When most of us think of Kurt Angle, we recall his exceptional wrestling performances under the employ of Vince and Linda McMahon and perhaps to a lesser extent his injuries, PED-follies and disputes with the law. Fewer still will think of Angle’s 1996 Olympic gold medal, but perhaps when the dust clears, Kurt will be best known for “Kurt Angle’s Foodies Cafe”, a new Pittsburgh restaurant which specializes in grub for the aspiring musclehead world class athlete. From the Pittsburgh City Paper’s Al Hoff :
For heartier appetites, entrees include grilled meat-and-veg plates, as well as a selection of Italian family favorites from Mariani’s (baked ziti, rolled stuffed eggplant and cheese manicotti).
The “angle,” if you will, is that some of the items have been power-packed. Angle and his partners purchased the supplement Ultra Fiber DX, which, according to the Foodies’ brochure, offers various benefits for weight management, blood-sugar levels, digestion and “overall good health.”
Diners can find Fiber DX in Kurt’s High Protein Cheese Pizza, Kurt’s Breakfast Boost smoothie, and the four pre-made entrees that, along with the pizza, comprise Angle Foods. These carefully calibrated meals are available in house, to-go (for microwaving at home) or by mail order from www.FoodiesFoodClub.com.
The New York Post’s Joel Sherman proposes the following prospect grab-bag in order to wrest workhorse SP Cliff Lee from Seattle, “Wilmer Flores plus an outfielder from among Angel Pagan or Double-A lefty swingers Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Sean Ratliff, whose five homers in his first 58 at-bats since being promoted From A-ball has caught scouts™ eyes, and a third piece from among infield prospects Reese Havens or Jordany Valdespin or pitchers Bobby Parnell, Brad Holt or Jeurys Familia.” Fuck, why not throw in Jay Payton, Alex Ochoa and Gregg Jefferies while you’re at it, Joel? The Mets would have Lee’s guaranteed services for all of 3 months, surely that’s enough to justify 5 players at a minimum. The Seattle Times’ Larry Stone read the same item of Sherman’s and unlike me, he’s not blinking.
Lee is pitching at the absolute top of his game right now. He has never been better, which is saying something for a guy who went 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA in his Cy Young season of 2008. Teams know they are getting an absolute difference-maker, someone who can pitch them into the postseason, and then pitch them to a title. That’s a powerful inducement, whether you’re a team like the Mets, hungry to steal some glory from the Yankees, or the Twins, tired of making it to the playoffs and falling short of the World Series, or even the Reds, smelling their first playoff run in a decade.
For another thing, Lee has the proven postseason bona fides from last year as an additional selling point — a combined 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in five starts, including a complete-game masterpiece in Game 1 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium. Again, a powerful inducement.
The monetary cost is not prohibitive — the pro-rated share of Lee’s $9 million contract. It is true that great young (and therefore inexpensive) players have never been more coveted than they are right now. Teams are loathe to part with them. And yet the desire to win rings often trumps logic in situations like this. And don’t forget the acquiring team gets draft picks if Lee signs elsewhere next year.
Sandoval is getting lampooned for his askew baserunning, beer-league-softball belly and, above all else, slumping bat. Call this mantra: “Pick on Pablo.”
This does not faze Sandoval. Should it? Is it time he stops treating this game like, well, just a game?
Be careful what you wish from him. His happy-go-lucky attitude is an asset. The world doesn’t need another jaded, disgruntled, inconsolable, elitist athlete.
“I come in every day with my head up, and I work game by game,” Sandoval said before Tuesday’s shift against the Los Angeles Dodgers. “You have to believe, you have to trust yourself. I want to (succeed) so bad. I try to do too much.”
Asked Tuesday if the game is no longer so simple, he replied: “No, it’s the same. We use the same bat, same ball, same glove. I keep working.”
That includes working on adjusting to pitchers, whom he admitted “know me a little more.”
And that includes hacking away at his weight: “My body type, I’m working hard. I’ve been working day by day about my weight. Last year, I was the same weight. It’s part of the game.”
In the 66th minute of Tuesday’s final group match against South Korea, trailing 2-1 and needing a win to have a shot at advancing, striker Yakubu was set up with an absolutely perfect opportunity right in front of the goal. With the keeper sprawled out beside him and a wide open net waiting to be fed the ball, Yakubu tried to flick the pass in for the astonishingly easy score and he put it wide off the post. He missed.
I still don’t think it was possible, but he missed. Well, he did hit a water bottle, but that doesn’t count for anything. Since then, I have not rested for the silly mistake of Yak. He has made me to be answering questions that I don’t know. Nigerians and Africans, too, have been attributing the miss to Native Doctors, or a spell. One said boldly that it was not for nothing that he missed the chance. I am not an authority in such mundane trivial things of ‘tying’ the players’ legs as is being suggested here. Some claimed that some native doctors were ferried to South Africa from Nigeria by Nigerians to ensure that Sani Lulu and his group of traveling members in the NFA do not use the glory of the World Cup by the Eagles to climb back to the glass house. Others have insinuated that it is retribution. That the Eagles and NFA and indeed Nigerians reaped what they sowed by kicking out Amodu Shuaibu from his post after suffering to qualify Nigeria for the World Cup.
Players who shoot wide pass the blame on the jabulani while goalkeepers who fumbled point at the Jabulani. Yakubu has not said anything on his infamous miss but don’t be surprised that one day he would either blame the jabulani or agree that external forces misdirected the ball from the yawning net.
