It’s True, It’s True : Angle Eatery Sounds Postively Revolting

Posted in Food, Professional Wrestling at 8:37 pm by

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 :

This “foodies” café isn’t catering to your artisanal-chèvre-and-fig crowd — the menu offers mostly sandwich-board favorites and comfort food. The unassuming cinderblock building, across from the 31st Street Bridge, is open for breakfast and lunch. Expect the standard fare such as waffles, sandwiches, salads, soups and smoothies.

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.

June 30 In Tweets : A Max Contract Won’t Sudden Make Bosh Interesting

Posted in twitter twatter at 7:26 pm by

  • Yankee fans will enjoy this ; Pedroia, “taking balls while on his knees” http://tweetphoto.com/30058178 http://tweetphoto.com/30058213 #
  • RJ’s bad move – pretty right up there with Bison Dele going skydiving. #
  • wishing Terry Funk the happiest of 66th birthdays http://youtu.be/_Lh89cwkB4s #
  • “His first inning ERA,” says Orsillo of Matsuzaka, “is fourteen…..” (pause) “THOUSAND” #
  • “how many times have we seen this?” sights Remy as Dice-K walks the bases load in the first inning against Tampa. #
  • NFL Network to show 14 CFL games. Awesome. I can’t wait to see if Warren Moon’s really that good. http://bit.ly/ahMot3 #
  • say this much for Jerry Manuel ; he recognize winning is a secondary concern to keeping commitments to F. Tatis http://bit.ly/d2p4z8 #
  • will Walsh even make the trip? RT @FisolaNYDN: Wade and Bosh will not visit the Knicks on Friday. teams will meet them in Chicago. #
  • Hawks offering Joe Johnson max deal http://bit.ly/a4hI0P But if he waits 24 hours he’ll get a video greeting from Phillip Seymour Hoffman! #
  • either Jose’s back is stiff or someone’s scratched him. painful either way RT @AdamRubinESPN: Jose Reyes scratched with stiff lower back #
  • incredibly, this McNeeley doc wasn’t commissioned by 30 On 30 http://youtu.be/p84f1bTtX2Q #
  • “Sorry, we do not have any ‘Hurricane’ Peter McNeeley merchandise available for direct sale at this time.” FUCK #
  • so @miketyson has 15000 twitter followers. BFD. where’s this guy’s twitter account? http://bit.ly/9KipvV #

  • I hope Bosh signs somewhere at 12:01am. Because no one should have to watch another of these http://bit.ly/dbhNsX #
  • it’s gotten to the point where the fake Busey’s tweets are funnier / less aggressively stupid than Shirley’s RE http://bit.ly/cNWKhd #
  • just got an email re : MSG career fair. do i really wanna be the Str8 Shot’s social media intern? #
  • @jtramsay maybe you should win some $$ in vegas and buy a proper computer? http://bit.ly/4z3rhy in reply to jtramsay #
  • east coast biased blogosphere wouldn’t stand for it RT @FO_BBarnwell fine if the NBA hosted smmr league there (vegas) once every 21 years #
  • @jtramsay, @soapythedog, neither of you know donkey dick about culture http://bit.ly/4z3rhy in reply to jtramsay #
  • contemplating attending NBA summer league games in vegas but who can i complain to about the locale? what kind of org. holds an event there? #
  • sadly, no pieces landed on Francoeur RT @SurfingTheMets: Piece of the San Juan clubhouse ceiling just fell to floor. #
  • he’s like the Mirabelli of IF’s! RT @RobertJamis: why do they insist upon Cora when Pelfrey starts? #

    Read the rest of this entry »

The (Rising?) Price For Cliff Lee

Posted in Baseball at 6:30 pm by

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.

SF’s Panda – A Newly Endangered Species

Posted in Baseball at 3:23 pm by

‘Twas a year ago San Francisco’s marketing mavens turned 3B/1B Pablo Sandoval into an NL All-Star Game candidate and local fan favorite, but following a string of baserunning blunders and a league-leading propensity to hit into double-plays, the San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman writes, “fans are ready to impeach him from their good graces and return those (Kung Fu) Panda hats.”

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.”

