02.12.12

Brooks On Brendan Shanahan, Appeaser Of Head Hunters

Posted in Hockey at 6:33 pm by

On Thursday, Tampa Bay’s Dominic Moore took the Rangers’ Rusian Fedotenko out of the lineup with the assault depicted above ; with the former escaping suspension, The New York Post’s Larry Brooks says of NHL player safety cop Brendan Shanahan, “you do have to wonder how different the NHL brand of justice would be if the chief disciplinarian were a former player whose career had been ended by a brain injury.”

Yup, it was the stick, not the shoulder that caused the injury. Nothing in the jurist’s manual about suspending a stick.

I’m fairly certain I saw something similar on “Law & Order” once where a woman was killed when hit by a car after being chased into the highway by a man carrying a gun, but in that case, the car wasn’t found guilty — the guy with the gun was convicted by Jack McCoy (or was it Ben Stone?).

The chance Moore’s act was unintentional and accidental is next to nil, given that he had been driven into the wall moments earlier by Fedotenko on the same shift, an act that could have drawn a boarding penalty without much cause for complaint from the Rangers.

Seconds after not getting the call, Moore put Fedotenko down at 3:05 of the third period as the Rangers player moved into a checking posture behind him in the circle while the puck was on another player’s stick.

Only an individual twisting himself into knots looking for coincidence would believe it was. This, by the way, is what it can look like when players police the game themselves, if those who call for vigilante justice are paying attention.

An Attempted Buzz-Kill Of Jeremy Lin

Posted in Basketball, Sports Journalism at 12:34 pm by

Buzz Bissinger penned “Jeremy Lin Already a Legend? Reality Checking the Hype” for Newsweek.com prior to the Knicks’ comeback victory over Minnesota last night, though if defeating Kobe Bryant didn’t impress the “Friday Night Lights” author, it’s doubtful his assessment of New York’s undrafted PG sensation would’ve changed much after beating Ricky Rubio.  And while I’m not compelled to debate Buzz’ claim that after 5 games, Lin is not yet worth of Hall of Fame induction, it’s Bissinger’s take on why Lin has been so widely embraced that harder to stomach.  If you’d like to call it Buzz’ McNabb/Limbaugh moment, please go right ahead. You don’t even need to credit me.

Because Lin is not black and not from Europe with a thick foreign accent, he fits a pervasive stereotype much closer to a white player than “the great yellow hope” pablum that too many writers and bloggers are trying to pedal. It is no mistake that he is being compared with the Denver Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow. Both are Christian. Both hold deep religious convictions and pray after games. Both sustain the belief of fans that professional athletes who are not African-American succeed because of hard work, struggling through adversity, and basically overcoming their physical deficits with nonstop determination. It is stupid, but so is life.

For the past 20 years, the NBA brass and fans have been craving a Great Hope, and Lin has become the latest candidate. Yes, he is Asian-American, and his ethnicity should not be mitigated. From what he said in an interview with Time, he took his share of shocking racial abuse when he played opposing Ivy League teams.

But I don’t think fans are going wild over him now because of his breaking the Asian-American pro-basketball barrier. They like him because he is talented and exciting, at least so far. They also like him because he is light-complected and in his Christian beliefs and prayer penchant, does echo much of white America.

As a Knicks fan who has suffered thru point guard play that has ranged from erratic to incompetent, some of us would’ve gone apeshit for Lin if his skin color was green and he told “Good Morning America” he was a practicing Satanist.  If Buzz wants to argue that 5 games is too thin a resume to call Lin a better undrafted free agent than Ben Wallace or John Starks, fine, he’s 100% correct.  But Starks was another (relatively) out-of-nowhere story that won over New Yorkers and he was neither Asian nor a loud Bible-thumper. 

