09.30.11

Espanyol Striker Pandiani Pays Homage To Albert Brooks’ Performance In “Broadcast News”

Posted in Football at 9:04 pm by

This is probably not how Uruguayan international Walter Pandiani imagined himself becoming a global internet phenomenon.

Home Depot Allows Potential Exec To Slip Thru Their Fingers ; Delonte West Takes His Talents To Regency Furniture

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 2:01 pm by

Back in August, free agent G Delonte West’s pursuit of a position at Home Depot was mentioned in this space (“Perhaps He Can Ask LeBron For A Loan? – Delonte West’s (Alleged) Money Crunch”, 8/18/11), though it turns the entry-level aspirations of one of the NBA’s most notable fans of firearms and LeBron’s mom (not necessarily in that order) were no joke after all. The Washington Post’s Cindy Boren reports West’s new gig is in the warehouse of Regency Furniture, a Maryland/Virginia chain retailer.


West tweeted relentlessly about his first day on his new job and shared pictures (which you can see when his Twitter account calms down). He even shared a photo of his job application, complete with the explanation that he’d been convicted of a crime because of a “misunderstanding.”

Daniel King, a sales manager at the Brandywine store, confirmed to The Post that West is on the job. Or was on Thursday.

West, a graduate of Greenbelt’s Eleanor Roosevelt High School, is a familiar face around the store. “Sometimes he just stops by to say hi,” King said. “He can make some extra money, and it would make money for us.”

There was confusion initially about where West would be working. Selling furniture seems like a better thing for him than lifting it, but when we checked in with Regency, he was in the warehouse.

Once Again, America’s Patience With Boston Sports Fans Will Be Sorely Tested

Posted in Sports TV, The World Of Entertainment at 1:40 pm by

Proving that not even a deeply flawed adaptation of Nick Hornby’s “Fever Pitch” nor Bill Simmons’ ascent to mainstream media personality have soured entertainment’s power brokers on all-things-Boston sports, Deadline.com’s Nellie Andreeva shares the following ;

ESPN has sold its first scripted project, an untitled Boston sports fan comedy from former Scrubs executive producer Bill Callahan, to ABC. The project is described as a look at the relationship between four longtime guy friends, still living in their hometown outside of Boston, who gather once a week to watch one of their beloved teams play. Callahan is writing and executive producing, with ESPN Content Development’s executive producers Vinnie Malhotra, who is shepherding the company’s current scripted efforts, and Joan Lynch also expected to produce. UTA-repped Callahan, who worked with Bill Lawrence on 2 of his series, Scrubs and Spin City, most recently served as an executive producer on USA’s Psych.

I have a couple of predictions for this mooted series ;

a) at one point or another, Jerry O’Connell’s name will be attached to the project. Hopefully unattached soon afterwards, but attached at some stage.
b) At least 3 of the “longtime guy friends” will be white. All will be straight.
c) At least 1, possibly two of the main male characters will have a spouse or girlfriend who is considerably more attractive than him.
d) it can’t possibly be worse than “The League”.
e) despite heavy promotion, stunt cameos by The Hooded Casanova, Bill James, Brian Scalabrine (mistaken for Michael Rapaport at Logan Airport), Rogelio Moret and Bob Lobel will result in zero Emmy nominations.

09.29.11

The Big Lead’s Readership – Determined To Prove Albany Has No Monopoly On Sexism, Stupidity

Posted in Blogged Down, Free Expression, Mob Behavior, non-sporting journalism at 6:49 pm by

Earlier today, The Big Lead’s Jason Lisk tackled the sad tale of Albany Times-Union reporter Jennifer Gish, whose musings on the matter of the Buffalo Bills provoked no shortage of ugly replies from the paper’s neanderthal readership.   TBL’s coverage of the case included a headshot of Gish, and after furnishing a series of offensive remarks from the Times-Union, TBL’s regulars — all of whom are too gutless to use their names or provide photographs of their stunning good looks — managed to outdo the upstate contingent when it came to letting the world know they’ve got their own set of serious issues with women.

To quote that great man of letters, Rob K., “a woman is more than a box we all come in.”   Perhaps Ms. Gish can discuss this type of effervescent correspondence with the general public at a future Blogs Without Brains symposium.

Jose Reyes – A Worse Influence On Baseball Than Victor Conte, Steve Howe and Ruben Rivera Combined

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Sports Journalism at 6:07 pm by

OK, perhaps the above headline is a tad hysterical.  But so are many of the published reactions to Mets SS Jose Reyes’ ill-advised decision to bail on Wednesday’s season finale after just one at bat, in an effort to protect his NL-leading batting average. No national commentator put less thought or more manufactured outrage into his anti-Jose protests than ESPN.com’s Rob Parker, who argues that Reyes’ strategy was akin to taking “the easy way out”,  while also pointing out Ryan Braun still had every opportunity to claim the lead.