Nigeria’s Miserable WC2010 : Redefining “Overreaction” By The Day

Posted in Football, World Cup 2010 at 2:11 pm by

Following Nigeria’s failure to advance from Group B, President Goodluck Jonathan has banned the Super Eagles from international competition for two years, which is a funny way of trying to improve the squad before 2014. Jonathan’s take on Nigeria’s disappointing showing seems entirely rational, however, compared to that of Tony Ubani of All Africa.com :

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.

Kiszla : Nuggets To Move Melo If He Doesn’t Re-Up

Posted in Basketball at 10:12 am by

“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?


June 29 In Tweets: No Footage Of Mex’s Tour Of The Bacardi Factory?

Posted in twitter twatter at 7:26 pm by

(Novak, eagerly awaiting an invitation to some sort of free agent summit, especially if it’s at some place fancier than Golden Corral)

  • For Gary Cohen : WE HEAR YOU LIKE THE POP MUSIC http://youtu.be/BsZ5a5UQvrs #
  • Uggla, 2-run HR, Marlins 6, Mets 3. Taka and Dickey’s pacts with satan have come undone #
  • Hanley Ramirez, grand salami off Taka, the 8th g.s. allowed by Mets pitching in 2010. Fish 4, Mets 3, last of the 4th #
  • SNY’s Gary Cohen claims the Marlins will name Edwin Rodriguez their full-time mgr. Avery Johnson wonders what’s up w/ Bobby V.’s interview? #
  • hey, look who’s gonna pitch a game in the minor leagues! http://bit.ly/cCfKfo #
  • @SI_jonheyman denounced as Boras’ puppet, w/ amazing sketch http://bit.ly/b8ZLqr #
  • cross flushing off list of possible Zambrano destinations RT @mlbtraderumors: Mets Sign Michael Barrett http://bit.ly/b3oW9W #mlb #
  • @wovenbones, when you back? RT @HoZacRecords a great Woven Bones clip from tthe Empty Bottle last Saturday, http://bit.ly/9IACfL #
  • because he isn’t crude /immature, Rosenthal opts not to call Seattle acquiring R. Branyan, “totally fucking retarded” http://bit.ly/cLmCkq #
  • let’s hope RT @djshort: What the hell is the point of these Derek Jeter/Rescue Me ads? Is he a serial arsonist this season or something? #
  • Stan VG wants to know if LBJ/Bosh/Wade to Miami is contingent on Riley returning to coaching. #
  • free agents the Knicks Might Actually Have A Chance of Signing : Steve Novak, Francisco Elson, Primoz Brezec. #fuckedbythesummit #
  • Mirror’s Simon Wright, arrested and charged w/ aiding #ENG fan’s locker room bumrush, abuse of Beckham http://bit.ly/cgvurJ #
  • #PAR defeats #JAP on penalties, 5-3 (0-0 AET). Cue up thousands of tweets complaining about PK’s deciding a match #enjoyingyr1stworldcup #
  • if Steve Carell is leaving the “The Office”, I propose the immediate return of Idris Elba…AS A ZOMBIE STRINGER BELL #
  • RT @scratchbomb: Placido Polanco still beating David Wright in All Star balloting. reason #23 497 why the All Star Game is fucking joke #
  • Women In Prison, The Grand, Airport Blvd. http://tweetphoto.com/29770621 # Read the rest of this entry »

Nachman : Take Me Out To The (Insanely Loud, Annoying) Ballgame

Posted in Baseball at 6:26 pm by

“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.

West Yorkshire Rugby League Team : Homophobic Chants Weren’t Loud Or Plentiful Enough To Justify Fine

Posted in MMA, Rugby at 3:31 pm by

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.

With All Due Respect To Robert Christgau, Snoogans194 Is The New Dean Of American Rock Criticism

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 12:34 pm by

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.

Big Z Receiving Counsel From Renowned Expert In Acting Like A Jackass

Posted in Baseball, Mental Health at 12:09 pm by

While Walkoff Walk’s Kris Liakos corrently points out Trey Hillman and Fredi Gonzalez recently lost their jobs managing clubs with lower payrolls (and presumably lower expectations) than Lou Piniella’s brutally bad Cubs, MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar revealed he’s been a mentor of sorts to recently suspended Chicago P Carlos Zambrano (above)The Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan caught a bit of Millar’s act yesterday, and with all due respect to the Dancer In The Dark, Dr. Bruno Bettleheim’s got nuffin’ to worry about.

