Charm City Scribe : Wooing 37 Year-Old SS WIth Diminished Range Is The Key To O’s Rebuilding

Posted in Baseball at 8:59 pm by

While some of believe Derek Jeter eventually re-upping with the Yankees is a foregone conclusion — and one that might well reduce The Captain to the World’s Highest Paid Mascot by the 3rd year of the deal—— the Baltimore Sun’s Ron Fritz argues, “what better way to end years of futility than signing one of the all-time great leaders and winners in the sport?”  Indeed, why don’t the Orioles pursue Tom Brady and Michael Jordan while they’re at it? (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory and Repoz)

Sure, he’s 36 and will turn 37 during the 2011 season. But he’s durable, playing at least 150 games the past seven seasons. His batting average fell from .334 to .270 and his home run total dropped by eight to just 10. But he drove in 67 runs and won a Gold Glove. He’s no Cesar Izturis defensively, but he’s solid and his hitting numbers crush those of Izturis.

Jeter also would bring five World Series titles, command respect in the locker room and show a young Orioles team how to play the game. The future Hall of Famer is 74 hits from 3,000. If there is one thing the Orioles do well, it’s milestone ceremonies.

If the Yankees are willing to let Jeter test the free-agency market, then the Orioles should be there with an offer, somewhere in the four-year, $60 million range. Really, whatever it takes. Ask Cal Ripken Jr. to help recruit him. And then, because you have a shortstop who does more than hit singles, you can maybe re-sign Ty Wigginton to play third or first and still be able to spend decent money for another corner infielder.

It would be a PR disaster for the Yankees, it would hurt them on the field and maybe, just maybe, his signing would send a signal to other free agents that Baltimore is a great place to play.

Hopkins Takes Well Deserved Break From Insulting Donovan McNabb, Aims For Pacquiao

Posted in Boxing, Racism Corner at 2:16 pm by

As Manny Pacquiao continues to capture titles in weight classes that haven’t even been invented yet, Bernard Hoplins tells Fanhouse’s Len Satterfield that Pacquiao’s achievements are somewhat diminished by ducking an entire race.

“Maybe I’m biased because I’m black, but I think that this is what is said at people’s homes and around the dinner table among black boxing fans and fighters. Most of them won’t say it [in public] because they’re not being real and they don’t have the balls to say it,” said Hopkins, a 45-year-old future Hall of Famer and a multi-division champion.

“But I do think that a fighter like the Ray Leonards or anyone like that would beat a guy [like Pacquiao] if they come with their game,” said Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 knockouts), who will challenge WBC light heavyweight king Jean Pascal (26-1, 16 KOs) on Dec. 18 on Showtime.

“Listen, this ain’t a racial thing, but then again, maybe it is,” said Hopkins. “But the style that is embedded in most of us black fighters, that style could be a problem to any other style of fighting.”

Presumably, Hopkins is referring to Floyd Mayweather, who as we all know, is quite eager to battle Manny just as soon as the Congressman from the Philippines to accept 5% of the purse while fighting in handcuffs.  And a dress.  Until such a match can be made, however, there’s no better way for Pacquiao to silence such criticism than by scheduling a bout against Ray Leonard (age 54).

Miami Residents Will Start Selling Out Heat Games As Soon As…

Posted in Basketball at 1:59 pm by

a) the team lowers ticket prices

b) the Heat sign some players anyone’s heard of before

c) franchise agrees to produce more peppy videos like the one above, preferably several each week for the remainder of the 2010-2011 season

d) halftime show features Jimmy Buffet and/or Jeffrey Loria inside a shark tank


Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before : Oden, Done Forever The Year

Posted in Basketball at 11:18 pm by

At this point, the likelihood of Blazers C Greg Oden playing as many career minutes as Sam Bowie seems like a very poor bet.  Earlier this evening, The Oregonian reported Oden would undergo his second microfracture surgery in 3 seasons.

Oden will undergo surgery Friday on his left knee, the one which suffered a fractured patella last Dec. 5 in a game against Houston at the Rose Garden. He will miss the remainder of the 2010-11 season. Since being drafted with the first pick of the 2007 NBA draft, Oden has missed 176 games due to injury and has played in 82 games.

