12.17.10

Does The Sports Putz Have A Problem With Lady Persons?

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, not just a piece of meat, Sports Journalism at 4:21 pm by

And by “lady persons”, I mean real life WOMEN, not a freeze-frame of Jeanie Garth circa 1992.  “90% Of The Game Is Half Mental” author Emma Span got part of the way through Bill Simmons’ NY Times best-seller, ‘The Book Of Basketball’, and she might’ve actually finished the book (length somewhere between Lenny Dkystra’s autobiography and “War & Peace”) had the ESPN.com superstar not engaged so frequently in bro’-down acts of casual sexism.  There’s a number recounted by Span, including but not limited to Simmons gleefully recalling a female sex worker’s head being shoved into a toilet, analysis of tit sizes (DUDE!), guesstimations of female undergrads’ weight and most jarringly (for Span, anyway), the Sports Putz claiming his wife’s second pregnancy was the result of his “pulling the goalie” (“usually couples discuss pulling the goalie before it happens¦ unless it™s Bridgette Moynahan. In my case, I made the executive decision to speed up plans for kid number two. This did not go over well. I think I™m the first person who ever had a home pregnancy test whipped at them at 95 mph.”) From Span and Bronx Banter :

I assume this is a joke ” at least, it™s clearly supposed to be funny, but man did it fall flat with me. œOrnery does not begin to describe my reaction if my husband, who™d very soon be my ex-husband, made an œexecutive decision to stop using birth control without telling me. (Also, what the hell were they using that he could do this without her knowing? A valid question, though not one I care to dwell on).

I could have picked out and transcribed a dozen more examples, but life is short. Taken one at a time, any of these could be shrugged off, but each one piles on the previous instances until they have so much cumulative bulk that they can™t be ignored. I read a lot of books that are written by men and for a largely male audience ” in fact that describes many of my favorite books. But this book goes further: it™s not just not coming from a male perspective, it seems to have been written without the slightest hint that any woman could ever conceivably read it. I don™t know what Simmons is like personally, but with this book the Sports Guy persona that he™s constructed for himself has become downright toxic.

Simmons does have a number of female fans, and hey, to each their own. I would have liked to know what the rest of his NBA Pyramid looked like, but not enough to wade through 400 more pages of this stuff.

Akron Baseball Club Announces Molecular Gastronomy Seminar

Posted in Baseball, Food at 1:00 pm by

(photo swiped from Ben’s Biz Blog)

OK, not quite, but I couldn’t come up with a short enough headline that suggested that residents of LeBron’s hometown were so despondent, they were about to commit suicide-by-wiener. “This is a food item that’s going to generate a lot of fan interest and a lot of full stomachs,” gushes Akron Aeros assistant GM Dan Foust of the Eastern League club’s plans to serve what they’re calling “The Three Dog Night” ; what Ben Hill of Ben’s Biz Blog describes as “a hot dog stuffed inside a brat stuffed inside a kielbasa, placed on a hoagie roll and then slathered with sauerkraut and spicy stadium mustard.”

Apparently, The Three Dog Night is the brainchild of the same evil genius who concocted The Homewrecker for the Charleston RiverDogs, which by all rights, appears to be a far more dangerous item to offer without making fans sign a waiver of some sort.

12.16.10

Gary Neal Earns Comparisons To Famous International Basketballer

Posted in Basketball at 11:09 pm by

Sadly for the 27 year-old NBA newcomer, that international star would be Frédéric Weis.

Bissinger To NYC : Drop Dead

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, Sports Journalism at 4:43 pm by

For some of us, the closings of Max Fish and the Mars Bar are a greater commentary on the decline of New York City than P Cliff Lee’s decision to shun the Yankees in favor of the Phillies. New Yorkers’ agog reactions to said transaction are to former NYC native (and current Philadelphia resident) Buzz Bissinger (above) compelling evidence “New York is living on the vapors of false hubris”. From Buzz in the The Daily Beast :

As much as New Yorkers like to think that the city is the universe, the universe has spread. As clever was it was, the famous New Yorker Steinberg cartoon is dead. Distinctive and funky cities actually do exist beyond the George Washington Bridge. Philadelphia, despite the endless amounts of shit it takes not only from New Yorkers but also from its own insecure citizens, is one of them. It is a city where individuality and possibility still count. Even Baltimore, thanks to The Wire and before that Homicide, has become the epicenter of poverty-laced murder and drug-dealing and corrupt unions and school dysfunction. Go farther out to Chicago, and the Miracle Mile of Michigan Avenue rivals Fifth Avenue.

