Chess Commish : Doing His Best To Make Gary Bettman Look Good By Comparison

Posted in Chess at 7:12 pm by

How deeply unpopular is grandmaster Gary Kasparov? Such is the animus against him in chess circles that his endorsement of former rival Anatoly Karpov is said to have ensured the victory of a Russian politico who claims he’s been taken away by space monsters.   The New York Times’ Dylan Loeb McLain provides the awesome background.

Kirsan N. Ilyumzhinov,  the Kremlin-appointed leader of Kalmykia in southern Russia, defeated Anatoly Karpov, the former world champion, 95 to 55, to earn another term as World Chess Federation president.  Karpov and Kasparov had accused Mr. Ilyumzhinov of presiding over the game™s decline during the 15 years he has led the federation. They also accused him of mental instability. Mr. Ilyumzhinov has said he met with extraterrestrials in yellow suits at his Moscow apartment and that chess comes from outer space. He has also been accused of corruption and human rights abuses, and has been linked to the killing of a journalist.

Dischord & The NBA : Pay No More Than $3500 For This Courtside Seat

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, Rock Und Roll at 1:24 pm by

Described by Fanhouse’s Tom Ziller as “a hoophead and hardcore enthusiast”, FH’s managing editor Randy Kim was commissioned to compile a list of Dischord songs to go along with Washington DC-spawned NBA standouts.  It’s a pretty cool idea (especially as you could’ve just asked George Pelecanos to compare Kenny Carr to the Slickee Boys) and while I don’t particular care for seeing Dag Nasty paired with an admirable sort like Kevin Durant, Kim gets no argument from me on this one ;

Michael Beasley — Void, “Who Are You”
I wake up and I see you everyday / Never hear a thing I say / I come to you with all my problems / You don’t care, you won’t be bothered / Who are you, why am I here? (x4) … It’s pretty easy to see Beaz writing those words on the walls of Riles’ Miami office. In urine.

Dept. of No Thanks: Cal Ripken Jr. Insists His Meat Will “Melt In Your Mouth”

Posted in Baseball, consumer affairs, Food at 11:21 am by

For Cal Ripken Jr., retirement isn’t all about being rumored to be a Republican candidate for Senate every few. That’s a part of it, of course, but entrepreneurship is a part of it, too. To wit, from what is basically just a press release that appeared in the Baltimore Sun:

Cal Ripken Jr. is teaming with Long Valley, N.J.-based Florio Sports LLC to sell a beef jerky snack, the sports firm announced Wednesday… The snack, which is made from “lean American beef,” according to a news release, will debut at the National Association of Convenience Stores trade show in Atlanta from Tuesday through Friday.

Beef jerky is as American as apple pie, obviously, so seemingly all in good, protein-packed fun. Except that when you visit the promotional site for the food it all goes to hell. First of all, it’s called Ripken Power Shred, which sounds like a non-FDA-approved weightlifting supplement. Second of all, and I can’t emphasize enough just how much this should’ve been first of all, it’s apparently chaw-themed beef. So it looks like chewing tobacco and comes in a little Skoal-ian can, but tastes like liquid smoke or chemical teriyaki and is made of animal. By this point in my life, I know that I will probably never be a vegetarian, but whimsical convenience meats like this — which came from a living thing just as surely as does your grass-fed steak — are a huge bum-out for me. To be fair, though, the writing on the Ripken Power Shred website actually made me feel worse:

Beef Jerky has been a fan-favorite for centuries. Steeped in tradition, people have always loved this compact, savory snack. Well, we’ve just made it even better! Super moist, protein-rich Ripken Power Shred„¢ bursts with intense flavor and, unlike other brands, will melt in your mouth and keep you wanting more. The game has changed. Stay in it!

Good! (Not good!) But let me give it a little punch-up, free of charge:

Since the dawn of time, Beef Jerky (Note: Capital Letters) has been a fan-favorite for centuries (Note: Be more specific!), with pre-Columbian baseball fans especially fond of the evaporated meat straps. Steeped in tradition, people have always loved this compact (Note: clearer!) People who are steeped in tradition have always loved this compact, savory snack portable meat item. Well, we’ve just made it even better! Super moist, protein-rich Ripken Power Shred„¢ bursts with intense flavor and, unlike other brands, will melt in your mouth and keep you wanting more. The game that is jerkied meat has changed. Stay in it!

