12.14.11

The Lemming-Like Rush To Praise, Profit From Tebow Has Only Just Begun

Posted in Fashion, Gridiron, Religion at 12:48 am by

“Love him or hate him, the 4th quarter divine intervention is undeniable.” Well, yeah, much like the resurrection itself, who could possibly not believe in that? The above image comes courtesy of Denver Wears Me‘s Roderick Carmody, who suggests, “thought you would get a kick out of this.” You thought wrong, Rod. Feels to me like this shirt is a poorly disguised reply to my own line of clever, pop culture tees, in particular, the one that reads “EVERY TIME YOU MASTURBATE, AN ABORTIONIST GETS A NEW BULLETPROOF VEST”.

12.13.11

League Pass’ New Price Scheme (Or, When Did David Howard Start Working For The NBA?)

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV, The Marketplace at 9:24 pm by

(I think we can safely state YouTube user “bobmortock” is not nearly as fond of League Pass as your editor or the author of the Yahoo Sports item excerpted below)

The NBA announced earlier today that League Pass, the satellite/cable package for a wide array of out-of-market games, would include mobile phone access as part of the subscription price for the lockout-abbreviated 2011-12 season. And that’s some slim consolation, considering this year’s subscription has actually increased in price, despite the cancellation of more than 300 games.  In what other industry could an (arguably) devalued product be flogged to the public with such callous disregard for, well, reality? Ball Don’t Lie’s Kelly Dwyer takes in this latest insult and declares, “this is a league that doesn’t care about its fans.”

Sure, David Stern sent off a letter (in PDF format; way to keep with the pulse of your readership, David) to fans last week that nobody read, but this hardly makes a ripple. Understanding what counts amongst your core fandom? That’s important. You have to understand what constitutes “the little things,” and then act accordingly. Raising League Pass prices, if only for a tenner, in a “season” like this? Are you mad?

Well, yeah. Mad with power. Absolutely drunk with it. And apparently, when he’s drinking, David Stern is a mean, thoughtless drunk. And apparently he’s been on a bender for the better part of the year.

You had one chance to slightly reward your loyal fandom, NBA. One chance to cut them a small break, just enough to buy the beer, chips, and energy drinks needed to make it through what is going to be a fantastic, League Pass-addled, December 26th. You can poorly run an NBA team in New Orleans from half a country away, and keep an entire league on hold for five months, but you can’t cater even symbolically to those who champion your product by getting together with your various partners and cutting these fans a break?

CSTB’s 2011 In Music ; Better Luck Next Time, Kyle Turley

Posted in Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 4:10 pm by

some portions of this may or may not have appeared on another blog. Those Yardbarker checks stopped coming in, you know.

albums

Wiccans – Skullduggery (Katorga Works)
Noveller – Glacial Glow (Weird Forest)
Obnox – I’m Bleeding Now (Smog Veil)
Flesh Lights – Muscle Pop (Twistworthy)
Jesu – Ascension (Calo Verde)
Homostupids – Strawberry Orange Peach Banana (Fashionable Idiots)

Tommy Keene – Behind The Parade (Second Motion)
Wounded Lion – IVXLCDM (In The Red)

Video – Leather, Leather (Play Pinball)
Mikal Cronin – s/t (Trouble In Mind)
OBN III’s – The One & Only (Tic Tac Totally)
Total Control – Henge Beat (Iron Lung)
Mind Spiders – s/t (Dirtnap)

Deaf Wish – Mercy (Radio Records)*
Robert Scott – Ends Run Together (Flying Nun)*
Pygmy Shrews – You People Can All Go Straight To Hell (Jack Shack)
Barreracudas – Nocturnal Missions (Douchemaster)
Factory Star – Enter Castle Perilous (Occulation)
Kitchen’s Floor – Look Forward To Nothing (Siltbreeze)
Yussuf Jerusalem – Blast From The Past (Florida’s Dying)
Quin Galavis – Should Have Known You (Threadpull)
Witches – Forever (Bakery Oulet)
David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights – Left By Soft (Merge/Arch Hill)

singles :

Boomgates – Layman’s Terms (Smart Guy)
Creamers – Modern Day (Jolly Dream)
Creamers - Slow Burn (Secret Beach)

