Lawrence : Bobcats Likely To Suffer Another 3-4 Years Of MJ’s Pseudo-Leadership

Posted in Basketball at 6:58 pm by

(above : Jordan’s decision to squander a no. 1 pick on “Workaholics” fixture Uncle Blazer is just one of his many personnel mistakes)

Along with advising the done-for-2012 Jeremy Lin to be more open with the media about his physical condition — “where does he think ‘Linsanity’ started, anyway?”  (I’d say Twitter) —  the New York Daily News’ Mitch Lawrence reports Bobcats owner Michael Jordan recently instructed GM Rich Cho to prepare for “rebuilding,” with plans to bail on Charlotte in the not so distant future.

“I told Rich to make us better,” Jordan told one associate recently. “If that doesn’t work and I can’t make a profit in the next three to four years, then I’m selling.”

This is a change of plans for Jordan, who over almost the past year has been seeking a buyer to purchase half the team. The Bobcats lost $20 million last season and they’re headed for more big losses this season.

Jordan’s decision to give the assignment of rebuilding to Cho means that Rod Higgins, his long-time president of basketball operations who goes back to when he ran the Wizards, is on the outs. Jordan told Cho, the Thunder’s former assistant GM who arrived in Charlotte last June, to “follow the Oklahoma City model.” (good luck with that, because there was some major luck involved in Oklahoma City’s ascension to the top of the Western Conference).

Because Jordan has been such a failure as an owner — even drawing rare criticism recently from his best pal, Charles Barkley — there will be plenty of fans in Charlotte who hope this next rebuilding campaign is a flop. Just so that he sells and gets out of town.

The Mysterious Randy L. Of The Bronx Continues To Torment NYC Merchants & Service Providers

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression, New York, New York, The Marketplace at 3:52 pm by

Stephon Marbury : (CBA) Champion

Posted in Basketball at 3:07 pm by

OK, in the overall scheme of things, Coney Island product Stephon Marbury winning his first title since high school might seem less impressive than say, actually winning an NBA playoff series.  But considering the marketing stunt-vibes many of us caught from Marbury’s recent seasons in the Chinese Basketball Association, who’d begrudge Marc Berman’s greatest source of material for what sounds like a happy ending?  Despite averaging 33.4 and 6 assists points for Beijing in the 5 game CBA finals defeat of Guangdong, Marbury was denied the playoff MVP trophy due to a rule that limits said award to Chinese players,  a circumstance Sheridan Hoops’ Guan Weijia claims fails to trouble Mike D’Antoni’s former nemesis.

“This is the league of Chinese, it was reasonable that they wanna to issue the MVP to Chinese players. I did not care for the MVP trophy, but did for the championship. That’s what I have dreamed about for years since my childhood,” the 35-year-old Marbury said.

“I was standing on the opposite side of the whole world,” Marbury said of his move to China three years ago. “There wasn’t anybody who believed in me in the U.S., they all said something just like: ‘He wouldn’t pass the ball to anyone on the court’, or ‘He wasn’t able to integrate into any team’. So I didn’t tell them that I had decided to play in China, because I know if they were informed of it, there shouldn’t be any positive report. They would say: “He just wants to sell his shoes in China.’ ”

But in China, Stephon was popular for his professional demeanor as he was for his two All-Star appearances. Said Li Ke, Marbury’s former teammate who is now a coach: “Many American players who have played in NBA were arrogant in China, they would have been absent on the training sessions for multiple reasons. But Stephon won’t, he will try his best every time.”

Marbury coined a nickname “Evil Genius” for his head coach, Min Lulei: “Because every time he said the training will last for 90 minutes, in fact it would be at least two hours.”


Non-Metallic K.O. Is Once Again, A Free Agent

Posted in non-sporting journalism, politics, Sports TV at 5:10 pm by

Former “SportsCenter” anchor Keith Olbermann has been relieved of his duties at Current TV, less than a year after he made his debut on the little-watched cable/satellite channel. Following a prior falling out at MSNBC, Olbermann’s termination at Current seems to center on his less-than-enthusiastic participation in the channel’s 2012 election coverage, though as you’d expect, Keith’s got his side of the story, too.

