For Phillips, Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned (Unless It’s A Baseball Scribe That Wants Your Old Job)

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism, Sports Radio, Sports TV at 5:01 pm by

Former Mets GM/ESPN analyst Steve Phillips — most recently employed by Fanhouse and WFAN — saw his day begin with former paramour Brooke Hundley making an appearance on CBS. Believe it or not, that wasn’t the biggest bummer for Zipper Problem Steve, as he later found himself roundly mocked by SNY/NY Baseball Digest columnist Howard Megdal, as part of the latter’s very public campaign to have himself named the new General Manager of the New York Mets. Though Phillips surely isn’t a candidate to reclaim his old position, Megdal’s pretty eager to debate him just the same.

As someone who has followed your career with great interest, I have noticed that in recent weeks you have taken great pains to explain what you, a former General Manager, would do in terms of running a baseball team. For instance, on Monday, you wrote a piece entitled, “Here’s How a GM Sizes Up Trade Market.

But even clearer is how sure you are that while many people (for example, me) want to be General Manager of a baseball team, you also wrote, (caps yours) “NOBODY UNDERSTANDS WHAT THE GENERAL MANAGER’S JOB REALLY ENTAILS!”

In order to better understand any gap that exists between my plans once I am elected and your experience as actual GM of the New York Mets, I propose that we have a friendly debate over my candidacy for General Manager, your experience as General Manager, and the future direction of the New York Mets. Matthew Artus of NJ.com has graciously agreed to moderate, and we would be open to a debate either online or in-person.

Please let me know if this would be amenable to you. As an aspiring GM, I think this would be immensely valuable, and could go a long way toward reminding fans (and potential front offices) of your decisions while running the New York Mets. I look forward to hearing from you.


Howard Megdal

Icelandic Court : Go Ahead, Dig Up Bobby Fischer

Posted in Chess, The Law at 2:13 pm by

Former World Chess Champion / serial anti-semite Bobby Fischer (above) provided no shortage of controversy during his time on this mortal coil (not to mention scads of CSTB traffic — thanks for feeding this Jew’s media domination, Bob!) and he’s no less a fractious figure in death. The Telegraph’s Andrew Hough reports the Icelandic Supreme Court has ruled Fischer’s remains can be exhumed to settle a dispute over his estate and the paternity of a 9 year-old girl from the Philippines, Jinky Young.

The court overturned a ruling from the District Court of Reykjavik last month after new evidence emerged that the chess champion sent money to Jinky™s mother, Marilyn Young, 31, just before he died.

The money from the estate, thought to originate from his 1992 defeat of Boris Spassky in their “world championship rematch, is also being contested by his wife Miyoko Watai, two American nephews and the American government, whom he owed unpaid taxes.

The court was told that new evidence had emerged that Fischer had transferred money to Mrs Young in 2006 and 2007, boosting her case that he was in fact her father.

The court ruled that DNA could be taken from Fischer’s remains and compared to genetic matter from the girl and her mother.

“In order to obtain such a sample, it is unavoidable to exhume his body,” it ruled. It did not specify when the remains would be dug up.

Judges said Jinky Young’s need to discover the identity of her father outweighed concerns that the claim was not “strong enough”.

Attempts To Control Rooney’s Temper Proceeding On Schedule

Posted in Football, World Cup 2010 at 1:23 pm by

Facing a must-win encounter with Algeria tomorrow, England can hardly afford to risk the expulsion of hot headed striker Wayne Rooney. With that in mind, Mario Rosenstock provides a behind the scenes glimpse at efforts to modify young Wayne’s behavior. Full credit to Rosenstock for recalling Rooney’s unfortunate reality TV debut (and not for the first time, either)

His Band Could Be (A Cause Of Sadness In) Your Life: At Last, The Definitive J.D. And The Straight Shot Article

Posted in Free Expression, music, New York, New York, onanism at 12:46 pm by

I don’t think it’s a stretch — or maybe not a compliment — to argue that Gerard has done as good a job covering wet pile of surly, entitled garbage Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan’s wince-tastic music career as anyone on the internet. But with the news that J.D. and the Straight Shot have a new album on the way — and with Dolan’s unexpected mid-career transition from wet pile of surly, entitled garbage trust-fund bluesman to battle-rapper on said platter — it was perhaps inevitable that the lamestream media would get in on the fun.

Given that the new Straight Shot record features song length disses of Eliot Spitzer and the New York Daily News (in the title track!), and that Dolan is a wet pile of surly, entitled garbage kind of a big deal in New York City, I guess it could be argued that there’s some news value in Laura M. Holson’s piece about Dolan and his music in the New York Times. But as usual with Dolan — and we’ve seen from his work with the sports teams and publications that he owns — about 90 percent of the entertainment value here is of the rubbernecking variety. Still, until I get the go-ahead to write a 33 1/3 book on JDatSS’s 2008 full-length “Right On Time,” this will probably stand as the definitive story about a vanity blues project so hopelessly, haplessly vain that it makes Bruce “Bruno” Willis look like Howlin’ Wolf. Kudos to Holson for risking permanent ear and brain damage to get the story:

[Dolan] rarely speaks to reporters, he explained at a recent rehearsal for his country blues band, JD & The Straight Shot, and chooses “to let my music speak for me.” Not surprisingly, he sings a lot about being wronged. The Daily News, the tabloid he has tangled with most, took a drubbing in “Daily News Blues.” So did Eliot Spitzer, the former governor, whom he wrote was caught œsinning like the sinners in the unsubtly titled “Fall From Grace.” Even animals can’t escape Mr. Dolan’s fury. In 2005, he recorded “Gonna Kill That Dog,” a jazzy ditty about an annoying hound that won’t quit barking.

“With my music there is no doubt who sang it and who wrote it,” he said. “It’s personal.”

