05.31.11

Dan Snyder Isn’t Paranoid : Everyone Really Is Out To Get Him

Posted in Sports Journalism, The Law at 9:42 pm by

That Redskins owner Dan Snyder would use litigation as a means to intimidate his DC critics is already well-established.  However,  just when you thought this ethically-challenged creep had sunk to a subterranean level, it turns out he’s getting awfully close to the center of the earth.  Not content with bullying the likes of City Paper’s Dave McKenna, Snyder has now targeted those with the temerity to simply link to McKenna’s work, as his colleague Mike Madden explains :

According to the court papers Snyder’s legal team sent the Washington Post, they’re interested in learning why blogger Dan Steinberg linked to City Paper’s “Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide to Dan Snyder.” Steinberg writes about the off-field antics of just about every sports figure in the area, and he’s often linked to McKenna’s work; the two are friendly rivals on the same culture-and-business-of-sports beat. Snyder’s team told the Post in February they intended “to explore whether there was any agreement between McKenna and Steinberg to cross-promote McKenna’s pieces on Snyder.”

By delivering the subpoena, they showed they meant it. Among other requests, it seeks, from both Steinberg and the Post as an institution:

“All Documents evidencing or Relating to any Communication between You and McKenna pertaining to Snyder… All Documents evidencing or Relating to any Communication between You and McKenna pertaining to Snyder’s wife, Tanya Snyder… All Documents evidencing or Relating to any Communications between You and McKenna pertaining to the [City Paper cover art]… All Documents evidencing or Relating to the reasons for the inclusion of links in Your Washington Post columns, blogs, or on Twitter to McKenna’s City Paper articles… and All Documents evidencing or Relating to Your policies Relating to the inclusion of links in Your columns to other sources.”

Snyder’s lawyers also want to have Steinberg in for a deposition.

Rubin : Mets Must Choose Between Their Everything-Wrong-With-Him SS And Non-Superstar 3B

Posted in Baseball at 9:25 pm by

With a item that’s substantially more depressing than the Mets’ failure to provide adequate run support for R.A. Dickey earlier this evening, ESPN’s Adam Rubin — following a prior blog post that claimed the Amazins’ would consider signing Jose Reyes to an extension while preferring to shop David Wright — elaborated on the reasoning behind such a decision.

After adding whatever Reyes commands — say $17 million a season for five years if he stays — to the 2012 salaries of Johan Santana ($24 million) and Jason Bay ($16 million), the source predicted the Mets will not have the means to retain Wright at $15 million as well.

Under the $17 million salary assumption for Reyes, that would tie up $72 million along with Santana, Bay and Wright.

And what happens if the Mets are unable to trade closer Francisco Rodriguez at the deadline and his contract vests at $17.5 million for 2012 with 55 games finished? That would be financially catastrophic for the organization. Yet manager Terry Collins has continued to use K-Rod even in non-save situations, including in a four-run win Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Rodriguez already has 20 games finished, on pace for 61 — six over the threshold for his contract to kick in for next season.

Left unsaid by Rubin is the presumption Santana — due back some time in 2013 this summer —and Bay (who raised knocked in a run this evening raising his season’s total to 10) are immovable at their current salaries.

Kareem’s History Lesson For Pippen

Posted in Basketball at 5:47 pm by

(tell your old man….Walton…Lanier…up and down the court…hey, we’re in a cockpit! Do we really have to do this again?)

You might have to go back to Bobby Knight suggesting rape victims “just sit back and enjoy it” to pick the last time anyone in the world of sports made a public statement as universally ridiculed as Scottie Pippen’s recently claim that LeBron James would soon supplant Michael Jordan as the NBA’s greatest player of all time.  Amongst those taking umbrage, the league’s all-star scoring leader Kareem Adbul-Jabbar, whose open letter to Pippen in today’s LA Times is less a defense of Jordan and more of a plea for greater historical perspective ;

You obviously never saw Wilt Chamberlain play who undoubtedly was the greatest scorer this game has ever known. When did MJ ever average 50.4 points per game plus 25.7 rebounds? (Wilt in the 1962 season when blocked shot statistics were not kept). We will never accurately know how many shots Wilt blocked. Oh, by the way in 1967 and 68, Wilt was a league leader in assists. Did MJ ever score 100 points in a game? How many times did MJ score more than 60 points in a game? MJ led the league in scoring in consecutive seasons for 10 years but he did this in an NBA that eventually expanded into 30 teams vs. when Wilt played and there were only 8 teams.

