CSTB’s contributors were asked to compile a list of their favorite events, people, recordings, etc. from the year-that’s-about-to-conclude, and unlike everyone else’s BULLSHIT BEST OF lists, we’re waiting until the last possible moment, just in case a) something truly amazing happens in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl or b) The Unholy Two LP shows up in the mailbox.
OK, the latter actually happened a couple of days ago, but in old-school deadline terms, man, talk about cutting it close. To everyone who wasted work hours, family time or should have paid more attention while driving in order to read Can’t Stop The Bleeding this year, we thank you all, very much.
My only live Flyers hockey game of the year: that limp and depressing Game 3 against the Bruins. Who knew?
Any pie with pork and fruit on it at Biga Pizza, Missoula, MT
Missing every minute of Roy Halladay’s perfect game, even via cell phone/Twitter, ’cause I was driving, and besides, who cared about a Phillies-Marlins game on the first night of the Stanley Cup final?
LCD Soundsystem at Sasquatch
Fellow sports obsessive Mark Kates providing a way for me to watch Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at Sasquatch.
Re-loving wacky late period Alex Chilton R&B covers like “What’s Your Sign” and “You’ve Got a Booger Bear Under There” just as much as Big Star. RIP. Interviewing the NL MVP. Nice guy. Canadian.
Just about everything they crack an egg on (but especially patatas bravas and polenta with sausage ragu) at Tasty & Sons in Portland.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Ted Leo doing the Waterboys’ “Fishermen’s Blues” in Spokane. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and Ted Leo vs. Fucked Up and Sonic Youth at Matador 21.
Roy Halladay’s no-hitter.
My only live Phillies game of the year, NLCS Game 4 at AT&T Park. Being there in person made it less painful.
Finally adopting a cat after a year of using the “cat library” (a.k.a. fostering). Naming her (in part) after the Ice Bats.
Thee Oh Sees at BSMT in Missoula.
Brussels sprouts. They’re like the asparagus of winter.
The Ticket City Bowl. I mean, it’s gonna be so awesome, it will retroactively improve 2010.
Tim Cook : Top 10 music records of 2010 for my fave internet info blog, CAN’T STOP THE BLEEDING:
1. Wounded Lion WOUNDED LION (In The Red)
This is playful music and an abstract concept record about cavemen. Wounded Lion compare well with many other Rock Music Artists Who Also Have Visual Art Pretension (e.g., Bob Dylan, Steve O’Malley, Kurt Kobain, etc.)
2. Bottomless Pit BLOOD UNDER THE BRIDGE (Comedy Minus One/Bottomless Pit)
Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen have been the most consistently great rock musicians since about 1993. This record is one of three or four peaks of their discography.
3. Tyvek NOTHING FITS (In the Red)
They’ve replaced the ramshackle elements of the records with a scalding heat. This just plows and blasts holes through everything.
NOTE: My biggest pet-peeve of 2010 rock music is popular indie bands that try to sound exactly like PSYCHOCANDY. While NOTHING FITS sounds “harsh,” it is definitely not a Jesus & Mary Chain rip.
4. Orca Team LET IT GO (Off Tempo Records)
I bought it in August from the group’s merch table for $8, and have listened to it 35 times according to ITunes. Maybe this record cured my ADD.
5. Thee Oh Sees WARM SLIME (In the Red)
High-energy, messy, distinct art rock music unlike all else.
6. Scott & Charlene’s Wedding PARA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB (Australian Self-released LP/CD-R)
Mikey from Eddy Current Suppression Ring/Total Control burned me a copy of this record that apparently exists only in an edition of 200 hand-painted sleeves. It took me two months to get around to listening, but it has become kind of an obsession. It reminds me a little of the Graeme Downes/The Verlaines, THIS NIGHT-era Destroyer and Neil Young, and maybe of Grant McLennan in its Australianness.
7. The Intelligence MALES (In The Red)
The other Intelligence records are at least worth knowing about, three or four worth owning, but this is the one you play over and over. “Estate Sales” might be the song of the year.
8. Personal and the Pizzas RAW PIE (1-2-3-4/Burger)
This is more of a joke rock singles comp, but I admire its schtick, and enjoy the hell out of the music.
9. Ty Segall MELTED (Goner)
23 year old SF kid made a mini-masterpiece.
10. Swans MY FATHER WILL GUIDE ME UP A ROPE TO THE SKY (Young God)
Comfort music. This is more symphonic-sounding and cabaret-styled than before, but a lot of it burns.
