04.30.10

Derek Erdman’s Portrait Of Greatest Vocalist In Human History

Posted in Modern Art, Rock Und Roll at 8:00 pm by

I’ve yet to play my copy of The Fall’s latest, ‘Your Future, Our Clutter’ (described by the New York Times’ Ben Ratliff as “good medicine for shortening historical memories”), though Derek Erdman has weighted in at Rocktober.  I can’t find the review online, but the above depiction of The Bard Of Salford will stick in my head long after most critiques have been long forgotten.

(if you’re wondering how someone could be in possession of a new Fall album for several days and not bothered to listen to it yet, it’s just M.E. Smith’s shitty lucky to have released a new LP the same week as this masterpiece.)

Grant Hill – Guzzling From The Fountain Of Youth

Posted in Basketball at 7:42 pm by

More than a few times in CSTB’s history, I’ve made reference to the injury plagued career of Suns F Grant Hill, who upon leaving Detroit for Orlando in a August 2000 sign-and-trade seemed like he’d be a Hall of Fame candidate.  Instead, Phoenix’s first-round elimination of Portland last night represented the first playoff series victory in Hill’s 16 year professional career.  Though I’m hopeful that linking to a Suns highlight doesn’t represent tacit approval over recent Arizona legislation (much as I’m hesitant to draw parallels between Hill and Bonnie Raitt), for one day at least, let’s give the former Dookie his due.  5 years ago, there’s no way I thought Hill would still be playing, let alone making such major contributions.

Don’t Hold Your Breath Dept : Angry Duck Asks Bellotti To Return Golden Parachute

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 6:26 pm by

After 14 seasons as the Oregon’s head football coach, Mike Bellotti (above) spent just one year as the university’s athletic director before accepting a position at ESPN. A reported $2.5 million severance package has raised some eyebrows, none higher than those of Oregon grad / season ticket holder Mike Bubalo, who issued the following plea to Belloti via the Oregonian’s “Letters To The Editor”.

The athletic department is $1.5 million in debt. Why are donors picking up the tab for a coach’s payout when their donation could ultimately impact minor sports such as baseball. I appreciate that UO is learning from this situation and that they are making the necessary changes in dealing with employment contracts in the future.

Mike Bellotti did a great job of continuing what Rich Brooks started. I appreciate his service to UO. Does Bellotti appreciate what UO has done for him? I think so. They took care of him financially very well and gave him the opportunity and exposure to get one of the best jobs in sports with ESPN. With the money he made at Oregon, in his 21 years of employment and the lucrative salary he will make with ESPN does he need another $2.3 million? Think of all the positives that $2.3 million would accomplish if it went back in the UO Athletic Fund.

If Mike Bellotti has any class, which he does, he will be remembered as the great former football coach at UO who appreciated what the university did for him by giving his severance/payout package back to the University Athletic Fund.

Baseball Journalism’s Resident Jim Ross Lookalike Hamstrung By Censors Editorial Restraint

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 6:05 pm by

There aren’t a ton of instances where I’d find myself sympathetic to former Denver Post scribe / serial Michael Lewis-baited Tracy Ringolsby, but this is surely one of ‘em. My personal turn-ons include cheap shots at Alex Rodriguez, unfair treatment of A-Rod and anything that paints the Yankees’ 3B in a negative light. As such, Ringolsby’s hatchet job on The Centaur Of All Attention is right up my alley, or at least it was before some of the fun stuff ended up on the cutting room floor. Still, even Ringolsby’s editors at Fox Sports see no problem with their correspondent openly advocating something just short of attempted murder :

Word of advice to Dallas Braden: Don™t issue threats, just do. The next time A-Rod steps to the plate, send him a message.

That’s what Bob Gibson did in 1972 when a San Diego rookie named Derrel Thomas elaborately dug in for his first big-league at-bat against the Cardinals’ Hall of Fame-bound pitcher.

“‘If you’re going to dig, dig six feet,’” Dave Garcia, the Padres’ third base coach at the time, recalls Gibson telling Thomas. Then Gibson threw the first pitch at Thomas™ neck.