In terms of winning, Michael excelled as both an emotional and scoring leader but Bill Russell’s Celtics won eight consecutive NBA Championships. Bill’s rebounding average per game is over 22.5 lifetime, MJs best rebounding years was eight per game (1989). But we will never know exactly how many shots Bill Russell blocked because again, they never kept that statistic while he played. However, if you ask anybody that played against Russell, they will just roll their eyes and say he blocked all the shots he wanted to block in the crucial moments of a game.

“Bill played on a total of 11 championship teams and as you very well know, Scottie,” scolds Jabbar, “the ring is the thing, and everything else is just statistics.”  By that measure, we’ll have to assume Kareem will have no objection when Pippen pens “Robert Horry – Greater Than Jabbar” for an upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine.

“Sexual Harrassment” Jackson Doesn’t Have Quite The Same Ring To It

Posted in MMA, Sports TV at 3:08 pm by

While reporter Karin Bryant considers Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (above) shoving his face into her breasts during a post-fight interview at UFC 130, “clowning around”, Yahoo’s Maggie Hendricks is less than amused, proposing Jackson’s serial abuse of televised media deserves a blackout.

His act is tired and old, yet we continue to interview the man and give him the publicity he needs to further his career, and that’s where MMA media is making the mistake. He thinks it’s funny to assault the people who cover his fights, who write about his movie, who give him a stage to show off the “Rampage” persona.

Let’s stop doing that. Take away his stage. Don’t ask him questions in press conferences, don’t cover his every move, don’t give him another chance to assault reporters. He may think his act is funny and cute, but there is one way to ensure that no one else finds it funny or cute. Don’t cover it.

I’m not sure how journalists would be doing their job if they were to boycott a Jackson press conference given that he’s still a headline attraction.. Publicly calling him out and providing the world with a viral video at least as embarrassing as this one, however, might be an efficient means of hurting his earning power.

New Mets Minority Partner David Einhorn : Great At Stealing The Team From Wilpon, Merely Average At Poker

Posted in Baseball, poker, The Marketplace at 12:50 pm by

A day prior to Biz Of Baseball’s Jordan Korbitz characterizing David Einhorn’s purchase of a $200 million stake in the New York Mets as a sweetheart prelude to his eventual takeover of the club (“if Wilpon can’t fund this year’s estimated losses of $70 million, after previously borrowing $25 million from MLB to fund team operations, it is highly unlikely he will magically come up with $200 million to buy Einhorn out in three years, regardless of how the Picard lawsuit is resolved”), Newsday’s Neil Best sought to clarify Einhorn’s rep as something of a poker maven.

Though Einhorn finished 18th in the 2006 World Series Of Poker, donating his $659,730 in winnings to charity, poker veterans quizzed by Best painted a picture of a less than imposing challenger.

“He seemed like a nice guy. I was somewhat aware that he was a rich hedge fund guy and was playing for charity,” said Michael Binger, who finished 3rd. I don’t want to be negative. He was a very nice guy. But he definitely was an amateur player, so I was certainly looking forward to playing with him. He wasn’t terribly experienced from what I recall.’’

So how did he get that far? “It’s all probabilities,’’ Binger said. “The person who won that year, Jamie Gold, hasn’t done anything since then and frankly was one of the worst players ever to win, according to most accounts. There is a lot of luck in the short term in tournament poker. On average the better players will make it further and deeper, but that doesn’t preclude an outlier.’’

Prahlad Friedman, a poker pro who finished 20th in the 2006 event, initially wasn’t sure he recalled playing against Einhorn. Then he asked whether Einhorn was the guy with the handprints on his sweatshirt who “kind of looks like ‘The 40-year Old Virgin,’’’

Like other pros, Friedman said the WSOP Main Event is not the best way to measure poker acumen. “Jamie Gold won that year [in ‘06],’’ Friedman said. “He was not a very good player. There have been some players in the past that aren’t that great that have won the whole thing. Just because he made a deep run doesn’t mean he’s a winning poker player who could do it for a living.’’

One Atlanta Firm’s Initiative To Address Famine Relief

Posted in Food, The Marketplace at 10:14 am by

CSTB readers are no strangers to the exceptional advertising work done by Atlanta’s Newmerica, however, their latest spot, shown above, hints at what a powerful player this company might be if they’re enlisted by say, one of the major candidates in the 2012 Presidential elections.  Seriously, that sound you just heard was the gasoline being poured over Wieden & Kennedy’s cubicles as they prepare to burn the building down for insurance money.

