Introducing A Mets Bidder Considerably More Attractive Than Donald Trump (If You Like Fake Mustaches)

Posted in Baseball at 11:45 pm by

From the Hartford Courant’s Paul Doyle :

Renaissance man Bobby Valentine, who already holds jobs as an ESPN analyst and director of public health and safety in his hometown of Stamford, may be looking to expand his resume. ESPN reports Bobby V. is talking to financial backers in hopes of making a bid to purchase a piece of the Madoff Mets from the financially-strapped Wilpons. With Donald Trump and Mark Cuban already identified as prospective bidders, an auction for the Mets could be the most compelling game in Queens all season.

Keep in mind, Cuban’s hardly ID’d himself as a bidder, though it’s pretty clear that if Valentine did front a successful Mets purchase, at the very least we’d never have to see Pete Harnisch as a minor league pitching coach.

Ahmadinejad : London 2012 Logo Not Nearly Close Enough To A Swastika

Posted in olympics at 4:19 pm by

The BBC reports Iran President Mamoud Ahmadinejad has objected to the logo for London’s 2012 Summer Game on grounds completely separate than it looks terrible.

Iran’s National Olympic Committee sent a letter to the International Olympic Committee criticising the emblem and its perceived link to the city.

The letter also urges other Muslim states to oppose the “racist logo”.

A statement from the IOC said: “The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else.”

The London logo shows the numbers “2012″ in four jagged figures and until now has only been criticised for its design.

With 18 months until the Olympics, a statement from the London Organising Committee [Locog] added: “[The logo] was launched in 2007 following testing and consultation.

“We are surprised that this complaint has been made now.”


Duke Snider, RIP

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York at 7:12 pm by

Duke Snider, Dodgers CF for 16 seasons, Hall Of Famer and World Series champion with the Brooklyn in 1955 and Los Angeles in 1959, passed away earlier today in Escondido, California. A 7-time All Star and the Dodgers’ all-time leader in home runs (389 and RBI’s (1271) is eulogized by the New York Daily News’ Bill Madden who reminds us, “the debate as to who was the best center fielder in New York during that period – Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle or Snider – will go on for eternity.”

Brooklyn’s case for Snider was always made on his clutch hits, World Series home run feats and his spectacular outfield play. In 1949, Snider’s first full season in the big leagues, in which he hit .292 with 23 homers and 92 RBI after taking over in center field for the injured Pete Reiser, his tie-breaking 10th-inning RBI single against the Philadelphia Phillies won the pennant for the Dodgers on the final day of the season. A year later, in almost identical circumstances, the pennant came down to the last day of the season against the Phillies and Snider, who hit .321 with 31 homers, 107 RBI and a league-leading 199 hits in 1950, again came through with a ninth-inning single that would have broken a 1-1 tie had Cal Abrams, who was on second, not been thrown out at the plate on a perfect throw from Phillie center fielder Richie Ashburn. The “Whiz Kid” Phillies then went to win the game – and the pennant – on a home run by Dick Sisler in the bottom of the inning.

If Jeff Schultz Could Bear Chipper’s Next Child, Would It Be Named “Citi”?

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 6:48 pm by

OK, it’s a rather creepy question to ponder, but one that I’d not be so quick to ask if the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeff Schultz weren’t so quick to distance himself from, “some cynics who not only question Chipper Jones physically, they wonder if money is his primary motivation.”  No need to name names, however, because, “This accusation generally comes from the short-sighted, ignorant and disturbed segment of the populace that vents on sports talk radio and posts comments on blogs, all behind the comfort of anonymity.”

If they think I’m doing this for the money, they obviously haven’t seen my bank account,” he said. “I’ve never played this game for money. Nor will I. My mind doesn’t work that way. I play this game because I love my teammates and they wanted me to come back.

“I still feel like I have something to offer, and the cynical fan can really kiss my ass. I really don’t care. There’s a bunch of true fans and the people who actually want to take the time to get to know me know who I am. The guy who sits in his mom’s basement and types on his mom’s computer, I couldn’t really care less about.”

Jones has made over $141 million in his career, including $127 million in the last 10 years alone. To blow through that much cash would require dropping paychecks into a food processor or possibly just being your average former heavyweight champion.

Doing it for the money?

There are a lot of reasons to be cynical about pro sports today. Chipper Jones isn’t one of them.

History’s Most Puzzling eBay Auctions, Pt. VI

Posted in The Marketplace, The World Of Entertainment at 4:54 pm by

Though the auction — described below — seems to have ended unsuccessfully, if the starting bid had been a more modest sum (say, $200), I’m pretty sure content plantation owner James Frey would’ve been all over this.

I am selling my story that I have been creating for 10+ years. It can be compared to stories like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Matrix, Indiana Jones and other titles in those categories. This story needs to be completed by a professional writer or Ghost Writer. I would like to meet in person so that I can pass my works on.