New York instead is teetering on the precipice of becoming little a place of indulgent gentrification. (Forget Queens and Staten Island. They don™t count and never will.) In Manhattan, every neighborhood that once sang to the creative and sexual soul has been tamped down into generic somnolence. Upper Madison Avenue looks like SoHo, and SoHo looks like the Meatpacking District. The leather bars are largely gone, artist™s lofts have given way to celebrity getaways. Best Buys are procreating like rabbits. Times Square is flatter than most Midwestern malls. All that is really left are apartment buildings and high-end boutique clothing shops that sell nothing but the wearisome attitude of pouty-lipped women hoping to become models or married to the rich and the infamous. You of course can™t smoke in New York anymore, and I™m not even sure you can fuck unless you have a certificate of permissible copulation from the Health Department.

“Forget Queens?”  If said borough didn’t count, there’s a big swath of cultural history erased.  But in contemporary terms, I’m less than shocked to see Buzz isn’t a Silent Barn patron.

Cleveland Radio Station : “LeBron” Is The 8th Dirty Word

Posted in Basketball, Radio at 1:27 pm by

“You can’t say crap on the radio,” sang Stiff Little Fingers’ Jake Burns, who probably never dreamed that at some point in the future, you couldn’t say “LeBron”, either. Scott from Waiting For Next Year reports Cleveland’s WAKS has edited the Jay Z/Alicia Keys single, “New York State Of Mind”, to obscure a prominent reference to a former Akron, OH native.

What was once œ[If] Jeezy™s paying LeBron, I™m paying Dwyane Wade “ a reference towards the purchase price of an illegal drug “ is now relatively indecipherable as the two-time NBA MVP™s name is edited “ or as female hip-hop star Missy Elliot calls, œflipped and reversed.

WFNY caught up with the man behind the decision, night time disc jockey (œJava) Joel Murphy, to discuss the move. Murphy tells us that the decision was more of an epiphany, but its one that the station feels resonates well with Clevelanders given their well-documented feelings towards the departed James.

œI was playing the song and realized that the word œLeBron is as offensive to some people as the ˜Seven Words You Can™t Say On The Radio,™ said Murphy. œAnytime one of those words shows up in a song, we either bleep it, cut it out completely or obscure it by flipping it backwards. So, I suggested to our programming dept that we should treat the name œLeBron similarly.

œThe reaction has been immediate, Murphy continued. œListeners thought it was a brilliant idea. It™s subtle, just enough to get the point across. Obviously, it™s totally tongue-in-cheek. I mean, we still say the name on the air. But, in the context of a hip-hop song, it sounds kinda cool hearing it flipped backwards.

Milledge Career Update : Lastings’ Stock On The Rise!

Posted in Baseball at 10:40 am by

Former Met Lastings Milledge was recently waived by the Pirates, a serious blow to the outfielder who’d already flunked out of Billy Wagner’s Baseball Etiquette Finishing School some years ago.  Currently playing winter ball with Venezuela’s Tigres de Aragua, Milledge reportedly mimed tossing a hand grenade into the dugout of the opposing Tiburones de La Guaira after hitting a double this past Sunday night.  A subsequent plunking of Milledge led to a rather large brawl between both teams, leading New York Baseball Digest’s Mike Silva to scold, “(this was) not the best way to let 30 general managers know that you have matured and are serious about playing baseball” (“Milledge has talked about growing up in the past, but apparently that is still a work in progress”).

OK, granted, the stories sound pretty awful, but shouldn’t a club be interested in a player who possesses Lastings’ bouncebackability? Check out the footage above ; just two days removed from charges of nearly sparking a riot, Milledge went yard against Tiburones, and his Tigres teammates and fans showered him with love. Fuck that “growing up” booshite, Milledge received far too much heat for showing the sort of passion for the game sorely lacking from recent Mets squads.  If he’s demonstrated a little more flamboyance than old-schoolers like Silva are comfortable with, surely I don’t have to remind anyone that there’s a precedent for once-shunned, larger-than-life characters to parlay excellence south of the border into a new opportunity with an MLB organization?

12.15.10

The Armenian Youth Federation is Far From Delighted With Kobe’s Turkish Airlines Deal

Posted in Basketball, Genocidal Tendencies, The Marketplace at 7:48 pm by

Lakers G Kobe Bryant (above, left) recently inked a 2-year pact to serve as a spokesmodel for Turkish Airlines, the Republic Of Turkey’s state-owned air carrier. AFYwest.org, the Southern California web outlet of the Armenian Youth Federation notes, “as victims of genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish government from 1915-1923, Armenians are angered that Bryant would sign a contract with a country that denies justice to the victims.”

Soon after the announcement of Bryant™s deal, disappointed callers flooded the lines of AM 570, the Laker radio station for over 30 years. Many in the community wonder how Bryant, who plays in a city with such a significant Armenian-American population, can sign a deal with a carrier which represents a country with such a deplorable human rights record.