05.30.11

Goodbye, Columbus : Tressel’s Exit Unlikely To End Scrutiny Of OSU

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 5:30 pm by

In short succession, the price paid by Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel for turning a blind eye towards knowledge of his players receiving illegal benefits has gone from a brief suspension, a longer suspension, and finally today, a was-he-pushed-or-did-he-jump resignation. It’s not every day that a coach with Tressel’s resume is compelled to look like a gentile Bruce Pearl fall on his sword, just as it isn’t an routine occurrence that I find myself agreeing with CBS Sports’ Greg Doyel, who urges the NCAA the lower the boom, “after the silly school president bragged about what a good man his lying, scheming, sportsmanship-abusing football coach really was”.

Jim Tressel’s resignation in January — when Ohio State first learned of his deception — would have been enough to shelter Ohio State from its former coach’s behavior.  But not after that ridiculous man with the ridiculous initial tried to laugh off — tried to minimize — his coach’s indefensible actions by joking that he wouldn’t dismiss Tressel. “Let me just be very clear,” E. Gordon Gee said on March 8. “I’m just hopeful the coach doesn’t dismiss me.”

And not after the Ohio State athletics director also tolerated Tressel’s blasphemy all these months by refusing to force him out. If Gene Smith tried to fire Tressel after Tressel lied to him about the existence of violations in early December, we don’t know about it.

How, you may be asking, would we know that Smith tried unsuccessfully to fire Tressel in January, February, March or even April? This is how we’d know: Gene Smith would have resigned in disgust. Because if you’re the AD of a major Division I school — and you’re so committed to the ideals of the NCAA that you’ve spent the past five years sitting on the NCAA’s prestigious Division I basketball committee, the past 10 months as the chairman — then you couldn’t possibly stomach the thought of such a liar representing your school. And yourself. So you’d fire Jim Tressel, or you’d resign in protest. Doing neither? Congratulations, Gene Smith. Just like your absurd school president, you’ve essentially condoned Jim Tressel’s behavior for nearly five months.

(Addendum : if you thought 9am on a national holiday was a strange time for Ohio State to announce Tressel’s departure, there’s speculation the coach’s hand was forced by the pending publication of a damaging Sports Illustrated article.  Who knew Jay Horowitz was moonlighting for the OSU sports information department?)

James : ATL Hockey Fans Screwed By Incompetent Spirit

Posted in Blogged Down, Hockey at 2:00 pm by

(above : possibly not the sort of marketing initiative Arik James was hoping for)

“I’m not going to lie – Atlanta is not organically a hockey town,” declares Arik James of Matchsticks & Gasoline, who also points that on the rare occasions the Braves aren’t in content, it’s not much of a baseball town, either. Citing a sense of entitlement, James suggests, “the average population feel like there’s no way a major league would abandon a huge market such as Atlanta, so why put forth any extra effort?”, though the burden of providing such effort might also rest on the shoulders of an ownership group keen to sell the Thrashers to a group ready to move them to Winnipeg.

You have a large group of fans who are still a minority in the Atlanta sports market thanks to competition with things like college football and the like. It turns into a family, and the small market hockey family is a great thing. The feeling around the team here is so much different than it would ever be somewhere like Calgary, or Toronto, or Montreal. The fans feel like we have a direct stake in the team like it’s us (which includes them) versus the rest of the world. We’re more than willing to expand and grow that family to 5.5 million people, but the ownership group has made that more than difficult. Would you like to be adopted by a dysfunctional family whose patriarch has no idea that you exist? A patriarch who gives you the bare minimum of what you need to survive while taking your hard earned time and money?

Hockey’s a wonderful sport- the best that there is. It belongs everywhere. Not just in cold market climates, not just in big cities or small cities with rabid fanbases. It belongs everywhere, but it has to be given a chance. It’s so easy to get people to love the sport. I have converted many of my Southern friends to it just by taking them to one game and explaining the rules. There’s no reason that this city couldn’t be a hockey town. It’s got the market right here. It’s got the Northern transplants, it has a passionate fanbase, and it has a team with a great deal of growing potential. Unfortunately, regardless of how many fans we bring to games and we do bring people and try to get as many butts in the stands as possible, it’s very difficult to grow a market when the owners don’t care if that market grows or not. They recently admitted on television that they don’t know a thing about hockey. Can you imagine if the Flames were owned by an ownership group who had no clue about a single rule? Or, and this happened on the radio here, could only name one member of your current team? How does that encourage community participation and growth?

Hockey in Atlanta- not just the Thrashers – grew when Turner owned the team, and hockey can grow when someone other than these incompetent boobs own the team. I’d hate to see the league give up on a potential market of this size because of the stupidity of seven individuals.

