03.25.10

Nets Exec Strives For A Teaching Moment With The Unknown Comic

Posted in Basketball at 3:02 pm by

Or perhaps we can call it The Witless Protection program. “If I try to do a short post on how craven and cheap the Nets’ marketing doof-in-chief is, I’m going to wake up an hour later staring at 1600 words, with like 400 of them being profanities,” writes CSTB’s David Roth, alerting us to Brett Yormark’s most recent attempt at putting the harassment of the Izod Center’s (few) paying customers behind him. From the Newark Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Alessandro :

The Nets had a œBag Exchange Wednesday night, when all fans were invited to turn in their bags for a nylon bag with the Nets logo on it, and a note from Yormark himself. The note read, œThanks for letting us see your face, we hope we see it more often at Nets games “ Regards, Brett Yormark.

The team did not promote the exchange beforehand; they merely instructed personnel to identify bag-wearers and offer to make the swap. The nylon bag will also include trading cards.

As for the original perpetrator, a gentleman from Morristown who was seated with his brother in the second row, Yormark said he invited him over for a bag lunch next week.

œWe might stream it live on our website, so all the fans can enjoy a nice constructive conversation about the team, because he was expressing his disgust the other night, Yormark said. œAgain, the tickets he received were free, and I thought it was inappropriate, so he expressed himself and I expressed myself.

As for that bag lunch, let’s guess: He’ll be serving chicken salad

(Star-Ledger link courtesy Nets Daily)

Playing The Blame Game With Orlando’s Stan Van Gundy

Posted in Basketball at 10:33 am by

A nice bit of traveling from the Hawks’ Joe Johnson just prior to Josh Smith’s electrifying put-back earned Atlanta a playoff berth, while in the losing locker room, in the words of the Orlando Sentinel’s Brian Schmitz, “combine glow-in-the-dark personalities with a coach who can go nuclear, taking every loss like it™s the end of  the world¦.and there can be explosions.” KA-BOOM.

Stan Van Gundy just didn™t throw Rashard Lewis under the bus after the Magic™s 86-84 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday night. He  left him there and let the wheels make an imprint on his backside.

œUnfortunately, we forgot to box out on the weak side, and Josh was able to make a great play. We became spectators and didn™t block out, he said.

Lewis privately muttered something about Van Gundy™s offense on a night he was 2-of-9 for six points. Matt Barnes was seething at the coach, too. Van Gundy took out defensive specialist Barnes for a long stretch in the fourth period, trying to get the Magic back in the game with shooters, and Barnes took it as a personal affront.

œHe obviously doesn™t trust me down the stretch, Barnes huffed.

03.24.10

Bradley : Much Like Kanye, I’m The Bad Guy

Posted in Baseball at 5:53 pm by

Considering Tru Warier Records’ Soundscan results, Lakers F Ron Artest finds himself in pretty heavy company, as the AP’s Greg Bell illustrates.

“If I was a musician, I’d be Kanye West. If I was in the NBA, I’d be Ron Artest,” the 31-year-old former Expo, Indian, Dodger, Athletic, Padre, Ranger and Cub said this week. “In baseball, they’ve got Milton Bradley. I’m that guy. You need people like me, so you can point your finger and go, ‘There goes the bad guy.’”

Here’s that “bad guy,” ejected twice in three Mariners spring games last week. The first ejection remains a joke to Bradley. He disagreed with another called third strike, then umpire Dan Bellino thought Bradley gave a demonstration immediately afterward at the plate.

Bradley thought it was the third out, and said he was one move into taking off his batting glove to prepare to play the field.

“Never dropped my glove. I pulled one strap off my glove, like this,” Bradley said, pulling off the velcro strap on his batting glove. “But if you read the paper, it will say I removed my gloves. It’s exaggerated, because that’s what the media does, you know? I pulled one strap.

Had Bradley ever had an incident with that umpire?

“I mean, I haven’t been in Triple A, so how could I have an incident?” he said with a grin.

The analogies aren’t poor, except West and Artest have accomplished more in their respective fields. West hasn’t knowingly embraced a bad guy role, either, but there’s still time.