I will share my story with someone in person only and not over the internet. My story is too valuable to be spread publicly and will give a lot of new ideas for movies and book series that should belong to the buyer.

ebay requires a physical object to be purchased. This is a CD with my story, as well as printed material, as well as verbal information from me. This will be exchanged person to person.

This story will bring in endless fame and money to anyone who takes it. I do not have money to hire a Ghost Writer and I do not want to die with this story untold.


Terry To Chelsea Teammates : Do As I Say, Not As I Sob

Posted in Football at 5:28 pm by

Despite a history of weeping in public not rivaled until the ascent of John Boehner, former England captain John Terry took it upon himself to urge Chelsea teammates to “man up” earlier this week prior to their Champions League encounter with FC Copenhagen.  Writes the Guardian’s insufficiently inspired Barry Glendenning, “it must have been the equivalent of being urged to lighten up by the pope.”

Just two days ago, in this space, came the astounding revelation that some Premier League footballers read actual books, with the Blackpool midfielder Andy Reid being singled out for his heroic attempt to negotiate James Joyce’s Ulysses. Assuming it’s this sort of unmanly behaviour with which Terry steadfastly refuses to have any truck, one can only imagine the futility of his struggle as he fist-pumps and snarls his way around the Chelsea dressing room, seeking out rogue copies of such classics as Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, which are notoriously bad for morale

Ultimately, for a dressing room to man up, it first needs to woman down. And contrary to what the marketing men would have them believe, those designer-monogrammed vole-skin men’s hanging wash bags so beloved of footballers are not “distinctively masculine” and need to go. So too do the expensive, scented lotions and potions of the dressing-room showers, to be replaced by odourless, Albanian prison-grey carbolic soap.

In place of that padded skull-cap with chin-strap, Petr Cech might at least consider adopting a fearsome Highlander style Kurgan skull-helmet, while for all we know, the increasingly effete flower Fernando Torres could be just one left-up toilet seat from hitting the richest vein of scoring of his career.

Ozzie To Red Sox Setup Man: My Kid Can Beat Up Your Kid

Posted in Baseball, Leave No Child Unbeaten at 4:49 pm by

(Above: Oney Guillen contemplates a career in the GOP)

When White Sox reliever Matt Thornton went on record in December about Ozzie Guillen’s son Oney’s tweeting and media habits being clubhouse poison during the slap-fight between Guillen and the departing-for-Boston Bobby Jenks, it became impossible to ignore the ramifications: instead of expecting confidentiality, players in their manager’s office had to watch their backs for daggers courtesy of the Guillen family’s half-bright middle child whose thirst for cheap attention far outstrips his capacity for excellence on the diamond.

Said Thornton:

What happened here with Oney tweeting what he did, that’s crossing a pretty big line in my personal opinion. That’s something that’s gotta be addressed quickly and taken care of and snuffed out real fast. Anytime you bring clubhouse stuff out in the open, I don’t care what it is, it’s that person’s personal business and also the clubhouse’s personal business.

Apparently, the only thing that was “snuffed out real fast” in the Guillen household was contrition.  Any recognition of the giant ethical breach and lousy baseball management inherent in weaponizing private information on players flew out the window today when Ozzie explicitly threatened Bobby Jenks with more Oney-nism.

In a stomach-turning rant that looked past Jenks to his family – you know, the only family in this tawdry episode that isn’t milking it for web clicks and Twitter followers – Guillen proclaimed his respect for Jenks’ wife and kids by announcing that he would let his own kid drag them through the mud if Jenks didn’t shut up.

“He showed up once a week to pitch,” Guillen said. “We were loyal to him, played him. I was a very bad manager because I kept him as my closer when he couldn’t (close). He’s got to look himself in the mirror. Too bad. I still love his kids and wife.

Guillen joked that he was keeping a low profile and wanted spring training to run smoothly.

“Thank God he wasn’t talking about the club. If Bobby was taking about the club, I would have been everywhere on ESPN because I will rip his guts. But he was talking about me. I can take that. Just be careful of what you say about Oney because Oney will say stuff he’s not supposed to be saying. That’s just a warning for him just in case somebody don’t call him. Just stay away and don’t name Oney for this because it will be pretty ugly.”

Marlins Publicity Flack Assailed For Being The Anti-Jay Horowitz

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 3:27 pm by

Last seen in this space publicly outing his internet abusers, Sports Illustrated’s Jeff Pealman has since turned his attentions to the war crimes against journalism (well, journalists) committed by Florida Marlins public relations representative Matt Roebuck. “He might be a pleasant fellow,” allowed Pearlman, “but he’s botching this thing, big time.”