If Buzz is simply sick of hearing about Jeremy Lin, alright, there’s enough other things happening in the sports world worthy of his commentary. What Bissinger cannot possibly deny is that a week ago, if you’d placed a sizeable bet on the Knicks going 5-0 without Carmelo Anthony or Amar’e Stoudemire, your family or friends would’ve had you institutionalized.  I’ll continue to bristle at the Tebow comparisons for one simple reason (and it isn’t because I have a rooting interest) ; unlike Tim Tebow, Jeremy Lin actually knows how to play his position at the professional level. 

02.11.12

Fired SD Sports Yacker To Women’s Hoops Analyst : Sorry I Compared You To Sasquatch

Posted in Sports Radio at 5:25 pm by

“I think she is currently a woman. I can’t confirm for you that she has been a woman her entire life. My guess is that at some point she had some form of surgery. Have you seen this chick?”

The above quote comes courtesy of former XX Sports Radio host Scott Kaplan (above) who found himself unemployed this week after his remarks about Mountain West TV broadcaster Andrea Lloyd received mass circulation. While Kaplan has publicly apologized, he took great pains to tell one media outlet, “we’re a ‘guy show,’ a locker room kind of show”. The North County Times’ John Maffei reminds us, “the recent controversy is the latest in a questionable history of events over the last decade.”

During the summer, Kaplan encouraged a woman who was threatening to jump off the Coronado Bridge to jump because his wife was stuck in a traffic jam and it meant he had to go pick up one of his children.

According to a UT San Diego article, a suit was settled in 2004 after Kaplan called a woman who had earlier had his car towed a “skank” on the air. The suit detailed derogatory and intimidating threats to the woman.

Reportedly, Kaplan asked the woman, “Do you know who I am? You’ve ruined my day, and I have 80,000 watts over which to broadcast your name.”

When Exactly, Did Ozzie Guillen Give Up On The 2011 White Sox?

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 2:15 pm by

With an impending appointment in Miami, it’s been suggested by at least one interested observer that former White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen had his mind somewhere else by the end of the 2011 campaign. However, in light of Guillen’s comments yesterday on a Chicago radio station, claiming Adam Dunn (above) looked utterly messed up from the start of spring training. So why, then, did O.G. pencil Dunn in the starting lineup, “often enough to come within six plate appearances of qualifying for the batting title?” wonders South Side Sox’s Jim Margalus.

If Guillen really knew this much, there would be no excuse for giving Dunn 496 plate appearances. Furthermore, it would also negate all the times Guillen said Dunn had to be in the lineup. In the beyond-all-repair state Guillen described, Dunn was essentially a crippled hitter, except he had no injury to send him to the DL.

Really, what Guillen is being accused of here is worse than anything Jake Peavy said. Intentionally placing a ruined player in the center of the lineup for 496 plate appearances and refusing all other alternatives goes beyond negligence and into a baseball equivalent of dereliction of duties.

I hate to nitpick with Margalus, but in fairness to Ozzie, the ESPN recap of his appearance on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” includes this gem : “Dunn got more time at first base and the outfield to perhaps prevent him from thinking too much about his at-bats on the bench as the DH.” Clearly, that’s an alternative approach — what better way to soothe the psyche of a player who is a liability at the plate…than by allowing him to flash the fielding skills the Gold Glove committee has mysteriously snubbed year after year?

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez Has Accomplished The Near-Impossible…

Posted in Football, Racism Corner at 1:42 pm by

…for one thing, he’s made Bill Belichick’s refusals to shake hands seem downright reasonable by comparison. More remarkably, he’s managed to generate near-universal empathy for a player wearing Manchester United jersey.

02.10.12

Move Over, Gisele – Nick Stevens Knows How To Deliver A Pats Autopsy

Posted in Free Expression, Gridiron at 6:15 pm by

If New England fans suffered (yet another) “punch to the dick”, it could be said that Sir Fitzy has dropped an anvil on the head of Eric Wilbur with this video.