The AYF urges Kobe Bryant to stay true to his loyal fan base and rescind his contract with Turkish Airlines. The AYF further asks Bryant to put out an official statement affirming his commitment to ending human rights abuses and voicing his support for House Resolution 252, calling on the United States Congress to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide.

œWe ask our community to reach out to Kobe and urge him to speak out about the Armenian Genocide and recognize the wrongdoings of the Turkish government, said Caspar Jivalagian, a member of the AYF. œWhether it is through his Twitter account or by calling local sports talk shows on Fox™s AM570, or ESPN™s AM 710, he really needs to hear from his fans about this ill-advised business agreement.

The United Human Right Council, a grassroots activist group, echoed these concerns, œTurkey has a long history of human rights violations, including the occupation of Northern Cyprus, brutal repression of its Kurdish population, and imprisoning its citizens to suppress free speech. These types of abuses cannot be ignored.

œKobe has a proven track record of aiding various humanitarian efforts, and this is an opportunity for him to become a true œglobal ambassador of truth and publicly speak out about the Armenian Genocide, added Jivalagian.

Wiki Revision Reveals Extent Of Dissent Towards Synder, Shanahan & The Skins

Posted in Free Expression, Gridiron at 12:03 pm by

(image swiped from DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg).    While nyone could be responsible for this,  however, the real question is whether or not Albert Haynesworth’s I.P. address matches 98.250.119.225.

Mike Vick : How Much Is That Doggie In The Window (And Why Is He Growling At Me?)

Posted in Dogs, Gridiron at 11:39 am by

(portrait by Derek Erdman)

Did it ever occurred to authorities or mental health professionals that best course of therapy for John Wayne Gacy or Jeffrey Dahmer might’ve been adoption? Probably not, though had they considered the reasoning of Eagles QB Michael Vick, who knows what would’ve happened? Vick tells The Grio’s Mara Schiavocampo that he’d like nothing better than to experience the joys of canine companionship.

Vick has often expressed his love of all animals — not just dogs, and hopes that the court-ordered rule that prevents him owning a dog will one day change.

“I would love to get another dog in the future,” he told the Grio. “I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process. I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love, and my passion for animals.”

It is safe to say that Vick once found himself making all the wrong decisions when it came to the care of the dogs. But he claims outside influences enabled his dogfighting hobbies years ago.

“I hate to use our culture as an excuse, but it is what it is and that’s what happened and that’s the way I thought about it growing up,” the quarterback said. “This is just the way we were brought up.”

“[I'm a] better player, [a] better person. More patient, more persistent and a willingness to, set high goals and high standards, not only on the football field, but in life. And in so many ways, I thank God for changing my life and keeping me healthy and putting me on the path to where I can redeem myself and make a great comeback,” Vick said. “I thank God for the people who came into my life and gave me a second chance and was willing to give me another opportunity.”

12.14.10

Jeff Francoeur : Still Full Of Shit For A Living

Posted in Baseball at 7:01 pm by

You’re not even past the first sentence of Terez A. Paylor’s K.C. Star item welcoming Jeff Francoeur to the Royals when the former Braves/Mets/Rangers RF’s smile is mentioned prominently. It’s a winning smile, too, just so long as your definition of winning has nothing to do with winning baseball games (or getting on base very often). Perez seems willing to give Francoeur the benefit of the doubt when he claims he turned down other suitors in favor of the Royals GM Dayton Moore because he fancies himself a role model.

“I don’t look at this as a one-year thing, and I told Dayton that today,”  said Francoeur, a 26-year-old outfielder who signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract last week. “I don’t want to have a great year, say ‘see ya’ and go play somewhere else.”

“I want to be here when it turns around.”

“When I was 21 years old, I had mentors like John Smoltz and Chipper Jones, guys that showed me how to do it,” said Francoeur, who understands the expectations that come with being a big-time prospect. “Here, you’ve got a lot of 21- or 22-year-old guys who are ready to come up and be stars for years. Hopefully I can help them out.

Royals Review’s Will McDonald
tried listening to the above comments and concludes that Moore, “is not only bad an evaluating baseball players, he’s bad at identifying people more generally.”

“Francoeur’s career has been an abject failure. He, without qualification, has not lived up to expectations. He has not been a winner. He has not handled failure well. He has not handled benchings well. What has he done well? If anything, he’s pretty clearly a bad example for young players. His example says precisely this, ‘live off the hype as long as you can, never change, and wait for an old scout to sign you years later.’”

Nice Work If You Can Get It : Pakistan’s Butt Claims Frozen Desert Windfall

Posted in Cricket at 3:29 pm by

In August of this  year, Pakistan captain Salman Butt (above, second from left) was implicated in a match fixing scandal during his side’s Fourth Test Match versus England. Preparing his defense in front of the International Cricket Council next month, Butt continued to proclaim his innocence in an interview with Sky Sports in which he explains how £29,000 came to be found in his London hotel room. His answers, as transcribed by the Guardian’s Andy Wilson, will prove unbelievable to almost everyone, the owners of Last Licks excepted.