“Management of the local NBA franchise has shown it is unafraid to make trades involving a marquee player,” writes the Denver Post’s Mark Kizla, reporting the Nuggets will attempt to do just that with Carmelo Anthony if their leading scorer rejects a three-year, $65 million extension that’s currently on the table.
With an eye on how megastars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have held the league’s competitive balance in their fickle hands and turned this summer’s free-agency period into a three-ring circus, the Nuggets seem determined not to let Anthony do the same in Denver.
While their offer of a hefty contract extension proves the Nuggets hope Anthony will remain the face of the franchise for years to come, the team is prepared to trade Melo rather than let him walk as a free agent next summer, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
At a salary of $17 million, Anthony is committed to play for Denver during the upcoming season. But here’s the rub. Anthony can opt out of his contract next summer, and free agency might appear all the more tempting after seeing the league-wide groveling James has instigated.
As a proactive move, the Nuggets have quietly tried to secure the services of Anthony through 2015 before losers in the pursuit of this talent-laden class of free agents can begin dreaming of Melo.
It’s a fascination situation, and one Knicks GM Donnie Walsh is no doubt paying rapt attention to, especially considering the flurry of reports that point to Chicago or Miami being more likely destinations for James and Bosh. And what could be a better photo opportunity than having Isiah Thomas gatecrash Anthony’s introductory press conference, in order to whisper some inappropriate advice?
“Today™s crowd, raised on the hysteria of rock concerts and crazed TV show jump-cuts and hype,” opines The Columnists.com’s Gerald Nachman (above), “don™t seem to notice how the surrounding racket at otherwise handsome and tasteful modern ball parks has done everything it can to ruin the classic human dimensions of the game by drowning it out in gimmickry and superfluous noise.” So there’s one thumbs-down for the educational credibility of Reyes University, then, as Nachman recounts a grueling evening at SF’s AT&T Park spent trying to concentrate on the Giants and Rockies (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
The noise between innings–and between batters–was excruciating, the music and visual hype cranked up to hysterical levels as the scoreboard exhorted fans throughout the game to ˜MAKE MORE NOISE!!! A robot organist tried with pathetic insistence to energize the crowd. Meanwhile, the Jumbotron flashed so much endless and useless information on the confusing scoreboard (like watching a TV game at home on a screen littered with arcane stats) that it all but obscured the modest game below. It was hard to locate the one thing you wanted to keep track of–the balls, strikes, outs and who was at bat.
The fans obliged unconvincingly, having by now been trained like Pavlovian dogs to howl when a bell clangs, but the maniacal order to MAKE MORE NOISE!!! went largely unheeded; even the most exuberant fans have by now pretty much learned to ignore the incessantly raucous sound battering.
The female public address announcer shrieked the name of every man who came to bat as if was the ninth game of the World Series and everything was on the line: œNow batting¦Juan Urrrrrr-eeeee-bay!!! All that bush league screeching for the hometown nine has worn everyone down–yet it goes on mindlessly. As someone said, America is a Big Event country, in which everything is built into a monumental moment–chili cook-offs on TV food shows, models in runway match-ups, brides choosing their wedding gown. Any routine human endeavor has become a heavyweight championship fight on TV. But it has now spread to all parts of the culture off TV, even this quietest of sports–outside of tennis and golf, which somehow have resisted the marketing of excitement.
Nachman seems glum that today’s ballgame experience differs radically from afternoons spent with his dad watching the Oakland Oaks, and while I’m tempted to dismiss his criticism as the ramblings of an old crank, he’s not entirely full of shit. If you’re actually interested in baseball rather than excessive displays of public douchebaggery, a major league ballpark isn’t necessarily the most welcome environment.
Putting aside for a moment whether or not supporters of a rugby league team once known as The Glassblowers have the right to abuse anyone, Castleford RLFC have appealed a £40,000 fine after a segment of their fans aimed homophobic chants at Wrexham Crusaders’ Gareth Thomas (above). The club’s defense, as reported by the Guardian’s Andy Wilson, will go down in history as something almost as flimsy any anything conjured by Robert Chambers’ attorneys.
“To say we are disappointed and shocked is an understatement,” said their chief executive, Richard Wright. “The evidence does not support the decision and does not in any way support the scale of the penalty. We totally refute the outcome of the hearing.”
They have engaged Rod Findlay, formerly the RFL’s own legal adviser, who said: “There was some chanting on the day, we agreed this with the tribunal panel, there were three incidents lasting only a few moments, two of which were drowned out by public address announcements.
“The club condemns any person who makes or chants obscene remarks towards players or officials. But the charges against the club are not that there was chanting, they are that the club failed to take its best endeavours to prevent or stop any chanting. This the club refutes totally. The club has a well-established system for dealing with chanting and could not have done any more on the day.
Half of the £40,000 fine has been suspended, but the Tigers will still have to pay £40,000 immediately because a suspended fine of £20,000 following last year’s incident “ in which their supporters threw beer bottles on to the pitch and abused the match officials “ will now be activated.
Having not watched a ton of Marlins games this season, I was unaware Scott Stapp, much like Bobby Valentine, was close friends with Jeffrey Loria. Mocking the artistic output of the former Creed vocalist would ordinarily provide all the sport of blowing up an ant hill with a bazooka, but the young analyst shown above has the sort of POV that’s sorely lacking from most music blogging in 2010.