If You Happen To Find Yourself In The Alleged Live Music Capital Of The World This Mid-March (2012 Edition, Pt. II))…

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 10:51 pm by

On the 11th of January you were politely informed about CSTB’s pending Apache Dropout, Puffy Areolas, G.Green, Mannequin Men, Cruddy, Bare Wires, Unholy Two, Obnox megabill taking place at Beerland, Wednesday afternoon, March 14. Because one amazing free show in the middle of rock biz-convention-week isn’t nearly enough to entice the Austin area’s half dozen CSTB readers, here’s another.

Memphis’ Sex Cult have recently changed their name to Ex-Cult due to one of those disputes with someone who can’t handle being in an inferior band over intellectual property. This bill will also feature a midnight performance by special surprises guests who we cannot identity. So please don’t tell anyone Death Of Samantha are playing.

Morrow’s Petrovic Tribute

Posted in Basketball at 5:36 pm by

So it turns out Jeremy Lin isn’t the only undrafted player who’ll make a notable cameo appearance during All-Star Weekend.  Nets SG Anthony Morrow, knocking down 3′s at a 41 percent clip this season, tells the Newark Star-Ledger’s Mike Vorkunov he’ll don a Drazen Petrovic jersey when taking part in Saturday’s three-point shooting contest.

Petrovic was a Net for two-plus years, from midway through the 1990-91 season until 1993, and left a large impression on the franchise. He died in a car crash at 28 years old that summer. His No. 3 jersey is one of five retired by the organization after he spent his only two full seasons with the team averaging more than 20 points-per-game in each.

Morrow has had the idea since he saw Petrovic’s jersey hanging in the Nets’ practice facility. After seeing the documentary, “Once Brothers” – about the broken friendship between Petrovic and Vlade Divac — he thought that if he had the chance to participate in All-Star weekend, he would honor the fallen hero.

“I just remember — I don’t remember a whole lot — but I remember he could shoot real, real good,” Morrow said.

Great Baseball Moments In (Elective) Surgery

Posted in Baseball, Medical Science at 2:25 pm by

Deadspin reported this morning that Mets P Jonathan Niese recently had a nose job, with former teammate Carlos Beltran offering to foot the bill. Said rhinoplasty saga recalls another higlight in off-season medical procedures, namely former Yankee OF Danny Tartabull going under the knife in ’93. From the New York Times and Murray Chass, “BASEBALL: NOTEBOOK; Bonuses for Adding Games and Losing Weight”, Nov. 14, 1993 :

The Yankees are incensed that Tartabull, whose shoulder injury made him solely a designated hitter for most of the past season, postponed surgery on the shoulder, had cosmetic surgery, then went off to Europe on vacation.

Dennis Gilbert, the agent who two years ago induced the Yankees to give his client a five-year, $25.5 million contract, said much has been made about nothing. He refused to discuss the cosmetic surgery or even confirm that Tartabull had it — “That’s personal and nobody’s business,” he said — but he said the Tartabulls had planned, and paid for, the European trip long ago.

“It’s my understanding that Dr. Jobe said his rehabilitation time would be about a month,” Gilbert said, referring to Dr. Frank Jobe, the Los Angeles orthopedist who will do the operation. “Danny had plans since April to take a vacation. If it was something that would jeopardize Danny’s playing the outfield during the season, Danny would’ve canceled or delayed his trip. But I think Dr. Jobe will shed some light on this thing.”

Dr. Jobe, however, was not available to do any shedding. A secretary in his office said he was in Hawaii and she did not know where he could be reached.


Papelbon: “2006 Brad Lidge?…Oh no, not me..”

Posted in Baseball at 4:07 pm by

With the Philadelphia Phillies lineup being aging and/or injury prone with a farm system near barren as far as positional players, many fans have questioned the large allocation of money in filling their closer spot. Jonathan Papelbon’s Freudian slip upon his arrival for spring training is not going to make these critics less queasy From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

When asked if he often thought this winter about how 2011 ended, Papelbon said, “Every day. All day.” He stared for a couple of seconds without saying a word.

“I mean, I don’t think about it at all, man,” he said.

Wait ‘Til He Hears About William Peter Blatty : Mushnick On Nicki Minaj

Posted in Basketball, Religion, Sports Journalism at 2:45 pm by

Nicki Minaj (above, right)  is scheduled to perform at next weekend’s NBA All-Star Game, a booking the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick finds troubling given Minaj’s recent Grammy Awards appearance in which the entertainer, “infuriated many Catholics and civil-minded folks of any and all beliefs by performing a dark, satanic number that included an elderly, white male escort dressed in full Papal regalia, apparently prepared to conduct an exorcism.”

