$20 from Josiah Hughes. As the product description hopefully states, “both groups have caused riots, both embrace DIY.”
$20 from Josiah Hughes. As the product description hopefully states, “both groups have caused riots, both embrace DIY.”
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.”
(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.
[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.
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.
OK, admittedly Morgan Ensberg only played 28 games in pinstripes, all of ‘em at the tail end of a decade long professional career best remembered for a 36 HR total in 2005. But with no disrespect intended towards Ensberg’s work between the lines, the early days of the newly launched Morgan Ensberg’s Baseball IQ reveal an unusually witty, self-deprecating voice that’s far too rare in the world of ballers-turned-bloggers. Responding to a recent claim by Bob Watson that ultra-lengthy ballgames are caused by batters and pitchers wandering around looking for “mug-time”, Ensberg writes, “Check me out! I™m batting .200! Haven™t slept in 8 years from sheer panic. Sure, John Smoltz is throwing 100 mph, but I™m not thinking of his slider or his split. I™m going to try and get a little face time.” On the subject of Alex Rodriguez’ recent run-in with the previously unheralded Dallas Braden, Ensberg offers the following insight :
Mr. Braden invoked the law of œunwritten rules. The biggest problem with this is that we literally have no book to go through on this one. In lieu of this, I will use the actions of a œreasonable person in my model.
Alex is caught in between second base and third base after Cano hits a ball foul. Using my high school geometry as the backbone of this point, I know that the quickest way from one point to another is a straight line. Rodriguez has to get back to 1st base, and the mound stands in his way. Does a reasonable person just jog over the mound?
I believe he does.
There is no unwritten rule that a player can™t jog over the mound. I know that because I am looking at the invisible unwritten rulebook. Here is a the exact quote from the book,
What? You don™t see anything? C™mon it is right below the 1st rule. Right there! You telling me you don™t see anything? Jeez¦ok¦.I™ll just translate it for you.
It basically states that a player is allowed to walk over anything that is connected to the Earth if it is located on a baseball field.
(ED NOTE – On April 25, 1976, fans at Dodger Stadium paid to see a clash between Los Angeles and the Cubs, but an impromptu game of Capture The Flag broke out in the outfield. Ben Schwartz’ post on the subject was originally published in this space on 4/25/06)
30 years ago, former Cub Rick Monday saved an American flag from being burned on the field of Dodger Stadium. A legendary moment, recounted on the Cubs web site, but until now I never knew the important role Tommy Lasorda, then a Dodger 3rd base coach, almost played in Rick Monday’s heroic act. As Tommy modestly recounts:
“A lot of people don’t know this, but he beat me to the flag,” recalls Lasorda. “I saw Rick start running over from center field to left. I didn’t know what it was, but as soon as I saw him start, I took off and I ran out there, and of course, by that time, Rick had picked up the flag and continued running. When I got there, I see these two guys and I told them, ‘Why don’t one of you guys take a swing at me?’ because there were 50-something thousand people in the ballpark and I only wanted them to swing at me, so I could defend myself and do a job on them.”
Now you know the rest of the story …
With the conclusion of this week’s NFL Draft, a number of undrafted players began negotiations to sign with clubs as free agents, but University Of New Hampshire tight end Scott Sicko (above) wasn’t one of them. Deeply dissed by not being picked in the Draft’s 7 rounds (or perhaps deeply pissed at having to watch the exercise on TV for three days), Sicko’s tells The Times-Union’s Mark McGuire, “some people will think I™m absolutely out of mind, and I and understand it.”
Sicko™s reps at the Niskayuna-based National Sports Management gathered in a side room at Wolf™s 1-11 in front of a bank of TVs, fielding calls and scanning rosters. The Jacksonville Jaguars wanted the tight end as an undrafted priority free agent. So did the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys.
In some ways, that™s better than being drafted late, since the player can pick a team that offers the best chance of making a roster or at least practice squad.