Chan Ho Park : An Underachiever In Portions Of 3 Different Decades

Posted in Baseball at 9:51 am by

(cartoon by Choi Hoon, Naver.com, used sans permission)

Described by Reuters as  “a national treasure in Korea” (not so much of a treasure in Arlington), 19-year MLB veteran P Chan Ho Park was demoted yesterday to Japan’s minors by the Orix Buffalos.

Park was taken off Orix’s active team roster after a nightmare game against the Chunichi Dragons at the weekend, the Pacific League club said on Monday.

Having given up six runs in a little over three innings, Park, who burst onto the MLB scene with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994, copped a stinging rebuke from Orix coaching staff.

“He needs to pull himself together,” pitching coach Osamu Fukuma told the Sankei Sports newspaper. “He has not come here to fool around. He needs to do a lot better.”

05.29.11

David Frost, Fuck Off ; John Salley Is Television’s Most Trenchant Interrogator

Posted in Basketball, The World Of Entertainment at 9:13 pm by



All jokes aside, how could John Salley gain access to Ed Asner’s inner sanctum and fail to ask him about the San Diego Chicken?

Avril Lavinge : The Worst Thing To Hit The Rays Since Greg Vaughn

Posted in Baseball, Rock Und Roll at 7:18 pm by

(yes, we can’t believe you’re still getting paid, either)

In what will probably forever doom a bet I placed with an off-shore bookie that Skye Sweetnam would headline the Super Bowl halftime show within the next 10 years, the critically reviled Avril Lavinge tweaked the sensibilities of Tropicana Field marketing schmoes during a postgame concert last night.  Though to be fair (or at least consistent), they are developing a prudish reputation at baseball’s worst ballpark. From Tampa Bay.com’s Rick Stroud :

With many of the 24,717 at Tropicana Field still in attendance from the Rays 7-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians, Lavigne got off to  a rough start when her microphone did not work during her first song. She responded to a chorus of boos with a profanity-laced  explanation that things like that happen at a live performance, especially at a ‘baseball stadium.’

“The Rays demand profanity-free performances from all of our concert performers and we are extremely disappointed by the language used in last night’s show,” Rays spokesman Rick Vaughn said in a statement Sunday. “It is not consistent with the family-friendly atmosphere that Tropicana Field is known for.”

Sitting Atop Steve Serby’s Shoulders Doesn’t Mean Derek Jeter Is Above Criticism

Posted in Baseball at 1:46 pm by

We’re nearly two months into the 2011 Major League Baseball season and Derek Jeter has a grand total of 9 extra base hits in 227 plate appearances, along with career lows in slugging, OBP, OPS and almost every relevant offensive statistical category.  Production that would banish say, a Cristan Guzman to somewhere besides hitting leadoff for a team with championship aspirations, isn’t nearly enough to alarm the New York Post’s Steve Serby, who argues “any and all rushes to judgment on Derek Jeter must cease and desist immediately,” perhaps for no greater reason than At Least The Captain Isn’t A-Rod.

Perhaps we celebrated him too much at times, even worshipped him, simply because we knew he was the last bastion of purity and integrity during the steroid-fueled era of swelled heads and home run totals. But it meant something to us nevertheless that we always could trust Derek Jeter, and that was more important to us than his reluctance to take a stand and lend his influential voice to the urgency of drug testing.

As hard as the tabloids tried, they could never capture him cavorting with a stripper who was not his wife — in no small part because he has been married only to the Yankees, in large part because no one, in any sport, has done a better job of dodging the omnipresent New York microscope as he lived this life he loves inside a pinstriped bubble.

It will be another generation before we see the likes of another Derek Jeter. Let’s not be so quick to show him the door. Because when he’s gone, Yankees fans will be asking themselves this sobering question: Who do we Turn 2 now?

05.28.11

Pete Rose Defends Modern Maimer Of Catchers

Posted in Baseball at 10:18 pm by

Were it not for the overzealous censors at MLB Advanced Media, YouTube clips of Florida’s Scott Cousins absolutely creaming SF catcher Buster Posey on Wednesday night would approach “Faces of Death” status. Ever mindful of how rarely we see such home plate collisions (and with everyone from Posey’s agent to Bruce Bochy suggesting the practice be outlawed), the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi turned to a man who couldn’t resist such an opportunity in a game that meant nothing.

“That’s good, hard-nosed baseball,’ Rose said Friday after watching TV replays of Wednesday’s collision from his home in Las Vegas.

