The McLean Stevenson Of Sports Radio Isn’t Totally Opposed To Having An Audience Again

Posted in New York, New York, Sports Radio at 4:11 pm by

OK, perhaps Andrew Ridgley would’ve been a better analogy. On the occasion of WFAN’s 25th Anniversary, Mike Francesa’s former co-conspirator, Chris Russo tells the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman that he’s not ruling out a return to the New York terrestrial station, though given their success without him (and the commercial/artistic failure of Sirius/XM’s Mad Dog Radio), who’s to say he’d have an opportunity?

“You never want to say never. You know how the radio business is. So, you never say never, but I haven’t thought about it in my crystal ball, let’s put it that way,” Russo said. “But I’ll tell you right now, if Mike and I did shows together we would have no trouble picking right up where we left off.”

Russo knows the business. He knows Francesa, as a solo act, has maintained the kind of ratings the two of them produced. He also knows through all those years together he figured out a way to deal with Francesa’s mood swings, using humor to soften his rough edges and oversized ego.

“I am who I am. My nuttiness cannot be duplicated. They miss my nut sensibility,” Russo said. “They miss the things that just came out of my mouth. From that standpoint I had some impact.”

The decision to part ways with Francesa was the biggest one of Russo’s life. It’s one he made himself. To this day he still asks, “You think I did the right thing?” Yet, when asked to reflect on his years at FAN he’s fuzzy.

“It’s almost like in the last four years, it’s almost like I’ve forgotten I was at FAN for so long. This (Sirius/XM’s ‘Mad Dog Radio’) is a different kind of element, a different kind of show. It’s all-consuming. It’s so different than what I was used to,” Russo said. “You forget what you accomplished in that 20-year period. It’s almost like I forget I was at FAN for 20 years.”

When Russo’s deal is up in 2013, I suspect he’ll find gainful employment somewhere on the radio dial. Conversely, it’s probably gonna be overnights (at 7-11) or podcast-city for the man with more pseudonyms than cogent thoughts that follows him on weekday evenings.

When It Comes To Covering For Jose Canseco, The Worcester Tornadoes Are All-In

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 3:03 pm by

Worcester Tornados play-by-play announcer Nick Gagalis has additional duties with the Can-Am League franchise including, but not limited to rolling out the tarp, and babysitting Jose Canesco (above).  If Canseco’s kept a low profile of late, no one can say Gagalis isn’t doing his best Jay Horowitz impersonation when it comes to putting a positive spin on things.  From the Worcester Telegram’s Bill Doyle :

When Gagalis traveled with the Tornadoes to Quebec earlier this month, he slept in what was supposed to be Jose Canseco’s single hotel room. The 47-year-old former major leaguer missed the long bus trip (some say purposely). Canseco’s absence saved Gagalis from having to sleep on a cot in a room with two players.

As the team’s marketing manager, Gagalis helps arrange Canseco’s various media interviews. Canseco was hitting only .194 with one home run in 20 games before the team placed him on the disabled list last week. Gagalis plans to post his call of that home run on his website,  nickgagalis.com. Canseco did not travel to Texas, but Gagalis thinks he’ll return at some point.

“No matter what happens,” Gagalis said, “we were happy to have him when we did. We hope he can come back as soon as possible. It’s just a matter of making sure that if he does come back, he gets at-bats. We don’t want to have him just sitting on the bench.”

The Tornadoes signed Canseco 11 years after he left the majors to draw fans. Some fans are disappointed when they go to games and learn that Canseco won’t play, but Gagalis insists the team has more to offer — including theme nights, giveaways and promotions.

“We’re not the Worcester Jose Cansecos,” Gagalis said. “We are an affordable, family, fun thing to do.”