Singles: Chinese Restaurants “Summer Romance” (SS)
La Sera “Never Come Around” (Hardly Art)
Unnatural Helpers “Sunshine/Pretty Girls” (Hardly Art)
The Liminanas “I’m Dead” (Hozac)
Eat Skull “Jerusalem Mall” (Woodsist)
Destroyer “Archer on the Beach” 12″ (Merge)
Fresh and Onlys “Impending Doom” (Agitated)
Boomgates “Bright Idea” (R.I.P. Society)
The Beets “Loco Motion” (Captured Tracks)
The German Measles “Color Vibration” (Wild World)
The Mayyors (RIP)
Thee Oh Sees
Joel RL Phelps + Downer Trio/Treasure State
The Intelligence (all 3 2010 versions of this band)
Guided by Voices
Tyvek Nothing Fits (In The Red)
The Young Voyagers Of Legend (Mexican Summer)
Bare Wires Seeking Love (South Paw)
(l-r : Nathan, sucking up to locals in “Jerry Lawler For Mayor” tee, Wes, Ray, at the year’s best live music event, Goner Fest 7)
John Wesley Coleman Bad Lady Goes To Jail (Goner)
Bottomless Pit Blood Under The Bridge (Comedy Minus One)
Running s/t LP (Permanent)
Circle Pit Bruise Constellation (Siltbreeze)
Total Abuse Mutt (P.P.M.) James Arthur’s Manhunt -s/t (Arraght)
Dikes Of Holland s/t (Sundae)
Wounded Lion s/t LP (In The Red) and “Pointed Sticks” 7″ (Trouble In Mind)
Drunkdriver Self-Titled LP
Black Bug s/t(FDH)
Deskonocidos En La Oscuridad LP (Todo Destrucdio / Trabuc)
Phantom Payn Days “ s/t LP (De Stijl)
Ex-Humans-s/t (Rob’s House)
Endless Boogie Full House Head (No Quarter)
The Unholy Two – $kum Of The Earth (Columbus Discount)
smaller records (in diameter)
Cruddy “Berlin Wall” / “Running Rats”7″(Let’s Pretend)
Mind Spiders “World Destroyed” 7″ (Dirtnap)
A Giant Dog “The Grand” (Sundae)
Boomgates “Bright Ideaa” (RIP Society)
archival works :
Ozzie – The Parabolic Rock (S-S)
Crushed Butler – Uncrushed (Radio Heartbeat)
Dynamic Truths – Understanding Is Overrated (Little Black Cloud)
Les Rallizes Denudes - Heavier Than A Death In The Family / Blind Baby Has It’ss Mothers’ Eyes LP’s (Phoenix)
Jesu – Heartache & Dethroned (Hydra Head)
Drunkdriver (Austin, March)
Wounded Lion (Los Angeles, April)
Ty Segall, (Emo’s, Austin, July)
Cum Stain, (Austin, July, Portland, August)
The Muffs (Austin, March)
Wire (Barcelona, May)
Retribution Gospel Choir (Austin, February)
The Marked Men (Denton, June)
Eddy Current Suppression Ring (Austin, June)
OBN III’s / A Giant Dog / Flesh Lights (too many times or perhaps not nearly enough, Austin, throughout 2010)
Cloud Nothings (Chicago, July)
Grinderman (Memphis, November)
Best Show — Dead Meadow and Endless Boogie at Bowery Ballroom was hugely enjoyable, and Eddy Current Suppression Ring at Cake Shop was amazingly sweaty and also great fun. I can’t choose one, and the experiences were so dissimilar as to be basically different things. But I recommend either experience to anyone with ears, pores and an opportunity.
- South Brooklyn Pizza, First Avenue, Manhattan — Really, really good. There’s a real resistance in me to the concept of the $4 slice, but this is delicious pizza and the people are nice.
- Reading Things, Long — Consider The Lobster (I’m just going to reread it every year, I think) by David Foster Wallace; Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson. There are more, but there’s a lot of typing under this.
- Reading Things, Short — The Atlantic, Triple Canopy, Alex Pareene at Salon and Moe Tkacik’s Das Krapital blog at the Washington City Paper, Tom Scocca’s blog at Slate, Ted Berg’s Tedquarters, Joe Posnanski’s whatever-he-writes. And The Awl, naturally, about which…
- The Awl – I think that a lot of the writing I’m proudest of has run at Can’t Stop The Bleeding over the past years. The trend of doing my best writing for no money continued over the past year at The Awl, and the idiot conversations about football I’ve had there with Jeff Johnson and the essay-style stuff I’ve done for them have done a lot to get me back into enjoying writing. Finishing my novel helped there, too (look for it in… I don’t know, I can send you a Word doc maybe? I don’t know what’ll happen to it), but I’m better at this when I’m enjoying myself, and maybe the best thing to happen to me in 2010 was finding a venue to pair with this one as a place to have fun doing the only thing I’m any good at.
- The Sandy Alderson Administration — It’s so much easier to be optimistic about all this with the Mets still a few months away from playing any actual baseball. But while I guess I enjoyed writing pissed-off rants about the illogical aimlessness and worst-in-show backwardness of the Omar Minaya Era — I don’t remember enjoying it, but I did keep writing about it — I also really hated it that the baseball team upon which I rely for my warm-weather distraction was dispirited and crappy as to be essentially unwatchable for most of the last two seasons. I don’t totally expect the “crappy” thing to change in 2011, but at the very least I and other Mets fans like me will receive a lesson in getting what we wished for — a less-than-great team that’s run in a moderately forward-thinking manner. Whether or not that will be satisfying by July, I don’t know yet. The answer, one way or the other, will probably appear in this space.
- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — I mean, obviously not favorite as in “something I do not actively detest.” By that standard of favorite, this ham-faced bully-boy falls far short at every single level. But I think there’s something instructive in Christie’s glib, lunchmeat-y exercise in giving conservatives what they believe they want. What this has meant, in Jersey, is a distinctly hector-intensive brand of legislation in which just about any actual governing is subsumed by aggro posturing — looming over and loudly dressing down public employees in increasingly staged and painful “YouTube moments” — and a sort of anti-governing, in which the basic functions and duties of the state are ritually dishonored and removed. Christie’s fearless public bullying of modestly paid state employees has made him a hero among the sort of assholes who are into that sort of thing. But in the state of New Jersey, Christie’s political fortunes are already in eclipse, because people who actually have to live in a state increasingly without services and governed only by the lower-minded impulses of political theater and eighth-generation libertarian venality actually have to deal with the anxieties, unpleasantnesses and gnawing ill will of living in such a place. It’s a feeling I imagine a lot of the country will have to get used to over the next couple years. If Christie and his Kid From Brooklyn-inspired statesmanship represent the end of all this, I may actually wind up liking him. In, like, a few decades.
