12.27.11

Mets Starter Dickey Comes Up With A Novel Way To Suffer A Career-Altering Injury

Posted in Baseball at 3:32 pm by

Presumably a big fan of “The Best Show On WFMU’s “The First Rock Band On Mount Everest”, Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (above) is also enamored with Ernest Hemmingway’s, “The Snows Of Kilimanjaro”. At least that’s one of the ways Dickey’s plans to climb Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro are rationalized by the Wall Street Journal’s Brian Costa, who reports Dickey’s paymasters are none too keen on his vacation choice, even if the charitable goals are noble.

A few months ago, the Mets sent a letter to Dickey’s agent warning him that they reserve the right to void the remaining year on his contract if he is injured on the mountain. They can’t stop him from going, but they clearly would prefer he did not.

“If we thought it was a good idea, we wouldn’t have sent the letter,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. “Beyond that, have we tried to dissuade him from going? It seems to me that the letter is enough of an effort to dissuade him, and he intends to go on nonetheless.”

Dickey, a 37-year-old knuckleballer, has more than $4.5 million in guaranteed money left on the two-year, $7.8 million deal he signed in January. For a man who toiled for 14 years without a guaranteed contract, it is no small thing to risk. But Dickey downplayed the potential dangers of the trip.

“I don’t think there’s really any lethal risk to doing it,” Dickey said.

“If I were by myself, I would probably try to push through headache and push through nausea and maybe get some kind of altitude pulmonary enema and croak,” Dickey said. “But I’ve got guys that I can count on that are going to keep me grounded.”

Freeman, Unimpressed With NOLA’s New Mascot

Posted in Gridiron, The Law, The Marketplace at 3:04 pm by

(from Sept. 10, 2010, Mike Ornstein, second from left, shown with Sean Payton and Drew Brees)

New Orleans had little trouble with Atlanta last night, but CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman is having great difficulty understanding why Saints coaches and execs were all too willing to allow sideline / locker room access to a recently released felon.  Even worse, he’s a former Reggie Bush associate!

Mike Ornstein was spotted by CBSSports.com’s Larry Holder speaking with Saints officials. In November of 2010, Ornstein was sentenced by a district court in Cleveland to eight months in prison after he scalped Super Bowl tickets and football jerseys that were fraudulently claimed to have been worn during NFL games.

This was no tiny enterprise or small crime. Ornstein made a lot of money ripping people off. Not to mention he already had a 1995 conviction for mail fraud on his record.

Ornstein recently got out of jail and there he was on Monday night…hobnobbing with the Saints. As a marketing agent for former Saint Reggie Bush, Ornstein was once a fixture around the franchise. He was also close to coach Sean Payton (and likely still is).

Ornstein served his time in prison and he has a right to a post-incarceration life. Hell, there have been star players who went to jail and returned to football. See: Vick, Mike. Vick ran an operation that fought and killed dogs and yet he’s playing in the NFL again.

That’s actually understandable. Vick gives a team a chance to win a Super Bowl and if there is one thing we’ve learned about the NFL some teams would sign Gaddafi if he could help them win (and if he were, you know, not dead). That I get.

But why would the Saints allow Ornstein around? Why risk the embarrassment? Why tick off the NFL office which I know for a fact despises the idea of him hanging around the Saints (and hated – yes, hated – that he was in New Orleans on Monday night). What’s the payoff?

I have a feeling we’re going to see more of Ornstein hanging around the Saints post-lockup. In fact, he was in the locker room after the game on Monday wearing a Saints NFC South champion hats.

Henry Abbott’s Middling Review Of Dan Gilbert’s #1 Sports Book Of 2011

Posted in Basketball, Sports Journalism at 12:11 am by

Along with reviewing Harvey Araton’s widely acclaimed ‘When The Garden Was Eden’, True Hoop‘s Henry Abbott tackled the assignment of Scott Raab’s anti-LeBron tome, ‘The Whore Of Akron‘ in yesterday’s New York Times.   Raab (above, whose King James-baiting has extended from Esquire to Twitter to nu-media stunts, is in the view of Abbott, “a powerful storyteller in full command of his game”.  The game in question being “assassinating the character of James”.

“When he wore a Yankees cap to Jacobs Field,” Mr. Raab writes of James, “for the opener of a playoff series between the Tribe and the Yankees in 2007 — and was interviewed during the game on national television, still wearing the cap — I wrote him off as worthless scum.” Mr. Raab is incensed that every other Cleveland fan is not also incensed. It is inconceivable to him that James could be both a decent person and an unabashed Yankees fan.

The book’s subtitle may be “One Man’s Search for the Soul of LeBron James,” but missing is meaningful new insight into this player who left the Cavaliers in 2011 for the Miami Heat. Mr. Raab set out to follow James’s first season with the Heat, but his reputation as a hater preceded him, which meant he had precious little access. He reports on incidents as seen from the stands and heard in Miami diners, and at one point recounts a hilarious Valium- and Vicodin-induced “conversation” with a dog named Pip.

The book is far more about Mr. Raab than about James, but Mr. Raab has plenty of his own drama to supply: a bully from a broken home, he later dealt drugs by the pound to bikers in Texas. We learn about his various medical challenges and more than you would expect about his sex life.

12.26.11

Lou Williams Vs. The Hamburglar (Sort Of)

Posted in Basketball, The Law at 11:43 pm by

Midway thru 3 quarters, Philadelphia’s  Lou Williams has 12 points in his club’s season-opening visit to Portland, an occasion bound to make fewer headlines than the Sixers guard’s claims of talking a gunman out of robbing him on Christmas Eve. From The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Bob Cooney ;

“A guy tried to rob me but decided not to because of whatever I do in the community,” said Williams. “He’s a Lou Williams fan, so he didn’t rob me.”