(links swiped from Subway Squawkers)

Embarrassing Moments In YouTube History, Starring The Diesel

Posted in Basketball, Free Expression at 5:20 pm by

Grim stuff, sure. But it’s a huge improvement over ‘Shaq Fu : Da Return’. And on a more serious tip, this might be a great way to draw attention away from encouraging small children to pass along death threats (allegedly!)

Pimping Ain’t Easy (And Neither Is Damage Control In Miami)

Posted in Gridiron at 4:45 pm by

While persons ranging from Matt Millen to Dolphins bloggers consider this to be something of a non-story, the Miami organization couldn’t leave well enough alone yesterday, letting their friends in the media know that Jeff Ireland’s infamous “is your Mother a prostitute?” inquiry towards WR Dez Bryant only came after the Cowboys draftee revealed his father was a pimp.  However, ESPN’s Ed Werder reports this doesn’t jibe with Bryant’s version of events.

Following the Cowboys’ first rookie minicamp Friday, Bryant was asked about the conversation in the SI.com story.

“No, that’s a lie,” he said to reporters. “I really don’t want to speak on that.”

Bryant repeatedly said he didn’t want to talk about it.

“I just want to talk about the Cowboys and what I’m doing. I put that in the past,” Bryant said. “I’m just going to move on, I really don’t even want to speak on it anymore. I feel fine, things are great. I’m just looking ahead now.”

I have little sympathy for Ireland in this instance, but it seems amazing to me that this incident has received so much coverage the past few days, why hasn’t anyone pointed out that legendary cooler James Dalton explained the best way to deal with someone calling your mother a whore a very long time ago?

The Owner With A Boner Pleads For An End To Twitter Hate-Fuckery

Posted in Basketball, Free Expression, The Internet at 11:25 am by

To regurgitate a line I used earlier this month….Q : What do Billy Beane and Mark Cuban have in common?  A: Cuban’s shit doesn’t work in the playoffs, either.  And on the morning after another Mavericks postseason exit finds Dallas owner Cuban issuing something less than a Steinbrenner-esque apology, he’s also taking up the fight against interweb cruelty,  announcing “if you haven’t noticed, there are now 2 Twitters.”

The first Twitter operates just as its founders intended. Its a great broadcast medium for quickly distributing quick hits of information and/or links. Its a great source of real-time information that travels with you on any device.  Its the ultimate enabler of œif information is important to me, it will find me.   On all levels, this version of Twitter is succeeding for its users.

The second Twitter is not so pleasant. This version of Twitter is the home for hate and ridicule.  It™s where everyone and anyone can quickly create an account and spew whatever venom they choose directly at the target of their derision.  Lisa Rinna recently got into it with a follower who criticized her appearance.  My timeline is filled with people with 1 or 2 followers who apparently set up an account purely to curse or condemn me and others.  It takes the fun and return out of Twitter when you look at the tweets  people send you and its full of people hoping you are in a car accident , get knifed or just plain cursing you.

Yes, how dare a member of the lowly public abuse a serious artist like Lisa Rinna, whose contributions to society and culture have absolutely nothing to do with her physical attributes?  Who are these cowardly nutjobs who don’t understand that Twitter is supposed to be a one-way conduit between celebrities and the people who blindly worship them?

For the record, I don’t hope Mark Cuban has a car accident. But I would hope he’d manage to not take the Twitter lingo “follower” so literally.  Though the service does allow a user to block followers for any reason whatsoever, outside of virtual life, you can’t actually cherrypick whoever is paying attention.

04.29.10

If Everyone Has Their Price, Bruce Ratner Wishes One Brooklyn Man’s Wasn’t So High

Posted in Basketball, Ugly New Stadiums at 4:21 pm by

Facing an eminent domain edict from the State Of New York, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn’s Daniel Goldstein agreed last week to a $3 million payoff to vacate his Pacific Street apartment, thus clearing the way for Bruce Ratner’s long-promised new Atlantic Yards playground for the relocating New Jersey Nets. Winning this particular battle wasn’t nearly enough for Ratner, however, whose representatives seem outraged that anyone besides their employer might enrich themselves. From YourNabe.com’s Stephen Brown :

Countering Goldstein™s own statements that the sticking point over last week™s negotiations was his refusal to sign away his right to criticize the project in the future, Forest City Ratner Executive Vice President MaryAnne Gilmartin told us that last week™s final negotiations did not bog down due to Goldstein™s refusal to sign a œgag order, but simply over how much money he could get out of developer Bruce Ratner.