If I’m the Marlins—a second-rate ballclub that nobody pays to see play—I’m begging for media attention. Begging for it. I’m opening my doors to reporters, pitching stories about this guy, that guy, this milestone, that milestone. I want to be covered, because I need people to care.

The Marlins, however, behave as if they’re the Yankess (and, in this regard, even the Yankees don’t behave as if they’re the Yankees). The team allows v-e-r-y limited access to the clubhouse, and Matt may well be the least helpful PR guy in the game. This comes from the repeated horror stories of others, as well as past personal experiences—of needing to speak to players for various SI or SI.com features and getting, literally, zero assistance. When one deals with, say, the Mets or Cardinals or Dodgers, he’ll at least have someone give a player a heads-up. Oftentimes, you’ll get an introduction, and even some pre-arranged sit-down time. With Florida, that doesn’t happen. The staffers seem first and foremost concerned about being pals with the players—which is laughably amateurish, but, for the poor team beat writers, laughably real.

In the hours since the above post to jeffpearlman.com, Pearlman deleted the entry, apparently after being accosted by Mr. Roebuck.

Whether I’m right or wrong in my take on the Marlins, I was definitely wrong not to approach Matt and give him a chance to speak his side. He also made an extremely valuable point, which I overlooked: Sometimes what doesn’t work for the national media works for the local media covering the team on a daily basis.

That’s a reasonable apology — who amongst us hasn’t heard of Marlins players practically begging to be traded to smaller markets, such is the insane amount of local media scrutiny afforded their every move? It’s a miracle there’s any space left in the public’s consciousness for Dolphins, Heat or Hurricanes news given the frenzy surrounded the local baseball side’s machinations.


Facebook Officially Heading For Friendster-esque Obsolescence

Posted in Sports Radio, The Internet at 11:29 pm by

What upheaval occurred in the social media landscape that would cause me to pen the above headline?  As the Boston Globe’s Chad Finn explains, former WEEI fixture Pete “Meat” Sheppard (above, left) is using Facebook as his PERSONAL BULLY PULPIT.

In a burst of bluster that reminded us why Pete Sheppard was a popular if cartoonish figure on “The Big Show’’ before his January 2010 dismissal, the former Glenn Ordway fill-in took to Facebook Monday to rant about The Sports Hub program director Mike Thomas’s apparent refusal to take his phone calls. (The all-caps type was a shrewd touch; it actually read the way Sheppard sounds.) Asked for comment, Thomas responded via e-mail, “We appreciate Pete’s interest in 98.5 The Sports Hub, but our lineup is set and we are very happy with the performance of the station.’’

Earlier, the Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam reported that Sheppard claims Thomas, “has gone out of his way for some reason in keeping me off 98.5” even to the extent that a paid advertiser was prevented from using his voice in a commercial.

Sheppard told the Herald he’s “exploring the legalities” of banning his voice on station spots.

Since exiting WEEI, Sheppard has hosted a weekly Internet show on patriots.com and has been playing poker for a living but he wants to be back on the air.

“If they don’t want additional listeners so be it,” Sheppard said of the Sports Hub. “I know I have a following. I know I can help the station. I think it’s sad that I can’t get a return phone call. It’s unprofessional.”

Can Tracy McGrady Still Get A Coach Fired In 2011?

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down at 6:43 pm by

For the record, T-Mac denies the combined absence of himself, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Chris Wilcox from this morning’s shootaround in Philadelphia was an orchestrated attempt to make Pistons head coach John Kuester (above) look like a schmuck (““If it was some kind of protest, everybody would know about it, right?”). And while ESPN’s Marc Stein seems to think the scheme was worked according to plan (“it’s gotten so ugly that the Pistons can’t possibly save face no matter what happens next”), leave it to Detroit Bad Boys’ Mike Payne to provide all sorts of helpful suggestions for the organization going forward ;

Trade Tayshaun Prince to Dallas for Caron Butler and a 1st rounder: no matter how weak the draft, there are always gems to be found. Despite being as asshat with free agents and trades and, well, many of his recent drafts, Dumars has been good at finding value there on the cheap.

Trade Richard Hamilton to Cleveland for a Buy-out and Possibly Picks: Since Dallas has reportedly been wanting to do the Tayshaun trade for a while, it was smart of you to execute a few weeks ago. With the old guard thinned out, Hamilton will be more likely to accept a buy-out since the writing is on the wall. This way, the guard glut is mostly solved and the team has flexibility to move forward and go young.

Sell the Fucking Team: Hold back the urge to demand a sale price of $365 just because that extra $5 million will get you a stable of ponies, a pink BMW convertible and Fabio, Karen. And David, it’s hilarious to hear that you’re afraid of undervaluing NBA franchises with a low sale price when you’re tossing the word “contraction” around like a goddamn gynecologist.