Pressed on how he came to have so much cash in his room, he said: “Everybody knows the PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board] pays us daily allowances on tours and it was a long tour so about £11,000 of this money was from my daily allowances. Being captain I have extra entertainment allowance which amounts to about £4,500 from the tour “ which I had with me. The rest of the money was advanced payment for my bat stickers which I was under contract by Capital Cricket which shows on the back of my bat. People can have their opinions but I know where the money came from.”

When the figure of £29,000 was put to him as the sum found in his room, Butt again said it was “clean”. “Of course “ 100%. £2,500 was given to me for the opening of an ice cream parlour in Tooting. As you guys are from England you can go there any time to Tooting. I believe the name is Afters and the manager, the people working over there, they will tell you that I had to do the opening of the ice cream parlour along with Mohammad Amir. And that’s what we were paid for. And I believe that’s the only money which has the serial numbers of what the TV shows “ nothing else.”

In fairness to Butt, it should be stressed that several of the reviews of Afters Ice Cream on this Yelp-like website do mention the establishment’s unusually high prices.

Jon Heyman’s Nemesis Has Spent A NIght Or Two In A Hotel Where They Don’t Leave Mints By The Pillow

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio, twitter twatter at 1:35 pm by

It’s kind of awesome that when Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman isn’t facing intense competition from Twitter hoaxsters, he’s goaded into a pissing match with “Incarcerated Bob”, so dubbed, writes New York Baseball Digest’s Mike Silva, because “he spent nine months in an upstate correctional facility for beating up a Patriots fan after the Giants Super Bowl victory in 2008.” As you can see from the above clip, Bob seems to think he’s wrangled an apology out of Heyman, who probably never thought he’d someday have his track record compared or scrutinized by an admitted felon.

SNY’s Berg Consoles Mets Fans After Philly Signs Lee : Wait ‘Til The Year After Next Year

Posted in Baseball at 12:40 pm by

To regurgitate a comment a made elsewhere, Kenny Rogers aside, it’s rare that one man can generate equal amounts of anxiety/depression in Yankee and Mets fans, so full credit to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., who last night made his club the prohibitive favorites for the 2011 NL pennant with the surprise signing of highly coveted Cliff Lee. That Lee might’ve left somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million on the table in order to return to Philly is a staggering blow to Brian Cashman, who comes out of the Winter Meetings having a) pissed off his aging shortstop and b) signed Russell Martin. Compared to recent events just south and north of the Bronx, it’s not exactly the haul anyone expected.

Under most circumstances, a rotation featuring Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton would have to be considered one of the game’s best. Adding Lee to the mix, however, begs comparisons to Braves/Orioles rotations of yore, and if nothing else, increases the likely asking prices Tampa and Kansas City will demand for Matt Garza and Zach Greinke, respectively. Don’t expect the Mets to be mentioned in connection with either player ; it will be a very long time before the Amazingly Destitutes are in the bidding for a top flight free agent ala Lee or have the pieces assembled to deal for a player the caliber of Greinke. But before you fall into a Benigno-esque tailspin of suicidal thoughts and poor grooming, consider the encouraging words of SNY’s Ted Berg, who reminds us the Phillies are halfway- to-decrepit.

As Mets fans, we think of the Phillies as invincible because the Phillies are the bad guys, and the ones that so often victimize our favorite team. But the cracks are starting to show. Probably not enough to slow them in 2011, but don™t go writing off 2012 for the Mets. Have you been watching baseball? Do you not realize how quickly things can go south for old players?

For a variety of reasons, the Mets could not sign Cliff Lee. They didn™t have the money and he didn™t seem particularly eager to pitch in New York. That™s fine, because the Mets should not have signed Cliff Lee. The Phillies™ decision is perhaps defensible since they™ve got an old team and an opportunity to win now and flags fly forever. They can worry about how they™ve got $80 million committed in 2013 to four players who are 33 and older in 2013.

12.13.10

Fun(gibility), Fun(gibility), Fun(gibility) : Francesa Misquotes Himself

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 7:58 pm by

Hey, so what if the Yankees miss out on Cliff Lee? NYC sports fans should be far more relieved to learn that moments after describing the exact opposite of what “fungibility” means, WFAN’s Mike Francesa quickly reversed course (video link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

Ratto Be Trippin’ : A Stirring Defense Of Sal Alosi

Posted in Gridiron at 5:28 pm by

Prior to yesterday’s ill-advised tripping of Miami’s Nolan Carroll, it’s doubtful that all but a few of the J-E-R-K-S’ most desperate dedicated fans could’ve picked Gang Green’s strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi out of a police lineup.  Now that Alosi has become a trending topic on Twitter (and probable grist for the mill on Monday’s late night monologues), CBS Sports’ Ray Ratto bemoans the rush to judgment, arguing, “I say make him a head coach somewhere.”

