07.28.12

Gang Green’s Most Devoted Fans Remain Resistant To The Charms Of The 24 Year-Old Virgin

Posted in Gridiron at 12:39 pm by

(CNYCentral.com’s Tom Eschen, showing all the investigative journalist chops of a young, slightly less frosted Chris Cotter)

ESPNNY’s Rich Cimini reports fans who attended Jets workouts in Courtland, NY yesterday peppered QB Tim Tebow with taunts including, but not limited to “that’s why you’re a #2″ (“presumably, the fan meant Tebow’s place on the depth chart”). A slightly more diplomatic assessment from the Newark Star-Ledger’s Jenny Vrentas suggests patience with Tebow’s unique skill-set might already be in short supply.

Tebow received a mixed welcome from the assembled fans. It started during a deep-ball passing drill, when a few wobbly or off-the-mark passes were met with groans from a handful of fans. On the flip side, he and quarterback Mark Sanchez also received cheers for successful throws.

Later, during the 11-on-11 team period, Tebow received a few more jeers. On one play when he held onto the ball for too long, a couple fans called for him to “Throw it, Tebow!” Later, on a shaky incompletion, they called out, “Tebow, come on!” and “That’s a Tebow ball!”

Tight end Dustin Keller didn’t hear the fans, but chalked it up to being a New York team.
“You can hear anything from fans,” he said.

07.27.12

The Olympics’ Greatest Hits

Posted in decomposing composers, Gymnastics, History's Great Hook-Ups, olympics, record collector disease at 5:37 pm by

The date is Friday, July 27, 2012. The time? 3:50 pm, EST. So, by my watch, the Games of the XXX Olympiad will open in about 10 minutes. I, for one, will not be watching. No, so long as this playlist takes on water, I’ll be watching something—anything—else. (The Orioles on MASN, HD maybe?) Duran or no Duran, whatever Danny Boyle decides there in Hype Park, here’s hoping I hear about one of these tomorrow morning:

“Barcelona”
Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé

Britain’s best Tanzanian rocker always had a penchant for drama and spectacle. So it made all kinds of sense for him to team up with the Barcelona-born Caballé for what was supposed to be the ’92 Summer Olympics theme. Unbeknownst to most, Mercury had contracted AIDS, and only a few hours after telling the world, he was dead at 45. And while Caballé did perform the sweeping, now bittersweet tune at the opening ceremony (with a terribly canned Mercury dubbed in, no less), it was officially replaced with some overwrought Andrew Lloyd Webber barf by Sarah Brightman and José Carreras for the closing of the games. The BBC, though, would have none of this disrespect and latent homophobia; they used Merc & Monty’s number throughout its coverage that summer.

Hymnen (Region III)
Karlheinz Stockhausen

A hallmark of electronic music—and perhaps the high-water mark of the late composer’s purely electro oeuvre—Hymnen takes as its main source material some 40 of the world’s national anthems and manipulates, maneuvers and massages them into one, two-hour “music of all countries and races.” A utopian conceit à la Milton, Hesse or James Hilton, Stockhausen divided his vision into four sections or regions, and according to his admittedly idiosyncratic directions, only “Region III” may be listened to separately. Dedicated to American iconoclast John Cage, “The Star Spangled Banner” is thus featured prominently here alongside Spain’s lyric-less “La Marcha Real,” as well as an entirely synthetic construction of the then USSR’s state hymn.

“Nadia’s Theme”
Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr.

