09.28.11

Parrish : Those Loyal To Bruce Pearl Committed Career Suicide

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts at 2:24 pm by

Former Tennessee Men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl — currently working a cushy marketing job with a Knoxville grocery distributor — is banished from NCAA coaching for the next 3 years, but will somehow manage to hang onto his $2.6 million, 10,000 square foot mansion.  By contrast, CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish writes, two of Pearl’s former assistants, Jason Shay and Steve Forbes, are professionally and financially fucked.

Had Pearl not been photographed doing what he did, Forbes wouldn’t be the head coach at a junior college here in the panhandle (Northwest Florida State).  And Shay wouldn’t be his assistant. And Shay’s two young children wouldn’t be sharing bunk beds in a two-bedroom apartment. And they wouldn’t have had to leave the family dog with relatives because dogs aren’t allowed in the complex.

And nobody’s house back in Knoxville would be, in all likelihood, headed for foreclosure.

“I’ve tried to sell it, but I can’t even rent it,” Forbes said. “My monthly check here doesn’t even cover my monthly mortgage payment on that house.”

Shay made around $150,000 a year at Tennessee. Now he makes $20,000.

So not only have their careers been damaged, their lives have been turned upside down — all because they A) didn’t stop Pearl from having an improper cookout at his home, B) didn’t after the fact inform the Tennessee compliance department of what would’ve almost certainly been a secondary violation, and C) weren’t “forthcoming” with information about the cookout when the NCAA initially asked about the picture of Pearl and Aaron Craft.

When an NCAA investigator pulled the picture from a file and laid it in front of Forbes, he couldn’t sacrifice himself for the greater good because it wasn’t him, his recruit or his home in the picture. It was Pearl, Pearl’s recruit and Pearl’s home. So Forbes had two options — one of which was to identify the people in the picture and mention the cookout at Pearl’s home. But everybody knows what happens to men who roll on their bosses like that.

“You do that in this business and you’re done,” Forbes said. “Blackballed. You’re not loyal.”

“You’re selling cars,” Shay added.

09.27.11

McCourt New’s Defense : I Might Suck, But At Least I’m Not Jeffrey Loria

Posted in Baseball, The Law, The Marketplace at 5:46 pm by

“A Club owner must be well-capitalized and cannot use the team as a personal ‘cash cow,’ ” – that’s the gist of Bud Selig’s argument that Frank McCourt is no longer entitled to be owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and given McCourt’s history of using the Dodgers to supplement his lifestyle, it’s hard to take issue with MLB’s hopes of banishing the former parking lot magnate. However, McCourt might have a point when alleging there’s a double standard afoot — that his avaricious treatment of Dodger finances is not so different than Jeffrey Loria’s pocket-lining exercises in Miami. Except for, of course, the not so small matter of Loria not being in Selig’s doghouse.  From the LA Times’ Bill Shaikin :

Well-capitalized? McCourt never was, yet Major League Baseball approved his purchase of the Dodgers, primarily with loans from Fox and Bank of America.

MLB approved Loria’s purchase of the Marlins with a loan from the league itself, as part of Selig’s plan to steer Florida owner John Henry to the Boston Red Sox and kill the Montreal Expos.

Cash cow? Selig claims McCourt diverted more than $180 million of Dodgers revenue for personal use, an allegation McCourt denies.

Yet, Loria got more than that in revenue sharing — $198 million over six years of data compiled by the Business of Baseball website — from major-market owners under the condition that money be put into the team.

In 2006 and 2008 the Marlins reportedly took in more than twice as much from other owners as they spent on their major league payroll — and before they sold a single ticket or took in a dollar from local and national media contracts.

In 2010, one year after the Marlins got a new ballpark funded largely by public dollars, documents obtained by Deadspin showed the Marlins had turned a $38-million profit in 2008. In addition, Yahoo reported that the Marlins paid another $8 million over two years to a company controlled by Loria and the club president, David Samson.

“The swindlers who run the Florida Marlins,” Yahoo columnist Jeff Passan wrote.

Under pressure from MLB and the players’ union, the Marlins agreed last year to make sure revenue-sharing money went back into the team. Yet, Selig never threatened to kick out Loria, or the Marlins.

Stories Like This Are The Reason Ken Reeves Left High School Coaching

Posted in Gridiron, Leave No Child Unbeaten, Lower Education, Parental Responsibility at 12:14 pm by

(the family that bench presses together…gets suspended together. All that heavy lifting…and they can’t pick up after themselves!)

Who amongst us doesn’t have a parent or older relative guilty of oversharing on Facebook?  For Perry County (TN) offensive linemen Rodney and Ryan Belasic, the results of their mother’s F-book status updates weren’t merely embarrassing, but ended up costing their previously unbeaten Vikings team a pair of early 2011 wins, as the Tennessean’s Chip Cirillo explains ;

“(Perry County) inadvertently played ineligible athletes in the first three ballgames,” TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress said. “It was two brothers that transferred. They got a residence in Perry County, but they had not vacated their residence completely in Henry County.”

Childress said school officials thought the players’ entire family had moved to Perry County during the summer.

