A Slimmer, Less Surly Sultan Emerges From Exile

Posted in Baseball at 11:49 pm by

Amongst those in attendance for Barry Zito’s solid (7 IP, 2 ER) performance in SF’s 4-2 win over Arizona Monday was the left-hander’s former teammate, 48 year old Barry Bonds. Speaking with reporters, Bonds struck a somewhat softer tone than the sort that typified the end of his playing days, with the SF Chronicle’s John Shea quoting baseball’s all-time HR king as looking for a coaching position with the Giants (“my expertise is baseball…that’s the only role I can have”)

Asked if he had regrets being involved with BALCO, the hub of the steroid scandal involving him, Bonds said, “I’m a convicted felon for obstruction of justice, and that’s who I am. I live with it. … I went through the system. That’s what they gave me. I’m in appeal right now. I was never convicted of steroids.”

Appearing fit, trim and jovial, the seven-time MVP said he weighs from 212 to 215 pounds and added, “When I played, I was not over 238.” He said he biked 400 miles a week before recently undergoing back and hip surgeries.

Addressing his reputation, he said, “I’m an athlete. I gave my life and soul to that game. That’s what’s heartbreaking. I gave my whole life. I did it hard for 22 years. Hard. That’s the hard part of it. You sit at home and go through it. It’s tough.”

At 47, Bonds said he still hasn’t filled out the paperwork to officially retire, and the Giants have made no public commitment to include him on their Wall of Fame or erect a statue.

“Maybe some of us just don’t ever want to retire,” said a smiling Bonds. “I’m not playing anymore, so whatever you want to call it. I’ll let the Giants figure that one out for me.”

Kovacevic : Offensively Challenged Bucs Are Allergic To Accountability

Posted in Baseball at 5:40 pm by

A pair of Pedro Alvarez doubles helped Pittsburgh defeat Cincinnati, 4-1, earlier today, but neither that nor “Sunday’s unicorn sighting of a 10-4 rout of Chicago” is enough to stop the Tribune-Review’s Dejan Kovacevic from asking, “WHAT ABOUT HITTING AGAINST TEAMS NOT NEARLY AS PATHETIC AS THE CUBS?”.

“There’s no simple way to explain the chasm between the Pirates’ pitching and hitting processes,” observes Kovacevic, who’d like us to “picture a roomful of men concluding it would be a swell idea to invest $6 million in an overweight, hobbled, chain-smoking, disinterested Aki Iwamura.”  In other words, it’s the scouting, stupid.

GM Neil Huntington won’t discuss specifics of this area, and he’ll never point fingers. Few GMs would. But it’s worth noting that his five special assistants — the men charged with studying other major league teams — changed two names over the winter: Gone were pitching experts Pete Vuckovich and Larry Corrigan. In were Jim Benedict, who had been the minor league pitching coordinator, and Dave Jauss, who had been the Mets’ bench coach.

Change is good, for sure, but why not hire an ace hitting evaluator unlike anyone in the current group?

Why not open up all five spots, for that matter?

Who’s responsible for recommending Iwamura?

It wasn’t the two pitching guys who just left, so why are the rest still employed?

The amateur scouts responsible for the draft have fared no better. The system’s top hitting prospect is outfielder Starling Marte, and the top performers to date are second baseman Alen Hanson and outfielder Gregory Polanco. None were drafted. All were signed by Latin American director Rene Gayo.

Why are the scouts who wasted much of $51 million in draft bonuses on failed hitting still employed?

WARNING TO DINO COSTA : You’ve Never Seen A Man With This Much Meat In His Mouth

Posted in Dino Costa, Food at 3:06 pm by

video courtesy the Chicago Tribune (h/t Hozac Records)


Rucker : Post Concussion Trauma’s No Joke

Posted in Gridiron, Medical Science at 5:00 pm by

While the likes of Screamo Cockface continue to insist those sounding the alarm concerning football concussions are either hellbent on castrating the American male and/or destroying the game they hold dear, persons who’ve actually, y’know, strapped it on, are singing a different tune.  13-year vet Reggie Rucker tells the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s John Mangels, “We didn’t really know what we were doing to our bodies and the cumulative effect of all those hits”.

“I remember when I was in Oakland and got knocked out by Jack Tatum,” Rucker says, referring to the menacing Raiders defensive back nicknamed “The Assassin.” “I remember [trainers] asking, ‘Do you know where you are?’ I said, ‘Oakland, California.’ You sat down for a while, and then you went back in. You’ve been programmed all your life as a professional athlete, particularly in my era, that you could not give in. You had to show your bravado.

“The next day, when you went back to review the game on film, I’m sitting there and watching something I couldn’t remember. You’re laughing and joking and it’s funny then. It’s not funny now.”