œThe sticking point was how much money he wanted, Gilmartin said.

A source close to negotiations reinforced that claim by saying that Goldstein had actually pushed for $5 million at one point during negotiations.

Goldstein and his lawyer, Michael Rikon, said that both claims were patently false.

œThe money amount was settled pretty quickly, Goldstein said. œThe sticking point that led to nearly four hours of discussions was Ratner™s insistent desire to bind me to some sort of gag order.

œApparently, taking my home and razing my neighborhood wasn™t enough for them, he added.

Goldstein hinted that he would not be vanishing from public life. He said he remained committed to advocating for reform of New York™s eminent domain laws.

And now, he’s got a bit of a war chest to do it with. Had I known that criticizing Ratner was so lucrative, I’d have placed David Roth in charge of this blog a very long time ago.

The Old Firm : Canceling Their Subscription To The Boston Globe

Posted in Football, Sports Journalism at 3:10 pm by

(above : not part of Brian Stokes’ browser history)

It’s a neat trick when an American journalist manages to bring rival factions of Celtic F.C. and Rangers together, but with a mooted Fenway Park friendly between the two sides in the planning stages, that’s exactly what the Boston Globe’s Mark Stokes managed. Though Stokes’ suggestion that the match take place at Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium is otherwise reasonable, his claim that traveling fans would present a security problem (“Old Firm contests have been associated with some of the worst violence seen in the game (having narrowly escaped the mayhem visited on north Dublin by Rangers fans in the 80′s, I can vouch for that”) has set off a firestorm of criticism, and predictably, an apology.  From The Scotsman’s David Gunn :

It was the claim supporter behaviour played a part in the tragic deaths of 66 people after a derby match 39 years ago that has angered the Govan club.

The article read: “Most notably, disaster struck at Rangers’ Ibrox Stadium in 1971 following a crush-barrier failure.

“It is widely accepted that the tensions between Celtic and Rangers fans played a major part in the 66 deaths.”

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain told the club’s official website: “Rangers fans can be assured that the reference in this article to the Ibrox Disaster in particular, which is both inaccurate and offensive, will be taken up with the newspaper in question.”

“It is extremely disappointing that comments in the Boston Globe do not reflect the Mayor of Boston’s invitation letter to the club.”

SNY’s Graziano – Not Ready To Start Printing Mets World Series Tix

Posted in Baseball at 12:09 pm by

It’ll take much more than a 9-1 home stand for ex-Bergen Record scribe Dan Graziano to buy into the notion the 2010 Mets are much more than a pleasant surprise. Writing for SNY — who apparently have fewer hangups about towing a company line than MLB.comGraziano warns, “the danger here, if the Mets keep playing this well for another week or so, is that the front office will fall in love with the team.”

Right now, when they’re feeling good about themselves, is the time for the Mets to poke around on the market. Find out if there’s another catcher available. Maybe the Giants are about to call up Buster Posey and you can get Bengie Molina in a trade. Maybe the Rockies are so down on Chris Ianetta (above), who got sent to the Minors on Tuesday, that they’d deal him and his potential-laden bat to Queens. Maybe there’s a veteran late-inning reliever to be had, or even a starting pitcher. This is the time for the Mets to be aggressive in addressing needs — before they all become obvious again.

And they will. As hot as Pelfrey and Niese have been, they’re still young pitchers, and the only thing we know for sure to expect from young pitchers is inconsistency. They will struggle. Oliver Perez already is. John Maine never, ever looks healthy, even when he’s at his best. This rotation isn’t built for six months, and it needs reinforcements, both in the rotation and in the bullpen to support it.

Graziano certainly has a point regarding the relief corps, routinely being called upon for 3+ innnings on good nights. The Daily News’ Peter Botte points out Fernando Nieve is tied for the major league lead in appearances (14 in 22 games) and there’s no way he’ll continue to excel over the course of an entire season if called upon so frequently.