“I’m sorry Buster got hurt, but that’s the chance you take. That comes with the trade of being a catcher. It was a good hard slide. If (Posey) would’ve had the ball waiting for him, he could have really given it to Cousins.’

“I think he could’ve gotten to the plate without doing that,’ Ray Fosse, an Oakland A’s announcer, told The San Francisco Chronicle. “It was unfortunate. Catchers are very vulnerable. A lot of things can happen.’

“If you can get there before the ball gets to the catcher, you’re going to knock him on his ass. It’s just a fact: You’re going knock him on his ass,’ Rose said, pointing out that the play unfolded too quickly for Cousins to realize that Posey didn’t catch the throw from the outfield.”

“Can you break up a double play and knock a second baseman on his ass?” moaned Rose. “Are we just going to protect these players like you don’t want them to play the game?’

Rubin On Einhorn’s Deal

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 10:01 pm by

Some might’ve wondered what would possess an otherwise competent financial wizard like hedge fund manager David Einhorn to pump $200 million of his own money into the New York Mets without any voting rights or piece of the SNY action, particularly the same week Fred Wilpon characterized the club as “snake-bitten” and “bleeding cash” in successive interviews.  ESPN.com’s Adam Rubin reveals more specifics surrounding Einhorn’s arrangement with Wilpon and Saul Katz, and you might say the head of Greenlight Capitol is making a somewhat measured bet against the majority shareholders’ surviving their bought with Irving Picard.

Einhorn has agreed in principle to purchase roughly 33 percent of the team for $200 million, which will infuse cash and keep the organization solvent in the immediate future. In three years, according to the source, Einhorn has an option to up his stake to 60 percent, although principal owner Fred Wilpon and his family have an opportunity to block Einhorn from gaining that majority stake.

The source said the Wilpons can stop Einhorn from gaining the majority share essentially by returning Einhorn’s initial $200 million investment. In the latest incarnation of the deal, if the $200 million is returned Einhorn’s share of the team will be reduced from a third to a sixth. It was originally reported that Einhorn would retain the 33 percent share of the team.

So, in essence, for the opportunity cost and other associated risks of loaning the Wilpons $200 million for three years, Einhorn would get one-sixth of the team.

NYT’s Kepner On Wright’s Accountability, WIlpon’s Lack Therof

Posted in Baseball at 12:24 pm by

Prior to last night’s 6-4 loss to the Phillies at Citi Field —- in which Francisco Rodriguez proved to be (in the words of one broadcaster) “only human” (don’t worry, no senior citizens were slugged) — the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner took stock of Mets owner Fred Wilpon’s recent P.R. blitz in the New Yorker and Sports Illustrated.  While noting the franchise’s treatment of David Wright (“you could hardly blame him if he wanted out of a lousy, snakebitten organization”) is in stark contrast to Philadelphia and Milwaukee’s efforts to overpay reward Ryan Howard and Ryan Braun respectively (hey, neither of those teams is said to be in danger of missing payroll), Kepner is unsparing in his evisceration of Wilpon, who was M.I.A. last night after “an orchestrated publicity push” that’s mostly blown up in his face.

It was not appropriate to rip Beltran, Reyes and Wright, even if the criticisms were valid. And it was completely unfair to Collins, who has the team playing hard, to characterize the team as a whole the way he did. But if that is the kind of owner Wilpon wants to be, the George Steinbrenner model, then he should play the part.

Instead, Wilpon has gone into hiding. He has said through a spokesman that any issues resulting from his comments would be handled internally. That is his right, of course, but it is cowardly, and it undercuts whatever good will he hoped his candor would achieve with the fan base. The lack of accountability is galling.

Maybe Wilpon believes he said all he needed to say in the magazines, in which he does acknowledge some of his own mistakes. Or maybe he is simply talked out; he has not yet made contact with Wright, exchanging messages with his $14 million player and leaving it at that.

“Basically, he called to just say that he misspoke and he appreciated the response and that he loves the team and the organization and would never do anything to try and embarrass us,” Wright said.

Wright spoke patiently at his locker for 15 minutes, never once seeming squeamish, answering every question. He had a right to be hurt by Wilpon’s comment, and he did not pretend that it pleased him.