Bob Raissman Humbly Suggests Brian Cashman Is Tougher To Laugh At Than Steve Phillips

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups, The Law at 5:42 pm by

In the aftermath of Brian Cashman’s zipper problems making headlines last week, might we reasonably expect the Yankee General Manager to become the target of cruel mockery, ala the treatment afforded former Mets executive Steve Phillips? Not if you consider which of the two philanderers is well-liked and which isn’t, or as the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman observes, “why risk being cut off by Cashman for discussing, or delving into, personal issues that ultimately could affect his job performance?”

So far Cashman has been the beneficiary of a relative code of silence. Talkies who crucified Phillips (even going so far as to evaluate his taste in women) have found other things to discuss. Columnists who referred to Cashman as the most valuable Yankees free agent have gone ostrich on the seamy, sordid story involving their anointed one.

Some of these scribes — and a few talkies, too — have professional relationships with Cashman, who is a valued source. Why jeopardize a longstanding alliance by shining more light on his liaisons with the credibility-challenged Neathway?

Sandy Alderson : Thrifty, Tech-Savvy Or Self-Aware?

Posted in Baseball, twitter twatter at 4:04 pm by

Or all of the above?

02.09.12

Bruins Netminder Will Not Be Goaded (Into Repeating What He’s Already Said On Facebook)

Posted in Free Expression, Hockey, Religion at 8:34 pm by

Weeks after Glenn Beck acolyte Tim Thomas skipped the Boston Bruins’ visit to the White House, the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy holder is in the news again after using his Facebook page to protest the federal mandate that requires faith-based organizations to pay for contraception for their female employees. Shortly after the Bruins were humiliated by the Sabres last night, Thomas grew impatient with the assembled media throng, who predictably, invited him to expand on his Facebook remarks.  From the Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy.

“It’s my personal life that has absolutely nothing to do with the Bruins or hockey and I’m going to use my right to remain silent,” said Thomas.

After giving several variations of that theme when he was repeatedly asked about it, he was reminded that Facebook is a public forum.

“You have the right to ask the questions but I have the right to not answer them,” said Thomas, who doesn’t believe that because he’s a public figure he must explain himself further.

“I don’t think that when you become an athlete that you sign away your right to be an individual and have your own views and post them on Facebook if you’d like.”

After the unproductive line of questioning continued, Thomas became irritated.

“We can do this every day, but from now on, the first question I’m asked about it, I’m done interviewing for that day,” said Thomas.

When asked if he regretted the posting, Thomas said, “I’m out. Peace.” And with that, he walked away from reporters.

The Fiver On Capello’s Embarrassing Exit

Posted in Football at 2:39 pm by

Following John Terry being stripped of his captaincy, Fabio Capello (above)  resigned as England manager yesterday, a move the Guardian’s Scott Murray suggests will receive a somewhat xenophobic spin, despite Capello’s genuinely impressive track record.

Capello recently went on holiday over the Christmas period! He speaks Italian! He doesn’t do chest-thumping passion! He hasn’t wasted one nano-joule of energy in buttering up the English press pack! And not once in his so-called career has he won the FA Cup, or pulled off an audacious relegation escape by signing Paul Kitson and John Hartson, even though he was the man who led his team into deep relegation trouble in the first place, or got a club relegated from the top flight after a 27-year residency, or proved himself to be a more successful boss than Jacques Santini and Christian Gross and Ossie Ardiles and Doug Livermore and Ray Clemence! So, no loss, then. Chancer. Foreign chancer. Bye!

Capello also had the bare-faced cheek to take umbrage at England’s finest puffed-up bureaucrats telling him how to go about his business. “The manager is the most important figure, but there are moments when the board and chairman have to step up to the plate, and when strong leadership is required,” explained FA chairman David Bernstein today, opening a press conference held amid the smouldering rubble of Wembley, during which he and FA Director of Something Adrian Bevington repeatedly paused awkwardly and stammered “you answer this one” to each other. Bernstein was, of course, referring to the issue of The Armband, ripped by said board from the biceps of Eejitry’s Brave John Terry, much to Capello’s annoyance.