If there is a more amoral game than football, it comes with boxing gloves or an octagonal ring. It doesn’t build character, or inspire noble thoughts, or make men out of boys. It’s large men running into each other at high rates of speed and occasionally trying to unscrew each other’s exposed appendages, or to scare the hell out of the opponent while trying.

And it stands boldly on the notion that if you don’t get caught, you get a game ball.

Now a lot of good jobs are whizzing off the shelves. Will Muschamp left Texas for Florida. Gus Malzahn is leaving Auburn for Vanderbilt. The Pitt job may be closing soon. The Denver Broncos have an interim coach, and the full-time replacement apparently needs only to start Tim Tebow to win the town over. Hell, the Saskatchewan Roughriders just went to the Grey Cup final, their long-time coach retired and a new one has not yet been named.

Sal Alosi is a natural-born inspiration, a force of nature who may be a guy with novel ideas on the squat thrust but in fact has the gift of leadership. While the Jets were foundering in a must-win game, he stepped up, literally, sort of. He made a play when a play needed making. And this kind of initiative should be rewarded with the kind of grand sweeping gesture that has become the hallmark of Jets football under Rex Ryan.

Much Ado About Godzilla’s Allegedly Awesome Porn Stash

Posted in Baseball at 1:31 pm by

It was all the way back in 2005 when a CSTB reader brought our attention to the following passage from a 2003 edition of Time Magazine ;

“Indeed, his only eccentricity, if it can be called that, is his extensive private library of adult videos. His refreshing ability to laugh self-deprecatingly about his porno collection, reporters say, is one reason why fans and even nonfans have taken to him so much.”

The humble porn collector in question? Former Yankee OF Hideki Matsui, whose potential arrival in Oakland causes avid Googler Joe Eskenazi of the SF Weekly to gush, “the possibility of Matsui toting his legendary collection of nasty videos to the Bay Area makes this no ordinary signing,” but how, exactly? Surely Eskenazi is aware the A’s previously employed notorious degenerate Jason Giambi, who almost certainly possesses materials that should arouse suspicion amongst the law enforcement community (and he might have porn, too).

Robert Whiting’s casual reference to Matsui’s arsenal of wank material continues to make waves more than 7 years after it was first mentioned. In the unlikely event Matsui is still an active player in 2015, I fully expect some comedy blogger (if there’s a blogosphere in 5 years) to raise the matter yet again. Imagine how quickly this entire matter could’ve been quashed had Suzyn Waldman taken it up during a post-game interview in the earlier part of this century?

Donald Sterling Achieves The Near-Impossible, Sinks To Depths Previously Unexplored

Posted in Basketball at 10:50 am by

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is no stranger to the CSTB Cretin Blotter, be it for his racist practices as a landlord or presiding over a casting couch while seeking qualified “hostesses” to represent him. Reprehensible stuff, certainly, but until now, Sterling hasn’t resorted to publicly humiliating his players. Not counting making them listen to Mike Dunleavy, anyway. Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears reports Sterling has been making like a less-funny Robin Ficker, with his crude rhetoric aimed at none other than the Clippers’ Baron Davis.

Sterling has expressed his displeasure about Davis’ play by taunting him from his courtside seat at Clippers’ home games, several sources told Yahoo! Sports. Among Sterling’s verbal barbs:

“Why are you in the game?”

“Why did you take that shot?”

“You’re out of shape!”

While Sterling has also taunted other Clippers players since the middle of last season, none have received it worse than Davis, the sources said. Davis has missed 14 of the team’s  25 games this season and is averaging 7.4 points while making a team-high $13 million. Including this season, Davis has three years and nearly $42 million left on his contract.

“There’s nothing I can say,” Davis said of Sterling’s taunts. “I have no comment on that. You just get to this point where it’s a fight every day. It’s a fight. You’re fighting unnecessary battles. I’m fighting unnecessary battles.”

“It’s frustrating because I know and my teammates know I’m capable of getting it done, even dudes on the other team. It’s frustrating.”

Sterling had little comment when asked about his behavior.

“When they make shots, it’s great,” Sterling said during halftime of the Clippers’ loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday. “When they don’t, we’re all disappointed.”

For all his faults, I generally consider David Stern to be the most intelligent and progressive of the major sports commissioners, but he’s never been able to quite explain how Major League Baseball could distance itself from Marge Schott while he continues to turn a blind eye to the embarrassment that is Sterling’s ownership of the Clippers.

