KC’s Moore : Enough About The Endless Losing Seasons, Check Out All The Talent We’ve Yet To Ruin

Posted in Baseball at 11:36 pm by

Kansas City is coming off a 95 loss campaign, they’ve put the previous season’s Cy Young Award winner on the auction block and Rany Jazayerli sums up the plummeting career fortunes of 3B-turned-LF Alex Gordon thusly, “he seems to be looking for new areas of his game to regress.” But fret not, Royals fans, GM Dayton Moore insists, “the only farm system that compares to ours right now in our division is Cleveland™s”.   From Fox Sports’ Jeffrey Flanagan (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory) :

œThe organization is much better today than it was at the beginning of last season, Moore told me, œand certainly much better than it was before the trade deadline.

œOverall, the organization is much better than it has been since we started this process. We™ve had four drafts and we™ve had three draft classes out there playing in the minors. The farm system was near the bottom in baseball four years ago and now, thanks to the great work people here have done, it™s near the top.

œAnd certainly the free-agent signings and the trades we™ve made because of those signings have also helped booster this system and the organization. Alberto Callaspo, Scott Podsednik, Rick Ankiel, Kyle Farnsworth — we were able to use those guys and multiply our numbers to get guys on our team either next year or in the next two years.

œYou have to have a long-term perspective. I™ve heard people say that they™re tired of us ˜rebuilding™ every year. Well, we™re not ˜rebuilding.™ We™re building. We have nothing to rebuild from. We haven™t won anything since 1985. I guess you could say we™ve been rebuilding since 1985.”

Jerramy Stevens – Lousy At Staying Out Of Trouble, Excellent At Relaxing Before A Big Game

Posted in Gridiron, The Law at 7:04 pm by

Bucs WR Jerramy Stevens — best remembered by many NFL fans for providing bulletin board material to the Steelers prior to Super Bowl XL — wasn’t a a participant in Tampa Bay’s dramatic, 18-17 victory over St. Louis earlier today. Saturday night, Stevens was held out of the lineup after being  arrested Saturday night, with details provided by the Tampa Tribune’s Anwar S. Richardson:

A Tampa police officer stopped Stevens’ 2006 Ford pickup shortly after 7 p.m. at North Westshore Boulevard and West Cypress Street after hearing loud music coming from the truck, according to a Tampa Police Department news release. After smelling marijuana coming from inside, the officer searched the truck and found 38 grams of marijuana.

Stevens, 30, was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of marijuana “ both felonies “ and possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor. He was released from jail shortly after midnight today after posting $4,500 bail.

Is Dez Cadena Destined To Be The Susan Lucci Of The Bobblehead Market?

Posted in Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace at 11:53 am by

Once upon a time, PG Kenny Anderson had to cope with the upkeep on 8 luxury cars and justify an $120G annual “hanging out” budget in the midst of an NBA lockout. With another work stoppage looming in the distance, the Association’s new breed of thrifty players — best typified by the Clippers’ Chris Kamen — would do well to make modest investments in cultural artifacts that appreciate in value, much like the Keith Morris Throbblehead shown above. Having previously introduced similar collectibles in the likenesses of Tesco Vee, the late Wendy O. Williams and The Bard Of Hookset, NH, Aggronautix brings us the first-ever inaction figure in tribute to the former Black Flag/Circle Jerks (and currently Off!) vocalist.

Brynes Notice : NYBD’s Silva Trashes Ex-Snakes GM

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 9:43 am by

As the above tweet illustrates, the Mets’ search for a new General Manager threatens to extend beyond the end of October, despite what seems like ample opportunity to decide amongst the available candidates.  With COO Jeff Wilpon issuing daily updates on the club’s progress or lack thereof, former A’s/Padres execuitive Sandy Alderson and recently canned Arizona GM Josh Byrnes are scheduled for further talks in Flushing next week, and while Fake Fred Wilpon has some quality questions lined up, NY Baseball Digest’s Mike Silva is far from sold on the younger contender.

Give Brynes credit  for acquiring Dan Haren and Adam Dunn in 2008. He felt his young team was peaking and could be a threat in the wide open National League. Unfortunately it didn™t work and the result was trading all stars like Carlos Gonzalez and Carlos Quentin, while giving out a bad contract to Eric Byrnes.