The NBA could have issued Minaj a “never mind,” cancelled her appearance with a “maybe we’ll give ya a call next year,” plus a few words about how the “NBA values the sensitivities and dignity of all of its fans and employees,” and let Minaj and everyone else figure out the rest for themselves.

David Stern might have, could have, should have issued her what shows up on NBA final stat sheets as a “DNP (did not play) coach’s decision.”

But it seems some sensitivity and common public decency issues are more important than others. Sure, we all have feelings, but based on how and where the wind blows, some count more than others.

It would be very illuminating if Phil would be kind enough to explain which segment of society is routinely catered to and never experiences a moment of discomfort when absorbing popular culture.  Mushnick seems to suggest that major sporting organizations and TV networks alike are treading on eggshells when it comes to the sensibilities of those who enjoy vulgarity, while the pious / “civic-minded” amongst us are forced to endure a never-ending series of assaults on decency.

I mean, yeah, that’s wishful thinking.  But it’s not the world anyone I know lives in.

Move Over Lou Reed, Bobby Valentine Insists He’s The Original (W)rapper

Posted in Baseball, Food at 12:19 pm by

(my Japanese is pretty suspect, but I’m almost certain that’s not a wrap sandwich)

Though I hoped Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine’s alleged invention of the Wrap Sandwich (Bobby V., Renaissance Man, April 28, 2012) was old news, the New York Times’ Bill Pennington coaxes further details out of the Stamford, CT restauranteur.

“So this banker comes in one day and the $4 toaster is broken. In fact, it broke and we had thrown it out. The waitress comes into the kitchen with a long face wondering what we’re going to do because the banker wants his club sandwich. Well, we had just put nachos on the menu and we were ordering tortillas from Phoenix, too.

“I was cooking and I looked over at the tortillas that were sitting there. I grabbed one and put all the ingredients of a club sandwich into the tortilla. I rolled it up and I melted a little cheese on the top to keep the tortilla from opening up. And I said: ‘Tell him, we don’t have club sandwiches today but this is a club Mex.’

“And he ate it and liked it. A few weeks later, my manager goes on a local food-network program and they ask if we have invented anything unique at the restaurant. And he says: ‘Yeah, we have a club sandwich that we wrap. Bobby made it up.’

“People started calling it the wrap, and we put it on the menu as a club sandwich wrap: turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and cheese. Now, yes, I had eaten burritos. But had someone put American sandwich ingredients in a tortilla? I don’t think so.”


Francona : John Henry’s Avoiding My Calls

Posted in Baseball at 8:06 pm by

“I thought somebody that cared about me, didn’t,’’ ex-Red Sox manager Terry Francona tells the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman. “That hurt.’’ Roughly 8 weeks after unloading to WEEI’s Glen Ordway and Michael Holly about the unseemly manner in which his former employers buried him with the Globe’s Bob Hohler, Tito turns to the Globe’s crosstown rival to object to the club’s callous spin on his final month in charge.

“When the stuff came out about the pills, I felt like ownership was rushing to defend themselves,’’ said Francona. “I wanted someone to defend me. I told (Red Sox  president and CEO) Larry (Lucchino), ‘Larry, you’re so worried what I’m going to think or someone else thinks, how do you think I feel?’ He was actually pretty good about it. He said, ‘I completely understand that.’

“On the flip side, I called (principal owner) John Henry seven or eight times. Never heard from him. I have not talked to John since the day I left. It makes you kind of understand where you stood.’’

“After awhile, I wanted somebody to sit down and go, ‘Hey man, these are the people you just spent eight years with,’ as opposed to worrying more about the press release. But, that’s probably why it was time to move on — in a nutshell.’

Q : What’s The Best Thing About Tampa’s Lame New Mascot?

Posted in Baseball, Cats, General, When Mascots Are Attacked at 6:38 pm by

A: Buck Showlater believes he’s disrespecting the game. Image courtesy New Times.

ESPN.com To Reconsider Editorial Policies…

Posted in Basketball, Racism Corner, Sports Journalism at 2:23 pm by

…that would seem to include putting brain-dead individuals in charge of headline writing / copy-editing during weekend shifts. How rotten was the decision-making that went into gaffe depicted above? Jason Whitlock called it “two column inches of pain”.