12.12.10

Illinois Scribe Speaks Ill Of The Recently Departed Ron Santo

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 10:33 pm by

“Can I say this now safely without sounding like a heartless oaf?” wonders the Post-Tribune.com’s Mike Hutton, and sadly, the answer is “no”, given that he’s trashing the broadcasting chops of the late Ron Santo.  Of the former Cubs 3B’s commentary on WGN, Hutton credits Santo with being a lovely ambassador for the game and the disabled, but remembers “a barely competent baseball announcer.”

I’m looking forward to whoever takes his spot in the booth because it can’t possibly be any less teeth-grinding than listening to Santo butcher a name, forget the count or add absolutely no substance to the nuance of a game-time situation, which is something I expect of a baseball announcer.

Most fans loved (at least if you believe what you’ve read and heard lately) the interplay between Santo and Pat Hughes, a classic play-by-play man who has the perfect pitch and rhythm for the job and who had the right personality to turn Santo’s charming goofs into a running bit.

They loved Santo because he was a hardcore Cubs fan at heart. He suffered miserably when they lost and perked up noticeably when they were winning. I was fine with that. I don’t need overbearing criticism and objectivity from the guys in the booth, though it is welcome in certain situations.

My problem is that I only want to be entertained half the time. The other half I want to be informed or, if not that, captivated.

There was none of that with Santo. There were just goofy moments with Hughes and lots of blue blood getting spilled over the airways during bad times, and emotional outbursts during good times.

Sad but true: If I found myself in the car wanting to listen to a Cubs broadcast, I frequently turned my satellite radio to the opposing team’s feed. The truth is, Hughes, as much as Santo, made him into a larger-than-life radio guy when I’m not quite sure he deserved it. Hughes is so good, such a professional, that it made you forget sometimes how bad Santo actually was.

Lightning Goalie’s Double Duty As Hockey Etiquette Enforcer

Posted in Hockey at 2:56 pm by

Tampa Bay’s Dan Ellis has a bit of a history when it comes to provocative public remarks, and continued the trend this week, blasting Edmonton LW Linus Omark for the creativity displayed above, during Friday’s shootout victory.   The New York Post’s Larry Brooks considers Ellis’ subsequent lecture.

“It’s embarrassing for him,” said Ellis, who apparently never tires of embarrassing himself. “You come into a league, a respectful league like this, and you try a little move like that. It’s not a very classy thing. That’s just the kind of person he is.”

Actually, Omark didn’t simply, “try a little move like that,” he succeeded with it. “Trying a little move,” is what Olli Jokinen did in Philadelphia last April when he did circles in the defensive zone before picking up the puck in the littlest shootout attempt of 2009-10.

And exactly what “kind of person” does Ellis think Omark is? A Swede? A rookie? How does Ellis have the slightest clue what kind of person Omark is, other than the kind of person who outwits and then beats him with the game on the line?

Ellis wasn’t alone among the crybaby Lightning in condemning the move, which only goes to prove that Tampa Bay lacks more than quality goaltending, it lacks a measure of class despite the presence of Steve Yzerman in the executive suite and Marty St. Louis in the room

Hyde On Florida’s Choice Of Muschamp : This Was The Best You Could Do?

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 1:17 pm by

Florida succeeded in overshadowing Cam Newton’s Heisman triumph and turning up the heat on Mack Brown & DeLoss Dodds to varying degrees last night with the announcement Texas defensive coordinator (and Brown’s successor-in-waiting) Will Muschamp (above) was leaving Austin to replace Urban Meyer as the Gators’ new head coach.  While concerns closer to CSTB HQ revolve around what this means for the Longhorns’ upcoming recruiting class, at least one observer in the Sunshine State is less than blown away by Florida A.D. Jeremy Foley’s gambit. Writes the Sun-Sentinel’s David Hyde, “Florida hires a guy who’s never run a program before? Whose most celebrated highlight isn’t being doused by Gatorade but being knocked over while chest-bumping a Texas player?”

Foley sure showed conviction here. He didn’t offer the job to anyone else, he said. He didn’t even interview anyone else, he said. That was presented as if it’s a bonus. Is it?

Foley is the boss who hired Ron Zook, who also had never run a program before coming to Florida. You remember how well that worked out. You’d think Foley would have learned from that and even steered away from Muschamp. He knew he’d be questioned over this very issue.

Foley, you can conclude, was that overwhelmed.

Let’s open the Muschamp file. He’s 39. Some will make an issue of his youth. But genius work happens early. Arthur Miller wrote “Death of a Salesman” at 30. J.D. Salinger wrote “The Catcher in the Rye” at 30. Hey, Don Shula got his first head coaching job at 33.

He’s a defensive guy. Muschamp got his coaching props under Nick Saban. So there’s that relationship to play out as this moves forward. Can the disciple beat the master?