His draft record in Arizona is equally unimpressive. I realize selecting amateur players is a crapshoot, but Byrnes passed on Joba Chamberlain, Daniel Bard, Kyle Drabek, Tommy Hunter, Rick Porcello, and Jason Heyward. Paying over slot dollars might have a lot to do with some of those players, but Byrnes regime didn™t churn out much from the draft during his tenure.

The final nail in the coffin, for me at least, is how he fired Bob Melvin and replaced him with the inexperienced A.J. Hinch. It was a perplexing move that made a bad situation worse. By this summer the D-Backs were back to the league joke they were when Byrnes took over in 2005


No Matter Who WIns Or Loses Tonight At CBP, There’s No Justification For Fox Scaring Children

Posted in Baseball, Halloween, Sports TV at 10:19 pm by

Or adults.   As of this writing, Tim Lincecum  – working on a day’s rest— has been relieved by Brian Wilson, and the Giants are clinging to a 3-2, 8th inning lead over the Phillies. But it’s really of no consequence compared to the nightmares I’m gonna suffer as the result of the above image. Who’d have thought I’d be envying Cablevision subscribers on tonight of all nights?

Barney Ronay Makes Sense Of Wayne Rooney’s Loony World

Posted in Football at 9:43 pm by

Manchester United announced they’d come to an agreement on a 5 year contract extension with the  previously disgruntled Wayne Rooney, said edit coming just days after the striker / serial-philanderer had reportedly expressed a desire to leave. After most rational persons concluded it was very hard to imagine young Wayne flourishing in Spain, Italy or London — mostly for non-football reasons —- that left the possibility of a crosstown move, and one the Guardian’s Barney Ronay helpfully explains was never likely to happen.

Wayne Rooney decided he didn’t like Manchester United any more. Wayne Rooney then decided he did still like Manchester United. Manchester City briefly liked Wayne Rooney, apparently enough to offer “£70m plus Shay Given”. In which context the words “plus Shay Given” seem a little demeaning and unnecessary, reducing Shay Given to the status of a small packet of seeds given away on the front cover of a glossy quarterly gardening magazine.

Manchester United fans now like Wayne Rooney again. Some had started to say they never liked him in the first place. This may present some difficulties. Some fans became so upset they put on masks and staged an angry protest. This is, it turns out, a surprisingly effective way of getting things done. In action films masked men are usually either hired ninja kidnappers or exotic women with a secret who will collapse into your arms shortly after you karate chop them in the windpipe. This is probably not the case here.

We know now that José Mourinho likes Wayne Rooney. Arsène Wenger also likes Wayne Rooney, but not in that way. John Terry thinks Wayne Rooney is the best player in the world. But, then, John Terry probably also thinks the French make good rap music, that supermarket own-brand Frosties are a convincing breakfast alternative and that going to a boutique hotel with some people you went to university with but never really see any more is a good substitute for an old-fashioned sullen family Christmas spent taking freezing walks past the shuttered corner shop, gulping mouthfuls of ginger wine behind the kitchen door and, as darkness falls and the opening credits for Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit begin to roll, feeling a sense of absolute mortal stasis.

Sports Blogging’s Answer To Jackie Harvey On Mariotti’s Disappearing Twitter Account

Posted in Blogged Down, Sports Journalism at 8:35 pm by

(maybe if the gentleman above had better contacts in the modeling community, he wouldn’t be totally washed up?)

Jay Mariotti’s Twitter account lasted less than 3 weeks — slightly longer than his tenure as an internet journalist, then — and we’re left to wonder whether the disgraced columnist was depressed over his low number of followers (still more than me, btw) or simply concluded it would be a good idea to keep a lower profile for a bit (being a pariah and all). Sports By Brooks is pretty sure it’s the former :

I always wondered what would happen to a media *celebrity* like Mariotti if he suddenly didn™t have a broadcast monolith to prop him up. Forced instead to live and work like so many of us .. in an actual meritocracy.

We have our answer.

Unless you have the power of a captive, national television audience every single day, your number of actually reactive Twitter followers is a function of the entertainment value you bring to the community.

Weirdly enough, I’ve always wondered what would happen to an ambulance chaser like Brooks if his site hadn’t been propped up by predictable T&A content.