Coming May 6 ; An Evening of Bands Who Can’t Find Many People To Stand Around Onstage

Posted in Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 10:32 am by

You might think a show consisting of three duos and one trio is a pretty flimsy concept (ie. trying to limit Beerland’s allotment of drink tickets) , but if nothing else, it guarantees the non-attendance of quartet/quintet proponent Little Steven. The local scarf /bandana industry’s loss is your gain, however — this bill is ALL THRILLER, NO FILLER.

Serious Tracers
Damage Pants
Air Traffic Controllers
Hatchet Wound

Phinsider On Ireland/Bryant : Move Along, Nothing To See Here

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 2:00 am by

Unless you’ve been ignoring sports news over the past several days, you’re probably already aware that amongst the questions Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant (above)  fielded from Miami GM Jeff Ireland during a pre-draft interview, “was your mother a prostitute?” was one of the most memorable. While I enjoyed Sports Pickle’ imagined chat with Ireland (“how much did your mother charge for anal?”), not every blog had such a sophisticated take on the subject. Phinsider’s Matty I, while quick to admit Ireland’s question was “highly inappropriate”, wonders “why the hell is this even a story at all?”

Let’s get to the point. Was Jeff Ireland wrong here? Of course. He should have never asked that question, even if he wasn’t the only one pondering this same thing privately. But should this story be worthy of the kind of attention it’s getting? Is it worthy of Yahoo! Sports making it the lead story on their NFL page? Is it something that should change people’s feelings of the Miami Dolphins organization?

Of course it isn’t.

I don’t see Michael Silver writing front-page articles when the Dolphins run their many charitable events. Where was Silver when the Dolphins were hosting a Haiti relief effort at their stadium? Or when many Dolphin players hold their own fund-raising events to benefit local charities?

If you’re going to slam the entire front office, at least be fair.

That’s why I find it ironic that the caption under Ireland’s photo on the front page reads, “GM Jeff Ireland and the rest of the Dolphins front office can use a lesson on class and civility.”

Because the same can be said for Michael Silver.

04.28.10

Yanks – 27 World Championships, But Still Chasing The Tribe In One Department

Posted in Baseball at 6:16 pm by

(above : Freddie “Sez” Schuman, doing his best to assist the Yankees in their efforts to leapfrog 4 other teams some internet geek claims are more hateful)

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal statistical’s maven David Biderman elicited a somewhat paranoid, maniacal response from Yankee fans when he reported that Alex Rodriguez’ home run trot was considerably slower than that of teammate Derek Jeter. Perhaps hoping to make future trips on the 4 train without wearing a disguise, Biderman today consults the Nielsen Co., who have developed an internet algorithm that determines the Bronx Bombers are “contrary to popular belief, only the fifth-most despised team in the majors.”

This service typically uses various keywords to find out whether people have positive, negative or neutral reactions to different brands and products. No team registered a negative mark on Nielsen’s “sentiment scale,” which ranges from -5 to 5, but the Yankees (1.8) were one of only six teams to score lower than 2. The Mets finished four spots higher, making them the ninth most-hated team. “Even Yankee fans don’t hate the Mets these days,” says Benjamin Kabak, a writer for the River Avenue Blues Yankees blog. “We just feel bad for them.”

The San Francisco Giants (4.5) and Oakland Athletics (4.2) were the most-liked teams on this scale, suggesting that laid-back Northern California fans are the most accepting. But the Cleveland Indians’ MLB-worst 0.9 was a bit of a surprise. They simply haven’t done a lot over the past 13 years to warrant that much attention. “I can believe that though,” says Ed Carroll, who runs the Deep Left Field Indians blog. “The team does a lot to alienate its fans.” The unheralded Cincinnati Reds (1.5) and Houston Astros (1.8) were also in the basement.

Former Mets Exec Bernazard On Being Railroaded, Getting Overheated

Posted in Baseball at 6:01 pm by

Your first place (!) New York Mets completed a 9-1 homestand earlier this afternoon with a 7-3 defeat of the Dodgers, a game that featured a pair of hits and an RBI from 1B/savior Ike Davis, a player who came up thru the Amazins’ ranks under the watchful eye of ex-VP of Player Development Tony Bernazard.  Bernazard, as most will recall, lost his job last summer amidst reports of challenging players from the Mets’ Eastern League affiliate to a fight, as well as other bits of jerk-face behavior.   Yesterday, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal — acknowledging Bernazard’s role in the ascent of Davis, Jonathan Niese and Jenrry Mejia, went straight to Flushing’s former Public Enemy No. 1 to try and figure out just where it all went wrong.