But he also did what you wish more athletes would do, acknowledging that the organization had treated him well and made him very rich. He said he had no plans to scale back community appearances on the Mets’ behalf, and he acknowledged his own shortcomings. In other words, Wright acted like a grown-up

05.27.11

NYC Scribe Deeply Offended, Tells Bulls To Unretire Pippen’s “33″

Posted in Basketball at 6:10 pm by

Despite a huge disparity in NBA Championships won to date (6 to, well, zero), Scottie Pippen went on Chicago radio this morning and suggested that LeBron James would someday be considered the greatest player of all time, a tag most would put around the neck of Pip’s former teammate, Michael Jordan. “Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to play the game,” Pippen said the Greenburg & Golic program, just hours after Miami advanced to the NBA Finals with a Game 5 victory at the United Center. “But I may go as far as to say LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game because he is so potent offensively that not only can he score at will but he keeps everybody involved.” The New York Daily News’ Mitch Lawrence, perhaps forgetting for a moment what city he’s employed in, argues “Scottie Pippen’s number deserves to be removed from the rafters after he committed an act of high treason”.

Pippen sounds like a guy who is jealous that his more famous teammate has a statue outside the United Center and he doesn’t.

You had to laugh when Pippen came up with lines about James in the interview like this one: “I’ve never seen a player that can dominate a game the way LeBron James can

Rangers Conclude Rhad Was Very, Very Bad For Business

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 1:43 pm by

Upon being selected to replace Josh Lewin as the Texas Rangers’ play-by-play voice for television, John Rhadigan (above) called himself “a modern day storyteller”.  Roughly 7 weeks into the 2011 season, it would appear Rangers fans and ownership alike are sick to death of Rhadigan’s storytelling, as he’s been demoted to the Texas pregame show, starting tonight. Amongst the more specific critics of Rhadigan’s work was the Dallas Observer’s Richie Witt, who less than ten days ago, despite calling the broadcaster, “one of the nicest people I’ve ever met,”, had no shortage of complaints.  From the May 16 Observer :

His signature opener — “Let’s play ball y’all” — is too corny. He doesn’t know the rules, once crediting a batter who hit into a double-play with an RBI. What I hear are simple slip-ups, the kind of things you’d expect from a rookie announcer with zero Major League play-by-play experience.

Last Tuesday, with the Rangers leading the A’s 7-1 into the top of the 9th, Rhadigan exclaimed “It’s Neffy time!” But the video clearly showed Darren Oliver jogging in from the bullpen. Sunday he referred to Adrian Beltre as “Andre.”

And yesterday, with Callaspo up and the tie run on 1st, the Angels hitter took a borderline 3-1 pitch over the inside corner. “Strike three!” Rhadigan exclaimed. After a short pause and screaming silence from Grieve, Rhadigan corrected himself, “er, strike two.” He’d simply lost track of the count, an almost unpardonable sin in that crucial situation.

“Perhaps Rhadigan should have been given a series of games during the offseason to broadcast as simulations,”suggest Evan M. Grant, though I’ll remind the Rangers that if things don’t work out the rest of the season, there’s a very experienced replacement available, who might be sitting by the phone at this very minute.

Ex-Michigan QB Accused Of Hanging Around

Posted in Gridiron, Leave No Child Unbeaten at 12:38 pm by

Surely I’m not the only person who heard the below tale involving Tate Forcier and thought, “why couldn’t it be Rich Rodriguez?”.  Or, as the slightly more sensitive Ryan Brown put it, “you get the feeling that Pops Fortier is some strange cross of Marv Marinovich, my annoying new age neighbor and Jim Jones.”  Grand Rapids’ NBC affiliate WOOD reports former Michigan QB Forcier, “was the subject of an unusual police call last month”.

Tate Forcier, who quit the football team earlier this year, had locked himself in a bedroom of a third-floor apartment April 22, and was hanging out the window, the report states.

No one will say whether this was a suicide attempt, but the police report states the woman who called was concerned Forcier would jump from the window.

Officers were able to get Forcier to open the bedroom door. He was not arrested, but transported to a hospital.

Forcier was declared academically ineligible before the Wolverines played in the Gator Bowl. In February, he announced a transfer to Miami, but on May 13 — three weeks after the Grand Rapids incident — it was announced he would not be going to Miami after all.

05.26.11

If Hunter Pence Is A Culturcide Fan, He’s Keeping It To Himself

Posted in Baseball, Hip Hop at 6:46 pm by

(above : Propain, image taken from First Things First, Me First)

There are very few recorded instances of professional athletes revealing themselves to have particularly good musical taste ; with Todd Benzinger out of baseball and Bison Dele no longer amongst the living, such ranks are few and far between, and barely bolstered by the Houston Press’ Chris Gray wondering if there’s any relation between the Astros’ on-field woes and craptacular choices for at-bat accompaniment.