I don’t have much of a Top 10 list of favorites, but here’s some 2010
notable moments of Gratitude and Are You F’n Kidding MEs?
Caption: “Who knew the “G” in “O.G.” stood for Gallo? Youtube find of 2010:
This appearance by “Prince Vince” Vincent Gallo on Grafitti Rocks.”
KERRY WOOD BLEEDS (MORE) CUBBIE BLUE:
After a mediocre turn with the Yankees and an even less interesting stint with the Indians, the man with the glass arm has signed a one-year/$1.5 mil deal as the key set-up man on the Cubs’ DL. Have they retired Wood’s ice-pack in centerfield yet? Take it down, he’s back! Wood’s career personifies the modern Cub era, all the potential and money in the world and nothing results. With all the talk that Girardi might leave NYC for the Cubs managing spot in 2010, we end up with Kerry Wood. Sorry, but signing up fan favorites instead of talent to sell ticketsis the kind of cynical sentiment the Cubs’ front office has killed this team with since the days of Ernie Banks. The only silver lining is that Wood is getting a pay check more in line with his reliability. Wood was offered more cash in other places, but for Wood, Wrigley means failing to standing ovations, and you can’t buy that.
THE SOUND OF SILENCE:
2010 saw Michael S. Schmidt, THE NEW YORK TIMES’ ace reporter on the steroids in baseball front, pretty damn quiet once the medical records of MLB baseball players were handed over to the players’ union by the Federal Government. In the near future, I’ll write up the recent developments on the government dropping its legal bid to get the records back. But suffice it to say, Schmidt’s inability to break a single baseball-related steroid story without the government in possession of those records, nor his explaining if the names he gave us – Sosa, Ramirez, Ortiz’ were on the three sub-lists of those records (inconclusive results, legal at the time results, or the illegal list) speaks volumes. 2010 makes it look more and more like Schmidt was used to smear players by Feds struggling to keep their case in the public eye and politically hot. When did Schmidt get back into the steroids news business? In 2010, when the government shifted gears from their loser MLB case for Lance Armstrong.
Jon Glaser’s hilarious sit-com about a guy in the witness protection program is probably the comedy highlight of my year. Infiltrating the Russian mob with Eugene Mirman alone could have done it, but Glaser has pulled off what a lot of comedians hope to do a goofy show that feels as funny as an in-joke with your friends but is watchable by anyone (well, anyone who doesn’t get Larry the Cable Guy).
MATADOR 21 LIVE FEED:
Obviously, I’m sucking up to the boss by mentioning this, but the live feed idea is what I’m talking about. In my life I’ve managed to miss some major moments in music that I knew were happening but could not get to (International Pop Underground, TOUCH ‘N GO 25), was too late to know about (Rites of Spring) or mistakenly blew off (too many). Matador’s live feed is something I hope music festivals everywhere take note of and use in the future. If you’re going to make something a destination event for aging indie rockers and punks, it doesn’t mean we aren’t dying to see it and might not PAY to see it live on-line. Music is still a community event, even if you can’t be there. Because of this, I got to see some great sets and my kid got to bed on time.
BLUES EXPLOSION 2010 at the Troubador and JSBX Remasters:
Tangentially related to the above, my best show of 2010 remains JSBX just before they went out to Vegas for the Matador 21 show. A fun set, a HUGE set, matched only by the remasters the BX is now putting out that mean even their many crowd hecklers now have their due as footnotes in the sonic history of this band.
WILSON by Daniel Clowes:
Clowes got some flack from the lesser lights of the comics world for making such a hilariously unlikable lead character as Wilson, but this is the lit comics highlight of the year for me. Movies, novels, plays, music — you never see anyone spending so much time on this sort of disturbed, emotionally fractured, laughably obnoxious character. Indeed, where, but as cable news hosts, do such people get their due? Clowes gets to the heart of what makes these people what they are, and then he makes you actually feel for the bastard. Masterpiece.
WATCHMEN (the movie):
Finally saw it this year on DVD and it’s a big improvement over the comic book. Don’t listen to the fan boys, WATCHMEN the movie lifts the book up from its dreary nerd self-absorption into something so much more entertaining and engaging. Dropping the blah colors of the book and finding an ending that makes sense (never a strong point in Alan Moore’s oeuvre) makes me sorry for the millionth time in my life I followed the advice of my comics fans.
THE FARCEURS: Has anyone ever left the stage, aged less gracefully, or presented the nation with comedy on such an epic scale as Brett Favre, Mel Gibson, Christine O’Donnell, Haley Barbour, or Conan O’Brien? Going into their individual stories is just repeating the obvious, but in these hard times, I appreciate the free entertainment.
Need I say more? A stupid relic of compromising with bigots is gone.
Sanders’ filibuster over the Obama tax deal said everything I’d want to say about it to Obama, more eloquently, and with a lot more attention than I’d ever get. Much as I hate the deal, I can’t coldly cut off all those unemployed people who will get more benefits from it just because I think other people who have gotten off easy tax-wise need to pay more. Hopefully, Sanders will gain momentum over the next two years, and not be just a righteous guy blowing off steam but a political force thatwill make a difference on Republican greed masquerading as opportunity.
Best Of 2010 in no particular order
1) These New Puritans – “Hidden” Makes me wish I was in a black fraternity so I could choreograph a stomp routine to standout track “We Want War”. Honorable mention: Grinderman 2, wherein Mr. Cave’s mustache runs amok.
2) Ozzie’s son @OneyGuillen’s Twitter abuse – Not since the on-camera squirming of Rudy Guiliani’s brat kid have as many people become so united in the wish that the apple should be thrown back into the tree. It’s quite a trick to be clubhouse poison when you don’t even have access to the clubhouse.