Now, the Fiver accepts that going out to bat for EBJT might not have been the cleverest call in Capello’s career, unless he was deliberately trying to engineer an out. But as things stand, EBJT has yet to be proved guilty of That Charge, so Capello’s stance was, if not necessarily wise, then at least a legitimate one to take. Either way, it was undoubtedly a decision he was better equipped to make than the 14 men of the FA board, notwithstanding the fact that, according to Bernstein, these lads have “a high level of football expertise and a huge knowledge of the game”. (For the record, the 14 include Bernstein, who once gave the Manchester City manager’s job and a big pot of cash to Kevin Keegan; Dave Richards, who set Sheffield Wednesday trundling on their way from the Premier League to the third tier, and David Sheepshanks, who oversaw Ipswich Town’s brave march into Europe and then administration.)

Alderson : What Part Of We’re (Still) Broke Don’t You Understand?

Posted in Baseball at 1:49 pm by

With all due respect to the Boston Globe offering of “(‘Oil Can’) Boyd says he used cocaine with Red Sox”, the least eyebrow-raising headline of this week has to be the New York Post’s contribution ; “Alderson Says The Mets Are Standing Pat”.   With the Post’s Dan Martin doing everything possible to keep a straight face, Mets GM Sandy Alderson declares, “We’re pretty much there,” which makes plenty of sense if your idea of “there” is contending for a 5th place finish.

Alderson has at least postponed the search for a left-handed bat off the bench and regardless of whom he was thinking of bringing in, the starting outfield is expected to remain Jason Bay in left, Andres Torres in center and Lucas Duda in right, with Scott Hairston as the fourth outfielder.At the same time, Daniel Murphy talked about competing for the playoffs, a notion Alderson didn’t discourage.

“[He] has every reason to be optimistic,” Alderson said of Murphy. “There are unanswered questions on every team. It’s very important that they not be discouraged and they shouldn’t be. Some teams improved themselves on paper, like the Marlins and maybe Washington, but we can’t let that affect us.”

“I really believe we have a tremendous opportunity for improvement from within the organization,” Alderson said. “Nobody had a career year. And everybody — everybody — has something to prove and that can be a powerful component during the season.”

02.08.12

Stay Dead, John Condon : Will Ferrell’s NBA Public Address Announcing Debut

Posted in Basketball at 11:00 pm by

Trevor Ariza wins the “I don’t understand your obscure musical references” Facial Expression Of The Week Award.  Which reminds me, how can the Hornets or any other professional sports franchise hope to host an ’80′s Night without playing this classic?

Kendrick Perkins Is Not Comfortable Being The Frederic Weis Of 2012

Posted in Basketball at 8:35 pm by

OKC C Kendrick Perkins probably never imagined being dunked on by the Clippers’ Blake Griffin would elevate his profile like nothing else in his hoops career. It’s doubtful, given his competency as a defender, he ever envisioned his role in the monster slam being fodder for ridicule by peers, broadcasters and fans alike.  But that’s exactly the situation Perkins finds himself in, and in a frustrated rant to Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears, the former Celtic was in a frenzy of self-contradiction.

“If I was in the same position, in the same rotation, I’m going to jump again and again and again,” Perkins told Yahoo! Sports. “I don’t care. A lot of people are afraid of humiliation or don’t know how to handle embarrassment or would even get embarrassed. I don’t care.

“I’m the same Perk you’re going to see. I’m still going to sign autographs the same way. I ain’t going to change. The people that move out the way and stuff are the people who have insecurity problems.

“That’s my job. How will my teammates look at me if next time I just back out the way and just let him dunk when I’m supposed to be defensive-minded, a shot-blocker? That would be a coward move on me. He’d just have to dunk on me again.”

Along with blasting LeBron James for his enthusiastic response to Griffin’s dunk (“you don’t see Kobe [Bryant] tweeting…you don’t see Michael Jordan tweeting. If you’re an elite player, plays like that don’t excite you,”), Perkins insisted such incidents were “part of the game…you might get talked about. But who cares at the end of the day.”  Yeah, who indeed? Except it would seem Perkins cares quite a bit about this moment of infamy. At the end of the day, what’s worse, LeBron taking pleasure at another player’s misfortune, or said player critiquing James’ tweets?  Whatever reasons you might catalog for King James’s lack of rings, that he actually watches other teams’ games and finds them entertaining is not the most sensible one to cite.