Avon Ladies – Guns & Gold (Katorga Works)
Women In Prison – Strange Waves (HoZac)]
Sex Cult – Errand Boy (Goner)
Slices – Modern Bride (Kemado)
Charles Albright – Weight (Permanent)

old bits reissued nicely : Laurice/Grudge (Mighty Mouth), Tyvek (M’Lady’s), Art Yard (Ride The Snake), The Gruberger Brothers

live : Unholy Two (Austin, March and May), Deaf Wish (Memphis, September), Wiccans (Austin, July), Mind Spiders (Atlanta, April), Cheap Time (Austin, Memphis, September), Reigning Sound (NYC, November), Hank Wood & The Hammerheads (NYC, October), Wire (London, February) Hank IV (San Francisco, October), Broken Water (Austin, April), Wax Museums (Austin, March), Brain Idea (Chicago, July), Richard Buckner (Austin, October)

* – 2010

The Perfect Xmas Gift For Dino Costa, Revealed

Posted in Dino Costa, Gridiron, History's Not Happening, Merry Fucking Christmas at 1:40 am by

From Craigslist Denver :

These four items are from the actual date that Tim Tebow was born, which was August 14, 1987. Two of them also synchronize in, by some wonderful serendipity, with key aspects of the life he has lived in the decades since. In particular, a Florida postmark from that date, though without a stamp since it came from a piece of metered mail, stands in for Tebow’s outstanding Florida high school and college career which included his winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007. A stamp from Essen, in what was then West Germany, has a perfectly centered postmark over a commemoration of a 1200 year old cathedral. This, of course, represents Tebow’s staunch, and very public, Christian faith. The other two items lack a synchronistic element, but share the birthdate postmark, shown as 14 VIII 87 on a Dutch 65c everyday usage stamp and as 14 AUG 1987 on a colorful British three-stamp piece from Clyde Valley in the UK.

You could make these into craft pieces for four fans to wear to games together. You could even make something like a pendant with one of the postmark items on one side and a QR code on the other linking to a special web page, or to a Facebook Timeline where you highlight August 14, 1987 as a date as special to you as your own date of birth, and you tell the world why.

Combined price for the set of four is $90 or you can make an offer on any one of the individual items.

12.12.11

Just Because CP3 Was Willing To Work For James Dolan Doesn’t Mean He Has No Standards Whatsoever

Posted in Basketball at 11:24 pm by

As of this writing, the NBA’s attempts to move disgruntled New Orleans PG Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers appear to have been revived, a situation that deeply offends SB Nation’s Tom Ziller, who cannot help but note such a deal would richly reward Clippers owner Donald Sterling (above), by all accounts, a really awful person.”  Yeah, that sounds about right.

Stern didn’t kill the Lakers deal because of basketball reasons or a concern with the Hornets franchise’s value. He did it because letting the Lakers acquired another young superstar on the day the 2011 lockout ended was untenable. Too many owners were too furious, and he was too unwilling to stand up for Jerry Buss’ right to make an aggressive basketball trade.

Here’s the grossest part: CP3 has some power here on account of his ability to decline his player option for 2012-13 and leave whatever teams acquires him as a free agent in July. That’s why players like him, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony make their intentions known with regards to which teams they’ll re-sign with — it allows for a mutually beneficial break-up, insomuch as a break-up between a team and a talent like Paul can ever be mutually beneficial. By trading Paul to the Clippers, a landing spot the point guard certainly wouldn’t pick for himself (no offense to Blake Griffin), Stern puts CP3 in the position of signing to play for Sterling long-term, or giving up $25 million to flee.

Stern has refused to hold owners accountable as he’s done for players and coaches. One of those players — who just happens to be on the players’ union’s executive committee, for what it’s worth — is now being consigned to play for the most vile, unchecked of those owners, or take a $25 million haircut. How’s that for fair?

Ryan Braun, Testosterone Chart-Topper

Posted in Baseball, Medical Science at 5:03 pm by

2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun faces a 50 game suspension after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs last October, a result one Braun confidant describes as something “never seen in the history of (baseball’s) drug-prevention program.”. With that in mind, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt takes a break from welcoming Aramis Ramirez to town to consider Braun’s likely defense strategy.

The early-October test that was positive for Braun revealed such an abnormally, almost off-the-charts level of testosterone, it can be argued as being invalid or tainted. Don’t forget this earlier comment from a Braun source: “There has never been a result like this in the history of the program.” Obviously, that refers to the extraordinarily high testosterone level detected.