For sure, it was a selfish move. Forget about helping the Mets win a game — it was about Reyes trying to win a batting crown. Fair or not, it was a move his crosstown rival, Derek Jeter, never would have pulled.

That’s why some Mets fans who wanted Reyes back might be rethinking that right now, wondering if he’s the guy you really want to lead the Mets back to prominence.

Hey, bad enough that Jose’s not Ted Williams! It turns out he isn’t DEREK JETER, either. Because Derek Jeter is so far above individual honors and having any attention lavished upon himself rather than his teammates.  Hey, were you aware Derek Jeter actually went 5 for 5 during a game in which he also collected his 3000th hit?  Did you know he’s got more rings than Jose has fingers on one hand?  Did you know he’s got an edge?

Much as I’m distraught over Reyes’ early shower yesterday (so much so that I cannot possibly stand the thought of him scoring 100 runs and collecting 200 hits annually for the Mets over the next 7 years), I think we can all agree we are very lucky to receive lectures on integrity and professionalism from a man whose journalistic high water mark consists of being Skip Bayless’ televised punching bag.

Ahem. All of that said, it is very comforting to note there are persons capable of reasonable reactions to a baseball/fan relations faux pas that was something less than a war crime.  Enter the calm, collected voice of Faith & Fear In Flushing’s Jason Fry ;

 I have no particular gripe about Reyes protecting his lead. I know, I know, rather than sit on a .400 average, Ted Williams played both games of a doubleheader to close out the 1941 season, a feat that unfortunately came 70 years to the day before Jose’s cameo. But while that’s an ideal for how we’d like athletes to compete, the episode lives on in baseball lore because it’s exceptional — it was baseball practice even back then to sit on statistical leads, and leaders from Willie Wilson to Bernie Williams have not played or abbreviated closing days since then. (Shock your Yankee friends: Yes, Sainted Yankee Joe Torre aided and abetted such behavior before his current noble service as Bud Selig’s chief hat inspector.) Reyes is so much fun to watch on a baseball diamond that we imagine him playing the game on off-days, at night and possibly while he sleeps, but that isn’t true. It’s his vocation, and a long season of daily grinds, injuries and contract chatter had undoubtedly worn him down far more than we would guess.

I’ll put this one, reluctantly, on Terry Collins. Looking ahead to next year, he needs to work on the pageantry of player exits. The shame of Reyes’s departure was that the Citi Field faithful got no chance to give him a proper farewell, a problem compounded by the fact that many of them were there primarily for that reason. Terry should have acceded to Jose’s wishes and given the fans the moment they craved by having Jose run the bases, take his position for the top of the second, and then sending Justin Turner in to replace him. The fans would have had time to realize what was happening and cheered Reyes off the field. With the exception of his fetish for bunting, Terry’s done most everything right, so there’s no reason to make this A Thing. I wish it hadn’t happened, but it did, and the absence of Jose (hopefully for 18 weeks and not forever) and more Mets games to play dictates that we’re moving on, whether we like it or not.

Possibly Not Available From Sully’s Tees In The Near Future

Posted in Baseball, Fashion, The Marketplace at 2:10 pm by

….though there remains the tiniest of chances the shirt’s creator, Nick Stevens, aka Fitzy, might see fit to flog a few of them through his storefront partners.

With A Global Talent Pool, ESPN Proves Hiring Someone Worse Than Kruk Is Pretty Easy

Posted in Football, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 1:24 pm by

Former Fox Soccer Channel analyst Steve Cohen (above) has seemingly landed on his feet with the announcement he’s been hired by ESPN. On the off-chance no one at the Worldwide Leader can remember Cohen’s most Google-able public moments, ie. his 2009 podcast comments alleging Hillsborough Disaster victims were essentially asking for it — The Empire Of The Kop’s Scott Stewart is happy to provide the background check, free of charge.

Cohen claimed, multiple times, that it was to the fault of LFC fans that the incident occurred, and despite his partners attempting to move on, Cohen ignored their request and continued in his lighting of a terrible fire of comments directed at LFC fans and Hillsborough victims. When asked “What’s wrong with honoring the victims?” Cohen replied, “What’s wrong with it? I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, it was their own undoing!”

Please reconsider your decision in putting Steven Cohen in a position of football (soccer) pundit before he says something on-air that further disrespects LFC, your station, but most importantly, the fans and their families who have lost loved ones in these tragedies. Steven Cohen is not the right man for the job, he’s not the right man for any job. Please reconsider your decision to hire Cohen.
Sincerely,
Every Liverpool fan on the planet.