Rocks Off consulted the head of our Rap Bureau, Shea Serrano, for an assessment of the ‘Stros’ hip-hop choices, and the results were mixed. Jason Bourgeoise, an outfielder currently on the 15-day disabled list, scored some points for choosing underground Houston rapper Propain’s “Say I Won’t,” although another of his choices, Bun B and T-Pain’s “Trillionaire,” Serrano says, “stinks.”

?T.I., also a favorite of Bourgeoise and first baseman Brett Wallace, is “proper… generally a safe bet for that sort of thing,” Serrano tells us, though Michael Bourne’s choice of Birdman and Lil Wayne’s “Get Your Shine On,” is “forgettable in its predictability.” Shea’s highest marks went to 3B Chris Johnson – Rick Ross’ “Blowin’ Money Fast,” he says, was one of the best songs of 2010: “It seems a good fit for intro music.

The Holocaust Museum Will Gladly Accept Tiki Barber’s Donation

Posted in Genocidal Tendencies, Gridiron, Sports TV at 6:07 pm by

Though former Giants RB turned broadcast journalist TIki Barber proved quite adept at fumbling the football, he can be credited with a rare interception this week. Fred Wilpon nearly captured The Week’s Dumbest Quote(s) Award, only to have stolen from his grasp with the following excerpts from L. Jon Wertheim’s profile in Sports Illustrated. As you might’ve already guessed, Tiki reading “Wuthering Heights” on the team charter isn’t close to the most embarrassing passage.

In New York there was only one place this narrative was headed. The confluence of sex, sports, money, media and race was irresistible. On April 7, 2010, the New York Post’s back page blared: tiki barber dumps pregnant wife for hot blonde, accompanied by a salacious story. It was Barber’s 35th birthday. “That’s the day I stopped believing in coincidences,” says Barber, implying that the story was leaked by someone with a vendetta. The same New York media and buzz generators that had helped him ascend—that had made him so different from his twin in sleepy Florida—were now going to accelerate his fall.

Barber and Johnson went into hiding in the attic of agent Mark Lepselter’s house in New Jersey. “Lep’s Jewish,” says Barber, “and it was like a reverse Anne Frank thing.” (Here is Barber writ small: He has the wit and smarts to make an Anne Frank allusion and the artlessness to liken himself—an adulterer trying to elude gossip columnists—to a Holocaust victim.)

Paul Stanley : Always Be Closing

Posted in Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace at 1:13 pm by

Lest anyone believe Gene Simmons is the most 24/7 shill-obsessed member of Kids In Satan’s Service, the above clip serves as a valuable reminder that Paul Stanley can go toe to toe with his biz partner when it comes to utterly craven behavior.  I don’t think we’ve seen a commercial pitchman as relentlessly unappealing since, well, Dwyane Schintzius.

Mets Find Someone Willing To Pay $200 Million For A Share Of The Snake-Bite

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 12:31 pm by

Earlier today, the Mets announced Greenlight Capital‘s David Einhorn had purchased a minority, non-voting portion of the club for $200 million. “In 1975, I even dressed in a homemade jersey as a Met for Halloween,” bragged Einhorn in a Mets-issued press release, though if the snapshot above is anything to go by, he’s not made much progress in the fashion sweepstakes.

Einhorn’s tumultuous battles with Allied Capital — whom he’d fingered for dubious accounting practices — are chronicled in the 2008 book, ‘Fooling Some Of The People All Of The Time’, a tome that did far better in the nation’s bookstores than say, Steve Phillips’ ‘Fooling Absolutely No One, Ever’.  Assuming the partnership with Einhorn is approved by MLB (which seems likely, given his the hedge fund manager’s ties to Bud Selig), it’s pretty fair to say this guy isn’t gonna keep a low profile. Who’d have thought my moaning of “anyone but Dolan”? would yield such instant results?

05.25.11

WSC’s Simpson : It’s Not Quite Time To Forgive Or Forget Franchise F.C.

Posted in Football, Sports Journalism at 10:17 pm by

AFC Wimbledon, formed by fans just 9 years ago when Wimbledon F.C. relocated to Milton Keynes as the rebranded MK Dons, achieved promotion to the Football League with last Saturday’s victory on penalties over Luton Town. It’s a staggering achievement given the new club’s humble early days in the Combined Counties League, though When Saturday Comes’ Shane Simpson warns, any inference this triumph brings “closure” to those deeply hurt by Wimbledon F.C. taking a page out of the Art Modell playbook,“is to miss the point. ”

While AFC Wimbledon made no secret of their desire to return to the League at the earliest opportunity, the relocation to Milton Keynes and the enduring enmity felt towards those who benefited from it has always been, and remains, another matter entirely. That one community should enjoy League football at the expense of another, not having earned it through endeavour on the pitch but through machinations off it, persists in being an affront to many.