I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV.

Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring Al Gore and Joel Hyatt to resolve our issues internally, while I’ve been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff.

Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract.

It goes almost without saying that the claims against me implied in Current’s statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently. To understand Mr. Hyatt’s “values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty,” I encourage you to read of a previous occasion Mr. Hyatt found himself in court for having unjustly fired an employee. That employee’s name was Clarence B. Cain.

In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out. For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one. That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it.

Brad Pitt Won’t Star In The Movie : Former Dodgers Prospect Bene Busted For Karaoke Krimes

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 4:46 pm by

“Intellectual property crimes are not victimless,” declared U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr., though if we’re talking about a bootlegged karaoke version of Muse’s “Uprising”, pseudo-intellectual might be closer to the truth. The Contra-Costa Times reports former LA Dodgers first round pick Bill Bene plead guilty yesterday to charges of operating a counterfeit karaoke business, as well as evading taxes on the proceeds.

Bene, 44, of Pasadena signed an agreement with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to two counts charging him with criminal copyright infringement and filing a false tax return, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A date for the guilty plea to be heard is expected to be set April 30.

According to the agreement, Bene sold illegal karaoke jukeboxes between 2006 and 2010 and did not report more than $600,000 in sales to the Internal Revenue Service.

Bene further acknowledged that during those years, he illegally copied and sold karaoke songs on hard drives containing about 122,000 titles each, prosecutors said.

Bene also admitted that he did not tell the IRS about the business, even going so far as to ask the IRS in 2008 for relief from back taxes because he claimed that he could not afford to pay.

Martino : Mets Mulled Dumping Big Pelf

Posted in Baseball at 12:47 pm by

While the Mets’ 9-1 defeat of Houston last night marked the end of Livan Hernandez’ tenure with the Astros, New York starter Mike Pelfrey’s 6.1 IP of one-run baseball might either be his last solid showing in blue & orange, or perhaps a new lease on life. The New York Daily News’ Andy Martino reports the cost-conscious Mets have weighed waiving Pelfrey before the start of the 2012 season, though he’s quick to point out, “none of the uniformed staff was in favor of the idea.” So it’s good to know Terry Collins doesn’t attend such meetings in the nude.

One team official characterized the recent discussion about cutting Pelfrey as “just what you do in meetings, throwing (stuff) against the wall, and we throw a lot of (stuff) against the wall,” and went on to predict that Pelfrey would have a strong year for the Mets.

But still: The very consideration of releasing Pelfrey and replacing him in the starting rotation with Chris Schwinden strongly suggests that club brass is not enamored of the seventh-year Met, who might very well be in his final season with the team — if he remains in New York for that long.

As for the suggestion of releasing Pelfrey, part of the idea was the pitcher’s non-guaranteed contract. If the Mets cut him before Opening Day, they will owe him roughly $1 million of the $5.68 million he will be paid this season.

In the recent meeting, some in the front office wondered if that money would be better spent bolstering the Mets’ 2012 roster depth, with Schwinden in the rotation in place of Pelfrey. Schwinden remains in major-league camp, surviving another round of roster cuts on Thursday.

The Mysterious Randy L.’s Yelp Reign Of Terror Continues

Posted in Baseball, Food, Free Expression at 11:23 am by


Jim Rome’s Survival Depends On A New Breed Of Desperate Attention-Seekers

Posted in Sports TV at 11:50 pm by

Fuck off, Dan Shaughnessy! Take a hike, Roger Lodge!  Jim Rome’s new CBS Sports chat show debuts next Tuesday and the former ESPN fixture tells USA Today’s Michael Hiestand, “the challenge now is that it’s such a battle to be seen and heard these days.”  Well, yeah, especially when current and/or former sportwriters screaming at each other is considered a superior ratings draw.

“Guys are less and less inclined to say things. They’re more careful. The stakes are much higher,” he said. “The second something’s said, it’s viral. People want to protect their brand.”