Okay, stay with me here: Barry and Perry were nominated for a ’71 Grammy with a score that featured the tune “Cotton’s Dream” from Stanley Kramer’s film of Glendon Swarthout’s novel, Bless the Beasts and Children. (The Carpenters got nominated for an Oscar for the theme song proper.) Two years later, Botkin recast his and De Vorzon’s melody for a brand new half-hour CBS soap opera—a little show called The Young and The Restless. Three years later still, the 1976 Montreal Olympics are in full swing, and a 14-year-old Romanian by the name of Nadia Comaneci becomes the first gymnast to ever score a perfect 10. ABC’s Wild World of Sports begins airing montages of the lithe and nimble lil’ Commie accompanied by Botkin’s rehashing. A&M Records renames and re-releases the song as a single, fails to credit De Vorzon and is sued by him for nearly a quarter-of-a-million bicentennial dollars. A decade later, David Hasselhoff nearly kills the ditty on his album Lovin’ Feelings, while Mary J. Blige finishes the job in 2002.

The Greatest Boston Crime Mystery Since The Night They Raided Buzzy’s

Posted in Baseball, The Law, When Mascots Are Attacked at 5:33 pm by

A Boston police spokesperson tells the Boston Herald’s Renee Nadeau that a Red Sox employee was the culprit that stole Wally The Green Monster’s costume earlier today. Of course, please keep in mind the local fuzz haven’t always identified the correct perp.

Police spent part of the afternoon today pursuing Wally the Green Monster around the Hub after receiving a report that the beloved Red Sox mascot had been carried off by a brazen thief today.

The employee took the costume with good intentions, said Zineb Curran, a spokeswoman for the Red Sox. The worker was scheduled to play Wally this weekend and decided to “spread some Red Sox Nation good cheer,” said Curran.

“Wally is safe and sound, it was all a big misunderstanding,” Curran said.

A call came in for a larceny in progress at 2:22 p.m. from an address at the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth streets.

The Red Sox confirmed the costume was missing and police searched the MBTA for Wally. A police helicopter also joined the search as the hunt continued throughout the Hub for Wally.

Though the suspect has not been identified, you don’t have to be Det. Robert Goren to know there’s already someone in Boston’s employ with a habit of donning disguises.

07.26.12

Tim Thomas Continues Auditioning For Mad Dog Radio’s Weekday Evening Slot

Posted in Food, Hockey, social crusaders at 9:39 pm by

If you’ve ever wondered how difficult it might to wear a tin foil hat atop a goalie mask, it seems you can win a Conn Smythe Trophy while donning both. Bruins netminder Tim Thomas (above), in the midst of a hockey sabbatical, has weighed in on Chick-Fil-A’s public opposition to gay marriage via Facebook. As you’ve probably already guessed, Thomas is one of those guys who believes God made Adam and Eve, not Adam Oates and Steve Yzerman.

I stand with Chick-fil-A.

Chick-fil-A is privately owned by the Cathy family. The company president, Dan Cathy, drew the wrath of gay rights advocates and supporters when he made recent statements that some have alleged are anti-gay.

Cathy told Baptist Press that the company was unapologetically in favor of traditional marriage.

“Guilty as charged,” he said. “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

In a separate interview on the Ken Coleman Show — Cathy suggested that the nation could face God’s wrath over the redefinition of marriage.

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’” Cathy said. “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.”

Giants’ Bennett On Dallas : “We’re Cool, But We Ain’t That Cool”

Posted in Gridiron at 5:16 pm by

“I kind of sound like Gandhi right now,” newly acquired Giants TE Martellus Bennett told the assembled press corps in Albany today, “but I studied myself a lot over the last couple of years.” And surely Gandhi would express similar emotions concerning the shy, retiring Marty B’s former club if anyone bothered to ask him, right? From Newsday’s Tom Rock :

“I just want to kick those guys’ [butts],” Bennett said of the Cowboys, who open the regular season against the Giants on Sept. 5. “That is what it is all about. I mean, we’re cool but we ain’t that cool, know what I am saying? I kind of got some ill feelings towards them overall. It is a game. I kind of hate everybody, honestly, in the NFL.”

Bennett’s four years in Dallas were spent as an understudy to Jason Witten at tight end. He said he feels like a rookie coming to the Giants where he expects to get his first chance to play as a regular.