Q: What happened in Binghamton?

A: Those things were blown out of proportion. I didn™t challenge any players (to a fight). I challenged players to do better. All that stuff that I challenged the players, no. We were developing players. We only challenged players to get better.

Q: So, why did you get fired?

A: That™s a good question.

Q: Obviously, the Mets determined that they had good reasons.

A: Not necessarily. They can fire you for whatever they want. You can get fired, but (reporters) making things up, that™s a different story. Players and managers said that (incident) didn™t happen. It wasn™t reported. It™s not what people wanted to report. It was, ˜Let™s get on this guy and that™s it.™ Everyone else jumped on the bandwagon of that one paper.

Q: And taking off your shirt?

A: I had a long-sleeve shirt on. I™m a bike rider. I had taken a long bike ride before I went to the meeting, a 55-mile bike ride.

What happens when you exercise like that? Your body starts relieving that heat. I took the shirt off because I was hot. As simple as that. Maybe I took it off in the middle of the meeting. You™re upset, you get hot. All that s—, what is that? What a crime! I took my shirt off. By the way, I always wear a t-shirt.

Bernazard tells Rosenthal that he’s not been actively looking for work and refutes a rumor he was considering a position with Scott Boras as “bad information”.  “I was punished for trying to be great,” insists Omar Minaya’s right hand man, perhaps forgetting a 2009 campaign that saw his team’s AAA and AA squads criminally unprepared to assist a parent club hit by a wave of injuries. Was Tony Bernazard the only thing wrong the the New York Mets last year?  Certainly not, but teams with adequate cover don’t end up with Jeremy Reed playing 126 games.  And it’s not as though every charge leveled against Bernazard was either sensational or cloaked in anonymity.

It’s Official : Matt Kemp Is To Blame For The Dodgers Sucking, Having No Money, etc.

Posted in Baseball at 11:23 am by

Thrilled (albeit freezing) as I was to witness the Mets’ doubleheader sweep of the Dodgers — particularly the encouraging signs of David Wright emerging from just whatever the fuck has ailed him the past season + — it was difficult not to view the visitors’ capitulation as something approaching phoning it in.  In the midst of LA’s tailspin, Ned Colletti helpfully identified the chief culprit behind the collapse, if you thought it was either of the McCourts or the man who forced Joe Torre to make Charlie Haeger a big league starter, think again. From the LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez :

Andre Ethier admitted that the frustration level in the clubhouse was increasing, but said the team had to maintain its composure.

“We don’t need to start pointing fingers,” he said.

But fingers were being pointed from upstairs.

General Manager Ned Colletti went out of his way to voice his displeasure with his team when speaking to Peter Tilden of KABC, saying, “Some guys, I guess, think that they’re better than they are. They think the opposition’s just going to roll over and get beat by them. That obviously doesn’t happen.”

Colletti came down particularly hard on Matt Kemp.

“The baserunning’s below average,” he said. “The defense is below average. Why is it? Because he got a new deal? I can’t tell you.”

How Not To Promote A Book : Madden Hints Of Steinbrenner, Baba Wawa Romance

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 11:07 am by

Tuesday’s Rush & Malloy column in the NY Daily News had a headline of “Kim Kardashian much easier to shoot for Playboy than ‘guarded’ Ashley Dupre”, which might not have hinted there’d be an enclosed item of any interest to the CSTB readership. And since I couldn’t find one, you’ll have to settle for all the scary mental images the following excerpt conjures :

Barbara Walters better brace herself for Bill Madden’s new book, “George Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball.” Though the two have insisted that they’re just good friends, Steinbrenner’s wife, Joan, apparently has doubts. During the 2000 Yankees-Mets World Series at Shea, the Yankees security staff was thrown into a panic when they learned Babwa and Joan were both headed to Steinbrenner’s private box.