On WFAN’s 25th Anniversary, Here’s The Station’s Real MVP*

Posted in New York, New York, Sports Radio at 6:26 pm by

While a guy with a fraction of Steve Somers’ audience (and none of his talent) engages in a thoroughly fraudulent campaign to boost his Twitter followers, The Schmoozer deserves tremendous credit for being the best thing about NY’s all-sports WFAN for a quarter century and counting. That Somers has shared the airwaves with the hapless likes of Chris Russo and Sid Rosenberg has never been any reflection on Steve. While WFAN’s 25th Anniversary is mostly framed as an opportunity for the high and mighty to thank Mike Francesa for allowing them to breathe the same oxygen, anyone with a shred of taste or wit knows who the station’s top host has been.

* – other than Jerome Mittleman.

Suspended D-Backs Announcer Daron Sutton Is No Stranger To Mild, Harmless Acts Of Insubordination

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 5:06 pm by

Much has been made this week of the Diamondbacks’ curious decision to remove lead TV play-by-play announcer Daron Sutton from his duties mid-season for what’s being called a “dress code violation” (translation : Sutton prefers a suit and tie to the club’s mandated Snakes logo polo). Sutton might not be returning to the booth anytime soon (at least not for Arizona), with at least one reporter implying the dress code issue is really the tip of the iceburg.  Sutton has also been banished from tomorrow’s Fox regional telecast of Arizona’s visit to Milwaukee, where the Journal-Sentinel’s Bob Woolfey recalls the broadcaster’s prior tenure with the Brewers.

In 2002, when Sutton was with the Brewers, this columnist wrote a story about Sutton’s decision not to say the word “damn” when he had to read promos for a Fox Sports Net show, “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.”

When Sutton referred to the show in the promos, he called it “The Best Sports Show Period.”

Sutton said he did read the whole title of the show in the first week or two of the season, but became uncomfortable when he had to read a promo for family day, followed by one for “Best Damn.” That was when he started routinely leaving out damn.

“I think my whole approach on that is we are always trying to sell this game to kids and families,” Sutton said at the time. “I personally don’t see those two going together. I have no problem with the name of the show.”

A Radical Proposition : Soriano’s Shirt Pull Is Not The Yankee Way

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Fashion at 11:58 am by

Of Yankee closer Rafael Soriano’s curious habit of untucking his jersey after vanquishing opponents, Radical Baseball’s Keneth Martinale humbly suggests that George Steinbrenner — a staunch opponent of such flamboyance — “must be turning over in his grave”.  But enough about the good things surrounding Soriano’s display (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

What the heck is this shirt pulling about?  Did Soriano do this in Tampa when he saved 45 games in 2010?  Thankfully, Soriano saved only two games in 2011 but he finished six others.  That must have been eight times that he pulled his stunt, yet apparently he was not admonished.  Maybe nobody wanted any trouble with a marginal pitcher who had no such opportunities in the five Yankee playoff games in 2011.  After all, the Yankees had the immortal, indestructible Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer of all time, for all that’s worth, which obviously is not very much as the Yankees have gotten along quite well without Rivera since his season ending injury May 3, 2012 before the Yankees lost 4-3 in Kansas City.  Rivera’s last appearance was a save on April 30 2012.

In 2012 Soriano has finished 21 Yankee games, saving 17.  Are we Yankee fans to be subjected to this clown pulling his shirt of of his pants immediately after each Yankee win that he finishes?  What does this act signify?  Do other players on other teams do this?  What am I missing?  Or is Rafael Soriano simply a slob?


Whatever Shred Of History The Astros Posses, Jim Crane Can’t Wait To Get Rid Of It

Posted in Baseball, Ugly New Stadiums at 3:48 pm by

And I’m not talking about his controversial decision to have the Charlie Kerfeld Birthplace & Museum (above) bulldozed to make way for a Chase ATM. Rather, in the wake of Houston agreeing to move to the American League and planning new uniforms for 2013, the Astros are considering….GETTING RID OF THEIR OUTFIELD CHOO CHOO TRAIN! Count Crawfish Boxes’ Timothy De Block amongst those saddened by the proposal.