“Who’s better to learn behind than Witten?” Bennett said. “He is one of the best to ever do it. I learned a lot from him. Every once in a while, plants can’t really grow when they are out-shaded by the tall tree. So I get a little sunlight for myself now.”

Reinsdorf’s Contraction Hopes : As Plausible As Pierzynski Winning A Nobel Peace Prize

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 12:24 pm by

What, not probable enough for you?  How about Michael Jordan and Jerry Krause getting hitched?  White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf took questions at a luncheon raising funds for Israel’s World Baseball Classic hopes (ESPN Chicago reports former Cub Adam Greenberg — beaned in his only MLB plate appearance — has heroically volunteered), and when asked about baseball perhaps expanding internationally, replied thusly ;

“I don’t see any baseball expansion right now,” he said. “If it were up to me, I would contract two teams. But I certainly don’t think expansion on the horizon.”

When fans yelled, “What two teams?” Reinsdorf clammed up.

“I have a habit of getting myself into trouble,” he said. “I just did yesterday. So I’m not going to (get in trouble).”

Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra, mindful this isn’t the first time Reinsdorf has campaigned for eliminating other teams (if not competition in his own division), sneers that such fantasies are as likely as “a game going off tonight with a starting outfield consisting of the Easter Bunny, Roy Hobbs and a golem-player comprised of Raul Mondesi’s body and Ted Williams’ unfrozen, reattached head.”  And I thought the Jordan/Krause wedding idea was kind of scary!

Owners of any teams that were contracted would have to be bought out.  In a world where franchise values are at, a minimum, $500 million, contracting two teams — which you would have to do to keep a sane schedule — would cost in the billions, simply to make the contracted owners give up their property.  That’s before you figure in all of the contracts that would have to be bought out and torn up between the team and its business partners, sponsors and media affiliates and the subsequent litigation.

Then you get the political problems: you think local politicians, governors and members of Congress are gonna sit by while the local nine are contracted? There will be hearings and ugliness for months if not years if someone seriously attempted to contract a team. Yeah, baseball LOVES that, so they’d totally make that happen.

Oh, and the labor issues too. The union would consider it to be an assault on membership, because some 50 major league jobs would go bye-bye and the salaries for the remaining players would go down as more guys compete for fewer roster spots.

07.25.12

Dear Ink Stained Numbskulls : Bob Costas Sees Right Thru Your Manufactured Outrage

Posted in olympics, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 10:30 pm by

If you Google the phrase, “plausibly live”, you’re not greeted with an image of a demonically drooling Phil Mushnick, but that’s of little consolation to NBC Sports’ diminutive bundle of self-importance eloquence, Bob Costas. Speaking to a conference call of sports media reporters 3 days prior to anchoring the Comcast / General Electric joint venture’s coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Costas showed little patience for those critical of NBC’s penchant for replaying major events via tape delay during prime time. From the Salt Lake Tribune’s Scott D. Pierce :

“I understand … people’s demand for information immediately,” Costas said in a conference call with reporters. “I also understand that it’s a lot easier if you’re writing for newspaper X to say with righteous indignation, ‘This is some sort of outrage.’ And yet if that person swapped jobs that day with [NBC Sports executives], they would either do exactly the same thing, or they would be fired and then taken to a sanitarium.”

“The newspaper has not invested billions of dollars in rights fees and production fees,” he said. “And it’s a simple, straightforward business decision that now has been modified, I think, in an enlightened way to allow for the changes in the way people consume information.”

He’s still clearly ticked off about allegations that NBC misrepresented taped events as live — which he put down the occasional slip of the lip. Anything that makes it sound that way will be inadvertent because “in thousands of utterances, once or twice, accidentally, has the wrong tense been used.”

“We try to be very, very vigilant about that. We do not say, ‘Michael Phelps now goes to the line in pursuit of gold medal number 15.’ We say, ‘He went to the pool in pursuit of gold medal number 15.’ There is no attempt to deceive.”