“Stay in the game when you’re 40 years old and have a .637 OPS” would also work for a kicker, but I thought they did okay at the end. If the folks at Ripken Novelty Meats LLP are looking for someone to write them some website content and add some SEO kick, my rates are reasonable. Also, I’m qualified to write in that sector because, until Brendan Flynn sent me this link a few minutes ago, I wasn’t a vegetarian.


Even Mark Madsen Finds Reid Brignac’s Dance Recital Highly Embarrassing

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 8:12 pm by

Much has been written the past few days about the Tampa Rays’ struggles at the box office, and I do believe 7th Inning Stache has inadvertently turned up a quality solution to the franchise’s box office woes. Just send Reid Brignac around to the homes of as many Tampa/St. Pete residents as possible ; announce the Rays’ young infielder will not stop dancing in their driveway until someone in the household has signed up for a 2011 mini-plan. It’s the sort of scheme that could get Brignac shot in cold blood, but given the all the team’s been through in that market, who am I to say it isn’t worth the risk?

Who Says There Are No Second Acts In (North) American Life? David Frost’s New Hockey Gig

Posted in Hockey, Leave No Child Unbeaten, mistaken I.D., The Law at 3:40 pm by

What might cause a person to change their name from David Frost to Jim McCauley?  Well, if googling the former turned up accusations of sexual exploitation of young hockey players under his supervision, and being the target of a subsequent murder plot carried out by a former client, you too might wanna start with a clean slate.  According to the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons, that’s just what former player agent Frost has done, resurfacing under a new name at the Laguna Hockey Academy in Laguna Niguel, CA.

Some people claim he is coaching and advising kids again — an accusation he denies.

Some people claim he is running the hockey training establishment — which on its website lists McCauley Hockey as its director of hockey — which Frost denies.

Maybe the worst thing, one California parent insists, is that the majority of parents that she knows who have children training at Frost’s establishment are well aware of who he is, know about his background, and in one parent’s words “they don’t seem to care.” In fact, in the arena at Laguna Beach, a St. Louis Blues jersey with Danton’s name and number hangs from one of the walls, another indication that Frost has no shame.

With Frost, though, the truth can be difficult to find.

“I am not coaching, teaching or working with kids,” Frost told Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times. “I’m not using an alias. I’m using the McCauley name on my email and I’ve used it for years … I’m not hiding. Rob (Barth, his boss) is not hiding. My wife, my family and I are not hiding.”

“When they bring in someone like Jim McCauley to run this establishment, people are happy with it because they know they are getting superior hockey instruction,” said Laguna instructor Chris Sheffield, who says he understands why Frost has changed his name.

“I don’t think anything about this is questionable. The second he landed in California, he changed his life. He changed his way. He changed his name. He’s not running from anything, he’s not hiding. People make mistakes or (are) accused of things in their life. How they rebound, how they change, that’s how you judge them.”

Burns On The Late Steinbrenner : How Quickly We Forget Howard Spira

Posted in Baseball, History's Not Happening at 3:02 pm by

Ken Burns’ “10th Inning” — an addendum to the acclaimed 9-part “Baseball” series” — premiered on PBS last night, and while Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra plans to skip the episode (“If a highlight that even looks like Jim Leyritz vs. Mark Wohlers comes on my TV I get nauseous as it is, so the last thing I want to do is watch George Will and Doris Kearns Goodwin and God knows who else waxing eloquently about it over some evocative mandolin music”), the Village Voice’s Allen Barra collects some choice quotes from the documentarian on the occasion of last week’s unveiling of the gargantuan George Steinbrenner plaque.

Are you here, we asked Burns, “because you’re an admirer of The Boss?

“Oh, puh-leese,” he shot back. “Springsteen is The Boss. Steinbrenner was Darth Vader.”

But what about his transformation of the Yankees from a second-division, second-rate organization to a world champion, multibillion-dollar corporation”

“Give me a break. Steinbrenner is the guy who woke up at third base and thought he hit a triple. It’s amazing how all this guy’s sleaze is suddenly forgotten. Who else would have hired a shady gambler (above)  to follow one of his players around just to get dirt on them?” (As Steinbrenner did to Dave Winfield.).