If A Dude At Your Super Bowl Party Is Offended By David Beckham’s Crotch…

Posted in Football, Gridiron, non-sporting journalism, The Marketplace, twitter twatter at 3:07 pm by

…tell him to grow up and/or put down the smart (?) phone.  That’s the lesson we can take away from CNN contributor Roland Martin, who was suspended by the network today following a firestorm of criticism after a series of tweets on Super Bowl Sunday take exception to Beckham’s signature line of man-pants and/or pink attire at a football game.

Martin has tried to pass himself off as a soccerphobe rather than a gay basher, but unless you’re auditioning to become Jim Rome’s guest host, that’s a curious brand of damage control.  It’s far too easy for Martin to label himself an anti-bullying advocate when it’s clearly no big deal when he suggests — even in jest — that those with a Boner For Beckham deserve a beatdown.  With all due respect to the folks at It Gets Better,  it doesn’t necessarily get any better in the world of sophisticated adults employed by CNN.

02.07.12

Dead D’Antoni Walking : The Customers Is Always Wrong (If He Or She Is Booing Jared Jeffries)

Posted in Basketball at 7:19 pm by

A slight distracting from the continued ascension of PG Jeremy Lin was Knicks fans’ continued verbal abuse of Jared Jeffries during Monday’s win over Utah. Jeffries, who continues to struggle offensively from close range while performing much of the team’s dirty work on defense. is an undeserving target in the eyes of head coach Mike D’Antoni, as the New York Post’s Marc Berman explains.

“Indulge me for a second, anybody who boos Jared Jeffries has got to reexamine their life a little bit,” D’Antoni said following the Knicks’ 99-88 win over the Jazz at the Garden. “I love our fans and I like Madison Square Garden, the arena, but here’s a guy who came back to us, minimum contract. He could’ve gone to a lot of other teams. He plays as hard as anybody could possibly ever play, with injuries, everything you ask him. He takes every charge, every dirty play, every rebound. He works every second.”

“I’ll die for him,” an appreciative Jeffries  said. “I’ll leave blood on the court … because he’s the best coach in the NBA.’’

Fans are hard on Jeffries because he was a nonentity in his first stint after Isiah Thomas gave him the full mid-level exception in a $30 million deal. Jeffries was also the goat in the Game 2 loss in Boston in the playoffs for going up meekly and blowing a game-tying layup in the final seconds.

“There are people that look at that and go, ‘Well, I think I’ll boo him.’ I have a hard time believing that,” D’Antoni said.

Probably Not A Precusor To Madonna Covering NNB : SBXLVI’s Halftime Slackliner

Posted in Gridiron, The World Of Entertainment at 2:31 pm by

Instantly killing the growing urban legend Madonna’s tightrope artist from Sunday night was actually the little kid from “Bad Santa” all grown up, the New York Times’ Jere Longman profiles Andy Lewis, who “makes his living performing an extreme and obscure form of tightrope walking known as slacklining.”

Slacklining reached the Super Bowl about three decades after originating in Yosemite in the world of rock climbing. Frequently, it involves stretchy nylon webbing attached low to the ground between two trees. But the more adventuresome have branched into highlining (sometimes performing hundreds of feet above the ground), waterlining and tricklining, Lewis’s specialty.

He is said to be the first to complete a back flip on a slackline. He is definitely the first to complete a kiss on the cheek by Madonna at halftime of the Super Bowl on a slackline.

“The kiss was my idea,” said Lewis, who lives in Moab, Utah, a slacklining haven. “Madonna likes to present her show with some kind of meaning. I wanted the kiss to give me energy to perform tricks. She kissed me every day in rehearsal. I’ve been kissed by Madonna something like 27 times.”