Who knew there was a Jimmy in the house? But about 10 years ago, the son of the Cablevision founder, Charles F. Dolan, began playing guitar and singing with a small group of employees he worked with at Madison Square Garden. Now, with a professional backup ensemble and the indie debut of his third album this month (meaning, he paid for it himself), Mr. Dolan is playing warm-up for the Eagles and the Dixie Chicks on an eight-city concert sweep.

It is not easy to score a spot on such a tour. But Mr. Dolan’s good friend is Irving Azoff, the concert promoter and longtime music manager, who helped put the Eagles show together. Friendship only goes so far, though. Mr. Dolan said he played for a nominal fee last week at the new Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. His warm-up set was so early it was almost cold: he was given 45 minutes onstage at about 4:45 p.m.

Those who love wet piles of surly, entitled garbage and also hate music will definitely want to read the whole thing. The “Daily News Blues” album is currently available for download at the J.D. and the Straight Shot official site.


WSC : Hailing The “Grey-Haired, Shuffling, Foul-y” Genius Of Peter Reid

Posted in Football, World Cup 2010 at 8:12 pm by

OK, two Maradona-related posts in one day seems a bit much, but the above clip from When Saturday Comes Daily and illustrator Tim Bradford is a) funnier than any contemporary press conference and b) raises many questions about the disappearance of Peter Reid‘s neck.


Posted in twitter twatter at 7:24 pm by

  • give Reggie Bush this much credit : at least he didn’t compare sanctions to Katrina or 9/11. http://alturl.com/rqwh #
  • Trumpeter / composer Bill Dixon, RIP http://alturl.com/kmc5 #
  • no Michelob logo? RT @lancearmstrong: Just saw cover of the new Outside mag . Nice photoshop on a plain T. That’s some lame bullshit. #
  • Another P90x success story! RT @alanhahn Bill Walker is back at the Knicks facility and is down about 10-15 lbs already. Aim is 225. #
  • Team for Brooklyn? RT @BobGlauber Packers President Mark Murphy says a developmental league is a possibility if NFL goes to 18 game season. #
  • #ESP 0, #SUI 1 (FT). Thus replacing plastic horns and Rob Green as the story of WC2010 #worldcup http://yfrog.com/1qob4sj #
  • hands up, anyone who thought Aaron Heilman would once again be a big league closer in 2010 (albeit w/ Arizona) http://alturl.com/o8by #
  • what’s up w/ Spain having a tough time in S.A..? Lost to U.S. in Confed. Cup semi’s, trailing Switzerland, etc. #worldcup #
  • whenever Mushnick gets back from vacation, I hope he has something to say about these Call of Duty : Modern Warfare commercials. #
  • just heard Scott Ferrall’s voice on a commercial for ABC’s “Downfall”. He’s no Billy West, that’s for sure #

Maradona’s Less Than Silky Diplomacy Skills

Posted in Football, World Cup 2010 at 2:18 pm by

If Argentina coach Diego Maradona would foist blame on a photographer whose foot he recently drove over, how might he react to critical words from two of the game’s giants? The BBC provides the reliably spectacular answers :

Maradona said Pele should “go back to the museum” after the ex-Brazil striker was quoted claiming he had only taken the job because he needed the money.

The 1986 World Cup winner Maradona also reacted to reported negative comments by Platini about his coaching ability.

Maradona said: “We all know how the French are, and Platini is French, and he thinks he is better than the rest.”

The 50-year-old Argentine delivered his stinging comments at a news conference on Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s Group B clash with South Korea in Johannesburg.

He said that he was unsurprised by Uefa president Platini’s criticism of him, and described their relationship as “very distant”.

And after previously complaining about the Jabulani ball, which has been subject to criticism throughout the World Cup, Maradona also challenged Pele and Platini to give the ball a try.

“I don’t want to go into the ball again because everyone is talking about it,” Maradona added.

“But it is important and it does play a part and I would ask Pele and Platini to go out there and play with the ball and take a closer look at it to see if it’s a good one or bad one, and to stop talking rubbish about me.”

The Detroit News’ Lynn Henning – Not Entirely Ready For His Closeup

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, Sports Journalism at 10:08 am by

“No one begrudged Tom Izzo taking a long look at Dan Gilbert’s overture,” opined the Detroit News’ Lynn Henning yesterday after Izzo announced at a press conference he’d be staying at Michigan State “for life”. Henning’s measured words, however, went to print shortly after a prior column suggested perhaps Izzo shouldn’t return to East Lansing after his extended flirtation with the Cleveland Cavaliers. And it’s with that recent history in mind that you should watch the above clip, particularly the sparks flying around the 13 minute mark.

No Practice, No Problem : Free Show At Austin’s Club 1808 Tonight

Posted in Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 10:02 am by

Dropping names like Mick Farren’s Deviants and The Soft Boys, Chicago’s mighty HoZac Records describes Austin’s Rayon Beach (12:30am) as “one of the most head-blasting, endorphin-rushing musical anomalies we’ve stumbled across in a while,” High praise, and for once in a lifetime a record label is not entirely full of shit.

Air Traffic Controllers (11:45pm) have existed in 3 cities, two countries and have gone thru no fewer than a Tap-esque 14 drummers in as many years of existence. After a staggering 5 albums released between ’97 and 2000, the reconstituted duo will be releasing something sooner or later via the revived Parallelism imprint to celebrate a decade of self-imposed obsolescence.

Tapebombs.com credits Austin’s Holy Wave (11pm)
with fashioning “a mesmerizing style of drone-y neo-psychedelia that while challenging at times is mostly pure otherworldly gold” If “challenging” is a pejorative, I don’t know what’s wrong with the world.

I don’t know dick about Vanished Clan (10:15pm), which probably means they’ll end up blowing us off the stage. Fuck.

The show is free, the beers will be cheap and as always, Club 1808 features free valet parking. One of the above statements is not true and there are no prizes for guessing which one.