There’s No Prize Too Small For Marbury’s Trophy Case

Posted in Basketball, We Aren't The World at 5:08 pm by

As PTI’s Michael Wilbon once called the NBA All-Star Weekend, “Black America’s Thanksgiving”, I wonder how, exactly, we should quantify the Chinese Basketball Association‘s All-Star Game.  You Been Blinded’s HG makes the very diplomatic suggestion defense is not exactly a priority in the CBA ASG, but the same has been said of the NBA’s mid-season showpiece. Perhaps a re-energized Marbury will return to the professional ranks stateside, and I remain hopeful — mostly because the Coney Island product provides so much blog fodder — he’ll attempt to crack the roster of a NYC franchise that would really appreciate him.

OMG, Indeed

Posted in Baseball, Medical Science, The Law at 4:30 pm by

Prior to the above tweet, a prior entry read “the fbi will be at my house in 20 minutes kind of scared will let u no what they want if I can after they leave.  Observes the New York Times’ Michael Schmidt, “it was unclear whether Canseco actually wrote the posts”, though I’m gonna guess Jose was 100% capable of such work.

Doctor K’s Steady Slide Continues

Posted in Baseball, Leave No Child Unbeaten, The Law at 3:07 pm by

Former Mets P Dwight Gooden, last seen in this space doing a bit of tagging in an otherwise unremarkable Queens convention center, was arrested earlier today on charges of driving under the influence of a controlled substance. From the New York Daily News’ Edgar Sandoval and Larry McShane :

Cops in the tony New Jersey suburb of Franklin Lakes responded after receiving a 911 call at 8:50am, and arrested Gooden after the ex-major leaguer left the scene of the two-car crash on Old Mill Rd.

Gooden, 45, was charged with driving while under the influence of drugs, endangering the welfare of a child, leaving the scene, reckless driving and DWI with a child passenger. He has a 5-year-old son, Dylan.

The former star was released on his own recognizance. Police declined to say what drug was involved, although Gooden has a long history of alcoholism and cocaine abuse.

“It’s a small town but we do get excitement sometimes,” Det. Lt. John Bakelaar said. “It’s not like it happened in New York City. But we have three of those ‘Housewives’ living here and we have a lot of big name athletes.”

The New Jersey suburb is also home to former Giants quarterback Phil Simms. Jailed ex-NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik was also a resident.

Earlier this year, the Mets revealed Gooden, along with teammate Darryl Strawberry, former GM Frank Cashen and manager Davey Johnson, would be inducted into the club’s Hall Of Fame.

03.23.10

The CHB’s Revenge

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 4:14 pm by

It’s a bright and sunny afternoon in Austin, TX but down in Hades, shit’s most assuredly frozen over. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy has actually written a funny column.  In the wake of former Red Sox SS Nomar Garciaparra signing a one-day minor league contract in order to retire in a Boston uniform, Shaughnessy imagines scenarios in which Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez and Grady Lady take part in near-identical p.r. stunts  (“Larry Lucchino said a ceremony honoring Grady would be held at Fenway this summer, but he was evasive when asked if Little™s number would be retired and fitted for space on the right-field facade alongside 1-4-6-8-9-42.”)  But the coup de grace has to be Shaughnessy’s fantasy retirement for the played that cruelly dubbed him Gordon Edes’ “Curly Haired Boyfriend”.

“I’ve always had a recurring dream, to be able to retire in a Red Sox uniform,”  said Carl Everett, wearing his old No. 2 jersey. “Today I get to fulfill that dream and retire as a Red Sox . . . I always tell people Red Sox Nation is bigger than any Nation out there. It’s good to be back.”

Asked to explain Everett’s chaotic final days in Boston, and the deal that sent him out of town, Sox GM Theo Epstein shrugged and said, “Trades happen in baseball.”

“When the history of the Red Sox is written again there will be a very large and important chapter devoted to Carl Everett,”  said CEO Larry Lucchino.

“He was great offensively, great defensively, and most importantly to me, a great teammate,” said knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

Lou Merloni, another of Everett’s former teammates, attempted to interview Jurassic Carl after the news conference, but Everett head-butted Merloni, then said, “Bye, bye, bye. Anybody from the Globe, get the [expletive] away from me. “

Schoeneweis : Brewers Are Insensitve Creeps

Posted in Baseball at 1:23 pm by

Former Mets reliever Scott Schoeneweis’ attempts to rebound from a horrible 2009 personally and professionally hit a roadblock earlier today when the lefty was released by the Milwaukee Brewers.  Schoeneweis argues to the Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt that the Brewers should’ve paid no attention to his underwhelming spring stats (7 IP, 7 hits, 6 runs, 7.71 ERA).

Schoeneweis believes he has been fighting an uphill battle to stay in the majors since his wife died last season of a drug overdose.