When apprised of the positive result a couple of weeks later, Braun requested an immediate retesting, which was normal. So, he could argue that so much testosterone could not have completely disappeared over that time frame, which of course can be debated.

Also, because there was no evidence of increased testosterone in Braun’s requested test, it will be argued that he couldn’t have injected anything into his body because traces would still be there. Thus, you could argue it had to be taken orally, and therefore a supplement might have been tainted without Braun’s knowledge. That argument has been made without success by players in the past, but it’s better than nothing.

So, expect Braun’s attorney David Cornwell to argue about the distinction between those two tests. Also, he will point out that Braun has been subject to many drug tests since being drafted in 2005 and never failed one. After so many all-star seasons in which he tested clean, why would Braun start cheating suddenly in October (a question, by the way, that has folks on management side also scratching their heads)?

Rob K. Brings Humanity The 2nd Greatest Xmas Song Of All Time….

Posted in Merry Fucking Christmas, Rock Und Roll at 1:43 pm by

….this, of course being the first. The Workdogs‘  “I Saw Mommy Kiss The Santa Claus Thing” is available on the ‘No Two Flakes The Same’ Christmas comp.  File under SSFW (semi-safe for work).

One Last Thing Before Dwight Howard Leaves Orlando : It Was Otis Smith’s Fault

Posted in Basketball at 1:04 am by

Dwight Howard’s recent trade demands have left Magic GM Otis Smith in the unenviable position of needing to find maximum value while the MVP candidate is still under contract rather than end up empty-handed next summer. And while Smith has the slim consolation that whatever deal he might reach with the Nets, Lakers or Clippers cannot be nullified by the league, before that moment arrives, he will have to put up with Howard tellling the local paper that he’s a shit communicator.  Recent acquisitions of Glen Davis, Von Wafer and Jason Richardson be damned, Howard paints a picture for the Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins of a executive who’s failed to, well, kiss his ass often enough.

“I’m pretty sure if you go down the line of teams, every GM has a pretty good relationship with not just the best player but all the players,” Howard said. “If you don’t have a good relationship with the people you work with, how are you guys going to get better?

“If there was a good relationship then I wouldn’t tell you guys [in the press] that we haven’t talked. We should still talk, regardless, no matter what goes on. I’ve been here for seven years. And no matter what happens, we still should be able to talk.”

Smith, a former NBA player himself, said he has spoken with Howard about all of his key moves in recent years.  

“When it’s your best player, you really do consult your best player on everything you do,” Smith said. “So you consult your best player on free agency. You consult your best players on trades. And that’s not uncommon. And I have done that.”

Smith has said in the past — most recently on the day last week that Bob Vander Weide announced his resignation as the team’s CEO — that the front office can’t listen to everything Howard suggests and “placate to that.”

“The tail can’t wag the dog in all instances,” Smith said Sunday. “We have to work accordingly together. The best players in the league work together with their front office staff and ownership groups.”

12.11.11

M.E.S. Finds Jeremy Clarkson’s Charms Somewhat Elusive

Posted in Automobiles, non-sporting journalism, Rock Und Roll at 3:13 pm by

Though I wouldn’t expect Mark E. Smith and Steve Coogan to see eye to eye on many issues of social importance, I suppose there are some persons who manage to offend a wide range of sensibilities. Quizzed by The Quietus’ Kevin E.G. Perry upon the release of The Fall’s new ‘Ersatz GB’, the topic somehow rolled around to “Top Gear” host/shitbag columnist Jeremy Clarkson (above).

We talk for a while about The Quietus and about how much I’m getting paid to do this interview, and then about our shared love of Hunter S Thompson and conversely about the lad’s mag journalism he unsurprisingly abhors: “I’ve never been into cars or looking at birds. I don’t understand that. It’s funny because when my book came out, I went to this writing convention in Wales. It’s like where all these writers congregate. Very famous.”

The Hay festival?

“Yeah. So that fella was there. The Top Gear fella. Jeremy whodyamob. Jeremy whatisface from Top Gear. I dunno, I know nothing about cars at all. Even my dad was like that. My dad had a Lada. Ha ha ha. What happened was, I was doing this thing about my book, and there was about 500 people there. But for this geezer there was thousands. You couldn’t get out of the place. There was about a million cars on this camping site. It’s almost like you’re drowning in people who look like him!” Smith points at a balding, middle-aged man reading a newspaper on the other side of the lobby. “Fucking thousands of them! I had this fucking co-writer with me, the ghost-writer. The fucking idiot is shaking hands with the fuckers because he thinks they’ve all come to see me, or ‘im. So I fucking bottled him! Ha ha ha ha. I bottled him in the car park! He was shaking hands with fucking every fucker you’d see! I just wanted to get out, it was that frustrating. It was horrible.”