Dr. Richard Steadman will perform the surgery Friday with assistance from Trail Blazers orthopedic surgeon Dr. Don Roberts at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo.

The team said in a release tonight that a recent MRI showed damaged cartilage to the surface of his femur, and his current injury is unrelated to the fractured left patella. Oden previously underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee Sept. 13,

Warriors Somehow Manage To Locate A Replacement For Chris Mullin

Posted in Basketball at 12:57 pm by

It’s not easy to find a successor with credentials that would rival those of former Golden State Director of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin, and the SF Chronicle’s Al Saracevic and Rusty Simmons detail the franchise’s extensive search.

Warriors owner Joe Lacob defended his decision to make his son the first hire of the new regime, saying Tuesday that Kirk Lacob (above) is “incredibly qualified and capable.”

“Forget titles. They don’t mean anything,” Joe Lacob said. “He’ll be working on statistical things, things he’s very good at. Looking at analysis. Helping with the draft.”

The younger Lacob is not completely new to the NBA. He interned with the Boston Celtics in 2007, working in community and media relations, while his father was a minority owner of the team.

Kirk Lacob was recruited by some Division III schools after averaging 7.7 points and 2.7 assists as a senior at Atherton’s Menlo School. Instead, he decided to attend Stanford, where he tried to walk on.

“It didn’t work out,” Joe Lacob said. “He wasn’t really a Pac-10 basketball player, but he started Stanford club basketball.”

It’s quite a resume and if nothing else, it should increase speculation that Jerry Ferrara or Bobbito Garcia are in line to replace Donnie Walsh when or if the Knicks’ club president is deemed physically incapable of continuing.

The Mollycoddling Of LeBron Extends To Miami

Posted in Basketball, Free Expression, Sports Journalism at 9:56 am by

On Tuesday, Esquire’s Scott Raab was denied media credentials by the Miami Heat’s head of media relations, Tim Donovan. Raab was informed by Donovan, “you are no longer welcome at our building.” It’s a fascinating way to deal with LeBron James’ critics, though surely Donovan is aware if such a policy was extended to those disparaging Chris Bosh, the Heat would risk playing to empty arena.

I suspect that Tim objected to something I wrote yesterday. I referred to LeBron James as the Whore of Akron ” maybe that was it. Or maybe Tim doesn’t think much of Herman Melville, which wouldn’t shock me at all. Tim is severe, unsmiling, more of a Nathaniel Hawthorne fan.

But I can’t blame Mr. Donovan, because it shouldn’t be his job to credential me. I’m writing about LeBron James and the Miami Heat as a guy from Cleveland. I don’t think the good folks in the Cavs media-relations office would credential a Miami writer who referred to Anderson Varejao as the Colatina Cocksman. Not that I think Tim Donovan’s doing the right thing; I think he is just doing what he gets paid to do.

I’m more interested in the first part of Tim Donovan’s e-mail: “You are no longer welcome at our building.” The Heat play Wednesday and Friday; I plan to attend both games as a civilian with a ticket in hand ” God knows there are plenty of tickets to be had ” and it’s probably too late to buy a LeBron James mask. If I’m lucky, I might be the first fan in NBA history to be tossed out of an arena for writing.

WSC Holding Paul Scally’s Feet To The Fire

Posted in Football at 12:39 am by

Gillingham F.C. are precariously close to the cellar of League Two, and while their success over the past decade, “was unprecedented in the club’s existence”, admits When Saturday Comes’ Chris Lynham, chairman Paul Scally deserves considerable scorn for their recent slide.

The club’s once-in-our-history position at the turn of the century was largely achieved by Scally’s drive, commitment, bottle, inspiration “ call it what you like. Many others played important roles but he was at the helm and he took the plaudits. This status has since been frittered away and Scally  (above) has overseen the mess. He admitted in his recent programme notes that in terms of divisional status the club has come full circle under his reign and that could be interpreted as a failure. The club is undoubtedly bigger than in 1995, with vastly improved facilities and a more substantial fanbase of season-ticket holders.