“But the mother actually works in Henry County, and she posted on her Facebook page that she sent the kids back to Perry County for the week and that she would not see them again until Friday night,” Childress said. “Then, later on her Facebook page, she posted, ‘How can two boys mess up their room as badly as they do when they’re only here on Saturday and Sunday?’ ”

 

09.26.11

Fred Wilpon To Newark, NJ : Drop Dead

Posted in Baseball at 9:32 pm by

A few weeks ago, the New York Times’ Harvey Araton covered the sad case of Bears & Eagles Stadium in Newark, NJ, home field for the Can-Am League’s Newark Bears, and a venue that rarely hosted more than a couple of hundred paying customers this season.  With the Yankees needing to renovate their International League affilate’s ballpark in Scranton, PA next season, the relocate the Bombers’ Triple A franchise to Newark for a single season was proposed.   Proving yet again that when it comes to shitty public relations, the Mets aren’t satisfied with merely playing out the string, the Star-Ledger’s Jerry Izenberg exposes an Amazin’ blunder that’s tough for even a Yankee hater to defend.

Under baseball’s rules, the exclusivity of the Yankees and Mets territory is shared. The Yankees called the Mets and asked permission to put their Triple-A team in Newark for only a single year.

The Mets declined.

The Yankees tried once more. They repeated that this was just for a single year. They said that if the Mets agreed for just that one season they would offer an evergreen matching proposal. In essence, they would give the Mets the same shot if they had a team with a minor league park in jeopardy, no matter how many eons into the future.

The Mets declined, saying their organization would only do something like that with mutual and immediate reciprocity as they did with the Yanks when they put a minor league team in Brooklyn and allowed the Yanks to do the same on Staten Island.

One of the concerns that influenced the Mets was their belief that a minor league team in Newark might have weaned potential Mets fans away from the affluent New Jersey suburbs.

Last night, a Mets spokesman confirmed that the team blocked the move, and would only say the decision was within the team’s rights.

The Cold Pragmatism Of The White Sox’s (Ex-)Manager

Posted in Baseball at 8:56 pm by

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley reports Ozzie Guillen long tenure as White Sox manager could come to an end as early as tonight, with Guillen’s request for an extension going unheeded by club chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. Further, Cowley claims the White Sox and Marlins are in talks to allow the latter to install Guillen as Jack McKeon’s successor almost immediately.

“F— more years. I want more money,’’ Guillen said. “I don’t work here for years. No, I want more money. Years, what, I’m going to die poor with the White Sox? Hell, no. Listen this is my job. It’s the only thing I can do. I have to make money out of somewhere. I’m not a doctor or a lawyer, where you’ll have a job for the rest of your life.

“Life is about money. People don’t believe that. People are happy after they make money, f— it.’’

The idea of going to Florida was asked of Guillen, and he pointed out that he’s never said that he wanted to be traded to Florida.

“You never hear me talk about that,’’ Guillen said. “You never did. Did I ever say I wanted the Marlins out of my mouth? No, that’s their problem. If they want me, they should. F— it, I’m bad, I’m good at what I do. They should. Everybody can want me, but it’s one thing if they can get me. It’s not easy like, ‘OK I’m going to get you and you’re going to come here.’ No it’s a process.’’

His Name Is Dan Levy And He’d Like To Recruit You

Posted in Blogged Down, The Marketplace at 5:25 pm by

The 4th Blogs With Balls conference took place this past weekend in New York City, and while DK Wilson dissed the event as the “annual circle jerk of self-congratulation for sports bloggers who protect the ideals of mainstream sports media,” surely dozens of less uptight individuals were thrilled to consider such hot topics as “Brands With Balls” (“looking at the brands who do the best job of reaching the sporting audience,”). Cynical types like me, however, cannot help but be nauseated impressed by the perspective of BwB participant / Bleacher Report featured contributor Dan Levy, who couldn’t help but embrace an opportunity…to tell you what a wonderful world we’re living in. Well, some of us, anyway.

After each BwB event, I feel like I sit at my computer and do that Doogie Howser “what did we learn today” post, so that’s probably what this is. I learned today that I have some great friends in this industry, but more than anything I learned that I belong in this industry. Floating around as a free agent for a while before this Bleacher Report situation, I felt about as disenfranchised as one could feel. The one thing about writing on the internet that people may not realize is that there is no safety net. You have a job, and the next day you don’t. Even from the basement, that fall can feel precipitous. I spoke to a lot of great writers and a lot of talented folks in media this weekend. Not all of them have jobs, but they have the talent to do great things. I hope some of them will think about doing them with me, here. At the very least, it was an honor and a privilege to share the stage with them for a day.

For me? Well now I write for a site that gets a ton of traffic and work for people who seem to like what I produce in an industry full of folks who put up with my nonsense because they know, in the end, I’m trying to help the industry grow.