Linda McMahon Supports Your Right To Wear Whatever You Want…

Posted in Fashion, Free Expression, politics, Professional Wrestling at 1:50 am by

…unless you’re attending a WWE show.  On Friday, the Hartford Courant’s Daniela Altimari reported that Connecticut polling places might turn away voters donning WWE merchandise on Tuesday, November 2, given the wrestling promotion’s association with Republican candidate Linda McMahon.

“Even though it doesn’t say her name directly … the brand is so ubiquitously associated with the McMahons,” said Av Harris, a spokesman for Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz.

Harris acknowledged that any discussion about voters’ apparel is a “very, very delicate issue.”

“We have a candidate who is very very well-known, who is a celebrity to millions of fans throughout the country,” he said. “This has been a very contentious, hard-fought campaign, but the sanctity of the polling place is sacrosanct.”

“There is absolutely nothing in the statute that prohibits someone from wearing an apolitical, nonpartisan piece of clothing to the polls,” McMahon spokesman Ed Patru said. “This opinion seems overtly partisan, and anytime the state starts arbitrarily denying citizens the right to vote, democracy itself is under attack. It’s very, very troubling.”

Republican Chairman Chris Healy called it a “ridiculous act of voter intimidation.”

Responds Figure4Online’s Bryan Alvarez, a writer who has more than a passing familiarity with the McMahon family’s business practices, “this is laughable for a company that confiscates signs at its arenas and would has a policy of not allowing fans visible on camera to wear T-shirts from other promotion.”


Believe It Or Not, There Was Once A Film WIth Worse Reviews Than “Glitter”

Posted in Cinema at 11:36 pm by

Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione passed away earlier this week, and while he’ll be remembered for all sorts of exploits in the world of bad-but-not-quite-bad-enough taste, his production of the 1979 bomb of the century, “Caligula” was a spectacular failure on multiple fronts.  As a biographical film, it’s pretty rotten.  Since it’s also about as erotic as the ebola virus, one can only conclude the parties responsible (not limited to those who disavowed the movie upon release) had ingested world-record levels of cocaine during the 3 years it took to complete the monstrosity.  And yet, here we are, 31 years later, remembering “Caligula”.   RIP, Bob Sr.

CSTB NYC Field Trip = Garish Tourist Pics

Posted in Fashion, New York, New York, Racism Corner, Tourism at 11:00 pm by

1) Endless Boogie, Thursday afternoon at Max Fish.  Your editor used to live in a tiny closet  above this bar.  The old, ‘well, I’ve got a huge living room downstairs” line worked slightly more often then, “well, I’ve got a room upstairs.”  Back in the mid ’90′s when he wasn’t beating the skins for a far less heralded Ludlow St. rock band (or watching NY Giants exhibition games when he should’ve been onstage), E.B. drummer Harry Druzd was slinging drinks in this very tavern.  For one afternoon, anyway, the vibe was awfully familiar at the Fish, though I’m certain the influx of NYU kids and the more-money-than-brains crowd filled the room to capacity many hours later (which, to be honest, was exactly the sort of thing some of us were bitching about on the weekends 17 years ago).

2) How many people do you know who were the subject of a Solex song?  Pittsburgh’s Randy Costanza, ladies & gentlemen, shown here at the WFMU Record Fair paying tribute to an era in which the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting QB had more Super Bowl rings than rape accusations (apologies to Randy, who didn’t know I was gonna come up with this caption)

3) Randy says, “hey, you like sports, right?” Well, I used too….

4) As seen at the WFMU Record Fair, The Offense Newsletter, Jan. 29, 1988. TKA always had great taste and he was smart enough to recognize the burgeoning genius of the Leeds-based Dustdevils long before certain NYC dilettantes hopped on the background.

5) (New Era Flagship Store, West 4th St.)  Since I’m OLDER THAN DIRT, I have no idea what this cap is supposed to mean.  However, since I’m a Jewish-American, I’ll just guess the worst and declare that I support the message, however crude.

October 22 In Tweets : Is It Too Late For Girardi To Interview For The Cubs Job?