CSTB Tweets From June 15, 2010: Big Boost For Chinese Thespians

Posted in twitter twatter at 9:15 pm by

  • There goes the NYT guest editorial RT @darrenrovell1 MSU president mentions Twitter : “Rumors became stories and tweets became facts.” #
  • RT @benschwartzy Currently rewatching Petraeus’ testimony to see which of McCain’s words are the general’s “Manchurian Candidate” triggers #

  • Crazy good in ATX sat., Memphis should be equally fine RT @GonerRecords EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING TONIGHT at the Hi Tone! #
  • slipped thru the cracks, I reckon RT @OGTedBerg I just can’t fathom how Gary Matthews Jr. cleared waivers. #
  • “Pacquiao ain’t no fucking fighter of the decade. He’s a pussy” – the shy, retiring Roger Mayweather Sr. http://alturl.com/v29n #
  • n/p : Endless Boogie – Full House Head (No Quarter). coming 7/20. Next. Level. Stuff. @NoQuarterRex #
  • hey, does Orangebloods.com have any special offers they’d us to know about? I could use more tweets on the subject. #
  • “the game vs. Brazil will be aired in N.Korea, but we cannot tell you if they will air it live or later.” http://alturl.com/9fer #worldcup #
  • RT @charles_star In celebration of that goal, all North Koreans will be issued a ration card for one (1) egg. #worldcup #
  • Great that #prk scored. You wanna see ringers in the crowd getting someone else’s money’s worth #worldcup #
  • Martin Tyler claims #PRK fans are actually paid Chinese actors. Paging @FakeFredWilpon. #worldcup #
  • RT @paulcoro Kerr is out as Suns GM after contract expires June 30. Likely going back to TV. #
  • The hell with the intent ; Maicon would rather be lucky than good. #BRA 1, #PRK 0, 56th minute #worldcup #
  • Just forfeited his iTunes acct. RT @UKCoachCalipari Even this old Sinatra fan knows good music. Drake is part of our family – La Familia!! #
  • wild guess this doesn’t end with a plea for the Royals to give Dayton Moore an extension http://twitter.com/aarongleeman/status/16247457767 #
  • David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez weren’t really BFF’s? I hope Glen Davis and Nate Robinson don’t end up like this http://alturl.com/v5f3 #
  • MLB, Hicks Sports Group continue to make the latter look really, really bad http://alturl.com/zbwv #
  • bigger surprise – US’ early 2-0 lead over Brazil in the Confederations Cup, or N. Korea holding Brazil scoreless thru 41 minutes? @worldcup #
  • maybe David Howard wasn’t the guy to put in charge of ticket sales for the Tanzania v. Brazil friendly http://alturl.com/p2v9 @worldcup #
  • Bayless is flipping out over added time in soccer matches. Don’t get him started on the offside rule, Twitter might explode #
  • There’s my wednesday, shot to hell RT @BKCyclones The luncheon with Wally Backman scheduled for tomorrow at Morton’s has been postponed. #
  • so many occasions where Twitter is over capacity. I had no idea the service was owned by AT&T #
  • If USA Network insists on annoying cross-promotions with the WWE, can we at least have Bruce Campbell host RAW someday? #evildead #
  • RT @miggiesmalls #USA #ENG has more viewers than any NBA game if you count Univision. The media is using us Mexicans for their cause, man. #
  • Official WC2010 Diego Maradona screen saver #worldcup #arg http://yfrog.com/5c22mzj #
  • RT @Aiannucci America, act now to stop the flood of Piers Morgan hitting your shores. Once it washes up, you won’t get rid of it for years. #
  • Bears 4 minutes away from the Calder Cup, Hershey 4, Texas 0 (Bears lead series, 3-2) #
  • unlike Big Sexy on Oprah! RT @WhitlockJason Schad no on-air presence #
  • Neyer’s advice to aspiring bloggers : “you probably don’t have the analytical skills or the writing chops” Keep trying, Steve Phillips! #
  • Wilpons, Wang, talking Queens arena for Islanders. Combined cost savings on Howie Rose the key to the deal? http://alturl.com/9jon #

ITV To Earle : You’re No Barry Duffman

Posted in Beer, Football, Sports TV, World Cup 2010 at 4:38 pm by

Consider this the first and only time in history former Wimbledon/Jamaica midfielder Robbie Earle will find himself compared to Fred Smerlas. Earle recent position as an analyst for ITV became part of history earlier today when the British broadcaster fired him for his role in a ticket transfer scheme. From the BBC :

ITV said a “substantial number” of tickets for the Denmark v Holland match on Monday had been passed on, breaching Fifa rules.

It has been claimed a block of tickets were used by a Dutch company for an “ambush marketing effort”.

“Following claims by FIFA that official 2010 World Cup tickets may have been used for ambush marketing, ITV has reviewed its entire ticket allocation for the tournament,” the TV network said in a statement.

“Immediate investigations indicated that a block of ITV tickets would appear to have been used for unauthorised purposes during the Holland v Denmark match.

“Further enquiries have revealed that a substantial number of tickets allocated to Robbie Earle for family and friends have been passed to a third party in breach of FIFA rules.”

I’d add details about the ambush marketing in question, but surely you’ve already read about it over at Sports By Brooks?

The Furriest Loser

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, When Mascots Are Attacked at 3:27 pm by


In what may be the biggest mascot news scoop of our time, at least since the New York Times last wrote about it in 1998, the Wall Street Journal’s Scott Cacciola cracked open the vaults of failure this morning, and out crawled Yankee Dandy.

From 1979 to 1981, the Yankees employed a mascot named Dandy. He was big and blue and a spectacular failure”a historical oddity for a proud franchise that has collected 27 world championships but would just as soon forget he even existed.

The mascot, brainchild and surrogate child of mascot designers Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison, also parents to the Phillie Phanatic (presumably by another biological father), suffered a quick demise as fallout from a Lou Piniella-San Diego Chicken mitt-tossing skirmish that would lead the Yankees organization to declare mascots out of bounds for good.