“The main thing he wanted to get across was that at times guys like Carlos, they don’t know how to handle or how to fire up a team,” Millar said on “MLB Tonight.” “There wasn’t one play that made him mad, it was just the whole team and the way they’ve been playing made him mad and then he was frustrated, he said, after his inning and came in and was basically trying to pump all the guys up.”

Millar said Zambrano told him last week he wanted Carlos Silva “to do something to the team because he’s doing well and Carlos Zambrano said that he knew he wasn’t the right guy to do this at this time because of his struggles.”

Millar said he told Zambrano: “Straight up, I said… ‘You can’t say the team’s playing like girls … You can’t say that this whole team that’s not clicking for some reason’ or ‘We’re not playing hard’ because he’s a big part of that problem.

“Now him (Zambrano’s) going to anger management counseling…I think this is the new fad that we’re trying to show that at least there’s an effort there.”

Cowley : Kenny Williams Covets Notorious Baseball Hater

Posted in Baseball at 10:45 am by

I’m not sure which is more amazing ; consecutive Nationals items on CSTB or that neither of them discuss dismembering Willie Harris.  Either way, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley reports the surging White Sox and their general manager Kenny Williams have expressed interest in Washington 1B/DH/strikeout machine Adam Dunn.

Dunn’s name has gained steam in the rumor mill, with the Nationals now willing to part ways with their free-agent-to-be first baseman and try to build a talented group of young arms around pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg.

But Williams is working against the Los Angeles Angels, who are starting to turn up their efforts to acquire Dunn. And most of the Sox’ highly regarded pitching prospects were dealt in previous trades to acquire Jake Peavy and Juan Pierre.

After right-hander Daniel Hudson, there’s a big drop in the Sox’ system to Carlos Torres and Santos Rodriguez. One movable piece would be third baseman Brent Morel, who seems to be in a logjam behind Dayan Viciedo and the three-year, $14 million extension Williams gave Mark Teahen this winter.

What became clear last weekend was that money no longer is the issue for adding Dunn, considering he’s making $12 million this year and almost half of that is off the books with June about to flip.


The Sports Art of David Choate

Posted in Baseball, Modern Art at 8:24 pm by

Prior to a heads-up from a friend earlier tonight, I’d not seen the work of David Choate.  His portraits of Joe DiMaggio, Hanley Ramirez and Calvin Borel are equal parts funny and haunting, though none of those earlier efforts are likely to inspire as many “can you make a t-shirt out of this?” requests as the above rendition of Nats starter Stephen Strasburg (currently locked up in a nationally Sutcliffed-to-death duel with the Braves’ Tim Hudson).

June 28 : Hell Is Other People(‘s Tweets)

Posted in twitter twatter at 8:11 pm by

  • Strasburg thru 4 IP vs. ATL : 4 hits, 1 walk, 2 K’s. Hudson’s been as good/better, Sutcliffe horrible, sober or drunk #
  • Jason Bay will have more than 4 HR’s at the all star break. Unless it starts raining. Mets 1, Fish 1, top of the 1st #

    (Damon’s of West  Hartford. Where the UFL’s movers and shakers wind down after a long day of wishing they worked for the team tennis league)

  • looking for love in all the wrong places? RT @theUFL: UFL COO @UFLBillPeterson is at Damon’s in West Hartford, fans should go say hi! #
  • fish/mets in San Juan RT @lenno212: Based on the pregame music selections, I’m thinking “Who Let the Dogs Out” is coming up very soon. #
  • a dear musician friend was twit-dissed today by a rocket scientist who previously called #GHA “aids-ridden bug eaters”. the internet sucks #
  • True Hoop’s Henry Abbott ranks the NBA’s top owners. Guess which guy named Dolan didn’t make the top 10? http://es.pn/d5mzN5 #
  • early reaction to the much delayed vinyl version of the new Futureheads LP : fewer good songs w/ each successive album (this is #4 #
  • @BobsBlitz Time.com credits TBL diss to Dan Fletcher. Not so anonymous. in reply to BobsBlitz #
  • Chass : “The wife of a general manager once told him if he hired Valentine to manage the team, she would leave him” http://bit.ly/990ZrJ #
  • @TheBigLead can’t feel too bad about being named one of Time’s “Most Overrated Blogs”. Who reads Time in 2010? #
  • #BRA v #NED on Friday? Great day for me to have the dish installed after the match is over. #
  • Polanco might be out for the rest of the season. Heck of a way for Wright to make the ASG. #
  • could it be this one? http://bit.ly/9PZ7jM RT @mlbtraderumors: Mystery Team After Cliff Lee http://bit.ly/apNlRu #mlb #
  • Dierkes tries valiantly to find contracts as onerous as Zambrano’s for the Cubs. He doesn’t succeed. http://bit.ly/a1hu9Q #
  • Juan scores off a cross that could’ve found 4 unmarked Brazilians #BRA 1, #CHI 0, 34th minute #worldcup #
  • NO BORSCHT FOR KENYON RT @DLeagueShow: The new NBA game show “Let’s Make Cap Room!” Nets waive G Keyon Dooling; move saves team $3.3m # Read the rest of this entry »

