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.