Williams said he was driving in his car in Manayunk when the man approached, knocked on the driver’s window and had a gun drawn.

“There’s crime everywhere,” said Williams. “I was debating whether to pull off to help the guy. The gun was already out. He did all the talking, and we came up with a solution before i could really say much. I treated him to McDonald’s.”

Happy 64th Birthday, Carlton Fisk

Posted in Baseball at 3:22 pm by

Take that, Deion Sanders Cincinnati!

12.25.11

For The Easily Outraged, Jerry Sandusky Is The Christmas GIft That Keeps On Giving

Posted in Blogged Down, Leave No Child Unbeaten at 8:57 pm by

You’d think that with coaching, his non-profit and taking all those long showers, Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky would not have a lot of free time. Oh contraire! He is a ferocious movie-goer with quite specialized tastes. We sat down with him (actually, we sent our 11-year-old nephew so that he’d open up more) and asked him to name a few of his favorites… after all, he’s going to have a lot of free time soon to watch them all again!

With such classic selections as “The Basketball Diaries”, “Kids” and “Newsies” “My Own Private Idaho”, TLAGay.com’s Robbie O. introduced “What Would Sandusky Watch ? : Jerry Sandusky’s Favorite Films”, possibly not an Xmas godsend for patrons of all-male cinema. Leave it to the uncredited author of a post at Anarok.com, however, to take TLAGay’s pitch quite seriously (“Alleged child rapist Jerry Sandusky sells gay films to child rape fans on TLAGay.com”), asking, “if your target audience is gay men, why would you do this?”

Well, there’s this tiny chance that gay men — much like their straight pals — have this thing called a sense of humor. And just maybe, any reader with an ounce of common sense could tell straight away that a premise as goofy as Jerry Sandusky’s Desert Island DVD’s was neither a) sanctioned by the accused pederast, or b) actually promotes a cavalier attitude towards real crimes against children. So for the losing-one’s-shit-unnecessarily-roll-call we can add Deadspin’s Tim Burke, who not encourages his very tasteful, mature blog’s readership to harass Robbie O. (tellingly, Deadspin comments contributors recommend selections such”The Men Who Stare At Boys” and “Friday Night Mites”), but calls TLAGay’s brand of comedy, “the most fucking reprehensible news to come out of the Jerry Sandusky affair outside of the actual offenses Sandusky’s alleged to have committed.”

Look, I fully sympathize with any large commercial operation that struggles to generate heavy traffic on the day before Christmas, but this goes far beyond hysterical. More reprehensible than Penn State’s lack of urgency in dealing with the Sandusky situation? More reprehensible than the moronic, lemming-like actions of PSU students the night of Joe Paterno’s dismissal? More reprehensible than one of Sandusky’s accusers being bullied at school? Burke calls TLAGay’s Robbie O., “morally bankrupt”, which is a hell of a charge to level at someone who merely has a sensibility other than yours. Presumably, Burke would also consider any number of PSU coaches and administrators to be even worse human beings, but finding out requires wading thru dozens upon dozens of ambulance-chaser Deadspin posts (accidental TV f-bombs, cock shots, etc.). If Deadspin is going to be in the business of weighing in on morality, I have a couple of tiny suggestions FREE OF CHARGE ;

a) if Mr. O is indeed, a worse person than those who aided and enabled a child rapist, maybe you could help him get an internship at Fleshbot? Where better to learn firsthand what’s socially acceptable for a commercial enterprise and what isn’t?

b) put somebody in charge of the witch hunt other than the guy manning the sports blooper desk. (you’re welcome!)

Jeff Van Gundy Campaigns For A Pro-Rated League Pass Discount

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 6:21 pm by

As heard during the early stages of the Heat’s blowout victory in Dallas, and while I’ll submit that JVG is rarely as intelligent or as good looking as when he’s echoing my sentiments (or failing that, Kelly Dwyer’s), I am somewhat fearful he’s (again) risking the wrath of an NBA commissioner who’d probably like to see him buried in the Secaucus, NJ swamplands.

12.24.11

WPRB’s Jon Solomon : Presiding Over The Only Christmas Tradtion I’m Willing To Acknowledge…

Posted in Merry Fucking Christmas, Radio, Rock Und Roll at 8:42 pm by

…unless of course, Christmas traditions routinely include Tim Tebow losing (badly) and Tony Romo getting knocked out of a game. With all due respect to Yo La Tengo and Chan Marshall, here’s another holiday event well worthy of your full concentration.

(Keeping Score At Home)

(“Jon Solomon’s WPRB Christmas Miracle : U-Stream Programming More Entertaining Than A Starbury Crying Jag”, Dec. 25, 2010)

(“Jon Solomon’s 24 Hour Xmas Marathon – In Progress”, 12/24/08)

Michael Irvin Just Killed Christmas

Posted in Gridiron, Merry Fucking Christmas, Sports TV at 1:02 pm by

Never again will I go to sleep with the TV tuned to the NFL Network. No one should have to wake up to an imagine so disturbing.

CBB Rewind : 29 Years Ago Today…

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts at 4:56 am by

…Top ranked Virginia was toppled by Chaminade, 77-72.  Where this ranks on the list of the greatest pre-tournament upsets of all time is certainly a fun subject for internal debate at 4 in the morning, much as it’s taxing to determine where said result lands on the list of Ralph Sampson underachievements.