Muschamp was defensive coordinator for Saban’s national championship team at Louisiana State in 2003. That defense led the SEC in scoring and total defense.

Yes, he followed Saban to the Dolphins. In 2005, Muschamp’s defense ranked 15th in the NFL. Make of that what you will. All we know is Muschamp left after that season to become’s Auburn’s defensive coordinator, then Texas’ defensive coordinator and declared successor to Mack Brown.

Now he succeeds the Urbanator. And where Meyer was an offensive coach, Muschamp only has coached defense. So who he hires as the offensive coordinator becomes nearly as important as his hiring. A surprise? Yep, it’s that. Florida, you’d think, could have had most any hot name in the country.

Hyde general point about Muschamp’s limited resume is well taken, but it’s not as though the latter’s name hasn’t popped up in relation to any number of high profile vacancies the last few years.  “He’s a defensive guy”?  Well, yeah, he was a defensive coordinator.  It’s all well and good to suggest Florida should’ve conducted a more extensive search, but it’s safe to assume Foley already had a short list in his pocket after Meyer’s prior health scare / flip-flop.

Sultan Of Surly Piss Is All That’s Left From FDA Jerk’s Golden Shower Of Hits

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 11:44 am by

(one of these years, I will become tired of using a photo of the wrong Greg Anderson. Not this year, however)

Barry Bonds’ forthcoming perjury trial aside, the New York Daily News’ Christian Red and Nathaniel Vinton report the federal government will not seek to use drug-testing records seized from Major League Baseball in 2004

Justice Department spokesperson Tracy Schmaler told The Associated Press that the government will not go to the Supreme Court seeking to reverse rulings by a series of court panels that declared the government’s seizure unconstitutional. The seizure of Bonds’ records was not challenged, and prosecutors plan to use them as evidence at the slugger’s long-awaited San Francisco trial this spring.

Paula Canny, the San Francisco attorney who has represented Bonds’ former trainer Greg Anderson, said that the decision means that even if there is smoking-gun evidence in the records, it will never be admissible in courts unless it relates to players originally named in search warrants drafted in 2004.

“It means,” Canny said, “that if they got Roger Clemens’ urine sample, they can’t use it. If they got Miguel Tejada’s urine sample, they can’t use it. None of it (beyond 10 players named on search warrants) is admissible.”

Canny, whose client has been jailed several times for refusing to testify about Bonds, said that the case “affects every single American” by reinforcing limits on what federal agents can do as they move into realms that citizens may consider private. She said the solicitor general’s decision not to appeal to the Supreme Court was “an appropriate concession by the government of the wrongdoing of their agent (FDA  investigator Jeff Nowitzky)

“What this means is the government, when they go to search an entity, and there’s probable cause to search Person X, it doesn’t mean that they can take Person Y or Person Z’s stuff too,” said Canny. “They shouldn’t appeal, because No. 1, they’ll lose. And No. 2, what they did was wrong. It’s nice that they conceded their wrongdoing.”

12.11.10

Ziggy Played….Right Field?

Posted in Baseball, Rock Und Roll at 9:48 pm by

(Bowie at 17)

Much as it’s nice to imagine David Bowie as a Scott Radinsky of the early 1960′s, Baseball GB’s Joe Gray is a skeptic. When asked in 1999 by a Rolling Stone scribe if he liked baseball, David Bowie reportedly claimed to have played outfield with a team of Canadian ex-pats called the Dulwich Blue Jays.  Gray’s findings are as follows :

The summer that the soon-to-be rock star spent as a 14-year-old was in 1961. Keen to cross-check the statement made in the interview, I contacted Jean Crook of the Old Timers Baseball Club, a team of veteran players from the British league. Having passed on my question about Bowie™s involvement to a Bluejays player of that era called Phil Laing, she replied to me with the following information.

Laing, who was born in the same year as Bowie, started out with the Bluejays in 1961. The two met through mutual friends at Bowie™s school, Bromley Technical College, and through this connection Bowie began to attend baseball games, gradually becoming an avid supporter. However, according to Laing™s recollections, he never played in an official game for the team.

While this is disappointing, the two stories are not necessarily contradictory: Bowie may well have manned the outfield during training and pre-game drills, but just not in games.

If That Toilet Lid Could Talk : RIP Manhattan Bar Often Populated By Trendy People You’d Fucking Hate

Posted in History's Not Happening, New York, New York at 5:00 pm by

It was reported earlier this week that Ludlow Street’s venerable Max Fish was closing at the end of January, as owner Uli Rimkus was facing rather excessive demands for a rent increase somewhat reflective of the neighborhood’s currently glitzy status.  Full disclosure time : I briefly rented a small apartment from Rimkus situated on the 2nd floor above the bar….and not-so-briefly did extensive damage to my brain cells and liver on the ground floor during the early 1990′s.