I’m all for it as long as they replace it with a cowboy riding a rocket waving his hit for every homerun hit in Minute Maid Park. The new structure could act a ramp for the rocket. If it’s not that then I’m not really for getting rid of the train. Yes, I know trains have nothing to do with Astros, but it has a lot to do with the old building and I think it’s a unique, classy feature in the ballpark.

Great Moments In Mascot Brutalization, Pt. I

Posted in Baseball, Professional Wrestling, When Mascots Are Attacked at 10:32 am by

Putting aside for a moment the folly of the Brooklyn Cyclones hosting an event promoting the WWE’s “Be A Star” anti-bullying campaign (if encouraging arenas full of children to taunt Vickie Guerrero isn’t bullying, what is?) who amongst us cannot smile at seeing the former Sexual Chocolate, Mark Henry, delivering a blow to the beak of Sandy Seagull? Especially if we’re graced with the knowledge that’s Jeff Wilpon in the seagull suit.

While we’re wishing Jeff a swift recovery, given the tone of the event, perhaps it wasn’t the greatest idea to have shown this clip on the MCU Park Jumbotron.

CNN’s Modern Day “Dewey Defeats Truman” Moment

Posted in non-sporting journalism at 9:39 am by

In case you were wondering whatever happened to the Bleacher Report staffer who approved “The Japan Earthquake & Tsunami : The Worst Natural Disasters In Sports History”, well, apparently he or she went on to find gainful employment at CNN.


Dusty To Closer Chapman : Fewer Confusing, Awkward Gymnastics Displays, Please

Posted in Baseball at 5:16 pm by

If you think that headline is terrible, just imagine how hard I struggled to throw a Jesse White Tumblers reference into the mix. Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman is having a very interesting 2012 season. On the field, too.  While Cincinnati skipper Dusty Baker took umbrage at Chapman’s unusual form for celebration at the end of last night’s 4-3 defeat of Milwaukee, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reminds us that “no one dies doing somersaults.” NOT YET, Jon, not yet.

Considering the Reds’ previously mild reactions to the continuing soap opera surrounding their newsmaking reliever, their rebuke seemed over the top. Perhaps the Reds wanted to make a public statement regarding baseball decorum, especially with another game coming up against the depressed division-rival Brewers. But that doesn’t explain the lack of public responses to the previous episodes, all of which Chapman has managed to squeeze into a first half in which he has often been brilliant on the mound (he was near to unhitable for the first several weeks of thee season).

While celebratory somersaults aren’t something old-school people ordinarily rubber stamp, and the Reds probably have concern the Brewers think as old-school as they do and may counter by throwing at one of their stars (yes, Votto or Bruce), the Reds’ stern reaction to a fun incident was in sharp contrast to how Chapman’s previous, greater indiscretions were handled publicly.

There have been a few incidents. But the most obvious opportunity for the Reds to make a statement came when Chapman was stopped for driving 93 mph on a suspended license at 12:42 a.m. one morning.

An Alternative Birthday Gift For Deron Williams

Posted in Basketball, Fashion, New York, New York, The Marketplace, Ugly New Stadiums at 3:58 pm by

The sister of Develop Don’t Destroy’s Daniel Goldstein has her own activist streak, Miss Wit tee designer Deb Goldstein’s coming in the form of a shirt protesting the MTA’s decision to accept naming rights dough in order to rename the Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street subway stop, “Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center”. From DFAinfo.com’s Leslie Albrecht :

The new name is the result of a 2009 deal between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Barclays Center developer Forest City Ratner Companies, who will pay the transit agency $200,000 a year for the next 20 years for the naming rights.

Barclays, a London-based bank, bought the naming rights to the new Brooklyn Nets arena in Downtown Brooklyn in 2007 for a reported $200 million.

She became inspired to make the threads when she spotted the new Barclays Center signs at the subway station, which sits just a few hundred yards from the new arena at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

To Goldstein, the station signs seemed to be “commanding” locals, some of whom had fought passionately against the arena, to embrace the Barclays Center.