It’s a pretty damning indictment of people’s reading habits that Jeremy Clarkson is the most popular man at the Hay Festival.

“I know, yeah, but there weren’t like young girls there. It was people like him.” He points again. “It was quite frightening! Thousands and thousands of thousands of them, and they must be parents so you can’t really blame the kids who aren’t reading. A lot of fellas my age, they won’t fucking grow up.”

Artists Rendering Of Tebow Celebrating A Non-Abortion

Posted in Gridiron, Merry Fucking Christmas, Religion at 2:37 pm by

Despite what Texas Gov. Rick Perry has described as a “war on religion”, this particular Christmas card was available on eBay up until early this afternoon.  Though I’m a firm believer everyone should be allowed to worship freely (so long as they don’t block my driveway on Sunday mornings), even an atheist like myself is slightly unnerved that an (alleged) savior’s birth bears any comparison to a 4th quarter comeback by a guy who can’t even throw properly.

12.10.11

Jones : CP3 Drama Proof Positive That Elite Players Still Wield The Hammer

Posted in Basketball at 6:42 pm by

The Lakers’ attempts to acquire PG Chris Paul from New Orleans via a 3-way dance with the Rockets were broken up by David Stern earlier this week, presumably at the urging of string-pullers like Dan Gilbert and Mark Cuban, both of whom would either deny the NBA-owned Hornets the autonomy to make their own deals, or feel they have right of approval over what constitutes acceptable compensation for CP3 during the final few months of his contract. While the deal is likely to be resubmitted with additional bodies heading to NOLA, SB Nation’s Bomani Jones considers Gilbert’s reaction something akin to further sour grapes over The Decision (“there would be no more kissing some 25-year-old’s ass to get him to stick around and make the owner more money,”) and makes a reasonable suggestion there’s far more to this than the fate of the Hornets or Paul’s career trajectory ; “after a stalemate that will delay the NBA season for two months, with their wealth of experience in business and negotiating, the league’s attempts to keep its stars in line are more impotent than ever.”

What don’t the owners want to talk about? The fact that they now know, more clearly than the ever, that the cream of the crop will do what it wants because it can. All the CBA could do to restrict their movement was limit what they can earn. But if the Big 3 in Miami each passed up millions to play together, and if Paul is willing to pass on more than $20 million (and an extra year, which is crucial to a man with bad knees) to choose his destination, what can the owners do?

What they couldn’t do: sit and watch as a small-market hero went to a franchise which — including this near-miss — made at least one league-altering personnel move each of the last six decades. This was exactly what the league promised wouldn’t happen, another stacked roster in a glamorous city.

The NBA can’t do anything about competition among owners. Small-market executives can’t turn down calls from the 310 and 212 area codes for players they have no chance at keeping. Not when enough players are willing to turn down ten figures.

Pujols’ Anaheim Windfall Spares Best Selling Author The Burden Of Writing A New Column

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 4:49 pm by

Of the Angels’ newly acquired first baseman, Jeff Pearlman wrote last spring, “to watch Albert Pujols interact with the St. Louis diehards is to watch a prototypical spoiled, arrogant 21st century sports star at his absolute worst.” Today at CNN.com, Pearlman considers Pujols’ departure from St. Louis a legit excuse for Cards fans, “to speak the truth…no longer do you have to mindlessly utter the Cardinal company lines about all of Pujols’ charity work and family life and what a wonderful person he is.’  It’s a fascinating take on Pujols’ relationship with St. Louis, though one Pearlman already described in very similar detail several months ago.

I’ve witnessed few professional athletes who show greater disrespect and outright disdain for loyalists than Pujols. He is a man who, during spring training, walks from station to station with his head down; who responds to “Albert, we love you!” not with a smile or a nod, but with cold nothingness. When people call his name, he almost never gazes up. When people ask for an autograph, he doesn’t even bother with a “Not now” or “Try me later.” Instead, he turns to devices that men such as Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent perfected in the recent decades — the steel-faced, how-dare-you-even-talk-to-me, ignore-the-world two-step.