A deal was in place as the seventh round wound down. JR Rickert, the founder and president of National Sports Management, cupped his hand over the phone and called over to fellow agent Ray Brownell.
œTell Scott he is a Cowboy if he is not drafted, Rickert said.
Brownell made the call to Sicko at his Stillwater home, where he was watching the draft with family and friends. Brownell looked dumbfounded by Sicko™s resonse:
If I™m not going to be drafted, Sicko told him, I™m not going to play.
œAs the seventh round started to get underway and progress, Sicko later said, œthat decision (to not play) became a very strong reality.
So when the Detroit Lions selected Weber State wide receiver Tim Toone with the 255th and final pick, Scott Sicko™s football career came to a close.
œHe would have been a Cowboy, Brownell said. œI™m certain he would have made the roster.
Sincere thanks to Dan Corbin, who forwarded the following item from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle’s Jeff DiVeronica. Otherwise, I don’t think I’d be aware that Michael Ray Richardson was currently coaching Oliver Miller in the Premier Basketball League playoffs. Heck, I don’t think I’d even know there was such a thing as the the Premier Basketball League.
Oliver Miller, the former NBA player who went into the stands and nose to nose with a fan in Thursday night™s game against the Rochester Razorsharks at Blue Cross Arena, has been suspended by the Premier Basketball League for the rest of its championship series.
Miller, 40, plays for the Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry, a squad from Oklahoma that lost 110-106 in overtime in Game 1 to defending league champion Rochester. The ejection of Cavalry coach Micheal Ray Richardson ignited the incident with 2.8 seconds remaining last night. Richardson claimed he was hit in the head by a plastic water bottle thrown by a fan.
Richardson, 54, was fined an undisclosed amount for œabusive and vulgar language, according to the PBL, and œnot leaving the court in a timely manner after his second technical foul, which results in an automatic ejection.
Miller played parts of nine seasons (493 games) with seven different teams after starring at the University of Arkansas. He stands 6-feet-9 and once reportedly weighed 350 pounds. His height and weight are not listed on the PBL™s website.
Sadly, the above incident is not the first time in recent years that Richardson —banned for life from the NBA in 1986 — has found himself in the middle of a public dispute with minor league basketball fans. Also, if you watch the above video clip (choose the top left hand corner option), you’ll note Miller is incapable of knocking over an unruly fan, despite what appears to be a considerable height and weight advantage.
(on the right, Kevin Kennedy, moments before tackling and hog-tying Osama Bin Zelasko)
Let me start this entry by saying I find nothing funny about terrorism and in no way condone the practice of exploding airplanes as a political statement. In this instance, however, I might understand why an individual might feel compelled to engage in a suicide mission —XM radio subscribers know what I’m talking about. Former Rangers/Red Sox manager and current Rays broadcaster Kevin Kennedy was amongst a group of passengers aboard a Delta Airlines flight bound for Tampa yesterday who successfully subdued a mentally deranged man who threatened to blow up the airliner. From the New York Daily News’ Kerry Burke, Christian Red and Leo Standora :
“When I stood up, he kind of stared me down,” the 55-year-old Kennedy said. “I was probably 4 feet from him.
“As soon as he started to go for the cockpit door, we charged. We took him down. We tied him up,” Kennedy said. “But it was not an easy takedown. We finally got him hogtied with seat belt extensions from the plane.”
Kennedy said Sheffield broke free twice, snapping one of the extensions and a leather belt before finally giving up.
Sheffield’s former wife told the Daily News he’s bipolar and has been in and out of mental institutions for the past five years.
“This is a whole new level for his illness,” said Mary Sheffield, 46, of Brandon, Fla. “I wouldn’t imagine him doing anything like this in a million years. He’s been committed three times, but he’s never harmed anyone.”
“It was the real deal,” Kennedy said before the Rays’ game against Toronto on Friday night. “There wasn’t time to think, just react. When somebody says they’re going to blow up the plane, there’s no fooling around.”