Trying To Find The Bright Side For Sir Paul McCartney Watching The Knicks Lose To The Hornets

Posted in Basketball, New York, New York, Sports Radio at 10:34 pm by

At least Chris Russo isn’t sitting to his left.

Pluto To LeBron : You Familiar With The Expression, “No Comment?”

Posted in Basketball at 1:19 pm by

Quizzed by the assembled media throng prior to Thursday’s Heat/Cavs tilt, LeBron James was asked if he could ever see himself playing again for his Cleveland hosts (and by extension, former employer/comic sans maven Dan Gilbert).  James’ measured response (“I think it would be great…It would be fun to play in front of these fans again. I had a lot fun times in my seven years here. You can’t predict the future, and hopefully I continue to stay healthy. I’m here as a Miami Heat player and I’m happy where I am now, but I don’t rule that out,”) failed to impress the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Terry Pluto, who asks, “have we really gone from ‘I’m taking my talents to South Beach’ to ‘I left my heart in South Euclid’?”

If he is unhappy in Miami, whose fault is that? Is it because it’s Wade’s team and he’s not the sun that the rest of the Heat revolves around?

No one forced James to leave the Cavs. The mistakes made by owner Dan Gilbert and others were giving James too much power leading to an outrageous sense of entitlement — not a refusal to make him and his family happy.

Perhaps he now prefers to be back in Cleveland, where postseason flops could always be blamed on not having good enough talent and coaching around him. No one says that in Miami. And if he wants to come back . . . let’s talk about it in 2014, when he has the option of being a free agent.

Today, I refuse to play the “What if LeBron wants to come back” game. Because that’s what it is at this point, just a game — and an unfair one to the fans of both the Heat and Cavs.

Miami Critic To Shaq : The Self-Immolation Schtick Is Wearing Thin

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 12:50 pm by

(there’s a diesel gasoline joke in here somewhere, but Barry Jackson’s not gonna find it funny)

Of Shaquille O’Neal’s first two months on the job alongside TNT’s Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson notes the difficulty in “trying to blend a larger-than-life personality into a studio show that already has another enormous star in Barkley.”  But hey, if “Daily News Live” can pull it off with Joe Benigno’s charisma overshadowing all other participants, who’s to say TNT won’t sort things out eventually?

At times, O’Neal has merely spewed remarks that are either obvious or, in some cases, highly questionable. Shaq, for example, said Rajon Rondo “is the best point guard in the game.” To which Barkley had the perfect retort: “Is Derrick Rose dead?”

And O’Neal said “if the Kings play” like they did against Oklahoma City, “they should be in the running for the playoffs.” But they generally don’t. And even if they played better, it’s difficult to envision them challenging for a playoff berth in a conference loaded with teams over .500.

On Thursday, when he was asked by Ernie Johnson to pick a winner in a potential Heat-Bulls playoff series, Shaq refused, saying only that it would be a great series. Gee, thanks for nothing.

Shaq also keeps threatening to set himself on fire, which isn’t quite as funny as he seems to think it is.


Goodbye, Gary Carter

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York at 5:09 pm by

Hall Of Famer Gary Carter passed away earlier today, finally succumbing to brain cancer. Though occasionally mocked in this corner for openly coveting Willie Randolph’s job while Randolph was still employed as Mets manager, Carter was deeply loved by yours truly…and probably all Mets fans circa 1985-1989.  His acquisition from Montreal in 1985 might not have been the transformative transaction that was Keith Hernandez’s arrival two seasons earlier, but The Kid was the perfect addition for a young pitching staff on the rise. There’s no World Series victory in ’86 without Gary Carter, and along with Hernandez, Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, he’ll forever be remember as one of the key figures on Mets squads that (briefly) relegated the Yankees to 2nd class status in New York.

Of course, that’s only what he accomplished in Flushing.  As Gary Cohen said on SNY earlier today, “if Johnny Bench was the National League catcher of the 1970′s, Gary Carter was the catcher of the ’80′s”, and the latter’s production for the Montreal Expos would’ve made him a megastar had he been playing stateside. Once ensconced in New York, however, there was no escaping Carter’s perm/smile/leadership (see examples of two of the three above).  On a club that we’ve since learned was filled with unabashed party animals (whose exploits might’ve been received very differently in the age of Twitter and You Tube), Carter’s nice guy routine was from all accounts, not an act.  Here’s to his family, friends, teammates, and all of us lucky enough to have marveled at his achievements.