“I’m a big-league player,” he said. “My wife died last year. That has nothing to do with me as a baseball player. To have to start over and be penalized doesn’t make sense to me.”

Schoeneweis said he really enjoyed his time in Brewers’ camp and liked his teammates, which made the news even more difficult to take.

“I had a lot of fun here,” he said as he packed his bags. “I enjoyed the guys, liked being on the team. I know I can help this team.

“I feel I’m a big-league pitcher. I have nothing to prove. I’m not out of shape; I’m not injured. I had something happen off the field that I couldn’t control. There should be a job out there for me somewhere.”

Nets Exec To Fans : Show Some Pride In Your Historically Shitty Team

Posted in Basketball at 10:15 am by

Full credit to New Jersey Nets VP CEO Brett Yormark (above, middle), routinely pillaged in this space, for having the wherewithal to actually locate a paying customer amidst the the acres of empty seats at the Izod Center.  The New York Daily News’ Julian Garcia has Yormark — optimistically called “one of the most fan friendly executives in the league” defending the honor of his 7-63 Nets during last night’s loss to Miami.

With the Nets trailing 79-67 between the third and fourth quarters, Yormark left his courtside seat and passed Chris Lisi of Middletown, N.J., who was sitting in the second row and wearing a paper bag over his head. Yormark then walked back toward Lisi, and in full view of reporters and photographers got into a shouting match with Lisi and a pal.

As Yormark jabbed his finger toward Lisi as he shouted something, Lisi pulled out a pair of tickets and waved them back at the CEO, who then stomped away as security personnel approached.

A Yormark spokesperson said the executive had no comment regarding the incident, but Lisi claimed that Yormark had incited it by asking him why he had the bag over his head. When Lisi sarcastically answered, “Because the Nets are so good,” Yormark snapped at him. Neither Lisi nor his companion, who joined in the shouting match, is a season-ticket holder, and they seemed to be unaware of whom they were arguing with.

Dead GM Walking

Posted in Basketball, Portland at 4:07 am by

Ok, I’m not even that much of a Sixers fan, but I’m now officially daydreaming about Kevin Pritchard and his former Kansas coach Larry Brown in Philadelphia. One thing’s for sure, the apparently inevitable departure of KP seems about as smart as when the Sixers dumped Pat Croce. From Jason Quick of the Oregonian.

After more than 10 years of covering this team for this newspaper, this development would go down as one of the strangest and dumbest I’ve encountered.

All of this reeks heavily of a certain Western Conference general manager who is widely known to envy this job. He happens to have experience with the workings of the Vulcans. He has been on a constant smear campaign since Pritchard took over, harboring feelings that Pritchard “gloats” about his success, “rubbing it in the nose” of colleagues.

If some want to tout that source as credible, and not recognize the motives, that’s on them. And if Vulcan wants to play that way, then maybe this isn’t the place for Pritchard after all.

What Quick won’t say, CBS Sports’ Ken Berger has:

Two people familiar with the situation said one strong possibility to replace Pritchard is Denver GM Mark Warkentien, the reigning NBA Executive of the Year with ties to [Blazers president Larry] Miller through their Nike connections. Warkentien has a home in Portland, and is on the last year of his contract with rumblings of a serious front-office shakeup afoot in Denver. He also had a hand in the creation of the Jail Blazers, something that will be difficult -“ if not impossible -“ to sell to a community that will never forget that damnable era.

Meanwhile, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski continues to be the main voice for the case against KP. Is he carrying the water of Vulcan and rival GMs, as some in PDX believe, or is he an objective voice of sanity compared to all the crazy Pritchard love expressed by Portland fans and media, this writer included?

What’s also gone mostly unmentioned, for reasons that are understandable, is owner Paul Allen’s recurrence of cancer. But it seemed like Pritchard had a direct line to Allen in the past, by text message if nothing else. I was also at the press conference announcing the hiring of Miller, and my impression then is that he was supposed to be the business CEO, separate from the basketball decisions, and that both he and Pritchard would report to Allen and/or Vulcan director Tod Leiweke (who mostly runs the Seahawks), rather than Pritchard reporting to Miller. Things have obviously changed since then.

Dave at Blazers Edge’s post is both thoughtful and sad.

A week ago the questions surrounding the team were simple: Will they make the playoffs? Will they succeed there? Those were beautiful, vibrant questions speaking of goodness among us no matter how they were answered, even to the negative. Now the lingering question is, “Will this organization ever learn?”