“It just feels like there’s no control over anything that’s happening,” Goldstein said. “I have no problem with change, but change is something that evolves. You don’t buy change, and that’s what this feels like. It’s just a reminder of the whole process of how [Atlantic Yards] happened. It was supposed to be about housing, and now a British bank has their name on a subway station.”

Goldstein said she made the shirts in the spirit of the “I’m Still Calling It Shea” T-shirts that popped up when Citi Field opened.


RG III’s Alleged Blackmailer Is No Stranger To (Faux) Litigation

Posted in Gridiron, The Law at 9:00 pm by

Richard Khamir Hurd was arraigned in federal court Monday, charged with attempting to extort hush money from Redskins first round draft pick, Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III (above, left).  The former Baylor QB’s nemesis has a bit of experience in court rooms (sort of), having appeared on a February, 2001 telecast of the syndicated “Judge Judy” program.  From the Washington Post’s Mike Jones :

In the episode, Hurd was seeking reimbursement from Baylor student Brooke Yancy for reimbursement of veterinary bills he incurred after finding her lost chihuahua. Judge Judy dismissed the case, ruling that Hurd incurred the expenses voluntarily by electing to take the dog to a vet rather than contacting Yancy, whom he had met four months earlier.

According to police documents, Hurd was arrested by an undercover FBI agent after trying to obtain a large sum of money from Griffin in exchange for what he claimed was “derogatory” information on the quarterback. It remains unknown what “derogatory” material Hurd had — or whether he had anything on the at all.

In Honor Of Death Wish’s Near No-No

Posted in Baseball at 8:12 pm by

Tyler Green broke up Bronson Arroyo’s no-hit bid with a double down the left line in the 8th inning of tonight’s Brewers / Reds tilt at Great American Ballpark.  Cincinnati is currently nursing a 3-2 lead, news you could’ve found anywhere else online, as this is clearly just a cheap excuse to show the above clip for the 40th or 50th time in CSTB history.

Chris Perez’ Outreach To The People Of Cleveland, Continued

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 1:47 pm by

Air Traffic Controllers will be making a not-so-rare appearance at Beerland this Thursday, and with the exception of the performance itself, what could be more distasteful than my complaining afterwards that no more than two dozen people (some of them disguised as members of the other bands and/or club staff) witnessed this incredible cultural event? On most days, the correct answer would be “absolutely nothing”, however leave it to Indians closer Chris Perez to get me off the hook IN ADVANCE.   Perez, who is already on record bitching about Cleveland fans’ failure to embrace his overachieving ballclub, gave the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner an earful on the same subject in today’s paper.

Cleveland ranks last in the league in attendance, averaging only 18,408 fans a game. Perez has expressed frustration with that, and did so again Monday. He said fans seemed to care more about rooting against LeBron James and the Miami Heat than they do about rooting for the Indians.

“I don’t get the psyche,” said Perez, who grew up in Florida. “Why cheer against a guy that’s not even in your city anymore? Just to see him fail? Does that make you feel good? I could see if the Cavs were in the championship, but that’s their mentality.

“They’ve had a lot of years of misery. They say, ‘You just don’t understand because you don’t live here.’ O.K., maybe I don’t. But that doesn’t mean it has to keep going.”

The Indians drew more than 3 million fans for six seasons in a row starting in 1996, the year the N.F.L. Browns moved to Baltimore. The new version of the Browns has not won a playoff game in its 13 seasons.

“That’s what I don’t understand,” Perez said. “Their whole thing is, ‘We want a winner.’ Well, why do you support the Browns? They don’t win. They’ve never won. They left. You guys blindly support them. I don’t understand it. It’s a double standard, and I don’t know why.

“It’s head-scratching. It’s just — they don’t come out. But around the city, there’s great support. They watch it in the bars. They watch it at home. They just don’t come.”

Perez might have a point about the LeBron thing, but even in a rough economy, it’s easier for the Browns to generate interest around 8 home games than for the Indians to do the same for 81.   Is it really a head-scratcher?