Posted in twitter twatter at 10:13 pm by

  • hey, at least he matured RT @TiricoSuave: Video: 23 year-old Brett Favre a fan of 2 Live Crew, vagina http://bit.ly/aNxcmM #
  • not that i doubt it will happen, but two blogs have cited unidentified sources this week in claiming Alderson-to-Flushing is a done deal #
  • RT @DanWolken: Here is the link for the UT termination letter to Bruce Pearl. http://bit.ly/crCeSv #
  • a bit harsh, no? A least give Donnie Walsh one more year! RT @SLAMonline: NBA to Explore Contraction? http://bit.ly/ctOMq #
  • Good. They R a misunderstood people, like juggalos RT @malitzd: my promise : no tweets making fun of overexcited old dudes at the GBV show #
  • See,people really DO hook up at CMJ RT @WOVENBONES: Wow, @HunxandhisPunx is gonna fuck the whole audience b4 they even get a guitar tuned. #
  • paging the former Mr. Kathleen Turner RT @JonPareles: What happens in these dank lightless Lower East Side basements when it’s not #CMJ #

Giants Closer Wilson : Quick To Stress The Differences Between Juan Uribe & A Man In A Leather Hood

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 11:52 am by

(not, we believe, Juan Uribe)

If you flip through autopsies of last night’s NLCS Game 5 victory for Philadelphia and the monumentally manly Roy Halladay, you might end up missing a somewhat priceless item about San Francisco reliever Brian Wilson. Fortunately for us, Tim Cook was fully awake and caught the following bon mot from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman ;

In a now famous (or infamous) online video interview with Fox Sports’ Chris Rose, closer Brian Wilson was sitting in his apartment when a large man wearing a leather hood and other adult goodies momentarily walked into the picture behind him. Wilson called him “the machine.”

When asked Wednesday about Juan Uribe’s clutch hitting, Wilson said, “He’s a machine … not the machine. That’s what happens to good guys when they find themselves in positions like that to come through. That’s what the postseason is all about.”

Give The Drummer Some (Extended Footage) : Neil Peart’s Aesthetic Assault & Battery

Posted in Hockey, Sports TV at 8:40 am by

Have you ever wanted to watch a 90  minute documentary about Rush’s Neil Peart and his patriotic efforts to record a LOTSA DRUMS version of TSN’s “The Hockey Theme”? If so, you’re fucking nuts surely thrilled to learn such a DVD will soon be available via The Drum Channel. I don’t have a lot of time to watch every selection offered by DirecTV so I’m just gonna presume The Drum Channel’s offerings are more diverse and interesting than those of The Fretless Bass Channel.


October 21 In Tweets : There’s No Less Crying In Basketball

Posted in twitter twatter at 10:13 pm by

  • don’t weep too much for Adam Morrison, cut today by the Wizards. He still has a lucrative career under the name William Murderface #
  • dear Jeff Wilpon – enough with the spam, please #
  • blogs w/out brains. see if your knee-jerk callousness plays well with real HIV-positive homeless folk RE http://bit.ly/afIg5W #
  • Endless Boogie, Max Fish, NYC http://yfrog.com/mgg38jj #
  • RT @Holy_Mountain: “Dear Penthouse Forum, I never believed your obituaries until today.” – Anthony Bedard #
  • RT @GonerRecords: John Wesley Coleman – Bad Lady Goes To Jail lp & cd available at Goner now! Orange vinyl! http://alturl.com/b7mxn #

Giants Broadcaster Calls The Home Of Kurt Vile, Bardo Pond & The Strapping Fieldhands A Cultural Wasteland

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 5:21 pm by

Philadelphia sports fans have a longstanding (some would say thoroughly deserved) rep for uncouth behavior, and budding sociologist / SF Giants TV mouthpiece Mike Krukow (above) thinks he knows the reason why. To wit, Philadelphia sucks.  From the San Jose Mercury News’ Bruce Newman :

“If you’re not giving a good effort in San Francisco, the fans get on you,” said Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow, a former Giant who spent part of his career pitching in Philadelphia. “But the intensity level of hate here is probably 30 percent of what it is in Philly. People here can head to the beach, or go up to wine country and calm their anxieties. I just think they have nothing else to do in Philly.”

“In Philadelphia, they mortgage homes to buy season tickets,” said Mitch Williams, a former Phillies relief pitcher known as “Wild Thing” in his playing days, now a broadcaster. “It’s not a social event, it’s a way of life. They’re a blue-collar town, they work hard for their money, and if they don’t see a good performance, they’re going to let you know.”