Toto In Roo-Ins : Wayne’s Quick Recovery

Posted in Football, World Cup 2010 at 5:45 pm by

Few sportsmen would be quick to grab the karaoke microphone following a loss as discouraging as the one suffered by England yesterday evening. Thanks to the intrepid work of Mario Rosenstock, however, we learn Wayne Rooney isn’t the sort of fella to dwell on defeat.

TDB’s Lane : Nails’ Street.com Picks Were Fraudulent

Posted in Baseball, The Law, The Marketplace at 2:51 pm by

Jim Cramer’s unfortunate defense of Bear Sterns was already noted in this space several months ago, but as The Daily Beast’s Randall Lane — author of the newly issued tome, ‘The Zeroes : My Misadventures In The Decade When Wall Street Went Insane‘ — points out, his association with former Met/Phillie Lenny Dykstra (above) wasn’t merely ill-advised, it was an total credibility-killer.

In the late winter of 2008, an entrepreneur named Richard O’Connor, who had become Dykstra’s favored adviser, introduced him to Shannon Illingworth, the founder of a publicly traded company called Automated Vending Technologies, or AVT, and the two quickly cut a deal. O’Connor told me that on March 25, 2008, Illingworth gave Dykstra roughly $250,000 worth of AVT stock in exchange for plugging the company on Cramer’s website, TheStreet.com, and promising to provide a personal introduction to Cramer.

O’Connor claims that Dykstra told him he knew the pay-to-plug arrangement was illegal. To avoid getting caught, O’Connor says, the former All-Star baseball player had a solution: “We can just put the stock in Keith’s name,” referring to his brother-in-law, Keith Peel.

And so it was done. O’Connor provided me copies of stock certificates showing that on March 25, 2008, Keith Peel was issued 250,000 shares of AVT stock, which traded at roughly $1 a share. “Keith didn’t know anything about it,” says O’Connor, maintaining that using Peel’s name was a way to stash the stock away from potential regulatory oversight.

The shares were held at Dykstra’s mansion, which is where O’Connor retrieved them. Just two weeks later, on June 6, 2008, Dykstra offered his premium subscribers a curious “bonus” recommendation: a plain old penny stock named AVT, “which gives investors a lot of potential upside.” Dykstra droned on endlessly about the stock, with all the conviction of a prisoner of war extolling the cause of his captors for the cameras.

Cramer, I am sure, had no knowledge of Dykstra’s “pay to plug” scheme”an arrangement that could well lead to a Securities & Exchange Commission investigation. He was just a dupe. But his relentless endorsements and promotion of the ballplayer’s stock-picking over the years must now surely rank as his most ill-conceived.

Elsewhere in the TDB article, Lane claims Cramer was warned by O’Connor of Dykstra’s pay-to-plug relationship with AVT, yet continued to allow the former NL MVP to write for The Street.com for another full year. Nor did Cramer respond to Lane’s accusations during the research for “The Zeroes”.

Houston’s Scuffing Tribue

Posted in Baseball at 10:46 am by

At 18 games under .500, there’s not a ton for the Houston Astros to celebrate in the present, and with a sole World Series appearance in 2005, there’s not most storied history to commemorate, either, the individual achievements of Cesar Cedeno, J.R. Richard, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Nolan Ryan aside. So who can blame the Astros’ marketing department for immortalizing wretched cheat Mike Scott in bobblehead form, even if they conveniently neglected to include a mini emery board or itty-bitty razor blades. Look, if it was only about selling tickets, they’d have unveiled a DJ Screw bobblehead ages ago.