Following the digg and retweet popularity of today’s piece on Yankee Dandy, follow-up articles on similarly defunct MLB mascots like the Cubs Fop and the Los Angeles Fancy-Man are planned by the WSJ for later this week.

Notorious Met-Killer Impregnator Of Hooters Waitresses In Flip-Flop Mode

Posted in Baseball at 1:13 pm by

You might thinking hanging around the first place Atlanta Braves would be a fun gig, particularly with the AL East-leading Rays in town for a big series starting tonight. However, there’s the small distraction of 6-time NL All-Star Chipper Jones jerking the local media around in an almost Farve-ian manner, writes the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Carroll Rogers.

First I was told Chipper was going to meet with Frank Wren and Bobby Cox today to discuss his future and then talk to the media afterward, in all likelihood to say he™s leaning toward retiring at the end of the season.

Just a few minutes ago, after all this kicked up today, I was told Chipper thinks the retirement speculation is premature and doesn™t plan to talk to the media about it today.

Maybe the Braves don™t see the value in bringing it all out in the open at the start of a key series. Maybe it™s Chipper realizing after a couple of days of banging this around in his head, and seeing the reaction, he™s not ready to say one way or another.

Judging by the way he looked in the dugout over the weekend in Minneapolis, just from what I saw on TV, Chipper looked different. His posture, his facial expressions, looked to me like a guy moving toward retirement. He looked like a coach, in his jacket and encouraging teammates. I don™t know. Was that just me?

When Greg Vaughn Almost Came To Your City: The 1995 MLB Barnstorming Tour That Never Was

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 12:59 pm by

(The Unit would like to know how you got his FUCKING TELEPHONE NUMBER)

It seems strange now, but baseball probably mattered less to me in 1995 than it does today. I was a junior in high school, then, and… presumably doing whatever it was I did like half a lifetime ago. I recall a lot of brooding? At any rate, the MLB strike of that year was a bummer for me, but I wasn’t about to let it get in the way of worrying about zits or imagining what college would be like.

So, contextually, it would’ve made sense that I heard nothing about a (freaking amazing) plan by the MLBPA to send its biggest stars on a barnstorming tour of the U.S. during that 1995 players strike. What doesn’t make nearly as much sense, and which is actually and amazingly true, is that apparently no one, outside of the MLBPA and a few people brought in to help with the logistics of the tour, knew about it, either. That would’ve changed had the tour actually happened, but the idea died with the resolution of the strike that summer. All of which makes Nando Di Fino’s piece on the barnstorming tour for AOL FanHouse a pretty amazing feat in its own right: an apparent scoop on something that (almost) happened 15 years ago. It’s pretty great stuff:

Fifteen years ago, when the baseball strike had already killed a World Series and was threatening to derail the 1995 season, Major League Baseball camps were filled with replacement players, a tale told many times over. But what most people — even die-hard baseball fans — don’t know is that the Major League Baseball Players Association had a plan of their own: take 120 of their best players, separate them into four teams, and have round-robin tournaments on the weekends in minor league and municipal stadiums. It would curry favor with the fans, there could be some charitable element to it, and it might actually be … fun. One of the first people they brought on board was [former Pirates clubbie David] Delisanti…

As the strike dragged on into 1995, Delisanti kept in contact with his friends on the Pirates — Andy Van Slyke, Jim Leyland and Jay Bell — to gauge the progress of the strike talks. Bell in particular, the union rep for Pittsburgh, told him not to worry, that things would work out.

A few weeks later, Delisanti received a call from the MLBPA. They had hatched the barnstorming plan, and wanted to know if he would be interested in being the equipment manager for the tour. Bell had suggested him for the job. The unemployed Delisanti jumped at the opportunity, even if it meant being blacklisted by the owners…

The barnstorming idea was straightforward on paper, but had a lot of moving parts that required Delisanti to create a command central of sorts in his parents’ home, where 120 of the game’s greatest players would be returning his calls, some answered by his parents. Randy Johnson, for example, had no clue who Delisanti was and told [Delisanti's] father to have David him stop calling his house.

North Korea’s National Football Team – In Dire Need Of Jay Horowitz

Posted in Football, World Cup 2010 at 6:31 am by

(Korea DKR – they train econo)

The Guardian’s Marina Hyde was fortunate enough to attend a press conference yesterday conducted by North Korea’s head coach Kim Jong-hun, and team media officer, Kim Myung-chui in advance of their Tuesday Group G match with Brazil. Sadly, a FIFA edict that “questions that intersect politics with football” were verboten meant Ms. Hyde was prevented from airing the million dollar stumper, “be honest, you did sink that ship, didn’t you?”

Who picks the team “ the coach or Kim Jong-il? Silence. Will North Korea be pursuing the same counterattack strategy they pursued in qualifying? “I believe,” replied an icy Kim Jong-hun, “that we are the Korean DPR, so please do not use any other name for us.” Alas, it’s that easy to forfeit the chance to have your anodyne query left tantalisingly unanswered. As for their goal in the tournament: “This will bring great happiness to our Dear Leader.” It would be screamingly funny, of course, were it not taking place on the very the day it emerged that His Dearness had cut off all state food rations to his people.

To more important matters, though, such as North Korea’s attempt to fiddle Fifa rules by listing an extra striker as a goalkeeper “ a ruse on which they have been rumbled, meaning Kim Myong‘won will now have to play as a keeper or not at all. “He was a striker and now he’s registered as a goalkeeper,” said Kim, tersely. “He is really a goalkeeper but he’s really fast, so we switched him to a striker ¦ But this World Cup, he said he wanted to be a goalkeeper again.”