About 20 years ago, Rucker says, he started feeling some strange symptoms. Dizziness. Headaches. Burning sensations. Near-blackouts. “It’s the weirdest thing to explain,” he says. “Something would come over you and suddenly you would be mortified – ‘What just happened to me?’”
Rucker was sure it was a brain tumor. “I was terrified and went running to the doctors. They ran all these tests and said, ‘There’s nothing wrong with you.’ They thought I was crazy. Well, you know when something’s wrong with you. And now I do know. It’s the concussions and all the hits.

No Offense To The Lovely City Of Milwaukee, WI

Posted in Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 12:47 pm by

….but this was the first time I wished I spent the holiday weekend there. Above, Die Kreuzen reunion, Turner Hall, Saturday May 26.


Possibly The Most Effective Hot Dog Advertisement Of The Past Several Days

Posted in Food, The Marketplace at 11:52 pm by

I’m no Don Draper, but the guys responsible for this might be capable of giving the geniuses at Newmerica a run for their money.

Prince On The Mets’ Banner Day : A Splendid Afternoon For The Deeply Loyal And/Or Delusional

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression, General, New York, New York at 4:08 pm by

Following Johan Santana’s evisceration of the Padres batting order this afternoon, Banner Day festivities return to Citi Field Sunday for the first time in 16 seasons, just one of the many bones (Doug Sisk Bobblehead Day, Reputation.com’s Todd Hundley Mouse Pad Night) Mets ownership is throwing fans during this 50th Anniversary season.  While club mouthpiece David Howard warned that banners displaying controversial content might be nixed (“we’ll know it when we see it”), Faith & Fear In Flushing‘s Greg Prince recalled Banner Day 1993 in the pages of The New York Times…and he’s a little fuzzy on the details.

These were sour times at Shea, with the club sunk to seventh in a seven-team N.L. East and players detonating firecrackers, squirting bleach and evincing general misanthropy. I don’t remember what the banners I witnessed that August afternoon said exactly, but I clearly remember what they didn’t say.

I kept waiting for “Jeff Kent Can’t,” “Anthony Young Is Prematurely Old” or “Chico Walker Should Take a Hike,” but such hostility was not in evidence, as far as I could tell. Instead, it was lots of love and lots of hope for a team unlikely to engender either.

For sure, irreverence has been part of Banner Day; sarcasm has sneaked in, too. But there was always a celebratory nature to the event that overwhelmed whatever misery and miasma afflicted the fan base in a given season. To go to the trouble of creating banners, schlepping them, lining up and waiting, sometimes interminably — one year there was an 18-inning first game of a Banner Day doubleheader — requires more devotion than anger.

Sirius/XM’s Costa, (Insanely) Troubled By UConn Hockey’s Pledge Of Tolerance

Posted in Dino Costa, Hate Fuck Radio, Hockey, Sports Radio at 4:55 am by

On Thursday, the University Of Connecticut men’s ice hockey team’s initiative in producing a YouTube clip affirming their acceptance of gay players received notice in this space.  A day later, Sirius/XM’s Dino Costa (above), who recently endeared himself  to knuckle-dragging hatefuckers by calling a transgendered musician, “it”, weighed in on the UConn story, sneering via his DinoRadio site, “I just must have missed the hundreds of news stories the last few years of homosexual hockey players feeling the brunt of discrimination,”

Since one man putting his erect dick up another man’s asshole is so fucking normal — then I want the hockey community to truly embrace the homosexual world beyond the hollow and shallow words coming out of their mouths — and  beyond some insulting marketing ploy that is supposed to show me and the rest of the world just how sensitive they all are.

If you go along with this agenda of the normalization of homosexuality — and if you too feel it is as normal a behavioral reaction as heterosexual behavior is — then please cut the bullshit and go all the way.

Go all the way, buy all in, be a part of the movement in a literal sense.

Begin by making plans this weekend to not hang out at your local watering hole where you and the boys usually like to scope chicks…instead I want UCONN Captain Sean Ambrosie, to put his money where his fucking mouth is, and head out to a homosexual club, and to dance the night away with Jim, and Bob, and Floyd, and Stan.

In reality of course this is bullshit — the UCONN hockey team would rather crawl over a mile of broken glass on their hands and knees than to head to a gay only club anytime soon.

Also, let the UCONN hockey team hold a kegger at one of their most outrageous dorms on campus, invite a few homosexual men and some lesbian women, I’ll bring the booze, and my producer Andrew Caplan will bring the porno tapes. Homosexual porn — of course.

See the difference between these frauds smiling on these promotional tapes and myself, is that I’ll be honest with you — and they’ll insult your intelligence — and yet they’ll be looked upon as the good guys, while I’ll be looked upon as evil incarnate.