That can be boring to watch. (ED. NOTE  – NO FUCKING SHIT) So rather than having regular interviews like on his old ESPN2 show, Rome’s Los Angeles area-based ROME will sometimes bring on bloggers — “No need to throw out an interview just to suck up five minutes each day” — who’ll presumably have more to gain by trying to grab attention. (Funny if one somehow taunted Rome into, a la Jim Everett, flipping over a table.)

Carl Pavano’s Mustache Just Demanded A Trade From His Face

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups, The Law at 1:48 pm by

No one can accuse Twins SP Carl Pavano of having an uninteresting life.  The former Yankee underachiever who resurrected his career in the Twin Cities was allegedly the target of an extortion scheme engineered by a former high school classmate who threatened to reveal details of an “emotional and physical relationship” between the two. From The Record Journal’s Jesse Buchanan and Richie Rathsack :

In the affidavit, Pavano’s sister, Michelle DeGennaro, said Christian Bedard, 36, of Southington, was “attempting to extort monetary funds for his fabricated, false information” and that he believes he can hold the Pavano family “hostage” with the information.

“The only way your brother is getting out of this… is with a heart-felt apology and a navy Range Rover with tan leather,” Bedard said in one message to DeGennaro.

Police seized a laptop and a journal from Bedard’s Hunting Hill Drive home last Wednesday, but have not charged him with any crime. The warrant allowed police to seize documents naming Pavano and any computers used to send Facebook messages. It stated materials collected would constitute evidence in an investigation into second-degree harassment and first-degree criminal attempt to commit larceny.

Bedard told DeGennaro that he had a $1.2 million book deal. “That is my best offer, an apology and a Land Rover and I’ll kill the project,” Bedard wrote.

In a later message, Bedard said he rescinded the offer and said “the book is the best deal.” He also mentions his mother Elaine Bedard’s political connections and the fact that she is a local police commission member.

“What’s even better is my mom’s the police commissioner and there is an open file on you already,” Bedard said to DeGennaro in a Facebook message, according to the affidavit. Elaine Bedard, who is also Democratic town chairwoman, said Monday that she has nothing to do with the police investigation, which police confirmed.

The publisher of Bedard’s book has yet to be identified, but I’m a little skeptical there’s anyone out there willing to pay for a volume entitled “I Had Sex With Carl Pavano (And I’m A Man)”.   And when you’re done laughing at this case, please spare a thought for the real victim, who will have to spend far too much time explaining he never went to high school with Carl Pavano.

Lamar Odom is Totally Unbreakable (Unless You Dare to Boo Him or Criticize His Terrible Stats)

Posted in Basketball at 12:25 pm by

Let’s get the “pointing out the painfully obvious” portion of this whole thing out of the way first.  The Kardashians may very well be the seldom-awknowledged Eighth Seal that foretells the impending apocalypse.  And yes, I totally watch their shows.  I am part of the problem, not part of the solution.  While it’s a distinction similar to being called The Coolest Guy at a Creed Meet and Greet, Khloe Kardashian seems to be the most palatable of the klan. And, please forgive me for typing these words, Lamar Odom comes off as a genuinely likable guy on the show.  So why do I, like all Mavs fans, wish only a lifetime of dysentery on long haul international flights upon him?

Because he sold his soul for cheap, tacky reality TV show fame.  He took a reasonably respectable 12 year career in the NBA, wrapped it in a dirty sock and flung it into the murkiest river he could find.  I know it’s nearly impossible to believe this but this is the same guy who scored 30 points and had 12 rebounds in his NBA debut game.  Dude is, or was, skilled.  While he’s never made the All-Star team, his name is floated around every season.   He might even have a point when he says that he was snubbed in 2011.  Hey, at least he became the first Laker to win the Sixth Man of the Year award that year, right?

Then came reality TV.  No, he didn’t do the kind of reality TV where you eat bugs or sleep on a really uncomfortable mattress in a haunted house.  He did the worst kind.  He did the kind where everyone in the world sees you laying in bed, unwrapping and eating  an endless stream of mini Baby Ruths while your fameball wife talks to you in her baby voice.  Understandably, there’s been a Kardashian backlash as of late.  Apparently, people aren’t as into an unbridled celebration of all things vapid and foundation-caked as they used to be.  Or they ran out of “big ass” jokes.  So when it was announced that Odom was coming to Dallas, he was already a dead man walking.