It’s not a problem that Pujols doesn’t say much — neither does Derek Jeter. It’s not that Pujols is intense — Jimmy Rollins is certainly right there with him. No, what rubs so many people wrongly is his frostiness. Or, as one longtime Cardinals usher told me last March, “How about looking up at people when they talk to you? How about acknowledging that they exist?”

Now, Pujols — perhaps the most revered Cardinal since Stan Musial — has pulled a LeBron James II, abandoning his adopted hometown when bigger bucks and a sniff of Hollywood came calling. Whereas once he had a chance to stand alongside Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle and George Brett and Cal Ripken Jr. as legends who spent their entire careers with one franchise, now he is but a nomad — richer, without question, but shockingly smaller in stature.

Xavier Just Put Cincinnati Thru 39 Minutes, 51 Seconds Of Hell

Posted in Basketball at 3:56 pm by

The final 9 seconds wasn’t played due to the incident above.  How brutal was Yancy Gates’ sucker punch of Kenny Frease?  Colt McCoy’s father wants Frease to take his time returning to the lineup.

12.09.11

…And You’re The Laziest T-Shirt Designer On eBay

Posted in Baseball, Fashion, Greedy Motherfuckers, The Marketplace at 6:44 pm by

For the sake of the entrepreneur hawking the above garment, I hope it proves to be a hotter seller than the shirt reading, “TONY LA RUSSA HAS THE BIGGEST COCK IN ST. LOUIS”.

Vecsey Accomplishes A Unique Double ; Echoes Dan Gilbert, Praises The Knicks

Posted in Basketball at 4:27 pm by

(who could offer better advice on how to handle a superstar in his walk year than the gentleman above?)

Along with hailing the Knicks’ coup in signing a big man who can actually play defense in the form of 10-year vet Tyson Chandler (“Chandler is exactly what several legitimate title contenders don’t even have — a legitimate center,”), the New York Post’s Peter Vecsey take a more articulate expansive to Dan Gilbert’s protest over the mooted Chris Paul-to-the-Lakers swap, claiming “The Commissioner looks like a hero in New Orleans” for doing what’s told blocking the deal.

Bringing in Odom, Martin and Scola would have made the Hornets no better than a 50 percent outfit. Additionally, they had contract anvils around their necks. Houston nearly dumped some horrible contracts on New Orleans and, in so doing, would have created cap space to sign someone they coveted, such as Nene.

If the goal is to win a championship, not win trades, New Orleans almost did everything possible to make sure it never does either.

Had the deal gone down, the Hornets/Stern would have told every fan in New Orleans they lied when they asked them to buy tickets. The prolonged lockout purportedly resulted in a CBA under which teams have a shot to keep their stars and small markets can compete.

How would it have looked for the NBA if half of those 10,000 season ticket holders demanded refunds?

What about other small markets? Wasn’t the new CBA supposed to stop this and give small markets a chance?

If a league-owned team didn’t believe in the new CBA why should anyone else?

What Vecsey doesn’t address is what would actually represent fair/realistic value for a superstar Paul’s caliber who is a) in the final year of his contract, b) is clearly disgruntled.  For all the talk today that the Hornets are a more valuable franchise with Paul an active member of their roster, how might the franchise’s value be measured if CP3 phones it in for the final 66 games of his NOLA career?

12.08.11

Shane Battier Inspires The Least Fascinating Internet Search Results Of All-Time

Posted in Basketball at 6:04 pm by

(a man not nearly as cool as Rupert Holmes, shown before his pervasive influence spread from Major League Baseball to the NBA)

“This was an exciting process and after much deliberation, I would like to quote the great poet Jimmy Buffett and take my chances, ‘Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season.’?”  – Shane Battier upon signing with the Miami Heat, January 8, 2011

Persons of a certain vintage might recall the time Jimmy Buffett got himself tossed out of Knicks/Heat playoff game.  If not, you can read all about it at BuffettWorld.com, where infamous Jimmy Buffett-related incidents include but are not limited to, “Jimmy Buffett Loses His Cell Phone”, and Jamaican authorities opening fire on Buffett’s seaplane after mistaking the alleged entertainer for a drug-runner.