Anyway, I tell Burns, it seems as if I finally outed him as a Red Sox fan.

“I’m a filmmaker first. My co-director, Lynn Novick, is the Yankees fan, so it all balances out.”

“Ah, hah,” I say. “‘It balances out.’ So you are a Red Sox fan?”

“I wasn’t born that way. I was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Michigan, and came to New England too late to get caught up in all that ’67 Impossible Dream stuff. But I admit that 2004 was my favorite season. I’ve never seen that kind of enthusiasm in baseball fans. Look at the World Series victory parade. Proportionately, I’ll bet they had five times the number of people in the streets that they have for a Yankees parade.”

“Right,” I say, “and they probably did that just by emptying all the bars.”

One Canine Skins Fan Prepares For Vick’s Next Start

Posted in Dogs, Gridiron at 2:21 pm by

Under the circumstances, I was hoping for a dog a little more like Derek Strange’s Greco, but in a pinch, this’ll do.   Pic link swiped from DC Sports Bog.


Ex-Nets Owner Ratner Confronts Plummeting Value Of Hole In The Ground (He Helped Dig)

Posted in Basketball at 6:38 pm by

With today’s unveiling of the latest designs to date for the Nets’ proposed Barclays Center, developer/creep Bruce Ratner admitted it would take longer than a decade to complete the entire Atlantic Yards project. Trouble is, as Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn’s Matthew Schuerman points out, Ratner’s quoted 10-year-timeline “was also used by the city, state and Ratner™s own consultant to determine that the financial benefits to the public outweighed the roughly $300 million in direct subsidies the project is receiving.”

The longer the construction schedule, the longer it will take the government to accumulate the benefits”in terms of income taxes from people who move into the complex, property taxes on the new buildings and other sources.

Daniel Goldstein, a chief opponent of the project who until recently lived in the project™s footprint said that Ratner™s admission undermines the official reason for state support of the project: to remove the blight on the six Brooklyn blocks that make up the footprint.

œWhat we have now is a site that was not blighted turning into a dormant site, nearly 20 acres of vacant lots and parking lots for 20, 25, 30, 40 50 years, Goldstein said. œWhat was not blighted has become blighted for a very long time.

NFL Investigates Nick Collins’ Inability To Take Racial Abuse Laying Down

Posted in Gridiron, Mob Behavior, Racism Corner at 4:20 pm by

The following item from WTAQ.com comes on the heels of Green Bay essentially handing a win to their Chicago hosts in the closing moments Monday night ; apparently, the Pack’s graciousness should extend to shrugging off the ugliest of epithets.

FOX6 in Milwaukee is reporting that safety Nick Collins got into an altercation with fans following the 20-17 loss at Soldier Field.

Collins was “provoked by a Bears fan” and Collins threw an object at the fan. The defensive back had to be restrained by wide receiver Donald Driver. Collins told reporters in the locker room that a fan used a racial slur with him and that he responded inappropriately.

The NFL says they’re investigating the incident.

While they’re at it, they’re hopefully investigating Solider Field security, too.

If You Were Wondering What Mick Foley Thought Of Tori Amos…

Posted in music, Professional Wrestling at 1:00 pm by

… Then today is shaping up as a really excellent day for you. But while the (high) literary quality of Foley’s paean to d. original Joanna Newsom won’t be a surprise to anyone familiar with Foley’s super-readable memoirs, it’s still somewhat surprising to see the artist formerly known as Mankind opening up about his deep and abiding affection for Amos’s work in Slate. The essay, which was adapted from Foley’s (fourth!) upcoming memoir, is longer than the average pro wrestler’s tribute to weird chanteuses, but I can vouch for its worth as someone who doesn’t really care much about either wrestling or Ms. Amos. On sheer improbability alone, Foley’s piece is a winner.