Harvey Levin Revealed As A Secret Member Of Boston’s Baseball Writers Association

Posted in Baseball, non-sporting journalism at 4:55 pm by

Earlier today, TMZ.com reported Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey has filed for divorce from his wife, Krista. The otherwise underachieving Lackey, who might’ve salvaged Boston’s postseason hopes with a relatively competent performance last night in the Bronx, might not be thrilled to have the public know he’s bailing on a woman who underwent a double mastectomy in March. At least that’s the impression the assembled press corps were left with last night when Lackey’s postgame remarks took on a slightly cryptic, decidedly hostile tone. From WEEI.com :

“Let me tell you the truth. Thirty minutes before the game, I got a text message on my cellphone from one of you … somebody in the media, talking about personal stuff,” said Lackey. “And I shouldn’t even be standing up here having to deal with it. I’m sitting here listening to music. I don’t know who got my phone number, but that’s over the line. Anything else you guys want to talk about?”

Lackey did allow that he “felt good,” and that “considering the circumstances and needing a win,” he viewed the performance as being among his best with the Sox. He was then asked whether the pregame text message served as a distraction.

“This is unbelievable I’ve got to do this,” he lamented, with the session coming to an abrupt halt soon thereafter.

09.25.11

Fox Confesses : “Cutler Is A Gutless Pussy” Is Not A Real Headline

Posted in Cats, Gridiron, Sports TV at 8:30 pm by

(image taken from The Clearly Dope)

The Chicago Tribune reports that prior today’s 27-17 loss to Green Bay, Bears QB Jay Cutler received an on-air apology from Fox’s NFL studio host Curt Menefee for the network’s use of non-existent newspaper headlines designed to illustrate just how despised the former Vanderbilt product is in his current hometown.

As a Tribune report detailed last Sunday, the Fox telecast flashed three ficticious headlines across the screen — “Cutler Leaves With Injury,” “Cutler Lacks Courage” and “Cutler’s No Leader” — that Fox color analyst Daryl Johnston described as “actual headlines from the local papers in Chicago.” A Tribune search yielded no such headlines in any newspaper in the United States.

Fox studio analyst Menefee apologized during Fox’s NFL Sunday pregame show.

“Before we move on, I want to go back to Week 1, during the Atlanta-Chicago broadcast, when our production crew that was doing that game displayed an incorrect graphic,” Menefee said.  “Now, the production team told our announcer Daryl Johnston that a taped video package that made air came from actual headlines concerning Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s performance during last year’s NFC Championship Game.  While in fact, they were not.  FOX Sports regrets this mistake and apologizes to Cutler, the Chicago Bears organization and everyone involved”

Slusser : A’s’ Venue Uncertainty Might Ensure Willingham’s Exit

Posted in Baseball at 6:19 pm by

“It seems to me like Josh Willingham is the one guy on the team who would be the most difficult to replace,” argues former teen scalper turned agent Matt Sosnick. “Guys aren’t beating down doors to hit in Oakland,” Sosnick warns, but conversely, it could be an A’s move to San Jose that lessens the likelihood Oakland will try to retain the outfielder this winter, as the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser explains ;

“We gave the A’s an idea of where we were, and we were told they have interest in bringing Josh back, but before they did anything, they want to see what happens with the stadium,” Sosnick said. “Josh and I both made it clear he’d like to stay, but at this point, I’m pretty sure he’ll test the free-agent market.

“We talked about a time frame, given that Billy would like Josh back, but it seems like Billy is sort of hamstrung right now.”

According to one person familiar with the team’s thinking, the A’s would be likely to cut back on spending should they get the OK to go to San Jose, rather than increasing payroll. Were San Jose approved, the club would go into all-out rebuilding mode to put together a potential up-and-coming contender.

If the A’s do not get the all-clear for San Jose, they’d be more likely to spend money in the short term to try to increase the gate – and, possibly, to make the club more attractive for potential buyers.

Vick Alleges Referee Bias ; Why Would Anyone WIsh To See Harm Done To Philly’s QB?

Posted in Gridiron at 6:08 pm by

Philadelphia QB Michael Vick fractured his right hand on what looked like a late hit from from NY DT Chris Canty during the Eagles’ 29-16 home loss to the Giants earlier today, an incident Vick considers just the latest in a series of non-calls from NFL referees. “My heads was fine,” Vick insisted in quotes supplied by Philly.com’s Les Bowen and Paul Domovitch, despite receiving a concussion last Sunday night in Atlanta.

“I’m trying to protect myself. I didn’t get a flag. That pretty much has been the story the last three weeks. Something catastrophic is going to happen and I broke my hand. Not to blame the refs, but more precautions should be taken when I’m in the pocket. If you look at the replay, I’m on the ground every time. I’d be lying, if I told you I wasn’t frustrated right now.”

Asked if he does not get the calls, other quarterbacks get, Vick replied, “Absolutely.”

Why? “Why? You all see. There’s no reason for it. I’m not going to go into a big dissertation about why I’m not getting the calls .. The refs have to do their jobs as well.”

And later, “Everybody seen the game. I’m on the ground constantly, all the time. All the highlights, watching film every time I throw the ball, I’m on the ground. I don’t know why I don’t get the 15-yard penalties like everyone else does. I am not complaining. I am just pointing it out and hopefully someone will do something about it … I’m not blaming the referee. Let’s not get it twisted. Everybody on the field has to do their job … I just want them to take notice.”