3) Deciding upon the most awesome name for a kitten ever: Tacos. Tacos came to our home in the Year of the Tiger, which explains both his stripes and his unhinged response to TV images of Sigfried and/or Roy. (To be fair, Tacos leans toward the bonkers in all matters.)
4) Texas upending the Yankees, including A-Rod’s visible surrender in Game 4 to the inevitable. I haven’t seen body language that pessimistic since Rod Blagojevich stood for his verdict.
5) Wikileaks Iraq helicopter video – You know how sometimes you assume that it’s already well-known that horrible shit with our name on it is raining do
Hardy was not scheduled on the company™s first PPV of the year, Genesis, on 1/9 in Orlando. He was scheduled to defend his title on the February PPV against the winner of a Matt Morgan vs. Mr. Anderson match on 1/9. Those in the promotion theorized that if Hardy would have to serve time, they could add something to the show, since all television has already been taped, a match against perhaps Rob Van Dam and do the title switch. Van Dam was scheduled against a mystery opponent. Even if Hardy has to serve time, it wouldn™t necessarily be immediate, and there would be time to work a storyline on the post-Genesis television shows to lead to a necessary title change.
If the deal doesn™t include serving time, then TNA has a different question to answer, as to whether or not they want someone convicted on drug charges as their world champion. If Hardy was in WWE, even as big of a star as he is, he would be fired, but then, in that situation, there is the chance he would address the situation differently. Another situation involves if he can plead guilty to any misdemeanor charges, because with a felony on his record, particularly a drug felony, it could play a hindrance in his traveling to certain countries. There are people in wrestling, most notably Jim Cornette and R-Truth, who are not allowed in Canada due to convictions from a long time in the past, Cornette™s in the 80s and Truth in the 90s. Booker T for a long time wasn™t allowed in Japan for a felony also from the 80s.
Two things happen as a result of this name-calling. One, some writers are less likely to publicize their ballots, let alone explain their reasons behind their choices. It™s not worth the trouble, when the response is likely to be so vitriolic. Two, my guess is that some other writers are going to make intentionally contrarian choices to generate publicity, since the firestorm is apparently guaranteed.
What I doubt will happen is that Hall of Fame voters who can be persuaded to change their votes will be more likely to consider an alternate point of view from someone engaged in scatological nonsense. When it comes from sabermetricians, a group I consider myself a part of, and one that is supposed to value logic over ad hominem attack, it gets embarrassing, and helps nothing.
Historians, sports bloggers, space aliens and film buffs alike are getting a big kick this week out of the discovery Warner Bros’ promotional website for the film 1996 film “Space Jam”, is not only still up and running, but seemingly hasn’t been updated since the movie’s release. Though to be fair, it is hard to say what exactly would justify a revision — it isn’t as though there’s a Criterion Collection disc coming out anytime soon.
Still, the “Space Jam” site is useful for one important reason ; we’re forced to remember just how high an aesthetic price filmmakers and audiences are forced to pay when David Falk has more power than G-d. With the possible exception of Plato’s Retreat, the only place Shawn Bradley could’ve looked less comfortable than an NBA court was on the big screen during this film.
This is PRECISELY what I was talking about when I said how much I hate the character clause in the Hall of Fame voting. I think it encourages people to believe their own nonsense, to stand up on high and be judge and jury. It™s something that my friend Bill James calls the œI see it in his eyes tripe. Bill has finished a book on crime ” it is, he says, actually about crime books as much as crime ” and one thing he kept running into in his research was people who claimed that they could pinpoint the murderer because œit was in their eyes. Well, as Bill says, that™s a whole lot of garbage. Eyes are eyes. Some people look guilty when they™re innocent, and some people look innocent when they™re guilty, and most people don™t look innocent OR guilty except when we want to see that something in their eyes. Oh, but we love to believe we know. It™s one of the flaws of humanity. And the Hall of Fame character clause gives voters carte blanche to judge the eyes and hearts and souls of players.
I think my e-migo Craig Calcaterra has made this point on Twitter, but I™d like to also make it as strongly as I can: I™d rather a hundred steroid users were mistakenly voted into the Hall of Fame over keeping one non-user out. I don™t know if Jeff Bagwell used or didn™t use steroids. But there was no testing. There is no convincing evidence that he used (or, as far as I know, even unconvincing evidence). So what separates him from EVERY OTHER PLAYER on the ballot? Were his numbers too good? That™s why you suspect him?
Well, there’s more than that, surely. Jeff Pearlman would have you believe Bagwell’s failure to stage an intervention on behalf of Ken Caminiti is justifiable grounds for exclusion from the Hall.
Selva (above), who anchored the overnight “Highlight Express,” which repeated through the morning, used Ding’s sentences virtually verbatim to set up the game highlights. In a statement issued by ESPN, Selva said he had been researching stories from local newspapers, and came across Ding’s column. Selva said he cut and pasted the story into his script, but forgot to write his own words.
“I made a horrible mistake and I’m deeply sorry. I did not live up to my high standards or ESPN’s,” Selva said in the statement. “I sincerely apologize for my sloppiness, especially to Kevin Ding, viewers and colleagues. In my 15 years in broadcast journalism, nothing like this has ever happened and I will make every effort to ensure it won’t happen again.”
I think I speak for viewers across the nation when I say I’m deeply disappointed….this couldn’t have happened to Jonathan Coachman.