It wasn’t until a year and a half later, on a tour of Japan, that Tori Amos and “Winter” started playing a role in my wrestling career. I had just left Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling, a bold move that had not been particularly popular with my wife. We’d just had our second child, and leaving a job with a guaranteed six-figure income (low six, but still six) might not have been the greatest example of responsible parenthood. This seemed especially true during my first tour for IWA Japan, a small promotion with a heavy emphasis on wild matches: barbed wire, fire, thumbtacks, and blood”lots of blood.

…I was terrified. This is a normal human response to the very abnormal prospect of being dropped head first, neck first, and, yes, even balls first on jagged metal barbs. How exactly does a gentle, caring man (me) transform himself into a willing participant in such a barbaric spectacle? I needed to find some kind of inspiration in a hurry.

I looked out the dressing room door and saw the Japanese preliminary wrestlers taking down the ropes, beginning the process of putting the barbed wire around the ring. The wire they used was the real stuff: cold and uncaring, capable of tearing flesh in a hurry. I knew I had about 30 minutes before the wiring process was completed”a half-hour to undergo a drastic mental transformation. I took out my battered Sony Walkman and, after great deliberation, bypassed the obvious hard-rock selections. Finding solitude in a far corner of the frigid backstage area, I saw a cloud of my own breath as I pressed the play button. “Snow can wait, I forgot my mittens/ Wipe my nose, get my new boots on.”

…And then I realize I’m going to be all right. Head first, neck first, balls first”it really doesn’t matter. By the fourth listen, I know I’m going to tear that place apart.

I imagine that I speak for most of CSTB’s readership when I say that I am greatly looking forward to The Iron Sheik’s take on Ani DiFranco.

St. Pete Scribe To Longria : Stop Biting The Hand That’s Too Cheap Or Apathetic To Feed You

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 3:04 am by

(rare photographic evidence of Tropicana Field with a sizable crowd in attendance)

A  4-0, home loss to Baltimore Monday night would’ve clinched an AL playoff berth for Tampa had the host prevailed, delaying by at least a day what in all likelihood will be the Rays qualifying for the postseason for just the second time in franchise history.  This nearly-momentous occasion was witnessed by fewer than 13,oo0 paying customers, a circumstance that caused Rays 3B Evan Longoria to complain, “for the fans to show the kind of support they’re showing right now, you kind of wonder what else you have to do as a player.” P David Price echoed Longoria’s sentiments, tweeting that Monday’s attendance was “embarrassing”.  In the considered view of the St. Petersburg Times’ John Romano — who freely admits these turnouts are brutally poor (“for a market that wants to be big league, for a fan base that claims to be rabid, 12,446 has to be considered highly disappointing”) — “it is poor judgment to criticize the very people who help fund their paychecks on the first and 15th of every month.”  Except of course, Longoria and Price were criticizing the people who don’t fund their paychecks.

It’s not that Longoria, or other Rays players, forfeit their opinions because of their bank accounts. All of us have rights to our own opinions. Still, the players have to understand how this sounds to the mother or father trying to decide whether tonight is the night to juggle the family budget so they can afford the cost of tickets and parking and a hot dog.

The simple truth is athletes and entertainers in this country are ridiculously overpaid. Now I certainly don’t blame them for that. They have special talents, and they are cashing in on America’s fascination with celebrity and sports.

But you can’t make more money than an entire neighborhood, then question why the people in that neighborhood aren’t showing up to watch you perform.

Because, in the end, the problem is not Tampa Bay’s fans. The guy in the car next to you is not at fault. The teacher at your local elementary school is not to blame. The problem is the market itself. It has some inherent problems, and those problems are larger than a single ticket buyer.

It has to do with a lack of corporations and high-paying jobs. It has to do with challenging geography and fixed incomes. It has to do with a lack of community identity. And, yes, it might have to do with a particular stadium.

I would absolutely agree with anyone who says that Tampa Bay is not a great sports market.

I just think it defeats the purpose when Tampa Bay’s biggest stars are the ones saying it.