ESPN’s Mike Yam – More Than Willing To Ride Jeremy Lin’s Coattails Into Your Consciousness

Posted in Basketball, Sports Journalism, Sports Radio, Sports TV at 4:57 pm by

When Josh Hamilton recently fell off the wagon, why didn’t say, Sid Rosenberg hire a publicist to arrange a series of print or radio chats about the nature of addiction? Possibly because it’s a terrible idea, or perhaps no one had suggested it.  But lest you think Mike D’Antoni or Iman Shumpert were the biggest beneficiaries of Jeremy Lin’s recent success, ESPN anchor Mike Yam (above) wouldn’t mind some of the glamor rubbing off.  The following press release comes courtesy of Nicki Jhabvala (link swiped from Fang’s Bites)

Hi Nicki,

I hope this email finds you well.

With the Knicks now on a seven game winning streak and “Lin-sanity” continuing to grow by the second, there has been a change not just on the court for the Knicks, but a culture change off the court as well.

For any pieces you’re working on surrounding how “Lin-sanity” is impacting not just the sports landscape, but Asian culture both domestically and abroad, I’d love to offer you, Asian broadcaster and ESPN’s Mike Yam. Please find quotes from Mike Yam about Jeremy Lin below:

“The special people are the ones who pave the path and that’s what Lin is doing for every Asian American who is watching his every move on the court. This impact on the Asian community is something we can’t measure yet. He has made Asians who didn’t follow basketball taking time to read and watch his games” He is humble, well spoken and a leader who has made every Asian who doesn’t “look” the part believe in his or her abilities. In my career I have had people look at me and doubt my skills as a broadcaster.”

If you are interested in speaking with Mike more in-depth regarding how Jeremy Lin’s performance on and off the court could potentially spark a movement within both the sports world, and more importantly, pop culture, please contact me.

Thank you.

Former FIFA Veep Warner’s Altruism Knows No Bounds…

Posted in Football at 4:20 pm by

….he’ll gladly put your money in a very safe place. Some 8 months following Jack Warner’s resignation as Concacaaf president, futher accusations of corruption have emerged, this time concerning funds earmarked for Haitian earthquake relief.  From The Guardian :

Funds donated for earthquake-hit Haiti that never made it to the Caribbean island were paid into a bank account controlled by the former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) claimed on Thursday.

Around £440,000 of emergency aid money has gone missing since it was donated two years ago and Fifa has frozen funding to the TTFF until it explains what has happened.

In 2010 Warner was special adviser to his country’s federation and the cash from Fifa ($250,000) and the South Korean FA ($500,000) was paid into a TTFF account it claims only he controlled.

It is claimed the TTFF “surrendered their authority” to Warner, who resigned from football last year after being accused of bribery and he has refused to explain what happened to the money.

Warner, a government minister in his country, suggested on Trinidadian television that the allegations were a conspiracy. He said: “I have nothing to answer to anybody. Who wants to make allegations, make allegations. Ask yourselves, as objective members of the media: ‘Why now … ?’ And after you get why now, just join the dots and see.”

If Loving High School Sports Is Wrong, Give The Piggyback Bandit A Life Sentence

Posted in Basketball, Football, Hockey, Leave No Child Unbeaten, The Law at 11:31 am by

Sherwin Shayegan (above), 28, is currently banned from high school athletic events in Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, Montana and North Dakota. Not for heckling referees, verbally abusing players or interfering with play, but rather, for jumping on the backs of teenage athletes. Hence the media dubbing Shayegan, “The Piggyback Bandit”, though at the moment he’s stolen absolutely nothing (except perhaps the hearts of adolescents who’ve always dreamed of role-playing as a pony for a man authorities describe as “disturbing”). From Fox Sports North’s Tyler Mason ;

In 2010, Shayegan was banned from high school games in Oregon by the Oregon School Activities Association after he made his way into a locker room without permission following a basketball tournament and asked for autographs from the players. He later sought piggyback rides from players in the parking lot and jumped on their backs.

Last October in Helena, Mont., he was overheard in his hotel lobby saying that he was going to jump on kids’ backs at the state’s Class AA soccer tournament. A hotel clerk called the police when she heard that, and plainclothes officers were sent to the soccer fields. Shayegan was arrested when he jumped on a kid’s back at the soccer fields. Officials learned that he had also done the same thing earlier in the day, and Shayegan was charged with two counts of assault.