Rafael Palmeiro’s 2005 suspension for use of performance enhancing drugs was thought by many to be a serious blow to his Hall Of Fame chances, and a subsequent explanation (ie. ratting on Miguel Tejada) wasn’t thought to have done Raffy much good in the court of public opinion. Still, Palmeiro doggedly continues his attempts at reputation repair, telling SI.com’s Mel Antonen, “I was telling the truth then, and I am telling the truth now,”
“I don’t know what else I can say. I have never taken steroids,” Palmeiro, 46, said in a phone interview. “For people who think I took steroids intentionally, I’m never going to convince them. But I hope the voters judge my career fairly and don’t look at one mistake.”
Palmeiro described the 2005 season as a “nightmare,” and said that he doesn’t know if he’ll ever get over the pain. He said that while Tejada gave him the vitamin B-12, Palmeiro’s wife, Lynne, injected him with the liquid vitamin.
“And, we did it only once. Miguel Tejada had nothing to do with it, and I’m sorry people said that I was blaming him,” Palmeiro said. “It was my mistake. I should have known what I was putting into my body. I am accountable, and I have paid the price. But, it wasn’t steroids. Vitamin B-12 gives you energy. It doesn’t enhance your performance.”
Three days before Major League Baseball announced his suspension, Palmeiro found comfort in making a call to President George W. Bush at the White House. (Bush, a former owner of the Texas Rangers, had called Palmeiro to congratulate him on his 3,000th hit.)
“I had a number for him, and it was a very difficult call to make because he had been so supportive of me,” Palmeiro told SI.com. “I didn’t want him to read about it in the newspaper or hear it on television.
“He’s always given me good advice, and that day he told me that he was behind me. He told me to just tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. He told me to tell the truth and stick with it.”
Described by Jon Stewart sometime ago as “a partisan, sanctimonious hack”, putrid pundit Tucker Carlson used an appearance subbing for the equally loathsome Sean Hannity on Fox News last night to accomplish the near-impossible ; ie., generate empathy for MIchael Vick amongst non-Iggles fans and dog lovers alike.
Likening President Obama’s praise for the Eagles’ giving a convicted felon a second chance to “getting behind someone who murdered dogs”, Carlson opined that Vick, “should’ve been executed”.
Few sensible persons want to declare Vick the World’s Cuddliest Person merely on the strength of one other-worldly season (last night excepted). But what sort of a teaching moment does Carlson believe would be provided by putting Vick to death? If Vick’s acts of cruelty were so profound, has Carlson considered lifting a finger to aid the cause of animal welfare rather than bemoan such a huge blown opportunity for Fox News (ie. the televised execution of a black man)?
If you were to contend that Vick’s sentence should’ve been longer or that his attempts at public service (or association with a dubious animal organization) don’t even come close to balancing the scales, you’d get no argument from this corner. But he served his time, has yet to commit a similar offense, and as such, deserves the same rights as any other ex-con. It’s the height of hysteria to claim he has Obama’s support for anything besides, y’know, not killing any more dogs. If calling for lynchings executions is the new modus operandi on Fox News, perhaps Carlson could volunteer to flip the switch himself?
As Rob Warmowski reported last March, Oney Guillen, son to White Sox skipper Ozzie and a self-styled baseball expert, has fully embraced social media, in particular, the ability to air major grievances via Twitter. Fortunately for those of us who woke up late on Wednesday looking for dirt, Oney’s only gotten worse. Having seen former South Side closer Bobby Jenks — recently signed by Boston to either set up or supplant Jonathan Papelbon — bury his dad with comments to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin (“once they signed Adam Dunn and gave him my number, I knew it was official….why would I come back to that negativity?..I’m looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen”), the younger Guillen mounted a stirring defense of his Pops, as described in the following uncredited Chicago Sun-Times item ;
Guillen posted several responses via Twitter, using explicit language in some: “i thought u were a man not some punk who runs away and talks [b.s.]. u coward. say it to there face when u were with them”
Oney also posted: “and u say the manager didnt trust u? he kept putting ur fat [---] there and u kept blowing it, he never took u away from that role unreal”
The Twitter posts turned personal as Oney Guillen pointed out some of Jenks’s off-the-field issues.
For the longest time he denied the incident took place. He blamed deadspin.com for reporting it, went into e-mail rage, filed a lawsuit against the Internet site, but then dropped it.
Now he says he’s “100% responsible for doing such a stupid frat thing,” but short sentences are not his forte.
He can’t talk about what happened without letting everyone know he didn’t squeal on the people who were with him, did nothing so bad like others who have gone to jail, and protests over and over again, “I don’t think the punishment fits the crime.”
He became a punch line, he says, the barbs stinging so much he wouldn’t come out of his home for six months beyond taking his kids to school. He says he lost self-respect and couldn’t get a job.
“I went from being on TV every day to falling off the map. I didn’t harass anybody or beat anybody up and yet I’ve been the butt of jokes for four years.”
He blames others for not getting past what happened, as if there is a long line of those who really care.
He wants to dispute the accuracy of deadspin.com’s reporting, and yet doesn’t dispute the fact he took a picture of his privates and showed it. What more needs to be known?
He says things like, “I’m the poster child for stupidity,” then quickly adds, “but people have done worse.”
He refers folks to his Twitter feed, but when it’s mentioned someone on the comeback trail, given his previous sophomoric behavior, shouldn’t be posting comments about Kim Kardashian’s (backside), he flips out.
“Because I like [backside], is that wrong?” he snaps. “Come on, it is Sean unfiltered. That’s one thing that is never going to change.”