Tim Kawakami’s Preface To Mike Singletary’s (Professional) Obituary

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 11:42 pm by

With the sudden resignation of Don Nelson as head coach of the Golden State Warriors over the weekend, Tim Kawakami was denied a favored subject/target for the upcoming NBA season.  Undaunted, the San Jose Mercury News columnist can focus full attention on the 0-3 San Francisco 49′ers, whose 31-10 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday provoked the firing of oft-castigated offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, he of the allegedly ungodly delay relaying plays to QB Alex Smith. “If he cannot snap himself and his team immediately out of this, then Sept. 26, 2010, probably was the beginning of the end for his fascinating 49ers tenure,” declares Kawakami, who might run out of professional coaches to fire before December if Tom Cable treats Sebastian Janikowski the way he might a mouthy spouse and/or non-deferential assistant.

It’s fair to ask: In a league dominated by master strategists, have the 49ers gone as far as they can go with a coach who disdains intricate strategy and who hired Jimmy Raye as his offensive coordinator?

This is a team with talent — at least as much as the Chiefs, and probably more. This team is very motivated. And yet, the 49ers are on the brink, already in September, and the Chiefs are 3-0.

Now they have to go to Atlanta next Sunday, which is a direct line to 0-4. Then a home game against red-hot Philadelphia, which could mean 0-5. Can Singletary turn around the ship that swiftly?

“Once we look at the film, we will,” Singletary said. “We’ll do what we have to do to get it right.”

That’s what he said. He has said similar things in the past. But this time, Singletary didn’t sound at all too sure — of the result, or of himself. And if he’s not sure of himself, then I don’t know who else could be.

Yet Another Samurai Sword-Wielding Incident That Ends Badly

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 5:33 pm by

(video still from KIRO.tv)

A Lacey, WA man was subdued by a SWAT team Friday following a dispute over a baseball car at a nearby convenience store. Words like “samuri sword” and “tear gas” figure prominently in this tale, and BBTN’s Gamingboy poses the most obvious question of all ; whose card was it? Given that the sword-wielder was described as “delusional”, I think the answer is pretty clear.

Inside Donnie Walsh’s Panic War Room

Posted in Basketball at 2:12 pm by

Carmelo Anthony was a surprise participant (sort of) at Nuggets media day this morning, if only to remind the local press that he’s still under contract to Denver.  With no shortage of bidders — including the Bulls, Nets and Sixers — for Anthony’s services, it would seem all hopes of ‘Melo in a Knicks uniform have been dashed.  And if that doesn’t sit well with New York team president Donnie Walsh, how might you think it’s going down with history’s most generic blues guitarist? CBS Sports’ Ken Berger describes the level of desperation at The World’s Most Dysfunctional Arena :

As the Nets’ deal moved closer to completion Monday, one team sources say is more involved than commonly thought is the Knicks. After New York fell short in its pursuit of LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade, it would be devastating for the Knicks to watch Anthony go to their cross-river rival — especially since that rival is moving into the city limits to Brooklyn in two years. While Knicks president Donnie Walsh has been in far from panic mode, he has been “working every angle” in an effort to get back in the game with Anthony, according to a rival executive familiar with Walsh’s approach.

“He’s the master,” the executive said. “I’ll put it this way: If there’s any way to get something done that he feels good about, he’ll get it done. He’ll leave no stone unturned.”

The characterization  of Walsh as a feverish wheeler-dealer is in stark contrast to reports from last summer, that depicted the veteran hoops exec as something of a tragic, near-death’s-door figure during attempts to woo LeBron James. So which is the real Donnie Walsh?   The drooling invalid whose liquid meals are prepared by Schlumpy and Steve Mills?  Or the dynamic deal-maker that captured the city’s favorite new Jew (after no one else wanted to pay him nearly as much)?

MSF’s Morris Vs. NFL’s Lax DUI Stance

Posted in Blogged Down, Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 1:16 pm by

WR Braylon Edwards might not be Dustin Keller, but he still played a key role in the Jets’ 31-23 road defeat of Miami last night, despite having been busted for DUI just 5 days earlier. Noting the participation of Edwards — along with Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown, charged with DUI last spring, Midwest Sports Fans’ Jerod Morris bemoans a system that suspends PED users while taking a cavalier approach to drunk driving (“the only thing separating Brown and Edwards from an infamous and indefinite existence of regret and remorse, the kind of existence that is an unfortunate but deserved reality for Donte Stallworth and Leonard Little, is luck”)

The NFL suspends players for drug use of all kinds, which I think is fine, especially in the case of performance enhancers. So why not suspend anyone who is pulled over and blows a BAL above the legal limit? No one else is ever going to die from Brian Cushing™s decision to *ahem* overtrain, but it only takes one time and a little bad luck for someone else to make the same decision Braylon Edwards and I made for it to result in a tragedy.