Initially, Lewis said he had some reservations. Exactly how much slack would Madonna allow in this slacklining routine?

“I was afraid I would get bossed around,” he said. “But Madonna was so nice and friendly.”

Globe’s Wilbur To Lynch Mob : I’m Truly Sorry (That You’ve Slashed My Tires)

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 1:23 pm by

From the Boston Globe’s Eric Wilbur, February 6, 2012


What an embarrassment for the Patriots organization and Bob Kraft. So now the Giants have taken Lombardi from you twice, and you haven’t looked this bad in a playoff game since…well, two weeks ago against the Ravens. Maybe that moment will actually hit you as you’re whittling down water slides in South America looking like Prince Valiant this spring.

Your legacy has been stamped, but you’re turning your Joe Montana status into one of Jim Kelly. But, hey what you worry? There’s that new mansion in the “Names” pages to deal with.

That was Wilbur’s take on Tom Brady’s performance in Super Bowl XLVI, a somewhat hysterical, nearly Shaughnessey-level evisceration of the only New England QB to have won one Super Bowl, let alone three. After being pilloried throughout the blogosphere, Wilbur has today apologized (sort of), claiming “I never intended Sunday night’s column, written in the immediate aftermath of the Patriots’ loss, o garner quite the widespread attention – and negativity.” In other words, Wilbur had no idea whatsoever he was writing something kinda provocative that would be seen by anyone beyond his closest friends.

To the dozens who have pointed out my follically-challenged scalp (thanks, I hadn’t noticed), called me a hack, loser, or some other unprintable expletive, and even the tough guy who promised to put my head (that’s “cue ball” head, sir) through a wall if he spotted me in Boston, consider this my repentance.

I still think Tom Brady was most at fault for the loss, but it wasn’t directly because of the safety as I noted. Granted, it did lead to forcing the defense on the field for most of the first quarter, but it wasn’t the quarterback who happened to be the 12th man on the field. I didn’t take into account how hurt he might have been when he tremendously underthrew that ball to Rob Gronkowski, but if he knew he was hurting, his decision-making process there should have been better. Yes, Wes Welker should have caught the ball, but it also could have been thrown with more accuracy. Again, I didn’t take into account how Brady’s possible injury may have affected his performance.

But rational thinking doesn’t come to head in such a moment, and frankly, that was my intention; to present the knee-jerk reactions of what the fan base had to be feeling at that very moment. As it turned out, there was little anger directed toward the Patriots. Disappointment, yes, but the anger was at a minimum.

That, apparently, was reserved for me.

02.06.12

John Rocker Insists, “The Unedited Me Is Slightly Less Hateful”

Posted in Baseball, non-sporting journalism, Racism Corner at 10:14 pm by

Of Danny McBride’s comic creation Kenny Powers, former Braves closer John Rocker insists, “It’s about me. It is. The guy wears 49, is a Braves pitcher, he’s a bit of a hothead. It’s kind of obvious.” Continuing on a promo tour of television stations to promote his new tome, Scars & Strikes, Rocker continues to blame  Jeff Pearlman for his rotten reputation, claiming the Sports Illustrated scribe / author is prone to “vilifying every subject he encounters.”  And some of ‘em don’t give Pearlman nearly so much to work with!  From WXIA Atlanta (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory):

Jaye Watson asked, “Do you blame him completely for the article for you looking like a racist and a homophobe?”

“Absolutely,” said Rocker.

Watson replied, “So none of it was your fault? Nothing that you said?”

Rocker answered, “If the article was 20 pages long and my long winded commentary had been included in its entirety, the opinion of me today would be drastically different.

Rocker uses his book to make clear his views on immigrants. He writes that he welcomes those who are legal, who want to assimilate, learn english and adapt to american culture. But he also says, “If you are that kind of immigrant that comes here, looking to exploit, looking to take advantage, not looking at any way shape or form to endear yourself to this great country. I don’t appreciate you.”