Euro 2012 : The Fiver’s Autospy For England

Posted in Football at 4:32 pm by

Mets bullpen failures and Dino Costa pandering to birther trash aside, there are few things more predictable in this world than England getting knocked out of a major tournament on penalties. Sunday’s Euro 2012 quarter-final defeat to Italy was an uninspired, strategically bereft display that somehow passed for entertainment in the view of Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, “who enjoys feigning interest in the kind of sporting pursuits enjoyed by commoners and oiks, because it conveys the impression that he’s no different to you even though we all know that’s not true.” And The Guardian’s Barry Glendenning and Paul Doyle are only just getting started ;

When you surround yourself with conniving multi-millionaires engaged in shadowy acts of nepotism, it’s important to show a common touch, which is why the prime minister pretends to support Aston Villa. Well, that and the fact that his uncle Sir William Dugdale used to be the club’s chairman. “I would like to congratulate the team and the manager and all who worked so hard with them and for them to put on a great display,” said Cameron today, in a speech that suggests he might not have been entirely truthful when he stated he’d actually watched the game.

Using the tactics so defensive and negative they could have been employed by a prime minister appearing before the Leveson inquiry, the fact that England made it to a penalty shoot-out at all was largely down to the success of the tried and trusted tactic of hoping really, really hard that the opposition fail to convert all the gilt-edged chances you keep gifting them. “At times the football hasn’t been fantastic, we haven’t blown people away,” said a clearly disappointed $tevie Mbe (above) this morning, with his brow looking even more furrowed than usual. “The possession stats speak for themselves. Moving forward as a nation we do need to improve with the ball,” he continued, apparently oblivious to the fact that most of the folks back home would happily settle for seeing their national football team moving forward.

The possession stats to which $tevie alluded don’t so much speak for themselves as whack the amps up to 11, rip the microphone from the stand Steven Tyler-from-Aerosmith style and scream at the top of their voices. England had just 32% possession last night, while their most successful pass completion combo involved Joe Hart lumping the ball towards the meaty forehead of a lumbering second-half substitute in the vain hope it might clank off his noggin into the path of a star striker that looked a long way short of match fitness after his spell on the naughty step.

Jerome Mittleman – The Real Star Of WFAN’s Silver Anniversary

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression, New York, New York, Sports Radio at 2:21 pm by

This week, NY’s WFAN commemorates their 25th anniversary as a 24-7, all-sports outlet, the nation’s first of its kind. Of the station’s humble beginings, “it almost seemed to me we were trying to put Sports Phone out of business,” John Minko tells Newsday’s Neil Best.  A modest, but achievable goal, certainly, and while the FAN initially made a splash with (relatively) big name hires like Jim Lampley, Greg Gumbel and Pete Franklin, it wasn’t until the homegrown talent came into their own that the station really took off.  I’m not referring to Mike Francesa, Chris Russo or even to to that great lynch-pin in Huey Lewis’ career, Steve Somers, but rather, to callers such as the legendary Doris From Rego Park, the social crusader known as Eli from Westchester, Mets maniac Short Al, and most of all, the amazing Jerome From Manhattan.  No celebration of WFAN history is complete without some homage to these effervescent conversationalists.

Collins Fails To Make The Right Move, Is Lauded For Not Being Charlie Manuel

Posted in Baseball at 10:53 am by

Much is being made this morning over Mets manager Terry Collins leaving Miguel Batista on the mound to face Robinson Cano last night with lefty/chicken-rights activist Tim Byrdak ready to go. The resulting, game-winning HR from Cano landed beyond the center field fence, presumably after colliding with a jet heading for LaGuardia. Collins fully admits in retrospect, he goofed, and since that passes for brutal honesty in the estimation of the New York Post’s Mike Vaccaro, let’s ignore baseball for a moment and compare and contrast how two NL East managers handle the media.

Oh, Collins had his reasons: He double-switched Batista into the game, wanted a second inning out of him so he wouldn’t burn the pen, didn’t want to use Byrdak for one hitter (though there’s no reason he couldn’t have stayed in to face switch-hitters Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher, too). His explanations were sensible.