Donte Stallworth and Leonard Little paid huge prices, both monetarily and in terms of suspension length, for killing people while driving drunk. Ronnie Brown and Braylon Edwards paid very little price, but only luck and happenstance really separates these four people. So why such disparate punishments for essentially the same choice?.


Murray Chass Perfects Awesome, If Slightly Genteel Tracy Ringolsby Impersonation

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Sports Journalism at 7:32 pm by

(if Murray Chass owned an iPod, rest assured, the studio version of this song would not be on it)

Hey, were you aware that not only does Billy Beane’s shit “not work in the playoffs”, but it hasn’t worked so well in the regular season of late? Has it escaped your knowledge that old-school baseball evaluators have occasional discovered a decent player or two? Just in case you were oblivious to the above, former NY Times columnist Murray Chass would like to use the occasion of former Cards / current Reds GM Walt Jocketty’s 2010 success to rub it in just a little bit.

Jocketty was probably the most notable victim of the modern-day baseball war between evaluation and analysis. It mattered not to DeWitt that Jocketty™s belief in player evaluation had worked extremely well for the Cardinals. The owner was seduced by others in the organization into believing that statistical analysis was the way to go.

That was the method created by Bill James and was featured in the Michael Lewis book œMoneyball, which ridiculed one Oakland scout not for his inability to judge players but for the fact that he was fat.

Younger members of front offices have espoused analysis over evaluation, and the Cardinals were one of the places they succeeded in gaining a foothold, much to Jocketty™s dismay.

A critical factor in his effort has been the addition of three men who worked for him in St. Louis “ Jerry Walker, Cam Bonifay and Mike Squires. These scouts and scouting executives know how to use calculators and computers, but more important, they use their eyes and can evaluate what they see.

Chass’ general point is well taken — the advent of modern statistical analysis didn’t render a baseball lifer like Walt Jocketty full-of-shit.  But there is something kind of astonishing about calculators being cited as a modern tool given that the contemporary portable modern has been in existence for nearly 40 years.

Guess Who’s Not Getting Buried In A Jewish Cemetary (Besides Eric Hinske)?

Posted in Australian Rules Football, Free Expression at 5:26 pm by

Perhaps setting the (ahem) gold standard for hardcore support of AFL side Collingwood ; Justin Witicombe, above, tells The Herald Sun he has 30 tattoo tributes to the Magpies adorning his body, including one on what the paper helpfully calls “his manly bits”. The Big Lead makes reference to additional ink honoring Mike Tyson and Paul Stanley, proving that if nothing else, Mr. Witicombe isn’t merely drawing from a rich cultural mosaic,  he is a rich cultural mosaic.

When The Going Gets Tough, Does Favre Go Back To Hattiesburg?

Posted in Gridiron at 12:14 pm by

Skipping most of training camp is one thing, but are the Vikings and 41 (thousand) year old QB Brett Favre already making provisions for the latter to take an early vacation?  Consider the following tidbit from the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Charley Waters;

If the offense-devoid Vikings were to lose to the lowly Detroit Lions today at the Metrodome, it would be interesting whether the winless Vikings would try to save some of their $16 million investment in Brett Favre this season by trying to reach a contract compromise with the soon-to-be 41-year-old quarterback.

With a bothersome left ankle and unproductive receivers, coupled with the possibility of a 0-3 start, where’s the future for Favre? And this season for the Vikings?

There’s no reason to believe Waters is doing anything other than thinking out loud. But unless Favre is physically unable to perform, negotiating a buyout because he-can’t-stand-to-lose would be the ultimate indictment of his selfishness, if not the Vikes’ failure to maintain even the slightest facade of being a real team.