Harper : Daniel Murphy Is Alderson’s Best Bargaining Chip

Posted in Baseball at 3:04 pm by

Wednesday’s 5-2 defeat at the hands of Washington’s overpowering Stephen Strasburg dropped was the Mets’ 12th loss in their last 13 games, a stretch typified by almost complete inaction on the part of GM Sandy Alderson, save for the demotion of Lucas Duda/promotion of Matt Harvey. If there was no sense of urgency on Alderson’s part prior to the All-Star break, there’s even less now that his club has disappeared from contention with alarming speed, but the New York Daily News’ John Harper argues the GM, “needs to get more creative this time around and make a deal in which he is essentially both a buyer and seller.” And with that in mind, Harper’s got IF Daniel Murphy’s bags packed and ready to go.

Major League sources say Murphy’s has been already out there in trade discussions. One source says the Mets have already rejected an offer from the Padres of reliever Luke Gregerson (above) for Murphy.

That alone is intriguing, considering that Gregerson, a 28-year-old righthander, seems to fit the bill as a solid reliever who could upgrade the Mets’ bullpen immediately and be under their contractual control for the next two seasons as well.

Going into Tuesday night’s action, Gregerson was 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA, and has had streaks in the last couple of seasons where he has been dominant. This season he had a few rough outings in May that ballooned his ERA to 4.57, but since May 30 he has allowed only four runs in 24 appearances.

In any case, the Gregerson offer is evidence that there is solid interest in Murphy, and as hot as the Mets’ second baseman has been lately, hitting .443 over his last 21 games before going 0-for-3 Tuesday night, his value right now is probably as high as it will get.

And while the Mets would miss Murphy’s bat, it’s hard to believe that Alderson sees him as the answer at second base.

Ryan Kalil Didn’t Get The Memo About Newspapers Being Obsolete

Posted in Gridiron at 2:47 pm by

Even Patrick Ewing thinks Kalil oughta cool it on the guarantees.

07.24.12

Miami’s Latest Fire Sale – A Great Argument Against Buying Marlins Season Tickets

Posted in Baseball at 8:35 pm by

The going-nowhere-fast Miami Marlins officially pulled the plug on their 2012 season yesterday in dealing P Anibel Sanchez and 2B Omar Infante to Detroit in exchange for P Jacob Turner and a pair of prospects.  While a particularly dimwitted evening host on Mad Dog Radio assured his dozens of listeners last night there was no cause for alarm in South Beach — that with their glittering new ballpark, it was just a matter of time before the locals finally embraced the Marlins — the far more knowledgeable Buster Olney didn’t hesitate to call the dumping of Sanchez and Infante the start of a clearance sale (“the Marlins are willing to deal Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson and anybody else not nailed to the floor…now can you understand why Pujols wanted a no-trade clause when the Marlins pursued him in free agency last winter?”).  Mindful that his own tenure might hang in the balance, manager Ozzie Guillen begged the handful of persons who still attend Marlins games to LEAVE JEFFREY LORIA ALONE! From the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi :

“We’ve been talking about this for the last three weeks. The front office was very optimistic — very optimistic bout this ballclub and we don’t show them any side to be more optimistic. The trade? I don’t know how to say it in English, but I’ve never felt this bad about a trade in my career as a manager, but I think I did because I wanted those guys to play for me as long as they could. It was embarrassing for me that we had to make a move, that kind of move because we played very bad.

“Miami, I know they’re used to blaming the front office. I was here before and they’ve done some stuff here that a lot of people thought they shouldn’t do that, when they went and broke up the team. I think if there’s anybody out there that wants to blame somebody, blame the people wearing this uniform, don’t blame the people who wear ties and sport coats. Nope. They do a great job.

“They did everything they could to keep this team together. They spent a lot of money, a lot of time, we add a player. If there’s anybody that has to be blamed, I take the blame and anybody besides me, the players have to take the blame.