England Expects (Too Much) : Marsden Writes A Prescription… #worldcup

Posted in Football, Mob Behavior, Sports Journalism, World Cup 2010 at 10:00 am by

….for a big-ass vial of Calm The Fuck Down Pills. 1966 aside, who has achieved less
yet demanded more in international football than England? Following Sunday’s thorough capitulation to Germany, The Indepedent’s Rhodri Marsden observed a national outpouring of profound anger/grief that led him to scold, “if you place your potential happiness into the hands of a group of erratic human beings, regardless of how much they™re paid, it™s not always going to come off.” Jay Horowitz couldn’t have put it any better.

The online fury that met England™s exit from the World Cup yesterday afternoon was staggering. Calm, measured people were hammering on their keyboards, expressing the kind of disgust that you normally see from swivel-eyed loons reacting to made-up news stories about illegal immigrants raping British cattle. And I found it difficult to absorb, still less to join in with. I started worrying that if you scale up this kind of fury, the kind that™s being expressed by sane, rational people, all the red-faced idiots with anger-management issues in pubs would be implementing a mass annihilation of vertical sheets of glass via the propulsion of heavy objects accompanied by roaring.

The only emotion I was experiencing was a mild sadness, and I found it impossible to access anger. Without wishing to be an insipid, hand-wringing irritant, I don™t believe that the team did it on purpose, or that the manager was shit, or that the referee was a prick, or that FIFA should substantially re-evaluate the rules of football in the wake of the disaster. OK, I probably think that footballers are overpaid, but you don™t hear people complaining about pay-packets when the recipients are slamming the ball into the back of the net week-in, week-out. Everyone seems to looking to blame someone for the loss, but barely anyone seems to be blaming Germany for scoring more goals than us, and to me, they appear to be particularly culpable


June 27 In Tweets : The Nation’s 8th or 9th Favorite Spectator Sport Returns To It’s Previous Spot In The Pecking Order

Posted in twitter twatter at 8:00 pm by

  • Ramirez : I didn’t get Fredi fired. Loria : Stop calling me names! http://bit.ly/9GCNAe #
  • if you’re not enjoying Queen Latifah on the BET Awards tonight, just be thankful Lance Armstrong had a scheduling conflict #
  • That was fast. RT @mlbtraderumors: Astros Designate Josh Banks For Assignment http://bit.ly/a0pEXr #mlb #
  • RT @ESPNNewYork: Jenrry Mejia suffers stiffness in right shouler http://es.pn/93fvYa #

  • Upton v. Longoria ; “squashed” is how the bickering teammates describe it http://bit.ly/94TTnN #
  • at least one contradiction to the James/Bosh-to-Chicago story. This guy says Bosh’s is bound for Miami http://bit.ly/9mcuM2 #
  • RT @Brooklynmutt: Hernandez stuck in the 80′s referenced “The Unknown Comic”, called Citi Shea and told viewers: “Don’t touch that dial” #
  • RT @alanhahn: Source says Amar’e will wait to hear from the Knicks on July 1 but would be interested in a meeting and reuniting with MDA. #
  • ESPN NY’s Ian O’Connor reports Jerry Colangelo wants to jump in Rod Thorn’s grave. or something like that http://es.pn/bsQx6Z #
  • surely this was the Times’ story? RT @ESPNChicago Report: LeBron James to join Chris Bosh with Chicago Bulls, NBA executive says #
  • RE : Cliff Lee trade. What’s Lee’s motive to negotiate a long term pact prior to a trade? He’ll be worth sick money in Nov. #
  • Tevez clearly offside, bizarre scenes from Johannesburg. Referees confer, delay match, do zilch to address Mexico’s complaint. #
  • Tevez header, 25th min, #ARG 1, #MEX 0, #worldcup #
  • ha ha RT @AmazinAvenue: TRAID DAVID WRONG! #
  • Mejia’s not even 21 years old! RT @gregpomes: Mejia is another overrated #Mets prospect, they need to get something out of him now. #
  • much tweet outrage sat. from Seattle fans wondering why the Mets wouldn’t offer more for Lee. yet Lee’s free in Oct. http://bit.ly/aPSfnh # Read the rest of this entry »