Schad’s Falling Star, VY Slurred In Dallas : THE DAY IN THE VILLAGE OF TWEETVILLE

Posted in twitter twatter at 7:20 pm by

  • RT @WhitlockJason why is Joe Schad still “reporting” on Big 12 expansion? Why not book me to “report” on weight loss? #
  • NYPost’s Puma says Oswalt “likes the veteran fiber” of the Mets. So that’s why Tatis is on the roster! #
  • ESPN reporting Pac-10′s Larry Scott says Texas declined an invite. Joe Schad is on right now, essentially confirming Chip Brown’s am claims #
  • Austin’s ESPN outlet claims tweet reporting Utah/BYU to the Big 12 was the work of hackers. Twitter is a tough town #
  • @fishsports deleted the post regarding Vince Young. On the bright side, we know for sure Mike isn’t getting kickbacks from male strippers. #
  • surely most of us in the sports blogosphere prefer the phase, “made love”?http://twitter.com/TheBigLead/status/16177881336 #
  • Austin City Council to @BeerlandTexas : FUCK OFF http://alturl.com/a4mm #
  • amazing new promotional video for the Brooklyn Cyclones 2010 season http://bit.ly/aGyqHx (corrected link) (thx, David Roth) #
  • Paraguay’s Alcaraez scores a fantastic header and w. 10th street’s Scream Goat goes mental. #worldcup #legalizedgamblinginaustin #
  • Johnny Unitas? Sammy Baugh? RT @fishsports Oh, kids, just kidding about Vince! (Every NFL QB gets gay-rumored. It’s a rite of passage!) #
  • potential defense for Mike Fisher : he’s not calling VY a homosexual, he’s suggesting the Titans QB is an aspiring Chippendale. Whatever. #
  • Mike Fisher outs Vince Young. Nice job pretending you can’t name one gay hangout in Big D, Fish http://alturl.com/xtyh #
  • Oxygen Channel? RT @ ChipBrownOB Once Neb and CU made their moves, a TV network saw realignment about to blow and stepped forward #
  • killjoy Bob Feller on Strasburg : “I doubt he can field a bunt” http://bit.ly/aIGDIZ #
  • And they can’t throw a deep ball, too RT @CoreySeidman every single writer “disappointed in VY” has done something equally bad or worse. #
  • Redd Foxx. And people on skis.Music sounds Kovacs-ian. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjvRdMXEaQ0&feature=related #
  • while much of the world awaits Italy v Paraguay, the U.S. is consumed by a real heavyweight battle : Chip Brown vs. Joe Schad #
  • moral of the story : distance yourself from Dave O’Brien, appear smarter http://twitter.com/sportswatch/status/16159873204 #
  • No. Not even for $600 RT @AndrewWK If I paid you $500, would you taste my puke? #
  • so much for soccer sophisticates RT @darrenrovell1 Buffalo Wild Wings say sales were up 44% on Saturday vs. same day last year #worldcup #
  • “one game changes everything”. I suspect for a large percentage of South Africans, 31 games will change nothing #worldcup #
  • very worried about the lost tweets. Hopefully the Smithsonian has been archiving @the_ironsheik and @GaryCarterRaw #
  • Idi Amin & The Amputees’ “Disco Bitch” ; most blatant KBD-baiting since the Action Swingers’ “Kicked In The Head” http://alturl.com/arh8 #
  • many empty seats for Japan v. Cameroon, apparently. Fifa will regret the decision to put David Howard in charge of ticket sales #worldcup #
  • Not a Bodil Joensen fan, Steve? RT @NJ_StevePoliti That’s the biggest Danish gift to the world since the dry cell battery! #worldcup #
  • Harkes describes Denmark’s own goal as “a horrible clearance”. Not really a clearance at all. tommy heinsohn (hearts) Van Persie #worldcup #
  • maybe if Gerry Francis managed both teams RT @charles_star I’d love to see a game where the goalies just kick it back & forth to each other. #
  • anti-povery org The World Development Movement ranks #worldcup sides “based on global justice criteria” http://alturl.com/vg8j #
  • in honor of Holland’s first #worldcup match of ’10,; a fine Dennis Bergkamp goal from WC94. dig the Howie Rose infl. http://alturl.com/may5 #
  • useless footie factoid : both US players to score twice in a #worldcup (McBride, Dempsey) have toiled for Fulham #
  • @kbohls‘ monday column points out Texas joining Pac 10 (16?) would occur after Austin city council passed an AZ boycott resolution #
  • this is how i choose to remember the late Jimmy Dean http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4RNb3tt0LM #
  • Apparently, David Malitz is unfamiliar with the YES Network http://twitter.com/malitzd/status/16117171606 #
  • Let’s Go Blackhacks! RT @OzzieGuillen Great weekend in chicago thanks blackhacks make this town very happy #
  • Dr. Jack’s stat of the night : the one-win-away Celtics finished the reg. season a cruddy 27-27 #
  • RT @gheorghe77 I’m pretty sure Rondo could palm a Prius #
  • Hate to be cruel but Santo is even more useless tonight than usual #
  • Soriano breaks up Floyd’s no hit bid with a double, scores on Chad Tracy’s single. Cubs 1, CWS 0, last of the 7th #
  • Duel, ahem, hitless game at Wrigley thru 6 1/2. Floyd vs. Lilly. Not Floyd Bannister, eiter #
  • ACH warning a fan from grabbing a chair : “don’t anything… that’s how people get hurt..and we get sued” #acw #
  • Start of the Masada vs. ACH match for the hardcore title. ACH entered in a homemade @ladygaga tee #acw http://yfrog.com/mku5pj #
  • Summers : “being your staples, bring your barbed wire…it’s all foreplay to me, bitch” #acw #
  • aftermath of Darren Childs’ fluke pin of Scott Summers #acw Mohawk http://yfrog.com/9gpixxj #

Dallas Scribe : Please Kill The Big 12 Now

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 4:09 pm by

(Big 12 commish Dan Beebe. If he looks smug, that’s because if the conference falls apart, he knows he’ll find work as a Jim Cornette impersonator)

There’s conflicting reports Friday regarding the likelihood of Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma leaving the Big 12 for a newly expanded Pac 16 (at least one prominent authority on the subject predicts the above schools are staying put), but the Dallas Morning News’ Jean Jaques Taylor would just soon seen the Big 12 go the way of the old Southwestern Conference. “This is the capitalistic world we live in,” insists Taylor. “You don’t get to indulge in capitalism only when it’s convenient.”