“What he does is he impersonates an avid fan, kind of plays in between so both schools aren’t quite sure who he belongs to,” said Jim Haussler, the activities director for Bismarck Public Schools. “And then what he does is he befriends some of the student-athletes. He’ll even get water for athletes (and) fold uniforms. When he was at our place, he dressed in basketball attire and appeared to be an adult with special needs.”

Haussler has been Bismarck’s activities director for 22 years. During that time, he said he’s never seen anything quite like the Piggyback Bandit.

“I don’t think unusual is the right descriptor,” he said. “I think creepy is a much better description of the type of behavior he was exhibiting. It created quite a stir among parents once they realized who he was.”


Hamilton’s Couple Of Beers Provoke The Greatest Overreaction Of All

Posted in Baseball, non-sporting journalism, The World Of Entertainment at 7:12 pm by

“Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton plays baseball the way Whitney (Houston) sang” gushed Fox Sports Jen Floyd Engel. And in case you’re not sure where this is all going, Engle reminds us, “they both battled drug addiction. Very publicly. And at times, very painfully.” NOTE FOR PERSONS WHO MIGHT BUY INTO THIS BULLSHIT : Josh Hamilton isn’t dead yet.

When news broke Saturday that Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and later reports said that prescription drugs may have been a culprit, I was saddened yet not surprised.

This is what sometimes happens to drug addicts. They use again, and they die as a result. This is what got me thinking of Hamilton and just how scary his very public fall from sobriety a couple of weeks ago had been.

As he noted, for a guy like him, there is no tiny slip. It is all a slippery slope, and the worst is always a possibility once he gets on the downward swing.

Hamilton’s struggles — of the life/career-threatening and the whipped-cream variety — have been covered countless times, but it is the height of hysteria to suggest a sudsy relapse (or what little we know of it) automatically dooms him to Houston’s fate. Yes, it is “a slippery slope”, one that’s been successful negotiated by persons famous and otherwise. You don’t need to be a Whitney Houston fan to blanch at her death being exploited in such sloppy, mawkish fashion. IF JOSH HAMILTON ISN’T CAREFUL HE COULD END UP DEAD DEAD DEAD LIKE WHITNEY.

Or he could end up like John Lucas. Or Robert Downey Jr.

Lin : The Pride Of (China’s) Communists & Christians Alike

Posted in Basketball, Religion, We Aren't The World at 2:28 pm by

Who amongst us hasn’t marveled at the improbable rise of Knicks PG Jeremy Lin and wondered, “I wonder what Joba Chamberlain thinks of all this?”. Yeah, me neither. Though Lin has been characterized as Taiwanese-American, the New York Times’ Keith Bradsher reports, “mainland China is already starting to claim him as its own, part of an incessant rivalry across the Taiwan Strait.”

Cai Qi, the organization chief for the Communist Party in Zhejiang, posted a message on his Twitter-like microblog over the weekend claiming that Lin’s ancestral home is Jiaxing, a city on the northeastern outskirts of Hangzhou where Lin’s maternal grandmother grew up.

Lin’s combination of success in the N.B.A. and strong Christian faith — he has spoken in the past of becoming a pastor someday — has fired the imagination of many Asian-American Christians. There are some early signs that he may also be catching the attention of Christians in China, who continue to face varying levels of persecution.

At the Zhejiang Theological Seminary here in Hangzhou, Professor Yan Ronghui said that she was planning to use Lin’s religious faith and basketball successes as a model for students in her course in “theological English” this semester.

Hu Shubang, a 25-year-old student at the seminary, said that Lin would become a natural symbol for Christians in China to use in seeking converts.

State news media have covered Lin’s basketball exploits heavily but avoided mentioning his faith, part of a broader pattern of omitting or censoring religious subjects.

Paging Grant Roberts

Posted in Baseball, twitter twatter at 2:24 pm by

It didn’t take long for the Oakland A’s’ glittering new free agent signing (or someone pretending to be him) to extend his entertainment skills to a new medium.