Perhaps Falcons head coach Mike Smith (above) bumped his head on that rollicking “Play60″ school bus ride? With 2:53 remaining, trailing New Orleans 17-14 and looking at a 4th and 6 scenario on the Atlanta 43 yard line, Smith opted to punt. As you’re probably aware, he put the ball back in the hands of Drew Brees (who’d led the Saints on an 90 yard drive in their previous possession) who promptly collected a pair of first downs to put the game on ice. Hindsight might be 20/20, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeff Schultz has no qualms about blaming Smith thusly , “Strategy : Epic fail.”
How do you pull Ryan off the field? The quarterback has been nothing but clutch. He excels in the two-minute offense. He excells in no-huddle. Actually, a case could be made that Ryan often is better in pressure situations and in the fourth quarter than in other situations.
Also worth noting: The Falcons went into the game with the NFL™s best fourth-down percentage (84.6 percent, 11 for 13).
In September, Ryan led a comeback win at New Orleans. With the Falcons trailing 21-17 in the fourth quarter, Ryan took them on a nine-play, 85-yard touchdown drive, finishing with a 22-yard score to Roddy White to give Atlanta a 24-21 lead. The Saints rallied for a game-tying field goal, but the Falcons won the game with a field goal in overtime. It was a run-dominated, field goal drive but it was Ryan who set the tone with his calmness.
This season, Ryan has outdueled four of the league™s top quarterbacks: Brees (New Orleans), Carson Palmer (Cincinnati), Joe Flacco (Baltimore) and Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay). He has the best touchdown-interception ratio (26-9) of his career. He looks ready for the postseason.
It just would™ve been nice to see him get one more chance Monday.
Despite calling Carson Palmer one of the league’s top quarterbacks, Schultz is in the right. Even Atlanta had been pinned deeper in their own territory, I’d struggle to sympathize with Smith. As it stood, Ryan was a completion or two away from putting the Falcons within range of a game-tying field goal. For a guy whose poise is routinely cited, it was awfully werid to see the ball taken out of Ryan’s hands.
“I just look at it like you brought me here and you got to give me an opportunity,” said Davis, who is averaging just 8.8 points and 6.3 assists, the lowest numbers since his rookie season of 1999-2000. He has battled a left knee injury and claims by Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro that he didn’t report to training camp in proper shape.
“This is the first year I’ve been here where we haven’t had any trades,” said Davis, making $13.05 million this season. “The first year (2008-09) they wiped the whole roster clean after seven games (Zach Randolph was the primary piece acquired after the 11th game in a deal in which the Clippers dispatched Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas).
“Now, it looks like we have some stability, it would be great to just be here and now take this unit, if this is the unit that we’re going to have, to take this team into the future for the next 2 ½ years that I’m here, and make this a winning organization,” Davis said. “And I know that I can do that and I will do that now knowing that there’s stability.”
It’s a little hard to reconcile Davis’ complaints about the transient nature of life in the NBA with what his coach continues to insist is, well, a matter of sloth. But as Thomassen points out, an overweight/underachieving Davis would be all but impossible to move, unless it’s a matter onerous contracts being swapped. You don’t have to go very far back in the time machine to recall when Davis was one of the most exciting players in the league — his precipitous slide into a non-entity, while depressing, need not be how the story ends.
Activist, prankster or just a fella who can’t resist a well-maintained natural-grass field? However you look at it, ltalian soccer gate-crasher Mario Ferri‘s cult of personality is unlikely to suffer serious damage after revelations in The Guadian his recent getaway scheme was foiled by some over-zealous social networking.
Ferri’s luck, and his cunning, ran out in Abu Dhabi over Christmas following his arrest for running onto the pitch at the Club World Cup final, dressed in his customary Superman T-shirt with the added slogan “Free Sakineh”, a reference to the Iranian woman who risks being put to death by stoning.
His passport in the hands of local police as he awaited trial, Ferri decided to smuggle himself out of the Emirates in the hold of a passing cruise ship, only to be promptly arrested after he made the mistake of announcing his secret plan on Facebook, telling fans: “I hope they don’t catch me, otherwise I will be in a heap of trouble.”
Ferri’s problems will only mount if he can make it home, where he is officially under house arrest after a series of pitch invasions, starting with Sampdoria’s home game to Napoli in May, where he disguised himself as a steward before leaping over the hoardings wearing the statement “Cassano in Nazionale”, a call to Italian national coach Marcello Lippi to pick eccentric talent Antonio Cassano.
Ferri was escorted off the pitch by Cassano himself, who told officials: “He’s a good boy, I’ll vouch for him.”
Though it’s far too early to say anyone could challenge Isiah Thomas for the position of “FIU’s Biggest Public Embarrassment”, a dark horse contender might’ve just emerged. The AP and the Miami Herald are reporting FIU IF Garrett Wittels — nationally known for his 56 game-and-counting hitting streak — was charged with the rape of two 17 year-olds in the Bahamas over the weekend. From New Times’ Tim Elfrink ;
Wittels and his friends — 21-year-olds Robert Rothschild and Jonathan Oberti — were arrested last week over a sexual assault on December 20 at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in Nassau, reports the Miami Herald.
Wittels and Rothschild face two charges of raping the girls, who are American, while Oberti was charged with raping one of the girls, Bahamian Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez tells the Post.
The men were released on $10,000 bond after a Thursday hearing.
Wittels father tells the Herald that the charges are bogus. He says Wittels and his friends met the girls at a casino and accompanied them to a party, and that the charges only came after they realized Wittels was a well-known athlete.
“The next morning, they found out who [Wittels] was, and that was the road they took,” Michael Wittels, an orthopedist in Bay Harbor Islands, told the paper. “He hasn’t been found guilty of anything. I hope [the media] doesn’t hang him for nearly an allegation. That’s all this is.”