04.27.10

MLB To Inhouse Scribes : Stay On Topic, Or Else

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression, Sports Journalism, twitter twatter at 10:10 pm by

Who amongst us hasn’t dreamed of a day in which their MLB.com day jobs would afford the likes of Barry M. Bloom and Marty Noble with an opportunity to wax poetic about their fave movies, BBQ sauce recipes or advice to the love-lorn? OK, maybe that’s a bit far-fetched. How about this MLB.com columnist using Twitter to share his thoughts concerning a proposed boycott of the Arizona Diamondbacks? (“just wish true fans would seek alternative ways of protesting other than boycotting games”) See, not as awesome as Marty taking the night off to watch Season One of “Dollhouse” on DVD, is it? Whatever the source of MLB’s anxiety, we can only guess, as NBC.com’s Aaron Gleeman reports the league ” is cracking down on Twitter usage, ordering MLB.com writers to cease tweeting about all non-baseball topics and scolding players for their Twitter usage in general.”

Allowing the writers and players to show a bit of personality and interact with fans/readers was a positive thing and certainly caused me to become a fan of those who did it well.

Certainly setting standards for the type of content MLB employees post on Twitter is reasonable, but simply banning all non-baseball talk for MLB.com writers and preemptively scolding players who’ve done nothing wrong is … well, it’s just a real shame.

Under most circumstances, I’d agree with Gleeman. I fancy myself something of a free speech advocate and it’s hard to see any upside to stifling the creativity of ballplayers and writers alike.

However, if that’s what it takes to shut up this motherfucker nu-media menace for once and all, I’m all for it. It’s a small price to pay.

It Took Some Time, But We’ve Finally Found A Sports-Related TV Show That Looks Worse Than “Beer Money”

Posted in Baseball, Football at 1:51 pm by

Santos ingenue Neymar suffered an eye injury last night in his club’s 3-2 defeat of Santo Andre, an incident that probably won’t do much to quell growing demand the 18 year old be named to Brazil’s squad for this summer’s World Cup. Such is the outcry over Neymay’s status, that one enterprising TV crew took to harassing Dunga in front of the manager’s home.

Seems a shame no one is willing to challenge Jerry Manuel in similar fashion over Jose Reyes batting 3rd. Where’s Roni when we need him?

FanGraphs’ Carruth : The Phillies Just Made Ryan Howard The New Mo Vaughn

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 1:25 pm by

At some point late last night after news of Philadelphia lavishing a 5 year, $125 million contract extension on slugger Ryan Howard — who still had two years to go on his existing pact — one keen observer mused the deal “will take him past his 37th birthday. By contrast, David Ortiz won’t be 35 ’til November.”  “Howard doesn’t even have to fall off a cliff in the next five years for this deal to be bad. It’s bad on day one,” pronounced Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra (“while he’s better than he was on defense, he’s still bad and, before this contract was signed, seems like a guy who was on the DH-express”), and while Calcaterra is quick to cite Howard’s solid citizenry, that’s not nearly enough to impress FanGraph’s Matt Carruth who confesses, “when the news first broke and the details started to emerge, I was tempted to fill this entire article with just me laughing.”

Projecting Howard™s performance from 2012-7 is incredibly difficult. We™re not only looking very far into the future, but we™re doing so with a hitting profile that historically ages awfully. Richie Sexson, Cecil Fielder, Mo Vaugn, David Ortiz, Tony Clark and others are among Ryan Howard™s most comparable hitters according to Baseball-Reference. All of them dropped off harshly in their early 30s. About the only success story in Howard™s top ten comparables in Willie McCovey.

Even if you think baseball™s salary per win goes up to $4.25 million this coming offseason and rises at a 5% clip every winter through 2017, Howard will need to produce an average of 4.75 wins from 2012 through 2017 just in order to justify his salary. If you factor in that Howard gets (even more) long-term security from this deal, then that average production levels goes up to 5.3 wins.

In other words, Howard will need six seasons that were better than his 2009 season, except over his 32-37 years. I™m not sure I would lay even money on him achieving even half of that. This contract is both incredibly risky and unnecessary since Howard was already signed through 2011. Say hello to baseball™s newest worst contract.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bernie Miklasz concurs with many of the negative opinions about the Howard extension, arguing it “seems to be an example of an overanxious front office working against itself.” Of course, Milasz is well aware that such a windfall for Howard will make things that much harder for the Cards to retain Albert Pujols (or for the Brewers to keep Prince Fielder).  And therein lies the genius of Ruben Amaro —he’s laid the groundwork for one, possibly two otherworldly sluggers to leave the National League and sign with the Yankees, Boston or Anaheim in the near future.