And completely beside the point.

“Should have brought him in,” he said a second time.

Does that make you feel better if you’re a Mets fan, the morning after they ended this 25-game gauntlet against top-flight teams at 12-13 and still very much alive in the baseball season? Does it make you feel better that Collins cops to the questions rather than recoiling at them, the way Charlie Manuel did earlier in the day in Philadelphia?

Manuel, still plenty second-guessed despite the championship ring on his resume, grew testy at a round of questions between a pair of losses to Tampa yesterday.

“You guys ought to sit in the dugout with me and give me all the scenarios if you don’t think I know them,” Manuel said at Citizens Bank Park. “We don’t know how to manage the game. Really, I think you guys ought to sit down there with us or Tweet us or something.”

There is no reckoning in those words. Different styles, different strokes, different men.

Yes, one of whom has actually won something.  As far as not burning the bullpen goes, Collins was aware he’d not have use of Frank Francisco in the 9th inning.  Wretched as the Mets’ relief corps have been, the chair-tosser will be missed, if for no other reason that no one should be comfortable with the prospect of Bobby Parnell or Jon Rauch closing games between now and the All-Star break.   Which shouldn’t be construed as a plea to sign Brad Lidge, either.

Amar’e Stoudemire : A Longshot For Future “It Gets Better Videos”

Posted in Basketball, twitter twatter at 9:51 am by

As widely reported yesterday, Amar’e Stoudemire took exception to a Knicks fan publicly suggesting that he should “come back stronger next year…deadass”, replying with the above direct message (screen shot courtesy @BFerrelli).  Though Stat quickly apologized, an NBA representative promises the incident, “will be reviewed”.  It’s an unfortunate turn for the Knicks forward and not the first time recently his judgement and maturity have come into question.

That said, fair play to Stoudemire for clearly stating there was “no excuse” for his correspondence.  As opposed to, y’know, claiming there was a moral imperative behind his words.


No Kidding Dept.

Posted in Baseball, mistaken I.D., twitter twatter at 4:36 pm by

“He’s Not Michael Heisley” : An Insufficient Background Check For Memphis’ New Suitor

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 4:05 pm by

Prospective new Grizzlies buyer Robert Pera of San Jose tech firm Ubiquity is worth $800 million, is said to be a hoops enthusiast….and beyond that, well, who is this guy? Along with referencing recent blows to Ubiquity’s stock price and the company’s contentious history, the Memphis Commercial Appeal’s Ted Evanoff and Kyle Veazney had a little difficult in forming a full picture of Pera.

For three days last week in San Jose, The Commercial Appeal sought out more than a dozen people believed to know Pera. Most declined repeated requests for interviews.

Pera didn’t respond to an e-mail or a message left with an employee in Ubiquiti’s sleek lobby, which has glass-walled conference rooms on each side of the entry but no receptionist.

A source close to Pera said he is abiding by NBA requests not to comment publicly during the league’s evaluation of his purchase. He has, however, reached out to the local minority ownership group.

What’s known from public records and press reports is that Pera grew up in San Carlos, Calif., one of the many smaller cities on the peninsula between San Francisco and San Jose. His father was a business consultant who now is the CEO of a food distribution company in nearby Hayward. His mother is a career networking consultant.

Pera sat out one year of high school, troubled by a heart-valve problem, but finally graduated and enrolled in the University of California at San Diego. There, he earned bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and Japanese as well as a master’s degree in electrical engineering.

The school last week verified his degrees, but professors were scrambling to remember him.

One member of Ubiquiti’ s board of directors, Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital, tweeted last week that Pera is “the most successful entrepreneur in (Silicon Valley) that you don’t know.”

“There’s some guys who are comfortable running under the radar,” said Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author. “It’s the rare entrepreneur, Type A entrepreneur, who doesn’t have an ego to have a PR agency, so my compliments to this guy.”

Blank said he had never heard of Pera. Two other professors at universities in the area who have expertise in Silicon Valley said they weren’t familiar with him.