Perhaps the only surprising thing about Mike Singletary (above) being relieved of his head coaching duties in San Francisco is that he was ultimately outlasted by Oakland’s Tom Cable. The SF vacancy presents an opportunity for 29 year-old club president Jed York, “to try to become the first strong, cunning, feared 49ers leader since the forced exit of his uncle, Eddie DeBartolo Jr.” writes the San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami. Trouble, is getting to the stage will likely require “hiring someone who will tell the York family that almost everything they have done has been all wrong.”
Can York go on a search to find someone to tell him exactly how foolish his family has been?
A poor owner — such as Jed’s predecessor, his father, John — would never do that. An immature heir — like Jed was in his first few years as an executive — would avoid that at all costs.
On Sunday evening, York told an NFL Network reporter that current top personnel executive Trent Baalke would be a candidate for the GM job.
But Baalke has to be a courtesy candidate, or there are problems ahead. Elevating Baalke would be another in a line of cautious York moves, hiring the safe, cheap and familiar instead of the bold, expensive and challenging.
The timeline: Fire Singletary; hire a general manager with deep NFL connections; then huddle with the general manager to hire an aggressive, quarterback-friendly coach to fix an offense that Singletary has driven into the ground.
Not for the first time, I owe a debt of gratitude to that treasure trove of ‘tard metal press releases, Blabbermouth.net, for linking to the following claims concerning Sammy Hager’s forthcoming autobiography. From Paul Libertore and the Marin Independent Journal :
“The book’s basically done, but the editors want me to go deeper in a couple of areas,” he explained. “They said, ‘There were problems in Van Halen? Well, what kind of problems?’ The way I’ve written this book is that I’m just telling the stories, from childhood until now. It’s humorous in places, there are sad things, inspirational things.”
I mentioned to him that I’ve been reading Keith Richards’ page-turner, “Life,” an often-harrowing rock icon memoir that doesn’t pull any punches. Sammy says his book doesn’t either.
“It’s sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, tequila and success and cars and money and fame and fortune,” he told me. “I’ve gone over the top. It really is crazy. I was shocked when I read my own book. It floored me. I said, ‘Wow, what a guy.’ I’ve had the most complete friggin’ life on the planet. I can imagine people thinking this guy couldn’t have done all that in one lifetime. But I’ve been a busy boy.”
Yesterday marked the 2nd anniversary of G Roger Mason sinking a dramatic 3-pointer with seconds remaining against Phoenix to claim a victory for San Antonio, but it seems Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni either cares little for history, sentiment or simply doesn’t remember who Mason is. Or perhaps some combination of the 3? In the aftermath of an awfully impressive defeat of Chicago at MSG on Christmas Day, the New York Post’s Mark Berman picks an usual Knicks storyline to fixate on — another DNP for Mason, who seems inextricably locked in D’Antoni’s doghouse.
“Things have been a little different than I imagined, yes,” Mason told The Post in his first remarks on the subject. “I’ll continue to work and be a good teammate and cheer them on and wait for an opportunity. I haven’t really had one yet.”
Mason shot poorly in preseason and has appeared in just eight games. With Toney Douglas banged up with a strained back and shoulder sprain, D’Antoni hasn’t turned to Mason, who runs the point during practice scrimmages.
“I don’t think I was really given an opportunity yet,” Mason said. “In preseason, I didn’t shoot as well as I wanted to. Most preseasons, it takes me to the regular season to get going.
“I’m just hitting the prime of my career,” Mason added. “Ideally, you wouldn’t want to be in scenario where you’re not playing.”
When asked whether he’d play Mason because of his Christmas heroics against his former team, D’Antoni responded: “Who?”
When revelations regarding the sex lives of Jets head coach Rex Ryan and wife Michelle hit the net this week, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised at the number of fans, writers and players who considered the matter either a non-story or an unnecessary peak inside the Ryans’ bedroom. I continue to believe the manner in which the story spread and the degree to which the mainstreammedia ignores a Deadspin scoop until they risk looking foolish for having done so, is a pretty legit news item in and of itself (the New York Post of all publications, went with a gag cover more than a day after the story had appeared in every other conceivable outlet). However, there’s one big portion of the Ryan tale that’s gone largely unexamined, possibly because it’s the kind of thing no one wants to ask Tony Dungy to talk about. To wit, the Ryans’ embrace of the swinging lifestyle, or more specifically, Rex’s alleged desire to see his wife “take a big one in all 3 holes”. In what Josh Rosen submits as a candidate for The Year’s Worst Column, the Miami Herald’s Armando Saluergo argues, “we as a society have to draw the line for the sake and safety of our children.”
It can be argued no one has the right to delve into or judge what Ryan and his wife do behind closed doors — or apparently in some videos outdoors. That’s turning a blind eye to truth and reality, not to mention morality.
Ryan is supposed to be the Jets’ leader, a leader of men with large wallets, muscles and egos. He also is the boss to a staff of very bright assistants. And all these Alpha males under Ryan are expected to continue respecting a coach who allegedly pimps out his wife to strangers on the Internet?
I don’t know exactly where that morality line is drawn and I haven’t the credentials to draw it. But I know, if the allegations are true, trading one’s wife in group sex is way, way, way over that line.
That is aberrant. That is a betrayal of vows. It is a departure from God’s supernatural plan for natural man.
Anyone who defends or rationalizes the behavior probably can defend and rationalize anything. They can give a pass to any departure from normalcy.
