that would be my problem.

But off the court, Dupay (above) was an absolutely epic fuck-up machine. On a team that featured the even-more-feral beta-testing version of Jason Williams, Dupay was the undisputed go-to Botchmaster. He finally got kicked out of Florida for consorting with known gamblers, and proceeded to bounce around the pro hoops bushes for awhile before getting arrested for beating up and allegedly raping his girlfriend in Utah; he pled and got 30 days in jail. Which, honestly, still didn’t preclude the eventual opening of Reviled White Ex-Gators Sports Grille and Lounge. But, as Chris Harry reports at FanHouse, Dupay had more ambitious — that is to say, genius — plans in mind. Actually, I’m not sure about the word count, there. Would you use the word “ambitious” to describe a pot-based crypto-pyramid scheme called S’Boalnation?

In his suburban office about 10 miles out of Salt Lake City, Dupay stood at a large grease board and for an audience of one made a detailed and diagrammed case — rather convincingly, in fact — that legalizing pot and hemp could solve much of America’s health, industrial, environmental and hunger problems. Then came the spin that is his and his alone.

“The problem is not the laws. The problem isn’t the prohibition of cannabis or the hypocrisy of it all,” he explained. “The problem is that over 75 to 80 percent of our country, when polled, thinks marijuana should be legal, yet nobody stands up to do anything ’cause there’s nothing in it for them. But people now can be part of the solution by joining S’Boalnation. There’s money in it.”

…S’Boalnation members pay $94.20 to join the cause and $24.20 per month, then are compensated for members they sign up. All expenses (home office, mileage, cell phone, etc.) are tax deductible and Dupay donates $5 of each payment to the charity of each member’s choice. There are incentives for merchandise sales, too.

The whole piece is worth reading. There is basically zero chance that S’Boalnation winds up being legit, but Dupay’s Scott Caan imitation in the group’s YouTube infomercials and S’Boalnation’s No Fear-jacking merch aesthetic should provide ample reward for your time. It’s hard to argue that Gulf Coast Paulus is doing good, in the classic definition of the phrase, but he’s at least still entertaining. Which is more than DeClerq can say, for instance. Thanks to Brendan Flynn for the link.

Imp Of The Perverse Delivers His Lamest Effort Since “Batdance”

Posted in Gridiron at 1:39 pm by

Minneapolis’s Fox 9 quotes Prince Rogers Nelson as saying the lyrics to the above tune “came fast and easy”. Perhaps too easy (link taken from Shutdown Corner).  Surely Morris Day could’ve done better?

Mets Prepare For Beltran Absence With Sarge Jr. Signing

Posted in Baseball at 1:21 pm by

Who amongst us didn’t marvel at Gary Matthews, Jr. robbing Mike Lamb of a home run in July, 2006?. It was just one obvious highlight in a career year for the Texas Ranger, who parlayed what might’ve been PED assisted numbers into a monster deal with the Angels the following winter. It would be, however, a colossal understatement to say Matthews underachieved in Anaheim ; in September of ’08, Tim Marchman called Sarge’s kin “the Least Valuable Player” in all of Major League Baseball, writing “anyone who makes $9.4 million for hitting like Melky Cabrera and playing much worse defense certainly deserves an award of some sort.”

With Matthews a year and a half older, and still owed nearly $20 million dollars, the Angels have finally managed to rid themselves of the centerfielder via a Friday trade with the New York Mets. The Halos receive reliever Brian Stokes while the Amazins are only obliged to pay $2 million of Matthews’ salary over the next two seasons. It seems like a relatively low risk gambit, especially if you’re not troubled by the prospect of a defensively-challenged, injury prone player on the downside of his career patrolling the vast expanse of the Citi outfield