Arnovitz On The NBA’s Well-Intentioned, Though Awkward Attempt At Erasing “Gay” As A Slur

Posted in Basketball, Leave No Child Unbeaten, social crusaders at 7:17 pm by

We’re about 9 months past the premiere of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Network’s public service announcement that shows Phoenix Suns Grant Hill (above) and Jared Dudley scolding teens who use “gay” as a euphemism for lame. A hateful TV viewer like myself can’t help but poke holes in the spot, particular Hill’s salvo, “you’re better than that” (some kids aren’t better than that), while the more sophisticated Kevin Arnovitz of True Hoop admits to mixed feelings about the spot.

“It’s not difficult to imagine (kids) look at a spot like this one and react the way I did when I first saw “Reefer Madness” as a teen,” writes Arnovitz, who wisely decided to quiz Hill and Dudley about the PSA’s effectiveness.

Both players said the largest volume of feedback they’ve gotten has come on social media platforms.

“I can tell when it’s been aired,” Hill said because his Twitter mentions stream will fill up. “You get folks. Some appreciate, some negative stuff, too.”

Dudley, who spends a lot more time on Twitter than Hill, says he’ll inevitably get the “Hey, Jared, that commercial is gay,” when the spot airs.

Neither Hill nor Dudley has heard from gay teens who feel affirmed by the ad, or received any Atta Boys from players around the league.

“It’s not one of those things that’s discussed,” Hill said. “It’s not one of those things that’s, ‘Hey, what was it like doing that?’ Or, ‘What prompted you to do it?’ Or, ‘It was courageous for you to be a part of that.’ I haven’t gotten any of that.”

Hill isn’t self-congratulatory, but he uses proud and courageous as characterizations, markers that say less about Hill’s self-regard and more about how far the NBA still has to travel on the issue.

Mayweather & Mullet Alike, Not Quite Sold On Jeremy Lin

Posted in Basketball at 2:21 pm by

While hoops expert Floyd Mayweather considers Jeremy Lin the product of “hype” (“black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise”), Midwest Sports Fans’ Keith Mullet is equally skeptical about the Harvard-educated PG’s long term impact, suggesting that along with a number of other red flags (Mike D’Antoni being a lame duck, Carmelo Anthony being a selfish jerk), Lin simply isn’t that good. “Why did no one draft this guy? And why has it taken all this time for him to get on the court?” wonders Mullet, who places a tremendous amount of faith in the prognostication skills of basketball executives who made Kwame Brown, Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Joe Alexander first round picks.

I have to believe that the reason everyone passed on Jeremy Lin is that he really doesn’t have the necessary ability to start on an NBA team.

I know there are plenty of high profile draft busts and players who never pan out. NBA scouts and GMs aren’t infallible. But to think that not one GM thought this guy was good enough to draft has to say something about him, right?

I understand that Lin has had time to craft his game in Golden State and in the D-League. He’s certainly a better player now than he was coming out of Harvard. But let’s not forget that even the Knicks almost released Lin a few days before his recent explosion. Even D’Antoni didn’t predict this outburst. Which makes me think that this is just a hot streak against relatively weak competition.

Hot streaks always come to an end, and I’m afraid Jeremy Lin’s will follow suit.

If Lin beating the likes of Kobe Bryant and Ricky Rubio can be considered “weak competition”, can no allowances whatsoever be made for the fact he put the fucking team on his back? Denied the services of Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, Lin has won 5 straight with a supporting cast consisting of non-Springfield inductees Iman Shumpert, Steve Novak and Landry Fields. If wins over Golden State and Minnesota aren’t enough to convince you the Knicks are title contenders, that’s just as well. They’re not. But no one expected anything out of the point guard position this late in the year, and based on early returns, the otherwise mired-in-salary-cap-hell Knickerbockers have much more to look forward to than coaxing the defensively challenged Steve Nash into finishing his career at the Garden.

Dear Dateless Losers And/Or Persons With Excellent Taste

Posted in Austin, Rock Und Roll at 12:23 pm by

For starters, I don’t give a fuck whether you show up for Air Traffic Controllers (unless you’re the drummer, in which case it is greatly appreciated).  I only slightly care that you’re on hand for the terrific Simple Circuit or the newly expanded Zoltars quartet (new Sundae Records LP coming soon). But I care a whole lot about whether you can take time out of your Valentine’s Day to help Letha and Dan. If you’re one of the few people reading this that actually has romantic plans that don’t involve an old issue of Razzle, you can make a donation at melchiorfund.blogspot.com.