The notion that an NFL head coach needs to adhere to “God’s supernatural plan for natural man” oughta be far more chilling to any thoughtful person than the Ryans’ refusal to conform to mainstream notions of a healthy marriage. Claiming that Ryan, “pimps his wife out to strangers on the Internet” suggests that Mrs. Ryan is some sort of unwitting participant — who amongst us can say with any certainty the former Ravens assistant coach and son of Buddy Ryan, wasn’t pimped out to strangers himself?
Saluergo is 100% correct when he says he lacks the credentials to draw the morality line — he might even lack the comprehension skills or basic knowledge of modern sexual practices. This is probably splitting hairs for self-styled thought police like Saluergo, but Rex Ryan’s apparent inclination towards voyeurism and/or cuckoldry isn’t technically the same thing as “group sex”. And man, do I wish I could hear Chris Mortensen recite that exact line on television.
The practice of calling a timeout a split-second before an opponent snaps the ball for a crucial field-goal attempt has always struck this grouch as a bush league tactic, but the New York Times’ Judy Battista prefers to calls it, “one of the oldest bits of gamesmanship in football.” And according to a September study by University Of San Diego adjunct professor of psychology Nadav Goldschmied, Ph. D., it’s very effective. So much so, there’s not much argument for not trying it whenever there are time outs available. From Battista in Christmas Day’s Times :
Goldschmied (above) examined field goals over six seasons, 2002 to 2007. He identified 273 attempts that he considered œpressure kicks, those attempted in overtime, or with one minute or less remaining in regulation when the kicking team was tied or trailing by 3 points or fewer.
Of the 163 field-goals attempted when a timeout was not called before the kick, 80.4 percent were successful. But in the 110 cases when the kicker was iced, the success rate dropped to 66.4 percent, a 14 percent difference that Goldschmied ” and probably every coach in the N.F.L. ” considers significant.
Not surprisingly, kickers were more successful when their team called the timeout (83.3 percent), than they were when the opposing team did (64.4 percent). That is an indication that it is the element of surprise and disruption to the routine, not merely the extra time to think about the stakes, that causes the difficulty for kickers. The study found the success rate after icing was not affected by home-field advantage or the kicker™s years of experience.
œI was very surprised at the effect, Goldschmied said. œTwo things made a difference in successful field goals: distance of kick, which we expected, and the icing variable. The one thing is that there is rumination; it gives you enough to think about what is going to happen if you miss. I think maybe an additional mechanism is that you have a kicker about to kick, he™s ready and then they wait until the end and then ask for a timeout. Maybe the preparation itself is taxing.
The struggles, salvation and subsequent baseball exploits of Rangers OF Josh Hamilton have been well documented, and while I’ve occasionally poked fun at his efforts to resist temptation in the past, on this holy day, I’ll take a different tact. Instead, I’ll wonder just what fucking planet a sports journalist is living on where he infers Hamilton is a genuine victim of bigotry. The Dallas Morning News’ Jeff WIlson provides Hamilton with a saintly soapbox on a Christmas morning that he’s dragging his kids to a homeless shelter (don’t worry folks, he’s not leaving them there).
By now, Rangers fans know that Hamilton certainly isn’t shy about his faith and his walk with Christ. He feels it’s his duty to tell his story in public forums, which he does many times throughout a given year.
The media presents the best vehicle for Hamilton to spread the word. He did so on ESPN during his remarkable performance in 2008 during the Home Run Derby, and he did so again on TBS in October while accepting the MVP award for the AL Championship Series. A month later, he was back on ESPN chronicling his journey after being named the AL MVP.
“My platform got even bigger,” he said.
But Hamilton never saw the initial interview in replays that day. Everything he had said about his faith was cut, either for time considerations or maybe for political correctness.
Hamilton, though, was only mildly bothered by the omission. He still says “Merry Christmas,” and he won’t be deterred when he sees an opening to give thanks to his Savior.
“It’s all throughout the Bible, people being persecuted in Christ’s name,” he said. “That’s the way it’s always going to be. Some people won’t understand it.
“The people who will be watching who need to hear it, will hear it.”
Assuming this isn’t just a cheap suck-up job directed at Hamilton acolytes in the Dallas area, Wilson could’ve asked MLB’s broadcast partners to confirm or deny whether or not Hamilton’s remarks were edited for any reason besides, y’know, redundancy. But if Josh Hamilton — as popular and celebrated an American pro athlete as any in 2010 — genuinely believes he’s a victim of religious persecution, he’s deeply delusional. I’m starting to think I liked him better when he was on drugs.
Annual edition no. 23 of Jon Solomon’s 24 Hour Christmas Spectacular is in progress as of this writing on WPRB.com. Please keep in mind, the broadcast already began earlier Friday night, so if Jon’s already played Culturcide’s “Depressed Christmas”, there’s no point in getting upset with him.
The St. Louis chapter of the Baseball Writers Association Of America has their annual dinner scheduled for January 16, and barring the last-minute confirmation of a Drunks With Guns reunion, the evening’s entertainment sounds less than scintillating. The Post- Dispatch’s Derrick Gold provides the details :
To mark manager Tony La Russa’s return for a 16th season in the Cardinals dugout, the writers have invited some of his close friends and formers players to join the dinner in a … ahem … toast to the club’s winningest skipper. If some of those friends and players also choose to needle, jab, joke or otherwise tease TLR, well we can’t be held responsible. They’re men, not machines.
Scheduled to fete La Russa are actor/musician Billy Bob Thornton, basketball coach Bobby Knight, and former reliever Steve Kline. La Russa’s managerial buddy Jim Leyland is expected to attend as well as some others from La Russa’s baseball career.
With all due respect to the organizers, how can they expect to charge $150 a head for a La Genius roast that doesn’t feature Jose Canseco, Scott Rolen or Cody Rasmus?