Mets’ Byrdak : A Chicken Isn’t Just For Xmas Mocking Francisco, It’s For Life

Posted in Baseball at 4:25 pm by

(clearly, adopting a chicken mascot is sort of like naming your band New Order. If it worked the first time, where’s the harm in trying again?)

Following Mets reliever Frank Francisco’s much publicized description of the Yankees as “chickens”, teammate Tim Brydak preceded Francisco’s highwire act at the end of last night’s 6-4 victory by bringing an actual chicken into the home clubhouse at Citi Field. After paying $8 for the bird in Chinatown, Byrdak was reminded by Jason Bay, “You can’t just put it out on Roosevelt Ave.” From ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin :

The chicken spent Friday night in a cage at Citi Field. Team chef Theresa Corderi fed the bird a meal of oatmeal, berries and bread after doing research into the appropriate cuisine on the internet.

“If anybody has a chicken farm or a petting zoo or somewhere where we can get him nice, I’d rather not kill Little Jerry Seinfeld,” Byrdak said.

Byrdak seemed receptive to an offer from Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y., which attempts to fight cruelty at factory farms and slaughterhouses.

“We’re trying to get him into a chicken sanctuary or somewhere where he can rest comfortably for the rest of his life and not worry about a deep fryer. Or an oven,” Byrdak said. “I went to Twitter last night to try to have people help me, but a lot of people said they wanted to throw him in a KFC bucket. That wasn’t funny.”

Ozzie : Dr. Allan Lans’ Career Stats Are Pretty Shitty

Posted in Baseball, Mental Health at 11:13 am by

Following Friday’s 12-5 defeat at the hands of Toronto, the underachieving Miami Marlins have lost 5 in row, 14 of their last 16, and have drifted to 8 games behind the NL East leading Washington Nationals. Quoted by the Sporting News this morning, manager Ozzie Guillen (above, left) told reporters that his chargers were “making excuses”, and proceeded to weigh in with a lengthy tirade about…uh, sports psychology. (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

“Great players don’t need a psychiatrist,” Guillen said. “I didn’t see Pete Rose talking with any psychiatrist, Paul Molitor or all those guys. They talked with nobody. The (bad) players are the ones that need the psychiatrist next to them. Last five years, you see a lot of this in baseball. When players fail, they need a doctor. When managers and coaches fail, they get rid of (them).”

Guillen, who played 16 seasons in the majors from 1985 to 2000, believes players have to help themselves. “I was from an era in baseball when Budweiser and vodka took care of the psychiatric things,”

Guillen said. “You fail, you get drunk and you come back the next day to see how good it feels. The psycho guys—the doctors—they never played this game. They never wore the uniform. They never came out of a slump. They’re not used to it, so how are they going to help?


Mets’ Alleged Closer Provides Yanks With Unneccessary Motivation

Posted in Baseball, Going To The Zoo at 6:33 pm by

(with all due respect to Derek Jeter, this is still the greatest chicken in recent New York history)

Given the ease with which the Yankees took 3 games from the Mets two weekends ago at the Nu Stadium, is there really much point in reliever Frank Francisco further antagonizing the Bombers by calling them “chickens” prior to a return engagement at Citi Field?   Francisco’s manager, Terry Collins tells the Newark Star-Ledger’s Conor Orr, “Frankie is a grown man and if that’s the way he feels – I don’t think he needed to stir the pot when we play these guys, they’re good enough already.” TRANSLATION :  please wait until your ERA is at least under 4.50 before you start with the trash talk.

“I mean, I make a simple comment, because they complain a lot, for every call, for everything,” Francisco said. “I thought it was funny. But I didn’t expect it to make a big deal.

“I said what I said. I’m not sorry for anything. I think they complain too much for everything. You guys don’t watch the game? You guys don’t see it, every game?”

Over in the Yankees clubhouse, Derek Jeter said he wanted nothing to do with the conversation and that he’d seen far worse said about him over the years.