Say Hello To New Knicks C Tyson Chandler (And Goodbye To Any Hope Of Getting Chris Paul This Season)

Posted in Basketball at 4:49 pm by

Newsday’s Alan Hahn calls the Knicks’ probable signing of free agent C Tyson Chandler (above), “all but a foregone conclusion”, but it’s the sort of quality acquisition that all but signals an end to the pipe dream of landing disgruntled Hornets G Chris Paul in the near future. As the New York Times’ Steve Adamek explains, the cost of a new multi-year pact for Chandler, “would wipe out the Knicks’ salary cap space for next season, which they might have used to sign Paul or any other high-priced free agent.” If Stat, Anthony and CP3 would’ve represented a Northern answer to Miami’s Big 3, we’ll just have to hope a Big 2 1/2 (without a top flight point guard) is enough to get by.

(The addition of Chandler) would also require the Knicks to create cap room for Chandler this season by waiving Chauncey Billups (and his $14.2 million expiring contract) via the amnesty provision in the new collective bargaining agreement. That would leave the Knicks without a point guard other than Toney Douglas and the first-round pick Iman Shumpert, pending a low-budget move to get one who would not count against their cap.

Steve Nash, for instance, has an $11.7 million expiring deal, and the Knicks could get him only if Phoenix waived him under the amnesty clause, enabling the Knicks (or any other team) to sign him for the veteran’s minimum or one of the salary-cap exceptions.

Yet, using amnesty on Billups still would not create enough room for Chandler, so the incumbent (and only pure center on the Knicks’ roster) Rony Turiaf and his expiring $4.36 million contract would have to go.

The Knicks’ inability to produce a strong enough package (Billups, possibly Douglas and draft picks) to procure Paul before he becomes a free agent is almost certainly the reason they have gone to Plan B by pursuing Chandler.

We Can Safely Assume Kendry Morales Isn’t Coming Back Anytime Soon…

Posted in Baseball at 12:16 pm by

…not after free agent 1B Albert Pujols verbally agreed to a ten-year, $250 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim early Thursday morning.  Acquiring the biggest fish in this winter’s free agent market was preceded by an appetizer in the form of starter C.J. Wilson, who will leave Arlington after accepting the Angels’ 5- year, $77.5 million offer. It’s a staggering turn of events, if not for the Cardinals and Rangers (though the latter might’ve resigned themselves to losing Wilson, seeing him take the mound for an AL West rival is slightly less distasteful than opening a big bag of flour in front of Josh Hamilton and George W. Bush Ron Washington), then certainly for Angels G.M. Jerry DiPoto, who was probably wasn’t told upon taking the job he’d have somewhere in the range of $325 million to lavish upon two players of his choosing. Though I’m thrilled to see Pujols leaving the National League (and dreading what his production might be like by the 6th or 7th year of the contract), the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Bob Brookover has an reasoned take on the Pujols signing, namely, Ryan Howard was very fortunate to sign a contract extension sooner rather than later.

Had the Phillies slugger been out investigating the free-agent waters right now, he’d be No. 3 in the pecking order based on his declining power numbers the last two seasons and his recovery from surgery to replace a torn Achilles tendon.

Given those circumstances, the Phillies might have been pushing for a deal with Fielder instead of Howard. Fielder, after all, is four years and seven months younger than Howard and is coming off a much better season.

Amaro said he’s perfectly happy to have Howard for a five-year deal because he believes he may have had to pay him over 10 years if he had hit the free-agent market.

“I don’t want to pay him for 10 years,” the general manager said. “I don’t think any of those three guys would be wanting less than the other.”

Probably not, but what a player wants and what a player gets do not always match up once they reach free agency. That’s a reality Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins probably will discover before he signs a new deal, and it seems likely that Howard would have received something less than five years and $125 million had he been testing the free-agent waters at these winter meetings.

12.07.11

John Rocker Resists Temptation To Enter The GOP Presidential Nominatin Fray, Pens Book Instead

Posted in Baseball at 10:16 pm by

While 13Maz.com‘s Bernard O’Donnell misidentifies John Rocker’s old nemesis, former SI writer Jeff Pearlman as “Steve Pearlman”, Rocker turns philosophical (sort of) when discussing the fateful interview that all but made him a national pariah. “Don’t pick up fight with a guy who buys ink by the truckload,” Rocker tells the Macon, GA broadcaster, adding, “, “I decided to buy my own truck.” And with that, here’s some observations you no longer need to purchase Rocker’s new book, ‘Scars & Strikes’, to absorb (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory).