And it wasn’t just the TV show stuff.  Mavs fans needn’t have a long memory to recall that Odom was ejected from Game 4 of the Mavs-Lakers playoff series for a flagrant foul on the beloved Dirk Nowitzki.  It got overshadowed by the much more flagrant-y foul Andrew Bynum committed on JJ Barea a few minutes later.  But Mavs fans remember that shit.  While Bynum’s foul was inexcusable, it was committed in the waning moments of the Lakers, the LA Fucking Lakers, getting swept by the Dallas Mavericks.  To add insult to injury, Barea was lighting up the Lakers defense all while being barely tall enough to ride a roller coaster at Six Flags.  But Odom’s foul was just so Odom-esque.  It was a big, dumb, slow, whiney, pointless flagrant foul.

So to hear Lamar Odom say that it hurts when he’s boo’ed on his home court is frankly laughable.  You had the deck stacked against you, sure.  But you did the stacking.  You allowed yourself to become a laughing stock on television each week.  You allowed that show to prove that you didn’t train during the lockout.  The only option you had was to come to town and prove to the Lakers that they never should have let you go, just like teenage girl on a revenge diet after a break up.  And you did the furthest thing from that.  You whine constantly.  You put up one point, one rebound and one assist against your former team.  Which is actually better than your stats from Sunday’s game against Houston where you managed to pick up two fouls on your way to a breathtaking two rebounds and zero points.  You’ve shown nothing but apathy bordering on contempt for your new team.  You cry like a baby because you miss your LA buddies.  And you’re “confused and hurt” about why you’re getting boo’ed on your own court?

According to some, Kobe misses your scent (no really, you have a scent) and is trying to get the band back together.  I pray for your sake and the collective sake of all Dallas Mavs fans that this comes true.  Until then, just close your eyes and dream of all the candy beans you’ll be eating back on the West Coast with your besties.


If Masturbating To A Cartoon Seagull Is Wrong…

Posted in Baseball, Going To The Zoo, Gridiron, Religion at 9:22 pm by

…SKIP BAYLESS DOESN’T WANNA BE RIGHT (image courtesy Brooklyn Cyclones)

Every Man Has His Price : Mark Cuban Says David Stern’s Is $25 Million

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 3:40 pm by

Sincere apologies to Ted DiBase for the above headline. Barcelona excepted, jersey sponsorships are no-big-deal in professional soccer, and in some instances are a life saving cash cow. With that mind, how long before we see World Metta Peace’s LA jersey hawking Call Of Duty IV?   The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Dwain Price reports the NBA Board Of Governors will meet next month to deliberate selling ad space on jerseys, a concept the Owner With A Boner could not be more excited about.

“If the amount’s enough, David (Stern) will jump up and down,” Mark Cuban said. “He’s not going to do it for $200,000 from Power Balance, but if somebody offers us $25 million, it’s done.

“We just have to work out the split with all the teams so everybody gets the benefits.”

The ad idea would help some teams balance their books, and possibly help them pursue a free agent.

“It’s not going to be Go Daddy,” Cuban said. “But for $25 million, Go Daddy can be on my tush. But it’s not going to replace Dallas or Mavericks.”

Nowitzki said that the ad idea is very normal where he was born and raised.

“I think in soccer, that’s normal,” Nowitzki said. “Everybody has their main sponsors on the jerseys.

“That’s why the sponsors put their money into it, because they want to be visible. And what more visible spot than on a jersey?”

Frank McCourt – The Luckiest Parking Lot Owner Of All Time

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 1:46 pm by

As you’ve probably heard elsewhere, a group fronted by Magic Johnson and including Stan Katsen and Peter Gruber have reached an agreement (pending MLB approval) to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion. While any circumstance that removes Frank McCourt (above, left) from the picture (save for the Chavez Ravine parking lots) would otherwise be a cause for celebration amongst Dodger fans, there’s something thoroughly unpleasant about McCourt being so richly rewarded for doing everything in his power to ruin the franchise.  Mike Onzanian of Forbes states that if the sale goes thru, McCourt will be go down as “the most financially successful owner of a team in Major League Baseball history,” status Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra admits is “basically correct,” but “still horribly troubling”.