04.26.10

Jimmy Bell Went To A Fancy Dress Party, And A Football Riot Broke Out

Posted in Football at 7:11 pm by

Accrington Stanley assistant manager Jimmy Bell claims he was publicly humiliated by security goons at Gresty Park this past Saturday, and at the risk of making light of an alleged assault, how could this incident have possibly not turned up on You Tube? From the Lancashire Telegraph’s Sam Chadderton :

Mr Bell had been walking over to applaud the 186 ˜absolutely magnificent™ travelling Stanley supporters for their vocal support during the 5-1 defeat at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.

But as he approached the fans, who had come in various fancy dress outfits, he was tackled by club stewards.

(photo taken from Matt D Gardner‘s Flickr page)

It prompted a pitch invasion by some of the Accrington supporters, dressed as Fred Flintstone, Batman and Robin, who came to Bell™s aid as chaos broke out in front of 3,800 stunned supporters.

Mr Bell said he had a bruised throat after being struck by a steward™s knee in the melee.

The Football Association has launched an investigation. Mr Bell said he would be making a complaint to police once the FA inquiry was complete.

Chavo Pederast, Unvailable For Comment

Posted in Fashion, Rock Und Roll at 5:58 pm by

$20 from Josiah Hughes. As the product description hopefully states, “both groups have caused riots, both embrace DIY.”

Barry Bonds’ Meatball Delivery Man Learns Drunk, Racist Tweeting Can Be Fatal To One’s Career

Posted in Baseball, Basketball, Racism Corner, Sports Radio, The Internet, twitter twatter at 5:45 pm by

Former Mets P Mike Bacsik (above), last seen in this space bickering with former Nats teammate Tim Redding over which of them is the worse human being, spent much of Sunday like any number of sports-obsesesed couch potatoes ; beer in one hand, remote in the other, pausing occasionally to tweet on the events of the day.  Unlike the rest of us (hopefully), Bacsik’s tweets quickly crossed the line from unfettered free expression to “is-this-guy-trying-to-guarantee-he’ll-never-work-again?” Along with threatening violence against the NBA offices for what he considered poor officiating during the playoffs, Bacsik offered his “congratulations to all the Dirty Mexicans” shortly before the end of San Antonio’s Game 4 defeat of Dallas. Later in the evening, presumably after his earlier comments were widely circulated, Bacsik wrote, “I’m sorry for all of my tweets. I’m now going to kill myself.”

And there again, is where Bacsik isn’t quite the same as the rest of us. You see, the ex-big leaguer was employed at the time by Dallas’ 1310 The Ticket, and as you might expect, the sports yack outlet was none too pleased at all the attention. From The Dallas Morning News’ Barry Horn :

Dallas – Radio station KTCK in Dallas has suspended the employment of KTCK producer, talk host and former major league pitcher Mike Bacsik in response to comments he made on his personal Twitter account following San Antonio’s win over Dallas last night. With regard to the suspension, KTCK and Cumulus Market Manager Dan Bennett said, “Mike Bacsik’s comments were unacceptable and offensive, and are inconsistent with the core values of KTCK and Cumulus. We have made the decision to suspend Mr. Bacsik with the hope that he will take this time to consider the insensitive and hurtful nature of his comments.”

Just how long the suspension is has not been revealed. Here’s Bacsik’s statement:

“I’m sorry for my horribly insensitive tweet last night about the Hispanic community in San Antonio. I have embarrassed myself, my family, friends, The Ticket, and my host Norm Hitzges. I am deeply sorry and understand why so many people are upset. I am dealing with my actions by asking for forgiveness from my wife, kids, parents, The Ticket and Cumulus family, friends, and everybody who was and should have been offended by my tweets last night. Most importantly I am asking for forgiveness from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have made a terrible mistake. I apologize and I hope you can forgive me.”