“The media have declared themselves judge, jury and executioner in the world of free speech and political correctness, and if you offer up an opinion they don’t agree with, rest assured they are going to put the crosshairs right on you.”

Arguing that Americans’ rights are being taken away due to the war on terror: “You know what? We lost (technically). The terrorists have won. My nation is no longer free.”

He says he’s not against immigrants, but against those who fail to assimilate in the United States and exploit our system: “While many immigrants arrive in this country eager to work and build a better life, thousands of foreigners cross our borders each day with intentions to exploit the many taxpayer-funded government social programs such as medical care, social security, welfare, and free housing.”

Rocker says he wrote at least 98 percent of the book, over a year’s time.

Quietly (& Cheaply), Alderson Repairs (Part) Of The Mets

Posted in Baseball at 4:51 pm by

Though I’m hardly overcome with excitement over the prospect of Andres Torres patrolling Citi Field’s less spacious center field next season, here’s saluting Mets GM Sandy Alderson for Tuesday’s acquisitions of relievers Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez and chair-tossing specialist Frank Francisco. Outside of injuries and finances, the inability of the 2010 Mets bullpen to do much during the season’s second half besides pour kerosene would be the primary cause of Terry Collins’ secret life as a serial killer anxiety.  That Alderson has actually spent some portion of the funds saved by not retaining Chris Capuano or Jose Reyes is only slightly less encouraging than the sums & expectations being halfway realistic. And most importantly, the Citi Field A/V dept can get ready to play the following classic each time Rauch emerges from pen.

Reports of Hanley Ramirez Having A Reasonable Perspective Were Widely Exaggerated

Posted in Baseball at 3:26 pm by

During the Marlins pursuit of free agent SS Jose Reyes, how many times were the public and media assured that incumbent SS Hanley Ramirez (above, left) was likely to sign off on being shifted to third base?  As it turns out, an unnamed source tells ESPN Deportes’ Enrique Rojas that Ramirez — long coddled by owner Jeffrey Loria — has said the opposite.

“Hanley doesn’t want to play third base and the Marlins were informed of that,” the source said. “Rather than ask for a trade, what he has done is to inform (the team) that he does not want to play another position other than shortstop.”

Meanwhile, Andy Mota, Ramirez’s agent, told ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com he had no comment.

Ramirez tweeted Tuesday: “What I can do now is work hard and be prepared for next season because that’s all that I can control, I love you all !!!!”

Ramirez is under contract with Miami for the next three seasons. The Marlins owe Ramirez $47 million until 2014, thanks to a six-year, $70 million extension he signed in May 2008.

Buster Olney correctly points out that Ramirez’ rotten 2011 campaign was preceded by his turning up for spring training in lousy shape, though failing to mention the (former) superstar’s “indifference” to baseball might serve a greater purpose. Like say, getting his managers fired.

Heath Evans Humbly Suggests That Nick Saban Is An Intensely Creepy Human Being

Posted in Gridiron at 2:27 am by

790 The Ticket’s Jorge Sedano derives no small amount of pleasure from tweaking former Dolphins / current Alabama head coach Nick Saban (above), so you might say a Tuesday chat with Miami FB Heath Evans was sort of like an early Christmas for the sports yack host.  Sedano asked Evans if there was “an example of something he (Saban) did to someone while you were there that made you shake your head, you’re like, ‘That stuff doesn’t work here’”.  Evans proceeded to describe an incident that occurred during the latter half of two-a-day practices to start 2005′s Dolphins training camp (transcript swiped from Black Sports Online)

Jeno James, our best offensive lineman at the time, comes in and collapses after practice, uh, vomiting all kinds of stuff that would make a billygoat puke, eyes rolled in the back of his head. Myself, about four other lineman are trying to carry him from the locker room, to the training room.

Obviously it’s a moment of panic, everyone, you know, we don’t know if this guy’s, you know, gonna die, I mean, the whole deal. But he’s so big and sweaty and heavy that we actually have to set him down in the hallway between the locker room and the training room.

Nick Saban literally just starts walking in, steps over Jeno James convulsing, doesn’t say a word, doesn’t try to help, goes upstairs, I don’t know what he does. But then obviously they get Jeno trauma-offed to the hospital.