Troubling in that it makes us realize the tremendous disconnect between what baseball owners are interested in — getting a return on their investment — and what fans and players and everyone else in the baseball universe care about. A broader form of success either from winning ballgames or, at the very least, from an enjoyable product being put on the field or on our televisions, computers and radios.

I have my opinions, obviously, but I try not to be an overly judgmental person. Frank McCourt has made that pretty damn difficult in the past few years, because if there is anyone who deserves a good judging, it’s him.  He’s not gonna get it though.  He’.s going to walk away richer than he was when he walked in.


Stan Van Gundy Thinks Raptors Fans Are A Little Too Obsessed With Pizza

Posted in Basketball, Food at 5:39 pm by

While watching Orlando’s blowout win over Toronto Monday night, I was struck by the amount of noise generated by the Air Canada Centre crowd, despite the game being well into garbage time. “Who says Toronto’s not a basketball town?” I thought, until it was helpfully explained the locals’ reaction had more to do with a free pizza promotion that kicked in once the Raptors cracked the 100 point threshold (win or lose). After listening to Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy’s take on the situation, The National Post’s Eric Koreen sighs, “that we are even discussing this just demonstrates that we are going through another fairly awful season..this screams Raptors in every possible way.”

“I mean, everybody’s on their feet, standing ovation and the whole thing and then a guy in the crowd next to me sitting baseline said everybody gets a free pizza, so I guess that was exciting,” Van Gundy said. “That was the loudest the crowd was all night. They were into that. That was a big basket by Ed Davis.

“They’re going to put that on the highlight film at the end of the year. I was like, ‘Wow, what happened, I thought they had like an 18-point play and tied the game or something.”

At that point, Van Gundy was informed the fans did not get an entire pizza; just a slice.

“Really? We got a standing ovation for a slice? They told me they got a free pizza. A slice? A slice you have to sit in your seat and clap; you can’t stand up on a slice, that’s bad etiquette.”

Barton’s Twitter Sabattical : Daily Mail’s Williamson Writes, “Don’t Hurry Back”

Posted in Football, twitter twatter at 12:51 pm by

Joey Baton of relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers decided to take a break from his Twitter addiction last week, possibly due to pressure from the club, more likely because he’s fallen deeply into disfavor with R’s fans who booed him unmercifully during last week’s 3-2 home defeat of Liverpool. Though acknowledging Barton in recent years has added activism and a political conscience to a resume that previously included acts of public thuggery, the Daily Mail’s Laura Williamson would undoubtedly like to see Barton disappear from the social networking platform altogether, writing, “Barton comes across as a mean, dislikeable individual; the classic playground bully who revels in snide ripostes and stamping on those with a lower profile — simply because he can.” Which is a very long-winded way of saying he’s really good at making Piers Morgan cry.

Barton’s behaviour was particularly despicable when he insulted Neil Warnock earlier this year. The former QPR boss said owner Tony Fernandes had been ‘slowly poisoned from outside the club and no doubt from within the club as well’. Barton responded by telling Warnock to ‘shut it’, calling him ‘embarrassing’ and comparing him to Mike Bassett, a fictional football manager and a figure of fun.

‘If I talked about Neil, he’d do well to get another job,’ added the player Warnock made captain of QPR after Newcastle United were so desperate to get rid of him they let him leave for free.

It was unprofessional and smacked of ingratitude, but it was typical of the way Barton responds to those who hit back. He simply dismisses them with utter contempt.

‘Spineless maggots’ was the phrase he used to describe two journalists who dared to criticise him. ‘Numpty’ was another example. The fans who have paid good money to watch a string of average performances at Loftus Road from QPR’s No 17 this season are ‘bells’ and ‘trolls’.

As Barton himself has noted, form is temporary but class — or lack of it — is permanent. For all his highfalutin talk about freedom of speech and his undoubted intelligence, his responses are consistently shallow and insulting.