Rocker launched a ‘Speak English’ campaign, t shirts included. He said a trip to Miami frustrated him. “I went to a Starbucks, tried to simply order coffee. The person was literally insisting I order my coffee in spanish. I was like ‘I could do it’, but I’m not going to.”

Prokhorov : If I Beat Putin, I’ll Sell The Nets

Posted in Basketball, politics at 8:43 pm by

Though chances are extremely slim that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov (above, left) will defeat Russian President Vladmir Putin next month, if the former pulls off an upset greater than retaining Deron Williams his team making the playoffs, he promises he’ll sell the franchise. From Bloomberg News’ Jane Rudintsky and Ilya Arkhipov ;

“I’ll sell everything, all my assets when I become president and donate almost all of the money to charity,” Prokhorov said during a talk show with fellow candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky that was broadcast on state-run television.

Prokhorov, who owns the New Jersey Nets basketball team in the U.S. and stakes in Russian metals companies United Co. Rusal (486) and Polyus Gold International Ltd., said he’d need the remaining $1 billion for personal expenses after life in the Kremlin.

“I’ll need something to live on,”
Prokhorov, 46, said
.

Bitter Mets Deny Megdal Regular Access To Terry Collins’ Intensity

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 12:38 pm by

(though he’s persona non grata with Sandy Alderson, we’ll have to hope Howard is still in the good graces of Sandy The Seagull.  Image swiped from Pick Me Up Some Mets)

Sporstwriter / author Howard Megdal has used a variety of platforms to tweak the New York Mets over the years, but upon taking over the Hudson Journal’s LoHud Mets Blog, he’s essentially assumed the role of a beat reporter — the same role Peter Abraham fulfilled covering the Yankees for the same publication prior to helming the Boston Globe’s Red Sox coverage.  So despite what you might think of Megdal’s prior endeavors writing for such obscure outlets as ESPN.com or The New York Times, he’s obviously gone legit and is fully deserving of media credentials next season at Citi Field, right?  Not after the Mets’ all-too-prickly ownership & management checked out his most recent book, claims Megdal.

Last week, my editor Sean Mayer received a call from Jay Horwitz, the Director of Media Relations for the New York Mets, telling him that while the Journal News can continue to receive credentials, the Mets would not be credentialing me.

Sean asked why that was, and Jay responded that the Mets “don’t like my reporting”. The team declined to respond to my multiple attempts to reach them for a fuller explanation.

But I don’t think much investigation is required. As of the final game of last season, I was credentialed. I participated in a conference call with Sandy Alderson in December.

Later in December, Wilpon’s Folly was published. The book details the financial and legal problems facing Met ownership due to their investments with Bernie Madoff. The book was no surprise to the Mets- I reached out to them once I was asked to write the book by Bloomsbury, and spoke many times on background to multiple people within the organization about all specific reporting within the book.

The book’s reporting, incidentally, has not been challenged. It has been reinforced by subsequent articles in The New York Times, Adam Rubin at ESPN.com, and numerous other places. The only response the Mets have provided is to attack me personally.

The Mets can’t very well keep out Adam Rubin, whose right to be in the clubhouse is guaranteed by his membership in the Baseball Writers Association of America. Though I am a full-time sportswriter as my profession, I am ineligible for the BBWAA because I make my living through regular, part-time gigs, not a single, full-time one. So the team is lashing out where it can.

The NY Knicks Marketing Dept., Striking While The Iron’s Hot

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 11:33 am by


The above is image taken from Michael Gluckstadt‘s Twitter feed.  After a career night against the Nets Saturday, perhaps we can assume the e-mail solicitation means Jeremy Lin is Mike D’Antoni’s starting point guard Monday evening. Either that or it makes a catchier solicitation than “15,000 Steve Novak Fans Can’t Be Found Wrong”

02.05.12

If There’s A Spike In Domestic Violence Cases Throughout New England Tonight…

Posted in "Wife Beater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Gridiron at 11:24 pm by

…you can’t blame Wes Welker. Lest you believe tonight’s heroics of Eli Manning and Mario Manningham are a prelude to wife-beating in towns from Foxboro to Fitchburg, The Guardian’s Michael Solomon reminds us the decades old claim that “Domestic Violence Is Highest on Super Bowl Sunday”, in not based in truth.