That the supposed guardians of the game, in the form of the spineless Football League and the infamous three-man FA commission, were complicit in this wrongdoing merely adds insult to injury. What was wrong in 2002 remains wrong in 2011 and those who suggest that moral indignation should have an expiry date are, at best, naive.

Moreover, by waiving the rules regarding teams representing the conurbation from which they take their name – not to mention allowing a town to bypass the established football pyramid system – dangerous precedents have been set. Those who set any store by the football authorities’ assurances that such a scenario would never be allowed to occur again need only look to see how they have enforced their stipulations that the relocated club maintain their links to the old Wimbledon community to see what such words are worth. To lay to rest the ghost of Wimbledon FC is to risk this same injustice happening to another club and its supporters.

Who Knew There Was A Dress Code At The Trop?

Posted in Baseball, Fashion, Free Expression at 3:54 pm by

(above : Little’s chosen shirt for Casual Fridays)

Palmetto, FL attorney Melton H. Little wore a “Yankees Suck” tee to a Yanks/Rays game at Tropicana Field. “”I have a bunch of Rays shirts, but they all were in the laundry,” Little tells the Tampa Tribune’s Keith Morelli, perhaps revealing himself to be the worst-dressed attorney this side of Saul Goodman.

In the fourth inning a security guard came down the aisle and approached Little.

“The security guard says Major League Baseball has determined that the shirt constitutes profanity,” Little said. “He tells me to get another shirt, cover it up, turn it inside out or leave the stadium.

“I said, ‘That’s unbelievable,’ and he says, ‘I don’t’ make rules, I’m just telling you.’ ”

The lawyer said there was no way he was going to stand up, take the shirt off and turn it inside out in front of all those ready-to-taunt Yankee fans. How embarrassing, he said.

“They would have said something and I’m not a shrinking violet,” he said. “I would have said something back.”

Little and his two sons, 8 and 19, instead accompanied the security guard to the offices to appeal the decision. But he got no relief there. He said a front-office Rays employee just shut the door on him.

As he walked out of the stadium, the Rays rallied to take the lead in a game they eventually won 6-5. That’s when the crowd began to chant, “Yankees suck,” he said. “I wonder if any of them were asked to leave.”

Prodded By Wilpon, Heyman Asks Around : How Much WIll A Healthy Jose Reyes Command?

Posted in Baseball at 2:56 pm by

For starters, Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman trashes Monday’s published statement by Mets owner Fred Wilpon that free-agent-to-be Jose Reyes “wants Carl Crawford money”, noting there’s been no negotiation between the oft-injured shortstop and the Amazins’ since Sandy Alderson became GM (“now that Reyes is playing superbly — he’s batting .314 and has 17 stolen bases — Wilpon apparently imagines the worst”).  The former Newsday scribe follows that by polling 5 unidentified MLB executives, wanting to know what Reyes might get over the winter. “No one knows where finances go when a dynamic player at a premium position hits the free-agent market,” writes Heyman, “but not one person mentioned Crawford’s deal. Or even came close to it.”

The guesses for Reyes were for three years for $45 million, four years for $60 million, five years for $80-to-90 million, “at least $100 million,” and six years and about $108 million. The person who suggested $80-to-90 million saw Torii Hunter and Adrian Beltre as the fair comps. That one and the two guesses in the nine-figure range may be the most realistic in that Reyes impacts both sides of the ball, is as exciting and energetic player as there is when healthy and free-agent shortstops like him just don’t often hit the market. Still, Crawford’s deal seems nothing short of pie-in-the-sky at this point.

The guesses may be hurt by the history of free-agent shortstops, as no one comparable besides past-his-prime Derek Jeter has hit the market in recent years. Rafael Furcal got $39 million over three years from the Dodgers after the 2005 season. The very upper echelon shortstops, such as the Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki and the Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez, have signed long-term deals with their original teams, as did the Yankees’ Jeter when in his prime. The other factor playing in Reyes’ favor is that several teams could use a shortstop, including the Giants, who have substantial money coming off the books, and perhaps even the rival Phillies if they fail to re-sign their own free-agent shortstop, Jimmy Rollins. Now wouldn’t that be something?

The best guesses are probably the three highest estimates, the ones either approaching or at nine figures, considering Reyes’ all-around skills. But still, none of those guesses comes close to Wilpon’s claim of a Crawford request.