If you thought college football was something other than big business, then you’ve been living in a fantasy world, and it’s time you moved into the real world where the rest of us reside.

You think the Mountain West won’t be a better league with Boise State in it? If Texas A&M, weary of being UT’s little brother, wants to join the SEC, then so be it.

Surely, if the Aggies can’t compete at the highest level of football in the Big 12, then we know they’re going to take butt-kicking after butt-kicking in the SEC.

That said, the Aggies deserve an opportunity to forge their own identity even if it spells the end of a wonderful rivalry with UT that’s more than 100 years old.

Then again, how much of a rivalry is it when the Longhorns lead the series 75-36-5, and A&M has not finished ahead of UT in the Big 12 South standings since 1998?

College football is bigger than any school or any rivalry. It survived the end of the Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry, and it will survive if UT and A&M goes by the wayside.

Selfish Joe Torre, Slow To Share Credit With Hard-Working Wizard

Posted in Baseball at 1:13 pm by

As part of further revelations stemming from the highly contentious McCourt divorce case, it was reported last week that Dodgers owners had been paying a 71-year old, Boston-based Russian emigre a six figure salary to provide (ahem) positive energy.  Hey, though we  can’t all hire Eric Van, LA manager Joe Torre didn’t seem particularly pleased to admit the full extent of healer Vladimir Shpunt‘s contributions when quizzed by the LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez.

Torre  (above) said he hasn’t read The Times story on Shpunt ” in part to avoid having to answer questions about it.

Torre’s first season with the Dodgers was Shpunt’s last. Asked whether he felt the division title won by the Dodgers in 2008 was in any way tainted because of help they received from Shpunt, Torre replied, “I’m not going there.”

A member of the 14-person committee that reviews on-field issues, Torre would not say whether the use of sorcery was raised during the group’s conference call last week.

“I’m not allowed to divulge what goes on in our conference calls, but thanks for asking,” he said.

Does Torre consider the use of long-distance energy transfers cheating?

“Don’t bother me,” he said. “Please don’t bother me.”

Shpunt, who was paid bonuses of at least six figures, claimed he could improve a team’s chances of winning by 10% to 15%. Told that Shpunt might have had a greater impact on the Dodgers than he had, Torre smiled and said, “I’m against domestic violence, but you’re not a member of my family.”

Did Torre ever feel “V energy”?

“Get out of here,” he said.

Clint Dempsey’s Image Problem (May Have Something To Do With Clint Dempsey)

Posted in Football, Sports Journalism, World Cup 2010 at 1:02 pm by

I wrote elsewhere, recently, about my World Cup ambivalence — not with the games themselves so much as with the sense of distance from all of it. This is kind of a classic overindulgent CSTB essay topic for me, but I’m working on it. Not, obviously, by attempting to write less self-centered or self-referential or self-indulgent leads (baby steps) but by trying to shed the self-conscious n00bery that’s kept me on the wall when it comes to The Rest of the World’s Football and actually trying to enjoy the World Cup. And it’s easy enough to do this, when the games are on. And also generally easy when there are nice emo-literary treatments of soccer’s deep cultural importance out there to read.

And cheering the US team honestly isn’t that hard for me, either, although it’d be easier if they were the Dutch team, or played like the Dutch. But as likable as the US team by and large is, I’ve found myself oddly and seemingly instinctively not liking Clint Dempsey all that much. (I found his Lego iteration far more appealing) It’s not that he’s a bad player — I don’t know the game well enough to speak to that, and what I perceive as a lack of maximum effort or mistakes is probably more a reflection of my ignorance as a viewer than any failing on his part. But I was relieved/surprised to discover, courtesy of ESPN The Magazine, that I’m not the only one with some Dempsey-related issues. The guy’s apparently beloved by Fulham fans, and it can’t totally be an accident that he’s one of just two Americans to score in two World Cups. But American fans, even ones who go more on soccer-related criteria and less on “he just kind of looks sort of dickish and has tribal tats” standards than I, are apparently not totally sold on the dude.

Luke Cyphers, in the classic ESPN The Magazine style, doesn’t necessarily make a case for or against Dempsey one way or another. But the quotes that he elicits from Dempsey suggest a guy whose confidence level and resistance to insight might have something to do with his lack of popularity. What I’m saying is that, insight-wise, Dempsey makes Kobe Bryant look like Jean-Paul Sartre. In what might be the greatest journalistic undertaking of my career, I’ve compiled all the quotes Dempsey delivers in Cyphers’ piece, and they’re below. Not every athlete can be Heath Bell, I know that — both when it comes to rambly jokiness and self-effacement and willingness to grope SNY’s Ted Berg — and I also know it doesn’t really matter what an athlete’s personality is. But, well:

- “I don’t want to get into how I’m perceived there versus here in the U.S. But I’m respected in Europe for what I do week in and week out on the highest level.”

- “In big games, I always come through.”

- “It was good for my first goal to mean so much,” says Dempsey [who went to Fulham from the New England Revolution of the MLS on a $5 million transfer and scored a goal that saved Fulham from relegation] “I paid back the club for my transfer fee. I wasn’t in debt to them.”

- “I pride myself on stepping up on big occasions.”

- “People who aren’t educated about the game are going to take whatever a commentator has to say as the complete truth. And that’s not always the case. That’s just their opinion.”

- “I was top three in the whole tournament in distance covered,” he says. “You can question my effectiveness, but you can’t question my heart and my effort.”