“We’re nice,” Giants fan David Jones said while munching on a hot dog during batting practice Tuesday. “We don’t clap when somebody throws at a batter’s head.”

In the unlikely event the Yankees can prevail against the Rangers in 7 games (and far more probable instance the Giants win one of their next three tries against the Phillies),  I wonder if Krukow will take in the inevitable boos for Tim Lincecum and conclude that New York City, much like Philadelphia, is largely populated by angry persons denied frequent trips to wine country?

His Name Is Gus Johnson, And He Gets Pink-Slipped: Knicks Part Ways With Shouty, Beloved Broadcaster

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 10:01 am by

I don’t want to put words in GC’s mouth, but I think it’s fair to say that we’re generally pretty pro-Gus Johnson here at CSTB. When some American hero creates a soundboard of Gus’s greatest/loudest sounds, we unhesitatingly link to it. When he drops an effortless “Pause” on a nonplussed Spike Lee, we are startled and kind of delighted. When he delivers a stylized laugh during games for (um?) emphasis, we are amused by it.

Or at least I am. Doing radio play-by-play and occasional MSG sub gigs for the Knicks over the past few years has no doubt been a depressing gig — “I’m Jared Jeffries, and I get buckets” doesn’t work for at least one very obvious reason — but Johnson has remained generally ebullient and reliably more excitable than average. Johnson’s many side gigs, which have ranged from bummerific MMA matches to a boatload of college hoops games, have probably had a lot to do with that good attitude, but they apparently also led to the bad news that Johnson has been fired as the Knicks’ play-by-play announcer. His MSG bosses were unhappy about all the days off he took to ice his larynx work other broadcasts.

Phil Mushnick, who predictably dislikes Johnson every bit as much as he likes finding old bits of icing in his beard, shows everyone how to write objective news copy in breaking the story at the New York Post:

Gus Johnson, the shouts-a-lot, play-by-play radio voice of the Knicks since the 1997-98 season — and a frequent fill- in for Mike Breen on MSG Network’s Knicks’ telecasts — is out at the Garden, The Post has learned… Johnson’s hype-reliant play-by-play style — he’s easily excited — seems to make him more attractive to broadcasting executives than popular among genuine sports fans.

Genuine sports fans, as Mushnick knows, prefer fearlessly bearded race-baiting know-nothings who evince all the personality of a perforated ulcer to people who actually seem to enjoy their jobs. Good luck to Gus in his future endeavors. Possibly even now, he is laughing this off in a highly stylized fashion.


Not All Of LeBron’s Twitter Followers Are Living In A Post-Racial Society

Posted in Basketball, Racism Corner, twitter twatter at 4:17 pm by

A few weeks ago, LeBron James and confidante/handler Maverick Carter made the not-totally-out-to-lunch suggestion that some of the negative reaction to James’ highly orchestrated move to South Beach had a racial component.  Such obvservations were dismissed by The Bleacher Report’s Kyle Bunton, who argued, “If all this was because of race, people would have been making Lebron dolls and lynching them around Cleveland.” I wonder then, how might Bunton or his thoughtful publishers explain away the tweets James shared earlier today via his Twitter account. Here’s one of the highlights :

Opined New Times’ Chris Joseph, “The Internet is a lovely place. You can use it for stock quotes and porn. You can also use it to anonymously insult other people with vile racial slurs. Hooray, Internet! For their part, Twitter responded immediately and shut down the offender’s account. A better response would have been for them to have shoved a railroad spike dipped in syphilis up that guy’s rectal cavity.”  While I share Joseph’s revulsion, I disagree with the practice of censoring said hate speech.  Though perhaps not as effective as a railroad spike dipped in syphilis, @RyanOutrich would have eventual been outed by  someone and subsequently forced to live with the consequences of harassing LeBron with the dumbest, ugliest thing that popped into his or her tiny skull.  Chances are, few intelligent persons, whether they like the Heat or not, would find such behavior socially acceptable.