Callan : Unlike ATL, Shea Gave Chipper Undivided Attention

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 12:29 pm by

(the Atlanta third baseman explains to a young fan that the latter’s mother wearing orange shorts is not nearly enough to establish paternity)

You’d think a world class athlete like the soon-to-retire Chipper Jones would be able to tune out the odd chant of “LA-RRY, LA-RRY”, particularly as he’s long been replaced as Public Enemy No.1 in the hearts of Mets fans by their own club’s owner. However, appearances sometimes deceive, and Amazin’ Avenue’s Matthew Callan contends that Chipper isn’t quite so simple (“perhaps Chipper simply has something in his soul that craves animosity?”), and I’m willing to indulge any argument more sophisticated than my own (ie. the paucity of Hooter’s locations in the NYC metropolitan area makes him edgy).

I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason the Mets became Chipper’s target is because they offered him something he could not get in Atlanta: a spotlight all to himself.

As good and as popular as Chipper was, at the height of Atlanta’s dynasty he took a backseat in most fans’ minds to the Braves’ historically great rotation of John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Greg Maddux (and Steve Avery, briefly). Apart from his MVP year of 1999, Chipper was never seen as the primary reason the Braves won, his year-in year-out consistency less noticeable than their pitching staff’s dominance. There’s also the fact that Braves themselves took a backseat in local fans’ minds, their yearly clinching more expected than treasured. Even in 1999, when the Braves were playing their most hated rivals in the NLCS, they had a very hard time selling out Turner Field.

I think Chipper arrived at his dislike for the Mets and its fans organically. However, I also think that once he tasted the attention this brought him, once he realized how he could toy with the emotions of a jam-packed, screaming, swaying Shea Stadium, he found this offered him something he did not have in Atlanta. When he came to Queens, all eyes were on him in a way they weren’t at Turner Field, even if all those eyes were staring daggers at him.


The Carnegie Deli’s Salutes Tebow WIth An Insult To NYC Sandwich Tradition

Posted in Food, Gridiron, New York, New York at 10:53 pm by

Jets backup QB Tim Tebow received high marks for not turning today’s introductory press conference into a revival meeting or faith healing exhibition, but that doesn’t mean the 24 Year Old Virgin has escaped NYC criticism entirely.  Though it was widely reported this weekend that New York’s venerable Carnegie Deli would honor the Heisman winner with a menu item named “The Tim Tebow”, the Village Voice’s Robert Sietsema (or at least his headline writer) insists the sandwich in question, “sucks…probably on purpose.”

The thing weighs in at 3.3 pounds, and includes layers of roast beef, pastrami, corned beef, American cheese, lettuce, and sliced tomato. Oh, yeah, and it’s on white bread with mayo.

According to the Carnegie Deli, this is the first time they’ve ever used mayo and white bread on one of their sandwiches. The guy sitting next to me at the cramped table with his wife, both tourists from Denver, turned to me and said, “I grew up in the mountains with a family of 10, and we never had that much meat on the table for all of us.”

Since you can’t get a bite of the whole thing all at once in situ, I made a tiny sandwich with all the components. What a way to ruin good pastrami and corned beef! They were warm, but the roast beef was stone cold. The roast beef wasn’t even that good by itself. And the white bread, even though there were several puny slices of it, was inadequate to contain the greasy meat excesses, and soon there were little swatches of it littered around the plate like toilet paper in that horrible Charmin commercial with the pastel bears.

An insightful & entertaining food critic long before thousands of musicians/music writers  followed suit, Sietsema was a fixture in NYC’s criminally slept-on Mofungo. During that band’s heyday, it would’ve been hard to imagine New York rolling out the red carpet for the gridiron equivalent of Anita Bryant….but perhaps that’s an unfair comparison.  To Bryant, anyway. Surely she was more adept at throwing a forward pass.

Dude, Where’s My SUV? – Bush’s Teammate, “An Innocent Victim”

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 5:55 pm by

At least that’s how attorney Jamie Appel describes Tampa Rays prospect Brandon Guyer, who has the singular misfortune of having loaned his Dodge Durango to serial reprobate / teammate Matt Bush (above), who promptly ran over an elderly motorcyclist Thursday while under the influence of alcohol. The Tampa Times’ Joe Smith writes that Guyer, while not in hot water with the Rays, could face a civil suit as the owner of the vehicle.