(ref : Next Saturday in NYC : Insanely Great Cake Shop Bill To Assist Letha Melchior Rodman, Jan. 17, 2011)


Don’t Tell Kirk Radomski There Are No Second Acts In American Life…

Posted in Baseball, Fitness, Medical Science at 11:12 pm by

…especially not when they are so easy to predict. 5 years removed from his role as a prominent source of incriminating info for the Mitchell Report, former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radmoski (above) and business partner Steve Cohen have introduced their own brand of dietary supplements. “I’m a convicted felon,” Radomski tells the New York Daily News’ Michael O’Keefe, “but that didn’t stop people from coming up to me and asking my advice.”

The partners say they hope new supplement company — EPSG (energy, performance, strength, growth) Labs — can provide a high-quality alternative to bottom-feeder companies that sell tainted supplements.

“I have to do everything right,” Radomski says. “With my background, everyone will be looking at me.”

Radomski says he developed the formulas for EPSG Labs’ first two products, the testosterone booster and a fat burner called “High Heat” through years of trial and error. He used to make supplements for the athletes and for his own personal use, he said, and says he perfected his formulas by tweaking ingredients and amounts until he found a winner.

His products won’t be for everyone — the testosterone booster includes DHEA, the legal steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland that is banned by the NCAA, the NBA, NFL and World Anti-Doping Agency (although not by Major League Baseball). The label warns that it could trigger positive drug tests.

What’s The Dim Sum Like In Miami? – Nevin Shapiro Curses The ‘Canes

Posted in College Spurts, The Law at 5:51 pm by

(image culled from Eye Of The Hurricane)

The last time University Of Miami super fan Nevin Shapiro was seen mentioned in this space, 2 Live Crew’s Luther Campbell was moved to stress the many ethical differences between himself and the convicted Ponzi schemer. Currently ensconced in the type of hotel where they don’t live mints by the pillow, Shapiro unloads to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson via email in a series of messages the latter claims, “paint the picture of a man determined to destroy the UM football program.”

“The public is going to hate me worse in the next coming months,” Shapiro, serving a 20-year sentence for a Ponzi scheme, wrote in numerous e-mails over the past few months. “It’s going to be severe and catastrophic. My feelings are getting inflamed and I’m going to pop off pretty soon with regards to them and the NCAA. I’m coming for them both [UM and former players] and I’m going to be successful.

“I’m taking that program down to Chinatown and the former players and links to that program. Why? Because the U.S. government lined up 47 former players to testify against me in open court if I went to trial. That in itself is motivation to shove it up their collective [butts].”

 Shapiro sounds like a desperate man, willing to say anything to exact revenge and still furious that “once the [ex-UM] players turned pro, they turned their back on me.” Incredibly, he says of himself, “I’m more of a victim than a Ponzi schemer and assailant.” The federal government doesn’t see it that way.

Toronto Scribe Makes The Startling Observation That Kobe Bryant Isn’t A Very Nice Person

Posted in Basketball at 12:51 pm by

The Raptors’ Sunday afternoon loss to the Lakers courtesy of a Kobe Bryant buzzer beater isn’t the sort of thing that you’d expect to result in a love letter from the local newspaper to the Black Mamba, but we’re rarely graced with such a negative character study as the one provided by The Star’s Cathal Kelly.  Of Kobe’s demeanor, treatment of opponents, teammates, fans and media, Kelly writes, “he has become a meta-presence in basketball…he exists above the game, and chooses only small, interesting moments when he wants to participate.” Which is a rather pithy way of saying he’s kind of a horrible human being.

Bryant is only barely a teammate. It would be more correct to call him a freelance contractor who happens to wear the same uniform as everyone else.

As mesmerizing as he is to watch on the ball, he’s also hypnotic without it. Whether up by 15 or down by four, his expression is exactly the same — a bored-looking smirk. The body language repeats the same thing over and over again: “Call me when this gets interesting.”

He oozes contempt — always for his opponents and often for his teammates. The Raptors start out each game with a ritualized series of lingering, full-body hugs. The Lakers barely look at each other before they wander individually onto the court.

That’s down to Bryant, who didn’t even bother to join his team on the court until after the anthems were played. That earned him a lusty cheer from his wannabe pals in the Toronto crowd. Bryant didn’t even look up.

It’s more than unfriendliness. It’s verging on incivility.

Here’s Bryant talking about the fortunate recipient of that late pass, Mr. World Peace.

“It gives him a good boost. It shows him that in those situations I have confidence in him. It’s a good momentum play for him.”

If that reads as condescending, let me assure you that it sounded far moreso.