Groucho Glasses Night At Sun Life Stadium Postponed, Possibly Cancelled

Posted in Baseball at 7:44 pm by

Earlier this evening on “Baseball Tonight”, analyst Bobby Valentine was a tad evasive with Karl Ravech when discussing the former’s status with the Florida Marlins, describing his pending (?) interview with owner Jeffrey Loria and diminutive accu-jack enthusiast David Samson as “part of a process”.  Said process may or may not have taken a weird turn, as SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports Bobby V. “is no longer being considered for the Marlins’ managerial vacancy.”

Valentine had been viewed as the top candidate for the job since Fredi Gonzalez was fired last week, and sources told SI.com and other outlets on Friday that the longtime friend of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria would indeed be hired. ESPN, Valentine’s employer for the past several months, reported that the Marlins were expected to make a four-year offer to him.

Why negotiations between Valentine and the team ended was not immediately known. He has a long relationship with Loria, having managed the Rangers when Loria owned that franchise’s Triple-A affiliate.

The Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi has a few guesses as to just what’s really going on.

First, the buyout clause in his ESPN contract was an issue, although it was one that ” at least as of yesterday ” was not considered to be a deal-breaker.

I’m also hearing rumblings that Valentine may have had second thoughts on whether he’ll be able to manage a winning team this year if he takes over the Marlins. He is believed to have had concerns, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, about the bullpen (get in line, bobby!) and whether the front office would address the team’s shortcomings this year.

Two other thoughts on what might’ve happened: Valentine may have wanted too much money and may have wanted more control over player/ personnel issues than the team wanted to give him.

“Things have gotten complicated,” is what I was told yesterday. Looks like maybe that was an understatement.

Broussard : Joe Johnson, Knicks Willing To Settle For Each Other

Posted in Basketball at 6:16 pm by

We’re about 96 hours away from the start of the craziest NBA free agency period in recent memory and while the machinations of the LeBron James camp will continue to dominate most headlines, it appears the New York Knicks are already gearing themselves up for the consolation prizes.  ESPN’s Marc Broussard reports Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni will meet with Joe Johnson in Los Angeles Thursday morning, prior to a discussion with James later that afternoon.  More damning, Broussard characterizes Johnson’s interest in New York as something slightly different than a burning desire to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

While the Hawks hope to keep Johnson in Atlanta, several sources said the Knicks have emerged as his first choice. If they must lose him, the Hawks’ preference is to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Knicks.

But if no players on the Knicks’ roster appeal to Atlanta, Johnson, believing he will make up the difference through endorsements and through buying stock shares in Madison Square Garden, is willing to take less money to play with the Knicks, according to sources.

Whatever the case, the Knicks could offer Johnson a maximum-salary contract worth approximately $96 million over five years, or a deal worth $125 million over six years through a sign-and-trade.

Anyone who witnessed Johnson’s performance during Atlanta’s first round loss to Milwaukee who believes this is a wise investment on Walsh’s part, raise your hand.  Rick Sund, your vote doesn’t count.

Thursday, July 1 – Gulf Coast Benefits Across The U.S.

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll, Unnatural Disasters at 1:40 pm by

In the wake of what might prove to be the biggest ecological disaster faced by this country since the Dust Bowl, a number of live music venues have banded together to donate all admission proceeds from this coming Thursday’s shows to the non-profit Gulf Restoration Network.

Austin’s Red 7 is one such establishment, and Thursday’s bill, headlined by Houston’s MuhammedAli, may or may not go a long way in helping to hit the $500,000.00 national target.  It might ultimately come down to whether or not the promoters agree to levy an exit fee of $8 per head for anyone who wishes to leave the room during the first band’s performance.

Magic Jewels
Naw Dude
Air Traffic Controllers

Newscorp’s Thoughtful Reaction To USMNT’s Exit

Posted in Football, Sports Journalism, We Aren't The World, World Cup 2010 at 11:02 am by

The best thing about the Post’s chosen headline for the US’s Round Of 16 loss to Ghana yesterday?  The Sun can use the exact same copy tomorrow morning.