Saban calls a team meeting about 10:30 that night, comes down and says, ‘You know, the captain of the ship can never show fear or indecision, we’ve always gotta have an answer, and so I had to go upstairs, that’s why I walked over Geno like that, I had to collect my thoughts and decide what’s best for our team.’

12.06.11

Orlando’s Attempts To Retain Dwight Howard Get A Little Slurry

Posted in Basketball at 10:13 pm by

Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide, son in law of owner Rich De Vos, resigned as the team’s CEO earlier today, an move Orlando insists is in no way connected to the following story being circulated by Bright House Sports Network’s David Bauman :

Vander Weide confirmed that he made a 1 a.m. phone call in recent days to Magic superstar Dwight Howard (above, middle), and Howard thought Vander Weide may have been intoxicated. On that call, Vander Weide told Howard how much the Magic wanted to keep him in Orlando. 

“I was playing paddle with friends and had a couple of glasses of wine,” Vander Weide told BHSN.  “Maybe Dwight thought it was inappropriate to talk business after a couple of glasses of wine… Maybe I should have waited until the morning.” 

Howard and Vander Weide have always had a solid relationship, according to Vander Weide.

If a sports exec’s final official act on behalf of his employer is to make a drunken plea to the face of the franchise to stay put, I’m not sure who can fault Vander Weide (except for perhaps, fans of human dignity).  Still, would it have killed Sandy Alderson to try the same thing?

Miklasz : Don’t Demonize Albert Pujols (But If You Must, Here’s Some Ammo)

Posted in Baseball at 5:24 pm by

Hardly content with acquiring Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Ozzie Guillen, the Miami Marlins have reportedly dangled a ten-year, more-money-than-God offer in front of free agent Albert Pujols, an option the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bernie Miklasz admits represents the iconic first baseman’s “chance to determine his future on his terms”.  But while Miklasz insists he’d be “reluctant to demonize either side”, he’s also quick to point out, “(Pujols) has said that winning is the top priority. A move to Miami would obviously contradict all of those declarations.”

The only way I’d change my opinion — and cast blame — is if Pujols walks from a deal that puts the Cardinals close to whatever it is that the Marlins are offering. If it’s close, without much difference (relatively speaking) in money, why would he leave? It would expose him as a phony given all of his previous statements about wanting to be here forever.

Pujols should be very careful in assessing the Marlins. For starters, the new ballpark in Miami will be huge. Some already are comparing the place to Petco Park in San Diego, which dramatically reduces a hitter’s power numbers. Second, the Marlins are thin on starting pitching. Third, the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) is investigating the financing of the Marlins’ new ballpark, a project that may have set some sort of unofficial U.S. record for swindling taxpayers. No. 3, the Marlins certainly look like they’re trying to win now, having given rich deals to Reyes and closer Bell. But the Marlins are flush in new-stadium money, and they are obviously itching to spend it. The fan support would be superb for a while, because of the new yard and the team’s free-agent shopping spree. But what will the scene look like in three or four years when the novelty wears off? What happens if the team’s moody owner sees the crowd-numbers thin, changes his mind, and orders up a dramatic slashing of payroll? There is stability and a history consistent winning and passionate fan support in St. Louis. And does Pujols really want to be seen in those clown costumes that serve as the Marlins’ new uniforms?

12.05.11

Oklahomans Deeply Offended By Confusing, Gratuitous Photoshoppery

Posted in consumer affairs, Free Expression, Gridiron at 10:07 pm by

Given that #2 Alabama was very likely to have secured a spot in the BCS National Championship, facing #1 LSU in a rematch of their boring as fuck titanic defensive struggle earlier this season, I don’t quite understand why a Crimson Tide fan would go out of her way to antagonize supporters of #3 Oklahoma State. Nor do I understand what the Twin Towers have to do with any of this (Rutgers is safely deposited in the Pinstripe Bowl, right?), and I’m sorry to say the following report from News9.com clarifies absolutely nothing.

An Alabama football fan has created an online stir. Before the BCS bowl games were announced, Lisa Lispino posted what some are calling distasteful pictures online.

One picture is of Oklahoma State’s mascot Pistol Pete in front of the Murrah building. Another shows a smiling Alabama head coach standing near a wind farm and plane wreckage. She also created a picture of the BCS Championship trophy next to the burning World Trade towers. On her web page, Lispino said she is an artist and has a right to create art.

Lispino’s web page and Twitter account have been removed.