People often complain about Max Fish paying host to hordes of tourists, rich kids, bridge & tunnel types, lame scenesters, etc….and the same complaints were voiced, repeatedly, in 1992, too. I’ve not spent enough time there recently (occasional visits aside) to comment w/ authority about contemporary Max Fish, but for a longish stretch,the bar was an epicenter for much of the L.E.S.’ arts/alcoholism scene. Quality humans worked there, and much of the clientele was a-ok, too. If you could stand a noise rock version of “Cheers” (the likes of Michael Duane, Harry Druzd and Carlo McCormack had far more wisdom to impart than George Wendt), it was an ok place to squander a paycheck. Many friendships were made by the Fish pinball machines, jukebox, or, uh, unisex bathrooms.  Nearly as many friendships ended, too.   I’ll never forget the retarded 3am arguments over slights real or imagined, the ridiculous characters from the block (or around the world) that would stagger thru in the days long before anyone knew or cared who the Strokes were.  Though Max Fish’s patrons certainly knew who Bob Dylan was the December night he stood in the doorway for what seemed like an eternity before opting for another bar.  And while Max Fish wasn’t a music venue per se (the adjoining Pink Pony did, however, host  performances for a while), there were a few semi-historic exceptions to the rule, including a monumentally loud Bailter Space show and a Workdogs w/ Jon Spencer performance in 1999 that featured the unlikely visage of Genesis P. Orridge making like Bob Colby several feet away from the band.

Nostalgia sucks, as do old fuckers telling you things were cooler or smarter back in the old days.  They weren’t.   That said, back in the pre Todd P.-era, Ludlow St. was very much the HQ for an undefined, very loud music/social scene, and Rimkus and her colleagues deserve much credit for their hospitality and lending some sense of community, however loose, to a rather chaotic period.

12.10.10

Sports Putz Agrees Not To Say Anything Heartfelt Or Interesting During Tonight’s Heat Game

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 6:45 pm by

(one of the more despicable persons in the world of sports media.  and on the right, Will Leitch)

ESPN has tapped Bill Simmons (above, left) to provide analysis during tonight’s telecast of Miami’s visit to Golden State, a scenario the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson finds curious given Simmons’ blatant Celtics bias and recent history of LeBron-baiting.  Not to worry, promises Bill, who describes a prior Heat-bashing sesion with Dan Le Batard as mere provocation between attention-addicts.

Simmons e-mailed Thursday, “There’s a big difference between calling a game and going on someone’s radio show or even writing about a team. Le Batard and I are friends and I go on there to stir stuff up. . . . I would never be anti-Heat calling the game. There is nothing worse than watching your team and being stuck with an announcer who is against them. . . . I’m just there to make the game more entertaining. Besides, the Heat look like they might be belatedly coming together. I’m not sure there is a lot to be pessimistic about right now.”

Simmons said he pitched the idea of calling Friday’s game because “I did four minutes of a game last year and it was really fun. So it’s been in the back of my head since.” ESPN was receptive because “Bill is a dedicated NBA fan who will provide a unique perspective,” spokesman Nate Smeltz said

WSC On The Bloggy Comedy Stylings Of CONCACAF’s Chuck Blazer

Posted in Football at 12:35 pm by

Is our hemisphere’s soccer power broker a co-conspirator to some of sport’s most crooked individuals, or is he a laff-riot waiting to happen?  Or perhaps a little bit of both? When Saturday Comes’ Ian Plenderleith reviews the online activity of Chuck Blazer and concludes, “tough nut Jack Warner™s the front man, the bad cop, and you know what that makes cheery Chuck.”



Blazer loves to come across as the cheerful, chubby clown by posting pictures of himself in ridiculous Halloween get-up, or wearing a Santa hat. When you laugh at yourself, the joke™s on those who laugh at you. And, as he told Sports Business Journal earlier this year, when he reads or hears negative things about himself “ such as the time during FIFA™s court case with Mastercard in 2006 when a New York judge described his testimony as œfabricated and lacking credibility “ œI shrug at it. When you™ve got an apartment in Trump Tower and you™re travelling first class around the world, you™re pretty much untouchable. Why care what others think?

No wonder Chuck fits in at FIFA “ shrugging off allegations of corruption and bribery has been its specialty for the past 20 years. The body is accountable to no one, and it mixes with eager politicians at the highest level. Any member of England™s 2018 World Cup bid committee still baffled as to why Chuck failed to give them a vote need only check out his blog entry for November 25, where he lovingly details a trip to Moscow for a star-struck encounter with Russian president Vladimir Putin. After being told by Putin he looked like Karl Marx, and getting a high-five, there followed œa half hour exchange of wit, charm and effective communications. Vlad then emailed Chuck some pictures of him helping a sick polar bear to put on his blog. Chuck happily obliged his new œfriend.