How did shoddy science about such an important topic come to be so widely reported? Christina Hoff Sommers retraced the story in her book Who Stole Feminism? In 1993, a few days before Super Bowl XXXVII, a network of women’s groups held a press conference in Pasadena, California, to announce that Super Bowl Sunday was “the biggest day of the year for violence against women.”

Citing several studies—including one by Old Dominion University—and backed up by a representative by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), there was enough anecdotal evidence on the topic to inspire newspaper stories and TV segments. Within days, the New York Times sports columnist Robert Lipsyte referred to the game as “Abuse Bowl” and Good Morning America did a piece connecting the game to violence against women.

Later that week, Ken Ringle, a reporter for the Washington Post, looked into the evidence behind this “day of dread” and found that none existed. The Old Dominion study actually contradicted the reported findings of spousal abuse, and other sources denied similar facts that were attributed to them.

Retractions connecting the Super Bowl and domestic violence were printed, but nearly 20 years later, the myth lives on.

Dissed By The Hooded Casanova, Tiquan Underwood Plans To Celebrate Super Bowl Sunday…

Posted in Gridiron, twitter twatter at 6:29 pm by

…just like any number of other friendless schlubs.  USA Today’s Mike Foss on Tiquan Underwood’s method of keeping his chin up after being cut by New England on the eve of Super Bowl XLVI.

The former New England wide receiver told Mashable in an interview Sunday that he planned to live-Tweet the entire game.

“It won’t get in-depth as far as what happened in practice and stuff like that,” Underwood said. “But it will basically be comments on the game, only from someone who will obviously have a bit more knowledge about it than a regular fan.”

The team released Underwood in favor of adding another defensive lineman to their Super Bowl rotation. After the Patriots’ decision, Underwood has gained over 5,000 new followers on Twitter and has posted several upbeat Tweets in the hours leading up the game.

The Post-Gene Upshaw NFLPA Vs. Mitch Daniels

Posted in Gridiron, politics at 5:43 pm by

““You have these moments where sports intersects with politics, intersects with race, and you can have conversations with people who might not normally have those conversations.” Those are the  words of San Francisco State professor Larry Solomon, quoted by Colorlines.com’s Jamilah King, who considers the NFLPA opposition to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ Right To Work legislation a watershed occasion “in publicly bridging the gap that exists between the NFL’s multibillion dollar teams and its increasingly marginalized fan base”

On January 6, 2012, the NFLPA released a damning letter in opposition to the Indiana’s bill, which has since moved quickly through the state’s legislature.

“‘Right-to-work’ is a political ploy designed to destroy basic workers’ rights. It’s not about jobs or rights, and it’s the wrong priority for Indiana,” the statement read. “It is important to keep in mind the plight of the average Indiana worker and not let them get lost in the ceremony and spectacle” of the Super Bowl.

The statement was hugely important, considering what’s at stake for Indiana’s workers, particularly black ones. Black workers are disproportionately union members. They’re more likely than whites, Asians, and Latinos to be in public-unions, and make up 15 percent of total membership, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Historically, unions have been crucial gateways for black workers to earn higher wages and break into the middle class.

There are currently 22 states in the country that have the law, mostly in the South and in western states like Wyoming and Utah. Indiana’s bill, which the state Senate passed this week and Gov. Daniels has already vowed to sign into law, is unique because it will be the first the law that’s been put into action in an industrialized area with a large, unionized workforce.

“I don’t think it was surprising, but I think it’s important,” said Washington State University professor David Leonard about the NFLPA’s statement.

02.04.12

The Saddest Super Bowl Party Of All-Time…

Posted in Food, Gridiron at 6:24 pm by

….is happening on the corner of Lafayette and Howard Streets tomorrow afternoon.