But the other reason I’d prefer that @RyanOutRich’s account stay up is because it provides valuable evidence that Kyle Bunton isn’t living in the same USA as the rest of us.  LeBron can earn more money than G-d ;  the minute he offends anyone’s notion of “team player” or appears to rising above his station, there’s always gonna be someone calling him…well, you know.  Is James’ level of self-obsession (or at least the way he’s presented himself) tiresome and easily mocked? Sure, but there’s little to indicate the likes of Brett Favre or Curt Schilling have ever contended with the sort of invective aimed at LBJ.

Video Footage Of Vancouver’s Rypien Attacking Francis Buxton

Posted in Hockey, Mob Behavior at 1:11 pm by

How dare the uncouth youngsters of Minnesota have the temerity to applaud the expulsion of the Canucks’ Rick Rypien? I think we’re all aware of the expression “fighting words”, but in this instance, Rypien’s antagonist was clearly guilty of “fighting-sarcastic-clapping”, thus adding the Canucks F to a storied list of athletes unafraid to stick up for themselves that includes Vernon Maxwell, Eric Cantona and Mike Milbury.

How Else Is Can A Liquored-Up Punter Make Headlines In Mid-Week?

Posted in Gridiron, The Law at 11:46 am by

(image taken from Shot Of Ginn)

Never let it be said there’s nothing to do in Indianapolis ;   Colts P Pat McAfee (above) was arrested early this morning after being found swimming in the city’s Central CanalThe Indy Star’s Scott Thien and John Tuohy provide the spectacular details ;

A 911 call was received about 4:45 a.m. this morning from a woman who said a wet, shirtless man tried to get into her car at a traffic signal at Broad Ripple Avenue, according to WTHR (Channel 13). The woman said he had œblond, shaggy hair wearing jeans, and that he œlooks like he™s freezing.

œI think he™s out of it, the caller told the dispatcher.

Police later found McAfee, 23, in the area, shirtless and soaking wet, and arrested the second-year Colts player at the corner of Broad Ripple and College avenues, IMPD spokesman Lt. Jeff Duhamell said.

Police say McAfee smelled of alcohol, his eyes were watery and bloodshot and his speech slurred. When police asked McAfee if he had been swimming in the canal, he replied, œI™m not sure, according to an IMPD report. He later said, œit was raining, and said his shirt was œin the water, according to the report.

When asked how much he had to drink McAfee replied, œA lot because I am drunk.

œI know I am drunk but does that mean I cannot walk home? McAfee asked, according to the report. Police also said the kicker had a hard time standing up.


Children’s Letters To CSTB : The Archives

Posted in Blogged Down, Internal Affairs, Sports Journalism at 6:42 pm by

In light of today’s news  the Washington Post would begin carrying content from The Bleacher Report, I thought some of you might get a kick out of the following piece of unsolicited correspondence, dated December 19, 2007. You know, back in the halcyon days before the entire newspaper industry gave up.

Hey Gerard,

I saw your recent post titled “Not The Proudest Member of the Yardbarker Network” and I wanted to get in touch to invite you to join us at Bleacher Report.

Bleacher Report is an open-submission sports network that houses a community of knowledgeable sports fans, bloggers, and journalists (not that the three are mutually exclusive). Joining can be a great way to further build up your online reputation, get additional exposure and feedback for your writing, and drive traffic to your blog.

Unlike Yardbarker, we don’t ask you to litter your site with ads or force you to promote lowbrow content on your blog. Instead, what we do offer is a great community of independent sportswriters that write typically high-quality analysis as a catalyst for discussion and debate. If you’re looking for a bit more of a high IQ experience than you’re getting with Yardbarker, we might be a good alternative.

It’s dead simple to sign up and just as easy to start contributing. You can even paste a couple lines of code into your blog template to automatically syndicate posts from CSTB to Bleacher Report”with links back to the original.

If you’re interested in hearing more, let me know and I can hit you up with some additional information. Looking forward to hearing back and hope you decide to give us a try.


Dave Nemetz
Bleacher Report

QPR’s (Hitler Loving) Co-Owner On Top Of The Table Super Hoops : Who Gives A Shit?