“I don’t understand what that means,” he said. “I can’t be insulted by something I don’t understand. You’re talking about five years ago (the last time I faced Francisco) man. When was the last time we faced him? 2007? 2004?”

Russell Martin, who figured Francisco was joking, heard about it when he arrived at Citi Field.

“I don’t care,” he said. “We’ll see if we’re chicken when he gets in the game.”


Goose Gossage Compares Clemens To One Of The Greatest Players Of All Time

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 11:07 pm by

A few months have gone by without Rich Gossage making any disparaging statements about a ballplayer from the modern era, and if you’re like me, you were concerned for Goose’s well-being.  As it turns out, however, he’s doing great and flashed his resentment-filled form during a Thursday appearance on ESPN NY 98.7.  From ESPN’s Andrew Marchand :

“Are we going to reward these guys for cheating?” Gossage asked Michael Kay and Don La Greca on ESPN New York 98.7. “Even though he was found innocent, it was because of the bad testimony. No one believed (Brian) McNamee and (Andy) Pettitte kind of changed his thing, ‘Did I really hear what he told me.’ “

“O.J. Simpson, did you believe he didn’t kill those two people?” Gossage said Thursday.

Gossage also wants Congress to release the list of 104 names from the anonymous 2003 player survey. Although it would break civil liberty rights, Gossage is in favor of finding out who used steroids and who didn’t during the anonymous testing period.

“Release the whole list and let’s get it out there on the table and see who tested positive for these things,” Gossage said. “I saw bat speeds of Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire. Mark was a great teammate. I couldn’t have asked for a better teammate when I played out in Oakland.

“Jose Canseco, I lockered next to him. Canseco is the only guy who has come clean. Like him or not, he is telling the truth. These guys lie, lie, lie and lie. Roger, I think, is in the same boat. I think there is validity to him using and absolutely not do they belong in the Hall of Fame.”

$200 Million For B/R : The Content Farm’s Bumper Crop

Posted in Blogged Down, Sports Journalism, The Marketplace at 5:11 pm by

All Things D’s Peter Kafka reports Time-Warner’s Turner division is ready to pay more than $200 million to purchase Bleacher Report, the move coming on the heels of the former claiming they’d be establishing their own “branded digital destination.”

The logic for the deal is that Turner has a small presence in online sports — it manages sites like PGA.com and NBA.com, but doesn’t own them — and Bleacher Report’s nine-million-plus visitors will help fix that.

But it’s worth nothing that, up until this spring, Turner used to have a much bigger presence in online sports, via an arranged marriage that didn’t seem to make either participant very happy: For the last couple years, Turner managed Sports Illustrated’s Web site on behalf of Time Warner’s Time Inc.

Davidoff : Davey Johnson Has Opened A Pandora’s Box

Posted in Baseball at 4:09 pm by

(Davey  : “I looked Joe up on the internet”)

Not the kind where Nick Broomfield has his head shoved into a toilet, either.   Joe Maddon took considerable umbrage at Nats skipper Davey Johnson insisting umpires examine the pine-tar smeared glove of Rays reliever Johnny Peralta.  While Johnson has dismissed Maddon’s protests as the howling of  a “weird wuss”, The New York Post’s Ken Davidoff suggests Washington’s manager might wanna reconsider the risks vs. rewards of future glove inspections.

OK, so what did Johnson risk? He drew the ire of much of the baseball community. Peralta told reporters that players on the Nationals were very upset about what their manager did, since he exposed them to similar scrutiny by opposing managers. I don’t know whether that’s true, but from speaking with people at Citi Field yesterday, it’s certainly feasible.

Consider that in Game 2 of the 2006 World Series, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa essentially let his team go down to Detroit’s Kenny Rogers even though the Fox cameras showed pine tar on Rogers’ hand. La Russa, managing against his good friend Jim Leyland, knew that he would open Pandora’s Box if he challenged what Rogers was doing. He’d be taking the game to a place in which everything from pine tar to glove sizes to spike sharpness could be in play.