“A dick in the mouth — and one up the ass of a man — is something I’ve never seen,” insists Costa, and perhaps he needs to get out of the house more often.  “I readily admit that homosexual sex acts make my skin crawl,” he continues, but not before asking, “Someone please explain to me why in the homosexual community, so far as the youth are concerned, young people are six times as likely to suffer from multiple disorders — and six times as likely to attempt suicide?”

Well, maybe it has just a little bit to do with being told from a very young age that homosexual acts are repulsive. Or hearing from the same persons who insist they’re anti-discriminatory (“I’ll continue to have social contact with people of this ilk and I’ll have no problem continuing to do so. However, for reasons of my own, I do not condone the lifestyle, encourage it, support it, nor do I consider it to be normal”) that people like you are gonna end civilization (“Is this a lifestyle that one would think could survive if it were the only lifestyle choice available — or would it be more logical to assume that planet earth would be running toward the potential for human extinction much faster if homosexuality was the dominant sexual orientation?”).

Costa is obviously entitled to his opinions, and now  that he’s relocating to that great cosmopolitan locale of Cheyenne, WY, he’s less likely to encounter people who will disagree with him. Face to face, anyway. It would be interesting, however, given that Dino has made it crystal clear he’ll continue to use his Sirius/XM pulpit as a vehicle to weigh in on social issues (“from a faith based initiative, my faith does not condone the lifestyle, and I’ll be dammed if I’m going to crucify my own faith & belief system to bend to your whims and pleasures”) to see what might happen if Costa’s thoughts on “the lifestyle” were widely known by his employers, their shareholders and some of his colleagues. Especially those that actually bring listeners to satellite radio.  When the likes of Howard Stern and Steven Van Zandt effectively subsidize Costa’s salary (well, Howard, anyway) how might they feel about sanctioning his creepy worldview?

I can’t speak for the UConn hockey dudes, but some of us who aren’t looking to hide in a cabin in Cheyenne, WY have actually had more contact with gay people besides having “broken bread” (Dino’s words).  I think it’s a little weird that a professional broadcaster working in New York City thinks merely walking thru the door of a “homosexual club” is some sort of transgressive, potentially psyche-scarring act.  There’s something more than a little contradictory about a 50-year-old man who argues “since I’m not afraid of anyone, including homosexuals and lesbians,  the last thing I am, is homophobic on any level,” yet feels compelled to boast he’s never seen a dick in a man’s mouthI mean, c’mon, Dino, what would’ve happened if you HAD witnessed such a thing?  Would your eyeballs have exploded?  A massive coronary?  Jesus fucking christ, can somebody please get this man some films with an ALL-MALE CAST so we can find out for certain?

It’s pretty in vogue these days for practicing homophobes to opt for a spiel that says merely calling them out for being homophobic is itself, an act of intolerance, and Dino’s not very original in that regard.  But it’s almost incomprehensible that he could be so stupid as to claim merely because he’s never heard of a gay kid suffering from discrimination on the ice, such a problem must not really exist.  I’m not big on prayer, but if I were, I’d be thinking of the poor kids across the country whose parents listen to this shithead every night.   Since that’s about 300 listeners, there could be as many as a dozen children at risk.


Woodson : Dolan Didn’t Make Me Fire My Agent (But I Did Anyway)

Posted in Basketball at 9:46 pm by

After leading the Knicks to an 18-6 regular season finish, Mike Woodson had the interim tag removed Friday, signing a contract extension that should quell talk of Phil Jackson returning to New York for at least another few months. Earlier, it was reported that MSG had leaned on Woodson to fire his previous agents, Joe, Keith and Tyler Glass, a trio that also happens to represent former thorn-in-James-Dolan’s side, Larry Brown. Speaking with the Newark Star Ledger’s Alex Raskin (and presumably a room full of other reporters), Woodson denied said firing was a condition of his own hiring.

“I truly want to set the record straight with this agent thing,” Woodson said. “I have no contract with the Glasses. I paid for my services and I elected to move on. Mr. Dolan had nothing to do with me making this decision. It was Mike Woodson’s decision. I have every right to make that decision if I choose to do that and I did that. And for me and my family, it’s a wonderful day because I’ve executed a contract with the Knicks.”

Published reports also suggested that Woodson would hire Creative Artists Agency to represent him, which he did, but insisted it was of his own fruition.

“I chose CAA because I just thought that they would be the best for me,” Woodson said of the agency that already represents Knicks executives Allan Houston and Mark Warkentien as well as star forward Carmelo Anthony. “After going thorough their company and observing things that they can do for me, I thought that they would be the best fit.”

The Real Life Diamond Joe Quimby Attempts To Explain The 38 Studios Mess

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio, Video Games at 3:56 pm by

(audio via WEEI)

I don’t think I’m out of line in suggesting the State Of Rhode Island would’ve been better off if they’d given the $75 million to Load Records instead of Curt Schilling’s video game company.