Posted in Football, Genocidal Tendencies, Vroom Vroom at 5:14 pm by

NPower Championship leading Queens Park Rangers remained unbeaten tonight after a scoreless draw at Swansea City, a result that left the R’s two points ahead of Cardiff City, 5 points ahead of Watford in the race for automatic promotion.  On the same day one of Rangers’ owners was all but calling manager Neil Warnock a lame duck, another professed to being somewhat less than blown away by his soccer club’s astonishing early start.  The Guardian’s Donald McRae had the dubious pleasure of interviewing F1 boss-turned-football-magnate Bernie Ecclestone ;

Does he have any enthusiasm for QPR? “Not at all. Of course I can pull out “ but there are lots of things that could and should be done there. It’s mainly commercial things and for me to see if we can get that working better. Once you get me involved that’s it. I’m there.”

And QPR are top of the Championship. “Yeah, it’s good. Super, super, super. We can only go down from here.”

They might go up first, to the Premier League, before going down again. Ecclestone almost smiles again. “Half the people who get involved in football do it only to satisfy their ego. I suppose we all get caught up in that.”

Ecclestone has never worried much about public opinion. Did he lose any sleep last year after describing Hitler as a politician who was “able to get things done”? “Not at all. I knew what I meant.”

His apparent endorsement of Hitler was, he explains, an expression of his belief in dictatorships. “Absolutely. I get myself into so much trouble when I say these things but I don’t think democracy is the way to run anything. Whether it’s a company or anything you need someone who is going to turn the lights on and off. We had Mrs Thatcher and when she was in charge she did turn the lights on and off. She brought the country to where it was before it got muddled up again.”

Harper : Burnett’s The Right Choice For Game 4 (Which He’ll Probably Lose)

Posted in Baseball at 1:05 pm by

The Wall Street Journal’s David Cameron points out you’d have to go back to Bump Hadley and Game 4 of the 1937 World Series to pick the last time the Yankees sent a starter to the mound in the postseason with an ERA higher than A.J. Burnett’s 2010 mark of 5.26.  Still, the morning after Cliff Lee’s otherworldly mastery of Bronx Bummers, the New York Daily News’ John Harper insists Joe Girardi has no other choice than  the underachieving Pie Man.

The Yankees aren’t about to start Phil Hughes on three days’ rest, so even if CC Sabathia were to pitch Tuesday night on short rest, it still would leave Joe Girardi with no other option but Burnett in Game 5.

And if you’re looking for a miracle from Burnett, well, yanking someone so emotionally fragile at the last minute would only be asking for further disaster. In addition, the absolute last thing you want is him being asked to save the season if the Yankees are down 3-1 to the Rangers in the series.

Even if Burnett puts the Yankees in a 3-1 hole Tuesday, I’d rather take my chances with Sabathia, Hughes and Andy Pettitte coming back, all of them on regular rest for the first time in this postseason.

it’s time for Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, among others, to make Game 4 about them, not so much about who’s pitching for them. Score early and often and who knows, maybe Burnett will respond with some toughness for a change.

At this point, there’s really no other option.

Fisher : Running Up The Score Was ESPN’s Fault

Posted in Gridiron, Sports TV at 12:06 pm by

Lest anyone suspect Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher was merely attempting to assist Chris Johnson’s fantasy owners last night, Titan Insider’s Terry McCormick provides a more rational explanation.

With Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio calling timeouts after the two-minute warning down by 20 points, the Tennessee Titans decided to keep running the ball rather than take a knee.

The end result piled on seven more points for the Titans and gave Chris Johnson his eighth consecutive 100-yard road rushing game.

On fourth-and-5 after Del Rio burned a second timeout, the Titans send Johnson off tackle and he broke free, going 35 yards for another touchdown and the final 30-3 margin.

When it was over, Fisher joked a bit about the situation.

œJack used his timeouts, Fisher said. œMy understanding is they needed network timeouts, and that’s why Jack used his timeouts. They came over and asked me to do it, but I said, ‘I was hoping to get a first down and kneel on it.’

œAt the end of the game like that, you don’t kick a long field goal, you don’t, you hand it off.

Count me amongst those who are less than outraged over what this means to the integrity of the game — the real question is whether or nor David Robertson was assigned mop up duty in the Bronx Monday night by Joe Girardi or TBS hoping to drag shit out.


NYT’s Carr On Favre’s Penis : Nothing To See Here

Posted in Gridiron, non-sporting journalism at 6:03 pm by

“In the last week, I™ve gotten a very clear view of two things,” sighs NY Times columninst / ‘Night Of The Gun’ author David Carr. “The male physique purported to belong to Brett Favre and the inner workings of modern media. I wish I could un-see both.” If only it were that easy.