Guyer has declined to comment. Appel said Bush was only supposed to drop Guyer off at the team’s facility in Port Charlotte on Thursday morning, then immediately return to their apartment, where the teammates were roommates. Appel said Guyer didn’t give Bush permission to use the SUV for anything else that day.

Bush told police he drove to Sarasota, then stopped to buy a few drinks, before getting arrested in North Port. Police say Bush hit the motorcycle of 72-year-old Tony Tufano and fled the scene, while having a .180 blood alcohol percentage, more than twice the legal limit.

Appel said Guyer’s SUV has been seized as evidence, and he’s cooperated with police in the investigation. FHP lieutenant Greg Bueno said Monday it doesn’t appear Guyer is the target of any criminal wrongdoing.

Kegasus & UniCarl – The Worst Things To Happen To Thoroughbred Racing Since Michael Gambon

Posted in Horse Racing at 3:01 pm by

The Maryland Jockey Club calls Kegasus,  “Lord of the Preakness InfieldFest and centerpiece of its’ 2012 advertising campaign.”.  The Baltimore Sun’s Kevin Cowherd, however, prefers to liken Kegasus to “Edward in the ‘Twilight’ series, only with a beer gut and biker hair and a much lower IQ.” So what’s not to like? Perhaps the addition of an equally retarded entertaining accomplice?

Here’s what race officials said of Kegasus’s new pal in today’s news release:

“Apparently every great Centaur needs a sidekick, and this year Kegasus has equipped himself with UniCarl. UniCarl is part human, part unicorn, part personal assistant and part personal trainer.”

Hoo, boy. As for the back-story, the MJC has that covered as well:

 ”UniCarl and Kegasus met at the Genius Bar in the Towson Town Center’s Mac store in May 2011 and have been traveling the world together ever since.”


Eric The Actor (The Tall One)

Posted in Football at 11:03 pm by

Apologies to Wack Packer Eric Lynch for the above headline. While former Manchester United icon Eric Cantona acquitted himself nicely in a non-stretchy titular role in Ken Loach’s 2009, “Looking For Eric”,  in the forthcoming “Switch” he’ll be tackling something a bit more box office-friendly.  Of the Frenchman’s thespian ambitions, “the flamboyant aesthete of Premier League legend is, above all,” writes The Observer’s Julian Coman, “a trier.”

In “Switch”, directed by the up-and-coming French director Frédéric Schoendoerffer, Cantona plays the role of a hard-bitten Paris police inspector investigating a murderous case of mistaken identity. The acting hasn’t got the range and variety that he showed on the pitch. But the “strong silent” type of role seems to suit him, allowing him to display the unmistakable presence that was skillfully exploited by Ken Loach in “Looking for Eric”.

For Cantona, his gradual acceptance as an actor has been a vindication of what amounts to a personal philosophy of permanent revolution. For all his achievements and fame in England, he gives the impression that his ability to leave all that behind is a bigger source of personal pride.

“Some people need to stay at the top,” he says. “They are afraid to re-start from zero because they fear the critics. When you start from zero and you have been famous in another field, it’s very difficult. Beginning something is the same for everybody, everywhere, whether you start at 20 years old or at 40. But I think I have enough humour and enough humility about life. I don’t take life so seriously… I can just play with life.”

Mushnick : Francesa Is ESPN’s Biggest Fan

Posted in Sports Radio at 4:53 pm by

( above : utterly washed up and his former, increasingly irrelevant co-worker.  And in the middle, Mike Francesa).

Of the recent tiff between fellow Miami alumni Warren Sapp and Jeremy Shockey, the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick writes, “haven’t been more stuck for a rooting interest since the Iran-Iraq War,”.  It’s good line, and one that might well apply to the longstanding friction between Newscorp’s resident sports media conscience and WFAN afternoon drive host Mike Francesa.  In this instance, however, I’ll declare (for this afternoon, anyway) that any enemy of Francesa is my friend, and as such, here’s part of Phil’s (lengthy) Sunday evisceration of New York’s #1 that all but labels the Mike’d Up mouthpiece….as a cut and paste artist.  Not one of Christian Marclay’s caliber, anyway.