- “I’m respected by my teammates. And I’m respected by my coaches. That’s why they keep me on the field. The criticism comes with the money we get paid.”

- “Off the pitch, the best thing about [playing in the Premier League] is more money in your account. You go to Europe for the competition, for the soccer and for more financial stability for your family.”

- “I’m from nowhere, man.” [Regarding growing up in Nacogdoches, TX]

- “It was like a nightmare,” Dempsey says [of his sister's untimely death at age 16]. “Every day you’d wake up and say, ‘Did that really happen?’… I know no matter how bad things get, things could always be worse. And no matter how great they can go, they can always be better. That keeps you grounded.” [I feel kind of bad about including this, but, you know, every quote]

- “I feel like I’m effective no matter where I am on the field.”

- “I enjoy playing up top, because the closer you are to goal, the more chances you’re going to get, and one of my favorite parts of the game is scoring goals.”

- “You start to think that fate’s on your side. There’s a chance to do something unbelievable.”

- “You can be the face [of US soccer] or not be the face. You get only so many opportunities in major competitions, and you’ve got to take advantage of them. I gotta stand up and be counted in this World Cup.”

Boring questions leading to boring answers? Maybe. But while I wish the guy all good luck in the Cup, I’ll pass on his autobiography.

Calcaterra On The Times’ Rocket Hunt : Convenient Targets Deserve Fairness, Too

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism, The Law at 10:25 am by

(l-r : Clemens, McNamee, Mike Wallace, shown in happier, if more physically exhausting days)

Sunday’s New York Times featured a report by Michael S. Schmidt and Katie Thomas relaying accusations former trainer Brian McNamee was paid for PED’s and his services by the non-profit Roger Clemens Foundation. While the Times reporters correctly point out such charges could lead to felony prosecution for Clemens, Hardball Times’ Craig Calcaterra submits, “this story seems like a hit job”.

Despite the big headline — “Clemens’ Foundation Comes Under Scrutiny” — the fact that McNamee could produce no documentary proof of his allegation when asked to by investigators is not mentioned until the seventh paragraph. Given that McNamee is a guy who actually wrote a 100% fraudulent editorial in the New York Times defending Clemens against drug use several years ago, I am shocked that the Times would bury this little fact as deeply as they do. The Times has first hand experience being burned by McNamee’s lack of credibility, and yet they are not at all critical of this allegation.

It’s also worth noting that the anonymous source of this story is almost certainly a federal agent or attorney (i.e. a person “briefed on the investigation” who can’t be seen as the one revealing the information).  In light of the fact that Clemens can be convicted of perjury based merely on proof of drug use irrespective of the source of payment, what’s the purpose of this new information being leaked?

Reliving England 1, US 1 In Lego Form

Posted in Football, World Cup 2010 at 8:38 am by

(Clip produced by Lego Fussball.eu, link swiped from The Guardian). Don’t recall Robert Green wearing a cap on Saturday, but perhaps there’s an effort to shield his likeness, even in Legoland.



Posted in twitter twatter at 7:20 pm by

(E.N., dismayed at thumbs-down from Skip)

  • Mets sweep 0′s and @kranepool is snacking on danger, dining on death http://alturl.com/74xw #
  • maybe Twitter isn’t a good idea dept : Whitlock’s tweeting about his fave fish sandwich, Bayless about “True Blood” season premiere. #
  • easy. Thalia Zedek. RT @ultragrrrl Who is the reining Queen of Jewish frontWOMEN since @j_frischmann is not on stage with Elastica. #
  • Woody Paige, Tim McCarver, talkin’ Bob Gibson. Hey, you don’t have to click here http://www.denverpost.com/paige/ci_15286274 #
  • Schultz just hit a 2-run HR off Ruffin that might’ve broken a car window at El Chilito. TCU 3, Texas 0, last of the 7th #CWS #
  • dept. DUH : UFC’s Dana White says Liddell’s career is over after sat. KO by Rich Franklin. #
  • TCU’s Kyle Winkler thru 6 IP ; 5 K’s, 3 walks. Frogs 1, Texas 0, middle of the 6th…looking grim for the Longhorns. #CWS #
  • lack of gluten free cookies at the Acela Club? RT @metsgrrl what will they have to be angry and embittered over if they apologize? #
  • you know the old saying, “nothing good ever happened after 2am?” Here’s another : nothing good ever happens at a place called Club Onyx #
  • VY, this is _not_ the way to celebrate winning the 2005 Heisman http://alturl.com/28mc #
  • Agreed. Unless you’re broke. RT @Mets_Fever Your biggest offensive player hasn’t played a game and your in 2nd place by 1.5 you make moves #
  • seriously. if we’re gonna blast Minaya for GMJ, Jacobs and the Ollie situation, Dickey, Takahashi and Barajas are points in his favor #
  • 2/5th’s of the rotation on the DL, Beltran MIA. still, the Mets are just 1.5 GB ATL for first in the NL East. apologies for Jerry, Omar? #
  • depends. does Texas v A&M vanish? RT @ChipBrownOB How would moving the Texas-OU game to Jerryworld the first wk in December fly? #
  • Nike’s “Write The Future” WC ad, revised to reflect Green’s gaffe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLskK8bysfg #worldcup #
  • he’s in mid-tourney form, then RT @richarddeitsch Threshold for Alexi Lalas is thin at the mo. Cutting off colleagues. Often condescending. #
  • what do George Will and Obama have in common? The former just called BP, “British Petroleum” (on BBTN) #especiallybadrelationship #
  • to honor the memory of Egon Ronay, I’m having The Democrat from @torchytaco http://alturl.com/6oiv #
  • forget about Jagger/Bowie doing “Dancing In The Streets” ; here’s a GG Allin/Tiny TIm split 7″ http://www.ponkmedia.com/ggtt.htm #
  • RT @NJ_StevePoliti Slovenia, which is proportionately the third most-forest-covered country in Europe, leads Group C. #
  • Sons Of Hercules, Red Eyed Fly (really), Austin http://yfrog.com/7eljej #
  • I don’t know dick about MMA. And even I know Liddell’s done done done #
  • Eddy Current Supression Ring, Mohawk. Not shown : Eddy Curry http://yfrog.com/1sxmwusj #
  • Quick, name 5 better live bands. See, you CAN’T RT @joegross Seeing hex dispensers always an honor #
  • Hex Dispensers, Mohawk, Austin http://yfrog.com/5m3aphj #