Most news organizations stayed off the John Edwards love child story when The National Enquirer broke the news in October 2007, but the dam broke over the course of many months as the drip-drip of evidence and consequences began to accumulate. (At least The Enquirer had to chase John Edwards all over the Beverly Hilton. All Deadspin had to do was pay some loot and open a jpeg.)

There are differences between the two stories. First, the informational value of reporting that a famous married athlete may have been looking to step outside the holy bonds of matrimony does not pass the laugh test. If and when the N.F.L. decides that Favre violated the league™s code of personal conduct, it may be news, but not before.

And then there is the issue of stakes. Mr. Edwards could have become the Democratic nominee for president of the United States. Favre is now the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. He may use his image to sell Wrangler jeans and television sets, but he is paid to hand off and throw to teammates, not run a country.

(As a longtime Vikings fan, I would like to point out that he™s also not paid to throw the ball to people on the opposing team, but that is another story.)

If this were purely a matter of Deadspin having invaded the privacy of a married celebrity, I’d be quick to agree with Carr. WHO GIVES A SHIT, ETC.  However, the Favre/Sterger case is more complicated and I can barely believe I’d have to remind a journalist with Carr’s background of such.  Being dick-whipped by Zeke Mowatt shouldn’t be a prerequisite to understanding that females in the sports media world have to put up with a slightly different work environment than Jay Glazer or Merrill Hoge. There’s also the matter of whether or not Woody Johnson’s franchise has an institution-wide zipper problem ;  this is the same team that turned a blind eye to the same Gate D Boobgate mess that Carr’s Times colleagues blew the lid off, it’s the same team that allegedly couldn’t handle the sight of Ines Sainz on their practice field.  And let’s not forget that Deadspin has raised the question of other J-E-R-K-S employees aiding and abetting Favre’s alleged harassment of Sterger.

It’s totally legit to raise the issue of Deadspin violating Sterger’s confidence — for all the crap she’s received over the past month, few have pointed out there’s no evidence she deliberately tried to (ahem) expose Favre or used this incident to further her career  — but that’s hardly the same as concluding the entirely story is irrelevant.

Big Ben Fans To Anti-Rape Movement : How Many SB Rings Have You Won?

Posted in Gridiron at 4:11 pm by

Approximately 25 protesters gathered at the gates to Heinz Field prior to yesterday’s Browns/Steelers tilt, expressing their disapproval over Ben Roethlisberger’s return to the Pittsburgh lineup following a 4 game suspension for raping everything that moves violating the league’s ever-fluid personal conduct policy. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Kaitlynn Riely :

Most of the protesters wore black shirts or sweatshirts and bandanas over their noses and mouths, though there was one female protester dressed as a ninja turtle. They described themselves as Steelers fans and held signs that said “Don’t Let Big Ben Rape Again” and “Consent is not a game.”

“We think it’s shameful and embarrassing,” said Alecia Ott, 24, of Garfield, one of the event’s organizers. “And people frankly can’t cheer for the team when they know that there is a sexual predator on the team, on the roster.”

But as Steelers fans tailgated and made their way into Heinz Field for the Sunday afternoon game against the Cleveland Browns, it appeared Ms. Ott and the other protesters held the minority view.

Thousands of Steelers fans passed by the protesters on their way to the game, many of them wearing the No. 7 jersey of Mr. Roethlisberger and many more trading taunts with the protesters and voicing their support for the quarterback.

One of Mr. Roethlisberger’s supporters was Kathy Alvarez, originally from Pittsburgh but now living in Smyrna, Ga. She and her two nephews stood opposite a protest sign and held up a sign welcoming Mr. Roethlisberger back.

“I really think that there’s not charges filed against him, so we need to support him,” she said.

Pro Football Talk’s every-charming Mike Florio — whose views are not necessarily endorsed by NBC/Universal, right? — suggested the protesters’ identities were kept secret because “perhaps the person leading the way had been eating too much Beefareeno”. And not to diminish the seriousness of such civil disobedience, but chance are, every NFL team has a handful of sexual predators on their roster.  Probably a couple of Etsy sellers and Laibach fans, too.