Scally rightly points out that there were no willing takers when he invested his £1 to take the club out of administration, and that he’ll be gone as soon as a suitable buyer announces itself. Yet he chooses to gloss over the soaring debt of around £12 million run up during his tenure, which has been reduced to a more manageable level by the sale of the stadium to Priestfield Developments Ltd, wholly owned by Paul Scally. He asked that any flak should be directed at him rather than the team and management, yet when that flak became audible above 2,500 Dover fans cavorting in the away end, he reacted in a traditionally defensive and childish manner. He’s in a no-lose position financially due to the ground ownership, yet he still polarises the supporters “ a more united and radical following than Gillingham’s would surely have held him accountable.

Indeed, during previous attempts by an earlier generation of Gills fans to hold Scally accountable, the chairman proved equally defensive.


Easily Baited Dept. : Brad Penny Is Better Looking, Richer And Successful Than You

Posted in Baseball, twitter twatter at 9:24 pm by

OK, well, he’s probably richer. The advent of Twitter has ushered in a whole new era of pro athlete accessibility, and leave it to Cards hurler Brad Penny to prove he’s every bit as prickly as LeBron James or Gavin Rossdale.

(images culled from punchingkitty.com)

Should Brad possess the maturity to simply take whatever abuse he receives from strangers and move on to the next plate of lasagna? Fuck no, what kind of a pussy passes up a chance to get into a diss battle on Twitter? The only thing more predictable fun than Penny being further ridiculed would be if someone gave him shit for tweeting instead of doing laps, pitching winter ball, finding a cure for cancer, etc.    You know, all of the things someone dissing a grade-Z celeb on Twitter would be doing themselves if they could just stay away from the computer for 5 minutes.

In all seriousness, Penny’s fair game, as is anyone wishing to laugh at his apology for an MIA 2010 season. The only person with a right to be offended in all of this is poor Mark Mulder.

AI’s Turkish Delight

Posted in Basketball, We Aren't The World at 6:44 pm by

Allen Iverson’s already been the subject of one “30 On 30″ documentary ; his attempts at a career revival in Istanbul are surely worth a 31st film. I can’t decide, however, who I’d like better as a narrator, Stephen A. Smith or Danny McBride.

Lions Blogger To Aspiring Civil Disobedience Advocates : You’re Wasting Your TIme

Posted in Blogged Down, Gridiron at 12:59 pm by

There’s a Facebook group encouraging William Clay Ford (above) to sell the Detroit Lions.  There’s a petition, too.  Heck, there’s even a Bleacher Report editorial from 2008 encouraging the City Of Detroit to purchase the club (presumably the suggestion fell on deaf ears).  Being an actual resident of Planet Earth, Ty of The Lions In Winter is far from impressed with such efforts.

First, they™ll have to find an owner to sell it to”and if that owner™s last name is not Illitch or DeVos (or maybe Karmanos or Penske), be prepared for the team to leave town for good.  Presuming, though, there™s a Motor City-friendly ownership group ready to buy, then what?  They™ll have deeper pockets, or a freer hand in signing checks?  Ford is already tops in that department.  They™ll bring in a GM who™ll do more to fix the roster than Martin Mayhew has, faster?  No way; what GM could?  They™ll give total operational control”and a Brinks truck full of money”to a big-name out-of-work coach?  As I type this, the Redskins are proving that™s far from a surefire play.  They™ll rebuild the roster again, in some other leadership staff™s image?  Impossible, given the contracts involved.  If you think the owner is currently what™s wrong with the franchise, let me ask you: what would a different owner do differently, and how would that fix what went wrong on Sunday?  If you™re honest, you™ll say that you don™t know, and you don™t care”you just want heads to roll.

Look, I know you™re furious.  I know you™re crushed.  I know how bitterly it stings that after all this, the results are are still more theoretical than tangible.  But going postal because the Lions mailed it in against an 0-8 team and got stamped œinsufficient postage?  It™d be illogical, irrational, and”reality check”ineffective.  Shouting from the rooftops that you are œsick of losing, even though you aren™t even playing in the games?  Save your breath.  Taking it to the streets to show the world that you are going to œDO something about it?  Unless you have some run-blocking talents you can take to the field, you won™t be DOing any good.  Call me a coward, call me a traitor, call me a scab, call me part of the problem . . . but I™m sipping cider by the little blue fire with my friends, while you™re carpet-bombing the Internet trying to convince your fellow fans to turn their backs on the team.