Ziller Calls A Technical Foul On Tim Donaghy’s Blogging Career

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, Sports Journalism at 5:50 pm by

(Donaghy, before working for Gawker Media throwing games cost him his family and dog)

Having (barely) made the transition from rogue ref to published author, Tim Donaghy recently became David Stern’s least favorite hoops analyst with a paid gig for Deadspin critiquing the officiating taking place during this month’s NBA Finals between the Boston Sportsguy33′s and the LA Fleas.  Fanhouse’s Tom Ziller, noting Donaghy’s penchant for burying his former colleagues, the Association and even ABC/ESPN broadcasters, wonder if there’s not something a tad unseemly about Deadspin providing a vehicle to a guy who’s not exactly a poster child for personal integrity.

Donaghy continues to maintain he didn’t fix games, despite having been proved a liar over and over again, and despite the evidence piling up. I understand Deadspin’s motives and justification for publishing Donaghy — felons have a right to earn and Deadspin has an irreverant, anti-establishment position in the sports media landscape.

The problem is that because Donaghy has absolutely no credibility, publishing Donaghy drowns out legitimate, reasoned criticism of the officials — something vital to the improvement of NBA officiating. It’s not exactly the crooked ref who cried wolf, but it’s close. Every time Donaghy bleats about Dick Bavetta’s supposed bias toward close games or various refs’ love affairs with Allen Iverson, it dilutes the real substance of arguments for ref reform.  Haralabos Voulgaris, meanwhile, by uncovering the substance of Donaghy’s violations — which are almost assuredly discoverable but ignored by the NBA — pushes the narrative. Voulgaris is doing the work that is helpful to critics and reformers. Donaghy is doing the work that is helpful to, well, himself.

If Deadspin’s hiring of Donaghy is more stunty than substantial, to be perfectly fair, the same could be said of Fanhouse’s use of Steve Phillips. Adulterers deserve a chance to earn a living just as much as felons, but unlike Donaghy, Phillips’ struggles with an online column were previously established.

Neil Forsyth Hated The Vuvuzela Before You Did

Posted in Football, World Cup 2010 at 4:02 pm by

With all due respect to Robert Green facing the music with Jim Joyce-ian resolve and Germany’s clinical dispatch of Australia earlier today, the big story of WC2010 thus far has been the oft-maligned Vuvuzela, the thin, plastic trumpets that have rendered each ESPN telecast nearly unlistenable.  I know, that used to be Tommy Smyth’s job, but while he’s (thankfully) one of a kind, the Vuvuzelas are in ample supply at all South African stadia this week.  Before the tournament even began, the Independent’s Neil Forsyth observed, “Some people, morons I think is the term, say that the Vuvuzela adds colour and atmosphere to the occasion….It doesn™t add either of those things. What the Vuvuzela does is drive you to sanity™s troubled fringes.”

For the USA-Australia game the small stadium had probably five thousand people in it. It must also be assumed that only a minority of those in attendance were in possession of a Vuvuzela. Yet the racket generated was horrific. Similar to a herd of baby elephants in distress, it swamped any other sound coming from the crowd and the commentators had to battle to be heard. In the full or nearly full stadiums that are to come, the effect will be ludicrous.

It might seem churlish for an armchair supporter to begrudge paying customers their enjoyment but my concern is for a far greater good “ the mental health of British commentators Clive Tyldesley and Guy Mowbray . They have six weeks of the Vuvuzela ahead of them. In the opening matches, as they sit perched above the hooting masses, they™ll swap wry observations with the studio about trying to œhear themselves think. Then the matter will be quietly dropped and then the two men will sink into very private hells. Just watch them in the World Cup™s fagend stage. Gone will be the thumbs up to camera when they do the changeover. Instead you will see two pale and drawn men, jumpy and easily rattled.

For Tyldesley and Mowbray, I fear this won™t be an affliction that ends with the World Cup. I hope the Vuvuzela users have their fun but come Christmas, when Tyldesley™s great aunt, or Mowbray™s brother-in-law lets rip with a toy trumpet fresh from the cracker and the commentator involuntarily leaps over the turkey and strangles them in front of a horrified family, who wins then?

AJC’s Shultz : University Presidents Are Whores

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 12:29 pm by

OK, that’s not exactly what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeff Schultz had to say about the amazing chain of events that might signal the end of the Big 12, the genesis of a Pac 16 and an unmistakable shift of power in college athletics. “When Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman (above) said that Nebraska was more ‘aligned’ with the Big Ten™s academics, culture and athletics, it wasn™t even a half-truth,” argues Schultz. “It was a one-third truth.”

This isn™t about culture. It™s certainly not about academics. (Was Nebraska also pondering jumping to the Ivy?) Football and economics are driving all of this. This is about television contracts and conference championship games, not students in Lincoln being exposed to the theater in Iowa City.

Why can™t somebody in a suit just admit that?

We spend so much time banging on athletes for grabbing the money in free agency but claiming the contract offer had little to do with the decision. (Pitcher Mike Hampton captains this squad. He signed a $121 million free agent contract with Colorado in 2001 and then declared he wanted to be a Rockie because of Denver™s œschool system.) We jump on players and coaches for lacking loyalty to anything other than direct deposit.

This is a good time to call out the school administrators.

If the traditions and ideals of college athletics have been deteriorating for the past 20 years, they™re not deteriorating any more. They™ve done been blown up.