NYT : Congrats Bulls, LeBron Circus Is Over Before It Starts

Posted in Basketball at 10:20 am by

While the Star-Ledger’s Steve Politi strongly insists that LeBron James blowing off the Nets is blown opportunity to leave a lasting mark on Newark, NJ, the New York TImes’ Jonathan Abrams reports that James’ Ohio meetings this week with a successive of hopeful franchises, “are a mere formality.”

An NBA executive, who did not want to be identified discussing a player who is not yet a free agent, said he had gathered from discussions with his fellow N.B.A. executives that James was strongly leaning toward joining the Bulls in tandem with another free agent, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors.

œI think it™s a done deal, the executive said.

He said he thought James was going ahead with the meetings in Ohio œto be respectful to all these teams who jumped through these hoops, a reference to the clubs, like the Knicks, who traded reasonably talented players like Jamal Crawford the last two seasons in an effort to open up as much salary-cap space as possible. But if James and Bosh are indeed going to Chicago, moves like the ones the Knicks made will have been done at least partly in vain.

The executive also said that the Dallas Mavericks were trying to join the Ohio meetings with James. Unlike the other potential suitors, however, the Mavericks are over the salary cap and could obtain James only through a sign-and-trade deal with the Cavaliers.

Of James refusal to take part in a nationwide meet & greet tour, Abrams’ source says LBJ, “just saved a lot of people a lot of money”. So that’s good news for Knicks fans, then, who can rest easy knowing that Jim Dolan can pocket the savings from no longer having to employ Phillip Seymour Hoffman to reenact one of his most popular scenes.


CSTB’s Greatest Hits : Remembering “The Puffy Chair”

Posted in Cinema, Internal Affairs at 8:44 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : With this week release of “Cyrus”, starring John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei, I am unfortunately compelled to remind CSTB readers that directors Jay and Mark Duplas have a particularly ugly resume, 2005′s “The Puffy Chair”, being the longest 85 minutes of my adult life. The following post appeared in this space on June 5, 2006)

The Puffy Chair (dir : Duplass Brothers, 2006)

(a formless, aimless paen to the emotionally and intellectually stunted, possibly coming to an arthouse near you, though not if you’re lucky)

How in blazes is this ferociously annoying film garnering favorable reviews? Are people that starved for visual stimuli that a bunch of mannerisms parading as real-human-experiences resonantes? If the loud ovation this slopfest received at the Alamo Drafthouse the other night is any indication, sadly, yes.

Let’s review the cliches on parade :

character 1, Josh (Mark Duplass, above, right) : Bob Weston lookalike who yaps on his cell during a romantic dinner with his GF, has-trouble-commiting, and acts like a dick at every available opportunity (sorry, Bob. It was only a movie)

character 2, Emily (Kathryn Aselton) : Josh’s long-suffering girl-squeeze, who exhibits no personality to speak of and expresses no original thoughts whatsoever besides being clingy and wondering why her boyfriend has to be a dick.

character 3, Rhett (Rhett Wilkins) : Josh’s space cadet brother. The closest thing “the Puffy Chair” has to a character with any unique traits. Not very unique, mind you. He hops aboard Josh & Emily’s NJ-to-ATL roadtrip in order to reconnect with his dad (who presumably, would prefer he was less of a space cadet and more of a dick, like Josh.

At the film’s conclusion, Josh and Emily break up. If space cadet Rhett gets any quality time with his estranged dad, we don’t get to see it.

Though we’re supposed to believe the road trip is what exposes the cracks in Josh and Emily’s relationship, it’s impossible to feel empathy for either of these self-absorbed, throughly uninteresting dimwits. I’m not saying that a decent film needs to have protagonists you can relate to — there are countless examples to the contrary, but these characters aren’t merely hateful. They’re deadly dull.

All of that, plus Death Cab taking Peter Gabriel’s place on the boombox ala “Say Anything”. Say what you will about Cameron Crowe’s spotty filmography, but at least his passable movies featured characters that were almost as funny as your most boring acquaintances.

I’m not saying that our Saturday night at the cinema was without any redeeming features, however. The trailer for “The Wonderful & Frightening World Of Mark E. Smith” looked pretty good (always nice to see vintage footage of Mark E. with teeth and a good band playing behind him)