Rownay On Phillips Idowu’s Commonwealth Games Disappearing Act

Posted in Track & Field at 1:02 pm by

Great Britain’s world triple-jump champion Phillips Idowu (above) announced his intent to skip the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Dehli, citing concerns over safety that are being echoed by others in the GB camp. The Guardian’s Barney Rownay considers Idowu’s situation and declares, ‘India does have plenty to apologise for: those terrible middle-aged hammy male Bollywood stars with their gnarly sunglassed gangster faces; the new moneyed generation of Prada-class goons…but it seems a little sad they are being forced to apologise for its poverty and its vast, insoluble muddle.”

“I cannot take any risk whatsoever, no matter how small,” Idowu declared on Twitter, presumably while being winched slowly from his lead-lined sleep chamber by hired ninja guards and strapped into his padded high chair for a breakfast of pre‘masticated custard.

There are a number of conclusions you may draw from this. The first is that Idowu, in common with a number of similarly minded team-mates, believes there is a genuine chance he will be hit by a collapsing item of city infrastructure while competing in the triple jump. It may be useful to point out here that of all human beings Idowu is perhaps best placed to avoid this hazard, his hopping, skipping and jumping capabilities being ideally suited to escaping falling debris in a track and field scenario.

Stars of track and field are beautiful people with fast-twitch muscle fibres and lovely clear complexions, but they also exist by necessity in a bubble of ascetic absorption. Their lives are a blend of agonising exertion and downtime pampering. They don’t generally travel to broaden the mind, or take gap years or spend four months wearing the same student-issue stripy cotton trousers and living in a beach hut so lowly even the rats are hunch-backed. Photos of grime-encrusted bathroom fittings in the athletes’ village “ where, no doubt, the on-site construction workers are currently billeted “ will have troubled these citizens of the international chain-hotel circuit.

4th Place Team Objects To Baseball Being Played In Non-Passive Manner

Posted in Baseball at 12:44 pm by

Besides squandering another decent starting performance by R.A. Dickey, the big talking point emerging from the Mets’ 3-2 loss to the wildly streaking Phillies last night is Chase Utley’s mugging of NY 2B Ruben Tejada while attempting to break up a double play.  What passes for outspoken leadership on the Mets, Jose Reyes and David Wright, each took exception to the play, as quoted by the Star-Ledger’s Andy McCullough who notes there was no retaliation forthcoming from the visitors after this violent act.

œThere™s no need to slide right on top of the base, Jose Reyes said. œYou can blow out some guy™s knee, something like that there.

œIt’s a legal slide, David Wright said. œIt’s within the rules. But somebody is going to get hurt. He added, œWe’ll reevaluate the way we go into second base.

The collision was fierce. That comes partly from Utley, who also slide hard to Reyes earlier in the game And that comes partly from Tejada, who weighs about 160 pounds and is still learning how to play second base.

Much as it pains me to do so, I’m in full agreement (gulp) with Matt P. of The 700 Level, who says of Wright’s veiled threat, “he failed to indicate where that item ranks on the list of things the Mets need to reevaluate.”

Meanwhile, the Mets weren’t opposed to a little gamesmanship of their own, calling an ice-the-kicker timeout in the middle of Brad Lidge’s stretch in the ninth.

Already eliminated from meaningful baseball beyond next week, they have nothing to lose, and they seem plenty pissed off. Maybe they should’ve tried getting fired up a little sooner. In any case, the next two games just got a little more interesting.


Prokhorov, King Closer To Getting Their Man : ‘Melo Approves Trade To Nets

Posted in Basketball at 7:12 pm by

The New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy claims multiple sources have confirmed a proposed 4-way trade that would sent Carmelo Anthony to temporary Newark residents, The Nets, has been approved by the Baltimore native. Here’s some free advice for James Dolan — pay Isiah Thomas to tell elite players NOT to sign with the Knicks.  Doing the opposite hasn’t worked at all, so why not try another approach?

The proposed deal – which would also involve the Jazz and Bobcats – would have Favors going back to Denver, along with Utah’s Andrei Kirilenko and multiple draft picks from the Nets and Warriors (the Nets hold Golden State’s first-round pick in 2012).

Harris would be sent to Charlotte, while Boris Diaw would be shipped from Charlotte to Utah. Other role players are being discussed as part of the complex trade.