Alex Rodriguez : Not Merely An Insufferable Narcissist, But Kinda Slow To Boot

Posted in Baseball at 3:46 pm by

(above : a post-HR Rodriguez, taking time to light up before changing back into pinstripes and starting the most leisurely of jogs)

Be it a slow news day or an afternoon in which the Devils begin a coaching search and Big Ben vows to change his dickish ways, there’s never an unwelcome occasion around these parts for a negative reference to Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez.  In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, David Biderman reports it takes The Centaur Of All Attention a tortoise-like 24.94 seconds to complete his home run trot (or should we say, “power-walk”?) compared to teammate/universally-beloved SS Derek Jeter, who clocks in at just above 20 seconds.

To determine which Yankees are the slowest to circle the bases during their home-run trots, Take a Number clocked how long every 2009 home run took. The average for current Yankee starters with at least 10 home runs last year is 22.1 seconds”all of Mr. Rodriguez’s home-run trots were slower than that.

The average home-run time in the majors is 21.89 seconds, according to Marquette University data coordinator Larry Granillo. As a team, the Yankees are the 12th-fastest, edging the Mets by two-tenths of a second.

If you wanna put Rodriguez’ strolls into historical perspective, his average trip around the bases is just as long as those of this notorious styler and profiler.

04.25.10

Joe Queenan Hates Yankee Fans So Much He Can’t Even Stand Imaginary Ones

Posted in Baseball at 6:30 pm by


[Pictured:  I couldn't find an image of Spencer Tracy as the Yankee-loving Cuban from the movie of Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, but this reenactment from the CSTB photo dept pretty much sums it up.]

Fueling the fire for Yankee fans who like to bash The New York Times as anti-Bomber comes today’s column by … well I don’t know what Joe Queenan has been doing since he used to be an all around crank about middle-brow culture, and I can’t read his Wikipedia page just now as my kid is throwing popsicle sticks at the TV … but like politicians and prostitutes who all become respectable with age, any writer hanging around New York City long enough ends up in The New York Times.  Queenan offers up a solid anti-Yankee fan rant (via @gregmitch) here on the literary faux pas of assuming you’ll sympathize with any character in literature who loves the Yankees.  The column began as Queenan read David Benioff’s City of Thieves, or at least the first two pages thereof:

The narrator, the young boy™s grandson, reveals on Page 2 that after the war, his grandfather came to America and became a œdevout New York Yankees fan. I found this revelation crushing. The idea that someone who had escaped the siege of Leningrad would then voluntarily join the evil empire in the Bronx struck me as repellent. So I set the book aside and donated it to my library. Maybe some Yankees fan would enjoy it. I sure as hell wouldn™t.

I do not object to Yankees fans in principle, so long as they are homegrown, preferably natives of the Bronx or Yonkers. (Yankees fans born in Queens or Brooklyn, it goes without saying, are Iscariots.) But those of us who grew up in fiendishly inbred sports towns like Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis and even Boston cannot stomach the kind of parvenu, out-of-town front-runner who becomes a œdie-hard Yankees fan without any moral, cultural, ethnic, genetic or geographical connection with the team. And like most Americans, I reserve my greatest antipathy for the millions of bogus Yankees fans in the pink or green or red Yankees caps one routinely runs across in London, Rome, Sydney, Stockholm and Mombasa. Or, if driving, runs over.

He’ll Show You The Brinks : Bobby Bo’s Never Ending Windfall

Posted in Baseball at 4:51 pm by

If only there was some way the Madoff-victimized Amazins could pay Bobby Bonilla in Mets Money. Instead, as CNN’s Ethan Trex points out, the player who once famously dared the New York media to wipe the smile off his face, will once again be one of the most well compensated persons on the New York Mets payroll, save for those in uniform.

In 1999, Bonilla returned to the Mets for a second stint at Shea following his borderline disastrous free-agent signing in 1992. Bonilla wasn’t any better the second time around, so the Mets waived him in 2000. The problem was that the team still owed Bonilla $5.9 million in guaranteed salary.

Bonilla’s agents worked out a deal with the Mets where he would defer the salary if the team would pay him $1,193,248.20 every July 1 from 2011 to 2035. Not a bad deal for someone who was so bad the team basically paid him to go away.