A-Gone : Red Sox Collapse Was All Part Of God’s Plan (If Not ESPN’s)

Posted in Baseball at 11:55 am by

Assuming Jose Reyes’ quick exit in Flushing didn’t make you hate baseball or life itself, Wednesday’s late night finales in Atlanta, Baltimore and Tampa were fantastic advertisements for MLB being almost as culturally relevant as injury updates on the condition of Michael Vick’s right hand.— unless you’re a Braves or Red Sox fan, in which case their respective chokes for the ages will make for an awfully long, depressing winter.  Good thing then, that Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has already put the disappointment of Boston’s 3rd place finish into a more spiritual context, as the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham explains ;

“It’s definitely something that didn’t plan for. We were wholly confident that we would make the playoffs but it didn’t happen,” he said. “We didn’t do a better job with the lead. I’m a firm believer that God has a plan and it wasn’t in his plan for us to move forward.”

Asked what he saw from the team this month, Gonzalez stayed on his theme.

“God didn’t have it in the cards for us,” he said.

On Tuesday, when I asked him about the collapse of the team, Gonzalez blamed the schedule, not the Almighty.

“We play too many night games on getaway days and get into places at 4 in the morning,” Gonzalez said. “This has been my toughest season physically because of that. We play a lot of night games on Sunday for television and that those things take a lot out of you.”

I told Gonzalez that teams like the Red Sox and Yankees have long had those challenges, it’s part of playing for a high-profile team.

“Why does it have to be?” he said. “They can put the Padres on ESPN, too. The schedule really hurt us. Nobody is really reporting that.”

09.28.11

Bleeding Dodger Goo ; Wishing Tommy Lasorda A Belated 84th Birthday

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 5:15 pm by

Though longtime Dodgers skipper Tommy Lasorda is a mysterious no-show in LA’s recently completed video in support of “It Gets Better”, the 84 year old recently celebrated his birthday by serving as an honorary third base coach for last Thursday’s home tilt against the Giants.  It’s with Tommy’s baseball legacy and humanitarian streak in mind that we recall the following CSTB post from July 8, 2008, “YFIASB : Haunted By The Nearly Nude Lasorda” ;

The LA Times ran a piece on ballpark statues in which author Kevin Baxter noted Dodgers Stadium is amongst the clubs without one. While Your Face Is A Sports Blog‘s Duke Of Everything rejects Sandy Koufax as a subject for not being “‘iconic’ enough”, he’s not without alternative suggestions.

I started to ask myself what the perfect statue would be to represent the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. If I just closed my eyes and thought “Los Angeles Dodgers”, what immediate associations did I have.

A few ideas came to mind:

  • Steve Garvey surrounded by children – dozens and dozens of children
  • A fan in a Raiders hat and Dodgers jersey pouring beer on a 6 year-old wearing a Giants hat
  • Jackie Robinson in Heaven, watching Al Campanis on God’s TV and weeping
  • Fred Claire giving Pedro Martinez a handshake and a plane ticket to Montreal

But the one thing that symbolized the Dodgers, more than anything else, would be this: Tommy Lasorda, naked except for a towel barely covering his sweaty midsection, at the post-game buffet filling his plate with mounds of linguini while screaming profanities at the clubhouse boys. It’s a mental image I picked up while reading John Feinstein’s “Play Ball” several years ago, and no amount of therapy has been able to scrub it from my memory. (Perhaps a more accurate statue would have two sides – one with Lasorda smiling and hugging kids, while the other had him foaming at the mouth about Dave Kingman – but I disgress.)

The Duke’s proposed Mets monument would feature “Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden playfully skiing down a mountain of blow”, which, I suppose on the old iconic-meter, scores a lot higher than David Cone whipping it out, Kevin Mitchell decapitating a cat, or the duo of Shane Spencer and Karim Garcia beating up the pizza delivery guy.

Hardest Hits At Iggles Practice Delivered By Harold Shipman Doppelgänger

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 4:04 pm by

What happens when you call the Philadelphia Daily News’ Les Bowen (above, left) a quote-stealing old hack “who hasn’t broken a story in years”?  If you’re Twitter-provocateur Jeff  McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, you might get your head handed to you (by AN OLD MAN).  From Fox Sports :

The two men were involved in a Twitter spat Tuesday ; Bowen, who vowed on Twitter to handle his “business in person” landed a punch to McLane’s head Wednesday afternoon before the feuding beat writers were quickly broken up, according to WCAU TV’s Howard Eskin.

Tempers flared after McLane posted a tweet Tuesday regarding the status of Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, in which he wrote Vick would likely start Sunday despite a bone bruise in his non-throwing hand.

“I don’t intend to have any tantrums on Twitter, myself,” Bowen replied to one follower. “If I have something to say to someone, it will be face to face.”