According to a source, the Nuggets will make a final effort this weekend to convince Anthony to return after his contract expires next summer. But after Anthony refused to sign a three-year extension that’s been on the table since June – and after he turned down an opportunity this month to express any loyalty to the Nuggets in an interview with the News – it’s unlikely the three-time All-Star will change his mind.

Anthony has approved the deal, according to an NBA source, which is important because it’s contingent on him signing an extension with the Nets.

The Nets must also worry about teams swooping in with 11th-hour offers. Chicago, a preferred destination for Anthony, could reportedly change everything by offering Joakim Noah to Denver.

Tony Dungy’s Fave TV Shows – How’d “Deadwood” Not Make This List?

Posted in Gridiron, Parental Responsibility, Religion, The World Of Entertainment at 2:14 pm by

Much as I love to take shots at the pious / anti-gay former Colts head coach Tony Dungy, his taste in TV shows isn’t all lousy. Just mostly lousy. Had I actually gone to college for more than 4 months, I’d probably have spent more hours watching “Sanford & Son”, too, and who’s to say that wouldn’t have been time well spent?

A New Candidate To Be Underminded By Jeff Wilpon Has Emerged

Posted in Baseball at 11:38 am by

Amidst rumors his voice was no longer being heard by Nationals ownership, team president Stan Kasten resigned yesterday, causing the New York Times’ David Waldstein to openly speculate if the Mets might consider the veteran sports executive to replace the lame duck general manager Omar Minaya.

There is no indication the Mets have reached out to any potential candidates yet, and that includes Kasten, since they haven™t yet resolved the future structure of the baseball department.

But they have contemplated virtually every possible scenario to revive their flagging franchise, so perhaps this idea will be discussed, if it hasn™t already been. Certainly, the indefatigable Kasten isn™t ready to retire. Speaking with reporters in Washington on Thursday, Kasten, 58, indicated he wants a shot with another team.

Because he is not strictly a baseball man, Kasten might not fit the Mets™ current models if they feel his areas of expertise are too similar to Jeff Wilpon™s job description as chief operating officer. But Kasten has a strong track record of success, and if Fred Wilpon, the Mets™ chairman and chief executive, were to consult Commissioner Bud Selig, Kasten would surely get a glowing recommendation.

Jeff Wilpon’s focus on box office considerations has been alluded to more than once recently, and with that in mind, Kasten might be the perfect man for the job. He’s already demonstrated a zeal for selling tickets to Phillies fans, who might become a very important part of Citi Field’s turnover the next few seasons.


History’s Most Puzzling eBay Auctions (Pt. II)

Posted in Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace at 4:18 pm by

Though not quite as astonishing as attempts to sell a Joe McEwing jersey, the above item poses the very common question, “what do  you get the man who has everything (including a Don Dokken guitar pick and a signed 8 X 10″ glossy of George Lynch)”?

Paging Quincy M.E. ; Giants’ Johnson Questions McKinely (Alleged) Cause Of Death

Posted in Gridiron, The Law at 3:02 pm by

While the Arapahoe County Coroner considers the fatal gunshot wound to head of Broncos WR Kenny McKinley to be most likely self-inflicted, McKinley’s former teammate, Giants DB D.J. Johnson, has his doubts, telling Newsday’s Tom Rock, “knowing Kenny and knowing what type of guy he was and then having his son up there and the way he loved his son, I don™t think he would have did it.”

œI know what the environment is like in Denver, he said. œI knew Kenny and I knew the type of people that we all hung around. You just never know. You can™t trust nobody. He™s not from there, I wasn™t from there. Nothing against Kenny at all, but when you like to have a good time and you™re a friendly person, you let people into your environment.

œIn any environment when you have guys in our position who are out having fun, and we™re going to the same environments as normal people and some convicts, however it may happen, it™s going to be an issue, he said. œWe have the financial backing to be able to go in there, have a good time, buy some bottles and stuff like that. Then there are going to be others that are going to look at it, going to see the women gravitate to that, so they™re going to try to match you. Then you get into a pissing contest. And when you get into a pissing contest, people get upset.

Johnson said when he heard about McKinley™s death “ even before suicide was mentioned “ he immediately figured that kind of œpissing match had lead to the shooting.

œThere was no ˜Did he do it?™ Johnson said. œIt was just a thought that something happened, that somebody did something fishy.