There are those within ESPN who monitor Francesa to find strange coincidences: On several occasions, they claim, when his show comes out of an update and commercials, Francesa returns to report — as his own intellectual property, naturally — news and opinions just heard on ESPN TV and radio.

Last week, Francesa, seemingly out of the blue, claimed that he had bet that Joe Namath would rip the Jets for the Tebow deal. “Can you imagine Namath on this one?”

Mikey got one right! Hey, he was due. Namath, that day, went on ESPN 1050, from where he ripped the Jets for the Tebow deal.

Ah, but that happened a half-hour before Mikey said it would. It also was Tweeted before Mikey said that. Amazing, eh?


Tramp(oline)s Like This, Baby They Were Born To Ruin Joba’s Career

Posted in Baseball, Parental Responsibility at 8:39 pm by

In the wake of Joba Chamberlain’s grisly trampoline misadventure, an ill-advised father-son outing that might cost the hefty right his pitching career, New York Baseball Digest’s Mike Silva adds bad parenting to the laundry list of the reliever’s atrocities (“I don’t get why parents allow their kids to bounce up and down on such a device… there are other great ways for kids to exercise, not to mention they should be doing something a bit more stimulating to the mind,”).  He’s got a point, and deserves credit for at least having the guts to put his name on such a public critique rather than taking to Yelp like some crazed, self-entitled consumer.   Conversely, the New York Daily News’ equally scold-tastic Bill Madden chooses to invoke the name of another legendary Yankee washout, Brien Taylor (“call it dumb and dumber for two Yankee golden-arm pitchers who threw away their careers with off-the-field hijinks”)

Chamberlain had been explicitly told by the Yankee trainers not to engage in any sort of physical activity that would potentially put his arm in harm’s way. You would think they wouldn’t have had to tell him that, but then there had already been too many things in Chamberlain’s past to indicate he wasn’t gifted with a whole lot of common sense.

He didn’t handle the instant fame well, didn’t stay in shape in the offseasons and reported to camp overweight last spring.

Then there was the October 2008 DUI conviction near his home in Lincoln, Neb., in which his police video wound up featured in the Driver’s 13 episode of tru-TV Presents: “World’s Dumbest.”

It was as if he had a death wish for his career and now he’s succeeded. This is an injury far worse than the blown-out elbow. The broken bone — on his push-off ankle — was out of the skin, blood was all over the place — “he could have died,” surgeons reportedly said — and very likely it will take more than one surgery to put everything back together.

Dawkins : I’m (S)not Kidding – Tebow’s A Healer

Posted in Gridiron, Medical Science, Religion at 3:06 pm by

“More than teammates, Tim Tebow and Brians Dawkins were two of the spiritual leaders in Denver’s locker room,” reads an unbylined Fox Sports report this morning, with quotes culled from 9-time Pro Bowl safety Dawkins’ appearance yesterday on Jim Miller’s Sirius-XM program. With Tebow’s departure to the Meadowlands, there’s no surprise the subject of the 24 Year Old Virgin came up.

Dawkins said he will always have fond memories of Tebow and shared a story that reflects their religious bond.

“In our Bible study sessions when my neck was pretty bad and I’m hurting, he, along with our chaplain and (Broncos director of player development) Jerry Butler, laid hands and prayed on me pretty good,” Dawkins said. “They brought snot and tears to my eyes and all that type of good stuff with prayer.

“He really is a guy who walks what he says he walks.”

There’s no truth to the rumor (I hope) the New York Mets’ training staff have asked if Tebow might be available prior to the start of Jets camp.


There’s Something Familiar About This Yelp Reviewer, But I Can’t Quite Put My Finger On It

Posted in Baseball at 9:56 pm by

Not So Good In The Hood : Sirius/XM’s Bigot Du Jour All But Pleads For Pariah Status

Posted in Racism Corner, Sports Radio, twitter twatter at 3:57 pm by